Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and a whole bunch of other vicious preening holier-than-thou NGOs,,and of course the U.N. and its unspeakable succursals in Geneva (Human Rights Committee) and a slightly-less-intolerable branch in Paris (UNESCO) have a policy toward the tiny permanently imperilled state of Israel that can be summed up thus:
Robert Fisk's Endless Blague, And That Of The "Islamic Scholar" He Celebrates
The vicious mythomane Robert Fisk, the man to whom John Malkovich said he'd like to administer a beating (or sentiments to that effect) never tires of presenting his defense of the faith -- that faith being Islam -- which should be understood as a necessary corollary of his deep and pathological hostility toward Israel, and of his other shtick, less obsessive, which is to blame the West's "colonialism" for all the ills of the Arabs, beginning of course with the misrepresented and wilfully misunderstood Sykes-Picot agreement, which Elie Kedourie and J. B. Kelly, among others, long ago held up for examination.
I came across his latest, a celebration of some "Islamic scholar" who is "Palestinian" (presumably from the rich landowing family of Khalidis who, akin to the zamindars of Pakistan, battened on revenues from exploited peasants).
Here's my favorite remark from that "Islamic scholar" Mr. Khalidi :"I said the other day that if the Nobel Peace Prize had existed hundreds of years ago, it would be awarded to Islamic civilisation."
You can read the whole thing at The Independent here.
Here is an article by Tom Keane that has the virtue of suggesting that it is not unnatural, it is natural, for humans to have greater sympathy for those who, though they may be different, are not too obviously or excessively or troublesomely different -- as by outward aspect, and inward attitude -- from oneself. It's not a question of requiring sameness. That never existed. It's a question of what kind and degree of difference, of how much novelty, and mix-n'-match suddenly introduced into a society, that the people in that society should be expected to endure, for in the Western world -- where these amazingly rapid, unexpected, and unsettling demographic changes are taking place -- people no longer feel that they have an adequate say, are any longer in charge of immigration policy, of who enters their home (for their country is their home), but set by others who, themselves part of a political and economic elite, are obsessively wedded to the very idea of Diversity. For Diversity and Equality are the twin Idols of the Age, and they reinforce each other, even though proponents of Diversity,engaged in a gigantic ceaseless campaign to promote their version of it, weaken social cohesion, and with it the possibility of developing a shared sense of indignation toward economic privilege and intolerable concentration of wealth. The more forced diversity--through thoughtless immigration policy, mainly, but also through the attempt to deal with other, tragic because durable differences -- in a Western society, the lower the desired sense of a common society and a shared culture, and the higher the Gini coefficient. And unhappiness at this state of affairs, difficult or dangerous to articulate or even to dare to recognize, however tentatively, inexorably rises even among the sweetest and naturally easygoing of people.
Box Office Hit Movie “Non Stop” is an Affront to 9/11 Families
At our usual Sunday brunch with friends we covered a host of topics. We chatted about the further demise of American exceptionalism evidenced by Putin thumbing his nose at Obama and the West by seizing Crimea. Then we dawdled over coffee about the advent of meteorological spring, yesterday, March 1st; although folks up North are bracing for another Super storm, Titan. But then our friends talked about a movie they saw last night, Non Stop, an action flick starring Liam Neeson and Julianna Moore in the featured roles together with Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey's Lady Mary Crawley fame, Scoot McNairy and Anson Mount. Neeson portrays an US Sky Marshall caught in an airplane terrorist plot. The film’s action unfolds at 40,000 feet on a transatlantic flight when a text message threat is received by Neesom from a terrorist passenger on board requesting deposit of $150 million in a Swiss account, or else one by one passengers will be killed. According to the Los Angeles Times, Non Stop topped both Son of God and The Lego Movie at the box office this weekend. My brunch partners said that they went home and talked about the plots intricacies for two hours.
