Sunday, June 30, 2013

German Jews insist on advance copy of Clams Conference probe results

The Conference of Material Claims Against Germany has failed to provide members of its board copies of an internal ombudsman’s report examining how the organization’s leadership failed to prevent the theft of $57 million meant to aid holocaust survivors, a board member representing German Jewry has told The Jerusalem Post. During a phone interview on Sunday, Stephan Kramer, the secretary-general of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, lamented that he has not been able to examine the report by ombudsman Shmuel Hollander prior to the Claims Conference’s upcoming July 9 board meeting. The central council has two seats on the board of the Claims Conference, of which Kramer occupies one. The councilman said the failure to provide copies of the report early enough, to give board members “sufficient time” to examine its conclusions has left him with a “bad taste” in his mouth. “Maybe they want to give it to us just [before] the meeting or during the meeting in a hard copy and then we may not even have enough time to read [it],” he said. With his statements, Kramer has become the first member of the board to publicly criticize the Claims Conference. Earlier critiques, including those of Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky and World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder, were written in direct letters to members of the board which were then leaked to the press. In 2001, an anonymous tipoff letter resulted in an internal probe that failed to uncover the beginnings of a $57m. fraud scheme being orchestrated by Semen Domnitser, a Claims Conference employee. In May, Domnitser was found guilty of overseeing the scheme. The letter was received by a conference official who investigated the matter without finding any evidence of wrongdoing. After the 2001 letter went public, a claims conference spokeswoman placed responsibility for not investigating further on the official, who died in 2004. However, the JTA subsequently reported that a paralegal working for the law firm of then-board member and pro bono counsel Julius Berman launched a second investigation, which also terminated without uncovering the fraud. Berman became the chairman in 2002. In May, Berman appointed board member Reuven Merhav to lead a Select Leadership Committee that would investigate the events surrounding the 2001 letter. However, this move was deemed insufficient by some board members. Hollander was then tasked with examining the matter after several members of the board, representing major organizations such as the Jewish Agency and World Jewish Congress, called for an independent investigation. Kramer also said that according to the meeting’s agenda, nominations for top executives by the board’s nominating committee will precede any discussion of the Hollander report. “I’m a little concerned about the agenda,” he said. The report is “going to be discussed at the very end of the agenda which I think is not the appropriate way of dealing with this.” Kramer said that on Monday he plans on sending a letter to other members of the board asking that the discussion of the report be moved up to the beginning of the meeting and that they be provided copies in advance of the meeting. A critical discussion of the report, he said, must come before “we do the business as usual things of the board.” Kramer also critiqued Berman, saying that he “is not doing himself a favor with putting the ombudsman’s report and the whole issue at the end.” “I think we should know and discuss the ombudsman’s report and the incident and events that have taken place so far so that everybody is informed before we go into elections and reconfirmation on [Berman’s] position,” he said. “I think it is very important that we go into this confirmation process with all the facts; knowing them and having discussed them.” The Claims Conference did not reply to a request for comment.
jpost

Gift Horse Under Scrutiny

By  Andrew Stuttaford

As Obama prepares to subject America to even more environmentalist command-and-control, Bjorn Lomborg (someone, incidentally, who takes the phenomenon of AGW seriously) notes this news from the UK:
The British Geological Survey this week announced possibly the world’s largest shale gas field in mid-England. By itself, it increases the global estimated shale gas by more than 18 percent. At the same time, the UK is pushing to get the most of their green energy from off-shore wind turbines by 2020, which will now cost more than even solar power in subsidies. There seems to be a lack of sense of proportion. UK shale gas could dramatically lower European and global CO₂ emissions. Instead they focus on subsidizing a still very inefficient and unreliable energy source.
But congratulations to the UK, this find could be big. It could be bigger economically than the North Sea Oil. And it is likely that there is much more shale gas: Nigel Smith from the British Geological Survey estimate that there could be 5-10 times more shale gas off-shore than on-shore in the UK. This undercuts the core argument for many inefficient renewable projects: that they will pay off because fossil fuel prices will increase dramatically. Instead the shale gas revolution seems to continue to reduce the fossil fuel cost.
It is also good news for tackling global warming. We will in the short run dramatically switch to cleaner gas. And it emphasizes that the only way to tackle global warming in the long run is to innovate green energy costs down.
There is an argument to be made that the extent of the UK’s possible shale bonanza has been overstated, but even so this is good news. Or at least it should be, but when it comes to the question of energy every banquet these days comes with a Banquo.
The Daily Mail reports:
Green pressure group Friends of the Earth is preparing a bitter legal battle to try to block Britain’s trillion-pound shale gas bonanza. It wants to prevent any exploitation of this vast new reserve of cheap, clean energy forever and is already fighting to stop all exploratory test drilling.
But an investigation by The Mail on Sunday suggests that the group’s campaign is based on alarmism, spreading highly misleading claims about shale gas’s supposed dangers. Last week the organisation issued an ‘action guide’ for activists, advising them how to stop shale gas extraction – known as ‘fracking’ – by manipulating the planning system.
It leaves no doubt as to its purpose: ‘The ultimate aim of our fracking campaign is that we stop it!’
Helen Rimmer, its North West England staff campaigner, said: ‘It’s a fossil fuel that we don’t need. It would be better to keep it in the ground.’
Instead, she said, Britain should invest only in renewables, such as wind turbines. Underlying the FoE campaign is its obsession with global warming – despite a modern, gas-fuelled power plant emitting less than half the carbon dioxide of a coal plant.
‘We need to consider the climate impact,’ Ms Rimmer said. ‘We think fracking is incompatible with our carbon targets. It’s completely the wrong direction for our energy.’
Fascinating really. One of the hallmarks of cult-like belief is an obsession with, one way or another, purity. Compromise is heresy, half a loaf is never enough. The fact that (as the US experience shows) fracking ought to lead to a noticeable reduction in CO2 emissions is not enough for the pur et dur. It’s all or nothing.
If the climate fundamentalists get their way, the rest of us will be left with nothing.
nationalreview

Obama’s Pyatiletka

By  Andrew Stuttaford

Over at Reason, Ron Bailey dissects Obama’s latest exercise in central planning:
The central planners in communist governments were notorious for issuing massively detailed top-down five-year plans to manage every facet of their economies.
Speaking at Georgetown University on Tuesday, President Barack Obama outlined his “new national climate action plan,” which amounts to a federal top-down five-year plan—although he has only four years to implement it. Obama’s plan ambitiously seeks to control nearly every aspect of how Americans produce and consume energy. The goal is to cut the emissions of greenhouse gases and thus stop boosting the temperature of the earth. The actual result will be to infect the economy with the same sort of sclerosis seen in other centrally planned nations.
 Let’s take a look at four aspects of the Obama five-year plan: rationing carbon, boosting renewable energy and energy efficiency, subsidizing climate resilience, and negotiating international limits on emissions…
It’s worth taking the time to click on the link to Bailey’s piece and doing just that. It does not make pretty reading, and is yet another reminder that Obama is a president whose ideas on the economy seem mainly stuck in the command-and-control conventional wisdom of four, five or more decades ago.
The president also needs to get out a bit more.
Bailey:
In his Georgetown speech, President Obama declared, “Countries like China and Germany are going all out in the race for clean energy.” The president did not note that German electricity prices have soared as the country subsidized the installation of solar and wind power. German households in 2012 paid an average of 35 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared the U.S. average of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. If Americans were paying for power at German rates, our households’ monthly power bills (at 940 kilowatt-hours) would average $330 instead of $110, or an additional $2,640 per year for household electricity.  The president also neglected to mention that China’s much-lauded and much-subsidized solar panel industry is going through a bit of a financial rough patch.
Or he could have taken a closer look at Britain, the poster-child for climate change fundamentalism, where energy bills have soared and continuous supply may not be able to be taken for granted for much longer.
Even the Economist, back on the fundamentalist reservation (“current environmental policies will not keep the rise in global temperatures to below 2°C—the maximum that most climate scientists think safe”) again after a brief, um, pause in which it permitted some sensible moments of reflection to creep onto its pages a few weeks ago, describes Obama’s proposed approach as being somewhat akin to Soviet central planning, while excusing the President on the grounds that the wicked Congress had given the poor fellow no choice (democracy is so retrograde).
That’s being too kind. The Economist would prefer Obama to bring in a carbon tax. If such a tax was revenue-neutral, I can see some sort of argument for its introduction, largely on the grounds of my general preference for indirect over direct taxation, but the fact that that option is not possible for now is no justification for Obama to launch a program that is likely to have little overall impact on the global climate (even if we accept fundamentalist math) but will almost certainly hit America’s economy hard.  Something is not always better than nothing.  And quite often it’s a good bit worse.
nationalreview

NSA spied on EU offices

By Rick Moran

This breathless report from the German newspaper Der Spiegel says the NSA "attacked" the offices of the EU by spying on them.
Information obtained by SPIEGEL shows that America's National Security Agency (NSA) not only conducted online surveillance of European citizens, but also appears to have specifically targeted buildings housing European Union institutions. The information appears in secret documents obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden that SPIEGEL has in part seen. A "top secret" 2010 document describes how the secret service attacked the EU's diplomatic representation in Washington.
The document suggests that in addition to installing bugs in the building in downtown Washington, DC, the European Union representation's computer network was also infiltrated. In this way, the Americans were able to access discussions in EU rooms as well as emails and internal documents on computers.
The attacks on EU institutions show yet another level in the broad scope of the NSA's spying activities. For weeks now, new details about Prism and other surveillance programs have been emerging from what had been compiled by whistleblower Snowden. It has also been revealed that the British intelligence service GCHQ operates a similar program under the name Tempora with which global telephone and Internet connections are monitored.
The documents SPIEGEL has seen indicate that the EU representation to the United Nations was attacked in a manner similar to the way surveillance was conducted against its offices in Washington. An NSA document dated September 2010 explicitly names the Europeans as a "location target".

