Friday, September 16, 2016

Calling Congress: The U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding - Shoshana Bryen




by Shoshana Bryen

"This MOU sends the wrong signal to the Ayatollahs. I am appalled that the administration would (give) the largest state sponsor of terrorism access to $150 billion in sanctions relief without any requirement that they change their behavior. Instead, it is nickeling and diming Israel." – Senator Lindsay Graham.

  • The new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) plans to change a fundamental part of the U.S.-Israel security relationship -- missile defense.
  • President Obama is tying Israel's hands for the future by extracting a promise that it will not approach Congress for funds in excess of those in the MOU "unless it is at war."
  • What does that mean? Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria still maintain a state of war with Israel, as does Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and sometimes the Palestinian Authority. Did the Obama Administration leave Israel a loophole for Congressional assistance? Or is it denying that Israel lives in a perpetual and evolving state of threat and often fights "wars" that are essential to the protection of its population, but are not formally declared?
  • "Over the next decade, [Israel] is going to need to spend more on domestic defense, research and development, because the IDF is going to be under more threat, not less. This MOU sends the wrong signal to the Ayatollahs. I am appalled that the administration would (give) the largest state sponsor of terrorism access to $150 billion in sanctions relief without any requirement that they change their behavior. Instead, it is nickeling and diming Israel." – Senator Lindsay Graham.

Yes. It is a lot of money.

Yes. A ten-year deal provides a stable base for Israeli planning.

Yes. With the unsettled American political situation and the unsettled military situation in Israel's neighborhood, stability counts.

No. Israel's military industries will not collapse without the use of 25% of its American aid internally.

Yes. Israel remains a close and respected ally of the American military establishment.

So why does the new U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) feel oddly coercive on the part of President Obama? True, the current U.S. president finds the current prime minister of Israel to be a strategic liability regarding his plans for Iran as well as a general pain in the neck. So there is the "punishment" angle. But at least as important is the ongoing power play between the president and Congress. This encompasses missile defense, an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMA) for Iraq and Syria, climate change, the Iran deal, "no first use" nuclear policy, Israel, and more.

Israel is the target of both direct and indirect presidential fire as the MOU sets out to change fundamental security relations between Israel and the Congress, which, for the past eight years, have been most valuable in the area that President Obama finds least acceptable -- missile defense.

In 2012, Defense News wrote that not only had the administration requested a funding cut for jointly developed missile defense programs, but that "this marks the third consecutive year that the administration has requested less funding and it will not be the last, according to its own budget projections." And, indeed, from the 2010 request (Obama's first) to the 2017 request (his last) the Administration has shortchanged Israel's missile defense requirements with the sure knowledge that Congress would put the money back. That way, the president could claim to be a friend of Israel's defense -- by citing the total figure -- without actually acknowledging Israel's needs by putting the money in the Executive Branch request to Congress.

Now President Obama is tying Israel's hands for the future by extracting a promise that it will not approach Congress for funds in excess of those in the MOU "unless it is at war." What does that mean? Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria still maintain a state of war with Israel, as does Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and sometimes the Palestinian Authority. Did the Obama Administration leave Israel a loophole for Congressional assistance? Or is it denying that Israel lives in a perpetual and evolving state of threat and often fights "wars" that are essential to the protection of its population, but are not formally declared?

Would the administration agree that the 2014 Gaza operation, launched in response to the launching of more than 4,000 Hamas rockets against Israel, was a "war?" Congress added $42.7 million this year for technology to detect and destroy Hamas cross-border tunnels -- in a year in which Israel is no more, or less, "at war" than last year, but in which the number and sophistication of tunnels is growing.


Israel is the target of both direct and indirect presidential fire as the MOU sets out to change fundamental security relations between Israel and the Congress. Above, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets President Barack Obama at the White House, May 20, 2011. (Image source: Israel PM office)

It should be noted that Congress is not going quietly into the night.

Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) is both a staunch supporter of Israel and an opponent of the White House on many issues, from the AUMA to the Iran deal to the climate change agreement the president signed in China. Part of it is protective of the constitutional prerogatives of Congress -- on treaties and appropriations -- and part is simply about Israel. In an upcoming interview with inFOCUS Quarterly, Sen. Graham said:
"[The MOU] is an Executive Agreement between the Executive Branch of the United States government and the Prime Minister of Israel. It is not binding on Congress. That [would be] inappropriate... if I'm not part of negotiating the agreement. I wish I had that much say over the Iran deal... Congress has an independent obligation, duty, and responsibility.
"Over the next decade, [Israel] is going to need to spend more on domestic defense, research and development, because the IDF is going to be under more threat, not less. This MOU sends the wrong signal to the Ayatollahs. I am appalled that the administration would (give) the largest state sponsor of terrorism access to $150 billion in sanctions relief without any requirement that they change their behavior. Instead, it is nickeling and diming Israel, and... that's the wrong ship to sail.
"I am going to introduce a stand-alone supplemental of $1.5 billion dollars. In light of the Iran nuclear deal and the provocative behavior coming out of Iran... I believe the proper response is for Congress to increase assistance to Israel. I'm asking Congress to give Israel 1% of what the $150 billion the Ayatollahs will receive."
Now, that does not sound like too much to ask. Israel's choice to sign the MOU is born of internal and external factors. The president's determination to restrict Israel's relations with Congress is similarly born. Congress itself is the wild card, and it will have to step up to ensure the security of America's friend and ally, Israel.


Shoshana Bryen is Senior Director of the Jewish Policy Center.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/8938/us-israel-memorandum

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Also In Hillary's 'Basket': Working Americans, Religious People, Stay-at-Home Moms - Joseph Klein




by Joseph Klein

The long history of Clinton's invective against ordinary citizens.




