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Friday Afternoon Roundup - London Bridge is Falling Down

Written by Daniel Greenfield

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ROMNEY IN LONDON

This entire mini-affair is an example of the rules we are playing by. Scandals will be manufactured and transformed into narratives in the blink of an eye.  A Republican candidate either has to be completely robotic or so charismatic and natural that no one cares about any of the attacks made against him.

Mitt_Romney_by_Gage_Skidmore_6The narrative is that Romney's London trip is full of gaffes. The reality is that Romney simply commented on actual events. The same events being covered widely in the same British newspapers playing up the story.

"It's hard to know just how well it will turn out," Romney told NBC. "There are a few things that were disconcerting. The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials… that obviously is not something which is encouraging."

Obviously when you have to dispatch thousands of soldiers to fill in for a hole in your security that is not a good sign and there's a long list of problems with the London Olympics.

For that matter here's a story from the Washington Post from ten days ago hitting on the same theme.

“Ten days to the Games — what could go wrong?” a sarcastic headline in Britain’s Guardian newspaper asked Tuesday. The answer, as this Olympic host nation has discovered, is: Quite a lot.

Even as athletes begin arriving in London for the 2012 Summer Games, Olympic organizers are coming under fire over bungled security staffing and other issues that have prompted the British media and opposition lawmakers to already declare the event a “fiasco.”This is much stronger language than Romney used.

Romney is a candidate making a global trip to show off his diplomatic skills, so he probably should not have commented on the problems with the London Olympics... then again Obama should probably not have compared his bad bowling to the Special Olympics. 

London Mayor Boris Johnson attacked Romney to warm up the crowd, which is understandable, this is the sort of thing that local politicians do. Prime Minister Cameron however reacted in a way that truly is a gaffe.

"We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world,” the prime minister said. “Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere."

That's a rather stupid thing to say considering that he may have to deal with a President Romney next year and it's not as if Romney had set anything offensive about England. Salt Lake City is a good deal smaller than London, it's about the size of York, but dragging them into a completely unnecessary fight is much worse diplomacy.

Johnson and Cameron welcomed a chance to turn from domestic criticism to xenophobia and the liberal media has hysterically seized on the opportunity. And yet despite all the screams of "Gaffe", no one can quite explain the gaffe.

Here's the narrative...

Elevating his tendency for gaffes to the international stage, Mr Romney said that because of concerns about security, it was “hard to know just how well it will turn out”.

...but where's the gaffe? There isn't one. Just a credible statement of opinion widely reflected in the same papers attacking him for that gaffe.

And this is the same treatment that has been prepped for Romney in every country he visits. Molehills will be turned into mountains and the same will scream GAFFE GAFFE GAFFE until it's hoarse.

(...side note to Brits. If this were being held in New York or Chicago, the way Bloomberg and Obama wanted, I'm sure it would have ended up a complete mess.)

OBAMA'S NEW ISLAMIC WORLD ORDER

Next month, before visiting Cairo and meeting Mubarak, Obama visited Saudi Arabia to pay tribute to King Abdullah. The visit to the Saudi Kingdom before a high profile speech to the Muslim world sent a clear message, just as the visit to Turkey had. Before speaking to the Muslim world, Obama showed off his Islamist influences by paying court to two Islamist regimes.

As Obama bowed his head, the Saudi monarch hung the Order of Abdul Aziz al Saud around his neck. The golden chain of the order that was placed around Obama’s neck was decorated with the crossed swords representing the House of Saud and the House of Wahhab. On the order were the words, “Pioneer of Islamic Solidarity.”

The swords of Islamic solidarity in the region were the Islamist parties that Obama began empowering as he moved from Turkey to Egypt. Erdogan ordered Egyptian leader Mubarak to step down and dutifully that day Obama followed suit. Erdogan gathered up the Syrian National Council in Istanbul, dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, and Obama endorsed the SNC and ordered the CIA to assist its weapons smuggling operation.

When the Islamist Al-Nahda Party took power in Tunisia, replacing a formerly moderate and pro-American government, Obama phoned to congratulate Hamadi Jebali and expressed his support for Tunisia’s “inclusive transition.” A month earlier Jebali had proclaimed at a victory rally, “My brothers, you are at a historic moment in a new cycle of civilization, Allah willing. We are the Sixth Caliphate.”

...that is an excerpt from this week's Front Page article, "Obama's New Islamic World Order"

TO BE OR NOT TO BE A LESBIAN ZULU HAMLET...

