Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fatah and the "Armed Struggle" against Israel

by Khaled Abu Toameh

While in English Abbas was voicing his opposition to an armed struggle, in Arabic Palestinian officials were issuing statements in support of "armed resistance" against Israel.
When senior figures of the Fatah urge Palestinians to be prepared for the possibility of "armed struggle"against Israel, they are actually instructing Fatah militiamen to be prepared to launch terrorist attacks.

In an interview this week with the New York Times, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas once again expressed his opposition to an armed struggle against Israel.

"In my life, and if I have any more life in the future, I will never return to the armed struggle," Abbas declared.

But while in English Abbas was voicing his opposition to an armed struggle, in Arabic Palestinian officials were issuing statements in support of "armed resistance" against Israel. The officials who favor "armed resistance" are not low-level bureaucrats working in the Palestinian Authority [PA]. Rather, they are senior representatives of Abbas's ruling Fatah faction. Moreover, their names are often mentioned as potential successors to Abbas, who last month entered his 10th year of his four-year term in office.

In the past, Abbas has explained his opposition to the use of violence against Israel by arguing that this has proven to be "ineffective" and could bring more "destruction" to the Palestinians.

The good news is that the Fatah leadership recently repeated its support for a "popular struggle" against Israel. The announcement was made during Fatah's celebrations marking its 49th anniversary.

The bad news is that Fatah is not united when it comes to the issue of resorting to terrorism against Israel. Fatah has many "rebels" and armed groups that continue openly to call for an "armed struggle" against Israel as a way of achieving Palestinian goals.

Jibril Rajoub, a member of the Fatah Central Committee and former commander of the Palestinian security forces. (Image source: Palestinian Media Watch)

In recent months, a growing number of top Fatah officials such as Jibril Rajoub, Tawfik Tirawi and Mahmoud al-Aloul - all members of the Fatah Central Committee - have publicly come out in favor of a return to an "armed struggle" against Israel. Rajoub and Tirawi are former commanders of the Palestinian security forces in the West Bank and are considered close allies of Abbas. Al-Aloul, who is also closely associated with Abbas, is a former governor of the West Bank's largest city, Nablus.

In addition, various armed groups belonging to Fatah, such as the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, continue to maintain a presence not only in the West Bank, but the Gaza Strip as well. The group's militiamen never miss an opportunity to issue all kinds of threats against Israel, including turning Tel Aviv into a "mass of flame."

Abbas has chosen not to comment on the calls by his top loyalists for an "armed struggle" against Israel. There could be three reasons for Abbas's decision to sit on the fence. First, he may be afraid of alienating these officials and other Fatah members who are eager to resort to terrorism against Israel. Second, perhaps Abbas, deep inside, does not completely oppose the idea. Third, Abbas probably wants to use these threats as a means of extracting concessions from Israel and scaring the international community into forcing Israel to accept Palestinian demands.

The statements in favor of an "armed struggle" are aimed at preparing the Palestinian public for another round of violence with Israel if and when the US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian negotiations fail.

Abbas may be ignoring these statements, but many Palestinians listen very carefully to the messages coming out of their top representatives.

When senior figures of the Fatah such as Rajoub and Tirawi urge Palestinians to be prepared for the possibility of an "armed struggle" against Israel, they are actually instructing Fatah militiamen and supporters to be prepared to launch terrorist attacks.

Just last week, Rajoub told the Iranian TV station Al-Alam that, "The option of resistance, including armed resistance, remains on the table."

Tirawi, for his part, sent the following message to the Palestinians: "This who think that the negotiations [with Israel] will bring us anything are mistaken. We must return to the cycle of action. This means resistance in all forms. Fatah has not abandoned the option of armed struggle."

Al Aloul, in a similar message, emphasized, "Fatah has not abandoned the armed struggle as a legitimate right. Fatah's sixth conference, which was held in Bethlehem in the summer of 2009, reaffirmed this point."

It is almost unheard-of for Hamas to say a good word about Fatah. But the increased talk about resorting to terrorism against Israel has prompted Hamas to heap praise on Fatah's leaders. Referring to the Fatah calls for renewed violence against Israel, Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzouk commented, "These are positive statements, especially in light of the fact that the three officials are members of Fatah's central Committee."

Obviously, there are some in Fatah who still believe in suicide bombings and rocket attacks as a way of forcing Israel to make concessions. These Fatah officials have forgotten that Palestinians paid a heavy price for "militarizing" the Second Intifada, and are now willing to send young men and women once again to "sacrifice" themselves for the Palestinian cause.

It is nice to read Abbas's calming and moderate statements in the New York Times. But one should also not ignore the other voices coming out of his inner circle.

Khaled Abu Toameh


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

Appeasement and Economic Sanctions

by Yoram Ettinger

According to Winston Churchill, "an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."

The U.S. administration is leading the easing of economic sanctions against -- and the legitimization of -- the regime of Iran’s apocalyptic, almost-nuclear ayatollahs and mullahs, the allies of North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and other anti-U.S. rogue regimes. They are the chief sponsors of anti-U.S. Islamic terrorism, the role model of anti-U.S. incitement and non-compliance with agreements, double-talk, repression, public executions, state-sponsored terrorism and subversion against the pro-U.S. oil-producing Arab states. 

Simultaneously, and against the will of the American people and the U.S. Congress, the White House and the State Department imply a not-so-subtle support of supposed European economic sanctions against the fallible Jewish state, which is the most reliable, stable, predictable, capable, democratic and unconditional ally of the U.S. in the Middle East and beyond. Israel is the only country whose alliance with the U.S. is based on shared Judeo-Christian values, the foundation of Western democracy and American morality.

