Monday, September 26, 2016

From Ian:

What Would a Palestinian State Look Like?
Why do the United States and the European Union continue to underwrite such a ruthless regime? Every revival of the "peace process" comes with billions in grants for the Palestinian Authority, without any steps taken to promote decent governance or end decades of corruption. Most recently, in May 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the PA would be rewarded for reaching a peace agreement with an additional $4 billion in aid.
In a recent article titled "What to Expect from an Independent Palestinian State," Fred Maroun, an Arab living in Canada, summed it up: "If a Palestinian state is created without correcting [its] destructive practices, it is highly likely that the new Palestinian regime will follow the same pattern already established, and be a hatemongering, corrupt, undemocratic, oppressive, belligerent, and ineffective regime."
Peace can evolve between Israelis and Palestinians, but only once the Palestinians have been freed from the rule of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. It will require time and patience, but it is achievable. It will come when people realize that peace improves their lives, that peace brings prosperity. Alas, the Oslo Accords put an end to what was an informal economic peace process that could have evolved into a political settlement, perhaps in the form, as in Switzerland, of a loose Arab-Israeli federation of independent cantons. The corrupt government begun by Arafat—imposed on the Palestinians by a clueless Israeli leadership—put an end to this promising evolution.
Peace can still be resuscitated, but not while the Palestinian Authority continues to be supported by billions from U.S. and European taxpayers. Only then will decent Palestinians, now terrorized into silence, be able to build a civil society, the basis for a better life and a healthy polity. Such a civil society would negotiate a real and lasting peace with Israel.
A two-state solution, by contrast, would merely take the repressive Palestinian Authority and invest it with the standing of a nation-state. That wouldn't bring peace, but only delay it by another generation.

Michael Oren: Palestinian Celebration of Munich Olympic Massacre Shows They Are Not Ready for Peace
The 2016 Olympics remembered the 11 Israeli athletes massacred by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich games, but the Palestinian Authority (PA) is praising the atrocity. The International Olympic Committee erected a memorial in Rio to the slain Israeli sportsmen and honored them at the closing ceremony. Yet on September 5, the anniversary of that horrific event, the official website of Fatah, the organization headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, hailed the outrage as an "heroic operation" and “one of the most important actions in modern history.”
The Munich Massacre took place on September 5, 1972, when members of Black September, a Palestinian terrorist group closely allied with al-Fatah, infiltrated the Olympic village with explosives and automatic weapons. They took 11 Israeli athletes hostage, brutally beat and tortured them,while shooting two of them to death. The rest they killed with gunfire and grenades when German forces attempted a rescue. A German policeman was also murdered.
And the PA takes pride in that as indeed it does in all acts of terror against Israelis. Recently, after the stabbing and shooting of three Israeli civilians—among them Richard Lakin, an American citizen and devoted peace activist—the PA lauded the Palestinian killers as ”heroic martyrs" who promptly "ascended to heaven.”
Khaled Abu Toameh: Abbas to Arab Leaders: Go to Hell!
Abbas and Fatah leaders in Ramallah claim that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (the "Arab Quartet") are using and promoting Abbas's rival, Mohamed Dahlan, in order to facilitate their mission of rapprochement with Israel.
Many Palestinians were surprised to see veteran Palestinian official Ahmed Qurei, a former Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister and one of the architects of the Oslo Accord, come out in favor of the Arab plan, which basically envisions ousting Abbas from power.
This, and not Israeli policy, is Abbas's true nightmare. After all, he knows that without Israel's presence in the West Bank, his regime would have long fallen into the hands of Hamas or even his political rivals in Fatah.
The "Arab Quartet" plan shows that some Arab countries are indeed fed up with Abbas's failure to lead his people towards a better life. These states, which have long been politically and financially supportive of the Palestinians, have had enough of Abbas's efforts to secure unending power -- at the direct cost of the well-being of his people.

