Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Ten Commandments for Israeli negotiations with Saudi Arabia - Dr. Mordechai Kedar

by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

A guide to the immutable principles upon which Israel must base its negotiating strategy vis-à-vis the Saudis and any other Arab nations who wish to live in peace with the Jewish State.

The media are rife with speculations during the past few days about the possibility of normalizing relations between Israel and the nations of the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar).  This makes it crucial for Israel's government to know how to approach such negotiations, if they do take place, in a way that prevents a repetition of the mistakes made in the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan.

The most basic rule in dealing with the Saudis and their friends is that Israel must not feel that it has to pay anything for peace, anything at all. Nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nada. If the Saudis want to live in peace with us, we will stretch out our hands to offer them peace in return. But that is all they will get. There is no other kind of peace agreement and if they do not want peace on those terms, then shalom ulehitraot (so long, it's been good to know you, Israeli-style).

The following are ten essential pointers to help Israel deal with the Middle Eastern culture of negotiation in an informed fashion, instead of the ignorance that led to its egregious errors in the accords with Egypt and Jordan.

(Note: From here on, when I write Saudis or Saudi Arabia, I refer to all the nations in the Arabian Peninsula, as listed above, as well as any other Arab or Islamist nation.)

1. It is of the utmost importance to realize that the Saudis do not really want peace with Israel. Had they wanted peace, they would have joined Anwar Sadat in 1979 or King Hussein in 1994. All they want is Israel's help in facing their formidable arch-enemy, Iran, now and in the future. If there were no Iranian threat, the thought of peace with Israel would not even enter their heads, and once that threat is gone (even if the price were an all-out Iran-Israel war that results in Israel paying a high price in casualties and destruction) there is no certainty that their relations with us would continue to be peaceful.

2. Israel is not going anywhere. We have been a state for 70 years without peace with Saudi Arabia and we can continue being a state for another 7000 years without it.  Any desire for a quick peace (as expressed in the disastrous "Peace Now" slogan) will raise the price of that peace.  Israel has all the time in the world and has no reason to feel pressured to make peace with anyone.  We have to remind ourselves, the Americans (who feel the coming elections breathing down their necks), and the  entire world that peace with the Saudis and the Emirate will not solve any other Middle Eastern problems, just as the peace accords with Egypt and Jordan did nothing to advance the solutions of any of the pressing problems facing the Middle East.

3. Peace with Saudi Arabia must be entirely free of other isues, most particularly a Palestinian connection. In 1978, while at Camp David, Begin made a terrible mistake when he agreed to the idea of Palestinian Autonomy, granting it a strong police force. This paved the way for the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, which turned into a terror state in Gaza and may yet turn into another terror state in the hills of Judea and Samaria which overlook most of Israel and have most of the country  within shooting range.  If the Saudis want peace with us, let us have peace,without discussing any other issues because we are not in the least interested in tying peace with Saudi Arabia to any other issue. Why?  Because.

4. If  the Saudis insist on relating to the Palestinian issue, Israel's response in any peace agreement should be:  "If Saudi Arabia wishes to help the Palestinians, it can build cities and towns for them in Saudi Arabia. Israel will be only too pleased to share its experience in establishing new communities and in developing their economies and infrastructure for the benefit of residents. " Any reference on the part of the Saudis to a different solution (excepting the Emirate solution) should lead to the Israeli delegation leaving the negotiations.

5. a. Israel will recognize the House of Saud's regime in Mecca and Medina (even though the family does not originate in the Higaz but is from the Najd Highland) in exchange for Saudi recognition of Israel's right to Jerusalem as its historic and eternal capital city.

5b. Israel will grant recognition to Saudi Arabia's being defined an Islamic state in exchange for Saudi recognition of Israel as a Jewish State or a state belonging to the Jewish People.

5c. Israel will recognize the right of the House of Saud rulers to live anywhere in Saudi Arabia in exchange for Saudi recognition of the Jewish People's inalienable right to live in all of Israel, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.

5d. Israel will not allow incitement against Saudi Arabia In its media. In return, the Saudis will not allow anti-Israel incitement in Saudi media (This is  crucial  with regard to al Jazeera  in case Qatar joins the negotiations with Israel).

6. Israel is willing for its embassy in Saudi Arabia to be located wherever the Saudis wish it to be in return for Saudi agreement to locate their embassy in Israel wherever the Israelis want it to be, that is, in Jerusalem. Having the Embassy located in Jerusalem is a matter of principle. The day the Saudis move their embassy somewhere else without Israel's agreement is the day the peace agreement and everything that it entails becomes null and void.

7. Saudi Arabia will not vote against Israel in international organizations and institutions, and Israel will not vote against the Saudis in these same venues. Both countries will have the right to abstain from voting if they so wish.

 8. It is important to keep the Americans and Europeans away from the negotiating table, since they are not party to the agreement and will not have to suffer the results of its not being honored and since their interests are not necessarily those of Israel, especially when it comes to the speed at which the negotiations move forward. The Americans want to cut a deal, even a bad deal, and if they are allowed into the negotiation rooms, they will pressure Israel to give in, mainly on the Palestinian issue. Israel must preserve the option of leaving the negotiations at any point, without anyone telling it what to do.

9.  Israel must absolutely refrain from accepting international guarantees, even from its best friends, in exchange for giving in on something the Saudis want. Israel must not forget for an instant the international guarantees Ukraine received (The Budapest Manifesto of 1994), promising a unified Ukraine. The countries that signed it – Russia, the UK and the USA – abandoned Ukraine and forgot their commitments to that country when Russia, one of the signatories, invaded Ukraine, conquered the Crimean Peninsula and annexed it to Russia. That is exactly what will happen to Israel if it relies on international guarantees. No country in the world will support us when we need it even if its signature appears on a thousand guarantees in our favor.