According to Debra Burlingame of the 9/11 Families, it had a different agenda. One that disturbed her as the sister of Charles "Chic" Burlingame III, the pilot of the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 that was flown into the Pentagon. It may likely disturb David Beamer, father of Flight 93 passenger, his son Todd, who with others on board undertook the first counter-terrorism attack on 9/11 against the jihadi hi-jackers causing the plane to crash into a vacant field in Southwestern Pennsylvania sparing likely targets, the White House or US Capitol Building in Washington. Here’s what Burlingame said about Non-Stop.
Worse, the flight’s quiet hero who comes to the aid of the protagonist, thereby saving the day, is a Muslim doctor. (Oh, the irony, that Al Qaeda’s number one is Ayman Al Zawahiri, a doctor. And that six of the Glasgow Airport bombing plot were….Muslim doctors. Hollywood likes to serve up its teachable moments cold.)
An added dash of moral vanity is the side story making news that Liam Neeson wants to convert to Islam , the religion he deemed in an interview to be “the answer.” Not sure what the question is, but apparently Mr. Neeson is more afraid of his Irish countrymen than his would-be co-religionists.
Normally Hollywood gets a pass, with reviewers issuing “spoiler alerts” when revealing details. Sorry. Sitting through this movie for that sucker punch of an ending isn’t worthy of my consideration.
I urge people to pass this on.
Watch this You Tube video about Liam Neeson’s Da’wah – call to Islam, while doing a film in Istanbul back in 2012. His head was filled with the ringing Muezzins’ calls to prayers from hundreds of Mosques. All this from a former Catholic altar boy from Belfast. And to think that I loved Neeson’s portrayal in the 1996 film about Irish revolutionary turned peacemaker, Michael Collins. Probably because it was the late Israeli Prime Minister Itzhak Shamir’s code name as an underground Irgun leader.
This film script must have hastened Neeson’s intentions to plough throw the Qur'an, Hadith and Sira of Mohammed ,the exemplar, before professing his new found faith with the Shahada. Burlingame called this one correctly – a Hollywood’s latest sucker punch.
Mainstream charities have donated thousands to Islamic group fronted by terror suspect
A controversial Islamic rights group fronted by a man charged with attending a terror training camp in Syria is being bankrolled by two mainstream British charities, including a foundation set up in the name of Dame Anita Roddick.
CagePrisoners, an organisation founded by Moazzam Begg - who has just appeared in court on terror charges - has been given £120,000 by the Anita Roddick Foundation, which distributes part of the former Body Shop owner’s £100 million fortune.
A second charity, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, a Quaker-run fund set up by the chocolate-maker and philanthropist a century ago, has also paid CagePrisoners £305,000 over six years.
Last week, Begg, 45, who became director of CagePrisoners after his release from Guantanamo Bay in 2005, was one of four suspects picked up in Birmingham over alleged links to terrorism in Syria. On Saturday he appeared before Westminster magistrates’ court charged with providing terrorism training and instruction over a six month period, and of being involved with funding terrorism as recently as August last year.
CagePrisoners, which has recently changed its name to Cage and rebranded its website, is funded by a range of institutional and private donors. It has organised a demonstration outside the headquarters of West Midlands police calling for an end to the “harassment and intimidation of communities under anti-terrorism legislation”. More about yesterday's demonstration from the Express and Star here.
Lord Carlile QC, the Government’s former independent reviewer of anti-terrorism legislation, said: “I would never advise anybody to give money to CagePrisoners. I have concerns about the group. There are civil liberty organisations which I do give money to but CagePrisoners is most certainly not one of them.”
Robin Simcox, a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, a foreign policy think tank, said: “I cannot understand why human rights groups are aligned with CagePrisoners. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Roddick Foundation should be treating this group with great caution.”
Jake Simmons writes further here: Begg is a longtime associate of Amnesty International. In 2010 the human rights organisation clashed with a senior figure at Amnesty International UK, Gita Sahgal, who at the time was the head of Amnesty’s gender unit, and who accused CagePrisoners of being a “jihadi” organisation. Amnesty also sponsored his lecture tours of Europe.