What a bunch of crap. In fact, the European reaction to the snooping drips with hypocrisy. Are we to believe that the Germans don't have the technical means to spy on the US? That friendly embassies in the US aren't hotbeds of spying? Knowing what your friends are doing is almost as valuable as knowing what the enemy is up to. The notion that the Europeans are too morally upstanding to spy on US military is absurd. They all do it, as do we. That's the way of the world and the Edward Snowdens who may be shocked! shocked, I say to uncover this fact need to drop their childlike naivete and understand how things work.
This is an embarrassment for us. But beyond that, I would be very surprised if the EU didn't expect such snooping and employ countermeasures to stop it. For all we know, they discovered the bugs and ripped them out. Their mild response would indicate that this is not going to be a big deal.
americanthinker

Four People Killed in Egypt Protests

Four people died on Sunday as millions gathered in Egypt on the anniversary of President Mohammed’s Morsi inauguration.
Kol Yisrael radio reported that 17 million people hit the streets.
Three people died in Assiut, the report said, and a fourth in Bani Seuf, south of Cairo, Al Jazeera reported that the Cairo headquarters of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood was attacked by protesters with petrol bombs.
Tensions remained high and anti-Morsi crowds swelled as protests moved into the night hours. Morsi supporters held their own rallies in Nasr City and near the presidential palace.
Protesters directed their anger not just at Morsi but the ruling Muslim Brotherhood, which in two years has gone from a banned movement to the rulers.
"Mosques should be for religion, not for politics," Ahmed Sultan, a student, told Al Jazeera.
The U.S. government was also the target of anger, with one banner reading: “America supports killers of the Egyptian people.”
The anti-Morsi protests have been organized by a grassroots campaign calling itself Tamarod, meaning "rebellion" or "insubordination", which claims to have collected the signatures of 22 million Egyptians demanding the president leaves office.
The petition has no legal standing, but it has nonetheless tapped into widespread public anger towards Morsi. The president has made a number of controversial decisions since taking office, most notably a November decree which shielded his decisions from judicial review.
On Friday, Thousands of Egyptians gathered in Cairo in two opposing mass rallies, one calling for Morsi’s ouster, and another showing support for the embattled Islamist president.
Protests also took place in Alexandria, where American student Andrew Pochter of Chevy Chase, Maryland, was killed after being stabbed by a protester. Another man, an Egyptian, was also killed.
israelnationalnews

Millions of anti-Morsi protesters swarm Cairo’s streets: One anti-Morsi protester killed, 30 others injured in city south of capital; 60,000 or more have fled the country in past 48 hours

Millions of opponents of Egypt’s Islamist president massed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and in cities around the country Sunday, launching an all-out push to force President Mohammed Morsi from office on the one-year anniversary of his inauguration. Fears of violence were high, with Morsi’s Islamist supporters vowing to defend him.
One anti-Morsi protester was reportedly shot and killed by Muslim Brotherhood supporters in the city of Beni Suef, approximately 70 miles south of Cairo. At least 30 others were reported injured in the Beni Suef clashes, Beni Suef security chief Ibrahim Hodeib was quoted in Egyptian daily Al Ahram saying.  Cairo International Airport was reportedly crowded with passengers trying to leave the country ahead of the expected violence. According to Tawfik al-Assy, the chairman of EgyptAir Holding Company, some 60,000 passengers have left the country in the last 48 hours, he told Sky News Arabia.
In Egypt’s provinces of Dakhalia and al-Sharqia, two Muslim Brotherhood offices were torched respectively by protesters on Sunday afternoon, according to al-Arabiya. Another Muslim Brotherhood office in Cairo was attacked Sunday evening by anti-Morsi protesters with Molotov cocktails.
In Cairo, crowds packed Tahrir, the birthplace of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak, waving Egyptian flags and chanting “Erhal!” (“Leave!”).
On the other side of the city, thousands of Islamists gathered in a show of support for Morsi outside the Rabia al-Adawiya Mosque near the Ittihadiya presidential palace, which the opposition planned to march on in the evening.
Near Ittihadiya palace, thousands of Islamists gathered in a show of support for Morsi outside the Rabia al-Adawiya Mosque. Their crowd also swelled as sun went down and summer temperatures became more tolerable, but they were vastly outnumbered by anti-Morsi protesters thronging main roads and thoroughfares.
In Nasr City, a district of the capital, hundreds of Morsi supporters brandishing shields and clubs and donning boxing headgear, hard hats, or motorcycle helmets could be seen preparing to face off with the president’s opponents. Some were wearing what appeared to be makeshift body armor.
There is a sense among opponents and supporters of Morsi that Sunday is a make-or-break day, hiking worries that the two camps will come to blows, even as each side insists it won’t start violence. Already at least seven people, including an American, have been killed in clashes the past week, mainly in Nile Delta cities and the coastal city of Alexandria.
The demonstrations are the culmination of polarization and instability that have been building since Morsi’s June 30, 2012, inauguration as Egypt’s first freely elected leader. The past year has seen multiple political crises, bouts of bloody clashes and a steadily worsening economy, with power outages, fuel shortages, rising prices and persistent lawlessness and crime.
In one camp are the president and his Islamist allies, including the Muslim Brotherhood and more hard-line groups. They say street demonstrations cannot be allowed to remove a leader who won a legitimate election, and they accuse Mubarak loyalists of being behind the campaign in a bid to return to power. They have argued that for the past year remnants of the old regime have been sabotaging Morsi’s attempts to deal with the nation’s woes and bring reforms.
Hard-liners among them have also given the confrontation a sharply religious tone, denouncing Morsi’s opponents as “enemies of God” and infidels.
On the other side is an array of secular and liberal Egyptians, moderate Muslims, Christians — and what the opposition says is a broad sector of the general public that has turned against the Islamists. They say the Islamists have negated their election mandate by trying to monopolize power, infusing government with their supporters, forcing through a constitution they largely wrote and giving religious extremists a free hand, all the while failing to manage the country.
The opposition believes that with sheer numbers in the street, it can pressure Morsi to step down — perhaps with the added weight of the powerful military if it signals the president should go.
“Today is the Brotherhood’s last day in power,” predicted Suliman Mohammed, a manager of a seafood company who was protesting at Tahrir, where crowds neared 100,000 by early afternoon.
“I came here today because Morsi did not accomplish any of the (2011) revolution’s goals. I don’t need anything for myself, but the needs of the poor were not met.”
Another Tahrir protester, 21-year-old Mohammed Abdel-Salam, said he came out because he wanted early presidential elections. “If he is so sure of his popularity why doesn’t he want to organize early elections? If he wins it, we will tell the opposition to shut up.”
Underlining the potential for deadly violence, a flurry of police reports on Sunday spoke of the seizure of firearms, explosives and even artillery shells in various locations of the country, including Alexandria and the outskirts of Cairo. Sunday afternoon, two offices belonging to the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party were attacked and ransacked Sunday by protesters in the city of Bani Suef, south of Cairo.
In an interview published Sunday in The Guardian, Morsi — who has three years left in his term — said he had no plans to meet the protesters’ demand for an early presidential election.
“If we changed someone in office who (was elected) according to constitutional legitimacy — well, there will (be) people or opponents opposing the new president too, and a week or a month later, they will ask him to step down,” Morsi told the British daily.
“There is no room for any talk against this constitutional legitimacy,” he said.
Traffic in Cairo’s normally clogged streets was light at midday as many residents chose to stay home for fear of violence or a wave of crime similar to the one that swept Egypt during the 18-day, anti-Mubarak uprising. Banks were closing early and most government departments were either closed for the day or were thinly staffed. Most schools and colleges are already closed for the summer holidays.
The opposition protests emerge from a petition campaign by a youth activist group known as Tamarod, Arabic for “Rebel.” For several months, the group has been collecting signatures on a call for Morsi to step down.
On Saturday the group announced it had more than 22 million signatures — proof, it claims, that a broad sector of the public no longer wants Morsi in office.
It was not possible to verify the claim. If true, it would be nearly twice the around 13 million people who voted for Morsi in last year’s presidential run-off election, which he won with around 52 percent of the vote. Tamarod organizers said they discarded about 100,000 signed forms because they were duplicates.
Morsi’s supporters have questioned the authenticity and validity of the signatures, but have produced no evidence of fraud.
Adding to his troubles, eight lawmakers from the country’s interim legislature announced their resignation Saturday to protest Morsi’s policies. The 270-seat chamber was elected early last year by less than 10 percent of Egypt’s eligible voters, and is dominated by Islamists.
A legal adviser to Morsi also announced his resignation late Saturday in protest at what he said was Morsi’s insult of judges in his latest speech on Wednesday.
A week ago, with the public sense of worry growing over the upcoming confrontation, Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi last week gave the president and his opponents a week to reach a compromise. He warned that the military would intervene to prevent the nation from entering a “dark tunnel.”
Army troops backed by armored vehicles were deployed Sunday in some of Cairo’s suburbs, with soldiers, some in combat gear, stood at traffic lights and major intersections. Army helicopters flew over Cairo on several occasions on Sunday, adding to the day’s sense of foreboding.
Morsi had called for national reconciliation talks in a Wednesday speech, but offered no specifics. Opposition leaders dismissed the call as cosmetics.
Asked by The Guardian whether he was confident that the army would not intervene if the country becomes ungovernable, Morsi replied, “Very.”
The Egyptian leader, however, said he did not know in advance of Sissi’s comments last week.

