Ann Coulter’s Helpful Gaffe

September 21, 2015

by Avi Davis

I have never been a big Ann Coulter fan. It has always appeared to me that her penchant for stirring political acrimony by name calling and ridicule was merely an attempt to mirror the same liberal tactic which so often offends conservatives. Maybe many among us welcomed the unbridled fury she unleashed against our liberal dominated institutions; but for me, her brand of populist rhetoric sank us into the same mire as our adversaries – reducing the debate to a mere game of mud slinging rather than a true struggle over ideas

So now we come to the high water mark of Coulterism: in a tweet during the second GOP Debate, she used an expletive to describe the candidates’ obsession with Israel, qua Jews. Immediately following and in the four days thereafter, her tweet unleashed a barrage of criticism from both the left and right, whose memberships now recognize that within our ranks lurk Buchananites whose support for Israel can never be taken for granted and to whom we must be wary lest we witness a recrudescence of the kind of isolationism which always brings with it the stench of antisemitism.

Coulter has spent a great deal of time trying to back pedal on her tweet but it hasn’t made much difference. The underlying animus remains and there is little chance for her now to disguise it.

But lets forget Coulter for the time being and answer her question:

Why is it that Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz and most of the other candidates ( Rand Paul perhaps excluded) made and  make such a big fuss about Israel, mentioning the defense of Israel almost in the same breath as the defense of the United States?

Perhaps it could be characterized as mere pandering to the heavy Jewish vote in their constituencies -those whom they believe might be disenchanted with the anti- Israel tilt of the Obama Administration and are looking for a realignment.   Or perhaps it has something to do with some of their rich Jewish backers – such as Sheldon Adelson – who can help prop up sagging campaigns.

Actually, neither of these explanations are either true nor accurate. Every one of these candidates has been on record for years expressing unconditional support for the State of Israel and its security needs – and it is for one glaringly simple reason: they believe Israel’s security vouchsafes the United States’ security. Making that connection may not be so patently obvious given the geographical distance between the two countries. But it is abundantly clear to anyone who has heard jihadist rantings in mosques from Oslo to Riyadh – the two countries are regarded as the hydra headed monster whose joint destruction is essential to paving the way for the re-emergence of the Caliphate.

Big Satan and Little Satan – there is really no difference in the minds of America’s enemies – except perhaps in determining which one should be eliminated first. Given this fact, it is perfectly sensible and reasonable to make common cause with an ally who is really on the front lines of the defense of what are essentially American values and whose military and intelligence services stand resolutely in support of U.S national security needs.

So, please, give Ann Coulter her due. She raised an important question that now has been resoundingly answered. And perhaps never again in this campaign will the issue of why we give support to Israel or why we give such untoward attention to Jewish interests, will be asked again. Those interests are clearly American interests and what a great relief to find that that these formidable Republican candidates almost to a man (and now a woman) understand it.

Avi Davis is the President of the American Freedom Alliance and the editor of The Intermediate Zone



Duke University and the Politics of Inclusion

January 15, 2015

The last time Duke University made national headlines was when members of its lacrosse team were cleared of all charges regarding an alleged sexual assault said to have occurred on that campus in 2006.

By the time the North Carolina Attorney General got around to dropping all charges against the three men, Duke’s reputation for fairness and even handed dealing with all its students was in tatters.

Its professoriate, many of whose members had signed paid advertisements decrying the lacrosse players’ racism and misogyny, was revealed as thoroughly riddled with prejudice.  The University administration, which had failed to pay even the scantest lip service to the notion that the three students were innocent until proven guilty, was pilloried for having failed to protect the students’ rights and siding, unapologetically, with their discredited accuser.

In all, it was a black day for the University  – a stain on its credibility as an open institution which seeks both truth and to foster harmony between all its students.  One could hardly imagine it getting much worse than this.

But it has.

On Tuesday, January 13, the University announced that a Muslim weekly call to prayer will be heard on campus.  Members of the Muslim Students Association would chant the call, known as the adhan or azan, from the Duke Chapel bell tower each Friday at 1:00 pm.   The university decided upon the new allowance in the spirit of religious pluralism:

” This opportunity represents a larger commitment to religious pluralism that is at the heart of Duke’s mission,” said Christy Lohr Sapp, the chapels’ associate dean for religious life. “It connects the University to national trends in religious accommodation.”

 The response to this decision, issued while the Western world is still reeling from the massacres in Paris by Islamic assassins, was immediate.  Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse was livid. He systematically took to the airwaves and social media to denounce the decision and to urge donors to withhold their support from the University until the policy was reversed.  On Thursday, January 16th, the University, bowing to enormous pressure and outrage, cancelled the policy deciding that the Muslim students, rather than issuing the call to prayer from the bell tower, would instead meet in the quadrangle in front of the chapel.   No word has been given on whether the adhan will still be amplified.

What is most interesting is the logic Lohr Sapp employed to justify the University’s decision:

”  The chanting of the adhan communicates to the Muslim community that it is welcome here, that its worship matters, that these prayers enhance the community and that all are invited to stop on a Friday afternoon and pray. From ISIS to Boko Haram to al Qaeda, Muslims in the media are portrayed as angry aggressors driven by values that are anti-education and anti-western.”

Duke University was founded in 1838 by Methodists  and Quakers in the present day town of Trinity. Since the 19th Century it has had many names – Brown School, Union Institute, Normal College and Trinity College before adopting the name Duke in 1924 in honor of Washington Duke who had  begun the University’s endowment fund with a substantial donation.  Its original charter called for “the establishment of a Christian college which would promulgate values consonant with the  Christian belief.”

