Anti-Zionism’s links with anti-Semitism - RTE subscribes to Livingstone Formulation in Labour Party Controversy
RTE, the public service broadcaster of the Irish Republic, has the capacity to immensely influence the views and moral stances of the Irish nation as seasoned commentator (and one-time senior RTE insider) Eoghan Harris has often pointed out. Due to a virtual broadcasting monopoly, the way in which RTE treats contentious issues of major social concern, such as terrorism, migrant waves, the resurgence of European anti-Semitism, etc., arguably has a greater impact on the thinking of the Irish Nation than equivalent broadcasting institutions in other countries, such as the United Kingdom’s BBC, that compete with a strong private sector.
RTE’s audience reach extends beyond the Irish Republic, with media saturation in Northern Ireland, and its radio and television channels are viewed quite widely abroad, particularly in the UK mainland.
King Newt strikes Jerusalem
The controversy over Ken ‘Newt’ Livingstone’s suspension from the British Labour Party, for defending Naz Shah, an MP accused of anti-Semitism, raged in the UK last month. Livingstone was suspended for an odd apologia of Shah’s actions – he claimed that Hitler supported the Zionist movement until he “went mad” and instituted the programme of mass Jewish extermination. Livingstone has since doubled-down in his attack on the Jewish State by claiming Israel’s creation was a “catastrophe”.
Livingstone’s comments were without any historical basis but he would attempt to back-up his claims with the use of bigoted ahistoric sources cited by neo-NAZI types in the shadier side of the Internet. His assertion that Israel should not have been created “because there had been a Palestinian community there for 2,000 years,” was similarly ahistorical, fitting the PLO’s old propaganda-narrative that Jesus Christ was the first Arab-Palestinian shahid (martyr). He also holds Israel responsible for the military aggression of the Arab-Islamic world, and the creation of ISIS, whilst conflating the risk of a nuclear-Iran with Israel’s arsenal.
The fracas has been given little attention to-date on RTE. Their sole article on the topic (‘Livingstone defends Hitler comments in Labour row’, 30th April 2016) was peculiar because it only featured Livingstone’s perspective and that of his defenders. The article also included Livingstone’s obviously fallacious strawman of Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments concerning Haij Amin al Husseini’s role in the Holocaust — the Israeli prime-minister never suggested that Hitler supported Zionism.
Broadcast coverage was similar. The story only featured passing mention on television, in an afternoon ‘RTE News Now’ bulletin on the April 28th, when the news of Livingstone’s suspension first emerged but was not featured in RTE’s lengthier prime news programmes later that same day. By contrast, the election of Labourite Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of London, received substantive coverage on radio and television throughout the May 6th/7th period, and featured more strongly in online content.
The lack of coverage on RTE is rather peculiar. British political events tend to feature quite prolifically in RTE news schedules due to the close connections between the two States. Moreover, Livingstone is a politician of some renown in Ireland. He was the first senior British political figure to openly engage in talks with Sein Fein-IRA, and one of the very few to have advocated loudly for the Republican group’s cause. While head of the Greater London Council, he talked prolifically with the terror group during an intensive period of its London bombing campaign, for which he earned a considerable degree of notoriority — principally hatred.
Livingstone also earned a lot of affection within the London-Irish community of yore by pandering to an exaggerated and unworthy victimhood. Indeed, Livingstone once charged that “What Britain did in Ireland was worse than what Hitler did to the Jews.” It is worth noting that Livingstone’s views would have also been percieved as extreme in Ireland! While many sympathesised with the very poor treatment of the Catholic populace in Ulster, few would have agreed with his expressions of support for the IRA. Sein Fein only found electoral pre-eminance in Ulster after the Good-Friday Agreement, and only obtained electoral success in the Republic in more recent years.
Labour’s electoral woes matter more?
Perhaps RTE’s most notable input on Livingstone anti-Semitism controversy came when Marian Finucane, a veteran RTE journalist and presenter of repute in Ireland, discussed the issue in the second hour of RTE Radio One’s ‘Marian Finucane Show’ on Sunday the 1st May 2016. Enda Brady, an Irish correspondent with UK broadcaster ‘Sky News’, was invited onto the show to provide some insights into the on-going row. However, the discussion was rather more revealing for its misleading and oddly slanted appraisal of the controversy.
The contributions to the radio slot focused far more on the impact that the controversy would have on the British Labour Party’s electoral ability, than on the actual anti-Semitic content of the remarks that led to the very controversy. This peculiar focus may have led some listeners to wonder if there was any real substance to the criticism of Livingstone’s remarks, beyond that of mere historical inaccuracy.
In a brief commentary to introduce the issue, Brady stated:
“Basically a row over comments Ken Livingstone had made earlier in the week defending a Yorkshire MP called Naz Shah. She had shared something on Facebook. She had shared a post calling for Israel to be relocated to the United States… Ken Livingstone waded in and attempted to defend her, and in doing so kept digging, making the situation just awful for Labour.”
Finucane: “Just coming up to elections?”
Brady: “Yes, local elections here on Thursday, and you know the focus should be on, you would imagine from a Labour perspective, the focus should have been on fighting a Conservative Government, and austerity, and cuts, and what have you to public spending, and yes Labour riven by internal strife and division, and a rather unpleasant nasty row over allegations of anti-Semitism. […]
But yes it’s a mess, and you just think the Conservative Party, David Cameron, everyone else, they must just be watching this with their mouths open”
Finucane: “Manna from heaven.”
Brady: “Yes precisely…”
Finucane and Brady would go on to discuss how the controversy could undermine Sadiq Khan’s prospects in the London mayoral election, with Brady adding:
“Again he’s [Khan] being embroiled in this as well, and just by association, questions being put, you know ‘are you anti-Semitic as well?’ It just looks terrible for Labour. It really, really does, with day after day of headlines, and of course I guess its been a comparatively quiet news cycle, this has just been leading every single bulletin for five six days.”
The questions surrounding Khan related to his own personal associations with extremists, rather than merely his being a member of the Labour Party. Senator Kevin Humphrys, a member of the Irish Labour Party, described the remarks as “wrong”, but similarly focused on the damage it would cause to the British Labour Party vote.
There was a vague reference to a broader concern about anti-Semitism within the Labour Party but there was no mention of the many egregious comments by other Labour members, which would have assisted in framing a discussion to which Irish audiences have limited media exposure.
To cite a few examples of the scale of this problematic behaviour: Gerry Downing’s suggestion that Marxists address what he termed “the Jewish Question”, descriptions of Hitler as the “Zionist God”, charges that Israel uses the Holocaust as “a financial racket in the West”, media reports that Labour secretly suspended fifty Labour members for issues connected with anti-Semitism, and the resignation of a Oxford University Labour Club chairman spurred by the endemic anti-Semitism of its members. To Brady’s credit, he did however note that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s critics point out his poor performance in dealing with the issue.
It should be noted both Brady and Finucane briefly mentioned the hatred exhibited toward Jewish people in France, with Brady describing it as a “massive issue”. Finucane also noted that anti-Semitism is an unacknowledged problem, and disagreed with Livingstone’s view that Hitler supported Zionism. Ultimately however, it was a missed opportunity to discuss an issue that the Western mainstream media often seeks to avoid.
Naz Shah’s unfortunate ‘Facebookery’
Finucane’s radio segment reported that Naz Shah posted a Facebook entry stating that the conflict would be solved if Israel was moved to the US. Later the discussion strayed into flippant territory:
Finucane: “There’s a lot to be said for keeping away from Facebook.”
Sinead O’Carroll (News Editor with Journal.ie): “Absolutely, this started with a politician making a very flippant point on Facebook.”
Such opining infers that Shah did not really mean anything of substance when writing the post. Neither Finucane, nor the other contributors, explained why this particular post is thought by many to be offensive. Shah’s ‘transportation’ Facebook post was not intended to be a constructive idea (however bizarre) — another contributor later suggested that anti-Zionism is not necessarily anti-Semitic. Shah posted a kind of mocking info-graphic that suggested Israel was to blame for all of the troubles of the Middle East (presumably including Islamist terrorism spreading Westward), and that the existence of the Jewish State somehow made the world unhappy. By inference, the post recommends ethnically cleansing the Middle East of its Jewish people, much of whom were forced, by persecution, to flee to Israel from other regions of the Middle East in the first instance.
Finucane and O’Carroll present the post as little more than a ‘blonde moment’ but Shah added a comment that reinforced the message of the infographic, and the contributors also failed to note that she has a record for making other problematic comments in the past.
Shah has also posted critical content about “Jews”, compared Israel’s policies to those of Hitler, and promoted an article that likened Zionism to al Qaeda, which charged that the movement had caused Jews to act in negative ways, akin to neo-Nazi claims of normative Jewish behaviour, with respect to control of politics, the media etc. in European societies, and offered a solution to the “Jewish Question in Europe”. Shah was a relatively senior politician. She is an MP, was private secretary to the Shadow Chancellor, and more remarkably, a member of a committee combating anti-Semitism in Britain, so critics, both within and outside the Labour party, were fully entitled to raise concerns about bigotry.
By the time of the discussion on the Finucane Show, news had also emerged that Shah’s aide, Mohammed Shabbir, had engaged in overtly anti-Semitic messages, inferring that Orthodox Jewish people were engaged in child abuse, prostitution, used the neo-Nazi term “Zio”, suggested Israel created ISIS to serve as a pretext to invade Syria, compared Israel to NAZI Germany, etc. These views echoed some of Shah’s comments, thus raising further questions about her beliefs.
RTE’s Livingstone, I presume
At the end of the discussion, Finucane stated that she had been suprised when she found out that Livingstone was involved in a row over anti-Semitism
“I have to say I was very surprised — I certainly wouldn’t have anticipated that Ken Livingstone would be in any way anti-Semitic.”
Livingstone, who has been a guest on Finucane’s show previously, has intermittently caused a quite substantive level of controversy over many expressions that displayed a strong disregard and dislike of Jewish people. And has expressed strong support for the likes of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an individual who not only supports Arab-Palestinian terrorism, but has openly expressed genocidal sentiments toward the Jewish people.
After the odd focus on Labour’s election worries, and some expressions of generalised concern about anti-Semitism in Europe today, the discussion strayed into contentious territory when Finucane stated:
“The tricky bit is that just because somebody says that they disagree with Israeli policy in Gaza, it does not mean they are anti-Semitic, and those lines have to be clarified. And they’ve kind of got blurred I think in this debate as well.”
Brady: “Yes I think that’s a fair point but I think in modern politics the speed the reaction of labour to clamp down on all of this, a lot of people here will feel very sore.”
Shah posted the offending infographic during the Gaza war so Finucane appears to be arguing that the comment was not in itself anti-Semitic. However, Shah did not merely criticise Israeli policy in Gaza. Shah took issue with Israel’s very existence. Another guest, Gerard Howlin, a former Fianna Fail Party advisor, agreed but also drew attention to the fact that anti-Zionism often coincides with anti-Semitism:
“There is this thing between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. And of course they aren’t always the same. You can be perfectly anti-Zionist without being in any way anti-Semitic, and that should be very much acknowledged. You can be critical of Israel in particular without being in any way anti-Semitic. But of course Zionism is a response to anti-Semitism originally.”
Finucane advanced the argument that criticism of Israel is not necessarily anti-Semitic, and that the debate confused or conflated anti-Zionism (as inferred by her defence of Shah’s existentially anti-Zionist views) with anti-Semitism, as further indicated by Howlin’s response. By inference, such a position would suggest that the views of the two main players in the controversy — both Shah’s and Livingstone’s — were not necessarily anti-Semitic. Therefore, it seems that Livingstone was quite entitled to defend Naz Shah since the MP did not express views that were inherently anti-Semitic. Such argumentation would lead to the conclusion that if her views are not inherently or necessarily anti-Semitic then, in effect, they should ultimately not to be regarded as anti-Semitic because such accusations are no longer deemed to be fair (in view of the supposed power of the accusation that may be reputationally damaging) or morally legitimate, and so the charge is presented as a vicious ploy.
