'A rally in Sydney has been told Coptic Christian women in Egypt are being abducted, raped and forced to convert to Islam.
'Hundreds (the organisers of this rally were hoping for thousands; it will be interesting to see how many people they think turned up, and the numbers estimated by the police, as opposed to how many the ABC reporter says were there - CM) of Copts shouting "Enough is enough!: gathered in Martin Place to highlight what they say (what a nasty weasel-wording phrase you are using there, O ABC reporter! - CM) is a history of worsening violence against them in Egypt by hardline extremists.
Not by 'extremists'. By Muslims, period; lots and lots of Muslims, in many parts of Egypt. And it isn't a matter of the Copts just 'saying' it, as if they were making things up. This persecution is happening. It is abundantly documented. And it is rapidly getting worse, in a manner that eerily recalls the escalation of incitement and violence that preceded various historic genocides. - CM
'Sam Girgis, from the People's Voice Association, says the violence has escalated since Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak stepped down in January.
'He says more and more Christian women in Egypt are being abducted and forced to convert to Islam through blackmail.
This has, of course, been going on for much longer than the fall of Mubarak; it was happening in the 1970s; it has probably been happening at some level, sometimes more, sometimes less, ever since Muslims gained the upper hand in Egypt. The women and children of the dhimmis have always been raped and frequently abducted and force-'converted' to Islam. It is happening in Pakistan, right now, as well as in Egypt. - CM.
"The girls are raped...and filmed or photographed, and then this is used as a blackmail tool against them", he said.
'The rally has called on the Federal Government to consider accepting Coptic Christians from Egypt as refugees."
Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes. Let my country stop taking in Muslims as immigrants or refugees, and give their places in the queue to Copts, instead, thus saving lives from an impending genocide. The Copts will assimilate, intermarry with other Australian Christians - and secular Australians, gain education, work hard, and be genuinely grateful for a place of refuge...unlike all those thousands of sullen, hostile Muslims whom we let in and among whom we keep on finding people who are hatching plots to kill us. - CM.
Apparently Obama didn't throw Israel far enough under the bus. By Siraj Wahab, Maher Abbas, and Ghazanfar Ali Khan for Arab News:
RIYADH/DAMMAM: Saudis dismissed US President Barrack Obama's much-anticipated "Arab Spring address" as meaningless, predictable drivel while Egyptians and other Arabs, to whom Obama offered some sops, also did not find anything new in the speech, which according to them focused on US interests.
Imagine: a speech by a U.S. President that focused on U.S. interests. Not Saudi interests, but U.S. interests. The nerve.
"He did not say anything of consequence," said Riyadh-based historian Hatoon Al-Fassi. "It was a long speech and what I remember the most is his defense of Israel. Till he uttered this sentence, 'US commitment to Israel's security is unshakable', I had some hope, but when he said that I lost all interest. All his words after and before just rang hollow."
Stating support for Israel's right to exist is anathema to the Saudis. Only a declaration calling for the destruction of Israel will suffice.
Al-Fassi said people in the Arab world had high hopes after his speech in Cairo two years ago, "but when it came to action he turned out to be a hypocrite like all previous American presidents. So I did not have any expectations anyway. His words did not move me because they were all couched in diplomacy and hypocrisy, and nothing more."
"Katheeran min kalaam khalil min al-amal." That is how Dammam-based political analyst Mutlaq Al-Anazi described Obama's speech: "Too much talk and no action."
I'd describe the past decade another way: "Too much action, not enough thought." In Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya, we have frenetically involved ourselves in their intra-Islamic conflicts, and run ourselves ragged trying to improve their lives (according to Western standards), to the detriment of all involved. We don't know what we're trying to accomplish, or what they're trying to accomplish.
"There was nothing in his speech except a robust defense of Israel," said Anazi. "When you support Israel then you lose the moral high ground that we expect American presidents to take when dealing with the Palestinian-Israeli issue."
Again, in order to maintain the "moral high ground" according to Saudis (and generally Muslims), the U.S. must commit to the destruction of Israel. Nothing else will do.
“Obama’s speech contained both positive and negative points,” said Imam Yousuf Suleiman, an Egyptian engineer. “It was a photocopy of his previous speeches, and he did not give any solutions for the crises that triggered the revolution in Egypt, which was actually caused by lack of social justice and sustainable development.”
He emphasized the need for modernizing economic infrastructure and building an economic civil society to reduce unemployment in Arab countries.
It goes without saying that the U.S. is responsible for providing that modern economic infrastructure, and building that economic civil society in Egypt. Not the Saudis, Bahrainis, or Kuwaitis, and of course not the Egyptians themselves. The Egyptians see Iraq, see Afghanistan, and they want their fair share of the loot. Muslims want, kuffar provide. That is as Allah wills it.
[Journalist Hadi] Fakihi said the US president would be judged on the actions that he takes on the ground rather than the empty rhetoric.
"In any case America did not play any role in the changes that have or are taking place in the region. We all know it. This is our script. What is your contribution? Nothing," he added.
Whatever level of largesse, whatever level of involvement, the U.S. Administration thinks is sufficient to win the hearts and minds of Muslims in Dar al-Islam, it isn't. Poll after poll show that our efforts are not recognized, appreciated, or desired. It's not working. More importantly, it can never "work" in the way that we think it should. It can never be two societies working together in equal partnership to achieve our shared mutual goals, because we are not their equals, we are filthy kufirs, and our goals of spreading tolerance and freedom are antithetical to their goals of removing all resistance to the imposition of sharia and slavery to Allah.
