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Elections

The Counter-Coup Has Begun

If God blesses us again and President Trump is reelected this November, it would be nice to have people working for the man chosen by the American voters to lead them and upon whom we don’t have to use lie detectors.

I remember as if it were yesterday, telling President Trump’s National Security Adviser, retired three-star General Mike Flynn: “Get 20 DoJ polygraphers here now and have them do single-scope interviews through the whole bloody building!”

I didn’t work for the good general, as my job as strategist to the president, had me working with Steven Bannon who headed the White House’s Strategic Initiatives Group, but I considered Mike a friend, a true battle buddy from the Trump campaign. More than that, I had been one of just a handful of members of the official presidential Transition Team’s NSC staff in the months before the Inauguration, and as such had come to respect and admire the former Defense Intelligence Agency director as a great patriot and fighter.

Why then did I want him to have all 420 members of the bloated NSC we had inherited from the Obama Administration be put through a lie detector test? Because the new administration systematically was being subverted. We had barely moved into our offices and it was as if there hadn’t even been an election, as if 63 million Americans hadn’t chosen a new Chief Executive and the Left was still in control.

The latest proof that triggered my call to action? The brand new classified NSC phonebook, with the names of all the holdovers, new hires, and political appointees and their contact details had been leaked to the press, before General Flynn had even signed off on it. My concern was that it was time to act before something bigger and more damaging to America’s national security was leaked. Sadly Mike did not take my advice and it would have dire consequences. A few days later he would resign and eventually was charged with a process crime to which he pleaded guilty in order to save his family.

Thanks to the great work of a handful of investigative journalists, including John Solomon, Sara A. Carter, and Lee Smith, we now know that James Comey’s cronies at the FBI targeted General Flynn, caught him misremembering details about a perfectly professional and proper phone-call with the Russian ambassador, and they used that to take him down. Since then, thanks to the incredible work of his recently appointed counsel, Sydney Powell we have the details of just how badly this innocent man was railroaded.

Similar tactics would be used against other innocent men like George Papadopoulos, while others, like Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager, would be jailed for mortgage fraud, for crimes that had nothing to do with the putative accusations of having conspired with foreign powers to undermine, or “steal” the 2016 election.

The administrative state, the permanent bureaucracy, the deep state, whatever you wish to call it decided 19 minutes after he was sworn in as president, that Donald Trump must not be allowed to continue in that role. The non-swamp, brusque outsider from Queens had to be sabotaged because he could not be controlled. From Stormy Daniels to Michael Cohen, from subpoenas for his tax returns and bank accounts to fake “whistleblowers,” from subordinate lt. colonels born in Ukraine, to an impeachment trial in the Senate, the Democrats and their co-conspirators, just like poor marksmen, repeatedly tried to “kill the king” and failed.

Now in the last 250-odd days before the election, the Trump Administration seems to be taking my early warning seriously. At least we have two clear signs that things have changed for the better. The first is the return of people to Washington and the White House who the president can trust. In just the last few days the President has rehired Hope Hicks and Johnny McEntee. Both have the closest of trust-based relations with the president and his decision is a clear sign to those around him in the White House and in the agencies of the U.S. government that the president is re-asserting control over the government he was elected to head.

This is especially so for McEntee, who will head the Presidential Personnel Office. Truth be told, PPO was one of the reasons that the Trump administration has been so plagued with personnel problems and leaks. Headed for two years by establishment GOP and former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) flunky, Johnny DeStefano, it became the center for hiring and promoting Bush-era RINOs and blocking MAGA-agenda loyalists. McEntee’s hire is a sign that the White House will take the question of who serves the president and whether that person agrees with his policies seriously.

Even more important, in the short term, is the recall to D.C. of our ambassador to Germany, Ric Grenell, and his appointment to be the acting Director of National Intelligence, the head over all 17 federal elements of the intelligence community. As soon as the president confirmed the news that Ric would be the new dual-hatted DNI and ambassador to Berlin, the Left unleashed its smear machine and the DNC, with no evidence called him unqualified, even leading to Nancy Pelosi issuing an official statement of protest.

Full disclosure, Ric is a friend, but even if he weren’t, I would support his becoming DNI given his sterling record representing American interests for eight years at the UN, and then achieving more in Berlin in under two years than any other ambassador before him ever did in four. My only regret is that his is only an “acting” nomination and that he likely will move on when the president is forced to nominate a permanent replacement.

In the meantime, Team Obama is clearly very worried about these recent decisions, with the 44th president’s former National Security Adviser, Susan Rice using shockingly uncouth language to attack Ric, the first openly gay cabinet member in U.S. government. Why? It has to do with the signal this sends that the Trump White House is on the warpath, and that the deep state is in its investigative crosshairs.

While many in the MAGA community are still smarting from the Barr Department of Justice’s recent decision not to prosecute corrupt FBI agent Andrew McCabe, they miss the point. The charges in question were related exclusively to his lying to officials over his leaking details to the media about the Clinton email investigation. They have nothing to do with the current, and far, far larger investigation into the origins of the Russia hoax by U.S. Attorney John Durham. No one has been exonerated or had charges dropped against him when it comes to the greatest political conspiracy in modern American history, the use of the FBI, NSA, and CIA to spy on a presidential campaign and White House, Operation Crossfire Hurricane. No one, not McCabe, not Comey, not John Brennan, not Jim Clapper, not Rice, and not Barack Obama.

