Friday, July 13, 2012

Mordechai Kedar: Tribal Democracy


by Mordechai Kedar

Read the article in the original עברית
Read the article in Italiano (translated by Yehudit Weisz, edited by Angelo Pezzana)

At the end of last week, for the first time in its history, free democratic elections were held in Libya for the 200 members of the Transitional Legislative Council; 120 "independent" members, meaning representatives of tribes and cities, and 80 representatives from nationwide political parties. As of this writing, the official results have still not been publicized, but according to the assessment of observers, Islamic forces have won a minority of seats in parliament. It should be mentioned that during the past year a Salafi jihadist stream led by Abd al-Hakim Belhadj appeared in Libya, which was a cause of very great concern to some external observers.

Libya is a desert country, part of the dry, arid Great Sahara Desert. Life in the desert constrains its residents to live within the framework of a clan, the size of which is limited by available sources of livelihood in the desert environment. Near a spring and its vegetation, which provides food and drink for them and their flocks, they would prefer to remain within a larger framework which would enable them to defend the sources of their livelihood. But in this arid environment of scant resources, they practice that which Abraham said to Lot in the Judean Desert "Please part from me" (Genesis 13: 9) and thus they live within smaller frameworks. The smaller the group, the more solidarity, toughness and cruelty is demanded in order to defend itself, its sources of livelihood and the honor of its daughters and wives from outsiders,

In Libya there is another factor which has had the effect of increasing tribal cohesion, and this is the dictatorial regime of Qadhaffi. In the context of life under a dictator, in which the tribe also serves as a defense of the individual against the oppression of the regime, the regime must work with the tribe, which defends the individual, in such a way as to arrive at agreements with the tribe and to honor its autonomy and interests, its leaders and its laws and customs. The desert tribe gives its members immunity from the state apparatuses; the situation of the Bedouin in the Negev vis a vis the Israeli government and in Sinai vis a vis the Egyptian government, are a good examples of this.

The conditions of the desert combined with the dictatorship of Qadhaffi created a situation where the great majority of the Libyan population was engaged in an ongoing battle against the forces of nature and the cruelty of man. This situation strengthened the tribal frameworks and turned them into fearless and merciless fighting militiamen. The difficulties create toughness, the battle justifies violence and the problems strengthen solidarity. This situation explains why Qadhaffi had to be so cruel in order to impose his rule upon the population, because there must be a match between the level of violence practiced by a society and the violence that a regime must use in order to subdue a society to submit to his authority for an extended period. There are rumors in Libya that the number of kalashnikovs possessed by the populace is twice the number of residents. Even if this rumor is an exaggeration, it is not far from the bitter and violent reality of this state, because people have weapons and will use them whenever a disagreement arises between them, and where a society engages in blood feuds, it is very difficult to put an end to them, and they continue for a long time and cause many casualties.

The Western democratic model is built on a basic rule, which is that everyone - individuals as well as groups - is constrained not to act with violence but to conduct disagreements and conflicts between them in a legitimate way, not by violence. Another principle in a democratic system is the importance of the individual who goes to the poll and votes according to his conscience, not according to the dictates of his family. However the elimination of the tribal framework and its function is an impossible task in the short run, and therefore young democracies must allow traditional, ethnic, tribal, religious and sectarian frameworks to express themselves, within a young democratic system. This forces it to fight for its legitimacy and survival vis a vis long-standing frameworks that are traditional, legitimate, strong, and sometimes violent .

Libya is a tribal society with a recent dictatorial past, and should not be expected to erase its tribal character and become an individualistic society overnight. A Marxist experiment such as this was carried out in South Yemen between 1967 and 1990, and failed. The migration to the city as a result of the development of an oil-based economy created in Libya a stratum of people with a local consciousness and less of a tribal one, but the characteristics of its behavior within the new framework are no different from those that characterized behavior within the tribal framework. The Bedouin proverb says: "It is easy to take the Bedouin out of the desert, but difficult to take the desert out of the Bedouin".

Since Qadhaffi was overthrown a year ago, conflicts have broken out between the tribes and the main ethnic groups in Libya, Arabs and Berbers, and it was clear that the new political framework, in order to be an acceptable and legitimate system, must consider the social, tribal structure of the population and not try to fight it. Therefore, the National Transitional Council which has been managing the state since the fall of Qadhaffi, pre-allocated 120 seats, which is 60 percent of the 200 seats of the parliament that was elected at the end of last week, to "independent representatives", meaning representatives of the tribes and the cities, and only 40 percent of the representatives (80 seats) from general national parties which are based on ideology, not on the tribe. The results were as expected: the Islamists were in the minority and the liberals, along with the independent representatives of the tribes, formed the majority.

Those in Libya who are responsible for planning the elections, learned from the experience of Tunisia and Egypt, who allocated much weight to the general national ideological parties, and this enabled the Islamist parties to win the leadership positions, since they were better organized than the liberal parties, their leadership has religious approval and they have organized, recognized and coherent ideologies. Liberals, who are usually anonymous, transmit new, unknown, incoherent ideas, which are usually not clearly understood by the population, part of which cannot read or write, and therefore are unable to win over large portions of the young democratic system in a tribal society. And if the Liberals transmit messages contrary to the religion or the tribal tradition, they are rejected.

The elections that were held in Libya were intended to set up a group that will write the constitution for the state, meaning the prescription according to which authorities will be divided between the parliament, the president, the legal system and the military. It is evident that in Libya they are learning from the failed experiments of Egypt, in which the military, which was appointed by Mubarak, and according to a legal ruling from Mubarak's era, dispersed the democratically elected Islamic parliament, greatly diminished the authorities of the Islamist president, who was also elected democratically, and cannot set up a body that will write the constitution for the state. The parliament in Libya is intended to allow a greater expression to the social mosaic of Libya, and to create an arena for political battle which is not violent and will not engender a contest between the liberals and the Islamists within it, and all of this without undermining its typical tribal character,.

No need to get excited by the announcements of people in Libya that Islamic Shari'a will be the basis for legislation in Libya, because - unlike Egypt where about one tenth of the citizens are Coptic Christians - all of the citizens of Libya are Muslims, and Shari'a guides their way. The tribal culture does not usually carry out amputation of the hands of thieves, and if someone sips a beer or whiskey in his house, the tribe will not necessarily make a big deal out of it. The fact that the Islamists, who won the lead in Tunisia and Egypt, have not solved the problems of their states diminishes the attractiveness of the Muslim Brotherhood motto "The Solution is Islam", and in Libya apparently the feeling is widespread that in reality, this is not the solution.

The new regime in Libya will have to find the teetering balance point between tribalism and individualism, between tradition and modernism, between Islam and liberalism, taking into account the divided, or even fragmented, social structure of the population, in the centers of power such as Tripolitania in the West, Cyrenaica in the East and Sabha in the South, with the local economic interests that are connected with the oil industry, and especially - with the many weapons that are in the hands of the population and the willingness of their owners to use them without warning.

No doubt, the task of post-Qadhaffi Libya is difficult; the road is long but the alternative is to return to dictatorship or to sink into a swamp of fire, blood and tears, that no one will be able to escape from. From this honorable stage I send the wishes of the citizens of Israel to our Libyan friends, that they will succeed in the enormous task that history has imposed upon them; that they will lead Libya forward towards success, and that they will remember that on the Eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea there is a small democratic state that is willing to share with Libya its experience in industry, agriculture, desalination of water, water management, research, development, science and art.

===============

Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Mordechai.Kedar@biu.ac.il) is an Israeli scholar of Arabic and Islam, a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and the director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. He specializes in Islamic ideology and movements, the political discourse of Arab countries, the Arabic mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena.

Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav.

Links to Dr. Kedar's recent articles on this blog:

Source: The article is published in the framework of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. Also published in Makor Rishon, a Hebrew weekly newspaper.

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

A First Look at Egypt’s New Constitution Shows a Careful Ambiguity On Islamic Rule


by Barry Rubin


Although it isn’t official, the first two articles of Egypt’s new Constitution have been reportedly drafted by the committee of parliamentarians charged with that task. Article 1 defines Egypt as part of the Arab and Muslim nation, a compromise between acceptance of the country as a normal nation-state and its identity as either a purely Arab nationalist or Islamist entity.

Similarly, Article 2, according to Mohamed Emara, head of the committee responsible for drafting this section, says:

“Islam is the religion of the state, and Arabic is its official language, and the principles of Islamic Sharia are the main source for legislation. Christians and Jews shall resort to legislation derived from their own religions.”

There is some ambiguity here as to whether Egypt would thus be a Sharia state. On one hand, Islamic law is not made the sole source of legislation, while the word “principles” might mean that the interpretation will be loose, principles and not all of the details. Bourhamy says that this merely shows that Egypt isn’t a secular state.

On the other hand, though, both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis accepted this formulation. Since they want a Sharia state this implies they don’t feel that phrasing blocks their goal. Moreover, the meaning of those “principles” will be defined not by the courts but by the al-Azhar mosque university. While the leaders of that institution are more moderate than the Brotherhood and Salafis, presumably President Muhammad al-Mursi will replace them at some point with his own people.

Although it isn’t official, the first two articles of Egypt’s new Constitution have been reportedly drafted by the committee of parliamentarians charged with that task. Article 1 defines Egypt as part of the Arab and Muslim nation, a compromise between acceptance of the country as a normal nation-state and its identity as either a purely Arab nationalist or Islamist entity.

Similarly, Article 2, according to Mohamed Emara, head of the committee responsible for drafting this section, says:

“Islam is the religion of the state, and Arabic is its official language, and the principles of Islamic Sharia are the main source for legislation. Christians and Jews shall resort to legislation derived from their own religions.”

There is some ambiguity here as to whether Egypt would thus be a Sharia state. On one hand, Islamic law is not made the sole source of legislation, while the word “principles” might mean that the interpretation will be loose, principles and not all of the details. Bourhamy says that this merely shows that Egypt isn’t a secular state.

On the other hand, though, both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis accepted this formulation. Since they want a Sharia state this implies they don’t feel that phrasing blocks their goal. Moreover, the meaning of those “principles” will be defined not by the courts but by the al-Azhar mosque university. While the leaders of that institution are more moderate than the Brotherhood and Salafis, presumably President Muhammad al-Mursi will replace them at some point with his own people.

Incidentally, one reader asked me why the Constitution refers to Jews even though there are literally no Jews in Egypt. I think the reason is that Islamists wrote this section simply putting in traditional language of how the “People of the Book” were supposed to be treated according to Muslim holy texts. Otherwise it makes no sense.

The Arabic word used to define “democracy” in the Egyptian Constitution is “shura.” This is a term often used in Muslim countries because it is found in the Koran. It might be translated as “consultative,” since the ruler (then the caliph; in this case, al-Mursi) can consult with the parliament. This might be taken to imply that its decisions are not binding. Also that the parliament does not have a free hand in passing laws since—it is implied—no law can be passed that conflicts with Sharia law.

Non-Islamists can argue that there is no harm in the word but it should be noted that the idea for using this term was suggested by a Salafist.

The bottom line is that there is an ambiguity which Western observers and anti-Islamist Egyptians can say means that the country will not be a Sharia state, while Islamists can maintain their own view. The key point, of course, is not the wording as such but who gets to interpret it down the road.

Finally, Christians, it is implied, will be governed by their own religious laws. But this is a peculiar formulation. If Egypt is not governed by Sharia law then why would Christians need to be exempt from it? If this provision is restricted only to matters of personal status (principally marriage, divorce, and inheritance) then Christians would mostly be living under Sharia law in any state court. And what does this constitutional provision mean for example regarding the status of women, where Egyptian law has granted more rights than Sharia would do? Another important issue will be the appointment of future judges since many of the current magistrates oppose Sharia law as that of the state.

If there is an Islamist president and parliament who pass laws that correspond only to Sharia and who appoint Islamist judges and al-Azhar shaykhs then Egypt will be a Sharia state. No doubt though the Constitution will be interpreted by many Western observers of proof that the Brotherhood and Salafists have moderated.

Barry Rubin

Source: http://www.gloria-center.org/2012/07/news-flash-a-first-look-at-egypt%E2%80%99s-new-constitution-show-a-careful-ambiguity-on-islamic-rule/

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

Israeli Settlements: Not Just Legal, But Necessary


by Steven Plaut


A fascinating development this week in Israel was the release of the report of a governmental commission, whose assignment was to define the legal status of the “occupied territories” for purposes of government policy. The commission was headed by Edmund Levy, an interesting Supreme Court Judge and one of the only ones who is not a judicial activist leftist.

The Obama people are upset with the report – an indication of how good it is – and Israel’s moonbat Left is positively wetting itself in anguish. The synopsis of the report itself can be read in English here.

Basically the report says that the West Bank – Judea and Samaria – are not occupied territories at all but, at most, disputed territories, something like the US-Canadian border areas were during parts of North American history. As such, there is no reason why Israel cannot build there and even seize land there under eminent domain. There is nothing in international law that would make settlements “illegal.” And these should thus be proclaimed by Israel as completely legal. Whether or not Israel should build settlements then becomes a matter of Israeli interests and policy, not legal obstacles.

Here in brief is the case for Jewish settlements in the West Bank:

  • It is in Israel’s acute national interest to prevent the West Bank from serving as a terrorist base, from which rockets, mortars and possibly weapons of mass destruction would be launched at Israel. Life in Israel would be impossible with the West Bank serving as a “Palestinian State,” basically a clone of Hamastan in Gaza. It is thus critical to do everything to prevent that from happening.
  • Every accord or “deal” that provides for any sort of “Palestinian” state or sovereignty or entity operating outside Israeli control in the West Bank will produce the scenario of the previous point, mass terrorist aggression from “Palestine,” making life in Israel impossible. It does not matter what would be written in any accord or treaty.
  • Israel would be prevented from taking serious action against terrorist aggression from this “Palestine” by international pressures and sanctions, and the Israeli Left would rally the world against Israeli “aggression” in all such cases.
The only way effectively to prevent the conversion of the West Bank into a Hamastan terror base is by maintaining a significant Jewish population there. This effectively prevents international pressure from producing the conversion of the West Bank into the second Hamastan, and prevents endlessly appeasing and cowardly Israeli governments from capitulating to those pressures. (Imagine what Olmert would have done without the settlements.) Since most of the settlers are actually living in Jerusalem suburbs, their presence there also prevents any capitulations by Israel to pressures regarding relinquishing Jerusalem.
  • While there are other moral and historic arguments why Israel and Jews have the right to live in the West Bank, the only REAL purpose of “settlements” is to prevent the emergence of any “Palestinian state.” No other rationalization or justification is needed. There are no other effective alternative ways to prevent the conversion of the West Bank into Hamastan.

West Bank settlements are no obstacle at all for the economic development of the “Palestinian” population centers there, nor to forms of limited autonomy, which should be the most that Israel is willing to concede to the “Palestinians.” (And even they are not an entitlement.)

There is a more fundamental problem with the whole word “occupation.” The anti-Israel lobby, including Israel’s Left, adopted the nonsense word “occupation” originally after 1967 because at the time it still conjured up associations with the Nazi occupation of Europe and the Japanese occupation of East Asia before and during the War. Israeli leaders decided that semantics did not matter and refused to fight against the terminology, and the battle was forfeited more than 40 years ago. The analogous Hebrew word “kibush” is an even more ridiculous word, meaning “conquest.” It is like claiming that the Belgian and Dutch territories liberated from the Nazis by the Allies are now “conquered territories.” As a matter of general policy, I would suggest that any time an Israeli uses the nonsense word “kibush,” and that includes half the articles in Haaretz, then you should regard absolutely everything else that person says about the world to be absolute nonsense.

Steven Plaut

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/steven-plaut/israeli-settlements-not-just-legal-but-necessary/

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

Contentions Great Danger in a Post-Assad Syria


by Max Boot

Reuel Marc Gerecht has a typically perspicacious op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today advocating a stepped-up CIA campaign to oust Bashar al-Assad. He notes: “A coordinated, CIA-led effort to pour anti-tank, anti-aircraft, and anti-personnel weaponry through gaping holes in the regime’s border security wouldn’t be hard.”

Not only would this help to end the bloodshed (estimates are that close to 20,000 people have already been killed), as Gerecht argues, but it would also, as I have previously argued, give the U.S. the ability to shape a post-Assad regime. There is great danger not only in the continuing consequences of all-out civil war in Syria, which could give al-Qaeda and other extremists room to operate, but also great danger in a splintered, chaotic post-Assad environment where the most organized groups could be composed of Sunni fundamentalists backed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. An active American role now, whether overt or covert, could give us great influence with the rebels and help to avert some of the worst dangers if and when Assad is eventually topped. That is what happened in Libya, and the result is that a secular coalition has won its recent election.

Such action would, however, require a level of commitment that the administration has not hitherto displayed. As Gerecht notes, the administration seems to be hoping that Russia can somehow be persuaded to abandon Assad, which seems unlikely. Or else the administration may simply be hoping that Assad will be overthrown even absent much action on the part of the U.S. But, even though there have been a few more defections from the regime in recent days, the Assad inner circle seems to be holding firm. And even though the rebels increasingly control the countryside, the regime appears firmly ensconced in the major cities. With Russian and Iranian support, the regime could stay in power, in at least part of Syria, for a considerable time to come. That is a terrible outcome and one that vigorous American action can help to avert.

Max Boot

Source: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/07/12/great-danger-in-a-post-assad-syria/

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

Obama and “The Brothers”: An Invitation to Disaster


by Michael Widlanski

President Barack Obama, who invited the Muslim Brotherhood to his Cairo speech in 2009, has now invited Brotherhood leader and Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi for talks in the United States.

But as the Muslim Brotherhood comes to power in Egypt, we should all be worried, because the Brotherhood was the group that fathered Al-Qaeda and the Jihad groups that attacked New York in 1993 and again on 9-11.

But President Obama is not worried. He thinks the Brotherhood coming to power is an opportunity—perhaps to achieve even more of a “dialogue,” for “engagement,” with the Arab-Islamic world.

So far this dialogue of engagement has failed everywhere Obama has tried it—in Egypt, in Iran and in Turkey, but the president with the Islamic middle name thinks he can charm radical leaders to a path of moderation.

Back on the ground in the Middle East, there has been a 104-percent increase in terror attacks across the border into Israel from Gaza and Sinai in the last month. Cross-border infiltration and rocket attacks are a daily affair, usually without fatalities, but that will change when the terrorists “get lucky.”

When that happens, and it will, Israeli leaders will have to abandon the pin-point reprisal policy and escalate to a more thorough house cleaning of the border area. The Islamic terrorists in Sinai and Gaza, supported by 11 Bedouin tribes that make money from smuggling, are heavily armed.

There are more than half a dozen different terror groups—some associated with Al-Qaeda—and they will all want to flex their muscles.

Israeli military planners think it is only a matter of time before the Brotherhood, its sister organization, Hamas, that rules Gaza, and the other terror groups destabilize Israel’s southern border, undermining the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty and even causing a military conflict.

But in the rarefied air of the White House and Foggy Bottom, the Obama Administration is oblivious.

President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and anti-terror chief John Brennan do not seem too concerned. They helped bring the Brotherhood to the Egyptian presidency by undermining Egyptian leader Husni Mubarak, much the way Jimmy Carter undermined Iran’s Shah 34 years ago.

Obama and Co. invited participation by the Brotherhood in Egypt’s governance, bringing them to Obama’s Cairo speech of 2009. They should have known: He who invites extremists to the appetizer should not be surprised when they stay for dinner and dessert.

The “Brothers” are not interested in sharing power any more than the Iranian ayatollahs were. Yes, there are differences between Sunni Islamic radicals (Egypt) and Shiite Islamic radicals (Iran), but they also have much in common:

  • They hate Muslims who are not sufficiently religious and are too “Western” in their daily lives;
  • They hate America and Israel;
  • And they hate sharing power with anyone.

There will be no real democracy in a Brotherhood-led Egypt. You can bet on it.

The secular Egyptian army will hold out for a bit, but will finally succumb. That is what happened in Turkey, where Obama’s other favorite extremist Islamic leader, Recept Erdogan, swept the army aside. Turkey, once a reliable NATO ally, is now an unreliable force, and Egypt, once a reliable friend of the US, will also drift away.

Throughout this chain of events, it is hard not to see the resemblance between President Obama’s actions in Egypt and those of President Jimmy Carter in Iran.

Carter and his aides hoped/prayed for moderation in Iran. But we got 30 years of death, terror, and a nuclear bomb program. Obama and Co. will get much the same from the Brotherhood, whose Arabic name—Ikhwan—comes from the blood-curdling Wahhabi movement in Arabia that spawned the Brotherhood in Egypt.

Obama and his aides like to drone on about how Obama personally liquidated Osama Bin-Laden, but in the long term, Obama’s loss of Egypt will be much more important, and it could overshadow even Carter’s loss of Iran.

Egypt is the anchor of the Mediterranean theater. It was coveted by Napoleon and the Soviets, and it is at the heart of the Middle East. If it radiates instability, we all lose, as extremism flows out to Israel, Europe and pro-US Arab states.

What happened to the Obama Administration? Why were its officials not more alert to the underside of the so-called “Arab Spring”?

Top anti-terror officials in the Obama Administration gave speeches at NYU or Georgetown describing the beauty of Islam and speaking of jihad as a spiritual journey.

Soon, we may discover where that journey leads.

To battle Arab-Islamic terror efficiently, we must re-establish a cadre of Middle East specialists who are experts in history and language rather than politically correct nostrums that lead only to wishful thinking and strategic surprise.

Dr. Michael Widlanski, an expert on Arab politics and communications, is the author of Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat just published March by Threshold/Simon and Schuster. He taught at the Hebrew University for nearly two decades and served as Strategic Affairs Advisor for Israel’s Ministry of Public Security.

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/michael-widlanski/obama-and-the-brothers-an-invitation-to-disaster/

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

History Proves Settlements' Legality


by Ze'ev Jabotinsky

This week, a government-appointed committee, headed by former Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy, issued its findings on the legal status of outposts in Judea and Samaria. The report explicitly concluded that the establishment of settlements does not constitute a violation of international law.

Committee member Dr. Alan Baker, a world-renowned expert on international law, said in an interview: "In terms of international law, it is not illegal to settle in Judea and Samaria, and that is the central, important conclusion that has been absent until now."

Later in the interview, he clarified that the settlements do not qualify as occupied territories because no one ever had any recognized sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. Even if there had been official sovereignty (meaning Jordan's claim of sovereignty, recognized only by Pakistan and Britain), Jordan voluntarily relinquished it (by signing the peace agreement with Israel), he explained.

The astonished Left quickly embarked on a mission to undermine the legitimacy of the committee's findings. But that is a difficult task because the findings rest on the following facts: Turkey's defeat in World War I was the jumping-off point for the international law pertaining to sovereignty over the State of Israel, west of the Jordan River. In his book "Principles of International Law," international law expert Ian Brownlie wrote that after the defeat of the central powers, the victorious states assumed the power of disposition over colonial territories of the defeated states.

Within the framework of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, the victor states mediated a dialogue between Jews and Arabs on the issue of the future of the territory of Palestine: Would it be a Jewish state or an Arab state? On Feb. 6, 1919, King Faisal bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi appeared at the conference and argued in favor of Arab sovereignty over Palestine (on both sides of the Jordan River). On Feb. 27, 1919, Haim Weizmann addressed the conference and argued for the Jews' right to sovereignty over the same land. The victor states deliberated and decided that the Jews' right overpowered the Arabs' right to the land, especially since the rest of the Middle East – Syria, Lebanon and Iraq – was designated for the Arabs. The League of Nations composed a contract-like document called the Mandate of Palestine in the spirit of that decision.

This document was unique in that it protected the civil and religious rights of all the residents of the land, while granting the right to self-determination, future sovereignty and governance only to the Jews, upon the expiration of the mandate. The key clause can be found in the third paragraph of the introduction: "Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country."

This document was ratified by the San Remo Conference (an international meeting of the post-World War I Allied Supreme Council) in April 1920, and it was unanimously approved by the League of Nations in July 1922. That was the moment the Jews' sole sovereignty over the Land of Israel was recognized, and this recognition became part of international law, which hasn't changed since then.

These historical facts are precisely the basis for the committee's findings.

Ze'ev Jabotinsky

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=2224

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

Syria's Ambassador to Iraq Defects to Opposition


by Rick Moran

The highest ranking Syrian diplomat to date has defected to the opposition. Nawaf Fares, Syrian ambassador to Iraq, announced at a press conference that he was joining the rebellion against President Assad.

BBC:

The move comes just a week after a Syrian general from a powerful family close to President Assad also defected.

Meanwhile Western nations are urging the UN to threaten tough sanctions against Syria as the Security Council opens talks on the future of its observer mission in the country.

The Security Council must pass a new resolution before the mission's mandate ends on Friday next week.

Mr Fares confirmed his defection in a statement broadcast on al-Jazeera TV.

With Syrian revolutionary flags behind him, he read out the statement saying: "I announce my resignation from my post as ambassador of the Syrian Arab Republic to the brotherly republic of Iraq."

He also announced he was quitting Syria's ruling Baath party.

Mr Fares described the situation in Syria as a "horrific massacre by the criminals of a brutal regime".

He said he believed that there was no longer any hope of real reform.

Mr Fares - a former governor of several provinces - was appointed ambassador to Baghdad in 2008. He was the first Syrian envoy to Iraq for nearly three decades, because of bad relations between the two countries.

The BBC's Jim Muir in neighbouring Lebanon says, significantly, he is also chief of a Sunni tribe, the Uqaydat, which straddles Syria's eastern border with Iraq.

Fares was apparently not a member of the inner circle, but his defection may give other diplomats the idea. A few high ranking defections may start the ball rolling elsewhere as the rats begin to abandon a sinking ship.

Rick Moran

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/07/syrias_ambassador_to_iraq_defects_to_opposition.html

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

Why Abbas Will Never Make Peace With Israel


by Khaled Abu Toameh

Arafat had been telling his people that anyone who makes concessions to Israel is a traitor. Like Arafat, Abbas does not want to go down in history as the first Palestinian leader to make concessions, especially on sensitive issues such as refugees and Jerusalem.

What are the chances that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would ever sign a peace agreement with Israel?

The answer: zero.

Abbas, who is in his late 70s, has been in power since 2005 even though his term in office formally ended in January 2009.

If Abbas did not sign a peace agreement with Israel when he was a legitimate president during his earlier four-year term in office, he is most unlikely to strike any deal with Israel now that he does not have a mandate from his people.

If he wished, Abbas could have reached a deal with the governments of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. But Abbas, like his predecessor Yasser Arafat, chose to turn down a generous offer that could have seen Israel relinquish control over most of the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Abbas is not interested in reaching any deal with Israel: he knows that such a move would require him to make concessions. Abbas knows that Israel will never give him 100% of his demands; that is enough for him to refuse to sign any historic agreement.

Like Arafat, Abbas does not want to go down into history as the first Palestinian leader to make concessions, especially on sensitive issues such as refugees and Jerusalem.

In 2000, Arafat rejected Prime Minister Ehud Barak's generous offer, which included more than 90% of the territories captured by Israel in the Six Day War.

Arafat turned down the offer because he was afraid of being condemned by Arabs and Muslims for having "sold out to the Jews." Arafat was later quoted as explaining that if he made any concessions to Israel he would "end up drinking coffee with [slain Egyptian President] Anwar Sadat up there."

So if Arafat, the popular symbol and leader of the Palestinians was unable to make any concessions to Israel, who is Abbas to accept anything less than 100%?

Abbas knows that in a final deal, Israel would not permit millions of Palestinians living in refugee camps to enter the country. He also knows that Israel is planning to retain control over some parts of the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Arafat walked away from the Camp David summit in 2000 because he had been telling his people that anyone who makes concessions to Israel is a traitor.

Similarly, Abbas has also tied his hands by constantly promising the Palestinians that he would never make concessions on the "right of return" and settlements.

Abbas has even gone a step further by mobilizing Palestinian public opinion against Israel to a point where his people are not even ready to see him meeting with Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz.

Abbas's Palestinian Authority has been denouncing Israel and many of its leaders, including Mofaz, as war criminals. This is why when, two weeks ago, Palestinians heard that Mofaz was planning to visit Ramallah to meet with Abbas, hundreds took to the streets to protest.

Abbas quickly succumbed, and called off the meeting with Mofaz.

The next time Abbas plans to meet with any Israeli government official, Palestinians will once again take to the streets to protest.

The motives of the protesters are understandable. Why should they approve of such meetings while Abbas himself has been telling them for many years that Israeli leaders are war criminals and do not want peace?

If Abbas is not even able to hold a meeting with a senior representative of the Israeli government, who said that he could ever reach any peace agreement with Israel?

Abbas's problem is more with his people than with Israel. Not only does Abbas not have a mandate to reach any deal with Israel, he has also lost much of his credibility among Palestinians for his failure to end his dispute with Hamas and to implement major reforms in his ruling Fatah faction

Today, Abbas is not in a position that allows him to sell to most Palestinians any agreement he reaches with Israel. Even if he were to bring home an agreement that includes 100% of his demands, most Palestinians would still receive it with full skepticism because it would be coming from a leader who does not have a mandate to make even the slightest concession.

Under the current circumstances, the wisest thing to do would be to maintain the status quo until the emergence of a new Palestinian leader who would have the true courage to make peace with Israel.

Khaled Abu Toameh

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3159/abbas-peace

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

France Penalizes Boycott of Israeli Products


by Peter Martino

Calling for a boycott of Israeli products is treated in the same manner as would be a call for the boycott of Islamic products. Publicly calling for the boycott of Israeli products is a case of incitement to discrimination on the basis of nationality.

Last May, the Cour de Cassation, the Supreme Court of France, ruled that calls for a boycott of Israeli products constitute discrimination and as such are illegal under French law.

The verdict was the final ruling in a legal battle that went on for years. On 9 July 2005, exactly seven years ago, the Palestinian Authority called for a worldwide Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign against the Jewish State. In February 2009, following the Gaza War in the winter of 2008-2009, several leftist and pro-Palestinian organizations in France convened to organize a French BDS campaign. The activists target French and international corporations that do business in Israel, French branches of Israeli companies, and supermarkets selling Israeli products.

Supermarkets are raided by commando units who block the entrances or storm the premises in order to remove the Israeli products or label them with stickers stating that Israel is an "apartheid state." Often the raids are videotaped and posted on YouTube. The French revolutionary Left considers BDS to be a huge political success. The BDS actions attract a lot of support from Muslims youths from the suburbs surrounding the French cities. It is the first time since the 1960s and 70s that the French Left has been able to mobilize large numbers of youths.

BDS activists have succeeded in intimidating a number of supermarkets to remove Israeli products from their shelves, movie theaters to stop programming Israeli movies, and universities to cancel lectures by Israeli citizens. The lectures were boycotted simply because of their nationality and their Jewish religion; not for the opinions they personally might have held about Israeli politics.

Soon after the BDS raids began, the French Bureau National de Vigilance Contre l'Antisémitisme (National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism), a Jewish organization that was founded in 2002, started to lodge complaints against BDS at courts all over France. Sometimes the courts went along with the complaints, sometimes they did not.

In February 2010, the penal court of Bordeaux convicted Saquina Arnaud-Khimoun for labeling Israeli products with the sticker "Boycott Apartheid Israel." The court ruled that she had "hindered the normal exercise of economic activities by making a distinction on the basis of nationality." The French anti-discrimination act of 1981 prohibits "incitment to discrimination, hatred or violence against a person or a group of persons on the basis of descent, ethnicity and nationality or the fact whether or not one belongs to a race or a religion." Arnaud-Khimoun was sentenced to a fine of €1,000 ($1,230). In October 2010, the Appeals Court of Bordeaux reaffirmed the verdict.

However, in July 2011, a court in Paris acquitted Olivia Zémor, a member of the group EuroPalestine, for posting a video on the internet showing Palestinian and French activists wearing t-shirts calling for a boycott of Israel. Zémor was brought to court by four organizations, including the Israeli Chamber of Commerce.

The Paris court ruled that calling for the boycott of Israeli products is not prohibited under French law. The tribunal said that "Criticism of a State or its policies cannot be regarded, in principle, as infringing the rights or dignity of its nationals, without seriously affecting freedom of expression in a world now globalized, whose civil society has become a major actor, and since no 'criminal offence against a Foreign State' has ever been established under substantive law or international common law, because this would be contrary to the commonly accepted standard of freedom to express opinions."

The court added that "Since the call of a boycott of Israeli products is formulated by a citizen for political motives and is part of a political debate relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – a debate concerned with a matter of general interest with international significance – the offence of incitement to discrimination, based on the fact of belonging to a Nation, is not constituted." Moreover, the court pointed out, "certain sectors of Israeli opinion support the BDS call." In this regard, it explicitly referred to the declaration of the Israeli Women's Coalition for Peace.

The verdict in the Zémor case encouraged Arnaud-Khimoun in her decision to bring her case to the French Supreme Court. On 22 May, however, the French Cour de Cassation reaffirmed that publicly calling for the boycott of Israeli products is a case of incitement to discrimination on the basis of nationality.

This Supreme Court's ruling is in line with earlier French jurisdiction. In September 2004, a French mayor was convicted because during a session of the town council he had called to "boycott Israeli products in protest against the Israeli politics with regard to the Palestinians." This appeal was also posted on the town's internet site. The mayor was convicted by the Appeal Court and by the Supreme Court. In 2007, the French Supreme Court also convicted a French firm that had given a certificate to a company in the United Arab Emirates declaring that its goods had not been transported by an Israeli company and would not be delivered to Israel.

French BDS activists who took their cases to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strassbourg, also saw their cases turned down. On 16 July 2009, the ECHR ruled that the French verdicts prohibiting boycotts of Israeli products were not violating human rights. BDS has since tried to circumvent these verdicts by emphasizing that the BDS boycotts are limited to products from the "occupied territories." This, however, is contradicted by the website of BDS-France which calls for boycotts of Israeli products in general.

In an op-ed in the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, French lawyer Michael Ghnassia wrote that the ban on calling for a boycott of Israeli products is not an infringement of free speech because these boycotts affect all Israelis. Hence, the call to this boycott "is based on a racial, religious or national criterion and rather than representing a simple opinion, is a discriminatory action." He points out that the boycott is also inspired by "a manifest attempt to delegitimize the State of Israel."

While the ECHJ has upheld the French convictions, it should be noted that France is the only country in Europe where calling for a boycott of Israeli products has been prohibited. In other European countries, courts have so far not convicted BDS activities. It should also be noted that while in the United States the simple call for a boycott is protected by the First Amendment, European countries have restricted free speech and often convict people of incitement to discrimination and hatred for simply expressing their opinions about Islam. At least in France, calling for a boycott of Israeli products is treated in the same manner as would be a call for a boycott of Islamic products.

Peter Martino

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3164/france-penalizes-boycott-israeli-products

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

Sodomy "For the Sake of Islam"


by Raymond Ibrahim

As a possibly convenient way of rationalizing what one desires while still being able to feel "pure," anything and everything that is otherwise banned becomes permissible. All that supposedly matters is one's intention, or niyya.

Not only did the original "underwear bomber" Abdullah Hassan al-Asiri hide explosives in his rectum to assassinate Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Nayef—they met in 2009 after the 22-year-old holy warrior "feigned repentance for his jihadi views"—but al-Asiri apparently had fellow jihadis repeatedly sodomize him to "widen" his anus in order to accommodate the explosives— all in accordance with the fatwas [religious edicts] of Islamic clerics.

A 2010 Arabic news video that is making the rounds on the Internet gives the details. Apparently a cleric, one Abu al-Dema al-Qasab, informed jihadis of an "innovative and unprecedented way to execute martyrdom operations: place explosive capsules in your anus. However, to undertake this jihadi approach you must agree to be sodomized for a while to widen your anus so it can hold the explosives."

Others inquired further by asking for formal fatwas. Citing his desire for "martyrdom and the virgins of paradise," one jihadi, (possibly al-Asiri himself) asked another sheikh, "Is it permissible for me to let one of the jihadi brothers sodomize me to widen my anus if the intention is good?"

After praising Allah, the sheikh's fatwa began by declaring that sodomy is forbidden in Islam,

However, jihad comes first, for it is the pinnacle of Islam, and if the pinnacle of Islam can only be achieved through sodomy, then there is no wrong in it. For the overarching rule of [Islamic] jurisprudence asserts that "necessity makes permissible the prohibited." And if obligatory matters can only be achieved by performing the prohibited, then it becomes obligatory to perform the prohibited, and there is no greater duty than jihad. After he sodomizes you, you must ask Allah for forgiveness and praise him all the more. And know that Allah will reward the jihadis on the Day of Resurrection, according to their intentions—and your intention, Allah willing, is for the victory of Islam, and we ask that Allah accept it of you.

Two important and complementary points emerge from this view: 1) that jihad is the "pinnacle" of Islam—for it makes Islam supreme (based on a hadith, the formerly oral history of the life of Muhammad); and 2) that "necessity makes permissible the prohibited." These axioms are not limited to modern day fatwas, but in fact, were crystallized centuries and ago agreed to by the ulema [Islam's leading religious scholars]. The result is that—because making Islam supreme through jihad is the greatest priority—anything and everything that is otherwise banned becomes permissible. All that comes to matter is one's intention, or niyya.

From here one may understand the many ostensible incongruities of Islamic history: lying is forbidden—but permissible to empower Islam; intentionally killing women and children is forbidden—but permissible when performed during holy war, or jihad; suicide is forbidden—but also permissible during jihad, only then called "martyrdom."

Indeed, the Five Pillars of Islam—including prayer and fasting—may be ignored during the jihad. So important is the duty of jihad that the Ottoman sultans—who often spent half their lives on the battlefield—were not permitted to perform the obligatory pilgrimage to Mecca.

More recently, these ideas appeared in a different form during Egypt's elections, when Islamic leaders portrayed voting as a form of jihad and justified anything—including cheating, which was deemed "obligatory"—to empower Islam.

According to these two doctrines—which culminate in empowering Islam, no matter how—one may expect anything from would-be jihadis, regardless of how dubious the effort might seem to us.

Ironically, this mentality, prevalent throughout the Islamic world, is the same mentality that many Western leaders and politicians think can be appeased with just a bit more respect, well-wishing, and concessions from the West.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3158/islam-sodomy

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

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The West Bank May Never Be the Same


by Ted Belman

A legal tsunami gathering strength in Israel will soon engulf the region. An official report is soon to be released that says the Fourth Geneva Convention (FGC) does not apply to Judea and Samaria aka West Bank and that Israel has every right to build settlements there.

In January of this year, PM Netanyahu set up the Levy Committee to investigate the legal status of unauthorized West Bank Jewish building. The Committee was headed by Supreme Court Justice (ret) Edmund Levy. It included Tel Aviv District Court Judge (Ret.) Tehiya Shapira and Dr. Alan Baker an international law expert, who was part of the team that devised the Oslo Accords,

The Committee reviewed legal briefs from right of center groups but also from far left groups such as Peace Now, Yesh Din and Btselem. Its 89 page Report was submitted to PM Netanyahu a few weeks ago and is now under review by his Ministerial Committee on Settlements. Though the Report has yet to be formerly published, the contents are already well known.

It found that the settlements are not illegal. To reach this conclusion it first found that the Fourth Geneva Convention which applies "to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party" does not apply to Judea and Samaria because "Israel does not meet the criteria of 'military occupation' as defined under international law" ... as "no other legal entity has ever had its sovereignty over the area cemented under international law,"

Furthermore it found that there was no provision in international law which prohibited Jews settling in the area.

The UN and the EU have for decades repeated the mantra that the land is occupied and the settlements are illegal, both pursuant to the FGC, but there has never been a binding legal decision on which they based their assertions. The US has been more cautious and considers the settlements "an obstacle to peace" or "illegitimate." Nevertheless, it leads the chorus in demanding an end to Israel's settlement construction.

In 2010, Nicholas Rostow, in the American Interest , regarding the legality of the settlements, wrote:

On February 2, 1981, President Reagan stated that the settlements were "not illegal", although he criticized them as "ill-advised" and "unnecessarily provocative." Throughout the Reagan Administration the U.S. government did not question the legality of the settlements; rather, it criticized the settlements on policy grounds as an obstacle to the peace process. In the United Nations, the United States voted against resolutions describing Israeli settlements as illegal.

President George Bush followed suit and so did President Obama.

The Levy Report confirms the opinions of a large list of experts who have long claimed the same, including Stephen M. Schwebel, Professor of International Law at the School of Advanced International Studies of The Johns Hopkins University (Washington), former Deputy Legal Advisor of the U.S. State Department and President of the International Court of Justice from 1997 to 2000; Eugene W. Rostow, former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs and Distinguished Fellow at the U.S. Institute for Peace; Julius Stone, one of the 20th century's leading authorities on the Law of Nations, Doctor of Juridical Science from Harvard and Professor of Jurisprudence and International Law at universities in Australia and California; David Matas, world-renowned human rights lawyer and honorary counsel to B'nai Brith Canada and David M. Phillips, Professor at Northeastern University School of Law.

The question of the applicability of the FGC was considered by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), an arm of the UN, in its advisory opinion on the legality of the fence.

The ICJ held that "the Convention applies, in particular, in any territory occupied in the course of the conflict by one of the contracting parties." In other words, it ignored that the lands occupied must be the lands of "another High Contracting Party." This is not considered sound law and in any event, is not a binding decision.

The Supreme Court of Israel in its decision approving the fence as legal, said that "the question of the application of the Fourth Geneva Convention is not before us now, since the parties agree that the humanitarian rules of the Fourth Geneva Convention apply to the issue under review." Thus it didn't decide on the applicability.

The Left in Israel are screaming blue murder and referring to the Report as "born in sin" and a "political manifesto."

On Monday, while speaking to reporters, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said:

The US position on settlements is clear. Obviously, we've seen the reports that an Israeli government appointed panel has recommended legalizing dozens of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, but we do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, and we oppose any effort to legalize settlement outposts.

What is interesting about this statement is that Ventrell did not comment on the finding that the FGC did not apply or that the settlements were not illegal. He merely reiterated the US government position without substantiating it. Furthermore, the settlement outposts that the State Department doesn't want "legalized" are legal save for having not received their final approval from the Government of Israel. If they were really illegal by international law, Israel wouldn't be able to "legalize" them. Put another way, the US position is that Israel shouldn't exercise her rights because such exercise would be an obstacle to peace.

Accordingly, the legal conclusions of the Report are sound. What will the fallout be?

Well for starters, the UN may ask for another advisory opinion from the ICJ on the validity of this report but why bother, it already has one on the applicability of the FGC. It probably will choose to ignore it as just another opinion. Meanwhile the existence of the report will take the wind out of the sails of the US and the EU as they try to damn the settlements and Israel's actions. The US will have to acknowledge that since President Reagan, it has considered the settlements to be "not illegal" but only, "ill-advised."

PM Netanyahu will have to decide whether he will embrace the Report and act accordingly or whether he will wait for the issue to be adjudicated by Israel's High Court. It is highly unlikely that this Court will fly in the face of the named experts, the US Government and the Levy Report.

From a political point of view, he cannot ignore the Report. A political storm is raging. MK Tzippi Hotovely, Likud, is preparing a bill that will endorse the principles of the Levy Report and will require the establishment of a judicial tribunal in Judea and Samaria which will be given the responsibility of discussing matters related to land ownership, the establishment of an Israeli land registry in Judea and Samaria and applying Israeli building and planning laws on Judea and Samaria.

Where does that leave the international community? The foundation of their attacks on Israel will have been destroyed. It will be hard to ignore the Report and harder still to ignore a confirming decision by Israel's High Court. It will no longer be able to claim with a straight face that the lands are "occupied Palestinian lands" or that the settlements are illegal.

The upshot of all this will be that Israel will end the de facto building freeze and start construction of settlements in earnest. It will also signal the end of the pursuit by Israel of the two-state solution. The Israeli center will no longer believe that Israel is an occupier and instead will believe that the land is theirs, which it is.

Presently there is significant movement in Israel advocating Israeli sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria, even if that means making citizenship available to qualifying Arabs.

Israel must decide between two risky alternatives; either accept the two-state solution based on '67 borders with swaps or annex the land and contend with an extra 1.5 million Arabs within its borders. With the latter alternative, the Jews would be left with a stable 2:1 majority. Israelis are already trending to the latter choice and this Report will accelerate that trend.

The Arabs in Judea and Samaria will not accept such a two state solution because it will preclude the "right of return" and will require them to recognize Israel as the Jewish State. Furthermore it will require them to sign an end-of-conflict agreement. If Israel chooses to claim sovereignty, the Arabs will have to decide whether to whether to push for citizenship or to accept autonomy.

This tsunami will change the political landscape for the better and forever.

Ted Belman

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/07/the_west_bank_may_never_be_the_same.html

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

Egypt's Morsi Stands Firm Despite Court Order Nullifying his Recall of Parliament


by Rick Moran

Both the army and the courts have now come out in opposition to President Mohammed Morsi's decree to have parliament reconvene. But the Muslim Brotherhood, who run the legislature, are ignoring both.

Reuters:

In sign the standoff would not end swiftly, Brotherhood officials were quick on Tuesday to question the court's right to rule against the president's decree and vowing to fight on.

"I invited you to convene in accordance with the decree issued by the president," said parliament speaker Saad al-Katatni, a Brotherhood man like Mursi, had told parliament.

But many liberal groups - heavily outnumbered by Islamists in parliament - boycotted Tuesday's session, saying Mursi's decree was a violation of the powers of the judiciary.

Then, just hours after lawmakers gathered, the supreme court issued a fresh order: "The court ruled to halt the president's decision to recall the parliament," Maher el-Beheiry, the court's chief justice, said.

Egypt's troubled transition to democracy is increasingly being fought in the courts, but that masks a much deeper conflict with an establishment rooted in six decades of military rule, half of that period under the leadership of Mubarak.

Senior Brotherhood official Mahmoud Ghozlan said the latest court ruling was linked to the army: "It is part of a power struggle between the military council and the president who represents the people and in which the military council is using the law and the judiciary to impose its will," he told Reuters.

In a war of attrition that may play out over years, Islamists long suppressed by Mubarak and his military predecessors are seeking to push generals out of politics and reform a wider establishment still filled with Mubarak-era officials.

Protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square, which had gathered in support of Mursi's decree earlier in the evening, swiftly turned to chants against the court ruling: "Void, void," they shouted.

The Brotherhood signaled it would not retreat.

The court is in the military's pocket, but would probably have ruled that way anyway. The interpretation is that the courts dissolved the entire parliament when they invalidated 1/3 of the elections. Morsi's decree is being seen by some as a power grab by the Brotherhood who are seeking to delegitimze the court.

The Islamists don't need the liberals for anything so it is likely the standoff will continue for a while.

Rick Moran

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/07/egypts_morsi_stands_firm_despite_court_order_nullifying_his_recall_of_parliament.html

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

Britain Ruled by Political Correctness


by Soeren Kern

Nine Muslim men were found guilty of raping dozens of British children. The three month trial revealed that police and social workers had repeatedly refused to investigate; they were afraid of being called racist.

A three-month trial that recently ended in Liverpool, where nine Muslim men were found guilty of raping dozens of British children, revealed that police and social workers in northern England repeatedly refuse to investigate Muslim paedophile gangs: they said they are afraid of being called racist.

The disturbing details that emerged during the trial have opened yet another chapter in a long-running debate about multiculturalism in Britain, where many say that political correctness has gone too far.

Less than a month after the trial in Liverpool ended on May 9, it emerged that social workers in the City of Rotherham, also in northern England, had known for six years that a teenage mother (identified as Child S) who was murdered for bringing shame on the families of two Pakistani men who had used her for sex, was at clear risk from predatory Muslim gangs.

On May 29, Rotherham Council's Safeguarding Children Board published a so-called Serious Case Review, but key politically incorrect passages which reveal that they had known she was at particular risk from "Asian men" (Muslim men) were blocked out with black lines.

The council went to court in an attempt to suppress the hidden information after an uncensored copy of the report was leaked to a British newspaper, but the legal action was eventually abandoned. The uncensored report confirmed that Child S had pursued dealings with 15 different agencies, and identified "numerous missed opportunities" to protect her; observers believe the agencies failed to do so because they did not want to be branded as racist.

Other cases of political correctness abound in Britain, where the enforcement of multiculturalism is endangering the exercise of free speech, threatening public order and undermining British culture.

In Leicester, a gang of Somali Muslim women, who assaulted and nearly killed a non-Muslim passer-by in the city center, walked free after a politically correct judge decided that as Muslims, the women were "not used to being drunk."

In London, two Muslims, who laughed as they repeatedly raped a 24-year-old woman, had their sentences slashed after politically correct judges at an appeals court ruled that the men were not "dangerous."

In Wiltshire, police pulled over an 18-year-old driver for a routine spot check. The driver was stunned when a police officer ordered him to remove the Flag of England from his car; apparently they said the flag could be deemed racist and offensive to Muslim immigrants. The driver thought the officer was joking until he was threatened with a £30 fine if he refused to remove it from view. Tory MP Philip Davies, who campaigns against political correctness, said: "How on earth can it be racist to fly your own flag in your own country?"

In Southampton, a racism row broke out after taxi passengers complained that foreign drivers could not understand English. A group of drivers responded by placing stickers in their taxis with the Flag of England, reading "English Speaking Driver" (photo here). The signs, however, were branded as "racist and offensive" by Town Hall officials, who threatened to strip the drivers of their operating license -- and their livelihood -- if they refused to remove them.

In Manchester, a 14-year-old girl was arrested by police for racism after refusing to sit with a group of five Asian students who did not speak English. The incident happened after the girl asked her teacher if she could switch groups because the Asian students were talking in Urdu, a language she did not understand. The teacher apparently responded by shouting at her, "It's racist, you're going to get done by the police." After being fingerprinted and photographed, the girl was forced to spend three-and-a-half hours in a police cell on suspicion of committing a "section five racial public order offense."

In Irlam, Greater Manchester, a ten-year-old boy was brought before a court for allegedly calling an 11-year-old mixed-race pupil a "Paki" and "Bin Laden" in a playground argument at a primary school. When the case came before District Judge Jonathan Finestein, he said: "Have we really got to the stage where we are prosecuting 10-year-old boys because of political correctness? There are major crimes out there and the police don't bother to prosecute." Finestein also said the decision to prosecute, which cost taxpayers £25,000 in legal fees, showed "how stupid the whole system is getting."

In London, social workers have been accused of "misguided political correctness" after they considered sending a boy in their care to the Democratic Republic of Congo for an exorcism. Officials at Islington Council in north London considered sending the African boy to the Congo when his mother claimed he was possessed by evil spirits and needed "deliverance." City officials paid Dr. Richard Hoskins, an expert in African religion, over £4,000 to travel to Africa to investigate the possibility of an exorcism; evidently they were worried the family's "sensibilities might be affected." Hoskins completed the trip and advised the council against have the boy exorcised because the rituals can be "violent...deeply disturbing and traumatizing."

In Kent, a Christian doctor is fighting for his job after he told a suicidal patient that Christianity may offer help. According to the doctor, "The man was depressed, and had left his own faith. So I told him, 'You may find that Christianity offers you something that your own faith did not.'" The General Medical Council (GMC), which regulates standards among medical professionals, issued the doctor a warning, claiming he had "overstepped the line." The GMC, which allows doctors to promote the healing effects of homoeopathy, chiropractic and reiki, also known as palm healing -- all of which are unsupported by Western, evidence-based medicine but are backed by belief systems -- has banned the mention of faith and prayer in a consultation.

The British Navy, which has been forced to downsize its fleet due to military budget cuts, was obliged by diktats of political correctness to install a special Satanist chapel onboard one of its warships to accommodate the religious requirements of a Satanist crewman.

In London, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) -- a key promoter of multiculturalism -- recently announced that it would drop the terms BC (Before Christ) and AD (which translates from the Latin "Anno Domini" to " in the year of our Lord") and replaced them with the "religiously-neutral" Before the Common Era, BCE, and Common Era, CE. The BBC justified its move this way: "As the BBC is committed to impartiality it is appropriate that we use terms that do not offend or alienate non-Christians."

Anglican Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, who resigned as the Bishop of Rochester amid death threats from Muslim extremists in Britain, says the BBC's move "amounts to the dumbing down of the Christian basis of our culture, language and history."

The BBC has also refused to broadcast a screenplay about the threat that Islam poses to freedom of speech. The BBC's director general, Mark Thompson, said he would not air a play the National Theatre called "Can We Talk About This?" which examines multiculturalism and how it has resulted in Britain being more divided than ever.

According to Thompson, there is "a growing nervousness about discussion about Islam." He also claims that because Muslims are a religious minority in Britain, their faith should be given different coverage than that of more established groups.

In 2005, Thompson famously ordered BBC Two to air an anti-Christian musical called "Jerry Springer: The Opera," which mocked God and presented Jesus Christ as a homosexual. At least 45,000 people contacted the BBC to complain about the show, which contained an estimated 8,000 obscenities. According to one observer: "If this show portrayed Mohammed or Vishnu as homosexual, ridiculous and ineffectual, it would never have seen the light of day."

Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook.

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3141/britain-political-correctness

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

Iran Infiltrates Canada, Calls to Attack America


by Christine Williams

Mohammadi's message drew the attention of U.S. terrorist experts, who noted that Canadians do not need visas to cross the border into the U.S.

Iran is expanding a "fifth column" in Canada. This warning, articulated by David Harris, former head of operations for the Canadian Intelligence Service and now a strategic intelligence expert, highlights some disturbing facts: many expatriates have been warning of the threat of Iranian diplomats conspiring in Canada; of the stealth workings of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, and there is evidence of Iranian infiltration in the school system.

Recent evidence bears out Harris's warning, as does the news that Iran is using its embassy in Canada to mobilize loyalists of the Islamic Republic to infiltrate the Canadian Government and attack the United States.

The Toronto District school Board recently suspended the operating permit of an Islamic school that had been using teaching materials to encourage boys to keep fit for jihad and for disparaging Jews. Upon being exposed, the Islamic Shia Study Centre, which operated the East End Madrassah out of a Toronto high school, issued a public statement: " Our curriculum is not intended to promote hatred towards any individual or group of people; rather, the children are taught to respect and value other faiths and beliefs, and to uphold Canada's basic values of decency and tolerance".

The school curriculum, however, referred to Jews as being: "crafty" and "treacherous," with "plots" and "conspiracies," while contrasting Islam to "the Jews and the Nazis." These passages came from two books published by Iranian foundations, which also taught children about "unclean things," including pigs, dogs and "a person who does not believe in Allah."

So here one can see plainly the covert nature of how the Iranian "Fifth Column" manipulates diversity, multiculturalism, tolerance and even decency in a feeble attempt to cover up its agenda.

The York Region Police hate crimes unit launched an investigation, based on a complaint from Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.

The cleric affiliated with the Islamic Shia Study Centre, Imam Moulana Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, tried to cover up the now-public scandal by stating that the passages were wrongly copied from two websites; however further investigation revealed that the passages were excerpts from two books published by the Al Balagh Foundation in Tehran, as well as by the Mostazafan Foundation of New York, which the FBI indicated was a front organization controlled by the Iranian regime, currently the leading sponsor of worldwide terrorism, and the president of which, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, is not only outspokenly anti-West, but prominently threatens to wipe Israel off the map.

This material understandably alarmed Jewish groups, who responded that they were dismayed that such material had made its way into the Toronto District School Board. Such textbooks have also made their way into the Ottawa Carlton Public School Board, where Iranian hate literature glorifies a 13-year old child soldier who, under an Iraqi tank during the Iran-Iraq war, strapped on a grenade and blew himself up. In addition, it depicts Jews as the "sons of Apes."

Moulana Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, the Imam affiliated with the Toronto Madrasah, is also the Imam of the Islamic Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat of Toronto; he recently participated at Carleton University in Ottawa. as a speaker in the 2012 Imam Khomeini Conference, entitled, "The Contemporary Awakening and Imam Khomeini's Thoughts."

Although presented as an Iranian cultural event, Carleton drew a sharp letter of rebuke from ten Iranian-Canadian academics for hosting a conference honoring the "founding dictator of the Islamic Republic of Iran." The signatories of the letter pointed out that Khomeini had ordered in a fatwa the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988; that he had shut down Iranian Universities for two years, and that he had ordered the imprisonment, torture and the execution of dissidents.

The pro-Khomeini conference was jointly organized by the Iranian embassy in Ottawa and the student group, the Iranian Cultural Association of Carleton University, headed by Ehsan Mohammadi, the son of Hamid Mohammadi, the cultural counselor at the Iranian embassy in Ottawa.

An alarming article just released by Fox News revealed that Iran is using its embassy in Canada to mobilize Islamic Republic loyalists to infiltrate the Canadian Government and attack the United States, as can be seen in a chilling interview with Hamid Mohammadi and shown on an Iran-based website. In his interview, Mohammadi speaks of Iran's plan to win the hearts and minds of Iranians living in Canada. He projects that by 2031, the total immigrant population of Canada will grow by 64%, and that, due to their birthrate, the number of Iranians should substantially increase.

His message drew the attention of U.S. terrorist experts, who noted that Canadians do not need visas to cross the border into the U.S.. Mohammadi also urged all Iranian-Canadians to "resist being melted into the dominant Canadian culture," to aspire to "occupy high-level key positions," and to "be of service to our beloved Iran."

The Iranian Embassy in Canada, under its "education advisory" section, had also planned on sponsoring a three-day Iranian Students Convention in Cornwall, Ontario, from July 13th-15th; following more pressure from Iranian-Canadian academics, the conference has now been "postponed."

A tight, organized network of Iranian terrorists seems to be using elementary schools, universities and government institutions -- not to mention manipulating the multicultural system -- to promote its messages of propaganda and hate, apparently with the ultimate goal of conquering the "infidel." According to Shabnam Assadollahi, an Iranian-Canadian and anti-Iranian Regime activist, who helped translate the Mohammadi interview, "Multiculturalism is killing Canada. I am sick and tired of political correctness in this country."

The good news is, this group has been identified by watchful eyes of its freedom-loving Iranian-Canadians and the diligence of security specialists.

The bad news is that there is a level of brazenness and sophistication from a terrorist regime that has the monetary backing and an apparent wish to hijack our institutions. Once such materials become discovered on elementary school premises, it is easily dealt with; the greatest threat remains on our campuses and in government institutions, which would do well to become more aware that multiculturalism and tolerance require a plan of implementation if we are to preserve our democracy.

Christine Williams

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3162/iran-infiltrates-canada

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

Share It