Contrary to the state of mind of the American people and the U.S. Congress, the U.S. administration has not warned anti-Israel Europeans of the dire consequences should they resort to sanctions against the Jewish state -- a besieged island of Western democracy surrounded and assaulted by an ocean of anti-Western Islamic tyrannies. Instead, the current U.S. policy -- shaped largely by a foreign policy establishment which courted Hafez Assad, Bashar Assad, Saddam Hussein, Khomeini, Arafat, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood -- provides a tailwind to misguided Europeans, and fuels unrealistic Palestinian expectations, radicalism and violence.

Western governments have chosen to pressure and threaten the Jewish state -- the only Middle Eastern country where Jews, Christians and Muslims enjoy civil liberties and Muslim women benefit from equal opportunities -- while placating and appeasing the regime of Mahmoud Abbas:

*The author of the Palestinian Authority death penalty for Arabs selling land to Israeli Jews, while Israel uproots Jews who settle disputed land

*The ethnic-cleanser who reiterates opposition to the existence of Jewish communities in the proposed Palestinian state, while the Jewish state extends freedom of religion, press, expression, assembly and association to the 1.7 million Israeli Arabs, who -- including most east Jerusalem Arabs -- prefer Israeli to Palestinian citizenship

*The founding father of Western-bankrolled Palestinian hate education, who heralds suicide bombers, using Western financial aid to provide monthly allowances to families of Palestinian terrorists

*The head of a repressive and corrupt regime, nicknamed, by Judea and Samaria Arabs, “Sodom and Gomorrah” and “Mr. 20%” (kickbacks)

*The liquidator of the ancient Christian communities in Bethlehem, Beit Jallah, Ramallah and Beit Sakhour. There are more Christian refugees in Belize, Central America, than there are Christians left in Beit Jallah. From a Christian majority in Bethlehem before the 1993 arrival of Abbas, the Christian community has been reduced to a 15% minority 

*A graduate of KGB training and Moscow University (Ph.D. thesis -- Holocaust denial); the coordinator of PLO ties with the Communist Bloc; an ally of Russia, China and North Korea; the loyal deputy of Arafat, systematically betraying the trust of Egypt (1950s), Syria (1966), Jordan (1970), Lebanon (1970-1982) and Kuwait (collaboration with Saddam’s August, 1990 invasion of Kuwait) through subversion and terrorism

*A systematic violator of most agreements with Israel since 1993, when Israel imported some 70,000 PLO terrorists from Yemen, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Syria, Lebanon and Tunisia and provided them with control over 40% of Judea and Samaria and all of Gaza. The Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate, Jordan nor Egypt ever allowed this when they controlled that area. Mahmoud Abbas reciprocated with unprecedented hate education, terrorism and non-compliance

The current U.S. administration, however, has chosen to pressure the Jewish state and placate Iran and the Palestinian Authority.

Regardless, the ideological and strategic fabric of the mutually beneficial, win-win U.S.-Israel relationship -- based on shared values, mutual threats and joint interests -- will withstand appeasement and cynicism. But, vital U.S. interests could be severely compromised unless the U.S. heeds the following advice of Churchill: "This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup, which will be proffered to us year by year, unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigor, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the old times."

Yoram Ettinger


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

Do Muslims Abuse Race Relations Law?

by Paul Austin Murphy

Although this piece deals only with cases and laws in the UK, it will no doubt have almost exact parallels in the United States. The names of the laws will of course be different and not entirely identical in content. 

Nonetheless, the political and legal ramifications will be much the same on both sides of The Pond.

Introduction: Discrimination Against Muslims?

It's crystal clear that Muslims -- or at least their leaders, lawyers and activists -- believed that the Race Relations Act of 1976 (now replaced by the Equality Act 2010) was clearly not enough for them. As the Muslim lawyer and writer (for The Islamic Foundation) Nadeem Malik puts it (in the book British Muslims Between Assimilation and Segregation):
"In discrimination terms, the only tangible avenue available to Muslims historically has been to pursue an action under the Race Relations Act 1976."
Similarly, Muslims had problems with the Public Order Act of 1986 and the Crimes and Disorder Act of 1998. 

Nadeem Malik also argues that English law "could have extended the Public Order Act 1986 to include an offence of incitement to religious hatred." In addition, the Crimes and Disorder Act 1998 should have included "religiously aggravated offences."

Malik is not even happy with what he refers to as "discourses on 'equality.'" More specifically, they are not "religion [Islam] friendly." Or, in other words, the Commission for Racial Equality does not "provide assistance to those suffering from discrimination on religious grounds."

So Muslims feel discriminated against not only by those omnipresent 'Islamophobes'; but also by the law itself. 

You'll find Muslims generally aren't talking about discrimination in any obvious or real senses: such as when a employer refuses to employ a person simply because he's a Muslim; or when an employer makes Muslims sit in a different part of the communal dining room. Why do I think that? Because laws already exist to deal with such acts of discrimination. That is, if an employer sacked someone simply for being a Muslim (or if he was shown to be refusing work to Muslims), he would be prosecuted or fined within a blink of an eye. 

In actual fact, what we are talking about here is Muslims demanding that they be allowed to work according to the dictates of sharia law (i.e., at their places of employment). In terms of actual example, we are talking about:

i) The "discrimination" that is not allowing Muslim schoolteachers the "right" to take every Friday afternoon off in order to pray.
ii) Muslim nurses -- or even surgeons -- being allowed to wear the hijab and even the niqab in the surgery.
iii) The right of Muslims working on the tills of supermarkets to refuse to serve customers who are buying alcohol, pork products and Bible-related goods.
iv) The right of Muslims to have prayer-rooms installed in all workplaces.
v) And Premier League footballers refusing to wear the logos of companies which aren't sharia-friendly/'compliant.'

