Latest Analysis and Commentary

The Hamas-Iran Plan to Eliminate Israel

by Bassam Tawil  •  July 22, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • "There are Jews everywhere. We must attack every Jew on planet Earth! We must slaughter and kill them, with Allah's help. We will lacerate and tear them to pieces." — Fathi Hammad, Hamas senior leader, at a rally near the Gaza-Israel border, July 14, 2019.

  • Haniyeh's statements coincided with a visit to Iran by a senior Hamas delegation. Headed by the Palestinian arch-terrorist Saleh Arouri, the delegation will spend a few days in Tehran for talks with Iranian leaders on ways of strengthening relations between the two sides.

  • If the Hamas arch-terrorist succeeds in his mission to secure more funding from Iran, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip will most likely ratchet up their terror activities against Israel. The most effective way to stop Hamas from carrying out its plan to "slaughter" every Jew is by increasing international sanctions and other means of pressure on Iran -- before it is too late.

In the Hamas lexicon, launching arson kites at Israeli farms and villages near the border with the Gaza Strip is defined as "peaceful resistance." Pictured: Firefighters attempt to extinguish a burning wheat field in Nahal Oz, Israel, next to the border with Gaza after it was torched by an incendiary kite launched by Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, on May 15, 2018. (Image source: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Has Hamas, the Palestinian terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, finally accepted the two-state solution and abandoned its objective to destroy Israel?

The headlines in some Arab media outlets on July 20 created the impression that Hamas has changed its policy and is no longer seeking the annihilation of Israel. More remarkably, the headlines made it seem as if Hamas were presenting a new plan for peace with Israel.

Quoting statements by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, several Arab media organizations ran headlines implying that the terror group now favors the two-state solution. "Hamas does not oppose the establishment of a [Palestinian] state on the 1967 borders," the headlines shouted.

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To the EU: Iran's Mullahs Will Never Be Your Friend

by Majid Rafizadeh  •  July 22, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • Despite these attacks, and attempted attacks, the EU, despite its ceaseless moral sanctimony, continues to soften its tone toward Iran, presumably out of a zeal for doing business even with a country designated the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism.

  • The more the EU appeases the Iranian government, the more it empowers it to pursue aggressive and terrorist activities.

  • The EU needs to stop appeasing the ruling mullahs of Iran who are consistently engaged in terror activities in Europe, and join its old transatlantic partner, the US, in putting even more pressure on Iran's fundamentalist government.

Iran has recently become more aggressive and breached the 300kg limit on enriched uranium, among several other malign actions. Pictured: The Isfahan uranium enrichment facility in Isfahan, Iran. (Photo by Getty Images)

The extent to which the European Union is willing to go in order to appease the ruling mullahs of Iran, is unfathomable. To witness the EU siding with the fundamentalist government of Iran rather than backing its old transatlantic partner, the United States, is a shock.

Since President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the flawed agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) , Iran's leaders have been consistently pushing for Europe to do more to appease them; more than it is capable of delivering.

First, the EU came up with a mechanism called the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX). Its purpose was to shield the Iranian government from economic sanctions, in order to assist its ruling clerics -- and Europe -- in gaining more revenues.

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"We Are Never Heard": Persecution of Christians, May 2019

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  July 21, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • "The assailants asked the Christians to convert to Islam, but the pastor and the others refused." So "they called them, one after the other, behind the church building where they shot them dead." — World Watch Monitor, Burkina Faso, May 2, 2019.

  • "When the next wave of violence begins to hit us, will anyone on your campuses hold demonstrations and carry signs that say 'We are all Christians'?" — Rev. Bashar Warda, Archbishop of Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, in an address delivered in London.

  • " [A] new form of persecution is on the rise—Christian girls are being targeted by Muslim men... Influential leaders are literally training young men to target Christian girls to impregnate them"... "[T]hey're forced into marrying that daughter into a Muslim family.... Once girls are married into the Muslim families, they're often cut off from or abandoned by their families and they face even more difficult circumstances. In some cases, girls are the second or third wife of their persecutor and they have few freedoms." — Mission Network News; Lindsey Steele; May 22, 2019. — Indonesia.

  • "The mob began shouting outside our home asking for our family to exit our home and receive divine retribution for our sin. It did not seem very divine—we just saw raging evil violent people ready to kill us." — British Pakistani Christian Association; May 21, 2019 — Pakistan.

