Three Christians killed by former KKK leader in Jewish Community Center shooting rampage in Kansas. Please pray for those grieving.

Mindy Corporon, the daughter & mother of two of the victims, speaks to reporters. "I know they are in heaven together."

Mindy Corporon, the daughter & mother of two of the victims, speaks to reporters. “I know they are in heaven together.”

(Washington, D.C.) — My heart is broken for the family and friends of those who were brutally murdered in Kansas, and for the Jewish community there, as well. Please join me in praying for them amidst one of the most horrific acts of intended anti-Semitism in the U.S. in recent memory.

As it turns out, three Christians, not Jews, were the ones shot and killed by a former senior KKK member at a Kansas Jewish Community Center and a Jewish retirement center on the eve of Passover. 

Authorities quickly apprehended the shooter — who yelled “Heil Hitler!” as he was arrested — and he is being held on first degree murder and federal hate crimes charges.

Dr. William Corporon, a medical doctor, and his grandson, Reat, were murdered in the rampage. They were both Protestants and from a devout Christian heritage.

“William Lewis Corporon was a man of strong faith. His father was a Christian minister, and so was his grandfather,” reported the Kansas City Star. “Reat, a Boy Scout in Troop 92 who had 22 merit badges and was working to become an Eagle Scout, was a bright and enthusiastic student who loved to sing and act. He competed in seven debate tournaments in the first semester of his freshman year at Blue Valley High School.”

“I know they are in heaven together,” said Mindy Corporon, the daughter of William and the mother of Reat.

Thus far, the name of a Catholic woman also killed has not been released by authorities.

  • “My heart and prayers are with all those who were affected by today’s events,” said Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, a strong Christian (and personal friend), who is known as pro-Israel and very supportive of the Jewish community. “We will pursue justice aggressively for these victims and criminal charges against the perpetrator or perpetrators to the full extent of the law.”
  • “On the eve of the Passover holiday, where Jews around the world celebrate the festival when the ancient Israelites broke the shackles of tyranny, the Jewish community of Kansas City was struck by a tyrant,” said Rabbi Marvin Heir, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization.
  • “We condemn the murders, which according to all the signs were committed from hatred of Jews. … The state of Israel together with all civilized people is committed to fighting against this plague,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • President Obama also spoke out against the crimes.

Again, please keep praying for the families and friends of those killed who are grieving their losses this day. Please also pray for the members of the Jewish community who have been traumatized by this vile act of anti-Semitism.

“The suspect in the Passover Eve killings of three people at two Jewish community centers near Kansas City is a former Ku Klux Klan leader with a history of spewing vitriol against Jews, law enforcement officials said on Monday,” reports Reuters. “Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, faces local and federal prosecution on hate crime charges after his arrest on Sunday for a shooting spree that killed a teenager and his grandfather outside a Jewish community center, and a woman visiting her mother at a nearby Jewish retirement home….None of the victims was Jewish. The boy and his grandfather were members of an area Methodist church and the woman attended a Catholic church.”

Excerpts:

  • Cross, of Aurora, Missouri, had a prior criminal history and was known by law enforcement and human rights groups as a former senior member of the KKK movement and someone who had long made public comments against Jewish people, according to the FBI.
  • Both the Southern Poverty Law Center, a leading anti-hate group, and the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR) have tracked Cross, who also goes by the name Frazier Glenn Miller, for years. The groups say he was involved in creating an armed paramilitary organization in North Carolina 20 years ago.
  • The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said Cross is a “raging anti-Semite” who has posted online commentaries that include “No Jews, Just Right” and calls to “exterminate the Jews.”
  • Cross is a former leader of both the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party, groups aimed at the unification of white people, targeting African Americans and others for intimidation, according to the SPLC. He served time in prison on weapons charges and for making threats through the mail, the group said.
  • The IREHR said he idolizes Adolf Hitler.
  • “His worship for Hitler and Hitlerism is real,” said Leonard Zeskind, president of IREHR, in a statement issued Monday.

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Report on my meeting with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to discuss the Holocaust & the rising Iran nuclear threat.

Meeting with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at the Capitol.

Meeting with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at the Capitol.

(Washington, D.C.) — Yesterday — on the 70th anniversary of the escape from Auschwitz by Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler – I had the opportunity to meet privately with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at his office in the Capitol.

