Saturday, December 31, 2011

Stop ignoring the facts about Cast Lead

Jonathan Sacerdoti

It featured the lowest ratio of civilian to combatant deaths in any asymmetric conflict in the history of warfare.

An Israeli soldier takes a position behind a wall on which 'Liberate Gaza' is written during a protest in the West Bank city of Hebron against the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, 2 January 2009. Credit: Getty Images

Three years ago, Operation Cast Lead saw Israel send troops into the Gaza Strip in response to the thousands of rockets and mortars launched into Israeli civilian areas. Which other government in the world wouldn't defend its citizens in such circumstances? If some wish to portray this operation as a "massacre", they would have to ignore the facts to do so. John Stuart Mill wrote in 1862 that "war is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things". Indeed today, even with laws, regulations and technology intended to lessen the horrors of battle, war is always ugly and tragic. But sometimes, it is still an essential response to something far uglier.

In 2006, following the Israeli disengagement and pullout from the Gaza Strip, there was an increase of 436 per cent in the number of Palestinian rockets launched towards Israel from that very territory. For some time, Israel resisted a large-scale military response to such acts deliberately aimed at civilians. As a result, the attacks got worse, and every country, including Israel, has the moral responsibility to defend its people from such actions.

Increased Palestinian terror attacks from Gaza were the cause of Operation Cast Lead. Yet Israel's is a conscript army. Indeed Israel goes to extraordinary lengths to protect its young soldiers (witness the efforts make to secure the release of the kidnap victim Gilad Shalit), and does not send them to war easily.

In the three years since the operation, there has been an unprecedented 72 per cent decline in the number of rockets launched from Hamas-controlled Gaza. No surprise, then, that Israel's Defence Forces Chief of Staff should call the operation "an excellent operation that achieved deterrence for Israel vis-a-vis Hamas". (However, that deterrence is still not enough to have prevented Palestinians from launching 1,571 rockets since the operation, including one attack with an anti-tank missile on a clearly identifiable Israeli school bus.)

Just as Israel's erection of a security fence to prevent homicide bombers from infiltrating Jerusalem saw a bigger than 90 per cent reduction in such attacks, Operation Cast Lead was undeniably effective in reducing terror attacks from the Gaza strip. The numbers speak for themselves.

Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British troops in Afghanistan, has repeatedly commented that, "during its operation in Gaza, the Israeli Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare." Furthermore, he points out that the steps taken in that conflict by the Israeli Defence Forces to avoid civilian deaths are shown by a study published by the United Nations to have resulted in, by far, the lowest ratio of civilian to combatant deaths in any asymmetric conflict in the history of warfare.

Kemp explains that by UN estimates, the average ratio of civilian to combatant deaths in such conflicts worldwide is 3:1 -- three civilians for every combatant killed. That is the estimated ratio in Afghanistan. But in Iraq, and in Kosovo, it was worse: the ratio is believed to have been 4:1. Anecdotal evidence suggests the ratios were very much higher in Chechnya and Serbia. In Gaza, it was less than one-to-one.

Since the 22-day Gaza operation, Israel has also been demonstrably fastidious in its efforts to protect civilian lives while targeting combatants. The Israel correspondent for Jane's Defence Weekly sites Israel's record this year, saying "the IDF killed 100 Gazans in 2011. Nine were civilians. That is a civilian-combatant ratio of nearly 1:10."

In fact, Israel's effort to combat the Hamas regime in the Gaza strip, while still safeguarding the rights of civilians, can be seen in her actions away from the battlefield as well. Despite the continued and sustained terror attacks from the area, around 60 per cent of Gaza's electricity comes from Israel, rather than from Gaza's other neighbour, Egypt, against whom no missiles are launched by the Palestinians.

Israel allows thousands of tonnes of goods to pass into Gaza weekly, and provides a large amount of the strip's water. If destroying infrastructure were truly Israel's aim, as some claim, this goal could be achieved without the risk to Israeli soldiers inherent in operations which see them sent into the Gaza strip.

It is time to stop blaming the Israeli government and defence forces for protecting Israeli civilians. Instead, we must demand that Palestinian leaders (and their apologists) work towards improving the welfare of their own citizens, rather than constantly attacking Israel's.

Jonathan Sacerdoti is director of the Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy

Is Another Holocaust Coming?

The Signs Are There If Jews Only Open Their Eyes

By Bill Narvey

What? Another Holocaust could be just around the bend?

Renowned conservative pundit, Mark Steyn sure seems to think so.

An article, December 6th, 2011 in The Jewish Tribune out of Toronto by Joanne Hill, that likely has not received the attention it deserves, certainly raises the specter of another genocidal holocaust against the Jews, Western society complicit: Resurgence in antisemitism may lead to second Holocaust, Steyn says.

Hill was reporting on a recent address by Steyn to about 1,000 people gathered at Toronto’s Reform Jewish synagogue, Holy Blossom Temple, which focused on resurgent antisemitism, particularly in Europe.

The article’s title is taken from Steyn’s startling dire warning of what the future may hold for us Jews.

Hysteria? Fear mongering? Maybe, but to what purpose and what is in it for Steyn who is not Jewish?

Then again, taking a closer look at all the signs, maybe not.

Maybe Steyn is spot on and what we are witnessing is the world stage being set for a final one act Holocaust reality play that will ultimately see the world rid of Israel and the Jews, once and for all.

So, what are these signs? Jews know that the most ancient of evils, Jew hatred that has taken an unimaginable toll on the Jewish people throughout the millennia, is extant today.

They know that while intractable and unbridled Jew hatred, be it in its purest form or in the guise of Israel hatred, while coming mostly from the Muslim world, is also coming from parts of the Christian and other non-Muslim world.

That millennial old Christian Jew hatred, in recent years has been resurgent as Steyn notes, especially in Europe where Jew hatred is finding increasing expression by word and deed, not just from ordinary citizens, but from European religious, institutional, media and political leaders.

Most, if not all 3rd world non-Muslim countries that have historically had little experience or even contact with Jews and Israel, have for a number of reasons, all bad, found common cause with Muslim nations in their hatred of Jews and Israel.

China, a rising economic powerhouse, also having little to no historical experience and contact with Jews, is aligning with the Muslims, largely because of economic opportunities the Muslim world affords them.

Similarly Eastern Europe, led by Russia, the evil empire as Regan called it, has a very long history of systemic Jew hatred throughout all levels of its society, again seeks to regain world superpower status by cozying up to the Muslim world where it finds many economic opportunities and by trying to build itself up, largely at the West’s expense.

The former Soviet Union, armed the Arabs against Israel as has both Russia and China since. It is Russia that provided Iran the technology and assistance to develop its nuclear program. Both Russia and China have been instrumental in throwing sand in the gears of Western efforts to bring pressure on Iran through largely economic sanctions, to get Iran to abandon their nuclear agenda and WMD aspirations.

Incidentally, Europe that is so dependent on Iranian crude and fearful of blowback should they support sanctions against Iran, have always been wishy washy in that regard and now have announced they are not supportive of sanctions.

Iran talks out of both sides of its mouth when it denies it has any WMD aspirations (a denial that is undeniably false), but maintains its threatening posture and words that it is dedicated to wiping Israel off the map. Add to that, Iran is the greatest sponsor of Islamic Jihad, arming them to not only attack Israel, but the West.

As for Jews – well Holocaust denying Iran, if it can pull the trigger on its goal of bringing a Holocaust to Israel, will be bringing that Holocaust to Jews the world over.

At least the Soviets during the cold war were rational enough to know that a nuclear war with the West would destroy both, so the concept of M.A.D. held the Soviets in check. For Islamic Iran however, the concept of M.A.D. does not enter into the calculation of their national interests and aspirations.

Iran’s leaders are moved only by their religion of Islam to believe that their religious prophecies leading to Islamic world supremacy can only be realized by their leading a deadly apocalyptic showdown with the non-Muslim world, with Israel being the first to go, regardless of how many Muslims must die in the process.

The American led industrialized West, so dependent on Arab oil for almost a century has made itself increasingly vulnerable to the power of Arab oil and wealth.

That economic reality was painfully brought home to the West with the Saudi led oil embargo of 1973 as payback for American and Western support of Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War that enabled Israel to avert being destroyed by the Jew hating genocidal minded Arabs.

That unforgotten lesson and the strong likelihood that the Arabs will use such tactic again if American support of Israel exceeds the tolerance level of Arab Jew haters, weighs heavy on American and Western minds.

America and the West repeatedly declare as a mantra that the vast majority of Muslims are good and decent people, while it is only a relatively very small number of Jihadists that threaten the West. The West knows full well however, that the majority, if not vast majority of the Muslim world are not only Jew haters, but a very great many of them have some sympathies at least, with the Jihadists who express and act on their profound hatred of Jews, Israel and the West.

Fear of hostile and violent Muslim reaction against Western interests in the Muslim Middle East as well as on Western soil, is palpable. That fear too, figures largely in American and Western thinking, positions, policies and actions intended to protect and advance Western interests in the Muslim world and which have a corresponding negative impact on Israel.

These Western policies that have been rightly called appeasement, have been evidenced in the anti-Israel rhetoric and deeds of many Western leaders and media organizations and in Pres. Obama’s various pronouncements such as his apology speech to Al Arabiyya, his Cairo apology tour, his Mid East policies and his continuously singling out Israel to wring concessions from and to blame for the Israel-Palestinian peace process going off the rails as well as on a number of other counts.

What is also significant is that pervasive intractable Arab, Palestinian and Muslim Jew hatred and even their hatred of the West, barely gets mentioned these days, though it is the core reason why Israel has not managed to find a peace solution with the Palestinians and other Arab neighbors and a core reason that puts Western interests in jeopardy.

One cannot ignore as well that the recent upheavals in the Middle East that began in Tunisia, have not led to an Arab Spring ushering in democracy, that the West hoped for. Rather, these upheavals have opened the door for Jew and Western hating Islamists to seize power and drag their people further back into Islamic and Jihadist tyranny.

If that was not enough, Jew hatred is now a full blown sentiment and inspiration for words and deeds of the non-religious secular left wing, so numerous in Western nations.

Why any Jew would want to be affiliated with these left wingers is mind boggling, but many are in one way or another. Go figure!

Can Jews and Israel be saved by the mega millions of Christians, who contrary to some of their Christian brethren, are staunch friends and supporters of Jews and Israel? Maybe, but then again maybe not.

It is no comfort to Jews that Christians don’t even seem willing to stand up for fellow Christians, persecuted in Muslim lands of which there have been increasing reports over the last several decades.

Consider Raymond Ibrahim’s article Muslim Persecution of Christians: November 2011 at: summarizing only some recent instances of hate filled treatment of minority Christians in a number of Muslim nations. There are countless such reports in a similar vein.

The Pope in his recent Christmas address called in banal terms for peace in the world and good will to all, specifically mentioning peace for Israel and Palestinians, but he uttered not a word about Muslim persecution of Christians.

God on High must be shaking his head and sneering in disgust at this Pope who pompously claims to be the Vickar of Christ in this world.

Not to just beat up on the Pope, but Christian leaders and their flocks have simply not come together to fight against this lethal scourge of hatred that so many fellow Christians are being subjected to in a number of Muslim lands.

Perhaps Christians have a sense of security from and are comforted by their numbers of 2.6 million and figure they can afford to lose 1, 10 or even 100 million of their flock and barely notice the loss.

Jews however, number just 13 million. It is no overstatement to say that Jews can ill afford to lose even one Jew to Jew hatred, let alone all of Israel, if Iran and other Jew hating Arab nations and Palestinians had their way.

In spite of all these ominous signs that portend potential existential disaster for Jews and Israel, Jews seem to be more consumed with arguing and fighting over their differing theological, political and ideological differing views on Judaism, Israel and American led Western leadership as it relates to Jews and Israel. Those factional fractious and often hostile and angry opposing views, only serve to injuriously divide and weaken the Jewish community at large and distract it from clearly seeing and reacting to the millennial threat of Jew hatred that is again on the rise and again existentially threatens us all.

The foregoing is only a summary of signs that a confluence of factors are fast coalescing to make a perfect Jew hating storm that could lead to yet another Holocaust for the Jews and Israel, while the West, for reasons of protecting its own interests, could choose to just stand by and let happen.

If Jews are not totally alarmed by the foregoing summary of signs, they need only do a simple internet search with key words to bring up countless pages of links to news reports and articles that will flesh out these signs with so many detailed proofs that Jews will not be able to deny these signs that impending doom could be near.

Yes, it is comforting for Jews to wishfully think and hope that the existential dangers of Jew hatred are not as bad as they seem, that another Holocaust just cannot happen, that coincidence will smile on and spare Jews and Israel or believe, as an article of faith, that God will intervene in a timely fashion to save Jews and Israel and ensure their survival now and forever.

All these comforting thoughts are understandable, but can Jews really afford to find comfort in willful blindness, hopes and prayers and thus figure they have the luxury of time on their hands to take a wait and see attitude?

All the clear, unmistakable and ominous signs are screaming NO!

God helps those who help themselves and by God, Jews have no more moments to spare before coming together now – right now, to begin to fight to avert any chance of disaster befalling them, before that chance is erased by the passage of time and changing circumstance.

Banana noses and freckles


Malia’s bat mitzva fashion statements are about as relevant to Israel’s ongoing struggle for survival as my freckles were to Cookie’s contentions.

Back in junior high I had a classmate called Patty Christie, better known to her peers as Cookie. She was big, plumpish and her ruddy baby face was often conspicuously plastered with makeup, to the strident displeasure of our homeroom teacher.

One day Cookie announced assertively that “all Jews have banana noses.” Uninitiated in the irrationalism of stereotyping, I rose to the defense of our tribe: “Oh yeah? How come my nose isn’t like that?” Cookie shot back without hesitation: “Coz you’re not Jewish.”

“Yes I am,” I replied defiantly.

“No, you’re not,” she insisted. “You got freckles.”

I was stumped and all I could come up with was “Huh, what’s that got to do with anything?” I FOUND myself asking that very same question, with as much bewilderment, after the current White House resident informed the whole world about his daughter Malia’s busy schedule on the bar/bat mitzva circuit. That was somehow supposed to prove that Obama is the most pro-Israel president ever, endear him to American-Jewish hearts and win him political support, campaign contributions and crucial votes.

But, as with Cookie’s kooky argumentation, I couldn’t find the connection.

Malia’s dad pulled out all the stops when appearing at the recent Union for Reform Judaism Biennial in Maryland. His cliché-ridden routine wouldn’t have shamed any campy stand-up comedian in the intensely embarrassing era of Catskill overkill.

Nonetheless, Obama’s performance, demeaning and hackneyed though it was, went over big. It earned him no fewer than 70 rounds of rapturous applause. It dripped with schmaltz, served up liberally by Jewish speechwriters charged with dishing up smarmy tastelessness.

After effusive “Shabbat shalom” wishes, Obama chitchatted chummily: “My daughter Malia has reached the age where it seems like there’s always a bar or bat mitzva – every weekend – and there is quite a bit of negotiations around the skirts that she wears at these bat mitzvas. Do you guys have these conversations as well? All right. I just wanted to be clear it wasn’t just me. As a consequence, she’s become the family expert on Jewish tradition.

And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from her, it’s that it never hurts to begin a speech by discussing the Torah portion. It doesn’t hurt,” Obama beamed, with a feigned Yiddish intonation.

Taking his daughter’s informed advice, he launched into a d’var Torah (Torah-based lecture), homing in on Joseph (as per that week’s Torah portion) and repeating the word hineni (here I am) over and over and over, as if casting some cloying spell.

Other Hebrew words, like tikun olam (repairing the world), followed. That too went over big. Too much is never enough.

Then it got greasier yet: “when my Jewish friends tell me about their ancestors, I feel a connection. I know what it’s like to think, ‘Only in America is my story even possible.’” Finally, Obama reached the wearisome issue of Israel: “As president, I have never wavered in pursuit of a just and lasting peace: two states for two peoples; an independent Palestine alongside a secure Jewish State of Israel. I have not wavered and will not waver. That is our shared vision.”

Doesn’t it sound nice? Obama self-servingly set out to make nice and since the “two-state solution” has been elevated to the status of an unassailable sacred dogma, commitment to it is hardly likely to antagonize his faithful followers.

To their ears it’s heresy to suggest that the last thing Palestinians want is a Palestinian state dwelling in idyllic coexistence alongside a secure, accepted and recognized Israel. Honchos in both Ramallah and Gaza may expediently exploit the two-state slogan, but they never truly espoused the cause of two-state harmony. Still, no unpleasant truth can spoil smug pageants far away from the real nastiness.

So Obama went on: “I know that many of you share my frustration sometimes, in terms of the state of the peace process. There’s so much work to do. But here’s what I know: there’s no question about how lasting peace will be achieved. Peace can’t be imposed from the outside. Ultimately, the Israelis and the Palestinians must reach agreement on the issues that divide them.”

Music to our ears – except that pressure can be exerted while being denied. The relentless pursuit of deals can mean relentlessly coercing Israel. It can mean sending Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to blame Israel for any impasse and bully it to “just get to the damn table.” It can mean Obama’s secretary of state trashing our democratic credentials.

But nothing like the above was mentioned – not a word on equating settlements with terrorist atrocities, on the equivocation vis-à-vis Iran, on Obama’s pro-Muslim predilections (beginning with his sycophantic 2009 Cairo speech and all the way to having NASA “reach out to dominantly Muslim countries”). Likewise omitted was the animus toward Israel’s elected government.

Significantly, only last month Obama failed to defend Binyamin Netanyahu when French President Nicolas Sarkozy branded him “a liar” during a conversation with Obama that was inadvertently broadcast to journalists during the G20 summit in Cannes.

“You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you,” Obama bellyached. This latest incident merely underscored his unmistakable aversion as evidenced in the merciless protocol-abuse heaped on Netanyahu during his March 2010 visit.

Obama then snubbed Israel’s premier by walking out on him “to have dinner.”

This near-loathing wasn’t a negligible lapse of good manners and it wasn’t miraculously replaced overnight by a magnificent meeting of the minds. Everything remains as it was, but Obama’s aim is to make it seem that the rift never existed or, alternatively, that he healed it phenomenally.

The operative verb is “seem.” No real change had to take place, only to appear that it did.

American Jews (those who still care) need to ask themselves whether they aren’t falling for a false façade yet again when they applaud Obama’s bald-faced claim that “no US administration has done more in support of Israel’s security than ours. None. Don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise. It is a fact.”

Even Jewish liberals mesmerized by Obama’s apparent radicalism need ask themselves if it’s moral to judge us Israelis – to pretend to know better than we what’s best for us and to tell us to take existential risks. When all is said and done, it’s our lives on the line and no skin off American-Jewish noses.

That’s what ultimately matters and it has nothing to do with whether the Obama family’s “expert on Jewish tradition” is invited to bar mitzvas and prattles about quoting pertinent Torah portions. Malia’s best friends may be Jewish but this doesn’t make her father our best bud. He may enunciate “hineni,” but this doesn’t attest to his goodwill toward the Jewish state.

Malia’s bat mitzva fashion statements are about as relevant to Israel’s ongoing struggle for survival as my freckles were to Cookie’s contentions. The Jewish answer to Obama’s kitschy Catskill skit should be: “Huh, what’s that got to do with anything?”

Primary Punishment

Sultan Knish


Santorum is finally getting a look from Republican voters, if only a partial one, and it took long considering that he's far more consistently conservative in his positions. Is he electable, that's another issue.

Romney still has a fairly open path to the nomination only because the Anti-Romney vote has not solidified around a single candidate. And it hasn't solidified around a single candidate because none of the candidates really generates that much of an enthusiasm factor or makes voters comfortable.

The Pro-Romneyites know what they want. A stable candidate who will toe the Chamber of Commerce line and do a decent job of keeping the same mess going without being an "extremist" or alienating any sizable group. That means, contrary to what Coulter says, immigration reform and some form of national health care. It means compassionate conservatism. And it means a somewhat stable hand at the wheel.

Most Republicans don't like Romney or his positions very much, but there's no real ability to unite around an Anti-Romney because all the candidates are deeply flawed in some way. Gingrich may have been the best of the bunch, which isn't saying much, but he's losing steam much. The rapid shifts from candidate to candidate is brand panic because no single candidate is able to hold on to voters. Ron Paul, who has always had a small but fanatical following, is a partial exception but his base is not really Republican and the voters he picked up as a temporary anti-Romney will move on leaving him with the same core he always had.

Gingrich seemed to have come closest to capturing what Anti-Romney voters wanted, a warrior who wasn't wasting his time biting at the ankles of the frontrunners. But weeks of sustained attacks took their toll, as did the lack of a debate forum where he could showcase what he does best.

Gingrich is not a campaigner. Give him a camera and a forum and he can sell himself, but he doesn't have that much use for the flesh pressing rounds of the trail. Bachmann had one of the best ground organizations in Iowa, only to have it taken apart by dirty tricks. Santorum put in the time in Iowa and is rising.

There is no serious or honest argument to make for Romney except that he may be electable and even that is debatable. He is at best more electable than his rivals because he's inoffensive. He's a window store mannequin with few views that he's not willing to change before and after an election. Which is why the establishment is running itself ragged trying to find an argument for backing him.

Coulter asserts that Romney is the only candidate who's right on the two most important issues.

In the upcoming presidential election, two issues are more important than any others: repealing Obamacare and halting illegal immigration. If we fail at either one, the country will be changed permanently.

But capitulate on illegal immigration, and the entire country will have the electorate of California. There will be no turning back.

Similarly, if Obamacare isn’t repealed in the next few years, it never will be.

The problem with Coulter's argument is that it assumes a number of things. First that Romney will be willing to take on ObamaCare. Romney has never come off as much of a fighter on controversial issues once in office.

Second Coulter equates E-Verify with opposing illegal immigration. It's somewhat more complicated than that. And even by the stats she quotes at the end of her article, Romney has a C Minus immigration rating. Perry has a D and the rest have D minuses except for Paul who has an F.

If Romney has a C Minus, then he's not exactly the best candidate on immigration, maybe he's the least worst one. If we take those numbers at face value, then every candidate is bad on immigration and there's no hope of electing a Republican president who isn't terrible on immigration.

And Numbers USA's piece on Santorum actually says that he was bad on immigration issues in the 1990's, but that he significantly improved later on. His actual grade is arguably better than Romney's. If he opposed amnesty while in the Senate then Coulter's assertion that he would support it in the White House is dubious.

Meanwhile the ugliness in Ron Paul's newsletters is getting some belated attention. Kirchick already dug most or all of this during the previous election, and the media and the establishment chose not to pay attention. This time they're paying some attention. Like all the marginal candidates, Paul is another wedge for Romney to win the nomination in the demolition derby of the anti-Romneys, but what happens then?

Ron Radosh at PJM has one possible scenario.

The danger, then, is that Paul will do what his followers want and what he originally promised he would not do: run on a third-party ticket for the presidency.

If Ron Paul follows that course, it means that he will take away just enough votes from the eventual nominee to assure Barack Obama’s re-election as president of the United States. Since Paul obviously believes that the positions of the Republican Party are no different than those of the Democrats, it makes sense for him to become the spoiler, thus asserting his own power in politics. For the rest of us, it will mean we have lost our only chance to stop the destruction of the America we have come to know and love by presenting Barack Obama with four more years to achieve his domestic agenda of transforming the United States into a European-style social democracy.

Some Paul supporters have already made the "Romney is indistinguishable from Obama" argument, which as bad as Romney is, is blatantly untrue.

Can a Third Party run by Paul get Obama elected? It's entirely possible if the Republican candidate performs weakly in swing states where Paul performs well.

Nader's Third Party run lost Florida for Al Gore. Romney is performing well in Florida and Ron Paul hardly registers there, but in a close race between Obama and Romney, even a minimal showing by Paul would be enough to swing the election to Obama. But the issue isn't likely to come down to Florida. There are other states where Paul can count on a turnout where Romney might be weak.

But on the other hand Paul isn't Nader. Nader's main appeal was to Democrats and those left of center. Ron Paul's appeal is more "complex" scoring better with Democrats and Independents then with Republicans.

Does that mean a third party run by Paul would actually hurt Obama more? Hard to say. But it might mean that if the race is close, it will require a good deal more numbers and state by state scrutiny to determine who Paul would hurt more.

In a general election those Democrats backing Paul now would split into those who naturally vote for Third Party candidates, and Ron Paul would just get the vote that they would have otherwise given to the Green Party. So they're a wash anyway. Would Paul be able to pull any Democrats who would otherwise vote for Obama? Very doubtful. Any Democrat so outraged over drone strikes or Manning that he would be willing to for Paul isn't likely to vote for Obama.

About the only voters that Paul might pull away from Obama would be independents. But Paul would also suck up Republican voters convinced that Romney is no different than Obama. There wouldn't be very many of them, but with Beck pushing Paul all through the election, it might be enough to eke out an Obama win in a close state race.


Apparently alluding to Israel and its nuclear-weapons arsenal, Paul said that “if I were an Iranian, I’d like to have a nuclear weapon, too, because you gain respect from them.”

Yet oddly Ron Paul isn't a fan of America's nuclear weapons arsenal. For the same tediously paranoid reason that he's opposed to a border fence or school vouchers or pretty much anything. Paul is very pessimistic about the American government, but optimistic about the Iranian government. With that why doesn't Ron Paul just run for election in Iran?

It's a semi-serious question. Ron Paul really dislikes the United States government. He thinks it's being governed by a secret society of CIA-Federal Reserve assassins. That we can't even secure the border because then we won't be able to run away to Mexico when the American Empire takes off.

Then why not just leave? If Ron Paul really believes the government is controlled by a secret society, then why does he think that he can be elected? Surely the Skull and Masonbergers would send another patsy after him and mutilate some cattle along the way. So either Paul doesn't really believe all this and is just pandering to his base, or he does believe it and doesn't want to take the time to run for President of Mexico.

Ron Paul has more confidence in the decency of Ahmadinejad then he does in the decency of American leaders. That seems to be part of a pattern for him. He thinks that we should have taken Bin Laden at his word for his reasons for attacking America, when he didn't take Bush at his word.

Fair enough. But then why stay here? If our system is so rotten, why not explore the free market economies and civil liberties of Iran, Mexico or Pakistan? If Ron Paul really believes that everything we do is doomed to fall into evil, then why not move somewhere that he can be optimistic about the authorities and the future?


The Nigerian church bombings were the resumption of a time honored Muslim tradition. That of Christmas terror.

Choosing a spot next to a light rail terminal, Mohamud waited for a train to arrive in order to inflict the maximum number of casualties on the families arriving at the ceremony. But instead of murdering thousands of people at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, he was arrested and dragged away while screaming, “Allahu Akbar.”


The Christmas Market has been held in Strasbourg, France for over four hundred years. A year before Al-Qaeda flew planes into the World Trade Center, European Muslims began scouting the site for a terrorist attack. Salim Boukari filmed the market, remarking at the people passing by outside the Strasbourg Cathedral. “Here are the enemies of Allah as they stroll about. You will go to hell, Allah willing.”

See the rest of the ugly litany of terror in my Front Page Magazine article, Muslim Terror for Christmas.

Also at the site Mark Tapson lists some of the seasonal harassment directed at Christians in Muslim countries.

In Iraq, for example, all Christian services and masses were scheduled for daylight hours. Why? “Midnight Christmas Mass has been canceled in Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk as a consequence of the never-ending assassinations of Christians,” bluntly stated Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. In Egypt, where we are witnessing the outright, state-assisted genocide of the dwindling Coptic Christian population, churches were also threatened with violence. Christian prisoners in Pakistan, incarcerated for such crimes as blasphemy against Islam, were refused Christmas Day visits from their families.

See his piece, Islam's War on Christmas for the rest.

My other article for the week deals with Soros' black hand in the form of the Center for American Progress and the aid it's providing to the Muslim Brotherhood. See The Center for American Progress' Jihad Against the Free World

The Center for American Progress is not just any organization. Headed up by John Podesta​, a co-chairman of Obama’s transition team and backed by a 38 million dollar annual budget, it is George Soros’ most ambitious attempt to turn his Shadow Party into a shadow government. CAP is the organization with the single greatest influence on the Obama White House and its foreign and domestic policy.

CAP is more than just another think tank; it’s a lever for shifting the Democratic Party further to the left, bought and paid for by George Soros​ and a roster of secret donors whose names are not made public by the secretive and powerful organization. Those who buy influence with it also get anonymity as part of the package.

But the Center is more than a rogue billionaire’s brand of progressivism turned into talking-point groupthink by Washington insiders. It is a link between the American left and the Muslim right, articulating the Islamist agenda as a vehicle for the foreign policy of the post-American left. It’s where Ali Gharib can run pieces whitewashing the Muslim Brotherhood​ while Zaid Jiliani attempts to justify the ambassador to Belgium’s comments denying the existence of Muslim anti-Semitism.


Ron Paul accused President Barack Obama on Thursday of offering suspected terrorists fewer legal protections than Nazi war criminals were given.

The Republican presidential candidate laced into Obama for authorizing the CIA-led drone strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, an Al Qaeda leader, in Yemen this September. He reiterated his previously stated position that al-Awlaki’s American citizenship entitled him to due process.

More proof that Paul is an idiot. Drone strikes began under the Bush Administration. And Nazi war criminals only became war criminals after the war ended. We didn't try Nazi prisoners for war crimes during the war. If there was a Nazi officer with American citizenship during the Battle of the Bulge, we advanced on his position. We didn't stop the war and offer him Due Process.

As bad as they were, you know even Adolf Eichmann finally when he was captured he was taken to Israel. Israel gave him a trial. What did we do with the Nazis — war criminals — after World War II? They got trials. Yeah, and they got what was deserving: they got hung,” Paul told more than 700 voters during a campaign speech at a convention center in western Iowa.

Here Ron Paul isn't just wrong, he's inconsistent.Many of his Paleoconservative friends opposed the Nuremberg trials as having no legal standing. The Eichmann trials similarly had no legal standing.

If Ron Paul were at least intellectually consistent then he would oppose drone strikes and war crimes trials. Instead he uses selective rhetoric to argue a contradictory position. The Nuremberg trials and the Eichmann trial had no legal grounds except that when dealing with monsters you have to kill them. And if you're a nation state then your leaders occasionally have trouble pulling the trigger and instead go through the mechanism of a trial even when there is no reason or legal basis for one.

But the point that Cynthia McKinney's endorser is missing here is that the Nuremberg Trials took place after a war (that Ron Paul opposes) and so did the Eichmann trial. The war isn't over.

This is like arguing that the United States had no right to bomb Tokyo during WW2, but that it needed to apply due process to anyone in the city with American citizenship.


The BareNakedIslam blog has been taken down by WordPress.The Twitter account is still up here.

Hillbuzz thinks that BNI's campaign against All-American Muslim's advertisers attracted CAIR. I suspect that is probably true as well. The blog also has some thoughts on how difficult dealing with Wordpress is.

Moonbattery suggests that free hosting makes a takedown more likely. That may or may not be the case. Paid hosts will also take down sites under enough pressure. Variables include who's running the show and how much pressure is involved. Paid hosting may be safer, but it's not necessarily certain.

IowntheWorld has a memento of a pre-censored BNI post, if you want to get a taste of the suspended blog.


In one of the more astounding examples of pettiness and displays of outright despicable behavior, Richard Silverstein of the left-wing Anti-Israel Tikkun Olam blog decided that he had discovered the name of an anonymous Pro-Israel blogger and gleefully outed him in an entire post dedicated to the topic.

This is a sad window into a very sad human being who is nevertheless repeatedly featured as an authority by the New York Times and other media outlets, not because of his knowledge or expertise, but because of his relentless hostility toward Israel.

Now, due to a sloppy error on his part (thanks to an eagle-eyed Israeli who finds him as repellant as I, who caught it), Aussie Dave has exposed his real identity. And since I believe that hypocrites deserve their comeuppance and that their dark secrets deserve to see the light, I’m exposing him for what and who he is: David Loeb, 23 Rashi Street Beit-Shemesh, Israel. In his Facebook profile he notes some sort of affiliation with Virgin Megastores, which may mean he works there. If anyone knows, I’d like to find out.

It's pathetic reading that fills you with despair for the state of the human soul, or at least the soul of the Anti-Israel left.

I have seen ugly behavior in the blogsphere, but generally people step in and say something. But Silverstein's repulsive gloating only met with approval.

Uglier still Jillian C. York of the Electronic Freedom Foundation appeared to be egging Silverstein on. It is troubling that an organization which supposedly protects privacy would have an employee aiding in what she thought was the outing of an activist.

EFF's continued association with Jillian York severely damages its credibility and calls into question its principles. When a woman who serves as the Director of International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation acts this way, it shows that EFF is only dedicated to freedom of expression for those who agree with the politics of people like York.

Anyone who donates to EFF or supports it thinking that it is the electronic version of the ACLU and supports freedom of expression in a non-partisan way should now seriously reevaluate that. The EFF has shown that it supports freedom of expression and privacy only for those bloggers that it agrees with. It is not the ACLU, it is Media Matters and anything that it does should be regarded that way.


I have a more Torah oriented piece on Chanukah up here.


"Arab hate: A Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo’s most prominent mosque Friday turned into a venomous anti-Israel protest, with attendants vowing to “one day kill all Jews.”

Just step outside, can't you feel the warmth of that Arab Spring in the air?

Staten Island jihadi snitches on co-religionists, says pro-jihad Muslim in U.S. military


Just one? via S.I. jihadi Abdel Hameed Shehadeh rats out a big roster of plotters – NY Daily News.

A TERRORIST wanna-be from Staten Island ratted out dozens of people he called pro-jihadists in New York and Hawaii after he was arrested by the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorist Task Force, it was revealed Tuesday.

Abdel Hameed Shehadeh was a fount of information when lawmen interrogating him last year in Honolulu showed him more than 40 photos of possible evildoers, according to court papers filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Shehadeh’s lawyer is seeking to suppress the 22-page FBI report in which Shehadeh spills his guts. The alleged rogues’ gallery he describes includes Brooklyn teachers of the Islamic orthodoxy Salafism, a livery cab driver, an Ethiopian Muslim in the U.S. Army and a College of Staten Island student who attended a fund-raiser at Brooklyn College for a terrorist.

Others he ID’d had delivered pro-jihadist speeches at mosques or ranted in online chat rooms, he said, and included a reputed member of the terror group Hamas who lives in Syracuse.

Most bizarre is the homeless husband-and-wife — she comes from a wealthy family and he drives a luxury BMW sedan — who watched a beheading video with Shehadeh, according to an FBI report.

Shehadeh recalled attending a lecture at the Brooklyn Islamic Center in 2008 with someone named “Omar” and a second man who peddled pro-jihad T-shirts. “Almost everything [Omar] and his friend . . . talked about was jihad,” the report states.

The names of the persons of interest are being withheld by the Daily News because Shehadeh’s claims could not be independently confirmed.

Did the Daily News try?

Shehadeh’s lawyer publicly filed the FBI report as part of a motion to suppress his client’s post-arrest snitching and statements about his own radicalization.

Shehadeh signed an affidavit claiming he was tricked into waiving his constitutional right against self-incrimination.

The Brooklyn-born Shehadeh, 22, is charged with lying to the feds about a failed attempt to travel to Pakistan and join the Taliban.

He also tried to join the U.S. Army himself, but was rejected because he failed to disclose his overseas trips.

“At some point after stopping the interview, Shehadeh was asked what he was thinking about. (He) answered, ‘How much I incriminated myself,’ ” Special Agent John Tinning and Detective Angel Maysonet wrote.

Comment: I have not corroborated this story-I post it to simply demonstrate that the infiltration continues. It has been going on for years. The documentation abounds yet has been suppressed by the msm-ask yourself why?

Palestine: What Sherlock Holmes would say

Martin Sherman, JPOST

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
– Sherlock Holmes in This Sign of the Four

There has been much talk in Palestine about emigration, especially among the young people…in search of a better life abroad. Many are continuing to rush to the gates of the embassies and consulates… with requests for visas in order to reside permanently in those countries.
– the PA’s mufti of Jerusalem, 2007

My past two columns, PART I and PART II, focusing on the authenticity (or lack thereof) of the Palestinian’s national identity following Newt Gingrich’s characterization of them as an “invented people,” generated a brisk public exchange.

Numerous questions were raised and reservations expressed as to the various aspects of the operational program I proposed, especially regarding the prospects of implementation. A reminder
The proposal had three interlocking components:

• Ending discriminatory treatment of the Palestinian refugees by abolishing the UN’s Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), or bringing it into line with international practice for all other refugees on the face of the globe.

• Ending discrimination against Palestinians in the Arab world and abolishing the prohibition on their acquisition of the citizenship of the countries in which they have been resident for decades.

• Providing generous relocation finance directly to Palestinian breadwinners resident across the 1967 Green Line, to allow them to build better futures for themselves and their families in foreign countries of their choice.

Some readers, even those who commended the proposal, were skeptical. For example, one talk-backer remarked, “It’s a nonstarter, for the simple reason that no Arab state would agree to it.”

This comment, entirely correct factually, is equally irrelevant strategically and reflects a common misunderstanding of the proposal which it is important to dispel.

For – as I hope will become clear later – the agreement of Arab states – or indeed of any Arab collective – is totally immaterial to the implementation of the proposal. But first…

Eliminating the ‘impossible’
In establishing what is “impossible,” it is crucial to define one’s point-of-departure.

For, in terms of policy decisions, what is admissible given one point-of-departure, may well be unacceptable given another.

Thus, if the conceptual point-of-departure is the imperative to preserve Israel as the nation-state of the Jews, policy choices that entail forgoing this aspiration would be deemed “impossible” to accept.

Accordingly, proposals whose rationale is that the Israel-Palestinian conflict could be resolved by transforming Israel into a multi-ethnic state-of-all-it-citizens would be unacceptable on a conceptual level – quite apart from the fact that they would be unworkable on a practical one.

Likewise, proposals that suggest a resolution could be arrived at by reducing Israel to unsustainable territorial dimensions which, as Shimon Peres once remarked, “would create a compulsive temptation to attack Israel from all sides” must also be deemed “impossible.”

After all, Israel cannot be preserved as functioning nation-state if its metropolis is exposed to ongoing Sderot-like bombardment by alleged “renegades.”

Indeed, even the palpable threat of primitive rockets fired on the country’s only international airport, congested highways, major ports and rail links, not to mention 80 percent of the population and commercial activity, would make the maintenance of socioeconomic routine impossible, or at least highly improbable.

Recognizing ‘whatever remains’
So if territorial concessions entailed in a two-state approach would make the Jewish nation-state untenable in terms of security, and if absorbing a large Muslim population entailed in a one-state solution would make the Jewish state untenable in terms of demography, “whatever remains – however improbable” – must be the only alternative.

Since the geography is immutable, the focus must be on the demography.

It is thus no more than “elementary” that the long-term preservation of the Jewish state must involve the relocation of the non-Israeli Arabs between the river and the sea. Any other option is self-deluded wishful thinking – or at least the burden of proof to show otherwise is on the proponents of such an option, especially in view of the post-Oslo/post-disengagement experiences.

It is either hopelessly myopic or hypocritically malevolent to profess support of a Jewish state and then advocate policy that makes its long-term survival impossible, or at least highly implausible. Note that there is nothing remotely “racist” in this purely “Holmesian” deductive process, unless the very notion of a Jewish nation-state is considered racist, something which itself is the epitome of racism.

For as Chaim Herzog, the late president of the state, once pointed out: “To question the Jewish people’s right to national existence and freedom is… to deny to the Jewish people the right accorded to every other people on this globe.”

Is the ‘improbable’ really improbable?
In principle there are two waysThe result is a dysfunctional polity unable to conduct even the semblance of timely elections, and a puny economy, comprising a minuscule private sector and a bloated public one, totally unsustainable without massive infusions of foreign funds.

Failing the test of history
In every meaningful aspect, the Palestinians claim to statehood has failed the test of history, as has the two-state principle.

This in itself should be no cause for celebration by its opponents. For while I find myself in total disagreement with virtually all of Jerusalem Post columnist Gershon Baskin’s positions, his latest opinion piece raises a question of great relevance and urgency which his ideological adversaries will ignore at great peril.

Baskin asks, “What now? What happens when there really is no longer a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?” and warns, “We better start coming up with answers because we are almost there.”

Baskin is right in his analysis and right to demand answers. For such a scenario may indeed be upon us, with little warning.

The PA could well implode when the fraudulent façade of Fayyadism – with disposable income reportedly almost double GDP – grinds to an inevitable halt; it might collapse if foreign funding is curtailed because a Hamas-dominated administration emerges from the conciliation talks; or it might dissolve itself, unwilling to face public wrath at its inability to deliver promised goods.

Depoliticizing and atomizing
If the two-state solution is nearing extinction as a viable option and the “one-state-of- all-its-residents-between-the-river-and-the- sea” principle is unacceptable, what remains? Israel must gear itself to deal with this emerging dilemma.

Fortunately, once the inauthenticity of Palestinian nationality is acknowledged, the answer is “elementary.”

It lies a shifting the focus from the Palestinian collective to the Palestinian individual, from the political to the humanitarian, from an endeavor to solve the problem to an endeavor to dissolve (i.e. disperse) it.

Depoliticizing the context (by underscoring the humanitarian issues) and atomizing the implementation (by engaging individual breadwinners) provide two significant operational advantages.

It renders the question of “who will accept them” moot.

It does not require the agreement of any Arab state to effect implementation. Since the envisaged compensation will be large enough to allow recipients to comply with immigration criteria in numerous countries – not necessarily Arab or Muslim – and since they would be coming as adequately funded private individuals, what would be the possible basis for refusal of entry – other than ethnic discrimination? And if they were refused entry despite their desire to seek a better future, on the grounds that would undermine the prospects of a Palestinian state, would this not further confirm that Palestinian nationality can only be sustained by artificial constraints? Likewise, the provision of relocation finance is a measure that can be implemented unilaterally by Israel and requires no agreement or approval of any Arab country/collective. All that it requires is for the individually needy to accept help.

Clearly, steps would have to be taken by Israel to prevent reprisals against recipients by their kinfolk, but would not politically motivated fratricide against Palestinians seeking to improve their lives again demonstrate that Palestinian nationality is artificially imposed rather than naturally desired? And how would that fratricide be portrayed as more morally justified than Israeli largesse in helping Palestinians extricate themselves from their socioeconomic predicament?

‘Elementary, my dear Israel’
Although I have exhausted the generous word quota assigned by the editor, many questions remain without the answers I owe my readers. Accordingly, and because the Palestinian issue and alternatives to the two-state principle constitute what is arguably the most crucial issue on the national agenda, I will devote one more article next week to address further aspects of this humanitarian alternative, its economic feasibility and political acceptability, and endeavor to demonstrate that the response from Sherlock Holmes would be “Elementary, my dear Israel!” to effect such relocation – coercively or non-coercively.

In the proposed alternative, coercive options are rejected for a variety of moral and practical reasons and a non-coercive approach is adopted, with economic inducements to enable Palestinian breadwinners to seek a better future for themselves and their families elsewhere.

To suggest that this is unfeasible is to fly in the face of facts. It is to ignore the fact that the number of international migrants today is approaching a quarter of a billion, and is growing rapidly. Although this is partially a byproduct of wars, political conflicts and natural disasters, it is predominantly motivated by economics. It would be absurd to suggest the Palestinians are immune to such motivations.

Indeed, to make such a claim is to ignore compelling evidence – both anecdotal and statistical – that a desire to seek a better life elsewhere is widespread among the Palestinians, even without the availability of generous relocation grants, as both the above citation from the Palestinian Authority’s mufti of Jerusalem suggests and as numerous opinion polls indicate. It would highly implausible to hold that the perception of tangible and credible prospects for a better life would not greatly enhance this desire.

Rejecting intellectual surrender
Some claim that a sense of national pride would override the desire to accept material gain as an inducement to emigrate.

In the case of the Palestinians, this claim would be extremely tenuous. For as has been amply demonstrated recently, is there no basis for the claim of the Arabs of Palestine to genuine history of nationhood. But more important, and more policy-pertinent, the claim is as much a prevailing political pretext as it is a historical hoax.

Sadly, this has not been grasped by many, including several prominent pro-Israeli pundits such as Elliott Abrams, who recently said: “There was no Jordan or Syria or Iraq… so perhaps would say they are all invented people as well and also have no right to statehood. Whatever was true then, Palestinian nationalism has grown since 1948, and whether we like it or not, it exists.”

With all due respect, I strongly disagree.

There is no obligation to accept the fabrications of adversaries merely because they are insistent.

Indeed, it is neither pragmatic nor progressive to acknowledge “Palestinian nationalism.”

To the contrary, it reflects either inordinate credulity or complicity in undisguised duplicity.

Acceptance of Palestinian nationality is a symptom of either intellectual fatigue or intellectual laziness that has sapped the will to resist this pernicious ruse.

As such, it reflects intellectual surrender and an abject admission of the inability to oppose political duplicity – openly conceded by the Arabs.

Why Palestinians are different
The Palestinians are qualitatively different from other new “nations” that emerged from the breakup up of empire. There are the only collective whose manifest raison d’etre is the not the establishment of their own political independence but the denial of that of others. As such they can more appropriately deemed an “anti-nation” rather than a “nation.

The fact that Palestinians have shown they are capable of cohesive action against another collective does not prove they are a nation. Virtually their entire collective effort has been directed at an attempt to annul the expression of Jewish sovereignty rather than assert their own. Indeed, were they to achieve that goal, the entire point of their distinct collective identity, which hitherto has only been maintained by exogenous factors – international naiveté and Arab coercion – would be obviated.

This lack of endogenous national drive explains their monumental failure at state-building.

For almost two decades after the Oslo Accords – despite massive financial aid and political support – they have produced nothing but a deeply divided entity, crippled by corruption and cronyism.

The result is a dysfunctional polity unable to conduct even the semblance of timely elections, and a puny economy, comprising a minuscule private sector and a bloated public one, totally unsustainable without massive infusions of foreign funds.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Obama's foreign policy spin

Caroline Glick

In recent months, a curious argument has surfaced in favor of US President Barack Obama. His supporters argue that Obama's foreign policy has been a massive success. If he had as much freedom of action in domestic affairs as he has in foreign affairs, they say, his achievements in all areas would be without peer.

Expressing this view, Karen Finney, a former Democratic spokeswoman who often defends the party in the US media, told The Huffington Post, "Look at the progress the president can make when he doesn't have Republicans obstructing him."According to a Gallup poll from early November, the US public also believes that Obama's foreign policy has been successful. Whereas 67 percent of Americans disapproved of Obama's handling of the economy and the federal budget deficit, 63% of Americans approved of his terrorism strategy. So, too, 52% approved of his decision to remove US forces from Iraq. In general, 49% of Americans approved of Obama's handling of foreign affairs while 44% disapproved.

These support levels tell us a great deal about the insularity of the American public. For when one assesses the impact to date of Obama's foreign policy it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that if the US public was more aware of the actual consequences of his policies, his approval rating in foreign affairs would be even lower than his approval rating in domestic policy.

Indeed, a cursory examination of the impact so far of Obama's foreign policies in country after country and region after region indicates that his policies have been more damaging to US national interests than those of any president since Jimmy Carter. And unlike Obama, Americans widely recognized that Carter's foreign policies were failed and dangerous.

The failure of Obama's foreign policies has been nowhere more evident than in the Middle East.

Take Iraq for instance. Obama and his supporters claim that the withdrawal of all US forces from Iraq is one of his great accomplishments. By pulling out, Obama kept his promise to voters to end the war in "a responsible manner." And as the polling data indicate, most Americans are willing to give him credit for the move.

But the situation on the ground is dangerous and getting worse every day. Earlier this month, just ahead of the departure of the last US forces from Iraq, Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki visited with Obama at the White House. Immediately after he returned home, the Shi'ite premier began a ruthless campaign against his Sunni coalition partners in a no-holds barred bid to transform the Iraqi government and armed forces into partisan institutions controlled by his Dawa Party.

Forces commanded by Maliki's son arrested and allegedly tortured several of the Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi's bodyguards. They forced the guards to implicate Hashimi in terror plots. Maliki subsequently issued an arrest warrant for Hashimi. So, too, he issued an arrest warrant for the Sunni Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlak and fired him without permission from the Iraqi parliament.

Hashimi and Mutlak are now in hiding in Erbil. Maliki is demanding that the Kurdish regional government extradite them to Baghdad for trial.

Maliki's actions have driven Sunni leaders in the Sunni provinces of Diyala, Anbar and Salahadin to demand autonomy under Iraq's federal system. He has responded by deploying loyal forces to the provinces to fight the local militias.

The situation is so explosive that three prominent Sunni leaders, former prime minister Ayad Allawi, who heads the Iraqiya party, Parliament Speaker Osama Nujaifi and Finance Minister Rafe al-Essawi published an op-ed in The New York Times on Tuesday begging Obama to rein in Maliki in order to prevent Iraq from plunging into civil war.

THEN THERE is Egypt. Obama's decision in February to abandon then-president Hosni Mubarak, the US's most dependable ally in the Arab world, in favor of the protesters in Tahrir Square was hailed by Obama's supporters as a victory for democracy and freedom against tyranny. By supporting the protesters against the US ally, Obama argued that he was advancing US interests by showing the Muslim world the US favored the people over their leaders.

Ten months later, the Egyptian people has responded to this populist policy by giving jihadist parties a two-thirds majority in parliamentary elections. For the first time in 30 years, the strategic anchor of US power in the Arab world - the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty - is in danger. Indeed, there is no reason to believe it will survive.

According to the Gallup poll, 48% of Americans approve of Obama's handling of the war in Afghanistan and 44% disapprove. Here, too, it is far from clear what there is to approve of. Against the public entreaties of the US commanders on the ground, Obama is carrying through on his pledge to withdraw all US surge troops from Afghanistan before the US presidential election in November. In the meantime, the US is engaged in negotiations with the Taliban. The purpose of these negotiations is to reach a political agreement that would set the conditions for the Taliban to return to power after a US pullout. That is, the purpose of the talks is to set the conditions for a US defeat in Afghanistan.

The administration hails its success in overthrowing Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi without sacrificing a single US soldier. And certainly, this was a success. However, Gaddafi's opponents, who are now taking charge of the country, are arguably worse for the US than Gaddafi was. They include a significant number of al-Qaida terrorists and are dominated by jihadist forces. Attempts by the NATO-backed provisional government to convince them to disarm have failed completely.

Since Gaddafi was overthrown, large quantities of advanced weapons from his arsenal - allegedly including stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction - have gone missing. Significant quantities of Libyan shoulder-to-air missiles have made their way to Gaza since Gaddafi's overthrow.

In Syria, while the administration insists that dictator Bashar Assad's days in power are numbered, it is doing essentially nothing to support the opposition. Fearing the instability that would ensue if a civil war were to break out in Iran's Arab protectorate, the US has chosen to effectively sit on its hands and so cancel any leverage it ought to wield over the shape of things to come.

AS FOR Iran, Obama's policies have brought about a situation where the regime in Tehran does not fear a US military strike on its nuclear installations. Obama's open opposition to the prospect of an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear installations has similarly convinced the regime that it can proceed without fear in its nuclear project.

Iran's threat this week to close the Straits of Hormuz in the event that the US imposes an embargo on Iranian oil exports is being widely characterized by the US media as a sign of desperation on the part of the regime. But it is hard to see how this characterization aligns with reality. It is far more appropriate to view Iran's easy threats as a sign of contempt for Obama and for US power projection under his leadership.

If Iran's ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons are thwarted, it will be despite Obama, not because of him.

Then there is the so-called peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Due to Obama's unbridled hostility towards Israel, there is no chance whatsoever that Israel and the PLO will reach a peace deal for the foreseeable future. Instead, Fatah and Hamas have agreed to unify their forces. The only thing standing in the way of a Hamas takeover of the PLO is Congress's threat to cut off US aid to the Palestinian Authority. For his part, Obama has gone out of his way to discredit the congressional threat by serving as an indefatigable lobbyist for maintaining US financial support for the PA.

Of course, the Middle East is not the only region where the deleterious consequences of Obama's foreign policy are being felt. From Europe to Africa, from Asia to Latin America, Obama's determination to embrace US adversaries such as Vladimir Putin and Hugo Chavez has weakened pro-US forces and strengthened US foes.

So how is that that while Carter was perceived by the majority of the American public as a foreign policy failure, a large plurality of Americans views Obama's foreign policy as a success?

Obama's success in hiding his failures from the American public owes to two related factors. First, to date the US has not been forced to contend directly with the consequences of his failures.

Carter's failures were impossible to ignore because the blowback from them was immediate, unmistakable and harsh. His betrayal of the shah of Iran led directly to the takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran and the hostage crisis. Carter could not spin to his advantage the daily stories about the hostages. He could not influence CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite's decision to end every broadcast by reminding viewers how many days the hostages had been in captivity.

So, too, the consequences of Carter's weakness in confronting the Soviet Union were impossible to ignore or minimize with images of Soviet tank columns invading Afghanistan dominating the news.

To date, Obama's foreign policy failures have yet to explode in a manner that can make the average American aware of them.

Then, too, Obama and his advisers have been extremely adept in presenting his tactical achievements as strategic victories. So it is that the administration has successfully cast the killing of Osama bin Laden as a strategic victory in the war on terror. Obama has upheld the mission, as well as the killing of al- Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki, as proof of his competence in securing US interests. And to a large degree, the US public has accepted his claims.

Because it is impossible to know when Obama's failures will begin to directly impact the America people, it is possible that he will not pay a political price for them in the 2012 election. Be that as it may, the Republican presidential contenders would provide an invaluable service to both themselves and the American public as a whole if they made exposing Obama's disastrous stewardship of US foreign policy a central plank of their campaigns.

At a minimum, forewarned is forearmed. And the dimensions of Obama's failures are so enormous, that it is clear that the American people will suffer their consequences for years to come.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

Burning Issues: Islamism, Intolerance, Iconoclasm

Adrian Morgan, The Editor

A week before Christmas, an event occurred in Egypt that is only now being acknowledged as a cultural disaster, a tragedy for Egypt and for the world. The Egyptian Institute, or Institut d'Egypte, which lay in the Qasr el-Aini Street beside Tahrir Square in Cairo, became another casualty of Arab Spring politics. On Saturday, December 17th, the building was firebombed. The Institute of Egypt was founded in 1798 by Napoleon Bonaparte as a research center. It was his intention to collate scientific data on Egypt,as well as to assemble for the purposes of study, papyri and historic information gathered during his conquest of Egypt. This institution would utilize this data to form a new science of learning that would establish the foundations of Egyptology. The institute published its own journals and a newspaper, and when the French were officially driven out in 1801 the scholars of the institute spent twenty years compiling their data into a massive work called "The Description of Egypt." This was issued in 23 volumes between 1809 and 1821. An original handwritten version of the Description was housed in the Institute when it was burned on December 17th, 2011. The unique edition – whose massive maps were once exhibited in the Louvre - is believed to have been burned beyond repair.

192,000 books, manuscripts and documents were housed in the building, a former palace of Qassim Bey, an Ottoman dignitary, when it was set alight. Though attempts are being made to preserve the documents that have been rescued, the Description and numerous other priceless and unique documents and records are now wiped from existence.

So far, the exact identity of those who set the building on fire is unknown. The burning came after the army tried to put an end to three weeks of pro-democracy protests. Some of the protesters tried to rescue documents. According to one of these individuals:

"They fired at us with shotguns. A little kid was hit with 11 pellets in the neck."

According to Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper:

"Another young man had his back broken by a rock as he attempted to carry books out of the burning building.

Others say that as they worked to arrange the books on the pavement outside, soldiers taunted and threatened them."

Despite this, some of the pro-democracy activists (who had thitherto been demonstrating for three weeks for the army to step down, a protest that had seen 14 people killed by the military) have been accused of torching the building. According to Manal Abdul Aziz, a woman columnist on the Egyptian Gazette, most people in Cairo were unaware of the historic and cultural significance of the building. She argued:

However, images shown by different satellite channels, news agencies and newspapers prove that those who targeted the ancient building were some teenagers and street children, who could never be considered as part of the revolution.

Another proof that the revolutionaries are innocent of this accusation was their later attempt to salvage the rare contents of the institute, even though the security forces continued to target them and some unknown figure were stoning them from the roofs of nearby governmental buildings.

Daniel Pipes, writing in the National Review, stated that

This attack brings to mind a host of prior acts of destruction of historical monuments in Egypt, including the medieval defacement of the Sphinx and the Cairo arson of 1952. Outside Egypt, assaults coming right to mind include the Muslim destruction of Hindu temples in India, the Turkish destruction of churches in northern Cyprus, the Palestinian sacking of the Tomb of Joseph, the Taliban destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha, the Iraqi pillaging of museums, libraries, and archives, the Saudi destruction of antiquities in Mecca, and the Malaysia destruction of an historic Hindu temple. This barbarism, in other words, fits into a larger pattern. What is it about Muslims and history? As this listing suggests, too many of them hate not only what is non-Islamic but even their own heritage.

Though the perpetrators who lobbed the first Molotov cocktails that started the conflagration are as-yet unidentified, the general point made by Dr. Pipes is valid. One could add to his notes the destruction of churches in Africa (most recently Boko Haram mounted a Christmas campaign against Christians in northern Nigeria, killing forty people), and the desecration of churches in Pakistan and Indonesia where the authorities tacitly collude with Islamists. There are numerous examples from history to augment his point, but the very nature of Islamic fundamentalism means that one need not leave Egypt to see examples of such wanton destruction.

As I wrote in January 2011, when the Arab Spring protesters had only been active in Egypt for one week:

Early in the morning of Saturday [Jan 29], a group of nine robbers broke into the world-renowned National Museum in Cairo, home of numerous priceless antiquities and treasures. Two mummies were destroyed in the raid. Later on Saturday morning, the army had posted soldiers around the building. The museum is situated next door to the headquarters of the National Democratic Party, of which Mubarak is the vice-president. This building was attacked and set on fire on Friday.

Zahi Hawass, who is Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, expressed his fears about the NDP building potentially collapsing and toppling onto the museum. The heads of the two damaged mummies had been removed, but it is possible that they could be restored.

Egypt without its pyramids or other world heritage sites of interest to attract tourists could lose a tenth of its economy. Yet despite this, individuals who are currently gaining votes in Egypt's electoral process are supporting plans for destruction of the pyramids. A candidate from the Nour (Light) party of Salafists stated, shortly after the burning of the Institut d'Egypt, that the pyramids should either be blown up like the Buddhas of Bamiyan, or concealed under wax. The suggestion was made by Abdel Moneim Al-Shahat, but his views have not come from a vacuum.

Ali Gomaa, the former mufti of Egypt issued a fatwa in 2006 against statues and sculptors - a decision that caused alarm across the nation. Gamal al-Ghitani, editor of the literary magazine Akhbar al-Adab, said of Ali Gomaa's fatwa:

"We don't rule out that someone will enter the Karnak temple in Luxor or any other pharaonic temple and blow it up on the basis of the fatwa."

A century earlier, the reformist mufti Muhammad Abduh (1849 - 1905), who encouraged reconciliation between Shias and Sunnis, had declared that it was halal (permissible) to have statues of politicians and thinkers installed. At the time, scholars had thought that such items could lead to their worship (shirk, or polytheism). Abduh argued that statues were found around the world and no-one worshipped them.

Gomaa's 2006 edict against statues was approved by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a man regarded as the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

According to American writer Jay Tolson, Gomaa's statue fatwa only applied to statues in the home, and the Mufti "made it very clear that the destruction of antiquities and other statues in the public sphere was unacceptable and indeed criminal. He is also on record deploring the Taliban's destruction of the great Buddhist statuary in Afghanistan."

Despite this, the approval of such a fatwa by Qaradawi, a key figure in the Muslim Brotherhood is worrying in terms of the current political climate in Egypt. The Brotherhood and the Salafist parties - including the Nour party of pyramid-hater Abdel Moneim Al-Shahat - are highly likely to end up in a power-sharing deal when the Egyptian elections are over.

Egypt's History of Oppression and Iconoclasm

British Orientalist David Samuel Margoliouth (1858 - 1940 ) noted in his book "Mohammedanism" (1912, p 31, available in pdf form here) that “Egypt was an early and easy conquest of Islam, consummated in the twentieth year of the Flight.” (642 AD).

He added:

"The stages whereby the Christian population was reduced to less than a tenth of the whole have not, indeed, been recorded, but they can be divined. Under some of the Moslem rulers the life of the non-Moslem was rendered so intolerable by ceaseless humiliations and vexations that the motive for conversion to Islam became overwhelming, and though, when the tyranny became less galling, a certain amount of reversion to Christianity was permitted, not every one would care to make a second change."

I wrote of the troubled history of the Christian Copts of Egypt in early January, 2011, when a rise in sectarian attacks against them had preceded the initiation of the Arab Spring demonstrations in Tahrir Square:

In 697 AD, the fifth Ummayad Caliph, Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan (who built the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and instituted the first Muslim currency), ordered that Arabic should be the official language of his territories, including Egypt. Egyptian Copts who worked in government had to learn Arabic or lose their jobs. Marwan died in 705 AD, and under the Abbasid dynasty that began in 750 AD, forcible Arabization was dropped and Copts’ lives returned to some semblance of normality.

Egypt came under the rule of Al Hakim Bi Amr Allah, the Sixth Fatimid Caliph, in 966 AD. Al-Hakim – an Ismaili Shia - was an autocrat and the country was subjected to his tyrannical whims. In 1004 he banned all Christians from celebrating Easter and in 1005 he ordered that Christians and Jews should follow the law of ghiyar (differentiation) where they should wear symbols and clothes that identified their faith. (The name ghiyar referred to a strip of yellow cloth, that the alh-adh-dhimma /Dhimmis were advised to wear by the Second Caliph, Umar ibn-Khattab in a pact, though the first recorded use of such items appears in the early 8th century under Umar ibn ‘Abd al-Aziz. The ghiyar law would later be re-adopted by Ottoman ruler Murad II who made Jews wear yellow headgear). In October 1009, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, at the site where Christ is said to have been buried, was destroyed on al-Hakim’s orders. In 1021, al-Hakim disappeared, almost certainly murdered, and he was succeeded by his son Ali Az-Zahir.

Under az-Zahir, some of the excesses of al-Hakim were mitigated. Zahir ordered the rebuilding of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In 1280, a new sultan ruled over Egypt, called Sultan al-Mansur Qala’un, who was the seventh Mamluk Sultan. He ruled for 11 years, and during this time his treatment of Coptic Christians and other dhimmis was poor. According to an article entitled “Coptic Conversion to Islam under the Bahri Mamluks, 692-755/1293-1354” from 1976 by Donald P. Little (now Professor Emeritus at McGill University’s Institute of Islamic Studies), quoting from 15th century chroniclers al-Maqrizi and al-'Aynl , 'the Dhimmis had been in a state of extreme humiliation and degradation.” Little related that under the al-Mansur’s son al-Ashraf Khalil, Copt scribes were allowed some protection by Mamluks, until 1293. In that year, al-Ashraf Khalil ordered that no Christian or Jew could be employed as scribes. Those that were already employed were given the choice of conversion to Islam or death. His viceroy Baydara ordered a number of Christian scribes to be burned alive.

Al-Malik al-Nasir Muhammad ruled from 1299-1309, and during this time a decree was issued, ordering that the pact of Umar ibn-Khattab should be enforced, with Jews and Christians compelled to wear certain clothing, and only to ride donkeys. The decree ordered that no churches or synagogues could be built or repaired. At this time, many Christians converted to Islam. In 1321 there were riots in which churches across Egypt were destroyed. Egypt continued to be ruled by Mamluk sultans until 1517.

On January 20, 1517, the Ottoman Sultan Selim I (who was also the Ottoman Caliph from 1512 until 1520) took control of Egypt. In February 1856, an edict called the Hamayouni Decree was issued, which stated that any moves to construct a new church, or to repair a dilapidated or damaged church, could only happen with the express permission from the (Ottoman) Sultan. In 1934, a minister named Al-Ezabi Pacha added 10 further criteria to the Hamayouni decree, making it even more difficult for churches to be built or repaired. In practice, this law could be seen as an extension of the pact of Omar, forcing the non-Muslim population to feel inferior to their Muslim neighbors.

On January 19 2011, Anba Agathon, Bishop of Maghagha, said that the Hamayouni Edict should be abolished. He announced:

“We are in the 21st Century , and the laws of Ottomans when they were occupying Egypt were all revoked by the state except for the Hamayouni Decree. As citizens we demand the revocation of the Ottoman law concerning our places of worship. We cannot accept that it should remain any longer.”

In July of 2011 there were rumors of a draft bill being introduced to the Egyptian parliament, but the post-Mubarak political crisis saw any such hope of reforming the law evaporate.

Rashid Rida.

In recent years, persecutions of Copts have escalated as Islamism has emerged as a force in its own right. Within Egypt, the “revivalism” of Islam that had been championed by Muhammad Abduh had been influential in bringing Salafism into the modern world, and soon after, the ideas promoted in Al-Manar would have a direct influence upon the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. From March 17th, 1898 onwards, Abduh would work with another Egyptian, Rashid Rida, on producing a magazine called Al-Manar (The Beacon). After Abduh died in 1905, Rida would continue to produce this journal until his own death in August 1935. An assiduous reader of this journal was Hassan al-Banna, who in 1928 would found the Muslim Brotherhood.

When Al-Manar was first being produced, Egypt’s revival of Islam played to a general disillusionment with the Ottomans, who were seen as corrupt, decadent, and even Western. Most importantly, the Ottoman Caliphate, being Turkic, rather than Arabic, was seen as alien to many of the thinkers and Islamists who were taking root in Egypt. After the Ottoman Caliphate was abolished on March 3rd, 1924, both Islamism and pan-Arabism, sharing the same roots in protest at the bureaucracy and political stagnation of the Ottomans, became international movements. Pan-Arabism and Egyptian Islamism/Salafism would prove to be highly influential in the Muslim world of the latter half of the 20th Century. The once-popular pan-Arabist movement would become appropriated by tribalist dictators such as Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Gaddafi in Libya. The Arab Spring has apparently wiped away most traces of Baathist or pan-Arabist ideologies, with Bashar el-Assad of Syria now stumbling on as the sole proponent of such beliefs. Islamism, however, has grown far stronger with the Arab Spring.

There are secularist parties, but these are fragmented and have little hope against the more organized Islamist and Salafist candidates in Egypt. For Copts, who make up no more than 15 percent of the population, life has become more precarious this year. 2011 began with a car bomb outside the al-Qiddissin (Saints) church in Alexandria. The attack was criticized by the Muslim Brotherhood and by Mufti Ali Gomaa, but did nothing to stem the assaults upon Egypt’s Copts.

These attacks seemed to increase as the Arab Spring progressed. Salafists, or Islamists, were blamed for some of the incidents of church-burnings in Egypt in 2011. But in other cases, the army stood by and allowed the Islamists to attack Christians. On March 9, 2011, Christians in the district of Mokattam (Moqattam) in the outskirts of Cairo were attacked by Muslims. The army were called, but these ended up shooting at the Copts. Nine people died.

A few days before this, a Coptic community at Soul, about 30 kilometers from Cairo, was attacked by Muslims. Two churches were set on fire. In April in Abu Qurqas, 260 kilometers south of Cairo, sectarian violence erupted after two Muslims died, and Copts were blamed. One person died, an old Christian woman was thrown from a balcony, several were injured and Christians’ crops were set alight.

In May 2011, Christians at Maspero were protesting the detention of 16 Copts who had been imprisoned two months earlier. The protesters were then attacked repeatedly by men in Salafist costume, leaving one person dead, and a hundred Christians injured. A week before, on May 7, Coptic churches of St. Mena and al-Azraa had been burned down in Imbaba, a region of Cairo. 15 people were killed, and more than 200 were injured. Salafists were blamed for the Imbaba assaults. In all, five churches were attacked on the night of May 7.

On September 31, 2011, the century-old church of St. George in Edfu near Aswan was attacked by a crowd of Muslims. Like many similar attacks in recent history, the Muslims engaged in the attack after attending Friday evening Juma prayers, suggesting that mosques had a direct part to play in the violence. The church at Edfu was dilapidated. As well as trying to keep the Christians in a subordinate position to Muslims, the Salafists who carry out such attacks exploit the Hanayouni Decree and the 10 conditions of Al-Ezabi. If a church is destroyed, it will be unlikely to be rebuilt in any hurry.

When Christians tried to protest in Cairo about their treatment on October 4, 2011, bemoaning the lack of interest from Egyptian media and politicians (pictured below), their demonstration was attacked. Armored cars drove into protesters, killing dozens. Here, unmistakably, the Egyptian army had colluded with the sectarian violence.

Furthermore, in many of these church attacks the Salafists are using unsubstantiated rumors that a Muslim woman was being held captive by a Christian, or engaged in a relationship with a Christian, to fuel sectarian rage at Copts. The mere rumor of there being sales of DVDs of a play that dealt with this theme were enough to see churches in Alexandria attacked in late 2005. A Coptic nun was stabbed and had a finger amputated, and the Coptic Pope, Shenouda III, was driven to tears.

The notion that a Muslim woman must never be in a relationship with a Christian man (it contravenes Sharia codes) is a powerful tool employed by Salafists to whip up hatred against Egypt’s Copts. In Pakistan, Muslims use the lie that a Christian had torn up a Koran or burned its pages to see their victims jailed under blasphemy laws, or as a pretext to unleash a mob to attack churches, as happened in Sangla Hill, Punjab, on November 12, 2005.

The potency of the notion of a Muslim woman abducted by a Coptic Christian elicits a visceral rage similar to that used in former times to enact lynchings against young black men who were (falsely) accused of abducting or raping a “white woman.” The rumor that two Egyptian Muslim women had been abducted and were forcibly held against their will by Christians even traveled to Iraq. On October 31, 2010, such a rumor led to a bomb attack upon a church in Baghdad that saw 57 people killed. The women were named as Camellia Shehata and Wafa Constantine, but there have been no corroborations that such women ever existed. However, this myth of two precious Muslim women being held hostage in Egypt may also have led to the New Year’s Eve bomb attack in Alexandria.

It is appropriate that I end this section of the article on the subject of Alexandria. In Part Two I will describe how the culture of Islamist religious sectarianism has been used to destroy churches and non-Muslim communities in countries other than Egypt. But it is appropriate to understand that Alexandria was the scene of another deliberate conflagration of documents, in its own way an act of vandalism that set back the intellectual progress of the Christian West by several centuries. For it has been commonly alleged that in 641, on the orders of Caliph Omar, that the last remnants of the Great Library of Alexandria was destroyed. The library was a repository of all of the knowledge that had been available in the Classical age. The story appears in an account written down by the Syrian-Christian chronicler Gregory Bar Hebraeus, (Ibn al-‘Ibri, 1226 - 1286 AD).

In this version, first translated into English in 1663, the Caliph Omar’s general, Amrou (‘Amr ibn al-’As) was asked by John the Grammarian if he could spare the library. Amrou went to Omar who told him: “If these writings of the Greeks agree with the book of God, they are useless and need not be preserved; if they disagree, they are pernicious and ought to be destroyed.”

The library was then burned, according to Bar Hebraeus. There are some doubts as to the authenticity of this tale, which I hope to clarify in Part Two. Whether or not Caliph Omar really did destroy the library at Alexandria nearly fourteen centuries ago is far less important than the actual persecutions that are currently taking place in the world today, carried out by Muslims against those who are different.

If the representative bodies of the Muslim world, such as the OIC were willing to condemn such assaults against Christians and others, there would be some hope of reducing such acts of sectarian religious bigotry. In the West, our media outlets are too scared of being perceived as “Islamophobes” to even report objectively on Muslim-upon-non-Muslim violence. And so it goes on, unchecked. If a problem can not be addressed, it is unlikely to solve itself. As Michael A. Walsh writes in the New York Post: “The Islamists’ fires: When will the West wake up?”

That is a question that has to be answered.

Continued in Part Two.

Adrian Morgan
The Editor, Family Security Matters

Five Easy Steps to End ‘Islamophobia’

Robert Spencer

No comedy show, no matter how clever or winning, is going to eradicate the suspicion that many Americans have of Muslims. This is because Americans are concerned about Islam not because of the work of greasy Islamophobes, but because of Naser Abdo, the would-be second Fort Hood jihad mass murderer; and Khalid Aldawsari, the would-be jihad mass murderer in Lubbock, Texas; and Muhammad Hussain, the would-be jihad bomber in Baltimore; and Mohamed Mohamud, the would-be jihad bomber in Portland; and Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square jihad mass-murderer; and Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad​, the Arkansas military recruiting station jihad murderer; and Naveed Haq, the jihad mass murderer at the Jewish Community Center in Seattle; and Mohammed Reza Taheri-Azar, the would-be jihad mass murderer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh, who hatched a jihad plot to blow up a Manhattan synagogue; and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab​, the would-be Christmas airplane jihad bomber; and many others like them who have plotted and/or committed mass murder in the name of Islam and motivated by its texts and teachings — all in the U.S. in the last couple of years. The fact that there are other Muslims not fighting jihad is just great, but it doesn’t mean that the jihad isn’t happening. This comedy show simply doesn’t address the problem of jihad terrorism and Islamic supremacism.

As David Horowitz​ and I show in our pamphlet Islamophobia: Thoughtcrime of the Totalitarian Future, the term “Islamophobia” is a politically manipulative coinage designed to intimidate critics of Islamic supremacism and jihad into silence.

Claire Berlinski explains how Islamic supremacists from the Muslim Brotherhood​ devised it for precisely that purpose:

Now here’s a point you might deeply consider: The neologism “Islamophobia” did not simply emerge ex nihilo. It was invented, deliberately, by a Muslim Brotherhood front organization, the International Institute for Islamic Thought, which is based in Northern Virginia. If that name dimly rings a bell, it should: I’ve mentioned it before, and it’s particularly important because it was co-founded by Anwar Ibrahim–the hero of Moderate Islam who is now trotting around the globe comparing his plight to that of Aung San Suu Kyi.Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, a former member of the IIIT who has renounced the group in disgust, was an eyewitness to the creation of the word. “This loathsome term,” he writes,is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics.

And in fact, FBI statistics show that there is no “Islamophobia.” In fact, many “anti-Muslim hate crimes” have been faked by Muslims, and Jews are eight times more likely than Muslims to be the victims of hate attacks.

The Muslim Brotherhood is dedicated in its own words to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.” One easy way to do that would be to guilt-trip non-Muslims into being ashamed of resisting jihad activity and Islamic supremacism, for fear of being accused of “Islamophobia.” I doubt these comics are aware of this program, but they’re useful tools for it.

“Muslim American comics’ tour and documentary,” by Tara Bahrampour in the Washington Post, December 27 (thanks to James):

Beware, America. The Muslims are coming, and they look and act suspiciously like you.

Sheesh. No one says they aren’t. This is just a straw man designed to demonize opponents of jihad.

Negin Farsad​, an Iranian American stand-up comic from California, wears eye-catching mini dresses, curses liberally and has awkward sex talks with her mother (though hers sound more like alien encounters. Actual quote: “You had intergender flesh relations without the security of external safety product?”).

Then she has more to worry about from observant Muslims than she does from “Islamophobes.”

Such conversations, painfully private in traditional Muslim societies, are public fodder for Farsad and three other Gen X and Gen Y Muslim comics with whom she traveled to the deep South this past summer. The tour, which later extended to Western states and included other Muslim comics, will form the backbone of “The Muslims Are Coming!,” a documentary film about Islamophobia in America that Farsad is working on with Palestinian Italian American comedian Dean Obeidallah​.

This is going to be the usual victimhood-mongering and deflecting of attention from the real causes of suspicion of Muslims in the U.S. Obeidallah contacted me and asked me to be interviewed for the piece, and assured me he would give me a fair hearing. But then he went on Twitter and called Pamela Geller​ a “Muslim-hater” — echoing the deceptive Islamic supremacist claim that fighting for free speech and equality of rights for all people is “hate.” His true agenda thus revealed, I bowed out of the interview.

The documentary, which includes interviews with comics such as Jon Stewart and Louis Black and commentators including CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, explores freedom of religion and what it means to be a minority in America.

Note the implication: that minorities have it so tough in America. No mention will be made, no doubt, of the far more precarious position of non-Muslim minorities in Muslim societies.
Muslim American stand-up comedy is a relatively new phenomenon, the domain of second-generation immigrants who are American enough to satirize the Muslim American experience, said Obeidallah, who lives in New York City.“We’re confident enough to do this,” he said. “An immigrant would be less confident to use comedy to try to challenge perceptions of who we are. We’re confident enough in being Americans and knowing what that means, that we can push against those who are exhibiting behavior which is less than consistent with the values of this nation.”

Note that in Obeidallah’s world, the people who are “exhibiting behavior which is less than consistent with the values of this nation” are those fighting for freedom and Constitutional rights, not Brotherhood-related groups dedicated to bringing to the U.S. elements of a legal system that denies freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and equality of rights for women and non-Muslims.

A major factor driving Muslim Americans toward comedy was the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “There were no Middle Eastern comics before 9/11 that anyone knew about,” Obeidallah said. “The phenomenon really grew in the last 10 years, because of the [anti-Muslim] backlash.

There was no backlash, of course. Innocent Muslims are not being victimized in the U.S. Muslims live better here than in many Muslim countries. Obeidallah — clueless or complicit? You be the judge.

I think a lot of people in our community started doing it as a form of political activism.” As they started appearing on national television, he said, “it spurred other Middle Eastern comedians to get involved.” Now, he said, there are about 10 full-time professinals and a growing number of aspiring professionals.Going to the South, where anti-mosque demonstrations and anti-immigrant sentiment has made some Muslims feel unwelcome, the comedians hoped to break through some of the cultural walls that have arisen since Sept. 11.

The point was to see “how would people in the heartland take to us?” Obeidallah said. “Would we encounter angry people going, ‘Get out of here, you Muslims,’ or would they understand?”

Traveling through Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, they gave free performances in cafes, community centers and theaters. They set up tables in public places, with scripture-related guessing games and the opportunity for people to “Ask a Muslim” anything they wanted.

“I could kind of like Muslims, but why do you guys like terrorism so much?” some asked. “What do you think of 9/11?” was another common question.

How horrible! They got asked uncomfortable questions! Oh, the “Islamophobia”!

On the whole, the public response was encouraging. While a few people drove by and yelled, “Go back to your country!” the one-on-one encounters tended to be positive.

Oh, the horror! They encountered some rude jerks! Almost as bad as being Christians in Nigeria, eh?

“Most people are more open-minded and not that concerned about Muslims,” Obeidallah said. “It’s really the fringe that’s driving that narrative.”Maysoon Zayid​, one of the comics on the tour, said people were surprised to see that “I’m such a Jersey girl, I’m so accessible. . . . I think they are really surprised that I wasn’t this oppressed woman trying to convert people.”

The comedians acknowledged that they were unlikely to win the hearts of the most fervent anti-Muslim types.

“A show called ‘The Muslims Are Coming’ — people self-select to come see it,” Farsad said. “We’re never going to be able to touch the extreme haters. . . . We’re trying to affect the people in the middle, people with questions, the ‘persuadables.’ ”

Do Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah​ really want to eradicate “Islamophobia”? As long as Islamic jihad and supremacism continue, a comedy tour will never do the trick. But here is an easy way. They can call on Muslims in the U.S. to do these things:

1. Focus their indignation on Muslims committing violent acts in the name of Islam, not on non-Muslims reporting on those acts.

2. Renounce definitively, sincerely, honestly, and in deeds, not just in comforting words, not just “terrorism,” but any intention to replace the U.S. Constitution (or the constitutions of any non-Muslim state) with Sharia even by peaceful means. In line with this, clarify what is meant by their condemnations of the killing of innocent people by stating unequivocally that American and Israeli civilians are innocent people, teaching accordingly in mosques and Islamic schools, and behaving in accord with these new teachings.

3. Teach, again sincerely and honestly, in transparent and verifiable ways in mosques and Islamic schools, the imperative of Muslims coexisting peacefully as equals with non-Muslims on an indefinite basis, and act accordingly.

4. Begin comprehensive international programs in mosques all over the world to teach sincerely against the ideas of violent jihad and Islamic supremacism.

5. Actively and honestly work with Western law enforcement officials to identify and apprehend jihadists within Western Muslim communities.

If Muslims do those five things, voila! “Islamophobia” will evanesce!