Saturday, 31 December 2016
Istanbul attack: 35 killed as gunmen 'dressed as Santa' opens fire at nightclub in Turkey
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This is not good news from The Telegraph for the first minutes of 2017. Also from Reuters and Sky News

At least 35 people have been killed in a gun attack at a famous nightclub in Istanbul during New Year's Eve celebrations. A gunman was reportedly dressed in a Santa costume when he opened fire in the Reina club in the Ortakoy area of the city, witnesses told CNN Turk.

The Istanbul governor said 35 people were killed and 40 wounded in the "terror attack". The attacker shot a police officer and a civilian as he entered the club in the Ortakoy district of Istanbul before opening fire inside the building, Sahin said, in what he described as a terrorist attack

One attacker may be still inside the club and police special forces and explosives experts were  searching the club, an NTV correspondent at the scene said. The whereabouts of the attacker was unclear. 

Estimates suggest about 500 to 600 people were celebrating the New Year at the venue. Many people jumped into the Bosphorus river in panic.

Security measures had been heightened in major Turkish cities, with police barring traffic leading up to key squares in Istanbul and the capital Ankara.

In Istanbul, 17,000 police officers were put on duty, some camouflaged as Santa Clause and others as street vendors, Anadolu reported. 

 

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Posted on 12/31/2016 6:36 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 31 December 2016
EXCLUSIVE PICS: London on Terror Lockdown for New Year’s Eve
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Rachel Megawatt for Breitbart

London will be guarded by record numbers of police and fortified with concrete barriers ahead of New Year’s Eve to repel Islamist attacks. In total, 3,800 police officers will be on duty in central London, with thousands more in the rest of the capital.

The barriers are being deployed to stop cars and trucks entering the centre of the city, where they could be used to ram and run over pedestrians in scenes similar to those seen in Berlin and Nice this year.

Millbank, outside MI5HQ

British Transport Police also made that unusual announcement that armed officers will be patrolling trains and the underground tube network.

Outside Westminster tube station

The Metropolitan Police confirmed security plans for the capital’s New Year’s Eve celebrations had been “adjusted” in the last few days in light of recent Islamist terror attacks.

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Posted on 12/31/2016 12:50 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 31 December 2016
Phares: "UN attention needs to focus on global Mideast crises not just one"
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Mideast Newswire
 

Photo archive: Dr Walid Phares attending as an observer a session at the UN Security Council consecrated to the fate of minorities in the Middle East after ISIS's ethnic cleansing. 
 
In an interview with BBC Arabic and on the Randy Tobler radio show, Dr Walid Phares said "the UNSCR resolution on Israel and the West Bank demographics and the debates that followed, have shifted attention away from the larger pressing issues and conflicts in the region, without even proposing a comprehensive solution to the Israel-Palestinian problem. We have four ongoing wars, mass refugees movements, ISIS terror and a dozen crises around the greater Middle East. Half a million dead in Syria and human rights abuses around the region in addition to Iranian military interventions in several countries. By suddenly re-triggering one crisis in the West Bank, which needs careful steps and a growing consensus, the architects of the last move have pushed back the discussion on solving crises in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Who will profit? The radicals." Phares added that "the next Administration will reset the process of debates at the UN so that practical and fair solutions can be advanced at the Security Council for all parties, not just for one crisis but for all conflicts in the region." Phares served as a foreign policy advisor to Donald Trump during the campaign
 
 
 
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Posted on 12/31/2016 11:13 AM by Walid Phares
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Saturday, 31 December 2016
Democrats Have a Religion Problem, Or, Great Moments in Editing
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He once drafted a faith-outreach fact sheet describing Obama’s views on poverty, titling it “Economic Fairness and the Least of These,” a reference to a famous teaching from Jesus in the Bible. Another staffer repeatedly deleted “the least of these,” commenting, “Is this a typo? It doesn’t make any sense to me. Who/what are ‘these’?”

More here. Please see Dr. Dalrymple after class.

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Posted on 12/31/2016 6:06 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Saturday, 31 December 2016
A Letter to Our Readers and Contributors
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by Rebecca Bynum

As we come to the end of our eleventh year, I will be taking some time away from the arduous task of editing and laying out the monthly magazine. As many of you know, back in March of this year I began working with Dr. Walid Phares, who was appointed as foreign policy advisor to then Candidate Trump. At that time, I suspended my work in book publishing and then, to our great surprise and immense relief, Donald Trump won the election.  It is expected that Dr. Phares will have a place within the new administration and he has asked me to continue in my service to him there and this I am very pleased and proud to accept.

Even while looking forward to serving our new administration, where there will be a chance for fresh thinking and new policies, I cannot help but feel a bit wistful looking back over these past eleven years in which so much of my world was wrapped up in New English Review. It has been one of the greatest experiences of my life to work with so many of the leading writers of our time, men and women who have trusted me with their work. New English Review has always been a team effort and has always been more than the sum of its parts. In our small corner of the internet, complex philosophical pieces have stood beside timely political analysis, literary and cultural criticism, book reviews, fiction, poetry and humor. We didn’t simply curse the decline of culture, we created culture. We didn’t simply curse the political direction of our nation, we helped to change it. And now it is time for me to do my small part in cementing that new direction by serving our new President.

We are working to bring in a new managing editor and I will remain as publisher and advisor. Our blog, The Iconoclast, will continue as usual and will not be affected. We will post updates on any new developments here.

Thank you to all our many contributors and readers who have made New English Review the well-respected publishing enterprise it has become.

Bless you all and here’s to an exciting new year!

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Posted on 12/31/2016 5:19 AM by NER
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Friday, 30 December 2016
‘Depraved Indifference’ in the UN Security Council Resolution
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The latest betrayal of Israel is potentially lethal in making Jews trespassers and criminals on their own land

by Richard L. Cravatts

The shameful and morally-incoherent December 23rd Resolution 2334 by the UN Security Council demanding that “Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,” also includes careless language that proclaims that Israeli settlements, which are “dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-state solution,” have “no legal validity.”

