Posted tagged ‘Saudi Arabia – human rights’

The Saudis at the UN Human Rights Council

December 23, 2016

The Saudis at the UN Human Rights Council, Gatestone InstituteGiulio Meotti, December 23, 2016

(Isn’t it time to give humanitarian Iran a seat? Perhaps instead of re-electing Saudi Arabia next time it should be Iran’s turn. Or perhaps North Korea’s. — DM)

While the medieval Saudi system of justice was flogging the gentle blogger Raif Badawi 50 out of the stipulated 1000 lashes, a delegation of UN bureaucrats landed in Jeddah to promote an international conference on religious freedom.

The Saudis use these international seats to advance their oppressive agenda, and to press the Western democracies to punish criticism of Islam.

Through the shameful trial of Geert Wilders, Dutch authorities sent a message of surrender to the Saudis and other rogue Islamic regimes that punish dissent.

Did the Dutch prosecute Wilders on behalf of the Saudis, who threatened to impose sanctions on the Netherlands?

The UN and the Western democracies are putting the defense of human rights and freedom in the hands of one the world’s worst violators of religious and intellectual freedom.

Sharia courts are already fully operating in the Netherlands. They know something about “human rights”: stoning, flogging and chopping off heads.

Who will rescue our right to speak?

 

“My husband has been languishing in a Saudi prison since June 17th, 2012. Our children live with me in the city of Sherbrooke, Québec in Canada. They have not seen their father for five years now… On January 9, 2015, Raif received the first 50 lashes… Will members of the United Nations Human Rights Council join the European Parliament and ask for Raif’s release?”

Unfortunately, the UN members did not respond to this appeal by Ensaf Haidar, the fearless wife of the most famous blogger of the Arab world, the gentle Raif Badawi, imprisoned and flogged by the Saudis for his secular ideas. A few days after Ensaf’s appeal, the United Nations welcomed Badawi’s executioners, the Saudis, at the UN Human Rights Council. The Saudi representative, Abdulaziz Alwasil, will be decisive on three major issues at the UN Palace of Nations in Geneva: women, religious freedom and the system of justice.

What a great achievement for Saudi Arabia: The country flogs poets and bloggers, and its sheikhs have no other concern than filling their sumptuous palaces with wives and concubines, and then stoning them to death if they become “adulterous“. Saudi Arabia is where a Shiite cleric was publicly beheaded and where a Christian cannot wear a tunic or a cross.

The British government supported the Saudi bid to be re-elected at the Human Rights Council (British Prime Minister Theresa May was urged in vain to oppose the Saudi election to the Geneva body). The Obama Administration did the same: Samantha Powers, the U.S. ambassador at the UN, called the Saudi bid at the UN a “procedural position“.

Hillel Neuer, the director of UN Watch, captured the difference between realpolitik and the betrayal of Western values when he said: “Making an alliance with Stalin to stop Hitler is one thing; it’s quite another to say Stalin is a champion of human rights”.

A few days after the Saudi bid at the UN Human Rights Council, the Kingdom and the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights held a two-day workshop in the Saudi capital to discuss the “evolution of the concept of human rights in the framework of international and regional human rights systems”. Evolution of the concept human rights? Ask Raif Badawi, he knows better than the UN bureaucrats.

959Raif Badawi and his children, before he was jailed.

The Saudis use these international seats to advance their oppressive agenda, and to press the Western democracies to punish criticism of Islam. The Saudis, in fact, considered curbing trade with the Netherlands over Geert Wilders, who has just been found guilty in a court in The Hague for “inciting discrimination and insulting a minority group”. By asking at a public rally if people wanted “fewer Moroccans” in the Netherlands, Wilders was publicly declaring his alarm over the exploding crime rate by Moroccan Muslims in the country.

Through this shameful trial, the Dutch authorities sent a message of surrender to the Saudis and other rogue Islamic regimes which punish dissent. Did the Dutch prosecute Wilders on behalf of the Saudis, who threatened to impose sanctions on the Netherlands? It was reported that the Council of Saudi Chambers received a letter from higher Saudi authorities urging it not to involve Dutch companies in local projects either directly or indirectly.

