Tag: EU


Pompeo Raises the Price for Iran to Rejoin International Community: Eli Lake, Bloomberg, May 21, 2018 — If you ever wanted to know what the opposite of Barack Obama’s Iran strategy would look like, I recommend Mike Pompeo’s speech Monday at the Heritage Foundation.

Trump, Europe, and Iran: Dr. George N. Tzogopoulos, BESA, May 31, 2018 — When US President Donald Trump decertified the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in October 2017, the EU thought a “solved” problem had returned to the agenda for no real reason.

Russia Constrains Iran: Amb. Dore Gold, JCPA, June 3, 2018— In an astounding series of statements, Russia has made it clear that it expects all foreign forces to withdraw from Syria.

The US, Morocco and Iran’s North African Expansion: Caroline Glick, Breaking Israel News, June 3, 2018— Iran’s response to President Donald Trump’s May 8 announcement that he was withdrawing the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal, has been striking.

On Topic Links

The United States Finally Has an Aggressive Plan to Defang Iran: Ray Takeyh, Mark Dubowitz, Foreign Policy, May 21, 2018

The True Commander in Tweet: A.J. Caschetta, The Hill, May 19, 2018

Iran Lied to Get a Deal That We Can’t Enforce Anyway: Sheryl Saperia, National Post, May 8, 2018

The Mullahs and the Tale of a Betrayal: Amir Taheri, Gatestone Institute, June 3, 2018





Eli Lake

Bloomberg, May 21, 2018


If you ever wanted to know what the opposite of Barack Obama’s Iran strategy would look like, I recommend Mike Pompeo’s speech…at the Heritage Foundation. In his first major address as secretary of state, Pompeo outlined a new strategy that overturns three key assumptions that underpinned the Iran policy of Obama and his top diplomat, John Kerry. These are: that America can live with Iranian regional aggression in exchange for temporary limits on its nuclear program; that the 2015 nuclear bargain expressed the will of the international community; and that Iran’s current elected leadership can moderate the country over time.

Let’s start with that first assumption. While past U.S. presidents sanctioned Iran for a variety of bad behavior — ranging from its sponsorship of terrorism to its human rights abuses — Obama by his second term offered to lift the most biting ones in exchange for nuclear concessions. Obama gave the regime a choice: your nukes or your economy. Pompeo on Monday said the old deal no longer applied. Under renewed sanctions, he said, Iran would be forced to make a different choice: “either fight to keep its economy off life support at home or keep squandering precious wealth on fights abroad. It will not have the resources to do both.”

This formulation flips Obama’s gamble on its head. Obama argued that for all of the instability Iran sowed in the Middle East, it was worth relaxing sanctions on Iran’s banking system and oil exports in exchange for limitations on its nuclear program.  Pompeo says that deal was a loser. “No more cost-free expansions of Iranian power,” Pompeo said. Speaking of the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani, America’s top diplomat said he “has been playing with house money that has become blood money; wealth created by the West has fueled his campaign.”

Pompeo … also took aim at one of the more insidious elements of Obama’s diplomatic strategy, which was that the countries most effected by the change in U.S. policy toward Iran — Israel and America’s Arab allies — were not included in negotiations. The negotiators of the deal were the U.S., China, the European Union, Iran, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom. Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were briefed later about the talks. Now the Europeans, Russians and Chinese are part of a much larger group America wants to press the Iranians to change their ways. “I want the Australians, the Bahrainis, the Egyptians, the Indians, the Japanese, the Jordanians, the Kuwaitis, the Omanis, the Qataris, the Saudi Arabians, South Korea, the UAE, and many, many others worldwide to join in this effort against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Pompeo said.

The secretary also made an explicit appeal to the Iranian people. “Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Republic, the revolution in Iran,” he said. “At this milestone, we have to ask: What has the Iranian Revolution given to the Iranian people?”    In a dig at Obama and Kerry, Pompeo called out Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, and foreign minister, Javad Zarif. Addressing the Iranian people, Pompeo said, “The West says, ‘Boy, if only they could control Ayatollah Khamenei and Qasem Soleimani then things would be great.’ Yet, Rouhani and Zarif are your elected leaders. Are they not the most responsible for your economic struggles? Are these two not responsible for wasting Iranian lives throughout the Middle East?”

Compare that with Obama’s and Kerry’s careful courting of Rouhani and Zarif. Even after Iran’s revolutionary guard corps detained and humiliated 10 U.S. sailors who drifted into Iranian territorial waters, Kerry made sure to thank Zarif for helping to get them released. After Rouhani won the 2013 presidential election, the Obama administration began relaxing sanctions designations months before the formal nuclear negotiations started. Pompeo’s appeals to the Iranian people stopped short of calling for regime change. The closest he came to that was saying, “We hope, indeed we expect, that the Iranian regime will come to its senses and support — not suppress — the aspirations of its own citizens.”

That said, Pompeo’s expectation about Iran’s treatment of its own people was not included in his list of 12 demands of the Iranian regime if they wish to rejoin the international community. Those demands covered a range of activities, from releasing U.S. citizens arrested in recent years to removing all personnel from Syria and allowing unfettered access to nuclear inspectors to military sites. If Iran complies, Pompeo said the Trump administration would support a treaty agreement (something Obama did not do) that would give Iran access to American markets and full diplomatic recognition.

As many commentators have already quipped, the chance of Iran meeting these conditions is zero. But that misses an important point. In his enthusiasm for a bargain with Iran, Obama was willing to normalize a nation that was aiding and abetting a horrific crime against the Syrian people, overthrowing the government in Yemen and undermining the elected one in Iraq. It arrested U.S. citizens even as its diplomats were negotiating the nuclear deal. It shipped missiles to terrorists in Lebanon aimed at Israel.

All of that was worth it, Obama and Kerry insisted, because Iran had agreed to place temporary limits on its nuclear program that would expire over the next 10 to 20 years. But the norms that separate rogue states from international citizens were weakened in the process. Pompeo on Monday took the first step in trying to restore them.



TRUMP, EUROPE, AND IRAN                                           

Dr. George N. Tzogopoulos

BESA, May 31, 2018


When US President Donald Trump decertified the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in October 2017, the EU thought a “solved” problem had returned to the agenda for no real reason. It almost immediately issued a statement calling the JCPOA “a key element of the nuclear non-proliferation global architecture and crucial for the security of the region” and encouraged the US to maintain it.

From a European perspective, though issues related to Iranian ballistic missiles as well as rising tensions in the region were matters of concern, they were to be addressed “outside the JCPOA.” In January 2018, following another speech by Trump on Iran that essentially issued an ultimatum to Europeans that they reconsider their approach, High Representative Federica Mogherini said: “The deal is working; it is delivering on its main goal, which means keeping the Iranian nuclear program in check and under close surveillance.”

Trump’s decision to end US participation in the “unacceptable” Iran deal, which took place on May 8, 2018, led Germany, France, and the UK to express “regret” and “concern.” The three countries, and the EU on the whole, seek to ensure that the structures of the JCPOA remain intact. On May 15, Mogherini met with the foreign ministers of France, Germany, the UK, and Iran to discuss the future of the deal and expressed confidence that it could stay in place despite the difficulty of the task. She is leading the effort to put complementary mechanisms and measures in place at both the EU level and the national level to protect the economic operators of European member states.

European trade and investment in Iran moved forward quickly following the signing of the JCPOA in 2015. In December 2016, Airbus, the French aerospace pioneer, signed a contract with Iran Air for 100 aircraft. In July 2017, energy colossus Total and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) agreed to collaborate on the development and production of phase 11 of South Pars, the world’s largest gas field. In August 2017, the German automobile group Volkswagen returned to the Iranian market after 17 years and began selling vehicles. In July 2017, Italian railway company Ferrovie dello Stato inked an accord with Iran Railways to build a high-speed railway between Qom and Arak. Also, Reuters revealed in September 2017 that London-based renewables developer Quercus Investment Partners Ltd. had plans to invest over half a billion euros in a solar power project in Iran.

The determination of European companies to access new markets is understandable, especially in view of Europe’s current anemic growth. To achieve this goal, they are pushing their respective governments to open up powerful channels such as chambers of commerce and other trade representations. The governments in question tend to sideline security risks for the sake of ephemeral economic benefits and the support of industries in national elections.

The long-term winner of this process is Tehran, which is exploiting European business fever to present itself as a normal international interlocutor – if not to legitimize its position as a normal nuclear power – and advance its geopolitical agenda in the Middle East. In turning a blind eye to the potential transformation of the region should Tehran achieve its hegemonic ambitions, the EU is postponing difficult foreign policy decisions. The clock cannot be turned back, however.

The EU-US disagreement on the JCPOA is placed by most within the general context of the deterioration of transatlantic relations following Trump’s election. The nuclear deal is not the only example of that deterioriation. Trump’s pressure on NATO European member states to increase their contributions to the defense budget, his withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, and his indifferent and at times scornful stance regarding the project of European integration all contribute to the hostility.

However, Trump’s tough stand on Iran has offered the EU a good opportunity to look beyond transatlantic relations and acknowledge Israeli and Sunni Arab security concerns. A November 2017 BESA online debate on “what happens next” after the JCPOA made the point that notwithstanding the ultimate fate of the deal, its flaws can now be more easily exposed. This is indeed beginning to happen. France, Germany, and Britain are taking some initial steps to restrain Iranian influence, though they disagree with Trump’s Iran policy.

After January, the US and the EU engaged in diplomatic talks to add new sanctions and “fix” the deal. These talks did not prevent Trump from announcing the US withdrawal, but they demonstrated that Europe would no longer ignore Tehran’s hegemonic drive. Following their February meeting in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed their readiness to take further appropriate measures to tackle issues “about Iran’s destabilizing activity in the Middle East.”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]




Amb. Dore Gold

JCPA, June 3, 2018


In an astounding series of statements, Russia has made it clear that it expects all foreign forces to withdraw from Syria. Alexander Lavrentiev, President Putin’s envoy to Syria, specified on May 18, 2018, that all “foreign forces” meant those forces belonging to Iran, Turkey, the United States, and Hizbullah.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov added this week that only Syrian troops should have a presence on the country’s southern border, close to Jordan and Israel. Previously, Russia had been a party to the establishment of a “de-escalation zone” in southwestern Syria along with the United States and Jordan. Now, Russian policy was becoming more ambitious.  Lavrov added that a pullback of all non-Syrian forces from the de-escalation zone had to be fast.

The regime in Tehran got the message and issued a sharp rebuke of its Russian ally. The Iranians did not see their deployment in Syria as temporary. Five years ago, a leading religious figure associated with the Revolutionary Guards declared that Syria was the 35th province of Iran. Besides such ideological statements, on a practical level, Syria hosts the logistical network for Iranian resupply of its most critical Middle Eastern proxy force, Hizbullah, which has acquired significance beyond the struggle for Lebanon.

Over the years, Hizbullah has become involved in military operations in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and elsewhere. Without Syria, Iran’s ability to project power and influence in an assortment of Middle Eastern conflicts would be far more constrained. Syria has become pivotal for Tehran’s quest for a land corridor linking Iran’s western border to the Mediterranean. The fact that Iran was operating ten military bases in Syria made its presence appear to be anything but temporary.

Already in February 2018, the first public signs of discord between Russia and Iran became visible. At the Valdai Conference in Moscow, attended by both Lavrov and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (and by this author), the Russian Foreign Minister articulated his strong differences with the Iranians over their pronouncements regarding Israel: “We have stated many times that we won’t accept the statements that Israel, as a Zionist state, should be destroyed and wiped off the map. I believe this is an absolutely wrong way to advance one’s own interests.”

Iran was hardly a perfect partner for Russia. True, some Russian specialists argued that Moscow’s problems with Islamic militancy emanated from the jihadists of Sunni Islam, but not from Shiite Islam, which had been dominant in Iran since the 16th century. But that was a superficial assessment. Iran was also backing Palestinian Sunni militants like Islamic Jihad and Hamas. This May, Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, told a pro-Hizbullah television channel that he had regular contacts with Tehran.

Iran was also supporting other Sunni organizations like the Taliban and the Haqqani network in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It harbored senior leaders from al-Qaeda. Indeed, when the founder of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, sought a regional sanctuary after the fall of Afghanistan to the United States, he did not flee to Pakistan, but instead, he moved to Iran. There is no reason why Iran could not provide critical backing for Russia’s adversaries in the future.

But that was not the perception in Moscow when Russia gave its initial backing for the Iranian intervention in Syria. In the spring of 2015, Moscow noted that the security situation in Central Asia was deteriorating, as internal threats to Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan were increasing. On top of all this, the Islamic State (IS) was making its debut in Afghanistan. An IS victory in Syria would have implications for the security of the Muslim-populated areas of Russia itself.

It was in this context that Russia dramatically increased arms shipments to its allies in Syria. It also coordinated with Iran the deployment of thousands of Shiite fighters from Iraq and Afghanistan under the command of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). That also meant the construction of an expanded military infrastructure on Syrian soil for this Shiite foreign legion. At the same time, Russia maintained and upgraded a naval base at the Syrian city of Tartus and an air facility at the Khmeimim Air Base near Latakia. Moscow also had access to other Syrian facilities as well.

What changed in Moscow? It appears that the Kremlin began to understand that Iran handicapped Russia’s ability to realize its interests in the Middle East. The Russians had secured many achievements with their Syrian policy since 2015. They had constructed a considerable military presence that included air and sea ports under their control in Syria. They had demonstrated across the Middle East that they were not prepared to sell out their client, President Bashar Assad, no matter how repugnant his military policies had become – including the repeated use of chemical weapons against his own civilian population. The Russians successfully converted their political reliability into a diplomatic asset, which the Arabs contrasted with the Obama administration’s poor treatment of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt at the beginning of the Arab Spring in 2011. However, now Iran was putting Russia’s achievements at risk through a policy of escalation with Israel…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]  





Caroline Glick

Breaking Israel News, June 3, 2018


Iran’s response to President Donald Trump’s May 8 announcement that he was withdrawing the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal, has been striking. Iran’s first response, issued by President Hassan Rouhani, was to issue a blanket rejection of Trump’s move.

On Wednesday, Iran revealed its strategy for dealing with the Trump administration. It expects the European Union (EU) to act as its proxy. Iran’s “Supreme Leader”Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a statement Wednesday in which he set out five demands for the EU to fulfill. If it fails to do so, he warned, Iran will resume its full nuclear operations.

First, Khamenei insisted that the EU “guarantee the total sales of Iran’s oil,” and so make up any losses Iran is set to incur due to U.S. sanctions. Second, he said that European banks “must guarantee business transactions with the Islamic Republic.” (If European banks fulfill this demand, they will be blacklisted and frozen out of the U.S. financial system.) Third, he demanded that the EU convince the UN Security Council to issue a resolution condemning America’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal. Fourth, the Iranian dictator demanded that the EU “stand firmly against U.S. sanctions on Iran.”

Finally, Khamenei said that while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted Monday that Iran’s nuclear program be dealt with in the context of its other malign behavior — including its ballistic missile program, its sponsorship of terrorism and its actions to assert hegemonic power across the Middle East through its proxies and directly — the Europeans “must guarantee [they] will not raise the issue of the Islamic Republic’s missiles and regional affairs.”

The first question that comes to mind when considering Khamenei’s list of demands is: What is he thinking? True, the Europeans strongly opposed Trump’s decision to abandon the nuclear deal, and they still don’t seem to have come to terms with it. But there can be no doubt that the U.S. is more important to the Europeans than Iran is. Not only has the U.S. military protected Europe since it liberated Western Europe from the Nazis in 1945, but the U.S. is also Europe’s biggest market.

For all of EU foreign affairs commissioner Federica Mogherini’s affection for Iran’s ayatollahs, at the end of the day, she is in no position to accept Khamenei’s demands. Still, Khamenei believes that he can bully the Europeans into submission. To understand why he thinks that is the case, it is worth considering the drama unfolding in Morocco. The Strait of Gibraltar separates Morocco from the southern tip of Europe. At its narrowest point, the strait is a mere 7.7 nautical miles wide. In 2017, illegal migration to Europe from Morocco and Algeria more than doubled.

According to the Frontex border agency, in 2016, 10,231 migrants entered Europe from North Africa. In 2017, the number rose to 22,900. Forty percent of the migrants were from Algeria and Morocco. The other sixty percent came from other African countries. As migrants stream across the Strait of Gibraltar to Spain, illegal migration from Libya to Italy is decreasing. On May 1, in a move that surprised many, the Moroccan government abruptly cut ties with Iran and placed the Iranian ambassador on the first flight out of the country…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]



On Topic Links

The United States Finally Has an Aggressive Plan to Defang Iran: Ray Takeyh, Mark Dubowitz, Foreign Policy, May 21, 2018—Ever since President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal earlier this month, the commentariat has been aghast at the lack of a new plan.

The True Commander in Tweet: A.J. Caschetta, The Hill, May 19, 2018—What do you call a belligerent world leader who uses social media to bully enemies and feed his narcissistic delusions of grandeur? In Iran they call him “Rahbar,” which means “Supreme Leader.” That’s right, when it comes to crude, threatening, grammatically-challenged Twitterspeak, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei beats President Donald Trump any day.

Iran Lied to Get a Deal That We Can’t Enforce Anyway: Sheryl Saperia, National Post, May 8, 2018 —Israel has just pulled off a spectacular covert mission to extract from a warehouse in southern Tehran 55,000 pages and 183 CDs of secret Iranian files detailing that country’s nuclear program.

The Mullahs and the Tale of a Betrayal: Amir Taheri, Gatestone Institute, June 3, 2018—Iran’s response to President Donald Trump’s May 8 announcement that he was withdrawing the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal, has been striking. Iran’s first response, issued by President Hassan Rouhani, was to issue a blanket rejection of Trump’s move.



Netanyahu’s Meeting With the EU Foreign Ministers: Susan Hattis Rolef, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 10, 2017— I admit that I would love to be a fly on the wall when our prime minister meets EU foreign ministers in Brussels today.

Israel's Mythical "Isolation": Elliott Abrams, Council on Foreign Relations, Nov. 30, 2017— This week Kenya inaugurated a president (Uhuru Kenyatta, for his second term).

If Netanyahu is So Corrupt and Dangerous, Why Don’t Rivals Unite to Defeat Him?: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, Dec. 4, 2017— One after another, the would-be leaders of Israel compete to excoriate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

More on Bibi and Friends: Ira Sharkansky, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 7, 2017— Compared to selected other national leaders here and there, Bibi's done well from public office.


On Topic Links


Thousands Protest Against Netanyahu for Second Week in Tel Aviv: Moshe Cohen and Maariv Hashavua, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 9, 2017

Israel’s “Teflon” Prime Minister: Naomi Ragen, Breaking Israel News, Nov. 14, 2017

Israeli Prime Ministerial Hopeful Avi Gabbay: We Should Scare Our Enemies, Instead of Letting Them Scare Us: Barney Breen-Portnoy, Algemeiner, Dec. 5, 2017

Israel’s Ruinous Right: Dr. Martin Sherman, Jewish Press, Nov. 19, 2017





Susan Hattis Rolef

Jerusalem Post, Dec. 10, 2017


I admit that I would love to be a fly on the wall when our prime minister meets EU foreign ministers in Brussels today. There is no doubt the event will be highly charged, and I suspect Netanyahu will not have an easy time getting his messages across to the Europeans. And what is that message? Primarily that an Iranian presence in Syria as part of long-term arrangements in that miserable, battered country poses a threat not only to Israel’s security but to that of the rest of the democratic world; that US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem is a positive and promising development; and that EU meddling with human rights issues in the West Bank, and its support of and engagement with Israeli human rights organizations, is something the current Israeli government cannot tolerate.


There are many reasons why the relations between Israel and the EU have become charged and uncordial, and why this particular meeting is liable to be especially explosive. The EU has long expressed its disapproval of Israel’s policy in the West Bank, the Golan Heights and east Jerusalem, which it views as occupied territories to which the Fourth Geneva Convention applies. Within the framework of this policy the EU has published guidelines regarding the marking of Israeli products produced in the “occupied territories” and of Israeli companies that are engaged in business activities in them. This is not a direct call for the boycott of products and companies, but rather more of an irksome recommendation.


About a third of EU members have recognized a Palestinian state; all the former Communist member states recognized Palestine in 1988 and did not cancel their recognition after becoming democracies, and two West European members, Iceland and Sweden, recognized Palestine in 2011 and 2014, respectively. The parliaments of several other EU states voted in favor of recognition of Palestine toward the end of 2014, including the UK and France.


Quite a few EU members financially support Israeli human rights organizations (as they do organizations in other countries that regularly breach the human rights of citizens and non-citizens under their rule) and collaborate with them. Most recently representatives of the EU, headed by the newly selected EU ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret, participated in a celebration to mark International Human Rights Day with NGO B’Tselem at a photo exhibition titled “Fifty years of occupation,” which presented the images of 50 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, from all walks of life, who were born in 1967 and have lived their whole life under the abnormal reality of the last 50 years.


As to President Trump’s formal recognition last week of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (without defining its boundaries), and his repetition of the promise made by three previous presidents that in future the US embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, neither the EU nor any of its member states is likely to follow suit. The maximum that can be expected are statements, such as that made by the Czech Republic, recognizing west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and a promise to move embassies to Jerusalem after a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians is attained. In truth, recognition of west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital should have occurred already in 1948, and the reason why it didn’t – the fact that the 1947 UN partition plan called for the internalization of Jerusalem – was a feeble excuse given the political and military reality at the time.


All of this is viewed with disapproval and disdain by official Israel. Typically, the Foreign Ministry referred to the official EU attendance at the photo exhibition last week “a spit in the face.” The EU, of course, sees things differently, and most of its members have full sympathy with the EU’s positions, while feeling despair regarding Israel’s reactions. For example, one of the protests that will be greeting Netanyahu upon his arrival in Brussels will be by a group of members of the European Parliament demanding that Israel pay the 1.2 million euros in compensation for its destruction of various construction projects financed by the EU in Area C of the West Bank, which Israel considered to be illegal, including houses for expelled Beduin, structures that served as schools and kindergartens for Beduin children, pipes, water cisterns and electricity generators.


The EU and its members also remember Netanyahu’s embarrassing statement to the premiers of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia last July in Budapest in which he urged them to try to change the EU’s attitude toward Israel. An open microphone he was not aware of recorded him saying, “The European Union is the only association of countries in the world that conditions the relations with Israel – that produces technology and every area [sic] – on political conditions. The only one! Nobody does it. It’s crazy… there is no logic here. The EU is undermining its security by undermining Israel… I think Europe has to decide if it wants to live and thrive, or if it wants to shrivel and disappear.”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]    





Elliott Abrams

Council on Foreign Relations, Nov. 30, 2017


This week Kenya inaugurated a president (Uhuru Kenyatta, for his second term). One and only one Western head of government was present, joining ten African presidents. One and only one foreign leader was asked to speak at the celebratory lunch, while being seated next to Kenyatta. Who was that? Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And while in Nairobi for one day, Netanyahu met with the presidents of Rwanda, Gabon, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, South Sudan, Botswana, and Namibia, and the prime minister of Ethiopia. The prominence of Israel’s leader during this occasion would be worth mention even if he were one of a dozen Western leaders who were present—but he was alone. The British sent a second level minister handling foreign aid, for example, not even a Cabinet member.


