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LIBI Holocaust Remembrance Day

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 12:36

On January 27, the day that the Red Army liberated Auschwitz in 1945, the Holocaust is remembered internationally.

13,000 Palestinians Riot On Gaza Border, IDF Hits Hamas Post

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 09:42

At least 13,000 Palestinians rioted along the border between Israel and Gaza on Friday in the latest escalation in tensions in the region.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, the Palestinian rioters were seen throwing rocks, firebombs and hand grenades at IDF soldiers, while also burning tires and trying to breach the border fence.

s a result of the riots, the IDF said that it had hit a Hamas post in the northern Gaza Strip.

“IDF troops monitored the suspects in each incident and all the suspects returned to the Gaza Strip soon after crossing,” the IDF said. “In response to the violent events along the security fence, an IDF aircraft targeted a Hamas military post.”

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The fresh riots come as earlier this week Israel asked Qatar to suspend its monthly disbursement of $15 million to the Gaza Strip after a rocket was fired on Israel.

Qatar began making monthly money transfers to Gaza last year in an effort to alleviate the humanitarian situation there. A total of $90 million has been set aside for aid funds to Gaza.

At the same time, an Egyptian delegation of intelligence officials also visited Gaza on Thursday to meet with leader Ismail Haniyeh and other Hamas officials. The goal of the delegation was to supervise the border protests and prevent an escalation with Israel.

Prayers Desperately Needed: IDF Soldier Wounded in Terrorist Attack Fighting for Life

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 09:34

Nethanel Felber was shot in the head in a terrorist attack exactly one month ago and, after multiple surgeries, he is still fighting for his life.

On December 13, Felber was guarding a bus stop near Givat Assaf in Samaria as part of his army service. A Palestinian terrorist exited a car and shot Felber and two other soldiers who were killed immediately. All three were serving in the Netzach Yehuda Batallion, a special unit for religious soldiers.

Last week the IDF captured the Palestinian terrorist responsible for the attack. The mother of Yuval Mor Yosef, one of the soldiers murdered in the attack, said that the terrorist should not have been captured.

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“He should not have been caught alive,” Ilanit Mor-Yosef told Army Radio Tuesday. She noted that he had already served eleven years in Israeli jails yet still chose to murder. “He has no right to be caught alive. The news is not consoling. He was already in prison and released, so what’s the point?”

According to the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, the terrorist was caught with a Kalashnikov rifle, large amounts of ammunition, and night vision equipment with the clear intention of carrying out another attack. The terrorist responsible for killing Mor Yosef carried out a drive-by shooting attack in Ofra a few days earlier. A pregnant young woman was targeted and her baby, who was delivered prematurely as a result of the attack, died three days later.

“Destroy his house first and foremost – his and all his collaborators,” she said. “He was already involved in the incident in Ofra. Why didn’t they demolish the house then?”

“Who promises me that he will have it bad in prison?” Mor Yosef continued. “The result is that he is alive, and we are dead. He murdered, and he sits alive. In what normal country does this happen?”

Several calls for prayers of healing for Nethanel Ferber have been sent out since the attack. Felber moved to Israel from the U.S. over ten years ago with his family. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post two weeks ago, Nethanel’s brother,  Daniel Felber, 26,  said: “prayer is all we have.” In Jewish tradition, prayers for healing are in the name of the person in need and their mother. In this case, prayers should be for Netanel Ilan ben (the son of) Shayna Tzipora.

Majority of Israelis Think Trump’s Pullout From Syria Harms Security

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 08:30

The Peace Index published monthly by the Israel Democracy Institute revealed that in the Jewish public a majority (61 percent) believes the American president’s decision to withdraw all American troops from Syria as harming Israel’s security interests.

This issue was surveyed in the wake of  President Trump’s decision in December to pull out the 2,000 U.S. troops currently in Syria. The U.S. was heading a multi-national coalition battle against the Islamic State (ISIS) and the president accompanied the announcement of his decision with the declaration that ISIS was “largely defeated.”

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In response to questions about how Israel will fare in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal, the president responded, “Israel is going to be good. We give Israel 4.5 billion a year.”

Though Trump’s answer did not satisfy his critics, it seems to reflect what most Israelis believe. The Peace Index showed that 75 percent agreed with Trump’s assertion that Israel defends itself “very well.”

The Peace Index survey conducted by phone and internet compiled the responses of 600 Israeli adults on January 2-3, and had a margin of error of 4.1 percent.

NEHEMIAH 11:1

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 06:52

In addition to Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), Jews recognize three other holy cities, Tzfat (Safed), Teveria (Tiberias), and Chevron (Hebron). The idea of four holy cities originated after the Ottoman conquest of Israel, and corresponds to the four centers of Jewish life at the time. Each city is holy for a different reason, and each corresponds to one of the four elements from which the ancients believed the world was created. Chevron is the burial site of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, symbolic of earth. Teveria, where the Jerusalem Talmud was compiled, resides by the shores of the Kinneret and corresponds to water. Tzfat, located high up on the mountains, is the renowned center of mystical Judaism, the Kabbalah, and is therefore associated with air. And Yerushalayim, the site of the Temples which contained the altars and the menorah lamp, is associated with fire. In this way, the four holy cities of Israel contain all the elements for everything in heaven and earth.

What do Young Canadians Think of Israel?

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 06:50

What do young Canadian Christians think about Israel? Hear first-hand reactions from their experience in the Holy Land with Israel Collective.

Video Report on Terror Reveals Disturbing Truth that Goes Unreported

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 06:05

A new video by Boomerang, an Israeli advocacy media group, reveals the disturbing facts about the terror attacks in Israel that go largely unreported. The reality becomes horrifying when viewed up-close and personal.

Arab Christians Protest Haifa Museum “McJesus” Display

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 05:55

Hundreds of Arab Christians protested on Friday, angered over the display of a crucified Ronald McDonald, the fictitious company mascot of the McDonald’s fast-food restaurant chain. The sculpture was created by Finnish artist Janei Leinonen as part of the Haifa Museum’s “Sacred Goods” exhibit and has been on display since August. A molotov cocktail incendiary device was thrown at the museum on Thursday.  Three police officers were lightly wounded by rocks thrown at them by protestors.

