Biden still hasn’t called Netanyahu to congratulate him on his victory thumbnail

Biden still hasn’t called Netanyahu to congratulate him on his victory

By Jihad Watch

The reason why is clear: Biden’s handlers support the “Palestinian” jihad.

No Call to Bibi: Biden Has Yet to Congratulate Newly Elected Israeli Leader

by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, November 4, 2022:

The Biden administration will not say when the president plans on calling newly elected Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to congratulate him on his victory, drawing accusations the U.S. administration is trying to isolate the conservative Jewish leader before he even takes office.

Asked on Thursday afternoon if President Joe Biden has any plans to phone Netanyahu following his victory this week in the Israeli elections, a White House spokesman told the Washington Free Beacon, “We don’t have any call to preview at this point.”

The Israeli media reported on Thursday that Biden is expected to call Netanyahu some time over the weekend, citing the U.S. president’s packed schedule campaigning around America’s midterm elections. But the White House would not confirm these reports when asked by the Free Beacon.

Biden called Brazil’s newly elected far-left president-elect, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, on Monday, just a day after that country’s elections. This discrepancy is fueling accusations the Biden administration is taking a chilly approach to its diplomacy with Netanyahu, who made history by being elected as Israel’s prime minister for the third time.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the Free Beacon that the president’s delay in calling Netanyahu “is not an accident.”

“President Biden rushed to call Lula, a committed anti-American Chavista, but is finding every possible excuse not to call the next Prime Minister of Israel. That is not an accident,” Cruz said. “Biden has spent his entire administration undermining America’s allies and boosting America’s enemies. The next Republican Congress is going to leverage aggressive oversight and legislation to reverse that recklessness.”

This is not the first time Biden has been accused of dissing Netanyahu. It took Biden nearly a month to call Netanyahu upon taking office in 2021, fueling speculation Biden was trying to create some distance with Israel after four years of warm relations under former president Donald Trump. When outgoing Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett was elected, it took Biden just two hours to call and congratulate him.

Omri Ceren, a national security adviser for Cruz, said reports that Biden is too busy campaigning to call Netanyahu are “nonsense.”

“Biden found time call [sic] Lula the day after his election—and that was on Monday so it’s not like Biden wasn’t midterm campaigning,” Ceren wrote on Twitter. “Also if he calls this weekend, it will still be before the midterms. Why can’t this [administration] just admit what their foreign policy is?”…

AUTHOR

ROBERT SPENCER

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Widespread Anti-Regime Protests In Iran Continue thumbnail

VIDEO: Widespread Anti-Regime Protests In Iran Continue

By Middle East Media Research Institute

Basiji, IRGC, You Are Our ISIS! We’ll Give Our Lives For Freedom In Iran!


This clip is a compilation of the continued widespread anti-regime protests in Iran following the death of Jina (Mahsa”) Amini, who died after being beaten and arrested by Iran’s morality police for not wearing her hijab properly. In this clip, protestors can be seen knocking off the turbans of Islamic scholars, clashing with Iranian authorities, chanting “Basiji, IRGC, you are our ISIS!”, burning down communications jamming facilities, and throwing Molotov cocktails at posters of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and of his predecessor Ruhollah Khomeini.

In one protest, protestors chanted that Khamenei is the “murderer,” who was behind the shooting of IRGC members in the Shiraz shrine of Shahcheragh and that he is a “cripple.” Protesters waved their arms limply, mocking his disabled arm. In another protest, they chanted: “From Zahedan to Tehran, [I’ll give] my life for [freedom in] Iran!” The footage in this clip was posted between October 29 and November 1, 2022, to various Iranian accounts on social media, including those of Iran International Media and of Iranian dissident journalist Masih Alinejad. For more footage from the protests in Iran, see MEMRI TV Clips No. 9891No. 9837, and No. 9833.

Crowd: “Basiji, IRGC, you are our ISIS!”

©MEMRI TV. All rights reserved.

Ibn Warraq’s ‘The Islam In Islamic Terrorism’ zooms to Top 100 at Barnes & Noble after being banned at Amazon thumbnail

Ibn Warraq’s ‘The Islam In Islamic Terrorism’ zooms to Top 100 at Barnes & Noble after being banned at Amazon

By Jihad Watch

Good to see people striking back against the fascists.

Ibn Warraq’s The Islam in Islamic Terrorism, after being banned at Amazon, has zoomed to #73 on Barnes and Noble’s charts. That’s out of all the books there are, kids.

Get your copy here.

Background of the controversy.

Amazon Fascists Ban Another Book That Leftists Hate

The battle for the freedom of speech is heating up this week, with Elon Musk chasing out the Twitter fascists and beginning to open up the platform for free discussion and dissent (amid howls of rage from the Left), but the other social media giants are showing no signs of retreating from their fascism. New English Review Press announced Sunday that a book it published back in 2017, The Islam in Islamic Terrorism: The Importance of Beliefs, Ideas, and Ideology by the renowned ex-Muslim scholar Ibn Warraq, has been pulled for sale from Amazon without explanation or the possibility of appeal.

It’s a strange move. I have the privilege and honor of having known Ibn Warraq for many years and calling him my friend. I’ve also read The Islam in Islamic Terrorism. Before I met him, his groundbreaking and courageous work Why I Am Not A Muslim was a powerful influence on me in the 1990s and had a great deal to do with my beginning to write about jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women myself. Ibn Warraq is a gentle soul, a careful scholar, a superb writer, and a profound and original thinker. The Islam in Islamic Terrorism is not some flame-throwing hate screed but a carefully documented exploration of the elements of Islam that jihad terrorists use in order to justify violence and make recruits among peaceful Muslims.

Amazon, however, is run by Leftists, and for Leftists, any criticism of Islam, including any hint that it may have some connection to Islamic terrorism, is “Islamophobic” and thus to be rejected out of hand without any discussion of the actual evidence. For years now, the notorious far-Left smear machine, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), has defamed opponents of jihad violence and Sharia oppression as “hate group leaders,” and Amazon has banned counter-jihad 501c3 charitable organizations from its Amazon Smile charity program on the basis of the SPLC’s “hate” listings.

Amazon has also shown a readiness to ban books that counter the Left’s nonsense. A few years back, the Leftist behemoth banned Ryan Anderson’s When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment. It has also banned other books that jihadis and their allies would find offensive, such as Peter McLoughlin’s Easy Meat: Inside Britain’s Grooming Gang Scandal, and Mohammed’s Koran by McLoughlin and British activist Tommy Robinson.

Leftists will say, as they always say to criticism of the social media giants, that Amazon is a private company that can do what it wants and that if patriots don’t like it, they can start their own bookstore. Remember bookstores? There used to be many in every American city. They all had different selections, based on the owners’ perspectives and interests. But now they are almost all gone. Amazon dominates the book market, and Barnes & Noble takes most of the rest. If Amazon decides that your book is not acceptable, then most people who are interested in books will never have the opportunity to see it at all.

In earlier, less polarized times, the U.S. government determined that several monopolies — Standard Oil, American Tobacco, AT&T — were not in the public interest and compelled them to break up. It would be a great boon for the freedom of speech if Big Tech were subjected to this treatment, but the U.S. government as it is currently constituted is more likely to act against Musk for protecting the freedom of speech on Twitter than against the other social media giants for suppressing that freedom. The American people would also benefit immensely from the breakup of Amazon and reconstitution of bookstores that reflect differing points of view with selections that reflect not just Amazon’s doctrinaire Leftist line, but other points of view as well.

The Islam in Islamic Terrorism can still be found here. But it’s clear that Amazon is intending to shut down debate on a highly controversial issue. Even if you don’t care for the works of Ibn Warraq (which would be odd, as it would mean you don’t care for lucid, elegant prose, compelling reasoning, and a broad command of the salient facts), make no mistake: anytime Amazon pulls a book for political reasons, we are all threatened. The precedent has been set by the only bookseller that really matters today that books that are offensive to the Leftist elites can be deep-sixed at will. This precedent is dangerous and corrosive to a free society. In this age of the Biden regime’s creeping authoritarianism, it’s ominous in the extreme.

AUTHOR

ROBERT SPENCER

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Ten philosophers who discovered faith thumbnail

Ten philosophers who discovered faith

By MercatorNet – Navigating Modern Complexities

Stimulating stories of how the pursuit of truth led to God.


Faith and Reason: Philosophers Explain Their Return to Catholicism

Brian Besong and Jonathan Fuqua (eds.) | Ignatius Press 2019, 289 pages

Faith and Reason consists of ten chapters, written by ten different philosophers, plus an introduction by the editors and a foreword by Francis Beckwith, professor of philosophy at Baylor University. Each chapter relates the author’s conversion (or reversion, in the case of Edward Feser) to the Catholic Church. All of the contributors are active professional philosophers and one might expect a certain sameness in their stories.

However, they are strikingly distinct: there are many paths to Rome and it is a city with many gates. Each of the tightly argued chapters richly repays careful reading.

Almost all of the authors come from Protestant backgrounds, predominantly Baptist and Lutheran, and some of them (Koons, Gage, Kreeft and Judisch) examine the claims of the strands of the Reformed tradition rather than explore a philosophical school.

