Friday, April 27, 2018

Israel can meet the S-300 challenge - Oded Granot

by Oded Granot

Despite potential limitations on Israel's operational freedom in Syria, the Israeli Air Force already has an answer to the advanced defense systems Russia may give Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's response to the recent U.S.-led strike on Syrian President Bashar Assad's chemical arsenal was delivered Wednesday in the form of a laconic statement by Moscow's Defense Ministry, saying that Russia will "soon" provide Syria with its advanced S-300 missile defense system.

The Russian statement was expected and was very much a part of the cold war now waged between Washington and Moscow, aggravated by the April 14 strike. While it is doubtful that the barrage of Tomahawk missiles fired on Syria would deter Assad from using chemical weapons in the future, the strike was an affront to Putin. It illustrated him as unable to defend his ally, Assad, from the West and dented his international prestige.

This may appear as yet another time in which the U.S. and Russia lock horns. But the delivery of advanced missile defense systems to Syria is also likely to pose an issue for the Israeli Air Force with respect to maintaining Israel's stated red lines in Syria, namely preventing Iran from entrenching itself militarily there and preventing the transfer of sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The concerns are justified, but three points must be made regarding this defense system:
  1. Russia may have said it would supply Assad with S-300 missiles, but it has yet to do so and Moscow officials on Wednesday strongly denied Syria's assertion that it was already in possession of these missiles.
  2. The S-300 is an effective anti-aircraft defense system but it is, to a large extent, outdated and Russia has ceased its production about two years ago. The last system of this type was supplied to the Iranians, and Assad stands to receive either the batteries the Russians already have in Syria or ones decommissioned by the Russian military.
  3. According to foreign reports, and despite the potential restrictions on the IAF's operational freedom in Syria, the IAF already has an operational response to S-300 missiles – if and when Israel may need to mount one.
The crux of the matter here has less to do with the anti-aircraft missile system and more to do with the system of understandings between Israel and Russia. While Russia has warned Israel against targeting S-300 batteries, Israel asserted that it would not hesitate to do so if it was used against its forces. Public rhetoric aside, the two countries have maintained effective communications that have already proved they can eliminate danger.

However, the pace of regional events over the past few weeks has accelerated so rapidly that the winds may change at any minute. U.S. President Donald Trump decision on the fate of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran is looming and come May 12, if the U.S. exits the accord, an attempt by Iran to retaliate on the April 9 strike on the T4 air base in Homs or another Israeli mission to stop weapons shipments to Hezbollah could prompt a security escalation that no one wants.

Oded Granot


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220 Airstrikes on Palestinians; World Yawns - Khaled Abu Toameh

by Khaled Abu Toameh

Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority and Hamas are too busy lunging at each other's throats and trying to take down Israel to pay much attention to their people's suffering in Syria.

  • Dropping barrels of dynamite on houses and hospitals in a Palestinian refugee camp is apparently of no interest to those who pretend to champion Palestinians around the world. Nor does the issue seem to move the UN Security Council.
  • UNRWA said that of the estimated 438,000 Palestine refugees remaining inside Syria, more than 95% (418,000) are in critical need of sustained humanitarian assistance.
  • As for the leaders of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip? They are otherwise occupied. Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority and Hamas are too busy lunging at each other's throats and trying to take down Israel to pay much attention to their people's suffering in Syria.
While all eyes are set on the weekly demonstrations organized by Hamas and other Palestinian factions along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, as part of the so-called March of Return, a Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus is facing a wide-scale military offensive and ethnic cleansing by the Syrian army and its allies.

The war crimes committed against the Palestinians in Yarmouk camp have so far failed to prompt an ounce of outrage, much less the sort of outcry emerging from the international community over the events of the past four weeks along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

The international community seems to differentiate between a Palestinian shot by an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian shot by a Syrian soldier.

In the first case, Hamas and several Palestinian groups have been encouraging Palestinians to march towards the border with Israel, with some even trying to destroy the security fence and hurling stones and petrol bombs at Israeli troops. The organizers of the Gaza demonstrations say their real goal is to "achieve the right of return and return to all of Palestine."

Dozens of local and foreign journalists have shown great interest in the "March of Return." Reporters from different parts of the world have been converging on the Gaza Strip and the border with Israel to report about the weekly demonstrations and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers.

How many journalists, though, have traveled to Syria to cover the plight of the Palestinians in that country? A small handful, perhaps? Why? Because the Palestinians who are being maimed and murdered in Syria are the victims of an Arab army -- nothing to do with Israel.

Yarmouk camp was once home to some 160,000 Palestinians. Since the beginning of the civil war in Syria, however, the number of residents left in the camp is estimated at a few hundred.

On April 19, the Syrian army and its allies, including the Russians, launched a massive offensive against opposition groups and Islamic State terrorists based in Yarmouk.

Since then, 5,000 of the 6,000 residents left in Yarmouk have fled the camp, according to the United Nations and human rights organizations. Most of the camp's houses have been destroyed in the past few years as a result of the fighting between the Syrian army and opposition groups that found shelter inside Yarmouk.

Yarmouk has been under the full siege of the Syrian army since 2013, a situation that has caused a humanitarian crisis for the residents. According to some reports, the situation has gotten so bad that residents living there have been forced to eat dogs and cats to survive.

In the past week, at least 15 Palestinians have been killed in airstrikes and artillery shelling on Yarmouk.

Plumes of smoke billow up from the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, as the Syrian Army shells the camp on April 20, 2018. (Image source: Ruptly screenshot)

According to the London-based Action Group for Palestinians of Syria, 3,722 Palestinians (including 465 women) have been killed since the beginning of the civil war in Syria in 2011. Another 1,675 are said to have been detained by the Syrian authorities, and another 309 are listed as missing.

