Saturday, October 25, 2014

Abbas's Responsibility for Murder - Khaled Abu Toameh

by Khaled Abu Toameh

To understand what drives a young Palestinian to carry out such a deadly attack, one needs to look at the statements of Palestinian Authority leaders during the past few weeks.
The anti-Israel campaign of incitement reached its peak with Abbas's speech at the UN a few weeks ago, when he accused Israel of waging a "war of genocide" in the Gaza Strip. Abbas made no reference to Hamas's crimes against both Israelis and Palestinians.
Whatever his motives, it is clear that the man who carried out the most recent attack, was influenced by the messages that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership have been sending their people.

While Hamas's rockets and suicide bombers have been killing Israelis over the past twenty-five years, the Palestinian Authority's rhetoric has not been less lethal.

In fact, it is this fiery rhetoric that has created the inviting atmosphere for launching terrorist attacks against Israel, such as the attack that took place in Jerusalem on Wednesday, October 22.

Chaya Zissel Braun, a three-month-old infant, was killed when a Palestinian man slammed his vehicle into a crowd of people at a light rail stop in the city. Nine people were injured, three seriously, in the attack.

A security camera recorded 3-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun being wheeled in her stroller by her parents, about 15 seconds before they were hit by the terrorist's vehicle.

The Palestinian who carried out the attack was identified as 20-year-old Abdel Rahman al-Shalodi of the Silwan neighborhood in east Jerusalem. He was shot on the scene and later died in hospital.

Abbas and the Palestinian Authority [PA] cannot avoid responsibility for killing the baby.

In order to understand what drives a young Palestinian man to carry out such a deadly attack, one needs to look at the statements of PA leaders during the past few weeks. These are the kind of statements that encourage young men such as al-Shalodi to go out and kill the first Jews he meets on the street.

These statements refer to three developments linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Operation Protective Edge last summer, visits by Jewish groups and individuals to the Temple Mount (or "Noble Sanctuary"), and Jews moving in to apartments in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.

During the 50-day military confrontation between Israel and Hamas in July and August, PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his senior officials in the West Bank made it a daily practice to incite their people against Israel.

The anti-Israel campaign of incitement reached its peak with Abbas's speech at the UN General Assembly last month, when he accused Israel of waging a "war of genocide" in the Gaza Strip. Abbas made no reference to Hamas's crimes against both Israelis and Palestinians.

Now that the war in the Gaza Strip has ended, Abbas and the Palestinian Authority have shifted their focus to recent events in Jerusalem.

A few days before the terrorist attack in Jerusalem, Abbas strongly denounced Jews who visit the Temple Mount as a "herd of cattle."

A video still of al-Shalodi driving along the station platform, hitting passengers.
Abbas told Fatah activists from Jerusalem who visited him in his office that they must make an effort to stop Jewish "settlers," "by all means," from "desecrating our holy sites."
Abbas added:
"We must prevent them from entering the Noble Sanctuary by all means. This is our Al-Aqsa. Al-Aqsa is a red line: Israel must be aware that the ongoing raids and attacks on Al-Aqsa will cause a volcanic explosion in the area that will reach Israel. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the State of Palestine, and without it, there will be no state."
Abbas and his Palestinian Authority have been exploiting the visits by Jews to the Temple Mount to incite Palestinians against Israel. They have been incorrectly denouncing these visits as "assaults" and "raids" on Islamic holy sites by Jewish "extremists."

Forty-eight hours before the Jerusalem attack, Abbas intensified his rhetorical assault on Israel by announcing that any Palestinian who is involved in property transactions with "hostile countries" (Israel) would be punished by life imprisonment with hard labor.

Abbas's announcement came in response to reports that Palestinians had sold homes to Jewish families in Silwan -- the Jerusalem neighborhood where al-Shalodi lived. By threatening to punish Palestinians for selling property to Jews, Abbas was sending a message that this is an awful crime that should not pass without a Palestinian response.

These are the three major events that have been used by the PA leadership to whip up Palestinians.

Of course, there is also the tragic case of the Palestinian teenager, Mohamed Abu Khdeir, who was kidnapped and murdered by Jewish extremists. The Palestinian Authority has also taken advantage of that gruesome event to incite Palestinians against Israel.

And then there is another tragic case, involving a five-year-old Palestinian girl, Einas Khalil, who was killed after being hit by a car driven by a Jewish settler in the West Bank on October 19. The PA has also used this tragedy as part of its anti-Israel campaign.

The PA's words have not fallen on deaf ears. Several neighborhoods of east Jerusalem are already witnessing what Palestinians call a "mini-intifada": daily clashes between stone-throwers and police forces.

Palestinians say that the man who plowed his car into the crowd at the Jerusalem light trail stop was seeking retaliation against Israeli "crimes."

Some say he carried out the attack because of the Gaza war; others say it could be linked to what is happening at the Temple Mount or because Jewish families recently moved into homes in his area. Others are now claiming that the Jerusalem attack came in retaliation for the car accident that killed the Palestinian girl four days earlier.

