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The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Second Opinion
by Theodore Dalrymple
Not With a Bang But a Whimper: The Politics and Culture of Decline
by Theodore Dalrymple
In Praise of Prejudice: The Necessity of Preconceived Ideas
by Theodore Dalrymple
Defending The West:
by Ibn Warraq
Nations, Language and Citizenship:
by Norman Berdichevsky
Romancing Opiates
by Theodore Dalrymple
Which Koran?
by Ibn Warraq
Our Culture, What's Left of It
by Theodore Dalrymple
What The Koran Really Says
by Ibn Warraq
Life at the Bottom
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Origins of the Koran
by Ibn Warraq
Why I Am Not Muslim
by Ibn Warraq
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky
Leaving Islam
Edited by Ibn Warraq
The Danish-German Border Dispute, 1815-2001: Aspects of Cultural and Demographic Politics
by Norman Berdichevsky

The Iconoclast

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Okay, we have heard it again and again since President Barack Obama’s May 19 speech on the Middle East.  The President’s backers keep telling us that he added nothing new when in that speech he said that a Mideast peace agreement would be based on the 1967 Israeli borders with “mutually agreed land swaps.”  This, they told us, has been the position of virtually everyone involved in peace negotiations and certainly of US presidents going back to Jimmie Carter. Contrary to what their scrambling apologetics are trying to cover, Obama’s speech moved the needle on US Mideast policy further towards a pro-Palestinian tilt than those who voted for him in 2008 ever imagined.

While Obama’s apologists claim his 1967 border statement added no new substance, we know that in negotiations, especially those involving international brinksmanship and especially in the Middle East, nuance and impression are substantive. If other presidents had the same starting point to a peace deal (and that is not entirely clear­), they did not say so. Because Obama did, he sent a clear signal that the ’67 borders were the gold standard for any peace deal. It is not unlike the settlement issue. For 15 years, Palestinian leaders continued to negotiate with Israel while building went on unchecked. It only became an issue for talks when Obama made it one. As Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, “President Obama stated in Cairo that Israel must stop all construction activities in the settlements. Could we demand less than that?”

So too, with the 1967 borders, that no matter how people now parse Obama’s words, the notion of the 67 borders as the basis for a peace agreement is clearly implanted in the international mind. Another Obama gaffe, of course, is that they are not and never were borders recognized by anyone. The so-called borders are merely armistice lines drawn for a temporary truce based on troop positions after several Arab states attempted to destroy the newborn Jewish State in 1948. After Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Abbas called “on Obama to further press Israel to accept a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders,” according to Al Jazeera. No matter how Obama parses his words, the idea has now become part of the Middle East narrative.

The caveat about land swaps is also an empty one because it requires them to be “mutually agreed upon,” which simply will not happen. Without the swaps, Israel is left a mere eight miles wide at one point, which makes it impossible to prevent “militants” from sitting on the border and shooting ever more sophisticated rockets at airplanes trying to land at Ben Gurion airport. The only solution is for Israel to retain a large chunk of the Jordan Valley to its East. Does Obama believe the Arabs would agree to give up the heartland of their Palestine? And when that does not happen, we can be sure Obama and the talking heads at the UN will tell Israel it has no choice but to accept what the late Abba Eban called “Auschwitz borders.”  The Arabs have no incentive to agree to any such swaps.

But that is not all Obama changed. In 2004, the United States gave Israel written assurances that it “is strongly committed to Israel's security and well-being as a Jewish state….and the settling of Palestinian refugees [in a Palestinian state], rather than in Israel.”  On the basis of that and other assurances, Israel unilaterally withdrew from the entire Gaza Strip.  But now, Obama has reneged on them by saying that the refugee issue remains to be resolved. Nor did he even mention the US position on the issue. Yet, every Palestinian leader from the most moderate to the most radical has said they would not give up their alleged right of return, calling it “sacred.” Hamas’s number two man said it in 2006; Fatah and the PLO also said it could not be relinquished. Less than a week before Obama’s speech, Abbas himself said that they “'will never neglect the ‘right of return’ for Palestinians to their original home.”  The day after Obama’s speech, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, speaking about the matter, told Obama, “Palestinian refugees cannot come to Israel... It's not going to happen.”  The refugee issue is a red herring for two reasons. First, there are an equal or greater number of Jewish refugees who fled Arab lands, making the entire matter a wash. Second, opening the floodgates of millions of Palestinian Arabs is suicide for Israel as Israel.  But considering the new realities Obama just created, Israel likely will be told it has no choice but to accept them by the same advocates for its Auschwitz borders.

On June 4, 2008, candidate Barack Obama told the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC), “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.” It was not the last time he made the same promise to Jewish and other voters concerned about his anti-Israel associations and other matters  In his recent speech, however, Obama threw that into the same “wrenching” and unresolved issue category as the Palestinian right of return. Less than three years after he won their votes, however, Obama is making it clear just how disingenuous and worthless his promises are. As we approach the 2012 contest, US voters will undoubtedly ponder that. Remember how President George H. W. Bush was done in partly because he went back on this campaign pledge: “Read my lips. No new taxes.”

There are other issues. While continuing to characterize the inclusion of Hamas in the PA as “troubling,” Obama implicitly rejected the advice of his own peace partners—the so-called Quartet of the US, UN, EU, and Russia—which demanded three steps by Hamas if they were to become legitimate parties to any negotiations: recognizing Israel’s right to a secure existence; renouncing terrorism; and agreeing to abide by previous Israel-Palestinian compacts. Here, too, Obama has lowered the bar, refusing even to allude to his partner’s assessment. He also seems to have forgotten that the 1967 borders would require Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights, which it captured from the Syrians who used it to fire upon peaceful Israeli civilians for decades. Yet, he did not even mention Syria.

Hamas, Jerusalem, refugees, and borders: It seems that the only thing Barack Obama accomplished with his speech was to alienate, 70 percent or more of the American people who have continually expressed solidarity with Israel.

Posted on 05/21/2011 5:41 PM by Richard L. Benkin

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Brian Mosely,  on left, in scene from Welcome to Shelbyville

Brian Mosely is an AP  award winning journalist  with the Shelbyville Times-Gazette. Mosely did a series on  Somalis and the severe cultural clash in the small middle Tennessee community of 18,000,  that found itself with an influx of 1,100 Somali emigre workers at the Tyson Foods poultry plant located there.   We interviewed Mosely about the series and his revelations. He impressed us back then and during the ensuing three years as having exemplary journalistic ethics.  That  is more than we can say about the team that put together the Welcome to Shelbyville documentary.  Yesterday,  we posted an investigative piece, "Welcome to Shelbyville?  about the production co-sponsors,  major funders, and the 'agendas'  behind the creation and distribution of  the controversial PBS documentary  that will air on Tuesday night, May 24th.  Because the documentary is considered by even the New York Times as propaganda for immigration reform dvocacy groups that we profiled in the Iconoclast piece, we wanted to bring you Mosely's story of his dealings with the fllm's  team.  Mosely had been  cleared by his publisher, Hugh Jones and editors, to go public with a rebuttal to the biased production. We understyand that the Shelbyville Times Gazette will have an editorial on the biased production.

As Mosely notes at the conclusion of his post:

One of my co-workers said this past week that the fact I appear in both a right-wing book and a left-wing movie this month means I must be doing my job correctly.

Throughout all of this, The Times-Gazette has stood steadfastly by my reporting and I would like to express my deepest gratitude to publisher Hugh Jones and all the editors, fellow journalists here and the readers who have supported my efforts to tell the real story of what has been happening in Shelbyville with this complex and controversial issue.

I never imagined three and a half years ago that simply telling a story honestly could lead to being demonized on national television, in a film sponsored by our own government, no less.

What follows is Mosley's acccount, "About Welcome to Shelbyville"  published on the Shelbyville Times- Gazette blog today:

As many of our readers are aware, in late 2007, I wrote a five part series about the impact that the introduction of Somali refugees were having on Bedford County. The stories focused on how the refugees got here, their traditions and beliefs, and took an honest look at the many cultural clashes that were taking place between the locals and the newcomers.

The series provoked a huge controversy, along with much discussion and debate from members of our community.

Then, in August 2008, the Times-Gazette reported that a new union contract at the Shelbyville Tyson Foods facility replaced Labor Day as a paid holiday with the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr.

That story put Shelbyville on the national stage, with the topic touching off coverage from the national news media, as well as massive attention on the issue from talk radio hosts, websites and blogs, some of which continues to this very day.

The controversy the stories created led a documentary crew to Shelbyville in late 2008 to shoot "Welcome to Shelbyville," which will air nationwide, May 24 on PBS at 9 p.m.. The film received financing from progressive migration advocates, and has been sponsored by the state department as overseas propaganda. The "propaganda" label comes from no less an authority than the New York Times.

I viewed the film twice in October of last year during its local premiere, and found the filmmaker's depiction of myself and the stories published by the T-G to be a monstrous distortion, with an incredible series of blatant omissions and dishonest misrepresentations that was obviously designed only to advance the political agenda of the filmmakers and the progressive organizations that funded and supported its production.

While the filmmakers certainly have a right to express their views, in the process, I feel they have engaged in a completely unfair character assassination of both myself, the Times-Gazette, not to mention how the entire city of Shelbyville is depicted.

They have told their story. Now, I shall tell mine.

The first time I met the director of Welcome to Shelbyville, Kim Snyder, was on the public square in the fall of 2008 and it was obvious from the start that the filmmakers was planning on telling the story of our situation to promote their own agenda. She was with Catalina Nino, who did public relations for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) at the time, and another woman whose name escapes me, but who was heavily involved in the production of the film.

We spoke about the situation here regarding the Somalis and they asked if I would appear in the film. I knew I had no choice but to take part in this, otherwise, they would tell whatever story they pleased without my participation.

Apparently, they intended to do that whether I was in the movie or not.

Then the discussion turned to what I was doing at that time, which was covering the new prosecution of Edward McGee, who raped and murdered two little girls in 1966. I explained the sad case and why it was still a topic of conversation over 40 years afterwards.

But the director's friend only had one question: "Was he black?"

She said this in such excited tones that I felt like I was disappointing her by informing them that everyone involved in the horrific murder case was white.

It was obvious to me, however, that the filmmakers already had a narrative in place for their project and appeared to be let down that there would be no "To Kill a Mockingbird" parallels to work with in Shelbyville.

But, despite my misgivings about their motives, I asked the editor at the time, John Philio, for permission to be interviewed for the film and it was granted.

So, one month later, I sat down with Snyder and her crew to tell the story of what had been going on in Shelbyville with the refugees and the series of stories we ran, and the impact. I went into extreme detail about the history of the Tyson indictment from 2001, and how the community felt about the issue of immigration, as well as going into great detail the more recent Labor Day/Eid al Fitr flap, which brought us national media attention and angered many in Shelbyville and across the country.

None of these important topics made it into the film. Not even a mention. (Read More)

Posted on 05/21/2011 5:09 PM by Jerry Gordon

Saturday, 21 May 2011

The Tennessee Material Assistance  Support to Designated  Entities Act  has passed both Houses of the state legislature. Last night it cleared the House and this afternoon, the Senate. The vote tallies were 76 to 16 in the Hosue and 23 to 6 in the Senate. The measure is now headed to be signed into by Governor Haslam.

The AP report notes:

The proposal is a watered-down version of a bill that originally sought to make it a felony to follow some versions of the Islamic code known as Shariah. It was later stripped of references to specific religions.

The measure would also no longer authorize the governor or attorney general to decide whether a person or group is a terrorist organization, leaving that authority with the federal government.

Republican Senate Sponsor Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro said the proposal targets "home grown terrorist in our country."

 Nonetheless, should Governor Haslam  sign the measure into law, as expected, it is a credit to grass roots support and concerns expressed  by Volunteer State citizens over the spate of mega-Mosque projects and  "creeping Sharia"  This is a moral victory for both  legislators and constituents who attended several events sponsored by the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, especially the crowds who heard speeches by Dutch politician, Geert Wilders last week in Nashville and Franklin. Credit for the measure's passage is due to its co-sponsors, Sen. Bill  Ketron and Rep. Judd Metheny and advocacy groups The Tennessee Eagle Forum, the Act! for America Middle Tennessee chapter and the Tennessee Freedom Coalition.  As noted in a post by Baron Bodissey of the Gates of Vienna blog, Tennessee has become  the model for local activists around the country to emulate in countering Stealth Jihad in America.

Posted on 05/21/2011 4:00 PM by Jerry Gordon

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Well, 6pm is long gone here, and nothing's happened.

We English don't do rapture. As Boy George said of sex, we'd rather have a nice cup of tea.

Posted on 05/21/2011 3:53 PM by Mary Jackson

Saturday, 21 May 2011

PM Netanyahu and Pres. Obama
White House, May 20, 2011

I’ll admit the last 48 hours have been tumultuous given the exchanges between President Obama and  Israeli PM Netanyahu about Israel’s existence. The next 72 hours will heighten the tensions given a speech on Sunday at AIPAC by Obama, speeches by Netanyahu on Monday night at the AIPAC gala dinner and on Tuesday by Netanyahu before a joint session of Congress. When it comes to Israel the world has literally turned upside down or inside out - your choice.

When I got up on Thursday before dawn, I wrote a blog post on Obama’s expected Middle East  policy speech entitled, “Obama is now the Wind behind the Arab Spring.”  I wrote in conclusion:

The other concerned party is Israel. Although President Obama hopes to upstage Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu by speaking first at the AIPAC conference, we hope that Netanyahu will show more resolve than he did in Monday’s post al Nakba day remarks in the Knesset.  We and the US Congress are overdue for some Churchillian rhetoric with muscle behind it to counter this dangerous devolution of American hegemony in world and regional affairs.  What we have now in Washington can be captured in that slangy Hebrew word derived from the Russian, Balagan- “chaos.” Pour les deluge.

 

In the early afternoon, a friend from Northern Virginia reached out to me on a cell call to give me the stunning news that Obama had spoken first and said that a Palestinian State should be formed based on the pre-1967 "borders."  I thought to myself, darn, you should have waited and have produced a post with a title, “Michelle, I just shrunk Israel.”  That might have been a funny sight gag routine for The Daily Show of Jon Stewart  on The Comedy Channel, but on second thought, it was hardly funny to me. For what had just occurred in President Obama’s  May surprise speech was a radical departure from previous assurances between the two allies.  It was to my mind suicidal, the Czechoslovakization of Israel by Obama  that I had written about in April, 2010 during an earlier Obama Netanyahu face off in Washington  Had we just witnessed a rupture in that enduring 63 year special relationship?  I hoped not, but wasn’t too sure.

Later, I watched news video of  Netanyahu  lecturing a very tense Obama yesterday in a very ‘arctic-like’ atmosphere in the White House in full view of the international press. Netanyahu said the effect of the Obama pronouncement would shrink the border of Israel with a proposed Palestinian State from 49 miles currently to less than nine miles, about half the distance across our nation’s capitol, Washington, DC. Moreover, it would result in giving up control over the strategic Jordan Valley, getting so-called swaps of territory in return, perhaps including the Kotel-the Western Wall.   

To paraphrase him, those are hardly “borders of peace, rather, they are borders that generated repeated wars.”  Especially borders that would be based on what the late Israeli Foreign Minister, Abba Eban referred to as the “Auschwitz line” - a reference to the 1949 Armistice line. My cousins in Ma’aleh Adumim wouldn’t find it comforting. Nor would the surviving children of the Fogel family murdered by Arab Jihadists in the Jewish community of Itamar in Samaria.

Besides, how could you contemplate a deal with someone who has just aligned themselves with a designated terrorist group, Hamas whose charter seeks not only the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel but all Jews, just like the mad Mahdists in Tehran waving their nuclear scimitar.

To make matters worse, after the jarring phone call from my buddy in Northern Virginia, I entered a meeting with a local reform rabbi, who revealed that he was a roommate at the HUAC seminary with the incoming President designate of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Richard Jacobs of Scarsdale, New York. Rabbi Jacobs is a member of the J Street rabbinic cabinet, as I pointed out to the local rabbi. The rabbi responded by saying that he was a J Streeter, too. I didn’t inform him that I am a Z Streeter and none too enamored  about those liberal faux  “Pro-Israel-Pro Peace Jews”  backed by George Soros, who are in favor of declaring an immediate Palestinian State. That is pretty Orwellian to my thinking. 

Yesterday, I also went to a Tiger Bay Club luncheon to hear a local first term state Representative from neighboring Milton, Florida talk about his experience in the state legislature over in Tallahassee.

Before the talk, a friend had introduced me as someone who might talk to the table mates about what Obama and Netanyahu were engaged in. They were all non-Jews and from various Protestant denominations. My friend, who attends a monthly breakfast of grey beards with both another synagogue  member and me, thought that Obama’s speech on Thursday was “beautiful”. I demurred politely and then proceeded to give the table some of the facts on the ground about prevailing US  Israeli negotiating assurances , especially the guarantees of secure and defensible borders based on the November 1967 UNSC Res. 242 and the 2004 letter from Bush II to somnolent Israeli PM Ariel Sharon confirming guarantees about secure borders in any final settlement.

 I was pleasantly surprised when one of the tablemates piped up and disagreed with my interlocutor and friend.  That person  cited a  book by Washington Examiner and Townhall.com columnist,  Diana West, “ The Death of a Grown Up” . He thought it dreadful that President Obama would  effectively derogate our special relationship with Israel an ally who shared common Judeo Christian democratic values rather that political intolerant totalitarian Islam. I noticed  more than a few nodding heads around the table. Then someone piped up about the Glen Beck announcement of the Restoring Courage Rally in Jerusalem on August 24th and commented that was commendable. 

Notwithstanding my friend’s views about Obama and his  message of hope and change for Palestinians, I drew comfort from what these Americans seated at a Tiger Bay Club round table discussion had to say.  They are clearly part of the 70% of Americans in polls and those here in the heartland that get it when it comes to why there is a common bond between America, Israel and the Jewish people.  And no, I don’t think they find the prospect  of ‘shrinking’ Israel a very funny matter, at all.

