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Does the Anti-Nepotism Statute Preclude Trump from Appointing Kushner? by Alan M. Dershowitz

The controversy over President-elect Trump’s expected appointment of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, raises serious constitutional issues regarding the separation of powers. Congress, which holds the purse strings, may have the power to withhold the salary of a relative who the president wants as an advisor. But it is doubtful whether Congress has the constitutional power to preclude the president — who heads the executive branch — from appointing whomever he chooses as a White House advisor.


This is because the separation of powers limits the authority of any one branch to dictate to another branch how it shall conduct its government business. Accordingly, the Supreme Court of the United States does not feel bound by Congressional enactments regarding the recusal of judges for conflict of interest, or other rules of ethics enacted by Congress to constrain its judicial activities. The question of when one branch intrudes on another is often a matter of degree, but each branch guards its independence jealously.

Donald Trump (left), his daughter Ivanka (center), and his son-in-law Jared Kushner (right). (Image source: ABC video screenshot)

This constitutional issue may never reach the courts for three reasons. First, no one may have standing to challenge such a presidential appointment, especially if taxpayer money is not being spent on his salary. Second, the anti-nepotism statute can reasonably be interpreted to preclude only the payment to relatives and not any pro bono service they may render. Third, the statute can be, and has been, interpreted as not applying to White House staff.

There are two relevant provisions of the anti-nepotism statute that was enacted following President John Kennedy’s appointment of his brother Robert to be Attorney General. The first prevents “public officials” from promoting a “relative” “to a civilian position in the agency in which he is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction or control.” [1] The second provides that “[a]n individual appointed… in violation of this section is not entitled to pay.”[2] There is an apparent conflict between these two provisions since the first appears to provide for an absolute prohibition against the appointment of relatives, whereas the second provides that if the relative is appointed he cannot be paid.

In interpreting this poorly drafted statute, a court would have to decide whether Congress intended to prevent the only evil of relatives being paid for jobs for which they have been appointed by their kin, or whether Congress was actually trying to prevent presidents from seeking the advice and council of relatives. A court considering this statute, in the context of a constitutional argument based on separation of powers, might well interpret it narrowly to preclude only the payment of salaries. It might also find it inapplicable to White House staff members, who are not part of any “agency.” Indeed, one court, in considering Hillary Clinton’s appointment by her husband to direct the White House campaign for health care, suggested that the statute did not apply to White House advisors.[3]

Courts generally interpret statutes, particularly those that are as unclear as this one, in a manner that avoids difficult constitutional questions. So I am relatively confident that President-elect Trump’s appointment of his son-in-law Jared Kushner to be a senior adviser in the white house will not be successfully challenged.

Nor should it be, as a matter of sound policy. Surely our chief executive should have the power to surround himself with anyone he believes, rightly or wrongly, can render sound advice. There are, of course, risks in the appointment of relatives. It would be more difficult for the president to fire his son-in-law — the husband of his daughter and father of his grandchildren — than it would be to fire a non-relative. But that is a factor any president should take into account in hiring a relative. I see no great institutional dangers in allowing such appointments and I do see institutional dangers in prohibiting them.

No statute could, of course, preclude a president from seeking and relying on the advice of relatives. The only question is whether the relative can receive a formal — and in this case non-paying — appointment. There are advantages to a formal appointment: it requires the appointee to avoid conflicts of interest; and it promoted visibility and accountability.

So let the president appoint his son-in-law to this important position as senior advisor and let’s all hope, for the benefit of the country, that it is wise decision. History has certainly judged President Kennedy positively for appointing his brother as Attorney General. The two of them worked closely together to end the Cuban missile crisis, to promote civil rights, and to carry out other policies that benefitted the entire nation. The statute should be amended to permit the appointment of relatives, while maintaining the prohibition on the government paying them. That would avoid the evil of financially motivated nepotistic appointments, while preserving the benefits of allowing presidents to choose advisors who they believe will be loyal and beneficial in serving the country.