Whatever his motives, it is clear that al-Shalodi, the driver who carried out the most recent attack, was influenced, in one way or another, by the messages that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership have been sending their people. Unless the harsh and incendiary rhetoric stops, more terrorist attacks are likely to take place.

Khaled Abu Toameh


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

Israel and the West's Submission to Islam - Mordechai Nisan

by Mordechai Nisan

There is a striking contrast today in world politics between the West’s submission to Islam and its assault upon Israel; this, ironically enough, occurs while we witness an Islamic assault upon Europe.

Unable to contend with Islam’s massive penetration of the continent, or to deal effectively and morally with its barbaric warfare against peoples in the Middle East, Europe has chosen to stalk Israel, embattled and attacked on many fronts.

The abandonment of the Jews in 1939-1945 in Europe and the murder of six million of them by the Germans represent a historical theme and modern chapter of the old hatred. Europe is not cleansed of this madness and fury; and it is incapable of seeing the justice and reasonableness in Israel’s existence and policies, bashing her over Jerusalem, settlements, human rights, and military operations. Nietzsche said that Europe would be a boring place without the intellectual ferment and cultural contributions of the Jews, but it would apparently be a happy place for some Europeans.

Now, with the blatant eruption of a reinvigorated anti-Semitism in Europe, the political campaign against Israel acquires its explicit racial underpinnings. The more vitriolic the attacks on Israel, running the spectrum from censure, defamation, to delegitimization, the more transparent the European culprit aflame with concentrated racist hatred of the Jews and their Jewish state.

The political backlash against Israel from the summer war in Gaza testifies to the moral bankruptcy of Europe and the loss of any equitable sense of justice. Now the Palestinian aggressor, undefeated and unrepentant, is to be rewarded with Gaza’s reconstruction. Mahmoud Abbas, unwilling to recognize the Jewish state of Israel, is to be rewarded with his own Palestinian state, according to sentiments in Sweden, Britain, and no doubt elsewhere.

The discourse of peace surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conundrum remains as divorced from morality and reality as could ever be imagined in this lopsided political universe. The laws of sociology and the lessons of history make the two-state solution a non-starter. After 47 years, the settlement map of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, their size and spread, preempt an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 armistice lines. The idea of a Palestinian state over all of the territory is not in the demographic and geographic cards. Moreover, the embedded friction between the Jews and the Arabs, after so much bloodshed, enmity, and mistrust, is a visible obstacle to a mutually satisfactory agreement between them on all outstanding issues – borders and refugees, water and security, and Jerusalem. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is intractable and unsolvable according to the current modalities of proposed peace-making.

A frenzied Muslim fanaticism has galvanized the dormant emotional energies of an Islam bedeviled by old memories (like the Caliphate) and sectarian (Sunni-Shiite) divisions, always with a profound disdain for non-Muslims unworthy of life and dignity. The swirl of Islamic warfare began in Afghanistan and Pakistan, passed through Khomeini’s Iranian Islamic theocracy, penetrated northern Iraq and threatens Baghdad, took hold in eastern Syria, already with appeal and a foothold in Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel.

Meanwhile Europe lives in denial, paralyzed by multiculturalism and national self-immolation, hypnotized by the dogma of human rights, guilt-ridden by its colonial past, and hoping to mollify Muslims on their streets and neighborhoods by offering up the sacrifice of Christians and Jews in the Middle East to the Islamic god of wrath. But Islam seeks world conquest that includes the West as well.

What the Europeans ignore about the Arab-Israeli conflict and the long war is the precedent of 1948. When the Arabs attacked, and the West militarily embargoed Israel, the Zionists yet won a compelling victory in their ancient homeland; and a half a million Arabs became refugees, never to return. In 1967, the Arabs again declared their goal to be the annihilation of Israel; but Israel won, and another quarter of a million Arabs fled the country.

In 2014 the same scenario is unfolding. Pushed to the wall by Europeans who overlook and justify escalating domestic Arab violence and provocations, Israel will sooner or later need to unleash a severe response against the Muslims in the country who deny the right of Israel to exist, at all, and certainly as a Jewish and Zionist state. Newton’s political physics teach us that an action produces a reaction, and Hegel’s dialectics charted how a thesis leads to an antithesis, culminating in a new, rarely anticipated, synthesis. All this fondling of the Palestinians and coddling of Islam is putting in place a horrific threat to Israel, which may however evoke a welcome opportunity for deliverance and triumph.

Are we not passing through a very momentous period of history: with signs of the political decline and social decadence of Europe and the West, the clash between Israel and Islam, between Islam and Christianity, and with attendant results that could change the political -- and religious -- map of the world? The cutting edge of history is the crossroads we now face.    
Dr. Mordechai Nisan recently wrote Only Israel West of the River: The Jewish State and the Palestinian Question, available at and


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

Britain to Crack Down on Muslim Brotherhood - P. David Hornik

by P. David Hornik

Screen-Shot-2013-07-10-at-11.41.34-AM-620x406Britain’s The Telegraph reports that Britain is aiming to take serious measures against the Muslim Brotherhood. The situation contrasts notably with the one in the U.S., where—among much else—the Obama administration has cut back ties with the current, geopolitically moderate Egyptian government because—backed by the most massive popular protest in world history—it came to power by overthrowing a Muslim Brotherhood regime that the administration favored.

