Author Archive

A phony Islamophobia panic is ruining Canadian politics – The Washington Post

January 17, 2018

Source: A phony Islamophobia panic is ruining Canadian politics – The Washington Post

( Even the Washington Post recognizes the phony islamophobia for what it is… –  JW )

 January 16 at 1:13 PM

Then-Canadian Prime Minister-elect Justin Trudeau arrives for a news conference in Ottawa on Oct. 20, 2015, after winning the general elections. (Nicholas Kamm/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

During the lead-up to the 2003 Iraq War, back when invading that country was a more popular idea among Canadians than many care to remember, I recall observing an encounter at the bus stop near my house between a group of middle-aged white folks, perhaps three or four of them, and a hijab-wearing Muslim woman. I didn’t see how it began, but everyone was arguing about the war, with the Muslim woman against and everyone else for. No one was making particularly good points, but it was nevertheless obvious, through the white folks’ sneering, dismissive tone, that they regarded the logic of the Muslim woman with far more suspicion than was warranted simply because of who she was. There were no “go-back-to-where-you-came-froms” or anything like that, but it was a visibly tense conversation made all the tenser by one obvious variable.

Was what I witnessed Islamophobia? It was certainly an unpleasant swirl of politics and culture in which many divisive sources of social discord — violence, patriotism, religion, race and immigration — were present, either explicitly or just below the surface. Without being too presumptuous, when Muslim Canadians experience episodes of social anxiety, I imagine the triggers often resemble what I witnessed: awkward encounters with representatives of the majority that leave the Muslim feeling devalued or marginalized and hyper-aware of their “otherness.”

The world being what it is, however, most of us would prefer Islamophobia to manifest in a more sensationalistic, even cartoonish way. The Canadian Parliament certainly resorted to fairly cartoonish language of its own when it passed  a motion last March describing the scourge of Canadian Islamophobia as an “increasing public climate of hate and fear,” which only heroic government action at the highest levels could redress.

When, last week, an 11-year-old Muslim girl from Ontario claimed she was attacked out of the blue by a bigoted monster who literally tried to cut the hijab off her head with scissors, this desire for cartoonish Islamophobia was satiated. Politicians from the prime minister on down tumbled over each other to tweet messages of sadness and remorse — on behalf of the whole country, naturally — that such wickedness had been allowed to transpire (though a barely hidden subtext was that they all pretty much expected it).

After a couple days as the cause celebre of Canadian woke-Twitter, the hijab-chopping story was declared false by the Toronto police. It “did not happen,” the news release bluntly stated. It thus joined the ranks of such other scandalous nonevents as the grocery store Islamophobe  in London, Ontario (who wound up being a Farsi-speaker in treatment for mental illness) or the Muslim man who got beat up  by a slur-yelling assailant in a Whitby park bathroom (only to be later deemed unreliableby police and prosecutors).

There is something unmistakably perverse about the bizarre appetite many Canadians, particularly those on the left or in elite positions, seem to have for tales of outlandish Islamophobia, an appetite that causes otherwise sensible people to turn off their faculties for caution and skepticism and adopt the credulity of a supermarket tabloid reader. At best, they gobble up such anecdotes as a variant of so-called “decay porn,” in which weird cravings for tales of a hellish world can be satisfied only by increasingly outlandish stories cooked up by fabulists. At worst, these are mini-Gulf of Tonkins of the mind, emotional pretexts that rationalize backing politicians or legislation that erode free speech, due process or national security in the name of fighting some unprecedented enemy.

As the Toronto Sun’s Anthony Furey observed, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a long track record of erring on the side of radical Islam, a pattern seemingly born from a larger tendency to frame Muslims as creatures without agency and deserving reverence for all claims of persecution, no matter how dubious or ambiguous. This, in turn, animates many of the man’s marquee political promises, from a generous intake of Syrian refugees to eliminating judgmental language from the Canadian citizenship guide to ending bombing raids against the Islamic State, all of which have, at their core, an implied need to redeem the Islam-skeptical character of Canadian society.

