Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
L'institut Canadien de Recherches sur le Judaisme
Strength of Israel will not lie

Tag: Justin Trudeau

ISLAMIST SUPPORTERS & APOLOGISTS WHITEWASH HISTORY OF OPPRESSION AND VIOLENCE

‘Moderate’ Palestinian Factions Praise Rabbi’s Murder as an ‘Operation’: Steven Emerson, Algemeiner, Jan. 11, 2018— Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA) framed Tuesday’s terrorist attack that killed a civilian father of six as a successful “operation,” Palestinian Media Watch reports.

Why There's Muslim Violence, But Not Christian Violence, in the Middle East: Raymond Ibrahim, FrontPage Magazine, Dec. 27, 2017 — Because Israel is stronger than its Muslim neighbors, the latter have always been presented as frustrated "underdogs" doing whatever they can to achieve "justice."

Canada: Trudeau's Support for Islamists a Warning to America: Thomas Quiggin, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 9, 2018— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada has an nine-year long record of supporting the Islamist cause while refusing to engage with reformist Muslims.

The Muslim World Must Confront the Underlying Problems in Islamic Theology: Ahmed Shah, National Post, Oct. 31, 2017— In April of this year, Mashal Khan, a 23-year-old journalism student from Abdul Wali Khan University — a university in Pakistan, the country of my birth — was accused of blasphemy by a mob of students, dragged out of his dorm room, stripped naked, beaten, and shot dead.

 

On Topic Links

 

After Killing, Army Unlikely to Heed Calls for Revenge Against Palestinians: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, Jan. 10, 2018

Sharia for New Year's: Bruce Bawer, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 7, 2018

Canada: Obsessed with "Islamophobia": Judith Bergman, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 21, 2017

From “Lone Wolf” to “Known Wolf”: The Role of “Cultural Fuel” and “Personal Triggers”: Dr. Irwin J. Mansdorf, JCPA, January 7, 2018

 

 

 

‘MODERATE’ PALESTINIAN FACTIONS PRAISE

RABBI’S MURDER AS AN ‘OPERATION’

Steven Emerson

Algemeiner, Jan. 11, 2018

 

Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA) framed Tuesday’s terrorist attack that killed a civilian father of six as a successful “operation,” Palestinian Media Watch reports. Late on Tuesday, while driving near Nablus, Rabbi Raziel Shevach was shot in the neck; the gunfire came from a passing vehicle. Shevach was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. A manhunt is underway for the perpetrator(s).

 

Fatah glorified the attack as a professional assassination from a “skilled and experienced” Palestinian. “The Nablus operation in numbers: The full duration of the operation: 30 seconds. The distance between the cars: 20 meters. The number of bullets that were fired: 22. The one who carried out the operation was skilled and experienced, and escaped the site. The result: a killed settler,” read a post on Fatah’s official Facebook account.

 

The official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, also ran an article referring to the attack as a “shooting operation,” making it sound like military activity, instead of what the incident really was — the murder of an Israeli civilian. Both Fatah and the PA called the victim a “settler.” Palestinian factions of all stripes consistently refer to Israelis as settlers regardless of if they live in pre-1967 Israel or the territories. This is a subtle, yet effective, way to legitimize and encourage attacks targeting Israelis wherever they reside. The PA even refers to murdered tourists visiting Israel as “settlers,” including US citizen Taylor Force, who was killed in Tel Aviv last year.

 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling for PA President Mahmoud Abbas to condemn Shevach’s murder. So far, there has been silence from Abbas. America’s ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, also chimed in, highlighting the PA’s financial incentive system that continues to encourage terrorism. “An Israeli father of six was killed last night in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists. Hamas praises the killers and PA laws will provide them financial rewards. Look no further to why there is no peace. Praying for the bereaved Shevach family,” Ambassador Friedman tweeted.

 

Palestinian terrorists and their families receive far higher government payments than welfare recipients. Payments to released prisoners and jailed Palestinians are based on the length of a prison sentence, and their action’s severity. The more brutal the attack or murder, the more money that a Palestinian prisoner gets.

 

According to statistics released by Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, Palestinians conducted 54 terrorist attacks in 2017. Another 400 attacks were foiled. The vast majority of terrorist attacks against Israelis in recent years were perpetrated by individuals, not organized groups. According to the Israeli government, this phenomenon is largely motivated by the “PA’s strategy of ‘popular resistance’ (i.e., popular terrorism) adopted by the PA and Fatah at the Sixth Fatah conference in August 2009.”

 

If the assailants responsible for Rabbi Shevach’s death are brought to justice, their families should expect a hefty reward. The PA’s glorification of terrorism and perverse financial incentives system will only encourage more attacks.  

 

                                               

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WHY THERE'S MUSLIM VIOLENCE, BUT NOT

CHRISTIAN VIOLENCE, IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Raymond Ibrahim

FrontPage Magazine, Dec. 27, 2017

           

Because Israel is stronger than its Muslim neighbors, the latter have always been presented as frustrated "underdogs" doing whatever they can to achieve "justice." No matter how many rockets were shot into Tel Aviv by Hamas and Hezbollah, and no matter how anti-Israeli bloodlust was articulated in distinctly jihadi terms, that was always presented as ironclad proof that Palestinians under Israel are so oppressed that Muslims have no choice but to resort to terrorism.

 

Yet, as with all false narratives, the survival of this one relied on concealing the bigger, more complete picture, as captured by the following question: If Muslims get a free pass when their violence is directed against those stronger than them, how does one rationalize away their violence when it is directed against those weaker than them—for example, millions of indigenous Christians living in the Muslim world? According to reliable statistics published annually, some 40 of the 50 worst nations in which to be Christian are Muslim majority. Of the absolute worst 21 nations—18 of which are Muslim—"100 percent of Christians experience persecution."

 

The rationalizations used to minimize Muslim violence against Israel simply cannot work here, for now Muslims are the majority—and they are the ones violent and oppressive to their minorities, in ways that make Israeli treatment of Palestinians seem enviable. In other words, Christian persecution is perhaps the most obvious example of a phenomenon the mainstream media wants to ignore out of existence—Islamic supremacism, the true source of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

 

Vastly outnumbered and politically marginalized Christians in the Islamic world simply wish to worship in peace, and yet they are still hounded and attacked; their churches are burned and destroyed; their women and children are kidnapped, raped, and enslaved. These Christians are often identical to their Muslim co-citizens in race, ethnicity, national identity, culture, and language; there is generally no political or property dispute on which the violence can be blamed. The only problem is that they are Christian—they are non-Muslims—the same category Israelis fall under.

 

From here one also understands why what has been described by some authorities as a "genocide" of Christians at the hands of Muslims in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Somalia, Pakistan, and Egypt—Muslims who could care less about Israel and Palestinians—is one of the most dramatic but also least known stories of our times. The media simply cannot portray Muslim persecution of Christians—which in essence and form amounts to unprovoked pogroms—as a "land dispute" or a product of "grievance" (if anything, it is the ostracized and persecuted indigenous Christian minorities who should have grievances). And because the media cannot articulate such Islamic attacks on Christians through the "grievance" paradigm that works so well in explaining the Arab-Israeli conflict, their main recourse is not to report on them at all.

 

Such is the way for all apologists of Islam: to ignore or whitewash Muslim aggression—and then, in that vacuum, distort and present non-Muslim responses as the origins of the conflict. This is especially prevalent in the portrayal of history. Thus, Georgetown University's John Esposito claims that "Five centuries of peaceful coexistence [between Islam and Europe] elapsed before political events and an imperial-papal power play led to [a] centuries-long series of so-called holy wars [the Crusades] that pitted Europe against Islam and left an enduring legacy of misunderstanding and distrust." In reality, these "five centuries of peaceful coexistence" saw Muslims terrorize and conquer more than three-fourths of Christendom; but this inconvenient fact is seldom mentioned, for knowledge of it ruins the "Muslim-grievance" narrative, just as knowledge of modern day Muslim persecution of Christians ruins it. Either way, it is refreshing to see that the sun is breaking through the darkness of deceit that has for too long clouded Middle Eastern realities, including by presenting victims as aggressors and aggressors as victims.        

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

CANADA: TRUDEAU'S SUPPORT FOR ISLAMISTS A WARNING TO AMERICA

Thomas Quiggin

Gatestone Institute, Jan. 9, 2018

 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada has a nine-year long record of supporting the Islamist cause while refusing to engage with reformist Muslims. With respect to ISIS fighters returning to Canada, Trudeau has argued that they will be a "powerful voice for deradicalization" and that those who oppose their return are "Islamophobic." Furthermore, the Government of Canada is not adding the names of returning ISIS fighters to the UN committee responsible for the listing of international jihadists.

 

Many Canadians (and others) are starting to believe that Prime Minister Trudeau's position on reintegrating and deradicalizing ISIS fighters is unreasonable, if not delusional. Canada's "Centre for Community Engagement and Deradicalization" has no leader and no deradicalization centre. Nor does it appear to have plans for a program which could operate inside or outside of government. It is also not clear that the law of Canada could force a returning ISIS fighter to attend such a program, even if it did exist. In France, a similar government sponsored program was a failure.

 

Canada also has an unclear position on the arrest of returning ISIS fighters, with few facing any consequences to date. The number of ISIS fighters in Canada is unclear; estimates back in 2015 suggested that about 60 had returned. The Government of Canada has tried to claim that his number has not changed since 2015, despite the near total collapse of ISIS over the last several months.

 

Prime Minister Trudeau's earlier comments on politicians needing a position of "responsible neutrality" on the issues of wife beating and female genital mutilation render his current positions on Islamist groups such as ISIS even more troublesome. Perhaps most disturbing were Trudeau's comments to a gathering of Islamist front groups: he told them that he shared their beliefs, their set of values and their shared vision. Adding to this concern is his 2014 interview, as a Member of Parliament, to the Montreal-based newspaper Sada al-Mashrek. This paper is known to be Khomeneist in nature and supports Iran (as well as Hezbollah). In this interview, Trudeau told the paper that he would have a special immigration program that was more open to "Muslims and Arabs."

 

The degree to which Islamist extremism has spread in Canada can be demonstrated by the number of fighters who have travelled to ISIS. According to the Soufan Center, 180 Canadians went overseas to fight for "terrorist groups" (ISIS) in Iraq & Syria while only 129 Americans did the same. Given that the US population is about ten times that of Canada, the American number should have been closer to 1800 rather that the 129 reported.

 

Prime Minister Trudeau's position on Islamists should be of concern to both Canadians and Americans. While the history of Canada and American relations is largely positive, Islamist attacks against America have been attempted from Canada. Among these attempted attacks have been Ahmed Ressam in 1999, Chiheb Esseghaier in 2013 and Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, convicted of an attempted attack in New York City in 2016.

 

In addition to his support for Islamists, Prime Minister Trudeau appears to be re-engaging with Iran after the previous Prime Minister (Stephen Harper) closed the Embassy of Iran in Canada and deported all of its diplomats. During the 2015 federal election, Trudeau said he hoped Canada "would be able to reopen its mission" and he was "fairly certain that there are ways to re-engage." Progress to date on this has been uneven, but talks appear to be continuing.

 

Prime Minister Trudeau's support for the Islamist cause has been consistent since he was first elected as a Member of Parliament in 2008. This position appears to have been reinforced since he became Prime Minister in 2015. In addition to his own position, Canada's Liberal Party also has an entryist problem as it has been targeted by Islamist groups.

 

Unfortunately for all concerned, the global Islamist ideology and its inherent problems of confrontation, oppression and violence are growing. Canada appears to be doing little to address these issues while accommodating those who form the ideological basis of the problem. Canada will not be able to plead ignorance or inability while facing accusations of complicity from any future American terrorist victims. The price of Canada's submission to the Islamists may indeed be high.

           

 

 

Contents

THE MUSLIM WORLD MUST CONFRONT THE

UNDERLYING PROBLEMS IN ISLAMIC THEOLOGY

Ahmed Shah

National Post, Oct. 31, 2017

 

In April of this year, Mashal Khan, a 23-year-old journalism student from Abdul Wali Khan University — a university in Pakistan, the country of my birth — was accused of blasphemy by a mob of students, dragged out of his dorm room, stripped naked, beaten, and shot dead. Khan self-identified as a “humanist” and had portraits of Karl Marx and Che Guevera hanging in his room. He’d also advocated for Islamic reform. A video of the incident showed the perpetrators crying “Allahu Akbar!” as they beat Khan’s lifeless body with terrifying zeal. The perpetrators of this violence were not members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). They were university students.

 

Khan’s gruesome death convinces me that the ideology that inspired ISIS will not soon be defeated, even though ISIS is on the precipice of military defeat. Its forces recently lost control of their capital city of Raqqa to the U.S.-backed and predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces in Syria, and, three months before that, lost their largest city, Mosul, to Iraqi government forces.

 

The Muslim world has tended to treat ISIS as an anomaly, to assert that ISIS is not Islam. This response is intellectually lazy. Muslim-majority countries must confront the underlying problems within aspects of Islamic theology.

 

ISIS did not usher in a new concept. The concept of an Islamic State is old — centuries old, in fact. ISIS’s goal has been simple: to unite the Muslim world under the black banner of the Khilafah (or Caliphate), and to establish their set of divine laws (Sharia) on Earth. If you are a student of Islamic history, you will recognize myriad examples of ambitious sultans, emirs and warlords — from Timurlane to Aurangzeb — who shared this same desire to establish an Islamic theocracy.

 

While many Muslim-majority countries do not have a problem with theocratic states, many — including Saudi Arabia, a Sunni Muslim theocracy — have condemned ISIS as a terrorist organization. But these countries have often failed to specifically condemn the ideology that it operates on. They have not denounced, for example, ISIS’s criminal justice system as “un-Islamic.” Presumably, this is because many of these countries enforce very similar laws.