_____________

These remarks were given by Jerry Gordon at B'Nai Israel Synagogue in Pensacola Florida during regular shabbat services on May 21, 2011, just prior to a prayer for the State of Israel

 

Posted on 05/21/2011 1:55 PM by Jerry Gordon

Saturday, 21 May 2011

From FoxNews:

Anti-Muslim French Presidential Candidate Surge After Sex Charges for Ex-IMF Boss

By Eve Zibel

 

The rape charges against former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn are headline news across the world, but as Strauss-Kahn prepares for what could be a lengthy legal battle, France is preparing for a 2012 presidential election -- suddenly without the leading challenger to President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Strauss-Kahn, a prominent member of the Socialist Party in France, was predicted to be his party’s candidate in 2012 and would have faced off against Sarkozy and his UMP party. Sarkozy, who has been floundering in polls, has been seen as a weak and ineffective president – a man who promised big change and has failed to deliver. But with Strauss-Kahn almost certainly out of the 2012 race, Sarkozy’s biggest challenge could come from Marine Le Pen, a candidate known for her nationalistic and anti-Muslim views.

Le Pen is the daughter of immigration foe and 2002 presidential runner-up Jean-Marie Le Pen. She has been gaining in the national polls and overall popularity. As voters in France prepare for a long year of presidential politics – could Le Pen’s candidacy also be a foreshadowing of what’s to come for the rest of Europe?

Jennifer Fredette of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy says Le Pen and her father’s views reflect a trend across the continent.

“It’s been going on for a while now. It’s all these critical little moments that get played up and people focus on them, like the burka ban, things that are visual and they spread,” Fredette told Fox News, referring to a controversial new French law that forbids women from going out in public with their faces covered. “You talk about it in France and then people in Germany say ‘oh we see that here. Is it the same here?’ There’s a trend of suspicion going on right now. Not just towards Islam and Muslims but immigration too.” [but the main immigrant problem, by far, is that posed by Muslim immigrants, their attitudes, their behavior, their inculcated anti-Infidel beliefs].

Regardless of the overall trend in Europe, Strauss-Kahn’s arrest is of the highest importance for politics in France. Without Strauss-Kahn in the running, the Socialist Party is scrambling for a viable candidate. There are three potentials: Segolene Royal, who lost to Sarkozy in 2007, Martine Aubry, the first secretary of the French Socialist Party, and Francois Hollande who many wanted to run in 2007 and who didn’t when his live-in girlfriend, Royal, decided to get into the race. While some bemoan the loss of Strauss-Kahn (known as DSK in France), others see hope for the Socialists.

“This will offer them an opportunity to do soul searching. Because DSK was the presumptive leader perhaps the party didn’t take the opportunity to see how to meet the challenge,” Heather Conley of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told Fox News. “The center left has had difficult job finding its footing. But what we’re seeing now is that they’re having to find a new platform in an age of austerity.”

In fact, the loss of Strauss-Kahn doesn’t really hurt the socialists in the latest polls. In three possible matchups with Aubry, Hollande or Royal, only Royal gets a lower percentage than Sarkozy with Aubry and Hollande a full seven to 10 points above Sarkozy. But while the Socialists sort out their own issues, Marine Le Pen is continuing to harness a growing resentment in France towards the elitist politicians and their way of life.

Le Pen, whose father made it into the final run-off against incumbent President Jacques Chirac in 2002, is known for the same nationalistic and anti-immigration views of her father, but some experts suggest she learned from his mistakes. [she not merely sounds, but is, quite different from her intolerable father]

She’s displaying a great deal of political acumen. She’s working the grass roots. She’s working very hard. Her message is moving away from the absolute noxious stuff,” Conley said. “She’s a smarter version here than of her father. A more modern, politically savvy force. Something we have to watch very closely.”

Le Pen’s politics is something many in France and the rest of Europe are responding to in large numbers. As youth unemployment continues to grow and countries like Greece and Portugal face ongoing economic crises, many are seeking alternatives to the current political system.

“There are trends that deserve close scrutiny. This is nothing new and revolutionary but we have to watch them,” Conley warns. “Governments have to respond appropriately. We can’t take for granted that Europe is completely solved. The fact of the matter is these parties are doing well, there’s low voter turnout, and you may have parties come into power that you thought were fringe.”

As Le Pen tries to woo those in France who are discouraged by the current economic climate, Sarkozy’s failures are increasingly coming to light. The man who was going to shake things up in France and use a more “American” approach and encourage multiculturalism has essentially failed.

“Sarkozy was so exciting to people because he entered the scene saying ‘I’m going to do it differently’ and people were looking to him to bring in more American style approaches to diversity. Everything Sarkozy said he could do better, he’s screwed up. It’s all a bit of mess,” says Fredette.

Regardless of who France ends up electing in 2012, almost everyone agrees on one thing – Strauss-Kahn won’t be the next president of France.

“We say he’s presumed innocent until guilty. I think it’s unlikely for the forseeable future that he will return,” says Conley. “The severity of the charges put it in a different category.”

Posted on 05/21/2011 8:21 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Vanderbilt University has egg on its face after opening its doors to Awadh Binhazim and granting him the Muslim Chaplaincy. Binhazim heads Olive Tree Education which promoted the writings of Al-Awlaki. But the Pentagon looks even worse this morning. From Fox News:

With the recent death of Usama bin Laden, the life of another Al Qaeda-linked radical Muslim cleric is taking on greater significance, and documents obtained exclusively by Fox News and its Specials Unit shed new light on his stint as a guest speaker at the Pentagon just months after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. 

American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, the first American on the CIA’s kill or capture list, is still considered a grave threat to U.S. national security. He now is hiding out in Yemen, where earlier this month a U.S. missile attack tried to kill him and his followers.

The scene was much different on February 5, 2002, when the radical imam was invited to and attended the Pentagon event.

Fox News obtained new documents through a Freedom of Information Act request as part of a year-long investigation called "Fox News Reporting: Secrets of 9/11." An internal Department of Defense email that announced the event with Awlaki also laid out other details, like a proposed menu including pork, which is prohibited for Muslims. The email states "the chef will create something special for vegetarians."

The documents show that more than 70 people were copied on the invitation, which originated in the Defense Department’s Office of the General Counsel. It is home to the Pentagon's top lawyer. 

"I have reserved one of the executive dining rooms for February 5th, which is the date he (Awlaki) preferred," a defense department lawyer wrote in the e-mail announcing the event. 

"He (Awlaki) will be leaving for an extensive period of time on February 11th." 

The e-mail states that New Mexico born al-Awlaki was the featured guest speaker on “Islam and Middle Eastern Politics and Culture." 

The Defense Department lawyer who vetted the imam wrote that she "had the privilege of hearing one of Mr. Awlaki's presentations in November and was impressed by both the extent of his knowledge and by how he communicated that information and handled a hostile element in the audience." 

Fox News reached out to the Office of General Counsel for comment on the event in 2002 and the vetting process, but the Defense Department said it did not have additional information to provide.

In October 2010, Fox News and its Specials Unit broke the al-Awlaki lunch story when its investigative team obtained documents, including an FBI interview conducted after the Fort Hood shooting in November 2009, that stated Awlaki was taken to the Pentagon as part of the military's outreach to the moderate Muslim community in the immediate aftermath of the attacks

Oh, those "moderate Muslims."

Click here to read the report.

Al-Awlaki, a dual U.S. and Yemeni national, was interviewed at least four times by the FBI in the first eight days after the Sept. 11 attacks because of his ties to the three hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Hani Hanjour. They were three of the five hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77, which was flown into the Pentagon. Apparently, none of the FBI's information about Awlaki, his ties to the hijackers or his history of soliciting prostitutes was shared with the Pentagon...

Posted on 05/21/2011 8:13 AM by Rebecca Bynum

Saturday, 21 May 2011

MALE, May 21 (HNS) – Rumours have surfaced that a group of non-Muslim expatriate workers are worshipping out in the open in Thinadhoo of Gaafu Dhaal atoll.

A person from Thinadhoo said the group of expatriate workers, mostly women brought in as domestic helpers, gather twice on every Friday in isolated areas of the island – a practice that has been noticed by the residents of the island since four weeks ago.
 

The islander, who confirmed that no statues were seen, noted that one of them held a book and chanted mantras loudly while the rest kneeled. “At first we all thought that since Friday was their off day, they all just gathered at the sand spit with food to enjoy with friends,” the person said.

The issue has been reported to the Island Council and police.
President of Thinadhoo Island Council, Ahmed Naseer confirmed knowledge of such practices including the celebrations of certain religious festivals. “I personally haven’t witnessed the worshipping, but the islanders have claimed to have. The investigation has been launched and the police will work with us on it,” he said.

Posted on 05/21/2011 7:36 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax

Saturday, 21 May 2011

From the Swedish edition of The Local

Police say they are ready for Saturday's planned demonstrations for and against the nearly completed mosque on Hisingen in Gothenburg,

Three different groups have been given permission to gather and march towards the mosque. Two of the groups, Gothenburg against racism and the Left party, support the construction of the mosque. The third group, organized by the National Democrats and a group called the Swedish Defense League, are against its construction.

An older demonstrator told TT that she was scared of Islam. The demonstrator later joined a group of protestors gathering near a gas station a half kilometer away from the mosque at around 10 am Saturday morning.

“Full scale fences are set up and there will be a no man's land erected between the various groups,” Fredman (Martin Fredman, Police task force commander) told TT. The demonstrators will be separated so that they can not throw items at each other. Fredman says the protestors will also be kept farther than throwing distance away from the mosque.

The mosque is built by the Swedish Muslim Foundation.

I believe that this is only one of a Mosque expansion programme planned by Muslims in Sweden.

Posted on 05/21/2011 7:29 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax

Saturday, 21 May 2011

9/11 WTC Lower Manhattan  Imad Mughniyah of Hezbullah

We had been alerted that a mammoth 900 page filing  was to going to be made in the New York Federal Southern District Court by the counsel for the 9/11 families on the links of Iran to 9/11 ( the “9/11 links case”). The case is known as Fiona Havlish et al., v. Sheik Usamah bin-Muhammad bin-Laden et al.

The filing finally occurred on Thursday and contains definitive proof drawn from affidavits of Iran defectors and others that Iran and its proxy Hezbollah were in on the planning for the 9/11 attack on the iconic Twin Towers in lower Manhattan facilitating training and  transit. The court has sealed the identities and testimonies of two Iranian intelligence service defectors for their own protection. The delay in the 9/11 Iran links case was occasioned by the cancer treatment of the courageous main counsel in the matter, Atty. Thomas E. Mellon Jr. The case originally filed in Washington in 2002 was moved to the New York federal district court to facilitate the investigation. The 9/11 Commission Report  had asserted that there was “strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of Al Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers.”  

What is clear from f the information released in the 9/11 Iran Links case filing was the close cooperation between fundamentalist Sunni (Al Qaeda) and Shia (Iran revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah) Jihadist terror groups. We note the presence of Imad Mughniyah, the Hezbollah terror chieftain, assassinated in Damascus in 2008, allegedly by Israel’s Mossad, was involved in the 9/11 planning. Until 9/11 Mughniyah was at the top of the FBI  most wanted terrorist list for his involvement in the planning of the 1983 Marine  (241 killed) and French paratrooper (58 killed) Barracks attacks in Beirut, the killing of a US navy diver Robert Stethem in a 1985 skyjacking of a TWA flight, kidnapping of several westerners in Beirut and the torture and murder of CIA Station chief, William Buckley, the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires (29 killed) and the 1994 Bombing of the AMIA Jewish community building (86 killed) in the Argentine capitol.

The 9/11 links case filing proves that there is no daylight between the Islamic Jihad doctrine of the Mahdists in Tehran and the Salafists in Al Qaeda in the terror war against  the West, especially America and Israel.

We had been alerted to the imminent  filing by one of the expert witnesses, a former CIA covert officer and counterterrorism consultant. Another friend, Kenneth Timmerman, News.Max.com columnist and Iran expert, who is also an expert witness, filed affidavits and has written a riveting synopsis of key findings drawn from the filing,Lawsuit: Iran Knew About 9/11 Attack.” The filing exhibits on the 9/11 Iran links case can be accessed, here.

The enormous, but important, documented filing was briefly mentioned on a FoxNews.com special, the “Secrets of 9/11”.

The revelations  from the 9/11 links case filing were captured in a New York Times article,Court Filings Assert Iran Had Link to 9/11 Attacks”  and other publications. Immediate attention on this important  9/11 families legal filing  may have been eclipsed temporarily by prominence given by  media to the dispute between President Obama and Israeli PM Netanyahu over the former’s radical departure from previous US Middle East peace negotiations doctrine by suggesting that the 1949 Armistice line serve as a basis for establishing a proposed Palestinian State. Nonetheless, this is an important and revealing development coming as it does in advance of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in September.

Note what Timmerman reveals about the 9/11 Iran links case filing evidence;

“We simply want to make sure that those who are responsible for assisting the Sept. 11 terrorists in their attack on the United States are found accountable for the harm they caused,” said Fiona Havlish whose husband, Donald, perished on the 101st floor of the North Tower.

In an affidavit filed in the case today, former 9/11 Commission staff member Dr. Daniel Byman states that Iran’s assistance to al-Qaida “predated the 9/11 attack and continued after it, and it had profound implications for the 9/11 attack itself.”

Indeed, without Iran’s assistance in facilitating the travel of the 9/11 hijackers to and from Afghanistan, the attack might never have taken place, the lawsuit asserts.

Janice Kephart, another 9/11 Commission staff member who wrote a monograph on the movements of the 9/11 hijackers before the attack, concludes in a separate affidavit that Iran’s assistance to the hijackers “constituted . . . direct support for al-Qaida’s 9/11 attacks.”

Note what Timmerman reveals about the “shadow warriors in the CIA  who  attempted cover up the Iran connections to 9/11:

When I first reported on this find in my 2005 book, Countdown to Crisis: the Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran,  I wrote that the document was literally “buried at the bottom of a huge stack of highly classified documents on other subjects that had been delivered to a special high-security reading room in an undisclosed location in Washington, D.C.”

It referenced 75 distinct source documents, including electronic intercepts — the crown jewels of U.S. intelligence gathering at the time.

Staff Director Philip D. Zelikow phoned the head of the intelligence agency that had generated the report, and asked him to dig out all 75 documents so staff could come read them the following morning at 7:30. “He didn’t care that it was a Sunday. They had to see the documents immediately,” I wrote in "Countdown to Crisis."

The result of that last-minute investigation can be found on pages 240-241 of the 9/11 Commission report, and was considered conclusive enough that it caused President George W. Bush to demand that Iran sever its ties to al-Qaida.

“They're harboring al-Qaida leadership there, and we've asked that they be turned over to their respective countries,” the president said once the report was released. But he reiterated the careful denial of acting CIA director John McLaughlin. "There was no direct connection between Iran and the attacks of Sept. 11,” Bush said.

 
 

And this on the key role played by Hezbollah arch terrorist planner Imad Mughniyah

The secret intelligence reports detailed the travels of about 10 of the hijackers into Iran and back and forth into Afghanistan from October 2000 through February 2001, where they were whisked through border controls without ever getting their passports stamped.

Commission staff members gained access to the travel manifests of the commercial flights the future hijackers used, and compared passenger lists to a secret registry of terrorist identities. And what they discovered was stunning.

In the word of the 9/11 Commission report, “a senior operative of Hezbollah” was on the flights that convoyed the future hijackers from Saudi Arabia to Tehran. It was none other than Imad Mughniyah, Iran’s top terror operative.

In the legal papers filed today in New York, lawyers representing the 9/11 victims weighed the true measure of that revelation for the first time. For Janice Kephart, the revelation that Mughniyah was convoying the future hijackers to Tehran “compels the conclusion that Iran had actual foreknowledge of a major terrorist strike against the United States that was, in fact, the 9/11 attacks."

“This conclusion flows from the fact that Mughniyah was a known terrorist agent of Iran, and, moreover, was a top-level Hezbollah terrorist commander who had attacked, kidnapped, and killed more Americans than any other terrorist in multiple terrorist attacks over the past three decades, at least some of which were at the direction of Iran,” Kephart states.
 

Read more on Newsmax.com: Lawsuit: Iran Knew About 9/11 Attack

Posted on 05/21/2011 6:36 AM by Jerry Gordon

Saturday, 21 May 2011

This is from the UKIP website following this story last week from Wales on Line

After a formal complaint from Christine Williams, the local UKIP spokesman, the Independent newspaper -sponsored HowTheLightGetsIn festival in Hay-on-Wye described as "the world’s largest philosophy and music festival" has withdrawn their invitation to Anjem Choudray the radical Muslim terrorist sympathiser.

A spokesperson for the festival said: " HowTheLightGetsIn has withdrawn its invitation to Anjem Choudary to take part in two debates on May 30th, as a result of the risk of disruption to the festival and a potential security risk to festival goers."  I know of people who telephoned the organisers to express their dismay that he was being given a platform; I also believe that some attendees intended to dispute with him robustly.

On hearing the news, Christine Williams said: "I am delighted that this man, who has burnt poppies, called for the death of British servicemen, and insulted the memories of millions should never have been given the credibility of this platform. The Festival has done the right thing, at last".

Posted on 05/21/2011 2:59 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax

Saturday, 21 May 2011

From the ABC.   I have not been able to find a more detailed account of this rally, yet, in the rest of our mainstream media.  If I find a fuller report later on I will post it as well.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/05/21/3223228.htm?section=justin

'Copts speak out about Egypt violence'

'A rally in Sydney has been told Coptic Christian women in Egypt are being abducted, raped and forced to convert to Islam.

'Hundreds (the organisers of this rally were hoping for thousands; it will be interesting to see how many people they think turned up, and the numbers estimated by the police, as opposed to how many the ABC reporter says were there  - CM) of Copts shouting "Enough is enough!: gathered in Martin Place to highlight what they say (what a nasty weasel-wording phrase you are using there, O ABC reporter! - CM) is a history of worsening violence against them in Egypt by hardline extremists.

Not by 'extremists'.  By Muslims, period; lots and lots of Muslims, in many parts of Egypt.  And it isn't a matter of the Copts just 'saying' it, as if they were making things up.  This persecution is happening. It is abundantly documented. And it is rapidly getting worse, in a manner that eerily recalls the escalation of incitement and violence that preceded various historic genocides.  - CM

'Sam Girgis, from the People's Voice Association, says the violence has escalated since Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak stepped down in January.

