The Yarmouk Refugee Camp, part of the sprawling Yarmouk general neighborhood, has suffered from attacks during the past week resulting in at least twenty civilians killed and numerous more injured. The attacks were claimed to be addressing the presumed existing jihadists allied with the Islamic State according to reports from “i-24 News Agency” yesterday. The camp serves approximately some two-thousand-five-hundred families who have withstood the consistent attacks. Still, there has been no United Nations emergency meeting over these attacks despite the tragic loss of life and the silence from out of the European Union is also surprising. The European Union and United Nations are often the first to decry the situation when a Palestinian refugee camp is struck by military actions and civilian lives are lost.
On another front, there are still reports of injuries having been inflicted on protesters along the Israel Gaza border. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) arrested…
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After the murders of much of the staff at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015, the hostage-taking and slaughter at a kosher supermarket two days later confirmed what was already obvious: France was a target of Islamic terrorism. A huge demonstration, organized in Paris on January 11, brought together a million and a half people, with politicians from around the world in attendance.
For a brief moment, France seemed to be the country where the multitudes were ready to stand up for freedom of speech, and the government was ready to fight for Western values.
Unfortunately, that impression did not last long.
For years, freedom of speech in France has been in the process of being crushed, particularly regarding Islam and Islamic terrorism. Journalists who said that Islam often did not look much like a religion of peace but more like a religion of war were systematically and harshly prosecuted. Charlie Hebdo’s new director and editor-in-chief were also not spared: they were sued as early as 2006, the year the magazine republished the Danish Mohammed cartoons. They were sued again in 2007, 2012 and 2013. The writer Michel Houellebecq was summoned to court in 2010 for saying that Islam is a “stupid” religion. The first judicial sentence against the polemist Éric Zemmour dates from 2011. The website Riposte Laïque was established in 2007 to fight censorship, defend secularism, and preserve the right to criticize Islam. Lawsuits against its founder, Pierre Cassen, immediately became
Yesterday, while many Europeans are still pilloried for viewing mass migration from Muslim-majority countries as a threat to Western culture — and are still accused of “xenophobia,” “Islamophobia” and “fear-mongering” — the city of Afrin, in the Kurdish area of Syria, fell to Turkey.
At the same time, a prominent Turkish government official has been openly and proudly declaring that the demography of Europe is changing in favor of Muslims.
MP Alparslan Kavaklıoğlu, a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the head of the parliament’s Security and Intelligence Commission, recently stated:
“The fortune and wealth of the world is moving from the West to the East. Europe is going through a time that is out of the ordinary. Its population is declining and aging. It has a very old population. So, people coming from outside get the jobs there. But Europe has this problem. All of the newcomers are Muslim. From Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey. Those who come from these places are Muslim. It is now at such a level that the most popular name in Brussels, Belgium is Mohammed. The second most popular name is Melih [Malih] and the third one is Ayşe [Aisha].”
What happens when Palestinians make allegations of torture and assaults on their public freedoms? If the finger is being pointed at Israel, the international media falls over itself to bring the story to the broadest possible audience.
The story would not even end there. Human rights organizations and United Nations agencies would blast Israel for “abusing” Palestinian human rights and the Security Council would hold an emergency session to condemn Israel.
The response, however, when Palestinians fall victim to the practices of their own governments — the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip — is a completely different one. That is when silence descends upon the international media community hides behind a blue wall of silence
How can one account for this sinkhole in communications? Simple: when the story is not about alleged atrocities committed by Israel, from the point of view of the Western media outlets it is presumably not a tale worthy of being told.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In the years ahead, Israel could face the growing prospect of WMD terrorism – i.e., attacks involving chemical, biological, or even nuclear weapons. In this connection, it is vital that Israeli officials do their utmost to prevent perfidious enemy manipulations of humanitarian international law. This is especially urgent with regard to enemy use of “human shields,” an illegal form of military deception that could be used to deter Israeli retaliation. Perfidy can originate with both state and sub-state foes, and could conceivably involve primitive nuclear devices such as “dirty bombs” (weapons that do not involve genuine chain reactions, but instead attach conventional explosives to fissile materials).
Under authoritative international law, the practice of moving civilians into designated military areas, or, vice versa, of moving military assets into civilian towns or villages, violates the law of war (aka the law of armed conflict or humanitarian international law). This violation is generally regarded as a species of “perfidy,” but informally, it is more often referred to as the problem of “human shields.” Whatever one might prefer to call such barbarous behavior, Israel’s senior military planners must ensure that it will never get in the way of essential counterterrorism.
Israel “occupies” the West Bank.
In politics, words matter, and, unfortunately, the misuse of words applying to the Arab-Israeli conflict has shaped perceptions to Israel’s disadvantage. As in the case of the term “West Bank,” the word “occupation” has been hijacked by those who wish to paint Israel in the harshest possible light. It also gives apologists an excuse to describe terrorism as “resistance to occupation,” as if the women and children killed by suicide bombers in buses, pizzerias, and shopping malls were responsible for the plight of the Palestinians.
Given the negative connotation of an “occupier,” it is not surprising that Israel’s detractors use the word, or some variation, as many times as possible in their propaganda and when interviewed by the press. The more accurate description of the territories in Judea and Samaria, however, is “disputed” territories.