גבר בן 32 נעצר ועוד ארבעה גברים עוכבו לחקירה בהפגנה מול מוזיאון חיפה, במחאה על תערוכה פוגענית ברגשות הציבור הנוצרי. המשטרה פיזרה את ההפגנה בכוח, תוך כדי שימוש ברימוני הלם. כמו כן, שלושה שוטרים נפצעו בראשם במהלך ההפגנה ופונו לקבלת טיפול רפואי @10elilevi @samiaah10 pic.twitter.com/1iO1BRjFfL

— חדשות עשר (@news10) January 11, 2019

One of the protesters complained that the government was slow to react to their concerns because they were from the Christian minority. “If they put up [a sculpture of] Hitler with a Torah scroll they would immediately respond,” he told the Walla news site.

The art exhibit features several other pieces featuring potentially offensive depictions of Jesus as well as pieces that may be offensive to observant Jews.

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The pastor of Haifa’s Saint Elijah Cathedral (Mar Elias) condemned the exhibit in a statement on Saturday.

“We denounce the exhibition and the injury to the holiest symbol of Christianity by an institution that is supposed to serve citizens of all religions,” the Rev. Archimandrite Agapious Abu Sa’ada of the Greek Melkite Catholic Archeparchy of Acre told Haaretz. The Reverend noted that the artist was a devout Christian but the depiction was still unacceptable.

“What is suitable for Europe and the Christian population of Finland is not suitable for our community and cannot be met with understanding,” the reverend said, adding that he and several other priests met with the management of the museum and agreed that a screen would be placed around the work, blocking it from general view.

On Thursday, Culture Minister Miri Regev sent Haifa Museum director Nissim Tal a letter calling for the sculpture’s removal.

“Disrespect of religious symbols sacred to many worshipers in the world as an act of artistic protest is illegitimate and cannot serve as art at a cultural institution supported by state funds,” she wrote.

In response to the minister’s letter, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel sent a letter Friday to Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber, protesting her statement.

“The minister’s threat to withdraw government support for the museum is baseless,” the letter read. “The Budget Foundation Law does not include even the vaguest clause about prohibiting offensive content due to religious reasons.”

In the wake of the protest, the Haifa Museum Director Nissim Tal announced that a sign will be posted at the entrance to the exhibit warning visitors that some may find the content offensive.

Sixth Hezbollah Tunnel Discovered in Final Days of IDF Operation

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 05:09

A sixth Hezbollah tunnel was discovered on Saturday as the IDF wrapped up Operation Northern Shield along the border with Lebanon. The IDF said the tunnel was the largest discovered to date, dug 180 feet underground. Originating in the village of Ramyeh, Lebanon, it traversed 2,624 feet before penetrating several dozen yards into Israel. The tunnel reportedly contained railed tracks for transporting heavy loads and carried electrical lines and lighting.  The IDF said they plan on destroying the tunnel in the upcoming days.

Israel notified the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) charged with keeping the peace and monitoring compliance with international law along the border. UNIFIL has already confirmed the existence of four tunnels, two of which crossed the border in violation of UN Resolution 1701. UNIFIL refused to acknowledge Hezbollah or Lebanese government responsibility for the tunnels.

180ft deep underground
2,624ft dug under #Lebanon
Dozens of yards dug into Israel
This #Hezbollah attack tunnel was dug from the Lebanese village of Ramyeh into Israel & will be neutralized soon.

We have now exposed all attack tunnels dug by Hezbollah from Lebanon into Israel. pic.twitter.com/AU0zNbmCCM

— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) January 13, 2019

“All of the tunnels have been exposed and have either already been destroyed or are going to be destroyed,” military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus told reporters.”According to our assessments, there are no longer any tunnels crossing into Israel.”

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The IDF Northern Command stated that they are continuing to monitor several underground structures in Lebanon. The IDF emphasized they hold the Lebanese government responsible for all such activities that violate international law.

“Operation Northern Shield deprived Hezbollah of the unique offensive abilities it had built over the years as part of its planned attack on Israeli territory,” the army also said. “The operation reflected advanced operational and intelligence technological capabilities and multi-stage detection of underground areas, which have developed even more over the past few weeks.”

Israel is in the process of constructing a security wall to protect against further attempts to infiltrate the border. Lebanon state-run National News Agency quoted Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil as saying on Friday said it would file a complaint to the UN Security Council against Israel’s construction of the wall

Proof For Trump’s Wall: Fence on Israel’s Southern Border Stops Illegal Immigration

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 04:00

This time six years ago, Israel completed its high-tech border fence with Egypt, marking the start of a transformation in the situation along this restive frontier.

With its network radars and cameras, the obstacle—dubbed “Hourglass” by the Israeli Defense Ministry—issues alerts to Israel Defense Forces units regarding suspicious movements.

The barrier has almost completely stopped the mass movement of illegal migration from Africa, Dr. Ofer Israeli, a geostrategist and international security policy expert told JNS on Thursday.

Israeli, who lectures at the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, said the quantity of human trafficking “is almost zero now.”

In addition, the fence has significantly boosted Israel’s ability to defend itself against Salafi-jihadist terror organizations that are active in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, he added.

“The obstacle separates two entities: Israel and Egypt. Today, inside Egypt, there are groups that view Israel as a target for attack. Here, too, the fence has managed to decrease friction both because of the physical obstacle, which is difficult to overcome, and because of the sensors installed on it,” said Israeli.

The setting up of dedicated IDF units whose goal is to patrol the fence and prevent cross-border infiltrations into Israel, is a major part of the barrier’s success, he stated. A positive side effect has also been the decrease in cross-border narcotics-smuggling, according to Israeli. “The quantity of drugs coming has significantly dropped,” he said.

Professor Hillel Frisch, a political scientist from Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, and an expert in Middle Eastern affairs, said part of the barrier’s effectiveness comes from Egyptian-Israeli security cooperation.