How different that mission looks today.  If Lohr Sapp is to be believed, the University has an obligation not just to propound Christian values but to aggressively defend and protect Islamic values as well – even when those values might be in conflict with its own.

No doubt the university believes that in allowing the Muslim group to broadcast the adhan – or to gather in the quadrangle outside the chapel as is its wont- it is conforming to the institution’s proud tradition of openness, tolerance and inclusion.

But are they aware that what  happened in France was a direct consequence of the same multicultural policies adopted by universities, governmental institutions, entertainers and the media in that country?

For years it was believed that if France allowed other cultures within it to flourish, the mother culture would be rewarded in return with the flowering of diversity and enriched by the exchange of cross cultural values which would eventually shave off Islam’s rough edges.

How naïve those policies look today.

Muslims in France were happy to take the license Europe lent them to live with their own customs and norms – which included misogyny, wife beating, female circumcision, honor killings and summary execution for those who defamed the name of  the Prophet  – without being prepared to give back anything at all.  They came to despise the very freedoms they had been given to advance their own civilization and then used the eventual separatism that this engendered to plot the means by which Islamic culture and values would one day overwhelm – and eradicate –  secular French culture itself.

This is the tragedy of multicultural France which began with twee liberal sentiments as expressed by Lohr Sapp and ended last week with the bullet riddled corpses of the Charlie Hebdo editorial staff and dead bodies lying on the floor of Hyper Cacher supermarket in East Paris.

Perhaps the administration of Duke University does not believe that by simply allowing students to publicly announce the Muslim call to prayer it is doing anything other than reaching out a hand to a defamed and misunderstood minority.  Unfortunately, as Frenchmen, Englishmen, Swedes, Norwegians and dozens of other Western populations have discovered, the hand so enthusiastically extended is not only bitten in return, but savaged and mutilated.

Duke University has no obligation to shield Islam from the calumnies heaped against it;  nor does it have any responsibility to rebut the negative stereotypes pouring forth out of Europe, Africa and the Middle East as armies in its  name commit atrocities that we in the West regard with revulsion.

That responsibility rests exclusively with Muslims themselves.

They can do this, not by announcing themselves a religion the equal of any other on the campus, but by forthrightly and adamantly distancing themselves from anything to do with the decapitations, sex slavery and violent conquest we witness repeatedly in our media, while at the same time acknowledging that, sad as it is to admit, this behavior derives from the religious precepts  and current practices of their own religion.

They can also use their newly granted platform to demand reform of Islam and demonstrate to their fellow students that the religion they wish to practice so publicly is capable of propounding the same values of openness, tolerance and inclusion as their host civilization.

Seven years ago Duke failed the test of defending its own students against accusations that proved false.  It does not make up for that lapse by now excusing accusations which happen to prove true.

Perhaps, then, no one expects the Muslim students of Duke University, with their new license to practice their religion so openly, to transform overnight into savages rampaging through the campus and eviscerating anyone who refuses to abide by their cultural norms.

But as the unfortunate example of Europe has proved, the call to revolt can often begin with a call to prayer and we would be fools not to heed this warning.


Avi Davis is the President of the American Freedom Alliance in Los Angeles and the editor of The Intermediate Zone



European Governments and the Rise of the Far Right

January 12, 2015

As the blood is mopped from the floors of the editorial meeting room of Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Cacher grocery store in East Paris this week, the socialist government of François Hollande must be looking nervously over its right shoulder.

For there it will see standing Marie Le Pen, the leader of the French National Front, nodding furiously that she had predicted this mess for years and that no one had been listening.

Of course she is right.  Le Pen and other nationalist leaders in Europe have vociferously pounded out a persistent drumbeat concerning the collapse of national identity and the apparent willingness of French politicians to surrender to multicultural demands.

But the prescription she is offering to cleanse the country of its Muslim problem is not one that her countrymen have been willing to hear and the government has responded by practically sentencing Le Pen to an inner exile.   She was barred from joining in the 3 million person strong gathering in the Place de la Republique on Sunday and was forced to conduct her own memorial in the country’s south.

Across France, however, there is a painful awareness the growing  fearlessness of Muslim attacks and a impatience with the weakness of governmental response.   After the events of January 7th and 9th in Paris, no one can ignore the fact that the French Fifth Republic is itself wobbling under its failure to adequately address the growing restiveness of its Muslim population.  A general consensus is emerging that a lawless population in the country’s heart is no longer an issue to be debated but one to be confronted.

Which leads to the question of what happens now?  If an even bigger event is on the horizon (something intimated by the terrorist Ahmed Coulibaly to his hostages in the super market on Friday) then Hollande’s socialist government will come under unrelenting pressure to resign and the ensuing elections  will almost certainly bring the Far Right into contention as a significant electoral player.

So liberal France faces one of its dystopian nightmares – the possibility that the country may swing hard right, which might lead, if history is any guide,to the steady erosion of democratic values and the rise of some form of autocracy.

It is not as if there is no precedent for it.  The Directory of France in late 1799 turned to a thirty-year-old general to restore a level of order and a semblance of normalcy to Revolutionary France.  Within a year, Napoleon Bonaparte had transformed his shared power arrangement into a virtual dictatorship.  Fifty years later the Second Republic elected his nephew, under similar circumstances, to the Presidency and merely shrugged when he crowned himself Emperor in 1852.  The defeated Third Republic collapsed in 1940 when it preferred the autocratic puppet regime of Marshal Petain to the direct rule of Nazi Germany.