In other words, none of this has anything at all to do with either racism in the workplace or people being sacked simply because they are Muslims. This is about the ostensible discrimination that is not allowing sharia law to be upheld within the workplace. It is, therefore, effectively about the supposed right of Muslims to Islamize the working environment.

Anti-Muslim Racism?

That prime contention is the fact that Sikhs and Jews, legally speaking, are deemed to constitute racial groups, whereas Muslims aren't.

The Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia (set up in 1997) saw the "anomaly" this way:
"It has been established through case law that members of two world faiths, Judaism and Sikhism, are fully protected under the Race Relations Act 1976, since they are considered to belong to distinct ethnic groups."
This is clearly problematic for Muslims. Thus the Commission immediately went on to say that that it "is a serious anomaly that no such protection exists for members of other faiths." Despite that, this is the conundrum that Muslims find themselves in: on the one hand Muslims continuously stress the "universal nature of Islam" and the fact that "Muslims come from all races." (Or, as that Commission put it, "Muslims (as also Christians) would emphatically not wish to be seen as belonging to a single ethnic group.") But on the other hand, being seen as a single race will most certainly confer upon Muslims legal -- and therefore social and political -- advantages. 

Some of these anomalies are precisely that -- anomalies. For example, one tribunal, according to Malik, claimed that:

"Sikhs are geographically defined by originating from a particular place in India and that they are bound by their culture as well as their religion."
So if that's true about Sikhs, then, according to Malik, it's also true about Mirpuris from Kashmir. That is, the Mirpuris "have a particular language, geographic heritage, ancestral links, common culture and religious values." It's also true "with regard to Pushtuns [Pashtuns?] from Pakistan." Yet, unlike Sikhs, "it has been found that Mirpuris from Kashmir are not a racial group."

The illogicality of the argument here -- especially from a lawyer -- is blatant. Only a tiny a minority of Muslims come from Kashmir or the Pashtun-inhabited regions of Pakistan. Sikhs, on the whole, can trace their heritage to specific parts of India. There will of course be a tiny number of Sikhs who won't be able to do so. Nonetheless, compared to the hundreds of millions of Muslims who don't come from Kashmir or the Pashtun-inhabited regions of Pakistan, the comparison completely breaks down -- and Nadeem Malik must know that. The only argument Malik can uphold is that Mirpuris and Pashtuns constitute racial/ethnic groups and that they also happen to be Muslims. What has that to do with the legal status of Muslims (as Muslims) in the UK?

The obvious answer to all this is to fully separate racial/ethnic groups from religious groups. Nonetheless, it seems that many Muslims -- including Malik himself -- aren't happy with that conclusion. Why? Because, as I said, Muslims would benefit enormously from being seen as a single racial group.

Of course this racialization of Muslims is clearly ridiculous. Muslims themselves - when coming at this issue from the perspective of "Islamic universalism" -- agree. Indeed the ridiculous nature of this racialization of Muslims is noted by Malik himself -- if only indirectly. He cites a finding of the House of Lords, which:
"stated that a person could fall into a particular racial group by birth or by adopting and following the customs of the group."
Yes; you read that correctly! If a white person were to become a Sikh, he would be deemed -- by the Lords and the law generally -- to have suddenly fallen under another racial group. And it seems that Muslims also want this to apply to white -- or yellow -- Muslims.

A Case Study

Malik cites various concrete legal cases which demonstrate this attempt to racialize Muslims and even Islam itself. For example, he cites the case of J H Walker v. Hussain and others in which seventeen Muslim workers were dismissed for attending what Malik calls "Eid Prayers." Malik doesn't give many details other than to tell us the racial origin of the sacked workers. He also tells us that they were sacked "on religious grounds." However, because spending your time praying to Allah (when you should have been working) will not sound too dandy to either employers or to non-Muslims, this mass sacking was given a racial -- or indeed racist -- veneer. That is, the Tribunal:
"considered that the effect would be to discriminate against most people from the Indian sub-continent and, therefore, would constitute indirect discrimination on racial grounds."
In other words, these Muslims weren't sacked because of their skin color or their genetic makeup. They were sacked because they were praying during working hours.

Malik himself sees the problem of racialising this particular case. For example, "if the seventeen Muslims had been white Muslims they would have had no remedy." Too right! Hence the required racialization of Muslims and therefore the localization of an otherwise supposedly "universal religion." That is, in order to be given the privilege of praying during working hours (or, in other cases, of having halal produce, Muslim prayer areas, the separation of the sexes, a non-alcohol environment, etc.), these Muslims had to be viewed in strictly racial terms -- as a single ethnic group from the "Indian sub-continent." And that is precisely why they won the case.

Despite that reasonable conclusion, Malik wasn't happy with such a verdict. Quite clearly to most Muslims, every demand from fellow Muslims (as Muslims) should be met; whether by schools, factories, McDonald's, universities, Premier League football teams and indeed by every workplace in which Muslims work.

Paul Austin Murphy


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

Scarlett, Soda and Samaria

by Melanie Phillips

Rarely can the off-screen performance of a Hollywood star have had such a galvanic effect upon the morale of a besieged group of people. 

When Oxfam attacked Scarlett Johannson for advertising SodaStream, the gaseous gizmo whose bubbles are apparently toxic for being manufactured in Mishor Adumim just over Israel’s Green Line, the charity was expected to sack the actress as its public face. 

But, as the attacks on her by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions crowd reached fever pitch, Ms Johansson stunned everyone by sacking Oxfam, on the grounds that she was a supporter of “economic co-operation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine”. Which, by implication, Oxfam was not.