“There is likely a lot of Egyptian support for curtailing this immigration because it’s their problem as well,” said Frisch. “It’s also effective because it’s very sparse country, and there are no major population centers along either side of the border.”

Frisch added that “the fact that there are no population centers nearby allows the barrier to be militarized.”

The model of advanced border barriers is spreading. In May last year, Israel announced that it completed the construction of a 34-kilometer border fence between southern Israel and Jordan. The unusually tall structure towers to a height of 26 meters and is designed, among other things, to protect civilian aircraft landing at the newly built Ramon International Airport at Timna against the threat of Kornet missile attacks.

“The fence along Jordan works because there’s cooperation between the two sides. That is a very important variable,” said Frisch.

According to Israeli, “in general, the State of Israel has adopted the model of border barriers. We are seeing similar fences expanding to other areas, including on the Lebanese border,” he added.

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‘Defend against hostile elements’

The primary goal of barriers on dangerous borders like Lebanon and Gaza is “not to stop civilians, refugees or illegal migrants, but to defend against hostile elements on the other side,” said Israeli. On the other hand, such obstacles have led Israel’s enemies to come up with creative ways to overcome them, such as the combat tunnels dug by both Hamas and Hezbollah.

“We saw that on the Gazan border, Israel responded by developing an underground barrier that goes down to a depth of tens of meters, to deal with the tunnel threat,” noted Israeli. “But Hamas is trying to overcome the barrier with rockets. If we look at the north, we see that there, too, Hezbollah is working to get over the barrier with tens of thousands of projectiles. This is the negative aspect—the other side always looks for a way around the fence,” he said.

Around the world, border barriers seem to be in vogue. Hungary built one on its borders with Serbia and Croatia in 2015 to deal with an influx of migrants. Turkey is barricading its troubled border with Syria with a wall and fence. And Saudi Arabia is building a massive 1,600-kilometer fence on its border with Yemen.

Meanwhile, in the United States, President Trump has controversially cited the Israeli-Egyptian barrier as a model for the wall he wishes to build on the Mexican border—an issue that has led to a political feud with the Democrats, leading to an ongoing government shutdown.

“The U.S. and Mexico are not hostile entities,” said Israeli. “There is a wish to prevent human trafficking from Mexico, where Latin American migrants, as well as migrants from other countries, pour into. If they set up a significant obstacle that is high-quality with sensors, it will be extremely costly because the border is over 3,000 kilometers long.”

The great distances between the stations that monitor the barrier would mean that it would not be full-proof in stopping the migration flow, explained Israeli. “The question is whether the U.S. is willing to invest this huge sum.”

Frisch agreed that such a barrier on the U.S.-Mexican border would be far from being hermetic. “The migrants that would reach it are the most entrepreneurial kind of people,” he said. “The people who manage to cross it will be the best and the brightest.”

Syria Files Complaint With UN: US Enabling Israeli Airstrikes

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 03:42

The Syrian government accused Israel of launching an airstrike on Friday night at around 11:15 PM. SANA, the Syrian state news agency, reported that Syrian army air defenses successfully intercepted “over eight targets”  though an ammunitions warehouse adjacent to the airport was hit in the attack. No Syrian casualties were reported.

Sana quoted a Syrian military source as saying, “At 11:15 before midnight Israeli warplanes coming from Al-Jalil area launched many missiles towards Damascus area and our air defenses intercepted them and downed most of them.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the attack targeted missile depots that belong to Hezbollah in the Al-Kiswah area as well. Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV said that  Israeli aircraft were also operating in Lebanese airspace. According to Arab media reports, Israeli naval vessels were off the southern Lebanese coast during the attack

On Saturday, the Syrian government filed complaints with the United Nations Security Council and with UN Secretary-General Antonia Guterres. Syria claimed the Israeli attacks were only made possible due to the “military, political and media cover provided by the U.S. administration.”

As per official policy, the Israeli government did not comment on the air attack inside Syrian but Israel has admitted to carrying out such missions. In an interview with the New York Times published on Friday, the outgoing IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot stated that Israel has carried out “thousands” of such attacks in Syria.

“We struck thousands of targets without claiming responsibility or asking for credit,” he said, explaining that the Israeli attacks were initially focused on preventing an Iranian military presence along Israel’s northern border and at disrupting the flow of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon via Syria. Eisenkot noted a subsequent change in Iranian military policy concerning their activities in Syria.

“Their vision was to have significant influence in Syria by building a force of up to 100,000 Shiite fighters from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq,” he said. “They built intelligence bases and an air force base within each Syrian air base. And they brought civilians in order to indoctrinate them.”

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By 2016, Eisenkot said the Commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, had mobilized 3,000 of his men in Syria, along with 8,000 Hezbollah fighters and another 11,000 foreign Shiite troops.

Israel responded by dropping 2,000 bombs on Iranian military targets in Syria.  Iran retaliated by firing 30 rockets at northern Israel from Syria last May, but according to Eisenkot, none of the missiles reached their targets. As a result of the Israeli strikes, Eisenkot said the Iranians were moving troops out of Syria and “transferring their efforts” to Iraq.

These operations were curtailed in December after Syrian air defenses shot down a Russian military airplane during an IAF attack. Russia has a significant military presence in Syria supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a civil war.

A New National Security Strategy for America

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 02:00

After the Cold War, what is the biggest threat to America? The debate between Obama and Romney famously bogged down over the question of whether Russia was our biggest geopolitical foe. While Obama slammed Romney’s answer as a Cold War relic, after losing the next election, his party defines its foreign policy and domestic opposition around the fear that Russia is now more of a threat than ever.

Answers by other politicians have ranged from the structural, the national debt and internal divisions, to the inanimate and absurd; Bernie Sanders’ claim that global warming is our top national security threat. But assessments that name conditions rather than threat vectors are unhelpful because even when they are right, they tell us to address a weakness or failure, rather than meeting an external threat.

Being able to name and define external threats is vital for reaching informed national security decisions.

The debates over border security, Syria, Afghanistan, and Russian informational warfare have been taking place in a chaotic environment of rapid fire talking points backed by ideological agendas, but with no framework for understanding the larger threat environment and how to achieve national security.