The Saudis, through the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), have been pivotal in advancing the non-binding U.N. Resolution 62/154, “Combating defamation of religions”, which extends protection to opinions and to ideas, and grants people immunity from being “offended”.

This is exactly what happened with Wilders: he was on trial for stating his opinion, that there should be “fewer Moroccans” in the Netherlands. Some people said they were offended by that. Oddly, however, no one appears to have been offended by much worse remarks, said by politicians from the “Left”:

  • “We also have sh*t Moroccans over here.” Rob Oudkerk, Dutch Labour Party (PvDA) politician.
  • “We must humiliate Moroccans.” Hans Spekman, PvDA politician.
  • “Moroccans have the ethnic monopoly on trouble-making.” Diederik Samsom, PvDA politician.

The United Nations and the Western democracies are putting the defense of human rights and freedom in the hands of one the world’s worst violators of religious and intellectual freedom. Middle East expert Paul Marshall blasted the “ongoing campaign by the Saudi-based Organization of the Islamic Conference which has given the anti-blasphemy movement weight and traction”.

While the medieval Saudi system of justice was flogging the gentle blogger Raif Badawi 50 out of 1000 lashes, a delegation of UN bureaucrats landed in Jeddah to promote an international conference on religious freedom. No, it is not a joke. Joachim Rücker, President of the UN Human Rights Council, was photographed smiling side by side with the Wahhabi Islamic guardians. The Obama Administration sent two envoys to the Saudi conference, the ambassador for religious freedom, David Saperstein, and Arsalan Suleman, an envoy at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Also attending was Heiner Bielefeldt, the UN special envoy for religious freedom, a noted scholar of Immanuel Kant (how did the Enlightenment collapse so far, so fast?).

Women, Christians, secular bloggers, Western “blasphemers”, brave Dutch MPs: be warned! The muttawayyin, the Saudi religious police patrolling the Kingdom’s streets to ensure respect for the Koran, are already in Europe’s streets. Just ask France’s satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo.

A few days after 12 people were butchered at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, as well as four Jews at a grocery store, Saudi officials were allowed to march in Paris along with the terrorists’ victims and world leaders. And the Saudis had just flogged a blogger for “blasphemy”. Will Geert Wilders be next? Sharia courts are already fully operating in the Netherlands. They know something about “human rights”: stoning, flogging and chopping off heads.

But who will rescue our right to speak?

Islamic State sex slaves auctioned off in UK/US ally Saudi Arabia

September 25, 2016

Islamic State sex slaves auctioned off in UK/US ally Saudi Arabia, Jihad Watch

It isn’t news that the Islamic State has long been abusing and trafficking sex slaves – especially Yazidi girls – but it has been now discovered that the sex slaves of IS are being “sold in horrifying auctions to UK ally Saudi Arabia.”

An eyewitness reported:

Dozens of women were being held in a large room, and it was not only Iraqis and Syrians trading women but also Saudis and Westerners, whose actual nationality was not clear.

Western women have also been reported to be among the victims in keeping with the Islamic State’s practice of enslaving kafir women:

The Islamic State’s human trafficking operation includes enslaving women who they consider to be ‘kafir’, non-Muslim people like Yazidis and Christians, before selling them for money.  The depraved thugs are also involved in the radicalisation of young women all over the world and try to tempt them to come to their caliphate with false promises of wealth, marriage and forgiveness of sin.

The misdeeds and human rights violations by Saudi Arabia are astonishing, but do not stop Britain and the Obama Administration from supporting this hardline Islamic state.

 Wealthy Saudis have been accused of sponsoring the terror group [IS] for years…..

The kingdom has also faced numerous accusations of human rights abuses, including torture, degrading punishments and savage executions [in Yemen].

Britain has been selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, despite concerns about the kingdom’s war crimes in Yemen, and it seemed “inevitable” that those war crimes involved UK weapons, “according to a report leaked earlier this month.”

Beyond providing weapons, Britain has stunned human rights groups by blocking efforts by the EU to establish an independent international inquiry into the alleged war crimes in Yemen.