10. Peace with the Saudis must entail more than just a ceasefire with an attached document ("Salaam" in Arabic) . Israel agreed to that in the case of Egypt and Jordan as a result of the ignorance of those running the negotiations on Israel's side.

Israel must insist on complete normalization ("sulh" in Arabic), which includes cultural, tourist, business, industrial, art, aeronautical, scientific, technological, athletic and academic ties and exchanges, etc.  If Israel participates in international events taking place in Saudi Arabia, the Israeli flag will wave along with those of other countries, and if Israel is the victor in any sports competition in Saudi Arabia, the Hatikva anthem will be played, as it is when other countries win medals. Israeli books will be shown at book fairs, and Israeli products officially displayed at international exhibitions taking place in Saudi Arabia.

An economic document, whose details I am not in a position to elaborate, but which must be an addendum to the agreement, is to be based on mutual investments and acquisitions as well as a commitment to non- participation in boycotts.

A security addendum must also be added to the agreement, about whose contents I wish only to state that:

a. It must establish that the Saudis can not help any other country or party act against Israel, will not transfer information to such parties and will not allow parties working against Israel into Saudi borders. Israel will pledge the same to the Saudis.

b. Israel will not commit itself to attacking any country anywhere in the world which does not present a direct threat to Israel.

Israel must be wary of a mutual defense pact with the Saudis, because in January 1991 Saudi Arabia did not respect the mutual defense pact it had signed with Iraq and actually worked against its implementation. Over the past 7 years it has proven that it does not care in the least if Arab and Muslim blood is spilled like water in Syria and Yemen. It is hard to believe that the spilling of Jewish blood could merit a better response. The House of Saud has always been motivated by unadulterated cynical self-interest from the day that country was established, and it is hard to imagine a scenario in which the Saudi army goes out to war to protect Israel – unless the war directly affects Saudi interests. There is no benefit whatsoever in relying on a mutual defense pact with that country.

All the other details belong under the general rubric: Peace for peace, recognition for recognition, normal relations for normal relations. Gone are the days when Israel paid in hard currency, in portions of its hard-won land, for a piece of paper with the word Peace written on it.

Written for Arutz Sheva, translated from the Hebrew by Roche lSylvetsky, Senior Consultant and Op-ed Editor, Arutz Sheva English site.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. Thoroughly familiar with Arab media in real time, he is frequently interviewed on the various news programs in Israel.

Source: https://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/21287

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When Was the "Palestinian People" Created? Google Has the Answer. - Jean Patrick Grumberg

by Jean Patrick Grumberg

"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality, today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese." – PLO leader Zuheir Mohsen

  • All people born in British Mandatory Palestine between 1923-1948 (today's Israel) had "Palestine" stamped on their passports at the time. But when they were called Palestinians, the Arabs were offended. They complained: "We are not Palestinians, we are Arabs. The Palestinians are the Jews".
  • After invading Arab armies were routed and the Arabs who had fled the war wanted to return, they were considered a fifth column and not invited back. The Arabs who had loyally remained in Israel during the war, however, and their descendants, are still there and make up one fifth of the population. They are known as Israeli Arabs; they have the same rights as Christians and Jews, except they are not required to serve in the army unless they wish to.
  • "The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality, today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese." – PLO leader Zuheir Mohsen, interview in the Dutch newspaper Trouw, March 1977.
In an op-ed in the Guardian on November 1, 2017, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas called on the UK to "atone" for the century of "suffering" that the document allegedly wrought on the "Palestinian people." Abbas reiterated the claims he has been making since 2016, to justify a surreal lawsuit he has threatened to bring against Britain for supporting the "creation of a homeland for one people [Jews], which, he asserted, "resulted in the dispossession and continuing persecution of another."

"Palestinians" were the Jews who lived, along with Muslims and Christians on land called Palestine, which was under British administration from 1917 to 1948.

All people born there during the time of the British Mandate had "Palestine" stamped on their passports. But the Arabs were offended when they were called Palestinians. They complained: "We are not Palestinians, we are Arabs. The Palestinians are the Jews".

Bernard Lewis explains:

"With the rise and spread of pan-Arab ideologies it was as Arabs, not as south Syrians, that the Palestinians began to assert themselves. For the rest of the period of the British Mandate, and for many years after that, their organizations described themselves as Arab and expressed their national identity in Arab rather than in Palestinian or even in Syrian terms."
When Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, five Arab armies joined up to try to kill the infant nation in its crib. After they were routed, some of the local Arabs who had fled the war wanted to return, but they were considered a fifth column and most were not allowed back. The Arabs who had loyally remained in Israel during the war, however, and their descendants, are still there and make up one-fifth of Israel's population today. They are known as Israeli Arabs; they have the same rights as Jews, except they are not legally required to serve in the army. They may volunteer if they wish to.

Israeli Arabs have their own political parties. They serve as members of Knesset and are employed in all professions. The moral is, or should be: Do not start a war unless you are prepared to lose it -- as the Arabs in and around Israel have done repeatedly, in 1947-48, 1967 and 1973.

Incidentally, the land that was being held in trust for the Jews in the British Mandate for Palestine initially included all of what is now the Kingdom of Jordan, which was granted its independence in 1946 as the Kingdom of Transjordan.

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
Less than a week after the article in the Guardian, Omar Barghouti, the instigator of today's attempts to destroy Israel by suffocating it economically, echoed Abbas in a Newsweek piece, calling the Balfour Declaration "a tragedy for the Palestinian people."

