Latest Analysis and Commentary

Palestinians: Taking Journalists Hostage

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  August 23, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • Hamas and Abbas have turned Palestinian journalists into weapons in their internecine war. Palestinian journalists are now being targeted not only for expressing their views and reporting in a way that angers their leaders; they are also arrested and tortured in the process of the settling of scores between Abbas and Hamas.

  • The Palestinians indeed live under two dictatorial regimes, where freedom of expression and freedom of the media are violated on a daily basis.

  • By taking journalists hostage, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas have demonstrated that they are operating more as militias than as governments. We have before us a preview of the deadly drama of any future Palestinian state.

Several journalists, allegedly affiliated with Hamas, speak at an August 16 press conference about the physical and verbal abuse they suffered while held in detention by the Palestinian Authority. (Image source: Roya News video screenshot)

Palestinian journalists have once again fallen victim to the continuing power struggle between the Palestinian Authority (PA), which has jurisdiction over parts of the West Bank, and Hamas, the Islamist movement that is in control of the entire Gaza Strip.

Neither the PA nor Hamas is any champion of human rights, especially freedom of the media. The two parties regularly crack down on their critics, including journalists who do not toe the line or dare to report on issues that are deemed as reflecting negatively on the PA or Hamas.

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Two New Totalitarian Movements: Radical Islam and Political Correctness

by A. Z. Mohamed  •  August 23, 2017 at 4:30 am

  • The attempt in the West to impose a strict set of rules about what one is allowed to think and express in academia and in the media -- to the point that anyone who disobeys is discredited, demonized, intimidated and in danger of losing his or her livelihood -- is just as toxic and just as reminiscent of Orwell's diseased society.

  • The main facet of this PC tyranny, so perfectly predicted by George Orwell, is the inversion of good and evil -- of victim and victimizer. In such a universe, radical Muslims are victimized by the West, and not the other way around. This has led to a slanted teaching of the history of Islam and its conquests, both as a justification of the distortion and as a reflection of it.

  • Thought-control is necessary for the repression of populations ruled by despotic regimes. That it is proudly and openly being used by self-described liberals and human-rights advocates in free societies is not only hypocritical and shocking; it is a form of aiding and abetting regimes whose ultimate goal is to eradicate Western ideals.

Political correctness (PC) has been bolstering radical Islamism. This influence was most recently shown again in an extensive exposé by the Clarion Project in July 2017, which demonstrates the practice of telling "deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them in order to forget any fact that has become inconvenient" -- or, as George Orwell called it in his novel, 1984, "Doublespeak."

This courtship and marriage between the Western chattering classes and radical Muslim fanatics was elaborated by Andrew C. McCarthy in his crucial 2010 book, The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.

Since then, this union has strengthened. Both the United States and the rest of the West are engaged in a romance with forces that are, bluntly, antagonistic to the values of liberty and human rights.

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The President Has a Special Obligation to Condemn Racists on the Right

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  August 23, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • President Donald Trump has a special obligation to single out for condemnation, and distance himself from, individuals and groups that claim -- even if falsely -- to speak in his name, as the racist provocateurs in Charlottesville did.

  • I also believe that it is the special responsibility of decent liberals to do the same with regard to hard left bigoted extremists. As a liberal, I will not give these hard-left violent bigots a pass.

  • So, President Trump must stop being even handed in his condemnations. He should focus his condemnation on extreme right-wing bigots who speak and act in his name, and leave it to those of us on the left to focus our condemnation on left-wing extremists and bigots.

(Photo by Mark Dixon/Flickr)

All decent Americans have an obligation to condemn the violent bigotry of the Nazi and KKK demonstrators in Charlottesville or wherever else they spew their poisonous and threatening rhetoric. But President Donald Trump has a special obligation to single out for condemnation, and distance himself from, individuals and groups that claim -- even if falsely -- to speak in his name, as the racist provocateurs in Charlottesville did.

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Spain: Barcelona Attack Was Preventable

by Soeren Kern  •  August 22, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • The measures to place bollards or planters in public areas were never implemented in Barcelona because the leaders of the Catalan independence movement did not want to be seen as taking orders from the central government in Madrid.

  • Far more difficult to explain is why no one reported suspicious activity at the chalet.

  • Although some Catalans are having second thoughts about the wisdom of promoting Muslim mass immigration as a strategy to achieve Catalan independence, at least 10,000 Catalans with links to the separatist movement have actually converted to Islam in recent years.