Boston Marathon Bomber Had Copy of Hamas Jihadist Text

By Daniel Greenfield

Considering that Obama officials are reportedly meeting with Hamas officials, here’s something else for them to chat about.
Other material that was found on Dzokhar Tsarnaev’s computer, according to the indictment, were several jihadist books, including “The Slicing Sword, Against the One Who Forms Allegiances With the Disbelievers and Takes Them as Supporters Instead of Allah, His Messenger and The Believers.”
Tsarnaev also downloaded a publication written by one of the founders of Hamas, Abdullah Azzam, called, “Defense of the Muslim Lands, the First Obligation After Imam.”
Azzam is known as “the Father of Global Jihad.” Azzam actively promoted jihad against all occupiers of Muslim lands.  In terrorism expert Steven Emerson‘s 1994 television documentary Terrorists Among Us: Jihad in America, Abdullah Azzam is shown urging a New York audience to wage jihad in America, and Azzam explains that jihad “means fighting only, fighting with the sword.”
So much for that internal spiritual struggle.
frontpagemag

Polish prosecutor: Swastika a symbol of prosperity

Two legal decisions have caused outrage among Jewish organizations and anti-fascists in Poland. In the first case, a district prosecutor in the northern city of Bialystok announced that he does not intend to open an investigation after swastikas were discovered painted on electrical transformers, despite complaints lodged by locals. The prosecutor explained his decision saying that in different parts of the world, for example in parts of Asia, the swastika is not necessarily associated with fascism or the Nazi movement. “Currently, in European countries and in the US, the swastika is associated almost exclusively with Adolf Hitler and Nazism, but in Asia it is widely used as a symbol for happiness and prosperity. In this case, it is difficult to see a painted swastika as a symbol promoting fascism,” the district prosecutor said in his statement. The prosecutor’s decision provoked outrage in the Jewish community in Poland and among local residents. Rafal Gawel, director of a theater in Bialystok who runs the campaign “Paint over evil,” in which activists remove anti-Semitic and racist graffiti painted on the city’s walls, called the prosecutor’s decision “bizarre.” Robert Tyszkiewicz, a deputy for the ruling Civic Platform party, also criticized the decision and called it “a joke.” After the publication of the district prosecutor’s decision caused a storm in Poland, the case was transferred to the Bialystok’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office for reconsideration. The Chief Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement that the decision not to open an investigation into the case was wrong. “The claim that the swastika is not always associated with Nazism is not true. Placing such symbols in public places should be definitely regarded as promoting Nazism and fascism,” said Tadeusz Marek, Bilaystok’s chief prosecutor. He announced that proceedings will start immediately. In another decision dubbed by many in Poland as “strange,” a court in the southern city of Chorzow released Piotr P., a local who walked around the city wearing a T-shirt with a swastika painted on it. The judge ruled that the behavior of the defendant was reprehensible, but it did not promote fascism. In April last year, Piotr P., a 30-year-old resident of Chorzow, was detained after walking around the city with a black shirt with a swastika painted on the front and a black eagle holding a wreath with a swastika, the official symbol of the Third Reich, on the back. He was detained while drinking beer with friends. Breathalyzer test showed that he had a blood alcohol level four times higher than allowed by Polish law. The prosecutor asked for a two-year jail sentence for promoting fascism. The defendant claimed that he “borrowed the shirt from his sister and wore it to see what reactions he would get.” The judge denied the prosecutor’s request and acquitted the man, saying that his behavior did not promote fascism.
jpost

Europe's Obsession with the Palestinians

By Richard Mather

In the past few days, two very high-profile figures have spoken out about the dangers of anti-Semitism. Both Prince Charles and Pope Francis have expressed concern that Judeophobia is a growing problem in Britain and Europe.

In a speech praising the outgoing British chief rabbi, Lord Sacks, the Prince of Wales warned that Britain was suffering from an “apparent rise in anti-Semitism, along with other poisonous and debilitating forms of intolerance.”

Meanwhile, Pope Francis has condemned anti-Semitism, calling it unchristian. “Because of our commons roots, a true Christian cannot be anti-Semitic,” he said at a meeting with representatives of the international Jewish community at the Vatican.

These comments come at a time when anti-Semitism is running high in Britain and Europe. A new report, conducted on behalf of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, found that 26% of Jews in Europe have suffered anti-Semitic harassment at least once in the past year, while 34% experienced harassment in the past five years.

According to the study, around half of all Jews living in France, Belgium and Hungary are considering emigrating because they no longer feel safe in their respective countries. And it seems a safe bet that many of these frightened people will seek sanctuary in Israel.

Making Aliyah is a testament to the success of Zionism, but it is also a sad indication that Europe has still not learnt to cherish its Jewish communities, even after the horrors of the Holocaust. But the decimation of European Jewish life will continue as long as the security situation remains precarious.

Over the past decade and a half, Europe’s Jews have witnessed a disturbing rise in the number of anti-Semitic attacks, often by Arabs who use their irrational hatred of Israel to justify their attacks. Assaults, murders, death threats, cemetery desecrations, firebombings, graffiti and even the bullying of Jewish children by their Muslim peers are all too frequent in contemporary Europe.

The rise in anti-Semitism in Europe has received little attention or sympathy because much of the abuse is carried out by Muslims under the protection of liberals who accuse critics of Islamophobia or racism. Far too often, universities, political institutions, charities, churches and media outlets provide a platform for radical Muslims and other anti-Semites to disseminate their hatred of Israel and Jews.

And there are many people – politicians among them – who are simply afraid to condemn Islamic violence because of fear of retribution. Left-wing officials in Bulgaria, for instance, have been reluctant to blacklist Hizbullah following the infamous bus bombing because of concerns that condemning the Shia militants will lead to a terrorist backlash.

The driving force behind contemporary anti-Semitism is the unhealthy obsession with the Palestinian Arabs. This fixation usually involves prejudicial, stupid and sometimes vitriolic condemnation of the Jewish state, with absurd characterizations of Israel as an apartheid nation that tortures Palestinian Arab children. This is little different from accusing Jews of poisoning wells or using the blood of Christian children to make Passover bread.

I suspect that Prince Charles and Pope Francis are both aware of the link between anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing but are reluctant to become entangled in a political row concerning Israel and the Palestinians. But perhaps they ought to say something because it is an inescapable fact that Palestinianism, which seeks to divorce the Jewish people from the land of Israel, is the driving force behind contemporary anti-Semitism.

Indeed, it is Europe’s Jews who are bearing the brunt of the disproportionate focus on the Palestinian Arab issue. The majority of Jews identity with the State of Israel, so they must be horrified when the Church of Scotland denies the biblical injunction that Israel was promised to the Hebrews, or when university campuses hold their annual hatefest known as Apartheid Week, or when The Sunday Times prints a cartoon depicting Binyamin Netanyahu building a wall using what appears to be the blood of Arabs.

What is essentially a dispute over a tiny piece of land in the Middle East has become a huge issue at the top of the global agenda. I suspect that Israelophobes – whether they are jihadists, far-right conspiracy theorists or Presbyterians – have deliberately turned the Israeli-Arab Palestinian impasse into a universal problem in order to justify their conflict with Jews. In any other circumstance you would be hard pressed to find a situation in which Islamists, neo-Nazis, socialists, liberals, radical Islamists and Quakers agree on anything. But when it comes to Israel and “the Jews,” all these factions share the same demented prejudice. And it is this prejudice which is harming Jewish communities in Manchester, Malmo, Toulouse and elsewhere.

And isn’t it amazing how many people say the most outrageous things about Israel and the Jews but deny they are anti-Semitic. This was a behavior something observed by British writer George Orwell, who noted that anti-Semites rebuff the accusation of anti-Semitism because deep down they know that it is “an irrational thing.”

