Friday, March 18, 2016

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: The Obama doctrine, unplugged
As an intelligent man, as the consequences of these four policy lines began smacking him in the face, Obama could have been expected to change course. George W. Bush for instance changed his foreign policy stance from one of sparing internationalism before September 11 to democratic interventionism in its aftermath. And when his democratic interventionism failed in Iraq, he abandoned it in favor of a more traditional realist approach.
Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were also quick to change their policies when they were faced with evidence they had failed. Ronald Reagan changed his policy for bringing down the Soviet Union from one of confrontation to one based on cooperation when Mikhail Gorbachev came to power.
In other words, unlike his recent predecessors Obama has never shifted gears. He has never found fault with his judgment. He has never revisited a decision.
It is easy to chalk this up to arrogance. Obama is certainly one of the most arrogant leaders the US has ever had – if not the most arrogant president in US history. But given his intelligence, it is hard to escape the impression that Obama’s epic arrogance, which makes it impossible for him to admit failure, is just as much of a style preference as a character trait. That is, arrogance, like coolness and “Spockian” rationalism, is an attitude that he has adopted on purpose.
What that purpose may be is indicated by the consistent strands of his foreign policy. Obama’s belief in America’s moral turpitude, his eagerness to trample US credibility, reject traditional US policy goals; his refusal to see the dangers inherent in his radical policies or acknowledge their failures let alone accept responsibility for their failures, and his trampling of US allies while appeasing its enemies all point to Obama’s true doctrine. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Melanie Phillips: The EU’s illegal settlements
This is creating, in effect, one contiguous illegal Beduin territory on indisputable Israeli sovereign land.
To give some idea of the scale of what is happening. Regavim estimates that while 205,000 residents in Beersheba inhabit only 3,500 hectares (8,650 acres) of land, 211,000 Beduin now lay claim to about 60,000 hectares (148,260 acres).
“Aid to the Beduin” is Palestinian Authority policy intended to expand its control over Area C and undermine Israel. It is quite obvious that the EU is not only assisting it in that aim but is also seeking to create a Beduin state within a state inside Israel itself.
Both the UN and the US condemn Israeli settlements as illegal and accuse Israel of expropriating Palestinian land. Yet they fail to condemn the EU for its illegal and colonialist activities.
Such outrageous and manipulative meddling in the affairs of a sovereign state incontestably illustrates the EU’s true agenda.
Through its illegal settlements policy, the EU is conducting a stealth war against Israel.
Col. Richard Kemp: Israel Cannot Withdraw from West Bank and Golan, insists British General
JCPA: At a Jerusalem Center briefing on Feb. 17, Col. (ret.) Richard Kemp, former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, slammed the international community for advising Israel to do things they would never suggest to their own governments. Kemp said, "Israel has to have strategic depth with which to defend itself. Israel cannot possibly, at any stage, withdraw from the West Bank or the Golan Heights."
"Gen. Allan, America's military envoy in relation to the recent negotiations on peace with the Palestinians, came up with a solution as to how Israel could withdraw from the West Bank and perhaps replace its presence with international forces including American forces and technology. But I know for sure that if he had been asked to advise America, his own country, on how to deal with a similar problem on their borders, he would never have advocated what he is advocating here. Never. And if he had, he would have been fired by the President. So I think it was completely unrealistic."
"So many members of the international community, including the U.S. and the EU, are desperately keen to tell Israel what it must do, but they certainly would not consider taking the same action with respect to themselves. When you look at rocket fire from Gaza, for example, and how Israel mustn't retaliate in the way it does to defend itself, no country in the world would restrain itself when faced with that situation. Britain was faced with that situation back in 1943-44. We didn't just sit back and watch it. We pummeled the hell out of the Nazis who were developing rockets."

Armed Palestinian killed, two arrested in foiled attacks in West Bank
Israeli authorities said on Friday that soldiers and police thwarted two potential stabbing attacks in the West Bank, resulting in the death of one knife-wielding Palestinian assailant and the arrest of two others.
A Palestinian armed with a knife was shot and killed by an IDF soldier and an Israeli civilian during what authorities are describing as an attempted stabbing in the West Bank.
The incident occurred at the Gush Etzion Junction south of Jerusalem.
According to the IDF, the Palestinian drove to the junction and tried to stab soldiers who were manning a post near the roadway.