More than 200 of the Palestinian victims died because of the lack of food and medical care, most of them in Yarmouk. Since the beginning of the civil war, some 120,000 Palestinians have fled Syria to Europe. An additional 31,000 fled to Lebanon, 17,000 to Jordan, 6,000 to Egypt, 8,000 to Turkey and 1,000 to the Gaza Strip.

On April 24, Syrian and Russian warplanes carried out more than 85 airstrikes on Yarmouk camp and dropped 24 barrels of explosives; 24 rocket and dozens of missiles were fired at the camp.

A day earlier, Syrian and Russian warplanes launched 220 airstrikes on Yarmouk camp. The warplanes dropped 55 barrels of dynamite on the camp, which was also targeted with 108 rockets and missiles.

According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the conflict in Syria "continues to disrupt the lives of civilians, resulting in death and injuries, internal displacement, extensive damage to civilian infrastructure and persistent humanitarian needs. Affected communities suffer indiscriminate violence, restrictions on their freedom of movement and continued violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. Palestinians are among those worst affected by the conflict."

UNRWA said that of the estimated 438,000 Palestine refugees remaining inside Syria, more than 95% (418,000) are in critical need of sustained humanitarian assistance. Almost 254,000 are internally displaced, and an estimated 56,600 are trapped in hard-to-reach or wholly inaccessible locations.

The silence of the international community to the war crimes being committed against defenseless Palestinians in a refugee camp in Syria is an insult.

Dropping barrels of dynamite on houses and hospitals in a Palestinian refugee camp is apparently of no interest to those who pretend to champion Palestinians around the world. Nor does the issue seem to move the UN Security Council.

But the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel: for the world, that is where the real story is unfolding. Certainly not in Syria, where Palestinians face ethnic cleansing on a daily basis.

As for the leaders of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip? They are otherwise occupied. Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority and Hamas are too busy lunging at each other's throats and trying to take down Israel to pay much attention to their people's suffering in Syria.

For the past four weeks, the two rival Palestinian parties have been castigating Israel for its actions along its border with the Gaza Strip. They have also been calling on the international community to hold Israel accountable for its "crimes" against Palestinians.

But when it comes to atrocities being committed against their people in an Arab country, words apparently fail Palestinian leaders. Assad and his army can slaughter Palestinians and launch airstrikes on a Palestinian camp without a whimper of protest from Hamas or the Palestinian Authority. In fact, all one hears is the silence of the dead.

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


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Hillary’s Money Laundering Scheme - Matthew Vadum

by Matthew Vadum

Why is the media ignoring the DNC’s new $84 million campaign finance scandal?

While it obsesses over an aging porn star, Russians, discredited ex-FBI officials, and pimple-faced gun-grabbers, the mainstream media has been ignoring an explosive federal lawsuit unearthing a huge illegal money-laundering conspiracy said to have been masterminded last election cycle by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

It is yet another facet of the plot by which Clinton, possibly in league with then-President Obama, broke the law in an attempt to rig the election. Throughout his agonizingly long presidency, Obama serially abused his powers as the nation's Chief Executive to undermine his political opponents.

Against this backdrop, the DNC and Hillary’s campaign “allegedly used state chapters as strawmen to launder as much as $84 million in an effort to circumvent campaign donation limits, and the Federal Election Commission ignored complaints exposing the practice,” according to a Fox News report that has been gathering dust since April 16.

The civil proceeding, filed against the FEC earlier this month in the nation’s capital, spells out a vast left-wing criminal conspiracy while providing detailed evidence from FEC filings to support the claim that Democrats orchestrated the scheme to do an end-run around federal campaign limits.

The Stop Hillary PAC, also now known as the Committee to Defend the President (CDP), filed a complaint in December with the FEC stating that the Hillary Victory Fund (HVF) sought funds from high-profile donors and then “sent that money through state chapters and back to the DNC before ending up with the Clinton campaign.”

The complaint went nowhere and the political action committee got tired of waiting.

“The Clinton machine has escaped accountability for its illegal practices for far too long,” said CDP chairman Ted Harvey. “After months of review, the FEC has refused to address the Clintons’ $84 million money laundering scheme that violated several campaign finance laws.”

The federal lawsuit names the FEC as a defendant, claiming its failure to act was “arbitrary, capricious, contrary to law, and an abuse of discretion.”

Harvey’s group is asking the court to use its authority under the Federal Election Campaign Act “to step in and demand action from the FEC,” Harvey said. “The American people demand that our most corrupt political figures answer for their transgressions.”

The Fox report states:
“Based on publicly available FEC records, repeatedly throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, HVF would purportedly transfer funds to its constituent political committees, which included between 34 and 40 state parties,” reads a passage from a copy of the complaint. “On the very same day each of these transfers supposedly occurred, or occasionally the very next day, every single one of those state parties purportedly contributed all of those funds to the DNC.”
The complaint filed against the FEC said previous reports showed a series of transactions in which the HVF disbursed contributions to its state party committee members -- and they would receive the funds on the same day. The HVF would also allegedly disburse funds to up to 40 state parties at the same time, and those parties would send the money back within 24 hours.
Anyone who has followed the Clintons over the years from Whitewater to Bill’s “bimbo eruptions” to Uranium One is bound to be unsurprised by the money-laundering allegations. If you’re a Clinton, you raise huge sums of money and then use sleight-of-hand to make the ill-gotten gains disappear. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, and Clintons gotta grift.

We already knew that Hillary Clinton used hacker-friendly “home brew” Internet servers while running the State Department to conceal the corrupt dealings of the anticipatory presidential bribe clearinghouse known as the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and to evade her disclosure responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act.

She also personally approved a series of illegal schemes and dirty tricks including fomenting violence at Trump rallies to create the false impression that his campaign and supporters were violent, crazy people and at the same time provide evidence to support the Left’s narrative that the billionaire businessman was a dangerous fascist.