PMW: Human Rights Watch should condemn PA use of sports to promote terror
Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently published a report on sports, concerning Israeli football in the disputed West Bank, and FIFA, the international football association's support thereof, claiming Israeli football matches in the West Bank are a violation of human rights. [HRW's website, Sept. 25, 2016]
However, Human Rights Watch has chosen to completely ignore the Palestinian Authority's use of sports as a vehicle to glorify and promote terror and present murderers of Israeli civilians as heroes and role models. HRW has likewise ignored the terror glorification and incitement to murder by Jibril Rajoub, who is head of the Palestinian Football Association, the Palestine Olympic Committee, and the PLO's Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs.
See Palestinian Media Watch's recent report on PA sports head The Jibril Rajoub File, documenting his terror support and the PA's use of sports to glorify terror.
The Palestinian glorification and encouragement of terror through sports not only leads to loss of Israeli lives, it also deprives Palestinian children of their fundamental rights to a childhood, in that it encourages them to turn into combatants of war. For both these reasons it should be condemned by Human Rights Watch.
NGO Monitor: NGOs Involved in the FIFA Campaign Against Israel
The campaign against the Israeli membership in FIFA, as part of BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) measures against Israel is intensifying. Within the Palestinian Authority, the campaign is spearheaded by politician Jibril Rajoub, president of the Palestine Football Association.
His official efforts are bolstered by non-governmental campaigns led by political advocacy groups. NGOs using FIFA to target Israel include:
Human Rights Watch (and Kerem Navot):
In September 2016, Human Rights Watch issued a publication (FIFA Sponsoring Games on Seized Land), joining the Palestinian campaign. Israeli political NGO Kerem Navot contributed to the report.
HRW called on “FIFA and UEFA, whose rules govern [Israel Football Association] activities, require the IFA to stop holding games inside the settlements and to stop allowing fields and halls in the settlements to be used for official competitions.”
It also accused Israel of “abuses” including “the unlawful taking of land and natural resources and their discriminatory allocation, restrictions on freedom of movement and other violations.”
Sari Bashi, Israel and Palestine country director at Human Rights Watch and previously executive director of the political NGO Gisha, said, “By holding games on stolen land, FIFA is tarnishing the beautiful game of football.”
Meeting with candidates, Netanyahu leaves another enigma in his wake
The prime minister had planned to address the annual AIPAC conference in Washington and so his aides asked for a meeting with President Barack Obama. Subsequently, Netanyahu canceled the visit, citing scheduling issues, an upcoming meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and the desire to stay out of the US elections. Several presidential candidates were expected to speak at AIPAC as well and would likely seek meetings with a visiting Israeli prime minister, his aides said, adding that Netanyahu would rather avoid being placed in such potentially awkward situations.
Netanyahu’s move was unprecedented — there is no public record of an Israeli prime minister ever previously rejecting an invitation to meet the president of the United States — and defied explanation, since he could have easily decided to skip the AIPAC conference or simply to decline any meetings with presidential hopefuls. But Netanyahu stayed home, giving birth to yet another (albeit minor) crisis in the US-Israel relationship.
Fast forward seven and a half months. Last week Netanyahu flies to New York for his annual speech to the United Nations General Assembly and a meeting with the president. Hours after Netanyahu and Obama shake hands at what is presumably their last official meeting, a senior member of the prime minister’s delegation tells reporters that while so far neither presidential candidate has requested a meeting with Netanyahu, he would be glad to meet with whoever wants to see him.
The comment/offer was not prompted by the gaggle of reporters accompanying the prime minister to New York; it came out of the blue as they were being briefed by the senior official on the nature of Netanyahu’s just-concluded talks with Obama. After the last question had been asked and the journalists were closing their laptops, the senior official wondered, quite audibly, why nobody had asked about the presidential campaign. It was almost as if the prime minister was soliciting the meetings.
Why Netanyahu was so keen on meeting Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is as unclear as why he chose to cancel the Obama meeting back in March. Was he trying to establish a deeper channel of communications with the next leader of the free world, whoever he or she will be? Was he feeling short of media attention?
