US Envoy: Biden Win Could Damage Israel’s New Peace Accords with Arabs

On Wednesday, special advisor to Jared Kushner and presidential assistant Avi Berkowitz said he feared a negative impact on Israel’s normalization with other countries in the region if Joe Biden wins the presidency in November.

Berkowitz, who also serves as a Special Representative for International Negotiations, is said to be one of the chief architects of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain normalization agreements with Israel.

During a virtual conference on the Abraham Accords hosted by the Kohelet Forum and Israel Hayom on Wednesday, Berkowitz said he was worried about a potential shift in American policy towards Iran.

“A different administration would continue to pursue sort of an appeasement-type strategy with Iran,” he said, “and whether its intention is so or not, it is hard to imagine that that would not have negative ramifications on the normalization efforts.”

But Berkowitz made sure to acknowledge Biden’s support for the normalization deals.

“I was appreciative when the Biden camp put out a positive statement of support for the accords, because it actually showed that this is something that has bipartisan support in the U.S.,” he said.

He praised Trump’s tough stance on Iran and said he believed that the current U.S. president’s moves to strengthen Israel’s relations with neighboring countries was a major boost to regional security.

“I think that if you are in a world where the U.S. is isolating its partners and allies in the Middle East, it becomes a lot more difficult to capitalize in the ways that we were able to, and so that is just a significant fear of mine that I hope would never be realized, because I think it could not be more important that President Trump be the one in charge of these things,” Berkowitz said.

Echoing sentiments from both U.S. and Israeli officials, Berkowitz emphasized that Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria was not completely off the table.

“For the time being the application of Israeli law has been suspended so that we can focus on capitalizing on normalization and peace agreements,” he said.

“What became apparent was that in order to capitalize on this momentous historic opportunity [normalization], it was necessary to suspend a component of the vision for peace.”

“Now that is not to say that in the foreseeable future it [extension of Israeli sovereignty] could not come back and it is not to say that we fundamentally disagree with what our position was initially…but understanding that certain opportunities arise when they do and taking advantage to capitalize on them, i.e. the Abraham Accords, was also paramount in this case.”

“For the time being the application of Israeli law has been suspended so that we can focus on capitalizing on normalization and peace agreements,” he said.

Sudanese suspected of deadly stabbing will become a burden to Dutch taxpayers

Rik van de Rakt. Facebook

Rik van de Rakt was found dead next to his bicycle in what police said appeared to be a gratuitous attack. Eyewitnesses say the migrant may have been involved in another attack earlier that day too. According to Dutch daily the Telegraaf, he was in a “state of mental confusion” when he was arrested at Oss station.

At the court in Den Bosch, during a second so-called pre-trial hearing recently, the parties involved appeared to have been informed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) about the intention to deport the suspect. But that may never happen anyway, because according to an expert report, the Sudanese migrant was so confused on Sunday morning, April 19, that the atrocity cannot be blamed on him.

He was completely insane, they claim. On a cycle path in Oss, he stabbed Rik van de Rakt with a knife, who happened to pass by on his way to work.

There are no longer any questions about the facts, the state prosecutor said. It has now also been established that blood spatters on Rick’s backpack originated from the suspect.

The main question is what will happen to Abdallah A. if he is indeed convicted of deliberately stabbing the Dutchman to death. According to experts, the migrant cannot continue without treatment.

This also makes it impossible to deport the suspect, public prosecutor Sandra Kierkels pointed out. “The Dutch State has a duty of care. Given the complex problems, there is a risk that he cannot be properly received in Sudan.” This consideration is will not be changed by the sentence that the judge will pronounce at the next session, she emphasized.

Lawyer Tom Deckwitz successfully asked for further advice from experts on a so-called “care authorization” whereby medication can be administered under duress. According to the psychiatrist, the man should take pills for a long time, but the suspect himself does not see the need for this. Dutch taxpayers will therefore be footing the bill for his life-long treatment.

Both the public prosecutor and the lawyer emphasized that it was very difficult for them to talk to the suspect. This is partly due to the language barrier, but also due to the man’s psychological problems.

The accused Abdallah A. was not in court. Only the victim Rik van de Rakt’s parents were there to receive a report on the accused’s mental state.

The victim and the refugee both lived in the nearby town of Heesch. The village made headlines four years ago when residents protested against plans to create a migrant reception center by hanging two dead pigs from a tree in the proposed location. The asylum center was never built.

But how could crucial information about a status holder’s mental health not be shared with the municipality where he was placed? Parliamentary questions were submitted to the State Secretary in July after an investigative report showed that authorities involved in the housing and guidance of the Sudanese suspect in the murder of Rik van de Rakt had blundered considerably because the relevant information was not shared.

Leftist intellectuals participate in terrorism, warns French education minister

In an interview with Europe 1 radio station, Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer accused the French intellectual left of being co-responsible for terrorism, blaming them of being a part of Islamo-leftism.

According to Blanquer, Islamo-leftism “causes destruction” in many of the schools in the country.

He said this in response to an attack on history teacher Samuel Paty, who was murdered for doing a lesson freedom of expression which involved him showing the cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad that sparked the terrorist attack on the editorial board of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in 2015, which led to murder of 11 people.

According to Blanquer, there is a form of “intellectual participation in terrorism” in France today.

“Our society was too open to these currents of thought and their representatives,” said the Minister of Education.

Blanquer did not hesitate to be specific, naming, for example, the National Union of Students of France (UNEF), the country’s largest university student union, as one that “succumbed to this kind of thing.” He also pointed out that the neo-communist movement La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) of former presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon has its share of the responsibility.

“You have people in your ranks who are from this current and who make it very clear,” Blanquer told Mélenchon.

