Friday, April 24, 2015

Kurdish-Iraqi Writer: The Palestinians Should Extend A Friendly Hand To Israel - MEMRI


In his column on the liberal website, Kurdish-Iraqi writer Mehdi Majid 'Abdallah called on the Palestinians and the Arabs in general to renounce the terrorism of Hamas and to extend a friendly hand to Israel. He wrote that, since its founding, Israel has been facing terrorism labeled as "resistance," and that today it is defending itself against Hamas, which is firing rockets on its civilian population. He added that Hamas, rather than Israel, was responsible for the death of innocent Palestinians, whereas Israel extended medical treatment to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. The following are excerpts from his column:[1]  

Mehdi Majid 'Abdallah 

"Ever since its founding in the late 1940s, the young state of Israel has been facing constant terror labeled as 'resistance.' I do not mean to say that all Palestinians are terrorists, for some of them love life and prefer the culture of peace and to live in peace and security alongside Israel. I do not know if Hamas, when it fires its rockets randomly into Israeli cities, thinks of the fact that they will hit women and children who have done nothing wrong other than choose to live in the land that was stolen from them thousands of years ago and has now been restored to them. [Today] they wish to build this land, but Palestinian terrorism constantly sabotages their livelihood, their development [efforts] and their prosperity. Whether we like it or not, the land on which the Palestinians live belongs to the Jews, and there is historic and religious evidence of this, both Islamic and non-Islamic. I shall not present it here, but the reader is welcome to search the Internet and find plenty of proof for what I say.

"Today the Palestinians have begun to understand that Hamas is a serious liability and a terrorist movement. That is why we saw no significant Palestinian opposition to the international and Arab decisions to designate Hamas a terror organization. The glamour of so-called 'resistance' faded after the deeds of its leaders and perpetrators were exposed, and [now] they no longer convince any intelligent person. 

"Hamas leader Isma'il Haniya is always calling to boycott Israel, eliminate it and destroy it, and is always urging the Palestinians not to maintain any ties with it, in any domain. He has even sent thousands of young Palestinians to die [for this cause]. But when his sister, his daughter and some other members of his family fell ill, one after the other, we immediately saw him send them to the best hospitals in Tel Aviv, where they received treatment before being sent back to Gaza unharmed. Why [were they sent back unharmed]? If Israel was [really] a murderer of Palestinian women and children, as the Arab media falsely maintains, it would have regarded Haniya's relatives as choice prey. If Israel [really] wanted to exterminate the Palestinians, as the Arabs and Muslims falsely maintain, why didn't it have Haniya's sister and daughter killed or raped?

"Instead of [taking] the funds that are given to the Palestinian people and investing them in the poor and the needy, Hamas and other Gazan movements rush [to invest them in] the building of secret tunnels and passages for purposes of terror...

"According to a UN report, in 2008 Israel, which the Palestinians claim murders innocent children, took in 144,838 Palestinians for purposes of medical treatment. In 2009 this figure grew by 20%, reaching 172, 863, in 2010 it reached 175,151, in 2011 it grew by 13%, reaching 197,713, and in 2012 it reached 210,469. I wonder if any Arab country would do the same for Israelis?

"The Palestinian women and children who are killed in the Israeli army's defensive war against Hamas are not killed deliberately. They are collateral damage, for any war has innocent victims. Israel knows this well, as evidenced by the fact that, after every defensive military operation, it apologizes for the [death of] innocent victims and compensates their families morally and financially. Were it not for the reckless actions of Hamas, which constantly fires rockets into extensive parts of Israel [where] peaceful [people live], there would have been no innocent victims, because Israel's actions are directed against the terrorists.

"It is time that the Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians, who are deceived and drugged by false and baseless slogans, wake up and extend a friendly hand to Israel, so that peace and security can prevail and everyone can live in peace. Every decent Palestine should oppose Hamas and its terrorism against Israel. If the Palestinians want to avoid being harmed by Israeli fire, they should prevent Hamas from using their homes, mosques and schools [as bases from which] to launch its terrorist rockets at Israel."     

[1], December 4, 2014.


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The Academic War on Israel - Denis MacEoin

by Denis MacEoin

A generation of students is growing up learning to tolerate -- and consider normal -- bias, falsehood, prejudice, and the runaway politicization of teachers and student thugs permitting only one-sided arguments.

America's President Barack Obama has declared war on Israel. The animosity between Obama and his administration toward Israel and its newly re-elected leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been growing for years; it reached crisis point after Netanyahu's address to the U.S. Congress and news of his resounding victory in the March elections.

This does not mean that the United States, as a whole, shares this animosity or is bent on abandoning a vulnerable and beleaguered democracy to its host of violent and uncompromising predators. Polls show it does not.

But wars against Israel are nothing new. In 1947, months before the country was even declared independent, Arabs launched a war that led uninterruptedly to a full-scale conflict in 1948. Since then, physical violence -- wars and individual terrorist attacks -- against the State of Israel has been a feature of everyday life for Israelis, with Jews as the principal targets. No legally established, democratic country has ever been faced with so great a lust for its destruction and so many assaults on its people. It is singled out by a United Nations dominated by Muslim states and their allies; and now, bewilderingly, by the president of the one country on whom Israelis have always depended for moral and material support.

Of course, not even Obama is likely to wage war directly on Israel by sending in armed forces, but he is making life easier for Israel's sworn enemies, notably Iran, to think they can use their monstrous banks of armaments to launch just such an attack without fearing U.S. intervention.

As the Middle East collapses all around Israel, as jihadi factions grow bolder and more barbaric, and as Iran spreads its reach into Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, Israel has become the canary in the West's coal mine.

In addition to that, there is now the subversion of Israel's very right to exist through "lawfare," (the frivolous or malicious use of the law for political manipulation); UN Human Rights Commission distortions, and, in many ways the most chilling: the work of teachers and students in Western universities to boycott, divest from and sanction (BDS) Israel.