Alan M. Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus and author of “Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law and Electile Dysfunction.”

Does Islamic State Engage in Organ Trading out of Turkey? by Kasim Cindemir 

  • “The apostate’s life and organs do not have to be respected and may be taken with impunity.” — Islamic State document found during a raid in December by U.S. Special Forces in Syria.

  • “Former prisoner Abo Rida stated that surgeons for IS terror group removed kidneys and corneas from prisoners. He said that they were told that jihadists were more deserving of organs.” — Anne Speckhard, International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism.
  • Iraq’s Ambassador to the UN, Mohammed Alhakim, asked the world body last year to investigate the killing of a dozen Iraqi doctors who rejected IS demands to cut out people’s organs.
  • According to the World Health Organization, illegal organ trading generates between $600 million and $1.2 billion in profits each year.

Charges that Islamic State (IS) engages in organ trading — taking body parts from their victims in Iraq and Syria and selling them to traffickers in Turkey — have surfaced again.

The Iranian news network Alalam reported on October 6 that IS has set up a market in Turkey where it sells human organs stolen from innocent people. Alalam also posted a photograph of a person whose organ was taken.

The Iraqi News also reported that IS has kidnapped and sold many children in Syria to Turkish organ traffickers in order to finance its operations.

Turkey’s government-funded news service, Anadolu Agency, reported months ago that ISIS opened a “medical school” in Northern Syria.

Wayne Madsen, an American investigative reporter and a former intelligence analyst at the US National Security Agency (NSA), told Gatestone that IS has been, and is, involved in organ trading. “The Uyghur battalions of ISIS are heavily engaged in this. They are also known to be involved in organ harvesting in China.”

“We have no reason to doubt them given similar atrocities that have been documented and other heinous crimes for which ISIL has taken credit,” U.S. State Department said in response to charges of IS’s organ harvesting. In December, the U.S. government revealed that it had obtained an ISIS document during a raid by Special Forces in Syria. “The apostate’s life and organs do not have to be respected and may be taken with impunity,” the document said.

Anne Speckhard wrote that ISIS is involved in organ smuggling and earns profits from it. “Former prisoner Abo Rida stated that surgeons for IS terror group removed kidneys and corneas from prisoners. He said that they were told that jihadists were more deserving of organs,” she added.

Speckhard told Gatestone that given their mentality – that anyone who does not believe as they do can be killed – it is believable that IS is involved in organ trading: “Defectors we talked to said it is happening.”

According to press reports, there is high demand for organs such as kidneys and hearts. Based on the same reports, a kidney is sold in the Turkish market for $4,000 and a heart for $6,000.

The Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, reported that the IS does not merely use the organs of its captives’ bodies for transplants to its members; it also sells them to other countries as a lucrative business. Iraq’s Ambassador to the UN, Mohammed Alhakim, asked the world body last year to investigate the killing of a dozen Iraqi doctors who rejected IS demands to cut out people’s organs.

Speckhard told Gatestone the UN’s investigation of Ambassador Alhakim’s charges was inconclusive. She also underlined that they know some Turkish businessmen were involved in the slave trade with IS.

A report by Iraqi News said that IS’s organ trafficking comes as the terror group is finding it difficult to fund the self-proclaimed caliphate as its revenues from oil fields are plunging.

American analysis firm IHS’s expert Ludovico Carlino, was cited by Reuters that as of March 2016, IS’s monthly oil revenue has dropped from 80 to 56 million dollars.

IHS senior analyst Columb Strack said, “There are fewer people now to tax; the same applies to properties and land to confiscate.”  The population of the territory under IS’s control has fallen from 9 million to about 6 million.

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, director of Organs Watch, a University of California, Berkeley-based documentation and research project, told CNN that demand for fresh organs during wars and civil wars is insatiable.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), illegal organ trading generates between $600 million and $1.2 billion in profits each year.

Mahmut Togrul, a member of the Turkish National Assembly representing Gaziantep from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), told Gatestone that, “IS is committing all kinds of atrocities to many innocent people it considers enemies. They have even sold women in Gaziantep. I have no doubt that they would sell human organs.”