Our national security framework dates back to the Cold War. The doctrines we employed during the Cold War quickly became dated even while the Soviet Union was around. They’re so old now that the vast majority of Americans weren’t even born when they were hatched. And yet in the generation since the Cold War ended, we haven’t found anything new to replace them with. And that is the problem.

The Clinton administration ignored national security and put the military at the disposal of the UN on exercises in nation building that helped revive Russia as a serious threat while ignoring the threat of Al Qaeda. The Bush administration rolled out nation building as a response to Islamic terrorism. This was a misguided approach that failed to understand the nature of the threat and how to address it.

The Obama administration combined the follies of both of its predecessors and added more of its own, by harnessing Clinton style nation building to Bush style interventions with the aim of defusing Islamic terrorism by helping the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists come to power in the Middle East.

The result was genocide, ethnic cleansing, beheadings, sex slavery and more terrorism than ever.

To build a realistic national security strategy, we have to discard the Cold War framework under which every administration beginning with Truman and Eisenhower had operated under. We are no longer dealing with a global struggle against an ideological movement based out of a global superpower.

And it’s the global part that is the problem.

Successive administrations have thought of national security as a global issue. But it’s not a global issue. It’s a national one. That doesn’t mean that we should abandon support for NATO or our allies. But we should stop trying to envision national security as something that emerges from global alliances. That worldview may have been relevant during the Cold War, but it’s no longer meaningful today.

Instead we need to think of national security as inside out, coming not from outside America, but from inside it. We don’t face a serious risk of invasion by a military superpower. It may be a generation until China has the military capabilities to embark on such a venture. And while we shouldn’t neglect exploring what a Chinese Pearl Harbor might look like, we first need to get our own house in order.

Our domestic threats in this century have all involved infiltration, whether it was the Islamic colonists who carried out the 9/11 attacks and succeeding acts of terror, and the Chinese and Russian hacks and espionage operations that exposed our military secrets, wrecked the NSA and weakened our defenses.

These catastrophes make it clear that there can be no national security without securing the nation.

That includes border security. Regardless of how many terrorists may have come across the unguarded border (even one is too many), efforts by the Trump administration to reduce travel from terror states and refugee admissions will lead terrorists and future terrorists to seek alternative means of entering this country.  And securing the border closes a major vulnerability in our national security.

Furthermore, while Iran’s nuclear program remains a major national security threat, a nuclear attack on America is likeliest to come through a nuclear device smuggled by terrorists across the border. It may never happen, and hopefully never will, but failing to prepare could be a disaster that would make the national security failures that allowed the 9/11 attack to take place seem almost inconsequential.

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If we examine the American conflicts of this century, it’s easy to see that they had their roots in immigration, migration and open borders, both physical and virtual. We’ve lost over 10,000 Americans in wars caused by a failure of immigration security. And the national gun violence rate is largely fed by gang violence. Much of that gang violence is caused by legal and illegal immigration to the United States.

National security threats can be most clearly measured by the violent deaths of Americans inflicted on us by organized movements and groups. It’s undeniable that these have originate with immigration.

China and Russia remain geopolitical threats. But their attacks depend on infiltrating our country through the internet or immigration. Informational security is vital to any future conflict. A Chinese Pearl Harbor would likely begin on the internet. And so is immigration security. Chinese and Russian operatives, like their Islamic counterparts, have to enter the United States. If we can secure immigration and secure information, we will have effectively neutralized their attacks for the time being.

The leading geopolitical threat isn’t posed by China or Russia. Instead it comes from Islamic terrorism. While China poses a military threat to its neighbors in Asia and Russia poses a military threat to Europe, Islamic terrorists piggyback on Islamic colonies in America to pose a military threat inside our borders.

Aside from the loss of life, Islamic terrorists have inflicted trillions of dollars in economic losses on the United States, second only to the People’s Republic of China. And as the Islamic colonies increase in size, they begin to pose an increasingly greater threat. Islamic colonies in France and Sweden have shown behavior resembling the early stages of guerilla warfare. The same thing will happen in America.

That is why immigration security must be the first priority of any national security strategy. The second priority should focus on weakening terrorist groups and their state sponsors abroad, but without the extensive nation building commitments that have bogged down previous administrations.

We should also avoid the Cold War’s sociological preoccupation with root causes abroad. Sociological philosophizing failed miserably in the Great Society. There is no reason to believe that the same approach that failed at home will work any better when applied to other societies and cultures.

It isn’t difficult to identify malaises in the Muslim world, but we should be wary of facile solutions, such as democracy, feminism or microfinance, for solving them. The United States did not fix the social problems of Communism. Instead it sought to contain Communist states, limiting their influence, preventing their expansionism, and allowing their own social problems to destroy them.

Instead of nation building in Muslim countries, we should aid non-Muslim or secular countries under siege by Islamists, containing and limiting the spread of Islamic ideology abroad and at home through economic, informational and military means, when appropriate, without extended occupations.

The interregnum between the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the fall of the British Empire marked a period of Islamic military, cultural and political decline. The Cold War era revived Islamic fortunes as the United States and the Soviet Union invested extensive wealth, information and training into Muslim countries. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Muslim terrorists backed by Muslim states emerged as the leading antagonists of the United States, Europe, Russia, China and other non-Muslim world states.

While a global alliance against Islamism, similar to the one against Communism, might be ideal, it is more likely that America’s geopolitical antagonists, Russia and China, will instead back Muslim factions in proxy wars against us. We must stop doing the same thing no matter how appealing it may seem.

Political and military engagement with Islamic forces badly weakened both America and Russia. After two generations of arming, aiding and collaborating with Islamic terrorists under the Soviet Union, and then another generation of Putin’s Eurasian experiment aimed at integrating Islam into a new Russian empire, our old antagonist has doomed itself. We should learn the urgent lessons of Russia’s folly.

Because they are also our own.

America’s Cold War alliances with Islamic countries helped create the wave of terror. Our openness to Islamic immigration was once seen as a means of building Cold War alliances. Instead it has killed over ten thousand Americans and put us on a path to a religious civil war similar to that of Europe.