Clinton to Netanyahu: I’ll oppose any outside solution to conflict
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday that, if elected, she would oppose any attempts to impose an outside solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as any one-sided action at the UN.
In a meeting in New York, Clinton said she was committed to countering efforts to delegitimize Israel and to fight the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The two met for about an hour at New York’s W Hotel. Clinton’s campaign said in a statement that the two had an “in-depth conversation.” She stressed that “a strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States” and “reaffirmed unwavering commitment” to the relationship.
According to her campaign, Clinton stressed her support for the 10-year, $38 billion military aid package signed between the two countries earlier the month and opposition to efforts to boycott Israel. They also discussed Iran, the conflict in Syria and other regional challenges, including her support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict negotiated by the two parties — not an outside organization like the UN Security Council.
Trump to Netanyahu: If I’m president, I’ll recognize undivided Jerusalem
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday that if elected president, he would recognize Jerusalem as the “undivided capital” of Israel.
Donald Trump’s camp said the candidate and Netanyahu discussed a wide variety of issues, including Israel’s experiences in building walls, during a meeting between the two at the billionaire businessman’s office in Manhattan, New York.
“Mr. Trump said that under a Trump administration, there will be extraordinary strategic, technological, military and intelligence cooperation between the two countries. Mr. Trump recognized Israel as a vital partner of the United States in the global war against radical Islamic terrorism,” a statement from the Trump campaign read. “Mr. Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed at length Israel’s successful experience with a security fence that helped secure its borders.”
“Mr. Trump acknowledged that Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish People for over 3,000 years, and that the United States, under a Trump administration, will finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel,” the statement added.
Palestinians: Donald Trump shows 'disregard for international law' (Not Satire)
PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat on Monday condemned Republican White House contender Donald Trump for saying if he is elected, the US will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's undivided capital.
Erekat charged that Trump's remarks - made during a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday - show "disregard for international law." The senior PLO official continued, accusing, the GOP presidential candidate of "neglecting" calls for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestinians.
"Previous statements delivered by [Trump's] adviser on Israel show a total abandonment of the two-state solution, international law and UN resolutions," Erekat asserted.
Invoking Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's recent speech to the UN General Assembly, Erekat asserted that Trump's stance demonstrated the need for the international efforts toward a two-state solution. Israel rejects the prospect of unilateral resolutions on the conflict and diplomatic processes that do not directly involve both sides.
On Sunday, Netanyahu met with both Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, the day before the two were set to face off at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York in the first of the 2016 presidential debates.
Chuck Schumer: Anti-Semitism in too many European homes
Speaking at the Israeli American Council’s 2016 National Israeli American Conference, New York Senator Chuck Schumer (Democrat) lambasted efforts to delegitimize and boycott the Jewish state, slamming the BDS movement as “a modern form of anti-Semitism.”
“Those who call for boycotts of Israel… are practicing whether they know it or not - a modern form of anti-Semitism.”
Schumer compared the BDS movement to the radical Students for a Democratic Society, which in the 1960s launched mass demonstrations against the US government on campuses across the country.
“They ultimately don't believe there should be a Jewish state in the Middle East and are guilty of the same anti-Semitism. We need to make that argument loudly and strongly and go against the BDS movement and call it for what it is, an anti-Semitic and not just anti-Israel movement.”
“I applaud the governors of New York and California for" passing anti-BDS legislation, Schumer added.
While anti-Semitism is enjoying a renaissance on American college campuses, Schumer said, the problem is far worse in Europe.
“Unfortunately anti-Semitism seems to be in far too many European homes."
Jewish officials briefed on terror threats ahead of High Holy Days
In a pre-Rosh Hashanah briefing, Jewish community and US security officials urged Jewish institutions to be resilient and keep up morale in the face of terrorist threats.
Hundreds of officials from more than one hundred institutions across the country participated in the call on Friday. Speakers included Paul Goldenberg, the director of Secure Community Networks, the security arm of the Jewish Federations of North America, and a top Department of Homeland Security official whose identity SCN declined to reveal to the media.
