Where We Are and Where it All Came From

Beyond the Cusp

The world is in a frightful state, and we do mean frightful as in scare the living daylights out of you. Merkel invited the civilizational Jihad to set up home in the heart of Europe and they moved in just about everywhere. The United States is having their quadrennial Presidential elections which are more reminiscent of elections for tenth grade presidential elections. Does the United States, with their three hundred million citizens and who knows how many illegals (hey, if they vote why not let them run too) really want us to believe that Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are the best they’ve got to offer? Puleeze! Then there is the fact that their media has not seen fit, from any political angle, to report that there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of OTM (other than Mexican) refugees being brought in from across the…

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Morning Briefing – The Telegraph

Good morning.

Junior doctors  have embarked on their first all-out strike this morning for the first time the NHS’ history, we report this morning, with union leaders advising them that they cannot be held responsible for any lives lost as a result of the industrial action and should ignore pleas to return to work. This marks the fifth walk-out by junior doctors this year, although the scale – withdrawing labour from Accident and Emergency departments – has divided the medical profession. Not a single royal college has backed the 48 hour walk-out, the Independent reports, with one college president admitting: that “senior people are extremely frustrated at the absolute impasse in this sorry situation”. If you have thoughts about the dispute, we’re running a special comment live-blog taking in and hosting arguments from all sides, so please send your thoughts to comment@telegraph.co.uk.

What will the impact be to the NHS as up to 45,000 junior doctors withdraw their labour? More than 125,000 operations and appointments have been cancelled, with cancer sufferers among those whose care will be delayed. Jeremy Hunt told the Commons yesterday that the BMA had “crossed a line” in putting patients at risk, telling MPs that “no trade union has a right to veto a manifesto promise voted for by the British people”. Labour’s shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander called it “one of the saddest days in the history of the NHS”, although her leader Jeremy Corbyn seemed much more supportive of the strike, declaring that his message was “back off, we are supporting the junior doctors.”  “There are huge issues to be tackled in strengthening the NHS,” writes Ken Clarke – who fought the BMA himself as health secretary – in today’s paper, “Militant battles over pay are a complete irrelevance to its future”.

Three unions  – Unite, Unison and the GMB – are jumping on the bandwagon by voting to consult on “copycat strikes” which could see more than 32,000 paramedics and other ambulance staff stage walkouts over pay. Government sources accused the doctors of embarking on a “political strike” just days after John McDonnell urged nurses to “bring down this Government at the first opportunity”. The Shadow Chancellor has previously said that Labour “automatically” supports all strikes, so doctors will struggle to argue that their action is apolitical. “Junior doctors should ignore the BMA and its political ambitions and go to work today as normal,” we say in our leader today.

Doctors may not be thinking much about the EU referendum today, but their strike action is shaping the arguments from campaigners as Brexiteers argue that two weeks worth of Britain’s contributions to the European Union could solve their pay dispute.  Tempers are still running high in the EU referendum, with Samantha Cameron and Sarah Vine reportedly arguing about whether Britain should stay in, while Labour MP Frank Field has warned his party that its pro-EU stance could boost the Ukip vote. Meanwhile, a Falkland Islands officials has claimed that Brexit could fuel Argentinian aggression towards them, and Barack Obama has accused  Vladimir Putin of trying to undermine European unity. With eight weeks to go in the referendum, our new ORB poll shows that not much has changed in how both sides are faring, with support for Remain at 51% and Leave at 46%. “Both camps must continue to stay the course with respect to their messaging and focus on consolidating their base support for the referendum,” Sir Lynton Crosby writes in today’s paper.

Given the importance both sides of the campaign place on the NHS, the doctors’ all-out strike  will make its mark. Will voters think that it shows the only way to keep the NHS steady is by staying in the European Union, or will they warm to the idea from Brexiteers that leaving the EU would free up more money for medics?