And don’t forget the wacky Russian “piss-gate” dossier assembled by Trump-hating British ex-spy Christopher Steele that was paid for by Hillary’s campaign and the DNC.

Even though Special Counsel Robert Mueller is intensely interested in money-laundering allegations, he doesn’t seem too interested when Democrats are implicated.

Trump campaign leaders Paul J. Manafort Jr. and Richard W. Gates III were investigated by Mueller for money laundering wholly unrelated to the campaign. Two months ago Gates accepted a deal from Mueller and pled guilty to financial fraud and lying to investigators.

Possible campaign finance improprieties are driving Mueller’s investigation of President Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen. Cohen said Wednesday that because of the criminal investigation against him, he will invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination in a lawsuit brought by porn star Stormy Daniels. The performer, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was paid $130,000 by Cohen in 2016 reportedly to keep her mouth shut about an alleged sexual fling she had with Trump before he was president. At issue is whether the $130,000 was an improper campaign contribution.

Former federal prosecutor and Trump confidante Joseph E. diGenova described Mueller’s recent raid on Cohen’s law office as “an act of terror.” It was “an outrageous act against the attorney-client privilege,” he told Sean Hannity on Fox News Channel last night.

Also on Fox, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said that Cohen has a reputation for recklessness and that he was surprised the attorney was still representing the president. Interestingly, Turley also noted that Michael Avenatti, Daniels’ attorney who has caused Trump’s handlers so much heartburn, used to be his law student. Avenatti is “an adrenaline junkie,” Turley previously said.

One of the reasons for Andrew McCabe’s current legal troubles is the suspiciously large $675,000 payment the campaign of his wife, Jill McCabe, who ran for the Virginia State Senate in 2015, received from the state’s Democratic Party and a political action committee of then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), a longtime Clinton crony. Was the payment a kind of veiled bribe to McCabe to do or not do something at the Justice Department? We may never know.

McCabe was acting director of the FBI from May 9, 2017, when President Trump fired then-director James B. Comey, through Aug. 2, 2017, when new director Christopher Wray took over. McCabe was fired for gross misconduct by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on March 16 of this year and is planning to launch a series of frivolous lawsuits for wrongful dismissal, and possibly against Trump and Comey, for defamation.

McCabe’s bloviating lawyer, Michael Bromwich, sputtered that the president and critics are slandering McCabe and that this is hurting the FBI. “We’ve never seen anything like this before,” he said. “It does damage not only to Andy McCabe individually but also to the FBI as an institution.”

Meanwhile, as of last week the Democratic National Committee is suing Russia and WikiLeaks in a breathtakingly stupid effort to keep the fading Trump-Russia electoral collusion conspiracy theory alive. In such a lawsuit, defendants are entitled to go on evidentiary fishing expeditions (i.e. the discovery process) and given how dirty the DNC is, who knows what they might find.

“This is a sham lawsuit about a bogus Russian collusion claim filed by a desperate, dysfunctional, and nearly insolvent Democratic Party,” said Brad Parscale, campaign manager for Trump's 2020 reelection effort.

The Trump campaign expects to use the discovery process to examine "actual corruption" by the DNC to "influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election."

Trump tweeted that the lawsuit from “the Obstructionist Democrats” was likely “good news” for his campaign because “we will now counter for the DNC Server that they refused to give to the FBI.”

This could be fun.

Really fun.

Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."


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Arab IDF veteran battles BDS - ILTV


Youssef Haddad is a Christian Arab Israeli from Nazareth who volunteered to serve in the IDF and lost a leg in the second Lebanon war.



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Anti-Semitic incidents rise to record level in Canada - JTA

by JTA

B'nai Brith warns of 'whopping national increase' in anti-Semitism, calls on Canada to implement action plan.

Canada had a record number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2017, B’nai Brith Canada reported in its annual audit.

There were 752 incidents of harassment, vandalism and violence, a 1.4% increase over the record 1,728 last year, according to the Audit of Antisemitic Incidents released Tuesday.

The vast majority of the incidents took place in Canada’s two largest provinces: Ontario recorded nearly half the total, with 808, while Quebec had 474. The rest were scattered among the nation’s eight other provinces.

Acts of anti-Semitic vandalism doubled to 322 from 158 in what the audit called a “whopping national increase.”

The audit also saw as a “disturbing anti-Semitic trend” a rise in anti-Semitism from both the far right and far left of the political spectrum.

Quebec, with Canada’s only majority francophone population, “is home to Islamist extremist enclaves, a sophisticated far-right scene, and many of Canada’s largest anti-Israel groups,” the audit said.

To counter these trends, the audit proposed an eight-point plant to increase resources for police hate crime units, a national “Action Plan,” and other measures.

“Anti-Semitism has grown as a serious concern for Canadian Jews, affecting them at school, in the workplace and even in their own places of worship,” B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn said.

“[W]e need a concerted national effort to ensure that anti-Semitic outbreaks do not become a fact of life for Jews in this country, as in other developed countries such as France and Sweden.”



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DACA and the Judicial #Resistance - Joseph Klein

by Joseph Klein

Judge’s move to restore Obama’s executive order tramples on separation of powers.

In the latest example of judicial tyranny, yet another federal district court judge took it upon himself to usurp the constitutional powers of the president of the United States and Congress. Judge John D. Bates of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that President Trump's executive order terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program ("DACA"), established by an executive order issued by his predecessor Barack Obama, was "unlawful." Judge Bates based his bizarre decision on the grounds that President Trump's rescission action, implemented by the Department of Homeland Security pursuant to the president's direction, was "arbitrary and capricious."  Judge Bates claimed that the Trump administration had failed to provide an adequate explanation for cancelling the DACA program. “The Department’s decision to rescind DACA was predicated primarily on its legal judgment that the program was unlawful. That legal judgment was virtually unexplained, however, and so it cannot support the agency’s decision,” Judge Bates wrote in his 60-page ruling. “It was also arbitrary and capricious in its own right, and thus likewise cannot support the agency’s action,” Judge Bates added. “For these reasons, DACA’s rescission was unlawful and must be set aside.”

