Friday, October 24, 2014

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Abbas's Responsibility for Murder
To understand what drives a young Palestinian to carry out such a deadly attack, one needs to look at the statements of Palestinian Authority leaders during the past few weeks.
The anti-Israel campaign of incitement reached its peak with Abbas's speech at the UN a few weeks ago, when he accused Israel of waging a "war of genocide" in the Gaza Strip. Abbas made no reference to Hamas's crimes against both Israelis and Palestinians.
Whatever his motives, it is clear that the man who carried out the most recent attack, was influenced by the messages that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership have been sending their people.
Israel Can't Have Partial Sovereignty
This may not be taught in conflict resolution departments, but this is how it works in the real world: whoever shows a daily, regular presence determines affairs. If it's not us, it will be someone else.
The only way to restore security is a robust sovereign and consistent presence in Arab neighborhoods and towns. Not by hiding behind pillboxes and armored vehicles, but with constant and stubborn policing, day after day. Law enforcement is a dirty job, and professional have to do it. Crimes, murders (including "honor killings"), illegal arms and all the sundry "internal" Arab affairs need to start being our business, not something to be dealt with "in house". If we don't, we simply won't last here.
This requires a lot of effort, it's not politically correct and there may be casualties. But if we don't want to wake up with ISIS as a next door neighbor, we're going to have to act preemptively to keep it out.
The Poison Tree
Last month, addressing the U.N. General Assembly, Benjamin Netanyahu made a connection between the Islamic State and Hamas. These terrorist entities, Netanyahu said, have a lot in common. Separated by geography, they nonetheless share ideology and tactics and goals: Islamism, terrorism, the destruction of Israel, and the establishment of a global caliphate.
And yet, Netanyahu observed, the very nations now campaigning against the Islamic State treated Hamas like a legitimate combatant during last summer’s Israel-Gaza war. “They evidently don’t understand,” he said, “that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree.”
The State Department dismissed Netanyahu’s metaphor. “Obviously, we’ve designated both as terrorist organizations,” said spokesman Jen Psaki. “But ISIL poses a different threat to Western interests and to the United States.”
Psaki was wrong, of course. She’s always wrong. And, after the events of the last 48 hours, there ought not to be any doubt as to just how wrong she was. As news broke that a convert to Islam had murdered a soldier and stormed the Canadian parliament, one read of another attack in Jerusalem, where a Palestinian terrorist ran his car over passengers disembarking from light rail, injuring seven, and killing 3-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun, who held a U.S. passport.
Sarah Honig: The 14th century in Washington
Kerry didn’t only fail to rebuff this dangerous allegation when it was sounded by the “regional leaders” with whom he so cozily hobnobbed. Kerry actually quoted Arab aspersions, giving them resonance and official endorsement.
And he didn’t just echo Israel’s enemies but added his own editorializing commentary to reinforce their Israel-connection contentions: “People need to understand the connection of that. And it has something to do with humiliation and denial and absence of dignity.”
Here Kerry treacherously crossed a redline, in a calculated move that should send chills down the spine of every thinking person.
Kerry intimated that by refusing to commit collective suicide, Israelis abet the nastiest menace to the civilized world. The subtext ought to be clear even to this non-erudite secretary of state.
In essence, blaming the blameless for what they have no involvement in is as morally reprehensible as the mid-14th century scapegoating of Europe’s Jews during the Black Death. Right across the Continent, the recommended remedy was to accuse Jews of poisoning the wells.
With adaptations, this remains the undisputed conventional wisdom. As Hamas avers and as Kerry chummily chimes in, when anything goes wrong the instant surefire remedy is to blame the Jew. The 14th century lives on in 21st century Washington.

Jpost Editorial: Bad Choices
It is no coincidence that the Jerusalem light rail, which in many ways symbolizes a vision of peaceful coexistence between Jewish and Arab neighborhoods in a unified capital, has been the focal point for Palestinian terrorism and violence. Hardly a day has gone by over the past three months without an Israeli car being pelted with stones.
Wednesday’s terrorist attack took place as passengers were leaving the train.
