Latest Analysis and Commentary

Palestinians: Abbas's Big Bluff - Again

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

  • In his desperation, Abbas hurls abuse and in all directions. He has resorted to his old-new strategy of warning us that if his demands are not met, World War III will break out. Abbas would like us to believe that the Palestinian issue should remain at the center of the world's attention -- otherwise, there will be bloodshed and violence on the streets of most countries.

  • Should anyone take Abbas's threats seriously? The answer is simple: No.

  • The war to destroy Israel is still in full force. The Palestinians have not brought up a new generation that recognizes Israel's right to exist; on the contrary, they have brought up a generation that believes in jihad and death, one that denies any Biblical Jewish history or links to the Holy Land.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during at the UN General Assembly in New York, September 20, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

PLO leaders who met in Ramallah on January 15 recommended that the Palestinians revoke their recognition of Israel.

The recommendation came in response to US President Donald Trump's announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The PLO leaders also advised their leadership to suspend security coordination with Israel. They also called for revising all agreements signed with Israel, including the Oslo Accords.

The meeting of the PLO Central Council was chaired by President Mahmoud Abbas, who in the past few weeks has chosen to embark on an open collision course with the US administration, possibly in the hope that US Department of State will back down as it always previously has.

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Greece's "Robin Hood" Terrorists

by Maria Polizoidou  •  January 18, 2018 at 4:30 am

  • It is extremely difficult for angry, misinformed citizens to distinguish between lies and the truth, particularly when there is much more than a grain of truth to the terrorists' claims that the Greek legal system is corrupt.

  • The judiciary has played, and still plays, an active role in the economic and political deprivation of the Greek populace. It is the Greek people's sense of injustice that is being exploited by far-Left activists, whose real goal is to spread a radical anti-Western ideology, including open hostility to Israel and the United States.

Police examine the scene of a car bomb explosion in Athens, Greece on April 10, 2014. The bomb exploded outside a Bank of Greece building. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

The radical leftist Greek organization, the Group of People's Fighters (OLA), which claimed responsibility for the December 22 bombing of the Athens Court of Appeal, has been committing terrorist attacks on governmental targets since 2013, when the country entered its serious debt crisis. According to the Greek authorities the OLA has ties with the terrorist organization "Revolutionary Struggle" (EA), and attacked at the past the offices of New Democracy political party, a Bank, the Greek Industrialists Association and the German Ambassador's home in Athens.

The OLA boasted of this and other attacks on the "bourgeois, imperialist and capitalist" government institutions, the media and businesses in a 4,500-word manifesto published on the anarchist website Indymedia. Among the declarations in its lengthy rant is a message of

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Persecution of Alevis in Turkey: Threats, Arbitrary Arrests

by Uzay Bulut  •  January 18, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • Just like the Christian, Jewish, and Yazidi communities in Turkey, Alevis have also been victims of Islamic supremacism for centuries -- both in the Ottoman Empire and in the Republic of Turkey.

  • In Istanbul, the door of an Alevi family was vandalized with a red symbol. "Get out, heathen" and "Islam" were written on the door.

  • Turkey's membership in the NATO since 1952, its negotiations for full membership to the EU since 2005, and its countless military, economic, and diplomatic agreements with the West, have done nothing to reduce the persecution against religious minorities in the country.

The faces of many of the victims who were murdered in the 1993 Sivas massacre are featured on this poster, used in a 2012 commemoration in Germany. (Image source: Bernd Schwabe, Wikimedia Commons)

Pressures against the Alevi community in Turkey are becoming alarmingly commonplace.

Just like the Christian, Jewish, and Yazidi communities in Turkey, Alevis have also been victims of Islamic supremacism for centuries -- both in the Ottoman Empire and in the Republic of Turkey.

Alevis are a religious minority Turkey with a distinct faith, philosophy, and culture that largely upholds secularism and humanism. Turkey's Alevi community is estimated in the tens of millions -- up to 25% of the population, making up the country's largest minority. But the number is only an approximation, because legally, Alevis in Turkey are "non-existent". The Turkish government does not officially recognize them, so it does not include them in a census and counts them as "Muslims."

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Europe's Betrayal of the Iranian People

by Guy Millière  •  January 17, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • The alliance between Saudi Arabia and the United States seems intended to contain the Iranian regime, and not, as falsely advertised by President Barack Obama, to prevent a nuclear program.

