Latest Analysis and Commentary

Palestinians: Americans Now Legitimate Targets

by Bassam Tawil  •  May 23, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • Ultimately, it is all about money. The Palestinian Authority is desperate for US financial aid; without it the Palestinian leadership would not be able to survive. So the Palestinians are hoping to extort protection money from the Americans. It is like saying, "You see what will happen to you if you stop funding me? It could always get worse for you. I suggest that you restore my accountability-free funding, and perhaps I will see to it that you do not get hurt."

  • The Americans should call the Palestinian bluff and send a warning to the Palestinian leadership that there will be consequences for their rhetoric and actions if they do not cease the incitement and brainwashing. The US should use the money as leverage to demand this from the Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority needs your money and you have the right to demand something good in return for it. There is no reason why any American should be funding the same Palestinian propaganda machine that is inciting not only against Israel, but also against the US and its citizens.

Now it is official: Palestinians view the US as an enemy. Anti-US rhetoric comes from Palestinians representing all walks of life -- from President Mahmoud Abbas to ordinary citizens in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Some Palestinians even see US citizens and officials as "legitimate targets" for violent assaults. Pictured: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

There is a new development in Palestinian hatred of the Trump administration: the Palestinian leaders' verbal attacks on the US are now being translated into acts of violence against US delegations visiting Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

The Palestinian campaign against the US began in December 2017, when President Donald Trump made his announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and escalated after he announced that the US embassy in Tel Aviv would be moved to Jerusalem.

The anti-US rhetoric has come from Palestinians representing all walks of life -- from the most senior, including President Mahmoud Abbas, to ordinary citizens in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and from secular groups such as the ruling Fatah faction to extremist Islamist organizations such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

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Gatestone's Person of the Week: Dr. Khaled Montaser "Trying to Fix This"

by A. Z. Mohamed  •  May 23, 2018 at 4:00 am

  • Egyptian intellectual Dr. Khaled Montaser referred to the "scientific-miraculous" nature of the Quran (i'jaz) as a "great delusion" and "an anesthetic or a nice sedative" for the Arabs and the Muslims.

  • "Where does extremism come from? People, we must admit -- as our president has often said -- that there are elements in our books of heritage that incite to this. We must admit this." — Dr. Khaled Montaser.

  • Montaser's harsh criticism should be understood as a call, similar to that of other caring Muslims "trying to fix this," not to abandon Islam, but to modernize or risk remaining "at the tail end of all the nations."

Dr. Khaled Montaser in his interview with Sky News Arabia on April 20, 2018. (Image source: Sky News Arabia video screenshot)

In an interview with Sky News Arabia on April 20, Egyptian intellectual Dr. Khaled Montaser referred to the "scientific-miraculous" nature of the Quran (i'jaz) as a "great delusion" and "an anesthetic or a nice sedative" for the Arabs and the Muslims, making them feel superior: "we are superior," "we are the best," "we are the greatest."

Montaser, head of the Dermatology Department of the Suez Canal Authority, linked this "delusion" to the prevalence of Islamic terrorists. "As Muslims," he said, "we pay a steep price for this. We are at the tail end of all the nations."

"Among the names of all those who detonated explosive belts in Europe or America," he went on, "one cannot find a single Hindu or Buddhist name. They always have Muslim names. Furthermore, how come Muslims always oppose modernity?"

"Our interpretation," he went on, "is in conflict with modernity..."

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Germany: Asylum for Cash Scandal

by Soeren Kern  •  May 22, 2018 at 5:00 am

  • Germany's Federal Office for Refugees and Migration (BAMF) will review more than 25,000 asylum decisions after allegations of corruption at its regional office in the northern city of Bremen.

  • Some of those granted asylum were considered by German authorities to be potential security risks, according to the news magazine Der Spiegel. They include Syrian intelligence operatives, human smugglers and other hard-core criminals — as well as potential Islamic State jihadists.

  • BAMF currently rejects almost all asylum requests from converts from Islam to Christianity, according to Thomas Schirrmacher, president of the International Society for Human Rights. He said that when undergoing "belief tests," BAMF often relies on Muslim translators who deliberately mistranslate at the expense of Christians or converts.

Pictured: City Hall in the Old Town of Bremen, Germany. (Image source: Jürgen Howaldt/Wikimedia Commons)

Germany's Federal Office for Refugees and Migration (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF) will review more than 25,000 asylum decisions after allegations of corruption at its regional office in the northern city of Bremen.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced the audit after it emerged that a former official at BAMF's Bremen branch allegedly accepted cash bribes in exchange for granting asylum to at least 1,200 refugees who did not meet the necessary criteria. Five others, including three lawyers, an interpreter and an intermediary, are also being investigated.

The three lawyers allegedly received cash payments from "refugees" across Germany and submitted their asylum applications to the Bremen office. The interpreter then "interpreted" asylum interviews in such a way that the answers supposedly given by refugees matched the requirements for successful asylum applications. He reportedly received €500 ($680) per asylum seeker.

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Hitler and Reza Shah: Mullahs and Pro-Israel Writers Sing Together

by Amir Taheri  •  May 22, 2018 at 4:00 am

Reza Shah, founder of Iran's Pahlavi Dynasty, pictured some time in the 1930's. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

That political life is full of surprises may be an old adage.

However, there are times when something so unexpected happens that one has to look beyond surprise to understand it.

One such event concerns the new campaign to portray Iran as an anti-Semite nation and the founder of the Pahlavi Dynasty, Reza Shah, as disciple of Adolf Hitler.

Trying to justify their anti-Semitism, expressed through an anti-Israel rhetoric, the mullahs claim that they are continuing an old national tradition. To back that claim they trace their policy to Reza Shah, the man who founded the Pahlavi Dynasty and considered by many Iranians as the leader who halted centuries of decline.

In the popular uprisings of last January one frequent slogan was "Reza Shah! Blessed be Your Soul!"

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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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