Saturday, March 18, 2017

Are the Hard Leftists Aligned with Radical Islamists? - Najat AlSaied

by Najat AlSaied

In fact, most moderate Muslims are not offended by the phrase "radical Islam"

  • The leftist media and other American liberals insist on portraying President Trump's position as a fight against Islam and Muslims. In fact, most moderate Muslims are not offended by the phrase "radical Islam," because they are very distressed by the fact that their religion has been commandeered by the radicals and transformed from a religion of peace into a more radical version.
  • I just wonder where those feminists and John Kerry were when millions of Egyptian women needed their support when they marched against the Muslim Brotherhood, asking for America's help. Where were they when thousands of Syrian and Iraqi women were enslaved and raped by radical ISIS militants?
  • While not a single voice among these liberal feminists spoke out against these inhumane acts perpetrated against Muslim women by radical Islamists, a Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer, Linda Sarsour, co-organized the anti-Trump Women's March on Washington. What's worse, these liberal feminists want Sarsour to represent all Muslim women, while in fact she speaks for nobody except herself and those who fund her.
Since the presidential campaign began, and then right up until the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on February 24, 2017, President Donald Trump has kept saying the same thing: that the United States is at war with radical Islam, mainly represented by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Yet, the leftist media and other American liberals insist on portraying his position as a fight against Islam and Muslims. In fact, most moderate Muslims are not offended by the phrase "radical Islam," because they are very distressed by the fact that their religion has been commandeered by the radicals and transformed from a religion of peace into a more radical version. Unfortunately, instead of the leftists giving a voice to and supporting these moderate Muslims, a kind of leftist-Islamist alliance has emerged.

Abdel Rahman al-Rashed, a Saudi columnist for pan-Arab newspaper Al Sharq al Awsat, said in 2004:
"It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims... The majority of those who were suicide bombers on buses, other vehicles, in schools and other places, all over the world, were Muslim".
This statement from a well-known columnist and a former General Manager of the Al Arabiya news channel demonstrates how moderate Muslims are critical of their own culture and how they are saddened by how their religion has been hijacked by radicals. However, these appeals fall on deaf ears with leftists; they call moderate Muslims passive, which instead supports and furthers the radical Islamists' cause.

In 2009, while millions of Iranians were in the streets opposing a radical, theocratic regime as part of their Green Revolution, then U.S. President Barack Obama ignored this historic moment and continued reaching out to Iran's rulers, who are designated by the U.S. government as sponsors of terrorism. His appeasing attitude was a clear sign that the US was so eager to reach a nuclear deal by befriending the Iranian regime, that it was willing to tolerate the mullahs' brutal repression and its hegemonic policies across the region.

In 2011, we witnessed the Obama Administration's support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, in the form of billions of dollars that ensured its victory, ignoring the consequences their rule has had on moderate Muslims, Coptic Christians and secular groups. Many moderate Muslim women in Egypt entreated the Obama Administration to support them against the Muslim Brotherhood's tyranny and misogyny, but to no avail.

Gameela Ismail, an Egyptian politician activist asked John Kerry in 2013 to cease supporting the Muslim Brotherhood:
"We ask you to do nothing for us. Just stop doing anything at all in our country and stop supporting tyranny and fascism, and leave us to complete our revolution and achieve our dreams. Our dreams will not stop because of your humble perceptions of us and our future."
Kerry responded: "The United States did not take sides but had to deal with the elected legitimate government in place." Then Kerry announced the United States would give the Muslim Brotherhood government another $250 million.

Ironically, we saw John Kerry protest against President Trump as part of the Women's March on Washington after Trump's inauguration. I just wonder where those feminists and John Kerry were when millions of Egyptian women needed their support while marching against the Muslim Brotherhood and asking for America's help. Where were they when thousands of Syrian and Iraqi women were enslaved and raped by radical ISIS militants? It seems that these liberal women do not recognize the dignity of human life beyond the wall of their uterus. Abortion and contraceptive pills are their ultimate concern.

While not a single voice among these liberal feminists spoke out against these inhumane acts perpetrated against Muslim women by radical Islamists, a Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer, Linda Sarsour, co-organized the anti-Trump Women's March on Washington. What's worse, these liberal feminists want Sarsour to represent all Muslim women, while in fact she speaks for nobody except herself and those who fund her.

Sarsour's interview with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC was full of false information, yet she was still cheered by several prominent liberal leftists. She said that Muslim children are being executed in the United States [a lie], that Muslims are prohibited from practising their faith [a lie] and that there is opposition to the building of mosques [a lie: There are more than 2,106 mosques in the US]. She also admitted that she wants Islamic sharia law to be applied in the United Sates and is offended that 22 states are opposed to this. All of these lies and allegations were not challenged by MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow. In fact, she agreed with Sarsour by saying, "What is happening domestically around issues about bigotry is spooky". This shows that she is not a tolerant, open-minded anchor, but proves that she is a professional liar, which is a million miles away from a balanced media that presents the truth.

In a recent interview on MSNBC, Linda Sarsour, a Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer, said that in the United States, Muslim children are being executed [a lie], and Muslims are prohibited from practising their faith [a lie]. Pictured above: Sarsour is interviewed in a Seriously.TV video.

This is not the only example of the liberals' hypocrisy. Their use of the "Muslim card" went to the extent that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said she is prepared to "register as Muslim" in solidarity with Muslims against President Trump's plans to take executive action affecting Muslim immigrants into the US. We wonder where warm-hearted Albright's conscience was when she was asked in 1996 about the deaths of 576,000 Iraqi children under the brutal sanctions on Iraq during the Clinton Administration of the 1990s. She gave a cold-blooded response: that the price paid was worth it. Now she is heartbroken over restrictions on immigrants from seven majority-Muslim states.

Actually, there was nothing new about the three-month temporary block on those with passports from seven majority-Muslim countries. Donald Trump stated on his Facebook page:
"My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months. The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror. To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting."
The fact that the liberals are trying to undermine every single action Trump takes with continuous lies, is making them very hard to believe.

It is pathetic that the liberals are not only against President Trump in his fight against radical Islamists, but are also supporting those extremists at the expense of oppressed moderate Muslims. The alignment of the liberal leftists with radical Islamists, and playing the "Muslim card" hypocritically and exploitatively, will not make Muslims support liberals. On the contrary, this will encourage more moderate Muslims to align themselves with conservatives. So, let the liberals have the radicals as their lackeys.
Najat AlSaied is a Saudi American academic and the author of: Screens of Influence: Arab Satellite Television & Social Development. She is an Assistant Professor at Zayed University in the College of Communication and Media Sciences in Dubai-UAE. She can be reached at:

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How the monstering of Donald Trump has confused the Jews - Melanie Phillips

by Melanie Phillips

Everyone should calm down and stop jumping to conclusions with every phone call, visit or remark.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump. (photo credit:REUTERS) 

President Donald Trump continues to be the focus of confusion and division, not least within the Jewish world.