Yemen has been so brutalized by Saudi Arabia that teams of Doctors Without Borders (DWB) have been forced to evacuate, leaving citizens without care.

In April a hospital run by DWB – which included a maternity ward — was bombed.  According to the New York Times:

American officials have publicly condemned the hospital bombing — and the bombing of a school two days earlier — but the Pentagon has given steady support to the coalition led by Saudi Arabia, with targeting intelligence and fuel for the Saudi planes involved in the air campaign.

So it isn’t just the UK that is supporting the cause of jihadists and their atrocious human rights abuses; so is the Obama Administration. Over $100 billion in arms sales to the kingdom have already been approved by the Obama administration.

Now, adding to all that this latest news about sex slaves captured by the Islamic State and “being sold at sickening auctions in Saudi Arabia,” how can the current leadership of these countries be trusted to protect their own citizens from jihadists and defeat the global scourge of jihad terror?

sex-slave

“ON SALE TO RAPISTS ISIS is trafficking dozens of sex slaves ‘to be sold in horrifying auctions to UK ally Saudi Arabia’”, by Sam Webb, UK Sun, September 20, 2016:

SEX slaves captured by ISIS terrorists are being sold at sickening auctions in Saudi Arabia – a key UK ally – Sun Online has been told.

The horrifying discovery was unveiled when a jihadi was killed in fighting at the town of Al-Shirqat, which was taken over by the terror group in 2014.

Members of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Units, a state-sponsored militia fighting to liberate the town, recovered his mobile phone and claimed to have found horrifying images of the sickening trade.

The Arab nation is part of the international coalition fighting Islamic State alongside the UK and US but wealthy Saudis have been accused of sponsoring the terror group for years.

Britain also sells weapons to Saudi Arabia, despite concerns the hardline Muslim nation is committing war crimes in Yemen  – and it “seems inevitable” they involve UK weapons according to a report leaked earlier this month.

The kingdom has also faced numerous accusations of human rights abuses, including torture, degrading punishments and savage executions.

A spokesman for the PMU told Sun Online: “Our investigation officer was appalled at the set of images involving what we believe to be an Iraqi Yazidi (an ethnic minority in the region) woman taken as sex slave.

“Images were of the auction in Saudi Arabia of the woman and sexually explicit materials of the fighter and the woman in a hotel.

“Location data was observed on the image file as enabled by default on many smart phones.

“Further images involved ISIS members in Iraqi areas occupied by ISIS including Mosul and Baiji which indicates this fighter has been with ISIS for a long period of time as Baiji was liberated by us months ago.”

The fighters are now desperately trying to track down the woman’s family and launch a rescue attempt.

“We are engaging with our Yazidi members to find the family of the woman, location and health status,” the spokesman added.

“We hope to liberate her and all Iraqi women taken as sexual slaves by ISIS within Iraq or outside of Iraq as their basic human rights are being denied.

“We cannot allow this, as the force dedicated to the defence of Iraqi citizens.”

Sadly, it is not the first time the accusation that ISIS sells rape victims to Saudi Arabians has emerged.

An 18-year-old Yazidi sex slave who escaped ISIS claims she was sold in an international auction.

The teenager, Jinan, was abducted from her village in Northern Iraq last year when ISIS troops stormed her village and took her prisoner before torturing and sexually abusing her and the other captives in the terror group’s stronghold of Mosul.

She said said dozens of women were being held in a large room, and it was not only Iraqis and Syrians trading women but also Saudis and Westerners, whose actual nationality was not clear.

Potential buyers, she wrote in her book ‘Daesh’s Slave’ would inspect the women “like livestock”….

Taken To Saudi Arabia And Locked in a Cage

July 28, 2016

Taken To Saudi Arabia And Locked in a Cage, Clarion Project, July 28, 2016

saudi cageIllustrative picture. (Photo: © Reuters)

[A] judge in the High Court, Justice Holman, has asserted, “We have to be careful about asserting the supremacy our cultural standards.”

Saudi Arabia does not recognize al-Jeffrey’s British citizenship. They are also paying for her father’s legal fees.