"The US can go to any extent, when its interests are at stake," said Ameer Siddiqui, a local Pakistani banker, adding that the future of the US is bound to the Middle East and North Africa. The two regions have shared economic and security interests, Siddiqui observed.
President Obama's speech seems to be more directed toward his own constituency and his political fortunes than the problems in the Middle East, said Naif Al-Hazmi, a Saudi teacher. He said that Obama must understand the real problems that plague the Middle East region instead of trying to act like a "super cop."
I would love to hear what he thinks are the "real problems that plague the Middle East region". I think it would be most instructive to the kuffar. Let's hear the calls for the destruction of Israel. Please do go on. Let's listen to the conspiracy theories about the Protocols of Zion, and the Mossad and the C.I.A., and the eternally victimized, eternally helpless, ummah.
In point of fact, there is one major, central, fundamental problem with "the Middle East region", and that problem was created 1,350 years ago by a morally degenerate madman.
After a formal complaint from Christine Williams, the local UKIP spokesman, the Independent newspaper -sponsored HowTheLightGetsIn festival in Hay-on-Wye described as "the world’s largest philosophy and music festival" has withdrawn their invitation to Anjem Choudray the radical Muslim terrorist sympathiser.
A spokesperson for the festival said: " HowTheLightGetsIn has withdrawn its invitation to Anjem Choudary to take part in two debates on May 30th, as a result of the risk of disruption to the festival and a potential security risk to festival goers." I know of people who telephoned the organisers to express their dismay that he was being given a platform; I also believe that some attendees intended to dispute with him robustly.
On hearing the news, Christine Williams said: "I am delighted that this man, who has burnt poppies, called for the death of British servicemen, and insulted the memories of millions should never have been given the credibility of this platform. The Festival has done the right thing, at last".
Timmerman: 9/11 Families Lawsuit reveals Iran and Hezbollah Involvement
9/11 WTC Lower Manhattan Imad Mughniyah of Hezbullah
We had been alerted that a mammoth 900 page filing was to going to be made in the New York Federal Southern District Court by the counsel for the 9/11 families on the links of Iran to 9/11 ( the “9/11 links case”). The case is known as Fiona Havlish et al., v. Sheik Usamah bin-Muhammad bin-Laden et al.
The filing finally occurred on Thursday and contains definitive proof drawn from affidavits of Iran defectors and others that Iran and its proxy Hezbollah were in on the planning for the 9/11 attack on the iconic Twin Towers in lower Manhattan facilitating training and transit. The court has sealed the identities and testimonies of two Iranian intelligence service defectors for their own protection. The delay in the 9/11 Iran links case was occasioned by the cancer treatment of the courageous main counsel in the matter, Atty. Thomas E. Mellon Jr. The case originally filed in Washington in 2002 was moved to the New York federal district court to facilitate the investigation. The 9/11 Commission Report had asserted that there was “strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of Al Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers.”
What is clear from f the information released in the 9/11 Iran Links case filing was the close cooperation between fundamentalist Sunni (Al Qaeda) and Shia (Iran revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah) Jihadist terror groups. We note the presence of Imad Mughniyah, the Hezbollah terror chieftain, assassinated in Damascus in 2008, allegedly by Israel’s Mossad, was involved in the 9/11 planning. Until 9/11 Mughniyah was at the top of the FBI most wanted terrorist list for his involvement in the planning of the 1983 Marine (241 killed) and French paratrooper (58 killed) Barracks attacks in Beirut, the killing of a US navy diver Robert Stethem in a 1985 skyjacking of a TWA flight, kidnapping of several westerners in Beirut and the torture and murder of CIA Station chief, William Buckley, the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires (29 killed) and the 1994 Bombing of the AMIA Jewish community building (86 killed) in the Argentine capitol.
The 9/11 links case filing proves that there is no daylight between the Islamic Jihad doctrine of the Mahdists in Tehran and the Salafists in Al Qaeda in the terror war against the West, especially America and Israel.
We had been alerted to the imminent filing by one of the expert witnesses, a former CIA covert officer and counterterrorism consultant. Another friend, Kenneth Timmerman, News.Max.com columnist and Iran expert, who is also an expert witness, filed affidavits and has written a riveting synopsis of key findings drawn from the filing,“Lawsuit: Iran Knew About 9/11 Attack.” The filing exhibits on the 9/11 Iran links case can be accessed, here.
The enormous, but important, documented filing was briefly mentioned on a FoxNews.com special, the “Secrets of 9/11”.
The revelations from the 9/11 links case filing were captured in a New York Timesarticle,“Court Filings Assert Iran Had Link to 9/11 Attacks” and other publications. Immediate attention on this important 9/11 families legal filing may have been eclipsed temporarily by prominence given by media to the dispute between President Obama and Israeli PM Netanyahu over the former’s radical departure from previous US Middle East peace negotiations doctrine by suggesting that the 1949 Armistice line serve as a basis for establishing a proposed Palestinian State. Nonetheless, this is an important and revealing development coming as it does in advance of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in September.