Orwell also observed that anti-Semites are completely immune to facts and statistics. I could mention the fact that the 1920 San Remo Conference and the 1922 Mandate of Palestine endorse the creation of a Jewish homeland in Judea and Samaria (the 'West Bank'). I could point out that Israeli Arabs have the vote and represent their constituents in the Knesset. I could present a dazzling assortment of photographs of Gaza’s five-star hotel, bustling markets, luxury shopping mall and beautiful beaches, as well as jeeps and refrigerators supplied by Israel. But anti-Semites would still insist that Gaza is a prison camp.

But as Orwell said, “If you dislike somebody, you dislike him and there is an end of it: your feelings are not made any better by a recital of his virtues.”

I think Orwell makes an interesting point. Anti-Semitism and the hatred of Israel is an emotional or neurotic condition in which the anti-Semite loses contact with reality and cannot be swayed by logic or facts. Their emotional attachment to hating Jews and Israel must be maintained at all costs, otherwise their worldview will collapse. As the Swiss psychotherapist Carl Jung noted, “I have frequently seen people become neurotic when they content themselves with inadequate or wrong answers to the questions of life.”

That is why I am starting to believe that the most vocal critics of Israel do not want an end to the Israeli-Palestinian struggle. Demonizing Israel and focusing obsessively on the Palestinian Arab issue (without ever solving it) is politically and emotionally useful to anti-Semites who need the conflict to endure in order to maintain their own irrational hatred of Jews, Judaism and all things Israeli.

And as long as sensible people in the corridors of power in Westminster and Brussels continue to play into the hands of these obsessional and irrational anti-Semites, the security of Jews will become increasingly perilous and many will leave Europe for the safety of Israel or the US.

It would be unforgivable if Hitler’s dream of a Judenfrei Europe belatedly comes true because of the hysterical actions of Palestinianists and the weakness of politicians.
israelnationalnews

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Real Apartheid: Italian Jew Banned from PA Delegation

By Giulio Meotti

The concept of removing a religious or ethnic community from a certain region brings back the dark memories of World War II, yet has become mainstream when it is applied to a part of the land of Israel.
A recent official visit to Ramallah, the "capital" of the Palestinian Authority, by the official delegation of the Italian city of Turin, and led by leftist mayor Piero Fassino, could not include the Vice President of the Jewish Community, Emanuel Segre Amar.
Why? Because he is a JEW. Yes, because he is a JEW.
Why did the Italian institutions and their representatives accept the Arab "judenrein" demand, as the Nazis called entities cleared of Jews?
Emanuel is the son of Sion Segre Amar, a famous figure of the Jewish community of Turin in the first years of the XX century, a brave Zionist pioneer who was sentenced to prison by a Fascist court and thrown into jail along with Leone Ginzburg.
How shameful that his son has not been allowed to set foot in the "occupied territories". Yes,  occupied, but by despicable Islamists and anti-Semites.
Segre Amar didn't even get to set foot in the PA part of Hevron, the cradle of Judaism and the Jewish people.
In December 2010, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said it clearly: “I will never allow a single Israeli to live among us on Palestinian land.”
That is why today you can't find a single Jew in Tulkarem, Nablus, Jenin, Ramallah or Gaza. This is the only apartheid, the real apartheid, and it is supported by Barack Obama, the European beaurocrats, the Western multiculturalists, the Christian institutions and - lest we forget - the liberal Jews.
Emanuel Segre Amar delivered a letter to Mahmoud Abbas. Here it is below.

"Jerusalem, 24 Sivan 5773, June 2, 2013
Mr. Mahmoud Abbas,
I was born in 1944 in Jerusalem, where my parents took refuge to escape the deportation that threatened all Jews because of the German occupation of Italy. For political reasons with which I disagree, I can not meet you during our visit, so I send you this letter through the Mayor of Turin, Piero Fassino...
Peace can only be achieved in the Middle East with the recognition of Israel as the national home of the Jewish people, as already agreed by the Conference of San Remo 1920; by adding the State of Israel in all the maps used in schools in the Islamic world, especially in Palestinian schools; by the promotion of interaction and collaboration between scientists, scholars, artists and athletes; by the abandonment of the de-legitimization of Israel at the United Nations; by the outlawing of terrorist groups aimed to the killing of Israelis and destruction of Israel; by the end of economic boycotts against Israel.
Mr. President, the Israeli soldiers do not use children as shields when theere is a fire exchange with terrorists, Israeli schools and summer camps do not brainwash students to carry on violent actions against civilians, and religious leaders of Israel don't praise children who commit terrorist acts.
I think the way in which the Palestinian Authority educates their children and their society is a key indicator of its true intentions. Despite all this, I do not want to lose hope that you will [decide to] work hard to build a true culture of durable peace.
Cordially, Emanuel Segre Amar - Vice President of the Jewish Community of Turin".

This shocking Italian story reveals two key elements downplayed by the Western media-
That the Palestinian Arab Authority, Israel's "peace partner", is the first "state" to officially prohibit Jews since Nazi Germany.
And that the Western political mainstream accepts and condones this racism, this insistence on a Judenrein area of the Holy Land - the dream of Adolf Hitler come true at last.
No, sorry Herr Hitler. Not even your Nazi Germany in the 1930s knew this level of anti-Jewish pathology.
israelnationalnews

Erdogan’s “Interest-rate Lobby” and Other Stories

By  Andrew Stuttaford

So what have those scamps from Turkey’s “mildly Islamist” AK (the Economist) been talking about lately?
Here (reported in Hurriyet) is President Abdullah Gül, an individual generally seen as more emollient than thuggish Prime Minister Erdogan:
Islam and migrants have been a reality in Europe for centuries. As long as the continent of Europe doesn’t approach segments which are different from the majority with tolerance, particularly in regards to religion, an occurrence of new inquisitions and Holocausts, as well as incidents evoking Srebrenica, are probable.
Perfection it’s not, but Europe has, of course, handled its growing Muslim minority with a great deal of tolerance. Talk of new Holocausts is ludicrous. What Gül wants is deference, something else altogether.
And then there’s this (via Bloomberg):
The head of Turkey’s Capital Markets Board confirmed June 26 that his staff had begun an investigation into stock-market volatility during the protests. According to traders in Istanbul, the demands to hand over all e-mail traffic with foreigners, among other records, are unprecedented.
The board’s assurances that such investigations are routine might be easier to accept if Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan hadn’t promised to “choke” those he believes to have engineered the protests in order to cause a stock-market collapse. He has accused some companies of abetting “terrorism” and claimed that an ill-defined “interest-rate lobby,” committed to raising Turkish borrowing costs for profit, is part of the conspiracy.
Ah, “the interest-rate lobby”…
In recent days, Erdogan has threatened retribution against some of the country’s biggest banks and industrial conglomerates, leading to a steep fall in their share prices. He repeatedly said that Koc Holding AS, an industrial empire owned by a secularist family against which Erdogan bears deep grudges, “cooperated with terror” and “will have to account for it.” The alleged crime was opening the doors of one of the company’s hotels to protesters as they fled police.
Ugly though all this is, the fact remains that, despite a dip from previous highs, Erdogan is enjoying approval ratings of over 50 percent and his AK party is still the country’s most popular. That’s a matter for Turks to decide for themselves, of course, but, if, as Barack Obama, David Cameron and others would like, Turkey is admitted to the EU, the same electorate that so appreciates Erdogan will, thanks to its numbers, have a not insignificant influence on decisions that affect all EU citizens.
That does not strike me as a good idea.
nationalreview

Military Takeover Expected as Millions Riot in Egypt

By Yori Yanover

On the eve of June 30th, President Mohamed Morsi’s one-year’s anniversary in office, millions are expected to storm the streets of Egypt’s cities, and after a weekend that saw at least 8 killed, including a Jewish-American student, and with President Morsi and his family hauled out of the presidential palace into a protective compound – Al Ahram is saying that all eyes are turned to the Army to take matters into its hands, at least temporarily.

The army has moved troops near Egypt’s major cities, to be in a position to offer support to the police in putting down violence.

The Tamarod (‘Rebel’), a signature drive calling on President Mohamed Morsi to step down, claims to have gathered more than 22 million signatures.

Egypt is anticipating its biggest wave of protests since the January 25 Revolution on Sunday, with the demonstrators this time calling for the Muslim Brotherhood’s President Morsi to step down and for early presidential elections. The liberal and leftist groups are preparing for a face-off with the president.

Islamist forces are staging a sit-in—since Friday—at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo’s Nasr City, in support of Morsi. They held a similar rally last week, which numbered in the hundreds of thousands.

Fierce clashes broke out in Alexandria, Egypt’s second largest city, often ending in clashes between the president’s supporters and opponents.

Muslim Brotherhood offices across Egypt have been set on fire. The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political arm of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, strongly condemned attacks.

“Our members who were present in our provincial offices were committed to total peacefulness when they were abruptly attacked with guns, swords and petrol bombs by [Mubarak's defunct National Democratic Party] thugs as well as other infiltrators who are given political cover by [opposition umbrella] the National Salvation Front and [anti-Morsi signature drive] Rebel campaign,” read a statement released by the party Friday night.

