Friday, December 31, 2010

Auschwitz And Hamas

From The American Thinker:

December 31, 2010

Auschwitz and Hamas

Lee DeCovnick

History tells the story of men and women who make difficult choices, for both good and evil, which directly affects the lives of those around them. Often history repeats the same story, and yet we fail to recognize the patterns except after the harsh consequences of our passivity and inattention.

Here is real history, of men making choices that save and shatter uncounted human souls.

The truth about the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp was the best-kept secret of the Nazi architects of the Final Solution, guarded from discovery by more than 2,000 SS personnel, 200 vicious dogs, two lines of electrified fences, and a terrorised, fearful Polish population... Rudolf Vrba, was the most prominent escapee [from Auschwitz]. Among attempts to break down the wall of silence around the Auschwitz secrets, historians have no doubt that the escape of Vrba and his fellow prisoner, Alfred Wetzler, was by far the most important.

After a perilous 11 days of walking and hiding, the escapees made it back to their native country, Slovakia. Almost at once, they managed to establish contact with the leaders of the remainder of the Jewish community. For three days Vrba and Wetzler conveyed in detail to the members of the Jewish Council the geographical plan of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the specifics of the Germans' method of mass murder - tattooing, gassing, and cremation - and the course of events they had witnessed at the camp.

The Vrba-Wetzler report had an immediate impact. The publication of portions of the report in the Swiss press in the final days of June 1944, and by the western allies shortly afterwards, produced a spontaneous international denunciation, which led to protests from the Pope, the US secretary of state, Cordell Hull, the British foreign secretary, Anthony Eden, the International Red Cross, and the King of Sweden.

Let's move forward to yesterday, December 29, 2010 and this report based on evidence provided by EveryOne, an Italian based human rights organization.

It has been known for some time that the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas is operating in the Egyptian Sinai. But Israel is not the only victim of this development. African migrants and refugees seeking asylum in Israel have reportedly been captured and grossly ill treated by the Palestinian militants.

The Italian-based human rights organization EveryOne reported at the weekend that it had petitioned the Egyptian government to intervene and save the lives of 250 Eritrean refugees who were taken by Hamas operatives in Sinai earlier this month.

The Eritreans were reportedly making their way to Israel when they came across Hamas men in the desert. The Palestinians offered to smuggle them into Israel for a payment of $2,000, but instead took them to a holding facility outside the Sinai-Gaza border town of Rafah.

The Africans have been kept in abysmal conditions. What's worse, EveryOne reported that eight of the migrants were murdered and four others disappeared. All of them are believed to be victims of organ harvesting and trafficking. About 100 of the Africans have been moved to another facility purportedly in preparation to have their organs harvested, too.

A statement released by EveryOne said that the women and children among the African captives are regularly beaten and raped, and many are contemplating suicide.

In this iPad era, we have a story of horrific barbarity that would make Dr. Mengele feel proud. So what is our responsibility, as a nation, as an individual? What would Rudolf Vrba and the 2 million ghostly souls of Auschwitz tell us to do?

234 year ago Our Founders wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Have we learned from history, that today, all men include nomadic Africans refuges?

I believe that each of us is God's appointed guardian for ensuring that a righteous humanity radiates from this small blue- green planet. We cannot say we didn't know, we must able to tell our children, and ourselves we did what we needed to do.

Posted at 01:01 AM

Eight Baghdad Bombings Target Christians

From Informed Comment:

1:40 AM (18 hours ago)8 Baghdad Bombings Target Christiansfrom Informed Comment by JuanAl-Safir reports that 2 were killed and 14 wounded in a series of bombings extending over a two-hour period in Baghdad in the late afternoon on Thursday, which targeted Christians. The bloodiest attack took place in the district of of al-Ghadir in the center of the capital, where guerrillas attacked two Christian homes with bombs, killing two and wounding 5. The other five attacks, which took the form of roadside bombs, did not kill anyone, though they wounded a further 9 persons. Many Christians still live in al-Ghadir, though some number have fled because of the threats launched against them by Muslim radicals. Two bombs were detonated in West Baghdad, targetting the garden of a house owned by a Christian family. In the neighborhood of al-Barmouk, which wounded one person. The second targeted Christians in in the district of al-Khadra’, wounding two.

In Dora, in south Baghdad, a bombing wounded three Christians, and two more were injured by a bombing that targeted their home in al-Sayyidiya. Another bomb was set on Sina`a Street in Karrada, a shopping district in which is located Our Lady of Salvation Cathedral, which had been attacked on October 31 and its congregation massacred, with 41 killed. After that bloodbath, all the major churches in the capital had blast walls erected around them. Christmas celebrations were canceled and the only service was in honor of those Christians who had just been killed.

CNN has a video report by Jomanah Karadsheh

Last week, the threats from radicals had led most Iraqi Christians to commemorate Christmas in an unusually muted fashion, as ITN reported:

Syria’s Muslim, Allawi Shiite rulers, adopted the secular Baath Party, which downplays religious identity and so, relatively speaking, benefits Christians, who are about ten percent of the Syrian population. In neighboring Jordan, where Christians are also about ten percent, the Hashemite monarchy pursues a cultural policy of secular tolerance and religious traditionalism (as opposed to modernist fundamentalism). Both governments are relatively strong, and both have cracked down hard on fundamentalists and other radicals.

In Lebanon the Christian exodus was hastened by the Civil War of 1975-1989 and then by the political uncertainty thereafter, including the Israeli attack of 2006. Note that there has been little targeting of Christians qua Christians in Lebanon; the struggles are between political parties and clans. The Shiite party-militia, Hizbullah, has often had a close alliance with sections of the Maronite Christian community. Likewise, Christian Palestinians have left Gaza and the West Bank more because it is unpleasant to live under Israeli occupation than because they were attacked by Hamas.

As for Egypt, I’m not actually sure that there is significant Christian out-migration from that country. There are only about 340,000 Egyptian-Americans, and they are probably about evenly split between Christians and Muslims. Since there are 8 million or so Christians in Egypt, 170,000 just isn’t that many. In the 1990s, only about an average of 4000 Egyptians a year immigrated into the US. Only in the past five years has the annual average jumped to 10,000. Again, if that is approximately 5,000 Copts per year leaving Egypt for the US, it just isn’t all that significant demographically. Of course, some Egyptians do also emigrate to Europe, but I think those numbers are relatively small. Nearly 3 million Egyptian guest workers labor in oil states in the Middle East, but almost all of those come home once they save some money, and I don’t have the impression that Christians bulk large among them.

The Baath regime in Iraq was horrible for Kurds and Shiites, but it protected Chrisitans, and there were prominent Christian Baathists such as Tariq Aziz (Mikha’il Yuhanna). The current attacks on Iraqi Christians are not the operation of normal, everyday, Muslim culture in that country. Rather, the US overthrow of the secular Baath and the rise of fundamentalist Shiite and Sunni parties and militias removed the protection that Christians had enjoyed under secular nationalism. And, Iraqi Christians were unfairly tarred with the brush of Christian America’s occupation of that country, becoming politicized and made a symbol of collaboration in the absence of any real evidence for such a charge. The American occupation provoked the rise of radical cells intent on overturning the new, American-installed order, and they are scapegoating Iraq’s Christians as a soft target whereby to make their political points. But remember that these radical cells attack and kill far more other Muslims than they do the religious minorities. Remember, too, that many Iraqi Christians appear to settle in Syria and Lebanon once they flee Iraq– i.e. they are staying in the Middle East.

It doesn’t have much to do with mainstream Islam, which has made a place for Christians in the Middle East for nearly a millennium and a half. Rather, religion has been politicized in new ways by America’s muscular Christianity and its heavy-handed interventions in the region. And, in places like Egypt, local economic and status competition drives the conflict, as a side-effect of globalization. It should be remembered that in 1919-1922, during the Wafd Party’s campaign for independence from Britain, the Copts joined the freedom struggle and were lionized as symbols of authentic Egypt (being coded as direct descendants of the Pharaonic Egyptians).

All that said, for Iraqi and Egyptian Christians to be targeted by radical Muslim cells is very bad news and really could over time drain Iraq in particular of Its Christians, leaving it culturally and politically much impoverished and monochrome.

Egypt: Car Bomb Kills Seven At Coptic Church As Worshippers Gather To Greet New Year

From Gateway Pundit:

8:06 PM (7 minutes ago)Car Bomb Kills 7 at Egyptian Church As Worshippers Gathered to Greet New Yearfrom Gateway Pundit by Jim HoftAt lease seven Christians were killed today when a car bomb exploded outside a Christian Coptic Church in Alexandria, Egypt.

The worshippers were leaving mass when the bomb went off.

France 24 reported:

At least seven people died and 24 were injured early Saturday in an attack on a Christian church in the northern Egyptian city of Alexandria, rescue workers told AFP.

The toll was expected to rise as a number of victims were taken away by car from the scene of the explosion, they said.

The attack, apparently caused by a car bomb, took place as the faithful left the church in the Sidi Bechr district at around half past midnight on New Year’s Day. The witnesses said a burnt-out car was in front of the entrance to the church.

Many Christians were demonstrating in front of a nearby mosque, the witnesses told AFP.

Ethnic/Religious Cleansing Continues In The Muslim Middle East

From The American Thinker:

December 31, 2010

Ethnic/religious cleansing continues in Muslim Iraq

Ethel C. Fenig

The end of 2010 and the beginnings of 2011 will not be happy for Iraq's increasingly targeted Christian minority. More Muslim promises to kill them were backed up Thursday night with numerous bomb attacks and death to Christians throughout the city of Baghdad.

One week after an Islamic extremist group vowed to kill Christians in Iraq, a cluster of 10 bomb attacks rattled Baghdad on Thursday night and sent additional tremors of fear through the country's already shaken Christian minority.

Victims of the October siege of Our Lady of Salvation, a Syrian Catholic church in Baghdad, were remembered there Dec. 24.

Two people were killed and 20 wounded, all of them Christians, according to the Ministry of the Interior. The bombs were placed near the homes of at least 14 Christian families around the city, and four bombs were defused before they could explode.

So although they would like to remain in their Iraqi native land, where Christians have lived for 2000 years, Christians are fleeing for their lives.

By most estimates, more than half of Iraq's Christians have left the country since 2003. Though the exact size of the Christian population is unclear, by some estimates it has fallen to about 500,000 from a high of as many as 1.4 million before the American-led invasion.

But yet there are those who insist the Islam is a religion of peace. Tell that to these latest refugees of Muslim terror.

Posted at 08:33 AM

Israeli Energy Independence

From The American Thinker:

December 31, 2010

Israeli Energy Independence

Tom Roberson

In an ironic twist of fate, Israel is about to become a major Middle East energy producer through the discovery of one of the world's largest offshore natural gas fields, with serious implications for regional realignment and stability.

Houston-based Noble Energy confirmed the discovery of an estimated 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas deposits in its Leviathan offshore field, enough energy to power Israel for 100 years. The Leviathan field is part of the Levant Basin Province, estimated by the US Geological Survey to contain approximately 120 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas reserves equivalent to 20 billion barrels of oil. While far short of Saudi Arabia's proven reserves of 262 billion barrels of oil, it nevertheless holds the possibility of freeing Israel from dependence on the oil market, influenced by its Arab neighbors for energy.

