Latest Analysis and Commentary

Attempts to Undermine Democracies by Present Day Fifth Columnists

by Lawrence Kadish  •  March 28, 2015 at 3:30 pm

A number of our citizenry quietly wonder not whether Obama loves America, but does he actually like who we are as a society and what are the origins of his agenda to profoundly change America though social engineering.

Of critical importance is our current inability or political unwillingness to address the threat of radical Islam with nuclear arsenal capabilities – yet those who have sought to call attention to these threats are often criticized, or worse.

"It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it... I know of no way of judging the future but by the past..." — Patrick Henry, American Revolutionary War Hero.

The masked man on the far left, in this ISIS propaganda video from the fall of 2014, was suspected by U.S. authorities to be an American ISIS jihadi. In the video, he is preparing to execute the captured Syrian soldiers on the right, who are kneeling at the edge of a mass grave.

Americans have always been uncomfortable with conspiracy theories.

Nevertheless, the specter of Fifth Columnists, groups of organized traitors in America, has been a real and haunting shadow. Its origins come from the 1936 Spanish Civil War, when a rebel general spoke of his four columns advancing on Madrid, and that he also had a "fifth column" of covert collaborators in the city.

Thereafter, Nazi spies and sympathizers were commonly referred to as Fifth Columnists.

At the start of the Cold War, Winston Churchill warned that Communist Fifth Columnists would seek to weaken democracies by sowing dissent among their citizens. Though widely discredited for his conduct and abuse of power, many of the charges made by Senator Joseph McCarthy concerning Communist infiltration of government would prove to be true when Kremlin files were released after the Soviet Union collapsed.

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Raising Children to be Soldiers of Allah

by Monir Hussain  •  March 28, 2015 at 5:00 am

"Moreover [the children's] mindset [in the Islamic Madrasa education] is nurtured with a message of hatred towards all non-Muslim communities... Islam is the only true religion, all other religions are false -- this is what they are taught from the beginning by the Madrasa teacher. They also chant nonstop the mantra that all nonbelievers (in Islam) are Kafirs and infidels fit to be destroyed by all true Muslims." — Shudhansu S. Tunga, author of A 20 Million Billion Trillion Dollar Loss: The Story of India's Downslide Independence.

In such a small land as Bangladesh, roughly the size of the U.S. state of Iowa, there are 15,000 officially registered madrasas, accompanied by 200,000 teachers "teaching" four million "students." If one adds to it the number of unregistered madrasas, the number is as high as 64,000.

"Bangladesh is appeasing the most insidious and violent strains of Islam... That appeasement of theocratic demands and naked threats must end, now." — Bob Churchill, Director of Communications, International Humanist and Ethical Union.

One can imagine from the number of madrasas and mosques -- abetted by a government that turns a blind eye to lawlessness -- how many people listening to hate preaching are now being raised to be "Soldiers of Allah."

Avijit Roy (left), an American citizen of Bangladeshi origin, was a blogger and opponent of religious fundamentalism. He was hacked to death in Bangladesh last week while attending a book fair with his wife, who was wounded in the attack.

Dissent is not tolerated in the monolithic Islamic society of Bangladesh. Extremist Islamic forces not only vandalize the idols and temples of the Hindus or Buddhists, they are also kill anyone who speaks out against radicalization or Islamization.

The extremist Islamic forces mostly target university teachers, engineers, writers and bloggers, one after another -- whoever is not in total accord with their faith, including anyone secular-minded.

Notably, it was after the founding the International Islamic Front for Jihad in 1998, that Bangladesh experienced the first major attack conducted by Islamists, on March 6, 1999. It killed 10 and critically injured 105 innocent people who were listening to music at a cultural program organized by Udichi, a secular cultural organization.

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Iran: The Only "Good Deal" - And How to Work for It

by Malcolm Lowe  •  March 27, 2015 at 5:00 am

Even if, as the US Administration ceaselessly assures us, Iran's drive to acquire nuclear weapons can be frustrated for a while, any relaxation of the current economic sanctions will be used to finance Iran's other drive: its quest for regional hegemony.

