Saturday, April 30, 2016

Palestinians: University Students Vote For Terror - Khaled Abu Toameh

by Khaled Abu Toameh

Both Hamas and the PFLP are strongly opposed to any peace process with Israel. They continue to call for terror attacks against Israelis. The results of the election mean that most of the students at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank, not Gaza, support groups that have chosen terrorism over peace.

  • Palestinian political analysts said that the Hamas victory at the university is an indication of what would happen if general elections were held these days in the West Bank.
  • The Hamas victory at Bir Zeit University also shows that it does not matter how much money you pour on Fatah's campus supporters; a majority of students would still prefer to vote for terror groups that do not believe in Israel's right to exist.
  • Hamas leaders also called for holding long overdue presidential and parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories. They said they had no doubt that their movement would easily defeat Fatah.

Students at Bir Zeit in the West Bank celebrating Hamas victory. (Image source: Al Jazeera)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction suffered yet another humiliating defeat at the Bir Zeit University student council elections, held on April 27. Last year, for the first time since 2007, the Hamas-affiliated student list on campus also won the vote.

The results of this year's election at one of the Palestinians' most important universities reflects the growing discontent with Abbas's Fatah faction among Palestinians in the West Bank. Palestinian political analysts said that the Hamas victory is an indication of what would happen if general elections were held these days in the West Bank.

The Wafaa list, which belongs to Hamas, won 25 of the student council seats, while Fatah's Martyrs Yasser Arafat list got 21 seats. A list belonging to the terror group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) won five seats.

Both Hamas and the PFLP are strongly opposed to any peace process with Israel. They continue to call for terror attacks against Israelis. The results of the election mean that most of the students at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank, not Gaza, support groups that have chosen terrorism over peace.

Bir Zeit University, which has 12,000 students, is located only a few miles from Ramallah, which houses the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority and Fatah leadership. As such, the Hamas victory carries symbolic significance because it shows that even in Abbas's own backyard, he Islamist movement remains as strong and popular as ever.

What Is also significant is that the Hamas victory came despite a massive crackdown by Abbas's security forces on Hamas supporters in the West Bank. The crackdown included university students affiliated with the Islamist movement. Not surprisingly, this crackdown seems to have backfired, driving more university students into the waiting open arms of Abbas's political enemies.

The Hamas victory at Bir Zeit University also shows that it does not matter how much money you pour on Fatah supporters on campus; a majority of students would still prefer to vote for terror groups that do not believe in Israel's right to exist.

The results of the election should be seen more as a vote of no-confidence in Fatah and Abbas's policies than a Hamas win.

Palestinian analysts said that the results reflected Palestinians' distrust of Fatah, a faction that has long been suffering from internecine fighting and splits. The main charge against Fatah is that it has failed to reform and pave the way for the emergence of new and younger leaders.

Sufyan Abu Zayda, a senior Fatah official from the Gaza Strip, commented on the results of the Bir Zeit University election by saying, "Fatah needs an internal shake-up before it faces more defeats." He noted that those who were defeated were not the Fatah-affiliated students, but their leaders.

In recent years, the Fatah leadership in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has been torn apart by internal strife. In the Gaza Strip, rival Fatah activists have been beating and shooting at each other. In the West Bank, Abbas has been busy getting rid of his critics in Fatah. The latest victim of Abbas's measures is Gen. Akram Rajoub, the Palestinian Authority Governor of the largest West Bank city, Nablus. Last week, Abbas surprisingly fired Rajoub, who is also a senior Fatah official.

Rajoub's dismissal came days after he walked out of a Passover ceremony organized by the tiny Christian Samaritan community near Nablus. Rajoub and scores of Palestinian dignitaries walked out of the event after discovering that some leaders of the Jewish community in the West Bank had also been invited. Some Palestinians said that Abbas decided to fire the governor because his action seriously embarrassed the Palestinian Authority leadership in the eyes of the international community and threatened to damage relations between the Samaritan community and the Palestinians.

Other Palestinians, however, surmised that Abbas's decision was related to criticism the governor had made against top Fatah officials.

Whatever the reason, many Palestinians agreed that the dismissal of the powerful and popular governor was a sign of increased tensions among the top brass of the Palestinian Authority and Fatah leaderships.

It is precisely because of this internal bickering that many Palestinians have lost confidence in Abbas and Fatah.

The results of the Bir Zeit University elections are also an indication of the Palestinian students' rejection of Abbas's general policies, especially regarding Israel. This is a vote of no-confidence in the Oslo Accords with Israel, the "peace process" and ongoing security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

The 3,481 students who voted in favor of the Hamas-affiliated list want to see the destruction of Israel. Similarly, the he 668 students who voted for the PFLP-affiliated list support terrorism and would also like to see the destruction of Israel. These numbers reflect the general sentiments that have long been prevalent among many Palestinians, including students and professors on various campuses in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

"How can Fatah win any election when it is divided and its leaders are openly saying that they listen to Zionist songs?" remarked Palestinian political analyst Hisham Sakallah. He pointed out that while Hamas supporters on campus ran in the election on a ticket that promoted "armed resistance" against Israel, Fatah leaders were continuing to conduct security coordination with the Israelis.

Hamas correctly sees its victory in the Bir Zeit University election as a sign of growing Palestinian support for its "armed resistance" and the "Al-Quds Intifada" against Israel.

Hamas leaders were quick to celebrate the victory of their list. They stressed that the vote was a severe blow to Abbas, Fatah and all those who believe in any "peace process" with Israel. Buoyed by the victory, the Hamas leaders also called for holding long overdue presidential and parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories. They said they had no doubt that their movement would easily defeat Fatah. "The results of the election (at Bir Zeit University) are a victory for the path of resistance," declared Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

The Hamas victory provides further evidence of the increased radicalization in Palestinian society. This is the direct result of the ongoing campaign of anti-Israel incitement that continues to be waged not only by Hamas, but the Palestinian Authority and Fatah too, and that is funded in large part by Europe.

Under such circumstances, it is not a good idea to promote the idea of free and democratic elections in the Palestinian territories. Worse, the talk about a renewed peace process and a two-state solution has become a distasteful joke.

  • Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter

Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist, is based in Jerusalem.


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

Placing Terror on a Pedestal - Joe Kaufman

by Joe Kaufman

Granting government honors to ex-CAIR operative Ghazala Salam.

Ghazala Salam has embedded her life in groups associated with terror. This year, she left her job with CAIR, an organization that has been linked to terrorist financing and terrorist leaders, for a position with Emerge USA, a radical Muslim outfit attempting to push its way into the political arena. Yet, even with this sinister background, Salam has managed to achieve numerous honors from South Florida government and government-related institutions. Has she pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes or are they intentionally ignoring facts?

On April 12th, Ghazala Salam stood next to Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter and accepted a proclamation declaring that day ‘Equal Pay Day,’ “urging all employers in our community to recognize the full value of the skills and contributions of women in the labor force and recommit to making equal pay a reality.” Signing the proclamation was Broward County Mayor Marty Kiar.

On March 25th, Salam received the honor of speaking at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Citizenship Ceremony, where new US citizens are sworn in. Emblazoned on the podium where she spoke from was a prominent Department of Homeland Security logo.

Photos and information regarding both of these events are found on the Facebook site of Emerge USA, an organization where Salam serves as its Florida State Director.

Emerge USA, despite its patriotic sounding name, has an extremely radical agenda based on terrorism and bigotry shrouded in the guise of political advocacy.

The main individual behind Emerge USA is Khurrum Wahid, a South Florida attorney who has built his name on representing high profile terrorists. They include members of al-Qaeda and financiers of the Taliban. According to the Miami New Times, Wahid himself was placed on a federal terrorist watch list in 2011.

Emerge sponsors speeches made by Muslim extremists, such as Islamic lecturer Sayed Ammar Nakshawani. Nakshawani, who is a follower of former Iran supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, has previously called for the destruction of Israel. He has given featured talks in at least two Emerge benefit dinners, one in 2014 and one in 2015.

Emerge sponsors events at terror-linked mosques. One is Tampa-based al-Qassam (a.k.a. Islamic Community of Tampa), which was founded by Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader and former Khurrum Wahid client Sami al-Arian. Another is the Pembroke Pines-based Darul Uloom, where “Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla was a student; where now-deceased al-Qaeda commander Adnan el-Shukrijumah was a prayer leader; and whose imam, Maulana Shafayat Mohamed, has been thrown off a number of boards in Broward County for his actions against homosexuals.

Salam has become close with Darul Uloom and its imam. A video of Salam being interviewed by Shafayat Mohamed for Darul Uloom’s media arm, Al-Hikmat, was published on the mosque’s website last June. Salam has been honored repeatedly in Al-Hikmat newsletters, and she was the recipient of an award at the 2015 annual Al-Hikmat award ceremony in May 2015. A photograph of her with Shafayat Mohamed is found on the website of the American Muslim Democratic Caucus of Florida (AMDCFL), a group that Salam presides over.

Earlier this year, prior to taking her job with Emerge, Salam held the position of Community and Government Relations Director for the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). She had been with CAIR in this position since February 2011.

CAIR was established in June 1994 as part of a terrorist umbrella group headed by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. In 2007 and 2008, CAIR was named by the US Justice Department a co-conspirator for two federal trials dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas. Since its founding, a number of CAIR representatives have served jail time and/or have been deported from the United States for terrorist-related crimes. In November 2014, CAIR itself was designated a terrorist group by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government.

CAIR-Florida has fully reflected the extremism of its parent organization. Its Executive Director Hassan Shibly, who has previously denied that Hezbollah is a terrorist group, wrote in August 2014, “Israel and its supporters are enemies of God...” In July 2014, CAIR-Florida co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally in Downtown Miami, where rally goers repeatedly shouted, “We are Hamas” and “Let’s go Hamas.” Following the rally, the event organizer, Sofian Zakkout, wrote, “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!”

While working for Emerge, Salam has held joint events with CAIR. She has also held events with Nur-ul-Islam Academy (NUIA) and ICNA Relief.

Nur-ul-Islam Academy is the children’s school of the Cooper City-based Nur-ul-Islam Mosque. A former member of the mosque’s Islamic Affairs Council and ex-Vice President of NUIA, Raed Musa Awad, was the Florida representative for the Hamas charity, Holy Land Foundation (HLF). The website of NUIA previously contained links to violent, anti-Semitic and anti-Christian material, including having a link to, a website that encouraged its viewers to donate money to Hamas. Emerge USA co-founder and trustee Saif Ishoof is a director of NUIA.

ICNA Relief is a function of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the American affiliate of South Asian Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami (JI). JI’s militant wing, Hizbul Mujahideen, owned the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden was killed. ICNA has been linked to terrorist financing and has used the web to promote different terrorist groups, including Hamas, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and the Taliban. ICNA conducts annual functions along with the Muslim American Society (MAS), which like CAIR, is a UAE designated terrorist organization.

None of this has stopped Salam from being granted a proclamation by a county mayor or from speaking at a US citizenship swearing-in ceremony. It also hasn’t stopped her from sitting on the board of the Broward County School Board’s Human Relations Committee or from serving as the Chairwoman of the Broward Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). And it hasn’t stopped her from being a director at the Broward League of Women Voters or from being the featured speaker at the League’s annual meeting, this month.

But it has done one thing. It has exposed a dangerous flaw within the community, whereby someone associated with Islamist terror has been embraced and not shunned.

Out of negligence or sheer ignorance, our community leaders have left us vulnerable to those who would wish us harm.

Joe Kaufman was the 2014 Republican nominee for United States House of Representatives in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District. He is an expert in the fields of counter-terrorism, foreign affairs and energy independence for America. He has been featured on all major cable networks, including Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and C-SPAN. Joe has been instrumental in getting terrorist charities shut down and terror-related individuals put behind bars. Exactly one month prior to the September 11 attacks, he predicted the attacks by stating that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was no aberration and that it would happen again.


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Defeating Hamas in America - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

The BDS movement and its role in the jihadist war against Israel.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

To defeat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel, it is first necessary to understand it.