Phony or exaggerated charges of Islamophobia, in other words, are not merely victimless non-crimes. They inflate the resolve of a certain flavor of progressive whose political agenda aims to sacrifice much of traditional liberalism in the name of a bigotry course correction, as well as the denialist ignorance of the reactionary right, like those who peddled conspiracy theories about last year’s mosque shooting in Quebec City. The end result is a society whose politics have been agitated to polarize around the Muslim issue in a deeply inaccurate, unserious way.

It was particularly unfortunate to see Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, who will face an uphill battle to unseat Trudeau next year, among those scrambling to denounce the scissor attack long before any hard facts were known. History had offered plenty of cause for suspicion. As the left seems poised to learn absolutely nothing from this episode, there is surely ample political ground to be seized by any politician brave enough to argue that the worst stories of bigotry are not automatically the truest, and the peaceful integration of Muslims into Canadian society, whatever the obvious challenges, must begin with a greater presumption of their host’s goodwill.

Jerusalem Post Columnist Caroline Glick Joins Breitbart News

January 17, 2018

Source: Jerusalem Post Columnist Caroline Glick Joins Breitbart News – Breitbart

( One of my favorite columnists… –  JW )

Glick, the long-serving senior contributing editor and chief columnist for the Jerusalem Post, is one of the world’s most widely-read commentators on Israel and international affairs. She also writes about American politics from a staunchly pro-Israel perspective.

She is the author of several books — including, most recently, The Israeli Solution: A One State Plan for Peace in the Middle East (2014), which calls for Israel to annex the West Bank.

Glick, a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Assistant Foreign Policy Advisor in 1997 and 1998. In 2003, she covered the Iraq War from the front lines as a journalist embedded with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, and was the first Israeli journalist to report from liberated Baghdad.

She is also the adjunct senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC. A recipient of several major journalism awards, Glick travels around the world to advise policymakers about issues relating to global security.

Glick, a Chicago native, moved to Israel in 1991 and lives with her family in the town of Efrat, near Jerusalem. In Israel itself, she has fought against the left’s domination of popular culture, starting a satirical website and television show, Latma, which she ran from 2008 to 2013. She continues to write a weekly Hebrew language column for the Israeli daily Maariv.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to write for Breitbart readers about the realities of the Middle East, Europe and the wider world,” Glick said Tuesday.

“The Breitbart platforms are powerful and influential, and I hope and trust that by combining the international security expertise I have developed over the past 25 years, and the media genius of Breitbart.com, we can move the discourse in the US and worldwide to a safer place.”

She added: “I am thrilled that Breitbart CEO Larry Solov and Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow have asked me to join their groundbreaking team of professionals and thankful for the opportunity. Breitbart’s audience is powerful and wise.

“I met Andrew Breitbart when he came to Israel in 2007. I was immediately captivated by his passion and certainty that we could use the Internet to change the left-dominated public discourse.

“Andrew and I were fighting the exact same fight on different ends of the globe. I have always taken great comfort from Breitbart News’ successes, and it just seems natural for me to be combining forces now with the company he founded.”

Breitbart News CEO Larry Solov noted that Glick’s decision to join the site reflects Breitbart’s pro-Israel origins and ethos.

“A key inspiration for Breitbart News came during a trip to Israel in 2007, when Andrew Breitbart and I joined several conservative writers on a media trip to the Holy Land.

“A few years ago, we launched Breitbart Jerusalem to provide comprehensive coverage of Middle East news from an unabashedly pro-Israel perspective.

“Caroline Glick’s work epitomizes that philosophy, and she is the recognized thought leader among pro-Israel conservatives. We are very happy that she is joining the Breitbart News team.”

Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow explained Glick’s importance to the site’s long-term strategy.

“We have been working on building our relationship with Caroline Glick for several months, and we are very glad that she has decided to join us. Her commentary is the most incisive and influential of any columnist, left or right, on issues relevant to Israel and to American foreign policy in the Middle East.

“Breitbart News aims to lead the debate on America’s role in the world by providing cutting-edge news coverage, investigative journalism, and the best commentary and analysis. Caroline Glick is a key component of that strategy.