The troops noticed the assailant coming towards them and shot him dead. No Israelis were injured in the incident.
Moments earlier, IDF soldiers and police arrested two Palestinian teens said to be armed with knives near the Sha'ar Binyamin industrial zone in the West Bank.
The youths are suspected of planning to attack Israelis, according to authorities.
Israel blasts Time magazine’s insistent depiction of terrorist as victim
Israel’s Government Press Office publicly attacked Time magazine on Thursday for depicting a Palestinian terrorist who killed three people in October as a victim of Israeli security forces, and failing to issue any correction or clarification on the matter despite repeated requests by Israeli officials in the months since.
In a post on its website which it also shared on Facebook, the GPO blasted editors who have refused to amend the October 15 story “ignoring the victims and humanizing the attacker.”
The report concerned the October 13 terror attack in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood, when two armed Palestinian gunmen boarded an Egged bus and began shooting and stabbing passengers.
The attack claimed the lives of three people: Haviv Haim, 78, Alon Govberg, 51, and American-Israeli Richard Lakin, 76, who was critically wounded and died some two weeks later.
The October 15 Time story, titled “The Desperation Driving Young Palestinians to Violence,” simply referred to Allyan as “a graphic designer” who “was killed by Israeli security forces after allegedly trying to carry out an attack in Jerusalem.” It gave no further details about Alyan’s actions and made no mention of his victims.
“To our sorrow, repeated requests to Time Magazine, initially by an Israeli NGO and subsequently by the GPO, have all failed to induce Time to correct the serious factual error in the 15 October article,” the GPO said. (h/t Yenta Press)
CAMERA: Palestinian Poll: Two States? Two-State Solution? Two States for Two Peoples?
According to Haaretz editor Chemi Shalev, a recent Palestinian poll shows that 69 percent of Palestinians support the two-state solution — "more than Israelis," Shalev notes.
"Two-state solution" is a short phrase that packs a whole lot of meaning. They are an easy three words to type, but volumes have been written about what the concept, and its acceptance or rejection, might mean for such lofty concepts as freedom, security, self-determination, acceptance of the Other, and Arab-Israeli peace. It is a phrase should be wielded with precision.
No Reference to "Two States" or "Solution"
So let's look more closely. Is it true that the March 14 Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC) poll shows such strong Palestinian support for a "two-state solution," as Shalev, other journalists, and and even the JMCC summary claim? The actual question posed to Palestinians was this: "Do you support a change in Palestinian policy, from demanding an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to demanding equal rights for Arabs and Jews in one state in Historical Palestine, from the river to the sea?"
Note that the question does not explicitly refer to a two-state solution. It does not refer to the legitimacy of the state of Israel. It simply asks the public what they believe leaders should presently "demand," as a matter of "policy." And, in the context of the historical and contemporary Palestinian conversation about Israel, the question shouldn't be seen even as implicitly referring to a two-state solution.
Dennis Ross: Next US administration will want to improve ties with Israel
Regardless of the problems that existed under the Obama presidency, the next administration’s initial instinct will be to improve ties with Israel, Dennis Ross said this week.
Ross, who dealt with Middle East issues under George H.W.Bush, as well as under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, said whoever takes over the White House in January will realize that “you don’t need a problem with Israel when dealing with all the other problems in the region.”
“I don’t see that at a time when the Middle East is characterized by all this trouble, you are going to have an American president say, ‘Gee this is a time we should also have a problem with Israel. I just don’t see that,” he said.
Speaking Wednesday night in Jerusalem to the Jewish People Policy Institute, Ross said that nobody really knows what Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s position is on Israel.
“I know what he says,” continued Ross, who will be speaking at The Jerusalem Post Conference in New York on May 22.
“He says that no one has been a better friend of Israel. Then he says he is neutral on Israel and the Palestinians. And when he says that, it is because he is talking about a deal, because he thinks that is what you do when you do deals.”
Gates: Obama Went Against ‘Entire National Security Team’ on Egypt Coup
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told Fox News that President Barack Obama ignored the advice of his “entire national security team” during the Egyptian coup in 2011 that ousted Hosni Mubarak, the country’s former president.
Gates made his comments to Fox News’ Bret Baier during an interview for the network’s upcoming special, “Rising Threats – Shrinking Military,” and the preview clip can be seen on The Blaze’s website.