The United States, contrary to its customary role, abstained from the vote, which passed by a count of 14 in favor out of 15 countries, and this departure marks in a new low in the U.S.’s relations with Israel, even though the State Department under President Obama has, during the last eight years, promiscuously referred to the Israeli settlements as “unhelpful,” “obstructions to peace,” and “illegitimate.”

In fact, the UNSC resolution is not only factually spurious and legally flawed; it is not only diplomatically defective; it is, in a manner that jeopardizes Israel’s safety, the lives of its citizens, and its ability to even justify itself in the community of nations, a potentially lethal resolution that was hobbled together by a pack of moral degenerates attempting to use lawfare as a club against Israel in pursuit of some hallucinatory dream of “two states living side by side in peace.” The U.S. abstention was, as Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan put it in 1980 after a similar UN betrayal, essentially an act of acquiescence.

In the law, the Court has found that a defendant can be charged with “depraved indifference,” in which the “defendant’s act was imminently dangerous and presented a very high risk of death to others and that it was committed under circumstances which evidenced a wanton indifference to human life or a depravity of mind . . . .” In these cases, and in the case of this UN resolution, the defendant’s “crime differs from intentional murder in that it results not from a specific, conscious intent to cause death, but from an indifference to or disregard of the risks attending defendant’s conduct.”

The high-minded, but perilously misguided, mandarins of the Security Council have voted for a resolution that has absolutely neither the intent nor ability to effect peace; in fact, its language all but insures that the exact opposite result is very likely: namely, that Israeli citizens in the Jewish Quarter, at the Western Wall, on the Temple Mount, in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, and anywhere in Judea and Samaria (where Jews have lived since biblical times) can, and most definitely will, now be considered criminal trespassers, violators of international law, illegal settlers, squatters on land now deemed to be Palestinian property off limits only to Jews—judenrein.

As a result of this latest UN resolution, even those Jewish Jerusalem neighborhoods which everyone has agreed would be folded into Israel upon the creation of a Palestinian state can now be deemed “illegal” and their inhabitants criminal trespassers.

It is, of course, completely fallacious to overlook the fact that not only all of the land that is current­-day Israel, but also Gaza and the West Bank, is part of the land granted to the Jews as part of the League of Nations Palestine Mandate, which recognized the right of the Jewish people to “close settlement” in a portion of those territories gained after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. According to Eugene V. Rostow, the late legal scholar and one of the authors of UN Security Council Resolution 242 written after the 1967 war to outline peace negotiations, “the Jewish right of settlement in Palestine west of the Jordan River, that is, in Israel, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, was made unassailable. That right has never been terminated and cannot be terminated except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors,” something which Israel’s intransigent Arab neighbors have never seemed prepared to do.

Moreover, Rostow contended, “The Jewish right of settlement in the West Bank is conferred by the same provisions of the Mandate under which Jews settled in Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem before the State of Israel was created,” and “the Jewish right of settlement in the area is equivalent in every way to the right of the existing Palestinian population to live there.”

When did the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem become Palestinian land, as Resolution 2334 affirms? The answer is: never. In fact, when Israel acquired the West Bank and Gaza and other territory in the defensive war 1967 after being attacked by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, the Jewish state gained legally-recognized title to those areas. In Israel’s 1948 war of independence, Egypt, it will be recalled, illegally annexed Gaza at the same time Jordan illegally annexed the West Bank—actions that were not recognized by most of the international community as legitimate in establishing their respective sovereignties.

Israel’s recapture of those territories in 1967, noted Professor Stephen Schwebel, State Department legal advisor and later the President of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, made the Jewish state what is referred to as the High Contracting Party of those territories, both because they were acquired in a defensive, not aggressive, war, and because they were part of the original Mandate and not previously under the sovereignty of any other High Contracting Party. “Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully,” Schwebel wrote, referring to Jordan and Egypt, “the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-­defense has, against that prior holder, better title.”

While those seeking Palestinian statehood conveniently overlook the legal rights Jews still enjoy to occupy all areas of historic Palestine, they have also used another oft­-cited, but defective, argument in accusing Israel of violating international law by maintaining settlements in the West Bank, that since the Six Day War, Israel has conducted a “belligerent occupation.” But as Professor Julius Stone discussed in his book, Israel and Palestine, the fact that the West Bank and Gaza were acquired by Israel in a “sovereignty vacuum,” that is, that there was an absence of High Contracting Party with legal claim to the areas, means that, in this instance, the definition of a belligerent occupant in invalid. “

The matter of Israel violating Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention is one that has been used regularly, and disingenuously, as part of the cognitive war by those wishing to criminalize the settlement of Jews in the West Bank and demonize Israel for behavior in violation of international law, and, in fact, was the core of the UNSC resolution. It asserts that in allowing its citizens to move into occupied territories Israel is violating Article 49, which stipulates that “The occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into territory it occupies.” The use of this particular Geneva Convention seems particularly grotesque in the case of Israel, since it was crafted after World War II specifically to prevent a repetition of the actions of the Nazis in cleansing Germany of its own Jewish citizens and deporting them to Nazi-occupied countries for slave labor or extermination. Clearly, the intent of the Convention was to prevent belligerents from forcibly moving their citizens to other territories, for malignant purposes— something completely different than the Israel government allowing its citizens to willingly relocate and settle in territories without any current sovereignty, to which Jews have long­standing legal claim, and, whether or not the area may become a future Palestinian state, should certainly be a place where a person could live, even if he or she is a Jew.

In fact, Professor Stone observed that those enemies of Israel who point to the Fourth Geneva Convention as evidence of Israel’s abuse of international law and wish to use it to end the settlements are not only legally incorrect, but morally incoherent and racist. Stone suggested that in order to recognize the validity of using the Fourth Convention against Israel, one “would have to say that the effect of Article . . . is to impose an obligation on the state of Israel to ensure (by force if necessary) that these areas, despite their millennial association with Jewish life, shall be forever judenrein.”