 

ISIS has been creative in its brutality, but the corporal punishments it inflicts are not conceptually novel. From stoning adulterers to amputating the hands of thieves, these punishments are all grounded in ancient Middle Eastern laws. Some of them are actually pre-Islamic (dating back to the times of Hammurabi in the 18th century B.C.E.), but are also mentioned in Biblical and Islamic traditions as part of Sharia. These punishments are also used by some Muslim governments, most notably Saudi Arabia and Iran, against citizens who commit these same crimes.

 

ISIS is known to inflict a particularly disgusting punishment on gay individuals, throwing them off rooftops or bludgeoning them to death. But this is simply ISIS’s recapitulation of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, where Allah (God) rained down fire and stones on a homosexual city, resulting in the death of all its inhabitants. According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, in 2017, there were 12 countries in the world where homosexuality remains punishable by death. All of these are Muslim-majority countries, including Yemen, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Somalia. Unfortunately, it is hard to find an example of ISIS ruthlessness that is not sanctioned by Islamic texts. Even the execution of apostates or the taking of female sex slaves (known as Malakat Aymanukum, which literally translates to “those females whom your right hands possess”) can be justified by reference to religious texts.

 

It is not enough for people of Muslim background — myself included — to simply reject ISIS as a “non-Muslim” organization. We have a responsibility to own up to the ideological problems present in our midst. The problem has never been just ISIS, al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood or Boko Haram. The problem is the tree that brings forth these fruits. This is the tree of Islamic fundamentalism and the ethnocentric and religious supremacist way of thinking that it demands from its adherents.

 

The Muslim community needs to reject intellectual laziness and embrace bold thinkers who are prepared to reform Islam and its traditions. Individuals like Irshad Manji, Maajid Nawaz and Tawfik Hamid, for example, have emphasized the importance of reinterpreting violent passages within Islamic scriptures to combat Islamic extremism. Muslim-majority countries also need to separate Mosque and State, to better allow freedom of expression and protect their religious minorities. Islam must be depoliticized: one’s religious decisions should be a personal matter, rather than a force used to control the masses.

 

Currently, the Muslim world is in a dark age, where freedom of thought is absent. The first step is to acknowledge that ISIS is indeed a Muslim problem that needs to be dealt with by Muslims. If we fail to do so, we risk seeing the lives of more people destroyed, both abroad and overseas.

 

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

After Killing, Army Unlikely to Heed Calls for Revenge Against Palestinians: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, Jan. 10, 2018—National and local politicians have led calls for the army to undertake aggressive action against local Palestinians in the wake of a deadly West Bank shooting attack Tuesday night, but it’s unlikely IDF brass will risk sparking a wider conflagration with a large-scale crackdown.

Sharia for New Year's: Bruce Bawer, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 7, 2018—Last September, a man named Mark Feigin posted five comments on the Facebook page of an Islamic center. They were not Islam-friendly.

Canada: Obsessed with "Islamophobia": Judith Bergman, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 21, 2017— In September, the Canadian parliament began its study on how to combat "Islamophobia" as decided upon in the M-103 motion. A parliamentary committee, the M-103 committee, was established for that very purpose.

From “Lone Wolf” to “Known Wolf”: The Role of “Cultural Fuel” and “Personal Triggers”: Dr. Irwin J. Mansdorf, JCPA, January 7, 2018— When a solitary 37-year-old Palestinian Arab, known both to the local Israeli community and to security forces as non-threatening, friendly and as having good relations with all drew a pistol and killed three Israelis in Har Adar in September 2017, many questions that challenged the traditional thinking of who is a potential terrorist were raised.

                                                              

 

 

ON IRAN PROTESTS & JERUSALEM TRUMP HAD COURAGE TO SPEAK THE TRUTH, UNLIKE OBAMA AND WEST’S “PROGRESSIVES”

Jerusalem and Now Iran: Is Donald Trump Turning Into a Morally Serious President?: Jonathan S. Tobin, Ha’aretz, Jan. 02, 2018— In the summer of 2009, as the forces of the Iranian government brutally repressed mass demonstrations protesting a stolen election, the United States sent the people of Iran an unmistakable message.

If 'Canada's Back,' Like Trudeau Says, We Should be Supporting Iran's Protesters: Kaveh Shahrooz, National Post, Jan. 3, 2018— “Canada’s back,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau likes to say in progressive international circles. 

Hungry for Regional Hegemony, Iran Takes a Bite Out of Hamas: Charles Bybelezer, The Media Line, Jan. 4, 2018— One week of popular protests in Iran has brought into stark focus the country's deep internal divisions…

How Iran Became the Dominant Power in the Middle East: Prof. Benjamin Miller, BESA, Jan. 4, 2018— Iran has emerged as the winner of the so-called “Arab Spring,” a state of affairs some lay at the feet of the Obama administration.

 

On Topic Links

 

Iran’s Protests are Fading, but Iranians Are Still Angry: Amanda Erickson, Washington Post, Jan. 4, 2018

The Uprising in Iran: ‘This is What Revolution Looks Like’: Terry Glavin, Maclean’s, Jan. 1, 2017

What Washington Can Do to Support Iran’s Protesters: Richard Goldberg and Jamie Fly, New York Post, Jan. 2, 2018 Iran has a peculiar habit of surprising Americans.

Protests in Iran: Social Challenges vs. Foreign Policy Ambitions: Dr. Doron Itzchakov, BESA, Jan. 3, 2018

 

 

 

JERUSALEM AND NOW IRAN: IS DONALD TRUMP

TURNING INTO A MORALLY SERIOUS PRESIDENT?

Jonathan S. Tobin

Ha’aretz, Jan. 02, 2018

 

In the summer of 2009, as the forces of the Iranian government brutally repressed mass demonstrations protesting a stolen election, the United States sent the people of Iran an unmistakable message. The man regarded as an international beacon of hope offered them no encouragement. President Barack Obama’s initial silence, and then continued restraint, in his remarks about what was going on, was a significant milestone along the road to the Iran nuclear deal he would later sign. It told Iranians they were on their own with respect to any international effort to secure their freedom.

 

But now, more than eight years later, as a new wave of protests spreads throughout Iran, those suffering under the theocratic rule of the ayatollahs are getting a very different message from the United States. President Donald Trump’s tweets reminded the ayatollahs that "the world is watching" as they sought to put down the protests against their regime’s tyranny, corruption and support for terror. Trump let Iranian dissidents know the world is with them and turned up the pressure on Tehran – just at the moment when he wants to start a conversation about renegotiating the nuclear deal, so as to remove the sunset clauses that make the regime’s acquisition of a bomb inevitable.

 

Yet, as was the case with Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, many on the left, as well as others on the right, who are still appalled by the Trump presidency, are not prepared to give him credit even when he is obviously in the right. In their view, Trump’s inappropriate behavior and statements rob him of any moral legitimacy, therefore nullifying the impact of anything that he does or says that they would approve of if someone else had done it.

 

But the contrast with Obama is instructive, not only in terms of the debate over Iran, but because it also undermines the narrative which portrays the Trump administration as patently illegitimate. As was the case with Jerusalem, it is Trump who had the courage and the will to state an important truth about Iran, while it was Obama who failed that great moral test.

 

That contradicts the assumptions of both the "resistance" on the left and the conservative "Never Trump" faction. This ought to force even the president’s sternest critics to reassess their belief that Trump’s administration cannot be taken seriously, especially when so much of the arguments against him are premised on the notion that his character is such that he must be opposed under any and all circumstances.

 

Rather than see the contrast between the two successive administrations as one of stark choices between good and evil, Trump’s ability to do the right thing on Iran while Obama conspicuously failed, means his administration should be judged, as all governments must be, in shades of grey rather than in terms of moral absolutes.

 

The attempt, principally by Obama administration alumni, to claim that the best course for the West on Iran is to be silent about the protests, is unpersuasive. As in other efforts to deal with tyrannies, such as that of the former Soviet Union, outside pressure aimed at bolstering internal dissent is a critical factor in undermining support for any such authoritarian government. Moreover, Obama’s diffident posture toward the 2009 protests gives us a clear example of how Western democracies encouraged the theocrats to believe they can murder with impunity and not face any international consequences.

 

Obama believed that the objective of obtaining a nuclear accord with Iran justified any concession. But that choice and others, such as the reports that he discouraged federal authorities from pursuing efforts to curtail Hezbollah’s drug-running operations in order to further appease Tehran, weakened his negotiating position, as well as undermining other Western interests. It also made it easier for the regime to convince Iranians they had no choice but to meekly accept the continued rule of a government that used the wealth it acquired from the pact to enrich regime entities, while doing little to help its people.

 

By contrast, Trump’s truth-telling sets the record straight in a way that ought to alter the debate not only about Iran, but on other foreign policy issues too. His critics generally dismiss the president as ignorant or foolish. But it is difficult to see how either former Obama officials or European governments (who have been conspicuously silent on recent events in Iran) are in any better position to preach to Trump about morality.

 

The implications for Israel and those who care about it from this discussion are clear. Trump’s more favorable attitude toward Israel, as well as his willingness to hold the Palestinians accountable for their rejectionism and support for terror, does not erase his other shortcomings. Yet, as with his reversal of a decades-long policy that denied the truth about Jerusalem, Trump’s ability to say what needed to be said about Iran, and in a way that Obama couldn’t or wouldn’t, needs to be acknowledged. It should be seen as a significant measure of how his administration should be judged going forward as it tackles the ongoing challenges relating to the Mideast peace process and terrorism.

 

Disgust with some of what Trump says and tweets is understandable. But we have no choice but to judge leaders by their choices, rather than our assumptions about their character and intentions. After the Jerusalem stand and the Iran protests, it’s getting increasingly difficult to pretend that the moral dichotomy between Obama and Trump is as clear-cut as the president’s detractors claim it to be. Hard as it may be for the "resistance" and the Never Trumpers to accept, it may be that it is possible that Donald Trump is turning out to be a morally serious president.

                                                                                   

 

Contents

IF 'CANADA'S BACK,' LIKE TRUDEAU SAYS,

WE SHOULD BE SUPPORTING IRAN'S PROTESTERS

Kaveh Shahrooz

National Post, Jan. 3, 2018

 

“Canada’s back,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau likes to say in progressive international circles.  But since the outbreak of the growing protests that have rocked Iran, Canada has been nowhere to be found. The protests, which began in the religious city of Mashhad in northeastern Iran, have been raging across the country for nearly a week and, to date, have claimed nearly 20 lives. The protesters’ demands were initially about economic justice, but have quickly transformed into a rejection of Iran’s theocratic structure and the Iranian government’s military adventurism in Syria and Yemen.  

 

In the face of this, Canada’s Global Affairs department released a statement that indicated Canada is “encouraged” by the protesters’ exercise of their rights, and stated that Canada will continue to monitor the situation. This statement — tepidly recognizing the protests without endorsing their message, and emphasizing the protesters’ rights to free expression without giving any offence to Iran’s rulers — was the diplomatic equivalent of hedging Canada’s bets.

 

As of the time of this writing, neither Trudeau nor Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland have weighed in. Domestically, this is in contrast to a strong statement of support by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer. And, internationally, it is inconsistent with the very strong statements by President Donald Trump and members of his administration. Why, then, is Canada hesitating to offer support to the protesters? The answer, likely, lies in the prime minister’s commitment to reverse Stephen Harper’s decision to cut off diplomatic relations with Iran and close the Iranian embassy in Ottawa. 

 

It is probable that Trudeau believes supporting the protesters will make it harder for him to deliver on his promise. Such failure may, in turn, entail political costs, as Iranian-Canadians are becoming an electoral force in at least two Greater Toronto Area ridings. The Liberals may believe that segments of the Iranian-Canadian community, some of whom legitimately suffer due to lack of access to consular services in Canada and some with financial ties to the Iranian government, will punish them in the next election if they don’t make good on their commitment.

 

But the prime minister should break his silence on Iran. The reason for that is simple: It is because doing so is the morally right thing to do. The cause championed by the brave protesters in Iran’s streets is just. They are calling for an end to a theocracy that has produced nothing for Iranians except economic stagnation, repression, mass executions, and gender and religious apartheid. Does Canada’s feminist prime minister wish to be on the side of a government that treats women as second-class citizens? Can he pay lip service to diversity and inclusion on the one hand, and keep silent in the face of a government that treats its Baha’i religious community as non-persons? In short, in the clash between a theocratic regime that murders its citizens (and Canadian citizens, as it did in 2003 with Zahra Kazemi) and young protesters calling for democracy, which side does Trudeau wish to be on?

 

Re-engaging the Iranian government may be a sincere Liberal government commitment, but it surely isn’t worth sullying Canada’s reputation as a force for justice and human rights in the world. And if the prime minister decides that he wants to express solidarity with the protesters, there are several concrete steps he can take. First, he ought to make a powerful statement that supports the protesters and their demands. The importance of such a statement cannot be overstated. Given the bellicose language of the Trump administration, the Iranian government would love nothing more than to paint the protesters as saboteurs doing America’s bidding. Given that Trudeau is the anti-Trump, the PM’s support of the protest would considerably weaken the Iranian government’s rhetoric. 

 

Second, Canada ought to make clear to Iranian authorities that any violation of the protesters’ rights would lead to significant consequences. For example, Iran ought to understand that in the face of a serious crackdown, re-engagement should no longer be on the table. In addition, now that Canada has its own version of the Magnitsky Act (a law that freezes assets and limits travel for government officials who engage in human rights abuses abroad), Iranian officials ought to be warned that they could end up on its list if they illegally silence protesters.   In addition, Canada should exert its influence to get other countries to stand with the protesters. Each year, Canada leads a resolution at the UN General Assembly that condemns Iran’s human rights abuses. We have the experience, know-how, and moral authority to lead on this issue, too.

