Friday, March 1, 2019

Congress to view bill recognizing Israeli sovereignty on Golan - Jewish News Syndicate and Israel Hayom Staff

by Jewish News Syndicate and Israel Hayom Staff

Bill emphasizes the strategic importance of Israeli control to protect civilians against threats from Iran in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon

U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) introduced companion resolutions on Tuesday urging the United States to officially recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

The bill emphasizes the strategic importance of Israeli control over the area, which the Jewish state captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, in protecting civilians against threats from Iran in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Israel annexed the region in 1981, a move that has not been recognized by the international community.

It also states that "it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of a peace agreement between Israel and Syria will be an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights."

The bill adds that "it is in the United States' national security interest to ensure that Israel retains control of the Golan Heights [and that] the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad faces diplomatic and geopolitical consequences for its killing of civilians, the ethnic cleansing of Arab Sunnis, and the use of weapons of mass destruction."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised the issue of the Golan Heights during a meeting with U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton in January. Although the United States does not recognize Israeli control over the Golan Heights, it voted for the first time in November against an annual U.N. resolution condemning the Israeli position.

The measure is also sponsored by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), and Representatives Brian Mast (R-Florida), Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado), Jim Banks (R-Indiana), Elise Stefanik (R-New York), Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma), Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Scott Perry (R-Pennsylvania), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Mark Green (R-Tennessee), Lee Zeldin (R-New York), Ted Budd (R-North Carolina) and Jody Hice (R-Georgia).

Although no Democrats are currently behind the bill, members such as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) have voiced support for such U.S. recognition in the past.
In December, Cotton and Cruz introduced a similar measure.

Jewish News Syndicate and Israel Hayom Staff


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All the right moves - Ariel Kahana

by Ariel Kahana

We can agree or disagree with Netanyahu on many things. We cannot ignore the policy that has killed the monster in its infancy.

It doesn't matter what the attorney general says and it doesn't even matter what the voters say in 40 days, no one will be able to take this strategic achievement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In strokes of astute prevision, the consecutive governments under his helm – at the beginning, incidentally, with Moshe Ya'alon as his defense minister and Benny Gantz as his army chief – have prevented Iran from accomplishing in Syria what it accomplished in Lebanon and Gaza. In Syria, the ayatollahs and their proxies haven't been able to establish a militia capable of threatening Israel.

In an intense campaign, the air force and other branches of the IDF have been wiping out every Iranian effort to establish an anti-Israel fighting force before it can take hold.

Hence, now at the tail end of the Syrian civil war, nothing resembling Hamas or Hezbollah exists on the eastern side of the Golan Heights. Israel's military campaign in Syria is being waged under the protection of a diplomatic umbrella and this should not be taken for granted.

In the diplomatic realm, on a daily basis, while dealing with dozens of countries across the globe, Israel is making its red lines clear and is enforcing them. When it comes to Israeli deterrence, nothing is more powerful than this credible message.

In addition to both these layers of deterrence, Netanyahu has read the map correctly, allowing him to walk the tightrope between the world's most powerful leaders. When Russia invaded Syria over three years ago the prime minister reacted quickly to establish a sturdy line of communication with Vladimir Putin, thus preserving Israel's freedom of activity in the war-torn country. This achievement, which is so vital to Israel's national security, was reaffirmed on Wednesday in Moscow when the two leaders met for the 11th time.

Despite the countless prophecies of doom whereby Russia would prohibit Israel from acting in Syria and despite the downing of the Russian spy plane, on Wednesday, too, Netanyahu left the Kremlin with a green light – or more accurately, with a Russian promise to continue looking the other way. To be sure, Russia wants to restore peace and quiet in Syria and therefore Israel's military activity is viewed as a hindrance to that end. Russian S-300 air defenses make things more difficult for the air force. Regardless, our forces will continue working to thwart Iranian entrenchment efforts. They are so effective that Iran is on the verge of despair and according to some assessments in Israel is even considering abandoning its entrenchment campaign in Syria altogether.

We can agree or disagree with Netanyahu on many things. We cannot ignore the policy that has killed the monster in its infancy.

Ariel Kahana


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Ocasio-Cortez: Trump’s Wall is Like The Berlin Wall - Humberto Fontova

by Humberto Fontova

Could the irony be any richer?

“I think it’s [Trump’s proposed border wall] a moral abomination… I think it’s like the Berlin Wall. I think it’s like any other wall designed to separate human beings and block out people who are running away from the humanitarian disasters. I just think it’s wrong.” -- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, February 20, 2019.

Could the irony be any richer? Could AOC’s “powers of reasoning” be showcased any more starkly? To wit:

The Berlin Wall (which even die-hard leftists like AOC seem to recognize as a “moral abomination”) was designed to keep desperate suffering people from escaping en masse from what Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders prescribe to make people happy.

Trump’s proposed border wall is designed to keep people who would elect people like Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders to afflict us with their socio-economic prescriptions from becoming future U.S. voters.

Given the above, can you imagine a worthier project than the border wall?

And speaking of people (literally) dying to flee socialism, did many of my amigos realize that OVER TEN TIMES as many people (and counting) have died attempting to flee Communist Cuba (which liberals routinely praise) than died trying to flee Communist East Germany (which even liberals recognize as a horrible place, despite it’s “free healthcare and education”)?

Think about it: have you ever heard a liberal hailing East Germany’s “free healthcare?” And yet it was much better than Cuba’s free healthcare, which liberals hail almost as often as Ilhan Omar bows to Mecca.

In fact, when liberals hail the Castros and Che Guevara’s communism as somehow “different” from typical Iron Curtain communism, they have a point: it’s worse! 

Between two and three hundred people died trying to breach the Berlin Wall. Between twenty-five and forty thousand people (men, women, and children, entire families at a time) have died trying to escape Castro and Che Guevara’s Cuba, a nation that prior to Castroism was inundated with more immigrants (mostly from Europe) per capita than was the U.S., including during the Ellis Island years.

In 1992 former East German dictator Erich Honecker was tried (to no avail) for the deaths of 192 Germans killed while attempting to cross the Berlin wall (pictured above, in 1988). Some human rights groups estimate that actually three hundred people (out of an average East German population over the decades of 18 million) died trying to breach the Berlin Wall or otherwise escape East Germany.

After the thousands of machine-gun blasts from their Frontier “Guards” ( the Berlin Wall, itself was officially titled  the "Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart"), kept disturbing Castro and Che’s coastal subjects, the Castro brothers hit upon the scheme of having the Soviet helicopters flown by their “Guards” hover over the escaping freedom-seekers, often consisting of entire families—but to hold-off on shooting.

Instead of machine-gunning the families to death as years of tradition called for, they switched to dropping sandbags onto the rickety rafts and tiny boats to demolish and sink them. Then the Tiger Sharks and Hammerheads could do the Castroites' deputy-work. Screams, groans and gurgles, after all, don’t carry nearly as far as machine-gun blasts.

"The best revolutionary German man I´ve ever known was Erich Honecker,” tweeted Fidel Castro on June 1, 2012 commemorating the 18th anniversary of the East German Stalinist’s death. “I maintain feelings of profound solidarity with Honecker."

“What a chump!” Castro was probably thinking. “A measly 192?” 

“In one week during 1962 we counted over 400 firing squad blasts from the execution yard below our cells," recalled former Cuban political prisoner and freedom-fighter Roberto Martin Perez to this writer.

"This is the most savage kind of behavior I've ever heard of," said Robert Gelbard, deputy assistant secretary of state for Latin America during the Clinton administration. "This is even worse than what happened at the Berlin Wall!"  Gelbard had watched desperate Cubans trying to swim to what is now our Guantanamo Base when machine-guns opened up and the water around them frothed in white, then red. 

The corpses were retrieved by gallant Cuban Frontier “Guards” in a boat using the same type of gaffing hooks the lucky contestants in the Castro-regime-sponsored “Hemingway Fishing Festival” were using in nearby waters to yank thrashing tuna and marlin aboard their Cuba-registered yachts.

In September 2011 Spanish medical examiners found that an airline stowaway from Cuba named Adonis G.B. had his throat crushed. He probably died upon takeoff, meaning he probably died more quickly and painlessly than the tens of thousands of others who perished escaping Cuba’s free and fabulous healthcare.

