The essence of freedom is freedom of speech.
Our civilization depends on it, cannot survive without it.
It was the key that unlocked the genius of classical Greece, where science began, and where Socrates taught us to question everything, always.
It was the intellectual light that began to rise in the seventeenth century, finally dispelling the long darkness of church-dominated Europe; the thousand years when Christian dogma was held to be the truth, the only truth, and people were tortured to death for questioning it.
When Rome made Christianity the official religion of the Empire in 380 C.E., it discarded the wisdom encapsulated in the saying: Ubi dubium ibi libertas: where there is doubt there is freedom.
Freedom of speech is the life of the mind.
We have posted many articles on this supremely important subject, in our own words and quoting the words of others. Put “freedom of speech” into our search slot and you will find them. They are all worth reading.
The point we want to make with this post is that freedom of speech is gravely threatened with suppression – again.
Freedom of speech is the issue above all others that divides political opinion the world over.
Freedom of speech must be absolute. Any restriction on it is fatal to it.
The Socialist Left – another dark international religion – is ever more passionately against it. Of course it is, because free criticism of it can destroy its power, just as free criticism of the old religions destroyed theirs.
In Europe it has already been largely abandoned, because most of the continent has surrendered to invading Muslim hordes, whose ideology – an invention of the dark ages – forbids it.
Freedom of speech was all the European Parliament had going for it that was of any use at all. Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), was able to promote his cause far and wide by speaking freely for it within the assembly, from where it was broadcast to the outside world. He also used it to expose the lies and bigotry of the European ruling parties, and the tyrannical nature of the EU itself. But now the European Parliament, an almost totally powerless institution created as window-dressing for the undemocratic European Union, has used what little power it has (just enough to rule itself) to bar any speech its leadership does not like from spreading beyond its hallowed hall.
Judith Bergman writes at Gatestone:
The European Parliament has introduced a new procedural rule, which allows for the chair of a debate to interrupt the live broadcasting of a speaking MEP “in the case of defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behavior by a Member”. Furthermore, the President of the European Parliament may even “decide to delete from the audiovisual record of the proceedings those parts of a speech by a Member that contain defamatory, racist or xenophobic language“.
No one, however, has bothered to define what constitutes “defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behavior”. This omission means that the chair of any debate in the European Parliament is free to decide, without any guidelines or objective criteria, whether the statements of MEPs are “defamatory, racist or xenophobic”. The penalty for offenders can apparently reach up to around 9,000 euros.
That’s approximately $9,600 at today’s exchange rate.
“There have been a growing number of cases of politicians saying things that are beyond the pale of normal parliamentary discussion and debate,” said British EU parliamentarian Richard Corbett, who has defended the new rule. Mr. Corbett, however, does not specify what he considers “beyond the pale”.
Although Richard Corbett is in fact British, it is misleading to describe him exclusively as that. Britain has a long, perhaps the longest, tradition of upholding free speech. Richard Corbett is first and foremost a Socialist. He is the Deputy Secretary General of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, and persistently voluble against British independence from the European Union.
In June 2016, Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, addressed the European Parliament in a speech which drew on old anti-Semitic blood libels, such as falsely accusing Israeli rabbis of calling on the Israeli government to poison the water used by Palestinian Arabs. Such a clearly incendiary and anti-Semitic speech was not only allowed in parliament by the sensitive and “anti-racist” parliamentarians; it received a standing ovation. Evidently, wild anti-Semitic blood libels pronounced by Arabs do not constitute “things that are beyond the pale of normal parliamentary discussion and debate”.
Mahmoud Abbas later admitted that his accusation was false and retracted it.
The European Parliament apparently did not even bother to publicize their new procedural rule; it was only made public by Spain’s La Vanguardia newspaper. Voters were, it appears, not supposed to know that they may be cut off from listening to the live broadcasts of the parliamentarians they elected to represent them in the EU, if some chairman of a debate subjectively happened to decide that what was being said was “racist, defamatory or xenophobic”.
The European Parliament is the only popularly elected institution in the EU. Helmut Scholz, from Germany’s left-wing Die Linke party, said that EU lawmakers must be able to express their views about how Europe should work: “You can’t limit or deny this right”. Well, they can express it (but for how long?), except that now no one outside of parliament will hear it.
The rule strikes at the very center of free speech, namely that of elected politicians, which the European Court of Human Rights has deemed in its practice to be specially protected. Members of the European Parliament are people who have been elected to make the voices of their constituents heard inside the institutions of the European Union. …
The rule can only have a chilling effect on freedom of speech in the European Parliament and will likely prove a convenient tool in trying to shut up those parliamentarians who do not follow the politically correct narrative of the EU.
The European Parliament lately seems to be waging war against free speech. At the beginning of March, the body lifted the parliamentary immunity of French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. Her crime? Tweeting three images of ISIS executions in 2015. In France, “publishing violent images” constitutes a criminal offense, which can carry a penalty of three years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros. By lifting her immunity at the same time that she is running for president of France, the European Parliament is sending the clear signal that publicizing the graphic and horrifying truth of the crimes of ISIS, rather than being received as a warning about what might soon be coming to Europe, instead ought to be punished.
This is a bizarre signal to be sending, especially to the Christian and Yazidi victims of ISIS, who are still largely ignored by the European Union. European parliamentarians, evidently, are too sensitive to deal with the graphic murders of defenseless people in the Middle East, and are more concerned with ensuring the prosecution of the messengers, such as Marine Le Pen.
