Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
On Christmas Eve, democracy protesters in Hong Kong ignored police warnings and began the countdown to midnight. The courageous young men wearing antlers wished the uniformed Communist regime thugs, “Merry Christmas”, and continued the fight.
While Time’s Person of the Year, Greta Thunberg, was yachting and traveling first class on trains, being feted at parties and getting giant murals painted of her, true activists were fighting against Communism
The protests over China’s brutal attempts to terrorize Hong Kong residents began in the spring and continued on into the summer, autumn and winter. Christmas is a traditionally cheerful time in this capitalist enclave of the People’s Republic which has a large Christian population who, unlike their mainlander cousins, are still free to worship, but it’s now marked by the brutality of the regime.
Christmas Eve saw clashes in shopping malls between protesters in Santa hats and gas masks, and Communist regime thugs, in and out of uniform, wielding guns, batons, and noxious sprays. While Greta’s environmentalist supporters claim that they’re opposed to consumerism, the protesters in Hong Kong were putting their bodies on the line in shopping malls to sabotage the shopping season.
Their message to Xi’s Communist regime, and to his puppets and allies in Hong Kong was that there would be no business as usual. The People’s Republic of China had avoided the catastrophic collapses that befell the Soviet Union and much of the Communist bloc by finding a balance between the economic prosperity of free market economies and the authoritarian control of Communism.
After Tiananmen Square, the Communist regime had bribed its populace with economic prosperity obtained through dirty trade tactics aimed at the United States of America and the entire world. The Hong Kong protesters are sending a message that they won’t trade shopping malls for freedom.
Protesters courageously fought so that Christmas in Hong Kong won’t be a Communist shopping mall.
The protests sent Hong Kong into a recession. Its third quarter GDP fell by 2.9%. Retail sales, of the kind represented by the mall shoppers, fell by 24.3% or $3.85 billion while tourism declined by 43%. And the city is on track for a budget deficit and a larger recession that will depress its prosperous economy.
Despite that, Hong Kong residents continue to support the protests because they know what’s at stake.
Democracy protesters are fighting China by taking their own economy hostage because freedom matters to them more than retail shopping. They’re sending China and the rest of the world a message that taking away their freedom will kill the golden goose. And challenging the devil’s bargain of cheap prosperity that China has used to convince their mainlander cousins to stop caring about freedom.
The Hong Kong protesters weren’t just fighting for their own freedom. They’re part of a global struggle against Chinese colonialism that extends from America to Asia and across Africa. That’s why Hong Kong protesters have waved American flags and posters of President Trump. And why they’ve tapped into human rights causes beyond the islands. The protesters are not under the illusion that the same world that abandoned Taiwan and the protesters in Tiananmen Square will risk anything for them alone.
The Hong Kong protesters are not alone in putting their bodies, their jobs, and their futures on the line. Courageous men and women are doing the same thing in Iran and Venezuela. Among other places. But the Hong Kong protesters are unique in speaking to the new threat of dot com totalitarianism.
Cold War opposition to Communism had insisted that prosperity and tyranny, a plethora of products and Communism, were incompatible. Americans had pointed to the plethora of products in our supermarkets and the scarcity in the Soviet Union as proof of economic manifest destiny. But these days most of our plethora of products are made in China. Lenin had been apocryphally quoted as saying that the capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them. China is selling us our Amazon rope.
President Trump’s trade war with China did the unthinkable by rattling our economic chains. He did it over the hysterical protests of libertarians who shrieked that having slave labor goods dumped on Walmart as a military tactic by a Communist regime was the essence of a free market economy. There were tough times for some, but the supply chain tottered, and manufacturing began to trickle back.
Like the Hong Kong protesters, taking a stand for freedom was painful. There are no Chinese riot police in our malls yet. But when we tried to get the Chinese rope off our necks, it became hard to breathe.
If that’s how hard it is in 2019, imagine how impossible it will be to break free in 2029 or 2039.
Eventually we will become a Chinese colony. Our governments, like Hong Kong’s, will put down protests, sign extradition treaties, and do anything that Beijing says or face total economic catastrophe.
We have a choice between Freedom and ‘Made in China’.
After Tiananmen Square, Bush and Clinton refused to touch China’s most-favored-nation status. Under Obama, the People’s Republic of China hacked our economy, stealing everything in sight, copying products, industries, infrastructure, intellectual property, and personal data on an inconceivable scale, while burying its internet behind the Great Firewall and its economy behind protectionist restrictions.
Chinese spies openly operate on our soil in the thousands and tens of thousands. The secret police of the Communist regime openly threaten political dissidents, not just in Shanghai, but in California.
California Highway Patrol officers have arrested people driving Communist Party of China’s People’s Armed Police cars in Irvine, California. Those are the same thugs likely operating undercover on the ground in Hong Kong disguised as mainlander tourists who assault protesters in shopping malls.
Our economy is dominated by dot coms that have hollowed out our retail and manufacturing sectors, allowing China to dump even more stolen and slave labor products on our markets. Our entertainment industry attacks America while its film productions are closely controlled by Chinese Communist officials. This is our Amazon, Google, and Disney future. The one that Hong Kong protesters are fighting.
To paraphrase Sinclair Lewis, when Communism comes to America, it will be wrapped in One Day Prime and Disney+. We can have our 5G and Google Home as long as we shut up and do what we’re told.
For all the pretense that Greta Thunberg represents something more than an astroturf social media influencer manufactured by big green business, that’s also her message. It’s the message of the Left.
Obey. Do what you’re told. And we’ll let you enjoy your stuff.
The Hong Kong protesters have spent six months refusing to obey the world’s mightiest and wealthiest tyranny. They have stood up to a regime that has killed millions and could crush them in minutes.
And they’re doing it to show the world what is at stake.
Hong Kong is the canary in the Communist coal mine. The protesters gathering to sing “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord” are telling us what’s at stake for us. They’re refusing to trade moral and political freedom for consumer goods. They’re raising their voices to shout that it’s not enough to have full supermarkets if you have empty souls, that Disney and Amazon aren’t a substitute for the freedom of a people.
This is a new generation of protests against a new form of consumeristic Communism.
America is in the thrall of an oligarchy of leftist corporations that trade ideological obedience for consumerism. If you have the right politics, you will have a place in their new economy. If you don’t, you will be deplatformed, demonetized, and cancelled. Your leaders will be the social media influencers, like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, manufactured on these same platforms. Obey and enjoy the good life.
It takes courage to rise up against tyranny. But it takes even greater courage to resist the inertia of a new prosperity which hacks the human mind, and to take a stand for the principles of freedom.
That’s why the Hong Kong protesters are Front Page Magazine’s Person of the Year.
President Trump’s trade policies asked the nation to choose between America and Made in China. The Hong Kong protesters are asking us to choose our freedoms and theirs over Made in China.
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.