Saturday, June 22, 2013

Jewish civil rights and privatization

OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon has done it again. You may recall that Alon was the "senior military official," who as commander of the Judea and Samaria Division blamed the massacre of the Fogel family in March 2011 on undefined acts of vandalism in Arab villages allegedly carried out by Israelis.

He also told The New York Times that he disagreed with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's view that Hamas's takeover of Gaza following Israel's withdrawal demonstrated that a unilateral withdrawal from Judea and Samaria would be reckless in the extreme.

Over the past four months Alon has been criticized for his refusal to take actions to end the massive proliferation of terror attacks against Jews in Judea and Samaria. For months Alon ordered IDF soldiers to stand down as Palestinians hurled rocks and firebombs at them and at civilians. He set rules of engagement that are so restrictive that soldiers are better off running away from Palestinian mobs than defending themselves and Israeli civilians.

After Adele Biton, a three-year-old girl, was critically wounded when her mother's car was stoned, and as online videos proliferated of IDF soldiers fleeing from assaults, and of Israeli civilians being beaten and assaulted on the roads with firebombs, rocks and bullets, the media finally began reporting on the terror surge. Public pressure mounted for Alon to finally take action or be fired from his post.

You might think that given public scrutiny of his failures Alon would keep a low profile. But he hasn't.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Dishonor in Jordan

Ruthie Blum

A new study released on Thursday by Cambridge University's Institute of Criminology is getting a lot of publicity for what it suggests about societal norms in Jordan. The study, conducted by Professor Manuel Eisner and graduate student Lana Ghuneim, reveals that a large number of teenagers in the Hashemite kingdom not only consider honor killings to be legally just, but advocate them on moral grounds.
Eisner and Ghuneim surveyed more than 850 ninth-graders (average age 15) from different schools in Amman, as an attempt to "gauge cultural attitudes to honor killings in the region."

Violence and Context in Islamic Texts

Mark Durie

Muslim who planned to blow up Myanmar Embassy in Indonesia was caught when he posted his plans on Facebook

Even today's politically correct and willfully clueless Keystone Kops couldn't miss this one. "AP Exclusive: Suspect's Facebook page tipped Indonesia cops to Myanmar Embassy bomb plot," from the Associated Press, June 20:
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Sefa Riano didn't try to hide his plans or his beliefs. A Facebook page that police traced to him is plastered with photos of bearded men in camouflage uniforms holding rifles and banners hailing "The Spirit of Jihad." One status update in late April apologizes to his parents before telling them goodbye. Another declares ominously, "God willing, I will take action at the Myanmar Embassy, hope you will share responsibility for my struggle ["struggle" in Arabic is "jihad" -- RS]." It ends with a yellow smiley face.
Days later, police arrested Riano, whose Facebook name is Mambo Wahab, just before midnight in central Jakarta. Police say he and another man were on a motorbike carrying a backpack filled with five low-explosive pipe bombs tied together. Riano, 29, is awaiting charges related to allegations that he plotted to bomb the embassy to protest the persecution of Muslims in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

The emperor has clothes

Op-ed: PM Netanyahu's statements in favor of peace talks merely meant to placate his coalition partners
Elyakim Haetzni

Danny Danon declared that Netanyahu is not serious when he speaks of the two-state solution, meaning the prime minister is not rejecting his own principles and rightist promises. Netanyahu lost the elections, and barely managed to remain in power thanks to a losers' alliance with Lieberman, who also feared a downfall.

Let us examine Netanyahu's options. If he tries to please his new followers from the Left and enter into negotiations on a two-state solution, Habayit Hayehudi will leave the government. If he tries to replace Bennett's party with Shas, Yesh Atid will quit. If Labor's Yachimovich is asked to join the coalition, she will demand such a price that will split Likud and leave Netanyahu without a home. Unlike Sharon, the current PM will not be adopted by the Left.
Raymond Ibrahim
PJ Media

While unrest in Turkey continues to capture attention, more subtle and more telling events concerning the Islamification of Turkey — and not just at the hands of Prime Minister Erdogan but majorities of Turks — are quietly transpiring. These include the fact that Turkey's Hagia Sophia museum is on its way to becoming a mosque.
Why does the fate of an old building matter?
Because Hagia Sophia — Greek for "Holy Wisdom" — was for some thousand years Christianity's greatest cathedral. Built in 537 A.D. in Constantinople, the heart of the Christian empire, it was also a stalwart symbol of defiance against an ever encroaching Islam from the east.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Violence and Context in Islamic Texts