The stance endorsed on the ‘Marian Finucane show’ constitutes a category error, because it forms a fallacious conflation of two divergent categories of argumentation. There is of course an area where the two categories coincide because anti-Zionism must by definition be critical of the existence of the State of Israel, and efforts to defend its existence. Yet there are circumstances where criticism of Israel does not originate from anti-Zionist positions. Anti-Zionism is a different category of argumentation that is advanced by those possessing trenchant anti-Israel positions. Anti-Zionism is necessarily extremist because anti-Zionists advocate for the dissolution of the sole principally-Jewish State in existence, regardless of its borders and compromises it has attempted to make with Arab-Palestinian society.
Perhaps unwittingly, Finucane may have advanced a strawman’ argument created by anti-Israel advocates, not least by Livingstone himself (for whom David Hirsh coined the term ‘Livingstone Formulation’), who wish to attack those defending Israel in debate. Such advocates present opponents defending Israel (from what is seen as unjustified criticism) as being disingenuous and attempting to silence all criticism of the Jewish State by using the “anti-Semitism card” to trump legitimate debate.
However, it does not appear that anyone has ever argued that all substantive criticism of Israel is inherently anti-Semitic. This cannot be a normative pro-Israel position because it is not uncommon to find criticism of the Jewish State emanating from those who do support Israel in a substantive and meaningful way (in contrast to Peter Beinart, J-Street, et al, who only claim to support Israel but adopt staunchly anti-Israel positions). Rightly or wrongly, many who genuinely support Israel express reservations about Israeli government policy.
Anti-Zionism is necessarily anti-Semitic
There is a strong material link between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, both in more traditional and the newer forms, the latter of which manifests most overtly as an intensive and aggressive demonisation of Israel, which is notably singular in its treatment. This reality leads to another question: ‘Is anti-Zionism necessarily anti-Semitic or is it possible to be anti-Zionist without holding anti-Semitic beliefs or being discriminatory by holding the Jewish collective to a different standard to that of other peoples?’
Anti-Zionism is notable for white-washing anti-Semitism. It disregards the oppression that Jewish people experienced in the Christian and Islamic worlds for over a Millennia, which arose with hatreds that continue to exist, albeit in a modified form in the Western World which normatively adopt the language of humanitarianism. It often re-writes the oppression Jews experienced in the Islamic world.
Anti-Zionism disregards the ancient cultural link between Israel and the Jewish People, which may only continue with Jewish self-determination, given the continued rejection of Jewish religious rights within Arab-Islamic societies throughout the Middle East, and the likelihood that a Jewish presence in the region would cease to exist in a would-be Palestinian Nation, as it has ceased throughout almost all of the rest of the Middle East. Trenchant anti-Semitism is normative at all levels in Arab-Palestinian society, of a form that incites violence, terrorism and genocidal sentiment. Rather, anti-Zionists portray wholly improbable results to their advocacy, claiming (in contravention to all available evidence) that peaceful democratic and pluralistic scenarios would result, rather than a further purging of the Middle East.
Anti-Zionists do not accept the two-state solution. They unjustly blame Israel for Arab-Palestinian rejectionism. Ultimately, peace cannot be made with Israel — rather this nation must be compelled to surrender all and effectively abandon the aim of Jewish autonomy, or be cleansed ethnically — the Jewish people should all “go back to Europe”, even if they are Mizrahi purged from Arab nations.
While people can hate a nation for a variety of reasons, hatred that motivates criticism of Israel is typically anti-Semitic, because it directly or indirectly focuses on the Jewish character of the State, which can often be seen in those people who form negative obsessions about a distant nation, which they problematize, often by holding it to absurdist double-standards. They do so while wholly ignoring (or sometimes defending) the manifest wrongdoing of Israel’s regional opponents. Such posturing effectively denies the Jewish State’s right to defend its own citizens.
Indeed, if Israel’s existence is a fundamental wrong visited on another people, then it must necessarily follow that the military defence of Israel’s physical integrity, particularly from attacks by its enemies seeking to remedy supposed wrongs that resulted in the Jewish State’s creation, must also be wrong.
As a consequence, it is difficult not to conclude that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism that singles out one particular ethnicity of the world’s diverse tapestry, as not deserving of autonomy in its homeland, whilst simultaneously denying the dangers of anti-Semitism that gave rise to Zionism.
These advocates often engage in hysterical demonising language, and sometimes classically anti-Semitic imagery. They project insidious forms of wrongdoing on their opponents, such as arguing that those who disagree are part of a ‘Zionist cabal’ engaging in ‘hasabara’. Anger of an unusual intensity toward other perspectives is common in those advancing anti-Israel stances, whether it be in discussions in the media or on marches, and indeed it is common to see anti-Israel activists disrupting or preventing pro-Israel speakers from expressing themselves, whilst commonly claiming that supporters of Israel silence their own arguments at various levels in political, media and academic domains.
True to form
RTE’s treatment of the Livingstone controversy provides an illustrative example of their failings when dealing with issues that do not sit very easily with the normative political culture found at the Broadcaster. Unlike most of her colleagues at RTE, Marian Finucane does deserve some credit for having the presence of mind to allow space for other perspectives on the Israeli-Jewish/Arab-Islamic conflict, besides the common anti-Israeli stances that pervade the media. Similarly, Brady and her guests were largely sympathetic to the difficulties Jewish society faces in Europe today. However, there are limitations, arguably due to RTE’s staunch political culture, where those on the left always have to be the good guys. Red Ken, and so many others in the anti-Israel movement, professes to care about racism and deny being anti-Semitic so it must be thus! Such a level of trust and faith is not displayed toward the political right.
This bias, a kind of cognitive schtoma, thoroughly taints RTE’s political coverage, where opponents of the recently defeated Fein Gael-Labour government were never meaningfully scrutinised, so leading to an unprecedented degree of political instability, and the grave consequences of the leftistcause celeb of abolishing the new water-charges regime was rarely analysed by the media as a whole despite the longstanding failure to adequately fund Ireland’s ancient water infrastructure, which has led to grave economic and public health issues, and etc., etc.
While it is fair to say that most people in Ireland do not particularly care all that much about the Jewish-Israeli/Islamic-Arab conflict, there is still an unthinking insistence that those loudly lambasting Israel possess only the very best of motives. Such people tend to insist their activism is motivated by humanitarianism but their activism in relation to other conflicts, such as the Assad slaughter in neighbouring Syria, is conspicuously absent, as one well known critic of the movement has noted. Supposed Jewish wrongs matter a lot more.
For a long time RTE has played no small role in advancing and reinforcing such perceptions, which neatly fit the Broadcaster’s reflexively anti-US/pro-Islam posturing. Thus, the recent migrant waves are typically described as “refugees”, and the spate of Islamist attacks on European soil are borne of economic disadvantage and Western Islamophobia and/or racism rather than anything remotely associated with intolerance borne of religious ideology. The absolutist uniformity of RTE’s narratives can be startling — the same on-message NGOs are trotted out for interviews and sound-bites, with nary a murmur of dissent ever afforded the briefest of airtime.
This blindness extends to the levels of coverage afforded to a given topic. RTE audiences are much more likely to hear about the enthusiasm British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has for Motown’s style of music, than last year’s concerns that he held anti-Semitic views after defending an anti-Semite of some notoriety, giving support to an anti-Israel Holocaust denier, etc., etc.
And when such unfortunate matters come to a head, and so demand to be addressed, we may expect just one perspective. Therefore, we only hear voices in defence of Livingstone’s actions. But even when the ‘right’ or ‘good’ team wins out, it is difficult to find balanced coverage. For example, RTE presented several unopposed voicesdefending Labour’s newly elected London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, with inferred charges of Islamophobia against competitor Zac Goldsmith and the wider Tory Party, even though it is widely known that Khan repeatedly shared a platform with an ISIS supporter, has assisted other unsavoury characters, and has described moderate Muslims as… “Uncle Toms”!
RTE, like the UK’s BBC, the US’ NPR/PBS programming, Norway’s NRK, et al., are more than conventional media sources. They are institutions constructed to serve the public of a given nation, funded in an enforced manner by the self-same public, with licence fees or a portion of the national tax spend. Thus there is every right to expect the highest of journalistic standards, which in turn can foster fair and informed debate, particularly as such institutions often have an especially powerful role in broadcasting. However, public service broadcasting has almost become a by-word for slanted unduly politicised commentary of a form typically reinforcing left-wing narratives.
If there is truth to the old saying, that “being on the left means never having to say you’re sorry,” then it may be presumed that public service media advocacy of certain political narratives play a significant role in the notable deficits of public scrutiny across their associated segments of the political spectrum.
The powerful, influential poem of W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming, composed in 1919, is subject to different interpretations. Written after the horrors of World War I but not specifically referring to it, the poem suggests the decline of European civilization and proclaims that things fall apart and that the center cannot hold.
If this is too strong and too pessimistic an assertion, recent political developments in Europe, notably the presidential election in Austria on May 22, 2016, evoke the thought that political moderates especially social democrats, believers in pluralism, in rational diversity of opinion and freedom of expression, rejection of dogmatism, mistrust of power, and minimal use of coercion are becoming an endangered species.
It is not true that the best lack all conviction but in the first round of the Austrian presidential election on April 24, 2016 the Austrian political center, even though the two mainstream parties held together and worked to halt the advance of Norbert Hofer, the candidate of the far right Freedom Party, received only 22 per cent of the vote. But in the second final round “mere anarchy was not loosed upon the world” with the defeat of Norbert Hofer, the candidate of a party full of passionate intensity.
Europe, and indirectly the U.S. has received a wake up call. Hofer, a less confrontation figure than most of the other leaders and many members in his party, only lost by the narrowest of margins, 49.7 per cent, compared with the winner, Alexander Van der Bellen, the 72 year old economist and candidate of the leftist Green party who got 50.3 per cent.
A fact that should disturb and may alter the approach of mainstream politicians in Europe and the U.S. is that almost 90 per cent of Austrian manual workers voted for Hofer. This denotes a problem, if not a crisis, in Europe, and soon to be tested in the U.S., for the success of moderate leftist political parties. The traditional industrial working class, with a changing life style and concern for “identity” of their country, may be less supportive of centrist politics, left or right. Moderate leftists are chagrined with their parties which have necessarily modified their ideological programs in coming to terms with the vagaries of the free market, reducing public investment, making cuts in state services and in social programs, and most of all being unable to deal with difficult current problems of migration and Islamist terrorism.
To a limited extent a few extreme leftist groups, disillusioned by failures of moderate social democratic parties have emerged to challenge the political center. The left wing, populist Podemos in Spain was formed by academics in March 2014 largely as a protest against inequality and corruption in the country and because of fear of a European debt crisis. It is now the second largest party in the country in terms of membership. In the December 2015 parliamentary election it got 21% of the vote, 69 of the 300 seats, and is the third largest party in the parliament.
In Greece, the far left and anti-austerity Coalition of the Radical Left, named Syrzia, founded in 2004, is the largest party in parliament, winning 36% of the vote, and 149 of the 300 seats at the January 2015 election. The leader of the party Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister since September 2015, has been primarily concerned with the Greek debt, and the referendum on a bailout agreement, but has been forced to deal with the migration crisis.
However, far more important than these far left parties is the increasing strength of the far right parties that exist in all the 28 countries of the European Union, and which must be distinguished from the mainstream moderate or center-right parties. It is worth looking briefly at a few of them to assess the problem.
Poland has the Law and Justice party, populist, national conservative, anti-free trade, believer in law and order. It is the largest party in both houses of the Polish parliament, with 234 of 460 seats in the lower house, and 62 of 100 in the Senate. Its leader has called for getting rid of “illiberal indoctrination.”
Finland has The Finns party, populist, nationalist, the third largest in the country with 18 % of the vote, and one stressing law and order.
Sweden has the Sweden Democrats, a party with roots in a former Fascist party is a far right, ethnic nationalist, anti-immigration party. In the last election it obtained 13% of the votes, and 49 of the 349 seats, in parliament.
