Friday, February 11, 2022

China and Scientific Funding - Michael Curtis

 

by Michael Curtis

The time for a reassessment of rules for scientific research and funding involving China is long overdue

Chinese military-linked conglomerates and universities are sponsoring high-technology research centers at many universities in the UK. There have been more than 1,000 academic collaborations between British and Chinese academics, a number that has tripled in six years.  The basic issue is that UK scientists and universities have been generating research or cooperating with Chinese researchers, that is sponsored by or is of use to Chinese military bodies.

The facts of academic collaborations between Western, especially British scientists, and Chinese academics and government and commercial bodies are not new.  The UK academic world was warned more than two years ago that hostile state actors were targeting UK universities to steal personal data, research data, and intellectual property, and that these could be valuable for military, commercial, and authoritarian purposes.

In 2019, more than 600 Chinese military scientists, working on technology with military application, were attached to UK universities.  Manchester University for a time had a contract with a Chinese company, Electronics Technology Group, that was used by the Chinese government to produce military aircraft, some used to deal with the Uighur Muslims, a treatment akin to genocide.  Imperial College has worked with the Harbin Institute of Technology, a unit that worked for the PLA. The Henry Jackson Society reported in 2021 that 900 graduates of Chinese universities allegedly linked to the PLA were enrolled in studies at 33 British universities.

Collaboration between China and UK has grown in recent years. British universities have since 2015 accepted 240 million pounds from Chinese institutions for research. Specifically, the Imperial College London has got 44 million, the University of Cambridge 46 million, the University of Oxford 24 million, the University of Manchester 19 million, and the University of Edinburgh 13 million. In addition, the universities also receive income from student recruitment and research grants.   One calculation is that about 120,000 Chinese students account for 2 billion pounds in revenue for UK universities:  nine of them depend on Chinese students for more than 20 percent of their revenue from tuition fees.  Manchester University has more Chinese students than any other in Europe.

It is meaningful that since 2007, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), has sponsored more than 2,500 military scientists and engineers to study abroad. The PLA slogan is “picking flowers to gain expertise and training abroad to make honey.”

Reports, including one by Civitas, a think tank based in London, show that at least 20 UK universities have established relations with 29 militarily linked Chinese universities, as well as to nine weapons suppliers or other military-linked companies.  The UK research sponsored by Chinese organizations could have both military as well as civilian uses. The UK research is likely to be of use to Chinese military bodies and may have helped China build weapons of mass destruction. Cambridge University has ties to a Chinese military installation blacklisted by the U.S. Nottingham University has a large deal with China’s main supplier of military aircraft.

The Chinese companies sponsoring UK research include manufacturers that produce rail guns, fighter engines, nuclear warheads, stealth aircraft, drones, tanks, and ships. There is particular concern in the UK about research in two fields: hypersonic technology at a time when China is developing hypersonic missiles and graphite research regarding material used in armed helicopters. This is occurring in a context when China is probably involved in superfast quantum computing and applications for artificial intelligence.

Four questions arise; one is whether the UK has lost any comparative advantage by opening its doors to Chinese academics and handing over what might be considered secrets. Second, does the Chinese connection impinge on national security?  Can China now be considered a greater threat to British interests and security than is Russia? Third, have the recipients in British universities which have got Chinese money lost their moral bearings? And is the collaboration undermining UK strategic interests if sensitive information is being exported to China?

The research on technology to develop rail guns, weapons that use magnetic fields to fire projectiles, drones, fighter jets, and missiles, and other military technology and high-tech aerospace raises the fear is that the joint research between the two countries could be the basis of super weapons for Beijing. Of the total 240 million pounds, 60 million have come from sources sanctioned by the U.S. Of this amount, 40 million came from Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.

There is some awareness of the impact of these Chinese grants and connections. At Oxford University, the Wykeham chair of physics was renamed the Tencent-Wykeham in honor of Tencent, a Chinese software computing conglomerate, after it offered a 700,000-pound donation to Oxford. Tencent, founded in 1998, is worth 500 billion pounds and received money and support from China’s ministry of state security, the main intelligence agency, when it was founded. It owns WeChat communications which, like TikTok, censors material that the Chinese Communist Party regards as politically sensitive and which keeps tabs on Chinese citizens living abroad. It is taken for granted that Chinese companies pass on information to Chinese security agencies on demand.  

The UK is aware of the issue, as the U.S. has been for some years when in June 2015 it found that hackers linked to China had gained access to sensitive information. The University of Manchester ended its research project with the China Electronics Technology Group after the conservative MP Tom Tugendhat revealed that the technology of that firm was being used against the Uighurs. The license of the China Global Telecommunications Network to broadcast in the UK was withdrawn because the firm was controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

In 2020 Boris Johnson, aware that Huawei was linked to the CCP and had gained access to government security, banned its 5G networks and ordered all its existing technology to be stripped from UK telecommunicators networks.

The time for a reassessment of rules for scientific research and funding involving China is long overdue. That reassessment must consider the stated aim of China to equal the U.S. military by 2027, and to enhance its advanced military technology.

Image: reinhold möller 

 

Michael Curtis

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2022/02/china_and_scientific_funding.html

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Time to worry: The Biden government is redefining core principles - Andrea Widburg

 

by Andrea Widburg

Whether at the Department of Homeland Security or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the changes are not subtle, and the results can't be good.

Two odd little reports appeared in the past couple of days, both of which involve the federal government redefining things that, before the Biden administration, had mostly agreed-upon definitions that were not hostile to ordinary Americans and that recognized American sovereignty.  One report concerns a changed terrorism definition from the Department of Homeland Security, while the other redefines the mission of the Department of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The Department of Homeland Security promulgated a new National Terrorism Advisory Systems (NTAS) bulletin.  The terrorists are no longer radical student groups seeking to blow up the government (groups such as the Weathermen, which Obama's mentor, Bill Ayers, founded) or Islamic fundamentalist groups seeking a new caliphate bathed in American blood.

The new terrorist threat is...you.  It's now official government policy that "misinformation" — which means disagreeing with the Biden administration, the media, and tech tyrants — is proto-terrorism.  That's how we end up with this February 7, 2022, NTAS bulletin (emphasis mine):

The United States remains in a heightened threat environment fueled by several factors, including an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information (MDM) introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors. These threat actors seek to exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of violence. Mass casualty attacks and other acts of targeted violence conducted by lone offenders and small groups acting in furtherance of ideological beliefs and/or personal grievances pose an ongoing threat to the nation. While the conditions underlying the heightened threat landscape have not significantly changed over the last year, the convergence of the following factors has increased the volatility, unpredictability, and complexity of the threat environment: (1) the proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions[.] ...

[snip]

The proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions:

  • For example, there is widespread online proliferation of false or misleading narratives regarding unsubstantiated widespread election fraud and COVID-19. Grievances associated with these themes inspired violent extremist attacks during 2021.

As Thomas Lifson wrote yesterday, this "sounds precisely like a prelude to a totalitarian crackdown on political dissent."

