Latest Analysis & Commentary

Anti-Semitism in Britain: "Sit Up and Take Notice"

by George Igler  •  August 20, 2014 at 5:00 am

"There is a direct link between politicians saying things and people being emboldened to go and attack Jews." — Jonathan Arkush, Vice-President, UK Board of Deputies.

It is never the person who commits these sorts of crimes that is held morally responsible by Britain's media or politicians. That honor is reserved for a nation over 2,000 miles away, Israel.

What if Christians objecting to the genocide being carried out by ISIS in Iraq, say, went around in mobs violently menacing Muslim businesses?

Empty shelves in the kosher section of a Sainsbury's supermarket in London, after management removed the kosher products, August 16, 2014. When asked about the removal, a staff member stated "We support Free Gaza". (Image source: Facebook/C. Appleby)

A striking feature of the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Britain is the silence with which the country's leaders are choosing to respond to a growing climate of hatred and intimidation, directed not only at Jews themselves, but increasingly anything remotely Jewish.

According to a report published in July by the Community Security Trust, a charity established to ensure the safety of the Jewish community in 1994, even though four out of every five anti-Semitic attacks usually take place "in the main Jewish centers of Greater London and Greater Manchester," violent assaults against Jews and symbols of Judaism are also now taking place nationwide.

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Has the West Made the next Gaza War Inevitable?

by Trevor Norwitz  •  August 20, 2014 at 4:00 am

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.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon is right to say that, "children killed in their sleep ... is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame." No-one can be unmoved by the pictures out of Gaza: the loss of life, the carnage, the anguish and fear in the faces of women and children.

It is heart breaking. But he is wrong to blame Israel, especially in such injudicious terms. He, and many others in positions of power and influence, do a terrible disservice to humanity, to the cause of international peace and security, and to the Palestinian people (not to mention the Israeli people), by not stating unequivocally what they know to be the truth: that overwhelming responsibility for the mayhem in Gaza rests with Hamas (a part of the Palestinian national unity government).

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Was Israel Justified in Going after Hamas Terrorist Tunnels?

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  August 19, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Hand grenades, rocket-propelled grenades and launchers, and rifle ammunition found inside a tunnel dug from Gaza into Israel near Kibbutz Sufa, July 17, 2014. (Image source: IDF)

The key question—both legally and morally—in evaluating Israel's recent military actions is whether the Israeli government was justified in ordering ground troops into Gaza to destroy the Hamas tunnels. This question is important because most of the deaths—among Palestinian civilians, Hamas terrorists and Israeli soldiers—came about after Israeli ground troops attacked the tunnels.

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The Gaza War: Appearance vs. Reality

by Louis René Beres  •  August 19, 2014 at 5:00 am

Why is Hamas putting its weapons in the middle of homes, schools, hospitals and mosques in the first place?

Palestinian violence has been persistent in violating all rules of engagement, despite the signed Oslo II Interim Agreement of 1995, Article XIV of which states that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip shall be completely demilitarized.

Israeli soldiers inspect a concrete-reinforced tunnel that was dug by Hamas from Gaza to Israel, in preparation for a terror attack, August 3, 2014. (Image source: IDF)

Now that the dust has begun to settle in Gaza after Israel's Operation Protective Edge, it is again easy to feel sorry for the beleaguered Palestinians. As everyone knows who looks at The New York Times and CNN, the lingering images are incontestably painful, and continue to look "asymmetrical" and "disproportionate."

How could Hamas have been the aggressor when so many more Arabs than Israelis were killed? Surely the side with greater civilian losses must always be in the right. How could it be otherwise?

The people of Gaza (together with those many Israelis still forced to live under terrorist rocket attacks) are indeed victims of regional violence. But their victimization was not caused by any outside enemy. On the contrary, Palestinian suffering remains the direct result of a criminal Hamas leadership. Why is Hamas putting its weapons in the middle of homes, schools, hospitals and mosques in the first place?

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Why Jordan Doesn't Want More Palestinians

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  August 18, 2014 at 5:00 am

By mistreating the Palestinians and depriving them of their basic rights, Jordan and other Arab countries are driving them into the open arms of extremists, especially Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

Jordan, Lebanon and Syria can continue their practices against Palestinians without having to worry about the responses of the international community or the media. No one is going to take to the streets of European and American cities to condemn Arabs for mistreating Arabs.