Hungary has the Fidesz populist, anti-free trade, anti-immigration party. With two thirds of the seats in parliament its leader, the forceful and energetic Viktor Orban, is currently prime minister. Orban’s policy, now more centrist than far right, is one of opposition to Islamization, and in favor of what he terms “illiberal democracy.”
But Hungary also has the more extreme party Jobbik, Movement for a Better Hungary, formed in 2003, conservative, radically national, and Christian party, to protect Hungarian values and interests. Its stress is on public order, national self- defense, and Hungary for the Hungarians. Though leaders deny it, it is antisemitic, racist, and homophobic. Not surprisingly, it believes that Jews orchestrated World War II, and that they control the international media. At the April 2014 election it got 1 million votes, 20% of the total and is the third largest party in Hungary.
France has the National Front (FN), generally considered to be a far right, nationalistic, anti-immigrant party. It has grown in strength, gaining 25% in the EU Parliament election in 2014, and 28% in the French regional election in December 2015. Its ambitious leader Marine Le Pen obtained 6.4 million votes at the presidential election in 2012, and will be a challenging candidate in the next presidential election.
Italy has the Lega Nord (Northern League) a regional party founded in 1991 as a federation of parties in northern and central Italy. It is essentially interested in a federal Italy with regional autonomies. It takes a tough stand on illegal immigration, especially from Muslim countries, and on terrorism. It wants to erase Roma (gypsy) settlements. Matteo Salvini , the leader of the party, calls for the expulsion of African migrants. He has praised the “good work” of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
In Greece the Golden Dawn, a far right party, ultranationalist, Eurosceptic, anti-Semitic, racist, xenophobic, and violently anti-immigrant, uses Nazi symbols such as the swastika and the Fascist salute. In September 2015 it obtained 7 per cent of total votes, winning 18 of the 300 seats in Parliament, making it the third largest party.
In the Netherlands, the Party for Freedom (PVV) under the charismatic Geert Wilders, economically liberal, but hostile to the EU is primarily concerned to stop Muslim immigration. Wilders has stated, “I don’t hate Muslims, I hate Islam.” For him, the Koran is a “fascist book,” that he compares to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
He argues all Muslim immigrants should be paid to leave and opposes construction of new mosques. In September 2012 PVV obtained 10 % of the vote for the House of Representatives, a decline from 15% in 2010.
Why is this far right surge happening? There are a host of problems. All the parties express concern about economic grievances and insecurity, unemployment, especially the 20 % among the youth in the EU, and underemployment, criticize the EU, the bank credit problem, “globalization” and the competition of China, are troubled by loss of ethnic and cultural cohesion, are discontented with the political, social and economic establishment.
Above all it is the threat of Islamist terrorism, and the accompanying fear of Muslim immigration. The dilemma is whether the political center, especially left of center parties, facing the problem that their traditional base, an industrial working class and middle of the road progressives are disenchanted with it, has the strengthen to deal with Islamist terrorism and thus remove the main appeal of far right parties. For the rational moderates this is worth thinking of, not merely a fancy.
The most astounding thing about this year of political surprises in the United States is how slowly even eminent commentators have recognized the radical change in national political opinion. Essentially, 75 to 80 percent of the Republicans and approximately half of the Democrats want a complete change of leadership and policy from the last 20 years. To appreciate what a revolution in popular sentiment this is, consider the shift from the boom year of 1928 to the Depression year of 1932 (in which there were over 25 percent unemployed and no federal relief for them): Herbert Hoover went from a victory of 58 percent to 41 percent over Alfred E. Smith to a defeat of 57 percent to 40 percent at the hands of Smith’s successor as governor of New York, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt was hardly an outsider like Donald Trump.
About half of the Republicans, led by Donald Trump, seek a move toward the pragmatic center, with both conservative and liberal policy elements mixed together: the triumph of good sense efficiently enacted. About a third of the Republicans, led by Ted Cruz, wish to move rigorously to the right. Only a threadbare 20 or 25 percent of Republicans were prepared to give the status quo in that party represented by the Bushes and the Romneys and most of the congressional leadership another chance. The change sought by the half of the Democrats led by Bernie Sanders is sharply to the left and it has dragged the Democratic center, represented by the Clintons, leftward into the ambiguous and ineffectual zone of the Obama administration. Even Mrs. Clinton, ironically, given how hard she worked to sell herself as a moderate, has moved a long way to the left to try contain the Sanders insurgency.
Because Mr. Trump came out of the starting blocks more quickly than Senator Sanders and was a newcomer to electoral politics (and probably also because of the vague leftish ideological biases of most of the national media), the attention given to Trump — as the media kept piercing what they took to be the ephemeral bubble of electoral irritation he represented — tended to downplay the impact of the Cruz and Sanders campaigns. Thus we had months of the excruciating retreat of the national media as it laid down one threshold after another that Mr. Trump could not possibly cross, until he had, almost effortlessly it seemed, crossed them all, and secured the Republican nomination.
Even then, he had to demonstrate his high level of education and revive the word “presumptive” (likely) to describe his status, which the media (linking the word mistakenly to “presumption” in the self-important sense) then took up as if it were a statement of overconfidence. As he won the nomination of his party in what must rank, wherever he goes from here, as one of the most astonishing achievements in the entire political history of the United States, the deniers and traditionalists retreated into fatuous speculation about a third-party challenge. Reports persisted for an unconscionably long time of an impending debacle along the lines of the overwhelming defeats of Barry Goldwater in 1964 and George McGovern in 1972.
The national media were just as late in detecting the profound division among the Democrats as they had been in addressing the scale of the Trump insurrection. The national political media are suffering from a more acute stage of sclerosis than the political class itself. With a little thought, this need not be surprising. The media don’t have to face the voters, and essentially talk to each other. Senator Marco Rubio, a popular Florida senator and able public speaker, acknowledged as he bowed out of the race on March 15, having lost by almost 20 points to Mr. Trump in the Florida primary, that the winner on the night had seen a “tsunami coming that the rest of us missed.”
He, at least, as someone who had to pay a price for the Trump-led tidal wave, partially realized the proportions of it. Almost the entire media waffled on for another six weeks proclaiming that the Trump phenomenon was about to evaporate, and that in the extreme unlikelihood that he was the Republican nominee, the party would split in half and he would suffer the greatest defeat of any presidential candidate in history. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell reassured his colleagues that if Trump were nominated they would drop him “like a hot rock.”
Only after Trump clinched the nomination in Indiana, where, as Senator Cruz said, his campaign had “left it all on the field,” did the media really notice that Senator Sanders had defeated Mrs. Clinton that night. They still don’t seem to have noticed that in Indiana, which tends by only a narrow margin to be a Republican state in presidential elections, Trump gained almost as many votes as Clinton and Sanders combined. To some extent, reluctance to recognize the Sanders phenomenon is excusable. He is, after all, even more improbable a candidate than Donald Trump. Trump is just pulling the Republicans back from a far-right reaction to the bland ineffectuality of Romney and the trigger-happy insouciance of George W. Bush. Romney is really a consultant and he faced in all four directions on every major issue and there is a natural desire for more decisive leadership.
Trump managed to sell himself as being both decisive and not at all complicit in the terrible mistakes of the last 20 years. But, as the conservatives complain, he is not really one of them. He is, in fact, in policy terms, a moderate, possibly even an Eisenhower Republican. He has as little electoral experience as General Eisenhower had had (though both had learned a good deal about politics). Trump is, of course, a more raucous personality, and building fine buildings and operating casinos and golf courses and the Miss Universe contest do not rival the world-historic status of candidate Eisenhower, who had led the Western Allies to victory over Nazi Germany and founded the most successful alliance in history, NATO. I am not comparing their prestige as candidates. But in policy terms, Mr. Trump is somewhat more liberal than was President Eisenhower, especially in matters of civil rights and health care.
But as I have written here before, Senator Sanders is a self-styled socialist and has a long background on the left. Not too much should be made of what anyone does in his late teens, but his sojourn in a Stalinist kibbutz in the late Fifties, even after the Soviet government and Communist Party had denounced Stalin and removed his corpse from Lenin’s tomb and placed it outside the walls of the Kremlin, raises concerns. This seems not to have been discussed by the media, even those steeped to their investigative eyeballs in Trump University and the vagaries of the Atlantic City casino business.
No politician can be held directly accountable for the views of those who support him, and the very unprepossessing man that I saw as the obligatory Sanders representative on a CNN political panel one night last week, who declared Henry Kissinger (whom Trump had just met) and Hillary Clinton to be war criminals, in Vietnam and Iraq respectively, may have overstated the Sanders message. The media, led by such rabid mudslingers as Bob Woodward, accused Trump of fomenting violence when he condoned one of his followers who punched a foul-mouthed heckler. The reaction from the national media was much more muted last week after violence flared between Sanders and Clinton followers in Nevada. The national political media are milling about like worried sheep, still trying to bleat with authority.
Whatever happens from here on, the people have sent the message to the political class that they are extremely dissatisfied and that over 60 percent of the country feels that only a complete change in personalities and a radical change in policy will put the United States back on the path of national greatness. About 25 percent want to move to the left even of Obama; 25 percent to the center, well to Obama’s right; and 15 percent well to the right of any president since Coolidge. Trump, in the center of these cross-currents, is the only one of the three revolutionaries who has a chance of election, and should win, as I have written here for three months.
But it is not clear what will improve the quality of the political press, of the reporters and the commentators, though most of the reporting is usually also comment. I have never understood why the consensus for so long amongst the politicians and the political media was that the immigration issue could just be punted forward indefinitely, under the specious disguise of “comprehensive immigration reform” that never came. There has not been a real recovery from the worst recession in 75 years and the inflation that would normally be generated by doubling the national debt in seven years and vastly increasing the money supply has been avoided only by the deflationary pressures on many industries. The measurable prosperity of the middle class has flatlined for 15 years.
Trump is the closest the country now has to the personification of public impatience with absurd nostrums about global warming being America’s greatest threat and transgender washrooms a national issue. Politicians who failed to notice this will be seeking different employment. But there does not seem to be a similar rod on the backs of the political media, and they are a large part of this problem.
Leytonstone tube stabbing: Taxi drivers admits trying to stab commuters
A SOMALIAN taxi driver has admitted trying to stab four people during a frenzied attack in front of horrified commuters at Leytonstone Tube station. But Muhaydin Mire, 30, denied beating a 56-year-old man unconscious and hacking at his neck during the same attack at the east London station on December 5 last year.
Appearing at London's Old Bailey via videolink from prison, the former Uber taxi driver denied one count of attempted murder but admitted four counts of attempted wounding during a frenzied five minute attack.
Wearing a blue jumper and grey tracksuit bottoms, he sat with his hands clasped in his lap and stared straight ahead during the hearing.
Mirem, who is of Somalian origin, spoke only to confirm his name and enter his pleas.
Prosecutors claim the attack was an act of terrorism.
The court heard how Mire, of Sansom Road, Leytonstone, punched to the ground the man he is accused of attempting to murder. He repeatedly kicked the man before taking hold of the victim's head and cutting a 5in (12cm) wound in his neck, it is alleged.
Judge Nicholas Hilliard, the Recorder of London, adjourned the case until next Tuesday May 31 and the trial is expected to last two weeks.
Muslim Fan: Jesse Hughes is ****ing Stupid to Blame Bataclan Massacre on Islam
I saw this letter from Ismael El Iraki in the Independent at lunchtime but couldn't post immediately. But all afternoon I have been thinking about Islamic's need for victimhood. And how even a fellow victim has to be accused of islamophobia if he refuses to submit to the narrative that 'Islam is a religion of peace'. But now that I am home I see that James Delingpole has written in Breitbart, saying what I was thinking, although perhaps a little more forthrightly.
Ismael El Iraki was at the Bataclan club the night Muslim terrrorists slaughtered 90 rock music fans who were watching the Eagles of Death metal. He is a rock music fan. He says the only thing he loves more is his wife. But that isn't true. Like with all Muslims Islam and Islamic supremacy must come first, last and everything.
