Latest Analysis and Commentary

International Migrants Day

by Judith Bergman  •  February 25, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • The project of multiculturalism in Europe, including the integration of people from the Middle East and Africa, has fared extremely poorly until now and no amount of denial from the UN or the World Economic Forum, including leveling accusations of "hate speech" and "fake news" at its critics can alter that fact.

  • Many migrants have made it clear that they have no wish either to contribute to, or become part of, the European societies into which they have migrated. Parallel societies... have sprung up all over Western Europe.

  • In Germany, authorities believe that it will take decades to get rid of the Middle Eastern family crime clans that have spread their criminal activities throughout the country. Sweden also is reeling from the many shootings and explosions that migrant crime gangs are responsible for throughout the country.

  • None of these grave issues was even hinted at by the UN's and the World Economic Forum's "experts" on migration in their statements on International Migrants Day. Instead, they encouraged states to clamp down on critics in the name of "hate speech". What are they afraid of?

It is unfortunate that top United Nations bureaucrats and the World Economic Forum chose International Migrants Day to propagandize, instead of engaging honestly and openly with the problematic issues that migration has wrought, especially in Europe. Pictured: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, on January 23, 2020. (Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

When the UN marked International Migrants Day on December 18, 2019, the theme was "social cohesion." António Vitorino, director general of the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM) wrote in an op-ed entitled "Social Cohesion: Recognizing Migration is a Benefit that Works for All":

"This year on International Migrants Day, the IOM has chosen to focus on social cohesion, in recognition not just of migrants, but of the communities in which they can and do flourish...

"Too often, when we speak of migration, we debate whether it is good or bad, costs too much or pays out too little... But to view migration as an accounting practice is to reduce it... It is an evolving...yet integral part of our societies, enriching them in multiple, intangible ways...

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Are Turkish Cypriots Done with Ankara?

by Burak Bekdil  •  February 25, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • For the Turks, Turkey is the homeland and Cyprus is the "baby homeland."

  • In January 2018, several thousand Turkish Cypriots marched against what they said was Turkey's unwanted influence that has emboldened hard-right groups to try to silence opposing views.

  • Erdoğan's government has been generously sending Turkish taxpayers' money to religious foundations, associations, NGOs and Quranic schools in Turkish Cyprus via the Turkish Aid Delegation. Turkey also built a (Sunni Muslim) theology academy at the same time as it ignored local criticism against it.

  • "There have been mosque constructions in all areas in northern Cyprus, including former Greek Orthodox churches. All that effort has upset Turkish Cypriots." — Yusuf Kanlı, a prominent Turkish Cypriot columnist, to Gatestone Institute, February 18, 2020.

Between 2002 and 2016, the Turkish government built at least 39 new mosques in the Turkish section of Cyprus (pop. 326,000) -- including the Hala Sultan mosque in Nicosia (pictured), which can house a congregation of 3,000. (Photo by Matthieu Clavel/AFP via Getty Images)

A famous tweet by an unknown Turk and shows how pathetically crazy some Turks can get in their never-ending wars with the rest of the world:

"We should bomb Turkish Cyprus to show the world what a psychopathic nation we are. The world should ponder what the crazy Turks would do to the others if they did this to their 'baby'" -- @spleenistanbul

"Turkish Cyprus" here is the breakaway statelet of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), recognized only by Turkey -- also known among the Turks as the "baby homeland." Since Turkey invaded the northern third of the island in 1974 in response to a coup by Greek Cypriots that aimed to annex Cyprus to Greece, the "Cyprus cause" has been emblematic in reflecting Turkey's militarist and nationalist sentiment.

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The Fortunate Arabs in the Middle East

by Bassam Tawil  •  February 24, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • Meanwhile, there are other Arabs in the region who are more fortunate than the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip: the Arab citizens of Israel. These citizens are lucky that they do not live under the rule of the corrupt and incompetent leaders of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. These Arab citizens are fortunate because they live in Israel.

