Sunday, March 31, 2013

Kusturica to make film on organ trade in Kosovo

MECAVNIK – Director Emir Kusturica has announced he will spend the next three years making a film on human organ trafficking in Kosovo, as one of the major topics of this century and "the most brutal act and strongest sign of a return to pagan times." In an interview for Tanjug, Kusturica said the film requires major preparations and investments and noted that the idea came from his daughter, who was writing a script "at a time we were all taken aback" by the horrific crimes.

Cologne Archeological Dig Revives Ancient Jewish Heritage

Cologne Mikwe, Built around 1170, Pic: wikimedia
After long being sidelined for Roman excavations, an archaeological dig in western Germany has unearthed myriad traces of daily life in one of Europe's oldest and largest Jewish communities.

From ceramic dishes  and tools to toys, animal bones and jewelry, some 250,000 artifacts have so far shed light on various periods in 2,000 years of the city of Cologne's history, the AFP news agency reported.

But plans to display the findings, discovered since 2007 by head archaeologist Sven Schuette's team at the 32,800 square-foot (10,000 square-meter) city centre dig, in a new museum have proved divisive.

Just over 260 miles (400 kilometers) away, Berlin already hosts a large Jewish museum, and critics argue that Cologne cannot afford a new cultural project when its financiers are already in the red.

"For a very long time, archaeologists quite simply ignored the Jewish past of Cologne," Schuette told AFP.

"Anything that wasn't of Roman origin wasn't excavated, since the Middle Ages were of little matter and Jews weren't supposed to have played any role," he lamented.

From the 10th to 12th centuries, Cologne, today Germany's fourth-largest city, was one of Europe's biggest cities, even ahead of Paris and London, with about 50,000 inhabitants.

Its prosperous Jewish community numbered nearly 1,000 at its height.

On Hebrew-inscribed fragments of slate, aspects of daily life from the Middle Ages have intriguingly come to light via school children's teachings, rules and regulations, a bawdy knight's tale and even a bakery's customer list, AFP reported.

The history of the city's Jewish quarter spans 1,000 years, from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages, and far from being closed-off, it was open and adjoined the Roman governor's imposing palace and later the city hall.

"Excavations show that the Jews in Cologne for a very long time were on good terms with the Christians, that their cohabitation saw long phases of peace and harmony," Schuette said.

He pointed to the synagogue's gothic-style and richly decorated altar having been constructed by craftsmen, possibly French, who had been working on the nearby cathedral building site.

But two events finally sounded the death knell for the Jewish quarter – a crusader massacre in 1096, followed by its eventual annihilation in 1349 when the Christians made the Jews the scapegoat for a black plague epidemic.

Archaeologists hope to see their treasures on display in the new museum by 2017.

"It won't be a so-called ghetto museum limited to presenting religious artifacts but a museum tracing this quarter's daily life, its integration in to the Christian city, with the positive and negative aspects," Schuette told the news agency.

But the project has its detractors and opponents, he said, adding that an empty suitcase had been placed within the site recently, sparking a phony bomb alert.

"And elsewhere someone engraved a swastika," he added.

Meanwhile the opposition conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) on the local council have attacked the plan over its cost and condemned as "madness" spending more than 50 million euros ($64 million) when the city is already deeply in debt.

"Cologne cannot allow itself to build a new museum," leading local CDU politician Volker Meertz said, also questioning how it would stand out from the Jewish museum in the German capital.

Some 2,800 people have signed a broad-based petition against the museum.

"The protest is populist. It's not baiting the far-right but it could be a
platform for the far-right and political die-hards," said Abraham Lehrer, a leading member of Cologne's Jewish community.

"Social expenditure is being cut independently of the museum's construction. If it isn't built, nothing will change," he told the weekly Juedische Allgemeine Zeitung.

Rich Muslims More Likely to Support Terrorism than Poor Muslims

By Daniel Greenfield

In the “official worldview”, terrorism is a product of deprivation. The old, “They’re depraved on account of being deprived” cliche. The reality is that’s a myth.
Terrorism not only has nothing to do with poverty, it’s a hobby for the Muslim middle and upper classes. (Gates of Vienna)
Not a single study could make a cogent case that terrorism had economic roots. This lack of evidence culminated in a recent review of the literature by Martin Gassebner and Simon Luechinger of the KOF Swiss Economic Institute.
The authors estimated 13.4 million different equations, drew on 43 different studies and 65 correlates of terrorism to conclude that higher levels of poverty and illiteracy are not associated with greater terrorism. In fact, only the lack of civil liberties and high population growth could predict high terrorism levels accurately.
So does this relation also hold for Pakistan? It appears so. Christine Fair from Georgetown University documents a similar phenomenon for Pakistan. By utilising data on 141 killed militants, she finds that militants in Pakistan are recruited from middle-class and well-educated families. This is further corroborated by Graeme Blair and others at Princeton University.
They too find evidence of a higher support base of terrorism from those who are relatively wealthy in Pakistan. In a robust survey of 6,000 individuals across Pakistan, it is found that the poor are actually 23 times more averse to extremist violence relative to middle-class citizens.
This should not come as a surprise. Left wing terrorists were also largely drawn from the middle and upper classes. Lenin’s father was a nobleman. Castro’s father owned a plantation.
The reason why Islamic terrorism is so often conflated with poverty is because the left insists on justifying it and willfully ignoring its true causes and agendas.
Like any nationalist or ideological movement, Islamism is not out to remedy some occupation or oppression. It is out to impose a theoretical notion of how things should run developed by its leaders on everyone else by force. This isn’t resistance, it’s tyranny.
We’ve already seen how in Egypt and Tunisia, the revolutions of the Arab Spring gave way to even worse forms of oppression. This is how it always works in such revolutions.
My own work too comes to a similar conclusion. Exploiting the econometric concept of Granger causality and drawing on data from 1973-2010 in Pakistan, I document a one-way causality running from terrorism to GDP, investments and exports.
The results indicated that higher incidence of terrorism reduced GDP, investments and exports. However, higher GDP, exports and investment did not reduce terrorism.
The bottom line: when the economy was not doing well, terrorism did not increase and vice versa.
That should be obvious considering that the Middle East’s core of terrorism is in oil rich Muslim countries who have the wealth and leisure to plot terrorism and global domination.
To understand what causes terrorism, one need not ask how much of a population is illiterate or in abject poverty. Rather one should ask who holds strong enough political views to impose them through terrorism.