It was Judge Bates who issued a decision "arbitrary and capricious in its own right," not President Trump.

Obama's DACA program had granted young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children the right to work and stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation. These so-called "Dreamers," many of whom are now adults, were technically in the country illegally themselves when Obama unilaterally decided to "legislate" their temporary legal status, renewable ad infinitum, through executive action because he was frustrated with congressional inaction. Judge Bates showed his bias early in his opinion by stating that he would use the immigration activists’ favorite euphemism “undocumented,” rather than the more accurate term “illegal,” so as not to offend certain people. 

Judge Bates went one step further than the two federal district court judges who had kept DACA's existing protections in place, allowing only its previous beneficiaries to renew their DACA status and remain in the country. Judge Bates ruled that the Trump administration must also begin accepting new applications from the "Dreamers" who had been eligible to apply for DACA protection but failed to do so in time. The only saving grace in Judge Bates' decision is that he stayed his ruling from going into effect for 90 days to give the Department of Homeland Security the opportunity to better explain its justification for ending the DACA program. In an odd twist, the judge counseled the Trump administration to offer “coherent” arguments for how DACA conflicts with immigration law or why it violates the president’s constitutional duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” This begs the question as to why Judge Bates did not analyze these propositions himself, for which he acknowledged that credible arguments existed. His lame excuse was that it was not his place to make those arguments for the government. So instead, Judge Bates decided that it was his place to substitute his policy judgment for that of the two elected branches of government, violating the fundamental constitutional principle of separation of powers.

President Trump's executive order did nothing more than restore conditions for the Dreamers to the way they were before Obama issued his DACA executive fiat in the absence of remedial legislation from Congress. Indeed, in his own executive order, President Trump gave time for Congress to take up the Dreamers issue in new legislation where such significant changes in immigration law policy belongs. President Trump thereby demonstrated respect for separation of powers and checks and balances. Judge Bates did the opposite.

Indeed, rescinding the DACA program that former President Obama had created by executive fiat was well within the current president's own executive authority. By using such executive authority to simply undo one of Obama's controversial executive orders with which President Trump disagrees on policy grounds, President Trump avoided having to expend executive branch resources defending it against threatened legal challenges. Such allocation of executive resources and balancing the risks of litigation against the executive department are entirely within his discretion as the nation's chief executive officer. President Trump's Justice and Homeland Security departments had cited in support of the president’s decision the threats of lawsuits and a prior federal appeals court decision that had rejected Obama’s attempt to expand DACA in 2014 via another program Obama established through executive order, known as the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program (“DAPA”). That appeals court decision was affirmed by an equally divided Supreme Court in a per curiam opinion on June 23, 2016.

The Trump administration should not have to prove that the prior appeals court was correct in rejecting DAPA, including its expansion of DACA, or that the appeals court decision was applicable by analogy to assessing the legality of DACA itself. The relevant question is whether the Trump administration had a right to act upon its concern that the appeals court decision striking down DAPA could possibly serve as a precedent in the threatened legal challenges against DACA. In his infinite “wisdom,” Judge Bates said no. 

The Trump administration has just short of 90 days to provide Judge Bates with an explanation that satisfies him for its DACA rescission action. The Supreme Court in late February declined the Trump administration’s request that it immediately decide whether it could shut down DACA without going through the regular appeals process regarding prior lower court action against the DACA rescission order. Thus, it is highly unlikely that the Supreme Court would intervene now to further stay or set aside Judge Bates’ ruling. At minimum, it would wait to act until Judge Bates lifts his stay and issues a final order, if it decides to act at all before lower court appeals are exhausted. Thus, the Trump administration may need to force the Supreme Court’s hand by including in its explanatory submission to Judge Bates a shot across the bow. Its submission should state that Judge Bates’ ruling unconstitutionally interferes with the president’s ability to carry out his constitutional duties and run the executive branch. If the judge lifts his stay rather than promptly reverse his decision cancelling President Trump’s executive order completely and requiring the processing of new Dreamer applications, the Trump administration should declare that it will not honor the decision pending the outcome of a new motion filed directly with the Supreme Court. That motion would seek a preliminary injunction to enjoin Judge Bates’ violation of the Constitution’s principle of separation of powers that threatens to cause irreparable harm to the executive branch's ability to carry out its authorized duties. The Supreme Court will have little reason to delay resolving what will constitute an immediate constitutional crisis.

Thomas Jefferson warned against judicial tyranny under which the Constitution could become “a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they may please.” This is exactly what will happen if Judge Bates and the other judges seeking to prevent President Trump from using his executive powers to rescind his predecessor’s constitutionally shaky executive order are not stopped in their tracks.

Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam.


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Genocide in Nigeria - Raymond Ibrahim

by Raymond Ibrahim

The killings must stop.

  • Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is set to visit the White House next week, April 30.
  • "General Buhari is presiding over a low-grade genocide perpetrated by his Fulani Herdsmen tribe. He must be told to fish out the murderers of Rev Fathers Joseph and Felix and bring them to justice. The killings must stop. US should halt aircraft sales to Nigeria until these attacks are halted and the perpetrators convicted." — Emmanuel Ogebe, a leading human rights lawyer in Nigeria.
Two days ago in Nigeria, on April 24, around 30 Muslim herdsmen stormed a church during early morning mass and massacred nearly 20 parishioners and two clergymen.

Rev. Fathers Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha were slaughtered while officiating at the altar of St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Mbalom village, Benue. Worshippers were gathered in the church for the daily 5:30 a.m. service when they heard gunshots.

