The Palestinian Bid for Statehood: Dire Implications for the U.S.

The Palestinian Bid for Statehood: Dire Implications for the
U.S.

By C.
Hart

Since the 1970s, America has been the main peace
broker in the Arab-Israeli conflict.  For the most part, a succession of U.S.
administrations decided to take a step-by-step approach — acting as the third
party at the peace table, using a gentle but firm hand to bring the main parties
together.  Long ago, the U.S. adopted the “land for peace” formula, which became
a “two-state solution” mantra in recent years.

Through the struggles and pitfalls of America’s
obsession to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there have been U.S.
foreign policymakers that have set the timetables.  The White House, working
closely with the State Department, has taken strident measures to determine the
various avenues towards peace.  Special envoys have been established to oversee
American goals.  They have attempted to control the daily agenda at summits, to
extract concessions from the Israelis and the Palestinians, while pushing and
pressuring interlocutors at the peace table.  All that may be changing
now.

This week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is
expected to ask the U.N. world body to recognize a Palestinian state on land
that has not been successfully negotiated with the Israelis.  It’s a brazen act
of aggression by the Palestinians to change the endgame.  Abbas believes that
U.N. recognition of “Palestine” as the 194th member-state will
prevent the U.S. from calling the shots behind closed doors.  Israel will no
longer be able to claim specific parts of the land as “disputed.”  Abbas thinks
that once a Palestinian state is officially recognized by the world, he can then
look to the International Court to begin legal proceedings against the thousands
of Israelis living in East Jerusalem and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).
Abbas and his entourage of Palestinian leaders may be attempting to take the
U.S. out of the equation altogether.

Since the early 1970s, American presidents have been
seen shaking hands with Arab and Israeli leaders at the White House, Camp David,
and other locations — sometimes signing treaties, sometimes not, but always
with an eye towards being the nation that brokered the final peace deal in the
region.

The Palestinians became a main focus in the conflict
in 1991 during the Madrid Conference.  Then, the U.S. was involved in the
implementation of the Oslo Accords, the Hebron Agreement, the Wye River
Memorandum, the Camp David 2000 Summit, Clinton’s Parameters and Taba talks, the
Road Map for Peace, the Annapolis Conference, and finally, direct talks between
Israel and the Palestinians in 2010.

During the past two years, the American administration
has realized that U.S. influence in the Middle East has been waning.  Partly as
a result of this assessment, U.S. President Barack Obama along with Secretary of
State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been adamant in insisting that the Palestinians
stop the U.N. bid for statehood.  But, even with the White House threatening
sanctions and Congress threatening a withholding of financial aid, Mahmoud Abbas
has not been deterred from his course.

Recently, Abbas met with American special envoys to
the Middle East, David Hale and Dennis Ross.  During the meeting, both men
expressed strong objections to the Palestinian approach.  Abbas hardly
listened.  In fact, he has spent the past two years trying to attract European
and Arab leaders to his cause, intent on weakening U.S. diplomatic efforts in
the region.  Furthermore, he has threatened the Obama administration, stating
that if America vetoes a U.N. resolution that favors Palestinian statehood, this
will signal that the U.S. is not in favor of a two-state solution.  This is
entrapment at its best.

The Palestinian leadership can also be expected to
rally Arab leaders in the Middle East to take action against U.S. interests in
the region after the U.N. meetings are concluded this week.

The approach of Abbas is to do an end run so
that the U.S. no longer controls the parameters of the process of peace.
Instead, as a proposed U.N. member, the new fledgling Palestinian state would
attempt to claim that Israel is militarily occupying its territory.  A scenario
could be played out where the new Palestinian president would look to the Arab
League and other internationally recognized bodies for help in preserving what
would now be seen as Palestinian, not Israeli territory.  In addition, border
disputes could be brought to the Quartet (the U.N., U.S., EU, and Russia), and
not to the U.S. alone.  In this regard, the U.S. would be one of only several
brokers involved at the Israeli-Palestinian negotiating table.

It’s expected that the U.S. will use its veto power in
the U.N. Security Council this week, as it has done so in the past, to block a
resolution it firmly opposes.  But, regardless of how the Palestinian statehood
issue plays out, it’s clear what Abbas has in mind long-term.  He is
internationalizing the conflict to reduce American influence in the region.
Putting Palestinian statehood in the hands of the U.N. takes it out of the hands
of the Americans.  Israel’s main Western ally will suffer
humiliation.

This confrontational approach on the part of the
Palestinian leadership is hurting U.S. attempts to forge reconciliation efforts
with the Muslim world, where it has already been on shaky ground
diplomatically.  The current Palestinian bid for statehood at the U.N. is
embarrassing for the U.S.  America has invested millions of dollars into the
Palestinian economy, strengthened its state institutions, and trained its police
force while issuing Palestinian troops American-made weapons.  Now, the
Palestinian leadership are defying America’s role as the main power broker in
their dispute with the Israelis.

Despite U.S. efforts for over 40 years to forge a
peace between Israel and her neighbors, the Palestinians have forged their own
way to peace.  It’s a road that is leaving American diplomacy in the dust.  It’s
a stab in the back to U.S. mediation efforts.  Furthermore, it will cause U.S.
foreign policy in the Middle East to fall off the beaten track into the
abyss.

