Saturday, June 25, 2011

Egypt: Christian Girls Kidnapped and ‘Sold’


by Raymond Ibrahim

Two teenage Coptic girls, cousins, were recently kidnapped and then “sold” in Minya, Egypt—the same region where a Coptic church was recently attacked and desecrated. I tried to find this story in English-language media and, as expected, found nothing, except for one report in Al-Masry Al-Youm titled “Clashes between police and Coptic protesters in Minya”—as if that’s the important story (as usual, the media prefers headlines portraying harried Christian minorities as equally culpable as their Muslim persecutors, thereby justifying use of the preferred phrase, “sectarian strife“).

At the end of the Al-Masry Al-Youm report, we get a trailing sentence alluding to “claims” that two Christian girls “were abducted by Muslims and forced to convert to Islam” as the reason why Copts were demonstrating and clashing with the police in the first place.

One must again turn to Arabic sources for the telling details. I have put together the following narrative and quotes based on these two Arabic reports:

The two girls, Christine Azat (aged 16) and Nancy Magdi (aged 14) were on their way to church Sunday, June 12, when they were seized. Their abductors demanded $200,000 Egyptian pounds for their release. The people of the region quickly put their savings together and came up with the ransom money; but when they tried to give it to the kidnappers, they rejected it, saying they had already “sold” the girls off to another group which requires $12 million Egyptian pounds to return them.

Christine’s father, who has been harrying the police since the minute he discovered the girls were kidnapped—to little avail—says he and his family “have been in a living hell since Christine’s abduction.” Nancy’s father laments that “My daughter has not even outgrown childhood; she is only 14 years old, the youngest in the family, our baby….Since her disappearance my household has been living in continuous depression, misery, and weeping.”

Some have tried to pass the usual rumor that the girls “willingly” ran off and converted to Islam, but even Egyptian officials reject this, saying that Al Azhar, which is the institution that formally recognizes conversions to Islam, has not acknowledged the conversion of underage minors.

What will become of Christine and Nancy? Since the exorbitant ransom will likely not be raised, will the teenage girls be killed—like the Christian Iraqi youth who was recently beheaded when his family couldn’t ransom him from his abductors? Probably not; as females, their lot is to be raped, enslaved, and sold off to some rich, sexually-depraved man who believes it his divine right to own infidel sex-slaves.

Therefore, next time you hear about an Egyptian Muslim preacher boasting that Islam permits Muslims to abduct and ransom infidels as a great way to make a living and own female sex-slaves, or when you hear about a Kuwaiti political activist praying to Allah that Kuwait would formally institutionalize sex-slavery, do not brush these aside as mere words, for here are their fruits.

Raymond Ibrahim

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2011/06/24/egypt-christian-girls-kidnapped-and-%E2%80%98sold%E2%80%99-2/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

The Dark Muslim Brotherhood World of Huma Abedin


by Jamie Glazov

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Walid Shoebat, a former PLO terrorist and Muslim Brotherhood activist who is the author of the new book For God or For Tyranny.

FP: Walid Shoebat, welcome to Frontpage.

Shoebat: Thanks for having me.

FP: You were the first to break the news on Huma Abedin, Anthony Weiner’s wife, being linked to her mother Saleha Abedin, who, as you have exposed, has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

First, let me ask you: how credible are your sources?

Shoebat: Al-Liwa Al-Arabi (translated here) leaked an extensive list, which was partially published by Al-Jazeera and several other major Arab newspapers. The detailed list included Huma’s mother, Saleha Abedin.

Another piece of the puzzle and what was common knowledge in the Arab world is that Huma Abedin has a brother named Hassan Abedin who sits in on the board of the Oxford Centre For Islamic Studies (OCIS) where Huma’s brother is a fellow and partners with a number of Muslim Brotherhood members on the Board, including Al-Qaeda associate, Omar Naseef and the notorious Muslim Brotherhood leader Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi; both have been listed as OCIS Trustees. Naseef continues to serve as Board Chairman.

This becomes an issue since Huma sits in the U.S. State Department with eyes and ears to classified government secrets. Was Huma unaware of all this as she accompanied Hillary Clinton to the Dar El-Hekma women’s college in Jedda-Saudi Arabia? Huma’s mother is the co-founder and a Vice Dean at the college and an active missionary on issues regarding Muslim women and is considered by the Egyptian security services as a dangerous member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

FP: What would you say to those who would argue that the Sisterhood organization is a farce and that the Egyptian Al-Dostor broke the news but that there is nothing really to substantiate this case?

Shoebat: The “Women’s Division” within the Muslim Brotherhood can be found at the Muslim Brotherhood’s official website. Here is an excerpt of its goal translated from Arabic states:

The Womens Organization’s goal in accordance with the Muslim Brotherhood rules, is to gain and acquire a unified global perception in every nation in the world regarding the position of women, and the necessity of advocacy work at all levels in accordance to the message of the Brotherhood as written in Women in Muslim Society, and the rearing of women throughout the different stages of life.”

Al-Dostor’s article is confirmed by top experts in Egypt including the Arab Center for Studies, headed by researcher Abdul Rahim Ali. That with the Muslim Brotherhood’s own official statement gives us a solid case that this clandestine group called The Sisterhood exists, very active and very influential. So influential that they succeeded in getting Hillary Clinton to speak alongside two of its members; Abedin and Suheir Qureshi were also listed as members by several major Arab sources.

Then we have the links, which shows damning evidence that this list was not created haphazardly. We did the research which we shall release shortly; so many of who are on the list are official members or wives/daughters of members ranging from spies, Nazi-style propagandists, Nazi affiliates from the Brotherhood’s inception, Hijab advocates in Europe, and prominent theory conspiracy advocates with a span of influence over several international organizations from the United Nations to women advocacy groups worldwide.

All these are not without a central direction and seem to follow the same agenda shown on the Brotherhood’s official website.

Our research will show links from the Muslim Brotherhood’s own website and other media regarding the list. Be tuned in for the next press release and get ready for some serious shock therapy.

FP: Can you please give us an example of one case?

Shoebat: I will give a taste of one case.

Keep in mind the Muslim Brotherhood is Egyptian and so is Huma’s heritage. The Sisterhood List includes wives/daughters of top Brotherhood leaders mostly from Egypt. We have Najla Ali Mahmoud, the wife of Mohammed Aidalmrsi, who is a member of the Guidance Bureau of the Muslim Brotherhood and the current leader of the Justice and Freedom Party, (the new name for the Muslim Brotherhood). No one can deny his affiliation and his wife is definitely following his footsteps.

So what is the leader of the Justice and Freedom Party (Muslim Brotherhood) saying these days under the new guise of moderation? We have volumes to fill worth of doublespeak that would take decades to translate. But perhaps to show how sick these people are: He recently stated on national television as to “why Egypt needs to ban western dress” and “no one with a full mental faculty can believe in the Trinity”. He even condemned Egyptian monuments as “idols”.

Idols? Does this set the stage for what happened to the Bamian Buddha statue in Afghanistan? Will we see the Sphinx be blown up if this party wins? And according to this “moderated” leader, all Christians have a mental deficiency? And he is serious.

This brings us back to Nazism. This is Nazi-style propaganda and nothing more.

We have much-much more to say about this clandestine group called The Sisterhood. So stay tuned.

FP: What do you say in response to those who would say that bringing Huma Abedin into all of this is an unfair and unwarranted “guilt-by-association” tactic?

Shoebat: When westerners say “guilt-by-association” regarding Huma, they are comparing the Middle East with the Middle West. Westerners need to shift gears into the Muslim World and when they do they will begin to comprehend the significance of this connection.

Huma’s links to a family that is directly tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, including her brother and mother, creates a question that no one on earth can easily answer:

Other than Huma Abedin, has there ever been any member of the Muslim Brotherhood or a prominent Islamist who will not openly denounce a “daughter” or “sister” that married a non-Muslim Jewish male?

It is extremely rare to have Muslim women marry non-Muslims, much less to have conservative Muslims look the other way, unless Huma has a “higher calling” and a unique exception was made for her, since she is an ear into top U.S. sensitive information, or Anthony Weiner has converted to Islam or even both.

There is no other way to answer this unless Huma comes up with an astonishing revelation. The highest authority in Islamic Sharia Faculty in Kuwait has deemed Huma’s marriage to a male Jew as null and void, yet no word from her family or the Muslim Brotherhood to affirm the Isamic Sharia Faculty? Huma—keep in mind—was in contact with her mother when she visited Dar Al-Hikma University with Hillary Clinton. Huma’s dress code alone would be a problem for her mother, much less her unequally yoked marriage to a male Jew.

Huma’s marriage should be a stab in the heart to religious Muslims. She comes from a prominent family. It’s like saying a nun stabbed the Pope in the heart, yet the Vatican issues no condemnation and instead was sympathetic to the woman for simply being a woman. Something would be very fishy. Huma’s Muslim Brotherhood connected family still has contacts, admiration and appreciation for her.

