Latest Analysis and Commentary

UN Approves Terror, Torpedoes Peace

by Bassam Tawil  •  December 10, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • Hamas and the other Palestinian terrorist groups have interpreted the failure of the US-sponsored resolution as an internationally sanctioned license to continue killing Jews.

  • What Hamas is telling the UN and the rest of the world is: "Now that you have refused to brand us terrorists, we have the right to launch all forms of terrorist attacks and kill as many Jews as possible." Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders are, in fact, threatening not only to continue, but also to step up, their terrorist attacks on Israel.

  • When Hamas and its supporters celebrate, the few Palestinians who are described as moderates and pragmatists and who are opposed to violence and terrorism, will have to hide.

  • Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah have boasted that what happened at the UN was a "slap in the face of the US and Israel." In fact, what happened at the UN is a severe blow to the "moderates" among the Palestinians and to any chances of reaching a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Now that the UN has legitimized Palestinian terrorism, no Palestinian leader will be able to return to the negotiating table with Israel. Thus, with this move, the UN has expertly torpedoed even the remotest possibility of peace talks.

The UN General Assembly on December 6 voted down a US-sponsored resolution condemning the activities of Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups. (UN Photo/Loey Felipe)

The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas could not have wished for a better birthday gift than the one with which the United Nations General Assembly presented it last week.

In a few days, Hamas will hold a massive celebration in the Gaza Strip to mark its 31st anniversary. Hamas leaders are expected to pass on to their supporters the nice gift the terrorist group has just received from the UN -- a gift that enables them to continue launching rockets at Israel and planning how to kill as many Jews as possible on the way to eliminating Israel and replacing it with an Islamic state.

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The French People Feel Screwed

by David Brown  •  December 10, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • Macron makes no secret of his wish to be seen as a global leader for environmental reform. He forgets that back at home, among the people who elected him, fuel prices really matter.

  • There are images online of police removing their helmets and firefighters turning their backs on political authority to show their support for the protestors.

  • For the first time in his presidency, Macron is in trouble and Europe and America are looking on.

"Yellow Vests" protesters chant slogans on the Champs-Elysées near the Arc de Triomphe on December 8, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

On December 4, French Prime Minister Édouard Phillipe told deputies of the ruling party, "La République en Marche", that a proposed fuel tax rise, which had led to the largest protests France has seen in decades, would be suspended.

The protesters, called Gilets-Jaunes -- "Yellow Vests," because of the vests drivers are obliged by the government to carry in their vehicles in the event of a roadside breakdown -- say that the fuel tax was the last straw from a president who took office with a promise to help the economically left-behind but instead has favoured the rich.

Even by French standards, the protests of the "Yellow Vests" during the weekend of December 1 were startling. Burning cars and vast plumes of grey smoke seemed to engulf the Arc De Triomphe as if Paris were at war. Comparisons were drawn with the Bread Wars of the 17th Century and the spirit of the Revolution of the 18th Century.

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More UN Chicanery

by Bruce Bawer  •  December 9, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration -- which seeks to criminalize criticism of migration -- is nothing more or less than a dangerous effort to weaken national borders, to normalize mass migration, to blur the line between legal and illegal immigration, and to bolster the idea that people claiming to be refugees enjoy a panoply of rights in countries where they have never before set foot.

  • One thing about the agreement, in any event, is irrefutable: almost nobody in the Western world has been clamoring for this. It is, quite simply, a project of the globalist elites. It is a UN power-grab.

  • It is something else, too: it is an effort to enhance the clout of the UN's largest and most influential power bloc -- namely, the Arab and Muslim states. Briefly put, whatever this deal is or is not, it is definitely not good news for the West, for freedom, or for national identity and security.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration -- which seeks to criminalize criticism of migration -- is nothing more or less than a dangerous effort to weaken national borders, normalize mass migration, blur the line between legal and illegal immigration, and bolster the idea that people claiming to be refugees enjoy a panoply of rights in countries where they have never before set foot. Pictured: Migrants walk towards a holding camp in Dobova, Slovenia on October 26, 2015. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

In Britain, the rage over Muslim rape gangs and Theresa May's Brexit foul-up is spreading. In Germany, anger about Merkel's recklessly transformative refugee policies is mounting. In France, the growing cost of immigrant freeloaders to taxpayers has sparked the most sensational public demonstrations since 1968. In Italy and Austria, opponents of the Islamization of Europe now hold the reins of power. Elsewhere in Western Europe, more and more citizens are standing up to their masters' open-borders dhimmitude.

