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Celebrating Our Freedom Here and Fighting for Freedom Around the World

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
The Truth Network Radio
July 5, 2021 1:00 pm

Celebrating Our Freedom Here and Fighting for Freedom Around the World

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow

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July 5, 2021 1:00 pm

Celebrating Our Freedom Here and Fighting for Freedom Around the World.

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Happy Independence Day from the ACLJ.

Let's celebrate and defend our freedoms. Live from Washington DC, Sekulow Live. Phone lines are open for your questions right now.

Call 1-800-684-3110. And now your host, Jordan Sekulow. Hey, welcome to Sekulow. I hope all of you had a great holiday yesterday celebrating the 4th of July. I know many of you are celebrating the holiday as well today, as today is still a federal holiday. And I still want to say happy 4th, happy Independence Day to everybody listening. We put together a broadcast for you today.

I know many of you are in the car traveling. You finally, after COVID, get to see friends and family and get together and celebrate America together, celebrate families and freedom and our independence. And I hope you had, so far, already a great weekend. And if you're not working today, I hope you're able to, again, get that rest you need and also to continue to celebrate. But we put together a great show and I think these are important because no one can listen to a broadcast every day of the week.

We're on Monday through Friday. We have great shows, great guests on the broadcast, great contributors to our broadcast, great team members, of course, at the ACLJ. So on this broadcast today we put together for you is something special to kind of get you up to speed on what we've been talking about on Sekulow. So first joining us will be our senior advisor for foreign policy and national security, Rick Grenell. This is someone, again, who has served as a former ambassador to Germany, spent 10 years at the United Nations on behalf of the United States handling communications there. He also, of course, served as acting director of national intelligence and now works with us at the ACLJ as that senior counsel.

He's part of the team, not just someone who is on as a guest of the broadcast. He's going to be talking about the Iranian proxies inside Germany, Hezbollah's presence inside Germany. If you missed that broadcast where Rick was on live with us talking about this, it is shocking what you're going to be finding out again in the next segment of the broadcast. Then former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be joining us to talk about religious persecution inside Nigeria.

I have done, even during COVID, I've done those UN interventions speaking out to the UN on the persecution of Christians in Nigeria. We'll be talking about that with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Like Rick, also a senior counsel to the ACLJ, his title is Senior Counsel for Global Affairs. He a former Secretary of State, former CIA director, former Congressman, West Point and Harvard Law grad, part of the ACLJ team. Then we're talking about, with Skip Ash, a report from the ACLJ to the UN on why it needs to condemn Hamas.

And then finally, just to kind of put it all together, the ACLJ. Frank Mannion will be joining us, the ACLJ Senior Counsel, to talk about that issue involving the second grader who had their Bible taken away. A second grader who had their Bible taken away.

We won that case. The teacher won't be doing that again. The school district won't be encouraging that kind of action by teachers anymore. But we'll talk about it.

It's shocking that that can happen to a second grader in the United States of America. What this show does, I think, is a great way to show you all the different kinds of work we do at the ACLJ, all the different issues we're involved in, and some of the new people we've added to our team if you're not able to listen every day, which no one really is. So again, we hope that a lot of this is stuff you may not have heard, topics you may not have heard about yet. People joining the ACLJ team, all important. And this comes at a very important time for us. July is a matching challenge month.

I know we're still early into the month. But this is a time where if you donate to the ACLJ online, your donation is double. You double the impact of your donation. Now, you're not charged double. So if you donate $25 online at ACLJ.org, that is what your credit card will be charged. But during the month of July, that's effectively like $50 for us at the ACLJ.

So because it's a matching challenge month. And you say, well, how does that work? We have a group of donors, long-time donors to ACLJ. They come together, they say, we'll match every donation for you that comes in this month. But you see, they only match the donations that come through.

You have to take the initial action. You have to take the first step of donating to and supporting the work of the ACLJ. Do that today. Donate online at ACLJ.org. Be part of our matching challenge. Double your impact.

Next up, we're joined by Rick Grenell, then Mike Pompeo, and even more on Sekulow. For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our matching challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. So as you've seen, it emboldened Iran on the world stage. There are proxies emboldened as well. There's a report out now from one of the German state intelligence agencies about the growing number of Hezbollah supporters in Germany.

Rick Riddell, not only former acting director of national intelligence but former ambassador to Germany, joining us now as a special counsel with the ACLJ and Foreign Affairs National Security. Rick, I want to go right to this because we know Germany has got this back and forth. You said it was a good thing they bucked the EU and said we're going to designate Hezbollah as this terrorist organization.