At first he was hailed as massively pro-Israel. He said he was opposed to the Iran deal and Israel’s treatment by the UN, promised to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem and appointed as US ambassador a bullish supporter of the settlers. Jews on the Right were thrilled, Jews on the Left were dismayed.

But then he invited Mahmoud Abbas to the White House and sent his envoy Jason Greenblatt to make nice with him in Ramallah, asked Benjamin Netanyahu to hold back on settlement building and back-pedaled on moving the embassy. Jews on the Right are now dismayed, Jews on the Left are thrilled.

Everyone should calm down and stop jumping to conclusions with every phone call, visit or remark. We don’t know if Trump is proceeding toward yet another Middle East foreign policy car crash or a genius deal.

A much bigger picture may be in play, involving unprecedented opportunities arising from the political earthquake going on in the Arab world over the threat from Iran. This picture may not become clear for some time, and the signals along the way may be opaque or even deliberately confusing.

There are deeper worries about Trump, though, within the Jewish world. Across the political spectrum Jews are fretting that either he himself harbors anti-Jewish feelings or at the very least has empowered those who have them.

The examples supposedly backing up this preposterous claim, however, don’t stack up at all.

Take the notorious omission of Jewish victims from the White House statement marking Holocaust Remembrance Day. Officials were further excoriated when they said this was deliberate because they wanted to be “inclusive” of all who suffered under the Nazis. It was also reported that team Trump had stripped all references to Jews from an initial State Department draft.

Omitting Jews from the Holocaust statement was indeed wrong. But there’s a widespread liberal approach which similarly downplays Jewish victimization in the Holocaust in order to be “inclusive.”

Indeed Hillary Clinton, when secretary of state, issued a statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day 2013 which made no mention whatever of Jews or antisemitism.

What’s more, a White House official said the Trump team hadn’t even seen the State draft before publishing its own.

Further proof of Trump’s anti-Jewish mindset was supposedly provided by his reported speculation, when asked about the wave of bomb threats to US Jewish centers, that rather than assuming all these to be antisemitic incidents “sometimes it’s the reverse, to make people – or to make others – look bad.”

Cue hysteria over “reverse,” by which he was said to mean Jews themselves had invented these threats in line with the classic antisemitic trope that the Jews fabricate attacks on themselves to manipulate public sympathy.

Seldom has one word been invested with so much inappropriate significance. For sure, Trump hardly helps himself. He speaks loosely and inaccurately. He thinks (and tweets) from his gut. He appears emotional, self-absorbed and impulsive. He shoots his mouth off over something he’s seen or heard on TV or talk radio which as often as not turns out to be false. All this is alarming and indefensible.

It was, however, clear from the context that by “reverse” he was suggesting these might be “false flag” attacks by unspecified enemies carried out to damage him. Rightly or wrongly, Trump believes his enemies mounted such attacks at his rallies to smear him with the taint of violence. That, not an anti-Jewish canard, was obviously what was in his mind.

Many, though, just won’t accept this. Their view of the president has been indelibly framed by the onslaught of distortion, fabrication, selective reporting, double standards, wrenching out of context and character assassination by association hurled against him by the mainstream media.

This is all having a distressing effect on American Jews.

They are no longer just divided between Left and Right.

There’s now a further rancorous division between conservative Jews who believe Trump will be the saving of Israel and the West, and conservative Jews who believe he will be a catastrophe for the Jews and America.

In part, the latter comes from an aesthetic distaste for Trump’s crude and boorish public persona. More seriously, it reflects concern about his apparently tenuous relationship with the truth.

At a deeper level still, it also surely reflects the profound fissure within conservatism itself. For decades, progressives have rejected Western national identity and values as a form of white racism and cultural oppression.

Many conservatives bought into much of this onslaught, usually without realizing it.

That’s why millions in the West have felt so disenfranchised; and why conservatives no less than liberals were so astonished by both Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump. Both these phenomena expressed the urgent wish of the people to defend the identity, culture and democratic accountability of Western nations against the attempt to destroy them.

Yet this reasonable, even admirable impulse has been vilified as racism not just by the Left but also by mainstream conservatives – amongst whom are many anti- Trump Jews. That’s why Trump’s philosopher-strategist Steve Bannon, who is driven by the desire to restore Western national identity based on Judeo-Christian values, has been smeared and defamed as a “white nationalist.”

Yet it’s also why ultimately Donald Trump, despite his manifold flaws, is a true ally of the Jewish people. It’s a great pity so many Jews don’t see it.

Melanie Phillips is a columnist for The Times (UK).


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The West has finally woken up - Dr. Mordechai Kedar

by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Holland's current ruckus with Turkey is only the tip of the European iceberg, most of which is already under water.

Sometimes it's a good idea to take a step backwards, look at reality from a distance, and see the larger picture, taking in the whole forest rather than just the individual trees. If we attempt to review what has been going on in the world since the British decision to leave the European Union and since Donald Trump's November 16th election victory, it is just possible that the picture emerging is that of a West beginning the fight against Islam after 8 years of submission disguised by a fragile mask of political correctness.

A not insignificant number of factors add up to a wide and inclusive picture: the fact that it is now permissible to say the words "Islamic terror" in the USA, the attempts to limit Muslim immigration to that country, Trump's decision to finish off ISIS, the strengthening of rightist parties in Europe, the unsuccessful but serious possiblity that Geert Wilders might have been elected in Holland, the discovery of a gigantic weapons cache in Spain - these are only a small example of the issues that have been part of public discourse over the last few months.

It seems that the West has decided to wake up and shake off the Muslim takeover of the public and political agenda. More and more anti-Islamist phenomena are being seen in Europe and America, those called "Islamophobic" by Muslims and their support groups, who define them as irrationnal fears of Islam and Muslims. Opponents of Islam are not only members of shaven-headed gangs, neo-Nazis, tattoo-covered beer drinkers, but ordinary people, upstanding and honest citizens, who have become seriously anxious about what is happening in Europe and the USA.

They observe the cultural change flooding Europe with troubled eyes, noting the immigrants, many of whom come to live off government benefits, the increase in violence, the abusive and negative attitude towards European women in particular, the damage to the younger generation. The average European is very disturbed by Muslim women's face-coverings, he sees that custom as a cultural red line. Western culture is based on revealing oneself in interpersonal contacts and covering one's face contradicts this basic premise. In the West's perception of things, those who hide their faces are criminals - like bank robbers or murderers with face masks - and this is the reason for the instinctive dislike Europeans have for seeing Muslim women wearing face-coverings in public places.

A good many Europeans have developed intense antagonism towards Islamists because of the behavior of some Muslims, mostly young ones, in the public space: noise, wild driving, male and female Islamic apparel, street prayer, mosque construction, muezzin calls to prayer in the middle of the night, burqinis at the beach and swimming pools, media reports of bigamy and polygamy among the immigrants, honor killings of girls and women, influences on school curricula and the food served to pupils - and much more. Each one of the items listed above might have passed without making waves, but the combination of all of them draws a worrying impression of an alien culture that is increasingly threatening to overpower the West's culture and way of life.

