Forbes mag names Islamic Republic of Iran “cool” travel destination for 2017, says visitors must obey Sharia

“Forbes Magazine is promoting Iran as one of ‘The 10 Coolest Places to Go in 2017’, based on a review by Melissa Biggs Bradley, founder of the travel website Indagare…’Visitors to Iran understand that they must adapt to Sharia law and customs, under which alcohol is strictly forbidden and women must wear hijabs…..’”

Forbes forgot to mention a few more of Iran’s attractions: acid attacks on women to enforce Sharia dress codes; the devaluation of a woman’s life, such that if she dies accidentally, her family will receive only half the legal compensation than given for a man; the devaluation also of a woman’s testimony in court, as worth half that of a man (as per Qur’an 2:282); public lashings for certain offences and death by stoning for women convicted of adultery; executions at a rate of over 800 per year, mostly for drug offenses; the honor killing of women, while the regime looks the other way; and heavy fines and jail sentences for women who do not wear the hijab. Also, if you happen to be a journalist and/or a peace activist, or have done anything whatsoever to upset the regime, you may be detained at the airport and jailed in Evin Prison on trumped-up charges. There, electrocution, brutal beatings, rape and drug-induced confessions and hangings are common.

Indagare’s Biggs Bradley – a woman to boot – also “credited the nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration and others in the West for the increase in tourism in Iran.”

Shame on Forbes in featuring this advertisement for tourism in Iran, and for including in it praise of the nuclear deal: Obama took advantage of this pact to released at least $100 billion to Iran, which it is using to finance jihad terrorism.

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Palestinian Assault on Freedoms

A novelist, a journalist and a university professor walk into a bar. Sounds like a joke, but it stops being funny when these three figures are the latest victims of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) crackdown on public freedoms, above all, freedom of expression.

The crackdown is yet more proof of the violent intolerance that the Western-funded PA has long shown its critics.

It is also a sad reminder that more than two decades after the foundation of the PA, Palestinians are as far from democracy as ever. In fact, the Palestinians seem to be marching in the opposite direction — towards establishing a regime that is remarkably reminiscent of the despotic and corrupt Arab and Islamic governments.

PA officials like to boast that Palestinians living under their rule in the West Bank enjoy a great deal of freedom of expression, especially compared to the situation under Hamas in the Gaza Strip. However, a good look at the actions of the PA and its various security branches shows that they are not much different than those enforced by Hamas.

Sometimes it even seems as if the PA and Hamas are competing to see which one of them can most successfully silence critics and cracks down on journalists. This is the sad reality in which Palestinians living under the rule of these two parties have found themselves.

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North Korea Conducts Failed Missile Test Amid Tensions

South Korea’s Defense Ministry confirmed that North Korea test-fired a missile from its east coast on Wednesday, but said that the test appeared to have failed.

“North Korea fired one missile from an area near the Wonsan Air Base this morning but it’s presumed to have failed,” the ministry said in a brief statement according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency. “Our military is prepared for the possibility of North Korea’s provocation including an additional missile launch,” it added.

The U.S also confirmed the test-firing, Reuters reports. “A missile appears to have exploded within seconds of launch,” Commander Dave Benham, a spokesperson for U.S. Pacific Command, said in a statement, adding that a more detailed assessment of the launch was under way.

Wednesday’s test comes amid escalating tension between Washington and Pyongyang, and as U.S. and South Korean troops conduct annual joint military drills on the peninsula. These drills are regarded as a rehearsal for invasion by North Korea. Earlier this month, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles into the sea off Japan’s northwest coast, and conducted rocket-engine function tests that Seoul said showed “meaningful progress.”

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Tyranny is the Vice of Leftectuals

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

From H.G. Wells and Lenin, W. E. B. Du Bois and Mao, Sartre and Stalin to Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Castro, tyrants capture the leftist intellectual imagination more than anything else. Remaking the world in accord with abstract theories is the great project of the left and who better to accomplish that task while disregarding laws, individual resistance and human nature than a ruthless tyrant?

The intellectuals of the left believe in the absolute necessity of radical change. As Churchill anecdotally said to the dowager, everything else is a matter of discussing the price. Tyranny is the vice of leftectuals because the tyrant is a towering figure who promises to realize their dreams. Like the terrorists and criminals they celebrate, he embodies the physical potency that their ivory tower theorizing lacks.

