Friday, January 20, 2017

Pope Francis Strengthens Palestinian Refusal to End Hostilities with Israel - Giulio Meotti




by Giulio Meotti

Unfortunately, Pope Francis's papacy has been marked by a long list of anti-Israel gestures which did not advance the cause of peace the Pope claims to champion.

  • By opening the Palestinian embassy during this critical time of intensified anti-Israel animosity, was the Pope justifying the Palestinian-Arab attempt to isolate the Jewish State and to impose on it unacceptable conditions of surrender through international pressure?
  • Unfortunately, Pope Francis's papacy has been marked by a long list of anti-Israel gestures which did not advance the cause of peace the Pope claims to champion.
  • The Pope also met with Palestinian "refugees," as if the 1948 war were the source of conflict between the two peoples, instead of centuries of Muslims having displaced Christians and other non-Muslims from Persia, the Christian Byzantine Empire, North Africa, Southern Spain, and most of Eastern Europe.
  • The Pope called Abbas an "angel of peace". Really? An angel of peace? According to Shmuely Boteach, "Abbas spent his life murdering Jews," by financing the Munich terror attack in 1972, by inciting against Jews and by glorifying Palestinian terrorists. The Pope, in short is praising a corrupt supporter of terrorists, a torturer who has abolished any democratic process in the West Bank.
  • During these four years, Pope Francis has continually put significant barriers in the way of peace between Israelis and Palestinians -- a peace based on dialogue, mutual respect and the end of conflict. Instead, this supposed man of peace has strengthened Abbas's refusal to negotiate with the Jews -- the Christians' "elder brothers", as Pope John Paul II bravely called them -- and to end hostilities with them. If this is his view of Caritas, what a tragic shame.

Mahmoud Abbas's activities in Rome began on January 14, with the formal opening of the Palestinian Embassy to the Vatican.

The "Palestinian president," now in the twelfth year of his four-year term, then met with Pope Francis for the third time since the start of his papacy four years ago. The high-profile get-together took place in the middle of the Palestinian attempt to bypass peace talks with Israel and to internationalize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A few weeks ago, the UN Security Council, in Res. 2334, condemned Israel for its "settlements"; failed to mention any wrongdoing, such countless Palestinian stabbings and car-rammings of Israeli civilians, and the Obama Administration, which had planned and orchestrated the UN ambush, refused, for the first time in forty years, to veto the anti-Israel resolution, thereby ensuring it would pass.

This week, on January 15, 2017, the "Palestinian question" dominated the French "peace conference" in Paris. By opening the Palestinian embassy during this critical time of intensified anti-Israel animosity, was the Pope justifying the Palestinian-Arab attempt to isolate the Jewish State and to impose on it unacceptable conditions of surrender through international pressure?

Unfortunately, Pope Francis's papacy has been marked by a long list of anti-Israel gestures that did not advance the cause of peace that the Pope claims to champion.

When the Pope visited Israel in 2014, he was photographed praying at Israel's security barrier, which had been created simply to stop the wave of Palestinian suicide bombing attacks against Israeli civilians. The Pope stood before graffiti that compared Palestinians with Jews under the Nazis. "Bethlehem looks like the Warsaw Ghetto", the graffiti read. If it does, it only looks that way because, since the once Christian-majority city Bethlehem was transferred to total Palestinian Authority control in 1995, most of its beleaguered Christians have fled, due to Muslim persecution.


Pope Francis approaches the separation barrier near Bethlehem, May 25, 2014, on which was painted graffiti that comparing Palestinians with Jews under the Nazis: "Bethlehem looks like the Warsaw Ghetto." If it does, it only looks that way because, since the once Christian-majority city Bethlehem was transferred to total Palestinian Authority control in 1995, most of its beleaguered Christians have fled due to Muslim persecution. (Image source: Al Jazeera video screenshot)

Sadly, Francis's homily, delivered in Bethlehem, did not contain the language of peace; just admonition of Israel: "Are we like Mary and Joseph, who welcomed Jesus and cared for him with the love of a father and mother? Or are we like Herod, who wanted to eliminate him?" Was Pope Francis, as Caroline Glick wrote, likening the Israelis to Herod, when historically is the Palestinians who, like Herod, have wanted to eliminate the Jews?

The Pope also met with Palestinian "refugees", as if the 1948 war were the source of conflict between the two peoples, instead of centuries of Muslims having displaced Christians and other non-Muslims from Persia, the Christian Byzantine Empire, North Africa, Southern Spain, and most of Eastern Europe.

Pope Francis then accepted an invitation to visit -- along with Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem -- the Temple Mount, Judaism's most sacred site also the third holiest site in Islam, after Mecca and Medina. But this is the same Palestinian Mufti who justifies terrorism against the Israelis by saying, among other inflammatory declarations, that "the Hour of Resurrection will not come until you fight the Jews."
A year before his visit in the region, Pope Francis, greeting the Catholic faithful at the General Audience in Rome, said:
"I ask you to pray for the peace in the Middle East: in Syria, in Iraq, in Egypt, in Lebanon and in the Holy Land, where the Prince of Peace is born".
Was it so difficult for the head of the Catholic Church to say the word "Israel," instead of the sanitized "Holy Land"?