I gave him a copy of The Auschwitz Escape and shared with him  some of the true stories that inspired the novel.

We discussed how Vrba and Wetzler got out, and why their report, “The Auschwitz Protocol,” was so important in telling the world the truth about what the Nazis were really doing to the Jews. I also shared with him the remarkable heroism of the evangelical Christians of Le Chambon, France, who risked their lives to rescue more than 5,000 people from the Nazis, including more than 3,000 Jews.

We also discussed the growing Iran nuclear threat, and how best to stop Iran before they can attempt to perpetrate a Second Holocaust.

Rep. Cantor is Jewish and a fellow Virginian. As I reported in this column, he recently made his first visit the Auschwitz death camp in southern Poland with a group of Israeli Members of Knesset in January.

The following month, Cantor delivered a major speech speaking of the lessons of the Holocaust and warning of the dangers of the isolationism.

It was interesting to hear him share his impressions of his time at Auschwitz, and to discuss the latest developments with the Iranian nuclear threat.

I did not ask the Majority Leader for anything. I wasn’t there to lobby him in any way. Rather, I simply wanted to share with him some of these true stories, thank him for going to Auschwitz, and encourage him to keep reminding Americans how important it is to act decisively to stop evil early, before it can metastasize.

Please keep Leader Cantor in your prayers, and pray that he will be a positive influence on the rest of the House of Representatives on these vital issues.

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>> Read the column I recently wrote for CNN.com with fmr. Senator Rick Santorum — “Lessons of history: Americans fear ‘second Holocaust’ if Iran gets the bomb”

>> Read the attack on our column by an Iranian government official — Iranian official attacks oped I wrote with Senator Santorum as “ludicrous, counterproductive and unfortunate.”

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Abbas: No recognition of Israel as Jewish state. Palestinian leader to visit White House on March 17.

abbas-jerusalempicture(Washington, D.C.) — Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to meet with President Obama at the White House on March 17th. Yet complicating the administration’s efforts to get a peace deal are enormously wide gaps between Abbas and Netanyahu on core issues.

“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said there is ‘no way’ he will recognize Israel as a Jewish state and accept a Palestinian capital in just a portion of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, rebuffing what Palestinians fear will be key elements of a US peace proposal,” reports the Times of Israel. “s comments signaled that the gaps between him and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remain wide after seven months of mediation efforts by US Secretary of State John Kerry.”

Excerpts:

  • Speaking to youth activists of his Fatah party, he suggested he would stand firm again, particularly over the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
  • “They are pressing and saying, ‘no peace without the Jewish state,’” he said, though not spelling out who is applying the pressure. “There is no way. We will not accept.”
  • Netanyahu has said such recognition is required as proof that the Palestinians are serious about a final end to the conflict. Abbas has noted that the Palestine Liberation Organization recognized the state of Israel in 1993 and said this is sufficient.
  • Palestinians fear the demand is an Israeli attempt to restrict possible return options of Palestinian refugees and the rights of Israel’s large Arab minority. Israeli leaders have openly said the demand is partly to counter Palestinian demand for the return of millions of descendants of refugees, but have rejected the connection to Israel’s Arab citizens.
  • Kerry is expected to present his ideas for the contours of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal soon, but it appears increasingly unlikely he can get Abbas and Netanyahu to accept such a framework by an April 29 deadline.
  • Abbas is meeting with US President Barack Obama at the White House on March 17, as part of US efforts to press both sides. Netanyahu met with Obama earlier this week.

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

With all eyes on Putin during Sochi Olympics, Russian leader builds closer ties to terror regime in Iran.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (2nd L) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani (L) during a meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Bishkek, September 13, 2013. (REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin)

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (2nd L) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani (L) during a meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Bishkek last Fall. (REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin)

(Washington, D.C.) – In October, Forbes magazine named Russian President Vladimir Putin “the world’s most powerful person.” 

Now, with the Olympics in Sochi underway, the eyes of the world are riveted on Russia and its leader, who have invested a record $ 51 billion in creating what they hope will prove a dazzling showcase to reassert Russian power and influence.

Putin is determined to use a string of missteps by President Obama — hesitation and vacillation in the Syria crisis, the Benghazi scandal, health care rollout fiasco, sky-high budget deficits, and Mr. Obama’s sinking poll numbers, to name a few — to reposition Russia as a major world leader in hopes of eventually eclipsing American power.