Regarding COVID, as Democrats are finally turning on masks (except for masking students, who are least at risk), we can confidently say that every single bit of "information" that the Biden administration pushed out was, in fact, misinformation: the administration (and its holdovers from the Trump presidency) were wrong about the virus's origins (or lied about them), about therapeutics, about masks, about lockdowns, and about the vaccines' efficacy.  Everything they said was wrong.  But if you doubted or still doubt them, you are a terror threat.

Thomas Lifson adds: As my friend David Kahn emailed:

The Administration claims that its withdrawal from Afghanistan was a "great success". That would make those who criticize the Presidents withdrawal as an inept disaster the promoters of misleading information who are undermining the government and its institutions and thus terrorist threats.  And the President himself regularly criticizes our government institutions including most recently the United States Senate and its  filibuster rule going so far as to call it a relic of the Jim Crow era. And he has likened members of the Senate to the infamous Bull Connor and other Jim Crow officials. Biden has proclaimed  that the federal elections to be conducted in 2022 will be unreliable and unfair if his proposed election reform act is not enacted. But apparently he believes that when such criticisms are made by private citizens they are terrorist threats.

Likewise, in the year since January 6, we've learned that it was anything but an insurrection, and certainly nothing near as bad as the BLM and Antifa riots in 2020.  I won't beat that dead horse, but I urge you to check out this Revolver article.


Image: Stop the mandate protest in St. Paul, August 28, 2021, by Hayley Tschetter (with added text).  CC BY-SA 2.0.

Do you feel intimated knowing that the government has effectively announced that, if you point out everything as to which it's been wrong and is continuing to be wrong, you will be viewed as a potential domestic terrorist?  You're certainly meant to feel that way.

And just yesterday, Townhall's Spencer Brown caught a significant change to the mission statement for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:

The old version:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation's lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values.

That's straightforward enough: America is a nation of laws, some of which govern immigration, and the USCIS is responsible for enforcing those laws fairly and in a way that protects Americans and America.

The new version is much shorter:

USCIS upholds America's promise as a nation of welcome and possibility with fairness, integrity, and respect for all we serve.

Suddenly, USCIS is unconcerned with the rule of law and unconcerned with protecting Americans.  It is, instead, an organization that exists to make life easier for the millions of illegal aliens the Biden administration is encouraging to enter America and then, once they are in America, funding and resettling them in districts that willfully refuse to vote for Democrats.

In other words, the Biden administration has stood America on its head: those who dare to disagree with the administration are potential terrorists — and please, ignore the whole First Amendment "shtick" about the federal government being barred from "abridging the freedom of speech ... or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."  In Biden's America, the Constitution has grown beyond such petty things as individual liberty.

Meanwhile, even as the government is intimidating ordinary Americans into abandoning their right to protest their government, it's making it patently clear that its immigration agency exists for the benefit of illegal aliens, not American citizens.

Never before in American history have we had an American government that is a mob-style enforcement agency against citizens and one, moreover, that happily fulfills that role because it so patently hates the citizens over whom it has this power.

 

Andrea Widburg

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2022/02/time_to_worry_the_biden_government_is_redefining_core_principles.html

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Amnesty International becomes Antisemite International? - Civis Americanus

 

by Civis Americanus

Why did Amnesty International throw away its good name by shilling for the agenda of Hamas?

Amnesty International chose recently to throw its reputation, credibility, and honor into the gutter with a report that accuses Israel of being an "apartheid state" and guilty of "crimes against humanity."  Amnesty has apparently embraced the purported intersectionality between the genuine oppression of black Americans prior to legal and social changes that made discrimination both unlawful and socially unacceptable and terrorists who have stated openly their intention to exterminate or drive out the region's Jews, implement genuine apartheid against Christians, and treat women and LGBT people like second-class citizens or worse.

Terrorists are no bargain for peaceful Muslims, either, and an Amnesty International part-time worker named Hind Khoudary is alleged credibly to have set up an Arab peace activist to be arrested (he was), tortured, and possibly murdered by Hamas, as he was never heard from again.  "Khoudary explained that she did not tag Hamas officials in her Facebook posts against Rami Aman to get him arrested but as a protest against normalization activities."  She therefore stipulates that (1) she made sure terrorists learned that Rami Aman was communicating with Israelis, which Hamas regards as treason, and (2) she is against normalization activities.  As for not wanting him arrested, what did she expect to happen to him?

Amnesty's report also comes dangerously close to the line, and quite possibly on the wrong side of it, of denial of Israel's right to exist, which is anti-Semitic by definition.  The report cites for example the "right" of Palestinians who fled their homes during the invasion of Israel by terrorists (I prefer "terrorists" to "Arabs" in this context, just as I would have blamed "Nazis" rather than "Germans" for the events of 1939 through 1945) to return to Israel and overwhelm Israel demographically to the extent that it becomes just one more dictatorship similar to Syria and also Gaza instead of a free nation with equal rights for all its citizens, including Muslims and Christians who share its ideals.  The report adds, "For example, Palestinian citizens of Israel are denied a nationality, establishing a legal differentiation from Jewish Israelis."  Arabs (and therefore presumably Palestinians) are well represented in the Knesset.

Antisemite International (please feel free to use this new name for them)'s support of the so-called Right of Return is but one example of perceived denial of Israel's right to exist.  "Since its establishment in 1948, Israel has pursued a policy of establishing and then maintaining a Jewish demographic majority, and maximizing control over land and resources to benefit Jewish Israelis."  Nobody apologizes for the fact that Israel was created deliberately by the United Nations as a Jewish state in 1948, noting also that land was put aside for Palestinian Arabs as well.  The latter were driven from their homes, or encouraged to leave, by the terrorists who invaded Israel with the openly expressed intention of driving the Jews into the sea.

If Amnesty International has a problem with Israel's defense of its population in 1948 and subsequently in 1967 and 1973, and against rocket attacks today, then it is fair to conclude that the organization has a problem with Jews.  It also turns out that Amnesty International voted down a resolution to fight anti-Semitism in the U.K., which suggests that hatred of Jews has not just a home, but a mansion in Amnesty International.  My perception is that the new name of Antisemite International is well deserved.  See also this page on foreign policy bias, high staff salaries, and a toxic work environment at this organization.

Who are the instigators?

Why did Amnesty International throw away its good name by shilling for the agenda of Hamas?  We can speculate reasonably that it is for the same reason that 501(c)(3) professional societies such as the American Studies Association and Middle East Studies Association, religious organizations like the Presbyterian Church USA and the United Church of Christ, and 501(c)(5) unions such as the Seattle Education Association and PSC CUNY are putting their good names at risk by joining what I perceive as the Hamas-American Bund: dupes, stooges, and useful idiots for the agenda of terrorists.  Legal Insurrection reports, in fact, that "Hamas 'views with great appreciation and respect the efforts of Amnesty International,'" just as I am sure Hitler viewed with great appreciation and respect the efforts of the German-American Bund during the late 1930s.  It is reasonable to believe that, in most if not all cases, various cabals of instigators are manipulating the organizations in question the same way a virus infests a cell and forces it to make copies of the virus.  That's good for the virus but bad for the cell.