Too little, too late.
Police officers line the street on Las Ramblas on August 18, 2017, near the scene of the previous day's terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

As details emerge of the August 17 jihadist attack in Barcelona, the evidence points to one overarching conclusion: the carnage could have been prevented if a series of red flags had not been either missed or ignored.

The failure to heed intelligence warnings, enhance physical security and report suspicious activity are all factors that facilitated the attack, which had been in the planning stage for more than six months.

The attack was also enabled by the idiosyncrasies of Spanish politics, especially the tensions that exist between the central government and the leaders of the independence movement in Catalonia, the autonomous region of which Barcelona is the capital.

Failure to Install Bollards on Las Ramblas

The Barcelona attack could have been prevented had municipal officials complied with an order to install bollards, vertical poles designed to prevent car ramming attacks, on the Rambla, the city's main tourist thoroughfare.

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Recognizing the Real and Present Enemy: Radical Islam, Not Russia

by Alexandre del Valle  •  August 22, 2017 at 4:30 am

  • In the military and strategic sense of the word, an "enemy" is an entity that truly threatens our short- and long-term survival and vital interests -- not one that simply does not share our concept of democracy and human rights.

  • Another dangerous geopolitical mistake made by Western societies is viewing only Islamic terrorist groups as enemies and targeting them in a vacuum. Equally, if not more, important to combat are those Islamist movements that condemn terrorism but spread their ideology "peacefully" in our countries.

  • Before launching military campaigns on behalf of human rights, we in the West should first invest in strengthening our values at home, and encourage our Muslim minorities to adopt those values, rather than let them fall into the hands of radical Islamist organizations. The West must stop demonizing its own Judeo-Christian-European identity and rid itself of multiculturalist extremism.

Defining post-Soviet Russia as the main enemy of the West, while considering the Sunni Islamic monarchies of the Middle East and neo-Ottoman-Islamist Turkey as allies or friends, is a dangerous geopolitical mistake. (Image source: kremlin.ru)

Defining post-Soviet Russia as the main enemy of the West, while considering the Sunni Islamic monarchies of the Middle East and neo-Ottoman-Islamist Turkey as allies or friends, is a dangerous geopolitical mistake. The primary interest of the West and the main mission of NATO is not to demonize regimes it does not like, such as Putin's authoritarian kleptocracy or other non-democratic states that do not pose a direct military threat. Rather, it is to safeguard our land, sea, airspace and populations.

In order to accomplish this, however, we have define the "enemy." In the military and strategic sense of the word, an enemy is an entity that truly threatens our short- and long-term survival and vital interests -- not one that simply does not share our concept of democracy and human rights.

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Trump Must Stop North Korea from Striking American Soil

by John R. Bolton  •  August 21, 2017 at 11:00 am

(Image sources: Missile test - US Navy; Map & flag - Wikimedia Commons/Acdx)

Yet another tumultuous week in domestic affairs, starting with the Charlottesville tragedy and ending with Steve Bannon departing the Trump White House, drove the continuing threats of international terrorism and nuclear proliferation off America's front pages. The media's vicissitudes may be inevitable, but they constantly produce "surprising" strategic developments that were both predictable and long in the making.

In that vein, one of the Trump administration's principal legacies could well be that North Korea (and Iran) became full-fledged nuclear-weapons states on its watch. If so, the risks of radical Islamic terrorism will also increase correspondingly. Certainly, President Trump's predecessors made critical blunders in counterproliferation policy, thereby laying the foundation for this potentially massive failure. But historical blame rests inevitably with the administration that missed the last clear chance to prevent it.

The mortal risk that terrorists will acquire nuclear (or chemical and biological) weapons is all too clear. ISIS claimed responsibility for Thursday's deadly terrorist attack in Barcelona, which now appears part of a larger, more complex effort, foiled in part by Spanish authorities. Friday's terrorist knifings in Finland added to the grim news. Imagine these or other terrorist attacks that deployed weapons of mass destruction.

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Palestinians: When Suicide Attacks Are Bad

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  August 21, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • The emergence of ISIS-inspired groups in the Gaza Strip has long been an open known secret. This is the inconvenient truth that Hamas has been working hard to conceal for the past few years.

  • Obstinately holding on to an imaginary dream, some political analysts and journalists have misinterpreted the Hamas document as a sign of "moderation" and "pragmatism," and argued falsely that the Islamist movement is ready to join a peace process with Israel. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar could not be clearer on this point.