With this put-down, she achieved more than all the anti-BDS activists put together (not to devalue their heroic efforts). For the first time that I can remember, a glamorous personality went on to the front foot against the peddlers of anti-Israel bigotry. 

The boycott industry do not seek to highlight Syria or Iran

She did not adopt a cringing, defensive posture. She strode on to the moral high ground and, at long last, delegitimised the delegitimisers. 

For Oxfam’s part, it dug itself further and further into its ridiculous hole. Its mantra that Israeli “settlements” such as Ma’ale Adumim – the city to which Mishor Adumim belongs — are illegal under international law is simply false.

The usual claim that they contravene the Geneva Convention egregiously misrepresents the Geneva Convention. Jews have been legally entitled to live in Judea and Samaria, furthermore, ever since the Mandate treaty of 1922 gave them the right to “close settlement” of all that land. 

Next, Oxfam claimed that firms in the “settlements”, such as SodaStream, deepen Palestinians’ poverty and deny their rights. But SodaStream’s Arab workers disagree, pointing out that the company provides them with well-paid work. 

Oxfam’s most damaging own goal, however, was to open people’s eyes to its real agenda. People who naively believed Oxfam was all about feeding the poor now realised it promotes a Palestine state and makes (false) claims about the status of the land. 

It has even been accused of funding the BDS movement, which it denies – but only by maintaining that funds it gives to groups promoting BDS aren’t used for BDS. Yeah, right.

The problem, though, is not just Oxfam. It is the giant multinational industry of NGOs, funded by millions of euros from European governments, which obsessively promote lies, hatred and incitement against Israel.

They do not seek to boycott Turkey over its occupation of northern Cyprus, nor Morocco over its occupation of western Sahara. They do not seek to delegitimise Syria or Iran or China. Instead, they single out Israel, the lone oasis of human rights in the Middle East, for distortion and demonisation. 

In the acres of space devoted to the SodaStream row, the media mostly treated Oxfam’s position as perfectly reasonable. 

A couple of weeks ago, meanwhile, an utterly chilling march against President Hollande took place in Paris, in which mainly white protesters not only performed the pro-Nazi quenelle gesture but chanted “Jews go home” and “Jew, France is not your country”.

Do you know why you missed British coverage of this? There wasn’t any. The media wanted to kick SodaStream instead. As Europe teeters on the brink of another cultural catastrophe, it is a legal Jewish city which is the focus of attention as a crime against humanity.

Melanie Phillips


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

Was Attack on San Jose Electric-Power Substation Terrorism?

by Peter Vincent Pry

Now making headlines is news that last April unknown parties attacked an electric-power substation outside San Jose, Calif., attempting to black out Silicon Valley.

This underreported story deserved national attention when it happened nearly a year ago owing to major implications for electric-power grid vulnerability to terrorist attack.

The FBI must have read the White House memo that the war on terrorism is over. It says there is “no evidence” the attack was by terrorists. Never mind that a U.S. Navy SEAL team that investigated found it was highly professional, like a military operation.

Never mind that the attackers also knew how to cut telephone cables, understood the importance and vulnerability of transformers, and sprayed them with AK-47 fire, the favorite assault rifle of rogue states and terrorists.

The perpetrators, whoever they were, got away clean, and nearly a year later they have not been apprehended by the FBI.

Whoever attempted to sabotage the San Jose electric substation, whether or not they were terrorists, the incident should be a wake-up call to federal and state governments, and to the electric-power industry, that much more needs to be done to protect the grid.

Six months after the San Jose attack, on Oct. 29, a terrorist drug cartel called the Knights Templar, sabotaged the power grid in Mexico’s Michoacan state, plunging 420,000 people into blackout, cutting off communications and help from federal authorities. They took advantage of the isolation to publicly execute town and village leaders opposed to the drug trade.

The bad guys are learning that the electric grid is a key societal vulnerability.

Those of us who want to protect the national grid need to make common cause and not get distracted over whether our efforts should focus primarily on kinetic attacks or cyberattacks, or on an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from the sun, or from nuclear or non-nuclear weapons. We need to protect the grid from all the above.

R. James Woolsey, a former director of the CIA, in testimony to Congress in May 2013, warned that military plans by Iran, North Korea, China and Russia would not be limited to computer viruses and hacking in an all-out cyberwarfare operation, but would include grid sabotage, kinetic attacks and nuclear EMP attack.

It is just common sense that if terrorists or rogue states try crashing America with a nationwide blackout, they are going to throw everything at us, including the kitchen sink.

The Congressional EMP Commission advocated an “all hazards” strategy and made recommendations for cost-effective protection of the national grid. By safeguarding the grid from the worst-case threat — nuclear EMP attack — all other threats would be mitigated as well.

The commission estimated the cost of hardening the national grid would be about $2 billion — the amount we give away annually in aid to Pakistan.

In its investigation of the attack on the Silicon Valley grid, perhaps the FBI might want to consider the following: A senior executive at the Electric Power Research Institute was quoted in The Wall Street Journal saying that the San Jose attack “appears to be preparation for an act of war.”

The April 16 attack happened amid a major nuclear crisis. On Feb. 12, 2013, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test, and throughout March and April, it was threatening to make nuclear-missile strikes on the United States.

President Obama took these threats so seriously that he beefed up national missile defense and made demonstrations over the Korean demilitarized zone with B-2 bombers to deter the North.

If the attack on the San Jose substation, which services a nearby 470-megawatt power plant, had been successful, it might have triggered a cascading blackout beyond the Silicon Valley, collapsing the grid in California and the West Coast, which is vital to supporting U.S. military operations in the Pacific.

A few months later in July 2013, a North Korean freighter was intercepted attempting to transit the Panama Canal carrying two nuclear-capable SA-2 missiles with their launchers, hidden in its hold.