For mother of Hamas bus bomber, son’s attack was ‘self-defense’

AL-AYDA REFUGEE CAMP, Bethlehem — We enter al-Ayda refugee camp on foot. We’re on the northern edge of Bethlehem, close to the security barrier and Rachel’s Tomb. Graffiti on one of the walls proclaims this “the State of al-Ayda refugee camp,” underlining its separation from the rest of the world.

There are posters on the walls every few meters showing the “martyr” Abed al-Hamid Abu Srour, 19, who carried out last Monday’s suicide bombing on the No. 12 bus in Jerusalem’s Talpiot neighborhood. Twenty Israelis were injured, one of them critically — a 15-year-old Israeli girl, Eden Dadon. Abu Srour was the only fatality.

The posters show a good-looking youngster wearing a bright Giorgio Armani shirt. Most of the posters here do not carry the symbols of any Palestinian organization — a kind of retort, perhaps, to posters issued by Hamas that announced the bomber was one of them.

When you enter the mourning tent at Al-Ayda’s youth center, however, Hamas posters are everywhere. Green Hamas flags, too, along with the yellow flags of Fatah. “The heroic martyr” is immortalized here along with other famous “martyrs.” Among them is Hamas’s bombmaker, “the Engineer,” Yahya Ayyash.


Robert Kaplan: ‘Europe Was Defined By Islam. And Islam Is Redefining It Now.’

Robert Kaplan, a contributing editor to The Atlantic, has just published a piece on Islam and the future of Europe. He claims, startlingly, that Europe “was essentially defined by Islam,” by which he means that before Islam swept across North Africa, Europe consisted of a single civilization, on both banks of the Mediterranean — that of the Roman Empire — and that Islam’s arrival severed “the Mediterranean region into two civilizational halves.” It is true that Muslim conquerors swept across North Africa in the seventh and eighth centuries, but not quite true, pace Kaplan, that they “extinguished Christianity there.” Millions of Coptic Christians remained a majority in Egypt until the 14th century (that is, for at least 700 years after the time that Kaplan claims Muslim armies “virtually extinguished Christianity” in North Africa). And while it is true that the Roman Empire was sundered, it was not only by the forces of Islam, as Kaplan appears to believe: before the Arab armies arrived, others had been seizing territory from Roman control, including the Visigoths in Spain and the Vandals, who conquered the Roman province of Africa in 433 and held it till 539.

Kaplan quotes with evident approval Jose Ortega y Gasset that “all European history has been a great migration toward the North.” Is that true? The Roman Empire fell because of a great migration of the Germanic tribes from the north and northeast to the South; it was they, the Barbarians, who beat down the steady Roman legions and seized Rome in 476 A.D., with the Germanic warrior Odoacer placed on the throne. And even before the Fall of Rome, the Roman Empire had divided into Eastern and Western Empires, one ruled from Rome, the other from Constantinople. Surely that split was just as significant, for the future of European civilization, with the Western empire embracing Latin Catholicism, and the Eastern empire Orthodox Christianity, as the loss of North Africa to Islam.

Racing through the centuries, Kaplan in the same sentence leaps from “the breakup of the Roman empire” (into East and West, but he says nothing further about the colossal effect of that split) to “that northward migration” which “saw the Germanic peoples (the Goths, Vandals, Franks, and Lombards) forge the rudiments of Western civilization.” This is a doubly bizarre remark, since it was their southern migration which brought the Germanic peoples within the borders of the Roman Empire and ultimately to Rome. And it was the Romans of both the Western and Eastern Empires, not the Germanic tribes, who forged more than the rudiments of Western civilization, including such monumental achievements as, in the Eastern Empire, the Code of Justinian.


The Defenders

On December 20, 2013, Christine Morales got up at seven to make breakfast for Kierra, her two-year-old daughter. They lived in a public housing project in Hunt’s Point in the south Bronx, where Morales worked as a security guard at a grocery store. When they were getting ready to leave, the door of the apartment exploded. Police officers burst in, carrying shields, guns drawn. One waved a search warrant; Kierra started to wail. As an officer pushed Morales to the wall and handcuffed her wrists, her mind raced: she thought through everything she had ever done wrong, trying to understand what had brought the police into her home.