So, political correctness … has not only taken over the media and academia; elected MEPs are now also supposed to toe the politically correct line, or literally be cut off. …
Where does this clearly totalitarian impulse stop and who will stop it?
Perhaps the rebel nationalist movements in Europe will resist the anti-free speech campaign by winning the next state elections, encouraged as they are by the victory of Donald Trump’s patriotic movement in America.
But it is certain that the battle between the Socialist and Muslim dogmatists on the one side and the defenders of free speech on the other will be long and hard.
President Sisi of Egypt has offered to cede half of Sinai to be joined with Gaza to create an independent state of Palestine. The importance of this development cannot be overestimated.
Caroline Glick reports and comments:
Something extraordinary has happened.
On August 31, PLO chief and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told an audience of Fatah members that Egypt had offered to give the PA some 1,600 kilometers of land in Sinai adjacent to Gaza, thus quintupling the size of the Gaza Strip. Egypt even offered to allow all the so-called “Palestinian refugees” to settle in the expanded Gaza Strip.
Then Abbas told his Fatah followers that he rejected the Egyptian offer.
On Monday Army Radio substantiated Abbas’s claim.
According to Army Radio, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi proposed that the Palestinians establish their state in the expanded Gaza Strip and accept limited autonomy over parts of Judea and Samaria.
In exchange for this state, the Palestinians would give up their demand that Israel shrink into the indefensible 1949 armistice lines, surrendering Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Sisi argued that the land Egypt is offering in Sinai would more than compensate for the territory that Abbas would concede.
In his speech to Fatah members, Abbas said, “They [the Egyptians] are prepared to receive all the refugees, [and are saying] ‘Let’s end the refugee story’.” “But,” he insisted, “It’s illogical for the problem to be solved at Egypt’s expense. We won’t have it.”
In other words, Sisi offered Abbas a way to end the Palestinians’ suffering and grant them political independence. And Abbas said, “No, forget statehood. Let them suffer.”
Generations of Israeli leaders and strategists have insisted that Israel does not have the ability to satisfy the Palestinian demands by itself without signing its own death warrant. To satisfy the Palestinian demand for statehood, Israel’s neighbors in Egypt and Jordan would have to get involved.
Until Sisi made his proposal, no Arab leader ever seriously considered actually doing what must be done. …
“What must be done” being an Arab solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.
Very recently there have been huge shifts in the relations of Middle Eastern states with each other and with Israel. The amazing thing, that could not have been predicted or even imagined two years ago, is that some Arab states now see Israel as an essential ally.
So what is driving Sisi? How do we account for this dramatic shift? In offering the Palestinians a large swathe of the Sinai, Sisi is not acting out of altruism. He is acting out of necessity. From his perspective, and from the perspective of his non-jihadist Sunni allies in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinian campaign against Israel is dangerous.
Facing the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, and the rise of jihadist forces from al-Qaida to the Islamic State to the Muslim Brotherhood, the non-jihadist Sunnis no longer believe that the prolongation of the Palestinian jihad against Israel is in their interest.
Egypt and Jordan have already experienced the spillover of the Palestinian jihad. Hamas has carried out attacks in Egypt. The Palestinian jihad nearly destroyed Lebanon and Jordan. Egypt and Saudi Arabia now view Israel as a vital ally in their war against the Sunni jihadists and their struggle against Iran and its hegemonic ambitions. They recognize that Israeli action against Sunni and Shi’ite jihadists in Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran serves the interests of non-jihadi Sunnis. And, especially after the recent conflict in Gaza, they realize that the incessant Palestinian campaign against Israel ultimately strengthens the jihadist enemies of Egypt and Saudi Arabia like Hamas.
Apparently, Sisi’s offer to Abbas is an attempt to help the Palestinian people and take the Palestinian issue out of the hands of Palestinian jihadists.
Unfortunately for Sisi and his fellow non-jihadist Sunnis, Abbas is having none of this.
In rejecting Sisi’s offer Abbas stood true to his own record, to the legacies of every Palestinian leader since Nazi agent [the “Grand Mufti”] Haj Amin el-Husseini, and to the declared strategic goal of his own Fatah party and his coalition partners in Hamas.
Since Husseini invented the Palestinians in the late 1920s, their leaders’ primary goals have never been the establishment of a Palestinian state or improving the lives of Palestinians. Their singular goal has always been the destruction of the Jewish state, (or state-in-themaking before 1948).
Sisi offered to end Palestinian suffering and provide the Palestinians with the land they require to establish a demilitarized state. Abbas rejected it because he is only interested hurting Israel. If Israel is not weakened by their good fortune, then the Palestinians should continue to suffer.
For Israel, Sisi’s proposal is a windfall.
First of all, it indicates that the Egyptian-Saudi- UAE decision to back Israel against Hamas in Operation Protective Edge was not a fluke. It was part of an epic shift in their strategic assessments.
And if their regimes survive, their assessments are unlikely to change so long as Iran and the Sunni jihadists continue to threaten them.
This means that for the first time since Israel allied with Britain and France against Egypt in 1956, Israel can make strategic plans as part of a coalition.
Second, Sisi’s plan is good for Israel on its merits.
