American Freedom Alliance Presents: Generation Zero

November 22, 2010

American Freedom Alliance
kindly invites you to the next Cinema Gateway event

(With an appearance by director Stephen Bannon )

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Location: Santa Monica Screening Room 1526 Fourteenth Street, Santa Monica
(between Broadway and Colorado)

Admission: $15.00

Parking: Street

According to the film makers, our current economic crisis is not a failure of capitalism, but a failure of culture. Generation Zero explores the cultural roots of the global financial meltdown – beginning with the narcissism of the 1960s, spreading like a virus through the self-indulgent 1990s, and exploding across the world in the present economic cataclysm.

With a cutting edge style and haunting imagery, this must-see documentary will change everything you thought you knew about Wall Street and Washington. Featuring experts, authors and pundits from across the political spectrum, Generation Zero exposes the little-told story of how the mindset of the baby boomers sowed the seeds of economic disaster that will be reaped by coming generations

Call the AFA office at (310) 444 3085 for further information on the screening

The Editorialists’ Settlement Fatigue

November 14, 2010

For more than 35 years it has been de riguer among American editorialists to talk of Israeli settlements in the West Bank as an obstacle to peace.  After all, there are now 121 of them sporting a population of more than 300,000 – a direct intrusion on claimed Palestinian territorial rights and the prospects of Palestinian national sovereignty.

Recent editorials in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and New York Times have once again reinforced the central canard in peace plan orthodoxy – for there to be peace, settlements must go.

Most of these editorialists would be deeply surprised to discover that Israeli settlements occupy less than 3% of the area known as the West Bank.

They have perhaps failed to account for the fact that no settlements existed in the first twenty years of the State’s existence and cannot be isolated as one of the reasons five Arab armies invaded the State in 1948 or three did so in 1967.

They forget that Israel has returned nearly 94% of the territory it captured in 1967 to Arab control.

They sidestep the reality that as recently as five years ago, Israel removed 18 settlements in Gaza and 4 in Samaria and only receive rocket attacks in response.

They are historically blind to the existence of records which prove a Jewish presence in several settlements which pre-date not only the establishment of the State but have roots deep in Jewish history.   Hebron, Gush Etzion and many suburbs of East Jerusalem are cases in point.

They reject any notion that Jerusalem, Israel’s united capital, should be excluded in the definition of a settlement and not subject to the same routine pummeling that other settlements receive.

They seem oblivious to the impact of Palestinian terrorism on the Israeli psyche and the abiding knowledge that for the past 17 years territorial concessions have not resulted in peace but in campaigns of terror causing death and maiming to thousands of Israeli citizens.

All of this would be sufficient to call into question the editorialists commitment to veracity and truth.

But more than any of this, they fail to consider the impact of either a settlement freeze or the removal of the settlements on the Palestinians themselves.

Perhaps they should be reminded that for the two decades following the Israeli victory in the Six Day War, mortality rates among Palestinians improved by 95%;  27 tertiary education institutions were built; roads were paved; non-existent electricity, plumbing and sewage lines were introduced and the West Bank economy boomed with largely friendly relations existing between the growing settler movement and the native population.

That was until the PLO inspired Intifada set a match to the whole thing and the region went up in flames.

Today tens of thousands of Palestinians depend on jobs in the settlements. The decision of the Palestinian Authority to outlaw such employment will ultimately render 220,000 Palestinian men and women completely dependent on foreign aid.

Settlements sell nearly $500 million in goods to the Palestinians and the Palestinian economy revealed a whopping 10% growth in 2009 largely because of a growing cottage industry which provides inexpensive goods to the settlements.

So “settlement fatigue?”  Yes, indeed – fatigue from those editorialists and opinion makers who so cavalierly condemn settlements as ” obstacles to peace” without the slightest notion of how the absence of historical memory subverts the peace process and how mutual growth and cooperation assists both communities.

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Jewish Students Finally Obtain Civil Rights

November 13, 2010

Up until two weeks ago, Jewish students across the nation were not protected against racially charged attacks on campus.

For close to seven years, the Office of Civil Rights, mandated to enforce the Title VI provisions of the1964  Civil Rights Act, failed to provide any guidelines for the protection of Jewish students from racially charged assaults.  Title VI  prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in any programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.  This of course included state universities .

But for years the OCR has failed to include antisemitic attacks on Jewish students because it could not, or rather would not, concede that Jewish students fell within the embrace of  the term ” race” and would not expand the meaning of “race, color or national origin”  to include religion. Nor was it prepared to apply its criteria to anti Zionist speeches and actions, even when such activities clearly crossed the line into outright attacks on Jews.

The reasons for this are a mixture of timidity, confusion and obfuscation on the part of the OCR.  Claiming it could not come to a satisfactory definition of who is a Jew, they sat on their hands and did nothing, while attacks and intimidation by Muslim students against Jewish spiraled into a virtual pandemic on a number of college campuses.

But on October 26,  Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued a letter that in effect applies Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the protection of Jewish students from anti-Semitism on campuses:

” While Title VI does not cover discrimination based solely on religion,14 groups that face discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics may not be denied protection under Title VI on the ground that they also share a common faith. These principles apply not just to Jewish students, but also to students from any discrete religious group that shares, or is perceived to share, ancestry or ethnic characteristics (e.g., Muslims or Sikhs). Thus, harassment against students who are members of any religious group triggers a school’s Title VI responsibilities when the harassment is based on the group’s actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, rather than solely on its members’ religious practices.”