Followers of Campus Watch or International Academic Friends of Israel, and readers of the essays in The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel (Wayne University Press, 2015) will be only too painfully aware of the decidedly unacademic raw Jew-hatred, posing as anti-Zionism, that has spread across university campuses throughout the United States, Europe and the West, particularly in the UK, Australia, Canada and elsewhere. Hate speech, disruption of lectures, demonstrations, expulsions and grotesquely one-sided lectures, papers and books have replaced the free speech, open debate, and academic neutrality that once characterized all universities within the Western tradition.

A generation of students is growing up learning to tolerate – and consider normal -- bias, falsehood and the runaway politicization of teachers and student thugs permitting only one-sided arguments. Many members of the faculty, radical Muslim teachers, and student thugs permit only one-sided arguments. It has become unpleasant, even a risk, for pro-Israel and Jewish students, such as Daniel Mael at Brandeis University, to lift their heads above the parapet.

In the UK, anti-Israel agitation has been not as violent but just as strong as in the US; and the BDS movement has been severe in many universities. For several years, the Association of University Teachers (AUT), the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) and the (later amalgamated) University and College Union passed boycott resolutions against Israeli academic institutions and individuals. The dominance of intolerantly "liberal" teachers in British educational circles has ensured a hindrance to open and civilized debate within the higher education sector as much as have the students.

Bias and intolerance have now moved in an even more alarming direction. From the 17th to the 19th of April this year, the Law School at Britain's Southampton University had planned to host a conference entitled, "International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism." This was not an internal event, nor was it restricted to academics from the UK. Southampton University is a founding institution in Britain's Russell Group of elite universities and regularly appears among the world's top 100 universities. It has been ranked as fifth in the UK; academics working there include Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web. Its Law School enjoys a worldwide reputation as one of the best in Britain. The conference was intended to be noticed far beyond the shores of the UK.

This global reach was indicated in the list of participants signed up to deliver papers there. Of those listed to give fifty-three papers over three days, eleven were Americans, one was from Singapore, two were from Canada, eight were from Israel, seven were from the West Bank (Judaea and Samaria), two were from Ireland, one was from Lebanon, one was from Austria, one was from Australia, and one was from the Netherlands. With an international roster such as this, you are looking at a major event that had taken over a year to plan. It was clearly an attempt to legitimize a gathering of the clan of the academic anti-Israel fraternity.

The university, after appeals from countless individuals and organizations, stated that it had cancelled the conference. Its organizers spent some £35,000 to ask for a judicial appeal in London's High Court, but on April 14, just days before the conference was due to start, Judge Alice Robinson refused their appeal and upheld the decision to close down the event. The university had argued (rather weakly, it must be said) that fears of violence by demonstrators and their opponents made it necessary to cancel on the grounds of security. Legally, this was probably the only option they had, but it is more than likely that, once serious objections were made and the real purpose of the conference disclosed, they decided that it the conference might well stain their reputation. Unsurprisingly, BDS supporters are already describing the cancellation as capitulation by the university to the "Israel Lobby." And the lawyer acting for the conference organizers, Mark McDonald, has already stated that they may now take their appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

Britain's Southampton University this month cancelled a conference dedicated to questioning the legitimacy of Israel, which had attracted Jew-haters and anti-Zionists, and was described by a prominent member of parliament as an "anti-Semitic hate-fest".

This will not be the last attempt to mount an anti-Israel conference in a university, whether in the UK, Europe, or North America. On April 15, the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University (a notoriously anti-Israel institution) announced an October conference entitled, "The Gaza Strip: History, Future and New Directions for Research," supposedly as a response to Israeli "onslaughts" on the Strip. There was no mention, of course, of the "onslaught" from Gaza on Israel of the thousands of rockets that had invited Israel's response.

It seems appropriate, however, to examine the real reasons why the Southampton conference should never have gone ahead within an academic context in the first place. To begin with, look closely at the participants, at the titles of most of the proposed papers, and at the deeply unbalanced Call for Papers that served to attract Jew-haters and anti-Zionists, and to repel all but a few supporters of Israel and its right to exist.

David Collier has done thorough research on the positions held by the participants in the conference. His list is available here. To simplify matters, 45 of those listed to speak have records of active involvement in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement; some of them had already been active in direct anti-Israel work. Four appear to be neutral. The imbalance is stupendous and makes it hard to believe this conference is simply an anti-Israel and, for some speakers, an "anti-Semitic hate-fest" (as the Tory Chief Whip, Michael Gove, described it recently at London's "We Believe in Israel" conference). Some are leading figures in the movement to defeat Israel and turn it into a Palestinian state. The best known of these is Richard Falk, a professor emeritus at Princeton University and one of the most notorious and outspoken enemies of Israel today. Falk has described the 9/11 atrocity as a conspiracy by the U.S. government; blamed the Boston Marathon bombing on the United States, and condemned Israel non-stop while working for the United Nations as the UN Special Rapporteur for Palestinian Human Rights.

Others stand out for their much-publicized anti-Israel (and, frankly, anti-Semitic) views. Who has not heard of Ilan Pappé, an Israeli who now holds a professorship in Arabic and Islamic Studies at Exeter University, but who has been described as "one of the world's sloppiest historians". His book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, has been widely criticized as a biased and inaccurate work that squeezes data to fit the author's narrative, rather than using it objectively to question existing assumptions. His hatred for his own country motivates everything he writes about it.

Dr. Ghada Karmi from the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies in the University of Essex is a Palestinian medical doctor, an activist for the Palestinian cause, and a serial hater of Israel who has called for the destruction of the Jewish state. She has written thus about the country: "...Israel, from its inception in 1948, has been given the most wonderful opportunity to behave itself, and it clearly has not done so. It's flouted every single law, it's behaved outrageously, it's made a travesty of international and humanitarian law. On what basis should this state continue to be a member of the United Nations?" Apart from refusing to look at any combative behavior from Palestinians, or the many refusals by Palestinians to reject Israel's offer a Palestinian state, since when is a medical doctor an authority on international law?