Perhaps, America will never regain its special
prominence as the leading nation of the free world that could inspire hope among
the people of the Middle East region.  Some were actually starting to believe
that peace could be attained between Israel and the Palestinians.  This week at
the U.N. could now prove otherwise.

C. Hart is a news analyst reporting
on political, diplomatic, and military issues as they relate to Israel, the
Middle East, and the international
community.

All the wrong 9/11 lessons

All the wrong 9/11 lessons
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2011

Are your kids learning the right lessons about 9/11? Ten years after Osama bin Laden’s henchmen murdered thousands of innocents on American soil, too many children have been spoon-fed the thin gruel of progressive political correctness over the stiff antidote of truth.

“Know your enemy, name your enemy” is a 9/11 message that has gone unheeded. Our immigration and homeland security policies refuse to profile jihadi adherents at foreign consular offices and at our borders. Our military leaders refuse to expunge them from uniformed ranks until it’s too late (see: Fort Hood massacre). The j-word is discouraged in Obama intelligence circles, and the term “Islamic extremism” was removed from the U.S. national security strategy document last year.

Similarly, too many teachers refuse to show and tell who the perpetrators of 9/11 were and who their heirs are today. My own daughter was one year old when the Twin Towers collapsed, the Pentagon went up in flames and Shanksville, Pa., became hallowed ground for the brave passengers of United Flight 93. In second grade, her teachers read touchy-feely stories about peace and diversity to honor the 9/11 dead. They whitewashed Osama bin Laden, militant Islam and centuries-old jihad out of the curriculum. Apparently, the youngsters weren’t ready to learn even the most basic information about the evil masterminds of Islamic terrorism.

Mary Beth Hicks, author of the new book “Don’t Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid,” points to a recent review of 10 widely used textbooks in which the concepts of jihad and sharia were either watered down or absent. These childhood experts have determined that grade school is too early to delve into the specifics of the homicidal clash of Allah’s sharia-avenging soldiers with the freedom-loving Western world.

Yet, many of the same protectors of fragile elementary-school pupils can’t wait to teach them all the ins and outs of condoms, cross-dressers and crack addictions.

We pulled our daughter out of a cesspool of academic and moral relativism and found a reality-grounded, rigorous charter school where no-nonsense teachers refuse to sugarcoat inconvenient facts and history. Many of the students are children of soldiers and servicemen and women who — inspired by the heroes of 9/11 — have voluntarily deployed time and time again to kill the American Dream destroyers abroad before they kill us over here.

There’s no better way to hammer home the message that “freedom is not free” than to have your kids go to school with other kids whose dads and moms are gone for years at a time — missing births and birthday parties, recitals and soccer practice, Christmas pageants and Independence Day fireworks.

But instead of unfettered pride in our armed forces, social justice educators in high schools and colleges across the country indoctrinate American students into viewing our volunteer armed forces as victims, monsters and pawns in a leftist “social struggle.”

A decade after the 9/11 attacks, Blame America-ism still permeates classrooms and the culture. A special 9/11 curriculum distributed in New Jersey schools advises teachers to “avoid graphic details or dramatizing the destruction” wrought by the 9/11 hijackers, and instead focus elementary school students’ attention on broadly defined “intolerance” and “hurtful words.”

No surprise: Jihadist utterances such as “Kill the Jews,” “Allahu Akbar” and “Behead all those who insult Islam” are not among the “hurtful words” studied.

Middle-schoolers are directed to “analyze diversity and prejudice in U.S. history.” And high-school students are taught “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” – pop-psychology claptrap used to excuse jihadists’ behavior based on their purported low self-esteem and oppressed status caused by “European colonialism.”

It is no wonder that a new poll released this week showed that Americans today “are generally more willing to believe that U.S. policies in the Middle East might have motivated the 9/11 terror attacks on New York and the Pentagon,” according to Reuters.

To make matters worse, we have an appeaser-in-chief who wrote shortly after the jihadist attacks a decade ago that the “essence of this tragedy” derives “from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity and suffering of others.” A “climate of poverty and ignorance” caused the attacks, then-Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama preached. Never mind the Ivy League and Oxford educations, the oil wealth and the middle-class status of legions of al-Qaida plotters and operatives.

9/11 was a deliberate, carefully planned evil act of the long-waged war on the West by Koran-inspired soldiers of Allah around the world. They hated us before George W. Bush was in office. They hated us before Israel existed. And the avengers of the religion of perpetual outrage will keep hating us no matter how much we try to appease them.

The post-9/11 problem isn’t whether we’ll forget. The problem is: Will we ever learn?

Green Pigs Don’t Fly

Green Pigs Don’t Fly

By Jeffrey
Folks

Reportedly, Obama’s jobs speech will focus on
infrastructure spending, and much of that spending will undoubtedly be tied to
the creation of “green jobs.”  The problem is, what he has already spent has not
created jobs.  According to the Heritage Foundation, it may well have
cost
jobs
.  It has, however, enriched some of his wealthiest political
contributors.  And that seems to be the real motive behind the president’s
infrastructure spending.  Not green jobs, but green pork.