Hanan Ashwari’s NGO MIFTAH Asserts Publication of Passover Blood Libel is Part of “Open Dialogue”

By Zach Pontz

The Palestinian NGO MIFTAH has decided to double-down on a blood libel it published to its website last week by claiming it was an attempt to “fulfill its mandate for open dialogue” and that it was only removed from the website “to avoid further misunderstanding.” MIFTAH also attempted to avoid responsibility for the blood libel by pointing to a disclaimer on its site that reads in part: “The views represented in [News and Analysis] are solely those of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of MIFTAH.”
MIFTAH, which claims on its website it “seeks to promote the principles of democracy and good governance within various components of Palestinian society,” is chaired by Hanan Mashrawi, a well known media personality in the West. On Friday anonymous blogger Elder of Ziyon discovered the blood libel in an article on the NGO’s website that claimed “Jews used the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover,” citing a source that was later proven to be false.
Shortly after Elder of Ziyon published the article on the blood libel The Algemeiner reached out to MIFTAH for comment. Having been denied one, the article was shortly thereafter removed from the NGO’s website.
In the response posted to its website, MIFTAH also attacked Elder of Ziyon, calling it an “obscure pro-Israeli website.” Elder of Ziyon responded in two separate blog posts, writing in one posted to his blog Sunday Morning (bolds and italics his own): “The only possible explanation is that Miftah does not truly consider an (sic) article to be offensive. They think that those pesky Jews are making a big deal out of nothing. They believe that Jews are bloodthirsty anyway (at least the Zionist variety) and to Miftah it is not a great leap to say that Jews must have been that way forever. The site has literally hundreds of articles accusing Israeli Jews of “ethnic cleansing” of Arabs, to give only a tiny example of lies that Miftah accepts and promotes as fact. A previous Miftah article states that there are documented reports from Haiti that organs are being stolen by Israelis without international justice intervening to put an end to such criminal practices against innocent vulnerable people.”
Miftah receives funding from several international donors including Oxfam UK and UNESCO. In an attempt to hold its funders accountable, Elder of Ziyon posted their names and email addresses to his blog. In response Miftah asserted that attempts at “sabotaging MIFTAH’s reputation with its international partners is nothing short of abhorrent.”
Miftah concluded its response to the controversy by stating that “its work speaks for itself ,” to which Elder of Ziyon responded (bold his own): “I hope every funder of Miftah takes that statement very, very seriously when deciding whether to continue to send money to an organization that is utterly unrepentant about publishing pure hate.”

Anti-Dhimmitude: Likud MK Feiglin Demands Turkish Apology for 1942 Struma Slaughter

By Andrew Bostom
On the heels on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ill-advised, dhimmi-like apology to Turkey's traditionalist Islamic Jew-hating, Sharia supremacist Prime Minister "Mas-Kom-Ya" Erdogan (under morally repugnant pressure from US President Obama), comes this refreshing display of anti-dhimmitude by Likud MK Moshe Feiglin.

As reported by Israel Hayom, MK Feiglin (hat tip Sy Dill),

A little more than a week after Israel apologized to Turkey over the May 2010 Gaza flotilla raid, Likud MK Moshe Feiglin demanded on Sunday that Turkey apologize for the February 1942 sinking of the MV Struma in the Black Sea,

In The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, I highlight Bernard Wasserstein's account of how the Turkish government's cruel, heinous behavior was primarily responsible for the deaths of 767 hapless Romanian Jewish refugees from the Nazi rampages of the World War II era Holocaust.

Bernard Wasserstein recounted the horrible fate of 767 Jewish refugees from Romania escaping the Holocaust aboard The Struma--a rotting, 75 year-old yacht whose desperate human cargo was denied refuge by Turkey, when the vessel stalled at Istanbul: "It was a rough night in the Black Sea on February 24, 1942. Ten kilometers or so from the shore, a 75 year-old, 240-ton converted yacht, carrying 767 Jewish refugees from Romania, exploded, probably after being hit by a torpedo, fired in error by a Soviet submarine. The vessel sank with the loss of all except one of the passengers. The Struma had left Constanza [Romania] on December 12, 1941, bound for Palestine. But on arrival at Istanbul three days later, her engine broke down and she was unable to proceed. While engineers tried unsuccessfully to restore the ship to seaworthiness, the Turkish and British governments wrangled about the onward passage of the refugees. The Turks refused to allow them to land unless they had guarantees of admission to some other country. [emphasis added] The British refused to grant them certificates to enter Palestine. The failure of the two governments to agree culminated in the boat being towed out to sea and abandoned to the waves...The truth, in this instance was at least as discreditable to the Turks, who were in fact, informed of the British concession [whereby teenage children aboard the ship would, after all, be allowed to enter Palestine], but adamantly refused to allow the children to travel overland across Turkey to Palestine. [emphasis added] No ship was available to take them, and in the end they drowned with their families when the Struma foundered...the only force used in the episode was that applied by between one and two hundred Turkish policemen who overpowered resistance from the debilitated refugees and supervised the towing of the rotten, still engine-less hulk out beyond territorial waters. They then abandoned the passengers to near-certain death." [emphasis added] Wasserstein's broader discussion of Turkey's wartime policies towards Jews concludes "...there is little in the Turkish record to boast about.", and suggests the "nadir" was reached with the enactment (November, 1942) of the capital tax--a brutally discriminatory levy which targeted Jews, Dönmes (17th century Sabbatian Jewish converts to Islam), and the Christian minorities (Greeks and Armenians) in Turkey.

Feiglin, as Israel Hayom further reports, after detailing the sinking of The Struma, concluded his Facebook post (linked to his Twitter feed, and entitled "Demand for an apology from the Turks"), by stating,

The truth is that we don't need an apology! And also not financial compensation. The Jewish people have a special skill. They know how to remember!


Arabs Threw Stones at 4-Year-Old Girl on Temple Mount

By Yori Yanover
Israeli policeman taking a stone throwing suspect into custody.
Photo Credit: Reshet Bet

Temple Mount in Jerusalem was closed on Sunday morning to Jews and tourists, as Arab rioters threw stones at Jews on Temple Mount as well as the Jews praying by the Kotel.

According to Reshet Bet Radio, the incident began when a 4-year-old girl had to relieve herself at the edge of the Temple Mount compound. The girl was accompanying her father, who was among the Jewish activists visiting the holy site. There are no bathroom facilities available in the area which is permissible for Jews to access, and so the father had to take his child to a secluded area.

Arab youths in the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount who heard about the “offense” started throwing stones indiscriminately at all the visitors at the site. They threw stones at police and then at the large crowd of Jews praying below the Mount, at the Western Wall. No one was hurt and police forces repelled the attackers and arrested six suspects.

The child’s father told Reshet Bet he had no intention to provoke the Arabs, but absent a proper facility, he had to take care of his child as best he could.

Jewish Temple activists said that closing Temple Mount on Jewish holidays has become a predictable ritual, as Muslims incite rioters over their websites to storm the site, and Israeli police never lifts a finger to prepare for the rioters. Instead, they let the riots begin and then use them as an excuse to close off the site.

Germany is spending $110 billion to delay global warming by 37 hours

By Rick Moran

Former climate skeptic Bjorn Lomberg, who now believes climate change is man-made, nevertheless wants any action taken to reduce emissions to be intelligent and cost effective.
He points to Germany's subsidies for solar panels that are costing the government $110 billion but will delay global warming by on 37 hours.
Weekly Standard:
"The Germans are spending about $110 billion on subsidies for these solar panels," said Lomborg. "The net effect of all those investments will be to postpone global warming by 37 hours by the end of the century."
"All those billions, for 37 hours delay?," asked Stossel.
"Yeah," said Lomborg, "so remember them in [the year] 2100 and say, 'Wow.'"
Stossel clarified, "You believe in global warming and man-made--"
"Global warming is real," said Lomborg, "and it is we need to fix. But we should fix it smartly, and not in a very, very costly way as we're doing it now. Germany is probably spending $660 for every ton of CO2 they're cutting."
Lomberg said in 2010, "Global warming is real - it is man-made and it is an important problem. But it is not the end of the world." He doesn't believe we should impoverish ourselves combatting a problem that isn't threatening the planet.
He blasted the Kyoto protocols as useless and political. He has constantly argued against the idea that global warming is a catastrophe, believing there are other environmental problems more pressing. Lomberg might not be on the skeptic's side anymore, but he hasn't lost his clear eyed perspective on a scientific problem.
Meanwhile, Germany is proving that "going green" can be a stupid course of action -- something Spain discovered a few years ago.

