Monday, 31 May 2021
Muslim news site 5Pillars ordered to pay back COVID grant after publishing anti-gay video

From Pink News and the Daily Mail

Last year, 5Pillars received a £3,000 COVID emergency grant from the Public Interest News Foundation (PINF), which supports independent news providers in the UK.

PINF is led by Jonathan Heawood, founder of the state-backed press regulator Impress. It was launched in 2019 with Impress support to promote public-interest journalism.

Last summer, PINF began to receive complaints that 5Pillars was supporting conspiracy theories, including that MI5 had been responsible for the murder soldier Lee Rigby in 2013.

Now we can reveal that the website breached Impress’s standards code by broadcasting a video in which deputy editor Dilly Hussain said homosexuality was ‘a gross crime against Allah’.

Mr Heawood said last night that PINF would ask 5Pillars to repay the grant, which was part of a Covid emergency fund.

Asked why the website had received the money, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, he added: ‘5Pillars presented to us examples of their journalism which seemed to be providing a valuable service, for instance dispelling Covid myths.

5Pillars came under fire last year after Quillam, a counter-extremism organisation, highlighted how it published an article questioning whether Michael Adebolajo, the killer of Fusilier Rigby, was an MI5 agent. The website also carried a piece querying whether James Foley, a US journalist beheaded by Islamic State in 2014, was killed by Western spies.

Responding5Pillars editor Roshan Muhammed Salih and deputy editor Dilly Hussain said the decision was “unfair, flawed and an attack on the right of Muslims to express themselves freely within the law”, but added that they would “comply with IMPRESS’s judgement under protest”.

Posted on 05/31/2021 7:55 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 31 May 2021
Elites Choose Ugliness in Federal Architecture, No Matter What the People Prefer

by Theodore Dalrymple

The firing of Justin Shubow and three other members of the United States Fine Arts Commission (they refused to resign, having committed no fault) reveals something disturbing about democracy as it is at present constituted: namely how easily elites may override the express preferences of the majority of citizens, even in matters non-political.

Shubow was the progenitor of President Trump’s executive order that henceforth the classical style of architecture should be the default style of all new federal buildings.

This was soon condemned as dictatorial by the architectural lobby, though it was nothing of the kind. It did not decree that all buildings in America should be built in this style, only new federal ones, a tiny proportion of the total: unlike the modernist architects of the past who wanted to dictate the style of architecture for the whole world, and to a surprising and horrifying extent succeeded, with devastating effects on the beauty of cities everywhere.

Ideally, it should not have been necessary or even advisable to issue such an executive order: good architecture should emerge from a whole culture, spontaneously, as a manifestation of a widespread aesthetic sensibility.

Unfortunately, we do not live in a world like this: and it often seems as if the people with the least aesthetic sensibility of all are precisely those who most need it, namely the architects. They have done everything possible to make the world uglier than it was before they set to work on it.

What is curious about the revocation of President Trump’s executive order and the sacking of Subow et alis that a large majority of Americans would prefer federal buildings to be in the classical style, rather than in the various, largely hideous styles favored by the architectural cabal.

A larger majority of Republicans than Democrats prefer the classical style, but nevertheless the majority of Democrats who prefer it is very substantial. Here, at least, or at last, is a subject upon which the partisans of both parties can agree.

It is surely odd, then, that a government that calls itself democratic, and Democrat, should turn its back on a policy that is consonant with the tastes and wishes of the majority of the people, and remove the very public servants who would oversee its implementation.

Now it is perfectly true that the government cannot simply do what the majority of the population wishes in any and all circumstances.

From time to time, the majority of the population may wish for something extremely foolish or even wicked. An electoral dictatorship is to be avoided, as the framers of the Constitution very well knew.

But if ever there were a case in which it would be safe to follow the instincts and wishes of the people, this would be it.

To see why, one has only to make the painful comparison between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials on the one hand, and the Eisenhower Memorial on the other.

It is sobering to recall that the Jefferson Memorial is far from ancient; it was inaugurated almost within living memory. In other words, the almost complete collapse of architectural taste and ability has been sudden.

You see it in Paris, too, where hardly a single building constructed after the Second World War does not detract greatly from, or even destroy for a considerable distance, the beauty of the city.

As for the City of London, its name should be changed to Dubai-on-Thames—except that this would now be an insult to Dubai.

Why would the administration reverse a popular policy under no pressing necessity to do so?

The first reason, obviously, is that the policy was proposed by its hated and despised predecessor, from which it wants to appear the polar opposite in all things, irrespective of what they are.

The second, probably more important, is that it has an elective affinity with the architectural elite which despises the opinion of the majority as ignorant, ill-informed and uncomprehending, exactly the charges levelled against those whose who did not vote for it.

The fact that this ignorant, ill-informed and uncomprehending public has no problem whatever in “comprehending” the Taj Mahal or Notre-Dame does not give them pause: perhaps it thinks that in five hundred years’ time its own work will finally be appreciated by a more enlightened public.

But how does the administration think it can get away with it? The answer is, easily.

The fact is that, when voters go to the polls, they vote for a package, not for a single item. It is unlikely that the question of the architectural style of future Federal buildings ranks very high in their concerns, and therefore they are not going to choose whom to vote for on its basis alone, however much they might prefer the style of such buildings to be classical.

Therefore, the administration is better off pandering to a powerful activist lobby, that of most architects, than complying with the wishes of a large majority.

There are constant asymmetrical struggles in modern democracies.

There are lobbies on the one hand which are single-minded and focused on a single question. If thwarted, they have the capacity, and the determination, to make a lot of trouble for those in power.

There are large numbers of people on the other hand whose views differ from those of the lobbies, but for whom each of the subjects of the lobbies’ interest is just one thing among many others, and rarely the most important thing at that.

It follows that lobbies may easily prevail over the wishes of the majority, even when the latter are perfectly reasonable, indeed meritorious. In a modern democracy, therefore, there is a constant triumph of what people do not want.

How important is the question of architecture? In my opinion, very—but not everyone agrees. When I grow agitated over some monstrosity or other (which means that I am often agitated when I venture out because there are so many of them), my wife tells me to calm down. What is done is done, she says, and cannot be undone.

But that is precisely the point. It is true that some of these monstrosities, perhaps, could be demolished, but not all of them, so that we are in effect condemning future generations to live in unnecessary ugliness.

Perhaps, growing up with it, they will not realize it, so it will not matter. Perhaps, then, my wife is right after all: but yet, however hard I try, I cannot feel that she is.

First published in the Epoch Times.


Posted on 05/31/2021 6:20 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 31 May 2021
Bias in the World Health Organization

by Michael Curtis

The question of the origin of the coronavirus remains open.  It is still an open question whether to believe the natural origin theory that COVID-19 jumped from animals to humans, and spread without involvement of any scientists or laboratories, or whether it resulted from a leak or accident in the Chinese Wuhan Institute of Virology. The WHO, the World Health Organization, the specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international world health, has been slow to act, and immediately concluded that the lab-leak theory was extremely unlikely. Its primary statement on March 30, 2021 appears to be that it is “likely to very likely that COVID-19 made it to humans through an intermediate host.” In this uncertain situation, the Biden administration on May 26, 2021 was obliged to order an investigation into the origins of COVID-19 after the State Department unit examining the issue had been closed down. Certainly, a full investigation into the origin of the COVID-19 is essential, if only to prevent a further virus.