Some on the Left have attempted to argue that rioting, stone-throwing, and terrorist attacks are the results of years of discrimination against Jerusalem’s Palestinians. But if Palestinians were truly interested in improving their own lives, and not only in delegitimizing Israel, we would be seeing tens of thousands of Palestinians mobilizing in nonviolent ways – such as by using their tremendous electoral power in municipal elections – to demand an equal distribution of goods, services, and land.
Had they chosen integration and cooperation, Palestinians would long ago have succeeded in advancing coexistence.
Unfortunately, they chose – and continue to choose – the route of violence and terrorism, and we are all paying for that mistake.
Rivlin: We Have the Right to Walk Fearlessly in Jerusalem
Against the backdrop of Wednesday's terrorist murder, President Reuven Rivlin addressed the growing Arab violence in Jerusalem at the memorial for murdered minister Rehavam Ze'evi,who was popularly known as "Gandhi," at the Har Herzl cemetery.
Ze'evi was murdered by PFLP assassins on October 17, 2001, at the Hyatt Hotel in Jerusalem.
"The murderous event that took place just yesterday, a short distance from where Gandhi was murdered, the terrible murder of a little baby, shocks all those who have a human heart.
"The supporters of terror will do all within their power so that we cannot walk the streets of Jerusalem, but we must guard the safety of Jerusalem and its residents, to walk fearless in Jerusalem."
Heartbreaking: Last Picture of Baby Terror Victim
This is the last picture taken of Chaya Zisel Braun, the three-month-old baby girl murdered last night when an Arab terrorist drove his car into a crowd of people at a Jerusalem Light Rail station.
The picture was taken at the Kotel (Western Wall) where her parents were praying just hours before her life was tragically cut short as the family made their way home.
Later Wednesday evening, grandfather Shimon Halperin recounted how the couple had been childless for many years and were overjoyed when they finally gave birth to a daughter.
Israel Calls on Security Council to Condemn Jerusalem Attack
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Ron Prosor, on Thursday called upon the Security Council to condemn Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem and denounce the rise in Palestinian incitement.
“The Jewish people know all too well that before a nation is attacked with guns and rockets, it is attacked with words of hate; Hamas has attacked Israel with both,” Prosor wrote in a letter to the Security Council.
“Earlier this week, in our remarks to the Security Council, Israel warned that President Abbas was inciting violence against Jews. Yesterday we saw the results of his inflammatory remarks. Following the terrorist attack, President Abbas’s senior advisor, Sultan Abu Al-Einein, called the perpetrator a ‘heroic martyr’,” he added.
“We shouldn’t be surprised that President Abbas has not uttered a single word to condemn the heinous attack; he is too busy leading a campaign to erase the connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem while also inciting violence.
“Extremists use words of hate to glorify a culture of death; this Council must use its words to sanctify life,” wrote Prosor.
As US stood silent, Palestinian hate kills 3-month-old
On Wednesday, Hamas terrorist Abed Abdelrahman Shaludeh murdered three-month-old Chaya Ziso Braun, an American citizen, and injured eight others on a Jerusalem sidewalk. Video showed the attacker deliberately plowing his car into the group of pedestrians.
The State Department condemned the attack — but US diplomats had been horribly silent in the run-up to it, as Palestinian leaders stoked hysteria and hatred over an utterly fictitious “Jewish encroachment” on Islamic holy sites on the Temple Mount.
Israel has been in absolute control of the Temple Mount, along with other religious sites holy to both peoples, for nearly 50 years, yet it has never sought to restrict Muslim visitation and worship, security conditions permitting.
The false rumors that Israelis were moving to deny Muslim access began a week or so ago — but the madness reached fever pitch after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas encouraged it over the weekend.
Abbas called Jews visiting the Temple Mount (Judaism’s holiest place) a “herd of cattle,” with no right to visit or worship there. Jewish visits, he said, were a desecration that must be stopped “by any means.”
“Any means” turned out to include the murder of baby Chaya.