"Scientists discover tipping point for the spread of ideas" describes how a relatively small cabal of manipulators can take over an organization or a society.  "[W]hen only ten percent of the public holds a firm opinion, the majority will always follow."  This is how the Nazis took over one of Europe's most advanced and civilized nations during the 1930s and then led it to ruin.  Dr. Paul Linebarger's Psychological Warfare contends, however, that the figure is closer to two percent, as proven by the communists.  If your organization, whether it's Amnesty International, PCUSA, ASA, MESA, Seattle Education Association, PSC CUNY, or whatever, has only two or three members out of every hundred who, whether through ignorance, hatred of Jews, hatred of Western civilization, or support for terrorism, can coordinate their efforts sufficiently well to put your organization into the Hamas-American Bund, that is exactly what will happen.

These instigators and agents provocateurs believe that sacrifices must be made for the Cause, at least sacrifices by anybody but themselves.  If your organization's reputation is left in ruins, as has happened to Ben & Jerry's, you get sued by your own members, as happened to the ASA and PSC CUNY, or your tax exemption gets revoked for ultra vires activities or because the pro-Israel side found material on your website that could be construed reasonably as an attempt to influence an election — and material of that nature has indeed been found and reported to the IRS via Form 13909 in a couple of cases — it's just part of the price that must be paid, and not by the instigators.

Remember that there is a difference between cancer and a virus.  Cancer cannot outlive its host, but a virus kills its host and goes on living.  The instigators who are dragging your business, 501(c)(3) organization, or 501(c)(5) union into the anti-Israel movement are quite likely to imitate a virus by ruining your organization, but they will simply write it off as a cost of serving the Cause and go on to wreak more havoc elsewhere.  Businesses should therefore consider disciplinary action up to and including dismissal, and 501(c)(3)s and 501(c)(5)s sanctions up to and including expulsion, for activity of this nature.

This is not "cancel culture" that seeks get somebody fired for opinions he expresses outside the organization and while not speaking on its behalf, but rather self-defense against instigators who bring these agendas under the organization's roof.

Image: Prachatai via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

 

Civis Americanus is the pen name of a contributor who remembers the lessons of history and wants to ensure that our country never needs to learn those lessons again the hard way.  The author is remaining anonymous due to the likely prospect of being subjected to "cancel culture" for exposing the Big Lie behind Black Lives Matter.

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2022/02/amnesty_international_becomes_antisemite_international.html

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

The Real Apartheid in the Middle East - Khaled Abu Toameh

 

by Khaled Abu Toameh

When Palestinians in Lebanon cannot feed their children this winter, chalk it up to the world's unjust lethal obsession with Israel.

  • Where is the outcry from Amnesty International and other human rights organizations? When an Arab country subjects Palestinians to actual apartheid measures, the international community is too busy lying about Israel's alleged abuses to take notice.

  • "It is estimated that 65% of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live under the poverty line." — UNRWA, October 2017.

  • Palestinians in Lebanon have long been prevented from practicing such professions as medicine and law, given that only the Lebanese could join professional syndicates.

  • Thirty-nine professions remain prohibited to Palestinians in the following fields: healthcare (general medicine, dentistry, nursing, midwifery, pharmacy) transport and fishing, services and daycare, engineering, law, tourism, and accounting.

  • Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are at risk of food insecurity, electricity blackouts, increased health problems and complications amid the shortages of medicine and health-care interventions. — UNRWA, January 2022.

  • "My husband works as a driver and earns less than two dollars a day. We mainly eat vegetables and beans because that's all we can afford. Meat and chicken have become a dream; we can't buy them because prices have increased so sharply. We no longer eat three meals a day, and sometimes I send my kids to bed without dinner." — Rihab Maajel, a 50-year-old Palestinian from Shabriha in southern Lebanon, UNRWA, January 2022.

  • "I fear that I may freeze to death this winter. I cannot afford to buy gas for heating." — Nawal Kayed, 66, Palestinian in Lebanon, UNRWA, 2022.

  • The group also noted that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon who want to receive medical treatment in a Lebanese hospital have to wait for weeks to obtain a permit. — palhrw.org, January 20, 2022.

  • When Palestinians in Lebanon cannot feed their children this winter, chalk it up to the world's unjust lethal obsession with Israel.

Five thousand homes belonging to Palestinians in Lebanon are at risk of collapsing and are in dire need of renovation, according to a report in the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar. These are the kind of reports that Amnesty International and many human rights organizations around the world apparently choose to ignore because Israel is not involved. Pictured: Jerry-rigged electrical connections between apartment buildings in UNRWA's Borj al-Branjeh refugee camp for Palestinians in Beirut, Lebanon. (Photo by Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga Mag/AFP via Getty Images)

Five thousand homes belonging to Palestinians in Lebanon are at risk of collapsing and are in dire need of renovation, according to a report in the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar.

These are the kind of reports that Amnesty International and many human rights organizations around the world apparently choose to ignore because Israel is not involved.

The report was published on the 25th anniversary of the Lebanese authorities' decision prohibiting the entry of construction and repair materials into Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon without a permit. The decision was issued by the Lebanese government in 1997, and the order for its implementation was referred to the Ministry of Defense because the army is responsible for granting construction permits to the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

Seventeen years later, the Lebanese government allowed the entry of construction and restoration materials into the refugee camps, but reversed its decision after six months, without giving any reason.

The ban includes water pipes, electrical cables, wooden and iron doors, windows, cement, gravel, sand, tiles, water tanks, aluminum, glass and paint materials. A Palestinian who violates the ban and is caught trying to bring in any of the building or renovation materials without permission is arrested and transferred to an army barracks, where he is subject to an investigation and a fine.

Where is the outcry from Amnesty International and other human rights organizations? When an Arab country subjects Palestinians to actual apartheid measures, the international community is too busy lying about Israel's alleged abuses to take notice.

According to the report, 20,000 Palestinian homes in Lebanon urgently require repairs and renovation due to natural factors, and any natural disaster may endanger the lives of those living in the camps.

The report quoted an official with the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) as saying that it was "only a matter of time before we witness a humanitarian catastrophe resulting from the poor conditions of the buildings."

In 2001, the Lebanese parliament approved law number 296, regarding the acquisition of real estate rights by "foreigners" in Lebanon. Various Lebanese governments have classified the Palestinians as "foreigners, refugees or stateless people," even though they were born in Lebanon. Palestinians, in addition, are generally not granted Lebanese citizenship. According to a report by the Norwegian Refugee Council:

"In 2001 the Lebanese Parliament amended the Right to Real Estate Acquisition for Foreigners... to prohibit non- Lebanese from acquiring real rights in Lebanon without a permit. The amendment was interpreted to specifically prohibit Palestinian refugees in Lebanon from acquiring real estate property rights... including through inheritance."

According to UNRWA, 63% of Palestinians in Lebanon reside in 12 refugee camps that are overcrowded and affected by sub-standard infrastructure, sanitation and housing. In addition, camp inhabitants have extremely limited abilities to improve their housing conditions, partly for economic reasons but also due to the Lebanese authorities' restrictions on the transfer of building materials into the camps. UNRWA notes:

"In the absence of Lebanese government presence in most of the camps, Palestinian political factions and armed groups exert some form of control. As a result, no single recognized authority exercises responsibility, including with respect to law enforcement. It is estimated that 65% of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live under the poverty line."