Previously, when he visited the shrine of St. Francis in Assisi, the Pope said:
"Let us listen to the cry of all those who are weeping, who are suffering and who are dying because of violence, terrorism or war, in the Holy Land, so dear to Saint Francis, in Syria, throughout the Middle East and everywhere in the world."
Again, the Pope refused to mention any Israeli Jews among the victims of terrorism.

In the days before the launch of a devastating "Third Intifada" against the Israeli civilians, the Pope called Mahmoud Abbas an "angel of peace". Really? An angel of peace? According to Shmuely Boteach, "Abbas spent his life murdering Jews," by financing the Munich terror attack in 1972, by inciting against Jews and by glorifying Palestinian terrorists. The Pope, in short is praising a corrupt supporter of terrorists, a torturer who has abolished any democratic process in the West Bank.

In May 2015, on "Naqba Day" ("Catastrophe Day") -- commemorating the day of Israel's birth, when five Arab countries launched a war against Israel to wipe it out in its cradle, but lost the war -- Pope Francis gave the Palestinians another symbolic victory by signing the treaty which formally recognized a "State of Palestine."

During these four years, Pope Francis has continually put significant barriers in the way of peace between Israelis and Palestinians -- a peace based on dialogue, mutual respect and the end of conflict. Instead, this supposed man of peace has strengthened Abbas's refusal to negotiate with the Jews -- the Christians' "elder brothers," as Pope John Paul II bravely called them -- and to end hostilities with them. If this is his view of Caritas, what a tragic shame.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9798/pope-francis-palestinians-israel

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Jerusalem is the Center of Gravity - Prof. Efraim Inbar




by Prof. Efraim Inbar

Jerusalem carries great symbolic and strategic value for Israel, and Israeli control of the city must be protected.



BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 398

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Making strategic choices requires distinguishing which issues are urgent and which are important. Right now, the securing of Jewish control over Jerusalem is both urgent and important. Jerusalem carries great symbolic and strategic value for Israel, and Israeli control of the city must be protected.

Israel’s control of a united Jerusalem is challenged now more than ever. UN Security Council Resolution 2334, adopted on December 23, 2016, declared the Jewish Quarter, the Western Wall, and the Temple Mount occupied territory and any Jewish presence there illegal if it is without Palestinian consent. This followed the October 2016 UNESCO resolution ignoring Jewish links to the Temple Mount. Moreover, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced on December 28, 2016 that for the first time, the US supports the idea that Jerusalem should be the capital of two peoples.

Many Israelis console themselves that President Donald Trump will move the US embassy to Jerusalem, signaling a new era. Even if the move takes place, and even if it goes smoothly with few repercussions, it is not at all clear that the rest of the world will fall in step.

In all probability, most of the world will refuse to come along, despite the fact that West Jerusalem is not disputed territory. It will not help that there should be no legal or political problem moving an embassy to the Western part of the city. There was great reluctance to move embassies to pre-1967 Jerusalem long before the Palestinians issued any demands for parts of the city. No particular sensitivity to the Palestinian issue was displayed during the 1948-67 period.

The truth is that many foreign ministries have not yet put to rest the November 1947 UN resolution for the partition of Palestine, which includes an article to internationalize the city under UN control. They simply do not want the Jews to have full control over the eternal city, and are eager to help the Palestinians prevent such control. In the Christian and Muslim worlds, Jerusalem has great resonance, and we know the attitudes towards Jews in those cultures. These factors, together with diplomatic inertia (which certainly plays a role), explain the persistent international refusal to acknowledge that Jerusalem is the seat of government and the capital of the Jewish state.

Jerusalem carries great symbolic value. There is no Zionism without Jerusalem, and David Ben-Gurion accordingly gave the city first priority during the 1948 War of Independence. The Palestinians understand this, which is one of the central reasons why they insist on claiming Jerusalem: they hope to water down Jewish attachment to the Land of Israel.

They have not been entirely unsuccessful in this. Today, the most assimilated elements in Israel’s society advocate parting with the Temple Mount for the sake of peace. Most Israelis, however, continue to believe that Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are more important than peace. Indeed, they are ready to fight for it. (For the time being, the Palestinian leadership feels the same.)

Jerusalem also carries great strategic value. Control of Jerusalem secures dominance of the only highway from the coast of the Mediterranean to the Jordan Valley, a route along which military forces can move with little interference from Arab communities. If Israel wants to maintain a defensible border in the east, it must secure the east-west axis from the coast to the Jordan Valley via an undivided Jerusalem. The military importance of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem’s central role in Israel’s eastern line of defense, cannot be overestimated – especially given the immense potential for political upheaval east of the Jordan River. The turmoil of the past few years in the Arab world suggests the need for great caution.

Jerusalem is an issue that commands consensus in Israel. Maintaining social cohesion in the protracted conflict with the Palestinians is easier, not harder, if the struggle is for a united Jerusalem. Therefore, educational efforts should be directed towards reinforcing the national love for Jerusalem, in tandem with budgetary preferential treatment for the development of an even more thriving city.