“We are excited about the audience Caroline will bring to the site, as well as the opportunity to ensure that Breitbart readers are the best-informed about Israel, America, and the Middle East.”

Glick further elaborated on her approach:

“Israel is America’s most vital, stable ally in the Middle East. For far too long, the discourse about Israel in the US media has hidden that basic fact, to the detriment of the security of the US and Israel alike.

“As the U.S. under President Trump moves beyond the failed appeasement strategies of the Obama administration and the failed democratization strategies of the Bush administration, it is imperative for the discourse in America to be based on objective reality, about the Middle East, and about the world as a whole.

“Only reality-based analyses can engender policies and strategies that will succeed in securing the U.S. and its allies.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

PM Netanyahu is welcomed to Ahmedabad 

January 17, 2018

Truly breathtaking to see India’s reception of Israel…

 

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Netanyahu’s welcome by India And PM Modi

January 16, 2018

Hawaii and Israel 

January 16, 2018

Source: Hawaii and Israel – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

BY JPOST EDITORIAL
 JANUARY 15, 2018 20:28
The sudden feeling of fear and helplessness is familiar to Israelis who live within rocket-range of Hamas terrorists in Gaza or Hezbollah Islamists in South Lebanon.
North Korea's Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile is launched, November 2017

North Korea’s Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile is launched, November 2017. (photo credit: KCNA/ REUTERS)

The false alarm of an incoming ballistic missile that sent Hawaii into a panic this weekend underlines what happens when madmen like Kim Jong Un get their hands on immense firepower.

The sudden feeling of fear and helplessness is familiar to Israelis who live within rocket-range of Hamas terrorists in Gaza or Hezbollah Islamists in South Lebanon.

No one is completely sure what Kim is capable of doing. The man may or may not be a rational actor, which is why people took seriously warnings mistakenly sent out by an employee of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency that indicated a ballistic missile was about to hit the islands.

There was real fear that US President Donald Trump’s ongoing attempt to strengthen American deterrence vis-a-vis Pyongyang had triggered Kim to unleash nuclear warheads.

During the 38 minutes it took for the agency to withdraw the alert, which was sent to cellphones across Hawaii Saturday morning, hundreds of thousands of people scrambled for cover.

Many of the houses on the Hawaiian Islands are made of single-ply walls and have no basement. As a result, many people gathered their families, scrambled into their cars and headed for buildings with concrete walls, all the while aware that they were racing against time.

When the word came that it was a false alarm, the relief was palpable. People hugged, cried and shook with a combination of relief and emotional drain following the initial scare. There is talk now of how tourism, Hawaii’s biggest industry, will be hurt by the incident.

Israelis have little trouble empathizing with the horror people in Hawaii must have felt when they saw the warning of an imminent ballistic missile attack. Living under threat of a ballistic attack – albeit a non-nuclear threat – is familiar to Israelis. Towns and cities close to the border with Gaza and Lebanon are most directly and consistently affected. But even more distant towns, such as Ashdod in the South or Haifa in the North, have experienced not only the fear of a potential ballistic attack, but the destruction and mayhem an actual strike would cause.

Again, Israel’s immediate threat is not nuclear but conventional. However, Iran, a regional power with nuclear ambitions, is the prime backer of Hamas and Hezbollah. The 38 minutes of drama in Hawaii is just a taste of what Israel will face should Iran manage to achieve nuclear weapon capability and provide a nuclear umbrella to its proxies on Israel’s northern and southern borders.

More pressing than a nuclear-armed Iran, however, is the recent escalation in the South. On Saturday, the IDF destroyed a Hamas attack tunnel that ran underneath the Kerem Shalom Gaza crossing. It was the third tunnel destroyed in recent months. Since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Jerusalem there has been an uptick in violence on the West Bank, in and around Jerusalem and coming from Gaza.

According to IDF data, in December alone, 19 rocket and mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli cities and towns. This is more than half of the total number of ballistic attacks on Israel from Gaza Strip in all of 2017.

