Latest Analysis and Commentary

Pro-Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Shaft Palestinians and Human Rights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Iran, North Korea, and the U.S.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Iraqi Election Opens New Chapter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Gaza Riots: Really About the Embassy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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America's Missile Defense Programs - Part I

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Urgent Open Letter to UN Secretary General António Gutteres

by Anthony Kalulu  •  May 17, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • Since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals three years ago, and with only 12 years until 2030, little has been done to put the extremely poor in the path of their implementation. The poor are still being left on the sidelines. In a remote area like ours, in eastern Uganda, there is not a single event, as a result of the SDGs, happening on the ground, to end poverty. Our struggles are the same as before.

  • We believe this should be more about listening to, and fostering partnerships with, the people who directly live on less than $2/day...Above all, we believe our request reflects what many poor communities all over the world are capable of doing towards zero poverty, if only the people who live on less than $2/day were placed at the helm of the 2030 Agenda and its implementation process.

  • if you could give us a voice, dear Mr. Guterres, what we are asking of you, is #1). As the 2030 Agenda is centered on "bringing together people and ideas", we would like to ask you, if convenient, to put us together with any technical teams from the global north, to train us on turning the rural smallholder farmers' fruit crops (in eastern Uganda) into consumer-grade intermediate food products — especially fruit purees & concentrates.

  • #2). To get our plan rolling, we are also requesting you, Mr. Guterres, to pair us with a team of influencers (e.g. the SDG celebrity ambassadors), to give us a voice only via social media by teaming up with us on this crowdfundraiser, so we can leverage the power of new media to raise support for our planned solution.

Farmers and volunteers work on organic fertilizers at the Uganda Community Farm demo center. (Image source: UCF)

Dear Mr. Guterres,

Since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] three years ago, and with only 12 years until 2030, little has been done to put the extremely poor in the path of their implementation. The poor are still being left on the sidelines. In a remote area like ours, in eastern Uganda, there is not a single event, as a result of the SDGs, happening on the ground, to end poverty. Our struggles are the same as before.

On the one hand, getting a voice heard from a secluded part of the earth, like ours, is virtually impossible. On the other hand, even the many SDG-themed programs that have come up, such as the SDG Action Campaign or the SDG Fund, have maintained a distance between their work and the people living at the bottom of the pyramid, and have thus brought nothing new along with them to emancipate the poorest of the poor.

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Behind the smoke screen

by Scott Johnson  •  May 17, 2018 at 4:30 am

You can see why NBC News might want to smear the work of the Gatestone Institute (the dirty work I wrote about here yesterday). Gatestone has posted Pierre Rehov's video Behind the Smoke Screen on Hamas's Gaza production. From inside Gaza, Rehov reports the reality of the so called "peaceful demonstrations." He invites viewers: "Watch Hamas hate speeches. See how they build their propaganda at the expense of brainwashed, deceived and manipulated unfortunate people. Understand why Israel has no choice but to protect itself using lethal force." Like Richard Kemp's Gatestone column "Smoke & Mirrors" yesterday, Rehov's video is more informative than the sum total of everything NBC News has on offer today.

Scott W. Johnson is a Minneapolis attorney and a fellow of the Claremont Institute. For twenty-five years, his articles have appeared in most major news outlets.

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Why Does the Media Keep Encouraging Hamas Violence?

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  May 17, 2018 at 4:00 am

If this were the first time that Hamas deliberately provoked Israel into self-defense actions that resulted in the unintended deaths of Gaza civilians, the media could be excused for playing into the hands of Hamas. The most recent Hamas provocations -- having 40,000 Gazans try to tear down the border fence and enter Israel with Molotov cocktails and other improvised weapons -- are part of a repeated Hamas tactic that I have called the "dead baby strategy." Hamas' goal is to have Israel kill as many Gazans as possible so that the headlines always begin, and often end, with the body count. Hamas deliberately sends women and children to the front line, while their own fighters hide behind these human shields.

Hamas leaders have long acknowledged this tactic. Fathi Hammad, a Hamas Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, stated as far back as 2008:

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Sweden in Free Fall

by Judith Bergman  •  May 16, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • If it is considered 'objectionable' in the West to talk about the factual consequences of migration, in Sweden it is now viewed as a crime.

  • The kind of 'integration' that the mosque in Växjö is reportedly spreading to the local Muslim inhabitants is that Muslims are urged not to participate in the Christmas celebration of "kuffars" [a derogatory term for 'disbelievers'], and Jews are, of course, mentioned as the enemies of Allah. The mosque's school uses Saudi Arabian school curricula, and encourages women not to dress in 'Western clothes'.

