Latest Analysis and Commentary

Germany's Batty Plan to Deter Migrants

by Stefan Frank  •  December 12, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • Every German knows that hardly any asylum seekers whose applications are rejected are forced to leave Germany. But if their application is rejected and they do decide to return to their home country, they are rewarded with an allowance of between €1000 ($1,200) and €3000 ($3,600).

  • This information campaign, however, must have been carefully hidden from the German public -- no major newspaper reported it at the time.

  • "The only authentic and honest thing about this movie were the closing credits...." — Henryk Broder, columnist, Die Welt.

A promotional video produced in 2014 by the German government shows the arrival of a fictional refugee from Iraq, with no mention of any obstacles or unpleasant situations; just smiling officials who have seemingly have been waiting just for him. (Image source: Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge)

The German foreign ministry has launched a website to discourage would-be migrants from making their journey to Germany: "Rumours about Germany: Facts for Migrants". It aims -- In English, French and Arabic -- to debunk "some of the most common false promises made by traffickers", such as:

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"Eurosion": Muslim Majority in Thirty Years?

by Giulio Meotti  •  December 12, 2017 at 4:30 am

  • Even if all current 28 EU members, plus Norway and Switzerland, closed their borders to migrants, the Islamic population will continue to exponentiate.... Today, it is an increase of six million in seven years. And tomorrow?

  • What will happen in major European cities, where the Muslim communities are currently based? Will London, Marseille, Stockholm, Brussels, Amsterdam, Antwerp and Birmingham all have Muslim majorities?

  • Under the "medium" and "high" projections in Pew's scenarios, how can Europe preserve all its most precious gifts -- freedom of expression, separation of church and state, freedom of conscience, rule of law and equality between men and women?

What will happen in major European cities, where the Muslim communities are currently based? Will London, Marseille, Stockholm, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin and Birmingham all have Muslim majorities? (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

One of the most debated arguments about Muslims in Europe is the "Eurabia" claim: that high birth rates and immigration will make Muslims the majority on the continent within a few decades. For years, most of the media and analysts dismissed the claim as alarmist and racist. "Dispelling the myth of Eurabia", sniffed a major Newsweek cover.

Not many had the courage to sound an alarm. The great Arabist scholar, Bernard Lewis, sent out a warning more than a decade ago that Europe would turn Muslim by the end of this century, and dissolve into "part of the Arab West, the Maghreb". The late scholar Fouad Ajami also cautioned that "Europe is host to a war between order and its enemies, fueled by demography"; and the Italian writer Oriana Fallaci imagined a continent with "the minarets in place of the bell-towers, with the burka in place of the mini-skirt". Mark Steyn explained that "the future belongs to Islam" with an "enfeebled" West in a "semi Islamified Europe".

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Trump's Jerusalem Declaration Long Overdue

by John R. Bolton  •  December 12, 2017 at 4:00 am

In 1948, the United States, under President Harry Truman, was the first country to recognize the modern state of Israel upon its declaration of independence. (Image source: Harry Truman Library/Wikimedia Commons)

President Trump's announcement Wednesday that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital was both correct and prudent from America's perspective. Much more remains to be done to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but this was a vital first step.

What is now critical is implementing Trump's decision. Will the State Department actually carry out the new U.S. policy — which State's bureaucracy strongly opposed — or will the entrenched opponents of moving the embassy subvert it quietly by inaction and obfuscation?

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President Trump: The Courage to Act

by Douglas Murray  •  December 11, 2017 at 5:30 am

  • The reaction around the world in recent days has been a reminder of the one central truth of the whole conflict. Those who cannot accept that Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel tend to be exactly the same as those who cannot accept the State of Israel.

  • Trump comes out of the whole situation well -- taking on a promise that his three predecessors made, but on which only he had the courage to act. Those who have most forcibly criticised him, on the other hand, have shown something weak, as well as ugly, about themselves.

