Friday, February 10, 2012

Harvard Promotes the Palestinians’ Slow-Motion ‘Final Solution’

by Bruce Thornton

There is no idea so hateful or useless that some university somewhere won’t hold a conference on it. The latest example of this unfortunate truism is the recently announced “Israel/Palestine and the One-State Conference” scheduled for early March at the Harvard Kennedy School. Nineteen speakers and ten panels will spend two days explaining why “’two-states for two peoples’ is no longer a viable option for Israel/Palestine,” as the organizers assert, and discussing a “solution” to the Israeli-Arab crisis that has absolutely no chance of ever being implemented.

The adherents of this veiled assault on Israel argue that the “two-state solution,” “in which Israel is secure and the Palestinians have sovereignty,” as President Obama told Time magazine, has been a failure. Of course, the two-state solution has failed because since 1948, the first time Arabs rejected a Palestinian state, a critical mass of Palestinian Arabs have wanted something more than sovereignty: they want Israel destroyed and her land possessed by Arabs from “the river to the sea,” as PLO chief Yasser Arafat used to say. The one-state solution, which envisions a single nation comprising Arabs and Jews under a single government, is a way to achieve the same aim. Such a state would obviously require the end of Israel’s Jewish identity, and would result in an Arabic demographic explosion that in any kind of representative government would marginalize Jews. Moreover, we can see the most likely sort of regime that would rule the “one state” by looking next door at Egypt, where Islamists are now in control and relations with Israel have deteriorated. Whatever the result, such a state would not resemble the liberal democracy of Israel today.

Perhaps the conference will address issues like Arab intransigence, genocidal anti-Semitism, and terrorist violence, but judging from some of the speakers, such balance seems unlikely. Among the usual obscure academics and Palestinian activists camouflaged as scholars, one finds anti-Israel luminaries like Stephen M. Walt, who along with John Mearshimer in 2007 published The Israel Lobby, an academic recycling of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in which nefarious American Jews secretly control U.S. foreign policy in service to their Zionist puppet-masters. Even more suggestive of the conference’s bias is the presence of Ilan Pappé, whose scholarly malfeasance got him cashiered from Haifa University over his involvement in a student’s master’s thesis that fabricated an Israeli massacre of Palestinians. Such an episode will surprise no one familiar with Pappé’s own work, which as historian Efraim Karsh has written, displays a “consistent resort to factual misrepresentation, distortion, and outright falsehood.” Pappé is clearly an ideologue and propagandist, as he frankly admits: he sneers at “objectivity,” professes that he is “not as interested in what happened as in how people see what’s happened,” and crows that “my ideology influences my historical writings.” That such a travesty of the profession of history is invited to speak at a prestigious university testifies to how intellectually and morally corrupt the American academy has become.

This rather loose attitude towards evidence and fact embraced by Pappé reveals itself as well in the on-line descriptions of the panel topics, where one finds libels such as references to “the original 700,000 [Arabs] who were ethnically cleansed from Palestine in 1948 and 1967,” moral cowardice in phrases such as “a great deal of violence has isolated the two peoples from one another,” and the de rigueur question-begging epithet: “How can justice for the victims of racism or violence be achieved?” You get the picture: racist Israelis who ethnically cleansed Arabs from their homeland and incited a “cycle of violence” need to abandon their Jewish identity and their ancestral lands in order to resolve a bloody conflict.

The Kennedy School conference, then, is a propaganda exercise the effect of which is to further the Palestinian Arab “phases” strategy for destroying Israel. In this regard, history provides an interesting parallel to the way the Arabs have manipulated Westerners and obscured their true aim, the destruction of Israel. In 1938, Hitler began fulfilling his plan to create a racial German empire, one that also was put into place by “phases.” Just as the Middle East regimes today claim that their hostility to Israel results from the maltreatment of the Palestinians, who have been dispossessed of their homeland by an oppressive invader, Hitler justified his aggression against Czechoslovakia as in fact the liberation of his fellow Germans from an alien government oppressing them and violating their rights. Thus Hitler’s pretext that national and ethnic self-determination for the Sudeten Germans, necessary because of the Czechs’ “brutal treatment of mothers and children of German blood,” as Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels put it, was the reason he was interfering in Czechoslovakia.

This pretext, moreover, which exploited the principle of “national self-determination” enshrined in the Versailles settlement, offered Czechoslovakia’s allies France and England the seductive delusion that if only a settlement could be negotiated regarding the Sudeten Germans, a resolution could be achieved without violence. Meanwhile, Hitler’s Nazi stooges in Czechoslovakia instigated violent riots and fabricated incidents of violence against Germans, at the same time they kept escalating their outrageous demands during negotiations. As Hitler’s puppet in Czechoslovakia, Konrad Henlein, put it, “We [Sudeten Germans] must always demand so much that we cannot be satisfied.” The goal was to force the Czechs to break off negotiations and thus justify a German invasion.

Consider the similarities between Hitler’s strategy and that of the Palestinian Arabs:

• Hitler’s military was not ready for a war against both France and England in 1938, so he was reluctant to gamble on force to achieve his aims. Today the Palestinians and the Arab states have suffered three defeats at the hands of Israel, and are unlikely to risk such humiliation again.

• Hitler thus turned to duplicitous negotiations over the alleged suffering of the German minority in the Sudetenland and their right to national self-determination to buy time and achieve his aims without war. Likewise the Arabs now speak of a “Palestinian homeland” and Palestinian self-determination to grind Israel down in a process of specious negotiations filled with outrageous demands, such as the return to Israel of 700,000 “refugees” or the dismantling of “settlements,” so that the new state will be ethnically cleansed of Jews. And the Palestinians “cannot be satisfied” with legitimate concessions made by Israel, including at least three legitimate offers to give them the homeland they allegedly pine for.

• In concert with phony negotiations, the Sudeten Nazi Party fomented violence and manufactured atrocities in order to justify German intervention and create international sympathy for their cause. So too the Palestinian Arabs have manufactured numerous atrocities, such as the Jenin “massacre” or the Mohammad Dura killing, and used terrorist violence in order to provoke retaliation and defensive measures that further alienate the international community from Israel and increase pressure on it to make concessions.

• Most important, just as England and France were unwilling to take action against Hitler’s aggressive intentions, and so found in the alleged suffering of the Sudeten Germans a convenient excuse to pressure Czechoslovakia into committing national suicide, so too the West finds in “Palestinian suffering under Israeli occupation” a convenient pretext for ignoring the obvious goal of the Palestinian Arabs, the destruction of Israel. Indeed, President Obama’s recent demands for more Israeli concessions as a prelude to a peace settlement recalls the suicidal concessions England and France demanded from Czechoslovakia. As the crisis continued in 1938, the British solution was “for Prague to get a real twist of the screw.” And while the Czechs fought desperately for their national survival, British Minister Basil Newton advised Czech president Edvard Benes “go forthwith to the very limit of concession.” How similar to the constant accusations that Israel negotiates in bad faith, and to the continually escalating demands on Israel to make unreciprocated concessions to a people who have met every previous concession with terrorist attacks, and who always “demand so much they cannot be satisfied.”

Winning international sympathy and support for the “oppressed” Palestinians has been a critical element in the “phases” strategy. The Kennedy School conference––like the boycott of Israeli academics, one of whose prime movers is Ilan Pappé–– is yet another example that this strategy to destroy Israel by manipulating international opinion has been working. The “one-state solution” is in fact an enabler of a slow-motion final solution.

Bruce Thornton


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Daniel Pipes: "The Public is Receiving Much Disinformation"

by Rachel Hirshfeld

Daniel Pipes
Daniel Pipes
Israel news photo:

Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, gave an interview with conservative political activist, Ezra Levant, as was reported by Israel Matzav, the popular blogspot for issues regarding Israel and the Middle East.