Lastly and most promising to those who believe in Lady Justice truly being blindfolded, nothing—and I mean nothing—has leaked from the Durham investigation. In fact the only time that Barr’s handpicked team has said anything on record in relation to its work is to correct the sweeping claims made by the Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz that there was no detectable political bias at the highest levels of Obama’s Department of Justice and that the rules for predication were followed.

Attorney General William Barr may not like the president tweeting about cases that are sub judice, but he is clearly a man on a mission to clean the Augean Stables that are the post-Obama Department of Justice, and in the most under-reported story of the last four years, his man Durham’s mandate was changed from heading an administration review, to heading a criminal investigation, which means he has found evidence of felonious acts and can (is?) impaneling secret grand juries.

All the above is a start. It comes very late. But it’s a start. The deep state beast is writhing in discomfiture. If God blesses us again and President Trump is reelected this November, it would be nice to have people working for the man chosen by the American voters to lead them and upon whom we don’t have to use lie detectors.

Elections

The Comfortable Trap
of a Good Law

Too often, American Jews are looking to the federal government to do the job that we’ve failed to do—protect ourselves and assert our rights. It will prove to be a grievous mistake.

President Trump on December 11 signed an executive order extending protections to Jewish American citizens as a newly defined national origin group under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The law has six sections relating to discrimination against persons on the basis of “race, color, or national origin” for federally funded programs, and therefore inasmuch as constitutionality is concerned, the statute is just as strong after the executive order as it was when it passed under Lyndon Johnson.

At the much-covered signing ceremony, Trump was flanked by son-in-law Jared Kushner and other Jewish celebrities like his friend, New England Patriots owner, Robert Kraft.

While this measure is receiving rave reviews from many Jews of different political persuasions, the order was not necessary. The flawed logic behind it can easily be abused in order to extend protections to other groups that the same supporters would reject as protected groups, and there is also the matter of the inherently ambiguous nature of defining Jewish identity that makes enforcing such protection so fraught with pitfalls.

For this and other reasons, the executive order is a mistake regardless of the sincerity of Trump and Kraft.

Definition Games

The debate over what the Jews/Judaism/Children of Israel are is one that has raged for ages and will never end. If we are accepting that being Jewish is an example of national origin, it is a very loose definition indeed. In Exodus 19:3-6 Moses is told by the Lord that the children of Israel shall be a “kingdom of priests [or princes; mamlekhet kohanim] and a holy nation [goy kadosh].” In the modern sense nationality refers to something else, as a person is born with a national origin, he cannot assume one.

Everyone knows that a Mexican American must have hereditary ties to a person born in Mexico. Ethnicity is separate, as there are ethnic Hungarians born in Romania. A person can convert to Judaism, however, and become a fully recognized part of the Holy Covenant with Abraham. This is a religious process, with the main dispute between the Jewish denominations being the standard and practice of that conversion.

Still, there is no disagreement as to whether a convert becomes fully Jewish; no “half conversion.” Does a Russian or a Pakistani person who converts to Judaism automatically flip their national origin or assume multiple ones? It will be an interesting (i.e., annoying) legal debate in the future.

The varying national origins of Jews would make this new definition easy to abuse.

Many Hispanics, curious about their complicated ancestry in the New World, come to discover that an ancestor somewhere in the 1500s was a converso Spaniard who had hidden his or her faith and was a crypto-Jew. This is typically discovered by research into the DNA haplotypes of sampled study subjects in countries like Colombia and Brazil.

The Alhambra Decree (1492) in Spain banned the practice of Judaism, so a portion of them converted to Catholicism and settled in the Americas. Using this predicate, newly elected Democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed that she had “Jewish heritage” at a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony in 2018 while presenting no proof. The weak boundaries of these definitions may work against the intent of the law in the courtroom, and there could be legally valid grounds to apply the same rule against Jewish or pro-Israel speakers and figures for statements made that would seem to discriminate against others.

A Hammer to Turn Screws

By shifting the definition of “Jews” to a nationality, Trump’s executive order exposes inherent flaws in the Civil Rights Act and other anti-discrimination legislation.

Whatever their intentions, the laws have not led to a more racially harmonious society because in electoral politics it’s still common to use racial constituencies as a “rainbow coalition” rather than working toward a society that has moved beyond racial conflict. Just as Title IX of the 1972 Education Act was supposed to lead to “equity in education” based on sex, it was fantastically marketed as necessary for human progress when in fact it was just a new element of state control that only exacerbates social division. Likewise, the main target of Title VI is the higher education sector.

Ostracization either of Israelis, Zionists, or Jews in educational settings is indeed common. The frustration in arguing for the freedom of speech of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement is that the movement is viciously opposed to free speech. Not content to host their own myriad conferences, BDS campaigns seek the silencing and cancellation of their opponents’ events. So while their freedom of speech as such remains the same as anyone else’s, they present a menace to the very concept of a society of free dialogue and open conversation.