Following President Trump's historic and commendable announcement on the status of Jerusalem last week, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May chose to berate Trump. Pictured: PM May, on January 27, 2017 addresses the media in Washington, DC alongside President Trump. (Image source: 10 Downing St./Flickr)

President Trump's announcement on the status of Jerusalem last week was both historic and commendable. Historic because it is the first time that an American president has not just acknowledged that the Israeli capital is Jerusalem but decided to act on that acknowledgement. Commendable for breaking a deceitful trend and accepting what will remain the reality on the ground in every imaginable future scenario. As many people have pointed out in recent days, there is not one prospective peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians in which Tel Aviv becomes the capital of the Jewish state.

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Firebombing Jewish Children in Sweden

by Bruce Bawer  •  December 11, 2017 at 4:30 am

  • On Friday night, an anti-Trump rally in Malmö drew about 200 people, many of whom shouted anti-Jewish remarks and threatened to "shoot the Jews."

  • Saturday's attack on the Gothenburg synagogue may have been immediately triggered by Trump's recognition of Israel's capital, but it is part of a pattern of persecution and savagery that has been in place, and that has been systematically ignored, denied or played down by the news media and public officials, ever since the Islamization of Western Europe began.

The synagogue in Gothenburg, Sweden, which was firebombed on December 9. (Image source: Lintoncat/Wikimedia Commons)

On Saturday, December 9, masked men threw firebombs at a synagogue in Gothenburg, Sweden. The attack took place shortly after 10:00 pm, at a time when about thirty children and teenagers were attending a party at the Jewish Center adjoining the main building. When the assault began, the guards rushed them into the cellar, and finally allowed them to go home at about 11:30 pm. (Guards, of course, are a fixture at European synagogues these days.) A mother of one of the girls at the party received a text message from her daughter saying that she was scared and that there was a smell of gasoline.

Yes, in Western Europe, in 2017, a group of young Jews stood huddled in a basement, helpless, amid the gasoline fumes from firebombs. (It is not clear whether the people guarding them were armed, or why, facing the threat of a possible conflagration, they chose to send them into a cellar.)

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Bangladesh: Runaway Muslim Persecution of Hindus

by Mohshin Habib  •  December 11, 2017 at 4:00 am

  • If you want to root out a Hindu family from its ancestral home in Bangladesh, just accuse one of its members of insulting the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. You will find thousands of Muslims rushing to burn the Hindu family's whole neighborhood down, without hesitation or evidence.

  • In a horrible twist, an investigation into the Facebook post that ostensibly sparked the riots revealed that the user who wrote the supposedly offensive comments was MD Titu, not Titu Roy.

  • Within 30 years, there will be no Hindus left in Bangladesh, based on "the rate of exodus over the past 49 years." — Dr. Abul Barkat, Dhaka University.

Hindu women stand beside the ruins of their home in Chittagong, Bangladesh, after it was destroyed by Islamists who attacked their community, in March 2013. (Image source: Mehedi Hasan Khan/Global Voices/Wikimedia Commons)

If you want to punish a non-Muslim, especially a poor Christian in Pakistan, point your index finger at him and utter the word "blasphemy." You will soon find thousands of Islamic hardliners beside you chanting, "Death to blasphemers!" Similarly, if you want to root out a Hindu family from its ancestral home in Bangladesh, just accuse one of its members of insulting the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. You will soon find thousands of Muslims rushing to burn the Hindu family's whole neighborhood down, without hesitation or evidence.

Such behavior towards minorities -- Christians in Pakistan and Hindus in Bangladesh -- has become commonplace among fundamentalist Muslims in both countries, whose governments have surrendered to Islamists.

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Newsflash: Jerusalem Not on Fire!

by Bassam Tawil  •  December 10, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • "More journalists than protesters..." — Björn Stritzel, German journalist.

  • Protests against Israel and the US are not uncommon on the streets of Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem. But for the "war correspondents," there is nothing more exciting than standing behind burning tires and stone throwers and reporting from the heart of the "clashes." Such scenes make the journalists look as if they are in the middle of a battlefield and are risking their lives to bring the story home to their viewers. They might even receive an award for their "courageous" reporting from danger zones!

  • Jerusalem is tense, and has long been so, because the Palestinians have not yet managed to come to terms with Israel's right to exist. That is the real story. The Palestinians rage and rage for only one reason: because Israel exists. Put that in a story and publish it.