But then I was reading the news reporting on the report and they said that allows them to kind of monitor them, but does it allow them to make the arrest? What's happening on the ground there that these individuals are able to operate knowingly to the German intelligence but they're there? Look, this is a really very concerning issue because as you know, the European Union does not ban Hezbollah outright and that's a real problem.

I mean, you think about Hezbollah, an admitted known terrorist organization, and yet the EU does flip flops trying to figure out how not to offend the terrorists because they don't want to inflame it. And so when I was ambassador to Germany it was a real problem and I worked with Secretary Pompeo to make this a priority and to try to say to the Germans, look, you're the largest economy in Europe. Hezbollah is organizing here within Germany because you're the largest economy in all of Europe and they're using really shady ways to go under the banking scheme.

They're doing front companies, they're doing money laundering. And so we went on a year campaign to convince the Germans that they couldn't wait for the European Union. They finally took action. They now have a law that bans Hezbollah and they have the tools to arrest anyone who's organizing and supporting Hezbollah, including financing of this terror.

And so this is a really big deal. It's too bad the rest of Europe doesn't follow. So Rick, there's a report right now that there's 180 Hezbollah members and supporters in the state within Germany, a lower Saxony. That's an increase of around 20 members just since 2019. And we know that there's this connection between, clearly a connection between Iran and the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah.

But are they picking Germany because of the size of the economy or is it a friendly territory to them they're not getting picked up? It's such a great question, Jay. And the reality is that under the Trump administration, because remember these years that we're monitoring that you're talking about are 19 and 20. Like a balloon, when you squeeze it, the Trump administration squeezed Iran and we shut down their financing to the greatest extent that's ever been shut down. We really implemented worldwide sanctions. We told European companies you have to choose between doing business in Iran or doing business in the United States. As we squeezed that balloon, what happened?

It came out on the other sides. And so you're exactly right. Iran and Hezbollah and all of those who financed terror tried to find safe haven. And that meant places like Germany and throughout Europe, which was our argument. My argument as U.S. ambassador and my argument as acting director of national intelligence. I brought the information not only to Germany, not only to Brussels where we testified in front of a committee on the problems. I took it to the French national security advisor and they have this attitude throughout Europe that it doesn't happen here. And we had to show them the evidence and drag them to the evidence to say it is happening and here is the evidence. You know, Andy, we've got offices in Strasbourg, France, as you know.

You work very closely with our team in Strasbourg, our European Center for Law and Justice. So, Andy, I was thinking, as Rick just said that, it just triggered in my mind, this is a European problem that is – I mean, Germany is a focal point, but it is a pan-European problem. And it's just – it's exactly what Rick said. It's just that you squeeze them and they just pop up other places like whack-a-mole. You hit it and then another one comes up.

Well, that's exactly correct, Jay. There is no containing them and the Europeans have to come and realize that it's not an American problem only. It's not a German problem.

It's not a French problem. It is a European problem throughout the European Union and they need to come to a full realization of the fact that Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations are operating within Europe, as they are in the Middle East and elsewhere, wherever they can get a foothold. We at the European Center for Law and Justice in Strasbourg are constantly vigilant about the things that are going on in relation to the activities of terrorist organizations.

And we bring this up, especially in France, where we have a very unique presence at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Which is something, you know, Rick is – now travel is freeing up. It's something we want to get Rick to really key in on our – we got a big operation there. One thing I was thinking about, though – so the nuclear deals. Because, I mean, with Hezbollah's relationship and Europe's interest in getting the U.S. back involved in this, how connected was that? The fact that, well, if they're going to do business with Iran – and these are kind of proxies of Iran – if you can do business with Iran, why not do business with, you know, a political party which some countries – you know, we believe are terrorist organizations.

The U.S., Germany acknowledges now is a terrorist organization. But then if we get back into that nuclear deal, which has been – was so bad – I mean, does that tie in? Jordan, you just hit it right on the head. I mean, this is the whole problem of not squeezing the balloon at the same time, right? The idea is that if we all – the United Nations, the EU, all of the Western alliance, and we get our Arab allies to all squeeze at the same time, we can pop this balloon. But instead, there is this idea by the Biden administration that we have to engage with Iran in order to somehow convince them. And my position is I'm all for engagement. I think Donald Trump did a great job of engagement on North Korea.

I tried a little bit of engagement on Venezuela on behalf of the Trump administration. I think engagement is good, but you've got to benchmark it. You've got to be able to come back two weeks later and say, hey, did this work? Or two months later and say, is it working?

And if it doesn't, then you've got to do something else. The JCPOA and the implementation of it was not working. Iran was lying to us.