The May 14 torture and murder of an 86-year-old Greek Christian man on the island of Imbros, in Turkey, is believed to have been a hate crime. Pictured: The island of Imbros. (Image source: by rock/Wikimedia Commons)

The Slaughter of Christians

Burkina Faso: A number of fatal Islamic terror attacks on Christians and their churches took place or were reported in May:

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Iran's Trojan Army Faces Challenge in Iraq

by Amir Taheri  •  July 21, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • Although some of the groups involved have exclusively Iraqi roots, the "mobilization" as a whole could be regarded as Iran's Trojan army in Iraq.

  • From its first days, the Khomeinist regime in Tehran regarded most Arab nations as artificial states created by colonial powers around an army of natives they had created as a means of controlling the population. Thus, revolutionary Iran had to disband or at least weaken those armies by creating Arab revolutionary armies loyal to the ayatollah.

  • Iraq has an excellent chance, perhaps a unique one, to rebuild itself as an independent and progressive power in the Middle East. However, it cannot do so by repeating the colonial method of nation-building: creating a state around an army subservient to an outside power.

By the end of July, Iraq is set to face what may be the biggest challenge it has faced in its post-liberation history: the full integration of Shiite militias into the regular national army. But, will that actually happen? Pictured: An Iraqi Army unit in Mosul, on June 23, 2017. (Photo by Martyn Aim/Getty Images)

By the end of July, Iraq is set to face what may be the biggest challenge it has faced in its post-liberation history: the full integration of Shiite militias into the regular national army. But, will that actually happen?

This is not the first time that the Iraqi leadership, this time in the person of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, announces the integration. Abdul-Mahdi's predecessor Haidar al-Abadi issued similar statements on at least two occasions, each time under pressure from Washington, before meekly retreating.

No one knows exactly how many groups are involved, as figures vary between 5 and 10 in the umbrella organization known as Hashd al-Shaabai (Popular Mobilization). However, one thing is certain: although some of the groups involved have exclusively Iraqi roots, the "mobilization" as a whole could be regarded as Iran's Trojan army in Iraq.

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Time for Europe to Get Over The "Worst Deal Ever"

by Con Coughlin  •  July 20, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • Yet, while Iran shows no sign of scaling down its aggressive stance towards the US and its allies in the region, Europe continues to cling to the wreckage of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), to give the nuclear deal its proper name, in the misguided belief that the deal remains the best means of preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

  • The determination of the Europeans to stick with the nuclear deal at all costs was very much in evidence earlier this week during a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels at which they came up with the decidedly bogus notion that Iran's breaches of the 2015 nuclear deal were not significant and therefore did not require the Europeans to withdraw from the JCPOA.

  • Europe's insistence on sticking with the nuclear deal, and its refusal to support Washington's attempts to provide naval protection for international shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, could ultimately prove self-defeating.

  • Europe is far more dependent on energy supplies from the Gulf than the US, and any further attempts by Iran to disrupt oil and gas supplies from the Gulf would have catastrophic consequences for Europe's economy.

While Iran shows no sign of scaling down its aggressive stance towards the US and its allies in the region, Europe continues to cling to the wreckage of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in the misguided belief that the deal remains the best means of preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. "Technically all the steps that have been taken, and that we regret have been taken, are reversible... We invite Iran to reverse the steps and go back to full compliance," Federica Mogherini, EU foreign policy chief, recently told EU foreign ministers. Pictured: Mogherini (left) stands with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, during her August 2017 visit to Iran. (Image source: European External Action Service/Flickr)

With tensions rising in the Gulf by the day as a result of Iran's increasingly provocative conduct, the refusal of the major European powers to back the Trump administration's determination to confront Iran is looking increasingly untenable.

In the past few months Iran has been blamed for a series of attacks on oil tankers operating in the Gulf, and forced a British Royal Navy warship to intervene when a number of fast patrol boats operated by the naval division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) attempted to harass a British-owned tanker sailing through the Strait of Hormuz, the main shipping route into the oil-rich Gulf.

Additionally, US military officials at Central Command (CentCom) are currently investigating claims that Iran was behind the mysterious disappearance of the oil tanker Riah while sailing in Iranian waters at the weekend.

