Latest Analysis and Commentary

For Palestinians, Terrorism or Peace? Abbas Wants It Both Ways

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  November 29, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • If Abbas is really interested in returning to the negotiating table with Israel, he needs to decide whether he is on the side of his peace partners in Israel or his political enemies in Hamas.

  • Abbas needs to decide whether he belongs to the pro-peace camp in Israel and the Arab world, or the enemies of peace, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and their patrons in Iran.

  • For now, it seems that Abbas wants it both ways.

  • Abbas, in other words, is telling Westerners that he supports peace with Israel while reaching out to the Iranian-backed terrorist group that openly states its intention to eliminate Israel and wage jihad (holy war) on Jews.

  • Instead of welcoming the UK's decision to ban Hamas, Abbas was one of the first Palestinians to condemn the move. By condemning the decision, Abbas is sending a message to the international community that he actually does support terror and Hamas.

  • Yet, in the world of the Palestinian Authority, it seems that combating a radical terrorist group is a bad thing.

If Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is really interested in returning to the negotiating table with Israel, he needs to decide whether he is on the side of his peace partners in Israel or his political enemies in Hamas. Pictured: Abbas (right) meets with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on November 24, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. (Photo by Mohammed al-Hams/Khaled Mashaal's Office of Media via Getty Images)

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said this month that he is interested in resuming peace talks with Israel. Abbas made his statement on the eve of a meeting he held on November 23 with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

Abbas specified that he wants the peace talks with Israel to resume under the auspices of Russia and the three other members of the International Quartet: European Union, United Nations, and the United States.

If Abbas is really interested in returning to the negotiating table with Israel, he needs to decide whether he is on the side of his peace partners in Israel or his political enemies in Hamas. Abbas needs to decide whether he belongs to the pro-peace camp in Israel and the Arab world, or the enemies of peace, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and their patrons in Iran.

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Who Are the Extremist 'Grey Wolves'?

by Uzay Bulut  •  November 29, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • In reality, the Grey Wolves movement very much does exist. It has a long history of bloodbaths across Turkey and is now a growing movement across Europe as well as the South Caucasus.

  • This ideology [Turanism, or the Greater Turkish homeland] believes in the superiority of a supposed Turkish race and wants to unite all Turks under one country, "Turan", from Europe to the Pacific. These ideas have greatly influenced the Grey Wolves organization and its actions.

  • The "Turan" ideal is still alive and well in Turkish politics. Prior to a meeting at the presidential palace on November 17, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahçeli, posed with a map of the so-called "Turkish world", or the Turan, before cameras.

  • "The Grey Wolves have a long history of terrorism towards ethnic religious minorities, but their skillset has evolved. They are stronger than in the early 2000's. The MHP's political alliance with Turkey's ruling AKP three years ago legitimized them, giving the Grey Wolves a new sense of unity. They are militarized, they are efficient, and they are on the move globally. Their mission is Pan-Turkic Islamism, and any ethnic Christian who exists within their targeted sphere is at risk." — International Christian Concern.

  • It is time for civilized nations to look more closely at the violent attacks and threats by the Grey Wolves against minorities and dissident intellectuals in and outside of Turkey.

The Grey Wolves movement very much does exist. It has a long history of bloodbaths across Turkey and is now a growing movement across Europe as well as the South Caucasus. The ideology of Turanism, or the Greater Turkish homeland, believes in the superiority of a supposed Turkish race and wants to unite all Turks under one country, "Turan", from Europe to the Pacific. These ideas have greatly influenced the Grey Wolves organization and its actions. Pictured: A Turkish soldier flashes the sign of the Grey Wolves as he patrols in the town of Atareb, in Turkish-occupied northern Syria, on February 19, 2020. (Photo by Aref Tammawi/AFP via Getty Images)

Last month, the US Congress passed an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that could affect the status of the far-right, extremist group that operates both inside and outside Turkey: the Grey Wolves.

The amendment, introduced by Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV), requires that the State Department send a report to Congress on the activities of the Grey Wolves against the United States and its allies -- including an assessment of whether the Grey Wolves meets the criteria to be designated as a foreign terrorist organization.

The Grey Wolves (Bozkurtlar) is the informal name of a Turkish nationalist organization called Idealist Hearths (Ülkü Ocakları). As a political movement, it is referred to as the Idealist Movement (Ülkücü Hareket) and is responsible for many acts of violence, including the 1981 attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II.

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Re Confidence in 'Ruler'

by Lawrence Kadish  •  November 29, 2021 at 12:30 am

During its history, America has endured much but this much is clear: its citizens have no patience for a president in which they have lost confidence. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

An ancient philosopher is attributed to once observing that a nation can survive deprivation or even a battlefield defeat but it cannot survive the loss of confidence in its leadership.

As the Great Depression dismantled hopes and dreams across America, a president who had once rescued Europe from famine following World War I -- and whose organizational skills as U.S. Secretary of Commerce were extraordinary -- lost the confidence of his countrymen.

Hebert Hoover would lose his reelection bid to a man who inspired hope, trust, and most of all, confidence among citizens of a nation where nearly a quarter of them were out of work. Franklin Delano Roosevelt would receive nearly 23 million votes to Hoover's nearly 16 million. The electoral vote was even more telling: 472 to 59.

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"Christians Enjoy No Rights in This Country": The Persecution of Christians, October 2021

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  November 28, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old Muslim man of Somali descent, lunged at and repeatedly stabbed British MP Sir David Amess with a knife. Amess, 69, died soon after.... It is worth noting that, when it comes to severely persecuting and slaughtering Christians, Somalia is the world's third-worst ranked nation, after Afghanistan (#2) and North Korea (#1) . — United Kingdom.

  • "The Christians are treated as slaves bounded to Muslims... Christians enjoy no rights, no dignity, and no protection in this country. The overall system of society is based on religious hatred against Christians and other minorities." — Asif Muniwar, local human rights defender; International Christian Concern, October 12, 2021, Pakistan

  • [T]hree Christian workers died after Muslim emergency staff refused to rescue them because Christians are supposedly "ritually unclean." Problems began when the Muslim employers of sewage worker Michael Masih, aged 33, threatened to fire him unless he entered a highly toxic sewer without any personal protective equipment or masks.... "An emergency team got to the sewer within 10 minutes but on arrival they looked down the pipe and could see the men but refused to save them. This was on account that they were choorah [dirty cleaners] and would cause the Muslims to become ritually impure." — British Asian Christian Association, October 8, 2021, Pakistan.

  • "Many shops were looted after they set them on fire. Church of Christ in All Nation (COCIN) was also burned down.... "[M]any houses were set ablaze. Bulls used for farming were also killed." A local eyewitness said the murderers were dressed in Nigerian army uniforms and traveling in two vans owned by the Nigerian army. — International Christian Concern, October 17, 2021, Nigeria, which U.S. Secretary of Antony Blinken just removed from its 2021 List of "Countries of Particular Concern".

  • "[T]he herdsmen returned and shot [Dr. Habila Solomon, a medical doctor who also served as a Christian pastor] in his chest, killing him instantly. He was the reason why many people saw hope.... In the course of doing missions, God used him to provide drinking water, shelter, free education and feed the poor.... [and] also provided the [Muslim] herdsmen and their families with free medical care." — Morning Star News, October 25, 2021, Nigeria.

  • "Nigeria's government seems unable or unwilling to stop the growing carnage.... More Christians have been killed for their faith in Nigeria in the last year than in the entire Middle East. Unless we find our voice, what is happening in Nigeria will move relentlessly toward a Christian genocide." — Former U.S. Under Secretary of Education, Gary L. Bauer, calling Nigeria a "killing field" of Christians;" The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom 2021 annual report; Nigeria.

  • Although the abduction, rape, and forced conversion to Islam of Christian girls and other religious minorities is rampant in Pakistan—with Muslim police, judges, and authorities often siding with the kidnappers and rapists—the nation is now witnessing record breaking numbers.... a nearly 300% increase from 2020.... This report comes on the heels of the Pakistani government's rejection of an anti-forced conversion bill, which would have helped protect such minor girls. — Union of Catholic Asian News, October 14 and 18, 2021, Pakistan.

  • "My cross has been with me for 40 years. It is part of me, and my faith, and it has never caused anyone any harm.... At this hospital there are members of staff who go to a mosque four times a day and no one says anything to them. Hindus wear red bracelets on their wrists and female Muslims wear hijabs in theatre. Yet my small cross around my neck was deemed so dangerous that I was no longer allowed to do my job." — NHS nurse Mary Onuoha, who had fled from Uganda to the UK for religious freedom; Daily Mail, October 5, 2021, United Kingdom.

  • "Why do some NHS employers feel that the cross is less worthy of protection or display than other religious attire?" — Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre; Daily Mail, October 5, 2021, United Kingdom.

On October 15, Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old Muslim man of Somali descent, lunged at and repeatedly stabbed British MP Sir David Amess with a knife. Amess, 69, died soon after. It is worth noting that, when it comes to severely persecuting and slaughtering Christians, Somalia is the world's third-worst ranked nation, after Afghanistan (#2) and North Korea (#1). Pictured: Sir David Amess in 2020. (Image source: Richard Townshend/UK Parliament/Wikimedia Commons)

The following are among the abuses Muslims inflicted on Christians throughout the month of October 2021:

The Muslim Slaughter of Christians

United Kingdom: On Oct. 15, Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old Muslim man of Somali descent, lunged at and repeatedly stabbed British MP Sir David Amess with a knife. Amess, 69, died soon after. The murder took place inside Belfairs Methodist Church in Essex, where Amess had gone to meet with his constituents. Although initial reports indicated that the motive was unclear, police later declared it a "terrorist incident," with "a potential link to Islamist extremism." It is worth noting that, when it comes to severely persecuting and slaughtering Christians, Somalia is the world's third-worst ranked nation, after Afghanistan (#2) and North Korea (#1).

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Who Keeps Iran Out in the Cold?

by Amir Taheri  •  November 28, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • The argument [to bring Iran "in from the cold"] is that the Islamic Republic is behaving badly because, "excluded" from the outside world, it feels like a threatened lone wolf and thus obliged to adopt an aggressive posture.

  • The most persistent peddlers of that bill of goods have been US President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry. It is their efforts that President Joe Biden and his Secretary of State Antony Blinken seem determined to resume.

  • But how true is the "exclusion" theory with regard to the Islamic Republic?

  • The answer is: not at all.

  • Far from trying to "exclude" the Islamic Republic almost every country, first among them the United States, have often gone out of their way to include and accommodate Tehran's new rulers. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's seizure of power was instantly accepted by all members of the United Nations.

  • The US was even in a hurry to curry favor with Tehran's new rulers.

  • The Carter administration quickly named Lloyd Cutler, the presidential legal advisor, as the ambassador-designate to Tehran and ordered the shipment of arms to Iran to be resumed. What happened was "self-exclusion" as a Khomeinist gang, with a nod and a wink from the Ayatollah, raided the US Embassy in Tehran and took its diplomats hostage.

  • "By the mid-1970s, Iran had a well-educated and motivated corps of nuclear scientists who, backed by substantial financial resources from the government, undertook research into all aspects of the new technology, including its military applications." — Ardeshir Zahedi, former Foreign Minister of Iran, Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2004.

The argument to bring Iran "in from the cold" is that the Islamic Republic is behaving badly because, "excluded" from the outside world, it feels like a threatened lone wolf and thus obliged to adopt an aggressive posture. But how true is the "exclusion" theory with regard to the Islamic Republic? Pictured: The heavy water nuclear production facility at Arak, south of Tehran. (Photo by Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

As the Biden administration prepares for the revival, in some form at least, of the controversial "nuclear deal" with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the usual suspects in Washington are peddling an old theme: Bringing Iran in from the cold!

The argument is that the Islamic Republic is behaving badly because, "excluded" from the outside world, it feels like a threatened lone wolf and thus obliged to adopt an aggressive posture.

The argument was first formulated in the 1980s by the then German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher. It was then taken up by French President Jacques Chirac and passed on to a string of British foreign secretaries, most notably Jack Straw, who visited Tehran more than any other capital during his tenure.

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To Biden Admin: Do Not Give Away US Leverage Against Iran

by Majid Rafizadeh  •  November 27, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • Since the Biden administration evidently is insisting on negotiating with a predatory regime such as Iran, at least it should not enter the negotiations from a position of weakness.

  • The Biden administration needs to understand that the Iranian regime is desperate for the revival of the nuclear deal due to the significant financial and sanctions relief that the JCPOA offers the ruling clerics.

  • Iran's state-controlled Arman-e-Meli newspaper surprisingly acknowledged on November 20, 2021: "No country, neither China nor Russia, will be able to save our economy. We must try to lift the sanctions. The way out of the internal pressures and the heavy (bad) economic situation is to get rid of the issue of sanctions and it will be solved with the JCPOA."

  • Iran's mullahs particularly love the nuclear deal because of its fundamental flaws, especially the sunset clauses that remove restrictions on Iran's nuclear program after the deal soon expires. The nuclear deal, rather than preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, as it was falsely touted to do, in fact paves the way for Tehran to become a legitimized nuclear state.

Since the Biden administration evidently is insisting on negotiating with a predatory regime such as Iran, at least it should not enter the negotiations from a position of weakness. Pictured: Mohammad Eslami (right), head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, and Kazem Gharib Abadi, Iran's representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), attend the IAEA General Conference in Vienna, Austria on September 20, 2021. (Photo by Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images)

The Iranian regime will be resuming "nuclear talks" with the P5+1 (the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany) next week. It is crucial that the Biden administration not give away the leverage that the former administration built against the Islamic Republic through sanctions. The deal is not yet dead: the Biden administration and the EU are still trying to resurrect it.

China and Russia, because of their shared geopolitical, strategic and economic interests, are likely to align themselves with Iran's leaders and their demands. Iran's new president, Ebrahim Raisi, recently spoke with his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin, regarding the upcoming nuclear talks and the revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). China, Russia, and the Islamic Republic, according to a statement released by the Chinese government, have apparently already reached "a broad consensus" on the deal

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France: Is Éric Zemmour an Anti-Semite?

by Yves Mamou  •  November 26, 2021 at 6:00 am

  • Of course not. What is actually happening in France is a liberation of freedom of speech. For the first time in 40 years, topics such as immigration, Islam, and the preference of the elites for unvetted mass-migration are being spoken about openly on radio and television.

  • Being French and defending French culture apparently made you a Nazi. Anyone who dared to criticize Muslim immigration and Islam was immediately branded a racist "close to Jean-Marie Le Pen", vilified by the media and even taken to court.

  • Le Pen was the first to criticize Muslim immigration and raise questions about Islam, but regrettably, he did so in a way.... that it was not difficult... to demonize him -- and often also the very real problems the National Front addressed, such as the identity of the country, the role of secularism, competition in the job market, and the status of women.

  • During the French Revolution in 1789, and then under Napoleon, Jews became "emancipated". They were granted all the personal rights accorded to other French citizens in exchange for their abandonment of communal rules, such as compulsory marriage between Jews and respect for religious laws ahead of respect for the laws of the Republic. Zemmour is bewildered that these rules, which successfully assimilated Jews into French society, have been abandoned for Muslims.

  • "[Zemmour] has the merit of putting the question of France at the heart of the debate.... He takes on the existential anguish of a growing number of French people who wonder if France will remain France, if their right to historical continuity will finally be respected or if it will continue to be scorned." — Alain Finkielkraut, author and philosopher, Europe1, October 24, 2021.

  • For French people, actually, the most important question is not if Zemmour is racist or antisemitic, but if France as they know it ...will continue to exist.

Is Éric Zemmour (pictured), a likely candidate in France's upcoming presidential election, really a racist? Is France on the verge of tipping over into fascism? Of course not. What is actually happening in France is a liberation of freedom of speech. For the first time in 40 years, topics such as immigration, Islam, and the preference of the elites for unvetted mass-migration are being spoken about openly on radio and television. (Photo by Nicolas Tucat/AFP via Getty Images)

The rumor that a Jew making racist and anti-Semitic remarks could be a candidate in France's presidential election of spring 2022 has crossed the country's borders. Worse, the rumor is that this supposedly racist, anti-Semitic Jew, Éric Zemmour, is buoyed by polls that forecast him as a very possible second-round candidate against France's current President Emmanuel Macron.

Sacrebleu! How could such a thing have happened? Is Zemmour really a racist? Is he carried by a wave of the extreme right, as many on the left suggest? Is France on the verge of tipping over into fascism?

Of course not. What is actually happening in France is a liberation of freedom of speech. For the first time in 40 years, topics such as immigration, Islam, and the preference of the elites for unvetted mass-migration are being spoken about openly on radio and television.

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The Supply Chain and Border Security

by Chris Farrell  •  November 25, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • There is another threat to the trucking industry, the supply chain and our national security. It is NOT reported in the mainstream media: Foreign truckers -- cleared for expedited commercial crossings between Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. -- include at least half a dozen drivers who had deep connections to terrorism and drug-smuggling operations. And those are just the ones we know about.

  • The disturbing details are outlined in a 34-page report, issued by the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General with redactions to protect information in the original "law enforcement sensitive" version.

  • Even when the criminal history of a candidate is available from another U.S. federal law enforcement agency, CBP apparently cannot access it. Instead of rejecting the foreign driver in question out of an abundance of caution, the agency simply rubber-stamps the candidate without additional screening.

There is a threat to the U.S. trucking industry, supply chain and national security. It is NOT reported in the mainstream media: Foreign truckers -- cleared for expedited commercial crossings between Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. -- include at least half a dozen drivers who had deep connections to terrorism and drug-smuggling operations. Pictured: Trucks line up before heading to the United States at the Otay commercial port of entry on the US-Mexico border in Tijuana, on March 20, 2020. (Photo by Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images)

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says that national supply chain problems are caused by a lack of affordable childcare. While major U.S. ports such as Los Angeles and Baltimore have ships in the harbor waiting to offload cargo, a trucking shortage is delaying offloads and hauling. "Some of those issues," Buttigieg stated, "may have to do with the availability of truckers, a thousand miles inland. There are a lot of things contributing to this. One of them is childcare, of course, which is why the president's Build Back Better vision is going to be good for the labor market."

Over at MSNBC, host Tiffany Cross offered a different analysis of the trucking/supply chain problem. "This is an industry populated by a lot of white men over the age of 55," she stated. "This group of people overwhelmingly voted for Trump. Some people have talked about aggressive truck drivers cutting them off or not being helpful."

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Very Happiest Thanksgiving

November 25, 2021 at 4:00 am

Very Happiest Thanksgiving and countless blessings to everyone.
All of us at Gatestone

Europe's Migrant Crisis Demonstrates Biden's Weakness

by Con Coughlin  •  November 24, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • Mr Xi's confidence that he has nothing to fear from Mr Biden was clearly reflected in the patronising tone he adopted towards the US leader from the outset of their three-and-a-half hour meeting, referring to Mr Biden as his "old friend", when he is clearly no such thing.

  • By contrast Mr Biden proved unwilling to raise any issues that might prove uncomfortable for the Chinese leader, such as Beijing's role in causing the Covid-19 pandemic that has wrought havoc throughout the world.

  • The Russian autocrat [Putin] is also well aware of Mr Biden's weak disposition as a result of the three-hour summit the two leaders attended in Geneva last June, the most notable outcome being the American President's utter capitulation to Moscow on long-standing arms control demands.

  • Consequently, the only winners from Europe's latest migrant crisis are likely to be Mr Putin and his thuggish Belarusian ally....

Nothing better illustrates the ability of rogue states to take advantage of Joe Biden's pitifully weak leadership than the role Belarusian despot Alexander Lukashenko (pictured) has played in creating a migrant crisis in the heart of Europe. (Photo by Maxim Gucheck/Belta//AFP via Getty Images)

Nothing better illustrates the ability of rogue states to take advantage of Joe Biden's pitifully weak leadership than the role Belarusian despot Alexander Lukashenko has played in creating a migrant crisis in the heart of Europe.

As Mr Biden's unimpressive performance during his recent video summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping has graphically demonstrated, the US leader appears increasingly out of his depth on the world stage, to the extent that Washington's adversaries see Mr Biden's weakness as working to their advantage.

Mr Xi's confidence that he has nothing to fear from Mr Biden was clearly reflected in the patronising tone he adopted towards the US leader from the outset of their three-and-a-half hour meeting, referring to Mr Biden as his "old friend", when he is clearly no such thing.

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Peng Shuai Only the Latest Reason to Move Olympics, Hold China Accountable

by Pete Hoekstra  •  November 23, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • [T]he world should long ago have confronted the evil system that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has built and continues to develop. China has... built artificial islands in the South China Sea and militarized them after promising not to. China has also threatened Japan, Australia, the Philippines and the US; it recently has attacked India, illegally seized Hong Kong, enslaved Uyghurs and, by repeatedly lying about the human-to-human transmissibility of its Wuhan COVID-19 virus, caused the death worldwide of more than five million people, not to mention economic devastation.

  • The Communist Chinese have "disappeared" many high-profile Chinese, including the physician Dr. Ai Fen, the movie star Zhao Wei, and now, possibly the Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai... What about all of those acts of aggression should not force the world finally to confront China?

  • To the public, it seems as if their leaders are more willing to threaten their own citizens than they are to confront the Chinese Communists.

  • The CCP should have been called out years ago. Hopefully moving the Olympics to a safer and more deserving country, or seriously boycotting them, would be only the first of many actions designed to hold China accountable. We should also hold our own leaders accountable for their actions, or as is too often the case, inaction.

The Chinese Communist Party should have been called out years ago. Hopefully, moving the Olympics to a safer and more deserving country, or seriously boycotting them, would be only the first of many actions designed to hold China accountable. Pictured: An ice hockey test event match on November 12, 2021 in Beijing, China, held in preparation for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

"It is now time," Gordon Chang recently wrote, "for the world to face the reality of the Communist Party of China and the horrific system it has constructed."

Now? Both Chang and I are in strong agreement that the world should long ago have confronted the evil system that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has built and continues to develop. China has ignored its trade agreements with the WTO, failed to disclose crucial information about its businesses on stock exchanges as other businesses do, has built artificial islands in the South China Sea and militarized them after promising not to. China has also threatened Japan, Australia, the Philippines and the US; it recently has attacked India, illegally seized Hong Kong, enslaved Uyghurs and, by repeatedly lying about the human-to-human transmissibility of its Wuhan COVID-19 virus, caused the deaths worldwide of more than five million people, not to mention economic devastation.

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The Palestinian Jihad against Jews

by Bassam Tawil  •  November 22, 2021 at 5:00 am

  • If Palestinian leaders believe that Jews are not entitled to their holiest site, the Temple Mount, and that Jerusalem belongs only to Muslims and Christians, how can they talk about establishing a Palestinian state that would exist in peace and security next to Israel?

  • Western donors seem not to understand that the refusal by Palestinian leaders to recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people remains a major obstacle to peace and the "two-state solution."

  • "We categorically reject the Jewish state," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has stated on more than one occasion. "We will not backtrack on this matter."

  • On the eve of the meeting of the donor countries, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh reminded Palestinians that there is no such thing as Jewish history in Jerusalem.... "Jerusalem has Canaanite, Roman, Islamic, and Christian antiquities, and no one else has any traces in it."

  • This is the same Shtayyeh who days earlier told foreign journalists in Ramallah that the Palestinians have no problem with Jews.

  • Perhaps Shtayyeh thought that his remarks in Arabic during the PA cabinet meeting would not be translated or noticed by non-Arabic speakers.

  • On the same day the Western donors were meeting in Norway, the PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying that the Palestinians oppose visits to the Temple Mount by Jewish students.

  • The Norwegian foreign minister and the donor countries should have taken note of what Palestinian leaders are telling their people and the rest of the Arabs and Muslims about Israel and Jewish history. Had they paid attention to the words of the Palestinian leaders, they would have realized why it is impossible to achieve peace between the Palestinians and Israel at a time when the PA is openly saying that Jews have no right to live in their own homeland.

  • Western donors might wish to consider this Judenrein type of Palestinian anti-Semitism and incitement against Israel and Jews the next time they open their wallets to the PA.

Western donors seem not to understand that the refusal by Palestinian leaders to recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people remains a major obstacle to the "two-state solution" and peace. "We categorically reject the Jewish state," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (pictured) has stated on more than one occasion. "We will not backtrack on this matter." (Photo by Alex Brandon/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

As representatives of donor countries were meeting in Norway on November 17 to discuss providing financial aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA), Palestinian leaders were busy doing what they have perfected: denying Jewish history and inciting their people against Israel.

Denial of Jewish history and the delegitimization of Israel have long been an integral and major part of the rhetoric of Palestinian leaders and the Palestinian narrative. In the world of the Palestinians, Jews have no history in Jerusalem; they have never lived there, and the Jewish Temples never existed.

These are the messages Palestinian leaders have been passing from one generation of Palestinians to another in the past few decades. The messages come mostly from PA leaders who continue to claim that they support the "two-state solution."

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Iran and Hezbollah in Colombia

by Joseph M. Humire  •  November 22, 2021 at 4:00 am

  • The long arm of Iranian terror reaches Colombia.

  • Some Colombian pundits and politicians... refer to Iran as a normal democratic nation looking to engage in trade and diplomacy... instead of as an Islamist revolutionary regime that uses terrorism as part of its foreign policy.

  • Crime and corruption are Iran and Hezbollah's bread and butter... Look no further than Lebanon and its raging economic crisis to see how Hezbollah exacerbated crime and corruption to gain control over the government.

  • On May 2... a Spanish account of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei kicked off the disinformation campaign in Colombia with a tweet calling Soleimani a "martyr." After that, within three weeks, the #Soleimani hashtag was used in Colombia more than 8,000 times, tying it to more popular hashtags.... to portray Soleimani as a figure that fought against injustice.

  • Part of the process of evaluating whether Iran and Hezbollah are enemies is to recognize how these actors operate around the world and then educate the public as to what they are doing in your country. In doing so, rather than creating an "enemy," you are helping your country to be more aware of one of the largest threats worldwide to stability and peace.

Colombian Defense Minister Diego Molano recently said that Iran and Hezbollah are "common enemies" of Colombia and Israel. Pictured: Molano speaks at a press conference in Bogota, on July 12, 2021. (Photo by Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images)

In late June, Colombian authorities neutralized a possible Iranian-backed assassination plot in Bogota that could have killed two Israeli businessmen on Colombian territory. The plot, which began to unravel in April, involved an Iranian operative, Rahmat Asadi, who allegedly recruited two Colombian cutouts to carry out the operation.

Thankfully, the assassination plot was thwarted, but it shows that the long arm of Iranian terror reaches Colombia.

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China's 'Morally Bankrupt' Olympics

by Gordon G. Chang  •  November 21, 2021 at 6:00 am

  • The disappearance of tennis star Peng Shuai this month has led many around the world to question the holding of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The Games are scheduled to begin February 4.

  • It is now time for the world to face the reality of the Communist Party of China and the horrific system it has constructed. There is only one correct choice: Move the Games.

  • [T]he regime will make Peng publicly retract accusations or destroy her. The individual means nothing in China's current system. Too many times state television has aired ghastly confessions of obviously worn-down individuals.

  • There are many reasons to boycott or move the Olympics from Beijing.... Of course, no ruling group that organizes rape, slavery, mass detention, torture, killings, and organ harvesting should be permitted, among other things, to host international sporting events.

  • The International Olympic Committee maintains these atrocities are none of its business. Yet the protection of athletes is. Peng's detention tells us athletes will not be safe in China. The Games, after all, are first and foremost about the competitors, and their personal safety must be the primary concern.

  • Even at this late date, it is time to boycott or move the Games from China.

The disappearance this month of tennis star Peng Shuai (pictured) has led many around the world to question the holding of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Now, only the morally bankrupt could think it is a good idea to allow the hostage-taking, rapist-protecting, genocide-committing Chinese regime to host this competition. (Photo by Wang He/Getty Images)

The disappearance of tennis star Peng Shuai this month has led many around the world to question the holding of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The Games are scheduled to begin February 4.

Now, only the morally bankrupt could think it is a good idea to allow the hostage-taking, rapist-protecting, genocide-committing Chinese regime to host this competition.

It is now time for the world to face the reality of the Communist Party of China and the horrific system it has constructed. There is only one correct choice: Move the Games.

For decades, people overlooked the great crimes of Chinese communism because they had hope that it would, over time, evolve and become benign. When "reformer" Deng Xiaoping shoved aside Hua Guofeng, Mao Zedong's chosen successor, and engineered at the end of 1978 the historic Third Plenum, outsiders thought they were seeing a new—and far superior—"New China."

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Wounds With a Russian Knife in Them

by Amir Taheri  •  November 21, 2021 at 5:30 am

  • The "interim solution" imposed by Russia denies Azerbaijan control of the enclave while preventing its ethnic Armenian population to develop working state structures. In other words, the wound remains open with a Russian knife in it that could be turned anytime Moscow wished.

  • Is the "situation" as developed in Transcaucasia a model of Russian behavior in the international arena?

  • Several examples could be cited in support of a "yes" answer.

  • By keeping all those nations in a state of crisis with their neighbors, Putin achieves one of his two geostrategic goals: preventing NATO expansion to Eastern Europe, Transcaucasia and Central Asia. Because no country in conflict with its neighbors would be allowed to join the US-led coalition, it is important for Russia to keep all those wounds open with its knife in them.

  • With the US behaving strangely for the past five years or so and the EU crippled by Brexit, the Western democracies have not been able to develop a coherent analysis of the Russian challenge let alone shape a policy to deal with it. Sending a small number of American or British troops to the Baltic republics and Poland may provide some beguiling TV news footage while huffing and puffing about sanctions could be seen as a sign of confusion rather than a strategy to stand against a de-stabilizing power.

  • One school of thoughts in Western policy-making circles is to let Putin choke on the morsels such as Syria, Libya, Iran, Donetsk, Transcaucasia and Belarus that he has bitten but cannot chew let alone digest. That may sound clever in pseudo-Machiavellian terms but could be disastrous in terms of big power politics.

By keeping nations in a state of crisis with their neighbors, Russian President Vladimir Putin achieves one of his two geostrategic goals: preventing NATO expansion to Eastern Europe, Transcaucasia and Central Asia. Because no country in conflict with its neighbors would be allowed to join the US-led coalition, it is important for Russia to keep all those wounds open with its knife in them. Pictured: Putin at the Russian Civil War memorial on Unity Day, in Sevastopol, Crimea, on November 4, 2021. (Photo by Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)

It was supposed to be a five-year "breathing space" in which two belligerent neighbors would resolve their disputes and shape a durable peace with help from their big altruistic neighbor.

And yet, just months after the "good news" was spread by all concerned, Armenia and Azerbaijan have reignited their border war in Transcaucasia with Russian troops keeping a low profile.

Vladimir Putin had hailed the ceasefire that his emissaries had negotiated as "a great achievement" and a sign that Russia, if given a chance, would act as peacemaker and not the troublemaker that the European Union claims.

The duel in Transcaucasia may appear too insignificant and too remote to merit special attention by the broader outside world. The dispute over the tiny enclave of High Qarabagh would look too exotic to merit special attention.

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