There are two points worth making. The first is that Israel is succeeding in an extraordinary campaign of outreach across the globe, to India and China, to Africa, and recently to Latin America. The second is that this is no automatic development, but a tribute to the energy, dedication, and perspicacity of Prime Minister Netanyahu. They aren’t just welcoming Israel; they are welcoming him. They are interested in his extraordinary country, obviously, but also in his personal understanding of economic change, of the role of military strength, and of world affairs. Similarly, in September 2016 Netanyahu was a hotter ticket at the UN General Assembly than even Barack Obama: more African leaders sought meetings with Netanyahu than with the President of the United States.


Netanyahu’s critics are legion in Israel, but even they ought to be honest enough to acknowledge what he has achieved for his country in countering isolation, BDS, and anti-Semitism and greatly widening and deepening Israel’s global ties. And it has just been announced that Netanyahu has been invited to address all 28 EU foreign ministers at their December meeting. QED.  







David Horovitz

Times of Israel, Dec. 4, 2017


One after another, the would-be leaders of Israel compete to excoriate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Many of them have served under him — as defense ministers, finance ministers, ministers of environmental protection — and have concluded that he is unfit for office, that he is, variously, a criminal, the head of a dishonest government, leading Israel to disaster with his diplomatic and security policies, inciting sectors of the Israeli populace against each other, undermining the courts and the police, capitulating to the ultra-Orthodox, alienating world Jewry, and plenty more.


Yair Lapid, whose centrist Yesh Atid is generally polling as the main competition to Netanyahu’s Likud, has long asserted that the prime minister is both personally corrupt and running a corrupt coalition. Lapid, a former finance minister under Netanyahu, has most recently been at the forefront of critics of the so-called police recommendations bill (latterly suspended amid an escalating public outcry), which he alleges was personally “tailored” to help shield Netanyahu from the corruption cases in which he is embroiled.


For Avi Gabbay, the new Labor leader, whose Zionist Union alliance is not too far behind in some of the polls, Israel under Netanyahu is “really getting close to becoming Turkey” in its corrupt, one-man rule. Gabbay is demanding “elections as soon as possible.” As a member of the Kulanu party, he too served as a minister in Netanyahu’s coalition, quitting in May 2016 when Avigdor Liberman was appointed as defense minister in place of the “temperate” Moshe Ya’alon. At his farewell press conference, Gabbay protested against what he said was becoming an “extremist” government and, full of biblical foreboding, warned: “The Jewish people already destroyed the Second Temple with their civil wars, we must stop these processes that will lead to the destruction of the Third Temple.”


“Temperate” ex-defense minister Ya’alon himself, a former IDF chief of staff and Netanyahu’s right-hand man through several rounds of conflict with Hamas and innumerable other security challenges, declares most weeks that Netanyahu is a crook and that he must resign over an allegedly corruption-riddled deal to purchase German submarines, for which Netanyahu’s two chief legal lieutenants, David Shimron and Yitzhak Molcho, are under investigation. “It can’t be that the prime minister is not involved, Ya’alon says. And if the truth doesn’t come out, he vows, “I will go on a speaking tour to tell all.”


One of Ya’alon’s distinguished predecessors as both chief of staff and defense minister, Ehud Barak, who also long served together with Netanyahu, let rip just days ago to catalog Netanyahu’s failings. In a New York Times op-ed, Barak accused the Netanyahu-led government of showing a general disrespect for the rule of law, and claimed that it had “declared war” on the courts, the media, civil society and the ethical code of the IDF.


“For all of Israel’s great achievements in its seven decades of statehood, our country now finds its very future, identity and security severely threatened by the whims and illusions of the ultra-nationalist government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” Barak declared. “In its more than three years in power, this government has been irrational, bordering on messianic,” Barak wrote. “It is now increasingly clear where it is headed: creeping annexation of the West Bank.” Netanyahu had also capitulated to the ultra-Orthodox members of his coalition, Barak charged, and damaged Israel’s “crucial relationship with American Jews.”


Other resonant figures have weighed in, too, some of them a little more gently. Netanyahu’s former education minister Gideon Saar, who took a break from politics to spend more time with his family, has said he feels “ill at ease” over one of the Netanyahu corruption cases — involving an alleged deal with the Yedioth Ahronoth daily for more favorable coverage — and that he ultimately intends to become prime minister, but so far has refrained from directly challenging his Likud party leader. Another former Likud highflier, Moshe Kahlon, chose to bolt and set up his own party, rather than directly challenge Israel’s second-longest serving prime minister, and now exalts in the position of Netanyahu’s finance minister.


Two other former chiefs of staff, Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi, have been the most restrained of all, steering clear of party politics thus far and instead establishing a “social movement” aimed at bringing “an end to the divisions, an end to the incitement, an end to the baseless hatred.” At their launch, partnered by yet another former Netanyahu education minister Shai Piron, they didn’t so much as mention the name Netanyahu. They really didn’t need to.


What’s quite staggering is not merely the avalanche of criticism and doomsaying by the prime minister’s would-be successors, however. It is, rather, the disconnect between the insistence that Netanyahu has to urgently go — for the sake of Israel, no less — and the critics’ abiding unwillingness to take the one step that would most effectively advance this ostensible national imperative. No matter how grave the purported danger, they simply refuse to get together to defeat it.


Few of Isaac Herzog’s greatest admirers would claim that he was the most potent opposition leader ever to face off in an election campaign against Netanyahu. Yet the Zionist Union chairman, mild-mannered, limited in his appeal, outmaneuvered in the campaign by the experienced Netanyahu, undermined by some in his own party, and also battling the country’s most widely read newspaper, raised his party’s share of Knesset seats in 2015 to 24 (in partnership with Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua), while Netanyahu’s Likud fell back a little to 30. It would be false to claim that Herzog came within a whisker of winning the elections, but this fairly unchallenging challenger did give Netanyahu a run for his money. And we will never know how those elections would have been affected had Kahlon and Lapid put their egos aside and agreed on their parties running together.


More than two years later, some of Netanyahu’s critics would have us believe that the very fate of our country is at stake, that we are deeply threatened both internally and externally. And yet, still, the egos hold sway. Gabbay and Lapid snipe at each other. While asserting that there is nobody better qualified than he is to lead us to salvation, Barak merely snipes from the sidelines. Poll after poll shows the uncharismatic Ya’alon failing to so much as clear the threshold to win any Knesset seats at all, and yet he insists on heading his own new political movement rather than bolstering somebody else’s.


Tens of thousands of Israelis protested on Saturday night due to their sense that corruption is taking an ever greater hold on Israel under Netanyahu (and that was before his coalition chief, David Bitan, was called in for a full day’s police questioning in an escalating graft investigation). A far greater number of Israelis, needless to say, wish we had a different prime minister. Netanyahu, in poll after poll after poll, remains by far the public’s most popular choice — but at about 26-31%. That leaves well over two-thirds for whom Netanyahu is not the favored premier. This, in turn, would suggest that many Israelis are searching around, thus far in vain, for credible alternatives. It would surely give the long list of Netanyahu’s would-be successors considerably more credibility if, when complaining about the damage the prime minister has done, is doing, and will do if he is not stopped, they also declared that, given the gravity of the hour, they were putting aside their relatively marginal ideological differences and unifying to protect the country.


The Israeli public proved in 1999, after three relatively terror-free years, that it was prepared to oust Netanyahu, in part because of a sense that he was missing opportunities for peace. Almost two decades later, the critics would have us believe that the dangers posed by Netanyahu are far more acute. But their egotistical approach, as all their own surveys must be telling them, continues to leave much of the public unpersuaded.                                                                       





Ira Sharkansky

Jerusalem Post, Dec. 7, 2017


Compared to selected other national leaders here and there, Bibi's done well from public office. He and Sara have gotten used to demanding expensive gifts from individuals wanting his help. With respect to the two most prominent exchanges we know about, they weren't all that serious. He helped an Israeli billionaire get an American visa that allowed him to continuing making his pile there; and he helped an Australian billionaire get a residence permit for Israel that has allowed him to avoid taxes.


Bibi's life style isn't all that different from what was acquired by originally poor folk like Americans Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson, and the Israeli Ariel Sharon. Israelis are fond of comparing him to predecessors who were models of modesty. David ben Gurion lived with his wife in a desert shack. Yitzhak Shamir flew tourist class to the US when he traveled on official business. Ehud Olmert began his career on the path of getting rich and living well, but encountered a change in the media and officials charged with law enforcement. His prison term was not severe, but according to recent pictures was enough to change his appearance.


Netanyahu's involvement in a deal with a German shipyard and manipulations by the major shareholder in Israel's prime communication firm may have been indirect, but weightier than gifts of cigars and champagne, or free lodging at luxurious sites for the younger Netanyahu. It's Bibi's friends, relatives, and appointees who have gotten rich, and it seems doubtful if it could happen without his knowledge and help.

Signs are that Israeli media, police, and prosecutors are operating in the mode that ended Olmert's career, and it doesn't look good for Bibi and the Missus. Son Yair may get off with a bad name.


If Donald Trump is the best that Americans can put in the White House, his record doesn't make Bibi or Israel look out of step. Trump's boorish behavior may not be anything more than embarrassing, providing it doesn't start a war that destroys parts of South Korea, Japan, and maybe the US. His string of corporate bankruptcies and callous treatment of what was promised to students at Trump University look as bad as anything we're seeing in Jerusalem. American individualism going back to colonial history makes us wonder what should have been expected. US history hasn't produced the pride in modesty along the models of ben Gurion or Shamir.


Trump is getting high marks for his proclamation about Jerusalem, but we're concerned about the downside of Palestinians' response, whatever it'll be. The US is seeing the embarrassment and dismissal of one overprivileged male after another on account of sexual misconduct. Watchers are wondering when that shoe is going to drop in Trump's bedroom. Israelis who knew our own elite equivalents of John Kennedy and Bill Clinton changed their norms during the era of Moshe Katsav. Commentators on these notes have accused me of going overboard in my criticism of Bibi. I'll repeat the assessment that he is better as a policymaker and politician than as an individual, husband and father with respect to personal behavior. He seems far less dangerous than his current American counterpart. No surprise that Bibi has adopted Donald as patron. The act may gain Israel support from the world's most powerful country. It may even be true that the support from the Trump administration will be greater than that received from most if not all of his predecessors…

 [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]




On Topic Links


Thousands Protest Against Netanyahu for Second Week in Tel Aviv: Moshe Cohen and Maariv Hashavua, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 9, 2017—Approximately 25,000 protestors took to Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard on Saturday evening to oppose alleged corruption at the highest echelons of Israeli government and called for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign.

Israel’s “Teflon” Prime Minister: Naomi Ragen, Breaking Israel News, Nov. 14, 2017—While the Donald Trump era has brought a new level of hysteria to U.S. political discourse, the attempts to topple Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by the seemingly weekly revelation of yet another corruption scandal have only slightly dented his popularity.

Israeli Prime Ministerial Hopeful Avi Gabbay: We Should Scare Our Enemies, Instead of Letting Them Scare Us: Barney Breen-Portnoy, Algemeiner, Dec. 5, 2017—Turmoil is the new status quo in the halls of the Knesset, amid a number of deepening police investigations into corruption allegations against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel’s Ruinous Right: Dr. Martin Sherman, Jewish Press, Nov. 19, 2017—It is neither an easy nor an enviable undertaking today for anyone trying to alert the public as to the perilous vulnerability in which the nation currently finds itself.




Mind-Boggling European Union Chutzpah: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 19, 2017— Israel should repulse the escalating European Union campaign of intimidation.

The Norwegian Elections, Israel, and the Jews: Manfred Gerstenfeld, BESA, October 19, 2017— The current prime minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, leader of the Conservative Party (Hoyre), and three potential coalition parties unexpectedly won Norway’s September 11 elections…

Europe Has a ‘Jewish’ Soccer Team Problem: Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA, Oct. 24, 2017— Seventeen-year-old Sjuul Deriet, standing outside this port city’s main soccer stadium on a rainy Sunday, vividly explains why he hates the people he calls “the Jews.”

In France, a Deadly Mix of Antisemitism, Islamism, and Family Violence: Michel Gurfinkiel, Jewish Chronicle, Oct. 19, 2017— "Burning hatred against France and against Jews, and an orgy of domestic violence."


On Topic Links


An Italian Soccer Club Struggles to Battle Anti-Semitism: Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner, Oct. 25, 2017

Europe: What do Islamic Parties Want?: Judith Bergman, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 29, 2017

This BBC Interview Perfectly Illustrates Britain’s Left-Wing Anti-Semitism Problem: Yair Rosenberg, Tablet, Sept. 26, 2017

A UK Angel for Angela?: Francesco Sisci, Settimana News, Sept. 29, 2017





David M. Weinberg

Jerusalem Post, Oct. 19, 2017


Israel should repulse the escalating European Union campaign of intimidation. You see, boycotts of Israeli products from Judea and Samaria no longer satisfy Brussels. Ramping-up its confrontation with Israel, the European Union has gone into the business of establishing “settlements” for the Beduin and Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, tower and stockade style.


This includes the wild Beduin building spurt that the EU has insolently funded in the strategic E1 quadrant between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim, in entirely purposeful defiance of Israel. The IDF defines the area in question a pivotal part of Israel’s strategic depth, and essential to defensible borders for Israel. It is also in Area C under the Oslo Accords, which means that Israel holds exclusive civilian and military control.


Yet illegally established Palestinian villages and Beduin shantytowns have slowly closed the corridor between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim, where a major highway runs, crawling to within several meters from it. These illegal outposts steal electricity from the highway lights, and water from Israeli pipelines. Civil Administration data, presented last year to the Knesset’s subcommittee on Judea and Samaria, showed that 6,500 Palestinians were living in some 1,220 illegally built homes in the area, and the number undoubtedly has grown since then – thanks to the EU.


The imperious EU has poured perhaps €100 million into EU-emblazoned prefabs, EU-signed roads, and water and energy installations – in E1, in Gush Etzion (near Tekoa), in the South Hebron Hills, and even in the Negev. Under the cover of diplomatic immunity, the EU’s settlement-building bosses audaciously thumb their noses at inspectors of the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit. Then, they scream bloody murder when the IDF moves in, ever so minimally (– far too meekly and infrequently, I think!) to knock back a few of the most provocatively and problematically positioned EU illegal outposts.


Note that every prime minister since Yitzhak Rabin has promised and intended to build in the E1 quadrant as the eastern strategic anchor for Jerusalem and its critical connection to the Jordan Valley, only to be stymied by international protests. In short, the EU’s support of the Palestinians has graduated from passive diplomatic and financial assistance to subversive participation in the Palestinian Authority’s illegal construction ventures. The explicit EU intent is to erode Israeli control of Areas C and eastern Jerusalem while promoting Palestinian territorial continuity leading to runaway Palestinian statehood.


In June and August, the EU fiercely warned COGAT that Israel’s policy of demolishing illegal and unauthorized Palestinian construction is harming ties between Israel and the 28 EU member countries. According to Le Monde, eight EU member states this week took the further, unprecedented move of penning a letter to the Israeli Foreign Ministry demanding that Jerusalem reimburse (!) EU countries for the dismantling of infrastructure in the West Bank such as solar panels and mobile homes that were slated to serve innocent “local Arab schools.”


Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain and Sweden – members of the so-called “West Bank Protection Consortium,” a body which coordinates “humanitarian assistance” to Beduin and Palestinian squatters in Area C – are now demanding that Israel pay them compensation of more than €30,000 each. Such mind-boggling chutzpah! First the EU builds illegal settlements in defiance of Israel, then it demands that Israel pay for these offenses when Israel acts against them.


How much more contemptuous can you get than that? The European position is that under the Geneva Convention, Israel is responsible for dealing with the everyday needs of the Palestinian population in Area C, and since it is “not doing so,” the European states are stepping in with humanitarian aid. But it’s clear to anybody with a brain that European activity in Area C is not “humanitarian assistance” but political activity that brazenly seeks to create “facts on the ground” – to strengthen the Palestinians’ hold on Area C. In doing so, the EU has thrown key cornerstones of peace diplomacy out the window.


“Not prejudging the outcome of negotiations,” and “direct negotiations between the parties without coercion” – are principles that no longer hold sway, at least as far as EU pampering of the Palestinians is concerned. Instead, collusion with Palestinians and defiance of Israel is in vogue. The EU superciliously ignores the fact that the Palestinian Authority has rejected Israeli offers three times (2000, 2001, and 2008) which would have given the Palestinians statehood, including possession of almost all the West Bank and a share of Jerusalem. They also fled from US secretary of state John Kerry’s talks in 2014, and have sought to grab international recognition of their “statehood” unilaterally, while demonizing and criminalizing Israel in international courts.


Then the Palestinians revel in useless peace confabs, like the conference that Paris convened last summer, because this diverts attention from their intransigence and heightens Israel’s diplomatic isolation without actually brokering a peace negotiation that the PA doesn’t want. But none of this bothers the EU. It’s just happy to push Israel toward essentially unilateral withdrawals – without any expectations of real moderation from the Palestinians. Obviously, Israel shouldn’t pay the EU one red cent in “compensation” for its confiscated, cheeky solar panels.


In-your-face EU diplomacy should be met with in-your-face Israeli diplomacy. Perhaps Israel should demand compensation from Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain and Sweden for the Jews persecuted, the Jewish property confiscated, and the synagogues destroyed in their territories over the past 2,000 years. And if our government idiotically dares to settle with the EU, and shells out a single shekel, I am going to withhold paying my taxes in protest.




THE NORWEGIAN ELECTIONS, ISRAEL, AND THE JEWS                                                 

Manfred Gerstenfeld

BESA, October 19, 2017


The current prime minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, leader of the Conservative Party (Hoyre), and three potential coalition parties unexpectedly won Norway’s September 11 elections, receiving 89 out of 170 seats. Creating a government will not be easy, however. The Christian Democrat Party, a Solberg ally that barely passed the entrance threshold of 4%, is opposed to the anti-Islam Progress Party’s continuing in government.


A few months ago, polls indicated that Labor and its allies would return to power. Had that in fact occurred, Labor leader Jonas Gahr Stoere would have become prime minister. In that event, Norway would likely have joined Sweden sooner or later in recognizing a Palestinian Authority government that controls part of the Palestinian territories. In 2011, Anders Breivik murdered 77 people, mainly Labor Party youngsters. Then-prime minister Jens Stoltenberg thereafter publicly proclaimed that Norway, despite this tragic event, would become an even more open democracy. In reality, dissenters who strongly opposed social-democratic rule were even more ostracized than before. (After his 2013 defeat, Stoltenberg became secretary general of NATO.)


As prime minister, Stoltenberg was not so much an anti-Israeli inciter himself as he was tolerant of such incitement by his party and allies. At several venues where he spoke, there were brutal verbal attacks on Israel, but he remained silent. By not confronting these attacks he condoned them. Moreover, the Stoltenberg governments were the only European ones to include the extreme left. Several ministers came from the SV party, some of the founders of which were Norwegian communists. These governments frequently applied double standards against Israel, a behavior that fits the European definition of anti-Semitic acts.


The Stoltenberg government proffered de facto legitimization on the Islamist Palestinian terror group Hamas on several occasions. It also called on Israel to take down the security barrier, which would, had Israel complied, have facilitated Palestinian terror attacks. In yet another example of the poor judgment of a democratic prime minister, the Stoltenberg government also organized major festivities on the occasion of the 150th birthday of the late writer Knut Hamsun, a fanatical admirer of Hitler.


As for Labor leader Stoere, his anti-Israelism reached an extreme point when he wrote a back-cover blurb legitimizing a book by two Norwegian Hamas supporters, Mads Gilbert and Erik Fosse. Writing on the 2009 Cast Lead campaign in Øyne i Gaza (“Eyes in Gaza”), they claimed that Israel had entered the Gaza Strip in 2009 to kill women and children. Stoere has always played both sides, however. In January 2009, the most anti-Semitic riots ever to have taken place in Norway occurred in Oslo. Muslims attacked pro-Israel demonstrators with potentially lethal projectiles. Stoere visited the Oslo synagogue afterward to express his solidarity with the Jewish community.


A study, paid for by the government, was published in 2012 by the Norwegian Center for Studies of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities. The study found that 38% percent of Norwegians believe Israel acts towards the Palestinians the way the Nazis behaved towards the Jews. During Erna Solberg’s tenure as prime minister, which began in 2013, extreme anti-Israelism among organizations mainly on the Norwegian left continued apace. The large trade union LO, which is a major force behind the Labor Party, came out in favor of totally boycotting Israel. In 2014, the Christian youth organization YMCA-YWCA voted in favor of a boycott on goods and services from the territories. (The Oslo chapter rejected the boycott.)


It is easy to underestimate the importance of Norway because it is not a member of the EU and has only about 5 million inhabitants. Yet its huge gas and oil income has enabled it to make major donations abroad, including to Palestinian causes. Labor governments did so extensively, and the Solberg government has continued the practice. In May of this year, however, Norway asked for funds it had donated to a center for women in the West Bank village of Barak to be returned. It had become known that the center was named for Dalal Mughrabi, who led the 1978 massacre on a highway near Tel Aviv that killed 37 Israeli civilians, many of them children, and wounded dozens.


A recent study by Jonas Duc Enstad of Oslo University’s Center for the Study of Extremism stated that it seems that “most anti-Semitic incidents in Norway are caused by Arabs and left-wing radicals.” As Sweden’s government is currently the main anti-Israel inciter in Europe, it is interesting to note that before the elections, Norwegian Immigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug, of the Progress Party, kept warning that Norway should not allow “Swedish conditions” to develop. The Financial Times wrote: “That is code for the gang warfare, shootings, car burnings and other integration problems that Sweden has endured recently in the suburbs of its three largest cities, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.” One might also recall that Malmö is considered by many experts the anti-Semitism capital of Europe.


Listhaug traveled to Stockholm shortly before the elections and visited the extremely violent Rinkeby suburb. She made a point of noting that there are more than 60 no-go zones in Sweden. Sweden, with its 10 million citizens, is the dominant Scandinavian country, and many Swedes look down on Norway. This unusual Norwegian criticism hit Sweden below the belt, all the more so as it is largely true. If Solberg manages to govern for four years, this may enable Israel to further improve relations with Norway and better counteract its leftwing enemies there.                        



EUROPE HAS A ‘JEWISH’ SOCCER TEAM PROBLEM                                                                  

Cnaan Liphshiz

JTA, Oct. 24, 2017


Seventeen-year-old Sjuul Deriet, standing outside this port city’s main soccer stadium on a rainy Sunday, vividly explains why he hates the people he calls “the Jews.” “They have the money, they run the business from management positions and they think they’re better than blue-collar people like us,” said Deriet, who works at a catering business. Yes, the statement sounds like typical anti-Semitic cliches. But it has nothing to do with actual Jews, Deriet hastened to tell JTA. “I have nothing against your people. When I say I hate Jews, I just mean supporters of Ajax,” he said, referring to the Amsterdam soccer team that is an archrival of Deriet’s beloved Feyenoord Football Club of Rotterdam.


