Friday, October 31, 2014

MESA and IIIT: Islamists Infiltrating Academia - Cinnamon Stillwell

by Cinnamon Stillwell

The field of Middle East studies has a troublesome penchant for partnering with Islamist organizations. Case in point: The 2014 annual conference of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) will host an International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) reception at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC on November 23.

The true nature of IIIT, a Virginia-based think tank, was revealed during the 2007 U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation terrorism-financing trial, which unearthed a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum naming IIIT as one of the likeminded organizations in the U.S dedicated to a “grand jihad” aimed at “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within” so that “God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions.” Middle East studies professors have long shared the podium with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), another Islamist outfit linked by the United States government to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

As far back as 1988, an FBI investigation exposed IIIT’s goal to “get inside . . .  American universities” for the larger purpose of instituting “the Islamic Revolution in the United States.” Clearly, IIIT is making headway. Consider the following:

IIIT has on ongoing relationship with Hartford Seminary, including a $1 million donation in 2013 to endow a faculty chair in Islamic chaplaincy. According to one M.A. graduate, its Islamic studies program has been “an institution promoting Islamization” for the better part of a decade. Ingrid Mattson, the previous director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Harford, is also former president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA.

In 2011, IIIT contributed approximately half of a $2 million endowment for a new chair in Islamic studies at Huron University College in Ontario, Canada. Soon after, Ingrid Mattson was appointed as the first London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies at its Faculty of Theology.

IIIT donated $1.5 million to George Mason University in 2008 to establish an endowed chair in Islamic studies at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

In 2008, Temple University declined a $1.5 million gift from IIIT to endow a chair in Islamic studies, citing ongoing federal investigation of IIIT’s possible involvement in funding for Palestinian terrorists. Shaykh Taha Jabir al-Alwani, a cofounder and former president of the IIIT, had been named an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of Sami al-Arian, a former University of South Florida professor and North American head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). IIIT was the primary funder of Al-Arian’s think tank and PIJ front, the World and Islam Studies Enterprise.

In addition to the aforementioned gifts to George Mason University and Huron University College, IIIT has entered into a “Memorandum of Understanding” with Nazareth College in New York and a “Memorandum of Agreement” with Shenandoah University in Virginia. At the latter, Daoud Nassimi, chosen by the IIIT-run Fairfax Institute, taught a spring 2014 class on Islamic civilization with a Shenandoah professor.

IIIT’s Council of Scholars includes Middle East studies professors who have acted as apologists for Islamism, such as Sherman (Abdul Hakeem) Jackson (University of Southern California), Muqtedar Khan (University of Delaware), and the above mentioned Ingrid Mattson (Huron University College).  

Over the years, IIIT has organized numerous lectures, conferences, and seminars involving equally problematic Middle East studies professors, such as founding director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) at Georgetown University John Esposito; ACMCU Islamic studies professor John Voll; Ibn Khaldun chair of Islamic studies at American University Akbar Ahmed; and Duke University William and Bettye Martin Musham Director of Islamic Studies Omid Safi. Such professors teach Islamic studies courses in IIIT’s annual Summer Students Series and participate in its Summer Institute for Scholars.

In order to achieve its objective of producing “intellectuals who can relate their Islam to modern day challenges,” IIIT pledges at its website to participate in “teaching, training of teachers, [and the] publication of text books”;  “directing research and studies to develop Islamic thought”; “supporting researchers and scholars in universities and research centers;” and “holding specialized scholarly, intellectual and cultural conferences, seminars and study circles.”

MESA is helping IIIT achieve its goals by including it in its 2014 annual conference and by the years-long participation of its scholars in the Islamist group’s activities. This close relationship demonstrates either appalling ignorance on the part of the Middle East studies establishment or, worse, sympathy with the IIIT’s anti-Western, anti-democratic philosophy. Perhaps George Washington University professor and MESA president Nathan J. Brown can explain to the public why the organization he leads is lending a platform to a radical Islamist organization.

Cinnamon Stillwell is the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. She can be reached at


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

Christian priest to UN: “Israel only Mideast country not persecuting Christians” - UN Watch

by UN Watch

Mr. President, I am speaking to you on behalf of UN Watch.

Standing before you is Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Christian citizen from Nazareth, the city in which Christ was raised and where he proselytized.

Dear Sirs, while I stand before you today, the earth of the Middle East is soaked with the blood of Christians being killed daily.

Do you know that at the start of the 20th century, Christians comprised 20% of the population of the Middle East?

Today they comprise only 4%.

Do you know that over the past years some 100,000 Christians have been killed annually? And why? Not for a crime they’ve committed, but only for believing in Christ.

In Iraq alone, more than 77% of the Christians have fled during the year 2000, in addition to thousands killed and expelled.

Some 2 million Christians lived in Syria, but today, they are less than 250,000.

Christians in these countries are treated as second-class citizens; facing racial, religious, economic and social discrimination.

Why is this happening? Only due to their religion, a religion that advocates love and peace between mankind.

Christians in the Middle East are marginalized; their rights denied, their property stolen, their honor violated, their men killed, and their children displaced.

Where will they go? Who will defend them? And who will guard their property?

If we look at the Middle East, Mr. President, we realize there’s only one safe place where Christians are not persecuted.

One place where they are protected, enjoying freedom of worship and expression, living in peace and not subjected to killing and genocide.