The BDS campaign is an extraordinary phenomenon.

Activists from US coast to coast robotically parrot the same lies, employ the same tactics of bullying, intimidating and silencing pro-Israel activists and speakers on campus after campus.

Their goals are uniform. They seek to silence pro-Israel voices in US academia as a means to destroy general public support for Israel in America.

And they seek to make Jew-hatred socially acceptable in elite circles in America for the first time since the Holocaust.

This month it was leftist MK Tzipi Livni’s turn to fall victim to BDS bigotry and defamation. During a public appearance at Harvard Law School, one of the heads of BDS movement at the school, Husam el-Qoulaq, asked her why she is “smelly.”

Qoulaq is the head of Students for Justice in Palestine at Harvard Law School.

SJP is the central engine of the BDS movement.

Its members are the ones who organize the “divest from Israel” resolutions routinely passed by ignorant or intimidated student representatives on college councils.

SJP members are the ones who regularly harass pro-Israel students and riot or otherwise disrupt pro-Israel events on campuses.

They are the ones who willingly and purposely engage in rank anti-Semitic demonization of Jews and Israel to normalize Jew-hatred in America.

Given SJP’s lead role in the campaign against Israel and American Jewry on college campuses, students and Jewish groups trying to combat the racist movement focus their attention on SJP.

But it works out that SJP doesn’t formally exist.

There is no nonprofit group called Students for Justice in Palestine. SJP doesn’t file tax forms. It doesn’t have a paper trail. In other words, SJP is a ghost organization, an illusion.

To bring it down you need to find its controllers.

The Canary Mission ( is a website managed by students and activists. It was formed “to document people and groups that are promoting hatred of the USA, Israel and the Jewish people, particularly on college campuses in North America.”

According to the website, SJP was founded in 2001 by UC Berkeley Prof. Hatem Bazian. Bazian’s organizational pedigree reads like the who’s who of Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood front organizations in America.

Bazian fund-raised for a Hamas front group called KindHearts. In 2008, like a number of other Islamic groups that were found guilty of providing material support for terrorism in the framework of the Holy Land Foundation trial, KindHearts was forced to disband. KindHearts was found to have raised money for Hamas.

Another of Bazian’s former employers, the Islamic Association for Palestine, also disbanded after it was found guilty of funding Hamas.

According to the Canary Mission’s findings, Bazian founded SJP to distance the BDS movement from its Islamic masters. His idea was to brand it as a radical group that could easily collaborate with other radical groups on campus and so turn the radical establishment into an engine for anti-Israel activism.

Although Bazian went to great lengths to brand SJP as a non-Islamic movement, he had no intention of ceding control of the BDS movement to non-Islamic forces. To ensure control over SJP, and through it, the BDS movement as a whole, according to the Canary Mission, Bazian formed American Muslims for Palestine.

On April 19, during a hearing before the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, American Muslims for Palestine’s nature became clear.

Jonathan Schanzer served as a terrorism finance analyst for the Department of the Treasury from 2004 to 2007. He currently works as the vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington. In testimony before the subcommittee, Schanzer revealed that the heads of AMP are alumni of three Islamist groups that were banned following their convictions for terrorism financing during the course of the Holy Land Foundation trial that ended in 2008.

AMP’s leadership held key positions at the Holy Land Foundation, KindHearts and the Islamic Association for Palestine. These groups and their employees transferred millions of dollars to al-Qaida, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Although Schanzer could find no indication that AMP is continuing its predecessors’ practice of sending funds to foreign terrorist groups, he demonstrated how the heir of Hamas-USA now direct the BDS movement. Through AMP, they control SJP.

In his words, “AMP is a Chicago-based organization that is a leading driver of the BDS campaign.

AMP is arguably the most important sponsor and organizer for Students for Justice in Palestine, which is the most visible arm of the BDS campaign on campuses in the United States. AMP provides speakers, training, printed materials, a so-called ‘Apartheid Wall,’ and grants to SJP activists.”

Schanzer added, “AMP even has a campus coordinator on staff whose job is to work directly with SJP and other pro-BDS campus groups across the country.”

The reason that SJP activists utilize the same tactics and rhetoric from sea to shining sea is because officials from the heir to disbanded terrorism funding groups tells them what to say and do. Everything from their “Apartheid Walls” and Die-Ins to their posters and slogans and tactic of shutting down pro-Israel events is dictated to them by AMP.

Whereas SJP doesn’t exist at all on paper, AMP’s existence is eyebrow-raising from a legal perspective.

AMP is not registered as a nonprofit so it is impossible to know its funding sources or the size of its donations, because it is not required to publicize them. As Schanzer explained, funds for AMP are raised through yet another organization called Americans for Justice in Palestine Education Foundation, or AJP, whose nature and behavior are also strange.

AJP’s chairman is Bazian. AJP and AMP share the same office in the Chicago suburb of Palos Hill.

Unlike AMP, AJP is a registered nonprofit. In its 2014 990 tax form, attached to Schanzer’s testimony, it reports raising in excess of $3.2 million between 2010 and 2014. But, in apparent breach of the law, AJP did not report how it spent the money or where it received the funds from.

Like AMP, AJP members worked in the past for the Holy Land Foundation, the Islamic Association for Palestine and KindHearts. Indeed, most of them are the same people.

Not only do AMP-AFP fail to divulge their financing sources or outlays, they revel in their practice of operating at the edges of the law. At AMP’s 2014 annual conference in Chicago, participants were invited to “come and navigate the fine line between legal activism and material support for terrorism.”

Given SJP’s raging success, it isn’t a surprise that Bazian isn’t the only one claiming to have founded it. For instance, Senan Shaqdeh claims that he founded SJP. As Schanzer testified, Shaqdeh, who also lives in Chicago, is listed as a terrorist from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine by the PLO’s Ministry of Expatriate Affairs’ website.

Shaqdeh is also the coordinator of the Chicago- based US Coalition to Boycott Israel. In 2014, Shaqdeh traveled to Ramallah where he met with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

The chairman of the US Coalition to Boycott Israel is Ghassan Barakat. According to Schanzer, Barakat is a PLO consular official in Chicago.