On its non-decision, as on other matters, the role of the WHO, whose stated objective is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health, has been challenged especially by the U.S. The WHO has played an important role in public health issues, including the eradication of smallpox, the virtual elimination of polio, the development of an Ebola vaccine, and research on HIV/AIDS. But it has been blamed for inadequate handling of the current pandemic, for not sounding the alarm when the virus appeared or not acting quickly to deal with it, and with being compliant to China, covering up the threat that all agreed had originated in China, thus causing countless loss of life and great economic hardship.

The Trump administration maintained that the WHO had mismanaged its response to the pandemic crisis, and expressed strong concern that the WHO had aided China in covering up the virus, as well as not making necessary reforms. Consequently, Trump in April 2020 announced that the U.S. would stop funding the organization, and in May 2020 declared the U.S. would terminate its relationship with it. In July 2020 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo notified the UN Secretary General of the U.S. decision to withdraw from the organization, an action that would take effect on July 6, 2021.

However, President Joe Biden on January 20, 2021, announced that the U.S. was retracting the declared intention made on July 6, 2020 to withdraw from WHO, and that it would rejoin the WHO, fulfill all financial obligations to it. Later, he stated that Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases would represent the country to it. Biden has, controversially, approved the temporary waiver of U.S. intellectual property protections in order to fight COVID-19. Biden remarked that the U.S. will continue to be a full participant and a global leader in confronting threat to global health. But it remains to be seen whether Biden will act to try to end the inappropriate politicization of the WHO by Arabs and Palestinians in their conflict with Israel.

Whatever the intentions and motivations of WHO, one might conclude that it misled the world over the outbreak of COVID-19, its severity, and the measures needed to control it. It appeared to accept China’s claim at first that the virus was not serious, and was not spreading. Because of the resulting deaths and economic damage because of this non-action, it is possible that the actions or non-actions of WHO can be legally regarded as constituting crimes against humanity.

The U.S. had played an important role in the establishment of the WHO on April 7, 1948, and since then has provided both assessed and voluntary contributions to it, being assessed 22% of the core budget, an estimated   $120 million in 2020, and an average of $262 million a year in voluntary funding. The U.S. Congress in 1948 had asserted the right of the U.S. to withdraw from the WHO giving one year’s notice, but it is legally uncertain whether the president has the authority to withdraw without Congressional approval. Politically, Congress has been divided on the proposals to halt the funding and withdrawal from WHO.

The WHO, composed of representatives from the 194 member states, has a broad mandate including promoting human health, collecting data on global health issues, and providing technical assistance to countries. The WHO is a much needed organization, officially concerned to improve the health of the world. It is shameful that its effectiveness has been undermined and distorted, politicized, by political activists, mainly the Arab Group of States and the Palestinian Authority.  Like some other UN agencies, such as UNHRC, the WHO has been misused to be continually and particularly critical of the State of Israel. Yet again, this organization illustrates the double standards in UN bodies which single out   Israel for condemnation while ignoring or absolving other countries for actions in areas under their control.  There are always a considerable number of internal and external questions on the WHO agenda, but condemnation of Israel for alleged ill treatment of Palestinians invariably has priority.

A few of the occasions where the animus against Israel has been exhibited may be mentioned. In May 2016 at the WHO’s World Assembly meeting, Israel was selected as the sole abuser of human rights. Unmentioned were significant issues such as the chemical and gas attacks used  since 2012 by  Syria against its own citizens in Ltamenah, Douma, and the outskirts of Damascus,  or  the Hamas rocket launchers that killed Palestinian civilians.

In May 2019 the 72nd Assembly of WHO passed a resolution, by vote of 96-11, with 21 abstentions and 56 absent, on the poor health conditions in the “occupied Palestinian territory  including East Jerusalem and occupied Syria Golan,” accusing Israel of perpetrating the health crisis in Palestinian Arab territories. The resolution co-sponsored by the Arab bloc and the Palestinian delegation, singled out criticism of Israel as the unique violator of health rights in the occupied Palestinian territory and Golan. Only one of the 21 items in the WHO agenda focused on a single country, Israel, though there is a health crisis in many countries. In this there is a double irony:  there is ample evidence that Israel hospitals have been caring for Syrians who fled to Israel territory to escape the brutality of the Assad regime ; they have also been caring for  Palestinian Arabs including Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, and  Jibril  Rajoub, a major figure in the Fatah party who was treated in a Tel Aviv hospital in May 2019, in spite of his expressed support for terrorist attacks and violence against Jews.  

Another vote in WHO on May 26, 2021 adopted a resolution calling for non-discriminatory, affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines  for Palestinians in the disputed territories and Syrians in the Golan heights. The resolution, obliquely referring to the 11 day war in 2021 started by Hamas , though irrelevant to the virus, also called for analysis of  the  “psychiatric morbidity and other forms of mental health problems resulting from protracted aerial and other forms of (Israeli) bombing among the population. Though the proponents of the resolution may not have extraterrestrial powers about future Israeli actions, they required WHO to hold the same debate on Israel at next year’s assembly.      

Those supporting the resolution included not only the usual suspects, Cuba, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, China and Russia, but also France, Spain, Switzerland, Japan, and India, and the three countries, UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco, that recently normalized relations with Israel. Countries opposed included Australia, Czech Republic, Germany, Canada, and Hungary as well as the U.S., the UK and Israel.  

The resolution of May 26 passed by vote of  82 to 14, with 40 abstentions and 38 absent.  Again, there was no resolution on any other country other than Israel, or on any conflict.  Ironically, though the Palestinians have their own health system, Israel, at last count, has vaccinated more than 100,000 Palestinians, and provided them with thousands of vaccine doses. The draft resolution on May 25, 2021, before the final version, called for the WHO to deal with  structural problems emanating  from “the prolonged occupation in the protected occupied population in the Palestinian  territories in East Jerusalem and the occupied Syrian Golan.”

Noticeably, the WHO has three offices for the West Bank and Gaza established in 1994 which support the Palestinian Ministry of Health and partners in improving the health and well being of Palestinians. The enhancement of health services by the WHO is a welcome endeavor to be admired. Yet reservations remain about it when it states that its role as a leading health agency is in the “context of a chronic occupation and increasingly precarious humanitarian crisis.”  This does not appear to be helpful in its approach in addressing “social determinants of health”, let alone for the tortuous path for peace in the Middle East.   The U.S. administration should take note.

Posted on 05/31/2021 6:12 AM by Michael Curtis
Monday, 31 May 2021
UN Human Rights Council Will Hold Special Session On Israeli ‘Actions’ In 11-Day Gaza War

by Hugh Fitzgerald

The United Nations Human Rights Council, well known for its grotesquely unbalanced inquiries into the behavior of Israel, whose actions receive more attention from the UNHRC than do the actions of any other country, has just announced that it will be holding a special session to look into Israeli actions in the 11-day Gaza war that just concluded. A report on this UNHCR session is here: “UNHRC poised to approve war crimes probe into Israel on Gaza, Jerusalem,” by Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post, May 26, 2021:

The United Nations Human Rights Council is expected to establish a commission of inquiry into Israeli actions against Palestinians uroing the period leading up to and including the 11-day Gaza War that ended on May 21.

In particular, the committee would investigate Israeli activity in Gaza and Jerusalem as well as the ethnic riots that broke out in mixed cities within sovereign Israel.