Hillary Clinton's infamous "basket of deplorables" remark revealed her utter contempt for ordinary Americans, which stretches back decades. Before an adoring audience of wealthy elites, Hillary dismissed millions of American citizens, who happen to support her opponent Donald Trump, as being “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic.” She said they are “irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America."

Hillary Clinton had no compunctions about branding millions of her fellow citizens “irredeemable” and “not America,” while saying on another occasion that we must show “respect” to our enemies and “empathize with their perspective and point of view." Moreover, she wants to vastly enlarge the basket for “refugees” admitted from the Middle East, without sufficiently robust vetting in place first to make sure that jihadist terrorists don’t find their way into that basket. 

After coming under withering attack for insulting so many hardworking, patriotic Americans, Hillary half-apologized: “I regret saying ‘half’ – that was wrong.”  What is really wrong is Hillary’s 100 percent condescending attitude towards ordinary Americans who do not inhabit her insular bubble of self-righteous snobs. And her condescension is a deeply ingrained character trait she has evidenced for years in her attitude towards stay-at-home moms, working people, parents who do not want government interference in how they raise their children and people with religious beliefs that are not in accord with her secular progressive ideology.

Stay-at-home moms, for example, are not worthy of Hillary’s respect. During her husband’s 1992 presidential campaign, she strutted her status as a career woman while putting down those women who regard being a mother a full-time job.

“I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas,” Hillary declared, “but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession which I entered before my husband was in public life.”

The truth is that Hillary rode her husband Bill’s coattails in Arkansas and Washington to promote her own career as a partner in the Rose law firm and then onto the national stage.

“You know, I'm not sitting here like some little woman standing by my man, like Tammy Wynette,” Hillary remarked during a joint 60 Minutes interview with her husband.

The only problem is that Hillary not only stood by her man while he was carrying on multiple affairs. She ran interference for Bill, demeaning and allegedly intimidating those women who had dared to come forward to tell the truth. Demeaning ordinary women who were exploited by her husband gave Hillary no pause as long as it helped advance the Clintons’ political fortunes.

Once Hillary became the First Lady, she allegedly arranged for the firing of seven career employees of the White House travel office, so that she could install her own cronies. "We should get our people in and get those people out," she reportedly told one of her aides. Not only did Hillary push aside hard-working public servants to help out the Clintons’ friends. She reportedly had the reputation of “those people” trashed with false accusations of financial mismanagement to justify her actions. These ordinary citizens, whose lives were disrupted, lost their jobs because they were not her people worthy of her respect. They may not have been in the “deplorables” basket but, as far as Hillary was concerned, they belonged in the disposable basket.

Working people in industries that do not fit Hillary’s progressive ideology, such as combating climate change at all cost, are also disposable. In March 2016, Hillary added to her disposable basket the coal miners, who have risked their lives to help provide the fuel that powers this country. “We are going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business,” she vowed.

Parents who want to be left alone to raise their children according to their deeply held moral values are also not worthy of Hillary’s respect.

Commenting in "Harper's Magazine" in October 1992, Christopher Lasch, professor of history at the University of Rochester, pointed out that Hillary Clinton's writings demonstrate how "from her perspective the 'traditional' family is, for the most part, an institution in need of therapy, an institution that stands in the way of children's rights—and an obstacle to enlightened progress."

Consistent with her “It Takes a Village” collectivist philosophy, Hillary enthusiastically supported the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which her husband signed as president. This treaty potentially pits children against their parents. Irrespective of the child’s age, parents would not have the final say on their child’s access to materials the parents find to be morally offensive.

Article 12(1) provides that “States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.”

Article 13 of the Convention guarantees each child the legal right “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child's choice.” (Emphasis added)
Article 37 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child provides for free legal services and access to the courts for any child who thinks that his or her “liberty” has been violated by a parent.

The United Nations, through an unaccountable committee of experts, would have the power to monitor each State Party’s compliance with the Convention’s provisions and to establish norms in implementing the Convention that may become part of customary international law.

Thus, if a child does not want to accompany his or her family to the family’s house of worship, the parents risk being dragged into court by the resisting child if the parents do not submit to the child’s wishes. The parents are responsible for keeping a roof over the child’s head and making sure the child is well taken care of. But when it comes to matters of faith while the child is in the parents’ care, the rules of the global UN village put the ultimate decision-making power into the hands of the child and the state.

Fortunately, the U.S. Senate has not ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, Hillary Clinton is sure to make it a top priority if elected president to insert the United Nations and the state between parent and child. After all, we can’t risk “deplorable” parents turning their children into “deplorables” as well, can we?

Indeed, Hillary wants to change ordinary Americans’ religious beliefs that get in the way of her progressive globalist agenda. At the Women in the World Summit last year, Hillary said that in order to fully secure the reproductive rights of women, “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” Hillary demeaned the sincerely held religious belief in the sanctity of life held by millions of Americans, reminiscent of President Obama’s contemptuous ‘clinging to religion’ quote back in 2008.  People with such beliefs belong in Hillary’s basket of “deplorable sexists,” as far as she is concerned.

Apparently, however, Muslims who believe in Sharia law are not targets of Hillary’s opprobrium. Her chief aide and confidante, Huma Abedin, has been associated with Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organizations. Her Clinton Foundation has taken money from countries such as Saudi Arabia, where Sharia law dictates the treatment of women as inferior beings and the execution of homosexuals. And those Americans who dare to criticize tenets of Sharia law that help fuel radical Islamist jihad are cast into Hillary’s basket of “Islamophobic deplorables.”

Hillary Clinton’s contempt for the beliefs, livelihoods and concerns of ordinary Americans is deplorable, not the millions who were targets of her invective.


Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/264191/also-hillarys-basket-working-americans-religious-joseph-klein

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The Connection between Al-Qaeda and Black Lives Matter - Raymond Ibrahim




by Raymond Ibrahim

Al-Qaeda has been inciting blacks against whites for over a decade.



Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri made a new video that appeared on September 9.  It offers little that is new:  9/11 is again praised and portrayed as a product of Muslim grievances and payback for Western crimes; he vows a “thousand more” 9/11s; and warns against apostates being more dangerous than original infidels.

Only one angle stands out—again, not because it is new, but because it sheds light on a growing phenomenon: black violence against police in general, in the context of Black Lives Matter in particular.   In last week’s video, Zawahiri called on American blacks to convert to Islam, asserting that they will never receive justice and will always live in “humiliation” until they convert to Islam and rebel against the “white majority.”  He even showed footage of the Nation of Islam’s Malcolm X preaching.

While many conclude that al-Qaeda is opportunistically trying to exploit groups like BLT, the reality may be that BLT has from the start long been influenced by al-Qaeda’s rhetoric and propaganda (which, as usual, is quietly disseminated on the ground, not by al-Qaeda, but by its many Muslim sympathizers in America).  For Zawahiri has in fact for years been calling on American blacks to turn against whites and quoting Malcolm X.

Nearly a decade ago, Zawahiri issued a similar message:

That’s why I want blacks in America, people of color, American Indians, Hispanics, and all the weak and oppressed in North and South America, in Africa and Asia, and all over the world, to know that when we wage jihad in Allah’s path, we aren’t waging jihad to lift oppression from Muslims only; we are waging jihad to lift oppression from all mankind, because Allah has ordered us never to accept oppression, whatever it may be…This is why I want every oppressed one on the face of the earth to know that our victory over America and the Crusading West — with Allah’s permission — is a victory for them, because they shall be freed from the most powerful tyrannical force in the history of mankind.

American blacks, however, were Zawahiri’s primary targets. He again praised and quoted from Malcolm X: “Anytime you beg another man to set you free, you will never be free. Freedom is something you have to do for yourself. The price of freedom is death.”

Surely it’s not a coincidence that, a decade after this theme started to be hammered out by al-Qaeda and America’s Nation of Islam—who are ever telling blacks that Christianity is the “white man’s religion,” made to keep blacks passive, whereas Islam is the religion of equality, strength and dignity—that blacks, many associated or even converted to Islam, have begun to engage in violence and murder, including in the context of Black Lives Matter, that is, in the so-called name of “social justice”?

Sounding like Malcolm X, just last year Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan spoke words that would make Zawahiri proud:

I’m looking for 10,000 in the midst of a million. Ten thousand fearless men who say death is sweeter than continued life under tyranny. Death is sweeter than continuing to live and bury our children while the white folks give our killers hamburgers. Death is sweeter than watching us slaughter each other to the joy of a 400-year-old enemy. Death is sweeter. The Quran teaches persecution is worse than slaughter. Then it says retaliation is prescribed in matters of the slain. Retaliation is a prescription from God to calm the breasts of those whose children have been slain. So if the federal government won’t intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us; stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling!

Apparently police are meant by “those who kill us.”  Unsurprisingly, then, Muslims and the Nation of Islam—even ISIS apparently—were “on the Ground [in Ferguson] and Active Since Day One.”  Likewise, Gavin Eugene Long, a self-styled “social justice warrior,” who murdered three Baton Rouge police officers last July, was a member of the Nation of Islam.  Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, the original Black Lives Matter cop killer, who gunned down two NYPD officers while eating lunch in their patrol car in December 2014 posted on his Facebook an image of Koran verse 8:60, where Allah calls on Muslims to “strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah.” Edward Archer, another black convert to Islam, shot a Philadelphia police officer and later cited “following Allah” as his motive.

The aftereffects of al-Qaeda’s propaganda—which, right after September 11, 2001, was regularly disseminated by Western media far and wide—are still with us.  Such propaganda always had several faces: if it was meant to make liberal Americans feel guilty and try to appease “aggrieved” Muslims, it was simultaneously always inciting blacks to violence against whites.  And it worked, even if its rationale is often hidden beneath the surface.


Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a CBN News contributor. He is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007).

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/264169/connection-between-al-qaeda-and-black-lives-matter-raymond-ibrahim

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Labour Whitewashes its Anti-Semitism - Denis MacEoin




by Denis MacEoin

When the inquiry's report was published on June 30, it turned out to be what most Jews and pro-Israel activists had suspected it would be from the beginning: a whitewash.

  • When the inquiry's report was published on June 30, it turned out to be what most Jews and pro-Israel activists had suspected it would be from the beginning: a whitewash. It opens with the words: "The Labour Party is not overrun by anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism". But nobody had ever suggested that it was.
  • The report is vague and waffly, 28 pages saying almost nothing about the subject under question, anti-Semitism, which is throughout subsumed under general issues of racism.
  • The working definitions of anti-Semitism for the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia and the US State Department, along with others, agree that exaggerated, mendacious, or malicious criticism of the Jewish state, or the setting of double standards for Israel that are used for no other nation, is anti-Semitic. It is precisely accusations of this kind that make up the bulk of the Labour Party's anti-Semitic comments, including statements still being made by some party members, including Jeremy Corbyn himself.
Britain's Labour Party, out of power since 2010, more or less cut its own throat when its members (plus fresh recruits who, instead of taking out membership, paid £3 to vote in the leadership election in 2015) chose Jeremy Corbyn, a formerly marginalized far left socialist, as the new head of the party. Ordinary Labour voters were horrified, knowing from day one that Corbyn could never lead the party to government and was not either remotely Prime Ministerial material. But vast numbers of young extreme left-wingers, flushed with victory and dedicated to an idealistic coming revolution and led by a new Corbyn-worshipping movement called Momentum, were determined to take traditional working- and middle-class voters in a direction that had little or no appeal to them at all.