His open letter was published on his facebook page and quickly taken up by the Independent and other newspapers.
I just finished reading your tacky Taki interview and to tell you the truth, my heart is bleeding. (You will recall that the lead singer of the Eagles of Death Metal was less than flattering about Islam, having seen so many people,some of them personal friends slaughter before his eyes).
I love your music, your concerts mostly (such fun, wild shows) and man, I never thought that you would become one of those spreaders of fear. Fox News, Trump, all those guys. You always felt like a maverick, a rebel: we now know that you are not. We (and by that I mean the rebels, the mavericks, the rock crowd) always loved and defended you because you were a lovable fool and kind of a dumb f***, like the Three Stooges or Tex Avery's wolf. You now proved your stupidity to be f***ing dangerous.
I live and breathe rock 'n' roll, and I could not look more Muslim if I tried. But apparently, the big bad Muslim conspiracy missed me. Damn, they forgot to warn me. They also forgot to warn Djamila, and all the other Arabs who got shot and killed that very night. They forgot to warn my fellow Moroccan Amin, who was shot that very night. (But, on his own admision he looks like a Muslim, and he got out alive and pretty much unscathed ...)
I will not dignify you by narrating how I behaved that night. I have and always will refuse to do that publicly: I believe that the people I helped that night did not care that I was an Arab, nor did I care which origin they where or which imaginary friend they bow to.
What pains me most is that you do not even realize that a huge number of us who managed to get out alive of this horrible ordeal owe our lives to a Muslim guy. His name is Didi and he opened the left front door most of us got out of. . . HE WENT BACK IN. He turned back, and headed back in to save more people. He opened the upstairs exit and let a number of people out through there.
He was a fucking hero....You, who are not a hero. . . your comments are not OK. How is insulting heroes OK?
You say: “Islam is the problem”. I say: “All you f***ing bigots and your fairytale s*** stories are the problem. Racism and refusal to recognize one another as complex (more complex than ethnicity or race can explain) human beings is the problem.
I hope you can realize how wrong that shit you spread is, hope you can see all the wrong that you are doing.
What is the correct response when you’re a rock star, nearly 90 of your fans have been murdered in front of your eyes by Jihadist terrorists, and you yourself have had to go to hospital to have removed from your face the embedded teeth and skull splinters of the girl just in front of you who had her head blown apart by a hollow-nosed bullet?
Well, thanks to the music press, the Guardian and the organisers of at least two rock festivals in France we know that the correct answer, the only answer, goes something like this:
“Islam is a religion of peace. That’s why I know in my heart that this atrocity had nothing to do with Islam. The fact that the gunmen were shouting Allahu Akhbar as they machinegunned the audience – in those moments when they weren’t pausing to torture the poor guys in wheelchairs or finish off the wounded – was entirely coincidental. Also, I would like to pay especial tribute to those Muslim members of the security staff who, instead of joining in with the killers, acted with amazing generosity by opening the exit doors so that some of the audience could get away…”
Unfortunately, Jesse Hughes of Eagles Of Death Metal didn’t give the correct answer regarding his experiences at the Bataclan massacre in Paris in November last year. He doesn’t want to prettify what happened; he does think it was caused by a clash between a kind of surrender-monkey Western liberalism and militant Islamic ideology.
If you haven’t read the interview in Taki Mag with Gavin McInnes that prompted this, you really must. It’s mainly an extremely graphic account of what happened that night at the Bataclan gig from the perspective of a guy standing on the stage.
The mainstream press – and the music press – had every opportunity to extract this information from Jesse Hughes. As he tells his interviewer, he’s not holding back because he finds the experience cathartic. But weirdly till this interview in a conservative journal, no one did: almost as if it didn’t fit in with the post-Paris narrative that ‘yes, it was awful, but let’s not dwell on it because we should move on.’
Hughes, clearly, doesn’t think we should move on. There are questions which remain unanswered – not least the role of the Muslim security staff, some of whom he says were clearly in on the plan (a claim Bataclan’s owners have furiously denounced).
But his bigger beef is with the denialism, wishful thinking and kumbaya mentality that make the West so vulnerable to such attacks.
Amazingly – well, actually, entirely predictably – the author of that letter to the Guardian appears to be more upset by Hughes’s failure to mouth liberal pieties than he does by the fact that a group of his co-religionists thought it would be a good idea to murder 89 of the people next to him at a gig.
...that security guard: why haven’t we heard his story more? Well it’s because, as he admits in an interview with National Public Radio, he’s afraid that someone involved in the attack might come and bump him off. This would suggest that Hughes’s bleak analysis of the situation is closer to the ground truth than El Iraki’s fluffy ‘rock can heal the world’ idealism: that there really is a war going on here and that throwing up your hands and wishing all the nasty stuff would go away is not an option.
Sure it may make college-educated, safe-space-reared Guardian-reading types feel better about themselves by showing how much they disapprove of Jesse Hughes’s views on Islam. But since when did shooting the messenger solve a problem?
I have linked to the Independent as I found that first. The comments there show that the tide is turning.
On May 22, Jonathan Easley published a fine article in The Hill on Dr. Walid Phares’ work with the Trump campaign. Dr. Phares, an expert on Middle Eastern affairs, has naturally been contacted by many Muslims, both here and abroad to gain some understanding about how a future Trump administration may deal with their home countries once he is elected as America’s 45th President. The headline of Mr. Easley’s piece was slightly misleading, “Trump Camp quietly courts Muslims,” as it implied the Trump campaign had directed Dr. Phares to reach out to Muslim groups in the US, even though Dr. Phares corrected this misperception both in that piece itself as well as in later interviews.
Never one to let facts get in the way of a good yarn, Saif Alnuweiri, a young Qatari immigrant (on a student visa?), former fact checker for the New York Times and currently an intern with the National Memo, jumps in with both feet, calling Dr. Phares a “former Christian Militia Commander” in his hysterical title drawing on an old and discredited article by Hezbollah propagandist As’ad Abu Khalil in the far left magazine Salonfrom 2011. Even that execrable screed did not describe Dr. Phares as a “Christian Militia Commander.” Like the birth of Athena, this idea seems to have sprung from the head of Mr. Alnuweiri whole. Joe Conason, take note. Though the sole purpose of the National Memo these days seems dedicated to trafficking in the most absurd anti-Trump conspiracies, the title of this article is clearly defamatory – the rest of it, however, is just silly.
Alnuweiri sneers at Dr. Phares’ assertion that Muslims in America may be concerned about American policy toward their home countries citing a survey put out by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) which cites “Islamophobia” as American Muslim’s primary concern. He also asserts that Dr. Phares “has close ties to several known Islamophobes.” Undoubtedly, that list will have to be lengthened considerably due to the fact that fully half of the entire electorate supports Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban foreign Muslims from entering the country. We’re all Islamophobes now.
And Alnuweiri is dismissive of Dr. Phares’ assertion that Mr. Trump may refine his Muslim ban proposal, though that is the obvious next step. For example, President Trump might suspend our refugee and visa programs from the 57 Muslim nations with the exception of Christians and other minorities who face persecution in Muslim lands. Naturally, we can thank the thousands of hard-working Muslims who have made this proposal inevitable.
As Mr. Alnuweiri ends his piece by airily dismissing the only serious proposal to deal with Muslim terrorism in the US, but I humbly submit that until such time as a mind-reading machine to detect incipient jihadism is developed, our country has no choice but to carefully exclude members of the group from among whose members those Jihadis continually spring. Anyone truly serious about America’s national security must concede the wisdom of Mr. Trump’s approach. And no, it is not unconstitutional.
The fact that Hillary Clinton decries this proposal as “un-American” reveals her flippant disregard for the safety of the American people. She would rather sacrifice American lives than be seen as “Islamophobic.” Mr. Trump puts the safety of American citizens first, regardless of the numerous politically correct firestorms which have tried, unsuccessfully, to sink his candidacy.
This is one reason why he will become our next President.
Religious belief is no excuse for refusing to shake a teacher's hand, Swiss regional authorities ruled Wednesday, reversing one school's controversial decision to grant exemptions for Muslim pupils wary of touching the opposite sex.
Parents or guardians of pupils who refuse to shake a teacher's hand in the northern Swiss canton of Basel-Country could now face fines of up to 5,000 Swiss francs ($5,000, 4,500 euros), regional education authorities ruled.
"A teacher has the right to demand a handshake," they said in a statement.
The decision comes after a national uproar over revelations last month that a middle school allowed two brothers, aged 14 and 15 with Syrian nationality, not to shake their teachers' hands after they complained that doing so was counter to their religious beliefs if the teacher was a woman.
That decision -- made independently by the school in the northwest Therwil municipality without involvement of the canton's authorities or local officials -- triggered an outcry across Switzerland, where the tradition of students shaking their teachers' hands as a sign of respect is deeply entrenched.
Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga, who was among the many senior officials and public figures who weighed in on the matter, insisted on Swiss public television last month that "shaking hands is part of our culture". Explaining Wednesday's ruling, authorities said "the public interest concerning gender equality as well as integration of foreigners far outweighs that concerning the freedom of belief of students."
The cantonal authorities pointed out that if the two students at the heart of the controversy once again refuse to shake hands, "the sanctions called for by law will be applied," it said.
The public focus on the case has already landed the family in difficulty, after media revealed they were seeking to become Swiss. Cantonal authorities last month announced that naturalisation proceedings had been put on hold...On Wednesday, authorities said one member of the family, whose identity was not revealed, had received a warning over "incitement to violence", which could have consequences for the naturalisation process.
The Obama administration is taking steps to aid and please Iran far beyond U.S. commitments under last summer’s nuclear accord, according to experts, who warned Tuesday during testimony on Capitol Hill that the White House is becoming “dangerously close to becoming Iran’s trade promotion and business development authority.”
The Obama administration’s efforts to boost Iran’s economy and resurrect its financial sector are not required under the comprehensive nuclear agreement, yet the White House is undertaking this role to soothe relations with the Islamic Republic, nuclear experts told the Senate Banking Committee.
Iran continues to threaten to walk away from the nuclear deal unless the U.S. administration agrees to further concessions beyond the deal, sparking accusations that Iran is effectively “blackmailing” the White House, according to sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.
Since the nuclear deal was implemented, “the Obama administration has missed the opportunity to push back against Iran’s legitimization campaign,” according to written testimony submitted to the Senate committee by Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “Instead of insisting on an end to Iran’s continuing malign activities, the administration is now dangerously close to becoming Iran’s trade promotion and business development authority.”
The administration’s actions “go beyond” its commitments under the nuclear deal, according to Dubowitz.
The Obama administration has made further concessions to Iran on several key fronts since finalizing the deal, including on ballistic missile testing and access to the U.S. dollar.
The administration’s continued concessions to Iran have sparked congressional investigations and accusations that Congress and the American people were intentionally misled about the contents of the agreement.
The White House has also pursued an aggressive push to force U.S. states to drop sanctions and divestment campaigns targeting Iran. While the nuclear deal requires the administration to encourage such behavior, some have questioned the White House tactics, which have been described as bullying.
“The administration’s actions to date raise serious questions,” Dubowitz said. “Will the White House try to force individual states to lift their divestment measures, even as the termination criteria for the legislation have not been met? Congress should pay particular attention to any actions by the federal government that go beyond simply informing states and local authorities about the nuclear deal.”
In another instance of the administration going beyond its commitments under the nuclear deal, senior officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, have begun touring Europe to encourage business with Iran.
The nuclear deal requires the United States to not negatively interfere with legal Iranian business pursuits. However, it does not require the administration to advocate internationally on the regime’s behalf, according to Dubowitz.
“There is a big difference, however, between not interfering with the normalization of trade and commercial relations and actively advocating for banks and companies to enter the Iranian market,” he said in his testimony.
Omri Ceren, managing director of The Israel Project, which has worked closely with Congress on the Iran issue, told the Free Beacon that the administration is expected to make further concessions to Iran.