Cold War divisions have deeply divided Americans. The collapse of religion and traditional values, accompanied by mass migration, and the disruptive qualities of the internet, have fragmented any notion of national unity. The firehose of mass migration is hitting all of our fracture points, ideological, economic, social and cultural, at the same time.  It’s also the essential vector for Islamic terrorism.

America needs time to recover from the economic, social, cultural and technological disruptions of the last hundred years. And it needs breathing room to prepare for the geopolitical conflicts to come.

American elites continue focusing on a global order while ignoring the decline of the United States. A broken America will be unable to meet any geopolitical threats abroad. Any national security strategy that does not begin with securing our own national security at home will be doomed to fail.

Democrat opposition at the state and judicial level has prevented President Trump from exercising control over immigration, protected terrorists and gangs, while leaving our borders unsecured. States and cities openly defy immigration authorities and Democrat judges sabotage any effort at controlling the flow of legal and illegal aliens into our country. This thoroughly cripples our national security.

America’s national security depends on restoring the control of the executive branch over our borders.

The President of the United States has been robbed of the ability to fulfill his sworn duty to see to the national security of the United States. This isn’t just political opposition. It’s treason. And it must end.

Reprinted with author’s permission from FrontPage Mag

Build a Museum of Aliyah

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 01:00

In the annals of modern Jewish history, few stories are as epic or as inspiring as that of the in gathering of the exiles from the four corners of the earth.

Since the rebirth of the State of Israel in 1948, more than 3.2 million immigrants have made their way to the shores of the Holy Land from more than 100 countries worldwide. Some have come here fleeing persecution. Others were motivated by the Zionist dream or religious conviction or animated by the hope of creating a better life for themselves and their families.

And yet, even though Israel was built by aliyah, and will continue to be built by it, we have nonetheless failed to adequately preserve and relate the remarkable story of the ongoing return to our ancestral land.

And that is why I believe it is time for the Jewish state to erect a museum of Aliyah, one that will encapsulate the drama and heroism, the fulfillment and pride, that have accompanied the historic homecoming to Zion.

Indeed, if one looks back over the past 70 years, it becomes readily apparent that some of our nation’s most stirring moments have been those that involved the rescue of Diaspora Jewish communities. Yet, how much does the younger generation know or fully appreciate these extraordinary tales?

Take, for example, Operation Magic Carpet, when the bulk of Yemenite Jewry, nearly 50,000 people, were airlifted to Israel between June 1949 and September 1950.

This mass aliyah of an ancient Jewish community commenced even before the signing of the first armistice agreement concluding the War of Independence. But despite the conflict, and the existential threat that the Jewish state faced from its neighbors, Israel nonetheless salvaged this precious remnant of our people and brought it in.

And then there was Operation Ezra and Nehemiah, when more than 120,000 Iraqi Jews immigrated to Israel from 1951 to 1952, leaving behind Babylon, where the Jews were first exiled more than 2,500 years ago by the wicked Nebuchadnezzar.

Each of these journeys embodies powerful elements of Jewish history and longing, undertaken at times of peril out of an unbreakable sense of Jewish solidarity and mutual responsibility. Aren’t those values worth promoting?

The same holds true for the rescue of Ethiopian Jewry in operations Moses and Solomon in 1984 and 1991, respectively. Who can forget the tension that filled the air on May 24, 1991, as Ethiopian rebels were poised to attack Addis Ababa with the aim of toppling the brutal dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, and fears mounted for the thousands of Ethiopian Jews trapped in the city?

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Some 36 hours later, the world was stunned to learn that Israel had succeeded in rescuing the Jews, transporting more than 14,000 to the Jewish state using C-130 military transport planes and Boeing 747s. It was the first time in recent memory that a Western country had brought in thousands of Africans, not with chains of slavery, but with bonds of brotherhood.

There have been other valiant operations, too, which have been all but forgotten, such as Operation Goshen, in which 10,000 Egyptian Jews were smuggled out of Egypt from 1948 to 1953, and Operation Yachin, when the Mossad brought nearly 100,000 Moroccan Jews on aliyah from 1961 to 1964.

And then there was Operation Cigar, in the 1990s, when hundreds of Cuban Jews made their way to Israel. And Operation Menashe, in which Shavei Israel, the organization I chair, has brought some 4,000 members of the lost tribe of Bnei Menashe on aliyah from India over the past 15 years.

These stories and others like them, such as the Prisoners of Zion who stood up to the Soviet Union and demanded freedom, deserve more than just being commemorated in books, stamps or newspaper articles. A national museum of aliyah, rich in videos, personal stories and artifacts, could serve as an invaluable tool for strengthening the nation’s commitment to encouraging and absorbing future immigrants.
It would serve as a portal to the past, opening the eyes of many Israelis and reminding them of the sacrifices and determination of those who came to settle the land.

After all, museums are not merely a repository of a nation’s collective memory but a vehicle for shaping its future. We need to continue celebrating aliyah, but we must also educate regarding its vital importance to the survival of Israel and the Jewish people.
Doing so will not only strengthen the Zionist commitment of young Israelis, but it will also send a compelling message to the many Jews from abroad who visit here each year: We welcome you as tourists, but ultimately we want you to come home.

The writer is founder and chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which assists lost tribes and hidden Jewish communities to return to Israel and the Jewish people.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Jerusalem Post

Is Rashida Tlaib Guilty of Bigotry?

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 00:00

To single out only the “Jew among nations,” and not the dozens of far more serious violators of human rights is bigotry pure and simple, and those who support BDS only against Israel are guilty of bigotry.

What is unacceptable is discriminatory actions, and nothing can be more discriminatory than singling out an ally with one of the best records of human rights in the world for a boycott, while continuing to do business with the worst human rights offenders in the world.

Many of the same bigots who support BDS against Israel, oppose boycotting Cuba, Iran, China, Russia, Venezuela, Syria, Saudi Arabia and other human rights violators. Legislation designed to end such discriminatory actions would be constitutional, if it did not prohibit advocacy.