Cameron faces Europe revolt by 100 Tory MPs over 'broken promises' for referendum

David Cameron faces a revolt by more than 100 Tory MPs this week amid renewed reports his backbench critics are coming closer to mounting a leadership challenge. In a letter to the Prime Minister, leaked to The Mail on Sunday, the MPs demand that he toughens up his vow to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU if the Conservatives win the next Election. They state he must hold a Commons vote on the issue before the Election in 2015 to prove he means it – and to expose Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, who have made clear they oppose it. The latest EU referendum revolt comes after an opinion poll suggested Mr Cameron’s Eurosceptic rival Boris Johnson would wipe out Labour’s six-point lead if the London Mayor was Tory leader. And well-placed sources say 25 of the 46 MPs needed to trigger a leadership contest have now written to Graham Brady, chairman of the party’s 1922 Committee of backbench MPs, asking for a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister. In the letter to Mr Cameron, written by Basildon MP John Baron but understood to bear the signatures of one in three Tory MPs, the rebels tell him to enshrine his referendum pledge in law now – or be accused of ‘broken promises’. Mr Cameron had hoped to silence his Tory Eurosceptic critics in January by vowing to hold a referendum on UK membership of the EU if he wins the next Election.
However, Tory malcontents say he has not gone far enough and want ‘enabling legislation’ setting out a timetable and details of the referendum now, even if it takes place after the Election, arguing that otherwise voters will not trust him. The rebels discount the likelihood of a Commons defeat by pro-EU Labour and Lib Dem MPs, on the grounds that voters, who according to polls favour a referendum, would turn against them. The letter, due to be delivered to Mr Cameron on Tuesday, says: ‘There is a strong argument in favour of bringing forward the enabling legislation into this Parliament. ‘It would address the fundamental lack of public trust when people hear politicians making promises about Europe. Too many have been broken in the past.’

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Jihadis' Exploitation of Muslim Girls

 By Khaled Abu Toameh
What is disturbing is that many Arab and Islamic human rights organizations have remained silent about the crimes committed against Muslim women throughout the Arab and Muslim world. By contrast, these organizations are often quick to denounce Westerners for "insulting" Islam by depicting the Prophet Mohammed. If anyone is really insulting Islam, it is the Muslim fundamentalists and jihadis who show no respect for Muslim girls and treat them as sex slaves.
What are the Muslim jihadis in Syria doing when they are not fighting against Bashar Assad's army?
According to reports in a number of Arab media outlets, the jihadis are importing Muslim girls to satisfy their sexual needs.
The sexual exploitation of girls was revealed after several Tunisian families reported that their teenage daughters had gone missing in recent months.
It later transpired that the girls had been dispatched to serve to Syria on "jihad marriages." In other words, the girls had been sent to Syria to satisfy the sexual needs of the anti-Assad jihadis.
The jihadis, some of whom are affiliated with Al-Qaeda, are probably not getting enough weapons from Arabs and Westerners to fight against Assad's forces. But what is evident is that they are in the meantime getting enough supplies of young girls to satisfy their sexual needs.
The phenomenon apparently began after a Saudi religious scholar, Mohamed al-Arifi, reportedly issued a fatwa [religious decree] allowing Muslim girls to go on "jihad marriages" in Syria. Al-Arifi has since denied issuing the fatwa.
The fatwa purportedly allows the jihadis, who abandoned their wives to fight against Assad's regime, to marry girls for a few hours to satisfy their sexual needs.
But even if there never were such a fatwa, as the Saudi scholar says, what is evident is that Tunisian girls are being sexually exploited by the jihadis in Syria.
Tunisian Minister for Religious Affairs, Noor Eddin al-Khadimi, said that Tunisians should not abide by the fatwa.
Salma al-Raqiq, a Tunisian opposition figure, said that the "jihad marriages" were a disgrace for the Tunisians.
She also called on the authorities to start dealing with the increasing phenomenon of Tunisian jihadis heading to Syria to join radical Islamist groups.
Al-Raqiq told United Press International that the phenomenon was a dangerous one. She said that young girls, including minors, have been sent to Syria to "marry" jihadis for a few hours.
The reports about "jihad marriages" follow charges that Muslim men have been exploiting the plight of Syrian refugees by "marrying" their young daughters.
Reports in the Jordanian media revealed that Muslim men from various countries have been converging on Jordan to pick young Syrian girls residing in a temporary refugee camp near the border with Syria. Nearly one million Syrians have fled to Jordan since the beginning of the crisis in their country two years ago.
A report on Channel 4 revealed this week that Syrian girls in Jordan were being kidnapped, sexually harassed and raped.
What is disturbing is that many Arab and Islamic human rights organizations have remained silent about the crimes committed against Muslim women throughout the Arab and Muslim world. By contrast, these organizations are often quick to denounce Westerners for "insulting" Islam by publishing photos depicting the Prophet Mohamed.
If anyone is really insulting Islam, it those the Muslim fundamentalists and jihadis who show no respect for Muslim girls and treat them as sex slaves.

Egypt’s Jon Stewart Jailed

By Yori Yanover
Bassem Youssef hosts a weekly satire show, El-Bernameg (The Show), on private satellite television channel CBC.
Photo Credit: Screen shot

Bassem Youssef, who hosts a television show modeled after Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” confirmed on his official Twitter account that he received an arrest warrant, mockingly saying he will head to the prosecution office Sunday “unless they send me a police car today and save me transportation trouble,” Al Ahram reported.

Ealier on Saturday, Egypt’s prosecutor-general ordered the arrest of the famous political satirist, to look into complaints accusing him of insulting President Mohamed Morsi, denigrating Islam and spreading false news with the aim of disrupting public order.

Youssef hosts a weekly satire show, El-Bernameg (The Show), on private satellite television channel CBC.

The complaints were filed by 12 citizens after Youssef’s March 1 episode in which he mocked the president’s public interview with TV anchor Amr El-Leithy in February.

One anonymous complainant accused Youssef of denigrating Islam and disturbing security, and demanded that the state take “deterrent measures against him so that others with weak resolve wouldn’t dare to insult Islam.” The same anonymous person also accused Youssef of diminishing President Morsi’s stature “domestically and abroad.”

Heba Morayef of Human Rights Watch thinks the Egyptian government has signaled that it takes Youssef’s threat seriously, going so far as to appoint a judge to investigate the complaints against him, according to.

“It means you’re prioritizing the case, and dedicating resources to it,” Morayef told the NY Times, noting wryly that the same public prosecutor has ignored numerous complaints of torture and the use of excessive force. Issuing an arrest warrant without a reasonable fear that Youssef had any intent to flee the country “is completely unnecessary and definitely a political escalation,” she said.

In January, a number of Islamist lawyers filed a lawsuit against Youssef, accusing him of “undermining the standing of the president” during his show.

However, charges back then were dropped before the case reached a court.