What can be observed in Europe and the USA today, is a counter-reaction, perhaps the shaking-up of a Western society which has succeeded in removing the mask of political correctness and has set out to battle this troubling development, in an attempt to recover its Western lifestyle, character and the once dominant public expression of that lifestyle. Will this necessarily lead to violence? Maybe not, but what not a few Muslim immigrants are about to discover is that Western socities are changing their attitudes to Muslim immigration and to Muslim demands whose purpose is the creeping Islamization of the European environment.

Holland as a test case: Enough of Erdogan

The background to what is happening today between Holland and Turkey is to be found in over 400 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries; Holland is one of the largest investors in the Turkish economy; over 2000 Dutch companies function in Turkey; trade between the two countries surpasses 10 billion dollars annually and at least a million Dutch tourists visit Turkey every year. At least 400,000 Turkish citizens, 2.5% of the Dutch population, live in Holland. Sounds good, even great, so far.

But what is happening now is the result of long years of European submission to Erdogan's outlandish behavior, his impulsivity, crude manners and speech, and his flooding Europe with Syrian refugees and other, mostly Muslim, migrants. The Dutch were the first to protest, but the dispute has spilled over into other European countries.

The last round of bad blood between Turkey and Europe began a few days ago, when Erdogan attempted to send government ministers to Europe to encourage the millions of Turks living in Europe and who have the right to vote in Turkey, to endorse the changes in Turkey's constitution that will strengthen his position. He intends to turn Turkey into a country where the president is not simply a symbolic figure as Erdogan is supposed to be today, but an executive holding the reins of the legislature, on the lines of the USA.

Holland is going through a process of reflection, one that has strengthened the radical right and its leader, Geert Wilders. A short five years ago, he was considered an untouchable racist, but recently, he became a serious candidate for leadership of the country. The Dutch have realized, somehwat belatedly, that their warm acceptance of Muslim migrants turned their country into a preferred destination, and are turning solidly to the right, trying to backtrack and save their homeland from an ever-growing Islamic invasion.

Despite the tense atmosphere and this growing anti-Islamism, Erdogan - head of an Islamist, Muslim Brotherhood-style party - decided to send his ministers to Holland in order to achieve even more power for himself. Did he go mad? Not at all, he simply doesn't take Europeans into account in the slightest, has ignored them for years with impunity - after all, they let him get away with whatever he wanted to do from the day he gained power in 2002. The Dutch have decided that they have had enough of this and refused to allow the Turkish ministers to enter Holland and speak to their voters. The ministers' intention, it should be stressed, was to reach the industrial port city of Rotterdam, which has a Muslim majority.

Erdogan was insulted personally, as it suddenly appeared that the Dutch have their own will, and even worse, a sense of self-worth! They actually refused to continue their obeisance to the Sultan! They refused to allow the plane bringing the Turkish foreign minister to land in Holland and stopped its family minister's car at the border. They were unimpressed by Turkey's threats of economic sanctions and the preventing of Dutch airlines from landing on Turkish soil. Erdogan compared them to Nazis and fascists, although Holland was a victim of the Nazis. At this point, the weapon chosen by both sides is that of recalling ambassadors.

Holland is not alone: Germany, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland do not support Erdogan's desire to become all-powerful, and have also applied limitations to the arrival of his spokesmen to their territories. Erdogan is now calling for international bodies to punish the Netherlands.

Are we witnessing the beginning of a struggle for the soul of Europe, fought between the newly-strengthened Right and those trying to effect an Islamic takeover?

Is this the beginning of a change in the process of Europe's Islamization?

Does Europe have a European future?

Time will tell, as will elections, but along with the political and public struggle, it is worthwhile for Europeans to consider having children. Without more children, the Europeans are marching proudly towards becoming a museum exhibit.

Written for Arutz Sheva, translated from the Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. Thoroughly familiar with Arab media in real time, he is frequently interviewed on the various news programs in Israel.


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Hezbollah Develops Domestic Arms Industry with Iranian Know-How - Ari Lieberman

by Ari Lieberman

Lebanon transforms into a vassal state of the Mullahs.

Not many people have ever heard of Souk El Gharb, a sleepy Lebanese village perched on a mountain top overlooking Beirut but in 1983, this village was the scene of ferocious fighting between the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and an assortment of Syrian-backed leftist and Muslim anti-government militias. For a while, the LAF, backed by the United States, was holding its own against the militias, beating back several coordinated attacks and even mounting offensives of their own.

But the LAF was doing more than just winning; it was unifying the nation splintered after many years of civil war and Palestinian occupation. The bulk of the Palestine Liberation Organization – a foreign entity that had occupied nearly half of Lebanon for 10 years – had just been expelled by the Israel Defense Forces and a multi-national force (MLF) composed of U.S. Marines, French and Italian troops took up positions in and around Beirut to promote stability in the nation’s capital. Israel’s 1982 invasion and the presence of the MLF gave Lebanon a chance to re-assert its sovereignty.

But the LAF’s good fortune was short-lived. On October 23, 1983 Hezbollah suicide bombers slammed their explosive laden trucks into the U.S. Marine and French army barracks killing 241 U.S. military personnel and 58 French servicemen. In early 1984, the MLF withdrew and the LAF quickly unraveled in the face of overwhelming firepower. Lebanon once again fell under the malign influence of Syria and later Iran, through its Shia proxy force, Hezbollah.

In May 2008 the Lebanese government made one last effort to re-assert sovereignty over the nation, which was by now almost fully under the control of Hezbollah, and by extension Iran. The government declared Hezbollah’s parallel militarized telecommunication network to be illegal. It also sought removal of Beirut Airport's security chief Wafic Shkeir, who was a Hezbollah operative and was actively assisting Hezbollah with the movement of clandestine arms shipments and other contraband.

Hezbollah responded ruthlessly and swiftly moved to the offensive, taking over government controlled buildings and neighborhoods while the LAF watched helplessly. Lebanon’s last gasp at freedom failed and the country was now firmly under the control of Hezbollah and the mullahs of the Islamic Republic.

Hezbollah terrorists openly operate in every part of the country and often times coordinate their activities with the LAF, which has been reduced to nothing more than a Hezbollah auxiliary force. 

Lebanon’s president, Michel Aoun, a Hezbollah stooge who is almost certainly on the terror group’s payroll, recently praised Hezbollah and stated that the LAF would fight alongside the terror group in any confrontation with the IDF. Aoun was only confirming what all of us already knew; that the LAF is a marginal entity that assumes a subordinate role in Lebanese affairs but conveniently serves as the nation’s fig leaf of sovereignty, giving Hezbollah the political cover it needs to pursue its nefarious agenda.

More troubling however, is a report that recently surfaced in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida, alleging that Iran had constructed arms factories in Lebanon and transferred them over to Hezbollah. The paper, citing a high-level Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) source, noted that the factories are capable of producing a wide variety of sophisticated weapons including anti-tank guided missiles, surface-to-surface missiles and missile-carrying aerial drones. The factories have reportedly been built at depths of some 50 meters below ground. It is virtually impossible for these factories to have been constructed without the knowledge of the Lebanese government and the LAF.