Well, there you have it. Theatre's apparent role is now to create a politically correct and racially adjusted history of England. In this, the black population of England did not arrive largely from the 1950s on, but apparently were always present yet invisible because they had been "whitewashed" out.

But that doesn't justify making a black man a medieval noble. Moreover, we know that politico-theatrical agenda at work would never lead to a Japanese or Burmese or Eskimo actor being cast as the Duke of York. And the requisite colour-blindness is mono-directional. No white or Chinese actor may play a black man: Othello, say, or Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela.

In short, Shakespeare's most rousing play was turned into a vapid gruel by the cowardice of PC dogma. What next? A Zulu Lesbian Hamlet? Macbess? The Merry Gays of Windsor? Romeo and Julius?

...the problem with modern theater is that everything is modern theater now. All theater is modern and modern theater is essentially self-congratulatory. Its accomplishments are entirely in the realm of political correctness and its few interesting productions are in some way politically incorrect because it is the only taboo in the land of Zulu Lesbian Hamlet. Mamet's defection has to be particularly disconcerting since it communicates to audiences that his plays may have been right-wing all along.

GUN CONTROL IS BACK, BABY

Well not really, but the media is frantically pushing for it, celebrities are tweeting for it and Obama has made a halfhearted jab in that direction.

And I, like most Americans, believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms.  And we recognize the traditions of gun ownership that passed on from generation to generation -– that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage.  

But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals -- that they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities

The battlefield of war... I guess as opposed to the battlefield of peace?

But good news. Obama recognizes the right of some Americans to bear some arms. Just not the kind he disapproves of. If he took the same approach to the First Amendment, there would be some serious howls.

Western Rifle Shooters reminds us which of Obama's favorite armies uses AK-47's on the great Battlefield of Peace.

The media push is now approaching a set, of what they think, are clever talking points. The old gun control push wrapped it in grieving family members of shooting victims. That push faltered. The new gun control push is focusing on advocacy from police and military brass.

The idea here is that "bitter clingers" will respond better to authority figures and independents will be more vulnerable to "experts" from law enforcement.

The Atlantic meanwhile comes up with a brilliant reason for pushing gun control...

But it's a myth that there is no longer any audience for gun control. It is, in fact, almost exactly the same audience that President Obama is pursuing with virtually everything else he does. Gun control is deeply unpopular with the portions of the white electorate most hostile to Obama anyway: blue-collar whites and college-educated white men. But among the voters who might actually vote for Obama (particularly minorities and college-educated white women), restrictions on gun ownership still attract solid majority support.

So Obama should back gun bans to win over the voters he already has while destroying even the small percentage of white male voters that he still has.

I like this plan. Please go for it.

BUT WHAT IS HARVEY WEINSTEIN THINKING?

After getting input on gun control from such notable figures as Jason Alexander and Patricia Cornwell, most Americans were waiting around to hear what Harvey Weinstein thought.

"If we don’t get gun-control laws in this country, we are full of beans," the Oscar-winning producer told The Huffington Post by phone from Paris.

Well there you have it. By phone from Paris no less.

WE NEED TO HELP THE REBELS OVERTHROW ASSAD AND WIPE OUT SYRIA'S CHRISTIANS

Stop complaining. It's the Right 2 Protect thing to do.

"There were always Christians in Qusayr -- there were around 10,000 before the war," says Leila, the matriarch of the Khouri clan. Currently, 11 members of the clan are sharing two rooms. They include the grandmother, grandfather, three daughters, one husband and five children. "Despite the fact that many of our husbands had jobs in the civil service, we still got along well with the rebels during the first months of the insurgency." The rebels left the Christians alone. The Christians, meanwhile, were keen to preserve their neutrality in the escalating power struggle. But the situation began deteriorating last summer, Leila says, murmuring a bit more before going silent.

"We're too frightened to talk," her daughter Rim explained, before mustering the courage to continue. "Last summer Salafists came to Qusayr, foreigners. They stirred the local rebels against us," she says. Soon, an outright campaign against the Christians in Qusayr took shape. "They sermonized on Fridays in the mosques that it was a sacred duty to drive us away," she says. "We were constantly accused of working for the regime. And Christians had to pay bribes to the jihadists repeatedly in order to avoid getting killed."

Grandmother Leila made the sign of the cross. "Anyone who believes in this cross suffers," she says.

But pay no attention to an ignorant rag like Der Spiegel. This will all go away once we put the Islamists in power in Syria.

