"Fasting" during Ramadan means eating (a lot) at night.
This article dates from well over a year ago, but Ramadan is once again upon us, and this article does not date, as the dawah it depicts always follows the same pattern, even now amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Angie Suarez only expected a free meal when she went to Fast-A-Thon [held at the University of Florida] for the first time last year.
The 20-year-old UF public health junior was pleasantly surprised to learn about Islam and what fasting means to Muslims, she said. She came back to the O’Connell Center with a group of friends and an appetite Thursday night.
“It was about so much more than food,” Suarez said.
Was it really? What else was this Fast-a-Thon about? The free meal was what drew her when she attended the event for the first time two years, and was “pleasantly surprised to learn about Islam” and “what fasting means to Muslims.” But what did she “learn about Islam” that caused her to be “pleasantly surprised”? She doesn’t say. And what does she think such fasting means to Muslims? Fasting during Ramadan is intended to increase self-control in all areas, including food, sleeping, sex and the use of time. It’s a time when the gates of Heaven are open, and the gates of Hell are closed. Muslims believe that their good actions bring a greater reward during this month than at any other time of year, because this month has been blessed by Allah. Violent jihad is one of those “good actions,” but I doubt Angie Suarez was told that.
Muslims also believe that it is easier to do good in this month because the devils have been chained in Hell, and so can’t tempt believers. This doesn’t mean that Muslims will not behave badly, but that any evil that they do comes from within themselves, without additional encouragement from Satan.
Almost all Muslims try to give up bad habits during Ramadan, and some will try to become better Muslims by praying more or reading the Qur’an.
I suspect that Angie Suarez thinks that Muslims fast as a sign of solidarity with the poor, but it is not about solidarity with the poor; the solidarity is only with other Muslims, rich and poor, observing Ramadan. The month of fasting is about Muslims improving their own self-control, submitting more fully to Allah, and deepening their commitment to Islam by reading the Qur’an.
More than 450 students ate a traditional Mediterranean dinner during Islam on Campus’ 15th annual charity fundraiser.
The group raised more than $4,000 for Islamic Circle of North America Relief’s Transitional Women’s Homes in Florida and the Edhi Foundation, a social welfare organization in Pakistan, said Sana Nimer, the group’s president.
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is a group known for the suspect company it keeps. At its September 2018 convention, it offered a slew of antisemitic and misogynistic speakers. These included the defender of Hamas Linda Sarsour, Nazir Ahmed, Ustadh Abdelrahman Murphy, Boonaa Mohammed, and the imam Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Did Angie Suarez know about this group for which she was helping to raise money? Of course not. She was told it was a charitable organization. The precise nature of this “charity” and the company it keeps was not discussed. Nor did any of the other Infidels who came for the food, and stayed for the lesson on fasting in Islam, apparently have any doubts about the ICNA. Why would they?
Islam on Campus will donate to the charities on behalf of each student who signed up to fast from sunrise to sunset.
“We choose to fast because it unites us with those who are less fortunate,” Nimer said.
Does Nimer feel “united” with “less fortunate” non-Muslims, the people her Qur’an tells her — at 5:51 — that she must not take as friends, “for they are friends only with each other,” and still worse, these non-Muslims are “the most vile of created beings” (98:6)? Ramadan itself has nothing to do with uniting those fasting “with those who are less fortunate.” It is, rather, all about improving oneself as a Muslim, exhibiting self-control in all areas, ideally reading through the entire Qur’an during the month of Ramadan to deepen one’s commitment to the faith, and demonstrating submission to Allah. It has nothing to do with “uniting” those fasting “with those who are less fortunate.”
Students ate hummus as an appetizer; Kefta, a traditional beef dish, with rice; a Mediterranean salad as an entree; and cake for dessert.
The majority of students who attended were not Muslim, said Mariam Abouzied, an executive board member.
No, of course not. Muslim students do not need to attend this evening of hummus-kefta-and-rice propaganda; they’re already hooked. Some may show up to help the propaganda effort among the unwary Infidel students.
“I believe that Fast-A-Thon will show that anyone can make a difference,” she said. “College students in Florida can be impacting lives across the world.”
Yes, they will be “impacting” lives by innocently contributing their mite to the Islamic Council of North America, which has given a platform to Hamas-linked speakers, and is itself (as stated above) an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center trial.
The dinner also featured guest speakers UF President Kent Fuchs and Imam Abdurrahman Sykes, a Muslim community leader from Orlando.
Sykes began fasting as a Christian 46 years ago, he told students. He converted to Islam after researching fasting in different religions and in Muslim communities.
“Fasting involves more than just being hungry and thirsty,” Sykes said.
Abdurrahman Sykes converted to Islam “after researching fasting in different religions.” What was it about Ramadan that he found so appealing? Was it the requirement of sunrise-to-sunset total abstinence? Was it the supposed “spirituality” of reading the Qur’an during that month? Did Abdurrahman Sykes, in the decades since he converted to Islam, learn anything more beyond the Five Pillars? What did he discover about Islam since he became a Muslim? Did he learn about the 109 verses in the Qur’an that command Muslims to wage violent Jihad against the Unbelievers? Did he learn the verses that specifically order Muslims to “strike terror” in the hearts of the Infidels? Did he learn that Muslim husbands may “beat” their disobedient wives? Did he come across any of the two dozen antisemitic verses in the Qur’an? Did he learn that the Qur’an describes non-Muslims as “the most vile of created beings”? Did he learn that Muhammad personally took part in killing the 600-900 bound prisoners of the Banu Qurayza? Or that he wished aloud for the death (“Who will rid me of this woman?”) of three people who had mocked or criticized him, and his loyal followers, not needing to be told directly, carried out his wishes, killing Asma bint Marwan, Abu ‘Afak, and Ka’b bin al-Ashraf? Do you think Abdurrahman Sykes has remained so focused on fasting in Islam that he never learned any of that? Do you think he knows that Muhammad, the Perfect Man (al-insan al kamil) and Model of Conduct (uswa hasana) consummated his marriage to Aisha when she was nine and he was fifty-four? Do you think Abdurrahman Sykes knows that Muhammad boasted that “war is deceit” and that “I have been made victorious through terror”?
The University of Florida students who showed up for the free food at the Fast-A-Thon (offered, of course, after sunset) learned, it seems, nothing of substance, nothing about Jihad, or terrorizing the enemy, or Islamic views of Unbelievers, or about the treatment of women in Islam. These uninformed students did not know, and wouldn’t have thought to inquire, about the ICNA, the suspect “charitable organization” that they were supporting, and its ties to such people as Siraj Wahhaj and Linda Sarsour.
One can only hope that some of the University of Florida students, after the event, and possibly having been alerted by articles similar to this one, began to truly educate themselves about Islam, by reading the Qur’an and some of the Hadith, and commentaries such as Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an, to find out about what they were so carefully not told about Islam during those free Fast-A-Thon dinners — of hummus, and beef kefta, and rice.
The Democrats’ shameful tolerance for progressive antisemites has not inspired many Jews to quit the party or restrained non-Orthodox leaders from counseling their followers to vote against President Trump in November. The continuing loyalty of secular Jews to a party that has turned against Israel, legitimized her enemies, and overlooked leftist bigotry is mindboggling, though not entirely shocking considering that many equate Jewish self-rejection with spiritual introspection and Democratic politics with rabbinic tradition.
Whatever the motivation, it would not be possible without an alarming rise in cultural illiteracy. Jewish voters can dislike Trump for any reason or no reason at all, but given his record of support for Israel and Jewish causes, they cannot reasonably base their antipathy on religious tradition or cultural history with which they are largely unfamiliar.
