WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP

Contents: | Weekly QuotesShort Takes   |  On Topic Links

 

 

MEDIA-OCRITY OF THE WEEK: “In spite of accusations of anti-Semitism and an official inquiry into the issue within the party; in spite of a successful court challenge to prevent more than 100,000 new party members from being allowed to vote in the leadership contest; and in spite of Corbyn and his supporters’ penchant for Marx and Trotsky, he and his party still enjoy mass support and even passionate enthusiasm. The anti-Semitism issue is to a large extent irrelevant. As much as that might offend Jewish people who disagree, it’s to Britain’s credit that the obscenity of Jew-hatred has little significance in the nation’s body politic and, anyway, while Corbyn and some of his comrades have at times been clumsy, lacking in empathy and sometimes aggressively anti-Zionist, Jews and the Middle East have very little to do with this. The fact is that Corbyn may well lose any forthcoming general election but that’s not the point. What matters is that under his leadership the party is being transformed into, or reverting to, an enormous socialist entity, a political machine that is most certainly capable of winning elections. Britain remains a class-divided and — important this — crisply class-conscious society. The North American concept of the “middle class” doesn’t really exist and the notion of the party of working people being reduced to a rump or worse is simply beyond comprehension.” —Michael Coren (National Post, Aug. 18, 2016)

 

On Topic Links

 

No Saudi Money for American Mosques: Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum, Aug. 22, 2016

American Journalism Is Collapsing Before Our Eyes: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Aug. 21, 2016

Soros’s Campaign of Global Chaos: Caroline B. Glick, The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 22, 2016

Afghanistan Is Finally Standing Up to Pakistan: Adam Gallagher, The National Interest, Aug. 4, 2016

 

“Daesh should be completely cleansed from our borders and we are ready to do what it takes for that,” —Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. The Turkish FM said this at a news conference in Ankara, using an Arabic name for the group. A senior rebel official said Turkish-backed Syrian rebels were preparing to launch an attack to seize Jarablus from the Islamic State, a move that would deny control to advancing Syrian Kurdish fighters. The rebels, groups fighting under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, are expected to attack Jarablus from inside Turkey in the next few days. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said that Turkey would take a more active role in Syria in the next six months to prevent the country from being divided along ethnic lines. Mr. Cavusoglu said Turkey, a member of NATO and the U.S led coalition against the Islamic State, had become the “No. 1 target” for the militants because of its work to stop recruits travelling through Turkey across its more then 800-kilometers border into Syria to join the Sunni hardline group. (The Globe and Mail, Aug. 22, 2016)

 

“Last Thursday, our beloved family dog, Katie, died at the age of 12. She was a gentle giant who respectfully deferred even to any mite-size puppy with a prior claim to a bone. Katie might have won the Nobel Peace Prize if not for her weakness for squirrels. I mourned Katie’s passing on social media and received a torrent of touching condolences, easing my ache at the loss of a member of the family. Yet on the same day that Katie died, I published a column calling for greater international efforts to end Syria’s suffering and civil war, which has claimed perhaps 470,000 lives so far. That column led to a different torrent of comments, many laced with a harsh indifference: Why should we help them? These mingled on my Twitter feed: heartfelt sympathy for an American dog who expired of old age, and what felt to me like callousness toward millions of Syrian children facing starvation or bombing. If only, I thought, we valued kids in Aleppo as much as we did our terriers!” —Nicholas Kristof (New York Times, Aug. 18, 2016)

 

“A crazed gunman’s attack on an Orlando club in June, killing 49 people, resulted in blanket news coverage and national trauma. Now imagine that such a massacre unfolds more than five times a day, seven days a week, unceasingly for five years, totaling perhaps 470,000 deaths. That is Syria. Yet even as the Syrian and Russian governments commit war crimes, bombing hospitals and starving civilians…Obama and the world seem to shrug. I admire Obama for expanding health care and averting a nuclear crisis with Iran, but allowing Syria’s civil war and suffering to drag on unchallenged has been his worst mistake, casting a shadow over his legacy. It is also a stain on all of us, analogous to the indifference toward Jewish refugees in the 1930s, to the eyes averted from Bosnia and Rwanda in the 1990s, to Darfur in the 2000s. This is a crisis that cries out for American leadership, and Obama hasn’t shown enough.” — Nicholas Kristof (New York Times, Aug. 11, 2016)

