Morning Briefing – The Telegraph

Good morning.

Europe’s embattled liberals must have breathed a sigh of relief last night after Austria’s Norbert Hofer conceded defeat in a presidential election that nearly created the first far-right head of state in the European Union’s history. But their nerves will be rattled again by Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi’s failure to convince his country to back his constitutional reforms in a referendum. Such an issue might sound dry, but Renzi made it a career-defining issue, promising to resign if he lost the vote, which he did as soon as the exit polls came out last night indicating that he was set for a heavy defeat. This pledge, our Europe editor Peter Foster writes, was his biggest mistake as it turned the vote into a referendum on his time in office.

There have already been signs of market jitters in response to Renzi’s resignation as investors considered the prospect of political instability in Italy, Europe’s fourth largest economy. The euro fell to the lowest level against the dollar since March 2015, sliding the most since the aftermath of the Brexit referendum. Higher-yielding currencies such as the Aussie and and kiwi dollars also retreated. The New Zealand dollar may have been reacting as well to the news that prime minister John Key is leaving (not due to losing a high-stakes referendum).

Italy’s referendum outcome has also energised the eurosceptic Five Star Movement, and anti-immigrant Northern League party, allies of French far-right leader Marine Le Pen. They have both called for an early general election to resolve the uncertainty. With the pro-EU establishment in disarray and Eurosceptic forces on the rise, could Italy be next out of the exit door after Britain? An ICM poll last December found that 27% of Italians would vote to leave the EU, and 11% hadn’t made up their minds – so the amount will almost certainly have risen since then. One man who would welcome the prospect of Quitaly (or Italeave?) is Nigel Farage, who has written in today’s paper that “the prospects of the European Union as 2017 approaches could hardly be bleaker”.

The British Government has its own problems this week as the Supreme Court considers whether to uphold, or reject the High Court’s ruling that Theresa May has to win approval from MPs in a vote before she can trigger Article 50 as part o the Brexit process. Attorney General Jeremy Wright will warn Supreme Court judges today that they must not defy the “will of the electorate” or “stray into areas of political judgement” during a landmark Brexit legal challenge. Ministers are privately already conceding that the Government is likely to lose the case and warning that the Supreme Court will create a “constitutional crisis” when it returns its ruling in January. Lord Howard writes in today’s paper that whatever the judges decide, Article 50 will not be stopped. “Two years of challenging negotiations will then follow,” he concludes. “And I have no doubt that they will end in circumstances which will give the United Kingdom greater and more exciting opportunities than we have seen for a generation”.


Democrats Express Solidarity with Islamic Extremists in Wake of Election

Democratic politicians eager to stand in solidarity with the Muslim community and speak against hate Democratic politicians eager to stand in solidarity with the Muslim community and speak against hate in the wake of the recent heated presidential election threw their support behind some of its most extreme elements.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, together with local Democratic politicians from Northern Virginia, made this evident when they showed up at a Veterans Day event at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va.

Dar al-Hijrah stands in infamy as the mosque attended by two of the 9/11 hijackers and where the late Al-Qaida terrorist leader Anwar Awlaki served as an imam. A 2002 U.S. Customs and Border Protection database report obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) described Dar al-Hijrah as a “front for Hamas operatives in [the] U.S.” A 2007 report said the “mosque has been under numerous investigations for financing and [providing] aid and comfort to bad orgs and members.”

The Washington Post noted in 2011 that “almost no other mosque in the country has been linked to so many cases of alleged terrorism.”

Numerous convicted terrorists previously attended the mosque. These include:

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No Justice in the Netherlands

out the charges as inadmissible in a court of law on the grounds that these are political issues and that a trial would in fact amount to a political process. The criminal trial against Wilders will begin on Monday, October 31.

While campaigning in The Hague in March 2014, Wilders argued the need for fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands. At an election meeting in The Hague, he asked those present a number of questions, one of which was “Do you want more or fewer Moroccans?” After the crowd responded “fewer” Wilders said, “We’re going to organize that.”

Because of the “fewer Moroccans” statements, repeated again in an interview a few days later, Wilders will be prosecuted on two counts: First for “deliberately insulting a group of people because of their race.” Second, for “inciting hatred or discrimination against these people.”

Wilders’ defense attorney, Geert Jan Knoops, has argued that the trial amounts to a political trial against Wilders and his party, the PVV: “Sensitive issues must be judged by public opinion or through the ballot box,”, Knoops said “The Prosecutor is indirectly asking for a ruling over the functioning of the PVV and its political program. The court must not interfere with this.”