  • "Silence has become an established norm in certain groups of inhabitants" in these areas.... there is pressure from relatives and religious communities, not to contact authorities, but to use the local alternative systems, such as the mosque, instead. Sometimes, the local criminal gangs even tell the residents to call them, instead of the police, to minimize the presence of police in the area. — BRÅ, the Swedish Crime Prevention Council

  • It increasingly appears that it will be Sweden that integrates into Islamic culture.

Cars burn during a riot in suburb of Stockholm, on February 20, 2017. (Image source: YouTube/gladbecker82 video screenshot)

In 2017, a Swedish police report, "Utsatta områden 2017", ("Vulnerable Areas 2017", commonly known as "no-go zones" or lawless areas) showed that there are 61 such areas in Sweden. They encompass 200 criminal networks, consisting of an estimated 5,000 criminals. Twenty-three of those areas were especially critical: children as young as 10 had been involved in serious crimes there, including ones involving weapons and drugs. Most of the inhabitants were non-Western, mainly Muslim, immigrants.

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NBC News swings, hits self

by Scott Johnson  •  May 16, 2018 at 4:00 am

What is it with NBC News? If you thought they'd hit rock bottom, you may have to revisit the question with a look at national reporter Heidi Przybyla's piece on the Gatestone Institute last month: "John Bolton presided over anti-Muslim think tank."

This is an old-fashioned hit piece. The headline reveals the true object of the hit. John Bolton drives the left absolutely nuts. He has their number and he can call them out with great skill. This they cannot abide. Bolton was the target of Pryzbyla's piece; Gatestone was just the club that she took to hand.

Nina Rosenwald is the founder and president of Gatestone. At the invitation of Lawrence Kadish, John and I spoke to a group including Nina in New York in 2005. She is a formidable force in her own right and one of the nicest people with whom I have had the good fortune to cross paths as a result of my work for Power Line. Meeting her was a great kick.

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Human Rights: Other Views - Part II

by Denis MacEoin  •  May 15, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • Palestinian human rights organizations such as Al-Mezan, along with their many supporters abroad and even within a substantial part of the Jewish diaspora, have turned the very concept of human rights on its head.

  • Although genuine and widely praised for their advocacy of human rights internationally, even Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, the International Federation for Human Rights and the humanitarian relief body Oxfam International have reputations of extreme bias against Israel.

  • What are any of these people doing actually to help the Palestinians -- such as creating jobs, assuring good governance, establishing schools, hospitals, health care and dental clinics, safeguarding legal standards, stopping the arrests of journalists or others who dare to criticize the current governments and so on? Rather, the issues they address seem more a rationalization to destroy Israel.

Pictured: A session of the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva, Switzerland. (Image source: United Nations/Flickr)

We have seen in Part One of this article how far Western standards of human rights differ from those guaranteed by Islam. One obvious outcome of this disparity is, of course, that citizens of Muslim countries are accorded fewer rights than their counterparts in liberal democracies. Thus, women, girls, gays, members of religious minorities, "blasphemers", bloggers (notably in Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia) reformers and others may be subjected to partial or total deprival of what the rest of the world considers to be unquestionable or God-given rights. Women may be forced to dress in all-encompassing clothing or hijabs. Minorities may be imprisoned or killed. Women even alleged to have committed adultery – but often just the victims of rape – may be flogged or else stoned to death. LGBT individuals may imprisoned or killed, while bloggers, reformist intellectuals, moderate Qur'an interpreters face flogging and murder by mobs.

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Turkey Slams Proposed French Changes to Quran

by Uzay Bulut  •  May 15, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • "We must revolutionize our religion," — Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, December, 2014.

  • "A Muslim is to hate what Allah hates and love what Allah loves. Allah hates the Kafir, therefore, a Muslim is to act accordingly." — Dr. Bill Warner, "Sharia Law for Non-Muslims," a publication of the Center for the Study of Political Islam.

  • "The point is not that these things are written in Islamic scripture, but that people still live by them." — Bruce Bawer, author.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Pool/Getty Images)

On April 21, the French daily Le Parisien published a "Manifesto against the new anti-Semitism," written by Philippe Val, a co-founder and former director of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, the target of the 2015 terrorist attack that left 12 employees dead.

The declaration -- signed by more than 250 prominent French intellectuals, artists and politicians, among them former President Nicolas Sarkozy – calls on Islamic theologians to remove the verses of the Quran that call for the killing and punishment of Jews, Christians and Muslim non-believers.

The manifesto reads, in part:

"Anti-Semitism is not the business of the Jews. It's the business of all of us. The French, who have demonstrated their democratic maturity after each Islamist attack, are living through a tragic paradox. Their country has become the arena for murderous anti-Semitism.

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VIDEO -- Behind the Smokescreen: Hamas Unrest in Gaza

May 14, 2018 at 9:30 am

If Palestinians managed to breach the fence, they will presumably kill and capture as many Israelis as possible, while calling it a "return." If Palestinians are killed, Hamas can always blame Israel.