Over the past 225 years there have been five republics in France – while only one in the United States – and for a very good reason:  the French have never been entirely comfortable with the exercise of democratic principles and have struggled to shake off an addiction to autocracy as modeled by the ancien regime.

The Russians and Germans are not much better: the Weimar Republic in Germany folded from an economic failure and social dysfunction allowing a convicted criminal to take power in 1933. Vladmir Putin took advantage of social and political malaise in Russia to win power and cement his eventual dictatorship over the course of several years.

Are there other nascent Bonapartes and Putins waiting in the wings in Europe to take up the ultra-nationalist cause?

Quite possibly.  Desperate situations bring out the inner autocrat in most ambitious men.

But while these men and women of destiny might feel compelled to apply very draconian measures to address the dangerous demographic problems and security threats of Europe, we would be mistaken to believe that they would not come without a steep price: the assault on individual freedoms and liberty, the institution of witch hunts and the ineluctable rise of anti-Semitism.

The soft democracies of the European continent will be looking to France in the coming twelve months to see how it handles the very complex problems posed by Muslim separatism.   Anything less than an aggressive stance, which sends an unequivocal message that force will be met with brutal force, will only encourage the attraction of voters to the far right and the likely drift of the electorate in that direction.

If you want a sense of what this might eventually mean for  France – and Europe – remember this:  One of Napoleon’s first actions upon his appointment as First Consul under the Directory was to shutter over 300 newspapers and periodicals.

If this ever happened again the rather endearing refrain “Je Suis Charlie” will echo down the decades as a symbol of deep irony rather than one of calibrated resistance to the assaults on a free press and the challenges to western liberties.


Avi Davis is the President of the American Freedom Alliance and the editor of The Intermediate Zone

Paris Attacks Prove that Anti-Semitism and Anti-Western Sentiment Are the Same Thing

January 11, 2015

By Avi Davis

How did Ahmed Coulibaly, the Muslim gunman who invaded the Hyper Cacher grocery market in East Paris on Friday and killed four Jews shopping there, choose his target?


Only two days before, 10 members of the staff of the satirical French magazine Charlie Hedbo had been assassinated in cold blood by the Kouachi brothers – Muslim jihadists.

So why a kosher market?   Surely, there are far more visible and significant targets in Paris at which to have taken hostages.

Coulibaly, who is now known to have been a co-conspirator with the brothers, aimed to use the hostage crisis as a means of leveraging assistance to the two assassins on the run.

But the choice of the attack on the market in East Paris, conducted in such close proximity in time to the horrific events of only two days before, was an explicit statement to the West: that  the Jews and the citizens of the West are the same thing –  we are against them both –  and we will kill them both indiscriminately in order to advance our cause.

It is no secret that anti-semitism runs deep in the Muslim banlieues of Paris. It has been in evidence repeatedly in the past few years – and most particularly over the summer of 2014  when the Don Yitzchak Abarbanel Synagogue in the 11th arrondissement became the target of a near pogrom led by a mob of Palestinian supporters, angered by Israel’s incursion into Gaza.   From the murder of Ilan Halimi in 2005, to the killings by Mohammed Merah in Toulouse in 2012,  and the repeated brutal gang attacks by Muslims on Jews, there  is consummate evidence of a raging storm of anti-semitic animus swirling in Muslim society which will not be quelled by polite words requesting calm or by calls for unity.

It dovetails, in many ways with the rising antisemitism of  secular French society itself which masquerades under the guise of anti-Zionism.   Antisemitism, of course, has had a long history in France, reaching its peak 120 years ago during the infamous Dreyfus trial, when throngs of protestors (none of them Muslim, mind you) could be heard screaming the words “Death to the Jews.”

Perhaps that antisemitic animus, which still curdles in the French breast, is best expressed today  by France’s coddling of the rejectionist, terror sponsoring Palestinian Authority and as well as the French government’s flat refusal to outright condemn genocidal terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah who attack Israeli citizens indiscriminately

But the gunman who killed the staff of Charlie Hebdo and one who killed the four victims in the hyper market did not make these distinctions:  both Jewish and non-Jewish Frenchmen are now being targeted  in an explosion of hate, the like of which the French have never seen.

The Paris atrocities therefore prove that the attempt to snuff out free speech –  a key pillar of Western civilization,  is exactly the same thing as the attack on Jews and Zionists.    Jews/ Zionists/French journalists/Frenchmen  – these labels are interchangeable because all these identities stand in the way of the re-establishment of an Islamic Caliphate.

Isn’t it then about time that the  French government  dropped its hypocritical, even handed stance towards Israel and the Palestinians  and unite with the Jewish state in an effort to confront  a common enemy?  What more pressing alliance could there by than being enjoined to defeat the forces that wish to destroy their mutual civilization?  Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS,  Boko Haram, al Qaeda  – it doesn’t matter what the name –  they all  drink from the same ideological trough, share the same values and preach the same hatred of Israel, Jews and the West.

But you still wouldn’t know this if you listen to the French foreign ministry.  When Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed a willingness to fly to France this week to express solidarity with the French, he was discouraged by a senior official close to the French President on the pretext that it would stir animosity.  However when Netanyahu insisted on traveling (considering that two of his ministers – Avigdor Liberman and Naftali Bennett, would be attending), the same officials told him that if he did, they would be compelled to also invite Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.

