My hometown, Chicago, experiences daily murderous violence. In the week ending June 20, 17 murders of African American Chicagoans included the deaths of a 3-year-old toddler and a 13-year-old girl. The 17 homicides in a week surpassed the number of unarmed blacks killed by police nationally in 2019.
The Washington Post database on police violence reported that in the US in 2019 a total of nine black men and one black woman were unarmed victims of a police killing. That number is very small compared with the 382 African American murder victims in Chicago in 2019, as reported in the Chicago Sun-Times database. The 365 black males and 17 black females murder victims comprised 75% of all Chicago homicide victims.
The Sun-Times’ database recorded 290 Chicago homicides in the first 172 days of 2020 – more than one daily. Analysis of the database for the week of June 14-20, 2020 reveals the following:
25 murders were committed that week. All but one was a shooting (96%); one was a stabbing.
Victims’ age ranged from 3 years to 61 years, with the median age of 28. Three-year-old Mekay James was killed when a bullet, fired at the car in which he was riding, hit the little boy.
24 victims were male; the one female, Amaria Jones, age 13, was killed in her home by a stray bullet on the evening of Saturday, June 20.
About two-thirds (68%) of the week’s homicide victims were black, one was white, and seven were designated as “unknown” race.
The Bigger Picture
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes mortality statistics for causes of death for the US. For male “non-Hispanic blacks” age 1 through 19 years, homicide is the leading cause of death (35.2% of all deaths of this age group). That is 6.8 times the rate for white males. For “non-Hispanic blacks” 20-44 years of age, homicide is the leading cause of death (28.9% of all deaths). This is 9.9 times higher for black males than for white males.
CDC reports homicide as the 4th leading cause of death for African American males in the US for all ages. The lifetime risk for African American males to die by homicide is 5.0%.
What a senseless loss of life. Will little Mekay James, or young Amaria Jones, become known to the nation? Do their black lives matter? Some black lives seem to matter less than others.
Why doesn’t the city leadership seek help? Citizens of Chicago die by homicide nearly every day, mainly by gunfire.
On June 27, a 22-month old African American boy, Sincere Gaston, was shot in the chest and killed in his car seat as his mother drove home from a laundromat. A 10-year old Native American girl, Lena Nunez, was shot in the head and killed by a stray bullet in her home. As of Monday, June 29, homicides in Chicago have risen to 319 in 2020.
Carol Sebastian is a nurse administrator in a Midwestern US town. She was born in Chicago, and lived in the area for 25 years. She attempts to apply Christian faith and Western tradition to current problems, and believes in reform rather than revolution.
Egypt, Jordan Will Only Symbolically Condemn Israel
by Hugh Fitzgerald
President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi and Jordanian King Abdullah
There are those who keep warning the Israelis not to declare their sovereignty in parts of Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”), lest all hell break loose in the Arab states. There are others who claim that very little will in fact happen: a pro-forma denunciation from Arab states, but no breaking of peace treaties, and no ending of security cooperation with the Jewish state.
All the signs suggest that the latter scenario – with some sound, but not much fury — is more likely. The report-at Israel Hayom is here.
Although it still wasn’t clear whether Israel will declare sovereignty in parts of Judea and Samaria on July 1, talks between Israel and moderate Sunni countries were continuing in earnest behind the scenes.
Senior Arab diplomatic officials, along with senior defense and intelligence officials in Egypt and Jordan, confirmed to Israel Hayom on Monday [June 22] that over the past several weeks – ahead of the planned implementation of Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria and Jordan Valley – intensive diplomatic activity was taking place between Israel and moderate Arab countries. The purpose of these diplomatic efforts was to reach an agreement on the nature and scope of the response from Sunni Arab countries, chief among them Egypt and Jordan, which have peace treaties with Israel – if and when Israel applies sovereignty.
According to those Arab officials, senior intelligence and defense officials were engaging in the talks under a heavy veil of secrecy.
One senior Arab diplomat said Mossad chief Yossi Cohen and the head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service Abbas Kamal were spearheading the talks, and that in recent meetings agreed that Israel would implement its sovereignty plan while Arab countries would voice their formal objections to the initiative – without significantly damaging diplomatic relations between the countries.
A senior Egyptian official told Israel Hayom this week that Palestinian concerns about the nature of Cairo’s response to Israel’s sovereignty bid were justified because Cohen and Kamal have already agreed in principle over the scope and tone of Egypt’s response. Egyptian defense officials have even been able to persuade their Jordanian counterparts to recommend to Jordanian King Abdullah II to suffice with declarative condemnation of the Israeli initiative and eschew operative steps that would harm the peace accord with Israel….
This report has the distinct ring of truth. Egypt benefits too much from its security cooperation with Israel to want to do more than issue a pro-forma denunciation of any Israeli extension of sovereignty in the West Bank. Now that Israel has proven to be such a valuable ally for Egypt in its battles against the Muslim Brotherhood, including its Gazan branch Hamas, and against the Islamic State fighters (who remain murderously active in the Sinai, where in just one attack – among so many they have carried out — they killed 305 mosque worshippers), Egypt has no desire to end that cooperation. Furthermore, Egypt worries about the encroachments of Shi’a Iran on Sunni Arab peoples, through proxies and allies in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, and realizes that Israel remains Iran’s most effective and implacable enemy.
At the same time that Israel has proven its worth as an ally of Egypt, the Palestinian Arabs are increasingly seen in a far less favorable light by Cairo. The Egyptians have grown increasingly impatient with the Palestinians. They feel they have done quite enough for them, having fought three wars with Israel on their behalf, costing Egypt a great deal in men, money, and materiel (including having almost its entire air force wiped out in June 1967), without any discernible display of gratitude from the Palestinians.
A senior Egyptian official told Israel Hayom this week that Palestinian concerns about the nature of Cairo’s response to Israel’s sovereignty bid were justified because Cohen and Kamal have already agreed in principle over the scope and tone of Egypt’s response. Egyptian defense officials have even been able to persuade their Jordanian counterparts to recommend to Jordanian King Abdullah II to suffice [sic] with declarative condemnation of the Israeli initiative and eschew operative steps that would harm the peace accord with Israel.
Jordan, like Egypt, benefits from Israeli security cooperation against the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups inside Jordan that are opposed to the monarchy, and against the threat of Iranian intelligence groups in Jordan that King Abdullah has been warning about since 2004. Jordan will coordinate with, and follow the lead of, Egypt, in its response to any extension by Israel of sovereignty in the West Bank. The King will formally protest, but as the article in Israel Hayom makes clear, he will do no more.
But the Egyptians have gone further and helped fashion Jordan’s formal response as well. Defense officials in Cairo have, according to the report of an unnamed “senior Egyptian official,” persuaded Jordanian security officers to recommend to King Abdullah that he should follow Egypt’s lead. That is, he, too, should issue a pro-forma condemnation of Israel’s extension of sovereignty, but not actually do anything that could damage the peace treaty with Israel.
The latest move by the Palestinians is to try to involve Turkey in the campaign to prevent, or punish, Israel for any extension of its sovereignty in the West Bank. Mahmoud Abbas has appealed to President Erdogan to “spearhead” an opposition to the Israeli sovereignty plans. How exactly that would work is unclear, given the Arabs’ historic memory of mistreatment by the Ottoman Turks. Just how unpopular Erdogan is among the Arabs became clear in 2018, when he proposed that a pan-Islamic army be raised – headed by Turkey — to defeat Israel, and not a single Arab state bothered to respond.
This appeal by Abbas to Turkey to head an Arab opposition has enraged the Egyptians, not only because it plays to Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman fantasies, of being the natural leader of the Muslims, but because right now Egypt and Turkey are at war in Libya through proxies, with Egypt backing the Libyan National Army of General Haftar, and Turkey backing the Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Fawaz al-Sarraj. That conflict could become a direct war if Turkish forces were to cross the “red lines” at Sirte that General El-Sisi has warned Turkey about. Jordan, too, regards Erdogan’s plans to project Turkish strength in North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean with deep misgivings. The Palestinians, by appealing to Erdogan, have only reinforced the desire in Cairo and Amman to let Mahmoud Abbas and his fellows fend for themselves, and have done with the Palestinian imbroglio that for Egypt and Jordan has brought nothing but trouble. For Egypt, Turkey has become, with its interference in Libya, its main immediate worry. And in Libya, as in the Sinai, Israel has been Egypt’s valuable ally, supplying Haftar’s forces with military supplies.