KKK TO GIVE AWAY FREE CHAINS TO BLACK PEOPLE

Visitors to downtown Minneapolis this weekend can pick up an interesting freebie: a hijab.

A young women's Muslim group, along with volunteers from other faiths, plan to hand out hundreds of the traditional head coverings Saturday afternoon along Nicollet Mall.

Can I also get a free traditional Dhimmi garment too?

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS AND THE OLYMPICS

Voula Papachristou was removed from the Greek Olympic team after making one remark on Twitter, but Muslim teams who refuse to in any way compete against Jews are being quietly accommodated.

The BBC , of all places, lends credence to this by mentioning as a genteel aside that the Arab and Muslim members threatened a walk out if the Israeli athletes were memorialized.

The Lebanese Judo team got a wall built to separate them from the Israeli team. But some forms of bigotry are more acceptable than others.

NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE VS NAACP

Speaking of Obama's gun ban blather at the National Urban League, why make an appearance there but not at the NAACP?

Critics point to the perception that the Urban League is much more middle class and “elite” compared to the more grassroots NAACP, thereby continuing a controversial narrative that the President only interfaces with a certain “class” of African Americans.  “The National Urban League is indeed popular among young urban professionals, who are middle class and upwardly mobile.

Obama will appear at a black event, so long as it's the right kind of black event.

THE GORDIS GAMES

One of the more repulsively hypocritical habits of people who engage in activities harmful to the Jewish people is to then clamor that they are being victimized. Or in Gordis' case, his claim that attacking him is the reason for the fall of the Second Temple.

As I discussed in a previous article, Daniel Gordis signed on to a letter from an Anti-Israel group attacking the Levy Report rejecting the occupation myth. The Levy Report has been accepted by the Israeli government. Gordis could present no rational explanation for attacking it or for joining with an Anti-Israel group except an editorial in Haaretz full of twaddle about not giving up hope.

Rather than discuss the issue, Gordis chose to write a self-righteously self-pitying article trying to connect the criticisms of him for that decision to Tisha Ba'av and the fall of the Second Temple.

Such cynical exploitation of Jewish history would be repulsive enough on its own, but it's doubly disgusting by Gordis who is doing it in defense of his letter which actually undermined Israel's claim to Jerusalem by demanding that Israel ignore the Levy Report and go on maintaining the current myth.

Gordis is essentially arguing that to criticize him for undermining Israel's claim to Jerusalem is tantamount to destroying Jerusalem. The levels of self-contradictory absurdity in that are almost staggering.

"Sinning Against Each Other" is the title of Gordis' article, but what he really means is that he is the one who has been sinned against.

"On my list of worries this Tisha B’Av: Iran, Egypt—and the ugly ways we Jews talk to one another" is Gordis' touching subheader. And naturally Gordis follows this touching concern by attacking his critics in ugly ways.

After complaining that Yisrael Medad's blog post about him had a "derisive tone" and about how distressed he was about "the blatant hate speech that some have no qualms using", he got down to derisively and hatefully insulting people.

Gordis calls the talented and passionate journalist Giulio Meotti a plagiarist in the second paragraph of the next page. Clearly by this point Gordis is no longer worried about the Ninth of Av. Or perhaps Meotti is not a Jew and Gordis has no problem speaking of him in an ugly way. Or getting his attack material against a pro-Israel journalist from Max Blumenthal whose hatred for the Jewish State is second to none.

Then Gordis gets to me.

The third issue, and perhaps the most distressing, was the implicit attitude behind all of these accusations: “You’re either with us, or against us.” Daniel Greenfield, a widely read blogger taken seriously by some people I take seriously, tweeted, “Daniel Gordis loses all credibility by signing on to pro-Hamas group Israel Policy Forum’s letter.” Even if we ignore the absurdity and incitement of calling the IPF “pro-Hamas,” there’s an important issue here: If a person makes one move with which you disagree, must they immediately “lose all credibility”? For some, apparently so.

I like the incitement part, especially since Gordis had dragged out Rabin's corpse on the last page raising his "People Like You Destroyed the Temple" with "People Like You Killed Rabin".

In Israeli terms this is the equivalent of playing the race card. It's an accusation that threatens to create a great deal of trouble for anyone accused of it in Israel. 

But let's get to the "Absurdity" part.

The Israel Policy Forum has called for negotiating with Hamas and repeatedly clamored that the peace process would not work without Hamas in it.