Secular communal leaders and non-Orthodox clergy who preach Democratic politics and Trump-hatred as doctrinal imperatives play on the ingrained partisan orientation of their followers, many of whom know little about Jewish law, tradition, or history. Indeed, many define Jewish identity negatively in relation to the Holocaust and think the history of Israel began only in 1948.
The ritually-liberal movements have marginalized the sacred and sacralized the profane. Rather than indoctrinating their congregants with politics, they should be analyzing why the collective non-Orthodox intermarriage rate exceeds seventy percent and how their relaxed educational standards have failed to sustain Jewish continuity...
At last, a compromise has come along, the lonely days are over and life is like a song. At last, the skies above are blue ever since Israelis looked at the realities of life.
One of the unintended consequences of the pandemic Covid-19 is the agreement by political rivals in Israel on the formation of a government and political stability. The virus has led to political cooperation not only between left and right but also between Israelis and Palestinians. After three elections in one year, nobody wanted a fourth election in the midst of the medical and economic problems resulting from the pandemic. The agreement represents a spectacular U turn for Benny Gantz, ex-army head, leader of the Blue and White party, Kahol Lavan, who vowed he would never serve under an indicted prime minister, referring to Benjamin, Bibi, Netanyahu, leader of the Likud party, who has been indicted on charges of fraud, bribery, and breach of trust. .
After weeks of intense negotiations, a coalition government was formed between present Prime Minister Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, on April 20, 2020. It is termed a “National Emergency Government” which would primarily deal with three issues; the Covid-19 plague which so far has meant 15,500 Israelis infected and more than 200 dead; an economic crisis with 25 per cent unemployment; and discussion of a peace plan including the one proposed by the Trump Administration.
In the new administration, deadlock has been ended as power will be shared between the two political blocs, which can for convenience, if not completely correctly, be termed the Center Left and the Right. In the complicated Israeli political milieu the Left alliance which is not an ideologically unified movement but a pluralistic alliance, including right wing parties wanting to defeat Netanyahu, controls 62 seats in the 120 member Knesset, Parliament. In the alliance, which changes from time to time depending on personalities involved who broke away from the centrist party , the Blue and White party, the name referring to the colors of the Israeli flag, embraces Israel Resilience (33 seats), Telem (3) led by Moshe Ya’alon, Yesh Avid( 13), led by Yair Lapid, supported by Labor, Gesher, and Meretz (7), Yisrael Beiteinu , Israel Our Home, secular nationalists led by Avigdor Lieberman (7), and the Arab Joint List (15) which consists of the merger of politicians predominantly representing Arab Israelis. The Right alliance has 58 seats, Likud (36), Yamina (6), and Ultra-Orthodox (16).
The proposed government is expected to contain initially 32 members and then 36 cabinet ministers and up to 16 deputy ministers. This is by far the largest number in Israel’s history. David Ben-Gurion, first prime minister, had a cabinet of 12 ministers; Menachem Begin had 13. By comparison the present U.S. Trump Administration has 17 members. This large Israeli number probably means that most of the 15 Knesset members of Likud will become ministers, leaving few to become important as heads of committees in the legislature.
The new government is a complex arrangement. Half of the ministries will go to Likud and allies, and half to Kahol Lavan and the Labor party. In an unusual addition, the two blocs can share their cabinet slots with any other parties they bring into government. Already, Kahol Lavan has said it would include an Arab, who is not one of the Knesset Arabs, into the cabinet.
The agreement brings back the formula used once before in 1984 of alternation of prime ministers. By the new arrangement, Bibi Netanyahu will become PM for the first 18 months, then followed by Gantz as PM for the next 18 months. Gantz will be defense minister and substitute PM.
But Netanyahu will have influence over judicial appointments, since approval of both groups is needed for appointment of Attorney General and State Prosecutor. In effect this means that he has virtual veto power over officials who will determine his legal fate in the trial that has been postponed for several months and is due to start on May 24.
Likud will have the position of speaker of the Knesset for the whole of the tenure of the government. Bibi also has the right to appoint four ambassadors to top diplomatic positions, UN, Britain, France, and Australia.
Each of the two blocs will have the chair of 7 Knesset committees. Israel will also use three unusual procedures. One is the so-called Norwegian law. This means that cabinet members can resign their seat in the Knesset and therefore provide the opportunity for members of their party to occupy them. The second factor is that each of the two leaders of the blocs control the actions of his own bloc in the cabinet, not those of the whole cabinet. The third is that both leaders are entitled to an official residence financed by the state for the entire life of the coalition.
In the new governmental arrangement neither side can claim victory, but the crucial fact is that Bibi has survived as the real power in Israel , despite his forthcoming legal problem. He remains in power, Israel’s longest serving prime minister, though without a parliamentary majority. His opponent Gantz had seemed to be the probable winner because of his endorsement by a majority of the Knesset, but, apart from their united front against Bibi, his faction was divided and his alliance split into four different parties. In this, two factors are particularly interesting.
One is the behavior of Avigdor Lieberman, the mercurial Soviet born secular nationalist and attempted kingmaker who broke with Bibi last year, and threw his party Yisrael Beiteinu which won 7 seats in Knesset, behind Gantz. But he did not support the final coalition, dismissing it as one of opportunists “who have lost all shame.” In addition, Lieberman has been hostile to Arabs, while the Arab Joint List, leftists and Palestinian nationalists, Islamists and secularists, are supporting Gantz.
The second factor is the uncertain support of Arabs, especially the Balad, led by Mtanes Shehadeh which won three seats and opposes the idea of the State of Israel as a Jewish State was strongly pro Gantz.
Gantz attempted to follow the example of Yitzhak Rabin, former military chief of staff who became PM, but this did not work out. His rhetoric was pointed in the past. In Tel Aviv in February 2019 he called Bibi stressed, fearful, and sweating, and attacked him for spending time in the U.S. representing Israel as a diplomat and public speaker, speaking English at luxurious cocktail parties, and working his way bravely and determinedly between make up sessions in TV studios. Bibi replied by pointing out that Gantz headed a cybersecurity firm, but could not stop his own phone from being hacked by Iranians.
The left did not win the political battle and Bibi survived, a clever wily politician, some say a political magician, unlike the politically inexperienced Gantz who had vowed never to serve under an indicted PM but changed because of the presence and danger of Covid-19. The new coalition, according to Gantz, has overcome differences to find common ground, and promote the establishment of a government for the sake of the Jewish people.
What to expect? The government as emergency has suggested that it will concentrate on Covid 19 related legislation for the first six months. But almost certainly it will be considering the Trump plan, and the extension of sovereignty to part of the West Bank. If there is no agreement on this, by July 1, Netanyahu can bring it to the Knesset where the concept of sovereignty or annexation would be agreed. The Israeli decision on what to do depends on expectations of the U.S. presidential election. Israel assumes that Trump is more favorable to Netanyahu’s policy than is Joe Biden.
Whatever the view it is enticing to consider four factors. One is the impending corruption trial of Bibi, which has been postponed in the past and which may drag on. A second is the continuation of the cultural war between religious and non-religious Jews. A third is the increasing prominence of Israel Arabs in public affairs especially now that an Arab is due to become part of the governing elite.
Above all is the fourth factor, discussion of if not complete resolution of the existential question, the definite borders of the State of Israel, the settlements in the West Banks, and east Jerusalem. It is indeed ironic that this issue, unresolved since 1967, may be resolved as a result of fear of Covid-19.
The shutdown has to be rolled back, prudently and according to local facts, and with redoubled vigilance for the elderly and infirm.
by Conrad Black
It is time to re-evaluate Canada’s anti-coronavirus policy. As there is no prospect of any vaccine for many months or longer, we were always going to have to take our chances with this virus eventually. As in many other activities, what has happened in Canada has tracked events in the United States, especially as the Canadian media relentlessly parrots the anti-Trump American media. Our press are apparently oblivious to the fact that as U.S. President Donald Trump assaulted the entire political establishment of both parties four years ago, highlighting his contempt for the national political media, gullible or biased Canadians are not reflecting American journalistic wisdom, just the vehemence of one side in a life-and-death struggle between the incumbent president and the bipartisan post-Reagan political establishment he pledged to displace.