It is Israel, the country I live in. The Jewish state is the only safe place where the Christians of the Holy Land live in safety.

Christians and Jews live in Israel not only because Christ was originally Jewish, born in Jewish Bethlehem, but because they share a common destiny, and a true hope to coexist in peace.

Does the world acknowledge Israel for protecting its Christians? Many in the international community have chosen to criticize Israel.

This, in my mind, is a double crime: because by doing so, the international community helps those striving to annihilate the Jews, the Christians, the Druze and the Yazidis for political ends.

By doing so, the international community unfortunately contributes to exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East.

It causes Christians to leave the land of Christ searching for a safe haven across the world.

It is time for the world to awaken and realize the truth of those striving to destroy the Jewish state.

They are hastening the death sentence of Christians in the Middle East and the Holy Land, the land which witnessed the birth and life of our Lord Jesus Christ. If they leave, who will remain in it?

I, Father Gabrial Naddaf of Nazareth, stand before you and plead: O world leaders and supporters of peace, stop those who want to destroy the only free Jewish state in the region.

It is the only refuge welcoming and protecting all of its citizens. It is the only place that does not attempt to push out Christians, forcing them to leave their land in search of security.

I implore you from the bottom of my heart to hear the cry of the Christians of the Middle East before it is too late, and you may read about them only in the history books.

Thank you, Mr. President.

UN Watch


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

Obama Seeks Confrontation with Israel - Isi Leibler

by Isi Leibler

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to the intensifying global pressures on Israel is to firmly reject any further territorial withdrawals that would put Israel’s security at risk, stating that “Israel will not lose hope for peace, but neither will it cling to false hope.”

He was also forthright about his intention to continue residential construction in Jerusalem, noting that “all previous Israeli governments have done so. … It is also clear to the Palestinians that these territories will remain within Israel’s borders in any deal.”

The Obama administration’s response to Israel’s confirmation that it would continue to create homes in the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem was vindictive, brutal and in stark contrast to its deafening silence in relation to Palestinian incitement.

The State Department went so far as to accuse Israel of acting “illegally,” and in a manner “incompatible with the pursuit of peace”.

In an interview with American journalist Jeffery Goldberg published in The Atlantic, a senior US official referred to Prime Minister Netanyahu as “chickenshit” and described him as “the foreign leader who seems to frustrate the White House and the State Department the most”. More than Assad, Erdogan, the Iranian Ayatollah and Putin the ‘peace loving’ Abbas?

The curtain drop to the administration’s malice was displayed last week in the Ya’alon imbroglio. In a private conversation earlier this year, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon disparaged Secretary of State John Kerry’s behavior in relation to the peace process as “obsessive” and “messianic.” He made his remarks when Kerry was repeatedly making provocative statements against Israel and then retracting them.

As defense minister, Ya’alon is limited in what he can say publicly and the fact that he spoke off-record is irrelevant if he was subsequently quoted. But he apologized and reiterated the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship. Nevertheless, the White House inflated his unofficial remark totally out of proportion.

To invoke such a vendetta against the defense minister of its most important regional ally, months after the event, exposes the pettiness of the Obama administration. That Ya’alon was denied access to Vice President Joe Biden and National Security Adviser Susan Rice is problematic. But that this was leaked by State Department sources at the end of his visit was odious. To make matters even worse, the information was leaked to the Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, whose publisher is engaged in a long-standing crusade to demonize Netanyahu and his government and which was the source that had initially released Ya’alon’s off-the-record comments.

Clearly, the White House regarded this as an opportunity to undermine not only Ya’alon’s standing, but the entire Netanyahu government.

This is just the latest in a series of vindictive incidents by the Obama administration because Israel has dared to reject its diktats. Nothing illustrates President Barack Obama’s contemptuous attitude toward Israel more than his directive to withhold arms to Israel during wartime because Israel had rejected Kerry’s initiative to engage Qatar as the mediator to end the Gaza hostilities.

As virtually every foreign policy initiative by Obama has proven to be disastrous, his recommendations or directives must be viewed with skepticism. After all, it is we who will have to live with the consequences.

This administration adamantly insists that the Israel-Palestine status quo is untenable. Yet it remains silent as Hamas boasts of efforts to restore its terror tunnel network; barely reacts to the mayhem in Syria and Iraq where close to a quarter million people have been butchered; ignores the Qatari funding of Hamas and other terrorist entities including the Islamic State; fails to castigate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for enabling jihadists to traverse Turkey’s territory in order to fight in Syria, while standing by and allowing the massacre of the Kurds on his border.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas humiliated the U.S. administration by merging with Hamas without prior consultation. But the U.S. failed to criticize this move, has not responded to Abbas’ policy of ethnic cleansing by making any future Palestinian state Judenrein, nor condemned him for executing any Palestinian found selling land to an Israeli. The U.S. did not reprimand him for failing to denounce the act of terror in which a baby and a young woman were killed last week in Jerusalem. Yet when an Arab teenager was shot to death while hurling potentially lethal Molotov cocktails at Israeli automobiles, the U.S. immediately conveyed its condolences to the family and urged Israelis to initiate an investigation.

Israel, the principal regional ally of the U.S., is the only country consistently facing criticism and has become the punching bag for the inept Obama administration, even being denunciated for opposing a nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Only recently, Kerry again conveyed to an Arab audience the absurd allegation that the Arab-Israel conflict fanned ISIS and Islamic extremism. Yet the U.S. assiduously avoids condemning or responding to rogue states guilty of criminal bloodletting, out of fear of being further humiliated and exposed as lacking leadership.