'He says more and more Christian women in Egypt are being abducted and forced to convert to Islam through blackmail.

This has, of course, been going on for much longer than the fall of Mubarak; it was happening in the 1970s; it has probably been happening at some level, sometimes more, sometimes less, ever since Muslims gained the upper hand in Egypt.  The women and children of the dhimmis have always been raped and frequently abducted and force-'converted' to Islam.  It is happening in Pakistan, right now, as well as in Egypt. - CM.

"The girls are raped...and filmed or photographed, and then this is used as a blackmail tool against them", he said.

'The rally has called on the Federal Government to consider accepting Coptic Christians from Egypt as refugees."

Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes.  Let my country stop taking in Muslims as immigrants or refugees, and give their places in the queue to Copts, instead, thus saving lives from an impending genocide.  The Copts will assimilate, intermarry with other Australian Christians - and secular Australians, gain education, work hard, and be genuinely grateful for a place of refuge...unlike all those thousands of sullen, hostile Muslims whom we let in and among whom we keep on finding people who are hatching plots to kill us. - CM.

 

Posted on 05/21/2011 2:19 AM by Christina McIntosh

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Apparently Obama didn't throw Israel far enough under the bus.  By Siraj Wahab, Maher Abbas, and Ghazanfar Ali Khan for Arab News:

RIYADH/DAMMAM: Saudis dismissed US President Barrack Obama's much-anticipated "Arab Spring address" as meaningless, predictable drivel while Egyptians and other Arabs, to whom Obama offered some sops, also did not find anything new in the speech, which according to them focused on US interests.

Imagine:  a speech by a U.S. President that focused on U.S. interests.  Not Saudi interests, but U.S. interests.  The nerve.

"He did not say anything of consequence," said Riyadh-based historian Hatoon Al-Fassi. "It was a long speech and what I remember the most is his defense of Israel. Till he uttered this sentence, 'US commitment to Israel's security is unshakable', I had some hope, but when he said that I lost all interest. All his words after and before just rang hollow."

Stating support for Israel's right to exist is anathema to the Saudis.  Only a declaration calling for the destruction of Israel will suffice.

Al-Fassi said people in the Arab world had high hopes after his speech in Cairo two years ago, "but when it came to action he turned out to be a hypocrite like all previous American presidents. So I did not have any expectations anyway. His words did not move me because they were all couched in diplomacy and hypocrisy, and nothing more."

"Katheeran min kalaam khalil min al-amal." That is how Dammam-based political analyst Mutlaq Al-Anazi described Obama's speech: "Too much talk and no action."

I'd describe the past decade another way: "Too much action, not enough thought."  In Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya, we have frenetically involved ourselves in their intra-Islamic conflicts, and run ourselves ragged trying to improve their lives (according to Western standards), to the detriment of all involved.  We don't know what we're trying to accomplish, or what they're trying to accomplish.

"There was nothing in his speech except a robust defense of Israel," said Anazi. "When you support Israel then you lose the moral high ground that we expect American presidents to take when dealing with the Palestinian-Israeli issue."

Again, in order to maintain the "moral high ground" according to Saudis (and generally Muslims), the U.S. must commit to the destruction of Israel.  Nothing else will do.

[...]

“Obama’s speech contained both positive and negative points,” said Imam Yousuf Suleiman, an Egyptian engineer. “It was a photocopy of his previous speeches, and he did not give any solutions for the crises that triggered the revolution in Egypt, which was actually caused by lack of social justice and sustainable development.”

He emphasized the need for modernizing economic infrastructure and building an economic civil society to reduce unemployment in Arab countries.

It goes without saying that the U.S. is responsible for providing that modern economic infrastructure, and building that economic civil society in Egypt.  Not the Saudis, Bahrainis, or Kuwaitis, and of course not the Egyptians themselves.  The Egyptians see Iraq, see Afghanistan, and they want their fair share of the loot.  Muslims want, kuffar provide.  That is as Allah wills it.

[...]

[Journalist Hadi] Fakihi said the US president would be judged on the actions that he takes on the ground rather than the empty rhetoric.

"In any case America did not play any role in the changes that have or are taking place in the region. We all know it. This is our script. What is your contribution? Nothing," he added.

Whatever level of largesse, whatever level of involvement, the U.S. Administration thinks is sufficient to win the hearts and minds of Muslims in Dar al-Islam, it isn't.  Poll after poll show that our efforts are not recognized, appreciated, or desired.  It's not working.  More importantly, it can never "work" in the way that we think it should.  It can never be two societies working together in equal partnership to achieve our shared mutual goals, because we are not their equals, we are filthy kufirs, and our goals of spreading tolerance and freedom are antithetical to their goals of removing all resistance to the imposition of sharia and slavery to Allah.

[...]

"The US can go to any extent, when its interests are at stake," said Ameer Siddiqui, a local Pakistani banker, adding that the future of the US is bound to the Middle East and North Africa. The two regions have shared economic and security interests, Siddiqui observed.

President Obama's speech seems to be more directed toward his own constituency and his political fortunes than the problems in the Middle East, said Naif Al-Hazmi, a Saudi teacher. He said that Obama must understand the real problems that plague the Middle East region instead of trying to act like a "super cop."

I would love to hear what he thinks are the "real problems that plague the Middle East region".  I think it would be most instructive to the kuffar.  Let's hear the calls for the destruction of Israel.  Please do go on.  Let's listen to the conspiracy theories about the Protocols of Zion, and the Mossad and the C.I.A., and the eternally victimized, eternally helpless, ummah.

In point of fact, there is one major, central, fundamental problem with "the Middle East region", and that problem was created 1,350 years ago by a morally degenerate madman.

Posted on 05/21/2011 1:37 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden

Friday, 20 May 2011

From The Washington Post:

US government warning: Al-Qaida considered hijacking, detonating oil tankers abroad

By Associated Press, May 20

WASHINGTON — The terror group al-Qaida last summer considered hijacking and detonating oil tankers abroad in non-Muslim seas to provoke an “extreme economic crisis” in the West, according to documents seized from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, the U.S. government said.

It added there was no specific or imminent threat and said officials didn’t know whether al-Qaida had continued the plotting since last year.

In a confidential warning obtained by The Associated Press, the FBI and the Homeland Security Department said that al-Qaida sought information on the size and construction of oil tankers, and determined that blowing them up from the inside would be easiest due to the strength of their hulls. Al-Qaida recommended test runs of the plot.

“We are not aware of indications of any specific or imminent terrorist attack plotting against the oil and natural gas sector overseas or in the United States,” DHS spokesman Matthew Chandler said in a statement Friday. “However, in 2010 there was continuing interest by members of al-Qaida in targeting oil tankers and commercial oil infrastructure at sea.”

The government warning went to federal, state and local law enforcement and companies in the oil and gas industries. The Homeland Security Department said it was not raising the nation’s terror alert level.

In 2007 the Japanese tanker the Golden Nori was hijacked carrying 40,000 tons of benzene. Initially, American intelligence agents worried terrorists from Somalia’s Islamic extremist insurgency could be involved, and might try to crash the boat into an offshore oil platform or use it as a gigantic bomb in a Middle Eastern port. When the Japanese vessel was towed back into Somali waters and ransom demanded, the coalition was relieved to realize it was a pirate attack.

___

Posted on 05/20/2011 10:19 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Friday, 20 May 2011

From The New York Times:

As NATO Claims Progress in Libya, a U.S. Deadline Is Put to the Test

WASHINGTON — With NATO officials expressing increased confidence on Friday that Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s military position in Libya was weakening, the Obama administration appeared to ignore a statute requiring hostilities to cease after two months if Congress had not authorized them to continue.

The War Powers Resolution of 1973 says that a president must terminate military operations 60 days after notifying Congress that he had introduced armed forces into actual or imminent hostilities. The Libyan operation reached that deadline on Friday.

But Pentagon and military officials said the United States’ participation in the Libyan mission was going forward unchanged. That includes the intermittent use of armed Predator drones to fire missiles at Libyan government forces, as happened on Thursday and Friday, they said.

“We will not halt our current operations, which are limited and in support of this critical, NATO-led humanitarian operation,” said Tommy Vietor, a National Security Council spokesman.

While the legal debate was playing out, NATO commanders seemed to go beyond their typically cautious statements on the conflict, saying that allied airstrikes had prevented Colonel Qaddafi’s forces from making sustained attacks on rebel fighters and had driven the Libyan leader into hiding.

“NATO nations and partners agree we have taken the initiative; we have the momentum,” the alliance spokeswoman, Carmen Romero, said at a Friday news briefing, summarizing the view of NATO ambassadors who met earlier in the week.

A NATO military spokesman, Wing Commander Mike Bracken, said of Colonel Qaddafi: “Effectively he has gone into hiding.”

The briefing on Friday echoed the generally upbeat conclusions contained in a confidential assessment of the operation’s first 60 days that Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard of Canada, the allied operational commander in Naples, Italy, sent to NATO political and military leaders in Brussels this week, a NATO diplomat said.

While noting the alliance’s steady progress in eroding the combat effectiveness of Colonel Qaddafi’s forces, General Bouchard also outlined three options for how NATO could continue the mission beyond the three months that allied leaders approved in March, said the diplomat, who had been briefed on the report.

One would maintain current NATO force levels. Another option, assuming Colonel Qaddafi was ousted from power, calls for much lower force levels during what could be a transition to a new government. A third plan would increase pressure on Colonel Qaddafi’s government, but does not go into details.

General Bouchard made no recommendations, the diplomat said, leaving that decision to NATO ambassadors.

Late on Friday, the White House released a letter from President Obama to Congressional leaders defending the Libya operation. While he did not directly ask for a resolution authorizing the action or concede that it was necessary, he expressed support for the idea of a legislative endorsement.

“Congressional action in support of the mission would underline the U.S. commitment to this remarkable international effort,” he wrote. “Such a resolution is also important in the context of our constitutional framework, as it would demonstrate a unity of purpose among the political branches on this important national security matter.”

While Congressional leaders have signaled little institutional interest in enforcing the resolution, there are signs that a political controversy is starting to pick up.

On Wednesday, six Republican senators sent a letter to Mr. Obama noting the imminent deadline “for you to terminate the use of the United States armed forces in Libya.” They asked “whether you intend to comply with the requirements of the War Powers Resolution.”

On Thursday, Representative Howard P. McKeon of California, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, sent a similar letter to Mr. Obama stressing that the country was about to reach the War Powers Resolution deadline, which he portrayed as a “critical juncture.”

And on Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union also wrote to Mr. Obama expressing its “profound concern” that he was about to violate the War Powers Resolution, and arguing that he had no legal authority to use military force in Libya.

Administration officials offered no theory for why continuing the air war in Libya in the absence of such a resolution and beyond the deadline would be lawful. Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor who led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 2003 and 2004, portrayed it as a significant constitutional moment.

“There may be facts of which we are unaware, but this appears to be the first time that any president has violated the War Powers Resolution’s requirement either to terminate the use of armed forces within 60 days after the initiation of hostilities or get Congress’s support,” Mr. Goldsmith said.

Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said that the validity of the War Powers Resolution had been so debated that writings about it “over the years could fill this room, and none of it would be conclusive.”

Congress enacted the resolution in 1973, overriding President Richard M. Nixon’s veto, in an effort to reassert its constitutional role in making decisions about whether the country would get involved in significant armed conflicts.

Several parts of the resolution have been repeatedly challenged by presidents. But a 1980 opinion by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel concluded that the 60-day limit was constitutional. (The law allows presidents to extend the deadline by 30 days if necessary to protect the safety of forces as they withdraw, which does not appear to apply to an air campaign.)

The practical effect of the 60-day limit is to shift the burden to the president to convince the Congress of the continuing need for the use of our armed forces abroad,” the 1980 memorandum says. “We cannot say that placing that burden on the president unconstitutionally intrudes upon his executive powers.”

Such opinions are binding on the executive branch unless they are superseded by the Justice Department or the president. The Justice Department did not respond to a question about whether the 31-year-old memorandum remains in effect.

The administration has argued that Mr. Obama did not need Congressional permission to deploy forces to Libya, saying that a president may order forces into limited military engagements on his own if he decides it is in the national interest, and that the NATO-led campaign in Libya is such a conflict.

Steven Erlanger contributed reporting from Paris, and Eric Schmitt from Naples, Italy.

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Posted on 05/20/2011 10:12 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Friday, 20 May 2011

From Investor's Business Daily:

'Arab Spring,' Christian Winter

Islamofascism: Obama wants to reward "democratic Egypt" with $1 billion in debt relief. Only, "democratic" Egypt is torching churches and slaughtering Christians left and right.

There's a howling disconnect between the president's Pollyannaish narrative of an 'Arab Spring' and the reality on the ground in beneficiary countries such as Egypt, where religious intolerance and human-rights abuses are on the rise.

In his speech calling for a Mideast Marshall Plan, he failed to mention increasingly violent attacks against Coptic Christians throughout post-Mubarak Egypt. For them, the "Arab Spring" has turned into a bitter and bloody winter.

Among recent attacks:

• An angry mob of Muslims last week threw rocks and firebombs at Christians gathered in Cairo for a sit-in to demand the new regime reopen nearly 50 churches it shuttered. The attacks left more than 65 injured.

• Jihadists on May 8 stormed and set ablaze the Virgin Mary Church in Cairo, shouting: "With our blood and soul, we will defend you, Islam." They also burned down nearby homes occupied by Coptic families, killing a dozen people and wounding more than 200.

• Muslim rioters in Qena demanded in April the ouster of a governor because he is Christian.

• Muslim mobs in March torched another Cairo church and attacked Christian worshipers there.

• Muslims in December bombed a church in Alexandria, killing 23.

An estimated 3,000 Muslims have joined in these attacks. They've done this while Egyptian troops and police did little or nothing to stop the violence.

In a Pew Research poll taken after the allegedly pro-democracy riots in Tahrir Square, only a third of Egyptian adults said they think it's important for Coptic Christians to practice their faith freely.

Meanwhile, a whopping 89% of them say laws under a post-Mubarak government "should follow the values and principles of Islam." And nearly two-thirds want laws to enforce Shariah — the barbaric legal code practiced in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan under the Taliban.

In a separate survey last spring, Pew found that a startling 84% of Egyptians favor the death penalty for people who leave the Muslim faith.

Clearly, Muslim hatred for Christians (as well as Jews) has not thawed with the "Arab Spring." While there are some Facebook modernists mixed in with reformers, the vast majority of Egyptians are hardly Westernized Muslims yearning for our freedoms. These are Islamofascists yearning to be free of non-Muslims in their society.

In fact, a pogrom against Copts may have begun in the absence of Mubarak's protections. The bloodshed is well-documented in U.S. Embassy cables from Cairo.

Posted on 05/20/2011 10:06 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Friday, 20 May 2011

The Daily Telegraph has learnt that MI5 has been passed intelligence from their American counterparts linking bin Laden directly to the so-called “Easter shopping” bomb plot. The Manchester terrorist cell – suspected of plotting to blow up landmarks in the city during the Easter holiday – was arrested in 2009.

But the police were unable to press charges because of a lack of evidence and their treatment at the time became a cause célèbre for MPs, lawyers and human rights groups. An attempt last year to deport the alleged ringleader of the plot then failed on human rights grounds because he claimed he would be tortured if he was returned to Pakistan. Most of the alleged cell members have now left Britain.

The disclosure of the links to bin Laden is likely to lead to renewed concern over the British operation to apprehend the men – and the evidence which can be used in terrorist prosecutions in this country.The CIA has already told its British counterparts that it has found a list of names that included the men allegedly behind the Manchester plot.

The discovery is among the first evidence that bin Laden may have been playing an operational role in al-Qaeda from his hideout at a compound in Abbottabad, before his death on May 2.The Americans have already disclosed that bin Laden was plotting to blow up US trains and he is said to have been “obsessed” with the anniversary of 9/11.

The intelligence services intercepted messages that they believed showed the British-based extremists were communicating with a commander in Pakistan to carry out bombings in Easter 2009.

However, the operation turned into a farce after Bob Quick, the head of counter-terrorism police at the time, was photographed entering Downing Street with details of planned raids under his arm. This forced detectives and intelligence agents to make arrests immediately. The 12 men arrested were released without charge, then detained on immigration grounds as a threat to national security.

Two Muslim Labour MPs wrote to the Home Secretary at the time to complain about the “gravely unjust” treatment of the men.

Posted on 05/20/2011 5:06 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax

Friday, 20 May 2011

Thats all well and good, but as he is such a danger what did the 'midlands town' do wrong to deserve him. Surely he should be deported, as he has dual nationality. From the London Evening Standard.

A man security services say was the leading figure in "a close group of Islamic extremists based in north London" must be moved out of the capital to protect the public, the High Court has ruled.

The man, who is subject to a control order and can only be referred to as "CD", has attempted to obtain firearms, according to intelligence reports. CD was reported to have attended the training camp organised by Muhammed Hamid, and also attended by the 21/7 bombers, at Baysbrown Farm in Cumbria in May 2004.

Mr Justice Simon said CD's removal to an undisclosed address "in a Midland city" was "a necessary and proportionate measure to protect the public from the risk of what is an immediate and real risk of a terrorist-related attack".

The risk was "significant", notwithstanding the high level of protection implicit in his control order obligations. It was the Home Office case that relocation was necessary to prevent covert meetings with his associates in London to plan attacks.

The judge said the family of CD, who is married with two children, are entitled to a travel allowance to visit him, but that did not mean such allowances should be made available in every relocation case.

CD, who has dual British and Nigerian nationality, was served with a control order in February this year. The 12-month order was imposed following Government assertions that putting him on trial risked revealing intelligence sources.

Posted on 05/20/2011 2:22 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax

Friday, 20 May 2011

Yet another shocking revelation about yet another (accused) terrorist-who-just-happens-to-be-Muslim, Akbar Muhammad, from AP:

Farrakhan aide denies terror, drug allegations

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – A longtime aide to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is denying Guyana police allegations of ties to drugs and terrorism.

Akbar Muhammad tells The Associated Press that the accusations against him are a massive distortion. he says he has never been involved in terrorism or drugs.

Muhammad spoke briefly Friday as he was being taken back to hotel where police detained him so he could retrieve his heart medications.

Assistant Police Commissioner Seelal Persaud has said he has information that links Muhammad to drugs and terrorism. Persaud has declined further comment, except to say that Canadian-Guyanese citizen Phillip Muhammad also was arrested.