 

Finally, Canada should take serious aim at Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the military and economic juggernaut responsible for so much domestic repression and regional conflict. It is now time to sanction the IRGC using a bill (S-219) that has so far stalled in the Senate thanks to Liberal-affiliated Senators. The prime minister ought to make the sanctioning of the IRGC a priority.   Iran’s protesters are taking tremendous risks these days to secure freedom and democracy. They need Canada’s support and solidarity. We should provide it.                   

 

Contents

HUNGRY FOR REGIONAL HEGEMONY, IRAN TAKES A BITE OUT OF HAMAS

Charles Bybelezer

The Media Line, Jan. 4, 2018

 

One week of popular protests in Iran has brought into stark focus the country's deep internal divisions, along with widespread resentment towards the mullahs, which have remained relatively dormant since regime forces brutally quashed the Green Revolution in 2009. What started last Thursday in the city of Mashhad as a small economic rally—with participants primarily venting frustration over the lack of trickle-down effect from some $100 billion in sanctions relief granted to Tehran in the 2015 nuclear deal—has morphed into nationwide, deadly demonstrations against the rulership of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

 

Across Iran chants of "death to the dictator" have become common refrain as pictures of the ayatollah are set on fire. Among the many grievances being aired is anger over the Islamic Republic's deep military, and thus financial, involvement in conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, in addition to support for Lebanese-based Hezbollah. Somewhat less pronounced is the regime's bankrolling of the Palestinian terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, although protesters have reportedly recited slogans such as 'Let go of Palestine' and 'Forget Palestine' while invoking the Gaza Strip in particular.

 

In this respect, relations between Shiite Iran and Sunni Hamas have thawed since the former froze ties with Gaza's rulers after they refused to support the Assad government at the onset of the Syrian war. Now, Tehran's renewed funding of Hamas is part and parcel of the Islamic Republic's attempt to increase its regional influence and, on the micro level, its presence along Israel's borders. The latter entails accelerating Hezbollah's militarization in Lebanon and establishing a permanent presence in Syria, including the entrenchment of Shiite proxies in the Golan Heights.

 

According to Brig. Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser (ret.), former director general of the Israeli Ministry of International Affairs and Strategy, Iran's growing involvement in Gaza is based on a convergence of interests. "On the one hand, Hamas has become weaker as it lost the ability to rely on its usual supporters, while its effort to forge unity with the Palestinian Authority appears to have failed. "On the other hand," he explained to The Media Line, "the Iranians want to increase the strength of the 'resistance' axis that opposes Israel and promotes radical Islamic ideology and Hamas can be a useful ally in this cause."

 

Brig. Gen. (res.) Eli Ben Meir, who served as the IDF's chief intelligence officer, agrees that Iran is making inroads in the Strip to fill the vacuum created by Hamas' isolation, but also in response to developments in the north. "There is a potential for escalation in Syria," he told The Media Line, "as Israel has repeatedly talked about enforcing its red lines [and reportedly carried out multiple strikes against Iranian assets to uphold them]. So Tehran is sending a message that such action can be met with a response from Gaza." In fact, there has been a marked uptick in rocket attacks against Israel emanating from the Palestinian enclave since US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the Jewish state's capital. However, in the wake of last week's apparent targeting of a ceremony honoring an IDF soldier whose remains are being held by Hamas, multiple Israeli officials have publicly accused Tehran of deliberately raising tensions.

 

For his part, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman released a video in which he slammed the Islamic Republic for working to "destroy" Gaza while "hurting Israel as much as possible." Intelligence Minister Israel Katz referred to the Strip as a "ticking time bomb" caused by a "direct Iranian intervention," with Tehran allegedly having supplied some of the mortars fired at southern Israeli towns. Former defense chief Moshe Ya'alon warned that Iran, empowered by military successes throughout the region, is likely to shift some of its attention towards subverting Israel.

 

On Monday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot revealed that Tehran has increased its funding to Hamas and Islamic Jihad from an estimated $70 million to $100 million annually in order to exert more influence over Gaza. Nevertheless, he described as "irresponsible" those calling for a stronger response to attacks, while confirming that the IDF is "carrying out various covert and open efforts including [the] promotion of restraining factors." Indeed, there appears to be disagreement within the Israeli political and military establishments over how to deal with the growing threat from Gaza, where the Jewish state has fought three wars over the past decade. "There are three main courses of action that Israel can take," Ben Meir explained to The Media Line. "The first is a full-scale operation that involves throwing Hamas out of the Strip. The second is conducting low-intensity warfare, a tit-for-tat approach—such as responding to rocket fire with airstrikes—in order to contain the situation. And the third option is finding a way to dramatically change the severe civilian economic conditions."…

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

                                                                       

 

Contents

HOW IRAN BECAME THE DOMINANT POWER IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Prof. Benjamin Miller

BESA, Jan. 4, 2018

 

Iran has emerged as the winner of the so-called “Arab Spring,” a state of affairs some lay at the feet of the Obama administration. When the US administration (together with five other powers) signed a nuclear accord with Tehran to curb its nuclear program, it did not insist on a halt to Iran’s assorted aggressions in the Middle East. But Obama is not entirely to blame for Iran’s success. In each of the four Arab countries in which Tehran has made incursions, its rivals inadvertently played a key role in strengthening the Iranian position through the trans-border Shiite connection.

 

In other words, interventions by other foreign powers unintentionally strengthened the pro-Iranian Shiite group in each of the countries in question. In some cases (though not all), the outcome was influenced by nationalist opposition to foreign interference. In all four cases, however, the interventions reinforced a regional transnational sectarian connection that is enabling the fulfillment of Iranian aspirations to become the dominant force in the Middle East.

 

How have the other intervening powers helped Iran win the Middle East game (at least for now)? In the case of Iraq, another enemy of the Islamic Republic accidentally brought about Iranian dominance in a country that used to be a major rival. In this instance it was the US that played the key role. Following their 2003 occupation of Iraq, the Americans tried to democratize the country. But elections in an ethnically and religiously fragmented state like Iraq mean that the largest ethnic or sectarian group is going to win.

 

The Shiites are the majority group in a polarized Iraq, and some of their leaders are allies of the Iranian Shiite regime. This trans-border connection has guaranteed significant Iranian influence in Iraq. Thus, the US invasion and democratization project in Iraq brought to power forces allied with its main enemy in the region – even if the alliance with Tehran is not welcomed by all Iraqis, including some Shiites.

 

The (next) case of an external intervention that resulted in growing Iranian influence is the Russian involvement in Syria. In this instance, the intervening power is not an enemy of Iran’s – at the moment. It was one for a very long time, however, and the future of the alliance is uncertain. At any rate, the Russian bombing in 2015 was the decisive factor that ultimately brought about the victory of the Assad regime in the Syrian civil war. This is the case even though Tehran, Hezbollah, and other Iranian-led Shiite militias had been fighting alongside the regime since well before the Russian bombing started.

 

As in the other cases, the support of Iran and its Shiite allies for the Alawite regime in Damascus is based at least partly on a common sectarian affiliation, as the Alawites are considered an offshoot of Shiite Islam. The Assad regime’s dependence on the Iranian/Shiite militias’ support seems to guarantee that Tehran will remain a major influence in Syria.

 

While the Russian bombing provided the coup de grâce, the Iranians and their allies continue to provide the ground forces necessary to preserve the regime. Israel is worried that the regime’s debt to Iran will translate into a continuous Iranian/Hezbollah military presence in Syria near the border with the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. Recent Russian statements seem to indicate Moscow’s acceptance of such a military presence. This forward military deployment of Iran and its allies creates the potential for escalation, whether intended or inadvertent…

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

 

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Iran’s Protests are Fading, but Iranians Are Still Angry: Amanda Erickson, Washington Post, Jan. 4, 2018—For just a moment around the new year, Iran seemed poised for something big. What started as a couple of scattered protests on Dec. 8 over the cost of eggs quickly erupted into a countrywide movement. Iranians took to the streets in nearly every province, calling for an end to corruption, a better economy and a less-oppressive government.

The Uprising in Iran: ‘This is What Revolution Looks Like’: Terry Glavin, Maclean’s, Jan. 1, 2017—The Iranian uprising that began last Thursday in Mashhad, Iran’s second largest city, was initially reported as an isolated protest over food prices and unemployment. By Sunday, the entire country was heaving in convulsions.

What Washington Can Do to Support Iran’s Protesters: Richard Goldberg and Jamie Fly, New York Post, Jan. 2, 2018 Iran has a peculiar habit of surprising Americans. —Even before the widespread anticlerical protests in Iran, President Trump made clear what he thinks of the regime. In recent days, he has even gone so far as to support those Iranians protesting the regime, in stark contrast to President Barack Obama’s desperate attempt in 2009 to curry favor with their oppressors.

Protests in Iran: Social Challenges vs. Foreign Policy Ambitions: Dr. Doron Itzchakov, BESA, Jan. 3, 2018—The social protests currently taking place in Iran arise from the gap between the Islamic leadership’s ambition for regional hegemony and ordinary people’s desire for a lower cost of living and an improved standard of living – expectations stemming from promises made by President Hassan Rouhani during his first term in office and reinforced by the July 2015 nuclear agreement (JCPOA) and the attendant release of Iranian assets worldwide.

 

 

 

                                                              

 

 

UNIVERSITIES HYPOCRITICALLY CONDEMN RACISM WHILE CONDONING ANTI-ZIONISM

I'm a Student at McGill. Our Problems with Anti-Semitism are Far From Over: David Watson, National Post, Nov. 1, 2017— Last week, McGill University was thrust into the national spotlight for an unfortunate reason.

An Anti-Semitic Caricature of Me Generates No Criticism from Berkeley Hard Left: Alan M. Dershowitz, Gatestone Institute, Oct. 26, 2017— I was recently invited to present the liberal case for Israel at Berkeley.

Universities Can’t Have it Both Ways on Free Speech: Margaret Wente, Globe & Mail, Oct. 27, 2017— The trouble with campus speech codes is that they backfire.

I Don’t Want an Apology from Justin Trudeau: Sally F. Zerker, CIJR, Oct. 26, 2017— Canadian governmental spokespeople have been active lately in apologizing for historical wrongs.

 

 

On Topic Links

 

The Zionists are Coming! Panic at San Francisco State U.: Cinnamon Stillwell, American Thinker, Oct. 7, 2017

New Wave of Anti-Israel, Anti-Semitic Activity Emerges on US Campuses: United With Israel, Oct. 2, 2017

Against Faux-Feminists Who Deny the Rights of Muslim Women and Jews: Phyllis Chesler, Tablet, Oct. 2, 2017

Massey College Suspends ‘Master’ Title, Apologizes for ‘Completely Inappropriate’ Incident: Simona Chiose, Globe & Mail, Sept. 29, 2017

                                                           

                                

    I'M A STUDENT AT MCGILL.

OUR PROBLEMS WITH ANTI-SEMITISM ARE FAR FROM OVER                                                       

David Watson

National Post, Nov. 1, 2017

 

Last week, McGill University was thrust into the national spotlight for an unfortunate reason. Students at the bi-annual General Assembly of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) voted to remove a Jewish student, Noah Lew, from the society’s board of directors. Lew later wrote on Facebook that he had been targeted for his Jewish identity. Before the vote, Lew and two other directors were publicly accused of corruption by a student political group for their affiliation with Jewish political organizations such as the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC).

 

The vote against Lew at the general assembly last week is certainly disappointing. But what’s even more troubling is that, to anyone with a decent grasp of student politics at our university, it wasn’t in the least bit surprising. Lew’s removal is just the latest symptom of a much deeper problem in McGill student politics. Unless it can be definitively resolved, it will only be a matter of time before the next episode of alleged anti-Semitism at the university.

 

I’ve been an undergraduate student at McGill since 2014, and I’m now in my final semester. For the past two years, I’ve been writing about student politics at McGill for a student newspaper, The McGill Tribune. In that time, I’ve become familiar with a student society that is engulfed in an endless debate over whether or not to support Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), a movement that calls for a boycott of Israel over its occupation of the Palestinian territories. It’s a struggle that consumes the attention of the society and its members, and generates most of the scandals that plague the university, including last week’s vote against Lew.

 

For the past three years, BDS has been the organizing principle behind most of the major controversies on our campus. Motions to support BDS were brought forward three separate times in 18 months, before they were declared unconstitutional by the Judicial Board, SSMU’s version of a supreme court. Since then, the struggle over BDS has continued through proxy debates over constitutional issues, proposed reforms, and, as we saw last week, votes on individual student representatives.

 

Incidents like Lew’s removal are nowadays generally accompanied by a semantic debate about what does or does not constitute anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, or some other form of -ism. Those who voted against Lew claim that their grievances were only political, though I’m not aware of any legitimate criticisms of Lew, since no one even bothered to speak during the allotted debate period before the vote. But whatever their intentions, what matters most is that their actions have real, damaging consequences for our university’s Jewish students.

 

By voting against board members for things like their membership in CJPAC, McGill students are forcing many of their Jewish peers to make an unfair and harmful choice. They are forced to choose between getting involved in their communities and participating in student government at our university. No McGill student should be put in such a situation, and it’s our responsibility as fellow students to ensure that no one is. That’s why, after the results of the vote against Lew were announced, I joined dozens of my peers in walking out of the general assembly. To vote against Lew for his involvement with Jewish political organizations is to imply that one’s position on the Israel-Palestine conflict should be a litmus test for student representatives at McGill. This would be an absurd requirement, and its burden would fall disproportionately on Jewish students at McGill.