The only way to stabilize the situation in Gaza and comprehensively defeat Hamas and the rest of the terrorist armies there is by expanding Gaza. …
Sisi’s plan is a boon for Israel as well because it calls Abbas’s bluff.
Abbas is genuflected to by the US and the EU who insist that he is a moderate. The Israeli Left insists that he is the only thing that stands between Israel and destruction.
Yet here we see him openly acknowledging that from a strategic perspective, he is no different from the last of the jihadists. He prefers to see his people … without a state to call their own, than to see Israel benefit in any way.
Abbas’s rejection of Sisi’s offer demonstrates yet again that he and his Fatah comrades are the problem, not the solution.Continued faith in the PLO as a partner in peace and moderation is foolish and dangerous. He would rather see Hamas and Iran flourish than share a peaceful future with Israel.
The only reason that Abbas is able to continuously reject all offers of statehood and an end to Palestinian suffering, while expanding his diplomatic war against Israel and supporting his coalition partner’s terror war, is because the US and Europe continue to blindly support him.
The final way that Sisi’s offer helps Israel is by showing the futility of the West’s strategy of supporting Abbas.
According to Army Radio’s report, both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Obama administration have been briefed on the Egyptian plan. The Americans reportedly support it. …
Obama supports Sisi’s plan? What has he said about it? We wait to see how the media reports Sisi’s offer, Abbas’s rejection of it, and Obama’s reaction to it.
Sisi’s offer is a challenge to the US and Europe.
Sisi’s offer shows Washington and Brussels that to solve the Palestinian conflict with Israel, they need to stand with Israel, even if this means abandoning Abbas.
If they do so, they can take credit for achieving their beloved two-state solution. If they fail to do so, they will signal that their primary goal is not peace, but something far less constructive.
New alignments, new discords, new issues are emerging in the Middle East. The US has nothing to do with them. Obama and Kerry have snuffed out US influence in that important region.
This is from DebkaFile:
President of Egypt Abdul-Fattah El-Sisi, even before taking the oath of office Sunday June 8, became the first regime head to strike out at the Palestinian unity government installed in Ramallah on June 24, by intensifying the siege on its Gaza partner, Hamas. His steps threaten to stir up strife between the two newly reconciled Palestinian partners over who calls the shots in the Gaza Strip …
El-Sisi acted expeditiously to refute the claims by Palestinian Authority sources in Ramallah and Hamas officials in Gaza City that he would open the Rafah crossing from Gaza to Egyptian Sinai as soon as the new Palestinian government was in place, as a gesture of support. The answer they received from from Cairo to their request was that the border terminals would remain open only if PA security forces from Ramallah assumed control of the borders and officiated at the crossings.
But Hamas has no intention of handing this strategic resource over to Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah. A standoff has therefore developed between the two partners, souring the amity they have strived to display. Any PA bid to take over control of the Gaza crossings would be forcibly resisted by Hamas, a clash that could spell the end of their reconciliation and power-sharing deal.
Not only has Cairo kept the Rafah crossing shut, it has beefed up military oversight on its borders with Gaza to prevent incursions at any point. A law has been drafted moreover by the Egyptian authorities setting out long prison sentences for anyone attempting to “prepare, dig or use” a tunnel connecting Egypt to a foreign “entity” or nation (i.e. Hamas or the Palestinian government) for the passage of goods or persons.
By these actions, Egypt has begun tightening its blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Friday, June 6, Israel’s President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu phoned the incoming Egyptian president to congratulate him on winning the national election. Both Israeli and Egyptian officials declined to comment on the supposition that Cairo’s steps for sealing the Gaza borders and taken inside the enclave had been coordinated with Israel.
[President El-Sisi] only stated pointedly that new opportunities had opened up for strengthening the peace pact with Israel. He did not elaborate on this. But … Israel has contracted to supply Egypt with 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas annually from its Tamar offshore field, to meet the economy’s desperate shortage of energy. Israel, which already sells gas to Jordan, will shortly become Egypt’s biggest gas supplier. …
El-Sisi’s clampdown on Hamas ties in with the heavy Egyptian military deployment on its western border with Libya, and his determination to put a stop to the flow of smuggled weapons to the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip into the hands of Islamist terrorists.
Cairo recently received an intelligence tip-off that a number of Muslim Brotherhood leaders on the run had set up base in the Gaza Strip to engineer terrorist attacks on the Egyptian army, especially in Cairo and the Suez coastal cities.
Cairo is meting out harsh treatment not only to Hamas, but also to the pro-Iranian Palestinian Jihad Islami. Egyptian military intelligence made it clear to these extremists that, since their military wing now rivals Hamas’s militia, the Ezz a-Din Al-Qassam, its leader Mohammed Al-Hindi, a personal enemy of El-Sisi, must go.
If not, Cairo will bar its members from travel between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, thereby cutting them off from their ties to Iran and the Arab world. This week, Jihad Islami knuckled under and replaced Al-Hindi with a new Gaza leader, Nafez Assam.
Mahmoud Abbas will try, when he visits Cairo next Tuesday to attend El-Sisi’s inauguration as president, to obtain clear answers about his intentions. If Egypt maintains its current restrictions on the Gaza Strip and Hamas into the future, the Palestinians will be unable to hold the elections for president and parliament that are scheduled for Jan. 2, 2015 in the two territories. This will place the survival of the power-sharing government in Ramallah in grave doubt.