It was a different story for the tens of thousands of dead Cuban rafters. Most of these desperate rafters probably died like captives of the Apaches, staked in the sun and dying slowly of sunburn and thirst. Others perished gasping and choking after their arms and legs finally gave out and they gulped that last lungful of seawater, much like the crew in The Perfect Storm. Still others were eaten alive -- drawn and quartered by the serrated teeth of hammerheads and tiger sharks much like Captain Quint in Jaws. Perhaps these last perished the most mercifully. As we've all seen on the Discovery Channel, sharks don't dally at a meal.

"In space no one can hear you scream," says the ad for the movie Alien. Same for the middle of the Florida straits -- except, of course, for your raftmates. While clinging to the disintegrating raft, while watching the fins rushing in and water frothing in white -- then red -- they hear the screams all too clearly.

All during the decades coinciding with Castro’s rule, the Coast Guard has documented hundreds of such stories. Were the cause of these horrors more politically correct we'd have no end of books, movies, documentaries, TV interviews, survival-story specials, etc. We'd never hear the end of it. Alas, the agents of this Caribbean holocaust consist of the Left's premier pin-up boys.

* * *
Photo by Roland Arhelger at Wikipedia Commons

Humberto Fontova


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Senate Democrats Introduce Bill to Push Radical 'Climate Change' Agenda in K-12 Schools - Sara Dogan

by Sara Dogan

Transforming America’s schoolchildren into climate warriors.

Senate Democrats are seeking to enact legislation that would provide federal funding to indoctrinate K-12 schoolchildren in a radical unscientific agenda on the purported risks of “climate change.” 

Titled the “Climate Change Education Act,” the bill was first proposed last April by Senator Edward Markey (D-MA). It would authorize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to establish a “Climate Change Education Program” and provide grants to develop teacher education programs, create “model State climate change curricula” for K-12 students, and “ensure that students graduate from high school with high climate literacy.”

Of course, these proposals are merely doublespeak for an attempt to use federal dollars and scare tactics to shape the next generation of Americans into radical environmental activists and proponents of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal.

The proof is in the bill itself. Rather than acknowledging that manmade climate change is a disputed scientific theory, the Democrats’ legislation states outright that “The evidence for human-induced climate change is overwhelming and undeniable.” 

This “undeniable” fact means we must teach students to promote the leftist environmental agenda which includes teaching them that “Atmospheric carbon can be significantly reduced through conservation, by shifting to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, tidal, and geothermal, and by increasing the efficiency of buildings, including domiciles, and transportation”—in other words, accepting Democratic legislative solutions such as the discredited and financially ruinous Green New Deal.

The bill does not even disguise its purpose to convert American students into climate warriors. It highlights the “More than 3,000,000 students [who] graduate from high schools and colleges each year, armed with attitudes, skills, and knowledge about the climate that inform their actions” and declares, “Those students need to be prepared to implement changes in professional and personal practices, to support and help develop new technology and policy, and to address the coming social and economic challenges and opportunities arising from a changing climate.”

As for teachers, the bill laments that “Only 30 percent of middle school and 45 percent of high school science teachers understand the extent of the scientific consensus on climate change.”  Clearly, leftist re-education camps, er, “relevant teacher training and professional development” are necessary to rectify this impediment.

“Despite the immediate danger posed by climate change, many middle school and high school teachers lack the training to teach students about it,” Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), a co-sponsor of the bill, commented in a tweet. “Our bill will create professional development grants for teachers to ensure students are getting the best education they can.”

But not to worry—despite the “immediate danger” touted by Senator Feinstein, the bill she co-sponsored explains that “Providing clear information about climate change… can remove the fear and the sense of helplessness, and encourage individuals and communities to take action.” That will surely be a comfort to kindergarteners who will be taught that Mommy’s SUV is putting the planet in peril. And when they graduate high school, they can esteem themselves for their “high climate literacy”—even if lesser skills such as writing and arithmetic have lagged behind.

Sara Dogan


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Prager U Video: Is Harvard Racist? - Prager University

by Prager University

The university is doing to Asian-American applicants what it once did to Jewish applicants.

Harvard University’s admissions policy is proof that one can remember negative history, write about it in great and vivid detail, and still be doomed to repeat it. In the name of “affirmative action” and “diversity,” Harvard is doing to Asian-American applicants exactly what it once did to Jewish applicants: discriminate. Lee Cheng explains in the video below:

Prager University


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How Government Researchers Hijack Science for Political Purposes - John Dale Dunn

by John Dale Dunn, MD, JD

A retired federal government toxicologist, Dr. Frank Schnell, blows the whistle on the way junk scientists working for a government agency agenda can make anything a toxin or a carcinogen.

In 2016 I discovered and wrote about Dr. Frank Schnell, career government employee toxicologist, when he asserted that formaldehyde was not a cancer-causing agent - and that the EPA had lied about it. I saw a gem, a Ph.D. toxicologist retired from the Communicable Disease Center – Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) after 20 years of professional work there, ready to reveal government scientific misconduct on matters of designating toxins and carcinogens. On the formaldehyde issues, Schnell displayed his expertise and his knowledge of EPA misconduct as a view from the belly of the beast. He outlined the science misconduct directed by the EPA and its agency allies, supported by fanatic environmentalists inside and outside the government.

Read this wonderful man's explanation in multiple articles that I admire and applaud from his ACSH archive, but also look at his archive at Science 2.0. For those who are interested in the politics, he is lucid; for those who are interested in getting into the scientific weeds, he is plenty smart and easy to understand.

In an important new essay, a very expansive and informative document, Dr. Schnell explains the way junk scientists working for a government agency agenda can make anything a toxin or a carcinogen. 

"In the last 15 years, EPA has invented three bogus human carcinogens (chemicals that cause cancer), all for political reasons or with a political not a scientific basis. The Carcinogens invented were, dioxin, because of the anti-Vietnam War crusade, formaldehyde because of the hysterical reaction to the 'toxic' trailer homes for the refugees of Katrina, and the last one, trichloroethylene, because of the noise about the contamination of water at Camp Lejeune."

None of these three chemicals passed any real scientific tests for proof of carcinogenicity, but politics is more important than science at the EPA. The complaints and scares were typical of these enviro-scares and the wheelchair brigades that form, encouraged by lawyers and enviro-advocates. Gulf War Syndrome was another example of a politically-motivated toxin story.

Dr. Schnell explains in this new and very expanded essay/monograph how federal agencies highjack science for political purposes. In this post-modern political environment, where the truth is not important and political points made are, is that such a surprise?

Please read the insightful and eloquent explanations of Dr. Schnell that deal with not only the scandals mentioned above, but how EPA research in epidemiology (study of populations) and toxicology (study of harmful substances) is poisoned by politics.

Dr. Schnell is an important find, and this paper is a marvelous effort to expose the misconduct of federally financed toxicologists, and their helpers in epidemiology and public policy making.

I would surely enjoy an opportunity to see Dr. Schnell expose these miscreant government crackpot scientists and their fanatic supporters, but I will happily trade that opportunity for a serious effort by others to make Dr. Schnell’s observations and assertions force some serious efforts to demand reliable science in the interests of public policy making.

Dr. Schnell explains in the paper linked above some of the tricks of the deceivers:

The Flint Michigan lead in water non-crisis:
“Funny Numbers” are NOT Thresholds of EFFECT: Flint, Michigan
Dr. Schnell in his paper shows how the public was fooled into believing that the incidence of drinking water-related cases of lead poisoning reached crisis proportions at Flint, Michigan after a 2014 switch to a new water source. If one decides that even lower “funny numbers” about hazardous levels of exposure are required to “keep the fear alive,” then it becomes necessary to abandon altogether the concept of adverse health effects caused by chemical exposure and replace it with something more subtle.