To begin with, the P5+1 could adopt the very successful style of negotiation practiced by Palestinians as well as Iranians. This is to whittle away at the position of the other side by extracting one little concession after another, but then to delay the negotiations indefinitely when the deal seems to be imminent. The result is that when negotiations do resume, it is not from zero, but from an inferior initial position of the other side.

Whenever a deal seems near, one of the P5+1 should come up with a further demand or demands. What they could do is adopt that role in succession, so that Iran is the party that needs to keep starting afresh from a worse position.

Just one more little concession...
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif speaks to the media during the Iran nuclear negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland. November 24, 2013. (Image source: United States Mission Geneva)

In his celebrated address to both houses of the US Congress on March 3, 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu castigated the looming agreement on Iran's nuclear program in these words: "Now we're being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That's just not true. The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal." Given Netanyahu's clear analysis of Iran's aims and methods, however, one might conclude that even better would be no deal, but just to continue pressure on Iran until it abandons its nuclear program, its long-range missile programs and its designs on other Middle East countries.

To draw such a conclusion openly would not have suited an occasion on which the Israeli Prime Minister was seeking maximum consensus and minimum controversy. But that conclusion is demanded by two considerations. Both featured in a warning issued by none other than Saudi Prince Turki Al-Faisal in an interview with the BBC on March 16.

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Zimbabwean Civil Rights Activist Itai Dzamara Missing, Feared Kidnapped, Tortured or Dead

March 26, 2015 at 7:30 am

Itai Dzamara was hospitalized in November 2014 after being savagely beaten by Zimbabwean police, because he publicly called for the resignation of President Robert Mugabe. (Image source: Kumbirai Mafunda)

Itai Dzamara, a critic of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, has been missing since March 9, 2015. It is feared that the Mugabe regime has abducted him, and that his safety and life are under severe threat. It is expected that if he is harmed or found murdered, whoever is found responsible, no matter who, will be punished with the full force of the law. It would be best, if he has been abducted, if he were returned safely to his home at once.

See also: Statement from the U.S. State Department

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Offense Welcome: In Defense of Free Speech on Campus

by Daniel Mael  •  March 26, 2015 at 5:00 am

Banning such events, speakers and displays is not the answer. It is a stance not only intellectually bankrupt, but one that solidifies a dangerous precedent: the intolerance of free speech.

Removing dissent -- however morally intended -- is intrinsically antithetical to education, especially at a university.

The greatest problem with the current lot of anti-Israel voices is not that they are "offensive" or "mean;" it is that what they say contains outright lies and falsehoods.

However malicious or misguided, the speech and conduct of those who oppose Israel --who cannot or will not see the difference between an open, tolerant democracy and repressive, authoritarian governments -- should be refuted, not suppressed.

UC-Berkeley Professor Hatem Bazian addresses an anti-Israel rally on July 20, 2014, appearing in front of a man carrying a sign saying, "We captured Israeli soldiers in Gaza". (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)

In 1902, the Russian Jewish author and early Zionist leader, Ze'ev Jabotinsky (1880-1940) responded to a fellow journalist's effort to label Zionism as "historically retrograde", "politically reactionary" and "unworkable". "Defame it if you must!" he wrote. "The dream is greater than its slanderers. It need not fear their calumny." [1]

In 2015, the pro-Israel campus movement, through its collective attempt to combat anti-Israel forces, risks failing to uphold Jabotinsky's proclamation.

Supporting Israel is now labelled an act of "racism" by some professors and certain campus organizations, such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). Opposing Israel, however, is not considered the actual act of racism that it more likely is.

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Turkey: Davutoglu vs. Davutoglu

by Burak Bekdil  •  March 26, 2015 at 4:00 am

Turkey's Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, is probably the world's first ever politician demanding votes to end his own rule.

Burak Bekdil writes that in order to help Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) expand his executive powers, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is probably the world's first ever politician demanding votes to end his own rule. (Image sources: World Economic Forum; CFR video screeenshot)

In a speech in parliament on Jan. 28, Turkey's main opposition leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, addressed Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu: "You are not the prime minister. You are [a "photo-op"] kid seated on the prime minister's chair."