Gates, who headed the Pentagon during the Egyptian coup, lamented that, while he and the rest of the president’s national security experts advised Obama to handle the situation in Egypt cautiously, the president chose to listen to three junior officials instead and called for Mubarak’s immediate ouster.
“Literally the entire national security team recommended unanimously handling Mubarak differently than we did,” Gates said. “And the president took the advice of three junior backbenchers in terms of how to treat Mubarak.”
The former Pentagon chief also described how the analysis of the three “backbenchers” was based on lofty idealism rather than facts on the ground.
Hypocritical Arab States Propose Anti-Terror Resolution - Excluding Palestinian Terror
Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) members Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia have drafted a UN "Human Rights" Council resolution condemning all forms of terrorism and incitement to terrorism - but give Palestinian terror a free pass. The draft resolution, "Effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of all human rights," provides: "The Human Rights Council,... 1. Strongly condemns all terrorist acts, as criminal and unjustifiable,... 7. Encourages states to refrain from supporting terrorist groups in establishing propaganda platforms like electronic and satellite or any other media ... 8. Urges States to take appropriate measures to duly investigate the incitement, preparation, or commission of acts of terrorism, ..."
However, the resolution's sponsors have each ratified the Convention of the Organization of the Islamic Conference on Combating International Terrorism, which defines terrorism as excluding "armed struggle against foreign occupation" - code for Palestinian attacks against Israelis. In the words of the Convention: "Article 2(a) Peoples struggle including armed struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism, and hegemony, aimed at liberation and self-determination in accordance with the principles of international law shall not be considered a terrorist crime."
At Commission on Status of Women, Blood Libel that Israeli Military Targets Girls
On March 17th Haifa Al-Agha, Palestinian Minister of Women Affairs used the Commission on the Status of Women to slander Israel as a killer of women and girls. In her words:
"The ... Palestinian women are still living in harsh conditions due to the continuing Israeli occupation and the escalating violence against our people, particularly women... They are directing its military machinery against women and girls. They are killing them, injuring them, and leaving them bleeding till death without treatment..."
UN announces, walks back new Canadian funds for UNRWA
The United Nations has retracted a statement saying Canada will resume contributing funds to the UN relief agency that aids and protects Palestinian refugees.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said late Wednesday that the UN statement on the meeting of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcoming the restart of funding for UNRWA was an early draft sent by mistake “that did not properly reflect” their discussion.
Trudeau’s visit to the UN comes as Canada is vowing more engagement in world affairs.
Canada stopped funding UNRWA under former prime minster Stephen Harper.
Moscow wants more trade with Israel, Russian PM tells Rivlin
Wrapping up a two-day visit to Russia, President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev for talks aimed at strengthening bilateral trade and economic relations between the two countries.
In light of US and EU sanctions levied on Russia over its military intervention in Ukraine last year, Medvedev said, Moscow was “open” to increasing its imports from Israel.
“I see in the near future a real opportunity to increase trade. Recently, we have encountered export restrictions to Europe, Turkey has left our market and we are open to more exports from Israel,” he said at a joint press conference, according to a statement from Rivlin’s office.
Both leaders came out in support of ongoing bilateral talks seeking to establish an Israel-Russia free trade agreement, the statement said.
Australia’s youngest-ever senator calls to recognize capital Jerusalem
Making his maiden speech in Parliament, the youngest senator in Australia’s history called for Jerusalem to be recognized as Israel’s capital.
Addressing the Senate in Canberra on Tuesday, James Paterson, a 28-year-old Victorian Liberal [Conservative], said he was a strong supporter of Israel, calling it “a shining example to the entire world of how to build a prosperous, tolerant, harmonious and creative country.”
Paterson called on the Australian government to move its embassy to the city that Israel considers its capital.
“Australia has chosen to locate our embassy in Israel in Tel Aviv. But Tel Aviv is not Israel’s capital city — Jerusalem is,” he said. “Every nation deserves the right to choose its own capital city.
“It would be a symbolic but an important step for Australia to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and to move our embassy there.”
Ya'alon to open immediate probe into Breaking the Silence IDF information breach
Defense Minister, Moshe Ya'alon said on Friday that the IDF has been instructed to open an investigation into the leak of classified information by released soldiers to the NGO Breaking the Silence.