An Amnesty representative told me that in spite of Begg's arrest, the charity stands by him. He added that Amnesty may not relinquish its links with Begg even if he was convicted of terrorism offences.
"The issue of Moazzam's torture is still legitimate," said Niall Couper, an Amnesty spokesman. "All Amnesty is concerned about is human rights violations. The story of how Moazzam has suffered remains a fundamental human rights concern and that won't change.
One might have expected that even though Begg is innocent until proven guilty, an arrest on such serious charges would be enough for any charity to reconsider its support until such time as his innocence or guilt is established. But the charity has continued to stand by him.
AN APPARENT plot by Muslim fundamentalists to destabilise and take over state schools in England is being investigated by council officials and monitored by police. Birmingham city council began an inquiry after the circulation of what purport to be strategy documents outlining ways of ousting head teachers in Muslim areas of the city in order to establish schools run on Islamic principles.
The anonymous documents were passed by the council to West Midlands police. The paperwork, which appears to have been written by disaffected Muslims, has been leaked to The Sunday Times. The documents suggest that the strategy, called Operation Trojan Horse, should be used in Bradford and Manchester as well as Birmingham. “We have an obligation to our children to fulfil our roles and ensure these schools are run on Islamic principles,” they argue.
The papers say the first step is to identify poor-performing state schools in Muslim areas; then Salafist parents in each school are encouraged to complain that teachers are “corrupting children with sex education, teaching about homosexuals, making their children say Christian prayers and mixed swimming and sports”.
They say parents should:
Parachute in Muslim governors to "drip-feed" ideals for a Muslim school
Have an "English face" to campaigns to turn secular schools into faith-based academies
"Wear down" the resolve of a headteacher at a targeted school ... anonymous letters are to be circulated to MPs, press and ministers. “All these things will work towards wearing the head down, removing their resolve and weakening their mindset so they eventually give up.”
One school mentioned in the Sunday Times report was Regents Park Primary, where headmistress Tina Ireland was given an “outstanding” Ofsted report but resigned last year after questions were raised on exam performance.
If proven bone fide, the documents will be a further blow to the government's free school's programme, dogged by the closure of the Al-Madinah school in Derby after Ofsted found it failing in every respect, and reports children were being segregated by sex and non-Muslim members of staff being told to wear Islamic dress.
Park View Academy in Birmingham is also subject of allegations that school leadership "side-lined" non-Muslim staff and implemented Islamic studies lessons in the secular school.
Others are Adderley Primary School and Saltley School, a specialist science college where the head, Balwant Bains, resigned last year. Bains quit after an Ofsted report concluded that he had a “dysfunctional” relationship with the governors. Ahson Mohammed, the interim head teacher at Saltley, was appointed in November after Bains’s resignation.
Birmingham city council said in a statement: “We are investigating allegations in relation to some schools in the Birmingham area and have passed any relevant information to West Midlands police to investigate.”
Police said they were monitoring information given to them by the council.
Life term for Lee Rigby murder is ‘an injustice,’ says brother of killer Michael Adebolajo
Abdul Jaleel, the murderer’s younger brother, told the Daily Star Sunday the punishment was the “decree of Allah” and warned it would not make Britain safer. Abdul Jaleel, born Jeremiah Adebolajo, told us: “It was the qada of Allah – the decree of Allah. “It was an injustice and a move away from the rule of law which got Britain into this situation of insecurity (in the first place) and so no further injustice will make them safer.”
Just hours after speaking to this newspaper, Jaleel continued to vent his fury on Twitter, accusing the legal system of racism and citing the case of Ukrainian-born murderer Pavlo Lapshyn. He was jailed for 40 years in October for the racist killing of Muslim pensioner Mohammed Saleem.
Jaleel told followers: “For those confused about the nature of the war upon Islam I urge you to know the following.
"Justice Sweeney, who sentenced my brother to life imprisonment for the murder of a British soldier – after waiting for whole life tariffs to be sanctioned – was the same judge who sentenced the Ukrainian man who stabbed an elderly Muslim man (because of his faith). He was sentenced to 45 years. . . Justice Sweeney found no cause to wait for the key European ruling concerning whole life orders. To Allah we place our complaint..."