Israel’s government should make this priority clear in its dealings with the new American administration. With that in mind, it should encourage the US to overcome complaints and threats from the international community and move its embassy to Jerusalem. That would be an important step in securing Jerusalem for the Jewish people.

Of course, most of the work remains to be done by the Israelis themselves. Fortunately, Jerusalem is in our hands, and we have a clear advantage in deciding its future.

Battles are often won by taking over the center of gravity. Jerusalem is the center of gravity in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in both a symbolic and a strategic sense. This insight must be internalized by Israeli society.
PDF Version

BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family.


Prof. Efraim Inbar is professor emeritus of political studies at Bar-Ilan University, and the founding director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

Source: https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/398-jerusalem-israel-control/

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Trump: I haven't forgotten my promise about Jerusalem - Boaz Bismuth




by Boaz Bismuth

At pre-inaugural event in Washington, President-elect Donald Trump tells Israel Hayom he will move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, "and I'm not a person who breaks promises" • Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat launches campaign thanking Trump for his support.



U.S. President-elect Donald Trump addresses foreign envoys at an event in Washington, Tuesday
Photo credit: AFP



Boaz Bismuth

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=39707&hp=1

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John Lewis Disgraces Himself - John Perazzo




by John Perazzo

Calling President-elect Trump “illegitimate,” Lewis has a long record of Communist affiliations and radical agendas.




If a good man turns bad, are we required to pretend, for the rest of his life, that he is still good? Do such a man's earlier good deeds render him strictly off-limits from any and all subsequent criticism until the end of time? Is he entitled to be revered indefinitely as a hero, an icon, or a saint, even if he has spent the past half-century proving himself to be a vile race-baiter, an ally of America's enemies, and a liar who repeatedly bears false witness against his fellow man?

We can answer all these questions by examining the track record of Democratic congressman John Lewis, who has vowed to boycott President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration on grounds that Trump is not “a legitimate president.” Incidentally, that was the same rationale Lewis used sixteen years ago, when he likewise boycotted the inauguration of George W. Bush.


Yes, we all know about Lewis's days as a good guy in the early Sixties, when he took part in the Freedom Rides that challenged segregation across the South, and when he was arrested and beaten for his participation in civil-rights actions in places like South Carolina and Alabama.


But in addition to that, are we, by any chance, allowed to also remember that from 1962-64 Lewis was a vice chairman of a Communist Party USA front group known as the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee? Trevor Loudon's extraordinary research has laid bare this fact and many others about Lewis's past.


How about the fact that in 1964 Lewis praised Norman Thomas—a six-time U.S. presidential candidate on the Socialist Party of America ticket—as a man who “has symbolized to millions of Americans the ideals of peace, freedom and equality”? Are we permitted to be unsettled by that?


Is it okay if we find it curious that in 1965 Lewis became the first honoree to receive the annual Eugene Debs Award, named for the founder of the Socialist Party of America? 

Are we allowed to raise an eyebrow over the fact that in '65 as well, Lewis penned an article for a Communist propaganda magazine in which he lauded Paul Robeson, a Communist Party member who had been a devoted admirer of the late Soviet dictator and mass murderer Joseph Stalin?


Or must we, as proof of our moral virtue and good manners, dutifully turn a blind eye to all these things?


Is it permissible to be unimpressed by the fact that in the late Sixties, Lewis was listed as a sponsor of the GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee, an anti-U.S.-military organization that served as a front for the Socialist Workers Party?


Are we allowed to wonder why, in May 1973, Lewis co-sponsored “A Call” for a founding conference of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, a Communist Party front group that grew out of the movement to free the incarcerated Marxist revolutionary and Black Panther ally Angela Davis?


Are we permitted to think it less-than-wonderful that in 1989 Lewis wasfounding member of the Institute for Southern Studies—a North Carolina-based spinoff of the Institute for Policy Studies—in light of the fact that the IPS was described in 1983 by then-Secretary of State George Shultz as an organization “which has for 20 years consistently supported foreign policy objectives that serve the interests of the Soviet Union”?


Would it be okay for some of us to take offense at Lewis's assertion in March 1995—four months after the Republican Party had won House and Senate majorities on the strength of its “Contract With America”—that Republicans were akin to Nazis intent upon exploiting and abusing “the children,” “the poor,” “the sick,” “the elderly,” and “the disabled”?


Or must we forever bow our heads and genuflect whenever Lewis's name is mentioned?

Are we permitted to wonder why Lewis in 2003 contributed an article to the Communist newspaper People's Weekly World?


Are we allowed to question why Lewis in 2007 was a special guest at the annual conference of the Democratic Socialists of America, an organization whose explicit aim is to “radically transform” the American government and economy?


Are we permitted to find it disgraceful that when the House of Representatives in 2009 voted overwhelmingly to defund the notoriously corrupt, pro-socialist, community organization ACORN—which had elevated voter-registration fraud into a veritable art form—Lewis was one of the relatively few Democrats who voted to continue pouring rivers of taxpayer dollars into that moral cesspool?