"People started scampering and wailing," said Terhemen Angor, a local resident. Several people were "gunned down in cold blood while many sustained injuries including bullet wounds... After attacking the church, the invaders descended on the community and razed over 60 houses. The community is on fire and deserted, people are fleeing to neighbouring villages hoping to find a safe haven for their families."

As in similar occurrences, "concerted efforts to get [a] reaction from the Benue Police Command failed," according to Vanguard News. As far back as January 3, and further indicative of the authorities' indifference, one of the slain reverends, Fr. Gor had written on Facebook, "Living in fear. The fulani herdsmen are still around us in Mbalom. They refuse to go. They still go grazing around us. No weapons to depend on ourselves."

Pictured: A January 3 Facebook post by Rev. Fathers Joseph Gor. Fr. He was murdered in his church in Nigeria by Muslim herdsmen on April 24.

"In their classic style they burn down homes, destroy food items and kill," a statement from the local Catholic diocese read. "The police seem to know nothing of the attacks which have been going on in other villages within Benue State."

The statement suggests that Fulani herdsmen attacks are part of an anti-Christian jihad in Nigeria that is more commonly associated with the Islamic terror group, Boko Haram:
Many people are asking why the International community has remained silent over the massacre of Benue citizens? The answer is simple: It has been the goal of the jihadists to conquer Benue and Tiv people who resisted their advance into the middle belt since 1804; the [Christian] people who rejected Islam and fought for the unification of Nigeria in the civil war of 1967 - 1970... [T]he Muslim North is enjoying a sweet revenge overshadowed by an insensitive regime.... The diocese has been active in providing relief materials including education and skills acquisition lessons. To go for the priests means total destruction of everything we stand for and believe in!
The frequency and deadliness of Muslim herdsmen raids on Christian farmers is "now more deadly than the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency that has ravaged Nigeria's northeast," according to an Agence France-Presse report.

"I have just returned from Nigeria where over 100 Christians were killed in the 2 weeks I was there. The killings are now weekly and this isn't even Boko Haram!" a leading human rights lawyer, Emmanuel Ogebe, whose hometown is the site of this latest massacre of Nigerian Christians and their priests, told Gatestone.
The Fulani Herdsmen are jihadists who invaded the region in 1804 and imposed a puritanical form of Islam. It is impossible to separate their antecedents from their present. More than just a land dispute, the attacks on an American mission compound last month and today's attack on a church service are indicators of the Islamist extremism driving this genocide.
The Boko Haram and the Fulani "are not only allies but have collaborated on attacks in Nigeria," Ogebe said. "It is no coincidence that both are now waging jihad on Nigeria given their long history."

Many Christians in Nigeria accuse its president, Muhammadu Buhari of being complicit. Although he publicly condemns the ongoing massacre by Fulani herdsmen of Christians, they contend that he does nothing to stop them. Ogebe goes further with his accusations:
Buhari, who is himself from the jihadists' Fulani tribe, has filled his security council with his kinsmen. He infamously refused to visit Benue State after the New Year's Day Massacre that claimed over 70 lives then commanded the state governor to go and "accommodate" the Fulani Herdsmen who had killed his people. The minister of defense has justified the killings and General Buhari's Government condones and sometimes outrightly supports the Herdsmen. Worse still, General Buhari is a life patron of one of the Herdsmen associations that has claimed some of the attacks.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is set to visit the White House next week, April 30.
Asked if he could relay a message to the White House, Ogebe said:
"General Buhari is presiding over a low-grade genocide perpetrated by his Fulani Herdsmen tribe. He must be told to fish out the murderers of Rev Fathers Joseph and Felix and bring them to justice. The killings must stop. US should halt aircraft sales to Nigeria until these attacks are halted and the perpetrators convicted."
Emmanuel Ogebe can be contacted at
Raymond Ibrahim (published by Regnery with Gatestone Institute, April 2013).

Raymond Ibrahim is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians


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Imams in the U.S and Canada: Which Should be Backed? - A. Z. Mohamed

by A. Z. Mohamed

Hateful and violent rhetoric targeting Jews has been invariable in the religious and political discourse of Muslims, and is now as common in US and Canadian mosques, as in the Middle East.

  • While freedom of speech is permissible in the U.S., for centuries, hateful and violent rhetoric targeting Jews has been invariable in the religious and political discourse of Muslims, and is now as common in US and Canadian mosques, as in the Middle East.
  • While many Muslims seem never to tire of complaining about "Islamophobia" against their communities, they seem to have no problem disseminating hate speech -- and sometimes hate acts -- against other groups.
  • Statistics show that blacks, gays and Jews are far more disproportionately targeted for hate crimes in both the U.S. and Canada than Muslims are. When did anyone in North America last hear of ministers in churches or rabbis in synagogues calling for the death of Muslims?
  • Progressive Muslims and their imams should be promoted, consulted, and celebrated.
Since U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6, 2017, at least three U.S. imams have called for the death of Jews -- not Israelis: Jews -- in Friday sermons at mosques across the U.S., which treasures freedom of speech, no matter how distasteful -- unless it is "directed at inciting or producing imminent lawless action" or "likely to incite or produce such action."

In Canada, however, there is no freedom of speech -- meaning that "hate speech" is regarded as a crime that can be prosecuted. A few years ago, imams who did call for death of Jews in Canada resulted in some of these imams being investigated or prosecuted.

It is important to know what is being said, and by whom.