Caroline Glick comments on the ludicrous – no, lunatic resurrection of a long dead and always pointless “peace process”, a masquerade which involves nothing more than deranged Israeli politicians, American under-informed egos, and racist Palestinians with no mandate from anybody saying yet again everything that’s been said a hundred thousand times before.
As always, Israel is “pressured” by powers and the spirits of darkness to “make concessions” – which it always does – while no pressure is brought to bear on the Palestinians to concede anything at all.
The Arabs will concede nothing ever. They want the abolition of the state of Israel nothing less. If they were to accept sovereignty over Judea and Samaria it would be as an interim measure, a stage towards their final goal of taking over the whole region – a “stages policy” having been approved by Yasser Arafat.
What the present powers and spirits of darkness (going this time under the names of “Barack Obama” and “John Kerry”) are trying to achieve is the abolition of the state of Israel. They can bring this about by forcing Israel to shrink very small and into that remnant squeeze a few million Palestinian “refugees”. The Palestinian leaders, openly racist and with an apartheid mentality, say they will not tolerate a single Jew on their territory, and will combine what is at present Israel, plus Samaria and Judea (the ancient land of the Judeans or Israelites), and Gaza to constitute a new state named Palestine. It will be the first time such a state has ever existed. Then the Jews, expelled from the little state they let go to please “Barack Obama” and “John Kerry”, will once again be stateless and at the mercy of host nations who practice their God-enjoined neighborly love of them with periodic pogroms and genocidal massacres. “Barack Obama” and “John Kerry” will be no more pleased with them then than they are now or ever have been. One can only conclude that if Israeli leaders really do let this happen, they are either severely mentally retarded or incurably insane.
Caroline Glick looks far down the road-map and sees with brilliant clarity the insanity of the present talks. She writes (in part):
Kerry visited Israel six times in the four months leading up to the meetings in Washington this week, during which Americans, Palestinians and Israelis discussed the size of the table they will be sitting around in the coming discussions.
During the same four months, the Syrian regime used chemical weapons against its opponents on multiple occasions. Most recently, they gassed Palestinians in Yarmuk refugee camp outside Damascus, killing 22 people.
During those four months, al-Qaida strengthened its control over the Syrian opposition groups fighting the regime.
During those four months, the Syrian civil war became a focal point of a wider Sunni-Shi’ite religious war that has already spread to Lebanon and Iraq. In its post-US-withdrawal role of Iranian satrapy, Iraq has allowed Iran to use its territory and airspace to transfer war materiel to the Syrian regime.
During those four months, the Obama administration decided to begin arming the al-Qaida dominated rebel forces. It has also deliberately raised the risk of a Syrian-Israeli war by informing the media every time that Israel attacks missile sites in Syria.
Also during the four months that Kerry obsessed over convincing PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas to send his representative to Washington, Egypt experienced its second revolution in which, buffeted by millions of demonstrators who filled the squares of Egypt’s cities, the Egyptian military overthrew the US-supported Muslim Brotherhood regime. …
This week … a deeply disturbing report … explained that … Iran will reach “critical capacity” in its nuclear program by mid-2014 … [defining] critical capacity as “the technical capability to produce sufficient weapon-grade uranium from its safeguarded stocks of low enriched uranium for a nuclear explosive, without being detected.” …
But for Kerry … the most urgent priority was to convince the Palestinians to sit in the same room as Israelis. …
Which he did, after the Palestinians had insisted that 104 terrorists imprisoned in Israel be released. Kerry pressured Israel to release them, and Israel did.
Its a dance. The steps are prescribed. They are followed in strict order.
The 104 “prisoners” are made up of Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. They are not car thieves or pickpockets. They are monsters with human faces. All 104 are serving life sentences for murder or attempted murder. Their crimes were gruesome acts of barbarism marked by demonic cruelty. …
There was nothing even vaguely courageous about Netanyahu’s decision to release these monsters.
There was nothing even vaguely courageous about his cabinet members’ decision to vote for their release. Theirs was an act of utter cravenness. They dishonored the victims, the victims’ families and the nation as a whole.
And they endangered the country. According to the Almagor Victims of Terror organization, from 2000 to 2005, 180 Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorists released by Israel in previous “deals.” And those terrorists had been imprisoned for non-lethal actions, (i.e., without blood on their hands).
The fact that Netanyahu and his ministers passed this decision simply to provide a sufficient payoff to Abbas for him to send Saeb Erekat to Washington to talk about nothing with (Israel’s leftist Minister of Justice) Livni, makes their actions, not only craven, but insane. …
Kerry said that the talks about the size of the table are going to bring about a situation where Israel will achieve, “not just the absence of conflict, but a full and lasting peace with the Arab and Muslim nations.”
Like Kerry’s demand that Israel free the terrorists, this statement bespeaks an underlying fanatical dementia. …
Because the “Arab and Muslim nations” have given not the least sign, not the faintest hint, that they would make peace with Israel in any circumstances whatsoever.
As for the Palestinians, if they were interested in “lasting peace” with Israel, they wouldn’t demand freedom for terrorist murderers. Moreover, while Kerry was exulting in his brilliant success, Abbas announced that in his version of “lasting peace,” Jews will be wiped off of the map of Palestine.