These “Men of Destiny” have been many. And in From Benito Mussolini to Hugo Chavez: Intellectuals and a Century of Political Hero Worship, Paul Hollander dissects this oldest and dirtiest relationship.

Paul Hollander came to America as a refugee from Communism only to find that the free world was full of men of letters who wished to make it unfree. But his focus here is less on the broader ideological spectrum and more on the titular “hero worship” that accompanied these dances with dictators.

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The Arab-Israel Conflict: Back to the Future

The optics, certainly, were fine. It was good to see an American president and an Israeli prime minister standing together on the podium with what appeared to be genuine good will. Most important, and promising for the future, perhaps, was how they dealt with the “two state solution” mantra. There was, for the first time in years, nuance in both the American and the Israeli position toward what has become a slogan without meaning.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated the possibility of two states with caveats he noted:

  • Palestinian acceptance of the legitimacy of Jewish sovereignty, echoing the words of the UN Partition Plan for Palestine for “a Jewish state.”
  • Israeli security control from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River. “Israel must retain the overriding security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River. Because… otherwise we’ll get another radical Islamic terrorist state in the Palestinian areas exploding the peace, exploding the Middle East.”

President Donald Trump deferred, as befits someone who won’t live with the consequences of actions taken 6,000 miles away:

“I like the (solution) that both parties like… I can live with either one. I thought for a while that two states looked like it may be the easier of the two. To be honest, if Bibi and the Palestinians, if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.”

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The Hollywood Exec and the Hand Transplant That Changed His Life

In just 30 hours, a superfit reality TV producer went from the top of his game to the precipice of death. What happened next would teach him everything about grace, resolve, and the power of love.

It is a beautiful hand: strong, with long, slender fingers and smooth skin, its nails ridgeless and pink. If you didn’t know Jonathan Koch—if you first met him, say, on the courts at the Calabasas Tennis & Swim Club—you might not suspect that his hand previously belonged to someone else. The straight line of a scar on his outer left forearm offers no tip-off. There is a bulge where Jonathan’s and the donor’s tendons are woven together, but the mark itself doesn’t catch the eye. The Y-shaped seam on his inner arm does. This scar is a stark reminder of the technical mastery that underlies a medical miracle.

In January, about three months after Jonathan and this hand became one, his wife, Jennifer, aims a video camera his way and asks how he is. “I feel great,” he replies, grinning. To see his muscles straining under a gray Under Armour T-shirt, it’s easy to forget what he’s endured. “My hand’s getting stronger every day. It’s more attractive than the hand I used to have, so I’m getting a lot of attention,” he quips, adding that the transplant has earned him a few stalkers. A moment later, though, he’s dead serious. “I wasn’t left-handed,” he says, “but I am now.”

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UK: Free Speech for Dictators Only

When Theresa May announced, to the gathered press at the White House, an invitation for Donald Trump to make an official state visit to the United Kingdom, there were some in Britain who apparently oppose his views — and, in a democratic and free society, express their opposition. There also were, however, concerns that these critics may have been acting hypocritically, as well as without considering due process.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow declared that he would not invite Trump to make a speech before Parliament due to the president’s alleged “sexism” and “racism,” and the British Parliament’s opposition to those stances, as well as, further, due to Trump’s temporary restrictions on immigration until better procedures for vetting applicants can be put in place .

Bercow, however, never adhered to due process: he should first have consulted the Speaker of the House of Lords or the Lord Chamberlain.

If Bercow thought that a ban from addressing Parliament would stop Trump from addressing the British people, he seems to have been wrong. Press reports suggest that Trump is planning massive stadium events. Perhaps that is the repeated failure of Trump’s opposition: to see his appeal to the masses.

Furthermore, where was Bercow when Emir of Kuwait visited? Kuwait has a poor record on women’s rights, and refuses entry to those with Israeli passports. Kuwait Airways and even dropped its flights between New York and London not to “break the law” by possibly carrying Israeli passengers.

How come, then, that Bercow did not think it advisable to oppose the Emir of Kuwait’s visit due to its “sexism” and “immigration ban”? No, Bercow granted the Emir a speech in the Queen’s Robing Room.

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