  • Hamas, as we all know, is hardly opposed to suicide bombings. Yet when the boomerang returns, suddenly the attacks become "cowardly terror" actions perpetrated by "outlaws" and "intellectually and religiously and morally deviant" terrorists. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and ISIS may disagree on many issues, but targeting Jews and "infidels" is not one of them. On that point, they are in savage agreement.

Hamas is famous for its suicide attacks and hails the perpetrators as "heroes" and "martyrs." Pictured: Masked Palestinian members of Hamas dress as suicide bombers during an anti-Israel rally on June 4, 2004 at the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Ahmad Khateib/Getty Images)

The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas is finally getting a dose of its own medicine -- in the form of a suicide bombing targeting its members in the Gaza Strip.

During the past two decades, Hamas was responsible for dozens of suicide attacks that maimed and killed hundreds of Israelis, particularly during the Second Intifada between 2000 and 2006. Hamas is famous for its suicide attacks and hails the perpetrators as "heroes" and "martyrs."

For Hamas, suicide bombings are a noble deed when they are carried out by its members and the victims are Jews.

In their own words, Hamas leaders and spokesmen continue to defend their suicide attacks against Israel as a "legitimate tool of resistance" against Israel.

Recent events, however, may have left a bad taste for suicide attacks in Hamas's mouth.

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Target the Nurseries of Terror Indoctrination

by Khadija Khan  •  August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • The gutless response of world leaders to so many terrorist attacks suggest that the world has apparently bought into the "victim narrative" of these extremists, who first set their own countries on fire and then entered Europe with the baggage of their totalitarian ideology, aiming to enslave the masses here too.

  • The free world, if it would like to win this war, will first have to give up its duplicity. It will have to target the nurseries of terror indoctrination without cherry-picking and keeping favorites. If not, the global security organizations will find themselves exhausted running after the individual suspects, but each time looking just at the "minnows", never the pond they swim in.

At the recent Al Quds Day march in London, it was a shock to see people from other faiths joining a rally with Islamists, and so-called human rights activists who were joining with the members of a terrorist organization, Hezbollah. Pictured: The 2014 Al Quds Day march through central London. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Europe bleeds again as terrorists in Spain plowed their vehicles into crowds of pedestrians in tourist areas in Barcelona and Cambrils. The men killed 14 people and injured more than 100.

Spanish police are currently investigating a local imam for possibly having radicalized the terrorists. The imam had apparently been preaching at a mosque in the town of Ripoll for two years, but stopped just a few months ago. The question has arisen if the mosque administration may have found out something about the imam and fired him, but never bothered to report the information to the local police and to clear the mosque of blame.

The day after the attacks in Spain, two people in Finland were hacked to death in another Islamist terrorist attack, leaving some eight injured.

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When Feminists Join Islamist Terrorists

by Majid Rafizadeh  •  August 20, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • The fact is that these supposed feminists not only turn a blind eye to those atrocities, but their presence at these events actively endorses and legitimizes the rule of these dictators.

  • When the subject turns to the specific cases of millions of oppressed women around the world -- such as Asia Bibi, a Christian mother on death row in Pakistan for seven years for taking a drink of water; or the 19-year-old who, this year, was raped by her cousin at gunpoint and then sentenced to death by stoning for "adultery"; or women who were forced to marry their rapists; or child marriages at 12,000 a day; or women who are beaten by their husbands or who have acid thrown in their faces; or women used as suicide bombers.

  • When Mogherini smiles in her hijab in Iran, she is delivering a strong blow to women rights movements that attempt to remove the compulsion of the obligatory hijab and grant women equal autonomy, education and freedom. She is empowering suppression.

During her visit to Iran this month, Federica Mogherini (left), the current High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, rubbed elbows with men who have ordered the deaths of thousands of women (and men). Does she ever think about hundreds of people being executed, often after sham trials, every year, and based on the Islamist laws in this country? (Image source: European Commission)

The social democrats and so-called feminists have been raising their voices for all to hear. They boast about advocating gender equality, individual rights, and advancing women's rights. They argue that these values are universal; that every person, especially every woman, everywhere in the world, is entitled to these "inalienable" rights. Speeches are given, fundraisers are held, and an army of champions charges toward the cause.

Everyone is equal, and everyone deserves these rights. The chants, the inspirational lectures, the determination that echoes through television interviews, and is spread across the pages of magazines, all fill their followers with enthusiasm. But what is the reality?