Israel Apartheid Week: The Dirty Product of a Grotesque Alliance

By Edward Alexander

The enemies of Israel neither slumber nor sleep. Right now they are engaged in “Israel Apartheid Week,” spewing fire and vitriol at the Jewish state and calling for its elimination from the family of nations; as the Nazis sought to make Europe Judenrein (purified of Jews) the Israel-haters aspire to make the world “Judenstaatrein” (purified of a Jewish state).
There have never been apartheid laws in Israel. Jews and Arabs use the same buses, clinics, government offices, universities, theaters, restaurants, soccer fields, and beaches. All citizens of Israel, regardless of religion or ethnic origin, are equal before the law. That law accords full political, civil, and human rights to all its people, including the more than one million Arab citizens, some of whom serve in the Israeli parliament and cabinet. Israel is also the only country in the world to have sought out and brought to its shores, entirely on its own initiative, tens of thousands of black Africans for purposes other than slavery, granting them full citizenship.
If the charge of racism is directed specifically against Israel’s Law of Return, here are aids to reflection and comparison. The Armenian constitution seeks “the protection of Armenian historical and cultural values located in other countries” and permits individuals “of Armenian origin” to acquire citizenship through “a simplified procedure.” The Lithuanian constitution proclaims: “Everyone who is ethnically Lithuanian has the right to settle in Lithuania.” The Polish and Ukrainian constitutions have identical provisions.
If the ire of Israel’s enemies is aroused by Israel’s being a Jewish state, why do they not direct it also against Britain, a Christian state, with an official Protestant church, a Protestant monarch, a Protestant state education system? Other Christian states with numerous non-Christian citizens are Denmark, Finland, Greece, and Norway. And let us not speak of all the states whose names begin with “Islamic Republic of…” or “United Arab…,” and who are among the most zealous supporters of such orgies of hatred as “Israel Apartheid Week.”
The blackening of Israel’s name on university campuses is the dirty work of a grotesque alliance between political “progressives” and reactionary Islamic fundamentalists. Among the warmest of hearts in both groups, there is always a cold spot for the Jews, so let us appeal to them not on moral grounds but those of self-interest. Have the Islamicists noticed (as President Obama did in his inaugural address of 2009) that the obsession of Palestinian Arabs with destroying somebody else’s society instead of building up their own (via education, commerce, public works, health care) has made them one of the most wrecked peoples on the face of the earth? Can the “progressive” do-gooders cease confusing doing good with feeling good about what they are doing?


In the latest edition of Intellectual Froglegs, Joe Dan Gorman laughs at the evolving swindle currently known as Climate Change, as well as the comparably farcical Sequestrocalypse charade:


Germany: Muslims Demand Islamic Holidays

The central council of Muslims in Germany has spoken out in favour of the introduction of legal Islamic holidays. The central council's chairman Aiman Mazyek suggested one day each in the fasting month of Ramadan and at the time of the Islamic Festival of Sacrifice. That would be "an important symbol of integration policy" and would underlin "the tolerance in our society", said Mazyek in the periodicals of the "WAZ" group on Thursday.

Shhhh, Don’t Tell Anyone: Hamas Won

The administration spends far more time appeasing Islamists than killing terrorists.
By Andrew C. McCarthy
Barack Obama brought enough Chicago-style community organizing to Israel that Benjamin Netanyahu knew what he would have to do. If he hoped to keep the tepid support of his country’s essential but icy ally, Israel’s prime minister would have to do what he’d spent nearly three years steadfastly refusing to do. Netanyahu would have to apologize to a state sponsor of terrorism that openly, notoriously, and enthusiastically supports Hamas.
He would have to apologize to Turkey — to its prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Obama’s close friend and confidant.
He would have to apologize for military action taken in his country’s righteous defense against violent jihadists with close connections to Erdogan’s ruling party and, seamlessly, to the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as al-Qaeda.
As I recount in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, the violent jihadists in question were from the grotesquely named “Humanitarian Relief Foundation” or IHH (İnsan Hak ve Hürriyetleri ve İnsani Yardım Vakfı). The IHH is an Islamic “charity” based and basted in the Islamic supremacism of Erdogan’s Turkey. It is part of the Union of Good (sometimes referred to as the “Union for Good”), a jihadist umbrella enterprise that was designated by the United States government, during the Bush administration, as an international terrorist organization. Under the direction of a top Muslim Brotherhood honcho, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Union of Good’s main purpose is to transfer funds to Hamas, another designated terrorist organization. Besides being the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, Hamas boasts Turkey, our NATO “ally,” as its chief benefactor.
In late May 2010, IHH terrorists attempted to break Israel’s lawful naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. The blockade is necessary to stem the flow of weapons to Hamas, Gaza’s rulers having responded to Israel’s painful peace offering — its withdrawal in 2005 from territory it had captured in a war of Arab aggression — by stepping up their terror campaign against the Jewish state. In seeking to break the blockade, an act of war, the IHH was willfully abetted by the Turkish government.
Israeli officials had pleaded with their Turkish counterparts to prevent the terrorists from embarking on their “peace flotilla.” Members of Erdogan’s government and party not only turned a deaf ear; they sold the jihadists the offending vessel, the Mavi Marmara. They allowed the jihadists — armed with flares, night-vision goggles, 150 bulletproof vests, 200 gas masks, several dozen slingshots, 200 knives, 20 axes, 50 wooden clubs, 100 assorted iron bars, etc. — to board the ship without inspection. When the inevitable high-seas confrontation occurred, the Israeli Defense Forces tried to subdue the terrorists with paintball guns. The IDF resorted to lethal force only after being premeditatedly and savagely attacked — with several of its sailors seriously wounded. In that response, nine of the terrorists were killed.
Squeezed by Obama, Netanyahu would have to apologize for the killing of those terrorists.
More often than not these last five years, Israel’s prime minister has felt President Obama’s heel on the back of his neck. In stark contrast, Turkey’s prime minister has enjoyed Obama’s warm embrace. In Ankara, Erdogan hosts the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah as foreign dignitaries. He accuses Israel of turning Gaza into a “concentration camp.” Only days before Netanyahu’s coerced apology, Erdogan — whose history of anti-Semitism is infamous — publicly pronounced that Zionism is a “crime against humanity.”
This heinous accusation, “crime against humanity,” has become something of a verbal tic with Erdogan. He cavalierly applies it to Israel’s self-defense from thousands of jihadist rockets fired into its territory, and to the suggestion by European governments that the millions of Muslims who’ve immigrated to the West ought to assimilate into their new societies. Nevertheless, Obama openly regards Erdogan as one of his most trusted partners on the world stage. “The bottom line is that we find ourselves in frequent agreement upon a wide range of issues,” said Obama of Erdogan in March 2012, upon seeking him out at a South Korea summit for advice on the crisis in Syria, the tumult in Egypt, the nukes in Iran — even the challenges of raising daughters.
With Obama on the phone egging him on, Netanyahu abased himself. Not only did he apologize to Turkey, he further capitulated to Erdogan’s demand that Israel pay compensation to the Mavi Marmara “victims.” After the apology, Erdogan briefed his Hamas confederates and announced he would be visiting them in Gaza next month. Predictably, he has since announced that Netanyahu’s humiliating act of contrition will not be sufficient to restore diplomatic relations between the two nations. Just as predictably, other Islamic states are now preparing demands for apologies and compensation for sundry exercises of Israeli self-defense against jihadist terror.