Togrul also blamed the Turkey’s AKP regime and said that the Turkish government has supported IS from the beginning and continues to this day. “So much so that IS members never refrain from citing Gaziantep as the second stronghold after Raqqa,” Togrul told to Gatestone.

Fethi Albayram, a doctor in Gaziantep, told Gatestone that many young people who were known to be drug addicts could not be seen on city streets any more. “What I hear from people is that IS has kidnapped them. Maybe for organ harvesting…”

In the last year, IS has killed more than 200 people in Turkey in suicide bombing attacks.

The Turkish government was criticized in the past for looking the other way regarding the IS activities in Turkey. But the Turkish security agencies have intensified their efforts and raids against IS cells and activities in Turkey.

Many reporters, experts, and eyewitnesses have alleged that Turkey has actively helped jihadist terrorists in the region by letting IS members travel through Turkey. It is argued that Turkey has even provided funds, logistics, and arms for IS members.

According to some reports, IS members have been treated at Turkish hospitals.  According to a Turkish chief of police, there are IS cell houses in seventy cities across Turkey. According to other reports, IS members have kidnapped Yazidi women and girls in Iraq and sold them in Turkey. The defendants, however, were quickly acquitted of any crime.  In December 2015, several German TV channels broadcast footage documenting the slave trade being conducted by the Islamic State through a liaison office in Gaziantep, near the border with Syria.

A news report from German broadcaster ARD shows photos of Yazidi slaves distributed by ISIS (left), as well as undercover footage of ISIS operatives in Turkey taking payment for buying the slaves (right).

On April 17, 2016, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported that the Gaziantep police department had raided the office and found $310,000, many foreign (non-Turkish) passports and 1,768 pages of Arabic receipts that showed the transfer of millions of dollars between Turkey and Syria.

Six people were brought to court for their involvement in crimes, which included “being members of an armed terrorist organization.” But the complainant, the Gaziantep Bar Association, was not even invited to attend the hearings, which lasted for sixteen days.

“We learnt of the ruling accidentally. The court made the decision of acquittal without looking into the documents found by police,” said Bektas Sarkli, the head of the Gaziantep Bar Association. Bektas Sarkli told Gatestone that they will appeal.

The former chief of Turkey’s counter-terrorism police, Ahmet Yayla, said during recent testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives that the Turkish Government has provided funds, logistical support, and arms for IS members.

Yayla, who now teaches at George Mason University near Washington, D.C., also told Gatestone that IS’s “Turkey Chief” Halis Bayuncuk moves around in the country freely and tweets often with no problems.

Erkan Sahin, who is the Gaziantep Chairman of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) told Gatestone that IS uses the city like a base. “We know that,” he said.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, on the other hand, said the most effective fight against Daesh (IS) was waged by Turkey contrary to the concerted disinformation campaign.

But evidence indicates that Turkish forces are primarily targeting and attacking Kurds in Syria, who have been the most effective force fighting IS. Years after the emergence of the Islamic State and the destruction it has brought to thousands of innocent people, Turkey’s reliability as an ally in the US-led fight against IS has been more than questionable.

The American experts, Steven A. Cook and Michael J. Koplow, wrote: “Rather than overlook Turkish excesses while hoping Mr. Erdogan will come around, it is time to search for more reliable allies.”

Opinions may vary on how reliable an ally Turkey has been in the US-led international campaign against the Islamic State. But if IS’s organ- and human-trafficking, as well as other criminal activities, within Turkey are allowed to go on, IS will continue to renew its strength for its barbaric fight.

Kasim Cindemir, a leading journalist from Turkey, is currently based in Washington D.C.

Does Islam Belong to Germany? “Islam is a political ideology that is not compatible with the German Constitution.” by Soeren Kern

  • “Former German President Christian Wulff said: ‘Islam belongs to Germany.’ That is true. This is also my opinion.” — Chancellor Angela Merkel, January 12, 2015.