Others, notably Feser, Budziszewski and Cutter, demonstrate how an extended engagement with certain schools of philosophy led them to “mere Christianity” and eventually to the Catholic Church.

The final chapter, “A Spiritual Autobiography” by Candace Vogler, is very different. She suffered the most appalling abuse at the hands of her father from a very early age (she does not go into details, but the hints are sufficient) and subsequently had to cope with a very dysfunctional family. The story of how she worked through all of this with the help of her studies in philosophy makes compelling reading. This is the least technical of the chapters and may have the widest appeal.

The contributions are extremely well written — a testimony to philosophy as an aid to clarifying one’s ideas. Some are quite technical, especially those of Budziszewski and Cutter. The technicality in Budziszewski’s case consists of a stringent examination of the claims of “science” – not real science, but the materialist goddess erected by contemporary culture and media. In order to make that distinction clear, Budziszewski delves into physics and asks why this should work against religious belief.

The quasi-religious dimension of certain contemporary scientific theories such as the Big Bang is well-known, as is the sincere religious belief of scientists like the cosmologist Georges Lemaitre and the geneticist Jerome Lejeune. And yet many still believe that science and religion are opposed.

Budziszewski highlights the commitment of some scientists to philosophical materialism as an assumption rather than as a conclusion. It is often thought that scientists begin with a blank slate and discover by reason that materialism or naturalism or physicalism (the belief that there is nothing at all in existence beyond material entities) is true.

But, as a well-chosen quotation from Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin makes abundantly clear: he would remain a materialist even if the evidence pointed in the opposite direction. This conviction on the part of some, but by no means all, scientists, amplified to an enormous extent by the media, does much to explain the popular conviction that religious belief is something one holds in the teeth of scientific evidence. There is no scientific evidence for the non-existence of God. There couldn’t be: you cannot prove a negative.

Physicalism, or materialism, emerges again in Cutter’s article. However, here we are concerned with Anglo-American analytic philosophy. Cutter homes in on philosophical anthropology, in particular the phenomenon of human consciousness and notes that the attempt to explain certain human phenomena (classically believed to be the fruit of human reason) in materialist terms ultimately fails.

Materialist philosophical anthropology set out to demonstrate that such things as free will, the capacity for reflection and so on were simply epiphenomena (i.e., highly developed instances) of material processes. Consequently, there was no reason to believe in a spiritual dimension to human existence — nor would the hypothesis of God make any sense.

Cutter demonstrates that such arguments simply do not stand up to scrutiny: an intense examination of the human capacity for cognitive development and a consideration of the horrible moral implications of a materialist anthropology led him to conclude that it is simply impossible. At that point, he notes, and taking several other elements into consideration, he “began to find Christianity plausible”. This is a difficult chapter because he packs a great deal into a few pages – the reader has to go very slowly in order to keep up – but it is extremely clear and well written.

Having convinced himself of the validity of Nietzsche’s claims, Edward Feser taught philosophy of religion to undergraduates. In an effort to make the classes more interesting, he ended up arguing himself back into the Catholic Church. Feser is known for his work on the arguments for the existence of God. His account of how he went from teaching dull, anthologised, ultimately falsified versions until he realised that he had to accept them if he was to remain a philosopher at all is very engaging.

Philosophy of religion is very often taught to show students that religion is every bit as stupid as the general culture tells them, so Feser’s account of his increasing interest and conviction of the merit of classical theistic arguments is very refreshing. He generously gives the names of several books which he found helpful in his research.

As mentioned, every chapter highlights something of concern to contemporary Catholics. In his contribution, the noted apologist Peter Kreeft engages with literary sources in an entertaining way and gives a list of classic Catholic works in an extensive footnote.

Logan Paul Gage takes up the question of the Canon of Scripture: why do Catholics and Protestants have different Bibles? What is the explanation of the Protestant rejection of the deutero-canonical books of the Old Testament? Is it justified? Cradle Catholics, who tend to feel inferior to Protestants in scriptural matters, will appreciate his treatment of the Catholic canon of Scripture as valid.

Robert C. Koons takes up the question of justification by faith, a most important element in Luther’s rejection of Catholicism, and provides an ample discussion of the 1999 Lutheran-Catholic Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.

The joint article by Lindsay K. Cleveland and W. Scott Cleveland treads the path mapped out by Scott and Kimberly Hahn in Rome Sweet Home: each recounts his/her story of conversion, weaving it into the story of their marriage and careers. How a serious engagement with religious faith affects life will be of compelling interest to some readers.

Certain themes run through the articles: reason, and, in most cases, an engagement with the thought of St Thomas Aquinas. This is interesting, because none started out from a perspective where Aeterni Patris (Leo XIII’s encyclical recommending the study of Aquinas to all Catholics) would have motivated them.

All authors note the hostility of contemporary culture to religion, especially Catholicism, and all recount how they managed to escape. The editors note hostility in departments of philosophy, but it exists in literature, history and science departments as well.

Faith and Reason is demanding – the authors are determined to give value for money — but it repays the effort. Philosophers may find it easier, but there is something for everyone.

AUTHOR

Catherine Kavanagh

Dr. Catherine Kavanagh is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Mary Immaculate College (University of Limerick) and Director of Postgraduate studies there. She received her B.A. and M. Phil. from UCD and her… More by Catherine Kavanagh

RELATED ARTICLE: Today Mankind is in Dire Need of More Philosophers like Anicius Boëthius

EDITORS NOTE: This Mercator Net column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Is It a Sin Not to Vote? thumbnail

Is It a Sin Not to Vote?

By Jerry Newcombe

In 1629, the first American balloting for an election occurred in Salem, Massachusetts. The issue? Choosing a minister and choosing a Christian teacher for the colony. “Such is the origin of the use of the ballot on this continent; [Samuel] Skelton was chosen pastor and [Francis] Higginson teacher.”  So writes George Bancroft, an early American historian, on this first election on American soil in Volume I of his 6-volume, History of the United States of America (1882).

Historian Paul Johnson writes in his 1997 classic, A History of the American People: “In a sense, the clergy were the first elected officials of the new American society, a society which to that extent had a democratic element from the start.”

And Christians in America have been voting ever since.

Founding father Samuel Adams once said, “Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote…that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”

However, there has arisen a feeling among some professing believers that somehow it is spiritual to not participate in something as earthly as politics.

As the late Dr. D. James Kennedy, noted pastor and author, once said: “A Christian said to me, ‘You don’t really believe that Christians should get active in politics do you?’ And I said, with tongue in cheek, ‘Why, of course not, we ought to leave it to the atheists. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have anything to complain about. And we’d really rather complain than do something, wouldn’t we?’”

But today we find ourselves in such a mess in America that the very least Christians could do is vote, and vote our Biblical values.

Some people have written off elections because they think it’s all rigged. They look at some of the anomalies that have occurred in recent balloting, and they think, “Why should I even bother? My vote won’t count.” Well, if you don’t cast a vote, your potential vote certainly won’t count.

With great understatement, Gary Bauer notes in his End of Day Report (10/28/22), “We know unhinged leftists are not constrained by the basic teachings of Judeo-Christian civilization. They feel justified in doing anything and everything necessary to win.”

But if Christians show up in great numbers, we can overcome the potential for cheating because the Christian conservative voting bloc is huge.

About a decade ago, Alveda King, the niece of MLK, made some interesting observations about Christians and voting in an interview for television.

Alveda told me, “I hear remarks from both sides of the aisle. You know, ‘God’s not a Republican’ and ‘God’s not a Democrat.’ And so, we as God-fearing people don’t need to try to lock in a position to a political party, but certainly our votes must always follow our values.”

One of those values is against abortion and for life. Meanwhile, the left is embracing abortion to the hilt. When we vote Biblical values, we obey what the Lord would have us do.

Writing for the Washington Times (10/30/22), Everett Piper, a former president of a Christian college, opines on how far to the left the left has gone these days because of things like the castration of children and pornography in the schools: “The Democrat party is now so extreme that no serious follower of Christ can align with it. There is no longer any such thing as a ‘Christian Democrat.’”

The aforementioned Dr. Kennedy once declared that it is indeed a sin not to vote. His proof-text was from the passage in the Gospel, where Jesus said that we should render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s (Mark 12:17).

On the issue of voting, he said: “For non-Christian Americans, voting is a privilege and responsibility; for Christians, it is a duty demanded by God that we should fulfill.” [Emphasis his]

It has been said that in America, we get the kind of government we deserve.

Historically, Christians in America applied their faith to virtually every sphere of life, including their politics. While the founding fathers were not all Christians, the vast majority of them were, and more importantly they had a Biblical worldview.

So, for example, they divided power, since they knew man is sinful. James Madison, one of the key architects of the Constitution, noted: “All men having power ought to be distrusted.” This is a Biblical perspective. Sometimes people complain that the Constitution limits the amount of power any one single branch may have. That was by design.

The only poll that counts is the one you cast at election time. Don’t sit this one out. As the late Bishop Harry Jackson once declared, “Too many people died for the right of all people in the nation to vote.”

©Jerry Newcombe, D.Min. All rights reserved.

