By Deborah Danan/JNS.org
Political correctness came under attack in Jerusalem Dec. 19 at a public policy summit convening conservative leaders from Israel, India, the European Parliament and the U.S. Congress.
At the same time, the conservatives eagerly looked forward to the “new day” that would accompany Donald Trump’s forthcoming U.S. presidential administration.
Joel Anand Samy—co-founder of the International Summit Leaders think tank, which co-hosted the Jerusalem Leaders Summit at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Israel’s capital—emphasized a new battlefront for the 21st century, what he called "the truth versus political correctness."
U.S. Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) blames the Obama administration and other liberal leaders for failing to delineate the truth, much less to seek it out.
"If you can't define what the truth is, you’ve got a fundamental problem," Brat told JNS.org. "Most of the left rejects any foundation to rationality or to rights."
Yet when it comes to any mention of Judeo-Christian values in institutes of higher education in America, free speech is stifled, said Brat, who has a master’s degree in divinity from the Princeton Theological Seminary.
"If you go to a Harvard brown bag lunch on philosophy, they'll laugh you out of the room if you bring up religion," he said, adding that on the other hand, expressing antagonism towards Israel is fair game.
Mischaël Modrikamen, the leader of Belgium’s People’s Party, averred that Europe's inclination to adhere to the principles of political correctness is infringing on all areas of civic life and on the rule of law.
"In Europe, when you talk about security, you talk about Islam, and the first thing [that needs to be done] is to abandon political correctness," Modrikamen said.
"Leaders don't say things as they are. We face a grave threat, what I call mass invasion," he added, referring to the ongoing mass migration into Europe from Muslim countries, mostly from war-torn Syria.
According to Modrikamen, among the tens of thousands of migrants crossing into Europe on a daily basis, 95 percent of them are young men—most of whom are not “refugees”—and the “vast majority are uneducated Muslims, which means in general, their conception of society and religion and of women is very different than what we know in Europe.” He said that the majority of Muslims living in Europe want to see some application of Islamic sharia law in European societies.
“And sharia law means inequality for women, cutting off your hand when you steal, and so on,” said Modrikamen.
Modrikamen lamented German Chancellor Angela Merkel's open border policy for its enabling of 1.2 million migrants to enter Germany. "Family reunification laws means that [that number of migrants] will become 4 or 5 million within a few years…Those who are facing the consequences of this open border policy are the ordinary people," he said.
The Belgian party leader blasted his country's political leaders for having no qualms when it comes to routinely condemning Israel for a litany of perceived crimes, including Jewish settlement activity and a "disproportionate response" to Palestinian terrorism. Yet following the March 2016 Islamist bombings in Brussels that killed 32 people, Belgian authorities turned to Israel to improve the country’s airport security.
"This is pure hypocrisy," Modrikamen said.
Swedish Member of the European Parliament Kristina Winberg said Sweden's immigration policy is dooming the country. She described how the influx of 163,000 migrants into Sweden last year is creating neighborhoods which are so dangerous that they are becoming "no-go zones" even for police officers.
Winberg believes that there should be much stronger punishments for those who pose a terror threat, especially for European citizens who travel to hostile countries and return home after being trained in terror camps.
Talk of a "revolution"—which began with the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote to leave the European Union, and continued with Trump's surprise U.S. presidential election win and the rise of right-wing political parties in Europe—was echoed by various speakers at the Jerusalem summit.
Winberg said she has “great confidence” that Trump will make a good president.
"America should see Sweden as a bad example, we have no defense," she said.
"Don’t do like Sweden," she quipped, "and together we can make our countries great again."
Becky Norton Dunlop, a member of Trump's transition team and a distinguished fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Heritage Foundation, heralded the "new day" that the Trump administration would usher in.
The Heritage Foundation—which co-hosted the Dec. 19 event, and in Norton Dunlop's words is an "unabashedly conservative" think tank—has been advising presidential candidates since the Ronald Reagan administration. The foundation has emerged as an influential commentator during the transition from President Barack Obama to Trump, even authoring a "blueprint" for what a Trump administration should look like.
According to Norton Dunlop, there are 12 measures that the foundation would like to see Trump undertake in the first 180 days of his administration, including limiting constitutional government, repealing Obamacare, and overhauling the national defense budget.
"We wanted the new president to restore fidelity to the Constitution," she said.
Norton Dunlop, who served as a senior official in the Reagan administration, said if Trump would heed Reagan's "peace for strength" approach, his administration would see success.
Trump's appointment of David Friedman as U.S. ambassador to Israel is a "big signal" that things are about to change for the better in American-Israeli relations, which were more strained than usual during the Obama years, she told JNS.org.
"There is a new day coming to America on January 20," said Norton Dunlop.