The weird situation Davutoglu has found himself in is the product of his boss and predecessor, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Last summer, as election season approached, then Prime Minister Erdogan and then Foreign Minister Davutoglu tightened their grip on the internet. The duo deliberately limited their citizens' access to social media and to popular and informative websites. They also increased the government's power over the courts and the power of the MIT (Turkish intelligence Agency) to spy on people. None of this stopped the AKP from winning at the polls.

Shortly after Erdogan won the presidential election in August, he nominated Davutoglu to be his successor as party chairman and prime minister.

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France Declares War on Radical Islam

by Soeren Kern  •  March 25, 2015 at 5:00 am

The moves are part of a raft of new anti-terrorism measures aimed at preventing French citizens or residents from joining jihadist groups abroad. The new powers are controversial because they can be implemented without judicial approval.

"These are legal tools, but not tools of exception, nor of generalized surveillance of citizens. There cannot be a lawless zone in the digital space. Often we cannot predict the threat, the services must have the power to react quickly." — Manuel Valls, Prime Minister of France.

"When you do a projection for the months to come, there could be 5,000 [Europeans waging jihad in Iraq and Syria] before summer and 10,000 before the end of the year. Do you realize the threat that this represents?" — Manuel Valls, Prime Minister of France.

"They tell you: Sacrifice yourself with us, you will defend a just cause." The French government's anti-jihadist website, called "Stop Djihadisme," features videos debunking jihadist recruitment propaganda.

The French government has cut the social welfare benefits of nearly 300 jihadists who have left France to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Amid a rapidly expanding jihadist threat, it has also started confiscating passports, imposing travel bans and blocking access to jihadist websites.

The moves are part of a raft of new anti-terrorism measures aimed at preventing French citizens or residents from joining jihadist groups abroad, and at slowing the spread of radical Islam at home. Muslim groups are criticizing the flurry of activity as "Islamophobia."

On March 17, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve revealed that the government has stopped paying welfare benefits to 290 French jihadists fighting with the Islamic State. He said that the agencies responsible for distributing welfare payments were being notified as soon as it was confirmed that a French citizen had left the country to fight abroad.

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Obama Declares War on Israel

by Bassam Tawil  •  March 24, 2015 at 5:00 am

Instead of congratulating the Israeli people for being one of the few countries in the Middle East to hold real free and democratic elections, Obama has decided to inflict collective punishment not on Netanyahu, but on all Israelis, even its Muslim and Christian citizens, for having an election that came out not the way he wanted it to.

The terrorists have also been following with great enthusiasm reports that the Obama Administration is considering reassessing its policy -- that the U.S. no longer considers Israel a strategic ally in the Middle East.

In short, Obama's anti-Israel stance is the best gift the Americans could have given to Muslim terrorists and radical Arabs.

Obama also seems not to want to face the fact that because of his withdrawals and neglect, the situation in the Middle East today, with the rise of Islamic State and other terror groups, is not the same as it was even five years ago.

Thanks to Obama's policies, the Iranians and their friends are now in control of Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon, and much of Bahrain, and have surrounded the oilfields of the Persian Gulf. Meanwhile the U.S. has been forced to close down its embassies in three Arab countries -- Syria, Libya and Yemen.

Even Palestinians and Arabs are aware of the fact that under the current circumstances a Palestinian state would sooner or later be controlled by jihadists and Islamic terrorists, whose dream is the destruction of Israel, Europe and the U.S.

The last thing the Americans and Europeans need is another Islamic extremist country that exports terrorism -- with nuclear weapons -- to all parts of the earth.

The real enemy is not Netanyahu. The real enemy is Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad and Islamic State.

Bassam Tawil writes that President Obama's anti-Israel stance is the best gift the Americans could have given to Islamist terrorists. Above, Israeli PM Netanyahu meets President Obama at the White House, May 20, 2011. (Image source: Israel PM office)

Many Arabs and Muslims are rubbing their hands in joy as they watch U.S. President Barack Obama declare war on Israel after the victory of Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party in last week's general election.