  • Here is more unwelcome good news regarding the Arab citizens of Israel: The Israeli government announced in 2018 that in the last two years, it has invested 4.5 billion shekels ($1.3 billion) in the Arab regions. The government also announced that it would invest 20 million shekels ($5.6 million) in the Arab high-tech market. Overall, the government has decided to invest 15 billion shekels ($4.3 billion) in the Arab-Israeli sector by the end of 2020....

  • The $50 billion dollars the Trump plan offered the Palestinians will end up being withheld because Palestinian leaders have something else on their minds: to continue enriching their own bank accounts at the expense of their people. No wonder, then, that when Arabs -- including Palestinians -- dream of a better life, they often dream of moving to Israel. No wonder, as well, that most Arab Israelis do not want to become part of a Palestinian state, and have been demanding to stay in Israel.

The two million Arab citizens of Israel have become the subject of envy by their Palestinian brothers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. An example of the successful and thriving life of Israeli Arabs can be seen in Arraba (pictured), a town located in the Galilee region in northern Israel. With a population of 26,000, Arraba is now one of the leading communities in the world in the number of physicians. (Image source: Yaakov/Wikimedia Commons)

Palestinians living under the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip can only dream about the quality of life their Arab brethren enjoy in Israel.

Thanks to the current leaders in the PA and Hamas, the Palestinian people are sunk in abysmal living conditions. Poverty, unemployment, and repression have been their lot for decade after decade. This is because the PA and Hamas have repeatedly rejected peace plans that offer prosperity to the Palestinians.

Recently, the PA and Hamas rejected US President Donald Trump's plan for Mideast peace, which includes a $50 billion investment and infrastructure proposal to create at least a million new jobs for Palestinians. The plan calls for projects worth $27.5 billion in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and $9.1 billion for Palestinians in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Projects "envisioned include those in the health care, education, power, water, high-tech, tourism, and agriculture sectors."

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How Should the West Respond to the Iranian Protesters?

by Judith Bergman  •  February 24, 2020 at 4:30 am

  • "Right now people are mad, not just because of their own government... People are furious about the Western reaction, with the silence of the world. When they see that people are getting killed, but still the Western governments do not dare to openly support human rights and ask the United Nations to make an open investigation into the killings and about the 7,000 people in prison." — Masih Alinejad, Iranian journalist,

  • The UN Secretary-General, who declared war on "hate-speech" six months ago, apparently could not bring himself to condemn hateful actions of actual state violence against unarmed, innocent citizens.

How should the West respond to the Iranian protests that erupted after the Iranian regime admitted to unintentionally downing the Ukrainian jetliner? Pictured: Students gather for an anti-regime demonstration at Tehran University on January 14, 2020. (Photo by Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)

How should the West respond to the Iranian protests that erupted after the Iranian regime admitted to unintentionally downing the Ukrainian jetliner? US President Donald J. Trump publicly supported the protesters:

"To the leaders of Iran - DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching. Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!"

By contrast, on January 14, Democrats blocked a House resolution that supported the anti-regime protesters in Iran. On January 28, however, House Resolution 752, was passed, "Supporting the rights of the people of Iran to free expression, condemning the Iranian regime for its crackdown on legitimate protests, and for other purposes". The resolution had already been introduced in December 2019 as a response to the protests in Iran in November.

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Does Cannabis Cause Addiction the More Potent It Is?

February 24, 2020 at 4:00 am

(Image source: iStock)

Gatestone Institute to examine the impact of legalized marijuana in 2020. Details to follow...

Europe's New Academic Fascism

by Giulio Meotti  •  February 23, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • Minority groups claim "safe spaces", but the ones who really need safe spaces are those who disgree with the reigning orthodoxy.

  • An appeal by some French intellectuals, including many Muslim thinkers such as Boualem Sansal and Zineb el Rhazoui, criticized this "intellectual terrorism."

