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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Gatestone Institute’

Spain’s New ‘Fornicators’

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Public prosecutors in Spain have dropped charges of “advocating gender violence” against a Muslim cleric who, on April 2013, preached a two-hour sermon in Spanish, entitled “The Queens of Islam,” during which he made a number of pronouncements about the role of women in Spanish society, including: “Any woman who wears perfume and leaves the house and walks past men who can smell her perfume is a fornicator, and every glance she gets is a fornication.”

The case involves Malik Ibn Benaisa, a Muslim imam based in Ceuta, a Spanish exclave in North Africa where Muslims constitute about 50% of the total population.

Benaisa also said that women should be banned from wearing blue jeans and high heels and from leaving the house unless their hands and face are completely covered.

The comments, which were aired on Spanish public television, enraged women’s rights activists and triggered a nationwide debate over when religious speech becomes abusive and crosses the line into “sexual discrimination” and “gender violence.”

After Benaisa’s sermon was re-broadcast on Spanish public television for a second time during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in July, the Secretary for Gender Equality for the Spanish Socialist Party in Ceuta, Sandra López Cantero, accused Benaisa of being an “advocate for gender violence” and called on public prosecutors to investigate the imam for violating the Spanish Penal Code.

During a press conference on July 23, Cantero recited quotes from Benaisa’s sermon: “A women cannot show her face or bare hands, she cannot wear high heeled shoes, she cannot wear blue jeans, she must wear a scarf to cover her chest, she cannot pluck her eyebrows and she cannot wear perfume because if she uses it she becomes a fornicator. A woman must keep her head down because a jealous husband can cause problems with other men. A woman should be in total submission to her husband. She has an obligation to wear the veil.”

Cantero added: “We will not allow anyone to hide behind any religion or any culture in order to advocate violence. The Socialist Party will not allow any attack on the dignity of women, wherever it may come from. We will not allow the advocacy of violence, especially in a public medium.”

For his part, the President of the center-right Government of Ceuta, Juan Jesús Vivas, said in a statement that he “manifests his defense of the unequivocal values ​​enshrined in the Spanish Constitution, and in particular, those relating to non-discrimination and equality between men and women.”

Vivas added: “The Government of Ceuta believes that all should endeavor, each within the scope of their responsibilities, to reconcile respect for all faiths with the supremacy of democratic values ​​that are the pillars of our social order and of coexistence.”

Amid considerable media controversy across Spain, Benaisa organized a press conference at the Ibn Rochd Benzúa mosque in Ceuta to defend himself. Surrounded by some 150 Muslim female supporters, Benaisa said he lamented the “de-contextualization” of his statements, which he said were aimed exclusively at “Muslim women” in accordance with “the teachings of the Prophet and the Koran.”

According to Benaisa, “My message has always been to advise and not to impose, as this is not part of Islam, because in the Koran Allah makes it clear that there is no compulsion in religion.”

Benaisa also said that the term “fornicating” was not offensive in tone and that its essence was applicable to both men and women, “who when preening themselves excessively before going out are seeking to be unfaithful to their partners and to Allah.”

Spanish public prosecutors have decided to give Benaisa the benefit of the doubt. After analyzing Benaisa’s sermon, the district attorney concluded that the imam had not broken any laws.

In a statement dated August 7, the Ceuta District Attorney said that labelling women as fornicators is not a crime: “In relation to domestic violence, the law refers to concrete action in the form of threats, injuries, coercion or abuse, while the sexual or religious discrimination section of Article 510 of the Penal Code refers to encouraging discrimination, hatred or violence. This did not occur at the conference in question.”

Denmark Bans Meatballs to Accommodate Muslims

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

One of the largest hospitals in Denmark has admitted to serving only halal beef — meat that is slaughtered in accordance with strict Islamic guidelines — to all of its patients regardless of whether or not they are Muslim.

The revelation that Danes are being forced to eat Islamically slaughtered meat at public institutions has triggered a spirited nationwide debate about how far Denmark should go to accommodate the estimated 250,000 Muslim immigrants now living in the country.

The halal food row erupted in July when the Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet reported that Hvidovre Hospital near Copenhagen has been secretly serving only halal-slaughtered meat for the sake of its Muslim patients, for the past ten years. The hospital serves more than 40,000 patients annually, many (if not most) of whom presumably are non-Muslim.

Halal — which in Arabic means lawful or legal — is a term designating any object or action that is permissible according to Islamic Sharia law. In the context of food, halal meat is derived from animals slaughtered by hand according to methods stipulated in Islamic religious texts.