Note what Timmerman reveals about the 9/11 Iran links case filing evidence;
“We simply want to make sure that those who are responsible for assisting the Sept. 11 terrorists in their attack on the United States are found accountable for the harm they caused,” said Fiona Havlish whose husband, Donald, perished on the 101st floor of the North Tower.
In an affidavit filed in the case today, former 9/11 Commission staff member Dr. Daniel Byman states that Iran’s assistance to al-Qaida “predated the 9/11 attack and continued after it, and it had profound implications for the 9/11 attack itself.”
Indeed, without Iran’s assistance in facilitating the travel of the 9/11 hijackers to and from Afghanistan, the attack might never have taken place, the lawsuit asserts.
Janice Kephart, another 9/11 Commission staff member who wrote a monograph on the movements of the 9/11 hijackers before the attack, concludes in a separate affidavit that Iran’s assistance to the hijackers “constituted . . . direct support for al-Qaida’s 9/11 attacks.”
Note what Timmerman reveals about the “shadow warriors in the CIA who attempted cover up the Iran connections to 9/11:
When I first reported on this find in my 2005 book, Countdown to Crisis: the Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran, I wrote that the document was literally “buried at the bottom of a huge stack of highly classified documents on other subjects that had been delivered to a special high-security reading room in an undisclosed location in Washington, D.C.”
It referenced 75 distinct source documents, including electronic intercepts — the crown jewels of U.S. intelligence gathering at the time.
Staff Director Philip D. Zelikow phoned the head of the intelligence agency that had generated the report, and asked him to dig out all 75 documents so staff could come read them the following morning at 7:30. “He didn’t care that it was a Sunday. They had to see the documents immediately,” I wrote in "Countdown to Crisis."
The result of that last-minute investigation can be found on pages 240-241 of the 9/11 Commission report, and was considered conclusive enough that it caused President George W. Bush to demand that Iran sever its ties to al-Qaida.
“They're harboring al-Qaida leadership there, and we've asked that they be turned over to their respective countries,” the president said once the report was released. But he reiterated the careful denial of acting CIA director John McLaughlin. "There was no direct connection between Iran and the attacks of Sept. 11,” Bush said.
And this on the key role played by Hezbollah arch terrorist planner Imad Mughniyah
The secret intelligence reports detailed the travels of about 10 of the hijackers into Iran and back and forth into Afghanistan from October 2000 through February 2001, where they were whisked through border controls without ever getting their passports stamped.
Commission staff members gained access to the travel manifests of the commercial flights the future hijackers used, and compared passenger lists to a secret registry of terrorist identities. And what they discovered was stunning.
In the word of the 9/11 Commission report, “a senior operative of Hezbollah” was on the flights that convoyed the future hijackers from Saudi Arabia to Tehran. It was none other than Imad Mughniyah, Iran’s top terror operative.
In the legal papers filed today in New York, lawyers representing the 9/11 victims weighed the true measure of that revelation for the first time. For Janice Kephart, the revelation that Mughniyah was convoying the future hijackers to Tehran “compels the conclusion that Iran had actual foreknowledge of a major terrorist strike against the United States that was, in fact, the 9/11 attacks."
“This conclusion flows from the fact that Mughniyah was a known terrorist agent of Iran, and, moreover, was a top-level Hezbollah terrorist commander who had attacked, kidnapped, and killed more Americans than any other terrorist in multiple terrorist attacks over the past three decades, at least some of which were at the direction of Iran,” Kephart states.
Anti-Muslim French Presidential Candidate Surge After Sex Charges for Ex-IMF Boss
By Eve Zibel
May 21, 2011 |
The rape charges against former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn are headline news across the world, but as Strauss-Kahn prepares for what could be a lengthy legal battle, France is preparing for a 2012 presidential election -- suddenly without the leading challenger to President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Strauss-Kahn, a prominent member of the Socialist Party in France, was predicted to be his party’s candidate in 2012 and would have faced off against Sarkozy and his UMP party. Sarkozy, who has been floundering in polls, has been seen as a weak and ineffective president – a man who promised big change and has failed to deliver. But with Strauss-Kahn almost certainly out of the 2012 race, Sarkozy’s biggest challenge could come from Marine Le Pen, a candidate known for her nationalistic and anti-Muslim views.
Le Pen is the daughter of immigration foe and 2002 presidential runner-up Jean-Marie Le Pen. She has been gaining in the national polls and overall popularity. As voters in France prepare for a long year of presidential politics – could Le Pen’s candidacy also be a foreshadowing of what’s to come for the rest of Europe?
Jennifer Fredette of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy says Le Pen and her father’s views reflect a trend across the continent.
“It’s been going on for a while now. It’s all these critical little moments that get played up and people focus on them, like the burka ban, things that are visual and they spread,” Fredette told Fox News, referring to a controversial new French law that forbids women from going out in public with their faces covered. “You talk about it in France and then people in Germany say ‘oh we see that here. Is it the same here?’ There’s a trend of suspicion going on right now. Not just towards Islam and Muslims but immigration too.” [but the main immigrant problem, by far, is that posed by Muslim immigrants, their attitudes, their behavior, their inculcated anti-Infidel beliefs].