Already last week, Blanquer’s colleague, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, accused Mélenchon of the same thing.

“I do not understand why a party like yours, which has long condemned the opiate of the masses (religion), is now associated with Islamo-leftism, which is destroying the republic,” said Darmanin to Mélenchon.

In some earlier protests, representatives of the movement marched with well-known Islamists. If Mélenchon decides to run for president again in 2022, it is necessary to keep in mind that with 11 percent of support, he maintains the strongest position among the left.

Although it is not clear who used the term Islamo-leftism first, according to the 2017 France24 article, it was a French philosopher and political scientist Pierre-André Taguieff. Taguieff was referring to the alliance between the extreme left in the West and Islamists. A few years later, philosopher Pascal Bruckner used this term to characterize the connection between the atheist far left and radical Islamists.

In the Europe 1 interview, Minister of Education Blanquer also returned to incidents related to the topic of secularism in education. On Monday, in Toulouse, just three days after the teacher’s beheading near Paris, a student insulted his teacher again and threatened him after he raised the issue of a Muslim headscarf in a civic education class on equality between women and men. The student is now being investigated by authorities.

“This is not an isolated incident. The reporting system we have set up has allowed us to identify over 900 cases of this kind in the last school year,” Blanquer explained, adding that it was a “social phenomenon.”

Although Blanquer is condemning figures like Mélenchon, teachers have also spoken out against the current government, claiming it has offered no support to teachers dealing with integration problems in their classrooms and that radicalism is taking root early in the French public school system. 

In recent weeks, the government of President Emmanuel Macron has visibly changed rhetoric towards radical Islam, which has been spreading rapidly in France for years, but has shown little willingness in the past to take on the issue. Macron now sees his reelection chances under threat from a wave of terror attacks that have shocked France. 

Before the forthcoming presidential elections in 2022, Macron needs to define himself against the left and take the votes from the right to succeed. According to the latest polls, the chairwoman of the National Rally (FN), Marine Le Pen, is now one percentage point ahead of Macron when it comes to election support.

A calm, masterful Donald Trump made mincemeat of Joe Biden

By Andrea Widburg

The moment Donald Trump and Joe Biden appeared on the stage, Trump was in control. He looked robust, while Biden appeared frail and slow. Trump’s dominance extended beyond looks. He ably defended his record against attacks from both Biden and the moderator, Kristen Welker. He also politely, but insistently, pressed Biden on his decades of failure, the damage he caused to the black community, and his corrupt dealings with his son, Hunter. It was a rout.

Those expecting Trump to be a bit of a madman, as he was during the first debate, were disappointed. Trump, having achieved his goal during the first debate of forcing Biden to alienate some of his base, no longer needed the madman tactic. This time, Trump was charming, polite, and endlessly upbeat about America’s prospects. Biden, meanwhile, literally said that America was “about to go into a dark winter. A dark winter.”  

As expected, Welker was a biased moderator. To her credit, she asked Biden about China and Ukraine, although she left the topic as quickly as possible. Otherwise, as with Chris Wallace and, during the town hall, Savannah Guthrie, every question that Welker posed to Trump came from a Democrat, not a neutral, position.

Even more irritating than the premise of her questions, though, was Welker’s determination to cut Trump’s rebuttals off immediately while letting Biden answer at length. Indeed, when Trump reminded Biden that Hunter walked out of China with $1.5 billion and started discussing the newly released emails, Welker frantically interrupted Trump to ensure that Biden wouldn’t have to try to answer the question.

Welker also argued constantly with Trump, something she never did with Biden. Candy Crowley apparently set a new standard for moderators getting into it with Republican candidates and we may as well get used to it.

Welker’s bias was par for the course. What distinguished the debate was Biden’s easily disproved lies and Trump’s excellent ripostes.

Biden denied absolutely that he had called Trump xenophobic for closing our border to China.

Joe made it clear he wants to pathologize America permanently as a place of ebbing and flowing lockdowns and government dependency. Trump, however, wants America back on her feet and pointedly said we can’t all live like Joe, either locked in a basement or getting lots of money from unknown sources:

Showing either chutzpah or stupidity, Biden was the first to raise his son’s hard drive, although he did so obliquely. When Welker asked about the recently revealed Russian and Iranian election interference, Biden announced that Trump’s own national security advisor said that Rudy Giuliani, “his buddy,” is a Russian pawn. That was the signal for Trump to hammer Biden about the $3.5 million Hunter received from Russia, the China dealings, and Burisma. For the rest of the debate, Trump never let those subjects go. Trump attacked Biden brutally on the 1994 Crime Bill:

Biden made a bizarre, and historically inaccurate, reference to Hitler when Trump defended the peace that came from a civil relationship with Kim Jong-un:

“Having a good relationship with leaders of other countries is a good thing,” Trump said.  

Biden shot back, “That’s like saying we had a good relationship with Hitler before he in fact invaded Europe.” 

Under Godwin’s law, of course, the first person to make false Hitler analogies is losing.

Probably the biggest hit that Biden took, though, was on the subject of energy independence and fracking. Showing how completely he is under the control of the AOC branch of the Democrat party, Joe said that he would close down the oil industry:

Biden also outright lied when he denied that he’d promise to end fracking:

A highlight came when Biden, desperate to get away from Trump pressuring him about Hunter, switched the subject to the pathos of the American family. Trump pulled back the curtain and showed what a sleazy politician’s trick Biden had just used:

Biden knew he was losing. That’s why he made the classic loser’s mistake of checking his watch:

Remember the last candidate who did that during a debate?

Oh! There was one other thing that happened during the debate: Trump said that he thinks Republicans will take the House. That could be Trumpian optimism, or it could be that Trump’s inside polling is telling him something.