 

“Oh worshippers of the cross in Canada, now now (sic) fighting came, our wolves will come to you from where you will not know so you won’t enjoy life.”  — Attempting to capitalize on the police killing of Aaron Driver, an ISIL supporter in Strathroy Ont. who was allegedly in the final stages of planning a bomb attack, the pro-ISIL al-Wa’d Foundation released two posters on its Telegram channel on Wednesday, including the one showing an apocalyptic Toronto. (National Post, Aug. 18, 2016)

 

[The New York Municipal Government recently removed language requirements for drivers seeking taxi licences –Ed.] “If you’re in New York, you must speak English,” David Hernandez, 26, a cook who lives in Queens, said on a recent afternoon, noting that he already had problems communicating with some taxi drivers. “This is an English-speaking country.” At a taxi school in Queens on Friday, even some students who were studying for the taxi exam and do not speak English as their first language conceded they thought the English test had been necessary. “You have to communicate with the customer,” Pasang Sherpa, 40, said as the students reviewed methods of finding a cross street. “You’re not working in a kitchen. You’re driving a cab; you’re dealing with the public.” Mr. Rahman, who has been driving a taxi for five years, said he was disappointed that the city was ending the test, because he thought drivers should be able to show they understand some basic English. Hector Diaz, 37, a legal secretary who lives in Queens, agreed, saying it could jeopardize passenger safety if a driver did not speak any English. “If there is an emergency, how are they going to communicate with the passenger?” Mr. Diaz said. (New York Times, Aug. 20, 2016)

 

“We want to make it a legal requirement to show your face in places where that is necessary for the cohesion of our society,” said German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière. He was flanked by the conservative leaders of two states with elections next month: Lorenz Caffier of the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and Frank Henkel of the city-state of Berlin. Both men are running on strong law-and-order platforms and had called for a ban on veils. “The burqa does not belong to Germany,” Mr. Caffier said this week, and Mr. Henkel called the covering “a cloth cage.” “The operative effect of a ban is close to zero,” said Heinz Buschkowsky, a Social Democrat who gained national attention when he was mayor in the heavily immigrant Berlin district of Neukölln. “But the burqa ban would send a social signal,” he told the newspaper Bild. “The burqa says the woman is property of the man, who can be seen by no one else,” he continued. “That is darkest Middle Ages, the opposite of self-determination. A burqa ban shows what does, and does not, work in our country.” (New York Times, Aug. 20, 2016)

 

“What is the policy of the National Post in regards to Letters to the Editor? What are the criteria the Editor applies for making the decision which letter to publish and which to reject? Letter writer Jim Morrow admits to having ‘A few years back, skimmed a copy of the Qur’an’ ‘looking for anything in it that would encourage violence,’ but had to conclude that the ‘Qur’an reads much like the Christian bible.’ And such nonsense, written by an admittedly ignorant person, is published, while thoughtful, factual and well informed corrections of such drivel, written by someone with eight different, well used editions of the Qur’an on his desk has one letter after the other on the subject rejected. What does such practice say about the paper? I wish the Letters Editor would explain to the readers of the NP how he selects submissions for publication. A paper written by a student who "A few years back" has "skimmed" the textbook and consequently writes unmitigated blather would not have got a passing grade from me. Political correctness, indeed, contributes too much to the further stultification and dottiness of the populace.” — Heinz Klatt, professor emeritus of psychology, London, Ont. (Re: Contrarian view, Jim Morrow, August 18, 2016)

 