We know that. And so what we have to be able to do is say to the Europeans, engagement with Iran does not work, especially this current Iranian regime. This again, I think it goes back to the idea as the world kind of refocuses. There was a lot of moving parts going on in this last year with COVID and people are starting to reengage the world, our international office is reengaging.

Do you think that the idea that, you know, is it education? I mean, like you said, you had sitting down with the French officials and having to educate them about Hezbollah's danger. Do they just not want to acknowledge that? I mean, we saw the wave of terrorism that hit Europe. There was a lot of terrorism happening on the street. We've dealt with it here in our own country, but they were having a lot of those attacks.

It was getting dangerous to be on the streets for a period of time. Why don't they want to acknowledge it? It's a great question. I should say that we share the goal. When I spoke to our allies in Brussels or in Paris or in Berlin, they all say they share the goals. They want to, you know, ban Hezbollah's terrorist activities, but they don't believe that it's happening in their banking system. And so what it requires is a team of people to show them the evidence. What I organized at DNI was a team, and I can't go into great detail of who's on the team and what countries are, but we have a team, and hopefully Avril Haines has continued this operation, but we have a team that's collecting the information and regularly sharing it with our European allies. Getting our European allies to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization helps squeeze the balloon.

It must be done, and I hope it's a priority. It certainly was in the Trump administration. And then you've got, you know, and I know you know this Rick because of your work in Germany and in Turkey not that far away, and Turkey's become a hotbed for Hamas. I mean, so you've got Hezbollah and Hamas literally fully functioning and operating out of Europe right now. And sadly, that is at the foot and responsibility of Erdogan. He has allowed Turkey to really dial back and support Hamas. They've been terrible towards Israel, the Turks, and it's consistent. And we have to really have tough conversations because, as you know, Turkey is a member of NATO, and we have a treaty obligation with them. But we need to have some tough conversations with Turkey about NATO membership. Let me say this to everybody that's listening to this broadcast. Rick Grenell, former acting DNI and ambassador to Germany.

We got Mike Pompeo coming up, former secretary of state and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Let me tell you, your support of the American Center for Law and Justice, folks, this is what you see. We're able to address these issues and also provide solutions to address them and take action. And that's what we do at the ACLJ. Your support of the ACLJ has made all this possible. Rick, thanks for, again, great insight, great analysis. Have a good week. Coming up, Mike Pompeo.

That's right. And always go to ACLJ.org. That's ACLJ.org, a new piece up on Nigeria as well, specific to our submission there.

And we're going to be talking about those issues, too. How did Nigeria end up on that list where we knew there were issues with religious liberty, but then the government now taking responsibility? Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support. Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family.

Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Welcome back to Secula, and again, take your phone calls 1-800-684-3110. In the second half hour, we'll start getting to those calls and your questions as well.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Senior Counsel for Global Affairs, is joining us now on the broadcast. We wanted to focus in on, we talked about this earlier in the week, briefly, what's happening when CC was on and our reports. We were talking more about what we do at the UN with these periodic reports. And we filed a series of reports on Nigeria. And Nigeria, though, the way that Nigeria is seen through the lens has changed. And so, Secretary Pompeo, when you were Secretary of State, we knew that there were a lot of issues with religious persecution in Nigeria. It wasn't necessarily done by the state, it wasn't necessarily done by the government, but it was not being stopped by the government. And it's a country that is basically divided between Christians and Muslims, very, very, almost 50-50. They're supposed to have power-sharing agreements based on religion. But you designated Nigeria as a country of particular concern. When the U.S. does that, what does that mean? What happened in Nigeria that changed?

Well, Jordan, thanks for being with me. The work that the ACLJ did was very informative for our team at the State Department when we began to evaluate whether or not to designate them as a CPC as a country of particular concern. It was controversial for a long time.

It had just been viewed as farmers versus ranchers. The religious element of what was taking place there wasn't brought to the floor, but my team at the State Department worked this issue hard. We don't do this lightly. When we designate a country as a CPC, it's because there are egregious violations of religious freedom in here. In Nigeria, the largest economy, one of the biggest countries in Africa is fundamentally violating the religious freedoms of Christians, mostly in the Northwest, but frankly broadly throughout the country. And we wanted to use the full force of the United States law, the full capacity of the U.S. diplomatic pressure, to convince President Buhari and the leadership in Nigeria that the right thing to do was to protect these religious minorities in these places from the threats, the threats of rape, assault, torture, having their villages burned, all the things that we have seen happen in Nigeria. It was something that concerned us greatly, and the ACLJ contributed to the data set that underlay the decision that I made.

Mike, one of the things that I saw was part of the rationale for placing Nigeria on this country of concern watch list was, and this was a quote from the report, systematic ongoing egregious violations of religious freedom. We know how the United States reacted. You took action. What about the rest of the world? How should they be reacting?