From the outset, Labour was split almost down the centre. That divide proved dangerous for the political system in Britain, where government has been unevenly but broadly shared between the Tory and Labour parties in what was effectively a two-party arrangement. With the almost total collapse of the centrist Liberal Democrats, who had just been in an ill-judged coalition with the Tories in government from 2010 to 2014, Britain faced the possibility that the two-party system would founder after many decades, should Labour split and leave the country with three unbalanced parties and the real threat of a one-party state emerging, so long as neither Labour group remained unelectable.

That something has gone wrong within the Labour party is clear. After the referendum vote to leave the European Union, Corbyn came under severe pressure to resign as leader, and a battle ensued with loyal Corbynites both in and outside Momentum backing him to the hilt, but with the parliamentary Labour Party, made up of members of parliament, urging him to bow to the inevitable and go.

So great was the despair of the radicals that in the seven days up to July 1, another 60,000 people joined the party, apparently a large number of whom did so to back Corbyn's refusal to stand down. If he does not go, pundits predict, the party will split between hardline socialists (backed by most trades unions) and moderates. This split will create two parties out of one, with unguessable results for future elections and British governance in a period of political and economic insecurity following Brexit. A second leadership contest has opened, with Welsh candidate Owen Smith challenging Corbyn and supported by a majority of Labour MPs, but the polls predict another win for Corbyn and greater likelihood of a split.

With the reputation of a sincere and well-liked man, Corbyn seemed to many a decent bloke who could take Labour's helm and steer it back to government in a future election. Corbyn, however, was a man with a radical political agenda and some extremely unsavoury connections.

Corbyn had called terrorist organizations Hamas and Hizbullah his "friends"; associated with and funded Holocaust deniers such as Paul Eisen; donated to Deir Yassin Remembered, an openly anti-Semitic group, and regularly appeared at their annual conference; chaired the Stop the War coalition, a leading sponsor of the annual al-Quds Day rallies that bear anti-Semitic posters and banners alongside Hizbullah flags in abundance, and expressed a very dim view of the state of Israel, preferring instead to lend his support to the Palestinian cause.

In one radio interview, given after he acquired the leadership, Corbyn was asked five times to condemn the violence of the Irish Republican Army (IRA); each time he refused to do so. Leo McKinstry wrote in The Telegraph:
"This is the man who sympathised with violent Irish Republicanism in the 1980s, invited IRA representatives to the Commons a fortnight after the Brighton bombing in 1984 and, at a Troops Out meeting in 1987, stood for a minute's silence to 'honour' eight IRA terrorists killed in an SAS ambush."
It was not, therefore, much of a surprise to anyone when a major scandal wracked the Labour Party in April this year. Almost daily, party members, including some MPs, were suspended from their membership because of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel comments made on social media. Corbyn himself, rather weakly, denied that he was an anti-Semite. Given his credentials as an "anti-racist" activist, he may well have thought this true in anti-racist terms, by defining Jews as a race (which is what the Nazis did). However, it could not be doubted that his rise from obscurity to the leadership had allowed something unsavoury to surface.

It could scarcely be denied that anti-Zionist anti-Semitism has always been around, and that Corbyn shared such views. In a scathing piece written before Corbyn became leader, Leo McKinstry identified his politics thus:
"Corbyn is not a serious politician. On the contrary, he is an unreconstructed Trotskyite whose views have remain frozen ever since he attended his first demonstration in the late 1960s. If Ed Miliband was the eternal student union activist, Corbyn is the permanent rebellious adolescent."
Under Corbyn, revelations about anti-Semitism in the party were bound to have emerged sooner or later. Given the flurry of news reports about the suspensions in the Labour Party, it was clearly not enough to argue that those who had offended were just rotten apples in a pure and racially neutral basket. In an attempt to prove Labour's innocence in such matters, on April 29, Corbyn set up an "independent" inquiry to investigate the extent of anti-Semitism in the party. He appointed a well-known figure, Shami Chakrabarti, to head it.

Chakrabarti is a British barrister and public figure renowned as the director of Liberty, Britain's leading human rights campaigning group. After twelve years in office, she had stepped down in February. David Aaronovitch, writing in The Times, has described her as "the most effective public affairs lobbyist of the past 20 years". Her political views are reflected in Liberty's major work to challenge anti-terrorism legislation in the UK.

It was not a good augury for the inquiry when, on April 29, the day of her appointment, Chakrabarti officially joined the Labour Party, of which she had not previously been a member. From that moment, it was clear that this could no longer be regarded as an "independent inquiry". To make things worse, on the day Chakrabarti was announced as chair of the inquiry, it was expanded to include "other forms of racism including islamophobia [sic], within the party". Overnight, anti-Semitism was all but sidelined. A major political inquiry, with a limited period, now covered so many topics that it should, in all justice, have taken years and cost many millions.

In fact, the inquiry did not take long to complete -- a mere nine weeks, from April 29 to June 30, when it was finally presented. During that time, submissions were made from a wide range of people. Some important submissions were made by Jews and Jewish organizations such as the British Board of Deputies, the Community Security Trust (CST) jointly with the Jewish Leadership Council, as well as Israel-linked bodies such as Labour Friends of Israel, the British Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM), and left-orientated Engage.

When the report, entitled The Shami Chakrabarti Inquiry, was published as promised on June 30, it turned out to be what most Jews and pro-Israel activists had suspected it would be from the beginning: a whitewash. It opens with the words: "The Labour Party is not overrun by anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism." But nobody had ever suggested that it was. Further, given the overarching definition of "Islamophobia" on the left, together with long-standing Labour campaigns against the injustices of racism in the broadest sense, it seems pointless to include those topics in the first place.