The investigation has come at the heels of a story that broke on Thursday on Channel 2 that alleged that the left-wing NGO was gathering classified information on the IDF after obtaining undercover footage depicting activists asking soldiers questions pertaining to intelligence and operational activities.
"Following the article from Channel 2 on the activities of Breaking the Silence, I have directed the IDF to conduct an investigative inquiry into soldiers' release of classified information from their service in the army," Ya'alon wrote on Twitter.
'Gaza sewage crisis is a ticking timebomb for Israel'
Gaza could be a ticking time bomb of disease for the region if a serious sewage issue is not fixed, an Israeli environmental group warned on Thursday.
Gidon Bromberg, founder and Israel director of EcoPeace, told The Jerusalem Post that although there is a sewage treatment plant in the Gaza Strip, it does not have enough electricity to run. This means some 90 million liters of raw sewage are flowing into the Mediterranean Sea on a daily basis, as well as into underground aquifers.
This has serious implications for Israel and Egypt, especially for residents who live closest to Gaza and would be most affected if diseases such as cholera or typhoid were to break out and then enter the region’s drinking water. “This becomes a ticking time bomb,” he said.
“This is a classic example where nature knows no borders,” he said. “If pollution exists on one side, it very quickly moves to the other side, because that’s the way nature takes it.”
Report: Iranian Commander Assures Hamas Tehran Will Never Cease Fighting Against Israel; Says Nuclear Deal Changed Nothing
According to the Al-Mayadeen report, Walla said, Suleimani later met with the rest of the Palestinian delegation and vowed that the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers did not hamper the Islamic Republic’s support for Hamas in its struggle for the liberation of Palestine.
“Our position was staunch prior to the nuclear deal and it has remained so in its wake. It will not change. We will continue to support Palestine,” he said. “Negotiations with the West centered on the nuclear agreement, and nothing else… despite American efforts. We did not give in on the Palestinian issue.”
According to the report, Suleimani continued: “There are people who claim that we support Palestine because of our own interests. That has not been true since the beginning of the revolution, and it’s not true now. We are not willing to negotiate or reach understandings with the United States or its allies on anything relating to the Palestinian issue… [T]ell your brothers that our support for Palestine is continuing. In Iran, everybody loves Palestine, Palestine is also a key issue in our internal affairs.”
Jordanian BDS campaign gains steam in Amman's markets
On Tuesday, campaign organizers conducted a press conference in Amman, in which they stated their opposition to the official government policy on Israel adding that "economic war is no less important than military war."
"The campaign stresses that supporting the occupier and striving for normalization with it amounts to paying for the bullets with which it kills innocent Palestinians," Murad Kadi, a campaign activist said.
He said the campaign was distributing stickers reading "boycott the enemy" among bazaars, stores and government ministries in Jordan, in order to "caution merchants and citizens over the danger of normalization with an enemy which contaminates the blood of children and women in occupied Palestine."
The campaign, initiated in January 2013, is now back in the limelight after many Jordanian merchants previously rejected it.
"Initially, the campaign faced difficulties since many merchants shut the door on us, but now the situation is different. We see our stickers calling to boycott Israeli goods on the entrance to stores and even on houses and cars," Fidaa Ramhi, a campiagn activist said.
A list with the "Zionist" brands that include, Pizza Hut, Mcdonald's, Pepsi, Nestle and Nike, appears on the campaign's Facebook page
Hezbollah Complains After Arab League Designates Them Terror Group
A top leader of the Lebanese Shi’a militia Hezbollah criticized the Arab League after the body designated them as a terrorist organization, saying that the move was part of a Saudi “declaration of aggression.”
“Saudi Arabia is trying to affirm that Hezbollah is a terrorist group in all the forums that allow it to make this move. It is putting pressure on others at the Arab foreign ministers meeting to do the same,” Sheikh Naim Qassem, the deputy leader of the Iran-backed terror group, said in a speech Saturday. Qassem alleged that Saudi Arabia’s resentment of Hezbollah stems from the group’s supposed ability to defeat Israel, its commitment to Arab unity, and its support of Yemen, Iraq, and Syria, which, according to Hezbollah, are oppressed by Saudi Arabia. The speech was first reported in English by Lebanon’s Daily Star.
