Latest Analysis and Commentary

Don't Worry, Obama, India's Got Your Back

by Vijeta Uniyal  •  April 21, 2015 at 4:00 am

Under Prime Minister Modi's leadership, India has seen a rise in foreign investment; in 2014, the country's economic growth was 7.5%, higher than that of China.

In Yemen, the U.S. Administration watched as Iranian-backed militias disarmed U.S. Marines and seized embassy vehicles, before the diplomatic staff was let out of the country. However, the Indian government and defense forces deserve due credit for conducting a well-organized rescue operation.

As President Obama refuses lead the Free World, other world leaders are rising up to speak for it -- Canada's Stephen Harper, Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu and now India's Narendra Modi.

Vijeta Uniyal writes that, as President Obama refuses to lead the Free World, other world leaders are rising up to speak for it, such as Canada's Stephen Harper and India's Narendra Modi. Above, Indian PM Narendra Modi (L) and Canadian PM Stephen Harper (R) speak to the media at the start of Modi's visit to Canada, April 15, 2015. (Image source: Canadian Press video screenshot)

India is now evacuating U.S. citizens from Yemen. Yes, Yemen, a country overrun by an Iranian-backed militia, or as U.S. President Barack Obama likes to call it, "a counterterrorism success story."

In a statement issued on April 9, 2015, the U.S. State Department asked the remaining U.S. citizens in Yemen to contact the Indian Embassy in Sana'a or approach the Indian Navy ship in the port of Aden. According to latest figures, India helped 1,000 foreign nationals from 41 countries to escape from Yemen.

Two weeks ago, Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi left the country on a boat from Aden, as the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi militia consolidated their control of the country, bringing a fourth Arab capital under the direct influence of Iran.

If India's rescue operation is a testament to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's success in turning India around, it is also an indictment of President Obama's foreign policy.

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Executions Surge in Iran after Nuclear Talks, Iran off U.S. Terror List

by Shadi Paveh  •  April 20, 2015 at 5:00 am

"Terrorism is not only achieved by bombs but also by terrorizing citizens for generations through executions. Is the hanging of 700 persons since the beginning of the 'moderate' Mr. Rouhani's presidency... not a form of terrorism?" — Mina Ahadi, Founder, ICAE.

"During the P5+1 nuclear talks there was absolute silence with regards to the high rate of executions and human rights violations in Iran. Because of this silence, this matter has taken a turn for the worse." — Mina Ahadi, Founder, ICAE.

"We would like to request that the Islamic Republic of Iran be held accountable by the International community and... sanctions to be placed on the regime for the high rate of executions." — Mina Ahadi, Founder, ICAE.

As this article was going to press five more people were hanged in the Central Prison of Karaj.

Public hangings in Iran.

After Iran's "nuclear talks," and after it was comfortably removed as a terrorism threat from the "Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Communities," the International Committee Against Executions (ICAE) reported approximately 55 executions in fewer than three weeks across Iran.

According to Mina Ahadi, Founder of ICAE, various prisoners or their families had contacted her office weeks before the killings. Prison authorities, they said, had told the prisoners that they had received orders from "above" to "cleanse" a large of number of the prisoners rapidly after the P5+1 talks. The vast majority of these prisoners had been sentenced to death for non-lethal offences in trials that, according to activists, often fell dramatically short of international standards.

In an interview with Gatestone, Ms. Ahadi stated:

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Down With Disinvitations

by Daniel Mael  •  April 20, 2015 at 4:00 am

The idea that upholding free speech should require "spine" is a scary indication of the world that academia is nurturing.

Censorship, for some, might prevent intellectual or emotional discomfort -- but sometimes these are as essential to a real education as professors.

The thought of blocking a speaker on campus should be abhorrent to anyone who values academic freedom, free speech and the courtesy of at least listening to statements with which one might -- or might not -- agree.

Former NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in his 2014 commencement speech at Harvard University, criticized the trend of disinvitations, saying, "it has been disturbing to see a number of college commencement speakers withdraw, or have their invitations rescinded, after protests from students and -- to me, shockingly -- from senior faculty and administrators who should know better." (Image source: Harvard video screenshot)

Who should be allowed to speak on a university campus? This question has been the subject of debate during the last few years, especially as a growing sector of college students, faculty, alumni and other stakeholders have begun objecting to commencement speakers they say they find offensive. As that trend continued to rise, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has renamed the commencement period "Disinvitation Season."

In 2014, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice withdrew her acceptance of an honorary degree from Rutgers University in the face of protests from both students and faculty, while Brandeis University rescinded the offer of an honorary degree to women's rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Last fall, students at the University of California at Berkeley objected to the comedian Bill Maher receiving an honorary degree after hearing his reservations about extremist Islam.

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Churches in Turkey on the Verge of Extinction

by Uzay Bulut  •  April 19, 2015 at 5:00 am

One of the common features of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey seems to be their intolerance of churches.

"Turkey is not converting churches into mosques because there is a need for more mosques... The message conveyed ... is that Turkey is an Islamic state and no other religion is tolerated." — Constantine Tzanos, author.

The physical devastation of the Christian Armenians was followed by a cultural devastation. Countless Christian churches and schools have been destroyed or turned into mosques, storehouses or stables, among other things.

"Christians are certainly seen as second-class citizens. A real citizen is a Muslim, and those who aren't Muslim are seen as suspicious." — Walter Flick, Scholar, International Society for Human Rights.

Sadly, Turkey, a NATO member since 1952 and supposedly a candidate for membership in the European Union, has largely succeeded in destroying the entire Christian cultural heritage of Asia Minor.

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, once the grandest cathedral in the Christian world. (Image source: Antoine Taveneaux/Wikimedia Commons)

While Eastern Orthodox Christians recently celebrated their Easter holy week, a historic church in Istanbul -- the once magnificent Christian city of Constantinople -- is witnessing yet another abuse at the hands of its current authorities.

"The historic Istanbul cathedral and museum, Hagia Sophia, witnessed its first Quran recitation under its roof after 85 years Saturday," reported the state-run Anatolian News Agency of Turkey. "The Religious Affairs Directorate launched the exhibition "Love of Prophet," as part of commemorations of the birth of Islamic Prophet Muhammad."

Even though Christians are a tiny minority in Turkey today, Christianity has a long history in Asia Minor, the birthplace of many Christian Apostles and Saints, including Paul of Tarsus, Timothy, Nicholas of Myra, and Polycarp of Smyrna.

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Christians Pay Islam's Price for Freedom
Muslim Persecution of Christians, January 2015

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  April 19, 2015 at 4:00 am

A pastor eventually helped the 12 year old to a "medical clinic, where she was treated for two weeks, while her father began organizing area Muslims to kill her."

"The intention was to torch all the churches with us inside them" and thus "burn us alive." — A nun in Niger.

Before we put on a show of unity with the Muslims, let's have them begin by respecting our civilization and our culture." — Giuseppe Berlin, Councillor, Cinisello Balsamo, Italy.

Palestinians waving Islamic State flags attempt to storm the French Cultural Center in Gaza City, in January. Some in the crowd carried posters glorifying the terrorists who carried out the attacks in Paris that month, such as this poster with photos of the terrorists and the caption "Expect more from the champions of Islam, O you slaves of the Cross". (Image source: ehna tv YouTube screenshot)

The New Year began with Muslim gunmen killing a dozen people at the offices of the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, in Paris on January 7, 2015. The attack was motivated by the publication of unflattering caricatures of Islam's prophet, Muhammad.

Less known is that all throughout the Islamic world, the magazine's caricatures of Muhammad were blamed on Christianity by Muslims, who seemed not to realize that the magazine habitually pokes fun at Christ, Moses, and all other religious figures. In the Palestinian territories, for example, protesters held up a sign with images of the Muslim killers behind the Charlie Hebdo massacre; the caption below said "Expect more from the champions of Islam, O you slaves of the Cross" (bold in original Arabic).

Accordingly, Muslims around the Islamic world attacked Christian minorities by way of "collective punishment."

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The Other Face of Terrorism

by Raheel Raza  •  April 18, 2015 at 5:00 am

We live in a country where we embrace liberal democracy, gender equality, freedom of speech and individual freedoms, so we naïvely think that everyone who comes here has the same values. Wrong. Those are the very values that the terrorists abhor.

We must be aware that there are organizations and individuals right here in the United States and Canada who have exactly the same ideology as Boko Haram, the Taliban and ISIS. The only difference is these North American organizations are required to follow the law of the land.

In many instances, these subversive organizations have succeeded in suppressing free speech by aggressively intimidating academic institutions.

This threatening, silencing and censoring is the other face of terrorism.

Subversive North American Islamist organizations have succeeded in suppressing free speech, writes Raheel Raza, such as using intimidation in attempts to cancel screenings of the film Honor Diaries (shown above).

According to a UNICEF report published this week, an estimated 800,000 children in and around Nigeria were forced from their homes by Boko Haram extremists. This report was published almost a year after the mass kidnappings of nearly 300 schoolgirls from Chibok. There are reports that many of these kidnapped girls were terrorized, raped and later forced to marry their captors.

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Hamas's Plan: A Hamas State of Palestine in Gaza (For Now)

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  April 17, 2015 at 5:00 am

Hamas is consolidating its grip over the Gaza Strip and making plans to turn it into a separate state.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah consider the purported plan a "severe blow" to the two-state solution and unity among Palestinians.

The Americans and Europeans will also have to listen very carefully to what Hamas is saying: namely that a Palestinian state in the West Bank or Gaza Strip -- or any part of the Palestinian territories, would not end its struggle to destroy Israel and replace it with the State of Greater Palestine.

Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar is shown in an August 2014 television clip, addressing a Hamas rally to celebrate their attacks on Israel during last summer's Operation Protective Edge. (Image source: MEMRI video screenshot)

As the U.S. Administration and the international community continue to push for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, Hamas seems to be working toward establishing an independent state of its own in the Gaza Strip.

In recent weeks, reports have surfaced in a number of Arab and Western media outlets to the effect that Hamas leaders have decided to establish a "higher committee" for managing the affairs of the Gaza Strip.

Although Hamas spokesmen have denied the reports, sources close to the Islamist movement said that discussions were underway with representatives of other Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip to set up the "higher committee."

The sources said that the decision came after Hamas gave up on the idea of achieving "national reconciliation" with Mahmoud Abbas's rival Fatah faction.

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Iran "Deal": West's Surrender Triggering War

by Guy Millière  •  April 16, 2015 at 5:00 am

Russia and China have also agreed to build nuclear plants for Iran. And North Korea has also been supplying Iran with technology, a "minor detail" hidden from the UN by U.S. President Barack Obama. And the U.S. thinks that if Iran is caught cheating, sanctions can be re-imposed?

Other countries in the region have already started scheduling delivery for their nuclear weapons. They have made it clear they will not sit idly by while Iran goes nuclear.

Iran has already bragged that it will sell "enriched uranium" on the open market, and will be "hopefully making some money" from it, said Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hugs French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at the close of nuclear talks in Geneva, Nov. 23, 2014. (Image source: ISNA)

No agreement was signed between Iran and the P5+1 group[1] on April 2; no agreement will be signed on June 30.

The text defining the "framework" of some agreement to be signed in June was immediately challenged by Iran. Western leaders speak and act as if they have no idea what Iran is saying or doing.

Western leaders wanted something akin to an agreement. They got something akin to an agreement.

Iran's leaders seem to have spotted pretty soon that Western leaders would willingly concede everything -- and possibly more -- to get any "agreement"; so that is what Western leaders got.

Western leaders not only failed to reach an agreement; they capitulated. The reason for the talks was to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. When, according to Western reports, they saw that Iran would not agree to stop, they "flipped" and instead became complicit.

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Turkey: Genocide à la Carte

by Burak Bekdil  •  April 16, 2015 at 4:00 am

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused the Holy See of ignoring the pain suffered by Muslims and Turks. Cavusoglu did not say why Muslims and Turks tend to ignore the pain suffered by other faiths and other nations.

Such political controversies as the Pope's speech always offer golden opportunities to Turkish officials who would not miss exploiting them in order to look pretty to an Islamist government and hope for a brighter career.

Pope Francis speaks at a Mass commemorating the centenary of the Armenian genocide, on April 12, 2015. (Image source: Vatican video screenshot)

It seems as if Turkey's ruling politicians are in a race to look less and less convincing to an already suspicious international audience. How they defended their ancestors' sins a century ago earned them new points in the race, and made them look even more odd than before.

The tragic events of 1915-1920 that killed 1.5 million Ottoman Armenians have been recognized as genocide by a total of 22 countries in the world, 44 states in the United States, two states in Australia, three in Brazil, four regions and three cities in Spain, two in Syria, five provinces in Bulgaria, one in Colombia, one regional parliament in the Netherlands, one regional parliament in Italy and one in Iran.

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German Anti-Islamization Movement Seeks Comeback

by Soeren Kern  •  April 15, 2015 at 5:00 am

"Look at all the countries where Islam is dominant. Look at Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan. Non-Muslims, Christians, Jews, women, gays and apostates are treated there as inferior. They are being humiliated, persecuted, and even murdered. That is exactly what we are fighting against." — Geert Wilders.

"We have enough of the political correctness. We have enough of the Islamization of our societies. We stand for freedom, for the truth. Because we think that without freedom, life is not worth living. Freedom and human rights -- that is what we stand for." — Geert Wilders.

"Every day, we hear the same mantra that Islam is a religion of peace. After every atrocity committed in the name of Islam, Barack Obama, David Cameron, Angela Merkel and my own Prime Minister rush to the television cameras to declare that these acts have noting to do with Islam. How stupid do they think we are?" — Geert Wilders.

"Dear friends, German patriots, look at Israel, learn from Israel. Israel is an island in a sea of Islamic barbarism. Israel is a beacon of freedom and prosperity in a region of Islamic darkness. Israel refuses to be overrun by the jihadists. So should we." — Geert Wilders.

It seems clear that ordinary Germans, including those with legitimate concerns about the spread of Islam in their country, are reluctant to identify publicly with PEGIDA, even if they privately support the cause.

Geert Wilders addresses a rally of PEGIDA supporters in Dresden, Germany, on April 13. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

Dutch politician Geert Wilders addressed a rally of the German grassroots anti-Islamization movement known as PEGIDA in the eastern city of Dresden on April 13.

PEGIDA organizers were hoping that Wilders's appearance would inject new life into the group after a recent leadership split cast doubt on its future.

Despite excellent weather, however, only 10,000 people showed up for the event, far fewer than the 30,000 attendees that PEGIDA had been expecting.

Wilders told the crowd gathered in Dresden that there is "nothing wrong with being proud German patriots. There is nothing wrong with wanting Germany to remain free and democratic. There is nothing wrong with preserving our own Judeo-Christian civilization. That is our duty." He added:

"Most of the politicians, media, churches and academics are looking away from the threat of Islamization. They are afraid. But you are not.

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Russia-Iran Missile Deal Major Threat to Middle East

by Yaakov Lappin  •  April 15, 2015 at 4:30 am

The impact that Russian S-300 missiles will have in the region is far wider than just on Israel and its neighbors.

Iran can use the system to harden air defenses around its multiple nuclear sites, making any potential future air attack significantly more difficult, and presenting Iran's threshold nuclear status as an almost invulnerable established fact. This, in turn, would allow Iran confidently to continue exporting arms and terrorism across the Middle East.

Russia is keen to capitalize on lifted sanctions to resume business with Iran. China also just agreed to build nuclear plants for Iran. Their decision looks like a sign of things to come

Batteries of Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missiles, pictured here in service with the Slovakian military. (Image source: EllsworthSK/Wikimedia Commons)

Middle East regional instability is set to worsen after Russia's lifting of its ban on the delivery of the advanced S-300 air defense missile system to Iran.

Russia's decision on April 13 to lift the ban is a highly dangerous development, which might well further destabilize the Middle East, and has serious potential to spark new conflicts.

The S-300 is one of the world's most advanced surface-to-air missile defense systems. Designed as a truck-mounted air defense battery, it can also be used as an offensive weapon, thanks to its long range and ability to track and strike many planes simultaneously.

If Russia follows through on its pledge to deliver the S-300 to Iran, the Iranians could then smuggle these sophisticated weapons into Syria, and from there, use a cross-border network to move the missiles on to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

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Top British Universities Flunk Free Speech

by Peter Martino  •  April 14, 2015 at 5:00 am

The universities were ranked using a traffic-light system: red for universities that ban and actively censor certain ideas on campus; amber for universities that chill free speech, and green for universities that have a hands-off approach to free speech.

The results of the Free Speech University Rankings were staggering. Forty-seven universities were marked red, including Oxford and the London School of Economics; 45 were marked amber, including Cambridge, and a mere 25 were marked green. Results indicate that 80% of British universities censor free speech.

Stifling free speech on campus is no longer restricted to Britain; it can be seen all over the world, including in the U.S.

"Campus censorship is something which can no longer be laughed off. Free thought itself is under attack." — Tom Slater, assistant editor at Spiked Online, Daily Telegraph.

"Supporting Israel is now labeled an act of 'racism' by some professors and certain campus organizations." — Daniel Mael, Senior, Brandeis University, U.S.

Freedom of speech is one of the fundamental values of our Judeo-Christian civilization. The day we give away free speech -- or Israel, which embodies it -- is the day we cease to exist.

Image source: Spiked Online

At Manchester University in April of 2010, Israel's deputy ambassador to the UK, Talya Lador-Fresher, was violently attacked. Demonstrators climbed the hood of her car and attempted to smash the windscreen before the police were able to escort her to safety.

Again, in February of 2013, this time at the University of Essex in Colchester, Britain, during a debate on the situation in the Middle East, authorities ordered the evacuation from campus of her successor, Israel's deputy ambassador to the UK, Alon Roth-Snir. A group of hostile students disrupted the debate; university authorities said they could not protect his safety.

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Turkey and Iran: Theater of Make Believe

by Burak Bekdil  •  April 14, 2015 at 4:00 am

The (neo-) Ottoman-Persian theater looks exceptional at deception, self-deception, counter-deception, attempted deception and failed deception.

Lovely! In half a decade, the two brotherly countries had progressed spectacularly from "We need to establish peace in the region" to "We have to put an end to this bloodshed."

Erdogan, who hand-in-hand with Rouhani smiled to the cameras in Tehran, only the week before had said that Turkey would not tolerate Iran dominating the Middle East (read: only the Sunnis can dominate the Middle East, preferably the Turks).

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Tehran, April 7, 2015. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

Time passes quickly; but most scripts at the political musicals of the Middle Eastern theaters remain stubbornly unchanged. The (neo-) Ottoman-Persian theater looks exceptional at deception, self-deception, counter-deception, attempted deception and failed deception: At least the Saudis and Iranians do not embrace and kiss each other while fighting several proxy wars in different theaters of the Middle East.

The complication on the Turkish-Iranian axis has several reasons, none of which is easily comprehensible to the Western mind: Turkey's Sunni Islamists believe that they can always fool their Shiite Iranian "brothers" by smiling to their faces, by standing by them against the Christendom, and by championing the Palestinian cause -- while playing games behind their backs. In return, the Iranians privately smile and think that the not-so-smart Turks are just trying to play backgammon while they, meanwhile, calculate gambit after gambit on a chessboard.

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Was the South Carolina Shooting a Reflection of Racism, Police Subculture or Both?

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  April 13, 2015 at 11:00 am

North Charleston Police Department Officer Michael Slager is shown on video shooting Walter Scott in the back, April 7, 2015.

As more evidence emerges -- in addition to the cell phone video showing a South Carolina policeman, who is white, shooting a black man in the back -- it certainly shows that serious abuse of power and a likely homicide occurred. But does it also show a racially motivated interaction?

The officer's words were not recorded, so motive must be circumstantially inferred from the actions that were captured on the short but dramatic cell phone video, and from what we know occurred before and after what we have all seen on television.

We know from the police reports that Walter Scott was stopped for a broken tail light on a Mercedes, and we also know that in many parts of our country, a black man driving a Mercedes with a minor infraction is more likely to be stopped than a white driver.

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Gaza: Egypt Responsible For Weapons Shortage

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  April 13, 2015 at 5:00 am

This week, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi signed a new law, according to which anyone who digs a tunnel along Egypt's borders would face life imprisonment.

Sisi has shown real guts and determination in his war to drain the swamps of terrorists.

The tough measures he has taken along Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip have proven to be even more effective than Israel's military operations against the smuggling tunnels.

Egyptian soldiers prepare to blow up a large smuggling tunnel they discovered along Sinai's border with Gaza, September 2014. (Image source: Almyan video screenshot)

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's uncompromising war on terrorism, especially along the border with the Gaza Strip, seems to be bearing fruit. It is a war that is being waged away from the spotlight and with almost no reaction from the international community.

This situation is a perfect example of how the international community and the United Nations do not care about the "plight" of the Palestinians as long as Israel is not involved. Sisi's war on terrorism has thus far failed to spark the same uproar, if any, that is often triggered by Israeli military operations against Hamas and its smuggling tunnels.

As a result of this war -- which began in 2013, shortly after Sisi came to power, with the destruction of hundreds of smuggling tunnels along the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip -- Hamas and other armed groups are now more isolated than ever.

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