As President Trump greeted the initial discussion of the coronavirus rather complacently, the American media whipped up public fear and amplified the absurd speculation of London’s Imperial College of Medicine that more than two million Americans could die of the coronavirus. A game of political leap-frog began and Trump set up a task force officially headed by the vice-president and including a number of prominent epidemiologists and public-health administrators. The administration then led the charge to shut down the United States, in order to “flatten the curve,” by issuing guidelines and recommendations on how to limit the spread of infections. The Democratic party elders resuscitated the moribund campaign for the presidential nomination of former vice-president Joe Biden and in an impressive display of professional machine politics, and carried him to the finish line, to avoid the nomination of completely unfeasible Marxist Sen. Bernie Sanders. While these manoeuvres were being executed in the U.S., Canada, though incidences of the coronavirus were relatively fewer, followed the lead of the U.S. and other Western countries and imposed an almost hermetically sealed shutdown.
Canada, though incidences of the coronavirus were relatively fewer, followed the lead of the U.S.
The Democrats settled into the instant economic crisis with audible dreams of keeping Biden in his basement until election day and portraying Trump as the Herbert Hoover of this century’s Great Depression. Trump cushioned the economic consequences with an immense financial assistance plan in which now more than $2.5 trillion have been committed to paying small employers their payroll costs as long as they transmit the proceeds to laid-off employees, and escalating tax deferments for larger businesses, with special packages for such hard-hit industries as airlines. In addition, a liquidity facility that could be worth an astounding $4 trillion is being provided by the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury.
Canada again followed a parallel scenario, though its economic assistance plan was less generous and more complicated and has aroused noisier howls of discontent than in the U.S. The Democrats, after attempting unsuccessfully to stuff a lot of benefits for organized labour and uneconomic green energy into it, agreed to the package as a humanitarian arrangement during the anticipated multi-month shutdown. As of this week, there are 26 million Americans who have been disemployed by the public health crisis, in a workforce of nearly 165 million, which was enjoying full employment a few months ago (more than a million more positions to fill than unemployed people).
Trump mobilized the private sector and is facilitating the development of easily administered immediate-result testing devices and vastly increased production of ventilators. Despite Democratic efforts to claim that the testing incompetence he inherited from the Obama administration has retarded progress, it hasn’t. A person may test negatively today and positively tomorrow. (A recent random sampling of 3,000 people indicates that as many as 20 per cent of the population of New York may have been exposed to the coronavirus.) However, Trump was not going to carry the can for economic devastation; he changed course again and recruited hundreds of celebrities in every field to join him and his scientists in presenting a three-stage plan for the reopening of the country.
The Democrats have been boxed in: they were reduced to demanding a long-term shutdown — six months according to the perpetually fatuous mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, 18 months (until a vaccine is discovered) according to Zeke Emanuel, Biden’s medical adviser and think-alike brother of Chicago’s spectacularly failed former mayor, Rahm Emanuel. They are in a hopeless position. Trump tweeted authoritarian Democratic governors, “Liberate Michigan,” etc., which some naive Canadian observers took as an incitement to violent rebellion. In fact, Michigan has had some of the strictest lockdown measures in the country, banning travelling between houses to visit relatives in many cases, along with the sale of non-essential items, such as paint. Police have even gone into private residences to look for unauthorized house parties. It is to these depths of authoritarian (and almost certainly unconstitutional) absurdity that the lockdown regime is reduced. The Democrats raged against South Dakota’s governor for not shutting her state down (where there has been one coronavirus death). They want vertiginous unemployment and have a candidate who has trouble with a coherent answer to friendly questions that they can keep in his basement.
Presumably, Canada will follow again
Presumably, Canada will follow again. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has had his election, but he has a minority government. There is a desperate economic crisis in Alberta without the coronavirus as the oil industry is in dire straits (thanks to Trudeau’s policies aggravated by international events), and the strain on the banking system will be considerable, in a country that has not had a major bank failure since 1923. The fear over the virus is not subsiding spontaneously, but the unsustainable economic facts will clear our minds. We can avoid a huge spike in deaths as restrictions are lifted as long as the immune-challenged are sheltered and elemental precautions are taken. Sweden has not had a comprehensive shutdown at all and has a fatality rate per million of population of 211, against the U.S. (156), U.K. (293), France (332), Italy (429) and Spain (482). Canada’s is 60, among the lowest believable numbers from the Northern Hemisphere, which means someone is doing something right. This is one Canadian who has died from the coronavirus for every 17,500 people in the country. All deaths are sad and many are tragic and life cannot be monetized. Sane public policy requires however, that we also keep in mind that Canada has also self-inflicted over a million unemployed and stock market declines of $670 billion in two months, a staggering $330 million for each of the nearly 2,200 lives that have been lost to this pandemic in Canada. The vast majority of those who die from COVID-19 are over 65 and have other problems that increase vulnerability. This segment of the population is comparatively easy to protect (though the prime minister is right that the armed forces in homes for the elderly is not a long-term solution).
Canada has done well. The shutdown, here and elsewhere, can be justified, but the continuation of it cannot. It has to be rolled back, prudently and according to local facts, and vigilance for the elderly and infirm must be redoubled. Exaggerated doom and gloom will evaporate with the revival of life and the retention of manageable infection rates. These are painful times, but we have only one practical choice.
In Iran, Another Example of Coronavirus Conspiracy Theorizing
by Hugh Fitzgerald
Here are some of the reasons for the coronavirus outbreak now provided by the semi-demented:
The coronavirus was caused by Allah to punish China for mistreating the Uighurs.
The coronavirus was caused by Allah to punish insufficiently devout Muslims.
The coronavirus was caused by Allah to punish America for mistreating Muslims.
The coronavirus was caused by America to destroy Iranians.
The coronavirus was caused by America to depopulate the world.
The coronavirus was caused by American pharmaceutical companies, which already had a vaccine ready which they intend to sell once the disease has claimed a sufficient number of victims.
The coronavirus was caused by Israel to destroy all Muslims.
The coronavirus was cause by Israel to destroy Iran.
The coronavirus was caused by Israeli pharmaceutical companies, which already had a vaccine ready which they intend to sell once the disease has claimed a sufficient number of victims.
Those are among the most popular explanations for the coronavirus outbreak, each more absurd than the next.
Another example of that conspiracy theorizing, posted at Memri.org, is reposted below.
The Executive Summary, followed by a transcript, is here:
On April 7, 2020, Ofogh TV (Iran) aired a discussion about coronavirus on the Nader Talebzadeh Show, which is hosted by Iranian filmmaker Nader Talebzadeh. Muslim-American academic and conspiracy theorist Dr. Kevin Barrett, who sat next to a picture of deceased IRGC Quds Force Commander General Qasem Soleimani, said that the coronavirus may have been unleashed by the United States as an act of biological warfare targeting China and Iran. For more about Dr. Kevin Barret, a convert to Islam, see MEMRI TV Clips No. 7474 and No. 4220. Later in the show, Iranian lecturer Dr. Ali Karami said that pandemics are a way of controlling the world population, which he said is consistent with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s beliefs about foreign policy. He also said that there are U.S. Patents for the coronavirus. In addition, Ayatollah Mohammad Mehdi Mirbagheri, a member of Iran’s Assembly of Experts, said that if the coronavirus is really an act of biological warfare, Iran must strengthen itself.
