Turkey, Europe’s Little Problem

Nations do not have the luxury, as people often do, of choosing their neighbors. Turkey, under the 14-year rule of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist governments, and neighboring both Europe and the Middle East, was once praised as a “bridge” between Western and Islamic civilizations. Its accession into the European Union (EU) was encouraged by most EU and American leaders. Nearly three decades after its official bid to join the European club, Turkey is not yet European but has become one of Europe’s problems.

Europe’s “Turkish problem” is not only about the fact that in a fortnight a bomb attack wrecked a terminal of the country’s biggest airport and a coup attempt killed nearly 250 people; nor is it about who rules the country. It is about the undeniable democratic deficit both in governance and popular culture.

In only the past couple of weeks, Turkey was in the headlines with jaw-dropping news. In Istanbul, a secretary at a daily newspaper was attacked by a group of people who accused her of “wearing revealing clothes and supporting the July 15 failed coup.” She was six months pregnant.

Also in Istanbul, a Syrian gay refugee was murdered: he had been beheaded and mutilated. One social worker helping LGBT groups said: “Police are doing nothing because he is Syrian and because he is gay.”

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Morning Briefing – The Telegraph

Good morning.

Sparks flew at Hofstra University last night as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton clashed on stage, but neither of them ended up so cross that they punched a wall. The same can’t be said for the Labour conference in Liverpool, as Clive Lewis expressed his unhappiness with force after Jeremy Corbyn’s communications chief Seumas Milne edited his speech so he would leave open the possibility that the party would scrap Trident.

The Shadow Defence Secretary later urged colleagues not to “pick at the scab” by trying to change the party’s policy on Trident just yet, and other Corbynites are on manoeuvres of their own. John McDonnell has reportedly convinced Jonathan Reynolds to be his shadow city minister, which is a coup for team Corbyn on the face of it given that he was one of the first moderates to leave the shadow cabinet. But Reynolds only weeks ago was explaining how he wanted Owen Smith to replace Corbyn as leader because he was not a “potential Prime Minister”. He was even blunter last year, saying that Corbyn’s supporters were “deluding themselves” by thinking he could win them a parliamentary majority. In his view, the Labour leader would help the Tories win a majority “of at least a 100”. Corbyn’s team will want some moderates to come back to show they can unify the party, but can they really convince voters the party is one happy family?

Tom Watson and Sadiq Khan will be giving keynote speeches this afternoon, and they will be the ones to look out for today. They are both Corbyn-sceptic, to put it politely, and have something that is very useful in the Labour Party nowadays: their own mandates. This means they won’t have to bend over backwards to get in with Corbyn, as they have already been voted into their jobs. They won’t want to seem too un-comradely, but will want to subtly distinguish themselves in their speeches. Meanwhile, Bryony Gordon has been looking at “brocialists” and whether Labour has a problem with women, and it’s well worth reading.

Many Labour moderates feel chastened after failing to oust Corbyn, but William Hague has a proposal for how they can take back the party in today’s Telegraph. The former Tory leader’s idea is to aim to get rid of him in 2018, “when he will be tired” and “will have made more mistakes and minds will focus on the 2020 election”. “If moderates won’t make this plan, what’s the point of them being in politics?” he concludes.


Is Israel about to Sign a Terrible Deal?

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is an agreement between two parties — in this case, the governments of Israel and the United States. It is less than a treaty, more than a handshake. The first MOU was signed in 1981, recognizing “the common bonds of friendship between the United States and Israel and builds on the mutual security relationship that exists between the two nations.” The current MOU, signed in 2007, represented a 10-year commitment. The Obama Administration and the government of Israel have been negotiating a new 10-year agreement that will come into effect in 2017.

It is hard to get the nuance right in a security arrangement between a superpower and a small country, even if the small country is a first-world democracy in terms of education, income, technology, and political structure. It is harder when large sums of money are involved, and harder still when the small country is, in military terms, a “security producer,” one that provides more security to a region than it requires in assistance, but is still uniquely threatened in the world.


Germany’s Migrant Rape Crisis Spirals out of Control

Sexual violence in Germany has reached epidemic proportions since Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed into the country more than one million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Gatestone Institute first reported Germany’s migrant rape crisis in September 2015, when Merkel opened up the German border to tens of thousands of migrants stranded in Hungary. A follow-up report was published in March 2016, in the aftermath of mass attacks against German women by mobs of migrants in Cologne, Hamburg and other German cities.

Germany’s migrant rape crisis has now spread to cities and towns in all 16 of Germany’s federal states. Germany is effectively under siege; public spaces are becoming increasingly perilous. Police have warned about a potential breakdown of public order this summer, when young male migrants are likely to see women lightly dressed.

During the month of July 2016, hundreds of German women and children were sexually assaulted by migrants (see Appendix below). The youngest victim was nine; the oldest, 79. Attacks occurred at beaches, bike trails, cemeteries, discotheques, grocery stores, music festivals, parking garages, playgrounds, schools, shopping malls, taxis, public transportation (buses, trams, intercity express trains and subways), public parks, public squares, public swimming pools and public restrooms. Predators are lurking everywhere; safety nowhere.

Dozens of women and children have been assaulted by migrants at summer festivals and public swimming pools — staples of ordinary German life.

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Jeremy Corbyn’s Supporters Are ‘Tired of Hearing’ About Anti-Semitism

Allegations of anti-Semitism in the UK Labour Party are literally rubbish, according to a new video released by party leader Jeremy Corbyn, in which a piece of paper raising concerns about anti-Semitism is physically thrown on the floor.

In the campaign clip below, posted this week on the Labour leader’s official YouTube page, the question of whether Corbyn “promotes antisemitism” is presented as one of five his supporters are “tired of hearing,” complete with responses. One man changes the subject entirely, talking about the Conservative Party’s refusal to admit German and Austrian Jewish refugees in the 1930s. Another claims Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis “boils down” to “accusations” by people who are “losing the political argument” and have “nothing [else] to fight back with.” The clip then concludes with another supporter chucking the scrap of paper with the question onto the floor, saying, “So that’s gone as well.” To further express his disdain, he then places an empty bowl on his head, to applause from the production crew.

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Needed: Peace in Kashmir

When Narendra Modi became India’s prime minister two years ago, he had a mandate from the citizens behind him and his party was in power. It was assumed, therefore, that he would be able to adopt policies and programs that would foster peace and development in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which has been troubled ever since it became part of India in 1947. The scenario in the Kashmir Valley is, however, getting no better.

In a recent discussion on the ongoing crisis in Kashmir, a prominent member of the Indian Parliament said, “This government has miserably failed to restore peace in the Valley. There is an environment of insecurity and fear.”

Reports suggest that the right to exist, the most fundamental human right, has increasingly been in peril in the Valley. Since the killing of the dreaded Hizb-ul-Mujahideen “commander”, Burhan Wani — who allegedly had an encounter with Hafiz Saeed the notorious Pakistani terrorist leader and mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks — there have been violent clashes there. Some protesters have been seen showing support for the Islamic State.

In the current crisis, forty-six people have been killed and 3,140, half of them security personnel, have been wounded.

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