Tag: Islamic Fundamentalism


Why it’s Naive to Argue that Trump’s Travel Ban is ‘Helping’ to Create Islamic Terrorists: Eli Lake, Bloomberg, Feb. 10, 2017— Since President Donald Trump last month issued an executive order banning travel from seven Muslim majority nations, we’ve heard a lot about how it will aid jihadists.

Islamic Terror and the U.S. Temporary Stay on Immigration: Uzay Bulut, Gatestone Institute, Feb. 13, 2017— In San Bernardino on December 2, 2015, 14 people were murdered and 22 others seriously wounded in a terrorist attack.

Turkey's 'Lifestyle Massacre': Burak Bekdil, Middle East Forum, Jan. 8, 2017— Last year was no doubt an annus horribilis for Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that 1,178 people were killed between July 2015 and December 2016 in Turkey's fight with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Can Islam be Reformed? Who Will, or Even Can Be, a Muslim Martin Luther?: Robert Fulford, National Post, Feb. 10, 2017— “I was a Muslim refugee once,” Ayaan Hirsi Ali declared this week in her response to President Donald Trump’s travel ban.


On Topic Links


The Third Jihad – Radical Islam's Vision for America (Video): Clarion Project, Nov. 21, 2012

Smoking Out Islamists via Extreme Vetting: Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum, Spring 2017

The Final Obama Scandal: Stephen F. Hayes & Thomas Joscelyn, Weekly Standard, Feb. 6, 2017

We Can’t let Radical Islam Take Over the World: Lior Akerman, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 9, 2017                                                                                     


IS ‘HELPING’ TO CREATE ISLAMIC TERRORISTS                                                    

Eli Lake

                      Bloomberg, Feb. 10, 2017


Since President Donald Trump last month issued an executive order banning travel from seven Muslim majority nations, we’ve heard a lot about how it will aid jihadists. Leading Democrats, counterterrorism experts and even Iran’s foreign minister have all asserted that Trump’s travel ban will end up being used by the Islamic State to recruit new terrorists. Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, made this point forcefully on Jan. 30, when he told MSNBC that Trump’s executive order “ultimately is going to get Americans killed.”


The argument goes like this: Jihadists believe there is a Manichaean struggle between Islam and the West. An alleged “Muslim ban” plays directly into this worldview, telling Muslims that they are not safe in the un-Islamic world. No wonder they are calling the executive order a “blessed ban” on Islamic State web forums.


This is a familiar line to anyone who has followed the national security debate since 9/11. Democrats in particular have argued that the Iraq War, the Guantanamo Bay prison and anti-Muslim web videos help to radicalize otherwise peaceful Muslims to murder us at random. Hence Trump’s travel ban is now a “recruitment tool.” If only jihadi recruitment were so easily disrupted. Sadly it’s much more complicated.


To start, the process by which an individual gets sucked into the death cults of al Qaeda or the Islamic State cannot be reduced to a single cause. Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, the research director for the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, put it like this: “The argument that the Trump policy will radicalize people is predicated on the flawed premise that people radicalize as a response to government policy. The reality is it’s a highly complex process that involves religious and personal factors. A government policy may play a role, but it’s one of many factors.” Meleagrou-Hitchens’s program released an invaluable report last year that studied motivations of Americans who had declared allegiance to the Islamic State. It found that the motivations ranged from sympathy for the plight of Syrians suffering under their dictator’s war to a sense of religious obligation to join a new utopian Islamic caliphate.


Another problem with this argument is that it fails to account for the significant rise in radical Islamic terror under President Barack Obama. He went out of his way to counter the jihadist worldview. He began his presidency by delivering a speech to the Islamic world from Cairo, in which he stressed his own administration’s respect for Islam. He promised, and ultimately failed to, close Guantanamo; he withdrew U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011, and he scrubbed terms like “radical Islam” and “war on terror” from the government’s lexicon.


And yet despite his efforts, the FBI arrested more Americans for joining Islamic terrorist groups during his presidency than during that of George W. Bush. And while Obama decimated al Qaeda’s central leadership following the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda’s franchises in Yemen, Somalia and Libya grew stronger. Meanwhile, the Islamic State broke away from al Qaeda during Obama’s presidency and managed to gain territory in Syria and Iraq. Only now has the military campaign to liberate Mosul shown some success.


It’s true that Obama also did many things jihadists did not like during his presidency. For example, he used drone strikes against more of them than his predecessor did. And when the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the legal right to gay marriage, Twitter accounts affiliated with the Islamic State posted video of gay men being thrown to their deaths off of high buildings in Raqqa, with the hashtag #lovewins. The Islamic State didn’t like the Iran nuclear deal, either. After all, Shiites like the Iran regime are seen as apostates, and in the battle for Syria, the Iranians are on the side of the oppressors. This gets to the most important point. The fanatics who seek to recreate an eighth-century caliphate have an endless supply of grievances about our open society. If we succumb to the fallacy that we can counter their propaganda by not doing things they could exploit for propaganda purposes, we are giving them too much power.


A far better argument against Trump’s executive order is that it undermines our own recruitment efforts to counter the jihadists. At first the travel ban applied to translators who helped the U.S. military in Iraq, not to mention leading advocates for the Islamic State’s victims like the Yazidi-Iraqi legislator Vian Dakhil. Fortunately the Trump administration has reversed these elements of the travel ban in the last week. But the perception that America would close its doors to the people who helped us makes it harder to recruit allies against the Islamic State going forward. Critics of Trump’s travel ban are not inclined to make that argument. After all, Democrats were silent when Obama abandoned the Iraqi sheiks who helped to temporarily drive al Qaeda out of the Anbar province between 2007 and 2009. At the time, they were too busy insisting the Iraq War helped create more terrorists.







Uzay Bulut

Gatestone Institute, Feb. 13, 2017


In San Bernardino on December 2, 2015, 14 people were murdered and 22 others seriously wounded in a terrorist attack. The perpetrators were Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, a married couple. Farook was an American-born U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, who worked as a health department employee. Malik was a Pakistani-born lawful permanent resident of the United States. Among the victims of the terror attack was Bennetta Bet-Badal, an Assyrian Christian woman born in Iran in 1969. She fled to the U.S. at age 18 to escape Islamic extremism and the persecution of Christians that followed the Iranian revolution.


"This attack," stated the Near East Center for Strategic Engagement (NEC-SE), "showcases how Assyrians fled tyranny, oppression, and persecution for freedom and liberty, only to live in a country that is also beginning to be subject to an ever-increasing threat by the same forms of oppressors…NEC-SE would like to take this opportunity to once again urge action to directly arming the Assyrians and Yezidis and other minorities in their indigenous homeland, so that they can defend themselves against terrorism and oppression. This tragedy is evidence that the only way to effectively counter terrorism is not solely here in the US, but abroad and at its root."


Members of the Islamic State (ISIS) have declared several times that they target "kafirs" (infidels) in the West. In 2014, Syrian-born Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the official spokesperson and a senior leader of the Islamic State, declared that supporters of the Islamic State from all over the world should attack citizens of Western states, including the US, France and UK: "If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way, however it may be. "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."


It is this barbarity that the new U.S. administration is trying to stop. FBI Director James Comey also warned in July of last year that hundreds of terrorists will fan out to infiltrate western Europe and the U.S. to carry out attacks on a wider scale, as Islamic State is defeated in Syria. "At some point there's going to be a terrorist diaspora out of Syria like we've never seen before. We saw the future of this threat in Brussels and Paris," said Comey, adding that future attacks will be on "an order of magnitude greater."


How many ISIS operatives are there in the U.S.? Are ISIS sleeper cells likely in American cities? The people who are trying to create hysteria over the new steps taken by the Trump Administration should focus on investigating these issues more broadly, but they do not. To them, it must be easier to go after the U.S. president than after ISIS terrorists. This way, they can also pose as "heroes" while ignoring the real threat to all of humanity.


It is not only Islamic terrorists that pose a threat. It is also the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, the font of all the modern extremist Muslim ideologies. The crimes committed by radical Muslims are beyond horrific, but it is getting harder to expose and criticize them. Many critics of Islam in Western countries — including those of Muslim origin — have received countless death deaths and have been exposed to various forms of intimidation.


Some were murdered, such as the Dutch film director, Theo van Gogh. His "crime" was to produce the short film Submission (2004) about the treatment of women under Islam. He was assassinated the same year by Mohammed Bouyeri, a Moroccan-Dutch Muslim. Some have had to go into hiding. American cartoonist Molly Norris, who promoted an "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day", had to go into hiding in 2010 after her life was threatened by Islamic extremists. She also changed her name and stopped producing work for the Seattle Weekly, the New York Times reported. Who are these people hiding from? From the most radical and devoted followers of the "religion of peace".


Why should people living in free Western countries be forced to live in fear because they rightfully criticize a destructive and murderous ideology? They get numerous death threats from some people in the West because they courageously oppose grave human rights violations — forced marriages, honor killings, child rape, murdering homosexuals and female genital mutilation (FGM), among others. Why do we even call criticism of such horrific practices "courageous"? It should have been the most normal and ordinary act to criticize beheadings, mutilations and other crimes committed by radical Muslims. But it is not. It does require tremendous courage to criticize these acts committed in the name of a religion. For everybody knows that the critics of Islam are risking their lives and security…

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





Burak Bekdil

Middle East Forum, Jan. 8, 2017


Last year was no doubt an annus horribilis for Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that 1,178 people were killed between July 2015 and December 2016 in Turkey's fight with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Bomb attacks by the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed another 330 lives. Those numbers exclude 248 people who died during the bloody coup attempt of July 15, as well as 9,500 apparent PKK members who were killed by Turkish security forces. Turkey also claims that it killed 1,800 ISIS members since July 2015. These numbers put the total death toll in Turkey at 13,056, in a span of fewer than 17 months.


Just when most people thought that would be the final death toll for 2016, on December 10, a twin bombing in Istanbul outside a soccer stadium killed at least 38 people, and injured another 136. A week later, a suicide car-bomb in central Turkey killed 13 off-duty soldiers aboard a bus and wounded 56 more. After so much bloodshed, Turks thought they could now enjoy New Year's festivities in peace. They were wrong.


About an hour into the New Year, a mysterious man, later identified as a Kyrgyz ISIS terrorist, walked into Reina, a posh nightclub on the Bosporus, took out an assault rifle and started to shoot at the hundreds of guests celebrating the New Year. The assailant killed 39 people and injured 65, changed his clothes, and, pretending to be a customer, walked out of the club. As of January 8, the killer was still on the run.


ISIS terror attacks are no more than violent expressions of the dominant Islamist ideology ruling in Turkey. The attack at Reina was ISIS's 15th major act of violence in Turkey since 2014, but its first targeting a nightclub. There was, in fact, a "sociology" behind the jihadists' choice of target. ISIS clearly wanted to send various messages at many wavelengths. One was to tell "infidel" Turks that they should not celebrate the New Year; another was to tell conservative Muslim Turks that ISIS was on their side. Actually, ISIS's terror attack was no more than a violent expression of the dominant Islamist ideology ruling in Turkey.


About 10 days before ISIS's attack, Turkish authorities banned teachers and pupils at Istanbul Lisesi, an elite school in Istanbul that is partly funded by Germany, from singing carols or celebrating Christmas in any way. German teachers at the school received an email from the headmaster early in December, informing them of the new rules.


Around the same time, a soap opera broadcast on Samanyolu TV, a conservative Muslim station, featured Santa Claus as a "terrorist." Meanwhile, Turkey's top religious authority, the prime ministry's General Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), declared at Friday prayer sermons that New Year celebrations were religiously "illegitimate."


Elsewhere in Turkey, banners were unfurled, showing a bearded man punching Santa Claus; another banner showed a group pointing guns in the face of another Santa. On December 31, a headline in an Islamist newspaper read, "This is our last warning, DO NOT celebrate."


Taha Akyol, a prominent Turkish columnist, calls ISIS's latest attack "a lifestyle massacre." He wrote: "Innocent people who were having fun were massacred because of their lifestyle." He reminds that about 8% of Turks sympathize with ISIS. That makes nearly 6.5 million people. ISIS's attack on Reina was a salute to those millions of Turks who admit their sympathy for ISIS, and millions of others who hide their sympathy.


With its increasing vulnerability to jihadist terror and with a homegrown jihadist ideology that provides a safe haven for terror, Turkey is becoming like Iraq, where violence takes lives almost daily. ISIS's first act of terror targeting Christmas celebrations took place on December 25, 2013, when the radical group killed 38 Christians in Baghdad. Three years later, ISIS visited New Year's celebrations in Istanbul.


Where, you might ask, are the Turkish authorities? They are busy. The Turkish police, unable to prevent ISIS's attack, instead detained a woman in Istanbul who called for secularism in a speech protesting jihadist groups. Aysegul Basar, a leftist, was detained after her speech, given at an Istanbul teahouse, emerged on social media. "We say 'enough!' From now on we won't allow ISIL or any reactionary jihadist group into our neighborhoods," Basar had said. From a law enforcement point of view, Istanbul is safer for an ISIS gunman than for someone who pledges to fight jihadists.      






                                                            Robert Fulford

National Post, Feb. 10, 2017


“I was a Muslim refugee once,” Ayaan Hirsi Ali declared this week in her response to President Donald Trump’s travel ban. “I know what it’s like. I know what it’s like to fear rejection, deportation and the dangers that await you back home.”


She remembers being in the Frankfurt airport in 1992, waiting for the plane that would take her to Canada for a marriage arranged against her will by her father. Something cracked, a spirit of individualism stirred within her, and suddenly she needed to escape. Somalia-born, she fled to the Netherlands, obtained asylum and learned Dutch. She studied John Locke, Voltaire and John Stuart Mill while doing a graduate degree at the University of Leiden. It was, she recently said, a journey “from the world of faith to the world of reason.” She decided that Islam is, among other things, too intolerant of free thought. Now she’s an ex-Muslim and an articulate author. She’s also very much an American and a believer in democracy.


Probably to the surprise of her admirers, she sees good intentions in Trump’s executive order about refugees. It was clumsy and confusing but it demonstrated, she says, that Trump has a realistic view of “the hateful ideology of radical Islam” and its continuing threat to democracy. She shows no sympathy for those, like Barack Obama, who could not utter a phrase like “Islamic violence” lest he encourage bigotry.


She cites a survey showing that large numbers of Muslims in many countries believe Sharia law is the word of God and should govern where they live. Many also think Muslims who leave Islam (as Hirsi Ali did) deserve execution, that suicide bombing in defence of Islam can be justified, and that honour killing of women is not always deplorable.


This way of thinking is spreading, and works against the reformation of Islam that she considers necessary. She believes the Trump administration should not only fight Islamist violence but should oppose Dawa, the proselytizing of Islam, “which is already well established right here in the United States.” This movement has “for too long been going on with impunity.” She wants to see it dismantled. The U.S. should start with a commission on Islam so that the public can know what it’s facing.


Having dedicated herself to reforming Islam, she believes the U.S. government should play a vigorous part in that process. How will that happen? By mass education? A propaganda campaign? How could Muslims accept enormous changes in their thinking?


Could they change something so large, reaching into many lives? The all-time champion in the revision of religious belief is Martin Luther, the friar who started a new phase in European history by disobeying Catholic authority on the question of selling indulgences. When he challenged church authority with a protest that he nailed on a church door in Wittenberg in 1517, half a millennium ago, he inadvertently created the Christian Reformation and became the most famous man in Europe. But someone dealing with Islam will have an even harder job than he had. Islam has no pope, no overall authority to defy. It differs from community to community, from imam to imam.


How could Muslims accept radical changes in their thinking? She believes that the U.S. won the Cold War, in part, by exposing the evils of communism. Now the U.S. must expose the ideology of radical Islam. There are many reformed Muslims in America, she argues, immigrants who have adopted “the core values of Western democracies, using the freedoms they have found in the West.” Many thrive.


They are her models, the beginning of a free and tolerant Islam. Hirsi Ali seems to believe that Muslims can be converted to democracy, presumably because democracy will work better for them than a theocratic tyranny. But many or most Muslims can barely believe in the existence of nations that pride themselves on their tolerance, in which one religion is as acceptable as another. At the outer extreme, the soldiers of the Islamic State are so convinced of Islam’s total and exclusive truth that they take pleasure in destroying monuments left behind by religions that died before Islam was born. To many in the Christian and Jewish traditions, that’s outlandish, but within Islam it makes a kind of sense.


If Muslims were to accept another form of religion, they would have to give up their politics as well, since many countries govern by Islamic rules. They cannot easily change, as countries in the West try socialism for a while, then switch back to a market economy. Just contemplating that sort of transition would be unthinkable for many.


From the perspective of the West, the world would be more peaceful if Muslims were persuaded to adopt some version of Hirsi Ali’s proposal. It seems more likely that many, from the depths of their convictions, will brusquely dismiss her as a heretic and go on their way. Still, it’s stimulating that a world citizen like Hirsi Ali devotes her attention to this issue. In her courageous way she opens a pressing issue and demands we think seriously about it.




On Topic Links


The Third Jihad – Radical Islam's Vision for America (Video): Clarion Project, Nov. 21, 2012—The Third Jihad is a film that exposes the threat that Islamic extremism poses to the American way of life.

Smoking Out Islamists via Extreme Vetting: Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum, Spring 2017—Donald Trump issued an executive order on Jan. 27 establishing radically new procedures to deal with foreigners who apply to enter the United States.

The Final Obama Scandal: Stephen F. Hayes & Thomas Joscelyn, Weekly Standard, Feb. 6, 2017—Less than 24 hours before the official end of the Obama presidency, while White House staffers were pulling pictures off the walls and cleaning out their desks, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) posted without fanfare another installment of the documents captured in Osama bin Laden’s compound during the May 2011 raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

We Can’t let Radical Islam Take Over the World: Lior Akerman, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 9, 2017  —‘All Muslims are terrorists.’ “Islam will destroy the world.” “All the Muslims want to kill us.” What are we to make of these political slogans? Is every person who calls out Allahu akbar intending to kill people? Let’s take a step back and learn some facts.                       










The Turmoil in Turkey: Editorial, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 3, 2017— Islamic State claimed responsibility Monday for a New Year’s terrorist attack at an Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people…

In Turkey, U.S. Hand Is Seen in Nearly Every Crisis: Tim Arango, New York Times, Jan. 4, 2017— Turkish officials accused the United States of abetting a failed coup last summer.

Turkey’s True Tragedy Is the Anti-Israel Tyrant Erdogan: Ruthie Blum, Algemeiner, Dec. 14. 2016  — On Sunday, after visiting the Haseki Hospital in Istanbul, where scores of survivors of Saturday night’s twin bombings near the capital city’s Besiktas stadium were being treated for serious injuries, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was surrounded outside by crowds shouting “Allahu akbar” (“God is great”).

Turkey's "Long Arm" in Europe: Burak Bekdil, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 1, 2017— Officially, Turkey's General Directorate for Religious Affairs (Diyanet in Turkish) has a mission about offering institutional religious services independent of all political ideologies.


On Topic Links


ISIS’s Jihad on Turkey: Roy Gutman, Daily Beast, Jan. 2, 2017

Turkey Brandishes Incirlik Card to Threaten US: Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, Jan. 4, 2017

How Istanbul Nightclub Attack was Linked to Turkey’s Culture War: Mustafa Akyol, Al-Monitor, Jan. 4, 2017

Turkey’s Genocidal Shame: Robert Fulford, National Post, Sept. 16, 2016





Wall Street Journal, Jan. 3, 2017


Islamic State claimed responsibility Monday for a New Year’s terrorist attack at an Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people, and the Turks deserve Western support as they fight on the front lines against jihadists. The tragedy is that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems intent on alienating so many of his friends and antiterror allies, including anyone who supports democratic values.


ISIS is suspected of having carried out previous attacks in Turkey, such as June’s suicide bombings at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport that killed 45. Though this is the first direct claim of responsibility, ISIS is known for attacking soft targets popular with foreigners. The victims included citizens of Belgium, Canada, Kuwait, Lebanon, India, Israel, Morocco, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. ISIS said it targeted the nightclub because Christians would be “celebrating their pagan holiday.” The killer was still at large as we went to press, but the ISIS claim will make it harder for Mr. Erdogan to resort to his usual default of blaming the Kurds for every attack in Turkey. The Kurdish insurgency broke out anew after Mr. Erdogan abandoned peace talks in 2015 and some Kurds have committed atrocities.


But the escalating tempo and intensity of Turkey’s Islamist insurgency reveals the folly of Mr. Erdogan’s history of underestimating the ISIS threat. For years Ankara looked the other way as hard-line jihadists poured into Syria, destabilizing both sides of the border. He still sometimes implies he might let Syrian migrants flood Europe again to gain diplomatic leverage, as if the threat doesn’t also hurt Turkey’s security. Mr. Erdogan’s own Islamist and autocratic tendencies have also compounded the country’s vulnerability. Since an attempted coup last summer, the President has purged thousands of police officers and soldiers, and the resulting talent and resources gap may have damaged Ankara’s counterterror capabilities.


He is also using the coup and terrorism as excuses to crack down on institutions like a free press and independent judiciary that could help counter the Islamist threat. After Islamic State recently burned alive two Turkish soldiers, Mr. Erdogan’s government instructed the Turkish media not to publish images from an Islamic State video of the murders. Does he think Turks won’t hear about it? A Wall Street Journal reporter in Turkey, Dion Nissenbaum, was detained and held incommunicado last week for reasons that were never made clear. Mr. Nissenbaum was denied contact with his family, lawyers and colleagues for nearly three days before he was released and allowed to leave the country. Our Sohrab Ahmari has written about Andrew Brunson, a Christian pastor and U.S. citizen imprisoned by Turkish police on charges of belonging to a terrorist group after 23 years raising a family in the country. The Turks have provided scant evidence for the charge.


Mr. Erdogan is polarizing Turkish society when it badly needs a unified front to fight jihadists. He also needs allies against Islamic State, but he sees treachery everywhere these days except among his new friends in Moscow. Turkey would be a more secure country, and a better one, if Mr. Erdogan’s response to every problem wasn’t to put more power in his own hands.           




Tim Arango                                                                                                                     

New York Times, Jan. 4, 2017


Turkish officials accused the United States of abetting a failed coup last summer. When the Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated last month, the Turkish press said the United States was behind the attack. And once again, after a gunman walked into an Istanbul nightclub early on New Year’s Day and killed dozens, the pro-government news media pointed a finger at the United States. “America Chief Suspect,” one headline blared after the attack. On Twitter, a Turkish lawmaker, referring to the name of the nightclub, wrote: “Whoever the triggerman is, Reina attack is an act of CIA. Period.”


Turkey has been confronted with a cascade of crises that seem to have only accelerated as the Syrian civil war has spilled across the border. But the events have not pushed Turkey closer to its NATO allies. Conversely, they have drifted further apart as the nation lashes out at Washington and moves closer to Moscow, working with the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, to secure a cease-fire in Syria.


One story in the Turkish press, based on a routine travel warning issued by the American Embassy in Turkey, was that the United States had advance knowledge of the nightclub attack, which the Islamic State later claimed responsibility for. Another suggested that stun grenades used by the gunman had come from stocks held by the American military. Still another claimed the assault was a plot by the United States to sow divisions in Turkey between the secular and the religious. Rather than bringing the United States and Turkey together in the common fight against terrorism, the nightclub attack, even with the gunman still on the run, appears to have only accelerated Turkey’s shift away from the West, at a time when its democracy is eroding amid a growing crackdown on civil society.