As The Telegraph describes it:
Downing Street is to order a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and a network of Islamist groups accused of fuelling extremism in Britain and across the Arab world. 
[Prime Minister] David Cameron launched an inquiry into the Brotherhood earlier this year, prompted by concerns it was stoking an Islamist ideology that had encouraged British jihadists to fight in Syria and Iraq.
Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), is an adviser to the inquiry and “is reported to have described [the Brotherhood] as ‘at heart a terrorist organization.’”
The Telegraph adds that:
A senior source close to the inquiry said its report—compiled but not yet published—had identified “an incredibly complex web” of up to 60 organisations in Britain, including charities, think tanks and even television channels, with links to the Muslim Brotherhood, which will all now come under scrutiny. 
The inquiry, aided by the security services, has also investigated its network abroad. One expert said that the Brotherhood was now operating from three major bases—London, Istanbul and Doha, the capital of Qatar. 
That the Brotherhood operates out of Turkey and Qatar is, of course, not news to politically sentient people in the Middle East, who are well aware of the Turkey-Qatar-Brotherhood-Hamas axis.

As for what Britain plans to do about its domestic Brotherhood terror base:

The Government crackdown will stop short of outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood but action is expected to include: 
Þ Investigations into charities that are effectively “fronts” for the  Brotherhood; 
Þ Inquiries into funding of the organisation and links to jihadi groups abroad; 
Þ Banning clerics linked to the group from countries such as Qatar and Turkey from coming to Britain for rallies and conferences.
In other words, the British government has come around to viewing the Brotherhood the way it is viewed in the U.S. by people who are considered Islamophobic and bigoted for raising such issues.

Politically incorrect U.S. conservatives have for years been calling attention to the role of Brotherhood-linked officials in the administration, the stealth jihad practiced by Brotherhood front organizations, the domestic Brotherhood’s ties to foreign terror, and the Obama administration’s very problematic sympathy and support for the Brotherhood.

As Andrew McCarthy, writing in 2012, described the situation back then:
  •  The State Department has an emissary in Egypt who trains operatives of the Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations in democracy procedures. We’re helping them get elected. 
  •  The State Department announced that the Obama administration would be “satisfied” with the election of a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government in Egypt….
  •  On a just-completed trip to Egypt, Secretary Clinton pressured the ruling military junta to hand over power to the newly elected parliament, which is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, and to the newly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, who is a top Brotherhood official.
Last month on Breitbart Katie Gorka noted that: 
On June 13, 2012, five members of Congress called for an investigation into Muslim Brotherhood influence operations in the Obama administration. The five members—Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Tom Rooney (R-FL), and Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA)—were widely criticized for doing so, even by their own Republican leadership, including John McCain (R-AZ), John Boehner (R-OH), and Mike Rogers (R-MI).   
Meanwhile, Gorka points out, it is none other than the New York Times that has published a major exposé of foreign governments’ influence-buying at U.S. think tanks—focusing especially on Brotherhood-patron Qatar’s large donations to the Brookings Institution and other centers. The Times observed that these think tanks “push…United States government officials to adopt policies that often reflect the donors’ priorities….”

Gorka also recalls the Justice Department’s “sweeping review” in 2011 of
all counter-terrorism trainers and materials used throughout federal law enforcement and every branch of the military.  Hundreds of training slides were reviewed by an anonymous panel of reviewers. Many trainers were forbidden from future training and material that used terms like “jihad,” “Islamic terrorism,” or “Islamist violence….”   
The general purge of “incorrect” terminology led famously, of course, to the administration’s dubbing the 2009 Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence.”

The administration’s ongoing affinity for the Brotherhood camp was well evident this summer during the Gaza War when Secretary of State John Kerry demanded that Israel negotiate a ceasefire with Hamas under Turkey’s and Qatar’s auspices. Israel’s (along with Egypt’s) refusal to do so was one of the factors that led the administration to embargo all arms to Israel for days.

That Britain has come to recognize the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorist, jihadist nature is encouraging news. It can be hoped that, by 2016, a U.S. administration will—unlike the present one—be able to as well.

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel.


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

Mahmoud Abbas, Enemy of Israel - Michael Freund

by Michael Freund

Hat Tip: Sefton Bergson

For the past decade, ever since Mahmoud Abbas took the reins of the Palestinian Authority in January 2005, the international community has gone out of its way to portray him as a moderate.

Ignoring his long record of anti-Israel incitement and Holocaust denial, American presidents, European prime ministers and even various Israeli leaders often spoke of Abbas in glowing terms, describing him as a man of peace and a visionary.

Indeed, earlier this year, when Abbas visited the White House on March 17, US President Barack Obama told reporters, “I have to commend President Abbas. He has been somebody who has consistently renounced violence, has consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states, side by side, in peace and security.”