Nader Talebzadeh: “[Dr. Barrett] has a picture of the martyr [Qasem] Soleimani. He put it there deliberately. I didn’t tell him to put it there, he did it himself.
Dr. Kevin Barrett is an American convert to Islam, a bizarre figure who is a great admirer of Minister Louis Farrakhan, and the author of a book on who was really behind 9/11 (say, he’s got a point — why didn’t any Jews go to work in the Twin Towers that day?). Naturally he is a great admirer, too, of the late and widely unlamented Qassem Soleimani.
“It’s interesting that you put the image of the martyr Soleimani, the Iranian martyr. All these things happened after that huge funeral, and also the American media and the American president…. Both parties claim that he is the biggest terrorist and the biggest force of evil, whereas we know who he was and what he did against ISIS. And it all started after that. Do you have any interpretation about this [cataclysm], as we sat in the Quranic language, that has happened in the realm of corona….Do you have an interpretation about that?”
Dr. Kevin Barrett: “Yes, I suspect that the same leaders who ordered the murder of General Soleimani also may have unleashed the coronavirus as an act of biological warfare, primarily against China and Iran.
“The people around Trump are all afraid of a country like China becoming stronger. To stop China, they must stop its economy from getting stronger. To do that they have to cripple the entire world economy.”
According to Kevin Barrett, America “unleashed” the coronavirus, in order to destroy China and Iran. But in that case, why are so many of America’s allies – the U.K., France, Italy, Israel – also suffering terribly from the disease? Why has America endured more cases of coronavirus, and more deaths from the virus, than any other country? The Americans have had more cases than China and Iran put together, and more deaths, too, if the Chinese and Iranian figures are to be believed.
On what grounds does Kevin Barrett claim that America is attempting to “cripple the world economy” in order to “stop [the Chinese] economy from getting stronger”? Does that make sense – to destroy the American, and world, economy, in order to prevent China from “becoming stronger”? If America had wanted to target China, it could have imposed crippling tariffs on all Chinese goods and persuaded the rest of the West to do likewise; that would destroy the Chinese economy, but do less harm to the economies of the West. Why turn to bacteriological warfare, and the use of a virus whose spread and virulence cannot be controlled, as we see from what the coronavirus has done in America? Is it conceivable that American scientists had no idea the coronavirus would not be contained to China and Iran, but swiftly spread worldwide, that there was no known cure, that tens of thousands of Americans would die, and the American economy plummet into a deep recession as a result of the pandemic?
Talebzadeh: “[Dr. Barrett] used to be Christian, and he converted to Islam. He has become a lover of the Prophet Muhammad’s family.”
That means Kevin Barrett can be trusted: he’s an Infidel Who Saw the Light. Others will find him – as you and I do — a bizarre figure.
Dr. Ali Karami: “All the intellectuals in the world know the NSSM-200 document. It has to do with America’s national security. It was written by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. This document was recently declassified, and our friends are welcome to read its full version. In it is Kissinger’s famous statement: ‘We will control governments by means of oil, and we will control nations by means of food.’ What this resulted in is a project called ‘depopulation.’ Look at what Henry Kissinger said. He said that depopulation should be the highest priority of U.S. foreign policy. Epidemics and viruses are among the ways to control the world population. As the American doctor said, healthcare for seniors in the U.S. is very expensive. They are not productive and do not contribute to the economy, but they still incur costs. It is strange that coronavirus kills older people. It is interesting that in hospitals, they are leaving the older people in the hallways to die. This is how people like Trump and Boris Johnson think. Trump called it ‘the Chinese virus,’ and [Johnson] has referred to ‘herd immunity.’ The exact meaning of this term is evolution, meaning that the strong will survive and the weak will die. I will conclude with this: Look at this U.S. Patent. In 2014, they patented the coronavirus. Academics should look at the U.S. Patent registry. In 2014, 2017, and 2018, the coronaviruses were being patented. They are even patenting the virus just like they patented our saffron, and just like they stole our genome.”
The NSSM-200 document discusses, among much else, the problem of overpopulation in the least developed states, and how to persuade people in those states to have fewer children. There is no discussion of the sinister-sounding “depopulation” – which suggests sowing death among those already alive. There is no discussion of epidemics and viruses.
There is. a second charge, that the American government is deliberately killing off its old people because they “are not productive and do not contribute to the economy.” The charge is ridiculous. Where triage is performed in hospitals during this unprecedented pandemic, because of a shortage, say, of ventilators, older people are likely to have other serious underlying conditions that make their survival less likely, and thus they are lower down on the list to receive those ventilators. This has nothing to do with is not only a practice in America, but is followed all over the world – including China and Iran.
Contrary to the claim by Dr. Ali Karami, there is no U.S. patent on the novel coronavirus that is causing the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Ayatollah Mohammad Mehdi Mirbagheri: “Let’s say that they create a virus, and it backfires and entangles them.. We aren’t very concerned about this, but if this is really a biological war, we absolutely must strengthen ourselves. If this is really a biological war, we have no choice but to strengthen ourselves. As the Quran says: ‘Prepare against them however you can.’ We must strengthen ourselves and cause the balance of power to favor us.
The coronavirus was not produced in an American laboratory as part of a “biological war” let loose upon the world. There are two theories as to its origin. Both of them attribute its first appearance to Wuhan, China. The explanation deemed most likely is that the virus arose naturally among bats, then made a leap to another animal species, and thence to humans. The other explanation is that the coronavirus had been developed in a laboratory in Wuhan, and accidentally escaped from the laboratory setting to humans in Wuhan. Neither explanation involves the United States.
“The abilities demonstrated by our health apparatus, by our industries, and by our scientific and medical communities have proven that [we] are not lagging behind the international community. They make it unnecessary for us to listen to the WHO’s [World Health Organization] protocols. The WHO is the target of many accusations. As you know, all the organizations that belong to the U.N. have been accused of making big schemes. This includes the World Bank, the IMF [International Military Fund], and the WTO [World Trade Organization.] As you know, these have all been accused of leaving the third world in poverty. The WHO is being accused of creating global pandemics. All the documents about this have already been published. I do not need to show them.”
Iran has not impressed the world with its handling of the coronavirus outbreak. The government waited more than a week before letting the country know that the outbreak had begun. It was slow to respond. It did not end the flights from Iran to China and back for many weeks, allowing the disease to spread from those, both Iranian and Chinese, who had been infected in Wuhan. But its greatest dereliction of duty was the decision not to shut down the holy city of Qom, the epicenter of the disease in Iran. Visitors in Qom who had been infected with the virus returned home, spreading the coronavirus to Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Finally, the incessant recourse to crazy conspiracy theories, from the Supreme Leader down, do not inspire confidence among the Iranian people.
The astonishing rant by Ayatollah Mehdi Mirbagheri against a host of international organizations, including the World Bank, the WHO, the IMFI, and the WTO, make no sense. Why would these groups want to mislead the Iranians? Are they instruments of the Great Satan? What are these sinister “big schemes” that “organizations at the U.N. have been accused of making”? Finally, there is the clear suggestion that the evil genius behind the pandemic is the WHO (World Health Organization) itself: “The WHO is being accused of creating global pandemics.” Not “accused wrongly.” Just “accused.” Which “global pandemics” are those that the WHO is accused of creating? Ayatollah Mirbagheri doesn’t say. Instead, he insists that information has now been made public and is readily available: “All the documents about this have already been published. I do not need to show them.” No, of course not. We’ll take your word for it.