That appears to be the case with Obama’s $535-million
loan guarantees to Solyndra Inc.  During a 2010 visit to Solyndra’s plant in
Fremont, California, Obama insisted that the solar panel company would create
“one thousand long-term jobs.”  Solyndra has since declared bankruptcy, and it
seems unlikely that the taxpayer will recover any of the $535 million in
loans.

The half-billion that Obama threw away on Solyndra is
only a small part of $60 billion earmarked for alternative energy in Obama’s
2009 stimulus bill, and that $60 billion is only a fraction of the $100 billion
that Energy Secretary Stephen Chu envisions “investing” in alternative energy.
Solyndra is not the only green jobs company to receive stimulus funding –
hundreds of them did.  And dozens of them have gone bankrupt already, including
Evergreen Solar, taking billions of taxpayer money with them.

The GAO’s Franklin Rusco has raised questions
about the transparency and rigor of the approval process for the Solyndra loan
guarantees.  It has been suggested that the White House took a special interest
in Solyndra during the loan guarantee application process, monitoring the
process, and perhaps communicating with officials in charge.

That should be a question for congressional
investigations, and thankfully the investigations have begun.  The House
Committee on Energy and Commerce is seeking White House documents regarding
Obama’s role in obtaining the loan guarantees for Solyndra.  So far, the White
House has stonewalled, refusing to supply the requested
documents.

Reportedly, Solyndra CEO Christian M. Gronet, who
received ten
million
stock options on the same day the $535-million loan
guarantee was approved, donated to “Friends of Barbara Boxer” in 2009/2010.
According to other reports, Tulsa billionaire George Kaiser, a
prominent Obama campaign contributor and bundler, was a major Solyndra investor
as well.  It is an open question as to whether political contributions from
Solyndra executives and investors influenced the administration’s decision to
back the loans.

The latest green power company to receive federal loan
guarantees is SoloPower Inc., which just this month revived a $197-million loan
guarantee to build a solar film factory in Oregon.  The initial phase of the
project, funded with the help of the federal loans, along with $40 million in
loans and tax credits from the state of Oregon, is expected to create
170
new jobs
,
according to company projections.  By my calculation, that is $1.4 million per
job — not exactly a bargain for taxpayers who will then also have to pay higher
fuel bills as a result of green energy mandates.

Before coming to SoloPower, CEO Tim Harris was a
successful executive at Seagate Technology, where he is credited with setting up
an operation creating 15,000 jobs.  Those jobs were not in America, however;
they were in Malaysia, the same country where First Solar, another major
recipient of Obama loan guarantees, has located most of its new
jobs.

In fact, Obama’s green energy stimulus has done more
for job-creation in Malaysia and China than it will ever do in the U.S.  Under
Obama’s massive loan guarantee program, the American taxpayer has footed a
$60-billion bill largely for Asian job creation.

Ironically — or perversely — the president is doing
everything possible to kill off the one industry that is producing jobs that
cannot be exported to Asia.  America possesses vast new reserves of oil and gas
that can be developed only with American labor.  If only the administration
would rescind unnecessary regulation, those jobs would double virtually
overnight.  Not only that, but federal and state royalty collections would
double as well, and the U.S. trade balance would stabilize as less oil and gas
was imported.  But so far, the president continues to press for more taxes on
conventional energy companies.  And never at any time has it occurred to him
that it might be in the national interest to support energy independence by
making it easier for American energy companies to drill right here in
America.

The White House continues to insist that the $60
billion in alternative energy funding, along with tens of billions approved in
other legislation, was a wise “investment.”  Most real investors,
having lost billions on alternative energy, would shy away from solar and wind
projects.  But Obama continues to throw money away.  In September alone, the
president approved an additional $622 million in loan guarantees for solar
companies.  Even Democrats like Senator Jeff Bingaman admit
that Obama’s loan guarantees “have not worked.”  Yet Bingaman himself introduced
a bill to fund a “clean-energy bank” to make more loans to the same kind of
companies.  Apparently, Bingaman’s logic is, “It doesn’t work, so let’s do it
again.”

That seems to be the rationale for Obama’s latest
green jobs initiative.  Bingaman is asking for $10 billion for his clean-energy
bank.  I’m sure Obama will top that by a couple hundred billion.  That funding,
if approved, will disappear into the pockets of Democratic Party supporters,
just as surely as it has in the past, though much of it will be passed along to
Democratic candidates in the 2012 elections.  If that sounds like “pay to play,”
you can draw your own conclusions.

After all, the guiding principle behind Obama’s green
jobs initiative all along has been how much it will contribute to his own
reelection.  The fantasy of green jobs presented him with a unique opportunity
to please environmentalist supporters while at the same time rewarding wealthy
contributors who also happen to be investors and executives in alternative
energy companies.

It is unlikely that Obama will ever desert this
winning combination, even as his scandalous relationship with one bankrupt
company after another comes to light.  No matter how many billions end up being
wasted, the president will continue to insist, as did an official at the
Department of Energy just last week, that the green jobs program “is on pace to
create thousands of jobs.”  Already Obama has spent as much as $10 million each
for the thousands of green jobs, he claims to have created.  Is there no limit,
and no shame?