One should look not just at the identities of the participants, but also at the titles of many of the papers they were to present. Here are a few. Do not forget to notice the strangled pseudo-academic language in which some are dressed.
  • "Maximum Land, Minimum Arabs: Zionist colonization strategies in Palestine" (Nur Masalha).
  • "Two Peoples, One Future?: Mutual Self-Determination After the Defeat of Actually Existing Zionism" (Brad Roth).
  • "Law, Race & Resistance: The State of Emergency as Apartheid Legality" (John Reynolds).
  • "Responsibilities for the Gross Human Rights Violations" (Anthony Löwstedt).
  • "Can the Configuration of a political community amount to an International Crime?: reflections on Originary Apartheid, Legalism and Ethical Reflection" (Oren Ben-Dor, the conference organizer).
  • "How Legitimate is Israeli Statehood? Factors and implications of the UN creation of Israel" (Ghada Karmi).
  • "The Israeli Legal System: The practice and ideology of eternalizing the occupation" (Lea Tsemel).
  • "The Legal Infrastructure of Domination and Dispossession: An Appraisal of Israel's Contemporary Territorial Regime in Historic Palestine" (Valentina Azarova).
  • "The Case of a State that Refuses the Responsibility Inherent in Statehood" (Yoella Har-Shefi).
  • "The Melting Pot of Hatred, or On the Lives of Zionist Practitioners" (Marcelo Svirsky).
  • "Israel's Settler Colonialism, Stolen Childhood, and the Creation of Death Zones" (Nader Shalhoub-Kevorkian).
  • "We Fight, Therefore We Are! A Muslim De-Colonial Critique of Zionist Epistemology" (Hatem Bazian).
These examples should be enough to identify the extraordinary bias inherent in the conference. The language is typical, not of balanced academic enquiry but of pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel and BDS propaganda. The university's original refusal to respond to calls to cancel, or move the conference to a more neutral venue, fell painfully short of any recognition of how damaging such a farcical event would have been (and actually has been). The administration ignored arguments that lacked bias, and argued that the conference must be allowed to take place based on considerations of free speech. And this is the argument that the conference's supporters have been using ever since, even more since the ban. But that is also false. Most of those who have appealed to the administration have asked, not for an outright ban -- which would indeed go against the principles of free speech -- but for relocation, which is quite different.

It is worth saying in passing that the Call for Papers is, in itself, a very unacademic document. Rather than analyse it in any detail, let me cite just one thing. In just three pages, the Call refers no fewer than seven times to an entity they term "historic Palestine". But the term is meaningless. There is certainly no legal definition of what is meant by "historic Palestine." The region that covers today's West Bank, Israel, Gaza, and Jordan was for centuries the southern half of the Ottoman province of Syria. In 1920, the League of Nations established a British Mandate for Palestine, and in 1922 approved a separate British administration for Transjordan. Between 1923, when the Mandate came into effect, and 1948, when the British withdrew, there was a territory known as Palestine, in which everyone – Christian, Jew and Arab -- was listed on his passport as Palestinian. Is this the "historic Palestine" to which the Call refers? Or does this include the Mandate territory of Transjordan, as the British Colonial Office suggested in 1921? Or is it a fictitious Palestine stretching back to ancient times, as the term is used by the Palestinians and their supporters themselves?

To leave this point so poorly defined makes it hard for a historian such as myself, or a legal scholar, to advance any arguments that might relate to the identity of "historic" Palestine, a name invented in the year 70 AD by the Roman Emperor Hadrian. This alone exposes the conference to a charge of academic dishonesty.

UK Lawyers for Israel, a collective of British lawyers who volunteer to use their legal skills to defend and advocate for Israel, took up the matter of the conference with the university, using arguments based on the Call for Papers. Its secretary and treasurer, David Lewis, wrote a long letter to the Vice Chancellor, in which he noted, among other things that:
It is clear from even the most cursory reading of the Call for Papers that it has been written in a way that could almost have been designed, and probably was designed, to deter supporters of Israel from presenting papers at the conference. In fact we find it mystifying that this inherent bias should have escaped the University when it approved the conference. And if the University gave its approval before even seeing the Call for Papers, then it certainly should not have done so. ...
Analysis of the Call for Papers is difficult because large chunks of it are almost incomprehensible. But it clearly states as incontrovertible facts -- most of which are perfectly controvertible -- that the State of Israel depended for its "initial existence" on a "unilateral" declaration of independence; that Arabs were expelled in 1947-49; that the Jewish nature of the state has profoundly affected the lives of Israeli Arabs (described as "non-Jewish Arabs who were allowed to stay"); that Jewish nationality bestows vital privileges ("constitutionally entrenched, privileged citizenship to Jews"); that there are two layers of Israeli citizenship; that there is an inherent differential between Jews and non-Jews; that Israeli settlements are illegal; that there is or was "apartheid colonisation" of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza; that there are "constitutional challenges of equal citizenship;" and that Israel inflicts "structured suffering" on the "non-Jewish Palestinian Arabs."
The three main "pillar-themes" which the conference is intended to link repeat some of these statements. They further state or assume: that:
~ There is such a thing or place as "Historic Palestine" and that Israel exists in that place;
~ That Israel has an "inbuilt non-egalitarian basis" and that the State of Israel is an unjust regime; and (to provide a little variety)
~ That the United States and Australia were established as a consequence [sic] of "extreme violence towards indigenous populations."
One letter sent to this author and cited here with permission, said:
We have to hope... that the academic and legal arguments were the true factors that swayed the university authorities. It is a pity they have not admitted this openly. They have used a face-saving argument rather than confess that the conference was ill-conceived from the beginning and that they had been careless to approve it....
A precedent has been set. Israel haters who try to use the mask of academic enquiry to cover up an extreme political position must accept that the cancellation of the Southampton conference has sent out a message to universities everywhere. Ilan Pappé, Oren Ben Dor, Richard Falk, Ghadi Karmi and hundreds of other academic anti-Israel fanatics will not stop their efforts as a result. No doubt, they will intensify them. But the writing is on the wall: keep your politics out of the groves of academe.