Professor Rostow himself saw through the disingenuous talk about legal rights and resolutions when it came to the issue of the settlements. The discussion was not, in his mind, “about legal rights but about the political will to override legal rights.” In fact, the settlement debate is part of the decades-­old narrative created by the Palestinians and their Western enablers to write a false historical account that legitimizes Palestinian claims while air brushing away Jewish history. “Throughout Israel’s occupation,” Rostow observed, “the Arab countries, helped by the United States, have pushed to keep Jews out of the territories, so that at a convenient moment, or in a peace negotiation, the claim that the West Bank is ‘Arab’ territory could be made more plausible.”

In the cognitive war against Israel, that “convenient moment,” at least for the “pack of jackals” in the UN about which Senator Moynihan lamented, has apparently arrived.

 

Richard L. Cravatts, PhD, President Emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, is the author of Dispatches From the Campus War Against Israel and Jews.

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Posted on 12/30/2016 6:42 AM by Richard L. Cravatts
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Thursday, 29 December 2016
Two suspected jihadists arrested in Madrid and weapons cache seized
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From the Spanish edition of The Local

Spanish authorities said Wednesday they had arrested two suspected jihadists in Madrid and found bullets and weapon magazines while conducting raids linked to the detentions. According to the Europa Press news agency, the magazines were of the type used for assault rifles such as the AK-47, but a police spokeswoman was unable to confirm this when contacted by AFP.

The interior ministry said the two men were Spanish and had been detained for "glorifying terrorism," without giving any further details. 

The arrests come as Spain strengthens security during the holiday season.   Authorities in Madrid are taking unprecedented measures for New Year's Eve . . . Bollards will be used on nearby roads alongside police vans to guard against truck attacks like those that hit Nice in France in July, and Berlin on December 19th. Barcelona has taken similar measures.  

Spain has been mentioned on extremist websites as a possible attack target for historical reasons, given much of its territory was under Muslim rule from 711 to 1492.

But unlike France or Belgium, the country is less exposed to the risk of return of radicalised nationals who went to fight abroad and plan to commit extremist acts on home soil. Only around 200 Spaniards are estimated to have gone abroad to fight, compared to thousands from nearby France and Belgium.  

Still, the interior ministry announced Wednesday that the Spanish wives of two Islamic State group fighters "responsible for dozens of murders" had been arrested in Turkey with their young children, attempting to return to Europe.

 

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Posted on 12/29/2016 7:16 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 28 December 2016
About That Kerry Speech
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by Gary Fouse

It's hard to find much logic behind lame-duck secretary of state John Kerry's speech Wednesday other than pouring more fuel on the fire between the out-going Obama administration and Israel after the US abstained in the UN Security Council resolution against Israel. Kerry spent the bulk of his time condemning Israeli settlements as being a threat to the two-state solution.

What has always been a threat to the two-state solution, an obstacle really, has  been the refusal of the Palestinians to accept the existence of Israel. How can you have two states living side by side when one state (Palestine) believes that the entire area ("from the river to the sea") belongs to them including Jerusalem and all its holy sites? How can you have a two state solution when Palestinians are taught since they are children that Jews are the "sons of apes and pigs" and not worthy of life? How can you have a two-state solution when Palestinian children are taught that their highest goal in life is to kill Israeli Jews? How can you have a two-state solution when Palestine would be free to control its own borders, join with terrorist entities like Iran, and use their state as a launching pad for attacks against Israel? And that's just the West Bank. We have not even gotten to Gaza yet, which is controlled by Hamas. Even the so-called "moderate" government of Mahmoud Abbas declares that an independent Palestine would not contain one Jew.

As for the Israeli claim that they have indisputable evidence that the Obama administration was involved in the development of the resolution, I agree that eventually, they will need to lay it on the table - while protecting their confidential sources. That is perhaps why they say they will share it with the new administration under Donald Trump. One thing they have learned the hard way is that this administration cannot be trusted to protect sensitive sources. (Right, Hillary?)

Even if the Israeli claims are unfounded, the act of abstaining in this disgraceful vote and permitting it to pass is beyond shameful. We have thrown our ally, Israel, a state trying merely to survive, under the bus in favor of a corrupt body (the UN) and a people who danced in the streets on 9-11. We owe the Palestinians nothing, and we still have yet to learn that an eventual peace must be between the two parties. It cannot be imposed from outside.

John Kerry, like his predecessor (Hillary Clinton) and like his boss (Obama), is a failed secretary of state who has appeased our adversaries and enemies while giving the shaft to our own interests and those of our friends. Given this abstention, Kerry's speech, and the infamous Iran deal, their claims that no administration has done more in defense of Israel is a sick joke.

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Posted on 12/28/2016 5:38 PM by Gary Fouse
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Wednesday, 28 December 2016
Congress Moving to Cut U.S. Funding to U.N. in Wake of Anti-Israel Vote
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Adam Kredo writes in the Washington Free Beacon:

Congress is already setting the stage to cut off U.S. funding to the United Nations in the wake of a contested vote last week in which the Obama administration permitted an anti-Israel resolution to win overwhelming approval, according to congressional leaders, who told the Washington Free Beacon that the current administration is already plotting to take further action against the Jewish state before vacating office.

Other punitive actions by Congress could include expelling Palestinian diplomats from U.S. soil and scaling back ties with foreign nations that voted in favor of the controversial measure, according to multiple sources who spoke to the Free Beacon about the situation both on and off the record.

The Obama administration is still under bipartisan attack for its decision to help craft and facilitate the passage of a U.N. resolution condemning the construction of Jewish homes in Jerusalem, a move that reversed years of U.S. policy on the matter.

The Free Beacon was the first to disclose on Monday that senior Obama administration officials played a key role in ensuring the measure was passed unanimously by the U.N. Security Council. This included a phone call by Vice President Joe Biden to Ukraine’s president to ensure that country voted in favor of the measure.

While Biden’s office continues to dispute the claim, reporters in Israel and Europe confirmed in the intervening days that the call between Biden and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko did in fact take place.

With anger over the issue still roiling, leading members of Congress told the Free Beacon on Wednesday that they will not delay in seeking retribution against the U.N. for the vote. This could include cutting off U.S. funding for the U.N. and stripping the Palestinian mission’s diplomatic privileges.