All of this is a reflection, many critics say, of what they call the paranoia and authoritarianism of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose leadership has so deeply divided the country that, instead of unifying to confront terrorism, Turkish society is fracturing further with each attack. The West, symbolized by the United States, is the perennial bogeyman. While seeming to pile on the Obama administration in its waning days — by accusing it of supporting Turkey’s enemies, including the Islamic State; Kurdish militants; and supporters of an exiled Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, whom Mr. Erdogan blamed for directing the coup — Turkish officials are also telegraphing something else: that they are willing to open the door and improve relations with the United States once President-elect Donald J. Trump takes office.


“Our expectation from the new administration is to end this shame,” Turkey’s prime minister, Binali Yildirim, said this week while accusing the United States of providing weapons to Kurdish militants in Syria who are fighting the Islamic State, but are also an enemy of Turkey. “We are not holding the new administration responsible for this,” Mr. Yildirim said. “Because this is the work of the Obama administration.”


Meanwhile, the nightclub assailant is on the loose. The Turkish authorities said on Wednesday that they had identified the killer, but refused to release any other details, although photographs of the man, from surveillance cameras, have been released. Also, a video surfaced that appeared to show the assailant recording himself in Istanbul’s Taksim Square. A senior United States official, who has been briefed on the investigation and spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential details, said the Turks had recovered the video from a raid on a house in Istanbul. The official said the Turks now believed the killer was from Uzbekistan, not Kyrgyzstan, as many reports this week had first suggested. The official expressed alarm at the growing anti-Americanism in Turkey, which seems to accumulate after each crisis here, and said it put the lives of Americans in the country in jeopardy.


The chaotic investigation has added to the anxiety on Istanbul’s streets, with vehicle checkpoints, night raids on houses and low-flying helicopters. “There is significant fear in ordinary people,” said Aydin Engin, a columnist at the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, who was detained last year as part of the government’s crackdown on the news media. “Fear prevails when it comes to going to an entertainment place, being in a crowd, going to a shopping mall, getting on the metro.”


With each passing day, public life descends deeper into what many Turks concede is a mix of darkness and seeming absurdity, with growing fears of violence and expressions of xenophobia set next to repressions on civic life. In the days before and after the nightclub massacre on the shores of the Bosporus, nationalists staged a mock execution of Santa Claus in the name of defending Islam; a reporter for The Wall Street Journal was detained, strip-searched and placed in solitary confinement — for, according to the newspaper’s account, “violating a government ban on publication of images from an Islamic State video”; and a well-known fashion designer was beaten up at the Istanbul airport and arrested for his social media posts…

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





Ruthie Blum

Algemeiner, Dec. 14. 2016 


On Sunday, after visiting the Haseki Hospital in Istanbul, where scores of survivors of Saturday night’s twin bombings near the capital city’s Besiktas stadium were being treated for serious injuries, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was surrounded outside by crowds shouting “Allahu akbar” (“God is great”). As funerals began to be held for the 44 people killed in the bombings, most of them police officers, the government declared a national day of mourning, and Erdogan vowed to bring the perpetrators of the latest mass assault in Turkey to justice.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened his weekly cabinet meeting that morning by saying, “In the struggle against terrorism there has to be a mutuality in condemnation as well as in thwarting the attacks, and that is Israel’s expectation from all countries it has relations with.” The message he was conveying to Erdogan was harsh, but apt. Though Jerusalem and Ankara have restored diplomatic ties after a six-year split — with the incoming Turkish emissary’s arrival in Tel Aviv virtually coinciding with the attack — relations between the two are cold.


Erdogan is an Islamist tyrant, who has spent the past 14 years transforming the previously democratic country into his personal fiefdom, incarcerating anyone he deems a threat to his rule. This practice burst into full flower following the failed coup attempt against him in July, which some believe he orchestrated for the purpose of legitimizing his sweeping oppression. Nor are his repeated declarations about combating terrorism anything more than propaganda. He has illustrated in word and deed that he is selective about which groups he believes need eradicating and which others are worth bolstering. So, while joining the West in fighting Islamic State thugs, he boasts a close partnership with Hamas, the equally vicious murder machine that controls the Gaza Strip, and the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s outlawed terrorist organization.


Indeed, it was his instigation of the attempt to break Israel’s naval blockade on Gaza that precipitated the Turkey-Israel schism. This was only bridged when Israel conceded to a list of utterly unjust and draconian demands, including $20 million “compensation” to the families of the perpetrators killed and injured on the Mavi Marmara ship by IDF commandos who shot at their assailants in self-defense.


In August, a month after the attempted coup in Turkey, a Qassam rocket struck a yard in the southern Israeli city of Sderot. Though the attack was committed by a different terrorist group, Israel made good on its oft-repeated promise to hold Hamas responsible for any such activity emanating from Gaza, and bombarded a number of targets in the terrorist-run enclave. The rocket attack and retaliatory strike took place two days after the Turkish parliament ratified the rapprochement agreement with Israel reached in June. Nevertheless, Erdogan’s Foreign Ministry ripped into Israel, “strongly condemning” its “disproportionate attacks, unacceptable whatever prompted them.”


“The normalization of our country’s relations with Israel does not mean we will stay silent in the face of such attacks against the Palestinian people,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s statement read. Israel’s Foreign Ministry shot back: “The normalization of our relations with Turkey does not mean that we will remain silent in the face of its baseless condemnations. Israel will continue to defend its civilians from all rocket fire on our territory, in accordance with international law and our conscience. Turkey should think twice before criticizing the military actions of others.”


As if to prove that he never “thinks twice” before engaging in hypocrisy and brutality, Erdogan launched a full-fledged military operation in the town of Jarablus, along the Turkey-Syria border, three days later. The purpose of the operation, code-named “Euphrates Shield,” was to wrest the area from Islamic State terrorists and Syria-based Kurdish militias affiliated with insurgents in Turkey. That the Kurds were also fighting Islamic State, and receiving U.S. aid to do so, was of no interest to Erdogan, who views them as a danger to his reign. This is why his first reaction to Saturday night’s carnage was to blame the Kurds and their “Western” backers. His second was to impose a ban on news coverage of the event, and arrest a number of people who posted comments about it on social media. This is but one tiny example of Erdogan’s lack of genuine desire to stomp out terrorism.


Another was apparent at the end of last month. A week before Israel’s new ambassador to Turkey, Eitan Na’eh, presented his credentials in Ankara, Istanbul hosted the first annual conference of the association of “Parliamentarians for Al-Quds.” During the two-day gathering, Erdogan said, “Policies of oppression, deportation and discrimination have been increasingly continuing against our Palestinian brothers since 1948. Actually, I am of the belief that the Palestinian issue serves as a litmus test for the UN Security Council.”


Erdogan’s statement was a milder version of what he had said several days earlier, in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2: “I don’t agree with what Hitler did and I also don’t agree with what Israel did in Gaza,” he told interviewer Ilana Dayan. “Therefore there’s no place for comparison in order to say what’s more barbaric.” Erdogan’s open assertion that the establishment of the Jewish state is responsible for its “Nazi-like” response to decades of Palestinian-Arab terrorism tells us all we need to know about his true attitude towards the slaughter of innocent people. It is he who is Turkey’s greatest tragedy.





                     TURKEY'S "LONG ARM" IN EUROPE                

         Burak Bekdil

                                                  Gatestone Institute, Jan. 1, 2016


Officially, Turkey's General Directorate for Religious Affairs (Diyanet in Turkish) has a mission about offering institutional religious services independent of all political ideologies. In practice, Diyanet's understanding of "offering institutional religious services" can be different from what the term should mean. Recently, the office of Istanbul's mufti, an official of Diyanet, described the location of a mosque as "… it was [in the past] a filthy Jewish and Christian neighbourhood." After press coverage, the depiction was removed from the web page.


Diyanet's "institutional religious services" may sometimes even overlap with what in other countries people call intelligence. In a briefing for a parliamentary commission, Diyanet admitted that it gathered intelligence via imams from 38 countries on the activities of suspected followers of the US-based preacher Fetullah Gülen, whom the Turkish government accused of being the mastermind of the attempted coup on July 15. As if it is the most normal thing in the world, Diyanet said its imams gathered intelligence and prepared reports from Abkhazia, Germany, Albania, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.


After several other political absurdities, Turkey has finally won the title of having the world's first spook-imams — and that is official. This is unnerving for many European countries hosting millions of Turks. In October, a Turkish-German political scientist, Burak Copur, warned that growing support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could lead to Germans of Turkish descent creating a violent Turkish nationalist movement. In July, Cem Ozdemir, an ethnic Turk and leader of Germany's Greens Party, warned of the influence of the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), which he claimed took its funding and its orders directly from Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP). A similar statement was made the month before by integration commissioner Aydan Ozoguz.


The Dutch government has warned people about "agent imams" from Turkey, and has solicited complaints about malfeasance. The Netherlands also said it would challenge every instance of the "long arm" of Ankara extending to its territory, after a report that the Turkish embassy had sent home many Dutch Turks who might have sympathized with July's failed coup. Turkey's ambassador to The Hague was summoned after reports that a Diyanet official acknowledged he had compiled a list of "Gülenists".


Germany was less diplomatic in expressing its discontent about Turkish spies. Earlier in December, German police arrested a 31-year-old Turkish man suspected of providing information on Kurds living in Germany to Turkish intelligence agencies, according to the German federal prosecutor's office. A statement from the office said: "The accused is strongly suspected of working for the Turkish intelligence agency and providing information about Kurds living in Germany, including their whereabouts, contacts and political activities". Turkey is exporting its political wars and tensions to Europe. That is not a good sign for the Old Continent.






The Government of Canada is proceeding to address unproven increases in instances of “Islamophobia” while calling for countering unsubstantiated charges of “systemic racism and religious discrimination”. This issue was originally tabled in Parliament in the form of a House of Commons “E” petition (e-411) by Thomas Mulcair, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada. The petition called for the condemnation of “all forms of Islamophobia” and received UNANIMOUS consent by Canadian Members of Parliament on 26 October, 2016. This was followed in rapid-fire fashion by a second motion sponsored by Iqra Khalid, Member of Parliament from Mississauga Erin-Mills. The first initiative was progressed with little public input and scant interest displayed by the media at-large. The second motion was tabled on 01 December, 2016 and called for the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to produce related findings and recommendations within 240 calendar days of the motion’s acceptance…


Given the current Government’s stated goal of obtaining a seat at the United Nations Security Council, pressures from within and outside the country from powerful Islamic lobby groups and the Government’s demonstrated proclivity to progress the “Islamophobia” initiative with undue haste and in the absence of evidence, there is a real risk that the fundamental right to “free speech” by all Canadians will be unnecessarily curtailed to accommodate the sensibilities of a specialized group….No such breach of the rights of Canadian citizens (should) be countenanced…all Canadians’…fundamental right to free speech (should be) preserved.                                                                                                                        

[To review the resolutions, and the petition related to them, click the following link—Ed.]




On Topic Links


ISIS’s Jihad on Turkey: Roy Gutman, Daily Beast, Jan. 2, 2017—Ten days before the New Year's attack on an Istanbul night club for which the so-called Islamic State now claims responsibility,  it posted a grisly video on social media showing its forces burning two Turkish soldiers alive—and coupled it with a warning of worse atrocities to come.

Turkey Brandishes Incirlik Card to Threaten US: Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, Jan. 4, 2017—Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu renewed calls today for Washington to sever ties with the Syrian Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the top ally of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State, and to provide air support to Turkish forces fighting to dislodge the jihadists from the Syrian town of al-Bab.

How Istanbul Nightclub Attack was Linked to Turkey’s Culture War: Mustafa Akyol, Al-Monitor, Jan. 4, 2017—On New Year’s Eve, many Turks, including myself, were hoping to begin a less bloody and less depressing year than 2016. It took only one hour and 15 minutes, however, for 2017 to present its first carnage. A lone gunman, later identified as a militant of the Islamic State (IS), entered Reina, one of Istanbul’s top nightclubs, and killed 39 people who were celebrating the New Year. He also triggered a deep fault line in Turkish society between the more secular, Westernized Turks, and more traditional Islamic ones.

Turkey’s Genocidal Shame: Robert Fulford, National Post, Sept. 16, 2016 —A question Adolf Hitler once asked still haunts the history of political atrocities: “Who remembers the Armenians today?”









Why the Arab Terror in Jerusalem?: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Breaking Israel News, Oct. 20, 2016— Hope, not despair, is the reason for Islamic-Arab terror in Jerusalem.

A Stark Prognosis for the Middle East: Efraim Inbar, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 4, 2016 — Several major developments in the Middle East will keep the region a wellspring of Islamic terror and a source of inspiration for Islamist radicals for the foreseeable future.

Islamist Violence Will Steer Europe's Destiny: Daniel Pipes, Washington Times, Oct. 10, 2016  — While visiting predominantly Muslim suburbs emerging outside nearly all northern European cities, one question keeps recurring…

Guess Who Is Helping Islamists to Oppress Women?: Thomas Quiggin, Gatestone Institute, Oct. 10, 2016— Advocating violence against women and other misogynist practices are increasingly being accepted by individuals who identify themselves as "feminists" and "female leaders."


On Topic Links


Teach the Truth About Islamophobia: Barbara Kay, National Post, Sept. 14, 2016

Bombing Suspect is No Lone Wolf, But a Terrorist With a Family of Sympathizers: Paul Sperry, New York Post, Sept. 24, 2016

Terror Crossroads: On Europe’s Doorstep: Gordon N. Bardos, World Affairs, Spring 2016

A Debate About Terror: Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 21, 2016




Dr. Mordechai Kedar                                                             

Breaking Israel News, Oct. 20, 2016


Hope, not despair, is the reason for Islamic-Arab terror in Jerusalem. A glance at the Islamic-Arab map of terror against Jews makes the picture clear: The terror attacks in Jerusalem are on a larger scale and are more complex and intensive than in other Israeli cities which have a significant Israeli Arab Islamic population – Jaffa, Nazareth, Acre and Haifa. That is what gives rise to the question – why the Arab terror in Jerusalem? What makes this city such an attractive goal for terrorists and terror?


In previous articles, we discussed the historical and religious factors behind Israel’s conflict with its neighbors; namely, that Israel’s very existence and its capital’s establishment in Jerusalem pose a religious challenge for Muslims, who view Islam as the true religion while Judaism, like Christianity, is considered a religion of lies. The return of the Jews to their homeland and historic capital city puts the lie to that concept and threatens Islam’s status in the world.


In addition to the religious component, there is the nationalist one: Israel’s existence is a reflection of the Arab failure to prevent its establishment in 1948 and the additional failure of the Arab nations in every war whose main goal was the destruction of the entire State of Israel. The Arab nations were humiliated – and making peace with Israel is an admission of the continuing shame they feel at the very existence of a Jewish state.


However, all this does not explain why the Arabs living in Jaffa, Haifa, Nazareth and Acre (Akko) for the most part do not take up terror, while many of the Arabs living in Jerusalem spend their days and nights planning terror attacks. Some say that the proximity of the Al Aqsa Mosque is the reason, but that is not true, because the Muslims in Jaffa and Nazareth consider Al Aqsa to be holy as much as the Jerusalem Arabs do, and still they avoid committing terrorist attacks while the Jerusalem Arabs are actively involved in terror.


There has to be another difference between Jerusalem and the other Israeli cities with sizable Arab populations. One could claim that the difference is a result of the length of time Israel is in control of these cities: The four cities of Nazareth, Acre, Haifa and Jaffa have been under Israeli sovereignty for 68 years, while Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods have been part of the Jewish State for only 50 years. But the four cities were tranquil and free of terror way before Israel’s 50th birthday, so why aren’t 50 years enough to calm down the Arab-Muslims in Jerusalem?


The answer is elementary. There is a fundamental difference between Jewish control in Jaffa, Haifa, Nazareth and Acre and Jewish control of Jerusalem. It has to do with the finality of Israeli sovereignty: from that day in June 1949 when armistice – by no means peace!! – agreements were signed in Rhodes between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the Arabs in those four cities realized that they had been transformed permanently, against their will, into citizens of Israel – and will remain that way unless Israel disappears (inshallah!). While Israel exists, there is no other possibility open to them, and that means the end of the struggle and a coming to terms on some level with Israeli sovereignty, whether or not they like it.


The 1949 Arab de facto recognition of Israel brought them to the realization that the Arab world had betrayed them and so they set aside any hopes of being liberated by Arab armies. International recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over their cities increased the feelings of helplessness in the face of the Jewish state and they accepted the rules of that state’s societal, economic and political game, not out of love but because there was no other political game in town that they could join. And most important: they never saw any Israeli, from the radical left to the extreme right, call on Israel to give Jaffa, Haifa, Acre or Nazareth over to Arab control. Facing Israeli unanimity on the subject as well as Arab and international acceptance, they understood that their struggle had ended in failure and that their lives would be lived and their interests pursued within a Jewish state.


In contrast, the Arabs in Jerusalem live in a totally different state of mind, one in which Israeli rule over eastern Jerusalem is not the end of the story. There are many reasons for this: they, too, hear all the Jews who call themselves Zionists and who want to divide Jerusalem in order to establish the capital of a Palestinian State in the eastern sector of the city, the area that has been holy to Judaism for over 3000 years.  They cannot help seeing delusional NGO’s such as “Ir Amim” (literally city of nations”) whose agenda includes recognition of Arab “rights” to establish an Arab capital in Jerusalem although the city was never the capital of any Arab or Islamic state. They cannot but see the environmental neglect in the eastern part of the city as compared with the investment in the appearance of the western part. They see that Al Quds University is not under the aegis of Israel’s Higher Education Council – and they see another thousand proofs that Israel is not really serious about annexing eastern Jerusalem, although 50 years have passed since the  “occupation” began…                                                         

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




A STARK PROGNOSIS FOR THE MIDDLE EAST                                                                             

Efraim Inbar                                                                                                        

Jerusalem Post, Oct. 4, 2016


Several major developments in the Middle East will keep the region a wellspring of Islamic terror and a source of inspiration for Islamist radicals for the foreseeable future. Attempts to perpetrate acts of terror against the “enemies of Islam” should be expected to continue. The first development contributing to the growth of terror has been the historic disruption of the Arab state system. The relatively new Arab states failed to instill deeply held national identities (with the exception of Egypt, a true historical state). This failure allowed for the breakdown of states along ethnic, tribal and sectarian lines, and for the emergence of armed militias.


The rise of numerous failed states, characterized primarily by the loss of monopoly over the use of force, started before the Arab Spring. Lebanon, Iraq, the Palestinian Authority and Somalia are prime examples. This trend intensified with the weakening of the central governments in Libya, Syria and Yemen. Those states were transformed into vast battlefields containing many militias notable for their lack of inhibitions against using terror to attain political goals.


The crumbling of state structures also facilitated access to weapons. National arsenals, once guarded by state organs that have since disintegrated, became accessible to militiamen and terrorists of all kinds. Indeed, the Islamic State (IS) is fighting with weapons supplied by the Americans to the Iraqi army, while insurgents in Syria are using Russian weapons intended for use by the Syrian army. The collapse of state structures also destroyed border controls, allowing for freedom of movement for both terrorists and weaponry. The chaos and internecine fighting that accompany the destruction of a state cause people to flee for their safety beyond the borders of their country, and terrorists can hide easily among waves of refugees.


A critical historic trend in the Middle East that is feeding the terror phenomenon is the rise of political Islam. Islamic identity is deeply entrenched in the region, making the population susceptible to Islamist messages couched in traditional content. The Islamists have also capitalized on the Arab states’ inability to deliver decent services to their citizens by establishing educational networks as well as health and social services. This has been a winning strategy for them, in that it has allowed them to capture popular support. When free elections are allowed in the Arab world, Islamist parties do very well. However, most Islamists are anti-modern and anti-Western. Radical Islamist circles advocate violence and terror in the interest of installing “true Islam,” first in Muslim lands and eventually everywhere else. Islamists despise “the decadent West” and believe it will inevitably fall under Muslim rule.


The Islamic wave is present not only in Arab failed states. Saudi Arabia, whose stability and territorial integrity of which should not be taken for granted, exports a fundamentalist version of Islam (Wahhabism) throughout the Muslim world by building mosques and funding schools. The strand of Islamic extremism that promotes and legitimizes violence is linked to this Saudi-centered strain of Islam. Al Qaeda is one of its offshoots. The wealthy, maverick state of Qatar also supports a variety of radical Islamist organizations. It even hosts an Afghan Taliban “political office” on its soil. The “moderate” Arab states grapple with the Islamist challenge. In the largest and most important Arab state, Egypt, the most potent political force – the one able to bring multitudes of supporters into the streets – is still the Muslim Brotherhood. Moreover, Egypt faces an Islamist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula.


The two strong non-Arab states in the Middle East (excluding Jewish Israel), Iran and Turkey, also display Islamist tendencies. Following the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran adopted a radical Shi’ite program intertwined with Persian imperialist ambitions. Its quest for hegemony in the region was abetted by the ill-advised nuclear agreement with the US, which was not linked to any changes in Iranian international behavior and freed great amounts of money for Iranian mischief. The modus operandi in Tehran includes terror, and Iran remains on the Americans’ list of state sponsors of terror.

Turkey under Erdoğan, particularly after the botched military coup, is increasingly authoritarian, with stronger domestic pressure being applied to urge conformity with the mores of the Turkish version of the Muslim Brotherhood. Turkey’s international behavior is imbued with neo- Ottoman and Islamic impulses. It lends support to Islamist factions in the Syrian and Libyan civil wars (including IS) and to Hamas in Gaza. It is also involved in the Balkans, particularly in the Muslim states (Albania, Bosnia and Kosovo).


The Middle East, more than any other region in the world, is beleaguered by religious fanatics ready to use violence indiscriminately against people who do not adhere to the “right” religious approach. These zealots have a great deal of energy, and many frustrated Muslims are ready to blame their miserable predicament on the West. The majority of Muslims in the region do not condone abhorrent terrorist acts, but they are largely silent. Many who would not participate in such acts show understanding when they are committed by others. Most tragically, they are reluctant to take responsibility for bringing their societies into the 21st century…

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




ISLAMIST VIOLENCE WILL STEER EUROPE'S DESTINY                                                                     

Daniel Pipes                                                                                                          

Washington Times, Oct. 10, 2016


While visiting predominantly Muslim suburbs emerging outside nearly all northern European cities, one question keeps recurring: Why have some of the richest, most educated, most secular, most placid, and most homogeneous countries in the world willingly opened their doors to virtually any migrant from the poorest, least modern, most religious, and least stable countries?


Other questions follow: Why have mostly Christian countries decided to take in mostly Muslim immigrants? Why do so many Establishment politicians, most notably Germany's Angela Merkel, ignore and revile those who increasingly worry that this immigration is permanently changing the face of Europe? Why does it fall to the weaker Visegrád states of eastern Europe to articulate a patriotic rejection of this phenomenon? Where will the immigration lead? There's no single answer that applies to multiple countries; but of the many factors (such as secularization) behind this historically unprecedented acceptance of alien peoples, one stands out as most critical: a west European sense of guilt.


To many educated western Europeans, their civilization is less about scientific advances, unprecedented levels of prosperity, and the achievement of unique human freedoms, and more about colonialism, racism, and fascism. The brutal French conquest of Algeria, the uniquely evil German genocide against the Jews, and the legacy of extreme nationalism cause many Europeans, in the analysis of Pascal Bruckner, a French intellectual, to see themselves as "the sick man of the planet," responsible for every global problem from poverty to environmental rapacity; "the white man has sown grief and ruin wherever he has gone." Affluence implies robbery, light skin manifests sinfulness.