“Dear NP Letters Editor; Greetings. I am interested to know your answers to the questions that Dr. Heinz Klatt asks in his letter below. When I read the Jim Morrow letter, I wondered about the criteria that let through such a letter but prevent the appearance of other letters on the same subject from better-informed writers. If your desire was to favour the feelings of your Muslim readers by permitting a kind of moral-equivalency comparison between the Qur’an and the Bible, what about the feelings of your Jewish and Christian readers? How do those who know the Bible better than Mr. Morrow feel about having their scripture equated to the ninth sura of the Qur’an? I am not asking you to print my letter, but why would you not print Dr. Klatt’s letter and use it as an opportunity to give some insight into your discernment process? Discussion of Islam in the pages of NP surely gives no sign of waning soon. Thank you for considering this request. Best wishes,” — Gordon Nickel, PhD (Qur’anic Studies) Eagle Bay, BC (Censorship at NP, August 22, 2016)

 

The new level of Russian-Iranian cooperation raises questions about whether the United States made a larger strategic error when, in choosing not to create “safe zones” or conduct major air operations over Syria, it left a window for the Russians to enter the war. President Obama warned in October that Moscow would be sucked into a “quagmire” as it sought to prop up Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. Mr. Toner, the State Department deputy spokesman, said the Russian activity could violate a United Nations Security Council resolution that, he said, “prohibits the supply, sale and transfer of combat aircraft to Iran unless approved in advance by the U.N. Security Council.” … Now, any American-led air operation would have to be coordinated with Russia to avoid conflicts over airspace … “The Iranians have been all in on Assad, and I think the Russians have now moved in that direction,” said Cliff Kupchan, a specialist on Russia and Iran at the Eurasia Group, a political analysis firm in Washington … Russia “now views Iran as a powerful ally in the region and a stable source of income for its state industries,” said Konstantin von Eggert, a political analyst and commentator on Dozhd, a Russian independent television channel. “Tehran is a rich anti-American regime in a strategic region important to U.S. interests. What could be better for Putin?” “In military terms, the situation around Aleppo is quite difficult, so there is a need to make the strikes much stronger,” said Aleksei Arbatov, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center. “This decision constitutes a sharp intensification of our operation.” (New York Times, Aug. 17, 2016)

 

A recent article by its media reporter, Jim Rutenberg, whom I know and like, began this way: “If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?” Whoa, Nellie. The clear assumption is that many reporters see Trump that way, and it is note­worthy that no similar question is raised about Clinton, whose scandals are deserving only of “scrutiny.” Rutenberg approvingly cites a leftist journalist who calls one candidate “normal” and the other ­“abnormal.” Clinton is hardly “normal” to the 68 percent of Americans who find her dishonest and untrustworthy, though apparently not a single one of those people writes for the Times. Statistically, that makes the Times “abnormal.” Also, you don’t need to be a ­detective to hear echoes in that first paragraph of Clinton speeches and ads, including those featured prominently on the Times’ website. In effect, the paper has seamlessly ­adopted Clinton’s view as its own, then tries to justify its coverage. — Michael Goodwin (New York Post, Aug. 21, 2016)

 

Capt. Davis said Thursday’s event marked one of the closest calls he knew of between U.S. coalition forces in Syria and the military of President Bashar al-Assad … “We view instances that place coalition personnel at risk with the utmost seriousness, and we do have the inherent right of self-defense,” Capt. Davis said. He said the Syrian military would be “well-advised” not to interfere with U.S. forces or their coalition partners fighting Islamic State in the country … After learning of Thursday’s airstrikes, the Pentagon immediately contacted the Russian Ministry of Defense through its established “de-confliction” channel and said the U.S. would take any action necessary to protect its forces. “We did make clear that U.S. aircraft would defend troops on the ground if threatened,” Capt. Davis said. The U.S. didn’t contact the Syrian military or government directly or declare a no-fly area over the northeast Syrian city, he said. (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 20-21, 2016)

 