“No one is really surprised that the Iranians are blackmailing the United States for ever-more concessions,” Ceren said. “That was inevitable.”
“What’s striking, even to policy analysts who closely track the Iran debate, is how no one on any side is bothering to keep up pretenses,” he added. “The Iranians threatened to walk away from the nuclear deal unless they got more relief, and so Secretary Kerry and his colleagues launched global tours to drum up business for Tehran, even though U.S. law forbids Americans from facilitating overseas transactions for Iran.”
Matthias Küntzel, Germany and Iran: From the Aryan Axis to the Nuclear Threshold
This publication is an English translation of a book which was first published in German in 2009, with an epilogue penned by the author in May 2014. Germany and Iran: From the Aryan Axis to the Nuclear Threshold focuses on German-Iranian relations from the time of Kaiser Wilhelm (1859-1941) to the present, culminating in a treatment of the Iranian nuclear program and Germany’s shameful role in shielding it from sanctions. Matthias Küntzel is uniquely qualified to write this book. The subject of his doctoral dissertation was the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and he has published extensively on Germany’s position vis-à-vis nuclear proliferation. Küntzel is also a student of Islamist ideology and its disturbing incorporation of extreme Jew-hatred as a central doctrine. This book presents important new findings based on the author’s research in German and American archives.
Küntzel begins with Kaiser Wilhelm’s policy of cultivating Muslim allies in a bid to cause trouble for Germany’s enemies: Britain, France, and Russia, each of which ruled over large numbers of Muslims. Traditionally suspicious of Russia and Britain, the dominant powers to its north and south, respectively, from the outset, Iran was very receptive to German overtures. Germany’s loss in World War I did not cool Iranian ardor for all things German, and in the interwar years, Germany became Iran’s main supplier of industrial technology and technical expertise.
“The coming to power of Adolph Hitler,” Küntzel writes, “in no way hindered these expanding ties. On the contrary, not only was the Shah delighted, but a large section of the Iranian intelligentsia and business community also sympathized with National Socialism.” (23) In late 1934, at the urging of the Iranian ambassador to Berlin, the Shah banned the name “Persia” and insisted that the name “Iran” or “land of the Aryans” be used exclusively. Hitler reciprocated by exempting the “Aryan” Iranians from the Nuremberg racial laws. To this day, German visitors to Iran are reminded enthusiastically by Iranians that Germany and Iran share “a common Aryan heritage.” (27)
On August 25, 1941, Soviet and British troops invaded and occupied Iran, which provided the vital land bridge across which American-made war materiel was shipped to the USSR. This invasion reinforced Iranian mistrust of Britain and Russia, and of the Americans who aided those two countries and became their ally and did nothing to diminish the already strong Iranian sympathy for Germany. Küntzel cites the reporting of German journalist Christiane Hoffmann and others to the effect that in the twenty-first century, many Iranians still express “unconcealed admiration…for Hitler.” (7) While many Iranians accepted jobs with the British and Americans who were moving cargo to the USSR, many others assisted German agents in efforts to sabotage the Allied efforts in Iran.
After the Second World War, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, West Germany quickly re-established commercial ties with Iran, and with great success. Once again, Germany became Iran’s most important trading partner. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 that brought Ayatollah Khomeini to power did not stop West Germany from jealously protecting and fostering its trade relations with Iran. Küntzel describes in scathing detail the repeated failure of successive West German governments to impose any meaningful sanctions restricting trade with Iran; indeed, he points out that, for decades, Germany facilitated its trade with Iran by means of export credit guarantees, even as Iran held U.S. diplomats hostage and became the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism. Similarly, Germany repeatedly resisted any effort by the U.S. to impose tough sanctions on Iran, generally siding with Iran, China, and Russia against the U.S. An American reading this book is left wondering: With friends like Germany, who needs enemies?
Most damning of all is Küntzel’s documentation of the German ruling elite’s almost complete indifference to the antisemitic rhetoric of Iranian leaders, such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (president of Iran from 2005 to 2013). Unlike his countrymen, Küntzel recognizes and is appropriately horrified by the clearly genocidal implications of Iranian words and policies vis-à-vis Israel. How could the Germans, of all people, be so blind? Economics alone cannot explain it, since Iran has never represented more than a small fraction of German exports.
A clue can be found in the biography of the left-wing Green Party politician Joschka Fischer, who would become Foreign Minister under the Social Democratic Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Fischer was a firebrand student activist in the 1960s and 1970s who, like many on the left, was anti-Western and pro-Third World. In 1979 he “hailed Khomeini’s uprising not only for striking a blow against Westernization in Iran, but also as a call to arms against the Western way of life as a whole.” (123) As Foreign Minister, Fischer would become one of the staunchest European opponents of the Bush Administration and its war in Iraq. In September 2004, Foreign Minister Fischer made this astonishing statement: “We Europeans have constantly advised our Iranian partners in their own well-founded interest to view us as their protective shield.” (210) K?ntzel interprets this statement as follows: “Europe as the shield between Iran and America: not to protect the United States from the Islamists, but the Islamists from the United States. Such a metaphor could only occur to someone who sees America as the adversary and the Khomeinist revolution as meriting protection.” (210) (A sobering thought: Barack Obama appears to have a biography and a world view quite similar to that of Joschka Fischer.)
Küntzel poses the question: Why has Germany apparently chosen to take an Iranian nuclear bomb in stride rather than accept a break in German-Iranian relations? One possibility is that Germany’s foreign policy elite thinks it is in Germany’s interest to maintain an alliance with a nuclear Iran because it would also mean the destruction of American hegemony in the Middle East. That is “multipolarity at any price.” (227) A second possibility is that German policy makers are not really thinking clearly but viewing Iranian nuclear policy through rose-colored glasses and drifting along with the general anti-American bias of the German populace that sees the United States as a greater danger to world peace than Iran. What really matters, from this point of view, is that the Americans not be allowed to start another war in Middle East: Iran must not become a second Iraq. (229)
Whether one accepts the first theory or the second is irrelevant: “in both cases Israeli security interests are overridden, in both cases there is a refusal to draw the necessary conclusions from Nazi history; in both cases the Iranian opponents of the regime are ignored.” (230)
Küntzel’s book demonstrates a deeply disturbing truth, namely, that if Iran should acquire nuclear weapons and use them to commit a second Holocaust against the six million Jews of Israel, then Germany – the nation that committed the first Holocaust – will have played a central role in paving the way for the Iranian perpetrators.
Like vintage wine, high-flown sentiment should be kept for special occasions rather than brought out on every possible occasion, especially when it consists mainly of humbug, as it usually does. We are surrounded by it, in fact, mentally suffocated by it. I picked up a pencil the other day and this is what was inscribed on it:
About this pencil: Lacquer-free renewable cedar casing, recyclable aluminium ferrule, enviro-green degradable eraser and certified non-toxic imprint inks.
It was a nice pencil and the rubber at the end of it worked quite well, which is not always the case with rubbers at the end of pencils, which leave a smudge rather than an erasure. But the high-flown sentiment irritated me, for it was expressed with the kind of imprecision that made verification impossible. That things should be renewable, recyclable and degradable did not mean that they were actually renewed, recycled, or degraded (in the sense of returning to the environment in a non-polluting way): only that they could be. The world could be strewn with these pencils, buried in them, and the words on them would still be true.
Take the aluminium ferrules at the end of the pencil (that held the rubber in place): how many of them actually were recycled? I should be rather surprised if many people went to the trouble of disposing of those ferrules in a way that caused or enabled them to be recycled. As with presents, it is the thought that counts.
The information on the side of the pencil was designed not to inform us, or even to exhort us to do anything, but to make us feel virtuous for having bought so environment-friendly a writing implement. No more than making the correct choice of pencil was required of us: buy it and you were automatically helping to save the planet. The Cedars of Lebanon are conjured by the words.
Actually I bought the pencil because it was comparatively pleasant to chew. Ever since childhood I have had the bad habit of chewing my pencils and I remember the days when the paint used to come off in nasty little flakes between my teeth and create an unpleasant sensation in my mouth. Sixty years ago the paint on pencils was probably rather toxic as well; I was mildly reassured that the imprint ink was certified non-toxic, though there was no indication of who had certified it as such. At least I won’t suffer from pencil-poisoning.
CNN broadcast a one hour special yesterday called “Why they hate us” discussing why adherents to the most authentic interpretations of Islam hate the United States.
Overall, the broadcasted presentation by Fareed Zakaria was good; actually, very good. Perhaps one of the best one hour presentations in quite a while. The content was engaging, the historical references were well presented and well outlined…. until a fatal flaw. The common, disconcerting and uncomfortable fatal flaw.
In what can only be viewed as an effort to downplay the scope of the threat, Fareed Zakaria claims the existence of only 100,000 jihad-minded Islamic followers world-wide. Fifteen minutes later he presents the 2014 terror victim outcome of 30,000 dead in a single year from Muslim Terrorist Attacks; most victims also Muslim – as if that matters.
Zakaria would have the viewing audience believe that 100k world-wide adherent followers, could inflict 30,00 fatalities. Common sense, not prone to co-dependency, would refute such an obtuse argument.
Later, in closing, Zakaria claims that isolating (or profiling) the larger Muslim community, because of the behavior of the jihad-minded minority, only leads to greater radicalization.
This too is an argument fraught with intellectual dishonesty. Why? Because we’ve been trying the open arm approach for fifteen years and it’s not working.
Donald Trump’s proposal to temporarily halt any Muslim immigration is abhorred by Zakaria in his closing statement fraught with political correctness and cultural Marxism:
[…] How can we bring an end to this?
There’s really only one way: Help the majority of Muslims fight extremists, reform their faith, and modernize their societies. In doing so, we should listen to those on the front lines, many of whom are fighting and dying in the struggle against jihadis. The hundreds of Muslim reformers I’ve spoken to say their task is made much harder when Western politicians and pundits condemn Islam entirely, demean their faith, and speak of all Muslims as backward and suspect.
But here’s another way to think about this. In America, African-Americans make up about 13% of the population, yet they comprise about 50% of homicide offenders, according to a Justice Department study. Now we understand — I hope we understand — that when we see a black man on the street, we cannot and must not treat him as a likely criminal. It would be dehumanizing, unfair and racist. In America, of all places, people should be treated as individuals and not as stereotypes from a racial, ethnic or religious group.
I would propose Donald Trump is correct; his proposal is exactly intended to help Muslims “reform their faith”. The difference between Donald Trump’s proposition and the preferred liberal approach is entirely a matter of expectation. Donald Trump forces confrontation to occur on moral terms understandable to modern society. The progressively minded Zakaria is completely wrong:
After decades of culturally-dominating politically correct drum-beating, sold by a generally leftist mainstream media numbing the average psyche from accepting common sense, it might take a few minutes for the prudent position of Donald Trump to sink-in.
However, once you get beyond the trained instinct of hysteria, and focus on the substantive request, to: “shutdown Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on” – it actually makes a great deal of sense.
Such a position is really not the least bit controversial, and that’s exactly what makes it so brilliant on many levels.
Of course, if you are not willing to accept the concept of Islamic Jihad – and/or if you are unwilling to accept that Islamic Terrorists have been specifically targeting America for the past decade – well, in that instance Trump’s position might seem controversial. However, for the rest of us, it makes a great deal of sense.
The really exceptional part of Trump’s proposal is that it is the only consideration that might actually force non-Jihadist U.S. Muslims to confront the problem within their religion/association. That aspect makes Donald Trump’s plan rather unique.
In broad terms Donald Trump is reintroducing the concept of “societal shame” as a tool to combat anti-social behavior. If that shame creates isolation, so be it – a culture cannot be forced into a melting pot, they must make the decision themselves.
After decades of the progressive left pushing an ideology of shame as a bad thing, mostly because of the leftists severe aversion to the accompanying concept of guilt, Trump is throwing a bucket of ice-cold water on the ‘everyone-gets-a-trophy-crowd’.
Of course there is a commonality behind Islamic Extremists; that commonality is their adherence to authentic Islam – the degrees of separation within Muslim identity.