Actually, there is not.  Because more important than
actual green jobs is green pork.  Obama is relying on green pork, along with
union pork and trial lawyer pork, to get him reelected.  Green jobs are at the
heart of his domestic agenda because green pork results in donations to the
Democratic Party.  Whether it results in any jobs, to say nothing of “long-term”
jobs, is irrelevant.  It’s his own job that Obama is focused on
saving.

Jeffrey Folks is author of many
books and articles on American culture, most recently
Heartland of the
Imagination

(2011).

Judge OKs ‘flag of Islam on American soil’

WAR
ON TERROR

Judge OKs ‘flag of Islam on American soil’

Decision approves government funding for Shariah indoctrination


Posted: January 19, 2011
9:31 pm Eastern

By Bob
Unruh

© 2011 WorldNetDaily

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 26:  Workers arrive at insurance company AIG on March 26, 2009 in London, England. The company  has received more than 170 billion USD from the US tax payer as part of a stimulus package. A substantial amount of this package was subsequently spent on executive's bonuses and despite calls from US authorities and President Obama for this money to be returned so far the company executives have refused.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Attorneys for a Marine Corps veteran of the Iraq War say they have filed a
petition to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after a federal district judge
ruled it is OK for the U.S. government to fund commercial enterprises that
promote the indoctrination of Islamic  law, or Shariah, in the United States.
The decision came from Judge Lawrence Zatkoff, who changed his perspective on
the issue and said just last week that he would dismiss a constitutional
challenge brought by Kevin Murray against the U.S. government’s bailout of AIG,
the insurance giant.
AIG used more than “$100 million in federal tax money to support Islamic
religious indoctrination through the funding and promotion of Shariah-compliant
financing. … SCF is financing that follows the dictates of Islamic law,” said the Thomas More Law Center, or TMLC.
TMLC is representing Murray in his challenge to the use of federal tax money
to promote Islam in the U.S.
The non-profit legal advocacy group’s president, Richard Thompson, warned of
the precedent.
“Judge Zatkoff’s ruling allows for oil-rich Muslim countries to plant the
flag of Islam on American soil,” he said. “His ruling ignored the uncontested
opinions of several Shariah experts and AIG’s own website, which trumpeted
Shariah-compliant financing as promoting the law of the prophet Mohammed and as
an ethical product and a new way of life.”
(Story continues below)
TMLC and co-counsel David Yerushalmi immediately filed a notice of appeal to
the 6th Circuit.
“[Zatkoff's] ruling ignored AIG’s use of a foreign Islamic advisory board to
control investing in accordance with Islamic law,” Thompson continued. “This
astonishing decision allows the federal government as well as AIG and other Wall
Street bankers to explicitly promote Shariah law – the 1,200-year-old body of
Islamic canon law based on the Quran, which demands the destruction of Western
civilization and the United States.”
Thompson warned it is the same law “championed by Osama bin Laden and the
Taliban; it is the same law that prompted the 9/11 Islamic terrorist attacks;
and it is the same law that is responsible for the murder of thousands of
Christians throughout the world. The law center will do everything it can to
stop Shariah law from rearing its ugly head in America.”
The
lawsuit,
Murray v. Geithner et al., was brought because Murray, as a
taxpayer, alleges he is being forced to contribute to the propagation of Islamic
beliefs and practices predicated upon Islamic law, which he says is hostile to
his Christian religion.
Among those who submitted statements in the case were two noted experts in
Islamic law and terrorism, Stephen C. Coughlin and Robert Spencer.
Coughlin, a lawyer and decorated Army Reserve officer, is a leading Pentagon
expert on the link between Islamic law and jihad. He explained that by engaging
in Shariah-compliant financing, AIG and the federal government – which owns 79.9
percent of AIG – are engaging in the religious practice of Islam.
Islam teaches hostility and discrimination against Jews, Christians and
anyone who doesn’t accept the Quran as the “word of Allah,” he said, explaining
that the indoctrination stems from the same law that motivated the Sept. 11,
2001, attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans.
As WND
reported
, Spencer, director of Jihad
Watch
, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, has studied Islamic
theology and history for 30 years. He is author of “Stealth Jihad: How
Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs
,” “The Politically
Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades
” and eight other books on Islam.
He has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the U.S. Central Command, the U.S.
Command and General Staff College, the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the U.S.
intelligence community.
Spencer explained that by offering Shariah-compliant financing, AIG is
promoting religious behavior that teaches hatred and discrimination against
Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims.
TMLC said it is challenging the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
that allows $70 billion in taxpayer money to fund and financially support the
federal government’s majority ownership interest in AIG, which is considered the
market leader in SCF.
The company uses its assets to subject certain financial activities to the
dictates of Islam.
“In this case, the United States government has a majority interest in AIG.
AIG utilizes consolidated financing whereby all funds flow through a single port
to support all of its activities, including Shariah-compliant financing,” TMLC
explained.
“Pursuant to the EESA, the government has injected AIG with tens of billions
of dollars, without restricting or tracking how this considerable sum of money
is spent. At least two of AIG’s subsidiary companies practice Shariah-compliant
financing, one of which was unveiled after the influx of government cash. …
Finally, after the government acquired a majority interest in AIG and
contributed substantial funds to AIG for operational purposes, the government
co-sponsored a forum entitled ‘Islamic Finance 101.’
“These facts, taken together, raise a question of whether the government’s
involvement with AIG has created the effect of promoting religion and
sufficiently raise plaintiff’s claim beyond the speculative level,” TMLC said.
During the discovery portion of the case, TMLC said it obtained “thousands”
of documents supporting its claim.
“The circumstances of this case are historic, and the pressure upon the
government to navigate this financial crisis is unfathomable. Times of crisis,
however, do not justify departure from the Constitution,” the organization said.