Are we allowed to be outraged by the fact that in mid-July 2014, after scores of thousands of (mostly unaccompanied) Central American minors had crossed the southern U.S. border illegally since October of the previous year, Lewis called for open borders and proudly declared that “our doors are open”?


Or must we perpetually build shrines in Lewis's honor?


Are we permitted to be repulsed by the fact that in October 2008, Lewis likened Republican presidential candidate John McCain and and his running mate, Sarah Palin, to George Wallace, the former the segregationist former governor of Alabama who had “created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans”?

Are we allowed to think badly of Lewis for having lied in 2010 when he said that conservative Tea Party protesters on the steps of Capitol Hill had shouted the “N-word” at him as he walked past them?


Is it permissible to be disgusted by Lewis's claim—in a speech he gave at the Democratic National Convention in September 2012—that Republicans were eager to bring back the days of Jim Crow segregation and bloody violence against blacks?


And are we allowed to wonder why Gary Dotterman, a prominent Communist Party member in Massachusetts, described Lewis in 2015 as “my hero, my comrade, my inspiration and my friend”?


The great scholar and author Thomas Sowell, writing about the grotesque moral decline which the NAACP had undergone over a period of decades, once noted that “in time even monuments can become overgrown by weeds,” and “even a great crusade can degenerate into a hustle.”


Once-respectable individuals can likewise degenerate into malevolent hustlers. If you need proof, just look at John Lewis.


John Perazzo is the managing editor of DiscoverTheNetworks.org.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/265514/john-lewis-disgraces-himself-john-perazzo

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The BDS movement is in trouble - Dr. Mordechai Kedar




by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Israel has neglected the public diplomacy front for years

For the last decade Israel has had to deal with the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) Movement, whose sanctions included the pulling out of investments from the Jewish state. The movement calls for academic, cultural and economic bodies to cut off relations with Israel.

The supposed goal of the BDS Movement is to force Israel to leave the "Palestinian territories" and to establish a Palestinian state, but the basic real motivation behind the movement's activities is hatred of Israel and of Jews, and the openly expressed desire to rid the Middle East of Israel.  

For years the movement seemed relegated to the sidelines and had little influence . However during the last two years, mainly after Operation Defensive Shield in Gaza and the negative publicity it engendered, the movement increased its activities, its donations grew significantly and so did the number of its volunteers. The organization's success on North American, Canadian and European academic campuses was especially pronounced, due to the large number of Muslims and Arabs enrolled on campus and the current fashion of putting everything in the context of human rights (as long as we are not talking about Jews, that is), in addition to traditional anti-Semitism and the presenting of Israel as an illegitimate state, scofflaw and a danger to world peace.    

The state of Israel, Jews and pro-Israel people the world over realized what the real goal of BDS is and decided to fight it. Israel's government even established official frameworks and allocated funds for this struggle. The anti-BDS activities are on different levels and in various arenas, and Israel has garnered significant successes fighting them. For example: Fifteen states in the USA have passed laws against firms that boycott Israel, in Canada similar laws were passed and in Europe there have been not a few successes in this regard. The question is who will make sure these laws are kept and how will it be done?

Despite the growing activity of the BDS Movement and its various successes, many artists refused to cancel their appearances in Israel because they felt it was wrong to connect art and politics or art and nationalist issues. Most of the economic forces who feel investing in Israel is good for their balance sheet from a purely business point of view, do not end their relationship with Israel, because what counts to them is making a profit and they ignore issues that have nothing to do with their economic activities.

The movement is still strong on campus, but has a good many problems there as well, arising - among other factors - from differences of opinion between activists and the PA about how to work and define goals. One example is what happened in Boston last November at the annual conference of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), an international academic organization with thousands of members who do research on the Middle East. As time passed, this organization adopted an anti-American political agenda as well as an anti-Zionist one - with some anti-Semitic overtones. As a result, a good many researchers left the organization a few years ago and founded the much less political and much more balanced Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA),  

The leading Palestinian website, Donia Al Watan, posted an article stating that in Boston, last November, the suggestion to boycott Israel was put on the agenda of the annual conference, despite the fact that MESA has many Israeli members for whom this was a slap in the face. Those opposing the boycott claimed that there are Arab countries - not just Egypt and Jordan - who  have relations with Israel, so where was the logic in an international academic organization's boycott? The Americans and Europeans also argued that Israel is a legitimate state so that a boycott is irrational and if anything, the communities, factories and companies in Judea and Samaria should be boycotted. The difference stems from the definition of the word "occupation." The Americans and Europeans use that word for the result of the 1967 Six Day War, while Arabs and Muslims tend to use it for the result of Israel's 1948 War of Independence.

In general, the anti-Israel activities at the conference were not centrally organized and everyone worked on his own without coordinating with other activists, nor, significantly, with the Palestinian Authority. This was obvious at a demonstration set up by the pro-BDS forces opposite the HP offices, aimed at getting the firm to stop working with Israel and most important, to stop its selling products to Israel's defense establishment.

The problem with going out against HP is that it provides employment to approximately 350,000 men and women across the globe, a good many of them in the USA. A boycott might lead to economic difficulties and to laying off or firing workers, something no American will agree to, to say nothing of the ensuing fury on the part of the American nation and its newly-elected President who talks constantly of the need to add to the number of jobs in the USA. Getting on the wrong side of Trump is the last thing the PA government wants during this sensitive period, but the BDS activists neither see nor understand the complex considerations that affect the PA. 