Posted on 05/20/2011 2:09 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden

Friday, 20 May 2011

Friday, 20 May 2011

From The Sofia Echo

Bulgaria is one of the few countries in Europe which for more than 50 years has been an example of tolerance - ethnic, religious and other forms - and no one should damage this, Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov said after a clash outside a mosque in central Sofia between supporters of ultra-nationalist party Ataka and Muslims led to injuries and arrests.

Three Ataka supporters were arrested and one of the party's MPs, Denitsa Gadzheva, was injured in the incident at the Banya Bashi mosque, which followed a protest by Ataka against the use of loudspeakers to broadcast the call to prayer.

Siderov told Parliament that unless the Ataka members who were arrested were released, his party would "go into opposition", a reference to the fact that since 2009 it generally has been supportive of Prime Minister Boiko Borissov's centre-right Government.

Siderov said that the police had arrested what he called "Bulgarian patriots" but "not a single Islamist wearing a turban, who were making fun of Bulgaria, preaching jihad and calling for the deaths of Christians, was detained".

He showed photographs of an injured Gadzheva, telling Parliament, "here is evidence of Islamist terror in Bulgaria".  

Posted on 05/20/2011 12:01 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax

Friday, 20 May 2011

From The Telegraph

Five British soldiers killed in an attack by a rogue Afghan policeman were there because of a "blood feud" between a police commander and the Taliban, an inquest heard.

Speaking at the inquest at Wiltshire and Swindon Coroner's Court in Trowbridge, Lt Col Walker said there was a feud between "one of the local villager boys [who] was a local Taliban commander" and the police commander over land elsewhere in the region. "I think there was an element of blood feud which is a cultural practice."

The troops were gunned down without warning by an officer, known only as Gulbuddin, alongside whom they had been living at an Afghan National Police (ANP) checkpoint in Nad-e-Ali, Helmand Province.

Warrant Officer Class 1 Darren Chant, 40, Sergeant Matthew Telford, 37, and Guardsman Jimmy Major, 18, from the Grenadier Guards, died alongside Corporal Steven Boote, 22, and Corporal Nicholas Webster-Smith, 24, from the Royal Military Police on November 3, 2009.

David Ridley, coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon, recorded a verdict of unlawful killing following a four-day inquest in Trowbridge, Wilts.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the murders and some reports suggested Gulbuddin had escaped back to them, but military sources have suggested the attack was probably unconnected to the insurgents.

No one knows why Gulbuddin opened fire, (of course we know - jihad) killing the five and also wounding six troops and two Afghan policemen. He fled the checkpoint and has never been caught.

The British soldiers were at the checkpoint in the village of Shin Kalay, which was on a vital supply route, to defuse a "blood feud" between a police commander and the local Taliban. That had caused tensions between villagers and the ANP, which had been accused of beatings, paedophilia and corruption. The ANP were poorly paid and many regularly abused opium and cannabis and were often insubordinate and ill-disciplined. On patrol with the British, some wore nail varnish or would hold each other's hands, the inquest heard.

An Afghan interpreter said the ANP were insolent and would tell the British in Pashto to "f*** off" or call them "f****** infidels".

Gulbuddin was nicknamed "Errol Flynn" by troops for his moustache and "Pretty Boy" because of his camp behaviour. In the weeks before the shootings he had run-ins with British soldiers, including touching their bottoms, twanging the elastic on their shorts and grabbing one in a headlock. He was also in a "strop" on the day of the killings, having been admonished for not wearing his police-issue hat. On one occasion Gulbuddin had taken so much cannabis he could "barely walk straight".

Lance Corporal Peniasi Namarua, who was badly injured in the incident, said: "I didn't trust them. I can't explain why I could not trust them, it was just a feeling I could not suppress."

Posted on 05/20/2011 11:27 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax

Friday, 20 May 2011

If Obama

1) had an understanding of the world-wide threat from those who take Islam to heart,

and if Obama

2) realized that after the loss of American bases in Morocco, and then Libya, and the unlikelihood that Iraq will be granting the Americans a base, or that Qatar or Kuwait or Bahrain will keep Americans around save to save the ruling houses, and we all know about Saudi Arabia's treatment of the American airmen who were temporarily allowed in to protect the Al Saud when Saddam Hussein in 1991 seemed to threaten them (remember the Saudi prince who told other Saudis about how he could now  "summon my blue-eyed slaves"), in the mighty military contests that are likely to come, between Italy and East Asia, the only American base, or bases that the Americans can count on to be firmly in the hands of those who are unswervingly on the American side, are those in Israel,

and if Obama

3) further understood how maltreated the Israelis -- and not simply Netanyahu, who has been subject to a campaign of vilification and demonization when his position on putting trust in the "Palestinians" or allowing the American government to decide, when it flails about on the matter of Islam, and what to do about the wasteful messes and general hopelessness and utterly predictable treacheries by Muslims in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, to sacrifice Israel's security, by ignoring the history of the Middle East and the history of the Jews which explain that Mandate (the most legitimate of all the Mandates which the League of Nations created out of the former Ottoman-ruled lands), and by ignoring -- or never learning --what Islam inculcates, and how it is a doctrine that originated in the need for Arabs to both promote, and justify, their conquest of many other, far more advanced and rich and settled peoples, throughout the Middle East and North Africa. And what it inculcates is the duty of all Muslims to participate in Jihad, the struggle to remove all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam. And the war on the Jewish state is not about borders, or armistice lines, or this business of the recently-invented "Palestinian people." The diplomatic and propaganda campaign against Israel has been going relentlessly since the defeat of three Arab armies in 1967, and the Arabs have used the fruits of Israel's victory in that war of self-defense to re-present the Jihad against Israel as, in truth, merely an attempt to win a "state" for the "Palestinian people." That the Muslim Arabs made war agaisnt Israel, on the battlefield and through terrorism, long before the "Palestinian people" were invented, and long before there was a single Israeli either in Gaza or "the West Bank" apparently has escaped everyone's notice.

The Israelis have not been vigilant about words. They have accepted the use of that term "Palestinian people" and some Israelis, including some leaders, have been criminally negligent in using that phrase themselves, instead of holding it up for critical scrutiny and never once endorsing it or seeming to. They have not fought to end the misuse of that word "occupied" -- see here for more -- and have allowed the BBC and now NPR to describe with that loaded epithet territory to which Israel has a claim that has nothing to do with being a military occupier. Rather, it was Jordan and Egypt that occupied territory to which, under the Mandate, they had no claiim, and it was Israel, that in a war of self-defense took possession of land to which it already had a pre-existing claim. That is very different from, say, Occupied Paris or Occupied Vienna or Occupied France -- all terms that correclty use the word "Occupied" to indicate an occupation by foreign military troops who temporarily rule but who have no legitimate claim to the place that is -- temporarily -- "Occupied."

The Israelis not only have a right to keep everything that they currently possess, but they would have been completely within their rights in June 1967 had they simply annexed, the tiny territory between the Jordan and the sea that they need, to survive, as a buffer. They could have done this at the time, when the world had just lived through those weeks when Nasser demanded the U.N. peacekeepers get out of the Sinai, and called up his troops, and addressed screaming Cairene crowds, playing to their hysterical hate of the Zionist enemy, and threatened a blockade of the Straits of Tiran (cutting off Israel's lifeline to Asia), and doing much else, until, in early June, his plans went agley, and more than agley. That they did not do so has resulted in decades of blundering, and of bullying, and constant "plans" by endless meddlers from the West who presume to tell Israel what it can or cannot do in order to survive. And successive American governments, headed by people who have never even understood the need, when dealing with anything in the Middle East, to study and then grasp what Islam inculcates, what Islam does, what Islam requires of its followers, what attitudes and atmospherics of Islamic societies allow us to say, with absolute certainty, that the Muslim Arabs (whose ethnic identity does not play against, but reinforces, the power of Islam) will never accept the state of Israel, and that the only way to keep the peace -- if that is the goal -- is to have Israel's deterrent power so obvious, and so overwhelming, and the Arab leaders aware of this and their people too, so that they will not try again by open warfare what, of course, they will continue to try to win, through relentless world-wide campaigns intended to vilify Israel and to hide the real nature of the conflict, and to confuse people about the Mandate, and about the history of Muslim treaty-making and treaty-breaking with Israel.

It is not only conceivable but likely that Barack Obama, and those around him who speak about a "solution" to the Arab war -- the Jihad -- against Israel have no real grasp of the ideology of Islam, and cannot understand its deep effect on the  minds of Believers. It is out of their experience, it is beyond their imaginative range. Instead, they insist, or believe, or allow themselves to believe, or pretend to believe, that what Islam inculcates, and what apostate witness after witness arrives to tell us Islam inculcates, simply cannot be true, for were it to be true, then they would be faced with a problem that has no end, that has no solution, and that merely for the distress caused by that problem to be ameliorated would require acts of imaginative intelligence that are simply beyond them. They are Podnsaps of policy; they don't want to hear about it, and they won't, for it offends them.

And the Israelis for years did not grasp the nature of Islam themselves. It was especially hard to do so during those years when Israel  reached out to cultivate allies among non-Arab but Muslim neighbors -- Iran under the Shah and his secular courtiers, and Turkey still under the sway of Kemalism and the Turkish officer corps that stood ready to enforce the Kemalist dispensation. Furthermore, it is just as hard for Israelis, as for Europeans and Americans, to admit that Islam inculcates the idea of permanent Jihad, because for Israelis the problem, if recognized, is far more upsetting. Humans like to deny, like to postpone that fateful anagnorisis, unless they have all along steeled themselves, and come to understand that recognition even of a grim reality, a grim and "sober" reality (in contrast to the sentimental inebriation of hope and always-ever-assumedly-upward change on display in Obama's latest speech), can itself be salutary and bracing.

Israelis themselves have not yet publicly raised that Hudaibiyya issue -- of how, again and again, Arab states have pocketed the tangible things -- the land, the infrastructure -- that Israel has promised to yield, and done so, in exchange for promises on the other side to make "peace" -- which "peace" is supposed to include an end to hostile behavior, an end to participation in all the ways of war-making -- economic boycott, propaganda, diplomatic offensives -- that all of the Arab states, including the two, Egypt and Jordan, that have signed ballyhooed "peace treaties," have engaged in with impunity, the issue never being raised by that Great Guarantor of Peace Across the Seas, the American government.

Egypt's military -- the most corrupt and malign force in Egyptian life -- has for decades been wrongly hailed as being a "staunch ally" of the United States (it is not, and never has been) and what's more, praised -- for god's sake, it got the entire Sinai, didn't it? -- for having "kept the peace" with Israel, and the American government has seen fit to reward Egypt, beyond the vast Sinai (with $15 billion in improvements that the Israelis included) that Egypt received, and has so far given Egypt more than $70 billion in economic and military aid. That has all been a mistake, a mistake about to be compounded by Obama when he offers still more aid to a country whose military are preparing to fight, sometime in the future, only one country -- Israel -- and whose civilian ruling clique is corrupt, and helps itself to American aid which is the easiest piggybank to rob if you are in that frame of mind, and many in that ruling clique regard corruption as one of the natural perquisites of rule.

And if Egypt "kept the peace with Israel" it never fulfilled any of its promises to encourage friendly relations and halt the hostile and vicious anti-Israel propaganda that used to pour out of Egypt -- and that pours out of its press, its radio, its television still. Egypt "kept the peace" only in the sense that it did not wage open warfare. But Syria didn't either, nor Iraq, nor Libya, nor Saudi Arabia, nor many other Muslim lands that "kept the peace" because they feared what Israel would do by way of retaliation. No document, no peace treaty, was necessary for Israel, through its military strength, to "keep the peace."

I don't know if Netanyahu, who knows all about the Treaty of Hudaibiyya, will start talking  about it, or will start discussing the ideology of Islam. He likely will not do it publicly. But he, and other Israelis, and those who are not Israelis but care about the survival of Israel and, of course, about the survival of the West in conditions other than those of maximum peril and expense, should also start talking first to those who make policy, so that they realize they can no longer hide from the Western publics these aspects of Islam, and to force those who make policy to begin to put aside sentimentality about Arabs emulating dignified Rosa Parks (but Rosa Parks would never have attacked Coptic churches, never have been eager to lord it over others as so many Musliims in Egypt, or even in Tunisia among the rachid-ghannouchi followers, would be perfeclty content, even delighted to do, with non-Muslims) and to get real. .

Posted on 05/20/2011 10:54 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Friday, 20 May 2011

On Tuesday, May 24th, PBS Independent Lens series will air a documentary, Welcome to Shelbyville. Watch the trailer, here.

This is a co-production of Active Voice and BeCause Foundations promoting the efforts of the Welcoming America NGO backed by George Soros’ Open Society Institute and several other foundations.

The focus on Shelbyville, located in Bedford County in middle Tennessee, derives from its emblematic cultural clashes from the influx of 1,100 un-assimilated Somali Muslim poultry processing workers and families in a community of 18,000. The Bible Belt has been impacted by the multi-billion dollar refugee resettlement programs implemented by our State Department and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) during the Clinton era that vectored refugees to Gateway Cities in the American Heartland.

It is also reflected in the local opposition to a number of Mega Mosque projects in nearby locations like Antioch, Murfreesboro and Nashville, Tennessee. These have captured national attention, most recently in the CNN, Soledad O’Brien In America documentary; Unwelcome: Muslims Next Door (see here). That documentary was about the controversy over the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro expansion project. The controversy concerning the spate of mosque building projects and concerns expressed by local citizens over accommodation of Sharia Islamic law are reflected in the Republican-controlled Tennessee legislature’s deliberations over a Material Support Act for Designated Entities. This legislation is directed at curbing home grown terrorism. It likely to pass this session in Nashville, despite protests of Muslim advocacy groups and minority Democratic allies, including many Somali immigrants.

If you go to the Welcome to Shelbyville, website and view the multimedia presentation by production partner Active Voice, the impression one receives is that the community has a decided racist and bigoted past with inferences that it might have spawned the KKK created by Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forest (not the case and Bedford County is named after a revolutionary war hero). It was subsequently embroiled in Jim Crow segregation episodes up through the Civil Rights era of the 1960’s. Only passing mention is made of the county’s first African American Mayor, Eugene Ray.

In the course of reviewing the multi-media presentation you will come across Brian Mosely, AP-award winning journalist of the Shelbyville Times Gazette. We interviewed Mosely about Somalis and the severe cultural clash occasioned by Tyson Foods hiring these refugee émigrés to replace illegal Hispanic aliens at a local poultry processing plant. Mosely appears in the Welcome to Shelbyville documentary, mainly as a target for local immigrant groups, Latino and Somali, castigating the community for not accommodating the Somali Muslim workers, despite Mosely’s carefully and well documented evidence of severe conflicts.

Perhaps, it was Mosely’s revelations about the less than helpful efforts of the Tennessee Immigration and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) that placed billboards throughout middle Tennessee promoting the community acceptance of Somali immigrants that may have set off the producers patent attack on him in the documentary. The TIRRC billboard campaign led to the formation of the Welcoming America NGO started in 2007. This NGO’s aim is to foster similar efforts in a number of locales through the American Heartland including Welcoming projects in more than 11 states involving Latinos, Somalis and other immigrant groups. The fundamentalist Somali Muslims’ demands in Shelbyville for obligatory Islamic Sharia compliance have created problems. These have disrupted labor management relations at the Tyson Food plant, hampered absorption problems compounded by lack of English language proficiency and communications. The Somalis have evinced offensive and arrogant attitudes demeaning women and other minorities.

The Shelbyville culture clash was the subject of interviews by Christian Broadcasting Network counterterrorism analyst, Erick Stakelbeck in the community, including Times-Gazette writer, Mosely. Note this exchange drawn from Stakelbeck’s new book, The Terrorist Next Door.

“They’ve had an impact here. Unfortunately, it’s not been a good impact,” said Brian Mosely, a reporter for the Shelbyville Times-Gazette newspaper.

“I found that there was just an enormous culture clash going on here,” Mosely said.

“The Somalis were—according to a lot of the people I talked to here—being very, very rude, inconsiderate, very demanding. They would go into stores and haggle over prices. They would also demand to see a male salesperson; [they] would not deal with women in stores.”

“We’re talking about people who have not had any experience with Western civilization,” Mosely explained.

“They don’t know the language. Things like running water are a miracle to some of these folks. 

. . You don’t take people from a totally alien culture, put them into a community, and then say, ‘Alright, you must get along.’”

Welcome to Shelbyville was premiered in the community in October, 2010. The production was selected by the US State Department to be shown in more than 38 diplomatic legations in the third world. One presentation occurred in our embassy in the capitol of sectarian strife-torn Lagos, Nigeria.

There have been over 90 previews in the run up to the May 24th nationwide PBS presentation. One of those took place on May 9th in Los Angeles sponsored by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) with its founder, Salam Al Mayarti. MPAC is one of several Muslim Brotherhood fronts like CAIR, ISNA and the ICNA engaged in promoting the Welcome to Shelbyville documentary. Perhaps this MPAC presentation of Welcome to Shelbyville was done out of solidarity with their fundamentalist Somali Muslim brethren, or perhaps to promote the liberal supported views that all Muslims are being discriminated against, or both.

Al Mayarti is someone to be watched. He is a ‘truther’ having accused the Israelis of fomenting 9/11. He is a defender of designated foreign terrorist groups, Hamas and Hezbollah.

An alum of MPAC is Arif Alikhan, the former Los Angeles Deputy Mayor and Bush US Department of Justice aide, who nixed an L.A.P.D. Muslim community profiling project endeavoring to detect Jihadists.

Alikhan was appointed in 2009 as Assistant Secretary for Policy at the US Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Piercing the veil of the Welcome to Shelbyville production sponsors, BeCause Foundation, Active Voice and Welcoming America, we find an assortment of former PBS producers, Obama Campaign Aides, a former TIRRC director, funding by Chicago property mogul Sam Zell, international hedge fund billionaire George Soros and other foundations. Further investigation of these co-producers reveals connections to Arab American, immigration advocacy groups, UN and US refugee resettlement programs and voluntary agency contractors.

The Chicago-based BeCause Foundation website describes itself as:

[driving] social change through the powerful fusion of documentary filmmaking …implementing engagement campaigns and coalition building around the films… helps transform such solutions into broad based movements for social change.