  • Free expression is not needed for "politically correct" or sedative speech, but it is the only protection the minority has from the tyranny of the majority.

  • "[T]he freedom of Speech may be taken away — and, dumb & silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter." — US President George Washington, 1783.

  • The European university -- which should be the home of open pluralism, debate, research and thought -- has instead become the paradise of intellectual sectarianism and terror. This new radicalism will reinforce not only political correctness, but also submission to coercion in the West.

Mohamed Sifaoui was forced to flee North Africa in 1999 after death threats from Islamists, and now lives in France under police protection. His course on radicalization was recently cancelled by Sorbonne University in Paris, which Sifaoui blamed on "the pressures of Islamic associations and left-wing unions." (Photo by Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images)

Western universities have become places of personal fear and intellectual terror. Formerly sanctuaries for open inquiry, instead fierce ideological minorities have been setting red lines of orthodoxy in the face of a silent or, worse, compliant academy. Education -- from ex ducere, to lead out -- has been increasingly eroded by ideological fundamentalism and an attempt to determine not only what actions are acceptable, but even words and thoughts.

Social media has helped by officially reviving the lynch mob. We must now all sing the praises of multiculturalism, Islam, immigration, post-colonial guilt and racializing just about everything. In this new Inquisition, not even the slightest doubt or dissent can be tolerated -- it must be punished!

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Iran: the Masks of Jefferson and Attila

by Amir Taheri  •  February 23, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • The difficulty was that the leadership of the revolution had no intention of creating a Western-style society in which economically and socially Westernized Iranian middle classes would feel at home. One way to deceive them was to continue with a tradition of elections dating back to 1907.

  • Four decades later, a new middle class has emerged. President Hassan Rouhani refers to it as "the well-off 30 percent" -- people who are prepared to live a double life in which economic comfort, not to say prosperity, is combined with lack of political freedoms and restrictive social norms.... In this double life, the new middle class passes part of the year abroad, mostly in Western Europe and North America, where it can wear what it likes, eat what it likes and live like its Western counterparts.

  • [O]ver 3,000 high-ranking officials have permanent-resident permits for the United States and Canada.... Thousands of the children of this new middle class attend Western universities, mostly in the US and Canada.... In Western Europe and North America, tens of thousands of former Islamic officials and their associates own property and substantial investment portfolios.

  • A Majlis reflecting the reality of a corrupt, incompetent and brutal regime in full is less harmful than one designed to hide the nature of the Islamic Republic and promote forlorn hopes of moderation and reform.

Iranians went to the polls on Friday to elect a new Islamic Consultative Assembly, an ersatz parliament designed to give an autocratic regime a pseudo-democratic varnish -- an exercise that many regard as insulting and futile. Pictured: Iranian voters cast their ballots at the Shah Abdul Azim shrine on the southern outskirts of Tehran, on February 21, 2020. (Photo by Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)

Iranians went to the polls on Friday to elect a new Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis), an ersatz parliament designed to give an autocratic regime a pseudo-democratic varnish. At the same time, voters were invited to participate in by-elections to fill vacancies in the Assembly of Experts, a grouping of mullahs supposed to supervise the performance of the "Supreme Guide".

With the final official results not yet available, it is not clear how many of the 60 million people eligible to vote bothered to take part in an exercise that many regard as insulting and futile. A number of polls, including some conducted by the government, predicted a turnout no higher than 50 percent. A Ministry of the Interior poll put the number of those who intended to vote in Tehran at 24 percent.

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Anti-Jewish Hatred Is Alive and Well

by Guy Millière  •  February 22, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • Just as in the 1930s, National Socialist anti-Semitism and far-right anti-Semitism -- and their consequences for the Jews -- were of no interest to anyone, the anti-Semitism growing today seems of no interest to anyone.

  • None of the countries represented at the ceremony to commemorate the Holocaust, except the United States, appeared interested in the threats to Israel or the genocidal intentions of its enemies.