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Democratic Countries Should Back out of the UN Global Compact

by Judith Bergman  •  December 9, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • The EU has been paying particularly North African governments for years to keep migrants away from the European continent. The effort seems to have yielded few results in terms of stopping migration to Europe.

  • The UN Global Compact stipulates that, "media outlets that systematically promote intolerance, xenophobia, racism and other forms of discrimination towards migrants" should not receive "public funding or material support."

  • Already, it is clear what this stipulation means in practice. The UN recently banned the Canadian outlet Rebel Media from attending the Conference for the Adoption of the UN Global Migration Compact. When Rebel Media asked for an explanation, they were told that the UN, "reserves the right to deny or withdraw accreditation of journalists from media organizations whose activities run counter to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, or who abuse the privileges so extended or put the accreditation to improper use or act in a way not consistent with the principles of the Organization. The decisions are final".

  • This form of totalitarian behavior on the part of the UN should encourage more states that still value democracy, immediately to back out of the Compact.

Götz Schmidt-Bremme, head of the UN's Global Forum on Migration and Development, has admitted that the UN's Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is a "controversial text," adding: "Maybe the benefits of legal migration were over-emphasised and we forgot about the challenges... we underestimated the need of communities that above all want to see migrants integrate." (Image source: United Nations)

The ongoing and bitter dispute between the EU and its Eastern European member states -- countries such as Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic -- that have refused to take in migrants as part of the EU's quota system, might be approaching some sort of compromise. In an internal document circulated to EU interior ministers in Brussels in early December, Reuters reported, EU member states that refuse to host migrants in their countries could be exempted from doing so, if instead they show "alternative measures of solidarity." According to diplomats, these "alternative measures" are apparently EU code for "paying into the EU budget or paying toward development projects in Africa".

"The document," Reuters noted, "said the European Union would need a proper mechanism to avoid a situation in which all EU governments opted to pay their way out of any hosting responsibilities and would set an eight-year period for any arrangements".

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Does The Netherlands Have a Problem?

by Judith Bergman  •  December 8, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • "The number of Dutch victims of grooming gangs has risen sharply in recent years". It is estimated that rape-groomers force around 1400 under-age girls into sex-slavery every year. — Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.

  • "Despite stagnating growth, the size of the Dutch jihadist movement is cause for concern." — Terrorist Threat Assessment for the Netherlands (DTN), published by the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism.

  • It is estimated that 140 mosques in the Netherlands are affiliated with the Religious Affairs Directorate of the Republic of Turkey (Diyanet). One sermon, given in the city of Hoorn, was about jihad and martyrdom: "The one who dies in the way of Allah, never call him dead, but call him alive".

According to the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism of the Netherlands, Islamic terrorism has been growing for several years. "Despite stagnating growth, the size of the Dutch jihadist movement is cause for concern," it wrote. (Image source: iStock)

"Right-wing extremists are growing more confident. They continue to focus on protesting against the perceived Islamisation of the Netherlands, the arrival of asylum seekers and the perceived loss of Dutch identity..." [emphasis added] wrote Dutch authorities in a September threat assessment.

Islamization in the Netherlands, however, is not merely a "perception" of "right-wing extremists" but an increasingly established trend. The threat assessment by the country's National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism, for example, shows that Islamic terrorism has been growing for several years. "Despite stagnating growth, the size of the Dutch jihadist movement is cause for concern," it wrote.

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Italy Adopts Hardline Immigration Law

by Soeren Kern  •  December 7, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • Under the new law, the Italian government will only grant asylum to legitimate refugees of war or victims of political persecution. Asylum seekers may now lose their protection if they are convicted of crimes including: threat or violence to a public official; physical assault; female genital mutilation; and a variety of theft charges.

  • "I wonder if those who contest the security decree have even read it. I do not really understand what the problem is: it deports criminals and increases the fight against the mafia, racketeering and drugs." — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini.

  • Italy will not sign the United Nations Global Compact for Migration, nor will Italian officials attend a conference in Marrakech, Morocco, on December 10 and 11 to adopt the agreement. The Global Compact not only aims to establish migration as a human right, but also to outlaw criticism of migration through hate crimes legislation.