In this corner, we have the convert to Islam Kevin Barrett, an admirer of the late Qassem Soleimani, insisting that the United States created the virus to destroy China’s economy by destroying the world’s economy. For all the kevin-barretts in the world, this makes perfect sense. And in this corner, we have Dr. Ali Karami, who claims that the American government is using the coronavirus to “depopulate” the globe. Eminently reasonable. Just one question: how will the U.S. prevent its own “depopulation”? And finally we have Ayatollah Mohammad Mehdi Mirbagheri, who insists that the World Health Organization is the source of the latest global pandemic. Of course. That makes sense. What better way to underline the importance of WHO than to fan the flames of a global pandemic? I wish I’d been clever enough to think of that.
Meanwhile, in the real and comparatively sane world, the necessary business of social distancing, hand-washing and wearing masks will continue, as we wait for the end of this nightmare disease. . Another reason to welcome the end of the coronavirus pandemic is that its disappearance will also force many conspiracy theorists to shut up, including – in the latest cretinous batch — Dr. Kevin Barrett, Dr. Ali Karami, and Ayatollah Mohammad Mehdi Mirbagheri.
Al Quds March London 22nd May 2020 - isn't happening!
The Covid 19 pandemic has achieved what my friends and I, UKIP, a coalition of Jewish organisations and other worthy individuals and institutions couldn't do; stop the annual Al Quds parade through London. Everything, and I mean everything, else is/was cancelled (Easter and Passover public worship, football, 75th anniversary of VE day, May Day festivities) so damn right it won't be taking place.
I don't know when it was anticipated to take place. The last Friday in Ramadan is the 22nd May but it might have been the following Saturday or Sunday. But sometime around that date. This year the oxymoronicly named Islamic Human Rights Commission who organise the London event are encouraging their supporters to fly and tweet Palestinian flags during Ramadan especially for the last 10 days to show solidarity and attend an on-line rally .
In arranging an on-line rally the IHRC are only following every other organisation in the country be they secular, political or faith so I'm not going to claim any victory or significance attached to the decision. And of course the emergency regulations would prevent any counter demonstration gathering as well. But I will say it will be nice not to hear 'Death to Israel' and see Hamas/Hezbullah flags on the deserted streets of my home city, this year.
“Most Americans say they do not trust the media.” - Columbia Journalism Review.
Murray Kempton once said that “a critic is someone who enters the battlefield after the war is over and shoots the wounded.” Kempton, earned his spurs at Hopkins and then at the Baltimore Sun at H.L. Mencken’s knee. There was a time when some journalists were well-read social critics, not partisan hacks. Today, it is difficult to distinguish urban journalism from the agitation and propaganda of the old totalitarian left.
George Orwell, an old school pundit, would recognize today’s political pig sties.
Most contemporary reporting and writing today has a political agenda. Truthfully, to one degree or another, press objectivity has always been honored in the breach. Habits of mind usually wash facts and conclusions through a sieve of personal predispositions. All politics in the end are local – and personal. Most beliefs are a function of emotions or feelings, not facts or reason.
Perception is not a synonym for logic.
The important issue isn’t really bias anyway. It’s fairness. It is possible to make an argument that is both biased and fair. Indeed; formal logic, scientific argument, and judicial proceedings have agreed rules for that very purpose. Leading questions and assumptions not supported by facts are not permitted in a court of law because rhetorical tricks violate the rules of logic, evidence, and the ethos of fairness.
“Gotcha” is a game not an argument.
A fair debate, or trial, relies on fair argument. Trump doesn’t trust the Intelligence Community for the same reasons we can’t trust the press. The President doesn’t trust either the press or Intelligence. Now, neither can we.
Unhinged press bigotry is an abuse of reason and the law, an abuse of the Bill of Rights that makes freedom of the press possible. Were James Madison with us today, he would probably amend the 1st Amendment to read “freedom of, and from, the press.”
We simply cannot believe what we see, hear, or read from most media outlets today. Only yesterday, “millions” of Americans were supposed die from the “pandemic.” Covid morbidity to date in America is about 50 thousand.
The policy of shutdown is designed to stop illness, not death. Preventing illness is an impossible goal. Ordinary flu or AIDS prophylaxis are examples. We can mitigate some diseases, but not prevent them. If low morbidity is the goal; then we might isolate, test, trace, and treat only the most vulnerable, not the entire population.
Fake news, what the Communist left used to call agitprop or dezinformatsiya has been normalized. The price of fairness is trust; the lack of which threatens to erode faith in the very institutions supposed to protect and sustain democratic republics.
Since 2016, Donald Trump is a kind of litmus test for fair play, in print/broadcast journalism and politics. Trump rants about “fake news” are now a regular feature of his pushback against bias in the fourth estate. Now even the Covid-19 virus has been weaponized. Morbidity and science data are being used to try and do what Robert Mueller and Adam Schiff could not.
Trump haters would like to extend the viral crisis up to and including the November Presidential election.
Partisanship in the Trump era, withal, has a unique and seditious twist. A politicized media has aligned itself with a national security establishment that, by law and tradition, is prohibited from partisan behavior. The Washington federal cohort, aka “deep state,” largely resides in the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, a partisan demographic by any definition. Well over ninety percent of the DMV voted for Clinton in the last election.
Personal partisanship in the nation’s capital is a given.
Partisan activity, however, by unelected federal bureaucrats of the Intelligence Community and Justice Department since November 2015 comes perilously close to sedition or treason.
These matters are now, and have been, the subject of investigations by both parties since the 2016 presidential election. Alas, expecting the Justice Department to investigate itself, or the larger IC, makes about much sense as a partisan impeachment inquiry. Traditionally, self-policing of federal mandarins has been left to inspectors general and we know how well that works. By tradition, an American federal IG is usually a homer, an apparatchik, or a fig leaf. Were IGs the answer to sedition or corruption, arrogant plotters like James Clapper, John Brennan, and James Comey would be impossible - or already in Leavenworth.
Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham are about to wrap up an “investigation of the investigators,” a flicker of hope in the most recent dark chapter of American history. Unfortunately, unrelated events now conspire to bury any attempts to bring federal conspirators before the bar. Corvid-19 hysteria has sucked all the air out of the public square - in an election year- where the specter of an economic depression/recession threatens to do more damage to Trump and America than any bug from China.
The Barr/Durham investigation was never on the media’s radar and now it might become less visible if that’s possible. No news, especially on matters like treachery, has never been good news.
Ironically, even if indictments are returned, they will be widely dismissed as partisan, business as usual in an election year. Indeed, Donald Trump’s best hope for justice and fair play rests with the voters in November.
Attorney General Barr might be well advised to keep his powder dry until the wisdom of crowds is heard.
At this point, one thing is clear. Those team Obama national security mandarins who believed that they were/are above the law are correct - for the moment. Indeed, Joe Biden, at best an unindicted co-conspirator in the Russia/Ukraine, now Covid hoaxes, is now the Democrat standard bearer for November.
Twenty-twenty will be remembered as the year of the plague and the year when irony went viral.
G. Murphy Donovan writes about the politics of national security.
Government response to petition calling for the report into the background of the rape abuse gangs (grooming) to be made public.
In February, prior to the Covid 19 emergency readers might remember I posted about the apparent suppression of the British government commissioned report into the "characteristics" of the grooming gangs. That's a polite way of pondering why they are usually Muslim and frequently but not exclusively Pakistani Muslim (hence the euphemism 'Asian')
In short in 2018 when Sajid Javid was Home Secretary he commissoned the report saying "“I will not let cultural or political sensitivities get in the way of understanding the problem and doing something about it,” he said at the time. "We know that in these recent high profile cases, where people convicted have been disproportionately from a Pakistani background. . . " He moved to the Treasury and the report, while completed was not released as the Home Office said it would only be used for 'internal policy making'
The Government is refusing to release official research on the characteristics of grooming gangs, claiming it is not in the “public interest”.
We, the British public, demand the release of the official research on grooming gangs undertaken by the Government in full.