We're talking about a group that actually put out a press release "IPF Welcomes Subtle Shift in American Policy Toward Hamas."

“Israel Policy Forum welcomes the subtle but noteworthy shift in American policy toward Hamas and the Obama administration’s reported request of Congress for changes in U.S. law that would permit aid to Palestinians to continue even if Hamas members become part of a unified Palestinian government."

We're talking about a group formerly directed by M.J. Rosenberg who was kicked out by Media Matters for being too Anti-Israel. A group whose current sugar daddy also underwrites anti-Israel hate site, Open Zion, where BDS is advocated.

Let's skip past the Levy Report for a second. Let's assume that the Levy Report was the devil's bile. Gordis signed on with the devil in opposing it. He lent his credibility to IPF and to its agenda. That is why he loses credibility.

If you join hands with a group whose only goal is undermining Israel, how do you then have credibility as a pro-Israel spokesman?

And how do you talk about Jewish unity while throwing in with one of the most divisive groups around? And then when you are criticized for taking part in a divisive attack on Israel, how do you then accuse your critics of divisiveness?

Again the levels of absurdity here are staggering.

But let's get back to the Levy Report. "Really? Asking the prime minister to ignore a report is tantamount to urging “ethnic cleansing”?" says Gordis.

As Gordis knows quite well, the current state of affairs makes every Jew living in the territories and even Jerusalem, vulnerable to ethnic cleansing at any time. The Levy Report provided a legal defense against it. This is not just a hypothetical issue.

Go ask the families who have been thrown out of their home. Go ask the widow of Major Roi Klein, a war hero who threw himself on a grenade to save his men, who was targeted for expulsion from her home by the same groups supported by IPF and J Street who daily advocate and demand the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the territories.

This is all empty theory to Gordis, but it's daily life to people who build homes, put money into them, raise families, and risk their lives driving home every day, and on top of that have to worry that one day they'll be thrown out of their homes, their homes will be bulldozed and they'll be living in a trailer.

Do you want the Ninth of Av? Go look at the demolished homes of Jewish families. Homes that were torn down because there were Jews living in them. Then tell us how "derisive tones" concern you.

I have very little regard for passive aggressive calls for civility over the rubble of Jewish homes. I don't believe in "Isms" or dogmas and purity tests. I believe in practical things you can see like homes and countries. I believe that you either stand in defense of those things or you sell them out. Unlike selling out an ideology, it is very easy to tell when a home has been sold out. When it is demolished, then it has been sold out.

Israel does need allies. It may even need even weak allies who are so liberal and open-minded that they take every position on every side. But they cannot be allowed to set the tone and they cannot be allowed to define what being pro-Israel means. Nor can we maintain a policy of demolishing Jewish homes so that we don't offend anyone who is offended by Jewish homes.

That is how we got into this mess in the first place.

Despite the language in this extended note, this is not an attack on Gordis. I don't care a great deal about him and I don't care about personalities in general. I care about outcomes. I care about homes.

If the Ninth of Av truly means something to Gordis then perhaps he will consider that the fall of the Second Commonwealth was not some abstract failure of civility, but the destruction of countless Jewish homes at the hands of Israel's enemies and those Jews who were willing to ally with them. Jews who realized too late the price of that alliance and all its compromises.

I'M SORRY HE'S JEWISH TOO

It’s not every day that an Arab government is forced to apologize for publicly embracing a pro-Palestinian peace activist. But Ofer Bronchtein’s peculiar offense is that he’s a Jew.

Long known as one of the Arab world’s most moderate states, Morocco stunned the world by electing the Islamist Justice and Development Party (known by its French acronym “PJD”) last November

...lest there be any suspense PJD is also Muslim Brotherhood. And yes I'm sorry that Ofer is Jewish too.

CORPORATE UNPERSONHOOD

This is the flip side of the left's rants about corporate personhood.

“By definition,” the Justice Department claimed, “a secular employer does not engage in any ‘exercise of religion.’”

“Hercules Industries has ‘made no showing of a religious belief which requires that [it] engage in the [HVAC] business,” DOJ told the court. “Any burden is therefore caused by the company’s choice to enter into a commercial activity.”

When you run a company then you have no more legal or civil rights.

ROMNEY IN ISRAEL

The NJDC is frantically trying to hit Romney and protect Obama on Israel. The always unintentionally hilarious David Streeter sent out a list of 10 questions for Romney.

The 3rd question is the most desperate of the list.