The speakers briefed listeners on recent terrorist attacks, including last week’s series of bombings in the New York-New Jersey area believed to have been carried out by an Afghanistan-born American man. One of the bombs injured 29 people.
In addition to reviewing security procedures, including training staff on how to deal with active shooters, and establishing relationships with local police, Goldenberg emphasized that US Jewish institutions should continue business as usual, and keep security unobtrusive so it does not hinder High Holy Day worship.
“We have come to learn that the goal of terrorists is to wear down our citizens’ spirits and endurance, destroying national morale,” he said.
'Axing Hamas from EU terror list would be lowest point for European Jews since Holocaust'
One of the largest Jewish umbrella organizations in Europe has condemned the EU's top court for moving toward the removal of Hamas from the bloc's terrorism blacklist.
European Jewish Congress (EJC) on Monday berated last week's recommendation by a top legal advisor for the European Court of Justice in favor of taking Hamas off of the EU's terror list, and effectively unfreezing the Palestinian movement's currently sanctioned assets.
“If Hamas is indeed removed from the terror watch list, then this will be the lowest and most worrying point for European Jewry in 70 years,” stated EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor in reference to the period since the Holocaust.
On Thursday, European Court of Justice advocate-general Eleanor Sharpston argued that the placement of Hamas, along with the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers, on the EU blacklist had been decided without sufficient, independent evidence.
Ambassador John Bolton: Netanyahu’s Behavior, Strategy ‘Sensible’ in Face of US Abandonment
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is doing what is sensible, from the perspective of a leader of a country whose principle ally, America, appears to be abandoning it, a former United States ambassador to the United Nations told The Algemeiner on Thursday.
John Bolton, who — during his tenure at the UN from August 2005 until December 2006 — was responsible for having General Assembly Resolution 3379 (more commonly known as “Zionism is racism”) rescinded, was responding to a query about Netanyahu’s recent visits to Moscow, rapprochement agreement with Turkey and bolstering of ties with African nations and with those Arab countries concerned about Iran’s ability to acquire nuclear weapons.
“Now, I understand that the US has just signed this ‘wonderful’ Memorandum of Understanding with Israel, which the administration in Washington correctly says represents the largest military-aid package over time in its history. But it’s inadequate and everybody knows it,” said Bolton, during an event held by the Gatestone Institute — a New York-based think tank that specializes in strategy and defense — on the day that Netanyahu addressed the 71st session of the UN
Bolton, who serves as Gatestone’s chairman, added that, during a recent visit to Israel, he told Netanyahu that he was right to sign the MoU, and that “if the election has the right outcome, he should re-open it – something that would be met with great receptivity. The greater risk would have been not signing an agreement, and getting an administration after the presidential elections that gave an even worse deal.”
British PM reaffirms her commitment to Israel
British Prime Minister Theresa May praised the UK’s relationship with Israel in a letter published in the latest edition of the Conservative Friends of Israel's magazine.
In the letter, May wrote that Britain's relationship with Israel is “as strong as ever” and pointed out to bilateral trade, scientific research, security cooperation and shared values.
In light of the Palestinian Authority’s recent threat to sue the UK over the 1917 Balfour Declaration, May confirmed that Britain “will soon be marking a century since Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour, a Conservative, confirmed the UK’s support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people”.
Pointing to terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah, she stated that the “dangers that confront Israel remain considerable”, and pledged that the UK “must do everything we can to ensure [Israel’s] citizens feel safe and secure in their own country”.
May also reaffirmed the British Government’s position that “Israel has the right to defend itself”.
Shortly after May was sworn in, taking over from David Cameron who stepped down after the “Brexit” vote, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sent her a warm welcome and congratulated her on her appointment.
Togo president: Israel holds key to troubles in Africa
Togo President Faure Gnassingbe told a group of African leaders who met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York on Thursday that African countries hesitant about strengthening ties with Israel should stop looking for excuses and work with Jerusalem to safeguard Africa’s interests.