Israel will now be able to achieve what we in America have longed for since the 1970s, an end to dependence on foreign oil. Imagine the regional realignment possibilities conceivable by an Israel no longer dependent on hostile neighbors for oil. I don't imagine this news was well received by her neighbors in the oil business as they will now lose a significant bargaining chip in regional relations.

The discovery in America of significant recoverable gas reserves in shale formations such as the Barnett shale in Texas, the Haynesville shale in Louisiana, and the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania, along with the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas, hold the same promise for America. However, environmentalists are working to shut down gas production in these areas due to their opposition to the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process used in horizontal shale drilling.

Environmentalists never seem to be satisfied as they oppose ANWR drilling, offshore drilling, nuclear energy, and, basically, any energy production at all in a vain attempt to return us to the pristine conditions of the Stone Age.

I hope that Israel will not allow similar distractions to derail its ability to free itself from dependence on often hostile neighbors for its energy needs.

Tom Roberson is an independent conservative blogging at and doing his small part to save his country. He'd love to hear from you.

Posted at 04:19 PM

Kosovo: Muslims Beat, Harass, Intimidate Christians

From Jihad Watch:

Kosovo: Muslims beat, harass, intimidate Christians

They'll get you in the end: "The Muslims then say, you can become Protestants, but in the end you have to come to us to get buried, because there is no other place to go." Islamic Tolerance Alert from that model of Islamic moderation, Kosovo: "Kosovo Protestants tell of hardship, survival," by Linda Karadaku for Southeast European Times, December 22 (thanks to Julia Gorin):

The small Protestant church in downtown Pristina has been around since 1985. Since then, its flock has grown to around 6,000 faithful, and 21 additional churches have been built around Kosovo.

But the denomination faces ongoing barriers in a country where the majority religion is Islam, says the community's spiritual leader, Pastor Arthur Krasniqi.

"In this part of the Balkans, among Albanians as well, religion has always played a role in, or [rather] has been abused by, politics for electoral or other purposes," he told SETimes.

Protestants, he said, have to deal with an atmosphere of unease. "They are visited at home, threatened there will be no place for them to be buried when they die, and their families are frequently isolated," he said.

Sometimes, the pressure takes the form of physical violence. In Prizren, Krasniqi says, Muslim extremists beat a Kosovo Protestant, Besim Ajeti, earlier this year. Six people were arrested but released for lack of evidence.

In what the Protestants say was another example of intimidation, the Islamic community in Gjakova decided to post a list of Protestant missionaries and leaders, together with their addresses, on a website.

The information was taken down after complaints to authorities.

According to Krasniqi, Protestants face legal obstacles when they seek to build churches and, in some cases, do not even have the right to bury their dead.

Instead, he said, they must ask Islamic imams to perform the burial and pay a fee to the Islamic Community for this service.

"The Muslims then say, you can become Protestants, but in the end you have to come to us to get buried, because there is no other place to go," he said.

The community has challenged what it says are onerous restrictions and is presenting its case before the Supreme Court. A particular concern, Krasniqi says, is the current law on religious freedom.

"The law clearly says religious communities aren't legal entities in Kosovo. That means we don't have the right to have properties or employ people."

Similarly, the group plans to challenge the education ministry's financing of an Islamic madrasa in the capital. Calling for clear separation of religion and state, they say the government should not be in the business of funding religious communities.

Posted by Robert on December 30, 2010 7:25 AM

Iraq: Islamic Jihadists Murder Two Christians, Wound Twelve With Bombs At Christian Homes In Baghdad

From Jihad Watch:

Iraq: Islamic jihadists murder two Christians, wound twelve with bombs at Christian homes in Baghdad

Feel the love. "Iraqi Christians killed in series of Baghdad attacks," from the Telegraph, December 30:

At least two Christians were killed and 12 people wounded in a series of attacks on Christian homes in Baghdad, according to Iraq's interior ministry.

The worst attack was in the central Baghdad district of Al-Ghadir, where a homemade bomb exploded around 8pm (1700 GMT), killing the two Christians and wounding three others, including one Christian, an official from the ministry said.

Al-Ghadir is an area with a significant Christian population, though many have fled following the massacre and in light of threats by al-Qaeda to target them. The number of Christians left in Iraq is estimated at between 450,000 and 500,000, including around 300,000 Roman Catholics (down from 387,000 in 1980)....

Iraq is still recovering from a massacre at a Baghdad cathedral in October. A group of Islamist extremists burst into the church of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad, murdering two priests, holding the congregation hostage and eventually killing more than 50 people....

Posted by Robert on December 30, 2010 12:42 PM

Pakistan: Government Bows To Islamofascists' Threats, Backs Out Of Commitment To Review Blasphemy Laws

From Jihad Watch:

Pakistani govt bows to Islamic groups' threats, backs out of commitment to review Islamic blasphemy laws

A defeat for human rights. "Pakistan refuses to modify Islamic 'blasphemy' laws," by Aftab Alexander Mughal for Spero News, December 30:

The government of Pakistan has backed out its commitment to review the country's controversial Islamic blasphemy laws. On Dec. 30, 2010, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Shah requested that merchants and those in favor of the blasphemy laws to call off their nation-wide shutdown of businesses scheduled for Dec. 31 because the government has no intention to change or repeal these laws. The government's move is to appease Islamic religious groups who have announce that they will shutter their businesses on New Years Eve to protest against any move to amend the laws. Just a week ago, the Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti declared that despite various pressures the government will definitely review the laws.

Islamic laws against the "blasphemy" of Islam, Muhammad, the Koran, and Islamic personalities were introduced by late Genral Zia-ul-Haq in 1980s and have widely been misused against Christians, Ahmadis, Hindus and liberal Muslims. Christians and human rights groups have been demanding for the total repeal of the laws.

Yesterday, the government in the National Assembly (lower house of the parliament) categorically denied any move to amend or repeal the blasphemy laws. "The government considers that its prime responsibility is to protect this law and it will never support any private members' bill even from the treasury benches in this regard," said the federal minister in a policy statement.

Maulana Attaur Rehman, the younger brother of Maulana Fazlur Rehman, head of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, a pro-Taliban party, said in the National Assembly the blasphemy laws were a sensitive issue for Muslims and every Muslim has concerns on any effort that made to repeal this law....

They all clearly misunderstand their expansive, generous, peaceful, tolerant religion.

Posted by Robert on December 30, 2010 2:29 PM

Dry Bones: Double-Standard

From Dry Bones:

housing, land,Jews, Israel, : Dry Bones cartoon.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mexico: In A Death Spiral

From The American Thinker:

December 27, 2010

Mexico in death spiral

Tom Roberson

Americans fearful of the direction our country is taking need only look south of the border to see the results of a country descending into chaos.

Narcoterrorism has claimed the lives of over 31,000 and plunged Mexico into a death spiral as the government struggles to reestablish law and order. In an indication of just how bad the violence has become, Marisela Escobedo Ortiz was recently gunned down in front of the governor's office in Chihuahua as she protested the government's inability to apprehend her daughter's murderer. Mothers are sacrosanct in Mexico, and this unprecedented killing has prompted outrage from a populace weary of violence.

The violence is also taking an economic toll as companies shun Mexico in favor of expansion in the US. Cheap labor no longer compensates for the uncertainty drug cartel violence has created. This violence is also affecting American imports of fruits and vegetables as inspectors are pulled out of Mexico for their safety.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has vowed to crush the drug cartels and is slowly making progress with actions such as the appointment of General Jesus Villa as police chief of Torreon, key to a major drug route being contested by rival drug gangs. General Villa's first act was to fire most of the Torreon police force as they were actually working for the drug cartels.

While America has yet to sink to the depths of chaos Mexico is experiencing, it does share a border with Mexico and the Mexican drug cartels are exporting their products, along with their violence, across our border. Criticism of American drug demand enabling and exacerbating the problem rings hollow as America is also criticized for supplying the weapons drug cartels demand. You can't have it both ways.

The fact is that Mexican corruption begat a culture where drug cartels could thrive and they did. Now, the problem is too big to ignore or pass off.. Corruption is pervasive as a recent pipeline explosion in Mexico City was the result of thieves illegally tapping the pipeline to steal fuel.

And that's the way it is south of the border.

Tom Roberson is an independent conservative blogging at and doing his small part to save his country. He'd love to hear from you.

Posted at 07:39 AM

What To Expect In The Peace Process

From The American Thinker:

December 27, 2010

What to expect in the peace process

Ted Belman

Israel has made a switch from concessions-based diplomacy (it's about time) to security-based diplomacy. So I was informed when I attended a panel discussion in Jerusalem which was organized by Hadar-Israel.

The panelists included Maj-Gen (ret) Amidror, Maj. Gen. (res) Uzi Dayan and Ambassador Dore Gold. It was chaired by Dan Diker, and was a great evening. These people are at the top of their game and know what they are talking about.

Amidror focused on rejecting an international force as our security blanket, arguing that the last thing Israel needs is for American soldiers to go home in coffins. Besides, only the IDF will fight the terrorists in defense of Israel. History teaches us this.

In this context he dropped a bomb. He made it absolutely clear that Israel was not asking the US to bomb Iran. How did he know? "We're making plans to do it ourselves." No way did he want Israel to seen as in need of US protection.

Dayan dealt with our need for defensible borders, which Israel has just started putting forward. Israel will never agree to borders before all the other things are agreed upon. He pointed out that Rabin's policies just prior to his assassination are now Likud's policies, including an undivided Jerusalem belonging to Israel, no retreat from the Golan, no right of return and defensible borders. Our security needs require Israel to be on the Jordan and be in control of the airspace.

Dore Gold gave an overview. Many countries are now recognizing Palestine. He said that there is a possibility that the US will get both sides to state their positions and that the US would then table bridging proposals. Something appears to be in the air. With this in mind, he said Erekat wrote an article for the Guardian, which was quite unprecedented, in which he took a very hard line on the right of return. Abbas recently took a hard line on the new Palestinian state being Judenrein and on '67 borders.

Gold argued that they were setting down markers in anticipation of the US position and Israel must do the same. It will no longer suffice for Israel to avoid stating its demands preferring to embrace platitudes of peace. It will now go hardline and demand what Rabin demanded.

Gold raised the issue of whether we can expect the US to veto any untoward Security Council resolution. In this context, he informed the audience that in 1975 the US came to an understanding with Israel which she put into writing, that the US would not allow a substitute for Resolution 242 in peace negotiations. I wasn't aware of that but I was aware that the US inserted the Saudi Plan in the Roadmap in 2003 in contravention of this pledge. One year later, in the Bush to Sharon letter on the eve of Disengagement, Bush ignored the Saudi Plan and referred only to Resolution 242 as the basis of settlement. This resolution also mandated a negotiated settlement. It remains to be seen whether the US will honor its commitment.

Finally, Gold reiterated the need for an undivided Jerusalem, saying it was impossible to divide it because all the Jewish and Arab areas in the eastern part of Jerusalem were intermingled. He said that in 2006 there were just under 200,000 Jews living in this area and now there are many more. He also reminded that audience that the Jewish population in Jerusalem was shrinking. Jews were leaving the city. The reasons given by them were, no housing and no jobs. Accordingly, he strongly argued for much more building, particularly of low cost housing, and for a national program to invigorate job prospects. He considered this a national priority.

Retaining Jerusalem was a strategic necessity. You can't cut out your heart and survive. Zionism was about the return to Zion. Enough said.

Obviously, going hardline will not lead to peace but the end of the peace process. The parties, he said, were now playing the blame game for when this becomes apparent.