On Friday, December 8, 2017, for example, a sermon delivered in a Raleigh, North Carolina mosque, a U.S.-based Syrian imam, Abdullah Khadra, cited an anti-Jewish hadith (saying or act of Muhammad) that says, "By the end of time," Muslims will exterminate all Jews. The sermon was recorded and transcribed by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

On the same day, at the Tajweed Institute's Houston, Texas, the institute's imam and founder, Sheikh Raed Saleh Al-Rousan, delivered a sermon in which he said the Jews "killed the Prophets and Messengers of Allah," denied that "Palestine is the country for the Jewish," invoked the same Jew-killing hadith as Kharda did, and decried Britain's 1917 Balfour Declaration and President Trump's recent Jerusalem's declaration. Also on the same day, the imam of the Islamic Center of Jersey City, New Jersey, Sheikh Aymen Elkasaby, delivered a sermon in which he lamented that Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque "remains prisoner in the hands of the Jews... under the feet of the apes and pigs." (Qur'an: 2:65, 5:60, and 7:166)

He then prayed for Allah to grant him martyrdom while fighting the Jews, and the annihilation of all of "the plundering oppressors."

Raed Saleh Al-Rousan, imam and founder of Tajweed Institute's Houston branch, quotes an Islamic hadith to kill Jews. (Image source: MEMRI video screenshot)

In the wake of criticism, Elkasaby was suspended by his Islamic Center, and Al-Rousan issued an apology and condemned terrorism and incitement to hatred.

In Canada, at the Al-Andalous Islamic Centre in the St-Laurent borough of Montreal, Wael al-Ghitawi, the center's imam, in November 2014, and Sayed al-Ghitawi, who was visiting from the Middle East, in August 2014, both called for the death of Jews. The sermons came to public attention in February 2017, when YouTube videos of the talks were translated into English. In February 2017, two Jewish groups filed complaints against the imams with the Montreal police. Quebec's prosecutors, however, chose not to proceed, arguing that that too much time had elapsed.

Later, in July 2017, a Quebec judge issued an arrest warrant for an imam who had made several violent anti-Semitic statements at another Montreal mosque in December 2016. Sheikh Muhammad bin Musa al-Nasr, a Palestinian-Jordanian, while visiting Canada had said in the video that Allah has ordained that Jews should be killed by Muslims "at the end of time." He was apparently drawing on the same Jew-killing hadith (Sahih al-Bukhari Book Number 56 Hadith Number 791 - Muflihun) invoked by the U.S. imams. After an investigation by the Montreal police hate crimes unit, he was charged under Section 319(2) of the Criminal Code with the willful promotion of hatred.

The problem is, that while freedom of speech is permissible in the U.S., for centuries, hateful and violent rhetoric targeting Jews has been invariable in the religious and political discourse of Muslims, and is now as common in American and Canadian mosques as in the Middle East -- more than Westerners may have expected or understood. Also as in the Middle East, as imams have considerable influence in their communities, such rhetoric from Muslim imams in the "West" has a good chance of leading to violent attacks in Canada or America.

While many Muslims seem never to tire of complaining about "Islamophobia" against their communities, they seem to have no problem disseminating hate speech -- and sometimes hate acts -- against other groups. Statistics show that blacks, gays and Jews are far more disproportionately targeted for hate crimes in both the U.S. and Canada than Muslims are. When did anyone in North America last hear of ministers in churches or rabbis in synagogues calling for the death of Muslims? There seems to be a need for educating an incoming group about pluralism, tolerance and to begin thinking in terms of "if the shoe were on other foot."

If there is an expectation that Muslims and Islam is superior to other religions, then people, governments and NGOs might do well to disabuse Islamic clerics of this self-aggrandizement and narcissism as quickly as possible. Yes, these calls for genocide (which is what they are) might be commonplace where the imams came from. But the preachers are no longer in monolithic societies, so it might benefit the new world to begin exposing the newcomers to a new way of looking at things.

Imams based in the U.S. and Canada who explicitly glorify jihad against Jews deserve attention from political, media and government circles. The U.S. and Canada need to change their immigration and refugee policies to stop letting in people -- and especially preachers -- who have been raised in an enforced orthodoxy of hate and values so antithetical to the humanitarian values that so many in the West cherish, and have fought and died for. Instead, progressive Muslims and their imams should be promoted, consulted, and celebrated. They are the ones who should be invited to the official iftar dinners. They are the ones who should be courted, promoted and helped.

A. Z. Mohamed is a Muslim born and raised in the Middle East.


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New video game sends shock waves throughout the internet - Arutz Sheva Staff

by Arutz Sheva Staff

Zionist group Im Tirtzu releases video game portraying how left-wing NGOs harass IDF soldiers.

A new video game following an IDF soldier's journey home as he tries to dodge terrorists and far-left activists obstructing his path has been making large waves on social media.

The game, available on desktop and Android, was released by the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu within the framework of a new campaign aimed at exposing the "harmful" activities of the US-based New Israel Fund against Israel and IDF soldiers.

According to Im Tirtzu, the campaign's goal is to expose the NIF as a foreign political organization operating as a political opposition within Israel against the government and the IDF, while engaging in anti-Israel "lawfare" in the country's Supreme Court.

The video game features Yotam Zilber, a fictional IDF soldier who repeatedly encounters terrorists and activists from far-left NGOs funded by the NIF on his journey home. While the terrorists try to psychically harm Yotam, the far-left activists obstruct his path while berating him with derogatory calls including "shame on you, occupier!" and "fascist!" 
Im Tirtzu stated that the purpose of the game is to depict the realities facing IDF soldiers who are harassed and persecuted on a daily basis by far-left NGOs funded by the New Israel Fund.

This week, a number of NGOs heavily funded by the NIF petitioned the Supreme Court against the IDF with the demand that it change its rules of engagement in dealing with the recent Gaza riots. Another NIF grantee, "Adalah," petitioned the Supreme Court to prohibit the IDF from deploying snipers on the Gaza border.

"There is no parallel to this phenomenon in the democratic world, where a foreign political organization openly declares that it represents the political opposition in its host country and works to undermine its domestic policy," Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg said.

"This unique problem, coupled with the fact that the NIF transfers millions of dollars to NGOs that work to slander the IDF, erase the Jewish character of the state, and petition the Supreme Court against state policy, leads one to the conclusion that the government must cut all ties with the NIF and consider outlawing it, should [NIF] not change its path."