Bruckner labels this the "tyranny of guilt" and I encountered some colorful expressions during my recent travels of such self-hatred. A French Catholic priest expressed remorse over the record of the Church. A conservative German intellectual preferred Syrians and Iraqis to his fellow Germans. A Swedish tour guide put down fellow Swedes and hoped he would not be perceived as one. Indeed, many Europeans feel their guilt makes them superior; the more they dislike themselves, the more they preen – inspiring a strange mix of self-loathing and moral superiority that, among other consequence, leaves them reluctant to commit the time and money required to bear children. "Europe is losing faith in itself, and birth rates have collapsed," notes Irish scientist William Reville…


South Asians in the United Kingdom, North Africans in France, and Turks in Germany, plus Somalis, Palestinians, Kurds, and Afghans all over, can claim innocence of Europe's historic sins even as they offer the prospect of staffing the economy. As the American writer Mark Steyn puts it, "Islam is now the principal supplier of new Europeans." The Establishment, or what I call the 6 P's (politicians, police, prosecutors, the press, professors, and priests), generally insists that everything will turn out fine: Kurds will become productive workers, Somalis fine citizens, and Islamist problems will melt away. That's the theory and sometimes it works. Far too often, however, Muslim immigrants remain aloof from the culture of their new European home or reject it, as most clearly manifested by gender relations; some violently attack non-Muslims. Far too often too, they lack the skills or incentive to work hard and end up an economic liability.


The influx of non-integrating Muslim peoples raises the profound question whether Europe's civilization of the past millennium can survive. Will England become Londonistan and France an Islamic republic? The Establishment castigates, dismisses, sidelines, ostracizes, suppresses, and even arrests those who raise such issues, demeaning them as right-wing extremists, racists, and neo-fascists. Nonetheless, the prospect of Islamization prompts a growing number of Europeans to fight on behalf of their traditional way of life. Leaders include intellectuals such as the late Oriana Fallaci and novelist Michel Houellebecq; politicians such as Viktor Orbán, the prime minister of Hungary, and Geert Wilders, head of the most popular Dutch party.


Anti-immigration political parties typically win about 20 percent of the vote. And while a consensus has emerged that their appeal will stay about there, perhaps reaching 30 percent, they could well continue to grow. Opinion polls show that very substantial majorities fear Islam and want to stop and even reverse the effects of immigration, especially that of Muslims. In this light, Norbert Hofer recently winning 50 percent of the vote in Austria represents a potentially major breakthrough. The greatest question facing Europe is who, Establishment or populace, will steer the continent's future. The extent of Islamist political violence will likely decide this: a drumbeat of high-profile mass-murders (such as in France since January 2015) tilts the field toward the people; its absence allows the Establishment to remain in charge. Ironically, then, the actions of migrants will largely shape Europe's destiny.




Thomas Quiggin

Gatestone Institute, Oct. 10, 2016


Advocating violence against women and other misogynist practices are increasingly being accepted by individuals who identify themselves as "feminists" and "female leaders." The process of normalizing Islamist misogyny is well underway while so-called feminists remain silent on issues such as wife beating, child marriages, female genital mutilation and "forced suicides." For current feminists, it appears as though political correctness and fantasizing that they are "social justice warriors" outweighs the rights of women, especially brown women. When it comes to the issue of opposing violence against women, feminists are as silent as beaten wives. Nothing – including the advocacy of wife beating, pedophiliac sex acts with nine-year-old girls and the generalized oppression of women – can draw feminists into the debate on the role of women under the Islamist ideology that is prevalent in Canada and the USA.


Premier Katherine Wynne of Ontario (population 13.6 million) recently visited the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), along with Education Minister Mitzie Hunter. They met on August 26, 2016 with female members of the Islamic Circle North America Sisters (ICNA Canada) in Scarborough. The ICNA directly advocates misogynist positions such as wife beating, the taking of slave girls and the position that women are, overall, inferior to men. ICNA also notes that Islamic women have been "emancipated" from the obligation of earning their own livelihood. Therefore, women can be kept at home and cannot leave the house without the permission of the husband. Quite alarmingly, the Premier of Ontario did not criticize the organiztion or its heavily misogynistic beliefs. Rather she publicly claimed to have been "honoured" to have been there. The Minister of Education, Ms Hunter, appears to have remained silent on her views concerning this visit.


The Minister of the Status of Women, Patty Hajdu, for the federal government of Canada does not appear to have any problem with those advocating violence against women, either. Her cabinet colleague, Minister John McCallum, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, received an award for his "outstanding service" from the Canadian Council of Imams. The chairperson of this group is Dr. Iqbal Al-Nadvi, who is also the Amir of ICNA. Why the Minister of Immigration should be accepting an award from an individual whose own organization (ICNA) openly advocates violence against women is not clear. Minister Hajdu, despite her role as Minister for the Status of Women in Canada, has remained silent on this issue despite being made aware of it directly.


Mayor Bonnie Crombie of Mississauga has repeated allowed Hizb ut Tahrir (HT), a leading Islamist organization, to use city-owned property in Mississauga to hold conferences. In addition to stating that democracy is not compatible with Islam and that all Canadian soldiers are war criminals, HT is running an education campaign to teach women about "women's rights." To HT, women's rights are a Western concept and Islamic women should be aware of their obligation under sharia law. Ironically, the City of Mississauga withdrew permission (once) for Hizb ut Tahrir to have a meeting on city-owned property. Gerry Townsend, the CEO of Mississauga Living Arts Centre, confirmed the cancellation explaining that "there has been a bit of publicity about this organization." The meeting, it seems was not cancelled because HT is misogynist or listed as a terrorist group in multiple countries, but rather because of "publicity." Other meetings carried on without incident.


Member of Parliament Iqra Khalid is another woman who maintains silence in the face of the advocacy of violence against women. Prior to being a Member of Parliament, Ms. Khalid was the head of the Muslim Student Association at York University. In 2015, the same York University Muslim Student Association was handing out books for Islam Awareness Week. According to a book handed out, wife-beating is permissible under certain circumstances and some women enjoy being beaten because they are submissives. Ms. Khalid, who has close ties to the Islamic Society of North America and others, has not spoken out against the violence advocated by her former student association, the ICNA, the ISNA or any other such Islamist organization.


Perhaps the most disturbing example of all, however, is Joyce Thacker of the United Kingdom. She was the £130,000-a-year Strategic Director of the City of Rotherham's children's services department for five years. During that time, the ongoing rapes, drugging and enslavement of eleven to fourteen-year-old girls carried on in Rotherham. Not only did the child services department do nothing to help the 1400 girls being raped and forced into prostitution, in fact she (and others) went out of their way to silence anyone who tried to speak out. The reason for the enforced silence over a period of years was later identified in the official UK government report as "institutionalized political correctness." The rapists were primarily identified as Pakistani/Kashmiri/Muslims and the victims were identified as being primarily white girls. Rather than face the fact that a problem of mass rape on a wartime level existed, Joyce Thacker played a role in the cover-up…

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




On Topic Links



Teach the Truth About Islamophobia: Barbara Kay, National Post, Sept. 14, 2016—Exactly 14 years ago today, the National Post published an op-ed by Neil Seeman, “Are we all Islamophobes? Not really.” In it Seeman debunked the idea, promoted by Riad Saloojee, then executive director of CAIR.CAN (the Canadian chapter of the Council for American-Islamic Relations, now known as the National Council of Canadian Muslims, or NCCM, without apparent change of mission or affiliations), that “a very well-documented, anti-Muslim hate wave” had swept through Canada.

Bombing Suspect is No Lone Wolf, But a Terrorist With a Family of Sympathizers: Paul Sperry, New York Post, Sept. 24, 2016—Last weekend’s NYC bombing is yet another case of terrorism and hatred for America not being isolated to a “lone wolf” but running in the family. We’ve seen this horror before, in Orlando, San Bernardino, Chattanooga and Boston — Muslim families playing dumb after their son goes on a terrorist rampage, only to find out later that the family sympathized with terrorism.

Terror Crossroads: On Europe’s Doorstep: Gordon N. Bardos, World Affairs, Spring 2016—Just how large the Balkans loom over Europe’s security problems should be clear from the dramatis personae of last year’s Paris terror tragedies. The man who took credit for the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks, Nasser bin Ali Ansi, was a veteran of the Bosnian jihad in the 1990s and subsequently became a leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

A Debate About Terror: Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 21, 2016—The Commission on Presidential Debates, which is in charge of Monday night’s cage match between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, lists three topics on its website for the 90-minute debate: America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity and Securing America.








Terrorism: Stop the Mud-Slinging, Fight the War: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, June 13, 2016— I don’t have a panacea to prevent terrorism, but amid all the hand-wringing and mud-slinging in the wake of Sunday’s massacre in Orlando, what’s striking — and unforgivable — is the absence of a strategic, international, coordinated bid to so much as try.

What We Really Need to Reject is Islamophobia-phobia: Kyle Smith, New York Post, June 13, 2016 — A dangerous mindset has taken hold in America, but it isn’t Islamophobia. It’s Islamophobia-phobia.

Orlando and Trump’s America: Roger Cohen, New York Times, June 13, 2016— Trump and “Brexit” represent action — any action — to shake things up. They are, to their supporters, the comeuppance smug elites deserve.

President Canute and Orlando: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2016— In the spring of 2013  Barack Obama delivered the defining speech of his presidency on the subject of terrorism.


On Topic Links


Father of Orlando Massacre Suspect Omar Mateen Supports Taliban on his TV Show: Max Bearak, Washington Post, June 12, 2016

Trump Demands Obama’s Resignation For Avoiding Term “Radical Islam” on Orlando Terror: Abra Forman, Breaking Israel News, June 13, 2016

Clinton Fires Back on 'Radical Islam': Deeds Matter More Than Words: Bill Hoffmann, Newsmax, June 13, 2016

How Orlando Divides America: Margaret Wente, Globe & Mail, June 13, 2016



TERRORISM: STOP THE MUD-SLINGING, FIGHT THE WAR                                                       

David Horovitz                                                                                           

Times of Israel, June 13, 2016


I don’t have a panacea to prevent terrorism, but amid all the hand-wringing and mud-slinging in the wake of Sunday’s massacre in Orlando, what’s striking — and unforgivable — is the absence of a strategic, international, coordinated bid to so much as try.


We can all spend the next few days and weeks arguing about whether US President Barack Obama should have called the mass killing a case of Islamist terror, or whether that would have been a rush to judgment; and, for that matter, whether Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai should have invoked the occupation when discussing last Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Sarona Market, or whether that risked affording untenable legitimacy to the killings of four Israeli innocents. We can exercise ourselves, dominate the airwaves, and spend fortunes fighting and determining elections over what people are saying about terrorism. But wouldn’t it be smarter — and wouldn’t it be better for our prospects of staying alive — if we expended rather more serious thought, and budget, on the practical task of stopping the death cult extremists?


Specifically, that means a great deal more focus on each of three key areas: defending more effectively against the killers; taking the battle to them where necessary and feasible; and preventing the creation of the next waves.


Israel, though manifestly imperfect, has much to teach the world about defending against terrorism. As the Sarona attack bitterly underlined we have not halted it completely, but we have gradually improved techniques to make it harder for the killers to achieve their goals. The construction of the West Bank security barrier, relentless intelligence work, military operations to arrest would-be bombers and those who arm and inspire them, security coordination with the Palestinian Authority, the deployment of security guards at places where people gather in large numbers — all these and other steps gradually defeated the Second Intifada in the early years of this century, when our buses and our malls and our restaurants were being blown up on a weekly basis, and prevented a resurgence on a similar scale ever since.


Again, we are emphatically imperfect: Better intelligence, more security guards at Sarona, and a completed security fence would likely have averted last Wednesday’s killings. It is beyond scandalous that, more than a decade on, the West Bank barrier is still not finished, and the two Palestinian terrorists were thus able to enter Israel through one of the gaps. But Israel has learned, bloodily, a great deal about keeping terrorists at bay, and when politicians around the Western world wailed, in the wake of last November’s terrorist onslaught in Paris, that they simply could not deploy security guards at every concert arena, soccer stadium, restaurant, etc., we Israelis said to ourselves, Well, actually, you can. And, tragically, you may have to.


Get serious about defensive action, allocate the necessary resources, and you self-evidently raise your prospects of thwarting the killers. Reading about how Omar Mateen, the Orlando mass murderer, had twice been questioned by the FBI but then slipped off the radar after those interviews proved inconclusive, I was reminded of what Malcolm Hoenlein, the veteran head of US Jewry’s Conference of Presidents, said to me in an interview in February. The head of a “major security agency” in France, said Hoenlein, had told him that French intelligence had the Charlie Hebdo killers under surveillance until the Friday before that attack, but the agents were then redeployed to what was deemed to be a more pressing case, and thus brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi were not being tracked when, on January 7, they forced their way into the Paris offices of the satirical magazine and gunned down 11 people.


If France had budgeted more resources to its security agencies, it might have prevented that attack and the massacres that followed 10 months later. If the overstretched American security agencies are similarly bolstered, maybe the next Omar Mateen will not be able to slide away from the authorities and return with horrifying consequences.


When it comes to taking the offensive, again, Israel has more experience than we would have wished, and much of the world has been loath to learn from it. It was the notably Israel-empathetic George W. Bush, not Barack Obama, who told Israel to get out of the West Bank, and do so right away, when prime minister Ariel Sharon was stewarding Operation Defensive Shield in 2002 — destroying the Hamas and Fatah terror networks that were building bombs and training and dispatching suicide bombers. “I expect there to be withdrawal without delay,” Bush said that April, following a dreadful, bloody March in which over 100 Israeli civilians had been killed in terror attacks that culminated in the Netanya Passover eve massacre. Had Sharon heeded Bush, let there be no doubt, the bombings would have continued. Had Israel ceased its intermittent incursions into Palestinian cities ever since, Israel would now be in the midst of another full-fledged intifada, rather than what by our standards is a “low-level” terror war.


In considering when a more proactive stance might be appropriate, it seems to me that failing to support Iranians’ efforts to stand up to their regime, doing one’s best to ignore an escalating civil war in Syria for years, and now watching unhelpfully from the side as Egypt’s president attempts to marginalize Islamic extremism, are not the smartest approaches. Not when Tehran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, when the Syrian civil war has prompted a vast river of refugees with who knows how many killers hiding among them, and when Egypt could so easily fall again into the grip of the Muslim Brotherhood. The West cannot afford to try to disengage from the Middle East. Its extremists bite back. Sometimes, the enemy has to be tackled at source — prudently, cool-headedly, but tackled, nonetheless.


Finally, and most importantly, the leaderships of those countries that delight in the gift of being alive need to focus strategic attention, and resources, on fighting extremism at its root — where tomorrow’s killers are being imbued with hatred, and are attaining the skills and means to make that hatred fatally plain. We may hear in the coming days, as we have in the wake of previous attacks, how it was that the Orlando killer was radicalized. Which spiritual leaders he heeded. Which websites he frequented. Where he gained practical information in preparing to carry out his devastating crime.


The political leaders, the spiritual leaders, the conventional and social media outlets, the educational frameworks that are breeding tomorrow’s killers continue to disseminate their toxins with near-impunity. Some of this dissemination of hatred can be tackled by the free world in the free world. Where, for instance, are the potent partnerships between politicians, jurists, intelligence agencies and internet platforms to grapple with the spread of murderous expertise online? And where is the concerted international effort to ban, defund and marginalize extremist leaders and teachers the world over, using every ounce of diplomatic and economic leverage that can be mustered?


Right now, untold numbers of would-be killers are honing their capabilities, seeking their targets, preparing to strike. Worse still, countless more potential death cult recruits are gradually being wooed to follow them. Shrill and contemptuous mud-slinging might provide a vent for fear and frustration. But it’s not going to win the war against terrorism. 





Kyle Smith                                       

   New York Post, June 13, 2016


A dangerous mindset has taken hold in America, but it isn’t Islamophobia. It’s Islamophobia-phobia. In a large and growing segment of American society, fear of being tagged “racist” about Muslims (though Islam is not a race) provides a much more direct threat to your livelihood than radical Islam. Former police officer Daniel Gilroy told Florida Today that he repeatedly raised red flags about Omar Mateen when both men worked at the same security firm, but his employer did nothing because Mateen was a Muslim.


The pattern is familiar. Before the Islamist attack that left 14 dead in San Bernardino last December, neighbor Aaron Elswick told ABC 7 News in Los Angeles that shooter Syed Farook was “kind of suspicious” and Elswick “wanted to report it” but “didn’t want to profile” him. Before Army Maj. Nidal Hasan murdered 13 people at Fort Hood in 2009, “He made his views known, and he was very vocal, he had extremely radical jihadist views,” Lt. Col. Val Finnell told FoxNews.com. Finnell took health-services classes with Hasan, who said, “I’m a Muslim first, and I hold the Shariah, the Islamic Law, before the United States Constitution,” according to Finnell. That statement alone disqualified Hasan from military service. No one did anything, Finnell added, because “they were too concerned about being politically correct.”


Perhaps nothing could have been done to stop Mateen’s rampage, but I have a sickening suspicion that we’re going to learn that many more warnings went unseen by those who blindfolded themselves with political correctness. No one wants Muslims to feel harassed as a class, but it’s silly to pretend that being a Muslim makes you just another patch in the glorious American quilt, like being black or Jewish or gay.


In a poll of British Muslims, a majority said homosexuality should be illegal. Nearly a quarter said Shariah law should be imposed in Britain. Four percent — that’s tens of thousands of people — admitted they sympathized with suicide bombers.

The Islamophobic-phobic-in-Chief pooh-poohs both the terrorist threat and its ideological root. President Obama likes to say that bathtubs kill more Americans than terrorists. I’d like to see him try that argument with the families of the victims of the Orlando massacre. Last year Obama actually chided us that we shouldn’t look askance at Islam because Christians committed violent acts, too, during the Crusades, 600 or so years ago. I’d like to see him tell the Orlando families that, too.


Obama is the avatar of the false moral equivalence that, having infected elite universities in the 1960s, has gradually metastasized to infect virtually the entire elite class of American society, along with a large chunk of the cringing, guilt-ridden bourgeoisie. The supreme rule is the severely undergraduate notion that everyone and everything is roughly equal. We like our ideas, but, hey, if you have a different point of view, that’s groovy, too.


Taking it to its most absurd conclusion, as Obama does, the ideal holds that Western liberal democracy and murderous medieval fanaticism should each be given a fair hearing. At his National Prayer Breakfast speech last year, Obama euphemistically referred to global jihad as “this”: “This is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith … We should start with some basic humility. I believe that the starting point of faith is some doubt — not being so full of yourself and so confident that you are right.”


They believe this, we believe that. Who’s to say who’s wrong? Obama’s response to the global culture clash is a shrug. When it comes to an ideology opposed to everything the US stands for — tolerance for gays being one of the top items on the list — Obama must be the first president in history to see himself as a trans-national figure who has to be scrupulously neutral about America’s role.


Hillary Clinton might be the second. In an unusually candid moment at Georgetown in 2014, she let slip that she saw Islamist fanatics as a sort of loyal opposition with reasonable requests: “Smart power,” she said then, means “showing respect even for one’s enemies. Trying to understand, insofar as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view. Helping to define the problems, determine the solutions.” How would that work? “Omar, you want to massacre dozens of gays. Would you be willing to compromise on that?”




ORLANDO AND TRUMP’S AMERICA                                                                                       

Roger Cohen                                                                                                          

New York Times, June 13, 2016


Trump and “Brexit” represent action — any action — to shake things up. They are, to their supporters, the comeuppance smug elites deserve. On top of this, and feeding this, Islam is in epochal crisis. Its Sunni and Shiite branches are mired in violent confrontation. Its adjustment to the modern world has proved faltering and agonized enough to produce a metastasizing strain of violent anti-Western jihadist beliefs to which Mateen — like the San Bernardino shooters — was apparently susceptible.


That he shot revelers in a gay club suggests once again that Islam and sexuality constitute a particularly combustible realm. Liberal Western sexual mores are the most troubling affront to a certain strain of Islam. The resultant confrontation incubates explosive violence.


It is 12 years since Theo van Gogh was murdered in Amsterdam by a Dutch-Moroccan Muslim jihadi for making a movie about the treatment of women in Islam; and now homosexuals at the Pulse club in Orlando are targeted by an American citizen of Afghan descent who, it seems, had also found in Islamic extremism the ideological answer to his troubles.


It is poisonous to blame all the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims for this crisis of their religion. Trump’s self-congratulatory reiteration of his call for a temporary ban on non-American Muslims entering the United States exemplifies his violence-tinged politics of division. Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the United States, was quoted on Twitter hours after the massacre as saying: “If I were Trump, I’d emphasize the Muslim name, Omar Saddiqui Mateen. This changes race.” Later, he said Trump would do this, not that he had recommended it.


It is, however, also dangerous to ignore or belittle the potency of ISIS ideology, the core role it has played in recent violence from Paris to California, and the link between that ideology and the broader crisis of Islam. The favored phrase of the Obama administration in addressing this scourge — “violent extremism” — is vague to the point of evasive meaninglessness. Yes, jihadi terrorists are “violent extremists” but calling them that is like calling Nazism a reaction to German humiliation in World War I: true but wholly inadequate…


President Barack Obama described the shooting as “an act of terror and an act of hate.” He made clear his disapproval of gun laws. He called for solidarity. He said nothing about ISIS, or the way the Islamic State’s hold on territory in Syria and Iraq reinforces the charismatic potency of its ideological appeal, disseminated from that base through the internet. He also said this: “To actively do nothing is a decision as well.”


Yes, to have actively done nothing in Syria over more than five years of war — so allowing part of the country to become an ISIS stronghold, contributing to a massive refugee crisis in Europe, acquiescing to slaughter and displacement on a devastating scale, undermining America’s word in the world, and granting open season for President Vladimir Putin to strut his stuff — amounts to the greatest foreign policy failure of the Obama administration. It has made the world far more dangerous. I hope for the best but fear the victory of the politics of anger in America and Europe.        






PRESIDENT CANUTE AND ORLANDO                                                                                               

Bret Stephens                                

Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2016


In the spring of 2013 Barack Obama delivered the defining speech of his presidency on the subject of terrorism. Its premise was wrong, as was its thesis, as were its predictions and recommendations. We are now paying the price for this cascade of folly.


“Today, Osama bin Laden is dead, and so are most of his top lieutenants,” the president boasted at the National Defense University, in Washington, D.C. “There have been no large-scale attacks on the United States, and our homeland is more secure.” The “future of terrorism,” he explained, consisted of “less capable” al Qaeda affiliates, “localized threats” against Westerners in faraway places such as Algeria, and homegrown killers like the Boston Marathon bombers.


All of this suggested that it was time to call it quits on what Mr. Obama derided as “a boundless ‘global war on terror.’ ” That meant sharply curtailing drone strikes, completing the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, and closing Guantanamo prison. It meant renewing efforts “to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians” and seeking “transitions to democracy” in Libya and Egypt. And it meant working with Congress to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against al Qaeda. “This war, like all wars, must end,” he said. “That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.”


King Canute of legend stood on an English shoreline and ordered the tide to recede. President Canute stood before a Beltway audience and ordered the war to end. Neither tide nor war obeyed. In 2010, al Qaeda in Iraq—Islamic State’s predecessor—was “dead on its feet,” as terrorism expert Michael Knights told Congress. World-wide, the U.S. government estimated al Qaeda’s total strength at no more than 4,000 fighters. That was the result of George W. Bush’s surge in Iraq, of Mr. Obama’s own surge in Afghanistan, and of the aggressive campaign of drone killings in Pakistan and Yemen.