Regarding the continually deteriorating situation in Syria, Daniel Pipes stated that it is only a matter of weeks or months until the Syrian “tyranny” topples. He noted, as others have written, that the most important aspect, from a strategic point of view, is that a regime change in Syria will almost certainly result in the breaking of the Syrian alliance with Iran, which will cause “a real blow” to the Iranian regime. As of now, Iran uses their relationship with Syria as a means of transferring arms and money to Hizbullah and Hamas, and gaining influence in “the heart of the Middle East.”

Pipes said that while the Iranian military is, largely, out of date, Israeli officials have indicated that it has dispersed functions and continues putting facilities underground, some as far as 100 meters. As Iran continues putting nuclear facilities underground at an increasing rate, the option of staging a pre-emptive attack will no longer be viable.

At this point, Pipes notes, Israel lacks the support of the United States and is, therefore, left with two feasible options to attack Iran. Either they can use fighter planes, striking key targets, although that option may not be viable in the near future. The second option is to use tactical nuclear weapons based in submarines, which will, undoubtedly escalate the situation even further, but remains plausible.

The American administration, he said, does not put sufficient pressure on Iran and is not willing to exert the necessary force needed to curtail its nuclear ambitions.

He goes on to state that if the United States was, in fact, ready and willing to attack Iran, more options would be available. The United States has a larger military force, more planes, more ordinance, better intelligence and troops may be deployed on the ground, but says that it is highly unlikely that Israel would decide to take such a route.

Pipes said that while Iran has been on the international radar for quite a while, there is a newfound urgency to the situation. While there was always some sort of timetable with regards to Iran, it no longer remains in the distant future, and is taking on a heightened degree of urgency, with "July looming," as a time at which a non-nuclear pre-emptive strike would no longer be feasible.

There has been a lot of media coverage and "chit chat by Israelis" as well as visits to Israel by top international officials, seeking to "cool down the Israelis."

Pipes said that the public is being fed a great deal of “disinformation.” The man in the street cannot possibly discern the truth and everything the public thinks is true is mere speculation. Pipes said that it will probably be ten years before we learn the truth behind what is going on now.

Rachel Hirshfeld


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Iranian Official: Better Not Consider Attacking Iran

by Rachel Hirshfeld

Map of Strait of Hormuz

Map of Strait of Hormuz
Israel news photo: Wikimedia Commons / public domain

Iranian Armed Forces Deputy Chief of Staff for Cultural Affairs and Defense Publicity Brigadier, Massoud Jazayeri, said that Israel and the United States are in “no position to launch a military strike against Iran” and that the decision to do so would have grave consequences.

The Iranian commander stressed that they do not take the threats of the American administration seriously and stated that, “the US war and peace signals are either pointless or lack enough credence when it comes to policy making.”

He went on to say that, “The US government is in such a desperate situation that even Americans have been pouring into the streets across the country to protest against the capitalist system and chant slogans in support of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

He was referring to Obama’s policies regarding Iran, which seem to be best characterized as an ambiguous “carrot and stick” approach that project weakness. Obama has stated, “Any kind of additional military activity inside the Persian Gulf is disruptive and has a big effect on us. It could have a big effect on oil prices… And so our preferred solution here is diplomatic.”

In an interview with FOX News yesterday, former mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani voiced the same concern and stated, "President Obama has 'no clue' what is going on in the Middle East and that he is living in a 'fairly naive world.'"

While President Obama, in his pre-Super Bowl interview on Sunday stated, that there is no imminent “evidence” that Iran has the “intentions or capabilities” of attacking the United States, there is much evidence to the contrary.

Fars News Agency reported that, “Iran has warned that in case of an attack by either the US or Israel, it will target 32 American bases in the Middle East and close the strategic Strait of Hormus. An estimated 40 percent of the world’s oil supply passes through the waterway.”

Rachel Hirshfeld


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To Bomb or Not to Bomb Iran

by David Meir-Levi

Itchy trigger fingers can cause wars. A pre-emptive conventional weapons bombing strike against Iran’s known nuclear facilities could do more harm than good….or at least so say some.[i]

And indeed there is the real and frightening possibility that an Israeli or American attack might unite Iran’s disaffected anti-Mullah 30-somethings into a furious show of patriotism and thus lock in the current mullah-cracy (aka the Islamic Republic of Iran) for another generation. Such an attack might also have a similar effect on the current Syrian regime; radicalize the Muslim world against the West; ignite Hezbollah on the Lebanese border; re-invigorate a flagging Hamas; endanger US troops in Iraq; spark revenge terror attacks; propel oil prices skyward; trigger a regional war; prompt Iran’s closure of the Straits of Hormuz; and cause stock markets world-wide to plummet. And then again, it might not.

But what happens if one does not bomb?

Some current analysis suggests that an Iranian Islamist regime armed with nuclear weapons will trigger a regional nuclear arms race; destroy the non-proliferation treaty; increase the danger of miscalculation that could bring on a nuclear exchange; allow Iran to escalate its destabilizing influence throughout the region and the world; threaten Israel and moderate Arab regimes; manipulate energy markets to its benefit; pose as a guardian of Muslim communities even beyond the Middle East; and, perhaps worst of all, share its nuclear technology with its non-state proxies and terrorist groups. Thus empowered, Iran just might be able to throw its nuclear weight behind the current Syrian regime; radicalize the Muslim world against the West; ignite Hezbollah on the Lebanese border; re-invigorate a flagging Hamas; endanger US troops in Iraq; provide a measure of impunity for Muslim terror attacks; propel oil prices skyward; trigger regional wars anywhere it wants; close the Straits of Hormuz with impunity; and cause stock markets world-wide to plummet.

And to make matters worse, the Iranian nuclear threat may by now be global. Israeli sources disclosed that recently Iran began working on missiles with a 10,000 kilometer (c. 6,200 miles) range, capable of striking targets in the western hemisphere. But even worse is the slowly emerging reality that Iran and Hezbollah are working with drug cartels in Mexico and with the Venezuelan government to smuggle materials into South America, creating a conduit that could one day be used to smuggle nuclear weapons into South America for deployment against North America. An Iranian nuclear attack on North America, via long-range missiles or from bases in South America, could involve the detonation of a nuclear device high in the atmosphere to send a massive electromagnetic pulse that would paralyze virtually all U.S.-based electronic defense systems, destroying America’s electrical grid, and shutting down everything from cars to computers to airplanes and refrigerators. And if detonated closer to the ground, such a device would vaporize millions of Americans.

But Iran does not need to actually drop the bomb. The moment Iran goes nuclear, other countries in the region will feel compelled to do the same, sparking a nuclear arms race among the world’s most unstable and fanatical regimes and their proxy terrorist forces. And such threats, without a single missile being launched, would have a devastating effect on the Israeli economy and society: withdrawal of overseas and Israeli investors, a record number of Israeli emigrants, a sharp decline of Jewish immigration, dwindling tourism, intensification of military-political-economic dependence on the U.S., and the transformation of Israel from a strategic asset to a strategic liability.

Should Iran achieve nuclear military capacity, it will be free to advance its Islamist revolution throughout the world with impunity from attack. So it may well be that by not bombing, the world, and especially the USA and Israel, will pay a much higher and more horrific price.

But what about the IAEA, inspections, and sanctions?

The problem with the IAEA and its inspections is that it has failed numerous times to detect clandestine WMD activity in countries that are signatories to the non-proliferation treaty. Such embarrassing gaffs include North Korea, Libya, Russia, China and most recently Syria and Iran. Moreover, there is no method of enforcement of IAEA inspections. With complete impunity, Iran recently barred inspectors from the most sensitive and suspicious of its WMD sites.

Moreover, Iran possesses the most clandestine-capable nuclear-weapon technology in history: the gas centrifuge. Gas centrifuge installations can be housed in a room the size of a high school gymnasium, and require very little external power, thus making it almost impossible to detect. Iran can now make centrifuges on an entirely indigenous basis.