They do not see the rising tensions between Obama and Netanyahu as the result of a personal dispute between two leaders. Instead, the dispute is seen by many Arabs and Muslims as part of the Obama Administration's strategy to undermine Israel and force it to make territorial concessions that would pose an existential threat to Israel.

At the beginning of his first term in office, he raised high hopes in the Arab and Islamic countries when he rushed to deliver an apologetic speech at the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Al-Azhar University in Cairo. His speech left many Arabs and Muslims with the impression that here, finally, is an American president who is prepared to sacrifice Israel for the sake of appeasing its enemies.

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Europe Eager to Arm Islamist Extremists with Nuclear Weapons

by Peter Martino  •  March 24, 2015 at 4:00 am

European countries, such as Germany, expect huge economic benefits if Western sanctions on Iran are lifted.

Those economic benefits to Iran will pay for its nuclear weapons to attack the West – an updated version of Lenin's, "The capitalists will sell us the rope with which to hang them."

Appearances can be deceiving: Peter Martino writes that France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is said to have "absolutely no trust" in the Iranian regime regarding a nuclear deal. Above, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif hugs Laurent Fabius, at the close of nuclear talks in Geneva, Nov. 23, 2014. (Image source: ISNA)

The European Union says it is "not helpful" to "spread fears" about the impending nuclear deal with Iran. The so-called P5+1, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, hope to clinch a framework agreement with Iran by the end of this month and a final agreement by June 30. Three of the six P5+1 members -- Britain, France and Germany -- are EU member states.

Last week, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others who warn that supplying Iran with the means to make nuclear weapons is dangerous. Mogherini, successor to the infamous Catherine Ashton, said that the Iranian nuclear deal is "a good deal" and that she is committed to bringing the talks with Iran to a positive end.

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Proposed Deal with Iran Not Legal; Iranian Nukes in South America

by Peter Huessy  •  March 23, 2015 at 5:00 am

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) forbids any of it signatories to have nuclear weapons. Full stop.

Under the terms of the NPT, the P5+1 have no legal authority to amend the treaty unilaterally, to abrogate the treaty, or to allow nations that are signatories to the NPT to abrogate the treaty.

Since when can the UN Security Council amend U.S. treaty law? The UN can certainly propose amendments, but it cannot approve such changes on behalf of the U.S. Congress and the American people.

If Iran is allowed nuclear weapons capability, other nations -- especially throughout South America, already infiltrated by Iran -- will doubtless follow suit.

In Iran, would this agreement have the force of law, or would the Supreme Leader -- who just this week said, "Death to America" -- be allowed to change its terms unilaterally? And what would be the consequences to him if he did?

Senate critics of the pending deal seem opposed to an agreement that comes with a note saying, "Trust us," as an adequate substitute for the Senate scrutiny such a deal would require.

On the date the agreement would "sunset," or expire, Iran could return to being an ordinary member of the NPT again, despite its centrifuges, despite its terrorism and missiles. It will then be free to enrich uranium to its heart's content -- a "right" that is not in the NPT.

Iran also happens to be the country with which North Korea most cooperates on ballistic missile development.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria, July 14, 2014. (Image source: U.S. State Department)

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) forbids any of its signatories to have nuclear weapons. Full stop.

The P5+1 have been attempting to amend the NPT without going through the process established by the NPT itself -- and attempting to do this for just one of its 190 signatories: Iran.

Under the terms of the NPT, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany) have no legal authority to amend the treaty unilaterally, to abrogate the treaty, or to allow nations that are signatories to the NPT to abrogate the treaty.

The NPT can only be changed through a review conference of all parties. All changes agreed to after that must be consented to by the signatory nations, according to their own legal requirements.

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Iran's Supreme Leader: "Death to America"
Which Word Does America Not Understand?

by Denis MacEoin  •  March 22, 2015 at 7:00 am

As the current U.S. Administration said it would take Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu "at his word," it is, of course, safe to assume that it will take Iran's Supreme Leader at his word, as well.