  • “Angela Merkel’s statement obscures the real problem: A growing proportion of Muslim citizens in Europe does not share the Western system of values, does not want to culturally integrate and seals itself off in parallel societies.” — Thilo Sarrazin, renowned former central banker and a member of the Social Democrats, January 20, 2015.
  • “Islam is not a religion like Catholicism or Protestantism. Intellectually, Islam is always linked to the overthrow of the state. Therefore, the Islamization of Germany poses a threat.” — Alexander Gauland, AfD party leader for Brandenburg, April 17, 2016.
  • “An Islam that does not respect our legal system and even fights against it and claims to be the only valid religion is incompatible with our legal system and culture. Many Muslims live according to our laws and are integrated and are accepted as valued members of our society. However, the AfD wants to prevent the emergence of Islamic parallel societies with Sharia judges.” — AfD Manifesto.
  • “Anyone who believes Islam belongs to Germany should not hesitate to go one step further and declare: Sharia law belongs to Germany. Without Sharia law, there is no authentic Islam.” — Henryk Broder, German journalist, May 16, 2016.

Nearly two-thirds of Germans believe that Islam does not belong to Germany, according to a recent opinion poll, which also found that only 22% of Germans consider Islam to be an integral part of German society.

In a similar poll conducted in January 2015, 37% of Germans said that Islam belongs to Germany, 15% more than now. The results indicate that German attitudes toward Islam are hardening after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow more than 1.1 million mostly Muslim migrants to enter Germany in 2015.

The poll has opened yet another chapter in the decade-long debate over the phrase, “Islam belongs to Germany.” The words were first uttered in September 2006 — at the time there were 3.5 million Muslims in Germany, compared to nearly six million today — by then Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.

Speaking ahead of the first-ever German-Islam Conference, the first institutionalized dialogue between representatives of the German government and of Muslims in Germany, Schäuble said: “Islam is a part of Germany and a part of Europe. Islam is a part of our present and a part of our future. Muslims are welcome in Germany.”

The phrase was repeated in October 2010 by Germany’s then president, Christian Wulff, during a keynote speech to mark the 20th anniversary of German reunification. Wulff proclaimed that “Islam belongs to Germany” because millions of Muslims now live there:

“Christianity doubtless belongs Germany. Judaism belongs unequivocally to Germany. This is our Judeo-Christian history. But now Islam also belongs to Germany (Der Islam gehört inzwischen auch zu Deutschland).”

Wulff then quoted the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who in his West-Eastern Diwan (West–östlicher Divan, 1819) wrote: “He who knows himself and others will understand: East and West are no longer separable.”

Since then, a debate has raged over the increasingly contentious question of Muslim immigration, integration and the role of Islam in German society. The University of Bonn launched a research project entitled, “How much Islam belongs to Germany?” The Konrad Adenauer Foundation published a paper: “Which Islam belongs to Germany?” According to the head of the Lutheran Church in Germany, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, only “Democratic Islam” belongs to Germany.

What follows is an abridged historical review of the phrase “Islam belongs to Germany.”

March 3, 2011. In his first press conference as German Interior Minister, Hans-Peter Friedrich said that Islam does not belong to Germany: “To say that Islam belongs in Germany is not a fact supported by history at any point.” He added that Muslim immigrants should respect the “Western Christian origin of our culture.” His comments set off a firestorm of criticism from the guardians of German multiculturalism.

March 4, 2011. Wolfgang Bosbach, of the ruling Christian Democrats (CDU), defended Friedrich: “I like politicians who say what they think. Islam is part of the reality of Germany, but it is not part of German identity.”

March 5, 2011. Alexander Dobrindt, the General Secretary of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party to Angela Merkel’s CDU, said: “Of course there are Muslims in Germany. But Islam is not part of the German mainstream culture (Leitkultur).” CDU parliamentary leader Volker Kauder said: “Islam has not shaped our society in the past and it does not do so today. Therefore, Islam does not belong to Germany.”