Like SJP, the Coalition is not a legal entity. It is not registered with state or local tax authorities. But given Barakat’s and Shaqdeh’s associations with the PLO and the PA, it is likely that it is funded by the US-funded PA.

Perhaps money from the PLO to SJP and other BDS outlets is transferred through an opaque New York state registered nonprofit called Wespac. Currently, a delegation of Palestinian students, organized by Bir Zeit University, paid for by Wespac and managed by SJP is traveling through the US lobbying students to boycott Israel.

Schanzer’s testimony should lead anti-BDS efforts in three directions. Two of them are legal, and one is political.

On the legal front, AMP and AJP’s commingling is curious, to say the least. Their failure to report the sources of their funding or how the funds are used appear, at a minimum, to be a breach of reporting requirements. These irregularities, along with the fact that officers of these organizations were in the past officers of organizations disbanded due to their provision of material support for terrorism, warrant criminal investigations by both tax authorities and counterterrorism investigators.

Unfortunately, shortly after he entered office in 2009, President Barack Obama’s then-attorney- general Eric Holder ordered the Department of Justice to stop investigating Islamist nonprofit groups. Accordingly, it is highly unlikely that any investigation will be conducted by federal agencies in the near future.

This leaves state, local and congressional authorities.

Since AMP and AJP are registered in Palos Hills, both Illinois tax authorities and law enforcement and Palos Hills authorities can open investigations into their operations. Moreover, Congress, which exposed the fact that both groups appear to be a natural continuation of banned terrorism-supporting organizations, is fully empowered to conduct congressional investigations of their operations, replete with the power to subpoena witnesses.

As for the operations of PLO officials in Chicago, their work is arguably in breach of the laws stipulating the permitted conduct of PLO officials in the US. Congress can investigate their behavior as well, and determine whether or not it constitutes a material breach of the PLO’s permitted actions in America, and so requires the US to cut off its relations with the terrorist group. Certainly the involvement of PA/PLO officials in an anti-Semitic hate campaign is grounds for a cut off of US aid to the PA.

On the political front, it is vital that Israel fight BDS as the most widespread form of anti-Semitism in North America. Unlike the situation in Europe, where BDS is largely an economic warfare campaign, in the US its goal is political. Its leaders are not interested in harming the Israeli economy per se. They are interested in cultivating anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel to pave the way for economic warfare and actual war against Israel.

Government ministers involved with the fight against BDS need to provide anti-BDS activists with information about SJP’s links to Hamas and with the PA. American Jewish organizations and activists need to call out college administrators when they say since they refuse to carry out divestment resolutions that they oppose BDS, even as they allow SJP to operate on their campuses and even fund the Hamas front group directly.

Schanzer’s testimony makes clear that the BDS movement is part and parcel of the jihadist war against Israel whose goal is its annihilation.

Both legally and politically, it needs to be fought accordingly.

Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit


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

Is It Back to Square One for Libya? - Pete Hoekstra

by Pete Hoekstra

U.S. policy in Libya may come full circle, turning to a strongman to restore stability that was shattered when Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown.

This article was written for U.S. News and World Report. IPT Senior Shillman Fellow and former U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra discusses how U.S. policy in Libya may come full circle, turning to a strongman to restore stability that was shattered when Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown.

The U.S. News article begins here:

President Barack Obama recently admitted that his biggest mistake in office was "probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya." Tell us something we don't know.
At least he moved significantly further than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who valiantly claims that the Libyan intervention represented U.S. "smart power at its best," that the country administered two successful elections in which they voted moderates into office and that "we didn't lose a single person" in the conflict. The families of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty – the four Americans murdered in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012 – would likely disagree with her assessment.

Libya persists in an ongoing disaster that could have, and should have, been avoided.

Moammar Gadhafi crystallized the threats to his regime – which were the same radical jihadists who endangered the U.S. – when I met with him on three separate occasions between 2004 and 2009. Recently released transcripts of telephone conversations between former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Gadhafi in 2011 reveal that the dictator presented similar arguments on the threat to Europe.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff reportedly highlighted evidence to the president that revealed no indications of an impending genocide if Gadhafi endured. They warned that removing him would serve no compelling American interest and that it would open the doors to forces aligned with al-Qaida.

It appears that the president not only did not plan for the "day after" the military campaign – when the threats of a post-Gadhafi Libya had already been articulated – he discounted critical advice and insights leading to the strongman's deposition and the likely resulting catastrophe.

The most serious mistake is that five years after initially "failing to plan," no strategy exists today on how to contain the threat posed by the Islamic State group and like-minded groups in North Africa. For perhaps the first time, terrorists – not only state sponsors such as Iran and Syria – control real estate and infrastructure.
As documented in a recent Investigative Project on Terrorism analysis, the Islamic State group has created a caliphate in Sirte along the Mediterranean in Libya that exports weapons, fighters, ideology, death and destruction throughout Africa, into Europe and eventually to North America.

An Islamic State group coterie of lethal and battle-hardened veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan operates from the Islamist bazaar in the Derna area of eastern Libya. Known as Katibat al-Battar, it recruited Belgian-Moroccan Abdelhamid Abaaoud, whom authorities suspect as the orchestrator of the November terrorist massacre in Paris.

In other parts of Africa, Islamist organizations such as Boko Haram, al-Shabab, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and Ansar al-Sharia fight for their own territory and dominance.

Furthermore, multiple reports indicate that the Islamic State group and other jihadists are seeking to obtain the stockpiles of chemical munitions captured after Gadhafi's downfall. Such groups have demonstrated a willingness to use them.

Additional reports suggest that the administration and U.S. military brass remains at odds over the next steps while the violence proceeds nearly unmolested.

The Director of National Intelligence states the obvious when he says that Islamist factions in Libya will continue to pose a challenge and a threat while Obama refuses to deploy the resources necessary to decimate them.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi warns the West against intervening militarily again, lest Libya slide further into anarchy. He counsels it to strengthen the army of Libya's fledgling but internationally recognized attempt at a unity government and enable it to stabilize the country.