“Africa is beset by difficulties and Israel holds the key to them,” the Togolese leader said. Gnassingbe is planning to host an Israeli-Africa summit in the spring of 2017.
Gnassingbe was one of three heads of state and 12 other prime ministers and foreign ministers from Africa at the meeting. The other presidents were Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Ernest Bai Koroma from Sierra Leone.
“Africa excites our imagination,” Netanyahu said at the closed-door meeting.
“We would like to propose a friendship and a partnership with every one of your countries.”
Does Israel’s Trade Follow Its Foreign Relations?
Israel’s government is making significant efforts to establish closer ties with nations in Asia as well as with developing countries in Africa and Latin America. In July, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu went on a well-publicized tour of sub-Saharan Africa. In a Knesset speech the same month, he boasted of increasingly close economic ties with China, India, and Japan: Israel is negotiating free trade agreements with China and India and is a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Military cooperation with India has been increasing, and China now holds a significant direct investment portfolio of Israeli firms.
One reason Israel is reaching out to make new friends is the deterioration of its relations with traditional Western allies. This is particularly the case with the European Union, which has declared in principle its intention of imposing sanctions on entities that do business in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and discriminating against Israeli products manufactured there. The common assessment in Israel is that the European Union is demanding that Israel adopt policies it cannot afford, namely unilateral territorial and security concessions to the Palestinians, and that economic relations with the bloc are therefore likely to get worse. Israel’s relations with the United States have also chilled significantly during the Obama Administration, though this has not yet affected economic ties.
Speeches like the one Netanyahu gave this past July can create the impression that Israel is making efforts to shift the pattern of its economic relations, reducing dependence upon Europe and expanding ties with other nations that may be more willing to embrace the advantages of trade and technology exchanges with Israel on Israel’s diplomatic terms. That Israel is making efforts to create closer economic relations with new partners is indisputable. But creating such opportunities is not the same thing as manipulating trade relations to reduce exposure to potentially problematic trading partners while increasing trade with diplomatically more congenial ones. We tried to examine whether the latter was indeed occurring and found no convincing evidence for it. Indeed, there is some evidence that in the future it may work the other way around: The autonomous development of trade patterns may shift Israel’s perception of the relative importance of its relations with other countries.
Bulgaria Court Error Delays Trial Over Israeli Bombing
The trial over a deadly 2012 bombing of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, due to start on Monday, has been pushed back to November because of a procedural error, prosecutors said.
The opening was delayed because the Sofia court had failed to inform the victims’ families of the start date, prosecutors told AFP.
The proceedings against two alleged suspects in the attack, who are on the run and being tried in absentia, will now start on November 10.
A Franco-Lebanese national, identified as Mohamad Hassan El-Husseini, blew up a bus carrying Israeli tourists at the airport of the Black Sea coast resort of Burgas on July 18, 2012.
Five Israelis, their Bulgarian driver and the bomber himself died in the attack, which left 35 other Israelis injured.
Israeli forces launch large-scale arms raid in West Bank
Security forces launched a large-scale arms raid in Jenin overnight between Sunday and Monday, seizing large quantities of firearms and shutting down two gun production workshops in the West Bank city.
The IDF and Border Police seized automatic rifles, handguns, gun parts and ammunition during the operation.
The IDF also shut down a gun-making workshop in Dahariya, near Hebron, while security forces operating near Gush Etzion raided addresses and seized locally-made submachine guns known as Carlos, which have been used by armed terrorists in recent attacks.
The IDF has been engaged in a series of large arms raids in the West Bank in recent months in an effort to stop the guns from ending up in the hands of lone terrorists or small attack cells that can evade Israeli intelligence.
Meanwhile, the IDF and Border Police also arrested 19 security suspects in overnight raids across the West Bank. The suspects include five Hamas members.
US Muslim leaders urge Hamas to release remains of Israeli soldiers
A slate of 10 US Muslim leaders, including both Muslims in Congress, urged Hamas to return to Israel the remains of two soldiers.