One such halal method, called dhabihah, consists of making a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck that cuts the jugular vein, leaving the animal to bleed to death. Much of the controversy involving halal stems from the fact that Sharia law bans the practice of stunning the animals before they are slaughtered. Pre-slaughter stunning renders the animals unconscious and is said to lessen their pain.

Amid a surge of public outrage over the decision to serve only halal beef, Hvidovre Hospital’s vice president, Torben Mogensen, has been unapologetic. “We have many patients from different ethnic backgrounds, which we must take into account, and it is impossible to have both the one and the other kind of beef,” he says.

“First,” Mogensen adds, “I do not think that a slaughter method as such has anything to do with faith. Second is, of course, that all chickens in Denmark are halal slaughtered, and it has to my knowledge not caused anyone to stop eating chicken.”

Mogensen also says the hospital is not trying to “push the Islamic faith down the throats of non-Muslim patients”

In a press release, Hvidovre Hospital states, “We introduced halal meat both for practical and economic reasons. It would be both more difficult and more expensive to have to make both a halal version and a non-halal version of the dishes. Then we have two production lines. It requires more people, more equipment and more money.”

The hospital advises non-Muslims to take it or leave it: “We always have alternatives to halal meat such as pork, fish or vegetarian dishes. It is a question of attitude.”

According to the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, there is no comprehensive inventory of the number of hospitals in Denmark have halal meat on the menu. But officials at the University Hospital in Aarhus, the second-largest urban area in Denmark after Copenhagen, say the decision by Hvidovre Hospital to serve only halal is an example of political correctness run amok.

In an interview with the newspaper Jyllands-Posten, Ole Hoffmann, the head chef of Aarhus University Hospital says: “We have never had a patient ask for halal meat, and therefore it is an issue that we have never discussed. I think it is a strange decision. If there was a desire to serve halal meat, then we would of course consider it, but we would never completely eliminate non-halal meat.”

 

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

Mullahs Capitulate, Human Rights Lawyer Ends 49-Day Hunger Strike

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Nasrin Soutoudeh, a human rights lawyer in theocratic Iran, announced on December 4th that she would end a hunger strike she had carried out for 49 days from her cell in Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison. Her offenses had been to act as a court defender of opposition political figures and activists, as well as for juveniles condemned to death for crimes committed when they were under age 18.

Soutoudeh, now nearly fifty, was sentenced last year to 11 years’ imprisonment, and barred from work in the field of law. On appeal, her term was reduced to six years. During her sustained act of defiance, Nasrin Soutoudeh consumed only water mixed with sugar and salts. Her weight fell to 95 pounds; her health became fragile.

She concluded her starvation protest after the Iranian dictatorship acceded to her main demand: that a travel ban be lifted from her 12-year old daughter Mehraveh. Soutoudeh also initiated the fast to dramatize the bad conditions under which she is held. Her husband, Reza Khandan, remains restricted in his movements by order of the regime.

In a statement from Norway, the International Organization to Preserve Human Rights in Iran (IOPHR) pointed out that official Iranian media has accused local spiritual Sufis of supporting Soutoudeh as part of an alleged foreign conspiracy to subvert the Tehran authorities. IOPHR warns that on this basis, Sufis are vulnerable to false trials and imprisonment. According to Sufis and human rights monitors, the repressive Iranian institutions consider “having ‘compassion’ for a Muslim woman in prison to be ‘acting against national security,’ ‘disturbing public order” and ‘insulting the Supreme Leader,’” a post currently held by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

IOPHR identifies the persecution of Nasrin Soutoudeh and the Sufis with a sinister “think tank,” the “Islamic Center for the Study of Religions and their Different Interpretations” located in Qom, the headquarters of theological radicalism in Iran. As one of several such institutions with similar titles and the same goal – penetration of Western academic circles and dissemination of Iranian state ideology, this “Center,” through one of its Persian-language publications, Markaz Didban (Center Watch), has attacked Soutoudeh.

According to IOPHR, Ayatollah Muhammad Reza Mahdavi Kani, chairman of the Assembly of Experts, admitted that “the supporting pole of the regime’s tent is bent.” By this, Kani is said to recognize that conflicts between the personal, doctrinal, and political factions within the Islamist government have undermined its credibility. Entities such as the “Islamic Center for the Study of Religions and their Different Interpretations” harm Iranian stability more than any actions by dissidents by sowing intrigues and fear at all levels of society.