 

In the days after the vote against Lew, many powerful actors voiced their concerns about the incident, and expressed their willingness to explore solutions. McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier released a statement promising an investigation and a task force. Lew was even the subject of a discussion in the House of Commons. And at a meeting on Oct. 29, the SSMU Board of Directors voted to establish its own committee to investigate anti-Semitism in the student society.         

 

If they are to make a meaningful difference, any proposed reforms will need to address the root cause of the issue: the persistence of the BDS debate at McGill. This isn’t to say that discussion of BDS or Israel should be banned on campus. Universities should be arenas for discussions on even the most controversial topics — that’s how we learn. But these issues shouldn’t come to dominate student politics, or to determine who should be able to sit on a student council.

 

One immediate fix would be for more students to take an active role in their student society. Much of the pro-BDS lobbying comes from a mobilized vocal minority — Lew’s candidacy was opposed by only 160 votes, at a school with more than 20,000 undergrads. Past online referendums suggest that most students don’t support BDS, but their inaction allows its supporters to drive the agenda. With only a few weeks left before I graduate, I won’t be around to see any of the changes I’m proposing. BDS will have defined my entire experience with student government at McGill. This can’t be allowed to continue. McGill is an otherwise great school, and its incoming students deserve a better experience than the one that the students now graduating have endured.

                                                                                   

 

Contents

AN ANTI-SEMITIC CARICATURE OF ME GENERATES

NO CRITICISM FROM BERKELEY HARD LEFT

Alan M. Dershowitz

Gatestone Institute, Oct. 26, 2017

 

I was recently invited to present the liberal case for Israel at Berkeley. In my remarks I advocated the establishment of a Palestinian state and a negotiated end of the conflict. I encouraged hostile questions from protestors and answered all of them. The audience responded positively to the dialogue.

 

Then immediately after my address, a poster was plastered outside Berkeley Law School with a swastika drawn on my face. The Dean of Berkeley Law School, Erwin Cherwinsky, sent a letter condemning the swastika: "Several of our students expressed their disagreement with him [Dershowitz] and did so in a completely appropriate way that led to discussion and dialogue. I was pleased to hear of how this went, but then shocked to learn of the swastika drawn on a flyer that someone had posted about him."

 

Shortly after, The Daily Californian – Berkeley's student newspaper – published an anti-Semitic cartoon, depicting an ugly caricature of me sticking my head through a cardboard cut-out. Behind the cardboard I am portrayed stomping on a Palestinian child with my foot, while holding in my hand an Israeli soldier who is shooting an unarmed Palestinian youth. Above the cardboard cut-out the title of my speech – The Liberal Case for Israel – is scrawled in capital letters.

 

In a Letter to the Editor, the university's Chancellor, Carol Christ, wrote the following: "Your recent editorial cartoon targeting Alan Dershowitz was offensive, appalling and deeply disappointing. I condemn its publication. Are you aware that its anti-Semitic imagery connects directly to the centuries-old "blood libel" that falsely accused Jews of engaging in ritual murder? I cannot recall anything similar in the Daily Cal, and I call on the paper's editors to reflect on whether they would sanction a similar assault on other ethnic or religious groups. We cannot build a campus community where everyone feels safe, respected and welcome if hatred and the perpetuation of harmful stereotypes become an acceptable part of our discourse."

 

It is shocking that this vile caricature – which would fit comfortably in a Nazi publication – was published in "the official paper of record of the City of Berkeley" (according to the Editor.) The cartoon resembles the grotesque anti-Semitic blood libel propaganda splashed across Der Sturmer in the 1930's, which depicted Jews drinking the blood of gentile children. Canards about Jews as predators – prominently promulgated by the Tzarist forgery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion – were anti-Semitic back then and are still anti-Semitic today, whether espoused by the extreme left or the extreme right.

 

This sequence of events – by hard-left students who originally protested my right to speak at Berkeley– confirmed what I've long believed: that there is very little difference between the Nazis of the hard right and the anti-Semites of the hard left. There is little doubt that this abhorrent caricature was a hard-left Neo-Nazi expression.

 

These anti-Semitic displays against me were in reaction to a speech in which I advocated a Palestinian state; an end to the occupation and opposition to Israeli settlement policies. Many on the hard-left refuse to acknowledge this sort of nuanced positioning. That is because their hostility towards Israel does not stem from any particular Israeli actions or policies. Even if Israel were to withdraw from the West Bank, destroy the security barrier, and recognize Hamas as a legitimate political organization, it would still not be enough. For these radicals, it is not about what Israel does; it is about what Israel is: the nation state of the Jewish people. To many on the hard left, Israel is an imperialistic, apartheid, genocidal, and colonialist enterprise that must be destroyed.

 

Nonetheless, just as I defended the rights of Nazis to march in Skokie, I defend the right of hard-left bigots to produce this sort of anti-Semitic material, despite it being hate speech. Those who condemn hate speech when it comes from the Right should also speak up when hate speech comes from the Left. The silence from those on the Left is steeped in hypocrisy. It reflects the old adage: free speech for me but not for thee…

[To read the full article click the following link—Ed.]                       

                                                                       

 

Contents

UNIVERSITIES CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS ON FREE SPEECH

Margaret Wente

Globe & Mail, Oct. 27, 2017

 

The trouble with campus speech codes is that they backfire. That's what happened when Dalhousie University tried to discipline Masuma Khan for making rude remarks on Facebook. Ms. Khan is the black-robed student activist who got pushback after she urged people to boycott Canada Day. "F*** you all," she responded in one post. "Be proud of this country? For what, over 400 years of genocide?" For good riddance, she signed off with the hashtag #whitefragilitycankissmyass."

 

Never mind for now the remarkable ingratitude Ms. Khan expresses toward the country that took her parents in, and provided her with a first-class education. No one took offence at that. On today's campuses, the sentiments she expressed are common – and, for aspiring activists, practically obligatory. No one blinked until a white, male graduate student decided to test the system. He filed a written complaint alleging that her Facebook post was "blatant discrimination" against white people.

 

The university should have told them both to go away and grow up. But of course it couldn't do that. Dalhousie has a detailed code of conduct that, among other things, prohibits "unwelcome" actions that might make another person feel demeaned, intimidated or harassed – even if it's just a Facebook post. The vice-provost of student affairs investigated the matter and recommended that Ms. Khan should face a disciplinary hearing and be sentenced to re-education camp. What happened next was perfectly predictable. The very people who had insisted on rigid campus speech codes in the first place – left-wing professors, Indigenous and anti-racism activists and the like – suddenly discovered the importance of free speech. In an open letter, they vigorously condemned the administration, and demanded an environment in which "political speech can flourish." The university capitulated instantly.

 

These people are, of course, correct. Ms. Khan has every right to trash talk anyone she wants on her Facebook page. She should not, however, be surprised when she is trash-talked back. Nor should we expect these sudden converts to free speech to express the same zeal for protecting the free-expression rights of, say, conservative white male graduate students. For universities, the burden of policing speech creates an impossible dilemma of their own making. The requirement to create "safe" spaces, where people have a right to feel unoffended, undemeaned and undiscomfited, is incompatible with the right to free expression in the public square – for the simple reason that free expression is bound to make people feel cheesed off, threatened and unsafe. That's why it needs protection.

 

Ironically, universities have done much to institutionalize the idea that speech itself can be dangerous, and that certain speech should not be tolerated. This idea is now depressingly pervasive. In one recent survey of 800 U.S. university undergraduates, 81 per cent said they agreed with the statement: "Words can be a form of violence." Thirty per cent agreed that physical violence "can be justified" to prevent someone from espousing hateful views.

 

As intolerance spreads on campus, more and more students – and their professors – are insisting that "free speech" includes the right to shut down speech they don't like. At Columbia University, hundreds of students and professors have come to the defence of demonstrators who shouted down an address by the far-right U.K. activist Tommy Robinson last month. They insist that the demonstrators should not be disciplined by the university. By shutting down the speaker, they argue, the protesters "were providing a model of informed political engagement." As two graduate-school journalism students (!) wrote, "defining 'free speech' as a one-handed monologue full of unchallenged smears, however, is a lazy cliché."

 

These students simply echo the position of professors such as the University of Southern California's Charles H.F. Davis, who argues that students who shout down right-wing speakers are engaged in "resistance against white supremacy." Last week, anti-fascist protesters at a university in California even shut down a panel on – that's right – free speech. Universities should scarcely be surprised that campus conservatives are now using policies devised by leftists to constrain speech they don't like. People who are happy to see the leftie vigilantes get their comeuppance shouldn't be too smug. Those surveys show that students of all stripes – left, right and centre – aren't very tolerant of speech they don't happen to like.

 

As universities enthusiastically embrace a mission of expanding social justice, the tensions between their role as speech nannies and as a platform for ideas and debate will only grow. I am sorry to say that no university in Canada has yet followed the lead of the University of Chicago, which explicitly advises incoming students that it does not believe in trigger warnings, safe spaces, disinviting speakers, or presumably, in policing students' Facebook posts. The administrative time and energy that could be saved by adopting such a policy would be truly awesome. And imagine what would happen if universities stopped treating students like kindergarteners: They might grow up.

 

 

 

Contents

I DON’T WANT AN APOLOGY FROM JUSTIN TRUDEAU

Sally F. Zerker

CIJR, Oct. 26, 2017

 

Canadian governmental spokespeople have been active lately in apologizing for historical wrongs. Everybody was getting into the act; Trudeau with regard to mistreatment of Indian immigrants, Wynne with respect to exploitation of native peoples, Toronto’s chief of police for a raid on a gay bathhouse long ago. Now, Justin Trudeau is considering an apology for Canada’s turning aside a boatload of Jews seeking asylum in Canada from Nazi persecution in 1939.

 

Let me say right up front. I don’t want an apology although the Canadian government did me irreparable harm by their rejection of Jewish immigrants during the 1930’s and well into the 1940s. The refusal to allow the entry of the Jewish escapees from Hitler on the ship St. Louis was only one part of a larger discriminatory policy of the Liberal government in power.

 

What malice was inflicted on me personally by the Canadian government? It was responsible for the early deaths of my aunt, uncle, and their children—my cousins. Of course, the Canadian authorities didn’t directly murder these members of my family, but nevertheless they were responsible. How? My aunt Chaya was my father’s sister, she was married to Alter, and they had five healthy, bright children, who undoubtedly would have been a great asset to Canada.  Chaya and Alter lived in Lodz, Poland. In the 1930’s, they were all set to join their parents and siblings in Canada. By then, my father’s whole extended family, with the exception of Chaya’s, was already settled in Toronto, Canada.

 

My parents migrated to Canada in 1927, to join both their maternal and paternal parents and siblings. My father’s three brothers and one sister were newcomers to Canada. As you can imagine, these new immigrants were doing everything possible to earn a living. But they were determined to assemble enough money to bring their remaining sibling and her family to Canada. Unfortunately, it took a few years to accumulate the required amount.  By that time, in the thirties, the Canadian policy, with regard to Jews wanting to settle here, was in the hostile hands of Prime Minister Mackenzie King and Frederick Blair, head of immigration, who had the support of the Liberal cabinet and the caucus. They didn’t want any Jews to enter Canada. None! The result was that Canada had the worst record for the entry of Jewish refugees of any nation during the Nazi years.

 

The application of Chaya’s family to migrate to Canada was made in the normal way, and to my father’s surprise and disappointment, their visas were denied. An expert on immigration was hired to appeal the decision, but that too failed. A reason given for the rejection was that Alter, the husband and father of the family, had a limp, and was therefore liable to have tuberculosis of the limbs, which could threaten other Canadians. I don’t know how they came up with this excuse because it was a complete falsehood.  I know this for certain, because one cousin who survived the holocaust, and who came to Canada after liberation, was able to confirm that this accusation was utter nonsense. Her father was strong and young, was fully competent to work, walk and run, and with healthy legs.

 

Why then is it that I don’t want an apology for this cruel act? Because an apology can’t right this wrong.  It will not retrieve my relatives for me nor offer me any solace. Instead, it will whitewash a government and a Liberal Party that continued to do nothing to amend the type of antisemitism that was endemic in Canada until the 1970s. It is a shallow, empty, meaningless act for my extended family who lost part of this family for no reason except Jew hatred. It’s not as if Canada would have known any additional cost for my aunt’s family. In those days sponsorship meant total responsibility and upkeep for those committed to the newcomers.

 

And Canada was the undoubted loser. My father’s family of Friedbergs produced a generation that contributed very well to Canada’s interests. In total my cousins and I have three Ph.Ds in various fields, one Rabbi who led the largest Conservative congregation in Canada, two outstanding medical doctors, one excellent dentist, four who earned different kinds of post-graduate degrees, and were fruitfully employed in their respective areas of expertise, and a couple of cousins who took their talents to the USA, one who was a violinist in a Chicago orchestra. I often am filled with remorse for the loss to the Jewish community and to Canada that might have been had the bigotry and hatred not impaired the creativity and talent from thousands of Jewish refugees who were rejected. If Trudeau is set on making an apology, it is owed to Canada, not from Canada, and it should be in the name of the Liberal Party.

 

Dr. Sally F. Zerker is Professor Emerita at York University and a CIJR Academic Fellow.

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

The Zionists are Coming! Panic at San Francisco State U.: Cinnamon Stillwell, American Thinker, Oct. 7, 2017 —In the fevered imagination of the academic left, these are dark days at San Francisco State University (SFSU).

New Wave of Anti-Israel, Anti-Semitic Activity Emerges on US Campuses: United With Israel, Oct. 2, 2017—Jewish college students returning after their summer break are encountering a wave of swastika daubings and anti-Israel activity on campuses across the country—and there are signs the hostility may intensify in the weeks ahead.