The missiles had no warheads, but the EMP Commission’s nightmare scenario is the execution of an anonymous EMP attack by terrorists or a rogue state launching a missile off a freighter near the U.S. coast, such as in the Gulf of Mexico.

Iran has threatened retaliation on the U.S. grid for the U.S.-Israeli cyberattack known as the “Stuxnet Worm” on Iran’s nuclear program. The worm allegedly was developed in the Silicon Valley. Iran and North Korea are strategic allies by treaty.

Maybe all of this is mere coincidence. Maybe not.

Peter Vincent Pry is executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and served on the Congressional EMP Commission.


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

Abbas the ‘Moderate’?

by Ari Lieberman

Holocaust denial is not the sort of thing one normally associates with moderation. It is associated with unbridled hatred, ignorance, irrationality and xenophobia. Deniers usually fall into two groupings. There are the crass boors who spew forth whatever refuse enters their vapid minds without even the slightest attempt to provide empirical data to substantiate their odious views. And then there are the more sophisticated types whose denials are generally accompanied by fabricated evidence and couched in terms of scholarly pursuit and historical review.
The rantings of “Dr.” Issam Sissalem, a Palestinian academic who claimed on Palestinian Authority TV that Auschwitz and other death camps merely served as “disinfection” facilities, provides a clear example of the former grouping. The unelected, autocratic “president” of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas provides a good example of the latter.

In the 1980s Abbas authored a Ph.D. thesis in which he referred to the systematic murder of 6 million Jews as a “fantastic lie” and claimed that the actual death toll was barely a sixth of that amount and that in any event, their murder was provoked by the “Zionist movement.” He further alleged that gas chambers were never utilized to murder Jews.

So there you have it. The leader of the Palestinian Authority shares the same beliefs and values as the likes of former Islamic Republic president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and former grand wizard, David Duke. This is the man that Israel is expected to trust with signed treaties. This is the man that Israel is expected to cede its ancestral land to. And this is the man entrusted by John Kerry to end Palestinian incitement.

It is beyond astonishing that neither the EU’s Catherine Ashton nor John Kerry have addressed the disconcerting issue of Holocaust denial with Abbas. The matter is even more pressing when one considers that Holocaust denial is pervasive among Palestinians due to systematic efforts by Palestinian Authority officials (often facilitated by Western financing) to promote incitement and hatred. Even more disturbing is the fact that Abbas, who is hailed as a “moderate” by Ashton and Kerry, continues to spew forth repugnant and highly revisionist views that are incongruent with peace-making and coexistence.

In a telling op-ed piece for the New York Times, Abbas bemoans the loss of his purported homeland but forgets to mention the inconvenient truth that it was the Palestinian Arabs who rejected partition and who fired the first shots of aggression. He also reaches the zenith of mendacity when he claims that “Zionist forces expelled Palestinian Arabs to ensure a decisive Jewish majority in the future state of Israel, and Arab armies intervened.”

The vast majority of Palestinian Arabs left on their own volition with the belief that they would return once Arab forces were triumphant. That of course never materialized because despite all odds, it was the Jews who were the victors. It is also noteworthy that among the first of the Palestinians to flee were the leaders and more affluent, who had the means to do so. This flight further demoralized the Palestinian Arab peasantry and middleclass and adversely affected the Palestinian economy, leading to further flight by the masses.

Abbas’ stubborn adherence to a false and misleading narrative and continued refusal to accept responsibility and to acknowledge even the slightest culpability for the current Palestinian predicament is indicative of one who will never relinquish his claims to the whole. Abbas is intent on using the peace process as a tactic with the overall strategic goal of eliminating Israel. Should Israel ever decide to succumb to John Kerry’s pressure and relinquish Judea & Samaria, Abbas would be one step closer in attaining this pernicious objective.

Abbas has in the past expressed deep admiration for Haj Amin el-Husseini, an evil and deeply anti-Semitic character whose past Nazi connections are well documented. He has provided cash and cushy government jobs to murderers convicted of the most barbaric crimes, courtesy of the American and EU taxpayer. But most telling of all was an incident which occurred last year and represents one of the clearest examples yet of why Abbas cannot be trusted.

Abbas was present and seated in the front row during a sermon given by PA Religious Endowments Minister, Mahmoud al-Habbash. Habbash compared the current negotiations with Israel to a medieval pact signed between Muhammad and his rivals, the Quraysh, which Muhammad subsequently violated once achieving military parity. Abbas offered no rebuke or condemnation of his minister. On the contrary, the views expressed by Habbash are consistent with those of his boss.

John Kerry and many of his allies on the hard left are placing enormous pressures on Israel to engage in mammoth concessions and vacate strategic areas vital to Israel’s security. Moreover, they are asking Israel to surrender land to those sworn to her destruction. Abbas has proven to be a duplicitous, forked-tongue leader, slightly more polished than his predecessor but sharing the same ideology and genocidal aims. The cause of peace is noble and just but should not come at the cost of national suicide.

Ari Lieberman


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

Dems Declare War on Inspector General Uncovering IRS Scandal

by Thomas Lifson

The IRS scandal is so bad that Democrats are unleashing total war in an attempt to beat back a full airing of the abuse. The old adage, "The best defense is a good offense," is all the more valid when the major media outlets are on their side. It is not necessary to have any actual facts to use as rebuttal for the indefensible; it is enough to simply throw a cloud of dust, so as to discredit any charges - in the eyes of supporters and media sycophants. 