In a very short time we will learn about Israel’s carefully crafted extension of sovereignty to part of the West Bank, followed by the pro-forma denunciations, but nothing more, from Cairo, Amman, Riyadh, Dubai, and Manama, and possibly from many other Arab capitals — taking their lead from Cairo — as well. But no peace treaties will be torn up, no Arab armies will be marching on Jerusalem, and once again, the Saudi Crown Prince, now quietly supported by General El-Sisi and King Abdullah – will deliver the message to Mahmoud Abbas that he least wants to hear. To wit: “Take whatever deal you are offered. The train has left the station. Run faster. Try to get on board.”
On March 9, 1994 the UN Human Rights Commission, unanimously, expressed “concern that racism, racial discrimination, antisemitism, xenophobia, and related intolerance…was persisting, and even growing in magnitude, continually assuming new forms.” This was the first time that an organ of the UN had expressed such concern about antisemitism. The juxtaposition of racism and antisemitism is logical in that they both stem from the view that a distinct race or group have characteristics that are different from and inferior to the rest of society.
The UNHRC statement is a decisive rejection of the infamous UNGA Resolution 3379 of November 10, 1975, approved 75-35-32, which determined that “Zionism was a form of racism and racial discrimination,” and which was revoked by UNGA Resolution 46/86 of December 16, 1991 by a vote of 111-25-13. Consequently, antisemitism can be considered as equivalent to a form of racial discrimination. Unfortunately, in spite of international condemnation both racism and antisemitism are present in contemporary life on social networks and in algorithms.
As a result of the death of George Floyd the world has become aware of and has repudiated past and present racism, but less attention has been paid to what can be considered an outburst of antisemitism in Britain in June 2020.
The reaction against racism, its artefacts and symbols, and the erasing of history goes on in the U.S. and elsewhere. Princeton University announced on June 27, 2020 it is removing the name of Woodrow Wilson, 28th president of the United States and president of Princeton University from the building of its School of Public and International Affairs and one of its residential colleges for his “racist views and policies.” Wilson had largely been responsible for transforming Princeton into one of the world’s great research centers, and had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1917. But his policies as U.S. president included segregating a number of federal agencies which he argued was a strategy to keep racial peace, and barring blacks from the college. Princeton authorities now explained that Wilson had been honored without regard to or even in ignorance of his racism. Another educational institution, Monmouth College in New Jersey, had already removed Wilson’s name from one of its buildings.
Another icon is being erased from the American pantheon as the Duke strikes out. John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana is to be changed to Orange County Airport, and all statues and other likenesses of Wayne are being removed. Wayne, a top box office Hollywood star for three decades, is held to have been a racist and a bigot, most notably as a result of his interview in Playboy Magazine 1971 with bigoted remarks about blacks, Native Indians, and the LGBTQ community. In that interview he is quoted as saying, “I don’t feel guilty about the fact that five or ten generations ago these people were slaves.” Nor did he feel that “we did wrong in taking this great land away from Native Indians.” In the U.S. the elimination of symbols of racism, or alleged racism, goes on.
In her book, The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt argued that political antisemitism was more than hatred of Jews. It was also an ideology that Jews were responsible for all the evils of the world. An implicit illustration of this, though not couched in any philosophical manner, is an outburst from Maxine Peake, a well-known and gifted British actress. Alluding to the murder of George Floyd, she stated in an interview that the tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on Floyd’s neck to kill him, were learned from seminars of the U.S. police with Israeli secret services. Later, after she was subjected to criticism, she offered a “clarification” that was not an apology, “I was inaccurate in my assumption of American police training and its sources. I find racism and antisemitism abhorrent.” But she does not take back her insinuation or implication that the Israeli secret services promote chokeholds. Her comment, implicitly a variation of the infamous blood libel that the State of Israel and Jews are linked to the killing of an innocent man, can be seen as a version of an antisemitic conspiracy theory.
As a result of criticism of her remarks and failure to offer a genuine explicit apology the issue arose of whether the BBC should end its contract with Peake, who ironically has starred in a TV series as a successful British barrister. This may be seen as censorship, but it is not unique although its political stance is different when in June 2020 a similar problem has arisen over a conservative British actor Laurence Fox. He appeared on TV and said that the UK was not a racist country. A number of left-wing actors immediately demanded that he should not be employed by the BBC. Yet the rationale is clear, a racist should not, and will not, be employed by the BBC, or a public institution, neither should an antisemite.
Maxine Peake is not only a gifted and well-paid actress but also a 45 year-old political leftist with aspirations of punditry and with an unmistakable political point of view. With perhaps unconscious hubris Peake spoke of the power of actors, “I’m not saying we are the saviors of the human race, but a lot of people have TV.”
Born in Bolton, Lancashire, to a truck driver father and a care working mother, soon to be divorced, Peake moved in with a grandparent who was a communist. Peake became a member of the Communist Party at age 21, and then became a socialist. For a number of years she has voiced unusual provocative pronouncements. One in 2011 was that there were no working class actors in Hollywood, and another in 2014 that actresses with accents were taken less seriously than others.
A left wing member of the Labour Party, in 2017 Peake called for violent revolution, a coup, which meant among other things making Jeremy Corbyn prime minister… “You can’t have a peaceful revolution now.” Most recently, she asserted that “we’re being ruled by capitalist, fascist dictators. What’s happening in America is about financial control. It’s about keeping the poor in their place. Protecting capital is much more important than anyone’s life.” In general, Peake, a well to do member of the British establishment, calls for the overthrow of the “establishment.”
There does not appear in Peake’s public statements any criticisms of Russia or China. Her main concern seems to be the iniquities of Israel. She is a proponent of the BDS Palestinian campaign against Israel, and a frequent signer of anti-Israel petitions. Peake has been a guest editor of the Communist Morning Star which on June 1 reported that the Minneapolis police were trained by Israel forces in restraint techniques. The absurd charge by Peake of Israeli responsibility for the death of Floyd may have been the effect of the theatrical dramas in which she has starred, but equally may have been the influence of the 2016 Amnesty International Report which dwelt on the cooperation between U.S, law enforcement officers and the Israeli police, and asserts that the Israeli military systematically targets black and brown persons. The Morning Star article explains the Israeli influence but not even the communist press nor Maxime Peake suggests that the Minnesota police flew 6,000 miIes to learn tactics from Israel.
Peake’s allegation of Israeli responsibility for the death of Floyd was retweeted by Rebecca Long- Bailey, Labour member of Parliament who was then sacked from her position as a leader, a “frontbencher” of the Labour Party in the House of Commons, for her support of Peake who she called an “absolute diamond.”
Bailey was dismissed in a show of decisive leadership and firm action by the leader of the LP by Sir Keir Starmer who had become leader besting rival Bailey, heir to Corbyn, by 56 to 28% .
This action constitutes an important change from Starmer’s predecessor Corbyn who, at the very least was tolerant of the antisemitism in the party. Starmer was emphatic. Bailey was approving of what was an antisemitic conspiracy theory. He asserted, “I will tear out this poison by its roots and judge success by the return to the LP of Jewish members and those who felt that they could no longer support us.” Antisemitism, Starmer declared, “ has been a stain on our party.” Starmer’s position however was as much managerial as moral, “my primary focus is on rebuilding trust with the Jewish communities.”
Under Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party there had been an influx in the Party of critics, such as Peake, of Israel. The Party had been infected with anti-Jewish racism, extremism, and intolerance. Starmer suggests change is to come.
The shameful diatribe of Maxine Peake indicated there should be zero tolerance for racism and antisemitism in public affairs. .