#3. Governor Romney, if Russia is indeed the United States' "number one geopolitical foe," what do you make of the growing closeness between Israel and Russia -- particularly vis-à-vis stopping Iran? Perhaps you could provide your answer to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, who recently hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin.

There is no closeness on Iran. Russia supports Iran. But Putin has visited Israel and extracted some concessions from Israel.

But the NJDC is so confused that it's trying to argue that being critical of Russia is bad for Israel.

That said, I've said before and I will say again, lower your expectations. From a pro-Israel standpoint, the best thing about Romney is that he isn't Obama. Romney hasn't even bothered to make a pledge to move the embassy to Jerusalem. That is not a good sign, but good or bad, the signs don't matter.

Let's flip back to Ronald Reagan who scored a historic 39 percent of the Jewish vote against 45 percent for Carter. In the previous election, Carter had beaten Ford on the Jewish vote 71 to 27.

A large reason for the vote shift lay in Carter's hostility to Israel.

Then in 1982 Reagan, after consulting with Saudi Arabia, but not with Israel, delivered a speech laying out a proposed "peace plan" for a Palestinian authority, and delivered the following damning lines.

When our administration assumed office in January of 1981, I decided that the general framework for our Middle East policy should follow the broad guidelines laid down by my predecessors.

Which is to say that Reagan's Israel policy would be Carter's Israel policy. And Carter quickly popped out to endorse the plan. The plan went nowhere since back then the Muslim terrorist groups were dumb enough to reject it, but a later variation under Clinton has all but brought Israel to its knees.

"Put not your faith in princes," Tehilim says and it's true enough. Romney is not going to roll back any Obama era policy on Israel. It's doubtful where any administration has really done that, though Bush II came closest. But hopefully he will be less intense and hostile about pushing those bad policies.

UNION COMES OUT AGAINST OBAMA...

But worry not. It's the one union that Obama hates because it's doing a job that he won't do by trying to enforce the law against all those people doing the jobs that Americans won't do.

"Prosecutorial discretion for dreamers is solely based on the individual's claims. Our orders are if an alien says they went to high school, then let them go," he said at a press conference with GOP senators. "Officers have been told that there is no burden for the alien to prove anything."

I wonder if ObamaCare mandate enforcement will be just as loosely checked? Right.

WHY DID CHINA BOOT AL JAZEERA?

A few months ago puzzled Western media outlets began wondering why China closed Al Jazeera's Beijing bureau and kicked out their hired woman, Melissa Chan. Theories were offered involving Melissa Chan's "journalism".

Sorry Al Jazeera doesn't do journalism. Its employees are hired guns for the Qatari royal family. Why did China do what America should have done?

Probably because the People's Republic of China noticed Al Jazeera's role in fomenting the Arab Spring uprisings and became concerned that the propaganda arm of the Qatari government was beginning to tamper with China in support of its Muslim Uyghurs.

China just did what Egypt should have done and what the United States should do. Al Jazeera is not a news network. Its reporters are actually agents of a foreign government bent on undermining other countries.

An Al Jazeera reporter is no different than an employee of any other intelligence service, whether or not they are aware of their function.

China had every right to kick out Melissa Chan, for the same reason that countries kick out foreign intelligence agents posing as journalists and diplomats all the time.

SPEAKING OF PROPAGANDA...

From RT, Putin Propaganda TV to hosting Huffington Post videos. It's almost too good to be true, except it is. So Huffington Post video now consists of Cenk Uygur and an enemy propagandist.

NO FLY DOESN'T MEAN NO PILOT

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told lawmakers today that, historically, her department has chosen not to vet U.S. citizens against the no-fly list before they take flight lessons at American flight-training schools because the law that deals with screening such people is unclear.

So the No-Fly list only applies to people flying as passengers. Not to those flying the plane. Clearly we've learned the lessons of September 11.

A JUDO TEAM THAT NEEDS A BARRIER IS A JUDO TEAM THAT SUCKS

The Lebanese judo team forced International Olympic Committee officials to erect a barrier between themselves and the Israeli judo squad, Friday afternoon in London, just hours before the Games’ opening ceremony

I'm thinking that the Lebanese judo team doesn't have much faith in its judo skills.

ENOUGH SAID...

If you want to hit that business even harder, mention to any that will listen that said business discriminates against legal CHL citizens. Liberals looove that word.

Daniel Greenfield From NY to Jerusalem,  Covers the Stories Behind the News

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