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Amina al-Jeffrey was born in Swansea, UK, and taken at age 16 to Saudi Arabia by her father, who disapproved of her Western lifestyle.

Now 21, she is fighting a court battle in the High Court in London against her father to be allowed to return to the UK.

She alleges that her father, Mohammed al-Jeffrey, put “metal bars” on her bedroom and described being a “locked-up girl with a shaved head.”

Still a judge in the High Court, Justice Holman, has asserted, “We have to be careful about asserting the supremacy our cultural standards.”

Holman also said that it is unclear whether or not Britain had jurisdiction in the matter since al-Jeffrey was an adult with dual Saudi and UK citizenship.

Al-Jeffrey said her father hit her, deprived her of water and forced her to urinate in a cup.

Although “metal bars are no longer in her room” according to her lawyers, “she is still locked up in the house” and “not allowed to use the phone or internet.”

“Steps need to be taken to ensure Ms. Jeffery is returned to the UK where her safety can be guaranteed,” the Foreign Office Forced Marriage Unit said in a statement.

“Her treatment has extended to depriving her of food and water, depriving her of toilet facilities, physical assault and control of her ability to marry who she wishes and creating a situation in which she feels compelled to marry as a means of escape,” Henry Setright, a lawyer acting on behalf of al-Jeffrey said in a statement.

He described the situation as a “fundamental breach of human rights.”

Saudi Arabia does not recognize al-Jeffrey’s British citizenship. They are also paying for her father’s legal fees.

“Regarding returning Amina back to the UK, I am unwilling to do this as I fear she will go back to her old destructive lifestyle,” her father said in a letter submitted to the court.

“As her father, I fear for her health and safety and only want what is best for Amina, so she may focus on her education.”

“She is a normal Welsh girl and still has her Welsh accent,” said Anne-Marie Hutchinson, from the Academy of Family Lawyers who is representing al-Jeffrey.

“She wants to return home so she can have control of her own life and make her own choices.”

Op-Ed: Italy’s universities bow to Islam and boycott Israel

April 24, 2016

Op-Ed: Italy’s universities bow to Islam and boycott Israel, Israel National News, Giulio Meotti, April 24, 2016

An Italian academic appeal to boycott Israeli universities succeeded in obtaining 336 signatures. Of these teachers and researchers, a tenth come from the University of Bologna. But in this oldest university in Europe, no one has shown enough concern to raise a moral issue about the big deal that the Alma Mater Studiorum of Bologna has just signed with Saudi Arabia.

Not only that, but some of the protagonists of this academic pact appear in the appeal against the Israeli teachers. It should have been enough to read the report of Freedom House on Saudi universities to figure that maybe needed a little extra caution was in order because at stake is not oil, but our culture: “Academic freedom is limited, informers monitor classrooms for compliance with regulations, such as the prohibition of teaching secular philosophy and religions other than Islam.”

The pact with the Saudis, which will last five years, was launched by the former rector Ivano Dionigi and enshrined under the new one, Francesco Ubertini, both silent on their colleagues who ostracized the Jewish State. In the pact with Riad, we read about “promoting dialogue,” publishing Islamic texts, investing in literature, philology and music, through conferences and seminars, as well as the exchange of professors and students.

Perhaps the Bolognese teachers would have the opportunity to browse through the books used in Saudi schools, where the Jews are called “monkeys” and Christians “pigs”. In the agreement there is also archeology under the care of Nicolo Marchetti, a leading expert on the subject at the University of Bologna: bizarre, since from the time of Muhammad in Mecca only a few buildings remain standing. The others have all been razed to the ground in the name of the war against “idolatry” – to be taken over by luxury hotels or gas pumps. As with the grave of Aminah, the mother of Mohammed, or the house of Abu Bakr, the friend of the Prophet. These Islamists would do the same with the tomb of Dante Alighieri in Ravenna, guilty of having put Muhammad in Hell.