It is, in fact, a remarkable document. It is vague and waffly, 28 pages saying almost nothing about the subject under question, anti-Semitism, which is throughout subsumed under general issues of racism. Although there is a two-page list of organizations that had sent submissions to the inquiry, none of the specific points made by any of them appears in the document. This is very weird. Had there not been time to consider them all? Or no time at least to study the many submissions from the mainstream and left-sympathizing Jewish and pro-Israel organizations? If not, why was the period for the inquiry not extended?

Here are some of the side-issues Chakrabarti addresses.
  • The use of acceptable language.
  • Avoidance of stereotyping.
  • Careful use of the term Zionist. (As if we never knew.)
  • We should not condemn people who share platforms with bigots and others (a clear defence of Corbyn, who has appeared with a string of anti-Semites and terrorist sympathizers).
The text then passes to matters such as "procedural rules", "complaint procedures", "publicity", "the use of suspension", "advice on disciplinary action", "training", and "action to make Labour a welcoming environment for all and sundry".

Chakrabarti is a lawyer and a bureaucrat, and these facets of her experience are made clear in this document. It concentrates as much on Muslims, Afro-Caribbeans and Sikhs as it does on Jews (which is not very much anyway). There is a seven-page Appendix which offers nothing more than suggested changes for the Labour Rule Book (2016). Before that appears the list of organizations who had submitted information and ideas to the inquiry -- a list that includes anti-Israel bodies like the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Palestine BDSS National Committee, Jews for Justice in Palestine, and Free Speech on Israel -- all groups whom many consider anti-Semitic.

There are twenty recommendations of little substance, including (No. 20) "The Party should increase the ethnic diversity of its staff". How startling! You mean the Labour Party, the party responsible for all the anti-racist legislation in the UK, had never thought of that before?

There was one very major gap in the proceedings - a gap that signals just how far removed the party is from any understanding of modern anti-Semitism - and that was a mere passing reference to Israel. Hatred for Israel is the dominant form of neo-anti-Semitism, as any article or book on the subject will tell you. The original European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) working definition of anti-Semitism, the US State Department definition, and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition, along with others, agree that exaggerated, mendacious, or malicious criticism of the Jewish state, or the setting of double standards for Israel that are used for no other nation, is anti-Semitic. Here is part of the definition:
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
  • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
It is precisely accusations of this kind that make up the bulk of the Labour Party's anti-Semitic comments, including statements still being made by some party members, including Jeremy Corbyn himself. To leave that aspect of anti-Semitism unaddressed while making polite noises about how wonderfully anti-racist Labour is, amounts to nothing more than evasion of the most serious kind.

A few days after the publication of the report, on July 4, Jeremy Corbyn was summoned to appear as a witness to a question and answer session with MPs from the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee. This small inquisition went on for well over an hour and was televised on Parliament TV, where readers may watch it in full. It was something of a gruelling session for Corbyn, as marked from the beginning when the chairman of the committee, Keith Vaz (the longest-serving Asian Labour MP) introduced the report as follows:
"Many regard this inquiry as a whitewash because it doesn't contain any facts or figures, it doesn't take evidence from some of the principal people accused of anti-Semitism. Why did you think that this inquiry was relevant when it doesn't reach any conclusions?"
Vaz later stated that "it was hardly an independent report" because Chakrabarti had allied herself to the Labour Party on undertaking the job of inquiry chairperson.

Jeremy Corbyn (center) is questioned by a House of Commons Home Affairs Committee on the Labour party's anti-Semitism inquiry, while the inquiry's author, Shami Chakrabarti (left) scribbles a note to him, July 4, 2016. (Image source: UK Parliament)

A range of questions, some meandering, others (notably those of Chuka Umuna) penetrating, followed. Corbyn proceeded to duck and weave, giving loose answers to well-defined questions, and defending Labour against accusations of racism, relying on his definition of Jewishness as an ethnic matter, slipping past quotations from Labour party anti-Semites by shrugging them aside. His Director of Communications, Seamus Milne, a Trotskyite and former Guardian journalist, was pointedly described by one MP as having openly expressed his admiration for Hamas and its violent struggle against Israel. Corbyn evaded the issue, simply stating that Milne had done sterling work for the party. In a later answer about whether he supported Israel's right to exist, he agreed it had that right but at once started to pronounce a very negative judgement against the country, a judgement that came very close to precisely the sort of anti-Semitism defined above.

Nor was that all. Not long after the report was made public, Jeremy Corbyn nominated Chakrabarti for a peerage, the only one offered by the Labour Party this year. She has refused to answer whether the offer was made before or after she agreed to chair the inquiry, and many on both sides of the Commons, including Tom Watson, Corbyn's own deputy, have expressed outrage about what appears to be a blatant reward for services rendered. Ephraim Mirvis, Britain's Chief Rabbi, said the "credibility of her report lies in tatters" after accepting the peerage.

Neither the inquiry report nor Corbyn's performance before the home affairs committee will have reassured Jews and supporters of Israel in the least. The problem of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party remains unaddressed and likely to remain a thorn in the party's flesh for a long time to come.

As the battle rages over whether Corbyn should remain leader of Britain's second party, with a large majority of Labour MPs calling for him to resign and vast numbers of party members saying he should do no such thing, it is not at all impossible that the party will split, with a moderate membership dumping the far left activists and reforming a Labour Party more in keeping with the humanitarian and electable institution it once was. We have to hope that the anti-Semitism, mainly in its anti-Israel form, will hang on among the communists and Trotskyites, and vanish among the decent people who have rejected Corbyn as a millstone around their necks.
 
 
Dr. Denis MacEoin is Chairman of the UK's North-East Friends of Israel and a Distinguished Senior Fellow with the Gatestone Institute.
Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/8799/labour-antisemitism-whitewash

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Brexit and Norway: What to Avoid - Fjordman




by Fjordman

Most of Norway's laws are currently written by bureaucrats in Brussels, not by elected parliamentarians in Norway.