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Kissinger's Analysis of Mideast is Full of Loopholes

by Amir Taheri  •  August 20, 2017 at 4:00 am

Henry Kissinger in 2008. (Image source: World Economic Forum/Wikimedia Commons)

Whatever one might think of Henry Kissinger's view of the world, not to mention his contribution to international debate during the past six decades, one thing is certain: He has his own matrix for measuring right and wrong in policy terms.

That matrix is balance of power, a European concept developed during the medieval times that reached canon status with the so-called Westphalian treaties to organize relations among emerging nations in Europe. Call him a "one trick pony" if you like, but you will also have to admire Kissinger's consistency in promoting foreign policy as a means of stabilizing the status quo regardless of moral -- let alone ideological -- considerations. In his version of Realpolitik, the aim should be to freeze rather than try to change the world, something fraught with dangerous risks.

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Muslims Tell Europe: "One Day All This Will Be Ours"

by Giulio Meotti  •  August 19, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • The Archbishop of Strasbourg Luc Ravel, nominated by Pope Francis in February, just declared that "Muslim believers know very well that their fertility is such today, that they call it... the Great Replacement. They tell you in a very calm, very positive way: One day all this, all this will be ours...".

  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán just warned against a "Muslimized Europe". According to him, "the question of the upcoming decades is whether Europe will continue to belong to Europeans".

  • "In the coming 30 years, the number of Africans will grow by more than one billion people. That is twice the population of the entire European Union... The demographic pressure will be enormous. Last year, more than 180,000 people crossed in shabby boats from Libya. And this is just the beginning. According to EU Commissioner Avramopoulos, at this very moment, 3 million migrants are waiting to enter Europe". — Geert Wilders, MP, The Netherlands, and leader of the Party for Freedom and Democracy (PVV).

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán recently said: "Our view is that we must solve our demographic problems by relying on our own resources and mobilising our own reserves, and... by renewing ourselves spiritually". (Image source: David Plas/Wikimedia Commons)

This week, yet another Islamic terrorist attack targeted the Spanish city of Barcelona. As it was for many years under Muslim rule, it is, therefore, like Israel, land which many Islamists believe they are entitled to repossess.

At the same time, far from Spain, elementary schools have been closing, shuttered by the state after the number of children dropped to less than 10% of the population. The government is converting these structures into hospices, providing care for the elderly in a country where 40% of the people are 65 or older. That is not a science-fiction novel. That is Japan, the world's oldest and most sterile nation, where there is a popular expression: "ghost civilization".

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Is a Tolerant Culture Being Replaced by an Intolerant One?

by Saher Fares  •  August 18, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • One need not go back centuries to the Muslim conquest of the Christian late classical world -- the medieval Barbary corsair raids, the Ottoman yoke in Central and Eastern Europe or the slave markets of Kaffa in Tatar Muslim Crimea -- to understand that this violence clearly predates the European colonial era, the creation of the modern state of Israel, or the issue of climate change.

  • Countries such as China, Nigeria or Kenya that are not Western, not "imperialist", not whatever the excuses that Islamists make, are still spectacularly attacked by similar stabbings. Month on month, there seems almost nowhere that Islamic terror did not strike.

  • Volumes of revered Islamic texts establish in great detail the grounds of violence and oppression of non-believers and those deemed heretical. These supposed grounds -- made alive daily in madrassas and mosques across the world before being acted upon by religiously-trained terrorists -- are childishly dismissed by Western liberals as immaterial.

  • The first step towards a solution is to question the received knowledge tirelessly dished out by media pundits in the West. What is lacking is simply seeing a huge body of evidence of theological justification for Islamist terror.

On June 4, British PM Theresa May said, "It is time to say enough is enough" and promised a review of her country's counter-terrorism strategy. In the absence, however, of an honest look at the root causes of this terrorism, and a painful soul-searching by Muslims of the grounds in their religion that give rise to such violence, it will never be "enough". (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

How thin can excuses wear every time an atrocity is committed in the name of Islam?

When 13 people were killed and scores more injured this week in a vehicle-ramming attack in Barcelona, Spain, and stabbing men shouting "This is for Allah!" on London Bridge and in Borough Market in June, what the victims least cared about was the Western elite pontificating that the latest atrocity "had nothing to do with Islam".

British Prime Minister Theresa May said, "It is time to say enough is enough" and promised a review of her country's counter-terrorism strategy.