The same sentiment was expressed at the end of September in a lecture delivered by Rashid Khalidi -- the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University -- at the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies in New York City: that the Balfour Declaration "launched a century-long assault on the Palestinians aimed at implanting and fostering this national homeland, later the state of Israel, at their expense..."

Khalidi's claims, like those of Abbas and Barghouti, are false. Prior to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, there were no "Palestinians." As the prominent Lebanese-American historian and Mideast expert Philip Hitti stated in his testimony before the 1946 Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry: "There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not."

Authors Guy Millière and David Horowitz elaborate on this in their 2015 book, Comment le peuple palestinien fut inventé ("How the Palestinian People Were Invented"), illustrating that the purpose of the fabrication was "to transform a population into a weapon of mass destruction against Israel and the Jewish people, to demonize Israel, and to give totalitarianism and anti-Semitism renewed means of action."

The ploy for a while worked beyond expectations. The term "Palestinians" was used across the world -- including in Israel -- to define the Arabs living in the West Bank and Gaza; it is often employed also to describe Arabs with Israeli citizenship. The narrative that the Jews displaced them by establishing a state completely contradicts the facts.

What are these facts? When was the "Palestinian people" actually created? Simply using the Google Ngram Viewer provides the answer.

Ngram is a database that charts the frequency that a given phrase appears in books published between the years 1500 to 2008. When a user enters the word phrases "Palestinian people" and "Palestinian state" into the Ngram search bar, he discovers that they began appearing only in 1960.

In his November 2, 1917 letter to Walter Rothschild, the leader of Britain's Jewish community, Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour wrote:

"His Majesty's government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine [emphasis added], or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."
Finally, apart from Ngram, there are the words of the PLO leader Zuheir Mohsen, who, in a March 1977 interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw, stated:

"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality, today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct Palestinian people to oppose Zionism.
"For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan."
Jean Patrick Grumberg is a journalist for the French-language news site Dreuz.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11401/palestinian-people

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Saudi Arabia, Arab allies push for unity against Iran, Hezbollah - News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

by News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff 

At emergency meeting in Cairo, Arab officials announce plans to submit an anti-Iran Arab resolution to U.N. Security Council

Arab foreign ministers meet at the Arab League headquarters 
in Cairo, Sunday Photo: AP  
In a resolution long on criticism but short on concrete steps, Arab foreign ministers who convened in Cairo Sunday delivered a tirade of criticism against Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, warning that Tehran is destabilizing the region.

The emergency meeting was convened at the request of Saudi Arabia, with support from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait, to discuss means of confronting Iran's regional interventions.

They said they were planning to "brief" the U.N. Security Council on Iran's destabilizing policies in the region, particularly its support for Shiite rebels in Yemen, and planning to submit an anti-Iran Arab resolution at a later stage.

In what is perhaps the only concrete measure to emerge from the emergency meeting, the ministers said Arab telecommunications satellites would ban Iranian-financed television stations. The reason for the ban, they said, was that the networks exacerbate sectarian and ethnic tensions and pose a threat to Arab security.

"We are not declaring war on Iran at this stage," Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said. "We have not taken a decision to ask the Security Council to meet, but we are just briefing the council and maybe the next stage will be for us to meet and call for a Security Council meeting and submit a draft Arab resolution [against Iran]."

Lebanon, where Hezbollah is a key member of the coalition government, and Iraq, a majority Shiite nation bound by close political and religious ties to Iran, voiced reservations about the harsher parts of the resolution, including one branding Hezbollah a "terrorist" organization. The draft also blamed the Shiite group for supporting "terrorist groups" across the region and supplying them with weapons, including ballistic missiles.

Hezbollah, both a military force involved in Syria's war and a political movement, is part of a Lebanese government made up of rival factions.

Lebanon's Arab League representative, Antoine Azzam, objected to the declaration accusing Hezbollah of terrorism and said it was part of Lebanon's government, the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar television channel reported.

While not mentioning Iran by name, he said Lebanon condemned all attacks against Arab nations, but blamed exploitable inter-Arab divisions that allowed international and regional powers to promote their interests.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a Saudi ally, resigned from the premiership on Nov. 4 in a surprise announcement in Riyadh, in which he accused Iran and Hezbollah of spreading strife. Subsequently, Lebanese President Michel Aoun and other politicians accused Saudi Arabia of coercing Hariri to resign and holding him hostage, an allegation denied by both Saudi Arabia and Hariri.

Saudi Arabia, a Sunni powerhouse, has significantly sharpened its anti-Iran rhetoric since intercepting a ballistic missile fired by Iranian-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen on Nov. 4. According to the Saudi Defense Ministry, the missile was intercepted over Riyadh's international airport. The Saudis said the missile was Iranian-made and declared the attack an act of war by the Iranians.

Iran denies arming the Yemeni rebels, known as Houthis, who say they produced the missile locally.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir asked fellow Arab nations to take a "serious and honest" stand against Iranian "aggression" and "meddling" in the internal affairs of Arab countries.

"Showing leniency toward Iran will not leave any Arab capital safe from those ballistic missiles," he told the Arab foreign ministers' meeting.

"Today we must take a serious and honest stand ... to counter these belligerent policies," he said.
He said his country had been targeted by a total of 80 ballistic missiles fired by Yemen's Shiite rebels since 2015, when the kingdom formed and led a coalition to fight the rebels in Yemen alongside forces loyal to the internationally recognized government there.

Saudi Arabia will not stand idly by in the face of Iran's "blatant aggression," Al-Jubeir told the assembly, adding, "We must stand together."

Aboul-Gheit also spoke during the session, which was broadcast live. The Arab League chief was just as critical of Iran as the Saudi minister. Alluding to the Nov. 4 attack, he said it delivered a message to Arab nations that their capitals were within the range of Iranian missiles.