  • "[Britain wants] to be like Switzerland but they don't know that Switzerland has to pay an enormous amount to the EU... They will have to accept the free movement of people and pay high fees and accept some laws which they would have no influence on." -- Daniel Pedroletti, president of the Swiss community group New Helvetic Society London.
  • Norway is the only country that has adopted all EU directives before their deadline. Norway, which is supposedly not a member of the EU, thus implements EU rules and regulations more obediently than do the founding members France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
  • The citizens of Norway rejected membership in the EU, twice. Opinion polls today show that a very large majority of Norwegians are against membership in the EU. Despite this, the nation's politicians have made the country more or less a member of the EU, only without any influence or voting rights -- in opposition to the popular will, and possibly also in violation of the country's Constitution.
  • The British should study the case of Norway closely. But mainly as a negative example of what to avoid.
On June 23, 2016, 51.9% of the voters in the United Kingdom voted for leaving the European Union (EU). The turnout was high, and the British referendum gained great international attention. Marine Le Pen, leader of France's National Front, praised the result, calling Brexit "the most important moment since the fall of the Berlin Wall." Le Pen said that if she wins France's 2017 presidential election she would call a referendum on leaving the EU.

Nigel Farage stepped down as leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) shortly after winning the historic vote. Many death threats against him and his family from supporters of the EU reportedly affected his decision.

The complicated divorce process between the UK and the EU could take years of negotiations. Some people have looked to Switzerland and Norway, two of the wealthiest countries in Europe, as possible models to follow, yet both maintain a close cooperation with the EU. There are also concerns in Switzerland and Norway about how Brexit will impact their own relationship with the EU.

Daniel Pedroletti, president of the Swiss community group New Helvetic Society London, says there is "a big misunderstanding" in Britain surrounding Switzerland's position:
"They want to be like Switzerland but they don't know that Switzerland has to pay an enormous amount to the EU and accept the laws without being an influence [on them].
"They don't realize that if they want a similar agreement they will have to accept the free movement of people and pay high fees and accept some laws which they would have no influence on."
Though not a full member of the EU, Switzerland has over 120 bilateral agreements in place with the bloc -- its main trading partner.

Nigel Farage does not want Britain to emulate Norway's deal with the EU. It is terrible, he says. The Norwegian people rejected membership in the EU. Yet the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) has "deceived the people" and got Norway into a very bad agreement with the EU, according to Farage.

Norwegians voted against joining the European Community/European Union twice, in 1972 and in 1994. After the 1994 referendum, the country's political leaders designed a close association deal with the EU. This is the EEA Agreement, known as the EØS Agreement in Norwegian. This does not cover common agriculture and fisheries policies. Control over natural resources is sensitive in a country with a long coastline plus major offshore deposits of oil and natural gas. Yet apart from a few such exceptions, Norway in reality became an associate member of the EU after 1994. EEA membership requires the free movement of persons, services, goods and capital with the EU. Norway is also a part of the open-borders Schengen Agreement, which has severely weakened checking migrants and asylum seekers across much of Europe.

Statistics from 2016 show that of all the 31 countries in the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA), Norway is the only country that has adopted all EU directives before their deadline. Norway retained its top position for the third year in a row. Its two fellow EEA countries, Iceland and Liechtenstein, were the worst at implementing directives. Norway, which is supposedly not a member of the EU, thus implements EU rules and regulations more obediently than do the founding members France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. This may surprise people who view Norway's relationship with the EU as something to emulate.

Most of Norway's laws are currently written by bureaucrats in Brussels, not by elected parliamentarians in Norway. Some scholars warn that the transfer of power to the EU is so great that it violates Norway's Constitution and seriously undermines the democratic system.


Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, on January 21, 2015. (Image source: Norway Prime Minister's Office)

In June 2016, the Norwegian Parliament voted overwhelmingly to attach the nation to the EU's financial supervision. Critics decried this as the "biggest concession of sovereignty" in many years. With a vote of 136 in favor and 29 against, Parliament approved a bill that would tie Norway's regulation of financial and insurance institutions to EU rules. Center Party leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum opposed the bill and warned that it was "a circumvention of the Constitution." The group "No to the EU" stated that Parliament had gone directly against the will of the people by weakening national sovereignty. An opinion poll showed just 26 percent of Norwegians supported the plan to tie Norway to the EU's financial oversight.

The citizens of Norway have rejected membership in the EU, twice. Public opinion has been consistently against membership for decades. Opinion polls today show that a very large majority of Norwegians are against membership in the EU. Despite this, the nation's politicians have made the country more or less a member of the EU, only without any influence or voting rights. The politicians have done this in opposition to the popular will, and possibly also in violation of the country's Constitution.

Britain is a larger country with a much bigger economy than Norway. This will give it a stronger position in negotiations with the EU and others. However, it would be a mistake not to learn from the experiences of other nations. When shaping their future relationship with the EU, the British should study the case of Norway closely. But mainly as a negative example of what to avoid.


Fjordman

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/8892/brexit-norway

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'Netanyahu's comments unacceptable and outrageous' - Ido Ben Porat




by Ido Ben Porat

UN Secretary General blasts Netanyahu, warns 'two-state solution in danger.'



Ban Ki-Moon
Ban Ki-Moon
Flash 90
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a scathing criticism of a recent video released by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu which decried the proposed removal of Jewish populations from Judea and Samaria as “ethnic cleansing”, slamming the comments and warning that the two-state solution is in danger.

Speaking during a UN Security Council meeting Thursday, Ban Ki-moon expressed outrage at Netanyahu’s video message, which was circulated earlier this week over social media networks.

The Israeli Prime Minister had compared demands to remove the Jewish population of Judea and Samaria to ethnic cleansing, calling the expectation that a possible Palestinian state must be free of Jews “bigotry”.