For the uninitiated: Fans of Ajax are often referred to as “the Jews,” likely because of the historical presence of Jews in the Dutch capital. As it happens, there are several soccer teams across Europe that are known as “Jewish” for similar reasons, including England’s Tottenham Hotspurs — they once had a strong fan base among the Jewish immigrants of North London — as well as Italy’s Roma and Germany’s Bayern Munich. Both supporters and detractors often call the clubs Jewish, leading to some complicated situations. For example, it’s not uncommon at matches for fans of these teams to wave Israeli flags or shout their adoration for “the Jews.” At the same time, however, the detractors often display acrimonious hatred of “the Jews” — an uncomfortable situation that, depending on whom you ask, is either fed by or feeding anti-Semitism’s seeming comeback in Europe.


“Anti-Semitism in the stadiums has allowed the hate songs to gradually seep into society at large,” Manfred Gerstenfeld, a researcher of anti-Semitism and fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, wrote in a 2011 research paper titled “Antisemitism and the Dutch Soccer Fields.” Gerstenfeld’s paper shows how the chant “Hamas, Jews to the gas” has moved in Holland from the soccer pitch to anti-Israel protests.


In the case of Ajax, its “Jewish” nickname dates to the 1970s. It has the Amsterdam locale, and the team has had several Jewish managers and players — notably the late Johnny Roeg and Daniël de Ridder — as Ajax archivist Wim Schoevaart told Israeli filmmaker Nirit Peled in 2012. Peled made a film,“Super Jews,” about the team’s Jewish ties. Ajax also had many Jewish fans because — ahem — “they played well and Jews like to get good quality for their money,” added Schoevaart, who died in 2013 at the age of 94. Supporters of England’s Hotspurs proudly call themselves “Yids.” Based in North London, where most of the city’s 250,000 Jews reside, the Tottenham club also earned its Jewish credentials because its three chairmen since 1982 have been Jews.


But nowhere is the Jewish affiliation stronger than among Ajax fans, who like the film call themselves “Super Jews.” They wave giant Israeli flags during matches, sing “Hava Nagila” in stadiums and wear Star of David pendants around their necks. “Maybe it sounds silly, but it was a uniting element that brought fans together,” veteran Ajax fan Ronald Pieldoor told Peled. “They sing about it, they wear the symbols, so it seems that it’s part of the identity of some Ajax supporters.” At the same time, however, this borrowing of Jewish symbols by non-Jews (or “Ajax Jews,” as hardcore supporters call themselves) is triggering some of the most explicit and provocative expressions of anti-Semitic speech seen on the continent.


On Twitter, ahead of Sunday’s match in Rotterdam — Ajax won, 4-1 — fans of the rival team widely shared a picture of two Lithuanian Jewish boys wearing yellow stars taken just before their murder by Nazi collaborators. Ridiculing their suffering, the picture was titled “Back when Amsterdam had only one star.” Jewish organizations decried the tweet as a new low point in a long list of offensive jokes and acts, including Nazi salutes in stadiums and hissing sounds, a reference to gas chambers, made by rivals when Ajax comes on the pitch. One popular anti-Ajax banner reads “Adolf, here are another 11 for you” — a reference to the team’s 11 players.


While similar phenomena occur with Tottenham and Roma, they are particularly loaded in the Netherlands, where Nazis and their collaborators murdered 75 percent of the country’s prewar Jewish population of 140,000 – the highest death rate in Nazi-occupied Western Europe. “It’s extremely hurtful,” said Ronny Naftaniel, a Dutch board member of CEJI, a Brussels-based Jewish organization promoting tolerance through education. Yet not everyone believes the chants are anti-Semitic, per se. To Pieldoor, the veteran Ajax fan, the offensive chants have nothing to do with Jews and everything to do with fans’ desire to provoke Ajax supporters.


Following deadly hooliganism in the 1990s, Dutch police imposed strict measures during games, including a ban on Ajax contingents attending Feyenoord home games and vice versa. “As police got better at keeping us apart, you could no longer have at it, you couldn’t throw bottles at each other, so the only recourse was verbal aggression,” Pieldoor said in the “Super Jews” documentary. Remarks that would be considered anti-Semitic in any other context are not necessarily so in soccer, he argued. Soccer clubs and stadiums in the Netherlands and beyond have banned several fans for chanting insults and praises about Jews. Several court cases for incitement to racial hatred have been opened in recent years against fans who shouted anti-Semitic slogans at soccer matches…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                            





Michel Gurfinkiel

Jewish Chronicle, Oct. 19, 2017


"Burning hatred against France and against Jews, and an orgy of domestic violence." That was how Anne Chenevat, a major witness, described the Merah family – a divorced mother, three sons and two daughters – to the Special Criminal Court of Paris last Tuesday. Mohamed Merah, the youngest of the family's sons, killed seven people – including three Jewish children shot at point-blank range – and maimed six others in the southern French towns of Montauban and Toulouse between March 11 and March 19, 2012. He was himself killed by security forces three days later.


The main defendants in the present trial, which started three weeks ago, are his older brother Abdelkader Merah and his older sister Souad. The siblings are accused of inspiring the killing spree. Abdelkader was arrested in 2012; Souad fled to Algeria. Anne Chenevat, a former partner of the eldest Merah brother, Abdelghani, testified about the toxic influence of the family's Algerian-born mother, Zuleikha Aziri. "I was routinely abused and spat upon by Zuleikha for being 'a dirty French woman' and a 'dirty Jewess'." Anne Chenevat's importance as a witness stems from the fact that she was for six years the partner of Abdelghani Merah, the eldest Merah brother. According to her, Zuleikha Aziri, the Algerian-born mother, would use electric wire to beat her children. Violence between the brothers was rampant: on one occasion, Abdelkader inflicted seven stab wounds on Abdelghani.


Hatred for the non-Muslim French and antisemitism were held as self-evident in the family." As a result, I was routinely abused and spat upon by Zuleikha for being 'a dirty French woman' and a 'dirty Jewess'," Chenevat said. A Catholic by birth, she once admitted to the Merahs that she had a Jewish grandfather. She left Abdelghani because of his addiction to alcohol and drugs and raised their son Theodore alone. Also called also as a witness to the trial, Abdelghani concurred with his former companion about the Merahs' ethnic and religious prejudices: "We all grew up hating France and the Jews, it is a fact."


According to him, Abdelkader turned to radical Islam in 2006 along with Souad and frequently visited salafist mosques and madrasas in Egypt, and was the main nefarious influence on Mohamed. Theodore Chenevat, the son of Anne Chenevat and Abdelghani Merah – now a 21-year-old business and economics student – chillingly told the Court that in order to indoctrinate him into jihad, his uncle Abdelkader shared with him videos of "Islamic beheading" and attempted to have him visit mortuaries. When the counsel of Mohamed Merah's Jewish victims, Elie Korchia, asked him whether Abdelkader and Mohamed should be seen as two heads of a single terrorist beast, he answered that the fugitive older sister Souad should be counted as a third and equally dangerous head. The trial, which is expected to last until early November, continues.




On Topic Links


An Italian Soccer Club Struggles to Battle Anti-Semitism: Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner, Oct. 25, 2017—Lazio, a top flight Italian soccer club, is finally confronting the scourge of anti-Semitism.

Europe: What do Islamic Parties Want?: Judith Bergman, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 29, 2017—Sweden's brand new first Islamic party, Jasin, is aiming to run for the 2018 parliamentary elections.

This BBC Interview Perfectly Illustrates Britain’s Left-Wing Anti-Semitism Problem: Yair Rosenberg, Tablet, Sept. 26, 2017 —At the moment, the British Labour party is holding its annual conference, at which members have been tackling, among other concerns, internal hate speech guidelines.

A UK Angel for Angela?: Francesco Sisci, Settimana News, Sept. 29, 2017—Like many times in the past century, German internal political events toll a bell for Great Britain and the rest of Europe, while the world looks the other way.






Europe’s Got it Way Worse Than Trump’s America: Douglas Murray, New York Post, Sept. 16, 2017— If you think America feels slightly unstable at present, relax. At least you’re not European.

Germany: The Rise of Islam: Giulio Meotti, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 12, 2017— Jan Fleischhauer, a journalist of the weekly magazine Der Spiegel, coined an expression to define the free fall of German Christianity: Selbstsäkularisierung ("self-secularization").

Europe’s Destructive Holocaust Shame: Richard Landes, Tablet, Sept. 5, 2017— When I first heard about Catherine Nay—a prominent, mainstream, French journalist…

Open Letter to the Incoming EU Ambassador to Israel: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 13, 2017— Dear Ambassador Emanuele Giaufret, Welcome to Israel.


On Topic Links


Europe Is Killing Itself (Video): Pat Condell, Youtube, Sept. 7, 2017

Merkel Can't Lead Germany, Much Less the Free World: Alex Berezow, National Interest, Sept. 15, 2017

Illegal Migrant Problem? Greece Offers a Solution: Daniel Pipes, Washington Times, Sept. 12, 2017

Ending the War in Syria Could Be a Disaster for Europe: Mordechai Kedar, Algemeiner, Sept. 18, 2017




Douglas Murray

New York Post, Sept. 16, 2017


If you think America feels slightly unstable at present, relax. At least you’re not European. Currently, Britain is still going through the fallout from last year’s Brexit vote. A year after that shock result, Prime Minister Theresa May put herself before the public to strengthen her hand in negotiations with Brussels. In their wisdom, the British public responded by clobbering May in a general election that stripped her party of its majority in Parliament.


Meanwhile, France has just seen the first presidential election in which neither of the two main parties even made it through to the final round. Instead, the country chose young leader Emmanuel Macron, who had to form his party after being elected. All this is against the usual backdrop of a eurozone staggering from crisis to crisis and a political elite that celebrates when the far-right Austrian Freedom Party “only” receives 46 percent of the votes for the presidency.


In the midst of all this chaos, one country and one woman appear to be standing strong: Germany and its chancellor, Angela Merkel. On Sept. 24, the Germans will go to the polls. These are the first federal elections since 2013, and quite a lot has happened since then.


The minds of German voters will be on many things. They will be thinking about how to stabilize the eurozone, the 19 EU countries that have adopted the euro as their common currency. They will also be wondering how to stop other countries from following Britain in exiting the European Union. During that process, Berlin (along with Paris) will have to pull off the double trick of persuading people that the building is not on fire and reassuring them that the fire doors are in any case jammed. But one more thing also hovers over these elections.


It is now seven years since Chancellor Merkel told her country in a speech in Potsdam that “multiculturalism has utterly failed.” It had been a mistake, she admitted, to think that the guest workers invited into the country since WWII would leave. They did not leave. They stayed. Since then, thanks to growing immigration from the developing world, parallel societies have formed in Germany. All of which was a damning, unprecedented admission by the chancellor. But then in 2015 she did something even more unprecedented and with far more damning consequences. Having admitted that mass immigration into her country had been a disaster when it had been at a relative low point, she opened up her country’s borders to bring in a historically unprecedented number of migrants.


During 2015 up to 1.5 million economic migrants and asylum seekers from Africa, the Middle East and Far East entered Germany, adding an extra 2 percent to the country’s population in just one year. Merkel’s actions spurred a crisis across the entire continent. In the days and months following her unilateral decision, she and her colleagues attempted to bully other European leaders to take on a share of the problem she had presented them with. Some supported her. Others bailed.


As I argue in my latest book “The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam,” there are specific local and historical reasons why the German chancellor did what she did in August 2015. But she also exacerbated an immigration challenge which threatens the whole future of our continent. Any culture would find it hard to accommodate the rapid movement of so many people. But for it to happen at the same time that the European continent is suffering from such a weight of historical guilt, fatigue and lack of self-belief makes it all but impossible.


The situation Merkel identified as a failure in 2010 was turned into a disaster by that same leader during her subsequent term in office. Naturally, like other leaders across Europe, the German government occasionally recognizes it must do something about this. Its main answer is to occasionally talk tough about the problem. Like the politicians of Sweden and other countries, it even occasionally suggests that it will start deporting the hundreds of thousands of illegitimate asylum seekers who (by the EU’s own figures) should never have entered Europe in 2015. But the words “horse,” “gate,” “shut” and “bolted” are on everybody’s minds, even when not on their lips.


In regional elections last September, Merkel’s party was severely punished by the electorate who elected the anti-immigration Alternative for Deutschland party to the country’s regional assemblies. Moreover, the AfD was just three years old when it beat Merkel’s own party into third place in her own constituency. The chancellor subsequently gave what was reported as an “apology,” saying that Germany should have been better prepared for the 2015 crisis. In reality, this was no apology at all.


With the rise of politicians like Geert Wilders in Holland and Marine le Pen in France, there were those who predicted a drubbing for Merkel this year. But both Wilders and Le Pen under-performed in their national polls earlier this year. The AfD is also struggling to break through, and it appears that the German people already expressed their anger last year. This year they look set to maintain the status quo. A recent poll showed most Germans (63 percent) now to be satisfied with the job the Chancellor is doing. It was Hilaire Belloc who famously gave the advice: “Always keep ahold of nurse/For fear of finding something worse.” The German people — surveying the continent around them — are most likely to hold on. The realization that nurse is part of the problem may have to wait for another day.





Giulio Meotti

Gatestone Institute, Sept. 12, 2017


Jan Fleischhauer, a journalist of the weekly magazine Der Spiegel, coined an expression to define the free fall of German Christianity: Selbstsäkularisierung ("self-secularization"). It is the Church being liquidated? The German Bishops' Conference just released the data on the decline of Catholicism in Germany for 2016. In one year, the German Catholic Church lost 162,093 faithful and closed 537 parishes. From 1996 to today, one quarter of the Catholic communities have been closed. "The faith has evaporated," said Cardinal Friedrich Wetter, the Archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1982 to 2007.


Christians in Germany will become a minority in the next 20 years, according to Die Welt. Around 60% of the country is currently Christian, with 24 million Catholics and 23 million Protestants. But that number is falling by 500,000 a year through deaths alone. "Those statistics are embodied by what visitors observe in German cities on Sunday: largely empty churches", the Catholic theologian George Weigel wrote.


German Protestantism is facing the same crisis. Die Zeit revealed that in 2016, 340,000 Protestants passed away, and there were just 180,000 baptisms. Some 190,000 people left the church and just 25,000 people chose to join it. In his most famous lecture, Pope Benedict XVI famously said that the West, including those who do not accept transcendence, should act "etsi Deus daretur", as if God does exist. The old-fashioned Christian society will never come back, but it is critical for even a secular West to stay based on — and profoundly inspired by — its Judeo-Christian values.


The next stage seems to be a German cultural and religious landscape dominated by atheists and two minority religions: Islam and Christianity. If the secularists do not take Western Christian heritage — or at least the Judeo-Christian values from which it sprang — more seriously and start defending it, both atheists and Christians will soon be dominated by the rising political and supremacist religion, Islam. A prominent Muslim fundamentalist organization in Germany, banned by the federal government, calls itself "The True Religion" ("Die Wahre Religion"). They apparently think they are overtaking Judeo-Christian values.


There are dramatic instances of Christian decay in Germany. In the diocese of Trier, for example, site of the oldest Catholic community and the birthplace of Karl Marx, the number of parishes will drop from 903 to 35 by 2020, according to bishop Stephan Ackermann — a decrease of more than 90%. In the diocese of Essen, more than 200 parishes have been closed; their number has fallen from 259 to 43. A demographic decline is also involved in this religious crisis. "Christianity is literally dying in Europe," said Conrad Hackett, head of the researchers who drafted a Pew Forum report a few months ago. In Europe, between 2010 and 2015, Christian deaths outnumbered births by nearly 6 million. In Germany alone, there were about 1.4 million more Christian deaths.


This decline also apparent from the recruitment crisis for the priesthood. The official website of the German Catholic Church, noted in May that the dioceses of Osnabrück and Mainz did not receive any new priests this year. The archdiocese of Munich last year drew only one candidate. Throughout the Archdiocese of Munich today, there are only 37 seminarians in the various training stages, for about 1.7 million Catholics. In comparison, the American diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, currently has 49 seminarians for about 96,000 Catholics. In the U.S., Christianity is strong; in Germany it is literally dying.


A German architect, Joaquim Reinig, told Die Tageszeitung that to integrate Muslim immigrants better, churches should be demolished and replaced with "highly visible mosques". It might sound a bit crazy, but it contains a dramatic truth. In his book The Last Days of Europe, the historian Walter Laqueur wrote that "Germany had some 700 little mosques and prayer rooms in the 1980s, but there are more than 2,500 at the present time". If, in Germany, Christianity is evaporating, Islam is proliferating.


The Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) just opened a new mega-mosque for worship in the German city of Cologne. The new German mega-mosque has a 1,200-person capacity and the tallest minaret of Europe. According to Deutsche Welle, "Christian leaders bristled at the idea of Cologne's famed Dom cathedral sharing the skyline with minarets". When the mosque was planned in 2007, a citizens' initiative was launched to say that "we want the cathedral here, not minarets". The Muslim authorities then announced the plan to "double" the number of mosques…


Since he took power in Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has built 17,000 Islamic prayer sites there. The Turkish president is committed to the construction of mosques in European capitals as well. Turkey controls 900 mosques in Germany and feels free to say that a "liberal mosque" in Germany is "incompatible" with Islam, according to the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. That is why the 57 percent of Germans fear the rise of Islam in their country.


When Chancellor Angela Merkel opened her country to mass migration in 2014, she apparently did not see any cultural problem in accepting more than another million Muslims. In the words of Erdogan, however, "Our minarets are our bayonets, our domes are our helmets, our mosques are our barracks". Islamic regimes are, in fact, offering to fill the empty spaces in Germany's religious landscape. Saudi Arabia proposed building 200 new mosques in Germany, "one for every 100 refugees". Can you imagine Germany offering Iraq, Syria and Egypt to build "200 new churches" to reconstruct the derelict and dispossessed Christian communities there? No, because in the Middle East, Christians have been eradicated in a forced de-Christianization. In Europe, Christians are also becoming extinct by a process of "self-secularization". We risk losing not only our churches, but more importantly, our cultural strength and even confidence in the values of our own civilization.                                                      



EUROPE’S DESTRUCTIVE HOLOCAUST SHAME                                                       

Richard Landes

Tablet, Sept. 5, 2017


When I first heard about Catherine Nay—a prominent, mainstream, French journalist—stating on her Europe1 news program, in reference to the 2000 IDF killing of 12-year-old Muhammad al Durah in the arms of his father, that “with the symbolic charge [of the image of al Durah], Muhammad’s death cancels, erases the [famous WWII] picture of the Jewish boy, his hands up before the SS, in the Warsaw Ghetto,” I realized that Europeans had taken the story as a “get-out-of-Holocaust-guilt-free card.”


At the time I marveled—and continue to marvel—at the astounding folly of the statement. How can a brief, blurry, chopped up video of a boy who, at best was caught in a crossfire started by his own people firing behind him, at worst a lethal fake, eliminate—in fact, replace—a picture that symbolizes the systematic murder of over a million children and their families? How morally disoriented can one get? Apparently, the hope of escaping guilt is enough to induce people to adopt a supersessionist narrative: Israelis are the new Nazis, and Palestinians are the new Jews.


But the profound distinction between guilt and shame suggests that the right formula is “get-out-of-Holocaust-shame-free card.” Doesn’t sound as good. The difference: Guilt is an internally generated sense of moral obligation not to repeat past transgressions, like the extermination of a helpless minority within one’s own society. Shame, on the other hand, is externally generated, driven by the “shaming look” of others (the “honor-group”). Therein lies a key difference: For guilt, it’s the awareness of the deed and its meaning; for shame, it’s whether others know. In some countries in the world, it’s not a question of whether you’re corrupt or not (everyone is, everyone knows), but whether you get caught. When Germans got caught carrying out genocide, their nation was not only guilty of the deed but shamed before the world … for committing such a hideous atrocity? … Or simply for getting caught?


While honor-shame cultures have moral codes, their vulnerability to the fear of shame can readily lead to a jettisoning of any moral concerns. After all, the limbic dread of shame—its disastrous psychological and practical impact—kicks in in times of humiliation and fear. Those afflicted with oneidophobia (overriding [limbic] fear of public blame/humiliation) are desperate that others not see, not know about, not talk about, what they have done; that one not bear the shame publicly, that one need not pay the steep price in social capital for one’s (mis)deeds.


Oneidophobes, people driven by shame-honor dynamics, avoid being subjected to criticism, especially public criticism. They consider both lying (to save face), and, where one can get away with it, violence (to regain respect), as normal recourse. Lancelot could publicly proclaim his innocence of adultery with the Queen because he killed everyone who accused him. Shame-driven oneidophobes want the negative spotlight off at all costs. In cases of those already shamed, they want to have the shame lifted.


Honest searching, motivated by well-deserved guilt, could have led post-Shoah Germans to become the most substantive academic critics of the Western grand narrative. After all, it wasn’t just European lunatics who disliked the Jews. How many great Western figures, when they bothered to mention the Jews, did so disparagingly, as the negative version of their great accomplishment? Instead of viewing this pattern of ancient, medieval, and modern—and now postmodern—denigration of Jews, as “they must be doing something to make others hate them so,” the self-critical German might have asked, “Maybe this has something to do with us and our problems?” German historians might have played a leading role in reinterpreting and integrating the story of the Jews into majority Western history, to a degree no earlier gentile historians had ever done…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]



OPEN LETTER TO THE INCOMING EU AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL                                          

Manfred Gerstenfeld                                        

Jerusalem Post, Sept. 13, 2017


Dear Ambassador Emanuele Giaufret, Welcome to Israel. As the European Union has often given doubtful advice to Israel, I take the liberty of making some suggestions in order to make your assignment here more successful. Please remember that you represent the greater part of a continent where antisemitism has been ingrained in the culture for over a thousand years. The leading academic scholar of antisemitism in our generation, the late Robert Wistrich, has shown that almost all Europe’s ideological currents during those centuries were antisemitic.


Please also be aware that in the past decades EU members have let in – without a selection process – millions of people from countries where most citizens are antisemitic. To make matters worse, in the past two years large numbers of such people have been given the opportunity to immigrate to the EU. The fact is that all Jews who have been killed in Western Europe for ideological reasons in the current century were murdered by Muslim immigrants or their descendants.


Your predecessor, Mr. Ambassador, repeatedly told Israel that “settlement construction was a hindrance to peace.” Sometimes he went so far as to threaten us. For instance in 2014, he stated, “if Israel’s settlement policies wrecked the current US-led peace efforts, then Israel would be held responsible for the failure of the negotiations.” He did not point out that the Palestinian Authority continuously pays high “salaries” to the families of murderers of Israeli civilians. Not mentioning how big a hindrance to peace this is was one of many ways he undermined the EU’s credibility in Israel. He should also have admitted publicly that European countries who finance the PA indirectly reward the murderers of Israelis.


I also suggest that you do not paint rosy pictures of a future peace. Your predecessor told us how beautiful the Middle East would look after a peace agreement is signed. He said, “Israel would be in a pole position to promote regional integration in the eastern Mediterranean” The fact is that despite Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt in 1978 and the one with Jordan in 1994, both countries appear on the list of major anti-Israel inciters and antisemitism promoters in a recent report by the US State Department. Earlier this year Palestinian murderers coming from the Temple Mount killed Israeli policemen. Israel thereupon took security measures which the Palestinians turned into an opportunity for international Muslim incitement against Israel. It is not difficult to see that after Israel makes territorial concessions for a two-state peace agreement with the Palestinians, nothing will prevent the Palestinians from creating more unjustified international religious mayhem around the Temple Mount.