Conflating authentic Islam -as supported by a larger aggregate community that refuses to confront it- with the Christian extremists within the Westboro Baptist Church is just silly. The Westboro Church isn’t trying to kill non-Christians, and their controversial activity is resoundingly rebuked by the larger Christian community. There is no moral or intellectual equivalence there.
Neither is Catholic Pope Francis using St. Peter’s Square as a publicity draw for the beheading of non Christians.
Nor is it extremist elements within the Amish community trying to hide terrorist cells within local Amish communities; and Mr. and Mrs Jorgenson are not being willfully blind to Isaac the bomb-maker’s presence inside their church.
If it were the Amish, we’d be having a similar proposal about a prudent pause on Amish immigration – and virtually guaranteed without even one tenth the controversy.
But it isn’t. It’s Islam.
It is the adherent elements within the Muslim community doing this, carrying out Islamic Jihad; and they are specifically capable of carrying out their plan due in part to the “willful blindness” within various U.S. Mosques. And before anyone takes issue with the use of “Muslim Community” you should probably research the Holy Land Foundation federal trials, there is a significant element of co-dependent jihadism that’s been going on for quite a while.
Cartoons don’t kill people. Islamic ideologues, who interpret their religion to demand they kill cartoonists, are killing people.
Donald Trump is drawing a very bold line in the sand not because he wants it, but rather because it’s necessary, even urgent.
Perhaps if people would actually watch the un-aired portion of the December 2015 CBS interview with Trump, specifically about terrorism, they’d have a much better idea where he is coming from (See: 05:18 for discussion about “going too far“?)
What you see in that interview is Donald Trump having clear eyes as to the threat. Trump is a master at getting through the BS that is actual political correctness, and directly putting his words on the bottom line.
? “Human rights violations? ISIS is chopping people’s heads’ off, and drowning them in cages right now Jake, it’s medieval”. (Jake Tapper – link)
Donald Trump’s call to: (1) pause Muslim Immigration; (2) reassess the threat matrix; (3) make some changes to the vetting process; (4) reevaluate the security risk, and (5) “figure out what is going on“, is not only non-controversial – it’s prudent and wise.
We’ve already been told the FBI can’t keep up with the current volume of threat from domestic Islamic Extremists already imported. Why would we take any additional risk and stretch them out even further? Again, common sense.
Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik had been working on their plan to attack San Bernadino for what now appears to be “several years”. As specific details come out they apparently were in a network of communication with ISIS type Islamists – and their families were certainly aware that “something” was going on.
….It is beyond obtuse to believe otherwise.
Grandma making dinner while a pipe bomb lay on the kitchen table – and the White House wants us to believe there was no familial knowledge; while Zakaria wants Americans to ignore the familial knowledge. Seriously?
Let’s insert some reasonable common sense here regardless of how uncomfortable it is.
….And while we are discussing common sense, let’s not forget the current administration’s approach toward combating Islamic terrorism post Paris attack:
How did that approach work out?
Perhaps we should ask the people of Brussels.
“We’re being led by stupid, stupid people” ~ Donald Trump
‘Selfie-girl’ at anti-Muslim protest apologises for anti-Semitic remarks
Zakia Belkhiri, a teenager (she's actually 22 and I think she had an up-hill paper round) who won praise after posing in front anti-Muslim protestors in Belgium while taking selfies, has issued an apology after journalists unearthed a number of anti-Semitic comments posted on her social media accounts.
Belkhiri was widely praised after photos emerged last week showing her standing in front of far-Right Flemish nationalist group called Vlaams Belang as they protested at the Muslim Expo in Antwerp. A group of protesters had gathered outside the expo, which celebrates Muslim lifestyle, art and culture, with signs including messages such as “No headscarves” and “Stop Islam”.
The photos of her selfies, taken by Jurgen Augusteyns and published by Vice, were shared by thousands of supporters around the world.
However, it has since emerged that Belkhiri has posted several anti-Semitic remarks on her social media channels.
In one 2012 tweet she wrote: "Hitler didn't kill all the Jews, he left some. So we know why he was killing them."
And in a 2014 Facebook post she said of Jews: "I hate them so much."
Her apology went down so badly that her selfies have been lampooned (left) by being superimposed on survivors of the holocaust and islamic terrorist attacks.
“You meant that Zionist Jews deserve to die?" one Twitter user replied.
Belkhiri, who has since deactivated her social media presences, has been contacted for a comment.
PEOPLE have slammed a new development in Melbourne, calling it “a ghetto of Islam”. A block in Melton South will be transformed into housing targeted at the Islamic community, with 75 separate lots and a mosque built in the middle of the neighbourhood.
It’s called Iqra Village and is said to become Victoria’s largest faith-based housing.
Developer Amanar Rahman, one of four listed directors of Rahber Developments, said the $2.4 million parcel was carved up to buyers who wanted to live with other Muslims. “It’s basically a community project that we have done in a halal way.”
Islamic Council of Victoria general manager Nail Aykan said he believed the planned development was the first of its kind in Melbourne “at this scale”. “It’s a great vision that we’re all neighbours, we all go into affordable housing and we do something that’s holy,’’ Mr Aykan said.
News AU is trying to put a positive slant on it.
But the development is not a Muslim-only community and it will certainly not be gated. While it will be rich with Islamic culture, it’s only targeted at Muslim families who might want to live around others with the same values.
Australian Federation of Islamic Councils treasurer Keysar Trad (he has form) told A Current Affair Muslims were just creating a neighbourhood free of discrimination and free of misunderstanding.
“This particular venture is an indication there’s a feeling out there that there’s perhaps less acceptance of Muslims,” he said. “A project of this nature will allow people to be able to develop a local place of worship or a local school without too many objections from neighbours. They won’t be getting in anybody’s way, it’s something within their local community..."
However there is a cloud of the halal horizon
Homebuyers originally bought the subdivided lots under sharia law, which prohibits borrowing money where interest is payable, so the venture was financed by several investors.
The company was wound up earlier this month over a $400,000 debt to the Australian Taxation Office.
Mr Rahman conceded Rahber’s precarious financial position jeopardised plans for the mosque. Two separate Supreme Court cases launched by buyers disputing money owed have been settled and dismissed. A similar Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal bid by two investors seeking damages over claims of being misled was also thrown out this month.
The Far Right in Austria Did Not Have a Rendezvous With History
Danger signals are being displayed in Europe warning that their countries are politically polarized and may be sliding to politically far-right authoritarian political systems. The torchlight in May 2016 was on Austria, the birthplace of Adolf Hitler in 1889, a country divided down the middle that almost gave birth to a victory for a populist, far right party, the Freedom Party (FPO), that was founded by a Nazi and still is considered to have pro-Nazi overtones. The FPO victory would have been a political earthquake in a country that has been dominated since 1945 by two mainstream political parties that now cannot deal effectively with the migrant crisis among other issues.
On May 21, 2016 Norbert Hofer, the 45 year old aeronautical engineer and candidate of the FPO, lost in a very close contest in the run off, second round of elections for President of Austria. In the first electoral round a month earlier, Hofer had gained 35.1 % of the vote while his rival the 72 year old ecologist Green Party candidate Alexander Van der Bellen, son of refugees who fled the Soviet controlled Estonia, had got 21 percent.
The two mainstream parties, the center left Social Democratic party (SPO) and the center right Austrian People’s Party (OVP) only received a combined 23 per cent in this first round election. The two parties are declining in popularity. In 2002 they received almost 80% of the poll: in the 2013 parliamentary election they got only 50%.
Hofer exalted in the fact that his was the highest number of votes previously achieved by a right wing party. Hofer remarked “We had a rendezvous with history.” However, he narrowly lost the second round, obtaining 49.7% while his opponent Van der Bellen won with 50.3 %.
Populist politics in Europe are gaining strength. In all countries the appeal is similar: opposition to the status quo, to the so called Establishment, and to the mainstream parties that have been in power since the end of World War II: economic discontent; growing unemployment; and above all demands for control over immigration and limitation of entrance of Muslims.
The European populist parties are anti-liberal, are opposed to conventional politics, critical of the European Union, conscious of political corruption, fear terrorist attacks, and anxious about job insecurity. Most are opposed to TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), the agreement between the EU and the U.S.
The vital question for Europe and for the democratic world is whether Hofer’s strong performance will embolden further anti-immigration rhetoric in other countries and be the harbinger of more activity by the nationalist anti-establishment movement in Europe. Future elections will decide if the far right parties will be central in political life, or will remain simply extreme fringe parties.
Hofer would have been the first far-right politician to be elected president in the history of the EU, and his virtue tie in the election is likely to reinforce the ambitions of other far right parties that are similarly opposed to mass immigration and to what they see as the unacceptable effects of forced multiculturalism and globalization.
Using political results in some European countries, the numbers show the trend.
In Austria itself, the FPO got 30 % in local elections in 2015 and has 45 seats in the European Parliament. In France, Marine Le Pen’s party, the National Front (FN) got 14 % of the vote and has 2 seats in the national assembly. Le Pen is expected to make a strong run for the French Presidency.
In Hungary, the extreme party Jobbik got 21 %. In Finland, The Finns got 18%, and the party leader is foreign minister. In Germany, the Alternative for Germany, (AfD) launched as recently as 2013, under the leadership of Frauke Petry, got 4.7%. In Denmark, the Danish People’s Party got 21%. In Switzerland, the Swiss People’s Party got 29% and gained 65 of the 200 seats in the lower house of parliament. In Greece, the Golden Dawn got 7%, and is the third largest political group. In Sweden, the Sweden Democrats got 13%. And in the Netherlands, the Freedom Party led by the energetic Geert Wilders got 10 %.
In all these countries the far right focuses on the same main foes: highest among them is immigration in general and increase in number of Muslims in particular. For these parties Islam has no place in Europe, nor should there be any “welcome culture” for Muslims.
Certainly, the migration and Muslim issues are central for Hofer and his party. Immigrants constitute one-fifth of the 8.6 million population of Austria, and another 90,000 immigrants came into the country last year. In Vienna, more than half of the first year students in schools are from immigrant backgrounds.
Hofer is a telegenic personality, a partially disabled man who walks with a cane following a gliding accident and who always carries a Glock 9mm pistol for protection. Hofer has been absolutely clear: “To those in Austria who go to war for the Islamic state or rape women, I say…this is not your home.”
The Freedom Party tried to change its spots and erase the memory that it was founded in 1956 by a former Nazi minister of agriculture who was an SS officer. Hofer in drafting the Freedom Party manifesto in 2011 focused on “identity”, code for native Austrians, not immigrants. He wrote of the commitment to a German people and cultural community, using the word Volksgemeinschaft, (people’s community), a term used by Nazi Germany to indicate a racially unified body in which the interests of the nation are superior to those of individuals.
In recent years the Austrian FPO, for electoral reasons or otherwise, has tried to overcome the memory of its former leader Jorg Haider, fairly regarded as pro Nazi and anti-Semitic. At that time Israel withdrew its ambassador in Austria in 2000 when Haider joined the government coalition. The present leaders of the Party suggest that they have tried to overcome allegations of antisemitism by their Party.
Hofer and party leader Heinz-Christian Strache claim to support Israel and both have visited Israel. Ironically, Strache who posted an anti-Semitic cartoon on Facebook paid a private visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. Hofer has said that a visit to Israel would be a high priority if he became president.
Hofer is the golden boy of the far right, the well-dressed personality who speaks in moderate tones, the engineer with a friendly face and polite manners, but there are ominous signs. He has sometimes used symbols, such as wearing the blue cornflower, a nationalist symbol used by Nazis to recognize each other when the Nazi Party was banned during the 1930s, and used language familiar in the Nazi movement.
Hofer is not a historian but he and his party may have a particular memory. In September 1683 a Christian Coalition, including the Austro-Hungarian Empire, scored a decisive victory in Vienna by defeating the Ottoman forces that had been besieging the city for two months. Many commentators have seen this as a turning point in history when the Ottoman Muslims ceased to be menace to the world. Hofer’s defeat showed that history is not yet repeating itself in Vienna.