Posted at 04:07 PM

The AP Re-casts Palestinian Terror War Agaisnt Israel As "Israeli-Palestinian Violence"

From The American Thinker:

December 27, 2010

AP recasts Palestinian terror war as 'Israeli-Palestinian violence'

Leo Rennert

The Associated Press, in a post-Christmas dispatch, distributed an article from Jerusalem about 2010 turning into a record tourism year for Israel.

One would think that since this calls for a simple rewrite of a Tourism Ministry press release that only deals with numbers of visitors to Israel, the AP would play it straight.

It does not.

Even in what seems at first an innocuous, straightforward bit of news, leave it to some reporter and editor at the AP to inject an anti-Israel poison pill into the dispatch, which found its way into hundreds, perhaps thousands, of media outlets around the world.

In accounting for the upsurge in tourists, the AP contrasts recently improved security with waves of "Israeli-Palestinian violence" in the last decade.

What a neat way to sanitize a Palestinian war terror war against Israel.

At the AP apparently, "intifada" -- a gentle Arabic euphemism for a Palestinian "uprising" that killed more than 1,000 Israeli civilians post-2000 -- is no longer a sufficient disguise to let the Palestinian side off the hook.

Now even that's gone and replaced by "Israeli-Palestinian violence." Note that Israel is given precedence over the Palestinians in fomenting the violence -- a complete distortion and perversion of history. The AP ends up granting absolution to Palestinian terror, while blaming Israel for it.

George Orwell must be chuckling in his grave.

Posted at 04:44 PM

Monday Iran Talking Points

From Blog:

Dec 27, 2010 (3 days ago)Monday Iran Talking Pointsfrom Blog by Eli Cliftonfrom LobeLog: News and Views Relevant to U.S.-Iran relations for December 27th, 2010:

The Weekly Standard: Stephen F. Hayes blogs on a report that a member of Iran’s Qods Force, serving as a Taliban commander, has been arrested in Afghanistan. Hayes writes that this capture disproves the commonly held belief that Iran and the Taliban are adversaries and provides further evidence that Iran has been providing “increasingly lethal support” to the Taliban. “And yet senior Obama administration officials have either downplayed the seriousness of Iran’s support or ignored it altogether, despite a never-ending series of reports from the U.S. military that such coordination is happening,” he concludes, adding that NATO forces in Afghanistan (as ISAF) have retracted their claim that the man was part of the Qods Force.

Commentary: Jonathan S. Tobin, writing on Commentary’s Contentions blog, offers his take on The New York Times’s exposé on the limited number of U.S. companies who have received exemptions from the trade sanctions against Iran. (See our coverage of the article here.) “While the purpose of the statute that allows for exemptions was to provide humanitarian aid, the Obama administration has let things like chewing gum, sports equipment and even hot sauce be sold to Iran,” writes Tobin. “In light of these revelations, it’s clear that sanctions will never work to halt the march of this terror sponsor toward nuclear capability,” he warns. “After reading this shocking story, there’s little doubt that Ahmadinejad and his tyrannical Islamist confederates are laughing at us.”

The Washington Post: Jennifer Rubin, writing on her Right Turn blog, interviews Israeli ambassador Michael Oren who warns that sanctions “…have not impacted Iran’s nuclear behavior. Now [the Obama administration is] talking about ‘ratcheting up’ the sanctions. That’s good but the ultimate test is whether Iran will cease enrichment on its soil.” Oren emphasized that for both the United States and Israel “all options remain on the table.” But when pushed for specifics ways of indicating to the Iranians that the threat of force was real, he responded “There are ways to communicate that [a military option is real] to the Iranians.”

Map of Lebanon And Druze Communities

From Informed Comment:

Druze Communities

Islamic Supremacists Envision A Take-Over Of The Internet

From The American Thinker:

December 28, 2010

Islamic Supremacists Envision a Takeover of the Internet

By Pamela Geller

It was hardly noticed at the time, but its consequences could be catastrophic. Late last September, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which assigns internet domain names, approved a huge change in the way it operates. Europe and North America will now have five seats on its Board of Directors, instead of ten, and a new "Arab States" region will have five seats as well.

How big a deal is this? ICANN at the same time took a reference to "terrorism" out of its Draft Applicant Guidebook. Why? Because Arab groups complained. And so now jihad terror websites can grow and prosper, as ICANN has removed its own ability to police them.

This has been a long time coming.

Back in October 2009, I warned of a seismic transformation in internet regulation and free speech. Under the transnational-happy Obama administration, the U.S. relinquished control of the net at that time. ICANN ended its agreement with the U.S. government.

If not America, who? Now we know the answer to that. The new agreement gave other countries (including dictatorships and rogue nations) and the U.N. the ability to set internet use policies. At the time, I wrote, "[W]atch for Sharia law to find its way into this."

Well, that didn't take long. The ICANN action in September gave the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and other unfriendly nations a prominent internet role -- something they never could get during the administration of George W. Bush.

News analyst Daniel Greenfield explains:

The OIC has already effectively used the UN to push its censorship agenda. But the UN is virtually toothless when it comes to the United States. However if the Muslim world can dominate ICANN the way it dominates the UN General Assembly, then free speech on the internet is dead.

In practice, the new arrangement makes it much easier for Muslim countries to dictate what stays on the internet and what doesn't. The removal of the material about "terrorism" was just muscle-flexing; there is much more of that kind of censorship coming. If this stands, anti-jihad sites like my own site and the site run by my colleague Robert Spencer will likely lose their domain names. It will become harder and harder to find the truth about jihad activity, or any resistance to it, on the internet or anywhere else.

Why is this necessary at all? Why should the U.S. relinquish control of its own invention? The internet was our extraordinary gift to the world. We kept it free. And now, like some depraved drunk, we are tossing it away and relinquishing control to the vultures and destroyers.

The new "net neutrality" rules approved last week by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will just make that easier as well. Columnist Jonathan Gurwitz explains:

Net neutrality is anything but neutral. It takes the operation of the Internet away from the heterogeneous and diversified interests of the private sector that has created it and concentrates it in the hands of an unelected and unaccountable board of political appointees atop a federal bureaucracy.

"Few proposals in Washington have been sold employing such deceptive language - and that's saying something," observed James G. Lakely, the co-director of the Center on the Digital Economy for the Heartland Institute, a free-market think-tank. "But few public policy ideas can boast the unashamedly socialist pedigree of net neutrality."

Lakely charged that FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, an Obama crony, wants to "claim for the FCC the power to decide how every bit of data is transferred from the Web to every personal computer and handheld device in the nation." While net neutrality advocates advertised their plan as one that would ensure a "free and open internet," in reality, net neutrality was an attempt to limit the freedom of internet users by subjecting what had always been a free-market give-and-take to government regulation. In short, the FCC would control how all information reached personal computers.

An internet censored by Muslim ideologues and controlled by the feds. Do you see your freedom of speech slipping away?

John Bolton said at an appearance at Duke University in 2009, "[I]t's not American strength that's provocative, it's American weakness." Now we are reaping the poisonous fruit of Obama's skulduggery: Islamic takeover.

Pamela Geller is the editor and publisher of the Atlas Shrugs website and former associate publisher of the New York Observer. She is the author of The Post-American Presidency.

Back To Declinism

From AEI:

Back to Declinism By Michael Auslin

National Review Online

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In the judgment of Yale historian Paul Kennedy, a world in which a shrunken America is just primus inter pares, "one of the most prominent players in the small club of great powers," is all but inevitable, a natural turning of the seasons. While many on the left would welcome such an egalitarian future--it is not "a bad thing," Kennedy claims--the rest of the world, especially liberal-democratic nations, may quibble just a bit with this rather prosaic and utilitarian view of global power.

Kennedy--who was my colleague at Yale for most of the last decade--made his reputation by limning the "rise and fall of great powers," and his most recent article in The New Republic, "Back to Normalcy," is but a variant of this oft-played theme. Galloping widely through the last half-millennium of Western history, he purports to show how America's global position rests on an increasingly unstable three-legged stool of "soft power," economic power, and military power. Each is eroding as other nations rise. In Kennedy's telling, the ability to challenge America for regional or possibly global leadership is merely a matter of aping American models and asserting the national will.

This view may not be incorrect in tracing current trends and perhaps even in sketching the rough contours of the near future. Yet this argument lacks any moral component and is overly dismissive of the sources of both domestic power and global stability.

In the clinical view that Kennedy takes, the United States (and before it, Great Britain) is, in the end, simply interchangeable with all previous and future great powers, and its unique domestic society and global behavior are but epiphenomenal. The best that Kennedy can do is a grudging acknowledgment that "we should all be careful to wish away a reasonably benign American hegemony; we might regret its going." Such are the wages paid to nearly two centuries of liberal growth and international stewardship.

He is dead wrong when he writes that "American hopes of reshaping Asia sometimes look curiously like former British hopes of reshaping the Middle East. Don't go there."Nowhere in Kennedy's ruminations do the words "liberty" or "freedom" appear, and he mentions democracy only once, when recounting Harvard political scientist Joseph Nye's analysis of the global effects of American power. The indivisible links among a given society's domestic structure, its national strength, and its international position are thus dismissed.

There is no recognition either that national greatness over the long term must come from the character of a given society or that the nature of the hegemonic country will determine to a great degree the nature of the international system. It is no accident that Great Britain and the United States became so powerful and stable. Surely, the unique combination of ever-more-efficient capitalist financing and production along with slowly expanding democracy should be accounted the prime source of Anglo-American greatness.

To this potent mix was accreted generations of evolution in social trust, transparency in economic interactions, and the firming of the bedrock of law. All of these accelerated industrial development, and thereby human wellbeing, more evenly and for a longer period of time than did any other system in history. To treat them as but an incidental factor in the rise to power of Great Britain and the United States is to eviscerate one's explanatory scheme and make any predictions a risky gamble. China's attempt to continue growing without developing mechanisms of self-expression, trust, and impartial law is an experiment the world will watch keenly over the coming decades, but only a reckless prognosticator would assume that such growth is inevitable. It is not so simple as playing "catch-up," in Paul Kennedy's words, even if America's relative economic strength will indeed decline over time.

Kennedy's thesis also glides over the sources of international norms, stability, and the provision of global public goods. On the global stage, countries ruled by law and in which the people are sovereign act very differently from those ruled by an oligarchy. Kennedy's realist vision is one in which states are but indistinguishable billiard balls, knocking into each other on a cosmic pool table. Yet cultural preferences must surely explain the post-1945 international behavior of Washington, London, Ottawa, and Canberra, to name a few. Providing public goods through such actions as ensuring freedom of the seas, hosting and nurturing international organizations, and supporting democracy worldwide marked the second half of the 20th century as one of the most progressive in history. No one can think that today's liberal international order, as flawed and often ineffective as it is, is less preferable to a 19th-century colonialist balance-of-power system, or to a future dominated by China, Russia, Iran, and Venezuela.

Kennedy's argument further presumes that America's hegemonic desires alone are the cause of the spread of democracy around the globe. He is dead wrong when he writes that "American hopes of reshaping Asia sometimes look curiously like former British hopes of reshaping the Middle East. Don't go there." Democratic triumphs in Taiwan, South Korea, Mongolia, and the Philippines (to say nothing of East Europe nearly a generation ago) did not originate in Washington, D.C., though American moral and material aid certainly helped stabilize new representative regimes. To ignore the liberal striving of millions is both to cruelly dismiss their collective courage and to set up the grounds for stripping American foreign policy of its moral wellspring. By continuing to acknowledge and aid the genuine aspirations for greater democracy in many countries, America and other liberal nations not only live up to their ideals, but more effectively marshal their resources and help swell the tide of freedom.