Well, they've been on their back foot, Jay, unfortunately. It's one of the things I hope to achieve was to demonstrate American resolve and leadership to begin to put pressure on European countries and countries throughout the region. Who would care? Who would properly care about religious freedom and protecting religious minorities? Look, we saw what happened to Christians in Yazidis and Iraq. The risk is that if we don't begin to get this right in Nigeria, we'll have the same kind of thing. And the risk that this turns from what it is today to something that approaches something with far more likelihood to lead to the complete elimination of Christians in the region is we want to try and get out in front of it. So we not only made the designation, but we devoted a lot of resources to working with the Nigerian government.

Indeed, President Trump addressed this directly with the Nigerian leadership himself. I think it's unacceptable to allow Christian minorities to be treated precisely as you describe their treatment, Jay. I'm going to add, let Dr. Andy Kahnemann, one of our colleagues here, Senior Counsel for the ACLJ, has a question for you.

And part of it, again, is focusing on the religious liberty issue. And I know, actually, that you're going to be speaking for the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church, which we represent globally. And Andy is the main liaison in our global work for the Greek Orthodox Church. But Andy, you had a question for Secretary Pompeo.

I do, Mr. Secretary. The left in this country has a very well-known and overt hostility toward religious liberty. And with the amount of power that they now have over the Democratic Party, are you concerned that this issue, that is religious liberty, will take a back seat in the Biden administration and not be in the forefront? I'm very concerned about it, indeed, in the first 120 days now, whatever we're into.

We've seen this already. We've seen something they have almost a religious fervor about, the Green New Deal, take a precedence over the work that we did on religious freedom. It was very much a part of who we were in the Trump administration.

Every place we went, this was a priority for us. We know that every human being is created in the image of God, and so we wanted everybody to have the chance to practice their faith in the way they chose. We worked really hard at it, and you can see on the left, whether it is their absence of willing to take any risk to help people around the world in China or other places or in Nigeria, protect these Christians, these religious minorities, or you can see it in the anti-Semitism that's now seeping inside of their party as well.

They think about religious freedom in a way that is fundamentally different than the way that I do and the Trump administration did, and frankly, it's very different than the way our founders thought about religious freedom as well. Our Constitution protects that here at home, and this work demands that we work on it abroad. I think that was the next question, which is that it's not Nigeria in a vacuum, but it's the idea of saying that when we're going to work with countries, they might not all get it perfect, they might be far off, but at least making it a priority when we're negotiating. At the same time, Secretary Pompeo, if we continue to let China carry out a genocide, and work with Iran, the U.S. and Iran, these are known persecutors, they don't hide it, they brag about it, they show it on their local television, their domestic audience shows this kind of level of persecution. Does it signal to the Nigerians of the world that have less resources? You don't have to make this a priority, you don't have to send your military in, because that's always the way I felt when Nigeria was that at a certain point, where is the military, where are the security apparatuses to protect these people?

No, Jordan, you've got it right. Two things. One, your point at the beginning, we tried to reward countries who placed it as a priority and who made progress.

Sort of like most improved player, if you will. We wanted everybody to be moving in the right direction towards increasing capacity for religious freedom in their countries. Final question, Secretary Pompeo, just briefly, we saw the Russian attacks, they're being called Russian criminals, and the idea is when we see those attacks, is it as direct as China to a sense that if it's a Chinese company, everyone here in the U.S. recognizes that means Chinese government, and they're starting to recognize that more. In Russia, it may be these criminal elements, but from what you saw as Secretary of State and its former CIA director, can you really separate those out? Jordan, it's pretty clear that the scale and scope of what's taking place there is absolutely happening with the acquiescence of the Russian government. We shouldn't let the Russian government get off the hook by saying, hey, these are just some random criminals, some thugs. They have a responsibility to prevent this from happening. These are attacks on the United States.

The Russian government should be held accountable for what's being foisted upon our country. This is serious business. It will impact our economy.

There could be loss of life at some point. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, also former Director of the CIA and Senior Counsel for Global Affairs for the ACLJ, thank you for your comments and for your work and your efforts, and thanks for being a colleague. It's making a huge difference for us at the ACLJ. Thanks, Mike. Alright, folks, we'll be back again if you want to get your questions in too. We're going to get more of these issues that, again, you might not have been focused on as much because of what's happened domestically here.

1-800-684-3110 to get another conversation. A $10 gift becomes $20. A $50 gift becomes $100. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. I'm talking about freedom.

I'm talking about freedom. We will fight for the right to live in freedom. Live from Washington, D.C., Sekulow Live. And now your host, Jordan Sekulow.

