Latest Analysis and Commentary

USA: The Iron Ladies

by Ahmed Charai  •  May 24, 2018 at 1:00 pm

  • "I know that at home you call me 'the old lady.' Well, I'm a grandmother, and you're a grandfather. And so from one grandparent to another, let me express my hope that our grandchildren will know a future of peace ..." — Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir to former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

  • Yesterday, two women were named at the head of what is seen as the center of power in the US, the Intelligence services: Gina Haspel and Kirstjen Nielsen.

  • It is this permanence of public service that, in the USA, assures that a president cannot be omnipotent; it is a true sign of democracy.

Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel (left) and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. (Images source: Nielsen - World Economic Forum / Haspel - CIA)

Some Arab leaders stood out, in part, by their sexist and disrespectful language against former Secretaries of State, Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat referred to Golda Meir as the Old Lady. There was a famous discussion about it when Sadat came to the Knesset, and in front of the camera she said to him: "I know that at home you call me 'the old lady.' Well, I'm a grandmother, and you're a grandfather. And so from one grandparent to another, let me express my hope that our grandchildren will know a future of peace..."

The Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, had what some referred to as a slightly eerie obsession with Condoleezza Rice, describing her as his "African Princess."

Yesterday, two women were named at the head of what is seen as the center of power in the US, the Intelligence services: Gina Haspel and Kirstjen Nielsen.

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France: Macron Buries Plan to Rehabilitate 'No-Go Zones'

by Soeren Kern  •  May 24, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • Initial reaction to Macron's speech was one of nearly unanimous disappointment over a missed opportunity. "We were expecting concrete policies," said the mayor of Aulnay-sous-Bois, Bruno Beschizza. "For now, there is nothing practical. I came out empty-handed."

  • An estimated six million people — around one-tenth of France's population — live in 1,500 neighborhoods classified by the government as Sensitive Urban Zones (zones urbaines sensibles, ZUS), priority targets for urban renewal.

  • Back in Paris, Macron admitted that France has "lost the battle over drug trafficking in many cities." He promised to announce a new plan to combat drug trafficking "by July."

Pictured: A residential street in the French township of Clichy-sous-Bois, part of the Paris suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis, which was described in a recent report as a "wasteland of de-industrialization" where "a third of the population of the town does not hold French nationality, and many residents are drawn to an Islamic identity." (Image source: Marianna/Wikimedia Commons)

President Emmanuel Macron has substantially scaled back plans to rehabilitate France's banlieues — poverty-ridden and crime-infested neighborhoods with large Muslim populations — and has instead called on local mayors and civil society groups to find solutions at the grassroots level.

The policy reversal follows weeks of internal debate about whether a top-down or bottom-up approach is the best way to improve life in the troubled banlieues, which are breeding grounds for Islamic fundamentalism and are often referred to as no-go zones because of the dangerous conditions there for police and other representatives of state authority.

In a much-anticipated speech at the Élysée Palace on May 22, Macron announced only modest, non-budgeted, initiatives for the banlieues, including a plan to hire more police officers, a crackdown on drug trafficking and a corporate internship program for underprivileged youths.

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UNRWA's "Palestinian Refugee" Fraud?

by Ruthie Blum  •  May 24, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • It is no wonder, then, that the classified State Department report's findings -- showing that billions of taxpayer dollars have been funneled over the years into an organization that has seems to have been perpetuating a fraud -- that the Obama administration kept its content a secret from the American public.

  • UNRWA is anything but a humanitarian organization interested in the welfare of the Palestinians whom it claims to have spent the past nearly 70 years assisting. It is, rather, a self-serving political body that has bolstered Arab/Palestinian rejectionism and perpetuated Palestinian suffering, thereby preventing peace and prosperity.

  • Its dissolution is long overdue.

Pictured: Ann Dismorr (right), the Director of UNRWA in Lebanon, poses with a map that erases the State of Israel and presents all of it as "Palestine." (Image source: Palestinian Authority TV via Palestinian Media Watch)

In early 2018, President Donald Trump froze a large portion of the funding that the United States provides annually for UNRWA (the United Nations Relief Works Agency for Palestine Refugees a in the Near East). Prior to imposing the $125 million freeze, Trump tweeted: "[W]e pay the Palestinians HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect."