Meanwhile, IOPHR states, Ali Larijani, Khamenei’s “national security expert,” and promoter to the world of the Iranian nuclear program, travels daily to Damascus and Beirut to “maintain the status quo” embodied in the bloodthirsty Syrian dictatorship of Bashar Al-Assad and the Lebanese government dominated by the terror group, Hezbollah.

IOPHR has appealed for aid and cooperation from other international institutions; it seems to wish to use the great potential of public opinion outside Iran as a platform for a major global effort to expose conditions in the Iranian prisons. IOPHR describes Tehran’s penal establishments as torture houses and dungeons run by stubborn and self-interested bureaucrats answerable to nobody – not even to the higher strata of clerical power.

The human rights activists and Sufis have praised the example provided by Nasrin Soutoudeh in her deliberate refusal of food. The call of the Iranian dissenters should not go unanswered. Demonstrations and conferences are overdue in Western and other foreign capitals, especially in Europe, the United States, and Canada. The Iranian usurpers should learn that while their internal contradictions and quarrels threaten to bring their tent down on their heads, the world is watching. Inevitably, the doors of Evin Prison and Tehran’s other houses of cruelty and degradation must be opened.

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

Morsi Engineering a Train Wreck in Egypt

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi fled the presidential palace in Cairo and returned, in the face of huge opposition to his attempt to turn his country into an Islamist state, but he is not out of the picture — not by a long shot.

Yes, some police officers have sided with the protesters, but Morsi, (who will likely lay low for a while so as to not offend his political and financial patrons in the West), still has a huge base of support in the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to dominate the largest Arab country in the world. The Muslim Brotherhood, which has been on the sidelines of power since its founding in the 1920s, will stop at nothing to maintain its power. Credible reports indicate the organization has sent out teams of thugs to attack their secularist opponents in Tahrir Square and in front of presidential palace.

These are the tactics of fascism; and while Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood will stop at nothing to remain in power, it is clear that they, like all fascist movements, have no interest or desire to wield power for the benefit of the people they govern, but are instead intent on using the country they dominate to create an Islamic millennial utopia, through violence if necessary.

Morsi’s indifference to the well-being of Egyptian citizens became evident in the aftermath of a train accident that took place in the Egyptian province of Assiut on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. CNN provided details about the accident, which killed more than fifty people, mostly elementary school children: “The train dragged the bus for nearly half a mile. Children’s shoes, books and school bags were strewn across the tracks. The twisted shell of the bus was left under the train.”

One father, Hamada Noor Abdul El-Rashid, lost his four children. He stated that he was thankful that he found their bodies in one piece, unlike many other parents.

The cause of the accident is still being investigated, but it appears that the attendant responsible for lowering the gate to stop automobile traffic from crossing the tracks when trains approach was taking drugs prior to the collision. The prospect of that the attendant was under the influence of drugs threatens to obscure another scandal.

Why is it that Egypt, one of the leading countries in the Middle East, is relying on an antiquated manual system to manage its railroad crossings? It’s part of a bigger problem of unsafe railways and roads that has plagued Egypt ever since the British were tossed out in the 1950s.

Egypt’s medical system is also in shambles. The survivors of the Nov. 17 accident were rushed to nearby hospitals that lacked the medicine needed to treat them. Parents and doctors were frantically looking for medical supplies and the necessarily medications — especially the ones that stop bleeding — to help the children.

While Egypt was unable to provide medicine to the victims of the crash in Assiut, it has sent millions of dollars worth of medicine to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

On October 24 2012, when it was becoming increasingly evident that a showdown between Hamas and Israel was imminent, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi gave a major speech from Al Azhar University in Cairo, in which he promised to send tons of medical supplies to Hamas in Gaza. He said that supporting Gaza in its fight with Israel is a religious and political duty.

How about fixing the roads in Egypt? And how about making sure that the hospitals in the country have the medicine they need to treat Egyptians? Morsi may be president of Egypt, but he is not governing the country for the benefit of its citizens. He is using it as a platform to implement the objectives of the Muslim Brotherhood.

This is also evident in the content of Morsi’s public speeches. The day before the accident, he gave a speech in which he condemned Israel in angry and emotional terms for 25 minutes. The day of the accident in Assiut, Morsi spoke about the tragedy for about two minutes, in rambling and incoherent terms.

Dealing with the material needs of the Egyptian people is not high on Morsi’s agenda. A few weeks ago, his government indicated its goal of raising $100 million dollars to block pornographic websites in Egypt. However, they have done little, if anything about Egypt’s major drug problem, which apparently played a role in the tragedy in Assiut.