A commission of inquiry only into “Israeli actions.” Israel will be in the dock for possible “war crimes.” Nothing is said about the UNHCR investigating the actions of Hamas, as if it could not possibly have committed war crimes. Note what the UNHCR will not be investigating. It will not be investigating the Arab mobs who were whipped into a frenzy on top of the Temple Mount, from where they threw large rocks and Molotov cocktails on Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall, some 70 feet below. It will not be investigating the rocks and Molotov cocktails flung as well at the Israeli police who were only trying to maintain order on the top of the Temple Mount. It will not be investigating the unprovoked attacks by Arabs on Jews – especially the Orthodox — in Jerusalem, attacks that were proudly shared on TikTok, and meant to be both admired and emulated.

Pakistan and the Palestinian Authority submitted a resolution for the creation of a fact-finding mission which will come to a vote on Thursday, when the UNHRC will hold a special session in Geneva. It is expected to receive the majority vote in the 47-member body.

The text calls in particular for accountability for Israel actions.

The commission would be authorized to make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring legal accountability, including individual criminal and command responsibility, for such violations, and justice for victims,” the Resolution states.

It would explore the “alleged violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since 13 April 2021, and all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity.”

I assume that the “systematic discrimination and repression based on national ,ethnic, racial or religious identity” refers not to efforts by Hamas to achieve its goal of destroying the Jewish state, but only to Israel’s attempts to defend itself. No mention will be made by the UNHCR that the war began with a volley of hundreds of rockets on May 10, to which Israel then responded. Hamas in the end fired 4,350 rockets toward Israel, all at civilian targets. Some 640 fell short, landed in Gaza,and according to the IDF, killed about 60 people, almost all of them civilians.

Israel’s mission to the UN in Geneva responded immediately, noting the absence of Hamas’s firing of rockets against Israeli cities and towns.

“No mention of Hamas. No mention of 4300+ rockets,” it stated, adding, “we call on Member States to speak up & oppose this resolution.”

Thursday’s special session will be the 30th one that the UNHRC has held since its inception in 2006, out of which nine focused on Israel. No other country has been the subject of so many special sessions.

Nine out of 30 special sessions of the UNHRC have been devoted to that mighty malefactor that bestrides the Middle East like a colossus. Israel is in fact no colossus; the tiny Jewish state which has had to fight three wars – in 1948, 1967, and 1973 – for its every existence. And Israel has also had to fight other wars against terrorist groups — the PLO, the PFLP, Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad — bent on the Jewish state’s destruction. These have included four wars in Gaza against Hamas and two wars in Lebanon, against the PLO and Hezbollah. Israel has also had to try to prevent thousands of terrorist attacks that constitute what Israelis call “the wars between the wars.” Yet it is Israel, the object of so many wars and such murderous terrorism, that is perennially in the dock of the UNHRC, while such countries as China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey remain largely uninvestigated for human rights violations. .

There have been at least five fact-finding missions into Israeli military actions in the past, including one on the Hamas-led “Great March of Return” as well as on past Gaza wars.

No mention will be made in whatever report the UNHCR finally releases — having first made sure that the Arab and Muslim members of the Commission are fully satisfied with the result — of the Arabs who started beating up Jews in Jerusalem in mid-April. What has always been a property dispute between Jewish owners and Arab tenants over a handful of properties in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of east Jerusalem has been turned by Palestinian propagandists into a sinister plot by the Israeli government – which is not a party to the property dispute –to “Judaize” Jerusalem. Some 209,000 Arabs live in east Jerusalem, which has been part of Israel since 1980; no attempt has been made by Israel in more than 40 years to expel the Arabs from their lawfully-owned property or to move Jews into their homes.

No mention will be made, in whatever report the UNRHC concocts, of Hamas’ practice of storing its weapons in civilian areas, and even in civilian buildings, such as schools, hospitals, houses and apartment buildings, and mosques – an attempt to use civilians as shields against Israeli attack. Finally, the Israeli practice of warning inhabitants of buildings that are soon to be attacked, through telephone calls, leafletting, and the “knock-on-the-roof” technique, will either go unmentioned, or be belittled as insufficient. That Israel managed to hit 1,600 targets, and to be responsible for at most 50-70 civilians in an area as densely-populated as Gaza, testifies both to the astonishing precision of Israeli pilots, without precedent in the history of modern warfare, and to the great care that was given to minimizing civilian casualties by warning Palestinians – civilians and fighters alike — well in advance of impending attack, sometimes giving them as much as one or two hours to leave. Residents of the Jala building, for example, where Hamas’ intelligence and weapons development offices were located, along with the offices of both AP and Al Jazeera, were warned by Israel to leave a full hour before the attack was to be launched They all did leave in time; there were no casualties. In order to warn civilians the IAF was willing to let some important Hamas operatives escape. The IDF believes that many of the civilian casualties in Gaza – possibly 60 of them – were caused by Hamas itself, when 640 of its own rockets malfunctioned, fell short, and landed not in Israel, but in Gaza.

None of this, of course, will be included in the UNHCR report. Israeli “war crimes” will be the sole subject, beginning with the “unprovoked attacks” by Israeli police on “peaceful” demonstrators on the Temple Mount, the “police invading the Al-Aqsa mosque,” the attacks by “Jewish mobs on innocent Arabs in Jerusalem,” the attempt by Israel to evict Palestinians from the houses their families “have lived in for centuries” in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and then the unacceptably “”disproportionate” bombardment, by the IAF, over 11 days, of the nearly helpless Palestinians who “want only to be left alone to live in peace.” Those “nearly helpless Palestinians,” let’s not forget, started the war with a volley of several hundred rockets aimed at civilian targets, including Jerusalem.

As for those 4,350 rockets that Hamas ultimately fired at Israel, the Israelis really shouldn’t be complaining. After all, 90% of them were shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome. What’s the big deal? How dare Israel act as if it is the injured party, when in its pilots managed to hit 1,600 targets, and cause far more damage than Hamas managed to achieve? The UNHCR report will no doubt make clear that this mismatch between mighty Israel and the nearly-helpless Hamas was most unfair. Being the stronger party, with better bomb shelters and anti-missile defenses, Israel must, be unambiguously condemned by the UNHCR. And, of course, it will be. The U.N. Human Rights Commission can do no other.

First published in Jihad Watch.

Posted on 05/31/2021 6:07 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 30 May 2021
Notre-Dame for Muslims or 'foreign interference'? New mega mosque stirs controversy in France

I keep seeing controversy about the huge new mosque in Strasbourg; this at the Telegraph sets it out comprehensively.

The Turkish diaspora group behind the Strasbourg project has come under fire despite the urgent need for bigger Muslim places of worship. . . with a prayer capacity of 2,500 and boasting an annex housing a school, restaurant, library and 14 shops, the new Eyyup Sultan mosque is destined to become one of Europe’s largest.

On its website, owners Milli Gorus (National Vision), a Turkish diaspora organisation, trumpet that the Ottoman-style edifice will be “comparable in symbolism“ to Notre-Dame de Strasbourg, the world’s oldest Gothic cathedral and one of the tallest.

However, in recent weeks, a row over the funding of the mosque has seen President Emmanuel Macron’s government accuse it of symbolising something far less flattering, namely “foreign interference” against its attempts to build an apolitical “Islam of France” and to stamp out Islamist “separation”.

With France reeling from a spate of terror attacks - the most recent this week in which a known radical stabbed a policewoman before being shot dead - tackling Islamism has become a hot button issue, particularly ahead of this month’s regional elections and next year’s presidential ballot where Mr Macron is polling to once again to face far-Right leader Marine Le Pen.

The controversy erupted in March after Strasbourg’s Green mayor accepted a request from Mr Sahin (mosque president Eyup Sahin and regional head of Milli Gorus) for a €2.5m subsidy out of a total budget of €32m. While the rest of France bans public funding of new religious buildings, Alsace and Moselle can do so due to a separate status dating back to when it was part of Germany.