Richard Kincaid, founder and President of the group since 2003 was a financial officer with Chicago real estate mogul and billionaire Sam Zell’s Equity Office Property Trust as was executive director, Debbie Ferruzzi.

The San Francisco – based Active Voice Foundation promotes itself as:

. . . using film, television and multimedia to spark social change from grassroots to grass tops. Our team of strategic communications specialists works with media makers, funders, advocates and thought leaders to put a human face on the issues of our times.

Active Voice counts among its non-profit clients, groups engaged in Arab American advocacy, Immigration Reform and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees that controls who gets vectored into the American heartland by our State Department and HHS refugee resettlement programs.

Among these are:

• American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee*

• American Civil Liberties Union

• American Constitution Society*

• Amnesty International USA*

• Heartland Alliance’s Midwest Immigrants

• National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation National Council of La Raza

• National Immigrant Justice Center

• UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Active Voice has been involved with a number Immigration Advocacy and Faith-Based groups, including a number of Voluntary Agencies, contractors with the State Department Refugee and HHS resettlement programs:

• California Council of Churches

• Catholic Charities*

• Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)*

• Center for Islamic Studies

• Church World Service*

• Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

• Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS)

• National Council of Churches USA

• World Relief.

Executive director Ellen Schneider was formerly the executive producer of P.O.V., PBS's independent documentary series. She created reality TV pilots and sits on juried film festivals like Sundance. Greg Ligon, Active Voice’s Online communications Associate helped organize the youth vote programs at Obama for America and Corzine for Governor in New Jersey and was an aide in the legislative office of Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ), whose district includes significant local Hispanic and Muslim constituencies. Pascrell has  sponsored seminars for Muslim constituents and CAIR at the US Capitol.

The Atlanta-based Welcoming America NGO is headed by David Lubell, the former director and founder of TIRRC, host organization for Welcoming Tennessee and the inspiration for Welcoming America. Welcoming America now has advocacy educational projects based on the TIRRC model in more than 11 states in America.

We note from the Welcoming America website:

TIRRC is now considered a model for emerging immigrant’s rights coalitions forming across the U.S., and was named “Advocacy Affiliate of the Year” in 2008 by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest Latino civil rights organization in the U.S.

Listen to Lubell and others on a PBS NPR Forum panel discuss ‘the receiving communities movement’ dealing with immigrant integration and advocacy for undocumented aliens and refugees.

Welcoming America has been the recipient of grants from several foundations: $150,000 from the Open Society Institute of George Soros; a $300,000 ‘entrepreneur’ grant from The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation; and, $90,000 from the JM Kaplan Foundation.

According to Lubell, his group Welcoming America allegedly avoids immigration reform or politics instead concentrating on building rapport with resident populations via community building rather than creating immigrant infrastructure and power bases. That is allegedly what attracted the group’s significant backing from these philanthropies.

The problem, as exemplified by what Mosely and others have encountered with Somali Muslim immigrants is that they reject the very same resident populations that Welcoming America is trying to reach. That makes for volatile relations and possible violence in communities that host these alien immigrants rejecting basic Western values. Which means that the Welcome to Shelbyville documentary doesn’t convey the realities of absorption. It glosses over them, while attacking the truth tellers.

Posted on 05/20/2011 9:06 AM by Jerry Gordon

Friday, 20 May 2011

Dan Friedman's sharp wit:

Israeli PM calls for “just solution” to end the conflict.
 
Aboard Air Force Aleph (Reuters) – Speaking to reporters accompanying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his long flight to the United States tonight, Netanyahu spoke of the injustice and hardship Mexicans have endured since American forces annexed Texas in 1845. “Tens of thousands of ordinary Mexicans were driven out of their homes – the only homes they had known for centuries - and forced to live in poverty and squalor south of the border imposed by American aggression,” Netanyahu said. “The Israeli and Mexican people agree on this: This festering wound will never heal until America takes bold steps to return to the internationally accepted lines of 1845. Clearly the settlement activity that’s taken place occupied Mexico since then is illegal. When I meet the President tomorrow I will tell him to halt all building activity in Texas immediately. Two lands for two peoples, yes, but not on land taken by force from Mexico,” the Prime Minister said.
 
Asked if his hard-line stance could hurt the U.S.-Israel relationship, Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s commitment to America’s security and the unshakeable friendship shared by the two countries, then added, “But who was it who said, part of friendship is being able to tell your friend the truth. The ball is now in Obama’s court.”
 
Posted on 05/20/2011 7:08 AM by Rebecca Bynum

Friday, 20 May 2011
From the APT website:
 
Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) and Tennessee Freedom Coalition call Tennessean news reports on Nashville's radical Islamists "intentionally deceptive," call on publisher Carol Hudler to uphold journalistic standards at the newspaper. Activist groups cite 5 cases of deceptive reporting, fault Tennessean for covering up Muslim group's promotion of Anwar Al Awlaki's writings.
 
Awlaki Links on Olive Tree Site

Awlaki Links on Olive Tree Site

Today Americans for Peace and Tolerance called upon the publisher of the Nashville Tennessean to cease the paper's whitewashing of radical Islamic activities in Middle Tennessee, which include hateful statements in the community and local universities.
 
Dr. Charles Jacobs, APT President, said, "The Tennessean's reporting consistently accepts as valid and true all claims put forward by the extremist Islamic leadership, but always questions, rejects or distorts what its critics say. Has it ever occurred to the reporters and the editorial board of the Tennessean that Islamic radicals have serially deceived the American people, especially about their extremist activities? Truth at the Tennessean seems not to be a function of facts and evidence but of who is speaking."
 
On May 13, APT released a 15 minute video - "Losing our Community" - which documented the anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, anti-Western and homophobic teachings of radical Islamists who had been embraced by the civic leadership in Nashville.
 
These leaders include liberal Christian clergy, "progressive" rabbis, as well as Vanderbilt and Tennessee State Universities. 

"Losing our Community," criticized the Tennessean's religion reporter, Bob Smietana for ignoring what he knew, or could easily have known, about the hateful teachings on the Vanderbilt campus and at the Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN) mosque in his reporting.
 
In his May 18th article that covered the APT video, Tennessean reporter Chas Sisk continued to mislead the Nashville community about the threat of extremist Muslims. 
 
Jacobs said, "Sisk's article is replete with easily detectable distortions of the video. Any fair-minded person who watches our video and then reads Sisk's description of it will be given a powerful example of how political correctness has corrupted journalism. The Tennessean is obviously reluctant to report the news honestly when confronted with Islamic leaders behaving badly."
 
"The Tennessean uses the cover of journalism to promote its ideology. Indeed, Sisk's intentional mischaracterization of Muslim leader Binhazim's statements in our film is a model lesson in the disappearance of journalism standards," he added.
 
There are 5 cases of Sisk being clearly dishonest with his readers about the video. Each case represents an important, sensitive issue:
 
1. The mandated killing of homosexuals
 
The video shows Binhazim teaching Vanderbilt students that Islam commands Muslims to execute homosexuals.
 
When a Vanderbuilt student asks Binhazim about his own opinion on the matter, Binhazim explains that under Islam he has no choice but to follow the teaching. In another lecture on our film, Binhazim says:
 
"Allah is the one who commands me and tells me what to do. This is number one. This requires removing from ourselves any personal opinions. One must always remember that Islam is not about personal opinions."
 
Sisk tries his best to exonerate Binhazim:
 
"The video does not quote Binhazim as calling for violence, but he does say traditional Islamic law calls for the death penalty for homosexuality. Binhazim said he was simply giving an academic answer to a question."
 
"This was not, is not an endorsement of one view point of religion or the other," he said. "This does not mean that this is the position I hold."
 
Sisk gives him a pass, allowing his readers to think that Binhazim does not hold that view personally, omitting the key part where Binhazim says he cannot hold a different personal opinion according to Islam.
 
2. On the necessity of Muslims living under Sharia law
 
Sisk says our video shows Benhazim saying only "That many Muslims around the world are drawn to Sharia, or Islamic Law." 
 
But Binhazim clearly states something much more problematic: Islam demands Sharia law must be applied to matters of state and community:  
 
"The idea that you can separate Islam to become an individual experience to everyone, that Islam is a private matter, and that it cannot be a state matter, and a community matter - that is not the teachings of Islam."
 
3. On science vs. religious belief
 
Sisk says our film has Binhazim stating simply, "that science and technology should not lead to the abandonment of Islamic beliefs."
 
Actually, Binhazim said that science should be SUBORDINATE to Islamic beliefs in order to prevent secularization of Muslim society. He said this in the context of attacking Westernization as something Muslims have a problem with:
 
"In its original sense, Muslims have a problem with Westernization. Science and technology are accepted in our culture and our tradition, but they are to be subordinate to Islamic beliefs and values in order to guard against the secularization of Muslim societies."
 
4. How Muslims should behave in the West
 
Sisk claims that Binhazim says in our film only "that Western Muslims should set an example for Muslims in other parts of the world on how to behave toward westerners."
 
This is a complete fabrication. In the context of his prior assertion that "Muslims have a problem with Westernization," Binhazim actually insists that Western Muslims must lead the Muslim world in a reactionary confrontation with Western thought and civilization:
 
"You, as the leaders of tomorrow, will guide the Muslim world's reaction to Westernization and Western thought. Your reaction to that - by you living in the West, you are not necessarily removed from that responsibility, because this is really where the engagement and the encounter is taking place."
 
Sisk's misleading reporting purposely whitewashes extremist Muslims leaders'agenda of keeping Muslim immigrants separate from American society and radicalizing the established and historically moderate Muslim population in America.
 
5. To Binhazim, who are the Jews and Christians? What are their Holy Texts? What does he tell us about his thoughts? What does he really believe?
 
Sisk says that our video claims that Binhazim teaches only, "that Jewish and Christian scriptures have been changed from their original meaning."
 
This is a travesty. Our film shows Binhazim explaining that he cannot or does not tell Jews and Christians what he actually believes about their holy texts. He says:
 
"When Muslims say they believe in the Gospel and in the Torah, they qualify that...They believe that there has been a change in the text of the Torah and the Gospel... Therefore originality was lost. Authenticity was lost." 
 
So what to Jews and Christians are holy, sacred texts, are actually in the view of Islam as taught by Binhazim, surely not: they are false texts. But Sisk could never report this deception. How could Jews and Christians dialogue in good faith with a person who is lying to their faces?   
 
REGARDING CLAIMS OF INACCURACIES IN OUR VIDEO:
 
1. Sisk complains that our film does not mention Carlos Bledsoe's trip to Yemen. It's true for this video, but our first video - "Losing Our Sons" - on Nashville radical preachers, released two months ago, described the trip, which was facilitated by a Muslim leader from Nashville.  

According to investigations launched after he committed his crimes, Carlos's recommendation was provided by Abdul Aziz, the former imam of the Somali Al Farooq mosque. 
 
Carlos had decided to study Arabic and teach English at the Al Khair Institute in Yemen. Al Khair Institute promotes itself as an academy specializing in teaching languages and computer technology.. Yet all incoming students must sign a promise to abide by a list of conditions that seem strange for a language and computer school:
 
"These are the conditions required of the student who wishes to study at the "Yemen al-Khair" Institute for Languages and I.T.: It is incumbent upon the student to be firm upon the way of the Pious Predecessors, as Muhammad and his companions are known. It is essential for the student to have a real desire and to make a strong effort to acquire knowledge of the religion, by attending the general lectures."
 
The Yemeni school also requires references, but not from professors of languages or computers, but from an imam in the applicant's local area who follows the most radical type of Islam, the Salafi sect, which is practiced by Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and which includes Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi state religion.
 
According to Melvin Bledsoe, Carlos's father, the school was just a façade for a terrorist recruitment center.
 
2. Sisk faults APT for failing to mention that the 1998 New York Times article we cited stated that former ICN Imam Abdulhakim Mohamed had cleaned up the radical Brooklyn mosque by 1998. But it is Sisk who fails to tell his readers that in 2003, 5 years after Abdulhakim supposedly cleaned the mosque up, the FBI raided it again for raising money for Al Qaeda's Yemeni branch. It seems that despite Abdulhakim's protestations to the contrary, extremist activity continued at the Brooklyn mosque unabated. 
 
The 2003 New York Times article actually faults Abdulhakim for lying to them back in 1998:
 
"Surrounded by Islamic incense shops and booksellers on Atlantic Avenue in the Boerum Hill neighborhood, imposing Al Farooq Mosque in Brooklyn has a history of raising money for Osama bin Laden, dating to the days when Mr. bin Laden and the United States had a common enemy in the Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan.
 
Those days were supposed to be gone, though. Five years ago, the imam at the time, Abdulhakim Ali Mohamed, said that ''in 1994, this mosque finally settled down'' and broke ties with terrorists.
 
Yesterday, however, news crews crowded around the mosque again, drawn by the federal government's charge that a Yemeni cleric bragged last year that he had raised money for Al Qaeda through the mosque."
 
The Tennessean's most glaring omission:
 
The Tennessean's reporting completely avoids one of the most salient findings in our film: That Awadh Binhazim's organization and Amar Razali, Olive Tree's Communications Director, both promoted online writings by Anwar Al Awlaki. 
 
Awlaki is considered to be the most dangerous Al Qaeda leader alive, primarily because his online publications are able to reach, appeal to, and incite Western Muslims. Yet the Tennessean chose to avoid addressing this point in our video.
 
Jacobs said, "It is now generally accepted by most Americans that mainstream media reporters are not motivated by reporting the facts; instead they see themselves as righteous fighters who through their careers improve the world. This means that they have to report only those facts that advance their mission. 
 
We suspect that Mr. Sisk did not report the hateful things he knew about Nashville's Muslim leaders perhaps because he does not trust the citizens of Nashville. He seems concerned about bigoted backlash against what he perceives as a vulnerable minority.  
 
The Tennessean has lost its way. The paper no longer believes that its mission is to inform its readers in the honest and fair way expected by a democratic society. Instead,it has become an advocate of a particular politically-correct narrative, that trumps the truth.This sort of "reporting" hides inconvenient truths from the citizens the Tennessean is supposed to serve. Worse, the paper has denied a voice to authentically moderate Muslims who want to assimilate and become peaceful Americans.
 
We call upon the Tennessean to honor the foundational ethics of journalism by dropping the ideological template with which it shapes its coverage of this difficult and challenging issue."   
 
Posted on 05/20/2011 6:31 AM by Rebecca Bynum

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Read Yehuda Blum on the meaning of Resolution 242 here.

Posted on 05/19/2011 9:43 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Thursday, 19 May 2011

 

The Connecticut Jewish Ledger published a timely op ed by Fred Leder, given President Obama's announcement today to establish a Palestinian State based on the armistice line of the pre-1967 June Six days of War, despite UNSC that requires "secure and defensible borders" and a 2005 letter from former President Bush reinforcing this established doctrine and not force it to return to the pre-1967 armistice line.

The Connecticut Jewish Ledger

This Land is Mine

 Frederic Leder on May 18, 2011

 Op-Ed

Connecticut Jewish Ledger


Driven in part by Russian and French anti-Semitism and in part by an age-old dream that would never die, modern Zionism began to stir at the end of the nineteenth century. Jews, primarily from Russia, began to return to the ancient homeland. They found it barren and sparse but they also found that all the creeks, hills, valleys and towns mentioned in the Bible were in fact where they were supposed to be. Jerusalem with its Temple Mount was still there along with the descendents of those Jews who were never driven away.

From the beginning life among the Arabs of the Levant was difficult. There were anti-Jewish riots in the 1920s and 1930s resulting in the closure of the Mandate area to Jews, in complete indifference to the Holocaust that would take place in Europe. In 1948 when the land west of the Jordan River was partitioned and the State of Israel was declared, five Arab armies attacked with the intention of taking the Jewish half as well as the land allocated to the Arabs. In 1967 and again in 1973 wars of annihilation were fought to destroy the Jews.


From the Jewish perspective there is no doubt that the provinces ofJudea and Samaria, (once known as the West Bank), the ancient hill country which the Jews had ruled for 1500 years prior to the destruction by the Romans, belong to the Jewish people as their ancient patrimony. This land has been in Jewish hands since 1967. The Israelis have always understood that this land was theirs by historical right, but they also understood that other people had claims to this land. In the interest of peace and coexistence, Israel in 1967 and in 1993 and in 2000 and in 2006, offered to divide the land with those who had a heartfelt claim. It must be stressed that the Jewish claim to the land is as strong as any other, but the Israelis were willing to divide their patrimony in order to have peace.


The Arab response has been the same since 1967, when in Khartoum the Arab League said, “No recognition, no negotiation, and no peace!”  Their actions in 1987 when the stone throwing began or in 2000 when the bombings and murders began, leaving over 1000 Israeli civilians dead, have always  been consistent. For ethnic or religious reasons the Arabs will not agree to divide the land. They will use whatever methods are available, whether that means targeted murder of civilians, use of an Iranian nuclear bomb, coupled to a very effective world-wide propaganda campaign to demonize the Jewish people, or whatever else it may take. 

The Arabs have made it plain in their covenants and documents they will not rest until the Jews are gone.Therefore, it becomes necessary to accept reality. The idea of divided land for two people has failed. The Arabs will not divide the land to share it with Jews. Israel has no alternative but to assert its historic national claim to Judea and Samaria. Civil arrangements can  be worked out with those Arabs who want to live among the Israelis and it’s no surprise that in poll after poll Arab residents of these lands have expressed their desire to continue to be part of an Israeli state. They have always functioned on the periphery of the Israeli society and are fully aware that  Israelis of Arab origin enjoy a degree of personal freedom unparalleled anyplace else in the Middle East.


Specifically, this means that Israeli law will apply in these areas and that no army other than the IDF may function there; that Israelis are free to build homes and villages anywhere they please. No self declared terrorist organizations, of the kind that is Fatah, the PA or Hamas will be tolerated on this sovereign Israeli territory.

Prime Minister Netanyahu should choose a public occasion, maybe this trip to Washington, to announce that compromise being impossible, the State of Israel asserts its rightful claim to Judea and Samaria.

Frederic Leder is a retired oil company executive living in Westport and a frequent contributor to the editorial pages of the Ledger.