It should be noted that there is a broad consensus throughout Israel that the government is justified in resisting efforts by the U.S. and others to restrict construction in its capital Jerusalem and the major settlement blocs – which were never challenged prior to the Obama administration.

There are those who question the wisdom of such an announcement at this time, but if there is one issue for which we should stand united and maintain our rights, it is construction in Jerusalem, whose development must not be dependent on endorsement from other countries.

The administration’s efforts to demean Israel’s leaders have always been counterproductive. Despite the initial media frenzy, Israelis have in such circumstances responded by rallying in support of their government. And yet, now when the house of Israel should display unity, some of our politicians are behaving irresponsibly.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni public response to the recent pathetic and mean attempt to humiliate Ya’alon implying that the fault for the breakdown in relations rests with Israel rather than with a bumbling and spiteful U.S. administration were highly inappropriate. They promote chaos and bring shame upon themselves and the government they purport to represent, conveying the mistaken impression that Israel suffers from battered wife syndrome.

It is also regrettable that, in the face of a vindictive U.S. administration, Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog, failed to suspend political infighting and accused Netanyahu of being “personally responsible for the destruction of relations with the U.S.” He could have gained respect by stating unequivocally that there cannot be any limits on construction in the Jewish suburbs of Jerusalem.

Yes, there is constant tension and endless recriminations bouncing between the U.S. administration and Israel. And according to Goldberg, there is now even the threat that the US “may actually withdraw diplomatic cover for Israel at the United Nations”.

The government has made every effort to avoid aggravating the situation but Israel is a sovereign democratic nation and there are occasions when it must reject unrealistic or dangerous demands from the U.S.

Netanyahu should be commended for his extraordinary diplomatic balancing act in withstanding the unreasonable pressure from Obama and Kerry, avoiding outright confrontations and in so doing, retaining the support of American public opinion and Congress.

Israel is a small country and its people are aware that the U.S. is crucial to their survival. But does that oblige us to forfeit our self-respect or sovereignty and fawn toward an administration that repeatedly displays its contempt and humiliates us?

We should display unity by supporting our prime minister’s policy of rejecting further territorial concessions until the Palestinian leaders separate from Hamas, engage in negotiations and display flexibility to enable us to achieve our security requirements. We will not be denied the right to construct homes in our capital or in the major settlement blocs, which will remain within Israel. We seek the support of the United States but we must retain our sovereignty.

Isi Leibler’s website can be viewed at He may be contacted at


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

Immigration Politics: Where Facts and Commonsense Are Ignored - Michael Cutler

by Michael Cutler

On October 22, 2014 CBS News, New York posted a brief report, “City Council Votes For Bills To Protect Jailed Immigrants From Feds.” This report illustrates the unholy alliance forged between many politicians and news agencies to skew the truth about immigration. The article begins with this excerpt:
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Bills passed by the City Council Wednesday aim to keep detained immigrants from being deported by the federal government.
The City Council voted in favor of the legislation 41-6 Wednesday.
As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, the measures, supported by Mayor Bill de Blasio, would prohibit correction officials and police from handing over detainees to immigration officials.
The report went on to note:
The law will only allow the city to honor the detainer if the subject has been convicted of a violent or serious felony in the last five years or if the person is a possible match on the federal terrorist watchlist,” she said.
The bill would also shutter the federal immigration office on Rikers Island.
First of all, let’s consider that the title of the CBS article incorporates the phrase, “Protect the Jailed Immigrants From the Feds.” There are two key words that paint a deceptive image and both evoke a strong emotional response and virtually create the illusion that the efforts to impede the effective enforcement of our immigration laws against aliens who have been arrested for allegedly committing crimes is no less than heroic.

The term “protect” is a term that engenders a sense of an appropriate action taken to make certain that no harm comes to someone, especially an innocent person. Police departments around the United States adopted the phrase “to protect and serve” as their mission statement. In considering this infuriating news report, the question that must be asked is: “Who is being protected and who is being served?”

Our nation’s borders and our immigration laws are America’s first line of defense and last line of defense to protect America and Americans from aliens whose presence poses a threat to the safety and well-being of our nation and our citizens.

Our immigration laws are utterly blind as to race, religion or ethnicity and were enacted to achieve two primary goals: protect innocent lives and protect the jobs of American workers. While the CBS report focuses on how the majority of the members of the City Council are seeking to protect illegal aliens who have been arrested from being deported, the article neglects to mention that this proposed action would fail to protect Americans and others present in the United States by blocking ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents from being able to identify and take into custody aliens who are subject to being removed (deported) from the United States.

It would be wrong-headed to shield any illegal alien from detection by ICE (although ICE is no longer mounting a meaningful effort to enforce our immigration laws). However, in this instance we have the great majority of the members of the NYC Counsel seeking to prevent the removal of aliens who have been arrested by the NYPD and other law enforcement agencies.