As Abbas put it, “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldiers – on our lands.” …
It is not surprising that Kerry, Obama and Livni are going along with this obscenity. It is not surprising that fanatics who pray to the god of the two-state solution think it is courageous to free Jewish-baby killers. It is not surprising they think the most important thing on the international agenda is to secure Israel’s surrender of land, our legal rights, and our ability to defend ourselves to a terrorist group that hates Jews so much it requires all of us to be gone before it will do us the favor of accepting sovereignty.
What is surprising – and frightening – is that Netanyahu … is going along with this.
Netanyahu knows that Israel cannot survive without Judea and Samaria. He knows what the Muslim Brotherhood is. He knows the nature of the Iranian regime. He knows that the PLO is no different from Hamas. Their goal is the same – they want to destroy Israel.
Netanyahu knows that Obama is hostile to Israel and that he will not lift a finger to block Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
So why is he going along with their insanity? In bowing to US pressure and approving the release of 104 terrorist murderers from prison, Netanyahu behaved like a coward. In bowing to US pressure not to bomb Iran’s nuclear installations, Netanyahu is being a coward.
The most important question for Israel today then is whether our leader is capable of being anything else.
And there is this depressingly accurate commentary on the “peace talks” by Avi Bell, Professor of Law at the University of San Diego, posted at The Augean Stables:
If Israel refuses to negotiate, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because it refuses to negotiate.
If the Palestinians refuse to negotiate, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because the Palestinians can see negotiations with Israel are pointless.
If Israel makes preconditions to negotiations, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because it is trying to avoid negotiations.
If the Palestinians make preconditions to negotiations, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because the Palestinians have to force Israel to be serious in the negotiations.
If Israel makes no offer of peace, that proves Israel is not interested in peace.
If the Palestinians make no offer of peace, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because the Palestinians can see that making offers of peace with Israel are pointless.
If Israel makes an offer of peace and the Palestinians reject it, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because Israel is not willing to make the kind of offer the Palestinians would accept.
Although some of their leaders imported the idea of nationalism from Europe in the 20th century, it is not a motivating cause among Arabs. Tribe and religion are what matter to them. They regard the existence of Israel as an offense against Islam, and their hatred of it has nothing to do with territory, boundaries, settlements, states, no matter that their spokesmen pretend otherwise when they address the Western media or the United Nations. Islam teaches that all non-Muslims are worthy only of hatred, subjugation, and ignominious death.
This article is by Giulio Meotti from Front Page:
What can motivate the current Palestinian society to … the most horrible form of childhood molestation and child sacrifice? The way in which the Palestinian Authority educates children and society is a key indicator of its true intentions.
Convincing ordinary individuals to sacrifice themselves to kill the Jews is not easy, it requires subhuman ideas and institutions. The logo of the “Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations” – on their website and on top of their official statements at the U.N. – shows the Palestinian Authority’s claim to a Palestine that stretches throughout the entire historical entity of the former Palestine mandate, which had nothing to do with those who call themselves Palestinians today and everything to do with a national homeland for the Jewish people..
Palestinian Media Watch also revealed that Mahmoud Abbas chose an icon of genocidal anti-Semitism, the mother of four terrorists, one of whom killed seven Israeli civilians and attempted to killed twelve others, as the person to launch the statehood campaign with the United Nations.
In a widely publicized event, Abbas had Latifa Abu Hmeid lead the procession to the UN offices in Ramallah and hand over a letter for the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon. It is a measure of how deeply the ethos of martyrdom has penetrated Abbas’ policy, hailed for its “moderation”.
For as long as the PA continues to foment violence and promote hatred, the number of youngsters willing to blow themselves up or to slit Israeli throats will unfortunately continue to mount. The Palestinian Authority is still a font of incitement …
Palestinian leadership now seeks self-determination at the United Nations, but its daily policy shouts to the world that even after statehood, the fight must continue against the Jews. …
There is no precedent in the history of humanity for this god of martyrdom.
Well, perhaps there is. There were long dark ages when untold numbers of Christians sought martyrdom as a qualification to enter their heaven, often through murderous encounters with other Christians over differences of doctrine. And the lust for martyrdom must have been the motive of at least some of the Christian warriors of the Crusades. That sort of thing is not done so much now by Christians. But many Christians, notably on the political left, condone and even actively encourage Palestinian terrorism.
Generations of PA Arabs are taught to see … terrorist operations as a way to “open the door to Paradise” … It’s the highest level of paradise, the one reserved for prophets and saints.
Signs on the walls of Palestinian kindergartens currently proclaim their students as “the shaheeds (martyrs) of tomorrow”. Elementary school principals commend their students for wanting to “tear [Zionists’] bodies into little pieces and cause them more pain than they will ever know”.
Terrorism is sanctified throughout all the PA areas. The streets are plastered with posters glorifying the suicide bombers. Children trade “martyr cards” instead of Pokemon cards. Necklaces with pictures of terrorists are very popular.
But are there not some Muslims who dislike the teaching of hatred?
This comes from AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA), an English-language Shia television channel headquartered in London:
Saudis export anti-Christian and anti-Jewish textbooks across the world.
Textbooks used in Saudi Arabia’s schools contain virulent forms of anti-Christian and anti-Jewish bigotry that continue to fuel intolerance and violence around the globe, says a new report.
The problem is far greater than the five million students in Saudi Arabia who use these texts every day, said Nina Shea, director of the Washington-based Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom.