It is not the first exchange agreement with the Saudis. In 2014, the rector of Bologna flew to Riyadh to attend an educational seminar in the presence of Khalid bin al Angari, Minister for Saudi Education. On October 10, 2015, the then rector, along with the Saudi ambassador to Italy, participated in a conference entitled “Tolerance in Islam and coexistence between religions”. Did he know that in Saudi Arabia you can not wear a robe showing the cross, nor open a church and that Christians are persecuted?

Among the supporters of the agreement with the Saudis there is Giulio Soravia, director of the Center of Islamic Sciences at Bologna’s University. The name of Soravia, who in 2011 was sent by the rector to attend a conference in Saudi Arabia, also appears in the academic document against Israel.

While the university was signing this shameful pact with Riyadh, the Saudi Grand Mufti stated that “women who drive are prey of the devil”. What do the feminists from University of Bologna think of that? In addition to submitting to one of the most obscurantist regimes in the world, these professors could prove a bit of solidarity with the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel.

Meanwhile, in Riyadh, an intellectual named Raif Badawi is waiting in prison for the next cycle of lashes, guilty of “insults to Islam” and of being a “liberal”. Much more a liberal than these Italian professors with their double standards and morality.

UN Plan to Prevent “Violent Extremism” Ignores its Primary Cause

January 19, 2016

UN Plan to Prevent “Violent Extremism” Ignores its Primary Cause, Front Page MagazineJoseph Klein, January 19, 2016

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United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is operating from the same playbook as President Obama when it comes to addressing the threat of global jihad. They both deny that such a religiously-based threat exists. Just like Obama, Ban Ki-moon uses the euphemism “violent extremism,” without linking it to its primary ideological source – Islam.

The global terrorist scourge is driven by Islamic supremacy and the jihadist war against the “infidels” that are embedded in sharia law. That is not to say that the jihadists are the only terrorists in the world. However, to diffuse responsibility by contending that violent extremism is found in all faiths ignores the fact that the only global terrorist network threatening our way of life today is bound together by the teachings of Islam.

In the Secretary General’s remarks to the UN General Assembly on January 15th introducing his “Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism,” he said that “the vast majority of victims worldwide are Muslims.” Obama said essentially the same thing last February at his Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, lamenting that it is “especially Muslims, who are the ones most likely to be killed.”

Both Ban Ki-moon and President Obama omitted to say that the killers are also primarily Muslims. Moreover, they left out entirely any mention of the ongoing genocide being conducted by Muslims in the name of Allah against Christians and Yazidis in the Middle East.

When I asked the spokesperson for the Secretary General why the Secretary General did not acknowledge the fact that the vast majority of global terrorists today are Islamists, the spokesperson responded that “the Secretary‑General’s focus is not on targeting or pointing finger at one ethnic group, one religious group, or people who claim to act in the name of a particular religion.”

This begs the question as to why the Secretary General took pains to assert that Muslims constitute the majority of terrorists’ victims but refused to acknowledge that the vast majority of perpetrators are also Muslims.

The Secretary General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism describes what it calls the “drivers of violent extremism.”  These drivers include, according to the UN document, lack of socioeconomic opportunities, marginalization and discrimination, poor governance and violations of human rights, prolonged and unresolved conflicts, radicalization in prisons, collective grievances, and exploitation of social media.

Obama offered essentially the same explanation for the growth of violent extremism put forth by Ban Ki-moon. A key problem, he said, was lack of economic opportunity that trapped people –especially young people – “in impoverished communities.”

Obama added: “When people are oppressed, and human rights are denied — particularly along sectarian lines or ethnic lines — when dissent is silenced, it feeds violent extremism.”

Ban Ki-moon and President Obama both have argued that Islam itself is blameless. It is, in Ban Ki-moon’s words, the “distortion and misuse of beliefs” that are to blame. At his February 2015 Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, President Obama called out what he described as “the warped ideologies espoused by terrorists like al Qaeda and ISIL, especially their attempt to use Islam to justify their violence.”

However, the truth is that Islam itself contains the seeds for the violence that is such a prominent part of jihad. Jihadists using violence as a tactic to impose Islam as the world’s only “legitimate” belief system are following the path laid down by Prophet Muhammed himself and his early followers, according to their literal words and acts.