Dr. Denis MacEoin taught Arabic and Islamic Studies at a British university, has written numerous books, articles, and major encyclopedia entries in his field. He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.

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China reportedly issues new warning over North Korean nuclear production -


"I’m concerned that by 20, they actually have a nuclear arsenal," Hecker said. "The more they believe they have a fully functional nuclear arsenal and deterrent, the more difficult it’s going to be to walk them back from that."


Chinese nuclear experts reportedly warned the U.S. earlier this year that North Korea's nuclear arsenal is larger than previously estimated, creating a heightened security threat to the U.S. and its East Asian allies. 

The Wall Street Journal reported late Wednesday that by Beijing's estimate, North Korea may already have manufactured 20 nuclear warheads and is capable of producing enough weapons-grade uranium to double that amount by next year. U.S. experts have previously estimated that North Korea has between 10 and 16 nuclear weapons.

The Chinese estimates were presented to U.S. nuclear specialists at a closed-door meeting at the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing this past February. The Journal reported that Chinese military representatives and experts on the North's nuclear program were at the meeting. 

Siegfried Hecker, a Stanford University professor and former head of the Los Alamos National Laboratory who attended the February meeting, told the Journal that estimates about North Korea's nuclear program involved a sizable amount of guesswork. He estimated that North Korea currently could have no more than 12 weapons, and as many as 20 in 2016.

"I’m concerned that by 20, they actually have a nuclear arsenal," Hecker said. "The more they believe they have a fully functional nuclear arsenal and deterrent, the more difficult it’s going to be to walk them back from that."

Washington has not had high-level talks with Pyongyang since 2012, when North Korea conducted a banned nuclear missile test. In the intervening time, the U.S. has relied on China to use its economic leverage to put pressure on the impoverished nation's missile program while the Obama administration works toward a nuclear deal with Iran. 

However, the Journal reports that relations between China and North Korea have deteriorated since the death of dictator Kim Jong Il in 2011 and the ascension of Xi Jinping to China's leadership the following year.

The Journal report comes a day after the U.S. envoy to the long-stalled six-nation talks said that North Korea should learn from the emerging nuclear deal with Iran that Washington is willing to engage its adversaries if it has a "credible" negotiating partner.

"The entire international community is looking for this type of policy shift in Pyongyang, and that policy shift would be positively responded to," Sydney Seiler told a Washington think tank Tuesday.

But Seiler said there was no sign in two years that Pyongyang is willing to denuclearize, adding that the country would need to halt its nuclear program and missile launches while any talks are underway.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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Obama: We need perspective in assessing violent acts in today's world - Real Clear Politics

by Real Clear Politics

President Obama talks about tumult in the world in an interview with Chris Matthews of MSNBC.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: But I always tell people we have to maintain some perspective on this. The Middle East and North Africa are going through changes that we haven't seen in our generation. I think the Islamic world is going through a process where they have to isolate and push out the kind of extremism that we've seen expressed by ISIL. And that's a generational project.

What our job is in the meantime is to make sure that we are protecting Americans, we're protecting our interests, that we're maintaining things like freedom of navigation and that we're partnering with the best elements of those communities in order to be successful.

It’s going to take some time but I remind people that you know, there actually is probably less war and less violence around the world today than there might have been 30-40 years ago. It doesn’t make it any less painful. But things can get better. We just have to be vigilant and we have to have strong partners.

Real Clear Politics


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Clinton charities now re-filing years of tax returns after Reuters found 'errors' - Ed Lasky

by Ed Lasky

In the wake of reports of pay-to-play donations made to the foundation from rogue nations and Iranian sanction busters, Reuters has investigated the disclosures made by the foundation for years and found them wanting.

Clinton rules mean they feel entitled to …well…everything.

Now that Hillary Clinton has announced her candidacy, even the mainstream media has started to raise questions regarding the Clinton Foundation. In the wake of reports of pay-to-play donations made to the foundation from rogue nations and Iranian sanction busters, Reuters has investigated the disclosures made by the foundation for years and found them wanting.

From Jonathan Allen:
Hillary Clinton's family's charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns after a Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments, and said they may audit other Clinton Foundation returns in case of other errors.
The foundation and its list of donors have been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks. Republican critics say the foundation makes Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, vulnerable to undue influence. Her campaign team calls these claims "absurd conspiracy theories."
The charities' errors generally take the form of under-reporting or over-reporting, by millions of dollars, donations from foreign governments, or in other instances omitting to break out government donations entirely when reporting revenue, the charities confirmed to Reuters.
The errors, which have not been previously reported, appear on the form 990s that all non-profit organizations must file annually with the Internal Revenue Service to maintain their tax-exempt status. A charity must show copies of the forms to anyone who wants to see them to understand how the charity raises and spends money. (snip)
For three years in a row beginning in 2010, the Clinton Foundation reported to the IRS that it received zero in funds from foreign and U.S. governments, a dramatic fall-off from the tens of millions of dollars in foreign government contributions reported in preceding years.
Those entries were errors, according to the foundation: several foreign governments continued to give tens of millions of dollars toward the foundation's work on climate change and economic development through this three-year period. Those governments were identified on the foundation's annually updated donor list, along with broad indications of how much each had cumulatively given since they began donating.
So the foundation was reasonably transparent until 2010 and then went “dark” when it came to donations from foreign governments. These types of donations have become controversial since they include donations from governments run by dictators and human rights violators -- including regimes that oppress women, gays and minorities. They also include donations from governments that are unfriendly to America -- but, apparently, friendly to the Clintons.