"The time has come for this absurdity to end immediately," Peleg concluded.

Arutz Sheva Staff


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Anarchy At Texas State University - Jack Kerwick

by Jack Kerwick

Students stalked, threatened with violence -- and the administration sides with the perpetrators.

The climate that prevails on today’s college campuses can only be described as chilling.  

The one institution that is designed to serve as a bastion of critical thought, a marketplace of ideas, has been reduced by many faculty, student, and administrator alike to a so-called “safe space,” a space designed to immunize the campus against any and all ideas that its self-appointed gatekeepers deem a threat to their hard leftist orthodoxy. 

Of course, this is not news to anyone who has been paying any attention.  And conservatives regularly and loudly complain about the attacks on “free speech” in the University.  

However, this way of characterizing the situation, though accurate as far as it goes, doesn’t go nearly far enough.  Thus, its focus on the abstraction of free speech grossly understates the real danger that concrete flesh-and-blood human beings risk when they dare to entertain alternative views. 

Principles, like the principle of free speech, don’t bleed.  People do.  

It isn’t an intangible, airy concept that is under attack on today’s campus.  It is those speakers, faculty, and, most concerning, students who militant leftist SJWs deem insufficiently “progressive” who enjoy this dubious distinction.

A recent incident at Texas State University is all too representative of the atmosphere with which those who deviate from the Creed of identity-politics must contend. 

Connor Clegg, a young white Republican student and student body president, was impeached just two days before his term was set to expire.  Those students from such organizations as the Pan-African Action Committee, Latinas Unidas, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Unit 6875-B, Texas Rising for LGBTQIA Equality, and the Student Community of Progressive Development who had been pushing for Clegg’s ouster erupted in cheers when his impeachment was announced. 

The reader will get one guess as to the charge that these groups brought against Clegg and that led to his removal. 

The College Fix reports that Clegg was ousted “following allegations of racism,” allegations that in turn fueled the charge that he failed to represent “all students.”  At least two pieces of evidence had been submitted as proof of Clegg’s “racism.”

First, four years ago, Clegg left posts on Instagram in which he mocked Asian tourists in Europe.  He has since apologized repeatedly, referring to his actions as “stupid” and “locker room talk.” 

Second, he called for the defunding of the campus newspaper, the University Star, after it had published an opinion piece that equated “white death” with “liberation for all.”   

Tellingly, the student who authored the drivel on “white death,” Rudy Martinez, was among Clegg’s most vocal detractors.

Equally telling, but, tragically, all too predictable, Clegg was impeached hot on the heels of “several days of racial tensions on campus during which student protesters aggressively confronted police and experienced visible meltdowns [.]”

There was supposed to have been an impeachment hearing a month or so ago, but an insufficient number of senators were on the scene.  This prompted a three day campus sit-in during which, as per their standard operating procedure, the leftist disruptors issued demands to the administration.  And per the standard operating procedure of administrators, the latter all too eagerly made concessions to the squeakiest wheel.  

Texas State University will now release a “campus climate survey,” develop an “African-American Studies minor” that will be on the books by the fall of 2019, and search for ways in which to add more “diversity courses” to “the school’s core curriculum.”

According to the Austin American Statesman, Clegg actually “urged senators to vote against him, saying that some senators had received threatening text messages, and that he worried for their ‘safety’ if they voted for him.”

Other conservative students attest to Clegg’s take on the hazardous atmosphere on campus for those who dare to defy the agents of the Racism-Industrial-Complex. According to The College Fix:

“Collin Pruett, a student at Texas State and a College Republican, told The College Fix in an interview Tuesday that he knows several conservative students who fear for their safety, as well as some student government members who told him they felt they would be in danger from peers if they did not vote to impeach Clegg.”

Pruett himself, being “a well-known conservative on campus,” relayed that he was stalked. 

Some “right-leaning students have been doxxed,” i.e. their personal contact information had been rendered public for “malicious” purposes. 

Pruett adds: “It’s out of control.  There’s a professional infrastructure of activists here.” 

More concerning, these activists have “the backing of the administration.”  

Note: Conservative students are blasted as “racist,” stalked, exposed, and threatened with violence by left-wing students—and yet it is the latter to whom the college lends its support.

This is a toxic state of affairs against which all people, and especially parents, of good will must be willing to take a stand.        

Jack Kerwick


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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Threatening Regional Storm Clouds - Isi Leibler

by Isi Leibler

We are fortunate that Netanyahu heads the nation at this crucial time.

Threatening regional storm clouds
A fighter of Syrian Democratic Forces stands amidst the ruins of buildings near the Clock Square in Raqqa, Syria October 18, 2017.. (photo credit: REUTERS/ERIK DE CASTRO) 

Notwithstanding the exuberance of Israelis at the jubilant 70th Independence Day celebrations, justified in light of Israel’s extraordinary achievements and progress on both the diplomatic and defense fronts, the Jewish state will be facing major challenges over the next few months.

Until recently, largely due to the effective diplomacy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel was in an ideal situation, receiving the support of the Trump administration as well as enjoying a unique relationship with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. This despite Putin’s determination to retain influence in Syria and his wish not to breach his cordial relations with the Iranians who, for their own reasons, have played a key role in assisting him to save Syrian President Bashar Assad from oblivion. However, this has encouraged the Iranians to create military bases in Syria while shamelessly and repeatedly proclaiming their determination to wipe Israel off the map, which Israel regards as serious, potentially existential threats.

Until now, frequent consultations between Israel and Russia have served to avoid conflict. Israel refrained from engaging in activities intended to bring about regime change or threaten Russia’s regional interests. In turn, the Russians did not react to Israel’s repeated bombing incursions in Syria to neutralize arms shipments to Hezbollah or prevent the Iranians from advancing toward its northern borders.
Unfortunately, Israel is now finding it extremely difficult to maintain this delicate balance.