The issue of the entry of construction and repair materials into refugee camps is far from the only problem Palestinians have been facing in Lebanon.

Palestinians in Lebanon have long been prevented from practicing such professions as medicine and law, given that only the Lebanese could join professional syndicates.

In 1982, the Lebanese authorities further restricted the list of professions open to Palestinians, depriving them from working in more than 70 commercial and administrative professions.

In 1995, the restrictions were slightly lifted with the introduction of a new clause which exempted foreigners who were born in Lebanon, born to Lebanese mothers or married to Lebanese women from these restrictions.

UNRWA, however, has pointed out that Palestinians are still prohibited from practicing many professions, mainly due to the precondition of holding the Lebanese nationality. Thirty-nine professions remain prohibited to Palestinians in the following fields: healthcare (general medicine, dentistry, nursing, midwifery, pharmacy) transport and fishing, services and daycare, engineering, law, tourism, and accounting.

Another report published by UNRWA last month found that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are at risk of food insecurity, electricity blackouts, increased health problems and complications amid the shortages of medicine and health-care interventions.

Rihab Maajel, a 50-year-old Palestinian from Shabriha in southern Lebanon, was quoted as saying:

"Today, we had potatoes for lunch. My husband works as a driver and earns less than two dollars a day. We mainly eat vegetables and beans because that's all we can afford. Meat and chicken have become a dream; we can't buy them because prices have increased so sharply. We no longer eat three meals a day, and sometimes I send my kids to bed without dinner."

Another Palestinian, Nawal Kayed, 66, said:

"I fear that I may freeze to death this winter. I cannot afford to buy gas for heating. The cash assistance I receive from UNRWA is barely enough to buy food and cover very basic needs."

Palestinians who fled from Syria to Lebanon over the past few years are also facing harsh and discriminatory measures.

A report published by the Beirut-based Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness) on January 20, 2022 revealed that Palestinian refugees from Syria to Lebanon suffer from the absence of legal protection, as the Lebanese authorities treat them as foreigners or tourists who must obtain a residence permit, which is renewed every six months.

"Palestinian refugees from Syria to Lebanon complain about the absence of UNRWA assistance," the group said. "This problem is considered one of the most difficult challenges, as refugees live in a state of anxiety and fear of arrest at any moment."

The group accused UNRWA of reducing the services it provides to the refugees, and noted that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon who want to receive medical treatment in a Lebanese hospital have to wait for weeks to obtain a permit. The group warned:

"The humanitarian situation of Palestinian refugees from Syria to Lebanon is extremely difficult... They do not enjoy legal protection in the full sense of the word. Because of the difficult conditions, their numbers have declined since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011, from 100,000 to 27,000, with the majority believed to have emigrated from Lebanon. UNRWA bears full responsibility for their legal and humanitarian situation and is obligated to fulfill its moral and legal obligations towards them."

The director of the Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee, Abdel Nasser Al-Ayee, told the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that many Palestinians have been fleeing Lebanon, especially over the past few years.

"The wave of Palestinian immigration from Lebanon has been on the rise since 2005, but the numbers doubled in the last two years... In 2020, between 6,000 and 8,000 Palestinians left Lebanon without returning, while in the next year 12,000 Palestinians left the country and did not return."

Palestinians in Lebanon will continue to suffer because of the discriminatory practices and policies of the Lebanese government -- but also because of the indifference of the international community.

Amnesty International and other human rights organizations are too busy bashing and delegitimizing Israel to pay attention to the real apartheid the Palestinians are experiencing in an Arab country. When Palestinians in Lebanon cannot feed their children this winter, chalk it up to the world's unjust lethal obsession with Israel.

  • Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter

 

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

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/18212/apartheid-middle-east

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Jew Hatred Rising - Frontpage editors

 

by Frontpage editors

New Freedom Center ebook exposes hostile campus climate for Jewish students.

 


In a new ebook released today by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, author Richard L. Cravatts Ph.D. exposes the lies and misrepresentations of the pro-Palestinian movement on American campuses, revealing its true roots in the ancient animus of Jew hatred and the genocidal threat of Islamic supremacism.

The ebook is titled, Jew Hatred Rising: The perversities of the campus war against Israel and the Jews.

Cravatts describes in detail the hostile climate that BDS activists have created for Jewish students on campus who are accused of racism for supporting a Jewish state and denied equal participation in student affairs. He also parses the warped logic of pro-Palestinian activists who declare Israel to be illegitimate while championing the non-existent nation of “Palestine.”

“The notion of ‘two states living sides by side in peace,’ as the oft-repeated refrain goes, is, and always has been, of complete irrelevance to the Arabs,” writes Cravatts. “The creation of a new Arab state is not the sought-after goal; what is the actual goal is the extirpation of the Jewish one.”

Jew Hatred Rising can be read in full HERE.

Author Richard Cravatts, Ph.D., is available for quotes and interviews. He can be contacted at: rcravatts@aol.com.

 

Frontpage editors

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/02/jew-hatred-rising-frontpage-editors/

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Top Presbyterian Church Official Delivers Anti-Semitic Sermon on MLK Day - Joseph Puder

 

by Joseph Puder

Another modern-day blood libel.

 


The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), delivered a hateful and antisemitic sermon on the day one honors the memory of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The fact that Herbert Nelson II is black helped spare him criticism from the politically correct liberal media, who would normally castigate such hate-filled false and malicious libel if given by a white person. Nelson’s poisonous words were morally repugnant, factually false, and certainly worthy of collective denouncement. He stated: “The continued occupation in Palestine/Israel is 21st-century slavery and should be abolished immediately.” He then added, “I would also hope that the Jewish community in the US would influence the call to join the US government in ending the immoral enslavement.”  

This shameless blood-libel from a religious person can only serve to fuel antisemitism and division rather than bring about unity and amity, especially in today’s divided America. This spiritual leader chose to promote hate by inferring that Israeli-Jews are “enslavers.” Rather than focus on Martin Luther King’s great message of judging people “not by the color of their skin but by the content of one’s character,” was lost on Herbert Nelson II, who maligned the Jewish people and the Jewish state. Instead of calling for “love thy Neighbor,” or as Jesus might have said “love thy enemies,” Nelson insinuated that American Jews secretly control the moves of politicians and manipulate world events to their advantage. He must have taken a page from the antisemitic classic “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the lie that wouldn’t die.  

In attempting to make a comparison between the legitimate case of black slavery in America and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Nelson simply showed his ignorance of historical facts and his bias toward Israel and Jews. Palestinian-Arabs are not slaves, while the Muslim invasion, conquest, and conversion of the hitherto Christians and Jews in Palestine (a name given by the Roman conquerors to the Land of Israel) did enslave the people living under its sword. More importantly, few other people have had as many opportunities to assert their self- determination as did the Palestinian-Arabs. In 1937, the Peel Commission offered the Palestinian-Arabs 75% of Mandatory Palestine. They rejected it and chose terror and murder of innocent civilians, both Jewish-Palestinians and Palestinians-Arab. In 1947, the UN Partition Plan offered the Palestinian-Arabs a state once again, but they chose instead to annihilate the nascent Jewish state that did accept the Partition Plan. From 1948-1967, Jordan occupied the West Bank, yet, the Palestinians never demanded self-determination and statehood from Jordan. In fact, Palestinian leaders demanded that the Arab states deny citizenship to the Palestinian refugees in their states, and preferred to keep their people in miserable refugee camps as a propaganda tool. At the same time, the Jewish state of Israel absorbed a much larger number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands where Jews lived for millenniums.  