Regardless of the overall trend in Europe, Strauss-Kahn’s arrest is of the highest importance for politics in France. Without Strauss-Kahn in the running, the Socialist Party is scrambling for a viable candidate. There are three potentials: Segolene Royal, who lost to Sarkozy in 2007, Martine Aubry, the first secretary of the French Socialist Party, and Francois Hollande who many wanted to run in 2007 and who didn’t when his live-in girlfriend, Royal, decided to get into the race. While some bemoan the loss of Strauss-Kahn (known as DSK in France), others see hope for the Socialists.
“This will offer them an opportunity to do soul searching. Because DSK was the presumptive leader perhaps the party didn’t take the opportunity to see how to meet the challenge,” Heather Conley of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told Fox News. “The center left has had difficult job finding its footing. But what we’re seeing now is that they’re having to find a new platform in an age of austerity.”
In fact, the loss of Strauss-Kahn doesn’t really hurt the socialists in the latest polls. In three possible matchups with Aubry, Hollande or Royal, only Royal gets a lower percentage than Sarkozy with Aubry and Hollande a full seven to 10 points above Sarkozy. But while the Socialists sort out their own issues, Marine Le Pen is continuing to harness a growing resentment in France towards the elitist politicians and their way of life.
Le Pen, whose father made it into the final run-off against incumbent President Jacques Chirac in 2002, is known for the same nationalistic and anti-immigration views of her father, but some experts suggest she learned from his mistakes. [she not merely sounds, but is, quite different from her intolerable father]
“She’s displaying a great deal of political acumen. She’s working the grass roots. She’s working very hard. Her message is moving away from the absolute noxious stuff,” Conley said. “She’s a smarter version here than of her father. A more modern, politically savvy force. Something we have to watch very closely.”
Le Pen’s politics is something many in France and the rest of Europe are responding to in large numbers. As youth unemployment continues to grow and countries like Greece and Portugal face ongoing economic crises, many are seeking alternatives to the current political system.
“There are trends that deserve close scrutiny. This is nothing new and revolutionary but we have to watch them,” Conley warns. “Governments have to respond appropriately. We can’t take for granted that Europe is completely solved. The fact of the matter is these parties are doing well, there’s low voter turnout, and you may have parties come into power that you thought were fringe.”
As Le Pen tries to woo those in France who are discouraged by the current economic climate, Sarkozy’s failures are increasingly coming to light. The man who was going to shake things up in France and use a more “American” approach and encourage multiculturalism has essentially failed.
“Sarkozy was so exciting to people because he entered the scene saying ‘I’m going to do it differently’ and people were looking to him to bring in more American style approaches to diversity. Everything Sarkozy said he could do better, he’s screwed up. It’s all a bit of mess,” says Fredette.
Regardless of who France ends up electing in 2012, almost everyone agrees on one thing – Strauss-Kahn won’t be the next president of France.
“We say he’s presumed innocent until guilty. I think it’s unlikely for the forseeable future that he will return,” says Conley. “The severity of the charges put it in a different category.”
Police say they are ready for Saturday's planned demonstrations for and against the nearly completed mosque on Hisingen in Gothenburg,
Three different groups have been given permission to gather and march towards the mosque. Two of the groups, Gothenburg against racism and the Left party, support the construction of the mosque. The third group, organized by the National Democrats and a group called the Swedish Defense League, are against its construction.
An older demonstrator told TT that she was scared of Islam. The demonstrator later joined a group of protestors gathering near a gas station a half kilometer away from the mosque at around 10 am Saturday morning.
“Full scale fences are set up and there will be a no man's land erected between the various groups,” Fredman (Martin Fredman, Police task force commander) told TT. The demonstrators will be separated so that they can not throw items at each other. Fredman says the protestors will also be kept farther than throwing distance away from the mosque.
The mosque is built by the Swedish Muslim Foundation.
I believe that this is only one of a Mosque expansion programme planned by Muslims in Sweden.
Non-Muslim worship in Maldivian island sparks public outcry
MALE, May 21 (HNS) – Rumours have surfaced that a group of non-Muslim expatriate workers are worshipping out in the open in Thinadhoo of Gaafu Dhaal atoll.
A person from Thinadhoo said the group of expatriate workers, mostly women brought in as domestic helpers, gather twice on every Friday in isolated areas of the island – a practice that has been noticed by the residents of the island since four weeks ago.
The islander, who confirmed that no statues were seen, noted that one of them held a book and chanted mantras loudly while the rest kneeled. “At first we all thought that since Friday was their off day, they all just gathered at the sand spit with food to enjoy with friends,” the person said.
The issue has been reported to the Island Council and police. President of Thinadhoo Island Council, Ahmed Naseer confirmed knowledge of such practices including the celebrations of certain religious festivals. “I personally haven’t witnessed the worshipping, but the islanders have claimed to have. The investigation has been launched and the police will work with us on it,” he said.
Anwar al-Awlaki's Luncheon Address at the Pentagon
Vanderbilt University has egg on its face after opening its doors to Awadh Binhazim and granting him the Muslim Chaplaincy. Binhazim heads Olive Tree Education which promoted the writings of Al-Awlaki. But the Pentagon looks even worse this morning. From Fox News:
With the recent death of Usama bin Laden, the life of another Al Qaeda-linked radical Muslim cleric is taking on greater significance, and documents obtained exclusively by Fox News and its Specials Unit shed new light on his stint as a guest speaker at the Pentagon just months after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, the first American on the CIA’s kill or capture list, is still considered a grave threat to U.S. national security. He now is hiding out in Yemen, where earlier this month a U.S. missile attack tried to kill him and his followers.