Another headache that BDS has to face is the standard accusation that what motivates its activists is anti-Zionism and hatred of Jews because they are Jews, even if those Jews take no part in Israel's actions. It is hard for the BDS activists to deny this, and it seems especially true when Muslims or Arab members of the movement are accused of these prejudices, an off-putting accusation because being labeled anti-Semitic in the sense of being anti-Jew is still looked at negatively in Europe and North America.

The author of the article in Donia Al Watan reaches the conclusion that that the BDS activist should concentrate on limited, local issues, such as illegal building in the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, the way the right wing Israeli government does things, and similar causes. BDS, he says, should abandon the international stage where it brings more harm than benefits to the Palestinians.

Are we witnessing the slow decline of BDS? Possibly, but it is too soon to rest on our laurels. A Gaza operation, a war with Hezbollah or a larger conflagration in Judea and Samaria (what many think is only a matter of time) can easily put new blood into the aging arteries of the movement. Israel must not stop its anti-BDS activities for a minute and reach every location where it has made inroads.

It is possible that the struggle against BDS will be easier during the Trump administration because he is more receptive to Israel's expectations, but let us not forget that after four or eight years in the White House, the Democratic party could make a comeback, and their way of relating to Israel is quite different from Trump's. 

Israel must expand, widen and deepen its public diplomacy efforts against BDS so that the sense of the justice of its cause among Jews and non-Jews is strengthened.

Israel must establish an official internet news channel in English and other foreign languages, not a great expense in comparison to satellite channels, and begin broadcasting news and commentary on what is happening non-stop, this in order to bring the world to realize that Israel is not responsible for the miseries in the region, the interethnic tribal violence that is tearing the Middle East to shreds and turning citizens into victims and refugees.

Israel has neglected the public diplomacy front for years (what used to be called hasbara) by putting it into the hands of people whose political, social and cultural agenda reflect those who signed the delusionary and evil Oslo Accords: liberalism, secularism, and an attempt to sign treaties with our enemies even if they don't bring a real peace based on the Arabs and Muslims accepting our rights to live in a state of our own whose historic and eternal capital is Jerusalem.

The vacuum created by Israeli governments since the 1993 signing of the Oslo Accords has been filled by organizations who work in Israel and outside it, who continue to expend sincere efforts in public diplomacy for the Jewish people and its rights to the land. Without in any way taking anything from their importance, I wish to state that a country cannot leave an issue of such consequence in the hands of private people, even if they are most efficient and effective. Now that the non-delusional majority, those who don't have pipe dreams about a "New Middle East" are in office, it is crucial to put the topic of public diplomacy in the hands of people who believe in the justice of the Jewish people's cause in its historical homeland and eternal capital.  Only a sure and believing approach can influence those who do not share our fate, future and way of life, but who can influence ours.

When the spies sent by Moses returned from their mission, they told the Israelites that the people of the land  saw them as small insects and they felt the same way about themselves. Interpretations posit that because we thought of ourselves as insects, they thought so too. The problem begins with us, within us, so the solution also begins with us. The anti-BDS struggle is no  different.

Translated from Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky


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

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/20061

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Welcome to Europe’s “Israel free” cities - Giulio Meotti




by Giulio Meotti

Israeli goods disappear from major cities such as Leicester, the tenth largest in the UK, and entire Spanish regions such as Valencia.

The City Council of Trondheim, the third largest Norwegian town, passed a motion calling on its residents to boycott Israeli goods. A city that aspires to be “Israel free”. Then it was the turn of another Norwegian city, Tromso, 72,000 inhabitants, whose City Council approved a similar motion. Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, also adopted a motion to boycott Israeli products.

This is not a city, but one of the largest regions of Spain. It is Valencia, where the leftist party València en Comú has managed to vote on the following motion: “Today the Provincial Council of Valencia is declared free from Israeli apartheid”.

The semi-autonomous region, which governs 250 municipalities and 2.5 million inhabitants, has approved the proposal. Meanwhile, a Spanish court has declared illegal a similar motion of the municipality of Santiago de Compostela. In recent years in Spain more than 50 municipalities have endorsed the boycott of Israel. Like Ibiza, a popular tourist destination, where the City Council of Santa Eulalia, the second largest city, has voted for a boycott of goods from the Jewish State. These motions do not remain without consequences. The Spanish town of Villanueva de Duero, for example, no longer distributes the Israeli Eden Springs water in its public buildings.

It is a major phenomenon also in England, where some city councils were acquitted by a court from accusations of anti-Semitism after imposing a boycott of Israeli goods. This is the Leicester City Council, Swansea City Council and Gwynedd. In France, the town of Bondy, near Paris, passed a motion for the boycott of Israeli goods. The mayor, Sylvine Thomassin, who belongs to the Socialist Party of President François Hollande, approved the resolution with only five objections. In Ireland, many cities governed by Sinn Féin endorsed the ban on Israeli products. The Irish town of Kinvara became “Israel free”: no one in the city should use the goods of the Jewish State. Pro Palestinian activists have lobbied to pressure restaurants and cafes to delete anything produced in Israel.