The "normal" world envisioned by Kennedy also apparently eschews such distinctions as "authoritarianism" and "totalitarianism," which get no mention in his argument. Should the world accept aggressive behavior in the global commons simply because that reflects the nature of the most powerful actors? Is such a world preferable to one in which the United States promotes liberal values even if it has outsized capabilities and influence? A world in which America is but one leading power among others will very likely witness reduced levels of social and economic development and political stability. History should make us very way of assuming that a world without a liberal hegemon will be one in which liberal values and benign stewardship continue to shape the international system, especially when many of the most powerful actors are authoritarian.

In the end, Paul Kennedy may be right about the current trajectory of global politics. However, we should all recognize that this will be a terrible state of affairs. It is one thing to see that such a world might be emerging, but another thing to welcome it. Kennedy's deep ambivalence about the positive role of the United States both now and in the future is matched by the realpolitik he appears to assume is not merely normal, but perhaps even preferable to a system in which an imperfect America attempts to nourish the liberal values that have made our world a far more humane place than it was at any other time in history.

Michael Auslin is a resident scholar at AEI.

Mahmoud Abbas Promises Apartheid Palestinian State

From The American Thinker:

December 28, 2010

Mahmoud Abbas promises apartheid Palestine state

Ethel C. Fenig

Attention apartheid shoppers: Have we got a potential bargain country for you! Mahmoud Abbas, the expired term head of the mythical country of Palestine, has promised

"We have frankly said, and always will say: If there is an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, we won't agree to the presence of one Israeli in it," Abbas told reporters in Ramallah.

Abbas is in bad company, joining other apartheid states in the region in segregating some religious or ethnic groups. Jordan, which does not allow Jews to live in the country, also refuses to grant citizenship to some of its so called Palestinian citizens even though they have the same religious and cultural background. Lebanon confines people it calls Palestinians to certain areas, denies them citizenship, prohibits them from numerous professions and education. Saudi Arabia does not allow Christians to enter the country with Christian bibles or other religious symbols; if found they are immediately confiscated. Houses of worship other than mosques are not allowed. Very few Jews are allowed to enter the country. Syria's Jews fled the country; none live there now.

Will the UN and its upcoming Durban anti racism racist conference, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and all the other so called human rights anti racism organizations condemn--or even mildly rebuke--Abbas for his latest blatantly hated filled, pro apartheid pronouncement? Based on previous (non) action the answer is no; based on previous action they will praise him for his peaceful statements and intent while condemning Israel.

Posted at 09:26 AM

Tuesday Iran Talking Points

From Blog:

Dec 28, 2010 (2 days ago)Tuesday Iran Talking Pointsfrom Blog by Eli Cliftonfrom LobeLog: News and Views Relevant to U.S.-Iran relations for December 28th, 2010:

The Weekly Standard: The Foundation for Defense of Democracies‘ Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz write that the Obama administration’s sanctions against Iran have “assiduously avoided punishing any major European, Russian, or Chinese transgressor of U.S.-mandated sanctions,” and that they must now “ratchet up significantly the pain in Tehran while encouraging our allies to continue to do more than they’d originally thought possible.” They advocate that the administration expose the role played by the Iranian Republican Guard Corps in the crude oil exporting supply chain and then sanction foreign companies which participate in this trade. “Current sanctions and the regime’s atrocious economic management have brought hard times. For the United States and its allies to be successful, the times need to be made a good deal harder still,” they conclude.

The Washington Post: Jennifer Rubin, writing on her Right Turn blog, picks up on the Weekly Standard’s report on NATO forces capturing a member of Iran’s Qods Force who was serving as a Taliban commander. “Iranian citizens may be pinched by sanctions, but the regime continues to support terrorism, attack U.S. troops and pursue its nuclear program,” writes Rubin. Her post, published on December 27th, noticeably overlooks a retraction of the claim, issued by NATO, on December 24th, which read, “The International Security Assistance Force has determined a cross-border weapons facilitator detained Dec. 18 is not a member of the Iranian Qods force, as was originally reported.” (emphasis added)

The Washington Examiner: American Enterprise Institute Fellow and former UN Ambassador John Bolton opines that Obama’s Iran policy has hinged on a “naive belief” that Iran will engage in negotiations about its nuclear program and has, “…continued to make progress toward obtaining deliverable nuclear weapons, and suffered only minimal economic sanctions as a result.” Bolton suggests that the administration is pursuing a path of containing a nuclear Iran but, “This is almost certainly wrong, since Iran’s leaders do not see human life the same way that Moscow’s atheists did.” He concludes, “Weakness inspires our adversaries, and dispirits our friends, invariably to our collective disadvantage. And in that sense, Barack Obama is truly one of the most provocative presidents in American history.”

How's That Religion Of Peace Doing These Days?

From The American Thinker;

December 29, 2010

How's That Religion of Peace Doing These Days?

By Eileen F. Toplansky

Only a few days remain until 2011, and still there is no end to Islamic hatred in the world.

•Christmas was celebrated in an unusual way in Indonesia this year. Since sharia forbids the construction of any new churches, hundreds of members of Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Parung, West Java, Indonesia decided to celebrate Mass "in a tent set up in the parking lot of the Marsudirini Elementary School." Although on paper, Indonesia's constitution states that "no one has the right to prohibit any religious community from practicing its faith" the rising influence of Islamic radicals is obliterating all this.

•In Pakistan in July of 2010, "a dozen masked men shot five Christians to death as they came out of their church." In May, "church leaders had received a threatening letter from the Islamic extremist group Sip-e-Sahaba warning the Christians to leave the area as 'they [were] polluting [the] land.'"

•In the Washington Times, Jeffrey Kuhner writes about ongoing anti-Christian pogroms in the Middle East. A word usually ascribed to the mass destruction of Jews, it is now being applied here, as "Christians have endured bombings, murders, assassinations, torture, imprisonment and expulsions. These anti-Christian pogroms culminated recently with the brutal attack on Our Lady of Salvation, an Assyrian Catholic church in Baghdad. Al Qaeda gunmen stormed the church during Mass, slaughtering 51 worshippers and two priests. Father Wassim Sabih begged the jihadists to spare the lives of his parishioners. They executed him and then launched their campaign of mass murder."

•Thus, the "Christian population is declining in every majority Muslim country in the [Middle East] region and is under increasingly severe pressure even in Lebanon, where it still constitutes 35 percent of the population." Besides the decimation of life, the churches which once preserved the "traditions of the Apostolic era in ways no other Christian rites or denominations do" are being destroyed. Every majority Muslim country is seeing the obliteration of Christian historic and cultural sites. Yet the world remains mute.

•Of course, Muslims who disagree with their Islamist rulers suffer as well. Life for the Arabs of Gaza has certainly not improved under Hamas. Since Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Gazan women have been targeted by Islamic religious crackdowns in the area. Intimidation and terror shape their every move, and Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar pledges "to continue the shaheed project of violent" jihad against Israel." Furthermore, Zahar has "defended the draconian approach in Gaza by asking, [is] it a crime to Islamize the people?"

•Stoning continues to be prevalent in Islamic lands. In August of 2010, the Afghan Taliban publicly stoned to death two people because they wanted to marry each other but the woman had already been promised to a relative. The 19-year-old woman was forced to wear her burqa to her execution. This is only one of the many honor killings emblematic of Muslim-on-Muslim crimes. Thus, "in the last thirty years, the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, the Turks, the Saudis, the Iranians, and the Egyptians have all engaged in ... stonings, beheadings, hangings, burying young girls alive, amputations, nose and ear chopping, floggings, [and] acid thrown in the faces of young girls for improper veiling." Stoning, in fact, is a "legal punishment [which] is embedded explicitly in traditional Islamic law, applied to crimes of 'sina' or adultery and fornication." According to "Mina Ahadi, Founder of International Committees Against Execution and Stoning, 150 people may have been stoned in Iran over the past 30 years." In Somalia, a 17-year-old who converted to Christianity from Islam was shot to death in an apparent honor killing. Her name was Nurta Mohamed Farah. Her relatives were involved in the heinous murder.

•In the Islamic Regime of Iran, Kurdish Iranian activists await execution because of their political beliefs.

•Caning is also alive and well in Indonesia, where "two people were caned in Indonesia's staunchly Muslim Aceh province after being caught having an extramarital kiss," according to the Indonesian prosecutor.

•New threats are emerging that Muslim extremists are promising a new kind of terrorism which involves implanting a bomb inside an operative's body. Thus, stitching a bomb made of plastic or liquid explosives into the abdominal cavity of a suicide bomber is being considered by al-Qaeda to achieve its destructive goals. I.Q. al-Rassooli explains that "almost 25 years ago, a Muslim terror group planted a bomb on the baby of one of their operatives." Fortunately, El Al security officers stopped the family, but "using babies, wives, or animals is not beneath [the terrorists] modes of operation. They will go to any depraved level to execute their terror tactics."

•A Muslim member of the Israeli Knesset calls for an "Islamic caliphate in Israel." Masud Ganaim argues that "an Islamic caliphate should be established and it should include Israel."

•In 1996, as part of his fulfillment for a Masters degree, Baheg T. Bistawros wrote "The Coptic Christians of Egypt Today: Under the Threat of Annihilation." In his thesis, he documents how "Egypt has been able to elude world condemnation despite the grave situation of twelve million Coptic Christians in that country." Thus, "Coptic Christians in Egypt ... are suffering in their own land," and Coptic Christians "are continuously reminded that any protest and complaint will endanger the safety of the Christians all over Egypt. The scheme and objectives of the Moslim [sic] regimes are to destroy the Christians and the non-Moslims [sic] economically, socially, and educationally, or convert them by force to Islam."

Things have only worsened, as al-Qaeda is now specifically targeting Canadian Coptic Christians. Thus, "[t]he Shumukh-al-Islam website, often considered to be al-Qaeda's mouthpiece, listed pictures, addresses and cell phone numbers of Coptic Christians, predominantly Egyptian-Canadians, who have been vocal about their opposition to Islam." Voice of America explains how "Christians in the Middle East are on alert after Islamist extremists called them 'legitimate targets' days after a bloody siege of a Baghdad church. In Egypt, security has been stepped up around Christian sites as Islamists demand the release of two Coptic women who reportedly converted to Islam."

Furthermore, "[a]l-Qaida in Iraq posted an internet statement saying 'the killing sword will not be lifted' from the necks of Christians, in Iraq and across the region. The speaker said his group will go after ... 'children' in Syria, Lebanon and Egypt, adding there are hundreds of thousands of Christians and hundreds of churches on what he referred to as Islamic soil. He said they will be targeted if Christians do not submit to his group's demands."

•And in Great Britain, "British pupils are being taught how to carry out Sharia punishments at Islamic schools." Muslims continue to import elements of sharia to Western countries. Such fare includes this advice in a junior high school text: "For thieves their hands will be cut off for a first offence, and their foot for a subsequent offence."

•Sweden saw terrorist explosions in the busy shopping street of Drottninggatan as Islamic terrorists "singled out Lars Vilks, a cartoonist threatened repeatedly with murder since publishing a derogatory cartoon of the prophet Mohammed in 2007." Vilks has not been the only cartoonist threatened with death because of his drawings.