Hardy Germans brave snow to take a dip

The official bathing season started across Germany, with many undeterred by freezing temperatures and heavy snow. An outdoor pool in Frankfurt-Hausen welcomed eager swimmers as early as 6.30 am on Friday. “They arrive in their dressing gowns, then get into the water – people love it,” Otto Junck, Managing Director of Frankfurt Public Pools, said ahead of the opening. While the water in the Frankfurt pool had been pre-heated to a pleasant 28C, elsewhere in Germany, hardy types braved nature’s elements. In Wannsee in Berlin, locals built several bunnies out of snow to welcome swimmers to their lake shores. While some took the full plunge, others opted to paddle in the water wearing anoraks and hats. Germany has been experiencing an unusually cold snap this year, with bizarre dreams of a "white Easter" coming true.

'Where's the warming?' goes mainstream

By Rick Moran

This is very encouraging for those of us who value science and the scientific method.

Despite contiued hysteria from the climateers, the notion that the earth hasn't warmed in two decades has finally cracked the mainstream and is now part of the discussion of what to do about climate change.

The issue is "climate sensitivity" - how much the climate changes relative to the amount of greehouse gasses that are spewed into the atmosphere. Hysterics have argued that their models show an extreme sensitivity to CO2 but the reality appears to be far different.

The Australian:

Deate about the reality of a two-decade pause in global warming and what it means has made its way from the sceptical fringe to the mainstream.
In a lengthy article this week, The Economist magazine said if climate scientists were credit-rating agencies, then climate sensitivity - the way climate reacts to changes in carbon-dioxide levels - would be on negative watch but not yet downgraded.
Another paper published by leading climate scientist James Hansen, the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, says the lower than expected temperature rise between 2000 and the present could be explained by increased emissions from burning coal.
For Hansen the pause is a fact, but it's good news that probably won't last.
International Panel on Climate Change chairman Rajendra Pachauri recently told The Weekend Australian the hiatus would have to last 30 to 40 years "at least" to break the long-term warming trend.
But the fact that global surface temperatures have not followed the expected global warming pattern is now widely accepted.
Research by Ed Hawkins of University of Reading shows surface temperatures since 2005 are already at the low end of the range projections derived from 20 climate models and if they remain flat, they will fall outside the models' range within a few years.
"The global temperature standstill shows that climate models are diverging from observations," says David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.
"If we have not passed it already, we are on the threshold of global observations becoming incompatible with the consensus theory of climate change," he says.
Whitehouse argues that whatever has happened to make temperatures remain constant requires an explanation because the pause in temperature rise has occurred despite a sharp increase in global carbon emissions.
The Economist says the world has added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010, about one-quarter of all the carbon dioxide put there by humans since 1750. This mismatch between rising greenhouse gas emissions and not-rising temperatures is among the biggest puzzles in climate science just now, The Economist article says.
The bottom line:
But it also points to an increasing body of research that suggests it may be that climate is responding to higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide in ways that had not been properly understood before.
"This possibility, if true, could have profound significance both for climate science and for environmental and social policy," the article says.
Powerline's Steven Hayward:
So The Economist story, though hedged with every reservation to Keep Hope Alive, is nonetheless a clear sign that it's about over for the climate campaign.
While climateers continue to beat the drum that each year is among the hottest since Satan opened his first furnace at Hades Hostel for Hapless Heathens, there has been an embarrassed silence, if not outright denial (heh), that temperatures have flattened out over the last 15 years. Now even the leading climateers can't maintain a straight face over this any more, as The Economist notes in its lede:
OVER the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth's surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar. The world added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010. That is about a quarter of all the CO₂ put there by humanity since 1750. And yet, as James Hansen, the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, observes, "the five-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade." . . .
There are still many scientists who have a lot invested in catastrophic climate change theory. They won't give up easily. And it will take years before any change in attitude will be realized from additional research. But as Hayward points out, an endgame of sorts is in sight. The hysteria is no longer sustainable. And I think there are enough honest scientists out there who will change their opinions and completely alter the debate over climate change.

How Bitcoin could destroy the state (and perhaps make me a bit of money)

Soon, whether via Bitcoin or whatever comes next, it will be possible to strip banking away from bankers, and money away from governments. Anecdotally, many suggest that the recent surges in Bitcoin value have had a lot to do with the seizing of bank accounts in Cyprus, with people in other wobbly eurozone banking systems (chiefly Spain) looking for a cheap and easy way to send their money somewhere else. Whether or not this is quite true (it could just be the result of hype, bollocks and credulous fools like me), Bitcoin is certainly a cheap and easy way to move money around the globe. And sure, when you buy them or sell them, traditional banking and taxation structures can get their claws into you. But what if you didn’t have to?