Dr. Schnell makes a good case for the problem of politicized science that creates even the most ridiculous of health scares, and he asserts the climate change/global warming scare is equally nonscientific and political:
Thus, “true believers” in the purely political belief system known as [anthropogenic] “climate change” are completely unaware of following facts:

(1) Levels of CO2 and other so-called “greenhouse gasses” do NOT control the climate & CANNOT cause catastrophic global warming;

(2) We are all now living in the Pleistocene ICE AGE, albeit just past the peak of the current, relatively balmy, interglacial period which will inevitably give way to the next glacial phase;

(3) The Earth has been cooling for most of the last 55 million years and Antarctica, which froze over 40 million years ago, will remain frozen for millions more, i.e., until the end of the current ice age; and

4) The last time that BOTH average temperatures and CO2 levels were as LOW as they have been in the Pleistocene ice age was 300 MILLION years ago during another ice age, the Permo-Carboniferous.
Science will eventually recover from this sad period of history, just as it eventually recovered from the scientifically bankrupt ideas of T. D. Lysenko in Stalinist Russia. But, between now and then, the politicization of science in much of the civilized world can still do incalculable harm to all the peoples of the Earth.

John Dale Dunn, MD, JD is a physician and inactive attorney in Brownwood, Texas.


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Trump calls a timeout at Hanoi summit, sends Kim back to Pyongyang to persuade his generals - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

President Trump abundantly signaled that he is not in a hurry for a deal — any deal — at the expense of getting a suboptimal result.

Media jackals predictably are braying that President Trump failed at the Hanoi summit. Nothing could be farther from the truth. President Trump wisely sent North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-un, back to Pyongyang from Hanoi, where he can tell the generals and security police commanders, on whose support he depends, that they are not going to get sanctions relief without giving up their nuclear arsenal.

There is every sign that this outcome in Hanoi is a predictable stage in the process of obtaining consensus among the North Korean ruling class that they must give up on the strategy of confrontation and isolation, with their survival guaranteed solely by nukes, and instead open up to the outside world and the prosperity market economies can generate.

MSNBC screen grab.

But, of course, the Trump-hating media have leaped to the conclusion that the summit was a huge failure because President Trump sent Chairman Kim back home to Pyongyang with the message that ending the sanctions will require complete, verifiable denuclearization. 

The AP rushed to judge the talks a failure, headlining, "Trump, Kim summit collapses amid failure to reach deal" in a dispatch that took six reporters as authors or contributors to publish. It called the premature end to the talks "a dispiriting end to high-stakes meetings meant to disarm a global threat."

This is pure propaganda.

President Trump abundantly signaled that he is not in a hurry for a deal — any deal — at the expense of getting a suboptimal result. He set the expectation that, while optimistic about eventually getting to his goal of denuclearization, it might be a longer process than the short attention span media would prefer.

The Washington Post explains where agreement could not be reached:
Trump said Kim promised he would not conduct missile launches or test nuclear weapons. And he said Kim was willing to close the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Complex, the site of North Korea's main nuclear reactor and its only source of plutonium to make bombs. But Trump said other covert facilities to enrich uranium had not been offered up.
Trump zeroed in on sanctions as the key sticking point in his talks with Kim.
"It was about the sanctions," he said. "Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn't do that. They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn't give up all of the sanctions for that." ...
"Chairman Kim and myself, we want to do the right deal. Speed is not important," he said.
And Kim said he was ready to denuclearize, at least in principle. "If I'm not willing to do that, I wouldn't be here right now," he said through an interpreter. ...
Asked if he were confident that the pair would reach a deal, Kim was equally guarded.
"It's too early to tell. I won't prejudge," Kim said in reply to the question from a Washington Post reporter, a rare response from a North Korean leader to an independent journalist. "From what I feel right now, I do have a feeling that good results will come."
It is clear from Kim's language that the talks didn't "collapse" into bitterness and a refusal to proceed. Both leaders remained cordial and continue to affirm their mutual goal of getting to a deal. So far as I have been able to discover, this was the first time a North Korean leader has ever faced a press conference with Western media asking questions. That in itself is a significant factor in opening up North Korea to the process of getting toward acting as a normal country does. It is a long process, to be sure, but this is a step in the right direction.

Many people wrongly assume that because North Korea is an absolute dictatorship, Kim can do anything he wishes, and his putative subordinates will go along with it. This is not my understanding of the real power structure in that benighted country. The young dictator depends on the loyalty of the commanders of troops and police who have the weapons that could overthrow him and install someone more to their liking. This threat is why he had his half-brother assassinated at Kuala Lumpur Airport, since having the blood of the Kim dynasty seems to be an essential attribute of a leader there. But if the military and security force commanders see an existential threat to their survival in power, they could still overthrow Kim and install another leader, finding grounds to claim legitimacy.

Now Kim must make another long three-and-a-half-day rail journey back to Pyongyang, where he must deliver the message that Trump won't fall for anything less than what he demands. I have not been able to discover if Kim's planned extra two days in Hanoi following the summit will be cut short. If so, that will be a lost opportunity, for Kim would have heard from his communist brothers in Vietnam about the many benefits of opening to the West and of how the Americans can be really helpful in dealing with the Chinese, who regard all of the East Asian neighbors as tributary states, properly subordinate to the Middle Kingdom, as they have been for millennia. He would also notice that the population in Vietnam is pretty happy with the economic progress that has improved their standard of living and supports their communist dictatorship because it is materially upgrading their lives.

Two comparisons leap to mind — one in which the media made the same bogus claims of failure and a second one in which an actual failure was labeled a triumph by many media outlets.

President Reagan walked out on the Reykjavik Summit with Mikhail Gorbachev in October 1986:
After the negotiations broke down without a final agreement, Reagan wrote that he left the meeting knowing how close they had come to achieving his long goal of eliminating the threat of nuclear destruction, and that this was the angriest moment of his career.
Despite failing to achieve either man's ultimate goal, Reykjavik will be recorded as one of the most important summits in history. A year after Reykjavik the U.S. and Soviet Union signed the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), for the first time eliminating an entire class of nuclear weapons. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was signed a few years later during President H.W Bush's term.
None of this progress would have been possible without the courage of two leaders to look beyond past hostilities and forge a new and lasting relationship, that would soon provide greater security for people around the world.
It should be noted that the USSR soon was relegated to the ash heap of history. But at the time, the U.S. media, which loudly proclaimed Reagan an "amiable dunce," was full of condemnation of President Reagan for this breakdown in talks.

The second comparison is an utter contrast: the way the Obama administration caved in to Iranian demands and produced the JCPOA agreement, sending billions of dollars to the chief sponsors of terrorism in the world and obtaining an agreement that allowed full nuclearization of Iran in ten years — an agreement that now is all but defunct.

Thomas Lifson


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The "Yellow Vests" in France: Social Protest, Violence, and Antisemitism - Dr. Tsilla Hershco

by Dr. Tsilla Hershco

For French Jewry, the mounting antisemitism is reminiscent of dark processes in Europe on the eve of WWII. 

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,099, February 28, 2019

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The “yellow vest” (gilets jaunes) demonstrations pose a difficult challenge to the French government and nation. They have revealed great public anger and frustration and have spread throughout the country with no sign of abating any time soon. They have also been marked by widespread acts of violence, including severe cases of antisemitism. The escalation of the demonstrations, despite President Macron’s efforts, raises a fear of anarchy that could deteriorate into civil war. For French Jewry, the mounting antisemitism is reminiscent of dark processes in Europe on the eve of WWII.  

France is undergoing one of the most challenging periods of its modern history. On every Saturday since November 17, 2018, tens of thousands of protestors have marched all over the country denouncing President Emmanuel Macron and his government as well as the police. They demand more democracy, more influence, and more equality in the society, the economy, and politics.

The demonstrations began with pensioners in northern France protesting a rise in fuel prices. From there they spread throughout the country, including Paris and the main cities, while growing ever more violent.

The fuel-price hike was the catalyst for the expression of deep, long-simmering bitterness and anger among people in the periphery who a) feel a decline in purchasing power, b) receive poorer governmental services than citizens in the center of the country, and c) lack efficient public transportation. They feel, in short, that they are the victims of a disconnect between the central government and the periphery. They believe they are systematically short-changed by government corruption and by social elites that, in their view, enjoy preferential treatment.

In addition, the demonstrations reflect the profound frustration of large sectors of the French public that are denied proper representation in the parliament by the electoral system. This was notably evident in the May 2017 presidential elections, which saw the lowest voting rate since 1969 with over 25% not voting and over 11% casting invalid ballots.