May 31, 2012. The new German President, Joachim Gauck, distanced himself from Wulff’s comments: “The reality is that many Muslims live in our country. I would have simply said that the Muslims who live here belong to Germany.” He added: “Where has Islam shaped Europe? Did Islam experience the Enlightenment, or even a Reformation?”

January 12, 2015. Chancellor Angela Merkel, during a meeting in Berlin with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, declared: “Former German President Christian Wulff said: ‘Islam belongs to Germany.’ That is true. This is also my opinion.” She stressed the need to “strengthen the dialogue between religions because there is still too much ignorance.”

January 13, 2015. Hans-Peter Friedrich, the former interior minister, challenged Merkel’s claim that Islam belongs to Germany:

“The Muslims who live in this country, who are committed to this country, belong to Germany, no question. There is nothing to deny and nothing to relativize. But I can see nowhere that Islam belongs to Germany. Islam is not a formative, constitutive element of the identity of our country.

“The issue revolves around the question of what is constitutive, of what makes the identity of this country. And the identity of this country, developed over centuries, is not Islam but a Christian culture, based on Christian and Jewish roots.

“Islam is not a defining element of the identity of this country. Anyone who travels through Germany can see this. They can see churches and paintings, they can listen to music that comes from many centuries of ecclesial roots; they can see art and architecture which are marked by Christianity.

“Whether Islam will be a defining element of Europe or Germany in centuries from now, only time will tell.”

January 20, 2015. Thilo Sarrazin, a renowned former German central banker and a member of the Social Democrats (SPD) who has been warning Germans for years about the consequences of mass migration, criticized Merkel:

“When the Chancellor says she is of the opinion that Islam is part of Europe’s tradition and culture, she is mistaken. When Angela Merkel says that Muslims should enjoy full citizenship in Germany and will be welcome if they integrate, her statement is true, although banal.”

He said that Islam “with all its radical, violent manifestations” arrived in Germany only in the last 40 years due to “unplanned and uncontrolled mass immigration into German society.” He added: “In addition, Angela Merkel’s statement obscures the real problem: A growing proportion of Muslim citizens in Europe does not share the Western system of values, does not want to culturally integrate and seals itself off in parallel societies.”

June 30, 2015. Merkel, speaking in Berlin after an Iftar, an evening meal that breaks the daily fast during Ramadan, declared: “It is indisputably obvious that Islam now belongs to Germany.”

September 21, 2015. Edmund Stoiber, the Honorary Chairman of Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party to Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) said: “I cannot accept the phrase, ‘Islam belongs to Germany.’ Muslims belong to Germany, but Islam does not. Islam is not a core element of German culture and has not shaped our intellectual history and tradition.”

April 17, 2016. Beatrix von Storch, the Deputy Chairperson of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD), now the third-most popular political party in Germany, said: “Many Muslims belong to Germany, but Islam does not belong to Germany. Islam is at base a political ideology that is not compatible with the German Constitution.”

Alexander Gauland, the leader of the AfD in Brandenburg, elaborated: “Islam is not a religion like Catholicism or Protestantism. Intellectually, Islam is always linked to the overthrow of the state. Therefore, the Islamization of Germany poses a threat.”

May 1, 2016. The AfD adopted a manifesto calling for curbs to migration and restrictions on Islam. The document calls for a ban on minarets, Muslim calls to prayer and full-face veils:

“Islam does not belong to Germany. The AfD views the spread of Islam and the growing number of Muslims in Germany as a great danger for our country, our society and our system of values. An Islam that does not respect our legal system and even fights against it and claims to be the only valid religion is incompatible with our legal system and culture. Many Muslims live according to our laws and are integrated and are accepted as valued members of our society. However, the AfD wants to prevent the emergence of Islamic parallel societies with sharia judges. The AfD wants to prevent Muslims from radicalizing and turning to violent Salafism and religious terrorism.”