“Since when is bigotry a foundation for peace?”

Ban slammed Netanyahu’s statement, calling the video “unacceptable and outrageous”.

“This is unacceptable and outrageous. Let me be absolutely clear: settlements are illegal under international law. The occupation, stifling and oppressive, must end.”

“The international community, including the Security Council and the Middle East Quartet, universally views the expansion of settlements as an obstacle to peace.”

Ban also warned that the “two-state solution is in danger of being replaced with a reality of a single state.”

The UN Secretary-General also wished former Israeli President and Prime Minister (1984-1986, 1995-1996) Shimon Peres a “swift and full recovery”, after the suffered a stroke earlier this week.


Ido Ben Porat http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/217866

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/217866

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Tensions rise as PA elections are postponed - Dr. Mordechai Kedar




by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

PA local elections lead to tension among Arab factions, sectors and the various social movements in Judea and Samaria. Can Hamas win? Is that victory in Israel's interest? We may never know the answer.

Palestinian Authority local elections, in Judea and Samaria as well as Gaza, were supposed to take place on October 8th, a few weeks from now.   

At first glance, it seems as though the elections are only for choosing functionaries for the local governmental bodies in charge of technical and limited municipal citizen services. However, the closer the elections loomed, the more other substantial and basic issues began to surface, issues that go way beyond municipal frameworks to influence the general atmosphere in the Palestinian Authority (PA).  Tensions reached new highs last week when it was announced that the PA Supreme Court had decided to authorize postponing the elections to an unknown date.

The PA Bar Association filed the request to postpone the elections for two reasons. First of all, they claimed that Israel will not allow voting in Jerusalem – justifiably so, of course. Holding elections in that case makes the PA seem subservient to Israel and could be interpreted as their relinquishing claims to the city. On the other hand, the PA cannot allow elections to be held in Judea, Samaria and Gaza in line with Israel's delusions – in the PA's opinion – about Jerusalem. The second reason, claimed the association, is that while voting in Judea and Samaria is under PA supervision, that is not the case in Gaza where the PA has no control and does not recognize the legality of Hamas institutions.

Hamas accuses PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of using the courts to "undercut Palestinian democracy."

In order to understand why these local elections kicked up such a storm, one must understand the symbiotic relationship that exists between the social and political currents in Palestinian Arab society.

Fatah, Hamas and what is between them

When the proposed elections were announced, the question arose as to the degree of participation Hamas would be allowed to have in Judea and Samaria, since it is clear that the region contains a good many supporters of the movement   At present, Hamas is a participant in the elections, and is vigorously campaigning for its candidates, but, of course, everything can change at the last minute. The PA heads are members of Fatah and are naturally not pleased at the thought of the participation of their bitter rival, Hamas. They fear Hamas' success because it will immediately be translated – on the ground and in public consciousness – as national success. They are well aware that some voters will choose Hamas, not 
because they agree with Hamas ideology, but  in order to punish the corrupt and degenerate PA.

On the other hand, elections that prevent the public from expressing its support for Hamas in political terms will not be considered legitimate and will also be seen as a sign of the PA cow towing to the "occupation," that is, Israel. In addition, PA leaders fear that if they forbid the participation of Hamas in the Judea and Samaria elections, that organization will not allow Fatah to take part in the Gaza elections. A mutual exclusion, if you will, which will deepen the rift between the two movements and the "two sections of the homeland," and prove to the world that the "Palestinian national paradox" – the creation of a united people from the existing collection of clans (hamoulot) and political groups  – is an utter failure and that Israel is correct when it claims that there is "no Palestinian people."

PLO and PA leader Jibril Rajoub, announced last week that "we will not allow anyone to Islamicize our society." This declaration is a broad hint to Hamas, telling it that even if the Hamas candidates win the elections, the PLO will not allow the Islamist faithful to force their cultural agenda on the public.

This has been seen by many as a declaration of war against Hamas, especially if it gains control over the PLO's most valuable asset – the rule over Judea and Samaria – after it already succeeded in doing so in Gaza.

Conspiracy theories are being floated at a furious pace as part of the disinformation war raging with regard to the elections. Some Palestinian spokespeople claim that  Israel would like Hamas to take part in the elections and come out the winner in certain local contests. If that happens, Israel could tell the world that this proves that a Palestinian State in Judea and Samaria would soon become a Hamas state, just as it did in Gaza, and therefore such a state must not be established.  That alone is good reason not to allow Hamas to take part in the elections.

However, it is hard to imagine a decision to that effect being announced, especially since Europe and America are not prepared to allow any group to be rejected, even an Islamist one. The West is of the opinion that Islamist groups must participate in public activity, so they will not be pushed to the sidelines where they  turn to terror and violence. If the PA does not allow Hamas to take part in the elections, the grants it gets from the West might be affected adversely; grants which frequently find their way into the deep pockets of the PA leaders and their family members.

Instead of dealing with this complication, the easiest thing to do is find technical reasons to put off the elections – for an indefinite period.

The clans speak up

Another question regarding the local elections is the status of the clans (hamoulot) and the heads of these large extended families. Everyone knows that in most of the cities and villages of Judea and Samaria the clans run the show.

The clan's needs trump all ideology, whether it is that of the nationalist PLO or the religious Hamas.  The sheikhs have more influence on day to day life and decisions than the corrupt leaders from Ramallah and the Jihadists in Gaza. It is impossible to have local elections without making sure the heads of the clans win key positions, because if that is not ensured, there will be no elections at all in those strongholds.