Under the Department of Education new guidelines, the Civil Rights Act can now be invoked if anti-Jewish behavior is considered to be based on shared ethnic characteristics.

The government’s failure to address the outrages at certain California campuses had created a significant anomaly in the law, one in which Jews were treated differently from virtually any other group. African-Americans, Arabs, Hispanics, women, older students, and even Boy Scouts who charge their schools with discrimination formerly could have their cases investigated by the federal government.

Yet that was not the case for Jewish students.  The incidents at U.C. Irvine in Southern California alone over the past seven years speak for themselves.   Jewish students have been physically and verbally assaulted, causing some to fear wearing anything identifying them as Jews or pro-Israel; speakers have compared Jews to Nazis and to Satan operating in the shadows; posters have depicted the Star of David dripping with blood and equating it with the swastika; a Holocaust memorial was destroyed; and swastikas have defaced campus property.  The atmosphere of hate culminated with an attack on February 8 of this year when Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Michael Oren, addressing a public gathering on campus, was repeatedly interrupted by jeering Muslim students who launched an unseemly cocktail of antisemitic and anti-Zionist slurs,  refused to allow him to deliver his remarks.  Eventually eleven Muslim students were arrested by campus police for disturbing the peace.

Yet the U.C. Irvine Administration, which had for years labeled the antisemitic slurs as  free speech had done little to address the problem.  The Michael Oren incident however seemed to induce movement.  In August the Muslim Student Union was banned for the entire succeeding academic year.

But that wasn’t the end of the story. Within a month, the administration, bowing to pressure from a variety of camps groups, agreed to commute the expulsion to one semester. Within a few weeks a new organization Alkalima: Muslim students at UCI had sprung up sporting essentially the same identity as the banned Muslim Student Union.  Already this new organization is bringing to campus the same antisemitic/ anti-Zionist programming of its predecessor.

This action should be followed  immediately by other by swift rebukes and condemnations at other troubled campuses including U.C. Berkeley, U.C.  Santa Cruz and U.C. Santa Barbara. It is hoped that it will inspire more determined responses to the rise of anti-Semitism on other North American campuses such as Concordia and York in Canada and Columbia in New York.

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Europe’s Islamic Republic

November 11, 2010

‘Eurabia’ has become a popularly employed neologism in recent years to describe the slow melding of cultures in Europe.  Those fearful of an eventual eclipse of European civilization by a fast growing Muslim population have emphasized Europe’s ever widening acceptance of Muslim practices and beliefs – even when they directly conflict with notions of Western morality and accepted behavior.

But as events in London last week clearly demonstrate, political developments on the continent may be fast outstripping the pace of cultural transformation.  The startling election of the Islamist Lutfur Rahman as the first executive mayor of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets could offer us a harrowing glimpse into Europe’s Eurabian future.

Mr. Rahman belongs to the Islamic Forum of Europe, an organization which has expressed contempt for democracy and support for jihad and the imposition of sharia law on British society.  In March, the Channel 4 program Dispatches, undertaking an investigate report of the organization, found that Islamist influences were dominant in the organization.  Azad Ali, the IFE’s community affairs coordinator in London, was quoted declaring: “Democracy……..if it means at the expense of not implementing the sharia, of course no one agrees with that.” A  2009 recruitment manual for the group states its program in unequivocal language:

“Our goal is not simply to invite people and give da’wah [call to the faith]. Our goal is to create the True Believer, to then mobilise those believers into an organised force for change who will carry out da’wah, hisbah [enforcement of Islamic law] and jihad [struggle]. This will lead to social change and iqamatud-Deen [an Islamic social, economic and political order].”

The organization maintains close ties with the East London Mosque in which Jammat al Islami – a fundamentalist Bangladeshi Islamic party, holds sway.

After the Dispatches broadcast, the former U.K. Minister for the Environment, Jim Fitzpatrick, took up the anti-IFE banner claiming that the IFE had a carefully constructed plan to infiltrate the British Labour Party:

“They are acting almost as an entryist organisation, placing people within the political parties, trying to get individuals selected and elected so they can exercise political influence and power.”

The rise of a politically active class of Islamic fundamentalists has long been expected in Europe but few thought their rise would be so swift and sudden in Britain.  Due to some recent voter approved structural changes in the political organization of the Borough, the new mayor of the town has almost sole authority over a nearly $1 billion budget. His authority to effect change to Borough rules and regulations is without precedent in the history of local British government.

What, then, can the non-Muslim denizens of Tower Hamlets now expect?

Construction projects for one  – such as the so-called “Hijab Gates” – huge arches in the shape of the Muslim veil – at either end of the area’s famous Brick Lane.  Community libraries filled, as they have been over the past two years, with extremist Islamic literature; Streets renamed with Islamic motifs ( many street signs already appear in  English  and Bengali);  Major community thoroughfares blocked and closed down in celebration of the Eid Festival;  and the increasing harassment of Muslim and non- Muslim women who dress immodestly ( as was witnessed during the mayoral election campaign).

It is natural for certain areas of large Western cities to go through  significant demographic change over time.  The East End of London, after all, once maintained a very strong Jewish population and flavor.   But at no time could the area have ever been described as controlled by Jewish law.

That Tower Hamlets may indeed become the first of its kind in Europe – an autonomous Islamic enclave governed primarily by Islamic law – is a worrying development that no one in Europe now has the luxury to ignore.

Avi Davis is the President of the American Freedom Alliance in Los Angeles.  He blogs at  The Intermediate Zone and  Los Angeles Jewish Journal’s On the Other Hand

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