Morsi’s actions and public statements demonstrate that he and the Muslim Brotherhood are committed to furthering the international Islamist agenda – not Egypt’s well-being. The Brotherhood’s main objectives are to restore a caliphate, drive the kuffars [infidels] out of the Middle East and spread Islam to the rest of the world. Those who will not convert to Islam must, under shariah [Islamic religious law], accept second-class status.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s hands, in its efforts to achieve this agenda, are covered with Egyptian blood. A member of the Muslim Brotherhood is said to have killed Egypt’s Prime Minister Mahmud Fahmi al-Nuqrashi in 1948. A few years later, members of the Brotherhood attacked Egyptian Jews and ransacked their businesses in Cairo to drive them from the country. Muslim Brothers plotted to kill President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1954. An offshoot group, Islamic Jihad, led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Al-Sadat in 1981, and tried multiple times to kill President Hosni Mubarak.

It continues: in the past few days, Islamists in Egypt have called for a jihad to assist Hamas. Mohammed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme leader, a follower of Sayyd Qutb and, like many Muslim Brotherhood leaders, a jihadist who spent years fighting in Yemen, may have helped start the conflict between Hamas and Israel by calling for a jihad against Israel in July.

The Muslim Brotherhood simply cannot be trusted on either a domestic or international level. Dishonesty is part of the organization’s DNA, as evidenced by its broken promises to the Egyptian electorate and by Morsi’s double-dealing in regards to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip: first he allowed weapons into Gaza and encouraged Hamas; then, once the fighting started, he played the peacemaker. Before the last election that raised Morsi to the presidency, the group promised that if elected it would spend $200 billion dollars on repairing Egypt’s infrastructure as part of a “Renaissance Project.” Gamal Al Banna, the youngest brother of Hassan Al Banna, a prominent historical figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, warned Egyptians not to believe the organization’s promises. Gamal was right. After the election, the group said its promises were just an idea that needed further development.

During the election, Morsi also promised that he would pick a Coptic Christian as his vice president. He did not. And since becoming president, he has given almost 60 speeches — one almost every two and a half days — mostly in mosques. Since becoming a President, he has yet to visit a church. He promised to attend the seating of the new Coptic Pope, but did not show up.

The Muslim Brotherhood has also deceived the international community, which is all too willing to view him as a pragmatic “peacemaker.” Yes, Morsi engineered the ceasefire that brought an end to the recent fighting between Hamas and Israel, but it was he who helped bring the fighting about by allowing missiles built in Sudan’s Yarmouk weapons factory to pass through Egypt on the way to the Gaza Strip. And before he brokered the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, he encouraged Hamas to start the aggression against Israel. He never objected to the many calls for jihad against Israel and the West.

Under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood and its feckless president Mohammed Morsi, Egypt is headed for another train wreck that will devastate the lives of its own citizens, especially its Christian Copts, as well as the lives of its neighbors.

Western leaders cannot afford to sleep through this; the consequences are simply too grave.

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Please, America, Learn from Egypt’s Experience: Avoid Socialism

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

If America opens its borders without restrictions, more than half the world’s population will come here. It is America’s capitalist system that is still a dream come true to many who are happy to leave their stagnant, dysfunctional economies, burdened with both class envy and the redistribution by government bureaucrats of hard-earned money. Many immigrants risked their lives to trade their substandard, government-run health insurance for life in America, where hard work is rewarded with a better standard of living for most of its people than anywhere ever before.

Immigrants in America today are faced with a dilemma: they are being told that they must deny their appreciation of the capitalist system that brought them here in the first place. Their children are taught to reject their parents’ experience of hard work to get ahead and regard their parents as victims of discrimination and abuse. They are rewarded for complaining and for rejecting free enterprise, self-reliance, assimilation and all the American values that made this country the envy of the world. They are told to look at the half empty glass and are encouraged to throw out their freedoms for food stamps. They are told to hate white people, and those who do not are shamed as traitors to their race.

Today in America, every national origin and race is encouraged to find a minority group to belong to. We are encouraged to get into a system of tribalism that turns us into factions with an “us against them” mentality, something we have suffered from in the Middle East.

In Egypt, we suffered under socialism and the government’s empty promises of equality through seizing wealth from the rich to give to the poor. We ended up with terrible unintended consequences; the rich did get poorer but the poor also got poorer: nobody won. The culture of envy and punishing the rich never brought equality or improved conditions for the poor. The great thing about America is that the poor do not have to stay poor and the rich can lose their wealth if they invest it unwisely. What immigrants see is the high rate of mobility between classes.