 

Posted on 05/19/2011 5:25 PM by Jerry Gordon

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The following is a statement issued today by Tennessee attorney Joe Brandon regarding the decision on May 13th of Chancellor Robert E. Corlew III of the Murfreesboro Chancery Court to grant standing to the plaintiffs and move the case forward on grounds of violation of open meetings law provisions..

Court Rules Islamic Center Case To Move
Forward


The Chancellor’s opinion from the hearing on April 13, 2011, has just been received. Said opinion rules both for and against the pending litigation. As to the ruling in favor of the pending litigation, the Chancellor has cleared the path to a final hearing. As to the ruling against the Plaintiffs, the Chancellor dismissed the due process violation. The Chancellor found that the Plaintiffs do have standing to pursue the open meetings violation and the lack of public notice violation. Both issues which the Court has previously expressed concern about the government’s behavior and conduct.


At this juncture, the Plaintiffs have decisions to make. The Plaintiffs could file a Motion for Reconsideration or they could appeal. Alternatively, this case has been cleared for trial on two (2) specific and substantial claims. Plaintiffs are in the process of evaluating their options.

Posted on 05/19/2011 4:58 PM by jerry Gordon

Thursday, 19 May 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2jt2Y6Gbri4Watch Rep. Allen West discuss our commitments to Israel at the December, 2010 Americans Against Conference in Fort Lauderdale.

The following is corrected statement issued by Rep. Allen West (R-FL 22 CD) regarding President Obama's announcement that the borders of a Palestinian state should be based on the pre-1967 June War Armistice line-the so-called Auschwitz line.

What follows is West's statement of this afternoon and a video of his discussion of this threat to Israel, Amercia's special ally, made last December posted on-line in The Blaze, Allen West on Obama Backing Palestinian Demand: ‘Could Be the Beginning of the End’ for Israel

 

(WASHINGTON) — Congressman Allen West (FL-22) released this statement today:

“Today’s endorsement by President Barack Obama of the creation of a Hamas-led Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders, signals the most egregious foreign policy decision his administration has made to date, and could be the beginning of the end as we know it for the Jewish state.

From the moment the modern day state of Israel declared statehood in 1948, to the end of the 1967 Six Day War, Jews were forbidden access to their holiest site, the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, controlled by Jordan’s Arab army.

The pre-1967 borders endorsed by President Obama would deny millions of the world’s Jews access to their holiest site and force Israel to return the strategically important Golan Heights to Syria, a known state-sponsor of terrorism.

Resorting to the pre-1967 borders would mean a full withdrawal by the Israelis from the West Bank and the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.  Make no mistake, there has always been a Nation of Israel and Jerusalem has been and must always be recognized as its rightful capital.

In short, the Hamas-run Palestinian state envisioned by President Obama would be devastating to Israel and the world’s 13.3 million Jews. It would be a Pavlovian style reward to a declared Islamic terrorist organization, and an unacceptable policy initiative.

America should never negotiate with the Palestinian Authority- which has aligned itself with Hamas. Palestine is a region, not a people or a modern state. Based upon Roman Emperor Hadrian’s declaration in 135 CE, the original Palestinian people are the Jewish people.

It’s time for the American people to stand by our strongest ally, the Jewish State of Israel, and reject this foreign policy blunder of epic proportions.

While the winds of democracy may blow strong in the Middle East, history has demonstrated that gaps in leadership can lead to despotic regimes.  I have questions for President Obama:  ‘Who will now lead in Egypt?‘ and ’Why should American taxpayers provide foreign aid to a nation where the next chapter in their history may be the emergence of another radical Islamic state?’

President Obama has not stood for Israel or the Jewish people and has made it clear where the United States will stand when Palestine attempts to gain recognition of  statehood by the United Nations.  The President should  focus on the real obstacle to security- the Palestinian leadership and its ultimate goal to eliminate Israel and the Jewish people.”

 

Posted on 05/19/2011 4:33 PM by Jerry Gordon

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Offer and acceptance, but no consideration - not so much as a peppercorn - so take with a pinch of salt. Withdrawal and frustration on one side, without the frisson of a contributory negligee.

A frolic of their own without the frolic. Above all, though they would come to equity - Infidel equity - they do not come with clean hands.

Posted on 05/19/2011 4:18 PM by Mary Jackson

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Baron Bodissey writes at Gates of Vienna:

You know you’re being effective when CAIR comes after you.

The anti-sharia volunteers of Middle Tennessee are definitely being effective. According to Lou Ann Zelenik, the Executive Director of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, Muslim lobbying groups such as CAIR have been pushing back in the wake of her organization’s event featuring Geert Wilders. “We definitely stirred things up,” she told me in a phone conversation last night. “CAIR demanded an apology from the Williamson County Republican Party for hosting Geert’s press conference. Can you believe that? An apology!

“Well, they can demand all they like, but they’re not gonna get one.”

Another sign of TFC’s effectiveness is the fact that the website for Olive Tree Education has been taken down. Olive Tree is an “educational” front that serves as a non-profit proselytizing service for the Islamic Center of Nashville. It was featured in TFC’s video exposé that aired last Thursday at the Geert Wilders event.

TFC’s investigation drew attention to the web of interconnections among Olive Tree, the Islamic Center of Nashville, radical imams at local mosques, Vanderbilt University, and various other educational institutions and ecumenical community groups.

The heat proved too much for Olive Tree Education, and they dropped their site, presumably to buy time so that they could scrub all the references and links to Anwar al-Awlaki and other hard-core mujahideen. As of this writing, however, a cached version of the site is still available, so interested readers should be able to find all those incriminating references that were cited in the video. Olive Tree’s blog is also still extant, although I’m not sure whether the same material may be found on it.

 

Geert Wilders in Nashville #2


Here’s the official press release in which CAIR demanded that the GOP “repudiate” TFC and Geert Wilders:

CAIR Asks GOP to Repudiate Tenn. Event Honoring Islam-Hater

Notorious Islamophobe Geert Wilders to be honored at Republican luncheon


WASHINGTON, May 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on state and national GOP leaders to repudiate a Tennessee event at which party officials will honor one of the world’s leading Islam-haters, extremist Dutch politician Geert Wilders.

A luncheon in Wilders’ honor will reportedly be held today [May 12th, the date of Mr. Wilders’ public appearances] at Williamson County Republican Party headquarters in Franklin, Tenn. Wilders is in Tennessee at the invitation of a group headed by former congressional candidate Lou Ann Zelenik, who once claimed that the construction of a new mosque would pose a threat to that state’s “moral and political foundation.”


The more I get to know these Tennessee volunteers, the more I appreciate them. I’m looking forward to their future initiatives — they know how to be effective when it comes to resisting Islamization.

Posted on 05/19/2011 2:04 PM by Rebecca Bynum

Thursday, 19 May 2011

In his speech Barack Obama referred to Israel's "1967 borders."

In 1949 Israel attempted to reach agreements with all of its Arab neighbors. It offered to make the Armistice Lines -- the lines that existed, between the warring armies, when hostilities ceased -- into permanent internationally-recognized borders. That is whati is called, in contract law, an Offer.

This offer, then, which required acceptance by either the promise to recognize these armistice lines as permanent borders, was not accepted by any of Israel's Arab neighbors. Nor in the years immediately following did any of them agree to that recognition. 

Now we are told, that more than 60 years after those Armistice Lines were established, and Israel's offer to turn those lines, which reflected not legal, moral, or historic claims, and certainly not the express intent (see the Preamble to the Mandate for Palestine, especially Articles 4 and 6) of the League of Nations, which set up the mandates system to meet the needs of the various peoples, large and small, who inhabited the Middle Eastern lands that formerly had been part of the Ottoman Empire, but rather what territories had been taken, and held, at the end of hostilities, in 1949. Thus the Arab Emirate of Transjordan, managed to hold onto parts of Judea and Samaria that had always been part of the territory that was both assigned to, and remained, part of Mandatory Palestine, even after the British, in 1921 at the Cairo Conference, unilaterally ended application of the Mandate's provisions to what, historically, had always been Eastern Palestine, instead turning that territory over to a newly-created Emirate of Transjordan, as a consolation prize to the Hashemite Abdullah, older brother of the Feisal who had been placed on the throne of an also newly-created territories once possessed by the Ottoman Empire, all of them believed that they would eventually be going in for the kill in any case, and nothing should be done to legitimize Israel or give it an air of permanence.

Now the Arabs, ever since their defeat in the Six-Day War, have turned things on their head. They have pretened, they have claimed, that they are the victims of Israel. They have banked on growing forgetfulness and ignorance, too, on the part of Western publics who do not know the history of the Mandates system, do not know how the claims of various peoples were sorted out and weighed, by the League of Nations, and by men such as Professor William Rappard who served as head of the Mandates Commission, an advanced product of the advanced and self-assured West, and like those who served with him not subject to the kind of pressure that the Arab and Islamic bloc has for decades exerted unopposed at the United Nations.

They have managed to create, out of the local Arabs, a soi-disant "Palestinian people," and no one has asked them to explain why this people were never mentioned, by any Arab leaders, diplomats, intellectuals, writers, before the Six-Day War. They have re-presented the Jihad against Israel, an Infidel nation-state that simply cannot be allowed to continue to exist in the midst of Dar al-Islam, as one of "two tiny peoples," even as, in Arabic, Arab leaders -- even "Palestinian" Arab leaders -- talk openy of their real intentions (Arafat never hid them from Arab audiences, and with a wink-wink would mention the Treaty of Hudaibiyya) and certainly, what the "Palestinians" say and do among themselves, and those they celebrate as heroes, and what they broadcast on their radio and television, all show one thing: a campaign of murderous hatred that never lets up, not even for a second. And in the meantime, for the Western donors, the Westerners who are expected to pressure Israel, but to do so by being provided with the figleaf of "working for peace" or "furthering the peace process" or "working for the two-state solution" the general outlines which, so we are told repeatedly, and with a smug self-assurance designed to bully us into submission, "everyone knows."

That Offer about "borders rather than armistice lines" was made back in 1949.

There was no Acceptance.

Now, we are told, the Arabs are ready to offer their "Acceptance." Even if we were to ignore -- and so many have ignored -- the ideology of Islam which suffuses Arab minds, even if we were to understand that the Jihad is forever, and there is no "solution" to the Jihad being made on Israel, only the possiblity of deterrence and Arab leaders invoking "Darura" or necessity, even if we were to ignore all that, it is absurd to now allow the Arabs to pretend to accept an offer that they have spent more than half-a-century rejecting as noisily as they can, and in fact, still reject, for those who pay attention to what they say among themselves, and not what they say for Western consumption. .

That Offer lapsed, it lapsed decades ago. It lapsed after a "reasonable" amount of time. Circumstances have changed. The size of Arab armories has increased, for they have trillions of dollars to pour into weaponry. The Israelis, and the rest of the West -- or that part of it that is willing to look steadily and whole at Islam -- have come to understand, even if they do not yet express that understanding publicly, that the ideology of Islam explains Arab hostility to Jewish attempts to live in the Middle East not as subjugated and oppressed dhimmis, but in their own ancient homeland, where Arabs are treated incomparably better than Arabs have treated non-Muslims or non-Arabs in any state where Arabs dominate. In any case, the Arabs did not merely respond with silence to Israel's offer back in 1949 to turn those Armistice Lines into borders, but noisily and repeatedly, by word and deed, rejected that Israeli offer.

If you made an offer to buy my company, the only one in the world making slide rules, back in 1955, for twenty million dollars, and I refused that offer then and subsequently, shall I now announce that I am suddenly accepting that offer, which I claim you "held open" and I am free to accept, and we have a contract upon my acceptance, at this late date?

In American law, in the legal systems of all countries, that offer had to be met not by acceptance but by "timely" acceptance. Offers do not remain open indefinitely. The offer has lapsed. Acceptance -- even if it were genuine, and it certainly is not in the case of Muslim Arabs who will never accept the permanence of Israel -- at this point has no validity. 

The Armistice Lines of 1949 never became borders, and are hardly to be revived as a guide to borders now. If anything is to be a guide, it should be the Mandate itself, its express terms, its reason for being. And its reason for being, in all of historic Palestine that lay west of the river Jordan, was to make possible the Jewish National Home, the Jewish state of Israel. That was its reason for being, not "two states for two peoples" that would have required the creation of that "Palestinian people" (out of the local Arabs, many of them having arrived, or their parents having arrived, between 1900 and 1940, from around the Middle East, just as Arabs would later flock, for similar reasons -- economic opportunity -- to Kuwait, the Emirates, and Saudi Arabia), and an overlooking of all the Arab states -- now some 22 -- that existed for the Arabs.

When discussing borders, the most sinister people even like to dredge up, though they do not as yet dare to bring up as a guide (as they do those 1949 Armistice Lines), the U.N. Partition Plan of November 1947. But even before the Arabs rejected it, and thus sent it back to oblivion, that Partition Plan was of doubtful legality. By its own Article 80 -- see the first part -- as fleshed out by case after case, the U.N. had committed itself to accepting, and not ignoring nor changing, the already-existing terms of the mandates that, as the successor organization to the League of Nations, it inherited -- and that included the Mandate for Palestine. But what about the acceptance then, by the Jewish representatives, of that Partition Plan? That reflected one thing, and one thing only -- not right, not justice, but the absolute desperation of the Jews, in 1947, when hundreds of thousands of Jews were still being kept in D.P. camps, in the countries where their families had recently been murdered, sometimes even kept with, though treated worse than, captured enemy soldiers and collaborators, in the same camps. And it was Great Britain that was enforcing its own embargo on ships, preventing Jews from reaching Mandatory Palestine, with British sailors firing on ships, or boarding them, and turning them back. If the Jews accepted the 1947 Partition Plan it was only because they were desperate, When the U.N. Partition Plan -- an illegal attempt by the U.N. for that organization, was not,  by its own Article 80, free to change the terms or tamper with the purpose, of the  League of Nations Mandates that, as the successor organization to the League, the U.N. had inherited, to accept -- at a time when the concentration camps had just been liberated, and Jews were desperate to get Great Britain and others to allow those Jews to travel to Mandatory Palestine. The Israeli offer lapsed a long time ago.

Offers do not remain open forever. If you offer to sell me your  house for $25,000 in 1955, and I do not accept that offer, I am not free to come back today, in 2011, and tell you that at long last I am ready to buy your house for that price you once offered -- what was it again? Oh yes, $25,000 -- and you are obligated to accept. It would be an outrage, a farce, to require you to accept.

And it is even more of an outrage, and a farce, to talk as if the Arabs were now free to treat those Armistice Lines of 1949 as if they had always been what the Arabs explicitly rejected their being -- internationally-accepted borders. A lot has happened since 1949. The fedayin in Egypt made more than 19,000 attacks on Jewish farmers, before the Suez Campaign put an end to that. Israel gave up the Suez, for promises from Nasser which turned out to be entirely worthless. In mid-May 1967 Egypt prepared for, Nasser noisily called for, Cairene crowds screamed hysterically for, a war to annihilate Israel. Things did not work out as Nasser and many Arabs had hoped, and by force of arms, the Jews of Israel came into possession of territories, including those that they had a prior claim to under the Mandate. They gave back -- they were not required to any customary practices of victor states after wars -- the entire Sinai, to Egypt, with billions of dollars in infrastructure, only to see that Mubarak's regime completely failed to honor the Egyptian government's solemn commitments under the Camp David Accords, to end hostile propaganda and to encourage friendship between Israelis and Egyptians.

And there was something called Resolution 242, which clearly was intended, in its wording, and in the testimony of those who wrote it -- Lord Chalfont and Ambassador Goldberg -- to redraw the lines between Israel and its neighbors, for it allowed Israel to keep territory it required to have "secure [i.e., defensible] and recognized boundaries." This decision is not a moral matter -- though morally, Israel is entitled to hold onto every inch of Judea and Samaria, unallocated parts of the Mandate for Palestine. It is a military matter. And as a military matter, too, Israel must maintain control of the entire area from Jordan to the sea. The two areas, those to which it has a legal, moral and historic claim, and that which it has as a military claim to "secure and defensible borders" as recognized by Resolution 242, overlap completely.

Part of the diplomatic offensive or sausage-strategy that the Slow Jihadists are pursuing (all smiles for the Western photographers, but with that knife under the cloak) , is a supposed Acceptance of an Offer that lapsed a half-century ago.

It can not, and must not, be revived. And certainly Western governments, some at their wits' end as they try to avoid recognizing, and then having to deal with, the threat that the adherents of the ideology of Islam now pose to Infidels all over the world, should not be attempting to revive it, so that the Arabs may better push back, and push back, and push back, the only secure base and outpost of the West between Italy and East Asia.

The lines that separated Israel its three defeated enemies in that conflict -- Egypt, Syria, and Jordan -- were the 1949 Armistice Lines that, back in 1949, the Arab countries refused to recognize -- did not accept the offer -- by Israel to make them, then, recognized boundaries.

There are no "1967 borders."

Posted on 05/19/2011 1:27 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Quite why the best report so far of events at this mosque in Keighley Yorkshire is from the Belfast Telegraph I do not know - but it is.

A 59-year-old man has been charged with 10 offences of common assault on children at a mosque, police said. The charges follow a police investigation into allegations made in a television documentary broadcast earlier this year on Channel 4.

The Dispatches film secretly filmed a man allegedly hitting and kicking children during lessons at a mosque in Keighley, West Yorkshire, in December 2010.

West Yorkshire Police said the man had been released on bail to appear before Keighley magistrates on June 2.



 

Posted on 05/19/2011 12:34 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Listen here.

Posted on 05/19/2011 10:49 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Thursday, 19 May 2011

From FoxNews:

'Rapture' Movement Predicts End of the World on Saturday

May 19, 2011

 

RALEIGH, North Carolina -- For some, it's Judgment Day. For others, it's party time.

A loosely organized Christian movement has spread the word around the globe that Jesus Christ will return to earth on Saturday to gather the faithful into heaven. While the Christian mainstream isn't buying it, many other skeptics are milking it.

A Facebook page titled "Post rapture looting" offers this invitation: "When everyone is gone and god's not looking, we need to pick up some sweet stereo equipment and maybe some new furniture for the mansion we're going to squat in." By Wednesday afternoon, more than 175,000 people indicated they would be "attending" the "public event."