May 5, 2016. CDU parliamentary leader Volker Kauder said that Christian Wulff’s choice of words in 2010 were “well-intentioned but imprecise.” He said that while Muslims belong to Germany, Islam certainly does not: “Germany has not been historically or culturally shaped by Islam.” According to Kauder, Islam has many manifestations, “some of which we can never accept in Germany.” He added: “For us, religion is never above the state.” He said that religious freedom is not unlimited, but is restrained by the German Constitution.

May 16, 2016. The German journalist Henryk Broder wrote:

“Anyone who believes Islam belongs to Germany should not hesitate to go one step further and declare: Sharia law belongs to Germany. Without Sharia law, there is no authentic Islam. The ‘Euro-Islam’ desired by many is a chimera, as was ‘Euro-communism’ during the Cold War.

“This would significantly facilitate peaceful coexistence on a firm foundation. It would also be the end of all debates — about the equality of men and women, marriage for all, headscarves in the civil service, the separation of power in politics, separation of church and state, caricatures and satires. We would save a lot of time and could turn to the really relevant questions. For example: Was Jesus the first Muslim?”

In a speech on October 22, 2014, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that she agreed with the statement of former German President Christian Wulff, that “Islam belongs to Germany.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter. His first book, Global Fire, will be out in 2016.

Documented: Obama’s “Traditional Muslim Bias” against Christians

  • Those Arabs from nations with large Christian populations or with Christian names failed the Obama team’s “religious tests.”The Obama government’s bias against Mideast Christians closely resembles the traditional bias Christian minorities experience at the hands of Muslim governments.

  • When inviting scores of Muslim representatives, the State Department has been called out at least twice for denying visas to solitary Christian representatives.
  • When a few persecuted Iraqi Christians crossed the border into the U.S., they were thrown in prison for months and then sent back to the countries persecuting them, possibly to be enslaved, raped, or murdered.
  • When the Nigerian government waged an offensive against Boko Haram — another Islamic group that regularly slaughters and rapes Christians and burn their churches — and killed some of its terrorists, John Kerry fumed and called for the “human rights” of the jihadis.
  • It is against Islamic law to side with “infidels” against Muslims.

Almost a year ago, U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama called the suggestion that the U.S. give preference to Christian refugees over Muslim refugees “shameful.” “That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion,” he added loftily.

Now, WikiLeaks has released a 2008 email which discusses who should fill top staff positions should Obama win the presidency: it clearly proves that the Obama administration has long used “religious tests” — but to discriminate against Christians in favor of Muslims

The email was sent from former New York Solicitor General Preeta D. Bansal to Michael Froman, a classmate of Obama’s at Harvard and a member of the 12-person advisory board for the Obama campaign’s transition team. The key passage reads:

In the candidates for top jobs, I excluded those with some Arab American background but who are not Muslim (e.g., George Mitchell). Many Lebanese Americans, for example, are Christian. In the last list (of outside boards/commissions), most who are listed appear to be Muslim American, except that a handful (where noted) may be Arab American but of uncertain religion (esp. Christian).

In other words, those Arabs from nations with large Christian populations or with Christian names failed the Obama team’s “religious tests.”

The discrimination is not limited just to top or prestigious jobs. Even in life and death situations, the Obama administration massively favors Muslims over Christians. Despite the U.S. government’s acknowledgement that ISIS is committing genocide against Christians in Syria — meaning that Christians, not Sunni Muslims, are being targeted for torture, slavery and death due solely to their religious identity — statistics repeatedly show that the Obama administration has taken in a vastly disproportionate number of Sunni Muslims into the U.S.

When war erupted in Syria in 2011, approximately 75% of the population was Sunni Muslim and 10% Christian. If the U.S. were to admit Christian refugees in proportion to their population in Syria, about 1,260 Christians would by now have been resettled in the U.S. — when in fact only 68 were. Sunni Muslims are only 75% percent of Syria’s population but 99% of those received by the U.S.

