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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Kenneth Roth’

US, Setting Example For Israel, Releases Taliban Terrorists

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

On 28 July, Jonathan Tobin asked, at Commentary, if the U.S. would release terrorist killers as a precondition for talks – the measure Secretary of State John Kerry was demanding of Israel.

A couple of days later, in an almost supernaturally handy turn of events, we had the answer: yes.  The U.S. did exactly that at the end of July, agreeing to release five Taliban terrorists we’ve been holding at Guantanamo, in order to jumpstart the initiative – mainly ours – for talks with the Taliban.

Daniel Greenfield points out at FrontPage that in June, the Taliban offered to exchange U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for the five Taliban at Gitmo.  The Haqqani network of the Pakistan Taliban has been holding Bergdahl since late June or early July of 2009, shortly after he went missing close to Pakistan’s northwestern tribal areas on the border with Afghanistan.

But the Gitmo Five were released without an exchange for SGT Bergdahl taking place.  This will have to be a blow to his family in Idaho (not to mention a blow to Bergdahl).

It will also be another blow to U.S. credibility, already on the ropes.  It certainly dents the credibility of detention as a deterrent to terrorism.  Kenneth Roth, director of Human Rights Watch, had a hilariously timed oped in Friday’s Washington Post online in which he argued that the Obama administration should declare that the “war against al Qaeda” – yes, that al Qaeda; the one that has our embassies shut down across the Muslim world this weekend – is over.  Instead of acting on a war footing and killing terrorists, says Mr. Roth, we should be going with President Obama’s own expressed preference to “detain, interrogate, and prosecute” them.

Now, I have been a critic myself of Obama’s overreliance on drone killings as a method.  And detention and interrogation, while important for intelligence gathering, are not methods of deterrence, nor is prosecution.  I don’t argue for them as a substitute for drone attacks.

I’m getting those points out of the way so we can focus on what matters here, which is that detention is as close to meaningless as makes no difference, if we’re just going to turn terrorists loose anyway, to everyone we might have a yen to have “talks” with.  The Obama administration, just a few days before his oped appeared, provided Kenneth Roth with a conversation-stopping answer to his proposition that we should kill less and detain more.  The answer leaves Roth in the dust:  whether we stop killing terrorists or not, we should release the ones we have detained in order to get terrorists to have talks with us.

I guess, technically, there would be a purpose for detaining a few from time to time, on the assumption that we may want to have talks with their comrades in terror in the future.  This kind of preemptive hostage-taking is gang-and-guerrilla behavior, of course.  The degrees by which the mode of thinking shifts from “responsible statesman” to “mob boss” are not subtle here.

In any case, we can reassure Mr. Roth that the U.S. ended the war on terror in 2009.  Perhaps that’s not the same thing as the “war against al Qaeda,” but in the latter regard, Roth would do well to try and keep up:  al Qaeda has been “decimated” and has been “on the path to defeat” for a year or more, according to the Obama administration.

The die seems to be cast; we can at least hope that God really does watch out for fools, drunks, and the United States, because our president certainly isn’t doing it.  Given the reigning jumble of confused soundbites and incoherent actions that now masquerades as U.S. policy on the global threat of terrorism, we may justly ask, with our former secretary of state: what difference, at this point, does it make?

Human Rts Orgs Nominate Anti-Israel Pro-Terror Woman for HR Prize

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Egyptian Mona Seif has been nominated for what is known as the “Nobel Prize for Human Rights,” the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.  The nominee was chosen by a panel of human rights organizations which include Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Human Rights First and the International Service for Human Rights.

Seif was nominated in her capacity as one of the main founders of an Egyptian grassroots organization, “No to Military Trials for Civilians,” which started a national movement bringing together lawyers, activists, the families of victims and other interested parties all of whom oppose what they insist are the inappropriate restrictions of Egyptian military trials for civilians who should not be encumbered with such restrictions.

Seif, along with others who sought to resist the freedom restrictions imposed by Egyptian president Mubarak, used social media to broadcast the oppressive moves of the Egyptian government, and helped mobilize protesters and supporters to join her in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian Revolution in January 2010 – February 2011.  In the post-Mubarak Egyptian world Seif has continued monitoring and broadcasting actions of the post-Revolutionary Egyptian government.

But the 27 year old biology graduate student has a darker side.  Although fully able and energized to advocate for Egyptian rights and freedoms, at the same time Seif gleefully tweets about blowing up gas pipelines to Israel.

This dualism is one that we have seen repeated with young Egyptian human and civil rights advocates.  Several times over the past year the West has at first applauded, and sought to laud, young Egyptian women activists whose pursuits came to the attention of the West because of their social media skills.  But each time, a darker side has been revealed, one that, once exposed, brought disgrace not only to the activist.  It also reflected poorly on those whose due diligence failures revealed an over-eagerness to reward non-Western activists.  The problem is that the activism of these particular individuals was animated solely by a desire to benefit those similarly situated, but who were just as willing as their own oppressors to vilify and deny rights to others.

A good example of this propensity was when First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry almost gave the “Secretary of State Woman of Courage Award” to an Egyptian woman, Samira Ibrahim, in early March.  Ibrahim, like Seif, was a Twitter activist in support of Egyptian rights, but Ibrahim also supported terrorism and the murder of Americans and Israelis.

However, just hours before Obama and Kerry were to present Ibrahim with the Award, the decision was cancelled (postponed they said at the time) after a relentless chorus of horror rose up to stop them.  It was social media that almost swept in Ibrahim as an honored activist by American leadership.  However, a wave of disgust towards Ibrahim who had tweeted praise for the murders of Americans in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, extolled the terrorist bombing that killed 5 Israelis and a Bulgarian last summer, and praised Hitler, swept her back out just before the awards ceremony.

Turning back to Seif, a look at her social media accounts before selecting her as a potential recipient of such an important human rights award should have been standard procedure.  After all, she was well known and was brought to the attention of the human rights organizations precisely because of her extensive and sophisticated social media activity.  Perhaps after this fiasco social media searches will become de rigueur for all sophisticated due diligence efforts.

Because Seif’s Twitter account reveals a propensity to express the most vulgar kind of hatred towards Israel, both in terms of how she expresses herself: #F[expletive deleted]Israel is a popular choice, as well as the substance of her messages, which advocate terrorism against the Jewish State and which harshly criticize Human Rights organizations which dare to suggest the terrorist group Hamas should refrain from killing Israeli civilians.

 

Tweets of Mona Seif encouraging blowing up gas pipeline between Egypt and Israel, and using vulgar and violent hashtag.

Tweets of Mona Seif encouraging blowing up gas pipeline between Egypt and Israel, and using vulgar and violent hashtag.

In addition, Seif is sloppy with her facts and fails to remove slanderous falsehoods even after they’ve been definitively exposed.  An example of this is when she sent a picture on Twitter of a man mourning the murder of his small child, which she blamed on Israel.

Human Rights Watch Urges West to Accepts Islamists’ Political Gains; Condemns Israel

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in its annual report that Western governments must accept the new reality that Islamists have emerged as a political force in the Arab world.

Being that Islamist parties are “genuinely popular” said HRW’s executive director, Kenneth Roth, “ignoring that popularity would violate democratic principles.”

In another section of the report, HRW accuses Israel of “serious human rights violations” in using “unnecessary lethal force” and “hindering the rebuilding of Gaza’s devastated economy.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/human-rights-watch-urges-west-to-accepts-islamists-political-gains-condemns-israel/2012/01/23/

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