Memo from US Consulate refers to Jerusalem terror attack as 'traffic incident'
Hours after a Palestinian terrorist drove his car into a crowd waiting at a light rail station in Jerusalem, the US consulate in the city issued a memo referring to the attack as a "traffic incident".
A three-month-old baby was killed and seven other people were wounded when Abdel Rahman a-Shaludi drove his car across incoming traffic to strike the people waiting at the station. The baby girl, Chaya Zissel Braun, had American citizenship.
The memo was sent to employees of the American consulate, which is based in East Jerusalem. It asks staff to report "any emergency."(h/t Bob Knot)
US tells staff to avoid E. Jerusalem rail stations
US government personnel have been restricted from using Jerusalem Light Rail stations in parts of eastern Jerusalem for a month.
The US State Department announced the ban Thursday in a security message emailed to Americans in Israel the day after a terrorist attack on a light rail station left an infant dead and eight people injured.
The restriction is for the area where Wednesday’s attack occurred and further into eastern Jerusalem. The restriction will be reviewed after 30 days.
PM Meets Cop Who Shot Baby-Killer Terrorist
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu convened a security consultation Thursday afternoon with Interior Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich, Israel Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino, ISA (Shin Bet) Director Yoram Cohen, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Jerusalem District Police Commander Moshe Edri at Israel Police headquarters in Jerusalem.
The prime minister was introduced to the Jerusalem District police officer who shot the terrorist who killed a baby, when he plowed into a group of civilians with his car in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
Netanyahu likewise asked to send his condolences to the family of three-month-old Chaya Zisel Braun who was murdered in the attack: "On behalf of the entire nation, I send condolences to the family of this pure baby and my wishes for a quick and full recovery to those who were wounded.
Jerusalem residents afraid but stoic after attack
As a police helicopter hovered above the site of Wednesday evening’s deadly terrorist attack at Jerusalem’s Ammunition Hill light rail stop, residents of the capital on Thursday expressed a mixture of fear and stoicism, with many drawing comparisons to the second intifada.
“The last time I felt this way was 10 years ago,” said Ronit Yazan, a Ma’ale Adumim resident, who uses the train stop daily to get to and from work downtown. “I feel fear not only here, but everywhere in Jerusalem. They [Arabs] are around us all the time – on the bus, the train, in the streets.”
Yazan then paused to look over her shoulder.
“It feels 100 percent that an attack could happen at any moment,” she said. “I need to come here every day, and now I have to look behind my back for them [Arabs].”
Recording released of eyewitness emergency call from scene of Jerusalem terror attack
Magen David Adom released Thursday a recording of an emergency call from a bystander who witnessed the terror attack in Jerusalem on Wednesday in which a three-month-old baby was killed and eight others were injured.
"Hello MDA? Hurry, hurry, Ammunition Hill at the light rail station, a girl - he drove up on the sidewalk, hit one in the head, hit another elderly one and a baby," the eyewitness can be heard saying in the recording.
The MDA dispatcher then informed the woman that an ambulance was on the way, asking her how many injured people there were on the scene.
"There is an injured baby, a girl who is bleeding, and another older woman," she answered.
"Has he been stopped," the dispatcher then asked.
"He was stopped and they neutralized him," the woman then said. "He isn't hurting anyone," she added.
Jerusalem to step up security after second day of violence
Jerusalem will step up its security level following threats made during a second violent day in the city.
In an attempt to prevent rioting, Jerusalem police announced there will be restrictions on who can enter the Temple Mount for Friday prayers, Israel Radio reported.
Though Muslim women of all ages will be able to enter the Temple Mount, only men above aged 40 and up will be allowed to enter the area.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered an additional Border Police company to the capital. The prime minister added that Israel will step up its intelligence and law enforcement efforts throughout the city. “This, and additional measures,” which he said he did not want to elaborate on, will restore quiet to the capital, he said.