Today Mankind is in Dire Need of More Philosophers like Anicius Boëthius thumbnail

Today Mankind is in Dire Need of More Philosophers like Anicius Boëthius

By Dr. Rich Swier

“A man content to go to heaven alone will never go to heaven.” — Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius


I recently read The Consolation of Philosophy by Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius.

Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius or Anicius Boëthius lived from 480-524 AD.

Boëthius was a Roman scholar, Christian philosopher, statesman and the author of the celebrated De consolation philosophiae (The Consolation of Philosophy), a largely Neoplatonic work in which the pursuit of wisdom and the love of God are described as the true sources of human happiness.

What mankind is suffering from today is a lack of happiness because mankind has forgotten the words of Boëthius that proved what truly makes one happy is based upon the pursuit of wisdom and the love of God.

Boëthius wrote The Consolation of Philosophy while in prison wrongfully accused of treason and awaiting his execution which happened in 524 AD.

The Pursuit of Wisdom and the Love of God

Boëthius, while in prison, lamented his state of affairs. Boëthius was a high level Roman official whose words were embraced by many before a few accused him of treason against the Roman state.

Boëthius wrote,

“These it is who kill the rich crop of reason with the barren thorns of passion, who accustom men’s minds to disease, instead of setting them free.”

Boëthius was the victim of “the usual sickness of deluded minds.” Today, we are seeing deluded minds that have singled out free men and women for punishment for speaking “truth to power.” In America these free men and women are simply exercising their Constitutional rights to petition their elected officials. For this effort to tell the truth they have been labeled terrorists, semi-Fascists and traitors.

GradeSaver.com wrote this about The Consolation of Philosophy,

Evil has no substance, according to Philosophy, because it cannot participate in the ultimate pursuit of mankind: the supreme good. Therefore people who inflict their wickedness on the good are not truly powerful, since they have no capacity to stop the good people’s attainment of the one thing that matters. God orders the world through Providence, and the order of things that happen on earth is called Fate. Though people on earth cannot understand the ways of Providence, they must nevertheless accept whatever Fate sends, for all fortune, good or bad, is good. Bad fortune can instruct the recipient in the ways of virtue, and, often is better for the soul.

God does not interfere with free will, Philosophy concludes. Though God knows all things past and present, this knowledge doesn’t preclude the freedom of choice of human beings. God’s knowledge is not like our knowledge, and doesn’t happen over a period of time. God had one act of knowing the world, and in that act knew all things, including all the free choices of all the people throughout the entire history of the world.

Finally, Boethius, through this long conversation with Philosophy, has been comforted. Philosophy leaves him with the advice to cultivate virtue, for the Heavenly Judge sees all things. [Emphasis added]

The Story of an American Patriot and Political Prisoner

Fast forward to 2022 AD and we see many American patriots in prisoned who have been wrongfully accused of participating in an “insurrection” and accused of treason just because they attended a rally on January 6th, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

These falsely accused political prisoners, like Boëthius, are still awaiting judgment.

Among these political prisoners, much like Boëthius, is a young man named Zachary “Zach” Rehl who on March 17th, 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrested him at his home in Port Richmond, Pennsylvania.  From October 2008 to May 2012, Zack was a U.S. Marine Corps non-commissioned officer in Yuma, Arizona. Zack is a 100% disabled Marine Corps. veteran with a wife and young child.

Why Zack?

Because Zack takes his oath to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic seriously. Zack understands that the oath that he, and all those who honorably served our nation, does not expire until we do.

What are Zack’s crimes?

  1. Zack is the leader of the Philadelphia chapter of the Proud Boys. He was one of the organizers of the We the People rally outside the Independence Hall in Philadelphia in 2018, which supported Donald Trump.
  2. In July 2020, he attended the Back the Blue rally outside the Fraternal Order of Police lodge in Philadelphia where the Proud Boys members mingled with police officers. (c)
  3. “Just FYI, WE’RE HERE with you in DC now! Love you all!” he wrote on Parler on the evening of January 5, 2021. He had raised more than $5,500 via the Christian website GiveSendGo to fund his travel from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., USA. 
  4. Wearing a camouflage cap while carrying a Temple University backpack, he went to the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021. That day, Trump’s supporters held a peaceful Save America rally while the joint session of Congress was certifying the vote of the Electoral College and affirming Joe Biden‘s victory in the 2020 presidential election. During the Save America rally, he assisted Proud Boys leaders Ethan Nordean and Joseph Biggs but never entered the U.S. Capitol building.

You see Zack is an American patriot, a disabled veteran and a member of the Proud Boys. These are now punishable offenses according to this administration.

Like Anicius, Zack is a political prisoner who has yet to be judged by a jury of his peers.

Zach, in a letter to his wife, warned:

“They are jailing innocent people on bogus and trumped-up charges because those people simply supported the sitting president Donald Trump at the time; which is absolutely insane. If you think it can’t happen to you, look at me, because if it can happen to me, trust me, it can happen to you.”

Zack like Anicius faces an uncertain future. But he wears the full armor of God.

But Zack and his fellow imprisoned patriots  are consoled by the truth that people who inflict their wickedness on the good are not truly powerful, since they have no capacity to stop the good people’s attainment of the one thing that matters.

May God bless Zack, his family and his fellow political prisoners.

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

IRAN: Freedom fighters defy Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps ultimatum to cease protests thumbnail

IRAN: Freedom fighters defy Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps ultimatum to cease protests

By Jihad Watch

Note how Reuters once again refers to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as the “Revolutionary Guards.” Why won’t these “journalists” call the group by its correct name?

Security forces tear gas students defying Iran protest ultimatum

by Parisa Hafezi, Reuters, October 30, 2022:DUBAI (Reuters) -Protests in Iran entered a more violent phase on Sunday as students, who defied an ultimatum by the Revolutionary Guards and a warning from the president, were met with tear gas and gunfire from security forces, social media videos showed.

The confrontations at dozens of universities prompted the threat of a tougher crackdown in a seventh week of demonstrations sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was arrested by the morality police for attire deemed inappropriate.

“Security is the red line of the Islamic Republic, and we will not allow the enemy to implement in any way its plans to undermine this valuable national asset,” hardline President Ebrahim Raisi said, according to state media.

Iranians from all walks of life have taken to the streets since Amini’s death in protests that the clerical rulers said were endangering the Islamic Republic’s security.

Authorities have accused Islamic Iran’s arch-enemies the United States and Israel and their local agents of being behind the unrest to destabilise the country.

What began as outrage over Amini’s death on Sept. 16 has evolved into one of the toughest challenges to clerical rulers since the 1979 revolution, with some protesters calling for the death of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The top commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards told protesters that Saturday would be their last day of taking to the streets, the harshest warning yet by Iranian authorities.

Nevertheless, videos on social media, unverifiable by Reuters, showed confrontations between students and riot police and Basij forces on Sunday at universities all over Iran.

One video showed a member of Basij forces firing a gun at close range at students protesting at a branch of Azad University in Tehran. Gunshots were also heard in a video shared by rights group HENGAW from protests at the University of Kurdistan in Sanandaj.

Videos from universities in some other cities also showed Basij forces opening fire at students.

Across the country, security forces tried to block students inside university buildings, firing tear gas and beating protesters with sticks. The students, who appeared to be unarmed, pushed back, with some chanting “dishonoured Basij get lost” and “Death to Khamenei”….

AUTHOR

ROBERT SPENCER

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Giorgia Meloni: “We are the heirs of St. Benedict” thumbnail

Giorgia Meloni: “We are the heirs of St. Benedict”

By The Catholic Thing

Roberto de Mattei: The mission of the Church and of the Vicar of Christ on earth is this and no other: to recall the saving truths that the world ignores or despises.


As of October 21, Italy has a new government: the best possible government at the worst historical moment since the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946.

What does it mean, the best possible government? It means that since politics is the art of the possible, those who govern cannot constitute an ideal government, but only that which reality permits. Giorgia Meloni has had to take into account the international and European context, which leaves very little autonomy to our country, because nation-states, after Maastricht, have been stripped of much of their sovereignty.

The premier must also keep in mind the media firepower of the so-called strong powers and the driving forces within a center-right coalition made up of different political souls. Like any man of politics, she can do what is concretely possible, while not forsaking a few basic principles that guide her.

And this appears to be the best government among those possible, because it is the first right-wing and conservative government of the Italian Republic since its foundation.

Silvio Berlusconi, who deserves a great deal of credit for having stopped the rise of communism in Italy in 1994, was and is a liberal in the European sense of the term, but he has always defined himself as a man of the center, rather than a conservative.

Giorgia Meloni is a woman of the right, in 2020 she was made president of the European Conservatives, a group whose cornerstones are the defense of the sovereignty of nation-states, the control of illegal immigration, freedom from arbitrary and oppressive taxation, the rejection of ideologies such as that of gender.

This grouping includes the Law and Justice party (PiS) that governs Poland. And everything leads one to think that Giorgia Meloni will follow, in terms of international policy, the approach of Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki rather than that of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. “We will not give in to Putin’s blackmail,” she said amid applause in the October 25 speech with which she won the confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies.

In her first speech as premier, Giorgia Meloni condemned Nazism, fascism, and racial laws, and presented a vision of society founded on the values of the Western and European tradition: “We are the heirs of St. Benedict, an Italian, the principal patron of the whole of Europe.”

