Wednesday, June 30, 2010

European summer

David Rusin of Islamist Watch has collected various accounts of violent acts committed by Islamists to soften up their opponents. They range from riots in a Stockholm suburb to Arab 'youths' stoning a Jewish dance group in Hannover, shouting 'Jews out!'

In one case, a Palestinian assaulted two young Israeli men at a Berlin club. As Rusin notes, "in a microcosm of Europe's approach to the Mideast dispute, the bouncer used pepper spray against the Israelis rather than the Palestinian perpetrator, who managed to flee."

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The vain pursuit of popularity

Well, the data are in. President Obama's campaign to charm the Muslim world, so far, has been a dud. The Wall Street Journal reports here on a Pew Research Center study showing that Obama and the United States have lost support in each Islamic country surveyed.

Barry Rubin explains this phenomenon: "On one hand, there are the enemies of America . . . They want--depending on who we are talking about--to conquer the Middle East, take over their own countries, establish a Caliphate, lord it over neighbors, wipe Israel off the map, turn women into chattel, get rid of the Christians, expel Western influence from the region, and/or transform their own countries into Islamist utopian dictatorships.

So why should we expect them to care whether the U.S. president is a nice guy who likes them and is really sorry for any time in the past when America actually did or tried to do something in the region? Indeed, Middle East dictators and revolutionaries also believe that nice guys finish last."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

An intriguing report

The Times of London reports here that the Saudis are prepared to allow Israel to use Saudi airspace to attack Iranain nuclear installations. I don't know if the report is accurate, nor do I know if the Saudis would stick to such a course of action once it became public knowledge, but it's nevertheless an interesting thought.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Who lost Turkey?

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates apparently thinks that, had the EU been more welcoming to Turkey, Turkey would not now be so hostile to Western interests.

Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi has an alternative view (hardly surprising): he sees Turkey as the Trojan Horse of Islam. As he put it: "If Turkey joined the European Union ... the European continent [would] no longer [be] a crusade or a Christian as it was, but Islam has become a strong partner in the European continent..." Syntax aside, he sees Turkish membership in the EU as a great opportunity - to help make Europe Muslim.

Not only do I think Gates has the equation backward; I would feel better had there been any indication Gates was aware of the rising tide of anti-Americanism in Turkey. For the past several years, it's been reflected in numerous public opinion polls, in Turkish media, and in Turkish TV shows and movies. This problem has nothing but nothing to do with the EU - and our Secretary of Defense ought to know that.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

We're all Israelis now

At least, that's what Kyle-Anne Shiver thinks should happen. She argues that Americans and Israelis face a common enemy - radical Islam - and should stand together. She's ashamed of President Obama's equivocation on any issue involving Israel, and fears we will abandon that country in its hour of need. (Thanks to Josie.)

The preceding entries demonstrate that, even more than you might think, we are indeed in it together. After all, isn't it an odd coincidence that the primary backers of the mega-mosque planned near Ground Zero in New York are linked to one of the main organizations that mounted the flotilla? How much clearer does it have to get?

No to the Cordoba Mosque

Since the mainstream media have ignored it, here are pictures of the 5,000-person rally in New York against the proposed Cordoba Mosque complex. And here are some of the signs people were carrying; wouldn't it be nice if Mayor Bloomberg noticed? Here's one sign: "Mayor Bloomberg: there's concern this mosque has radical ties ... and still you approve?" (Thanks to Jihad Watch.)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Krauthammer on Israel

Columnist Charles Krauthammer writes that Israel has traded territory for peace and gotten more hostilities; mounted two military operations to disrupt, dismantle and defeat its enemies in Lebanon and Gaza, to an outpouring of international criticism; and now is under tremendously heavy fire for blocking the delivery of yet more arms to Hamas in Gaza. As he puts it:

"What's left? Nothing. The whole point of this relentless international campaign is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense ... The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million -- that number again -- hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists -- Iranian in particular -- openly prepare a more final solution."

Never again, huh?

Thanks for trying

To celebrate the first anniversary of President Obama's Cairo speech to the Muslim world, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) criticized him for reducing the civil liberties of American Muslims under the pretext of national security concerns. It also called on him to demand an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza (hardly a surprising position, given CAIR's connections to the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood and to Hamas).

Meanwhile, recent Gallup opinion polls in several Muslim countries show little if any improvement in favorable views of Obama or the United States. So just what has Obama's initiative accomplished? I'm curious.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Cordoba Mosque

The Cordoba Mosque is the 13-story complex planned to be built in Mahattan near Ground Zero. Its backers say it would somehow show the tolerance of New Yorkers toward 'moderate Islam.' The project - named for a symbol of the Islamic conquest of Spain - has already drawn criticism, but now the Hot Air blog has the goods on the group behind it (thanks to Libby, super anti-dhimmi of the month).

Turns out the imam behind the proposed mosque is a prominent member of the Perdana Global Peace Organization, which contributed $366,000 to the Free Gaza Movement, a key organizer of the flotilla that tried to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. (Obama friends and supporters William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn are also supporters of Free Gaza, but that's another story.)

But guess who is the most prominent Perdana member: Mahathir Mohamad, former prime minister of Malaysia, "Jew-baiter extraordinaire, and prominent...9/11 Truther." His view of the 9/11 attacks: "There is strong evidence that the attacks were staged. If they can make Avatar, they can make anything."