Far-right demonstrators claim that Macron’s election was a means of preventing the election of Marine Le Pen; and indeed, in the second round of the elections, about 11 million people voted for Le Pen. In the June 2017 parliamentary elections, Le Pen’s National Front (Front National, or FN) increased its strength from two representatives to eight of the 577 members of parliament. This does not reflect the party’s real support in areas outside the large cities, where anger over France’s economic and security situation translates into very substantial backing for FN.

After the elections, Le Pen declared her intention to mount a fighting “patriots’” opposition to an establishment that, as she puts it, favors “Mondialism.” Support for her party, which has adopted the name National Rally (Rassemblement National, or RN), has grown during the “yellow vest” demonstrations, and it now leads the polls for the European Parliament elections slated for May 26, 2019. La Pen has claimed that a victory in those elections would constitute a sort of dress rehearsal for French presidential elections and a “democratic” opportunity to compel Macron to change his policies. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the far-left party Unbowed France (La France Insoumise, or LFI), which has 17 representatives in the parliament, also calls frequently for a “nonviolent” civil revolt.

The “yellow vest” demonstrations reflect disappointment with the young president. During his election campaign, Macron kindled hopes by touting far-reaching economic reforms. But the reforms he has espoused while in office have sparked widespread criticism that has made them difficult to implement. Macron has also had trouble carrying out legislative initiatives on key issues such as illegal immigration and crime in the suburbs. And despite his ambition to be a president of both the right and the left, he has drawn harsh criticism from both sides. His reforms are perceived as benefiting the rich, and he is seen as exceedingly arrogant for calling himself “Jupiter.”

Amid the dramatic political polarization between extreme left and extreme right, the weakening of the parties of the center, and the almost complete disappearance of the parties of the past, Macron has failed to present a real alternative. His new party, The Republic on the March (La République en Marche, or LREM), which won a respectable majority in the June 2017 parliamentary elections, includes many delegates who lack either political experience or a significant electoral base. Even before the “yellow vest” riots, public support for the president had declined dramatically to 29% (in September 2018). At the start of December 2018, when the mass demonstrations began, support for Macron sank to a new low of 23%.

The “yellow vest” demonstrations, by contrast, have garnered considerable public and media sympathy. Historically the French have tended to romanticize popular protest such as the student demonstrations of 1968. Demonstrations and strikes by workers’ organizations, too, have usually won public sympathy despite the difficulties they cause and the violence that sometimes accompanies them.

The “yellow vest” demonstrations differ from those of the past. They have gone on for a long time and are occurring all over the country, and it is not clear when they will end. The “yellow vests” have yet to present a leadership and a set of coherent demands, making it difficult to negotiate an end to the crisis. The signs waved at the demonstrations speak of general demands for justice and economic equality, high taxes on the wealthy, and a “referendum by civil initiative” (Referendum d’intiative citoyenne, or RIC) on basic questions of government and economy. But because of sharp disagreements among themselves, the “yellow vests” have failed so far to create a new political framework and have been unable to come up with a list of candidates to run in the European Parliament elections.

The wide public support for the “yellow vests” is beginning to erode. The demonstrations have caused damage to public and private property, with shops ransacked, cars burned, police officers attacked, main roads blocked, and attempts to break into public buildings and governmental offices.

The acts of violence and vandalism are perpetrated by radical leftists, radical rightists, anarchists, and rioters from the suburbs who join the demonstrations, which are supposed to be conducted nonviolently, along a particular route, and with police oversight. At certain stages, usually when a demonstration is about to disperse, the radical elements clash with the police and stray into streets that are not part of the approved route, where they engage in plunder and destruction. The radicals chant anti-establishment slogans that demand not only Macron’s resignation but also a complete overhaul of France’s governmental and economic system.

During the protests, extreme leftists direct their attacks at shops, department stores, banks, insurance agencies, and cars, which they see as signifying the capitalist establishment. They have likewise tried to damage national symbols such as the Arch of Triumph, the National Assembly, and the Senate. On January 5, 2019, four “yellow vests” used a forklift to break through the gate of the building of the government spokesman, Deputy Minister Benjamin Griveaux, who was evacuated in a state of panic by security officers. The incident stirred outrage among the authorities as well as the public, and about a month later those involved in the assault were arrested.

Another incident that sparked an outcry occurred on February 9, 2019, when a demonstrator set fire to a car of the Vigipirate forces, who are charged with safeguarding citizens against terror attacks. The demonstrators also damaged a fence near the Eiffel Tower that was designed for protection against terror. These acts of violence drew harsh responses, particularly with many in the country concerned about terror and fearing the possible return of dozens of French citizens who joined ISIS. In an attack with a gun and a knife near the Christmas market in Strasbourg on December 11, 2018, an Islamist terrorist killed and wounded many.

The French government’s response to the demonstrations has included concessions and attempts at dialogue on the one hand and a toughening of police methods on the other. While condemning the violence, Macron has accepted responsibility for the situation while emphasizing, rightly, that the problems had been developing for many years before his presidency.

Macron has rescinded the fuel-tax hike that was supposed to be part of the reforms aimed at limiting the harm wrought by global warming and at making a transition to green energy. He has also announced measures to increase the purchasing power of disadvantaged sectors, such as canceling the decision to increase taxes for most pensioners, canceling taxes on overtime work, and increasing the minimum wage by a hundred euros. In addition, Macron took part in public debates throughout France on various sectoral problems and expressed readiness to hold a referendum in which – notwithstanding what the demonstrators demand – it will be the government that decides which questions will be included. He has said, however, that he will not support a simplistic referendum with yes-or-no answers. Macron’s measures gained a positive response from the French public, as evidenced in January 2019 when his approval rating rose to 35%.

Alongside the economic sweeteners, the French authorities adopted tough tactics toward violent demonstrators including water hoses, tear-gas grenades, and even rubber bullets, which severely wounded some demonstrators and provoked condemnations of the Interior Ministry and the police. At the beginning of January 2019, PM Édouard Philippe initiated stringent legislation aimed at fighting violent demonstrators, including banning face coverings, opening criminal files against those taking part in unlicensed demonstrations, charging vandals for damages, and checking the files of participants to identify weapons and dangerous objects.

Despite the sweeteners and Macron’s willingness to consider demonstrators’ demands, the violent demonstrations have not stopped, and the prevailing assessment is that they will continue. The ongoing Saturday demonstrations have resulted in injuries to hundreds of police officers and civilians and the deaths of 18 civilians. Thousands have been arrested and quickly put on trial. Very heavy economic damages have been inflicted on public property and on many French citizens. Economists have estimated that the financial sweeteners will cause a loss of over 10 billion euros in revenues, apart from all the damage to public and private property.

In many cases, too, the violent demonstrations have included severe acts of antisemitism. Both far-right and far-left demonstrators have vilified Macron for ostensibly supporting Jews or for being controlled by them. On November 2, 2018, a far-right demonstration in Strasbourg that passed close to the Great Synagogue included jeers directed at the worshippers. A Jewish-owned bagel store was covered with Nazi symbols and taunts. On February 16, 2019, radical demonstrators attacked the philosopher Alain Finkielkraut with screams and curses, calling him a “dirty Jew and Israel supporter,” and the police had to whisk him away to his home. Finkielkraut said the attackers were Islamists and also spoke of the “self-righteousness” of extreme leftists who support them and accede to their antisemitism with seemingly moralistic justifications about opposing racism and “occupation.”

Such incidents have aroused severe criticism and shock among the authorities, the media, and much of the public. On February 19, a mass demonstration against antisemitism was held in Paris – just hours after some 80 graves were desecrated in a Jewish cemetery near Strasbourg. A 74% increase in French antisemitism over the past year, particularly involving the “yellow vest” demonstrations, has induced deep anxiety among French Jews, who say condemnations and counterdemonstrations are not enough and call for strict punishments instead.

The acts of violence and vandalism have undermined confidence in the government’s ability to ensure the peace of its citizens, and have damaged France’s image and status in Europe and the world. Continued violent demonstrations could lead to anarchy and even to civil war between the radical left and the radical right. The mass demonstrations could also become a model for attacks on other democratic regimes in Europe and beyond.

France will have to decide quickly and resolutely on issues involving limits on freedom of speech and assembly. The cynical and distorted abuse of those freedoms undermines the basic rights of the silent majority and jeopardizes security, freedom of movement and occupation, property, and the stability of the democratic regime.