In the absence, however, of an honest and tempered look at the root causes of this terrorism, sacred or not, and a painful soul-searching by Muslims themselves of the grounds in their religion that give rise to such violence, it will never be "enough".

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The Palestinian Authority is a Genocidal Terrorist Entity and Should be Treated as Such

by Guy Millière  •  August 17, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • The PLO became the first terrorist organization to have a seat at the UN and diplomatic representation in a Western country.

  • Daniel Pipes suggested measures to move the conflict in a constructive direction without causing major conflagration: require the Palestinian Authority (PA) pay for all damages inflicted by terrorists, including a very high price for each stolen life; burying the dead terrorists without returning them to their families; severely limiting access to West Bank territories ruled by the PA; banning PA leaders from entering Israeli airports if they make inflammatory remarks and each time there is anti-Israeli violence, or even asking them to use Jordanian airports from now on.

  • Why not tell European leaders that the Palestinian Authority is still a genocidal terrorist organization? Why not ask them how they can agree to finance in the Middle East what they claim to reject with horror in Europe?

President Donald Trump told Mahmoud Abbas what no other Western leader dared to say. He knows that there is nothing to expect from the Palestinian Authority and that Jason Greenblatt's mission is destined to fail. Pictured: Trump and Abbas give a joint statement on May 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Image source: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

The latest slaughter in the land of Israel took place in Halamish, Samaria, on July 21. A Palestinian stabbed to death a Jewish grandfather and two of his children. The grandmother was injured seriously. Countless similar attacks occurred in Israel in the recent and not-so-recent past.

Once again, thousands of Palestinian Arabs joyfully celebrated the murders. Some handed out candy.

The murderer was praised by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas. If he had been shot to death, he would have instantly become a martyr of Islam. A street in Ramallah would be named after him. His picture would be posted in storefronts in the territories occupied by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, and his family would be rewarded with a high "salary" for life.

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Turkish Education: Jihad In, Evolution Out

by Burak Bekdil  •  August 17, 2017 at 4:30 am

  • Turkey has now become the first and only NATO member state that teaches "jihad" in its schools. Although the Turkish government claims that "jihad" means a "spiritual inner struggle for salvation," the official Turkish dictionary defines it as a "war fought in the name of religion."

  • "Why would a young man, indeed a young woman, would want to return to a country where there are 50,000 [political] people in prison, including 200 journalists, opposition media is gagged, women are second class citizens, and where Darwin's theory of evolution has been taken off academic curriculum because it contradicts teachings of Islam? To these bright young kids, returning to Turkey must appear like hopping on H. G. Wells's 'Time Machine' and travelling back a few centuries." — Fuad Kavur, London-based Turkish-British film producer.

At Robert College in Istanbul, a private high school, 151 of 196 seniors recently applied to study abroad. (Image source: Wikipedia)

Turkey's Islamist strongman, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, draws such a rosy picture of his war-torn country that his audiences might think the world's youth, in envy, should be flocking to Turkey to breathe an air of academic excellence and freedoms. On the other hand, however, he complains of a massive brain drain in the Muslim world, including Turkey, heading to the Western countries, which he explicitly despises. A gross contradiction? Just an Islamist's usual ideological impasse.

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Minimize Islamic Terrorism in America? Just Manipulate Statistics

by A. Z. Mohamed  •  August 17, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • While Islamist terrorists have committed fewer attacks in America since 9/11 than "far-right-wing violent extremists," they have killed more victims. — United States Government Accountability Office report, released on April 6, 2017. Titled "Countering Violent Extremism: Actions Needed to Define Strategy and Assess Progress of Federal Efforts".

  • Both right-wing and Islamic extremists are the enemies of Western civilization; all must be investigated and penalized. The attempt by the Left to minimize the dangers of the jihadists among us is not only counter-productive; it is immoral.

On April 15, 2013, Islamic terrorists detonated two bombs at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring several hundred others. (Image source: Aaron Tang/Wikimedia Commons)

Well before Donald J. Trump was elected to the U.S. presidency, many have been claiming that more Americans have been killed by "right-wing extremists" than by Islamic terrorists.

A study released in June 2015 by the New America Foundation on "Terrorism in America After 9/11" ostensibly gave credence to this assertion. Focusing on one graph in the study and the authors' summary of the statistics – that the "death toll [from attacks since September 11, 2001] has been quite similar to other forms of political, and even non-political, violence that Americans face today" -- a number of media outlets and progressive groups pounced on the data.

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