Even the 1951 Refugee Convention lists five criteria that qualify applicants for refugee status: persecution for reasons of religion, race, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group. Christians very clearly fit one of the criteria — religious persecution — whereas most of the Sunni Muslims entering America do not.

This discrepancy is no secret. Most recently, in an FOIA lawsuit filed by a federal appellate court against the Department of Homeland Security, Judge Daniel Manion wrote about his

“concern about the apparent lack of Syrian Christians as a part of immigrants from that country…. Perhaps 10 percent of the population of Syria is Christian, and yet less than one-half of one percent of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States this year are Christian…. To date, there has not been a good explanation for this perplexing discrepancy.”

Far from being an aberration, the WikiLeaks revelation is simply the latest indicator that the Obama administration favors Muslims over Christians:

  • When inviting scores of Muslim representatives, the State Department has been called out at least twice for denying visas to solitary Christian representatives.
  • When a few persecuted Iraqi Christians crossed the border into the U.S., they were thrown in prison for several months and then sent back to the countries persecuting them, possibly to be enslaved, raped, or murdered.
  • When the Nigerian government waged a strong offensive against Boko Haram — another Islamic group that regularly slaughters and rapes Christians and burn their churches — and killed some of its terrorists, John Kerry fumed and called for the “human rights” of the jihadis.
  • When Egypt’s persecuted Coptic Christians planned on joining Egypt’s anti-Muslim Brotherhood revolution back in 2013, the U.S. said no.
  • When persecuted Iraqi and Syrian Christians asked for arms to join the opposition fighting ISIS, D.C. refused.
  • When the UN Security Council held a meeting to discuss the genocide against Christians and other minorities, although “many high level delegations from UN member states addressed the Security Council meeting, some at the Foreign Minister level, the United States failed to send … a high ranking member of the State Department.”

When a few persecuted Iraqi Christians crossed the border into the U.S., they were thrown in prison for several months and then sent back to the countries persecuting them, possibly to be enslaved, raped, or murdered. Pictured above: Members of California’s Iraqi Christian community and their supporters protest the months-long detention of Iraqi Christian asylum-seekers at the Otay Mesa detention center. (Image source Al Jazeera video screenshot)

Perhaps the most significant aspect of all this is that the Obama government’s bias against Mideast Christians closely resembles the traditional bias Christian minorities experience at the hands of Muslim governments. There are active and passive persecutors of Christians in the Muslim world. Muslim criminals, mobs, and terrorists actively persecute Christians, while Muslim governments passively enable them: when Muslims kidnap, rape, or kill Christians and destroy their churches, Muslim authorities rarely if ever do anything about it (it is against Islamic law to side with “infidels” against Muslims). Christian minorities in nations such as Egypt and Pakistan know this well. Muslim governments seldom if ever hire Christians to positions of authority (Islamic law bans the intentional placement of an “infidel” over a Muslim).

From preferring Muslims over Christians for positions of authority, to preferring Muslim refugees over Christian minorities – who are currently experiencing genocide — the Obama government’s bias against Christian “infidels” and favor for Muslims is identical to the behavior of Muslim governments.

To use the president’s words, it is the Obama administration’s own policies that are “shameful,” that are “not American,” and that do not represent “who we are.”

Raymond Ibrahim is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (published by Regnery with Gatestone Institute, April 2013).

Do Not Reward Bad Behaviour Trump Must Bury Anti-Semitic UN Resolution by Jagdish N. Singh

  • The Trump Administration needs to see to it that UN Security Council Resolution 2334 is rendered null and void.
  • UNSC Resolution 2334 also implies that Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter, Western Wall and Temple Mount are all occupied territory, when in fact, it was Israel that liberated them from the illegal Jordanian conquest of them in the war of 1948.