"We say it in clear terms that Iranian threats have exceeded all boundaries and are pushing the region toward the abyss. ... [Iran's] missile program poses a danger to the region," Aboul-Gheit said.

According to the final statement, the ministers said they supported any action to be taken by Saudi Arabia to protect its national security, within the boundaries of international legitimacy.

Bahrain's foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, urged strong action by the Arab League against Iran. In the absence of such support, his country would have no choice but to rely on the protection of its Western allies, he said, citing the U.S. 5th Fleet headquartered in Bahrain and naval ships patrolling the Persian Gulf.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the Saudis of sowing division. On the sidelines of a meeting in Antalya, Turkey, Zarif told Iranian state media, "Unfortunately, countries like the Saudi regime are pursuing divisions and creating differences, and because of this they don't see any results other than divisions."

On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to discuss, among other things, regional tensions over Lebanon, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/2017/11/20/saudi-arabia-arab-allies-push-for-unity-against-iran-hezbollah/

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Russia Blocks Investigation of Syrian Chemical Weapons - Joseph Klein

by Joseph Klein

Protects Syrian regime at all cost.

The mandate of an international expert panel investigating use of chemical weapons in Syria, known as the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), has expired. JIM was established by the United Nations Security Council, unanimously, in 2015 to identify “to the greatest extent feasible” individuals, entities, groups or governments perpetrating, organizing, sponsoring or otherwise involved in the use of chemicals as weapons in Syria. With its mandate about to come to an end if not renewed by another Security Council resolution, Russia killed it with two vetoes late last week. That brings to 11 the number of times that Russia has moved to block a Security Council resolution dealing with Syria since the conflict broke out there six years ago.

The original draft resolution submitted by the United States would have extended the Joint Investigative Mechanism’s mandate by a year and affirmed the methodological and evidentiary standards employed in JIM’s investigations. Russia would have none of that, however. It sought to discredit the JIM panel after it released its report on October 26, 2017 finding that the Syrian regime had been responsible for the release of sarin at Khan Shaykhun on April 4, 2017. The panel had also found that ISIS was responsible for the use of sulfur mustard at Umm Hawsh in September 2016. In order to protect its ally in the future against anything that smacked of accountability for its brutality, Russia vetoed the U.S. draft resolution.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley was unsparing in her criticism of Russia’s obstructionism following Russia’s veto of the U.S.-sponsored draft resolution. “Russia has issued vetoes before to prevent Council action and accountability in Syria,” Ambassador Haley said. “Russia has invented reasons not to support a mechanism it helped create because it did not like its scientific conclusions. Russia has acted to obstruct these investigations many times. But today, it strikes a deep blow. Russia has killed the Joint Investigative Mechanism, which has overwhelming support of this Council. And by eliminating our ability to identify the attackers, Russia has undermined our ability to deter future attacks. Assad and ISIS will no longer be on notice for the use of chemical weapons by Russia’s actions today. The message to anyone listening is clear: in effect, Russia accepts the use of chemical weapons in Syria.”

Ambassador Haley warned that inaction by the Security Council would not protect the Syrian regime from accountability for its chemical attacks. Referring to the missile strikes launched by the Trump administration last April in reprisal for the Syrian regime’s chemical attack at that time, Ambassador Haley said, “Regardless of what its Russian protectors do here in the Security Council, the Assad regime should be on clear notice: the United States does not accept Syria’s use of chemical weapons. As we did in April, we will do it again if we must. We will defend the international standard against chemical weapons use. It would be wise for the Assad regime to heed this warning.”

After the defeat of an alternative draft resolution submitted by Bolivia based on Russia’s text, which would have also extended JIM’s mandate for a year but with strings attached significantly undermining JIM’s independence, Japan proposed a simple compromise. Japan submitted a draft resolution extending JIM’s mandate for 30 days without any endorsement or criticism of the JIM report or its methods. Within that time, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the UN Secretary General would be asked to make a recommendation on a plan for JIM to continue operating. Russia vetoed that draft as well.

“As we have long suspected, Russia does not now and has never had any intention of making this time productive for this Council and the international community,” said Ambassador Nikki Haley in her remarks to the Security Council following Russia’s veto of Japan’s proposal. “Russia’s veto – its second in 24 hours – shows us that Russia has no interest in finding common ground with the rest of this Council to save the JIM. Russia will not agree to any mechanism that might shine a spotlight on the use of chemical weapons by its ally, the Syrian regime. It’s as simple and shameful as that.”

For its part, Russia tried to justify its willingness to end the Joint Investigative Mechanism’s mandate based on what it said was the panel’s failure to conduct onsite inspections and to take samples at Khan Shaykhun. Instead, Russia complained, JIM relied on purportedly unreliable evidence, such as the word of allegedly biased witnesses. Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia claimed that the U.S. draft resolution his country vetoed merely sought to entrench JIM’s flaws. The Russian ambassador tried to tie the U.S. resolution expressing support for JIM’s work to the U.S.-initiated Iraq war in 2003, which he said had been sold on false evidence presented by the United States. “Will this geopolitical laboratory ever be shut down?” he asked.

Ambassador Haley countered that Russia only complained about JIM’s methods when Syria was found at fault. It appeared to have no problems with its findings regarding the ISIS sulfur mustard attack, even though the methodologies used to investigate both cases were quite similar. “If you pay attention, you will notice that the Russians think the JIM works great when it finds ISIS at fault for chemical weapons,” Ambassador Haley said. “But when it is one of their friends who is the perpetrator, the problem is suddenly the JIM, not their friend who committed the crime.”