  • Leaders of Western Europe know exactly what the mullahs' regime is, and what its goals and activities are. They know it is the world's main sponsor of Islamic terrorism. They know the disastrous state of Iran's society and economy, but they prefer to play deaf and dumb. All they think about, it seems, are the contracts they sign with the mullahs to get more money. They do not care about the suffering of Iranians; the chaos, massacres and destruction caused by the regime. They know that the nuclear deal is constantly violated by the self-policing regime, and that a nuclear bomb is in the making. They are aware that the regime has close ties with North Korea, and that both are global threats.

  • The EU's chief diplomat, Federica Mogherini, has hypocritically called "all parties concerned to abstain from violence", as if there were a moral equivalence between unarmed protesters and killer militias with weapons of war. Meanwhile, in Iranian prisons, protesters were being arrested and tortured to death.

  • Leaders of Western Europe like to boast how they respect human rights, yet they are the ones trampling on them.

The EU's chief diplomat, Federica Mogherini, has hypocritically called "all parties concerned to abstain from violence" in Iran, as if there were a moral equivalence between unarmed protesters and killer militias with weapons of war. Pictured: Mogherini (left) stands with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, during her August 2017 visit to Iran. (Image source: European External Action Service/Flickr)

It is hard to know exactly the current situation in Iran, but the uprising seems to be fading . The mullahs' regime might survive a little longer.

The overthrow of a totalitarian regime takes place when the security forces -- which ensure the survival of a regime that has been ruling through repression and fear -- begin to falter, or else when the number of angry people becomes so big that a tidal wave sweeps away all in its path.

This time, Iranian security forces remained loyal to the regime and angry people were too few. The regime could manage the situation by killing a few dozen protesters, arresting four thousand

more, torturing and murdering some of them, and cutting off access to digital networks. It is a defeat not only for the Iranian people, but for all who defend freedom.

The defeat, however, is temporary.

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The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Why No Peace?

by Richard Kemp  •  January 17, 2018 at 4:30 am

  • The jihadist aim is to isolate Israel politically; to influence political leaders, public opinion, international institutions and international organizations so that on the day their planned offensive begins, no one will be there to support Israel and the Jews. The Palestinian Authority, the PLO and the Arab/Muslim states will be unhampered to do what Hitler was unable to do in historic Palestine -- make it Judenrein (free of Jews).

  • Terror is "to achieve Palestinian political goals, to influence Israeli politics, to favor a given Israeli candidate for the post of Prime Minister, to compel the Israeli government to conceal more land, to prevent a final peace settlement by maintaining a state of conflict that could eventually lead to total war, to erode Israeli and American resolve and to demonstrate to Arab population that peace is not an option and that the existence of the Jews on their land cannot be recognized". Some of the attacks occurred just when foreign representatives landed in Israel, "to prevent the revival of the peace talks." Mr. Jason Greenblatt should take that into consideration.

  • The same jihadist war is also underway against the Americans and all "infidels": Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Hindus, Buddhists, and in a general manner all those who do not believe in the "religion of truth", namely Islam; and against those Muslims who compromise with such so-called infidels.

(Image source: Palestinian Media Watch)

The critical question of why the Middle East seems unable to achieve peace has just been rigorously considered again, this time by Michael Calvo, an international lawyer, in an important new book, The Middle East and World War III: Why No Peace? It is worth being read by all political leaders, academics, journalists, students and anyone who wants to understand why there is no peace and what may happen.

The book analyzes why the Israeli-Palestinian/Arab/Muslim conflict has not been resolved, in spite of the Oslo Accords and many years of active involvement by the European Union, individual European states, the U.S., Russia and the United Nations.

The long-term Palestinian use of terror, for instance, looked at chronologically:

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Beyond the Iran Nuclear Deal

by John R. Bolton  •  January 17, 2018 at 4:00 am

Pictured: The perimeter defenses of the underground nuclear fuel enrichment plant in Natanz, Iran. (Image source: Hamed Saber/Wikimedia Commons)

President Trump seemingly served notice Friday that the days are dwindling for Barack Obama's Iran agreement. Although deal proponents also gained time to pursue "fixes," this is a forlorn option. No fix will remedy the diplomatic Waterloo Mr. Obama negotiated. Democrats will reject anything that endangers his prized international contrivance, and the Europeans are more interested in trade with Tehran than a stronger agreement.

There is an even more fundamental obstacle: Iran. Negotiating with Congress and Europe will not modify the actual deal's terms, which Iran (buttressed by Russia and China) has no interest in changing. Increased inspections, for example, is a nonstarter for Tehran. Mr. Obama gave the ayatollahs what they wanted; they will not give it back.

Most important, there is no evidence Iran's intention to obtain deliverable nuclear weapons has wavered. None of the proposed "fixes" change this basic, unanswerable reality.

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Arab Regimes Terrified by Israel's Freedoms

by Giulio Meotti  •  January 16, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • A prominent Tunisian-born French movie producer, Saïd Ben Saïd recently issued one of the frankest denunciations of anti-Semitism in the Arab world. The real culprit, he argued, was the prevalence of anti-Semitism fueled by Islamic extremists across the Middle East. Ben Saïd was forced to pull out of an Arab film festival last year because he had worked with Israelis.

  • A Lebanese director, Ziad Doueiri, did something even "worse": he filmed some scenes on Israeli land!

  • "No one can deny the misery of the Palestinian people, but it must be admitted that the Arab world is, in its majority, antisemitic. This hatred of Jews has redoubled in intensity and depth not because of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but with the rise of a certain vision of Islam". — Saïd Ben Saïd.

Because Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri filmed some scenes in Israel, when he returned from the Venice Film Festival, Lebanese police arrested him at the airport, interrogated him for three hours, and accused him of "collaborating with Israel". (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Palm Springs International Film Festival)

Fifty years have passed since many Arab countries were humiliated by Israel in 1967 in a war the Arabs started, with the explicit goal of destroying the Jewish State and throwing the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea. Today, Israel has solid diplomatic relations with two of these countries -- Jordan to Egypt -- while Saudi officials speak with their Israeli security counterparts about the Iranian threat.

But although the Middle East is engulfed in a new wave of internal destabilization, and Iran has recently experienced a new wave of protests in which people chanted "we don't want an Islamic Republic", the great taboo for the Arab and Muslim world is still that of cultural exchanges with the hated "Zionists".

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The Terrorism Jobs Program: Pampering the Palestinians Must End
Threatening Terror is Not a Way to Earn a Living

by Nonie Darwish  •  January 16, 2018 at 4:30 am

  • Palestinians need to start taking responsibility for their own existence and stop relying on the world to take care of them while they use the money freed up -- by the international community -- to launch jihad and intifadas.

  • No entity should forever be permitted to devote its resources to terror while the world is expected to owe them everything: financial support, jobs, citizenship, and even building the infrastructure that they keep destroying. The moral of the story is that if you do not want to lose wars, it would be better not to start them.

  • The longer financial aid and the pampering of Palestinians continue as an "insurance policy" ostensibly to prevent terrorism, the longer the suffering, dependence, terror and conflict will go on. It is time for Palestinians to learn that threatening terror is not a way to earn a living.

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who wanted peace in return for Egypt's retrieving the Sinai Peninsula, was accused by Palestinians of treason and assassinated by Islamists in 1981, supposedly for having signed a peace deal with Israel. Pictured: Anwar Sadat funeral procession in Cairo, Egypt, October 9, 1981. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A British woman, Kay Wilson, apparently realized that when a Palestinian terrorist "plunged a knife into her chest", left her for dead and then murdered her friend, it was British taxpayers who had paid for it.

"Is the UK funding the terrorists who tried to murder me?", she asked.

Yes, it is. "According to data collected by Israel's Defense Ministry, the PA spent a total of 1.237 billion shekels ($358 million), or about 7% of the PA's total annual budget, on terrorist stipends last year."

International payments to Palestinians that are used to pay terrorists in jail, as well as their families, serve both as a "reward for bad behavior" and also as a powerful incentive for youths to become terrorists.

They are a jobs program.

Some Palestinians are complaining that Arab countries are discriminating against them, and even going as far as calling themselves victims of "shameless Arab Apartheid" against Palestinians.

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Politicizing Proliferation Policy

by John R. Bolton  •  January 16, 2018 at 4:00 am

Throughout his presidency, Barack Obama pursued a North Korea policy called "strategic patience": a synonym for doing nothing. Then, during the presidential transition, Obama blithely advised President-elect Trump that Pyongyang would be his most serious foreign challenge. How convenient that reality "changed" for the worst just after Obama departed the White House. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

North Korea's apparently rapid progress last year in both its nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile programs raises entirely legitimate concerns about U.S. intelligence capabilities. The New York Times recently reported that, as the Obama administration ended, intelligence-community analysts estimated that Pyongyang was over four years away from mastering the complex science and technology necessary to deliver thermonuclear weapons on targets within the continental United States.

Then, seemingly overnight, North Korea was igniting thermonuclear weapons and testing missiles that could hit the lower 48. The Times calls this an intelligence failure, certainly a serious matter. But the real reason was actually much worse.

Evidence in the Times report indicates that President Obama's team dangerously politicized intelligence gathering and analysis, as senior officials strove to support their preconceived notions of the North's true progress.

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Facebook: Championing Blasphemy Laws

by Judith Bergman  •  January 15, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • What is "harmful content" according to the new Facebook guide for Muslims? "Islamophobia, anti-Muslim hatred, far right extremism and terrorist inspired violent extremist content".

  • The guide does not mention Islamic incitement to violence, which is rampant on social media and -- unlike the other content mentioned -- has deadly and tragic consequences in the real world. Most of those who perpetrate terrorist attacks in the real world are Muslims -- not "Islamophobes," anti-Muslims or right wing extremists.

  • Lakin v. Facebook is a lawsuit, representing 20,000 Israeli plaintiffs, which aims to stop Facebook from "allowing Palestinian terrorists to incite violent attacks against Israeli citizens and Jews on its internet platform."

  • Khan convened a special meeting of Muslim ambassadors to discuss how effectively to "raise the voice of the entire Muslim world against the madness unleashed against Islam and holy personalities in the name of freedom of expression". — Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

Facebook, in cooperation with a British Muslim group, recently launched a "guide" developed especially for Muslims: "Keeping Muslims Safe Online: Tackling Hate and Bigotry". Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, wrote about making Facebook a "safe space" for Muslims. He has made no similar supportive statements in favor of Jews or Christians. Pictured: Parts of the cover of the new guide co-produced by Facebook.

Facebook, in cooperation with a British Muslim group, Faith Associates, recently launched a new "guide" developed especially for Muslims: "Keeping Muslims Safe Online: Tackling Hate and Bigotry".

The launch of the guide was hosted on November 29 at the British Parliament, where Karim Palant, Facebook's UK Public Policy manager, acknowledged "the partnership of Facebook with Faith Associates and said this was a first step in a line of activities being planned to protect the Facebook family". Simon Milner, Head of Policy UK at Facebook, stated:

"We're proud to be supporting Faith Associates in the development of their online safety guide. Facebook welcomes all communities, and there is no place for hate on the platform".

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The Quran Says Jerusalem Belongs to the Jews

by Saied Shoaaib  •  January 15, 2018 at 4:30 am

  • Quranic passages clearly illustrate the Jews' imperative to enter the land of Israel.

  • And [mention, O Muhammad], when Moses said to his people, "O my people, remember the favor of Allah [God] upon you when He appointed among you prophets and made you possessors and gave you that which He had not given anyone among the worlds. O my people, enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you and do not turn back and [thus] become losers." — Quran, Surah Al-Ma'idah 5:20-21.

  • According to verses in the Quran, God punishes the Jews for their sin of refusing to fight the indigenous people in the land, and God is angry that the Jews refused to convert to Islam. Yet the verses are consistent in their assertion that God gave the Jews the Holy Land.

An aerial view of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and much of Jerusalem's Old City. (Image source: Andrew Shiva/Wikipedia)

Following U.S. President Donald Trump's December 6 official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Muslims around the world held angry demonstrations, during which they chanted slogans about Jerusalem "belonging to Muslims." This ought to seem odd to anyone versed in Islamic scripture, since the Quran specifically states that God promised the land of Israel, including Jerusalem, to the Jews.

Although ordinary Muslims who might not actually have read their holy book could be excused for their ignorance about the Jewish roots of and rights to Israel and Jerusalem, the same cannot be said for the leaders of Muslim countries, imams and the heads of illustrious Islamic institutions. Dignitaries and scholars of that caliber should know better. Yet many of them repeat false assertions that contradict the Quran and scholarly interpretations of its verses.

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Iran: Anatomy of a National Revolt

by Amir Taheri  •  January 15, 2018 at 4:00 am

Anti-regime protestors in Kermanshah, Iran, on December 29, 2017. (Image source: VOA News/Wikimedia Commons)

With its flames declining after days of high blaze, the "events" that shook Iran in December and early January are still attracting a tsunami of comment, speculation and, as always in such cases, misrepresentation.

The first question is what should we call what happened.

The term "events" is too anodyne and the term "revolution" too hyperbolic to do the job. The Khomeinist leadership in Tehran started by using the term "disturbances" ("eghteshashat") as if we were dealing with a stampede in a bazaar or a crowd crash in a Spanish bullfight arena. When it became clear that "disturbances" in some 100 cities couldn't be dismissed in so cavalier a manner, the Khomeinist authorities went for their fallback position of blaming foreign conspirators for the whole thing.

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"Oh You Cross-Worshippers, We'll Kill You All"
Muslim Persecution of Christians, August 2017

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  January 14, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • A popular Arabic-language newspaper attacked Morocco's Christian activists for their faith and ended with the message: the "Koran requires the killing of apostates." — Morocco.

  • Muhammad and the imam tracked down the boy and attacked him again. When a passerby saw the violence and contacted police, "instead of protecting the teenager from his attackers, [police] arrested and booked him into prison on blasphemy charges." Hours later, the imam and "a mob of more than 300 Muslim fundamentalists surrounded the prison, and called for a public lynching of Stephen." — Pakistan.

  • Sweden decided to deport a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When the convert, Aideen Strandsson, pleaded that in Iran she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, "it's not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it's your problem." Meanwhile, Sweden continues accepting Muslim refugees.

  • In the name of "fighting terrorism," Bangladesh made changes to a law that forced approximately 200 Christian organizations to shut down.

Sweden recently decided to deport Aideen Strandsson, a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When Strandsson pleaded that in Iran she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, "it's not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it's your problem." (Image source: Facebook/Aideen Strandsson)

A document drafted by members of the global Christian community convening at the 3rd International Christian Forum, held in Moscow, detailed how over the past ten years the Middle East's Christian population has shrunk by 80% and warned that unless current trends are reversed, Christianity "will vanish" from its ancient homelands in a few years' time. Around the year 2000, there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq; today there are only 100,000 -- roughly a 93% percent drop, the document notes. In Syria, the largest cities "have lost almost all of their Christian population."

Other experts offered similarly dismal statistics. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts, had predicted that by 2025, the percentage of Christians in the Middle East — which in 1910 was 13.6% — could go down to around 3%.

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Turkey, the Arab World Is Just Not That into You

by Burak Bekdil  •  January 14, 2018 at 4:30 am

  • Sunni Arabs do not wish to revisit their Ottoman colonial past. Still, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists.

  • A poll by Zogby found that 67% of Egyptians, 65% of Saudis, 59% of UAE citizens, and 70% of Iraqis had an unfavorable opinion of Turkey.

  • For the Sunni Saudis, the Turks were allies only if they could be of use in fighting Shiite Iran or its proxies, such as the Iraqi government or the Syrian regime. Meanwhile, as Turkey, together with Qatar, kept on championing and giving logistical support to Hamas, an Iranian satellite, Saudi Arabia and Egypt distanced themselves from the Palestinian cause and consequently from Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) and Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz in Antalya, Turkey, during a time of better Turkish-Saudi relations, on November 15, 2015. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

He runs around in a fake fire extinguisher's outfit, holding a silly hose in his hands and knocking on neighbors' doors to put out the fire in their homes. "Go away," his neighbors keep telling him. "There is no fire here!" I am the person to put out that fire, he insists, as doors keep shutting on his face. That was more or less how Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's neo-Ottoman, pro-ummah (Islamic community), "Big Brother" game has looked in the Middle East.

After years of trial and failure Erdogan does not understand that his services are not wanted in the Muslim neighborhood: The Iranians are too Shiite to trust his Sunni Islamism; the (mostly Sunni) Kurds' decades-long dispute with the Turks is more ethnic than religious; and Sunni Arabs do not wish to revisit their Ottoman colonial past. Still, Erdogan insists.

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Germans Tackling Exploding Anti-Semitism?

by Khadija Khan  •  January 14, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • The teachers always hear from some of the Muslim students that the Jews must have been responsible for the way they were treated in the Holocaust because they had opposed the Nazi regime.

  • The situation demands an immediate review of policies and laws evidently too feeble to protect all residents equally, not to mention the even greater feebleness of political will to implement those laws.

  • If not stopped and countered in a timely way, possibly by these new proposals, this nest of hate-mongers carries with it the potential to trigger for Germany another really ugly time.

Demonstrators display a Hezbollah flag during an anti-Israel rally on July 25, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

Finally, it seems, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government is proposing legislation that might even include deporting migrants who are anti-Semites, according to Die Welt.

The alarming scale of anti-Semitism in Germany has been escalating with newly arrived refugees, mainly from Muslim lands, and causing the government previously to launch a desperate integration program with a warning that this kind of hatred would not be tolerated in the country.

The German government also decided to introduce extensive discussions about Germany's Nazi past in the course designed to make newcomers integrate into democratic societies.

The situation seemed to be getting out of control with escalating anti-Semitism among more than a million asylum seekers from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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