Claim: Muslim Translators Lie, Deny Muslim Harassment Of Christian And Yazidi Migrants
From the German public broadcaster ARD, via Breitbart
Desperate Yazidi and Christian migrants in Germany have attempted to report harassment and violence at the hands of Muslim migrants, only for Sunni Muslim translators to lie and deny sectarian attacks.
Muslim translators, from whom the minorities sought help, “threw their support behind the attackers” and denied to authorities that harassment and violence is happening.
After an influx of more than a million migrants last year, German authorities are unable to find sufficient numbers of qualified and reliable translators of Arabic to meet demand. The country’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) now recruits translators with a pamphlet which says that “in this work you will take on a great responsibility and we expect from you neutrality and reliability.” But an investigative report by German broadcaster ARD uncovered that there is a “gaping void between demand and reality,” which causes a “nightmare” for numerous migrants.
Gian Aldonani, a Cologne-based Yazidi student whose family fled to Germany when she was a child and who works with minority migrants, said this isn’t an isolated incident: ”There is a deliberate effort to fallaciously translate. First we thought that this was a single incident from Cologne, but we have recognised now through the documentation of all cases that this is the case all over Germany.”
A lawyer with Christian and Yazidi migrants among her clients says: “This is something that multiple refugees reported to me, not just my clients. Again and again they point this out, but no one listens to them.” The lawyer accused the authorities of naïveté, neglecting to react to the allegations at all or claiming to know nothing about them, despite the numerous filed reports.
A 19-year-old Aarhus man was found guilty in city court on Monday of having encouraged terrorist acts via a Facebook post. He was sentenced to one year and three months in prison.
According to the man’s indictment, he posted videos to Facebook that were produced by the terror group Isis and showed scenes of murder. In comments posted along with the videos, the man wrote threats in English and Arabic that targeted “infidels” “lapsed [Muslims]” and “spies”. According to the indictment, the man wrote, among other things: “The knife will hit all of you and your heads will roll in the streets. You cannot hide from us.”
According to broadcaster DR, the man’s lawyer argued that the video and comments were posted in a closed Facebook group with only 11 members. The lawyer argued unsuccessfully that the posts were not meant to create fear amongst the general public.
The 19-year-old is a Danish citizen with a Lebanese background. DR reported that the man said his posts were meant to send a signal to those who insult Islam.
The prosecuting attorney in the case, Torben Thygesen, said the court's decision sends an important message. "This shows that one must be aware that what they put on the internet, and these kinds of statements, can have consequences,"
Public prosecutor Jan Reckendorff had described the case against the 19-year-old as “unusual . . . The public prosecutor believes that the 19-year-old’s serious threats on Facebook were made with the intention of seriously frightening the public,”
Anne Marie Waters, the Deputy Leader of Pegida UK, has reviewed Peter McLoughlin's book Easy Meat. To be precise she has so much to say that her review will be in three parts. The first part is on the Pegida website today, here.
Easy Meat1, by Peter McLoughlin, is about as comprehensive a report in to the horrible phenomenon of so-called “Asian grooming gangs” as has been produced. . . These gangs were comprised almost exclusively of Muslim men. Most of the victims were white English girls, but Sikh girls were also often targeted.
The grooming gang scandal burst in to public consciousness with the publication of the Jay report in 2014. It described how at least 1,400 girls had fallen victim to these gangs in the South Yorkshire town of Rotherham alone. As McLoughlin explains in some detail, Rotherham was a drop in the ocean. All over England (and Holland) thousands upon thousands of young girls have been raped and pimped for decades, and with absolute impunity. Furthermore, it is still going on.
Such impunity was the result of the inaction of a public sector terrified of being labelled racist if it mentioned the ethnicity of the men involved. The media furore that followed the Jay report did refer to ethnicity however, and shouldn’t have. Ethnicity is not the issue (except in reference to the victims, who are often selected because they are white), religion is the issue – and Peter McLoughlin is not afraid to say so.
He writes: “Despite the experts knowing that not all the Muslims in Britain who do this are Asian, despite knowing that an almost identical pattern of criminality has been going on in Holland (and that the Muslims in Holland who are doing it are from Turkey and Morocco), the experts refuse to look at Islam as a causal factor, even when there is no other cause that can be seen”. McLoughlin points out that even while denying Islam could have been influential in these crimes, politicians and other authorities simultaneously liaised with Muslim “leaders” in attempts to confront them. As McLoughlin asks “Why did the Home Affairs Committee have input from a Sheikh, but not from a Bishop?”
It is the religious identity of these men that the powerful have not addressed. Instead, the issue is deemed to be one of culture, whilst ignoring the impact of Islam in shaping it.
As is argued in Easy Meat “over hundreds of years the stories, morality and principles from the Koran, the Hadiths, and the Sira (The Life of Mohammed) must have passed in to Islam culture. These principles, values and narratives have affected what Muslims view as right and wrong. These things shape their view of the world”. The statement is powerful, owing to its staggering common sense. Of course Islam and its teachings influence the morality of Muslims, that is a given. It doesn’t mean that all Muslims think or act alike, but Islamic morality is bound to inform the norms of Muslim societies – that indeed is its role.
There is simply no getting away from it, the cultural influence of Islam, and Islamic doctrine itself, must have had an enormous impact on the attitudes of the men involved in rape gangs across England. More and more people now understand this, and on June 4th Pegida will give them a chance to protest.
Pegida will hold a silent walk through Rotherham, the town has sadly come to symbolize these horrors, to register our disgust that this appalling crime has been allowed to carry on, while those charged with preventing it looked on. We will be there because we want justice, we want these rapists punished, and we want girls protected.
I know that as I type thousands of young girls are undergoing exactly this very same torment, and I want our presence to remind them that they have not been forgotten.
Islamic culture, that is culture shaped by Islam to whatever extent, has brought misery to Europe over the last few decades. Sharia, honour violence, jihadism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, and rape. In Easy Meat, Peter McLoughlin portrays this methodically. This is not an uplifting or entertaining book, but it is absolutelyessential reading. If you want to know just how widespread this crime has been, and the reasons it occurred, then Easy Meat is where to begin.
It reveals with harrowing clarity just how much Islam has begun to hurt us, and that our leaders and our elite are aiding and abetting in this without shame.
Pope Francis has urged France to respect the right of Muslim women to profess their faith and wear the hijab same as Christians are allowed to wear the cross.
“If a Muslim woman wishes to wear a veil, she must be able to do so. Similarly, if a Catholic wishes to wear a cross,” Francis told the French Catholic newspaper La Croix, The Guardian reported on Tuesday, May 17.
“People must be free to profess their faith at the heart of their own culture not merely at its margins.”
Showing support to secularism, Pope said that states also needed strong laws guaranteeing religious freedom and needed to ensure individuals, including government officials, had a right to conscientious objection.
He also expressed a “modest critique” of France, saying the country’s laws exaggerate “laïcité” – the separation of church and state.
“This arises from a way of considering religions as subcultures rather than as fully fledged cultures in their own right. I fear that this approach, which is understandable as part of the heritage of the Enlightenment, continues to exist,” Francis said.
“France needs to take a step forward on this issue in order to accept that openness to transcendence is a right for everyone,” he added.
France is home to a Muslim community of nearly six million, the largest in Europe.
French Muslims have been complaining of restrictions on performing their religious practices.
In 2004, France banned Muslims from wearing hijab, an obligatory code of dress, in public places and schools.
France also outlawed the wearing of face-veil in public in 2011.
THE MERRY MONTH OF MAY from the Shoemaker’s Holiday. Thomas Dekker 1599
O THE month of May, the merry month of May,
So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green!
O, and then did I unto my true love say,
Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my Summer's Queen.
Now the nightingale, the pretty nightingale,
The sweetest singer in all the forest quire,
Entreats thee, sweet Peggy, to hear thy true love's tale:
Lo, yonder she sitteth, her breast against a brier.
But O, I spy the cuckoo, the cuckoo, the cuckoo;
See where she sitteth; come away, my joy:
Come away, I prithee, I do not like the cuckoo
Should sing where my Peggy and I kiss and toy.
O, the month of May, the merry month of May,
So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green;
And then did I unto my true love say,
Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my Summer's Queen.
Some more spring blossom and flora in England, and some more recent songs to go with them.
We'll gather lilacs in the spring again
And walk together down an English lane
Until our hearts have learnt to sing again
When you come home once more.
By Ivor Novello 1945 from the musical Perchance to Dream
The Chestnut Tree
Underneath the spreading chestnut tree
I loved her and she loved me.
There she used to sit upon my knee
‘Neath the spreading chestnut tree.
Underneath the spreading chestnut tree
There she said she’d marry me
Now you ought to see our family
‘Neath the spreading chestnut tree!
The novelty, singing dance sensation of 1938. Words and music by JimmyKennedy, Tommie Connor and Hamilton Kennedy. Ballroom routine devised by Miss Adele England.
Performed by Jack Hylton & His Orchestra and later Glenn Miller. Sung by my dad as a lullaby. He knew all the actions which didn’t make for a soporific atmosphere. Based on the poem The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Adapted and used as a symbol of love and betrayal by George Orwell in 1984.
Of course the chestnut tree Longfellow had in mind may have been a sweet chestnut. These candles are from the horse chestnut, beloved of English suburbia. This tree doesn’t produce nuts in the autumn but conkers. You can’t eat them but they are rather good fun in other ways.
Canadians should pay some attention to the tense and fierce campaign underway in the United Kingdom toward the June 23 vote on whether the country should leave the European Union or not. In fact, under the European treaty, a vote to leave — what is called the Brexit in this campaign — would lead to two years of negotiation. In practice, when the Euro-federalists lose a national referendum, which is not infrequently, they come back within a year with a new referendum on a slightly reformulated question, represented as a concession to the dissentients and backed by a more blood-curdling scare campaign.
In this campaign, it will be a good deal more complicated, because the Remainers, as they are called, are led by the incumbent Conservative Party leader and prime minister, David Cameron, and the Leavers are led, at least informally, by the just-retired mayor of London, and Conservative MP, Boris Johnson. If the Leavers win, Cameron is finished as party and government leader. Any follow-up referendum will be run by the anti-federalists and will call for serious concessions from the European Union government in Brussels, or a national demand for such concessions that Brussels will give the British what they want or cut the cord.
The importance of this to Canadians is that if the British do, in the end, leave the EU, the issue of "Whither Britain" could be of great potential interest to this country. There has been intensive bandying about in this campaign of the alleged supra-national preferences of Winston Churchill. Cameron and one of Sir Winston's grandsons, Nicholas Soames, have claimed he would have been a Remainer, but eminent historian Andrew Roberts, and others who deserve a hearing on the subject, have pointed out that while Churchill was an advocate of French-German rapprochement, and of a common market in Western Europe, he believed that Britain's relationship with the United States, which he had created in unforgettably charged circumstances with Franklin D. Roosevelt, and its position as head of the Commonwealth, ranked ahead of any European vocation. The second greatest British prime minister in 125 years (at least), Margaret Thatcher, left no one in any doubt of her view, though she did not share Churchill's confidence in the Commonwealth, which she regarded as a rag-tag of Third World despotisms trying to milk the original Commonwealth nations: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. (She made exceptions for Singapore, and, in deference to its size and democracy, India.)
The British under Churchill and his immediate Conservative successors, Anthony Eden, Harold MacMillan, and Alec Douglas-Home, allowed unlimited access to Britain from the Commonwealth, which led to a surge in arrivals of non-Caucasians (this proved unpopular among the locals). The next Conservative prime minister, Edward Heath, was anti-American, uninterested in the Commonwealth, and threw Britain's lot in unreservedly with Europe (as well as with the Arabs in the Middle East and the People's Republic of China in the Far East).