On Sunday, March 21, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was lowing about progress in the "peace talks," Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, was calling for "Death to America." Mercifully, his call came before the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany) -- illegally, under the rules of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) -- tried to allow Iran to bolt its obligations under the NPT and acquire nuclear weapons.

Khamenei's announcement, reported by the Times of Israel, appears to vindicate the views of Israel's farsighted, newly re-elected Prime Minster, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the voters who overwhelmingly elected him, as well as France's courageous former Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius.

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Needed: "Islamist Apartheid Week"

by Uzay Bulut  •  March 22, 2015 at 5:00 am

The last thing the Middle East needs is still another genocidal, totalitarian, racist state, run by Islamic extremists such as Hamas.

"The BDS movement is immoral because it violates the core principle of human rights: namely, 'the worst first.' Israel is among the freest and most democratic nations in the world. It is certainly the freest and most democratic nation in the Middle East. Its Arab citizens enjoy more rights than Arabs anywhere else in the world. They serve in the Knesset, in the Judiciary, in the Foreign Service, in the academy and in business. They are free to criticize Israel and support its enemies." — Alan M. Dershowitz, Professor Emeritus, Harvard Law School.

What these dictators and tyrants evidently calculate, is that if Israel can just be made to go away, their own people will no longer be able to compare the restrictions at home to the limitless opportunities they can see so temptingly in the oasis next door.

The UN, which allows voting from countries that do not even allow their own people to vote, has, year after year, been calling for the destruction of -- not those tyrannies calling for genocide -- but the one country in the region with equal justice under law, which keeps reminding the rest of us of what we cannot get.

What the BBC did not show was that Hamas has enough money to build military training camps for 17,000 women and children in Gaza, as well as to rebuild its "military bases" near its border with Israel. That does not reflect a shortage of funds; that reflects what Hamas chooses to do with them.

Sadly, we do not see thousands of people marching in the streets, organizing protests or seminars in university campuses condemning the Palestinian Authority, the Jordanian government or Lebanon for their abuses of human rights and other unjust acts against Palestinians. But why? Because those abuses were not committed by Jews? How much more racist can one get?

The Jews are Israel's native indigenous people -- biblically, historically and archeologically.

"Christians are indeed the most persecuted religious group in the world today. But reporting it would violate the media's narrative of Christians as the persecutors and Muslims as victims." — Raymond Ibrahim, Middle East scholar.

Each month, about 322 Christians are killed for their faith.

No matter what the activists of the BDS and other Jew-hating movements claim, what they do not do is promote either peaceful coexistence or justice.

Anti-Israel protestors in Australia demand Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), June 2010. (Image source: Takver/Wikimedia Commons)

Grave human rights violations against religious and ethnic minorities have become increasingly commonplace in the Muslim world. Not only Jews are targeted, but, as the world has seen, Christians, Hindus, Baha'i, Alevis, Shi'as, Sunnis -- and anyone who does not conform to some self-appointed person's vision of Islam. Muslims are burned alive, Christians' heads are cut off on a beach, a Christian couple in Pakistan is thrown alive onto a burning kiln, churches and Bibles are not allowed in Saudi Arabia, and there are sign-posted roads and turn-offs for anyone not Muslim. It is hard to get more "apartheid" than that.

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The Age of "Dangerous Turkish Criminals"

by Burak Bekdil  •  March 22, 2015 at 4:00 am

The teen's father, in comments to the press, called for the government to use its resources to crack down on corrupt government officials, rather than children expressing themselves on social media.

"It is an honor to be detained for my opinions, not for stealing or for corruption." — Atilla Tas, Turkish singer.

Can Dundar, one of Turkey's most prominent journalists, and editor-in-chief of the secular daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, was summoned after interviewing a prosecutor in charge of a massive corruption investigation that implicated Erdogan, his sons, four cabinet ministers, their sons and some government-friendly businessmen. A criminal investigation launched against Dundar alleged that his remarks in the interview had insulted Erdogan.