  • If, seven decades ago, the existence of the new State of Israel had depended on the countries represented this year in Jerusalem... the war that resulted would effectively have been a second Holocaust.

Pictured: World leaders and foreign ministers gathered in Jerusalem on January 23, 2020 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp. (Image source: Getty Images/Pool)

The ceremony held in Jerusalem on January 23 for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp created the opportunity to remind the world about the Holocaust. The commemoration of the only attempt totally to exterminate an entire people by industrial means, which was among the worst crimes in history, offered the international leaders who attended the opportunity to reaffirm the need to fight anti-Jewish hatred at a time when, throughout the world, it is rapidly gaining ground.

"The industrial mass murder of six million Jews, the worst crime in the history of humanity, was committed by my countrymen", German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier humbly said.

One nevertheless feels the need to ask whether those international leaders who attended are actually ready to align their actions with their words.

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France: Macron Vows Crackdown on Political Islam

by Soeren Kern  •  February 21, 2020 at 6:00 am

  • "The problem is when, in the name of a religion, some people want to separate themselves from the Republic and therefore not respect its laws." — French President Emmanuel Macron, February 18, 2020.

  • "Turkey today can make the choice to follow that path with us or not, but I will not allow any foreign country feed a cultural, religious or identity-related separatism on our Republic's territory. We cannot have Turkey's laws on France's soil. No way." — French President Emmanuel Macron, February 18, 2020.

  • "What we must put in place is not, as I have sometimes heard from some people, 'a plan against Islam.' That would be a profound mistake. What we must fight is the separatism...." — French President Emmanuel Macron, February 18, 2020.

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced new measures aimed at countering political Islam in France. The changes would limit the role that foreign governments have in France in training imams, financing mosques and educating children. Pictured: Macron speaks to the media in Mulhouse, on February 18, 2020, shortly before making the major policy speech in which he vowed to fight what he called "Islamist separatism." (Photo by Sebastien Bozon/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced new measures aimed at countering political Islam in France. The changes would limit the role that foreign governments have in France in training imams, financing mosques and educating children.

Macron also vowed to fight what he called "Islamist separatism" and to lead what he described as a "Republican reconquest" aimed at reasserting state control over Muslim ghettoes — so-called no-go zones (zones urbaines sensibles, sensitive urban zones) — in France.

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Palestinians Condemn US for Offering to Help

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

  • Palestinians, in short, are saying that they refuse to accept funding by any party that does not accept their conditions and demands.

  • It is as if someone applies for a loan from a bank but demands that the bank accept his or her demands, and not the other way around. Usually, those who offer the money have the right to set the conditions.

  • For the Palestinians, it seems, the opposite is true. They seem to believe that they are the ones entitled to set conditions to those who are offering to improve their living needs and help them march towards prosperity and a better future for their children.

  • Palestinian leaders know that their society is floundering in every possible way. Yet, rather than welcoming the proposed US programs, they are condemning the Americans and inciting their people against the US administration for even making such a generous offer. This is precisely the disastrous dynamic that decades ago landed the Palestinian people in their quagmire, and it is precisely the same dynamic that keeps them trapped in that morass.

The US Embassy in Israel (pictured) has a Palestinian Affairs Unit that regularly offers Palestinians grants and funding opportunities that include, for students, US higher education and scholarships. But in response to the US offer of grants and funding opportunities, some Palestinian officials have warned their people not to deal with the US Embassy. (Image source: US Embassy in Israel/Wikimedia Commons)

Palestinian leaders have gone to great lengths to explain their opposition to US President Donald Trump's recently unveiled plan, "Peace to Prosperity," for Middle East peace.

While these leaders are entitled to oppose Trump's vision for peace, it is not clear why they are also rejecting US financial aid to Palestinians. By rejecting it, Palestinian leaders are denying their people the right to a better life and a strong economy.