The scene was much different on February 5, 2002, when the radical imam was invited to and attended the Pentagon event.
Fox News obtained new documents through a Freedom of Information Act request as part of a year-long investigation called "Fox News Reporting: Secrets of 9/11." An internal Department of Defense email that announced the event with Awlaki also laid out other details, like a proposed menu including pork, which is prohibited for Muslims. The email states "the chef will create something special for vegetarians."
The documents show that more than 70 people were copied on the invitation, which originated in the Defense Department’s Office of the General Counsel. It is home to the Pentagon's top lawyer.
"I have reserved one of the executive dining rooms for February 5th, which is the date he (Awlaki) preferred," a defense department lawyer wrote in the e-mail announcing the event.
"He (Awlaki) will be leaving for an extensive period of time on February 11th."
The e-mail states that New Mexico born al-Awlaki was the featured guest speaker on “Islam and Middle Eastern Politics and Culture."
The Defense Department lawyer who vetted the imam wrote that she "had the privilege of hearing one of Mr. Awlaki's presentations in November and was impressed by both the extent of his knowledge and by how he communicated that information and handled a hostile element in the audience."
Fox News reached out to the Office of General Counsel for comment on the event in 2002 and the vetting process, but the Defense Department said it did not have additional information to provide.
In October 2010, Fox News and its Specials Unit broke the al-Awlaki lunch story when its investigative team obtained documents, including an FBI interview conducted after the Fort Hood shooting in November 2009, that stated Awlaki was taken to the Pentagon as part of the military's outreach to the moderate Muslim community in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.
Al-Awlaki, a dual U.S. and Yemeni national, was interviewed at least four times by the FBI in the first eight days after the Sept. 11 attacks because of his ties to the three hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Hani Hanjour. They were three of the five hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77, which was flown into the Pentagon. Apparently, none of the FBI's information about Awlaki, his ties to the hijackers or his history of soliciting prostitutes was shared with the Pentagon...
PM Netanyahu and Pres. Obama White House, May 20, 2011
I’ll admit the last 48 hours have been tumultuous given the exchanges between President Obama and Israeli PM Netanyahu about Israel’s existence. The next 72 hours will heighten the tensions given a speech on Sunday at AIPAC by Obama, speeches by Netanyahu on Monday night at the AIPAC gala dinner and on Tuesday by Netanyahu before a joint session of Congress. When it comes to Israel the world has literally turned upside down or inside out - your choice.
The other concerned party is Israel. Although President Obama hopes to upstage Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu by speaking first at the AIPAC conference, we hope that Netanyahu will show more resolve than he did in Monday’s post al Nakba day remarks in the Knesset. We and the US Congress are overdue for some Churchillian rhetoric with muscle behind it to counter this dangerous devolution of American hegemony in world and regional affairs. What we have now in Washington can be captured in that slangy Hebrew word derived from the Russian, Balagan- “chaos.” Pour les deluge.
In the early afternoon, a friend from Northern Virginia reached out to me on a cell call to give me the stunning news that Obama had spoken first and said that a Palestinian State should be formed based on the pre-1967 "borders." I thought to myself, darn, you should have waited and have produced a post with a title, “Michelle, I just shrunk Israel.” That might have been a funny sight gag routine for The Daily Show of Jon Stewart on The Comedy Channel, but on second thought, it was hardly funny to me. For what had just occurred in President Obama’s May surprise speech was a radical departure from previous assurances between the two allies. It was to my mind suicidal, the Czechoslovakization of Israel by Obama that I had written about in April, 2010 during an earlier Obama Netanyahu face off in Washington Had we just witnessed a rupture in that enduring 63 year special relationship? I hoped not, but wasn’t too sure.
Later, I watched news video of Netanyahu lecturing a very tense Obama yesterday in a very ‘arctic-like’ atmosphere in the White House in full view of the international press. Netanyahu said the effect of the Obama pronouncement would shrink the border of Israel with a proposed Palestinian State from 49 miles currently to less than nine miles, about half the distance across our nation’s capitol, Washington, DC. Moreover, it would result in giving up control over the strategic Jordan Valley, getting so-called swaps of territory in return, perhaps including the Kotel-the Western Wall.
To paraphrase him, those are hardly “borders of peace, rather, they are borders that generated repeated wars.” Especially borders that would be based on what the late Israeli Foreign Minister, Abba Eban referred to as the “Auschwitz line” - a reference to the 1949 Armistice line. My cousins in Ma’aleh Adumim wouldn’t find it comforting. Nor would the surviving children of the Fogel family murdered by Arab Jihadists in the Jewish community of Itamar in Samaria.
Besides, how could you contemplate a deal with someone who has just aligned themselves with a designated terrorist group, Hamas whose charter seeks not only the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel but all Jews, just like the mad Mahdists in Tehran waving their nuclear scimitar.
To make matters worse, after the jarring phone call from my buddy in Northern Virginia, I entered a meeting with a local reform rabbi, who revealed that he was a roommate at the HUAC seminary with the incoming President designate of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Richard Jacobs of Scarsdale, New York. Rabbi Jacobs is a member of the J Street rabbinic cabinet, as I pointed out to the local rabbi. The rabbi responded by saying that he was a J Streeter, too. I didn’t inform him that I am a Z Streeter and none too enamored about those liberal faux “Pro-Israel-Pro Peace Jews” backed by George Soros, who are in favor of declaring an immediate Palestinian State. That is pretty Orwellian to my thinking.