FP: Ok, wait a minute. What do you mean exactly by saying that Huma might have a “higher calling”?

Shoebat: The Middle East has already addressed Huma’s “higher calling” long ago while the West slumbers. Take Dr. Mumen Muhammad in a news piece (translated from Arabic) gleefully wrote about Huma:

Abedin assures in press releases her continuance on the path with Hillary Clinton, even if Clinton failed as a candidate. The candidate’s aids and other influential figures in the Democratic Party assure that they do not disregard Abedin running for election or taking her position in the political arena by the help in successive political administrations with the aid of the Clinton family itself.”

Huma has higher aspirations already to get well entrenched into the system and the Middle East is all but excited while the Brotherhood stays silent.

FP: Look, some skeptics would still say: “So What? Huma is still not a member of the Sisterhood. And that’s that.” How would you respond?

Shoebat: Imagine during World War II, the U.S. government accepted Eva Braun, Hitler’s mistress or one of Hitler’s henchmen daughters to work with our State Department and even be with the Secretary of State 24/7?

After all “Braun” they argue “is not a member of the Nazi Party”; how will that bode with the American people?

FP: H-mm. Ok, well then why is the U.S. State Department not taking this issue seriously?

Shoebat: The U.S. current policy is to gain what they deem a “moderate Muslim Brotherhood.”

This is like saying that in order to win the Cold War with Russia, that we needed to promote “Capitalistic-Communism” or during WWII we should have promoted “pro-Jew Nazism” in Germany.

To take our Nazi example during World War II and compare this to today’s attitude, this policy is as if we decided to engage the Nazis through an inclusion policy in order to moderate them.

This would be a moron inventing an oxymoron.

FP: What would you say to those who would contest that it is not legitimate to compare the Muslim Brotherhood with the Nazis?

Shoebat: It’s not a far-fetched comparison. Americans are rarely educated on the history of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood was in bed with the Nazis. Hassan Al-Banna was well connected and collaborated with Haj Amin Al-Husseini the Muslim Nazi who was Hitler’s henchman in the Middle East. In fact, and just in case one might think that this is an old issue and that the Muslim Brotherhood no longer takes pride in this dark history—think again—the Muslim Brotherhood takes pride in their Nazi connection, it’s all over their websites. Al-Banna, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Godfather was a friend of Al-Husseini. I should know this and like Tareq Ramadan, Al-Banna’s grandson, Al-Husseini knew my grandfather too.

FP: Ok, so Huma is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and you have demonstrated that this is a serious problem. So how does this make Hillary look?

Shoebat: Was the State Department not aware of all this? Hardly.

Could someone claim that the State Department was oblivious to what was written publicly in Egyptian newspapers?

The reason for all the silence by the State Department is that the current policy is to engage the Muslim Brotherhood and attempt to include them into what they believe is Moderate Islam.

Hillary knew who Saleha Abedin is; she met with her in Dar-Al-Hikma in Jedda while the Arabic sources made fun of how all the girls at Dar Al-Hikma in Jedda mocked Hillary to her face. Of course only the Arab media covered this.

Was it not Hillary Clinton, the Muslim Brotherhood mule who lifted the ban on Tariq Ramadan? Was it not her who allowed him entry into the United States? Ramadan is the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Nazi Hasan al-Banna and has ties to Islamic terrorist groups.

Was it not her husband Bill Clinton that heaped praise on the Naqshabandi Sufi Imam Fethullah Gülen, the Turkish Imam and notorious Islamist conspirator that fled Turkey for the U.S. after attempting to overthrow Turkey’s secular government?

Yet Americans haven’t got beyond the myth that Sufis are not as “peace loving” as they thought. Perhaps they need to watch Naqshabandi Sufist Imam Nazim Kibrisi giving a lecture in Turkish in Germany to Recep Erdogan of Turkey and see how he vowed to “make the West bow to Islam” and yes “by military might.”

Gülen is also Sufi and since Sufis are “peace-loving mystics,” they are given refuge. Gülen even airs his messages on Turkish television on how his followers could best seize power from the Turkish secular government.

But this is an old story; the Islamists have already ceased all the power thereof in Turkey with little to be done in amending the Constitution. What has the U.S. Government done besides passing gossip that later leaked via Wikileaks?

Today, the Muslim Brotherhood has been legalized in Egypt. The AKP Islamist Party in Turkey has become the admiration throughout the Muslim world. Islamists have never seen more opportunity in decades as much as they have seen in 2011 and have accomplished more than in any other time in recent history. The victories are well expressed throughout Middle Eastern news, yet the West seems to only like to address the sex scandals.

FP: I want to return to something you said as it piqued my curiosity. You said that when Hillary met with Saleha Abedin in Dar-Al-Hikma in Jedda, that the Arabic sources made fun of how all the girls there mocked Hillary to her face. Tell us what happened. What were the themes of ridicule about Hillary and why? And how come the western media didn’t report this?

Shoebat: Anyone can put it in ‘Google Translate’ Al-Mshhad.net, Nabd and several Arab news agencies reported articles on how Hillary was denounced by many who came to her face point blank and told her off. One of the reports describes the scene:

“Unlike the reports that came out of the New York Times, a group of girls who were educated with high moral values, came out donned with the Palestinian scarf …and after all the orchestrated questions were finished and all the phony photo ops were done…these girls with the Palestinian scarf walked up to the American Secretary of State and spoke to her seriously: ‘We do not respect you. You occupied Iraq and Afghanistan. You struck Pakistan. You support Israel. It would be a shame to get your autograph. We object to your policy’. Then these girls continued one after the other, with the same sentiment objecting to America’s terrorism.”

This was the truth that was kept out by American mainstream media and never told by Hillary.

FP: Alright, so what do you think the media should be investigating and why do you think the U.S. government is silent about all of this?

Shoebat: Jamie, national security should always take precedence over sexual scandals. But it’s not the fault of the media that it wants to feed the demand for gossip. It’s the American people that are concerned more about “diet for the body” then “food for the mind”.

Today we find rumors that Hillary is having a lesbian affair with Huma; this is food for the tabloids.

Let me ask: how many agencies are there that monitor what is said in the Middle East? Who is exposing the doublespeak?

Why was I the first to break the truth of Feisal Abdul Rauf Islamist manifesto from his Arabic? Why was I the first to translate from Arabic his open support for terrorism in the Middle East?

Who in the U.S. translated Rashad Hussein’s words to Al-Ahram newspaper in Egypt on how he will intervene to gain president Obama’s ear regarding Iran’s nuclear issues? How many even published the findings?

Why was I the first to translate terrorist Abu Hammam Yusuf Al-Balawi’s blog on how he wanted to detonate and kill American guards? Was that an exaggeration? Conspiracy theory? Indeed he did detonate himself and CIA agents were massacred. Where were the CIA Arabic interpreters? How well can we trust them? What are their affiliations? How have the FBI and police been infiltrated by Islamists?

These are “checkmate” style questions. They are not easily answered and the American people need to start waking up instead of dreaming about sex scandals and tabloids.

FP: Why hasn’t the mainstream media picked it up on this story?

Shoebat: Fact is: Islamists have already conditioned people to be afraid of being labeled with Islamophobia — while during World War II everyone was a proud Nazi-phobe.

Today everyone is afraid of being accused of racism. The Islamists figured it all out long ago and like a typical Arab bazaar, the American naïve “tourist” cannot detect the “terrorist” in plain sight dragging him into his shop of goodies. “Welcome welcome” the Islamist says “you want moderates? We have them, come in just take a look. Moderates in all shapes colors and forms. We have moderates with Hijab, without Hijab, professors, Imams…” and while the tourist thinks he is buying something worthwhile, he is not aware that he is being sold as a slave in the bazaar and only learns when it’s too late.

And the Islamists understand very well how America thinks. They know very well that America is concerned more with racism than anything else. So they made it tight proof for the customer not to escape the bazaar and they question any suspension with: “Are you being racist”?

Yet I am dumbfounded; since when does questioning a religion or an ideology constitute racism? We are a nation that has less racism than anywhere on earth, yet we seem to be discussing it more than anywhere else on earth and yet they rarely discuss it where it truly happens everywhere else on earth, especially in the Muslim World where they exercise more Islamophobia-phobia than anywhere else on earth.

This is a longwinded explanation, but it fits—perfectly.

FP: Walid Shoebat, thank you for joining us today and thank you for being such a courageous warrior for the truth.

Shoebat: Your Welcome. God Bless America.

Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine’s editor. He is the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror. His new book is Showdown With Evil. He can be reached at jamieglazov11@gmail.com.