Businesses and families are at the center of Giorgia Meloni’s platform/manifesto. Businesses will get more help through tax cuts and support for investments aimed at the country’s economic development.

The family, she says, represents the “core of our societies, the cradle of the affections and the place where the identity of each one of us is formed. Therefore, we intend to support and protect it and, with this, to support childbearing, which in 2021 recorded the lowest birth rate from the unification of Italy until today, in order to emerge from the population freeze.

On immigration, she stated that the government wants to stop illegal departures and break the chain of human trafficking in the Mediterranean.

On the environment, she maintained that “there is no more convinced ecologist than a conservative; but what distinguishes us from a certain ideological environmentalism is that we want to defend the nature that has man in it.

Giorgia Meloni quoted a phrase of Roger Scruton’s, “one of the greatest masters of European conservative thought,” according to whom “ecology is the most vivid example of the alliance between those who are here, those who have been here, and those who will come after us.” “Protecting our natural heritage,” she added, “is no less a duty for us than is the safeguarding of our heritage of culture, traditions, and spirituality, which we have inherited from our fathers in order that we might pass it on to our children.”

The new Italian premier concluded her speech with these words:

The day our government took its oath before the head of state was the liturgical memorial of John Paul II, a pontiff, a statesman, a saint whom I had the honor of knowing personally. He taught me something fundamental that I have always treasured. ‘Freedom,’ he used to say, “does not consist in doing what we please, but in having the right to do what must be done.” I have always been a free person, I will always be a free person, and for this reason I intend to do precisely what I must do.

This government, however, finds itself facing a dramatic situation. Italy and the West have been at war since February 24, 2022. A hybrid war, but a real one, which has not yet reached its peak, and which could have serious repercussions not only in the military theater but also within individual nations, threatening the social fabric that ensures their survival and setting off phenomena of protest, even violence.

But the political and economic catastrophe that is threatening Europe as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, even before the geopolitical reasons, has its ultimate roots in the abandonment of the natural and Christian order on the part the West. The conflagration of war appears to be only the latest outcome of a historical process with cultural and moral origins.

It must be said that without special help from God a change of course appears humanly impossible. This help is obtained with prayer, which allows us to obtain the grace to follow the natural law.

The mission of the Church and of the Vicar of Christ on earth is this and no other: to recall the saving truths that the world ignores or despises. Paraphrasing Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, who said “he who prays is saved, he who does not pray is damned,” it’s worth repeating that when a nation returns to the natural and Christian order, it rises again. When it moves away from this, it plunges into chaos.

This is the fundamental crossroads before which the new Italian government finds itself, to which we extend our best wishes, assuring it of our prayers.

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Robert Royal’s A New Sign of Our Times

James V. Schall, S.J.’s On Saints and Souls

AUTHOR

Roberto de Mattei

Roberto de Mattei, a distinguished Italian historian, is the author of Saint Pius V: The Legendary Pope Who Excommunicated Queen Elizabeth, Standardized the Mass, and Defeated the Ottoman Empire (Sophia Institute, 2021).

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2022 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Survey: Health of Democracy and Rising Costs Are Leading Midterm Voter Concerns thumbnail

Survey: Health of Democracy and Rising Costs Are Leading Midterm Voter Concerns

By Dr. Rich Swier

WASHINGTON, D.C. /PRNewswire/ — As the midterm elections near, a new national survey released today by Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) shows a society divided between moving toward a more inclusive democracy and turning back the clock to the 1950s, as well as grave concerns about the health of our democracy.

PRRI’s 13th annual American Values Survey, released in partnership with the Brookings Institution, examines the dissatisfied state of American public opinion regarding the direction of the country and illuminates the partisan and cultural divides on midterm election priorities, abortion, immigration, education, gender identity, and LGBTQ rights.

“On questions related to American identity, the parties today are worlds apart—not just politically, but culturally. They increasingly defend different histories, live in different realities, and promote two essentially incompatible views of America’s future,” says Robert P. Jones, president and founder of PRRI. “The survey shows a hardening rightward stance among Republicans, anchored by a white evangelical base, which is increasingly out of step with the values of most other Americans.”

The following are highlights from the 2022 American Values Survey:

  • Consensus that America is headed in the wrong direction, but large partisan and religious divides about the future: Nearly three-quarters of Americans (74%) feel the country is going in the wrong direction, including almost all Republicans (93%) and a majority of Democrats (53%). Americans are divided, however, about whether the country’s culture and way of life has changed for the better (49%) or worse (49%) since the 1950s. Additionally, nearly a third of Americans (31%) say that God intended America to be a new promised land for European Christians, including approximately half of Republicans (49%) and white evangelical Protestants (50%).
  • Health of democracy and economy top voter priorities in the midterm elections: Among Americans who plan to vote in this year’s midterm elections, the issues most critical to them are the health of our democracy (57%) and the increasing costs of housing (57%) and everyday expenses (57%). However, the parties have very different ideas of what safeguarding our democracy means. Partisans hold mirror-opposite opinions, with 85% of Republicans saying voter fraud is the bigger problem and 83% of Democrats saying voter disenfranchisement is the bigger problem. One especially troubling finding is that one third of Republicans who say they are most concerned with the health of our democracy (33%) say true American patriots might have to resort to violence to set things right; among Democrats most concerned with the health of democracy, only 7% agree.
  • Americans oppose the Dobbs decision, Republican support for abortion bans drops by half: In June 2022, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organiza­tion, which overturned Roe v. Wade. Six in ten Americans (61%) oppose overturning Roe, while 35% favor it. More than eight in ten Democrats (82%) oppose the court decision, including 71% who strongly oppose it. Only 40% of Republicans oppose the decision, compared to 58% who favor it. Majorities of all major religious groups except white evangelical Protestants (37%) oppose the decision to overturn Roe. Nearly four in ten Republicans (37%) say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, compared to 86% of Democrats and 62% of all Americans.
  • Republicans are outliers on immigration and educational curriculum: More than three quarters of Democrats (77%) support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, up six percentage points since 2013. By contrast, only four in ten Republicans (40%) support a path to citizenship, a 13-point drop since 2013. On education, two thirds of Americans (66%) say public school teachers and librarians provide students with appropriate curricula and books that teach the good and bad of American history. A majority of Americans who most trust Fox News (60%), Republicans (54%) and white evangelical Protestants (51%) believe public school teachers and librarians are indoctrinating children with inappropriate material. Conversely, only 7% of Democrats believe this.

To view the full report, including survey methodology, visit prri.org

PRRI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to conducting independent research at the intersection of religion, culture, and public policy.

©PRRI. All rights reserved.

Islamic Republic of Iran: Security forces target girls school, fire tear gas as girls clash with staff thumbnail

Islamic Republic of Iran: Security forces target girls school, fire tear gas as girls clash with staff

By Jihad Watch

Forces of the Islamic regime in Iran have been raiding schools and targeting schoolgirls with increasing frequency; this is is causing even more public fury than there already was. One girl was recently beaten to death by security forces in her classroom for refusing to sing a “pro-regime song.” In mid-October, it emerged that 23 children were murdered by the regime.

Iranian security forces fire teargas as girls clash with staff at Tehran school

Guardian, October 24, 2022:

Iranian security forces fired teargas outside a girls’ school in Tehran when clashes broke out after staff attempted to inspect students’ mobile phones amid ongoing anti-government protests.

Iran’s Ministry of Education said several students were treated by emergency services for a drop in blood pressure, but denied that security forces had entered the school.

But videos circulating on social media showed heavily armed security forces outside the school. One clip showed them on motorbikes and firing at least one teargas canister. The authenticity of the footage could not be independently verified.

Unrest ignited by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman who was detained by the Islamic Republic’s morality police for “improper attire” and died in police custody, has swept Iran for five weeks. Rights groups say nearly 250 people have been killed in the crackdown.

Women and girls have played a prominent part in the protests, removing and burning veils. The deaths of several teenage girls reportedly killed during protests have fuelled more anger.

Demonstrations continued on Monday, with a rally at a university in the western city of Hamedan, and students shouting down a government spokesperson who visited a Tehran university, according to students’ and rights groups…..

AUTHOR

CHRISTINE DOUGLASS-WILLIAMS

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

What’s on the Ballot in 2022? thumbnail

What’s on the Ballot in 2022?

By Jerry Newcombe

Recently, during a debate, a U.S. Congressional candidate was asked, in effect, if he was an “election denier”—that is, did he have any questions about who was the duly elected president in 2020?

His answer was brilliant:

“Sir, Joe Biden is the president of the United States. If you don’t believe me, go to your gas pumps or go to your grocery stores, and that’ll tell you who is.”

There is much at stake for Christians and people of good will on the ballot this time around. It is a critical midterm election. As a friend notes: “It’s the thin blue line between future felicity and a smoldering apocalyptic wasteland.”

There are three issues on the ballot directly or indirectly that should be important to Christians:

1.  The issue of life

This administration values abortion more than anything else. Biden said just last week that we should help his candidates retain the House and Senate, so that the first thing they can do is codify “Roe v. Wade,” (that is secure, via legislation, abortion up to the moment of birth in the whole country).