The term “immigrant” as used in the headline is currently being used deceptively throughout the United States to describe all foreign nationals (aliens) who are present in the United States, irrespective of their status. The term “alien” has come to be (falsely) equated with a slur, not unlike the “n-word.” In reality, under the immigration laws of the United States, which are encompassed within the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the term alien simply means, “any person, not a citizen or national of the United States.” There is no insult of any sort in that definition — only clarity. Clarity is something that must be avoided at all costs when a con artist attempts to swindle his (her) intended victim. This is no different from the dreaded and infamous “small print” contained in contracts designed to confuse the person signing the contract to get them to agree to terms that they would never knowingly agree to.

By using the term “immigrant” to describe all aliens present in the United States it then becomes easy to talk about the wonderful contributions that immigrants have made to the United States. After all, they remind us, “We are a nation of immigrants!” Of course this fails to note that among illegal aliens are criminals, fugitives from justice in foreign countries and others whose presence is harmful or even dangerous.

By hammering away at the lie that all aliens should be deemed “immigrants” immigration anarchists have set the stage to label as “anti-immigrant” anyone of wanting our borders to be secured against those who would evade the inspections process that is supposed to prevent the entry of aliens whose presence would pose a threat to national security, public safety, public health or otherwise be detrimental to the well-being of America and/or Americans. They go on to attack anyone seeking effective immigration law enforcement branding them “bigots,” “racists” and “nativists.”

In my effort to provide clarity to this issue I have come to say that the difference between an immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar. It is not anti-social or uncharitable for a person to lock his (her) doors at night to make certain that burglars or criminals do not enter their homes as they sleep. It is only prudent and commonsense.

In point of fact, our immigration laws not only establish the grounds by which aliens are to be prevented from entering the United States and the grounds under which aliens should be deported from the United States, but also establish the lawful means by which more than one million aliens legally immigrate to the United States, are granted Alien Registration Receipt Cards and are immediately placed on the pathway to United States citizenship. These laws also provide for the naturalization of hundreds of thousands of lawful immigrants each year, conferring United States citizenship upon them.

Furthermore, the most likely victims of crimes committed by transnational criminals are the members of the ethnic immigrant communities of the same origins of the criminal aliens. This holds true for all ethnic communities, not just from Latin America. As an INS agent I investigated and arrested many such individuals from countries around the world.

Therefore, how on earth can supporting the effective enforcement and administration of our immigration laws constitute an anti-immigrant position?

Let us briefly revisit the notion of “protecting immigrants” as noted in the headline. The more appropriate phrase should be “shielding and harboring.” Theses terms appear in the section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that addresses alien smuggling.

Consider that under 8 USC § 1324 – Bringing in and harboring certain aliens, a section of law that is comprehended within the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), it is a felony to aid, abet, encourage or induce aliens to enter our country illegally or remain in our country illegally and a crime to harbor, shield or conceal such aliens from detection.

Here is an excerpt from that section of law:
Title 8, U.S.C. § 1324(a) Offenses
Title 8, U.S.C. § 1324(a) defines several distinct offenses related to aliens. Subsection 1324(a)(1)(i)-(v) prohibits alien smuggling, domestic transportation of unauthorized aliens, concealing or harboring unauthorized aliens, encouraging or inducing unauthorized aliens to enter the United States, and engaging in a conspiracy or aiding and abetting any of the preceding acts.
Subsection 1324(a)(2) prohibits bringing or attempting to bring unauthorized aliens to the United States in any manner whatsoever, even at a designated port of entry. Subsection 1324(a)(3).
Harboring — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) makes it an offense for any person who — knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals harbors, shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation.
Encouraging/Inducing — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) makes it an offense for any person who — encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.
Conspiracy/Aiding or Abetting — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(v) expressly makes it an offense to engage in a conspiracy to commit or aid or abet the commission of the foregoing offenses.
On February 25, 2014 Californians for Population Stabilization published my article “NYC Mayor Determined to Give Illegal Aliens ID Cards” that addressed the program being created by New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio to provide illegal aliens with identity documents, violating commonsense and the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commmission.

I focused on the nexus between immigration and the threat of terrorism and how the creation of “sanctuary cities” undermines national security in my September 24, 2014 article for FrontPage Magazine, ‘Sanctuary Cities’ or ‘Safe Havens’ for Terrorists?

What is truly incomprehensible is how New York Senator Chuck Schumer recently railed against those who have trespassed on important landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge and the new World Trade Center Tower. Consider the October 14, 2014 CBS News report on de Blasio heading to Washington to participate in meetings focusing on city security and counter-terrorism, “Mayor De Blasio Heads To D.C. For Meetings On NYC Security And Counter-Terrorism.”

The article noted that the meetings would be held the day after, “Sen. Charles Schumer proposed making trespassing on critical infrastructure like major bridges or important buildings punishable by up to five years in prison.”