No one has accused Tlaib of forgetting what country she represents when she supports the Palestinian cause, even though Palestinian terrorists, acting in the name of “Palestine,” have killed numerous Americans. Americans of any religion have the right to support Israel, and most do, without being accused of disloyalty, just as Americans of any religion have the right to support the Palestinian cause. It is both bigoted and hypocritical to apply a different standard to Jews who support Israel than to Muslims who support the Palestinian cause…. If she is the “new face” of the Democratic Party, we Democrats should begin worrying.

(Image source: iStock)

If Congress were considering legislation prohibiting boycotts directed against gays, women or Muslim owned companies, would Senator Bernie Sanders be arguing that such a ban would violate the First Amendment? If Congress were considering legislation prohibiting companies from boycotting majority Muslim countries, would Rashida Tlaib be accusing its supporters of dual loyalty?

American laws have long dealt with discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, gender and national origin. Our laws prohibited compliance with the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses in the 1930’s and the Arab boycotts of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Now Congress is considering legislation dealing with companies that boycott only the nation state of the Jewish people, and only Jews within Israel. To single out only the “Jew among nations,” and not the dozens of far more serious violators of human rights is bigotry pure and simple, and those who support BDS [boycotts divestments and sanctions against Israel] only against Israel are guilty of bigotry.

Some supporters of BDS claim that it is a protest tactic designed to put pressure on Israel to change its policies. That is not what the leaders of BDS say. Their goal is the elimination of Israel and its replacement by a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea.”*

So long as these anti-BDS statutes do not prohibit advocacy of such boycotts, but focus instead on the commercial activities themselves – namely the economic boycotts – there are no serious freedom of speech concerns. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, not freedom to discriminate economically based on invidious classifications. There are close questions, as evidenced by the difficult case involving a baker’s refusal to design a cake for a gay wedding, based on the baker’s claimed religious beliefs. But it is not a close case to prevent the bigot from renting an apartment to a black couple or even from advertising that he rents to whites only. I have in my collection postcards from Miami Beach hotels, as recently as the 1950’s, advertising “restricted clientele,” “discriminating clients,” or “gentile clientele only.” These were euphemisms for “no Jews allowed.” Or as one hotel brazenly put it: “Always a view, never a Jew.” Similar advertisements were directed against Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, African-Americans and other minorities. These advertisements would be illegal today despite the fact that they take the form of words. The First Amendment permits a hotel owner to advocate a return to “gentiles only,” or “whites only” hotels, but it does not protect the act of discrimination itself or boycotting based on religion or national origin.

On which side of this Constitutional line does anti-BDS legislation fall? That depends on the precise wording of the statute. If the law prohibits advocacy, it is unconstitutional. If it prohibits economic discrimination based on religion or national origin, it is constitutional.

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What is unacceptable is discriminatory actions, and nothing can be more discriminatory than singling out an ally with one of the best records of human rights in the world for a boycott, while continuing to do business with the worst human rights offenders in the world. Many of the same bigots who support BDS against Israel, oppose boycotting Cuba, Iran, China, Russia, Venezuela, Syria, Saudi Arabia and other human rights violators. Legislation designed to end such discriminatory actions would be constitutional, if it did not prohibit advocacy.

Tlaib argues that “boycotting is a right and part of our historical fight for freedom and equality.” Would she have supported, in the name of equality, the right of white bigots to boycott Black owned stores in the South or Black apartment renters in the North? Would she support the right of homophobes to boycott gay owned stores? Or the right of anti-Muslim bigots to boycott Muslim-owned stores or products from Muslim nations? If she were to support legislation prohibiting anti-Palestinian boycotts, how would she respond to an accusation that she “forgot what country” she represents? Her accusation that supporters of anti-BDS legislation “forgot what country” they represent invoked the old canard of dual loyalty, which is directed only against Jews. No one has accused Tlaib of forgetting what country she represents when she supports the Palestinian cause, even though Palestinian terrorists, acting in the name of “Palestine,” have killed numerous Americans. Americans of any religion have the right to support Israel, and most do, without being accused of disloyalty, just as Americans of any religion have the right to support the Palestinian cause. It is both bigoted and hypocritical to apply a different standard to Jews who support Israel than to Muslims who support the Palestinian cause.

Hypocrisy and bigotry go hand in hand, and Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is the poster person for both. If she is the “new face” of the Democratic Party, we Democrats should begin worrying.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Gatestone Institute

Was Pompeo Justified in Slamming Obama’s Mideast Policy?

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 05:12

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took the opportunity, while speaking in Cairo on the American presence in the Middle East, to criticize former President Obama’s policies in the region. Was he right in doing so? Was Pompeo fair in his assessment of the Trump administration’s efforts in the region?

Plague of Locusts Attacks Islam’s Holiest Mosque in Mecca

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 05:01

Saudi Arabia, in particular the location of Islam’s holiest sites, Mecca, has recently been inundated by swarms of locusts, crickets and cockroaches.

Social media users have posted images and uploaded several videos of swarms of locust infesting the Great Mosque of Mecca, the holiest in all of Islam. It is the focus of the hajj, the pilgrimage, which draws millions of Muslims a year to Saudi Arabia.

According to a report on Al-Araby, Mecca’s municipal authorities announced earlier in the week that specialized teams of sanitation workers have been tasked to deal with the infestation.

“We have harnessed all efforts available to speed up the eradication of the insects in the interest of the safety and comfort of guests to God’s house,” said the statement.

In a report on reliefweb.int, a Desert Locust Bulletin from December said that “Favorable ecological conditions and extensive breeding caused a Desert Locust outbreak to develop in the winter breeding areas along the Red Sea coast in Sudan and Eritrea during December.”

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The report suggested that the breeding in southeast Egypt, on the Red Sea coast in Saudi Arabia and Oman was smaller than that which plagued Sudan and Eritrea. The swarm was helped by good rains following Cyclone Luban, a very severe tropical storm that affected Yemen, Somalia and Oman in particular, in October 2018.

Is it simply irony that in the weekly Torah portion Jews read about the final five plagues – boils, fiery hail, locusts, darkness and death of first-born males – that God sent to afflict Pharaoh and the Egyptians, a swarm of locusts attacks Islam’s holiest mosque?