So far it has nearly 122,000 signatures and over 4 months still to run; 100,000 or more signatures and Parliament could (should!) debate the issue. Last week the government issued the response. Probably hoping that everybody is so concerned with Covid 19, the lockdown, isolation, queues, furloughing and loss of jobs that we won't notice. Wrong!
The response is not satisfactory. To sumarise the response is that - child abuse is a terrible thing. Lots of people of all sorts commit this terrible crime so we have spent lots of money and done lots of stuff to stop them. Just not openly.
It is right, proper and routine for the Government to carry out internal fact-finding work as part of policy development, as we do across a range of crime threats. Any insights gained from this important internal work will be used to inform our future action to end this devastating abuse, including the forthcoming Strategy.
They have reviewed existing literature, taken note of public outrage and have learnt from mistakes. The end.
We haven't forgotten, and while other business may be coming second for the moment, but not forever.
An alleged former member of the Islamic State jihadist group went on trial in Germany on Friday on charges of genocide. The 37-year-old Iraqi, named only as Taha al-J under German privacy laws, is accused of taking part in the genocide of the Yazidi people of northern Iraq.
It is believed to be the first genocide prosecution against Isil anywhere in the world, and is the second Middle East war crimes trial to open in Germany this week, after an alleged former Syrian regime intelligence officer was charged with crimes against humanity.
Taha al-J covered his face with a file as he was led into the courtroom in Frankfurt. He is accused of deliberately chaining a five-year-old Yazidi girl and her mother in the sun in temperatures of 50C. The child died while her mother suffered severe burns.
The case is being heard by a court in Germany under the principle of universal jurisdiction, under which war crimes and crimes against humanity can be prosecuted anywhere in the world, regardless of where they were commited.
Taha al-J’s wife, a German Isil volunteer named Jennifer Wenisch, already faces prosecution in a separate trial over the girl’s killing.
But prosecutors have brought additional charges of genocide against Taha al-J, alleging he was motivated by the intent to wipe out the Yazidi people.
In 2015, Al-J bought a Yazidi woman and her five-year-old daughter as slaves at an Isis base in Syria, prosecutors allege. The two had been taken as prisoners by the militants in northern Iraq at the beginning of August 2014, and had been “sold and resold several times as slaves” by the group already. After purchasing the woman and her daughter, Al-J took the two to his household in the Iraqi city of Fallujah and forced them to “keep house and to live according to strict Islamic rules,” while giving them insufficient food and beating them regularly to punish them, according to the indictment.
Near the end of 2015, Al-J chained the girl to the bars of a window in the open sun on a day where temperatures reached 50C (122F) and she died from the punishment, according to the indictment. Prosecutors in the case against Al-J’s wife said the punishment was carried out because the five-year-old had wet the bed.
The charges against Jennifer W are based partially on the allegation that she did nothing to help the girl. The Yazidi girl’s mother, who survived captivity, testified at W’s trial and is also expected to appear as a witness at the trial of Al-J, according to the court.
W (Jennifer Wenish) grew up in Lower Saxony as a Protestant and converted to Islam in 2013. She is alleged to have made her way to Iraq through Turkey and Syria in 2014 to join Isis. In 2015, as a member of the extremist group’s “morality police,” she patrolled parks in Fallujah and Mosul armed with an assault rifle and a pistol as well as an explosive vest, looking for women who did not conform with its strict codes of behaviour and dress...
Taha al-J is also accused of occupying various roles in Isil, including heading an exorcism department.
The case will hang on whether prosecutors can prove Taha al-J killed the child as part of an attempt to destroy the Yazidi as a religious and ethnic group. If found guilty of genocide, Taha al-J faces life imprisonment.
At least the American national media have a plausible reason to dislike the president and to behave so unprofessionally. The disinterested antagonism of much foreign high-brow media is astonishing and has no such excuse.
by Conrad Black
Anti-Trump bias in the American media is profound and ultimately dangerous, because free media are essential to a functioning democracy, and the level of bias that has bedeviled this president is undermining the standing of the press and the public’s faith in the need for such untrustworthy media. In this sense, they are, as the president has asserted, to great approval from his followers, an “enemy of the people.”
That they are so regarded by millions of people is unhealthy, but not entirely unwarranted. While social media, talk radio, and the internet counterbalance the extreme hostility of most of the national political media, all the large networks except Fox, and almost all the metropolitan printed media except the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, are in lock-step in their constant propagation of hostile opinions about the president disguised as reporting.
The negative reaction of many is in fact reassuring; it would be worrisome if the U.S. public, whose intelligence has been amusingly mocked by such wits as P. T. Barnum and H. L. Mencken, were not disaffected by the failure of most of the media to report fairly on this president.
Nor is it surprising that many people are offended by the president’s self-centered view of events, by his exaggerations, untruthfulness, changes of position that are then denied or lamely rationalized, and other foibles that are unique in the history of his great office. Here too, it would be disquieting if he did not elicit that reaction from many people. That hostility is rational and not, in itself, excessive. It is, to some extent, balanced by the large number of people who find the president’s candor and unaffected informality refreshing.
The likeliest source of the irrational hostility to Trump in most of the media is that when he attacked the entire political class, he attacked the media in the first rank of his targets as an example of institutions that were crumbling, in their competence and their integrity. He did not, as is sometimes claimed, attack the political system.
During the 2016 election campaign and for some time after, it was suggested that Trump was a threat to the Constitution, that he was a dictator at heart, inexperienced in government, and a bulldozing financier, showman, and impresario of indifferent ethics with no acquired respect for the institutions and laws of the U.S. government.
This was the sort of attitude that incited outrageous illegalities perpetrated against him by his enemies in the Justice Department and the intelligence apparatus, and caused a large segment of opinion to imagine that he might actually have corruptly colluded with a foreign power to alter the result of a presidential election, an act so monstrous that no one ever nominated for president by a serious American political party would ever have considered it. It also was part of the explanation for the unfounded impeachment of the president.
Trump started his presidential campaign as an almost universal joke to the media and it is clear that the joke, instead, was on the media.
Underlying the disposition to believe such nonsense is fear and anger at Trump’s attack on the entire political class—if that class could not preemptively destroy him, he would destroy them. An adequate number of people to elect him agreed that the whole political elite, including the national political media, but excepting only the armed forces, were at least intellectually corrupt, and largely incompetent.
This was a reasonable conclusion after the greatest economic debacle in the world since the Great Depression, created by the Clinton and George W. Bush Administrations’ equity bubble, (and blamed by both Barack Obama and his 2008 opponent John McCain on the private sector); and following the 15 years of Middle Eastern war that handed much of Iraq to Iran and created a huge humanitarian refugee crisis; and after the admission of ten million illegal and unskilled immigrants keeping working-class wages low.
The fact that it alarmed those whom he accused is not surprising, but does not imply that he was mistaken. Between the second Bush and Trump presidencies, the United States was in a trough of flat-lined underachievement that in retrospect was rivaled as the least successful in its history only by the years between President James K. Polk and Abraham Lincoln (1849-1861), and between Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt (1921-1933).
Putrid Reporting from the Foreign Press
One of the most irritating habits of the hacks who infest the national media is their facile imputation of motives; sophomoric mindreading of newsworthy people. Thus, nefarious motives are constantly attributed to Trump for everything he does. Without straying into that bad habit, I suspect that the main motivations for media hostility to Trump are precisely that he ran against the national political media, draws out public contempt and dislike for them at his large weekly political meetings all around the country, and has flourished despite their relentless collective effort to destroy him.
Trump started his presidential campaign as an almost universal joke to the media and it is clear that the joke, instead, was on the media. No president in the television era except, on occasion, Dwight Eisenhower, could pull large crowds as Trump routinely does. The fact that Trump exploits Twitter as a direct line to his huge following, while denouncing that company’s management for lawlessness, bias, and hypocrisy, is piquant.