Dr. Tsilla Hershco is a senior research fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center (BESA) for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University.


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Germany: Stabbings and Knife Crimes at Record High - Soeren Kern

by Soeren Kern

Many Germans have the sense that danger lurks everywhere, but the lack of official statistics seemingly allows German authorities to pretend that the problem is imaginary.

  • Police reported more than 4,100 knife-related crimes in 2018, compared to around 3,800 reported during 2017 — and only 400 in 2008. Overall, during the past ten years, knife-related crimes in Germany have increased by more than 900% — from one a day to more than ten a day.
  • German media do not report most knife-related violence. Crimes that are reported are often dismissed as "isolated incidents" that are unrelated to mass immigration. Moreover, many crime reports, including those in police blotters, omit references to the nationalities of the perpetrators and victims — apparently to avoid inflaming anti-immigration sentiments.... Many Germans have the sense that danger lurks everywhere, but the lack of official statistics seemingly allows German authorities to pretend that the problem is imaginary.
  • Germany's knife-crime epidemic has continued nonstop into 2019. During the first 45 days of 2019, police reported more than 500 knife crimes — an average of 11 a day.

Mourtala Madou, a 33-year-old illegal immigrant from Niger, has been sentenced to life in prison for stabbing to death his 34-year-old German ex-girlfriend and decapitating their 21-month-old daughter in Hamburg, Germany. Pictured: Police question witnesses at the scene of the murders, in Jungfernstieg subway station in Hamburg, on April 12, 2018. (Image source: Daniel J./Heinrich Kordewiner video screenshot)
Mourtala Madou, a 33-year-old illegal immigrant from Niger, has been sentenced to life in prison for stabbing to death his 34-year-old German ex-girlfriend and decapitating their 21-month-old daughter at a subway station in Hamburg.
The grisly crime has drawn renewed attention to Germany's spiraling epidemic of stabbings and knife violence, which has raged since Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed into the country more than a million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The double murder in Hamburg occurred the morning of April 12, 2018, one day after a family judge denied Madou (also known as Mado Bido M. or Mourtala M.) joint custody of his daughter. Madou followed the mother, Sandra P., and their toddler, Mariam, into the Jungfernstieg station in downtown Hamburg. In front of many passers-by, he opened his backpack, pulled out a knife and stabbed his stroller-bound daughter in the abdomen. He then slashed her neck and severed her head. Madou subsequently plunged the knife into Sandra P.'s back and cut through her vital organs. She died less than an hour later at a nearby hospital.
During interrogation by police, Madou explained: "This is my child. This is my blood. The mother separates me from the child. Then I separate the child from her."
On February 15, 2019, the Hamburg District Court (Landgericht Hamburg) sentenced Madou to life in prison for two counts of murder. In addition, the court established a "particular severity of guilt" (besondere Schwere der Schuld), a legal mechanism applied to sentences for especially brutal crimes. That verdict disqualifies Madou from automatically being eligible for parole after serving 15 years, as otherwise is the normal practice in Germany. A lawyer representing Sandra P.'s sister said that the sentence handed to Madou was "the maximum we could legally achieve."
Police and prosecutors had initially tried to conceal from the public that Madou had decapitated the baby, but a commuter — Ghanaian citizen Daniel J., a gospel singer at an evangelical church in Hamburg — who happened to arrive at the subway station moments after the attack filmed the scene on his phone. "Oh my God," Daniel J. can be heard saying in English. "It's unbelievable. Oh Jesus, oh Jesus, oh Jesus. They cut off the head of the baby. Oh my God. Oh Jesus."
Heinrich Kordewiner, a blogger from Hamburg who discovered the video on Daniel J.'s Facebook page, uploaded it to YouTube. Hamburg police subsequently arrived at Kordewiner's apartment with a search warrant, and confiscated his computer, mobile phone and other electronics, allegedly to find "evidence" of the "crime" of uploading the video.
German prosecutors also pursued Gatestone author Stefan Frank for quoting verbatim from the search warrant, which included details of the murder, including that the child was beheaded. The fact of the decapitation was not only omitted from public reports, but also denied. District Attorney Lars Mahnke claimed that "speculation" about the beheading was false. Frank, however, knew about the beheading because it was mentioned in the search warrant. His "crime" was informing the public. The case against Frank was dropped in January 2019 after he agreed to pay a fine of 300 euros ($340).
Police and prosecutors have insisted that their silence about the child's decapitation has been out of respect for the dignity of the dead. Others, however, have accused German authorities of censoring information about growing lawlessness — including spiraling knife violence — to "preserve civil peace."