Welcome back to CNA. First half hour or two, I think something I want to reiterate with Secretary Pompeo and the work of the ACLJ. It's been a work that we've been doing for decades now, but the fact that former Secretary of State talks about at his time as Secretary of State, how the ACLJ reporting all these issues that we talked about with Cece earlier this week, these very extensive reports we do on these countries, what issues they're facing.

It's not that all these countries are perfect and their governments are perfect, but are they doing what they should for religious liberty to keep the promises they make under their constitutions to their own people? And that's informing State Department decisions moving forward. I will tell you, this is before Secretary Pompeo's time, it was under the Obama administration. We were doing work before South Sudan became an independent country.

We were there. We did work with that government as they were moving towards forming their own government. And after we were there, got back, got a call from the State Department out of the blue because the special representative to South Sudan, who happened to be also, his deputy was a law professor of mine at Georgetown, while I was doing that, wanted to know what we saw, get basically a debriefing.

Because we were getting more access than the US government at the time because we didn't have to worry about who was this, what were they associated with. We could just go in and have meetings as a religious liberty group and as a legal organization and also because of our designation at the UN to those countries. And so this work has been building on time. Yeah, we do bring, we're able to marshal our resources, Andy, and to get on a global scale information that we get back to government or to policy statements that really you have to be on the ground to get. Well, that's one of the advantages that we have because we have offices, Jay, as you know and you've said on this program, we have offices worldwide in Africa. We have offices in Asia. We have offices in Jerusalem and Strasbourg. We have a presence in the United States, which is overwhelming and very laudable. And we're able to dig up information and to find resources and things that we can then transmit to the governments of these different countries and the United States government that allows them then to take the action.

But we only have this ability because we are spread so wide and so far in our work. You know, Jordan, I remember when you got that call on, when you just triggered my memory, on the South Sudan situation. You were very involved in their drafting of their constitutions and trying to keep their government stable and our office in Israel was assisting on that one.

I mean, that's how this works, folks. Our office in Jerusalem was working. Jordan was out of our D.C. office then, in our D.C. office, and they were in South Sudan.

And then a law professor of Jordan from Georgetown happened to be, you know, somehow connected to all this. Now, I say that because of the reach of the organization, we are able to craft policy. And, Harry, at the end of the day, as we get into this discussion coming up next with Skip Ash, policy is paramount on these matters.

Absolutely. And in addition to policy, vision matters. And we also know that elections matter. So while Rome burns, while the border crisis mounts because of the ineptitude of the Biden administration, while Christians are being held captive in Nigeria, Asia, and elsewhere, the ACLJ has remained vigilant and our ability to do so depends heavily on our listeners and donors. You know, there's no question, none of this.

I mean, I was just thinking, we just had on the broadcast, I mean, you think about the first half hour of this broadcast, we had on the former acting director of national intelligence, an ambassador to Germany, when the topic was Germany, who happens to be a special advisor, senior advisor, senior counsel to the ACLJ for national security and international, and then followed that up with our senior counsel for global affairs, Mike Pompeo, who happened to be the former secretary of state, and director of the Central Intelligence Agency. So let me tell you, none of this happens, none of it without you. And that's why your support of the ACLJ is so critical. And I want to first thing I want to say is, thank you on behalf of all of us. Yeah, we're able to continue to expand our reach, take it to the next level. And that is because of all of you. We'll be right back. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad, whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. So earlier in the week we were going through what we were doing at the United Nations to get you back up to speed because there have been so many domestic issues dominating the news and for good reason in the United States and around the world. But as we begin to kind of get to the next phase in America's reopening, even in the bluest of blue states is almost there with reopening, we wanted to get you back educated on what is going on internationally and the work that the ACLJ does through our international affiliates, organizations, but also directly at the United Nations. And one of those reports we mentioned, we didn't get into a lot of detail on it that day, was a specific request to the UN to condemn Hamas and the Palestinian Authority for their many violations of international human rights. This may be at the UN the most uphill of uphill tasks, but if you would have told someone that, I'd say six years ago, that the US was going to put their embassy in Jerusalem, no one would believe it. Because of the entrenched ideology, it didn't matter if you had a Republican President or a Democrat President because you knew the advisors were going to come to them and say exactly what John Kerry said, which is that if you do this, whether you'd like to do it or not, you're going to cause the world to blow up.

You're going to cause a third world war. And the past administration said, no, we're not. And in fact, we can actually move things forward, which they did. So you've got to always say it could be an uphill battle with the UN. And it is when it comes to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, but it doesn't mean that there won't ever be a change or finally a realization, just like Rick was talking about with Germany, with Hezbollah. Ultimately they saw the light and said, we can't keep allowing this. France starting to see the light.