But then the Obama Doctrine kicked in. Between 2010 and 2013 the number of jihadists world-wide doubled, to 100,000, while the number of jihadist groups rose by 58%, according to a Rand Corp. study. That was before ISIS declared its caliphate. Today, the U.S. government estimates that ISIS can count on as many as 25,000 fighters. This is after a two-year campaign of airstrikes to destroy the group. In Libya alone, U.S. intelligence recently doubled its estimate of ISIS fighters, to as many as 6,000. Even “core” al Qaeda is surging again in its Afghan and Pakistani heartland, thanks in part to the military gains the Taliban have made in the face of America’s withdrawal.


Apologists for Mr. Obama will rejoin that it’s unfair to blame him for trends in terrorism, an argument that would have more credibility if he hadn’t been so eager to take credit for those trends only three years ago. The same apologists also claim that the U.S. cannot possibly cure what ails the Middle East, and that no law-enforcement agency can stop a lone-wolf terrorist such as  Omar Mateen.


But these arguments fail. The rise of ISIS was a predictable result of Mr. Obama’s abdication in Iraq and especially Syria—a result Mr. Obama himself foresaw in his 2013 speech. “We must strengthen the opposition in Syria, while isolating extremist elements,” he said, “because the end of a tyrant must not give way to the tyranny of terrorism.” Was the opposition strengthened? Were the extremists isolated? As for lone wolves, one study from last year cited 38 cases of “lone wolf” terrorism between 1940 and 2001, another 12 during the eight years of the Bush administration—and more than 50 since then.

The phenomenon is catching in part because ISIS is canny at using the internet and social media to attract and activate recruits. But what ISIS mainly does is give aimless and insignificant young men what most young men secretly crave—a cause worth dying for. When Mr. Obama attempts to reassure Americans by suggesting, as he did Monday, that Mateen was not part of “a larger plot,” he demonstrates once again that he doesn’t understand the enemy. ISIS, al Qaeda and other jihadist groups are not criminal conspiracies. They are a religious movement. No coordination is required for the true believer to put his faith into action.


It would require more humility than Mr. Obama is capable of mustering to admit that what happened in Orlando is also a consequence of his decisions—of allowing Iraq and Syria to descend to chaos; of pretending that we could call off the war on terror because fighting it didn’t fit a political narrative; of failing to defeat ISIS swiftly and utterly; of refusing to recognize the religious roots of terror; of treating the massacre in San Bernardino as an opportunity to lecture Americans about Islamophobia, and Orlando as another argument for gun control. This is the president’s record. His successor will have to do better to avoid future Orlandos. Will she?    




On Topic Links


Father of Orlando Massacre Suspect Omar Mateen Supports Taliban on his TV Show: Max Bearak, Washington Post, June 12, 2016 —The father of Orlando massacre suspect Omar Mateen is an Afghan television personality who holds strong political views, including support for the Afghan Taliban.

Trump Demands Obama’s Resignation For Avoiding Term “Radical Islam” on Orlando Terror: Abra Forman, Breaking Israel News, June 13, 2016 —Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump demanded that President Barack Obama resign on Sunday after the president made a statement about the horrific Orlando terror attack without using the words “radical Islam”.

Clinton Fires Back on 'Radical Islam': Deeds Matter More Than Words: Bill Hoffmann, Newsmax, June 13, 2016 —Hillary Clinton on Monday slapped Donald Trump for complaining she won't say "radical Islam" in discussing terrorist ties to the Orlando nightclub massacre, telling NBC's "Today" show her favored term of "radical jihadism" means the same, but is less inflammatory.

How Orlando Divides America: Margaret Wente, Globe & Mail, June 13, 2016—Today, 9/11 seems as if it happened in another century. After the planes hit the towers, Americans stood united in their grief and solidarity. They cast aside their partisanship to mourn the dead.














Israel, the Only Country Standing in the Way of the Mideast Descending into Total Chaos: Robert Fulford, National Post, Mar. 18, 2016— Across the Arab world, dictators denounce Israel as a way of diverting the masses from their miserable condition.

Yemen: The War the World is Ignoring: Kamal Al-Solaylee, Globe & Mail, Apr. 11, 2016— When pictures of a starving Yemeni infant by the name of Udai Faisal began circulating on news feeds around the world recently, I felt optimistic.

Tribalism Drives Middle East Violence: Philip Carl Salzman, Independent Journal Review, Mar. 25, 2016— Take a look at recent news reports from around the Arab world and you'll notice an unusual commonality.

How Middle Eastern States Consolidate Power: Kristin Fabbe, Stratfor, Apr. 2, 2015— Commentators speculating on the chaos engulfing the Middle East almost inevitably point to the Sykes-Picot Agreement as its underlying cause.


On Topic Links


Hatred & Human Rights: Lecture by Daniel Pipes (Video): CISA Lecture Series, Mar. 21, 2016

Symposium in Honor of Prof. Barry Rubin: “Israel in a Changed Middle East,” Part 1 (Video): Rubin Center, Mar. 6, 2016

Obama’s Middle East Debacle (Video): Ted Belman, Israpundit, Apr. 4, 2016

Shifting Eastern Mediterranean Alliances: Emmanuel Karagiannis, Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2016






                   Robert Fulford                                         

National Post, Mar. 18, 2016


Across the Arab world, dictators denounce Israel as a way of diverting the masses from their miserable condition. Surprisingly, this devious strategy works as well in 2016 as it did in the 1950s. And it fools educated Westerners as easily as it tricks starving Arabs.


“There is a huge campaign to terrorize the Palestinians,” Mudar Zahran says. “As long as the Palestinians fight with the Israelis, no one will turn around and look at what the Arabs are doing to one another.” He believes the Palestinian cause is a necessity for Arab regimes, the cornerstone of their propaganda. But who is Mudar Zahran to make that argument? He’s a rare character in the Middle East — a sharp critic of standard beliefs. He’s an Arab Palestinian-Jordanian, age 42, who directs the Jordanian Opposition Coalition (JOC) from exile in Britain. His well-to-do parents were born in Jerusalem and later moved to Jordan. They sent him to the U.S. to study and he came home with two MAs from the University of Southern New Hampshire. In the Jordanian capital of Amman, he worked in policy jobs for the embassy of Australia and then for the U.S. embassy. Those positions helped him become a confident and articulate journalist. In the process, they turned him into a politician with an unusual agenda.


He’s a Muslim who believes in secular government and Western-style civil rights. He does not believe in the Hashemite Kingdom and Jordan’s current ruler, King Abdullah II. His criticism made him unpopular with the regime and he realized he was in danger. In 2010, he successfully sought asylum in the U.K. He’s been there ever since, keeping in touch with the opposition, serving as a researcher at the University of Bedfordshire and maintaining a powerful presence online. His views of Israel are always surprising. He’s convinced that most Palestinians would rather have Israeli citizenship than Jordanian citizenship — Bedouins too. “The Bedouins in the south of Jordan can’t find food for their children. They are dying of hunger while our king is buying Ferraris.” Zahran probably can’t go home until the regime changes. In 2013, a military court indicted him for “inciting hatred” and insulting the king, the nation and the security services. If convicted, he could face a 15-year jail sentence.


It’s clear that Zahran has created a considerable audience for his speeches and articles. One piece in particular — an article titled, If Israel Disappears — aroused interest as it flashed across the Internet. He says Arabs have wasted seven decades of their existence waiting for Israel’s demise. “Since 1948, we Arabs have been taught that all we need to do is get rid of the Jewish state and everything will go well.” Saddam Hussein, when he was Iraq’s president, adopted the Palestinian flag and flew it alongside his own flag. “We Arabs have put 70 years of our existence on hold while awaiting the glorious day when we defeat Israel and feed the Jews to the fish.” But that day still hasn’t come. Zahran quotes a fellow Jordanian oppositionist, Emad Tarifi, who remarked, “It seems the fish are not betting on us feeding them Jews.”


Instead, Arabs have allowed dictators to impoverish and terrorize the people, in the name of the anti-Zionist struggle. “While Israel made 10 new breakthroughs in cancer and cardiac treatments in the last two years alone, we Arabs developed new execution methods,” like death by drowning in a cage, as ISIL demonstrated. If the enemies of Israel had succeeded in destroying it, Zahran says, Iran would now have nuclear weapons. Instead, Iran learned from Iraq’s experience in 1981, when Israel’s bombers reduced Iraq’s Osirak reactor to rubble.


Zahran argues that if Israel were to disappear now, Iran could extend its influence into Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain the next day, since it would not have to fear an inevitable Israeli response. With Israel gone, ISIL would also reach Jordan. ISIL “does not dare enter Jordan for one reason only — its fear that Israeli jets would catch up with it 15 minutes later.” Zahran believes that Israel is becoming stronger every day through democracy and innovation, while Arab countries are getting weaker through dictatorship and chaos. Speaking as a Jordanian, he says, “We can hate Israel as much as we like, but we must realize that without it, we too would be gone.” It’s briskly refreshing to come across someone who sees the harsh truth, knows it’s dangerous, but nevertheless speaks it aloud.



                         YEMEN: THE WAR THE WORLD IS IGNORING

                                              Kamal Al-Solaylee

                                                    Globe & Mail, Apr. 11, 2016


When pictures of a starving Yemeni infant by the name of Udai Faisal began circulating on news feeds around the world recently, I felt optimistic. Even when the accompanying article by the Associated Press informed readers that he died from malnutrition a few days later, I willed myself into thinking that his skeletal face and searing, disproportionately large eyes would serve as a wake-up call to the world.


Instead, as often happens with news from Yemen, the media cycle moved on. Within days, the world, rightly or wrongly, turned its attention to the money-hoarding habits of the rich and famous in tax havens. Any hopes that Udai’s photo would serve as a humanitarian lightning rod, as the image of drowned Syrian child Alan Kurdi did last year, vanished. Granted, a few tweets and status updates on social media delivered the requisite moral outrage by the usual suspects. Otherwise, silence. I should have known better.


As a Canadian of Yemeni origin, I understand that the situation there is much more than a geopolitical challenge. The next picture of a starving (or dying) child could be a member of my family. I have skin in this game, this game of unrelenting war. For several months now, the United Nations and aid organizations have been calling the year-long war in Yemen – between supporters of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, led by Saudi Arabia; and the Houthi (Shia) rebels, with backing from Iran – a humanitarian catastrophe.


A new Unicef report puts the number of Yemenis in need of urgent humanitarian assistance at more than 21 million, or 82 per cent of the total population. At least half of those vulnerable citizens are children. The number of displaced people is now about 2.4 million. Both sides have attacked schools, hospitals and homes, leaving thousands killed and millions traumatized. If the ceasefire that is to begin this week doesn’t hold – and few observers expect it will – the country’s fate enters the stage of complete unknown. What comes after total chaos, anyway? The precedents of Syria and Afghanistan, the two countries with which Yemen is often compared, come to mind. Except that the proximity of those two failed or fledgling states to European shores, and the mass exodus of their people, act as constant reminders to Western leaders of the scale of human suffering, and to the nature of Europe’s porous borders.


Yemen is not so lucky. Tucked in the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, on the other side of the East African horn, Yemen is out of sight and its people seem to be out of mind, plunging the poorest country in the region into its second civil war in a little more than 20 years. Take the Houthi rebels who have picked up a fight with a government that has solicited the full support of the mighty Saudi Arabia and the affluent Gulf countries surrounding it. Despite its ailing economy, Saudi Arabia continues to exert undue influence not only on the Arab world but also on the world stage. No country (except perhaps Iran, by proxy) can afford to start a public relations war with the Saudis, let alone an actual one.


In choosing not to confront Saudi Arabia on its war actions in Yemen, world leaders (and that includes almost all in the Arab world, beneficiaries of the petro-state’s largesse) have turned a blind eye to the plight of Yemeni citizens, currently the globe’s largest collateral damage. Even Canada’s new government has declined to reverse course in a deal to supply the Saudis with armoured vehicles. What price our collective humanity? Fifteen billion dollars and a few thousand jobs in Southern Ontario. I realize what a bind the Liberal government finds itself in with this deal, inked by the Conservatives, but I expect a more coherent and less grim rationale to carrying on with it than the Lady Macbeth-like “what’s done is done.” Otherwise, we’re just part of the dehumanizing silence that greets Yemen’s ongoing tragedy.                                                                                      




                                           TRIBALISM DRIVES MIDDLE EAST VIOLENCE 

Philip Carl Salzman

Independent Journal Review, Mar. 25, 2016


Take a look at recent news reports from around the Arab world and you'll notice an unusual commonality. Egypt's government "struggles to rally Sinai tribes," reads one Reuters headline, while the title of a Gulf News article recounts that former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh "fears tribes will shift allegiance" to his successor, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The Oxford Research reports on the "local, tribal and fragmented" nature of militia power in Libya. CNN covers a U.S. special forces mission to "accompany tribal, Arab and Kurdish forces" in Syria. From the BBC, "Iraqi tribes clash with jihadists in IS stronghold of Falluja." The UAE daily The National proudly notes the "tribal and military influences" in local designer Huda Al Nuaimi's spring/summer 2016 collection.


Ok, you get the idea – tribalism is big in the Arab world. And while it has grown more noticeable with the collapse and weakening of Arab governments in recent years, the trend is not new. The same north Arabian Bedouin tribes that accepted Islam and spread it by the sword also infused the region with a deeply tribal culture, impacting everything from family relations to governance and conflict. Tribal affiliation is based on descent from a common male ancestor; all descendants are deemed to share common interests and to have obligations of solidarity with one another. Descendants of other ancestors are deemed to have different interests and are seen to be opponents, sometimes enemies.


The main principle of tribal life is absolute loyalty to one's lineage group vis-à-vis other groups of the same order and scope: clan vs. clan, tribe vs. tribe, confederation vs. confederation, sect vs. sect, Muslims vs. infidels. Middle Easterners believe that they can count only on their own group to protect their interests. They understand well the motto, "all for one, and one for all." This principle is so basic to tribal thinking that, for most people, it is an assumption about life that goes without saying. Tribesmen are accorded honour based on fulfilling their obligations to the tribe. These tribal characteristics shape the basic assumptions and attitudes of Middle Easterners who inherited their cultural foundation from Bedouin. Islam, arising through the adoption by Bedouin, reflects the structures of tribal life, especially in the opposition between Muslims and infidels.


Middle Easterners looking at their increasingly chaotic world and deciding how they must respond think immediately of their kin group upon which they depend for all things, and other descent groups which are by their structural nature opponents and potential enemies, and from which they can expect nothing good. Opposition, rivalry, and conflict are thus seen to be in the nature of social life. Success, power, wealth, and, above all, honour derives from triumphing over opposition groups. Failure to triumph means the loss of power, wealth, and, above all, honour.


The pervasive and continuous conflict in the Middle East–between clans, tribes, sects, and religions–is a manifestation of this culture. Middle Eastern history is largely a record of tribal conflicts and displacements, expansions and conquests, and invasions and dynastic replacements. "The Arabs are not in a wretched state – they are in a tribal state, and they are doing what they have been doing since time immemorial: conquering each other, demanding allegiance, and living in a state of perpetual war," writes analyst Hussain Abdul-Hussain. "The only difference now is that the Arabs are feuding in cities, and on TV and social media instead of in the desert."


The Arab Middle East is missing the cultural tools for building inclusive, unified states. The West saw violent upheaval for millennia before it began stabilizing with acceptance of modern organizing principles, such as constitutionalism and rule of law, in the past few hundred years. Unfortunately, there are few signs that the Middle East will follow suit anytime soon.


Philip Carl Salzman is a CIJR Academic Fellow





          Kristin Fabbe      

                                                 Stratfor, Apr. 2, 2016


Commentators speculating on the chaos engulfing the Middle East almost inevitably point to the Sykes-Picot Agreement as its underlying cause. The artificial borders laid down by the colonial-era deal, the argument goes, primed the region for ethnic and sectarian conflict. At some point the borders would have to be redrawn, and when they were, the process was bound to be painful. We need only look at Syria's drawn-out conflict and growing calls for its partition to see that.


But artificial borders are only part of the Middle East's problem. Equally important, though far less understood, is the legacy of the Ottoman Empire and the lasting mark it made on how Middle Eastern states consolidate power. The Ottoman Empire served as the precursor to the modern nation-state for much of the region. At its peak, it spanned from North Africa to the Persian Gulf's periphery. However, Ottoman rule was radically different than that of its early European counterparts or the modern governments that followed it, in part because of one of its defining features: the millet system.


In what was essentially a loose and informal federation of theocracies, the millet system created a network of legal courts that allowed non-Muslim minority groups to rule themselves with little interference from their Ottoman rulers. It emerged, in some ways organically and in others by design, as a means of managing the complexities that came with governing the empire's many and varied religious groups. Christians, Muslims and Jews alike were given a large degree of religious and cultural autonomy, and many religious elites held high economic and administrative posts in the empire.


As centuries passed, the millet system molded local societies and governments around religious identity. The traditions of religious authorities became institutionalized in many places, and people widely began to defer to them. Meanwhile, religious elites enjoyed a fairly high level of autonomy and became deeply embedded in the institutions that today fall under the purview of the nation-state, including legal, administrative, educational and social welfare structures. At first, the millet system proved helpful in governing the Ottoman Empire's diverse subjects. But in the 18th and 19th centuries, the empire's military prowess began to slip relative to its neighbors, and its rulers were put on the defensive. Gradually, it became clear that if the Ottoman Empire were to survive at all, it would have to adopt some of the strategies used by its Western rivals to organize its military and society.


The resulting reforms, known as Tanzimat, aimed to fundamentally reshape the Ottoman state's relationship with its subjects. Previously, the empire's citizens had never been granted rights beyond those guaranteed to Muslims by Islamic law and those that came with the protective status of the millet communities. But in 1839, Sultan Abdulmecid declared that all of his empire's subjects — both Muslims and non-Muslims — also had secular rights that transcended any religious, ethnic or linguistic affiliation. In addition to this borrowed model of secular citizenship, the Tanzimat more clearly defined the millet system and formalized the distinct religious communities. The paradoxical result was that the reforms, originally intended to bridge religious divides, actually reinforced existing fissures within society.


When the Ottoman Empire collapsed in 1923, the distinct religious identities and rifts solidified by the millet system and Tanzimat reforms did not dissolve with it. Instead, they were handed down to the states that emerged in the empire's wake, creating serious obstacles to state-building and modernization efforts. Religious elites could be either potential competitors or powerful allies, or both, to governing officials trying to assert their authority.


In general, the region's new states tended to follow one of three paths as they consolidated power. The first usually occurred in states that European powers failed to occupy and that had a single dominant religion. In these circumstances, states usually just co-opted the religious majority's institutions and leaders in an effort to centralize their authority. In doing so, piety and nationalism were fused into an "official religion," thus weakening religious institutions, domesticating religious rhetoric, binding religious authorities to the state and facilitating the state's growth. In Turkey, for instance, even as Islam was pushed out of politics, banners advocating Ataturk's reforms hung between mosques' minarets. Secularizing reforms were more about asserting the state's control than a genuine attempt to separate religion and state. In the long run, these states were more stable, but they bred exclusionary policies and forced migrations that were largely based on religion. For the religious minorities left behind, inequalities became entrenched. The states, now more homogenous and constantly skeptical of outsiders, often relapsed into authoritarianism.


Alternatively, some states — usually those with colonial occupiers and a solid religious majority — took a hands-off approach to religion instead. Such states tried to sidestep religious institutions as they consolidated power, often accommodating religious minorities (at least initially) in the process. Because this meant religion was not weakened by early cooptation, governments later found it difficult to nationalize the institutions of the biggest religions. Leaders of the dominant religions often positioned themselves in opposition to the state, fueling radicalization and undermining any attempt to create an official Islam friendly to the government.


The final path Middle Eastern states followed was to rely heavily on alliances with religious minorities while quashing other religious rivals. This outcome usually occurred in places ruled by colonial powers and riven by religious factionalism. European colonizers would often resort to indirect rule, designed to prevent nationalist uprisings and maintain minimal authority by forming strategic partnerships with privileged minority groups, such as certain Christian sects in the French-held Lebanon.


More often than not, this gave rise to repressive minority regimes, which in turn led to sectarian strife, militia politics and attempts by third parties to meddle in domestic affairs. All impeded efforts to create strong national identities and establish state sovereignty, while at the same time empowering non-state actors with religious agendas. Given these historical patterns, it is no wonder that Middle Eastern states today seem helplessly stuck between two extremes: religious radicalization and state-sponsored discrimination….


In all three types of states, instability within generates instability without. For one, political leaders rarely have a secure hold on power, and when they feel particularly threatened, they often turn to ethnic, religious or national identities to bolster their legitimacy and improve their chances of survival. This tactic works not only within a single state but also among many. Indeed, politicized identities lie at the heart of three current Middle Eastern conflicts: the dispute between Israel and the Arab world, the competition between Shiite Iran and its Sunni rivals, and the thorny Kurdish question spanning Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.


Even the region's comparatively "stable" states, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran, have exploited religious and ethnic discord outside their borders to gain influence at home and abroad. We need only look at the ongoing civil wars in Iraq and Syria, or at Hezbollah's activities on the Israel-Lebanon border, to see evidence of regional powers becoming entangled in their neighbors' strife. Thanks to the lasting imprint of the Ottoman millet system and the colonial-era practices that followed it, political development and regional stability in the Middle East have become chained to the vagaries of identity politics. But identity politics are a double-edged sword, both a crutch by which states govern and a wedge by which they are driven apart, and they are more likely to prevent stability than create it.


On Topic


Hatred & Human Rights: Lecture by Daniel Pipes (Video): CISA Lecture Series, Mar. 21, 2016—Discussion with Dr. Chatterley and Audience Q&A

Symposium in Honor of Prof. Barry Rubin: “Israel in a Changed Middle East,” Part 1 (Video): Rubin Center, Mar. 6, 2016—Session 1: State-to-State Issues and the Changed Region

Obama’s Middle East Debacle (Video): Ted Belman, Israpundit, Apr. 4, 2016

Shifting Eastern Mediterranean Alliances: Emmanuel Karagiannis, Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2016—The Eastern Mediterranean is changing fast with its estimated 122 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas reserves (the equivalent of 21 billion barrels of oil) already having an impact on regional patterns of amity and enmity.

















Where is the PM when Quebec Needs Him?: Lysiane Gagnon, Globe & Mail, Jan. 20, 2016— Terrorism doesn’t fit into Justin Trudeau’s sunny views.

West Ignoring Grave Threat from IS in Libya, Israeli Terror Experts Warn: Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel, Jan. 21, 2016 — Despite battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the West is woefully neglecting the spread of the terrorist group in Libya…

Tunisia's Fragile Post-Revolutionary Order: Daniel Zisenwine, Middle East Quarterly, Winter, 2016— On June 26, 2015, a lone gunman attacked a beachfront hotel in the Tunisian city of Sousse, exclusively targeting foreign tourists.

Goodbye Iran, Hello Israel? Sudan Changes its Approach: Roi Kais, Ynet, Jan. 21, 2016 — Relations between Israel and Sudan may be experiencing an unexpected, albeit slight, thaw.