Here is the brief report in its entirety:
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mayor Bill de Blasio is heading to Washington, D.C. Tuesday for meetings about city security and counter-terrorism.
De Blasio, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism John Miller are set to meet with the heads of Homeland Security and the FBI.
The meeting comes a day after Sen. Charles Schumer proposed making trespassing on critical infrastructure like major bridges or important buildings punishable by up to five years in prison.
The proposal was made in the wake of several recent trespassing cases in the city.
Over the summer, two German artists climbed the Brooklyn Bridge, switching the American flags with white washed versions.
Berlin-based Mischa Leinkauf and Mattias Wermke said they replaced the flags on top of the bridge with bleached-out versions as a tribute to public art.
The stuntman placed aluminum pans over the floodlights to keep them from being seen and for awhile, it was scary,” Schumer said Monday.
A Russian tourist was then arrested in August after climbing the Brooklyn Bridge.
Yaroslav Kolchin was seen walking back and forth on the landing, taking photos with his iPhone, police said. They said once a police aviation unit was hovering at an altitude next to the tower, Kolchin began to descend safely down the same way he had climbed up.
He was met by police at the security gate, where he was taken into custody without further incident.
Also in August, an activist group unfurled a Palestinian flag on the span of the Manhattan Bridge.
In March, 16-year-old Justin Casquejo was charged after climbing to the top of the World Trade Center. He admitted in July to breaking a city misdemeanor law against scaling tall buildings without permission.
While individuals like this may have meant no arm, their acts put commuters and first responders at risk,” Schumer said. “They also inspire copycats who may have much more evil plans in mind.”
Critical infrastructure is defined by the Patriot Act as systems and assets so vital to the U.S., that the incapacity or destruction to them would have a debilitating effect.
That would be a bridge, a power plant, the air vents to one of our tunnels,” Miller said.
Miller and Schumer said the new legislation will help serve as a deterrent.
When stunts like this occur, the New York City trespassing law has a maximum of one year and it’s often three months,” Schumer said. “That’s not enough punishment to deter this behavior. It’s time to change that.”
Schumer said this legislation is based on another federal law protecting railroads.
This is the same Schumer who, as a member of the “Gang of Eight,” has championed providing a pathway to United States citizenship for millions of illegal aliens who evaded the vital inspections process designed to prevent the entry of aliens who would pose a threat to public health, public safety and, indeed, national security by trespassing on the United States. There can be no greater example of a lack of mouth-ear coordination than that demonstrated by Mr. Schumer.

In case you missed it, this is the next to last paragraph of the news report, quoting Schumer:
When stunts like this occur, the New York City trespassing law has a maximum of one year and it’s often three months,” Schumer said. “That’s not enough punishment to deter this behavior. It’s time to change that.”
Schumer’s own ears apparently are unable to hear the words he utters from his own mouth when the issue of immigration is raised. Clearly, he understands that undesired behavior can be deterred by tougher laws coupled with tougher enforcement, particularly where the crime of trespassing is concerned.

Schumer, however, is hardly the only politician to be afflicted with a lack of mouth-ear coordination. On September 27, 2012 New York City’s then mayor, Michael Bloomberg, was the focus of a New York Post article, “Bloomberg blasts Bronx DA for not prosecuting trespassing arrests.” It must be pointed out that Bloomberg continued the immigration sanctuary policies of the previous administration.

The continuing sanctuary policies were, in fact, the subject of a hearing conducted by the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims on February 27, 2003 on the topic, “New York City’s ‘Sanctuary’ Policy and the Effect of Such Policies on Public Safety, Law Enforcement and Immigration.”

I was one of the witnesses called to testify at that hearing, more than a decade ago. As the saying goes, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

We are continually told that the immigration system is broken. The reality is that what is broken is the moral compass of this administration and all too many politicians. The administration lacks the will to effectively secure our borders, enforce our immigration laws and follow the advice Schumer provided concerning trespassing: increase the penalties for such crimes and effectively enforce the laws.

There is an old Yiddish expression that translated declares, “When the fish goes bad, it smells from the head!” The lack of moral leadership in Washington permeates our nation and is being felt from coast to coast and border to border.

Michael Cutler is a retired Senior Special Agent of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) whose career spanned some 30 years. He served as an Immigration Inspector, Immigration Adjudications Officer and spent 26 years as an agent who rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch.


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

Iran's Nuclear Program: Chief Obstacle to Iranian Hegemony - Malcolm Lowe

by Malcolm Lowe

The depredations of the "Islamic State" have given Iranians the opportunity to restore a dominance that they enjoyed intermittently until the Arabs conquered them. Only the well-justified Western fear of Iranian nuclear missiles stands in their way.
The negotiating stance of the P5+1 should be that to grant Iran a leading role in Iraq and Syria is to do Iran a massive favor and must presuppose the total elimination of the centrifuges and missiles.
Any Iranian schoolchild knows that Cyrus the Great created -- in barely a decade -- a Persian Empire that encompassed most of the Middle East, including present-day Turkey. His son added Egypt and part of Libya. "What's more," the Iranian child will proudly add, "I'm still speaking the language of Cyrus!"

For many months now, the so-called P5+1 countries have been negotiating with Iran over the latter's nuclear program. The endless futile negotiations over how many centrifuges and how fast they should spin and for how long – have lost their way. Maybe the P5+1 (the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) should try a radically new approach.

Junk your entire nuclear program and hand over all your intercontinental missiles, they could tell Iran. Just get rid of the lot, like Assad who junked his chemical weapons. We were going to give him the Gaddafi treatment, but now he sits safely in power in Damascus. So just eliminate your foolish threat to ourselves and we shall gratefully watch from afar while you rebuild the empire of Cyrus.

"What Cyrus?" some may ask. Any Iranian schoolchild knows the answer from history lessons. Cyrus the Great (d. 530 BCE) created -- in barely a decade -- a Persian Empire that encompassed most of the Middle East, including present-day Turkey. His son added Egypt and part of Libya. "What's more," the Iranian child will proudly add, "I'm still speaking the language of Cyrus!"