Several years ago, when I was a part-time teacher at UC Irvine and became involved in activist issues on campus-mostly dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the anti-Semitism that was growing as a result- I became aware of two trends. First was that while Europe was teeming with Jew hatred brought upon by Muslim immigrants, the focal point for the surge in Jew hatred in the US was on our campuses. The second trend I noted was the growing use of the term, "white privilege." In other words, whites, no matter their inner feelings about race, were inherently privileged and were obligated to surrender that privilege. Terms like, "whiteness" became common on campuses and always used in a pejorative manner. Today, you hear university professors and their indoctrinated students openly talk about the need for the entire white race to disappear from this earth. Where have we heard that kind of rhetoric before?
There is a growing sentiment on the left that whites have nothing to offer to the discussion because of their privilege and their racism, and thus, they are obligated to remain silent while being lectured by "People of Color" (an obnoxious and inaccurate term if there ever was one). Indeed, everything about white, Euro, Western culture was to be denigrated and buried. Out with Shakespeare; in with Paolo Freire.
Over the past ten years, I would say, I have watched this growing demonization of whites on our campuses. Up until a few years ago, I would have told you that Jews were the most endangered people on campus. Now I would say it is whites in general, and Jews are considered to be extra-privileged whites (although Jews come in virtually all colors.)
One might hope that faculty and administrators would have seen the growing demonization of whites and worked to reverse it in favor of bringing students together regardless of their origin or skin color. Isn't that what we have been trying to do since the 1960s when I was coming of age (the Civil Rights Movement)? Well, sadly, the answer is no because faculty and administrators have actively encouraged this growing division while pushing the narrative that blacks and other minorities (including gays) are all victims of a racist society. In short, our universities are so far to the left, any hope that they would play a constructive role rather than a destructive one has to be considered naive. They are ignoring this growing problem just as they have ignored over 20 years the problem of anti-Semitism on their campuses.
So now we fast forward to today in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis. Was it an outrage? Yes, it was, and our justice system is dealing with it as they should. As a retired law enforcement officer, I know personally that the tactic used on Mr Floyd was wrong. I have no quarrel with those who have protested peacefully demanding justice-which they are getting.
Unfortunately, anarchists of all colors have come together to wreak havoc in most every major city. While many protested, the anarchists rioted, specifically Antifa and Black Lives Matter (BLM). Looting, burning, and attacks against police and random attacks on whites have shocked the nation.
One would think that the riots and the murders would be condemned by all. Wrong. The media, the Democrats, the universities, and Hollywood have basically turned a blind eye, rationalized, or applauded.
Also lost is the fact that there was a virtual pogrom committed on May 30 against the Los Angeles Jewish community of Fairfax. Synagogues were vandalized, shops were attacked, and night-riders drove down the streets shouting, "F the Jews!" It was the classic case of what the academic left likes to call "intersectionality" which, loosely interpreted, links every problem in the world-including the suffering of American blacks - to Israel. What we have here is the anti-Semites and black nationalists coming together to attack whites and Jews, in the name of Black Lives Matter and the "oppressed" Palestinians. Intersectionality at work.
Now it is time for some truth to be told.
First of all, America is not a racist country. I have said many times that when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, America was racist, and it was systemic. In the South, racism and segregation had the force of law. Today, America is not racist. Two generations of white children have been brought up to believe that all people are equal. Whites who try to discriminate based on race do so at the risk of their reputation, their job, and their future. There are laws on the books to prevent discrimination. There is no white person who can stop any black person from achieving their dreams and being all they can be. Remember Martin Luther King's words, "Free at last.....?" Black people in America are free. Nobody, no white boogeyman, no white cop, is standing in your way-unless you are breaking the law, in which case, that's on you.
It is an unfortunate reality that some people in the inner cities were left behind during the Civil Rights era, for a variety of reasons. So there is still poverty, crime, gangs, and drugs in the inner city. Perhaps, most devastatingly, the black nuclear family has been destroyed over the past decades. Out of wedlock births among blacks were about 25% during the darkest days of Jim Crow. Now, it is over 70% and the damage has been severe. Black conservatives like Larry Elder will say that this is the biggest problem facing black America, not white racism, which he ranks at or near the bottom of the list. With good intentions, then President Lyndon Johnson initiated a massive welfare program that served as a disincentive for women and their children to be in a two-parent household.
So here we are again. America must again consider reparations to today's generation of African-Americans, and we must have a "frank discussion" about race. To that I say we have been having this discussion since I was a teenager in the 1960s. The "discussion" that people like Al Sharpton want to have is just another long recitation of our dark history of slavery and segregation and why little has changed since the 1960s because, after all, white people are inherently racist. Frankly, after 75 years of living through all this, I am burned out.
The fact is that racial relations are, indeed, going backwards, and this constant demonization of white people in general is coming home to roost. Sadly, this will complete the vicious circle because more white people are becoming angry and resentful. They dislike being told they are "privileged." They dislike being told that they are racist just because of their white genes. They don't like seeing parts of entire cities being occupied by anarchist thugs (white and black). They don't like seeing police stations evacuated and sacked as cops retreat. The inevitable result will be the radicalization of more and more whites and the further division of our country. Fifty+ years of progress out the window.
And where are our leaders? In places where the Democrats are in charge, which is pretty much every big city, they are taking the ceremonial knee, reciting, "black lives matter," and de-funding the police or voting to abolish them as demanded by the mobs. The Republicans are doing nothing, and even Trump seems paralyzed, not knowing what to do. Many people are concluding-especially with police seemingly disappearing from the equation- that the only thing to do is stock up on guns and ammo.
In no way do I consider myself a white nationalist, and I view their growth with alarm, but it is now time - in the year 2020 - to say that the time has passed where all the problems of blacks, whether we are talking about individuals who have experienced setbacks or failures in their lives, or black communities, like South Chicago, where people hunker down behind bars on their windows and doors at night, are to be blamed on the big white racist boogeyman.
When you hear some academic leftists, black or white, talk about the "violence being committed on black and brown bodies," it is time to point out that over 90% of black murder victims were murdered by other blacks (witness the on-going situation in Chicago). The time when white racists in the South were actually committing violence and murdering blacks has passed - notwithstanding the incident in Brunswick, Georgia, in which three white men have been charged with shooting to death a young black man they thought was trying to burglarize homes. Anecdotal cases will always exist, but they do not represent the norm.
Black Lives Matter doesn't care a whit about seeing seeing blacks gun each other down in South Chicago. They don't care a whit about the untold thousands of black babies aborted every year. When others point these things out because they do care, they are simply branded as "racists." The left, the BLM crowd, and the rioters only care when a black is killed by a white-ignoring the fact that white on black violence is minuscule compared to black on white violence, as we are witnessing today.
The nonsense that has been preached for years on our university campuses has spilled out into the society at large. Issues of "whiteness," connections between the Palestinian issue and that of blacks in America, and abolishing the police are now being discussed in the media, in city councils, and the halls of government. Those who are charged with protecting us are kneeling, literally and figuratively. The pro-Palestinian lobby, Islamists, the radical left, Antifa, and Black Lives Matter have come together at their mythical "intersection." The result is more hate, more violence.
The 25-year-old Libyan man accused of killing three people in a Reading park shouted “Allahu Akbar” moments before the attack, a court has heard.
Khairi Saadallah, who was living in the Berkshire town, is charged with three counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder. Not terrorism, you will note; maybe that will be added. The cry of Allahu Akbar confirms thathis motive was jihad or terrorism in my opinion.
He appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court via video link from Coventry Magistrates Court. Dressed in a grey, prison-issue tracksuit and wearing a surgical face mask, he spoke only to confirm his name and address and did not enter a plea.
Saadallah, who moved to the UK as a refugee in 2012, is alleged to have turned towards one group of friends sitting on the grass, stabbing four of them, before turning to another group of five friends sitting nearby, stabbing two of them, one in the back and one in the cheek.
An off duty police officer who witnessed the attack, called 999.
The three friends who were killed were James Furlong, 36, David Wails, 49, and Joe Ritchie-Bennett, 39. Mr Furlong, a history teacher, and Mr Ritchie-Bennett, a US citizen, were each stabbed once in the neck while scientist Mr Wails was stabbed once in his back. They were all declared dead at the scene.
Saadallah is also charged with attempting to murder their friend Stephen Young as well as Patrick Edwards and Nishit Nisudan, who were sat in the the nearby group.