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2011/06/24/the-dark-muslim-brotherhood-world-of-huma-abedin/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Glenn Beck and His Bashers


by P. David Hornik

When Glenn Beck’s upcoming Jerusalem rally was first announced last month, he said it would be called “Restore Courage”—modeled on his “Restoring Honor” rally last year in Washington that drew half a million. Or as Beck put it: “Last summer, we set out to restore honor in Washington, DC. This summer, it’s time to restore courage. It is time for us to courageously stand with Israel.”

A month later the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot added more details. “Tens of thousands of excited Israelis and Americans,” the paper claimed,

music performances, appearances by local and international celebrities, senior politicians and a live broadcast that will reach millions of viewers – this is just some of what is in store for Glenn Beck’s upcoming rally “to restore courage,” which is set to take place on August 24 in Jerusalem.

…The multi-million dollar production is expected to be attended by a convoy of American dignitaries, including former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. US Senator Joe Lieberman, an independent, and Republicans Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and Congresswoman Michelle Bachman are to join Beck at the rally as well.

That was too much for “liberals,” who went into a froth.

That same day, June 15, the Jerusalem Post’s leftwing columnist Larry Derfner published one called “Godspeed to Jerusalem, Glenn Beck.” Derfner spoke of

thousands of godly Americans expected to fly in to join tens of thousands of godly Israelis…. So far there’s been no word about Koran-burnings…. The stupider and more rotten an American’s politics, the more loudly he’s likely to cheer for Israel…. So wackos like Beck and Palin and Bachmann love us – but only as long as we go on fighting their enemies…. Who are Israel’s friends? Right-wing meshuggenehs. What is Israel? A right-wing meshugge country…. Israel is a tragic story. It used to inspire idealists, now it appalls them…. So come on, Glenn… proclaim the covenant between Israel and whack-job America for all to see…. And I couldn’t think of a better meshuggeneh for the job.

One would like to believe that even some who share some of Derfner’s views could admit that this is not any kind of argument but a stream of nasty, bigoted abuse.

Americans for Peace Now chimed in with “Don’t let Glenn Beck set Jerusalem on fire!”:

the location he’s chosen shows that what he really wants to do is foster conflict. [emphasis in original] He’s decided to hold the event in East Jerusalem, just outside the Old City, one of the most politically sensitive locations in the world.

This proves that Beck is no friend of Israel, as he now claims to be. His planned rally could sow greater enmity between Israelis and Palestinians….

That’s it, right on the money. The choice of location has nothing to do with religious associations; Beck will be flying to Jerusalem in the hope of starting a rumble. Again, the intellectual level of the elitist left doesn’t sweep you off your feet.

And then there was Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, who has gone so far as to publish a Beck-bashing book. In his June 17 column Milbank called Beck “the leading purveyor of anti-Semitic memes in the mass media.” He noted that, notwithstanding the Yediot report, Romney, Gingrich, and Bachman were not slated to attend Beck’s rally. But that hardly consoled Milbank.

No, what really got to him was that Lieberman—a non-Christian, a Jew still connected to the Democrats—confirmed to a Washington Post reporter that “I’ve been approached by [Beck] to go…. I’d love to participate.. . .”

“This,” wrote Milbank, “nearly caused me to plotz” (Yiddish for “faint”):

I admire Lieberman… But if he shares a stage with this creature, he will surrender the decency that has defined his public life…. Lieberman still has time to reconsider. For the sake of everything you have stood for, Joe, please: Say it ain’t so.

“Wacko,” “meshuggeneh,” warmonger, anti-Semite, “creature”—these virtuous people don’t like Beck, do they?

Now what is actually the truth about Glenn Beck? As Ron Radosh noted in a tribute three weeks ago, his

recent programs on Israel, anti-Semitism, and Jew-hatred of an Islamic strain have been unique in television fare, and in [them] Beck has been serious, passionate, and committed in his desire to defend Israel and to let Americans know why they should join him in this cause.

You can see some of Beck’s own selections from his passionately pro-Israel programs here. They bear out what Radosh says, and not the raucous calumnies of the “liberals.”

As Radosh further comments, Beck

has been devoting his air time…to the need for defense of Israel and has been doing this in a way that no one else in the media is…. No one else in the media has done as much to let Americans know about Islamist Jew-hatred and how it is being played out today. He shows his viewers videos from MEMRI’s own website that the major networks would never think of letting their viewers see.

Now, does this mean Beck is the ideal, made-to-order pro-Israel broadcaster and activist? No. He’s not a polished intellectual. He commits gaffes. He’s not always in command of the subjects he deals with. He often has a heavy-handed delivery. He could bring God into it less, since the points he makes are important for all people of goodwill and genuine sympathy for Israel, religious and secular.

And those points include the facts that Israel, as a thriving democracy, is on a different moral plane from its neighbors, including its supposed peace partners; and that, more than any other country in the world, Israel is under grave threat—particularly from Iran, striding toward nukes while its President Ahmadinejad foretells Israel’s demise regularly, and Iran’s allies and proxies on Israel’s borders. Seemingly that would be enough to forge some unity among those claiming to care about Israel.

For Beck, as Radosh further points out, it is enough, since

Beck is non-partisan when it comes to the issue. Twice on his program he quoted Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, a leading liberal Democrat…. Beck has no hesitation in running the video of Schumer’s [pro-Israel] comments — although on domestic issues, he has no love for liberal Democrats.

Beck, in other words, is not like his opponents who loathe his guts and call him names; Beck can make common cause over Israel with those in the other camp. It’s a standing indictment of the likes of Derfner, Americans for Peace Now, Milbank, and so many others that they have no such capability; hatred of “the right” is so essential to their identity that there is nothing, not even Israel’s survival, that transcends it.

P. David Hornik

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2011/06/23/glenn-beck-and-his-bashers/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Hamas, Fatah: Gap Remains Wide


by Khaled Abu Toameh

The Egyptian-brokered reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah, which was announced last month in Cairo, appears to have ended before it started.

It now turns out that the gap between the two rival parties remains as wide as ever, in spite of the accord. Hamas and Fatah continue to disagree on almost everything.

They disagree on who would head a new Palestinian unity government, on members of the government, on the government's political platform, on the future of the peace process with Israel, on security coordination with Israel, on the Palestinian Authority's relationship with the United States and European Union and on the role of the Palestinian security forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

But there are other things where Fatah and Hamas do see eye to eye.

Both parties agree on the need to restrict freedom of speech and the media. The two Palestinian governments continue to display intolerance toward any form of criticism, regardless of its source.

Palestinian journalists and political activists who dare to criticize the governments in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip face arrest, harassment and intimidation. This explains why there is not a single Palestinian opposition newspaper in the West Bank or in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas and Fatah also agree on the need for each party to stay in power at all costs. That's why they don't want to hold new elections. In many ways, the status quo is not bad for the two parties.

In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority continues to receive millions of dollars in financial aid from the international community. The Palestinian Authority's leaders hold Israeli-issued VIP cards that allow them to travel freely, especially to fancy hotels and restaurants in Tel Aviv.

The VIP cards also allow the Palestinian leaders to pass through Israeli checkpoints without having to wait in line together with ordinary Palestinians.

The status quo is also good for the Palestinian Authority leadership because it is no longer being held responsible for what happens in the Gaza Strip. For example, no one holds the Palestinian Authority responsible for the rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip on Israel.

Hamas, on the other hand, has learned from the Palestinian Authority that, in order to stay in power, it must tighten its grip over the population in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas and Fatah agree that democracy and transparency is something that they can live without. They share the perception that repressive police states are the only way to control their people.

Finally, Hamas and Fatah agree on the need to blame Israel all the time for the miseries of the Palestinians. Neither party is prepared to accept responsibility for any wrongdoing.

Khaled Abu Toameh

Source: http://www.hudson-ny.org/2223/hamas-fatah-gap-remains-wide

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Geert Wilders Acquitted of Defaming Muslims


by Soeren Kern

A court in Amsterdam has acquitted Geert Wilders -- the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party who had denounced the threat to Western values posed by unassimilated Muslim immigrants -- of charges of inciting religious hatred against Muslims for comments he made that were critical of Islam.

The landmark verdict, which brings to a close a highly-public, two-year legal odyssey (here, here, here and here), marks a major victory for free speech in a country (and continent) where the politically correct elite routinely seek to silence public discussion about the escalating problem of Muslim immigration.

Wilders, who accused the court of bias against him and said the charges were politically motivated, was acquitted of all five counts of inciting racial and religious hatred against Muslims for remarks in which he equated Islam with fascism, and others in which he called for a ban on the Koran and a tax on Muslim headscarves.

The charges against Wilders arose in part from a hard-hitting short film called "Fitna" (an Arabic word with connotations of upheaval or chaos) which he produced in 2008. The 17-minute documentary -- which argues that the Koran incites its followers to carry out acts of violence and terrorism -- prompted sundry leftist and Islamic groups to file more than 60 complaints with the Dutch police.