Sanctions have failed to bring Iran to its knees, even though the most recent ones have thrown the Iranian economy into turmoil. And this is one of the most problematic aspects of sanctions: in a country where leaders have no concern for the well-being of their own people, sanctions can harm the innocent without influencing the government. Enhanced incentives have not only failed to entice Iran to give up its nuclear program, but they have had the reverse effect of validating its uncompromising policy against making any concessions in the nuclear arena. Moreover, Iran has successfully evaded US sanctions against its state shipping company simply by painting new names on its ships. Equally problematic is the willingness of Russia, China, North Korea and Venezuela to supply Iran with whatever it needs, including WMD expertise and uranium, to vitiate the effects of the West’s sanctions.[ii]

The Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control reported in November, 2011 that by December 2008 Iran had one atomic bomb. By 2009 it had two, and by 2011, five. The IAEA garnered evidence that Iran was testing nuclear explosives and working on weaponization (fitting nuclear warheads to nose-cones of missiles). In January 2012 Iran announced publicly that its uranium enrichment site was about to become operational, prompting the IAEA to warn the world that Tehran now has the ability to make whatever nuclear weapons it chooses, within months.

And most recently, on February 3 of this year, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told an Iranian audience that Iran will continue its nuclear program, will retaliate ferociously against any military interference, and will offer its full support to any nation or group that confronts Israel, “that cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut.”

It seems crystal clear that Iran can and will go nuclear very soon, and once nuclear, it will use its new strength to advance its Islamic genocidal goals. For the U.S., for Israel, for the EU and for the UN these developments should represent the sum of all fears, yet Obama seems not only dead-set against taking military action against Iran; he is working very hard to talk Israel out of doing so.[iii]

Such a grim assessment of Obama’s mindset is unavoidable when one recalls his inaction against Iran for its capture of the RQ-170 stealth drone in December of last year; his silence over Iran’s initiation of 20% uranium enrichment at the underground Fordo facility near Qom; his reluctance to send U.S. aircraft carriers into the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz; his hesitation in approving immediate sanctions on Iran’s central bank and energy sector; and his secret attempt to influence Congress to soften the most recent more biting sanctions.

So it is not surprising that “pre-empt now” and “point of no return” are terms used by some pundits in the West to predict Israel’s supposedly imminent attack on Iran.[iv]

Some have suggested that the only viable solution is regime change in Iran. Perhaps a much easier solution is regime change in the USA in November 2012.


[i] “How About Not Bombing Iran?’; and Colin H. Kahl, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East in the Obama administration, at; and R. Nicholas Burns, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs in the George W. Bush administration, at ; and Roger Cohen, at; and Jeffrey Goldberg at

[ii] for list of recent articles discussing the support Iran receives from its erstwhile allies.

[iv], and, and–tms–cthomastq–b-a20120202feb02,0,1249312.column , and, inter alia.

David Meir-Levi


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The Chutzpah of Omar Barghouti

by Daniel Greenfield

The classical definition of the Yiddish word Chutzpah is a man on trial for killing his parents who asks for leniency because he is an orphan. Next to that definition is a picture of Omar Barghouti, a Qatari-born Muslim who moved to Israel and enrolled in Tel Aviv University to obtain a Masters Degree in Philosophy while conducting an academic boycott campaign against Israel.

Omar Barghouti is promoting a boycott of a service that he makes use of as a platform, and explains the contradiction between calling for a boycott of Israeli universities while studying at an Israeli university by saying that his studies are a “personal matter.” This is a privilege only enjoyed by Omar the Boycott Maker, while ordinary Jewish and Arab students and faculty have their personal academic studies politicized by him and his leftist cronies.

Two years ago when his alma mater was going to hold a series of lectures at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, Barghouti’s Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel denounced Tel Aviv University for the “oppressive and criminal activities fostered, facilitated and celebrated by that institution” that PCABI alleged were taking place there. Presumably Barghouti didn’t mean his own activities, which certainly met that standard and were facilitated by Tel Aviv University.

It’s not as if this Qatari and Egyptian immigrant didn’t have any other options. Qatar and Egypt have their own universities. So does the United States. Barghouti knows that quite well since he also has a degree from Columbia. Instead Barghouti moved to Israel and set up shop denouncing a country that he wasn’t born in and did not grow up in and can leave any time he wants to.

With a PhD in Philosophy, Barghouti has the perfect background for a parasite whose only real career is political activism on behalf of terrorists. Had he stayed in Egypt, he would have had to live off the family money or get a real job. But in Israel he has a rewarding career of promoting a boycott that he doesn’t actually participate in, while conducting a world lecture tour denouncing Israel.

Barghouti does not just call for a boycott of Israel, what he is really promoting is a one state solution destruction of Israel. And his “passion” for the subject is not the random parasitism of another activist looking for a cause. Omar Barghouti is a distant cousin of Marwan Barghouti and Mustafa Barghouti. Marwan Barghouti is a major terrorist leader serving five life sentences for numerous murders. Mustafa Barghouti was a Soviet-educated Communist leader and a candidate for the presidency of the Palestinian Authority.

The Barghouti clan, that part of it which is still hanging out in Israel, tends to have a lot of PhDs and their own agenda aiming for power in the Palestinian Arab movement. Bashir Barghouti, was a leading Jordanian Communist who served as the Minister of Industry in the Palestinian Authority. Another of the bunch, Mohammed Barghouti was the Minister of Labor.

But the grip of the Barghoutis on power has been a tenuous one. While they do control a few towns in the West Bank, mostly they have had to settle for being academics, whiny writers and poets penning turgid denunciations of Israel. Some of the bunch has made it to America, others linger in Egypt and Jordan, and anywhere else pretentious parasites can find a warm academic nook to crawl into.

With that background, Omar Barghouti’s campus Jihad combined with a campus outpost is unsurprising, he is only following the family tradition of burrowing into academia and building a career denouncing Israel. The boycott program has opened a new front in the war against Israel by giving terrorist sympathizing leftists in Europe an excuse to reject papers from Israeli academics and bar the door against students with Israeli diplomas, not including Barghouti of course. It is also building a power base for the new generation of the Barghouti clan.

The BDS movement, which aims for a boycott of Israel, has never been accused of fielding a coherent argument. Barghouti’s own articles and speeches are equally incoherent. Playing the professional Palestinian, Barghouti insists that Jesus was a Palestinian. Aside from the absurdity of retroactively assigning a 20th century Arab nationalist identity to a figure who lived in the twilight days of a Jewish state, Barghouti’s own Palestinian identity seems rather shaky considering that he only stopped by the area as an adult.

Why a Qatari-born immigrant like Omar Barghouti should have more legal and civil rights than a Jewish child born in Israel cannot be defended in any way except by an appeal to the racial and religious superiority of the construct of a Palestinian identity. A fraud that the Barghoutis have done a good deal to perpetuate in academic life.

In a recent op-ed promoting the Penn State BDS conference taking place in February, Omar Barghouti tried to latch on to Occupy Wall Street by claiming to represent “the global 99 percent.” Considering how much money and power the Barghoutis have, they are the 1 percent, both locally and globally. Anyone who has seen the mansions of the ruling elite in the West Bank can only laugh at Omar’s assertion that Israel is part of the 1 percent exploiting the rest of humanity, while the influential clans like the Barghoutis are the 99 percent.

While it is easy to ridicule Omar Barghouti’s shopworn anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories, his boycott tours enable leftist bigotry by dressing up the racism of their academics and activists in the fringed scarves and t-shirts of a national liberation movement. And yet Omar has already made his own argument against the existence of a Palestinian state.

Omar Barghouti has asserted that Israel is a racist apartheid state and accordingly has no right to exist, but that would be a far more accurate description of the goals and purposes of Palestinian Arab nationalism, which has set out to not only ethnically cleanse the Jews, but which has also managed to ethnically cleanse much of the Arab Christians from the territories under their control.