Never mind that Cyrus and the child would hardly understand a word of each other. The point is that all Iranians know that their ancestors once exerted hegemony over the whole area. The depredations of the "Islamic State" have given Iranians the opportunity to restore a dominance that they enjoyed intermittently until the Arabs conquered them. Only the well-justified Western fear of Iranian nuclear missiles stands in their way.

In the version of Xenophon, Cyrus achieved his goal by allying himself with resentful downtrodden groups in the regimes that he destroyed. Today, the same scenario has returned: the Syrian Alawites and the Shiites of Lebanon and Iraq see Iran as their defender. Even some Christians may turn to Iran in despair. The Christians of Iran are oppressed, for sure, but they are killed only one by one from time to time, whereas Sunni Islamists kill and expel Christians by the hundreds and thousands.

"Alexander at the Tomb of Cyrus the Great," oil on canvas (1796) by Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
A hundred years ago, any well-educated Western politician would have known about Cyrus from reading the Greek classics at school and the Bible at home. Today, such knowledge is mostly restricted to specialists. But there are two nations who still learn it at school: the Greeks and the Former Yugoslav Macedonians. Hence their governments fight over the franchise for Alexander the Great, the King of Macedonia who overthrew the Persian Empire and installed Greek-speaking generals in place of Persian governors.

The Iranian schoolchild will tell you, by contrast, that he was the "accursed Alexander" of Persian history books, the drunken savage who destroyed a blissful empire in which the various nations stopped fighting one another and each enjoyed its own happy national life under the benevolent eye of Persia. Even the miserable Israelites, along with other exiled peoples, were allowed to go home.

Moreover, the child will continue, we soon regained our independence and constantly got the upper hand over Greeks and Romans. And even when the Arabs, a nation even more savage than the Greeks, conquered us, we managed to free ourselves after two centuries of tyranny. The proof: we still rule historic Iran and we still speak Persian, whereas elsewhere the conquered lost their own cultures and talk in a debased Arabic.

Yes, the child will concede, the Arabs brought us Islam. And Islam is far superior to Zoroaster's religion, which favored only priests and aristocrats, whereas in Islam everyone is supposed to be equal. But the Arabs ignored exactly that principle of Islam and used Islam as an excuse to despoil us and let their caliphs live in disgusting luxury at our expense. Look at the Islamic State: they are gleefully demolishing every symbol of culture, just as their tent-dwelling ancestors destroyed our magnificent ancient civilization. Arab philosophy, Arab medicine? You're joking. Al-Farabi, Razi and Ibn Sina (Avicenna) – they were all Iranians. Even Al-Ghazali, the supreme theologian of those arrogant uncouth Sunnis, was a Persian-speaking Iranian.

The above sketch draws upon a schoolbook written in Persian for Iranian schoolchildren. It reveals an unfamiliar background to the thinking of Iranians and the attractions to Iran of regaining suzerainty over Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. At the same time, from the viewpoint of the P5+1, this Iranian dream embodies three immense drawbacks.

First, and paramount, are those missiles, which threaten not just Jerusalem and Tel Aviv but London, Paris, Berlin and Moscow. All the worse if Iran should gain a foothold on the Mediterranean. The P5+1 have to demand the total elimination of the means of delivery as well as the means of producing the warheads.

Currently, the P5+1 are negotiating as if they have make concessions over Iran's centrifuges in order to persuade Iran to help against the Islamic State. This is absurd and back to front. The negotiating stance of the P5+1 should be that to grant Iran a leading role in Iraq and Syria is to do Iran a massive favor and must presuppose the total elimination of the centrifuges and missiles.

Second is the delirious hatred of the ayatollahs for Israel. Once the missile threat has vanished, however, Israel can adequately look after itself.

Third is the appalling human rights record of Iran, especially its ruthless treatment of dissidents and women. It belies the cultural superiority affected by the ayatollahs, who pride themselves on maintaining a living tradition of Islamic philosophy that has died out in Arab lands. So far, however, the P5+1 have not even raised this issue. Russia and China evidently have their own reasons for being uninterested. Still, with the military threat from Iran eliminated, the West could devote more attention to the Iranian suppression of human rights, although results will be obtained at most in some individual cases.

On the other hand, in order to rebuild a Persian Empire -- to the extent that it is feasible -- Iran has to take three steps. The first, as discussed, is the total renunciation of nuclear missiles. The second is to seize the opportunity that Turkey's Erdogan is missing, to make a pact with the Kurds whereby Iranian Kurds content themselves with limited autonomy while Kurds elsewhere gain liberty under Iranian protection.

The third step would be to cease the demonization of Israel and to recognize that the southern limit of the Neo-Persian Empire would be the border with Israel. This step is hardly imaginable, however, so here Iran's imperial exercise is likely to break down.

Malcolm Lowe


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

BDS War on SodaStream Just Killed Muslim Jobs and Created Israeli Jobs - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield


Mission accomplished?
SodaStream International Ltd. will close a factory in a West Bank settlement that had prompted calls by pro-Palestinian activists for consumers to boycott the Israeli company’s soda machines.
SodaStream Chief Executive Officer Daniel Birnbaum defended his company to journalists in February at a tour of the plant, which as of this year employed 500 Palestinians, 450 Israeli Arabs and 350 Israeli Jews.
Production will be relocated to a facility in the southern town of Lehavim, Hurwitz said. SodaStream is working with the Israeli government to secure work permits for the Palestinian employees, she said.
File that under “good luck”.