Given all the furore, he said that he had withdrawn his request for funding for now. “We may ask for it at a later date but with all the media coverage, our donations have shot up so we are hopeful of getting back on track,” he said.

One mosque-goer, 25-year old engineer Omer Turhan, said: “I have studied in the UK and I can say that it’s far easier to practice one’s faith there in peace. Here, there is growing pressure from the far-Right..."

Posted on 05/30/2021 1:16 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 30 May 2021
Ministers fear revival of Islamist extremism could be fuelling rise in anti-Semitism

A resurgence of Islamist extremism could be fuelling the increase in anti-Semitism on Britain's streets, ministers fear.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Robert Jenrick, the Communities Secretary, said recent incidents of anti-Jewish hate showed "signs of something more pernicious" than "casual anti-Semitism" and warned of "extremist groups operating in our midst". In that interview  Robert Jenrick asserts that the tide of 'woke' as shown by the campaign to topple historic statues and monuments, has turned. The comments generally think this is a premature claim, although it is good that he has noticed that something (much) is wrong. 

He pledged that the Government will "redouble its efforts" to deal with extremism, which will include ensuring that bodies such as police forces must "fully understand their responsibilities and [do] everything they can to tackle it".

Mr Jenrick's intervention came after Boris Johnson condemned the "shameful racism" of anti-Jewish abuse shouted from a car travelling through north London earlier this month. 

Separately, some protestors at pro-Palestine marches held placards displaying Nazi symbols and other anti-Jewish material. On Saturday, a synagogue in Luton advised its members to stay away from a pro-Palestine rally taking place in the town.

Amid growing government concern about a possible resurgence of Islamist extremism, The Telegraph understands that William Shawcross, the official reviewer of Prevent, the Government's anti-extremism programme, is examining links between Islamist activity and anti-Semitic incidents across the country.

Sir John Jenkins, the former diplomat who led a government review of the Muslim Brotherhood Islamist network in 2015, said that there are "warning signs flashing everywhere" about the presence of Islamist extremists in Britain, urging the Government to "grasp the nettle". 

Mr Jenrick's remarks came as it emerged that Usman Khan was able to carry out the Fishmongers' Hall terror attack in 2019 despite having a reputation as a dangerous extremist that led to the nickname "High Risk Khan". I have not posted about that yet; a great deal to take in. 

Asked whether Britain was experiencing a resurgence of the sort of Islamist extremism highlighted by David Cameron more than a decade ago, Mr Jenrick said: "I think we have to be alive to that, because some of the themes we've seen in recent weeks are more than just casual anti-Semitism, or people who don't understand what anti-Semitism is, and drift into it by accident.  "I think there were signs of something more pernicious – of extremism. . ."

Evidence submitted to Mr Shawcross's review by the Community Security Trust (CST), which monitors anti-Semitic incidents, warns that "anti-Semitism can be a warning sign of extremism that threatens not only Jews but the whole of society". The CST has warned of "a pattern of historically high anti-Semitic incident figures in recent years". 

On Friday, Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, urged schools to act to counter a recent "abhorrent" spike in anti-Semitic incidents. In a letter to head teachers and school leaders, Mr Williamson warned of a risk of an "atmosphere of intimidation or fear" in some institutions.

Sir John criticised Mr Williamson for failing, until Friday, to step in to defend teachers such as the staff member at Batley Grammar . . The Telegraph has also learnt that there is mounting concern within the Government and among education leaders that "opportunist" pressure groups are jumping on disputes within schools to try and escalate tensions. (eg Allerton Grange in Leeds)

Posted on 05/30/2021 10:54 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 30 May 2021
The surfeit of politeness? Rutgers' apology to anti-Semites is bizarre, and sick

by Lev Tsitrin

Empathy and sensitivity are, needless to say, highly commendable; yet there can be too much of a good thing. "Rutgers University chancellor, provost apologize after speaking out against increase in anti-Semitism" offers a fascinating instance of sensitivity overload.

In a nutshell, here is what apparently happened: Rutgers sent out an e-mail to its student body expressing alarm at the rise of anti-Semitic incidents and advising Jewish students on how to report instances of anti-Semitism on campus.

Apparently, there was blow-back, and the next day an apology was sent out, acknowledging that the prior e-mail "failed to communicate support for our Palestinian community members," and affirming "condemnation of all forms of bigotry and hatred, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia."

There is a good deal to unpack here. Firstly, why would anyone object to a condemnation of anti-Semitism, unless they are themselves anti-Semites? Rutgers' apology was thus issued to placate the very anti-Semites (or, as the apology letter put it, "our Palestinian community members" and their supporters-- who were apparently outraged at Israel for defending itself against the rocket fire from Gaza) whom the original e-mail condemned.

That's schizophrenic. Why apologize to people you condemn? Having gotten some flack from them, why not show them the error of their ways? Why not send a follow-up saying "we see from the response that not all on campus got the memo that anti-Semitism is wrong and unacceptable and that we won't tolerate it?" Why include anti-Semites into "our vibrant diversity" when they don't recognize Jews as fellow human beings? Why cravenly "take the lesson learned here to heart, and pledge our commitment to doing better"? What lesson did you learn from anti-Semitic howls you must have received in response to your e-mail, Rutgers? How is coddling to anti-Semites "better" than, yet again, condemning them?

And why the ritualistic putting of "anti-Semitism and Islamophobia" on the same line, as if they were one and the same -- when in fact they are fundamentally different? Anti-Semitism is attributing to Jews the nefarious intentions they don't have, and the actions they did not commit. The medieval blood libel of accusing Jews of ritually using Christian blood, is one such myth. The coordinated attempt to take over the world, as "recorded" in the notorious "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," is another. Anti-Semitism is based on myths that have no real existence, myths the are engendered by, and dwell in, the anti-Semite's own sick mind -- it is a self-imagined, self-sustained, outrage. An anti-Semite sees in a Jew the physical incarnation of his deep-seated fears and insecurities; he looks at a Jew -- a biped just like himself -- but sees a fire-breathing dragon instead. Anti-Semitism is irrational and sick.

Islamophobia, however, is a result of very recent, actual experience of a well-justified fear, a rational fear which started with the attack of 9/11, and kept reinforcing itself with attacks all over the world -- in Spain, England, France, Belgium, the Philippines, attacks that accompany Islamists' idolatrous claims to "true faith" that to them justifies their vision of world-wide domination, to be gained by intimidating us into submission. It is a fear of suicide bombers, it is a fear of Iran's ayatollahs, of ISIS, of al Qaeda, of another 9/11. This fear is not irrational at all. If anti-Semitism is an irrational fear of dragons that has been transferred onto humans, irrational not least because dragons don't exist, "Islamophobia" is very much akin to a fear of crocodiles. Crocodiles do exist -- and we better stay away from them, for our own safety. "Anti-Semitism" and "Islamophobia" don't belong in the same line any more that dragons and crocodiles do: one is a fairy-tale myth, another, a zoological fact. The former needs not give us shivers, the latter, very much should.

We live among many dangers, and it is important to be able to tell them apart, and be rational about them. Acting against innocent people because one is scared of a myth -- as anti-Semites do -- should be condemned, and Rutgers' initial e-mail served that purpose well. Apologizing to those who see their pet mythology of a demonic Jew assailed, as Rutger's follow-up apology did, has no useful purpose at all; nor does its equation of the fact and the myth, evident in the equal sign placed between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. No institution of learning, Rutgers including, should engage in coddling up to what is worst in humanity -- an irrational surrender to a sick mythology -- at the expense of a clear vision of what is right, and what is wrong, of what is the fact, and what is fiction.

