Readers may remember a controversy reported in January. It was proposed that an international “academic” conference about the legitimacy of Israel would take place in University College Cork in the Republic of Ireland. There have been several developments in this sorry enterprise since then.
What the conference, which goes under the revealing title, “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism”, was about may be summed up in a few sentences. It has from the beginning been designed to denounce Israel as an illegal state, all under the cover of supposed neutral academic inquiry. The organizers had previously tried to hold the event at Britain’s Southampton University and, reportedly, other European universities, each time without success.
The new plan was to hold the conference with virtually all the same speakers and papers at Cork’s University College from March 31 to April 2 this year. When that plan became known, several people in Ireland and elsewhere, including this author, contacted the college in an attempt to persuade its administration to cancel the event. We did so on two principal grounds. One, that it proposes to be an anti-Semitic event according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition. That definition, like two earlier international versions, includes several clauses in which overt demonization of Israel and attempts to deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination are treated as equally anti-Semitic as previous figures of speech in classical anti-Semitism. Here are the relevant clauses from that Definition:
- Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
- Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
- Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
- Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
- Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
Source: for MORE
France is in shock after a gunman, apparently inspired by Isil, shot policeman Xavier Jugele dead on the Champs Elysees in Paris. Questions will be raised about what the authorities could have done to stop the Islamic extremist, who was killed soon after the incident, as it emerged that he had been detained in February by police after “informants” had indicated that he was “seeking to obtain weapons to kill policemen”, but had been let go due to a lack of evidence.
The timing of the attack, coming days before France votes in the first round of its presidential election, means that it will have “ a big effect” (as Donald Trump tweeted) on the process.The candidates have varied in their responses. Emmanuel Macron, the centrist frontrunner whom has been potrayed by rivals as too inexperienced to protect France, warned against any attempts to use the attack for political gain. Francois Fillon, the veteran former prime minister, called for campaigning to be suspended.
Marine Le Pen took the hardest line in response, calling for France to “immediately” take back control of its own borders from the European Union and deport all foreigners on a terror watchlist. The Front National leader will be the most watched this Sunday, as security concerns might propel her to the top of the poll, which would give her some momentum for the final round. The implications of her winning the process are enormous, as President Le Pen’s strong anti-EU drive would place the bloc’s future in peril. So the election may determine the survival of the European Union itself.
No fewer than 238 people have been killed in France in terrorist incidents since 2015. The weakness of the country’s mainstream politicians on security has opened up the possibility of the far Right’s Marine Le Pen winning the presidency, Leo McKinstry argues. “European politicians, EU leaders and liberal sophisticates might be appalled by such an outcome. But they helped to achieve it with their destructive policies.”
Source: for MORE
The people U.S. President Donald J. Trump has chosen to lead his foreign policy team may complicate efforts to fulfill his inaugural pledge to eradicate “radical Islamic terrorism” “from the face of the Earth” — a Herculean task even under the best of circumstances.
An analysis of the political appointments to the different agencies within the U.S. national security apparatus shows that the key members of the president’s foreign policy team hold widely divergent views on the threat posed by radical Islam — and on the nature of Islam itself. They also disagree on approaches to Iran, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the European Union, Russia, globalism and other national security issues.
The policy disconnect is being exacerbated by the fact that dozens of key positions within the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies remain unfilled. The result is that the administration has been relying on holdovers from the Obama administration to formulate and implement U.S. foreign policy.
Current foreign policy advisors can be roughly divided into several competing factions and ideological schisms: career staffers versus political appointees, civilian strategists versus military tacticians, Trump supporters versus Obama loyalists, politically correct consensus-seekers versus politically incorrect ideologues, New York moderates versus populist hardliners, Palestinian sympathizers versus advocates for Israel, proponents of the Iran deal versus supporters of an anti-Iran coalition — and those who believe that Islamism and radical Islamic terrorism derive from Islam itself versus those who insist that Islam is a religion of peace.
Source: for MORE
In a jam-packed sports arena on Easter Monday, the man currently tipped to win the French presidential election—a strikingly young politician fighting his first-ever campaign—stood on a spotlit podium in front of more than 20,000 people, promising to transform his country’s government and kickstart its flagging economy.
“Every generation has its role in history!” said Emmanuel Macron, 39, a liberal, pro-E.U. economist who until a year ago served in President François Hollande’s government. “Our generation is to govern our country effectively together,” Macron shouted, over loud chants from the crowds of, “We will win! We will win!”
Standing on the floor, Nicole Landre, a 60-year-old marketing manager from the affluent Paris suburb of Sevres, was thrilled. “I have always voted conservative,” she said. “But not this time. Macron is brilliant. He is young. He is our own J.F.K.”
Source: for MORE
Gehad el-Haddad, official spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), is on a mission to rewrite the terrorist and radical history of the MB. He seems to be doing this for the consumption of naïve Americans. These seem only too willing to believe — in the name of tolerance, diversity and trying to be non-judgmental — that an organization whose ultimate goal is the supreme reign of Islamic sharia law everywhere — if necessary through violent jihad — could possibly value anything even approximating equality and the rule of (non-sharia) law.
“We are not terrorists,” wrote el-Haddad in a recent article in the New York Times.
“The Muslim Brotherhood’s philosophy is inspired by an understanding of Islam that emphasizes the values of social justice, equality and the rule of law… We believe that our faith is inherently pluralistic and comprehensive and that no one has a divine mandate or the right to impose a single vision on society… Nothing speaks more to our unequivocal commitment to nonviolence than our continued insistence on peaceful resistance, despite unprecedented state violence”.
The “faith”, which el-Haddad avoids naming, is Islam. The very essence of Islam, as sanctioned in the Quran and the hadiths, however, seems to be the belief in a divine mandate to impose the single vision of Islam on the world — if necessary, through violent jihad. Its motto is:
“Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope”.
Source: for MORE