The report if true, confirms Iranian Defense Minister Hussein Dehqan’s declaration that Hezbollah “now possesses the capabilities to build and produce any projectile or missile.” It also constitutes a blatant violation of UNSCR 1701 which calls for the “disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that…there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state.”

The notion of an independent Lebanese state capable of exercising its sovereignty is however, under the present circumstances, laughable. The current government headed by Aoun serves the interests of the Islamic Republic and is wholly subservient to its wishes.

Israel has had past success in thwarting Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah by striking weapons convoys and arms workshops in Syria and Sudan but the construction of Hezbollah-run arms factories capable of producing sophisticated weaponry in Lebanon represents a brazen escalation of the status quo. The unspoken rules of the shadow war between Israel and Hezbollah allow Israel the freedom of action to strike at Hezbollah targets outside of Lebanon but an attack against Hezbollah in Lebanon would almost certainly invite Hezbollah retaliation and possibly ignite a wider conflict. This is something both sides wish to avoid but given Iran’s belligerency and aggressive posturing since Barack Obama’s disastrous JCPOA, full scale conflict might be inevitable sooner rather than later.

Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.


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Hawaii Judge's Flawed Aloha Akhbar Logic - Daniel John Sobieski

by Daniel John Sobieski

Judge Watson strays outside the four corners of the executive order and ignores explicit U.S. law to cite President Trump’s campaign statements, which are totally irrelevant.

The latest indication of the need to drain the judicial swamp comes in the form of Hawaii Judge Derrick Watson’s ruling placing a hold on President Trump’s second executive order placing a temporary immigration ban on six predominantly Muslim countries. It is, as President Trump noted, a classic case of "judicial overreach."

Judge Watson’s logic belongs in a parallel judicial universe where judges are allowed to regulate foreign policy, clearly a presidential prerogative defined in both law and the U.S. Constitution. Judge Watson cites no law and, in the case of the Constitution, says the travel ban violates the Establishment Clause which forbids favoring or disparaging a particular religion. By that logic, you could never restrict any immigration from any Muslim country for any reason. Judge Watson strays outside the four corners of the executive order and ignores explicit U.S. law to cite President Trump’s campaign statements, which are totally irrelevant. Motive, even if correctly discerned, is irrelevant here. Only the law and presidential authority should apply. As the Washington Post describes Judge Watson’s flawed logic:
In a blistering 43-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson pointed to Trump’s own comments and those of his close advisers as evidence that his order was meant to discriminate against Muslims and declared there was a “strong likelihood of success” that those suing would prove the directive violated the Constitution.
Watson declared that “a reasonable, objective observer -- enlightened by the specific historical context, contemporaneous public statements, and specific sequence of events leading to its issuance -- would conclude that the Executive Order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion.”
Judge Watson even cited statements by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to buttress his assertion of a religious animus toward Muslims. Watson favorably cited the plaintiff’s citation of President Trump’s words regarding Muslim persecution of Christians in the Middle East. As CNN reported Trump’s remarks:
President Donald Trump said in a new interview Friday that persecuted Christians will be given priority over other refugees seeking to enter the United States, saying they have been "horribly treated."
Speaking with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Trump said that it had been "impossible, or at least very tough" for Syrian Christians to enter the United States.
"If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair -- everybody was persecuted, in all fairness -- but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them."
And just what is unconstitutional about helping victims of religious persecution? If we had given preference to German Jews before the Holocaust, would that have been unconstitutional? We in fact gave preference to Russian Jews fleeing the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Was that unconstitutional? It is amazing that Judge Watson seems blissfully unaware of the ongoing persecution of Christians in predominantly Muslim countries or the Obama administration’s curious selectivity in admitting refugees. As Fox News reported:
The Obama administration hit its goal this week of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees -- yet only a fraction of a percent are Christians, stoking criticism that officials are not doing enough to address their plight in the Middle East.
Of the 10,801 refugees accepted in fiscal 2016 from the war-torn country, 56 are Christians, or .5 percent.
A total of 10,722 were Muslims, and 17 were Yazidis.
The numbers are disproportionate to the Christian population in Syria, estimated last year by the U.S. government to make up roughly 10 percent of the population. Since the outbreak of civil war in 2011, it is estimated that between 500,000 and 1 million Christians have fled the country, while many have been targeted and slaughtered by the Islamic State…
Disparate impact, anyone? Discrimination? Gross injustice? Where were the lawsuits? Where were the judicial rulings saying that President Obama was favoring one religion over another? Where was Judge Watson and his liberal brethren? As Rush Limbaugh noted on his show, President Trump’s travel ban is lawful under 8 U.S Code 1182, and there is ample historical precedent for employing its bestowed authority to ban any class of aliens at any time, for any reason if the President deems the national security of the United States requires it:
Here is number eight US Code 1182, inadmissible aliens. This law was written in 1952. It was passed by a Democrat-controlled Congress, House and Senate, and signed by a Democrat president.
“Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by president. Whenever the president finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, the president may, by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”
Over here, everybody in the establishment in the political class, Republican, Democrat, media, you name it, is all claiming that what Trump said is dumb, stupid, reckless, dangerous, unconstitutional, while it is the law of the land. And it was utilized by Jimmy Carter, no less, in 1979 to keep Iranians out of the United States…
In November the 1979 United States attorney general had given all Iranian students one month to report to the local immigration office. Seven thousand were found in violation of their visas, 15,000 Iranians were forced to leave the United States, 1979.
As for the application by Judge Watson of the Establishment Clause to Trump’s travel ban, this is from some Alice In Wonderland law book. If travel ban violates the Establishment Clause, why hasn’t 8 U.S. Code 1182 been struck down by Judge Watson or any other liberal judge? Oklahoma Attorney Robert Barnes, interviewed on Sirius XM radio, says Judge Watson is clearly wrong in extending the Establish Clause to non-citizen foreigners:
“His basis for doing so was an extraordinary interpretation of the right to travel and the freedom of association, which before, has only been associated with U.S. citizens,” Barnes continued. “Every court decision in the 200 years prior to this has said that people who are not citizens of the United States, who are not present within the United States, have no First Amendment constitutional rights. The Constitution doesn’t extend internationally to anybody, anywhere, anyplace, at any time…
“The Hawaii judge’s decision says he has a First Amendment constitutional right to do so because he’s Muslim. It was one of the most extraordinary interpretations of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment ever given, which is that because these are Muslim countries that were banned where the issue of terror arises from that that meant they had a special right to access the country and visit the country,” he said.
“As long as there is somebody here that wants them here, no president can ever preclude them from coming here. He basically gave First Amendment rights to everybody around the world and gave special preferences to people who are Muslim under his interpretation of the First Amendment,” Barnes summarized.
“So it’s an extraordinarily broad order. Its legal doctrine has no limits. If you keep extending this, it means people from around the world have a special right to access the United States, visit the United States, emigrate to the United States, get visas to the United States...
And who is this Imam who prompted Judge Watson’s order by asserting he had been harmed by President Trump’s travel ban? Conservative Review described the man behind the lawsuit:
Dr. Ismail Elshikh -- the imam of the Muslim Association of Hawaii -- is suing Trump in reaction to the second version of his immigration moratorium, which was signed on Monday. The order imposed a 90-day hold on foreign nationals from six terror-tied countries from entering the United States. According to the Muslim Association of Hawaii website, Imam Elshikh is a member of the North American Imam Federation (NAIF), a fringe Islamic organization that has a board and current leadership stacked with radical Islamic connections. Kyle Shideler, a terrorism expert and director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy, tells CR that it’s concerning that Imam Elshikh is a part of NAIF. “Given NAIF's history it should come as no surprise that the end goal of this lawsuit is, ultimately, weakening American counter-terrorism or immigration security efforts,” Shideler said. He added: "That a member of an organization whose leaders have included a convicted war criminal, an individual who defended donating money to a Hamas linked charity, and an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism bombing wants to tell the American people who they can admit for immigration should say a lot about why such an executive order is needed in the first place."
The fact is that the Constitution, which gives the president exclusive power to conduct foreign policy, does not extend infinitely to every non-citizen on this planet who may have some connection to someone here. The law clearly gives the president the legal authority to ban entry to any noncitizen who he determines may be a threat to the national security of the United States.

