The so-called Clash of Civilizations is upon us if you ask the alarmists who have been banging the warning gong at the center of town for, some of us, decades now since the founding of the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) June 2, 1964, and the assassination of Robert Kennedy on June 05, 1968 or as the latecomers claim was the start, September 11, 2001 despite the earlier attempt to bring down the World Trade Center Towers on February 26, 1993 using a truck bomb weighing 1,200 pounds that detonated around 12:17 PM knocking out the World Trade Center’s incoming high-voltage lines which feed much of the electrical energy to the complex. Making matters worse was that the explosion also knocked-out the generators, elevators, sprinklers, emergency command center disabling everything necessary for an emergency situation, which may have been a blessing in disguise as it exposed numerous weaknesses. The truth is…
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What an amazing vote. The people of the United Kingdom defied the supposed experts, rejected a fear-based campaign by advocates of the status quo, and declared their independence from the European Union.
Here are some takeaway thoughts on this startling development.
1. The UK has voted to leave a sinking ship. Because of unfavorable demographics and a dirigiste economic model, the European Union has a very grim future.
2. Brexit is a vote against centralization, bureaucratization, and harmonization. It also is a victory for more growth, though the amount of additional long-run growth will depend on whether the UK government seizes the opportunity for lower taxes, less red tape, and a smaller burden of government.
3. President Obama once again fired blanks. Whether it was his failed attempt early in his presidency to get the Olympic Games in Chicago or his feckless attempt in his final year to get Britons to remain in the EU, Obama has a remarkably dismal track record. Maybe I can get him to endorse the Boston Red Sox, thus ensuring the Yankees make it to the World Series?
“Resolution 242 requires Israel to return to its pre-1967 boundaries.”
The most controversial clause in Resolution 242 is the call for the “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” This is linked to the second unambiguous clause calling for “termination of all claims or states of belligerency” and the recognition that “every State in the area” has the “right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.”
The resolution does not make Israeli withdrawal a prerequisite for Arab action. Moreover, it does not specify how much territory Israel is required to give up. The Security Council did not say Israel must withdraw from “all the” territories occupied after the Six-Day War. This was quite deliberate. The Soviet delegate wanted the inclusion of those words and said that their exclusion meant “that part of these territories can remain in Israeli hands.” The Arab states pushed for the word “all” to be added; when the Council rejected their idea, they read the resolution as if it was included. The British Ambassador who drafted the approved resolution, Lord Caradon, declared after the vote: “It is only the resolution that will bind us, and we regard its wording as clear.”
The death sentence for Asia Bibi is like Chernobyl’s nuclear cloud: it contaminates everything around it. After Asia’s arrest, her husband, Masih, and her children went into hiding. They have moved house 15 times in five years. They could not even attend Asia’s judicial hearings. It is too dangerous for them. Her husband was forced to quit his job.
Asia’s “crime” was to use the same water glass as her Muslim co-workers. She was sentenced to death because she is Christian and she was thirsty. “You defiled our water,” the Muslim women told her. “Convert to Islam to redeem yourself from your filthy religion.”
Asia took a deep breath and replied: “I will not convert. I believe in my religion and Jesus Christ. And why should I be the one to convert and not you?”
On November 8, 2010, after just five minutes of deliberation, Asia Noreen Bibi, under Article 295 of the Pakistani Code, was sentenced to death by hanging. The crowd cheered the verdict. She was alone and burst into tears. Next to her there were two policemen, visibly satisfied. In the days after, 50,000 people in Karachi and 40,000 in Lahore took the streets to brandish an image of Asia Bibi with the rope around her neck. They say they will not rest until she is hanged or shot.
Already, calls from various directions have begun to condemn Israel for its recent retaliatory strikes in self-defense at Gaza. The carefully-rehearsed refrain is all-too familiar. Gazan terrorists fire rockets and mortars at Israel; then, the world calls upon the Israel Air Force (IAF) not to respond.
Although Israel is plainly the victim in these ritualistic cycles of Arab terror and required Israeli retaliations, the “civilized world” usually comes to the defense of the victimizers. Inexplicably, in the European Union, and even sometimes with the current U.S. president, the Israeli response is reflexively, without thought, described as “excessive” or “disproportionate.”
Leaving aside the irony of President Obama’s evident sympathies here — nothing that Israel has done in its own defense even comes close to the indiscriminacy of recent U.S. operations in Afghanistan — the condemnations are always unfounded. Plainly, Hamas and allied Arab terror groups deliberately fire their rockets from populated areas in Gaza at Israeli civilians. Under pertinent international law, this use of one’s own people as “human shields” — because such firing from populated areas is intended to deter Israeli reprisals, or to elicit injuries to Palestinian civilians — represents a codified war crime. More specifically, this crime is known as “perfidy.”
“Perfidy” is plainly an attempt to make the IDF appear murderous when it is compelled to retaliate, but it is always simply a Palestinian manipulation of true legal responsibility. Hamas’s intent might be to incriminate the Israelis as murderers of Gaza’s civilians. Legally, however, the net effect of Arab perfidy in Gaza is to free Israel of all responsibility for Arab harm, even if it is Israeli retaliatory fire that actually injures or kills the Gazan victims. Under law, those Arab residents who suffer from Israeli retaliations are incurring the consequences of their own government’s war crimes. Palestinian suffering, which we are surely about to see again in stepped-up, choreographed Arab propaganda videos, remains the direct result of a relentlessly cruel, insensitive, and criminal Hamas leadership.
Thirty-five Arab journalists have been fired since the beginning of April as a result of a campaign of intimidation and terrorism waged against them by Hamas and Hezbollah.
The journalists were working for the Saudi-owned pan-Arab Al-Arabiya television news channel, based in Dubai Media City in the United Arab Emirates. The network was previously rated by the BBC among the top pan-Arab stations.
But life for Al-Arabiya reporters has never been easy. Like most Arab journalists covering the Arab and Islamic countries, they too have long faced threats from various parties and governments.
That is the sad state of journalism in the Arab world: “If you’re not with us, then you must be against us and that is why we need to shut your mouth.” A journalist who does not agree to serve as a governmental mouthpiece is denounced as a “traitor.”
The absence of democracy and freedom of speech in most Arab and Islamic countries has forced many Arab journalists to relocate to the West. In the past four decades, some of the Arab world’s best journalists and writers moved to France and Britain, where they could work without fearing for their lives.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas turned down an invitation to meet with President Reuven Rivlin while the two leaders are in Brussels, an Israeli official said Thursday.
Rivlins office told The Times of Israel the Palestinian leader “refused to accept a European initiative to set a meeting between the two.”
Earlier this week, European Parliament President Martin Schulz sought to arrange what would have been the first meeting between Rivlin and Abbas as both visited the European capital to address MEPs on regional peace initiatives.