Read more: Judge OKs ‘flag of Islam
on American soil’
http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=253009#ixzz1BafnG5C9

About those memorial T-Shirts

About those memorial T-Shirts

Ethel C.
Fenig

 

Adding to the political rally atmosphere instead of
memorial mood for the victims of the Tucson tragedy by a deranged assassin, were
the t-shirts handed out to participants as they entered the University of
Arizona’s arena.

The apparel didn’t focus on the dead/injured nor were
they the idea of the University of Arizona administration but instead were
emblazoned with a President Barack Obama (D) campaign theme, “Together We
Thrive.” And so it should come as no surprise that they were distributed
by…Obama’s own Organzing for America, reports Judi McLeod of the Canada Free Press.

The “Together We Thrive” T-shirts that starred at Wednesday’s
Arizona `Memorial’ originated from Organizing for America (here), a sad fact
unearthed by The Drumbeat of Liberty and the Preservation of Freedom editor and
Canada Free Press (CFP) columnist Robert Rohlfing.

(snip)

the
mainstream media reported that the “Together We Thrive: Tucson & America”
T-shirt given to mourners as they entered McKate Center was the idea of
University of Arizona brass, not the Obama administration.
Yet the “Together We Thrive” slogan dates back to a post to Obama’s own
Organizing for America in a Feb. 11, 2008 post by self-described “globalist”
John Berry IV.
More than passing strange that the Obama campaign message of civility was the
same on Feb. 11, 2008 as it was in his Wednesday Memorial speech, and the same
one, too carried by the mainstream media in coverage of the
Memorial.

And for those in attendance

If you were a mourner who took home a “Together We Thrive” T-shirt have a
look at the bottom of your shirt. “Rocking America and Rocking the Vote” is a
common theme of the DNC, and it’s right there on your Memorial T-shirt
memento.

No mention if there was also a tag on the t-shirt reading Made In China.
hat tip: www.Lucianne.com

Page Printed from:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/01/about_those_memorial_tshirts.html

at January 15, 2011 – 09:11:42 AM CST

// <![CDATA[//  

Indonesian Muslims Call for Halt to ‘Christianization’

Indonesian Muslims Call for Halt to ‘Christianization’

Muslim organizations in Bekasi, West Java, on Sunday (June 27) declared their intention to establish paramilitary units in local mosques and a “mission center” to oppose “ongoing attempts to convert people to Christianity,” according to the national Antara news agency.

Sat, Jul. 03, 2010 Posted: 07:00 PM EDT


DUBLIN (Compass Direct News) – Muslim organizations in Bekasi, West Java, on Sunday (June 27) declared their intention to establish paramilitary units in local mosques [NOTE: Another proof that mosques are NOT like churches!] and a “mission center” to oppose “ongoing attempts to convert people to Christianity,” according to the national Antara news agency.

At a gathering at the large Al Azhar mosque, the leaders of nine organizations announced the results of a Bekasi Islamic Congress meeting on June 20, where they agreed to establish a mission center to halt “Christianization,” form a Laskar Pemuda youth army and push for implementation of sharia (Islamic law) in the region, The Jakarta Post reported. [NOTE: All religious Moslems are required to push for the implementation of sharia law -- through the whole world!]

“If the Muslims in the city can unite, there will be no more story about us being openly insulted by other religions,” Ahmad Salimin Dani, head of the Bekasi Islamic Missionary Council, announced at the gathering. “The center will ensure that Christians do not act out of order.”

Observing an increasing number of house churches, Muslim organizations have accused Bekasi Christians of aggressive proselytizing. The Rev. Simon Timorason of the West Java Christian Communication Forum (FKKB), however, told Compass that most Christians in the area do not proselytize and meet only in small home fellowships due to the lack of officially recognized worship venues.

Many Christian seminary graduates prefer to remain on Java rather than relocate to distant islands, Timorason added, making West Java the ideal place to launch new home-based fellowships for different denominations. But neighbors see only the multiplication of churches, he said, and therefore suspect Muslims are converting to the Christian faith.

“The ideal solution is to have one building with a permit to be used by different denominations in each housing complex,” Timorason said. “If every denomination wants their own church in the same area, it’s a problem.”

Declaration of Intent
Kanti Prajogo, chairman of the Congress committee, had hoped to present a written declaration of intent to city officials at the mosque gathering, but officials did not respond to his invitation, according to The Jakarta Post.