The terrorism designation was easily approved by the 21-country league, with only Iraq and Lebanon voting against it. The 6-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Saudi Arabia, also designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization earlier this month.
Elliott Abrams: Five Years of Disaster in Syria
These five years have brought an amazing humanitarian disaster: perhaps 350,000 dead, half the population driven from their homes, 4 million refugees. The impact has been enormous: from destabilizing the politics and economics of Jordan and Lebanon, to increasing the Iranian role in the Arab Middle East greatly, to bringing Russia back into the region, to the destabilization of the European Union through massive refugee flows.
Yesterday, the House of Representatives unanimously passed Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s bill (H. Con. Res. 75) calling the treatment of Christians, Yezidis, and other minorities by ISIS a “genocide.” The rise of ISIS is in large part a product of the civil war in Syria, where a regime tied to Iran slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Sunni civilians.
When we look back on the Obama years, and despite the President’s boasts and self-satisfaction in his lengthy interview with The Atlantic, these deaths, the enormous humanitarian toll, and the disastrous impact on Europe will be a very large part of the Obama legacy. Like most leaders he has gone to the Holocaust Museum to intone “Never Again,” but unlike most he has actually presided over a period when violence grew into genocide, when killings of civilians slowly crept up toward 400,000, and when millions were driven from their country.
Putin: Syria Withdrawal Can Be Reversed Within Hours
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his country could again build up its military force in Syria within “hours” if needed, days after he ordered the main part of his forces to begin withdrawing from the Middle Eastern country.
Reuters reported that Putin made the remarks during a Kremlin ceremony Thursday, which was attended by hundreds of service members and military officers. Putin, who ordered the partial draw down of Russian forces in Syria to begin on Monday, said that Russia will keep carrying out air strikes against ISIS and other terror groups and will also continue to offer aide to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
Putin claimed to favor a diplomatic solution to the years-long conflict in Syria, but added that Russia could swiftly ramp up its military presence in Syria again.
“If necessary, literally within a few hours, Russia can build up its contingent in the region to a size proportionate to the situation developing there and use the entire arsenal of capabilities at our disposal,” Putin said.
Saudi Arabia Suggests ‘NATO-Like’ Islamic Military Alliance
Pakistan’s Dunya News reports Saudi Arabia has proposed a “NATO-like” military alliance of Muslim nations, meant not as a defensive alliance against a particular country, “but to combat terrorism and emerging threats like ISIS.”
The report states that Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif, was offered the Commander-in-Chief position for the new multi-national force after he retires from his current post. Shareef has been visiting Saudi Arabia with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (no relation, despite the same last name) to observe a joint military exercise.
Dunya News sees the Saudi proposal as part of an effort to firm up their already friendly ties with Pakistan, healing a breach that formed when Pakistan refused to join the Saudi-led coalition against Houthi insurgents in Yemen.
The Saudis would also like to have Pakistan firmly on their side against a nation that probably should not expect an invitation to join Muslim NATO any time soon: Iran.
Syrian Kurds declare federal region, drawing wide criticism
The main Syrian Kurdish group declared a federal region on Thursday in Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Syria, a move that was immediately rejected by both the government and opposition.
Nawaf Khalil, an official with the Democratic Union Party, or PYD, told The Associated Press that the announcement was made at a conference being held in the town of Rmeilan in the northeastern province of Hassakeh.
The move was rejected by the Syrian Foreign Ministry describing it as “unconstitutional and worthless.” It warned against any attempt to encroach upon the integrity of Syrian territory.
Fresno Student Who Went on Stabbing Rampage Was Inspired by ISIS
The California student who went on a stabbing rampage last year, wounding four people at the University of California at Merced, was inspired by ISIS, according to the FBI.
Faisal Mohammad, 18, appears to have become self-radicalized, drawing his inspiration from terrorist propaganda that he found online, authorities said. The freshman studying at the University of California, Merced burst into a classroom on Nov. 4, slashing four over a dispute about a study group.
“Every indication is that Mohammad acted on his own,” Gina Swankie, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Sacramento field office, said in a statement. “It may never be possible to definitively determine why he chose to attack people on the U.C. Merced Campus.”
Authorities are reporting that Mohammad had planned the attack for at least a week. Islamic State propaganda was was found on his laptop as was evidence he had visited other ISIS extremist websites on the internet.