Colin Powell, who was secretary of state for President George W. Bush, said Hillary Clinton's claims he told her to use a private email system for official use is an attempt to blame him for her problems. “Her people have been trying to pin it on me,” Powell told People magazine. “The truth is, she was using [the private email server] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did.” When asked why he thought that was so, Powell replied, "Why do you think? It doesn't bother me. But it's okay; I'm free." It was reported last week that Clinton told the FBI that Powell had advised her to use private email except for classified communications. Powell has admitted to using private email while in office for some communications, but never had a private server. Representatives for Powell, in a separate statement to NBC news, said he had no recollection of the conversation with Clinton but did write to her about his use of a non-government email address. (Newsmax, Aug. 21, 2016)

 

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry caused an angry stir in the Arab world on Sunday when he said that Israel’s actions do not constitute terrorism against Palestinians. The comment, made at a Q&A session with students at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, was in response to a question about why the Egyptian government does not condemn Israeli and American actions in the Middle East as acts of terrorism, reported Ynet. “We can look at this issue and define it as a ‘rule by force,'” replied Shoukry. “However, there is nothing to suggest that there is any connection between Israel and terrorist organizations. There is nothing that leads to this conclusion.” He continued on to defend Israel’s protective measures, suggesting that from some perspectives, Israel’s strength in terms of security is a result of “dealing with a lot of challenges” which have threatened that security ever since the state was established in 1948. Shoukry also told his students that as the international community has “yet to come to a consensus as to what constitutes terror”, Israel’s actions could not be described as terrorism. The comments come as ties warm between Israel and Egypt. The two countries have consistently worked together to fight ISIS, a rising threat in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. (Breaking Israel News, Aug. 22, 2016)

 

“Anyone can build a religious structure of whatever nature in the United States, so the Saudis fund mosque after mosque. In the kingdom, though, only mosques are allowed; it hosts not a single church – or, for that matter, synagogue, or Hindu, Sikh, Jain, or Baha'i temple. Hints going back nearly a decade that the Saudis will allow a church have not born fruit but seem to serve as delaying tactics. Pray any way you wish in America, so long as you do not break the law. Non-Muslims who pray with others in Saudi Arabia engage in an illicit activity that could get them busted, as though they had participated in a drug party.” — Prof. Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum (The Hill, Aug. 22, 2016)

 

Contents

 

ISRAELI-DESIGNED GLASS BRIDGE OPENS AS WORLD'S HIGHEST, LONGEST IN CHINA (Jerusalem) — China this week opened what is said to be the longest and highest glass-bottom bridge in the world, and it was designed by an Israeli architect. Designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan, the bridge is suspended across Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon in Hunan Province's scenic Zhangjiajie National Park some 300 meters (984 feet) above ground. The glass-floored bridge measuring 430 meters long and six meters wide is situated between two cliffs in the picturesque Zhangjiajie mountains that  inspired the American epic science-fiction film 'Avatar.' For safety purposes, a maximum of 8,000 visitors are reportedly permitted to cross the skywalk per day. Construction of the bridge was completed last December at a cost of 22.5 million yuan. (The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 23, 2016)

 

IDF PREPARING TO WELCOME ELITE ULTRA-ORTHODOX PARATROOPER PLATOON (Jerusalem) — In an historic move, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) is preparing to open a special ultra-Orthodox paratrooper unit. Paratroopers (Tzanchanim in Hebrew) make up an elite unit in the IDF. The Ministry of Defense is actively continuing its campaign to draft ultra-Orthodox people (Haredim in Hebrew) as part of their efforts to integrate this population into mainstream Israeli society. Succeeding as a paratrooper involves a strenuous selection process. Most Israeli families are proud when their sons are accepted into Tzanchanim. However, for Haredim, joining the IDF carries a negative stigma. Since the founding of the State of Israel, there has been an understanding that it stands on two legs. One leg is made up of the IDF and the other consists of those who pray for its welfare and study God’s word in yeshiva (religious seminaries). (Breaking Israel News, Aug. 21, 2016)

 