Americans are left uninformed by their media on how the rest of the world lives. Try watching “House Hunters International,” where Americans can see for themselves that homes and apartments around the world are both unaffordable to the general public and often unlivable by American standards.

A wonderful, hard working Hispanic family, after years in which the mother worked as a cleaning lady and the father a construction worker, saw all their children graduated from college without ever paying a cent for their education, and now all with wonderful jobs. The children of that family are now are speaking of discrimination, how California was part of Mexico and how it is only fair to redistribute wealth. This was the lesson they learned in college.

It should take just one visit to the Middle East to understand what America is all about. Every American teenager should get a chance to travel and live in a third world country. Some countries might provide government health insurance, but health insurance is a piece of paper; it does not mean good health care. Many countries that provide government health care have high unemployment, terrible shortages of food and apartments and lack many other luxuries Americans take for granted. In America today, politicians are moving in the same direction, possibly deliberately, for votes: high unemployment, less home ownership and more government interference in our lives from cradle to grave.

America is heading towards a society similar to where we immigrants came from, where the government turns into the keeper of a human zoo where we all live in cages waiting for government to throw food at us every day. But even the government will not be able to sustain the zoo expenses. The U.S. government is on its way to becoming the nightmare totalitarian system from which we immigrants tried to escape.

Left on their own, immigrants are grateful to work hard and enjoy the American system, but soon after we are here, we are told by the popular culture that we are victims, must act like ones and we must not accept what America can offer. America wanted more from us when it came time to vote. We are told that the system is rigged and that “whites”, who welcomed us in the millions for centuries, are bigoted and racists. Many immigrants go along with the anti-American propaganda for the sake of approval and benefits. Immigrants are now told to hold on to their old culture, religion, traditional clothes, customs, language, and even some of the brutal, archaic laws and customs that many of us came here to escape from in the first place. The media and “conventional wisdom” now tell us that America is no better than the oppressive systems from which we fled.

With UN Support, Hamas, Fatah, Can Win the Next War

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders say they are already preparing for the next war with Israel. They say that their groups still have many rockets that will be used against Israel in the future.

As one Hamas official put it, “In the next war with Israel, Israelis will be forced to flee not only their homes, but the whole country.”

Fatah is also preparing for a possible confrontation with Israel, both on the ground and in the international arena. Some Fatah leaders are now talking about a new intifada against Israel, especially in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Every step that Israel takes, such as building new housing units in the Jerusalem suburbs, is being viewed by the Fatah leadership as a “war crime” and “act of aggression” on the UN-recognized State of Palestine.

Mahmoud Abbas’s top aides in Ramallah are now talking about filing charges against Israel with the International Criminal Court over plans to withhold tax revenues belonging to the Palestinian government and the construction of the new housing units.

The Palestinians feel that for the first time in decades they have succeeded in rallying most of the world against Israel.

The celebrations that took place in the Gaza Strip and West Bank over the past two weeks are the result of the Palestinians’ belief that they have defeated Israel twice – first during Operation Pillar of Defense, and second at the UN General Assembly, where a majority of countries voted in favor of upgrading their status to Non-Member Observer State.

The Palestinians are convinced that they have managed to defeat the Israelis, both militarily and diplomatically.

Hamas’s continuing control over the Gaza Strip, despite the recent Israeli military offensive, is seen as a victory for the Islamist movement as well as for many Palestinians.

Palestinians who took to the streets to celebrate the victory chanted slogans in support of Hamas’s rockets and missiles, especially those fired toward Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Referring to Hamas’s armed wing, Izaddin al-Kassam, jubilant Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip chanted, “Oh, Kassam, bomb, bomb Tel Aviv!” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”

They were not celebrating the end of the eight-day military offensive, which led to the death of more than 160 Palestinians.

They were celebrating the fact that Hamas and Islamic Jihad had succeeded in launching rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv; that thousands of Israeli families had to sit in bomb shelters or flee their homes because of the rockets, and that for the first time millions of Israelis were living within the range of Iranian-supplied and locally made rockets and missiles.

Even Fatah officials and supporters took to the streets to join the Hamas and Islamic Jihad celebrations. Some Fatah leaders traveled to Gaza to congratulate Hamas and Islamic Jihad — who a few years ago had thrown Fatah members to their deaths off the the tops of buildings and forced them out of Gaza — and to hail their “resistance and steadfastness.”

