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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

      A radical who served as an adviser to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign recently keynoted an environmental activist festival whose satellite event was addressed by former Weather Underground terrorists William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.
 
      Cornel West, a professor at Princeton University, addressed the Washington, DC Green Festival, an event promoting environmental awareness whose speaker list featured many radicals. Ayers and Dohrn keynoted the satellite Green Festival in Chicago.
 
      West served as an adviser on Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March and is a personal friend of Farrakhan. He serves as honorary chair of a U.S. socialist group and has ties to black extremists. West authored two books on race with Henry Louis Gates Jr., who last summer was at the center of controversy after Obama remarked on the Harvard professor’s arrest.
 
      Obama named West, whom he has called a personal friend, to the Black Advisory Council of his presidential campaign. West was a key point man between Obama’s campaign and the black community.
 
      It was West who introduced Obama at a 2007 Harlem fundraiser, an event featuring about 1,500 people which served as Obama’s first foray into Harlem since he announced his Democratic presidential candidacy. YouTube clips show West introducing Obama on stage at the fundraiser after first railing against the “racist” criminal justice system of the “American empire.”
 

      This reporter found a video that shows Obama taking the stage just after West’s introduction, expressing his gratitude to West, calling him “not only a genius, a public intellectual, a preacher, an oracle … he’s also a loving person.” Obama asked the audience for a round of applause for West.

 

Palestinians Establishing Jerusalem Presence
 
      While the Obama administration has demanded a halt to Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem, it is “totally supporting” the building of official Palestinian institutions in those same areas as well as in the strategic West Bank, a top Palestinian Authority official told this column.
 
      The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed a recent report by Israel’s Shabak security services that the PA has been opening official institutions in what are termed areas B and C.
 
      According to the 1993 Oslo Accords, territories defined as area A are entirely administered and controlled by the Palestinians; area B is administered by the PA but controlled by Israel; whereas area C, including eastern Jerusalem, is supposed to be entirely administered and controlled by Israel.
 
      In defiance of the accords, the Palestinians in recent months have opened up official institutions, including PA ministry offices, in area C.
 
      A recent tour of eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods found some surprising developments. Official PA logos and placards abound, including one glaring red street sign at the entrance to the neighborhoods warning Israelis to keep out. Another official sign, in Kfar Akeb in Jerusalem, reads in English, “Ramallah-Jerusalem Road. This project is a gift form [sic] the American people to the Palestinian people in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and PECDAR. 2007.”
 

      The sign bears the emblems of the American and PA governments and of the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID.

 

Fatah Claims Credit For Attack

 

      It was Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah organization – not Hamas – that fired a rocket from the Gaza Strip last weekend, prompting Israeli retaliation.
 
   Following the Israeli air raids, Hamas announced it would freeze all rocket attacks on southern Israel, saying it had come to an agreement with other Palestinian factions that rockets would only be launched in the future in response to Israeli attacks.
 
      Not a single Israeli or English-language news outlet has reported that it was Abbas’s Fatah organization that publicly took responsibility for Saturday’s rocket attack from Gaza.
 
      The Ayman Judah division of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades released an official pamphlet taking credit for the attack while also rejecting any cease-fire with Israel. The Brigades is Fatah’s military wing.
 

      “Any cease-fire will be rejected by our group, which will fight the occupation where ever it is located on the Palestinian lands,” read the statement, which was obtained by this column.

 

Sunstein Wants More Government Control

 

      Websites should be obliged to remove “false rumors” while libel laws should be altered to make it easier to sue for spreading such “rumors,” argued Cass Sunstein, Obama’s regulatory czar.
 
      In his recently released book, On Rumors, Sunstein specifically cited as a primary example of “absurd” and “hateful” remarks, reports by “right-wing websites” alleging an association between President Obama and Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers.
 
      He also singled out radio talk show host Sean Hannity for “attacking” Obama regarding the president’s “alleged associations.”
 
      Ayers became a household name in last year’s presidential campaign when it was disclosed the radical worked closely with Obama for years. Obama also was said to have launched his political career at a 1995 fundraiser in Ayers’s apartment.
 
      Such reports were characterized by Sunstein as “absurd,” for which corrective measures can be taken.
 
      Sunstein presents multiple new measures he argues can be used to stop the spread of such “rumors.” He proposes the imposition of a “chilling effect” on “damaging rumors” – or the use of strong “corrective” measures to deter future rumormongers.
 
      For websites, Sunstein suggests a “right to notice and take down” in which “those who run websites would be obliged to take down falsehoods upon notice.”
 
      Sunstein also argues for the “right to demand a retraction after a clear demonstration that a statement is both false and damaging.” He does not explain which agency would determine whether any statement is false and damaging.
 

      Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the book “The Late Great State of Israel.” Follow Klein on Twitter under the name “AaronKleinWND.”

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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