On Topic Links


Terrorism is a Crime Against the Human Race. Trudeau Should Say So: Tasha Kheiriddin, IPolitics, Jan. 18, 2015

This One-Eyed Terrorist is the Leader of the al-Qaida Faction Behind Burkina Faso Attack: Stewart Bell, National Post, Jan. 17, 2016

Libya's Descent into Chaos: Yehudit Ronen, Middle East Quarterly, Winter, 2016

Senegal, a Peaceful Islamic Democracy, Is Jarred by Fears of Militancy: Dionne Searcey, New York Times, Dec. 12, 2015



Lysiane Gagnon

Globe & Mail, Jan. 20, 2016


Terrorism doesn’t fit into Justin Trudeau’s sunny views. The Prime Minister didn’t see fit to join the hundreds of Quebeckers who gathered on Monday to honour the memory of the six Quebeckers killed by Islamist terrorists in Ouagadougou, although the day before he made a point of visiting a mosque in Peterborough, Ont., that had been damaged by arson.


Six humanitarian workers from Lac-Beauport, a suburb of Quebec City, were killed last Friday in Burkina Faso’s capital in attacks claimed by a group known as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The day before, another Quebecker, Tahar Amer-Ouali, was killed in a terrorist attack by the Islamic State in Jakarta. Not since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have so many Canadians died in terrorist attacks.


Apparently, the Prime Minister’s Office didn’t see the point in changing Mr. Trudeau’s schedule so that he could attend the grieving ceremony in Lac-Beauport on Monday. The least he could have done would have been to express a bit of emotion and anger. “Instead,” wrote La Presse columnist Vincent Marissal, “what we had were a mild condemnation and empty words, and nothing about the government’s plan to fight terrorism.”


Mr. Trudeau reacted to the tragedy that struck home with a feeble, conventional expression of condolences, as if he were a reluctant visitor to a funeral home. In a statement issued Saturday, he said he was “deeply saddened by the senseless acts of violence against innocent civilians,” phrasing that suggests these acts were done randomly by a few mad people with no specific agenda.


Last November, he had the same reaction to the mass killings in Paris. Alone among world leaders – even U.S. President Barack Obama departed from his characteristic phlegm to express his revolt at the attacks and resolve in fighting terrorism – Mr. Trudeau reacted with a brief and spineless expression of condolences that left many observers puzzled.


The Paris attacks were not enough to change his plan to recall Canadian fighter jets from the coalition fighting the Islamic State. He stuck to his candid pacifist stand even as the other members of the coalition were stepping up their military efforts. The result is that Canada has lost its standing among its allies.


Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan was shut out of a high-level strategic meeting between the coalition partners being held Wednesday in Paris. Even Italy and the Netherlands will be represented, but Canada’s chair will be empty. The government hasn’t yet announced the plan that is supposed to replace the fighter jets mission, nor did it say how it intends to protect the hundreds of Canadians involved in humanitarian work in Africa (about a dozen Quebec non-governmental organizations are operating in Burkina Faso).


Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper was too warlike. Now, we have the other extreme: a prime minister who hates conflicts and sees the world through a New Age prism in which everything can be solved with love and understanding. Unfortunately, the country he leads doesn’t live in a dream world. Maybe Mr. Trudeau’s timidity is also due to the fear of raising anti-Muslim sentiments. But this is a misplaced fear: Canadians are not stupid and they know that the huge majority of Muslims have nothing to do with radical Islam. And Muslims are often the first victims of the murderous groups who reign by terror over large parts of the Middle East and Africa.



                             WEST IGNORING GRAVE THREAT FROM IS IN LIBYA,

                   ISRAELI TERROR EXPERTS WARN                                               

                                Raphael Ahren                                                                                                

                     Times of Israel, Jan. 21, 2016


Despite battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the West is woefully neglecting the spread of the terrorist group in Libya, where it poses a supreme danger not only to the Middle East and North Africa, but also to Europe, according to Israeli terrorism researchers.


“Libya is the only country besides Syria and Iraq where IS controls a large territory and controls government infrastructure, including a power plant, port, and economical ports,” said Reuven Erlich, a former senior officer in military intelligence and currently the head of the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC). “We think that IS’s establishment in Libya poses a grave threat and it needs to be taken very seriously by Europe and the US.”


Several researchers at ITIC, which operates under the Israel Intelligence and Heritage Commemorations Center, spent a full year examining IS’s activity in Libya, and this week are publishing their worrying conclusions in a 175-paper report, entitled “ISIS in Libya: a Major Regional and International Threat.”


“So far, there hasn’t been an effective response by the international community,” Erlich told The Times of Israel. “The American and European strategy focuses on IS’s infrastructure in Syria and Iraq. But it all but ignores Libya. Libya is not just another country. It’s a country where IS rules over territory — the only place besides Iraq and Syria where it actually rules over parts of land – and therefore the US and Europe would be well advised to pay more attention to this issue and compose a strategy relating to Libya. Otherwise, the problem will soon find itself in their backyard.”


There has been the “occasional targeted killing of a terrorist,” but by and large in Libya, Erlich lamented, the Americans and the Europeans “have no comprehensive strategy regarding the combat against IS. And that’s a problem that should not be ignored.”


Since the fall of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country has been in a perpetual state of civil war, making it fertile ground for the infiltration of a terrorist group such as IS. But while a large coalition has been formed to attack the organization in its home base in Syria and tackle it in Iraq, it has been allowed to fester mostly uninterrupted in North Africa. “The branch of ISIS in Libya exploited the lack of a functioning government and the absence of international intervention to establish itself in the region around Sirte and from there to aspire to spread throughout Libya,” according to the ITIC report.


On February 18, 2015, IS conquered the large coastal city of Sirte in north-central Libya, which has since been functioning as the group’s capital in the country. “Sirte has a seaport, international airport, army bases, economic projects, oil installations and various government facilities. It is also Muammar Qaddafi’s birthplace and his tribe’s power base,” reads the report, an advance copy of which was made available to The Times of Israel.


In and around Sirte, IS built up a large military infrastructure for terrorism and guerrilla warfare against targets inside and outside Libya, the researchers write. Domestically, the organization attacks mainly government-supported military and militias, but has also executed Copts from Egypt and Christians from Eritrea. “The establishment of ISIS in Libya increases the chaos and anarchy already plaguing the country, making it difficult to stabilize a central government,” the 175-page report reads.


Outside the country, IS’s primary target is Tunisia, due to its relative weakness, and also because it has symbolic value as the birthplace of the Arab Spring, according to the researchers. In the future, however, IS may increase its support for jihadist organizations in sub-Saharan Africa, such as Niger, Chad, Mali and Sudan, the report warns. The Libyan branch of IS also has close ties with Nigeria’s jihadist Boko Haram and with Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the group’s franchise in the Sinai Peninsula. Through Libya’s 1,115 kilometer-long border with Egypt, the local IS fighters may also smuggle weapons into the country, which may make their way to Gaza, the researchers posit.


Westerns should be particularly concerned about Libya’s proximity to Italy, which “makes ISIS’s presence there potentially dangerous not only to Italy but to all of Europe,” the document warns. “Their closeness may encourage ISIS to send terrorist operatives to Italy and other European countries once it has established itself in Sirte and other locations.” IS has already threatened terror attacks in Rome, which as the seat of the Vatican represents the Catholic world.


Some countries — such as France, the US, Egypt and Tunisia — are increasingly aware of the threats posed by an IS stronghold in Libya, the authors concede. “However, while the strategy the United States has implemented against ISIS since September 2014 professes to provide a comprehensive response to the challenge posed by ISIS, in reality it does not, because it focuses on Iraq and Syria. Therefore, it does not provide a response to ISIS’s spread to other countries, especially Libya and Egypt, and to the local and regional threats inherent therein,” they write.


“To deal with the overall threats of ISIS’s entrenchment in Libya, the United States and its European and Arab allies will have to change their concept of the anti-ISIS campaign,” the study concludes. “Their strategy should be extended to Libya and the other countries where ISIS is trying to establish itself, which would make it more comprehensive.”


Security experts widely acknowledge that IS gaining a foothold in Libya could have dramatic implications, but not everyone agrees with the Israeli researchers’ claim that the West is not doing enough to counter the threat. “In Europe, people are talking about it, the French and the Italians for example. The Americans are not talking about it. The Americans don’t like talking about it because if you talk about it there is the presumption of the need for action,” said François Heisbourg, a former security adviser to the French defense minister who currently chairs the International Institute for Strategic Studies.


Over the last two months, the French air force has been flying numerous reconnaissance flights over Libya and it is likely that Paris is involved in other forms of information collection as well, he said. “Would I be surprised if there were eventual French bombing operations in Libya? No, I wouldn’t be surprised.”




TUNISIA'S FRAGILE POST-REVOLUTIONARY ORDER                                  

                         Daniel Zisenwine

Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2016


On June 26, 2015, a lone gunman attacked a beachfront hotel in the Tunisian city of Sousse, exclusively targeting foreign tourists. By the time he was shot to death by the security forces, the 23-year-old Seifeddine Rezgui had murdered thirty-eight people, many of them British tourists vacationing in the seaside resort. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) quickly claimed responsibility for the atrocity.


One of the worst in Tunisian history, the attack occurred just over three months after the killing of twenty-two people (including seventeen foreign nationals) at the Bardo National Museum in the capital city of Tunis. While both attacks were clearly aimed at Tunisia's tourist industry, a vital source of foreign revenue that had been struggling to regain its footing since the 2010-11 revolution, they also threatened to undermine Tunisia's tenuous democratic system established in the years following the revolution.


Further endangering this system is the large number of young Tunisians (estimated at several thousand) who have rushed to Syria and Iraq to join the ranks of ISIS. There is much about which to be concerned, given the untested capacity of the country's new political structures to confront such widespread jihadist activity (in addition to the host of other challenges faced). While many Western governments aptly view Tunisia as a bright light in an otherwise bleak regional landscape, it would be misleading to consider post-revolutionary Tunisia a foolproof success story. In order to truly succeed, the government will need to address many lingering economic and political issues as well as inspire the younger generation and reduce the appeal of violent jihadists


The uprising was triggered in December 2010 by the self-immolation of Muhammad Bouazizi, a 26-year-old fruit and vegetable vendor from the minor town of Sidi Bou Zid, who set himself on fire in front of the local government offices in a desperate act of protest. While he was not the first Tunisian to embrace such a desperate act, his image reverberated across diverse segments of Tunisian society. Mounting frustration over deteriorating socioeconomic conditions, along with rising resentment against a corrupt regime that seemed out of touch with the lives of ordinary Tunisians unleashed a torrent of anger against the government.


Bouazizi was inaccurately presented on social media as an unemployed university graduate, forced to sell produce to support his family. This cyber image resonated with scores of young Tunisians, who, frustrated by their stalled economic progress, identified with this fictional image. Other segments of society sided with the frustrated, educated younger generation. These included the population of peripheral towns like Sidi Bou Zid, which took to the streets after Bouazizi's deed. Spontaneous protests spread across the country, reaching the capital in early January. Initial demands for social justice and improved economic opportunities gave way to unprecedented calls for President Ben Ali to step down. On January 13, 2011, the president delivered a televised address to the nation, in which he claimed that he "understood" the protesters, vowed to address their grievances and pledged not to seek reelection. These statements did little to calm the demonstrators, who returned to the streets of central Tunis the next day. By early evening of January 14, Tunisia's media announced that Ben Ali and his family had fled the country for Saudi Arabia where they received asylum.


News of Ben Ali's departure shocked the public. Few anticipated such an outcome, and many feared for the country's internal stability. At first, some of Ben Ali's cronies believed that political turmoil in the country had ended with the president's flight, that their own positions were secure, and that Tunisia would maintain its existing political structure. That assumption was quickly proved false by angry protesters who resumed their demonstrations, demanding that the Ben Ali regime be completely dismantled. From the demonstrators' perspective, the Tunisian revolution was far from over. As the protests intensified, the Tunisian military refused to intervene or suppress the demonstrations. The remaining officials of the Ben Ali regime ultimately relented; by early March, the ruling Rassemblement Constitutionnel Démocratique party was dismantled. A veteran Tunisian political figure, Beji Caid Essebsi, was appointed interim prime minister, and the country embarked on a transition process aimed at transforming the political system and establishing democracy.


Tunisia's potential for restructuring its political system was considered high, owing in large part to features specific to the country. These include a tradition of political moderation and compromise and a homogeneous, well-educated society. The fact that the military largely removed itself from political life also suggested that, unlike other countries, the armed forces would not intervene. But the obstacles the country faced throughout the ensuing years were substantial and could potentially have disrupted these efforts at any phase. Tunisia also came under stress as a result of the revolution in nearby Libya, which sent thousands of refugees into its territory. On the domestic front, there was no guarantee that Tunisian society would be able to construct a bottom-up democratic system and navigate a process that would avoid a "winner takes all" mentality between rival political forces.


Difficult relations between Tunisia's Islamists and the secular forces that opposed them presented a major challenge to efforts to construct a new political system. The Ben Ali regime had taken an uncompromising position toward Islamist movements, particularly the most organized of them, the Ennahda (Renaissance) faction, whose activities were banned while thousands of its supporters and leaders had been imprisoned and tortured. Some of its leaders had gone into exile abroad, including the movement's leading figure, Rachid al-Ghannouchi. There was no way of knowing how the Islamist movement would fare under the changed political circumstances of a post-revolutionary state…

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





Roi Kais

Ynet, Jan. 21, 2016


Relations between Israel and Sudan may be experiencing an unexpected, albeit slight, thaw. A few days ago, an "international Sudanese dialogue forum" came to a close in Sudan, aimed at uniting the various dominant parties and armed groups in the country. During the forum, which was launched in October by President Omar al-Bashir, the groups discussed various topics such as state law, personal freedoms and foreign policy.


Surprisingly, the issue of normalizing relations with Israel came up a number of times over the three months.


"There is no justification for Sudan having hostile relations with Israel, because it will pay a political and economical price for it," said the head of the Sudanese Independent Party, who viewed the lifting of US sanctions against Sudan as the opening point for normalizing ties with Jerusalem. The sanctions were put in place around two decades ago as a response to Sudan's support for terrorism.


The statements of the Sudanese Independent Party chairman were surprising, but not as surprising as those of Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour. "The matter of normalized relations with Israel is something that can be looked into," Ghandour said during a convention in the capital Khartoum, in response to an argument heard at the event that Sudan's belligerent stance towards Israel is an embarrassment to Washington. According to this argument, improved ties with Israel would open the door to creating better ties with the US government. Ghandour's announcement stirred up controversy in Arabic media, leading him to clarify that Sudan is not linking its relations with any specific country to those with another state.


Participants at the forum understood the message that the foreign minister was sending them and several dozen said that they support the establishment of ties with Israel under certain conditions. "The Arab League supports this approach," said one forum member, Ibrahim Sliman.


Members of al-Bashir's ruling party say that there has been no discussion relating to relations with Israel in any party meetings. Al-Bashir, who is subject to an international arrest warrant by the Hague for war crimes, said in November 2012 that normalization with Israel is a "red line." His declaration came shortly after Israel attacked a weapons factory in the center of Khartoum.


 The surprising dialogue that has arisen surrounding Israel-Sudan relations is likely due to the dramatic developments in the Middle East over the last few months. Nonetheless, it seems that full normalization is still some way off. Sudan appears to have been edging closer to the moderate Sunni camp over the last two years, while distancing itself from Iran's Shi'i leadership. Two weeks ago, Sudan cut its diplomatic ties with Iran following an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran.


Over the last few years foreign and Sudanese media have addressed Israel Air Force attacks inside Sudan, aimed at, according to the reports, preventing weapons deliveries to Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah.

Relations between Sudan and "resistance movements," i.e. Hamas and Hezbollah, strengthened during the 1990s, particularly since al-Bashir's assumption of power. Sudan's support for Al-Qaeda and its leader Osama Bin Laden embroiled it in a dispute with the US, which hurt Khartoum both politically and economically.


The change began in September 2014 when al-Bashir closed Iranian centers in Sudan and expelled the Iranian cultural attaché under the claim that he had spread Shi'ism in the Sunni country. Sudan was one of the first countries to join the war against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are supported by Iran. The peak was reached with Sudan's severing of diplomatic ties with Iran two weeks ago, a step taken by a number of other Sunni countries.



It is not inconceivable that Sudan's actions are a means of winning financial rewards from Saudi Arabia and that it is interested in normalizing ties with Israel in order to improve its financial situation. It is worth remembering that one American visitor who leaked to Wikileaks quoted an adviser to President al-Bashar, Mustafa Osman Ismail, saying in a meeting with senior state officials: "If things with the US go well, you will help us ease matters with Israel, your closest ally in the region."


On Topic


Terrorism is a Crime Against the Human Race. Trudeau Should Say So: Tasha Kheiriddin, IPolitics, Jan. 18, 2015—Last week, seven Canadians were killed in two separate terrorist attacks.

This One-Eyed Terrorist is the Leader of the al-Qaida Faction Behind Burkina Faso Attack: Stewart Bell, National Post, Jan. 17, 2016 —The siege at the Splendid Hotel was still underway when the North African branch of al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the bloodshed, which it said was to punish the “disbelieving West” and incite youths to “jihad in the cause of Allah.”

Libya's Descent into Chaos: Yehudit Ronen, Middle East Quarterly, Winter, 2016—The overthrow of Libya's long-reigning dictator Mu'ammar al-Qaddafi by an international coalition in the summer and autumn of 2011was hailed at the time as paving the way for a "New Libya."

Senegal, a Peaceful Islamic Democracy, Is Jarred by Fears of Militancy: Dionne Searcey, New York Times, Dec. 12, 2015— Raids for suspects in the Paris attacks flashed across the television at the Sow family house in this small village along Senegal’s coastline.















Liberals Need to Stop Flattering Islam and Ask Tough Questions Instead: Amir Taheri, New York Post, Dec. 13, 2015 — I remember back in the 1980s, the diplomat then in charge of United Sates counterterrorism program, Robert Oakley, insisted that the US will never be targeted by homegrown Islamist terrorists because it was “their final destination, their last best hope.”

‘Playing into the Hands of ISIS’?: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Dec. 14, 2015— Playing into the hands of ISIS” is the new Beltway mantra.

On the Front Line Against Islamic State: Sohrab Ahmari, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 4, 2015 — Kurdish intelligence chief Masrour Barzani’s forward base on the Iraqi-Syrian border isn’t easy to reach.

The Worst Job in the Middle East: Kevin Sullivan, Real Clear World, Dec. 1, 2015— Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi sits in a rather unenviable and at times impossible position.


On Topic Links


They’re ‘So Nice,’ Until They Get Religion and Want to Kill Us: Paul Sperry, New York Post, Dec. 13, 2015

Saudi Arabia Forms Muslim Anti-Terror Coalition: Ahmed Al Omran & Asa Fitch, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 15, 2015

How Saddam’s Men Help Islamic State Rule: Isabel Coles & Ned Parker, Reuters, Dec. 11, 2015

The Fall of Anbar Province: Sterling Jensen, Middle East Quarterly, Winter, 2016  




AND ASK TOUGH QUESTIONS INSTEAD                                                           

Amir Taheri                                     

                      New York Post, Dec. 13, 2015


I remember back in the 1980s, the diplomat then in charge of United Sates counterterrorism program, Robert Oakley, insisted that the US will never be targeted by homegrown Islamist terrorists because it was “their final destination, their last best hope.” That was the time when groups controlled by Ayatollah Khomeini kidnapped or killed Americans in the Middle East.


So what happened to make that “final destination” a stopover to paradise for martyrs?  Why do so many Muslims hate Americans to the point of wanting to massacre them in their offices as in 9/11 or at a Christmas Party at San Bernardino — despite the fact that the United States is the only major power in modern times to offer Muslims a helping hand when they needed it?


Wasn’t it President Woodrow Wilson who insisted at the end of the First World War that the main European imperial powers of the day, Great Britain and France, publicly commit to respecting the right of self-determination for nations freed from the Ottoman yoke? The Americans invented the idea of “mandates” to prevent the European imperialist world-grabbers from turning their Muslim conquests in the Middle East into a new colonial galaxy.


And wasn’t it President Harry Truman who in 1946 used eyeball-to-eyeball diplomacy against the Soviet despot Josef Stalin to force him to take Russian occupation troops out of Iran’s northwestern provinces and forget about his plan of creating a Soviet Iranistan? Then we had the 1956 crisis, when Britain and France invaded Egypt to prevent the nationalization of the Suez Canal. Wasn’t it President Dwight Eisenhower who went against American’s oldest allies to let the Egyptians assert their national sovereignty?


The US was the only major power to have no state-owned oil company, and thus never used its military clout to obtain a share of the Middle East’s energy resources. Should Muslims hate Americans because they refused to disband their military bases on Islamic lands? Again, history shows that the US was the only major power prepared to pack up and leave as soon as its hosts showed it the door.


In 1969, an astonished Col. Moammar Khadafy watched as the Americans closed one of their most important aeronaval abases in the Mediterranean, located on Libyan territory, as soon as his newly installed military government asked Washington to leave. A couple of years earlier, it had taken months of bloody battles and tens of thousands of lives before South Yemen was able to force Britain to close its base in Aden.


In 1979, the US had 27,000 military personnel in Iran, operating “listening posts” set up as part of the strategic arms limitation accords to monitor Soviet missile tests. But when the new Islamic regime led by Khomeini asked the US to close the listening posts, which had been approved by the Soviets as well, the Americans did no foot dragging. The only Americans left behind were diplomats soon to be seized as hostages by Khomeinist militants.


We witnessed a repeat of that in the 1990s on a grander scale when the Americans simply packed up and left when the Saudis asked them to close their bases after driving Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, tangentially also saving Saudi Arabia from Iraqi occupation.


That the US was a friend of Muslims and of Islam was again illustrated when American power helped drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan and, later, to liberate Afghans and Iraqis, a total of 50 million Muslims, from the vicious domination of Taliban and Ba’ath Party. In 2005, the Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein Sharestani was publicly wondering why the Americans were not coming to “steal our oil” which anti-US propaganda claimed had been Washington’s key objective in toppling Saddam Hussein. We left there, too.


During the past six decades, the US has been by far the largest donor of aid to more than 40 of the 57 Muslim-majority nations. In the 1940s and ’50s, tens of millions of Muslims were saved from starvation and famine thanks to US food-aid. And the Point IV program, launched by President Truman, helped eradicate a number of endemic diseases, including smallpox and malaria that killed large numbers of Muslims each year. Many Muslims nations have been annually receiving large checks from the US for decades, among them Egypt, which gets $2 billion and Pakistan, the homeland of Syed Farook, the San Bernardino, Calif., killer, which gets $1 billion.


Since the 1970s, the US has been host to more than 5 million Muslims from all over the world, many of them fleeing brutal Islamist regimes in their homeland. In a conversation in 2002, Princeton Professor Bernard Lewis expressed the hope that Muslims in the United States and other Western democracies could become “beacons of enlightenment” projecting light back to their old counties. Many of us shared that hope.


Now, however, we see that the opposite is happening. Instead of exporting “light” back to the Muslim world, a growing number of Muslims in Western democracies have become importers of darkness in their new abodes. Worse still, the politically correct crowd has turned Islam into a new taboo. They brand any criticism of Islam as racist, ethnocentrist or simply vile, all crammed together in the new category of “Islamophobia.” Is it Islamophobia to question why a religion whose Middle East leaders often preach against us?


More prevalent than Islamophia is Islamophilia, where liberals treat Muslims as children or teenagers whose feathers should not be ruffled. The Islampophilia crowd do a great disservice to both Western democracies and to Islam itself. They invite Americans and Europeans to sacrifice part of their own freedom in atonement of largely imaginary sins against Muslims in the colonial and imperialist era. They also invite Muslims in the West to learn how to pose as victims and demand the rewards of victimhood as is the fashion in Europe and America. To the Muslims world at large, the message of Islamophilia is that Muslims need no criticism although their faith is being transformed into a number of conflicting ideologies dedicated to violence and terror.