The Mayor of Newry, in Northern Ireland, has written to all retailers asking them to provide a list of Israeli products in stock. He then asked to remove them from sale, supported by 21 votes in favor and three against at the City Council.

Israeli goods disappear from major cities such as Leicester, the tenth largest in the UK, and entire Spanish regions such as Valencia.

A few days ago came the data on the escape of the French Jews: 5,000 have emigrated to Israel in 2016, bringing to 40,000 the number of Jews of France who left the country in the last ten years. Jewish goods disappearing, Jews packing their bags, how familiar!


Giulio Meotti, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter and of "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books.. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/20062

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The Nation of Islam Factor - Lloyd Billingsley




by Lloyd Billingsley


Explaining the Islamic intransigence of the outgoing president.




In his January 10 farewell speech, President Obama cited “violent fanatics who claim to speak for Islam.” That was the only mention of Islam in the speech, and the outgoing president kept his record intact.

For the past eight years, the most powerful man in the world has refused to connect Islam with any act of terrorism against the West in general or the United States in particular. The terrorists themselves do everything but take out an ad on the Super Bowl to trumpet Islam as their motive, but that has no effect on the president.

In early 2015 the Islamic State mounted a surge in torture, beheading and enslaving, with Christians a primary target, including women and children. At the national prayer breakfast, the president responded: “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

The Crusades reference is the default defense of the Islamists themselves. Yet, the President of the United States, who claims to be a Christian, takes it up during a tide of Islamic State atrocities. At the UN in 2012, the president also went on record that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

These and other statements have many observers puzzled, but one explanation can be found in the president’s 2006 The Audacity of Hope. “Although my father had been raised a Muslim,” he explains, “by the time he met my mother he was a confirmed atheist, thinking religion to be so much superstition, like the mumbo-jumbo of witch doctors that he had witnessed in the Kenyan villages of his youth.”

Even so, during the five years the author lived with his stepfather Lolo Soetoro in Indonesia, he writes, “I was first sent to a neighborhood Catholic school, and then to a predominantly Muslim school.” The Audacity of Hope names neither but the “predominantly Muslim” school is likely Besuki, run by the Indonesian government, complete with a mosque.

In his massive 2015 Believer, the president’s narrator David Axelrod deals with the charge that the president “as a child in Indonesia, had been educated in a madrassa, which, to many Americans, meant a radical Islamic school in which anti-Western values are routinely taught.” This was “fodder for the right-wing commentators eager to portray the Obamas as outside the American mainstream.”

Axelrod explains that he, Bob Gibbs and his research team campaign “were able to beat back that calumny,” though Axelrod cites no facts about the school he previously described as “predominantly Muslim.” That school doubtless plays a major role in the president’s Islamic intransigence, but another possible explanation remains largely unexplored.

The author of Dreams from My Father claims that the Kenyan Barack H. Obama “bequeathed his name” to the son he bore with his American wife Ann Dunham. Once on his own, he shows little interest in Africa in general and Kenya in particular. After law school he moves to Chicago, the city where “Frank,” the happy-drunk poet in Dreams from My Father, made a name for himself.

As the president acknowledged on television in 1995, “Frank” is Frank Marshall Davis, an African-American Stalinist who spent much of his life defending all-white Communist dictatorships. In The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor, professor Paul Kengor found “remarkable similarities” between the president’s policies and the writings of Davis, a security risk with an FBI file 600 pages long. Davis was also a pornographer and sexual omnivore who details his activities in Sex Rebel: Black under the pseudonym Bob Greene. 

Chicago also hosts the headquarters of the Nation of Islam and anybody on the rise in the black community has to reckon with the group and Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. True to form, in Dreams from My Father the author meets a tall, gaunt man named Malik, “who mentioned that he was a follower of the Nation of Islam.” The narrative portrays the NOI uncritically and as a positive force.

“If it wasn’t for Islam, man, I’d be dead,” one character explains. Doubters are caricatured in comic fashion.

“Gotta have them ribs. And pussy, too,” another unnamed character says. “Don’t Malcolm talk about no pussy? Now you know that ain’t gonna work.”

Readers get no clue that, as Stanley Crouch explained in the Village Voice in 1985, in the view of the NOI and Louis Farrakhan, “the white man was a devil ‘grafted’ from black people in an evil genetic experiment by a mad, pumpkin-headed scientist named Yacub. That experiment took place 6000 years ago. Now the white man was doomed, sentenced to destruction by Allah.”

So the author of Dreams from My Father, then launching his political career, is uncritical of this racist belief. He does not tell readers if he believes that Nikola Tesla, Harper Lee, Einstein, and Meryl Streep are the result of Yacub’s experiment. Louis Farrakhan backed Obama for president, hailing him as “the Messiah,” and he duly gained election 2008.

As president he placed Islam off limits to criticism and the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet if Islam. It is entirely possible that this was an homage to Farrakhan, who knew the truth about Frank, whom many believe to be the president’s true biological father.