The fact that the disclosures stopped in 2010 suggests the foundation changed its policies reporting tax returns as Hillary Clinton approached the “start date” of announcing her campaign fro presidency.

The foundation has always been a way to enrich the Clintons and as a way to park and pay for staffers for the unofficial Hillary for President campaign. So, in essence, foreigners were funding a de facto Hillary campaign effort.

Ed Lasky


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Cartoons In Arab Press Following Lausanne Statement Reflect Anger, Disappointment and Fear of Iran - MEMRI


The joint statement by Iran and the superpowers following the round of nuclear talks in Lausanne, Switzerland on April 3, 2015 sparked widespread reactions in the Arab press, including in political cartoons. The vast majority of the cartoons expressed anger and disappointment with the statement and the nuclear horizons it opened to Iran, as well as fear of the consequences it would have for the power balance between Iran and Arab states, and of Iran's intentions and actions. The cartoons also express harsh criticism of President Obama for his Middle East policy and for getting close to the Iranian regime.

Anger At The Obama Administration For Granting Nukes To Iran, And At The U.S. For Getting Close To Iran

"U.S., Iran Getting close: The Great Satan has become the Great Friend" (Al-Madina, Saudi Arabia, April 7, 2015)

Obama outlines Iranian nukes (Al-Khaleej, UAE, April 6, 2015)

Obama's "Middle East policy" of lies gives him an Iranian turban (Source: Al-Hayat, London, April 8, 2015)

"Iranian nuclear negotiations" – Teacher Kerry pleased with Iranian student's solution (Source: Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 3, 2015)

U.S. and Iran carve message of love onto nuclear bomb (Source: Al-Raya, Qatar, April 6, 2015)

The Iran-U.S. deal – a "surreal marriage" (Source: Akhbar Al-Kahleej, Bahrain, April 6, 2015)

The false Iranian-American friendship (Source: Al-Hayat, London, April 6, 2015)

Arab Countries' Fear Of Iranian Intentions And The Agreement's Effect On Them

"Iran's nuclear reactors" [gloves read "dammar" (destruction) and "hell"] (Source: Al-Madina, Saudi Arabia, April 11, 2015)

"Iran after the nuclear agreement" (Source: Mecca, Saudi Arabia, April 5, 2015)

The policy of "exporting the [Iranian] revolution" sets the world on fire with nuclear explosions in the background (Source: Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 5, 2015)

"Nuclear agreement between Iran and the superpowers": West unleashes Iranian attack dog on "the Arab world" (Source:, April 11, 2015)

"Framework agreement between Iran and U.S." traps Arab countries (Source:, April 7, 2015) what is he saying?

As U.S. concentrates on the agreement, Iran clutches dagger and plan for "Arab countries" (Source:, April 7, 2015)

"Iran's dream": Nuclear agreement allows it to control "the Middle East" via remote control (Source: Mecca, Saudi Arabia, April 6, 2015)

Iran as a nuclear scarecrow standing on an American pedestal in Yemen and casting a shadow on the Arab world (Source: Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 4, 2015)



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Are Jews Finally Finding a New Home with the GOP? - Lauri B. Regan

by Lauri B. Regan

Thankfully, we are finding that Jews are discarding lifelong ideological motivations at the polls when confronted with politicians who threaten the survival of their people.  American Jews are finally foregoing their dedication to abortion rights and reprioritizing their voting issues as they watch the Democrats move away from support of Israel and our country’s national security.

Political analysts have been talking quite a bit about a new Gallup poll reflecting declining support of Obama among American Jews.  While 54% of American Jews still support Obama, that number has decreased from 77% in 2009 and 65% in 2013, falling to an all-time low of 50% in March.  Gallup views the implications of this as follows:
American Jews are more than twice as likely to identify as Democrats than as Republicans, and this partisan skew is reflected in Obama's job approval ratings. Jews continue to approve of the job Obama is doing at a higher level than the national average, although the evidence suggests that this advantage among Jews is narrowing. How much further this gap may shrink in the months ahead remains to be seen, and will depend in part on the future of the relationship between Obama and Israeli leadership. This in turn will reflect the status of the pending agreement with Iran that would restrict that country's nuclear activity in return for a further loosening of economic sanctions. Other administration actions relating to Israel, including support for a possible two-state solution to the Palestinian situation, could also affect Jewish attitudes toward the president going forward.
While it appears that Obama’s anti-Israel policies may finally be taking their toll as American Jews slowly shake off the effects of the Kool-Aid, the real question is whether that toll will lead to this demographic voting for Republican candidates who understand the moral imperative of unconditional support for Israel and her relationship with the United States.

There appears to be some hope in this regard.  Two recent fundraisers in New York City perhaps represent a growing trend due to Obama’s divisive politics and partisan gamesmanship over Israel.  Last week, a bipartisan group of Jewish business leaders attended a fundraiser for Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) who serves as the chairman of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee.  Hosted by Manhattan real estate developer and hotelier Ian Reisner, the fundraiser attracted both Republicans and Democrats concerned about the long-term implications of Obama’s domestic and foreign policy failures.

Reisner, who has supported Jewish causes since his first trip to Israel in 2000, explained, “We are not too far from history to be wary of politicians who make bad decisions that threaten our lives. The deal with Iran concerns me. Anti-Semitic murder in Paris and Copenhagen concerns me. Bringing Senator Johnson to New York to discuss foreign policy and security will help educate my close friends about these very real issues.”

Earlier this week, the Endowment for Middle East Truth, a non-partisan Washington-based think-tank unapologetically pro-America and pro-Israel, hosted a luncheon for Representative Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) that was also attended by both Republican and Democratic Jews.  Calling Israel a “profound miracle” and recognizing that it is “at the fulcrum of the human universe,” the congressman spoke at length about his support for Israel and his concern for her safety as well as the national security of the United States, which he understood as being integrally tied to Israel’s survival.  “I believe that Israel helps America more than America helps Israel. I believe when America steps away from Israel, we’re hurting America profoundly.”