Violent clashes erupted between Morsi supporters and opponents Friday afternoon in the Alexandria district of Sidi Gaber. The Egyptian Ministry of Health reported two dead. The FJP’s office was set on fire.

Also on Friday, tens of thousands of anti-Morsi protesters gathered in several parts of Cairo and marched to Tahrir Square – the flashpoint of Egypt’s revolution.

As the entire country is about to be yanked through violence the likes of which it hasn’t seen in over a year, only the army is able to restore law and order.

In a speech Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi gave last Sunday, he signaled that the army could step forward again to play a role in the political process at this critical juncture. “With this speech, General El-Sisi has presented himself as an alternative for the near future,” Former deputy chief of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service (GIS) General Hossam Kheirallah told Al Ahram. “Without going overboard in praise, his speech reflects many virtues in his character. He is the only person who succeeded in bringing his institution [the army] back from the brink of disaster in a state in which virtually everything else had collapsed within the space of a year.”

“The army, at present, no longer feels confident that the current political entities are capable of realizing the ambitions of the people and that the army will have to step in sooner or later,” El-Sisi said in his speech.

It is unknown just how well armed the demonstrators are going to be on Sunday. So far, there have been reports of weapons getting into the hands of civilians, so much so that Egypt’s Dar Al-Ifta, the main authority that issues Islamic fatwas (religious edicts), said on Saturday that carrying weapons during demonstrations is religiously wrong because it runs the risk of killing, which is punishable by God.
jewishpress

Three German aid workers missing in Syria

Three German aid workers have been missing in Syria for 45 days were likely kidnapped, their employer said Saturday. Gruenhelme e.V. said Bernd Blechschmidt, Ziad Nouri and Simon S., whose last name wasn’t provided, were taken by unknown persons from the town of Harem in Idlib district on May 14. The group’s founder, Rupert Neudeck, said a fourth staff member managed to avoid capture and is safe. The kidnapping was kept secret for more than a month so as not to jeopardize the men’s safety but all efforts to determine who they are being held by were unsuccessful, he said. “We’re totally in the dark,” Neudeck told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “If the kidnappers wanted a ransom we would have expected to be contacted by now.” German news website Spiegel Online reported that the aid group has been working in northern Syria since September 2012. The region has seen fierce fighting been government troops and rebels seeking to topple the regime of President Bashar Assad. Gruenhelme e.V., whose name means ‘Green Helmets’ in German, specializes in reconstructing schools and medical facilities in crisis regions. It has previously sent staff to work in Iraq, Afghanistan and Indonesia. The German Foreign Ministry didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
timesofisrael

FEMEN held a topless rally in the main mosque in Stockholm

Led by the Egyptian activist of FEMEN Alia Al Mahdi, three sextremists of the movement held a topless rally in the main mosque in Stockholm. Egyptian, Tunisian and Swedish sextremists of FEMEN symbolically rid of the black hijabs, in the heart of a place of worship.
Sextremists welcomed this gesture antiislamist great Egyptian revolution, the beginning of which is scheduled for June 30.
FEMEN calls upon the Egyptian women to take an active part in the overthrow of Islamism revenge for centuries of humiliation and slavery.
"I believe that the Egyptian women would rather die than allow the regime Mursi to clothe them in a light-proof bag of Islamism" - said sextremist of FEMEN, famous Egyptian antiislamist dissident Alia El Mahdi.
The fire of revolution must burn!

Dagger and Swastika: Honoring Nazis: The Bosnian Muslim Government Named an Elementary School After a Nazi SS Officer

Imam in Heinrich Himmler’s Waffen SS

By Carl Savich
One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter. One person’s war criminal is another person’s war hero. Nothing exemplifies this better than the case of Husein Efendi Dzozo. Dzozo was a high ranking Bosnian Muslim Hauptsturmfuehrer and imam in the Waffen SS. He was not a rank and file member forcefully conscripted into the Waffen SS. He joined voluntarily and was an ideologue and instructor in the Waffen SS division that was formed made up of Bosnian Muslim troops. He advocated and espoused Nazi ideology. He was tried and convicted of war crimes and of collaboration with the Nazis after the war by the Yugoslav Communist government and served five years in prison. How did this hardcore Nazi ideologue and avowed anti-Semite get a school named after him in Bosnia?
More...

World War Z With Brad Pitt Strikes a Nerve With Pro-Palestinians

JNS.org - Pro-Palestinian viewers are accusing Brad Pitt’s apocalyptic movie “World War Z” of pro-Israel bias by depicting Israel as the one of the few countries in the world not immediately destroyed by zombies.
The viewers point to one scene showing a horde of zombies slowed by an enormous wall built around Israel, which they say resembles the security fence separating Israel from the West Bank. “In World War Z, Israel’s apartheid wall apparently helps keep out a massive horde of zombies… not cool,” one Twitter user posted, according to Israel National News.
Other viewers, however, pointed out that Israel’s real security fence is intended to prevent Palestinian terrorists from entering Israel.
Depending on one’s interpretation of “World War Z,” the wall in the movie may actually function as a unifying force rather than a source of division. In the movie, both Jews and Muslims try to escape the zombies behind the wall.
“In the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a wall is a heavily fraught symbol. But here it turns into an instrument of… peace?” arts and entertainment writer Steven Zeitchik wrote on “World War Z” for the Los Angeles Times.
algemeiner