Following the Oslo Accords in 1993, Yasser Arafat and Mahmud Abbas, both Presidents of the Palestinian Authority (PA) had several opportunities to establish their sovereign state - they declined. In July 2000, at the Camp David Summit presided over by US President Bill Clinton, with the participation of Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the Israeli PM offered Arafat far reaching concessions and Palestinian statehood in return for “an end to the conflict." Arafat rejected it and chose instead to launch the Second Intifada, a terror campaign that cost the lives of over 1,000 Israeli civilians. President Clinton held Arafat responsible for the failure of the talks. It prompted Clinton to say, “I regret that in 2000, Arafat missed an opportunity to bring that nation (Palestine) into being.”  In 2008, Israeli PM Ehud Olmert was prepared to go even further than Barak; still, Abbas wouldn’t sign on a peace deal and accept statehood.  

Describing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as enslavement is a modern-day blood libel, which historically led to violence against Jews, particularly as it came in the wake of a terrorist attack on a Texas synagogue. We can now add “slavery” to the list of demonstrably false libels that progressives have been repeating about Israel: “settler-colonialist,” “genocidal,” “killing and torturing children,” “apartheid,” and “ethnically cleansing” Palestinians.  

The Jewish state has in fact displayed incredible humanism in the face of Palestinian murderous terror. Bassem Eid, a former Palestinian Muslim refugee, and currently a human rights activist, has pointed out to this reporter that, “We Palestinians do not need an identity, we know who we are. We Palestinians need dignity, and that comes with being able to support our families. Israel has provided us with high paying jobs so that we are able to support our families. Conversely, the PA leadership (not to mention Hamas) cares only for itself, with little regard for the Palestinian people’s welfare.” He added, “The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and the “progressives” are hypocritical and destructive. They have destroyed economic opportunities for Palestinians by boycotting the Soda Stream Company, which provided Palestinians great opportunities and equal pay.”  

No mainline Protestant denomination is more clearly associated with anti-Israelism than the PCUSA. Some of its actions crossed the line into antisemitism, most notably its publication of “Zionism Unsettled,” which distorted Israeli and Jewish history. The American Jewish Committee (AJC), pointed out that “The sheer volume of anti-Israel resolutions discussed and debated reveal a deep animus (against Israel) that needs to be called out.” Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC’s director of interreligious relations continued, “Within the PCUSA, a small but vocal minority of activists have managed to keep anti-Israelism on the agenda through eight general assemblies (GA) spanning 14 years. This faction has its own committee, dubbed #12- Middle East issues, allowing a concentration of Israel-denunciatory time and energy through the weeklong GA."

The late PCUSA pastor, Rev. Dr. Bill Harter, once explained to this reporter that the PCUSA missionaries who go to the Middle East return to the Louisville, Kentucky headquarters of the PCUSA having adopted the Palestinian narrative. Being posted to the headquarters they find nothing better to occupy their energy than to generate anti-Israel resolutions. Rev. Dr. Bill Harter was the co-founder of the Presbyterians for Middle East Peace (PFMEP). While the Stated Clerk and the PCUSA headquarters have adopted an anti-Israel and anti-Jewish posture, the majority of local presbyteries throughout the US have close and friendly relations with the Jewish communities in their area, and oppose the false and hateful words of the Stated Clerk, and the anti-Israel resolutions. On its website, the PFMEP has in fact, “Condemned the Stated Clerk’s statement on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for being offensive to the Jewish community…

Instead of apologizing, Herbert Nelson II made assertions without merit or fact. He charged that Israel confiscated Palestinian land in Judea and Samaria. The fact is that the Israeli High Court of Justice has gone out of its way to protect private Palestinian land. However, Israel has every right to use state/public land. Regarding his charge of “Israeli barriers to access Palestinian holy places of worship,” Israel erected barriers to prevent Palestinian terrorists from murdering Israeli citizens. Herbert Nelson has failed to cite a single case of innocent Palestinian worshippers denied access to the al-Aqsa mosque or any other place of worship. Religious freedom in Israel is sacrosanct, which was not the case under Jordanian rule.

 

Joseph Puder

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/02/pcusa-stated-clerk-j-herbert-nelson-ii-fuels-anti-joseph-puder/

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Did a University Destroy an Archive Documenting Communist Terrorism? - Daniel Greenfield

 

by Daniel Greenfield

An archive on international terrorism mysteriously disappears at a woke university.

 


“I took a pack of Tarot cards. I had found out that they were very superstitious. On arrival at a commune I would ask for their astrological birth signs and tell them mine,” Jillian Becker described her process of investigating the Marxist terrorist Baader-Meinhof Gang.

Officially, the Red Army Faction, but popularly known for its two leaders, Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof, the leftist terrorist group had carried out a string of attacks, including the killings of a number of American military personnel. Becker’s investigations of Soviet backed terrorism had taken her around the world, and now the South African Jewish journalist was in Berlin.

The Baader-Meinhof gang had come out of the communards. The Communards, even more degenerate and deadlier versions of American leftists who flirted with terrorism and terror trolling, embraced Mao and experimented with everything, were not easy targets for journalists.

“I would offer to read two or three fortunes with the cards, saying that for me the process was exhausting so I could not do more than that. They would decide who were to be the lucky ones, and I would go through a routine of getting them to shuffle and lay out the cards in a certain pattern. Then I would pick them up one by one and “tell their fortune”. Becker told me.

"I can see at once that you are a very sensitive person.”  “Ah, I see you are having some serious difficulties  at the moment.” (Who isn’t, at any moment?) “But you are going to overcome them quite soon.” That sort of thing. After that they felt they could trust me, and I would ask my questions and get my answers.”

The answers went into Becker’s book, Hitler’s Children: The Story of the Baader-Meinhof Terrorist Gang, and later into the archives of her organization: The Institute for the Study of Terrorism. The Institute closed down due to lack of funding a decade before 9/11 and the collected archive covering a range of Soviet-backed terror groups around the world was transferred over to the University of Leicester. Now it’s gone missing even as the university has made the shift over to politically convenient wokeness. And Jillian Becker fears the worst.

In her original account of what took place on her own blog, Becker explains that the value of the Institute for the Study of Terrorism archive lay in the original material painstakingly collected at great risk which "established that almost all the terrorist groups in the First World and its allies between 1969 and 1990 were supported with training, and/or funding, arms, asylum, by Soviet Russia. (A few were affiliated with China.)"

Beyond playing fortune teller to Marxist terrorists, Becker mentions "picking the documents out of the rubble of bombed PLO headquarters” in Lebanon.

“They were blood stained and soiled but legible,” she recalls. “They went into transparent plastic covers to be photocopied before they could be translated and the translations filed. That was almost the only documentation there was about the PLO years in Lebanon to help me write that history.”