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VIDEO -- Behind the Smokescreen II: The Great Deception

May 24, 2018 at 3:00 am

"Hamas tell themselves, Instead of having people revolt and turn against us, we'll send them to the fence and let them revolt there freely."

Palestinians: Americans Now Legitimate Targets

by Bassam Tawil  •  May 23, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • Ultimately, it is all about money. The Palestinian Authority is desperate for US financial aid; without it the Palestinian leadership would not be able to survive. So the Palestinians are hoping to extort protection money from the Americans. It is like saying, "You see what will happen to you if you stop funding me? It could always get worse for you. I suggest that you restore my accountability-free funding, and perhaps I will see to it that you do not get hurt."

  • The Americans should call the Palestinian bluff and send a warning to the Palestinian leadership that there will be consequences for their rhetoric and actions if they do not cease the incitement and brainwashing. The US should use the money as leverage to demand this from the Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority needs your money and you have the right to demand something good in return for it. There is no reason why any American should be funding the same Palestinian propaganda machine that is inciting not only against Israel, but also against the US and its citizens.

Now it is official: Palestinians view the US as an enemy. Anti-US rhetoric comes from Palestinians representing all walks of life -- from President Mahmoud Abbas to ordinary citizens in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Some Palestinians even see US citizens and officials as "legitimate targets" for violent assaults. Pictured: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

There is a new development in Palestinian hatred of the Trump administration: the Palestinian leaders' verbal attacks on the US are now being translated into acts of violence against US delegations visiting Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

The Palestinian campaign against the US began in December 2017, when President Donald Trump made his announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and escalated after he announced that the US embassy in Tel Aviv would be moved to Jerusalem.

The anti-US rhetoric has come from Palestinians representing all walks of life -- from the most senior, including President Mahmoud Abbas, to ordinary citizens in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and from secular groups such as the ruling Fatah faction to extremist Islamist organizations such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

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Gatestone's Person of the Week: Dr. Khaled Montaser "Trying to Fix This"

by A. Z. Mohamed  •  May 23, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • Egyptian intellectual Dr. Khaled Montaser referred to the "scientific-miraculous" nature of the Quran (i'jaz) as a "great delusion" and "an anesthetic or a nice sedative" for the Arabs and the Muslims.

  • "Where does extremism come from? People, we must admit -- as our president has often said -- that there are elements in our books of heritage that incite to this. We must admit this." — Dr. Khaled Montaser.

  • Montaser's harsh criticism should be understood as a call, similar to that of other caring Muslims "trying to fix this," not to abandon Islam, but to modernize or risk remaining "at the tail end of all the nations."

Dr. Khaled Montaser in his interview with Sky News Arabia on April 20, 2018. (Image source: Sky News Arabia video screenshot)

In an interview with Sky News Arabia on April 20, Egyptian intellectual Dr. Khaled Montaser referred to the "scientific-miraculous" nature of the Quran (i'jaz) as a "great delusion" and "an anesthetic or a nice sedative" for the Arabs and the Muslims, making them feel superior: "we are superior," "we are the best," "we are the greatest."

Montaser, head of the Dermatology Department of the Suez Canal Authority, linked this "delusion" to the prevalence of Islamic terrorists. "As Muslims," he said, "we pay a steep price for this. We are at the tail end of all the nations."

"Among the names of all those who detonated explosive belts in Europe or America," he went on, "one cannot find a single Hindu or Buddhist name. They always have Muslim names. Furthermore, how come Muslims always oppose modernity?"

"Our interpretation," he went on, "is in conflict with modernity..."

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Germany: Asylum for Cash Scandal

by Soeren Kern  •  May 22, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • Germany's Federal Office for Refugees and Migration (BAMF) will review more than 25,000 asylum decisions after allegations of corruption at its regional office in the northern city of Bremen.

  • Some of those granted asylum were considered by German authorities to be potential security risks, according to the news magazine Der Spiegel. They include Syrian intelligence operatives, human smugglers and other hard-core criminals — as well as potential Islamic State jihadists.

  • BAMF currently rejects almost all asylum requests from converts from Islam to Christianity, according to Thomas Schirrmacher, president of the International Society for Human Rights. He said that when undergoing "belief tests," BAMF often relies on Muslim translators who deliberately mistranslate at the expense of Christians or converts.

Pictured: City Hall in the Old Town of Bremen, Germany. (Image source: Jürgen Howaldt/Wikimedia Commons)

Germany's Federal Office for Refugees and Migration (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF) will review more than 25,000 asylum decisions after allegations of corruption at its regional office in the northern city of Bremen.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced the audit after it emerged that a former official at BAMF's Bremen branch allegedly accepted cash bribes in exchange for granting asylum to at least 1,200 refugees who did not meet the necessary criteria. Five others, including three lawyers, an interpreter and an intermediary, are also being investigated.

The three lawyers allegedly received cash payments from "refugees" across Germany and submitted their asylum applications to the Bremen office. The interpreter then "interpreted" asylum interviews in such a way that the answers supposedly given by refugees matched the requirements for successful asylum applications. He reportedly received €500 ($680) per asylum seeker.

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Hitler and Reza Shah: Mullahs and Pro-Israel Writers Sing Together

by Amir Taheri  •  May 22, 2018 at 4:00 am

Reza Shah, founder of Iran's Pahlavi Dynasty, pictured some time in the 1930's. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

That political life is full of surprises may be an old adage.

However, there are times when something so unexpected happens that one has to look beyond surprise to understand it.

One such event concerns the new campaign to portray Iran as an anti-Semite nation and the founder of the Pahlavi Dynasty, Reza Shah, as disciple of Adolf Hitler.

Trying to justify their anti-Semitism, expressed through an anti-Israel rhetoric, the mullahs claim that they are continuing an old national tradition. To back that claim they trace their policy to Reza Shah, the man who founded the Pahlavi Dynasty and considered by many Iranians as the leader who halted centuries of decline.

In the popular uprisings of last January one frequent slogan was "Reza Shah! Blessed be Your Soul!"

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Pro-Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Shaft Palestinians and Human Rights

by Bassam Tawil  •  May 21, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • In each case, Palestinian Arabs living in PA-controlled areas were suspected of collaborating with Israel -- a "crime" that can include anything from warning authorities of impending acts of terrorism to selling land to Jews.

  • All told, 13 of 15 "human rights organizations" proved that they are, in fact, dedicated to defaming the State of Israel, and have no real interest in defending human rights.

  • Only two organizations -- The Committee for Prevention of Torture and Physicians for Human Rights -- offered assistance of any kind.

  • Ironically, help also came from two unexpected sources: Honenu, a legal aid society most often associated with right wing causes, and Regavim, a think-tank and lobbying group that regularly finds itself in court as a means of protecting Israeli sovereignty.

Pictured: The Jerusalem District Court, where Justice Moshe Drori recently found the Palestinian Authority directly responsible for the imprisonment and torture or murder of the 52 Palestinian plaintiffs, and required the PA to compensate the victims accordingly. (Image source: Sirkiss/Wikimedia Commons)

During the past 14 years, dozens of lawsuits have been filed in the Israeli judicial system by Arabs who have fled the Palestinian Authority (PA) and were given refuge in Israel. The sheer volume of cases and their remarkable similarity led the Israeli justice system to combine them and hear them as a unified case, heard in Jerusalem District Court, Justice Moshe Drori presiding, in 2017.

In each case, the victims, Palestinian Arabs living in PA-controlled areas, were suspected of collaborating with Israel -- a "crime" that can include anything from warning authorities of impending acts of terrorism to selling land to Jews.

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Iran, North Korea, and the U.S.

by Tom Quiggin  •  May 21, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • In October 2107, the USS Michigan again made a port call that was made public. The message to North Korea and to President Kim Jong-un was: We are here. In your back yard.

  • Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which has grown powerful and wealthy, controls a large segment of Iran's economy. To what degree they are independent of the political leadership is not clearly understood -- especially if the economy should suffer an unfortunate downturn.

Pictured: The guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) arrives in Busan, South Korea for a port visit, April 24, 2017.

For those wishing to understand the emerging role of the United States in the Middle East, especially regarding the ever-expanding role of Iran, watch North Korea. The long-term effects of U.S. President Donald Trump's aggressive posture toward the Hermit Kingdom are not yet clear, but change has occurred. For the first time in 68 years, a leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, walked across the border to South Korea. In a region of the world where maintaining face is paramount, this was possibly seen as a sign of submission.

Insights on how President Trump will deal with Iran and its nuclear weapons program can be gained from examining how he dealt with North Korea. North Korea and Iran have exchanged technology programs and have actively sought to assist each other in weapons programs.

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Iran's Leaders at War with Western Civilization
Why is the West Putting Up with It?

by Giulio Meotti  •  May 20, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • The archipelago of political Islam in Europe, from Tariq Ramadan to the Muslim Brotherhood, revolves around the orbit of the Qatar-Iran axis. Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood openly sided with Khomeini's revolutionaries as they overthrew the Shah, and now threatens Saudi Arabia and the UAE and others in the region.

  • After the revolution, for the first time, the Iranians declared war on their own cultural life: theaters were closed, concerts were banned, entertainers fled the country, cinemas were confiscated, broadcasting was forbidden.

  • Will Europe – the cradle of Western culture and civilization – open its eyes and stop regularly taking the side of the Iran's tyrannical ayatollahs?

The leader of Iran's Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini, pictured in 1979. (Photo by Asadollah Chahriari/Keystone/Getty Images)

The United States just withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal. The move is fully justified not only on the grounds security, but primarily because Iran's Iranian Khomeinist revolution is a deadly and propulsive ideology that the West cannot allow to become a nuclearized one.

At the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, everything changed when Said and Sharif Kouachi murdered 11 people in its Paris office. Among the texts recovered on the Kouachi brothers' laptop was the Iranian call for death against the novelist Salman Rushdie, calling it "fully justified". The killers were inspired by Ayatollah Khomeini's deadly edict against Rushdie. The bloodbath at Charlie Hebdo is one of the poisoned fruits of the Islamic Republic. The Iranian ayatollahs fear the allure of Western culture. That is why, since 1979, they are at war with it.

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Iraqi Election Opens New Chapter

by Amir Taheri  •  May 20, 2018 at 4:00 am

In the recent Iraqi election, the "Victory" list of Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi (pictured) failed to impress, partly because it tried to build a cult of personality around its leader as the "conqueror" who defeated ISIS. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)

During the British House of Commons' stormy debate on 29 August 2013 on whether or not to intervene in Syria to stop further chemical weapon massacres by President Bashar al-Assad, the then leader of the opposition Ed Miliband boasted that he could prove intervention wrong by just one word: Iraq!

For almost two decades that four-letter word has been used by people with many different shades of politics to describe the futility, not to mention "the criminality", of intervention by democratic powers against even exceptionally tyrannical regimes.

As Iraqis went to the polls the other day to elect a new parliament, and thus their next government, I realized that the four-letter word mouthed with scorn by people like Barack Obama and Miliband, was now replaced by a five-letter word: Syria!

If "Iraq" is a symbol of what intervention could produce, the word "Syria" illustrates what non-assistance to a nation in danger could lead to.

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A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in France: April 2018
"Radical Islam is one of the greatest challenges facing our nation."

by Soeren Kern  •  May 19, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • More than 250 French public figures — elected officials from all sides of the political aisle, representatives of different religions, intellectuals and artists — signed a manifesto against "the new anti-Semitism" brought to France by mass immigration from the Muslim world.

  • The manifesto, published by Le Parisien, sounded the alarm against a "low-level ethnic cleansing" of Jews in Paris and demanded that the verses of the Koran which call for the killing and punishment of Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims "be obsoleted" by theological authorities. In a counter-manifesto published by Le Monde, a group of 30 French imams insisted that Islam is not anti-Semitic.

  • "Anti-Semitism in Europe, in France, in Toulouse is no longer just by the far-right, but from political Islam." — Aviv Zonabend, Deputy Mayor of Toulouse.

  • An estimated six million people — around one-tenth of France's population — live in 1,500 neighborhoods classified by the government as Sensitive Urban Zones (zones urbaines sensibles, ZUS).

Members of the Communist Party and other far left groups in the Paris City Council introduced a proposal to establish a massive migrant shelter at Paris's iconic Bois de Boulogne park (pictured above), which is situated in the city's upscale 16th arrondissement. The proposal is aimed at achieving a "territorial rebalancing" so that migrants are distributed across all parts of Paris. (Image source: sniperzeta/Wikimedia Commons)

April 1. Interior Minister Gérard Collomb, in an interview with the newspaper Ouest-France, said that French authorities had foiled 20 jihadi attacks in 2017 and two in 2018. He also revealed that of the 26,000 known jihadis in France with S-files (fiche "S," those considered highly dangerous), only 20 were deported during 2017.

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Gaza Riots: Really About the Embassy?

by Bassam Tawil  •  May 18, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • Throughout history, the excuses to attack Israel keep changing.

  • For 8 years under the Obama administration, the Palestinians had portrayed themselves, and been treated as, the deserving underdog -- the "good guys." Now, a foreign government is actually holding the Palestinians accountable and calling them out for activities they had taken for granted, such as incitement to riot and murder, or funding terrorists and their families. The Palestinians do not like it one bit.

  • The Palestinians hate the Trump administration not because of the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, but because it speaks truth to them and exposes their perfidy and malice. They hate the Trump administration because they see it as an obstacle on their way to eliminating Israel.

  • What happened at the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip was an act of aggression by Hamas on Israeli sovereignty. It was an act of war. Even the terrorists did not say that they were protesting the embassy relocation. The terrorists and the rest of the Palestinian demonstrators were chanting "Death to Israel" and "Death to America." They were chanting that their goal is to replace Israel with an Islamic state.

  • The idea that Hamas is concerned about the US embassy move is a sick joke. All one needs to do is to listen carefully to what Hamas is saying, namely that its struggle is to "liberate all of Palestine, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River." Hamas is saying that the protests it has been orchestrating are aimed at enabling millions of Palestinians to flood Israel and turn it into an Islamic state.

Pictured: A group of young Gazan men drag away of section of razor wire that was cut away from Israel's security fence, as part of Hamas' attempt to breach the border and cross into Israel, May 14, 2018. (Image source: VOA News video sreenshot)

Much of the world is convinced that the Palestinian protests that took place on May 14 and 15 were directly connected to the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem.

This misapprehension can be traced directly to the international media, which helped create the impression that the clashes that took place between Palestinians and the Israel Defense Forces along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel came in response to US President Donald Trump's decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Instead, what we have witnessed in the past few days is part of the ongoing Palestinian struggle against Israel. This is a struggle that began with the establishment of Israel 70 years ago and is continuing to this day. It is a struggle that every now and then finds a new excuse to launch terror attacks against Israel and kill as many Jews as possible.

Most notably, throughout history, the excuses to attack Israel keep changing.

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America's Missile Defense Programs - Part I

by Peter Huessy  •  May 18, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • This missile defense capability gives the President of United States, for the first time, the strength needed to defend the country from ballistic missile threats. — Lt. Gen. (ret.) Trey Obering, former Director of the Missile Defense Agency, 2004-2008.

A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched from the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska on July 30, 2017. (Image source: U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff)

With the American withdrawal from the Iran nuclear "deal" and the President's on-again-off-again forthcoming summit with the leader of North Korea, missile threats to the United States and its allies are very much a concern.

Iran last week for the first time launched rockets from Syria aimed at Israel, which used Iron Dome defenses to shoot them down.

And as part of any nuclear deal with North Korea, the US and its allies are seeking to eliminate not just North Korean nuclear weapons, but also strictly limit the North Korean missile arsenal.

What, then, is the status of America's missile defense programs, particularly the system of interceptor missiles and radars that now protect the American people -- irrespective of the outcomes of the summit in Singapore between the President and the head of North Korea or possible future negotiations with Iran?

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