“I declare the 22nd Winter Olympic Games officially open,” Putin declared to a worldwide TV and Internet audience on Friday.

A Russian news service said Putin was “raising the curtain on an Olympic Games that started as his pet project and has become the crowning moment of his third term as president,” adding that “in front of a near-capacity crowd at the 40,000-seat Fisht Olympic Stadium and millions of TV viewers worldwide, the opening show drew on Russia’s rich musical and literary heritage, with a few nods to its Soviet past.

“Tonight we are writing a new page in Olympic history — these are the first-ever Olympic Games in the new Russia,” said International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, as he called on athletes “to live together with harmony, with tolerance and without any form of discrimination for whatever reason.”

Amidst these themes of global peace and harmony, however, Putin is simultaneously working hard to build closer ties with Iran, the world’s most Radical Islamic terrorist regime.

“Iran and Russia are negotiating an oil-for-goods swap worth $ 1.5 billion a month that would enable Iran to lift oil exports substantially, undermining Western sanctions that helped persuade Tehran in November to agree to a preliminary deal to curb its nuclear program,” Reuters recently reported. “Russian and Iranian sources close to the barter negotiations said final details were in discussion for a deal under which Russia would buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods.”

“Good progress is being made at the moment with strong chances of success,” said a Russian source. “We are discussing the details, and the date of signing a deal depends on those details.” The Kremlin declined comment.

Other signs of intensifying Russian-Iranian ties in recent years:

Iran, meanwhile, is:

Putin is also using the Olympics to strengthen ties with other world leaders. 

The Los Angeles Times reported that “Putin used the hours before the lavish opening ceremony for the Olympic Winter Games to hold court with world leaders who did attend and project an image of the globally influential chief of a resurgent Russia. Upon arrival in Sochi, where Western journalists have focused on fears of a terrorism attack and discomforts in the hastily constructed hotels and venues, Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Putin on his staging of the prestigious competition as evidence that ‘Russia is heading toward strength and prosperity.’ Xi also hailed Russian-Chinese cooperation on Syria and Iran – two foreign policy challenges that have pitted the once-rivalrous eastern giants against the three Western countries that are permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, preventing the American, British and French faction from securing sanctions on Damascus or Tehran…..Putin also received Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose crackdown on political opponents and public protest over the last year have alienated Turkey from its traditional allies in Europe and Washington. Putin seemed eager to cast Russia as an alternative diplomatic partner more respectful of Ankara’s right to decide its own domestic affairs.”

As I noted in December, “Vladmir Putin sees himself not so much as Russia’s president but as an old-time Czar for the modern age. All knowing. All powerful….Determined to expand his territory and grow his power and personal wealth. This is what makes him so dangerous.”

MORE RUSSIA AND IRAN HEADLINES:


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Who to watch in 2014 — #3: Ayman al-Zawahiri. Al Qaeda leader targeting U.S., Israel, Jordan & Syria’s Assad

Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian-born leader of al Qaeda.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian-born leader of al Qaeda.

(Washington, D.C.) — This is the third in a series of columns on key leaders in the epicenter we should be keeping an eye on in 2014.

1) The first leader on my list was Jordan’s King Abdullah II — a fascinating Arab Reformer, the son of a bold Reformer, actively trying to lead his small, resource-poor, but vitally important nation towards progress and freedom, tolerance and modernity in a very tough neighborhood. The Big Questions: Will he play a key role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in 2014? Will he also continue to protect himself and his nation from the Radical forces that want his head?

2) The second leader on my list was Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — a cruel dictator, the son of a cruel dictator, who is massacring his people as he presides over the implosion of a country engulfed in civil war. The Big Questions: Will he survive through  2014? Or are we seeing the end of his regime and the Syrian geopolitical state as we have known it?

3) The third leader on my list is Ayman al-Zawahiri — a fanatical, Radical leader of al Qaeda who is Hell-bent on eradicating Jews, Christians and other ”infidels” in the epicenter and establishing an Islamic state throughout the Middle East, no matter what the cost in blood and treasure.

The Obama administration has repeatedly made the case since the killing of Osama bin Laden that Zawahiri and al Qaeda are crippled and in decline, despite the attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya on September 11th, 2012. Consider this headline: “Obama Has Touted Al Qaeda’s Demise 32 Times since Benghazi Attack.”