A week later, in the aftermath of the UN General Assembly vote, it was Fatah’s turn to claim victory over Israel.

The Fatah celebrations also turned into anti-Israel demonstrations and rallies.

Many Palestinians, after the UN vote, celebrated in Ramallah and other West Bank cities, where they chanted slogans in support of Hamas and the armed struggle. At the rallies Palestinians, in a unique show of unity, raised the flags of both Hamas and Fatah.

The Fatah celebrations — which also took place in the Gaza Strip for the first time since 2007 — were not about the upgrading of the Palestinians’ status so much as the feeling that Israel has been humiliated and isolated in the international community.

There has been no mention of the peace process or coexistence with Israel. The belligerent and defiant tone of Fatah officials sent the message that the Palestinians are now headed toward confrontation with Israel — not peace.

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

Abbas’s Classic Thug Extortion Trick

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Watching Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas make his speech to the UN General Assembly, I suspect the same jolting thought passed through my head as it did for a lot of the viewers’: “Isn’t this guy meant to be the moderate?”

Coming so soon after the latest Hamas rocket-barrage against Israel, the almost physical need to hold onto that dead paradigm can still occasionally override most of the facts. On one side are the Palestinian rocket-launching squads about whom nothing apparently can be done. Then on the other side are the other Palestinians, led by moderates, who just want to sit down and negotiate if they could only find time out of their busy schedules.

Even those of us who know and follow the Palestinian Authority can find ourselves slipping into this narrative: These are the moderates and those are the extremists, and we have to choose between the two.

Except that then you get another golden opportunity to hear Mahmoud Abbas in full moderate flight mode, and you have to rethink it all over again.

When Abbas stood up to take the floor in front of the UN and the world last Thursday, he might have started with a concession. He might have started with a bid for peace or a reaching out to the Israelis. But no, he started once again, in time-honored fashion, with an attack on Israel. And the usual array of hilarious untruths and half-truths.

“Palestine comes today to the United Nations General Assembly…”

Not even a full sentence in and already the “Wrong” buzzer sounds. “Palestine” comes today? Which Palestine? Gaza? West Bank? “Palestine” is not a single entity. It is hopelessly divided. It makes the average boxing tournament look like a meeting of minds.

After all – and as he must surely know – Abbas himself has not even been to the Gaza since 2007. And not because the wicked Zionists have stopped him from doing so, but because his Palestinian brothers in Hamas have such a bad track record for shooting and hurling from high buildings most of Mr. Abbas’s erstwhile Fatah colleagues in Gaza, as during the 2007 Hamas coup.

But, undeterred by such trivialities, Abbas continued:

“…at a time when it is still tending to its wounds and still burying its beloved martyrs.”

The what? Martyrs? Oh well, perhaps it’s just a stylistic thing…

“…of children, women and men who have fallen victim to the latest Israeli aggression, still searching for remnants of life amid the ruins of homes destroyed by Israeli bombs on the Gaza Strip, wiping out entire families, their men, women and children murdered along with their dreams, their hopes, their future and their longing to live an ordinary life and to live in freedom and peace.”

Israeli aggression? Wiping out?

The question all of this begged for me, as I’m sure it did for plenty of others, was this: Does this sound like the opening number of somebody eager to engage in a peace process? Or the audition of a man who is hoping that he can take back extremism from the extremists?

Mahmoud Abbas spent his speech claiming that this was the last chance for the peace process. In reality, it was simply the last chance for Mahmoud Abbas to remain in charge. In recent weeks he has been phoning around the foreign ministries of Europe explaining that if they don’t back him this time in the non-state statehood bid, then it is all over and all we have to deal with is Hamas.

This is, of course, the classic thug extortion trick. They come to your door and tell you that you have to hand over the money. Not because they are going to do anything so bad if you don’t, but because their friend here is really, really mad, and they’re only just managing to hold him back.

On Thursday the UN General Assembly, with only a few brave souls holding out, finally gave in to this man’s gangsterism. Many of them did so in order – they thought – to avoid the rocket-firing terrorism of Hamas. So they ended up by backing the diplomatic terrorism of Mahmoud Abbas.

What he does with his new-found power we can already guess. He will use it – as he used his time on the UN stage – not to further the peace process, but to retard it, principally by demonizing the only negotiating partner that he, or any other Palestinian leader, will ever have.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/abbass-classic-thug-extortion-trick/2012/12/04/

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