The local hamoulot swing back and forth, sometimes hoping for autonomy in their small bits of territory, and sometimes trying to be part of larger nationalist bodies such as the PLO and Hamas. On the one hand, the sheikhs would like to be able to make decisions independently and thereby gain honor and authority, but on the other hand, they need the PA so as to get jobs in the Authority as well as allocations to fund local projects. If the sheikh of a local hamoula wants to have enough influence in Ramallah to receive a grant to replace his sewage system, he has to play the politics game and enter the cold and all-embracing system along with his entire hamoula, even though that means accepting dictates and an agenda that are not his.

The problem is that if the sheikh enters too tight an agreement with the Ramallah mafia in order to get jobs and budgets, he runs the risk of infuriating loyal Hamas supporters in his hamoula and other clans. A good many Palestinians feel that Hamas will eventually gain control over the area and that anyone closely identified with the PLO and the PA for the sake of immediate payoffs, may one day find himself and his hamoula paying a high price for this identification.  Hamas has already proven in Gaza that it neither forgets nor forgives anyone who identifies with the PLO.

In this context, we must bear in mind the "sticks, stones and carrots" plan that Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman presented just a few weeks ago, according to which the security establishment  will evaluate each village and city in Judea and Samaria individually.

Towns and villages which have spawned terrorists will be treated harshly through curfews, preventing residents from going in and out of the gates, demolishing homes, not giving out work permits.  A village – that is, a hamoula – that does not allow terrorists to set out from within its limits will receive economic benefits. This plan is meant to strengthen local leadership at the expense of PLO and Hamas national politicians. It is not a coincidence that many of the officials in the PA said that Liberman's plan is an attempt to destroy the PA and create an alternativel leadership. The local elections and the question of the sheikhs' authority are factors in the public debate about Liberman's plan.

Will Hamas go establishment?

The most important issue in this election campaign is the question of whether Hamas has changed from a religious Jihad movement that sanctifies being anti-Israel to a regional authority that sees to water supply and sanitation. Halad Mashaal related to this question indirectly in a speech he gave in Jordan after the end of the mourning period for his mother. He stressed the main points of Hamas, the ones it will never give up on: the right of return, the freeing of prisoners and "freedom" – meaning freeing all of Falestin, including Tel Aviv and Haifa, from Jewish occupation. He seemed to feel an obligation to stress these points because in actuality, he has entered an election campaign that instead of putting his men on the frontlines of Jihad has placed them in the forefront of digging sewage systems in the villages of Judea and Samari.

The gap between his aspirations and reality is the reason Mashaal is constantly spouting bombastic declarations. He knows that the Salafist Jihadists, who jeeringly call him and his movement "Israel's border police"  are lying in ambush for him just around the corner, because he doesn't allow them to launch rockets on Israel as often as their Jihadist hearts desire. Hamas security forces in Gaza hunt down the Jihadists, imprison them and sometimes finish them off in underground torture chambers.

So is Hamas good or bad for Israel? Does it or does it not serve Israel's best interests? Is it good or bad to allow Hamas to participate in the Judea and Samaria local elections? The elections, however, have been postponed and it is quite possible that we will never know the complete answers to our questions.

Translated from Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky


Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/19486

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The Oslo Disaster: Executive Summary - Efraim Karsh




by Efraim Karsh

Just as the creation of free and democratic societies in Germany and Japan after World War II necessitated a comprehensive sociopolitical and educational transformation, so it will only be when Palestinian society undergoes a real "spring" that the century-long conflict between Arabs and Jews can at long last be resolved


Executive summary of The Oslo Disaster, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, September 2016.


Viewed from a 23-year vantage point, the Oslo "peace process" between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) stands as one of the worst-ever calamities to have hit Israelis and Palestinians.

For Israel, it has been the starkest strategic blunder in the country's history – establishing an ineradicable terror entity on Israel's doorstep, deepening its internal cleavages, destabilizing its political system, and weakening its international standing.
For West Bank and Gaza Palestinians, it has brought about subjugation to corrupt and repressive PLO and Hamas regimes – regimes that have reversed the hesitant advent of civil society in these territories, shattered their socioeconomic wellbeing, and made the prospects for peace and reconciliation with Israel ever more remote.

This abject failure is a direct result of the Palestinian leadership's perception of the process as a pathway not to a two-state solution — meaning Israel alongside a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza — but to the subversion of the State of Israel; not to nation-building and state creation, but to the formation of a repressive terror entity that would perpetuate conflict with Israel while keeping its hapless constituents in constant and bewildered awe as its leaders line their pockets from the proceeds of this misery.
Palestinian leaders see the peace process as a pathway not to a two-state solution, but to the subversion of Israel.
So long as things on the Palestinian side are permitted, or even encouraged, to remain as they are, there will be no progress whatsoever toward peace. There will be no advancement towards peace in the framework of a French-initiated international conference, nor even in bilateral talks (were the Palestinians to be somehow coerced to return to the negotiating table).

Just as the creation of free and democratic societies in Germany and Japan after World War II necessitated a comprehensive sociopolitical and educational transformation, so it will only be when Palestinian society undergoes a real "spring" that the century-long conflict between Arabs and Jews can at long last be resolved and a semi-functioning Palestinian state come into being. This requires sweeping the corrupt and oppressive PLO and Hamas rulers from power, eliminating endemic violence from political and social life, and teaching the virtues of coexistence with Israeli neighbors.

Sadly, the possibility of a Palestinian spring, which seemed to be in the offing in 1993 when the PLO hovered on the verge of extinction and West Bank and Gaza leadership appeared eager to strike a historic deal within the framework of the Washington peace negotiations, has been destroyed for the foreseeable future by the Oslo "peace process."
Read the full report: The Oslo Disaster, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, September 2016. See also Efraim Karsh's article in the Fall 2006 issue of Middle East Quarterly, "Why the Oslo Process Doomed Peace."

Efraim Karsh is emeritus professor of Middle East and Mediterranean studies at Kings College London, a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and principal research fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Source: http://www.meforum.org/blog/2016/09/karsh-oslo-disaster

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