Amsterdam District Court Judge Marcel van Oosten ruled on June 23 that Wilders' anti-Islam statements, while offensive to many Muslims, fell within the bounds of legitimate political debate and were protected by free speech laws.

Judge van Oosten read the judgement: "You are being acquitted on all the charges that were put against you. You have spoken in a hurtful and also shocking way. Even so, the court finds, in the broadest context, that you have the right to propagate the message of such a film [Fitna]. Given the film in its whole, and the context of societal debate, the court finds that there is no question of inciting hate with the film."

Van Oosten also said that while Wilders' views on Islam and warnings about a "tsunami" of Muslim immigrants may be "crude" and "denigrating," they do not amount to inciting hatred and must be seen in a wider context of debate over immigration policy and multiculturalism.

The court found that Wilders was "at the edge of what is legally permissible" when he described the threat that Islam poses to Dutch culture as "a fight going on and we must arm ourselves." Van Oosten also said that "this has an inciting character," but Wilders had not crossed the line because he added that he has no objections to Muslims who integrate and accept Dutch values.

After the verdict was read, Wilders smiled broadly and shook hands with his lawyers. "I am delighted with this ruling," Wilders said. "It is a victory, not only for me, but for all the Dutch people. Today is a victory for freedom of speech in the Netherlands. The Dutch are still allowed to discuss Islam in public debate, and resistance against Islamisation is not a crime. I have spoken, I speak and I shall continue to speak."

The court's decision was somewhat of a surprise, considering the unmitigated zeal with which the presiding judges pursued the case against Wilders. (Dutch public prosecutors initially refused to bring charges against Wilders, but were overruled by a judicial elite obsessively determined to silence him.)

More than likely, however, the judges concluded that any conviction of Wilders would have placed the court firmly on the wrong side of Dutch public opinion: More than 60 percent of Dutch voters said they wanted to see Wilders acquitted.

Polls also show that Wilders' views on Islam -- and his belief that the 1.2 million Muslim immigrants in Holland are eroding Dutch culture -- resonate with millions of Dutch voters and are now part of the mainstream across the Netherlands.

According to a Maurice de Hond poll published by the center-right newspaper Trouw on June 19, 74 percent of Dutch voters say Muslim immigrants should conform to Dutch values and 83 percent support an upcoming ban on Islamic burqas in public spaces.

Wilders' Freedom Party is now the third-largest in parliament and holds the balance of power in the Dutch government. His authority was demonstrated on June 16, when Dutch Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner announced that the government would abandon the long-standing model of multiculturalism, which has encouraged Muslim immigrants to create a parallel society within the Netherlands.

The new integration policy, produced under heavy pressure from Wilders, will place more demands on immigrants, who will be required to learn the Dutch language and who could face deportation if they ignore Dutch values or disobey Dutch law.

As the result of his acquittal, Wilders -- who is already one of the most popular and powerful politicians in the Netherlands -- will see his political influence strengthened, both inside and outside the country.

Now that the right to question Muslim immigration has been essentially guaranteed by Dutch law, hitherto reluctant voters will be emboldened to more openly support Wilders and his conviction that Muslim immigrants to the West cannot, and should not, be allowed to change the democratic principles of the countries and societies that host them.

The verdict is also an important first step toward promoting free speech in other parts of Europe. Citizens in many European countries lack an American-like First Amendment, which means they can be punished for expressing the "wrong" opinions. Up until now, European elites have been quick to use hate-crime legislation to silence people with opinions that do not conform to official state policies. The Dutch precedent will almost certainly encourage free speech activists in other parts of the European Union.

Not surprisingly, Muslim groups in the Netherlands are angry about the ruling, saying they will take the battle to another venue. The Moroccan-Dutch organization Samenwerkingsverband van Marokkaanse Nederlanders warns: "We will go to the United Nations Committee for Human Rights in Geneva. The suit will be directed against the government of the Netherlands for not protecting ethnic minorities against racism and discrimination." It is also possible that the plaintiffs will continue their campaign to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Nor will Wilders' acquittal change the fact that he continues to live under round-the-clock security because of death threats from violent Islamic extremists. For the moment, however, Wilders' victory has undeniably widened the boundaries of free speech in Europe, which is some of the best news to come out of the Old Continent in a very long time.

Soeren Kern

Source: http://www.hudson-ny.org/2225/geert-wilders-acquitted

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Georgetown and the Islamist Money Changers


by Stephen Schwartz

John L. Esposito, professor of religion and international affairs and director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (CMCU) at Georgetown University, is the leading defender of radical Islam in U.S. higher education -- if not in the entire Western academy. He and his enterprise have returned to the public eye with the exposure that, in 2006-07, they were offered $325,000 by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to hold a conference on Islamophobia at the university.

A 57-member international body headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the OIC was founded in Morocco in 1969 to "protect" the Islamic sites in Jerusalem from Israel. It defines "Islamophobia" with considerable and questionable latitude, as any criticism of Muslim individual, institutional, ideological, legal, or cultural behavior. Combating Islamophobia as it conceives it, OIC seeks to prevent free discussion about Islam or the lives of Muslims under, for example, the radical Islamists dominating Saudi Arabia and ruling Iran.

For its part CAIR, which masquerades as a civil-rights organization, has been shown to be a front for the terrorist Hamas movement among Palestinians. Though ostensibly seeking to improve understanding of the Muslim faith among Americans and other Westerners, it employs strident rhetoric and panic-mongering claims of alleged persecution that do not jibe with the American vision of religious activism. It also defends extremist Islamists and has focused its organizational efforts outside the Muslim community, on alliances with radical leftist political groups and academic trends that, like it, oppose U.S. policies, rather than on better inter-religious relations.

Esposito and CMCU have given Georgetown an unappealing image as a nest of Saudi-financed Wahhabis and other extremists. Esposito has published books promoting almost every form of radical Islam. In 2007, when the OIC-CAIR-CMCU $325,000 caper was in preparation, Espositodeclared, "Sami Al-Arian's a very good friend of mine." He expressed solidarity with Al-Arian despite, if not because of, the latter's 2006 conviction for conspiring to provide goods and services to the Palestinian terrorist group Islamic Jihad, based on Al-Arian's admission of guilt. Esposito delivered himself of this personal endorsement of Al-Arian at a CAIR event in Dallas, Texas, during proceedings in which the so-called Holy Land Foundation (HLF) was eventually found guilty of providing more than $12 million to Hamas. Evidence at trial revealed close cooperation between HLF and CAIR. Esposito, nevertheless, proclaimed, "[I am here] to show solidarity not only with the Holy Land Fund [sic, Holy Land Foundation], but also with CAIR."

In 2008, Esposito expressed himself on behalf of Al-Arian to U.S. Judge Leonie Brinkema, supporting release on bond of the admitted terrorist: "Sami Al-Arian is a proud, dedicated and committed American as well as a proud and committed Palestinian. He is an extraordinarily bright, articulate scholar and intellectual-activist, a man of conscience with a strong commitment to peace and social justice." Considering that they represent involvement with terrorism, Esposito's definitions of dedication and commitment to American values of peace and social justice are as perverse as the OIC's manipulative characterization of Islamophobia.

By the time Esposito wrote Judge Brinkema to assist Al-Arian, the OIC-CAIR-CMCU project appears to have collapsed. As disclosed by Patrick S. Poole at Pajamas Media, e-mails and other correspondence between OIC, CAIR, and CMCU show that the OIC, under its Turkish secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, had pledged $325,000, to Nihad Awad of CAIR and Esposito as a representative of Georgetown, as expense money for an event on Islamophobia -- "the first ever OIC sponsored event to be held in the United States of America," in Ihsanoglu's enthusiastic words. Ihsanoglu's communication of January 15, 2007, affirming this promise, followed an e-mail sent on November 20, 2006 to Awad and to a CAIR activist who was also Esposito's then senior-researcher, Hadia Mubarak, by the OIC ambassador to the United Nations, Abdul Wahab. Therein, the latter stated that the OIC "would have no problem in transferring the required funds to the Georgetown University after the SG [Ihsanoglu] receives the letter on this subject from Prof Esposito."

While the OIC transferred the requisite $325,000 to CAIR, plans for an elaborate carnival of complaint at Georgetown dissipated. After six months, on July 19, 2007, Ihsanoglu deputy Sukru Tujan wrote to Awad and his mentor, then-chairman of CAIR Parvez Ahmed, asking for return of the money, except for $62,100 to pay for a September 2007 workshop and speech by Ihsanoglu at Georgetown.

CAIR boss Ahmed balked at this demand, stating in a letter of July 27, 2007, that returning the $325,000 would handicap preparations for future activities, and that CAIR could not transfer money to Georgetown because the organization lacked "a proper contractual agreement" with the university, although in the same letter Ahmed referred to a (presumably oral) agreement between the parties interested in the conference, i.e. OIC, CAIR, and Esposito.