I would also suggest that you avoid giving bad advice. Your predecessor advised Israel to collaborate with the UNHRC investigation commission on the 2014 Gaza war despite the fact that the UNHRC is biased against Israel from the outset. Also please avoid making statements in which the lack of truth is transparent. For example, your predecessor’s attempt to deny the discriminatory character of the EU’s labeling of products from the West Bank. In response, Israel’s Foreign Ministry accused the EU of ignoring more than 200 other territorial conflicts around the world by singling out Israel, since the territories are the only place requiring separate labels.


It is indeed crucial for an EU ambassador to be truthful and credible. In his departure speech Mr. Faaborg-Andersen said that Israel could learn from Europe about fighting terrorism. There have been far more attempted terrorist attacks in Israel than in Europe. Yet none of the deadly attacks in Israel have seen as many people killed as those in Madrid in 2004, in London in 2005, in Paris in 2015 and in Nice in 2016. There is much information about EU member countries’ lack of ability to identify the early radicalization of Muslim individuals, as well as their intention to join jihadi organizations and carry out terrorist attacks.


Your predecessor also said that “antisemitism in Europe is a phenomenon we are combating – even more than Israel is.” The first step to effectively combat antisemitisms is to establish an accepted definition of it. The only working definition accepted by some in Europe was suddenly taken off the website of the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency in 2013. What would have been easier for the EU than to accept the 2016 definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and become an associated member of the IHRA? It did not. All the above has helped create suspicion toward the EU even if there are many interesting aspects to EU-Israeli cooperation…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]




On Topic Links


Europe Is Killing Itself (Video): Pat Condell, Youtube, Sept. 7, 2017

Merkel Can't Lead Germany, Much Less the Free World: Alex Berezow, National Interest, Sept. 15, 2017—Angela Merkel is likely cruising to an easy re-election as Germany’s chancellor. Because many pundits in America refer to her as the “leader of the free world,” it is tempting to speculate that her electoral success is due to keen wisdom and firm leadership. In reality, quite the opposite is the case. In many ways, Angela Merkel is Germany’s Bill Clinton, minus the philandering.

Illegal Migrant Problem? Greece Offers a Solution: Daniel Pipes, Washington Times, Sept. 12, 2017—As Western states prove incapable of deporting their millions of illegal migrants – the current crisis features Italy – authorities in Greece have found a surprising and simple way to convince them to take the long route back home.

Ending the War in Syria Could Be a Disaster for Europe: Mordechai Kedar, Algemeiner, Sept. 18, 2017—Blinded by the smokescreen of the war against ISIS, the world failed to notice that Tehran was taking over considerable parts of Syria — particularly in the sparsely populated center and east of the country.








An Onslaught of Islamist Violence Is Europe's New Normal: Sam Westrop, Daily Caller, Apr. 24, 2017 — Following similar attacks in London, Stockholm, Paris, Nice, Berlin and Israel, Europe is waking up to the fact that these abrupt acts of murder — using knives, guns and cars — are the new norm.

Europe’s Rising Islam-Based Political Parties: Abigail R. Esman, Algemeiner, Apr. 23, 2017 — For the past several months, eyes across the world have been trained on the growing far-right movements sweeping Europe and America — from the neo-Nazi groups in Germany and the United States, to the increasing popularity of France’s National Front. But another, far less noticed — but sometimes equally-radical movement — is also emerging across Europe: the rise of pro-Islam political parties, some with foreign support from the Muslim world. And the trend shows no sign of stopping.

The Muslim Brotherhood Has Earned Its Terrorist Designation: Cynthia Farahat, The Washington Times, Apr. 23, 2017 — In an April 11 Brookings Institution report titled "Is the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization?" senior fellow Shadi Hamid states that the Trump administration's proposed designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group "could have significant consequences for the U.S., the Middle East, and the world."

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Islam’s Most Eloquent Apostate: Tunku Varadarajan, The Wall Street Journal, Apr. 7, 2017 — We are in a secure room at a sprawling university, but the queasiness in my chest takes a while to go away. I’m talking to a woman with multiple fatwas on her head, someone who has a greater chance of meeting a violent end than anyone I’ve met (Salman Rushdie included). And yet she’s wholly poised, spectacles pushed back to rest atop her head like a crown, dignified and smiling under siege.


On Topic Links


If You Still Think There Is Such Thing As a Moderate Muslim, Watch This and Think Again…: Israel Video Network, Apr. 27, 2017

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Germany: March 2017: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, Apr. 28, 2017

The Purge of a Report on Radical Islam Has Put NYC at Risk: Paul Sperry, New York Post, Apr. 15, 2017

Is Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood Still the Loyal Opposition?: Nur Köprülü, The Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2017



Sam Westrop                                              

Daily Caller, Apr. 24, 2017


Last Thursday, in an attack that has started to feel routine, Karim Cheurfi opened fire on French police on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, killing a police officer. Cheurfi then wounded two others before he was shot and killed. Police later found a note in which he expressed support for the Islamic State, which later declared him their "soldier." Following similar attacks in London, Stockholm, Paris, Nice, Berlin and Israel, Europe is waking up to the fact that these abrupt acts of murder — using knives, guns and cars — are the new norm.


Over the last five years, there has been a noticeable change in jihadist methods. During the 2000s, Al Qaeda and other violent Islamist groups were preoccupied with large explosions –terrorist acts that took months of planning, networks of contacts, sources of funding, and supplies of explosive material. The effects, when successful, produced enormous casualties and made for dramatic television. But these plots were also ripe for discovery by law enforcement: large money transfers were noticed, explosive materials were tracked, conspirators were surveilled and Muslim informants exposed whole Islamist cells.


On the other hand, acquiring a gun, picking up a knife, or simply getting into your car requires hardly any planning at all. Islamists have realized that ersatz terror may kill fewer people than showpiece terror, but its effects are just as terrifying and its success rate is far higher. Islamist low-tech terrorism was first advocated seriously in 2010. Al-Qaeda in Yemen (led by the late American Islamist, Anwar Al-Awlaki) encouraged Muslims to get in their pick-up trucks, which they referred to as "Ultimate Mowing Machines," and "mow down the enemies of Allah."


Then, in 2014, ISIS called on Western Muslims to use vehicles, knives – anything to hand: "If you are not able to find an I.E.D. or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him."


Cheurfi was born in France, and had a long criminal record. From 2001, he was imprisoned for 11 years after shooting at two police officers from a stolen car. He was not identified as a possible Islamist until December 2016, according to Le Monde, after police were warned that he was planning an attack. In February, he repeated the threats on a messaging app, and was questioned by police. Then, in March, he attempted to contact ISIS fighters in Syria. By that point, he had been included on a list of 16,000 Islamists the security services deemed potential violent extremists.


Europe faces an onslaught. France, in particular, has far more potential terrorists than security service resources to stop them. Along with more effective counter-terrorism work, the only possible long-term solution for Europe, is to actively stamp out all violent and non-violent Islamist influence, and back reformist Muslims instead.


Over the past few decades, Europe's radicalization problem has been severely exacerbated by the attitudes of government towards their Muslim communities. European state multiculturalism policy regards its citizens not as individuals, but as blocs — or communities — delineated by ethnicity, race and religion. In order to interact with these communities, governments need intermediaries to manage them. Among European Muslims, where there is no organized clergy, only the Islamists have had the wherewithal to proclaim themselves representatives of the dozens of different, fractious political and religious Islamic sects. To run the communities, governments have handed these Islamist leadership groups taxpayers' money, political power, and influence over schools, hospitals, prisons, chaplaincy programs, among other things.


Consequently, an entire generation of European Muslims have grown up attending Islamist-run mosques, schools and community centers. Islamist politicians are elected to government offices, Muslim prisoners are placed in the care of Islamist chaplains, and Islamist charities move money to and from the Middle East – much of it partly subsidized by European taxpayers. In strictly secular France, its multiculturalism policy funds ethnic groups rather than religious ones. But because the clear majority of French Muslims are from North Africa, taxpayer subsidy of these communities ends up being claimed by the Islamists as well.


For Karim Cheurfi, radicalization was not necessarily the result of slick propaganda videos produced by Islamic State, or a particularly convincing contact on social media. His introduction to Islamism was offline – it occurred simply by virtue of the fact he was a European Muslim, surrounded and politically represented by a community under the thumb of Islamist ideologues.


For Europe to survive, the Islamists must be squashed. Funding must be cut off, both from Western governments and foreign Islamist regimes. Extremist mosques must be shut down, extremist foreign clerics should be deported, and moderate, anti-Islamist Muslims must be funded and supported. Most importantly, Western Europe must stop organizing its Muslim citizens into homogenous religious and ethnic blocs, ripe for radicalization.





Abigail R. Esman

Algemeiner, Apr. 30, 2017


For the past several months, eyes across the world have been trained on the growing far-right movements sweeping Europe and America — from the neo-Nazi groups in Germany and the United States, to the increasing popularity of France’s National Front. But another, far less noticed — but sometimes equally-radical movement — is also emerging across Europe: the rise of pro-Islam political parties, some with foreign support from the Muslim world. And the trend shows no sign of stopping.


Holland’s Denk (“Think”) party, established and led by two Turkish immigrants, is among the most significant. Denk won three seats in the Dutch parliament last month, becoming the country’s “fastest-growing” new party, according to the Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad. Its platform is to replace ideas of integration with “mutual acceptance” — a charming but antiquated idea in a culture where one group accepts gay marriage and the other is taught that homosexuals should be shoved off of tall buildings. It also proposes the establishment of a dedicated “anti-racism” police force.


While not the first of such Islamic parties in European politics, Denk’s March 15 election victory has made it an inspiration to others. Islamist parties now see a new chance for success, while political aspirants across Europe are making plans to start similar parties of their own. Hence, while the focus of this week’s French elections will be on Marine Le Pen’s National Front, many European Muslims will also be watching the Equality and Justice Party (PEJ), led by French-Turk Sacir Çolak.


Like Denk, this French party claims to be a voice for the downtrodden, fighting “inequalities and injustices,” according to a report by the Turkish Anadolu news agency. But also like Denk, PEJ has been accused of representing Turkey’s president — a man who has spoken out against assimilation and integration, and called on European Turks to reject Western values. And the PEJ is not alone in France:


The French Union of Muslim Democrats (UDMF), founded in 2012, made headlines when it entered the 2015 electoral race. Its platform seemed more moderate than many of its fellow Muslim parties across Europe; UDMF founder Nagib Azergui has insisted in interviews that he respects the secular foundation of the French republic, and advocates philosophy and civic education classes that would help mitigate against the recruitment efforts of Muslim extremists. The party does, however, seek to establish sharia-compliant banks, and calls for Turkey to become a member of the European Union. Further, UDMF seeks to re-install the right of Muslim girls to wear headscarves in public schools, a move that could be seen as a gesture towards re-introducing religion into the secular sphere.


Austria, too, has seen a rise in Islamic political parties, such as the New Movement for the Future (NBZ), which, like Denk and the PEJ, was founded by Turkish immigrants. Unlike the others parties, however, NBZ has made little effort to hide its loyalty to Turkey. Following the failed 2016 Turkish coup, for instance, its leader, Adnan Dinçer, called on Austria to respect Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s clampdown and the mass arrests that followed. It is worth noting, however, that Austria’s far right has been particularly virulent in its anti-Islam activity, calling for Islam itself to be banned from the country. Such motions inevitably bring forth counter-movements from the targeted groups, and it was those actions that inspired Dinçer to form the NBZ.


But it was Denk’s success, above all, that inspired Lebanese-Belgian activist Dyab Abou Jahjah to establish his newest political effort: a party (to date, unnamed) aimed at “Making Brussels Great Again, a la Bernie Sanders,” according to an interview in the Belgian newspaper de Morgen. This would be a third attempt at political relevance for Jahjah, who first came into the public eye in 2002 as the founder of the Brussels-based Arab-European League, a pan-European political group that aimed to create what he called a Europe-wide “sharocracy” — a sharia-based democracy.


In 2003, the AEL organized a political party, RESIST, to run in the Brussels elections; it received a mere 10,000 votes. Now, Jahjah, who also runs an activist group called Movement X, hopes to run in Brussels’ 2018 elections. While his party has yet to declare a platform, his anti-American, anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian and anti-European rants on Facebook and elsewhere give an indication of his plans. So, too, did a recent blog post in which he wrote: “we must defeat the forces of supremacy, the forces of sustained privileges, and the forces of the status-quo. We must defeat them in every possible arena.”


And he is not alone. Days after Denk’s win, fellow Belgian Ahmet Koç announced his own initiative, the details of which are also yet to be determined. But some things are easy enough to predict on the basis of his past: the Turkish-Belgian politician was thrown out of Belgium’s socialist party in 2016 for supporting Erdogan’s efforts to censor Europeans who insulted him publicly. He also called for Belgian Turks to rise up against the “traitors” of the 2016 coup.


Both Koç and Jahjah will have to reckon with the ISLAM party, which has already established itself in the Brussels area. Founded in 2012, ISLAM–which is as an acronym for “Integrité, Solidarité, Liberté, Authenticité, Moralité”— is unapologetically religious. Its leaders pride themselves on following the koran, not party politics. With branches already in place in the Brussels districts of Anderlecht, Molenbeek (the center of Belgian radicalism) and Luik, the party now plans to expand throughout the Brussels region.


So far, none of the existing parties has had a great deal of success — and the emerging parties have yet to make their platforms known, let alone acquire active supporters. But as Denk founder Tunahan Kuzu proudly announced after the March elections, a new voice has now gained power in European government. But what that voice ultimately will be, and the strength of its commitment to secular and democratic values, remains yet to be seen.      





Cynthia Farahat

The Washington Times, Apr. 23, 2017


In an April 11 Brookings Institution report titled "Is the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization?" senior fellow Shadi Hamid states that the Trump administration's proposed designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group "could have significant consequences for the U.S., the Middle East, and the world." Among many astounding claims in the report, the three most misleading among them begin with his statement that the Muslim Brotherhood is a "non-violent Islamist group," that "there is not a single American expert on the Muslim Brotherhood who supports designating it as a Foreign Terrorist Organization," and that President Trump's advisors were enlisting Americans in what Mr. Hamid calls "civilization struggle."


First, there is overwhelming evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood is indeed a violent terrorist organization. The Brotherhood's slogan is "'Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope." Thus, it shouldn't come as a surprise that nearly every Sunni terrorist group in the world was either fully or partially founded by active or former Brotherhood operatives. Brotherhood-linked terrorist organizations include ISIS, al-Qaeda, Hamas, and al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya. Moreover, the Brotherhood also has active militias such as the "95 Brigade," a Brotherhood terrorist group founded in 1995, which is currently operating under the direction of the Brotherhood Guidance office. The Brotherhood also has a well-funded transnational multi-lingual propaganda machine, which makes it more dangerous.


In a series of interviews with al-Jazeera TV, Osama Yassin, a minister in former President Mohammed Morsi's cabinet, revealed that the 95 Brigade engaged in the abduction, beating, and torture of "thugs" and threw Molotov cocktails at its opponents. The brigade's operatives were also implicated in the killing of anti-Brotherhood protestors. In March 2014, for example, two Brotherhood operatives were sentenced to death after an online video clip showed them killing a teenager by throwing him from a building.


Under Mr. Morsi's leadership, current Brotherhood leaders were personally involved in torture. During an interview with al-Jazeera TV in 2011, Brotherhood leader Safwat Hegazy bragged about his involvement in torturing a man whom he suspected was a police officer.


Egyptian Ambassador to Venezuela Yehyia Najm is among the numerous victims of what is known in Egypt as the "Brotherhood's Slaughterhouses." Ambassador Najm stated that the room where he was held captive and tortured with 49 other people, was "like a Nazi camp." This is Mr. Shadi Hamid's idea of a "non-violent group."


Second, Mr. Hamid's claim that there are no American experts on the Muslim Brotherhood who support its designation as a terror group, is wrong. The Middle East Forum, one of the America's most renowned think tanks that specializes in Middle East and Islamic terrorism studies, supports the Brotherhood's terror designation. Also, Mr. Trump's advisor, Walid Phares, one of America's most respected experts on Islamic terrorism and the Middle East, supports the Brotherhood's terror designation. Andrew C. McCarthy III, former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, who led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and 11 others, also supports the Brotherhood terror designation. Yet, Mr. Hamid chooses to ignore them, as he also chooses to ignore other facts. Brotherhood-linked terrorist organizations include al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Hamas.


Third, Mr. Hamid claimed that, "This language works to enlist Americans to join the "civilizational struggle" — an idea once reserved for those from the farthest fringes of the far right in the United States, now held by people in the very center of American power: the White House."


Mr. Hamid may have borrowed the term "civilization struggle," or "A'mali Jihadia Hadaria" (civilization jihad operation), from the Muslim Brotherhood's International Apparatus. The nihilistic term first appeared in a 1991 document titled "The Explanatory Memorandum," which outlined the Muslim Brotherhood's strategic goals for North America. This memorandum was entered as evidence in the Holy Land Foundation terror funding trial in 2008, the largest terror financing case in U.S. history.


This wouldn't be the first time the Brookings Institution engaged in misleading disinformation on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood. For example, a Brookings Institution article stated that the fourth of the Muslim Brotherhood's 10 thawabet (precepts) in its bylaws specified that "during the process of establishing democracy and relative political freedom, the Muslim Brotherhood is committed to abide by the rules of democracy and its institutions." Hamid's report was published by the Qatar-financed Brookings Institution.


This is a bold misrepresentation of the fourth precept. According to the Brotherhood's own standards and internal bylaws, the fourth precept is violent jihad and martyrdom, which the Brotherhood states is an obligation of every individual Muslim, as well as the collective obligation of their organization. There is a civilization jihad or struggle as Mr. Hamid called it, but it's waged against America and the Western world by the very people he is defending. To answer Mr. Hamid's question as to whether the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization, the answer is yes, indeed it is a terrorist organization.

Mr. Trump's administration needs to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terror group. Congress should also require think tanks to disclose any foreign funding received while lobbying Congress. These financial disclosures will help combat disinformation campaigns targeting lawmakers, including reports like Mr. Hamid's.




Tunku Varadarajan

The Wall Street Journal, Apr. 7, 2017


The woman sitting opposite me, dressed in a charcoal pantsuit and a duck-egg-blue turtleneck, can’t go anywhere, at any time of day, without a bodyguard. She is soft-spoken and irrepressibly sane, but also—in the eyes of those who would rather cut her throat than listen to what she says—the most dangerous foe of Islamist extremism in the Western world. We are in a secure room at a sprawling university, but the queasiness in my chest takes a while to go away. I’m talking to a woman with multiple fatwas on her head, someone who has a greater chance of meeting a violent end than anyone I’ve met (Salman Rushdie included). And yet she’s wholly poised, spectacles pushed back to rest atop her head like a crown, dignified and smiling under siege.


Ayaan Hirsi Ali, born in Somalia in 1969, is Islam’s most eloquent apostate. She has just published a slim book that seeks to add a new four-letter word—dawa—to the West’s vocabulary. It describes the ceaseless, world-wide ideological campaign waged by Islamists as a complement to jihad. It is, she says, the greatest threat facing the West and “could well bring about the end of the European Union as we know it.” America is far from immune, and her book, “The Challenge of Dawa,” is an explicit attempt to persuade the Trump administration to adopt “a comprehensive anti-dawa strategy before it is too late.”


Ms. Hirsi Ali has come a long way from the days when she—“then a bit of a hothead”—declared Islam to be incapable of reform, while also calling on Muslims to convert or abandon religion altogether. That was a contentious decade ago. Today she believes that Islam can indeed be reformed, that it must be reformed, and that it can be reformed only by Muslims themselves—by those whom she calls “Mecca Muslims.” These are the faithful who prefer the gentler version of Islam that she says was “originally promoted by Muhammad” before 622. That was the year he migrated to Medina and the religion took a militant and unlovely ideological turn …

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]


On Topic Links


If You Still Think There Is Such Thing As a Moderate Muslim, Watch This and Think Again…: Israel Video Network, Apr. 27, 2017—It is not Islamophobic to note the tragic fact that, at this time in history, the Muslim world is dominated by bad ideas and bad beliefs. That is why millions of so-called moderate Muslims do not rise up to denounce Islamist terror – because the word “moderate,” as we understand it, doesn’t really apply.

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Germany: March 2017: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, Apr. 28, 2017— "What is clear is that the financing of mosques by foreign actors must stop." — Jens Spahn, a member of the executive committee of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU).

The Purge of a Report on Radical Islam Has Put NYC at Risk: Paul Sperry, New York Post, Apr. 15, 2017— The NYPD has had a stellar track record of protecting the city from another 9/11, foiling more than 20 planned terrorist attacks since 2001. But some worry the department is losing its terror-fighting edge as it tries to please Muslim grievance groups.

Is Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood Still the Loyal Opposition?: Nur Köprülü, The Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2017— The Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, the key Islamist movement in the country, has had a long-standing symbiotic relationship with the monarchy and, until recently, was not considered a threat to the survival of the Hashemite Kingdom. But the rise and fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the growth of militant Islamist groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS) have alarmed the monarchy and led to a drastic shift in the nature of its relations with the Brotherhood from coexistence to persecution.


Trump and the Israelization of American Politics: Dr. Alex Joffe, BESA, Apr. 24, 2017— It is now routine to compare Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu. Both are unabashed “nationalists” (albeit of different sorts), both bluster and bully their opponents, and both share a dire outlook on the global situation. A closer look, of course, reveals them to have very little in common, except perhaps for their shared interest in living well.

The White House Never Really Fully Supported Israel — Till Trump Arrived: Lawrence Solomon, National Post, May. 8, 2017— Barack Obama was arguably the most hostile U.S. president that Israel ever faced; at best, he was indifferent to Israel’s welfare. But Obama was hardly alone in treating Israel as dispensable. Every previous president, without exception, adopted policies that put Israel’s very existence at risk.

The Trump Doctrine: President’s Emerging Foreign Affairs Philosophy Appears Surprisingly Traditional: Tom Blackwell, National Post, Apr. 21, 2017 — Donald Trump was not going to take it any more from Kim Jong-Un. With dictator Kim’s North Korea poised to carry out another nuclear or missile test earlier this month, the U.S. president responded aggressively.

French Jews, Relieved by Le Pen Election Defeat, Still Cautious About Future: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, May. 7, 2017 — After President Bashar al-Assad of Syria once again attacked his own citizens with poison gas, the civilized world recoiled in horror at images of children writhing in pain and suffocating to death. French Jews breathed a sigh of relief as far right candidate Marine Le Pen was roundly defeated by centrist Emmanuel Macron in the second and final round of the country’s presidential election on Sunday — but experts warned that the community still faces tough decisions over its long-term future.