Stabbings and Knife Crimes

Official statistics on knife violence in Germany do not exist. The Conference of Interior Ministers (Innenministerkonferenz, IMK), in an ongoing exchange of views about law enforcement issues between the interior ministers of Germany's 16 federal states, recently decided that federal crime statistics should include data about knife violence. Before that can happen, however, German authorities must first "develop guidelines" for statistics on knife crimes, and also "convert technical registration systems in the federal states."
In February 2019, Oliver Malchow, chairman of the German Police Union (Gewerkschaft der Polizei, GdP), called on the government to speed-up the collection of data on knife crimes. "We have heard it will not take place until 2022," he said, "but we think that is too late."
The Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) said that "as soon as uniform reporting is ensured, the corresponding data can be incorporated into the nationwide statistics." At present, however, "the BKA can make no statements as to whether attacks with knives in Germany are increasing."
A review by Gatestone Institute of German police blotters found that 2018 was a record year for stabbings and knife crimes in Germany: Police reported more than 4,100 knife-related crimes in 2018, compared to around 3,800 reported during 2017 — and only 400 in 2008. Overall, during the past ten years, knife-related crimes in Germany have increased by more than 900% — from one a day to more than ten a day. The data shows a notable increase in knife crimes since 2015, when Chancellor Angela Merkel opened German borders to hundreds of thousands of migrants.
German media do not report most knife-related violence. Crimes that are reported are often dismissed as "isolated incidents" that are unrelated to mass immigration. Moreover, many crime reports, including those in police blotters, omit references to the nationalities of the perpetrators and victims — apparently to avoid inflaming anti-immigration sentiments.
Knives, axes and machetes have become weapons of choice for criminals in Germany, which has some of the strictest gun laws in Europe. People armed with knives, axes and machetes have brought devastation to all of Germany's 16 federal states. Knives have been used not only not only to carry out jihadist attacks, but also to commit homicides, robberies, home invasions, sexual assaults, honor killings and many other types of violent crime.
Knife-related crimes have occurred in amusement parks, bicycle trails, hotels, parking lots, parks, public squares, public transportation, restaurants, schools, supermarkets and train stations. Many Germans have the sense that danger lurks everywhere, but the lack of official statistics seemingly allows German authorities to pretend that the problem is imaginary.
Police reports show that both migrants and non-migrants are responsible for the increase in knife crimes in Germany. Merkel's open-door migration policies appear to have set in motion a self-reinforcing cycle of violence in which more and more people are carrying knives in public — including for self-defense. Her policies appear to be leading to more and more stabbings, especially when alcohol is involved.
"The reasons for carrying a knife are mainly due to the fear of becoming a victim of a crime, and also the orientation towards masculinity norms," according to the BKA, which added that young people who carry knives are twice as likely to commit acts of violence as young people who do not carry a knife.
Some of the recent stabbings appear to have had religious or political motives, sometimes both:
  • Fulda. A 23-year-old Somali asylum seeker demanded a cigarette from a passerby: "Give me the cigarette. The cigarette is mine. Allahu Akbar! [Allah is the greatest!] I kill Christians!" When the man refused, the Somali drew a knife and repeatedly stabbed him in the upper torso. The injured man fled but the Somali pursued him: "I'm a Muslim. I want to kill you. I kill Christians. Allahu Akbar!"
  • Flensburg. Ahmad Gulbhar, a failed Afghan asylum seeker, stabbed to death 17-year-old Mireille B. after she refused to convert to Islam. He claimed on his asylum application that he was an 18-year-old refugee from Syria. Medical exams showed that Gulbhar was at least 21 years old and possibly 29 years old.
  • Nordstetten. A 26-year-old Syrian asylum seeker, Mohammed Omran Albakr, was arrested in the stabbing death of his landlord, Michael Riecher, a real estate entrepreneur. Riecher had sponsored Albakr and some speculated that the murder had a financial motive. Others said that Albakr murdered Riecher after learning that he was Jewish; that the murder had a religious and anti-Semitic dimension.
  • Berlin. A 24-year-old Muslim stopped a 27-year-old passerby and asked him why he was wearing two tattoos depicting the Christian cross. The Muslim demanded that the man, an Iraqi Christian, give alms to a nearby street beggar. When the Christian refused, the Muslim punched him in the face and threatened him with a knife.
  • Berlin. A 23-year-old Syrian man stabbed several passersby at the Bayerischer Platz subway station. He first asked a 50-year-old man if he was a Turk. When he replied that he was German, the Syrian shouted, "You infidel!" and stabbed him. The other victims were also all native Germans. Police said the Syrian was "mentally unstable."
  • Berlin. Six men were arrested for plotting knife attacks against spectators at the Berlin Half Marathon. The leading suspect reportedly knew Anis Amri, a Tunisian who killed 12 people and injured several dozen more when he drove a truck into a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016.
  • Dortmund. A group of four Muslims pulled a knife on two Iraqis outside a discotheque for drinking alcohol, something that should not be done by "believing Muslims."
  • Witzenhausen. A 38-year-old Libyan man shouting "Allahu Akbar!" ["Allah is the greatest!"] at a Christmas market threatened passersby with a hatchet.
  • Hamburg. A 26-year-old Palestinian named Ahmad A. said that his decision to carry out a deadly knife attack at a supermarket in Barmbek was "a contribution to the global jihad."
Many knife attacks appear to be random, indiscriminate assaults on innocent bystanders and passersby:
  • Hamburg. A 22-year-old man was stabbed in the cashier area of an Ikea furniture store. Police said his 26-year-old attacker had mental health problems and was "obviously confused."
  • Burgwedel. A 17-year-old Syrian migrant, Abdalla M., stabbed and seriously injured a 24-year-old German woman at a supermarket in Lower Saxony. The woman was attacked after she intervened in a dispute between her boyfriend and two migrants, aged 13 and 14. The 17-year-old, who arrived in Germany in 2013, is the brother of one of the younger teenagers.
  • Magdeburg. An African man drew a knife on a 28-year-old German man after he accidentally bumped into his female companion in a busy crosswalk in front of a shopping center.
  • Nuremberg. A 38-year-old man randomly stabbed three women within two hours and 100 meters on a public street. The three victims, aged 26, 34 and 56, suffered life-threatening injuries. Also in Nuremberg, 25-year-old Iraqi man randomly stabbed a 21-year-old female passerby. Police said the woman "happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."
  • Viersen. A 15-year-old girl was stabbed to death by an unknown assailant in a public park during the middle of the day.
  • Berlin. A 24-year-old "North African born in Palestine" raped at knifepoint a 46-year-old woman in her garden.
  • Lingen. A 44-year-old woman riding her bicycle on a bike path was stabbed and seriously injured by two teenagers.
  • Hattersheim. Two Turks drew a knife on a 54-year-old female passerby at the train station.
  • Potsdam. A 24-year-old migrant from Cameroon attacked a passerby with a razor blade. When police arrived, he bit an officer on the arm and finger.
  • Bremen. An 18-year-old man was stabbed from behind by an unknown assailant.
  • Penzberg. A 33-year-old Nigerian asylum seeker waving a knife ran through the city center and threatened passersby.
  • Wiesbaden. Several young men wielding knives randomly threatened passersby in the city center.
  • Babenhausen. A 30-year-old man was stabbed by an unknown attacker in a supermarket parking lot.
  • Hanover. A 20-year-old man was stabbed and seriously injured at a McDonald's restaurant.
Transport hubs and public transportation are increasingly unsafe:
  • Lübeck. Twelve people were seriously injured when a 34-year-old German-Iranian, Ali D., carried out a knife attack on a bus carrying 48 passengers. He also tried to set the bus on fire with lighter fluid. The suspect, who is said to suffer from paranoid schizophrenia, was charged with 48 counts of attempted murder.
  • Munich. A 28-year-old man with a switchblade threatened passengers on a commuter train. The man was questioned and released. A short while later, the same man threated security personnel on another train. Police said the man had recently been released from prison and was on probation.
  • Crimmitschau. A 21-year-old Syrian migrant drew a knife on a German couple at the train station. When the German man defended himself with pepper spray, a 19-year-old Syrian migrant jumped onto the track bed, picked up stones and began throwing them at the couple. Police said the older Syrian was carrying two knives and illegal narcotics. The younger Syrian did not have a residency permit. After questioning, both Syrians were released.
  • Düsseldorf. A 55-year-old biologist randomly stabbed two women on a commuter train. Police said the suspect, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, was upset that his research on gene manipulation had yielded inconclusive results.
  • Hanover. A man was stabbed and seriously injured during a mass brawl between homeless people at the central railway station.
  • Ravensburg. A 21-year-old Afghan asylum seeker randomly stabbed three passersby at a bus stop on the Marienplatz. Police said the man was suffering from "post-traumatic disorders due to experiences in Afghanistan."
  • Hamburg. A 21-year-old man stabbed a 29-year-old man at the central train station. At the same location, a 59-year-old drunk man was arrested after waving a knife at passersby. When police arrived, the man tried to slash them. Separately, a 32-year-old Iranian migrant stabbed a 21-year-old man at the Othmarschen commuter train station.
  • Rees. A 29-year-old Moroccan asylum seeker wielding an axe demanded money from passersby at the train station.
  • Hagen. Several people were stabbed during a mass brawl near the central train station.
Knife attacks often involve teenagers and young children as well as women:
  • Duisburg. Three German-Turks (aged between 15 and 17) and a 15-year-old Swedish-Iraqi repeatedly stabbed a 17-year-old German girl named Marcella S. who was five months pregnant with the child of a 16-year-old German-Turk named Rifai B. She and the baby survived the attack.Marcella S. said: "He lured me into a trap. He wanted to kill me and my child. He wrote to me that no one should know that he is the father. He threatened to kill me and the baby. We walked a few meters and he said that his father would kill him if he learned about the child. Suddenly three masked men with knives jumped out of the bushes."
  • Nimburg. A seven-year-old boy stabbed his elementary teacher in the abdomen. She was seriously injured and underwent surgery. The boy was said to have a history of acts of violence against other classmates. "Due to the daily incidents and his constant unpredictability, we can no longer guarantee the safety of our students," teachers warned.
  • Moers. A 33-year-old Kuwait-born Iraqi man stabbed a 13-year-old-Iraqi boy who on his way to school. It later emerged that the attacker had sexually abused the boy and the attack was aimed at preventing the boy from reporting the crimes to his mother or to authorities.
  • Dortmund. A 15-year-old Kazakh stabbed a 15-year-old classmate for "looking at his mother in a provocative way."
  • Berlin. A three-year-old girl was stabbed to death by her mother in what police said was a family dispute.
  • Essen. A 15-year-old was stabbed on a commuter train during a physical altercation.
  • Kiel. a 17-year-old Iraqi was stabbed by a 16-year-old during a mass brawl at the central train station.
  • Euskirchen. A 15-year-old boy armed with a knife robbed a woman of her handbag.
  • Hanover. Two boys aged 12 and 13 were robbed at knifepoint by two teenagers of Eastern European appearance.
  • Viersen. A 17-year-old Bulgarian, Matyu K., stabbed to death his 15-year-old Romanian girlfriend, Iuliana R., at a park.
Knives appear to be the weapon of choice in so-called honor killings and domestic disputes:
  • Gremersdorf. A 22-year-old Iraqi, Zyad S., stabbed to death his 28-year-old Iranian ex-girlfriend, Fatemeh B. She had ended their relationship two weeks before she was murdered.
  • Bad Kreuznach. A 25-year-old Afghan asylum seeker stabbed a 25-year-old pregnant Polish woman at a hospital in Bad Kreuznach. The unborn child died in the attack.
  • Nürtingen. A 30-year-old Portuguese man stabbed a 31-year-old Greek man during a dispute over a woman.
  • Hanover-Hainholz. A 29-year-old German-Turk and a 29-year-old Albanian stabbed each other during a "relationship dispute" over a 17-year-old girl. The Albanian died of his wounds.
  • Pforzheim. A 32-year-old Turkish man stabbed his 37-year-old brother.
  • Düren. A 41-year-old Pole was stabbed during a dispute with two other Poles.
  • Heek. A 32-year-old Russian man confessed to stabbing to death his 23-year-old wife. The man told police that he killed her during an argument and then dumped her body in a nearby pond.
  • Rendsburg. A 29-year-old man stabbed and seriously injured his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend.
  • Düsseldorf. A 41-year-old German-Iranian man stabbed to death a 36-year-old woman after she refused his romantic advances.
  • Neubrandenburg. A 27-year-old Turkish man stabbed his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend at a cinema. The accused said that he had "seen the two and then became angry."
  • Rendsburg. A 27-year-old Syrian man name tried to decapitate his sleeping wife. She survived the attack after seeking help from a neighbor. The couple's two children, who were in an adjacent room at the time of the attack, were sent to a youth welfare office.
  • Hamburg. A 34-year-old rejected Pakistani asylum seeker named Sohail A. admitted to stabbing to death his two-year-old daughter. Prosecutors said the man acted out of "anger and revenge" because the girl's mother refused to allow the child to be taken to Pakistan.
  • Mühlacker. A 41-year-old Syrian, Abu Marwan, stabbed to death his 37-year-old wife. The couple's three children, a girl and two boys, witnessed the murder. It later emerged that immediately after the killing, the blood-stained man posted a video on Facebook warning women not to irritate their husbands. "This is how you'll end," he wrote.
  • Regensburg. A 32-year-old man stabbed to death his 33-year-old girlfriend. It turned out later that in 2013, the same man had stabbed another girlfriend and threatened her father with a chainsaw.
  • Frankenthal. A 25-year-old Turk stabbed to death a 51-year-old Turk, then fled to Switzerland.
  • Reutlingen. A 50-year-old Croatian man stabbed his estranged wife and their underaged daughter.
  • Hanau. A 49-year-old Turkish man stabbed his estranged wife seven times. Prosecutors said that the man, who was charged with attempted murder, said that he could not accept that his wife wanted to leave him and therefore wanted to kill her.
Knives appear to be the weapon most often used in armed robberies:
  • Emden. A 35-year-old Iranian refugee was arrested for robbing at knifepoint several supermarkets.
  • Düsseldorf. A "southern-looking" man (südländisches Erscheinungsbild) robbed at knifepoint a grocery store.
  • Eicklingen. Two men robbed at knifepoint a post office.
  • Bonn. Two men robbed at knifepoint a bakery.
  • Wuppertal. A man armed with a knife robbed a kiosk.
  • Hanover. A North African man armed with an axe robbed a supermarket. Three migrants robbed at knifepoint a cinema.
  • Essen. Two men tried to rob a 37-year-old man at knifepoint. The man, an expert in martial art, overpowered his attackers and seized the knife. When his attackers returned to resume the fight, he slashed one of them in the neck.
In fights and mass brawls between groups of people from different nationalities and ethnic groups, knives appear to be weapons of choice:
  • Hanover. A 39-year-old man was stabbed to death during a brawl at the central railway station. "It cannot be that the train station is perceived by some people to be a lawless zone," said CDU councilman Maximilian Oppelt.
  • Neubrandenburg. A 27-year-old Syrian asylum seeker was stabbed in the neck during a fight with other asylum seekers. A 40-year-old Iranian asylum seeker stabbed a 28-year-old Iraqi man during a dispute. A 19-year-old Eritrean and a 19-year-old Syrian stabbed a 29-year-old Pole.
  • Cologne. Two Afghans were stabbed by Arabs during a mass brawl in front of the central train station.
  • Hamburg. A 23-year-old Serbian-Montenegrin stabbed another Serbian. The attacker fled to Serbia.
  • Duisburg. Rival gangs of Turks, Kurds and Lebanese attacked each other with iron bars, batons and machetes. They were fighting for supremacy over drug trafficking, prostitution, gambling and gun shops.
  • Hagenow. An 18-year-old Syrian asylum seeker shouting "Allahu Akbar!" ["Allah is the greatest!"] stabbed a 26-year-old Iraqi during a mass brawl in a residential area.
  • Kaiserslautern. A 24-year-old Syrian was stabbed during a mass brawl with other Syrians.
  • Varel. A 35-year-old Iranian was stabbed during a fight with two other Iranians.
  • Damme. A 27-year-old Syrian was stabbed during a mass brawl with other Syrians.
  • Velbert. Four people were stabbed in a mass brawl between Turks and North Africans.
  • Baesweiler. A 27-year-old Turkish man was stabbed during a mass brawl between two Turkish clans. Seven police cars were dispatched to restore order.
Knives also appear to be the weapon of choice in asylum and refugee shelters and other places where migrants are accommodated:
  • Hattersheim. A 26-year-old Syrian asylum seeker stabbed to death a 39-year-old Afghan in a dispute over food at a refugee shelter. In court, the Syrian said that he stabbed the Afghan 19 times because he had reminded him of an uncle who had treated him badly a long time ago. He also said that the Israeli intelligence service Mossad had "cast a spell" on his mother, who now wanted him dead.
  • Landshut. A 35-year-old Iranian pulled a knife on a Nigerian man at a refugee shelter and shouted, "I want to kill you now." Prosecutors said the Iranian suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and, in his current condition, poses a danger to the general public.
  • Straubing. A 22-year-old Afghan drew a knife on a 21-year-old Afghan at a refugee shelter. The 22-year-old resisted arrest and kicked police officers.
  • Engen. A 22-year-old migrant pulled a knife on his 26-year-old roommate at a refugee shelter.
  • Hanover. A 21-year-old Afghan stabbed a 25-year-old Afghan at a refugee shelter.
  • Bad Tölz. A 21-year-old Afghan stabbed a 29-year-old Tanzanian at a refugee shelter.
  • Lübeck. A man was stabbed during a mass brawl between Afghans and Syrians at an asylum shelter.
  • Kefenrod. A 35-year-old Iranian asylum seeker stabbed his two children, aged 4 and 6, at an asylum shelter.
  • Holdorf. A 35-year-old Sudanese asylum seeker got into a fight with his girlfriend at an asylum shelter. When two other Sudanese tried to intervene, he threatened them with a knife.
  • Emden. A 35-year-old Iranian refugee was arrested for robbing several supermarkets at knifepoint.
  • Munich-Neuaubing. A 38-year-old Iraqi migrant attacked his landlord with a machete during a dispute over a defective sprinkler system.
Social workers and public servants, including police, have been victims of knife attacks:
  • Offenburg, August 17, 2018. A 26-year-old Somali asylum seeker stabbed a 52-year-old doctor to death at his practice. Prosecutors said the man wanted to take revenge for what he believed was faulty medical treatment: "He thought the doctor had poisoned him." He is being held in a psychiatric ward. "Many doctors naturally are concerned and now thinking about installing an alarm button, as banks have long done," said Ulrich Clever, President of the State Medical Association of Baden-Württemberg.