Lawmakers also will work to rebuff further attempts by the Obama administration to chastise Israel on the international stage. This would include freezing funds that could be spent by the administration on further U.N. action.

“The disgraceful anti-Israel resolution passed by the UNSC was apparently only the opening salvo in the Obama administration’s final assault on Israel,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) told the Free Beacon. “President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Ambassador Power, and their colleagues should remember that the United States Congress reconvenes on January 3rd, and under the Constitution we control the taxpayer funds they would use for their anti-Israel initiatives.”

“The 115th Congress must stop the current administration’s vicious attack on our great ally Israel, and address the major priorities of the incoming administration,” Cruz said, expressing his desire to work with the incoming Trump administration to reset the U.S. relationship with Israel.< Senior congressional sources currently working on the issue further disclosed to the Free Beacon that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are in an uproar over the Obama administration, which they accuse of plotting behind closed doors to smear Israel.

“Not content with spending the last eight years using the United Nations to undermine American sovereignty, the Obama administration has finally trained their sights on Israel and is trying to exploit this unelected and unaccountable international body to impose their resolution of the Palestinian issue on Israel,” one senior congressional aide told the Free Beacon. “Enough is enough.”

While the Trump administration will not take office until the end of January, Congress will be working overtime before then to stop the Obama administration from further damaging the U.S.-Israel relationship, according to the source, who hinted that a full cut-off of U.S. funding to the U.N. currently is on the table.

“A new administration will arrive on January 20th, but in the intervening weeks Congress has an important role mitigating the damage President Obama can do in his final hours,” the source said. “Why on earth would we throw good taxpayer dollars after bad in support of the UN, which has proven itself again and again utterly unable to encourage any positive progress? Just take Syria — if they were doing anything over the last five years, it should have been working out a fair and equitable adjudication of the Syrian war.”

“Instead, they’ve proven themselves utterly useless–in fact they’ve probably made a gut-wrenching catastrophe worse,” the source explained. “There’s no reason to think this action will turn out any more favorably.”

A second senior congressional aide working on a package of repercussions expressed fear that the U.N. vote was just the first salvo targeting Israel.

“The question now is whether this was the finale or the prologue of what this administration has planned against Israel,” the source said, adding that “everything is on the table right now — including funding cuts and scaling back diplomatic relations with countries that brought forward this resolution.”

A similar list of punitive actions was confirmed by multiple congressional sources who spoke to the Free Beacon about the matter. The sources were granted anonymity so they could speak freely.

“Obama went to the U.N. because a U.N. resolution is functionally irreversible by normal means,” added a veteran foreign policy insider who is currently working with the incoming Trump administration. “Obama’s goal was to eliminate any limited options that could be used to repair the damage to Israel, and he gambled that Trump and Congress would be too intimidated to use the remaining big stick options. He’s going to lose that gamble.”

“American leaders will now use exactly those options,” the source explained. “Everything is on the table, from systematically going after the U.N., to moving the U.S. embassy into parts of Jerusalem the U.N. says aren’t Israeli, to kicking the Palestinians out of Washington.”

“Members on both sides of the aisle are furious, so our response will be swift and forceful,” the second congressional source said. “With a Trump administration in place, any nation that seeks to delegitimize the Jewish state will need to answer to the United States.”

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Posted on 12/28/2016 6:44 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Wednesday, 28 December 2016
Rotten Christmas Pudding
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by Nidra Poller

UNSC Resolution 2334 stinks to high heaven but don't count on me to belabor the obvious: the stab-in-the- back American abstention is confirmation of Obama's real intentions, and the dastardly resolution won't help the peace process. Pouah! Old news worn to the bone. 2334 is tailored more like an international suicide belt than a whip to beat the Jews.

Let's look at how the UNSC vote was reported on France's all-news channel BFM TV. A typical newscast begins with replays of the smashed Berlin Christmas market alternating with scenes in the backward Tunisian town of Oueslatia from which the truck jihadi Anis Amri set out to conquer Europe. Then comes a festive sequence featuring luscious Christmas delicacies displayed  in our French markets and footage of shoppers rushing to grab up the last gifts...followed by frightening/reassuring shots of hefty policemen and soldiers guarding our churches. Our churches are targeted, frère, not our synagogues. The newscast closes with the evacuation of miserable refugees and rebels from the snowswept ruins of Aleppo. Underneath all this pertinent news, the scroll mentions in passing a UNSC Resolution "calling on Israel to halt its colonization."

Stunning juxtaposition: Jihad truck attack, jittery Christmas markets, security details on the threshold of midnight mass, the festering boil of Syria...and the UN sets its sights on...Israel! In the good old days a slap in the face from international opinion would have stimulated an endless stream of insults and accusations against Israel. The Palestinian plight has lost its drawing power: from 23 December to Christmas Day, the perfidious resolution never made it from the scroll to the screen. The Berlin massacre remained front and center.

Apparently it took German police 24 hours to find Amri's ID stashed in the mastodon killer vehicle. Naïve commentators wondered why these absent-minded guys-e.g. the Kouachi brothers that gunned down the Charlie Hebdo staff two years ago-leave their ID at the scene of the crime. They are still too far from understanding the allahu akhbar resonance of these prideful signatures. Meanwhile Amri was chilling out in Berlin's "Daesh" mosque across the street from a police station. In the same meanwhile, New Zealand was chumming up with Malaysia, Venezuela, and Senegal, to stick the finger to the whole wide western world in a thinly disguised resolution that delivers you up, chumps, to all the Amris stalking your streets and public squares. You're in the firing line, boys, and you don't know what to do about it.

François Hollande's UN diplomat was supporting the rotten Christmas pudding resolution when the aforementioned Amri slipped out of Germany-so riddled with shoah guilt they couldn't even close their borders after the Berlin attack-and into France. He passed through Lyon and Chamberry on his way to Torino, Milano, and wherever his heart desired if it hadn't been for two alert caribinieri who aimed straight from the heart of our endangered liberty.