  • Given the history of violence which the Palestinians indulge in against the Jews, it would seem a counter-productive precedent to reward decades of terrorism and uncivilised behaviour with a state. It would also leave the Palestinians, who deserve a responsible and accountable leadership, under the domination of two corrupt and brutal governments, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
  • A study of the various proposals Israel has made to Palestine from time to time shows the key obstacle to peace is not the Palestinians’ demand for any piece of land but their refusal to recognize the existence of the Jewish state, or presumably any state but an Islamic one.
  • The U.S. could also move its embassy to Jerusalem. This would send the Palestinian leadership and others in the region a strong message that Washington will support both historical facts and countries that comport themselves with civilised behaviour.

In the long-continuing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, conventional wisdom has it that peace can be achieved through realistic negotiations between the parties to the conflict.

The previous Obama administration displayed a clear tilt towards one party to the conflict, the Palestinians, at the cost of the other, Israel.

Last month, Washington’s abstention from voting on United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2334 led to its passage. This resolution condemns Israeli settlements in “Palestinian Occupied Territories.” Resolution 2334 also implies that Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter, Western Wall and Temple Mount are all occupied territory, when in fact, it was Israel that liberated them from the illegal Jordanian conquest of them in the war of 1948. The resolution effectively states that any Jewish presence beyond the 1949 armistice lines, or Israeli construction in Judea, Samaria or Jerusalem, is illegal.

Objectively speaking, this resolution amounts to anti-Semitism: it is simply counterfactual to the Jews’ history in the region. Both the Bible and archeology reveal that Jews have had a historical connection with this land for more than 3000 years.

Given the history of violence that the Palestinians indulge in against the Jews, it would seem a counter-productive precedent to reward decades of terrorism and uncivilised behaviour with a state. It would also leave the Palestinians, who deserve a responsible and accountable leadership, under the domination of two corrupt and brutal governments, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

One hopes President Donald J. Trump, as the leader of the democratic world, would waste no time to bury this counter-factual, anti-Semitic resolution. Nikki Haley, Trump’s appointment to the United Nations, has already condemned the controversial resolution as an “outrageous bias” against Israel, and criticized the Administration of former President Barack H. Obama for the abstention that let the resolution pass.

Nikki Haley (pictured above from 2014), President Trump’s appointment to the United Nations, has already condemned UN Security Council Resolution 2334 as an “outrageous bias” against Israel. (Image source: defenseimagery.mil)

The Trump Administration needs to see to it that UNSC Resolution 2334 is rendered null and void. Significantly, it has the moral and political support of the American Congress. The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly condemned the resolution. The Senate has introduced a similar bipartisan bill to cut funding from the United Nations.

Ironically, it is Washington’s “no” to this resolution that will help the peace process, not this resolution, as the Obama Administration disingenuously tried to claim.

A study of the various proposals Israel has made to the Palestinians from time to time shows the key obstacle to peace is not the Palestinian demand for any piece of land but its refusal to recognize the very existence of the Jewish state, or, presumably any state but an Islamic one, preferably its own. That there is any dispositive linkage of land for peace is a myth.

Sometimes, the Palestinians do recognize the state of Israel. At a news conference, then Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat once said, “We accept two states, the Palestine state and the Jewish state of Israel.”

The Palestinian leadership said they did so in the Oslo Accords, too, but they never practised it. In all the proposals for peace Israel has set forth, the Palestinians have never even made a counter-offer, and seem especially averse to signing an “end of conflict” document.

The current Palestinian leadership is divided into two factions — the West Bank-based Fatah party of the Palestinian Authority (PA), and the Gaza Strip-based Hamas. Both openly incite violence against the Jews, and aspire to the eventual creation of an Islamic state replacing all of Israel.

According to a recent House of Representatives resolution, there have been more than 300 terrorist attacks targeting Israelis since September 2015. PA President Mahmoud Abbas, too, incites violence against Jews.

Washington’s “no” to the resolution would give the right message to the Palestinian Authority to join the Israeli leadership in direct negotiations, recognize the Jewish state and appreciate its security concerns.

The United States could also move its embassy to Jerusalem. This would send the Palestinian leadership and others in the region a strong message that Washington will support both historical facts and countries that comport themselves with civilised behaviour.

Jagdish N. Singh is a senior journalist based in New Delhi.

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