Never mind if Islamic theology is all but dead. To say so would be a sign of Islamophobia. Never mind that God makes only a cameo appearance in mosque sermons almost entirely obsessed with political issues. All that Western intellectuals or leaders need to do is stop flattering Islam, as President Obama has been doing for the past seven years, claiming that virtually anything worthwhile under the sun has its origin in Islam. Many Muslims resent that kind of flattery, which takes them for idiots at a time that Islam and Muslims badly need to be criticized. The world needs to wake from its slumber and ask: What is going on?                                          




‘PLAYING INTO THE HANDS OF ISIS’?                                                                

Victor Davis Hanson

                                 National Review, Dec. 14, 2015


Playing into the hands of ISIS” is the new Beltway mantra. The finger-shaking by the administration and its supporters warns Americans not to give in to their supposedly natural biases against Muslims. Never mind that FBI statistics show that Jews in this country are the objects of hate crimes at nearly four times the rate of Muslims. It is mysteriously never reported who are the main perpetrators of hate crimes against Jews. In any case, when the administration alleges Islamophobia, it assumes that if it did not, ISIS might announce to Muslims worldwide, “We told you so,” to confirm its suspicions of American prejudices toward Islam.


But according to Obama’s own logic, his constant suggestions that Americans are prejudiced against Islam would themselves strengthen ISIS by providing them a rationale or justification for their anti-American terrorism. Would they not think, “If President Obama himself is constantly worried that his own people are anti-Muslim, then surely they must be — even though statistics do not support that charge”? Or are we to think that ISIS reasons along the following lines: “Even after 9/11, Americans let in hundreds of thousands of Muslims, and yet hate crimes against them are far rarer than against Jews. Therefore Americans are our friends, and we will refrain from attacking them”?


When the president pontificates on the evils of Guantánamo Bay, rather than worries over the subsequent careers of terrorists who were released from the detention facility, does that encourage or discourage ISIS? Do its members think that a resolute America is perfectly willing to lock up a terrorist murderer for years and therefore understand that the United States is a formidable foe, or do they conjecture that an embarrassed nation is doing all it can to appear accommodating to grievances?


Sometimes we are also told that any suggestion of suspending immigration from the Middle East, Syria in particular, until we can properly vet arrivals is likewise a gift to ISIS. Yet ISIS has promised to infiltrate so-called refugees with terrorist operatives. I suppose the administration’s logic is something like the following: “ISIS promises to infiltrate migrant arrivals from the Middle East; so if we suspend accepting migrants, it may make ISIS terrorists even angrier, and they will try to infiltrate even more.”


This same strange logic applies to bombing ISIS. Caution, circumspection, and professions of reluctance to strike at ISIS supposedly will win the hearts and minds of the potential ISIS recruiting pool. That way we can lure them back from the dark side. ISIS must know that we already don’t target the drivers of their fuel tankers, who are so integral to their cash income. Did ISIS also hold back a bit on learning that Obama once suspended air strikes in fear of the environmental damage? Did the ISIS green wing appreciate that? Unfortunately, there is scant evidence from military history in general to suggest that human nature operates in the manner that the administration assumes, and in particular none at all that the administration’s approach to ISIS has lost the terrorists support.


What exactly has been won in the Middle East over the last seven years by the Obama apology tours, the Trotskyization of the vocabulary of terrorism (“workplace violence,” “overseas contingency operations,” “man-caused disasters,” etc.), the mythographic Cairo speech, the embarrassing Al Arabiya interview, the surreal NASA mission statement about Muslim outreach, the gratuitous slights to “high-horse” Christianity, the “special relationship” with Recep Erdogan’s Islamist Turkey, the outreach to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the calibrated distancing from Israel, or the dismissals of ISIS as “jayvee” and “contained” and of al-Qaeda as “on the run”?


After all that, U.S. popularity is still near rock bottom in the Middle East. In the latest Pew Global Attitudes & Trends poll, Turkey seems not to have appreciated its special friendship with Barack Obama (58 percent unfavorable view of the U.S.). Nor did the recipients of massive American aid such as the Palestinians (70 percent unfavorable) or Jordanians (83 percent unfavorable) gravitate toward America after the Obama administration’s distancing from Israel. Muslim Pakistan (62 percent unfavorable) does not seem to appreciate annual U.S. aid or the president’s deferential and politically correct pronunciation of Pakîstan, or his reminders that his family has had a special affinity with Islam. Iran has never been more ascendant or more contemptuous of the United States. We have alienated the Gulf emirates. Old friends distrust us, and older enemies no longer worry much about the U.S. How could all that be? Did not the Middle East street appreciate that the Obama administration had been willing to blame a supposedly right-wing video-maker for the killing of Americans in Benghazi rather than fault al-Qaeda?


In short, the Obama administration has crafted a policy toward ISIS that is contrary to unchanging human nature. Should we have expected Mr. Farook and Ms. Malik to be so grateful that they had been allowed to enter and leave the U.S. so easily, and so appreciative that Mr. Farook had landed a nice job with the San Bernardino County health department, and that his father and mother were welcomed into America, that they decided to demonstrate their gratitude by not killing 14 Americans and wounding another 22? Did their bizarre and scarcely veiled behavior truly warrant not a peep from either politically correct neighbors or somnolent authorities in the anything-goes United States?..

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





Sohrab Ahmari

Wall Street Journal, Dec. 4, 2015


Kurdish intelligence chief Masrour Barzani’s forward base on the Iraqi-Syrian border isn’t easy to reach. On a bright Sunday morning, two members of his staff drive me there from Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. We race four hours around Kurdistan’s barren hills, passing numerous checkpoints, a circuitous route that avoids the tentacular territory that Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has carved out of Iraq and Syria.


It is late November, and the Kurds have just severed one of those ISIS tentacles by capturing Sinjar, 15 months after the jihadist army overran the Iraqi city and forced Kurdish Peshmerga forces to beat a hasty retreat. The Kurds’ comeback at Sinjar means the main highway linking ISIS-controlled Mosul, Iraq, and the so-called caliphate’s capital in Raqqa, Syria, is now cut off. Security is tight at the base. Mr. Barzani, who heads the Security Council of the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, is dressed in fatigues, with a pistol at his waist. We sit in a trailer that serves as a conference room. A portrait of Kurdish-nationalist hero Mustafa Barzani—Mr. Barzani’s grandfather; his father is KRG President Masoud Barzani—hangs above opulent furniture with golden, rococo details that look oddly out of place. Liberated Sinjar lies 40 miles southwest. A little beyond it is an ISIS front that stretches for 650 miles.


“The Kurds have broken the myth of ISIS,” says Mr. Barzani, who speaks English fluently. Including Sinjar, Peshmerga forces have retaken 7,700 square miles of territory and nearly double that if you count the successes of Syrian Kurds across the border. The Kurds’ front-line efforts combined with coalition airstrikes, Mr. Barzani says, have removed about 20,000 ISIS fighters from the battlefield.


He attributes the Sinjar triumph to Western air cover, good planning and a swiftness that surprised ISIS fighters. “Excellent intelligence” also helped, Mr. Barzani adds, because it allowed the Kurds to defuse the jihadists’ main defensive barrier, a network of remotely controlled booby traps and improvised explosive devices, before it could be detonated. Military analysts had predicted days of house-to-house combat. “But it didn’t happen,” Mr. Barzani says. It was all over in 48 hours. While ISIS fighters may be inspired by a “radical, terrorist, extremist ideology,” he says, the Peshmerga go into battle with a fervor “to defend their territories and defend their people.” It was the same spirit that deterred previous attempts, by Saddam Hussein’s regime and others, to eradicate the Kurds, he says. “That has been the only reason that we as the Kurds still exist.”


But Kurds alone can’t put ISIS on the path to defeat, especially with the group still able to recruit new members and acquire weapons. Defeating the jihadists will require stanching the flow of funding, arms and fighters. War needs to be carried out on the ideological front too. “If Islam doesn’t accept what ISIS is doing,” he says, “the Islamic scholars have to talk to their own people, to say ‘Islam rejects this. You cannot terrorize people.’ ” This, he adds, “is an Islamic duty—the West cannot help.”


The most important factor remains geography. Islamic State’s legitimacy rests on its ability to exercise sovereignty over land. The Kurds have reclaimed much of their territory, but now the front has moved to “other parts of Iraq, and in Syria, where you don’t have such a reliable force to fight on the ground while airstrikes target the enemy,” Mr. Barzani says. That’s an implicit rebuke to the Obama White House, which says it can “degrade and destroy” ISIS without committing U.S. ground forces. The American strategy of airstrikes and special operations, Mr. Barzani says, is “very effective in terms of weakening ISIS, disabling their movements, targeting their leadership. But you can never defeat an enemy if you don’t have ground forces.” And contrary to Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz, the Kurds can’t serve as “our troops on the ground”—at least not outside their traditional territories.


Consider Mosul. The second-largest city in Iraq, today it remains under ISIS control. Mosul lies just 50 miles west of Erbil, and were it not for coalition airstrikes that came in the nick of time last year, the Kurds’ vibrant capital would almost certainly have fallen to ISIS as well. Today Peshmerga surround Mosul. Kurds have pledged to help dislodge ISIS from the city, but they can’t spearhead the operation. The majority of Mosul’s 1.5 million people are Sunni Arabs, the core ISIS constituency. The Kurds think it’s up to the Iraqi central government in Baghdad and the coalition to take the lead on Mosul.


The job calls for a “liberating force, not a force that can create sensitivities in that community,” Mr. Barzani says. That is, a Shiite-dominated Baghdad must win the trust of Sunnis and encourage them to rise against ISIS. That’s a tall order for an Iraqi government increasingly under Iran’s thumb, and dependent on Shiite militias whose preferred counterinsurgency methods are burning Sunni villages and drilling Sunni skulls with power tools…

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




THE WORST JOB IN THE MIDDLE EAST                                                 

Kevin Sullivan                                                     

           Real Clear World, Dec. 1, 2015


Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi sits in a rather unenviable and at times impossible position. With just one year under his belt as the country's premier, it would be difficult to give al-Abadi's administration poor marks without first accounting for all of the factors both domestic and external that have constrained the Iraqi leader's ability to accomplish much of anything in the country.


Facing a real war against the militant Islamic State group in the country's north and a political battle in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, al-Abadi now finds himself stuck between the regional wranglings of larger powers such as Iran, Russia, and the United States.


The Islamic State group's advances and territorial gains in the past year, moreover, have provided Tehran with an opportunity to further insert itself into Iraqi politics, and many of the modern-day Hoplite fighters currently fighting ISIS's jihadist army — more formally known as Popular Mobilization Units — have been trained and paid by Tehran, from whom many of these Shiite fighters take their marching orders. These same Shiite militias have become a political force in Iraq, and they have pressed an already budget-crunched Baghdad in recent weeks to provide them with more resources and funds in their fight against ISIS.


When summertime power cuts and concerns over mounting corruption in the capital led to protests throughout Iraq's Shiite heartland, al-Abadi saw an opportunity to slash spending and eliminate seemingly superfluous cabinet positions, such as the country's multiple vice presidencies. Backed by influential Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, it appeared as if al-Abadi had finally found his mandate to govern. The premier's reform push sputtered rather quickly, however, and one of the vice presidents he dismissed earlier this year simply refuses to leave. Al-Abadi lost the support of the Iraqi parliament last month, and his proposed cuts to civil servant salaries even cost him the support of the Grand Ayatollah.


Al-Abadi appears to have overplayed his hand, and his move to stem corruption by eliminating plush patronage positions in the government only served to alienate the very Iraqi political operatives he counted on to fuel his reform agenda. Worse yet, it was probably unconstitutional. "The constitution requires that the president have at least one vice president, and the 2011 law that provides a legal framework for the appointment and removal of vice presidents gives the prime minister no role in this," writes political risk analyst Kirk Sowell, an expert on Iraqi politics.


Compounding the prime minister's troubles is the fact that internal political disputes in Baghdad now hold larger geopolitical implications. While al-Abadi has largely hinged his hopes on the support of the United States, his Iran-aligned rivals in the capital have openly invited Russian intervention in the country, a move that would most certainly agitate Washington, and likely alienate Iraq's Sunni minority. Moreover, while al-Abadi's colleagues in Baghdad antagonize Washington, his allies in Washington appear to be doing their very best to antagonize pols in Baghdad. The United States has pressed the Iraqi government in recent days to expedite its efforts to retake the ISIS-held city of Ramadi, and just this week the prime minister found himself fending off calls by U.S. senators for a larger American troop presence in the country.


Thus, the Iraqi prime minister finds himself jockeying for power in a capital city with ever diminishing control over its own country's fate. It is a thankless and diminished position, and it's one al-Abadi might not be long for.                             




On Topic


They’re ‘So Nice,’ Until They Get Religion and Want to Kill Us: Paul Sperry, New York Post, Dec. 13, 2015—‘We see growing efforts by terrorists to poison the minds of people like the Boston Marathon bombers and the San Bernardino killers,” President Obama said while addressing the nation in the wake of the latest homegrown massacre at the hands of Muslims.

Saudi Arabia Forms Muslim Anti-Terror Coalition: Ahmed Al Omran & Asa Fitch, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 15, 2015 —Saudi Arabia’s plan to form a Muslim antiterrorism coalition has underlined a new muscular foreign policy aimed at confronting the extremist group Islamic State, even at the risk of wading deeper into the region’s messiest conflicts.

How Saddam’s Men Help Islamic State Rule: Isabel Coles & Ned Parker, Reuters, Dec. 11, 2015 —Mohannad is a spy for Islamic State. He eavesdrops on chatter in the street markets of Mosul and reports back to his handlers when someone breaks the militant group’s rules. One man he informed on this year – a street trader defying a ban on selling cigarettes – was fined and tortured by Islamic State fighters, according to a friend of Mohannad’s family. If the trader did not stop, his torturers told the man, they would kill him.

The Fall of Anbar Province: Sterling Jensen, Middle East Quarterly, Winter, 2016— On May 17, 2015, the city of Ramadi, capital of Anbar, Iraq's largest province, fell to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Soon after, the Iraqi government chose to send the Hashid ash-Sha'bi (Popular Mobilization Force) into Anbar to help Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) liberate the city from ISIS control. Thus far, the tactic has been a manifest failure.












How Serious is France About the War against Muslim Terror?: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 16, 2015 — Many tough words have been used by President François Hollande and other French leaders after the terrible massacres in Paris on November 13.

The West Can Win a Battle of Ideas … Assuming it Has Any: National Post, Nov. 18, 2015 — The French government has promised a “pitiless” response to the terrorist attacks on Paris.

Blind Europe Scapegoats Israel for Paris, Cancels out Israeli Victims: Giulio Meotti, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 23, 2015 — When jihadists killed civilians in Paris, Europe called it "terrorism".

Netanyahu Nails It: The Enemy is ‘Medievalism’: Jonah Goldberg, New York Post, Nov. 13, 2015— Americans could learn a thing or two from Bibi Netanyahu.


On Topic Links


Things the French Can Do That Israelis Cannot: Elder of Ziyon, Algemeiner, Nov. 16, 2015

As U.S. Escalates Air War on ISIS, Allies Slip Away: Eric Schmitt & Michael R. Gordon, New York Times, Nov. 7, 2015  

Republican Candidates Urge Aggressive Response After Paris Attacks: Patrick Healy, New York Times, Nov. 14, 2015

ISIL’s Aims and Appeals: Robert Fulford, National Post, Nov. 20, 2015



HOW SERIOUS IS FRANCE ABOUT THE WAR AGAINST MUSLIM TERROR?                                                         

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Arutz Sheva, Nov. 16, 2015  


Many tough words have been used by President François Hollande and other French leaders after the terrible massacres in Paris on November 13. "Even if France is wounded, she will rise," Hollande said. "Even if we are in grief, nothing will destroy her.” He also called the massacres an “act of war.” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said “we are at war.” The government has also called a state of emergency which it now wants to extend for three months.


The French government gives the impression that it is going to undertake a huge program to fight the Islamic State. French planes have already bombed the Syrian city Raqqa, the de facto capital of the organization. As an aside one might mention here that a summer 2014 poll found that 16% of the French population viewed ISIS favorably at that time.


France or indeed any other country going to war, has to assess the battlefield. In a post-modern society this is radically different from classic warfare, as it is not limited to a geographically defined area. The battlefield includes a disparate collection of many individuals with seditious intentions. Radical Muslim ideology is widespread in France and elsewhere in Western Europe. The Islamic State variant is just one among several others. Some of the terrorists came from the Molenbeek quarter, a radical Muslim hotbed in Brussels. The Belgian government has admitted that it has lost control over the area. France has temporarily closed its borders.  However, instituting permanent border controls is a prerequisite in any effective fight against radicalized Muslims. Such a measure will inevitably undermine the Schengen open borders agreement, one of the major achievements of the EU.


France’s leaders have given no indication, in what we have heard from them thus far, that the country intends to deal with the entire battlefield. On the contrary, after the January 2015 murders of the Charlie Hebdo journalists and the Jews in the Hyper Cacher supermarket, Hollande nonsensically claimed that when a Muslim with intent to murder shouts “Allahu Akbar” as a battle cry it has nothing to do with Islam


Hollande stated: “these fanatics have nothing to do with the Muslim religion.” He thus nonsensically claimed that when a Muslim with intent to murder shouts “Allahu Akbar” as a battle cry it has nothing to do with Islam. Valls spoke more truthfully when he commented on the minority ghettoes at the time. He said that there is a “territorial, social, and ethnic apartheid” separating these neighborhoods from the rest of France.


These attacks pose a problem far greater than that faced in January this year, as the target is clearly no longer limited to journalist and Jews. The whole of France — and by extension Europe – its population and culture, is under attack. Problems in the French Muslim community have multiple aspects, as for instance pointed in a study by Gilles Kepel. It is probable that only a small percentage of the anti-democrats among the Muslims in France currently harbor terrorist intentions. However, many more are susceptible to radicalization, and therefore must be seen as potential terrorists. Convincing a few more French Muslim leaders to condemn the murders is not going to help much. The real postmodern war against violent and other antidemocratic Muslims requires a master plan that goes far beyond interim measures such as the closure of radical mosques.


This means reclaiming the lost territories in French cities and society, a move tantamount to the elimination of defined urban areas currently ruled, to all intents and purposes, by Sharia law, where French law has been marginalized. It would mean the end of “no go zones” where the police can only enter in large numbers on an ‘ad hoc’ basis.


To state explicitly that government control would have to be restored in self-contained Muslim enclaves would verge on the sacrilegious for a socialist politician in France. This is not the result of a conspiracy of silence on the part of the French government and politically correct media. Such avoidance has its origins in something more insidious: a sanitization of public expression encouraged by the establishment’s main actors, both social and political. The absence of any clear mention of problems specifically related to the French Muslim population and to Islam, allows for the fallacious belief that such problems are not major. 


In order to fight the war it has declared against terrorism, the government has to define the battlefield. This requires statements which, within the French context, would be extreme. They boil down to: ‘In order to effectively fight the Islamic State, we have to reassess systematically what is wrong in French society, with a strong emphasis on its Muslim component. We are going to deal with these problems come what may, and however long it takes, in a systematic way. We know that if we don’t do so we are asking for even more trouble.’ 


In France there are important forces which are not part of the establishment, which may have been propelled forward by the massacres. The main one is Marine le Pen’s right wing National Front party. Its leaders have no problem in pointing out their very different and sometimes racist views of what is wrong in French Muslim society.


It may still be too early to see a further popular swing toward the party in the upcoming regional elections at the beginning of December. But even shortly before the massacre, Le Pen was leading in the polls for the first round of the 2017 presidential election, ahead of the Republicans’ Nicolas Sarkozy. Hollande was behind in third place, and according to the polls, would not make it to the second round. This is an additional incentive for him to take matters far more seriously in the current crisis than he has done so far.


By observing whether the battlefield has been correctly addressed, as time passes political observers will be able to judge the extent to which the French government is serious about dealing with and preventing terrorism. As far as Israel is concerned: if France acts as it should do for its own security, then it should be more difficult for its government to come up with further disturbing posturing in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and condemnations of Israeli actions against terrorists.


If France does not act, Israel can only emphasize that France’s policies have led to a far greater Muslim-perpetrated massacre in Paris, than has ever occurred in Israel. If Hollande is serious, the French intelligence services would do well to come to the only democratic country in the Middle East for more sophisticated advice. Israel has successfully developed detailed intelligence methods over the years to avoid such massacres, dealing with a constant threat of many willing Palestinian and to a lesser extent local Muslim perpetrators.                                                           






THE WEST CAN WIN A BATTLE OF IDEAS … ASSUMING IT HAS ANY                                                          

National Post, Nov. 18, 2015


The French government has promised a “pitiless” response to the terrorist attacks on Paris. And it has dropped a few dozen bombs and kicked down some doors. But this crisis requires more than theatre. It requires genuine resolution, which must begin above the neck before radiating down through the spine. To be fair, French President François Hollande seems to be trying to assemble an international coalition to go after ISIL on the ground, despite U.S. President Barack Obama’s no-boots pledge. But the issue is the West’s overall willingness to defend itself military and intellectually. And here the indications are troubling.


Among Hollande’s announcements after the Paris attacks was freezing the decline in French military personnel temporarily. If that’s his idea of mobilization for total war, he’s not serious. Nor was he in announcing this spring that instead of sliding to 1.2 per cent of GDP, French military spending would hover briefly around 1.4 per cent, well below NATO’s two per cent pledge. If you add pensions, the number rises to 1.8 per cent. What kind of defence department sees almost a quarter of its spending go to pensions? Answer: the military in a welfare state. Which is also the answer to an even more problematic question: how can any country bring in enormous numbers of culturally hostile immigrants to “reverse” its economic and demographic decline, then leave them to fester resentfully on handouts in squalid suburbs?


The French police are now carrying out hundreds of raids on known “militants.” But if they knew about them, and arrests worked, why not act before the slaughter? The raids may impress law-abiding citizens, but they basically pointlessly disrupt the lives of people who already had nothing better to do than sit around despising the infidel society that shelters and subsidizes them, while occasionally plotting mayhem.


The search for perpetrators of the Paris attacks has included the radical Muslim Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek, an infamous incubator of terror within easy reach of glittering cafes and EU headquarters. The Belgian prime minister just sighed, “There is almost always a link with Molenbeek. That’s a gigantic problem, of course.” So is sophisticated resignation in the face of known facts, including the long-standing funding of radical Wahabi mosques in Molenbeek by our Saudi “allies,” who forbid construction of churches in their country.


We are not suggesting banning radical speech or sermons. Open societies win the battle of ideas … but only if they engage in it. And it is not enough to know what we are fighting against. We must know what we are fighting for. A real response would certainly include rearming militarily instead of clutching Uncle Sam’s pant-leg. France has carried out some 200 air strikes against ISIL since September 2014, barely one every two days. And its task force, centred on the currently operational aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, consists of some three dozen planes. That’s not an air force, it’s a few squadrons. And it’s not a war, it’s a public relations exercise.


The United States, by contrast, has carried out nearly 6,400 air strikes in its half-hearted, unfocused intervention. And after Paris, it went after hundreds of trucks carrying ISIL oil inside Syria, something the French, or Canadians, literally could not do. The United States is the only Western nation to maintain a real military, though small by historical standards. It is also, not by coincidence, the only Western country to retain robust pride in its heritage and a birthrate that does not spell demographic decline.


