It would be interesting to know how many of the useful idiots donning “pussy hats” at Saturday's massive “Women's March on Washington” had any idea—or even cared to know—who the principal organizers of the event were. The answer is undoubtedly close to zero, since the purpose of the entire charade—like all leftist charades—was merely to give the participants an opportunity to publicly signal their own moral superiority while smearing—as racists and fascists—anyone who doesn't accept socialism, identity politics, and perpetual grievance mongering as the ultimate expressions of the American Dream. But for those who actually have an aversion to mindless indoctrination, the facts will be rather disturbing.
A leading organizer of the Women's March was the Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York. This group was founded shortly after 9/11—not to condemn the attacks, of course, but rather, to lament “the heightened sense of fear and the acts of blatant discrimination aimed at [the Muslim] community” in the racist wasteland known as America. On the premise that all government efforts to forestall additional terrorism constituted Nazi-like fascism, Sarsour and her organization played a central role in pressuring the New York Police Department to terminate its secret surveillance of the many Muslim groups and mosques suspected of promoting jihadism.
An outspoken critic of Israel, Sarsour avvidly supports the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement, a Hamas-inspired initiative that uses various forms of public protest, economic pressure, and lawsuits to advance the Hamas agenda of permanently destroying Israel as a Jewish nation-state.
Vis-a-vis the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict, Sarsour favors a one-state solution where an Arab majority and a Jewish minority would live together within the borders of a single country. She made clear her opposition to Israel's existence as a Jewish state when she tweeted in October 2012 that “nothing is creepier than Zionism.”
Speaking of creepy realtives, Sarsour’s husband, Maher Judeh, mourned the 1998 death of the Hamas “master terrorists” Adel and Imad Awadallah; he praised the heroism of a Palestinian Authority police officer who had carried out a shooting attack at a checkpoint in Israel; he has expressed support for the terrorist organization Fatah; and he has lauded the founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary organization.
In October 2011, Linda Sarsour, who holds free-market economics in low regard, expressed, on behalf of “Muslim New Yorkers,” “solidarity and support” for the pro-communist Occupy Wall Street movement. In 2011as well, the Obama Administration honored Sarsour as a “champion of change.” Not surprisingly, Sarsour visited the White House on at least seven different occasions during her beloved president's tenure.
In November 2012 in Baltimore, Sarsour—ever eager to peddle her woeful tale of Islamic victimhood—spoke at a Muslim Public Affairs Council conference titled “Facing Race: Xenophobic Hate Crimes.” This is the same Council that views the murderous Jew-haters of Hezbollah as members of “a liberation movement” that is “fighting for freedom.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told senior ministers he is lifting restrictions on settlement building in East Jerusalem, a statement said on Sunday, immediately after the city's municipal government approved permits for the building of hundreds of new homes in the area.
"There is no longer a need to coordinate construction in the Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. We can build where we want and as much as we want," the statement quoted Netanyahu as saying, adding that he also intended to allow the start of building in the West Bank.
"My vision is to enact sovereignty over all the settlements," the statement also said, pointing to Netanyahu's apparent bid to win greater support from settlers and appeal to a right-wing coalition partner.
Netanyahu told the ministers of the move at a meeting where they also decided unanimously to postpone discussing a bill proposing the Israeli annexation of the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim, home to 40,000 Israelis near Jerusalem.
A brief statement issued after the discussion by the ministerial forum known as the Security Cabinet, said work on the bill would be delayed until after Netanyahu meets the new U.S. President, Donald Trump.
Netanyahu held his first phone conversation with the president on Sunday, saying afterwards that the conversation had been "very warm" and that he had been invited to a meeting with Trump in Washington in February.
France is among the world’s most storied welfare states, the historic province of the 35-hour workweek and, now, “the right to disconnect” from work emails after leaving the office.
For decades, the country has been home to one of Europe’s strongest Socialist parties, which managed to shape policy even when technically out of power. But as France prepares for its 2017 election — a contest widely expected to shape the course of a troubled Europe — a jarring reality has emerged.