PA's Erekat Justifies Terrorist Murder of Israeli Baby'
More statements have surfaced from Palestinian Authority (PA) chief negotiator Saeb Erekat's Thursday speech, in which in addition to threatening unilateral UN Security Council moves against Israel next month, he blamed Israel for the Hamas terror attack in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
"We regret all loss of life. At the same time we reiterate that the Israeli occupation of Palestine remains the main source of violence and instability in the region," said Erekat in Ramallah. "Palestinian citizens continue to be oppressed, imprisoned, injured and killed by the occupation forces, with impunity and the full backing of the Israeli government."
In the statements, reported by the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency on Friday, Erekat also launched a verbal barrage on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
‘Bias on Steroids’: This AP Headline Explains Why So Many Complain About Media Coverage of Israel
A 3-month-old baby girl was killed Wednesday when a car driven by a Palestinian man slammed into a group of bystanders at a Jerusalem light rail station, but the early headline of an Associated Press story on the incident drew criticism from pro-Israel media watchdogs who called it a perfect example of media bias against the Jewish state.
“Israeli police shoot man in east Jerusalem” was the initial headline of the AP story that ran on Yahoo and elsewhere, wording that ignored the killing of the baby, the Israeli police assessment that the attack was motivated by terrorism, and glossed over why police shot the man in the first place.
The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, a pro-Israel media watchdog, captured a screenshot of the headline, which was later edited. However, some Middle Eastern websites, including Lebanon’s Daily Star and Turkey’s Daily Sabah kept the original headline that obscured the context behind what really happened.
Douch’l And Greta
Anti-Israel Doucheblogger(TM) Richard Silverstein has posted about last night’s terror attack in Jerusalem in typical fashion.
Blaming Israel: "Jerusalem Terror Attack, Chickens Coming Home to Roost"
But if you think this is bad, check out the comment from Silverstein’s buddy Greta Berlin.
Greta Berlin, Free Gaza movement October 22, 2014, 11:17 PM
Excellent article as usual, Richard, BUT I do take issue with your calling this a terrorist attack. It is certainly a murderous attack, but your words reaffirm the vile story book of the Apartheid State of Israel. Why not call the squatter attack on the two girls with the car ‘a terrorist attack.” Both are murderous attacks, one done deliberately by an illegal squatter and one done in retaliation by an occupied Palestinian. Both are horrible.
Mothers of Terrorists: Ottawa and Jerusalem
The mother of the Muslim terrorists who attacked Canada's parliament building on October 22 says she is weeping for her son's victims, not for her son. What a contrast with the mothers of Palestinian terrorists who murder Israelis.
Mrs. Susan Bibeau, the mother of Canadian terrorist Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, told the Associated Press on October 23: "If I'm crying it's for the people, not for my son…I am mad at my son."
If only Palestinian Arab mothers felt the same way! Instead, they have the jihad mentality, too.
Last year (on Jan. 27, 2013), the Facebook page of Fatah, the movement headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, posted a feature about the mother of 23 year-old Wafa Idris, the first female Palestinian suicide bomber. She murdered one Israeli, and wounded over 100, by blowing herself up in a Jerusalem supermarket in 2002. The posting quoted Wafa's mother as saying "She is a hero…My daughter is a Martyr (Shahida)."
The Fatah page added: "Wafa's mother said that she is proud of her daughter, and hopes that more girls will follow in her footsteps."
Police: Shooter in Ottawa attack planned to travel to Syria
The gunman in Wednesday's attack at Canada's parliament building had a criminal record and recently applied for a passport, planning to travel to Syria after undergoing a "radicalization process," police said on Thursday.
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, was a Canadian who may also have held Libyan citizenship, said Bob Paulson, commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He said Zehaf-Bibeau had no apparent links to another Canadian who killed a soldier in Quebec earlier in the week.
Zehaf-Bibeau fatally shot a soldier at a national war memorial in the Canadian capital of Ottawa on Wednesday before racing through the parliament building, where he was shot dead near a room when Prime Minister Stephen Harper was addressing his Conservative caucus.
The guard credited with killing the gunman, Kevin Vickers, the House of Commons' sergeant-at-arms, resumed his duties Thursday as lawmakers greeted him with a prolonged standing ovation, cheers and whistles.
Vickers, 58, drew his handgun and fired multiple shots at Zehaf-Bibeau.