On Topic Links


Debate Between Fmr. Member of Knesset Moshe Feiglin and Prof. Alan Dershowitz [WATCH]: ILTV Israel Daily, May 4, 2017

At White House Meeting with Trump, Palestinian Leader Signals Abandonment of Unilateral Statehood Recognition Strategy: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, May 3, 2017

What Do Trump’s First 100 Days Mean for Israel?: Abra Forman, Breaking Israel News, Apr. 30, 2017

Why Everything You Think You Know About Foreign Policy Is Wrong: Lee Smith, Tablet, May 1, 2017

Marine Le Pen Defeated But France's Far Right is Far From Finished: Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian, May 7, 2017





Dr. Alex Joffe                         

BESA, Apr. 24, 2017


It is now routine to compare Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu. Both are unabashed “nationalists” (albeit of different sorts), both bluster and bully their opponents, and both share a dire outlook on the global situation. A closer look, of course, reveals them to have very little in common, except perhaps for their shared interest in living well. Where Trump is the scion of a hard-driving New York real estate mogul, Netanyahu is the scion of an intellectual dedicated to the Zionist cause. Trump never served in the military and came to politics late; Netanyahu was a decorated soldier effectively involved in politics from birth.


These comparisons are interesting, if unrevealing. But a critical element Trump and Netanyahu do share is that their opponents are weak and scattered. In each country, a position of strength provides ample room to execute policies, but it results in lopsided politics. Authoritarian temptations loom while opposition politics eschew cooperation in favor of “resistance” and radicalism. The chaotic state of Israeli politics, not merely on the left but across the political spectrum, is a harbinger of what awaits America.


The weaknesses of the American Democratic and Israeli Labor parties are largely self-inflicted. Trump and Netanyahu are products of the deterioration of politics in both countries, not the causes. No one forced either party over the decades to move further and further left or to haughtily represent itself as the sole bastion of morality, even as each came to represent perverse alliances between the privileged and the aggrieved, at the expense of the middle and lower classes. And no one forced either party to run candidates like Hillary Clinton, uniquely corrupt and brittle, or Itzhak Herzog, weak and vacillating. In turn, electorates are under no obligation to settle for such candidates.


But here the common political style of Trump and Netanyahu also comes into play. They are bullying and dismissive of their critics and rivals and indulgent of allies; reliant on shadowy personal associates; addicted to deals and gambits; and both willing and able to go over the heads of experts and the media to speak directly to the voters in blunt and often fear-mongering terms, using rhetoric that appeals to the electorates’ lesser angels. Each is regularly (and absurdly) accused of being “fascist”; at worst, they are merely populists with occasional demagogic flourishes that provide useful cover for policies that range, for the most part, from the pragmatic to the timid. And each has the confounding ability to put aside the bluster on occasion and speak in measured, thoughtful tones. All this has helped keep the Israeli opposition fractured, and it may do so in the US as well.


Netanyahu has been prime minister for almost eight years, at the head of a coalition that has crept ever rightward. During that time, the opposition has repeatedly splintered. The leading figures of the Israeli opposition – Herzog, Shelly Yachimovich, Ami Ayalon, and others – are fractious, uncharismatic, and unlikely to catalyze the electorate. The opposition is united only by shared antipathy toward Netanyahu, scarcely a platform for a successful campaign or productive coalition-building.


The situation in the US is no more reassuring. The national Democratic Party has moved dramatically to the left, thanks to both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and at the same time evaporated on the national and local levels. The root of the problem is that the party has devolved into an umbrella primarily representing public employees, finance/media/entertainment/technology conglomerates, and an assortment of minorities, from Latinos and blacks to ever-smaller demographics like the transgendered. The Democratic platform is open borders, anti-anti-Islamism, support for every conceivable type of non-military spending, and, of course, absolute and total opposition to Trump. Compromise is anathema. Worse yet, violent “resistance” in word and deed is increasingly valorized by opposition leaders.


In both countries, the media has long segmented itself into right and left, the latter becoming more shrill the further it is from power – witness the transformation of The New York Times into Haaretz. Impartiality in media, and increasingly politics, is regarded as quaintly antiquated, dereliction of duty, or criminal complicity. Again, neither Trump nor Netanyahu is a fascist, but their persistently labeling as such by their opponents erodes the meaning of the word. Crying wolf lowers democracy’s defenses. So, too, do repeated cries to “save democracy” from democratically elected leaders.


In short, opposition politics in both countries have, largely through their own devices and with a push from elected leaders, devolved into enraged and inarticulate defenses of the statist status quo. Deprived of the power they feel is their due, they continue to move steadily left. The Democratic National Committee has now elected as its head Tom Perez, former Justice Department official and Labor Secretary and a key player in Obama’s racial partitioning agenda. His deputy, Keith Ellison, is Muslim and a borderline socialist, an appointment designed to further the party’s identity politics and ideological direction…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]






Lawrence Solomon

National Post, May 8, 2017


Barack Obama was arguably the most hostile U.S. president that Israel ever faced; at best, he was indifferent to Israel’s welfare. But Obama was hardly alone in treating Israel as dispensable. Every previous president, without exception, adopted policies that put Israel’s very existence at risk.


Trump, who will break with precedent by visiting Israel — rather than Canada or Mexico — during his first international trip as president, has to date done nothing to tie Israel’s hands against its existential threats. To the contrary, Trump’s foreign policy aligns well with Israel’s.


Most U.S. presidents saw Israel as an impediment to furthering U.S. interests. In the early decades of Israel’s existence, during the Cold War era following the Second World War, the U.S. was intent on wooing the Arab states, both to prevent the spread of communism and to keep Middle East oil at the disposal of the West. Israel — a tiny country with no oil and an insignificant military — was an obstacle to U.S. diplomacy, all the more so since the U.S. public was unstintingly pro-Israel.


Harry Truman is often given credit for voting at the United Nations in favour of the creation of Israel as a state. Yet that vote was given grudgingly, and only after repeated efforts by his administration to foil Israel’s creation.


Convinced that an Israeli state of a few hundred thousand civilians could not withstand an invasion by the professional armies of the Arab states on Israel’s borders, Truman in 1948 demanded that the would-be Israelis place themselves under UN Trusteeship, rather than declare independence. To make the case to the Israelis that they would be wiped out in the event of an Arab invasion, Truman’s secretary of State, George Marshall, threatened Israel with an arms embargo, to leave the Jews defenceless against the British-armed Arabs. For good measure, the Americans also threatened UN sanctions against the Israelis, and argued that a second Holocaust would result if they didn’t follow America’s advice.


Israel nevertheless declared independence and — although Truman made good on his threat of an arms embargo, even forbidding gifts of arms by private American citizens — its rag-tag army defeated the combined forces of the six invading nations. Truman again turned the screws on Israel, viewing its actions as dangerous to peace, demanding that it give up West Jerusalem and not encourage a mass immigration of Jews into Israel, which would only lead to more Arab upset.


Truman’s successor, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was also hostile to Israel, staying silent when Egypt blockaded shipping to Israel — a violation of its 1949 armistice agreement with Israel and of international law — and threatening Israel with expulsion from the UN after it defeated Egypt in the 1956 Suez War, despite his acknowledgement that the war had been caused by Egypt’s “grave and repeated provocations.”


Contrary to the popular view that Israel has been militarily dependent on the U.S., the U.S. was more foe than friend for decades. While the U.S. bestowed Israel’s enemies with military aid through a Marshall-type plan for the Middle East, it maintained its arms embargo against Israel into the 1960s, refusing to sell Israel even defensive weapons. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson refused to sell Israel any planes, tanks or other offensive weapons, as did Nixon early in his first administration. Nixon changed the arms policy only after Israel — at Nixon’s behest — proved useful in 1970 in deterring an invasion of Jordan and possibly Saudi Arabia by Soviet-backed Syrian forces. The U.S. needed the Israeli military at that time because its own forces were tied up in the Vietnam War.


In every Arab-Israeli war, the Arab states were the aggressors, yet in every war the Israelis not only fought against the Arabs on the battlefield, they also fought against the U.S. diplomatically. The U.S. invariably pressured Israel, generally successfully, to stop its military advances and to give up war gains.


President Ronald Reagan opposed Israel’s 1981 decision to destroy Saddam Hussein’s Osirak nuclear reactor and punished Israel after it succeeded by embargoing delivery of American F-16 fighters. President George H.W. Bush insisted that Israel not retaliate against Iraq when Saddam Hussein launched 39 Scud missiles into Israel. President George W. Bush opposed Israel’s decision to destroy Syria’s nuclear reactor, which Israel did anyway, and he successfully opposed an Israeli military strike on Iran, as did Obama.


The current president promises to be different. Like all his recent predecessors, Trump provides Israel with generous military aid, but unlike others, he doesn’t see America’s alliance with Israel as a mixed blessing. Trump unambiguously sees Israel as an asset in the war on terror, unconditionally backing it without walking on eggs for fear of offending Arab sensibilities. He has had Israel’s back from Day One of his presidency, something that can’t be claimed for any other president.


Lawrence Solomon is an Academic Fellow for the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research





Tom Blackwell

National Post, Apr. 21, 2017


Donald Trump was not going to take it any more from Kim Jong-Un. With dictator Kim’s North Korea poised to carry out another nuclear or missile test earlier this month, the U.S. president responded aggressively. A naval group led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson was being redirected toward the Korean peninsula, he said, a potent flexing of military muscle in the face of a volatile enemy. The only catch, media reports later made clear, was where that carrier force actually went. For days, it in fact steamed in the opposite direction, toward a pre-arranged exercise with the Australian navy.


Whether the wandering armada’s geographic ambiguity stemmed from a communications glitch or a deliberate feint to rattle the North Koreans, some saw it as a reflection of the new president’s foreign policy generally. Despite no-nonsense assertions on the campaign trail, his international forays so far have included surprises, flip-flops and contradictions. If at this early stage in the administration there is such thing as a Trump Doctrine, it has been difficult to make out.


And yet, some experts — even some who were harshly critical of the president during the campaign — are beginning to glimpse consistent themes, even positive ones, emerging from the noise of Trump’s first months in office. If Trump’s election rhetoric was all about blowing up the foreign-policy orthodoxy — ripping apart free-trade deals, questioning NATO and other alliances, giving up the role of world’s policeman — his presidential actions and personnel appointments, they say, have had a decidedly more conventional flavour.


“Since the inauguration it seems there has been something of a mainstreaming of his foreign policy,” said Matthew Kroenig, a professor at Georgetown University and advisor in both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations. “I’m more optimistic than I think many in Washington are … In many ways a number of things Trump has done already, including the Syria (missile) strikes, are an improvement over his predecessor.” Peter Feaver was among a group of Republican foreign-policy experts who issued a scathing open letter during the campaign, predicting Trump “would be the most reckless president in American history.” But today the Duke University political scientist, a special advisor in George W. Bush’s national security council, isn’t so sure the president is, in fact, delivering recklessness.


Each foreign-policy decision Trump has made since his inauguration has actually moved him further away from the campaign rhetoric that so worried those experts, he maintains. Trump began with his controversial ban on travel from some Muslim countries — now tied up in court and barely mentioned — but moved on to say he no longer believed NATO was “obsolete,” reassure European and Asian allies and take a more measured stance on trade with China, Feaver noted.


Having to confront actual events may be reshaping Trump’s nascent foreign-affairs philosophy. “Every president discovers that campaign rhetoric and campaign promises look differently in the light of day than they did in the middle of the campaign,” Feaver said. “No president gets to impose his or her vision of the world onto reality. You have to deal with reality as it exists.”


The idea of a president’s foreign policy being guided by a unified theme is generally traced back to the Monroe Doctrine, James Monroe’s 1823 manifesto opposing European colonialism in the Americas. Much later, George W. Bush’s doctrine — forged in the wake of the 9/11 attacks — was seen as giving a green light to preventive wars against countries that might attack the States. The Barack Obama doctrine was less well-defined, though generally described as favouring negotiation and diplomacy over unilateral action and confrontation.


As for Trump’s grand strategy, some reports have suggested confusion about it even inside the White House. Just three days before the missile strike against Syria, Mike Dubke, the president’s communications director, told staff that Trump lacked a coherent foreign policy, according to sources cited by Politico. “There is no Trump doctrine,” Politico quoted Dubke as saying. Sean Spicer, the president’s press secretary, quickly tried to correct the record, insisting last week the approach remained “America first,” as touted on the election trail…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]




Ben Cohen

Algemeiner, May. 7, 2017


French Jews breathed a sigh of relief as far right candidate Marine Le Pen was roundly defeated by centrist Emmanuel Macron in the second and final round of the country’s presidential election on Sunday — but experts warned that the community still faces tough decisions over its long-term future.


Projections after the polls closed showed Macron with a comfortable 65 percent of the vote. However, the new French president will be acutely aware that a full 25 percent of voters abstained on the second ballot. As a whole, the election was dominated by extremist challenges, from Le Pen’s National Front on the right and Jean-Luc Melenchon — who won almost 20% of the first-round vote — on the communist-dominated far left.


Macron’s victory on Sunday brought some temporary respite to French Jews, experts told The Algemeiner. “French Jews are very positive about the result, they didn’t want Le Pen to win, so they are happy with that,” said Dr. Dov Maimon, the head of the Europe Desk at the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) in Jerusalem. “Maybe 5 or 10% voted for her, but 90% percent were against her with good reason.”


Michel Gurfinkiel, a leading French political analyst and president of the Jean-Jacques Rosseau Institute in Paris, agreed that the majority of Jews will be pleased by Le Pen’s defeat. “But a majority will still be concerned about their future,” he said. Francis Kalifat, president of the French Jewish representative organization CRIF, tweeted his congratulations at Macron. “It all starts now,” Kalifat declared.


While the immediate threats that would have been posed by a National Front victory have abated — among them a prohibition on the wearing of kippot in public places, measures against Jewish ritual slaughter, and a ban on dual nationality that would have harshly impacted French Jews in Israel — the general pessimism about the community’s long-term future remains. “Macron is a supporter of multiculturalism, which in this case means more power for the Muslim community,” Maimon observed. “70 percent of French Muslims say they don’t like Jews.”


A 2014 poll conducted by CRIF found that over 70 percent of French Muslims believed that Jews “had too much power” over the nation’s media and financial system. Gurfinkiel said that while Macron had made several statements to reassure the Jewish community in the run-up to the election, many Jews remain nervous about some of his key political allies. Among them is the secretary-general of Macron’s En Marche! political movement, veteran socialist politician Richard Ferrand. As well as having donated 2,000 Euros to a Palestinian solidarity group in 2016, Ferrand is said to be a supporter of the BDS movement targeting Israel. Macron, for his part, has voiced firm opposition towards the BDS campaign.


Gurfinkiel said that similar concerns had emerged around former French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, another Macron ally and a frequent critic of Israel. “The big question mark is over whether he will keep these people around,” Gurfinkiel said. Uncertainty among French Jews is not likely to dissipate over the next four weeks, as Macron begins campaigning for a working majority in next month’s parliamentary elections. Gurfinkiel said there was a possibility that the National Front would dissolve into a new party with wider appeal, meaning that Le Pen could end up “as the leader not just of the populist right, but of the entire conservative right in France.”


The coming weeks will see some clarification of the major political questions, said Gurfinkiel. “Is everybody going to flock around Macron? Is the hard left going to try and make it by itself against the National Front and Macron? Is the conservative right able to undergo some kind of resurrection?” he asked. Maimon emphasized that the deeper dilemmas faced by French Jews would not be resolved by a single election. As well as antisemitism and the preservation of Jewish identity, he said, French Jews were worried about the economy, a decline in prosperity and, most of all, the education of the younger generation.




On Topic Links



Debate Between Fmr. Member of Knesset Moshe Feiglin and Prof. Alan Dershowitz [WATCH]: ILTV Israel Daily, May 4, 2017— Former Member of Knesset Moshe Feiglin debates Professor Alan Dershowitz on the merits of the ‘Two-State Solution.’ Feiglin argues that annexation of Judea and Samaria presents the only solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, whereas Dershowitz disagrees and views any such move as an “invitation to conflict.”

At White House Meeting with Trump, Palestinian Leader Signals Abandonment of Unilateral Statehood Recognition Strategy: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, May 3, 2017—Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas offered a strong signal on Wednesday that he would abandon the strategy he pursued in recent years seeking unilateral statehood recognition at international fora in place of peace talks with Israel.

What Do Trump’s First 100 Days Mean for Israel?: Abra Forman, Breaking Israel News, Apr. 30, 2017 —With the completion of President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, a time period often seen as formative for new presidents, the media is taking a close look at what the unconventional leader has accomplished, the tone he has set for his next four years, and the campaign promises he has kept or neglected.

Why Everything You Think You Know About Foreign Policy Is Wrong: Lee Smith, Tablet, May 1, 2017—Politico recently reported that in 2016 the Obama administration freed seven Iranian-born prisoners against the advice of the Department of Justice, which considered them threats to American national security. Obama also forced the DOJ to drop charges against another 14 Iranians involved in criminal activities associated with nuclear proliferation, weapons smuggling, etc.

Marine Le Pen Defeated But France's Far Right is Far From Finished: Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian, May 7, 2017—Le Pen might have been squarely beaten in the presidential runoff by the independent centrist Emmanuel Macron – as voters from the right and left joined forces to block her – but she was still projected to have won up to 11m votes. Le Pen immediately vowed that she would radically overhaul and reinvent her political movement, leaving open the possibility the Front National could be renamed. This was a staggering, historic high for the anti-European, anti-immigration party that during the campaign was slammed by political opponents as racist, xenophobic, antisemitic and anti-Muslim despite Le Pen’s public relations efforts to detoxify its image in recent years.



France and the Benefits of a Little Dictatorship: Andrew Roberts, New York Times, Apr. 28, 2017 — He was only in his 30s when he came to power, defeating a sinister ultraright group that threatened to wreck France.

France's Muslims in the Runoff Election: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Apr. 28, 2017 — The first round in the French elections held on Sunday, April 23rd, resulted in the selection of two front-runners, Emanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, both of whom are a far cry from representing routine politics.

The British Elections, Jews and Israel: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, May 2, 2017— Great Britain’s exit from the European Union, immigration problems and the National Health Service are key issues in the upcoming British general elections on June 8.

Despite UNESCO’s Bias, Jews Won’t Abandon Our Holy Sites: Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein, Algemeiner, May 4, 2017— Forget fake news. UNESCO is promoting an entire fake universe.


On Topic Links


The European Crisis: Ross Douthat, New York Times, May 3, 2017

Europe: More Migrants Coming: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, May 5, 2017

The France of My Youth: Ari Afilalo, Times of Israel, May 5, 2017

UNESCO’s Latest Resolution on Jerusalem: Much of the Same: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, May 3, 2017




Andrew Roberts                      

New York Times, Apr. 28, 2017


He was only in his 30s when he came to power, defeating a sinister ultraright group that threatened to wreck France. Well read and intelligent, he had had the finest education France offered and made the best of it. He had high ambitions for the unity of Continental Europe and France’s foremost place in it, and looked upon a newly isolated Britain with scarcely concealed irritation bordering on contempt. He contemplated military action in Syria. He especially wanted to bring the tens of thousands of French exiles home from London to contribute once again to the life of the country, and promised nothing less than a popular revolution designed to “unblock France.”


Both Emmanuel Macron and Napoleon Bonaparte fit this description perfectly, assuming that Mr. Macron beats Marine Le Pen of the National Front in the final round of the French elections on May 7, rather as Napoleon crushed the Bourbon royalists in the decade after their attempted coup in 1795. Even Ms. Le Pen’s attack on her opponent as someone who does not love France echoes the Bourbons’ portrayal of Napoleon as a Corsican outsider. Mr. Macron, whose En Marche! (Onward!) movement adopts a military metaphor so beloved by Napoleon, does not seem to mind the comparisons that are already being made.


Of course the “democratic revolution” that Mr. Macron says he hopes will elect him is far removed from the military coup that propelled Napoleon to power in November 1799 and kept him there until 1815. But like Napoleon, Mr. Macron, who calls himself a pragmatic centrist, says he will transcend the left-right partisanship that has so bedeviled French politics over recent decades. Napoleon succeeded in “unblocking” France, with educational, legal, financial, religious and commercial reforms, many of which still exist. The Legion of Honor, Bank of France, Council of State, education system and much of Parisian architecture are Napoleonic constructs that testify to his genius 200 years later. Mr. Macron promises a similar boldness: “I do not propose to reform France; I propose to transform it at its deepest level,” he told this paper. But can his “democratic revolution” create any such enduring monuments?


Mr. Macron was born in Amiens, the city where Napoleon sent his brother Joseph to negotiate peace between Britain and France in 1802. The treaty signed there lasted barely a year before hostilities broke out again, partly over the issue of the free-trading relationship with Europe that Napoleon would not allow Britain to enjoy, fearing its effect on French industry. The post-Brexit negotiations in which Mr. Macron will most likely play such an important part have long historical shadows. By the collapse of the Peace of Amiens in 1803, Napoleon had lured back from London almost all the French exiles who had fled during the revolution, in larger numbers than the tax exiles who fled the 75 percent top tax rate of President François Hollande, under whom Mr. Macron served as economics minister from 2014 to 2016.


The panic around the rise of the National Front, which has brought Mr. Macron to the brink of victory, can partly be blamed on Charles de Gaulle. He institutionalized the extensive powers of the French presidency in 1958, with more than a nod to Napoleon’s dictatorship. Strong central government was thought to have worked for France and was visibly lacking in the Second, Third and Fourth Republics thereafter.


De Gaulle also continued Napoleon’s system of voting in successive rounds, winnowing the number of contenders. De Gaulle assumed that this would ensure two centrist candidates of the left and right always got into the final round. But the eruption of Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2002 and now his daughter Marine has exploded that complacent assumption, aided by the exposure of the sheer greed and graft of the center-right candidate François Fillon, who could otherwise have made it to the runoff in Ms. Le Pen’s place. How the shade of the general, the greatest Frenchman since Napoleon, must be regretting his calculations.


The toxicity of modern French politics would hardly have surprised Napoleon, who survived almost as many assassination attempts as de Gaulle. But even today’s viciousness is as nothing if Mr. Macron does not win on May 7. A neo-fascist victory could well lead to an uprising in the suburban banlieues, which would recall the “événements” of 1848, 1871 and 1968, when protests turned to bloodshed.


If he does win, Mr. Macron will inherit a sclerotic, underproducing, overtaxed, absurdly bureaucratic, highly partisan country with a huge security problem. Napoleon was able to cut through all of those same problems by manipulating public opinion through a controlled press, muscling through votes in a largely appointed Parliament and simply imposing diktats once he became emperor of France in 1804. He could do this because he differentiated between a “popular revolution” led dictatorially by him and a “democratic revolution” dependent upon free and fair elections. As a genuine democrat rather than simply posing as one, Mr. Macron will have no such luxury.    





Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Arutz Sheva, Apr. 28, 2017


The first round in the French elections held on Sunday, April 23rd, resulted in the selection of two front-runners, Emanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, both of whom are a far cry from representing routine politics. Le Pen succeeded in reaching the runoff election mainly due to her anti-immigration agenda – that is, her anti-Muslim immigrant agenda. Most of the Muslim immigrants arrive in France from North Africa: Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco and a great many Frenchmen fear that their country is being conquered by another culture. They believe that only someone like Le Pen can save France from the flood of migrants coming in from outside the country and possibly from the high natural growth rate of those already inside it.