Saadallah was questioned under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000, before being charged on Saturday.
Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot told him that the case was being referred to the crown court and that he would appear at the Old Bailey on Wednesday, likely via video link.
Another month, another massacre. This time, a greensward in a park in bucolic Reading, England, where parkgoers were taking in the last rays of sunshine. Out of the shadows stepped a man who stabbed three people to death and severely wounded three others. The police have said he is a “Libyan” and that it was an act of “terrorism,” but failed to provide the most important information: that he was an “Islamic” terrorist (although his cousin claimed he had converted to Christianity). American news networks, such as NPR, didn’t even identify him as a “Libyan.” For them, he was just a “man.” He stabbed at his victims’ necks, just as the Qur’an instructs must be done with Infidels. No one had the poor taste to point that out. Did that “man” utter any “allahu-akbars”? The British police haven’t said. If he did, would the police have correctly identified that as a “war cry,” or would they have said he merely exclaimed “God is great”? You know the answer to that.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia condemned on Sunday a stabbing attack in the English town of Reading that killed three people and seriously wounded three others.
A 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder after the stabbings on Saturday in a park in Reading, which is about 65 km west of London.
A security source told Reuters that the man, who remains in police custody, is a Libyan called Khairi Saadallah.
The Kingdom offered its condolences to the families of the victims and to the British government and people. It also wished a speedy recovery for those wounded.
Saudi Arabia affirmed the Kingdom’s solidarity with the UK against all forms of violence, terrorism and extremism.
“Condolences.” “Speedy recovery.” “Solidarity” with the UK “against “all forms of violence, terrorism, and extremism.” Uh-huh.
Is this the same Saudi Arabia that produced fifteen of the nineteen terrorists who attacked on 9/11? Is this the same Saudi Arabia that gave birth to, and raised to adulthood, Osama bin Laden? Is this the same Saudi Arabia that has spent more than $100 billion around the world, spreading Salafism through the mosques and madrasas it has built, and the imams it pays, and the propaganda it publishes and broadcasts? Is this the same Saudi Arabia that deals with particularly annoying journalistic dissent by throwing the offenders into jail with long sentences, or in special cases, doing something even more dramatic, as when the KSA had Jamal Khashoggi dismembered and his remains dissolved in prussic acid? Is this the same Saudi Arabia that shows its hatred of “all forms of violence” by having public decapitations, not just of murderers, but also of apostates and adulterers – monstrous spectacles to which everyone is cordially invited?
Is this the same Saudi Arabia that keeps assuring the world that its hate-filled textbooks have all been replaced, but somehow the same rants against Christians, Jews, women, homosexuals, and others still keep being found by foreign researchers in those books? “Among the goals of Zionism is a global Jewish government to control the entire world,” one excerpt states.
Another example reads: “The hour will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, so that the Muslims kill them, until the Jew hides behind rock and tree, so the rock or the tree says: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of God, this Jew is behind me, so kill him.’” That last is not the work of some lone Saudi fanatic; it’s a famous and multiply-sourced Hadith.
Yes, it is the same Saudi Arabia, reassuring the gullible Infidels, that now sends its condolences to the families of the dead, and its wishes for a “speedy recovery” to the wounded, and that insists it stands foursquare “with the U.K. in being against all forms of violence, terrorism and extremism.”
If the Saudis want to demonstrate that their “condolences” to the Infidels should be taken seriously, there are many things they could do besides send these Hallmark cards of pointless prefabricated sorrow. They could, at long last, clean up those murderous textbooks that they have for years refused to change. They could also call for a meeting of the 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, to push for a similar “cleansing” of textbooks – where needed — throughout the Muslim world.
The Saudis could stop arresting and deporting expats who have done nothing more than hold their own religious services behind closed doors. The Kingdom could emulate the UAE, which has allowed churches and synagogues to open in Dubai, and do the same in Riyadh. The Saudis might – could they dare to be so tolerant? — even extend religious freedom beyond the three Abrahamic monotheisms, and allow Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist services to be held, albeit privately, as well. The UAE is now completing a massive interfaith complex, called the Abrahamic Family House, due to open in 2022, with a mosque, a church, and a synagogue. It’s a testament, in stone, to the tolerance the U.A.E. has been promoting. Why should the Saudis not do something similar?
Then, and only then, can we Infidels be expected to believe that these Saudi “condolences” are heartfelt, and that the Kingdom stands foursquare against “all forms of violence, terrorism, and extremism.” Otherwise, I’m afraid, the world’s Infidels should continue to treat these remarks out of Riyadh as nothing more than “war-is-deceit” assurances, deserving of disbelief and contempt.
If the NHS has become an anaemic obsession amongst the British (and I do wonder how many with the capacity for an independent thought genuinely feel that inspired by one of the worst public health services in Europe) one can at least take solace in the fact that teachers have had their day. Of all the humans incarcerated in the current flight from reason, children are virtually unaffected by the phantom plague and it is fitting that their latest champion on the Labour shadow cabinet was skewered on the most dreary of left wing middle class obsessions. Boris Johnson has enjoyed something of a renaissance lately lampooning Labour’s indulgence of the Teachers unions and it’s a well selected target by any stretch of the imagination. Trendy pedagogy has turned the UK into the thick man of Europe, but these soulless warehouses of illiteracy at least had the saving grace of providing day care to parents who need to work. On this lowest common denominator of social utility however even the shadow Labour education secretary was unconvinced and if her indulgence of low bred vested interests has been derailed by an ill-timed outing of Jewish conspiracy theories, one still has to contend with the raw material which sometime soon will be unleashed on impressionable minds. I was thinking initially of the children but to judge by the recruitment material aimed at teachers, it seems the children are expected to teach their teachers the most important lessons in life (See below a brilliant satire by an American comedian on the standard mindset).
Much to love about Canada, despite any imperfections
by Conrad Black
Canada is a magnificent country and most Canadians know that. It is not remotely in contention for being the most exciting country in the world, but excitement drama, and historical interest are ultimately generated by upheaval and often violence. I attempted, in my history of Canada, “Rise to Greatness,” to show that Canadian history is in fact very interesting. This is the only bicultural transcontinental parliamentary confederation in the history of the world; it has endured without major modification to its political institutions for 153 years, longer than any other large country except the United Kingdom and the United States. And in that time, the United Kingdom lost most of the province of Ireland and the United States was just recovering from a terrible civil war in which 750,000 Americans died (in a population of just 31 million). These were indeed exciting and dramatic events; few episodes in the last 200 years have been more celebrated and engrossing than the war between the American states and the Irish troubles. Patching together what is now a G-7 country from a group of settlements scattered along the northern border of the United States, composed of two cultural communities that did not know or like each other and whose relations are far from entirely smooth even now; agitating for independence from Britain while retaining its guaranty against the annexationist appetite of the United States (that ravaged Mexico for a million square miles in 1846), was a triumph of Canadian statesmanship, but bloodless and almost invisible.
Because our sovereignty was so ambiguous for so long: a colony until 1867, a semi-sovereign dominion until 1948, all the while counter-balancing the British and the American influences but growing at a rate that kept pace with the astonishing and unprecedented rise of the United States, Canada has only slowly asserted a personality recognizable to the world. This ambiguity is with us still, and it makes Canada vulnerable to some forms of intellectual and political faddishness far beyond the penetration such public attitudes would achieve in more self-confident nationalities such as the French, the British and the Americans.
Before addressing what I believe is the defamatory fiction that this is a racist country, I must emphasize with some fervour that I have never felt or uttered a flicker of racial or sectarian disparagement. I undoubtedly benefited from what is now called the “white privilege” of having well-to-do parents, but I am more grateful to them for bringing my brother and me up to believe that all people, ethnicities and religions should be treated equally and with respect. Everyone should be proud of what they are, of themselves and act accordingly and respect others. As I wrote in this column last week, it is appalling that Canada is now so profoundly immersed in a quagmire of racial self-deprecation, even self-hate. It is impossible to turn on a newscast or pick up a newspaper in this country without some new protestation against the “systemic racism” (SR) of the country. There are some Canadians who are racially prejudiced, and there has certainly been some racial friction in this country in the past. Our Native policy has been generally unsuccessful but certainly in recent years, it has been well-intentioned. As I’ve written here before, Canada as a self-governing entity has never had any slavery and Canadians before and after they became self-governing in internal matters in 1848 had an admirable record in encouraging and accepting fugitive slaves from the United States, totalling about 40,000, and in giving refuge to anti-slavery activists, including John Brown and Harriet Tubman, who has now replaced U.S. President Andrew Jackson on the American $20 banknote (and considered herself a Canadian).