Most of Europe reluctant to crack down on Hezbollah despite growing threat

A House hearing on Hezbollah as a global terrorist threat coupled with Thursday’s prison sentence of a Hezbollah member — the first in a European court — brings into sharp focus the rising danger of the Lebanese terror organization for the security of the U.S. and its allies. The criminal court in Limassol, Cyprus, sentenced Hossam Taleb Yaacoub — a self-confessed Hezbollah operative -- to four years in prison for plotting to kill Israeli tourists on the island. “There is no doubt these are serious crimes which could have potentially endangered Israeli citizens and targets in the republic,” the three-member judge panel said. The Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah — a major proxy of Iran’s radical clerical rulers — has an extensive history of carrying out terror attacks on U.S. soldiers. In January 2007, Hezbollah operative Ali Mussa Daqduq played a critical role in the murders of five U.S. soldiers in Iraq. In 1983, a year after its founding, Hezbollah executed a double suicide attack against U.S. and French military barracks in Beirut, killing 241 American servicemen and 58 French paratroopers. And Hezbollah’s mushrooming presence in United States’ backyard is cause for concern. Matthew Levitt, director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told, "With Hezbollah playing a central role in Iran's shadow war with the West, concerns over the group's presence and capabilities in Latin America are well-placed. Hezbollah's reach in the region extends beyond the tri-border area of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay -- recent cases highlighted Hezbollah activities in Venezuela and Mexico, too.” Levitt delivered testimony this month to the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Proliferation and Trade, saying, "In early September 2012, Mexican authorities, in a joint operation conducted by migration and state police, arrested three men suspected of operating a Hezbollah cell in the Yucatan area and Central America.” One of the suspects arrested was Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, a dual U.S.-Lebanese citizen, linked to a U.S.-based Hezbollah money laundering operation. Roger F. Noriega, a former assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs and a former U.S. ambassador, said at the congressional hearing, “Hezbollah is not a lone wolf. In this hemisphere it counts on the political, diplomatic, material and logistical support of governments – principally Venezuela and Iran – that have little in common but their hostility to the United States.” Last week in Jerusalem, President Obama called on countries to outlaw Hezbollah. In a clear reference to the ongoing EU talks about banning Hezbollah, Obama said, “That’s why every country that values justice should call Hezbollah what it truly is: a terrorist organization.” Only a handful of Western democracies — the U.S., the Netherlands, Canada — consider Hezbollah a full-blown terrorist organization. The United Kingdom has merely blacklisted Hezbollah’s military wing for targeting British soldiers for death in Iraq. The EU has so far snubbed Obama administration counterterrorism officials, who have repeatedly urged the 27-member body to crack down on Hezbollah’s legal status in Europe. The results of Bulgaria’s investigation last month into the bombing of an Israeli tour bus last year have not persuaded major European powers France and Germany to designate Hezbollah a terrorist entity. The bomb detonation in the Black Sea resort of Burgas caused the deaths of five Israelis, their Bulgarian bus driver, and injuries to 32 Israelis. Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov declared in February that the two suspected Burgas perpetrators “were members of the militant wing of Hezbollah,” adding that investigators have found information “showing the financing and connection between Hezbollah and the two suspects.” Alan Mendoza, director of the London-based think tank The Henry Jackson Society, told it is "not a good rule to allow terrorist organizations to operate with free reign on your territory.” He said that “when we allowed Jihadists free reign in Europe in the 1990s, we reaped what we sowed in the 2000s.” He cited the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, which were partially launched from Hamburg, Germany, and the terror attacks by Al Qaeda in Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005. He said the first step is to include Hezbollah in the EU terror list. Mendoza stressed that the EU needs to then carry out a concerted effort to disrupt Hezbollah networks in Europe similar to the counterterrorism strategies imposed on Al Qaeda. Gerald Steinberg, a political studies professor at Bar Ilan University in Israel, said, "For years, Hezbollah has been using Europe to raise funds, recruit and expand its terror network with impunity. Under the guise of a ‘political wing’ that is separate from a ‘military wing,’ Hezbollah has developed a terror infrastructure in Latin America and operates as Iran's proxy in Bahrain (which, unlike Europe, issued a ban). From these bases, Hezbollah is also able to send agents to attack targets in the U.S. and American interests around the world." Hezbollah’s potency as a lethal terrorist organization has at times superseded Al Qaeda's. National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen said last year, “When we are briefing the White House, Hezbollah, coupled with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, are the terror threats at the top of the list.” In fact, before Al Qaeda’s attack on 9/11, Hezbollah was responsible for the deaths of more Americans than any other terrorist entity. “Unless the 27 members of the European Union do the right thing immediately and ban Hezbollah -- Iran's central operational arm -- there will be more murderous attacks far worse than the bus bombing in Bulgaria," Steinberg, the Israeli political scientist, said. "Similarly, given Hezbollah's deep involvement in the violence of the Assad regime, European condemnations of these horrors are exposed as entirely hollow.” Germany’s domestic intelligence agency documented the operational activity of 950 members of Hezbollah on German soil. German government officials have resisted outlawing Hezbollah but said if there is legal evidence of Hezbollah terror attacks it will look into a ban of Hezbollah’s military wing. The French have blocked an inclusion of Hezbollah in the EU terror list because they fear losing diplomatic leverage in Lebanon.

Justice and the Islamist Terrorist: The Burlesque in Britain

By Michael Curtis

Commitment to the principle of human rights is now in collision with the ability of Western democratic countries to deal with and protect themselves from Islamic terrorists.

On March 27, 2013, by decision of a senior judicial panel, the British government lost another attempt to deport the Islamist preacher Omar Othman, usually referred to as Abu Qatada, to Jordan, where he would be retried on criminal charges. Understandingly, staunch advocates of human rights have applauded the decision of the judges. Yet the sequence of events leading to this outcome is disappointing not only for British officials, who have wanted to remove him from the country. It is even more disturbing that it prevents or delays what must be regarded as just and appropriate treatment for an individual whose preaching of radical hate and violent actions make him a danger to national security and to civil society.

On November 12, 2012, the British special immigration appeals commission (Siac) in London decided that Qatada should not be deported because "there was a real risk he would be subject to a flagrant denial of justice" if retried in a state security court in Jordan for offences in 1998. He had in April 1999 been convicted in abstentia of bombing offenses and sentenced to life imprisonment based on evidence obtained by torture of two co-defendants named Abu Hawsher and Al-Hamasher. In those trials, Qatada was convicted of plots to bomb the American School and the Jerusalem hotel in Amman and to target American and Israeli tourists in Jordan. He was also held to have provided finance and advice for plots that were never carried out.

The Siac judge, Mr. Justice Mitting, decided that it was likely that this evidence would be admitted in a retrial unless the Jordanians would prove otherwise. This might be done by Jordan amending its criminal code, or by stating that the evidence was not obtained by torture, or that they would not introduce it.

In an earlier case in April 2008, the British Court of Appeal had ruled that deporting Qatada would breach his human rights. This was overturned by the British High Court, five Law Lords, on February 18, 2009, who unanimously ruled that the British government could deport Qatada to Jordan to face terror charges. Yet one day later, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg awarded him 2,800 euros for detention without trial in the U.K. Justice Mitting's decision was based on a ruling by ECHR in January 2012. This held that Qatada would face a "flagrant denial of justice" in Jordan. He could not be deported if "there remains a risk that evidence obtained by torture will be used against him."

The legal argument rests on two articles in the European Convention on Human Rights passed in 1970. Article 3 states that "[n]o one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." Article 6 says regarding individuals facing criminal charges, "everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law."

Appeals from Siac can be brought only on a question of law relevant to the issue, in this case whether deportation of Qatada would lead to his torture in Jordan. The case was appealed to a high court of three prestigious appeal court judges chaired by Lord Dyson, the master of the rolls, who unanimously dismissed the appeal. A Spanish judge had once described Qatada as "Osama bin Laden's right hand man in Europe." Though British authorities, both members of the present government and the Labour party opposition, recognize this as fair, the decision of the appeal court was based on a technical issue. The appeal court could not rehear the evidence: it could only decide if Siac had got the law right, and in fact upheld Siac.

The appeals court remarked that "torture is universally abhorred as an evil." It commented that states cannot expel persons if there is a real risk they will be faced with a trial in which evidence may have been obtained by torture. Lord Dyson remarked that "the fact that Mr. Othman is considered to be a dangerous terrorist is not relevant to the issues that are raised on this appeal."

However much one supports the concept of the rule of law, it appears ludicrous that concern for human rights in general and the British Human Rights Act of 1998 in particular has now become the basis for protecting foreign terrorists from facing justice in the countries in which they have committed offenses. How should democratic societies deal with "dangerous terrorists," especially those like Qatada who make use and are well-represented legally at a considerable cost of millions spent in the systems which they threaten?

Qatada, born in 1960 in Bethlehem, then under Jordanian rule, was admitted in Britain in 1993 on a forged passport of the United Arab Emirates, claimed asylum as one who had been tortured in Jordan, and was allowed to stay as a refugee. Since then, he has spent some time in prison for violations of immigration rules and has suffered there from exposure to television, radio, newspapers, books, and computers; use of an exercise yard; and a small gym.

During his stay in central London, he has been a fiery Islamic preacher, issuing in 1995 a fatwa (religious edict) justifying the killing of converts from Islam and their families in Algeria, praising suicide bombings, advocating in 1999 the killing of Jews and praising attacks on Americans, and declaring that Islamic law should be imposed on Muslim lands. He was suspected of having connections with a German terror cell. In a raid on his house in London in 2001, police found £170,000 in cash, including money to go to the Islamic rebels in Chechnya. He is known to have had some influence on Richard Reid, the would-be shoe bomber, and on Zacarias Moussaoui, the alleged mastermind of 9/11, as well as on several others among those involved in 9/11. In spite of all this, Qatada, though arrested a number of times, has never been charged with an offense in the British courts. Instead, he has obtained a considerable amount in benefits for himself and his family.