16-year-old Mehmet Emin Altunses (center) was arrested and charged with the crime of insulting Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, by allegedly chanting "chief of theft, bribery and corruption" during a protest. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

There seems to be an epidemic in Turkey. Dozens of ordinary citizens -- old, young, famous, unknown, even minors -- are being detained for allegedly insulting Turkey's President (and former Prime Minister), Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The 34th sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan Abdulhamid (or Abdul Hamid) II (1842-1918), was a deeply paranoid man who rarely travelled, out of fear of assassination. Known in the West as the "Red Sultan," due to atrocities against non-Muslim minorities during the fall of the empire, Abdulhamid II ran a network of spies to crush every crumb of dissent against his iron-fisted rule. The press was heavily censored. Ideologically, he had illusions of Pan-Islamism, and loved to appear in public as the champion of Islam against a supposedly aggressive Christendom.

Sound familiar?

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Sweden's Foreign Minister Reviled as an Enemy of the Prophet

by Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard  •  March 21, 2015 at 5:00 am

Evidently, Sweden's Foreign Minister was unaware that that by criticizing Islamic sharia customs, such as flogging a blogger a thousand times and the ill-treatment of women, she was, in fact, seen as turning against Islam itself.

There appears to be a genuine but concerning lack of knowledge in the Swedish government about Islam and Islamic affairs.

"It makes no difference what she says. In Islam, it is for Muslims to determine whether or not one has criticized their religion." — Johannes J.G. Jansen, author and historian of Islam.

From a Muslim perspective, any criticism or infringement of sharia law and Muslims' obligation to wage jihad [war in the service of Islam] is a violation of their freedom of religion.

In other words, it is incumbent on Muslims to "terrify" non-Muslims (referring to the Koran 8:60). But when they succeed, Muslim spokesmen accuse their frightened victims of suffering from "Islamophobia," and demand that Western authorities denounce and persecute people beset by the psychiatric malady.

There is nothing, however, to indicate that Margot Wallström and other members of the Swedish government have been driven by fear. They have no knowledge of what orthodox Islam is about, and evidently believe that the religion is benevolent and peaceful, but unfortunately hijacked or misinterpreted by evil men.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström wanted to lecture the Arab League on human rights. Saudi Arabia's King Salman was not amused. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

As predicted, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström's criticism of "medieval" conditions in Saudi Arabia has caused great parts of the Muslim world to rise up in anger against her and Sweden, the country she represents.

"Almost the entire Muslim world joins in the criticism of Wallström," wrote the Swedish national daily Dagens Nyheter on March 19, adding that around thirty Muslim countries have distanced themselves from Wallström's comments. The Arab League has denounced her for criticizing the lack of human rights in Saudi Arabia, and on Saturday the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which represents 57 Arab and Muslim states, as well as the Palestinians, accused her of having "degraded Saudi Arabia and its social norms, judicial system and political institutions".

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Guess Who's Not Speaking at the J Street Conference?

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  March 20, 2015 at 10:45 am

Zehava Galon, a far-left Israeli politician, addresses the 2013 J Street Conference. (Image source: J Street video screenshot)

J Street -- the lobby group that claims to be "pro-Israel" and "pro-peace" -- is anything but "open" to centrist views that are critical of its policies. It has invited several prominent anti-Israel speakers to address its national conference, including Saeb Erekat, one of the Palestinian Authority's chief negotiators, who has repeatedly accused Israel of war crimes, and committing massacres in the West Bank. It has also invited speakers who are generally pro-Israel but who strongly oppose the current Israeli government. The one group of pro-Israel advocates who never get invited to J Street conferences are those of us who are somewhat critical of J Street, particularly with regard to its policies toward Iran and other issues involving Israel's security. I know this because I have repeatedly sought an opportunity to address the J Street conference. I have personally implored Jeremy Ben-Ami, the head of J Street, either to allow me to address the conference, or to sit down with me for a public conversation in front of the group's members. He has adamantly refused. We have publicly debated and discussed our differences in front of non-J Street audiences, but he has never allowed me to engage him in the marketplace of ideas in front of his own followers.

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