That led to her next book on terrorism, The PLO: The Rise and Fall of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Those PLO documents, like so much else in the archive, are gone.

What happened to them?

Two years ago, the University of Leicester informed a Republican activist seeking information about the archive that they had no idea where it was. An extensive search turned up nothing.

A response from a sociology professor informed her that the university, "prioritises collections in their care which are most pertinent to contemporary research and teaching”, that a search for “material relating to the IST proved inconclusive” and that any material from the Institute for the Study of Terrorism “located in future will be appraised by a professionally-qualified archivist and, if appropriate, transferred to the care of our University Archives and Special Collections."

To Jillian Becker, the email is a confession. "They keep what is most pertinent to contemporary research and teaching,'" she writes. "What is “most pertinent to contemporary research and teaching”? They declare unequivocally, 'Ethnicity, sexuality and diversity.'”

The archives of the Institute for the Study of Terrorism represented a diversity of a very different kind. Becker recalls uncovering information about an IRA bomb that nearly killed Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her co-director, Bernhard (“Adam”) Adamczewski, and finding a wanted Baader-Meinhoff terrorist who had been visiting a commune in Vienna.

"I came upon the deserted camp of one west African terrorist organization where, in the rows of desks in the classrooms, there were exercise books in which students had taken down lessons extolling Soviet Communism as the ideal system. The course had been run by graduates of Moscow’s Patrice Lumumba University. Those proofs that the organization was serving the interests of the USSR went back to London with me and entered our archive," she relates.

Becker blames the “woke academics" at the University of Leicester who "threw away the archive of the Institute for the Study of Terrorism (IST) – compiled painstakingly over many years and often at personal risk by me and my fellow researchers – as unwanted trash"

In her latest update she concludes that the archive. "recording thousands of instances of the savage crime of terrorism – almost all of it by organizations on the Left, with support from the USSR and some from Communist China, through the Cold War years 1968-1990 – was an affront to the ideology of the 'woke'"

Becker sees this as part of a larger great erasure of information, ideas, and the entire western past. "Most universities in the Western world now are conscientiously trying to erase history.”

While the University of Leicester can't find the archive documenting Communist atrocities, its librarians promote the original papers of Karl Marx, materials from the Marx Memorial library, and rhapsodize about the ongoing process of digitizing issues of the Daily Worker.

One librarian excitedly promotes the fact that "the British Library has a digital copy of parts of the original Communist Manifesto – only 26 are believed to have survived worldwide!"

The University of Leicester has had no trouble retaining a special collection of socialist and anarchist memorabilia from the 19th century that includes notes and handbills. Or an oral interview with a Communist party member, and other leftist ephemera which have been painstakingly preserved even while the archive indicting Communism has disappeared.

These are “pertinent to contemporary research and teaching” at the University of Leicester.

"Once when I was in Beirut during the IDF incursion to drive the PLO out of Lebanon in 1983, I came to one end of a long street on which a gun battle was being fought," Jillian Becker recalls.

Bernhard (“Adam”) Adamczewski, the deputy director of the Institute, quickly intervened.

"I had only just seen the yellow flash when Adam , who had been talking to someone, noticed where I was standing, rushed to me and seized me to drag me off. 'Adam, you are obscuring my view!' I said, trying to turn him out of my way.”

"He hung on to me, and we turned round twice again before I heard what he was saying -  that I was in danger of being shot dead. Then I ran with him back to the safety of  the sidewalk. When the adrenalin had ebbed, I said to him, 'You’ve always told me that you cannot dance, but there we were waltzing in the crossfire!'"

Adamczewski passed away in 1993, having lived long enough to witness the fall of the Soviet Union, but the crossfire has only intensified. While it can still come in the form of terrorist bullets, the shots are even more often taken with words, with lies, and the destruction of memory.

And yet, like Jillian Becker, sometimes we can waltz in the crossfire, tell the truth, and fight to keep it alive.

 

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/02/did-university-destroy-archive-documenting-daniel-greenfield/

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Russia Eyeing Kazakhstan? China and Russia Vying for Influence - Lawrence A. Franklin

 

by Lawrence A. Franklin

Kazakhstan is home to 15% of the world's supply of uranium -- necessary for nuclear weaponry as well as nuclear power plants, and is the world's largest producer of uranium.

  • The widespread violent unrest in Kazakhstan and subsequent arrival of mostly Russian troops who helped restore order last month exposed a further contest of rivals for power there between its ostensibly friendly neighbors, Russia and China.

  • One also might wonder if Russia was taking advantage of the crisis of the large Russian troop presence deployed along the Ukrainian border to divert the West's attention from Putin's objective of also eventually reabsorbing Kazakhstan into the Kremlin's orbit.

  • Russian troops already occupy portions of several former Soviet republics, including Georgia, the Ukraine, and Moldova -- "uninvited."

  • Russia also deploys elements of the former 201st Motorized Rifle Division on its base in Tajikistan, another former Soviet republic.

  • Kazakhstan is home to 15% of the world's supply of uranium -- necessary for nuclear weaponry as well as nuclear power plants, and is the world's largest producer of uranium.

The widespread violent unrest in Kazakhstan and subsequent arrival of mostly Russian troops who helped restore order last month exposed a further contest of rivals for power there between its ostensibly friendly neighbors, Russia and China. Pictured: Kazakh soldiers patrol on a street in Almaty on January 10, 2022. (Photo by Alexandr Bogdanov/AFP via Getty Images)

What can one believe about the recent events in Kazakhstan? According to the autocratic post-Soviet regime in Kazakhstan, peaceful protests by Kazakh citizens purportedly demonstrating against steep fuel price hikes implemented on New Year's Day were transformed into violent riots by foreign-trained terrorists. There is no indication, however, from the many thousands of arrested protestors that any of them were foreigners.

While the fuel price hike was the immediate cause of people taking to the streets of Kazakhstan's major cities, there also appears to be deep-seated anger over the wealth disparity between elites of the former Communist regime and the rest of the populace. By way of response, Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jobart Tokayev, in an apparent attempt to reduce anti-regime anger, fired his cabinet and canceled the fuel price hike.

Tokayev, the hand-picked successor by the still powerful "retired" president and former Communist Party leader of Kazakhstan, Nur Sultan Nazarbayev, now claims that the unrest was a meticulously planned attempted coup that had internal support. Lending credence to Tokayev's accusation, while the rioting was at its peak, the president removed his unpopular predecessor, Nazarbayev, from his post as chairman of Kazakhstan's National Security Council. This move was followed on January 6 by the arrest on charges of treason of the country's former counterintelligence chief, Karim Massimov, just one day after he was fired by the president.

Unable to control the nationwide violence, Tokayev then activated the defense clause of the Russian-led Collective Security Organization (CSTO). Five days after the demonstrations began, troops from Russia and other signatories of the 1992 CSTO treaty, "flooded" Kazakhstan's Almaty airport and quickly helped restore order in the country's largest city.