When asked whether Obama has successfully turned Israel into a partisan issue, Rep. Franks noted that “Republicans are by and large pro-Israel. The Democrat party is starting to fall off in a bad direction…it frightens me.”  He added, “If it becomes a partisan issue, that becomes very dangerous.”

Like Reisner, I have attempted to educate American Jews about the anti-Israel positions of the Democratic Party.  Perhaps this uphill battle is beginning to have an incremental impact on Jewish voters.  A liberal Jewish friend who celebrated Obama’s 2008 win with champagne voted for Romney in 2012.  He explained how difficult that was for him, since he had never before voted for a Republican and had been emotionally invested in Obama’s success.  Thankfully, we are finding that Jews are discarding lifelong ideological motivations at the polls when confronted with politicians who threaten the survival of their people.  American Jews are finally foregoing their dedication to abortion rights and reprioritizing their voting issues as they watch the Democrats move away from support of Israel and our country’s national security.

Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, a prominent New York businessman, Republican, and staunch Israel supporter, recently sent out an appeal asking for individuals to donate to the legal defense fund of Democrat Senator Robert Menendez.  Menendez was targeted by Obama’s Justice Department at the exact time that he was pursuing legislation that would stem Iran’s ability to acquire nuclear weapons – something that is at odds with Obama’s desire to allow the Islamic Republic to in fact do just that.  Wiesenfeld stated:
[L]ife has very few genuine coincidences. The idea that a man like Senator Menendez, who has a liquid net worth of under $100,000 and lives in a house valued at less than $500,000 is targeted just one week after defending our ancestral homeland - Israel - from dangerous and foolish Iran policies of the president is an abuse of our justice system.
While Republicans have no issue crossing the party line in order to support politicians who defend Israel, Democrats have been reluctant to do so.  Even the fiasco at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, at which the delegates booed the inclusion of a unified Jerusalem in their party platform, did not scare the vast majority of American Jews away from voting for Obama and his anti-Israel agenda.  EMET’s founder and president, Sarah Stern, observed:
At this point, Jews who do have some sense of Jewish history, Jewish identity and Jewish consciousness are beginning to wake up and smell the hummus. They are realizing that although there are some Democrats who still care about Israel’s survival, they are the exception to the rule. The vast majority of Republicans understand that there is a distinction between a fellow democracy with a respect for human rights and the rule of law and the vast majority of its Arab neighbors, while the Democratic Party has mostly been high-jacked by the extreme left. One would hope that now that Obama has so clearly thrown Israel under the bus, more Jews have finally begun to wake up.
Perhaps hearing an Iranian military chief announce (in the midst of Obama granting concession after concession in order to reach a deal that would allow Iran to go nuclear in the coming years) that “erasing Israel off the map” is “non-negotiable” has jarred some of these Jewish Democrats into an awakening of sorts.  But the question remains whether these same Jewish Democrats who are beginning to support Republican congresspersons will vote for the 2016 presidential candidate who most supports Israel and strong American national security.  That will not be Hillary Clinton or any of the other current possible Democrat candidates.

There is a scene in the movie Woman in Gold, currently in theaters, in which two Austrian Jewish brothers discuss leaving just prior to the Nazi invasion.  One brother explains that it is time to go, while the other puts his head in the sand, believing that the imminent evil will not arrive in his beautiful and safe homeland.  American Jews are at a crossroads.  They can support Democrats and remain members of the National Jewish Democratic Council, the Jewish group that recently denounced Senator Marco Rubio for supporting Israel.  Or they can give up their ideological blinders, reassess their values – both as Jews and Americans – and vote for the political party home to Israel’s staunchest supporters.

Republicans have laid out the welcome mat and will receive American Jews with open arms, just as Israel will provide a home for Jews when the world threatens their survival. The choice is stark for those who understand just how dire a situation the Obama administration has created for Israel and the Jewish people.  Thankfully, American Jews have begun to take their heads out of the sand and are opting for survival by moving to the right side of the aisle – both literally and figuratively.

i I serve on the board and am of the New York chapter president of EMET.

Lauri B. Regan


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No Racism in Turkey! - Burak Bekdil

by Burak Bekdil

When asked to name the world's most violent religion, 45% of Turks cited Christianity and 41% cited Judaism, with only 2% saying it was Islam.
So there is no racism in turkey. Nice. But Google will produce 12.2 million results if one types in "Turkey" and "racism."
"Unfortunately, Turkish Jews, who have been considered as having organic ties to Israel, are labeled as foreigners. Thus, they are subject to hate speech and threats almost on a daily basis whenever there is a crisis between Israel and Palestine." — Selin Nasi, journalist, Salom.
"We celebrate the 100th anniversary of our country being cleansed of [Christian] Armenians." — Banners in several cities of Turkey "celebrating" the Armenian genocide in Turkey, February 2015.

Ostensibly, it was a merry event. A week before Passover, hundreds of Turkish Jews from Istanbul gathered in the western city of Edirne for the reopening of the Great Synagogue, which had closed its doors in 1969 and had remained a ruin since then, until it was recently restored.

In the days after the high-profile ceremony, the Great Synagogue would go back to its quieter days, as there are no longer Jews in Edirne, and only 17,000 in the whole of Turkey.

Turkey's notoriously anti-Semitic and Islamist government did its best to entertain the congregation by sending two bigwigs to the ceremony. One of them, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, made a speech that, otherwise, could have caused bursts of laughter at the synagogue. "Thank God," he said, "There is no anti-Semitism in Turkey." His next remarks showed even darker humor. He said: "There is no racism in Turkey; it has never found a base for its roots. When we look at Europe and other countries we see how far behind us they are, and we feel really sorry."

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc speaks at the reopening of the Great Synagogue Edirne, where he declared, "There is no anti-Semitism in Turkey." Many so wished to believe him.