•Mahmoud Abbas, whose office controls the Palestinian Authority Television, routinely "presents the killing of Jews as a religious obligation and a fulfillment of the Islamic ideal." A video on official Hamas Television "calls for Allah to kill Jews, Christians, Communists and their supporters."

It is vitally important that freedom-loving people come to understand that "Islam is not a religion; it is foreign law" whose adherents will stop at nothing to impose it upon the West. Look closely at these Muslims who marched through the streets of London during their 2006 Religion of Peace Demonstration. Does "Behead Those Who Insult Islam" sound peaceful to you?

Eileen can be reached at

Maps Of Jordan

From Informed Comment:

Map of Jordan

Map of Jordan

Southern Sudan, Fighting Islamization From The 1800s Up To Present Day

From Creeping Sharia:

Southern Sudan, fighting Islamization from the 1800′s til today

Posted on December 30, 2010 by creeping

A very interesting two-part interview by Heather Robinson with Simon Deng on the plight of South Sudan against the jihad. A brief excerpt via Big Peace, Simon Deng: ‘No More Enslavement… Islamization, and No More Arabization’ For Southern Sudan:

Since the 1950’s, war has raged between the Islamist government of Sudan based in the capital, Khartoum, and the Christian and animist South. Between 1955 and 1972, one and a half million Sudanese Christians and animists were killed by Sudan’s Islamist government. From the early 1980’s until 2005, 2 million South Sudanese were killed through violence and the withholding of food aid, according to escaped slave and human rights activist Simon Deng. Thousands were enslaved.

This political, racial and religious drama played out tragically for the children of South Sudan, including Deng. At age 9 he was kidnapped by a slave-dealer and enslaved by an Arab Muslim family – a common practice during the decades-long war between the country’s Muslim North and Christian South.


Heather Robinson: Let’s speak about the January 9th referendum. Do you think the Southerners will vote for secession?

Simon Deng: Yes, one hundred percent. If Sharia Law is the law of the nation, how can you tell me I have a place? I’ll speak for myself and my family …We’re fed up. Enough is enough. Four million lives perished in the name of ‘unity.’ … We want freedom now. No more enslavement. No more Islamization and no more Arabization. We are not going back into enslavement.

HR: Do you have any concerns as to whether the Khartoum government will respect the outcome of the vote on January 9th? What happens the day after?

SD: January 9th we will cast our vote. Whether the moon will fall from the sky is irrelevant. Whether the sun will come out is irrelevant. We do not look toward the sun, the moon, the waves. We only look toward that day.


HR: It was former President George W. Bush, whom you personally met with after you walked from the United Nations to the Capitol on your historic Freedom Walk, who brokered the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South, correct?

SD: Yes, he brought freedom as part of the CPA [Comprehensive Peace Agreement]. We want him to tell the world now, “The will of the people [of Southern Sudan] should not be denied, and this is what we believe as free people in a free nation, the United States of America.” He is a hero – not just in Southern Sudan, but in all of Africa.

HR: Really?

SD: George W. Bush is the one who has championed freedom and defended freedom. He said he would promote freedom wherever people call for freedom. The people of Southern Sudan are calling for it now … We are asking the former President: Mr. Bush, please stand with us. We need you now more than ever. Stand with us for the last and final minute as we are coming to decide.


SD: In the 1800’s. It goes back in time to when Islam came to Sudan. The people of Darfur were the ones to convert to Islam. But they failed to convert the Shilluk tribes. We fought a bloody war.

HR: Those are your people, who are now the South Sudanese Christians?

SD: Yes, my people fought a bloody war. Arab Muslims [waged war] to convert the Shilluk Kingdom into Islam. [The Shilluk Kingdom] is a gateway to Southern Sudan because we are on the Nile. If every Shilluk had converted a long time ago, not only Sudan but all of Africa would be Islamic.

HR: So your people held the line?

SD: The Shilluk Kingdom [has been] paying the price. If you go to South Sudan, you will see the Shilluk Kingdom is the only standing kingdom in Sudan today. It is the kingdom that fought the terrorists before anyone knew the definition of the word terrorist.

HR: When were these battles?

SD: In the 1800’s…[The Shilluk Kingdom]…fought Islamization before anyone knew about radical Islam. These are the stories no one even knows.

Read it all, and read Part I: Christians Prepare for Independence in Sudan, the Frontline of the War on Terror

Thursday Iran Talking Points

From Blog:

9:26 AM (12 hours ago)Thursday Iran Talking Pointsfrom Blog by Eli Cliftonfrom LobeLog: News and Views Relevant to U.S.-Iran relations for December 30th, 2010:

Commentary: J.E. Dyer, writing on Commentary’s Contentions blog, says that Iran has sought to weaken the U.S. military’s capabilities in the region by exploring bilateral defense agreements with Oman and Qatar and by exploiting the domestic political tensions between Shias and Sunnis in Bahrain. All three countries host U.S. forces. These developments limit “Washington’s latitude to “calibrate” force,” sayd Dyer, and make our allies question whether siding with the U.S. could lead to retaltions from Iran. Dyer concludes, “We may validly perceive benefits in waiting to take action [against Iran], but doing so always carries costs. This is one of them.”

Commentary: Rick Richman, also blogging on Contentions, critiques the Obama administration’s Middle East policy. Among other observations, he asserts that “the attempted dialogue with Iran and Syria produced predictable failures.” “American allies will gravitate toward Iran (they already are), unless they soon hear a public commitment from the U.S. president to deal with the problem by whatever means necessary,” writes Richman. “Talks with Iran cannot succeed absent its belief such means will, if necessary, be used.”

Swedish Health Care: A Hard Case

From The American Thinker:

December 30, 2010

Swedish Health Care: A Hard Case

Randall Hoven

Maybe this story will bring the health care debate close to home for some readers. (HT: JammieWearingFool.)

"But it took five MONTHS before he was able to schedule an appointment at the hospital. When he finally met with doctors at the hospital, the man was informed he had cancer and his penis would have to be removed."

This happened in Sweden, land of government-run health care.

However, the experts tell us that this "waiting list" issue of government-run health care is a myth and a meme created by conservatives.

"No evidence is presented that waiting times within the system adversely affect clinical outcomes, and no distinction is made between ‘need' and ‘desire' on the part of patients who bypass waiting lists."

I think we have some evidence now. Not sure if it would stand up in court, though. On the other hand, does a man "need" his penis, or just "desire" it? What will ObamaCare's panels say?

Posted at 11:53 AM

This Is Just One Week's Worth Of Censored Stories By The New York Times And The Washington Post

From The American Thinker:

December 30, 2010

Week's worth of stories censored by NY Times, Wash. Post

Leo Rennert

The following stories -- in the span of a week -- were widely disseminated. But none made it into the news pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post. It's all too familiar pattern that points to a biased pro-Paletinian, anti-Israel agenda in their news coverage.

Let's take a look at what these two major newspapers did not seem fit to print:

Dec. 24--Palestinian Authority TV ClaimsJesus was a Palestinian, Denies his Jewish Ancestry

Dec. 25--Abbas aims for "Judenrein" Palestinian state -- No room for a single Israeli.

Dec. 25--Hamas Ultimatum: Israel has Two Options -- Death or Leaving Palestinian Lands.

Dec. 28--Abbas Cracks Down on Main Political Rival, Mohammed Dahlan

Dec. 28--Hamas Reported Torturing, Killing Israel-bound Africans in Sinai

Dec. 29--Fatah Bans Abbas Rival from Party Meetings

Dec. 30--Journalist Who Aired Dissension in Abbas' Party Gets Five-Day Detention

Dec. 30--Poll: Solid Majorities of Palestinians Oppose Two-State Solution Along Clinton Parameters

So why did the Times and the Post engage in such conspicuous self-censorship? Because their editors and reporters are determined to paint Israel as the main obstacle to the peace process, while hiding the darker, anti-peace aspects of the Palestinian side -- both Hamas in Gaza and Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party in the West Bank.

Above all, Abbas's rule has to be prettied up because the papers' news sections are heavily invested in painting him as a bona fide peace partner. So corruption, repression, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incitement, glorification of terrorist killers, denial of historic Jewish ties to Jerusalem and Hebron, and other problematic patterns of Abbas's rule must be carefully hidden from Post and Times readers.

What makes such silence -- such self-censorship -- even more egregious and blatantly obvious is that these are two newspapers that do not hesitate to expose repression under Putin in Russia, corruption under Karzai in Afghanistan, and Mubarak's autocracy in Egypt. Yet, Abbas's rule in the West Bank fits exactly the same patterns -- but fails to make the news pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Bottom line: the Palestinian side is treated with kid gloves; Israel with the gloves off.

Posted at 03:38 PM

Nigeria: Jihad Group Clainms Responsibility For Attacks On Churches, Death Toll At 86

From Jihad Watch:

Nigeria: Jihad group claims responsibility for attacks on churches, death toll at 86

Piety. More on this story. "Islamic Sect Claims Nigeria Attacks, Toll At 86," from Reuters, December 28 (thanks to Sr. Soph):

BAUCHI, Nigeria (Reuters) - A radical Islamist sect said on Tuesday it was behind bombings in central Nigeria and attacks on churches in the northeast of the country that led to the deaths of at least 86 people.

The police said on Tuesday that 80 people were killed in Christmas Eve bomb attacks and clashes two days later between Muslim and Christian youths in central Nigeria, while more than 100 are wounded in hospitals.

"We have recovered 80 dead bodies so far in Jos," Daniel Gambo, an official at the Nigerian emergency management agency said late on Monday.

In a separate incident, six people were killed when petrol bombs were thrown late on Friday at churches in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, in Borno state.

"O Nations of the World, be assured that the attacks in Suldaniyya (Jos) and Borno on the eve of Christmas were carried out by us Jama'atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda'Awatu Wal Jihad, under the leadership of Abu Muhammad, Abubakar bin Muhammad Shekau," a statement said on the group's website.

The radical Islamic group Boko Haram has previously used the name Jama'atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda'Awatu Wal Jihad....

Boko Haram, which wants Islamic sharia law more widely applied across Africa's most populous nation, staged an uprising in Maiduguri last year which led to clashes with security forces in which as many as 800 people were killed.

The chief of defence staff said two suspects had been arrested on Monday in Jos, the capital of Plateau state, in possession of dynamite and dangerous weapons....

Religious violence flares up sporadically in the central "Middle Belt" of Africa's most populous nation, where the largely Muslim north meets the mostly Christian south....

It just "flares up"! There's no telling how, or why! It just happens!

Posted by Robert on December 29, 2010 3:49 AM

The Turkish Ruling Party Has "Opened The Pandora's Box Of Political Islam"

From Jihad Watch:

Berlinski: The Turkish ruling party has "opened the Pandora's box of political Islam"

In "Weimar Istanbul: Dread and exhilaration in a city on the verge of political catastrophe" in City Journal, Autumn 2010, Claire Berlinski, a resident of Istanbul, assesses the momentous changes taking place in the Turkish political order (thanks to Roland Shirk):

The City grew rapidly, dwarfing in size and population any other in the country. The streets stimulated like cocaine; horns honked, crowds surged, nerves jangled. To step outside was to be electrified by the harlequinade of roaring colors, bright lights, rushing traffic. Sybaritic nightclubs thrummed until dawn and well thereafter; strange and perverse sights were to be found on every boulevard, in every alley, at every hour, the aesthetic of contradiction between civilization and barbarity heightened by the ersatz baroque of the old architecture and the shocking ugliness of the new. Transvestites prowled, thieves pickpocketed, and in the fashionable cafés, intellectuals smoked furiously and complained of their anomie.