Yesterday, I also went to a Tiger Bay Club luncheon to hear a local first term state Representative from neighboring Milton, Florida talk about his experience in the state legislature over in Tallahassee.
Before the talk, a friend had introduced me as someone who might talk to the table mates about what Obama and Netanyahu were engaged in. They were all non-Jews and from various Protestant denominations. My friend, who attends a monthly breakfast of grey beards with both another synagogue member and me, thought that Obama’s speech on Thursday was “beautiful”. I demurred politely and then proceeded to give the table some of the facts on the ground about prevailing US Israeli negotiating assurances , especially the guarantees of secure and defensible borders based on the November 1967 UNSC Res. 242 and the 2004 letter from Bush II to somnolent Israeli PM Ariel Sharon confirming guarantees about secure borders in any final settlement.
I was pleasantly surprised when one of the tablemates piped up and disagreed with my interlocutor and friend. That person cited a book by Washington Examiner and Townhall.com columnist, Diana West, “ The Death of a Grown Up” . He thought it dreadful that President Obama would effectively derogate our special relationship with Israel an ally who shared common Judeo Christian democratic values rather that political intolerant totalitarian Islam. I noticed more than a few nodding heads around the table. Then someone piped up about the Glen Beck announcement of the Restoring Courage Rally in Jerusalem on August 24th and commented that was commendable.
Notwithstanding my friend’s views about Obama and his message of hope and change for Palestinians, I drew comfort from what these Americans seated at a Tiger Bay Club round table discussion had to say. They are clearly part of the 70% of Americans in polls and those here in the heartland that get it when it comes to why there is a common bond between America, Israel and the Jewish people. And no, I don’t think they find the prospect of ‘shrinking’ Israel a very funny matter, at all.
These remarks were given by Jerry Gordon at B'Nai Israel Synagogue in Pensacola Florida during regular shabbat services on May 21, 2011, just prior to a prayer for the State of Israel
Okay, we have heard it again and again since President Barack Obama’s May 19 speech on the Middle East. The President’s backers keep telling us that he added nothing new when in that speech he said that a Mideast peace agreement would be based on the 1967 Israeli borders with “mutually agreed land swaps.” This, they told us, has been the position of virtually everyone involved in peace negotiations and certainly of US presidents going back to Jimmie Carter. Contrary to what their scrambling apologetics are trying to cover, Obama’s speech moved the needle on US Mideast policy further towards a pro-Palestinian tilt than those who voted for him in 2008 ever imagined.
While Obama’s apologists claim his 1967 border statement added no new substance, we know that in negotiations, especially those involving international brinksmanship and especially in the Middle East, nuance and impression are substantive. If other presidents had the same starting point to a peace deal (and that is not entirely clear), they did not say so. Because Obama did, he sent a clear signal that the ’67 borders were the gold standard for any peace deal. It is not unlike the settlement issue. For 15 years, Palestinian leaders continued to negotiate with Israel while building went on unchecked. It only became an issue for talks when Obama made it one. As Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, “President Obama stated in Cairo that Israel must stop all construction activities in the settlements. Could we demand less than that?”
So too, with the 1967 borders, that no matter how people now parse Obama’s words, the notion of the 67 borders as the basis for a peace agreement is clearly implanted in the international mind. Another Obama gaffe, of course, is that they are not and never were borders recognized by anyone. The so-called borders are merely armistice lines drawn for a temporary truce based on troop positions after several Arab states attempted to destroy the newborn Jewish State in 1948. After Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Abbas called “on Obama to further press Israel to accept a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders,” according to Al Jazeera. No matter how Obama parses his words, the idea has now become part of the Middle East narrative.
The caveat about land swaps is also an empty one because it requires them to be “mutually agreed upon,” which simply will not happen. Without the swaps, Israel is left a mere eight miles wide at one point, which makes it impossible to prevent “militants” from sitting on the border and shooting ever more sophisticated rockets at airplanes trying to land at Ben Gurion airport. The only solution is for Israel to retain a large chunk of the Jordan Valley to its East. Does Obama believe the Arabs would agree to give up the heartland of their Palestine? And when that does not happen, we can be sure Obama and the talking heads at the UN will tell Israel it has no choice but to accept what the late Abba Eban called “Auschwitz borders.” The Arabs have no incentive to agree to any such swaps.
But that is not all Obama changed. In 2004, the United States gave Israel written assurances that it “is strongly committed to Israel's security and well-being as a Jewish state….and the settling of Palestinian refugees [in a Palestinian state], rather than in Israel.” On the basis of that and other assurances, Israel unilaterally withdrew from the entire Gaza Strip. But now, Obama has reneged on them by saying that the refugee issue remains to be resolved. Nor did he even mention the US position on the issue. Yet, every Palestinian leader from the most moderate to the most radical has said they would not give up their alleged right of return, calling it “sacred.” Hamas’s number two man said it in 2006; Fatah and the PLO also said it could not be relinquished. Less than a week before Obama’s speech, Abbas himself said that they “'will never neglect the ‘right of return’ for Palestinians to their original home.” The day after Obama’s speech, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, speaking about the matter, told Obama, “Palestinian refugees cannot come to Israel... It's not going to happen.” The refugee issue is a red herring for two reasons. First, there are an equal or greater number of Jewish refugees who fled Arab lands, making the entire matter a wash. Second, opening the floodgates of millions of Palestinian Arabs is suicide for Israel as Israel. But considering the new realities Obama just created, Israel likely will be told it has no choice but to accept them by the same advocates for its Auschwitz borders.