At least the American national media have a plausible reason to dislike the president and to behave so unprofessionally. The disinterested antagonism of much foreign high-brow media is astonishing and has no such excuse. The American political coverage of the long-respected Economist magazine has putrefied, as has much of the relevant content of the Financial Times. The BBC has been almost unrelievedly anti-American since World War II, except for its amorous interlude with the Kennedys.
But the depths are plumbed, the bottom scraped, by the Sandersite Guardian (a newspaper that is the crowd-funded ward of the British Left).
On April 19, it ran a widely reposted news story that drew from the president’s claim that he had “total” authority to implement the National Emergencies Act (an argument that has never been constitutionally adjudicated), that he was behaving like George III, with whom Trump has “much in common, tyranny-wise. Trump is more instinctive dictator than democrat, in the style of his favorite potentate, South Arabia’s crown prince.” The Guardian cited Trump’s threat to “shut down congress, and his enthusiasm for suppressing minority voter turnout. It’s worth recalling that old King George became mentally ill, since Trumpism is clearly dangerous to your health.”
It is inconceivable that any publication in the United States could publish such tosh.
A Goebbelsesque Pastiche of Lies
The threat to Congress was not to pay it if they did not deal with emergency assistance to economic victims of the public health crisis, and the mistreatment of minorities was Trump’s opposition to fraudulent vote harvesting through the mail, both unexceptionable positions. Trumpism’s danger to health was the Guardian’s integral swallowing of the Democrats’ spurious charge that Trump didn’t magically transform the decrepit epidemiological response system bequeathed him by Obama to test millions of people (which would not appreciably have reduced the number of fatalities anyway).
The Guardian blamed Trump for most of the American coronavirus fatalities, (which are modest when compared, per capita, to most European countries). The Guardian backed the Chinese government’s explanation of its conduct entirely, sanctimoniously upheld the World Health Organization, and accused Trump of scapegoating China to disguise his own negligence. The suspension of direct flights from China on January 31, which the Democrats attacked but now acknowledge was wise, was not mentioned. Trump is blamed for a worsening of the official Chinese attitude, and for blundering into a new Cold War. American influence in the world is crumbling and China’s prestige is soaring, they assure us.
This almost completely dishonest screed reaches a fierce crescendo: “the world cannot afford another four years of the chaos and carnage personified by Trump. Voting him out in November is the best solution. But what if, fearful of losing amid continuing mayhem, he tries to delay the election?”
Not even an editorial committee composed of my errant friends Max Boot, David Brooks, David Frum, Bill Kristol, Bret Stephens, and George Will, would come up with such a Goebbelsesque pastiche of lies and malicious fatuities. Americans should be grateful that CNN and MSNBC are not as nauseating as this.
The Guardian piece was a cry from the heart of those who lost in Brexit, feel deeply the collapse of globalism, and cannot abide American administrations that do not prostrate themselves to advance the defeatist, decrepit, delusions of what were known, when they possessed more significance, as the chancelleries of Europe.
The Economist Blames Israel for the Parlous State of Gaza’s Health-Care System
by Hugh Fitzgerald
Adam Levick of CAMERA has noticedthat The Economist has chosen to blame Israel for the parlous state of Gaza’s health-care system. Its method is the Lie Direct:
The Economist is the latest British media outlet to mislead on the coronavirus-related healthcare crisis in Gaza. Their March 26th article (“Gaza, already under siege, imposes lockdown”), published in their print edition, included the following:
An outbreak would be catastrophic. Gaza is one of the world’s most densely populated places. The health-care system, shattered by the long blockade, would be unable to cope. Even in normal times, basic items like antibiotics are often in short supply. [emphasis added]”
However, the medicine shortage in Gaza has nothing whatsoever to do with the Israeli blockade — a fact that we proved in a previous post, which included a definitive statement from COGAT that there are NO restrictions on medicine and medical equipment and there never have been.
Why did The Economist not check with the Israelis before describing Gaza’s health-care system as being “shattered by the long blockade”? Its reporter could have asked a simple question: does Israel now, or has it ever, restricted any medicines or medical equipment from entering the Gaza Strip? As Adam Levick points out, the Israelis have never prevented either medicines or medical equipment from reaching Gaza. In 2019 800 trucks entered Gaza filled with medicines and medical equipment.
In fact, even The New York Times has acknowledged — after communication with CAMERA— that “the import of medicine [to Gaza] is not restricted.”
The shortage has more to do with Hamas’ decision to spend millions on terror tunnels and other military items, instead of on domestic needs such as healthcare. Another major factor is the longstanding inter-Palestinian rivalry, which resulted in Palestinian Authority measures that have significantly reduced medical funds to Gaza.
In the past the PA has upon occasion restricted transferring medicines to Gaza, claiming that Hamas has not been paying its bills to the PA for such shipments. This is part of the continuing war between the PA and Hamas; those suffering are the people of Gaza. Israel has nothing to do with it.
The Economist article also included the following claim:
Doctors in Gaza say they received only about 200 kits to test for the virus. Most have already been used. They are pleading with Israel and the WHO to send more, but it is unclear when, or if, they will.
This is inaccurate. The 200 kits are only what they [the Gazans] received directly from Israel. The actual total number is around 1,200, as Gaza received an additional 1,000 from the WHO via COGAT [Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories]:
Yesterday [April 1] over 3,000 #COVID19 testing kits, donated by @WHO, and 50,000 protective masks, donated by @UNWRA, were transferred from Jordan via Allenby Bridge with the coordination of COGAT for use by medical teams in the Palestinian healthcare system in the region.
Earlier today, [April 2] 1,000 of the coronavirus testing kits that were transferred were forwarded by the @WHO into the #Gaza Strip with the coordination of the Gaza CLA.
Moreover, The Economist article obfuscates the larger story: the extraordinary cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians in response to the pandemic. Even Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, praised the coordination and cooperation established between the two parties in tackling COVID-19 — calling it “excellent.”
It’s a puzzlement: why did The Economist ‘s reporter fail to ask the most obvious questions? There is the one already mentioned above about the effect of the blockade. The reporter could have asked the Israelis whether or not they had ever prevented medicines and medical equipment from entering Gaza, and, if so, by whom? He (or she) could then have asked the PA if it had ever prevented shipments of medicine or medical equipment from reaching Gaza, in order to put pressure Hamas to pay its bills from the PA. Finally, that reporter could have checked with Nickolay Mladenov, the UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Processes, to ask him whether he had any reason to believe that Israel had ever withheld medicines or medical equipment, and what he thought about the current cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian medical personnel, in both Gaza and the West Bank?
That, of course, would require a little work: a few emails, a few telephone calls. How much easier it is simply to assume that Israel’s blockade explains what’s wrong with the health system in Gaza. That fits the general anti-Israel narrative that The Economist, the BBC, the Guardian, and all other pillars of the media’s anti-Israel establishment, feed their audiences. They are now being kept ja bit more honest, usually by CAMERA pointing out errors, and exacting a retraction or a correction which is welcome, though corrections seldom are given the prominence of the original story for which a correction is being supplied. It is a never-ending task, to note the mistakes, vulgar errors, and sheer animus in the coverage of Israel, and then to persuade the offenders to issue corrections and retractions. We should be grateful to those who, like Adam Levick, are alert to every such misstatement, and able to rapidly respond to, and demand correction of, these errors.