When Iran Headed Down Under
Now, many Jews were upset at this meeting – as we tend to get that way when leaders of a regime that has threatened to wipe our homeland off the face of the map come visiting. And as a means to address that, the Australian foreign minister told a Jewish Australian newspaper that the visit does not mean that Australia accepts Iran’s world view. Israel is entitled to be deeply concerned, she reiterated. But rather, the visit should be seen as one in which an “opportunity to raise issues of deep concern,” including Iran’s death penalty and the rhetoric towards Israel was raised.
The Iranian foreign minister maintained Iran’s missile are for self-defense, but then accused Israel of looking to cause an environmental and humanitarian catastrophe by wanting to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities which would release radioactive material into the air that would kill millions – kind of like what they threaten to do to Israel.
Mohammad Javad Zarif also met with a Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, which included a Jewish MP, Michael Danby. Danby asked him if Iran would recognize a two-state solution if one was agreed to by Israel and the Palestinians. And according to Danby, the response was that peace was unlikely because “the Zionists have showed themselves incapable of negotiations with the Palestinians”.
Republican senators propose stricter sanctions on Iran
A group of US Republican senators on Thursday unveiled legislation that requires the Obama administration to impose stricter sanctions on every sector of Iran’s economy that supports the country’s ballistic missile program.
The bill, introduced by Sen. Kelly Ayotte is a reflection of longstanding exasperation among Republican lawmakers who’ve complained that President Barack Obama has failed to properly punish Tehran for repeatedly defying a UN ballistic missile test ban.
Ayotte and other Republicans said senior US military officials are in favor of tougher sanctions. Both Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Army Gen. Joseph Votel, Obama’s choice to be the next US commander for the Middle East, have told the Senate Armed Services Committee in the last week that harder hitting sanctions are necessary.
Douglas Murray: Cameron’s support for Turkey’s EU membership should worry us all
David Cameron this morning claimed that people who wish to leave the EU are ‘taking a risk with people’s jobs, taking a risk with families’ finances.’ Well then let us consider an even bigger risk that David Cameron is taking.
In a visit to Turkey in 2010 our own Prime Minister announced that he would do everything he could to ensure Turkey entered the EU. Speaking as a guest of the country’s Islamist Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, our own PM said, ‘Turkey deserves its place at the top table of European politics – and that is what I will fight for.’
Since then he has indeed been fighting to get Turkey into the EU. This is despite Turkey doing everything it can to demonstrate that it has no place in the EU. Its government has been arresting opponents, raiding the offices of critical newspapers and locking up journalists who dare to criticise the Islamist direction of the country. Simultaneously it has done everything it can to prolong and inflame the Syrian civil war, making special efforts to bomb our Kurdish allies. And of course it is a country whose security situation has now deteriorated so badly that Turkey increasingly resembles the neighbour it has been doing so much to wreck.
European Union Caving to Turkey's Blackmail?
When Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled that the detention for 92 days of two journalists, Can Dundar and Erdem Gul, constituted a breach of their basic rights, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not hide his anger, and said he would not obey the supreme court's ruling.
Turkish courts, controlled by Erdogan's government, put the newspaper Zaman, one of the last remaining media critics of Erdogan, under state control. A court actually appointed administrators to run the newspaper. Editor-in-chief Sevgi Akarcesme said that this was effectively the end of media freedom in Turkey.
Turkey ranks 149th amongst the 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders' World Press Freedom Index 2015.
Quite realistically, Nigel Farage, a British opposition figure, accused Turkey of "blackmailing" the EU over the Syrian refugee crisis and its proposed EU membership.
Germany Closes Turkish Embassy Fearing 'Imminent Attack'
German institutions in the Turkish capital, Ankara, are on complete lockdown over fears of an “imminent” terrorist attack.
The closure of the German embassy and a school comes on the very day European Union (EU) leaders meet in Brussels to agree on a deal to offer Turkey to secure their commitment to halt the migrant flow to the Greek islands.
Furthermore, the development comes less than a week after a suicide bomb in an “explosive-laden vehicle” killed 37 people in the Turkish capital.
The closures in Turkey encompass the German embassy in Ankara as well as the consulate and German school in Istanbul, it said on its website.
Last January, 12 German tourists were killed in a suicide attack blamed on the Islamic State group in the heart of Istanbul’s tourist district.

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