Israel, Israelis and Prime Minister Netanyahu have a serious love-hate relationship. Despite this, Benyamin Netanyahu has managed the atmosphere, publicity, situations, levels of apprehension and threat analyses in such a manner such that he appears to be the sole leader who can manage the situation without serious consequences and maintain a lower level of violence than anybody else. This has led to his retaining the position of Prime Minister for twelve of the last twenty-one years and for the past ten years straight and still in office. Currently, there does not appear to be anyone who could seriously challenge Prime Minister Netanyahu for the office. None of the current leaders of the other parties with the possible exception of Naftali Benet from Jewish Home and, in an effort for reality, there are those claiming that the one man to defeat him before, Ehud Barak of the Labor Party if they…
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First, it was the Hungarian route. Then it was the Balkan route. Now Italy is the epicenter of this demographic earthquake, and it has become Europe’s soft underbelly as hundreds of thousands of migrants arrive.
With nearly 10,000 arrivals in one recent three-day period, the number of migrants in 2017 exceeded 60,000 — 48% more than the same period last year, when they were 40,000. Over Easter weekend a record 8,000 migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean and brought to Italy. And that is just the tip of the iceberg: during the summer, the number of arrivals from Libya will only increase.
A replacement of population is under way in Italy. But if you open the mainstream newspapers, you barely find these figures. No television station has dedicated any time to what is happening. No criticism is allowed. The invasion is considered a done deal.
In 2016, 176,554 migrants landed in Italy — an eight-fold increase since 2014. In 2015, there were 103,792. In 2014, there were 66,066. In 2013, there were just 22,118. In the last four years, 427,000 migrants reached Italy. In only the first five months of this year, 2017, Italy received 10% of the total number of migrants of the last four years.
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Cast your mind back to before the general election. Theresa May was governing with authority. The centre-right press was fully behind her. The anti-Brexit coalition that stretched from trade union leaders through Keir Starmer through Tim Farron through the CBI to Philip Hammond was cowed – and balanced out by pro-Brexit forces such as, most credibly, Vote Leave’s successor organisation, Change Britain. This was able to send talented backbenchers, such as Gisela Stuart on the Labour side and Michael Gove on the Conservative one, into the TV studios and onto the airwaves. The Tory European Research Group, marshalled via WhatsApp by Steve Baker, was working productively with Ministers.
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In the wake of the ISIS’s Palm Sunday bombings of Coptic churches in Egypt, Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam’s most revered institution, not only refused to denounce the terrorist organization as “un-Islamic,” but repeated its implausible boast of being a bulwark against extremism in the Muslim-Arab world, and accused those calling for religious reform of treason.
One such “traitor” was Egyptian TV presenter Islam Behery, a British-educated writer and Sunni Muslim who had been exposing the roots of violence within Islamic tradition itself, until he was forced off the air after protests by Al-Azhar in 2015.
According to Behery, who was later convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to a year in prison, the tradition in question
“has very little good amid a multitude of evil, least of which is the insistence by all the four schools of Sunni Islam that Christians can be killed with impunity [as] a Muslim life is ‘superior’ to that of a non-Muslim.” (Kol Youm show, ON TV with Amr Adib, 25 April).
On his television program, “With Islam,” Behery had called for an overhaul of the millennia-old compilation of hadiths [sayings and deeds] of Muhammad, and proposed the reconstruction of Islam, to separate it from its onerous legacy cemented in the 9th century.
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“You may not criticize Islam. You do not speak Arabic. You don’t come from a Muslim society. You are a white supremacist, imperialist xenophobe and you don’t like foreign, brown people.” So Islam’s apologists insist.
Brooklyn activist Linda Sarsour epitomizes this strategy for suppressing critique of Islam. “My hijab is my hoodie,” she insisted, in a 2012 CNN op-ed. With the “hoodie” reference, Sarsour explicitly linked herself with Trayvon Martin, a young black male who scuffled with, and was shot by George Zimmerman in February, 2012. Sarsour’s implication is that white supremacy motivated Zimmerman’s shooting of Martin. By extension, Sarsour insists that white supremacists want to hurt her because she wears hijab. Sarsour also linked herself to Shaima Alawadi, an Iraqi-American who was beaten to death in her own home in March, 2012. Sarsour insisted that Alawadi’s murder was a hate crime committed by white supremacists who don’t like foreign, brown people.
Sarsour knows that Americans feel guilty and sad about slavery and Jim Crow, and that they tiptoe to avoid any racist comment. She knows that Americans fear being called “racist.” A parasite of unearned pity, Sarsour lifts the mantle of protection cast over speech about African Americans, and worms her way beneath it. Rachel Dolezal can only weep with envy at this Caucasian woman’s success at positioning herself as a victim of white racism. That Sarsour parades as the same kind of victim as the descendants of slaves is an extraordinary coup, given the outsize historical role of Arab Muslims in the enslavement of not just of Africans, but of Europeans and Americans as well, and given Arab racism against blacks, whom they label “abid,” or slave.
Sarsour’s rebranding of her hijab as a feminist symbol is also a fabulous marketing coup, one that really should be taught in business schools. In many Muslim-majority countries, women can be harassed, tortured, raped or murdered for not wearing hijab.
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This is a beautiful gesture, but if it is intended to show good will and build good relationships with the local Muslims, it will not work. Islamic supremacists see gestures of good will as signs of weakness, and they only make them regard the giver with contempt. Nor will this gesture be reciprocated; we see Christians all over the world making good will gestures to Muslims, but we never see them returned in kind.
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A year ago Britain voted to leave the European Union. Nigel Farage called it Britain’s “independence day”. Around half of voters support Brexit – according to YouGov – and want it to happen, so may well be tempted to join him in celebrating this anniversary today. Others will be less keen. David Cameron resigned soon after the vote last June, reportedly telling allies that he didn’t want to do the “ hard s***” needed, so that task has been taken on by his successor Theresa May. She has been away in Brussels for the second day of a summit with her fellow EU leaders, where she has been trying to win them around with her “fair and serious offer” of giving Europeans who arrived in Britain before the triggering of Article 50 the right to stay permanently post-Brexit.
Her fellow EU leaders have been lukewarm in their response. Donald Tusk, declared that it was “below our expectations and risks worsening the situation of citizens.” Jean-Claude Juncker thought it was not up to the EU’s standard, adding: “this step is not sufficient.” Danish premier Mark Rutte thought there were “thousands of questions to ask”. Peter Foster has identified five (not thousands) areas where questions remain, such as when the “cut-off” date would be for this offer. This pledge depends on the EU side making a similar offer to British expats in Europe, and it will be set out in greater detail on Monday in a formal paper.
The Prime Minister also had to deny claims made by George Osborne in his Evening Standard newspaper that she had – as Home Secretary – blocked an attempt by David Cameron to guarantee EU citizens rights following the Brexit vote. “That is certainly not my recollection,” she said. Tom Harris feels her pledge was “ better late than never”, although Leo McKinstry worries that she “ has revealed her willingness to give the EU much of what it wants”.
Further clashes are inevitable, as Mrs May rejected EU demands that that the European Court of Justice should continue to oversee the rights of European migrants after Brexit. Fraser Nelson suggests in today’s paper that if the Prime Minister really wants to make a “success” of Brexit, she should remember why people voted for it. “It was about retrieving sovereignty while managing immigration better, disengaging from the European Union while finding better ways to be good Europeans,” he writes. “This is not about a hard Brexit or soft Brexit – neither of which mean anything – but an open Brexit, one that lets Britain better engage with the rest of the world. A rather compelling agenda, and one that’s still there for the taking.”
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