Supported by Iran, Hamas is once again prioritizing terrorism over the welfare of Gaza’s residents. Instead of focusing on turning the Gaza Strip into a viable, autonomous Palestinian state at peace with Egypt and Israel, Hamas, not unlike Kim’s regime in North Korea, devotes most of its resources toward preparation for war. Inevitably, this will lead to conflict with Israel, which cannot allow its deterrence to be undermined by Hamas.

For 38 minutes on Saturday, Hawaiians were convinced that a totalitarian dictator with what appears to be only a loose grip on reality had launched ballistic missiles. Israelis living near the border with Gaza face a similar reality on a regular basis, but instead of a Korean dictator, the aggressor is a group of nihilistic Islamist terrorists. If or when war breaks out again between Israel and Hamas we hope Hawaiians, Americans and the entire peace-loving world will know which side to support.

Fading Trump-Putin trust derails de-escalation zones on Syria’s borders with Israel, Jordan

January 16, 2018

Source: Fading Trump-Putin trust derails de-escalation zones on Syria’s borders with Israel, Jordan – DEBKAfile

Washington’s decision to keep US bases in northern Syria, secured by a new 30,000-strong local force, drew a strong threat from Moscow. Col. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov, chairman of the Russian State Duma Defense Committee, said, “The practices of the United States, which is leading an international coalition allegedly against Daesh, contradict the Russian interests in Syria. Russia will work in cooperation with its partners to take necessary procedures to establish stability in Syria,” he was quoted as saying by Novosti news agency on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said: “There is a fear that they are pursuing a policy to cut Syria into several pieces.” On the same day, a delegation of Syrian rebel chiefs arrived in Washington to try and persuade the Americans to restore aid. The US administration suspended that aid program seven months ago, immediately after Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin talked at the July 2017 G20 summit in Munich. It was then that they agreed to establish a series of de-escalations zones in Syria to wind down the warfare, with special focus on its border regions with Israel and Jordan.
However, when in recent weeks, Trump found the Russians opening the door for Iran to deepen its military presence in Syria, he lost faith in his deal with Putin. The Syrian rebels sensed an opportunity at hand to bid for the resumption of US arms and aid. A Free Syrian Army (FSA) delegation accordingly landed in Washington this week and openly solicited the CIA to go back to its former training and aid programs.

It may be assumed that FSA chiefs had received some sign from the Trump administration that their journey was worthwhile. They may also have understood that, if Washington was willing to set up a new army in northern Syria, dominated by the Kurdish YPG militia, it would be equally amenable to reconstituting the FSA for operating on other fronts, especially against the advancing Syrian government army and its Iranian and Hizballah allies.
In a word, the situation is a far cry from Putin’s assertion at the Russian Khmeimim air base near Latakia on Dec. 11, that the war was ending with a Russian victory.  Instead of being over, the war has switched to a new stage.
In further reference to the new US plans for northern Syria, Lavrov said on Monday: “What it would mean is that vast swaths of territory along the borders of Turkey and Iraq to the east of the Euphrates River would be isolated.” He complained: “There is nothing in the UN Security Council resolutions that have been pointing to that and neither is it in our previous agreements, so we are expecting some clarification from the US.”

But the Trump administration is now busy translating its decisions into actions on the ground in Syria and has no time for diplomatic wrangling. The de-escalation zones agreed by the two leaders seven months ago are dissipating, under the pressures of Russian-Iranian movements, US counter moves and Moscow’s threats. It is now up to Israel to adapt to the new reality that Syrian border zones are no longer secure.

Line of Fire – The Six Day War 1967

January 14, 2018

The story of the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, the echoes of which are still heard today in the Middle East. In May of that year, Egypt, under President Nasser, blocked the Tiran Straits to Israeli shipping and began to gather huge numbers of troops in the Sinai Peninsula. At the same time King Hussein’s Jordan allowed Iraqi troops across her border. Israel was swift to respond to this turn of events and there was a devastating pre-emptive air strike against the Egyptian airforce. Jordanian and Syrian attacks were halted and repelled, after only six short days Israel had captured East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, the West Bank and Sinai itself.