I have no standing to claim that there has not been discrimination against non-whites, though I can certainly assert that as an employer I have never practised nor tolerated it, and I can also assert that the overwhelming majority of our countrymen is as militantly opposed to it as I am. Two weeks ago I said in what was for several years my weekly Friday appearance with that great Canadian John Oakley (my old friend from my Montreal days, Peter Shurman, was actually substituting for John on this day), on Corus’ Global News Radio 640 Toronto, precisely that Canada is not systemically racist, that there are instances of racial discrimination, but that the overwhelming majority of Canadians are unprejudiced and equitable toward minorities. A cabal apparently arose within Corus among the more belligerent adherents to the SR view of Canada, and after a week of intense manoeuvre (that I was unaware of; I thought Ted Rogers’ family still owned the station), John Oakley called an hour before air time and said he had been “non-negotiably” told to tell me that my radio visits with him were cancelled permanently. I received churlish tweets from Charles Adler, apparently still on-air in Vancouver (the last time I heard him was about 20 years ago and he was somewhat sensible), apparently one of the ring-leaders of the putsch against me. I will miss speaking with John, but my voice is not exactly stilled: I have two weekly national radio slots in the U.S. and four columns on American online sites, plus this column, and reach millions of people each week. I’m sure the Corus listeners will get on all right without me. But it is indicative of how absurd and nonsensical the public discussion on these issues has become: that to declare that Canada is not a racist country is itself judged to be a racist comment. There are riots and demonstrations around the United States ostensibly about racism, but no one bothers me when I express skepticism about SR in media outlets there.
This is a recurrent phenomenon in Canada; I don’t know anything about the problem with Jessica Mulroney and a social media influencer, which led to the termination of Mulroney’s CTV program and the announcement by her husband, Ben Mulroney, that he would step down from many of his duties at one of his CTV programs (he remains at work at another), but I know that they are fine and fair-minded people, and like all of the Mulroneys, and Brian Mulroney throughout his life and public career (as Nelson Mandela attested), they have been implacable opponents of racial prejudice or discrimination. It was painful to read the renunciations that Ben and Jessica Mulroney felt obligated to make, Ben expressing what amounted to guilt about his “white privilege” and his vehement attack on unspecified racist practices in Canadian society. It all has an air of bloodless Stalinism, as people who are not in fact guilty of anything confess and repent. (Nor is being white or having successful parents an offence.) The commissioner of the RCMP, Brenda Lucki, acknowledged to a House of Commons committee last week that there was “absolutely systemic racism” in the RCMP. But when asked for an example of it, she described a physical entrance test that was hard to pass for people not at least six-feet tall. The head of the Black caucus of MPs pointed out that that did not make it as racism. Lucki had previously denied there was SR in the RCMP but changed her position after being rebuked by the prime minister, who appears to find SR (aggravated by climate change and gender discrimination) under every bed and behind every bush in the country.
I don’t intend to make light of the real problems. But our official obsession with this issue is an absurd displacement for other concerns. Of course racism exists and must be extirpated. But this is not a racist country; it is a good country compared to the 197 others. Let’s all do better but writing as someone who has suffered minor collateral damage from the current uproar, let us banish the illusion that to recognize the merit of Canada is an act that gives rightful offence to anyone, especially not ourselves.
Forty-Two British Jews Against Israel’s Annexation Plans
by Hugh Fitzgerald
Forty-two British Jews have signed a letter urging Israel not to annex any parts of the West Bank. They are apparently convinced that such a move would irreparably damage Israel, posing what they called an “existential threat.”
Some of the most prominent and respected names in British Jewry have raised alarm over the Israeli government’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank, saying such a move would be an existential threat to Israel.
Among more than 40 signatories of an unprecedented letter to the Israeli ambassador to the UK are Sir Ben Helfgott, one of the best-known Holocaust survivors in Britain; the historians Sir Simon Schama and Simon Sebag Montefiore; the former Conservative foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind; the lawyer Anthony Julius; the philanthropist Dame Vivien Duffield; the scientist Lord Robert Winston; the former MP Luciana Berger; the Times columnist Daniel Finkelstein; and the author Howard Jacobson.
These are 42 of the Great and Good, and their reputations relieve them, apparently, of the responsibility of studying, in depth, the history of Israel and the Arab Jihad being conducted against the Jewish state. Before presuming to preach to the Israelis about what they should or must do, these forty-two pukka sahibs and grand panjandrums ought to study the Balfour Declaration (1917), the Treaty of San Remo (1920), and above all, the precise terms of, and territories included within, the Mandate for Palestine (1922). Then they should look at Article 80 (the “Jewish people’s article”) of the U.N. Charter, and should study the meaning of U.N. Resolution 242 (1967), as eloquently supplied by its British author and U.N. Ambassador, Lord Caradon.
After they have fulfilled those tasks, they should study the history of the Zionist pioneers and the Arab terrorism against them from the very beginning of their enterprise, including the Arab Revolt (1936-1939)and the malign effect in Mandatory Palestine of that enthusiast for the Final Solution, Hajj Amin El Husseini. Then they may proceed to studying the formal founding of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, and the Jewish hand held out in peace that same day to the Arabs, only to be rejected by them. They should reexamine the invasion by five Arab armies, intent on destroying the nascent state of Israel and convinced of their quick victory which, in the words of Egypt’s Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League, would be a “a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.”
These 42 Deeply Concerned British Jews should then study the history of the three major wars Israel has had to fight for its survival (1948-1949, 1967, 1973), and the smaller wars too, that it has been forced to fight against the terrorists of the PLO and Hezbollah, in Lebanon, and against Hamas in Gaza. They ought to review the long and difficult history of Israel’s attempts to make peace with the Palestinian Arabs. Finally, they should consider the military significance of the Jordan Valley, and the legal, historical, and moral claim of Israel to Judea and Samaria (a/k/a “the West Bank”). All of that is a tall order, but the consequences of ignorance about such matters among Jews in the Diaspora could be a matter of life or death for Israel. Those who wish Israel well, before scolding that tiny state, have a duty to learn about all the matters I have listed just above
Their [the “42 British Jews”] letter to Mark Regev, conveying “concern and alarm” about the pledge by Israel’s new coalition government to extend its territory over swaths of the West Bank, is the latest indication of mounting disquiet among British Jews over the plan.
Why should they have any “concern and alarm” if Israel chooses to exercise its claim, according to the Mandate for Palestine, to extend its sovereignty over all or, if it so decides, over only part, of “the West Bank”?
Could their “concern or alarm” reflect their misunderstanding of Israel’s rights to the territory it proposes to annex? Those rights to “annex,” or more exactly, to extend Israel’s sovereignty, come from the legal claim based on the Mandate for Palestine. Let’s remember that after World War I, when the Ottoman Empire disintegrated, the mandates system was created by the League of Nations in formerly Ottoman lands. Several mandates were established on behalf of the Arab people; one was contemplated for the Kurds but never implemented; and one was the Mandate for Palestine, for the Jewish people, in order that there might be established a national home for the Jews in their ancient homeland that would in time become their state. Large swathes of formerly Ottoman territory in the Middle East were thus assigned by the League to various mandates. Aside from the Palestine Mandate, there were mandates as well for Iraq, and for Syria/Lebanon, while the Emirate of TransJordan was created out of territory east of the Jordan River “out to the desert,” that originally was to have been part of Mandatory Palestine.
The signatories [the 42 British Jews] say their concerns are “shared by large numbers of the British Jewish community, including many in its current leadership, even if they choose not to express them”.
The letter says: “We are yet to see an argument that convinces us, committed Zionists and passionately outspoken friends of Israel, that the proposed annexation is a constructive step. Instead, it would in our view be a pyrrhic victory intensifying Israel’s political, diplomatic and economic challenges without yielding any tangible benefit.