Mark Durie

Islam forbids the killing of innocents. The key question, then, is what constitutes "innocence" in Islam? According to some Muslim authorities, to disbelieve in Allah is to be guilty of the crime of "committing disbelief…[which is] worse than slaughter." Just being a Christian, a Jew or a pagan, is worse than murder. As soon as one converts to Islam, however, one is no longer guilty, but "innocent." By this logic, anyone anyone inside Islam is "innocent,"and anyone outside Islam is "guilty" and deserving of death.
Recently, the journalist Paul Sheehan, reflecting on the Woolwich beheading of Drummer Lee Rigby, invited consideration of the view of Muslim violence in authoritative Islamic texts. In the Sydney Morning Herald of May 27, 2013, Sheehan observed that the Koran and the teachings of Muhammad seem to be a factor behind Muslim violence, and offered these critical observations:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Obama Islamist Outreach Overview

The Obama administration has an infamous history of questionable Islamist outreach, as noted here, here and here. These outreach efforts have been engaged by the highest levels of the Department of Justice (DOJ), resulting in decisions effecting potential prosecutions of Islamist leaders and closing ranks with other Islamist leaders in the name of civil rights enforcement.

Shin Bet nabs 3 PA security men for killing of Israeli

Three Palestinian Authority security officers who attacked Jewish pilgrims at Joseph's Tomb in 2011 and killed Ben-Yosef Livnat were apprehended after being released from Palestinian jail • One more suspect still in PA custody.

The late Ben-Yosef Livnat
Photo credit: Shomron settler council

Congress Is Trying to Fool You on Immigration

Congress is trying to fool you.

Here’s how they do business. A piece of legislation is going to cost trillions of dollars, but Members of Congress don’t want the public to see that. Instead, they have the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) look at the bill for just the first 10 years—and they move any costly items off into the future on purpose.

They did it with Obamacare—saved the budget bombshells for later. Now they’re trying to do it with immigration.

Yesterday, the CBO released its score of the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill. Heritage experts are still analyzing the full report, but a few things jumped out immediately. The Gang of Eight bill:

  • WILL NOT stop illegal immigration – Despite promises of a secure border, the bill would slow future illegal immigration by only 25 percent, according to the CBO. In the next couple of decades, that means 7.5 million new illegal immigrants.

  • WILL drive down wages – For legal American workers, the CBO estimates the bill would drive down their average wages.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Things You Should Know About the Supreme Court and Voter ID

Yesterday, the Supreme Court handed down one of its first major decisions of this term, striking down Arizona’s measure requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration. Media reports are already off base in interpreting this decision, says Heritage legal expert Hans von Spakovsky. Here are three things to know about the decision.
1. This is not a voter ID decision.
This decision has to do with voter registration, not the act of voting. Von Spakovsky explains:
In 2004, Arizona voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum that had two major components: voter ID for in-person voting and a requirement that anyone registering to vote provide proof of citizenship. The voter ID provision was not before the Supreme Court and is alive and well in Arizona. (emphasis added)
Although it did not strike down the provision that requires a photo ID for in-person voting, von Spakovsky said “the Supreme Court came down on the wrong side of election integrity” with this ruling.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Panic in Washington: Is Iran and Syria's Regime Winning and What to Do?

Barry Rubin

A case can be made that the Syrian rebels must not be defeated because it would be an Iranian victory. But what is disturbing is that even if one could argue that the rebels must be helped it is a policy being conducted dishonestly. People do not know that the weapons given by the United States will almost all end up in the hands of pro-Muslim Brotherhood units. How would the American people feel if they knew that truth? At this point, almost 100 percent of the fighters on the front lines--are radical Islamists. The exiled political leadership is overwhelmingly Muslim Brotherhood. This is a choice of Sunni anti-Christians, anti-Americans, and antisemites rather than Shia anti-Christians, anti-Americans, and antisemites.  The United States--after Egypt and Tunisia--is now promoting the Muslim Brotherhood as regional hegemon. This is not a good idea and certainly not one to be made by honestly debating whether the United States wants to do this.

Abbas defies US Congress request to fire official who glorified murderer

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has defied senior members of US Congress by announcing his refusal to dismiss a senior PA official who glorified a murderer.

Following Palestinian Media Watch's report last month that Abbas' advisor and Head of the PA's NGO Authority, Sultan Abu Al-Einein, glorified the murderer of an Israeli just three days after the killing, five members of the US Congress sent a letter to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas demanding that the PA official be removed from office: 

"We ask that you publicly and officially denounce and condemn Mr. Al-Einein's remarks at once and remove him from his position in your government."

The letter was signed by Reps. Ed Royce, Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey, Ted Deutch, and Brad Sherman. PA official Abu Al-Einein had praised the murderer with the following words:

"We salute the heroic fighter... Blessings to the breast that nursed [him]."
Abbas has now announced that he will not remove Abu Al-Einein from his position, and likewise rejected Congress' demand for condemnation.

Muslim Persecution of Christians: March, 2013

U.S. Defends "Human Rights" of Persecutors of Christians

by Raymond Ibrahim
Gatestone Institute

The Islamic jihad against Christians in Nigeria is proving to be the most barbaric. A new report states that 70% of Christians killed around the world in 2012 were killed in the African nation. Among some of the atrocities committed in March alone, at least 41 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack at a bus station in a predominantly Christian neighborhood. According to the Christian Association of Nigeria, these attacks "were a signpost of the intended extermination of Christians and Christianity from northern Nigeria."