A locust will eat its weight in food every day and swarms can strip entire regions bare but, for some (like the Russian fishermen), they are considered a mixed blessing . Locusts are, in fact, edible and considered a delicacy in some countries. While the consumption of most insects is forbidden under kosher laws, the Talmud identifies four species of locust that are kosher and permitted to be eaten by Jews. Since the identity of those species is in dispute, most Jews refrain from indulging.

Can a Forest in Biblical Israel Symbolize Global Unity?

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 02:51

“Forests, like the nation of Israel, are made up of many trees,” said Chaim Silberstein, whose grandson died three days after his mother was brutally shot and wounded by a Palestinian terrorist.

Landscape of Samaria (Credit: Maayan Hoffman/Breaking Israel News)

“A beautiful sapling, prematurely born to my daughter and son-in-law, was brutally murdered and deprived of the opportunity to grow and flourish,” Silberstein continued. “Although Amiad Yisrael did not merit to become a tall and proud tree in the nation of Israel, planting a forest in his memory will both help to perpetuate the memory of his short but meaningful life, as well as plant hope.”

On January 18, only a few days before the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shevat – the day that marks the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle – Israel365, together with the community of Ofra and the Silbersteins, will plant a new forest in the Shomron (Samaria) town of Ofra.

 

Shira and Amichai Ish-Ran, Silberstein’s daughter and son-in-law, were shot on Dec. 9 at the Ofra junction. Five others were wounded, as well. Shira Ish-Ran was hit in the lower abdomen and pelvis and underwent surgery at a Jerusalem hospital, during which her baby – 30-weeks – was delivered in an emergency procedure. He died three days later.

Amichai Ish-Ran was shot in the leg.

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“This forest will also plant hope that my daughter will be able to bring to life more trees, like Amiad,” Silberstein said.

Though often when such young babies die, parents do not give them names, the Ish-Rans chose to name their newborn Amiad Israel, which means “my people are here forever.”

“A well-populated forest symbolizes the idea of continuity and longevity, and this was the essence of Amiad Yisrael’s name – it symbolizes the eternality of the nation of Israel,” Silberstein explained.

Miraculously, since the attack just more than 30 days ago, Shira has started to recover. Earlier this week, she was moved from Shaare Zedek Medical Center, where was being treated, to the rehabilitation hospital at Hadassah Ein Kerem. This, said Silberstein, is a “great sign of her medical progress and we feel optimistic that she will make a full recovery.”

He said he believes his daughter was saved by a miracle and he is grateful for that miracle and for the ongoing support and love the family has received from Jews and gentiles the world over.

Wedding photo of Amichai and Shira Ish-Ran, married in 2018. Both were wounded in a drive-by shooting by a Palestinian terrorist at a bus stop outside of the Jewish community of Ofra on Dec. 9, 2018. (Courtesy of the family)

“This tragedy has shown how the Jewish people can unify in a beautiful way if they want to,” Silberstein said. “We hope that we can find ways to continue this unity, not necessarily under tragic circumstances.”

He hopes the new forest in Ofra, which is largely being funded by Christian supporters of Israel, will symbolize global unity and showcase the power of God even in dark times.

Ofra is located in the historical and prophetic heartland of Biblical Israel. The people living in this area believe and understand that God is bringing the Jews back to the land as He has promised, and in the expectation of the coming of messiah.

Said Silberstein: “We who are living in the heartland of the land of Israel are at the forefront of the return of the Jewish people to their land and heritage.”

Escape from Portland

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 02:00

It was a big year in Portland where the murder rate rose 18.6%. That was the perfect time for Portland’s progressive politburo to spend over $1 million on unarmed cops armed only with pepper spray.

There was a little bit of excitement when it was learned that their 200 hours of training would include “Taser Orientation” suggesting that they might be allowed to carry tasers. But Mayor Wheeler’s office explained that the weaponless cops weren’t being trained to use tasers, but “how to avoid being tased”.

Portlanders aren’t waiting for officers to show up and shout, “Don’t tase me, bro”. Instead in a city overrun with crime, they’re increasingly taking matters and guns into their hands.

Of the 32 violent deaths in Portland last year, 5 were found to have been carried out in self-defense. That tops the 4 deaths that occurred as a result of shootings by those cops who still have their guns.

Richard R. Hanley showed up in the parking lot outside Timeless Tattoo. The California homeless bum had previously made the news when he was arrested for attacking his ex-girlfriend and her new beau with a metal chain. Hanley, already on probation for a domestic abuse and strangulation conviction, with six felony and seven misdemeanor priors, also pulled out huge clumps of a female deputy’s hair.

The repeat offender began setting up his tent in the parking lot. When a female catering manager asked him to stop, he attacked her. Joseph D. Vinci, a tattoo artist, intervened. Hanley pulled a knife and Vinci pulled a gun. And Hanley’s long reign of terror ended to the outcry of local pro-crime activists.

Portland’s other homeless death had a much darker ending.

Dallas Boyd, a 29-year-old mother of a two-year-old, was strangled to death by a homeless man and her body was left to rot in his van. Like Hanley, the homeless killer had racked up nine felonies, six misdemeanors and 15 parole violations, including third-degree assault, and first-degree robbery.

Homeless crime has become both routine and terrifying. One Portlander described being threatened with a machete on a children’s playground, and it’s taken the city’s crime problem to new levels.

15% of Portland’s violent deaths in 2018 involved the homeless in some way.

Portland property crimes rose 15% in 2017. Its property crime rates easily outpace Boston and Denver, and put it on a par with dangerous cities like Atlanta. Its homeless blight has put Portland on the same path as San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. Portland’s Downtown Clean and Safe had picked up less than 9,897 used needles in 2015. This year it’s 39,000. Garbage and biohazards have also increased.

Car thefts are up 45% in two years. In Mayor Wheeler’s State of the City address this year, he mentioned a “97 percent increase in stolen vehicle calls” in 5 years. There was also a “64 percent increase in unwanted persons calls and a 32 percent increase in disorder calls.”