Where are the smarties that mocked Nicolas Sarkozy for "rubber stamping" George W. Bush, and snapped at the heels of "Bush's poodle" Tony Blair? They're ok with pudgy François Hollande yessirring BHO, the same BHO that chickened out on him when Syria's Assad stepped across the disappearing red line. If you asked the phenomenally unpopular Hollande why France voted for UNSC 2334, he'd probably tell you it's in the interest of peace. Hmph! Here at home our towns and regions are under constant threat of "two-state" solutions and Paris is in greater danger of division than Jerusalem. France is too busy whoring around at the UN to see the irony. Whatever you say, boys, we won't make waves. Just put peace in the pudding and we'll swallow it.

It took Tunisian authorities precious months to admit Anis Amri was a citizen, and accept his deportation. Too late. He had already killed and maimed victims that are hardly mentioned in the media, as if their concrete existence would upstage the mass of refugees whose needs must not be ignored. The outgoing French president never found a way to use existing legislation to deport thousands of dual-citizen jihadis that do not deserve our hospitality. Tunisians don't want us to send back their rejects. Ordinary citizens are in the streets clamoring "No Jihadis Here."

LCI TV filled empty time on the run up to Christmas Eve with reruns of Yves Calvi's "24 heures en question." I caught the one on Christians in the Middle East or, more exactly, their hastening absence. Thanks to my friend Bat Ye'or I know the ins and outs of this story from the first chapter to the last minute. Even so, the statistics shock me. Christian populations reduced from millions to hundreds of thousands, with no hope of sustaining those remnants. Yet no one on Calvi's panel of experts seems to have heard of orthodox Islamic hatred of Christians. They fumbled around, looking for explanations of this puzzling hostility fulminating in the very birthplace of Christianity. Backlash from the Crusades, posits one; reaction to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, assures another. A third genius is concerned that the looming absence of diversity in the Middle East could jeopardize the harmonious diversity here in Europe. Meanwhile, Europeans were sharpening their knives for the killer UNSC vote.

And they (still) think that if they stab the Jews in the back, the jihadis will spare their butts. Juxtaposition proves the contrary. Twelve people mowed down in the Christmas market in Berlin, hundreds slaughtered in France, flames raging in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, licking at the hem of the Maghreb and breathing down the necks of Europe, hundreds of thousands slaughtered in Syria while the US leads from behind, and the foot soldiers of humanitarian jihad pour through our open doors by the millions. Russia, allied with Iran and Hizbullah, makes the decisions, wields the vetoes, bombs kindergartens and hospitals, traces new frontiers.

So that's why western diplomats convened in the halls of the United Nations voted in favor of shari'a law.

Yes, shari'a. That's the "international" law they endorsed on December 23rd. What kind of peace interlined that resolution? The peace of submission. A billion-strong Christian population can't protect its own against the jihad onslaught in the Middle East or here on their own ground. So why should Israel stand strong? Just because its citizens are brave, resourceful, inventive and wise? Just because the outstretched hand does not falter or fail? The Arab-Muslim armies tried their best, the misnamed Palestinians employed every form of explosive, knife-sharp, bludgeoning, ramming hatred, but Israel flourishes and prospers. Israel stands strong.

In desperation, the United Nations, willing handmaiden to the OIC, offered rotten Christmas pudding on a gold platter. Luring the West into this dead end, making them think they are slapping down the pesky little Jew-state, flattering them with oily promises, and fooling them into voting their own demise.

You think it's about the "West Bank," baby? It's about the West! UNSC 2234 applies to you. It validates the world view of Anis Amri, motivates his exploitation of your suicidal asylum system, justifies his final gesture.    He requisitioned a truck, savagely murdered the driver, and used it as a weapon to kill and maim defenseless civilians. Because, in the logic of jihad, shoppers at the Berlin Christmas market are colonial usurpers illegally occupying a territory that belongs to allah. Residents of dar al Harb strolling around nonchalantly on the vast battlefield are fair game. And the UNSC acquiesces.

But Israel does not. And the Rotten Christmas Pudding will soon be tossed on the garbage dump.  

First published in Family Security Matters.

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Posted on 12/28/2016 5:29 AM by Nidra Poller
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Tuesday, 27 December 2016
The Predictable Perfidy Of Obama
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by Brian of London

Yesterday I pointed out how Samantha Power had deliberately misquoted Reagan to back up her heartfelt desire to destroy Israel. It’s worth remembering how fervently she hoped that one day America could invade Israel to “protect” her chosen people. I’m sure the hidden 2003 Obama speech at an anti-Israel event would display similar thinking.

Caroline Glick makes the same point about Reagan as I did in her essential article and draws on another author to put this in context of the deliberate campaign waged by the PLO and their supporters at the UN for decades:

In “How the PLO was legitimized,” published in Commentary, Kirkpatrick said that Yassir Arafat and the PLO worked “to come to power through international diplomacy – reinforced by murder.”

Kirkpatrick explained, “The long march through the UN has produced many benefits for the PLO. It has created a people where there was none; a claim where there was none. Now the PLO is seeking to create a state where there already is one. That will take more than resolutions and more than an ‘international peace conference.’ But having succeeded so well over the years in its campaign to delegitimize Israel, the PLO might yet also succeed in bringing the campaign to a triumphant conclusion, with consequences for the Jewish state that would be nothing short of catastrophic.”

As I’ve said consistently here the whole goal is the theft of Jewish indigenous identity in Israel (all of biblical Israel) and the replacement of Jews with invading Muslim Arabs whose ideology conquered and occupied Israel since 640CE. This is a central part of Islamic Jihadi doctrine and always has been. Inflicting the conditions of dhimmitude on subjugated people is the slow method by which indigenous cultures are eradicated leaving only Islam triumphant.

Jews and Judaism in Israel are the only indigenous people and culture to have both survived and regained their lands back from Jihadi conquest in the middle east in modern times!

Almost immediately upon election Obama singled is ultra-left, globalist agenda when he elevated UN Ambassador to a cabinet position. Caroline Glick again:

It is not surprising that Obama is carrying out the final act of his presidency at the UN. Obama has made no attempt to hide his desire to eliminate America’s independence of action. By elevating the post of UN ambassador to a cabinet level position at the outset of his presidency, Obama signaled his conviction that this corrupt institution is the equal of the US government.