Le Pen's running in the second round of elections to take place on Sunday, May 7th, immediately leads to the question of whether she has a chance of being chosen to lead France. The standard response is that her chances are slight, because all the political powers-that-be, right and left, will join forces against her, along with all Muslims who have the right to vote and who make up about 10% of eligible voters – because of the undisguised hatred for Muslims and Islam she and her supporters represent. This article will attempt to delineate the trends that characterize Muslims in France, a picture that is much more complex than it seems to be at first glance. The immigrants to France hailing from Islamic regimes are not made of one cloth. They are divided into various subgroups whose interests are not identical and whose attitudes to Marine Le Pen are a function of those interests.


First of all, Christians, mainly from Lebanon, account for a significant number of the immigrants from Arab countries. They usually are opposed to Muslim immigration, because either their forefathers or they themselves left their Arab birthplaces in order to escape the persecution the Muslims meted out to Christians there. Examples that spring to mind are the Copts in Egypt and the Assyrians of Iraq and Syria. Le Pen's second-in-line in the National Front party comes from a family of Lebanese immigrants and speaks openly against Muslim immigration. Le Pen resigned from her position as party head so as to free time for her presidential campaign and in order to become "everyone's president," making him the new party head – and making it probable that many Christian immigrants will vote for Le Pen.


Secondly, when it comes to status, one can say that the Muslim immigrants to France are roughly divided into "newcomers" and "old-timers." The old-timers, most of whom are citizens by now, came in the 70s and 80s of the previous century, while the newcomers came after the year 2000.  If Le Pen wins, she cannot legally expel the longtime immigrants or send them back home.  In contrast, the number of recent immigrants without French citizenship is much higher, and they could possibly be "persuaded" to leave, as Le Pen would like to do if she is elected. Tensions run high between the "old-timers" and the "newcomers" for several reasons: The longtime immigrants are financially secure, some are in business, and among them are those who take advantage of the "newcomers," paying them low wages, giving them cash so as to avoid paying for social benefits, working them long hours under substandard conditions.


Many of the longtime immigrants have adopted French culture, eat whatever is put on their plates and drink whatever is poured into their wine glasses. The newcomers are closer to Islamic tradition, are less prone to fit into the culture and surrounding society and are seen as a cultural threat to the old-timers.  That is why not a small number of the longtime immigrants will cast their vote for Le Pen, hoping she will be able to stop the immigration of more newcomers.


Third, since most of the Muslim immigrants to France are from the North African countries of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, many of them see France as "their" country – and they are opposed to immigration from other Arab countries such as Iraq and Syria, or from non-Arab Islamic countries such as Mali, Chad, Afghanistan and Turkey. The tension can be sensed in the air and is a cause of friction between the different groups. For example, in 2015, when the large wave of migrants arrived in Europe, most went to Germany and Sweden, with only a small minority reaching France.  Algerians living in France had openly expressed their opposition to the entry of Muslims from Syria and other countries, saying that "France belongs to the Algerians" and that they would "take care" of any other Arab or Muslim arriving in France. The immigrant masses "got the message" and went on to Germany and Sweden.


Today, the immigrants from North Africa who have the right to vote can stop the Arab and Muslim immigration from other regions – and chances are that a good many of them will support Le Pen so that she can keep the immigrants from other areas out of "their" France. Le Pen's plan to leave the European Union also garners approval in the eyes of many immigrants who fear the open borders will lead to migrants who came to other EU countries moving to France now that conditions have worsened in Germany and Sweden. This is seen as a possible threat to the employment of longtime immigrants and to the status they have attained after living in France for a long period.


It is quite possible that the anti-Jewish sentiments expressed by Le Pen have made her more attractive to Muslim voters. Recently, she denied the part played by the French in the Holocaust, when French police hunted down Jews and sent them to their deaths by train. Even Israel's President Reuven Rivlin spoke out against her. And if official Israel opposes Le Pen, her value automatically goes up in the eyes of many Muslims. The points raised here lead to two conclusions: 1. The Arab and Muslim communities in France are not uniformly opposed to Marine Le Pen, and 2. Some of the Arab and Muslim immigrants who have the right to vote will cast their ballots for her.


If, G-d forbid and Heaven forfend, there is a terrorist attack in France perpetrated by some Muslim terrorist close to the day the runoff election is to take place, many of the people who would have normally stayed at home will make sure to go to the polls to vote for Le Pen. They see Le Pen as the only one who can do something to save France from the devastating terror that has immigrated to their homeland in such strength.

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                





Manfred Gerstenfeld                                           

Jerusalem Post, May 2, 2017


Great Britain’s exit from the European Union, immigration problems and the National Health Service are key issues in the upcoming British general elections on June 8. Of these it seems that only immigration has aspects of specific importance to Jews. Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May has said that sustainable net immigration is in the tens of thousands, an estimate far lower than the present figure. Such a policy will affect the current mainly non-selective immigration from Muslim countries, where majorities or significant percentages of the population are antisemites.


From a logical point of view Israel and the Jews shouldn’t be issues at all in the election. Yet when antisemitism is concerned rationality often evaporates. Early in the campaign the Liberal Democrats suspended Ashuk Ahmed. This candidate in a Luton constituency was found to have made extreme antisemitic remarks in the past. For more than a year there has been a huge debate on antisemitism in the Labor Party. Each time it seems to be subdued it reemerges. Currently the main issue concerns former London mayor Ken Livingstone who continues to link Nazism and Zionism.


The 270,000 Jews in the UK account for about 0.4% of the overall British population. Thus the Jewish vote can influence the election outcome only in a few constituencies. The MPs in these areas are likely to run again. They are pro-Jewish and pro-Israel. Unless major swings happen most will be reelected. The reelection of Jewish MPs is a different issue. In the past 12 months, some Jewish Labor MPs have been bombarded with large volumes of extreme hate mail. Luciana Berger has received thousands, among them some threatening her with rape or murder. All this in response to her criticism of the Labor Party’s refusal to condemn antisemitism. Another Jewish MP, Ruth Smeeth, received 25,000 abusive messages. Documents have revealed that the left-wing Momentum group has tried to recruit “radical” Muslims in order to de-select Jewish Labor MP Louise Ellman.


Due to the short timespan leading up to the election, Labor has decided that all current MPs can stand again if they wish. Thus local party de-selection efforts cannot play any role. Polls predict that Labor will lose tens of seats. These may include not only those of several Jewish MPs, but also those of a number of Labor MP friends of Israel. In the previous parliament one Labor Jewish MP, Gerald Kaufmann, was generally the most extreme anti-Israel hate monger. He died in February. If antisemitism is used specifically against Jewish candidates some experts expect that this may help them to be elected as they will be seen as victims.


Another interesting issue from a Jewish point of view is what is going to happen in constituencies with large Muslim populations. The number of Muslims in the UK now exceeds three million. In the 2015 elections the think tank Henry Jackson Society stated that the Muslim vote could potentially decide the outcome in a quarter of the constituencies. Some candidates may use anti-Israel arguments and support for the recognition of Palestine in the campaign even if this was not a major feature of the previous election. On the other hand, Muslims can also quietly let candidates know what is expected of them. Where there is a large Muslim population, candidates are likely to say what these voters wish to hear.


The Board of Deputies, the umbrella organization of British Jewry, has recently updated its Jewish Manifesto. This document presents the issues which government and parliamentarians are asked to understand and lists the causes it wants them to champion. “Ten commitments” summarize this 44-page document. The first commitment requested in the Jewish Manifesto is to oppose “extremism and hate crime, including antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of hate.” One should remark here that the UK is the only country which has adopted a definition of antisemitism for domestic use, that of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. No accepted definition exists for Islamophobia. That term is often abused to include any criticism of Muslims and Islam including mentioning the problematic behavior and attitudes of substantial parts of Muslim populations.


The second point in the commitments is to “promote good relations, understanding and cooperation between all of the UK communities." One should mention here that last year the Campaign against Antisemitism published a document on this and concluded that “on every single count, British Muslims were more likely by far than the general British population to hold deeply antisemitic views.” Another commitment concerns the defense of the right to a Jewish way of life, including kosher meat, religious clothing, circumcision and flexible working to accommodate Shabbat and holiday observance. Additional commitments include supporting efforts to remember and understand the Holocaust, advocate for a permanent and comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, promote uniting communities and resisting boycotts that divide communities, affirming the importance of faith, supporting the culture of religiously and culturally sensitive youth and social care services, promote a just and sustainable future, and celebrate and support Jewish heritage and cultural institutions. It remains to be seen whether the Jewish Manifesto will be used and publicized by candidates. In any case having such a document could also be helpful to Jews in other countries.                                                 




DESPITE UNESCO’S BIAS, JEWS WON’T ABANDON OUR HOLY SITES                                                

Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein                                                                              

Algemeiner, May 4, 2017


Forget fake news. UNESCO is promoting an entire fake universe. Like so many other UN agencies with an anti-Israel majority, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) regularly votes to deny some aspect of Israel’s legitimacy. Their diplomatic machinations serve as the backbone of much of the Muslim world’s refusal to recognize the Jewish people’s historic links to Israel — our Holy Land. To legitimate UNESCO’s denial of the past — and today’s reality of a Jewish state with more than 8 million citizens —  history itself must be re-written, and holy sites must be rebranded. That’s where the Orwellian double-speak of the agency whose raison d’etre is supposed to be the protection of history and culture comes into play.


UNESCO’s new resolution, timed to coincide with Israel’s 69th Independence Day on May 2, rejected Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem, including modern West Jerusalem. The resolution passed with 22 nations supporting it, 10 opposing it, and 23 countries abstaining (three were absent). In the resolution’s text, Rachel’s Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs — where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rivka, Jacob and Leah are buried — have been repackaged as Muslim mosques.


To her credit, Irina Bokova, UNESCO’s Director-General, has been a consistent critic of this charade. “To deny, conceal, or erase any of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions runs counter to the reasons that justified its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list,” she insisted last year. But Ms. Bokova’s term will soon expire, and Israel’s opponents could soon have a firmer grip on the UN agency. What is particularly galling about the latest incident is the role that Germany reportedly played in enabling its fellow EU members to support the resolution. If the German Foreign Minister or any other European diplomat thinks that this cynical maneuver — which further fuels the dreams of an Arab alternate universe — will change the minds of Jews in Israel or around the world, they are dead wrong.


Jerusalem is the heart of the Jewish people. Centuries ago, long before anyone heard of Mohammed, Jews understood the importance of the city that King David built and made his capital. They built two temples there, which became focal points for their religion and their peoplehood. The Jewish people preserved the centrality of Jerusalem to their religion throughout the ages, even when it lay in ruins. “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand fail me,” spoke the prophet. In their unparalleled, 2,000-year exile before returning home to Israel, the Jewish people never left Jerusalem. A small group remained in the Holy Land throughout the ages, and the rest — scattered literally around the world — were united by the shared prayers offered three times a day for the return to Zion. Jews survived the Crusades, Torquemada, Chmielnicki and Hitler without ever diluting their passion for Jerusalem.


The Jewish people will not abide by the morally bankrupt regime at UNESCO, and they won’t forget what happened when Arabs were custodians of Jerusalem’s Old City, which was seized during the 1948 War of Independence. During that time, synagogues in the Old City were razed. Tombstones became latrines. And Jews were barred from visiting holy sites. Christians took note of the mindset of the conquerors and reacted with horror at the thought that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher could become the next Palmyra. Indeed, anyone concerned with the protection of the educational, scientific and cultural treasures of others, should look at Israel’s record. It may be the only country in the Middle East in recent years where the Christian population has consistently increased. The Jerusalem municipality gives out free Christmas trees to its Christian citizens each year. When different Christian sects come to blows occasionally over the administration of their holy sites, it is the Israeli police whom they call to restore peace.


Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem is the only guarantee that all of the city’s holy places will be preserved for everyone. Reality and mutual respect, not fantasy, are the first building blocks of trust and treaties. It is a toss-up as to who has done more damage with the latest UNESCO fiasco — Arab regimes that continue to deny that the Jewish people have risen from the ashes, or dapper European diplomats who think that they can still denigrate cowering Jews. Take note Berlin and Brussels. Those days are over.

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic Links


The European Crisis: Ross Douthat, New York Times, May 3, 2017—In my Sunday column I raised the possibility that a vote for Marine Le Pen in next weekend’s French presidential runoff might be more defensible than was a vote for Donald Trump in 2016. The internet did not agree, and perhaps neither did Le Pen herself, since she rewarded my controversial foray by immediately getting mired in a plagiarism scandal.

Europe: More Migrants Coming: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, May 5, 2017 —The European Union has called on its member states to lift border controls — introduced at the height of the migration crisis in September 2015 — within the next six months. The return to open borders, which would allow for passport-free travel across the EU, comes at a time when the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean continues to rise, and when Turkish authorities increasingly have been threatening to renege on a border deal that has lessened the flow of migrants from Turkey to Europe.

The France of My Youth: Ari Afilalo, Times of Israel, May 5, 2017—The France of my youth is burning. The six police officers who were firebombed by homegrown thugs at the May 1 (Labor Day) demonstrations are its latest casualties. And Marine Le Pen and her purveyors of hatred, whom we thought had been muted forever after World War II, are trying to seize the moment to destroy it.

UNESCO’s Latest Resolution on Jerusalem: Much of the Same: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, May 3, 2017—On May 2, 2017, the 58 member Executive Board of the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – an organization ostensibly devoted to science, education, and culture, adopted a resolution entitled “Occupied Palestine.”

















Europe's 'Turkish Awakening': Burak Bekdil, Gatestone Institute, Mar. 14, 2017— Turkey, officially, is a candidate for full membership in the European Union.

In Turkey-Netherlands Row, a Foreboding Sign For Jews: Cnaan Liphshiz, Times of Israel, Mar. 15, 2017— The thousands of people who gathered outside the Turkish consulate of this port city on Saturday patiently waited for hours, chatting with friends and relatives.

Erdogan Critics Beware: Turkey Probably is Watching: IPT News, February 27, 2017— For some Americans, concerns about Russian spying and interference in its elections are growing, with new reports emerging nearly every day.

Following Russia’s Lead is the Smart Move for Turkey and Israel: Micah Halpern, Jerusalem Post, Mar. 14, 2017— Russian President Vladimir Putin is a world-class master when it comes to getting what he wants. He leaves nothing to chance.


On Topic Links


Russian Air Defense Architecture … for NATO Member Turkey?: Burak Bekdil, BESA, Mar. 14, 2017

Cyprus Deal Could Speed up Israel-Turkey Gas Project – Envoy: Times of Israel, Mar. 1, 2017

Is Turkey Lost to the West?: Patrick J. Buchanan, CNS News, Mar. 14, 2017

Turkey’s New Curriculum: More Erdoğan, More Islam: Zia Weise, Politico, Feb. 13, 2017



                                      Burak Bekdil

Gatestone Institute, Mar. 14, 2017


Turkey, officially, is a candidate for full membership in the European Union. It is also negotiating with Brussels a deal which would allow millions of Turks to travel to Europe without visa. But Turkey is not like any other European country that joined or will join the EU: The Turks' choice of a leader, in office since 2002, too visibly makes this country the odd one out.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is now campaigning to broaden his constitutional powers, which would make him head of state, head of government and head of the ruling party — all at the same time — is inherently autocratic and anti-Western. He seems to view himself as a great Muslim leader fighting armies of infidel crusaders. This image, with which he portrays himself, finds powerful echoes among millions of conservative Turks and [Sunni] Islamists across the Middle East. That, among other excesses in the Turkish style, makes Turkey totally incompatible with Europe in political culture.


Yet, there is always the lighter side of things. Take, for example, Melih Gokcek, the mayor of Ankara and a bigwig in Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP). In February Gokcek claimed that earthquakes in a western Turkish province could have been organized by dark external powers (read: Western infidels) aiming to destroy Turkey's economy with an "artificial earthquake" near Istanbul. According to this conspiracy theory, the mayor not only claims that the earthquake in western Turkey was the work of the U.S. and Israel, but also that the U.S. created the radical Islamic State (ISIS). In fact, according to him, the U.S. and Israel colluded to trigger an earthquake in Turkey so they could capture energy from the Turkish fault line.


Matters between Turkey and Europe are far more tense today than ridiculous statements from politicians who want to look pretty to Erdogan. The president, willingly ignoring his own strong anti-Semitic views, recently accused Germany of "fascist actions" reminiscent of Nazi times, in a growing row over the cancellation of political rallies aimed at drumming up support for him among 1.5 million Turkish citizens in Germany. The Dutch, Erdogan apparently thinks, are no different. In a similar diplomatic row over Turkish political rallies in the Netherlands, Erdogan described the Dutch government as "Nazi remnants and fascists". After barring Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from entering the country by airplane, the Dutch authorities also escorted another Turkish minister out of the country. Quite a humiliation, no doubt. An angry Erdogan promised the Netherlands would pay a price for that.


Europe, not just Germany and the Netherlands, looks united in not allowing Erdogan to export Turkey's highly tense and sometimes even violent political polarization into the Old Continent. There are media reports that the owner of a venue in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, has now cancelled a pro-Erdogan rally, although Sweden's foreign ministry said it was not involved in the decision. Europe's anti-Erdogan sentiment is going viral. Denmark's prime minister, Lars Loekke Rasmussen, said that he asked his Turkish counterpart, Binali Yildirim, to postpone a planned visit because of tensions between Turkey and the Netherlands. Although Turkey thanked France for allowing Foreign Minister Cavusoglu to address a gathering of Turkish "expats" in the city of Metz, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called on Turkish authorities to "avoid excesses and provocations".


None of the incidents that forcefully point to Europe's "Turkish awakening" happened out of the blue. At the beginning of February, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Erdogan held a tense meeting in Ankara. Erdogan clearly rejected Merkel's mention of "Islamist terror" on grounds that "the expression saddens Muslims because Islam and terror cannot coexist". The row came at a time when a German investigation into Turkish imams in Germany spying on Erdogan's foes made signs of reaching out to other parts of Europe. Peter Pilz, an Austrian lawmaker, said that he was in possession of documents from 30 countries that revealed a "global spying network" at Turkish diplomatic missions.


At the beginning of March, after Turkey said it would defy opposition from German and Dutch authorities and continue holding rallies in both countries, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern called for an EU-wide ban on campaign appearances by Turkish politicians.In response, further challenging Europe, Turkey arrested Deniz Yucel, a Turkish-German reporter for a prominent German newspaper, Die Welt, on charges of "propaganda in support of a terrorist organization and inciting the public to violence." Yucel had been detained after he reported on emails that a leftist hacker collective had purportedly obtained from the private account of Berat Albayrak, Turkey's energy minister and Erdogan's son-in-law.


Erdogan's propaganda war on "infidel" Europe has the potential to further poison both bilateral relations with individual countries and with Europe as a bloc. Not even the Turkish "expats" are happy. The leader of Germany's Turkish community accused Erdogan of damaging ties between the two NATO allies. Gokay Sofuoglu, chairman of the Turkish Community in Germany, which is an umbrella for 270 member organizations, said: "Erdogan went a step too far. Germany should not sink to his level".


The most recent wave of tensions between Erdogan's Turkey and Europe, which it theoretically aspires to join, have once again unveiled the long-tolerated incompatibility between Turkey's predominantly conservative, Islamist and often anti-Western political culture and Europe's liberal values. Turkey increasingly looks like Saddam Hussein's Iraq. During my 1989 visit to Iraq a Turkish-speaking government guide refused to discuss Iraqi politics, justifying his reluctance as: "In Iraq half the population are spies… spying on the other half." Erdogan's Turkey has officially embarked on a journey toward Western democracy. Instead, its Islamist mindset is at war with Western democracy.              






                                                   Cnaan Liphshiz

                                            Times of Israel, Mar. 15, 2017


The thousands of people who gathered outside the Turkish consulate (in Rotterdam) on Saturday patiently waited for hours, chatting with friends and relatives. Waving Turkish flags, they had gathered on a chilly evening to listen to a Cabinet minister from Turkey arguing in favor of a government-led referendum next month in that country. The referendum would give even greater powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose critics already say rules the country with an iron grip.


Erdogan is eyeing the 3 million Turkish nationals living in Europe who can cast their votes in Turkish embassies. But the chummy atmosphere evaporated as word spread that Dutch police had arrested the minister, Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya. In reality, she was escorted out of the country to Germany on orders of the Dutch government. Ahead of Wednesday’s general elections in the Netherlands — immigration and Islam have become major issues in the heated campaign — the government vocally objected to Turkey’s campaigning on its soil.


Hundreds of young men began confronting police, hurling stones at them while shouting “Allahu akbar” – Arabic for “Allah is the greatest.” Some in the crowd then shouted “cancer Jews” in Dutch at the riot police, who used water cannons to disperse the crowd, according to witnesses. It was one of several incidents recently in the Netherlands where anti-Semitic slogans were shouted at demonstrations that had nothing to do with Jews.


Occurring as the far right prepares to make historical gains in the voting, the riots in Rotterdam, where five people were moderately injured, triggered the worst diplomatic crisis in years between Turkey and the European Union, and reopened a polarizing debate about the loyalty of some Dutch of Turkish descent. But for Dutch Jews, the affair also underlined a growing concern over the defiance of a minority among local Muslims, whose anti-Semitic attitudes and actions are generating an anti-Muslim backlash in a once-tolerant society.


“We saw again that the word ‘Jew’ and ‘homo’ are curse words in these groups,” Esther Voet, the editor-in-chief of the Nieuw Israelietisch Weekblad, told JTA. “Those protesters have such hostility toward Jews that it just comes out.” Voet also called the violent protesters in Rotterdam a “fifth column” in Dutch society, adding that she was “in some ways glad the riots exposed what many would rather deny.” Across Western Europe, surveys consistently show a relatively high prevalence of anti-Semitic sentiment among Muslims, many of whom associate Jews with an establishment they feel is oppressive and hostile to their identity and faith.


But the use of slogans about Jews during violent confrontations that do not involve Jews is a recent development. And it is shocking to many European Jews because “it shows the centrality of anti-Semitism as a core identity value” among some Muslim immigrants and their descendants, according to Manfred Gerstenfeld, a scholar of anti-Semitism who has written extensively about the Netherlands.


In 2014, amid protests over Israel’s strikes against Hamas in Gaza, anti-Semitic hostility led dozens of French Arab rioters to besiege a Paris synagogue, which community members defended for long minutes in a savage street brawl as police scrambled to dispatch officers in time to prevent a bloodier scenario. Yet despite several close calls – Dutch police in 2015 arrested several alleged Islamists suspected of plotting to blow up a synagogue in Amsterdam — the Netherlands in recent decades has seen neither major jihadist attacks nor deadly incidents of anti-Semitism of the kind that have occurred in France and neighboring Belgium since 2012.