We can't keep allowing this. This is another, this is, I think Hamas is now going to start falling under the idea of it, of almost, it has become a proxy for Iran. Well, they are a proxy for Iran. Joining us now is Skip Ash, who's a senior counsel for the ACLJ and in charge of our law of armed conflict and our military law issues and international issues. You were the primary architect, Skip, of a report that we have issued to the United Nations.

In fact, I am holding it in my hand right now. This was a submission, written statement submitted by the European Center for Law and Justice requesting that the UN condemn Hamas and the Palestinian Authority for their many violations of international human rights laws. It's also interesting that at the same time that we prepared and filed this document, there are reports coming out of even the Jerusalem Post where they're talking about, and the Wall Street Journal, that in this last conflict Gaza businesses, which of course because, hey, Hamas uses Gaza businesses as a basis to, a place to throw off their bombs and their rockets, that they are even the, these are the leaders of business in the Gaza Strip. Not necessarily Hamas supporters. In fact, not a Hamas supporter because his building was bombed by the Israelis because it was used as a rocket deployment place in 2014 and then was reused again in 2021 and it was destroyed.

So he's rebuilt it twice. What is, Hamas constantly is violating international law. What was the purpose of the submission here? Well, the purpose was to point out to the Human Rights Council that it is not the Israelis who are violating international law and it's not the Israelis who are in violation of human rights law. It is in fact, the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip primarily, although not solely, I mean, the FATA and the Palestinian Authority also violates human rights of Palestinians, but we are writing because Israel is constantly under attack. The UN Human Rights Council has one permanent country on its agenda and that's Israel. Despite the fact that the Syrians have killed 500,000 people, the North Koreans, all these other countries, the Chinese are involved in genocide against the Uyghurs, but it's Israel that's always the one that's being attacked. So we went back to say, hey, if you look at the evidence, every rocket fired from the Gaza Strip violated the law of armed conflict because it was fired in the not knowing where it was going to land. The Israelis responded and they responded with targeted responses at military targets and therefore they did everything they could to be in compliance with the law of armed conflict and with human rights law. It's no wonder that there are people in the Gaza Strip who are finally had enough of being used as pawns by Hamas every time they want to make a statement against Israel. So what's interesting in all of this is that, and I'm using this example of this gentleman's business. So Hamas, this is according to, again, this is coming out of the Wall Street Journal.

This is how they reported this. Hamas and Mr. Sinwar are now confronting the political, Harry, and economic fallout of repeated clashes with Israel, which have set back development in the Gaza Strip, home to more than 2 million Palestinians, half of whom live below the poverty line according to the United Nations. The economic consequence of these engagements, these military flare ups, are very significant for the people and for the region. Absolutely.

They are absolutely massive. But I also would submit that the leaders of Hamas really don't care so long as they remain in power and so long as they have access to international funds to fuel additional violence long term and to increase the size of their own bank account. Sadly, the Biden administration has fallen into this trap because it is essentially committed to funding the Palestinians, notwithstanding their commitment to violence. Keep in mind that Hamas is targeting citizens in Israel, but it's also targeting its own citizens. It sends rockets indiscriminately into Israel and it expects a return from the Israeli government, which destroys businesses in Gaza, and this destroys the economy. This means, sadly, that the people in Gaza become even more dependent on the leadership of Hamas because then Hamas doles out humanitarian assistance and basically is seen as a benefactor to people that they have been committed to destroying. We have an office in Jerusalem that's very active.

We have lawyers, government affairs people. What's interesting is Egyptian officials have visited both Gaza and Israel in the last several days formulating a rebuilding plan. But part of that rebuilding plan, Andy, is that money cannot go to Hamas. And that's the difficult part here because what Hamas then does is, if they don't get it directly, they tax these businesses to get that money indirectly.

Well, that's right, Jay. Hamas is going to acquire the money one way or another. And one, of course, of the main funders of Hamas, let's not forget, is Iran.

They boasted about that. Hamas did in the recent attacks on Israel that took place from Gaza about the resources coming from Hamas. Now the United States is – from Iran, that is – now the United States is negotiating to resurrect this nuclear deal and to give the Iranians more money, which they'll then take, give Hamas, so that Hamas can then fund operations against Israel. So it's a vicious cycle that the Biden administration is really facilitating and helping. You know, Skip, in looking at all of this and the report you put together, if you were to just sum it up of the international law violations here and the scope of this, how big of an issue is this?