“Because of the Saudis’ great oil wealth, it is able to disseminate its textbooks far and wide,” she wrote in the report, Ten Years On.
“[These textbooks] are posted on the Saudi Education Ministry’s website and are shipped and distributed free by a vast Saudi-sponsored Sunni infrastructure to many Muslim schools, mosques and libraries throughout the world.
“This is not just hate mongering, it’s promoting violence,” she said in an interview. It is exporting terrorism through textbooks.
Christians are referred to as “swine” and Jews as “apes,” while being blamed for much of the world’s ills.
She notes in the report that since the Saudis control Islam’s holiest shrines in Mecca and Medina, they can “disseminate its religious materials among the millions of Muslims making the Hajj each year. Hence, these teachings can have a wide and deep influence.”
ABNA is apparently quoting Nina Shea with approval. But are these Shias exposing these facts about the Sunnis of Saudi Arabia out of genuine disgust or only because they are their doctrinal enemies?
The greatest real threat at present to the non-Muslim world is the aggressive Shia regime of Iran with its active pursuit of nuclear arms.
Why has Israel not yet taken action to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations?
Perhaps because it has to deal with a more immediately urgent threat nearer home.
According to this report and commentary, Iran’s proxies – Syria, Hizbullah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza – are poised to launch another war against Israel:
Defense minister Ehud Barak’s snap nomination of OC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant as Israel’s 20th chief of staff was necessary … to pull the high command together in view of the preparations to attack Israel gathering momentum …
The general expectation of a US-Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear sites has therefore faded into the background of the threatening stance currently adopted by Tehran’s allies, Syria, Hizballah and the Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad. …
Jerusalem is extremely concerned by the placing of four hostile military forces on the highest level of war preparedness in the last few days and are asking why. …
Syrian prime minister Naji al-Otari and Abbas Zaki, one of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ closest aides, have spoken of a “very imminent” Middle East war …
There is no telling in the Middle East when an isolated incident may not deteriorate rapidly into a major conflict when the climate is as tense as it is at present. It came dangerously close on Aug. 3, when a Lebanese army sniper shot dead an Israeli colonel precipitating a heavy exchange of fire.
Lebanon is on tenterhooks over the nine Hizballah leaders the international court inquiring into the 2005 Hariri assassination plans to summon as suspected perpetrators of the crime. Hizballah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah has given the Beirut government due notice that if his top people are surrendered to the tribunal, he will plunge the country in a civil conflict.
Hizballah, backed by Damascus, recently began accusing Israel of engineering the murder, so providing themselves with a neat pretext for going to war and avoiding facing the music.
Thursday, Aug. 19, all Syrian homeland defenses and emergency services were placed on the highest war readiness for an outbreak of hostilities without further notice. …
We don’t doubt that all this is true. But our own view – admittedly from a distance – is that a devastating blow to Iran itself would stop the cat’s paw forces dead.
What else might be staying Israel’s hand against Iran? Bullying threats and orders from anti-Israel HQ, the White House?
Yes, we suspect that’s the answer. If we ‘re right, the danger of a widespread conflagration will intensify, and the pointless charade of “peace talks” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority’s powerless Abu Abbas, due to start September 2 on Obama’s insistence, can make not a jot of difference.
The Guardian, which is strongly pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel, reports that the Obama administration is secretly in contact with Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules Gaza:
The United States is sending a succession of envoys to engage with Hamas but lacks the bravery to talk to the Islamist movement openly, its leader, Khaled Meshal, said in an interview with the Guardian.
Meshal praised President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia for meeting him in Damascus and the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, for hosting the discussion 10 days ago. He told Medvedev that the US was also talking to him. “I thanked him for that meeting and told him the Americans contact us, but are not brave enough to do so openly,” said Meshal. “I am confident that in the very near future, everyone will realise that they will have to deal with Hamas.”
The claim that the US is engaging with a group it lists as a terrorist organisation will upset the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, whose security forces have locked up and allegedly tortured leading Hamas members in the West Bank. …
Meshal said the tectonic plates in the Middle East were shifting, with Iran, Turkey and Syria emerging as regional powers. Egypt was in the throes of a battle for succession that would paralyse it as a regional player. As a result, Israel was losing its power to impose conditions on a weakened Palestinian leadership in Ramallah.
As it felt its power ebbing, Israel needed a new war but was crippled by self-doubt, Meshal said. He claimed the attacks on Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006, and against Hamas in Gaza in 2009, left both organisations stronger politically and militarily.
“Israel is conducting exercises threatening Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria. It needs a war, but choosing the front to fight on will not be a picnic and this reflects the crisis in Israel. It does not want peace, but the option of war is not easy for it,” he said.
Hamas and Hezbollah, it should be remembered, exist to attack Israel. Hamas was created by the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hezbollah – “The Party of God” – by the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, both for the sole purpose of attacking Israel.
Hamas and its supporters are provoking war. The Turkish-led flotilla that tried to break the Gaza blockade was a trap into which the Israelis unaccountably fell.
Caroline Glick writes:
The fact that IDF forces boarding the ships would be met by trenchant, violent opposition was knowable simply by looking at Turkey’s role in the operation. First of all, the Turkish government-supported NGO behind the operation is IHH. As the US government, the Turkish government in the 1990s, the Investigative Project on Terrorism and countless other sources have proven, IHH is a terrorist organization with direct links to al-Qaida and Hamas. Its members have been involved in terrorist warfare from Chechnya and Bosnia to Iraq and Israel.