Italy, a main European gateway for migrants arriving by sea, has approved a tough new immigration and security law that will make it easier to deport migrants who commit crimes. Pictured: Migrants in a wooden boat wait to be picked up by the Migrant Offshore Aid Station Phoenix vessel on June 10, 2017 off Lampedusa, Italy. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The Italian Parliament has approved a tough new immigration and security law that will make it easier to deport migrants who commit crimes and strip those convicted of terrorism of their Italian citizenship.

Italy's lower house of parliament, the Camera dei Deputati, voted 396 to 99 on November 28 to approve the new law, which was sponsored by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. The law had previously been approved by the Italian Senate on November 7. The measure was promulgated by President Sergio Mattarella on December 3.

Also known as the "Security Decree" or the "Salvini Decree," the new law includes several key provisions:

Eliminates Humanitarian Protection. A primary objective of the new law is to limit the number of migrants granted asylum in Italy. To achieve this aim, Article 1 of the decree abolishes residence permits for so-called humanitarian protection, a form of security available to those not eligible for refugee status.

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Palestinians: No Difference Between Hamas and Fatah

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  December 6, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • It is supposedly fine for Mahmoud Abbas and his officials to condemn Hamas on a daily basis. It is supposedly not fine, however, for the US administration to condemn Hamas for its terrorist attacks against Israel.

  • "The proposed [unseen] US resolution is harmful to the Palestinians' right of resistance." — Emad Omar, Palestinian political analyst.

  • This is obviously a short-lived honeymoon that will end the day after the UN General Assembly vote on the anti-Hamas resolution. The morning after the vote, Abbas will wake up to the realization that Hamas was a strange bedfellow indeed.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's hatred of Hamas is far from secret. But Abbas is now defending Hamas because he despises the Trump administration, which has sponsored a UN draft resolution that condemns Hamas. Pictured: Abbas (right) meets with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on May 30, 2007 in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Abu Askar/PPO via Getty Images)

Has Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas changed his position toward his rivals in Hamas? This is the question that some Palestinians have been asking in the wake of Abbas's opposition to a US-sponsored draft resolution that asks the United Nations General Assembly to condemn Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets at Israel and instigating violence.

Abbas's hatred of Hamas is far from secret. For years – and until today – Abbas has used every available platform to launch scathing attacks on Hamas.

He accused Hamas of foiling Arab efforts to end the dispute with his ruling Fatah faction.

He accused Hamas of masterminding a series of explosions targeting the homes of some of his senior Fatah officials in the Gaza Strip.

He accused Hamas of staging a coup in 2007 against his Palestinian Authority (PA) in the Gaza Strip and seeking to establish a separate Palestinian there.

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Why the Press Pays Less Attention to the Murder of Journalists Not Named Khashoggi

by Peter Baum  •  December 6, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • Ironically, the same members of the media who have been obsessed with Khashoggi and the Saudi-US alliance have devoted little space to the reality that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government has been imprisoning, torturing and killing journalists for years.

  • The ongoing story of Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, more than being a function of concern for the Saudi journalist, was less important to Western journalists than attacking the Trump administration.

Raed Fares, who was among the most prominent critics of Syrian President Bashar Assad's brutal regime, was assassinated on November 23, 2018. (Image source: Oslo Freedom Forum/Reka Nyari/Wikimedia Commons)

While the October 2 murder of the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, continues to be discussed across the world, the November 23 assassination of a Syrian journalist, Raed Fares, and his devoted friend and cameraman, Hammoud al-Jneid, gunned down in Fares's home village of Kafrandel, Syria, does not.

This neglect is noteworthy: Fares was among the most prominent critics of Syrian President Bashar Assad's brutal regime. According to CBS News:

In 2013, Fares posted a satirical YouTube video depicting cave men repeatedly killed by the men representing the Syrian government as men wearing American and European Union flags idly sit by. "This is how the international community reacted to the genocide committed by Assad against the Syrian people," Fares wrote.

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How to Rebalance US Global Security Cheaply and Easily

by Stephen Blank and Peter Huessy  •  December 5, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • Russia, evidently not restrained by the agreement, is already building missiles outside the INF treaty, according to an October 29, 2018 report from the Congressional Research Service. The bottom line is: If the Russians do not comply with the INF arms control treaty, there is no treaty to be saved.

  • Worse, as China was never a party to the INF treaty, it is deploying thousands of such INF range missiles in the Pacific, thereby putting the USA and its allies at a serious military disadvantage.

  • To counter such threats effectively and stand up to the culture of intimidation and threats of both Russia and China, the US needs create a conventional missile and nuclear deterrent capability that is at least on a par with those of Moscow and Beijing. Such deployments, rather than undermining arms control, might even induce Russia and China to negotiate any future arms negotiations with the US in better faith, while simultaneously strengthening US security.

  • If created with US allies in the Pacific, such relatively inexpensive and easily produced conventionally armed missiles would, in short order, rebalance the Pacific security situation in the favor of the US and its Indo-Pacific alliances.

The reason the Soviets eventually signed the INF treaty in 1987 was because the US and NATO deployment of hundreds of Pershing and ground launched cruise missiles in Western Europe exemplified NATO solidarity and vitiated the coercive threat that the earlier Soviet SS-20 missile deployments had hoped to secure to prevent a NATO response to potential Soviet aggression. Pictured: Pershing II missiles at Fort Bliss McGregor Range. (Image source: US Dept. of Defense)

The US renunciation of the 1987 United States-Soviet Union Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) has generated much skepticism in the arms-control community – particularly in much of Europe, and from Japan.

These countries hoped not only to keep Russia and the United States in the 1987 treaty, (despite Russia's major violations of the INF treaty) but also to persuade China to become a party to the treaty and thus be forced to eliminate the multiple hundreds of INF-range missiles China has deployed in Asia ranged against US and its allied interests.

Critics have presented the following five main arguments against the US move:

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Sweden's Parliamentary Election Crisis

by Kent Ekeroth  •  December 5, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • This morning, December 5, we will get more information from speaker Norlén when a third vote on who is going to be prime minister will be held. Once again, Löfven (S) will most likely be running for the position. If C and L betray their Alliance-coalition and supports Löfven, he wins; if negotiations fail, he loses for the second time.

  • The main reason Sweden will probably not have a re-election is that if we did, the party that has the most to gain from another election is SD – which all the other parties are fervently trying to stop.

  • Also, if there were a re-election, both the Liberal party and the Green party have a high likelihood of failing to get enough votes even to get into parliament.

  • In fact, out of the 349 seats in Swedish parliament, it would take only 21 more seats to go to SD, M or KD for these three parties to get a majority in parliament.

Sweden's House of Parliament in Stockholm. (Image source: Holger.Ellgaard/Wikimedia Commons)

Sweden has always been extremely stable when it comes to our governments and the time it takes to form them.

After the election in 2014 (we have elections every four years) the government took office 19 days later. Until this year, in fact, it has never taken more than 25 days after an election to form a government; the average time is just six days.

Today, however, 86 days have passed since Sweden's last election without a government having formed – a record by a wide margin.

What changed?

Sweden's national parliament consists of 349 members, divided in eight parties, of which seven formed blocs:

Socialist bloc:

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"The Worst Deal in History": Theresa May's Surrender

by David Brown  •  December 4, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • This Brexit "deal" is anything but good for the nation.

  • This "deal" will cost the British taxpayer 60 billion euros; require that the British still comply with EU rules without having any say in what those will be, and worst of all, it permits the British to leave the EU only if the EU agrees. It commits the British effectively to subjugation by the EU in perpetuity, with no recourse should the British change their mind. It is a prison. It is also the first step of the EU toward its dream of global governance: unaccountable, untransparent, unelected by the public, and with no way out.

  • There is still a way out of this mess; an easy alternative. The solution is No Deal. Without any further action, the UK's membership of the EU will lapse on March 29, 2019, and unless that majority can unite around a viable alternative, we will leave. Even better, according to a House of Lords report, there would be no legal obligation for the UK to make any payment as part of a financial settlement.

(Image source: iStock)

But, we have nearly left the EU haven't we? After all, we keep hearing about this deal. We must be nearly there by now, surely?

Just because some of us are immersed in this stuff, many of us are not. Back in the real world where people are trying to find their bus passes, generally keep warm, or asking who will do the school pick-up, Brexit is not everyone's first and overwhelming thought.

In the margins, there are the headlines on the six o'clock news telling you Theresa May has a "deal" agreed to by Brussels -- and she is off to sell it to the nation.

A "deal" implies you got more than what you bargained hard or hoped for, or that someone threw in an extra bottle of Fairy Liquid for free.

Theresa May is misusing the term "deal". What she is calling a "deal" is a literal deceit to the nation. This "deal" is anything but good for Great Britain.

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Anti-Semitism: The Fast Track in Turkey to a Government Career?

by Uzay Bulut  •  December 4, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • "King Mohammed VI of Morocco made a breakthrough in the Muslim world and told the world press that 'education has the power to fight ugly phenomena such as discrimination, racism and anti-Semitism.'" — Mois Gabay, Şalom.

  • "What about the fact that... an awakening about Israel and Jews is on the rise in many other majority-Muslim countries." — Mois Gabay, Şalom.

  • "The government should immediately recognize anti-Semitism as a hate crime and impose penal sanctions on the perpetrators." — Işıl Demirel, an anthropologist from Turkey; Avlaremoz.

  • Demirel's suggestion would make perfect sense in a free and genuinely democratic society. But in a country where the president, his advisers and MPs regularly and proudly spit out hatred not only against Jews, but also against other minorities, how is anti-Semitism to be dealt with when demonizing Jews or Israel seems to serve as a fast track to a career in government?

There are currently fewer than 15,000 Jews in Turkey and their number reportedly keeps declining. Istanbul's Neve Şalom Synagogue (pictured) was attacked three times by terrorists: in 1986 (by the Abu Nidal Organization); in 1992 (by Turkish Hizballah); and in 2003 (by Al-Qaeda). Image source: Chadica/Wikimedia Commons

As the Islamist government of Turkey grows increasingly authoritarian, religious minorities in the country seem to be the most targeted and affected group.

The concerns of Turkey's Jewish community were addressed recently by Mois Gabay, a columnist for the country's Jewish weekly, Şalom, in an article entitled, "What Kind of Turkey Are We Living In?"

In it, Gabay discussed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's establishing nine councils, the members of which he appointed, and who are responsible for "offering policy proposals, ideas and strategies to the president" on the economy, foreign policy, education and law.

Among those appointed to official positions within these councils, Gabay wrote, are well-known public figures who have made blatant anti-Semitic statements.

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Why Iran Funds Palestinian Terrorists

by Bassam Tawil  •  December 3, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • The message that Iran is sending to Palestinian families is: "If you want money and a good life, send your children to die on the border with Israel." This is a message that is likely to reverberate far and wide among Arabs, well beyond the Palestinians.

  • The declared goal of the Iranian-sponsored World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought is to forge unity between Muslims. For the Iranians and their proxies, Islamic unity is a prerequisite to advancing the ultimate goal of removing the "cancerous tumor" (Israel) from the face of the earth. Iran has been doing its utmost to achieve this goal.

  • Were it not for Iranian support, the Lebanese Shiite terrorist organization, Hezbollah, would not be aiming tens of thousands of rockets and missiles at Israel. Were it not for Iranian military and financial backing, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups would not have been able to fire more than 500 projectiles at Israel in 24 hours, as they did last month.

  • To set the record straight: Iran cares nothing for the Palestinians; Iran seeks to obliterate Israel, and if it could, obliterate the US, as its expansion into South America suggests.

  • It seems that some mullahs in Iran cannot wait for Khamenei's prediction of Israel's destruction in 2040. The Iranian money promised to the families is meant to encourage other all Arabs and Muslims to send their children to launch rocket attacks on Israel and throw stones and firebombs at Israeli soldiers.

In keeping with its long-standing policy of funding anyone who seeks to destroy Israel or kill Jews, Iran has decided to pay stipends to the families of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip who were killed during attacks on Israel. Pictured: Young Palestinian men in Gaza prepare their slingshots to hurl rocks at Israeli soldiers on the other side of the Gaza-Israel border fence, on May 14, 2018. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

In keeping with its long-standing policy of funding anyone who seeks to destroy Israel or kill Jews, Iran has decided to pay stipends to the families of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip who were killed during attacks on Israel. The decision refers to the Palestinians who were killed while attacking Israeli soldiers during the weekly Hamas-sponsored riots along the Gaza-Israel border; they began in March 2018 under the banner of the "March of Return."

What are the implications of the Iranian decision? The message that Iran is sending to Palestinian families is: "If you want money and a good life, send your children to die on the border with Israel." In other words, Iran is telling Palestinian families that the best way to improve their living conditions is by sending their children to kill or injure a Jew. This is a message that is likely to reverberate far and wide among Arabs, well beyond the Palestinians.

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France's President Macron Effortlessly Destroys the Brexit Deal
But it could be saved if May were less stubborn

by Malcolm Lowe  •  December 3, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • We are most grateful to French President Emmanuel Macron for revealing that the problem of the "backstop" is far larger than anyone had realized. It was seen as merely a problem of good faith of the EU Commission toward the UK. Now we see that it is also a problem of good faith of all the 27 remaining members of the EU. The problem is 28 times larger than anyone had noticed.

  • The flaw in Article 20 of the "backstop" is that it permits the customs union dictated by the Protocol to continue forever unless both parties agreed to end it. What is needed is the reverse: a date on which the application of the Protocol ends unless both parties agree to continue it. Indeed, the length of the transition period starting on March 29, 2019 is defined in the reverse manner in the Withdrawal Agreement. So why did the UK's negotiators fail to demand something of the kind for Article 20?

  • Although UK Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative critics do have the power to create a majority against her deal by voting with the opposition, there is a much greater majority in the Commons for preventing a no-deal exit. That is, there are other Conservatives who will themselves join the opposition in feverishly averting no-deal, and with good reason. Apart from May's Conservative critics, no-deal is unthinkable.

French President Emmanuel Macron has rudely falsified some of UK Prime Minister Theresa May's claims about the Brexit deal. No publicity campaign can disguise it. Pictured: Macron and May meet at the United Nations on September 26, 2018 in New York. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

On November 25, 2018, a summit meeting of the 27 remaining countries of the European Union approved the Brexit deal agreed with the UK's Theresa May. At the end of the summit, President Macron gave a press conference in which he announced how he would abuse the deal to blackmail the UK, thereby making approval of the deal in the UK Parliament unthinkable. This deal must be the shortest-lived treaty in history.

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Turkey's Reign of Terror: The Persecution of Minority Alevis

by Uzay Bulut  •  December 2, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • The Alevi-owned broadcaster, TV10, for example,was closed down in September 2016, two months after the failed coup attempt against Erdogan, for allegedly "threatening national security and belonging to a terror organization."

  • A TV10 cameraman, Kemal Demir, was taken into police custody on November 25, 2017 and arrested on December 2. Veli Büyükşahin, TV10's chairman of the board, and Veli Haydar Güleç, a TV10 producer, were arrested on January 10. All are still in prison.

  • "TV10 did not belong to a major business. While it was trying to carry out its activities with its few employees and very limited resources, it was closed down by executive order. Moreover, its properties were seized [by the government] and then sold by the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (SDIF)... The indictments against them contain no criminal element and judges have turned down the indictments twice. Yet, these people have been detained for 10 months and there is still uncertainty as to when they will be tried in a court and when a result will be obtained from the hearings." — Kemal Peköz, MP from the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), in a speech before parliament November 1.

Many Alevis in Turkey have protested that their houses of worship, know as cem houses, are not officially recognized by the government. Yet even these protests are quashed. Pictured: The Kartal Cemevi Alevi cem house in Istanbul, Turkey. (Image source: Cemyildiz/Wikimedia Commons)

In Turkey, several methods are employed to eliminate religious minorities, not only by physical violence. Instead, the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan tries to erase minority faiths by preventing their ability to function by denying them the freedom to establish and safely operate their own institutions and places of worship. The Alevis, for instance, a historically persecuted religious minority in Turkey, are all-too-familiar with this form of oppression.

The Alevi-owned broadcaster, TV10, for example, was closed down in September 2016, two months after the failed coup attempt against Erdoğan, for allegedly "threatening national security and belonging to a terror organization."

A TV10 cameraman, Kemal Demir, was taken into police custody on November 25, 2017 and arrested on December 2. Veli Büyükşahin, TV10's chairman of the board, and Veli Haydar Güleç, a TV10 producer, were arrested on January 10. All are still in prison.

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