Well, I think it's a huge issue. Every rocket fired – they fired over 4,000 rockets. Every rocket was an individual war crime. So when the Israelis have the right to defend themselves, when they came in, they had to – they used precision munitions trying to target exactly what the military target was. That because the Hamas places their forces in the middle of civilian communities, that in itself is another war crime. But because they do that, when you go after a legitimate war objective and civilians are inadvertently killed, that's not a war crime, but that's a propaganda victory for Hamas. So Hamas attacks Israel. Israel responds using munitions trying to minimize casualties, but every casualty then is used by Hamas and its supporters around the world to condemn Israel as killing children willy-nilly and so forth. So it's serious in that sense, and I think we also need to recognize that even the rockets – they fired about 4,000 rockets. About 10% of those never made out of the Gaza Strip, so they fell back and killed their own people, and yet Israel is the one being blamed for those things. You know, Jordan, you've experienced the rocket fire coming in.

I think it'd be helpful for people to understand what that feels like because it's very quick when it happens. It's quick and they have a lot more – because of their relationship with Iran, so when you see these conflicts, it's once every decade that they really go all out with what they've got. They basically unload their arsenals that they've got that haven't been taken out because there's a constant effort by Israel. It's not like Israel has not got aircraft, whether it's helicopters or jets, over Gaza all the time taking out ammunition factories. At the same time, there has been a significant change in the ability of Hamas to fire more sophisticated, even though they're not aimed in the sense – I mean, that Skip is talking about, one of the human rights violations, the way that those are not specifically targeted military installations.

They are just fired off, but the rockets are getting longer range. They were hitting Tel Aviv. They weren't just hitting the border towns. They weren't just hitting the border cities. That changes the mindset of the people, too. So it's a difference between a rocket, let's say, being fired from Mexico to Texas and saying Mexico to Chicago. That's where the change has been.

Their sophistication because of the Iranian support. 1-800-684-3110. We'll be right back. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn. It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases. How we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists. The ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later. Play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry. And what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. So recently at the ACLJ, we heard from the parents of Gabrielle. She is a second grader in Illinois. She liked to bring her Bible to school, read it during recess. Sometimes she would read it out loud. Good for her if she's at that reading level already. And sometimes other kids, they would listen in, they'd talk to her about it, what's she reading.

So is this a constitutional crisis? Well, it was for the school. She was actually told, now this is a second grader, think about that. They took her Bible, her teacher took her Bible and told her, quote, you just can't be doing that. Frank Manion, Senior Counsel with the ACLJ, our legal team, Gabrielle's family, because they contacted us at the ACLJ, ACLJ.org forward slash help.

The legal services don't cost you anything to assist you in these matters, but we've got to contact us so we know it happened. This was a brave second grader and family who said, you know what, we're going to stand up and fight. That's who it takes to make sure that the laws that are in place to protect people like Gabrielle and kids like her are followed by the school. So Frank Manion is joining us now on the air. Hey Frank, thanks for being with us.

Hey, Frank, let me ask you this. Okay, so we're looking at this and we're saying this is 2021. Okay, it's 2021. We've been arguing these cases. I don't want to date us, Frank, but we've been arguing these cases for literally 40 years. I mean, we're getting close to 35 and 40 year anniversaries on some of these cases. What possibly possessed the school district to do this to this little girl?

It just amazed me, J, when we got this contact because I thought, this is where I'm back in time again. And not only, even when you and I were even younger, well before we were even in law school, the Tinker case set the legal standards here for students in elementary schools and high schools. And yet the ignorance is still out there.

And I'm not, it wasn't even malicious in this case. These school officials simply didn't know the law. And so that's why we basically saw our role here is educating the educators.

And when we did, I mean, they tried to make a silly distinction about, well, she can read it outside, but she can't read it if recess is inside because there'd be some sort of a captive audience. And we made clear that, we investigated this a little bit, said no one had complained. None of the other kids had complained.

So let's go back on that, because this is typically what happens. No complaints by anybody. No offended observer.

Sometimes we have somebody, you know, they walk by a Ten Commandments monument and they say, oh, I've seen it, now I'm upset. We don't even have that here. Not even that, you know, no hecklers veto in play here. Just, and sort of an unarticulated fear by the teachers and the principal that's based on this ACLU, the interpretation of separation of church and state, we've been battling for decades now. And we educated them. And after we did, and we sent a letter, we didn't even have to threaten in this case.

We just said, you know, you almost felt bad. You really don't know much about this area. Here's what the law says. You've got to show not just your weird, inarticulated fear that some kid or some parent might complain.