US citizen killed in Egypt identified as Jewish college student

One of the two people killed in Egypt on Friday during clashes between supporters and opponents of the country’s Islamist president is a US citizen identified Saturday as Jewish 21-year-old Kenyon College student Andrew Driscoll Pochter, of Chevy Chase, Maryland. Originally reported to have been an employee of the American cultural center in Alexandria, Pochter was later identified as an intern at AMIDEAST, a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting education in the Middle East and North Africa. 85 people were injured in the clashes. “Our beloved 21-year-old son and brother Andrew Driscoll Pochter went to Alexandria for the summer, to teach English to 7 and 8 year old Egyptian children and to improve his Arabic. He was looking forward to returning to Kenyon College for his junior year and to spending his spring semester in Jordan,” Pochter’s parents told CNN. “As we understand it, he was witnessing the protest as a bystander and was stabbed by a protester. He went to Egypt because he cared profoundly about the Middle East, and he planned to live and work there in the pursuit of peace and understanding. Andrew was a wonderful young man looking for new experiences in the world and finding ways to share his talents while he learned. Andrew cared deeply about his family and his friends. We won’t have any further comment and ask for privacy now at this difficult time for the family.” Marcela Colmenares, a Venezuelan scholar at Kenyon College who was a friend of Pochter’s, paid tribute to him in her blog Saturday, saying he exemplified the “difference between a talker and a doer.” Colmenares related her first meeting with Pochter in the college library, where they became caught up in a political argument and discovered their mutual interest in the Middle East. “The last time we spoke, he was already in Egypt and we agreed to eat a falafel in August, when he would come back to Maryland. After a long discussion, he planned to prove that — against my predictions — the falafels in Adams Morgan were better than those in Berlin,” wrote Colmenares. “But he is never going to come back, because he was killed in a protest in Alexandria, where he was — according to the news — teaching English during the summer. In fact, Andrew was doing much more than teaching English, he was absorbing every bit of the Egyptian culture, he was learning about the Middle East, and he was doing what so many people avoid — following his passion,” she wrote. In 2011, Pochter wrote an article for Al Arabiya on the effects of the Arab Spring on Moroccan society. He was an active member of a group of Kenyon students interested in the Middle East, was involved in Middle East activism on campus and took part in a forum Colmenares had created for students willing to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and collaborate to organize events. “I don’t know the details about his death, and I don’t want to know them. But I know that it was provoked by an unreasonable amount of hate, a hate that does not have owners and that will never have a proper explanation –because it is irrational. This hate managed to kill an American who genuinely cared about the Middle East, and who would have had an extremely positive impact on the region. Violence is increasing in Egypt, especially towards Americans,” Colmenares lamented. Late Friday, Alexandria security chief Gen. Amin Ezz Eddin told Al-Jazeera TV that an American was killed in Sidi Gabr Square while photographing the battle. The US State Department later confirmed the death, in a statement from Patrick Ventrell, a press office director. “We are providing appropriate consular assistance from our Embassy in Cairo and our Bureau of Consular Affairs at the State Department,” he said. A medical official said the American died of gunshot wounds at a hospital. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. Tens of thousands of backers and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi held competing rallies in Cairo Friday and new clashes erupted between the two sides in the country’s second largest city, Alexandria, in a prelude to massive nationwide protests planned by the opposition this weekend demanding Morsi’s removal. The Muslim Brotherhood’s offices in three Egyptian governorates were stormed by opposition protesters and the Freedom and Justice Party headquarters in Alexandria were torched, Ahram Online reported Friday. “Egypt is in a free fall,” commented Channel 2′s Arab affairs analyst Ehud Ya’ari Friday evening. “It’s very sad to see. Millions of Morsi opponents are expected [to demonstrate] on Sunday and his rule is certainly under threat. But he is determined not to step down like [ousted president Hosni] Mubarak did,” said Ya’ari. “We could be heading for a stalemate. For the Egyptian army to take over temporarily during a transition, as some in the opposition are hoping, there needs to be a long process,” he added. For the past several days, Morsi’s opponents and members of his Muslim Brotherhood have battled it out in the streets of several cities in the Nile Delta, in violence that has left at least five dead since Wednesday. Many fear the clashes are a sign of more widespread and bloodier battles to come on Sunday, the anniversary of Morsi’s inauguration, when the opposition says it will bring millions into the streets around the country. “We must be alert lest we slide into a civil war that does not differentiate between supporters and opponents,” warned Sheik Hassan al-Shafie, a senior cleric at Al-Azhar, the country’s most eminent Muslim religious institution. The Cairo International Airport was flooded with departures, in an exodus airport officials called unprecedented. They said all flights departing Friday to Europe, the United States, and the Gulf, were fully booked with no vacant seats. Many of those leaving were families of Egyptian officials and businessmen and those of foreign and Arab League diplomats — as well as many Egyptian Christians, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the press. In the Mediterranean city of Alexandria on Friday, scuffles erupted between Morsi’s supporters and opponents, near the local headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood. The fighting began when thousands of anti-Morsi protesters marched toward the Brotherhood headquarters, where up to a 1,000 supporters of the president were deployed, protecting the building. Someone on the Islamist side opened fire with birdshot on the marchers and the two sides began to scuffle, according to an Associated Press cameraman at the scene. Nine people were wounded by birdshot, Deputy Health Minister Mohammed al-Sharkawi told AP. Security forces fired tear gas at the Brotherhood supporters, but when the two sides continued battling, they withdrew. Each side insists it is and will remain peaceful on Sunday — and each has blamed the other for the violence so far. Tamarod, the activist group whose anti-Morsi petition campaign evolved into Sunday’s planned protest, said in a statement it was opposed “to any attack against anybody, whatever the disagreement with this person was,” and accused the Brotherhood of sparking violence to scare people from participating Sunday. Tamarod says it has collected nearly 20 million signatures in the country of 90 million demanding Morsi step down. The Brotherhood says the five killed in the Delta clashes were its members. Some people “think they can topple a democratically elected president by killing his support groups,” Gehad el-Haddad, a Brotherhood spokesman, wrote on his Twitter account. In Cairo, thousands of Morsi backers filled the street outside the Rabia el-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo, not far from the presidential palace. The palace — one of the sites where the opposition plans to hold rallies Sunday — has been surrounded by concrete walls. In his Friday prayer sermon, the cleric of Rabia el-Adawiya warned that if Morsi is ousted “there will be no president for the country” and Egypt will descend into “opposition hell.” Outside in the street, the Islamists chanted religious slogans. “It is for God, not for position or power,” they shouted. “Raise your voice strong, Egyptian: Islamic Shariah.” Many wore green headbands with the slogans of the Muslim Brotherhood. Across the city, thousands of Morsi opponents massed in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square, shouting for the president to “leave, leave.” Violence erupted in several parts of the Delta, north of Cairo. At least six people were injured when an anti-Morsi march was attacked by the president’s supporters in the city of Samanod, according to a security official. Attackers fired gunshots and threw acid at the protesters as they passed the house of a local Brotherhood leader, the official said. In the Delta city of Tanta, four unidentified men believed to be Morsi supporters tried to attack a mosque preacher during his sermon, in which he called on worshippers to stand with Al-Azhar’s calls to avoid bloodshed. Hundreds of protesters in the nearby city of Bassioun hurled stones at the local headquarters of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party. They tore down the party’s sign and crushed it, security officials said. Security officials say three people have died in the past three days in Nile Delta city of Mansoura, along with two others in the nearby province of Sharqiya. In Sharqiya on Thursday, an Islamist march encountered an anti-Morsi march, leading to scuffles that evolved into full-fledged battles, the officials said. The two sides hurled stones at each other and fired gunshots, and at least 70 were injured.
timesofisrael

Friday, June 28, 2013

Islam, Rape and Theology

By Bruce Bawer

Five days before 9/11, a famous Norwegian social anthropologist (and Norway may well be the only nation on Earth where there is such a thing as a famous social anthropologist) instructed her countrywomen that the way to bring down the high number of rapes – most of which, even way back then, were already being committed by “non-Western immigrants” – was for them to stop dressing in a manner that Muslim men found provocative. Norway, she lectured, was steadily becoming “a multicultural society,” and Norwegian women, if they didn’t want to wind up being brutally ravished in an alleyway by some Pakistani gang, should choose their wardrobes appropriately. Period.
That anthropologist, whose name is Unni Wikan, didn’t score any points that day for heroically championing women’s equality, but she was, at least, being honest. The rise in rapes in Norway – as throughout Western Europe – was almost entirely a product of Islamic immigration. That was a fact she didn’t attempt to disguise.
Then, however, came 9/11. And in the years since, there’s been a desperate effort by bien pensant types throughout Europe to deny that the ever-increasing incidence of rape on the continent has anything whatsoever to do with Islam. Some try to dismiss or explain away the numbers entirely; others grudgingly acknowledge them, while fiercely denying that there’s any Islamic connection at all; some, while admitting that a disproportionate number of rapists are immigrants, attempt to blame the problem on ethnic European racism, the idea being that immigrants grow so frustrated over their mistreatment that they resort to rape.
All of which is absurd to anyone who’s remotely aware of Islam teachings about sex and of the high incidence of rape in Muslim societies that is a direct consequence of those teachings. We’re talking about a religion that treats the male sex drive as a virtually holy phenomenon, and that allows men to have multiple marriages and divorce at will, even as it demands that females deny themselves even the most innocuous sorts of human contact in the name of preserving family honor – and that punishes a single infraction with death. In the view of Islam, when a man rapes an immodestly dressed woman, the rape isn’t his fault but hers; and when a Muslim rapes an infidel in the “House of War,” it’s recognized as a form of jihad. As forgiving as Islam is of virtually every imaginable heterosexual act that might be committed by a Muslim male, it’s equally unforgiving of a Muslim woman who happens to be caught alone, doing nothing whatsoever, with a male who’s unrelated to her, or who, for that matter, commits the inexcusable sin of being raped.
The only thing worse than being raped, moreover, is tattling about it. A couple of years ago, a Pakistani woman, Rooshanie Ejaz, contributed several very frank essays on rape in Muslim countries to the website of Norway’s Human Rights Service. Noting in a March 2011 piece that “sexual abuse is actively hidden in Pakistani society, and in Muslim society generally,” she said that “a large percentage of the people I have grown up with have experienced some form of it….Whether the act is committed by a cousin, uncle, house servant, or stranger, the victim is likely to be subjected to further abuse and emotional torment if she opens her mouth about it.”
One distinctive aspect of Islamic theology is its prescription of rape as a punishment – a punishment usually imposed upon some innocent female to avenge a crime committed by a male relative. In another 2011 piece, Ejaz cited a Pakistani village court’s recent decision in the case of a young man who’d been “seen with a young girl from a tribe superior to his”: it ordered several of the girl’s male relatives to gang-rape the guilty party’s sister, Mukhataran – who afterwards (as if the gang-bang itself weren’t enough) “was paraded nude” through the village. Sharia justice of this sort is commonplace in the Muslim world; the only thing special in this instance was that Mukhataran complained to the authorities and argued her case all the way up to the Pakistani Supreme Court – which, in the end, freed five of the six defendants, even as a chorus of prominent media figures and government leaders expressed sympathy for the rapists and dragged Mukhataran’s name through the mud.
Pakistan did pass a Women’s Protection Law in 2006 that allowed women to file rape charges even without the four male witnesses that sharia law requires. Before the law came along, 80% of Pakistani rape victims who dared to go to the cops ended up behind bars for adultery while their assailants remained free. Yet the law was a feeble instrument in a country drenched with Islam; and in late May, the Council of Islamic Ideology, an official body whose job it is to rule on the theological correctness of Pakistani legislation, announced that “DNA tests are not admissible as the main evidence in rape cases” and that, indeed, lacking those four male witnesses, you’re better off keeping quiet.
This rule doesn’t just apply to Pakistan, of course. In Afghanistan, where freedom from Taliban rule cost the U.S. and its allies thousands of lives and gazillions of dollars, the number of rape victims being sent to prison is actually on the rise. In April, the Daily Mail ran a harrowing account of a women’s prison in Kabul that’s full of inmates being punished for crimes of which they were the victims. (According to women’s-rights activists, “life for women is almost the same” in Afghanistan as under the Taliban.) Then there’s Iran, where, according to a 2010 Guardian article, the government uses “rape and the threat of rape as weapons against its opponents.” A 2009 piece in the Huffington Post quoted a young Iranian woman’s observation that rape victims in her country routinely keep silent about their victimization because “a young woman who has been raped can never be touched again.”
What about Syria? An April headline in the Atlantic didn’t pull punches: “Syria Has a Massive Rape Crisis.” A Syrian psychologist who works with rape victims said that she always tells families rape is “a way to break the family” and that she urges them, “Don’t let this break you – this is what they’re trying to do.” (To which the women respond: “Tell that to our husbands.”) A Toronto Star piece acknowledged that rape victims in Syria risk “being cast out or even killed to protect the family’s honour.” – yet managed, as so many of these reports in the Western media do, to omit entirely the words “Muslim” and “Islam.”
In wartime, Islam actively encourages the use of rape as a weapon and/or reward for the soldiers of Allah. On April 3, the Washington Times reported that Salafi Sheikh Yasir al-Ajlawni had issued a fatwa permitting Muslims who are fighting Assad’s regime to “capture and have sex with” non-Sunni women. Raymond Ibrahim observed the next day at Front Page that Aljawni wasn’t “the first cleric to legitimize the rape of infidel women in recent times”: a top Saudi preacher had recently green-lighted the gang-rape of captives, and an Egyptian imam had explained how to turn captured infidels into sex slaves. Yes, rape is almost invariably a side effect of war; but rape instigated by clergy and carried out in the name of God is an Islamic specialty.
In Libya, the number of rapes rose during its revolution – and has kept rising ever since. “Gaddafi used rape as a weapon,” one Libyan women’s-rights activist told the Guardian this month. “It was organized and systematic.” While rape victims aren’t imprisoned quite as often now as under Gaddafi, “there are still strong disincentives against speaking out, making it hard for victims to access help or to seek justice.” In March, two Pakistani-British women – who’d just participated in the latest convoy seeking to break Israel’s Gaza blockade – were gang-raped in Benghazi by a pack of Libyan soldiers.
So it goes. And yet when the growing incidence of rape in an increasingly Muslim Europe is discussed by politicians, academics, and mainstream journalists, such data are almost never adduced, the theoligical and cultural background to these phenomena almost never mentioned. In the last year or two I’ve written here about Oslo, where everyone found guilty of rape assault between 2006 and 2010 was “non-Western” (i.e. Muslim), and Sweden, with Europe’s second-highest percentage of Muslims and its highest rape figures; I’ve covered Britain‘s wave of Muslim “sex grooming” and Laurent Obertone’s documentation of Muslim rape in France.
All these developments have, of course, a common root – which it’s impossible to understand without a basic awareness of Islamic teachings about sex, gender roles, jihad, and so on. It’s all there, in the Koran, the fatwas, the sermons and public statements by those European imams who aren’t pretending to be building bridges and preaching love. No one who’s reasonably well acquainted with Islamic belief and practice should be surprised in the slightest by Europe’s rape epidemic. Unni Wikan (though her prescribed response to it was nothing but multicultural mush) saw it all quite clearly twelve years ago; Europe’s elites, however, persist in their refusal to recognize this epidemic as part of their continent’s transformation into a Muslim province. And so the statistics continue to soar.
frontpagemag