El-Sissi unfortunately might offer the most rational recommendation. In plain English, one could interpret his admonishment as advocating for the West to arm a new strongman to run the country so that he can corral the nihilistic Islamist terrorists.

That such a strategy would return the conflict to where it began five years ago – except that it now might feature a slightly kinder and gentler version of Gadhafi – is a sad manifestation of how much things stayed the same after all the bloodshed and chaos.

Pete Hoekstra is the Shillman Senior Fellow with the Investigative Project on Terrorism, the former chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee and the author of "Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya."


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IDF officer: Hezbollah gearing up for war, just like in 2006 - Times of Israel Staff

by Times of Israel Staff

Earlier this month, the IDF’s deputy chief of staff said the Lebanese group’s improving capabilities deeply concerned Israel.

An IDF battalion commander stationed on Israel’s border with Lebanon on Wednesday said the Hezbollah terror group’s recent activity was “reminiscent of what they did before the Second Lebanon War.”

In an interview with Channel 2, Lt. Col. Eliav Elbaz described how Hezbollah was “obsessively” monitoring Israeli soldiers from across the border. 

“The other side is obsessively gathering [information] about everything happening here, everything our security forces [are doing],” Elbaz said.

“Right now they’re up to their necks in the war in Syria, but we still see them walking around” and scouting the Israeli positions, he said. It’s “reminiscent of what they did before the Second Lebanon War,” he added.

A Hezbollah cannon directed toward Syria in a military position for the group in the fields of the Lebanese border village of Brital, Lebanon, May 9, 2015. (photo credit: AP/Bassem Mroue)
A Hezbollah cannon directed toward Syria in a military position for the group in the fields of the Lebanese border village of Brital, Lebanon, May 9, 2015. (photo credit: AP/Bassem Mroue)

The IDF officer said soldiers were training constantly and on high alert. “We are preparing for war. In the event of a war, they will have a lot more to lose,” he warned.

In the summer of 2006, Israel and Hezbollah fought a war in Lebanon that killed about 160 Israelis, most of them soldiers, and nearly 1,200 Lebanese, including several hundred Hezbollah fighters, according to the Israeli army.

Eliav Elbaz (Channel 2)
Eliav Elbaz (Channel 2)
Hezbollah has deployed thousands of fighters to prop up the regime in Syria’s civil war, and some analysts say that has limited its ability to carry out an attack against Israel.

Earlier this month, the IDF’s deputy chief of staff said the Lebanese group’s improving capabilities deeply concerned Israel. Major General Yair Golan said that could result in “full-scale war,” including a harsh response from the Israeli military.

“Comparing that to anything we’ve experienced before, no doubt, this is the most severe threat we’ve ever experienced before,” Golan said.

Of a possible future crisis, he said “we’re not going to see small war in Lebanon. It’s going to be decisive. It’s going to be full-scale war.”

AFP contributed to this report.

Times of Israel Staff


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Academics tackle anti-Zionist anti-Semitism - Gerald M. Steinberg

by Gerald M. Steinberg

The line between reasonable criticism and obsessive hostility and hate speech toward Israel and Israelis is being crossed with increasing frequency

It has become politically fashionable to claim that attacks against Israel are simply a form of reasonable criticism and that allegations of anti-Semitism seek to censor this legitimate discussion. Or that the virulent attacks result from the post-1967 "occupation," and that a return to the previous armistice lines would end this demonization.

But the line between reasonable criticism and obsessive hostility and hate speech toward Israel and Israelis is being crossed with increasing frequency at universities, the United Nations, political institutions (such as the British Labour Party), the media, "progressive" churches and elsewhere. Through campaigns such as BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions) and the free use of terms such as "war crimes," apartheid, racism and similar labels, the demonization of Jewish sovereign equality has moved into high gear. The facade of merely opposing Israeli policies is no longer necessary, as shown in the recent Harvard Law School incident in which a student and leader of a Palestinian activist group asked Knesset member Tzipi Livni why she, as a Jew, was "so smelly." 

In the past, many academics have ignored such blatant hatred and the violent attacks to which it contributes around the world (and some also participate in the hate), but this is changing. An increasing number of scholars are now turning their attention to what is recognized, at least by some, as a major problem. 

The University of Indiana at Bloomington recently held a large conference under the heading of "Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism, and the Dynamics of Delegitimization." This path-breaking event, led by Prof. Alvin Rosenfeld, who heads the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism, brought 70 scholars from 16 countries throughout the world (including India) together to present their research and discuss the implications. 

By creating a critical mass from different disciplines and locations, the participants overcame many of the obstacles to the systematic academic analysis of the anti-Zionist form of anti-Semitism. A proper investigation of this complex phenomenon requires perspectives from politics, history, Middle East studies, human rights, international law, economics and other disciplines. 

The issues that were debated in Bloomington include the question of whether this demonization and political warfare directed at Israel, including BDS and lawfare, are unique, or perhaps can be compared to other forms of collective hatred. The consensus among the participants supported the view that hostility towards Israel, particularly among Europeans and other Westerners with no direct involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict, has no serious parallel. 

As the late Prof. Robert Wistrich observed, "The common denominator of the new anti-Zionism has been the systematic effort to criminalize Israeli and Jewish behavior, so as to place it beyond the pale of civilized and acceptable conduct." Wistrich documented the process by which left-wing anti-Semitism developed to parallel what was once a monopoly of the ideological Right. In his opening remarks, Rosenfeld dedicated the conference to his memory. 

The anti-Zionist form of anti-Semitism, and the singling out of Israel through the use of double standards and patently false accusations, is often referred to as the "new" anti-Semitism. In the words of Prof. Irwin Cotler, the conference's keynote speaker, while the old anti-Semitism attacked Jews as individuals, political anti-Semitism targets the collective Jewish identity -- in other words, Israel. 