He was deposed as leader and eventually replaced as prime minister by Margaret Thatcher who somewhat resurrected the glory days of Churchill and Roosevelt with Ronald Reagan and placed all Britain's bets on the Grand Alliance with the United States. It worked for a time, and led us to victory in the Cold War, with important contributions from St. John Paul II, German chancellor Helmut Kohl, Brian Mulroney, and others. It was even continued to a degree by John Major and Tony Blair with the Bushes and Bill Clinton, but came to a sandy grave in the second Iraq War. If Britain leaves the EU, the hour of the top tier of the Commonwealth will come again.
The United States under George W. Bush became a hip-shooting interventionist country, trying to prop up democracy in places that had no history, appetite or capacity for it. Anti-democratic forces won democratic elections in the Palestinian territories, Gaza, and Egypt. Under Barack Obama, the foreign policy of the United States has been moderately anti-British (illustrated by the return to Britain on the president's orders, as he has finally admitted, of the bust of Winston Churchill that had been in the president's office).
Obama has generally invited America's traditional allies and enemies to trade roles and places. He dragooned David Cameron into beseeching U.S. senators to support their shameful delayed-endorsement of Iranian nuclear arms, and returned the favour by warning the British that if they did not vote to throw in with Europe once and for all, Britain could go "to the back of the queue" in trading relations with the U.S. Both interventions were outrageous, and Obama's moral suasion with the British seemed to net out at a drop of two points for the Remainers it was designed to help. It would be hazardous to predict what may happen with either a Clinton or Trump presidency, though either would almost certainly be less Quixotic than the younger Bush and less contra-historical and pacifistic than Obama, and less enamoured of America's most vocal and hyperactive enemies.
The polls in Britain are very close and move narrowly between the sides with never more than a slight advantage either way. Indicative of Cameron's state of nerves over potentially losing the vote, and his job, was his claim two weeks ago that a win for the Leavers would enhance the possibilities of European war. The bowdlerized and rather fatuous distortion of history he offered in support of this hare-brained argument was anything but a confidence-builder. His problem is that he promised "full-on treaty change" and came back with less than Chamberlain did from Munich: a tentative and heavily conditionalized promise by Europe to consider British applications to vary social benefits for migrants from Europe. In desperation, Cameron and his chancellor, George Osborne, have themselves dragooned the supposedly independent governor of the Bank of England, Canadian Mark Carney, to become a vocal biweekly tout for the Remainers.
Given British disillusionment with Europe and the end of American reliability as we knew it from the time of Roosevelt to the arrival of Obama, Canada could play a role in leading the development of an alternative bloc, though one associated with both the European Union and the United States. The U.K., the old dominions of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and Singapore and India, as an economic group, would be as great as China, and probably, with recent developments in China and the settling in of the Thatcherite Modi government in India, would grow as quickly. In foreign and strategic policy terms, it would have, or at least could soon have, the second greatest combined naval and air force of any state or grouping, after the U.S. The member-states could broadly co-operate to whatever extent the constituent member states could comfortably agree. It would be at least as unitary a force as the present Europe of 27 states from Bulgaria and Estonia to Portugal.
This must be the last chance for the Commonwealth. Despite the Queen's pride in it, as a consolation prize for the Empire which her father and his immediate ancestors ceremonially ruled, one need only look at the majority of the poor and misgoverned members, highlighted by the egregious Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. He is 92, and the once-formidable champion of the independence movement against White Rhodesia bows at portraits of himself and dozes off on public occasions, repeats speeches to the same audience when he turns up the starting page of his text, and shambles about in the midst of a rending struggle for the succession. The chief faction-heads in this contest are his voluminous wife and a disaffected female member of the regime leadership, of equivalent massive girth, whom the President's wife improbably accuses of disporting herself in mini-skirts.
EgyptAir crash: Flight data points to 'internal explosion' on plane once daubed with graffiti saying 'We will bring this plane down'
Data from the final moments before EgyptAir flight MS804 crashed into the Mediterranean suggest an "internal explosion" tore through the right side of the aircraft, a pilot said last night.
Investigators trying to determine whether the A320 was brought down by terrorism or a technical fault are poring over a series of warnings indicating smoke filled the cabin shortly before it disappeared from radar.
A commercial pilot with a major European airline told The Telegraph that other parts of the data log suggested that windows in the right side of the cockpit were blown out by an explosion inside the aircraft.
"It looks like the right front and side window were blown out, most probably from inside out," said the pilot, who ... spoke on condition of anonymity.
Three different warnings showed there were faults in the windows next to the co-pilot, suggesting they could have been blasted outwards by an onboard bomb. That does not mean the explosion came from the cockpit but indicates the right side of the plane was more badly damaged than the left. The pilot suggested the smoke detectors may have been triggered not fire but by fog which filled the cabin as it lost air pressure in the moments after the explosion.
Although no terrorist group has claimed responsibility, French detectives are examining a pool of around 85,000 people with "red badge" security clearance that gives them access to restricted areas of Charles de Gaulle airport.
The task is complicated by the fact that many work for sub-contractors and turnover is high. Screenings are often limited to checking an employee has no criminal convictions and does not appear on a terror watch list.
Last December around 70 red badges were withdrawn from staff at Charles de Gaulle who were found to have praised the attacks in Paris, prayed at mosques linked to radicalism or showing signs of growing religiosity like refusing to shake hands with women.
A French trade union also warned that short stopovers like that made by Flight 804, which was on the ground a little over an hour, gave little time for security staff to carry out thro (I'm assuming the Telegraph writer intended to complete the sentence with the words "thorough checks")
In a dark premonition of things to come, it has emerged that the crashed aircraft had once been daubed with graffiti by vandals who wrote: "We will bring this plane down".
The New York Times reported that the vandalism was done two years ago and was a protest against Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the Egyptian president who seized power in a coup, rather than a jihadist threat.
The airline went on to fire a number of staff with alleged Muslim Brotherhood sympathies in 2013 as part of a general purge of suspected Islamists after the military takeover.
And in the weeks following the Paris attacks in November, French police said Arabic graffiti such as “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) were found daubed on EasyJet and Vueling planes at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and at Lyon airport. The police played down any link with the attacks, although they acknowledged that such graffiti had been found on a number of planes in the months before the terror strikes.
The discoveries raised fears that a bomb could be planted on a plane at an airport in France, but EasyJet and the French authorities insisted at the time there was nothing to worry about.
A new message purporting to come from the spokesman of Islamic State calls on followers to launch attacks on the United States and Europe during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which begins in early June.
"Ramadan, the month of conquest and jihad. Get prepared, be ready ... to make it a month of calamity everywhere for the non-believers ... especially for the fighters and supporters of the caliphate in Europe and America," said the message, suggesting attacks on military and civilian targets.
The authenticity of the audio clip, purporting to be from Abu Muhammad al-Adnani and distributed on Saturday by Twitter accounts that usually publish Islamic State statements, could not be verified.
"The smallest action you do in their heartland is better and more enduring to us than what you would if you were with us. If one of you hoped to reach the Islamic State, we wish we were in your place to punish the Crusaders day and night," Adnani said.
The militant group, which seeks to establish a caliphate across the Middle East and beyond, has claimed deadly attacks over the past year on civilians in France, Belgium and the United States.
But the message made no mention of the EgyptAir flight that crashed into the Mediterranean on Thursday in unexplained circumstances, amid speculation by Egyptian, French and American officials that a jihadist attack was the most likely cause.
This is the favorite horse of the Muslim Brotherhood. By using guile, deceit (taqiyya) and cunning the MB has infiltrated its operatives into positions of influence in government agencies to “destroy Western Civilization from within.”
The careful insinuation of Muslim Brothers into positions from which they can exercise influence on U.S. policy began long before the attacks of 9/11, although their success has accelerated dramatically under the administration of President Barack Obama. The massive Muslim Brotherhood organizational network in the U.S., so patiently built up over the decades since that first Oval Office meeting in 1953, eventually gave it a prominence and (false) reputation of credibility that was unmatched by any other Islamic groups, moderate or otherwise. Using a combination of taqiyya (deceit, dissimulation) and intimidation, the Muslim Brotherhood succeeded not only in making itself the "go-to" authority on all things related to Islam, but in suppressing those who would speak truth about Islam—again, often by persuading the U.S.'s own senior officials to do the job for them: "by their hands".
This picture of Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s Svengali, whispering in her ear says it all.
This is the favorite horse of the Saudi royalty. They use petro-dollars to set up Islamic enclaves of power within universities, for hiring PR firms, buying politicians and setting up radical Mosques and their madrassas resulting in isolated communities practicing Sharia and advancing Wahhabism:
House of Saud is simply a more established and diplomatic version of ISIS. It shares the extremist Wahhabi theo-fascism, the lack of human rights, intolerance, violent beheadings etc. — but with nicer buildings and roads.
This is the favorite horse of Iranian Ayatollahs. Sensing the desperate need of the Obama administration to create the appearance of success of smart diplomacy, the Iranians are leveraging economic and military expansion by threatening chaos (close Straits of Hormuz, trigger oil price war, wipe Israel off the map … ) - the classic example being the phony long drawn out treaty negotiations and all other forms of realpolitik to gain in the balance of power especially, as mentioned, by threatening to undermine the perception of success in stabilizing the Middle East that the Obama administration desperately wishes to project.
This, of course, is the horse of Al Qaeda, ISIS and its unseen backers. The threat of radical Islam and its terrorist acts from 9/11 on provide the clout behind the charge of Islamophobia. Long used by Hillary Clinton in claiming that anti-Muslim rhetoric is dangerously promoting violent jihad, General Petraeus just got into the act warning of the same consequences in an op-ed in WaPo entitled “Anti-Muslim bigotry aids Islamist terrorists.” Petraeus claims that criticizing Islam just plays into the hands of ISIS and that we mustn’t enrage Muslims or they might become radicalized. Here is Robert Spenser commenting on the Petraeus op-ed:
So the upshot of Petraeus’ argument is that we must not say things to which Muslims might object, because this will just make more of them become jihadis. His prescription for minimizing the jihad against the West is for the West to practice self-censorship in order to avoid offending Muslims.
In other words, mustn’t offend the bully or he might hurt you. As Christine Brim in The Federalist points out, this theme is rampant in MM:
Britain 'could liberate Europe again' by voting for Brexit and sparking populist revolution
Britain could “liberate Europe” for a second time in a century by voting for Brexit on June 23, triggering a “patriotic spring” across the continent and an outpouring of populist discontent against Brussels, Geert Wilders, the right-wing Dutch populist, has claimed.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Wilders – a fiercely nationalist, anti-Islamic politician whose Party for Freedom is currently topping the polls in the Netherlands – said that the populist “genie was now out of the bottle”, and could never be put back in.
“Like in the 1940's, once again Britain could help liberate Europe from another totalitarian monster, this time called ‘Brussels’. Again, we could be saved by the British,” he said in his heavily fortified office in The Hague where an oil painting Winston Churchill and a Telegraph front page of Margaret Thatcher hang on the walls.
If people see that a country can leave, and the lights do not go out, there is not a war, and a country does not go bankrupt, but even flourishes. If Britain proves that this theory can become a reality, it would have an enormous effect.”
Predicting that a Netherlands referendum on EU membership would swiftly follow a Brexit, he added that David Cameron was running a “stupid” campaign by attempting to scare the British into staying in Europe.
“I hope that a lot of people like Mr Cameron will continue saying the most stupid things. It helps a lot,” he said, “People are not stupid any more. They know they are being frightened by fear-mongers.”
For years Mr Wilders has been widely reviled as an extremist and a demagogue, however with anti-immigration and anti-austerity sentiment rising from Athens to Amsterdam, he now believes Europe is showing itself ready to embrace many of his populist ideas.
Not so long ago, Mr Wilders acknowledges, such dreams of a populist revolution would have remained just that – dreams – but as in America, where Donald Trump has caught the establishment flat-footed with his brash appeal to discontented grassroots, Europe’s populists are suddenly ascendant.
"This is an exciting time," he says, "The genie is out of the bottle, and the genie will never go back in the bottle. Things are changing, and changing very fast. A democratic non-violent revolution is on the radar – a ‘patriotic spring’ is coming.”