Against Faux-Feminists Who Deny the Rights of Muslim Women and Jews: Phyllis Chesler, Tablet, Oct. 2, 2017—I came into my feminist destiny in 1967, both as an academic and as an activist. Our original feminist vision was radical and transformative. We believed in universal human rights.

Massey College Suspends ‘Master’ Title, Apologizes for ‘Completely Inappropriate’ Incident: Simona Chiose, Globe & Mail, Sept. 29, 2017—Massey College, an independent residential college affiliated with the University of Toronto, has temporarily suspended the formal title of "master" to refer to its head, and apologized for an incident earlier this week that deeply offended and hurt members of the school.

 

Sally F. Zerker: I Don’t Want an Apology from Justin Trudeau

 

 

 

 

 

I Don’t Want an Apology from Justin Trudeau

By

Sally Friedberg Zerker

 

Canadian governmental spokespeople have been active lately in apologizing for historical wrongs. Everybody was getting into the act; Trudeau with regard to mistreatment of Indian immigrants, Wynne with respect to exploitation of native peoples, Toronto’s chief of police for a raid on a gay bathhouse long ago. Now, Justin Trudeau is considering an apology for Canada’s turning aside a boatload of Jews seeking asylum in Canada from Nazi persecution in 1939.

 

Let me say right up front. I don’t want an apology although the Canadian government did me irreparable harm by their rejection of Jewish immigrants during the 1930’s and well into the 1940s. The refusal to allow the entry of the Jewish escapees from Hitler on the ship St. Louis was only one part of a larger discriminatory policy of the Liberal government in power.

 

What malice was inflicted on me personally by the Canadian government? It was responsible for the early deaths of my aunt, uncle, and their children—my cousins. Of course, the Canadian authorities didn’t directly murder these members of my family, but nevertheless they were responsible.

 

How? My aunt Chaya was my father’s sister, she was married to Alter , and they had five healthy, bright children, who undoubtedly would have been a great asset to Canada.  Chaya and Alter lived in Lodz, Poland. In the 1930’s, they were all set to join their parents and siblings in Canada. By then, my father’s whole extended family, with the exception of Chaya’s, was already settled in Toronto, Canada.

 

My parents migrated to Canada in 1927, to join both their maternal and paternal parents and siblings. My father’s three brothers and one sister were newcomers to Canada. As you can imagine, these new immigrants were doing everything possible to earn a living. But they were determined to assemble enough money to bring their remaining sibling and her family to Canada. Unfortunately, it took a few years to accumulate the required amount.

 

By that time, in the thirties, the Canadian policy, with regard to Jews wanting to settle here, was in the hostile hands of Prime Minister Mackenzie King and Frederick Blair, head of immigration, who had the support of the Liberal cabinet and the caucus. They didn’t want any Jews to enter Canada. None! The result was that Canada had the worst record for the entry of Jewish refugees of any nation during the Nazi years.

 

The application of Chaya’s family to migrate to Canada was made in the normal way, and to my father’s surprise and disappointment, their visas were denied. An expert on immigration was hired to appeal the decision, but that too failed. A reason given for the rejection was that Alter, the husband and father of the family, had a limp, and was therefore liable to have tuberculosis of the limbs, which could threaten other Canadians. I don’t know how they came up with this excuse because it was a complete falsehood.  I know this for certain, because one cousin who survived the holocaust, and who came to Canada after liberation, was able to confirm that this accusation was utter nonsense. Her father was strong and young, was fully competent to work, walk and run, and with healthy legs.

 

Why then is it that I don’t want an apology for this cruel act? Because an apology can’t right this wrong.  It will not retrieve my relatives for me nor offer me any solace. Instead, it will whitewash a government and a Liberal Party that continued to do nothing to amend the type of antisemitism that was endemic in Canada until the 1970s. It is a shallow, empty, meaningless act for my extended family who lost part of this family for no reason except Jew hatred. It’s not as if Canada would have known any additional cost for my aunt’s family. In those days sponsorship meant total responsibility and upkeep for those committed to the newcomers.

 

And Canada was the undoubted loser. My father’s family of Friedbergs produced a generation that contributed very well to Canada’s interests. In total my cousins and I have three Ph.Ds in various fields, one Rabbi who led the largest Conservative congregation in Canada, two outstanding medical doctors, one excellent dentist, four who earned different kinds of post-graduate degrees, and were fruitfully employed in their respective areas of expertise, and a couple of cousins who took their talents to the USA, one who was a violinist in a Chicago orchestra. I often am filled with remorse for the loss to the Jewish community and to Canada that might have been had the bigotry and hatred not impaired the creativity and talent from thousands of Jewish refugees who were rejected. If Trudeau is set on making an apology, it is owed to Canada, not from Canada, and it should be in the name of the Liberal Party.

 

Dr. Sally F. Zerker is professor emerita at York University, Toronto, an economist with specialty in the international oil industry.

WHILE CANADIANS CHOOSE TRUDEAU AS LEADER, U.S. REVERSES AFGHAN WITHDRAWAL

 

NB: EXCITING UPDATE TO OUR CONFERENCE: KEYNOTE ADDRESS WILL BE FROM RABBI IRVING GREENBERG, & A SPECIAL VIDEO PRESENTATION FROM ELIE WIESEL!

 

Beth Tikvah Synagogue & CIJR Present: The Annual Sabina Citron International Conference: THE JEWISH THOUGHT OF EMIL L. FACKENHEIM: JUDAISM, ZIONISM, HOLOCAUST, ISRAEL — Toronto, Sunday, October 25, 2015, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The day-long Beth Tikvah Conference, co-chaired by Prof. Frederick Krantz (CIJR) and Rabbi Jarrod R. Grover (Beth Tikvah), open to the public and especially to students, features original papers by outstanding Canadian and international scholars, some his former students, on the many dimensions of Emil L. Fackenheim's exceptionally powerful, and prophetic thought, and on his rich life and experience. Tickets: Regular – $36; Seniors – $18; students free. For registration, information, conference program, and other queries call 1-855-303-5544 or email yunna@isranet.org. Visit our site: www.isranet.org/events.

 

Back to the Future, With the Kid: Margaret Wente, Globe & Mail, Oct. 20, 2015— A moment came during the red tidal wave Monday night when a friend turned to me in awe.

Obama’s Afghan Reversal: Wall Street Journal, Oct. 15, 2015 — If there is a single element of consistency in President Obama’s foreign policy it is his desire to end and avoid U.S. military engagements.

Plan B for Libya: Gal Luft, American Interest, Oct. 1, 2015— The September 20 deadline for establishing a unity government in war-torn Libya ahead of the UN General Assembly meeting came and went …

Assassination Attempt in Tunisia Highlights Mounting Challenges: Farah Samti & Kareem Fahim, New York Times, Oct. 9, 2015 — Hours before the Norwegian Nobel Committee gave its highest-profile honor to a coalition of Tunisian groups …

 

On Topic Links

 

America’s Failed Foreign Policy: Margaret Wente, National Post, Oct. 20, 2015

Obama Deploys Troops to Cameroon to Fight Boko Haram: Frances Martel, Breitbart, Oct. 15, 2015

Mideast Turmoil Strengthens Sudan’s Regime: Yaroslav Trofimov, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 15, 2015

Toward a Post-Obama Middle East: Conrad Black, National Review, Oct. 7, 2015

                                      

                            

BACK TO THE FUTURE, WITH THE KID                                                                                 

Margaret Wente                                                                                                  

Globe & Mail, Oct. 20, 2015

 

A moment came during the red tidal wave Monday night when a friend turned to me in awe. The CBC’s seat counter had just clicked past 180 for the Liberals. “Oh my God,” she said. “What have we done?” No one, even diehard Conservatives, doubted that Stephen Harper deserved to lose. But even diehard Liberals wonder if Justin Trudeau deserved to win a majority government on his very first try, without the customary test of having to prove himself in Opposition, or, for that matter, any other responsible post in government. It’s like giving your kid the keys to the Ferrari before he’s finished driving lessons.

 

“I never thought this was in the realm of possibility,” one voter told the CBC. “I wanted the young son to squeak in and be supported by maybe more experienced people.” “Oh well,” said one of my Liberal friends cheerily. “At least he’ll have adult supervision.”

 

No one called this one. What happened was a snowball that picked up momentum as it went. During the last few days of the campaign it became a monster. The opinion polls were accurate about the fate of the Conservatives. What they didn’t catch was the dramatic collapse of the New Democratic Party. People decided Justin was the best anti-Harper and stampeded over to his side. And that is how Tom Mulcair’s dreams of glory melted in an instant.

 

All of a sudden Canada’s political alignment looks a lot like it did 30 years ago – before the Harper decade, before the fragmentation of the right, before Happy Jack Layton created the hope that the NDP could be something more than an also-ran. The Liberals and Conservatives have most of the seats, and the PM is a handsome guy named Trudeau with three photogenic kids and a gorgeous wife. Break out those bell-bottoms and love beads. The ’70s are back! This is not a bad outcome. A strong, stable majority government with a healthy opposition will give us four blissfully election-free years. There will be none of the nail-biting uncertainty that afflicts a minority government. The Governor-General can return to his ceremonial duties. The Conservatives will regroup, rethink and rebuild. One day they’ll be contenders again.

 

So what will Prime Minister Trudeau do with all that horsepower? His policy proposals (which many voters are only dimly aware of) are also a blast from the past. Expand the government. Tax breaks for the usual suspects, especially the sacred middle class (on top of the tax breaks they’ve been showered with for the past 10 years). Soak the rich some more and pretend it makes a difference. Deficit spending, whether or not we need it, on infrastructure projects that may or may not help the economy. But no idea of how to get our landlocked oil to markets, or any comprehensive plan to spur innovation and economic growth.

 

Mr. Trudeau’s foreign policy ideas are naive and nostalgic. They harken back to the golden age of peacekeeping and multilateralism, as if blue berets and good intentions could defeat Islamic State. Those ideas resonate with voters, because they like to think of Canada as a force for good in the world. Unfortunately, the world is a nastier, messier place than it used to be, and niceness does not go very far.

 

One of the few people to see the landslide coming was Brian Mulroney, a political junkie who knows every one of Canada’s 338 ridings inside-out. He has warned that Mr. Trudeau is a man of consequence, and last week he was telling friends to expect something big. Mr. Mulroney should know – it was a landslide that swept him into office in 1984, giving him the biggest majority in history. The joke was that if the election had lasted two weeks longer, he would have taken every single seat. (The tide went out in 1993, when his Progressive Conservatives were reduced to a pathetic two seats.)

 

“I ran and was successful because I wasn’t Pierre Trudeau,” Mr. Mulroney said Monday night. “Jean Chrétien ran and was successful because he wasn’t Brian Mulroney, and Justin Trudeau tonight was successful because he wasn’t Stephen Harper.” It’s high tide for Mr. Trudeau now. Does he have the smarts and instincts to make the most of it? We’ll have four years to find out. And I, for one, wish him well.

                                                                                   

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                      

   

OBAMA’S AFGHAN REVERSAL

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 15, 2015

 

If there is a single element of consistency in President Obama’s foreign policy it is his desire to end and avoid U.S. military engagements. In 2011 he withdrew the final U.S. troops from Iraq. He had planned to do the same in Afghanistan, but on Thursday the President hit the pause button. For now, 9,800 American boots will remain on Afghan soil.

 

Mr. Obama is to be commended for changing his mind. He has been building a reputation for being impervious to counterargument, and here he listened to his generals. Senior officers earlier recommended that the U.S. keep up to 20,000 troops in Afghanistan, warning that a lesser number would put the fledgling Afghan army at risk from the Taliban. Those warnings became reality last month when the Taliban overran Kunduz, a major city in northern Afghanistan. With U.S. air support, the Afghans recaptured Kunduz, but Islamist fighters still threaten elsewhere. Fighting has broken out in a third of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, with the terrorists, who now include Islamic State fighters, threatening Ghazni, another major city not far from Kabul. Last week U.S. forces led a sweep in southern Kandahar province against two large al Qaeda training camps.

 

It is possible that what drove Mr. Obama’s decision was concern that an Afghanistan overrun by terrorists, as ISIS had done in western Iraq, would leave his foreign-policy reputation in tatters. In a remarkably weary announcement Thursday, Mr. Obama said, “As you are all well aware, I do not support the idea of endless war.” The irony is that Mr. Obama is likely to bequeath “endless war” in the Middle East and Afghanistan to his successor. The central issue now is whether the Administration will do enough militarily in Afghanistan to ensure that the war inherited by the next President isn’t worse than it is today.

 

Mr. Obama said the U.S. military mission will remain primarily “supporting counterterrorism operations against the remnants of al-Qaeda.” Surely this understates the nature and scale of the current threat to Afghanistan. It is also troubling to note that Mr. Obama restated his goal of reducing U.S. troop levels there to 5,500 by January 2017. Press reports are calling this a “reversal,” given his prior goal of only 1,000 residual forces by then. But will even 5,500 troops prevent the Taliban, al Qaeda and ISIS fighters from taking large swaths of Afghanistan?

 

The U.S. continues to have some 29,000 troops in South Korea, 62 years after its war with the North ended. Their presence has kept the peace and allowed East Asia to flourish. If instead Mr. Obama gives the Afghans inadequate support, “endless war” will run deep into the next American Presidency. 

 

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                      

   

PLAN B FOR LIBYA                                                                                                            

Gal Luft                                                                                                              

American Interest, Oct. 1, 2015

 

The September 20 deadline for establishing a unity government in war-torn Libya ahead of the UN General Assembly meeting came and went, and reconciliation between Libya's internationally recognized parliament based in Tobruk and the rival leadership, the new General National Congress (GNC), in Tripoli, was nowhere on the horizon. Anyone who is surprised by this just hasn't been paying attention.