If the president had dared to fault Islam for anything, Farrakhan could have outed him. A story like that in The Final Call would be hard to ignore, even for the old-line establishment media. Add the president’s “predominantly Muslim” school and his refusal to link Islam with terrorism becomes more understandable.

In 2009, when “Soldier of Allah” Nidal Hasan gunned down 13 at Fort Hood, the president called it “workplace violence.” In 2015, radical Islamic terrorists Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik gunned down 14 in San Bernardino. In his first public response, the president said the attack could be “workplace-related” and a case of “gun violence.”

In eight years, right through his farewell address, the outgoing president never linked Islam with terrorism. That is how he should be remembered.

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

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/265488/nation-islam-factor-lloyd-billingsley

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Turkey Turns Church into Museum; Greece Builds New Mosque - Uzay Bulut




by Uzay Bulut

The truth is, Bilecik and the rest of Asia Minor, which today has a tiny, dwindling Christian minority, used to be majority-Christian lands, the great Christian-Byzantine Empire.

  • When one talks about Christians in Turkey, one tends to think of them as migrants who moved to the area after Muslims took over, or as if Muslims have always been the majority there. The truth is, Bilecik and the rest of Asia Minor, which today has a tiny, dwindling Christian minority, used to be majority-Christian lands, the great Christian-Byzantine Empire.
  • "The Greek community is dying, and it is not a natural death." — A Greek an in Istanbul to Helsinki Watch, 1992.
  • "The Greek community in Istanbul today is dwindling, elderly and frightened," Helsinki Watch reported. "Their fearfulness is related to an appalling history of pogroms and expulsions that they have suffered at the hands of the Turkish government.
  • "The conquest of Bilecik is not a random conquest of a territory. The conquest of Bilecik means the establishment of the Ottoman state... the beginning of a blessed march. When future generations see this project, they will understand they should be proud of their ancestors and history." — Selim Yagci, Mayor of Bilecik.
  • As Turks are taught to take pride in every single thing in their history -- including all of the crimes of their ancestors -- they still continue committing similar crimes.
Turkish newspapers have recently reported that plans are underway to restore the historic Greek Hagios Georgios Church, referred to as "Aya Yorgi" in Turkish. The church will be converted into a museum and a cultural site.

Osmaneli Mayor Munur Sahin said that the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, also visited the region, and said:
"We re-evaluated the situation of the church. This place will never be opened to worship again. It will serve as a museum and a cultural venue. We obtained the necessary permits; we will bring movable cultural artifacts from around Osmaneli and keep them here."
The restoration project, approved by the Council of Monuments, is set to be finished in two years. The church lies in ruins -- largely because the congregants were either murdered or forcibly deported during and after the 1914-1923 Greek genocide.


The historic Greek Hagios Georgios Church in Bilecik, Turkey. (Image source: Dik Gazete video screenshot)

When one talks about Christians in Turkey, one tends to think of them as migrants who moved to the area after Muslims took over or as if Muslims have always been the majority there.

The truth is Bilecik and the rest of Asia Minor, which today has a tiny, dwindling Christian minority, used to be majority-Christian lands, the great Christian-Byzantine Empire. The demographics and culture of those territories have over centuries been completely changed as a result of invasions, deportations and massacres.

The early Ottoman policy: Conquest and Co-operation

In 1071, Seljuk Turks invaded and began to conquer Anatolian territories. "Starting as far back as 1071," wrote journalist Kerry Kolasa-Sikiaridi, "Turks began their settlements in Anatolia, and shortly after, dominated the vast majority of the region, excluding the Marmara Sea and some areas surrounding the sea. At that time, the indigenous population of Anatolia spoke and wrote in Greek and were Greek Orthodox. The Turks referred to all Orthodox Christian communities in the Ottoman as the 'Roman community,' and labeled the people 'Rum,' meaning Roman, a term which is used until this day."

The Ottoman state achieved tremendous military success as a fighting machine. The scholars Ebru Boyar and Kate Fleet explain in their book A Social History of Ottoman Istanbul that the policy of the early Ottoman state was far more sophisticated than utter war and conquest, as the authors describe in the sophistication of Osman Bey in his dealings with the Byzantines:
While his brother Gunduz adopted the somewhat unsubtle approach of total destruction of the enemy, proposing that they should attack and destroy the area, Osman disagreed. 'This', he told his brother, 'is a bad idea,' for plundering and devastating the region around Karacahisar, their latest conquest, would simply ensure that the town would not thrive and develop. Therefore, Osman argued, 'the first thing which should be done is to get on well with our neighbors and be their friends.'
In accordance with this policy, Osman had very good relations with the local Byzantines when he came to the throne (according to the Ottoman historian Asikpasazade), and a long-standing friendship with the Byzantine ruler of Bilecik, to whom he gave presents of fine carpets and rugs, cheese and clotted cream.
No doubt more pragmatic than sincere, such relations were very useful for the survival of a small state in a hostile environment, and the policy of 'dissimulation' was praised by Asikpasazade:
Cheat your enemy that you may in the end win
If you find an opportunity, do not draw back from taking his head
Feed him on good food and let him drink sweet wine
Let this weaken him while you grow strong
But do not be careless, think that he can cheat you
If in the end you suffer, regret will be useless.
This ability both to conquer and to co-habit was one of the reasons for Ottoman success.
All of those insidious and patient strategies bore fruit. In 1299, the Ottoman leader, Osman, captured the Byzantine city of Bilecik, the first of many Byzantine territories to fall in the coming decades. The Hagios Georgios Church is also in Bilecik's Osmaneli district.