The prediction is also being mocked in the comic strip "Doonesbury" and has inspired "Rapture parties" to celebrate what hosts expect will be the failure of the world to come to an end.

In the Army town of Fayetteville, North Carolina, the local chapter of the American Humanist Association has turned the event into a two-day extravaganza, with a Saturday night party followed by a day-after concert.

"It's not meant to be insulting, but come on," said organizer Geri Weaver. "Christians are openly scoffing at this."

The prediction originates with Harold Camping, an 89-year-old retired civil engineer from Oakland, California, who founded Family Radio Worldwide, an independent ministry that has broadcast his prediction around the world.

The Rapture -- the belief that Christ will bring the faithful into paradise prior to a period of tribulation on earth that precedes the end of time -- is a relatively new notion compared to Christianity itself, and most Christians don't believe in it. And even believers rarely attempt to set a date for the event.

Camping's prophecy comes from numerological calculations based on his reading of the Bible, and he says global events like the 1948 founding of Israel confirm his math.

He has been derided for an earlier apocalyptic prediction in 1994, but his followers say that merely referred to the end of "the church age," a time when human beings in Christian churches could be saved. Now, they say, only those outside what they regard as irredeemably corrupt churches can expect to ascend to heaven.

Camping is not hedging this time: "Beyond the shadow of a doubt, May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the day of judgment," he said in January.

Such predictions are nothing new, but Camping's latest has been publicized with exceptional vigor -- not just by Family Radio but through like-minded groups. They've spread the word using radio, satellite TV, daily website updates, billboards, subway ads, RV caravans hitting dozens of cities and missionaries scattered from Latin America to Asia.

"These kinds of prophecies are constantly going on at a low level, and every once in a while one of them gets traction," said Richard Landes, a Boston University history professor who has studied such beliefs for more than 20 years.

The prediction has been publicized in almost every country, said Chris McCann, who works with eBible Fellowship, one of the groups spreading the message. "The only countries I don't feel too good about are the `stans' -- you know, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, those countries in Central Asia," he said.

Marie Exley, who left her home in Colorado last year to join Family Radio's effort to publicize the message, just returned from a lengthy overseas trip that included stops in the Middle East. She said billboards have gone up in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

"I decided to spend the last few days with my immediate family and fellow believers," Exley said. "Things started getting more risky in the Middle East when Judgment Day started making the news."

McCann plans to spend Saturday with his family, reading the Bible and praying. His fellowship met for the last time on Monday.

"We had a final lunch and everyone said goodbye," he said. "We don't actually know who's saved and who isn't, but we won't gather as a fellowship again."

In Vietnam, the prophecy has led to unrest involving thousands of members of the Hmong ethnic minority who gathered near the border with Laos earlier this month to await the May 21 event. The government, which has a long history of mistrust with ethnic hilltribe groups like the Hmong, arrested an unidentified number of "extremists" and dispersed a crowd of about 5,000.

No such signs of turmoil are apparent in the U.S., though many mainstream Christians aren't happy with the attention the prediction is getting. They reject the notion that a date for the end times can be calculated, if not the doctrine of the Rapture itself.

"When we engage in this kind of wild speculation, it's irresponsible," said the Rev. Daniel Akin, president of the Southeastern Baptist Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. "It can do damage to naive believers who can be easily caught up and it runs the risk of causing the church to receive sort of a black eye."

Pastors around the U.S. are planning Sunday sermons intended to illustrate the folly of trying to discern a date for the end of the world, but Akin couldn't wait: He preached on the topic last Sunday.

"I believe Christ could come today. I believe he could choose not to come for 1,000 years," he said. "That's in his hands, not mine."

No one will know for sure whether Camping's prediction is correct until Sunday morning dawns, or fails to dawn. In the meantime, there will be jokes, parties, sermons and -- in at least one case-- a chance to make a little money.

Bart Centre, an atheist from New Hampshire, started Eternal Earth-bound Pets in 2009. He offers Rapture believers an insurance plan for those furry family members that won't join them in heaven: 10-year pet care contracts, with Centre and his network of fellow non-believers taking responsibility for the animals after the Rapture. The fee -- payable in advance, of course -- was originally $110, but has gone to $135 since Camping's prediction.

Centre says he has 258 clients under contract, and that business has picked up considerably this year. But he's not worried about a sales slump if May 21 happens to disappoint believers.

"They never lose their faith. They're never disappointed," he said. "It reinforces their faith, strangely enough."


 
Posted on 05/19/2011 9:38 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Palestinian Protesters near Ramallah
Getty Photos

There he goes again; Obama’s much touted speech today will embolden Islamic ‘democracy.’ An ‘Islamic democracy’ that will replace autocratic regimes with Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist ones steeped in Sharia quickly eschewing these myopic Wilsonian ideals with totalitarian Caliphates governed by strong Emirs.

From the Atlantic coast of Morocco to the littoral of the Persian Gulf, Obama seeks to force out the remaining autocrats in roiling Syria and Yemen and provide economic support in place of grants for purchase of military arms in broken states like Tunisia and Egypt. Peculiar, because nearly two years ago, this President ignored millions of Iranians  when he failed to support a Persian Spring revolt against the black turbaned Ayatollahs and nuclear – mad Ahmadinejad, backed by Basij thugs on their motorcycles shooting Green Movement protesters indiscriminately.

Now, this same President wants to do a Wilsonian hat trick, catch up and free hundreds of millions of Arab Muslim youths equipped with cell phones, access to social networks and Al Jazeera to topple former Allies in the region. Problem is that his wind of “hope and change" in the Arab Muslim world is on the verge of back firing. The rising fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist political parties are seeking to perfect a quick transfer from a embryonic Western style democracy to a Jihadist paradigm under Sharia in Caliphates depriving women, minority Christian and other non-Muslim minorities of civil and human rights to live in perpetual subjugated dhimmi status. 

Regional proponents of this shift view Obama with derision as weak and untrustworthy. Israelis view him with nervous disdain. This is  especially the case after this past weekend’s violent border clashes on al Nakba Day fomented and organized by Iran with its willing helpmates in the region, Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank.

The Hill in a preview report,“President will call for a new chapter of support for Arab Spring”, on President Obama’s policy speech today conveys this myopia emanating from the West Wing of the White House.

President Obama will declare that the U.S. is firmly in support of democracy in the Arab world in a major speech Thursday intended to show administration policy has caught up with rapidly unfolding events in the Middle East.

                                [. . .]

As if to underscore its “change” credentials, the administration on Wednesday froze the assets of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other officials in the Damascus regime. It also put new pressure on Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to sign an agreement that would force him out of power within a month. 

                   [. . .]

Obama is not expected to spend much time discussing the Middle East peace process in his remarks at the State Department despite a Friday White House visit from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This reflects the lack of prospects for progress toward a Middle East peace deal, said pro-Israel sources in Washington.

Obama will likely speak more about Israel in an address to AIPAC on Sunday.

Senior administration officials said Obama will offer economic assistance to Tunisia and Egypt in his Thursday speech to emphasize U.S. support for those who have overthrown autocratic regimes.

One person who must be quaking in his boots is King Abdullah of Jordan, he of the Royal Hashemites, the former guardians of the revered Islamic holy sites of Mecca and Medina (the ancient Jewish settlement of Yathrib in Arabia, ethnically cleansed and plundered by Allah’s apostle of hate, his prophet, Mohammed).  With a restive Palestinian majority and rising Salafist threat, how long will it be before Abdullah gets the Obama treatment and is told to take a hike to the of Fair Albion or Al Andaluz in Spain? 

The other cynical party is the only strong horse in the Middle East, other than Mahdist Iran, Israel. Although President Obama hopes to upstage Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu by speaking at the AIPAC conference, we hope that Netanyahu will show more resolve than he did in Monday’s post al Nakba day remarks in the Knesset. We and the US Congress are overdue for some Churchillian rhetoric with muscle behind it to counter this dangerous devolution of American hegemony in world and regional affairs. What we have now in Washington can be captured in that slangy Hebrew word derived from the Russian, Balagan- “chaos.” Pour les deluge.

Posted on 05/19/2011 8:49 AM by Jerry Gordon

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Reading Theodore Dalrymple‘s piece on how the use of a jam jar for graveside flowers indicates the moral decline of the seaside town of Scarborough, and the nation as a whole, reminded me of a childhood story of my late father’s, from a time and place where possession of a jam jar meant that the family were in an enviable position of some prosperity.

My father grew up in the 1920s and 30s in Bethnal Green, an area which didn’t have a monopoly on poverty, and this story may have played out elsewhere in a local form. My grandparents were sociable people, always ready to help a neighbour, or give a neighbour what for, if they were out of order. One neighbour was a former boxer who was no longer as prosperous as he had been in his prime. His son showed promise in the sport and was attracting the attention of men who wanted to manage the boy. Money was likely to be advanced and this would be of great assistance to the family. Therefore they needed to ensure they got the best deal and if the prospective managers knew how hard up they were the offers would be mean. They would know that the family were quite desperate and would offer as little as they thought they could get away with.

So in advance of a visit from a potential sponsor the neighbours would assist in dressing the parlour to give an air of relative nonchalant affluence. My grandmother lent her dining chairs, Queen Anne back, ball and claw feet, French polished by her own skilful hands; I am sitting on one of them now to type this. Other ladies lent a tablecloth, matching china and most important of all, a jam pot and spoon.

The boxing tycoon had to be offered refreshment. Tea and a dainty jam sandwich with the crusts cut off were most acceptable. Few people in the street could afford to buy a whole jar of jam and there were no hedgerows nearby to supply the makings for home-made, as there would have been in rural areas. The corner shop bought it in jars and sold it spooned onto the customer’s own saucer, which was an expensive way to buy it in the long run. The china pot and spoon held the precious farthings worth, and disguised that necessity to buy it in a scanty quantity.

The scene was set and the deal was done.

The boy concerned was also a very good footballer and it was in that sport that he eventually made his way, achieving some prominence. In the 1970s I knew someone who worked in a London office with his son.  Whenever he was mentioned I thought should I make it known that his father’s achievements were in a very tiny part, founded on my grandmother’s chairs?

Posted on 05/19/2011 8:16 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Rebecca points out the redundancy in the phrase "human sex trafficking" - is there any other kind? - and I wondered how this came about. I suspect it is a conflation of three terms: "drug trafficking" (the origninal) and the analogical "sex trafficking" and "human trafficking", the last two being cobbled together.

Traffic usually refers to cars, not sex, a distinction that Edward Smith, of Washington State (h/t Esmerelda) doesn't recognise. From The Telegraph:

Edward Smith, who lives with his current "girlfriend" – a white Volkswagen Beetle named Vanilla, insisted that he was not "sick" and had no desire to change his ways.

"I appreciate beauty and I go a little bit beyond appreciating the beauty of a car only to the point of what I feel is an expression of love," he said.

"Maybe I'm a little bit off the wall but when I see movies like Herbie and Knight Rider, where cars become loveable, huggable characters it's just wonderful.

"I'm a romantic. I write poetry about cars, I sing to them and talk to them just like a girlfriend. I know what's in my heart and I have no desire to change."

He added: "I'm not sick and I don't want to hurt anyone, cars are just my preference."

Mr Smith, 57, first had sex with a car at the age of 15, and claims he has never been attracted to women or men.

But his wandering eye has spread beyond cars to other vehicles. He says that his most intense sexual experience was "making love" to the helicopter from 1980s TV hit Airwolf.

As well as Vanilla, he regularly spends time with his other vehicles – a 1973 Opal GT, named Cinnamon, and 1993 Ford Ranger Splash, named Ginger.

Before Vanilla, he had a five-year relationship with Victoria, a 1969 VW Beetle he bought from a family of Jehovah's Witnesses.

But he confesses that many of the cars he has had sex with have belonged to strangers or car showrooms.

His last relationship with a woman was 12 years ago - and he could not bring himself to consummate it, although he did have sex with girls in his younger days.

Mr Smith, from Washington state in the US, kept quiet about his secret fetish for years, but agreed to be interviewed as part of a channel Five documentary into “mechaphilia”. He is shown meeting other enthusiasts at a rally in California

Talking about how his unusual passion developed, Mr Smith said: "It's something that grew as a part of me when I was a kid and I could not shake it.

"I just loved cute cars right from the beginning, but over the years it got stronger once I got into my teenage years and was my first having sexual urges.

"When I turned 13 and the famous Corvette Stingray came about, that car was pure sex and just an incredible machine. I wanted it.

"I didn't fully understand it myself except that I know I'm not hurting anyone and I do not intend to."

He added: "There are moments way out in the middle of nowhere when I see a little car parked and I swear it needs loving.

"There have been certain cars that attracted me and I would wait until night time, creep up to them and just hug and kiss them.

"As far as women go, they never really interested me much. And I'm not gay.”

Mr Smith is now part of a global community of more than 500 “car lovers” brought together by internet forums.


Mr Smith is said to be exhausted, and is considering a bit on the sidewalk.

Posted on 05/19/2011 7:42 AM by Mary Jackson

Thursday, 19 May 2011

It has been more than a decade since I last went to Scarborough, but - parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme - I find it difficult to recognise from Theodore Dalrymple's description in The Spectator of  a fortnight* ago. Then again, despite being an ex-Lancastrian in Yorkshire, I was not on a mission to seek out the worst. Wendy Holden wrote a response in last week's Spectator:

Sir: As a Yorkshirewoman, I cannot allow Theodore Dalrymple’s myopic vilification of God’s Own County’s top watering-hole (‘Scarborough Unfair’, 7 May) to escape without correction. Hard to believe that he staggered uphill as far as Anne Brontë’s grave yet failed to notice the architectural majesty of the great medieval castle a mere few yards in front of him. Personally I have never seen flowers on that grave in a jam-jar, and as Miss Brontë is buried between two Holdens I have reason to monitor the situation. Degradation has its fascinations — you can go to the Royal Crescent (home to Edith Sitwell) and see the shell holes in the facades from a first world war German gunboat attack. Scarborough also sits slap-bang in the middle of the world-famous Dinosaur Coast; and the Rotunda gallery, an Enlightenment geological museum, has just re-opened after a multi-million-pound facelift. Scarborough may not be prospering economically, but that doesn’t mean it is devoid of interest, pride or beauty. We don’t have people in Yorkshire called Theodore, but if we did we’d probably knock their teeth out in the playground.
Wendy Holden
Yorkshire

*I understand that Americans don't know what a fortnight is. Can this be true? If so, it's two weeks, twice as long as a sennight.

Tags:
Posted on 05/19/2011 7:29 AM by Mary Jackson

Thursday, 19 May 2011

If it is evidence of the decline of British civilisation that you are after, you cannot do better than go to Scarborough. It is precisely because the material traces of that civilisation are still so much in evidence there, albeit dolefully altered, that the impression is so strong and so painful.

The town retains its wonderful position, of course. One is still struck immediately on arrival by ‘the freshness of the air, so different from what is breathed in the interior of England’, as described by Dr John Kelk in his The Scarborough Spa, its new chemical analysis and medicinal uses; to which is added, On the Utility of the Bath (3rd ed. 1855). To see people walking their dogs and playing with them on the beach is to be reminded of the simplicity of many of the greatest pleasures in life. And the custom of endowing a public bench in memory of departed parents, schoolteachers, appreciative visitors or local notables, so that strangers might sit and contemplate the splendid view in silence, has always seemed to me a noble one.

But there is no disguising the very considerable impoverishment of the town, an impoverishment that is actually characteristic of a high proportion of the country. This impoverishment is as much of the spirit as economic: nowhere in the world (at least nowhere known to me, including very many poorer places) do you see such a concentration of people who have given up on themselves, or rather, who never had any self-respect to give up on.

What one sees is a purely materialist society that is not even very good materialism, for it does not promote even those mental and moral disciplines that promote material success. A large proportion of the population has been left to the mercies of a popular culture whose main characteristic is the willing suspension of intelligence, and which does not merely fail to inculcate refinement, grace, elegance and the desire for improvement, but actively prevents them and causes them to be feared and despised. An inability and unwillingness to discriminate always leads, by default, to the overgrowth of the worst, from which the better can never recover.

The magnificent architectural heritage of Scarborough has been not so much destroyed as comprehensively spoilt by a combination of the ceaseless social engineering that, mysteriously enough, never results in the social equality that is it supposedly designed to bring about, and the rampant, cheap and short-term commercialism that such engineering inevitably calls forth: for the more you suppress the opportunities to make money, the less constructive will be the means by which people strive to make it. And what Scarborough demonstrates, apart from architectural vandalism, is architectural spivvery.

It is true that the centre of the town has been subjected, like almost everywhere else in Britain, to the destructive impulses of the modernist brute, by comparison with which the Luftwaffe employed mere pea-shooters. The architectural historian, Anthony Vidler, described the modernist sensibility as the desire to escape history and raze the past as a kind of therapeutic procedure: a barbaric, egoistic and fundamentally stupid sensibility, if sensibility is quite the word for it.

But this is not what has done most harm to Scarborough’s architectural heritage, bad enough as its effect has been. It is the short-term commercialism of the kind that a truly commercial nation would not display, combined with the total indifference to aesthetic considerations that years of non-discrimination have made second nature among us.

Scarborough’s Esplanade and its hinterland contains some of the most splendid Victorian domestic architecture anywhere in the country, much of it in honey-coloured stone. The architects built terraces and squares of great elegance and aesthetic unity (I remember, with rage, how in my childhood the term Victorian was still one not only of moral, but of aesthetic abuse, meaning that one could do no damage to a Victorian building because there was nothing there to damage).

The unity of these terraces and squares was destroyed, once and for all, by the humble mansard, cheaply inserted in practically every building with no regard for the overall appearance of the individual building or the whole district, which were in fact inseparable. All this was done in the 1960s and 1970s, almost certainly using the argument of economic necessity (no doubt the owners of the Crown Hotel, built in 1840, argued precisely this); the owners sought and obtained the permission of a complaisant and corrupt council — at least, one hopes it was corrupt, for any other motive is too horrible to contemplate.

What these mansards show, apart from a desire to pack as many people in and secure as much rent as possible, is the egotistical narrowing of people’s considerations. The view of the sea from picture windows was no doubt gratifying from the point of people looking out; but this was at the expense of people not in, but looking at, the building. The mansards were and are a symptom of the increasing atomisation of our society, an atomisation in part brought about, or at any rate accelerated, by social engineering, all with devastating aesthetic, or anti-aesthetic, effect.