 

Reuniting the Libyan militias has been the West's only endgame for Libya since the oil-rich country slid into a civil war following the 2011 removal of Muammar Qaddafi by a select coalition of NATO countries led by Britain, France, and the United States. But this outcome does not seem to be getting any closer. Indeed, things have gotten much worse.

 

During the 12 months in which the UN Special Envoy for Libya, Spanish Diplomat Bernadino Leon, labored to hammer out a deal, the country became a destination for ISIS fighters taking advantage of the chaos on the ground. The fact that a UN arms embargo prevents weapons transfers to either the Tobruk or Tripoli governments means that ISIS fighters have a distinct advantage: Where two fight, a third may win out. In June, ISIS temporarily took over the city of Sirte on the coast of the Mediterranean, and several days ago a group of their suicide terrorists attacked Libya's international airport in Tripoli, killing three people.

 

To make matters worse, the lack of functioning government and border controls had enabled many thousands of migrants from North and Sub-Saharan Africa to cross the Mediterranean into Europe, exacerbating Europe's migrant crisis.

 

Neither the continuation of ISIS's expansion in Libya nor the persistence of the flow of African migrants are options the U.S. government and those of the European Union can tolerate. It is time to thank Leon for his noble efforts and recognize the reality that the only realistic solution one can aspire to at the moment is the division of Libya into two independent national entities.

 

Following Leon's maneuvering in Libya over the past year, one always got the false impression that a deal to stabilize the country was just around the corner. A draft proposal on forming a national unity government would be put forth; the two sides would stall in approving it; they would then suggest amendments which, in turn, would get rejected; and public protests would then lead the rival factions to back down. And so it went, and so it goes. The appearance of progress when in fact there is none has served as eyewash as Libya has fallen ever deeper into chaos—and as the flow of migrants through Libya to Europe intensifies.

 

The failure of the Leon doctrine is not a testament to his less-than-stellar mediation skills but rather a reflection of a far deeper reality: the inability of the rival factions to accept the concept of shared governance over the country. Indeed, they don't even genuinely recognize the notion that Libya is a country.

 

What has complicated the West's efforts to reunite Libya is the senseless characterization of the Tripoli government as "Islamist." In our day and age there is no better way to delegitimize a group than to label it as Islamist. This is exactly what happened to the GNC. While the Tobruk government enjoyed broad international recognition and free access to international forums, only Turkey and Qatar recognize the Tripoli government, and its leaders cannot even travel abroad freely. But the notion that Tripoli is more Islamist than the other groups vying for control over Libya—not the least other groups and regimes throughout the Middle East that the West is happy to embrace—is bogus. When it comes to Islamist tendencies, all tribes are more or less cut from the same cloth. By not recognizing those who are in command of most of the country's institutions and strategic assets—paradoxically, the salaries of Libya's diplomatic staff representing the Tobruk government all over the world are drawn from the coffers in Tripoli—and who also contributed their fair share to Qaddafi's removal, the West is undermining any chance for stabilization. Equally delusional is the idea toyed with by some American and European operatives of installing a Western backed Libyan expat who would miraculously rally the tribes behind him. Wasn't the Ahmed Chalabi mirage in Iraq enough?

 

Now, when the deadline for reunification is passed, it is time to consider a Plan B for Libya. This plan should draw from the country's history. Back in the early 20th century the territory of today's Libya was split into three self-governing regions: Cyrenaica, which was located in eastern Libya, more or less in the region controlled today by the Tobruk government, and Tripolitania, situated today in some of the area controlled by the GNC. The third was Fezzan, which was and still is an inhospitable desert region in the southwest sparsely populated by Arab and Berber tribes. Some version of this arrangement, which lasted until 1963 during the reign of King Idris I, should be considered today.

 

Washington and Brussels should first recognize the Tripoli government and treat it as a legitimate party. They should then work to hammer out an agreement with the factions to form an orderly division of Libya into two separate entities, under the condition that these two will work—separately and jointly—to combat the spread of ISIS in North Africa. They also need to cooperate in active measures to create a virtual wall along Libya's coastline to thwart additional migration into Europe. To this end the Libyan navy and coast guard should be reconstituted, and the arms embargo should be gradually lifted to allow security forces to effectively take on ISIS.

 

In his UN speech this past week, President Obama boasted of America's achievement in Libya. But he admitted, "Our coalition could have, and should have, done more to fill a vacuum left behind." And then he somewhat incongruously promised, "In such efforts, the United States will always do our part." Thinking again on how to fill the vacuum, Obama should take note of a 2006 proposal by the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee—namely, his Vice President, Joe Biden. Then-Senator Biden proposed that Iraq be divided into three separate regions—Kurdish, Shi'a, and Sunni. At the time the U.S. government and its allies were still consumed by dreams of forming a democratic heaven on the Tigris, and the idea was dismissed. A decade later it no longer sounds so bizarre. Let us hope that, when it comes to Libya, it will take the West less time to recognize that sometimes a divided country is better than a broken and hopeless one.               

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                      

   

ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT IN TUNISIA

HIGHLIGHTS MOUNTING CHALLENGES                                                                                               

Farah Samti & Kareem Fahim

New York Times, Oct. 9, 2015

 

Hours before the Norwegian Nobel Committee gave its highest-profile honor to a coalition of Tunisian groups that had helped ease the country’s path to democracy, unknown gunmen attacked a member of Tunisia’s Parliament, firing seven or eight shots at his car as he drove to work in a seaside town. The assailants missed their target. But the attack…was an urgent reminder of the violence that still menaces Tunisia’s transition, one of many challenges to the country’s significant and celebrated political gains.

 

The threat against prominent political figures, by shadowy militant groups, is among the government’s deepest worries: Twice in the last two years, high-profile assassinations have thrown Tunisia into political crisis. This year, the country has also grappled with an unprecedented wave of jihadist violence, including two large-scale attacks on tourists that killed at least 60 people and helped plunge the economy into recession.

 

In a country still wrestling with its authoritarian past, the attacks have provoked anguished arguments about how much power the government and the police should wield to confront the threats. Other debates — about the economic direction of the country, and its ability to come to terms with a legacy of past abuses — have exposed divisions between old elites and newer political forces empowered by the uprising in late 2010 against the 23-year dictatorship of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.

 

The challenges are testing not only the young government but also the compromise between secular and Islamist parties that is at the heart of Tunisia’s inchoate political system and is frequently held up as a model for the Arab world. Talk of Tunisia’s success is frequently attributed to its relatively peaceful transition, especially set against the violent struggles of other countries in the region, including Syria, Yemen and neighboring Libya. That contrast often overlooks an arduous road that began in December 2010, when a Tunisian fruit vendor named Mohammed Bouazizi lit himself on fire, in an act of despair that resonated throughout the Arab world.

 

Days after Mr. Bouazizi died in January 2011, mass protests forced Mr. Ben Ali into exile. The Islamist Ennahda Party won the most votes in parliamentary elections that October but fell short of a majority. The group promised that its own Islamist program would not overwhelm the country’s deeply ingrained secular politics, and it also promised to build, as one Ennhada official put it, a “charismatic, democratic system.”

 

But a backlash against Ennahda paralleled events in Egypt, where huge demonstrations led to a military coup in 2013 against the year-old government of President Mohamed Morsi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, now banned.

 

The four groups honored with the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday helped Tunisia avert the civil strife that led to hundreds of deaths in Egypt. They helped Tunisia negotiate its way through the most serious threat to its nascent transition: the crisis that followed the assassinations of two opposition politicians, Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi, in 2013. Giant protests that summer threatened to topple the Ennahda-led government. But the Islamists refused to cede power until they completed their mandate to pass a new Constitution. The impasse began to destabilize the country as the government grappled with jihadist militancy, popular unrest and strikes, and a worsening economy.

 

After months of sometimes heated negotiations, a deal, concluded in December 2013, forged a new contract between the political parties, including a timetable for a democratic transition. The Islamist government agreed to step down and hand power to a caretaker government that would oversee the holding of parliamentary and presidential elections in October and November 2014. The adoption of the Constitution, in January 2014, was seen as a high point in the transition, producing a charter forged from robust debates between Tunisia’s disparate political currents, and that enshrined democratic principles and a separation of powers.

 

Compromises by two men — Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of the Islamist Ennahda party, and Beji Caid Essebsi, one of the founders of the secularist Nidaa Tounes party, and Tunisia’s current president — ended the impasse, analysts say. Despite that achievement, the basis of their compromise remains fragile: “It is very much a consensus from the top — often against elements of their base,” said Issandr El Amrani, who oversees the North Africa Project for the International Crisis Group. As both leaders manage the pressures from within their own ranks, the government has been criticized for lacking a sense of direction and dynamism as well as for failing to tackle urgent issues, Mr. Amrani said. “This worries people.”…

 

The Parliament member who survived the assassination attempt on Thursday, Ridha Charfeddine, 63, is a member of Nidaa Tounes and also a prominent businessman who owns a soccer team. The gunmen, riding in the back seat of a white car, attacked him in an industrial section of Sousse, on Tunisia’s eastern coast, according to the Interior Ministry. Sousse is the same beachside town where a 23-year-old Tunisian gunman slaughtered 38 people, mostly British tourists, in June. It was Tunisia’s worst terrorist attack in living memory. “This is not an isolated incident,” Mohsen Marzouk, the general secretary of Nidaa Tounes, said in an interview with a local radio station after the gunfire. He said the gunmen belonged to an organized movement, but he did not identify it.

 

As the political violence and jihadist attacks have unnerved the public, they have also given rise to fears about the state’s reaction. The police have reasserted themselves in response to the attacks, despite growing reports of human rights abuses and a lack of coherent strategy to reform the security services, Mr. Amrani said. In the aftermath of the attack on the tourists in Sousse, the government also started closing dozens of mosques — prompting concern that Mr. Essebsi’s secular government, with its strong connections to the old dictatorship, was reviving the crackdowns on Islamists that occurred during Mr. Ben Ali’s rule. The government closed at least 80 mosques, though none of them had any connection to the gunman in Sousse, officials said.                                               

 

Contents                                                                                                                                               

 

On Topic

 

America’s Failed Foreign Policy: Margaret Wente, National Post, Oct. 20, 2015—U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to maintain American troops in Afghanistan was the correct move made under difficult circumstances.

Obama Deploys Troops to Cameroon to Fight Boko Haram: Frances Martel, Breitbart, Oct. 15, 2015 —President Obama announced Wednesday that 300 U.S. troops will be deployed to Cameroon to fight the ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram terrorist group.

Mideast Turmoil Strengthens Sudan’s Regime: Yaroslav Trofimov, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 15, 2015—When it briefly looked as if Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir would be detained in June on an International Criminal Court warrant in South Africa…

Toward a Post-Obama Middle East: Conrad Black, National Review, Oct. 7, 2015 —In the week in which the Russians escalated their attacks on the Syrian factions being assisted by the United States and what is left of the Western Alliance, and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas renounced the long-dead letter of the Oslo Agreement…
 

 

 

 

PENDANT QUE L’IMPASSE DE LA CRISE SYRIENNE PERDURE, L’ANTISÉMITISME EN FRANCE S’AMPLIFIE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impasse dans la crise syrienne

Jacques Neriah

Le CAPE de Jérusalem, 22 avril 2013

 

Après deux longues années de guerre nous constatons que les structures du régime sont toujours solides pour pouvoir maintenir un conflit armé permanent malgré le fait qu’une grande partie du pays est tombée dans les mains des rebelles. 

 

Certains observateurs rappellent que la guerre civile syrienne a débuté en réalité en 1980, lors de la prise d’assaut sanglante de l’école militaire d’Alep par un groupe des Frères musulmans. La réaction du président Hafez el Assad fut le massacre tristement célèbre de 20 000 membres de la confrérie musulmane installés à Homs et Hama.

 

Aujourd’hui, en dépit de la guerre d’usure, la coalition qui entoure Assad fils demeure assez forte pour pouvoir gouverner et assurer à sa population une vie quotidienne plus au moins “normale”. Précisons que toutes les informations sur la crise syrienne proviennent de différentes sources et ONG souvent opposées ; celle connue sous le nom d’« Observatoire syrien des droits de l’Homme » est devenue privilégiée bien qu’elle soit manipulée par les Frères musulmans.

 

Avec les combats qui ravagent le pays, les Etats-Unis et l’Europe se trouvent devant un énorme dilemme, une mission quasiment impossible : d’une part, ils souhaitent la chute rapide du président Assad mais d’un autre côté, ils s’opposent à l’installation d’un régime islamiste qui sera pire que celui qui a succédé à Moubarak en Egypte ou à Ben Ali en Tunisie.

 

Israël fait face au même dilemme. Jérusalem souhaite mettre un terme à “l’Axe du Mal” dirigé par l’Iran mais en fait réalise qu’un nouveau régime islamiste, lié à Al Qaïda et possédant un arsenal militaire syrien considérable, serait un véritable cauchemar.

 

Pour l’heure, rien à l’horizon ne prédit un cessez-le-feu, un compromis pour mettre fin aux hostilités et arrêter l’effusion de sang, ou une capitulation de l’un ou de l’autre camp.

 

Certes, Assad réussit à survivre, mais il n’est pas en mesure de mater la rébellion. L’économie du pays est en ruine et les zones touchées par la guerre civile sont sous les décombres. Des centaines de milliers de Syriens se refugient dans des camps installés en Jordanie, au Liban et en Turquie.

 

Le régime d’Assad est mis au ban de la société des nations et condamné dans tous les forums internationaux. Assad a survécu grâce à ses propres structures du pouvoir et à sa force militaire, mais surtout en raison du soutien de la Russie, de la Chine, et plus particulièrement de l’Iran et du Hezbollah.