Meanwhile, Biden and his allies are using the full force of the law against peaceful, Christian pro-lifers, while seeming to ignore violent attacks on pro-life centers. Look at these headlines:

After 160 Attacks on Churches and Pregnancy Centers, FBI Hasn’t Arrested a Single Person

FBI Has Indicted 22 Peaceful Pro-Life Advocates, 0 Radical Leftists Who Firebombed Churches and Pregnancy Centers

As we look at the candidates, we need to ask: Where do they stand on abortion? We know that many women today have been deceived into aborting their child, thinking that would simply end their problem. In reality, it has created many more problems. But there’s forgiveness and healing available through Christ.

Very often you can tell where a politician stands in general by seeing where they stand on the issue of abortion. If they favor killing the little babies in the womb, then they tend to get everything else wrong as well.

2. Religious freedom

As the Supreme Court once declared, America was founded largely by Christians for religious freedom. That liberty was ultimately enshrined in the Constitution’s First Amendment. And yet today, we find that religious freedom challenged.

All sort of laws from the left curtail freedom of speech. You can lose your job if you use the “wrong pronoun”—even if it’s biologically the correct pronoun.

During the COVID pandemic of 2020, the left seemed to drop all pretense of valuing religious freedom. They allowed liquor stores and casinos to remain open as “essential,” while closing down churches.

A recent example out of Miami highlights how tenuous religious freedom is in modern America.

John Labriola was fired from his job as a media aide with Miami-Dade County because he wrote an opinion piece on his own time, as a private citizen, for an obscure online publication. In his article, he disagreed with the so-called “Equality Act” (which the Biden administration pushes) because of its promotion of abortion, homosexual marriage, and the transgender agenda.

After suspending him for three days without pay, the county wanted him to apologize for his beliefs and to undergo intense training on, for example, how to use the so-called right pronouns. When he objected that this training would go against his Biblically held views, they fired him. He is being represented by Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute, which fights for religious liberty.

The candidates we vote for make a huge difference in preserving religious freedom or chipping it away—or in some cases ripping it away. In the case of the senatorial candidates we vote for, they impact what kinds of federal judges we get.

3. The economy—prosperity or further inflation?

No one suffers more under a poor economy, like what we’re experiencing under the current administration, than the poor. Just buying basic necessities is difficult.

Writer Don Surber notes:

“This year, people don’t understand what the big deal is about these trillion dollar spending measures. They do understand 13% inflation at the grocery store…. Millionaires don’t sweat the price of gasoline or a dozen eggs. Bread is $3 a loaf. So what? They eat cake.”

Runaway government spending has caused and exacerbated inflation. Since government is funded by “we the people,” we have been forced to pay for our own misery.

So, what’s on the ballot in the 2022 midterms? The Biden agenda. If we love life, if we love liberty, if we love peace and safety and reasonable prices, we should vote our Biblical values.

It is a privilege to vote. If Christians show up and vote biblical values, we could carry this election—and virtually every election.

©Jerry Newcombe, D.Min. All rights reserved.

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The Golden Age for Jews in America: Coming to its End? thumbnail

The Golden Age for Jews in America: Coming to its End?

By Jamie Glazov

A reflection on the turning points.


The decline in the favorability of mainstream American views toward Israel has coincided with a rise in antisemitic violence, particularly in large metropolises, promoted by Islamo-Leftist groups.

By now, we have read countless articles warning of the coming end of the Jewish golden era in America. The dwindling number of Americans identifying as Jews (now around 4.5 million—half of all Americans of Jewish descent), the passing of the Holocaust generation and the fading memory of the Holocaust itself, ideological polarization and illiberalism are just a few of the reasons discussed.

Over the span of Jewish history, across centuries and continents, the Jewish people had many periods of prosperity. Most well-known was the Golden Age in Spain from the mid-12th century until the end of the 14th century. Under the rule of the Muslim Umayyad Caliphate, “Al-Andalus”—modern day Spain—became a haven for Jewish culture in which art, literature, philosophy, and theology. This peaceful period ended abruptly in 1492, when all Jews of Spain and Portugal were suddenly and forcefully expelled or converted to Christianity.

Hundreds of years later, around 1950 to the turn of the 21st century, Jewish life experienced another Golden Age, this time in the United States and Israel. During the post-World War II-era, as many survivors, as well as Jews expelled from Arab countries, immigrated to the Israel and the United States, conditions in America improved dramatically for Jewish Americans. Antisemitism rapidly decreased, and the Jewish community became one of the most successful immigrant communities in the United States.

What does Israel have to do with the American Golden Age?

The establishment of the state of Israel in 1948—and Israel’s military victories over larger Arab forces in 1949, 1956, 1967, and 1973, fostered a surge of pride in Jewish Americans. From antiquity until the creation of the Jewish State, Jews were largely people of the book, merchants and scholars. The creation of Israel unified them into one strong peoplehood, with a homeland and with an army committed to defending the Jewish people worldwide. For the first time in centuries, Jews around the world were no longer victims but architects of their own secure haven that they could flee to in crisis.

From the establishment of the Jewish State until the beginning of this century, Zionism came to replace religious observance amongst secular American Jews as a core element of their own Jewish identities. That started changing around the year 2000, when the Palestinians launched a terror campaign against the Jews in Israel known as the Second Intifada. Support for the Jewish state began to wane at the fringes of the American Jewish community.

The “New Antisemitism,” also known as anti-Zionism or hatred of Israel as an acceptable stand-in for the classical hatred of Jews, initially gained currency in universities and in leftist intellectual circles. It has since metastasized to much of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Today, several U.S. congresswomen have claimed that Jewish Americans have dual national loyalties. These elected leaders call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions of Israel with a vehemence they reserve solely for the state of the Jews.

And as American Jews are severing their alliance with Israel, the second Jewish golden age is now coming to its end – and soon. Antisemitism is rising. American Jewish communities are divided, disengaged, and declining in membership. For the most part, this change has been driven not by a decline in material conditions, but rather a change in the way Americans Jews think about their Jewish identity and their relationships with the homeland of the Jewish people.

The New Antisemitism is becoming violent

The decline in the favorability of mainstream American views toward Israel has coincided with a rise in antisemitic violence, particularly in large metropolises, promoted by Islamo-Leftist groups. In New York City, more than half of hate crimes in 2019 targeted Jews. During the last major conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in May 2021, terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad launched more than 4,000 rockets and mortars at Israeli civilians. At the same time, we witnessed stunning and unprecedented scenes in New York, Los Angeles, and other American cities of Jews being assaulted by mobs of anti-Israel activists. This surge of anti-Jewish hate also included harassment, vandalism and online abuse.

With many Jews in America now fearing walking the streets in their kippot or wearing other items that identify them as Jewish or Zionist, or even speaking Hebrew in public, we are sliding in the direction of our European Jewish brethren—in fear and under siege, requiring more and more layers of security.

Meanwhile, many American Jews serve willingly as useful idiots for groups that despise us, divided our community, and weaken our resolve, under the pretext of legitimate  critique of the Israeli government policies.

The end of the story for American Jewry? 

While we undoubtedly face grave challenges as American Jews, we must not give up. Until now, due to lack of information and fear of rejection and persecution, many American Jews have been complicit as anti-Zionism morphs into the new antisemitism. Now is the time to stand up, fight back with all our remaining might and hold antisemites accountable.

We must form alliances with groups that share the same Judeo-Christian values of freedom and democracy, inspire today’s Jewish youth to be proud of their people and the Jewish homeland, and bring Israel back to the center of our Jewish life in the diaspora.

We must embrace Zionism as an integral part of our Jewish identity. We must engage in renewed efforts to strengthen the homeland of the Jewish people, ask Israel to empower and defend Jewish communities worldwide, and take stock of the strength our community possesses.

We must collectively demand a rejection of all forms of antisemitism, including and especially anti-Zionism.

Originally published in the Jerusalem Post.

AUTHOR

Adam Milstein 

Adam Milstein is an Israeli-American “Venture Philanthropist.” He can be reached at adam@milsteinff.org, on Twitter @AdamMilstein, and on Facebook www.facebook.com/AdamMilsteinCP.

©Adam Milstein. All rights reserved.

House Democrats Won’t Support Bill to Sanction Iran’s Leaders for Human Rights Crimes thumbnail

House Democrats Won’t Support Bill to Sanction Iran’s Leaders for Human Rights Crimes

By Jihad Watch

They don’t want to offend their Muslim friends and allies, or jeopardize the prospect of securing a deal that will send billions to the mullahs and ensure that they remain in power.

This Bill Would Sanction Iran’s Leaders for Human Rights Crimes. Not a Single Democrat Supports It,

By Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, October 21, 2022:

As the Iranian regime violently cracks down on growing nationwide protests, lawmakers’ attention is again on the atrocities committed at the hands of the Iranian regime. Yet not a single House Democrat has lent support to legislation that would sanction Iran’s supreme leader and his inner circle for mass human rights crimes, according to senior congressional sources familiar with the matter.

The bill, dubbed the Mahsa Amini Act after the 22-year-old Iranian woman who was killed by the regime’s morality police for improperly wearing her head covering, would “impose sanctions on the supreme leader of Iran and the president of Iran and their respective offices for human rights abuses and support for terrorism,” according to a copy of the measure obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. Amini’s murder last month sparked nationwide anti-regime protests that threaten to topple the hardline Iranian government, which has reacted to the demonstrations with more violence, including beating, imprisoning, and shooting protesters.