Judge Watson has not interpreted this or any other law. He has written law, very bad law, and has become the poster child for the need to drain the judicial swamp.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.


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Know Thine Enemy - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

[Editor: If the Trump administration's goal is to highlight the PA's continuing incitement and encouragement of terrorism and to place pressure on the PA, this attempt at negotiations might end up being good for Israel. As long as we (Israel) are not pressured into making more pointless and damaging "good-will gestures". By taking this course of action, Trump may be able to show the world - where others have failed - how futile these endless "peace processes" actually are, since it may finally become obvious that the "Palestinians" are not interested in either peace or independence.]

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

There are iron rules of warfare. One of the most basic rules is that you have to know your enemy. If you do not know your enemy, or worse, if you refuse to act on your knowledge of him, you will lose your war against him.

This basic truth appears to have eluded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

This week we have been beset by the bizarre and sudden appearance of Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s negotiations chief.

Greenblatt’s mission is apparently to reinstate the mordant peace process between Israel and the PLO.

The peace process that Greenblatt is here to reincarnate died 17 years ago.

In 2000, PLO chief and Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat killed the peace process when he initiated a massive terrorist war against Israel, right after he rejected peace and Palestinian statehood at the Camp David peace conference.

In rejecting peace, the architect of modern terrorism made clear that his claim seven years earlier that he was willing to reach a compromise with Israel, based on partition of the Land of Israel between a Jewish and an Arab state, was a lie. As the nationalist camp had warned at the time and since, the PLO was not remotely interested either in statehood or in peace. Arafat’s willingness to engage Israel in negotiations that led to its transfer of security and civil control over Gaza and the Palestinian population centers in Judea and Samaria to the PLO was simply another means to the only end the PLO ever contemplated. It was a means of weakening Israel as a step toward achieving the PLO’s ultimate goal of destroying the Jewish state.

In 1993, when then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin agreed to recognize the PLO, his implicit assumption was that if Arafat was lying, Israel would walk away from the peace process. It would retake control over the areas it had ceded to PLO control and things would go back to the way they were before he made the gamble, indeed they would be better. Whereas for years Israel had been under pressure from the Europeans and the Americans to recognize the PLO, if Israel recognized the terrorist group and the PLO responded by showing that it remained dedicated to Israel’s destruction, the world that had been pressuring Israel would end its pressure.

The Europeans and the Americans would rally to Israel’s side against the PLO.

In 2000, after Arafat blew up the negotiations table with his suicide bombers, then-prime minister Ehud Barak announced triumphantly that he had ripped the mask off of Arafat’s face.

Now everyone would recognize the truth about the PLO. Now the Europeans and the Americans would rally to Israel’s side.

Of course, things didn’t work out that way.

In the seven years between Rabin’s decision to gamble on Arafat, and Barak’s declaration that the truth had finally come out, the Europeans and the Americans and the Israeli Left had become addicted to the notion that the PLO was a peace movement and that Israel and its so-called settlers were the reason that peace hadn’t been reached.

That is, by the time the true nature of Israel’s enemy had become clear, it was too late. It didn’t matter. In recognizing the PLO, Israel had legitimized it. Refusing to recognize the nature of its enemy, Israel had empowered it, at its own expense.

By the time Arafat removed his mask, the legitimacy he had received from Israel seven years earlier had rendered him untouchable.

The West had become so invested in the myth of PLO moderation that rather than punish him for his terrorist war, the Europeans and the Americans punished Israel for complaining about it. Indeed, the more Israelis Arafat’s henchmen murdered, the more committed the Europeans and the American foreign policy establishment and political Left became to the PLO.

Israel, in the meantime, became a diplomatic outcast.

In the 17 years since Arafat showed his true colors, neither he nor his heir Mahmoud Abbas ever did anything to indicate that the PLO has changed its spots. To the contrary. The PLO’s leaders have made clear over and over and over again that Arafat’s decision to reject peace in favor of never-ending war against Israel was no fluke. It was the rule.

The PLO doesn’t want a state. If it did it would have accepted sovereignty in Gaza 12 years ago, when Israel withdrew and took its citizens with it. If it wanted a state, then Arafat and Abbas would have accepted Israel’s repeated offers of statehood over the years.

The PLO that is greeting Greenblatt in March 2017 is the same terrorist organization it was when Arafat announced its formation in December 1964.

Given this unchanging reality, it is deeply destructive for Israel to continue paying lip service to the fake peace process. And yet, that is precisely what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is doing.

Trump’s election gave Israel an opportunity to finally get the Americans to recognize the reality they have spent the past 17 years refusing to accept. Unlike Barack Obama, Trump was not wedded to the notion that Israel, and its religious Zionist community, is to blame for the absence of peace. He was not obsessed with appeasing the PLO as his predecessors have been for the past generation.

Trump was not interested in getting involved with the Palestinians at all. But rather than seize the opportunity he was handed, Netanyahu seems to have decided to throw it in the trash.

He only agreed to discuss his strategic goal for dealing with the Palestinians after his cabinet forced him to do so on the eve of his trip to Washington last month.

At that meeting, Netanyahu said that he supports establishing a “Palestinian state, minus” that would have formal sovereignty but would be demilitarized. Netanyahu also offered that he envisions Israeli sovereignty being extended to the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.

There are many problems with Netanyahu’s plan. But its most glaring deficiency is that it continues to treat the PLO as a legitimate organization rather than a terrorist organization.

By doing so, Netanyahu not only throws a lifeline to an organization that uses all the legitimacy Israel confers on it to weaken Israel strategically and diplomatically. He empowers Israel’s detractors in the US and Europe that have spent the past quarter-century blaming Israel for the absence of peace and acclaiming the PLO and its terrorist chiefs as moderates.