(And the Turkish Prime Minister has the chutzpah to call in the Israeli ambassador and reproach Israel for attacking “peaceful humanitarians”!)
It’s surprising that the IDF did not anticipate an armed attack, but they did not. They shot paint-balls at their assailants, who use knives, clubs, and at least one gun. Eventually the Israelis had to defend themselves with bullets. Hamas has won a world-wide propaganda victory claiming that the only aim of the ships was “to take humanitarian aid” to Gaza, and that innocent “peace protestors” were shot down in cold blood by the Israelis. Most of the world is only too willing to believe them.The world denies Israel the right to defend itself. But Israel’s only choice is between self-defense and obliteration.
Hezbollah – which John Brennan, Obama’s National Security Adviser, absurdly declares has a “moderate” faction that should be negotiated with – has recently been armed by Syria with Scud missiles. Iran has enough enriched uranium to make at least two bombs, and probably already has them. In addition it might have bought one or more from North Korea.
There will be war, and it will be nuclear war.
Israel will have to use nuclear weapons.*
There will probably be nuclear war in the Far East too. Nuclear-armed North Korea is threatening “all-out war” against South Korea, and China will support its Communist ally.
The wars will be the result of Obama’s policies of “engagement” with Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, and North Korea.
Obama the Disarmer – the passionate nuclear disarmer – will be a cause of nuclear war.
*Go here to watch a Pajamas TV video of Sam Cohen, “Manhattan project member and father of the neutron bomb”, saying what we say about Iran, Israel, and the necessity for Israel to use its nuclear bombs. He advises the Israelis to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities “tomorrow morning”.
“Condemn” is a very strong word in diplomat-speak. It’s the word most American presidents would apply only to the activities and policies of hostile and extremely delinquent states.
Obama is applying it to Israel.
What has Israel done that is very wrong? Let’s see.
Not long ago it reluctantly agreed under American pressure to suspend building new houses for Jewish occupants on the West Bank, but expressly excluded Jerusalem from the agreement, and the exclusion was accepted by Obama’s State Department.
So when it announced recently that planning permission has been given for some additional apartments in an area to the north of Israel’s capital city, Israel did not expect an objection to be suddenly raised. The development, begun a dozen years ago, does not and will not encroach on any Arab neighborhood. Nobody has objected to it before. The ground had not previously been in use for housing or anything else. Some 18,000 Jews live there now with families growing up. There are normal needs for expansion of accomodation.
But because the piece of wasteland was taken in a war waged against Israel in 1948, and held until 1967 by the British-created state of Jordan, Obama wants it to be rid of its Jewish residents and kept in reserve to be “returned” to Arab possession when there is a state of Palestine.
So the routine announcement that long-planned building in that part of Jerusalem will go ahead has been taken by Obama to be such an insult “to America” that Israel must be condemned for it. The result is a crisis of relations between the two countries.
We contend that the announcement was a handy excuse; that the crisis was engineered; that any pretext would have done.
But what is it Obama needs a pretext for?
Caroline Glick’s answer is this:
Why has President Barak Obama decided to foment a crisis in US relations with Israel? …
Obama’s new demands follow the months of American pressure that eventually coerced Netanyahu into announcing both his support for a Palestinian state and a 10-month ban on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria. No previous Israeli government had ever been asked to make the latter concession.
Netanyahu was led to believe that in return for these concessions Obama would begin behaving like the credible mediator his predecessors were. But instead of acting like his predecessors, Obama has behaved like the Palestinians. Rather than reward Netanyahu for taking a risk for peace, Obama has, in the model of Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, pocketed Netanyahu’s concessions and escalated his demands. This is not the behavior of a mediator. This is the behavior of an adversary. …
Obama’s assault on Israel is likely related to the failure of his Iran policy. Over the past week, senior administration officials including Gen. David Petraeus have made viciously defamatory attacks on Israel, insinuating that the construction of homes for Jews in Jerusalem is a primary cause for bad behavior on the part of Iran and its proxies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria and Gaza. By this line of thinking, if Israel simply returned to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines, Iran’s centrifuges would stop spinning, and Syria, al-Qaida, the Taliban, Hizbullah, Hamas and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards would all beat their swords into plowshares. …
Even more important than its usefulness as a tool to divert the public’s attention away from the failure of his Iran policy, Obama’s assault against Israel may well be aimed at maintaining that failed policy. Specifically, he may be attacking Israel in a bid to coerce Netanyahu into agreeing to give Obama veto power over any Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear installations. That is, the anti-Israel campaign may be a means to force Israel to stand by as Obama allows Iran to build a nuclear arsenal. …
Obama … seeks to realign US foreign policy away from Israel. Obama’s constant attempts to cultivate relations with Iran’s unelected president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ahmadinejad’s Arab lackey Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, and Turkey’s Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan make clear that he views developing US relations with these anti-American regimes as a primary foreign policy goal. …
[And] he is using his manufactured crisis to justify adopting an overtly anti-Israel position vis-à-vis the Palestinians. …
Likewise, the crisis Obama has manufactured with Israel could pave the way for him to recognize a Palestinian state if the Palestinians follow through on their threat to unilaterally declare statehood next year regardless of the status of negotiations with Israel. Such a US move could in turn lead to the deployment of US forces in Judea and Samaria to “protect” the unilaterally declared Palestinian state from Israel.