Quite simply, the Socialists have almost no chance of winning, according to nearly every major public opinion poll. Even more so, they are increasingly unlikely to qualify for even the second and final round of the presidential election, to be held in early May.
As the once-indomitable power of the center-left wanes across the Western world — in the Europe of Brexit and in the United States of Donald Trump — it looks as though France, its age-old bedrock, may follow suit.
On Sunday, French voters went to the polls in the first round of elections to choose which two of the seven candidates running they want to lead the center-left come late April and early May. In first and second place came Benoît Hamon, a former education minister, and Manuel Valls, the former prime minister of François Hollande, France’s current Socialist president and the most unpopular on record in the country’s modern history.
One of the two will be chosen in a second-round vote next Sunday.
But after that, the climb gets much steeper.
First is the threat from Emmanuel Macron, an increasingly popular former finance minister who defected from the current Socialist administration to launch an independent and more centrist campaign.
Second is the specter of the center-right François Fillon and the Marine Le Pen, both of whom are expected to make the final round of the presidential election in May.
For the first time, Le Pen has polled ahead of Fillon, suggesting what for decades has been unthinkable: that the National Front, France’s far-right populist party of xenophobia and economic protectionism, could actually win a national election.
The National Front, once a pariah party, has become the linchpin of a pan-European coalition of far-right parties. On Saturday, Le Pen spoke at a summit of other nationalist leaders in Koblenz, Germany — a gathering that also included Geert Wilders, the leader of the anti-Islam Dutch Freedom Party, and Frauke Petry, a joint leader of the Alternative for Germany party, one of whose other leaders drew headlines last week for attacking Holocaust atonement.
“In 2016, the Anglo-Saxon world woke up,” Le Pen said at the conference. In “2017, I am sure, the people of continental Europe will wake up.”
In France, Socialists have begun to worry that her prediction will come true. In the final days before Sunday’s vote, even some of the leftist candidates seemed to have considered their primary a fool’s errand in a changing country.
The reasons for the surprising demise of the Socialist Party in France are manifold.
For starters, Hollande is staggeringly unpopular. He has struggled with relatively high and constant unemployment and a wave of terrorist violence that has killed 230 in the past two years.
Hollande decided in December not to run for reelection. This is the first time in a primary that a ruling leftist party is not represented by its incumbent president.
But analysts see the fall of the Socialists as part of a deeper trend away from a perceived establishment, which in France has long been dominated by the center-left. The same dissatisfaction with the realities of an increasingly globalized economy that fueled much of the Brexit campaign — and the Trump campaign — has begun to see an enemy in the French left.
“There is a general crisis in social democracy,” said Gérard Grunberg, a renowned historian of the French left at Sciences Po in Paris. “And it’s become more and more difficult to show why it matters, what its values are, against the evolution of financial capitalism and globalization. What’s come back is anti-liberalism, reaction.”
In the throes of these significant external challenges, Grunberg said, there is virtually no unity on the center-left to sway voters away from the extremes on either end of the political spectrum.
“The party is no longer a community,” he said.
British Prime Minister Theresa May will learn on Tuesday whether parliament must agree to the triggering of Britain's exit from the European Union, potentially giving lawmakers who oppose her plans a chance to amend or hinder her Brexit vision.
The UK Supreme Court will give its ruling at 9:30 a.m. (0930 GMT) in a landmark case on whether May can use executive powers known as known as "royal prerogative" to invoke Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty and begin two years of divorce talks.
Challengers, led by investment manager Gina Miller and backed by the Scottish government and others, say May must first get lawmakers' approval as leaving the EU will strip Britons of rights they were granted by parliament.
That view was backed by London's High Court, prompting the government to appeal to the Supreme Court, the highest judicial body in the land.
The case has attracted huge attention from markets, with investors hoping parliament will temper moves towards a "hard Brexit", and it has again brought to the fore some of the ugly divisions among Britons produced by last June's referendum.
Brexit supporters have cast the legal battle as an attempt by a pro-EU establishment to thwart the referendum result after Britons voted by 52-48 percent to leave the EU, with judges denounced as "enemies of the people" and Miller receiving death threats and a torrent of online abuse.
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