 

Au cours de ces deux dernières années, les rebelles n’ont toujours pas réussi à conquérir une seule grande ville ni un aéroport international. Assad a fait usage de toutes ses armes pour assurer le contrôle des sites et des infrastructures stratégiques. Il a utilisé sa force aérienne et son artillerie, notamment des missiles Scud. Selon certaines informations, il aurait mis en service même des armes non-conventionnelles dont des armes chimiques. 

 

L’Armée Libre syrienne (ALS) n’est point protégée par les raids aériens massifs que lance souvent Assad et elle se trouve en grande difficulté pour mettre un terme au flux d’armes en provenance d’Iran. La revendication de l’ALS d’imposer une zone exempte de vols aériens au nord du pays et l’extension d’une zone protégée par le déploiement de missiles Patriot au sud de la Turquie a été également rejetée par les Etats-Unis.

 

Le Secrétaire d’Etat américain John Kerry avait demandé à Bagdad d’arrêter l’acheminement d’armes iraniennes à travers l’espace aérien irakien mais toutes ses démarches furent vaines.

 

La grande rébellion populaire tant espérée contre Assad s’est estompée. Certes, l’ALS représente toujours une menace réelle au régime comme les islamistes et Salafistes proches d’Al-Qaïda, armée et financée par le Qatar. Des volontaires et mercenaires venus d’Europe, d’Afrique du Nord (Libye et Tunisie), du Liban, d’Irak, de Jordanie et d’Egypte et même d’Extrême-Orient, dont la Chine, sont omniprésents sur le sol syrien et provoquent frictions et affrontements quotidiens avec l’ALS. Dans ce contexte, on peut comprendre les hésitations et la prudence des puissances occidentales et leur reconsidération de fournir à l’ALS des armes et des munitions sophistiquées.

 

La coalition nationale syrienne (CNS) établie à Istanbul en 2011 par l’AKP, le parti islamiste turc – à l’instar du Conseil national de transition en Libye (CNTL) –a été et restera sans doute un organisme non représentatif du peuple syrien, malgré les efforts déployés par le Qatar, l’Arabie saoudite et les Etats-Unis pour le remplacer au régime d’Assad.

 

Le conflit syrien a suscité de vives tensions entre sunnites et chiites au Liban. Des affrontements armés ont eu lieu, surtout à Tripoli, entre les partisans de l’ancien Premier ministre Saad Hariri parrainés par l’Arabie saoudite et le Qatar et les militants chiites d’Assad appuyés par le Hezbollah. Cette situation explosive, a provoqué la démission du Premier ministre libanais Mikati et les pressions du Hezbollah paralysent la gestion du pays du Cèdre.

 

Quant à la Jordanie, bien que le royaume hachémite fût épargné à ce jour du “printemps arabe” et de l’agitation sociale, le roi Abdallah craint en effet que des éléments islamistes extérieurs et hostiles cherchent à exploiter les frustrations populaires pour déstabiliser le pays et renverser le régime. Le roi a eu la sagesse d’initier des réformes politiques et a réussi ainsi à calmer les esprits. La présence inquiétante de centaines de milliers de réfugiés syriens a aussi conduit le roi à demander une aide économique substantielle aux Etats-Unis. Méfiant à l’égard de la Turquie d’Erdogan et de l’Egypte de Morsi, le roi hachémite navigue très prudemment, conscient que son pays pourrait être mis demain sur orbite islamique.

 

Concernant le rôle de Bagdad, des responsables irakiens craignent aussi qu’un mouvement de protestation croissant inspiré par la rébellion syrienne se transforme en une révolte contre le régime. La guerre en Syrie pourrait ainsi déstabiliser l’Irak et provoquer des affrontements ethniques. Cela explique la volonté du Premier ministre Nouri al-Maliki d’ignorer le transfert d’armes iraniennes à la Syrie via son espace aérien et ses craintes de voir un jour un régime sunnite à Damas.

 

Le soutien inconditionnel de l’Iran au régime d’Assad a porté un coup sévère à sa politique panislamique. Le monde arabe est bien conscient des véritables manigances de Téhéran qui cherche à faire flotter l’étendard chiite par des moyens subversifs.

 

Enfin, l’impuissance des pays occidentaux dans ce conflit demeure flagrante en raison de leur incapacité d’apporter une assistance militaire aux rebelles, comme ce fut le cas en Libye. En dépit des considérations juridiques internationales, les Etats-Unis et l’Europe n’ont pu obtenir le feu vert du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies pour apporter une aide militaire ou lancer une opération conjointe et ont dû se plier devant l’opposition farouche de la Russie et de la Chine. L’Occident s’est contenté d’aider les rebelles par l’assistance des services de renseignements, de la formation et de l’aide financière, gelant ainsi les capitaux syriens en Europe et ailleurs, et en établissant une liste noire des criminels de guerre. La France qui avait récemment suggéré de livrer des armes aux rebelles, affirmant que seule la supériorité militaire pourrait vaincre le régime, n’a pas obtenu gain de cause.

 

Deux ans après la révolte, l’affrontement entre les forces loyalistes et les rebelles semble être stabilisée. Un statu quo angoissant se dessine sur le terrain, rappelant ainsi la guerre civile du Liban des années 1970.

 

Si cette prédiction s’avère exacte, alors le conflit syrien ne sera guère résolu dans un proche avenir. Il est très difficile d’établir un calendrier mais toutefois, si le régime tombait un jour cela changerait complètement la donne géopolitique au Moyen-Orient.

 

La France est désormais un pays très peu sûr pour les Juifs

Guy Millière

menapress.org, 21 avril 2013

 

On le sait, le nombre d'actes antisémites en France, l'an dernier, a connu un très net accroissement, et l'essentiel de cet accroissement a suivi les assassinats perpétrés par Mohamed Merah à Toulouse, dans l'école Otzar Hatorah.

 

Tuer des enfants juifs dans une cour d'école a pétrifié d'horreur de nombreux Français. Cela a, hélas, aussi empli de joie d'autres gens vivant en France, qu'ils aient la nationalité française ou non. Et ces gens emplis de joie ont considéré que ce qu'avait fait Mohamed Merah était un exemple à suivre. Ils ont, en conséquence, suivi son exemple autant qu'ils le pouvaient.

 

On le sait aussi, les dirigeants politiques français condamnent l'antisémitisme, mais ils le font en termes vagues, si vagues qu'on ne sait jamais très exactement ce qu'ils condamnent, sauf lorsqu'ils parlent de ce qui s'est passé sous le maréchal Pétain, donc il y a peu ou prou soixante-dix ans.

 

Et condamner en termes vagues, ou condamner ce qui s'est passé sous le maréchal Pétain ne permet pas vraiment de lutter contre l'antisémitisme tel qu'il existe et se dissémine aujourd'hui. Dire qu'il existe un antisémitisme islamique est plus que jamais politiquement incorrect, et vaut à qui s'y risque l'accusation de « racisme islamophobe ».

 

Nul ne dira donc que Mohamed Merah avait des motivations islamistes ou, si c'est dit, ce le sera en passant très vite, et en ajoutant que l' « esprit islamiste » n'a rien à voir avec l'islam, cela « va de soi ». Et nul ne dira que ceux que les actes de Mohamed Merah ont empli de joie se trouvent très largement dans ce qu'il est convenu d'appeler les « banlieues de l'islam ». Je ne le dirai donc pas.

 

On le sait enfin, tout en condamnant l'antisémitisme en termes vagues, les dirigeants politiques français font comme s'ils ne voyaient pas la haine du seul Etat juif sur terre qui est en train de monter dans le pays comme un cancer en voie de généralisation.

 

Cette haine atteint pourtant des degrés absolument répugnants. Laisser de côté le fait que la haine de l'Etat juif imprégnait Mohamed Merah et qu'elle est tapie derrière l'essentiel des actes antisémites qui se commettent aujourd'hui en France équivaut à nier l'évidence.

Tout comme laisser de côté le fait que la haine de l'Etat juif qui monte dans le pays est très largement imprégnée de la vision d'Israël et des Juifs qui prévaut dans le monde musulman, tout particulièrement depuis qu’y déferle la vague islamiste.

 

Laisser de côté que la haine de l'Etat juif atteint gravement la gauche extrême, qui, emportée par sa détestation des sociétés ouvertes et de la civilisation occidentale, se fait l'idiote utile de la vague islamiste. Cette gauche pratique dès lors de l'antisémitisme tout en faisant semblant de ne pas le savoir, ce qui équivaut à nier l'évidence encore, et d'une manière particulièrement obscène.

 

La gauche extrême gravement atteinte courtise ainsi les assassins de Juifs agissant au nom d'une cause islamique. Et elle en fait même ses idoles.

C'est ce qu'on a observé lorsque la municipalité de Bezons, en banlieue parisienne, a décerné voici peu le titre de citoyen d'honneur à Majdi Rahima Rimawi, coupable d'avoir tué le ministre israélien Rehavam Zeevi. C'est ce que l'on a vu lors des réceptions organisées pour glorifier Salah Hamouri, qui n'a pas réussi à tuer sa victime (mais qui avait tout fait pour)

 

C'est ce qu'on a vu cette semaine avec la soirée consacrée, le 17 avril dernier à Saint Denis, à Amir Jabar Sharif Sawalma et Allam Kaabi (appelés fraternellement par leurs prénoms sur les tracts et dans les communiqués des organisateurs), criminels membres du FPLP, l'organisation dont les égorgeurs de la famille Fogel en 2011 faisaient partie

Que des êtres abjects tels ceux dont je cite ici le nom puissent être « honorés » ou glorifiés de quelque façon que ce soit devrait être suffisant pour montrer qu'il y a quelque chose de profondément pourri en France, et que la situation atteint un degré qui devrait appeler un sursaut éthique.

 

Que ces êtres abjects puissent être affublés, comme cela a été le cas à Saint Denis, le 17 avril, du titre de « prisonniers politiques » constitue un crachat symbolique sur la notion même de «

 

L'enfant intérieur

Lysiane Gagnon

La Presse, 20 avril 2013

 

Un mélange de gauchisme juvénile et de «psychologie pop». C'est ainsi qu'on pourrait qualifier la réaction de Justin Trudeau à la tragédie de Boston. Une réaction que le premier ministre Harper n'a pas tardé à fustiger, et pour cause.

 

C'était la première fois que le nouveau chef libéral réagissait à chaud depuis son élection à la tête du PLC, lors d'une interview à la CBC, et le résultat a eu de quoi confirmer les craintes de ceux qui le trouvent léger et immature.

 

Son premier réflexe a été de compatir aux malheurs de l'auteur (alors inconnu) de l'attentat.

 

«Il faut regarder les causes profondes… Il n'y a pas de doute que c'est arrivé parce qu'il y a quelqu'un quelque part qui se sent complètement exclu. Complètement en guerre avec des innocents…  Et notre attitude doit être, d'où ces tensions proviennent-elles? Oui, il faut de la sécurité, mais nous ne devons pas cultiver la peur et la méfiance. Parce que cela finirait par marginaliser encore plus ceux qui se sentent déjà les ennemis de la société».

 

La théorie des «root causes», qui transforme le meurtrier en victime, est populaire dans bien des milieux même si, depuis le temps qu'elle roule, elle n'a jamais débouché sur des conclusions solides. On sait, exemples à l'appui, que ni la misère, ni l'exploitation, ni le racisme, encore moins le sentiment d'exclusion, n'expliquent le terrorisme. Il y a plein de gens qui se sentent malheureux et mal-aimés, et ils ne posent pas de bombes.

 

Mais surtout, ce n'est pas le genre de réflexion qu'on attend d'un homme qui veut être premier ministre, quelques heures après un désastre pareil. Qu'aurait-on dit si un politicien s'était d'abord soucié de la psyché blessée de Marc Lépine avant même que ses victimes eussent été enterrées?

 

Les chefs de gouvernement ne sont pas des thérapeutes et ce qu'on attend d'eux c'est qu'ils se tiennent debout et qu'ils prennent les moyens pour protéger la société, comme Obama l'a fait superbement cette semaine.

 

Et quelle formulation! «Il y a quelqu'un qui se sent exclu…». Qu'est-ce que ce langage puéril tout droit sorti des thérapies à l'eau de rose?

 

Justin Trudeau aurait-il un côté «nouvel âge» ? À entendre parler sa femme, dont il a déjà dit qu'elle était sa partenaire en politique comme dans la vie privée, le couple semble en tout cas baigner dans cette mentalité.

 

En février dernier, le Globe and Mail décrivait une conférence prononcée par Sophie Grégoire devant un groupe d'enseignantes ontariennes. Au dire du reporter, Mme Grégoire, qui enseigne le yoga, parlait comme «une guérisseuse nouvel âge» (a New Age healer) davantage que comme une épouse de politicien.

 

«La respiration est la pulsation intérieure divine», proclama-t-elle avant de psalmodier  une invocation en sanskrit et de proclamer, devant un auditoire en délire, que «le sacré féminin gagne du terrain».

 

Présentant son mari au lancement de la campagne au leadership, elle loue «la pureté de ses intentions…». «Il est intelligent, il a une équipe formidable, mais au-delà de tout cela, il y a la pureté qui coule dans son sang… Ce qui m'a vraiment attirée vers lui, c'est son enfant intérieur (the child within).

 

«Nous avons besoin de plus de bonté dans la société, et les gens sont non seulement prêts à élever leur pensée, mais aussi à raffiner leur niveau de conscientisation humaine…».

 

Compte tenu de la popularité des bouquins de croissance personnelle, on peut croire que cette philosophie plaira à bien des gens, mais d'autres y verront plutôt matière à inquiétude.