The Republican-led bill was circulated to every single Democratic House office, but not a single one has yet to cosponsor the bill, two senior Republican congressional aides told the Free Beacon….

AUTHOR

ROBERT SPENCER

RELATED VIDEO: This Week In Jihad with David Wood and Robert Spencer

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Gender Ideology Comes to Notre Dame thumbnail

Gender Ideology Comes to Notre Dame

By The Catholic Thing

William H. Dempsey: America’s most-famous Catholic university evidently values peer approval more than fidelity to Catholicism, opting for peace and quiet over the struggle for the truth.


When Pope Francis spoke out about the “woke” gender theory fueling today’s transgender frenzy as “a great falsehood” and “ideological colonization,” he doubtless didn’t anticipate that , America’s leading Catholic university, would become one of the colonizers.

But it has.

As part of this year’s orientation of new students, Notre Dame’s Vice President of Student Affairs, Rev. Gerry Olinger, C.S.C., introduced a video about gender and sexual orientation that flatly contradicted Catholic teaching.

The Church teaches that sex and gender are rooted in biological reality and that persons are either male or female in both sex and gender. But revisionist gender theory holds that gender depends on “feelings.” And it ranges over a host of variations: “a-gender,” “bi-gender,” “cis-gender,” “gender-fluid,” “gender-queer,” “gender outlaw,” “omnigender,” “transgender,” and “two spirit.” To name only a few.

This is the revisionist gender theory that has taken hold through “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI)  programs in colleges and universities across the county and has become almost commonplace elsewhere.

But not in the Catholic Church, where Pope Benedict XVI anticipated Pope Francis by denouncing “the profound falsehood of this theory.” And the Vatican’s Congregation for Education warned that it has caused an “educational crisis” (Male and Female He Created Them).

An education crisis not least, as it turns out, at Notre Dame, where Father Olinger’s video message to new students came down decisively on the side of gender theory. His representation to the students that “Church teaching is at the heart” of what they were about to see was flat-out false advertising.

Here’s what the students were told by the video narrator:

“Gender identity is a person’s inner sense of being a male, female, or differently gendered person.”

Accordingly,

A person’s gender identity may not match a person’s biological sex”  

“Transgender,” the narrator explained, “refers to someone whose internal gender identity doesn’t match their biological sex,” and “Questioning” signifies “someone in the process of discerning their sexual orientation or gender.”

The message of the video was driven home by a questionnaire that asked the new students, “What is your current gender identity?” And listed as options “Male,” “Female,” “Transgender Female to Male (FTM),” Transgender Male to Female (MTF),” “Genderqueer,” and “Other,” intimating endless possibilities of the sort listed above.

The video also undermined Church teaching on homosexual sex. It featured a student who described herself as a bi-sexual female “who has had a same-sex partner in the past,” and who called upon students to “treat it like it’s no big deal.”  It would be fanciful in the extreme to suppose that by “same-sex partner” she meant “same-sex good friend” or that the first-year students thought that’s what she meant.

But for the Church, homosexual sex is indeed a “big deal.”

While the Catholic Catechism insists that men and women who have homosexual tendencies “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” it declares that homosexual sexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” that “under no circumstances can be approved.”

The prize-winning independent student newspaper The Irish Rover published an account of these worrisome episodes and asked Father Olinger “whether the messages in the video are somehow viewed by himself or the Division of Student Affairs as in line with Catholic teaching.”

He did not respond.

So, Sycamore Trust, an organization of Notre Dame alumni and others concerned with and about Notre Dame’s Catholic identity, has just published an Open Letter to Father Olinger expressing “deep disappointment” with his  instruction to new students as well as with his “brushing off inquiries by students about what’s being taught on important moral issues of the day.”

“The Open Letter, which is available online for those concerned with Catholic higher education who would like to join, calls on Father Olinger to break his silence. It declares, “The undermining of Church teaching on important moral issues by a Catholic institution charged with the moral formation of its students constitutes scandal of the first order.”

This abandonment of Church teaching by the Notre Dame administration follows the capitulation by the Alumni Association to LGBTQ alumni pressure for their own official organization. The new “affinity group” is The Alumni Rainbow Community of Notre Dame – or ARC.

This was a signal victory for the unofficial Gay & Lesbian Alumni Association of Notre Dame (“GALA”), which had lobbied unsuccessfully for recognition for many years.  Standing in the way of such recognition had been GALA’s repeated public celebration of champions of same-sex marriage.

But no longer.

The Alumni Association’s about-face on gay marriage has been swift and unmistakable.  It appointed the same-sex married president of GALA to be chair of ARC, the new official group, and it approved as ARC’s first event an award ceremony honoring Greg Bourke – the same-sex married alumnus who was a plaintiff in Supreme Court litigation resulting in the establishment of same-sex marriage as a constitutional right.

More, Notre Dame Press climbed on the Bourke LGBTQ bandwagon by publishing his autobiography, which centers on his campaign for same-sex marriage. The Press praised it as a “compelling and deeply affecting narrative” by an “unapologetically Catholic” man about his “struggle to overcome antigay discrimination by both the BSA [Boy Scouts of America] and the Catholic Church.”

In his book, Bourke wrote of his cordial relations with Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., citing Jenkins’s expressed gratification at “hearing of your spouse and children” and his assurance, “We are proud to call you a graduate of Notre Dame” – surely an extraordinary compliment to pay one of the Church’s most determined and successful adversaries from within.

The Catholic Church’s teaching on sex and gender that Notre Dame scuttled in these episodes has become more and more unpopular over a remarkably short period of time. Colleges and universities have led the way, scorning traditional Christian values as odious and branding hateful those who express them.

The Notre Dame administration evidently values peer approval more than it does fidelity to the Church and has chosen peace and quiet over the struggle for the truth.

You may also enjoy:

Matthew Hanley’s Gender Ideology as Abuse

Rick Fitzgibbons, M.D.’s The Transgender Agenda vs. the Science

AUTHOR

William H. Dempsey

William Dempsey is chairman of Sycamore Trust, an organization of Notre Dame alumni and others attentive to the Catholic identity of the university. After graduating from Notre Dame and Yale Law School and serving as chief law clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren, he practiced law in Washington, D.C. and served as chief labor negotiator for the railroad industry and president of the Association of American Railroads.

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2022 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

MICHIGAN: Watch Leftists excoriate Muslims for opposing sexually explicit LGBTQ propaganda in schoolbooks thumbnail

MICHIGAN: Watch Leftists excoriate Muslims for opposing sexually explicit LGBTQ propaganda in schoolbooks

By Jihad Watch

This is a bit surprising, as previously Islam has always trumped other “progressive” causes. Feminists went mute about Islamic misogyny, race activists said nothing about the persistence of slavery in some Muslim countries, etc. But now the Leftist-Islamic alliance is being seriously strained, at least in Dearborn. Note the pain of one Leftist at the ingratitude of the Muslims: “we fought the right to allow you to come here & now you dare go against us.”

Samira Khan says: “It’s only a matter of time before American Muslims are branded terrorists again and hunted down by the government, but it will be done by the left this time around, not the right.” Islamic groups in the U.S. were always hysterical about any and all counterterror measures, far beyond any proportionality, leading to suspicions that they just didn’t want any counterterror activity at all. But Samira Khan is correct that the Left is ruthless and authoritarian, and will hunt down its enemies. It’s very clear that’s what the groundwork is being prepared for now, with Biden’s handlers’ attempt to portray half the electorate as dangerous criminals who are a threat to the very survival of the republic.

Leftists are using the ‘we fought the right to allow you to come here & now you dare go against us’ BS against Muslims taking issue w/ sexually explicit schoolbooks & baselessly claim they are being duped by the Christian right as though they are incapable of independent thought. pic.twitter.com/r0CwjIOaUo

— samirah (@SameeraKhan) October 17, 2022

The issue is about sexually explicit books in school libraries, not LGBT rights, but leftists are disingenuously framing the debate around LGBT rights to make it seem as if Muslims and Christians pose some sort of existential threat to the LGBT community.

Wow. Just wow.

— samirah (@SameeraKhan) October 17, 2022

It’s only a matter of time before American Muslims are branded terrorists again and hunted down by the government, but it will be done by the left this time around, not the right.

— samirah (@SameeraKhan) October 17, 2022

Some of the sexual content in school libraries Muslim & Christian parents are fighting (Credit: @libsoftiktok):

Should schools be providing CHILDREN access to this sort of pornographic material?

How anyone could defend this is beyond me, but leftoid degeneracy knows no bounds… https://t.co/xZLd7hMrhk pic.twitter.com/UowWbfwU68

— samirah (@SameeraKhan) October 17, 2022

Leftists are now comparing Muslims to Hitler for demanding the removal of pornographic books from school libraries. pic.twitter.com/Y98MhHu4zv

— samirah (@SameeraKhan) October 18, 2022

AUTHOR

ROBERT SPENCER

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘Rural School Killer’: Here’s Why Educational Freedom Became An Election Flashpoint In Oklahoma

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Holland: Free Speech Alarm in Rotterdam thumbnail

Holland: Free Speech Alarm in Rotterdam

By Matthys van Raalten

Today there was an anti-Islam demonstration planned in Rotterdam by Pegida. The leader wanted to burn a copy of the Quran. Hundreds of young Muslims protested by shouting “Allahu Akbar” and throwing eggs at the police.