Assad’s employment of chemical weapons against his own citizens has outraged the international community which, until only recently, had been passive while hundreds of innocent civilians were butchered weekly by Assad’s forces.

US President Donald Trump, who to Israel’s dismay had announced his intention to withdraw all American troops from Syria, then reversed his decision and succeed in persuading the French and British to join him in a joint military intervention to punish the Syrians. It was a strictly limited operation in which four major installations were destroyed, with minimal casualties because the Syrians were made aware of the potential targets and evacuated them in advance. It was not an attempt to achieve regime change. But even this limited operation contrasted starkly with former US president Barack Obama’s cowardly failure to follow up previous threats when the Syrians engaged in chemical warfare.

However, the tension between Israel and the Iranians has escalated. The Iranians have been employing Lebanese and Palestinian surrogates to carry out their terrorist activity and in February, in what was their first direct attack on Israel, the Iranians dispatched a drone from one of their Syrian air bases carrying explosives intended to devastate a location in Israel. It was shot down by an Israeli Apache helicopter.

Israel made it clear that Iranian bases in Syria were unacceptable and launched a retaliatory raid, targeting the major T4 air base in central Syria, in which an Israeli F-16 fighter jet was lost. In a second wave of strikes, Israel destroyed a significant percentage of Syria’s air defenses, which also incurred Iranian casualties. Although no Russians were wounded, the Putin government criticized Israel for this foray.

Following the Syrian chemical attack on April 9, Israel was alleged to have destroyed the Iranian control center and killed 14, including seven Iranians, one of whom headed the drone unit. The Russians protested and the Iranians swore to retaliate.

Against the backdrop of these tensions on the Syrian front, early this month Hamas initiated a campaign in which it enlisted thousands of Gaza residents to breach the Israeli border. Hamas gunmen and fighters hurling firebombs were interspersed with the civilian demonstrators. The IDF took defensive action, using live ammunition where necessary against those using assault weapons or trying to penetrate the borders. Thousands were injured and dozens, primarily identifiable Hamas terrorists, were killed.

Despite photographic documentation of the violence, the employment of human shields including women and children, and the repeated statements by Hamas leaders that the objective was to bring back the refugees and destroy Israel, the UN Security Council sought to condemn Israel for responding “disproportionately.” The resolution was vetoed by the US.

The atmosphere throughout the region is extremely tense and Israel is girding itself for the possibility that war could erupt at any time on any front.

We are fortunate that Netanyahu heads the nation at this crucial time. But he is treading on eggshells as he faces three challenges:

1) Preparing to engage in war, if necessary, to prevent the Iranians from setting up bases in Syria that threaten Israel.

2) Confronting any attempt by Hamas to breach Gaza’s borders, which will require tough military responses while seeking to limit casualties – sought by Hamas to present themselves as victims and encourage international pressure on Israel to make concessions undermining its security.

3) Employing his diplomatic talents both to maintain the alliance with Trump and retain the fragile relationship with Putin, currently under great strain in light of Russian activity in Syria.

To deal with these challenges and avoid being dragged into the heightened conflicts between the Americans and the Russians is an extremely tough balancing act. Despite Russian reprimands and even warnings that it intends to provide the Syrians with more sophisticated air defenses, as of now Israel’s lines of communication with the Kremlin are still open, albeit tense and fragile. Efforts are being made to retain maximum coordination, but Netanyahu must exert all his diplomatic skill to achieve this.

EVEN THOUGH Israel is stronger and more independent than ever, there are clear storm clouds on the horizon. Keeping 1973 in mind, we should never allow ourselves to be overconfident.

If the Iranians respond disproportionately, war could erupt at any time. They may be waiting to see if the Americans cancel the nuclear deal before launching a full military confrontation. Likewise, if Hamas intensifies its efforts, it will lead to an intensified armed escalation. In either case, Hezbollah is likely to become engaged and Israel would be obliged to decimate its bases in Lebanon.

This makes Israel’s alliance with the US critical. So far, the Americans have delivered, but Trump’s apparent determination to withdraw all American troops from Syria would be an enormous inducement to the Iranians to confront Israel.

In this context, we would need to rely on the Russians to restrain the Iranians and Hezbollah from their openly stated objective of decimating Israel. Could Netanyahu persuade the hitherto philo-Semitic Putin not to breach the uniquely good relationship with Israel and the Jews in the face of Russia’s conflicting interests and the undermining of his military aspirations in the region?

Clearly none of the parties at this stage seek an all-out conflict, but it would only take a few sparks to unleash a regional conflagration.

The IDF is geared up for such an eventuality and with the Saudis and moderate Sunnis uninvolved or even possibly supporting Israel, it is confident it could overcome the combined forces of its potential enemies.

But the extent of casualties – especially on the home front – would be heavily influenced by the role that the US and Russia assumed under such circumstances.

It is here that Netanyahu may face unprecedented obstacles in directing military conflicts and engaging simultaneously in diplomacy at the highest levels. Critics and supporters alike cannot conceive of any other leader at this stage possessing similar capabilities, experience or the extraordinary diplomatic skills needed to navigate the delicate balance.

Netanyahu must be allowed to focus all his energies on the crucial defense of the nation and not be obliged to spend at least half his time with defense lawyers and the constant bombardment by politicians and the media seeking to undermine him and force his resignation.

It is nothing short of criminal for the establishment to tolerate a situation whereby, in such critical times, it has created conditions for the nation to be led by a parttime prime minister who also acts as part-time foreign minister.

If there is no one who could currently lead the nation like Netanyahu, his critics should suspend their legal and political campaigns and at least unite temporarily behind him until the immediate threats confronting us have been overcome.

The author’s website can be viewed at He may be contacted at 

Isi Leibler


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