Canadian Jewish institutions up security after attacks
Canadian Jewish institutions are stepping up security after the murder of two Canadian soldiers by homegrown suspected pro-jihadist terrorists.
While it is not clear whether the two attacks, which included a shooting Wednesday at the Parliament in the nation’s capital, were related, they have shaken a country that has experienced few acts of terrorism and has often felt immune from attack.
While no direct threats were reported against Jewish institutions, they reportedly are heightening security measures in response.
“The Jewish community takes these incidents very seriously,” said Martin Sampson of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs in Ottawa. “We have security protocols in place and remain vigilant.”
Man with Islamic ‘extremist leanings’ attacks NY police
The man, identified in the US media as Zale Thompson, had posted an array of statements on YouTube and Facebook that “display a hyper-racial focus in both religious and historical contexts, and ultimately hint at his extremist leanings,” the SITE monitoring group said.
Four police officers in the city’s Queens borough were posing for a photograph at the request of a freelance photographer when the man walked up and without saying a word attacked them, a city hall statement said.
Moments before the attack, he was seen on a street corner crouching down to pull the hatchet out of backpack before he charged the officers and began swinging the hatchet with a two-handed grip, police said.
Let their people go!
As long as Gaza remains, it will be a platform to launch attacks against Israel and a target for Israeli counterattacks to silence them – with the residents of Gaza suffering regrettable, but unavoidable, collateral damage.
As I wrote at the start of Operation Protective Shield (“Why Gaza must go,” July, 24), the only durable solution is the dismantling of Gaza, humanitarian relocation of its non-belligerent Arab population, and extension of Israeli sovereignty over the region.
Instead of channeling funds into the futile reconstruction of buildings that are in all likelihood soon-to-be re-destroyed, the international community should channel resources into the relocation of people. That path would allow them better, more constructive and prosperous lives elsewhere, free from the clutches of their brutal, belligerent “leaders,” who have brought them nothing but endless sorrow and suffering.
Nothing could be more humane, liberal and conducive to stability. Nothing could be less so than compelling the people of Gaza to remain trapped in a tiny enclave, doomed to unending despair deprivation and devastation. The call should go out to the international community regarding the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza: Let their people go!
Israel shrugs off PA decision to delay UN Security Council plan
Israel reacted with a shrug on Thursday to a report that the Palestinian Authority has agreed to delay by two months its plan to seek a UN Security Council resolution calling for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines within three years.
The London-based pan-Arab daily Asharq Alawsat quoted Palestinian sources in Ramallah as saying that the PA leadership would give US Secretary of State John Kerry a two-month window to present his own plan for peace.
The PA leadership was nevertheless determined to proceed with the Security Council bid, the sources said.
The PA leadership was prepared to return to the negotiations with Israel, but not according to “old mechanisms,” the sources told the newspaper.
The Palestinians are conditioning the resumption of the talks on Israel presenting a map with a Palestinian state’s borders and a full cessation of settlement construction during the talks, according to the report.
Israel Radio, however, quoted PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat as denying a Palestinian agreement to wait two months before going to the Security Council. The report quoted Erekat as saying that the US had hinted that it would veto such a resolution in the Security Council, but that if Washington did so, the Palestinians would end their security cooperation with Israel and apply for membership in various international organizations.
One reason why the Palestinians may want to wait before going to the UN Security Council is that the 15-member body is expected to be more disposed to their cause in January than it is now, when Venezuela, Malaysia, Angola, New Zealand and Spain replace Argentina, South Korea, Rwanda, Australia and Luxembourg in the forum.
Ya'alon: It's Not About '67 Borders'
Ya’alon, who is in the United States, made the comments during a visit to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he met with wounded American soldiers.
"As far as the Palestinians are concerned, the conflict will not end with the 1967 borders,” he said, in comments related to Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem in which a three-month-old baby was murdered.
“The heart of the conflict is the lack of desire on their part to recognize us and our right to exist as a Jewish state. The Palestinian education system and the Palestinian rhetoric cause the incidents that are occurring in Jerusalem,” added Ya’alon.