America has its problems, to be sure. One currently occupies the White House. President Obama famously sneered at American exceptionalism, saying it was just like everyone else’s. But it’s not. America is the land of the free. So what is France? Its intellectuals and politicians may take perverse pride in their cultural differences from “Anglo-Saxons.” But France is part of the West, an inheritor of the Roman tradition of the rule of law and the Christian notion of individual dignity that, historically, produced open societies.


It cannot survive as merely a collection of hedonists who sip wine in cafes, listen to rock music and welcome tourists to the Eiffel Tower. It must be a vital, vigorous part of the West, seeking immigrants who share Western values. Where is the “fraternité” of Muslim immigrants who, we are assured, mostly reject terrorism but have for some reason made their grubby neighbourhoods no-go areas for kuffar police and firefighters?


We do not accept respected historian Niall Ferguson’s vision of the last days of Rome in the streets of Paris. ISIL is considerably less competent or vigorous than the barbarians who overwhelmed Rome and the West has deep reserves of strength. But defeating the jihadi cause is going to take a lot more than self-indulgent Facebook images, soppy songs and tricoloured lights, political bluster and a few dozen well-publicized air raids.


ISIL’s ideas are repugnant. But they are simple, giving them great appeal to people who are repugnant and simple. And even a bad idea can defeat no idea. To win this long war, the West needs spines connected to brains, a strong military defending a strong sense of self. We are not there yet by any means.                                                                 






BLIND EUROPE SCAPEGOATS ISRAEL FOR PARIS,                                        

CANCELS OUT ISRAELI VICTIMS                                                                                            

Giulio Meotti         


Arutz Sheva, Nov. 23, 2015  


When jihadists killed civilians in Paris, Europe called it "terrorism". When jihadists kill Israeli civilians in Tel Aviv, as occurred last Thursday and Sunday, Europe calls it "militancy" and cancels out the Israeli victims of terror. If America eliminates Osama bin Laden it is "justice" announced on TV; if Israel kills Sheik Ahmed Yassin it becomes "retaliation" to be ashamed of. But we are past these heinous double standards, we are in the middle of what the Israeli deputy foreign minister, MK Tzipi Hotovely, called "blood libels."


It is the same illness that struck different parts of the free world in the Thirties. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is obviously not the reason for the wave of massacres perpetrated by Islamic State; those that attacked French in the heart of Paris, or killed Christians or Yazidis, did not do it because of the Palestinians. Yet we cannot count the ministers in Europe and Nobel Prize winners who immediately connected the French massacres to the "Israeli-Palestinian" question, not by equating Palestinian Arab terror with worldwide Arab terror, but by throwing some responsibility on the Jews.


"We are not guilty of the terrorism that strikes us, more than the people of Paris are guilty for the attacks that they suffered," said the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "Therefore, of course, we reject this accusation. But now we are facing something new: not only we are blamed for the terrorism we suffer. Now we come to the absurd that we are even blamed for the terrorism directed at the French."


Interviewed by SVT2 on the terrorist attack in Paris, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Margot Wallstrom, said that "to counter radicalization we must go back to the situation in the Middle East, where the Palestinians see that there is no future for them and must accept desperation and resort to violence. " The same words were used by Jan Marinjissen, secretary of the Socialist Party in the Netherlands, who on radio NPO said that "their (ISIS, ed) behavior is related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." Former Foreign Minister of Iceland, Jon Hannibalsson, asked not only to pray for the French victims of the attacks, but also for the Palestinians. "Yes, we pray for Paris, but we also pray for the Palestinians killed in the Occupied Territories". Former British Minister John Prescott wrote in the Daily Mirror: "We need to find a lasting peace throughout the Middle East. We can not let the plague of bad feelings and bad blood in Israel and in the Palestinian territories continue. The best tribute to those who died in Paris, is not to send troops and drones in Syria. And 'to channel the anger for a lasting peaceful solution in this area'. "


The former president of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize, Martii Ahtisaari, said: "Europe must pay attention to the reasons for radicalization. Advancing the peace process in the Middle East is of fundamental importance. The issue of Israel and Palestine must be resolved." The same by the former Foreign Minister of Ireland, Dermot Ahern, who has so perspicaciously explained the origins of ISIS: "It comes from the destabilization of the entire region because of the Israeli-Palestinian issue." Former US President and Nobel Peace Prize Jimmy Carter, also said at the Jon Stewart Show: "One of the sources is the Palestinian problem."


It is the same illness that struck different parts of the free world in the Thirties. Blaming the Jews whenever something bad happens is an old habit. These leaders of the European Union, including two Nobel Prize for Peace laureates, were looking for an excuse to offer to the terrorists who massacred 130 people in Paris. Again, at the expense of Israel and Jews.


Last week, a beautiful young Jew, Ezra Josh Schwartz, was killed in Gush Etzion by the same enemies of civilization as in Paris. But nobody in Europe lit candles for him. A noble Jew. Already forgotten by the shameless and blind Europe.                                                              




NETANYAHU NAILS IT: THE ENEMY IS ‘MEDIEVALISM’                                       

Jonah Goldberg


New York Post, Nov. 13, 2015


Americans could learn a thing or two from Bibi Netanyahu. The Israeli prime minister was in Washington this week to receive the American Enterprise Institute’s Irving Kristol Award. He made some controversial remarks — at least controversial at AEI, where I am a fellow, and where the freedom agenda is alive and well — about the need to be realistic about what’s going on in the Middle East. Sometimes, he said, brutal dictators are better than the real-world alternatives: even more brutal Islamist movements hell-bent (or, if you prefer, paradise-bent) to conquer the world.



Less controversial but more intriguing was his description of the turmoil in the Middle East. “The core of the conflicts in the Middle East is the battle between modernity and early primitive medievalism,” Netanyahu explained. Everyone understood what he meant, of course. The Islamic State believes the Muslim world took a wrong turn more than a thousand years ago.


The Taliban, the Wahhabis, al-Qaida, the Muslim Brotherhood and all the other Islamists share this same worldview to one extent or another. Not every Islamist believes in crucifying Christians or throwing acid in the face of little girls going to school. But they all reject modernity, pluralism, secularism, democracy and, in many cases, even science. “Medievalism” isn’t a perfect word, but it’s a better word than “terrorism” or “Islamism.”


President George W. Bush settled on “the war on terror” to describe our fight with Islamic terrorists. But there are problems with using “terrorism” as a euphemism for Islamic radicals. I’ll give you three. First, terrorism is a tactic. If North Korea launches a nuclear missile at the United States, we will not declare war against intercontinental ballistic missiles. We will declare war against North Korea.


Second, in a war, tactics are secondary. Let’s imagine the Islamic State kept growing and became a major military power. If it replaced typical terror tactics with tanks, ships and armies but continued to make war against the US and our allies, that wouldn’t change the fact that we’d still need to destroy our enemy.


Last, there are many terrorist groups that are not Islamic at all. The self-described “Real IRA” is certainly a terrorist outfit, and I have no problem with it being crushed, but it is not a strategic threat to the United States. This is why many conservatives prefer terms like “jihadism” or “radical Islam” — for the simple reason that it’s more accurate. Conceptual clarity is essential to national security strategy.


Still, one can understand why Bush didn’t want to declare war on Islamism or jihadism. Put simply, such labels create a propaganda problem because they make it easier for the radicals to claim we are at war with Islam itself. There are more than a billion Muslims in the world, and while far too many are sympathetic to the jihadists, there are still hundreds of millions who reject terrorism. It doesn’t help us with our Muslim allies when we sound like we’re at war with their faith.


Israel certainly can’t afford to sound like it’s at war with Islam, not when it needs to work with Muslim countries like Egypt and Jordan. Hence the term “medievalism.” While not perfect, the term is far more clarifying and accurate than “terrorism.” It also helps to illuminate why the left is so wrongheaded in its knee-jerk tendency to condemn criticism of Islamic radicalism as intolerant.


At the core of progressive ideology is the Whiggish idea that modernity is preferable to the customs of the past. As a conservative, I think progressives often go too far in applying and misapplying this thinking. But they’re right on the big picture. Modernity — by which I mean tolerance, pluralism, equality, democracy — is preferable to absolutism.


In February the UN issued a report chronicling how the Islamic State was burying alive, beheading and crucifying children. The next day, President Obama went on a tear about how we in the West shouldn’t get on our “high horse” about it because Christians did terrible things a thousand years ago.


I’d still rather live under medieval Christians than under the Islamic State, but that’s beside the point. The reason Obama’s statement was so morally obtuse is that he was comparing medieval Christians from a millennium ago to monsters who proudly videotape their crimes in the here and now. If we can’t get on our high horses about that, what use is there in having high horses at all?


On Topic


Things the French Can Do That Israelis Cannot: Elder of Ziyon, Algemeiner, Nov. 16, 2015—On Friday night, French President Francois Hollande said, “To all those who have seen these awful things, I want to say we are going to lead a war which will be pitiless.”

As U.S. Escalates Air War on ISIS, Allies Slip Away: Eric Schmitt & Michael R. Gordon, New York Times, Nov. 7, 2015—As the United States prepares to intensify airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria, the Arab allies who with great fanfare sent warplanes on the initial missions there a year ago have largely vanished from the campaign.

Republican Candidates Urge Aggressive Response After Paris Attacks: Patrick Healy, New York Times, Nov. 14, 2015—Visions of two Americas emerged from the 2016 presidential field on Saturday, at the Democratic debate and at Republican campaign events, as the candidates sought to project leadership after the Paris attacks and maneuver for political advantage in a rare moment when national security held voters’ attention.

ISIL’s Aims and Appeals: Robert Fulford, National Post, Nov. 20, 2015—The outrage that traumatized Paris last weekend, and sent a shiver of foreboding across the planet, has altered the place of radical Islam in our mental map of the world. The president of France, François Hollande, said his country will make “pitiless” war against ISIL — and France sent off warplanes to prove it. That’s a humanly angry response but most of us are still trying to absorb the new global reality that ISIL now forces us to live within.







Jonathan Pollard, Jewish-American Spy for Israel, Going Free After 30 Years: Mitch Ginsburg, Times of Israel, Nov. 20, 2015 — Jonathan Jay Pollard, the American-Jewish spy for Israel whose conviction on charges of espionage shaded the relations between the two countries and raised, yet again, the ancient allegation of Jewish dual loyalty, was finally to be freed on parole Friday after 30 years.

War: Thinking the Unthinkable: Bernard-Henri Lévy, Huffington Post, Nov. 18, 2015 — So it's war. A new kind of war.

The Rise of the College Crybullies: Roger Kimball, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 13, 2015 — For more than a week now, the country has been mesmerized, and appalled, by the news emanating from academia.

A Crisis Our Universities Deserve: Ross Douthat, New York Times, Nov. 14, 2015— Between the 19th century and the 1950s, the American university was gradually transformed from an institution intended to transmit knowledge into an institution designed to serve technocracy.


On Topic Links


The World is at War: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 20, 2015

Pollard’s Tragedy of Errors: Gil Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2015  

University Administrators and Real Professors Should Take Note: Every Brain Needs a Spine: Rex Murphy, National Post, Nov. 14, 2015

Columbia Protesters Cheer: 'I Love Black Criminals': Aaron Short, New York Post, Nov. 15, 2015



GOING FREE AFTER 30 YEARS                                                                  

Mitch Ginsburg                

                                Times of Israel, Nov. 20, 2015


Jonathan Jay Pollard, the American-Jewish spy for Israel whose conviction on charges of espionage shaded the relations between the two countries and raised, yet again, the ancient allegation of Jewish dual loyalty, was finally to be freed on parole Friday after 30 years.


Pollard, a civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy, spied for Israel for the span of 18 months. His capture and his subsequent treatment — by Israel, which threw him out of its Washington embassy and into the arms of waiting FBI agents, and by the United States, which agreed to a plea bargain and then sentenced him with uncommon severity — left him deeply embittered.


He was caught in November 1985 and given a life sentence two years later. There was no trial. Pollard, abiding by the prosecution’s terms, cooperated with FBI investigators and pleaded guilty to one count of espionage, conspiring to deliver national defense information to a foreign government. The prosecution honored its commitment and requested a “substantial” prison term rather than life behind bars. Judge Aubrey Robinson Jr., not bound by the prosecution’s plea bargain and apparently swayed by secretary of defense Caspar Weinberger’s damage-assessment brief, nonetheless sentenced Pollard to life. The content of Weinberger’s memo remains classified until today.


For the first 11 years of his incarceration, Israel refused to acknowledge that Pollard had operated as an authorized spy. He was not granted Israeli citizenship until November 1995. Nor was he much of a cause célèbre. Two notable backers of clemency were Rabbi Avi Weiss of Riverdale, New York, and Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard University, both of whom advocated for his release during the early nineties. At that time the vast majority of Jewish leaders in the US sought to distance themselves from the case, which, like the trial and execution of Jules and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953, was seen as corrosively toxic to the achievements of American Jewry.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the first Israeli leader since Pollard’s capture who presumably had no involvement in, or knowledge of, the case in real time, requested a presidential pardon from Bill Clinton in October 1998. Only Pollard’s release, he contended, would allow him to sign the second stage of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians at Wye River, Maryland. CIA Director George Tenet, also present at Wye River, served Clinton with an ultimatum: he would quit if the president acquiesced.


Subsequently, a growing list of American leaders, Jewish and otherwise, called for Pollard’s release. The US assistant secretary of defense at the time of his capture, Lawrence Korb, said in 2010 that “an injustice was done to Pollard” and that he should be released “before it is too late.” Former secretaries of state George Shultz and Henry Kissinger echoed that call. None, though, spoke as firmly as former CIA director James Woolsey, who hinted at anti-Semitism as a root cause of his lengthy incarceration: “There is absolutely no reason for Pollard to be imprisoned for as long as [Aldrich] Ames and [Robert] Hanssen, and substantially longer than spies from other friendly, allied, and neutral countries,” he wrote in 2012 in a letter to the Wall Street Journal. “For those hung up for some reason on the fact that he’s an American Jew, pretend he’s a Greek- or Korean- or Filipino-American and free him.”


Donald Rumsfeld, early in his tenure as secretary of defense under president George W. Bush, wrote a memo that encapsulated the sentiment of the anti-clemency camp. “Representatives of the Israeli government are coming to Washington DC to meet with you,” he opened a March 2001 memo to Bush. They would likely ask for Pollard’s freedom, he wrote dryly. “Indeed it tends to happen repeatedly during the course of an Administration.” Rather than merely saying no, Rumsfeld suggested that Bush say: “…definitely no – no today, tomorrow and the next day, and that it is not a matter that you would consider during your administration. The advantage of being forceful the first time they visit the subject is that it might set them back on their heels and give them pause about bringing the subject up to you ever again.”


Pollard, known to his friends and colleagues as Jay, was raised in South Bend, Indiana, where, according to de-classified CIA documents, he lived a childhood “marked by material sufficiency, strong intellectual stimulation within a closely knit family and some bruising experiences as a member of the Jewish-American minority growing up in middle-America.” The Klan, he told Wolf Blitzer in the latter’s enduringly excellent book “Territory of Lies,” “was well organized in my city.”


A trip to Dachau, followed by a summer in Israel at a science camp at the Weizmann Institute, cemented in his mind a commitment to Israel’s security. The commitment, though, while apparently genuine — there have been doubters, citing offers Pollard allegedly made to trade classified documents to the governments of South Africa, Argentina, and Taiwan before ever coming into official contact with Israel — was not rooted in entirely stable ground. In college, at Stanford University, he claimed to work for the Mossad. On one occasion, he waved a pistol in the air “and screamed that everyone was out to get him,” according to the CIA papers.


Lieutenant Commander David G. Muller, Jr., who ran an analytical section at the US Navy’s Field Operational Intelligence Office in Suitland, Maryland, told Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker in 1999 that when he first met Pollard, during a job interview in the early eighties, the future spy had come late for the interview and told him a complicated tale about how his then fiancé, Anne Henderson, had been kidnapped over the weekend by IRA operatives. “I ought to have gone to the security people and said ‘hey, this guy’s a wacko,” Muller said…                                                                                                                                    

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




                      WAR: THINKING THE UNTHINKABLE

Bernard-Henri Lévy                                  

Huffington Post, Nov. 18, 2015


So it's war. A new kind of war. A war with and without borders, with and without states, a war doubly new because it blends the nonterritorial model of Al-Qaeda with the old territorial paradigm to which Daesh has returned. But a war all the same. And, faced with this war unwanted by the United States, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, and now France, only one question is worth asking: What should we do? How, when a war like this is forced upon you, do you respond and win?


Principle number 1: Don't play with words. Call things by their right names. Dare to utter the terrible word "war," a word that the democracies try to push out of the range of hearing, beyond the bounds of their imagination, their symbolic system, and their reality. This aversion to war is their mission, their distinguishing trait, and their crowning glory, but it is also their weakness.


Recall the nobility and the candor of Léon Blum revealing, in a famous debate with Elie Halévy in the 1930s, that he could not grasp the notion of democracy at war, except as a contradiction. Recall the dignity but also the limits of the great consciences of humanism in the second half of that same decade, when they watched with alarm as Georges Bataille, Michel Leiris, Roger Caillois, and others from the College of Sociology called for the intellectual rearmament of a world that believed, then as now, that it was done with its dark past and with history.


That is where we stand today. Thinking the unthinkable: war. Accepting the oxymoron of a modern republic required to wage war to save itself. And thinking it all the more painfully because none of the rules laid down by theoreticians of war, from Thucydides to Clausewitz, seem to apply to that nonexistent state that brings fire from a distance that is all the greater because its frontlines are fluid and its fighters have the tactical advantage of making no distinction between what we call life and what they call death.


France's government, including the president, understands this. French political leaders across the spectrum have voiced their unanimous support. That leaves you, me, and society, both collectively and individually. Each of us, this time, is a target, a frontline, a soldier without knowing it, a cell of resistance, a locus of mobilization and of biopolitical fragility. The idea is heartbreaking and appalling, but it is a fact that we must face.


Principle number 2: The enemy. To utter the word war is to evoke an enemy. As Carl Schmitt taught, we must deal with the enemy as enemy, viewing him as someone to be tricked, outmaneuvered, tangled up in negotiations, or struck silently, depending on the tactics adopted–but in no case appeased. Following Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas, and every other theoretician of just war, we must also call the enemy by his true name.


That name is not "terrorism." The enemy is not a dispersed collection of "lone wolves" or "lunatics." And, as for the relentless culture of excuses that persists in portraying Daesh death squads as oppressed and excluded individuals pushed to the edge by an unjust society and forced by poverty to execute young people whose only crime is to like rock music, soccer, or a cool autumn night at a sidewalk cafe, that is an insult to the world's poor as well as to the dead. No.


These ignorant men who level their guns at the gift of life and at the freedom of movement and expression of the world's great cities; who detest the urban spirit as much as they do the underlying spirit of laws, rights, and peaceful autonomy of people freed from ancient subjections; who could benefit, if only the words were not so utterly foreign to them, from Victor Hugo's protest in response to the massacres of the Commune: that attacking Paris is worse than attacking France because it destroys the world–these men should rightfully be labeled fascists. Better: FASCISLAMISTS.


Better: the product of the grafting that Paul Claudel saw coming when he noted in his journal for May 21, 1935, in one of those insights that occur only to the truly great: "Hitler's speech? A kind of Islamism is being created at the center of Europe." What is the advantage of naming things accurately? To place the cursor right where it belongs. To remind us that against such an adversary war must be waged without truce or mercy. And to require each of us, everywhere, in the Arab-Muslim world as on the rest of the planet, to say why we are fighting, alongside whom, and against whom. Of course this does not mean that Islam, any more than other systems of thought, has a special affinity for the worst. It does not…

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





THE RISE OF THE COLLEGE CRYBULLIES                                                               

Roger Kimball                           

                      Wall Street Journal, Nov. 13, 2015


For more than a week now, the country has been mesmerized, and appalled, by the news emanating from academia. At Yale the insanity began over Halloween costumes. Erika Christakis, associate master of a residential college at Yale, courted outrage by announcing that “free speech and the ability to tolerate offense are the hallmarks of a free and open society” and it was not her business to police Halloween costumes.


To people unindoctrinated by the sensitivity training that is de rigueur on most campuses today, these sentiments might seem unobjectionable. But to the delicate creatures at Yale’s Silliman College they were an intolerable provocation. What if students dressed as American Indians or Mexican mariachi musicians? Angry, hysterical students confronted Nicholas Christakis, Erika’s husband and the master of Silliman, screaming obscenities and demanding that he step down because he had failed to create “a place of comfort, a home” for students. The episode was captured on video and went viral.


At the University of Missouri, Jonathan Butler, the son of a wealthy railroad executive (2014 compensation: $8.4 million), went on a hunger strike to protest what he called “revolting” acts of racism at Mizzou. Details were scanty. Nevertheless, black members of the university football team threatened to strike for the rest of the season unless Tim Wolfe, Mizzou’s president, stepped down. A day or two later, he did. Emboldened, student and faculty protesters physically prevented reporters from photographing a tent village they had built on public space. In another shocking video, a student photographer is shown being forced back by an angry mob while Melissa Click, a feminist communications teacher at Mizzou, shouts for “muscle” to help her eject a reporter.


What is happening? Is it a reprise of the late 1960s and 1970s, when campuses across the country were sites of violent protests? In my book “Tenured Radicals: How Politics Have Corrupted Our Higher Education,” I showed how the radical ideology of the 1960s had been institutionalized, absorbed into the moral tissues of the American educational establishment. As one left-wing professor wrote in the Chronicle of Higher Education, “After the Vietnam War, a lot of us didn’t just crawl back into our literary cubicles; we stepped into academic positions. With the war over, our visibility was lost, and it seemed for a while—to the unobservant—that we had disappeared. Now we have tenure, and the work of reshaping the universities has begun in earnest.”


“Tenured Radicals” provides an account of that reshaping, focusing especially on what it has meant for the substance of a college education. The book includes a section on “academia and infantilization.” But when I wrote in 2008, the rhetoric of “safe spaces,” “microaggressions” and “trigger warnings” had not yet colluded to bring forth that new academic phenomenon, at once tender and vicious, the crybully. The crybully, who has weaponized his coveted status as a victim, was first sighted in the mid-2000s. He has two calling cards, race and gender. By coincidence Lawrence Summers, then president of Harvard University, was involved in the evolution of both.


Race came first. In 2001 Mr. Summers made headlines when he suggested that Cornel West—then the Alphonse Fletcher, Jr., University Professor and eminence in the African and African American Studies Department at Harvard—buckle down to some serious scholarship. (Mr. West’s most recent production had been a rap CD called “Sketches of My Culture.”) Mr. Summers also suggested that the professor lead in fighting the scandal of grade inflation at Harvard, where one of every two grades was an A or A-. A national scandal erupted. Black professors at Harvard threatened to leave—Mr. West soon decamped to Princeton—and the New York Times published a hand-wringing editorial criticizing Mr. Summers, who quickly recanted, noting that the entire episode had been “a terrible misunderstanding.”