Adebolajo and Adebowale face a tough time at London’s Belmarsh prison. Drugs lord Colin Gunn, 45, has offered a £20,000 bounty to anyone who maims them. The underworld boss – who arranged the murder of an enemy’s parents – is serving a 35-year sentence at the jail.
A source said: “He doesn’t mind if it’s a lag or a prison officer who does it. He wants them hurt badly or killed.”
Gunn grew to hate the Woolwich killers while sharing Belmarsh’s Special Secure Unit – dubbed a “prison within a prison” – with the pair
The killers are now demanding halal food delivered by a Muslim priest, claiming lags and guards are spitting in their grub. Adebolajo is surrounded by six prison officers everywhere he goes after repeatedly threatening guards. Both killers are on basic regimes and have no television or radio in their cells. They have received bundles of hate mail.
This is turning into a daily occurance. When can it be defined as a Civil War? From Sky News
Two car bomb explosions at a busy marketplace in Nigeria have killed at least 51 people, while 39 people were killed by gunmen nearby. The blasts happened in the northeast city of Maiduguri which is the birthplace of the country’s Islamic extremist terrorist group, Boko Haram.
The explosions took place on Saturday night, and caused some buildings to collapse, burying people in the rubble.
The victims included children dancing at a wedding celebration and people watching a football match at an outdoor cinema. Innocent activities to us - haram to an Islamic.
The first blast came from a truck carrying firewood and caused few casualties. Most people were killed by a car which exploded as people rushed to the scene of the first blast.
Some 30 miles away in Mainok, dozens of attackers dressed in military uniforms fired rocket propelled grenades and Kalashnikovs as people prepared for prayers. Resident Yahaya Umar said: "They came in around 7pm and opened fire indiscriminately with RPGs, explosives and AK-47 rifles. They killed 39 people who were buried this morning and destroyed the whole town."
I was out of the country when T G Rosenthal died, and so missed the news. He wrote a beautiful book about L S Lowry whose work he championed against the philistines of the Tate Gallery, who for long could barely bring themselves to hang any of Lowry's paintings on their walls. Rosenthal grew up in Manchester and knew whereof the artist painted; but quite apart from that he was a perspicacious art critic.
He was also a publisher of note, and I have reason both to be grateful to and to admire him. When I knew him he had taken control of André Deutsch, and he had published a couple of collections of my articles. After that I sent him the manuscript - there were still such things in those days - of a little novella I had written, 1400 words a day come hell or high water (or Montezuma's revenge) in Mexico. I went to see him afterwards, and he said, 'I think it ought to be published.' His decision was his alone - no marketing men, no accountants put their baleful oar in - and he made it on what he thought was my little book's merit. Nothing else counted for him.
He was, of course, a man of considerable ego, one saw that at once; no man without ego would dress as he dressed. Suffice it to say that he did not don camouflage so as to disappear into a crowd. But one also sensed at once that there was integrity in his flamboyance, that he was a man to whom art, literature and ideas were both important and enjoyable. He made them his raison d'être; he was decidedly not of the time-serving school of self-advancers. I was much impressed also that he had never learned to drive; this seemed to me all of a piece, somehow, with his scale of values.
One is always inclined, especially after a certain age, to say things such as 'We shall not see his like again.' No doubt virtue and talent, like hope, spring eternal. Nevertheless, I cannot help but think that this man, who made moulds fit him rather than fit himself to moulds, would have found the modern world, if he had been setting out in it today, profoundly uncongenial. It is a world made for apparatchiks, which he most decidedly (and gloriously) was not. He made mistakes as we all do but, as I once saw engraved on a tombstone in the Black Country, they were always a man's mistakes.
China will spare no effort to seek justice for a "terrorist attack" at a crowded train station, its domestic security chief said, after militants from the restive region of Xinjiang were blamed for chilling violence that killed at least 29 people.