 

JUSTIN TRUDEAU TO SPEAK AT TORONTO ISLAMIC GATHERING SPONSORED BY HAMAS-LINKED CHARITIES

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Justin Trudeau Keynote Speaker for Islamic Relief In Toronto: Point de Bascule,  Dec. 6, 2012—Justin Trudeau, the frontrunner in the Liberal Party of Canada leadership race, will take part in a meeting sponsored by Islamic Relief at the end of December in Toronto. For the occasion, he will be joined by many Muslim Brotherhood heavyweights, including Tariq Ramadan, Jamal Badawi and Mustafa Ceric.

 

‘Islamic Spirit’ Event Features Justin Trudeau: Tarek Fatah, Toronto Sun, Dec. 11, 2012—On Saturday, December 22, when most families across Canada will be coming together for Christmas, Justin Trudeau, aspiring leader of the Liberal party, will join thousands of Muslim young men and women in Toronto for the “Revival of the Islamic Spirit” (RIS) convention…A glance at its sponsors should give both Trudeau and the rest of us cause for concern.

 

Trudeau Defends Presence at Islamic Conference: Stewart Bell, National Post, Dec 12, 2012—The Liberals came under fire on Wednesday over Justin Trudeau’s participation in an Islamic conference whose sponsor was stripped of its federal charity status last year for supporting Hamas, the outlawed terrorist organization.

 

On Topic Links

 

Canada Revenue Agency: Islamic Charity Links to HamasCanada Revenue Agency, Dec. 2010

Canadian Muslim Brotherhood to Run Large Mosque in Downtown MontrealGlobal Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report, Dec. 2012

 

 

JUSTIN TRUDEAU KEYNOTE FOR ISLAMIC RELIEF IN TORONTO

Point de Bascule December 6, 2012.

 

Justin Trudeau, the frontrunner in the Liberal Party of Canada leadership race, will take part in a meeting sponsored by Islamic Relief at the end of December in Toronto. In March 2011, Justin Trudeau had already showed good-will towards Islamists by condemning the use of the term “barbaric” that was used to designate honour killings in a study guide for would-be Canadian citizens. After having been widely criticized, Trudeau backtracked and apologized.

 

Three Islamist leaders who will share the podium with Justin Trudeau at the Reviving the Islamic Spirit conference are particularly worth mentioning: Tariq Ramadan, Jamal Badawi and Mustafa Ceric. All three have supported Hamas in the past and promoted an Islamic conquest of the West.

 

Tariq Ramadan

 

In his book Radical Reform, Ramadan presents Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide Youssef Qaradawi as a “prominent scholar” who has outlined the attitudes and the kind of behaviour that Muslims living in the West should adopt. In another book, Ramadan wrote about Qaradawi that he “deeply respect(s) the man and the scholar and that (he) would be the last one to deny it.” Qaradawi promotes the conquest of the West by Muslims, he claims that Hitler was “sent by Allah to punish the Jews”, he endorses the killing of those who leave Islam…

 

In 2011, in Dallas, Tariq Ramadan has openly enjoined his supporters to “coloniz(e) positively the United States of America … with our understanding of Islam, our principles.” In a 2004 interview given to an Egyptian periodical, Tariq Ramadan described the Canadian legal framework as “one of the most open in the world”. He suggested that Muslim leaders operating in Canada should take full advantage of it in order to discretely implement sharia principles one at a time. Ramadan added that “for the time being”, it would be preferable not to openly mention the term sharia since it “is laden with negative connotations in the Western mind.”…

Jamal Badawi

Jamal Badawi leads many of the most important Muslim Brotherhood organizations in North America. In Canada, he was on the Muslim Association of Canada’s board of directors from 2002 to 2006. On its own website, MAC states that it “strives to implement Islam … as understood in its contemporary context by the late Imam, Hassan Albanna (1906-1949), the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

In his 50-point manifesto, Hassan al-Banna promoted the abolition of political parties and the instauration of a one-party State, the reform of the law, so that it will conform to sharia, an increase in the number of youth groups promoting jihad, the prohibition of dancing, the censorship of movies and plays and a dress code for all citizens enforced by a religious police. According to Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report (GMBDR) that monitors the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the world, MAC and Hamas (charter – article 2) are among the rare sections of the network openly acknowledging their links with the Brotherhood.

 

At point 20 of an internal Muslim Brotherhood’s memorandum released in the United States in 1991, Jamal Badawi is identified as a leader of the Islamist network in North America. At point 4 of this memorandum, the goal pursued by Badawi and the Muslim Brotherhood in North America is clearly expressed:

 

“The Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions… It is a Muslim's destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes."

 

Mustafa Ceric

 

Like Jamal Badawi (Gamal Badawi), Mustafa Ceric (Ciric) is a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research. The organization is currently led by the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide Youssef Qaradawi. Until 2012 and for nineteen years, Mustafa Ceric was Bosnia’s grand mufti. Because of Qaradawi’s precarious health, observers often present Ceric as his possible successor.

 

In December 2010, at the Global Halal Congress held in Pakistan, Mustafa Ceric enjoined participants to “conquer the world through halal movement.” Ceric’s ambition is based on the fact that halal’s scope is “very wide and goes beyond the food sector to include other fields such as financial and commercial activities (banks, credit, loans, mortgages, credit cards, insurance, etc.), cosmetics and clothing, drugs, recreational activities, gambling activities, sexual attitudes and objects, interpersonal relations (marriages), etc.”

 

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‘ISLAMIC SPIRIT’ EVENT FEATURES JUSTIN TRUDEAU

Tarek Fatah

Toronto Sun, December 11, 2012

 

On Saturday, December 22, when most families across Canada will be coming together for Christmas, Justin Trudeau, aspiring leader of the Liberal party, will join thousands of Muslim young men and women in Toronto for the “Revival of the Islamic Spirit” (RIS) convention. Organizers of the Islamic convention say it is a “celebration of our (Muslim) identity and Islamic faith.” However, a glance at its sponsors should give both Trudeau and the rest of us cause for concern.

 

RIS is co-sponsored by IRFAN-Canada, a group that lost its charitable status last year when the Canada Revenue Agency claimed it had sent almost $15 million of Canadian charitable donations to groups the CRA labelled as terrorist organizations. According to the federal audit, IRFAN-Canada used “deceptive fundraising” to support Hamas. In addition, Canada Revenue Agency said the Islamic charity had produced videos that appealed to “all Arab and Muslim nations to join in the struggle against Israel and glorify martyrdom .”…

 

Another sponsor of the Toronto Islamic convention is Islamic Relief, a UK-based charity whose bank account overseas was recently blocked by UBS Bank, an action that raised eyebrows among counter-terrorism bloggers….I am not sure if Trudeau is aware of these issues. Perhaps he is and is going to the convention to take the bull by the horns.

 

Who knows, Trudeau may very well inspire the gathering of Islamists to truly “revive the spirit of Islam”’ and shed the centuries of ossification that has left Islamdom struggling like a truck with flat tires stuck in a mudslide. In case Trudeau does decide to speak at the event, here is a suggested speech he may wish to use for his “keynote address”. One that will no doubt leave the audience particularly “revived.”

 

“My fellow Canadians, I am delighted to be among so many young Muslim men and woman who have sought my wisdom as they struggle to revive the Islamic spirit that seems to have lost its way ever since Muslim rationalists of the 10th century were wiped out by the literalists of your faith.

 

I welcome all the Islamists who have come from outside Canada to this city that is home to Canada’s first-ever gay marriage. I hope you, too, can, in the spirit of reviving Islam, abandon the Sharia laws that demand all homosexuals be put to death. Toronto is home to the world’s most thriving Muslim gay community, but I don’t see those familiar faces in the crowd this evening. Perhaps next year.

 

Welcome to Toronto, the capital of the province that listened to many Muslim Canadians and banned Sharia law from Canada’s public domain. Remember, it was a Liberal premier who took that bold decision.

 

It is a delight to see young men and women sitting together, at times even holding hands, to defy gender segregation. After all this is Toronto, not Tehran. I am so glad to see no burqas and niqabs tonight. Face-masks are so yesterday! As for honour-killings, I have given it much thought and have finally concluded, the act is barbaric after all.

 

And while you are ‘reviving the Islamic spirit’, may I suggest you start a ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions’ (BDS) movement against the seven Islamic countries that hang people who are agnostic or atheist. If this convention were to launch a BDS movement against Saudi Arabia and Iran for their crimes against free speech, you will find in me one of your frontline soldiers.

 

Merry Christmas, my dear Muslims. As you march into the 21st century, the land that drafted the UN Universal Human Rights Declaration welcomes you in our midst.”

 

“Allah O Akbar!”

 

(Tarek Fatah is a writer, broadcaster and secular Muslim anti-Islamist activist. He is the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress and the recent recipient of the CIJR’s Lion of Judah Award) 

 

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TRUDEAU DEFENDS PRESENCE AT ISLAMIC CONFERENCE

Stewart Bell

National Post, Dec 12, 2012

 

The Liberals came under fire on Wednesday over Justin Trudeau’s participation in an Islamic conference whose sponsor was stripped of its federal charity status last year for supporting Hamas, the outlawed terrorist organization.

 

The Liberal leadership candidate has defended his scheduled speech at next week’s Reviving the Islamic Spirit conference in Toronto, and the Canadian Council on American Islamic Relations condemned attempts to “smear” the gathering.

 

But in a letter to Liberal Party of Canada president Mike Crawley, Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre (FSWC) CEO Avi Benlolo said Mr. Trudeau’s presence at the event would lend credibility to supporters of Hamas.

 

“Numerous members of FSWC have conveyed their alarm to me; they are wondering if there is a deeper meaning to his participation, and whether the Liberals are aligning themselves with a belief system that is contrary to traditional Liberal values,” the letter reads.

 

On Thursday, the Muslim Canadian Congress said it had sent letters to interim Liberal leader Bob Rae and Irwin Cotler, the party’s Justice and Human Rights critic, asking them to encourage Mr. Trudeau to skip the convention.  “At a time when liberal Muslims across the world are fighting rightwing Islamists, it is sad to see the aspiring leader of the Liberal Party of Canada throw his weight behind those who would snuff out liberalism and stifle free speech in the name of Islam,” MCC president Salma Siddiqui said.

 

The conference, the largest of its kind in Canada, has been held annually for a decade but concerns surfaced after a Quebec blogger noted that one of the event’s sponsors is IRFAN-Canada, which lost its charity status in 2011 over its ties to Hamas.

 

Documents obtained Wednesday from the Canada Revenue Agency show that IRFAN, listed as a “diamond sponsor” of the conference, was described by federal charities regulators as “an integral part of an international fundraising effort to support Hamas.”

 

“Our findings indicate that IRFAN-Canada provided $14.6-million in resources to operating partners that were run by officials of Hamas, openly supported and provided funding to Hamas, or have been listed by various jurisdictions because of their support for Hamas or other terrorist entitles,” according to a summary of the CRA’s findings. [Emphasis added – Ed.]

 

In addition, the CRA said it had found IRFAN videos at the group’s Mississauga office that “demonize Israel, characterize the Arab-Israel conflict as a religious war, appeal for all Arab and Muslim nations to join in the struggle against Israel and glorify martyrdom.” [Emphasis added – Ed.]

 

IRFAN has denied knowingly funding Hamas and accused the CRA of misinterpreting its relief work. It describes itself as an international humanitarian organization. While no longer a registered charity, it continues to operate in Canada as a non-profit.

 

Appearing on CBC News Network on Wednesday, Mr. Trudeau said Prime Minister Stephen Harper had sent a congratulatory message to the conference organizers last year. “Every year members of all political parties go but suddenly I’m going and the Conservative government decides to play politics with it,” he said.

 

“It’s an opportunity to speak to 20,000 Muslim Canadians about this extraordinary society based on values of openness, of respect that we’ve managed to build here in Canada. This level of engagement, this level of optimism and hope for the future is a message that absolutely needs to come out. And people trying to quash that kind of dialogue and that kind of discourse through intolerant attacks like we’ve seen is not what has made this country great.”

 

The Charities Directorate wrote a 27-page letter to IRFAN in December, 2010, that spelled out the reasons why its charity status was being revoked. The letter said regulators did not have to establish any knowledge or intent to break Canada’s charity rules.

 

“Nevertheless, the evidence we have accumulated through our current and previous audits and upon which this letter is based show, in our view, a marked persistence in aiding groups connected to Hamas, the existence of institutional links between IRFAN-Canada and key members within the organization structure of Hamas, and an intent to contribute to the success of Hamas by enhancing its ability to engage in its cause in the manner expressly contemplated by the Hamas Charter.”

 

Hamas is devoted to the destruction of Israel. Public Safety Canada calls Hamas “a radical Islamist-nationalist terrorist organization” and “one of the primary groups involved in suicide bombings aimed at Israelis.”

 

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Canada Revenue Agency: Islamic Charity Links to Hamas: Canada Revenue Agency, Dec. 2010

“Our findings indicate that IRFAN-Canada provided $14.6-million in resources to operating partners that were run by officials of Hamas, openly supported and provided funding to Hamas, or have been listed by various jurisdictions because of their support for Hamas or other terrorist entitles,” according to a summary of the CRA’s findings.

 

Canadian Muslim Brotherhood to Run Large Mosque in Downtown Montreal: Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report, Dec. 2012A Canadian blog has reported on the construction of a large mosque to be built in downtown Montreal to be managed by the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC). The MAC appears to be one of the only organizations in the world that acknowledges its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. According to the MAC website:  MAC’s roots are deeply enshrined in the message of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). Its modern roots can be traced to the Islamic revival of the early twentieth century, culminating in the movement of the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

 

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