Work permits or no work permits, Muslim terrorism is the great disruptor and an international company can’t be tied to a workforce whose travel will be unpredictably disrupted.

While the media is giving BDS credit for it, SodaStream’s stock fall didn’t have anything to do with BDS, it did have to do with overestimating the market for home soda by assuming it would follow the Keurig model. That plan fell apart and SodaStream is pushing into flavored water, also debatable, and trying to ally with Pepsi.

The Lehavim plant was already part of the plan. So this has less to do with BDS and more to do with a changing business model and the assumption that there isn’t going to be peace any time soon so there’s also no sense in a long term commitment. Israel has been pushing companies to relocate to the Negev and offering generous tax incentives so that BDS is taking credit for Israeli government policy.

But let’s take the BDSers at their word and assume that it’s all due to them. What exactly did they accomplish by putting a bunch of the people they claim to care about out of work?

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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

What was behind the Attempt to Assassinate Yehuda Glick? - Mordechai Kedar

by Mordechai Kedar

Why did Islamists target Yehuda Glick? And what does it tell us about Israeli Arab plans for Israel and Jerusalem?

(Written for Arutz Sheva, translated by Rochel Sylvetsky)
The plan for the attempted assassination of Yehuda Glick is just one phase of the long term struggle for Jerusalem between an Islam that sees itself as the true religion on the one hand, and the very existence of Judaism (and Christianity) - false religions in Islamic eyes - on the other.

In its own eyes, Islam came into the world not in order to stand alongside Judaism and Christianity, but to supplant them, and empty them of substance, assets and founding figures so that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Jesus and John are all Muslims in Islamic discourse. The Temple Mount has turned into a mosque, and several hundred churches (in Ramle, Damascus, Istanbul, Spain and more) were changed into mosques by Muslim conquerors.

In the view of radical Islamists, several setbacks occurred during the twentieth century: in 1948 the Jews, using military might and aided by the Christians (British) conquered the holy land of Palestine and in1967 they won Jerusalem, and we know the next step, they claim - they will build their temple and Judaism will again become a viable religion. That poses a theological danger to radical Islamists whose raison d'ĂȘtre is the destruction of Judaism (and Christianity). Therefore, the radical Islamist struggle for Jerusalem in general and the Temple Mount in particular is a theological one more than it is a political, nationalist or territorial struggle. He who does not - or will not - understand this, is hiding his head in the sand.

That is what lies behind the intention to eliminate Yehuda Glick, whose actions embody the Jewish yearning to return to the land, to Jerusalem and to the Temple Mount and to renew Jewish hegemony over the temple site. The rising Islamic flag is another factor, with Islamist radicals seeing a blessed outcome for their labors in the success of IS in Syria and Iraq. And on social networks. The concept of an Islamic caliphate is reverberating in the air, creating a tense atmosphere that might bring to fruition Islamic dreams of destroying all threats, defeating all enemies and achieving the ultimate goal - global Islamic hegemony.

In 2011, Tel Aviv University published a collection of articles, edited by Drs. Arik Rudnitsky and Eli Reches, titled "Muslim Minorities in non-Muslim-Majority Countries: The Islamic Movement in Israel as a test case". I wrote an article titled "The Islamic Movement's Vision of the Future" which was included in the book. This is the last paragraph of that article:

"The real goal, one that the movement does not bother to hide, is the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate in Israel whose capital is Jerusalem. I have heard this said several times by the Movement's leaders. They even write it without compunction: Their true goal is to establish an Islamic state on the ruins of Jewish, Zionist Israel and make Al Quds El Sharif its capital. This opinion is based on statements made to me by the leaders of the movement, is heard mainly in their speeches, in songs composed by [Islamic Movement leader] Sheikh Raed [Salah] and from acts performed at their rallies. We are talking about a visible and very obvious general atmosphere, starting with the Sheikh and going on to the words of the movement's other leaders."

After the article was published, several colleagues turned to me claiming that my assertion had no basis because the pronouncements of the leaders of the Islamic Movement are simply mantras that do not express their real intentions. I claimed, then as now, that the Jewish people must not try to interpret the words of their enemies, but must accept them as they are, unamended. There was a period when we did not take the threats of our enemies seriously - the result was a horrific Holocaust.

Two weeks ago, in the midst of this very October, the leaders of the Arab Israeli sector demonstrated in Jerusalem. Taking part in this protest were – among others – Sheikh Raed's deputy, Sheikh Kamel al-Khatib and the head of the northern branch of the Islamic State, in addition to Balad MK's Hanin Zouabi and Basel Ghattas. This is Sheikh Kamel al-Khatib's speech to the crowd, for all to hear.
(Note: the parentheses are my explanations)

"The (Arab) nation is in a bad state, due to what is happening in the Arab homeland and the counter-revolutions against the 'Arab Spring' being carried out by the enemies of the nations (mainly Egypt's Sisi, Israel's ally, who deposed the Muslim Brotherhood). This situation requires that steadfast people (rise up and) say: We are here, against the (Zionist) den of iniquity whose occupants occupy the stage in the entire Arab homeland. In the center of this thieving den of iniquity, we stress our right to stand strong and patient, attached to the land right here in Jerusalem. I repeat: Jerusalem is not only the capital of a Palestinian state, but the capital of a righteous (reference to the first four Caliphs, called "the righteous") Islamic Caliphate, soon to arrive, Inshallah."