But Mayor Wheeler emphasized Portland was working on a more “inclusive” and diverse” police force, even as he admitted that the city was caught in a crime wave where, “assaults, homicides, sex offenses, etc. – have increased and are rising at a higher rate than last year; property crimes have also increased and are rising at a higher rate than last year.”

“Chief Outlaw leads a bureau with fewer officers today than a decade ago, despite a 10 percent increase in Portland’s population,” Wheeler whined.

Mayor Wheeler had picked Danielle Outlaw as the first African-American police chief. Outlaw was meant to be the face of Portland’s new inclusive and diverse force. She inherited the thankless job of trying to control homeless crime, without offending homeless advocates, and reining in political street violence without offending Antifa. And soon white hipsters were outraged at Chief Outlaw’s contemptuous dismissal of Antifa as schoolyard brats who, “come with the intention to fight. And then you get mad because I kicked your butt. And then you go back and you wail off and whine and complain.”

Chief Outlaw had also cleared the Occupy ICE encampment without the mayor’s approval, after he had insisted that the police should do nothing to interfere with the harassment of ICE employees.

Portland’s white radicals soon began accusing the city’s first African-American police chief of being a white supremacist while campaigning to get her fired.

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“The fact that I, as a very obvious African American female police chief, have been accused by those within that group or those who support that group, as being a supporter and protector of those who are believed to be white supremacists—if that’s even the case—is ridiculous. Right?” she asked.

Ridiculous is the only way that anything works in Portland.

Mayor Wheeler’s virtue signaling is being ignored by his own police chief while citizens are taking the law into their own hands. The tattoo parlor was only one of five self-defense killings in Portland.

Self-defense killings made up a sixth of deaths by violence in the past year. These included a U-Haul employee shooting an armed robber, a transgender man shot by a homeless woman after he tried to stab her with a knife, and a FedEx driver who killed a man in a fight over racial slurs.

The U-Haul robber had 9 previous convictions, including robbery, burglary and rape.

These are the warning signs of a dysfunctional city spinning out of control.

Mayor Hale, Wheeler’s predecessor, who turned Portland into a homeless encampment zone by refusing to enforce laws against bums setting up tents on public streets, decided not to run for reelection. His predecessor, Mayor Adams, is enmeshed in a sex scandal which involved an underage boy, sexual harassment, blackmail, and allegations of using an employee for sexual procurement.

Mayor Wheeler won’t go out with a sex scandal, but like his predecessor, he’s unable to reconcile the demands of virtue signaling in a leftist city with the practical problems caused by its implementation. The leftist solutions he’s tried, spending more on homeless services, demilitarizing and diversifying the police, have only backfired.

Portland, like countless other Democrat urban strongholds, proved that the more money is spent on homeless services, the worse homelessness becomes. Disarming police officers leads to more people taking the law into their own hands. And black cops will enforce the law just like white cops. They’re also less cowed by political correctness and more willing to speak their minds than their white counterparts.

The city government has turned Portland into a miserable hellhole, but individuals are stepping up.

In the Montavilla area, the Montavilla Initiative has been organizing neighborhood watches, foot patrols and monitoring area crime. Pro-crime and homeless advocates have accused them of being “vigilantes”, but area residents see them as filling a vital need. It’s one of eight patrol groups in the area.

The Initiative describes a neighborhood needle exchange program degenerating into “human waste in neighbors’ yards, a large vehicle hosting drug deals in the parking lot of the exchange, heroin users shooting up and passing out and then driving off intoxicated, people urinating and defecating in public, clients shooting up in neighbors’ yards, even having sex on a neighbor’s front porch.”

It’s no wonder that Portland’s formerly hot housing market is cooling off and home values are falling. As housing prices increase, not everyone wants to pay record prices to live next to a needle exchange.

The escape from Portland has begun.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Sultan Knish Blog

Hollywood Uses ‘Vice’ to Make Conservatives Appear Sinister

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 01:00

Hollywood has an unabashed leftward tilt, and its powerful influence on American culture is undeniable. That’s why it’s problematic when films like the new film “Vice” distorts the truth to make conservatives appear sinister.

John Kartch, communications director of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), called out this bias in an op-ed for The Daily Caller: “In its brief portrayal of the death tax, the movie ‘Vice’ starring Christian Bale as Dick Cheney manages to get pretty much everything wrong.”

Kartch outlines how the film portrays his boss, Grover Norquist, the founder of ATR, as willfully manipulating the public through slick, focus-group messaging about the nature of the taxation that occurs after successful, hardworking individuals pass away, often hoping to leave a legacy behind for their families. The film portrays Norquist as presiding over a meeting where conservatives solidified their messaging around the tax from “estate tax” to “death tax.”

“Americans see the tax as morally wrong and this fact has always bothered the envy crowd on the left,” Kartch writes. “How can it be that people of all income levels oppose the tax on principle? Thus the left and the makers of ‘VICE’ have tried hard to create a mythology to convince themselves that Americans were duped en masse by some slick buzzword cooked up by a PR genius. It helps the left console itself.”

Kartch also points out that “Vice” pretends the term “death tax” was not already in wide use by the time George W. Bush and Dick Cheney assumed office.

“Throughout the 1900s, a variety of media outlets across the country used the term, organically and independently,” Kartch writes.

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“Even the New York Times used the term repeatedly. A 1922 NYT piece describes a ‘Fight Over Death Taxes — New York and Pennsylvania Claim Jurisdiction Over $500,000 Estate.’ A 1976 NYT article on a bill in the state legislature notes, ‘NYS Assembly and Sen leaders have separately drawn up legis to ease death-tax burden on family farms … The Washington Post used it in a 1984 article about the Howard Hughes estate, pointing out that Nevada is “a state that has no death tax.” The term was used in the 1980s and 1990s in Michigan during a lengthy, high profile state death tax repeal battle. The Boston Herald and Orange County Register editorialized against the “death tax” in 1992 and the Chicago Tribune did the same in 1993. The term was also used in professional tax and finance journals.”

Reprinted with author’s permission from Accuracy in Media