The second official guest at the ceremony, Governor Dursun Sahin, is no stranger to readers of this journal. Last November, Sahin threatened to forbid post-restoration prayers at the Great Synagogue and turn it, instead, into a museum.

He said he would not allow prayers at the synagogue because Israeli security forces had attacked the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Then he admitted his "huge hatred:"
"While those bandits [Israeli security forces] blow winds of war inside al-Aqsa and slay Muslims, we build their synagogues. I say this with a huge hatred inside me. We clean their [Jewish] graveyards, send their projects to boards. But the synagogue here will be registered only as a museum, and there will be no exhibitions inside it."
Selin Nasi, a journalist from Salom, a Jewish newspaper in Istanbul, who covered the reopening, wrote that: "Unfortunately, Turkish Jews, who have been considered as having organic ties to Israel, are labeled as foreigners. Thus, they are subject to hate speech and threats almost on a daily basis whenever there is a crisis between Israel and Palestine ... The crowds that filled the synagogue genuinely wanted to believe in Arinc."

How could they? Only a few months ago, a schoolteacher was caught having hung a signpost at the gate of the Neve Salom synagogue in Istanbul that read: "Building to be destroyed." The man was not prosecuted.

So, there is no racism in Turkey. Nice. But Google will produce 12.2 million results if one types "Turkey" and "racism." Wikipedia has a rich text on "Racism in Turkey," with facts, figures and a couple of photos. One photo, for instance, shows the slogan "Long Live Racist Turkey" spray-painted by unidentified people on the walls of an Armenian church in Istanbul. Another reads, "You Are Either a Turk, or a Bastard," near the wall of another Armenian church in Istanbul. In February, banners "celebrating" the Armenian genocide were spotted in several cities throughout Turkey. They declared: "We celebrate the 100th anniversary of our country being cleansed of [Christian] Armenians. We are proud of our glorious ancestors."

A 2004 dispatch penned by an official from the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, leaked by WikiLeaks, observed that a campaign against a Turkish Armenian journalist (who would be murdered in 2007) "exposed an ugly streak of racism in Turkish society."

Just last August, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (then Prime Minister), in a televised interview on NTV news network, clearly remarked that being Armenian is "uglier" than even being Georgian. He said: "You wouldn't believe the things they have said about me. They have said I am Georgian... they have said even uglier things -- they have called me Armenian."

There is credible research, too. In 2011, the Pew Global Attitudes and Trends survey found that only 6% of Turks had a favorable opinion of Christians, and 4% of them had favorable opinion of Jews. A few years earlier, in 2006, the numbers had been 16% and 15%, respectively.

The Pew survey also found that 72% of Turks viewed Americans as hostile, and 70% of them viewed Europeans as hostile. When asked to name the world's most violent religion, 45% of Turks cited Christianity and 41% cited Judaism, with only 2% saying it was Islam. Not surprisingly, 65% of Turks said the Westerners were "immoral."

Deputy Prime Minister Arinc may enjoy his time in his make-believe world where "there is no racism" and "we are sorry for the Europeans." But facts are facts. And they often ridicule politicians who speak claptrap.

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

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US Muslim Brotherhood Backs Turks on Armenian Genocide - Ryan Mauro

by Ryan Mauro

One mosque is even promoting a rally on Armenia Genocide Day to thank the Turkish government for its support of the Brotherhood.

Skulls of Armenians massacred in Urfa, surrounded by Armenian dignitaries and women from the women's shelter in Urfa's Monastery of St. Sarkis in June 1919. (Source: © Wikimedia Commons/AGBU)
Skulls of Armenians massacred in Urfa, surrounded by Armenian dignitaries and women from the women's shelter in Urfa's Monastery of St. Sarkis in June 1919. (Source: © Wikimedia Commons/AGBU)
The U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations, a coalition of groups linked to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, defended Turkey ahead of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day on Friday (April 24).

The Virginia-based Dar al-Hijrah mosque is going a step further and promoting a rally on that day to thank the Turkish government for its support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The coalition published a statement on Monday, April 20, opposing any recognition of the genocide of Armenian Christians in 1915 by the Ottoman Turks. The USCMO claims that there hasn't been a "proper investigation of these events by independent historians" and that the holiday risks alienating the Islamist government of Turkey.

The USCMO says it is "the largest umbrella group of mainstream Muslim American organizations." It includes the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America, Muslim American Society (MAS), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), the Muslim Legal Fund of America, the Muslim Ummah of North America, The Mosque Cares and, of course, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Additional Council members include the Mosque Foundation, Baitul Maal, the Islamic Center of Wheaton, United Muslim Relief and the American Muslim Alliance.

CAIR is recognized by the Justice Department as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity with Hamas links. The United Arab Emirates banned CAIR and MAS as terrorist groups last year. ICNA teaches subversion and has a war criminal as one of its leaders. The Daily Beast caught AMP condemning the U.S. government's outlawing of aid to "so-called terrorist organizations" and endorsing violence against Israel.

One of the leaders of USCMO, Mazen Mokhtar, was jailed on charges related to tax fraud, but the indictment laid out his connections to terrorism. He has declared support for Hamas and suicide bombings and ran a website that helped fundraise for Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

When an activist group named the United West approached Mokhtar on Capitol Hill during National Muslim Advocacy Day, he was asked about whether the Muslim Brotherhood exists in America. Moktar responded by repeatedly talking about how nice the weather was. Hussam Ayloush of CAIR responded similarly and said he did not know if the Brotherhood exists in America.

The USCMO statement praises Turkey as a member of NATO that "has taken on a unique regional and global leadership role in ensuring peace and prosperity for all."

Dar al-Hijrah, a large mosque with links to the Brotherhood and Hamas, sent a flyer to its membership promoting a rally on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day to thank the Turkish government for its "unwavering support of the oppressed people of the Middle East and around the world in their quest for 'freedom and democracy.'"