Whether or not my analysis of the causes is correct, the lack of pride, egotism and cheap commercialism are evident everywhere in the town. The Grand Hotel, for example, was once the largest and grandest in Europe. ‘The tastes and tendencies of the present age,’ wrote a Scarborough journalist at the time of its opening in 1867, ‘are towards greatness, vastness of enterprise, magnificence of appearance.’ Actually, the building is far from my favourite in the town, but it undoubtedly has a magnificence of its own. Now the marble pillars of the portico are used mainly to support bronchitics, exiled from indoors, as they puff desperately at their fags. Criminally vulgar posters, advertising cheap meals and rooms, are posted on the dirty windows, surrounded by finely crafted architectural detail.

Everywhere there are small, as well as large, signs of degeneration. At Anne Brontë’s grave (she died and is buried in Scarborough), there was a small bouquet of flowers — stuck in a dirty jam-jar.

No greatness, no vastness of enterprise (WH Smith, Tesco and Poundsaver don’t count), no magnificence of appearance. We are barbarians living in the ruins of a civilisation.

First published in The Spectator.

Posted on 05/19/2011 6:39 AM by Theodore Dalrymple

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Brandon Gee writes in The Tennessean:

Davidson and three other Tennessee counties reported more than 100 cases of minor human sex trafficking in the past two years, according to a study released Wednesday by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The counties — Davidson, Knox (Knoxville), Shelby (Memphis) and Coffee (Tullahoma and Manchester) — also were among eight counties that reported more than 100 cases of adult human sex trafficking in the same time period. Overall, 85 percent of Tennessee counties reported at least one human sex trafficking case in the last two years and 72 percent reported at least one involving a child. In the Nashville area, Cheatham County was the only county not to report at least one case.

My question is, why is the word "human" in there? Can't we assume sex trafficking involves human persons anymore? What's the alternative? Don't answer that.

Update: Sex and the car trade. (h/t:: Esmerelda)

Posted on 05/19/2011 5:14 AM by Rebecca Bynum

Thursday, 19 May 2011

From This is Derbyshire

A BURKA has been painted over a model advertising a bikini on sale at a high street clothes store. The poster, displayed on a bus stop in Normanton, has been vandalised with black graffiti which leaves only the eyes of the female model uncovered.

It is not the only advert for the £3.99 bikini top at H&M stores that has been daubed with graffiti, with similar incidents reported in Birmingham and London.

Gulfraz Nawaz, from the Jamia Mosque in Normanton, said: "Some people of the Muslim community could find an advert like that offensive and react to it, which clearly someone has. Firms behind advertising campaigns like that should be a little more sensitive about the location of posters."

Azher Rehan, 36, works. . .  in Normanton Road said: "I wouldn't have noticed it if it hadn't been pointed out. I think whoever did it has a good sense of humour." I don't find it funny.

A spokeswoman for Derbyshire police said officers were aware of the incident of "criminal damage".

A spokeswoman for H&M said it was "regrettable" that people had chosen to vandalise the bus shelter.

From the comments

"firms urged to be more sensitive" - NO, it is muslims who need to be more sensitive. They chose to live in a Christiam country and should abide by its laws and its traditions and standards. If they dont like the way we live then they should leave. DJ, Derby

A spokeswoman for Derbyshire police said officers were aware of the incident of "criminal damage" They missed the bit off the end of this quote which states that nothing will be done about this because the police are scared of being dubbed as racists. Jamie, Derby

Posted on 05/19/2011 4:28 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax

Thursday, 19 May 2011

(Reuters) - An al Qaeda online magazine has been translated into Russian in what analysts said on Wednesday was an attempt to strengthen ties with insurgents aiming to carve an Islamic state out of Russia's North Caucasus. The English-language web journal, Inspire, launched by al Qaeda's Yemeni wing last year to reach out to Muslims living in the West, stoked U.S. and European concerns with articles such as one entitled "make a bomb in your mother's kitchen."

The appearance of the Russian translation of the magazine shows the potential that the global jihadist organization sees in the insurgency in Russia's southern flank, where gun and bomb attacks are a near daily occurrence.

With a cover photo looking down the barrel of a gun, the flashy on-line journal illustrated with color photographs boasts an article on seizing the property of unbelievers. The magazine is published in slide-show format on the jihadist internet site Ansar al Mujahideen's Russian-language forum.

The Russian language forum hosting Inspire was originally founded by the wing of the Islamist Caucasus Emirate active in the North Caucasus regions of Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia, according to Gordon Hahn, a senior researcher at U.S. Monterey Institute for International Studies.

Posted on 05/19/2011 4:17 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

From The Australian

TERRORISTS have set up shadow governments in Indonesian prisons, recruiting members, sending money from jail to jail and, at least once, co-ordinating an attack outside.

They run businesses, use mobile phones to preach sermons to followers outside and dominate prison mosques, says a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

In Jihadists in Jail, Carl Ungerer paints a picture of terrorists manipulating the prison system and displaying a disturbing degree of freedom of movement. This has substantial operational consequences that have strengthened the terrorist threat, producing friendships and alliances among terrorists that cross over traditional organisational lines.

For example, members of previously hostile groups, such as Jemaah Islamiah and Darul Islam, are co-operating with each other in the pursuit of jihad.

Inmates of Cipinang prison in Jakarta have sent money to their comrades in Batu Prison on the island of Nusakambangan, which is known as the Alcatraz of Indonesia. Mobile phones and other contraband are readily smuggled into terrorist prisoners. In the worst case, a warder at Keborokan Jail, Benni Irawan, in 2005 smuggled a laptop in to Bali bomber Imam Samudra, who was on death row. "It was subsequently revealed that the laptop was used by Samudra to chat with other militants and help plan the second Bali bombing," the report says.

The report notes that the majority of the released prisoners have not re-offended, but that much recent terrorist activity - directed at police and at Christian and other non-Muslim groups - has been led by former convicts and recidivism rates are increasing.

Some were completely unrepentant.

Fajar Taslam, convicted of killing a Christian teacher in 2005 and attempting to kill a Catholic priest in 2007, said that "if he were released today he would bomb the US embassy in Jakarta". Sonhadi, convicted for harbouring JI bombmaker Noordin Top, said that ex-prisoners "hold an elevated status in society after serving time behind bars". Others have marriages arranged for them while in jail.

Indonesian prison de-radicalisation programs have been ineffective.

Posted on 05/18/2011 2:07 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The reason most people don’t like anger is that they assume there are only two choices: hide it or yell, and they have problems with both choices. This note proposes a third way that can be much more satisfying, finding a middle zone for anger between the two extremes.

People often hide their anger, or at least don’t express it. This practice fails to let others know where they are coming from, and also causes upset; feeling inadequate and agitated. At times the upset can last for hours. Anger releases adrenalin in the body, providing energy for fight or flight. If not used up quickly, we are uncomfortable. Surplus adrenaline is hard on bodies also, especially the heart.

There is a myth that yelling when angry gets it all out, and that you might as well since you won’t be able to stop anyway. Both parts of this myth are false. For more than fifty years experiments in psychology have demonstrated that venting anger doesn’t help, and often makes one feel worse. Another problem is that the person being yelled at may yell back.

The third path is to express anger, but in a special way. The best analogy is how audiences experience emotions at a play or film. Finding a midpoint between too close and too far from emotions is at the heart of enjoyment in theatre. The audience members feel the emotions that are being enacted, but at the same time, realize they are safe in the theatre. They are neither too close, mixing up their own past emotional experiences with the drama, nor too far, not involved. At middle distance, the audience response, such as laughing, crying or other bodily reactions is helpful and pleasurable.

The tricky part in real life is finding middle distance, neither too close nor too far.  The first step may be verbalizing your anger: why you feel frustrated, and what it feels like. Perhaps your angry speech needs to be a little louder and faster than usual, to signal anger to both the listener and self. However, rudeness is not necessary: the listener should merely realize that something out of the ordinary is happening.

In speaking in this way, how does one both experience the anger, and at the same time, watch oneself feeling it, as if from outside? This mixture gives one assurance, because it provides the sense of being in control, of being able to stop if and when you wish (as in the theatre). But if you have the feeling of theatrical performance, it means you are too far away from your angry self: spend more time in it, less time watching.

As it turns out, finding the zone takes some practice, and if available, even some coaching. Perhaps in most of our lives, we spend much more time in the direct experiencing mode than in the watching ourselves mode. The coach need not be a professional; anyone you trust can help. Telling another person about your anger helps you see your story from a point of view other than your own. The zone is constructed by watching yourself feeling anger from the outside about the same length of time that you are experiencing it from the inside, slipping back and forth rapidly between the two points of view.

There are several benefits from experiencing anger in the zone. One is that you don’t antagonize the other person, or, at the other extreme, leave them in the dark about your emotional state. A second, and more striking advantage, is that the anger episode is likely to be short and sweet. Here is an example of my own first experience in the anger zone.

Many years ago on a plane, I happened to be sitting next to a colleague from my campus that I knew only slightly. He was much my senior, being a beginning professor myself, and he also had a reputation of a sharp tongue. However, I was so happy about an experience I had the day before that it burst out of me.

He interrupted me very quickly by coldly analyzing what he thought had happened to me. To my surprise, I quickly interrupted him in turn, saying: “Professor _______, you are trying to reduce my experience to yours without remainder, but I won’t stand for it.”

Three unexpected things then happened. First, he began apologizing for his behavior, and continued to apologize for the rest of the flight. Second, my heart, which had been pounding wildly during the exchange, quickly slowed down to its normal rate. Indeed, I felt quite happy. Finally, I noticed that the interior of the plane suddenly seemed to have grown warmer.

Later I connected the last two events. How could my heart rate return to normal so quickly when other anger episodes had caused uproar for hours? It seems to me that what I thought was the plane warming up was actually my own body. A few degrees increase in my body heat could have burned up the excess adrenaline instantly. Similar anger events have happened in the forty years since the one reported. I have also known it to happen with others, especially with students who were initially angry when they visited me in my office hours.

However, even after I came to this understanding, finding the zone is not easy.  I still sometimes respond to being yelled at by yelling back. Often, however, I am able to explain why the yelling made me angry, which usually ends the problem. Humor is another direction. For example, my wife yelled at me on one occasion. Instead of yelling back, I said “Ouch!” She said:”Ouch?” I said: “That hurt.” We both laughed.

Summary

There may be a zone for experiencing anger that is a considerable improvement over hiding it or venting. To be in this zone, one must both experience the anger and watch oneself experiencing it.  If this balance can be found, anger becomes useful both socially, maintaining a relationship, and psychologically, very quickly turning an upsetting experience into a satisfying one.                                       

Posted on 05/18/2011 1:20 PM by Thomas J. Scheff

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

From Contentions:

Fatah Agrees With Hamas: Palestinian State Will Be At War With Israel

If anyone doubted whether there was real substance to the Hamas-Fatah “unity government,” Mahmoud Abbas’s New York Times op-ed provides the proverbial teachable moment.

Don’t be distracted by Abbas’s fable of expulsion from Safed or his lies about the history of the conflict. The key passage is this one:

Palestine’s admission to the United Nations would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one. It would also pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice.

Obviously, the precondition Abbas has flogged on an almost daily basis over the past two years to justify his refusal to negotiate — “we must have a settlement freeze” — is instantly rendered ancient history, and itself another lie. Now he has a bold new precondition: Palestinian statehood itself.

After statehood, he dismisses even the pretense of working toward peace. Instead, he openly promises that Palestine would assault Israel relentlessly in international legal, political, and diplomatic fora. This is where Fatah and Hamas now join together in substance as well as appearance.

Until today, Fatah had convinced the world that it had submitted to the linkage of peace with statehood: a Palestinian state would only arise through negotiations with Israel that, at their completion, would require the Palestinians to cease their claims against the Jewish State and declare the conflict over. Hamas, on the other hand, has been perfectly happy to give its blessing (as Khaled Mashaal did last week) to the creation of a Palestinian state — just so long as the continuation of terrorism and the quest for the ultimate destruction of Israel, diplomatically and otherwise, is preserved.

Today, Abbas has brought Fatah and Hamas together in this goal. It is an important moment. Both factions now agree on a strategy of statehood without peace. Despite the ugliness of it all, we should applaud Abbas for writing such a clear and forthright statement, in English, to a western audience, that explains with perfect sobriety what his intentions are. Mahmoud Abbas wants a state not so he can pursue peace; he wants a state so he can pursue war against Israel.

Posted on 05/18/2011 12:21 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

And here's an excerpt from a story just published about abuse of diplomatic privileges to avoid civil suits:

Domestic workers continue to allege abuse by foreign diplomats. On March 25, four former cooks and housekeepers for Essa Mohammed Al Manai, a senior Qatari diplomat, filed a civil lawsuit alleging they were paid less than 70 cents per hour and "forced to work around the clock" at Al Manai's six-bedroom home in Bethesda, Maryland. The suit also claimed that Al Manai sexually assaulted one of the women.

Al Manai could not be reached for comment, and the Embassy of Qatar did not respond to a request for comment.

 

When will that be on Al-Jazeera? Tomorrow? The day after? Never?

Posted on 05/18/2011 12:18 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Wednesday, 18 May 2011
SPME OPPOSES KUSHNER CUNY HONOR
By Gavriel Queenann

Published in: Israel National News May 16, 2011
 

In light of the selection of playwright Tony Kushner for an honorary degree, the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) has sent a letter to the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York (CUNY) expressing distress over the the politicization of the university.

The letter, signed by scholars from across America, calls for a reversal of the highly controversial decision to honor Kushner. It terms the decision "deeply uninformed" and says it gave celebrity status to a man with "extremist views."

Kushner has been involved with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, and has made numerous statements opposing the existence of Israel. Kushner has also accused Israel of being founded on ethnic cleansing.

In the letter, SPME questioned the CUNY Board’s decision to bestow its highest honor on someone who "regularly makes incendiary and biased accusations against Israel," and thereby "fans the fires of anti-Semitism, hatred, and genocide incitement now prevalent in the Middle East."

Pointing out that the bestowal of an honorary degree is a privilege and not a right, SPME also challenged the Board of Trustees' reversal of a previous decision to delay Kushner's honorary degree until discussions could be held. The reversal was based on the grounds that the delay violated Kushner's "freedom of speech" or "academic freedom."

SPME is a grass-roots organization representing 55,000 professors, researchers and students on 3500 campuses worldwide.

For Prof. Phyllis Chesler's article on the letter, click here.

The full text of the letter reads:

May 15, 2011
Board of Trustees
City University of New York
New York, NY

Dear Trustees:

We members of the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), a grass-roots organization representing 55,000 professors, researchers and students on 3500 campuses worldwide, would like to express our distress at the politicization of the university revealed by your selection of Tony Kushner for an honorary degree

1. We are distressed that you have chosen to give your highest honor to someone who frequently makes incendiary and biased accusations against Israel, thereby feeding the fires of antisemitism, hatred, and genocide incitement now prevalent in the Middle East. By accepting this politicized nomination, you are also giving the CUNY stage to a celebrity advocate of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, through direct statements and through his role on the Board of "Jewish Voice for Peace." This is a position that all American universities have rejected.

2. We are further distressed that, based on political pressure from the press and a letter-writing campaign, your Executive Committee peremptorily overturned an earlier decision by your full Board to postpone Mr. Kushner's nomination for later discussion. Maintaining the board's initial decision would have demonstrated your dedication to inquiry into the many allegations and counter-allegations made about this matter. Sadly, your peremptory vote serves to suppress debate and symbolizes to students and the public that a distinguished university easily succumbs to political pressure.

3. We are concerned that you have collectively refused to come to the defense of your trustee, Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, for exercising his fiduciary responsibility. Mr. Wiesenfeld has been vociferously insulted in public, with unsupported insinuations that he was involved in a political scandal and calls for his resignation -- for no other reason than his judgment that a university should not honor those who espouse extremist views and advocate boycotts of democratic countries or their institutions. Your silence in the face of these extreme attacks on Mr. Wiesenfeld's character tragically gives evidence that you, representing a giant urban public university, are now susceptible to public intimidation.

4. We are further concerned at your acquiescence to accusations that a delay in approving Mr. Kushner's nomination represented an alleged violation of his freedom of speech or academic freedom. To receive an honorary degree is a rare privilege, not a right. To discuss it and consider implications for CUNY's role as an educational institution is your obligation. Some of your members' statements that Mr. Kushner has a right to get an award undermine your own role in making considered judgments about whom you wish to recognize as role models for students. By rejecting your earlier decision to table the nomination and put it up for discussion, you have, sadly, abrogated your responsibility.

Most of all, we are distressed that you have now given a celebrity the stage through which political advocacy and flag waving will triumph over the tradition of critical thinking that is the university's highest calling. Please act immediately to reverse this deeply uninformed decision. Your reversal would send a signal of firmness in upholding open inquiry into Middle East affairs over politicization and street pressure.

Sincerely yours,

The Board of Directors of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

______________________________

Comment:

Tony Kushner makes remarks about how Israel "expelled" the Arabs, many of whom left Mandatory Palestine, beginning in November 1947 -- having been assured that the Arab armies were coming, and as Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League, gleefully predicted from Cairo, would cause a "massacre the likes of which had not been seen in the Middle East since the days of the Mongols" (a reference to the conquest of Baghadad, and its headless aftermath, by the Ilknanate forces of  Hulegu Khan in 1258), others of whom left later, having been assured by broadcasts that they should leave only to return, triumphantly, once the Jews had been crushed and killed. Still others left because once the battles began, and the Jews were not crushed, the Arab rumor-mill ground out the most fantastical stories. And then there were, in a handful of cases -- a tiny handful -- examples of Arabs being expelled from places of strategic significance, where their villages had to be taken over for battlefield purposes. But not only was there no wholesale expulsion of Arabs (not for another twenty years would they be re-named as the fictitious but propagandistically indispensable "Palestinian people"] by Jews, but there were many cases of Jewish organizations actively pleading with the Arabs to stay, as the Jewish unions in Haifa did. This is all well beyond what, in his wilful and arrogant ignorance, Tony Kushner and so many other tony-kushners could possibly allow themselves to take it.

But it's true. And others should keep repeating this truth.

Posted on 05/18/2011 12:04 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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