Even in the face of the most devastating evidence of Muslim treason and rejection of French civilized norms, the French leadership still feels compelled to placate their restive Muslim population with a sycophantic policy of even handedness that will return them nothing but greater hatred.

Coulibaly, upon bursting into Hyper Cacher on Friday morning apparently shouted to the terrified shoppers: “Do you know who I am?”

The answer from Frenchmen, Israelis and all freedom loving people around the world  should now be thunderously thrown back at him:

” Yes, you are Death but we are Life and are united now to destroy you.”

Avi Davis is the President of the American Freedom Alliance and the editor of The Intermediate  Zone



Bernard Henri Levy and His Prescription for French Unity

January 10, 2015

by Avi Davis

In the wake of  the attacks on both the Charlie Hebdo offices on January 7 and the Kosher market on January 9, many commentators are declaring that most Muslims are as appalled by the carnage as the rest of the French people.  Any television news program on over the past two days seems to have always included a Muslim representative expressing his own horror and indignation at the terror attacks.

French liberal apologists around the world are in fact scrambling with the means to assuage their consciences and assure their fellow citizens that all French citizens – save for a tiny minority – stand united in their condemnation of the atrocities.

Indeed, that sentiment is taken up in French philosopher and celebrity Bernard Henri Levy’s opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, January 9.

In it he avers that Muslims throughout France are not generally complicit in this terrible crime and that the instigation for it came from  a sector of their society which is on its fringe.

And so he offers  a test:

 “Those whose faith is Islam must proclaim very loudly, very often and in great numbers their rejection of this corrupt and abject form of theocratic passion. Too often have we heard that France’s Muslims should be summoned to explain themselves. They don’t need to explain themselves, but they should feel called to express their tangible brotherhood with their massacred fellow citizens. In so doing, they would put to rest once and for all the lie of a spiritual commonality between their faith as they know it and that of the murderers.

They have the responsibility—the opportunity—before history and their own conscience to echo the “Not in our name!” with which Britain’s Muslims dissociated themselves last year from the Islamic State killers of journalist James Foley. But they also have the even more urgent duty to define their identity as sons and daughters of an Islam of tolerance and peace.”

In other words, the Muslims who are against this terrible carnage must come out and say so – vocally and defiantly.

This will now become the new Rorschach Test of Muslim loyalty  – and a means of stressing that the multicultural policies of 30 years have not failed.

But are Muslims in the banlieues – those no-go zones where French police do not even dare to tread –  really likely to stage their own mass rallies with hundreds of thousands of them appearing arm in arm  in the Place de la Republique  sporting tri-color arm bands and belting out, teary-eyed, La Marseillaise?  Do Henri-Levy and other French intellectuals truly believe that  French papers are going to be filled any time soon with angry letters from Muslim mothers and fathers decrying the atrocities of their co-religionists and swearing that they are neither inspired nor catalyzed to action by the depredations against their own society?


It is a foolish expectation and it fails to appreciate the unbridgeable divide that now separates most of French Muslim society and the secular French world.

What you will see, however, is a limited range of French Muslim leaders, imams and intellectuals (almost certainly on the liberal fringe of their own communities) speaking out as individuals,  distancing themselves from the horror of  the Wednesday and Friday attacks.  But to believe that this will represent  mainstream Muslim opinion and sentiment is self-delusional.

Henri Levy refuses to acknowledge that the short sighted European multicultural policies of the past 30 years have essentially cut off a broad swathe of the Muslim population from French culture and any sense of their obligation towards  it.  It is far more likely that a majority of French Muslims see the attacks in Paris last week as an assertion of Muslim power and as a just and welcome response to the years long perceived insults received from satirists like Charlie Hebdo and French society in general.

So, now, what if  they don’t come out and say it? What if the Muslims stay home and remain mute about the atrocity?  What if Bernard Henri Levy’s optimism about the sense that these Muslims are as French as he is proves just as unfounded as the suspicion that Muslims in general were against the carnage?  Bernard Henri Levy provides no consequences and that is the problem with his and other liberals’ view of the situation.  The failure of the French intellectual and political elite to grapple with the fundamental problems of race and religion within their society, ignoring the drive of Muslims for power and control over France while pretending that at heart they are all good Frenchmen, is very much like believing that telegenic moderate Muslims – few and far between- represent mainstream Muslim character.

President Francois Hollande, in his address to the nation, did not once mention Islam.  The word has barely crossed the lips of commentators and other politicians. But the word must be spoken if France is to come to terms with the terrible demographic mess it is in.   If French society is to prevail over the menace to its survival, then the French police, if not military, will almost certainly need to make sweeping arrests in the Muslim banlieues, break up communities and possibly even strip many French Muslims of their citizenship.   That may sound harsh to the ears of the French liberals who have long felt that economic prosperity and the extension of  the values of  liberté,  égalité and fraternité  to minorities would solidify French society.

But in the 21st Century it would appear that in order to secure  fraternité  the citizens of the Fifth French Republic may well have to surrender elements of their blessed liberté, and égalité .

History will tell us whether they had the courage to do so.

Avi Davis is the President of the American Freedom Alliance and the editor of The Intermediate Zone




Will Western Leaders Really Encourage Free Speech?