The "Cyber City" refugee camp in Jordan, where a number of Palestinians are being held. (Image source: ICRC)

It is no secret that many Arab countries despise Palestinians and subject them to apartheid laws and strict security measures that deny them most basic rights.

The mistreatment of Palestinians at the hands of their Arab brothers is an issue that is rarely mentioned in the mainstream media in the West. Most journalists prefer to look the other way when a story lacks an anti-Israel perspective.

A story is big only when it is Israel that arrests, kills, or deports.

When Arab countries such as Jordan, Syria and Lebanon move against Palestinians, however, foreign journalists choose to bury their heads in the sand. Such has been the case with Jordan and its mistreatment of the kingdom's Palestinian majority.

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Why I Support Israel

by David Draiman  •  August 18, 2014 at 4:00 am

There is no distinction between "anti-Zionists" and anti-Semites. They are chanting, "Death to the Jews." They are not singling out the Israeli army or government, so let's just have you take your masks off, shall we?

Hamas, however, always targets civilians -- always. What if such a threat were aimed at your family? Your wife? Your son?

"Israel was founded on land stolen from the Palestinian people." FALSE.

Palestinian children of all ages are openly taught to hate. Above, a scene from a popular Palestinian children's TV program. (Image source: MEMRI)

For many weeks now I have struggled as to whether or not to defend the actions of Israel in its current battle against the terrorist organization Hamas.

Blessed with a beautiful family, and looking into the eyes of my beloved son, your world takes on a very different perspective. It is easy to fear, as I'm sure many of my colleagues do, that I could be putting my family at risk and open myself up to attacks --verbal and otherwise.

I have just returned from my brother's wedding in Jerusalem. The were lucky enough to have the wedding take place during another short-lived cease-fire, which was of course purposefully and intentionally broken by Hamas, again, just as I was leaving the country.

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Islamic State: "We Will Take Spain Back"

by Soeren Kern  •  August 17, 2014 at 5:00 am

Calls to reconquer al-Andalus are becoming more frequent and more strident.

"Clearly Spain forms part of the strategic objectives of global jihad. We are not the only ones but we are in their sights." — Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz.

A tweeted photo of an Islamic State supporter holding the IS black flag of jihad in front of Aljafería Palace in Zaragoza.

Radical Muslims in Spain have launched a social media campaign aimed at generating support for the jihadist group Islamic State [IS].

The campaign involves posters that include images of famous Spanish landmarks and monuments emblazoned with Arabic slogans such as, "We are all the Islamic State" and "Long Live the Islamic State."

One poster includes an image of the medieval Islamic Aljafería Palace in the Spanish city of Zaragoza and the black flag associated with the IS. Another uses an image of the famous La Concha beach in the Basque city of San Sebastián. Yet another includes an image of the statue of Jesus Christ on Monte Urgull in San Sebastián, with the Arabic words "Al-Andalus Country" instead of "Basque Country."

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Krugerplein, Again

by Martin Bosma  •  August 16, 2014 at 5:00 am

There are people who see Islamic immigration as a positive thing; that it creates "cultural enrichment" and "thriving immigrant neighborhoods." This is the vision of the liberal elites. There is also the reality.

A view of the apartment building in Amsterdam where Leah Rabinovitch lives. After hanging an Israeli flag, she was subjected to stone-throwing, a death threat and a firebombing. (Image source: AT5 News video screenshot)

Krugerplein, or Kruger Square, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is now the theatre of a series of incidents, starting with a woman who hung an Israeli flag outside her window. Muslims answered by displaying "Palestinian" flags.

The woman who hung the Israeli flag, Leah Rabinovitch, is originally from Mexico, and therefore probably may not have been aware of Islamic intolerance towards all things Jewish. Her neighborhood, however, is majority "non-western immigrants," meaning mostly Muslims.

She received death threats, had stones thrown through her windows, and had a Molotov-cocktail thrown at her home. The corporate owner of her apartment ordered her to remove the flag. Israel's flag after all, is considered a "provocation."

Checking at Krugerplein, last week, I counted seven "Palestinian" flags – flags which are never considered a provocation, of course.

The good news is that Israel's flag is back, again enjoying the Dutch sunlight.