This early signal was transformed into an open policy when Obama used the Security Council as a means to bypass the US Senate in implementing his nuclear deal with Iran.

Then he put the known Israel hater, Samantha Power, in that position. The ZOA produced a devastating run down of her past, that wasn’t enough to block her appointment.

Absolutely all of this was foreseeable as early as 2007 when Obama sought the Democratic nomination and eventually beat Hillary Clinton. And still leading commentators who profess to support the continued existence of Israel as a Jewish state supported Obama’s second term.

To watch those commentators and Obama supporters cry now that Obama has done something unpredictable or, worse, blame Netanyahu for Obama’s actions doesn’t give me any pleasure. It just cements in my mind how impossibly blind these people have been and how much damage they’ve done by enabling Obama’s abuse of my beloved home with his radical, ultra-left agenda for all these years.

Caroline is devastatingly correct at the end. This is a double whammy. Obama has dramatically harmed both Israel and America. I gave up, long ago, thinking Obama was incompetent. It is clear to me he had a plan all along and has executed it perfectly.

We can only hope Israel and the West can recover from his nuclear deal with Iran and his direct perfidy against Israel. Right now I’m hoping that we have reached something akin to what Churchill termed “the darkest hour” and the only way to go from here is for America to recover from this terrible affliction.

First published in Israellycool.

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Posted on 12/27/2016 6:45 AM by Brian of London
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Monday, 26 December 2016
Voters will have to show passports to combat voter fraud in 'vulnerable' areas with large Muslim populations
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From the Telegraph 

Voters in towns and cities with large Muslim communities where there are concerns about election fraud will have to show their passports or driving licences before casting their ballot.

The Government has announced that voters should have to produce identification in order to vote to reduce the risk of "endemic corruption" and protect the democratic process.

The voter ID scheme will be trialed in 18 areas which have been identified by police and the Electoral Commission as being "vulnerable" to voting fraud, including Bradford and Birmingham.

The Government will also introduce legislation to ban political campaigners from handing in large numbers completed postal ballots on election day. It comes after concerns that activists are "harvesting" votes to boost support.

Pilots will also take place in Blackburn with Darwen, Bradford, Bristol, Burnley, Calderdale, Coventry, Derby, Hyndburn, Kirklees, Luton, Oldham, Pendle, Peterborough, Slough, Tower Hamlets, Walsall, and Woking.

It has warned that there is a particular concern at the "vulnerability of some South Asian communities, specifically those with roots in parts of Pakistan or Bangladesh, to electoral fraud".

Ministers are also preparing to introduce greater powers to enable police to stop people from "causing a nuisance" or "intimidating" people at polling station.

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Posted on 12/26/2016 10:22 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 26 December 2016
Geert Wilders’ message to Israel –“ Ignore UN, continue building”
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Leave it to good friend of Israel, Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom Party to send an important message to embattled Israel following the betrayal by President Obama and the UN Security adverse vote approving resolution 2334.  Israel National News republished  this statement on his Facebook page today offering an important advice: “Ignore the UN and continue building:”

Leading Dutch politician Geert Wilders has criticized US president Barack Obama for not vetoing the Security Council resolution against Israel on Friday and advised Israel to ignore the UN resolution.

Wilders, the founder and leader of the Dutch Freedom Party, who has dominated Dutch polls during the year of 2016, wrote on his Facebook page:"Obama betrayed Israel. Thank God for Trump. My advice to my Israeli friends: ignore the UN and keep building more and more settlements."

Wilders was voted politician of the year 2016 when 40,000 people participated in the annual public election held by Dutch TV-show ‘EenVandaag’. He is known for his sharp criticism of Islam and his outspoken support for Israel.

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Posted on 12/26/2016 12:02 PM by Jerry Gordon
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Monday, 26 December 2016
America's return to greatness will force Canada to up its game
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by Conrad Black

After participating a number of times on Canadian network television this year and waving the Maple Leaf flag around fairly exuberantly in these columns, the imminent change of regime in the United States prompts me to a little introspection. As I wrote in my recent history of Canada (Rise to Greatness), it has been a great accomplishment to keep pace with the astounding progress of the U.S., even after the United States accepted Canada as an autonomous country, thanks largely to John A. Macdonald's outstanding performance at the Washington Conference of 1871. The magnetic pull of that country and its attractions to talented and ambitious Canadians, once the dreadful struggle of the Civil War was over and the shame of slavery ended, continued to threaten to capsize the Canadian experiment.

As an officially bicultural country, Canada was even less a cultural nation-state like most of the nations of Europe whose boundaries were co-extensive with a distinct language, than was the U.S. The great majority of Germans, French, Italians, Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarians and Dutch, lived in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Hungary and the Netherlands. Moving elsewhere implied a stark cultural adaptation. Canada was, arguably, the world's third English-language culture (though India could have contested that), and the second French (though the Belgians and even Vietnamese would have argued it for a time). We could not claim, as the Americans did, with the genius for exaggerated showmanship that has been a hallmark of that nationality since Revolutionary times, to be the repository and torch-bearer of human liberty. (The Americans had no more individual freedom than they had had as British subjects.) And we could not claim any of the exaltation of soul and spirit as revolutionaries: the Rebellions of 1837 were a Gilbert and Sullivan affair and if we had dispensed with the British, or even seriously irritated them, the Americans would have swallowed us whole, at least up to about the start of the First World War.

Macdonald's National Policy of a trans-continental railroad and protective tariffs to promote Canadian industry roughly replicated American economic growth rates of eight per cent annually in the 1880s, but the country still fell behind in comparative population, which had fallen to 1/13th of that of the U.S. in 1897, when Wilfrid Laurier and Clifford Sifton came into office, 5.4 million to 75 million. Sifton launched his promotion of immigration throughout Europe, from Ireland to Russia, and immigration to Canada increased from 17,000 in 1896 to 401,000 in 1913, and despite immense numbers of immigrants to the United States, Laurier and Sifton closed the population window between the countries to about 12 to one. At each stage, Canada has done the necessary to preserve the golden thread of a bicultural democracy in the northern half of this rich continent that would refine and enhance all the elements of the British, French, American, aboriginal, and other heritages that influenced it. (Only the Christmas season induces me to inflict such saccharine platitudes on the persevering reader, but they do possess some current relevance.)