General Petraeus has even suggested putting the “Palestinian territories” under his central command.
We don’t believe the Palestinians’ threat. If they declare a state they’ll need to declare its boundaries, and if the boundaries do not embrace the entire state of Israel plus Gaza plus Judaea and Samaria, they’ll be acknowledging the right of Israel to exist. Borders have two sides. “This side the State of Palestine; that side the State of Israel”. The pretence of their now being willing to settle for a “two-state solution” – when they’ve been rejecting such a thing for more than six decades – would instantly be exposed as the lie it is.
But Obama wants there to be a Palestinian state. And if it cannot, because it will not, be a second state in the region, will he then insist that it should be the only state?
We see no reason why there should be a 22nd Arab state.
We see no reason why the 21 existing Arab states shouldn’t assimilate the refugees of the Palestine region just as Israel assimilated the Jews who were expelled by the Arab states in 1948.
We see no reason why Jews shouldn’t live in Arab/Muslim countries just as Arabs/Muslims live in Israel, with full voting and property-owning rights, paying the same taxes, protected by the same laws equally.
We would be happy to see only one state in the region – the State of Israel, not Palestine.
But Obama, and the huge bloc of Islamic countries, and Europe, and Russia, have a vision of a 22-state Arab judenrein Middle East.
If America withdraws diplomatic support, as it is likely to do now; if Iran, bent on destroying Israel, is soon to be nuclear armed with Obama’s consent; and if, in addition, American forces are to be sent to the West Bank to aid Palestinian forces against their Israeli enemy as has been proposed, how good is Israel’s chance of surviving?
The conjugation of two failures – a Barack Obama mess up (or pursuit of an anti-Jew pro-Islam passion) and a Mahmoud Abbas sulky retirement – provides Israel with an opportunity.
Caroline Glick writes:
Today the Fatah movement is in disarray. Last week its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, announced his intention to retire and has placed the blame for his decision on the Obama administration as well as on Israel. Key Palestinian spokesmen like Saeb Erekat have declared the death of the peace process and called for the renewal of the jihad against Israel.
As for the larger Muslim world, a report this week in The New York Times stated that the US’s key Arab allies, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, have been perilously weakened since Obama took office. Their diminished influence has been accompanied by the rapid rise of Iran and Syria. Both of these rogue states have been on the receiving end of continuous wooing by Obama administration officials who seem ready to do just about anything to appease them.
In the meantime, Iran’s Hizbullah proxy in Lebanon has again managed to regain control over Lebanon’s government, despite its defeat in June’s parliamentary election. Making full use of the fact that it fields the most powerful army in the country and owing as well to the US’s decision to abandon the pro-Western March 14 movement in favor of an approach that makes no distinction between America’s friends and foes in Lebanon, Hizbullah strong-armed its way back to the driver’s seat in the new Lebanese government.
As for Hizbullah’s Iranian bosses, far from convincing them to moderate their policies, the Obama administration’s efforts to appease the ayatollahs have emboldened Iran’s theocratic leaders to adopt ever-more radical positions against the US. …
The fact that Obama’s policies have all failed so spectacularly presents a unique opportunity for Israel to move its policies in a bold new direction. …
As Netanyahu knows, there is consensus support among Israelis for his plan to ensure that the country retains defensible borders in perpetuity. This involves establishing permanent Israeli control over the Jordan Valley and the large Jewish population blocs in Judea and Samaria. In light of the well-recognized failure of the two-state solution, Hamas’s takeover of Gaza and the disintegration of Fatah accompanied by the shattering of the myth of Fatah moderation, Israel should strike out on a new course and work toward the integration of Judea and Samaria, including its Palestinian population, into Israeli society. In the first instance, this will require the implementation of Israeli law in the Jordan Valley and the large settlement blocs.
Replacing the military government in these areas with Israel’s more liberal legal code will also advance Netanyahu’s economic peace plan, which envisions expanding the Palestinian economy in Judea and Samaria by among other things reintegrating it into Israel’s booming economy. This plan would reward political moderation while marginalizing terrorists in Palestinian society. In so doing, it will advance the cause of peaceful coexistence over the long-term far better than the failed two-state solution. Far from engendering peace, the two-state paradigm empowered the most corrupt and violent actors in Palestinian society, at the expense of its most productive and moderate citizens.
Obama’s disgraceful treatment of Israel and, for that matter, his atrocious treatment of the majority of America’s allies in the Middle East and throughout the world, has strengthened the hands of America’s worst enemies and made the world a much more dangerous place. But his obvious failures provide Israel with an opportunity to take control of events and change the situation for the betterment of Israel and the Palestinians alike.
Applying Israeli law to the Jordan Valley and the major Israeli population blocs in Judea and Samaria will probably not win Netanyahu many friends in the Obama White House. But if we learned anything from Obama’s insulting treatment of Netanyahu and American Jews this week, we learned that regardless of what Israel does, the Obama administration has no interest in being his friend.
It’s well worth reading the whole article. Glick deals with the unavoidable demographic question. The fact is that, contrary to all prediction, the Jewish population has a higher birth rate than the Arab, and an Israel enlarged as she envisions would still be a Jewish state.