A Palestinian man uses a slingshot to hurl stones at Israeli border police near Ramallah, on December 9, 2017. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The Palestinians declared a three-day-long "rage" spree over US President Donald Trump's announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Thus far, however, it seems that the real anger is showing up in the international media, not on the Palestinian street.

Question: How many foreign journalists does it take to cover the Palestinian reaction to Trump's announcement? Answer: As many as the Israel-Palestinian-conflict-obsessed-West can manage to send.

The massive presence of the international media in Jerusalem and the West Bank has taken even the Palestinians by surprise. Since Trump's announcement on December 6, dozens of additional journalists and camera crews have converged on Israel to cover "the big story."

The American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem, once a favorite haunt of international reporters, is once again packed with journalists from around the world.

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Why Did Islamic State Kill So Many Sufis in Sinai?

by Denis MacEoin  •  December 10, 2017 at 4:30 am

  • A 2007 report by the Rand Corporation advised Western governments to "harness" Sufism, saying its adherents were "natural allies of the West."

  • In the end, the Sufi parties are outnumbered by those of their Salafi opponents, meaning that the brotherhoods and the wider Sufi-oriented public must look to the state for protection. In that context, it is important to stress that the massacre in Sinai was not simply another Islamic State attack on people it considered heretics (effectively, in their interpretation of Shari'a law, non-believers), but an assault on everyday mainstream Islam in Egypt, a declaration of apostasy for the vast majority of Egyptian Muslims.

The head of Cairo's al-Azhar University, regarded as the most important Sunni institution of religious authority and Islamic law in the world, is always a Sufi shaykh. To most Egyptians, Sufism is a part of everyday life. Pictured: Shaykh Ahmad Al-Tayeb, the current Grand Imam of al-Azhar and former president of al-Azhar University. (Photo by Steffi Loos/Getty Images)

The massive November 24 terrorist attack by Islamic State on a Sufi mosque in a town of little importance, Bir al-Abd, in northern Sinai, resounded across the world. Despite the presence of members of the security services, the al-Rawda mosque also serves as the local headquarters of a prominent Sufi Brotherhood founded by the local al-Jarir clan, a branch of the powerful Al-Sawarkah tribe. The number of dead, somewhat over 300, were shockingly high, yet not higher than the tolls in two earlier Islamic State massacres. In 2014, IS fighters killed 700 men of the Shu'aytat tribe in Dayr al-Zur. "Over a three-day period, vengeful fighters shelled, beheaded, crucified and shot hundreds of members of the Shaitat tribe after they dared to rise up against the extremists." In 2016, a series of bombings in Karrada, a Shi'i district of Baghdad, took some 347 lives.

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The Mullahs Overplay the Military Card

by Amir Taheri  •  December 10, 2017 at 4:00 am

Iranian "Supreme Guide" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on June 22, 2016. (Image source: Khamenei.ir)

Faced with mounting domestic problems and diplomatic isolation to prolong its hold on power the leadership in Tehran is increasingly depending on the military establishment. Highlighting this growing dependence is the "Supreme Guide" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who has held conclaves with the military chiefs on three occasions in less than a month during which signs of the military's ascendancy within the regime's power structures have multiplied.

One sign was Khamenei's decision to ask the newly appointed Chief of Staff General Muhammad Hussein Baqeri to take over the key issues of cooperation with Russia and Turkey over Syria to the exclusion of President Hassan Rouhani and his administration. Baqeri has also launched an ambitious project for the creation of a de facto military alliance with Turkey, Iraq and Pakistan, with Russia as an outsider-supporter, in direct contradiction to Rouhani's repeatedly asserted hope of accommodation with Western powers.

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Welcome to the Hell Hole that is Brussels

by Drieu Godefridi  •  December 9, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • Last month alone in Brussels, there were three separate outbreaks of rioting and looting on a major scale.

  • If you penetrate the thick cloud of professional indignation to scrutinize the reality of the "capital of Europe", what you see in many respects is actually a hell hole, one where socialism, Islamism, riots and looting are the new normal.