One also might wonder if Russia was taking advantage of the crisis of the large Russian troop presence deployed along the Ukrainian border to divert the West's attention from Putin's objective of also eventually reabsorbing Kazakhstan into the Kremlin's orbit.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin, who once bemoaned the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union "as the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century, is also quoted as belittling Kazakhstan's sovereignty by remarking in August 2014 that "Kazakhs never had a state." Putin's prime directive appears to be a desire to dominate the territorial space of the former Soviet empire which now consists of independent states. Russian troops already occupy portions of several former Soviet republics, including Georgia, the Ukraine, and Moldova -- "uninvited." Russia also deploys elements of the former 201st Motorized Rifle Division on its base in Tajikistan, another former Soviet republic.

Russia's most valued enterprise in Kazakhstan is the Baikonur launch site for Russian space missions. Russian soldiers, after entering Kazakhstan, quickly moved to protect it. The Kremlin might also believe that it has some responsibility for the welfare of Kazakhstan's 3.5 million ethnic Russians, most of whom live in the northern half of Kazakhstan.

China's primary interest in Kazakhstan seems to be that it serves as the Chinese Communist Party's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) overland thoroughfare for export of Chinese goods to Europe and the Middle East. Kazakhstan, the world's ninth-largest country, is home to 15% of the world's supply of uranium -- necessary for nuclear weaponry as well as nuclear power plants. Most of Kazakhstan's 17 uranium mines are in the southeastern section of the country near its border with China. Kazakhstan -- the world's largest producer of uranium and now the main supplier to China's Nuclear Power Corporation -- sends more than half its annual uranium exports to China.

Kazakhstan is also blessed with huge oil fields at Tengiz and Karachaganak in the northwestern part of the country. China has investments in Kazakhstan's oil and gas reserves that give the Chinese about 24% and 13% control of these energy resources. As early as late 2019, the Kazakh regime announced that China had invested in 55 separate projects in Kazakhstan.

There is, apparently, another story behind Tokayev's request of the Kremlin-dominated CSTO security forces. Kazakhstan also is a member state of the Chinese-led Central Asian security pact, called the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) established in 2001. Only after Russian soldiers from the CSTO arrived in the Kazakh capital, did China make noise about assisting Kazakhstan to restore peace and security in the Central Asian country.

China's vocal but belated support for Kazakhstan appears politically paltry beside Moscow's quick response. The competition between these historical rivals for power and influence in Central Asia, it seems, is still being sorted out.

While both Russia and China have major investments in Kazakhstan, it is clear that Putin stole a march on Beijing by responding more rapidly to the Kazakh regime's request for security assistance. While reports indicate that CSTO units, including Russian troops are now exiting Kazakhstan, it is likely that the Kremlin will leave behind souvenirs, including military advisors, internal security officers, and logistical support technicians -- hinting at yet greater influence inside still another portion of the former Soviet empire.

 

Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin was the Iran Desk Officer for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. He also served on active duty with the U.S. Army and as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/18211/russia-kazakhstan-china

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

L.A. Times Slams 'Vitriol in Politics' - Larry Elder

 

by Larry Elder

After hiring vitriolic columnists.

 


There's an old joke about the convicted defendant who, after killing his parents, asked the judge for leniency because, after all, the murderer is now an orphan. A recent editorial in the Los Angeles Times is not quite the same. But it's close.

Here's the headline: "The Vitriol in Politics Is Driving Good People Out of Public Service." The editorial laments the decision by a Los Angeles City two-term councilman, who, after taking several constituent-displeasing positions, decided not to run for reelection. Those positions include voting against an ordinance to declare certain public streets and public areas off-limits to the homeless and voting to cut the city police budget and redirect the money for "youth programs." What's not to like in a city plagued by rising homelessness and homicides (up 50% since 2019)?

But the point here is not to attack or defend the councilman's policy positions. The point is the hypocrisy of the Times in denouncing the "vitriol in politics" that supposedly drove him to decide against running for reelection.

Some nerve. This is a newspaper that hired columnist Erika D. Smith who, when I ran in the election to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom, wrote a column with the headline: "Larry Elder Is the Black Face of White Supremacy. You've Been Warned." Smith wrote: "Like a lot of Black people, though, I've learned that it's often best just to ignore people like Elder. People who are — as my dad used to say — 'skinfolk' but not necessarily kinfolk." If that was too subtle, she called me a "Trump fanboy," "dangerous" and a "troll," adding: "His candidacy feels personal. Like an insult to Blackness." The reaction from non-conservative media outlets ... crickets. There is, please understand, but one way to be black — and that is left-wing.

In her column the following week, after many readers expressed their displeasure with her column, Smith wrote: "Casting what, for most Democrats, would be a protest vote against Newsom would put Elder in a position to become governor — and open the door to far-right thinking and white supremacist policies." "White supremacist policies?"

The vitriol-in-politics-denouncing Los Angeles Times also hired as a columnist the equally charming Jean Guerrero, who, in an appearance on CNN, incredibly claimed: "(Elder has) refused to talk to non-partisan media outlets and to journalists who are critical of him, has refused to answer difficult questions. ... But he has been able to reach the minority of voters in California who embrace his white supremacist worldview."

Actually, Elder gave two contentious "interviews" with hostile editorial board members of the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee, both of which newspapers supported Newsom's election for governor and opposed his recall. One can watch the interviews on YouTube.

Guerrero, not an L.A. Times board member, attempted to participate in that paper's interview, and I refused to allow her. Poor Guerrero, denied a well-deserved opportunity to ask a question after having accused me of holding "white supremacist" views. And it was Guerrero's fellow columnist, Smith, who "refused to talk" by declining several invitations to appear on my radio show and defend her "white supremacist" slur.

During my campaign, not only did a woman in a gorilla mask throw an egg at me, but minutes earlier, as I stood on a city corner giving a press conference, someone in a car drove slowly and fired a pellet gun, striking two members of my security team. About the egg attack, a Los Angeles headline called it an "altercation," accompanied with a photo — since removed — showing me embracing a campaign supporter. The photo, however, looked as if I were slapping the female supporter. A reader looking just at the headline and photo could easily assume the "altercation" was Elder committing an attack, as opposed to Elder having been attacked.

Finally, at the start of my interview with the Times, I asked whether they concurred with their columnist's assertion that I'm "the black face of white supremacy." They ducked, refusing to condemn the comment or the columnist.

There was certainly no denunciation by my interviewers of any "vitriol in politics," a vitriol that now, claims the Times in its editorial, "is driving good people out of public service."

 

Larry Elder is a bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/02/la-times-slams-vitriol-politics-after-hiring-larry-elder/

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Thursday, February 10, 2022

From the Abraham Accords to the War in Yemen: The United Arab Emirates and the Iranian Threat - Yoel Guzansky

 

by Yoel Guzansky

On the one hand, Abu Dhabi is concerned by Iran’s expansion in the region and works to curb it, including through cooperation with Israel. On the other hand, the UAE is drawing closer to Tehran, through political ties and commercial agreements. How can this duality be explained, and how does this affect Israel?