Guess what the police did. The Muslims were pleased. The leader of Pegida was arrested for “offending the religion”. The Quran was confiscated. No Muslim was arrested.

This is an attack by our police on our freedom of speech, plain and simple.

There is no law in The Netherlands that says that religion as such cannot be offended.

Police take the Koran and arrest foreman Pegida, many counter-protesters on the leg

Several hundred people demonstrated near Central Station in Rotterdam after anti-Islam movement Pegida announced that it would burn a Koran. A large group of Muslims protested on Kruisplein. On the part of Pegida there was no demonstration: foreman Edwin Wagensveld was arrested for ‘insulting the faith’ and the police took a Koran.

On a video of the arrest on Twitter it can be heard that Wagensveld taunts the prophet and insults in very rude terms. He also shouted that he “fouls Islam” and that he is “not afraid of anything”.

The counter-protesters had set off a yellow smoke bomb on the public road in front of CS Rotterdam.

Pegida announced this week that it would burn a Quran on the Stationsplein, but that is prohibited, deputy mayor Simons said earlier this week. This morning Wagensveld reported on Twitter that he was on his way to Rotterdam for the announced demonstration.

Vanmiddag vond op het #Stationsplein een demonstratie van Pegida plaats. Hierbij ontstonden wanordelijkheden. Een Koran is afgenomen om verdere escalatie en daarmee ernstige wanordelijkheden te voorkomen. Een man is aangehouden wegens het roepen van een beledigende leus.

— Politie Eenheid Rotterdam eo (@POL_Rotterdam) October 22, 2022

It did not happen, because the police seized a Koran before the action could well begin and arrested Wagensveld. It is unknown whether there were more activists on behalf of Pegida. The counter-protesters were many people. They cheered when it became known that the Quran had been taken.

There was also a lot of police at the station to ensure that everything runs smoothly. The Muslims shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and threw eggs and some fireworks. The demonstration had to end around 2:30 pm and around that time peace returned around Central Station.

Read the full article. 

©Matthys van Raalten. All rights reserved.

Iran: Christian activist forced to strip, says Islamic regime uses sexual violence against female protestors thumbnail

Iran: Christian activist forced to strip, says Islamic regime uses sexual violence against female protestors

By Jihad Watch

The idea is to humiliate and degrade them, and by raping them, to deny them a place in paradise, for in Islam it is entirely the woman’s responsibility to prevent a man from being tempted (hence the hijab, chador, niqab, burqa), and if he is tempted anyway, it’s her fault.

by Annu Kaushik, Firstpost, October 17, 2022:

In 2020, Mary Mohammadi was taken to a detention center near Iran’s capital Tehran. Officials told her that her hair was visible.

In the basement of the all-female detention center, Mary was forced to strip.

“If my hair is a problem, is it not a problem to force me to take off all my clothes? Is this Islamic?,” Mary told Firstpost in an exclusive conversation.

The incident was part of the sexual violence that the regime has been using to suppress female protesters and activists, Mary said.

“During protests, security personnel touch female demonstrators inappropriately. They want to make women fearful of stepping out,” she said.

24-year-old Mary has been on the radar of Iranian officials for several reasons. Born to a Muslim family, she converted to Christianity in 2017.

Christian converts and other religious minorities like the Bahais are not recognised in Iran.

Over the last few years, Mary has faced persecution from the authorities in the form of arrests and interrogations due to her faith as well as activism.

The personnel who transferred her to the detention center in 2020 belonged to the morality police which is currently in the eye of the storm due to the death of Mahsa Amini which has triggered nationwide protests in Iran.

But it’s not just the morality police who target women for not wearing the mandatory hijab or a head scarf or wearing it improperly.

According to Mary “radical Muslims do it too.”

In 2019, Mary was on a bus in Tehran. It was a hot day and she had taken off her hijab. Suddenly a fully veiled woman approached Mary and asked her to cover her hair.

“When I refused, an argument ensued during which the woman attacked me & my face was left bloodied,” Mary said.

The activist somehow managed to take the woman to the police station. According to Mary, the officers dissuaded her from filing a complaint and even threatened her with arrest.

“They (police) were very kind to that woman. They let her go at 10 pm but kept me in custody till 3 am,” she added.

“Radical Muslims can even attack minorities in public because the regime is behind them,

“Islamic hijab is mandatory in Iran even for non-Muslims. I am a Christian but I must wear hijab,” she said.

Mary’s activism and faith also took a personal toll. Without giving any reason, her university barred her from appearing in exams.

But what was more hurtful for Mary was the treatment meted out to her by a former employer who was also a close friend.

“The gymnast training center where I worked was shut down during the COVID lockdown. I kept asking my employers when I can return and they told me and they are still closed,” Mary said.

One day, the activist turned up at the center unannounced and saw that it was fully operational.

Mary was not given her job back and believes that her employer and the university faced pressure from the authorities.

Constant threats that Mary said were from the authorities forced her to flee Iran in February 2022. The activist who is currently living in the US told Firstpost that in her home country security forces “continue to use sexual violence in the ongoing protests.”…

Read more.

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Remembering Donald J. Trump’s Warnings at the September 24, 2012 Liberty University Convocation thumbnail

VIDEO: Remembering Donald J. Trump’s Warnings at the September 24, 2012 Liberty University Convocation

By Dr. Rich Swier

On September 24, 2012 at Convocation, North America’s largest weekly gathering of Christian students, Donald Trump began his speech with the dire state of the nation’s economy and its failed foreign relations and then engaged students for 30 minutes about the values that brought him to the pinnacle of real estate development and business success.

WATCH:

Donald J. Trump finished by addressing a few questions from students, which had been texted during the speech.

Trump also spent time praising Liberty for its notoriety and honoring its founder, Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr., whom he had met on several occasions and Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr.

Prior to his speech, Trump was awarded an honorary doctorate of business in recognition of his, “unwavering and public commitment to our nation’s founding principles of limited government, individual liberty, and the free enterprise system, and in further recognition of his iconic status as one of America’s most successful visionaries and entrepreneurs.”

©Liberty University. All rights reserved.

PHILADELPHIA: Gender Clinic Trained Employees At Schools To Hide Students’ Gender Identities From Parents thumbnail

PHILADELPHIA: Gender Clinic Trained Employees At Schools To Hide Students’ Gender Identities From Parents

By The Geller Report

This is pure evil. The country has lost its way.

The left’s war on the family, the basic building block of civilization, is part of their war on G-d. This is a culture that is embracing degeneracy, depression and death.

Eliminating parental authority paves their way to absolute control and autocracy.

The case against this horrendous surgery is a whole other matter. Ten to 15 years after surgical reassignment, the suicide rate of those who had undergone sex-reassignment surgery rose to 20 times that of comparable peers.

EXCLUSIVE: Philadelphia Gender Clinic Trained Employees At School That Hides Students’ Gender Identities From Parents

by Chrissy Clark, Daily Caller, October 19, 2022:

A Philadelphia gender clinic provided training materials to public school employees in a Pennsylvania district that asks educators to use students’ preferred names and pronouns without informing parents, according to training slides and emails obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller.

A Southern Lehigh School District guidance counselor emailed the training materials from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to several educators on Sept. 15, 2021. Several district employees attended the CHOP training off-site, and one disseminated the information to colleagues.

Approximately three weeks later, the district’s intermediate school principal sent an email to educators stating that they should not inform parents about a child’s perceived gender identity. The intermediate school’s vice principal was a direct recipient of the CHOP training materials.

The presentation obtained by the Caller called for schools to be “affirming” of a children’s perceived gender identities. Educators are encouraged to use the word “students” instead of “boys and girls” when referring to the classroom. CHOP also urged educators to include “examples of LGBTQ people in lessons,” beginning in elementary school.

CHOP recommends that elementary schoolers read books about pronouns, such as “They, She, He Easy As ABC,” and books about young boys dressing in drag, such as “Julian Is A Mermaid.” The materials also call on middle and high school classrooms to “critically examine roles and messages (now and throughout history)” and to “build allies and advocacy.”

The training goes on to encourage educators to “follow [a] child’s lead” and to “allow room for exploration” of his or her gender.

In separate training sessions provided by CHOP to school districts throughout Pennsylvania in 2020, the gender clinic told educators to keep students’ gender identities secret from parents.

“If we disclose this information without someone’s involvement, without them giving us permission, we are setting them up for a negative, potentially harmful, unsafe experience,” the training video says. “So when we get this information, we keep it private from other students, from other staff members and from parents.”…

AUTHOR

Atlas Shrugs

RELATED TWEET:

As long as I am Governor, in Florida there will not be a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for children in our schools. pic.twitter.com/oDXAj3c4Oy

— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) October 20, 2022

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Democrat El Paso mayor LIES, denies he was pressured by Biden regime to avoid declaring migrant crisis an emergency

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Perils of Palestine: A Multi-Dimensional Menace to Israel thumbnail

The Perils of Palestine: A Multi-Dimensional Menace to Israel

By Martin Sherman

Little analytical acumen is needed to grasp that a Palestinian state will comprise a multi-dimensional threat to Israel. Whether one considers height, width, length, or depth, such a state would entail existential dangers for Israel.