It is not surprising that Trump reinstated Obama’s demand that Israel curtail Jewish property rights in Judea and Samaria after Netanyahu pronounced his support for Palestinian statehood. If Netanyahu won’t disavow the anti-Israel diplomatic unicorn, then why should Trump? And if Trump is maintaining allegiance to the myth of PLO legitimacy, then it only makes sense for him to also adopt the patently absurd, and virulently anti-Israel, assumption that Jewish home building is the reason there is no peace.

Similarly, with Netanyahu willing to accept the PLO, and the concomitant assumption of Jewish culpability for the absence of peace, why would Trump consider replacing Obama’s anti-Israel advisers with advisers supportive of the US-Israel alliance? After Netanyahu left Washington last month, Trump decided to retain Yael Lempert as the National Security Council’s point person for the Israeli-Palestinian portfolio. According to a report in The Weekly Standard, Democrats in Washington long viewed Lempert as one of the most radical opponents of Israel in the Obama administration.

Trump also decided to keep on Michael Ratney, the former US consul in Jerusalem, as the man in charge of the Israeli-Palestinian desk at the State Department. Ratney’s appointment brought shouts of joy from anti-Israel activists led by John Kerry’s former negotiations chief Martin Indyk.

Perhaps these personnel decisions would have been made even if Netanyahu hadn’t maintained his allegiance to the lie of PLO legitimacy. But Netanyahu’s support for the PLO made it much easier for these opponents of Israel to keep their jobs.

By all accounts, Jason Greenblatt is a friend of Israel and a supporter of the US alliance with the Jewish state. Greenblatt studied at a yeshiva in Gush Etzion many years ago. On Thursday, he took the step that no US envoy has ever taken of meeting with the heads of the local councils in Judea and Samaria.

And yet, whatever his personal views may be, this week he came to Israel to discuss limiting the legal rights of Israelis in Judea and Samaria.

He was accompanied on his trip by Lempert.

Greenblatt visited with Abbas in Ramallah and delivered no ultimatum when he asked the Palestinian Authority “president” (whose term of office ended in 2009) to scale back the murderous anti-Jewish propaganda that permeates all facets of Palestinian society under the PLO.

Greenblatt politely listened as Abbas demanded that Israel agree to withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines in a future peace, agree to release terrorist murderers from its prisons and end all construction for Jews in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

Greenblatt then discussed continued US economic subsidization of Abbas’s terrorism- steeped kleptocracy, in the name of economic development.

In other words, whatever Greenblatt’s personal views on the issues, as Trump’s envoy, he put us all back on the phony peace train.

Netanyahu argues that Israel has to give legitimacy to the PLO and support Palestinian statehood, because if it doesn’t, then the Sunni Arab states won’t work with Israel in its efforts to stymie Iran’s regional power grab and stall its nuclear weapons program. This claim, however, is untrue.

The Saudis, Egyptians and Jordanians are working with Israel on countering Iran because they need Israel to help them to weaken Iran.

They need Israel to help them to convince the Americans to abandon Obama’s pro-Iranian Middle East policy.

In other words, Netanyahu is paying for Sunni support that he can get for free.

Rabin believed that Israel would emerge stronger from his decision to recognize the PLO, one way or another. Either Israel would achieve peace. Or Israel would get the Americans and the Europeans off its back once the PLO made clear that it was lying about wanting peace. Rabin was wrong.

Israel paid gravely for Rabin’s error in judgment.

It will pay a similarly high price, if not a higher one, if Netanyahu continues to repeat Rabin’s mistake of failing to know his enemy.

Caroline Glick


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Mexico Asserts A 'Human Right' To Be An Illegal - Monica Showalter

by Monica Showalter

the ultimate hypocrisy

Now this is rich:
The head of Mexico’s governors’ association will lodge a complaint with the Organization of American States Saturday accusing President Trump of human rights violations, demanding the OAS help ensure protections for migrants facing raids or deportation from the U.S.
The Washington Times goes on to report that the complaint will be delivered personally, and that the governors also issued a lot of palaver about the economic importance of the border, meaning, open border on the northside (just try to get past a Mexican immigration officer without papers going south) as somehow necessary for both countries.

It's the ultimate hypocrisy, starting with the appeal to the Organization of American States. That august body is the one that, despite its democratic charter, has allowed Venezuela to become a hellhole as bad as Cuba, except even less competently run, with a massive crime and corruption wave to boot. In the OAS' eyes, the place is still a "democracy."

So now the big concern for the OAS is "human rights" according to these governors. Not the human rights of having to live in Mexico, which is so corrupt and crime-ridden that schoolyard kids are exposed to beheadings, the Mexico of hanging bodies on bridges, or the Mexico of mass graves, often of migrants. Or, the Mexico where governors are found complicit at least in the mass disappearance of college students, as happened a couple years ago. No, the human rights violation here is the election of Donald Trump, his effort to enforce U.S. law and apparently, a newly carved out human "right" to be an illegal immigrant with no detention.

Here's what's really going on: These governors live in states that are highly dependent on remittances from illegals. It comes into banks where it pools for investment and unless remittance recipients spend it all at once someplace else, it serves as capital. That gives the governors their walking around money for their states.

They need those remittances. Remittances, unless they are pooled for investment, which most aren't, they are usually income to support relatives. The very setup breaks apart families and tends to keep a country underdeveloped, according to the World Bank. But they do keep the state financed. That's why these governors are howling about Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration and suddenly concerned about "human rights" to the OAS. They do this, while living in Dynasty-style luxury, benefitting from the remitttancesof every ditch-digger, gardener, maid, and truck driver forced to leave family in Mexico and try their luck up north. Why do the ditch diggers leave their families? Well, in many cases, seems the human rights, including the right to a job, aren't so great in their home states in Mexico. 

So now, they've discovered a new 'human right' to violate U.S. immigration law, according to these governors. They've couched it in complaints about detention conditions, but considering how illegals place themselves in the tender mercies of cartels for transport - these are the guys who leave locked trucks full of illegals in the desert and dump illegals to walk the desert when they see the migra, but somehow, nothing is more important than a spa-prison luxury jail cell. There is nothing wrong with U.S. jail cells generally but when illegals are sent in human waves, there will be overcrowding at times. That is what incenses these governors. For them, for all their blather about rule of law in their own states and how much they claim to value that, there sure isn't a human right to rule of law to the citizens of the U.S. There is only a human right to be an illegal. The better to keep those remittances flowing.