You got to show some substantial disruption, at least spread of that to the school process. That wasn't here, not even hinted at here. And so they backed down. So here's what's important to understand. And the reason I want to highlight this, and we'll highlight another case in the second half hour of the broadcast, but I want to focus on this one for this segment. Because in this culture that we're now in, although we've had, and I'm going to go through those in a minute, we've had great success on these cases. I mean, we've had hundreds of these cases, but we had a series of cases, Frank, at the Supreme Court. I think of Murgans, the Bible Club case, equal access case, where we won that and eight to one, and the Supreme Court said students don't shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech. The establishment clause doesn't prohibit students from reading the Bible, singing songs that have a religious theme. You know, you think about the Pledge of Allegiance case where Justice O'Connor wrote it would be ironic indeed if a nation founded by religious refugees would sever the ties that bind it to that history. So we've had these series of cases, Lamb's Chapel, where, again, they said, you know, this heckler's veto, the religious veto. Scalia famously in that case said the test that the Supreme Court was using was like a ghoul in a late night horror show that kept rising its head up, and you put a stake in its heart as a monster, and it's still come back up. And that's what, Jordan, you said you're concerned that's about to happen again in this woke culture that we're now in. Yeah, I wonder, Frank, that if we're going to be experiencing this one more time, another, not necessarily that we're going to have to go fully litigate, though that could be potentially down the road, but I don't see the current makeup of the Supreme Court being an issue there with these cases. But that we might start having to deal with this again with teachers especially and school administrators who are, even if they are not bad actors, some are, but some are just scared for their own jobs. And everything now that's deemed all controversial, you know, you have to get out of the hands of kids. And so, you know, I wonder, Frank, if we're going to see kind of a next, especially kids are going to go back to school in the fall, it looks like, and everything's going to return to normal, if we're going to see a wave of these. It's very possible, Jordan, and, you know, there's sort of a backsliding going on here that, well, we had a conservative wave for a long time, and now it appears maybe we're going in the other direction.

So maybe all of the things that the conservatives accomplished can be rolled back a little bit. And that's why we're here, to make sure that doesn't happen. And people need to know that.

In addition to all of the other work the ACLJ does worldwide, all over the place, in many different areas, this is still bread and butter for us. As your dad knows, he was litigating and arguing at the Supreme Court when you were probably not even aware of it. No, he was aware of it. He was there.

He was just young. I don't know if I was fully aware, but I do think that one thing that we're watching out for now is this idea that all of this could come back. I mean, the idea that, especially the aggressive school administrators. I mean, we're dealing with a lot of issues in our schools right now. There's not the ones that have been trained in the last 10, 15 years. I mean, you look at the issues.

We're not talking about right now the critical races, all those things that are coming up. How do we teach this? What curriculum? And then the kid brings the Bible to school. I could see that becoming an issue now, especially when they are pre-high school.

You know what we probably need to do, Frank? We haven't done this in a decade and a half, probably 20 years. We used to send a letter, if you remember this, to every school district in the country at the beginning of the year and say, here's what the law is. Students can have events like see you at the poll. Students are allowed to have voluntary student-initiated, student-led Bible club.

The establishment clause doesn't allow government to treat the religious speaker differently than any other person. And we sent these letters out that had basically, here's what, and even under Bill Clinton's presidency, they had a list of things you could do in the schools and we were part of putting that together. I think it's probably with everything going on right now and with this, the culture that we're now living in, Frank, that maybe it's time to reeducate the schools.

And just at the beginning of the year, you're sure you do it by email now, we send it to every general counsel of every school board in the United States. It's probably a really good idea, Jay, because I think you're right. I think that with time and with shifting winds culturally and politically, people have lost sight of the victories that we gained. And you're right. And we didn't even mention the Clinton Department of Education guidelines, which essentially read almost as almost like the letters that we were sending to school officials and maybe were inspired to some extent by the letters we were sending.

They were very clear. And that was the Clinton administration. But I do think there is a danger in the current climate of backsliding to a time that existed before those accomplishments were achieved. And we just have to be vigilant.

We have to be very vigilant about it. I'm going to get our staff working on a letter for back to school. I mean, it's already June.

It's going to be here before you know it. Some schools go back in August. You know, in some of these cases, the Supreme Court used language like this.

The Establishment Clause doesn't license government to treat religious people or religious practices as if they're subversive to the American republic and subject to unique disabilities. But that's exactly what they did to the second grader. They treated her differently than they would treat anybody else that was reading a book during recess.

Frank? Exactly. She had been reading just the cat in the hat. Well, maybe not the cat in the hat, but some other kids both on the playground. Right, no more cat in the hat. That's out.

That's a good example, actually. Again, have a great day, everybody. Stay tuned. Stay engaged at ACLJ.org. That's ACLJ.org.

We'll talk to you tomorrow. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20. A $50 gift becomes $100. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-24 03:05:22 / 2023-09-24 03:28:41 / 23

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