INSS Insight No. 1553, February 9, 2022

The United Arab Emirates, Israel’s central partner in the Gulf, sees Iran as the main threat to its national security. The challenge that Iran poses to the UAE includes the threats, either direct or by means of proxies, of a kinetic attack on strategic targets, the potential use of subversion and terror, and control over Emirati territory. The UAE has reacted by developing a range of defensive responses, while simultaneously seeking to maintain open economic and diplomatic ties with Iran as much as possible. The UAE’s current efforts to draw closer to Iran are also designed to balance its image as an intelligence and operational aide of Israel. Israel must consider that the UAE role in the so-called front against Iran might change, particularly in view of emerging cracks in the front, and particularly if and when there is a nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers.

The United Arab Emirates, Israel’s central partner in the Gulf, sees Iran as the main threat to its national security. The challenge that Iran poses to the Emirates includes the threat of a direct kinetic attack on strategic sites, above all its oil and desalination facilities; the indirect threat of action by Iranian proxies (Houthi rebels in Yemen); the potential of subversion and terror (perhaps based on the sizable Iranian community in Dubai); and a threat involving the de-facto control of Emirati territory – the occupation of Abu Musa and the Tunb Islands. Against this background, the UAE has developed a range of defensive responses while simultaneously seeking to maintain open economic and diplomatic ties with Iran as much as possible, as a kind of insurance policy.

Since the UAE is an international financial center, its geographical proximity to Iran and the historical relations between Dubai and Iran have helped make it Iran’s main trading partner (excluding oil; with oil, China is Iran’s main trading partner). Before the United States withdrew from the nuclear agreement with Iran in 2018, reported trade between the countries amounted to some $13 billion (there is also substantial illegal trade between the two). The UAE openly supported the withdrawal of the United States from the agreement and cooperated with the campaign of US pressure on Iran, and accordingly the scope of its annual trade with Iran fell to $7 billion. Moreover, despite the economic blow, the UAE supported, with some exceptions, the sanctions imposed on Iran and even occasionally increased the speed of its own oil production in order to compensate for the Iranian oil deficit on the markets. At the same time, while the UAE is worried by the contacts between the US and Iran on a possible return to the nuclear deal, which could strengthen Iran’s regional influence, it would likely gain from the removal of the sanctions on Iran by expansion of the trade between them.

In 2016 the UAE was careful to maintain an open diplomatic channel with Iran and even kept its representation in Tehran open when many other Arab countries closed their offices following the attacks on the Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran. A pivotal change occurred in 2019, when the UAE engaged in dialogue with Iran after Iranian attacks on tankers in the Gulf. The UAE move arose from fears of an Iranian attack on Emirati targets. The trend toward rapprochement intensified when the UAE announced the withdrawal of its forces from Yemen, and included the signing of a memorandum on increased coordination between the countries coast guards, the unfreezing of Iranian deposits in Emirati banks, and the transfer (together with Kuwait and Qatar) of medical aid to Iran to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meetings between senior officials from both sides were also upgraded. After his visit to Dubai in November 2021, where he met Anwar Gargash, the senior advisor of the Emirati President and Minister of State Khalifa Shaheen, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani said that Iran and the UAE had decided to launch a new chapter in their relations. In December 2021, Tahnoun bin Zayed, the UAE advisor on national security and brother of the acting ruler, Mohammed bin Zayed, met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, expressed the hope that the visit would be a “turning point” in relations, and invited Raisi to the Emirates.

The threat posed by Tehran to Israel and to the United Arab Emirates has drawn the countries closer over the years, even if Israel stresses the Iranian nuclear threat while the UAE sees Iran as a would-be hegemon seeking to impose its will on the whole region. The UAE also points to the missiles and unmanned aircraft held by Iran and its proxies as its most challenging threat in the current period.

The ties with Israel embody many benefits for the UAE: coordination at the political-strategic level on shared matters of interest; cooperation at the intelligence-operational level to deal with concrete threats; security technology from Israel that the UAE needs, particularly in light of the holes in its anti-missile defenses. Moreover, links with Israel and its capabilities could add considerably to UAE deterrence in the eyes of Iran.

For its part, Israel has worked to establish a broad regional front against Iran with the pragmatic Arab countries, although there are a number of cracks in this front, including the clear reluctance of the Gulf states to be perceived as a kind of Israeli "base" within reach of Iran. As soon as the Abraham Accords were announced, senior Iranian officials sent explicit threats to the UAE. For example, the editor of the conservative daily Kaihan, who is close to the Supreme Leader, wrote that the UAE’s betrayal of the Palestinians makes it a “legitimate and easy target.” Iran also reportedly planned to attack Emirati diplomats on African soil.

The current efforts by the UAE to draw closer to Iran are intended inter alia to balance this problematic image of an intelligence and operational aide of Israel, particularly with the understanding that Iran’s status in the region could improve if a new nuclear deal is reached. Iran did not need the normalization agreements to know about the security cooperation between Israel and its Arab neighbors, or that that it is the target of this cooperation. But the Accords made the Israeli presence in the Gulf official, overt, and another potential excuse for an attack by Iran.

Against the background of the ongoing war in Yemen, in early 2022 the tension between the UAE and Iran increased when the Iranian-supported Houthis launched a number of attacks on UAE targets, in response to the effective pressure exerted on them in Yemen by the Saudi army (from the air) and militias loyal to the UAE (on the ground). Following these attacks, it was reported in early February that the United States will send air and naval forces to help UAE defense, and that it will consider returning the Houthis to its list of foreign terror organizations. It is not clear if there was any direct Iranian involvement in the attacks, but it seems likely that Iran approved them in advance. Iran has an interest in maintaining good relations with its Arab neighbors, including the UAE, but continues to threaten them covertly by means of its proxies. Indeed, it was the Houthis who took responsibility for the Iranian attack on Saudi oil installations in 2019.

Although Saudi Arabia and the UAE would prefer a diplomatic solution to the tension with Iran, they are concerned over the possibility of a new nuclear deal, because it will probably not include reference to Iranian subversion in the region, to terror, and to the issue of Iran’s missiles and drones. On the one hand, the Sunni monarchies would be happy if “someone” would do the job for them and inflict serious and long-term damage on Iran’s nuclear program; on the other hand, they understand that they are in the line of fire and an almost certain target for Iranian attack in response to any attack on its nuclear facilities; hence their efforts to maintain reasonable relations with Iran.

Conclusion

An understanding of the political direction taken by the United Arab Emirates is important for Israel, not only because it is a key country in political, economic, and military terms in the Middle East, but also because it charts a course for others. For example, the UAE is generally ahead of Saudi Arabia in its political maneuvers: consider the recent contacts between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which occurred after the Iran-UAE dialogue.

Israel must take into account a possible change in the UAE role in the regional front against Iran, particularly in view of additional cracks appearing in this front, and particularly if a new nuclear deal is reached with Iran. In the age of fluid alliances and changing loyalties, Israel must pay attention to reginal dynamics and examine, for example, if and how they will affect further normalization processes in the region – mainly but not only with Saudi Arabia.

 

Yoel Guzansky

Source: https://www.inss.org.il/publication/iran-uae/?utm_source=activetrail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=INSS%20Insight%20|%20From%20the%20Abraham%20Accords%20to%20the%20War%20in%20Yemen:%20The%20United%20Arab%20Emirates%20and%20the%20Iranian%20Threat

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter