Latest Analysis and Commentary

France: More Terrorism, More Silence

by Giulio Meotti  •  September 27, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • This brand of extremism has also managed to transform many European citizens into prisoners, people hiding in their own countries, sentenced to death and forced to live in houses unknown even to their friends and families. And we got used to it!

  • "[T]his lack of courage to follow in Charlie's footsteps comes at a price, we are losing freedom of speech and an insidious form of self-censorship is gaining ground." — Flemming Rose, Le Point, September 2, 2020.

  • "To put it simply, freedom of speech is in bad shape around the world. Including in Denmark, France and throughout the West. These are troubled times; people prefer order and security to freedom." — Flemming Rose, Le Point, August 15, 2020.

On September 25, in Paris, two people were stabbed and seriously wounded outside the former offices of Charlie Hebdo, where 12 of the satirical magazine's editors and cartoonists were murdered in 2015. Pictured: Firefighters and paramedics evacuate a wounded victim from the site of the attack. (Photo by Alain Jocard/AFP via Getty Images)

On September 25, in Paris, two people were stabbed and seriously wounded outside the former offices of Charlie Hebdo, where 12 of the satirical magazine's editors and cartoonists were murdered by extremist Muslims in 2015. The suspect, in police custody, is being investigated for terrorism.

The accused murderers in the 2015 attacks are currently on trial in Paris.

Shortly before the knifing attack, on September 22, Charlie Hebdo's director of human resources, Marika Bret, did not come home. In fact, she no longer has a home. She was evicted after serious and concrete death threats from extremist Muslims. She decided to make her "exfiltration" public for French intelligence to alert the public to the threat of extremism in France.

"I have lived under police protection for almost five years", she told the weekly Le Point.

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An "Unimaginable Nightmare": The Abduction, Rape, and Forced Conversion of Christian Girls in Egypt

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  September 27, 2020 at 4:30 am

  • "One of the strategies they used to gain the girls' trust was for the kidnapper, a Muslim man, to tell the Christian girl he loved her and wanted to convert to Christianity for her. They would start a romantic relationship until, one day, they would decide to 'escape' together. What the girls do not know is that they are actually being kidnapped." — Former Egyptian human trafficker, World Watch Monitor, October 5, 2017.

  • "The kidnappers receive large amounts of money. Police can help them in different ways, and when they do, they might also receive a part of the financial reward the kidnappers are paid.... In some cases, police provide the kidnappers with drugs they seize." — Former Egyptian trafficker, World Watch Monitor, October 5, 2017

  • "If all goes to plan, the girls are also forced into marriage with a strict Muslim. Their husbands don't love them, they just marry her to make her a Muslim. She will be hit and humiliated. And if she tries to escape, or convert back to her original religion, she will be killed." — Former Egyptian trafficker, World Watch Monitor, October 5, 2017.

  • "There are countless families who report that police have either been complicit in the kidnapping or at the very least bribed into silence. If there is any hope for Coptic women in Egypt to have a merely 'primitive' level of equality, these incidents of trafficking must cease, and the perpetrators must be held accountable by the judiciary." — From "'Jihad of the Womb': Trafficking of Coptic Women & Girls in Egypt," a report by Coptic Solidarity.

The kidnapping, sexual abuse and forced conversion of Christian women and girls in Egypt is rampant, with no signs of easing up. (Image source: iStock. Image is illustrative and does not represent any person in the article.)

The kidnapping, sexual abuse and forced conversion of Christian women and girls in Egypt — a "particularly vulnerable group to exploitation" that is quietly living an "unimaginable nightmare" — is rampant, with no signs of easing up. This is the finding of a report published on September 10, 2020 by Coptic Solidarity, an international organization based in Washington D.C., that works to promote equal citizenship rights for Egypt's Christian minority.

In its 15-page report, "'Jihad of the Womb': Trafficking of Coptic Women & Girls in Egypt," Coptic Solidarity documents "the widespread practice of abduction and trafficking" and estimates that there have been "about 500 cases within the last decade, where elements of coercion were used that amount to trafficking," according to the UN's own definitions, particularly per its "Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children."

According to Coptic Solidarity:

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The 'Nevertheless' Club and the World

by Amir Taheri  •  September 27, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • The tweet contains interesting indicators to how [the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard] Haas tries to dodge the issue. He presents Afkari's killing as a judicial "execution", enabling Zarif to say "well, you have executions in some states of the US as well."

  • In November 1938, a few days after Kristallnacht, the French ambassador to Berlin Robert Coulondre reported the event to Paris, describing the savagery in the heart of Europe, concluding that "nevertheless [néanmoins in French] one should understand German grievances against the Jews."

  • [I]n his expose at the CFR meeting, Zarif repeated the same claims, not to say lies, that he has been dishing out to the illustrious audience for years. And it seems that they gobbled it up with the same appetite as before. To hoodwink his audience, Zarif never used the term "Islamic Republic" and pretended that "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenei doesn't exist. Nor did he talk of Islam and Tehran's strategy to "export the Islamic Revolution" to the whole world, including New York where the CFR is located.

  • Portrayed by Zarif, the Khomeinist regime is a peace-and-love enterprise where the judiciary is independent, all freedoms are respected, and the strategic aim is to establish peace and harmony across the globe. There are no political prisoners in Iran. Tehran's support for Hezbollah and Hamas is cultural and the Iranian presence in Syria is only advisory, at the invitation of the Syrian government. There are, of course, no American and other foreign hostages in Iran. If there is trouble in the Middle East it is the fault of the United States. OK, not of good Americans like John Kerry and Barack Obama but of people like Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo.

Speaking at a meeting of New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif repeated the same claims, not to say lies, that he has been dishing out to the illustrious audience for years. And it seems that they gobbled it up with the same appetite as before. (Photo by Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images)

For the past few years, hosting the Islamic Republic's Foreign Minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, has developed into an annual ritual of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). This year, however, CFR's invitation to Zarif raised a storm of protest beyond the bubble in which American foreign policy junkies play games, indulge in fantasies, and address their principal task, which is fund-raising.

What triggered the storm was the alleged murder in a Tehran prison of Navid Afkari, a popular wrestling champion and a pro-democracy protester. The killing sent shock waves throughout Iran, including even among some elements of the Khomeinist establishment.

The CFR received many emails and telephone calls demanding that, as a show of sympathy with Iranians, Zarif be disinvited.

The CFR, however, refused to do so. Its director Richard Haas, a former State Department official, published this tweet:

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Toward a Transformational Peace in the Middle East

by Guy Millière  •  September 26, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • Both Arab countries and Israel will benefit immensely.

  • Palestinian leaders are suddenly discovering that, as the Arab saying goes, "The dogs bark but the caravan moves on" – possibly without them.

  • "We [realists] understand that only defeat will convince Palestinians like Mrs. Ashrawi, and through them Iranian, Turkish, Islamist, leftist, fascist, and other anti-Zionists, that the century-plus conflict is over, that Israel has prevailed, and that the time has come to give up on futile, painful, and genocidal ambitions." — Daniel Pipes, Middle East Scholar.

  • If President Trump is able to continue following the bold, unconventional path he has traced, he will most likely succeed where all his predecessors have failed. What he has accomplished already -- in less than four years, with so many forces determined to undermine him... is extraordinary.

  • "Trump has done more for peace in the Middle East in four years than any other American President in seventy-two years." — Meyer Habib, member of the French National Assembly, i24 News, September 14, 2020.

Pictured from left to right: Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump, and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan participate in the signing of the Abraham Accords in Washington, DC on September 15, 2020. (Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

On September 15, two peace agreements with Israel and known as The Abraham Accords – one with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and one with Bahrain, and -- were made official at a White House ceremony. President Donald J. Trump spoke of a "historic breakthrough" and a "previously unthinkable regional transformation". Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added that the world is witnessing "the dawn of a new Middle East ".

The agreements, which come 26 years after the last peace treaty, between Jordan and Israel, mark a further step towards the integration of Israel in the region.

The UAE and Bahrain are the first Arab countries to recognize Israel without requiring any concession from Israel (Netanyahu said that the extension of Israeli sovereignty to parts of Judea-Samaria and the Jordan Valley was suspended, not canceled) and without any American financial contribution involved.

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Complaining about the Transition Integrity Project's Election Theft Plan Can Be Dangerous

by Chris Farrell  •  September 25, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • It seems that criticizing the Transition Integrity Project (TIP) and their plan to disrupt and steal the 2020 presidential election can be dangerous.

  • So -- the leadership of TIP has spoken. Now you know their thinking, their motives and their true objectives. It seems Nils Gilman wants Michael Anton executed.

  • The brutality and viciousness of Marxism and its adherents is on display. Those that may have held reservations or harbored some doubt on my analysis of what TIP really had in store for the election now have their answers.

  • If Gilman advocates executing someone by firing squad for daring to question TIP, what other penalties and extraordinary measures were discussed by the supposed bipartisan arbiters of the electoral process? How is this "normal?"

  • Are you disturbed by how your news information is "curated?"

Now we have the real, unvarnished thinking of Transition Integrity Project co-founder Nils Gilman. Gilman likes execution by firing squad. (Image source: iStock)

It seems that criticizing the Transition Integrity Project (TIP) and their plan to disrupt and steal the 2020 presidential election can be dangerous. Michael Anton, a former Trump administration official and now of the Claremont Institute, published an article titled, "The Coming Coup" that seems to have caught the attention of TIP co-founder Nils Gilman. According to the journalist Natalie Winters:

"Gilman, who serves as Vice President of Programs at the Chinese Communist Party-linked Berggruen Institute, took to Twitter to express his desire that Anton be executed in the same fashion as Robert Brasillach.

"Specifically, he insisted 'Michael Anton is the Robert Brasillach of our times and deserves the same fate.'"

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Hezbollah's Growing Terror Network in Europe

by Con Coughlin  •  September 25, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • According to Nathan Sales, the U.S. State Department's counterterrorism coordinator, Hezbollah has been steadily building up its weapons stockpiles in Europe with the aim of preparing for any future acts of terrorism that may be ordered by Tehran.

  • Describing Hezbollah's arms build-up in Europe as posing a "clear and present danger to the US" and its allies, Mr Sales said that US intelligence reports showed that Hezbollah had weapons based in Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Spain and Switzerland, while "significant" ammonium nitrate caches had either been discovered or destroyed in France, Greece and Italy.

  • Further evidence of Hezbollah's expanding terrorist presence in Europe has emerged in Ireland, where ten members of an Irish dissident group known as the New IRA (NIRA) were arrested on terrorism charges last month, following claims they met with Hezbollah officials at Iran's embassy in Dublin.

  • At a time when tensions are increasing between Iran and the West over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme, the expansion of Hezbollah's terror operation in Europe should certainly be a major cause for concern. Iran, after all, has a long history of resorting to terrorism to put pressure on its adversaries, and Europe is an obvious target for future Iranian terror attacks.

The conviction in absentia of two terrorists with links to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia for murdering five Israeli tourists in Bulgaria in 2012 has shed new light on the organisation's expanding terror network in Europe. Pictured: A truck carries the bus damaged in the attack on Israeli tourists at Burgas Airport in Bulgaria, on July 19, 2012, the day after the bombing. (Photo by Nikolay Doychinov/AFP/Getty Images)

The conviction in absentia of two terrorists with links to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia for murdering five Israeli tourists in Bulgaria in 2012 has shed new light on the organisation's expanding terror network in Europe.

The convictions, which were announced earlier this week by the Specialised Criminal Court in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, relate to a suicide bomb attack against a bus carrying Israeli tourists on July 18, 2012.

The attack took place at the airport in the Bulgarian Black Sea resort of Burgas, killing five Israelis, as well as the bus driver.

Bulgarian investigators subsequently identified two prime suspects in the case, Meliad Farah, a Lebanese-Australian, and Hassan El Hajj Hassan, a Lebanese-Canadian, whom they claimed carried out the attack on behalf of Hezbollah.

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In Florida's Election: It May be Legal, but is It Right?

by Chris Farrell  •  September 24, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • Those are 32,000 votes deemed pro-Biden in a state where 537 votes decided the presidential election in 2000. Florida, a critical swing state, has 29 electoral college votes that could determine the presidency.

  • One is left to wonder about what appears to be a slick, well-financed, lawyered-up, manipulation of the electoral process. It appears to have less to do with a legitimate, grassroots campaign to rehabilitate persons who have paid their legal dues for past misconduct than it does as a cynical, orchestrated, vote buying and manipulation process.

Last week, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Florida's law requiring convicted felons in Florida to pay court-ordered fines, fees and restitution before having their voting rights reinstated. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, together with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, has "paid off monetary obligations for 32,000 felons in Florida" so that they can vote. Pictured: The Elbert P. Tuttle U.S. Court of Appeals Building, home of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Image source: Warren LeMay/Wikimedia Commons)

Last week, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Florida's law requiring convicted felons in Florida to pay court-ordered fines, fees and restitution before having their voting rights reinstated. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who raised more than $16 million for this purpose, has, together with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, "paid off monetary obligations for 32,000 felons in Florida" so that they can vote.

Those are 32,000 votes deemed pro-Biden in a state where 537 votes decided the presidential election in 2000. Florida, a critical swing state, has 29 electoral college votes that could determine the presidency.

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Questioning Supreme Court Nominees about Religion: A Delicate Task

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  September 24, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • When Judge Amy Coney Barrett came before the Senate Judiciary Committee for her nomination to the court of appeals, Senator Diane Feinstein generated considerable controversy when she said to Barrett: "The dogma lives loudly in you." ... Under our Constitution, Senator Feinstein's statement crossed the line. Ours was the first Constitution in history to provide that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." Although Feinstein did not explicitly impose a religious test, she suggested that personal religious views -- which she called dogma -- might disqualify a nominee from being confirmed. That would clearly be unconstitutional.

  • Religious tests have no place in America. But what does have a place in the confirmation process are questions about whether a nominee will put faith before the Constitution and refuse to apply the Constitution if it conflicts with his or her faith. That issue would be true of any nominee regardless of their faith or faithlessness. President John F. Kennedy assured us that his Catholicism would not determine the nation's policy. Justice Antonin Scalia said the same about his Catholicism and his jurisprudence.

  • One's religion is a private matter, but one's judicial philosophy is highly relevant in the confirmation process... Let us hope the Senate handles this nomination better than they have handled other recent nominations.

Two of the leading candidates for nomination to the Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett and Judge Barbara Lagoa, are Catholic. So, the issue of religion is likely to come up at any confirmation hearing. It must be handled with delicacy and sensitivity to the Constitution's prohibition against religious tests, as well as to the respect we must all pay to people of faith. Pictured: Barbara Lagoa (center) speaks at the event where Governor Ron DeSantis named her to the Florida Supreme Court, on January 9, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

When Judge Amy Coney Barrett came before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary for her nomination to the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Senator Diane Feinstein generated considerable controversy when she said to Barrett: "The dogma lives loudly in you." This was a reference to Barrett's deep Catholic faith. Under our Constitution, Senator Feinstein's statement crossed the line. Ours was the first Constitution in history to provide that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." Although Feinstein did not explicitly impose a religious test, she suggested that personal religious views -- which she called dogma -- might disqualify a nominee from being confirmed. That would clearly be unconstitutional.

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Mueller Team Corruption Contaminates Justice

by Chris Farrell  •  September 23, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • Are we truly supposed to believe that all of these phones just happened to erase themselves?

  • You will remember that these very same attorneys and investigators sought to imprison George Papadopoulos for 20 years simply for switching cell phones and deactivating his Facebook account. The government argued that Papadopoulos knowingly committed obstruction per 18 US Code section 1519, with the intent of impeding or otherwise influencing a federal investigation.

  • The flagrant, outrageous abuse of record-keeping and phone communications requirements by the Mueller team is a prime avenue for further criminal investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham. Attorney General Barr recently said there will be more indictments. Let's hope so.... The only remedy is the rigorous prosecution of the offenders.

We now know the Mueller Special Counsel Investigation of the Trump-Russia "collusion" claims was a politically motivated hoax. In the end, Robert Mueller appeared before Congress and seemed befuddled throughout his testimony. Pictured: Mueller testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on July 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

We now know the Mueller Special Counsel Investigation of the Trump-Russia "collusion" claims was a politically motivated hoax. The investigation dragged on for months. Despite increasingly hysterical Leftist speculation of criminal conspiracies and treason -- not a single claim was ever made against the President. In the end, Robert Mueller appeared before Congress and seemed befuddled throughout his testimony -- "Not with a bang, but with a whimper."

Consequently, it appears necessary that Mueller and his team need to be the subjects of a criminal investigation. Last week, responding to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, the Justice Department released heavily redacted documents showing that several dozen phones belonging to members of Mueller's team were "wiped" or disabled before they could be examined by Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz during his office's review of the special counsel's investigation.

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Turkey: Erdoğan's Soft Spot for Hamas

by Burak Bekdil  •  September 23, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • So far, Erdoğan's fanaticism has come without any cost to him internationally, or any damage to his domestic political survivability. He has every ideological and pragmatic reason to keep up his love affair with Hamas.

  • Erdoğan seemingly loves to make such gatherings [with Hamas terrorist leaders] public to challenge the parts of the world that designate Hamas as a terrorist entity: the EU, Israel and the United States. There is also a message to his Turkish audience: I challenge the world powers, including America, and I remain untouchable.

  • "In overlooking these designations and thousands of its victims, who were injured and murdered by Hamas terrorists, Turkey is actively supporting it both financially and logistically." — Spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, Fox News, August 28, 2020.

  • In reality, it is equally possible that these developments might actually spur a two-state solution, by notifying the Palestinians that, as the Arab saying goes, "The dogs bark but the caravan moves on."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan comes from the ranks of militant Islamism. His love for Hamas and his dedication to the "Palestinian cause" are genuine. Pictured: Erdoğan hosts Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (left) at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara on January 3, 2012. (Photo by Adem Altan/AFP via Getty Images)

It is not only ideological and not only pragmatic: it is both: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan comes from the ranks of militant Islamism for which the "Palestinian cause" is sacred and "as national as any other national matter." His love for Hamas and his dedication to the "cause" are genuine. So is his pragmatism.

Erdoğan's pro-Hamas (and anti-Israeli) fanaticism is one reason why Islamist Turks vote for him. So far, his fanaticism has come without any cost to him internationally, or any damage to his domestic political survivability. He has every ideological and pragmatic reason to keep up his love affair with Hamas.

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Warning: China Retains Algorithm, Loves Oracle's TikTok Deal

by Gordon G. Chang  •  September 22, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • "The more reporting I do on this the more it is a sleazy back room deal that protects no one and advantages Trump supporters and, inexplicably, the Chinese government." — Kara Swisher, America tech journalist and guru, Twitter, September 20, 2020.

  • "ByteDance in driver seat, algorithm in Chinese hands." — Eunice Yoon, CNBC's Beijing Bureau Chief, Twitter, September 21, 2020.

  • "The TikTok team retains stewardship over the app." — Shen Yi, professor, Fudan University, China Daily, September 21, 2020.

  • As Senator Marco Rubio told Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures on the 20th of this month, control of the source code is critical... Beijing, not surprisingly, seems determined to keep all of TikTok's secret sauce.

  • What's not [for China] to like? Beijing-based ByteDance gets a lot of cash — the app will carry a valuation that could be as high as $60 billion — and the Communist Party will be able to continue to use TikTok for malign purposes.

  • The only acceptable arrangement, however, is to completely sever China from TikTok's U.S. operations — or ban the app entirely.

ByteDance Ltd., the privately owned Chinese technology company, will soon sell minority ownership stakes in the TikTok app to American companies Oracle Corp. and Walmart Inc. The proposed arrangement, however, does little to address the most important U.S. national security concern with the wildly popular video-sharing platform. Pictured: ByteDance's corporate headquarters in Beijing, China. (Photo by Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)

ByteDance Ltd., the privately owned Chinese technology company, will soon sell minority ownership stakes in the TikTok app to American companies Oracle Corp. and Walmart Inc.

Oracle will become the "secure cloud technology provider" for a new U.S. company, TikTok Global, which will own most of the app's worldwide operations.

The proposed arrangement, however, does little to address the most important U.S. national security concern with the wildly popular video-sharing platform.

Using his emergency powers, President Trump on August 6 prohibited, after the expiration of a 45-day period, Americans from any transaction with ByteDance or any of its subsidiaries. As a practical matter, the order contemplated the closure of the TikTok app if it was not sold to an American company. The order has been extended.

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Facebook Promotes Holocaust Denial

by Judith Bergman  •  September 22, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • Researchers say that as they viewed Holocaust-denying pages and posts on Facebook, the social media site's algorithm promoted even more Holocaust denial content to them....

  • Facebook takes down such posts only in countries such as Germany, France and Poland where Holocaust denial is illegal.

  • As the Institute for Strategic Dialogue out in its report, however, Holocaust denial is not about people getting history "wrong": "This speech seeks not only to minimise the suffering of Jews during the Holocaust, but to mitigate criticism of Nazism, and justify ongoing attacks against the Jewish people. Due to the intimate intersection between Holocaust denial and hate targeting Jews, such content should be regarded as inherently anti-Semitic".

  • Given Facebook's public commitment to fighting "hate speech" on its site, Facebook's refusal to acknowledge international guidelines on anti-Semitic hate speech by reducing Holocaust denial to a mere instance of "getting things wrong" -- while using its algorithms to promote Holocaust denial -- is clearly unacceptable.

  • Holocaust survivors have now launched an online campaign, #NoDenyingIt, calling on Facebook to remove Holocaust denying material from its website. "How can somebody really doubt it?" asked Eva Schloss, a Holocaust survivor. "Where are the six million people? There are tens of thousands of photos taken by the Nazis themselves. They were proud of what they were doing."

Facebook has been promoting Holocaust denial on its platform, according to a recent report by The Institute for Strategic Dialogue. Holocaust survivors have launched an online campaign, #NoDenyingIt, calling on Facebook to remove Holocaust-denying material from its website. "How can somebody really doubt it?" asked Eva Schloss (pictured), a Holocaust survivor. "There are tens of thousands of photos taken by the Nazis themselves. They were proud of what they were doing." (Photo by Evert Elzinga/AFP via Getty Images)

Facebook has been promoting Holocaust denial on its platform, according to a recent report by The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), "Hosting the 'Holohoax': A Snapshot of Holocaust Denial Across Social Media".

"Holocaust denial has long been one of the most insidious conspiracy theories targeting Jewish communities, with its extremist proponents drawn from across the ideological spectrum, from extreme right-wing to hard left to Islamist", the report states. "Research has shown that digital platforms have only served to amplify and mainstream this warped strain of thinking in recent years".

Researchers from ISD gathered posts using the keyword "holohoax" from between June 1, 2018 and July 22, 2020 on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and YouTube. According to ISD:

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Arabs: "Palestinians Repeat the Same Mistakes"

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  September 21, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • At this pace, Palestinians might wake up one morning to discover that they no longer have any friends in the Arab countries at all.

  • "The Palestinians failed to establish their state. They failed because they did not want to establish a state. Here I mean the political leaders, some of whom still insist on repeating revolutionary phrases. The establishment of a Palestinian state will be a burden on the Palestinian leaders and will prevent them from practicing corruption.... The Palestinian Authority is no longer suitable to represent the Palestinian people." — Iraqi writer Farouk Youssef, Al-Arabiya, September 19, 2020.

  • "Israel did not destroy Syria; Israel did not burn Libya; Israel did not displace the people of Egypt; Israel did not destroy Libya, and Israel did not tear up Lebanon. Before you Arabs blame Israel, take a look at yourselves in the mirror. The problem is in you." — UAE Islamic cleric Wassem Yousef, Twitter, September 16, 2020.

  • "Palestinian leaders failed to invest in opportunities. They failed to take strategic decisions and chose [instead] to forge an alliance with Iran." — Saudi writer Yusef al-Qabalan, Al-Riyadh, September 18, 2020.

  • The biggest losers, of course, are again the Palestinians -- who are quickly losing the sympathy of a growing number of Arabs.

Several Palestinian factions have urged the Palestinian leadership to withdraw from the Arab League to protest the refusal of the Arab countries to condemn normalization with Israel. Earlier this month, the Arab League foreign ministers refused to endorse a Palestinian draft resolution condemning the UAE for its decision to make peace with Israel. Pictured: Arab Foreign Ministers at a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo, Egypt, on March 4, 2020. (Photo by Mohamed el-Shahed/AFP via Getty Images)

The Palestinians have recalled their ambassadors to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in protest of the signing of the peace deals between the two Gulf states and Israel. The Palestinians are now threatening to withdraw their envoys from any Arab country that follows suits and establishes relations with Israel.

In addition, several Palestinian factions have urged the Palestinian leadership to withdraw from the Arab League to protest the refusal of the Arab countries to condemn normalization with Israel. Earlier this month, the Arab League foreign ministers refused to endorse a Palestinian draft resolution condemning the UAE for its decision to make peace with Israel.

"The resolutions of the Arab League are mortgaged to the Zionist American administration," the factions said in a statement. "Normalization [with Israel] is a huge betrayal of the Palestinian issue and a stab to the sacrifices and pain of the Palestinians and Arabs."

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"The Scene was Horrific": Persecution of Christians, August 2020

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  September 20, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • "If we report these cases, the offenders get away with it by apologising and saying that they did it in an unconscious way. Should a Christian do something similar, he is immediately accused of blasphemy and the local Christian community is guilty by association. They rape our women, kill our people, destroy or burn our properties.... [All] we want is for our constitution and the law to treat us as equals, with justice, and for the guilty to be put on trial." — Rev. Irfan James of Peshawar, AsiaNews.it, August 25, 2020, Pakistan.

  • "You get so disappointed when you see immigrants do that. I'm an immigrant myself. And I don't get it. Sweden has given them everything they want." — Naem Sufan, sputniknews.com, August 2020, Sweden.

  • Maira Shahbaz, a 14-year-old Christian girl, escaped from the home of Mohamad Nakash—her kidnapper, whom the Lahore High Court had recently ruled is her legitimate husband despite her objections—and fled to a police station, where she gave testimony, including on how she was being "forced into prostitution" and "filmed while by being raped," with threats that the tape would be published unless she complies with the demands of her rapist/husband and friends... — churchinneed.org; August 26, 2020, Pakistan.

In Greece, a 38-year-old migrant from Algeria attacked the Agios Minas Cathedral in Heraklion, Crete twice in less than a week. (Image source: Bernard Gagnon/Wikimedia Commons)

Rape and Forced Conversions of Christians in Pakistan

In late August, Maira Shahbaz, a 14-year-old Christian girl, escaped from the home of Mohamad Nakash—her kidnapper, whom the Lahore High Court had recently ruled is her legitimate husband despite her objections—and fled to a police station, where she gave testimony, including on how she was being "forced into prostitution" and "filmed while by being raped," with threats that the tape would be published unless she complies with the demands of her rapist/husband and friends. "They threatened to murder my whole family," the girl said. "My life was at stake in the hands of the accused and Nakash repeatedly raped me forcefully." In an interview, a friend of Maira's family described how the family is in hiding and constantly on the run, adding:

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Trump and Nobel Prize: Make Deals Not War

by Amir Taheri  •  September 20, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • At first glance, Donald Trump may actually have a claim to the Nobel Peace prize. He has brokered normalization between Israel and two of its erstwhile Arab enemies, with more expected to follow. He may have also cleared the last foyer of conflict in former Yugoslavia by mediating a settlement between Serbia and Kosovo.

  • Trump the peacemaker? The liberal elites on both sides of the Atlantic react to that phrase with a hearty "Ha! Ha! Ha!" or an angry cry of "scandal".

  • What matters, as far as the Nobel judges are concerned, is that he did it; he brought peace where there was conflict.

  • But if they do award Trump the Nobel Prize, he will be the fifth US president to gain the accolade. And if he does, he would be the most deserving of them all.

US President Donald Trump has brokered normalization between Israel and two of its erstwhile Arab enemies, with more expected to follow. He may have also cleared the last foyer of conflict in former Yugoslavia by mediating a settlement between Serbia and Kosovo. Pictured: Trump signs a document as Kosovar Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti (right) and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic (left) sign an agreement on opening economic relations, in the White House in Washington, DC, on September 4, 2020. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

Do Norwegian politicians have a sense of humor after all? Or are they being deliberately provocative by nominating President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize in the middle of the biggest campaign of character assassination faced by any Western politician in recent times?

At first glance, Trump may actually have a claim to the dynamite-maker's prize. He has brokered normalization between Israel and two of its erstwhile Arab enemies, with more expected to follow. He may have also cleared the last foyer of conflict in former Yugoslavia by mediating a settlement between Serbia and Kosovo.

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