“It would have grave consequences for the Palestinian people most obviously. Israel’s international standing would also suffer and it is incompatible with the notion of Israel as both a Jewish and democratic state.”
The unthinking acceptance by these 42 British Jews of the existence of the “Palestinian people” is worrisome. There are “Palestinian Arabs,” but not a separate “Palestinian people,” with a distinct religion, language, cuisine, fairy tales, customs, or anything else that would distinguish them from other Arabs in the same neighborhood. It would have been useful if they had instead referred to “Palestinian Arabs.”
They claim, too, not to have seen “an argument that convinces us…that the proposed annexation is a constructive step.” What about the argument that extending Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and many of the settlements signals to the Arabs that their salami-tactics will not work, that Israel is here to stay, and with borders it can defend, and no amount of pressure by the “international community” will cause Israel to retreat from lands to which it has a claim superior to all others? Would holding onto that territory not strengthen Israel’s power to deter its enemies, and thus make war less, not more, likely? And wouldn’t forcing Israel to essentially concede control of the West Bank, and to return to those 1949 armistice lines, whet rather than sate, Arab appetites, and make a future war more likely?
Forty-two British Jews (all of them among the Great and the Good) have signed a letter delivered to Israel’s ambassador to the U.K., Mark Regev, in which they express their fear that “Israel’s international standing will suffer” if it extends its sovereignty to approximately 30% of the West Bank. This is true only if Israel’s supporters, Jewish and non-Jewish, allow it to suffer by not making the best case for Israel’s claim to the West Bank. It is “supporters” who are unwilling, or unable, to make the strongest case for Israel who cause Israel’s “international standing” to suffer. If they truly care for Israel, these “42 British Jews” should first acquire the knowledge necessary in order to stoutly defend it, and that means both to understand and to bring to bear, in any discussion about Israel, and the Palestinian Arabs, both the Mandate for Palestine and U.N. Resolution 242. Having made the overwhelming case for Israel’s claim to the West Bank, they can then, if they wish, still argue against annexation in a different way: “while Israel has a right to that territory, we think it nonetheless unwise for it to exercise that right” – and then let the discussion be about the “wisdom” of enforcing the claim, rather than pretending that Israel’s superior claim does not exist. Israelis themselves are divided on the “wisdom” of annexation, but not on Israel’s right to do so.
The move would be seen as evidence of Israel’s rejection of a negotiated peace settlement involving the creation of a Palestinian state alongside the Israeli state. This would inflame tensions locally and cause regional destabilisation, the letter says.
Israel has been trying ever since May 14, 1948 to make peace with the Arabs. And after every war, it has tried again to make peace. After the 1948-1949 war, Israel offered to make the armistice lines into permanent borders, upon the signing of peace treaties. The Arabs turned the offer down; they looked forward to a second, more successful assault on Israel and did not want “permanent borders” to get in the way. After the 1967 war, Israel’s offer to negotiate was met by the Arab League’s “Three No’s” at its meeting in Khartoum: “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.” Although Israel has managed to make peace with Egypt, by handing back the entire Sinai, and with Jordan, too, it has not managed to convince the Palestinian Arabs to make peace. In 2000, Ehud Barak offered Yassir Arafat 92%of the West Bank and control over half of the Old City of Jerusalem. Arafat turned it down, without any discussion. In 2008, Ehud Olmert offered Mahmoud Abbas a deal whereby Israel would retain only 6.3 percent of the West Bank, in order to keep control of major Jewish settlements, but would compensate the Palestinians with Israeli land equivalent to 5.8 percent of the West Bank; in addition, the Old City would be placed under international control. Abbas, like Arafat before him, turned the Israeli offer down. Since then it has been the Palestinian Authority, not Israel, that has rejected negotiations for a peace settlement.
And just now the Israelis have accepted the Deal of the Century, which would lead for the first time to the creation of an independent Palestinian state. That state would also be given a massive aid package of $50 billion. Yet the “42 British Jews” insist that it is Israel that has rejected a “peace settlement involving the creation of a Palestinian state alongside the Israeli state” when, in fact, that is exactly what Israel has just accepted. Those 42 British Jews may not like the fact that Israel still wishes to keep 30% of the West Bank, while offering in compensation land that is now part of Israel to be incorporated into the new state of Palestine, but they cannot claim that Israel has rejected what it has just accepted – “the creation of a Palestinian state alongside the Israeli state.”
“The damage to Israel’s international reputation … will be enormous,” the letter says, pointing out that the UK government has said it will oppose the annexation plan, and that the proposed move would bolster calls for boycotts and sanctions against Israel.
“The impact on diaspora Jewry and its relationship with the state of Israel would also be profound. The British Jewish community is an overwhelmingly Zionist community with a passionate commitment to Israel. We proudly advocate for Israel but have been helped in doing so by Israel’s status as a liberal democracy, defending itself as necessary but committed to maintaining both its Jewish and democratic status.
If the Trump Peace Plan were accepted, as Israel has said it is willing to do — while Mahmoud Abbas continues his nonstop tantrum — how does the Jewish state cease to be a liberal democracy? The Palestinians would have their own state, with 70% of the West Bank, 100% of Gaza, and two large swathes of territory in the Negev which Israel has agreed to hand over for inclusion in the new state of Palestine. 97% of Palestinians will be able to remain exactly where they are today, and so will 97% of Israelis. What prevents Israel from continuing to be the same polity as before, “both Jewish and democratic”?
“A policy of annexation would call that into question, polarising Jewish communities and increasing the divisive toxicity of debate within them, but also alienating large numbers of diaspora Jews from engaging with Israel at all. Under these circumstances, the commitment to Israel that has been such a vital glue in sustaining and uniting Jewish communities, as well as an asset for Israel, will decline.”
The letter adds: “If asked to make the case for West Bank annexations, however, we will not be able to do so.”
The policy “not only lacks merit, but would pose an existential threat to the traditions of Zionism in Britain, and to Israel as we know it”.
It is surprising that British Jews would be so unaware of the Mandate for Palestine, given that Great Britain was the Mandatory entrusted by the League of Nations with the task of creating, with the Zionists, the Jewish National Home. Or do they think the provisions of the Mandate ceased to be relevant when the League of Nations went out of business? Can all of these distinguished people – and especially the historians among them – be unaware of Article 80 (the “Jewish people’s article”) of the U.N. Charter, which committed the U.N. to fulfill the provisions of any Mandates still existing? And can these 42 British Jews be unaware of what the articulate British ambassador to the U.N., Lord Caradon, said was the meaning of U.N. Resolution 242, which he wrote and which, he insisted, entitled Israel to retain any territory it won in the Six-Day War that it deemed necessary, in order that it might have “secure [i.e. defensible] and recognized boundaries”?
Those 42 British Jews are apparently unwilling to trouble themselves unduly – that is, to study the two independent bases for Israel’s claim to part, or all, of the “West Bank.” They have forgotten, or never knew, or cannot allow themselves to grasp, either the Mandate for Palestine or U.N. Resolution 242. They will be steadfast supporters of Israel, but only on their terms – that is, only so long as the Israelis are willing to yield to what the “international community” demands. They’re sorry, those 42 British Jews, but they simply can no longer support Israel if the Israelis insist on staking or making a claim to the West Bank. How dare those Jews in Israel make things difficult for us, in the Diaspora, who would be happy to support them, just as long as they aren’t too intent on making their case, and on presenting their legal, historic, and moral claim. We can only support the “good Israel,” the one that is willing to drop its claims to the West Bank, and instead agrees to yield to Palestinian demands, even allowing itself to be squeezed back within the pre-1967 lines, that is the 1949 armistice lines, which would again give Israel a nine-mile-wide waist at its narrowest point – from Qalqilya to the sea — the lines that Abba Eban famously called the “lines of Auschwitz.”
The attitude of these 42 British Jews puts one in mind of an old Jewish joke. Gallows humor. Two Jews, Baruch and Moshe, have been lined up against a wall to be shot. Just as they are being blindfolded, Moshe asks one of the armed men “please, could I have a cigarette”? Baruch gives him a furious look. “Moshe, why are you always making trouble?” That’s the attitude of those 42 British Jews – Israel, by daring to exercise its rights, is “always making trouble.”