On June 4, 2008, candidate Barack Obama told the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC), “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.” It was not the last time he made the same promise to Jewish and other voters concerned about his anti-Israel associations and other matters In his recent speech, however, Obama threw that into the same “wrenching” and unresolved issue category as the Palestinian right of return. Less than three years after he won their votes, however, Obama is making it clear just how disingenuous and worthless his promises are. As we approach the 2012 contest, US voters will undoubtedly ponder that. Remember how President George H. W. Bush was done in partly because he went back on this campaign pledge: “Read my lips. No new taxes.”
There are other issues. While continuing to characterize the inclusion of Hamas in the PA as “troubling,” Obama implicitly rejected the advice of his own peace partners—the so-called Quartet of the US, UN, EU, and Russia—which demanded three steps by Hamas if they were to become legitimate parties to any negotiations: recognizing Israel’s right to a secure existence; renouncing terrorism; and agreeing to abide by previous Israel-Palestinian compacts. Here, too, Obama has lowered the bar, refusing even to allude to his partner’s assessment. He also seems to have forgotten that the 1967 borders would require Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights, which it captured from the Syrians who used it to fire upon peaceful Israeli civilians for decades. Yet, he did not even mention Syria.
Hamas, Jerusalem, refugees, and borders: It seems that the only thing Barack Obama accomplished with his speech was to alienate, 70 percent or more of the American people who have continually expressed solidarity with Israel.
The proposal is a watered-down version of a bill that originally sought to make it a felony to follow some versions of the Islamic code known as Shariah. It was later stripped of references to specific religions.
The measure would also no longer authorize the governor or attorney general to decide whether a person or group is a terrorist organization, leaving that authority with the federal government.
Republican Senate Sponsor Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro said the proposal targets "home grown terrorist in our country."
Nonetheless, should Governor Haslam sign the measure into law, as expected, it is a credit to grass roots support and concerns expressed by Volunteer State citizens over the spate of mega-Mosque projects and "creeping Sharia" This is a moral victory for both legislators and constituents who attended several events sponsored by the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, especially the crowds who heard speeches by Dutch politician, Geert Wilders last week in Nashville and Franklin. Credit for the measure's passage is due to its co-sponsors, Sen. Bill Ketron and Rep. Judd Metheny and advocacy groups The Tennessee Eagle Forum, the Act! for America Middle Tennessee chapter and the Tennessee Freedom Coalition. As noted in a post by Baron Bodissey of the Gates of Vienna blog, Tennessee has become the model for local activists around the country to emulate in countering Stealth Jihad in America.
Brian Mosely, on left, in scene from Welcome to Shelbyville
Brian Mosely is an AP award winning journalist with the Shelbyville Times-Gazette. Mosely did a series on Somalis and the severe cultural clash in the small middle Tennessee community of 18,000, that found itself with an influx of 1,100 Somali emigre workers at the Tyson Foods poultry plant located there. We interviewed Mosely about the series and his revelations. He impressed us back then and during the ensuing three years as having exemplary journalistic ethics. That is more than we can say about the team that put together the Welcome to Shelbyville documentary. Yesterday, we posted an investigative piece, "Welcome to Shelbyville? about the production co-sponsors, major funders, and the 'agendas' behind the creation and distribution of the controversial PBS documentary that will air on Tuesday night, May 24th. Because the documentary is considered by even the New York Times as propaganda for immigration reform dvocacy groups that we profiled in the Iconoclast piece, we wanted to bring you Mosely's story of his dealings with the fllm's team. Mosely had been cleared by his publisher, Hugh Jones and editors, to go public with a rebuttal to the biased production. We understyand that the Shelbyville Times Gazette will have an editorial on the biased production.
As Mosely notes at the conclusion of his post:
One of my co-workers said this past week that the fact I appear in both a right-wing book and a left-wing movie this month means I must be doing my job correctly.
Throughout all of this, The Times-Gazette has stood steadfastly by my reporting and I would like to express my deepest gratitude to publisher Hugh Jones and all the editors, fellow journalists here and the readers who have supported my efforts to tell the real story of what has been happening in Shelbyville with this complex and controversial issue.
I never imagined three and a half years ago that simply telling a story honestly could lead to being demonized on national television, in a film sponsored by our own government, no less.
As many of our readers are aware, in late 2007, I wrote a five part series about the impact that the introduction of Somali refugees were having on Bedford County. The stories focused on how the refugees got here, their traditions and beliefs, and took an honest look at the many cultural clashes that were taking place between the locals and the newcomers.
The series provoked a huge controversy, along with much discussion and debate from members of our community.
Then, in August 2008, the Times-Gazette reported that a new union contract at the Shelbyville Tyson Foods facility replaced Labor Day as a paid holiday with the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr.
That story put Shelbyville on the national stage, with the topic touching off coverage from the national news media, as well as massive attention on the issue from talk radio hosts, websites and blogs, some of which continues to this very day.