While Israel has a multiethnic and multi-religious population that encompasses the refugees of many nations, from Vietnamese boat people to Sudanese refugees, the Palestinian Arab nationalist vision is obsessed with the supremacy of the Arab Muslim clans like the Husseinis and the Barghoutis who want to preserve their tribal privileges and feudal power. The only refugees they care about are their own uncles and cousins.

Omar talks about equality, but it isn’t equality that he is after; it’s power. And in his chutzpah he accuses Israel of the crimes of his family and the Palestinian Arab supremacist national movement.

Daniel Greenfield


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Terrorists Actively Seeking to Kidnap Soldiers

by Gavriel Queenann

IDF officials say there have been at least five attempts to kidnap soldiers in Israel's north since the Gilad Shalit was released by Hamas on 18 October 2011.

Israel's government released 1,027 terrorists in exchange for Shalit who was held in Hamas-run Gaza for over five years. The terrorists released were responsible for a collective 569 Israeli deaths.

The deal resulted in Hamas declaring 'victory' over Israel and declaring a new drive to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

"You can see a direct correlation between the return of Shalit and kidnapping attempts," IDF Northern Command Provost Marshal Lt Colonel Nir Golan told Israel's News 2.

"The terrorist organizations know that Israel is willing to pay high prices for the return a soldier and their motivation to kidnap a soldier is very high," Golan added.

The IDF has been very concerned about terror groups kidnapping a soldier. IDF are very much concerned kidnapping. Recently, military police have staged their own kidnappings of soldiers seeking rides on the roadside to drive home the need for vigilance.

However, Golan says there are still many soldiers who still hitch-hiking, "It is especially noticeable in places where public transportation is infrequent or non-existent."

Ministry of Defense Operations Director Maj. Gen. Shmulik Calmi said, "There are many disturbing trends and incidents that indicate an intent to kidnap our soldiers and we continue to refine our procedures.

"Unfortunately, as disturbing reports as the reports are, they are very common and we are quite used to it," he added.

Gavriel Queenann


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US May Seek to 'Militarize' Syria Crisis

by Rick Moran

It's exactly what Russia and China hoped to avoid with their veto at the UN last weekend; the western powers flexing their military muscles again in the Middle East.

At the moment, diplomacy appears to be the preferred course. But the Obama administration is apparently seriously looking over its options in the event that the military is employed in some capacity to stop the slaughter in Syria.


The official from the State Department told The Daily Telegraph that while the White House wants to exhaust all its diplomatic options, the debate in Washington has shifted away from diplomacy and towards more robust action since Russia and China blocked a United Nations resolution condemning Syria.

The Pentagon's Central Command has begun a preliminary internal review of US military capabilities in the region, which one senior official called a "scoping exercise" that would provide options for the president if and when they were requested.

The White House said it was talking to allies about holding a "Friends of Syria" meeting in the near future and was considering delivering humanitarian aid to affected areas in the country.

"We are, of course, looking at humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people, and we have for some time. We're consulting with our international partners, and we anticipate this being one of the focuses of the discussions that we'll have," said Jay Carney, the White House press secretary.

Influential figures in Washington have recommended setting up a "humanitarian corridor" or safe haven, while others, such as Senator John McCain, have said it was time to consider arming the rebels of the Free Syrian Army.

The "corridor" idea was first advanced by Turkey weeks ago. It wouldn't solve much and leave those who are guarding the corridor wide open to Syrian army attacks. Clearly, a corridor would require massive air power to protect those who are keeping the corridor open.

Arming the Syria rebels would probably be a disaster. The last thing anyone wants in Syria is a full blown civil war and inviting the rebels to turn Syria's big cities into free fire zones, killing as many civilians as Assad.

This is a problem for the Arab League. If they request international assistance, then we can revisit the intervention scenario. Until then, it would seem prudent to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Rick Moran


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Islamists Do Not Flee Tyranny, They Bring It With Them

by Manda Zand Ervin

Radical Islamists claiming to be moderates are energetically inverting for Americans who are the victims and who are the bullies.

The film The Third Jihad has become another excuse for the mainstream media, especially the New York Times, to show yet again just what Cultural Imperialists they can be. Once more, these self-proclaimed moral authorities have taken it upon themselves to stand with the Muslim "victims" against the so-called "bullies," unwittingly inverting who are the victims and who are the bullies --and as if we cannot fend for ourselves and need the protection of their Cultural Imperialist Censorship.

American Muslims are largely made up of immigrants from 57 different Muslim-majority countries –- every one of which discriminates against all other religions, and whose leaders and clergy call for all non-Muslims, the "infidels," to be killed, as prescribed by Sharia law. In recent months we have witnessed the ever-increasing attacks on, and persecution of, Christians in Muslim countries.

In these very Muslim-majority countries, even Muslims of different sects are discriminated against and abused. In Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, Shia Muslims are treated as second-class citizens (or Dhimmis) and kept separate from the Sunni majority; and Christians, hired to work, are kept inside the walled communities.

The Shia Islamic regime in Iran has, in turn, been killing the Sunni Muslims, persecuting the peaceful Sufis, and tearing down their Mosques and meeting halls. This religious discrimination, practiced under Sharia law for 1400 years, is now the culture that Islamists are propagating and spurring on in the Muslim world.

Most American Muslims have run away from the political and radical Islamism that has now begun to spread like wildfire here in America. We non-Islamist Muslims came to live not only in prosperity, but also in freedom, equality and in a democratic society – not a single one of which is provided under the regimes of our native countries which we were forced to leave behind.

Here in America the Sunnis, Shiites, Sufis, even Wahhabis and all other sects of Islam live without discrimination. We live in freedom, and those people who practice have even learned to share Mosques. We have learned to respect not only all other Muslims but all other people as well, no matter what their religious beliefs.

Although our adopted country has been attacked by Radical Islamists, we have never been blamed for their violence by our non-Muslim compatriots.

A small number of these same Radical Islamists who discriminate against us in our countries of origin are now in America armed with petrodollars, and falsely claiming to be "moderate," and to represent this highly diverse group of Americans; they are also crying crocodile tears of discrimination against Muslims in America.

The problem is, these Radical Islamists and their allies and supporters among America's mainstream media, as well as academia and ideological elite who are being used by the Islamists, and in turn, are using the Islamists to wreak their own political ideological havoc.

In the middle of this culture stand American Muslims, the "silent majority," living in the society of their dreams and minding their own business, but who are worried about the consequences of this thickening alliance between Islamists and well-intentioned -- but woefully misguided -- Liberals whom we are forced to suffer.

The story of The Third Jihad, which the silent majority is happy to see, is a fair and true account of the issues of today's Islamism. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, an observant Muslim, narrated the film because it was not about his religion, Islam; it was about an ideology called Political Islamism that is in the business of terrorizing Muslims and non-Muslims alike. These Islamists did not come here to escape tyranny; they brought it with them.

The mainstream media, however, are opposing this short film to further their political agenda by attacking the New York Police Department [NYPD], who lost so many of its members trying to save people from the burning towers of the World Trade Center 11 years ago -- the same NYPD they will harshly criticize if they are not as quickly responsive to the next Islamist terrorist attacks.

Worse, the mainstream media are criticizing the NYPD for merely watching the film – the media could not even bestir themselves to do the most minimal due diligence about the contents of the film or to address its contents.

One of the treasured freedoms we came here for, which exits nowhere else, is freedom of speech: Why should the NYPD not watch this documentary? It often appears to us that the Islamists and the Liberals do not want people to hear any version but their own.

We, the American Muslims, refuse the interference of these political ideologies in our religion. We refuse to become a political tool for the Islamists and American cultural imperialists.

We stand by the The Third Jihad, the NYPD's watching it, and the priceless freedom of speech.

Manda Zand Ervin


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Qatar Financing Wahhabi Islam in France, Italy, Ireland and Spain

by Soeren Kern

Qatar, the most fraudulent "moderate," is "sparing no effort" to spread Wahhabi Islam across "the whole world," discouraging integration, encouraging jihad.