Blogger Spearheads Petition Urging Human Rights Groups to Condemn Anti-Semitic TV Show

By Zach Pontz

A petition urging human rights groups to condemn an anti-Semitic mini-series due to air throughout the Arab world in July is gathering momentum, with over 1200 people from 47 countries having signed it thus far.
The petition, spearheaded by the anonymous pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon, was hand delivered to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International earlier this week.
The mini-series “Khaybar” is set to be broadcast throughout the Arab world this summer and “the writer and director of the series makes no secret of the fact that the point of the series is to demonize Jews from the time of Moses to today,” Elder of Ziyon wrote in a press release. “In other words,” the release continues,  “the series is meant to incite Arabs to hate Jews.”
“The show will be on when most Egyptian families are staying at home for Ramadan doing nothing but watching TV,” Mina Rezkalla, a U.S.-based Egyptian activist told The Wall Street Journal about the show’s reach in one of the Arab countries in which it will air, Egypt. “The goal is completely outward anti-Semitism.”
“The petition we delivered includes a call for HRW and Amnesty to condemn Khaybar before it airs. Moreover, we demand that the organizations clearly define incitement and hate speech, and explain why they are not in the forefront of the battle against Arab antisemitism,” Elder of Ziyon told The Algemeiner in an email. “It is outrageous that human rights organizations, who have said that antisemitism is a human rights issue, cannot acknowledge the epicenter of 21st century antisemitism – the Arab and Muslim world.”
“Khaybar is hardly the worst example of Arab antisemitism. Just a couple of weeks ago I found a Jordanian newspaper columnist calling on Arabs to ‘kill the Jews everywhere.’ But Khaybar will be seen by far more Arabs than any newspaper article, book or speech. It is mass incitement and it is unacceptable that it is being ignored by human rights organizations,” he added.
algemeiner

Squandering EU is left red-faced over kid's colouring book branded 'pro-Europe propaganda'

A children's colouring book produced at huge cost by the EU was David ­Cameron’s weapon yesterday to crank up pressure on Brussels to stop squandering vast sums.The Prime Minister armed himself with a copy of the booklet to point out to European leaders that pointless projects was not the way to rein in costs. His attack came during a summit in Brussels to finalise the EU’s £780billion budget for the next seven years. Despite austerity cuts across Europe, it emerged that Brussels bureaucrats have secured a multi-million pound increase in their pension pots. Euro MPs have agreed to hike up spending on gold-plated pensions for thousands of EU civil servants. The fund will soar by around £100million next year to a colossal £1.28billion. EU foreign affairs supremo Baroness Ashton will also reap a large increase for her department under the deal. Her controversial European External Action Service diplomatic corps will rake in £447million in 2014, up from £408million this year. Bureaucrats also found the money to distribute 15,000 copies of the children’s book, described by critics as an attempt to brainwash youngsters with pro-EU propaganda, across member countries. It contains a cringeworthy selection of colouring exercises and rosy-spectacled insights into the life of MEPs. One picture depicts MEPs arriving at the end of a working day to pocket a tax-free £258 allowance. The booklet also describes how each and every one of the 754 MEP gets an annual staffing allowance worth around £220,000, at a cost to taxpayers of £160million a year. Laughably, the book also explains how MEPs eat vegetables. The booklet adds to concerns highlighted by the Daily Express about educational materials produced for schools by the European Commission that critics claim are a bid to make children feel ­positive about the EU. Mr Cameron’s unusually graphic tactics came after the European Parliament dropped its resistance to the seven-year EU budget agreed in February. Thanks to the PM’s tough negotiation, it is the first real terms cut in the budget. Martin Callanan MEP, the leader of the European Conservatives, said: “This is an historic cut but we still have enormous amounts of fat that can be trimmed. Administration is normally the first thing to be cut in any government’s budget. Only in the EU would it increase at a time of belt-tightening.” Ukip leader Nigel Farage said: “It is still a rotten deal for Britain. The British taxpayer has nothing to celebrate as £53million will still be leaving each day bound for Brussels. Why should we be paying a penny piece to this financially incontinent EU?”
express

Turkey’s Islamist Regime Explaining Everything in Terms of Vast Global Conspiracy

By Daniel Greenfield

It can’t be that large numbers of educated young people are angry at being ground under by an Islamist dictatorship. That would look like a Turkish Spring. Instead it’s a vast conspiracy by England, the Internet Lobby and the Jews.
The goal of the Islamist AKP regime is to give as much publicity as possible to its international conspiracy theories in order to discredit the protesters. (The conspiracy theories are a joke because the same international groups and governments that backed the overthrow of Mubarak, support Erdogan, his crony capitalism and the Islamization of Turkey.)
But the Mayor of Ankara deserves a special award for beclowing himself above and beyond the call of duty.
The drama began Sunday when Ibrahim Melih Gokcek, the man who has been mayor of Turkey’s capital for more than a decade, accused a reporter from the BBC’s Turkish service of being a foreign agent.
“Led by England, they are trying to collapse our economy via agents hired, both nationally and internationally. They are dreaming for Turkey to be the ‘Sick man of Europe’ once again. Here is a concrete proof.”
Turkey isn’t just the sick man of Europe. It’s the Typhoid Mohammed of Germany and Austria. But a fight between the Beeb, which usually claims Erdogan is running a moderate Islamist democracy and Erdogan’s minions is fun for the whole family.
The BBC issued a statement Monday expressing concern about what it described as threats issued by Turkish officials against a BBC correspondent.
Maybe the BBC shouldn’t have been promoting the AKP out of fear of some vast military Deep State conspiracy that might have preserved freedom of religion in the country.
Gokcek is an elected official from the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, which is led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Since an unprecedented explosion of street protests against Erdogan erupted more than three weeks ago, the prime minister and his deputies have accused demonstrators of being terrorists and vandals organized by an alleged shadowy foreign conspiracy Erdogan has labeled “the interest lobby.”
Gokcek appeared determined to prove this Sunday via Twitter. Shortly after accusing Girit of being a spy, he announced the creation of the Turkish hashtag #INGILTEREADINAAJANLIKYAPMASELINGIRIT, which translates roughly to “Don’t be a spy in the name of England Selin Girit.”
Why do I have a feeling that old Gok came up with this plan after downing too much Haram Ouzo?
Then, the mayor of Ankara launched a campaign to make the hashtag one of Twitter’s worldwide trends. For the next several hours, he cheered on his followers as the accusation gained online traction with messages like “Keep going Turkiye. Our Hash Tag is ranked 2th. Must place to number 1. This will be our answer to BBC.”
Great plan. It’s not like the Occupy Gezi activists are any good at social media.
Online opponents began mobilizing their own hashtag in response to the mayor of Ankara. They began retweeting the hashtag #provokatormelihgokçek (Melih Gokcek is a provocateur).
By Sunday night in Turkey, #provokatormelihgokcek had replaced the mayor’s hashtag attacking Girit on Twitter’s list of world-wide trends.
So naturally Gokcek responded with the dignity and restraint you would expect of a man who tried to turn his accusation that a BBC correspondent is James Bond into a trending topic on Twitter instead of running his disastrous city.
Gokcek responded by threatening anyone in the world who retweeted the provocateur hashtag with legal action. “My lawyer is going to sue everyone one by one who tweets #ProvokatorMelihGokcek No one can get away with anything because Turkey is a country of law,” the mayor of Ankara announced on Twitter Sunday night.
By law, Gokcek means the AKP’s power to go after people who attack its leaders, while its leaders can casually accuse everyone else of being spies and international conspirators.
“The government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has waged one of the world’s biggest crackdowns on press freedom in recent history,” wrote the Committee to Protect Journalists in a 2012 report. Reporters Without Borders has labeled Turkey among the world’s worst jailers of journalists, since scores of media workers are currently in prison, many of them awaiting trial on terrorism-related charges.
Maybe now the BBC will start paying attention to what Erdogan has been doing all along.
frontpagemag