Far from the pejorative "ivory tower" stereotype, the conference participants were focused on the real world. Detailed papers were presented documenting and analyzing anti-Zionist anti-Semitism in the U.K., Poland, Germany, Holland and France, from the governments of Iran (blended with a steady dose of Holocaust denial) and Turkey, among radicals on U.S. campuses, and in churches, where "liberation theology and BDS" are presented as "a Christian Act of Love," analyzed by Dr. Giovanni Matteo Quer. In parallel, a number of scholars examined the overlapping demonization of Israel and Jews in propaganda prevalent among Moslems and Arabs. And regarding the secular mirror image, Dr. Richard Landes analyzed the religion of anti-Zionism that pervades "the global progressive Left." 

The discussions following each panel focused on finding points of commonality, as well as differences that would enable researchers to make sense of this hatred. In the West, anti-Zionism is often couched and justified in the language of human rights and international law, and self-appointed "experts" from the United Nations and powerful nongovernmental organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty give the facade of legitimacy to this process. 

For all of these reasons, the Indiana conference was an important milestone in examining the factors and forces driving the intense anti-Zionism, and the points where it meets the old far-right version. A community of scholars, reflecting different views and disciplines, has been formed, and many more such meetings and resulting publications are planned. 

Gerald M. Steinberg is professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University and heads NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research institute.


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

Britain? Moderates? How's That Again? - Douglas Murray

by Douglas Murray

If I had always known my "community" harboured such views, and a poll revealing this truth came out, I would be deeply ashamed. But when such polls emerge about the opinions of British Muslims, is that there is never any hint of introspection. There is no shame and no concern, only attack.

  • A new poll of British Muslims found that a majority hold views with which most British people would disagree. For instance, 52% of British Muslims think that homosexuality should be made illegal. An earlier poll found that 27% of British Muslims have "some sympathy for the motives behind the attacks" at the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last year.
  • Whenever opinion poll results come out, nearly the entire Muslim community, including nearly all Muslims in the media and all self-appointed groups of "Muslim community leaders" try to prove that the poll is a fraud.
  • If there were indeed a "moderate majority," when a poll comes out saying that a quarter of your community wants fundamentally to alter the law of the land and live under Sharia, the other 75% would spend their time trying to change the opinions of that quarter. Instead, about 74% of the 75% not in favour of sharia spend their time covering for the 25% and attacking the polling company which discovered them.

One often hears about the "moderate Muslim majority." 'After any terrorist attack, politicians tell us that, "The moderate majority of Muslims utterly condemn this." After any outrage, commentators and pundits spring up to say, "Of course the vast majority of Muslims are moderate." But is it true? Are the vast majority of Muslims really "moderate"?

A number of factors suggest perhaps not -- most obviously the problem repeatedly revealed by opinion polls. Time and again, the results of opinion polls in the Western world, never mind in the Middle East or North Africa, show a quite different picture from the "moderate majority" aquatint.

True, such polls can often show that, for instance, only 27% of British Muslims have "some sympathy for the motives behind the attacks" at the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last year. True, that is only between a quarter and a third of British Muslims sympathizing with the blasphemy enforcement squad. On other occasions, such as recently in Britain with a new ICM poll commissioned by Channel 4, they find that a majority of Muslims hold views with which most British people would disagree. So for instance, the recent ICM poll found that 52% of British Muslims think that homosexuality should be made illegal. That's a striking figure. Not 52% of British Muslims saying homosexuality is "not their cup of tea" or that they are "not entirely on board with gay marriage," but 52% of British Muslims thinking that homosexuality should be made a crime under the law.

But it is what happens after such polls emerge that the "moderate majority" idea really comes under strain. First, of course, there is always an attempt to put a positive spin on the results. So for instance, when the post-Charlie Hebdo poll came out last year, the BBC (which had commissioned the poll) ran it with the headline, "Most British Muslims 'oppose Muhammad cartoon reprisals.'" Although true, it is not the most striking aspect of its findings. But it is what happens next that is most revealing and more truly calls into question whether we are really dealing with a "moderate majority" or, more truthfully, with a "moderate minority." Because whenever the results come out, nearly the entire Muslim community, including nearly all Muslims in the media and all self-appointed groups of "Muslim community leaders," try to prove that the poll is a fraud. It happened with the release of the ICM poll in the UK, as it has happened with every previous poll. With the exception of only one or two prominent dissident Muslims, every Muslim voice in the media and every Muslim group decided not to concern themselves with the ICM findings, but to try to pull apart the validity, methodology and even 'motives' of the poll. This is deeply revealing.

It is worth trying a thought-experiment here. Whatever community you come from, imagine your reaction if a poll like the ICM one on British Muslims had come out about whatever community you feel a part of. Imagine you are a Jew and a poll had come out saying the majority of other Jews in your country want to make being gay a crime. What would your first reaction be? My impression is that most Jews would be deeply embarrassed. Very shortly after that first reaction, you might begin to wonder what could be done to change such a terrible statistic around. It is possible, if you knew nobody of your faith who thought that homosexuality should be criminalized and had never come across this position before (or any previous polling which suggested the same thing) that you might question the credibility and methodology of the poll. But otherwise, you would probably sigh and wonder what could be done to improve things. If you knew the findings to be fairly accurate, why would you try to tear apart the findings?

Likewise, if tomorrow a poll were published of the opinions of white British people of Christian upbringing in the UK, I would take some interest in it. If it revealed that 39% of British Christians believed that wives should always obey their husbands (as the ICM poll showed British Muslims believe) then I would have some worries. If it also found that almost a quarter (23%) of British people of Christian origin wanted areas of the UK to divest themselves of the law of the land and be run instead on some Biblical literalist "take" on the law, I would worry some more.

Of course, neither of these eventualities is remotely likely to arise. But let us say that it did. What would be my reaction? The first would be to hang my head in shame. And I would hang it just that bit lower if the findings came as absolutely no surprise to me. If I had always known my "community" harboured such views, and a poll revealing this truth came out, I would be deeply ashamed that what I had always known was now known by everyone else in the country.

What is most interesting then, when such polls emerge about the opinions of British Muslims, is that there is never, ever, any hint of such introspection. There is no shame and no concern, only attack. If there were indeed a "moderate majority," then when a poll comes out saying that a quarter of your community wants fundamentally to alter the law of the land and live under Sharia law, the other 75% would spend their time trying to change the opinions of that quarter. Instead, about 74% of the 75% not in favour of sharia spend their time covering for the 25% and attacking the polling company which discovered them. It is a tiny symptom of a much larger problem, the repercussions of which our societies have hardly begun to face.