FOLLOWING NEW JERSEY’S LEAD, CALIFORNIA PASSES ANTI-BDS LAW (Sacramento) — The California legislature passed a bill barring all state bodies, including universities, from maintaining ties with organizations that support anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions activities, Israel Hayom learned Thursday. The move marks a significant achievement for the Israeli American Council (IAC), which seeks to counteract the BDS movement on legal, technological and public diplomacy levels. The bill prohibits the state from investing in companies “engaging in actions that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or otherwise limit commercial relations with the state of Israel, or companies based in the state of Israel or in territories controlled by the state of Israel.” (Israel Hayom, Aug. 20, 2016)

 

STAR COLUMNIST LINDA MCQUAIG DEFENDS BDS IN SMEAR ATTACK AGAINST ISRAEL (Toronto) — Writing in the Toronto Star today, columnist Linda McQuaig argued that “Elizabeth May shouldn’t run away from BDS” but should instead embrace it when saying that “It would take a leader with independence and courage to pressure Israel to end its military occupation – someone like Elizabeth May.” According to McQuaig, a self proclaimed “journalist and author”: “Whether you agree with the boycott strategy or not, it is a peaceful way to protest a serious violation of human rights: the fact that millions of Palestinians have been living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza for almost 50 years, with Israel effectively annexing their land.” (This is the same Linda McQuaig who in 2010 abhorrently likened Israel’s killing of 9 anti-Israel activists who initiated violence against interdicting Israeli forces on the Mavi Marmara flotilla vessel, to the brutal murder of an innocent Jewish-American on the Achile Lauro liner by Palestinian terrorists.) (Honest Reporting Canada, Aug. 22, 2016)

 

ISRAELI FORCES RAID WEST BANK WEAPONS FACTORIES AS PART OF CRACKDOWN (Jerusalem) — Israeli security forces shut down six illegal weapons manufacturing factories in the West Bank in what the army said was the biggest such operation of an ongoing crackdown. The raids conducted jointly by the Israel Defense Forces, Shin Bet security service and Israel Police took place Monday night in Bethlehem and Hebron. “Last night, after research and analysis, we decided to clamp down on several warehouses and factories that manufacture guns and arms,” a senior army officer told JTA and other journalists in a briefing. “From six of these seven warehouses we found advanced weapons technology.” Fifty-four weapons were seized, along with gun parts and 22 lathes. Two suspects were arrested, including a major arms dealer, according to the IDF. (Jewish Journal, Aug. 23, 2016)

 

'POLISH DEATH CAMPS' FIGHT SPILLS ONTO PAGES OF THE NEW YORK TIMES (New York) — Holocaust experts said earlier in August that a Polish bill to jail people who use the term “Polish death camps” was based on a correct demand, but blown out of proportion. Polish sensitivity around the extent of its complicity in the Holocaust has reached the headlines once more. Roger Cohen, an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, wrote in an article on Tuesday that "Plenty of Poles collaborated (with the Nazis), but some did not." Cohen used the Jedwabne pogrom to illustrate that in numerous incidents, Polish civilians voluntarily massacred their Jewish neighbors while the country was under Nazi occupation. The article did not stand uncontested, however. The Auschwitz Museum's official Twitter account rebuked Cohen for his assertion, tweeting that the phrase was "false and unjust." Cohen responded that "plenty means plenty," and listed more examples of Polish complicity, bringing in research from the US Holocaust Museum to back-up his claim. (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 23, 2016)

 