Ihsanoglu was unmoved by Ahmed's arguments, replying on July 30, 2007 that OIC did not "feel that the Georgetown side has the ability to proceed with holding a trilateral conference in the near future... we might have to replace the Georgetown University with another partner for the organization of the foreseen symposium." Ihsanoglu's tone was notably chilly, in that he addressed the CAIR chief simply as "Dear Mr. Ahmed," with no reference to the latter's organization or the title conferred by it, and added that "the workshop which is being organized by Prof. Esposito on the 20th of this September is certainly not a substitute for what we have been planning." Bottom line: give the money back -- all of it.

But $325,000, even if it had been presented to Esposito and Georgetown, would have been a small amount when compared with $20 million donated to CMCU in 2005 by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Why did the OIC suddenly find Esposito and Georgetown less than attractive as partners? That is the question worth asking. Perhaps Esposito, despite generating mountains of pro-Islamist prose, could not "deliver" Georgetown to the OIC and CAIR in the manner the latter anticipated. Perhaps the OIC did not consider $325,000 an appropriate price for a conference. Ihsanoglu's upbeat letter of January 17, 2007, referenced above, included the rather unlikely suggestion that then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would attend the proposed function. Perhaps Awad and Esposito viewed such expectations negatively.

Founded in 1789 by the Society of Jesus, a long-established and illustrious Catholic religious and educational order, Georgetown has strayed very far from its original inspiration. This might have more to do with its preeminence in higher education in Washington, D.C., and its well-known School of Foreign Service, than its specific origins or attitudes on Islam or other inter-religious issues. But the career of John L. Esposito is rich with episodes in which he has enabled the targeting of "the nation's oldest Catholic and Jesuit university" for misbehavior by the radical Islamists to whose cause he is so manifestly and assiduously devoted. Georgetown alumni, Catholic intellectuals and activists, and others with legitimate concerns about this abominable situation should take note.

Stephen Schwartz is executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism. He wrote this article for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/06/georgetown_and_the_islamist_money_changers.html;http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/11474

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Why Lebanon Matters - A briefing by Michael J. Totten


by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Michael J. Totten is a foreign policy analyst who has reported from the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Jerusalem Post. Author of the book The Road to Fatima Gate: The Beirut Spring, the Rise of Hezbollah and the Iranian War against Israel," Mr. Totten addressed the Middle East Forum in New York on May 23, concerning the situation in Lebanon amid the Arab uprisings.

Mr. Totten began his talk by pointing out that even though Lebanon and Iraq have been the most unstable countries in the Middle East in recent years, there has been a conspicuous lack of protests and unrest in both nations during the "Arab Spring." Since the 1970s, Lebanon has been the place where the Middle East fights its wars, with a population split of around a third Shi'i, a third Sunni, and another third Christian. He provided context and described the situation in Lebanon as follows:

The civil war that began in the mid 1970s was sparked by the presence of the PLO, which set up a base in south Lebanon with the approval of the Sunnis to use as a launching pad against Israel. Seeing no government response to rein in the PLO, the Christians formed their own militias to fight the Palestinian militants.

Following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 to remove the PLO and support the Christian militias, Iran helped create Hezbollah, with Syrian support, to fight Israel's forces in Lebanon and act as a check against the government in Beirut. An 18-year insurgency campaign ensued, with Israel withdrawing abruptly in 2000 hoping that the Lebanese Army would constrain Hezbollah.

However, a vacuum then emerged in the south, allowing Hezbollah to form a state within a state. The group now has twice as many rockets as it had in 2006, can easily defeat the Lebanese Army in a military confrontation, and is capable of targeting all of Israel.

Consequently, it is likely that an Israeli pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities will trigger an attack on Israel by Hezbollah, and if the U.S. becomes involved, Iran may fire at American bases in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf, thus leading to a full-scale regional war. Lebanon would therefore be the epicenter of this war—hence the country's importance today despite its small size.

Asked about Hezbollah's agenda in Lebanon, Mr. Totten responded that the group would set up an Iranian-style regime if it could, but knows that in practice such a goal is not achievable because of the opposition it would arouse from Sunnis, Christians, and even Shi'a who support Hezbollah purely for sectarian reasons. Mr. Totten concluded that the U.S. must do everything it can, short of war, to oppose Iranian and Syrian interests in Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, MEF intern

Source: http://www.meforum.org/2973/totten-lebanon-matters

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Liberal American Jewish Suckers


by Caroline B. Glick

This week we have been witness to two transparent attempts to sell liberal American Jews a bill of goods. And from the looks of things, both were successful.

The first instance of liberal American Jewish credulity this week unfolded Monday night in Washington. At a five-star hotel, eighty Jewish donors shelled out between $25,000-35,800 to attend a fundraiser with US President Barack Obama.

As has become his habit, Obama opened his remarks by talking about his commitment to Israel’s security. And as has become his habit, Obama went on to say that it is his job to force Israelis to bow to his demands because he knows what is best for Israel.

Speaking of his ongoing efforts to force Israel to concede its right to defensible borders before entering into negotiations with the Hamas-Fatah unity government, Obama said, “There are going to be moments over the course of the next six months or the next 12 months or the next 24 months in which there may be tactical disagreements [between the US and Israel] in terms of how we approach these difficult problems.”

Obama went on to say that he expects his American Jewish supporters to take his side in his attacks on Israel.

As he put it, the quest for peace between Israel and the Hamas-Fatah government is “going to require that not only this administration employs all of its creative powers to try to bring about peace in the region, but it’s also going to require all of you as engaged citizens of the United States who are friends of Israel making sure…that you’re helping to shape how both Americans and Israelis think about the opportunities and challenges.”

And how did the Jewish donors respond to Obama’s presentation? They loved it. They were, in the words of Obama donor Marilyn Victor, “reassured.”

Speaking with Politico, New York businessman Jack Bendheim said, “I think he nailed and renailed his commitment to the security of the State of Israel.” Other attendees interviewed in the article echoed his sentiments.

Imagine how they would have swooned if Obama had confessed a secret love for bagels and lox.

What does Obama have to do for these liberal American Jews to accept that he is no friend of Israel’s? Apparently the answer is that there is nothing Obama can do that will convince his many American Jewish supporters that he is not Israel’s friend.

They will never believe such a thing because doing so will require them to choose between two unacceptable options. The first option is to admit to themselves that in voting for Obama, they are voting against Israel.

The self-righteousness shared by many of Obama’s Jewish supporters makes this option unacceptable. These are people who demonstrate their goodness by embracing every politically correct liberal cause as their own. From abortion to socialized medicine to free passes for illegal immigrants, to opposition to the Iraq war, liberal American Jews are ready to go out on a limb for every cause the liberal media supports.

But ask them to support anything that in any way compromises their self-image as do gooders and liberals and they will shut you out. Consider their willingness to turn a blind eye to Obama’s 20-year association with his anti-Semitic preacher Jeremiah Wright. Just this week Wright was back in the news when he delighted a crowd of thousands of African American worshippers in Baltimore by libeling Israel saying, “The State of Israel is an illegal, genocidal … place. To equate Judaism with the State of Israel is to equate Christianity with [rapper] Flavor Flav.”

During the 2008 presidential campaign liberal American Jews attacked critics of Obama’s longstanding devotion to his Jew-hating preacher as McCarthyites who were spreading allegations of guilt by association.

And now, when Obama has made supporting Israel a socially costly thing for his supporters to do, rather than pay the price, his self-righteous American Jewish supporters refuse to admit that Obama is not pro-Israel. They attack as a liar anyone who points out that his policies are deeply hostile to Israel.

For instance, Monday National Jewish Democratic Council Chairman Marc Stanley told reporters, “Key donors are much more savvy than Republicans would have you believe and have taken a much more critical eye towards Republican attempts to lie about the president’s record.”

Aside from being morally inconvenient, the other problem with admitting that Obama is anti-Israel is that it requires his Jewish supporters who are unwilling to consciously abandon Israel to contemplate the unattractive option of voting for the Republican nominee for president. And this is something that their liberal conceit cannot abide.

The inability of many liberal American Jews to abide by the notion of supporting someone who isn’t part of their fancy liberal clique was on display in their responses to another event that occurred this week.

Just hours before Obama snowballed his Jewish donors in Washington, Yale University engaged in a similarly transparent bid to romance its willfully gullible Jewish supporters.

Yale University’s announcement two weeks ago that it was shutting down the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism (YIISA) unleashed a storm of protest. Students, faculty, alumni and major Jewish organizations all expressed anger and disappointment with Yale’s surprise move.