According to the Rev. Jerome Ituah, "Out of the 52 Catholic churches in Maiduguri diocese, 50 of them have been destroyed by Boko Haram. When two Christian brothers were returning home after Sunday church service, jihadis opened fire on them with machine guns, killing the brothers, as well as three others, and injuring several more Christians.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Jerusalem's Decreasing Isolation Israel in the World

Efraim Inbar
Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2013, pp. 27-38

The bad news is clear. Israel's right to exist is questioned by many, and its ancient and present capital, Jerusalem, is unrecognized by all but a few states. Israeli leaders are sometimes compared to leaders of Nazi Germany, and Israeli actions against the Palestinians are described as Nazi-like policies. Moreover, the Israelis are accused of engaging in South African apartheid policies toward the Palestinians and the country's Arab minority. Opponents and critics portray the Jewish state as the world's worst violator of human rights, United Nations resolutions, and international law.[1]
While European guilt over its colonialist past facilitates the acceptance of the Palestinian-as-victim narrative and while the latent, traditional anti-Semitism that culminated in the Holocaust has never been eliminated, Israel is still not quite the pariah of Europe as some think. In May 2010, Prime Minister Netanyahu (third from left) joined hands in Paris with leaders (left to right) Andrus Ansip, Estonia; Felipe Larrain, Chile; Silvio Berlusconi, Italy; Borut Pahor, Slovenia, and Angel Gurría, secretary general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, when Israel was formally admitted into the exclusive organization.
As a result of these global attitudes, many Israelis feel their country to be once more alone and increasingly isolated in the international community. An August 2010 poll showed that 56 percent of Jewish Israelis subscribed to the view that the "whole world is against us." Even a larger majority, 77 percent, thought that it made no difference what the Israeli government did and how far it might go on the Palestinian issue: The world would continue to be critical regardless of the facts.[2] The extensive media coverage of the April 2002 "Jenin massacre" fabrications, the infamous Goldstone report of September 2009, and the Gaza "Freedom Flotilla" of May 2010, among other things, provided evidence to Israelis of hostile international press reporting, which buttressed their perceptions that Israel is under international siege.

'Worried about J'lem building freeze? Call the PM'


Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel says those concerned over Jewish building should address Netanyahu's office.

Construction site in Jerusalem
Construction site in Jerusalem Photo: Marc Israel Sellem /The Jerusalem Post
Those who are concerned about Jewish building in east Jerusalem should call the Prime Minister’s Office, Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel told Army Radio on Thursday.

In a brief exchange that lasted a minute, Army Radio asked him, “Is there no more building in Jerusalem over the Green line?” “Yes,” Ariel responded. “It is very problematic. The statistics speak for themselves.

I have nothing to add beyond this. Let’s go on to the next question.” He added, “In this matter, let me give you another number. It will call the prime minister’s office and you can ask them your questions.”

So Called Moderate Rohani Wins Iranian Vote

He served as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator from 2003 to 2005.
President elect Hasan Rohani (center) under the watchful eyes of the late Ayatollah Khomeini.
President elect Hasan Rohani (center) under the watchful eyes of the late Ayatollah Khomeini.

Hassan Rohani won outright majority of the votes and was declared President-elect of the Islamic Republic of Iran, IRNA reported.
Just under 37 million Iranians voted in Friday’s elections, out of some 50 million eligible voters—close to a 75 percent turnout—with about one million votes disqualified. Hassan Rohani won 18,613,629 votes, or just around 51 percent, which means there won’t be a runoff election.

Shocking: Zero East Jerusalem Housing Starts in 2013, Only 43 in 2012

Minister of Housing and Construction Uri Ariel (L) and Mayor Benny Kasriel speaking to the press at the E1 area between Jerusalem and the Kasriel's town of Ma'aleh Adumim. A lot of talk – zero construction so far.
Minister of Housing and Construction Uri Ariel (L) and Mayor Benny Kasriel speaking to the press at the E1 area between Jerusalem and the Kasriel's town of Ma'aleh Adumim. A lot of talk – zero construction so far.
Photo Credit: FLASH90

Prime Minister Netanyahu is functioning as an agent of U.S. foreign policy and Palestinian expansion.

Since the beginning of 2013, not a single housing unit was built in East Jerusalem, Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel told Army Radio last week. “The figures speak for themselves,” Ariel said. “You should ask the prime minister’s office about it.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu for his part said last week that, regarding construction in east Jerusalem, Israel is better off “being smart and not being right.” And so, in line with that statement, there has been a standing order from the PM, given under heavy American pressure and in accordance with a vehement recommendation from NSC chief Ya’akov Amidror, Minister Ariel has not been given a green light to issue new construction bids in East Jerusalem.