Douglas Murray is a current events analyst and commentator based in London.


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

Turkey's Islamic Supremacist Foreign Policy - Uzay Bulut

by Uzay Bulut

Turkey, for more than 40 years, has been illegally occupying the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus, historically a Greek and Christian nation, which it invaded with a bloody military campaign in 1974.

  • "We have never been involved in an attack against Turkey ... we were never involved in such an action... Davutoglu wants to pave the way for an offensive on Syria and Rojava and cover up Turkey's relations with the ISIS which is known to the whole world by now." — YPG (Kurdish) General Command.
  • "Thousands of settlers from Anatolia were shipped in by the Turkish government to occupy former Greek villages and to change Cypriot demography -- in the same manner the occupying Ottoman Empire once did in the 16th century." — Victor Davis Hanson, historian.
  • What Turkey would call a crime if committed by a non-Turkish or a non-Sunni state, Turkey sees as legitimate if Turkey itself commits it.

Between March 29 and April 2, 2016, Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, paid a visit to Washington D.C. to participate in the 4th Nuclear Security Summit hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama.

In an interview with CNN broadcast March 31, Erdogan said, "We will not allow an act such as giving northern Syria to a terrorist organization... We will never forgive such a wrong. We are determined about that."

Asked which terror organization he was referring to, Erdogan said: "The YPG [Kurdish People's Protection Units], the PYD [Democratic Union Party] ... and if Daesh [ISIS] has an intention of that sort then it would also never be allowed."

Erdogan was thereby once again attempting to equate Islamic State (ISIS), which has tortured, raped, sold or slaughtered so many innocent people in Syria and Iraq, with the Kurdish PYD, and its YPG militia, whose members have been fighting with their lives to defeat genocidal jihadist groups such as al-Nusra and ISIS.

The question is not why Erdogan or his government have such an intense hatred for Kurds. Turkey's genocidal policies against the Kurds are not a secret. Turkey's most recent deadly attacks are ongoing in Kurdish districts even now. The more important question is why Erdogan thinks that Turkey is the one to decide to whom the predominantly Kurdish north of Syria will belong -- or who will not rule that part of Syria.

On February 17, Turkey's capital, Ankara, was shaken by a car bomb that killed 28 people and wounded 61 others.

Turkey's Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, immediately announced that the perpetrator was a Syrian national with links to the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

"A direct link between the attack and the YPG has been established," Davutoglu said. "The YPG attack was carried out with logistical support from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) inside Turkey. Just as al-Qaeda or Daesh do not have seats at the table, the YPG, which is a terrorist organization, cannot have one." He then once again refused to permit Kurdish YPG participation in U.N.-brokered Syria peace talks in Geneva.

Saleh Muslim, the head of Syria's Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), replied via Agence France-Presse: "We deny any involvement in this attack. These accusations are clearly related to Turkish attempts to intervene in Syria."

The General Command of the YPG also denied any involvement in the attack:
"Under challenging conditions, we are protecting our people from barbaric gangs such as ISIS and Al-Nusra. Countless states and media outlets have repeatedly reported about the support Turkey has been providing to these terrorist groups. Apart from the terrorist groups attacking us, we as YPG have engaged in no military activity against the neighboring states or other forces.
"We would like to repeat our message to the people of Turkey and the world: We have no links to this incident... We have never been involved in an attack against Turkey. The Turkish state cannot possibly prove our engagement in any kind of attack on their side because we were never involved in such an action. Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu's remarks 'Ankara attack was conducted by YPG' is a lie and far away from the truth. With this statement, Davutoglu wants to pave the way for an offensive on Syria and Rojava and cover up Turkey's relations with the ISIS which is known to the whole world by now."
The Middle East is going through mass murders, kidnappings, rapes, the sexual slavery of women and other crimes. And Turkey's aggressive and supremacist foreign policy, which does not respect the sovereignty of its neighbors, has played a large role in this situation.

Syria and Iraq, Turkey's southern neighbors, are now the breeding ground of genocidal jihadist groups, foremost the Islamic State (ISIS). Many reporters, experts and eyewitnesses have revealed that Turkey has contributed to the rise of jihadist terrorists in the region -- by letting ISIS members get in and out of Turkey and even by providing funds, logistics, and arms for ISIS.

Inside its own boundaries, Turkey has been engaged in an all-out war against its own Kurdish citizens since last August. Turkey has been murdering them indiscriminately and destroying their homes and neighborhoods.

Turkey's hatred of Kurds is so intense that it also targets Kurdish defense forces in Syria.

On February 13, Davutoglu confirmed shelling the Kurdish YPG group in Syria, after the YPG advanced on the rebel-held town of Azaz in Syria. "We will retaliate against every step [by the YPG]," Davutoglu said. "The YPG will immediately withdraw from Azaz and the surrounding area and will not go close to it again."

The rebels in Azaz and elsewhere in Syria are mostly Islamist jihadists. According to the scholar Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, Azaz was mostly controlled in early 2015 by the group Liwa Asifat al-Shamal ("Northern Storm Brigade"), affiliated with the Islamic Front. Syria's al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra ("Al-Nusra Front") also had a presence there.

"Azaz is a symbol for Turkey," said Fabrice Balanche of the Washington Institute For Near East Policy. "Prime Minister Davutoglu fears that if the Kurds capture Azaz, they could start a big offensive from Kobane to the west and from Afrin to the east," he told BBC.

As widely reported, the crisis in the region reached a peak when a Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet shot down a Russian Air Force Su-24 bomber along the Turkey-Syria border on November 24, killing the pilot, Lieutenant-Colonel Oleg Peshkov. The Turkish government tried to excuse the attack by claiming that the jet was downed after it had violated Turkish airspace for 17 seconds.

The Russia Defense Ministry, however, denied the aircraft ever left Syrian airspace, and released a video they claimed shows that the Su-24 was not in Turkish airspace when it was shot down.