Does anyone out there still think the mosque is being built by 'moderate Muslims'?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Never again?

Novelist Andrew Klavan, in this video, notes that people are consistent. After the Holocaust, everyone said they would 'never again' stand at the sidelines when Jews or other people were being annihilated. That's quite true, he says - this time they're helping.

Commentator John Rosenthal provides a graphic example, describing how the European Parliament received the Israeli ambassador to the EU. One or two Members defended him; the rest accused Israel of various heinous crimes, and refused to believe that the video he showed of the flotilla incident could be real.

The group these Europarliamentarians are defending so vehemently makes no secret of its goals. The leader of the group states quite clearly that his goal was jihad. As jihad includes the annihilation of the State of Israel, I can only conclude that Andrew Klavan is right.

Flotilla on and on

This short music video, "We Con the World," raps international gullibility regarding the 'humanitarian aid' flotilla.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

To give offense - or not?

While Westerners are falling all over themselves to censor cartoons and anything else that any Muslim anywhere on the globe might deem offensive, two TV broadcasts to the Muslim world are fearlessly exposing controversial Islamic texts.

Raymond Ibrahim explains that Life TV, an evangelical Arabic satellite station, has two weekly programs, one hosted by Coptic priest Fr. Zakaria Botros, the other by ex-Muslim Rashid. Both programs ask uncomfortable questions about Islam and Mohammed; a number of Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, ban the station and it is frequently condemned on al Jazeera.

The broadcasts, which are viewed by millions of Arabic-speaking Muslims, caused an uproar at the start; Al Qaeda put a $60 million bounty on Zarakia's head. Life TV responded by providing even more anecdotes discrediting Mohammed. So how is all this being received? "Needless to say, Life TV's hosts ... are hated by Muslims around the world. But to the careful observer, the outrage appears to be subsiding, ostensibly replaced by apathy - that is, the default strategy when threats and displays of indignation fail."

Ibrahim concludes that "one need not agree with Life TV's tactics or evangelical mission to appreciate the lesson it imparts: Muslim outrage - as with all human outrage - is predicated on how well it is tolerated. Continuously appeased, it becomes engorged and insistent on more concessions; ignored, it deflates and, ashamed of itself, withers away."

Too bad no one pays any attention to these guys.

The fate of the flotilla goods

Remember those urgently-needed humanitarian goods on the flotilla? Turns out Hamas is refusing to accept them. Various reasons have been advanced: they won't accept them until all the detainees have been released; they don't know who the intended recipients are; whatever.

As to how vital the goods are: some 80-100 truckloads of humanitarian goods enter Gaza from Israel every day. The flotilla goods make up an estimated 70-80 truckloads, or barely one normal day's worth of shipments. Impressive, isn't it? (Thanks to Daily Alert.)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Israeli policy

Caroline Glick argues that Israel needs a new strategy, one based on the understanding that an unprecedented - and highly successful - information war is being waged against it worldwide.

She notes that the anti-blockade flotilla arrived just days after the entire United Nations, including the United States, singled Israel out for censure for not declaring its nuclear weapons - of course, completely ignoring the danger posed by Iran. She faults the Israeli government for not assessing, more soberly, what it means when the United States turns against Israel.

The best response, in her view, to a propaganda campaign is to tell the truth. For example: "Israel should have stated loudly and consistently that as currently constituted the [UN's Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] serves as the chief enabler of nuclear proliferation rather than the central institution for preventing nuclear proliferation it was supposed to be." Similarly, the Israeli government should have criticized Turkey for facilitating terrorism, and exposed the radical nature of the groups participating in the flotilla in advance. (Glenn Beck's TV show today had a lot of info on the groups sponsoring the flotilla.)

Meanwhile Ronen Bergman, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, argues that the Israeli government is suffering from siege fatigue: the feeling that, since the entire world will oppose any Israeli effort at self-defense, it doesn't particularly matter what that effort is.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The burqa ban catches on

Islamist Watch has a round-up of recent Western initiatives to ban burqas, those concealing Muslim garments that render women unrecognizable. The bans exist in various sizes and shapes in Canada, Belgium, France, Italy, and Spain, and are under consideration in Australia, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Arguments against the burqa range from its use as a symbol of radicalism and separation to the security risk of having veiled people in public.

Israel's real mistake

Clemens has posted an excellent article identifying the real Israeli blunder in the recent incident on the high seas. Joel Fishman, of Jerusalem, argues that the Israeli navy was right to maintain the blockade of Gaza, despite the costs, but very wrong to misread the presence of on the boats of the Turkish IHH humanitarian relief.

IHH in the past has been linked to terrorism, anti-Western incitement, and weapons transport; as he says: "To assume that these people were genuine 'peace activists' represents a serious intelligence failure." In case you're wondering whether he's exaggerating, the people on the boat saw themselves as conducting jihad.

Why, precisely, the U.S. Security Council representative saw fit to regret their deaths when we launch drone attacks against jihadists is one of life's mysteries.

Also, if you're wondering about conditions in Gaza, take a look at these pictures (sent me by Rachel). The only humanitarian crisis exists in the minds of foreign 'useful idiots' being exploited by Hamas.