The Joint Investigative Mechanism panel explained in its October 26th report why it had not conducted onsite inspections. It said that with respect to Khan Shaykhun, “the integrity of the scene had been compromised” because “the crater from which the sarin emanated had been disturbed after the incident and subsequently filled with concrete.” Moreover, the report stated, “the high security risk of a site visit to Khan Shaykhun, which is currently in a situation of armed conflict and under the control of a listed terrorist organization (Nusrah Front), outweighed the possible benefits for the investigation.” The panel had conducted interviews with multiple victims and witnesses, including, in the case of Khan Shaykhun, residents, personnel from Sha‘irat airbase, government officials, doctors who had treated victims, rescue personnel and commanders of non-state armed groups. The panel also relied on satellite imagery taken both before and after the incident. It used similar methods of investigation regarding the Umm Hawsh attack, which it attributed to ISIS.

The JIM panel pointed to its use of internationally recognized forensic institutes and laboratories, accredited in accordance with the International Organization for Standardization. In the case of Khan Shaykhun, “expert analysis was provided with respect to the nature of the plumes resulting from explosions; the characteristics of the crater and their likely cause; the remnants of the munitions; the dispersion of sarin; the explosives used and their delivery methods; and the medical effects and their treatment.” The panel found that the sarin used in the attack had most likely been made with a precursor from the Syrian regime’s original stock. The crater from which the sarin emanated was caused by the impact of an aerial bomb. An aircraft of the Syrian regime was in the immediate vicinity of Khan Shaykhun at the time that an aircraft dropped munitions over the site.

Based on all the evidence JIM had collected and subjected to thorough forensic and laboratory analysis, JIM stated it was “confident that the Syrian Arab Republic is responsible for the release of sarin at Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017.”

The Joint Investigative Mechanism may not be perfect, but it provides the best chance at objective scientific analysis of available evidence following chemical attacks that anyone has managed to come up with. Inner City Press reports another proposal is being considered that would keep JIM alive as is until the end of the UN’s current budget cycle, which is presumably at the close of this year. So far, Russia has been playing games with innocent lives by undermining the ability to get at the truth regarding who is responsible for unleashing horrendous chemical attacks in Syria. Given its track record, Russia would be likely to do so again if given another opportunity at the Security Council.

Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/268465/russia-blocks-investigation-syrian-chemical-joseph-klein

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The Backlash Against European Multiculturalism - Joseph Puder

by Joseph Puder

Growing support for anti-immigrant parties.

Multiculturalism, the “religion” of the European Union (EU) elites, enforced by many EU states through “diversity” programs, has begun to lose its luster.   The recent elections in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Sicily, points to growing support for far-right, and nationalist parties.  The growing trend of such parties as the Alternative for Germany, Austria’s People’s Party, and the Czech ANO Party, winning elections in recent months is fueled by the arrival of more than a million unassimilable migrants and refugees from the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia.  It has contributed to a huge jump in terrorist attacks, crime, and an economic burden on the host European states.  The slow economic growth in most EU countries has put the squeeze on the native population.  They are now compelled to compete for limited jobs and resources with migrants and refugees. 

In the Czech Republic, Andrej Babis, a billionaire media mogul, who people like to compare to Donald Trump, has triumphed in the October 21, 2017 elections.  He is against absorbing Middle Eastern migrants into the Czech Republic, and is opposed to multiculturalism, much like many European leaders who have admitted that multiculturalism in Europe has failed.

Babis’ anti-establishment, and anti-EU, ANO party won 29.64% of the vote, (projected to have 78 seats) replacing as the top party the center-left Czech Social-Democratic party that garnered only 7.27% of the parliamentary vote.  The Civic Democratic Party (ODS), a right-of-center conservative party, took second place with 11.32% of the vote (projected to have 25 seats).  Another anti-establishment party, the Pirate party, received 10.79% (projected to have 22 seats).  The Czech parliament or the Chamber of Deputies has 200 seats.  The outcome of this election points to a right-of center coalition with Babis as Prime Minister and a majority of at least 125 seats in the Chamber.

In Austria, where legislative elections were held on October 15, 2017, Sebastian Kurz, leader of the Austrian People’s Party (OVP) and the youngest government leader in Europe, garnered 31.6% of the vote.  A confirmed Eurosceptic, he won the election and will become its next Chancellor of Austria.  U.K.’s Sunday Express headline on October 16, 2017 was, “Eurosceptic Sebastian Kurz declares Victory in Nightmare for EU.”  The 31-year-old Kurz is likely to form a coalition with the right-wing populist Austrian Freedom Party (FPO), which was founded by a former SS officer.  The FPO received 26.9% of the vote.  The Social Democratic Party, which hitherto governed Austria (The People’s Party was the junior partner in the coalition and Kurz served as Foreign Minister at the age of 27) was relegated to third place with 26% of the vote. 

Kurz and his party are tough on immigration and easy on taxes.  As part of the previous government, Kurz backed a recent law that imposed a ban on Muslim women wearing Burkas.  He also pledged to do away with welfare payments to refugees.

The National Council of the Austrian Parliament’s 183 seats is projected to have 61 representatives from the OVP (People’s Party), a gain of 14 from the previous elections.  The FPO (Freedom Party) will be represented by 51 members, a gain of 11, and the SPO (Social Democrats) has lost 3 seats and will have 49 seats in the new national Council according to OE24 polling.  According to the Sunday Express “The stunning result will come as a crushing blow to the EU and essentially a strong vote against liberal politics pedaled by France and Germany.”