French jihadist Tyler Vilus appeared before the Paris criminal court on Wednesday for the start of a week-long trial into his role within the Islamic State armed group where he is accused of serving as an ‘emir.’ He faces life in prison.
Well-known in France’s extremist circles, Vilus is accused of belonging to a terrorist organisation, commanding a group of ISIS militants and ‘aggravated murder.' He took the dock on Thursday sporting thin pleats, short beard and black designer polo shirt.
His trial--the first in France for crimes committed in Syria--is a big catch for the French justice system as it seeks to prosecute returning terrorist fighters.
Thirty-year-old Vilus is like no other. A close friend of the mastermind of the 13 November attacks in Paris in 2015, he has always been suspected of being the "twelfth man."
His case dates back to July 2015 when he was arrested in Turkey travelling on a Swedish passport.
Barely arrested, Vilus managed to raise the alert from his phone by sending messages to a Turkish number that were later intercepted.
"I got arrested (…) I will contact you when I go out, if I go out (sic)". "When I go out, I will act."
His correspondent turned out to be Belgian jihadist Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the mastermind of the Paris attacks. He told investigators later that he made Abaaoud believe he was planning an attack when in fact he was trying to leave IS to travel to Mauritania. Among the first French-speaking fighters to leave for Syria, Vilus and Abaaoud established close ties in the self proclaimed caliphate of Islamic State.
While there (Syria), he frequently welcomed his mother, Christine Rivière, nicknamed "Jihadi Granny." Vilus sent several messages to Rivière—later seized by investigators—relaying how he had become not only a police officer but an emir to a group of French fighters. His mother is said to have replied: “I knew you’d do well, you’re made for that.” Rivière was jailed for ten years in 2017 for belonging to a terrorist organisation and financially supporting ISIS. She told investigators it was ‘normal’ that she send her son money.
Vilus is described by investigators as wearing multiple hats. He is alleged to have been a recruiter, fighter and a member of ISIS’ police. Originally from Troyes in Eastern France, Vilus first attracted the terror group’s attention by posting videos of propaganda on social media.
In April 2015, he was captured in a video by ISIS showing two members of the Syrian Free Army being executed. The images show Vilus in uniform, with a keffiyeh scarf on his head to protect him from the sun, a walkie-talkie in his hand and a weapon in his belt. Vilus is not suspected of being one of the hooded executioners but he is seen containing the crowd. "I had no role in this execution. I had just left the mosque," he later told investigating judges.
Judges will be tasked with deciding the extent of Vilus’ involvement in the armed terror group and whether he should be put behind bars for life.
Joe Biden’s present lead in the polls is a levitation. These are the dangling entrails of the panic that the national political media, which are unofficially conducting the Democratic campaign in the unheroic absence of the putative nominee, have sown about the coronavirus and the impression, desperately promoted, identifying Trump with the recent chaos.
A public opinion climate worn down by lengthy social confinement, arrested economic activity, and high unemployment is especially vulnerable to disgruntlement about its leaders. Given the pandemic, the recession, and the worst rioting in America in over fifty years, Trump has done well to maintain his approval rating in the mid-forties.
All of these elements are evaporating: the increasing incidence of the coronavirus is practically irrelevant since the fatality rate has declined by about 80 percent. Over 90 percent of those who contract the illness have minimal or no symptoms and each such person becomes a barrier to the spread of the virus, as those who have had it and have recovered are much more resistant to it thereafter. This phenomenon is known inelegantly as “herd immunity”: once the virus has gone through society, that society is substantially invulnerable apart from those with diminished immunities.
The increasing incidence of COVID-19 cases has been amplified in the anti-Trump media. The president, who was so reviled for inability to test competitively with other countries in March, has produced a regime in which an incomparable total of about 30 million Americans have now been tested.
The president’s appearance in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday has been much mocked because about 6,000 of the 19,000 places in the indoor stadium were vacant, and half of those that were filled were occupied by Republican Party officials and guests—but assembling 13,000 people in one place, in itself, is a breakthrough in the pandemic era, a first in four months. Trump is now engaged in converting the United States from being a frightened nation to a people emboldened to resume their lives, apart from those—especially the elderly—with handicapped immune systems. These must continue to be prudent themselves and to be thoroughly insulated from the illness.
As usual, Trump is swimming upstream against the tide of confected public opinion, but he is supported by the facts: all healthy people, about 80 percent of Americans, have almost nothing to fear from this disease and the cold terror inflicted on the nation by the president’s enemies will not survive discovery of that agreeable fact.
Ironically, the protesters, rioters, and hooligans who hate Trump the most (but have no use for the useful milquetoast idiots who infest Democratic ranks, even though they will vote for them), have demonstrated that to most people the coronavirus is a paper tiger. The Democrats have been shrieking fear and babbling utter nonsense about testing and tracing millions of people and badgering people suspected of being susceptible to the virus to self-quarantine, in order to prolong the artificial economic recession for their own political gain on election day.
The Democrats have the pathological riffraff of Antifa and the extreme factions of BLM to thank for the accelerated elimination of this barrier to the president’s reelection—they demonstrate that rioting together at close quarters doesn’t spike the virus. It always takes a few weeks for the polls to catch up with such tidal changes in the ever-mobile currents of public opinion. Though the physical attendance at the president’s rally in Tulsa was disappointing, up to 11 million people seem to have watched his lengthy address on television and the internet. It was a conspicuous success to attract seven or 8 percent of the voters on a Saturday night in June, more than four months before the election.
A remarkable fact about the continuing chronic disorder is the absence to date of a serious backlash. It seems that the national political media have been partially successful so far in portraying the president as unsympathetic to the victims of police excess and to the discontents of the African-American community generally. They have thus saddled independent opinion with the illusion that the president is responsible for the obscene levels of destructive urban violence and effrontery to the most revered personalities and events in American history.
And the president is only just beginning to draw public attention to his Democratic opponents’ ambiguous response to the mindless hate-filled violence of the mobs that have surged through many of America’s great cities. He is also just beginning to point out the extent to which this urban discontent is based on the incompetence and corruption of the Democratic city political machines that generate most of that party’s votes and to which Joe Biden has been bound hand and foot for nearly 50 years.
The Democrats’ prayerful attempts to retard the economic recovery, swaddled in fear-mongering and humbug about the coronavirus, run up against the popular ambition for restored prosperity. There is immense liquidity in the system, and the only feeble barrier to a sharp economic revival is Democratic media defeatism about the pandemic. It won’t work, though it will take some weeks to emerge from under the mountains of media misinformation that have been built up over the issue. Time is on the president’s side not only in public health and economic matters but in political realities. At some point Joe Biden is going to have to face questions from journalists who actually wish to have coherent answers to relevant questions, not just the toe-curling deference of Joy Behar and Don Lemon.
And before the campaign ends, the familiar and often dramatic finale of a mano a mano debate showdown between the two principal candidates will occur. It is hard to imagine how the pallid and inarticulate Biden of this shadow campaign will come through such a test intact. Biden narrowly lost the debate to the trivia question opponent of 2008, Sarah Palin, when he was in his prime, and Trump more than held his own with Hillary Clinton. This year should be a mismatch.
The attorney general, William Barr, has indicated that the Durham investigation into the origins of the monstrous scam of the Russian collusion investigation will be heard from before the end of the summer. There is no reason to believe that Biden himself will be charged, but the allegations against other senior officials of the Obama regime will not enhance the prestige of the Democrats. Biden’s limited verbal agility will be sorely challenged in explaining what he was doing while unprecedented, unconstitutional skullduggery was initiated by senior officials of the Obama-Biden administration, some of which skullduggery he must have been aware.
The Democrats, their confident masquerade as clear winners notwithstanding, have already done a campaign course correction. They have killed Senate debate on police oversight reform—they don’t want the problem resolved; they want police brutality and oppression of African-Americans as election issues, while ignoring mob violence and the physical, fiscal, and public relations assault Democratic and BLM spokespeople have launched against the police. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi explicitly has blamed the death of George Floyd on Trump, without elaboration. The president has his limitations but this is malignant lunacy.