Let’s sum up what we know about the Gaza health care system. It’s in bad shape. There are two reasons for that. First is the effect of colossal corruption – the grand theft by Hamas leaders of billions in aid money. For more than two decades the Hamas Lords of Misrule have chosen to divert large sums to themselves. Khaled Meshaal and Mousa Abu Marzouk were two of the top Hamas leaders; each has managed to amass a fortune of at least $2.5 billion dollars, according to both Western and Arab sources. Other leaders, such as the current head of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, are not In their league when it comes to stealing, but have nonetheless acquired tens of millions of dollars. There are also 600 Hamas millionaires who have built villas on the Gazan seafront. That is the first reason for the underfunding of the health-care system in Gaza.
The second reason for the poor state of Gaza’s heath-care system is the choice Hamas has made: instead of spending on a decent health care system, Hamas leaders have chosen to spend large sums on war-making: weapons of all kinds, including expensive rockets, and hundreds of terror tunnels running from Gaza into Israel. None of this was Israel’s fault. Hamas could have chosen to spend less on war-making, and more on the health of its own citizens. It did not.
Perhaps in the future a chastened Economist will run a piece explaining the two reasons for the wretched state of the health-care system in Gaza: first, the diversion of billions of dollars in aid money into the pockets of Hamas leaders; second, the decision by Hamas to spend more on war against Israel, and less on the health of its own citizens. Let’s hope thatThe Economist will do more than simply issue a correction here and there, but make clear to its readers the full and dismaying truth about Gaza’s health-care degringolade.
Palestinian Lies Never Die; Wikipedia and Google Keep Them Alive
by Phyllis Chesler
Occupation is a word that dominates most debate about Israel, but the truth is that pro-Palestinian propagandists are occupying Google and Wikipedia to keep debunked narratives alive.
This was recently confirmed when I attended a webinar featuring a physician who worked in Israel's undercover "Dudevan" unit, which is the basis for the popular series Fauda. She talked about her work in Gaza and on the West Bank during Operation Protective Edge.
"I thought nothing would surprise me. But many things did," she said. The physician told the story of trying to save the life of a 2½-year-old West Bank boy accidentally run over by his father. They rushed the boy to an Israeli hospital, providing treatment along the way.
"Despite all our efforts," she remembered, "the boy died. When I asked this father if he would donate any of his son's organs to another child, he said: 'Only to an Arab Palestinian child, not to an Israeli Jewish child.'"
This was a father who had just seen the enormous effort that Israeli Jews had undertaken to save his son's life; it was a very dramatic and emotional moment. Old prejudices might have died on the spot, at least momentarily. Instead, this man's Jew and Israel hatred kicked in immediately. The doctor was stunned by the sudden appearance of such "political realities."
This is the kind of psychological enemy Israel is up against. And then there are the Palestinian terrorist leaders, who indoctrinate their own people and use them to carry out terrorist attacks against civilian Israelis. This fact is minimized by Western media and global leaders.
Given the world's diabolical double standards, Israeli soldiers stand accused of atrocities they did not commit, while Palestinian terrorists—Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Palestinian Liberation Organization, Fatah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine—who torture, kidnap, hijack, use human shields, including children, are still viewed as innocent victims.
Contrary to public opinion, the IDF is exceptionally ethical, and military leaders from other countries have attested to it. Israeli soldiers are haunted by any accidental civilian deaths and grief-stricken by the deaths of their own comrades. Unlike the Palestinian terrorist leaders, they do not glorify death and they mourn each life lost in necessary battle. This must be said, not once, but over and over again to counter the monstrous propaganda against Israel.
Yet, poisoned anti-Israel propaganda continues to overwhelm all platforms. For example, remember Israel's alleged 2002 massacre of civilians in Jenin? It generated international headlines.
But it never happened.
For nearly two years, Arab Palestinian terrorists had been attacking Israeli civilians non-stop. The death toll and the numbers wounded were very high. In March 2002, terrorists murdered 100 Israeli civilians. On March 27, a suicide bomber blew himself up inside the Park Hotel in Netanya, just as Jews were seated for a Passover Seder. Thirty people were killed, mostly elderly. Another 140 people were injured.
This was a final straw. Reservists voluntarily flew home to Israel from all over the world. Many of the suicide bombers attacking Israeli civilians had come from Jenin.
The IDF sent soldiers into Jenin. They went from one booby-trapped house to another, all while under fire, just so that Israel would not be accused of bombing civilians from the air or committing a massacre.
Reports from the Palestinian side described a wanton Israeli killing fest, leaving hundreds of innocents dead. Some said thousands were killed. The entire town, they claimed, was destroyed.
In truth, 56 Palestinians died, most of whom were armed. Israel lost 23 soldiers. Despite that, if someone wanted to look into it now and Googled "Jenin," here is what they'd find.
The first five pages about "Jenin" feature 27 anti-Israeli articles promoting a false history and only seven articles that tell the truth about what really happened.
Search Google for "How many Palestinians died in Jenin, 2002," and here's the first thing you see today:
But propaganda like Ridley's inevitably leads to real massacres and lynchings—of Jews and Israelis.
Part of the problem is Google's linkage to Wikipedia, which is fully dedicated to an anti-Israel and pro-Palestine position. For example, look at what pops up when you search the phrase "Palestinian terrorist groups" today:
The first thing you see is a Wikipedia summary of "Palestinian political violence."
"Palestinian political violence refers to acts of violence or terror motivated by Palestinian nationalism. These political objectives include self-determination in and sovereignty over Palestine, the 'liberation of Palestine' and recognition of a Palestinian state, either in place of both Israel and the Palestinian territories, or solely in the Palestinian territories.
Periodically directed toward more limited goals such as the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israel, another key aim is to advance the Palestinian right of return."
Like the so-called "massacre" at Jenin, the al-Dura Affair concerns the alleged cold-blooded murder in 2000 of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy by Israeli soldiers at the Netzarim junction. Yasser Arafat had again rejected peace and launched his long-planned intifada against Israel. The Muslim world embraced al-Dura as a martyr and ran his photo over and over again in the media, on t-shirts, mugs, posters, etc. They still do.
Over time, it became clear that if al-Dura was shot at all, it was not by Israelis.
Although Google continues to automatically link to Wikipedia, it eventually included the fact that a controversy about what happened actually exists. However, the controversy section appears at the very end of the Wikipedia entry, long after the false narrative has had its way with most readers.
The 2019 Gaza protests on the Israeli border provide the latest example of Palestinians instigating violence, only to grossly exaggerate the Israeli response.
The anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace joined a chorus of voices claiming that Israel was gunning down peaceful protesters. "Israeli snipers," it claimed, were deliberately targeting "children and persons with disabilities," among others.
It turns out the overwhelming majority of casualties were members or affiliates of terrorist organizations. About half of those killed were Hamas members and affiliates.
Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the author of 18 books, including "A Politically Incorrect Feminist," "Islamic Gender Apartheid," and "A Family Conspiracy: Honor Killing and "An American Bride in Kabul." She is a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
No, President Trump did not suggest injecting bleach
The press is willfully ignorant, biased and dishonest. I watched the news conference. They were talking about how sunlight and heat/humidity kills the virus. He suggested light and heat as therapy. And yes, there is a therapy being worked on. They have tiny catheters with light which can be inserted into the airways. See below:
Dr. Birx must not have known about it or was confused about the question. That's all. They will probably have to clarify this today like they have to spend time most days clarifying some other ridiculous news report.
New York Times reporter Davey Alba posted several tweets Friday night about his efforts to get YouTube to take down videos about the COVID-19 Chinese coronavirus regarding President Trump recent comments about experimental treatments for the virus and a company, Aytu BioScience, that is claiming a UV light treatment can kill the coronavirus inside patients’ bodies via a fiber optic catheter inserted in an intubation tube. The company issued a press release on Tuesday about the treatment, two days before Trump was mocked by the media for speculating about such treatment. The company says a peer-reviewed study is forthcoming.
YouTube took down the Aytu BioScience video Friday night soon after Alba reported the video to YouTube...