“It is difficult to imagine any other issue for which the international media have been so successfully exploited—from the point of view of the Arabs—as has the Palestinian issue. Not since the time of Dr. Goebbels [Head of the Nazi Propaganda Machine], there has ever been a case in which continual repetition of a lie has borne such great fruits…”– Prof. Amnon Rubinstein, in Palestinian Lies“, Haaretz, 30 July, 1976.

Support for a Palestinian state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is driven either by malice or by ignorance: Either malice reflecting a desire to gravely undermine Israel’s national security and/or the personal safety of its citizens; or ignorance reflecting a gross lack of knowledge and/or appreciation of the consequences that such a state would have for Israel.

Lamentably, the specter of Palestinian statehood has once again re-emerged to occupy the forefront of the public discourse—not only with the ensconcing of the Biden administration in the White House, but also with the recent injudicious address to the UN by Israel’s interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

Ironically, the perils entailed in a Palestinian state were articulated with chilling accuracy by none other than arch-architect of the Oslo Accords, Shimon Peres, who, almost half a century ago, warned: “The establishment of such [a Palestinian] state means the inflow of combat-ready Palestinian forces (more than 25,000 men under arms) into Judea and Samaria; this force, together with the local youth, will double itself in a short time. It will not be short of weapons or other [military] equipment, and in a short space of time, an infrastructure for waging war will be set up in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip. Israel will have problems in preserving day-to-day security, which may drive the country into war, or undermine the morale of its citizens. In time of war, the frontiers of the Palestinian state will constitute an excellent staging point for mobile forces to mount attacks on infrastructure installations vital for Israel’s existence, to impede the freedom of action of the Israeli air force in the skies over Israel, and to cause bloodshed among the population… in areas adjacent to the frontier-line.”

Indeed, little analytical acumen is required to grasp that a Palestinian state will comprise a multi-dimensional threat to Israel. No matter which dimension is considered—height, width, length, and even depth—such a state would entail existential dangers for Israel.

Height—Topographic Elevation

Arguably, the most dramatic illustration of the unnerving vulnerability to which Palestinian statehood would subject the Jewish state is provided by a brief review of the topographic elevation.

The area designated for a future Palestinian state—in any conceivable configuration—dominates the heavily populated coastal plain, which extends below the limestone highlands that comprise much of that putative state. From those highlands, it is possible to control and oversee any, and all, activity—in terms of observation, firepower, and electronic surveillance in the coastal heartland of Israel—including:

  • Virtually all Israel’s airfields (civilian and military) together with the country’s only major international airport, Ben Gurion;
  • Nearly all Israel’s principal seaports and naval bases;
  • Centers of civilian government and military command and control;
  • Vital infrastructure installations and systems (power generation and conveyance, water production—desalination plants—and conveyance; major transport axes—road and rail—including the Trans-Israel Highway (Route 6);
  • About 80% of Israel’s civilian population and commercial activity.

All of these will be hopelessly vulnerable to attack by weapons being today employed against Israel and Israelis by hostile elements deployed in territory transferred in the past to Arab control.

Length—Extent of the frontiers

Surrender of territory in Judea-Samaria (a.k.a. “The West Bank”) for a Palestinian state would entail increasing the length of Israel’s eastern border at least fourfold—and possibly considerably more—depending on the parameters of the agreement reached. Indeed, the establishment of a Palestinian state would dictate dramatic changes in the contours of the frontier. Instead of about 75 km of a relatively straight border in the Jordan valley north of the Dead Sea, Israel would have to contend with a torturous and contorted frontier, hundreds of kilometers long, snaking perilously close to numerous population centers and transportation axes—see “Width” below.

Some proposals, which include autonomous enclaves, would enormously increase the interface between sovereign Israel and the Palestinian territories–to anything up to 1000 km., perhaps even more—making the ability to clearly demarcate and secure the the areas of Israel’s sovereign control virtually impossible.

Width—Resurrecting Israel’s narrow waist

Clearly, the establishment of a Palestinian state will entail Israel reverting roughly to its pre-1967 borders including a narrow 100 km long strip, in places barely 15 km wide, which comprises the country’s most populous area.

As Labor Party’s Yigal Allon, former head of the Palmach, and later Israel’s Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs emphasized, the pre-1967 lines “extend along the foothills of the Judean and Samarian mountains and along the Mediterranean coastal plain—that is, flat territory without any topographical barriers. This leaves central Israel with a narrow area that comprises the Achilles heel of the lines prior to June 4, 1967.” On the significance of this, he warned: “[T]he innovations and sophistication in weaponry…that have taken place, therefore, not only fail to weaken the value of strategic depth and natural barriers but in fact enhance their importance. This is even more true given Israel’s difficult geographic position.”

In similar vein, it was none other than Shimon Peres who, in the sternest terms, warned against reinstating the minuscule geographical width of the country that prevailed prior to 1967. According to Peres, “the lack of minimal territorial expanse places a country in a position of an absolute lack of deterrence, which in itself constitutes almost compulsive temptation to attack Israel from all directions He asserted that, in the modern era, “with the development of the rapid mobility of armies, the defensive importance of territorial expanse has increased.” Underscoring the dramatic vulnerability of pre-1967 Israel, Peres cautioned that Israel’s “‘thin waist’, which constitutes Israel’s most densely populated area,” would be indefensible against the range, firepower, and mobility of modern armaments. Ominously he observed: “Without a border that affords security, a country is doomed to destruction in war.”

Similarly, Allon warned that Israel’s “narrow waist” would serve “as a constant temptation to a hostile army in possession of hilly Judea and Samaria to attempt to inflict a fatal blow against Israel by severing it in two in one fell swoop. Moreover, this weakness would permit …an [Arab] army not only to strike at Israel’s densest population and industrial centers, but also in effect to paralyze almost all of Israel’s airspace…”

Depth—Water: The Dry facts

The western slopes of the hills, designated for a prospective Palestinian state, overlie important ground water sources—known as the Yarkon-Taninim Aquifer in the West and the Nablus-Gilboa Aquifer in the North— that for decades were a crucial component of Israel’s water supply. Excessive extraction and pollution in these aquifers could gravely—indeed, irreversibly degrade the supply of water to Israeli consumers.

Just how gravely this danger was viewed, even by elements on the Left, is clearly conveyed in a report by the late Reuven Pedazur, military correspondent of the far-Left Haaretz daily (Apr. 24, 1989): “Anyone who controls the water sources of the West Bank can, quite simply, dry out the coastal plain in Israel. Control of the two major aquifers, drilling of deep bore-holes, and subsequent intensive pumping in Western Samaria and in the Jenin and Tubas area are liable to leave the Jewish farmers of the Sharon without irrigation water, and the fields of the Jezreel Valley devastated.”

Indeed, over a decade (Nov.7, 1999) later, Aluf Benn, today editor of Haaretz, wrote an article entitled: “A Recommendation to PM Barak to retain Israeli control over the water in the West Bank,” expressing skepticism as to the viability of any agreement with the Palestinians regarding water. In it, he warned: “The principal danger is rooted in the feeble ability of the Palestinians to implement an agreement [as to the operation of shared water sources] consequently the proliferation of “wild-cat” drilling and excess extraction that will reduce the quality and quantity of the aquifers’ water.”

Of course, today, with the incorporation of large-scale desalination installations into Israel’s national water system, the country’s dependence on natural water sources has been considerably reduced. This, however, has not eliminated the hydro-strategic importance of the aquifers of Judea-Samaria. Indeed, a comprehensive survey–commissioned by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies (today INSS)—by two senior hydrologists of TAHAL (then Israel’s Water Planning Authority), warned that for various hydrological and ecological reasons”Even when desalination becomes a significant source of supply, the importance of the Yarkon-Taninim aquifer will not decrease as a seasonal and long-term reservoir.” (p.105)

Indeed, even today, excess extraction, unsealed (or poorly sealed) municipal garbage sites, and untreated flows of urban sewage or industrial effluent in the areas designated for a Palestinian state can gravely imperil Israeli water sources—including subterranean storage areas in the aquifer. Without Israeli presence –and authority—in the western slopes of Judea-Samaria, Israeli would be powerless to contend with these impending menaces.

“With the two-state solution… Israel will collapse”

In view of the preceding analysis, it is intriguing to discover what senior Palestinian figures think of what really lies behind the two-state principle. In a 2009 article, headlined “Palestinian Official Says Two-state Solution Will Destroy Israel,” the Palestinian Ambassador to Lebanon and member of Fatah’s Central Committee, Zaki Abbas, candidly asserted: “With the two-state solution… Israel will collapse… What will become of all the sacrifices they made – just to be told to leave? … The Jews consider Judea and Samaria to be their historic dream. If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse. It will regress of its own accord. Then we will move forward.”

Things could hardly be clearer!

©Martin Sherman. All rights reserved.