Surely, it is long overdue for all in democratic societies to concede that to grant benefits, legal and otherwise, to known terrorists guilty of crimes is to depart from the broad rule of wisdom learned from human experience.

Poles Object to German WWII TV Program That Depicts Polish Anti-Semitism

By Zach Pontz

A German program that portrays Poland during World War II in an unflattering light has caused an uproar in the latter country.
“Our Mothers, Our Fathers,” which follows the lives of five wartime Germans, shows members of Poland’s resistance army shunning Jewish members and failing to help others heading for Auschwitz, the UK’s Daily Mail reports. In one scene, a partisan boasts “we drown Jews like rats.”
Thursday Poland’s ambassador to Germany, Jerzy Marganski, protested the series in a letter sent to German public television station ZDF, which has been broadcasting the show.
“The image of Poland and the Polish resistance against the German occupiers as conveyed by this series is perceived by most Poles as extremely unjust and offensive,”Marganski wrote. “I, too, am shocked.”
Taduesz Filipkowski, spokesman for the International Home Army Association, a veterans’ organisation, also criticised the German production.
“We are angry with this film’s message,’ he told the Daily Telegraph. ‘We believe it to be evil slander and an attempt to justify Nazi crimes by setting them against the alleged anti-Semitism that existed in Poland before the war. Our government should not ignore this attack on our reputation.”
Producer Nico Hofmann said the depictions of ‘the Polish situation…. are based on historically vetted material’ and there was no intention to defame the Poles.
Hofmann said one of his goals was to encourage a national debate among the generations “to speak for the first time about the experience” of the war.
“Our Mothers, Our Fathers” has received mixed reactions in Germany, where the show has been a hit. Many believe it an opportunity to confront taboos surrounding that era in the nation’s history, while others have viewed it as defamatory and provocative.

Berlin Jewish Museum Faces Criticism for Placing Jews in Glass Case for Exhibit

Seven decades after the Holocaust, the Berlin Jewish Museum asks Jewish men or women to sit in a glass box and answer questions from visitors about Judaism. Photo: © Jüdisches Museum Berlin, photo: Linus Lintner.

Almost 70 years after the Holocaust, the Jewish Museum in Berlin is fending off criticism for hosting an exhibit, “The Whole Truth, everything you wanted to know about Jews,” which asks Jewish men and women to sit in a glass box and answer questions by visitors about Jews and Judaism. Adolf Hitler’s Nazi government planned and executed the murder of six million Jews by 1945. Today “a lot of our visitors don’t know any Jews and have questions they want to ask,” said museum official Tina Luedecke, according to Fox News. “With this exhibition we offer an opportunity for those people to know more about Jews and Jewish life,” Luedecke said. But critics have voiced concern that the exhibit is not an appropriate way to educate the German public about Judaism. In addition to the glass box, another part of the exhibit includes a placard asking “How you recognize a Jew?” next to several yarmulkes, black hats and Jewish women’s hair covers. In another section, visitors are asked if Jews are “particularly good looking, influential, intelligent, animal loving or business savvy.” As to the box idea, prominent Berlin Jewish community figure Stephan Kramer, according to the Associated Press, rhetorically asked, “Why don’t they give him a banana and a glass of water, turn up the heat and make the Jew feel really cozy in his glass box?” The Jewish museum curator, Miriam Goldmann, says the “in your face” approach is necessary to deal with a subject still painful in Germany for both Jews and non-Jews. The exhibit has attracted a lot of visitors. While sitting in the box, Ido Porat, a 33-year-old Israeli, was asked what should be brought to a Shabbat dinner in Israel and why only Jewish men and not women wear yarmulkes. Another person asked about Judaism and homosexuality. Some German Jews and Israeli Jews volunteering at the museum are resigned to the idea. “With so few of us, you almost inevitably feel like an exhibition piece. Once you’ve been ‘outed’ as a Jew, you always have to be the expert and answer all questions regarding anything related to religion, Israel, the Holocaust and so on,” museum volunteer Leeor Englander said.

On Second Thought . . . Maybe That Israeli Apology to Turkey Was a Good Idea

By Daniel Pipes

I was appalled to learn a week ago that the Israeli prime minister had apologized to his Turkish counterpart for his government’s actions during the Mavi Marmara incident, seeing this as feeding the Turkish government’s inflated sense of grandeur and power.
That prediction was borne out well.
The municipal government of Turkey’s capital city, Ankara, put up billboards on city streets reveling in the Israeli apology. They are not subtle, showing a sad-looking Netanyahu beneath a larger, buoyant Erdogan, separated by the Mavi Marmara itself. Addressing Erdogan, they read: “Israel apologized to Turkey. Dear Prime Minister, we are grateful that you let our country experience this pride.”
Erdogan himself claims not only that the apology has changed the balance of power in the Arab-Israeli conflict but that it obligates Israel to work with Ankara in its diplomacy with the Palestinians. He told the Turkish parliament: “The point we have arrived at as a result of our consultations with all our brothers in Palestine and peripheral countries is increasing our responsibility with regard to solving the Palestinian question and thus is bringing about a new equation,” and went onto claim that Israel agreed to cooperate with Turkey on talks with the Palestinians. Hürriyet Daily News paraphrases Erdogan: “He said all his regional interlocutors, including Khaled Mashaal of the Hamas, admit that a new era has begun in the Middle East what they all call after Turkish victory on Israeli apology.”

No less notable is Erdogan’s petty put down of the Israeli side:
Erdoğan said his conversation with Netanyahu took place under the witness of Obama but he wanted first to talk with the US President as he missed his voice. “I talked to him and we have reviewed the text and confirmed the [apology] process. we have therefore accomplished this process under Obama’s witness,” Erdoğan said, adding this phone conversation has also been recorded alongside with written statements issued from all three sides.
Ryan Mauro sums up Turkish actions over the past week:
Erdoğan is extending his time in the spotlight by demanding that Israel pay $1 million to each of the nine casualties’ families, ten times the amount Israel has offered. He isn’t yet dropping his case against the Israeli generals involved in the raid, nor is he fully restoring diplomatic ties with Israel. And he’s announced that he will visit the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip in what is a thinly-concealed victory lap.
Indeed, the Turkish gloating has been so conspicuous and extended that it may have prompted to a healthy sense of reality. So long as the Mavi Marmara incident hung over their relations with Ankara, Israelis and others could believe that an apology for the incident would magically undo the past decade. The illusion could persist that the Turks, however unreasonably, just needed to put this Mavi Marmara unpleasantness aside and things would revert to the good old days.
Now that Israelis humiliated themselves and Erdogan is rampaging on, some are awakening to the fact that this apology only made matters worse. Naftali Bennett, Israel’s minister of economy and trade, slammed the Turkish response: “Since the apology was made public, it appears Erdogan is doing everything he can to make Israel regret it, while conducting a personal and vitriolic campaign at the expense of Israel-Turkey relations. Let there be no doubt — no nation is doing Israel a favor by renewing ties with it. It should also be clear to Erdoğan that if Israel encounters in the future any terrorism directed against us, our response will be no less severe.”
Boaz Bismuth of Israel Hayom colorfully notes that Israelis “didn’t expect to feel that only several days after Israel’s apology, Erdoğan would already be making us feel that we had eaten a frog along with our matzah this year.”
Perhaps, after all, the apology was a good thing. For a relatively inexpensive price — some words — Israelis and others have gained a better insight into the Turkish leadership’s mentality. They don’t suffer from mere injured pride; they are Islamist ideologues with an ambitious agenda. If the misguided apology makes this evident to more observers, the results possibly could make this into a net plus.