The controversy the stories created led a documentary crew to Shelbyville in late 2008 to shoot "Welcome to Shelbyville," which will air nationwide, May 24 on PBS at 9 p.m.. The film received financing from progressive migration advocates, and has been sponsored by the state department as overseas propaganda. The "propaganda" label comes from no less an authority than the New York Times.
While the filmmakers certainly have a right to express their views, in the process, I feel they have engaged in a completely unfair character assassination of both myself, the Times-Gazette, not to mention how the entire city of Shelbyville is depicted.
They have told their story. Now, I shall tell mine.
The first time I met the director of Welcome to Shelbyville, Kim Snyder, was on the public square in the fall of 2008 and it was obvious from the start that the filmmakers was planning on telling the story of our situation to promote their own agenda. She was with Catalina Nino, who did public relations for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) at the time, and another woman whose name escapes me, but who was heavily involved in the production of the film.
We spoke about the situation here regarding the Somalis and they asked if I would appear in the film. I knew I had no choice but to take part in this, otherwise, they would tell whatever story they pleased without my participation.
Apparently, they intended to do that whether I was in the movie or not.
Then the discussion turned to what I was doing at that time, which was covering the new prosecution of Edward McGee, who raped and murdered two little girls in 1966. I explained the sad case and why it was still a topic of conversation over 40 years afterwards.
But the director's friend only had one question: "Was he black?"
She said this in such excited tones that I felt like I was disappointing her by informing them that everyone involved in the horrific murder case was white.
It was obvious to me, however, that the filmmakers already had a narrative in place for their project and appeared to be let down that there would be no "To Kill a Mockingbird" parallels to work with in Shelbyville.
But, despite my misgivings about their motives, I asked the editor at the time, John Philio, for permission to be interviewed for the film and it was granted.
So, one month later, I sat down with Snyder and her crew to tell the story of what had been going on in Shelbyville with the refugees and the series of stories we ran, and the impact. I went into extreme detail about the history of the Tyson indictment from 2001, and how the community felt about the issue of immigration, as well as going into great detail the more recent Labor Day/Eid al Fitr flap, which brought us national media attention and angered many in Shelbyville and across the country.
None of these important topics made it into the film. Not even a mention. (Read More)
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - With no sign of Judgment Day arriving on Saturday as forecast by an 89 year-old California evangelical broadcaster, followers were faced with trying to make sense of his failed pronouncement.
Harold Camping, the former civil engineer who heads the Family Radio Network of Christian stations, had been unwavering in his message that believers would be swept to heaven on May 21.
His Oakland, California-based network broadcasts over 66 U.S. stations and through international affiliates. With the help of supporters it posted at least 2,000 billboards around the United States warning of the Judgment Day.
In New York, retired transportation agency worker Robert Fitzpatrick was inspired by Camping's message to spend over $140,000 of his savings on subway posters and outdoor advertisements warning of the May 21 Judgment Day.
As he stood in Times Square in New York surrounded by onlookers, Fitzpatrick, 60, carried a Bible and handed out leaflets as he waited for Judgment Day to begin.
By his own reading of Bible, which was slightly different than Camping's, Fitzgerald expected the great worldwide event to begin at 6 p.m. Eastern Time.
When the hour came and went, he said: "I do not understand why ...," as his speech broke off and he looked at his watch.
"I do not understand why nothing has happened."
Camping, who previously made a failed prediction Jesus Christ would return to Earth in 1994, had said doomsday would begin at 6 p.m. in the various time zones around the globe.
NEW DAY COMES
That meant it would begin in Asia and Oceania, but with midnight local time having come and gone in those areas, taking them well into May 22, and no indication of an apocalypse, Camping seemed to have gone silent.
During the day, his Family Radio played recorded church music, devotionals and life advice unrelated to Judgment Day.
The headquarters of his network was shuttered on Friday and Saturday, with a sign in the door that read "This Office is Closed. Sorry we missed you!"
Camping, whose deep sonorous voice is frequently heard on his radio network expounding the Bible, could not be reached for comment.
The shades were drawn and no one answered the door at his house in Alameda, California.
Sheila Doan, 65, who has lived next door to Camping since 1971, said he is a good neighbor and she was concerned about Camping and his wife because of the attention his pronouncement has received.
"I'm concerned for them, that somebody would possibly do something stupid, you just don't know in this world what's going to happen," she said.
Tom Evans, a spokesman for Camping, said earlier this week that at least several tens of thousands of people listen to Family Radio's message.
The network is heard in more than 30 languages through international affiliates, according to Family Radio.
In recent weeks, dozens of Camping's followers had crossed the United States in recreational vehicles emblazoned with the May 21 warning. Volunteers also handed out pamphlets as far away as the Philippines, telling people God had left clear signs the world was coming to an end.
In Camping's description of Judgment Day, the Earth would be wrenched in a great earthquake and many inhabitants would perish in the coming months, until the planet's total destruction on October 21.
On Saturday, some atheists in different parts of the country held celebrations and get-togethers to mark the failure of Camping's May 21 prediction to come true.
In Oakland, the same city where Camping's network is based, over 200 people gathered at an atheist convention where speakers joked about the Judgment Day pronouncement and a vendor sold jewelry with the words "Good without God."
Cara Lee Hickey, 32, a Christian turned atheist, said Camping's prediction got people talking.
"I've heard a lot of name-calling, but most of it is from other Christians calling him a false prophet," she said.