The Persian Gulf Emirate of Qatar says it plans to invest €50 million ($65 million) in French suburbs that are home to hundreds of thousands of disgruntled Muslim immigrants.

Qatar says its investment is intended to support small businesses in disadvantaged Muslim neighborhoods. But Qatar, like Saudi Arabia, subscribes to the ultra-conservative Wahhabi sect of Islam, and critics say the emirate's real objective is to peddle its religious ideology among Muslims in France and other parts of Europe.

Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who has long cultivated an image as a pro-Western reformist and modernizer, recently vowed to "spare no effort" to spread the fundamentalist teachings of Wahhabi Islam across "the whole world."

The promotion of Islamic extremist ideologies -- particularly Wahhabism, which not only discourages Muslim integration in the West, but actively encourages jihad against non-Muslims -- threatens to further radicalize Muslim immigrants in France, analysts say.

The Qatari investments are being targeted in blighted French suburban slums known in France as banlieues, where up to one million or more mostly unemployed Muslim immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East eke out an impoverished existence.

The banlieues are already being exploited by Islamist preachers from countries such as Morocco and Turkey, which are leveraging the social marginalization of Muslim immigrants in France to create "separate Islamic societies" ruled by Islamic Sharia law, according to a recent study which examines the rise of Islam in France.

The 2,200-page report, "Banlieue de la République" (Suburbs of the Republic) -- commissioned by the influential French think tank L'Institut Montaigne, and directed by Gilles Kepel, a well-known specialist on the Muslim world -- describes how Muslim immigrants are increasingly rejecting French values and identity in favor of Islam.

The report shows how Sharia law is rapidly displacing French civil law in many parts of suburban Paris and warns that France is on the brink of a major social explosion because of the failure of Muslims to integrate into French society.

France, which has between five and six million Muslims, has the largest Muslim population in the European Union.

The study says that Muslim religious institutions and practices are increasingly displacing those of the state and the French Republic, which has a strong secular tradition.

Among other findings, the report describes the proliferation of mosques, Koranic schools and makeshift prayer rooms in the banlieues. The religious orientations of these mosques are heavily influenced by the national origin of the founder or president of a given mosque.

This is contributing to a "new sociology of Muslim believers" composed mainly of undereducated low-income immigrants who depend on financial support from countries such as Morocco, Turkey, Tunisia -- and now Qatar -- all of which are pursuing their own objectives in France.

Nabil Ennasri, the president of a Muslim activist group called the Collectif des Musulmans de France (CMF), says Qatar is keen to exert its influence over the Muslims in France. He says: "France has a large Muslim population of Arab heritage, which will one day, whether it is welcome or not, play an important role in French politics. Investing in this population is a way of recruiting supporters who will -- consciously or unconsciously -- further Qatari interests."

With less than 100 days to go before the presidential elections in France, the phenomenon of foreign Muslim governments competing for influence over Muslim immigrants in France has become a campaign issue.

Marine Le Pen, who leads the right wing National Front party, recently warned that Qatar's influence over French Muslims was growing. She also said that, if elected, she would defend French sovereignty from the meddling of Islamist governments that support political religious movements in France and threaten to "destabilize our country."

"The massive investments which Qatar has made in suburbs are made because of the very high proportion of Muslims who are in the French suburbs," Le Pen said. "We are allowing a foreign country to choose its investments on the basis of the religion of this or that part of the French population or of French territory. I think this situation could be very dangerous."

Le Pen also said Qatar was "playing a double game" by presenting itself as an "enlightened" country to Western democracies while at the same time supporting Islamist groups in the Middle East and North Africa.

"I say solemnly, the Qataris are financial supporters of Islamic fundamentalists, madmen of Sharia. The French have a right to know that, especially in Libya, the jihadists who are now in power and whose first action was to apply Sharia, were financed and armed by Qatar," she said.

Qatar played a key role in the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime in Libya by providing the insurgents with money, weapons and hundreds of troops. But Qatar has also been criticized for undermining Libya's new interim government by continuing to arm militant Islamists.

More recently, an army of Wahhabi fighters armed and funded by Qatar has reportedly amassed on the Turkish-Syrian border with the intent of removing Syrian President Bashar Assad from power, presumably with the objective of importing Wahhabi Islam to a post-Assad Syria.

Qatar has also provided aid to Hamas terrorist groups, offered support to the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, and reached out to Omar al-Bashir, the President of Sudan who has been indicted for war crimes in Darfur.

Qatar also hosts the controversial Al-Jazeera television network, which includes among its presenters Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has praised suicide bombings and is banned from entering Britain and the United States.

Back in Europe, Qatar is also building a multi-million euro mega-mosque on the southern Italian island of Sicily. Supporters of the mosque -- to be built in the medieval town of Salemi in southwestern Sicily -- hope it will become a reference point for all of the 1.5 million Muslims in Italy.

Some 60% of the mosques in Italy are controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, which is heavily influenced by the Wahhabi ideology subsidized by Qatar as well as Saudi Arabia.

In Ireland, Qatar recently donated €800,000 to build a mega-mosque in the city of Cork. Ireland's Muslim population has grown tenfold in 20 years, making Islam the fastest-growing religion in the country. According to the Irish Times, "the Muslim Brotherhood influence constitutes one of the strongest elements of Islam in Ireland."

In Spain, speculation is rife that the massive bullfighting ring in Barcelona known as La Monumental is about to be converted into a mega-mosque. Bullfighting has been outlawed in Barcelona effective January 1, 2012 and rumor has it that the 20,000-seat stadium is about to be sold to Qatar's rival, the Emir of Dubai, who wants to convert La Monumental into the third-largest mosque in the world.

Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mordechai Kedar: A Question of Sovereignty

by Mordechai Kedar

For generations, countries in the Middle East have been in the "cross-hairs" of the Western countries: Europe, the United States and Canada. The colonialism of the previous centuries resulted in the conquest, control and exploitation of natural resources. During the twentieth century, colonialism underwent a change of character. It became characterized by political hegemony, taking over the state security apparatus and buying the support of economically corrupt individuals with money. During the past twenty years a new form of Western influence on Middle Eastern countries has developed: influence by means of "civil society organizations" (NGOs), which are underwritten with Western funds.

In the Arab world, thousands of these organizations are active, and the great majority of them act with the approval of the government since these organizations lighten the burden on the government, and help the society to adopt and implement modern and rational characteristics such as democracy and the rule of law, and to marginalize traditional qualities such as tradition, tribalism and belief in evil spirits. There are organizations that deal with health and establish clinics that provide the population with medical care. Another important subject that many organizations deal with is the status of women, and many of these deal with instruction to women, in subjects ranging from mathematics to how to start up a business. Others establish clinics for women's medicine, and others teach them handiwork. The Western volunteers who work in these organizations are motivated by dedication to the people that their organization serves, and live many times in clearly uncomfortable conditions. They sacrifice their comfort and sometimes also their health and even their lives, when they are attacked by local people who object to their activities.

Sometimes the local government harasses these organizations, principally when it seems to the government that they are subverting it and encouraging deeds that should not be done according to the view of the people in power. This is the way it is now in Egypt, which has closed a number of organizations that deal with education towards democracy, and where nineteen American volunteers, together with local Egyptian operatives are about to stand trial for their activities. This matter severely clouds Egypt-U.S. relations. The Egyptian government's claim is that these operatives transgressed Egyptian law because they ran organizations without permission, but everyone knows that this claim is only a fig leaf to hide the truth: the government of Egypt does not want foreigners to be involved in its internal matters or to educate its populace in a way that the government doesn't agree with.