In a new interview with the New Yorker, President Obama yet again dismissed al Qaeda’s role and influence saying, “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” 

But U.S. and Middle Eastern security, intelligence and diplomatic officials I’ve met with in recent months say just the opposite is true. They are increasingly concerned about al Qaeda’s resurgence, and say Zawahiri and his allies pose a growing danger to Americans, and particularly to friendly, moderate governments in the Mideast. 

Last fall, the Egyptian-born Zawahiri called for “lone wolf attacks” by Radicals in the U.S. He also continues to wage “economic jihad” against the U.S., saying in a video, “We must bleed America economically by provoking it, so that it continues its massive expenditures on security. America’s weak spot is its economy, which began to totter from the drain of its military and security expenditure.”

Zawahiri and his senior deputies and allies, former CIA and Mossad officials tell me, desperately want to launch horrific terror attacks against the United States and Israel. They also want to topple the regimes of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, King Abdullah II in Jordan, Nouri al-Maliki in Iraq, and eventually General Sisi in Egypt. If they can also knock off some emirates in the Gulf and the Saudi leadership, they wouldn’t hesitate for a moment.

Several years ago, al Qaeda was on the ropes. The U.S. and allied military and intelligence operations were pressing the offensive, ripping up jihadist terror bases, arresting and killing their leaders and operatives, cutting off their financial networks, and protecting Muslim civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was messy and imperfect, but significant progress was being made.

But mounting evidence suggests a reversal is underway.

With the White House pulling U.S. military forces completely out of Iraq — and increasingly out of Afghanistan — numerous experts fear a vacuum is being created, and that Zawahiri and other Radical forces are moving to fill that vacuum. We are no longer pressing the offensive. Zawahiri and his deputies are.

Consider some headlines worth noting:

Consider, too, today’s news of Israel arresting an al Qaeda cell plotting attacks inside Israel.

“Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency cracked open an al-Qaeda plot, directed from the Gaza Strip, to carry out mega terror attacks in Israel against both US and Israeli targets, according to information the Shin Bet made available Wednesday,” reports the Times of Israel. “Israel is holding three suspects in the plot, it added, but the key plotter is still at large.”

Excerpts:

  • The attacks, still in the planning stage, included twin suicide bombings, against the US Embassy in Tel Aviv and the main Israeli convention center in Jerusalem, where President Barack Obama gave the centerpiece of his Israel visit last March.
  • An Arab resident of East Jerusalem, according to the plan, was to be sent to Syria to learn the nuts and bolts of the terror trade. He would then facilitate the twin attack, which would be carried out by al-Qaeda operatives entering Israel with Russian paperwork, according to the Shin Bet.
  • The security organization fingered a Gaza-based al-Qaeda operative, Oreib al-Sham, as the point man for the twin attack. The fact that he was allowed to operate freely from Gaza, the Shin Bet said, indicates that “Hamas allows Salafists to carry out terror attacks so long as they are not targeting them.”
  • It has also become increasingly clear, the security organization said, that the civil war in Syria, a magnet for terror operatives throughout the Middle East, has deepened the roots of al-Qaeda and other like-minded organizations in the region.
  • Those organizations, the Shin Bet said, are striving to link up with willing Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in order to strike Israel and Western targets.
  • In this case, al-Sham, which means Greater Syria in Arabic and is likely a pseudonym, drafted three willing Palestinians over Facebook and Skype. The most developed plans appear to have been hatched with an East Jerusalem resident, Ayad Abu-Sara, who expressed both a willingness to carry out attacks on his own and to help orchestrate foreign attacks.
  • Al-Sham made contact with Abu-Sara four months ago via Skype and Facebook, the Shin Bet said. The 23-year-old resident of Ras Khamis, a neighborhood within municipal Jerusalem, allegedly agreed to shoot the tires of an Israeli bus heading downhill from Ma’ale Adumim to the Dead Sea. He would then fire at the passengers and the rescue workers arriving at the scene.

I will be watching Zahawiri closely in 2014. I pray he is brought to justice. But it’s not really about one man. Bin Laden and Zawahiri have inspired, mobilized and encouraged a movement of Sunni Radicals throughout the world. We dare not lower our guard. Far too much is at stake.

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog