Latest Analysis & Commentary

Spanish Anti-Semitism is Alive and Well

by Soeren Kern  •  August 1, 2014 at 5:00 am

"There is no territory more occupied than the body of a Palestinian woman, or a strip... severed by the violent imposition of the superstitions of Allah and the followers of Mohammed. We had better not even mention the situation of Palestinian homosexuals. This selective outrage by top progressives when it involves Israel is indeed anti-Semitism." — Alberto Moyano, Spanish newspaper editor.

"It is possible legitimately to criticize Israel. But it smells fishy when all of the blame is attributed to Israel, without even mentioning the small detail that a terrorist and jihadist group that rules Gaza has infringed on every conceivable humanitarian principle, by using civilians as human shields, and launching missiles from apartment blocks, while their leaders are living comfortable in Qatar, guests of a sheik." — Ángel Mas, Spanish analyst.

There has been virtually no public outcry whatsoever in Spain over the deaths of more than 160,000 people during three years of fighting in Syria; the decimation of ancient Christian communities at the hands of Islamists in Iraq; the kidnapping of 300 girls by Islamists in Nigeria; or the downing of a civilian passenger plane in Ukraine.

"The most anti-Semitic people are supposedly the most educated and well-informed." — Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs report on anti-Semitism in Spain.

An anti-Semitic demonstration in Ceuta, Spain, on July 25. (Image source: Libertad Digital YouTube screenshot)

Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip is drawing attention, once again, to the persistent scourge of anti-Semitism in Spain.

As in many other European countries, Spanish media coverage of the conflict has been decidedly biased against Israel. Print and broadcast media from across the political spectrum have portrayed Israel as the aggressor, and have made scant effort to report that the current conflict was prompted by rocket attacks from Hamas-controlled Gaza that escalated even before Hamas-affiliated militants kidnapped and murdered three Jewish teenagers in June.

Beyond the biased reporting, which is actually nothing new, some of the anti-Israel rhetoric in Spain has become so virulent that it has plainly crossed the line into unabashed anti-Semitism, observers say.

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Qatar, and other American "allies", are among the villains in Gaza

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  July 31, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) gives a warm welcome to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who travelled from Gaza to Turkey on an official visit in January 2012. (Image source: MEMRI)

American allies, especially Qatar and Turkey, have been providing material support to Hamas, which the United States has listed as a foreign terrorist organization. This support includes financial, diplomatic, media and even the provision of weapons that deliberately target Israeli civilians from behind Palestinian civilians who are used as human shields. It also includes harboring war criminals, especially leaders of Hamas, who direct their followers from the safety of Doha. Without the support of Qatar and Turkey, Hamas would never have started this bloody war that has caused so much human suffering.

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Kerry Trying To Save Hamas, Restore Muslim Brotherhood

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  July 31, 2014 at 10:00 am

There is growing concern in Ramallah, Cairo, Riyadh and Dubai that the U.S. Administration is working to prevent the collapse of Hamas.

"The Americans mistakenly think that moderate political Islam, which is represented by the Muslim Brotherhood, will be able to combat radical Islam. The Americans are trying to bring the Muslim Brotherhood back to the region." — Palestinian official, Ramallah.

The Iranians, with whom the U.S. is now negotiating on nuclear weapons -- amid fears in the Middle East that the U.S. will capitulate to Tehran's demands if it has not effectively capitulated to them already -- have now joined Qatar and Turkey in opposing any attempt to confiscate Hamas's weapons.

The Paris conference was actually a spit in the face to the anti-Hamas forces in the Arab world. By failing to invite the Palestinian Authority to the conference, Kerry indicated that he does not see any role for Abbas and his loyalists in a post-Hamas Gaza Strip.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shares a laugh with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid Al Attiyah during cease-fire negotiations in Paris, on July 26, 2014. (Image source: U.S. State Department)

The U.S. Administration's main objective in cease-fire talks is clearly to empower Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian branch, Hamas.

This is how the Palestinian Authority [PA] sees the recent efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to achieve a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

It is no secret that the PA, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would like to see an end to Hamas's rule over the Gaza Strip. Moreover, they seem to support the idea of disarming Hamas as part of any agreement to end the current crisis.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who has been issuing strong condemnations of the Israeli "aggression" on the Gaza Strip over the past few weeks, is hoping that the war will result in the return of his loyalists to control the Gaza Strip or, at least to the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

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Iran and Germany: A 100-Year Old Love Affair

by Amir Taheri  •  July 31, 2014 at 5:00 am

According to Küntzel, German leaders have at least two other reasons for helping Iran defy the United States. The first is German resentment of defeat in the Second World War followed by foreign occupation, led by the US. The second reason is that Iran is one of the few, if not the only country, where Germans have never been looked at as "war criminals" because of Hitler.

Matthias Küntzel and his book, The Germans and Iran: The History and Present of a Fateful Friendship.

Die Deutschen und der Iran. Geschichte und Gegenwart einer verhängnisvollen Freundschaft
(The Germans and Iran: The History and Present of a Fateful Friendship
)
By Matthias Küntzel
WJS Verlag. 352 pages, Hardcover.

As the 5+1 group ends another round of negotiations with Iran, commentators assume that the four Western powers involved -- the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany -- are united in their determination to curtail Iranian nuclear ambitions. However, in this fascinating book, German scholar Matthias Küntzel argues that Germany's position on this issue may be closer to that of Russia rather than the United States -- with Germany acting as "a shield for Iran against America," as Germany's former Foreign Minister Joshcka Fischer described his country.

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Christians in Israel: Pluses and Minuses

by Malcolm Lowe  •  July 31, 2014 at 4:00 am

Go to Nazareth and you can easily find the mini-mosque. It displays a large poster of Koran quotations denigrating Christianity and urging Christians to convert to Islam.

Overlooked is a fundamental difference between the two regimes. Israel is a state governed by the rule of law. The Palestinian Authority, like most other states in the region, is a personal dictatorship. Arafat started the fashion of simply disregarding the laws.

What is needed in Israel is a central policy unit with the brief of developing long-term policies both to integrate Israeli Christians and to engage with the great variety of Christians in foreign countries.

Clergy from various churches at a Christmas reception in Jerusalem. (Image source: Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem)

Israel is rightly seen as a place in which Christians enjoy a safer life than in all other countries in the region. When the Pope visited Jerusalem recently, however, two major Israeli newspapers published op-ed articles by guests who questioned that view. Both articles are available in English. Both contained some errors of fact, but their greater fault lies in mistakes of broader perspective. Nevertheless, there is a need for improvement in Israel's dealings with Christians.

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Who Checks the Fact-Checker?

by Peter Huessy  •  July 30, 2014 at 5:00 am

The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler not only invents points the Cheneys did not make, he then casually dismisses "uncomfortable points" they did make. How many Pinocchios is that worth?

Kessler evidently assumes that when intelligence assessments differ, the correct version is only that which differs from the points made by the Cheneys but not by their critics.

Most senior Democratic members of the Senate at the time voted -- twice -- for giving the President the authority to take down Saddam Hussein. How else can Democrats say they made a mistake voting for the war if they cannot now make the case that they were "fooled"?

The U.S. took down Saddam Hussein's regime because on balance the threat-intelligence could not be ignored.

Dick and Liz Cheney, appearing last month on Fox News to discuss Iraq. (Image source: Fox News video screenshot)

A recent article in the Weekly Standard by former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Liz Cheney, noted that there was sufficient evidence prior to the 2003 liberation of Iraq that Saddam Hussein might coordinate terrorist attacks against the U.S. and its interests.

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Beheadings of Infidels, Halal Sex Products and "Muslims Don't Like Dogs"
A Month of Islam in Europe: June 2014

by Soeren Kern  •  July 29, 2014 at 5:00 am

The Vatican failed in an attempt to cover up the contents of a prayer by a Muslim cleric at an interfaith "Prayer for Peace" service held in the Vatican garden on June 8. Departing from a pre-approved script, the imam recited verses 284-286 of Sura 2 from the Koran, the latter part of which calls on Allah to grant Muslims victory over non-Muslims.

Danish police raided a mosque in the Vibevej district of Copenhagen after a passerby allegedly saw weapons being carried into the complex.

"We now have hundreds of jihadists and thousands of sympathizers. This naïve Cabinet's inaction is inviting an attack in the Netherlands." — Geert Wilders, Dutch Freedom Party.

Conference attendees called on the Spanish government to sponsor an official study aimed at finding ways to bring European food standards into compliance with Islamic Sharia law.

The Dutch-Turkish jihadist known as Yilmaz is one of about 130 Dutch jihadists who have travelled to Syria.

Austria accused Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan of stirring up trouble on June 19, when he urged thousands of cheering supporters in Vienna to reject "assimilation."

Erdogan was rallying support for his candidacy ahead of Turkish presidential elections in August, and expatriate Turks have become a significant bloc of voters after changes to the electoral system now allow them to cast votes abroad.

Around 268,000 people of Turkish origin live in Austria, according to government figures, of whom nearly 115,000 are Turkish citizens.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, who had expressly warned Erdogan not to undermine efforts to integrate Turks into Austrian society, criticized the latest comments:

"These show very clearly that the Turkish premier has brought the election campaign to our country and created unrest with this. We reject this. And I can only say that respect for a host country looks clearly different."

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And Now... Europe's Kristallnacht

by Douglas Murray  •  July 28, 2014 at 5:00 am

They carried banners saying, "Stop Israeli State Terror," but some went off-message, deciding, apparently, that it did not matter if their targets were Israelis or not.

In the Netherlands, fresh from a pro-ISIS rally in Amsterdam, the home of the Chief Rabbi -- not Israeli, just Jewish -- was attacked twice in one week.

We live in a rightful disgust for racism of any kind. And yet here we see -- and nowhere more clearly than in Germany -- the new racist nightmare for Europe.

Scenes from Europe, July 2014: Left, an anti-Israel protestor in London holds up a sign saying "Hitler you were right". Right, one of a group of anti-Israel thugs who stormed a soccer field in Austria assaults a player from the Israeli team Maccabi Haifa.

The backlash in Europe against Israel has been underway since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge. In each country the protests have similarities. And in each they are spear-headed by the same motives and often by the same people.

In London the protests have been dominated young Muslims with the usual smattering of far-left fellow-travellers. They have carried Socialist Worker Party banners saying "Stop Israeli State Terror." But some went off-message, apparently deciding it did not matter if their targets were Israeli or "just" Jews. There have also been the predictable banners comparing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Adolf Hitler. Others have a more confused relationship with this sinister conflation. One young protestor was photographed at a demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy in London with a poster saying, "Hitler you were right!" Elsewhere the protests have spilled over into occasional outbursts of violence.

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Grooming Jihadists

by Samuel Westrop  •  July 28, 2014 at 4:30 am

"These boys were groomed [at the Al Manar Centre] ... so that they are satisfied that what they go to do is right ... once they're groomed, all it takes is someone to say come and I'll take you." — Source close to the Yemeni Community, Cardiff, U.K., as reported in The Telegraph.

All these preachers share one thing in common: they are favorites of the two leading government-subsidized Salafi charities in Britain.

Saudi Islamist preacher Muhammad al-Arifi (right) at an iERA stall in London

The British government, on June 26, banned Sheikh Mohammad Al Arifi from entering the United Kingdom, after reports in the British media linked the Saudi preacher to the radicalization of British youth now fighting for ISIS in Syria.

Arifi's sermons at the Al Manar Centre in Cardiff in particular, have been linked to the radicalization of three young British Muslims: brothers Nasser and Aseel Muthana and their friend, Reyaad Khan.

This ban demonstrates the British government's growing acceptance that Islamist preachers actually do play an important role in driving Muslim youth toward terrorism.

In an interview with Channel 4 News, Mohammad Al Arifi denied the charges and voiced condemnation for those who incite Muslims to fight in Syria. His denial, however, was clearly at odds with his earlier declarations. In 2010, Arifi stated in a television broadcast that:

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How the Media Is Helping Hamas

by Bassam Tawil  •  July 27, 2014 at 5:00 am

"We know that Hamas uses human shields. But why would you report this when you are sitting in the middle of the Gaza Strip, surrounded by Hamas gunmen?" — Reporter covering the war, who asked not to be identified.

Besides the human shields story there is another item that the international media choose to ignore: the extrajudicial execution of Palestinian "collaborators" during the last two weeks. The executions were reportedly carried out in the most brutal manner. Hamas has also been shooting suspected "collaborators" in the legs to prevent them from moving around.

It is the media that is helping Hamas get away with war crimes.

This photo from October 2013 shows a gallows constructed by Hamas in Gaza, prepared for an execution. (Image source: Gaza Interior Ministry)

Hamas and its Palestinian and Western propagandists continue to insist that the Islamist movement does not use civilians in the Gaza Strip as human shields during war. But the truth is that Hamas itself has admitted that it does use innocent civilians as human shields, to increase the number of casualties and defame Israel in the eyes of the international community.

This admission, however, has, of course, gone unnoticed by most Western journalists and analysts reporting on the war in the Gaza Strip. Many Western journalists in the Gaza Strip choose to ignore the fact that Hamas is forcing civilians to serve as human shields. They also seem to ignore the fact that senior Hamas officials and militiamen have found shelter among civilians and in hospitals, especially Gaza City's Shifa Hospital. Is it really a coincidence that Hamas spokesmen gave interviews to the Arab and Western media from the premises of Shifa Hospital? Why hasn't anyone even noted it as odd?

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Paris's Kristallnacht

by Guy Millière  •  July 26, 2014 at 5:00 am

This was the first time since World War II that an anti-Semitic pogrom took place in France.

Almost all French politicians adopt an attitude of appeasement toward the enemies of Israel and Jews. They act as if they did not see that the hate speech that France finances in the Middle East is now spreading throughout France itself.

No major French television report speaks of Hamas's genocidal Jew-hatred or of the use of Arab women and children as human shields. Criticizing radical Islam on public television is now almost impossible. Members of the Israeli government are never interviewed on French television.

French politicians know that 70% of all the inmates in French prisons are Muslims, and that these prisons have been transformed into recruiting centers for jihadists.

A crowd in front of the Don Isaac Abravanel Synagogue in Paris during the "anti-Israel" riot of July 13, 2014.

Whenever Israel is attacked by terrorist movements and needs to defend itself, "leftist" and Islamist organizations organize anti-Israel protests in Paris. One of the latest took place on July 13.

The event brought together between 10,000 and 30,000 people -- not surprising in a country where "leftist" and Islamist organizations are strong.

The demonstrators shouted hateful and violent slogans against Israel and held Israeli flags on which swastikas replaced the Star of David -- also not surprising. Events organized by "leftists" and by Islamists usually carry such gear.

The demonstrators also shouted purely anti-Semitic slogans; the call for "Death to Jews" was picked up by the crowd. This was the first time since the end of World War II that explicitly anti-Semitic chants were shouted by a large crowd in Paris (During a demonstration in January, protesters shouted, "Jews, France does not belong to you").

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Hamas Mega-Attack Planned through Gaza Terror Tunnels

by Lawrence A. Franklin  •  July 25, 2014 at 9:30 am

IDF Excavation of the tunnels has resulted in the seizure of tons of Hamas supplies as well as the discovery of plans for future operations.

An IDF paratrooper officer emerges from a Hamas cross-border tunnel that his unit discovered, July 20, 2014. (Image source: IDF)

Hamas had apparently been preparing a murderous assault on Israeli civilian targets for the coming Jewish New Year Holiday, Rosh Hashanah, which begins on September 24, according anonymous sources in the Israeli security services, as reported today by the Israeli daily Maariv.

The Hamas plan consisted of what was to be a surprise attack in which 200 fighters would be dispatched through each of dozens of tunnels dug by Hamas under the border from Gaza to Israel, and seize kibbutzim and other communities while killing and kidnapping Israeli civilians.

Israeli soldiers already frustrated a surprise assault by Hamas through one tunnel from Gaza into the Eshkol district of Israel on July 19. The Hamas fighters escaped back into the tunnel, but the clash cost the lives of two Israel Defense Force [IDF] troops.

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There Must Not Be a Ceasefire

by Denis MacEoin  •  July 25, 2014 at 5:00 am

Even in its weakest moments, would Britain have risked a cease-fire with Nazi Germany during World War II -- knowing that Hitler habitually broke his promises?

In this photo posted to Twitter by The Wall Street Journal's Nick Casey (and since deleted), a Hamas spokesman uses a room in Gaza's Shifa Hospital for a filmed interview, while seated in front of a huge photo of a bomb crater. The Washington Post has also reported on the hospital as "a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices."

With their usual mixture of human rights concern and hypocrisy, several countries have stepped into the fresh Israel-Gaza conflict by demanding a cease-fire. Egypt has played an important role in this demarche; Hamas has turned down flatly all the conditions on which Egyptian President al-Sisi insisted. How far the war will go still hangs in the balance. As Israeli ground forces now fight with Hamas in their tunnels and bunkers, over 600 Palestinians (largely made up of men of fighting age) have died[1], as well as over 32 Israelis.

The international pressure from all sides for a ceasefire is widening and intensifying. Of course, what a ceasefire amounts to, as it has before, is to give Hamas a second chance. And a third and a fourth — whatever is needed for them to achieve their clearly stated goals of wiping Israel from the map, and then Jews.

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War "Statistics": The New York Times Deceives Again

by Gil Lavi  •  July 25, 2014 at 4:00 am

It is the very power of numbers, graphics and photographs that makes them compelling ways to prove a point, and lousy ways of explaining what is really going on.

Creating compelling clickbait in the form of infographics is a disturbing trend in news today. But that is not "all the news that is fit to print;" that is propaganda.

The New York Times "Daily Tally" infographic is seriously misleading, its numbers devoid of all context. (Image source: Screenshot of nytimes.com)

The "Daily Tally" in the New York Times, a casual-sounding infographic, presents a side-by-side count of casualties and missiles in Gaza and Israel. Although it is ostensibly one of the clearest representations of violence, it is seriously misleading.

War photography can be powerful, moving, and shocking; and data to prove a point can be reassuring, if often falsely. It is the very power of numbers, graphics, and photographs that makes them at the same time compelling ways to prove a point, and lousy ways of explaining what is really going on.

During World War II, it is estimated that 378,000 German civilians were killed in British air raids, compared to only 62,000 British civilians killed in German air raids. Knowing this, however, does little to help understand the nature of the conflict.

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UN probe of Israel will only encourage Hamas war crimes

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  July 24, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Richard Goldstone destroyed his career by producing the discredited 2009 report for the "United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict", which had no evidentiary support. (Image source: (UN/Jean-Marc Ferre)

There you go again," as Ronald Reagan said to Jimmy Carter. Once again the United Nations Human Rights Council has voted – with the United States dissenting – to conduct a so-called "investigation" of Israel's military responses to Hamas's double war crimes. Once again Israel will have to decide whether to feed the kangaroos that make up this court by cooperating with yet another phony investigation whose outcome is predetermined. Yet again Israel is presented with a Hobson's choice: If it refuses to cooperate, it will blamed for denying the investigatory commission relevant information; if it cooperates it will lend credibility to a conclusion that has already been reached.

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