Yale justified its decision on the basis of two falsehoods. First it claimed that YIISA had failed to undertake sufficient top quality scholarship. Yet in the wake of the announcement dozens of leading scholars of anti-Semitism co-signed a letter authored by Prof. Alvin Rosenfeld, who directs Indiana University’s Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism, praising the YIISA as “a pioneer in advancing research on contemporary manifestations of anti-Semitism.”

The second reason that Yale claimed it was closing YIISA was because there was insufficient faculty and student interest in its programs. This falsehood was ridiculous on its face since several dozen Yale faculty members served on YIISA’s various academic committees and boards of advisers.

And in the wake of the university’s announcement that it was shuttering YIISA, several faculty members and students protested the move angrily.

The main suspicion provoked by Yale’s decision to close YIISA was that it was doing so to appease Islamic critics. YIISA’s Director Prof. Charles Small focused its attention on contemporary forms of anti-Semitism. Since the most dangerous form of contemporary anti-Semitism is Islamic anti-Semitism, Small made Islamic anti-Semitism a focus of YIISA’s research activities. The concern arose that Yale closed YIISA in order to end campus research and discourse on the topic.

Monday Yale tried to quell the controversy surrounding its decision to close YIISA by announcing that it was forming a new institute called the Yale Program for the Study of Anti-Semitism. Yale announced that its tenured professor Maurice Samuels will serve as director of the program.

Samuels is a scholar of French literature.

In his acceptance announcement Samuels addressed Yale’s critics promising that “YPSA will discuss both contemporary anti-Semitism and historical anti-Semitism.”

He also said that in the coming year YPSA will hold a major conference on the topic of French anti-Semitism.

Samuels’ statement is notable for two reasons.

First, if it is true, then the only difference between YPSA and YIISA is the director. And the only thing Yale was really interested in doing was firing Small. The question is why would they want to fire him? The answer to that question appears to be found in the second notable aspect of Samuels’ announcement: his planned conference. At a time when millions in post-Mubarak Egypt assembled in Tahrir Square and cheered as the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader Yusuf Qaradawi called for the invasion of Jerusalem, and with Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the brink of nuclear weapons, why would YPSA want to place its focus on France? Following Yale’s announcement that it is launching YPSA, Small released a statement in which he said, among other things, “It appears that Yale, unlike YIISA, is not willing to engage in a comprehensive examination of the current crisis facing living Jews, but instead is comfortable with reexamining the plight of Jews who perished at the hands of anti-Semites. The role of a true scholar and intellectual is to shed light where there is darkness, which is why we at YIISA, are committed to critical engaged scholarship with a broader approach to the complex, and at times controversial context of contemporary global anti-Semitism.”

As Small hints, it appears that by forming YPSA, Yale proved its critics right. It closed YIISA because it found Small’s concentration on Muslim Jewhatred ideologically problematic. And it opened YPSA because Yale’s administrators’ trust Samuels to keep researchers and students focused on historic forms of anti-Semitism.

To offset criticism of its transparent move, Yale has been waging a whispering campaign against Small. Yale administrators have been insinuating that because the university did not hire him as a regular member of the Yale faculty that Small is not an academic, or somehow not good enough for Yale.

This campaign brought Holocaust scholar Prof Deborah Lipstadt from Emory University to pen a column in the Forward attacking Small. As she put it, “Part of Yale’s discomfort might have come from the fact that a Yale-based scholarly entity was administered by an individual who, while a successful institution builder, was not a Yale faculty member and who had no official position at the university.”

But Small was in fact on the Yale faculty. He was a lecturer in the Political Science department and ran one of Yale’s post-doctorate and graduate studies fellowship programs. Despite his intensive work building YIISA, Small taught a heavy course load.

But while its actions vindicate its critics’ greatest concerns, just as Obama was able to win over his Jewish supporters with empty platitudes so Yale’s decision to open YPSA has satisfied its most powerful critics. The ADL released a statement applauding the move. Yale’s Rabbi James Ponet emailed his colleagues and friends and urged them to email Yale’s president and provost expressing their support for the move.

Their willingness to support Yale’s bid to curtail research and discussion of Islamic Jew-hatred and allow Yale to scapegoat Small demonstrates an affliction common to liberal American Jews today. It is the same affliction that makes them unable to countenance voting for a Republican.

That affliction is class snobbery. By insinuating that Small is not up to Yale’s academic standards, Yale was able to rally the Jewish members of its larger community by appealing to their snobbery. The fact that Yale didn’t mind Small serving as a dissertation advisor to its doctoral candidates is immaterial. The facts be damned.

The same Ivy League snobbery that makes it socially unacceptable to vote for a Republican – and certainly not for a Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann despite their deep-seated and consistent support for Israel – is what allowed Yale to get away with ending its study of Islamic anti-Semitism by besmirching Small’s academic achievements and good name. Remove him from the club, and you end opposition to his academically unjustifiable firing.

The great circus master P.T. Barnum said famously that there is a sucker born every minute.

Liberal American Jews aren’t born suckers. They become suckers out of their own free will.

Caroline B. Glick

Source: http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=226372

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Netherlands to Abandon Multiculturalism


by Soeren Kern

The Dutch government says it will abandon the long-standing model of multiculturalism that has encouraged Muslim immigrants to create a parallel society within the Netherlands.

A new integration bill (covering letter and 15-page action plan), which Dutch Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner presented to parliament on June 16, reads: "The government shares the social dissatisfaction over the multicultural society model and plans to shift priority to the values of the Dutch people. In the new integration system, the values of the Dutch society play a central role. With this change, the government steps away from the model of a multicultural society."

The letter continues: "A more obligatory integration is justified because the government also demands that from its own citizens. It is necessary because otherwise the society gradually grows apart and eventually no one feels at home anymore in the Netherlands. The integration will not be tailored to different groups."

The new integration policy will place more demands on immigrants. For example, immigrants will be required to learn the Dutch language, and the government will take a tougher approach to immigrants to ignore Dutch values or disobey Dutch law.

The government will also stop offering special subsidies for Muslim immigrants because, according to Donner, "it is not the government's job to integrate immigrants." The government will introduce new legislation that outlaws forced marriages and will also impose tougher measures against Muslim immigrants who lower their chances of employment by the way they dress. More specifically, the government will impose a ban on face-covering Islamic burqas as of January 1, 2013.

If necessary, the government will introduce extra measures to allow the removal of residence permits from immigrants who fail their integration course.

The measures are being imposed by the new center-right government of Conservatives (VVD) and Christian Democrats (CDA), with parliamentary support from the anti-Islam Freedom Party (PVV), whose leader, Geert Wilders, is currently on trial in Amsterdam for "inciting hatred" against Muslims.

As expected, Muslim organizations in Holland have been quick to criticize the proposals. The Moroccan-Dutch organization Samenwerkingsverband van Marokkaanse Nederlanders, which advises the government on integration matters, argues that Muslim immigrants need extra support to find a job. The umbrella Muslim group Contactorgaan Moslims en Overheid says that although it agrees that immigrants should be better integrated into Dutch society, it is opposed to a ban on burqas.

But polls show that a majority of Dutch voters support the government's skepticism about multiculturalism. According to a Maurice de Hond poll published by the center-right newspaper Trouw on June 19, 74 percent of Dutch voters say immigrants should conform to Dutch values. Moreover, 83 percent of those polled support a ban on burqas in public spaces.

The proper integration of the more than one million Muslims now living in Holland has been a major political issue ever since 2002, when Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn was assassinated for his views on Muslim immigration, and since 2004, when Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was stabbed to death for producing a movie that criticized Islam.

Muslim immigration to the Netherlands can be traced back to the 1960s and 1970s, when a blue collar labor shortage prompted the Dutch government to conclude recruitment agreements with countries like Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey. In the 1980s and 1990s, Muslims also arrived in the Netherlands as asylum seekers and refugees, mainly from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Somalia.

There are now an estimated 1.2 million Muslims in the Netherlands, which is equivalent to about 6 percent of the country's overall population. Moroccans and Turks comprise nearly two-thirds of all Muslims in the Netherlands. Most Muslims live in the four major cities of the country: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.

As their numbers grow, Muslim immigrants have become increasingly more assertive in carving out a role for Islam within Dutch society. For example, a documentary aired by the television program Netwerk in June 2009 reported that Dutch law was being systematically undermined by the growth of Sharia justice in the Netherlands.

In December 2004, the Dutch Ministry of the Interior published a 60-page report titled From Dawa to Jihad. Prepared by the Dutch intelligence agency AIVD, the report says that the Netherlands is home to up to 50,000 radical Muslims whose key ideological aim is to target the Western way of life and to confront Western political, economic, and cultural domination.

The report concludes that Dutch society is poorly equipped to resist the threat of radical Islam because of "a culture of permissiveness" that has become synonymous with "closing one's eyes" to multiple transgressions of the law.