Around 200 people attended the June 20 Congress, representing local organizations such as the Bekasi Interfaith Dialogue Forum, the Bekasi Movement Against Apostasy, [NOTE: According to standard Islamic law, apostasy is punishable by death.]  the local chapters of Muhammadiyah and the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) – two of Indonesia’s largest Muslim organizations – and the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), well known for its aggressive opposition to Christians and other non-Muslim groups.

Government officials on Monday (June 28) called for the FPI to be declared a forbidden organization, claiming that FPI members were implicated in “too many” violent incidents.

“We are not concerned about their mission,” legislator Eva Kusuma Sundari reportedly said at a press conference in Jakarta, “but we are concerned about the way they implement their goals.” [NOTE: The government agrees with their goals; the government only opposes their tactics.]

A spokesman for another large organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), said Tuesday (July 28) that despite one member being present at the congress in an unofficial capacity, NU had not approved the joint declaration, contradicting a statement made the previous day by Bekasi NU official Abul Mutholib Jaelani, who told The Jakarta Post that he had asked all 56 NU branches in the city to contribute at least 10 members to the youth army.

Contributing to Religious Conflict
Rapid residential and industrial development has created huge social problems in Bekasi. Sociologist Andi Sopandi of Bekasi Islamic University told The Jakarta Post that the call for sharia was a warning signal, and that local officials should urgently pursue dialogue between Muslim and Christian leaders.

Locals and newcomers will get along well only if they share similar basic values, particularly religious ones, Sopandi reportedly said, pointing to sharp disputes over the Filadelfia Huria Kristen Batak Protestan (HKBP) church in Jejalen Jaya sub-district earlier this year as an example.

A neighbor of the church confessed to The Jakarta Post that local clerics had asked him and other residents to sign a petition against constructing the HKBP church building and threatened not to pray at their funerals if they failed to cooperate; the majority of his neighbors signed the document under duress.

Under a 2006 Joint Ministerial Decree (SKB), at least 60 local residents must approve the establishment of a house of worship, whether a mosque or a church. The congregation must also have at least 90 members and obtain letters of recommendation from the local interfaith communication forum (FKUB) and religious affairs office before gaining final approval from district officials.

These terms make it virtually impossible for churches in Bekasi to obtain building permits. Bekasi regency has a population of 1.9 million, of which 98.2 percent are Muslim, according to 2006 data from the Bekasi Regency Religious Affairs office. Protestants, who form 0.67 percent (approximately 12,700 people) of the population, and Catholics who make up 0.55 percent, are served by only 16 officially recognized churches in seven of the 23 sub-districts.

Sudarno Soemodimedjo, deputy chief of the Bekasi FKUB, told The Jakarta Post in February that even if a church construction committee gained the approval of 60 local residents, the FKUB would not issue a letter of recommendation if there were any public objections.

“The SKB orders us to maintain public order, which means we have to refuse the establishment of a house of worship we believe may trigger a conflict in the future,” he said. [NOTE: No blame on Moslems for triggering the conflict. Only blame Christians for building a church.]

As a result, many Christians meet in unrecognized worship venues, giving Muslim groups legal grounds to oppose church gatherings.

“If the SKB was applied consistently, many mosques that were built without permits would have to close,” Timorason told Compass.

The government wants each new settlement to have a place of worship, he added, “but it’s always a mosque. There should be one of each to be fair.”

“Violations against freedom of religion remain rampant [in Indonesia],” confirmed the chairman of the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace, who goes by the single name of Hendardi, at a press conference announcing the release of its January 2010 “Report on the Condition of Religious and Faith Freedom in Indonesia.”

“This is mostly because the government is half-hearted in its upholding of the right to worship,” he said.

Of 139 violations recorded by the institute last year, West Java took first place with 57 incidents, followed closely by Jakarta at 38.

Compass Direct News
Sarah Page

Obama’s Speech Misleads Americans on Illegal Immigration & Amnesty

Obama’s Speech Misleads Americans on Illegal Immigration & Amnesty

July 1, 2010

CONTACT: Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC)
(866) 703-0864 WilliamG@alipac.us

ALIPAC is responding to President Obama’s immigration speech by calling on him to abandon his push for Amnesty for illegal aliens and to honor his oath of office and the requirements of the US Constitution by enforcing America’s existing border and immigration laws.

“We call on all candidates for Congress to clearly state their opposition to Comprehensive Immigration Reform Amnesty,” said William Gheen of ALIPAC. “President Obama is committing a form of Treason against the American public by refusing to adequately enforce our existing immigration and border laws at the behest Global corporations and financial influences intent upon usurping the self-governance of the American public. Americans want immigration enforcement, instead of Obama’s Amnesty and we expect voters to punish Amnesty supporters in the 2010 elections.”

Obama mischaracterized legal immigrants in today’s speech, as he criticized Arizona’s new law, SB 1070, which is now being considered in more than twenty states!

Obama cited the contributions of Albert Einstein, Nicola Tesla, and many other legal immigrants to the United States. It is patently insulting and a cheap political trick to compare law abiding legal immigrants with illegal aliens who willingly violate a series of US laws to take what is not theirs and what is not freely given by American citizens.