January 9, 2015

by Avi Davis

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is adamant. In the wake of the brutal massacre of the staff of the Charlie Hebdo Magazine in Paris on Wednesday, he referred to the media rights exercised by the satirical French magazine as “not just a pen, but a pen that represents an instrument of freedom, not fear.”

Well said, but does he believe it?   In fact do any of the Western leaders who stood up and condemned one of the most brutal terrorist attacks in the history of Paris, believe that, that when it comes to examinations of Islam, the West either has a truly free press or that it should have one?

If their past conduct and views is any guide, the answer would be almost certainly no.

President Barack Obama, for instance, thinks that there are certain criticisms which are out of bounds.  In September 2012 at the United Nations and in the wake of his administrations’ assertion that the Benghazi attacks had been solely provoked by an American made video which pilloried Mohammed, the President announced:  “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”   This extraordinary statement, wherein the reputed  leader of the Free World allowed himself to be co-opted by Islamic propaganda ( for such words would surely have been comfortable in the mouth of Ayatollah Khoemieni) was a telling sign of where free speech is headed in the Western world.

For years the Islamic nations have fought to obtain a worldwide ban on the defamation or criticism of religion.  It is a subtle – and clever – attempt to prevent the West from identifying the scourge which now assaults it.

Yet, many Western liberal leaders seem to agree with that sentiment.   While in office, former French president Jacques Chirac had been particularly vocal about the criticism of Islam and had even encouraged law suits against the very same magazine whose editorial staff was slaughtered by Muslims on Wednesday.   In fact, in 2006 he recommended his personal lawyer to the Muslim agitators in order to sue the magazine.   While the case did not proceed, it is in stark contrast to the treatment received by former actress and now animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot who has been convicted repeatedly for criticizing Muslim halal slaughter practices.

Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, has stated his view that the defamation of Islam is in fact a defamation of the U.K. itself.  He has pledged that upon his ascension to the throne, that he will be a defender of the faith(s), rather than the traditional defender of the Christian faith.

Meanwhile those politicians brave enough to stand up and bring attention to incitement in both European and American mosques and the threat that the spread of Islam represents to their societies have been prosecuted and otherwise ostracized for hate speech.

Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders was brought to trial for his repeated warnings about Islam and even prosecuted for his film Fitna – a wordless presentation of the scriptural writings in the Koran.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, born Muslim and at the time a Dutch parliamentarian, was forced to flee the Netherlands because the Dutch government could not guarantee her safety.  Many politicians considered her an outright racist for her condemnations of Islamic intolerance.

Sweden’s Democrat Party politician Michael Hess was sentenced on May 8th last year to a fine for hate speech after having connected the religion of Islam with rape.

Rather than give the press a green light to provide an intense investigation of Islam and the way it has and is being used to advance an anti-Western agenda,  Western politicians have fallen over themselves in recent years  to not only assert that Islam is a religion of peace but that they can say so because they happen to be experts on the matter .

So therefore, John Kerry, lately so determined to ensure that the Western media can freely criticize or attack Islamic intolerance (as Charlie Hebdo has done) went so far last month as to say ” ISIL does not represent Islam and Islam does not condone or honor such depravity. In fact, these actions are a reminder that ISIL is an enemy of Islam.”   How  good it is to see our Secretary of State so thoroughly versed in the hadith that he can distinguish between good and bad Islam.

Meanwhile we should all acknowledge that the events in Paris on January 7th were perpetrated, not by Arab terrorists nor foreign nationals – but by Frenchmen – three men who were born and raised on French soil.  One must assume that they had all been exposed to the great benefits of a free society – the pinnacle of which is freedom of speech.  That they despised that right and wished to exterminate it, should be deeply disturbing to any Western politician.

Is it possible now that our leaders understand, if they did not before, that the heart of Western Europe is riddled with a threat they have not even begun to meet let alone identify?   European leaders and the West in general will never accomplish this unless writers and commentators are given the license to openly, without fear of prosecution or any other form of retribution, investigate the reality of Islam today.

Sadly, I harbor few hopes that our present crop of pusillanimous leaders are up to that challenge.


Avi Davis is the President of the American Freedom Alliance and the editor of The Intermediate Zone


‘The Terror’ Returns to the Streets of Paris

January 8, 2015

by Avi Davis

“Terror” has  worn many faces in Paris over  the past 225 years.

First there was la Terreur, in the early 1790s when the French Revolution spiraled into a orgy of bloodletting.  Then came the extra judicial executions of the brief Paris Commune of 1871;  The 1890s witnessed the rise of the anarchists who planted bombs in the French Chamber of Deputies and in French cafes;  The Second World War saw the French Underground’s relentless sabotage of German occupied Paris before its liberation in August, 1944 and in the 1970s, a host of  European and Arab terrorist groups including  the Red Army, Baader Meinhof Gang , the PLO and the PFLP slipped through the city, threatening kidnappings, hi-jackings and bombings.

Barricades during the  reign of the Paris Commune 1871

In every instance citizens of  Paris always seemed to believe that the latest outbreak was only a temporary virus that would soon enough pass through their system and be expunged.

The blood had not yet dried in the editorial meeting room of Charlie Hebdo Magazine in Paris on Wednesday, before commentators were making the very same assumptions, labeling the Parisian atrocity as an isolated attack unconnected to either the rise of militant Islam or the civil disturbances which have streaked European society with blood in the past ten years.

A bullet impact at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, 7 January

In some ways  they are right, but in a more nuanced way.   The attack was singular because it is no longer the kind of terror to which we have become accustomed.  It is actually something very different.

As of this writing the full Muslim affiliations of the three killers is unknown.  But what investigators  may well uncover is that these men, much like Man Haron Monis in Sydney last month,  Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale – the beheaders of British soldier Lee Rigby in May, 2013  and  Mohammed Merah, the murderer of four Jews in Toulouse in 2012 are freelancers, not officially connected to any one Islamic militia or terrorist group, but nevertheless acting in their general name.

Which is to say that al Qaeda and Islamic State in the short time of their existence, have created an international brand which they have now successfully marketed and franchised to young jihadists.  In this new world of Islamic jihadism, the description ‘terror’ is almost passé.  It belongs to another age when terrorism operated largely as political theater – spectacular missions carried out to bring attention to a cause –  with the death of individual citizens only incidental to the publicity value of an attack.

The New Jihadists however are not interested in publicity.  They are only concerned with enforcement. Specific individuals are targeted for assassination for crimes of having violated a religious precept or  defamed the religion’s central inspirational leader.  This may end up being a crime as simple as wearing a revealing skirt on a subway or reading a secular newspaper which has at one time or another produced editorials critical of Islam. In such instances,  judgment and execution is swift and merciless.  It resembles the summary and spontaneous justice of the Brown Shirts rather than the planned  revenge killings of Black September or the Red Brigades. In this way, the New Jihadism becomes a political instrument, a means of imposing compliance through the spread of absolute fear.  The New Jihadists do not need to win an election to accede to power. In this new world, what we consider as traditional political power is superfluous.  What counts is who rules the streets – and those who rule the streets are the ones prepared to enforce their own view of the world in as a draconian manner as possible.

What it means for the media is that those columnists, commentators, cartoonists and satirists who would think of addressing the rise of militant Islam in their writings and editorials must think twice and thrice about it. And they must not only think about their own lives – but also the lives of their families, of their editors and of even their readers.  The effect is to send a shiver of dread down the spine of a democratic society and to shutter free speech behind a wall of fear.

In the wake of the Charlie Hedbo massacre Western leaders remain defiant, but that defiance looks and sounds hollow.  Throughout the West, we have seen how Britain’s libel laws, which have acted as an effective means to squelch free speech, have been exported to the continent and transformed into nonsensical sensitivity laws, which essentially forbid any verbal or written connection between Islam and terrorism.

This only serves to freeze resistance to the Islamic stranglehold enveloping Europe and to create a climate of passivity in the face of the most brutal atrocities.

We have watched too long as European leaders increasingly succumbed to the giddy romance of multiculturalism, certain that their Muslim populations would eventually assimilate into mainstream European civilization.  That they have not and have turned hostile to their host countries, is as much an indictment of failed policies as it is of the weak kneed and facile individuals who lead the continent today.

But beware. If the history of Paris is any guide, the citizens of that city won’t tolerate weak leadership for long.   Parisians have consistently risen in open rebellion when they felt betrayed by their rulers. Today they may not choose to build barricades on the streets of Paris, but aggressive anti-Muslim agitation, where the city’s inhabitants take matters into their own hands so as to defend their way of life, is almost certain to erupt if the country’s leaders do nothing.

Avi Davis is the President of the American Freedom Alliance and the editor of The Intermediate Zone

This article first appeared in The American Thinker on January 9, 2015

Why Boko Haram is Not Just Nigeria’s Problem

January 6, 2015

by Avi Davis

Over the weekend , the Islamic insurgency in Northern Nigeria, known as Boko Haram, struck once again – this time on a major military center.   Just before dawn on Saturday in the fishing town of Baga, on the shores of Lake Chad, insurgents drove up in pickup trucks and fired assault rifles at fleeing soldiers and civilians.  By noon, Boko Haram had taken over one of the last army bases still standing in the northeast of Africa’s most-populous country.  The small town of Baga had been chosen by the Nigerian military as a command post to direct the  army’s response to the Boko Haram insurgency in the country’s north-east. Its capture without a shot fired in resistance is deeply telling of the lack of preparedness and strategy within the Nigerian army.

To date around 1.5 million people have fled a swath of Boko Haram-held territory in northern Nigeria which is about the size of Belgium. That makes Boko Haram a considerable player in the region – as much, if not more so than ISIS  in Syria and Northern Iraq.

A few years ago, Boko Haram was an obscure fringe group whose members were largely languishing in jail or pursued by police into the forests of northern Nigeria. But in April 2014, it  rebounded and won global attention for its abduction of 276 schoolgirls. To date it has captured at least 500 women whom it has turned into sex slaves or distributed as wives to fighters. 

          Islamic states in Nigeria with Sharia Law

The plight of the 276 young girls abducted in  the Spring of 2014 may have pulled at the heart strings of the world, but it has somehow served to veil  the significant threat that Boko Haram presents not just to Nigeria but to the West in general.

The entirety of sub Saharan Africa is under assault today by a radical Islamic movement that threatens to turn a huge swath of the Earth’s surface into an Islamic  Caliphate   poised as a dagger at  the throat of the West.   Islam had already made significant in roads into Nigeria as indicated by the map above.  But the states so marked were never going to transform into militant anti Western insurgency until Boko Haram’s resurgence.