The Old World had vanished, and with it its agrarian economy, its reassuring class distinctions and social order. An alien and fragile political order had been imposed in its place. Experimental music, art, and cinema flourished; fascinations arose with utopianism, fortune-telling, mysticism, communism.

But there was at once a paranoid mood, a sense of impending doom. Markers of the City's great imperial past evoked its former glory while proving its decline. The art of the epoch was fueled by the fear of imminent crisis and breakdown. Decadent American culture was hungrily emulated, passionately deplored. Painters produced works genuinely shocking to the eye; writers wrote novels so offensive to bourgeois sensibilities as to provoke threats of murder. A misogynistic terror of women dominated cultural and political debate: Had modernity destroyed their virtue?

If the City was now the undisputed capital of the region's commerce and industry, all remembered the horror of hyperinflation, which had obliterated the fruit of lifetimes of hard work, and all remembered with contempt the feuding coalition governments whose incompetent stewardship had brought the nation to ruin. The economy's recent growth was vertiginous but precarious, funded by overseas loans that massively increased the nation's debt. Unemployment rose and rose. A poorly understood global economic crisis fueled dark conspiracy theories. Daily political violence lent to life a pervasive feeling of menace. The newspapers overflowed with right-wing propaganda. Screaming headlines reported violent clashes in the streets. Intellectuals were assassinated.

The constitution was new and weak, lacking legitimacy and vulnerable to subversion. Many in the City believed that foreign powers were conspiring to weaken and humiliate the nation. Most were cynical about democratic experiments; all were revolted by the selfishness and corruption of their political parties. The cravenness of the industrialists and the business class provoked widespread disgust with capitalism itself. Many yearned for, many openly demanded, a more authoritarian government. Europe, America, and particularly the Jews--those sinister, infinitely powerful magicians--were blamed for the City's discontents.

A shouting demagogue, having once been arrested for his extremist views, now focused on legal methods of attaining power. He would restore the nation to its former glory, he promised. Intellectuals thought him a ruffian and a buffoon.

The City was proud: it was the new vanguard, the greatest metropolis in the world! It was ashamed: look at what had been lost, how ugly it had become! The City "delighted most, terrified some, but left no one indifferent, and it induced, by its vitality, a certain inclination to exaggerate what one saw." So Peter Gay described Weimar Berlin.

But his descriptions, as do all of these, might have been written about the Istanbul in which I live. There is a spookiness to living in a city at the epicenter of an impending political catastrophe, a mood of dread but also of astonishing vitality--economic, creative, artistic. It is a distinctive mood and, to anyone acquainted with history, a familiar mood.

There is, it seems, such a phenomenon as a Weimar City.

What is a Weimar City? It is a city rich in history and culture, animated by political precariousness and by a recent rupture with the past, vivified by a shocking conflict with mass urbanization and industrialization; a city where sudden liberalization has unleashed the social and political imagination--but where the threat of authoritarian reaction is always in the air.

Weimar Cities are not freaks of nature. They may be expected to arise under certain social, political, and historical circumstances. World War I destroyed both Imperial Germany and the Ottoman Empire. The remnants of both entities succeeded in imposing alien new social orders on themselves, fragile experiments in democracy. The Turkish Republic has lasted far longer than the Weimar Republic, but the stories do not differ in the fundamentals; they have merely been telescoped or expanded by contingent events.

With the rise to power in 2002 of the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, the Turkish Republic has experienced a fresh convulsion. The AKP opened the Pandora's box of political Islam. It has presented its reforms as an exercise in liberalization. In a sense, this is true: religion as a political force had, since the founding of the Republic, been repressed. In another sense, it is not true at all: this particular political force is one that, by its nature, tends ultimately to erase liberal reforms. "Democracy is like a streetcar," Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan, now prime minister, said infamously in 1995. "When you come to your stop, you get off."

Turkey is now in the throes of two revolutions. The social transformations over which Mustafa Kemal Atatürk presided have not yet been assimilated; simultaneously, something new--and old--has rushed up to challenge them. The ancient order is thus disappearing doubly. Cultures, it would seem, react in particular ways to the disappearance of ancient orders. The febrile characteristics of Weimar Cities appear at just such times--the in-between times. As fever is a sign of disease, so it is a sign of social dislocation....

Read it all.

Posted by Robert on December 29, 2010 4:36 AM

De-Legitimizing The Jewish State

From Middle East Forum:

Delegitimizing the Jewish State

by Bat Ye'or

Middle East Quarterly

Winter 2011, pp. 3-14 (view PDF)

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In a move that caught the Israeli government and the Jewish world by complete surprise, on October 21, 2010, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the Tomb of the Hebrew Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem "an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories," admonishing the Israeli decision to add these biblical shrines to the list of Jewish historical and archaeological sites as "a violation of international law."[1]

The United Nations has become a foremost purveyor of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement. Nowhere has this obsession been more starkly demonstrated than at the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance, held in September 2001 in the South African town of Durban.

What is less known, however, is that the driving force behind "the attempt to detach the Nation of Israel from its heritage" (to use Israeli prime minister Netanyahu's words)[2] was the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which pressured UNESCO to issue the declaration and drafted its initial version.[3] U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has recently described the OIC as "a strategic and important partner of the U.N."[4] In fact, it has been the OIC that has successfully exploited its marked preponderance at the U.N.—where it constitutes the largest single voting bloc—to turn the world organization and its specialized agencies into effective tools in the attempt to achieve its goals, two of which are to bring about Israel's eventual demise and to "galvanize the umma [Islamic world] into a unified body."[5]

The OIC's Israel Obsession

Established in September 1969 as the "collective voice of the Muslim world," the OIC has evolved into the second largest intergovernmental organization after the U.N., bringing together fifty-six Muslim and other states, as well as the Palestinian Authority.[6] Though boasting a global range of objectives from the "promotion of tolerance and moderation, modernization, [and] extensive reforms in all spheres of activities," to the cultivation of "good governance and promotion of human rights in the Muslim world,"[7] this body has constantly and disproportionately focused on Israel and its supposed misdeeds. It was established in response to an attempt by a deranged Australian to set fire to the al-Aqsa mosque, which was duly blamed on "the military occupation by Israel of Al-Quds—the Holy City of Jerusalem."[8] The "State of Palestine" (i.e., the then-five-year-old Palestine Liberation Organization or PLO, established as a tool for promoting the expansionist ambitions of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser) was among the OIC's original twenty-five founding members, and the pledge of "full support to the Palestinian people for the restitution of their rights, which were usurped"[9]—the standard Arab euphemism for Israel's destruction—has become a central plank of the organization's policy, reiterated in countless decisions and resolutions on issues that have nothing to do with questions concerning the Palestinians.[10]

The Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), an OIC organ mandated "to strengthen cooperation among member states in the field of education, science, and culture,"[11] has occupied pride of place in the campaign to delegitimize Israel. Since its inception in 1982, it has run dozens of programs and symposia on the Jewish state's supposed desecration of Islamic and Christian holy sites and the attendant need to wrest them from the Israelis' control. The most important of these were the international conferences on the "Protection of Islamic and Christian Holy Sites in Palestine," held in Rabat in 1993 and 2002 and in Amman in November 2004 respectively under the patronage of the Moroccan and Jordanian monarchs. An examination of conference activities reveals a systematic effort to devise an anti-Israeli media strategy that was to be adopted not only by Arab and Muslim states but also by international groups and organizations, including some of the U.N.'s most powerful agencies.

Unifying the Umma, Bashing the Jews

In his address to the 2002 Rabat conference, King Muhammad VI of Morocco stated:

The acts of destruction and distortion committed by the occupation authorities to distort the facts and truths of history cause serious damage to the Islamic and Christian holy sites and violate their sanctity and the values they embody for all the believers of the different religions.[12]

For the Moroccan monarch, as president of the OIC's al-Quds Committee, such actions as archaeological excavations and the placement of artifacts in museums constituted an attack against all believers. In fact, Christian churches that had been reduced to ruins by centuries of Islamic occupation were restored by successive Israeli governments because, unlike Shari'a or Islamic law, the Jewish state has no laws prohibiting the restoration or construction of churches. The king could have also benefitted from a measure of introspection: Morocco, like the other Maghreb states, is a place where virtually no vestiges of pre-Islamic Christian history have survived.

Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, the Saudi-born, University of Oregon-educated ISESCO director-general, went a step further, asserting that "the crimes against humanity committed by Israel have reached an extent of oppression, injustice, and aggression that humanity has never witnessed, neither in this age nor in previous ages."[13] He amplified this diatribe at the Amman conference where he claimed that Muslim responsibilities toward the Islamic and Christian holy sites in the Palestinian territories sprang from ISESCO's commitment to the Palestinian cause, which in his opinion, constituted the essence of all issues and the supreme task of both the Muslim world and those Eastern Christian circles that were part of the Arab and Islamic civilization.[14]

The proceedings of the Rabat and the Amman conferences represent a monument to anti-Jewish hatred and incitement, featuring such assertions as "Jews are the enemies of Allah, the enemies of faith, and of the worship of Allah."[15] They also brim with denials of Jewish attachment to the Land of Israel and claims to its Arab (and later Muslim) character since the third millennium BCE. The Jews are accused of having "judaized" the biblical prophets who were in fact Muslim and of having usurped the antiquity of other peoples since they themselves have no history. In the words of Adnan Ibrahim Hassan al-Subah, president of the Jenin Information Center:

People familiar with the Torah, which we believe to have been distorted, know the extent of the evils they attribute to their prophets: corruption, treachery, fornication or approval of it. It is with these facts that we need to arm ourselves when we confront the Zionist propaganda in the world with tangible facts, as part of our defence of the faith and the faithful on earth, wherever they may be.[16]

These examples of incitement to religious hatred were on display at the U.N.'s Palais des Nations in Geneva at a reception given by the OIC on December 19, 2008, to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And why not? After all, the OIC is not only "the collective voice of the Muslim world"[17] but also the U.N.'s largest single voting bloc and a prominent collaborator with many of its specialized agencies.

Influencing the U.N.

It is hardly surprising, therefore, that these conferences did not content themselves with anti-Jewish diatribes but sought to devise a strategy to harness the international community to the anti-Israel campaign in general and the re-Islamization of Jerusalem (al-Quds) in particular. As one of the speakers explained, "Jerusalem is the cornerstone of the spiritual edifice and the Zionist Jewish entity. Were it to be dislodged, the whole edifice and the Zionist entity itself would crumble like a deck of cards."[18]

Action plans show a media strategy of employing an attractive style and scientific language and magnifying Palestinian suffering since the establishment of the "racist Zionist entity" in 1948. These plans would be effectively replicated by the U.N.'s Alliance of Civilizations' Report of the High Level Group (HLG), which would endeavor to "make it clear to the Palestinian people that the price of decades of occupation, misunderstanding, and stigmatization is being fully acknowledged," although this "story had been left untold or deliberately ignored by the community of nations."[19]

This assertion is not merely false but the inverse of the truth. The Palestinians have benefitted like no other nation from world indulgence. Europe, for one, has vigorously championed their cause since 1973, devising a string of political schemes on their behalf and pouring immeasurable sums of money into the bottomless Palestinian pit.