More recently, at the Gaza donor conference held in Cairo on October 12, US Secretary of State John Kerry went out of his way to heap praise on the Palestinian leader, saying, “President Abbas, thank you for your perseverance and your partnership.”

But the jig is up. Abbas’ behavior, along with his recent anti-Israel remarks, clearly demonstrates that his ostensible moderation is nothing more than a hoax.

Calling Abbas a moderate is the diplomatic equivalent of asserting that Elvis isn’t dead, the Boogeyman is hiding under your bed, and Keeping up with the Kardashians is quality entertainment.

Take for example Abbas’ decidedly immoderate remarks last Friday to a Fatah Party gathering.

Referring to Jews who wish to visit Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, Abbas denounced them as “herds of cattle” and “settlers,” and called on Palestinians to use “any means” to stop them.

“It is not enough to say the settlers came, but they must be barred from entering the compound by any means,” he said, adding, “This is our Aqsa... and they have no right to enter it and desecrate it” – as if the very presence of Jewish visitors in the area constituted an abomination.

If that’s not a call to violence, what is? Needless to say, Abbas’ scandalous outburst did not fall on deaf ears. Less than 48 hours later, Palestinian hoodlums defaced the Temple Mount, spray-painting swastikas and other offensive anti-Semitic imagery at the site whose sanctity they claim they wish to protect.

In response to the Palestinian chairman’s remarks, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman rightly pointed out that Abbas was “trying to inflame the situation by using the most sensitive place, the Temple Mount.”

“Behind his [Abbas’] suit and the pleasantries aimed at the international community,” Liberman said, “he ramps up incitement against Israel and the Jews and calls for a religious war.”

“Abbas,” he added, “has effectively joined the front lines of extremist Islamist organizations such as Islamic State and the al-Nusra front which sanctify religious war.”

Before you start rolling your eyes at the comparison, bear in mind that Abbas forged a unity government earlier this year with Hamas, a jihadist terrorist organization that is no less extreme in its ideology and methods.

The Palestinian leader continues to head a government that incorporates the same organization that fired thousands of rockets at Israel over the summer and built tunnels with which to murder innocent civilians.

And then of course there was Abbas’ performance at the UN last month, where he delivered a hateful diatribe against Israel in the hall of General Assembly.

The purportedly reasonable Abbas decried the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948 as an act of “historic injustice,” referred to Israel as “the racist occupying state” and accused it of committing “war crimes,” “genocide” and “terrorism” against Palestinians.

All this from a man who has repeatedly insisted that if a Palestinian state were ever to arise, no Jews would be allowed to live in it.

It is time for Israel and the West to stop deluding themselves regarding the true nature of Mahmoud Abbas.

Calling him a moderate is simply dishonest and deceptive. Abbas is not a friend of peace, he is an enemy of Israel, one who has refused to end the conflict and has incited to violence against the Jewish state.

He may not don the keffiyeh that was worn by Yasser Arafat, nor wave a gun in the halls of the United Nations. But even if the packaging is slightly different, the contents remain the same.

Abbas, like his predecessor, stands in the way of peace and aims to do Israel harm.

The time has come to treat him accordingly.

Michael Freund


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

How the Murder of a Jewish Baby is Reported Worldwide - Ariel Cahana

by Ariel Cahana

How AP told the world the story of the terror attack on the people at the Jerusalem light rail station in which a 3-month-old infant was killed.

Translated from the Hebrew Makor Rishon newpaper by Rochel Sylvetsky

International news agency Associated Press (AP)  has been accused  of anti-Israel bias before, but this time the agency has surpassed even itself  in reporting the Jerusalem terror attack in which  3-month-old Chaya Zisel Braun was murdered.

Its headline reporting the attack was "Israeli Police Shoot Man in East Jerusalem", referring to the terrorist (!) who was driving the car that drove into people waiting at a light rail station.  The original article (later changed), began with the words: "Israeli police say they have shot a man whose car slammed into a crowded train stop in east Jerusalem, in what they suspect was an intentional attack".

Jerusalem Post writer Lahav Harkov reacted to the disgusting headline on Twitter: "An infant was killed and eight people injured, two of them critically, but the AP headline is 'Israeli Police Shoot Man in East Jerusalem'".

Harkov's criticism spread rapidly on social media  and the news agency changed its headline a bit to "A Car hit a Train Station in East Jerusalem". This biased headline was also severely criticized by browsers. Within an hour, the agency changed its headline (and the beginning of the article) once again to "Palestinian Kills Baby at Jerusalem Station."

AP is the most powerful news agency in the world, especially when it comes to reports from the Middle East. The information it sends out is reported word for word on thousands of media locations and reaches millions of online readers worldwide.

Recently, a former senior writer at AP, Matti Friedman,wrote that the agency has an ideological axe to grind and that its reports are routinely anti-Israel. "It is almost impossible to post anything negative about the Palestinians, and one must remember that this is the media source that provides, among other things, photos to about 10,000 media outlets worldwide. It censorship has enormous effect,"  he said in an interview for Makor Rishon, following an article in Tablet  that went viral, .