The US Embassy in Israel has a Palestinian Affairs Unit that regularly offers Palestinians grants and funding opportunities that include, for students, US higher education and scholarships.

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The Real Winners of the Afghan Election: The Taliban

by Con Coughlin  •  February 20, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • Of the country's 9.6 million registered voters (among a total population of 37 million), a total of just 1.82 million votes were counted. Of these, Mr Ghani achieved his victory by winning a paltry 923,592 votes, which can hardly be described as a commanding mandate.

  • The result should serve as a warning to US officials as they enter a crucial phase in peace talks with the Taliban about the organisation's true motives.

  • Far from having an interest in achieving a negotiated settlement of the long-running Afghan conflict, the Taliban's ultimate goal is to persuade the Trump administration to end its military presence in the country so that it can once again seize control of the country and turn it into a safe haven from which Islamist terrorists can again plot their devastating attacks against the West.

The announcement that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (left) has emerged as the victor over opposition candidate Abdullah Abdullah (right) in the country's election contest could well prove to be a hollow victory so far as the survival of Afghanistan's fragile democracy is concerned. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The announcement that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has emerged as the victor in the country's election contest could well prove to be a hollow victory so far as the survival of Afghanistan's fragile democracy is concerned.

Declaration of the election's outcome, which took place in September last year, was delayed because of allegations of vote-rigging in the contest, as well as claims that many Afghans did not vote because of intimidation tactics by the Taliban.

Even when the final result was announced this week, with election officials confirming that the 70-year-old Mr Ghani had narrowly claimed victory with 50.64 percent of the vote, the main opposition candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, continued to insist that the contest had been marred by massive fraud and technical problems.

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Greek Islanders Want Their Life Back

by Burak Bekdil  •  February 20, 2020 at 4:30 am

  • "We want our islands back... We want our lives back!!!" — Posters across Greece's northeast Aegean islands.

  • The owner of the beautiful tavern... "recollects how the 'refugee business' works... the distance between the Turkish mainland and Lesbos is shortest here (just five miles): "It's 1,500 euros per person and one boat takes up to 60 persons. One boat's turnover is thus 90,000 euros if it travels once a day."

  • At Moria, the largest camp on the island of Lesbos, 19,000 refugees presently seek shelter at a facility with a capacity of 2,840 people.

  • In 2016 Ankara and Brussels reached a deal in which the EU committed six billion euros ($6.6 billion) in migrant assistance and a more liberal visa regime for Turkish nationals in return for Turkey stopping migrants from crossing. The deal has not stopped the refugee flow from the Turkish coast. Turkey claims that so far, only about $2 billion has been paid.

"Theloume piso ta nisia mas..., Theloume piso ti zoi mas!!!" echo poster slogans across Greece's northeast Aegean islands, inviting locals to debate the poisoning refugee catastrophe: "We want our islands back... We want our lives back!!!". Pictured: The town theater in Mytilini, capital of Lesbos island, bedecked with a protest banner. (Image source: Burak Bekdil)

Locals are angry. So are the migrants. Tens of thousands of migrants have illegally landed here, on the islands of Greece, since 2015. Some leave, some stay but most wait to be "processed' in the hope of finding their ways into Europe's richer countries, such as Germany.

"Theloume piso ta nisia mas..., Theloume piso ti zoi mas!!!" echo poster slogans across Greece's northeast Aegean islands, inviting locals to debate the poisoning refugee catastrophe: "We want our islands back... We want our lives back!!!" Lesbos, an island situated on the easternmost corner of Europe and neighboring Turkey, is one of the victims that once was a paradise.

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The Cost of Legalized Cannabis?

February 20, 2020 at 4:00 am

As legalized marijuana becomes epidemic across the country, Gatestone Institute will be posing serious questions throughout the coming year regarding its potential impact on road and occupational safety; its effect on children and our country's overall health, the role of states to protect society from its potential abuse and what lessons can be applied from the tragedy of driving "under the influence".