Moreover, there is the issue of national pride, which in Egypt has been emphasized and developed in a special way during the past year, after the Egyptian people succeeded in overthrowing the rule of the ruler who humiliated and degraded them for many years by imposing a dictatorial and debasing regime upon them, under the auspices of the Americans. The feeling that encompassed the Egyptians as a result of the overthrow of Mubarak a year ago is one of great pride that they succeeded to remove the "Sphinx" that oppressed them, tortured them and refused them their rights and their honor. They did this with their own hands, although many people sacrificed their lives, and immediately after the success in removing him, they had the feeling of "Yes, we can!!". This feeling brings them out again and again to the streets in protest against the continuation of the rule of the Supreme Military Council, since those youngsters in Tahrir Square did not sacrifice themselves in order to remove the old officers out the door, so that young officers would be able to come in by the window.

On the other hand, the Supreme Military Council, who runs the government as General Tantawi sees fit, does not agree with the excessive freedom (in its opinion) that the Egyptian people have gained and sees foreign organizations as part of the problem, because it suspects them of sticking their noses into Egypt's internal affairs and encouraging Egyptian youth to organize and become more active and effective in activities against the new military dictatorship, which has developed in Egypt during the past half year.

At issue are about nine organizations, four of which are Egyptian, four American and one German, and putting 43 people on trial for receiving foreign funding illegally: 16 Egyptians, 19 Americans, 5 Serbians and 3 Germans. They are also accused of collecting information in order to transfer it to the United States, and for drumming up support for Egyptian candidates and parties "in the service of foreign interests." And indeed, the "sin" of these organizations is that they supported the Egyptian secular, liberal youth, and the parties who represented them, who lost the elections. The American organization "Freedom House" indeed admitted that it sent people to Egypt who would educate the Egyptian press on how to conduct a free press. Other organizations dealt with spreading the ideas involved with civil society, and promotion of fair democratic elections. Despite this, spokesmen of the American organizations emphasize that they complied with all of the instructions on Egyptian Law and all of their activities were transparent and open.

The Egyptian organizations that are under investigation, "The National Democratic Institute" and "The International Republican Institute", are being investigated for the suspicion of the subversion of Mubarak's regime that eventually led to his downfall. Many suspect that the whole matter of the investigations is actually a power struggle between the Supreme Military Council and the Muslim Brotherhood; a struggle in which the officers try to show the "brothers" their strength by standing firm even against the great and powerful America, which supplies Egypt with the money and food that are so essential at this time.

The Egyptian decision to close down the organizations and to bring the volunteers to trial has created great tension in the relationship between Egypt and the United states. Washington (President Obama, the members of his staff, and members of Congress) is trying to pressure the Egyptian government to stop the process of bringing the 19 volunteers to trial, and to free them forthwith. Washington also threatens to stop its military and civilian support to Egypt, which could bring many Egyptians to a state of starvation.

The question is what causes the Egyptian government - the military, and the civilian which is activated by the military - to enter into a conflict such as this especially with the United States. There are several possible answers to this question, and the most important among them is the will of the Egyptian regime to find who is guilty for the revolution not having brought forth the hoped-for fruit. The economy is collapsing, tourism has disappeared, poverty is increasing, unemployment is spreading, the treasury is empty, the military continues to rule with cruelty and rigidity, and without a shred of sensitivity, and there are still some Mubarak loyalists who remain in power. A situation like this creates a strong desire to find a scapegoat who can be blamed for the failure. Israel cannot be the scapegoat, because that would mean that a small and contemptible country like the "Zionist Entity" has succeeded to destroy the Egyptian revolution. Therefore, a big strong country that can be blamed for the failure of the revolution must be sought, and what country is bigger and more powerful than the United States?

We saw something similar in 1967 at the beginning of the Six Day War, when it became clear that Abd al-Naser, president of Egypt, and Husein, King of Jordan, when they understood that their Air Forces had been destroyed on the ground in an attack by the Israeli Air Force. They discussed by telephone the possibilities of accusing the United States of the bombing, because if it was known that Israel had done this, it would be a great humiliation for them, that such a small country (certainly according to Israel's size before the Six Day War) succeeded within one short day to destroy their Air Forces on the ground. The discussion between Abd al-Naser and Husein was recorded by Israeli Intelligence and after the Arabic radio stations publicized that the Americans attacked the Arab Force bases, Israel broadcast the discussion by means of "the Voice of Israel in Arabic". The broadcast of this deception caused the two rulers tremendous humiliation, since they had been caught "red handed" as a pair of liars plotting their deception.

To the religious Egyptian Muslims, who are the great majority in Egypt, it's easy to accuse the United States of plots against Egypt, because they have an underlying assumption that the United States hates Islam, and will do anything in its power to undermine the new majority of Islam in the Egyptian parliament, and to restore the Land of the Nile to those who are guided by secular and liberal principles. Organizations of civil society (NGOs) that spread ideas foreign to Islam like democracy and which are funded by the United States are the ideal scapegoat for the religious Egyptians who are frustrated by the failure of the revolution.

Beyond a search for whom to blame for the failure of the revolution, it might be that there is in Egypt and in the investigation of the Americans also a bit of revenge against the United States because it supported Mubarak and his cruel regime for years. Even so, these things should be seen in context, because the Egyptian on the street sees that many state leaders don't mind making serious accusations against the United States: This is what Chavez, the president of Venezuela does: this is what Mahmud Ahmadi-Najad, the president of Iran, does, and even the prime minister of Israel, who dares to build apartments in Jerusalem over the strong objections of the White House.

The fact that the Egyptian government, despite the difficult problems in which it finds itself, feels that it can now oppose the United States stems from the International weakness that the greatest super power in the world projects. Despite American hints of reduction in support to Egypt because of this matter, it appears that the Egyptian officers think that the United States will not dare to cut off foreign aid because it might cause an increase in the living expenses for millions of Egyptians who, without the American support, would starve to death. And whom would they accuse for this? Not the United States? And so - in their opinion, they can push their luck with the Americans because they believe that the Americans will not dare to stop the shipments of food to Egypt. (Gaza serves as an example too, that it is possible to shoot missiles at a country, and that country will continue to feed those who are shooting missiles at it.)

The discussion in Egypt about American "foreign funding" can also point in the opposite direction, when spokesmen for the secular parties, who are accused of accepting funds from the United States for their organizations, accuse the Muslim Brotherhood of taking funds from an "external source". An "external source", in this framework is a code name for two bodies: Iran and Al-Qaeda.

It is interesting that there are Americans who express understanding of the Egyptian action against the foreign-funded NGOs. One of them said this week: "What would we do if another country was getting involved in our internal affairs"? Others in Washington are trying to solve the problem quietly, behind the scenes, in a way that puts the United States in the role of the responsible adult, who on one hand continues to feed the naughty Egyptians, and on the other hand brings back to the United States 19 American citizens who were only guilty of wanting to bring Western democracy to an Arab country, which chose rather, the Islam of the Middle East.

However, we must remember that Israel is in the same boat as Egypt. Who funds the New Israel Fund? Who clumsily interferes in the democratic process in Israel? Who funds the organizations that dull the Jewish and Zionist character of Israel? Who pours money into a "peace" plan the sole purpose of which is to weaken the stamina of the people who dwell in Zion?

A country that compromises its independence and sovereignty, and behaves like a beggar in the souk has no one to blame but itself when others come to stir its pot.


Dr. Mordechai Kedar ( is an Israeli scholar of Arabic and Islam, a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and the director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. He specializes in Islamic ideology and movements, the political discourse of Arab countries, the Arabic mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena.
Translated from Hebrew by Sally.

Links to Dr. Kedar's recent articles on this blog:

Source: The article is published in the framework of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. Also published in Makor Rishon, a Hebrew weekly newspaper.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Obama’s Anti-Israel Sell-Out Continues

by Ben Shapiro

Let’s say you’re Israel. An enemy dedicated to your destruction is developing the means to wipe you off the face of the earth, with the covert and overt help of world powers like Russia and China. It’s only a matter of months before that enemy achieves its goals – and when it does you will not be able to stop the mushroom cloud rising over your cities.