In September, 2017, Germany’s anti-Islamic immigrants party, Alternatives fur Deutschland (AfD) received 13% of the vote in the federal elections to the Bundestag.  It was a clear rebuke of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration policies.  In Sicily earlier this month, another right-of-center party won the regional elections.  The New York Times reported that, “Berlusconi’s candidate, Nello Musumeci, the candidate of a coalition of center-right parties for governor of Sicily, won with 39% of the vote, while the Five Star Movement’s Giancarlo Cancelleri, took nearly 35%. The anti-establishment movement ran on its own, becoming the island’s leading party.”

France and Germany, along with other Western European and Scandinavian EU members, have pushed the multiculturalist line. The pattern throughout central Europe however, is in the reverse, with the parties of the left losing ground to anti-immigration, Eurosceptic, and anti-multiculturalist parties.  Poland and Hungary too, have elected parties that are vehemently opposed to immigration from Muslim countries as well as multiculturalism.

The BBC-TV reported on October 17, 2010 that at a meeting with younger members of the Christian-Democratic party, Chancellor Angela Merkel pointed out that “We kidded ourselves a while, we said: ‘They won’t stay, sometime they will be gone,’ but this isn’t reality.”  Merkel was referring to the 16 million foreign workers who flooded Germany in the 1960’s.  Merkel added, “And of course, the approach to build a multicultural society and live side-by-side and to enjoy each other…has failed, utterly failed.”  The current wave of Muslim immigrants, over a million who entered Germany by invitation from Merkel, brought along with them terrorism and crime.  Many of these migrants are unlikely to be culturally assimilated.  What’s more, the native European birthrates, which is below replacement, is no match for the Muslim migrant explosive birthrates.  The anti-immigrant parties warn that within a generation or two, European societies will change beyond recognition, and not for the better.   

The Europeans, unlike the U.S. (the Melting Pot that was America for most of its history), have done little to assimilate their Muslim immigrants from North Africa, the Middle East, and Africa (South of the Sahara) into a homogenized European culture.  The nature of Islamic practices, whether in attitudes toward women, or the notion of individual rights in a democratic system, is threatening European democracy. 

Dutch legal philosopher, Paul Cliteur, considered non-western cultures as anachronistic, and multiculturalism as an unacceptable ideology of cultural relativism.  He argues that multiculturalism leads to the acceptance of barbaric practices (brought by Muslim immigrants to the West) including slavery, homophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, female genital mutilation, etc.  In “Falling Prey to Relativism,” Cliteur writes, “Multiculturalism is nowadays affiliated with a postmodern outlook.  The pivotal ideas of this vision of life are relativism (cultural relativism in particular), a negative attitude toward Western political tradition, the cultivation of collective guilt for the transgressions of the colonial past, and other real or presumed black pages in Western history.”

Native European citizens, leaders, and intellectuals from the entire political spectrum are now demanding that their governments seek the assimilation of Muslim migrants into European culture.  The concern is not only over the newly arrived millions that flooded Europe as the result of Middle East conflicts, but also the children and grandchildren of Muslim immigrants who have lived in Europe for a long time.

Countries such as Sweden, Belgium, and the Netherlands, which have granted immigrants easy access to equal rights, but did not provide strong incentives for immigrants to acquire the native language, created little contact between the immigrants and the native population.  The same countries provided generous welfare to the immigrant population, which has produced low level participation in the labor market, high levels of segregation, and overrepresentation of immigrants in criminal behavior.

The anti-immigrant parties in central Europe and beyond reflect a rising tide of European citizens who reject multiculturalism, and the immigration of non-Europeans.  There is a feeling among these European natives that they are losing their culture and their country.  It is now just a matter of time before Western European political and social elites face the rage of their people.

Joseph Puder

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/268461/backlash-against-european-multiculturalism-joseph-puder

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A French awakening - Eldad Beck

by Eldad Beck

It seems that large portions of the French public have begun to understand that the problem with Islam extends beyond the recent terror attacks and that the religion in fact threatens the country's existing way of life.

Clichy, a suburb in the northwest of Paris, has in recent weeks become a battleground in the war over France's secular republican character.

It began when a Muslim organization decided to protest against a municipal decision to relocate one of its prayer venues from a central location to a less central site, one that members claim is too small and unsafe. Protesters without the necessary permits held mass prayers on the main street near city hall, angering non-Muslim residents.

In response, around 100 elected officials stood on the side of the street wearing tricolor ribbons and singing the national anthem. The Muslim protesters filed a complaint with police over "violent behavior" and "incitement to racial hatred." Last Friday, local police decided to ban the mass prayers.

It seems that large portions of the French public have begun to understand that the problem with Islam extends beyond the recent terror attacks and that the religion in fact threatens the country's existing way of life. The protest staged by elected officials is proof that politicians have also come to understand that the policy of burying their heads in the sand has contributed to the ongoing erosion of France's secular character.

After years of denying the existence of the phenomenon, there is now significant public debate on Muslim anti-Semitism in France. The French establishment's scandalous handling of the murder of Sarah Halimi, insisting that the murder was not an act of anti-Semitism, challenged the conspiracy of silence.

The desecration of a monument honoring Ilan Halimi, a young Jewish man coincidentally with the same surname as the later victim, who was kidnapped and brutally murdered by Muslims over a decade ago, led French daily Le Monde to dedicate an article to the issue of Muslim anti-Semitism. However, the article insisted on differentiating between old anti-Semitic stereotypes and modern Judeophobia, meaning a fear of Jews that feeds the usual anti-Semitism, mainly on social media, and so exemplified the French left-wing elite's difficulty in calling the problem by its name.

Sexual assault allegations against Europe's most senior representative of "moderate Islam," Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, have served to undermine the blind support usually offered by the French Left. Ramadan's attorneys face an uphill battle, not just in the face of growing accusations against their client, but in light of the anti-Semitic claims by many of Ramadan's followers that the entire scandal is a Jewish-Zionist conspiracy.

Is this but a temporary awakening? It could be, if the French and European Left do not engage in some serious soul-searching and identify the reasons they previously chose to ignore Muslim anti-Semitism and blindly follow these radicals disguised as moderates. One of the reasons, it should be noted, is the anti-Semitism so prevalent among many in today's Left.

Eldad Beck

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/a-french-awakening/

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Benghazi or Bust - Lloyd Billingsley

by Lloyd Billingsley

Deep-state Democrats endanger embassies, need careful investigation.

Sgt. LaDavid Johnson, one of the four American victims of the October 4 terrorist attack in Niger, first enlisted in the Army as a Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic but rose through the ranks to the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), qualified as a marksman and sharpshooter, and earned the Global War on Terrorism Medal. More than a month after his body was found, it emerged that the ISIS forces had captured Johnson and executed him by bashing in his head. The damage was so severe that the Army would not let Johnson’s wife Myeisha see the body.

Also killed in the attack were U.S. Army Sgts. Bryan Black, Jeremiah Johnson and Dustin Wright. That did not prevent Rep. Frederica Wilson, Florida Democrat, from proclaiming that the attack was Trump’s Benghazi, or as other critics of the president put it, “Benghazi on steroids.” To say the least, the parallel is a stretch.

In Niger, terrorists attacked uniformed soldiers in the field, and the Army acknowledged a group linked to ISIS. President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made no claim that the attack was about a video.

In Benghazi in 2012, Islamic terrorists attacked a U.S. diplomatic compound. The victims included U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens, and foreign service officer Sean Smith. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denied terrorism was involved and proclaimed the attack a protest of some internet video.

This September, Sean Smith’s mother Pat Smith told Fox News that Hillary still has not called her despite a promise to do so. Sean Smith’s uncle Michael Ingmire told Fox News Hillary “was standing, basically before the coffins of Americans, blaming a horrible anti-Islamic video, but she’s just being consistent with her psychosis. The liar, the criminal, the crooked politician—those are the three faces of Hillary.”

Benghazi was hardly the first terrorist attack on a U.S. embassy. In August, 1998, al Qaeda terrorists bombed U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 and wounding thousands. The National Security Advisor at the time was Samuel “Sandy” Berger, a pal of the Clintons since the McGovern campaign in 1972 and deputy national security advisor during the Clintons’ first term.

Berger had served in the State Department but none of his counsel prevented the terrorist attacks in Kenya and Tanzania. Those supposedly alerted Clinton to Osama bin Laden, but the entire U.S. intelligence community was unable to prevent bin Laden from masterminding September 11, 2001.

That prompted the 9/11 Commission and the Clintons’ representative was Sandy Berger. In 2004, several months before his testimony, Berger slipped into the National Archives and stuffed classified documents into his jacket, pants and socks. Berger then stashed the stolen material on a construction site, where he retrieved it on the sly.

The documents he ripped off included a sensitive after-action report on Clinton administration handing of terror threats, and documents outlining American vulnerabilities at airports and seaports. As it turned out, the Justice Department official who dealt with Berger was none other than deputy attorney general James Comey.

“As a general matter, we take issues of classified information very seriously,” Comey told reporters.  “It’s our lifeblood, those secrets. It’s against the law for anyone to intentionally mishandle classified documents either by taking it to give to somebody else or by mishandling it in a way that is outside the government regulations.” None of that severity emerged in the deal Berger struck with the Justice Department, which let Berger avoid jail, pay a $50,000 fine, and decline to reveal what he had ripped off.

As Christopher Andersen noted in American Evita: Hillary Clinton’s Path to Power, as a U.S. attorney Comey also helped the Clintons by closing out the investigation on the New Square clemency case. Clinton’s pardon of fugitive Marc Rich also drew an investigation and Andersen found it odd that the Bush administration would “help the Clinton’s out” by refusing to release documents related to the pardons. And “in accordance with his boss’s wishes, U.S Attorney James Comey gave Bill and Hillary a pass.”

In 2007, the DC Bar began to probe Berger’s document theft but the Clinton insider chose to give up his law license rather than reveal everything he stole and destroyed. Berger passed away in 2015 and the Clintons hailed him as “a consummate National Security Advisor.”  He was also Hillary’s mentor in the handling of classified material.

On September 4, 2013, James Comey became director of the FBI. In that role, Comey oversaw the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s destruction of some 30,000 emails and the bleaching of her bootleg server. Comey was going to call it “gross negligence” but changed that to “extremely careless,” which in the style of the Berger deal avoided any recommendation for criminal charges. This took place within a single week, shortly before the Democrats’ convention. As David Horowitz said, “It was, all in all, the most breathtaking fix in American history.”

One year after her election loss to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton told Mother Jones, “there are lots of questions about its legitimacy” and that the Russian interference “wasn’t just influencing voters—it was determining the outcome.”

This comes as some in Congress press for a probe of Clinton’s affairs. Any such investigation should take a hard look at Benghazi, and don’t forget James Comey, the Democrats’ strategic deep-state enabler.

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation, and Bill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/268468/benghazi-or-bust-lloyd-billingsley

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Turkey Islamizes Denmark with More Mosques - Judith Bergman

by Judith Bergman

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan clearly sees Turks living in the West as a spearhead of Islam.