A university is no a place for factual relativism. It is a place of enlightening, not darkening the mind -- and its leaders should not apologize to anti-Semites, those forces of deep, irrational darkness.

Posted on 05/30/2021 6:09 AM by Lev Tsitrin
Sunday, 30 May 2021
Seeking Sense On Culture

by Michael Curtis

In every generation objects of the past tend to be devalued by those ardent on enforcing their own judgement of the past and cancelling part of it. Today, monuments and individuals are being displaced on the contention they ae incompatible with present day values and ideas, and irrelevant to changes in politics and international relations. Long ago, there were scapegoats, sent into the wilderness after the sins of the people were laid on them. Now, scapegoats tend to be the objects of prejudice and the victims of cancel culture by those blaming others for present or past problems. They are the victims of those eager to limit or suppress free expression by shaming or ostracizing or demonizing the culprits, who may be seen as “evil.”

The concept of “culture wars” was propounded, if not coined, by James Davison Hunter in his book, Culture Wars, 1991, to suggest not simply disagreements but a perception of two incompatible views, originally orthodox and progressive, of the culture which existed. In recent years this difference in perception has underlaid a variety of disparate political and social issues. Social media has emphasized the expression of these points of view and the conflict for dominance of values, beliefs, practices.  Because of its prevalence, the debatable issue is whether cancel culture is a tool of social justice or a form of willful intimidation.

The main issues in the present culture wars are race, slavery, ethnicity, empire. These cultural divisions are present in discussion of many organizations, and in historical interpretation. A few cases are here discussed.

 Let’s start with the theater. The Globe, the reconstructed Elizabethan playhouse on London’s South Bank is preparing to “decolonize” the plays of Shakespeare, addressing the “problematic gendered and racialized dynamics of his plays.” For the planners at the Globe, Shakespeare is the promulgator of “whiteness:” white/fair connotes good, and black, dark connotes bad. In this, there is no indication whether Shakespeare, say in A Midsummer Night’s Dream or the Tempest was expressing the prejudices of his time, or drawing attention to racial injustices and racial stereotypes, or colonialism.

Cancel culture and woke politics has affected other British elite institutions.  One example is a website report and support that was set up by the University of Cambridge, but which, after criticism, was temporarily removed after a few days. The website purported to create a community which nurtured a culture of mutual respect and consideration for all.

According to the now deleted web page, the report allowed students to “anonymously” report   teachers for “micro-aggressions.” These were defined as slights, indignities, putdowns, and insults against minority groups. Among the offences mentioned were: turning one’s back or raising  an eyebrow when a black person is speaking; giving backhanded compliments, or calling a woman a girl; behavioral or verbal slights; changes in body language when responding to those of a particular characteristic . In general, the report argued that this form of  behavior would communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to persons based solely on their group membership. 

However, critics can regard this website as a threat to traditions of free speech. Indeed, the Cambridge vice-chancellor admitted the list was a mistake, and a new website was put up. The anonymous reporting tool was eliminated, but students and staff can make “named reports” about inappropriate behavior by others. The danger still remains of a system of controlling speech and daily interactions.

By its proposals for reporting micro-aggressions, Cambridge is following Oxford whose equality and diversity unit in 2017 issued similar guidance. In this advice, issues mentioned were not looking someone properly in the eye, or asking someone from a minority background where they are “really” from.

Oxford University used to be indecisive, now it’s not so sure. No final decision has been made in Oxford where in 2017 its equality and diversity unit introduced rules to protect oppressed minorities, forbidding behavior such as not looking someone properly in the eye, or asking someone from a minority background where they really came from. After a considerable number of protests, calling for the removal from Oriel College, Oxford, of the statue of Cecil Rhodes, the philanthropist and prominent imperialist who had called for the British Empire to seize control of much of South Africa, an independent commission was set up to examine the future of Rhodes. The majority of the commission and the leader of the Oxford city council, voted to remove the statue, a decision that the College accepted. But on May 23, 2021, the governing board of the College changed its mind, and stated the controversial statue would not be taken down, ostensibly because of the complex challenges, the length of time, and costs in its removal.

It has become axiomatic since the death of George Floyd that names of individuals said to be involved in racism or slavery or colonialism would be removed from institutions and monuments where they are being honored. As a result, in the U.S., Confederate flags and statues have been removed in many cities. So have statues of Christopher Columbus, whose former October holiday is now Indigenous People’s Day. Statues of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington who are among those possibly flawed persons, are being considered for demolition. 

The latest possibly flawed individual in the U.S. is John Marshall, fourth Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court 1801-1835. As the result of newly discovered research in May 2021, the board of trustees of University of Illinois decided to remove his name from the John Marshall Law school in Chicago. The U of I proclaimed it will continue to be a place where “diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity” are supported and advanced. 

Marshall can be considered as one of the most, if not the most, consequential jurist in American history. All recognize the importance of his decision in Marbury v. Madison, 1803. that upheld the principle of judicial review, whereby courts can strike down federal and state laws if they conflict with the Constitution. He declared the basic principle that the federal judiciary is supreme in the exposition of the law of the Constitution.

But for the U of I, Marshall is a flawed person, a slave owner of hundreds of slaves, holder of racist views, whose court decisions supported slavery. It therefore voted against him.

In the UK similar purification of the supposed undesirables is occurring. The list is growing. Liverpool University has renamed its Gladstone building. The great 19th century, four times prime minister, and reformer, is a new member of the hit list because he spoke in Parliament at the age of 23 in defense of the slave trade in which his family had an interest. Forgotten or ignored is the fact he soon opposed the slave trade. Churchill College, Cambridge recently held a conference at which the great leader and founder of the College was denounced for racism.

The latest villain is Adam Smith, author of The Wealth of Nations, and the “father of capitalism.” In response to the BLM movement his grave in Edinburgh is on the list of sites of those linked to historic racial injustice. Smith, who had written that slavery was evil and inhumane, is apparently listed because he had not campaigned for the abolition of slavery.

At another elite institution. a rebellion by a group Restore Trust in May 2021 has halted the effort to tarnish, even demonize, British history being advanced by the National Trust, the charity whose official objective is to promote the preservation and public access to building and places, of historic or architectural interest and land of natural beauty under its protection. However, in September 2020 the Trust published a 115-page report which indicated that 93 of its estates had links to the UK’s colonial and slavery past. The report can be seen as a weapon of identity politics.

The Restore Trust held that the National Trust had lost sight of its real purpose, and was preoccupied with the views of a woke minority. More than 50 members of the NT said they had no confidence in the leadership of the chairman of the board, Tim Parker. He, and three other senior figures who were said to have a “highly woke agenda,” were forced to quit. The direction of the agenda of Mr. Parker seemed obvious but is somewhat befuddled. He had written approvingly of the BLM movement as a human rights movement with no political party affiliations, but at the virtual annual meeting of the NT on November 2020   he said “we are not members of BLM.”

A sensible view has come from UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden who called for cultural institutions to adopt a more balanced view of Britain’s history. That history is one of moral complexity, and one should not be selective, neither air brushing or whitewashing the past, nor denigrating the history. One should explain and “contextualize” problematic public statues or historical objects rather than removing them from display.  