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Britain's "Murky Anti-Semitic Subculture"

by Samuel Westrop  •  August 15, 2014 at 5:00 am

For Israel to receive any leniency in the Western press, more Jews have to be killed; meanwhile, countless Muslims, it seems, can slaughter each other without eliciting any condemnation on the streets of London or Paris.

Leading one of the largest anti-Israel protest marches on July 19 are Andy Slaughter MP (center, blue shirt) and George Galloway MP, next to Islamist activist Ismail Patel (second from left).

Recent anti-Israel protests have been attended by thousands across Europe. These protests come in opposition to attempts by Israeli forces to quell the rocket fire aimed at Israeli citizens by the Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

In Britain, the protests in support of Hamas have been chiefly organized by a mixture of Sunni Islamist groups and groups aligned with the Socialist Workers Party. The attending protestors, though, seem to come from across the political and religious spectrums.

European hatred for the small Jewish state, or Jews in general, apparently continues to transcend all ideological differences to the point where pro-Assad activists can march alongside Sunni Islamists, while neo-Nazis stand shoulder to shoulder with Marxists.

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The Muslim Colonists: Forgotten Facts about the Arab-Israeli Conflict

by Ezequiel Doiny  •  August 15, 2014 at 4:45 am

The Yazidi in Iraq and the Christian Copts in Egypt are not "occupiers" or "settlers;" neither are the Jews in Israel. They are both victims of a common enemy that seems to want a Middle East free of non-Muslims.

The current Palestinian narrative is that all Muslims in Palestine are natives and all Jews are settlers. This narrative is false. There has been a small but almost continuous Jewish presence in Palestine since the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome two thousand years ago, and, as we will see, most of the Muslims living in Palestine when the state of Israel was declared in 1948 were Muslim colonists from other parts of the Ottoman Empire who had been resettled and living in Palestine for fewer than 60 years.

There are two important historical events usually overlooked in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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Supporting Hamas is Anti-Semitic

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  August 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, inspects Bosnian volunteers of the Muslim Waffen-SS Handschar division in 1943.

Criticizing specific Israeli policies is certainly not anti-Semitic. Indeed many Israelis are critical of some of their nation's policies. But support for Hamas is anti-Semitic, because Hamas' policies and actions are based, at their core, on Jew-hatred. Yet many prominent individuals, some out of ignorance, many more with full knowledge of what they are doing, are overtly supporting Hamas. Some have even praised it. Others, like Italy's most famous philosopher, Gianni Vattimo, are trying to raise money and provide material support to this anti-Semitic terrorist organization. Still others refuse to condemn it, while condemning Israel in the strongest terms.

Here is some of what the Hamas Charter, which remains its governing principles, says about Jews:

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The New Romantics
"Being Fair" to Terrorist Groups

by Denis MacEoin  •  August 14, 2014 at 5:00 am

"Because perfect democracy does not exist anywhere, the imperfect democracies of the West can be damned and the worst forms of political power legitimated." — Pascal Bruckner, The Tears of the White Man.

What sort of pink-tinted spectacles do you need to march while chanting, "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the Gas"? Or to march alongside the black flags of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? It is not just the new Romantics that bow down to the myth of Islam as the path to peace. Governments, church-leaders, do-gooders of every stripe accommodate every demand made by Muslim minorities. "Shari'a law? No problem." "Islamic Banking? Why not?'

What answer can there be to explain such wished-for self- defeat?

History has taught that revolutions devour their own children: Jahangir Razmi's Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of Islamist revolutionaries in Iran executing Kurdish men and others in 1979.

It is terribly easy to romanticize. Human beings do it all the time. But romanticizing can get out of hand. Think of all those millions of German women who swooned as Hitler drove past; the groupies of Stalin, the steadfast admirers of Osama bin Laden, or the women who offer to marry murderers on death row. Charisma, as Max Weber told us, is not so much an innate characteristic of a leader or guru as something brought to him by others. [1]

Hitler was not a good-looking man, not tall, not prepossessing, not particularly intelligent, not a great orator -- more a strident tub-thumper -- yet millions of Germans loved him and died for him. In the end, Germany itself all but died for him.