Authorities said a group of knife-wielding "terrorists" launched a "premeditated" attack at the Kunming Railway Station late in China's southwest on Saturday night. More than 130 people were also wounded.
Police shot four of the attackers dead and captured one, state news agency Xinhua reported. It quoted the Kunming city government as saying evidence at the crime scene showed the attack was carried out by "Xinjiang separatist forces".
About five others were on the run, it said, after one of the worst attacks of its kind in China in recent memory.
It also marked a major escalation in the simmering unrest that had centred on Xinjiang, a heavily Muslim region in China's far west strategically located on the borders of Central Asia.
It is the first time people from Xinjiang have been blamed for carrying out such a large-scale attack so far from their homeland,
Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, is hundreds of miles from Xinjiang and has little connection to the recent violence there that has killed more than 100 people in the past year.
China bristles at suggestions from exiles and rights groups that the unrest is driven more by unhappiness at government policies than by any serious threat from extremist groups who want to establish an independent state called East Turkestan.
We all thought Oxfam was the most bigoted international charity organization but along has came Amnesty International to displace it from the pinnacle of shame. What is it about these supposedly good will international organizations that makes them so disproportionately obsessed with and so biased against the State of Israel and its citizens? What makes them so little aware, in any consistent way, of issues in the other 192 countries in the world?
Amnesty International (AI) describes its mission as undertaking research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of human rights. Indeed, it has drawn attention to some abuses in a number of countries. It also claims to be independent of “any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion.” But this claim is spurious because AI’s main focus has been on one government and its alleged deficiencies, Israel and its behavior towards Palestinians.
Over the last twenty years, activities of AI have shown a persistent attitude of criticism and even hostility towards Israel. Its official statements have referred to the “ethnic cleansing” in Israeli society, to the racial supremacy of Israel, to the expulsion and dispossession of Palestinians, and to the “current structure” of Israel as an apartheid state. It has no genuine title to neutrality.
AI has supported the movement to boycott Israel. In a manner familiar from the diatribes of antisemites, it has criticized Israel for exploiting the memory of the Holocaust in order to oppress the Palestinian people. It defended the anti-Israeli, and implicitly antisemitic, remarks of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he was President of Iran. It hosted in January 2012 a book party to launch a book, Palestinians in Israel: segregation, discrimination, and democracy, written by Ben White, a relentless critic of Israel. AI also hosted In November 2010 a meeting of the Russell Tribunal which then discussed “Israel’s violations of international law.” It published in October 2009 an inaccurate report on water resources in the Gaza Strip: it held that Israel’s “control of water is a tool of apartheid.”
Some of the pronouncements of AI have been over the top. It declared that the Israeli blockade of Gaza prevented “thousands of Palestinian students” in Gaza from pursuing higher education in the West Bank. AI seemed totally unaware of the considerable number of Palestinians who attend universities in Israel as well as in Palestinian areas. It demanded that the Israeli government stop limiting access to education for Palestinian students in the Gaza Strip, as well as for Israel to lift completely the blockade of the Strip. It also charged Israel with “war crimes” during the Operation Cast Lead in July 2009 in Gaza. AI disregarded the fact that the blockade was started to prevent the smuggling of weapons and rockets used against Israeli citizens.
In June 2012 AI issued a report , Starved of Justice: Palestinians detained without trial by Israel, which was in fact a strong attack on the Israeli legal system. Curiously the report was issued without the names of any authors, though two people, Deborah Hyams and Saleh Hijazi, were listed as researchers or “media contacts.” Both are ideologically motivated.
Hyams, who grew up in Oxford, is a constant critic of Israel. She agreed to be a “human shield” for Palestinians in Beit Jala in the West Bank to stop Israeli response to attacks of gunfire and mortars. She understood, without precisely approving of them, that suicide bombings against Israelis are “in response to the occupation.” She approved in 2008 of a letter stating that Israel was founded on terrorism and massacres. Hijazi, born in Jerusalem and raised in Ramallah, in a statement on December 8, 2007 called for a general boycott of Israeli products to begin on December 9. He had worked for a number of years for the Palestinian public relations office in Ramallah.