Posted on 05/30/2021 5:58 AM by Michael Curtis
Sunday, 30 May 2021
Mysterious Explosions Remind Iran That Mossad Neither Slumbers Nor Sleeps

by Hugh Fitzgerald

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh claims a great “victory” in Gaza, and Iran’s Supreme Leader similarly gloats over the lesson the “axis of resistance” has taught the Zionists. Both men are hallucinating, overlooking the reality that Hamas’ weapons stockpiles, especially its rockets, have been greatly depleted, much of its extensive tunnel network has been destroyed, its command-and control centers, intelligence offices, weapons warehouses, all razed to the ground. During the 11-day conflict, the IDF destroyed more than 6,500 terrorist targets, including Hamas and PIJ operational headquarters, weapon production sites and arsenals, and over 100 kilometers (62 miles) of Hamas’ infamous grid of terror tunnels. At least 225 terrorists were killed in the strikes, including 25 senior Hamas and PIJ commanders. The Israeli military predicts that it will be many years – some say it could be as many as 10 years – for Hamas to return to its prewar strength.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Mossad neither slumbers nor sleeps. A few days after Israel announced it had shot down an Iranian armed drone on its border with Jordan, the world learned of a mysterious explosion at an Iranian drone factory in Isfahan. The report is here: “Report: Facility in Iran Used for Drone Manufacturing Hit by Explosion That Injured Nine, Days After Israel Downs Iranian UAV,” by Sharon Wrobel, Algemeiner, May 24, 2021:

An explosion was reported at a complex in Iran that houses a drone factory, several days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled to European foreign ministers parts from an Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that had been downed during clashes with the Hamas militant group.

The explosion, which reportedly occurred on Sunday at a petrochemical factory complex in Isfahan, injured at least nine workers. According to The Guardian, the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA), which it said is located in the complex owned by Sepahan Nargostar Chemical Industries, produces a variety of aircraft and drones for Iranian and pro-Iranian forces.

Iran has not provided any information on the source of the explosion or the extent of the damage to the factory. The incident comes after Netanyahu revealed on Thursday that during the hostilities with the Hamas, “Iran sent an armed drone from Iraq or Syria, which our forces intercepted on the border between Israel and Jordan, and that I think says everything on the true patron of terror in the Middle East and in the world: Iran.”

During the conflict, the Israeli army also shot down a so-called armed suicide drone carrying explosives, launched by the Hamas at Israeli territory….

Do you have any doubt that Mossad was behind the attack on Iran’s drone factory? The “mysterious explosion” came just a few days after Israel had shot down an Iranian drone on its border with Jordan. It also came just as Yossi Cohen, Mossad’s spectacularly successful director, is turning over his duties to his successor, David Barnea; possibly this drone factory explosion was Cohen’s last hurrah, a way of reminding Iran that while Israel was for 11 days focused on trouncing Hamas in Gaza, Iran was always in Mossad’s thoughts.

A day later (that is, the day after the drone factory explosion), there was another mysterious explosion, this one at an oil refinery on the coast. The report on that second likely act of Israeli sabotage is here: “Iran: Large fire reported at oil refinery, day after drone factory blast,” by Tzvi Joffre, Jerusalem Post, May 25, 2021:

A large fire was reported at the Kangan Petro Refining Co. (KPRC) in southern Iran along the coast of the Persian Gulf on Monday, just a day after an explosion reportedly impacted a drone factory in the center of the country.

According to Iranian media, a fire at the waste warehouse at KPRC was contained and extinguished within an hour and no operational units were damaged. No injuries were reported in the fire….

The Iranian government, experience has shown, routinely under-reports its own casualties and minimizes the damage inflicted on its facilities by Mossad. The public may never know how extensive the damage was done to the drone factory or to the oil refinery or to many other targets of “mysterious attacks” that have plagued Iran during the last decade with ever greater frequency. But Mossad – which I think Is almost certainly to have been responsible both for this oil refinery fire and for the explosion at the drone factory just the day before – has reminded Iran’s government, yet again, of what Israel’s extensive network of agents in Iran can do.

And on May 26, Iranian state media reported on still a third explosion, this one at an oxygen pipeline in a petrochemical plant in Assaluyeh on Iran’s Gulf coast. There was no mention of its cause.

In these three cases, the Iranians surely know who is responsible. But they don’t want to talk about Mossad’s exploits. They’ll try to accentuate the positive by, for example, continuing to hail the crushing defeat of Hamas in the 11-day war as a “great victory.” But they’ve been badly rattled.

A parting word of advice to the Supreme Leader: “Those who watch over Israel neither slumber nor sleep.”

First published in Jihad Watch.

Posted on 05/30/2021 5:48 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 29 May 2021
Podcast: Jordan Peterson with Theodore Dalrymple

Posted on 05/29/2021 7:24 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 29 May 2021
Hamas Admits the Truth About Israel and Those ‘Civilian’ Casualties

by Hugh Fitzgerald

On the first day, May 10, of Operation Guardian of the Walls, Hamas claimed that Israel had been killing civilians. Here is the report: “Hamas Tacitly Admits That Israel Is Only Hitting Military Targets,” Elder of Ziyon, May 11, 2021:

The official Palestinian Authority (PA) Wafa news agency claimed on Monday night at 7:22 P.M.:

20 civilians, including 9 children, were killed this evening, Monday, in an Israeli raid on Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip.

Local sources told Wafa that the occupation planes held two bombing raids east of Beit Hanoun, and continued targeting our people in the Gaza Strip, which led to the death of 20 civilians, including 9 children, in addition to the injury of about 65 citizens, 3 of whom were seriously wounded, and were transferred to the Beit Hanoun and Indonesian Hospitals. In the northern Gaza Strip, some of them were transferred to Al-Shifa Hospital due to the seriousness of their injuries.

Our correspondent reported that violent raids by the Israeli warplanes targeted homes and civilian properties in different areas of the Gaza Strip, during which dozens of rockets and missiles were fired.

He confirmed that the raids targeted a group of citizens, a vehicle, a motorbike, and two homes in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, in addition to an Israeli missile strike in a yard behind the Al-Omari Mosque in the town of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, and a shell fell on a house [of] the Abdul Nabi family in the Al-Jarn area of the town, and the Al-Kashef land in its east was targeted.

Wow — it sounds like the Israeli Air Force (IAF) is only hitting civilians and civilian targets.

But then read this from Hamas at 9 PM:

Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, warned the Zionist enemy of a “strong, painful and above expectations” response if it bombed civilian facilities.

Abu Ubaidah, the Qassam spokesman, said in a tweet: “We warn the Zionist enemy that if they bomb civilian installations or homes for our people in Gaza, our response will be strong, painful and beyond the enemy’s expectations.” [emphasis added]

Sounds like Israel has only hit military targets….

Abu Ubaidah did not say that he was telling the Zionist enemy that they will now suffer because they have already hit civilian structures, but rather, offered the future conditional: that if Israel — in the future — were to hit civilian structures, then Hamas would make sure that Israeli civilians would suffer (of course, Hamas from its very first rocket barrage has aimed only at civilians). That’s a clear admission that, as of Abu Ubaidah’s tweet at 9 p.m., there had been no civilians killed in Gaza.

After the 11-day war ended, Mark Regev, an advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu, raised another aspect of Hamas’ claims about civilian casualties. The Israelis have determined that about 60 civilians were struck by Hamas’ own misfiring rockets, that never made it to Israel, but fell on Palestinians in Gaza. Regev’s remarks are given here: “Senior Netanyahu Adviser: ‘Many of the Casualties’ in Gaza Conflict Killed by Errant Hamas Rockets,” Algemeiner, May 24, 2021:

Mark Regev, senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said in a Sunday interview that “many” of the Gaza casualties in the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas were caused by rockets fired by the Palestinian militant group that fell short in the Gaza Strip, rather than by Israeli military strikes.