Today, the romanticizing of sociopaths has not ended. However much we know about the clay-footed idols of the past, or the enormities committed by those demagogues and rabble-rousers and charlatans, many of us just transfer our allegiance to the next monster-in-waiting.

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Facebook, Google Censor Human Rights Activists

by Shabnam Assadollahi  •  August 14, 2014 at 4:30 am

The closing down of social media accounts appears to follow false and unsubstantiated claims, in this instance most likely because supporters of Iran's regime are trying to silence our exposing their abuses — sham trials, brutal treatment of prisoners, hanging of people from cranes.

Serious questions really should be asked about the censorship procedures of Facebook, YouTube, Google and other social media.

Those who wish to suppress having their human rights violations exposed should not be allowed to prevail.

There are, not surprisingly, times when those who persecute others attempt to stop people from exposing their actions and informing the world about what they are doing. Over the years, this has varied from personal insults, hate posts and even "internet response teams" which create many Twitter "bots" or fake profiles on Facebook with the aim of discrediting genuine human rights activists. Although this has at times also been an issue with Twitter, at least Twitter's response has been reasonable and the accounts of activists have never been suspended. This is not the case with Facebook, and often with other social media.

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Are "Integrated Muslims" Integrated?

by Douglas Murray  •  August 13, 2014 at 5:00 am

Most noticeable was that the protests across Western European cities have overwhelmingly been led by Muslims — not Islamists — just normal, "integrated" Muslims, who stay at home when any other war occurs. (Where were their protests against Qatar for funding Hamas?)

What is harder for people to address is the lies that feed this violence.

These otherwise "integrated" people hate Israel and Jews because they have been taught to. A whole generation — perhaps several — has been taught to hate. That is a lot of hate, but it needs to be tackled.

The best place to start might be by tackling the lies and defamations that are allowed to go on underneath everyone's noses, such as the frivolous — and false — accusations of Israeli "genocide," "war-crimes" and the like. The problem is worse than anyone had thought.

The "FreePalestine" tweet from Zayn Malik, of the boy-band One Direction, caused a media storm. (Image source: Mailk - DeviantART/pawa24)

The Gaza War has had disturbing fallout in Europe. The Gaza War has produced flagrantly anti-Semitic protests, attacks on Jews and the burning down of Jewish buildings. Those protests have come as a surprise to parts of the European public – nowhere more so than in Germany, where a hatred thought to have been disgraced for all time has found its way back onto European streets under a new guise.

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The Real "Siege" of the Gaza Strip

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  August 12, 2014 at 5:00 am

Egypt has not only turned Gaza into an "open-air prison." It has prevented the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip before and during the war.

Last year, more than 100 Muslim scholars signed a petition accusing Egypt and Arab countries of participating in the siege of Gaza by keeping Egypt's Rafah border crossing with Gaza closed and preventing medical and humanitarian aid.

Egypt does not want anyone to talk about its blockade of Gaza. At the cease-fire discussions taking place in Cairo, the Palestinians have been asked not to talk about the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

The Egyptians want the world to blame only Israel for the "siege" on the Gaza Strip, and turn it into an Israeli, and not an Egyptian, problem.

While Egypt continues to impose strict restrictions, hundreds of trucks of food and basic supplies — and ambulances and medical staff from Israel — are being transported into Gaza through border crossings with Israel.

Whatever is ultimately decided, Hamas's leaders will find ways to smuggle weapons into Gaza: their goal is to destroy Israel.

The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, January 2009. (Source: International Transport Workers' Federation)

Recent calls for lifting the "siege" on the Gaza Strip have ignored that Hamas's main demand, even more than for an airport or seaport, is that Egypt reopen the Rafah border crossing, the Palestinians' only gateway to the Arab world.

Hamas wants open borders because it wants to pursue its ultimate goal of "liberating all Palestine, from the river to the sea." Now that it has lost most of its smuggling tunnels as a result of Egyptian military operations, Hamas is searching for other ways to bring weapons into the Gaza Strip.

Hamas's leaders know that their chances of getting an airport or a seaport are extremely low. In the past, material brought into Gaza has included mainly weapons, cement taken to build attack-tunnels into Israel, and dual-use material.

Much of this was either brought into Gaza through smuggling tunnels, or else through Egypt's Rafah terminal, along its Gaza border which is nearly nine miles [14 km] long.

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