If anything, it was the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from the Arab countries during and after the 1948 war and the expropriation of their worldly possessions, that was entirely ignored by the Alliance of Civilizations, as was the history of the Jews in their ancestral homeland where they had suffered ethnic and religious oppression by a long succession of foreign occupiers.

While claiming to promote peace, the HLG report added yet another page to both the defamation of Israel and the perennial Palestinian sense of victimization. One wonders what prompted it to begin the historical survey with the establishment of the state of Israel, ignoring the millenarian Jewish attachment to the Land of Israel that had been acknowledged as early as 1920 by the U.N.'s predecessor—the League of Nations.

Moreover, the report sought to rewrite, under U.N. aegis, the story of the nakba (the "catastrophe," as Palestinians and Arabs call their 1948 failure to destroy Israel at its birth) as a counterweight to the Holocaust, and to impose this narrative on Israel and the international community. In the words of the report, it is "essential for Palestinians as well as for the Arab-Muslim world and Muslims in general to understand and acknowledge the fact that we … now know and take responsibility for ensuring everyone knows the price and weight of these sixty years of misunderstanding, stigmatization, as well as veiled and abused truths."[20] Indeed, while the Alliance was established in 2005 with the specific goal "to explore the roots of polarization between societies and cultures today and to recommend a practical program of action to address this issue," it has quickly become an anti-Israel lobbying machine on a global scale. This is evidenced not only from its implementation plan, which places "a priority on addressing relations between Western and Muslim societies"[21] at the expense of other faiths and civilizations, but also by its close collaboration with numerous anti-Israel nongovernmental organizations and bodies, notably the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

The OIC's influence on the Alliance has been manifested in a wide range of historical and cultural issues, including the presentation of Islam as the source of modern Western civilization; the contrasting of Islamic tolerance with European culpability for the Crusades, imperialism and colonization; and the whitewashing of jihad's true nature and its misrepresentation as a struggle for individual self-improvement.[22]

The Alliance's views on social issues often echo OIC charges about the pervasive discrimination against Muslim migrants in the West and the Western media's deliberate dissemination of "Islamophobia." This state of affairs required, in the words, of the HLG report, that "American and European universities and research centers should expand research into the significant economic, cultural, and social contributions of immigrant communities to American and European life. Likewise, they should promote publications coming from the Muslim world on a range of subjects related to Islam and the Muslim world."[23]

Such recommendations follow the injunctions of the religious scholars (ulema) who attended the OIC's 2005 summit in Mecca.[24]

Plotting the Anti-Israel Campaign

Speakers at the OIC's Amman conference stressed the media's crucial role and importance in the fight against Israel. They recommended that the Islamic world should demonstrate its unwavering commitment to Arab and Palestinian rights, alongside the conviction that the re-Islamization of Jerusalem would restore the city's spiritual preeminence and peaceful religious coexistence, enable the flourishing of faith, and make Jerusalem a worldwide agent of culture and civilization.[25]

In fact, this picture in no way corresponds to the actual Islamic history of Jerusalem, which for most of the time was a sleepy and neglected backwater. Rather it is a usurpation of the Biblical vision of Jerusalem as "a light unto the nations," developed by generations of Hebrew prophets more than a millennium before Muhammad.

Abdullah Kan'an, secretary-general of the Royal Committee for al-Quds Affairs in Jordan—whose government signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994—presented a comprehensive plan for inculcating Islamic policy into all Western cultural and media sectors and delegitimizing the Jewish state, starting with turning the Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem into a central world problem. As a first step, he suggested publicizing the history of Jerusalem as he saw it—from the city's foundation by the "Canaanite Jebusites" to date—so as to negate "the Torah-based history." He also proposed to popularize Islamic and Christian holy sites in the same manner, starting with al-Aqsa Mosque, which "according to the noble Hadith, is only forty years older than the first shrine ever created for humanity, al-Haram Mosque in Makkah."[26]

In enumerating the themes of ISESCO's media war against Israel in the West, Kan'an evoked arguments repeated by many Western journalists, intellectuals, ministers, and heads of state. These included,

Convincing the EU that a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict was in its vital interest, thus helping Europeans (especially Germans) free themselves of their guilt complex vis-à-vis the Jews and the weight of history more generally.

Persuading Western leaders that as long as the Palestinians did not have their own state, relations between the EU and the Arab world would remain unstable. Once this goal had been achieved, Europe could look forward to an expanded partnership with the Arab world and full access to its markets.

Emphasizing that America's pro-Israel position was in contravention of international law, threatened U.S. vital interests as well as those of Europe, and jeopardized world peace and security. This argument, consistently inculcated in European leaders and journalists by the OIC, was hammered home by the Western media and became an important catalyst of European hostility toward the United States, especially during the George W. Bush administration.

Underscoring the alleged threats to Western interests as a result of supporting Israel. This support had to be presented as one of the foremost causes of anti-Western violence, both in the Middle East and in the Western countries themselves, by individuals and groups who reacted emotionally to personal and collective tragedies. This argument was frequently used by Romano Prodi, then-president of the European Commission, and French president Jacques Chirac, among other European politicians, to explain away the resurgence of European anti-Semitism during 2000-05, and was also invoked by President Obama in March 2010 when he publicly humiliated Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.[27]

Convincing Westerners that peace was only possible through the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the entire territory occupied in 1967 with al-Quds as its capital, the "return" of Palestinian refugees, and the abandonment of Israel's "Zionist, racist character"—standard Arab and Muslim euphemisms for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Persuading Westerners that their shared interests with Arabs and Muslims far exceeded those they shared with Israel.[28]

Kan'an then summarized the long-term objectives of the media plan, two of which are of special note:

Persuading the EU to abandon its slavish trailing of Washington and to form its own independent vision and positions, which "would be more in harmony with the international will vis-à-vis the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Israeli occupation of Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and the right of the Arab Palestinian people to self-determination and to the establishment of its independent state with Al Quds as its capital."[29]

Transforming the Palestinian question and the Arab-Israeli conflict from internal U.S. issues to external problems, primarily governed by the mutual interests of Americans, Muslims, and Arabs. This would break the immunity of the Israeli policies and force the Israeli government to bow to the will of the international community and adhere to all of the U.N. resolutions.[30]

To achieve these goals, Kan'an recommended obtaining the support of certain intellectuals, literary figures, and influential political movements that were capable of molding Western public opinion within the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict and especially with regard to the Jerusalem question. This campaign would refer to U.N. resolutions that formed the basis for the media plan. Here, too, EU support for the U.N.'s international law amounted to endorsement of the strategy and policies of the OIC, whose position as the U.N.'s largest single voting bloc gave it the unrivalled ability to predominate the world organization and its specialized agencies.

Another proposed tactic was to infiltrate the media as well as influential cultural, intellectual, and economic circles with a view to exposing them to the Arab perspective and convincing them that their countries' policies were subservient to "the interests of the Zionist movement with its various formations and bodies and not [to] the interests of their own countries"[31] Other themes included:

Discreetly and indirectly encouraging trends critical of Zionism and the Israeli government's "judaization policies" in Jerusalem within Western circles, so as to make them effective opponents of the "Zionist lobby and the coalition of Jewish and Christian Zionists" and defenders of their countries' vital interests.

Delegitimizing laws against anti-Semitism, such as France's 1990 Gayssot Act, which made it an offence to question the occurrence or scope of crimes against humanity,[32] and George W. Bush's 2004 law requiring the Department of State to monitor global anti-Semitism,[33] as laws that have no bearing on Western interests but are rather a part of a Zionist ploy to feed Westerners' guilt feelings so as to keep them subservient to Zionist machinations.

Mobilizing Western Muslims

No less importantly, the ISESCO campaign envisaged the mobilization of members of Arab and Muslim communities in the West, especially in the United States, who were to be enticed into becoming politically active so as to end their marginalization and gain major political weight. This was believed to be feasible given that these communities comprised high quality populations, including important scientists, intellectuals, and politicians. Arab and Muslim thinkers, religious scholars, and intellectuals living in Western societies ought to recommend to Muslims to reject extremism, fanaticism and violence "as this tends to be detrimental and generates negative reactions to Arab and Islamic issues." [34]

Another step would involve blocking attempts in Europe and the United States to ban Islamist charitable societies, which according to Kan'an were purely humanitarian organizations but in fact were funneling funds for jihadist and terrorist groups.[35] Within this framework, he recommended:

Encouraging the investment of Arab and Muslim capital in all forms of the media (written, audio, and visual), especially in the United States, thus paving the way for breaking the alleged Jewish monopoly in the field. Arab radio stations and satellite television channels such as al-Jazeera and al-Arabia should broadcast "weekly programs in English [about al-Quds], targeting Western public opinion, benefiting from media personalities knowledgeable about the Western mentality and capable of influencing it to the benefit of the issue of al-Quds with the help of U.N. resolutions." Programs about al-Quds in English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, and other languages should be created, and a multilingual satellite channel called al-Quds would be created, "staffed with a media, information, intellectual, and historical team knowledgeable about the question of al-Quds and its various dimensions."[36]

Encouraging Muslim and Arab investments in modern information and communication technologies, notably the Internet, and the filming of television and cinema documentaries with a view to shaping Western public opinion, which is heavily reliant on this type of educational and media sources. A special emphasis should be placed on the possibilities of "utilizing modern communication technologies, especially the opening of websites dedicated to al-Quds, and encouraging Muslims to embark on an Internet-supported war for al-Quds to counterbalance the activities of the Zionist movement and its octopus-like formations, the most dangerous of which is Christian Zionism and its mastermind, the Neo-Conservatives."[37]

On a broader level, Kan'an advised Arab and Muslim communities "to integrate as much as possible within the societies where they live, in order to gain credibility," especially in universities and institutions of higher learning. "Friends of al-Quds" associations in U.S. and European universities, organizations, and working places were to be established to support those NGOs working for the cause of al-Quds. To this would be added the worldwide distribution of propaganda materials "issued by Americans, Europeans, and Jews against Israel, its policies, and Zionism," including specifically-produced films that "reveal the barbarity of Israel, the dangers inherent in the policy of demolishing houses, murder and massacre of the Arab Palestinian people, and distributing these films as widely as possible in the Islamic world."[38]

Finally, specialists and experts in Western affairs should be drawn into "the discussion of the broad lines of the media plan in order to enrich it and guarantee all conditions of its success." Such experts would specialize in Western media, politics, public opinion, psychology, religions, law and culture, as well as in history of al-Quds. In two notes that appear in the French text but are omitted from the English proceedings, the lecturer ridicules the "Zionist stories of alleged Nazi slaughters."[39]

The OIC's World Collaborators

These were by no means novel, let alone maverick ideas. The intention to extend the OIC's influence to Western countries through immigrant populations and their growing weight in the host societies had been insinuated on previous occasions, notably by OIC secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu at the European parliament in 2005,[40] and by the founders of the Euro-Arab Dialogue, which evolved from a French initiative in the late 1960s.[41]