AP is not the only one attacked on social media for false reporting. The New York Times, which some call the most important newspaper in the world, reported: "Driver Plows Into Group at Jerusalem Train Station, Killing Baby, Police Say".

On the front page of the printed edition, the attack wasn't even mentioned and the internet edition stayed unchanged. Judy Rudoren, NY Times Jerusalem bureau chief, tweeted the headline and was heavily criticized by users including reporters from Israeli and international media.  Haaretz reporter Barak Ravid replied to Rudoren: "This is a weird headline that takes the incident out of context and presents it as a road accident."

Channel 10's Moav Vardi added sarcastically: "It's not certain that the driver killed the infant – that is just the police version."

And the spokesperson at Israel's UK Embassy in London, Yiftach Curiel, tweeted: "It's  better than the Telegraph's headline, which said :  'A three year old infant died in a 'terror' incident (quotations marks in the original)'"

Ariel Cahana


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

Ottawa Attack: Contrasting the Mothers of Terrorists - Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn

by Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn

canada-ottawa-shootingThe mother of the Muslim terrorists who attacked Canada’s parliament building on October 22 says she is weeping for her son’s victims, not for her son. What a contrast with the mothers of Palestinian terrorists who murder Israelis.

Mrs. Susan Bibeau, the mother of Canadian terrorist Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, told the Associated Press on October 23: “If I’m crying it’s for the people, not for my son…I am mad at my son.”


If only Palestinian mothers felt the same way! Instead, they have the jihad mentality, too.

Last year (on Jan. 27, 2013), the Facebook page of Fatah, the movement headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, posted a feature about the mother of 23-year-old Wafa Idris, the first female Palestinian suicide bomber. She murdered one Israeli, and wounded over 100, by blowing herself up in a Jerusalem supermarket in 2002. The posting quoted Wafa’s mother as saying “She is a hero…My daughter is a Martyr (Shahida).” 

The Fatah page added: “Wafa’s mother said that she is proud of her daughter, and hopes that more girls will follow in her footsteps.”

More recently, in an interview with Israel Television on June 29, the mother of one of the Hamas terrorists involved in the kidnap-murders of three Israeli teenagers said: “If they [the Israelis] accuse him of this [the kidnapping], and if it is a true accusation, I will be proud of him until Judgment Day. If the accusation that he did it is true…My boys are all righteous, pious and pure. The goal of my children is the triumph of Islam.”  

Of course, that is not to say that no Palestinian mothers have any regrets about their children carrying out suicide bombing. But those regrets are not always the kind one would hope for. For example, on June 6, 2004,  PA Television broadcast these remarks by the mother of a 15-year-old who died during a suicide attack: “It was sad and joyous what happened to him, meaning, he always liked the Shahada (Martyrdom). All children at his age do. He always cared for me. I would have preferred that one of his other brothers would have attained Shahada instead of him, because he was the joy of my life.”

(All translations courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch.)

How can one explain the stark contrast between the Canadian mother and the Palestinian mother? It’s not really so complicated. Different cultures have different values. Canadian culture promotes Judeo-Christian values — democracy, equal rights, respect for minorities, non-violence.

By contrast, Palestinian society is dominated by a “culture of Jihad,” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said this week.  On his Facebook Page, Ya’alon wrote that the latest Palestinian terrorist attacks are “clearly the outcome of those in the Palestinian Authority who educate the younger generation to hate Jews and expel them from their homeland.” He added: “The Palestinian Authority does not, and never did, have a culture of peace, but rather a culture of incitement and jihad against Jews. It starts with Abbas’s lying statements against Israel from the UN podium, continues with persistent Palestinian attempts to delegitimize us in the international arena and ends with incitement in the Palestinian education system. These are the harsh consequences.”

Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn


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

Foundation Run by Kerry's Wife Funds Anti-Israel Eatery - John Blosser

by John Blosser

Hat Tip: Dr. Carolyn Tal

A foundation chaired by Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Secretary of State John Kerry, who is deeply involved in negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, is funding a radical anti-Israel, anti-American snack bar near the Carnegie Mellon and Pittsburgh University campuses.
The restaurant, Conflict Kitchen, which proudly boasts that it serves food only from countries with which the U.S. is in conflict, received a $50,000 grant from the Heinz Endowment in April to assist it in moving locations.

However, the restaurant lately has been serving its hummus and baba ghanoush sandwiches in propaganda wrappers that carry quotes from Palestinians opposing the existence of the state of Israel and has hosted panel discussions featuring pro-Palestinian speakers, in which supporters of the Jewish community and Israel have not been allowed to participate by the restaurant's owners, the Free Beacon reports.

A spokesman for Heinz confirmed to the Free Beacon that the organization has been funding Conflict Kitchen, and stated, "The opinions of Conflict Kitchen do not represent those of the Heinz Endowment."

Capital Research, which tracks foundations, stated on its website, "Mrs. Kerry has funneled millions of dollars to radical left-wing environmentalists."

"How can you compare Israeli F-16s, which are some of the best military planes in the world, to a few hundred homemade rockets? You’re pushing them (Palestinians) to the absolute extreme. So what do you expect?" one food wrapper states, the Free Beacon notes.