In covering the Rotterdam rioting, the Dutch media largely ignored the anti-Semitic shouts, focusing instead on the far wider ramifications of what quickly evolved into a showdown featuring Turkey, the Netherlands and Germany. After the incident with Kaya and the Dutch government’s refusal to admit into the country Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Erdogan accused both Germany and Holland of having a “Nazi heritage,” leading to condemnations of Turkey by other EU leaders and Jewish groups. Turkish protesters subsequently were allowed to gather outside the Dutch Embassy in Ankara, leading to its brief closure as the Dutch and Turkish governments exchanged threats of financial sanctions…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]





ERDOGAN CRITICS BEWARE: TURKEY PROBABLY IS WATCHING                                         

                                        IPT News, February 27, 2017


For some Americans, concerns about Russian spying and interference in its elections are growing, with new reports emerging nearly every day. But in Europe, officials are fighting off an even greater incursion from another country, which is now spying even on civilians: Turkey.


Recent investigations and leaks in Germany, Austria and The Netherlands confirm ongoing efforts by Turkey's government to intimidate European-Turkish citizens suspected of having ties to Fethullah Gulen, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's one-time ally, whom he now blames for the failed coup against him last July. Imams in Germany connected to the Turkish state, for instance, admitted to spying on teachers in German state-run schools. Even teachers and parents have been asked to spy on the classes and report in any criticism of Erdogan or his government.


In Austria, parliamentarian Peter Pilz has referred to a "global spying network," with Austria's union of Turkish-Islamic groups sending reports on Gulen-tied organizations back to Ankara. Targets have included educational institutions, cultural centers, and various NGOs. And in The Netherlands, the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam has revoked the passports of several Dutch-Turks thought to support Gulen. (Turkey maintains consular offices in several Dutch cities; to date, reports of passports being revoked are limited to the Rotterdam office.)


Erdogan's involvement in European affairs beyond Turkey's borders, especially in the affairs of Europeans of Turkish descent, is nothing new. In 2008, while speaking at a rally in Cologne, Germany, he encouraged all European Turks to resist assimilation, which he called "a crime against humanity." In 2013, he interfered in a Dutch child abuse case against a Dutch-Turkish mother after the child was given over to lesbian foster parents. And last year, he called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to prosecute a German comedian who had written a song critical of him.


But the latest efforts indicate an even greater bravado, says Elise Steilberg, a Dutch columnist who frequently writes on Turkish politics. "The clearer it has become that Erdogan aims at a one-man-rule, and that in working toward his goal of constitutional change he won't hesitate to use unconventional means, the more obvious it has also become that he will do anything to get as many European Turks behind him as possible," she said in a recent e-mail. "Erdogan is now openly using all available channels to increase his influence within Europe."


The Dutch passport situation is a salient example of this effort. Both dual Dutch-Turkish citizens and Turkish citizens with residency permits have reported that their passports were confiscated at the Rotterdam office. In each case, they were said to have ties to Gulen, to Kurdish groups, or to journalists and others critical of the Turkish government. For dual citizens, this is bad enough, but those with only Turkish citizenship are rendered stateless by such a move. Some have argued that this action represents a flagrant violation of United Nations conventions, but Turkey is not a signatory to those conventions.


There is, however, an option offered to those whose passports are revoked, reports Dutch newspaper Trouw, which first broke the story. To obtain a replacement, they will be provided a one-day passport that allows them to return to Turkey. On arrival, they will be held in custody, effectively imprisoned until they can plead their case in court – a process that can take six months. In one particularly disturbing case described in Trouw, a Turkish woman was forced to relinquish her passport because her husband is a Gulenist. She is not.


But Ankara has not stopped at the door of its consulates. With Dutch elections set for March 15, Turkey is allegedly paying imams in The Netherlands to urge Dutch-Turks to vote for the anti-integration Denk (Think) party, led by Tunahan Kuzu and Selçuk Ozturk, both of whom are Turkish-born. Among Denk's objectives: a culture of "acceptance" rather than integration, the creation of a "racism register," and the formation of a "racism police." In an interview with Elsevier, Dutch Turkish Council Director Sefa Yurukel described the "vote Denk" messages distributed by the imams as containing "the typical arguments of Islamists." Further, he said, they indicate that Denk likely enjoys support from the Diyanet, a government body that oversees religious affairs in Turkey and among the Turkish people worldwide.


It is just that sort of effort to monitor and manipulate the behavior of Turkish citizens, even those who do not live in Turkey, that has Steilberg most concerned. While "of course all countries spy" on one another, she says, the idea of civilians spying on civilians is especially chilling. Already the Dutch have experienced some of the worst of this, as when Twitter users in the Netherlands reported to the Turkish authorities the anti-Erdogan tweets of Dutch-Turkish columnist Ebru Umar. Umar, who was in Turkey at the time, was immediately arrested, and was not permitted to return to the Netherlands for several weeks. She was eventually released only thanks to the intervention of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Now, as such government intervention becomes increasingly intertwined with religious manipulation and intrigue, the reaches of Turkey's growing theocracy into European culture seems an imminent, and ever-expanding threat.    






Micah Halpern                                                              

 Jerusalem Post, Mar. 14, 2017


Russian President Vladimir Putin is a world-class master when it comes to getting what he wants. He leaves nothing to chance. Putin has created a series of summits in Moscow with one goal in mind: to cement Russia’s role in the Middle East and to delineate the roles of other nations, insuring that there be no unintended conflict between parties. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Moscow last Thursday for a public, much heralded face-to-face summit with Putin. On Friday, Putin convened another summit. This one was much quieter, yet once again face-to-face, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Putin covered much of the same ground with Erdogan as he did with Netanyahu. Islamic State (ISIS), Iran, Syria, terrorism and borders were the main topics. But there were several important differences.


Both Israel and Turkey are regional players and Russia wants to make certain that they are all on the same page with regard to ISIS. He also wants to make certain that there is agreement on Syria’s President Bashar Assad – in other words, he wants to make sure that everyone is on his page. Israel says it doesn’t care about Syrian leadership – all it wants is stability and for Iran to be kept as far away as possible. Turkey wants its border quiet and the ability to cross over borders when needed to pursue and punish terrorists. They want freedom to operate in Syria and even to station troops there when necessary. Netanyahu already has an agreement with Putin that allows Israel free access to Syria.


The Israeli agreement was hammered out almost a year ago, on the eve of Passover, and was precipitated by a near crisis: Russian MiGs locked on to Israeli fighter jets. Israel did not respond militarily, choosing instead a diplomatic response. On arguably one of the busiest days on the Jewish calendar, Netanyahu took his military aides and jumped on a plane for a halfday visit in Moscow. Putin claimed no knowledge of the incident. He said he gave no permission and will never give permission for his troops to engage Israel – not in the air, on land or on the sea. He stipulated that he receive prior notice before an Israeli operation and promised not to pass that intel on to anyone. Conflict with Israel is not in Moscow’s interest. A Russian/Israeli dogfight would be a crapshoot. Putin does not gamble, he needs to always know the outcome.


In this case, there is strong possibility that Russia would lose and that loss would be a tremendous blow to Russia’s power in the region. The results could cascade into a colossal failure in Russian Middle East strategy. They would lose face just as they are gaining power. A loss to an Israeli jet could not be chalked up to luck or technical problems as is common when ISIS scores a victory. It could only mean that Israel is the superior fighting force in the region. Russia would lose face. Israel and Russia need to keep on good terms to make certain the region does not spiral into crisis.


Turkey wants the same level of cooperation. It wants the same freedom of operation. That will not happen. Russia and Turkey are talking – but there is much distrust. Putin thinks Turkey has an exaggerated sense of its own power. Turkey has challenged Russia numerous times, including downing a Russian plane, an incident that ruptured the relationship between the two countries until Turkey begged forgiveness.


When Netanyahu goes to Putin, he shows great respect for the Russian president. In return, he gets respect. Netanyahu also approaches Russia with caution and with the knowledge that Putin, and Putin alone, determines Russian policy. Contrast that with Netanyahu’s approach to the US. After the first meeting between president Bill Clinton and Netanyahu, Clinton remarked how shocked he was after meeting the Israeli. He said Netanyahu was so cocky that he was confused as to who was the leader of the free world. Netanyahu knows where power lies in the US. He has great support on both sides of the congressional aisle and among donors from both parties. He enters the White House knowing that he has leverage.


Not so in Russia. During both summits everyone agreed on ISIS and Syria. The two elephants in the room were US President Donald Trump and Iran. No one wants Iran in Syria. And Iran still supports Hezbollah and has significant troops and advisers there to defend Assad and keep him in power. Iranian and Hezbollah forces are the front line in Syria, keeping it from descending further in to crisis. While Iran and Hezbollah prevent Syria from being controlled by ISIS or al-Qaida, Russia is there to control and manage the situation. Putin and his Russia have the power. For now, Israel and Turkey are content to follow Russia. It’s the smart thing to do.




On Topic Links


Russian Air Defense Architecture … for NATO Member Turkey?: Burak Bekdil, BESA, Mar. 14, 2017—Turkey tried it with China, unsuccessfully. Now it might try to have another go, this time with Russia. Shrugging off admonitions of caution from its western allies, NATO-member Turkey shows unmistakable signs that it seeks to build a Russian-made air defense system.

Cyprus Deal Could Speed up Israel-Turkey Gas Project – Envoy: Times of Israel, Mar. 1, 2017—A Cyprus peace deal would speed up Israel’s project to provide gas to Turkey, the new Israeli ambassador to Ankara said Wednesday.

Is Turkey Lost to the West?: Patrick J. Buchanan, CNS News, Mar. 14, 2017—Not long ago, a democratizing Turkey, with the second-largest army in NATO, appeared on track to join the European Union. That's not likely now, or perhaps ever.

Turkey’s New Curriculum: More Erdoğan, More Islam: Zia Weise, Politico, Feb. 13, 2017—With President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s plans for greater powers firmly on track, Turkey’s government has set about shaping the country’s future outside the halls of parliament.














Problematic Candidates for France’s Presidency: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 7, 2017— The four main candidates in the upcoming presidential elections in France have all taken problematic positions concerning Israel, the country’s Jews, or both.

The French Inquisition: Yves Mamou, Gatestone Institute, Feb. 7, 2017— An important red line in France has just been crossed.

A German Court Rationalizes an Attack on a Synagogue: Joseph Bottum, Weekly Standard, Jan. 26, 2017— On January 13, 2017, a German regional court ruled that a lower court had been correct to find no anti-Semitism in the attempt by a group of Muslim men to burn down a synagogue in the city of Wuppertal.

An Answer to Paris: The ‘Gentile Aliya’ Epidemic: Nathan Lopes Cardozo, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 23, 2017— Israel will be facing an unprecedented crisis that will shake its very foundations.


On Topic Links


Poisoning Palestinian Minds (Interview With Hillel Heuer): Wall Street Journal, Feb. 8, 2017

British Prime Minister May Calls On Opposition Leader Corbyn to Join Her in Denouncing Muslim Discrimination Against Israeli Passport-Holders: Barney Breen-Portnoy, Algemeiner, Feb. 1, 2017

Testing Europe’s Values: Editorial, New York Times, Feb. 3, 2017

Beautiful Friendship: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 9, 2017                                                                                                                                        



PROBLEMATIC CANDIDATES FOR FRANCE’S PRESIDENCY                                                                       

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Jerusalem Post, Feb. 7, 2017


The four main candidates in the upcoming presidential elections in France have all taken problematic positions concerning Israel, the country’s Jews, or both. The first round of the elections will take place on April 23. If no candidate obtains the majority, the two candidates with the highest votes will have a run-off in the second round on May 7.


Polls for the past months indicate that Marine Le Pen, the leader of the extreme right-wing National Front Party, will pass to the second round. This is a rather safe prediction, as polls show that many of those intending to vote for her are unlikely to change their opinion before the election. Yet, at the same time, polls also indicate that the other candidate who makes it to the second round, whether it is former prime minister Francois Fillon of the right-wing Republican Party, or the independent centrist Emanuel Macron, will easily defeat Le Pen.


Marine Le Pen stresses that her party’s positions have evolved since she has taken charge. Her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of the party, is a notorious Holocaust distorter and antisemite. He has repeatedly called the gas chambers “a detail of history.” Marine Le Pen has distanced herself from him and had him expelled from the party in August 2015. She has also condemned a terrorist attack in Jerusalem and has come out against anti-Israel boycotts. Yet in 2010 she criticized the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Furthermore, in 2012 when calling for a ban on Muslim headscarves in public, she said that kippot should also be included. She repeated that statement this month.


The Jewish community has maintained its long-term negative attitude toward the FN. Then president of the Jewish umbrella organization CRIF, Roger Cukierman, said in 2015 that there was no cause to reproach Le Pen herself. He remarked, however, that “behind her are all the Holocaust-deniers, the Vichy-adherents and the followers of [Nazi collaborator] Petain.” He concluded that the FN “was a party to avoid even if it did not commit violence.”


Fillon, the Republican candidate, is under pressure because the satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine published that his wife Penelope has received 900,000 euros over the years as his parliamentary assistant. The claim is that she has done little to justify these payments. A poll showed that the great majority of French do not believe Fillon, who says that she produced value for money. As his support in polls declines, Fillon may well withdraw his candidacy. Fillon attacked Halal and kosher slaughter in 2012. He said that Jews and Muslims must drop their ancestral traditions of slaughter, which are not very relevant nowadays. The Jewish umbrella organization CRIF came out against him on this issue.


Centrist Macron was economics minister from 2012 to 2014 in the Socialist government of prime minister Manuel Valls. He has said that more and more parents send their children to religious schools, which teach them hatred of the [French] republic. He added that they teach mainly in Arabic or elsewhere the Torah without teaching basic knowledge. The large French Jewish Social Organization (FSJU) came out with a press release saying that Macron’s statement was “profoundly offensive, incorrect and a caricature.” Its president, Ariel Goldman, said that “private Jewish education follows the school program established by the national ministry of education.”


The FSJU also pointed out that the growth of enrollment in Jewish schools is the result of the increased antisemitism in public schools. Macron’s staff claimed that his words had been wrongly interpreted. Macron has visited Israel and said afterwards: “In Israel there is a culture of risk, which sometimes has been forgotten in France’s genes. There should be a capacity to revive this taste for risk. Without it we cannot do anything. We should go fast because our country cannot wait.”


The Socialist candidate, Benoit Hamon, who defeated Valls in primaries, is in fourth place in the polls. He was, for a short time, education minister and belongs to the extreme Left of the party. Hamon is the most negative candidate as far as Israel is concerned. He has a substantial record of anti-Israel remarks. After the Gaza flotilla, he accused Israel of having caused a bloodbath. He was one of the main instigators of the recognition of the Palestinian state in the French parliament in 2014. Most recently, he expressed his happiness about the anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution 2334. There have been several additional anti-Israel statements over the years. Hamon’s position can be summarized as: being anti-Israel is a very good way to recover French Muslim voters lost during the Hollande presidency.


The current Socialist government frequently takes pro-Palestinian positions. It initiated the useless Paris Middle East Peace conference and aggressively condemns building in the territories, including east Jerusalem. From an Israeli viewpoint, a hypothetical president Hamon is far worse than a president Le Pen. Yet the Israeli government avoids contact with the FN party. It does not want to legitimize a far-right movement with fascist origins. From the above, it can also be seen that the candidates’ attitudes toward Israel and toward local Jews are not necessarily parallel. In the long term, this may create a rift between Israel and a portion of France’s Jews. Overall, as said, all candidates are problematic, which reflects the general situation for Jews in France and the attitude of its governments toward Israel.






Yves Mamou

Gatestone Institute, Feb. 7, 2017


An important red line in France has just been crossed. In true dhimmi fashion, in a move reminiscent of both the Inquisition and the Dreyfus Trial, all of France's so-called "anti-racist" organizations have joined a jihad against free speech and against truth. On January 25, 2017, France's "anti-racist" organizations — all of them, even the Jewish LICRA (International League against Racism and anti-Semitism) — joined the Islamist CCIF (Collective against Islamophobia) in court against Georges Bensoussan, a highly regarded Jewish historian of Moroccan extraction, and an expert on the history of Jews in Arab countries. Not only did the Islamist CCIF and the Jewish LICRA unite against him, but also the French Human Rights League, SOS Racism and MRAP (Movement against Racism and for Friendship with People).


Bensoussan is being prosecuted for remarks he made during a "France Culture" radio debate, about antisemitism among French Arabs: "An Algerian sociologist, Smaïn Laacher, with great courage, just said in a documentary aired on Channel 3: It is a shame to deny this taboo, namely that in the Arab families in France, and everyone knows it but nobody wants to say it, anti-Semitism is sucked with mother's milk."


The documentary that Bensoussan was referring to was called "Teachers in the Lost Territories of the Republic," and was aired in October 2015, on Channel 3. In this documentary, Laacher, who is a French professor of Algerian origin, said: "Antisemitism is already awash in the domestic space… It… rolls almost naturally off the tongue, awash in the language… It is an insult. When parents shout at their children, when they want to reprimand them, they call them Jews. Yes. All Arab families know this. It is monumental hypocrisy not to see that this anti-Semitism begins as a domestic one."


No complaint was filed against Laacher. But as soon as Bensoussan, in the heat of a radio debate, referred to Arab anti-Semitism as "sucked in with mother's milk", CCIF, followed by all anti-racist associations, brought Bensoussan to supposed justice. Their accusation was simple: "mother's milk" is not a metaphor for cultural anti-Semitism transmitted through education, but a genetic and "essentialist" accusation. It means: "all Arabs are anti-Semitic" — in other words, Bensoussan is a racist. Professor Smaïn Laacher, of the University of Strasbourg, denied the quote and told the website Mediapart. "I have never said nor written that kind of ignominy". He filed a complaint against Bensoussan, but later withdrew it. Judgment will be rendered March 7.


This witch-hunt against Bensoussan is symptomatic of the state of free speech today in France. With the leading Islamist CCIF stalking "Islamophobia", intellectual intimidation is the rule. Complaints are filed against everyone not saying that Muslims are the main victim of racism in France. In December 2016, Pascal Bruckner, a writer and philosopher, was also brought to court for saying in 2015, on Arte TV, "We need to make the record of collaborators of Charlie Hebdo's murderers". He named people in France who had instilled a climate of hatred against Charlie: the entertainer Guy Bedos, the rap singer Nekfeu, anti-racist organizations like The Indivisibles, or the journalist Rokhaya Diallo and the supremacist movement for "people of color" known as Les Indigènes de la République ("The Indigenous of the Republic").


It was not the first time that Islamists filed complaints against people they dislike. Charlie Hebdo was twice brought to court by Islamist organizations. Twice, the accusations of Charlie's Islamist accusers were dismissed. But with the Bensoussan trial, we are entering in a new era. The most venerable, the most authentic anti-racist organizations — some of them are older than a century — are, shamefully, lining up with Islamist organizations.


This tipping point was initiated in the 1980s by with SOS Racism. This organization, founded to organize young Muslims and help them to assimilate into French society rapidly, became a political movement, manipulated by the Socialist Party. SOS Racism and its slogan, "Don't hurt my buddy", rapidly became a new direction to the working class. With the working class attracted by the far-right party Front National, the Socialist party needed a new "clientele". They chose Muslims, especially young Muslims, as the new revolutionary labor class. It did not matter that most of them were unemployed: they were "victims"…

[To Read the full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]






Joseph Bottum

Weekly Standard, Jan. 26, 2017


On January 13, 2017, a German regional court ruled that a lower court had been correct to find no anti-Semitism in the attempt by a group of Muslim men to burn down a synagogue in the city of Wuppertal. The failed firebombing attack had occurred in 2014, during the Israeli conflict with Hamas in Gaza. In 2015 the lower court found that the men had intended their actions as a protest against Israel—with the result that the adults in the group deserved to have their sentences suspended, freeing them from jail time. And now, after review by a superior court, the German legal system has affirmed that German synagogues are legitimate targets of protest against Israel.


Remember this moment, for the German courts have exposed the mechanism by which opposition to Israel proves indistinguishable from opposition to Jews. Perhaps at one point, a distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism was notionally possible. But those days have been gone for many years, lost in the mists. And now, even the attempt to make the distinction becomes a way of insisting on a Jewish difference. "Anti-Zionism is the new dressing for the old passion of anti-Semitism," as the French writer Bernard-Henri Lévy tried to tell a New York audience on January 11—and it is perhaps worth noting that the synagogue in Wuppertal was built on the site of a previous synagogue, destroyed by the Nazis on Kristallnacht in 1938.


To see the logic at play, suppose that three white men had attacked a traditionally black church in Birmingham, Alabama, scrawling graffiti and trying to set the church on fire. Caught and convicted, they were sentenced to a year in jail—with the jail time suspended. Yes, the judge explained, they had been unlawfully violent and thus deserved to be convicted. But he suspended their sentences because their purpose in attacking the African-American church had not been to harm Americans but to protest the failure of the Nigerian government to halt the kidnapping of schoolgirls by the radical African militia Boko Haram.


Or suppose something similar, but this time in Manila. After a court in the Philippines convicted several citizens of defacing a local mosque, the judge suspended their sentences—on the grounds that, however illegally they had behaved, they were engaged in legitimate political protest over the oppression of Christian guest workers by the Islamic government in Saudi Arabia. And then suppose that three men in Germany were arrested for throwing a Molotov cocktail at a synagogue. After their conviction, however, their sentences were suspended—again on the grounds that their admittedly illegal violence was motivated by a desire not to hurt German Jews but by a legitimate wish to protest the policies and actions of the foreign state of Israel. They were, as the court explained, trying to draw "attention to the Gaza conflict" and so had not been motivated by anti-Semitism.


Only the last of these three events is true, of course. But more to the point, only the last is even imaginable. Black citizens of the United States are never taken as symbolic representatives of African governments. For that matter, imagine the outcry if a judge condoned violence against the places of worship of native citizens who happened to be Muslim—because a distant government was doing something objectionable. And then we have the Jews. If trying to set fire to a local synagogue is merely a criticism of Israel, then every Jewish house of worship is a symbolic embassy of a foreign power: a stand-in for the nation-state of Israel. And Germans prove not to be Germans when they attend a synagogue. The salient fact is instead that they are Jews.                                                                           





AN ANSWER TO PARIS: THE ‘GENTILE ALIYA’ EPIDEMIC                                                    

Nathan Lopes Cardozo

                                 Jerusalem Post, Jan. 23, 2017


Israel will be facing an unprecedented crisis that will shake its very foundations. No, it won’t be caused by the recent Paris Conference or other forms of blatant antisemitism that are overtaking Europe. It’s much worse than that. World leaders are completely oblivious to it, and even the Israeli government has no clue. Israel will soon have to expand its borders far beyond its wildest dreams – not for the benefit of the Jews, but at the request of millions of Europeans, and possibly many other gentiles who will wish to come on aliya.


As Europe is disintegrating before our very eyes, it’s only a matter of time before more and more Europeans will be seeking safer havens. And where else would they want to go but Israel? It is obvious that such emigration is drawing near. Since the Holocaust, Europe has been going downhill. It allowed the murder of six million Jews, thereby destroying many of its most dedicated citizens, a large part of its culture and some of its most gifted physicians, scientists, artists, thinkers and business people who contributed to its flourishing culture as well as to its domestic and international trade. Millions of its gentile inhabitants were wiped out as well, and what remained was an impoverished and miserable continent. There is merit to the claim made by some that Europe died in Auschwitz.