According to unpublished sources from the Euro-Arab Dialogue movement,[42] in November 1973, Christopher Mayhew, a member of the British parliament, and Raymond Offroy, a member of the French national assembly, envisaged the creation of an association for improving Europe's relations with the Arab world.[43] Its launching coincided with the European Commission (EC)'s Brussels declaration that urged Israel to return to the pre-1967 lines and, for the first time, recognized the PLO.[44] Mayhew and Offroy, now supported by the EC, were the first to create a Euro-Arab network, the European Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Cooperation (PAEAC), at a conference in Paris on March 23-25, 1975. Its secretary-general, Robert Swann, a former foreign office diplomat, had been a secretary-general of Amnesty International. The funds for PAEAC came from a Swiss foundation, ANAF, set up in 1969 and managed by an administrative committee consisting of European political personalities. PAEAC benefited from the financial aid and support of the EC and its networks, in liaison with the Council of Europe. The minutes of the PAEAC meetings were published over the years in the Documents d'Actualité Internationale by the French foreign office. These reveal the effective extension of OIC strategy to Europe, combining a policy of immigration with the cultural and political Islamization of Europe.[45]

Extensive U.N.-sponsored networks, bringing together the EU, the OIC, and ISESCO, would effectively implement this strategy in all Western countries. Europe, for example, has lavished millions of Euros on Palestinian NGOs and organs of "civil society," which advocate the economic, political, educational, and cultural boycotting of Israel and which have systematically demonized and delegitimized the Jewish state in schools, the media, Palestinian publications, and on the international scene.[46]

Since 2005, a "Palestinian Week against Israeli Apartheid" has become a regular feature on campuses and in major cities throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States, calling for divestments, sanctions, and boycotts against Israel. According to NGO Monitor, most speakers at these demonstrations belong to organizations financed by European governments, the European Commission, and the New Israel Fund, created following Obama's election.[47]

To these NGOs must be added "The Elders"—a newly-established "independent group of eminent global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering, and promote the shared interests of humanity." [48] Generating much international influence and considerable funds, the group comprises twelve leaders and dignitaries, quite a few of whom—notably former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and former Irish president Mary Robinson of Durban conference infamy—are harsh critics of Israel. It is chaired by former South African archbishop Desmond Tutu—the spiritual instigator of the world campaign of cultural and economic apartheid against Israel.

Small wonder that the group, in line with the former policies of its members while in power, has consistently misrepresented the Israelis as the unjust and warlike party and the Palestinians as hapless victims of their predatory neighbor. For The Elders, the Palestinian denial of Israel's right to exist embodies natural justice (hence, for example, their advocacy of "engaging" Hamas) while Israel's attempts to protect its citizens from sustained terror attacks—from the erection of the security fence, to Operation Cast Lead, to the naval blockade of Hamas—are illegal and disproportionate uses of force. Tutu congratulated Turkey for having sent its flotilla of supposed humanitarians in May 2010 while the Elders condemned Israel's attempt to stop this effort on behalf of Hamas, a terror organization, whose constitution openly calls for Israel's destruction.[49] They also urged the U.N. Security Council "to debate the situation with a view to mandating action to end the closure of the Gaza Strip."[50]

In what had by now become an instinctive reaction, the European parliament joined the Elders and condemned Israel by a crushing majority, insinuating its massive support for Hamas. Catherine Ashton, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy and vice president of the European Commission, argued that lifting the blockade would bring peace,[51] conveniently overlooking the fact that the blockade was a defensive response to Hamas' genocidal policies rather than their catalyst.

Exploiting the Palestinian Christians

Nor has the OIC, together with its willing international collaborators, shied away from exploiting West Bank and Gaza Christians—discriminated against and oppressed by both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, which have ruled over them for the past fifteen years—for its anti-Israel propaganda campaign.

Consider the document titled Kairos Palestine, drawn up by Palestinian theologians and published in Bethlehem on December 11, 2009, by the Geneva World Council of Churches.[52] In the name of love, peace, and justice, the paper portrays Israel as the epitome of evil and oppression, urging all Western churches to initiate a policy of economic strangulation and defamation of the Jewish state. This was followed by a letter from the Greek Catholic patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, Gregorios III, to Pope Benedict XVI,[53] in preparation for the October 2010 Synod, planned to bring together the Catholic churches of the Middle East to discuss the greater problems facing the local Christians and to devise ways and means for stopping their ongoing flight from the region.

Invoking his duty to inform the pope on the dangers in the region, the patriarch had no qualms about blaming Israeli actions for the surge of militant Islamism throughout the region and its adverse implications for the local Christian communities. He wrote:

There is a diffuse but sure rise of Islamic extremism, provoked by the threats of the Israeli government against Palestinians, Lebanon, Syria, [and Iran], which is spreading throughout all the countries in the region. Even in Syria, where such extremism has been up to now very limited, its advance has become more and more evident, despite efforts from the government against it.

Gregorios lamented the widespread terror attacks by these Islamists on local Christians, especially in Iraq and Egypt. Yet rather than ask the pope to help restrain the perpetrators of this violence, he begged that

the Holy See's diplomacy redouble its efforts to persuade the Tel Aviv government, despite the views of its most intransigent wing—probably via the United States and those European countries which, having sponsored the birth of the State of Israel and supported it ever since, should be able to exert effective pressure on it—of the grave danger of this development which in the medium and perhaps short term, runs against the interests and future of the State of Israel itself, which needs peace in the region just as much as Arab countries, to be able eventually to live normally all together. [54]


Judging by Israel's growing international isolation, the OIC's sustained effort to delegitimize the Jewish state has borne substantial fruit. Not only is Israel's right to exist constantly debated and challenged in Western public opinion forums, but sixty-three years after establishing the Jewish state in an internationally recognized act of self-determination, the United Nations has become a foremost purveyor of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement.

Time and again, year after year, its Commission on Human Rights discusses Israel's supposed abuses while turning a blind eye to scores of actual atrocities around the globe. This world organization has 192 member nations, but its Security Council has devoted about a third of its activity and criticism to only one of those states—Israel. Nowhere has this obsession been more starkly demonstrated than in the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in September 2001 in the South African town of Durban where, for eight full days, delegates from numerous countries and thousands of nongovernmental organizations indulged in a xenophobic orgy of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement that made a mockery of the conference's original purpose.[55]

As UNESCO follows suit by denying the Jews some of their most cherished historical and religious symbols, the OIC scores yet another palpable hit in its ceaseless hate campaign.

Bat Ye'or is the author, most recently, of Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2005). This article contains extracts from her forthcoming book Europe, Globalization and the Coming Universal Caliphate (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2011).

[1] "Executive Board adopts five decisions concerning UNESCO's work in the occupied Palestinian and Arab Territories," UNESCO Media Services, Paris, Oct. 21, 2010.

[2] Jerusalem Post, Oct. 29, 2010.

[3] See, for example, International Islamic News Agency (Jeddah), Mar. 3, 2010; "Decisions Adopted by the Executive Board at its 184th Session," UNESCO, executive board, Paris, May 14, 2010.

[4] World Bulletin (Istanbul), Sept. 28, 2010.

[5] "About OIC," Organization of the Islamic Conference, Jeddah, accessed Nov. 7, 2010.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] "Declaration of the First Rabat Islamic Conference," Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Rabat, Sept. 1969.

[9] Ibid.

[10] "Resolutions," Second Islamic Conference of the Ministers of Health, OIC, Tehran, Mar. 1-4, 2009.

[11] "Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO)," Specialized Institutions and Organs, OIC, Rabat, 2009, accessed, Nov. 7, 2010.

[12] "Message of His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco," June 6, 2002, Protection of Islamic and Christian Holy Sites in Palestine International Conference, Rabat, June 7-8, 2002 (Rabat: ISESCO, 2004), p. 11.

[13] "Address of Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri," Protection of Islamic and Christian Holy Sites in Palestine, First International Conference, Rabat, June 7-8, 2002 (Rabat: ISESCO, 2004), p. 15.

[14] "Address by Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri," Protection of Islamic and Christian Holy Sites in Palestine, Second International Conference, Amman, Nov. 23-25, 2004, (Rabat: ISESCO, 2007), p. 18.

[15] Adnan Ibrahim Hassan al-Subah, "Role of Palestinian Civil Society in the Protection of Holy Sites in Palestine," Protection of Islamic and Christian Holy Sites in Palestine, Second International Conference, Amman, Nov. 23-25, 2004 (Rabat: ISESCO, 2007), p. 253.

[16] Ibid., p. 254.

[17] "About OIC."

[18] Abdullah Kan'an, "Media Plan for Publicising the Cause of Al Quds, Al Sharif in the West and Mechanisms for Its Implementation," Protection of Islamic and Christian Holy Sites in Palestine, Second International Conference, Amman, Nov. 23-25, 2004 (Rabat: ISESCO, 2007), p. 195.

[19] "Report of the High Level Group," Alliance of Civilizations, United Nations, New York, Nov. 13, 2006, p.18, art. 5.7.

[20] Ibid., p. 53.

[21] "Implementation Plan, 2007-2009," Alliance of Civilizations, United Nations, New York, p. 2.

[22] "Report of the High Level Group," pp. 11, 15.

[23] Ibid., p. 39, italicized in the text.

[24] "Recommendations of the OIC Commission of Eminent Persons (CEP)," Makkah al-Mukarramah, Saudi Arabia, Dec. 7-8, 2005.

[25] Protection of Islamic and Christian Holy Sites in Palestine, Second International Conference, Amman, Nov. 23-25, 2004 (Rabat: ISESCO, 2007), p. 175.

[26] Kan'an, "Media Plan," p. 201.

[27] The Sunday Times (London), Mar. 26, 2010.

[28] Kan'an, "Media Plan," pp. 202-3.

[29] Ibid, p. 205.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid., p. 204.

[32] Tendant à réprimer tout acte raciste, antisémite ou xénophobe, République Française, Paris, July 13, 1990.

[33] Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004, PL 108-332, U.S. Congress, Oct. 16, 2004; BBC News, Oct. 20, 2004.

[34] Kan'an, "Media Plan," pp. 205-6.

[35] See for example, Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha, "CAIR: Islamists Fooling the Establishment," Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2006, pp. 3-20.

[36] Kan'an, "Media Plan," pp. 206-7.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Ibid., pp. 207-8.

[39] Ibid., p. 208.

[40] Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general, Organization of the Islamic Conference, address to Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe, Oct. 4, 2005.

[41] Roy H. Ginsberg, The European Union in International Politics. Baptism by Fire (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001), pp. 112-3.

[42] 1974-1994 Association Parlementaire pour la Coopération Euro-Arabe, association archives, unpublished document in author's possession, pp. 6-12.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Joint statement, European Economic Community, Copenhagen, Nov. 6, 1973.

[45] Bat Ye'or, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis (Cranbury, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2005), pp. 93-5.

[46] Gerald M. Steinberg, "Europe's Hidden Hand. EU Funding for Political NGOs in the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Analyzing Processes and Impact," NGO Monitor Monograph Series, Apr. 2008.

[47] "Israeli Apartheid Week 2010: NGO Involvement," NGO Monitor, updated Mar. 3, 2010.

[48] "About the Elders," The Elders website, accessed Oct. 13, 2010.

[49] "Hamas Covenant 1988," Yale Law School Avalon Project, Aug. 18, 1988.

[50] "The Elders Condemn Israeli Attack on Gaza relief Ships," The Elders, May 31, 2010.

[51] Catherine Ashton, speech to the European Parliament, Strasbourg, June 16, 2010.

[52] Kairos Palestine, Bethlehem, Dec. 11, 2009; Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding (Dalton, Ga.), Dec. 15, 2009 .

[53] Gregorios III, Patriarch to Pope Benedict XVI, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East of Alexandria and of Jerusalem, Mar. 1, 2010.

[54] Ibid.

[55] Gerald M. Steinberg "NGOs Make War on Israel," Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2004, pp. 13-25.