“We tried … to hit the terrorists and not to see innocent people caught up in the crossfire,” Regev said on “Fox News Sunday” to host Chris Wallace. “And while our goal was to avoid civilian casualties, Hamas had actually the exact opposite goal … They were brutally abusing Gaza civilians as a human shield for their war machine. We know for a fact that many of the casualties in this operation were caused by Hamas munitions. Almost 20% of their rockets fell short, landing in Gaza, killing Gaza civilians.”

Since the conflict began on May 10, about 4,340 rockets were fired by Hamas from the Gaza Strip toward Israel, with at least 640 falling within Gaza, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The clashes claimed the lives of 12 Israelis, including one IDF soldier. According to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, about 240 Palestinians were killed, a count that Israeli officials have called into question.

“We don’t know if these figures are reliable and include only civilians,” said a senior IDF official on Friday. “Past experience has shown that Hamas takes great effort to conceal numbers and the identity of the casualties for example by removing militant insignia from the dead bodies when they are being evacuated.”

After 11 days of fighting, Israel and Hamas entered into an unconditional ceasefire that took effect Friday 2 a.m. local time.

Ultimately, in the operation we gave Hamas a heavy blow,” said Regev in the Sunday interview. “We dismantled a large part of their terrorist-military machine. We took out part of their leadership. We hit their command and control. Hopefully they will think twice even three times before they strike at Israel again.”

Hamas has not yet admitted how many – Israel says 640 — of its rockets fell short and landed in Gaza, killing dozens of civilians. Perhaps it has decided not to admit to such massive malfunctioning. It also is careful to remove insignia from the uniforms of its dead fighters before showing them to the foreign media. Thus do Hamas fighters metamorphose into dead civilians. The foreign press, already so biased against Israel, allows itself to be deceived.

The data so far suggest the following casualties: on one side, 12 Israelis were killed, of whom 11 were civilians, which certainly suggests Hamas was trying to harm Israeli civilians; 700 Israeli civilians were also wounded. On the other side, Israel reports having killed 200 Hamas and PIJ fighters. including 25 senior commanders of both Hamas and PIJ. The IDF believes, according to Mark Regev, that about 60 Palestinian civilians were victims of Hamas’ own malfunctioning rockets that fell in Gaza. Hamas says that 243 Palestinians, civilians and fighters, were killed. Even if the figures given are not exact, needing slight corrections up or down, the overall picture is clear. If we accept Israel’s figure about the number of Hamas figures it killed – 200 – and Hamas’ claim that 243 Gazans had died, that means there were only 43 civilian casualties. In 11 days of fighting, with more than 1,600 targets hit by Israeli airstrikes in the thickly-populated Gaza Strip, with Hamas’ weapons, Hamas intelligence offices, command and control centers, hidden among and in civilian buildings, to result in a total of only 43 civilian dead – or of twice, or even three time that number– is an astonishing feat of precision bombing, likely never before equalled in the history of modern warfare.

When you are pressed by enemies of Israel to justify “all those civilian casualties” to which they so airily refer, provide them with both the Israeli and Hamas estimates of fighters and civilians killed, mention how many — 640 — of those Hamas rockets that were aimed at Israel instead fell on civilians in Gaza, explain what our experience with the data provided by each side after the three previous Gaza wars has taught us about the relative trustworthiness of the IDF’s figures, as compared to those dispensed by Hamas. And then quote to them what the head of UNRWA in Gaza, Matthias Schmale, has said about Israel’s airstrikes: “I have the impression there is a huge sophistication in the way the Israeli military struck over the 11 days,” Schmale said. “Yes they didn’t hit, with some exceptions, civilian targets, but the viciousness, the ferocity of those strikes were heavily felt.” Naturally, his pointing out the “sophistication” — i.e., precision — of the IAF attacks, and that the IAF “didn’t hit, with some exceptions, civilian targets” has caused the Palestinians to erupt in fury. They want Schmale fired. How dare someone working for UNRWA admit even once that Israel was not targeting civilians? Clearly, Palestinians cannot bear too much reality. And they needn’t worry: having, in a single explosion of candor, told the truth, Schmale has now been asking forgiveness from the Palestinians who want his scalp, by returning to the usual anti-Israel boilerplate. But for one brief shining moment, he managed, nolens-volens, to tell the truth about the Gaza war.

First published in Jihad Watch.

Posted on 05/29/2021 7:03 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 29 May 2021
OUCH! - Das Kapital

collected by Reg Green

One left-of-center European politician was rarely to be seen without a copy of Das Kapital under his arm, a Communist colleague commented approvingly, adding, however, that it was doubtful how much Marxism could be absorbed through the armpit. 

Posted on 05/29/2021 6:06 AM by Reg Green
Friday, 28 May 2021
Three police officers injured in attack by ‘radicalised’ man in north west France

From the French edition of The Local and  Reuters 

A radicalised French ex-prisoner on a watch list of potential terrorist threats stabbed a policewoman inside her station in western France on Friday before being killed in a shoot-out with police, a government minister said. He took the officer’s gun before fleeing.

He was captured around three hours after the attack, after shooting two of the officers trying to arrest him. They were shot in the arm and hand and their condition is not reported to be life-threatening. The victim was seriously wounded but expected to survive, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said.

The assailant had been released from prison in March following an eight-year sentence for violent crime and was on a security services register for individuals who might pose a terrorism risk. A police source told AFP that he was “radicalised and suffering from a very serious psychiatric illness.”

"He was flagged in 2016 for a strict practice of Islam, for radicalisation," Darmanin told reporters after visiting the police station in Chapelle-sur-Erdre, near Nantes, where the attack occurred. At this stage the motive for the attack is not known and the anti-terror police are not involved.

Do me a favour...

Posted on 05/28/2021 3:38 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 28 May 2021
The New York Times Becomes More Demonic Every Day

by Phyllis Chesler

It’s erev Shabbat. I deserve a rest
of some kind. We all do. But no. I sit down, open my home town version of Pravda—and see that there’s no respite, no letting go, still no even-handedness, still no context, no expertise.

Today, May 28th, the front page, front and center, there are 66 photos of innocent, sweet, dead children’s faces, eight rows across and eight rows down all, in color. With one exception, they are all children who lived in Gaza. The photo-montage is titled “They Were Just Children.” Three brief sentences follow: “At least 67 people under age 18 in Gaza and 2 in Israel were killed during this month’s conflict, according to initial reports. They had wanted to be doctors, artists, and leaders. Read their stories, Pages A 10-11.” (One photo is missing).

Four of the male faces are described as being sixteen or seventeen years old. Many boys are between thirteen—sixteen years old. Three of the girls are wearing hijab and their ages range from 13-17. A Bedouin girl, age 17, is not pictured. Two photos display two faces. One child’s face is missing. Only one Israeli child, 5-year-old Ido Avigal of Sderot is mentioned.

The Times does not mention that Hamas rockets often fell short and killed their own civilian “human shields,” nor does it mention that Hamas trains children as young as five years old to hold and fire guns, throw rocks, carry daggers. Perhaps these photo depict the only children in Gaza who had no Hamas-style paramilitary training, no indoctrination into hatred.

No doubt, Hamas, pro-Palestinian human rights groups, and Gaza parents provided these photos.