Riot police, backed by a water cannon, attempt to push back rioters in the center of Brussels, Belgium, on November 12. Hundreds of "youths" of foreign origin "celebrated" the World Cup qualification of Morocco's soccer team by rioting and injuring 22 police officers. (Image source: Ruptly video screenshot)

When then-candidate Donald Trump noted in January 2016 that, thanks to mass immigration, Brussels was turning into a hell hole, Belgian and European politicians presented a united front at the (media) barricades: How dare he say such a thing? Brussels, capital of the European Union, the very quintessence of the post-modern world, the avant-garde of the coming new "global civilization," a hell hole? Of course assimilating newcomers is not always easy, and there may be friction from time to time. But never mind, they said: Trump is a buffoon, and anyway, he has zero chance of getting elected. Such were the thoughts of those avid readers of The New York Times International Edition and regular watchers of CNN International.

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Violence Should Not Determine Policy

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  December 8, 2017 at 7:00 pm

  • Violence should be responded to by police and military action, not by giving in to the unreasonable demands of those who use violence as a tactic.

  • The reason violence — whether rock-throwing or more lethal forms of terrorism — is used is because it works... as a way to extort concessions from the world. And it works because policy makers often make or refrain from making controversial decisions based on the fear of violent reactions.

  • Now just imagine what will happen if peace negotiations are commenced and both sides have to compromise. Israel's comprises will be met with law suits, political pushback and possibly resistance from some settlers who will have to be uprooted....

  • Palestinian compromises will be met with street violence, terrorism and assassinations. That has long been the modus operandi of Palestinian leaders and dissidents.

  • A clear message must be sent now to these leaders and dissenters: violence will not be rewarded or tolerated. It will be responded to not with policy changes but with police and military action.

Violent Palestinian protests near Ramallah. Policy-makers should not submit to this tactic of extortion. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Many who are opposed to President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital point to the call for violence by Hamas and the scattered violence on the West Bank as evidence that Trump was wrong. But violence should never influence US policy. The leaders of Hamas and other Palestinian groups use violence as a deliberate tactic to get their way. If policy-makers allow this tactic to deter them from doing the right thing, it will only incentivize the opponents of a peaceful resolution of the conflict to threaten and employ violence every time they do not get what they want. Violence should be responded to by police and military action, not by giving in to the unreasonable demands of those who use violence as a tactic.

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Islamist Regimes Take Over UNESCO

by Giulio Meotti  •  December 8, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • The UN agency is currently dominated by the most oppressive regimes on education and culture. There is China, which recently let writer, poet and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo die an agonizing death in prison, where he was serving an 11-year jail sentence for his support of human rights and democracy. Then there is Iran, where a dean of journalism, Siamak Pourzand, committed suicide to avoid more persecution by the regime.

  • "UNESCO has been hijacked and abused as a tool for the persecution of Israel and the Jewish people, while concocting fake facts and fake history, meant to... rewrite global history." — Carmel Shama Hacohen, Israel's ambassador to UNESCO.

  • If UNESCO is really serious about reforming itself, it should immediately issue a statement against the Islamization of Turkey's Hagia Sophia Cathedral, a UN World Heritage Site.

Irina Bokova, then Director-General of UNESCO, is pictured speaking at China's official Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, on May 14, 2017. Two months later, the Chinese government let writer, poet and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo die an agonizing death in prison, where he was serving an 11-year jail sentence for his support of human rights and democracy. (Photo by Mark Schiefelbein - Pool/Getty Images)

Hit by the departure of the United States and Israel, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently welcomed its new Director-General, former French Minister of Culture Audrey Azoulay. Those who care about cultural diversity and Western civilization hailed her election, because the representative of Qatar's Islamist regime had come close to winning UNESCO's leadership race. But the real problem is that UNESCO has been abandoned to Islamist dictatorships. A battle to save the organization has begun.

Among the critics of UNESCO there is a tendency to dismiss this agency as "irrelevant". Yet, so long as UNESCO exists, the West cannot allow repressive regimes to dominate the world's highest body supposedly in charge of culture, science and education. Richard Hoggart, the British scholar who served as UNESCO's assistant director general from 1970 to 1977, once asked: "Should Unesco Survive?".