Meanwhile, Turkey's neighbor to its West, Greece, has long been a victim of Turkey's violations of its sovereign airspace. According to data recorded by the Greek military, in 2014 alone, Turkish aircraft violated Greek airspace 2,244 times. On just one day, February 15, Turkish warplanes violated Greek airspace 22 times, according to Athens News Agency.

After Syria, Greece and Russia, Turkey's next target was its other southern neighbor, Iraq. In December, Iraq's President, Fuad Masum, said, "The presence of the Turkish Army Forces in Mosul Province without our permission violates international rules. I want Turkish officials to get its force out of Iraq's territory immediately."

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi also condemned Turkey's action: "We have not asked Turkey for any force and no one had informed us about the arrival of the force."

Two neighbors of Turkey, Cyprus and Armenia, have also been victims of Turkish aggression -- for an even longer time.

Turkey, for more than 40 years, has been illegally occupying the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus, which it invaded with a bloody military campaign in 1974. According to historian Victor Davis Hanson:
"Thousands of settlers from Anatolia were shipped in by the Turkish government to occupy former Greek villages and to change Cypriot demography -- in the same manner the occupying Ottoman Empire once did in the 16th century. ... The island remains conquered not because the Greeks have given up, but because their resistance is futile against a NATO power of some 70 million people. Greeks know that Turkey worries little about what world thinks of its occupation."
Turkey has also been blockading yet another neighbor since 1993: "Turkey and Azerbaijan have effectively been exercising an illegal unilateral economic blockade against Armenia, which has hurt the latter economically," wrote Armen V. Sahakyan, the executive director of the Eurasian Research and Analysis Institute. "Turkey and Azerbaijan are in clear violation of the Principle of Good Neighborliness, as well as all of the General Assembly resolutions condemning unilateral coercive measures."

Turkey has been assaulting its neighbors in what appears as outbursts of Turkish Islamic supremacy. What Turkey would call a crime if committed by a non-Turkish or a non-Sunni state, Turkey sees as legitimate if Turkey itself commits it.

When Turkey invaded Cyprus, historically a Greek and Christian nation, it is not called an invasion. Turkey still refers to the 1974 military campaign as a "peace operation." Senior politicians and military officials from Turkey also participate in the official ceremonies called "the Peace and Freedom Festival," organized in occupied northern Cyprus on July 20 every year, to celebrate what they "achieved" more than 40 years ago -- namely, an ethnic cleansing and colonization campaign that they conducted through many crimes, including mass murders, wholesale and repeated rapes, torture and inhuman treatment, plundering Cypriot cultural heritage and destroying churches, among others.

The crumbling buildings of the Varosha district of Famagusta, Cyprus, photographed in 2009. The area lies within Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus. The inhabitants fled during the 1974 Turkish invasion and the district has been abandoned since then. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

If anyone blockaded another state, especially a Sunni state, Turkey would most certainly condemn it. But when Turkey itself blockades a Christian nation, it is always "justified" -- most often as a response to some "unacceptable wrongdoing" by the other side.

If a non-Turkish, or non-Sunni state, treated a Turkish or Sunni minority brutally, Turkey would passionately condemn it. But Turkey sees no harm in slaughtering its own Kurdish citizens, and devastating their towns. Turkey claims this is a just way of "fighting against terrorism."

Turkey can shoot down a Russian plane in the blink of an eye, because supposedly no one can violate Turkish airspace even for a few seconds -- or even if no such violation takes place. But Turkey can violate the Greek sovereign airspace countless times as a national sport or hobby whenever it feels like it?

If Western authorities criticize Turkey for its policies, Turkey accuses them of "intervening in Turkey's internal affairs."

For instance, when a group of journalists close to the movement of the Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen were detained in a mass arrest operation on December 14, 2014 in Turkey, the European Commission, in a joint statement, criticized the police raids and arrests of the media representatives.

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and the commissioner heading EU enlargement talks also said the arrests went "against European values."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded in a public speech:
"When we take a step, someone in the European Union immediately comes up and makes a statement. According to what do you make this statement? What do you know?
"Those who have made this country wait at the gate of the European Union for 50 years, do you ever know what this [our] step is? The elements that threaten our national security -- be they members of the press, or this or that -- will get the required response. It is impossible for us to make them sovereign in this country.
"And when we take such a step, we do not think about 'what will the European Union say?' or 'will the EU accept us [as a member]?' We do not have such concerns. We will pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. Please keep your intellect to yourselves."
Erdogan also said that the detentions were not an "issue" of press freedom and claimed that the Fethullah Gulen movement was backed by Israel, which Erdogan referred to as "the country in the south that he [Gulen] loves."

So, the European Union, of which Turkey is allegedly "striving" to be a member, cannot even issue a critical statement concerning Turkey's policies because that would "intervene in Turkish steps for national security," but Turkey can send jihadist fighters, arms or funds into Syria or Iraq and destroy lives and civilizations there?

Turkey seems to believe it always has to be strong and a leading force in the region. But if Kurds -- an indigenous, stateless and persecuted people -- are to gain a single right anywhere in the world, does Turkey find that unacceptable?

The entire history of Turkey as well as its current policies demonstrate that Turkey believes Kurds are inferior to Turks. Turkey does not even recognize the Kurds' right to be educated in Kurdish, evidently in an attempt to separate them from their identity.

"The policy of Republican Turkey since its establishment in 1923," wrote the author Amir Hassanpour, "is a typical case of what has been called 'linguicide' or 'linguistic genocide.' Forcing the Kurds to abandon their language and become native speakers of Turkish is the primary goal of the language policy."

Freedom and sovereignty are for Turks only. Kurds are just to be murdered or to be Turkey's servants. This has been the state policy of Turkey ever since it was founded in 1923.

"The master in this country is the Turk," said Mahmut Esat Bozkurt, Turkey's first Minister of Justice, in 1930. "Those who are not genuine Turks can have only one right in the Turkish fatherland, and that is to be a servant, to be a slave. We are in the most free country of the world. They call this Turkey."

Uzay Bulut, a Turkish journalist, is currently based in Washington DC.


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