The reporters at the Times are inciting riots by demanding our sympathy and outrage with their various headers: “Buried With Their Dreams and Nightmares,” and by showing us more photos of Gazan grief: A heavily hijabbed mother weeping over her dead son’s body; a scene of rubble in Gaza titled “Searching for victims of an Israeli air strike.” And: “The last drawing of Rafeef Abu Dayer, 10, before she was killed.”

The text: “An average 15-year-old in Gaza would have lived through four major Israeli offensives.” Not a word about Israel fighting back to defend its civilians from Hamas’s rockets. Israel is always, always, seen as the aggressor and on the “offensive.”

Then there’s this: “Many people in Gaza, however, say that whatever precautions Israel may be taking are tragically insufficient.” Not a word about Hamas’s use of children and civilians as human shields, not a phrase about Hamas’s failure to produce an Iron Dome of it’s own instead of terror tunnels and rockets with Iran’s support.

There’s more: Every child’s face is reproduced again on the two page spread together with their names, ages, and brief biographies. Further, the Times notes that mental health experts “who work with the children of Gaza say they commonly suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic fear and anxiety. Those feelings can produce debilitating nightmares and self-destructive or aggressive behavior.”

Not a single word about the children in Ashdod, Ashkelon, Sderot who also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder given that they have 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter after being warned; not a word about the children in Lod, Haifa, Ramle, the suburbs of Tel Aviv who experienced the sounds of rockets and rampaging Arab neighbor-mobs which burned down buildings and synagogues.

The fact that too few Jews were killed and that the Jewish state has the power to defend itself against terrorists is what has absolutely enraged the New York Times, the European Union, the United Nations, and the American government.

The Times has been issuing this same narrative day after day all during Hamas’s attack on Israel so that by now, those who’ve begun to attack Jews in the streets of America and Europe are all riled up.

And, in this same issue, Tzipi Livni is again calling for a two state solution—one that the Palestinian leadership, both on the West Bank and in Gaza, have continually rejected. Her piece is a “reasonable” one, it will appeal to “reasonable” people but not to terrorists who are determined to ethnically cleanse the Jews from the Holy Land.

Posted on 05/28/2021 9:45 AM by Phyllis Chesler
Friday, 28 May 2021
Police ‘covered up’ failings on child sex cases

Three very disturbing articles in The Times this morning. They are behind the paywall so I cannot repeat much here.  One heartening minor point is the comments; criticising the Times for two things. One despite being the newspaper that broke the atrocity in the first place they still tiptoe round the one thing that unites the rape gangs, ie their islamic ideology. And a mention to the work done by groups and individuals pilloried for being 'right wing' or racists for making the scale of these crimes better known.

It is true that statistically other religions and all major ethnicities commit crimes including sex crimes. What is different about the islamic gangs is their joint venturing, and their failure to see anything wrong. I know from my own time in the Court Service that a British or European sex offender or paedophile has to be careful as he identifies like minded perverts with whom he can work or swap gloats. They are furtive. They have ways to locate each other; one colleague insisted a pointer was their socks. She wasn't completely joking either. But many have been caught because their sense of who was a like-minded pervert was wrong and they were reported. 

The Islamic gangs are following a different mind set. Generations of razzia, dhimmitude, taking the possessions of their right hand give those so inclined a sense of entitlement. They don't have to send out arcane signals to find an accomplice; they have their brothers, their cousins (many, many cousins to the nth degree) their cronies at the taxi office, the kebab shop, the mosque and the shisha bar. That is the difference, and what makes the Islamic rape gangs a crime and menace apart. 

Back to the Times. Police ‘covered up’ failings on child sex cases

The police force at the centre of the Rotherham abuse scandal is among several accused of trying to cover up internal reports criticising their handling of child sexual abuse cases.

Nine months after The Times sent freedom of information (FOI) requests for the intelligence reports to all 45 of the UK’s territorial police forces, South Yorkshire police and 12 others have refused to disclose them.

Other forces such as the Metropolitan Police attempted to redact significant amounts of their reports but accidentally disclosed them in full. 

Sarah Champion, the Labour MP for Rotherham, said: “South Yorkshire police need to rebuild trust and that is through transparency. I am therefore very concerned that they are not being forthcoming with this information.”

Hertfordshire police attempted to redact a statement that there was “little evidence of the exploiters being investigated”.

The Metropolitan Police attempted to redact a section on “intelligence gaps” from its 2016 report, including that “the suspect field was blank in a quarter of offences making it difficult to provide an accurate figure for the number of perpetrators of CSE and their characteristics”.

A 2016 report on policing in London found that in one in four cases the suspect field was blank. It also described frustrations over “thresholds to accept an investigation being too high”.

I am sure that there is abuse in London. Eight million people - how can there not be? Of the few cases I have heard of several involved a girl from the suburbs being trafficked further out into Hertfordshire, Essex and Suffolk. 

Among the forces that failed to provide their reports was Thames Valley police, where 21 men were charged as part of investigations into a child sexual abuse ring in Oxford over the past decade. 

Other intelligence gaps included the role of social media and key information about victims including their ethnicity, and whether they had learning disabilities or were LGBT+.

Typical,highly recommended comment: Stop calling them ‘Asian grooming gangs’. We all know the ideology to which the attackers subscribe
Reply:  Too many euphemisms and not enough action

Police ‘failing to protect’ thousands of girls at risk of sexual abuse

Ten years after The Times exposed grooming gangs in Rotherham, children as young as 11 are still slipping through the system. South Yorkshire, which is responsible for Rotherham, cited “highly sensitive information” in its refusal to co-operate. 

Figures disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act show that since 2018 West Yorkshire police have recorded more than 5,500 cases of children going missing while believed to be at risk of sexual abuse. One of these children, whose identity cannot be revealed, was reported missing 197 times. 

Sarah Champion, the Labour MP for Rotherham, where mass offending by grooming gangs was exposed, said: “Going missing is the main early warning sign. Given police know this, the fact that some children are still going missing this often is shameful.”

A highly rated comment: What does society expect when it tolerates and protects an external culture that sees others as lesser beings to be exploited.

This is so important I wish it was more readily available. 

Girls groomed and filmed but attackers avoid justice

In video footage on her phone, Sarah is seen being sexually exploited by a group of men. The camera follows the teenager, who has learning disabilities, while the men can be heard laughing and taunting her.

Social services suspected that she had been sexually exploited by older men since the age of 13. Last year, she was reported missing repeatedly from her foster placement. On one occasion she was found with an older man in possession of drugs. They were both arrested for county lines-related offences.

Social services formally asked the police to prevent one of her abusers from seeing her but nothing was immediately done. Sarah subsequently began to invite friends with her to houses and parties run by older men, also putting them at risk of abuse.

“The police labelled her a groomer,” Minny said. “But this was probably just a 16-year-old girl trying to protect herself by surrounding herself with people who weren’t a threat to her.”

*Some names have been changed to protect the victims

There are half a dozen heart-breaking cases precised there. I take hope from the comments that public opinion is aware and changing. But not quickly enough. .

When men born abroad are convicted of this make sure they lose their right to remain. There is an enabling or frightened family behind the perpetrators.

Apparently it's no longer necessary to identify the ethnicity of the groomers because we all know anyway.

Many see what's going on, feel frustrated that they cannot speak about it openly for fear of being accused of hatred or bigotry, and get very angry. That anger then has to find some outlet. Unless we can have an open discussion about this and other problems, this is a powder keg waiting to blow. The anger doesn't magically disappear by silencing everyone.

Posted on 05/28/2021 5:25 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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