Mary Walter: Good morning. Joining us now, Steve Emerson. He’s the executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. It’s a non-profit group that investigates the threat of radical Islam. Steve, good morning. Welcome to “Mornings on the Mall.”
Emerson: Good morning.
Walter: There is a special election today for the Virginia House of Delegates for the 86th District, which is a suburban area in Fairfax County, to fill a seat. Two people running for the seat are Ibraheem Samirah, who is a dentist, 27 years old. He’s the favorite in this race. He’s running against Greg Nelson, who is an Air Force veteran. And we’re finding out now that apparently there were some comments made by Dr. Samirah about five years ago that were very anti-Semitic, comparing giving money to Israel worse than donating to the KKK; also saying that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would burn in hell; Israeli teenagers were using Tinder to cover up the murders in their names. Very anti-Semitic statements. Is this going to affect him at all though?
Emerson: I don’t know whether it will affect him but I think it should affect him because the comments are undeniably anti-Semitic. Now he has said he has apologized for those comments, but he’s also said that they were taken out of context and that they were part of a slander campaign. Both of those latter allegations are demonstrably false. None of them were taken out of context and to the extent that he says that he’s only mitigating his apology. He also has supported two groups that are very anti-Israel in their positions. One group has supported a radical Islamic terrorist who was convicted in the killing of two Jews in a bombing in Israel several decades ago. Another group supports the movement called BDS – boycott, divestment – that is designed to strangle the economy of Israel. He has not disavowed his support for those two groups. So all in all his total position is a virulently anti-Israeli position, and more than that I would say anti-Semitic. To the extent that people vote for him they should be aware of those positions.
Until recently, Justin Trudeau’s government in Canada was providing one bright spot for a Western centre-left which is, at least in English-speaking countries, rather embattled.
So it’s not surprising that the scandal currently engulfing the Liberal leader has been compared by one Guardian writer to “watching a unicorn get flattened by a truck”.
Whether or not this is actually the end of Trudeau remains to be seen – at the time of writing his party appears to be rallying round him. But even if he survives it will have indelibly tarnished his reputation as the great progressive hope, for the scandal itself undermines his credentials on several fronts at once.
Preventing or even minimizing prison radicalization is always a challenge. It’s more difficult, however, when we continually fail to vet the chaplains who minister to inmates.
Germany appears to have learned this lesson recently. Authorities there recently discovered that over 85 percent of their Muslim prison chaplains were actually agents of the Turkish government, the Gatestone Institute reports. Those clerics had to be terminated after the Turkish government refused to have them go through security checks, which are required by German law for all prison chaplains. And while the number of foreign-born inmates in German prisons has spiked to nearly 50 percent, the vast majority of those are from Poland, Tunisia, the Czech Republic, and Georgia, not Turkey.
One wonders why the need for the 97 Turkish prison chaplains who were let go.
Germany now has 25 Muslim chaplains. This reduction comes in the light of the increased number of Muslim inmates in their system and the fears of the increased threat of radicalization.
The Muslim chaplains are represented by the Turkish Islamic Union, or DİTİB, which has been under investigation by Germany’s Domestic Intelligence agency after it found a connection between Turkish military action in Syria and a rise in persecution of Turkish dissidents. It was also discovered that some DİTİB chaplains were providing names of dissidents to their embassy in Germany.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced on Monday that he was resigning, but later seemed to have resumed his diplomatic duties, after his request was denied by President Hassan Rouhani.
In the coverage of Iran’s diplomatic melodrama, it hasn’t been uncommon for news reports to characterize Zarif as a moderate, whose leadership made the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers possible. Zarif’s resignation was portrayed as collateral damage due to the deal not providing Iran with its promised benefits, and the withdrawal of the United States from the accord last year.
Trita Parsi, the former head of the National Iranian American Council and a major supporter of the nuclear deal, summed up this line of thinking to CNN, saying: “If Zarif ends up being replaced, at least one dimension of this is that the Trump administration’s war on the JCPOA inevitably led to political casualties in Iran.”
For this analysis to be true, Zarif would have to be a moderate who negotiated a deal to end Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions in good faith. But it can empirically be shown that neither proposition is true. Zarif is no moderate, and the nuclear deal delayed — but did not end — Iran’s quest for nukes.
A Virginia General Assembly candidate has apologized for past social media posts excoriating Jews and Israel. But Ibraheem Samirah continues to shade his involvement with groups which would like to see Israel eliminated, a sentiment that was prominent in his life.
In a Feb. 8 apology, Samirah, the Democratic nominee for Virginia’s 86th House of Delegates district, expressed remorse for his “ill-chosen words” that “added pain to the Jewish community.” A special election in Samirah’s race will be held Tuesday.
Samirah dismissed the widespread condemnation of his posts as a “slander campaign” that “is using 5-year-old Facebook posts from my impassioned college days, posts that upon reflection and with the of [sic] blessing of time, I sincerely regret and apologize for.”
He is 27 years old.
We will make our disclaimer at the top of the article by admitting that the illness from which most of the world suffers has not taken over the world completely as of yet. The feverish hatred the world is suffering from has numerous differing but equally vicious strains which allows it to take on different forms, shapes and have differing symptoms. Sometimes the caustic form of this affliction simply jumps before you making some wonder from whence did such hate return. One form of this virulent affliction is often reported as being merely anti-Semitism. This also has become the catch-all-phrase by which some intending far more harm are simply represented as being merely anti-Semitic. This has even gotten to the deepest point with their condemnation of Israel, Judaism, Judeo-Christian ethics and all which has developed under the protective culture of the Western World insisting that they can structure a more…
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A number of prominent Jewish groups disputed on Thursday a UN panel’s finding that Israel may have committed war crimes in its handling of Hamas-orchestrated riots on its southern border with the Gaza Strip last year.
“We strongly reject the latest anti-Israel report released by the United Nations Human Rights Council investigating Israel’s response to the weeks long violent attacks on its border organized and led by the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza,” Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Arthur Stark and Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said in a statement. “In its unceasing quest to vilify Israel, the so-called Human Rights Council’s politically motivated and inherently hostile agenda against Israel has once again driven it to new depths of hypocrisy and bias with marked indifference to the lethal exploitation of the people of Gaza by Hamas.”
“No nation in the world, including Israel, can or should stand by and allow an armed invasion of its territory,” Stark and Hoenlein added. “Every nation, including Israel, would and must act to defend its sovereign borders and its population against armed aggression, but not every nation would adhere to rules of engagement and processes of command and control to ensure that norms of international humanitarian law are followed, as Israel does. Today’s report brings shame on the Human Rights Council. In denying Israel’s right to defend its citizens, the UN Human Rights Council becomes a partner in Hamas’s terror.”