In its attempt to rebuild itself, Europe worked hard to revive its economy and reinvent its culture. It tried to turn the tide and remove from its midst any form of racist ideology. To accomplish this, it had to become multicultural and put nearly no limits on its immigration quota.  With noble intentions, Europeans have accepted many emigrants from war-torn and impoverished countries, thus unwittingly allowing Islamic State (ISIS) and other radical organizations to settle in their cities and organize terrorist attacks with the clear goal of bringing Europe to its knees. Motivated by panic and fear of retaliation, European leaders have lost all sense of proportion and are now doomed to pay the price.


Paris suffered a series of terrorist attacks in November 2015, Amsterdam and London will soon face their own onslaughts, and no European will be able to walk the streets safely. Just over a year ago, Brussels shut down its metro system, shops and schools, warning people to avoid crowds because of a “serious and imminent threat of coordinated, multiple attacks by terrorists.” Five months later, in April 2016, its airport and a metro station were targeted in three coordinated bomb attacks. Clubs, cafes and restaurants closed their doors. It won’t be long before we see large army battalions walking through every major city in Europe, followed by the shutting down of airports and other major public venues.


Eventually, all normal life will be disrupted, and societies will no longer be able to function. The United States did not learn its lesson from 9/11 and has paved the way for the Iranian nuclear bomb. Only several days before the Paris attacks, president Barack Obama informed the world that ISIS was contained, if not totally defeated. The most astonishing fact is that the Israeli government has been alerting the world for years that this would happen. It warned that if terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Hezbollah and others in the Middle East were not completely neutralized, their lethal intentions would be carried out in Europe and the United States, after which they would spread their deadly tentacles to all corners of the earth.


But instead of heeding these words, many world leaders have decided that the only way to stop the terrorists is for Israel to cease building a few housing projects in Judea and Samaria. Were it not so tragic, with catastrophic consequences, it would be laughable. These leaders refuse to admit that the Palestinians would have had their state years ago had they simply stopped indoctrinating their children with hate against Jews and accepted the tiny, peaceful State of Israel that dwells in their midst. On top of that, Europe has decided to boycott Israeli products coming from what it refers to as “the occupied territories.” Fooling themselves into believing that this is the solution to all the devastatingly lethal global problems, they use it as a pretext to cover up their own horrendous mistakes, and it has now become standard procedure. It doesn’t seem to bother the Europeans in the least that their boycotts harm the Palestinians working in the West Bank more than they harm the Israelis.


Europe continues to live in peace by tranquilizing itself – this time, by hiding behind the Paris conference. Out of a desperate need to deny the truth, it has utterly misconstrued the nature of its enemies and has by now exposed its countries to dangers so deadly that it will be impossible to stop them by any means. Unfortunately, Europe will not fight back, no matter how many times they announce their intentions to create a so-called “global front.” Everyone knows that once things calm down – nothing more than a tactic on the terrorists’ part – they will decide that no further action is necessary and will return to their former comatose state, only to be awakened when disastrous events, much greater than the ones they have experienced until now, suddenly befall them, shocking their leaders and overwhelming all of them by causing heavy casualties.


When that happens, Europeans will throw up their hands in despair and look for an alternative place to live. They will come to the conclusion that of all the Western countries in the world, only in Israel will they find the tranquility they desperately desire. The reason is obvious: Israel is the only country possessing the combination of know-how and willingness to fight its enemies head-on and is prepared, if necessary, to go all the way. Precisely because of Israel’s long and ongoing experience with terrorism, there is a smooth-running synergy between its citizens and security forces when terrorists strike. With rare exceptions, people maintain equilibrium under immense pressure. For this reason, Israel is safer than many other countries.


And so, to everyone’s surprise, Israel will be the destination. As when an epidemic strikes, people will want to pack their bags and move here. But this will require a major shift in the European attitude toward Jews. Instead of hating us, Europeans will investigate their lineage and by hook or crook will suddenly “find” that they are actually of Jewish descent, as in the case of the many anusim (conversos) today in Spain and Portugal. Millions will apply to Israeli embassies and claim that on the basis of the Law of Return they have a right to live in Israel. Even committed antisemites will “discover” their Jewish ancestry, and an entire black market of Jewish pedigree documents will appear…Paris can make its recommendations, or even try to force Israel into an impossible settlement policy. But when many of its own citizens and others Europeans will actually arrive in Israel, they will ask for more Israeli land on which to build their future. The world will be shocked, the Jews will smile and the Israeli gentiles, fighting to prove that they are Jewish, will laugh with delight.


Nathan Lopes Cardozo is a CIJR Academic Fellow

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!




On Topic Links


Poisoning Palestinian Minds (Interview With Hillel Heuer): Wall Street Journal, Feb. 8, 2017—UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer on how a rogue U.N. agency turns a blind eye to terror.

British Prime Minister May Calls On Opposition Leader Corbyn to Join Her in Denouncing Muslim Discrimination Against Israeli Passport-Holders: Barney Breen-Portnoy, Algemeiner, Feb. 1, 2017—British Prime Minister Theresa May called on Wednesday on Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn to join her in denouncing the discrimination displayed by some Muslim-majority countries against Israeli passport-holders.

Testing Europe’s Values: Editorial, New York Times, Feb. 3, 2017—When the European Union and Turkey reached a deal last year to lessen the flow of refugees into Greece, the priority was on defending borders, not the humanitarian crisis. Sadly, that remains Europe’s priority as it turns its attention to halting the flow of people from Libya to Italy.

Beautiful Friendship: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 9, 2017—Less than a week after he was inaugurated into office, President Donald Trump announced that he had repaired the US’s fractured ties with Israel. “It got repaired as soon as I took the oath of office,” he said. Not only does Israel now enjoy warm relations with the White House. When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in the US capital next week, he will be greeted by the most supportive political climate Israel has ever seen in Washington.                              


















Dear French Foreign Minister Ayrault: David Harris, Huffington Post, Jan. 9, 2017— I take the liberty of writing this open letter in the wake of the latest Palestinian terror attack…

Real Liberals Must Shun Palestinian Colonialism: Melanie Phillips, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 5, 2017— With Israel still looking down the barrel of a diplomatic gun as the Obama presidency approaches its final days, it’s high time to change the narrative.

Defund the United Nations: Rich Lowry, National Review, Dec. 30, 2016— We’ve come a long way from Daniel Patrick Moynihan excoriating the U.N.’s 1975 “Zionism is racism” resolution in one of the finer exhibits of righteous indignation in the history of American speechifying.

So Now All of a Sudden I’m a Jewish ‘Settler’ According to Obama?: Oren Safdie, National Post, Jan. 9, 2017— I never considered myself a Jewish Settler.


On Topic Links


Stab In The Heart (Video): Rabbi Asher Jacobson, Youtube, Jan. 11, 2017

Netanyahu Dismisses 'Rigged' Paris Peace Conference: Mike Smith, AFP, Jan. 12, 2017

Debunking 11 More False Assumptions Regarding Israel: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Jan. 10, 2017





David Harris

Huffington Post, Jan. 9, 2017


I take the liberty of writing this open letter in the wake of the latest Palestinian terror attack, which killed four young Israelis and wounded many others in an assault eerily similar to the one in Nice in July, and days ahead of the “Middle East peace conference” in Paris you will be hosting. I do so with respect, coming from a Francophone home and with deep roots in France and French culture.


I do so representing an organization, AJC, that has engaged with France at the highest levels for decades, and that, even when we have disagreed vigorously, has rejected those in the Jewish community who have called for boycotts and spread “fake news” about the situation in your country. And I do so, if I may say, no less eager than you to find a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ideally based on a two-state agreement. For me, the issue is not another geopolitical quagmire in need of resolution. As a Jew, there is also a metaphysical link to an ancestral land in an age-old search for peace, not to mention the contemporary home of many of my closest relatives and friends.


Mr. Minister, please understand the reasons why we have voiced the hope that the Paris gathering would be canceled. As the one-and-only La Rochefoucauld said, “It is easier to be wise for others than for ourselves.” With everything happening in Europe today, is this the one issue that deserves such an investment of effort and energy?


The European Union, soon to mark 60 years since the ground-breaking Treaty of Rome, is at risk, especially after the Brexit vote in June. Terrorists are exposing the weakness of the Schengen agreement. Disaffected parallel societies have emerged in the cities and suburbs of France, Belgium, and elsewhere. Populist parties opposed to the EU and the Eurozone, and promoting xenophobia and anti-Semitism, are threatening the established order. Ukraine, on the EU’s eastern border, remains a partially occupied land, as does Cyprus, an EU member state. Turkey, so key to the European migration challenge, is hurtling towards authoritarianism. Greece and Spain, among other EU countries, have alarmingly high youth unemployment rates.


But instead of focusing on any or all of these issues, the Quai d’Orsay is organizing yet another international effort to address a conflict that everyone knows, a priori, can only be resolved by the parties themselves, no matter how many nations travel to Paris for the conference you are hosting. I’d add that, if France nonetheless has decided on the need for an international conference of some sort at this time, how about one on Syria, the greatest human tragedy of this century and a country that France has claimed, since the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement carved up the Middle East, to know better than others?


Or how about on Libya, where a French decision in 2011 to help topple Muammar Gaddafi achieved its immediate goal, but left the country in tatters, a breeding ground for jihadism, and a grave danger to European interests? Or how about on the Kurds, a people in the Middle East with all the elements of nationhood – and among our most reliable allies – but denied any chance for sovereignty because of superseding geopolitical interests among the great powers? Or how about a summit on Russian meddling in the European Union, including financial support for extremist, anti-EU political parties, creation of faux environmental groups to oppose any energy projects without Russian involvement, and malicious manipulation of the media?


No, the conference to begin on January 15th in Paris is about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, even though one of the two main parties, Israel, has opposed the idea; even though the United States, key to any progress on this front, will have a change of administrations (and policies) exactly five days later; and even though France, it must be said, cannot be viewed as an honest broker.


Why? Well, despite strong bilateral ties between Paris and Jerusalem in some spheres, when it comes to the international arena, France is too often on the other side. This occurred in the recent vote at the UN Security Council on Resolution 2334, just as it did at the World Health Organization General Assembly in May, when France voted in favor of a measure that bizarrely singled out Israel by name as the only country in the world accused of undermining “mental, physical and environmental health,” and when France could do no more than abstain at UNESCO in April on a resolution that denied any Jewish (and Christian) link to the holy sites in Jerusalem. If the aim is to advance a two-state accord, then it’s high time to face facts.


Fact #1: From the Peel Commission report of 1937 until today, the Palestinians and their supporters have, in the end, rejected every compromise put on the table to find a viable solution. Fact #2: Every effort that circumvents the face-to-face negotiating table only emboldens the Palestinians to believe they can get all they want without the need for direct talks with Israel, and the inevitable compromises that would result from any agreement.


Fact #3: Palestinian incitement is not just a minor issue, to be thrown into UN resolutions and diplomatic speeches as an afterthought or footnote, but the heart of the problem. As long as Palestinians glorify suicide bombings and “martyrdom,” and deny the Jewish people’s legitimacy in Israel, there will be no solution. Fact #4: The role of nations of good will should be to send a clear message to the Palestinians that their every whim, no matter how counter-productive to the cause of peace, will no longer be indulged. Israel has certainly gotten its share of clear messages from the international community, but, alas, not the other side.


Talleyrand, the legendary French foreign minister who once occupied your post, said: “The art of statesmanship is to foresee the inevitable and to expedite its occurrence.” The inevitable should not be more dead-end international gatherings, but rather face-to-face Israeli-Palestinian talks. When everyone wakes up to that stark reality, perhaps a two-state accord can be expedited.





Melanie Phillips

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 5, 2017


With Israel still looking down the barrel of a diplomatic gun as the Obama presidency approaches its final days, it’s high time to change the narrative. Western progressives define themselves through various fixed positions. They are against racism. They are against colonialism. They are against ethnic cleansing. They are against police states. And they are against antisemitism. So there is a political agenda that is surely tailor-made for Western liberals and left-wingers to shun and condemn as an utter negation of all they hold dear.


The goal of the Palestinians is the colonial conquest of another people’s country. That country is the State of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people whose unique connection goes back to antiquity. In the 7th century the Arab world conquered Judea, as the ancient kingdom of the Jewish people had been known. The Jews had previously been driven out of this land by the Romans, who renamed it Palestine in order to conceal its Jewish antecedents.


The Jews are the only people for whom this was ever their national kingdom. Now the Arabs want again to conquer and colonize the same land, which since 1948 has been restored to the Jewish people. They make this abundantly clear. Mahmoud Abbas has explicitly rejected Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. The Palestinian Authority indoctrinates its children to conquer Israeli cities.


You’ve only got to look at the insignia and maps, not just of Hamas but also Abbas’s “moderate” Fatah, to see that the land they demand for a state of Palestine includes the whole of Israel. Palestinian identity was invented purely to negate the Jews’ unique rights to the Land of Israel. The very idea of a Palestine state was adopted solely as a strategic platform to bring about Israel’s destruction. Leading Palestinians have said so, in so many words. All progressives should therefore condemn this colonialist, exterminatory Palestinian agenda.


The Palestine Mandate of 1922 prescribed the “close settlement” by Jews throughout the whole of Palestine, which then consisted of what is now Israel, the territories known as the West Bank, and Gaza. That Jewish right to settle all the land has never been abrogated. That means it remains unaltered in international law.


The term “occupied territories” is legally illiterate, since the “West Bank” never belonged to any sovereign state and only sovereign land can be occupied as defined by international law.


The Palestinian Arabs have no collective rights in Judea and Samaria. Only the Jews were given the legal right to settle there. This has never been taken away from them. The Jews are therefore not only entitled to live in these disputed territories, but they are the only people who have any legal, moral or historical right to be there. Yet the Palestinians want to rip up this unique Jewish right to the land. All progressives should therefore condemn this denial of international law.


The Palestinians claim there can’t be a state of Palestine while Israelis are living in the disputed territories. Well, why not? Arabs make up some 20% of Israel’s population. Why couldn’t there be a Jewish minority in a future state of Palestine? No reason apart from sheer racism and antisemitism. In other words, the cause of a state of Palestine and “settlers out” inescapably involves racist ethnic cleansing.


The Palestinian Authority pumps out deranged, Nazistyle antisemitism. It locks up journalists and other dissidents who dare oppose its policies. Obviously, all progressives should condemn such an agenda. Yet for liberals and left-wingers in the West, Palestine is the cause of causes – while they falsely and outrageously ascribe the offenses of colonialist conquest, ethnic cleansing and racism to the Jews of Israel instead. This is because Western progressives inhabit a grotesque universe of mirrors, created by viewing the world through an ideological prism which casts the West as inescapably oppressive and the developing world as its blameless victims.


Crucially, they also see themselves as innately virtuous while everyone who does not view the world through this distorting prism is damned as irredeemably hateful, bigoted and evil. This, however, is the progressives’ Achilles’ heel. For if they themselves are shown to be supporting actual racism and colonialism, their supposed place on the moral high ground crumbles into dust and they are left with nowhere else to go. Publicly calling them out in this way for betraying their supposed ideals would bring further benefits. For others would be listening whose minds are not hermetically sealed through ideology or malice.


Those people have no knowledge of the Middle East or Jewish history. They have no idea that the Jews are the only indigenous people of the Land of Israel who are still around; no idea that the Arabs are the historic occupiers; no idea that Israel’s “occupation” is nothing of the kind and that the “settlements” are lawful. They have no idea because no one has ever told them. The delegitimization of Israel rests on the hijacking of the language so that victims are turned into oppressors and vice versa. We must now reclaim the language for truth and justice. Palestinian colonialism means the Palestine cause is one that liberals must condemn and shun. Conversely, “progressives” who support Palestinian colonial conquest and the ethnic cleansing of the Jews from their historic homeland are nothing of the kind. It’s time to start letting them know.



DEFUND THE UNITED NATIONS                                                                                                        

Rich Lowry                                                                                                            

National Review, Dec. 30, 2016


We’ve come a long way from Daniel Patrick Moynihan excoriating the U.N.’s 1975 “Zionism is racism” resolution in one of the finer exhibits of righteous indignation in the history of American speechifying. The Obama administration acceded to — and, reportedly, assisted behind the scenes — a less notorious but still noxious Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements. By the administration’s lights, the action is clever — it will be extremely difficult to reverse and will increase Israel’s international isolation.


But the bipartisan outrage over a resolution that, once again, demonstrates the U.N.’s hostility to our closest ally in the Middle East affords an opportunity to force an overdue crisis in the U.S.–U.N. relationship. We are the chief funder of a swollen, unaccountable U.N. apparatus that has been a gross disappointment for more than 70 years now. Proving that no country is perfect, we came up with the idea for the United Nations in the first place. Franklin Roosevelt thought that the Four Policemen of Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, and China (with France eventually added as well) would keep the peace in the post–World War II world. Spot the flaw in this plan.


This vision immediately foundered on the reality of power politics. The first major event in the U.N.’s life after the Security Council began meeting in New York City was a threatened Soviet walkout. The Soviets used their Security Council veto about 50 times in the U.N.’s first years of existence. It turned out that states with different interests and values weren’t going to act as a band of righteous international enforcers. In fact, as demonstrated in Rwanda and the Balkans, when confronted by hideously predatory forces bent on mayhem and murder, U.N. peacekeepers would simply stand aside.


In the decades after the U.N.’s founding, the influence of Third World dictatorships grew, and so did the institution’s anti-Western and anti-Israel orientation, culminating in the Zionism resolution that U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Moynihan so memorably inveighed against. That vote was finally reversed in 1991, but prejudice against Israel has become one of the U.N.’s core competencies — as well as impenetrable bureaucracy. As early as 1947, a U.S. Senate committee flagged “serious problems of overlap, duplication of effort, weak coordination, proliferating mandates and programs, and overly generous compensation of staff within the infant, but rapidly growing, UN system.” And those were the early, lean years. We pay more than anyone else to keep the U.N. in business, about 22 percent of the U.N.’s regular budget. As Brett Schaefer of the Heritage Foundation notes, “the U.S. is assessed more than 176 other U.N. member states combined.”


Because nothing involving the U.N. is clean or straightforward, it’s hard to even know how much the U.S. pays in total into the U.N. system. But it’s probably around $8 billion a year. We should withhold some significant portion of it, and demand an end to the U.N.’s institutional hostility to Israel and the implementation of reforms to increase the organization’s accountability. There are individual U.N. agencies that do good work, and we can continue to support those.


Realistically, though, the U.N. will always be a disappointment. The fact is that the closest thing to what FDR envisioned in the U.N. is NATO, a like-minded group of nations that has been a force for peace, order, and freedom. This is why President-elect Donald Trump should embrace NATO and turn his critical eye to the U.N., where there is the genuine opportunity to, if nothing else, save the U.S. some money and rattle the cages of people taking advantage of our beneficence. Charles de Gaulle dismissively called the U.N. “the thing.” The thing will always stumble on, but maybe Donald Trump can teach it a lesson or two about how we truly value our ally and its nemesis, Israel.







Oren Safdie

National Post, Jan. 9, 2017


I never considered myself a Jewish Settler. Growing up, spending my summers in our family home in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem, it was always considered different than living in the settlements of the West Bank or Gaza. Perhaps this had to do with the name — Jewish Quarter — or that it was understood by everyone that the Western Wall and surrounding neighbourhood would always remain part of Israel in any final peace settlement. Then again, this is the same argument many of the Jewish settlements along the Green Line have made when building within their given city limits. But to the eyes of the Palestinians —  and since the passing of UN Resolution 2334, also to Barack Obama and his UN ambassador, Samantha Power — there’s absolutely no difference.


From the time we moved into the house, many Israeli, Jewish and non-Jewish artists, journalists, politicians and other dignitaries have passed through the doors. I remember poet Yehuda Amichai coming over for lunch and giving me advice about becoming a writer. I once ran into Peter Jennings in the street and showed him to our rooftop where he filmed a final scene of his ABC special on the Middle East, showing just how close the Western Wall was to the Dome of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.


One thing almost every visitor shared in common was their staunch opposition to the “settler” movement, as did my parents. West Bank and Gaza “settlers” were seen as radical messianic religious zealots, responsible for wrecking the peace process, much in the way John Kerry recently characterized present Israeli government policy.


And yet with the passing of Resolution 2334, it now stands that anyone who stepped foot in the Jewish Quarter or had gone to pray at the Wailing Wall were playing an equal part in condoning the occupation. Even the many Israeli performing artists who recently signed a petition refusing to perform in Ariel in the West Bank will now have to contend with the prospect of adding the Old City to the list. Of course, what makes this so complicated is that the American players who are rumoured to have played an active role bringing the resolution forth, exhibited inconsistent behaviour themselves in the lead-up to the resolution vote.


Nobody thought twice when President Barack Obama visited Israel, and to the delight of Israelis and Jews, deposited a note in the cracks of the “occupied” Wailing Wall. And Ambassador Samantha Power must not have thought of the Jewish Quarter as too occupied since she was known to stay in the Jewish Quarter when she came to Jerusalem prior to becoming an ambassador. In reality, this convenient double standard has not only served Obama and Power, but almost all Israelis, as well as many visiting Jews and non-Jews with strong feelings against the settler movement.


The question is, now what? Will Israelis who supported Obama refuse to attend their sons’ and daughters’ army graduation ceremonies at the Kotel? Will the progressive Jewish movement “Women of the Wall” cease their campaign to find a spot along the last remnants of Herod’s Second Temple — which, incidentally, UNESCO recently rejected any historical connection to Jewish history? Where will presidents and foreign ministers like John Kerry go to pay their respects to Israeli and Jewish people when they come to visit Israel? Will they now feel obliged to go to Tel Aviv and slip a note into the cracks of the cement wall off Dizengoff Square? Or will everyone simply reject the United Nations resolution and go about their business, even as new International legal sanctions are bound to grow?


Resolution 2334 may have blurred the line on one double standard, but it also has highlighted a triple standard. Even though there are over two dozen countries that have border disputes with neighbouring countries, Israel is the one that the Security Council and Barack Obama have chosen to single out for condemnation. I say triple standard because if Israel is to be singled out for anything, it should be for its repeated efforts to return land for peace, even taking the unprecedented step of abandoning land without getting anything in return … except Hamas rockets.


Perhaps President Obama and Ambassador Power should sponsor a new UN resolution before they leave office. Not one that imposes a basic outline to a final peace agreement, but one that celebrates Israel’s herculean efforts in striving for peace. It might help enforce their own double standards on the Jewish Quarter and Wailing Wall before they abstained on Resolution 2334.


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!




On Topic Links


Stab In The Heart (Video): Rabbi Asher Jacobson, Youtube, Jan. 11, 2017—“Is it possible that Israel is right and the whole world is wrong?”

Netanyahu Dismisses 'Rigged' Paris Peace Conference: Mike Smith, AFP, Jan. 12, 2017—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday dismissed as "rigged" this weekend's Middle East peace conference in Paris, with his government refusing to play any role in the meeting.

Debunking 11 More False Assumptions Regarding Israel: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Jan. 10, 2017—Further to the recent publication of “Ten False Assumptions Regarding Israel,” which addressed many of the widely-held and universally-disseminated false and mistaken assumptions regarding Israel, a number of additional false assumptions – some even more willful and malicious – are addressed.