“In the name of Almighty God the most merciful and compassionate, we appeal to you on the basis of humanity and charity to release the remains of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, two Israeli soldiers killed in action, to their families,” said the letter sent Sept. 21 to Khaled Meshal, one of the leaders of the terrorist group controlling the Gaza Strip.
Signatories include Reps. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Andre Carson, D-Ind., respectively the first and second Muslims elected to Congress; M. Ali Chaudry, the former mayor of Basking Ridge, N.J.; Sayyid Syeed, the director of interfaith alliances at the Islamic Society of North America; and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who directed an unsuccessful and controversial effort to build an Islamic community center near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York.
“Both Israelis and Palestinians have felt the pain of war, of losing loved ones and children far too soon,” the letter said. “The Holy Qur’an reminds us that ‘Whoever pardons and makes reconciliation will receive his reward from Allah.’ We ask you to act upon these words and allow the Goldin and Shaul families to bury their loved ones.”
Shaul and Goldin were killed during the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
Egyptian official mocks Abbas ‘stupidity,’ says Fatah ‘screwed’ in leaked call
A top Egyptian intelligence official is heard mocking Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a newly leaked phone call with a chief rival of the PA leader, characterizing him as old and stupid and saying the Fatah party is “screwed” under his leadership.
According to the Middle East Eye, the comments were made by Major General Wael el-Safty, an officer in Egypt’s General Intelligence Directorate in charge of Palestinian affairs, during a conversation with Fatah’s Mohammad Dahlan.
In excerpts of the call which were broadcast on Egyptian Mekameleen TV, Safty reportedly says Abbas’s “concentration isn’t at full capacity” and he “has nothing to offer.”
Safty goes on to compare Abbas to “a camel,” saying he routinely regurgitates old ideas. He also speaks of his advanced age (the PA leader is 81), saying “The track is running out, if you excuse the phrase.”
He claims Abbas “isn’t smart at all. He doesn’t want to change, he doesn’t want to do anything.”
UNHRC investigator: 'Occupation doesn't exonerate Palestine' on women's violence
The Palestinian Authority must take a tougher stance against gender-based violence and to promote equality for women, United Nations Human Rights Council investigator Dubravka Simonovic said in a special report on the matter issued last week.
“The occupation does not exonerate the State of Palestine from its due diligence obligation to prevent, investigate, punish and provide remedies for acts of gender-based violence under the areas and persons under its jurisdiction,” Simonovic wrote.
The visit by the special rapporteur on violence against women was the first in 11 years to Israel and the Palestinian territories by someone holding that post.
She wrapped up her 10-day trip on Thursday with a press conference at the American Colony hotel in Jerusalem.
Typically, Israel bans such visit by rapporteurs from the UNHRC, on the argument that the mandate is often biased and focuses solely on Israeli human rights abuses against Palestinians.
Hamas: PLO does not represent Palestinian people
Dr. Faiz Abu Shamala, one of the prominent Palestinian journalists at Hamas’ official newspaper, Falastin has challenged the PLO’s ability to lead and represent the Palestinian Arabs.
“How can we believe that the PLO is the only legitimate face of the millions of Palestinians that live in Jordan and have Jordanian passports,“ Shamala wrote.
Abu Shamalah added that “with what happened to the Palestinians that live in Jordan and carry Jordanian passports, how can the PLO call itself a legitimate representative?”
The statement made by Mahmud Abbas at the General Assembly at the UN claiming that the PLO is the only legitimate face of Palestinians everywhere is a complete misunderstanding of the facts and removes the democratic right of the Palestinians to elect their own leadership, Abu Shamalia asserted.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Those Dying Syrians Are Making Us Look Like A Bunch Of Crybabies By Mahmoud Abbas (satire)
It also helps explain our continued support for the Syrian regime – the same one responsible for the bulk of the more than 300,000 deaths since the civil war began – despite the killings and torture of Palestinians by regime forces. Several Palestinian refugee camps in Syria have been under siege for years – not the fake Israeli “siege” of the Gaza Strip we love to go on and on about – and their population has plummeted. But objecting to those policies of the Assad regime would put us on the same side as the people in, for example, Aleppo, who have committed the unforgivable sin of suffering more than us, and having that suffering gain international attention.