Al-Khatib's words fell on fertile soil, for after all, we have heard these words about the Islamic Caliphates from two other important sources. One is the Muslim Brotherhood spokesmen in Egypt, especially Sheikh Safwat Higazi, who shouted in the ears of the Cairo masses at the beginning of the 2012 presidential election campaign that Mohammed Morsi, if elected, would bring about the unification of the Arab nations and establish the Islamic Caliphate whose capital is not Mecca, not Cairo, but Jerusalem. He described this as a dream, of course, but expected Morsi to make the dream come true.

In early July 2013, General al-Sisi awakened Egypt from that dream, got rid of Morsi and his friends, throwing them into jail, the grave or out of Egypt.

The second source that talks about the Islamic Caliphate Kingdom and attempts to bring its arrival is "Islamic State", the group some of us still call by its previous name, "Daesh" (ISIS). Its head calls himself Caliph and his state the Caliphate State. Is this the fulfillment of the Muslim Brotherhood dreamers, Higazi and al-Khatib? I cannot say, but despite differences in the behavior of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State, there are too many similarities of ideology and aspirations between them and the classic Caliphate Kingdom, the one that began in the seventh century with Mohammed, and Israel's Islamic Movement headed by Kamal al-Khatib and Sheikh Raed Salah.

The Hebrew Israeli media barely mentioned al-Khatib's speech. Oudeh Basharat attacked him in Haaretz (27.10.14): " Are we going to establish a modesty patrol that will punish women who do not wear burqas? Will we have a network of spies who will keep track of citizens' intimate lives, and eventually stone women who do not adhere to their moral strictures? Is there going to be a marketplace for female slaves who will be sold to the highest bidder? Are we going to witness the beheading of nonbelievers in the town square? These are not exaggerations – this is what is happening right now wherever the Caliphate regime has taken over, right on the other side of the fence."

A major storm broke in Israel's Arab media as a result of al-Khatib's words, because the fact is that based on the victims of the Caliphate Kingdom in Syria and Iraq such a state's first and foremost victims would be "heretical" Israeli Arabs: Christian, Druze, Ahmadis. Balad party MK, Basel Ghattas, who is Christian, took part in the Jerusalem event, stood near al-Khatib, but did not react. Later, when the storm broke, Ghattas released the following statement: "Exclusionary (that is, of members of other religions) talk of Jerusalem as capital of the Islamic Caliphate weakens the unity of ranks necessary these days in order to resist Israeli plans. Instead of Jerusalem being a subject of Palestinian and Arab consensus, it becomes a place of division and religious conflict – something we really do not need." Others accused al-Khatib of kidnapping the Palestinian national struggle and turning it into a Muslim religious struggle.

Al-Khatib was shocked by the negative reactions aroused by his words among Arab Israelis, and released the following statement: "I understand that some people have only a superficial understanding of history, because the concept of an Islamic Caliphate is not part of IS or any other organizations. This concept comes from an early period in Islamic history that will return in the future. In the past, the Islamic Caliphate arose after the death of the Prophet Mohammed, may Allah pray for him and grant him peace, and the Muslim Caliphs in the Caliphate were Umar ibn al-Khattab, Uthman ibn Affan and Ali ibn Abi Talib, may they rest in peace. (He forgot the first caliph, Abu Bakr).

"We, as Muslims, believe in the future of Islam no matter what is happening, and an Islamic state will return once again and Jerusalem will be its capital.  This is expressed in our confidence that the Israeli occupation will disappear, this is not just a hope or supplication on our part, but the words of the Prophet, who said that one day Jerusalem will be the location of the Islamic Caliphate. Those who thought I was talking about Islamic State (IS) – and I am speaking from the heart of Jerusalem and the Al Aksa Mosque – sadly, are saying this because of their superficiality and ignorance in understanding history, which led them to connect my words with what is happening in Iraq and Syria and the organization called IS."  

Al-Khatib continued: "There is no connection between what I said and what is happening there (in Syria and Iraq) and our clear position as the Islamic Movement about the actions of this organization is public knowledge... the real terrorists in this world are those who lead the 'Anti-terrorist Alliance': America is the prime terrorist that killed ten thousand (maybe he means ten million?) Indians, the terrorist that wiped out two major Japanese cities with atom bombs. The real terrorist is Netanyahu and his government who destroyed 40,000 homes in Gaza and murdered 2,200 of its citizens. The real terrorist in this world is Bashar Assad who has murdered 300,000 Syrian citizens because they demanded liberty and has now turned into a partner in the global alliance against terrorism.  The real terrorist is Abed Al Fattah el Sisi (note the missing word, 'President') who killed more than 4,000 Egyptians in five hours and is now a member of the global alliance against terrorism."

It is quite possible that Kamal al-Khatib is convinced that the historic Islamic State about which he speaks is not like the Islamic State that arose last year in Syria and Iraq. The problem with what he is saying is that the Islamic history books, written by Muslims, recorded the Caliphate Kingdom of the seventh century and the way its rulers dealt with conquered people and their armies – and these are uncannily similar to what is happening today in Syria and Iraq.

Can it be that it is Sheikh Kamal al-Khatib who does not understand history?

Mordechai Kedar


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