LONDON’S MUSLIM MAYOR HIT WITH ANTI-SEMITIC MESSAGES FOR NOT BACKING CORBYN TO LEAD LABOUR (London) — London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of a European capital city, has been bombarded with anti-Semitic messages since he said he would not support Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party leadership election. Several of the messages suggested that he had been influenced by Jews, the London-based news website Jewishnews.uk reported. The mayor “spends his time writing articles to help his masters in Tel Aviv,” read one tweet. “Who owns you @sadiqkhan?” read another, which included a photo of Khan wearing a kippah while eating matzah at a Jewish community event. Last week, Khan threw his support behind Owen Smith, who has been a Parliament member since 2010 and is Corbyn’s only challenger for the party leadership. Smith previously worked as a radio and television producer for the BBC. Khan, a Labour member, wrote an op-ed published Saturday in The Guardian newspaper in support of Smith. He said in the London-based daily that if Corbyn remained party leader, Labour would be unlikely to win the next general election. Khan also said Corbyn “has already proved that he is unable to organize an effective team, and has failed to win the trust and respect of the British people.” In a June op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, Kahn pledged to root out anti-Semitism in London and in the Labour Party. (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 23, 2016)

 

FRANCE EXPELS TUNISIAN FOR NATIONAL SECURITY REASONS (Paris) — France has deported a Tunisian man, the French Interior Ministry said Friday, describing him as a serious threat to national security. Mohsen M’Hadi is the fourth foreigner to be expelled this month for national security reasons, the ministry said without disclosing further details. A ministry spokesman didn’t respond to a request for comment. Mr. M’Hadi couldn’t be reached for comment. France’s Socialist government is under growing pressure to do more to fight terrorism after a series of bloody attacks left more than 200 people dead. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the government remains “fully committed to fighting terrorism with all possible legal means.” Conservative opposition leader and former President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed expelling foreigners suspected of links to terrorism and electronically tagging or detaining people deemed as radicals. (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 20-21, 2016)

 

SYRIAN GOVERNMENT AND RUSSIA ARE ACCUSED OF USING NAPALM-LIKE BOMBS (Beirut) —  Syrian government aircraft hit the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Daraya with incendiary bombs for the third straight day on Wednesday, according to local council members, who said the weapons were packed with substances akin to napalm. Incendiary bombs emit bright light that resembles fireworks and ignite persistent fires, heating to temperatures up to 10 times the boiling point of water. Usually armed with thermite or phosphorus, which can cause horrific burns like those inflicted by napalm in American bombardments during the Vietnam War, the weapons are increasingly being used in attacks on rebel-held areas, especially in the contested northern city of Aleppo, according to Syrian opposition activists and human rights groups that are calling for an end to the practice. And the Syrian government’s most powerful ally, Russia, may also be using the weapons in its own airstrikes, Human Rights Watch contends, citing footage from Russian state-run television that showed the bombs clearly labeled on an attack aircraft in Syria, and similar casings found at attack sites. Numerous videos in recent weeks — many of them cited in the Human Rights Watch report — show fires and other telltale signs of incendiary bombs. (New York Times, Aug. 18, 2016)

 

COURT ORDERS STATE DEPARTMENT TO GIVE TIMELINE FOR CLINTON E-MAIL RELEASE (Washington) — Questions surrounding Hillary Clinton’s email practices flared up again Monday, with a U.S. District Court judge ordering the State Department to provide a timetable for releasing nearly 15,000 new emails uncovered by the FBI investigation of her personal email account and server while she was secretary of state. The judge, James E. Boasberg, pressed the State Department to accelerate its review of those emails, which were on a disc that the FBI turned over to the department in late July. These are emails sent or received by Clinton that were not in the original trove of 55,000 pages handed over by her lawyers last year, and released in monthly installments until last February. James B. Comey, the FBI director, said the investigators had discovered thousands of additional work-related emails on Clinton’s server during their inquiry. While Comey said he did not believe the emails had been “intentionally deleted,” he characterized Clinton’s handling of her email at the State Department as “extremely careless.” (Globe and Mail, Aug. 18, 2016)

 

JUDGE ORDERS WRITTEN TESTIMONY FROM HILLARY CLINTON ON EMAILS (Washington) — A federal judge on Friday ordered Hillary Clinton to provide written testimony under oath about why she set up a private computer server to send and receive emails while secretary of state, ensuring that the issue will continue to dog her presidential campaign until the eve of the election. Judge Sullivan’s ruling opened another front in a fight Mrs. Clinton’s campaign certainly hoped to put behind her. Although he declined to order her to answer questions in person, his ruling underscored the legal complications that Mrs. Clinton faces even as she enters the homestretch of her campaign. (New York Times, Aug. 19, 2016)