The proposed actions to address the problem of “violent extremism,” both Ban Ki-moon and Obama agree, include better education, more opportunities for women, better governance, and respect for human rights including freedom of expression and freedom of religious belief.  The UN Secretary General and President Obama base their common strategy on their shared utopian belief that peoples from every country and culture embrace a common set of “universal” human rights, as expressed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration’s preamble states:  “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

However, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, despite its enlightened vision of the inherent dignity and fundamental rights of all human beings, is far from being a truly universally accepted creed. Muslims reject it to the extent that it conflicts with sharia law.

While Muslim member states of the United Nations, with the notable exception of Saudi Arabia, signed the Universal Declaration, they disavow its Western, secular-based principles. Islamists refuse to be ruled by any human rights document that deviates from what they regard as the divinely-inspired sharia law.

As the Islamic response to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation foreign ministers adopted The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam in 1990. After reciting a litany of human rights that it pledges to protect, the Cairo Declaration subjects all of its protections to the requirements of sharia law. “The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification to any of the articles of this Declaration.” (Article 25)

By making Islamic law the sole authority for defining the scope of human rights, the Muslims’ Cairo Declaration sanctions limits on freedom of expression, discrimination against non-Muslims and women, and a prohibition against a Muslim’s conversion from Islam. Such restrictions on freedoms directly contradict the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Saudi Arabia and Iran, the leading Muslim majority countries today representing the Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam respectively, may be at odds with one another regarding certain sectarian and geopolitical issues. However, they both purport to govern according to sharia law, which is used to justify their religious intolerance, brutal suppression of dissent, misogyny and capital punishment for blasphemy, apostasy, adultery and homosexuality. It is Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabism which has helped fuel the jihadists inside and outside of Saudi Arabia seeking to forcibly purify Islam from the influence of “infidels.” And Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, as it seeks to fulfill the vision of Ayatollah Khomeini, the late founder of the Iranian Islamic revolution, to kill the infidels and ensure “that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world.”

Iran’s current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has rejected the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which he claims is reflective of a “culture of dominance.” Instead, he said “the answer is return to Islam, and recourse to Divine revelation.” He called for the use of “Islamic sources (the Quran and the Sunnah) in legal matters.” Presumably, what the Supreme Leader described as the “Islamic mode of thinking in society” would explain the Islamic Republic of Iran’s arbitrary imprisonment, torture and the killing of political dissidents and members of minority groups. The “Islamic sources in legal matters” evidently serve as the basis for the regime’s discriminatory laws against women, among other repressive laws.

In 2013, Iran was rewarded by the UN for its vows of global conquest with a seat on the General Assembly’s disarmament committee. Last year Iran was rewarded for its horrendous record of abuses against women with membership on the executive board of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. And as of January 16, 2016, Iran has been welcomed back into the international community with the lifting of sanctions and the unfreezing of assets worth approximately $150 billion.

The Saudi Sheikh Saleh Al-Lehadan, head of the Supreme Judiciary Council, expressed back in 2008 the religious intolerance that lies at the heart of the leading Sunni country’s practice of Islam: “After getting rid of the Jews in our Arab land, we must turn to the Christians. They have three options: either they convert to Islam, or leave, or pay Jizia (protection taxes).” With the help of the Islamic State and al Qaeda that receive funding from Saudi Arabia, this ambition is on its way to being realized, and even expanded to reach throughout the Middle East and beyond.

The same Saudi sheikh and head of the Supreme Judiciary Council also said: “Women who are raped by men are themselves to blame. They provoke men by the way they dress or walk.”

Last year Saudi Arabia was rewarded for its horrendous human rights record with a seat and leadership position on the UN Human Rights Council.

Coddling the leading jihad exporting countries and pretending that sharia law can ever be reconciled with so-called “universal” human rights values will render all plans of action to prevent “violent extremism” an utter failure.

Iraq Offers To Mediate Fight Raging Between Saudi Arabia and Iran

January 7, 2016

Iraq Offers To Mediate Fight Raging Between Saudi Arabia & Iran, Fox News via You Tube, January 7, 2017

(How about a plague on both their houses? — DM)