BDS loves to deny its opponents a platform as it did at Arizona State University, gleefully employs anti-Jewish rhetoric while claiming to condemn a racist nation as it did at Tamer Nafar’s concert at UNC-Chapel Hill, and vandalizes private property by posting fake eviction notices at NYU, Emory, and Florida Atlantic. They even were shown on video stealing flags and disrupting a forum relating to the genocide of Armenians and Kurds that was hosted by a pro-Israel group at UCLA. These are examples where campus officials already have the grounds to discipline students for behavior that violates conduct policies, but simply refuse to do so.

Nation vs. Faith

One person who was a staunch supporter of the executive order explained his rationale like so: “No one is discriminating against Jews because they light Sabbath candles or celebrate Passover. One could be an atheist born of Jewish lineage and still be hated by anti-Semites.” But this is an issue of whether perception accurately reflects reality. Many anti-Israel activists can’t or won’t draw a distinction between a subject that is Jewish and one that is Israeli.

One subject of fascination is the Talmud, the rabbinical interpretations of laws and legends written in the sixth century not recorded in the actual Hebrew Bible. In 2010, two Chinese booklets purporting to explain the “business secrets” of the Talmud contained fabricated quotes from George Soros. But while Soros is Jewish, he’s certainly not a Zionist, and as an atheist he has little interest in the Talmud.

Electronic Intifada wrote an article decrying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for promoting an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory” against Soros. The Talmud is a central element of rabbinical Judaism, and even the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta uses it as a guide for studying Torah law. But some people chose to call themselves “anti-Zionists” such as UK Labour local councilor Damien Endicott, who called for the execution of all “Talmud Jews” because they ignore or are unaware of the distinction.

There is bitter debate over the ambiguous racial identity of Jews. There are those, both Jews and haters, who maintain that Jews who originated in Europe (Ashkenaz) cannot be white. Some hostile writers seek to explain why even those Jews who converted to Christianity or their descendants, cannot be accepted into the fold and use Medieval European imagery to promote their view.

Ironically, leftist Jewish groups like JFREJ and their intersectional allies rail against what they see as racism by “white Jews.” For a completely comprehensive survey of anti-Jewish beliefs, one has to acknowledge the different prisms through which the issue is presented.

There are three main categories under which these attitudes fit within vastly different schools of thought, roughly corresponding to how British radio host Maajid Nawaz describes anti-Semitism:

Traditionalist right-wing: Blaming Jews for things like the Pharisee persecution of Christ and Passover blood libels (religious), profaning white European culture (racial/cultural), and spreading both Communism and capitalism (economic).

Islamic: Focused on Israel-Palestine topics (national), but often evokes the wars of Mohammad like the Battle of Khaybar (religious), and occasionally echoes some of the same themes as the above.

Progressive Left: Heavy focus on Israel-Palestine (national); Israel is a white colonialist entity (racial); blames Jews for the ills of capitalism and the international monetary system (economic). Some rhetoric directly derived from Cold War Soviet propaganda as in the case of far-left Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff.

Other “creative approaches,” such as those of the Nation of Islam, Black Hebrew Israelites or various Holocaust deniers like Arno Mayer, don’t fit neatly in the three categories, but there is overlap between each of them. This is why many right-wing Jew-haters like David Duke, Ryan Dawson, and Andrew Anglin endorsed UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, as did convicted jihadist organizer Anjem Choudary. What other common thread do they have with an IRA supporting, pro-immigration, Marxist who didn’t solicit their support?

No Magic Decrees

The United States has guaranteed freedom of speech for purveyors of what today would be called “hate speech” through landmark court decisions like Brandenburg v. Ohio, a unanimous ruling that included the first black Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. In 1972, eight years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, segregationist Governor George Wallace won 10 states in the Democratic presidential primaries including Michigan. Laws can’t force people to change their beliefs.

Likewise, the campus movements that today are leading incendiary protests against Israel are nothing new. The late historian Howard Zinn, patron saint of the far-Left, stated his philosophy most concisely in the quote, “You can’t be neutral on a moving train.” That was his attitude toward teaching at Boston University, a simple mantra and a warning that has gone unheeded by generations of comfortable alumni donors who continue to cut checks to schools that have become temples of angst.

Those who seek to defend both the Jewish community and Israel often misdirect their fire at people who have nothing to do with anti-Semitism or opposition to Israel. AIPAC has continually run ads targeting Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for opposing anti-BDS laws by claiming that he supports boycotts. Not only is this not true, he has explicitly stated, “Americans have the right to boycott, even when it’s wrong.

Those American Jews who believe in a free society but want to fight prejudice have better tools at their disposal than a redefinition of our legal status. They should stop donating to hostile schools, sue the ones that violate policies meant to protect their students, and as far as their personal safety goes, embrace gun ownership and self-defense. The idea that a benevolent ruler should protect the Jews is an antiquated notion, and reveals the degree to which many of us have embraced victimhood.

It is time to stop talking and stop asking others to do a job that we can do ourselves.