"Palestinians are not going to just let (Israel) in and drop their arms. No, they’re going to kill and they are going to die."

The wrappers call the establishment of Israel "an intentional and ongoing offensive."

Conflict Kitchen is run by art professor Jon Rubin and a former student Dawn Weleski. When the kitchen hosted a panel discussion featuring University of Pittsburgh professor Ken Boas, chair of the board of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA, controversy erupted. Boas has been known to compare Israel's attitude toward Palestinians with South African-style apartheid and racism.

"Israel needs to be held accountable for what it’s done and what it’s doing," Boas said. "This is not a symmetrical issue. Israel is the occupying force, and the Palestinians are the occupied people," the Jewish Chronicle reported.

The panel discussions also featured Palestinian activist Laila El-Haddad, who supports a boycott against Israel, the Free Beacon noted.

When Gregg Roman of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh asked to be on the panel to give the Israeli side, he was denied, Pitt News reported.

"This is not about the Israeli point of view or the Palestinian point of view,” Roman told the Jewish Chronicle. "This is about who chooses to pursue ventures that lead to making peace and those individuals and organizations that would rather pursue their own political agendas that actually end up harming efforts to make peace."

"We were flat out rejected," he told the Free Beacon.

However, Boas told the Chronicle, "You’re having trouble hearing one side to the story, but for a lifetime we’ve been hearing one side, from The Jewish Chronicle to The New York Times. Why do we continually have to have balance and get into debates and have discussions?"

The restaurant's website states, "Conflict Kitchen is a restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict" and notes that it has served foods from Afghanistan, North Korea, Cuba, Iran and Venezuela.

John Blosser


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

Turkey: The "Great Muslim Democracy" -

by Burak Bekdil

Where Turkey stands today is a perfect example of how, when Islamists -- mild or otherwise -- rule a county, even the most basic liberties are systematically suppressed.
"A climate of fear has emerged in Turkey." — Hasam Kilic, President, Turkey's Constitutional Court.
The prosecutor demanded a heavier penalty for the victim than for her torturers.
The European Commission identified government interference in the judiciary and bans imposed on social media as the major sources of concern regarding Turkey's candidacy for full membership.

"We have made the conservative, pious [Muslim] masses not just a part, but a major actor of the political system." Thus said Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, not even trying to hide his pride.

Where Turkey stands today is a perfect example of how, when Islamists -- mild or otherwise -- rule a country, even the most basic liberties are systematically suppressed. The seal of approval for the terrible failure of what U.S. President Barack Obama once called a "successful Muslim democracy" came from the country's top judge.

Hasim Kilic, President of Turkey's Constitutional Court, and himself a conservative, recently said that, "A climate of fear has emerged in Turkey;" and he called on the Turks "to resist [it], and not give up." It is not always easy to do so.

When angry Turks took to the streets to protest the Justice and Development Party [AKP] and faced brutal police violence last year, Mehmet Ali Sahin, Deputy Chairman of the AKP (and former Justice Minister and Speaker of the Parliament) suggested that millions of protestors should be given life sentences under Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code -- which states that "anyone trying to destroy the government or to prevent it from partially or fully performing its duties shall be punished by aggravated life imprisonment."

Mehmet Ali Sahin, Deputy Chairman of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party, suggested that millions of peaceful protestors should be given life sentences.

One of the dozen or so victims of the "Gezi protests" was Ethem Sarisuluk who, according to clear video footage, was shot down by a police officer. When the 26-year-old Sarisuluk was shot in the head, he was unarmed.

After a public outcry and further protests, the authorities agreed to bring the police officer to justice. At a recent hearing, the officer was given a 7.5-year sentence for unpremeditatedly killing a protester. The Sarisuluk family, disappointed, will appeal the verdict. But apparently losing a son to a police bullet was not the end of the family's misfortunes.

During one of the always tense hearings, Sarisuluk's parents and brothers shouted cries and curses and, according to the defendant, "threatened and injured him slightly during a brawl." The police officer filed a complaint at the prosecutor's office, and demanded the Sarisuluk family be brought to justice. The police officer filed that complaint before a verdict in his own case was announced. Recently, the Sarisuluks had to appear before a judge as defendants themselves.

A prosecutor is demanding up to 10 years and five months for them, for "insulting and premeditatedly injuring a police officer." Funny, the officer had not even gone through medical treatment after the courtroom brawl. If the judges agree with the prosecutor, the Sarisuluks will probably be the first people in the world to get a heavier prison sentence for "insult and minor injury" than the man who had killed their son. Insane? Not in Turkey.

In 2012, a video clip was leaked, showing half-a-dozen police officers beating a woman in the waiting room of a police station, and causing another public outcry. The video had been recorded by the station's own security cameras. Like every other similar case, it went to court. Finally, the court sentenced the officers to various jail terms ranging from six months to a couple of years. The woman, however, was sentenced to five years for "insulting and resisting police officers." But that was not the only "Turkish black humor." As more details of the case became public, Turks recently learned that the prosecutor had found yet another criminal.