 

TURKEY TO RELEASE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PRISONERS TO MAKE ROOM FOR COUP SUSPECTS (Istanbul) — Turkey said on Wednesday that it would empty its prisons of tens of thousands of criminals to make room for the wave of journalists, teachers, lawyers and judges rounded up in connection with last month’s failed coup. The startling decision to put so many criminals convicted of nonviolent offenses back on the streets is a measure of the strains on the state as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expands a wide-ranging purge of those suspected of being enemies of the government. The efforts have created gaping holes in government institutions, the judiciary, schools, the news media and countless other professions. (New York Times, Aug. 17, 2016)

 

CHILD SUICIDE BOMBER AT TURKISH WEDDING LEFT AT LEAST 51 DEAD, 70 WOUNDED IN MASSACRE (Istanbul) — A child suicide bomber killed at least 51 people and wounded nearly 70 others at a Kurdish wedding party near Turkey’s border with Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday, decrying the attack as an attempt by Islamic State extremists to destabilize the nation by exploiting ethnic and religious tensions. The bombing late Saturday in Gaziantep was the deadliest attack in Turkey this year. It comes amid ongoing struggles between the government and Kurdish militants linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, known as the PKK, and as the country is still reeling from the aftermath of last month’s failed coup attempt, which the government has blamed on U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen and his followers. (National Post, Aug. 21, 2016)

 

BRITAIN MOVES TO SEPARATE RADICALIZED INMATES FROM OTHER PRISONERS (London) — Convicts in British prisons who preach terrorism and extreme ideology to fellow inmates will be held in high-security “specialist units,” the government announced on Monday, amid efforts to crack down on Islamic radicalization in jails. The announcement reflects an emerging trend in Europe to isolate terrorism convicts and influential extremists from the rest of the prison population. Prisons are often regarded as potential breeding grounds for would-be terrorists, particularly for young offenders serving sentences for crimes unrelated to terrorism but who nonetheless fall under the spell of older, charismatic inmates. (New York Times, Aug. 22, 2016)

 

 

Contents

On Topic Links

 

No Saudi Money for American Mosques: Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum, Aug. 22, 2016— An important new bill introduced by Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) aims to take a step toward fixing a monumental imbalance. Consider those differences: Secularism is a bedrock U.S. principle, enshrined in the Constitution's First Amendment; in contrast, the Koran and Sunna are the Saudi constitution, enshrined as the Basic Law's first article. Anyone can build a religious structure of whatever nature in the United States, so the Saudis fund mosque after mosque.

American Journalism Is Collapsing Before Our Eyes: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Aug. 21, 2016— Donald Trump may or may not fix his campaign, and Hillary Clinton may or may not become the first female president. But something else happening before our eyes is almost as important: the complete collapse of American journalism as we know it.

Soros’s Campaign of Global Chaos: Caroline B. Glick, The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 22, 2016— Major media outlets in the US have ignored the leak of thousands of emails from billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation by the activist hacker group DCLeaks. The OSF is the vehicle through which Soros has funneled billions of dollars over the past two decades to non-profit organizations in the US and throughout the world.

Afghanistan Is Finally Standing Up to Pakistan: Adam Gallagher, The National Interest, Aug. 4, 2016— As the first president of Afghanistan following the toppling of the Taliban, Hamid Karzai’s legacy will always be decidedly mixed. The famously mercurial Karzai masterfully navigated the traditional tribal politics of Afghanistan, but arguably laid the groundwork for much of the corruption and weak governance that plague the Afghan government today. During his tenure, Karzai often made headlines by frequently excoriating Pakistan for harboring the Afghan Taliban and attempting to rule Kabul by proxy.