This resurgence is  very much tied to the successes of al Qaeda in the Magreb ( AQIM) which operates chiefly in Algeria. In recent years due to its long-standing involvement with smuggling, protection rackets, and money laundering across the borders of Mauratania, Mali, Niger, Libya and Chad, to Algeria’s south, it has expanded its reach and influence.  However, recent  Splinter group may have sought refuge in the Tuareg regions of northern Mali and Niger following crackdowns by Algerian government forces in the north and south of the country since 2003. French secret services report that the group has received funding from Qatar.

Boko Haram receives its funding mainly  from bank robberies and kidnapping ransoms, emulating the model established by AQIM. Any funding they may have received in the past from al-Qaeda affiliates is insignificant compared to the estimated $1 million ransom for each wealthy Nigerian kidnapped. Cash is moved around by couriers, making it impossible to track, and communication is conducted face-to-face. Their mode of operation, which is thought to include paying local youths to track army movements, is such that little funding is required to carry out attacks. Equipment captured from fleeing soldiers keeps the group constantly well-supplied. In February 2012, recently arrested officials revealed that while the organization initially relied on donations from members, its links with AQIM opened it up to funding from groups in Saudi Arabia and the UK. The group also extorts local governments. A spokesman of Boko Haram claimed, in 2012, that Kano state governor Ibrahim Shekarau and Bauchi state governor Isa Yuguda  had paid them monthly.  In the past, Nigerian officials have been criticized for being unable to trace much of the funding that Boko Haram has received.

But far more important is the political link Boko Haram provides to al Qaeda and the world wide Caliphate movement.  The two groups can be considered to be affiliated organizations, having causes and goals in common. They share ambitions in Nigeria, as well as in greater Africa and globally. Leaders of both organizations have publicly pledged mutual support. Abubakar bin Muhammad Shekau, head of Boko Haram, has linked the jihad being fought by Boko Haram with the global jihad and  threatened attacks not only in Nigeria but also against “outposts of Western culture.” Boko Haram’s name of course translates as “No Western Education.”  Intentions towards the West could not be clearer.

Nigeria is the largest and richest country in the Sub Sahara and its capital, Lagos, the entrepôt for a vast African hinterland which provides a gateway for oil export to the West. Nigeria actually factors as a significant player in the world oil markets being the 12th largest producer of petroleum in the world and the 8th largest exporter, and has the 10th largest proven reserves. The country oil exploration and production plays a decisive role in the Nigerian economy, accounting for 40% of GDP and 80% of Government earnings.

The attack on Baga was a telling indicator of where Nigeria’s war with Boko Haram stands, and how enfeebled the government of President Goodluck Jonathan appears only weeks before a February 14th election. Mr. Jonathan is seeking a new term and a fresh mandate to combat the insurgency, however his corrupt military is too divided and too prone to its own human rights abuses to offer an effective response to Boko Haram’s daring raids.



Lagos, Nigeria on the Gulf of Guinea



We would be foolish not to see Boko Haram, in association with AQIM( al Qaeda in the Magreb)  as a threat, not just to Nigeria, but to a wider world. Because Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer and most populous state, instability there has significant global implications.  We have learned the tragic mistake of not taking home grown Jihadist movements seriously – al Qaeda in the 1990s and ISIS in the 2000s.   The West, and most particularly France and the United States, who have vital strategic interests in the Gulf of Guinea to protect, are well advised to do everything they can to force the Nigerian  government to cede control of the campaign to defeat this insurgency to their own special forces  before the problem runs beyond even their scope of containment.


Avi Davis is the President of the American Freedom Alliance and the editor of  The Intermediate Zone.


The Out of Touch President Down Under

November 18, 2014

In Australia this week, Barack Obama, attending the G20 Summit in Brisbane, made plain that he is an out of touch leader who not only fails to appreciate the importance of maintaining strategic alliances, but ignores fundamental realities about our world.

Speaking to a mostly student audience at the University of  Queensland, the President urged the younger members there to hold firm to the commitment to press the Australian government about climate change.

“Combating climate change cannot be the work of governments alone,” he said. “Citizens, especially the next generation, you have to keep raising your voices, because you deserve to live your lives in a world that is cleaner and that is healthier and that is sustainable.“But that is not going to happen unless you are heard.”

The remarks could not be disguised as anything but a venomous swipe at his host, set in the context of the Abbot government’s repeal of the Australian Carbon Tax in 2013.  

Why, exactly, the President of the United States would seek to humiliate an ally who has loyally stood by the U.S.’ efforts in its attacks on ISIS, worked closely with the Administration on Asia policy (particularly with regard to the disputed Senkaku/ Diaoyou Islands in the East China Sea) and on a multitude of trade issues is a quandry that many Australian politicians and commentators are now starting to question.  

Notwithstanding this, although Abbot engineered – as one of his first acts of office- the repeal of the ludicrous carbon tax (the first such legislation in the world and the first such repealed), his government has nevertheless maintained the Labor government’s goal of cutting carbon emissions by 5% over the next 15 years. Australia is highly placed among the developed nations who have worked methodically to cut emissions and compares favorably with anything achieved in this regard by the United States. 

The Australian people demonstrated in a loud voice last September that climate change is not one of their greatest priorities by dumping the  Rudd-Gillard Government .  It was an election where the survival of the hated carbon tax was a key issue.  The rejection of climate change as a fixation is evident throughout the West.  In the United States, a recent Gallup Poll  found that 66% of American citizens list climate change legislation and global warming as number 15 or lower on their list of priorities. 

But there is a real Australian issue that intersects directly with U.S.national security interests that the President might have mentioned.  