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The 'Slow Death' of Palestinians in Lebanon

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  July 19, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • The Lebanese authorities' measures against Palestinians again highlight the discrimination Palestinians have long been facing in this Arab country. "Palestinians in Lebanon," according to a 2017 report by the Associated Press, "suffer discrimination in nearly every aspect of daily life..." Lebanese law restricts Palestinians' ability to work in several professions, including law, medicine and engineering, and bars them from receiving social security benefits. In 2001, the Lebanese parliament also passed a law prohibiting Palestinians from owning property.

  • Yet, somehow, Lebanon's discriminatory and racist measures against Palestinians do not seem to bother pro-Palestinian groups around the world. These groups regularly turn a blind eye to the misery of Palestinians living in Arab countries. Instead, they set their sights on Israel, scrutinizing it for imagined abuses against Palestinians.

  • It is high time for the pro-Palestinian groups on university campuses in the US, Canada, Britain and Australia to organize an "Arab Apartheid Week" instead of accusing Israel of "discriminating" against Palestinians. It is also high time for the international media to take notice of anti-Palestinian measures taken by Lebanon against the Palestinians at a time when Israel is increasing the number of Palestinian workers allowed to enter Israel for work.

  • Who will address the following question: Why are the UN and other international institutions remaining silent as Palestinians are being thrown out of their jobs in an Arab country while more than 100,000 Palestinians enter Israel on a daily basis for work? Will we see an emergency meeting of the Arab League or the UN Security Council to denounce Lebanese apartheid and racism? Or are they too busy drafting resolutions condemning Israel, which has opened its doors wide open to Palestinian workers?

Somehow, Lebanon's discriminatory and racist measures against Palestinians do not seem to bother pro-Palestinian groups around the world. These groups regularly turn a blind eye to the anguish of Palestinians living in Arab countries. Instead, they set their sights on Israel, scrutinizing it for imagined abuses against Palestinians. Pictured: Burj Barajneh, a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon administered by UNRWA. (Image source: Al Jazeera English/Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

More than 100,000 Palestinians from the West Bank have permits to work in Israel, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources. In addition, the sources said, thousands of Palestinians enter Israel every day without permits.

On July 15, the number of Palestinian workers who entered Israel, according to the Israeli Defense Ministry, was estimated at more than 80,000.

Last week, as part of efforts to reach a truce agreement between Israel and Hamas, Israel was reported to have agreed to increase the number of Palestinian merchants and businessmen allowed to go from the Gaza Strip to Israel from 3,500 to 5,000.

Reports said that the latest Israeli gesture were the outcome of attempts by Egypt and the United Nations to prevent an all-out military confrontation between Israel and Hamas.

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Erdoğan's American Gamble

by Burak Bekdil  •  July 19, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • "Turkey's decision to proceed with the acquisition of the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system presents a serious national security threat to the United States and to our NATO allies. By purchasing and integrating a sophisticated Russian missile defense system into NATO hardware, Turkey not only stands to jeopardize NATO security in the region but also presents Russia with a victory in its ongoing effort to sow division and distrust among NATO member states." — U.S. Representative John Sarbanes (D-Md.) July 12, 2019.

  • The S-400 can engage targets at a range of up to 400km (250 miles). It has been designed to shoot down NATO's aerial assets -- including U.S.-made F-35 fighter jets.

  • What Erdogan fears most is the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, passed by the US Senate in 2017: the CAATSA sanctions. The unemployment rate in Turkey is 13%, with 4.2 million people looking for work. The economy is in recession and the lira rate unstable.

Last week, Turkey took delivery of the first parts for the Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile systems it ordered. The S-400 can engage targets at a range of up to 400km (250 miles). It has been designed to shoot down NATO's aerial assets -- including U.S.-made F-35 fighter jets. Pictured: A Russian S-400 missile battery. (Image source: Vitaly Kuzmin/Wikimedia Commons)

Ever since Turkey officially selected the Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile system for its long-range air-aircraft and anti-missile architecture at the end of 2017, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has not changed his rhetoric that the purchase was "a done deal;" and that "it is Turkey's sovereign choice to deploy which air defense system is on its soil." In response, the U.S. administration threatened to suspend Turkey's membership in the multinational Joint Strike Fighter program, which is building the F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation fighter jet. The U.S. has also threatened Turkey with more sanctions within the Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. Industry officials say the CAATSA sanctions may cost Turkish companies more than $10 billion in lost (sub-) contracts. Turkey has committed to buy at least 100 F-35s and has already paid $1.4 billion.

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Powerful Lessons from History: Adams on Strength, Rand on Fifth Columnists

by Lawrence Kadish  •  July 18, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • John Adams, the nation's second President, understood that studying history, and specifically conflict between nations, would give us the means of avoiding the next battle, conflict between nations and of protecting our shared future.

  • "... I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine." – Letter by President John Adams to Abigail Adams, May 12, 1780.

  • The reality is we remain at war -- with those who brought down the Twin Towers and attacked the Pentagon, who apparently consider a diverse, interdenominational nation an outrage that must be erased from the globe.

A portrait of US President John Adams, as painted by Gilbert Stuart circa 1800/1815. (Image source: National Gallery of Art)

President John Adams has something to say to students this fall but it is unlikely he will be given the chance.

Across the United States, this summer will be used by educators to convene conferences on curriculum, classroom content and study guides to present to students in September. Likely absent from most of their agendas will be a comprehensive study of the most seminal event in the last century -- World War II -- which continues to define the world we live in, our geopolitical borders, our society, the role of technology and America's leadership role around the globe.

Social studies teachers will be the first to admit despair. In many school districts, a single 45-minute period is all that is offered in the course of an entire class year for the study of this global conflict, Gloria Sesso, chairperson of the Long Island, N.Y. Committee for the Social Studies, told Gatestone.

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J'accuse — The New Yorker Is Trying to Silence Me

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  July 18, 2019 at 4:00 am

Alan Dershowitz. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images for Hulu)

I recently learned, from a source close to The New Yorker magazine, that its editor, David Remnick, has commissioned a hit piece against me for the explicit purpose of silencing my defense of President Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the State of Israel. Remnick despises Trump and Netanyahu, and is well known for his strong anti-Israel bias. Remnick explicitly told people that I must be silenced because mine has been the most persuasive voice in favor of what Remnick feels pose dangers to values he holds dear, and that he will use the credibility of The New Yorker to accomplish this goal.

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Germany: Nest of Middle Eastern Spies

by Soeren Kern  •  July 17, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • The report, considered the most important indicator of internal security in Germany, draws a bleak picture and raises questions about the government's apparent passivity in face of mounting threats.... Meanwhile, the Erdoğan-aligned Islamist movement Millî Görüş (Turkish for "National Vision"), which has around 10,000 members in Germany, is the second-largest Islamist group in the country (the Salafist movement is now the largest Islamist grouping in Germany). Millî Görüş is strongly opposed to Muslim integration into European society.

  • "The BfV has found that all Islamist organizations active in Germany harbor anti-Semitic ideas and disseminate them in various ways. These ideas represent a considerable challenge for peaceful and tolerant coexistence in Germany." — Annual report of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, BfV), 2019

  • "The goal of HAMAS is the establishment of an Islamist state in the entire territory of 'Palestine' — also through armed struggle. A strategy paper written in 2017 states: 'Resistance to occupation by all means is a legitimate right guaranteed by divine laws. At the heart of it lies the armed resistance.' By 'Palestine' HAMAS means the area between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan, which also includes the territory of the State of Israel. Western countries such as Germany are seen by HAMAS as a haven where the organization focuses on collecting donations, recruiting new supporters, and propagating its propaganda." — Annual report of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, BfV), 2019

  • The BfV noted a "high number" of attempts by "covert Pakistani procurement structures" illegally to obtain technology for use in Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. The BfV also observed a "significant increase" in attempts by Iran to obtain technology for its missile program, which was not part of the Iran nuclear deal. The BfV reported that Syrian intermediaries were also continuing efforts to obtain products for weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons.

Foreign intelligences services, especially those from Turkey, Syria and Iran, have increased their activities in Germany during the past 12 months, according to a report presented on June 27 by Germany's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and Thomas Haldenwang, president of Germany's BfV domestic intelligence agency. Pictured: Seehofer (left) and Haldenwang (right) at a press conference on June 18, 2019, with Federal Crime Office head Holger Muench. (Photo by Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)

Foreign intelligence services, especially those from Turkey, Syria and Iran, have increased their activities in Germany during the past 12 months, according to Germany's BfV domestic intelligence agency. The foreign intelligence services are not only pursuing dissidents among the large diasporas in Germany, they are also targeting Jewish and Israeli interests in the country.

At the same time, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood appear to be operating with impunity in Germany, while, according to the BfV, the number of Salafists in the country has tripled in recent years and now exceeds 11,000. Overall, the BfV estimates that Germany is home to more than 26,000 Islamists, an unknown number of whom pose an immediate threat of attack.

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Argentina: Latin America's New Leader in Counterterrorism

by Joseph M. Humire  •  July 17, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • Argentine President Mauricio Macri is taking a historic step and preparing to officially designate Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization in Argentina, the first designation of its kind in Latin America.

  • Hezbollah, Lebanon's "Party of God," is first and foremost the primary terrorist proxy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. By calling and legally designating them for what they are -- a foreign terrorist group -- Argentine officials can now begin to anticipate Hezbollah's actions by communicating with more than 57 nations worldwide in the same counterterrorism language.

  • The purpose of anti-terrorism is to anticipate terrorist actions in order to neutralize them. It is hopeless to wait until an attack takes place and then take action. By designating Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization President Macri is leading Latin America in the global fight against Islamist terrorism. In doing so, he is also honoring the memory of the 85 Argentines who died in the 1994 AMIA attack and reminding us all that Iran and Hezbollah are very much a global threat.

Argentina's President Mauricio Macri is taking a historic step and preparing to officially designate Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization in Argentina, the first designation of its kind in Latin America. (Photo by Amilcar Orfali/Getty Images)

This week we honor the 85 victims of the largest Islamist terrorist attack in Latin America's history: the bombing the Asociación Mutual Isrealita Argentina (AMIA) on July 18, 1994. Twenty-five years have passed since the morning when a Renault van packed with 300 kilograms of explosives detonated in front of the AMIA building in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It took more than a decade — until 2006 — for the Argentine government to formally charge the Islamic Republic of Iran and its terror-proxy, Hezbollah, for carrying out the attack. Now, 13 years after that, Argentine President Mauricio Macri is taking a historic step and preparing to officially designate Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization in Argentina, the first designation of its kind in Latin America.

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Facebook: More Government Censorship

by Judith Bergman  •  July 16, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • As indicated by the US in its statement, the problem with these government-led drives for more censorship in the name of fighting "terrorist and violent extremist content online" is where one draws the line as to what constitutes "hate speech", and the extent to which such drives can manage to uphold the rights of citizens to free speech.

  • In Europe, hate-speech laws have increasingly been used to shut down the speech of citizens who disagree with government migration policies.

  • The claim of preventing the spread of terrorist content has also been used as an excuse in attempts to shut down political opponents....

  • At the same time, the different signatories to the Christchurch Call to Action appear to have different views on what constitutes terrorism in the first place, further complicating how one should define 'terrorist content'.

It is often argued that Facebook is a private enterprise and therefore free to censor whatever it wishes.

However, Facebook and the other internet giants, such as Google, YouTube (a subsidiary of Google), and Twitter, have come to control the flow of information on the internet, to such a degree – as virtual monopolies -- that they have become the 'public square' of our times. That outcome makes them far more than merely private enterprises and endows them with a special responsibility: Those who cannot publish on Facebook or Twitter, effectively no longer have full freedom of speech.

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Turkey: Out in the Cold

by Burak Bekdil  •  July 16, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • The fight for Tripoli has killed more than 750 people – not a stunning number when compared to 9/11, but not small enough to be ignored like a bomb blowing up in Paris, Istanbul or Berlin.

  • Earlier, during the first signs of the Arab Spring, Erdoğan took to the idea of bringing together Muslims of the Middle East and uniting them under a Turkish empire that was being reborn – with him as the new caliph.

  • Erdoğan was the rock star in Beirut or Cairo not because poor Arabs were desperately waiting for the return of Turks to lead them -- Turkey has serious friction with Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates -- but simply because they were programmed to cozy up to any anti-Zionist man, animal or plant.

  • Add to that picture a rising alliance of all those Arab states with Western states and corporate actors in exploring hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean, and it becomes hard to find anyone who wishes to play on the Turkish side.

It looks as if the Turkish strategy team loves to bet on the loser. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's calculations on a policy of building sectarian Islam throughout the Middle East has cost him a number of Muslim countries, yet he keeps on making the same mistake. (Photo by Amilcar Orfali/Getty Images)

It looks as if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's will and power to fight all of the world's infidels – Muslims with different rituals, secular Muslims, Christians and Jews – will never cease.

Earlier, during the first signs of the Arab Spring, Erdoğan took to the idea of bringing together Muslims of the Middle East and uniting them under a Turkish empire that was being reborn – with him as the new caliph.

His violent anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist rhetoric worked well to earn him Arab popularity. But the message he got was wrong.

Erdoğan was the rock star in Beirut or Cairo not because poor Arabs were desperately waiting for the return of Turks to lead them -- Turkey has been experiencing serious friction with Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates –- but simply because all of them are programmed to cozy up to any anti-Zionist man, animal or plant.

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The Hamas March to Destroy Israel

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  July 15, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • By choosing to hold the protests under the banner of the "Three No's," the organizers of the "Great March of Return" have again proven that the weekly demonstrations are not about improving the living conditions of Palestinians or easing restrictions imposed on the Gaza Strip. Instead, the message the organizers are sending to the Palestinians and the rest of the world is: "We don't recognize Israel's right to exist and therefore we will never make negotiate or make peace with it."

  • Hamas's two other "No's" – no to recognizing Israel and no to making peace with Israel – do not come as a surprise. In fact, Hamas appears to be reminding Palestinians of its true objectives as outlined in its 1988 charter: "There is no solution for the Palestinian question expect through Jihad (holy war). Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors...[Hamas] believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered."

  • This is all that Hamas has to offer the Palestinians 12 years after its violent takeover of the Gaza Strip? Sadly, thousands of Palestinians continue to heed Hamas's call for trying to breach the border with Israel every Friday while ignoring that it is their leaders who are mainly responsible for dragging them from one disaster to another.

On the one hand, Hamas is sending Palestinians to clash with Israeli soldiers along the Gaza-Israel border under the banner of "No to negotiations [with Israel]." On the other hand, Hamas is begging the Egyptians and the UN to help arrange a ceasefire with Israel. Pictured: Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh greets protesters in Gaza, at the border fence with Israel, on May 15, 2018. (Image source: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

When the Palestinians launched the weekly protests along the Gaza-Israel border in March 2018, they said that their No. 1 goal was to force Israel to lift the "blockade" on the Gaza Strip. The protests, however, according to the organizers, have another goal: achieving the "right of return" for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their former homes inside Israel.

The protests, held under the banner "The Great March of Return," have since been hijacked by Hamas and other Gaza-based Palestinian armed groups who are using them to advance their political agendas.

The weekly demonstrations are no longer aimed either at lifting the "blockade" on the Gaza Strip or paving the way for millions of refugees and their descendants to return to their former homes.

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Turkey: No Rights for the Country's Indigenous People?

by Uzay Bulut  •  July 15, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • The root of these violations appears to be Turkey's denial of its extermination of the indigenous Christian peoples from 1913 to 1923.

  • "[Denial] is the final stage that lasts throughout and always follows genocide. It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal massacres." — Dr. Gregory H. Stanton; President, Genocide Watch; "The Ten Stages of Genocide", 2016

  • To this day, Turkey refuses to acknowledge its past and present crimes against the indigenous peoples whose rights it has vowed to protect. This is among many things that differentiates Turkey from civilized nations that have taken serious steps to improve the rights of their native peoples.

In May, the doors of homes of some Armenian Christians in Istanbul's Samatya district were marked with Star of David graffiti and threatening messages, among them the words: "Attention, Israel." This was a few days after a woman from Armenia in the same district was the victim of a knife attack carried out by two masked assailants shouting, "This is [only] the beginning." Pictured: The upper facade of the Armenian Church of Saint George of Samatya (right), in the Samatya district of Istanbul, Turkey. (Image source: Stilbes/Wikimedia Commons)

Ankara's hair-raising human-rights record, including an ongoing attempt to erase all vestiges of other religions and cultures in Turkey, is one reason that it has been prevented from realizing its long-standing dream of membership in the European Union. It does enjoy status, however, as a member of NATO, and remains a signatory to the 2007 "United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples," which reads in part:

"Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State. [Article 5]...

"Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions...[Article 31]"

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