So you come up with a sophisticated military plan to strike your foe in an extraordinarily targeted fashion. And you ask for the help of your longtime ally – virtually your only ally – the United States. All you want is covert logistical support … and secrecy. Secrecy is of the utmost importance, since a full-scale aerial assault on your enemy is unfeasible.

Let’s say you’re Israel. What would you say if the United States promptly proceeded to broadcast your military plans to the rest of the world?

Two little words come to mind. And neither of them is “thanks.”

That’s precisely what happened this week, when Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced via the Washington Post that “there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June – before Iran enters what Israelis described as a ‘zone of immunity’ to commence building a nuclear bomb.” What was the point of spilling the beans? To scuttle the attack, of course. According to the Post, “President Obama and Panetta are said to have cautioned the Israelis that the United States opposes an attack, believing that it would derail an increasingly successful international economic sanctions program and other non-military efforts to stop Iran from crossing the threshold.”

This has become pattern for the Obama Administration. Back in June 2010, you’ll recall, the London Times reported that the Saudi Arabians had cut a deal with the Israelis to allow them to use Saudi airspace for a strike on Iran. Where did the Times learn this? According to the Jerusalem Post, “The report cited a US defense source as saying the Saudis have already done tests to ensure no jet is shot down in the event of an Israeli attack. The source added that the U.S. State Department is aware of the agreement.”

Well, isn’t that odd – two blown secrets, two references to the U.S. Defense Department.

The real problem isn’t just the blown secret, of course. It’s the signal it sends to the Iranian regime. By letting the cat out of the bag, the United States has signaled to the Iranians that the Israelis are on their own – that the Israelis are in fact a rogue state operating outside the bounds of conventional international politics. By signaling open opposition to the Israelis defending themselves, the Obama Administration has demonstrated to the Iranians in crystalline fashion that even if Iran develops weapons, and even if the Iranians hand those weapons off to a terrorist group for use against Israel, America may stand idly by.

There is an obvious question here: why? Why is the Obama Administration so intent on stopping an Israeli attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities?

There are three answers. The first is ideological, the second political, the third electoral.

First, the ideological. President Obama believes that he is a global leader, and that in order to be viewed as a global leader, he must play “honest broker” between America’s allies and her enemies. That means that if Israel has covert nuclear weapons, Iran might as well have them too – for the sake of fairness, you understand. Obama has made every effort throughout his tenure to reach out to Islamists across the Middle East, from Tunisia to Libya to Iraq to Egypt to Afghanistan – and he has succeeded in empowering Islamists to attack Western interests across the region. In Obama’s “world citizen” view, this is a good thing: if America is willing to subsume her own interests in favor of the interests of others, Obama believes, such international altruism will bear the fruits of peace.

Second, the political. There is something bizarre about using the Defense Department as a leak-source for anti-Israel activity. Typically, the Arabist State Department is all too happy to undermine Israel; the Defense Department, which works closely with the Israelis, is the friend of Israel in the room. But Obama has a political problem: he’s seen as weak. That means he must use the Defense Department as a tool for his pusillanimous foreign policy. Ripping the steel out of the Defense Department’s spine has become a mission for the Administration; if Obama can get the Defense Department to fall in line behind him, he can look the hawk while playing the dove.

Finally, the electoral. Wonder why Panetta said Israel might attack in April, May, or June? Why not July, August, September? The answer’s obvious: Obama is hoping to delay an Israeli strike for several months. If it does happen close to the election, he’ll back Israel’s play to make a stab at the Jewish vote in Florida. It would create a rally-round-the-flag situation for many Americans close to November 6 – a perfect storm for Obama.

All of these considerations undoubtedly came into play. Only one consideration did not: the safety and security of America’s strongest ally in the Middle East. That was a minor matter for Obama and his cronies. After all, when you’re president of the world, what does a few hundred thousand Jews matter here or there?

Ben Shapiro


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Obama Bundlers Gone Wild

by Michelle Malkin

The White House didn’t blow a dog whistle for deep-pocketed liberal donors on Monday. No, the administration whipped out a supersized vuvuzela. Blaring message: Let loose the campaign finance-bundling hounds of super PAC war!

President Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, who served as White House deputy chief of staff for operations before assuming 2012 re-election duties, announced the super PAC super-flip-flop in a mass e-mail to supporters and a blog post published on the left-wing Huffington Post website. In a related conference call to major campaign finance bundlers, Messina encouraged these high-dollar donors to start funding Priorities USA Action. That’s the Democratic super PAC founded by former White House staffers Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney.

Super PACs and campaigns are barred from coordinating with each other. Nevertheless, Messina said that “senior campaign officials as well as some White House and Cabinet officials will attend and speak at Priorities USA fundraising events.” Of course, they “won’t be soliciting contributions.” Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

This brazen about-face for Team Obama is a goldmine of campaign lies, contortions and epic hypocrisy. Let us count the ways.

— A bundle of contradictions. “Bundling” is the rustling up of aggregate contributions from friends, business associates and employees, a practice to circumvent individual donation limits that Obama has long condemned. When he announced his presidential intentions in 2007, candidate Obama decried “the cynics, the lobbyists, the special interests who’ve turned our government into a game only they can afford to play.” He indignantly singled out “the best bundlers” who get the “greatest access” to power.

Last week, Obama acknowledged raising at least $74 million through his team of big-time bundlers who have been showered with access, tax dollars and plum patronage positions. This elite group of Hollywood celebrities (such as open-borders actress Eva Longoria), political cronies (such as Chicago bagman Louis “The Vacuum” Susman) and politically correct businessmen (such as bankrupt Solyndra investor George Kaiser) now totals a whopping 445 gold-card members.

— The roar of the revolving door. In his Monday announcement, Messina bragged about how the White House has enacted “sweeping” reforms to “close the revolving door between government and lobbyists.” In truth, the administration has widened the carousel and removed the brakes. The Obama-cheerleading Fishwrap of Record (The New York Times) itself identified at least 15 bundlers “involved in lobbying for Washington consulting shops or private companies.”

Moreover, “at least 68 of 350 Obama bundlers for the 2012 election or their spouses have served in the administration in some capacity; at least 250 of the bundlers visited the White House, and another 30 have ties to companies that conduct business with federal agencies or hope to do so in the future,” according to a recent iWatch News report.

Several first-time 2012 bundlers already have snagged administration posts:

— Norma Lee Funger, of Potomac, Md., who raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama, was appointed last month to the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

— Glenn S. Gerstell, of Washington, D.C., who bundled the same amount, was appointed to the National Infrastructure Advisory Commission last fall.

— Richard Binder, of Bethesda, Md., another $50,000 to $100,000 bundler, was appointed to the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health last spring.

And note: The most transparent administration ever still refuses to disclose recusal orders involving the nearly 100 lobbyists and ex-lobbyists on its payroll.

— Super PAC super-hypocrisy. “Super PACs” are federal political action committees that only make independent expenditures in support of, or in opposition to, candidates. Their birth and growth were fueled indirectly by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission (FEC) ruling in 2010. The decision overturned severe campaign finance restrictions that essentially criminalized certain forms of political speech. As Chief Justice John Roberts put it during oral arguments: “We don’t put our First Amendment rights in the hands of FEC bureaucrats.”

Until this week, the Obama administration vehemently condemned the Citizens United decision and vowed to eschew super PACs. The entities are a “threat to our democracy,” Obama railed two years ago. The ruling would “open the floodgates for special interests,” he warned. And last July, Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt kept talking the anti-super PAC talk. “Neither the president nor his campaign staff or aides will fundraise for super PACs,” he asserted. Now? President Obama and his wife won’t fundraise for the democracy-undermining super PACs. But countless other Cabinet members and advisers, partying with Obama bundlers gone wild, will.

In 2008, Obama lambasted rival Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards for criticizing independent expenditures while raking in big PAC bucks: “So you can’t say yesterday you don’t believe in them, and today you have three quarters of a million dollars being spent on you. You can’t just talk the talk.”

Obama 2012 campaign motto: Empty talk? Yes, we can!