It is also the case that in the past 20 years, Canada has risen well beyond any previous comparative position it has enjoyed. The United States has had four consecutive terms of stark incompetence at self-government, a field where it has so often inspired the world with the feats of epochally great statesmen. The housing bubble, world financial crisis, insane, open-ended wars in the Middle East creating advances for enemies of the West such as Iran and extremist Islam and a massive humanitarian crisis, vertiginous increases in national debt, the tacit admission of 12 million undocumented, unskilled immigrants, the disappearance of 10 per cent of the work force into poverty, the black or grey market, or aggravated dependency, and an incoherent foreign policy that has now descended to China, Russia, Iran and Turkey taking turns slapping America in the face, while the Obama administration yelps with delight like a masochist enjoying flagellation, and America's allies, most of them led by ill-assured regimes, wonder what to do next. In these circumstances, Canada has stepped out of the American shadow and achieved some recognition as a well-functioning, peaceable, equable, democracy, a graceful right-sized alternative to the battered giant neighbour: not an unjust posture, nor one that Canada has assumed with any abandonment of its traditional modesty.

In Washington, there is an other-worldly state of suspension between the inexorable exit of the unbelieving American political class of decades: all factions of both parties, all the Clintons, Bushes, and Obamas (OBushtons), the fetid corrupt world of lobbyists, commentators, pollsters, journalists, seething and fomenting like a malignant yeast in and around the mighty and mocking monuments of the defiled institutions of American government and the effigies of great historic figures, which remind the living of what man has been; and the arriving forces of regeneration.

Not even I, who, as persevering readers can attest, has not wavered in my view these 18 months that Donald Trump heralded, in an atavistic, inchoate, almost inexpressible way, a revival of American greatness, can claim that what is occurring is a majestic process. It has been a crude and nasty political campaign, with little eloquence, low ethics, and an orgy of imbecilic poor sportsmanship by the Clinton campaign, vainly challenging the results in certain states, railing like Lear against their unsuspected fate, retreating inelegantly, metre by metre, as if prodded by flame-throwers.

The OBushton era has been the first time of absolute and relative decline in American history and the worst period of presidential misgovernment in American history. Obama is thrashing about prohibiting offshore drilling from Virginia to Maine, and calling for the boycott of Israel, like Nero fiddling in burning Rome or Hitler in his bunker ordering counter-attacks by long-decimated armies. But the forces of American renewal, unstylish, even rough, but relentlessly purposeful, are preparing a national and policy metamorphosis unprecedented in its scope and pace in non-revolutionary political history.

Donald Trump is right to claim a landslide, because although he lost the popular vote, he won the election running against everyone at or near the head of both parties, from the Sanders left to the Cruz right and including all the OBushtons, all the media, and all the pollsters. Unlike Roosevelt in 1933 who promised experimentation, or Lyndon Johnson in 1964 who laid out a bold extension of the existing state, Trump was not particularly explicit in his campaign, but has been very precise since the election as he has named his proposed department heads. The new secretary of Education, Betsy De Vos, will lead an assault on the teachers' unions and deliver the nation's schools from those who have undermined their quality while multiplying their cost. The new Environmental Protection director, Scott Pruitt, will fight for conservation and against pollution, but dismantle the insane campaign for renewable resources and will promote the production of oil and natural gas and the reduction of the current account deficit. The national security team will reverse the reduction of American military strength and prepare to project it without waffling or drawing disappearing red lines. The Treasury and budget and economic team will shrink the federal government, cut taxes on small income earners and businesses, and tax elective spending and the financial impresarios of the increasing velocity of money. The country's economic strength will no longer be measured by straight deal-flow. The new labour secretary, Andrew Puzder, will drive a nail through the fainting heart of the crooked labour confederations while defending the working man. The Congress's greatest authority on health care, Tom Price, has a mandate to replace Obamacare, a fraud and a boondoggle, with two-payer universal health care with assistance for those who need it. Campaign finance reform, which has been bobbled around like a grenade with the pin pulled will be addressed by the only candidate in history who effectively paid for his own campaign.

The appearance of disorganization in the Trump campaign was a ruse, just as the great Clinton ground game was a fraud. This is a radical program and it will be enacted by the Republican majorities in the Congress by July 4, and it will work. Instead of the flat-lined economy Hillary Clinton's high-tax welfare-vote-buying program would have produced, U.S. economic growth will move toward four per cent, putting considerable pressure on the Canadian dollar. American economic confidence levels are reaching historically high levels and Trump's approval rating has risen approximately 20 points in the in the seven weeks since the election.

Canadians still feel a reassuring public relations gap in their favour opposite the U.S., but within a few months, there is likely to be a strengthening of the American economy, a resolution of decades of gridlock in Washington, a clarity in public policy and a clear and sustainable definition of the U.S. national security interest in the world, that will require a much more sophisticated response from Justin Trudeau and Bill Morneau than what we have seen as they swanned through their honeymoon year. Posturing over renewable energy, the systematic denuding of the country's defence capability, and non-competitive aspects to the tax system will have to be addressed. Theresa May is made of sterner stuff than the long-gone David Cameron, Francois Fillon will be the strongest French leader since de Gaulle, and Angela Merkel will be strengthened by a new coalition or replaced altogether by her own party. Putin will no longer look strong opposite weak Western leaders — as Hitler did when dealing with Chamberlain and Daladier (it became more complicated with Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin).

Justin and his entourage have not had a bad year, but the present fading echoes of the shrieks of disbelief over the U.S. election will soon yield to the clear, confident success of American leadership the world was familiar with over most of the half century spanning Roosevelt and Reagan.

Selfies, solidarity with the Castros, and re-enactments of any aspects of the McGuinty misgovernment miracle in Ontario won't cut it; it will soon be time for Justin Trudeau and his principal ministers to show their mettle.

Merry Christmas and a happy and successful 2017 to all.

First published in the National Post.