"Yesterday we saw the result of this in the murder of an infant in Jerusalem by a young man with a Hamas-related background,” he continued. “Why did it happen? It happened because in the Palestinian Authority, kindergarten children as young as three are taught, for example, to put on explosive belts and use them to kill Jews. As long as this is the situation, and Palestinian youth are educated to kill Jews, there will never really be peace here.”
Knesset Chair: 'Zoabi Wants Our Destruction, Not Palestine'
Knesset Chairman Yuli Edelstein (Likud) sharply criticized Arab MK Hanin Zoabi's (Balad) latest tirade - in which she called the IDF "worse terrorists than ISIS" - and warned she is trying to "destroy Israel."
"She crossed all lines," Edelstein told Israel Hayom. "I would expect that all MKs from the right and the left would support having her not selected for the Knesset.
"Zoabi doesn't want a Palestinian state, rather she wants our destruction; I suggest we believe her," said the Knesset head. "She wants them to slaughter us and for us to completely disappear."
Poll: 85% of Israelis Support Banning Zoabi from Knesset
Earlier this week, pro-Hamas Arab MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) sparked outrage saying that IDF soldiers are “worse terrorists than ISIS," and apparently the latest outburst by the MK is the last straw in the building public rage against her.
While ISIS members “kill one person each time with their knife, the IDF [kills] tens of Palestinians with one button,” she said, in an interview with Channel 2, calling on people not to enlist to the IDF or to ISIS claiming "they are both murderous armies, they have no border or red line."
The Israeli public has finally had enough, Israel Hayom revealed Thursday: over 85% of Israelis polled have voted to see Zoabi ejected from the Knesset.
Arab soccer team fined NIS 15,000 for honoring suspected spy
The Arab soccer club Bnei Sakhnin was fined NIS 15,000 ($4,000) Wednesday for a tribute it paid to a fugitive former Knesset member suspected of spying for Hezbollah.
Yisrael Shimoni, the Israel Football Association judge, also gave the team a conditional fine of NIS 35,000.
There had been talk of measures ranging from a warning to a monetary fine, losing points or even demotion from the league, but the final verdict was relatively light.
Three arrested in East Jerusalem rioting
The suspects were throwing rocks and fireworks at police after the conclusion of prayers on the Temple Mount.
Police responded with crowd dispersal methods, according to officials.
There are no reports of injuries from the incident.
On Thursday, police dispersed a similar crowd of rioters in the neighborhood. No injuries were reported at that incident, but the stones caused damage to a vehicle.
Group Seeks to Give Hope to 11 Widows, 26 Orphans From Operation Protective Edge (INTERVIEW)
Israel’s IDF Widows & Orphans Organization is providing social, emotional and financial support for 11 widows and 26 orphans whose husbands and fathers died while serving in the Israel Defense Forces during the summer’s Operation Protective Edge, the group’s Chairwoman, Nava Shoham-Solan, told The Algemeiner on Tuesday.
“If we see unique problems that the widow or the family needs, we make all efforts to help them,” Shoham-Solan said. “I went from home to home of the families. I went there to see if they need help. I [also] gave them some advice.”
The IDF Widows & Orphans Organization, established in 1991, is the sole organization recognized by the State of Israel representing the widows and orphans of Israel’s fallen soldiers. The non-profit organizes welfare activities for the children, bar and bat mitzvah events, and provides amenities and care for new mothers, among their many efforts.
Survey Reveals Europe Likes ISIS More Than Arab States Do
The brutal Islamic State (ISIS) terror regime conquering large portions of Iraq and Syria has been gaining huge popularity in the West with aggressive recruitment - so much so that a new study reveals it is more popular in Europe than in many Arab states.
A Washington Institute study conducted in September and published last week found that a mere 3% of Egyptians, 5% of Saudis and under 1% of Lebanese felt any support for ISIS, reports Huffington Post.
While the numbers still represent a massive number of people - 1.5 million in Egypt, 500,000 in Saudi Arabia and several thousand in Lebanon - compared to Europe the reception of the Sunni jihadist group can be said to be cold.
