Culture wars USA 

Illiberal liberalism and the onslaught on western values

In the never-ending uproar over U.S. President Donald Trump, his administration’s recent move to lift a ban on traditional Christian adoption agencies went relatively unremarked. Under President Barack Obama, child-welfare agencies were refused federal grants if they wouldn’t place children for adoption with same-sex couples. Last week, the White House reversed that ruling on the grounds that such agencies would no longer be forced “to choose between helping children and their faith.” This followed a notable speech last month at the University of Notre Dame law school by U.S. Attorney…

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speaking USA 

My speaking engagements in the US this month

I am delighted to let you know that later this month I will be in America on a lecture tour. Most of it is kindly being organised by CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, with my final talk in Florida being organised by the Gross Family Center for the Study of Antisemitism and the Holocaust. Here is a brief summary of the dates and places on my speaking schedule. MARYLAND: Wednesday, November 13 Woodmont Country Club, Maryland WASHINGTON DC: Thursday, November 14, 2019 Rayburn Office…

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antisemitism Israel USA 

Elizabeth Warren and the destruction of the west’s moral compass

The Democratic presidential hopeful, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has suggested that she would consider cutting military aid to Israel to force it to halt construction of settlements in the disputed territories. “It is the official policy of the United States of America to support a two-state solution, and if Israel is moving in the opposite direction then everything is on the table,” she said. To ensure that no one failed to understand her threat, she repeated her final phrase. Her comment furnished more evidence that Warren resembles British Labour Party…

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Britain Israel USA 

From Congress to classrooms: reframing the Israel narrative

Concern about resurgent antisemitism has been at fever-pitch among Diaspora Jews for years. In Britain, the veteran Jewish Labour MP Dame Louise Ellman resigned this week from the party to which she has belonged for more than half a century. A leaked Labour headquarters report on her Liverpool Riverside constituency party showed that in 2017, there was a “worrying amount of antisemitism” and a “toxic atmosphere” with members fearing for their physical safety. If the far-left party leader Jeremy Corbyn became prime minister, says Ellman, he would be a danger…

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Culture wars Global conflict USA 

How black and white thinking clouds realpolitik

Black and white thinking, which divides the world into absolute camps of good and evil, is associated with religious fanaticism from medieval Christianity to the Islamic world. There are now troubling signs that a secular equivalent is contributing to our current political turmoil. There appears to be an increasing inability to grasp that people are capable of both good and bad acts. There is a corresponding failure to acknowledge that just because someone is the target of falsehoods or bigotry, that person may not always be in the right. Recent…

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Syria Global conflict USA 

A mirror image?

President Trump’s shock decision to pull US troops out of north-east Syria confirms a disastrous slide in American foreign policy. I warned here that Trump was trapped by his own contradictory character into making bad foreign policy mistakes — such as cancelling an airstrike on Iranian targets with only 10 minutes to spare. His previous plan last December to pull US troops out of Syria was deftly modified by his erstwhile National Security Adviser, John Bolton. Alas, Bolton has now departed. So now there’s no-one to corral this most erratic…

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Boltonism Global conflict USA 

Boltonism must not be allowed to disappear

John Bolton’s departure from the Trump administration should have had the left cheering from the rafters. Bolton has long been a bogeyman in liberal circles on account of his refusal to appease the enemies of America and the west, a disposition that the left regard as belligerent war-mongering. When Bolton was made National Security Advisor, his liberal foes behaved as if U.S. President Donald Trump had signed up in person one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Now that Bolton’s appointment has abruptly terminated, though, there’s been no rejoicing…

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Britain USA 

Don’t turn this whistleblower into a saint

A new heroine of the people has burst into celluloid existence as a fresh focus for cosily predictable outrage. Katharine Gun was a GCHQ translator who, in 2003, leaked classified information about the build-up to the Iraq war which was published by The Observer. At the weekend Official Secrets, a film about this episode, opened in the US. Already, Gun is being canonised in American media circles which ignored the story when it was published. A writer in Esquire gushes that she is “one of the most important political whistleblowers that most…

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Israel USA 

Getting to the bottom of a tragic “disloyalty”

There appears to be no limit to the sheer stupidity and reflexive malice with which people misrepresent what US President Donald Trump has just said. On Tuesday, he said: “I think Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” Cue an instant storm of outrage by Jewish groups and commentators claiming that he had accused Jews of dual loyalty — one of the trademark libels of classical antisemitism. “This is yet another example of Donald Trump continuing…

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Culture wars USA 

The New York Times becomes an unambiguous engine of wickedness

The New York Times has long been known for its routinely vicious anti-Israel propaganda and more occasional overt Jew-bashing. It has also been in the forefront of demonising President Donald Trump through its twisted reporting. Now, however, it has jumped the shark. It has repudiated journalism altogether by turning itself instead into a conduit for the denial of truth, the smearing of millions and the fabrication of history. It has become an unambiguous engine of wickedness. The first eye-popping evidence of this occurred ten days ago when the paper’s executive…

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