Just two months ago over 800 police officers in Australia arrested 15 people, allegedly connected to the terror group ISIS, who are believed to have planned to kidnap and behead people on camera. The counter-terrorism raids on houses and vehicles in both Sydney and Brisbane were the largest ever in the country’s history. At the time Commonwealth prosecutor, Michael Allnutt, told Sydney’s Central Local Court that the foiled plans were “clearly designed to shock, horrify and terrify the community.” Allnutt added there was “a plan to commit extremely serious offenses” that involved an “unusual level of fanaticism.”

Read that as ‘beheadings’ and ‘mutilations’ of Australian citizens.

And just today the Wall Street Journal reports how those Muslims in Sydney who support the crack down on their fanatical co-religionists, are suffering extensive condemnation and harassment from their own leaders. 

It must be remembered that Australia has a population approximately 1/8th the size of the United States. Proportionally, if such events had occurred in the U.S., it would have been as if a large scale pogrom had swept the country. 

Who can deny that if ISIS is alive and well in far distant Australia, it is not also flourishing and scheming its next atrocity right here in America?

And so we must ask:  A leader who seems so deeply concerned about the future and the  “next generation” (and indeed, almost everywhere he travels, he insists on speaking to students over the heads of government leaders), has nothing to say to that generation about the gravest physical threat faced by the West today in our own cities?

Barack Obama has always styled himself as something of visionary, capable of seeing and understanding the future as others can’t.  But the failure to grasp realities and grapple with them, will, with hindsight, render his visions of the future no more than fading props used to give a hackneyed background to a failed Presidency.

Daily Blurb #1

January 3, 2011

The Battle Over Health Care Will Continue

The Obama Administration’s narrow victory over health care in March 2010 may now be in danger.   See today’s article in the New York Times.  It is has always been my position that the passage of this legislation, forced through against such popular resistance was a monumental mistake for the Administration, a pyrrhic victory that cast the President as both blind and unfeeling about public opinion.  With the Republican dominated House now vowing to take on the Administration on the issue of repeal, the stage is set for a titanic and historic struggle in Congress in 2011.  While many Democrats, charged by their apparent victories on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the START Treaty, are preparing for a fight in the hopes of carrying it as a trophy into the 2012 election season, I firmly believe it will backfire and that Obamacare will in fact hang as an albatross around the party’s neck for years to come.

The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talk Pantomime Opens its 2011 Season

If 2010 was a frustrating year for Middle East peace activists, wait until you experience 2011.  It will continue to be the Netanyahu Government’s strategy to push the Palestinians for unconditional negotiations while the Palestinian leadership will continue to demand a settlement freeze as a pre-condition for any future negotiations.  But the Palestinians clearly don’t want a simple settlement freeze; they had one from December 2009 through September 2010 and failed to come to the table.  They want Israel to agree to remove all settlements before negotiations even begin. The Palestinian leadership has clearly decided that it has enough international clout to apply pressure to the Israelis by doing nothing and letting other governments to do the talking – and perhaps even negotiating, for them.   The Obama Administration has looked helpless  in the face of such intransigence, choosing to apply pressure to Netanyahu rather than Abbas.  It has been a disastrous policy leading to deepening distrust between the U.S. and Israel and the  ever widening possibilities for the outbreak of violence.  Netanyahu’s statement today is only further evidence of this continuing pantomime.  I will have more to say on this in the coming weeks.

Muslim Abuse of Christians in Egypt

It is extraordinary how little is known about the persecution of the Christian Copts in Egypt.  Over the weekend, following the bombing of a church on New Year’s Eve in Alexandria in which 25 church goers were killed, our attention should be riveted on this issue.  It is representative of a wide scale assault on Christian communities throughout the Muslim world and while the Egyptian government might be wringing its hands over the death of the Copts, how many know that it is the secular Egyptian government itself which maintains an anti-Christian policy, with widespread discrimination legislated against the sect in many areas of daily life.  Even more appalling than this though, is the abject failure of Christian leaders  – most particularly the leaders of major Protestant denominations, to express their outrage and contempt for  the continued harassment of Christian minorities in both Egypt and elsewhere in the Muslim world.

My Letter in the Los Angeles Times

Please see my letter, published in the Los Angeles Times on January 1.   It was written in response to an  oped by Neal Gabler on December 26 which claimed that the Democratic party was not quite progressive or bold enough for his tastes and that the current President is just another Democratic cop out.  Naturally, the letter was edited.  Here is the full text:

Worry no more about the fate of poor Planet Pluto.  It is the terrestrial sphere where Democratic pundits such as Neal Gablereath ( Compromised to Death 12/26 ) have taken up residence. Gabler’s understanding of American politics and the American electorate are so bizarrely out of focus that it is natural to believe he is indeed living on another planet. It is plainly absurd to suggest that Barack Obama has changed course simply because that is the nature of modern Democrats in power.  That is the nature of American politics, period. All of the Democratic presidents he mentions, FDR, Truman and LBJ, moved to compromise when their agendas ran into resistance. The presidential ship regularly founders on the shoals of such political realities and it matters little whether it is helmed by a Democrat or a Republican.

Gabler also seems not to have heard of the Tea Party movement, (not mentioned once in his piece), a grass roots resistance to the ideological purity exemplified by Obama in his first first two years in power and which led the charge in ruthlessly repudiating his agenda in November.  Obama has demonstrated that he is enough of a pragmatist to gauge the direction of the political winds.   It is a skill, sadly, which completely evades pundits such as Gabler.

Avi Davis

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