President Obama's absurd contention to Bill O'Reilly that there was "not a smidgen" of corruption despite his initial expression of "outrage" over the IRS's behavior is part of this strategy. But another part consists of an attempt to discredit anyone who threatens to come up with genuine investigatory pay dirt. Such a man is Treasury Inspector General Russell George. Josh Hicks of the Washington Post reports:

 Two House Democrats on Thursday called for an investigation of a federal auditor who accused the Internal Revenue Service of gross mismanagement and targeting advocacy groups for extra scrutiny based on their names and policy positions.
Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Matt Cartwright (D-Penn.) on Wednesday filed a complaint with a special watchdog council questioning the independence of Treasury Department inspector general J. Russell George.
The congressmen, both of whom serve as top Democrats on House oversight committees, said George produced a "fundamentally flawed performance audit" that was "incomplete" and "outright misleading." They also alleged that he held briefings with Republican members of the House Oversight Committee without the knowledge of Democrats on the panel. (snip)
The inspector general's report, released in May, said the IRS "used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status." Earlier that month, then-IRS official Lois Lerner alluded to the findings when she acknowledged in response to a planted question that the agency had targeted groups with "tea party" and "patriot" in their names.
George's audit led to public outrage, six federal probes and a leadership shakeup at the IRS. It also prompted the Treasury Department to draft a new guideline to distinguish what types of political activities disqualify groups from tax-exempt status.

These accomplishments are significant in and of themselves. But there is far more dirt, and potentially smoking gun evidence of White House involvement that must be a tremendous concern to the Democrats. If evidence is found of Obama's involvement in weaponizing the IRS to target the tea party,  that would clearly be an impeachable offense. It may be politically impossible to impeach the First Black President, bit nobody in the Democratic Party wants to test that out, should such evidence be uncovered by an Inspector General. Reining in Russell George is thus a high priority. President Nixon's Articles of Impeachment, on which Hillary Clinton worked as a committee staffer, included that very charge, something that is highly awkward for a party that appears likely to nominate her for the presidency.

Inspectors General are the taxpayers' best friends in Washington, DC, charged with investigating waste and corruption, and for that reason have been the targets of the Obama administration's  Ongoing War on Inspectors General, documented by Ed Lasky over the past several years. It is Chicago-style politics to threaten anyone who can uncover inconvenient dirt. Obama is notorious for his "they bring a knife, you bring a gun" style of political hardball, and an inspector general who threatens to uncover scandal is an obvious target.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Thomas Lifson


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

The Simple Wisdom of Arab Dictators

by Raymond Ibrahim

After my recent articles documenting how the U.S. is the chief facilitator of Christian persecution in the Muslim world, I received an email from John Eibner, CEO of Christian Solidarity International, in which he made the following observation:
The sad fact is that the ruthless Assad dictatorship has a better record than the United States or its Sunni allies of protecting religious minorities in the Middle East. What Syrian Christian, Alawite or Druze in their right mind would trade the Assad’s time-tested protection for the smooth words of a John Kerry, especially when they can see Sunni supremacist Saudis, Qataris, Turks and a motley array of jihadis over his shoulder?
A sad fact indeed.

Still, one of the most nagging questions for Western observers must be: Why would ruthless dictators, most of whom are at least nominally Muslim, care about Christians and bother to protect them?

The answer is related to the popular adage (possibly of Arab origin), “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  This has long meant that, whoever is at odds with my enemy becomes my natural friend and ally.

In the context of Arab dictators protecting Christian minorities, however, the adage changes slightly to, “The enemy of ‘infidels’ is my enemy.”

Put differently, a secular Bashar Assad—ruthless as he may be—knows that, those Islamic rebels that attack Christians because the latter are “infidels” also see him as an infidel and are thus his natural enemies.

And so, if anything, finding and neutralizing those “elements” that persecute Christians is tantamount to finding and neutralizing those elements that would overthrow his rule.

It was the same in Saddam’s Iraq, Mubarak’s Egypt, Qaddafi’s Libya, and the rest.

The point is not that these dictators had any special love for their Christian subjects, but rather that they knew they had little to worry about from them, while those who attack Christians are the ones to worry about.

A simple deduction: those who scream “infidels” while burning churches are the same who scream “apostate” while attacking state targets.

Even al-Qaeda’s Ayman Zawahiri recently demonstrated this correlation, when he called on Egypt’s jihadis to stop targeting Christians and their churches and focus instead on fighting the current rulers.  In both cases, the jihadis see the “infidel”—whether the born Coptic Christian infidel or the “apostate” military—as the enemy.

Due to Egypt’s significant Christian population which numbers at least ten million (if not much more), the adage “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” takes on complete meaning: the Copts and their church did play an important role in the June revolution that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood, even as Pope Tawadros stood side-by-side with Gen. Sisi and Al Azhar’s Grand Sheikh, Ahmed al-Tayab—to the wrath of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, including al-Qaeda, everywhere.

At any rate, such is the simple wisdom and instinct for survival of the Arab autocrats of the Middle East—a wisdom that concludes that, “he who targets Christians because they are ‘infidels’ will clearly target me, if given the chance.”

Meanwhile, far from exhibiting such simple common sense, Western governments in general, the U.S. government in particular, continue to aid and abet those who, by targeting and killing Christians simply because they are “infidels,” are continually exposing their ingrained hostility for the West and everything it once stood for.

Raymond Ibrahim, a Middle East and Islam specialist, is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). 


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

Iran's Silent Executions

by Mitra Pourshajari

"It is the other prisoners who should be upset that they are housed with your father." — Iranian judge, speaking of political prisoner Pourshajari.
Right then and there, right in front of me, he sentenced some people to death.
Sadly many who call themselves human rights advocates, who should be defending every innocent person, regardless of his beliefs, only defend those with similar beliefs; they think my father's situation, and others like him, are not their business.

Excerpts from a January 20, 2014 interview with Mitra Pourshajari, courtesy of Reza Parchizade.