That criminal was Kemal Goktas, a reporter for the daily newspaper Vatan. After the prosecutor demanded a heavier penalty for the victim than for her torturers, and his final indictment fell into the public domain, Goktas ran a story in his newspaper, and in his headline, described the prosecutor's final assessment as "scandalous." The prosecutor thinks that the headline was "an insult to a member of the judiciary," and has opened legal proceedings against the reporter. The prosecutor is asking for a prison sentence of up to three-and-a half-years.

But not all tales from Islamist-ruled Turkey are ridiculous and dark. Some are just ridiculous. Last week, a young peace activist staged a solo demonstration on Istanbul's busy Istiklal Street. He was apparently aiming to "promote love and peace all around the world." As curious passers-by were watching him, he stood on one corner of the pedestrian street, put out a placard that read "Hug me – for love," blindfolded himself, stretched his arms for "hugs," and stood there for an hour or so.

The passers-by first watched him in suspicion. Then a few, giggling, hugged him. The psychological barrier had been broken. He was then "hugged" by hundreds of smiling people, of all ages and colors. His demonstration ended as it would end in Turkey. A couple of municipal policemen ordered him to stop "being hugged by people." Then they gave him a ticket. The hugs cost him 91 Turkish liras (nearly $40). His offense? Causing public disturbance.

It is not a coincidence that Turkey, where, in the prime minister's words, the pious Muslims are the main actor of the political system, ranks 154th in the prestigious Reporters Without Borders global press freedoms index. And it was not a coincidence that, despite too much political euphemism, the European Commission, in its annual progress report on Turkey, identified government interference in the judiciary and bans imposed on social media as major sources of concern regarding Turkey's candidacy for full membership.

"The adoption of legislation undermining the independence of the judiciary, massive reassignments and dismissal of judges and prosecutors and even detention of a high number of police officers, as well as blanket bans imposed on social media" are among the findings of the report.

Did President Obama read the EU's assessment of the "great Muslim democracy?"

Burak Bekdil, based in Ankara, is a Turkish columnist for the Hürriyet Daily and a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.


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

Chilling: FEC in Push to Regulate Political Speech on the Internet - Rick Moran

by Rick Moran

The Federal Election Commission deadlocked on a vote to impose strict rules on political speech over the internet, but Democrats on the commission warn that they will continue their efforts at censorship next year.

Republicans on the commission point out that the Democrat's rules changes would give the US a Chinese-style censored internet. That won't deter the Democrats from squashing free speech on the net and trampling on the FIrst Amendment.

Washington Times:

The FEC deadlocked in a crucial Internet campaign speech vote announced Friday, leaving online political blogging and videos free of many of the reporting requirements attached to broadcast ads — for now.
While all three GOP-backed members voted against restrictions, they were opposed by the three Democratic-backed members, including FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel, who said she will lead a push next year to try to come up with new rules government political speech on the Internet.
It would mark a major reversal for the commission, which for nearly a decade has protected the ability of individuals and interest groups to take to engage in a robust political conversation on the Internet without having to worry about registering with the government or keeping and reporting records of their expenses.
Ms. Ravel said she fears that in trying to keep the Internet open for bloggers, they’ve instead created a loophole for major political players to escape some scrutiny.
“Some of my colleagues seem to believe that the same political message that would require disclosure if run on television should be categorically exempt from the same requirements when placed in the Internet alone,” said FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel in a statement. “As a matter of policy, this simply does not make sense.”
She said the FEC should no longer “turn a blind eye to the Internet’s growing force in the political arena,” and she vowed to force a conversation next year on what changes to make.
The three Republican-backed commissioners, though, said in a joint statement that Ms. Ravel’s plans would stifle what’s become the “virtual free marketplace of political ideas and democratic debate.”
FEC Chairman Lee E. Goodman said what Ms. Ravel is proposing would require a massive bureaucracy digging into the corners of the web to police what’s posted about politics.
“I cannot imagine a regulatory regime that would put government censors on the Internet daily, culling YouTube video posts for violations of law — nothing short of a Chinese censorship board,” Mr. Goodman said.

Websites that disseminate these internet ads the Democrats are targeting would be subject to reporting requirements. That goes for small blogs to big outfits like Politico or The Hill. Since the whole point of the internet is to spread information, there would be a chilling effect on free speech. 

The freedom of the internet is under attack. Taxing sales through the internet will probably become a reality next year. The independence of the internet is being threatened as the US withdraws from its management. There is an effort by big internet service providers to create a "fast track" internet for their paying customers while slowing down the net for the rest of us. 

And now a serious attack on free speech. What is it about freedom that so many hate?

Rick Moran


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

Why the Teenage Girls of Europe Are Joining ISIS - Lee Smith

by Lee Smith

( )

Teenage girls are the West’s center of gravity: Virtually all of Western pop culture, the key to our soft power, is tailored to the tastes of teenage girls. Through the wonders of information technology, the mobile phone mass-produced the mores and habits of phone-mad teenage girls locked in their bedrooms. Indeed, Western civilization is a success largely insofar as it has made the world a safe place for teenage girls—to go to school, get a job, and decide who and when to marry, or if they want to marry. When teenage girls turn away from One Direction and embrace ISIS, it means the West is losing.