Morales’s arrest instantly set in motion a chain of dispiriting events. Because Kierra was two, and the arrest was for a drug charge, the Administration of Children’s Services opened an investigation. Because Morales lived in public housing, the New York City Housing Authority began eviction proceedings. The police built a case to lock her out of her apartment under a Nuisance Abatement law. Finally, she lost her security license, so she could not go to work.

After spending the night in central booking, Morales was assigned a public defender, Seann Riley, for her arraignment at Bronx Family Court. He asked her about her case and her concerns; she said she just wanted to see her daughter again. The prosecutor read her charge aloud: possession with intent to distribute—Morales’s boyfriend had been dealing drugs out of their apartment. However, Riley pointed out that when police raided the apartment, they had been looking for her boyfriend, not her. The judge released Morales. Meanwhile, her father had taken Kierra to family court, where a lawyer from the child-protection agency insisted that she be placed in foster care for protection. Morales’s boyfriend pleaded guilty to felony drug possession, and, two weeks after her arrest, the prosecutor dropped all the charges against her.


Report: Iran May Send Hamas to Fight ISIS

Iran is reportedly planning to deploy Hamas operatives to fight the Islamic State in Mosul, according to a-Sharq al-Awsat and reported by the Jerusalem Post.

The report suggests that Iran still maintains significant influence over the Palestinian terrorist organization. In the battle for Mosul, Hamas terrorists would fight with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Lebanese Hizballah, and Shi’ite Houthi militias.

Hizballah and Houthi fighters remain bogged down in the Syrian and Yemeni civil wars. Nevertheless, their main benefactor, Iran, continues to exploit its main terrorist proxies to pursue its regional hegemonic ambitions at the expense of local considerations.

Now Hamas is reportedly expected to divert its forces to the Iraqi theatre, despite Gaza’s economic woes and growing Salafi-jihadist internal threat.

According to the report, Hamas would also help take over Kirkuk, the oil-rich city under Kurdish control since June 2014, in order to destabilize the Kurdistan region in pursuit of Iran’s interests.


Dershowitz: Obama’s double standard toward Benjamin Netanyahu

As US President Barack Obama winds up his farewell tour of Europe, it is appropriate to consider the broader implications of the brouhaha he created in Great Britain. At a joint press conference with Britain Prime Minister, David Cameron, President Obama defended his intrusion into British politics in taking sides on the controversial and divisive Brexit debate. In an op-ed, Obama came down squarely on the side of Britain remaining in the European Union – a decision I tend to agree with on its merits. But he was much criticized by the British media and British politicians for intruding into a debate about the future of Europe and Britain’s role in it.

Obama defended his actions by suggesting that in a democracy, friends should be able to speak their minds, even when they are visiting another country: “If one of our best friends is in an organization that enhances their influence and enhances their power and enhances their economy, then I want them to stay in. Or at least I want to be able to tell them ‘I think this makes you guys bigger players.’” Nor did he stop at merely giving the British voters unsolicited advice, he also issued a not so veiled threat. He said that “The UK is going to be in the back of the queue” on trade agreements if they exit the EU.

President Obama must either have a short memory or must adhere to Emerson’s dictum that “foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Recall how outraged the same President Obama was when the Prime Minister of a friendly country, Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke his mind about the Iran Deal.


Iran Threatens U.S. With Legal Action Over Terror Victims’ Payout

Iran threatened to take legal action in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the United States government for a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would allow the families of terror victims to collect compensation from frozen Iranian assets.

The U.S. is currently responsible for the preservation of the Iranian funds, most of which were released following the implementation of the Nuclear Deal negotiation in which the U.S. played a crucial role. Iran gained access to $100 billion in February as sanctions were lifted.

“We hold the U.S. administration responsible for preservation of Iranian funds and if they are plundered, we will lodge a complaint with the ICJ for reparation,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, AFP reported. Zarif continued saying that the ruling amounts to a “misappropriation of Iranian assets that runs counter to international law.”