Germany Faced with "Loudspeaker Jihad"

 By Soeren Kern
"First there was no mention of a muezzin when the mosque was inaugurated; then on Fridays only; then three times a day, now five times a day." — Interview in Die Zeit
A Turkish mosque in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has begun sounding public calls to prayer from an outdoor loudspeaker system mounted on the roof of the edifice.
The mosque is one of a growing number of Islamic institutions in Germany (and other parts of Western Europe) publicly calling the Muslim faithful to prayer -- five times a day, seven days a week -- with cries of Allahu Akbar ("Allah is Greater").
Observers believe a precedent has now been established, and that many of the other 3,000 mosques in Germany will soon begin jumping on the muezzin loudspeaker bandwagon.
The sonorous prayer calls (known as adhan in Arabic) can be heard from great distances when amplified through electric loudspeakers; some German towns and cities are actually beginning to evoke the sounds and images of the Islamic Middle East.
The latest "muezzin event" involves the Fatih Camii Mosque in Wipperfürth, a factory town situated 40 kilometers (25 miles) north-east of Cologne, which, on June 21, began publicly calling the Muslim faithful to prayer during a formal "muezzin-induction ceremony" attended by local and foreign dignitaries, including the Turkish consul, Mustafa Kemal Basa.
The Fatih Camii Mosque -- run by the Turkish-Islamic Union for Islamic Affairs (DITIB), a branch of the Turkish government that controls over 900 mosques in Germany -- received municipal approval for a muezzin publicly to call Muslims to the mosque for prayer five times a day after Mayor Michael von Rekowski said he wanted to show the world that Wipperfürth "takes pride in being an intercultural and interreligious community."
At the request of the mayor, leaders of the Wipperfürth mosque met with representatives of the Protestant and Catholic churches in town to "integrate" the timing of the Muslim prayer calls into the traditional schedule for the ringing of church bells. Although many non-Muslim townspeople are opposed to the muezzin, local clergy say they are pleased with the "peaceful coexistence between religions and culture" in the town.
The mosque in Wipperfürth is one of several in Germany to obtain municipal approval for public prayer calls.
The Turkish-run Central Mosque in the northern German town of Rendsburg, situated 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Hamburg, has been calling Muslims to prayer since 2010, when Social Democratic Mayor Andreas Breitner authorized the muezzin to issue prayer calls through three loudspeakers mounted on the top of two 26 meter (85 foot) minarets attached to each side of the mosque. Prayer calls are permitted between 6AM and 10PM.
The German newspaper Die Zeit reported that Rendsburg was engaged in a "holy war" after a local citizen's group gathered nearly 1,000 signatures opposing the muezzin. The group, which goes by the name "No Public Prayer Calls" [Kein öffentlicher Gebetsruf], had argued that the construction of the mosque was more than sufficient to guarantee the Muslims their constitutional right to free speech, and that the subsequent demands for a muezzin publicly to call the faithful to prayer was excessive. Moreover, the group argued that the Koran makes no mention of the need for muezzin, making the position superfluous.
According to one woman interviewed by the newspaper, there was no mention of a muezzin when the mosque was inaugurated in October 2009; "But then it was proposed that a muezzin should call the faithful to prayer on Fridays only. After that it was three times a day, and now it is five times a day. The prayer calls last for three minutes and the content is a bit much, especially since we are told that 'Allah is the greatest,'" she said. (The adhan, which consists of 15 verses, some of which are repeated several times, lasts for about three minutes.)
Opponents of the muezzin also pointed to the fact that the mosque adheres to Milli Görüs, a neo-Ottoman political-religious Islamist movement that calls for the "establishment of a national-religious Turkish empire." Although Milli Görüs has been monitored by German intelligence for anti-constitutional activities, the group operates freely throughout Germany.
Despite the public opposition to the public prayer calls, Breitner said his hands were tied because there were no legal grounds to prevent the largest mosque in the northernmost German state of Schleswig-Holstein from doing so. According to Breitner, Article 4 of the German Constitution enshrines the freedom of religion, so "in my view there is no room for maneuver."
In the nearby city of Neumünster, the Turkish-run Fatih Mosque has been publicly calling Muslims to prayer three times a day for more than 15 years. According to the local imam, Celebi Kilicikesen, a Turk who speaks almost no German, "sometimes pranking children turn the loudspeaker volume all the way up and then the neighbors complain. Otherwise there have been no problems."
Back in North Rhine-Westphalia, the Turkish-run Kuba Camii Mosque in Eschweiler, a city situated along the German-Belgian-Dutch border and about 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Cologne, obtained municipal approval in December 2012 to begin publicly calling Muslims to prayer.
The first such public prayer call took place on Friday, January 11, 2013, amid considerable fanfare. The call to prayer, which was described as an "historical event," was attended by myriad dignitaries, including the Turkish consul, Mustafa Kemal Basa, and the Turkish attaché, Tayfun Keltek.
The Turkish imam of the Kuba Camii Mosque, Bahri Ciftci, declared: "May the public prayer call be a symbol of a tolerant, intercultural and interreligious common coexistence."
During the ceremony, the mayor of Eschweiler, Rudi Bertram, said, "Tolerance must be practiced on a daily basis. We are all responsible for ensuring that there is a co-existence."
Also present at the event was the head of DITIB [Turkish-Islamist Union for Religious Affairs], Izzet Er, who claimed that the Prophet Mohammed had himself had been a model of religious cooperation. Er added: "I have the desire and the hope that we can contribute something positive to the peaceful coexistence of all the people in Eschweiler. Ethical values ​​are ultimately universal and valid for all."
Not surprisingly, Izzet Er failed to mention that the Turkish government is one of the greatest persecutors of Christians (and journalists) in the modern Middle East.
According to a new book entitled, "Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians," authored by three scholars from the Hudson Institute, "In today's Turkey, Christian communities confront two inter-related threats: First, they are suppressed by all-encompassing state restrictions on internal governance, education, houses of worship, and wider property rights, and the denial of legal status. They are in practice barred from operating seminaries and directly owning property. Largely through its Directorate of Religious Foundations, the state supervises and tries to control all Christian activity."
The book continues: "Second…social hostilities against Turkey's religious minorities run high. Such bigotry is reinforced by the official attitude of suspicion toward Christians. It is difficult even to have a frank national discussion about the plight of Christians in Turkey; those who have tried…can face charges for insulting Turkishness."
In fact, the book's section on the persecution of Christians in Turkey occupies more pages than the sections on the persecution of Christians in Iran and Saudi Arabia.
The book concludes: "Modern Turkey is home to remnant Christian communities who find themselves at risk of being extinguished altogether."
Also in North Rhine-Westphalia, a mosque in the Chorweiler district of Cologne regularly begins calling Muslims to prayer at 6AM, as per this video on YouTube. In the city of Krefeld, local politicians want to ensure that the Muslim calls to prayer have the same legal footing as Christian church bells in the city.
Elsewhere in North Rhine-Westphalia, the Turkish-run Selimiye Camii Mosque in the Eving district of Dortmund, the eighth-largest city in Germany, promised in 2009 that it would not demand the right to public calls to prayer for a period of six years, that is, until the year 2014.
Filled with a sense of foreboding, a protestant pastor in Eving, Friedrich Stiller, said many people forget that Muslims perceive that they have a legal right to public calls to prayer. Stiller added that the minaret is a symbol: "It stands for the arrival of the Muslims in our society."
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