As for Interior Minister Donner, he has undergone a late-in-life conversion on the issue of Muslim immigration. In September 2006, while serving as justice minister, Donner provoked an outcry after saying that he welcomed the introduction of Islamic Sharia law in the Netherlands if the majority wants it. He also said Holland should give Muslims more freedoms to behave according to their traditions.

After applauding Queen Beatrix for respecting Islam by not insisting that a Muslim leader shake hands with her during a visit to the Mobarak Mosque in The Hague, Donner said: "A tone that I do not like has crept into the political debate on integration. A tone of: 'Thou shalt assimilate. Thou shalt adopt our values in public. Be reasonable, do it our way.' That is not my approach."

Fast forward to 2011 and Donner now says his government "will distance itself from the relativism contained in the model of a multicultural society." Although society changes, he says, it must not be "interchangeable with any other form of society."

Soeren Kern

Source: http://www.hudson-ny.org/2219/netherlands-abandons-multiculturalism

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Obama’s Afghanistan Gamble


by Rick Moran

President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday evening that he was withdrawing 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year and a total of 33,000 troops by the end of 2012. In short, the president has opted to leave the job in Afghanistan half finished because of political expediency and war weariness on the part of the American voter.

Saying, “[I]t is time to focus on nation building at home,” the president stated that the death of Osama bin Laden made the withdrawal possible and budget pressures in Congress made ending our commitment to Afghanistan’s security a necessity. There is also the matter of the president’s re-election that most analysts believe played a large role in the decision.

“We will not try to make Afghanistan a perfect place. We will not police its streets or patrol its mountains indefinitely,” said Obama. It is a sentiment echoed on Capitol Hill by members of both parties, and political activists on the left and right. Some Republicans disagreed with the president, but even many GOP presidential candidates tread softly in their responses.

Obama’s decision — delivered in a 13 minute speech in the East Room of the White House — was in direct opposition to what the vast majority of his military commanders had recommended. What the president referred to as a “commitment” to “refocus on al Qaeda” and “reverse the Taliban’s momentum” has, by most objective standards, been only partially met. And by withdrawing combat forces while the security situation is still unstable in key parts of the country, the president is gambling that the Afghan army and police can step up and perform up to expectations – something they have failed to do up to this point.

Even though analysts expect that the initial drawdown will include mostly engineers and support personnel, commanders in Afghanistan and the Pentagon were recommending a much smaller withdrawal of forces. They fear that the hard-won gains of the last 2 years in southern Afghanistan, where US forces successfully pushed the Taliban out of several key areas, would be lost if too many combat troops were to leave.

The Taliban chooses the summer months to mount its offensives, and the extra troops provided by the surge were able to confront and defeat them, especially in the provinces of Kandahar and Helmand. Because the Taliban had been largely cleared from those areas, Afghanistan Commander General David Petreaus argued that withdrawing the surge troops so precipitously did not give the military time to consolidate the gains made on the battlefield. The fear now is that the Afghan army is simply not ready to take over security responsibilities in those areas cleared by the US military, inviting the Taliban to regroup and re-occupy them once the Americans have left.

Petreaus refused to endorse the president’s withdrawal plan, and outgoing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates only reluctantly backed it. On the other side of the debate, Vice President Joe Biden emerged victorious as he and several key national security aides had been arguing since the decision to initiate the surge in Afghanistan in 2009 that a smaller force was needed. The argument between the two factions was over implementing a counterinsurgency strategy favored by Petreaus or a counterterrorism strategy advocated by the vice president. The president has now opted to back the Biden plan by withdrawing most American combat forces by 2014.

Jeffrey Dressler, a military analyst at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, explained the military’s reluctance for the large withdrawal ordered by the president. “[T]he fact is that the conditions on the ground don’t merit any sort of withdrawal — it’s not time to be pulling out a substantive amount of troops,” he said. Dressler pointed out that while substantial progress had been made in the south, eastern Afghanistan along the Pakistani border was still a trouble spot, and withdrawing troops would not improve the situation.

Indeed, the president seemed to indicate that the focus of American efforts against al-Qaeda would now be concentrated in Pakistan. After lauding the Pakistanis for their counterterrorism efforts, the president said, “No country is more endangered by the presence of violent extremists, which is why we will continue to press Pakistan to expand its participation in securing a more peaceful future for this war-torn region.” The president said that he would hold the Pakistanis to their commitments to fight terrorists and would not tolerate “any safe-haven for those who aim to kill us.”

The president’s decision was made against the political backdrop of a re-election campaign and a battle in Congress over the deficit. His call to cut another $400 billion from the defense budget over the next 10 years, in addition to the $78 billion already slashed by Secretary Gates, will be an easier pill to swallow if the $120 billion a year we are currently spending on the Afghanistan war alone were to be substantially reduced. The cost of the war in Afghanistan surpassed spending for the Iraq war for the first time in 2010 after money earmarked for Afghanistan skyrocketed when Obama took office.

But clearly, the overriding reason for the faster pace of withdrawal than that recommended by military commanders is due to the genuine war weariness of the American people, and the political calculation that bringing the troops home at an accelerated pace will help the president win votes in 2012. A Pew poll out this week showed that 56% of Americans favored bring the troops home “as soon as possible.” This reflects a 16-point rise in that number since June of 2010. A similar rise in support for a quick withdrawal was seen in a CBS poll from earlier this month where 64% of respondents were in favor of the troops leaving Afghanistan.

The president’s Republican rivals have responded cautiously, arguing that any withdrawal must be measured against the situation on the ground. But it is unlikely they will criticize the president too heavily for doing essentially what most of them have been arguing for these past months on the campaign trail.

There were scattered voices of opposition. Senator Lindsey Graham said, “We’ve undercut a strategy that was working. I think the 10,000 troops leaving this year is going to make this fighting season more difficult.” Presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty broke with most of his fellow Oval Office aspirants, saying, “When America goes to war, America needs to win. We need to close out the war successfully.” Pawlenty urged the president to follow the advice of General Petreaus and “get those [Afghanistan] security forces built up where they can pick up the slack as we draw down.”

And House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers bluntly accused the president of making the withdrawals because of politics. “It seems the President is trying to find a political solution with a military component to it, when it needs to be the other way around,” wrote Rogers.

In the end, the arguments made by Petreaus and his Afghan commanders were overridden by political and budgetary considerations. The notion that it is folly to base important military decisions on how politically popular the move might be, or how much money it will cost, has fallen on deaf ears in the White House.

It may very well be that the mission to change the nature of Afghanistan’s society and economy was doomed from the start, and that despite the heroic efforts of our military, the job of creating a functional nation out of the disparate collection of tribes and clans in Afghanistan proved to be a noble, but ultimately unsuccessful experiment in nation building. The more paramount objective has always been ensuring that Afghanistan sands do not becomes the fertile soil of militant jihadism. This mission was never doomed, but now we must hope that it has not been lost.

Rick Moran is Blog Editor of The American Thinker, and Chicago Editor of PJ Media. His personal blog is Right Wing Nuthouse.

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2011/06/23/obamas-afghanistan-gamble/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

The Flotilla of Fools off to Gaza


by Phyllis Chesler

The flotilla is coming, the flotilla is coming.

European and North American activists, journalists, and mercenaries have set sail—or are about to do so—on fifteen boats with passengers from twenty-two mainly Western countries to “break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.” Spurred on by the anti-Potemkin Village images of Palestinian Arabs living in wretched refugee hovels, fenced in by an allegedly “apartheid” Israeli wall, oppressed by “Nazi” Israeli soldiers for “racist” reasons (and not because the Palestinian leadership practices both Islamic gender and religious apartheid as well as terrorism)–the Good People are sailing to the rescue.

Bad enough that Israel is surrounded by twenty-two hostile Arab countries plus a genocidally anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli Iran, a country which has positioned soldiers in Lebanon, Gaza, and Syria.

Bad enough that the United Nations and the Palestinian leadership are planning to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state on sovereign Israeli land.

Bad enough that the Western mainstream media and university campuses have rendered the most virulent anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism respectable and have intimidated students with endless replays of Gaza on the Hudson, Gaza on the Atlantic and Gaza on the Pacific—now, the flotilla is also coming. They say they plan to “non-violently” “provoke” Israel into a forbidden display of self-defense.

Boats are leaving or have already left from Ireland, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Greece, Turkey, Canada, as well as the United States. Clearly, these Europeans do not believe that enough Jews died in the European Holocaust and/or do not want to see the descendents of Holocaust survivors continue to flourish in Israel. Perhaps some Europeans believe that their left anti-Israel politics will put them in good stead vis-à-vis the Islamists who are rapidly overwhelming Europe in a way that only Jean Raspail, the author of The Camp of the Saints foresaw and would appreciate.