UK Court: Sharia Marriages Not Valid Under English Law

by Soeren Kern  •  February 19, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • "We sought to inform the Court of Appeal that many minority women, especially Muslim women, are deceived or coerced by abusive husbands into only having a religious marriage, which deprives them of their financial rights when the marriage breaks down...." — Southall Black Sisters, an advocacy group for South Asian women, February 14, 2020.

  • In February 2018, an independent review of the application of Sharia law in England and Wales...recommended changes to the Marriage Act 1949 and the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 that would require Muslims to conduct civil marriages before or at the same time as the nikah ceremony. This would bring Islamic marriage in line with Christian and Jewish marriage in the eyes of British law.

  • "The Assembly is concerned that the rulings of the Sharia councils clearly discriminate against women in divorce and inheritance cases." — Council of Europe (COE), January 2019.

  • As of now, neither the British government nor the British Parliament has introduced legislation that would require Muslims to conduct civil marriages before or at the same time as the nikah ceremony...[but] The court's decision effectively reaffirms the principle that immigrants who settle in Britain must conform to British law, rather than the other way around.

The Court of Appeal, the second-highest court in England and Wales after the Supreme Court, has ruled that the Islamic marriage contract, known as nikah in Arabic, is not valid under English law. Pictured: The Royal Courts of Justice in London, seat of the Court of Appeal. (Image source: Anthony M/Wikimedia Commons)

The Court of Appeal, the second-highest court in England and Wales after the Supreme Court, has ruled that the Islamic marriage contract, known as nikah in Arabic, is not valid under English law.

The landmark ruling has far-reaching implications. On the one hand, the decision strikes a blow against efforts to enshrine this aspect of Sharia law into the British legal system. On the other hand, it leaves potentially thousands of Muslim women in Britain without legal recourse in the case of divorce.

The case involves an estranged couple, Nasreen Akhter and Mohammed Shabaz Khan, both of Pakistani heritage, who took part in a nikah ceremony officiated by an imam in front of 150 guests at a restaurant in London in December 1998.

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The Intolerance of the "Tolerant" Left: The End of Liberal Democracy?

by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff  •  February 19, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • "Germany is witnessing the gradual erosion of democracy and the rule of law, a process that began in 2015 [during the migrant crisis] and which has become even more visible since and has ended in putsch against democracy." — Vera Lengsfeld, political analyst, February 7, 2020.

  • "The vote is unforgivable and must be reversed." — German Chancellor Angela Merkel, regarding a duly elected German state premier.

  • "Why bother exercising the right to vote when the 'wrong' choice can be annulled by the media and the chancellor through propaganda and veto?... Do we stand for democracy or for elections until the results suit the ruler?" — Dushan Wegner, political commentator, February 7, 2020.

  • Josef Hueber explains in a commentary how in a pseudo-democracy, elections mean voting until the result is "correct"...

  • We are presently faced with yet more politically-based show trials: of the parliamentarian Geert Wilders in The Netherlands and of Matteo Salvini in Italy. It is up to the population and voters to decide whether liberal democracy is worth fighting for.

When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ripped up a copy of President Donald Trump's State of the Union address, she showed a disappointing lack of argumentative abilities. If tolerance is to mean anything, Pelosi and her fellow Democrats should have exhibited just that. Instead, she, as a role model, did the opposite by engaging in petty and irresponsible behavior. (Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

We recently witnessed two events that indicated the possible demise of liberal democracy. The implications should frighten supporters of democratic forms of government in which individual rights and freedoms are officially recognized and protected, and the exercise of political power is limited by the rule of law.

The growing intolerance of many "left-wing" groups is apparent in the uproar of the democratic election of the state premier of the German state of Thuringia as well as in the performance of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, publicly ripping up US President Donald J. Trump's State of the Union address. It was an official document that belongs not to her but to the public, and of which she was merely its custodian.

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