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Posted on 12/26/2016 7:55 AM by Conrad Black
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Monday, 26 December 2016
Antisemitism in British Universities
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by Michael Curtis

It is sad to learn the truth about bigotry and intolerance concerning antisemitism being exhibited at British universities these days.  This prejudice of course was always present among some British intellectuals, if expressed in discreet and prudent form. Isaiah Berlin referred to J.M. Keynes’ critical view of Jews as a kind of club antisemitism, but it was not deep, as it was in the case of Hilaire Belloc or G.K. Chesterton. Now however antisemitic utterances and behavior have become not only trendy but poisonously noxious.

We already know the persisting dismal sort of antisemitism in the British Labour party and the lack of action of the leader of the party, Jeremy Corbyn in dealing with it. After a weak and useless appraisal, indeed a whitewash, of the problem in the Labour party by Shami Chakrabarti, a cross party parliamentary committee inquiry in October 2016 reported that the Labour party was demonstrably incompetent in dealing with incidents of anti-Jewish abuse by its members. The leader lacked backbone to confront the issue. No real punishment had been given even to the most egregious offender. Certainly, the party leadership had refused to denounce its former leader Ken Livingstone for his absurd remark that Hitler was supporting Zionism before he went mad, and ended up killing 6 million Jews.

It is therefore welcome that Lady (Ruth) Deech, alumna of Oxford University, Crossbench member of the House of Lords since 2005, law professor, and the first person appointed as Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education, indicated the problem.  She spoke of some of the main universities in the UK are “no go zones” for Jewish students. She mentioned in particular Manchester, Southampton, Exeter, and SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) in London.  

Her main point was that universities, like the British Labour party, turned a blind eye to the issue of hostility towards Jews on campus. She realized that it was trendy on the British political left to be antisemitic. Antisemitism merged with anti-Israel rhetoric and activity. Deech and others have raised the crucial problem.  What is it about Israel that provokes such passion and animosity of a kind not exhibited towards other countries and non-Jews?

Deech also was concerned that there had been no official investigation of specific complaints and allegations of antisemitism at Oxford, though officials had been given a dossier with a catalogue of incidents of harassment of Jewish students. The disillusioned and disgusted co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC) resigned in 2016 as a result of these incidents. OULC members, he said, had "problems with Jews." Those problems included their use of the word “zios” to refer to Jews, and their statements that Auschwitz was a “cash cow,” for Jews. Some dismissed concerns about antisemitism as “just Zionists crying wolf.” Members of the OULC expressed support for the Palestinian led Israel Apartheid Week, and expressed solidarity with Hamas.  

Why had British universities failed to curb the hatred of Jews expressed and illustrated within their halls? One significant reason given was that heads of British colleges were afraid of offending potential investors, including those, such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, countries, who gave very large donations. In 2005 the late Saudi Crown Prince, Sultan bin Abdulaziz al-Saud  gave 2 million pounds to the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. Exeter University received more than 8 million pounds from Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad al-Qasimi, the ruler of Sharjah, one of the UAE emirates.

The British story is disquieting. The Community Security Trust recorded 27 antisemitic incidents on British campuses in first six months of 2016. It is worth indicating a few of the incidents at the universities, in addition to the problem at Oxford.

At King’s College, London on January 19, 2016 protestors, mainly the KCL Action Palestine, prevented a talk by Ami Ayalon, former head of Israel’s Shin Bet and head of the Navy, and now a peace activist. The meeting was stopped when the protestors threw chairs, smashed windows, and set off fire alarms.

At University College, London on October 27, 2016 a violent protest, barricading Jewish students, prevented a talk by Hen Mazzig, former Israeli IDF Commander. Ironically, he was due to speak about his humanitarian work in the West Bank concerning medical facilities, schools, roads, and water infrastructure.

At SOAS on November 2016, the Palestine Society hosted a speaker who spoke of Israel as racist and fascist state and linked the “cult” of Zionism to Nazis. At Manchester, student motions endorsed BDS. At Exeter students wore T shirts on which were AS slogans.

The most troubling manifestation was a conference titled Legitimacy, Responsibility, Exceptionalism, to held in 2015 at Southampton University,  that was intended to question the legal and moral right of the state of Israel to exist. The organizers were all well-known critics, even haters, of Israel, and advocates of boycott of Israel, as were almost all the expected participants.

The main organizers were Oren Ben-Dor (Southampton University law school) a constant anti-Israeli critic, and George Bisharat (U of California, Hastings School of Law) who favors a one state solution and compares Israel presence to a rapist. Ben Dor, former Israeli, has criticized the Israeli actions in Lebanon in 2006 and in Gaza in winter 2009. He has supported boycotts of Israel, written about alleged “apartheid” of Israel, and the bias in the Israeli educational system. In a barely comprehensible article in 2012, Ben-Dor referred to ‘pathologies pertaining to Jewish thinking and being.”

Though 929 academics supported a petition for the conference to be held at Southampton, as the result of strong protests the University cancelled it on the grounds that it gave legitimacy to antisemitism. However, the conference with the same cast of characters is now to be held in March and April 2017 at University College, Cork, Ireland, part of the National University of Ireland.

The list of speakers, including die-hard critics of Israel speaks for itself. The presence as speakers of individuals such as Richard Falk, Ilan Pappe, Azmi Bishara, and Hatem Bazian suggests the objective of the conference. It is not to discuss the problems of the Middle East in any objective fashion. It is to emphasize the illegitimacy of the state of Israel. It is to link the alleged suffering of Palestinians to the foundation and nature of Israel, and in essence to argue for the nullification of Israel’ existence.

It is ironic that Southampton University where the biased conference was to be held houses the Parkes Institute for Jewish/non Jewish relations based on the work of Rev. Dr. James Parkes. Parkes was an Oxford scholar, Anglican clergyman and historian, who understood the evil of antisemitism, and the pain and victimization that Jews suffered from antisemitism, and devoted his life to end persecution of Jews. All British universities as well as the Labour party should learn from Parkes’ courageous life story and end the travesty of the misuse of both the campus and the political arena. 

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Posted on 12/26/2016 5:22 AM by Michael Curtis
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