After I did not hear from my father, Mohammad-Reza Pourshajari, for a few days, the police broke the lock and entered his house. The place was ransacked; there was no sign of my father.

It did not look like a robbery; the only items missing were books, my father's writings, his computer, our family albums and the satellite receiver. They had taken these things in such an aggressive way that they had left their footprints all over the furniture. Yet this happened so quietly that none of the neighbors heard anything-- or maybe they did and were just too afraid to speak up.

A week later a ,person -- I have never found out who -- told me that my father was in the prison ward under the control of the Sepah, and that he was being tortured for hours every day. They asked me to go and introduce myself to the Department of Intelligence, to the their headquarters in Mashhad. I asked them to request my presence in writing, but they said that if I did not show up, I would never see my father again. I went to the intelligence services twice a week for interrogation, but the only purpose was to ensure my absolute silence regarding my father's arrest. They said I was not to report it to the media.

They told me that I could not untie the ropes that they had bound my father with. They said that as I lived inside Iran, there was nothing the international media or organizations could really do for me. They said that they wanted me to see him, and ask him to request a pardon from the Supreme Leader and ask for his forgiveness. They said if he does that, then he can go back to his life with me. I did not believe them. After about nine months, they took my father to appear in Revolutionary Court. Both his hands and feet were shackled; I had difficulty recognizing him. This courtroom had no lawyer or jury. After four or five hours, the court decided to postpone my father's trial for six months. Then he was sentenced to four years in prison.

After they saw my father's file they started treating me as if my father had committed the worse type of huge crime. They would throw me out of the room, call us "filth" and say that my father and I disgusted them. They said they had no idea how I could expect my father to have the same rights as the other prisoners.

After my father was transferred to Ghazahassr prison, I went to see the judge and asked him to explain why he was enforcing my father's sentence in the manner he was; why was my father was being housed in Ward 7 of the central prison, which houses the most dangerous and violent criminals, when my father was in fact a political prisoner, when there is a regulation that prisoners must be housed together according to their crime.

The judge said: "It is the other prisoners who should be upset that they are housed with your father; not your father. Because those other prisoners are human; they committed crimes because of poverty and lack of knowledge, but your father wrote what he did and insulted the Leader using his education and with knowledge." Then he added: "You should go and thank God that you and your father's fate were not in my hands or you would both be dead." When I asked him what his reason was for wanting to kill us, he said because I was a Baha'i. I informed him that I was not a Baha'i because the Baha'i faith has Islamic roots and I disagreed with Islam. Right then and there, right in front of me, he sentenced some people to death.

Inside prison, my father was denied a lawyer as well as his medications. When I took clothes for my father, they would not allow it. The prisoners who are "reformists" or of the Green Movement, according to my father, do not have these problems. They are even put in charge of some wards, allowed more visitations and have better access to health care and medication.

I had been giving the media information about my father's case, but the number of people who worked on it was so small that the news was lost among all other news. The news inside Iran has always been full of news about insignificant and daily issues about the reformist political prisoners. News of political prisoners like my father, who do not belong to the "reformist" or Green Movement, is lost, even though the number of prisoners like my father is by no means small.

In the end, the authorities threatened me so much that I decided to leave Iran. I was afraid of being arrested, and wanted to be free and escape the repressive place where my voice is not heard. I thought I could help my father and others like him better from outside Iran. I wanted to be the voice of all those who are in pain. We do not even know the names of one tenth of the victims because so many people choose not to go against the strong, oppressive, regime.

My father is suffering in prison just for writing his personal opinions about the government; he blogged about the situation inside Iran under the alias Siavash Mehr. There have been many great people who have helped me, but then there are other people, organizations and media outlets that have shown absolutely zero interest in even asking.

The BBC, for example, never wanted to speak about my father even once, and individuals such as Shirin Ebadi have never agreed to work with me. Now Mr. Abdolkarim Lahiji, head of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), wrote in an e-mail that, "It will harm your father if we deal with this publicly, but I will help him non-publicly." This was very interesting to me. I left my country so that I could scream this injustice out loud to the world, and now, while my father deteriorates in prison from lack of medication and medical attention, Mr. Larhiji is going to help my father "non-publicly." How can going public possibly hurt my father any further? The last time I spoke to my father, he told me that at times the authorities take him out of prison, pretending that they are taking him to a medical facility, but he is never taken for medical care. He said all he gets when he returns from these outings is the sores from the chains they use to shackle him.

Surprisingly, many political activists advise me to remain silent. For example, Mr. Mohammad Norzade told me that my father was involved in some dangerous issues and that it would not be a good idea to take his case to the media, and he asked me to remain silent. Sadly, many who call themselves human rights advocates, who should be defending every innocent person regardless of their beliefs, only defend those with similar beliefs; they think my father's situation, and others like him, are not their business.

Mitra Pourshajari


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

Iranian Basij Presents Its Report On Human Rights In The U.S.


On January 27, 2014, the Iranian paramilitary Basij presented its 2013 report on human rights in the U.S., which was published in Farsi, Arabic, and English.[1] The Basij report details human rights violations by the U.S administration, including execution, torture in prisons, and racial discrimination in the American justice system.
The report includes few statistics and sources, relying largely on the websites of organizations such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International that cannot be accessed in Iran; the Iranian regime has in the past referred to these organizations, which have criticized the Basij itself, as "Zionist." According to the Rooz website, HRW criticized the Basij's role in suppressing the 2009 presidential election protests in Iran.[2] The United Nations Human Rights Council, also mentioned in the Basij report, once called the Basij an "oppression machine" and dispatched a special envoy, Ahmed Shahid, to Iran to investigate human rights violations there, but the Iranian regime continues to prevent him from even entering the country.
The Basij report was presented at a ceremony at Tehran University, at which regime officials, among them Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi, Deputy Majlis speaker Mohammad Hassan Abu Torabi, and Iranian Judiciary Human Rights Council head Mohammad-Javad Larijani, made anti-U.S. statements. Larijani even called UN envoy Shahid an "evil idiot."
The following are the main points of the report.