Friday, March 29, 2013

School Bans the Word “Easter”

It’s that time of year again — time for moonbats to defend the progressive agenda from the menace posed by Easter. At a government school in Madison, Alabama, the very word has been banned:
“We had in the past a parent to question us about some of the things we do here at school,” said Heritage Elementary School principal Lydia Davenport. “So we’re just trying to make sure we respect and honor everybody’s differences.”
The way to “respect and honor everybody’s differences” is to ban references to anything militant moonbats don’t like. How long before words like “Jesus” and “Bible” are verboten?
Television station WHNT reported that teachers were informed that no activities related to or centered around any religious holiday would be allowed – in the interest of religious diversity.
If you think that makes sense, then you won’t be alarmed that these malignant kooks are using their control of government schools to instill their ideology in the next generation.
“Kids love the bunny and we just make sure we don’t say ‘the Easter Bunny’ so that we don’t infringe on the rights of others because people relate the Easter bunny to religion,” [Davenport] told the television station.
It will also be forbidden to refer to Easter eggs as “Easter eggs” — all for the sake of diversity, which can be defined as rigidly intolerant adherence to doctrinaire liberalism.

Boyfriend of Actress Lindsay Lohan Says She Wants to Visit Israel (VIDEO)

Lindsey Lohan (Photo), the troubled actress whose run-ins with the law have been quite frequent, would like to visit Israel. In an interview with, Israeli musician Avi Snow, who is reportedly dating the actress, told the website he wasn’t even aware he and Lohan were an item until photos of the two smooching were posted online.
Snow was born in the U.S. and made Aliyah to Israel in his teens. He admitted that he was in fact dating Lohan. “We met through mutual friends, but at first we were just friends,” he told Ynet from New York. “With time it developed [...] I’m dating her because she is a great girl.”
Snow said that Lohan “supports us”–meaning Israel– and that she plans to visit the country. He also reminded Ynet that Lohan was linked to another Israeli, a woman, several years ago.
Snow also dismissed accusations that the relationship was a publicity stunt. “We don’t really pay attention to the paparazzi. I never planned on dating Lindsey Lohan; it just happened,” he said. “Seeing my name in the headlines mostly amuses me, but I do not read (the gossip columns) and it does not do anything for me.”
Watch a video of Snow’s band below:


Extensive Terror Network Uncovered Near Bethlehem

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), in cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police, broke up an extensive terror network in the village of Beit Fajjar near Bethlehem over the course of January and February, Israel Hayom reported. The detained suspects were members of Tanzim, a terrorist group affiliated with the Fatah movement. The detainees allegedly took part in series of shooting and firebomb attacks on the Migdal Oz community in the Gush Etzion area. No one was wounded in the attacks. During questioning, the suspects admitted to conducting the attacks and said they had planned to carry out additional shooting attacks in the Gush Etzion area, which were thwarted by their arrests. The suspects were found in possession of six improvised weapons and a fake explosive device. The Shin Bet said more than 30 suspects had been detained as part of the investigation. Among the leaders of the network were Rafat Mohammad Isa Takatka, 32, Rafat Mahmoud Musa Hian, 31, and Anas Halami Taleb Takatka, 24. Charges filed against the suspects include shooting toward a person, throwing an incendiary object, manufacturing weapons and membership in an illegal organization. According to the Shin Bet, there has recently been a significant rise in terrorist activity in Beit Fajjar. So far, more than 50 Beit Fajjar residents have been arrested as part of anti-terror efforts.

Useful Idiots in Marmara 2 Gaza Aid Convoy Sexually Assaulted in Benghazi

By Daniel Greenfield

Who knew that Benghazi was so dangerous?
Bad ideas don’t get any dumber than the UK aid convoy to Gaza which involved driving 5,000 miles through France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt to get to Gaza.
If something smells fishy about this plan being a publicity stunt rather than an aid delivery, then you’re just seeing the obvious. This convoluted stunt broke down in Egypt after the authorities wouldn’t let the convoy cross into Gaza.
At which point the already bad idea got even worse as some of the Muslims with UK citizenship decided to go back to the UK by way of Benghazi.
The incident took place on Tuesday, when two groups from the aid mission, a British-Pakistani family – a father with his two daughters – and another man and a woman, decided to leave the convoy, which was being delayed at the Libyan-Egyptian border, and return to the UK.
The five took a taxi back to Benghazi but were stopped at the Sidi Al-Faraj checkpoint by members of the Libyan regular army. They were then kidnapped and taken to a farm in the Sellouk area, where at least one of the girls was sexually assaulted. Four of the kidnapped Britons managed to escape and found a local police station. The fifth was later rescued.
It is not clear how many of the three kidnapped women were abused. It has been reported that one was raped. Deputy Prime Minister Awadh al-Barassi said in a statement released on his Facebook page that both daughters had been “brutally raped” in front of their father. “I express my very deep sorrow at what happened,” he said.
“This heinous incident does not under any circumstances reflect the genuine generosity and morality of the Libyan people or the traditions of Arab-Islamic culture,” Barassi said, “and I demand the authorities to take the necessary action.”
Err yes. I think we all know about the traditions of Arab-Islamic culture when it comes to raping women.
The convoy people are trying to spin this as not a rape, but just touching. But the Libyans, who have every reason to minimize this, are saying something different.
Libya’s deputy prime minister Al-Barassi told Libya al-Hurra TV late Thursday that he has met the women and they are in “very bad shape”.
Compare that to the claims from the convoy reported in The Guardian.
A supporter of the convoy, writing on the All United for Free Palestine page, said five people had been kidnapped, but said that reports in foreign media that two females had been raped were inaccurate. “I stress that the report of the two females being raped is not true. All are now safe and being looked after Alhamdulilah.”
I just bet.

Home-schooling family who fled to U.S. from Germany face deportation: Parents face charges and $9,000 fine for taking kids out school as Obama officials prepare to send them back

The Obama administration is arguing in federal court that a homeschooling family from Germany should be deported back to their homeland, despite what they say is religious persecution. The German government prevented Uwe and Hannelore Romeike from teaching their five children at home instead of sending them to government-run schools, fining them and threatening to prosecute them if they don't obey.
When they took their three oldest children out of school in 2006, police showed up at their house within 24 hours, only leaving after a group of supporters showed up and organized a quick protest.
But their legal troubles were just beginning. Germany began fining the family, ultimately racking up a bill of more than 7,000 Euros ($9,000).
After they fled to the United States in 2010, the Romeike family initially were granted political asylum and found a home in Tennessee. They had a sixth child. But then U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) appealed the asylum decision in 2012.

The federal Board of Immigration Appeals sided with the government despite a 2011 policy that gives the government broad discretion to pursue only high-priority cases.
ICE would not provide details about the case, or its reasons for pursuing the Romeikes.
'We do not comment on pending litigation,' ICE public affairs officer Brandon Montgomery told MailOnline.