Monica Showalter


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A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in France: February 2017 - Soeren Kern

by Soeren Kern

The breakdown in law and order in Muslim neighborhoods in Paris is being fueled by impunity for criminals and a lenient judicial system

  • Children and women are being raped by human traffickers inside the Camp de la Linière, a migrant camp in the northern French city of Dunkirk; they are forced to have sex in return for blankets, food or the offer of passage to Britain. A volunteer worker referred to the children as being like "little steaks" because they were considered so appetizing and vulnerable to traffickers.
  • The breakdown in law and order in Muslim neighborhoods in Paris is being fueled by impunity for criminals and a lenient judicial system, according to Hugues Moutouh, a former advisor to the Interior Ministry.
  • "You can pass on my respects to the Grand Mufti, but I will not cover myself up." — French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, cancelling a meeting with the Grand Mufti of Lebanon.
  • The report implies that deradicalization, either in specialized centers or in prisons, does not work because most Islamic radicals do not want to be deradicalized.
February 1. The Interior Ministry reported a 45% decline in attacks against Jews and Muslims in France in 2016, but a 17.5% increase in attacks against Christians. The ministry said there were 1,125 attacks against Jews and Muslims in 2016, down from 2,034 attacks in 2015. It also reported 949 attacks against Christians in 2016, up from 808 attacks in 2015. Attacks against Christians jumped by 245% between 2008 and 2016.

February 2. Undercover police wearing burqas and qamis (traditional Arab gowns) were filmed apprehending a drug dealer in the Marseille's Bricarde district, a notorious no-go zone. Police confirmed the "totally normal camouflage technique" after the cellphone video was posted on social media. A local resident complained: "This gives the impression that you basically have to be Muslim or look like a Muslim in order to blend in." Another resident said:
"I think that trying to blend into the crowd in order not to attract attention is a good way of catching traffickers. What's more, the police are not really respected on the council estates, which have become no-go areas. Even the police are scared to go there, which isn't right. So it's hardly surprising that when they come they have to disguise themselves — although I can understand why lots of people are criticizing them for it."
February 3. Abdallah El-Hamahmy, a 29-year-old Egyptian national, attacked four French soldiers at the Louvre in Paris. He was carrying two backpacks when he approached the soldiers, who were on patrol at the entrance to the Carrousel du Louvre shopping mall, beneath the museum. When they told him that he could not bring his bags into the mall, he lunged at them with a machete and began shouting "Allahu Akbar." After a brief struggle, one of the soldiers opened fire, leaving El-Hamahmy in critical condition. El-Hamahmy had arrived in Paris legally on January 26 after obtaining a one-month tourist visa in Dubai. Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called the attack "terrorist in nature."

February 5. Marine Le Pen, the leader of the anti-establishment National Front party, officially launched her campaign to become the next president of France. Speaking at a rally attended by thousands of her supporters in Lyon, Le Pen launched a two-pronged attack on globalization and radical Islam. She promised French voters a referendum on remaining in the European Union, and also to deport Muslims who are deemed a security risk to France.

February 5. A police officer was charged with raping a 22-year-old man named Théo during an identity check in the Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois. The man was allegedly beaten and then raped with a police baton. He was subsequently hospitalized for injuries to his rectum that required surgery. The arrest sparked riots in Paris and other cities across France. The Inspector General of the National Police (IGPN) later determined that the sodomy was an accident which occurred after Théo refused to allow himself to be handcuffed. "It is undoubtedly very serious, it is violence that has resulted in permanent disability, but it is not a rape," the IGPN said. The police finding sparked another wave of riots.

February 7. A majority (61%) of French respondents agreed with the statement, "All further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped," according to a Chatham House survey of European attitudes toward Muslim immigration.

February 8. A new study by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) offered a partial view of the ethnic composition of French society. Journalist Yves Mamou wrote:
"In 2015, 7.3 million people born in France had at least one immigrant parent (11% of the population). Of these 7.3 million people, 45% are of European origin, most of whom are children of immigrants who arrived in France from Spain (8%) or Italy (12%) as early as the 1930s, or from Portugal in the 1970s onwards. One can assume, although it is not written in the study, that these people are of Christian origin.
"Another group is composed of Africans. 42% of the 7.3 million children born in France to an immigrant parent are of African background, mainly North Africa. They came from Algeria (15%), Morocco (11%), Tunisia (5%) and sub-Saharan Africa (11%). Although it is also not specified in the study, it would seem that the great majority are Muslim.
"Another group, children from Turkish migrant families, represent 4% of the 7.3 million. These people are classified as Asian; they are not included in the African and Muslim group. Most of these Turks are also presumably Muslim.
"A conclusion therefore would assume that 46% of the descendants of immigrants are Muslim and 45% are Christian. The remaining 9% are from East Asia or the Americas."
February 8. Two jihadists who were under house arrest in Bayonne evaded French authorities and left for Syria to join the Islamic State. The duo was intercepted in Slovenia. "This does not mean that Bayonne is a fertile ground for radicalization," said Éric Morvan, the prefect of Pyrénées-Atlantiques. "We are very far away, even if some individuals are closely monitored."

February 9. The Paris mayor's office announced a plan to build a 2.5 meter-high (8ft) wall of reinforced glass around the Eiffel Tower to protect against jihadist attacks. If approved, the €20 million ($21 million) project will begin later this year.

February 10. The Constitutional Council, the highest court in France, ruled that a law adopted in June 2016, which makes it a crime to consult jihadist websites, is unconstitutional. The ten-member council ruled that the law, which sets a two-year prison sentence and €30,000 ($32,000) fine for anyone "habitually" consulting jihadist websites, infringed on the fundamental freedom of communication. The case was brought before the court by Sami Khankan, a lawyer whose client, a convert to Islam named David Pagerie, was found guilty of the offense and was sentenced for two years by a court in Anger.

February 10. Cédric Herrou, a French farmer who helped migrants evade police to cross the French-Italian border, was handed a €3,000 suspended sentence. A court in Nice found him guilty of meeting migrants, most of them Eritrean, on Italian soil to bring them to France. The court found him not guilty of other charges, in particular housing illegal immigrants and placing them in a disused holiday home belonging to the SNCF rail company. France's immigration law punishes people who facilitate the illegal entry, movement or residence of a foreigner in France. The law allows for sentences of up to five years in prison and a fine of €30,000. After the verdict, Herrou vowed to carry on helping migrants.

February 10. The Pentagon confirmed that it targeted an Islamic State jihadist, Rachid Kassim, a French national, in a strike by the U.S.-led coalition near Mosul, Iraq. Kassim, who was in his 30s and originally from Roanne in the Loire Valley, is believed to have inspired the June 2016 attack on a senior French police officer and his partner, and the July 2016 murder of an elderly priest, whose throat was cut.

February 11. Children and women are being raped by human traffickers inside the Camp de la Linière, a migrant camp in the northern French city of Dunkirk, according to the London-based Observer. Corroborating accounts from volunteers, medics, refugees and other officials revealed that sexual abuse is common within the camp, and that children and women are forced to have sex in return for blankets, food or the offer of passage to Britain. Accounts from those at the camp, which currently holds up to 2,000 refugees, of whom an estimated 100 are unaccompanied minors, portray a squalid site with inadequate security and atrocious living conditions.