Presentation of the report. Source:, accessed February 6, 2014.
Basij: The U.S. Administration Is Violating Human Rights At Home 

The Basij report reviewed several areas of human rights violations in the U.S. Examining the number of executions since 1967, it noted that there had been fewer in 2013 than in 2012, but that the number of inmates on death row had risen 20% over the previous year. Claiming that prisoners' human rights were being violated, it said that at Bagram prison in Afghanistan, 600 Americans are involved in carrying out torture of thousands of prisoners, most of whom are innocent, and in harming their Islamic faith. 

The report stated, "Physical and psychological tortures and solitary confinement in the U.S. prisons reached their heights in 2013 so that on July 8 California prisons faced their biggest hunger strike throughout the U.S. history. Almost 30,000 inmates participated in those hunger strikes and some of them were holding their protest for two months." It added that prisoners were allowed only one hour a day in the prison yard, and that prisons banned personal items like watches, cigarettes, and cosmetics. One hunger striker died, it said, because prison officials had refused to provide medical attention. The report also stated that in other hunger strikes in other prisons, prisoners were force-fed – also a human rights violation.

According to the report, illegal immigrants in the U.S. are also victims of human rights violations; it referred to an HRW demand for U.S. immigration reform. It also claimed that 11 million illegal immigrants would rather not report crimes against them to the authorities, so as not to run the risk of deportation. 

Claiming that police in the U.S. are prejudiced and discriminate against blacks – as proven by the disproportionately high number of black prisoners – the report noted also that blacks face racism in the economic system, that the rate of home ownership among whites is much higher than among blacks, and that many more black homeowners lost their homes in the past year due to the economic crisis than white homeowners. 

The report refers to media stories to show further evidence of discrimination: Hispanic neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman's acquittal in the killing of black teen Trayvon Martin, and a white man's killing of a black youth in front of the youth's mother, because he suspected him of breaking into his home.

Other violations of minorities' human rights in 2013, the report says, include increased discrimination against Native Americans due to the economic crisis, the tracking of Muslims in New York, and cultural discrimination against Muslims at the University of Massachusetts, where, it claims, wearing a hijab is considered a sign of terrorism. The report also claims that the U.S. refuses to sign the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and therefore children in the U.S. are tortured and their human rights are violated by their parents. 

The report mentions the cases of Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning as examples of free speech violations, and even notes that President Obama is the second president in U.S. history to increase restrictions on speech. It also stated that sexual assault of women in the armed forces is up significantly, along with ongoing sexual violence against women in civilian society. U.S. residents' phones are tapped by the authorities, which are also cyber spying on them, the report says. 

Iranian Officials' Statements On The Report

Basij Commander Naqdi: "America Is The Root Of Terrorism"

At the Tehran University ceremony presenting the report, Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi assailed the U.S., claiming that the report cites merely "one thousandth of America's anti-human rights reality." He pointed out the racial discrimination there, and stressed that "America is the root of terrorism" and "the chief source of all anti-human rights behavior in the world." World peace, he said, depends on "replacing the regime that violates human rights with one that is based on the opinion of the people."

Naqdi added: "Most prisoners in America are black, while the black population is a minority and a kind of racial bias against [blacks] is coalescing... To date, America has not gone a single day without war or without attacking [other] countries or supporting aggressors... The crimes we see today that are ongoing in all tyrannical countries and against human rights are supported by America. America supported the king of Bahrain [Hamad bin 'Isa Al-Khalifa], the king of Saudi Arabia ['Abdalla bin 'Abd Al-'Aziz Al-Saud], [Iraqi dictator] Saddam [Hussein], [Chilean dictator Augusto] Pinochet, and all those [who are even] more criminal... 

"America is the root of all terrorism; it even sets aside a budget for terror operations... For world peace and for the peace of the world's residents, this regime must be replaced with a regime is based on the opinion of the people... America is the chief source of all anti-human rights behavior in the world."[3]
Iran Judiciary Human Rights Council Head Larijani: UN Envoy Is An "Evil Idiot"

Iranian Judiciary Human Rights Council head Mohammad-Javad Larijani called Ahmed Shahid, the UN envoy for investigating human rights violations in Iran, "ahmak sharir" – "evil idiot" in Persian. He added that Shahid's call for Iran to cease executions was unacceptable.[4]
 Deputy Majlis Head: 20% Of Female Students In U.S. Are Raped On Campus; In American Society, Which Has No Morals Or Religion, It Is Impossible To Talk About Human Rights
Deputy Majlis speaker Mohammad Hassan Abu Torabi said at the ceremony: "Women are victims of sexual assault and violence in America. In 2010, according to data published by the National Institute for Justice in America [sic], 20 million women were victims of sexual assault... Approximately one-fifth of female students in the U.S. are raped on the campuses, with 60% of the assaults occurring in the dorms. In this society, which has no morals or religion, in which the mind is a tool for actualizing desires, it is impossible to talk about human rights...

"In Islamic Iran, we discuss freedom and individual rights; we implement them commendably because we have a religious regime at whose center is a just jurisprudent [i.e. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei]... An immoral society cannot remain alive. This is precisely the secret behind the decline of the West."[5]


[1] The English version of the Basij report can be found here. (
[2], January 28, 2014.
[3], January 27, 2014.
[4], January 27, 2014.
[5] Mehr (Iran), January 27, 2014.



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