“Obama’s speech was the same old tricks, since he confused legal immigrants with illegal aliens, and offered the false choice of blanket amnesty vs. mass deportations,” said William Gheen. “Obama is trying to trick the American public by confusing legal and illegal and offering false choices, instead of doing his job properly.”

Obama’s speech was made at American University, which is where Dr. Robert Pastor has advocated the formation of a North American Community, which has been called a North American Union by those opposed to the components of the plan that calls for a path to citizenship for illegal aliens. Obama also used the words ‘Security and Prosperity’ in his speech to convey his support for the Pastor plan, which was manifest during the Bush administration as the Security and Prosperity Partnership or SPP.

ALIPAC is launching a revised website at http://www.AgainstAmnesty.com to help Americans track, spread, and pass versions of Arizona’s immigration laws in other states. Twenty states are currently listed.

ALIPAC will launch candidate surveys and pledges to all Federal candidates on July 5th that are designed to help voters determine which candidates support or oppose the Bush/Obama Comprehensive Immigration Reform Amnesty plan. ALIPAC intends to endorse candidates who oppose the plan, while encouraging Americans to contribute to and volunteer on those endorsed campaigns.

“We encourage our political opposition to make sure their candidates proudly display their support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform Amnesty,” said William Gheen. “We will encourage our candidates to display their opposition. That way, the American public can clear many of these traitors out of office this year.”

For more information or to schedule interviews, please visit http://www.alipac.us and http://www.AgainstAmnesty.com

New Bill Gives Obama ‘Kill Switch’ To Shut Down The Internet

New Bill Gives Obama ‘Kill Switch’ To Shut Down The Internet

 

           

overnment would have “absolute power” to seize control of the world wide web under Lieberman legislation

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The federal government would have “absolute power” to shut down the Internet under the terms of a new US Senate bill being pushed by Joe Lieberman, legislation which would hand President Obama a figurative “kill switch” to seize control of the world wide web in response to a Homeland Security directive.

Lieberman has been pushing for government regulation of the Internet for years under the guise of cybersecurity, but this new bill goes even further in handing emergency powers over to the feds which could be used to silence free speech under the pretext of a national emergency.

“The legislation says that companies such as broadband providers, search engines or software firms that the US Government selects “shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed” by the Department of Homeland Security. Anyone failing to comply would be fined,” reports ZDNet’s Declan McCullagh.

The 197-page bill (PDF) is entitled Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, or PCNAA.

Technology lobbying group TechAmerica warned that the legislation created “the potential for absolute power,” while the Center for Democracy and Technology worried that the bill’s emergency powers “include authority to shut down or limit internet traffic on private systems.”

The bill has the vehement support of Senator Jay Rockefeller, who last year asked during a congressional hearing, “Would it had been better if we’d have never invented the Internet?” while fearmongering about cyber-terrorists preparing attacks.

The largest Internet-based corporations are seemingly happy with the bill, primarily because it contains language that will give them immunity from civil lawsuits and also reimburse them for any costs incurred if the Internet is shut down for a period of time.

“If there’s an “incident related to a cyber vulnerability” after the President has declared an emergency and the affected company has followed federal standards, plaintiffs’ lawyers cannot collect damages for economic harm. And if the harm is caused by an emergency order from the Feds, not only does the possibility of damages virtually disappear, but the US Treasury will even pick up the private company’s tab,” writes McCullagh.

Tom Gann, McAfee’s vice president for government relations, described the bill as a “very important piece of legislation”.

As we have repeatedly warned for years, the federal government is desperate to seize control of the Internet because the establishment is petrified at the fact that alternative and independent media outlets are now eclipsing corporate media outlets in terms of audience share, trust, and influence.

We witnessed another example of this on Monday when establishment Congressman Bob Etheridge was publicly shamed after he was shown on video assaulting two college students who asked him a question. Two kids with a flip cam and a You Tube account could very well have changed the course of a state election, another startling reminder of the power of the Internet and independent media, and why the establishment is desperate to take that power away.

The government has been searching for any avenue possible through which to regulate free speech on the Internet and strangle alternative media outlets, with the FTC recently proposing a “Drudge Tax” that would force independent media organizations to pay fees that would be used to fund mainstream newspapers.

Similar legislation aimed at imposing Chinese-style censorship of the Internet and giving the state the power to shut down networks has already been passed globally, including in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.

We have extensively covered efforts to scrap the internet as we know it and move toward a greatly restricted “internet 2″ system. Handing government the power to control the Internet would only be the first step towards this system, whereby individual ID’s and government permission would be required simply to operate a website.

The Lieberman bill needs to be met with fierce opposition at every level and from across the political spectrum. Regulation of the Internet would not only represent a massive assault on free speech, it would also create new roadblocks for e-commerce and as a consequence further devastate the economy.

Morning Bell: Prolonging Education’s Race to the Bottom

Morning Bell: Prolonging Education’s Race to the Bottom

Posted By Israel Ortega On June 11, 2010 @ 9:11 am In Education |

[1]

In perhaps President Obama’s most stealth campaign to date, the federal government has been slowly tightening its grip on the education sector to little fanfare. Rather than working through the democratic legislative process, this Administration has circumvented Congress to enact an ill-conceived education agenda that will weaken accountability, reduce transparency and minimize choice while only adding to the national deficit.