The Islamist government of Turkey hosts a Hamas terror network and is an unabashed supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. A "charity" banned as a terrorist front by Germany, Israel and the Netherlands continues to operate in Istanbul and has close ties to President Erdogan and his political party even though it has recruited human shields for Hamas.

The Turkish government is embroiled in a scandal due to its cover-up of its covert aid to Al-Qaeda's branch in Syria named Jabhat al-Nusra. In December, two dozen congressmen asked the Treasury Department to begin sanctioning Turkey for its sponsorship of terrorism.

Far from promoting moderation, the neo-Ottoman Islamism instilled by the Turkish government has resulted in skyrocketing anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism and support for terrorism.  Al-Qaeda's Syrian wing is the most popular Syrian rebel force in Turkey, with 40% favoring its victory. Another Islamist rebel group, the Islamic Front, comes in second with 24%.

The Erdogan government is also rolling back freedoms and clamping down on social media. It surpasses even North Korea as the number one jailer of journalists. A reporter was just convicted of the "crime" of "liking" a Facebook post denigrating President Erdogan.

That is the Islamist government that the USCMO and Dar al-Hijrah is so fond of.

The rally promoted by Dar al-Hijrah echoes the language that the Turkish government uses to characterize its support of the Brotherhood and Hamas. When President Erdogan, defends the Brotherhood in Egypt, even as it declares jihad, he says he is standing up for "freedom" and "democracy."

Islamists almost always use such appealing terminology while advancing their less appealing agenda. The Brotherhood's political wing in Egypt, for example, went by the name of the Freedom and Justice Party instead of its own name.

The flyer distributed by Dar al-Hijrah lists a website: The website is dedicated to denying that the Ottoman Turk massacre of Armenian Christians qualifies as genocide. That is the purpose of the walk.

Dar al-Hijrah was apparently uncomfortable with directly stating the purpose of the event. Readers are led to believe that the event is just about thanking Turkey for supporting freedom. Unmentioned is that the event's purpose is to push back against Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day and to express appreciation for Turkey's support for the Brotherhood and Hamas.

On Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, millions of Christians and non-Christians who care for human rights will reflect upon the innocent lives lost at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. These powerful Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups will spend their day differently. They will be busy downplaying the atrocity and praising Turkey for supporting the Islamist ideology that perpetrated it.

Ryan Mauro


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The Challenges of Retaining our Qualitative Edge - Brig. Gen. (res.) Asaf Agmon

by Brig. Gen. (res.) Asaf Agmon

Space and the “cyber warrior” begin to “threaten” that privileged status of the IAF, and this fact could have a far-reaching effect on the offensive operational capabilities of the most important tactical and strategic offensive arm of the State of Israel. It is essential that we consider this issue, and the sooner – the better.

In his lecture at the 10th Ilan Ramon International Space Conference last month, Maj. Gen. David J. Buck, Vice Commander of USAF Space Command, stressed that the three primary missions of Space Command are achieving victory in present wars/conflicts, preparing and deploying for the wars of the future and maintaining and developing the qualities of the personnel serving in Space Command.

Not surprisingly, despite the vast differences between the challenges facing the air and space arm of the State of Israel and those facing the air force of the world’s No.1 superpower, the USA, it is evident that the three challenges outlined above are precisely the three primary challenges facing us these days, right here in our own region.

The day-to-day challenges facing the defense establishment of the State of Israel do not leave any room for doubt as to the vital nature of the efforts made day after day, hour after hour for the purpose of ‘winning’ the present wars.

The IAF occupies a constantly-increasing share of the solutions IDF provides for the present threats. For this reason, IAF initiated a substantial change in its structure and in the capabilities of its operational staff – a change that would enable it to reflect the current operational concept of the force and its ability to execute the employment of the primary fire element of the State of Israel vis-à-vis the threats presented to us by Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south.

However, opposite all of the above, we must not ignore something that we encountered in the past, namely – the changes and developments on our enemies’ side. Our enemies, although they may be inferior as far as the resources available to them are concerned, developed and are still developing methods, weapon systems and combat elements that are based on correct lessons they had derived from their confrontations with us and from other confrontations in our region.

The needs of the hour call for a massive investment in this contest. Indeed, this effort currently occupies the best minds of the IDF generally and IAF in particular. 

It was enlightening to learn from the lecture of Maj. Gen. Buck how the USA understands that the technological advantages it currently possesses will not be sufficiently effective for the wars of the future unless it takes the essential measures required in order to retain its advantage. The investments currently made by the USA in space for the purpose of retaining its advantage into the future are simply amazing. The defense establishment of the USA realized that the advantage is there for the taking by the side that will more effectively combine and synchronize its military capabilities while leveraging its military achievements in a maximum number of realms (air, land, sea, space and cyberspace), accurately and timely.

At this point I would like to warn against the trend of decentralizing the responsibility for space and cyberspace in the IDF. The massive workload assigned to the IAF has led to a situation where the fields of space and cyberspace are not assigned the appropriate priority by the IAF, and in some areas, even on the organizational level, they were taken away from the responsibility of IAF.

The risk involved could have a profound effect. Firstly, an overriding principle mentioned as a primary factor that would lead to victory in future wars – the ability to combine and synchronize our capabilities in different fields, which we refer to as interoperability, will be severely undermined. Beyond that, the primary advantage of IAF is the fact that it maintains an offensive concept, which is so vital to the attainment of victory under the conditions in which our country operates, so these important fields must not be left in the hands of elements who naturally concentrate on defense or on the attainment of intelligence primarily.

The last – but by no means the least – risk is the fact that these fields draw the best young forces being recruited into military service. Until recently, IAF had the privilege of selecting the ”cream of the crop” of the new recruits, each and every year. Space and the “cyber warrior” begin to “threaten” that privileged status of the IAF, and this fact could have a far-reaching effect on the offensive operational capabilities of the most important tactical and strategic offensive arm of the State of Israel. It is essential that we consider this issue, and the sooner – the better.

Brig. Gen. (res.) Asaf Agmon


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