Throughout decades, the Ottoman conquest of Byzantine towns continued – until the fall of Constantinople, which brought the collapse of the Byzantine Empire. In 1453, after a bloody military campaign, Ottoman Turks invaded and captured Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Christian Byzantine empire since 330 AD.

Persecution of Orthodox Greeks in Turkey

The Greek communities of Anatolia were exposed to genocide between 1914 and 1923, and a forcible population exchange campaign between Turkey and Greece, in which many of the survivors were expelled from Turkey in 1923.

Decades passed since these atrocities but the persecution of Orthodox Greeks at the hands of Turks continued. In 1992, a Greek man in Istanbul told Helsinki Watch: "The Greek community is dying, and it is not a natural death."

"The Greek community in Istanbul today is dwindling, elderly and frightened," Helsinki Watch reported.
"Their fearfulness is related to an appalling history of pogroms and expulsions that they have suffered at the hands of the Turkish government. The problems experienced by the Greek minority today include harassment by police; restrictions on freedom of expression; discrimination in education involving teachers, books and curriculum; restrictions on religious freedom; limitations on the right to control their charitable institutions; and the denial of ethnic identity."
As a result of several attacks and constant pressure, the once-flourishing Greek communities of Bilecik and the rest of Anatolia are nearly extinct.

Mihail Vasiliadis, the editor-in-chief of Apoyevmatini, the only remaining Greek newspaper in Turkey, told Gatestone:
"The Greek population in Turkey used to number around 120,000 until the 1964 expulsion. Today, the number of the people who are registered as Greek in official documents is around 4,000. But the number of those who speak Greek fluently as their native language and know the Greek culture well is just around 1600. And their average of age is 60. Our young people have left Turkey. We do not have wedding or baptism ceremonies anymore. We only have funeral ceremonies."

Glorification of Ottoman conquests

On May 28 of last year, Turkish officials including the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources Undersecretary Fatih Donmez celebrated the 717th anniversary of the Ottoman conquest of Bilecik in a ceremony held at a cultural center in the city. Selim Yagci, the mayor of the Bilecik, stated:
"Bilecik is a city of history. The conquest of Bilecik is not a random conquest of a territory. The conquest of Bilecik means the establishment of the Ottoman state. And the establishment of the Ottoman state means the beginning of a blessed march."
The speeches of officials were followed by the chanting of the Koran, the reciting of the "adhan (Islamic prayer) of conquest," a musical show of the Ottoman military band of the municipality and another show in which a young man performing the role of an Ottoman sultan "symbolically" girded himself with a sword.

The event also marked the opening of the "project for timeline of Ottoman sultans" to be held in the city center. The mayor defined it as "a project of history, culture and education as well as of ownership and belonging" and declared that they aimed to educate people on "the lives and services of the Ottoman sultans".

"When future generations see this project, they will understand they should be proud of their ancestors and history," added the mayor.

As Turks are taught to take pride in every single thing in their history – including all of the crimes of their ancestors – they still continue committing similar crimes. There are very few Christian congregants left in the country and even their historic churches and monasteries have either been destroyed or are in ruins. Many of the remaining churches are used for sacrilegious purposes, such as stables or warehouses.

Seckin Evcim, an academic and expert of art history, wrote in his article about the Hagios Georgios:
"The church which was built between the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, was used probably till the population exchange and left after that. During the Republic of Turkey it had been used as stable, warehouse and shelter. The building has remained till today except its roof, gynekaion (women section), stairs and floor coverings."
Most of the areas which today are within modern Greece's borders were under the Ottoman occupation from the mid-15th century until the Greek War of Independence in 1821 and the establishment of the modern Greek state in 1832. But the government of Greece does not seem to have learned anything either from the Ottoman history or the current treatment of churches under the Turkish rule. The Greek newspaper Ekathimerini recently reported:
"The Greek capital's first modern Muslim house of worship is slated for completion by the end of April, as work at the site has gotten back on track. The tender for the 887,000-euros project, financed through the Public Investment Program, was signed with a consortium of Greece's four biggest construction firms on October 10."
Haven't we all heard that Greece is broke?

Meanwhile, the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News has covered the restoration of the Bilecik church in a news report titled, "Hagios Georgios Church to serve tourism."

The indented use of a church is not to serve tourism. And what is it that makes it difficult for the Greek government to learn lessons from history?

Sadly, the cultural genocide against the Christian heritage remains ongoing in Turkey – with the willful participation of much of the society, including state authorities and whatever journalists the Turkish government has not yet placed under arrest.


Uzay Bulut, a journalist born and raised a Muslim in Turkey, is currently based in Washington D.C.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9803/turkey-church-greece-mosque

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