In sharp contrast, an August poll by ICM found 7% of Britons and 16% of French - and a whopping 27% of French aged 18 to 24 - feel "very" or "somewhat" favorably towards ISIS.
Dutch Mayor Compares Muslims Joining ISIS to Post WWII Jews Fighting for Israel
Lured by local mosques and the Internet, by visions of warriors and victory dancing in their heads, thousands of European Muslims have left the safety of their homes in England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and elsewhere to join the Syrian jihad. Concern about the security threat they may pose on their return has gripped European leaders for some time; now, they are starting to focus on ways of stopping Muslim would-be jihadists from traveling to Syria at all.
But not everyone seems to think this is such a good idea: Pieter Broertjes, mayor of the Dutch city of Hilversum, for instance, thinks the fighters should be allowed to go. “They’re adults,” he said in a radio interview on Thursday. “Dutch went to Israel after World War II to fight the British, and we didn’t try to stop them.” (The reference is to the Palestinian territories, which were under British rule until 1948.)
Let’s get this straight. Muslims who seek to join terrorist groups, killing innocent men, women, and children in some of the most gruesome, inhuman acts of violence imaginable, are just like the Jews who escaped Europe after World War II?
Report: ISIS Used Chemical Weapons Against Iraqi Forces
The US is investigating reports that terror group Islamic State (ISIS) used chemical weapons against the Iraqi military, after separate accounts from both an unnamed Iraqi Defense official and hospital workers treating the victims told authorities that chlorine gas had been used.
Eleven Iraqi policemen were rushed to hospital last month complaining of dizziness, vomiting, and shortness of breath, the Washington Post reported Friday - all symptoms of chlorine gas poisoning. Yellow gas was also seen emanating from the site near where the policemen fell ill.
This is not the first time ISIS has been linked with chemical weapons attacks, officials said - two other reports making similar accusations were raised last month - but it is the strongest corroboration of facts surrounding an ISIS gas attack thus far.
UN Warns ISIS May Be Guilty of 'Attempt to Commit Genocide' against Yazidis
The Islamic State's brutal attempts to eradicate Iraq's Yazidi minority from territory they control may officially fit the definition of genocide, according to a United Nations official visiting Iraq this week.
The evidence shows "an attempt to commit genocide,” said Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic in a press briefing. Simonovic, the Associated Press reports, based his conclusion on strong evidence of mass killings of Yazidis, particularly in the Sinjar Mountain region. Yazidis have been beheaded, buried alive, and tortured. Also, many women have been placed in brothels for use as sex slaves. The AP adds that about 7,000 Yazidis are believed to have "converted" to Islam to avoid death.
As Lebanon's Daily Star notes, genocide is very strictly defined in international law as a crime against humanity--perhaps the definitive crime against humanity. United Nations law defines genocide as the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical, racial or religious group." The Yazidis, a religious minority made up in large part of ethnic Kurds, would fit this definition, and certainly their persecution appears to be a way to destroy the group.
US-led strikes kill more than 500 jihadists in Syria
US-led airstrikes in Syria were reported Thursday to have killed more than 500 jihadists in a month, as fighting raged in the embattled border town of Kobani.
An AFP correspondent across the frontier in Turkey reported fierce clashes in several parts of Kobani early Thursday, with heavy gun and mortar fire.
The town’s Kurdish defenders have been holding out against an assault by the Islamic State militant group for more than a month, buoyed in recent days by a promise of Iraqi Kurd reinforcements and US air drops of weapons.
Kurds spoof IS as sex-crazed morons
An Iraqi Kurdish television station joined the battle against the Islamic State with a parody music video mocking the terrorist organization as a band of sex-crazed morons.
“We are bearded, dirty and filthy…We are brainless with nothing in our heads,” sing actors dressed as IS militants who play air guitar on prop rifles, pretend sword fight, and play with skulls.
“We are ISIS, we milk the goat even if it is male,” they sing while dancing around a studio against a backdrop of the notorious black and white Islamic State flag.

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