Understand that we have no problem with other people suffering more. The sub-Saharan peoples facing every kind of inhumanity, and the Tibetans being crushed under Chinese oppression can go ahead and keep at it. We’re behind that all the way. But the moment the international community starts paying sustained attention to those people, that means we’re not in the center of it all, and those suffering people must be made to pay for such insolence. We oppose them.
In that vein, I’m gratified that we got in early on hijacking the Black Lives Matter movement in the US. It would simply not do to have a grassroots social movement with real political potential, and a real grip on the world’s consciousness, focus on some cause that does not involve the Palestinians.
So I ask of the world media to stop reporting on the fighting in Aleppo, or at least to stop reporting on it in such a way that the victims of brutality are portrayed as victims.
Only Palestinians are allowed to be victims.
Douglas Murray: Can President Rouhani really be described as a ‘moderate’?
Mark Twain once said that if you give a man a reputation as an early-riser he can sleep in till noon. The same is true of calling someone ‘a moderate’. Call someone ‘a moderate’ and they can rant like a fascist any day of the week without reprimand.
President Rouhani of Iran has been called a moderate by most of the Western press and most of the Western governments. And so when he appeared at the UN this week and railed once again about the ‘Zionists’ controlling the U.S. Government including the U.S. Congress, it barely raises headlines. Surely a ‘moderate’ wouldn’t make such outlandish claims? And so the extremist statements of the ‘moderate’ are simply ignored. If anyone wants to see why things are going so badly on the international stage these days they should look to the people with the most benign monikers. They will find some of the explanations there.
UAE Minister Accuses ‘Expansionist’ Iran of ‘Undermining’ Security of Middle East
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan pointed to Iran’s “expansionist regional policies, flagrant violations of the principles of sovereignty and constant interference in the internal affairs of its neighboring countries.”
He told the UN General Assembly’s annual ministerial meeting on Saturday that regional countries hoped last year’s nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers would change Tehran’s “hostile approach,” but those hopes were “quickly thwarted.”
“Iran wasted no time in continuing its efforts to undermine the security of the region, through aggressive rhetoric, blatant interference, producing and arming militias, (and) developing its ballistic missile program,” Al Nahyan said.
Iran has been backing Syrian President Bashar Assad and Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen, and the UAE minister said its interference in Iraq’s internal affairs “has exacerbated ... division among its people.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: European Muslims Shocked At Suggestion They Should Protest Aleppo Like Gaza (satire)
Muslim community organizations and individual adherents of Islam voiced surprise and anger today upon hearing of the notion that they might engage in rallies and demonstrations to voice objection to Syrian and Russian atrocities in Aleppo as they did when Israel fought Hamas in the Gaza Strip to suppress rocket fire in 2014.
A commentator wondered live on French TV this morning why the same people who protested the deadly Israeli bombings and incursion two years ago appear unmoved by the far more indiscriminate and destructive airstrikes by the Syrian and Russian air forces on besieged Aleppo and other locales. In response, enraged Muslim groups and activists assembled to protest the analyst’s remarks, accusing him of defaming Islam and demanding he apologize.
Marcel Martin, a news analyst with the Les Nouvelles program on France’s TV Trois network, asked on Monday morning’s program what happened to the throngs of protesters who stormed their way through the suburbs of Paris during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, a 50-day confrontation that eventually claimed the lives of more than 2,100 Palestinians. 66 Israelis were also killed. In contrast, noted Martin, “none of the same impassioned defenders of their fellow Muslims seem bothered by Basher Assad and Vladimir Putin’s bloodthirsty campaign to destroy Aleppo from the air, and the hundreds of thousands of Muslim lives already taken in the Syrian Civil War.”
Following Martin’s remarks, a coalition of Muslim community organizations announced an immediate protest against him, to demand a retraction, an apology, and, failing that, Martin;s dismissal from the network for offending Islamic sensibilities.

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