Other prominent members of AI staff have expressed similar critical statements of Israel. Kate Allen, the director of AI in the UK wrote on December 7, 2010 in Foreign Policy of “the harsh reality on the ground (in Gaza) for civilians trapped in this tiny enclave.”
A more outspoken individual, Kristya Benedict, listed as the crisis response manager for AIUK, has constantly referred to Israel as an apartheid state, called for a boycott, and declared, “the blockade of Israel has turned it into an outdoor prison.” Benedict has organized a number of events for anti-Israeli activists. He displayed both his wisdom of international politics as well as his character when he listed Israel, together with North Korea, Burma, Sudan, and Iran, as a “stupid dictatorial regime,” and threatened to assault physically a pro-Israeli individual. In equally bad taste he thought it a joke to remark on November 20, 2012 that three Jewish members of the British Parliament in a bar ordered a round of B52s to deal with Gaza. Was AI ever conscious of or did it ever mention the antisemitism evidenced by its staff?
Now on February 20, 2014, AI published a 87 page report, again without named authors, entitled Trigger Happy: Israel’s use of excessive force inthe West Bank. It gave attention to specific deaths. The report accuses Israel of “war crimes and other serious violations of international law.” It is itself excessive, and trigger-happy, in stating, “Israeli soldiers have repeatedly committed serious human rights and humanitarian law violations.” It details carefully selected accounts of the killing and wounding of Palestinians who “do not appear to be posing a direct and immediate threat to life.” It finds Israel guilty of “a callous disregard for human life.” It therefore calls on the international community to “suspend all transfers of munitions, weapons and other equipment to Israel.”
What is extraordinary is not only that this AI report minimizes or ignores the large number of attacks by Palestinians on Israeli forces and civilians in the West Bank. It also pontificates on the improper use of force by Israel in an area where the issue of security is paramount. The Secretary-General of AI, Salil Shetty, an Indian national formerly at the United Nations, himself admitted in an interview on February 10, 2014, “we are not experts on military matters. We do not want to pontificate on issues we really understand.” He might have criticized the AI statement that “petrol bombs pose little or no threat” to the lives of Israeli soldiers.
Certainly some abuses have occurred as Israel soldiers have tried to prevent or restain violent or even terrorist attacks. However, Shetty and other AI spokespeople should have been aware of the substantial increase in Palestinian violence. These included 5000 incidents when rocks were thrown and other incidents that caused harm to more than 130 civilians and soldiers, shootings, the planting of improvised explosive devices, and the murder of a soldier. The AI neglected the view of Colonel Richard Kemp that the IDF operates at the highest military standards.
Certainly AI’s Middle East director Philip Luther is unaware of this. He is prone to excessive rhetoric about Israeli behavior. He speaks of a “harrowing pattern of unlawful killings and unwarranted injuries of Palestinian civilians.” Israeli forces he stated, “appear to have recklessly fired bullets at the slightest appearance of a threat.” Even more he believes that “the arbitrary and abusive force (by Israelis) against peaceful protestors… suggests that it is carried out as a matter of policy.”
Despite their proclaimed objectives of international assistance, the AI, like Oxfam, is a bigoted group, more interested, for reasons of its own, in criticizing Israel than in providing any real help for Palestinians or Arabs in general. At a moment when 120,000 have been killed in the brutal civil war in Syria and millions of its residents have been rendered homeless, and when 500 demonstrators were killed in a single day in August 2013 in Egypt, it appears incongruous for AI to issue a long, anonymous report on Israeli arbitrary and excessive force.
It is time to proclaim the truth. These so–called international charity organizations have an agenda of their own that has little to do with charity or justice in the Middle East or with accepted standards of morality. By its new report Amnesty International is pulling the trigger against resumption of peace negotiations between Israel and Palestinians.
Michael Curtis is author of Jews, Antisemitism, and the Middle East.