A Washington Institute for Near East Policy poll last week showed that the Islamic State has more support in Europe than it does in the Middle East. The poll reported that only 3 percent of Egyptians, 5 percent of Saudis, and under 1 percent of Lebanese “expressed a positive opinion of the IS.” On the other hand, 7 percent of U.K. respondents had a favorable view of the group, as did 16 percent of French polled—with 27 percent of French citizens between 18-24 responding favorably.

The numbers should hardly come as a surprise. Thousands of young European Muslims have already left the continent for the Middle East to help the organization’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, build an authentic Islamic caliphate. Doubtless thousands more are on their way, to kill and die for an idea they believe in.

It is a striking fact that ISIS appeals not only to young men, but also young European women, many hundreds of whom have gone to Syria and Iraq to marry Islamic State fighters. Sure, some of them, like at least one teenaged French Jewish girl who left for Syria, may have come to regret their decision. But that hardly alters the essential point: The girls sought out IS fighters because the West seems weak and unmanly and they pine for real men who are willing to kill and die for what they believe in.

Why? Europe’s got great health care, welfare, and lots of attractive young men and attractive women who, unlike the vast majority of women in the Middle East outside of Israel, are sexually available. So, why given a choice between a comfortable, if somewhat boring, life as a pharmacist in Hamburg, or fighting and dying in the desert, are thousands of Western Muslims opting for the latter?

Because, for all the awesome social services and consumer goods it can offer, Europe has become incapable of endowing the lives of its citizens, Muslim or not, with meaning. A generation of young European Muslims are giving up their relatively easy lives in Malmö, Marseilles, and Manchester for the battlefields of Syria and Iraq, because Europe is devoid of values worth living—or dying—for. They are leaving for the same reason that Europe’s Jews are moving to Israel [sic!]: Strength and a sense of purpose can be found elsewhere, whether it’s ISIS, Vladimir Putin, Ali Khameni, or the IDF.

European security services are worried that the large number of jihadist fighters with Western passports are destined to cause trouble should they come back to the continent. They’re worried, they say, about the special skills militants might obtain abroad and then employ at home—like Mehdi Nemmouche, the Frenchman who killed four people at the Brussels Museum in May.

European authorities are missing the much more salient point. Nemmouche may have gone to Syria to fight alongside extremist groups, but it’s not like firing an automatic rifle is a specialized skill you can only learn on a jihadi battlefield. It’s not like you have to travel to the Middle East to learn to hate Jews. The problem isn’t what European Muslims may come back with from the Middle East, but the fact that they’ve left Europe in the first place. Baghdadi’s self-proclaimed caliphate sounds like an inside joke to IS’s two most significant military cadres—the Arab tribes, and former Baathists from Saddam Hussein’s regime. But to the Islamic State’s foreign fighters, especially its Western European contingent, the idea of a caliphate, ripped from the pages of Muslim history, resonates with a kind of existential authenticity missing from the vast and drab European suburbs warehousing Muslim youth.

And it’s precisely the violence of IS that appeals to the Europeans. For the Middle East, after all, despite Ayman al-Zawahiri’s alleged claims that IS is “too extreme” even for al-Qaida, there’s nothing exceptional about the bloodshed. The level of violence—beheadings, crucifixions, etc.—is par for the course in its regional politics. U.S. ally Saudi Arabia beheads criminals in the middle of Riyadh, and President Barack Obama’s new BFF in the region—an Iranian regime he calls rational—hangs criminals from construction cranes. But for the European fighters, the violence is more evidence of authenticity.

Yes, what IS stands for is exceedingly stupid and vicious—like one of the evil Transformer figures that destroys everything in its way. But this is what happens when there’s a vacuum: Ugly ideas fill space. Looking around, it’s hard not to think that the ugly, the vicious, and the stupid have the upper hand these days, with little resistance from the so-called defenders of the good.

Vladimir Putin is a hip-hop icon because he’s got Europe eating out of his hand—he rolls large and can turn off Europe’s lights any time he wants. He can go as far into Ukraine as he likes because he knows the United States won’t stop him. Obama said that Iran won’t get a nuclear weapon, but after already acknowledging the clerical regime’s right to enrich uranium, the White House may now allow Iran to keep even more centrifuges. Israel may have crushed Hamas over the course of a 40-day Operation Protective Edge, but here come the Western nations, led by the United States, hosting a donor conference that will relieve Hamas of all responsibility for having brought death and destruction to Gaza. Why? Because they can no longer summon the vitality necessary to take down a gang of bearded terrorists with RPGs, and so they are hoping instead to buy them off.

What Europe’s disaffected youth see is that the Western powers roll over and take it, again and again. The issue isn’t that we enjoy being humiliated. It’s just that we don’t really believe there’s anything worth fighting for. And that’s why thousands of Europe’s young Muslim men have taken sides against us—and why 15-year-old girls hold us in contempt.

Lee Smith


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