The boat from the United States has been dubbed “The Audacity of Hope.” (Now where have we heard that title before?) On it are 36 passengers and four crew members, including some members of the Soros-funded Code Pink. Journalists from The Nation, CNN, NPR, CBS, The New York Times, Democracy Now, and the Palestinian News Agency Ma’an are “embedded” within the flotilla. “Embedded”? Isn’t that the word used to describe journalists who accompany troops in active battle?

Forgive me: I take words very seriously.

These self-styled activists and presumed anti-racists are slumming, partying, cruising for cheap thrills and even cheaper publicity. They yearn for cut-rate, no “burn” glory. They are ultimate conformists, careerists, “making their bones,” adding to their activist resumes by sticking it to the Jews. This is meant to prove that they are brave and principled.

In essence, they are engaged in a highly self-destructive form of political theatre: they are concretely manipulating symbols in the same way that Osama bin Laden did on 9/11. In the name of “caring,” these activists are surrendering to the most dangerous totalitarian and misogynist Islamist regime—but in the name of “freedom” and “justice.”

It is something that Orwell would appreciate.

The flotilla activists do not care about the facts on the ground, they refuse to understand that Gaza is filled with luxury hotels, office buildings, palatial villas, nightclubs, beach clubs, and well-stocked markets. They focus only on the artificially maintained poverty-stricken areas, and not on the true reasons for it: namely, that the Arab and the Palestinian leadership have spent more than 60 years milking the West of both its guilt and its money on behalf of this single falsely created refugee population.

Novelist and poet Alice Walker is also on board the “The Audacity of Hope.” She has been giving interviews and publishing op-ed pieces about her upcoming flotilla folly.

Ah, Alice. She and I go way back, and we have watched each other’s backs in significant ways over the years. Her current stance is painful, puzzling, unbalanced, and treacherous.

Walker has been in the forefront of the American civil rights, feminist, “womanist,” and ecological and animal rights movements; for many years, Walker was an activist against female genital mutilation—an African and African Muslim practice. She is best known and loved for her novel The Color Purple, which was made into a popular movie and Broadway play.

Tragically, but typically, Walker believes that Israelis are a more diabolical version of the white southern American racists who enslaved black Americans and then lynched, impoverished, exploited and segregated them. She imagines that the Palestinians are an even purer version of oppressed African-Americans. Most of all, she sees the Palestinians and herself as “non-violent” actors in this great drama.

Walker does not view Jews as the indigenous peoples of the Middle East or as equivalent to the “blacks” of Europe or as the most currently endangered infidel race in the Muslim Middle East. Walker refuses to acknowledge that Arabs and Muslims still practice (mainly African and skin color-based) slavery and real gender and religious apartheid. Instead, Walker scapegoats the Jews, specifically Israeli Jews, for the grave sins and crimes of blatant racism that are being committed by ethnic Arab Muslims in Muslim-majority countries such as Sudan, the Egyptian Sinai, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere.

Walker seems to have no idea that Muslims have a long, long history of slave-trading, sex slavery, imperialism, colonialism, conversion by the sword, and barbaric misogyny. Indeed, she seems to understand nothing about the reign of terror that Hamas has brought to the women, gays, artists, and vulnerable living beings in Gaza.

Walker does not command the facts; she has been fatefully tainted by crude propaganda, which she believes with her whole heart.

For example, Walker claims that 1,400 Gazans died during Operation Cast Lead, yet she fails to point out that, by Hamas’ own admission, between 600 and 700 of these were armed Hamas militants.

She claims that over 300 children were killed during the war but fails to understand that many of these children actually participated in the Hamas war effort, serving as child soldiers, mortar spotters, and support personnel.

As two Israeli researchers have documented, of the victims younger than 18, the male–female ratio of those in the 11-and-younger group was nearly 1:1—in other words, totally random—however, the male-female ratio for 17- and 18-year-olds was more than 6 males to each and every female. Unless Israeli scientists have developed some kind of Y-chromosome-seeking missile that only targets post-pubescent males, the obvious conclusion is that many of these teenagers were fighters.

Unbelievably, Walker states: “I had never seen as much blatant terrorism as I witnessed in Gaza. Israeli-made; American-made. It is unfortunate that officials of Israel appear to know so little about what their government is doing in the terrorism department.”

Did Walker sleep through the Islamist attack against the World Trade Center in 1993? Has no one ever told her about 9/11 (New York City), 3/11 (Madrid), 7/7 (London) and 11/26 (Mumbai)? Has she completely forgotten that, for nearly fifty years, Palestinian terrorists have been hijacking passenger planes, bombing synagogues, and blowing up Israeli civilians in shopping malls, small stores, on buses, in hotels, at discotheques? Yes, Alice, even the children; especially the children.

Walker does not mention any of these events in her litany of terrorism, which she confines strictly to Israeli attacks on Gaza.

Walker gets it wrong every time. She writes:

“One of the things so painful to remember about the segregated south is that no matter what white people did to them black people were not allowed to fight back, not even with a word or a glance, hence the expression ‘reckless eye-balling’ which led many a black person to be beaten or killed. The idea that the people of Palestine are not even supposed to fight back, after everything that’s been done to them, is cruel and inhuman, since protecting one’s self and family and land and livelihood is an instinct we share with all creatures on the planet. To collectively punish them (by bombing and starvation) for electing their own government in a democratic election acknowledged by most observers to have been fair, is sadistic as well as internationally condemned as illegal.”

What she is really saying is that it is only the people of Israel who are not supposed to fight back when they are attacked. Apparently, she disagrees with her idol President (then Senator) Obama who, in 2008, told an Israeli audience in Sderot: “[I]f missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that.”

Does Walker not understand that from 2001-2007 Hamas launched 2,496 Qassam rockets into southern Israel, traumatizing the children and the adults for the rest of their lives? These civilian residents hear a siren and have fifteen highly anxious seconds to get into a bomb shelter. The noise is torturous. So is the fear. Only after six long and terrible years did Israel finally feel compelled to launch Operation Cast Lead. In daring to defend themselves, the world cursed them. And maligned them. It took more than a year for the real facts to come to light: namely, that Turkey had sent mercenaries armed with deadly weapons on board the Marvi Marmara. The killers were neatly “embedded” with the so-called peace activists.

Walker believes that “the people on the Mavi Marmara were attacked and that the people who were killed were massacred. We know that the Israeli forces confiscated virtually all of the footage of what transpired from the passengers on the boat. Then they sent out their own video, framing the fuzzy images in ways that support their narrative of having been attacked by the people on the boat!”

But there is nothing “fuzzy” about the photo of one the flotilla “activists” standing over a bloodied Israeli solder with a knife in his hand. According to one IDF soldier’s account:

“They had metal clubs, knives, slingshots, glass bottles…At one point there was also live fire….I was among the last to descend, and I saw that the group was dispersed, everyone in his own corner surrounded by three or four men. I saw a soldier on the floor with two men beating him. I peeled them off of him and they came at me and began beating me with the clubs….”[They were] about 30 men; they simply came for war. We came to straighten things out, to speak to those who went downstairs, but each of us who descended was simply attacked.”

Walker reverses reality to suit her purpose. Actually, she parts company with reality entirely.

Why exactly do the Palestinians even need a flotilla? What kind of blockade are we really talking about? Israel allows over a thousand truckloads of goods into Gaza every week. The Israelis check ships for weapons and then send everything else into Gaza overland. Egypt now controls the Rafah crossing. The Muslim Brotherhood has been sending warriors and weapons steadily into Gaza. What is the real, humanitarian point of this flotilla?

Alice Walker believes she is following Mahatma Gandhi in what she is doing. It chills my heart, but perhaps that is precisely what she is doing. In 1938, in an open letter to the Jews, Gandhi wrote:

“[S]uffering voluntarily undergone will bring [the Jews] an inner strength and joy…the calculated violence of Hitler may even result in a general massacre of the Jews…But if the Jewish mind could be prepared for voluntary suffering, even the massacre I have imagined could be turned into a day of thanksgiving and joy that Jehovah had wrought deliverance of the race even at the hands of the tyrant. For to the God-fearing, death has no terror.”

In 1946, after this joyous suffering had indeed befallen European Jewry, Gandhi wrote, “Hitler…killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs… It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany… As it is they succumbed anyway in their millions.”

This is the maddening and dangerous desire of the flotilla goers. They believe—no, they feel—that if the Israeli Jews all killed themselves (see Gandhi, above) or were all murdered (read what Ahmadinejad has said and what nearly every Arab Muslim leader and civilian has also said), that our deaths would usher in an era of peace on earth and celestial justice.

Warring Arab tribes, fratricidal Muslim sects, Third World racists and misogynist barbarians would all lie down together and cease their animal and human sacrifice. Is this what you believe, Alice?

Phyllis Chesler

Source: http://www.phyllis-chesler.com/1009/gaza-flotilla-of-fools

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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