For close to four decades, the federal government has operated under the seemingly simple premise that increased spending on education will translate into academic achievement. This line of thinking has resulted in inflation-adjusted federal expenditures on education increasing 138 percent since 1985 [2]. Per-pupil expenditures have ballooned to over $11,000 per student [3], and are even higher in most urban areas including the District of Columbia where the government spends $14,500 on each child [4]. Billions upon billions of dollars have been poured into our public school system because the federal government, backed by powerful teachers unions, is convinced that it is best suited to administer our country’s education system. Unfortunately, this approach has been a miserable failure. [2]

The high school drop out rate continues to skyrocket and academic achievement continues to be stagnant despite decades of increased federal spending and involvement in education. Of course, the consequences for our failures threaten our future as we hopelessly watch other countries outpace us in math and the sciences.

Unfortunately, President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan remain impervious to the education crisis and are committed to strengthening the federal stranglehold over our country’s education system. Just months after taking office, President Obama signed into a law the gargantuan “stimulus bill” stuffed with wasteful spending adding to the federal government’s girth. The Department of Education received an unprecedented $100 billion in additional money through the stimulus [5]. But months after the bill’s passage, two things are clear: the stimulus bill is not growing our economy and more federal money towards education is not improving our schools.

Undaunted by the obvious, liberal lawmakers in the House are planning on making yet another push this week to include an additional $23 billion dollars for emergency education spending to prevent “catastrophic” public education layoffs [3]. But for decades, states have continued to bloat their staff rolls, particularly non-teaching staff positions. Since 1970 for instance, student enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools has increased just 7 percent, while public elementary and secondary staff hires have increased 83 percent. Another bailout from Washington could exacerbate states’ fiscal problems by creating disincentives for states to tackle out-of-control spending and make the difficult budgetary decisions necessary to produce long-term education reforms.

But unlike the federal takeover of the banking and health care industry, this time around Obama and his liberal allies are shrewdly avoiding another public fight by moving their education agenda forward without even going through Congress. The administration is supporting a move to implement national education standards, using the $4.35 billion Race to the Top grant program to secure those ends. National standards will give the federal government – not parents – more power over education. Now, instead of petitioning their local schools boards for curriculum changes, parents will have to trek to Washington to lobby D.C. bureaucrats for input in the content taught at their children’s school [6].

Progressives dream of making us more and more dependent on big government, and that has never looked so promising after Obama victories in widening government’s hold in health care, banking and now education. If this past year and a half is any indication of what’s to come, two things are clear: (a) we will see more and more of our freedoms diminish and (b) the girth of our federal government’s waist-line will surely grow.

Quick Hits:

Paul McCartney plays the Fool on the Hill

Paul McCartney plays the Fool on the Hill

Annie Popelka

So Sir Paul thinks it is great that “after the last eight years, it’s great to have a president who knows what a library is.”

Perhaps Sir Paul is not aware that President Bush and Karl Rove used to engage in annual contests to see who could read the most books. In fact, sometime in 2008, I recall Karl Rove telling the world in his column that President Bush had read 95 books in 2006 and 51 books in 2007. I wrote those numbers down at the time because I was quite impressed and embarrassed because I could only muster perhaps 5 books a year due to my “busy” schedule.

Sir Paul failed miserably in his attempt to be funny because it turns out that he was dead wrong – and everyone knows that good humor needs to be based in some fact. By the way, I wonder how many books Sir Paul has read lately? (Does he even know that Fomer First Lady Laura Bush is a librarian?). As for President Obama, we all know he reads GQ magazine, at least when his picture is on the cover.

In reality, I could care less about Sir Paul. Despite his musical ability, he made using drugs seem cool to countless teenagers in the late 60′s/early 70′s, who eagerly followed in his footsteps. A lot of those same teenagers are today non functioning adults, yet Sir Paul now boasts of his vegan ways and healthy lifestyle. His self-righteousness has always bothered me.

Notwithstanding, Sir Paul continues to lead people down the wrong path, and I am talking about the people in the audience who laughed themselves silly with his ignorant comments. What cowards. And the biggest coward of all? President Obama. He should have corrected that cheap shot statement about Former President Bush on the spot. But then again, he hasn’t even the wherewithall to tell city officials in Los Angeles to lay off the boycott Arizona rhetoric. (Do they even realize in LA that most of Arizona’s conference centers are California-owned?).

Remember when Hugo Chávez maligned the former PM of Spain, José Maria Aznar, at the 2007 Ibero-Amiercan summit in Chile? He repeatedly interrupted the speech of the current PM of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, with shouts that Aznar was a fascist and “less human then snakes”. Thank God for King Juan Carlos I of Spain at the time, who so famously told Chávez, “¿por qué no te callas?” or, “why don’t you (just) shut up?” What a pity that nobody was on hand to tell Sir Paul to do the same.

Annie Popelka
Madrid, Spain

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