Then came gender. In 2005 Mr. Summers spoke at a conference on “Diversifying the Science & Engineering Workforce” at MIT. He speculated on why there aren’t more women scientists at elite universities. He touched on several possibilities: Maybe “patterns of discrimination” had something to do with it. Maybe most women preferred to put their families before their careers. And maybe, just possibly, it had something to do with “different availability of aptitude at the high end.” What a storm that last comment sparked! “I felt I was going to be sick,” wailed Nancy Hopkins, a biology professor at MIT, who had walked out on Mr. Summers. “My heart was pounding and my breath was shallow, low,” Ms. Hopkins said. “I was extremely upset.”…

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





A CRISIS OUR UNIVERSITIES DESERVE                                                                     

Ross Douthat


New York Times, Nov. 14, 2015


Between the 19th century and the 1950s, the American university was gradually transformed from an institution intended to transmit knowledge into an institution designed to serve technocracy. The religious premises fell away, the classical curriculums were displaced by specialized majors, the humanities ceded pride of place to technical disciplines, and the professor’s role became more and more about research rather than instruction.


Over this period the university system became increasingly rich and powerful, a center of scientific progress and economic development. But it slowly lost the traditional sense of community, mission, and moral purpose. The ghost of an older humanism still haunted its libraries and classrooms, but students seeking wisdom and character could be forgiven for feeling like a distraction from the university’s real business.


At which point the student radicalism of the 1960s entered the picture. The radicals moved quickly to dismantle the vestiges of moral conservatism on campus — the in loco parentis rules that still governed undergraduate life, for instance. But their real mission was actually a kind of remoralization, a renewal of the university as a place of almost-religious purpose, where students would be educated about certain great truths and then sent forth to live them out. It was just that these truths were modern instead of ancient: The truths of the antiwar and civil rights movements, and later of feminism and environmentalism and LBGTQ activism and a long list of social justice causes.


With time, the university ceded just enough ground to co-opt and tame these radicals. It adopted their buzzwords as a kind of post-religious moral vocabulary; it granted them the liberal arts as an ideological fiefdom (but not the sciences or the business school!); it used their vision of sexual liberation as a selling point for applicants looking for a John Belushi-esque good time. The result, by the time I arrived at college late in the 1990s, was a campus landscape where left-wing pieties dominated official discourse, but the university’s deeper spirit remained technocratic, careerist and basically amoral. And many students seemed content with that settlement.


This was the heyday of what my colleague David Brooks dubbed “the organization kid,” a vaguely liberal but not at all radical specimen to whom both traditional humanism and left-wing politics seemed entirely lacking in appeal. Now, though, radicalism is back, and the settlement that kept the careerist peace on campus seems to be cracking up all over. At small liberal-arts colleges, big state schools and Ivies alike, protesters are defenestrating presidents and deans, occupying quads, and demanding wholesale social and academic change.


It probably goes without saying that I have little sympathy for the goals of these new activists. In the academy they have in mind, ideas I cherish would probably be banned as hate speech and a past I treasure buried under “trigger warnings.” But the activists’ many critics, conservative and liberal, need a clearer sense of what these students are reacting against. The protesters at Yale and Missouri and a longer list of schools stand accused of being spoiled, silly, self-dramatizing — and many of them are. But they’re also dealing with a university system that’s genuinely corrupt, and that’s long relied on rote appeals to the activists’ own left-wing pieties to cloak its utter lack of higher purpose…


And within this system, the contemporary college student is actually a strange blend of the pampered and the exploited. This is true of the college football recruit who’s a god on campus but also an unpaid cog in a lucrative football franchise that has a public college vestigially attached. It’s true of the liberal arts student who’s saddled with absurd debts to pay for an education that doesn’t even try to pass along any version of Matthew Arnold’s “ best which has been thought and said,” and often just induces mental breakdowns in the pursuit of worldly success. It’s true of the working class or minority student who’s expected to lend a patina of diversity to a campus organized to deliver good times to rich kids whose parents pay full freight. And then it’s true of the rich girl who discovers the same university that promised her a carefree Rumspringa (justified on high feminist principle, of course) doesn’t want to hear a word about what happened to her at that frat party over the weekend.


The protesters may be obnoxious enemies of free debate, in other words, but they aren’t wrong to smell the rot around them. And they’re vindicated every time they push and an administrator caves: It’s proof that they have a monopoly on moral spine, and that any small-l liberal alternative is simply hollow. Or as the great Walter Sobchak might have put it: “Say what you want about the tenets of political correctness, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.” Which might turn out to be the only epitaph for the modern university anybody needs to write.                       


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic


The World is at War: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 20, 2015—The world is at war. And that's old news. Immediately after 9/11, over 14 years ago, former Mossad Chief Efraim Halevy said that WWIII had begun. The only thing that has changed over the past few days is that the rest of the world is also beginning to realize that it is at war.

Pollard’s Tragedy of Errors: Gil Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2015  —Dictionaries define William Shakespeare’s tragedies as his plays dealing with tragic events and having an unhappy ending, especially one concerning the downfall of the main character.

University Administrators and Real Professors Should Take Note: Every Brain Needs a Spine: Rex Murphy, National Post, Nov. 14, 2015—The most recent reports say there is a crisis in child services in the United States. The cost of daycare spaces has reached absolutely astronomic levels. Placement at the University of Missouri, for example, easily breaks the $40,000 threshold.

Columbia Protesters Cheer: 'I Love Black Criminals': Aaron Short, New York Post, Nov. 15, 2015—Either you’re with us or you’re against us. Columbia student activists are pestering peers to attend campus protests and walk-outs in solidarity with college students at Missouri and Yale or risk social isolation, students say.







Europe’s Refugee Crisis: Jews Must Tread Carefully: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 24, 2015— Jewish communities have to tread carefully in their reactions to the huge influx of refugees, mainly Muslims, into Europe.

We are Watching the Death of Open Frontiers in Europe: Philip Johnston, Telegraph, Oct. 26, 2015 — The extraordinary aerial photo of a column of refugees and migrants tramping through the fields of Slovenia may come to symbolise the moment the EU began to fall apart.

Muslim Invasion of Europe: Guy Millière, Gatestone Institute, Oct. 22, 2015— The flow of illegal migrants does not stop.

Europe is Shrinking and Ageing. Stopping Immigration is No Longer an Option: George Jonas, National Post, Sept. 22 2015 — Hungary’s ambassador, Bálint Ódor, is right, of course, when he notes, as he did elsewhere on this site, that his country cannot accept foreign countries imposing an immigration model on it that would dramatically change its cultural composition.


On Topic Links


Anti-Semitism Among Migrants a Concern for German Jews: Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 28, 2015

Germany May Soon Have 8 Million Muslims and an Islamic Political Party: Raheem Kassam, Breitbart, Oct. 23, 2015

Europe's Muslim Migrants Bring Sex Pathologies in Tow: David P. Goldman, Asia Times, Oct. 14, 2015

Jews, Islamophobia and Compassion for Refugees: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 3, 2015



EUROPE’S REFUGEE CRISIS: JEWS MUST TREAD CAREFULLY                                                                  

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Jerusalem Post, Oct. 24, 2015


Jewish communities have to tread carefully in their reactions to the huge influx of refugees, mainly Muslims, into Europe. This was particularly the case in the first emotion-laden weeks following publication of the appalling picture of the dead Syrian child on the beach of Lesbos, Greece. No Jew could publicly say: the intense suffering of many of these people is real – but so is the environment of extreme anti-Semitic hate in which these people have been raised. However, as the many practical problems related to the refugee influx have grown and received increased publicity, Jews have made more realistic statements, though remaining cautious.


The indiscriminate European acceptance of many millions of Muslims in the past has caused huge damage to European Jewish communities. A major influx of Muslim refugees into a European country means a further increase in anti-Semitism there. This is not because all the immigrants are anti-Semites. However, a high percentage of the immigrants are. So are those more likely to perpetrate anti-Semitic acts if compared with the hate-crime perpetrators in the existing local population? Some Muslim immigrants or their descendants are also far more radical than the native population. In the current century all murders of Jews in Europe because they are Jews, be they in the Paris area, Toulouse, Brussels or Copenhagen, have been committed by Muslims.


Every Jewish leader in Europe knows this. Yet at the onset of the crisis we saw several humanitarian-masochist statements by some who should have known better. Some Jewish representatives welcomed the newcomers without any mention whatsoever of the huge potential problems which could result. The umbrella body of Jewish organizations in Flanders issued a press release reminding the authorities of the sufferings of Jewish refugees in the 1930s, and asking them to implement a generous admission policy for the newcomers. They even praised Germany’s current refugee policy, something about which the German Jewish community would later express deep concern. This “see no evil” Jewish umbrella body made no mention of the many problems anti-Semitic Muslims had caused Jews in Belgium.


Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi of the UK and usually a keen observer also got carried away. On September 6, 2015, he published an article in the anti-Israeli British daily The Guardian, entitled “Refugee crisis: ‘Love the stranger because you were once strangers’ calls us now.” Part of his article was devoted to comparisons of the new immigrants with the “Kindertransport,” the Jewish refugee children who were brought to England from Germany in the 1930s. He also mentioned their subsequent significant contribution to British society. This was all the more surprising in light of Sacks’ familiarity with the many problems created for UK Jewry by Muslim immigrants and several Muslim organizations. A few weeks later, these problems were revisited in articles concerning frequent harassment of Jews in London’s Stamford Hill neighborhood by “young Asian men.” This is politically correct terminology for Muslim criminal suspects.


One should also remind the former chief rabbi that many of the people he welcomes with lovingkindness take the Koran literally. They consider him and his fellow Jews pigs and monkeys, in other words subhuman. The Kindertransport children were fleeing from Germans who also considered Jews subhuman. These Jewish children did not promote hate of anyone or discrimination of minorities.


One of the first to present a realistic opinion was Esther Voet, the editor of the Dutch Jewish weekly NIW, in the Internet magazine Jalta. She wrote that people should not be carried away by their emotions. Voet mentioned that it was dangerous to state her opinion because she would risk inclusion in the extreme right-wing camp. She reminded readers how Dutch Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher was laughed at for his suggestion in 2013 that each refugee seeking asylum in the Netherlands should sign a declaration accepting the rights of women and homosexuals, and assertion that he would not tolerate any intolerance against athiests or people of other religions. She added that the new refugees come from cultures where most people cannot accept equal rights for homosexuals, Jews, atheists and women.


One of the first Jewish leaders in Europe who dared to express his views in clear language was Oskar Deutsch, the chairman of the Jewish community in Vienna. There had already been a debate among members following the community’s financial donation to the anti-Israeli Caritas organization. Deutsch wrote in the Austrian daily Kurier on September 21 that the Jewish community had helped many refugees over the years. He also pointed out that in the past, the arrival of 20 million Muslims to Europe had frequently led to physical anti-Semitic attacks and migration of Jews. Deutsch added that refugees arriving now from Syria and Afghanistan come from societies where anti-Semitism is a staple in schoolbooks, media and social networks. Terrorism against Israelis, Muslim attacks on Jewish schools, synagogues and Jewish museums are often glorified in these countries.


Early in October Josef Schuster, the head of the German Jewish umbrella body Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland, expressed his worries in a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He said that among the people who seek refuge in Germany, many come from countries where Israel is considered the prime enemy. Schuster remarked that these people have grown up with a very hostile image of Israel and too frequently transfer this resentment to all Jews. The Jews of Germany therefore are right to fear that Muslim anti-Semitism in Germany will grow…

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





WE ARE WATCHING THE DEATH OF OPEN FRONTIERS IN EUROPE                                                                  

Philip Johnston

Telegraph, Oct. 26, 2015


The extraordinary aerial photo of a column of refugees and migrants tramping through the fields of Slovenia may come to symbolise the moment the EU began to fall apart. The irony can be lost on no one: it was in order to prevent such scenes happening again in continental Europe that the alliance was forged in the first place in the late 1950s. Yet here we are more than half a century later facing the prospect of thousands – maybe hundreds of thousands – of displaced people freezing and starving in the grasslands of eastern Europe as winter closes in.


It is hard to comprehend the stupefying naivety of those, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who thought it a good idea to send out an utterly self-serving signal a few weeks ago inviting anyone who could make the journey to head for Europe. This was ostensibly aimed at Syrians who had fled the civil war in their homeland; but the exodus has been swelled by migrants from many other countries looking for a better life – and who can blame them?


Only they are not going to get a better life. Arguably a transit centre in Europe might be preferable to a refugee camp in Jordan or Turkey, though the latter at least has the merit of being close to Syria, where there are finally tentative signs of some political progress being made. But having encouraged people to move, the Europeans are now pulling up the drawbridge because they have found dealing with the influx overwhelming. Where were the preparations? Why were fleets of buses and trains and boats not laid on at the borders of the EU to bring people safely to Germany, which is, after all, where most people are headed?


At an ill-tempered summit in Brussels on Sunday, European leaders belonging to the borderless Schengen area blamed each other for the crisis before finalising a 17-point plan to be foisted upon countries that don’t agree with it. Since the opponents comprise more than a dozen of the 28 member states, the scope for serious disagreement is clear, not least because the process for sharing out migrants was imposed by majority voting. The countries that are in the front-line of this crisis are understandably seething: Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, accused the German chancellor of “moral imperialism”.


This will unleash extremist politics in Europe. In Germany, the anti-immigrant Pegida movement is attracting thousands to its rallies and in France the Front National continues to gain support. Elsewhere, Eurosceptic parties are making inroads. In Portugal, a Syriza-style leftist minority government has taken office opposed to the eurozone’s fiscal rules; and in Poland, the Law and Justice Party is back in power, pledged to oppose any Brussels diktat on migrant quotas. Against this backdrop, which can only darken, Britain has to decide over the next two years whether to remain part of an increasingly unstable organisation.


Leaving aside any deal that David Cameron can conjure up to reform Britain’s position in the EU, the advantages of staying in are diminishing rapidly. More to the point, the Prime Minister still seems highly unlikely to get any concessions on the free movement of people within the EU. If anything, the migration crisis has made this less achievable: why would countries forced to take migrants against their wishes agree to let Britain off the hook, even if we are outside the Schengen system? Sooner or later, the million or so new migrants will be allowed to move around Europe and many may want to come here.


In the early stages of this crisis, the rationale ascribed to Germany’s policy was that they need people because of a falling birth rate and dwindling population. Britain, by contrast, is growing rapidly. This will be confirmed by population projections this week for which Whitehall is braced and expecting the worst. These figures are produced to help government departments prepare for the number of children who will need schooling, workers who will require transport and sick and infirm who have to be treated and cared for.


The last projections showed the population – now around 64 million – increasing to more than 70 million within 12 years. Yet during the 1970s, planning was predicated upon a static population. Even as recently as 15 years ago, projections were anticipating that the 64 million we have today would not be achieved until 2031, whereupon it would fall. In fact, the population has grown by eight million since 1980 and another 10 million will be added in the next 25 years. Is it any surprise we have too few houses, schools, hospitals and trains to cope?…                                                          

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




MUSLIM INVASION OF EUROPE                                                                                     

Guy Millière

Gatestone Institute, Oct. 22, 2015


The flow of illegal migrants does not stop. They land on the Greek islands along the Turkish coast. They still try to get into Hungary, despite a razor wire fence and mobilized army. Their destination is Germany or Scandinavia, sometimes France or the UK. Some of them still arrive from Libya. Since the beginning of January, more than 620,000 have arrived by sea alone. There will undoubtedly be many more: a leaked secret document estimates that by the end of December, there might be 1.5 million.


Journalists in Western Europe continue to depict them as "refugees" fleeing war in Syria. The description is false. According to statistics released by the European Union, only twenty-five percent of them come from Syria; the true number is probably lower. The Syrian government sells passports and birth certificates at affordable prices. The vast majority of migrants come from other countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Eritrea, Somalia, and Nigeria. Many do not seem to have left in a hurry. Many bring new high-end smartphones and large sums of cash, ten or twenty thousand euros, sometimes more. Many have no passports, no ID, and refuse to give fingerprints. Whenever people flee to survive, the men come with whole families: women, children, elders. Here, instead, more than 75% of those who arrive are men under 50; few are women, children or elders.


As Christians are now the main targets of Islamists (the Jews fled or were forced out decades ago), the people escaping the war in Syria should be largely composed of Christians. But Christians are a small minority among those who arrive, and they often hide that they are Christians. Those who enter Europe are almost all Muslims, and behave as some Muslims often do in the Muslim world: they harass Christians and attack women. In reception centers, harassing Christians and attacking women are workaday incidents. European women and girls who live near reception centers are advised to take care and cover up. Rapes, assaults, stabbings and other crimes are on the rise.


Western European political leaders could tell the truth and act accordingly. They do not. They talk of "solidarity," "humanitarian duty," "compassion." From the beginning, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said that illegal migrants were welcome: she seemed to change her mind for a moment, but quickly slid back. In France, President François Hollande says the same things as Angela Merkel.


After the heartbreaking image of a dead child being carried on a Turkish beach was published, thousands of Germans and French initially spoke the same way as their leaders. Their enthusiasm seems to have faded fast. The people of Central Europe were not enthusiastic from the beginning. Their leaders seem to share the feelings of their populations. None spoke as explicitly as Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary. He said out loud what many of his countrymen seemed to think. He spoke of "invasion" and asked if there were another word to describe the massive and often brutal entry into a country of people who have not been invited to do so. He added that a country has the right to decide who is allowed to enter its territory and to guard its borders. He stressed that those who enter Europe are from a "different culture," and suggested that Islam might not be compatible with European Judeo-Christian values.


Western European political leaders harshly condemned his remarks and the attitude of Central Europe in general. They decided to take a hard line approach, including: forcing recalcitrant countries to welcome immigrants, setting up mandatory quotas that define how many immigrants each EU country must receive, and threatening those countries that declined to obey. Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, said that Europe was built in a spirit of "burden sharing," and that EU breakup was a risk that could not be excluded. An acute division, in fact, is emerging between the leaders of Western Europe and the leaders of Central Europe. Another division is growing between the populations of Western Europe and their leaders.


Those who rebuilt Europe after World War II thought that an enlightened elite (themselves) could make a clean sweep of the past and build a dream society where peace and perpetual harmony would reign. Because they thought democracy had brought Hitler to power, they decided to restrict democracy. Because they thought nationalism was the cause of the war, they decreed that nationalism was harmful and that the cultural identities in Europe had to disappear and be replaced by a new "European identity" that they would shape.


Because Europe had a colonialist past and Europeans had believed in the superiority of their cultures, they claimed that Europe should redeem its guilt and affirm that all cultures were equal. And because Islam was at the heart of the culture of people formerly colonized, the Europeans rejected all criticism of Islam, and said that it would blend smoothly into a multicultural Europe. They did not demand the assimilation of Muslims who came to live in Europe in increasing number. Because the Europeans thought poverty had led to the rise of Nazism, they built welfare states that were supposed to eliminate poverty forever. Because two world wars had started in Europe, the Europeans decreed that from now on, Europe would renounce the use of force, and solve all conflicts through diplomacy and appeasement. We now see the results.


European people still have the right to vote, but are deprived of most of their power: all important political decisions in Europe are made behind closed doors, by technocrats and professional politicians, in Brussels or Strasbourg. Cultural identities in Europe have been eroded to such a point that saying that Europe is based on Judeo-Christian values has become controversial.


Any criticism of Islam in Europe is treated as a form of racism, and "Islamophobia" is considered a crime or a sign of mental illness. Islam has not melted into a smooth multiculturalism; it is creating increasingly distressing problems that are almost never brought to light. Muslim criminality across Europe is high. Consequently, the percentage of Muslims in prisons in Europe is high. In France, which has the largest Muslim population in Europe, the prison population is 70% Muslim. Many European prisons have become recruitment centers for future jihadis. Muslim riots may occur for any reason : police upholding the law, a Soccer League celebration or in support of a cause…

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





STOPPING IMMIGRATION IS NO LONGER AN OPTION                                                     

George Jonas

National Post, Sept. 22, 2015


Hungary’s ambassador, Bálint Ódor, is right, of course, when he notes, as he did elsewhere on this site, that his country cannot accept foreign countries imposing an immigration model on it that would dramatically change its cultural composition. No country could let that happen, inside or outside Europe, except one that lacked any concept of itself as a nation. Calling a government xenophobic, let alone fascist or racist, for trying to cultivate and preserve its homeland’s national identity, is asinine. People who say such things don’t know what racism or fascism means.


But do all countries and regions have a future? When I asked this question 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have predicted (or, for that matter, imagined) that a sudden stampede of Middle East migrants would put the West’s economic, political and demographic future in doubt. All that seemed evident to me was that the so-called First World would fundamentally change during the next half century.


I was far from being the first to write about what some commentators have long called “Eurabia.” But to know what may happen in Europe and why, it’s helpful to recognize what has been happening. Simply put, the Old World has been getting older. Projections from 2002 show the median age of people living in the countries that make up the European Union reaching 50 in 50 years, with about one person in three being 65 or over.


The figures show Europe not only ageing but shrinking, in absolute as well as relative terms. Currently, the countries that make up the EU house about six per cent of the world’s population, which is down from 14 per cent when the 20th century began, and on its way to being about four per cent by the middle of the 21st century. Even in absolute terms, there will be about 7.5 million fewer Europeans in 2050 than there are today — and that’s with 2002 levels of immigration being maintained.


To be shrinking and ageing in a world that’s growing and getting younger (the median age in 2002 was 37.8 for Canada, 31.5 for China, 22.9 for Iran, 19.8 for Pakistan and 15.3 for the Gaza Strip) has some inexorable consequences. One is that, regardless of how immigrants may change the character of Europe, or whatever backlash they may engender in what the historian Niall Ferguson has called “the economically Neanderthal right,” stopping or reversing immigration is no longer an option.


Nativist politicians, such as the Le Pen family in France, may continue to be in the news, increase their following and even score valid points, but they’ll be butting their heads against a demographic stone wall. Even with continuing immigration, Europe’s taxpayers can only look forward to their steeply increasing taxes buying them steeply decreasing services. Without immigration, one EU taxpayer would soon have to support four or five EU pensioners — or watch his parents build their last igloo, European style.


Continuing immigration, though, even without sudden, catastrophic spikes such as we’ve seen this month, is likely to lead to Eurabia. Immigrants tend to respond to their own demographic pressures, and Europe’s fastest-growing neighbours today are — to quote Niall Ferguson again — “predominantly if not wholly Muslim.” The question is, what will Eurabia lead to? The past is a good (though not infallible) guide to the future. European nations turned their essentially homogeneous countries into U.S.-style immigrant societies after the Second World War for several reasons, one being the aftermath of empire. The law of unintended consequences caught up with Britain, France, Holland and Belgium. The trickle became a flood in the early 1960s as immigrants from North Africa, the Caribbean and the Spice Islands inundated the lands of their former colonial rulers, giving politicians like Enoch Powell grey hair…

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





On Topic


Anti-Semitism Among Migrants a Concern for German Jews: Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 28, 2015 —German Jews are concerned over the potential for a rise in anti-Semitism due to the increasing flow of Syrian migrants, several community leaders told Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday.

Germany May Soon Have 8 Million Muslims and an Islamic Political Party: Raheem Kassam, Breitbart, Oct. 23, 2015—A German political expert has warned that a successful Islamic political party is not a far off thought given Germany’s rapidly changing demographics. In an interview with the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper, Prof. Jürgen W. Falter, who specialises in political extremism, noted that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s position on migration may soon change, claiming “Pandora’s box is opened too far”.

Europe's Muslim Migrants Bring Sex Pathologies in Tow: David P. Goldman, Asia Times, Oct. 14, 2015 —The body of a 20-year-old Syrian woman, "Rokstan M.," was unearthed from a shallow grave in the small Saxon town of Dessau last week. Her father and brothers stabbed her to death on her mother's orders, after she was gang-raped by three men.

Jews, Islamophobia and Compassion for Refugees: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 3, 2015—It would be inhumane not to react with compassion to the tragic and harrowing depictions of the suffering of refugees.