As a politician, Wilders can say more than an ordinary citizen, Knoops said, arguing that Wilders used his statements to point out shortcomings in the Dutch state. “It is his duty to name shortcomings. He takes that responsibility and proposes solutions.” Knoops argued that the prosecutor is limiting Wilders’ freedom of speech by prosecuting him for his statements.

The court’s response was that although politicians are entitled to freedom of expression, they should “avoid public statements that feed intolerance” and that the trial would determine where the border lies between politicians’ freedom of expression and their obligation, as the court sees it, to avoid public statements that feed intolerance.

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Red Alert! Protestant Couple “Security Threat” to Turkey!

Over the past several years Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pressured Greece to construct a mosque in Athens. He has criticized the country which boasts the only European capital without a mosque. He does not hide his passion for mosques worldwide.

In 2015 Erdogan proposed the construction of a mosque in secular, Communist-ruled Cuba. Also in 2015, he went to Moscow for the inauguration of the biggest mosque in the Russian capital.

Earlier this year Erdogan pleasantly announced his presence at the opening of the biggest mosque in Amsterdam. The mosque is called “Hagia Sophia,” named after a Greek Orthodox Christian basilica built in 537 AD in Constantinople, reflecting the typical Muslim extremist obsession with “conquest.” Recently Erdogan has also been eyeing Iraq.

As recently as April, Erdogan attended the opening ceremony of a culture center and mosque in Maryland, United States. The complex, the only one in the United States to feature two minarets, was constructed in the style of 16th century Ottoman architecture, with a central dome, half domes and cupolas, echoing Istanbul’s Suleymaniye Mosque. At the ceremony, Erdogan said: “Unfortunately, we are going through a rough time all around the world. Intolerance towards Muslims is on the rise not only here in the United States but also around the globe.” Intolerance toward Muslims?

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Jimmy Carter, Lord Caradon, the Palestine Mandate, and U.N. Resolution 242 (Part I)

That is the piece by Jimmy Carter that appeared in the New York Times on November 28. It disturbs for many reasons: the indifference to Israel’s security needs, the disregard for the relevant history, the inattention to Israel’s legal, moral, and historic claims, especially those based on the Mandate for Palestine and the “secure and defensible borders” provision of U.N. Resolution 242, and the ignorance Carter shows about Islam, and of what explains the unappeasable Muslim hostility to the Jewish state, no matter how tiny that state may become.

Let’s start with Carter’s attempt to describe what U.N. Resolution 242 says. He claims that the key words of that resolution were “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every state in the area can live in security,” and the “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.”

These are not the key words of Resolution 242. In fact, the first phrase he quotes, about the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every state in the area can live in security” is not even to be found in the Resolution proper, but appears in the non-binding preamble to it, a statement of principle only. And what’s more, Carter wants you to think that the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” refers to Israel, and its winning, by force of arms in the Six-Day War, of the Sinai, Gaza, and the territory we have fallen into the habit of calling the “West Bank,” the name given to it after 1949 by the Jordanian Arabs, who were determined to efface, as too obviously Jewish, the place-names Judea and Samaria, though they had been in use in the Western world for 2000 years.

But it is Jordan, and not Israel, to which that phrase “inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war” properly applies. It is Jordan that had no legal claim, but only the claim of a military occupier, since hostilities ended in 1949, to the “West Bank.” But Israel’s claim to the same territory (the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria, if we want to respect and resurrect the most venerable of toponyms) is based on the Mandate for Palestine; that legal and historic claim survived the 1948 war and the Jordanian occupation that lasted from 1948 right up to the war of June 1967. Though Israel’s claim remained unchanged, after the Six-Day War one thing did change: that claim could at last be satisfied. In other words, while the Six-Day War created the conditions that allowed Israel to now enforce its legal claim under the Mandate for Palestine, it is that Mandate, and not the 1967 military victory, that is the original basis of Israel’s claim as of right and not of sufferance. And that claim is further buttressed by the requirement, in Resolution 242, for establishing “secure and defensible borders.”

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Mother of OSU jihad attacker says her son was killed “for no reason”

Abdul Razak Ali Artan last week set off a fire alarm on campus, the drove his car into the crowd of students evacuating the building. Then he jumped out of his car and began stabbing people with a butcher knife. But he was a “nice young man” and “a good student” who “had a dream to be someone to help his community and serve his community. So obviously he was killed “for no reason” because, you know, Muslims are always and in every case victims, no matter what they do. As the mother spoke, doubtless Van Jones was nodding in agreement.

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