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The Real Palestinian Response to Trump's Jerusalem Speech

by Bassam Tawil  •  December 7, 2017 at 5:00 am

  • By misrepresenting the poster burning "ceremony" as a reflection of widespread Palestinian rage concerning Trump's policy on Jerusalem, the international media is once again complicit in promoting the propaganda of Palestinian spin doctors. The journalists, including photographers and camera crews, have been handed detailed schedules of events that will take place in different parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

  • When we sit in our living rooms and watch the news coming out of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, let us ask ourselves: How many of these "events" are, in fact, media burlesques? Why are journalists allowing themselves to be duped by the Palestinian propaganda machine, which spews hatred and violence from morning until night?

  • It is high time for some self-reflection on the part of the media: Do they really wish to continue serving as a mouthpiece for those Arabs and Muslims who intimidate and terrorize the West?

  • The "rivers of blood" we are being promised are flowing as we speak. Yet, it is the knife that Arabs and Muslims take to one another's throats that is the source of this crimson current, not some statement made by a US president. Perhaps that could finally be an event worth covering by the roving reporters of the region?

The handful of Palestinians in Bethlehem who were filmed burning pictures of U.S. President Donald Trump on December 6 were made by the media to look as if they were part of a mass protest sweeping Palestinian communities. (Image source: CBS News video screenshot)

A short three hours after US President Donald Trump phoned Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to inform him of his intention to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a number of Palestinian photojournalists received a phone call from Bethlehem.

The callers were Palestinian "activists," who invited the photographers to come to the city to document an "important event." When the photographers arrived, they discovered that the "important event" was a handful of Palestinian "activists" who wanted to burn posters of Trump in front of the cameras.

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Homeless Swedes Out in the Cold

by Bruce Bawer  •  December 7, 2017 at 4:30 am

  • One reason there are so many immigrants in Sweden, both legal and illegal, is that the country's welfare system is a bonanza for foreigners. Far from not being covered by the system, immigrants often enjoy preferential treatment

  • These Swedes should not be sleeping on the streets. The Scandinavian welfare states were founded on a compact between the citizens and their government: the people would pay outrageously high taxes, and in return their government would guarantee them a magnificent safety net should they get sick or get fired. But ever since these countries chose to open their doors to mass Muslim immigration, that compact has been broken.

  • A state-employed paper-pusher who gives citizens something for which they have already paid can hardly feel particularly virtuous, whereas handing out free stuff to aliens who have done absolutely nothing to deserve it can make that same government paper-pusher feel like a world-class Good Samaritan.

  • Even more shattering is that millions of those Scandinavian citizens accept it. Marinated from birth in multiculturalism, millions of them dare not demand what they have coming to them -- what they have paid for, what they deserve -- lest they be viewed by others, and even by themselves, as bigots.

A man begs on the street in Lund, Sweden, July 23, 2013. (Image source: Sigfrid Lundberg/Flickr)

The other day, I reported about the Church of Sweden's strenuous efforts to appease Islam. Now comes the news that from December 15 to March 15, churches in the diocese of Gothenburg will be used at night as shelters for the homeless. Lovely idea. But there is a catch. The only homeless people who will be allowed in are foreigners -- either immigrants from elsewhere in the EU, who are by definition legal, or illegal immigrants from outside the EU. In other words, native Swedes need not apply, even though the initiative is being paid for by taxpayer money.

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Why Trump Is Right in Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's Capital

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  December 7, 2017 at 4:00 am

President Donald Trump displays the signed "Presidential Proclamation Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel and Relocating the United States Embassy to Israel to Jerusalem," on December 6, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Image source: White House video screenshot)

President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a perfect response to President Obama's benighted decision to change American policy by engineering the United Nations Security Council Resolution declaring Judaism's holiest places in Jerusalem to be occupied territory and a "flagrant violation under international law." It was President Obama who changed the status quo and made peace more difficult, by handing the Palestinians enormous leverage in future negotiations and disincentivizing them from making a compromised peace.

It had long been American foreign policy to veto any one-sided Security Council resolutions that declared Judaism's holiest places to be illegally occupied. Obama's decision to change that policy was not based on American interests or in the interests of peace. It was done out of personal revenge against Prime Minister Netanyahu and an act of pique by the outgoing president.

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