He faced a sudden and grave public health, economic, and political crisis in March, and elected to accommodate the hysteria that had arisen and the weight of plausible scientific opinion and shut down the economy to flatten the rise of the virus. In a quick-step, he moved to encourage governors to take the country out of the shut-down after two months as local conditions allowed, and the economy, despite prodigious Democratic media efforts to retard its recovery, has shown a spontaneous reflexive recovery that has startled the legions of Trump-hating prophets of gloom.
Despite the tumult and the controversy, aggravated by this president’s peculiar abrasiveness, he appears to have taken difficult executive decisions promptly and successfully and has guided the country through very serious challenges unfazed by the threat posed to his tenure of office.
The Democrats have descended to depths of mudslinging, demagogy, and indulgence of racial violence and national self-hate never before plumbed in a U.S. presidential election. They are afflicted by a death wish, and in the national interest and for their own sake, that wish must be granted by the voters.
Muslim Congress: America is Israel’s Puppet; Jewish State will be Annihilated after 20 Years
by Hesham Shehab and Anne-Christine Hoff
In a virtual celebration of International Quds Day held by the Muslim Congress on May 22, Shiite Islamists loyal to Iran’s supreme religious leader said that America is controlled by Israel, accused Zionists of creating Islamic terrorist groups in the Middle East, and promised that the Jewish state will be annihilated in 20 years.
Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, was launched by the late Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini just after the 1979 Iranian Revolution. It is held annually on the last Friday of Ramadan to express solidarity with Palestinians while pledging to “liberate” the Al Aqsa Mosque from Israel’s territorial control.
The hosting Muslim Congress is a Texas-based Shiite group that looks to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iran’s ruling clerical establishment as its religious authority. Its members have made virulently anti-American and anti-Semitic statements during past Al Quds Day demonstrations. Observing a 2009 Muslim Congress rally, the Associated Press noted that one speaker “sounded like a spokesman for the Iranian government.”
At this year’s virtual Quds Day, the participants continued calling for the destruction of Israel. “Jerusalem is waiting for the blood of those who believe in Muhammad, Ali, and Fatimah… ” Shiite American cleric Syed Abbas Ayleya said, referring to the pantheon of Shiite holy figures.
Ayleya is a Pakistani American who attended the Shiite Hawza seminary in Najaf, Iraq. He is a Muslim Congress board member and the founder of its legal project, Justice360°.
According to Ayleya, Khamenei possesses God’s mystical knowledge, and the ayatollah believes “there will be no Zionism” and “no Zionist regime after 20 years.”
“We are guaranteed that Palestine will definitely be free,” Ayleya added.
Ayleya’s political activities and calls for “blood” are not limited to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Shiite cleric has supported terrorist groups that propped up the Syrian regime and massacred innocent civilians in the sectarian Syrian war.
On May 4, 2019, Ayleya led a demonstration in Seattle, Washington, that called on the Pakistani government to release militants belonging to the jihadist Zaynabiyoun Brigade who fought in Syria and were arrested upon returning home to Pakistan.
According to Ayleya, those Pakistanis were arrested merely for defending the Shrine of Sayyida Zaynab , a Shiite mosque near Damascus marked as the final resting place of the granddaughter of Muhammad.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) enlists, trains, and supervises Pakistani nationals fighting for the Zaynabiyoun Brigade in Syria and Iraq. The U.S. Treasury blacklisted the Zaynabiyoun Brigade in January 2019, while the U.S. State Department added IRGC to its Specially Designated Global Terrorist list three months later.
While Ayleya supports Iran-backed militias, another Quds Day speaker echoed Iranian regime talking points. Muslim Congress activist Mona Shahrebani said, “Takfiris [apostates], Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Boko Haram are Zionist puppets,” and “the U.S. is a puppet of Saudi Arabia and Israel that fund terrorism.” Shahrebani said that Zionism is “the clear enemy that creates terrorist groups.”
In the same sense, event moderator Nessrein Abu Shahba claimed that the world’s oppressive leaders were getting their directives from Zionist powers.
Zahra Ali, identified as a member of the Washington “al Quds Team,” said that Israel was carrying out a “genocide” by “murdering tens of thousands” of Palestinians. She complained that Israel has killed American citizens who were advocating for peace, citing the case of Rachel Corrie, a pro-Palestinian activist who was accidentally killed in 2003 when she deliberately placed herself in the path of an Israeli military bulldozer during an operation to remove enemy safehouses and weapons-smuggling tunnels.
Yet another speaker, Canadian Shiite cleric Salim Yusufali, argued that America’s loyalty to Israel is clear. He explained that while the U.S. was financially suffering under the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration was planning to grant Israel $38 billion in military aid. (Broken down over 10 years, the $3.8 billion the U.S. contributes annually to its closest ally in the Middle East is considered a high-yield investment with numerous benefits to American taxpayers.)
Finally, adding to the chorus of extremist voices, a young female speaker identified only as sister Nuzaiba called upon Americans to support the radical Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, an international movement that seeks the destruction of Israel through economic and diplomatic isolation. Nuzaiba confirmed the boycott movement’s destructive objective when she called for “freedom for Palestine from the River to the Sea,” an anti-Semitic political slogan which fully rejects any compromise with Israel.
Although the coronavirus forced event organizers to stream this year’s Quds Day speeches online, the guest speakers were no less vitriolic than those featured at last year’s in-person protest. On May 31, 2019, the Muslim Congress organized a rally that was held in front of the Henry Ford Centennial Library in Dearborn, Michigan, home to the largest Shiite population in the West. At this event, an unidentified speaker declared that terrorist groups such as “Hamas, Hezbollah, IRGC, and anybody else fighting against Israel have a God-given right to resist.” He also described Israel as a “cancer” and cited Khamenei’s prediction that it “will crumble in less than 25 years.”
The Muslim Congress’s efforts to radicalize Shiite Americans, promote the destruction of Israel, and support terrorist networks are detrimental to Muslim Americans and hinder their integration into American society. The U.S. is still waging a War on Terror, and those who glamorize terrorist groups and refer to America’s enemy as their “beloved leader” represent a fifth column that should be investigated as a foreign agent and a national security threat.
Hesham Shehab is the Chicago Associate at the Counter-Islamist Grid, a project of the Middle East Forum. Anne-Christine Hoff is the Dallas Associate at the Counter-Islamist Grid.
The incident in West George Street #Glasgow is not being treated as terrorism.
Update Saturday morning -
The suspect was an asylum seeker who went on a rampage after complaining about the hotel meals served to him during the Covid-19 pandemic. The knifeman, who was from Sudan, had threatened violence against other refugees and complained he was "very hungry" in recent days after being re-housed in the hotel, an activist told the Telegraph.
Mears Group, an asylum accommodation contractor, is believed to have been employed by the Home Office to relocate around 400 asylum seekers in Glasgow as part of a safeguarding measure throughout the pandemic.
They were rehomed across six hotels in the city, including at the 91 room hotel in West George Street where the attacks happened. The hotel residents claimed they were forced to share bathrooms with other residents, making social distancing impossible and were said to have refused to eat the “inadequate food” provided by the hotels out of protest.
Whether it really was inaqequate, or was perfectly wholesome but bland to the foreign palate would be a matter of opinion.
The incident in Glasgow is not being treated by Police as terrorism. Depressingly yet predictably some are using horrific incident to further their far-right agenda. Glasgow won't stand for your divisive hatred, so don't even try it Let's keep victims & families in our thoughts
The good news is the earlier reports of three deaths (not including the knifeman) seems to have been premature. It was reported by newspapers and media organisation that are usually cautious with facts, eg the BBC, the Telegraph, The Times, Sky news. but the current headline at the Telegraph is now
Glasgow stabbings: Suspect shot dead by police in hotel attack.
Police have said the suspect has been shot and has died.
Six people remain in hospital with injuries.
A police officer was stabbed in the attack and is currently being treated in hospital. They are said to be in a critical but stable condition, Police Scotland have said.
To repeat a comment to the police tweet
of course not, they never are.. another lone wolf I see, seem to be a lot of those.