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan clearly sees Turks living in the West as a spearhead of Islam.
  • "Yes, integrate yourselves into German society but don't assimilate yourselves. No one has the right to deprive us of our culture and our identity", Erdogan told Turks in Germany as early as in 2011.
  • This assessment of Milli Görüs, however, does not seem to bother Danish authorities, who appear to see no problems with their cities becoming Islamized by the Turks. How many more mosques will it take?
"Islam cannot be either 'moderate' or 'not moderate.' Islam can only be one thing," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on November 9. "Recently the concept of 'moderate Islam' has received attention. But the patent of this concept originated in the West... They are now trying to pump up this idea again. What they really want to do is weaken Islam..."

Erdogan is working on strengthening Islam in the West, something he does, among other ways, by building Turkish mosques in Western countries. It is hardly surprising that he does not want the West to "weaken Islam", but at the moment there seems little risk of that happening. The establishment of Turkish mosques in Western countries appears to be proceeding apace with very little opposition. Conversely, building Western churches in Turkey is inconceivable.

Erdogan clearly sees Turks living in the West as a spearhead of Islam. "Yes, integrate yourselves into German society but don't assimilate yourselves. No one has the right to deprive us of our culture and our identity", Erdogan told Turks in Germany as early as 2011. This year, he told Turks living in the West:
"Go live in better neighborhoods. Drive the best cars. Live in the best houses. Make not three, but five children. Because you are the future of Europe. That will be the best response to the injustices against you."

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan clearly sees Turks living in the West as a spearhead of Islam. This year, he told Turks living in the West: "Go live in better neighborhoods. Drive the best cars. Live in the best houses. Make not three, but five children. Because you are the future of Europe. That will be the best response to the injustices against you." (Photo by Gokhan Sahin/Getty Images)
Erdogan is evidently working to ensure, by continuously building new mosques and expanding old ones across Europe, that Muslims will indeed be the future of the continent.

One Western country where Erdogan is ramping up Islam is Denmark. Two new Turkish mosques are about to open in the Danish cities of Roskilde and Holbæk; in the past year, two Turkish mosques opened in the cities of Fredericia and Aarhus. New Turkish mosques were opened in Ringsted and Hedehusene in 2013; and in Køge the existing mosque opened a cultural center. There are 27 Turkish mosques in Denmark; eight of them are expanding or wish to expand.

The new mosque in Roskilde, complete with minarets, is owned by Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet). The inclusion of minarets is due to second- and third-generation Turkish immigrants, who wanted the mosque to look like a "proper mosque".

"It is a general trend in all of Europe that Diyanet is expanding physically with new mosques, and through [the mosques] also religiously, politically and culturally" said professor Samim Akgönül, of the university of Strasbourg. He has analyzed the Friday sermons that Diyanet sends to mosques all over Europe; his analyses show that the sermons are full of political and nationalistic messages favoring Erdogan's regime.

According to Tuncay Yilmaz, chairman of the board of Roskilde's Ayasofya Mosque, "Diyanet is not political, I can promise you that. Obviously they belong to the Turkish state, but they are independent of the government".

That statement is false. Diyanet is an agency of the Turkish government -- and an extremely active one. As Gatestone's Burak Bekdil has noted:
"In a briefing for a parliamentary commission, Diyanet admitted that it gathered intelligence via imams from 38 countries on the activities of suspected followers of the US-based preacher Fetullah Gülen, whom the Turkish government accused of being the mastermind of the attempted coup on July 15... Diyanet said its imams gathered intelligence and prepared reports from Abkhazia, Germany, Albania, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkmenistan and Ukraine".
In Denmark, nonetheless, the newest Turkish-state mosque was welcomed with open arms. The mayor of Roskilde, Joy Mogensen, who knew that the Turkish government owned the mosque, participated in the ceremony of laying the foundation stone in February 2016. She claims that the very fact that she and the city's bishop were invited to the ceremony meant that there were "good people" in the mosque working for "integration" -- otherwise they would not have allowed "a Christian woman like myself without a headscarf" to participate in their ceremony.

One of those people "working for integration" is the chairman of the board of the mosque, Tuncay Yilmaz, who is also a member of the Roskilde city council for the Social Democratic party. He happens to have close ties to the radical Islamic organization Milli Görüs, which runs a travel agency where Yilmaz works. He organizes their trips to Mecca. "I am not a member of that organization" Yilmaz says. "The only connection is that I work for their travel agency".

Clearly, Roskilde's mayor does not consider Yilmaz's affiliation a problem, nor does the city council. "If we had observed anything suspicious about that organization, we would have talked to him about it; but we haven't heard anything like that" said Søren Kargaard, chairman of the Social Democratics in Roskilde, when asked by journalists about Yilmaz's connection to Milli Görüs. Well, perhaps if Kargaard had bothered to look up Milli Görüs to inform himself about it, this is what he would have found, according to a 2005 report from the Middle East Quarterly:
"Germany's domestic intelligence agency, has repeatedly warned about Milli Görüş's activities, describing the group in its annual reports as a 'foreign extremist organization'. The agency also reported that 'although Milli Görüş, in public statements, pretends to adhere to the basic principles of Western democracies, abolition of the laicist government system in Turkey and the establishment of an Islamic state and social system are, as before, among its goals... As the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Landesverfassungsschutz) in Hessen notes: The threat of Islamism for Germany is posed ... primarily by Milli Görüş and other affiliated groups. They try to spread Islamist views within the boundaries of the law. Then they try to implement ... for all Muslims in Germany a strict interpretation of the Qur'an and of the Shari'a. ... Their public support of tolerance and religious freedom should be treated with caution".
This assessment, however, does not seem to bother Danish authorities, who appear to see no problems with their cities becoming Islamized by the Turks. That kind of ignorance -- or pretense of ignorance -- amounts to the dereliction of duty on the part of people such as the mayor of Roskilde and Mr. Kargaard.

How many more mosques will it take?

Judith Bergman is a columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11400/turkey-denmark-mosques

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