Michelle Malkin


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Islam and Free Speech: OIC vs. Universal Declaration of Human Rights

by Michael Curtis

One of the important early contributions of James Madison to American life was his impact on the framing of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1776. One section stated that "all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion according to the dictates of conscience." Another declared that "any citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right." The Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution went even further with the provision that Congress should make no law "prohibiting the free exercise" of religion or abridge the freedom of speech or of the press.

As a result of Islamic activity in recent years the question has arisen in Western countries whether tension or incompatibility exists between the two principles, freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and whether restrictions should be imposed on speech critical of religions or religious beliefs. Should those beliefs and belief systems be protected from adverse comment? Equally should not those who may be offended by such comment tolerate the legitimate exercise of free expression in democratic societies?

In the contemporary world two general problems have arisen on this issue: Islamic attempts to ban criticism of their religion and its Prophet by sponsoring resolutions in international forums condemning "defamation of religions," and the increase in laws on hate speech and blasphemy.

In April 1999 the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (now the UN Human Rights Council, UNHRC) for the first time adopted a resolution "Defamation of Religions" introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference that purported to be concerned with "negative stereotyping of religions." It was really primarily interested in countering what it called the view that "Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and with terrorism." Since then this strategy has been incessantly repeated in international organizations, in the UN General Assembly, from 2005, and in the UN Human Rights Council, from 1999 to the present, which have passed resolutions aimed at "combatting the defamation of Islam." One example of many was the resolution of the UN General Assembly 62/154 of December 18, 2007 which noted with concern that "defamation of religions could lead to social disharmony and violations of human rights of their adherents."

Two issues are relevant. The fundamental problem is that in this and all similar resolutions the only specific reference to religions was Islam, and "the negative projection of Islam in the media and the introduction and enforcement of laws that specifically discriminate against and target Muslims." The call is always to combat effectively defamation of all religions and incitements to religious hatred, against Islam and Muslims in particular." The major player in this strategy is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), formerly the Organization of Islamic Conference, a group of 57 Muslim countries, with a headquarters in Saudi Arabia. It has called for legislation by states to prohibit the defamation of religions, thus seeking to criminalize incitement to hatred and violence on religious grounds.

The other issue is that international human rights laws exist to protect individuals in the exercise of their freedom of religion or belief, not religions as such. The OIC's strategy is contrary to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948, that stated in Article 19; "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression." The OIC"s objective is to limit freedom of expression on religion.

Only in July 2011 was there a change with a statement by the Human Rights Committee, (HRC), a body of 18 independent experts, "of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights," set up to examine compliance with the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which entered into force in 1976, that provided for freedom of expression. It found that blasphemy laws, such as those in countries like Egypt and Pakistan, are in essence restrictions on free speech. The penal code of Pakistan proscribes imprisonment and even death for insults to religion and to the prophet Muhammad. Blasphemy laws tend to be broad in scope and political weapons to stifle dissent. The statement of HRC, General Comment No. 34, a comment on Article 19 of the 1966 International Covenant, said that blasphemy laws and prohibitions of displays of lack of respect for a religion or other belief systems, were incompatible with universal human rights standards. Though recognizing the difficulty in implementing the goal, the Committee reaffirmed the central importance of freedom of expression that is crucial for transparency and accountability that in turn are essential for human rights.

This conclusion is eminently justified because the activity of the OIC is clearly a violation of the universality of human rights, though the OIC claims that the 1990 Cairo Declaration is not an alternative competing worldview on human rights. That Cairo Document, approved on August 5, 1990 by the then 45 members of the OIC, declared, Art 22 (a), that "Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such a manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Sharia," and in Art 22 (c) that "Information…may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets," and in Art 24 that "All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Sharia."

Hate speech laws in a number of European countries have, since the defeat of Nazi Germany, tried to prevent or punish incitement to religious and racial hatred. No universal definitional agreement of "hate speech" exists. Though the primary original intention, after Nazism, was to reduce expressions of antisemitism, laws for some time have been used to punish speech regarded as insulting to a race, nationality, ethnicity, or religion, and expressions of hatred founded on intolerance including religious intolerance. In particular, Islamic groups, to prevent criticism, have tried to use them or to misinterpret the European and International Covenants on Human Rights and the Elimination of Religious Discrimination on which the laws are based.

It seems to be clear that case law decided by the European Court of Human Rights has established that expressions constituting hate speech which are insulting to particular individuals or groups can be restricted by governments in their national law. Yet some ambiguity remains. The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe (The European Commission for Democracy in Law), a group of independent experts and distinguished academics, was established in 1990 as the Council of Europe's advisory body on constitutional issues. The Commission on October 17-18, 2008 concluded that the offence of blasphemy should be abolished, and that in democratic countries it was neither necessary nor desirable to create an offence of religious insult (insult to religious feelings) without the element of incitement to hatred as an essential component.

In December 12-14, 2011 the OIC met in Washington, D.C. with the Obama Administration to discuss what has become known as the Istanbul Process, the issue of implementing the UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 adopted without a vote on March 24, 2011. This Resolution reaffirmed the obligation of states to prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion or belief. It condemned any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence, and expressed deep concern about "derogatory stereotyping, negative profiling and stigmatization of persons based on their religion or belief." It was noticeable that this Resolution did not use the term "defamation" of religions but used a softer term, "persons based on their religion or belief." The Resolution urged states "to take effective measures" to prevent discrimination against such persons. This Resolution was approved, a week after the D.C. meeting, unanimously by the UN General Assembly on December 19, 2011.

The first such meeting, launched by the Secretary-General of the OIC , to implement 16/18 was held in Istanbul in July 2011, and the third will be hosted, at the tentative date of July 2012, by the European Union. The irony in the D.C. meeting and in the Resolution is that the OIC has been active in trying to limit freedom of expression about its religion rather than protecting freedom of religion as a whole. This has been evident since the Cairo Declaration by the OIC in 1990 that declared that free speech must be consistent with sharia law. The OIC intent is to limit rather than to protect speech.

All too many attacks on free speech have been made in recent years by Islamic groups in the Western world. In April 2011 an episode of "South Park" was censured because of uncomplimentary remarks about the Prophet Muhammad. Earlier incidents are well known. Salman Rushdie was victimized by a fatwa by the Ayatollah Khomeini ordering him to be killed for writing The Satanic Verses, which the Iranian leader held to be blasphemous. Theo van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker of Submission, a film that connected the mistreatment of Muslim women to the Koran, was murdered by a Dutch-Moroccan Muslim in 2004. The editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, was threatened for publishing 12 cartoons of the prophet on September 30, 2005. The consequence was riots by Muslims who killed over 100 people. The Dutch politician Geert Wilders was indicted for his comments on Islam and Muslims and threatened for his film Fitna with its critical passages about the Koran. It took several years of proceedings before he was acquitted. The unorthodox French author Michel Houellebecq was indicted, though acquitted, for calling Islam "stupid" and "dangerous." The film star Brigitte Bardot was convicted on a number of occasions for critical remarks which were held to be racial hatred about Muslims The office of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical weekly, was firebombed in 2011 after it had published a story that the prophet was to be a guest editor for a special edition of the journal, which would be renamed Sharia Hebdo in order to celebrate Islamic victory in Tunisia. Arrest warrants were issued first in Switzerland in 2002 and then in Italy in 2005 for the writer Oriana Fallaci for alleged remarks offensive to Islam in her book, The Force of Reason. The remarks of Pope Benedict XVI, critical of the practice of forced religious conversion, at a speech at Regensburg University on September 20, 2006 were held to be "unfortunate and unwarranted" -- just to name a few incidents.

The democratic world must take care that any action based on the UNHRC's Resolution 16/18, "Combatting intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief" does not diminish the fundamental right to free speech.

Michael Curtis is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Rutgers University, and author of the forthcoming book, Should Israel Exist? A sovereign nation under assault by the international community.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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