  • Wittenberg. A 20-year-old Afghan failed asylum seeker cut the throat of an 85-year-old retiree in his home and fled in the victim's car. The victim's 20-year-old daughter, who works as a refugee aid worker in Saxony, had helped the Afghan get a part time job assisting her father with chores around the house.
  • Hagen. A 26-year-old Syrian drew a knife on railway employees after he was found to be traveling without a ticket. At the central train station, he attacked police. He was registered as an asylum seeker in Sweden and had entered Germany illegally.
  • Düsseldorf. A 24-year-old German-Tunisian stabbed a 51-year-old security guard at the Düsseldorf Airport.
  • Obermehler. A 29-year-old Moroccan asylum seeker drew a knife on security personnel at a refugee shelter.
  • Deggendorf. A 23-year-old Senegalese asylum seeker drew a knife on security personnel at a refugee shelter.
  • Flensburg. A 24-year-old Eritrean asylum seeker stabbed a 22-year-old police officer on an intercity express train. The officer shot and killed the Eritrean, who arrived in Germany in September 2015.
  • Borken. A 19-year-old man stabbed a 55-year-old police officer, who was responding to a report of domestic violence, after the 19-year-old's mother evicted him from the house.
  • Bad Säckingen. A 58-year-old man with a knife attacked a police officer, who was wearing a stab-resistant vest.
  • Regensburg, January 14, 2018. A 33-year-old German-Iranian tried to stab a police officer who was checking on a report of a domestic dispute. The same night, when police asked three migrant youths to present their identification papers, more than a dozen teenagers arrived to harass the officers. A 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker repeatedly kicked a policeman who was lying on the ground. The 26-year-old officer suffered a concussion, a bruised skull and a laceration and was hospitalized. In all, in one night, city police were assaulted in four different attacks.
Some stabbings have taken on political dimensions:
  • Cottbus. An unidentified person of "southern appearance" randomly stabbed a 28-year-old German. The city issued a statement: "We will not hesitate to tell the perpetrator that he or she will have to get a ticket to return to their homeland. We will not let our city be damaged by people who cannot behave and who think they can solve conflicts in this way." The warning unleashed a storm of criticism, as people accused city officials of being "far right" and "neo-Nazis."City officials updated the statement but stood their ground: "Basically, we want to make it clear that we are against racism and xenophobia in our city. Anyone who wants to live in our city, should feel comfortable and accommodated here. But we also condemn every act of violence, regardless of who is identified as a suspect. Anyone who violates laws and commits crimes — no matter what their origin — must accept the legal consequences accordingly."
  • Cottbus. Three Syrian asylum seekers (aged 14, 15 and 17) stabbed a 51-year-old German man in front of a shopping center. The Syrians demanded that the man and his wife "show respect" by opening the door for them and giving them the right of way. When the woman refused, the teenagers pulled a knife and began stabbing her husband. A passerby stopped to help the man; security guards held the teenagers until police arrived. The 14-year-old was known to police for other violent crimes.Cottbus Mayor Holger Kelch said: "This is disgusting and unacceptable for us as a city and for the rule of law. The rule of law must show teeth fast. We will do everything in our power to make it clear to young people which basic values ​​and rules apply in Germany and in Cottbus and that they have to abide by them. We will also contact the parents to make it clear that the behavior of their children is not without its consequences. We will not let the development of our city be destroyed by such incidents."
  • Chemnitz. A 22-year-old Syrian and a 23-year-old Iraqi were arrested in the stabbing death of a 35-year-old German man named Daniel H. Police tried to conceal the identity of the attacker from the public, but a prison officer in Dresden published the arrest warrant. The prison officer was suspended. The crime led to mass protests over Chancellor Merkel's open-door migration policies.
Germany's knife-crime epidemic has continued nonstop into 2019. During the first 45 days of 2019, police reported more than 500 knife crimes — an average of 11 a day. Notable knife-related incidents during the months of January and February include:
Gelsenkirchen. A 24-year-old Albanian stabbed his 25-year-old wife, then brought her to a hospital, where he was arrested. Passau. A 19-year-old Afghan asylum seeker stabbed a 21-year-old Afghan. Dresden. A 25-year-old Iraqi threatened a workman with a machete because he was supposedly making too much noise. Schömberg. A 61-year-old Kazakh man stabbed to death a 55-year-old acquaintance.
Meinerzhagen. A 26-year-old Syrian threatened neighbors with a knife only two days after moving into an apartment building. When police arrived, the man launched furniture out the window and threatened the officers. Special forces commandos (Spezialeinsatzkommando, SEK) were deployed to restore order.
Berlin. A 20-year-old man attacked security personnel with a knife after he was asked to stop smoking on a commuter train. Weil am Rhein. A shoplifter pulled a knife on a sales clerk. Frankfurt. Police ordered a man to drop two kitchen knives. He refused, dropping them only when police tasered him. Aalen. Asylum seekers attacked each other with machetes during a mass brawl at a refugee shelter.
Bergheim. A 24-year-old man pulled a knife on two police officers. Kassel. A 28-year-old man stabbed his roommates. Kiel. A 17-year-old Iraqi was stabbed by a 16-year-old at the central train station. Frankfurt. A 22-year-old man was stabbed during a mass brawl. Cologne. A 31-year-old man was stabbed and seriously injured during a fight outside a bar.
Lingen. Two teenagers stabbed and seriously injured a 44-year-old woman riding her bicycle on a bike path. Heidenheim. A 52-year-old man randomly stabbed a 61-year-old woman in a school parking lot. Wiesbaden. A 42-year-old woman wielding a knife threatened passersby while shouting, "I'm going to kill you."
Gera. Three Syrians attacked a German man with a knife; he responded with pepper spray. Göttingen. Two men, including one who spoke German with an Eastern European accent, pulled a knife and robbed a bank. Aglasterhausen. Two Nigerian migrants got into a knife fight during a dispute over food at a refugee shelter.
Langen. A masked man with a knife tried to rob a store. Hattersheim. A 40-year-old man pulled a knife on his co-workers after they accused him of stealing building materials from a construction site. Waren. An 18-year-old was robbed at knifepoint.
Duisburg. Two men wielding knives robbed a supermarket. After entering the store, they put one of the cashiers into a headlock and threatened her with a knife, while ordering the other cashier to place cash into a bag. Bad Dürrheim. A 21-year-old man carrying a knife and brass knuckles robbed a 16-year-old of his wallet.
Greiz. A 67-year-old man pulled a knife during a dispute with a female coworker. Cuxhaven. Two men were robbed at knifepoint. Hamburg. A man armed with a knife robbed a hotel. Rotenburg. A man armed with a knife robbed a supermarket. Ludwigsburg. Three teenagers, one of whom was armed with a knife, tried to rob a pizza delivery man.
Schwäbisch Hall. A 14-year-old with two knives was arrested for shoplifting. Hofheim am Taunus. Two 19-year-olds were found to be carrying narcotics and a knife during a random police check. Nuremberg. A 41-year-old man pulled a knife on officers during a random police check. Three officers were injured while trying to subdue the man, who was under the influence of drugs.
Brühl. Two men got into a knife fight after dropping their children off at school. Wiesbaden. Three men robbed passersby at knifepoint of 1,000 euros in cash. Oberbilk. Two men with a knife robbed a taxi driver. Heilbronn. A 20-year-old Croatian woman stabbed her 22-year-old Bosnian roommate. Ulm. A 25-year-old man was stabbed and seriously injured by an unknown assailant.
Überlingen. A 20-year-old drunk man wielding a knife went on a rampage after he was expelled from a restaurant. Wilhelmshaven. Three men robbed a 37-year-old passerby at knifepoint. Duisburg. Three men with a knife and a firearm tried to rob a supermarket. Bremen. A man armed with a knife robbed a discotheque. Hof. A man speaking German with a foreign accent robbed a gas station at knifepoint.
Speyer. A 35-year-old man wielding a dagger was arrested at a playground. Munich. A 28-year-old man with a switchblade threatened passengers and security personnel on a commuter train. The man was questioned and released. A while later, the same man threated security personnel on another commuter train. Hamburg. Two men with a knife and baton robbed a snack bar. Friedberg. Groups of youths fought each other with knives at the train station.
Lilienthal. Three teenagers armed with knives attacked people attending a private party. Engen. A 22-year-old migrant pulled a knife on his 26-year-old roommate at a refugee shelter. Seelze. A man robbed at knifepoint a post office.
Münster. Two "southern-looking" men robbed a 22-year-old at knifepoint on a tree-lined promenade. Landau. A 27-year-old man was robbed at knifepoint at the central train station.
Hamburg. Two men with knives robbed a hotel. Duisburg. A 26-year-old pedestrian confronted the driver of a car because "he looked at him the wrong way." The driver got out of the car and stabbed the pedestrian. Wiesbaden. A 77-year-old man stabbed and killed a 68-year-old female acquaintance.
Berlin. A 22-year-old man drew a knife on a 29-year-old man on a commuter train. Viernheim. Two men were stabbed during a mass brawl at an apartment complex. Warendorf. One person was stabbed during a mass brawl triggered by a traffic dispute. Mannheim. A 28-year-old Bulgarian man died of stab wounds; police found his body along a river bank.
Rotenburg. Three teenagers drew a knife on three ten-year-old boys. Hamburg. A 32-year-old Iranian man stabbed a 23-year-old Syrian on a commuter train. Düsseltal. A woman was raped in the city center. Her attacker drew a knife on a passerby who responded to her cries for help.

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.

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