A volunteer coordinator, testifying on the condition of anonymity, said:
"Sexual assault, violence and rape are all far too common. Minors are assaulted and women are raped and forced to pay for smuggling with their bodies.
"Although the showers are meant to be locked at night, particularly dangerous individuals in the camp have keys and are able to take the women to the showers in the night to force themselves on them. This has happened to women I know very well."
She said that one of the most in-demand products distributed to women in the Dunkirk Camp are adult diapers: "Women are too scared to go to the toilets in the night," she said. "None of the locks in the women's toilets in the camp work."

The volunteer also recounted several incidents where minors had been attacked:
"A 12-year-old girl was groomed in the camp by a man well over twice her age. When she no longer wanted to speak with him because his behavior towards her had become so obscene, he threatened her. A 13-year-old boy ended up returning to his home country having been raped in the camp."
Another statement provided by an ex-NGO worker, who spent more than three years volunteering at Dunkirk, said men targeted women and children because they were so vulnerable. "You see women in a male environment with men that are disconnected from reality, so there are serious incidents such as rape. Women, children, young teens, male and female." The worker referred to the children as being like "little steaks" because they were considered so appetizing and vulnerable to traffickers, of whom dozens reside on site.

One woman travelling by herself said that unaccompanied individuals were viewed as prey: "All men see that I'm alone, and it's the same for the children. Men see me and they want to rape me."

February 13. The South Korean embassy advised Korean tourists to avoid parts of Paris after a tour group was robbed in a tour bus stuck in traffic in Bobigny (Seine-Saint-Denis).

February 13. The breakdown in law and order in Muslim neighborhoods in Paris is being fueled by impunity for criminals and a lenient judicial system, according to Hugues Moutouh, a former advisor to the Interior Ministry. In an essay for Le Figaro, he wrote:
"Another night of riots in the Paris suburbs. Again and again the same scenes of urban violence, the same images of cars burned, attacks of police stations, Molotov cocktails launched on the forces of law and order....
"A part of the French political class, on the left, is even an accomplice to these abuses by justifying the revolt of those whom it still persists in calling 'young people'...
"The suburbs of our big cities are being gangrened by gangs of traffickers.... They no longer fear the police and increasingly do not hesitate to attack them violently. Public utilities, schools and police stations are routinely ransacked. Our forces of order are exhausted and disgusted... Politicians, by their attitudes, may also give the impression of endorsing or even encouraging public disorder."
February 13. A hundred Eritrean and Sudanese migrants rioted at a rest area in Steenvoorde, on the highway linking Lille to Dunkirk, in northern France. Police said the fight was over "control of the territory" for trucks on their way to Britain. "When the police arrived, the migrants scattered in the woods and there were no arrests," police said.

February 13. The Paris City Hall installed large boulders to dissuade migrants from setting up makeshift camps outside an official migrant shelter at Porte de La Chapelle. Migrants often sleep outdoors while waiting for one of the 400 spaces in the shelter to become available. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the city wants to carry out "a reflection on the appropriation of public spaces to avoid the installation of new migrant camps in Paris."

February 14. Two men and a 16-year-old girl were charged in southern France on suspicion of planning a terror attack that the authorities said was imminent. The three, arrested on February 10 near the coastal city of Montpellier, were identified as Muslim convert Thomas Sauret, 20; his partner, a 16-year-old named only as Sarah; and Malik Hammami, 33. They were indicted for "criminal association in connection with a criminal terrorist enterprise."

February 18. The LigneRock Festival, an annual music festival in Saint-Christophe-du-Ligneron, Vendée, was cancelled after concert organizers received three anonymous phone calls warning of a "bloodbath" if the event went ahead as planned.

February 18. Police reported escalating tensions between Afghans and Sudanese at a new migrant reception center in northern Paris. "It was tense for a week," a police source told Le Monde. "The Sudanese and Afghans are not friends." The facility also reported a surge in migrants from Germany and Sweden. "Seventy percent of arrivals may not satisfy the criteria for asylum in France," the source said.

February 19. A 32-year-old man shouting "Allahu Akhbar" and "we are going to kill all of you" was shot by police after stabbing a female passerby and then attacking an elderly couple in Montauban, near Toulouse. The public prosecutor's office ordered the man to be hospitalized for treatment of "psychiatric disorders."

February 21. Prosecutors in Paris launched an investigation after two French Jews, aged 29 and 17, reportedly were assaulted by a group of men described as having a Middle Eastern appearance. The incident allegedly occurred at a traffic light in the Paris suburb of Bondy (Seine-Saint-Denis). The attackers pulled the victims, who were wearing skullcaps, out of their vehicle and attempted to sever their fingers with a hacksaw. The attackers hurled anti-Semitic slogans at the victims, including "Dirty Jews, you're going to die." Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux expressed "outrage" and pledged to do everything he could to find the perpetrators.

February 21. Three men were arrested in separate counter-terrorism raids in Paris, Marseille and Clermont-Ferrand. "The suspects had a plot that was sufficiently advanced for the police to decide to arrest them," according to anti-terrorism prosecutors in Paris.

February 21. The Paris region lost an estimated €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) in tourist income in 2016 due to a steep decline in tourism since the 2015-2016 terror attacks on France. The number of tourists visiting Île-de-France, a region which includes Paris and the surrounding area, fell by 1.5 million in 2016. The steepest decline was in Chinese and Japanese visitors.

February 21. French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen cancelled a meeting with Lebanon's Grand Mufti after he insisted that she wear a headscarf. "The highest authority in the Sunni world did not have this requirement, therefore, there is no reason to wear the veil," Le Pen said in reference to her meeting with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, Egypt, in May 2015. "You can pass on my respects to the Grand Mufti, but I will not cover myself up."

On Feb. 21, French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen cancelled a meeting with Lebanon's Grand Mufti after he insisted that she wear a headscarf. "You can pass on my respects to the Grand Mufti, but I will not cover myself up," she said. (Image source: France24 video screenshot)

February 22. The government's flagship program to deradicalize jihadists is a "total failure" and must be "completely reconceptualized," according to the initial conclusions of a parliamentary fact-finding commission on deradicalization. The report reveals that the government has nothing to show for the tens of millions of taxpayer euros it has spent over the past several years to combat Islamic radicalization in France, where 238 people have been killed in jihadist attacks since January 2015. The report implies that deradicalization, either in specialized centers or in prisons, does not work because most Islamic radicals do not want to be deradicalized.

February 22. A court in Paris sentenced two French jihadists, Ibrayima Sylla, 37, and Pierre Roubertie, 26, to a combined 38 years in prison for invading the home of Jacques Penhouet, a post office teller in Seine-et-Marne, and taking his pregnant wife and son hostage, in August 2013. While Roubertie, a convert to Islam, guarded the mother and son, Sylla dragged Penhouet to his workplace to empty the post office safe. The attackers made off with a meagre €2,080 ($2,100). Prosecutors said the two men had planned to use the stolen money to fund jihadist attacks on French soil.

February 28. Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, during a visit to Jakarta, Indonesia, insisted that there is no connection between Islam, radicalism and terrorism. "Terrorism has no nationality or religion," he said.
Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

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