web analytics
July 31, 2016 / 25 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘West’

Connecting East and West, Istanbul Airports Suffer Serious Security Breaches

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Remarkably, despite the severe plunge in tourism Turkey has been experiencing for several years, with millions fewer tourists from Germany, Austria, the UK, Israel and more recently Russia making Turkey their vacation destination, air traffic in and out of Turkey remains massive. This is due to a decision made by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to turn Turkey into the world’s international hub. The country’s location, one part in Asia, the other part in Europe, made this a logical and rewarding move.

There are two international airports in Istanbul: Ataturk, which is about fifteen minutes from downtown Istanbul, and Sabiha Gökçen, on the Asian side, which is about half an hour from downtown. Ataturk, with 60 million passengers a year, is the third largest airport in Europe, and the Turks are already working on a third international airport, to help manage the traffic.

Cognizant of the security threats to commercial traffic in the region, Turkey has invested a tremendous amount of resources in securing both international airports, with several security circles, Walla reported Wednesday. The airports are surrounded by security fences, at the main vehicle entrance there is a police check post, and at the entrance to each terminal the suitcases go through an x-ray scan, while each passenger must go through a metal detector. After the check-in the passenger goes through another metal detector and their luggage is x-rayed. On flights to Israel and the US passengers are also checked before entering the plane.

According to Walla, despite what appears like standard security checks which are familiar to anyone flying in the US, Turkish airports share several weak spots. For one thing, modern airport security systems, like the one in Israel, operate three separate circles which are run separate from one another: a circle securing the airport; a circle for the flight security; and a circle for securing the flight path.

In Istanbul airports, those circles are indistinguishable from one another, creating needless lines at the various check points, and compromising both the airport and the individual planes’ security. Also, there are no snipers situated in strategic locations, ready to take out potential attackers.

But the problem begins earlier, at the bus service hauling passengers from downtown Istanbul to the airport. Those buses don’t check their passengers, and they pass through to the terminal doors without an inspection.

Ataturk’s problems are similar to those of the Brussels airport where terrorists managed to blow themselves up with horrendous casualties last March. Both airports concede parts of the terminal to potential terrorists, where passengers move in and out unobserved.

Walla has speculated that one immediate benefit to the Turks from the thaw of their relations with Israel would be to seek Israeli assistance in setting their security systems straight.

David Israel

West Bowing to Radical Islam

Monday, June 27th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Toronto Sun}

Almost 10 years ago, Maclean’s magazine published an essay by Mark Steyn titled, “The future belongs to Islam”.

In it, he suggested, “the West is growing old and enfeebled, and lacks the will to rebuff those who would supplant it.”

It was an extract from Steyn’s then best-selling book America Alone, where he concluded, “It’s the end of the world as we’ve known it.”

Steyn wrote: “We are witnessing the end of the late 20th-century progressive welfare democracy. The children and grandchildren of those fascists and republicans who waged a bitter civil war for the future of Spain now shrug when a bunch of foreigners blow up their capital. Too sedated even to sue for terms, they capitulate instantly.”

There was an outcry among Canada’s Islamists, who took Steyn and Maclean’s to the Ontario and British Columbia Human Rights Commissions.

My fellow Sun columnist, Farzana Hassan, and I wrote a rejoinder in Maclean’s titled, “Mark Steyn has a right to be wrong.”

Today, I recognize, Steyn was right and I was wrong.

If there were any doubts the West is abdicating its responsibility to stand up for Western values, the amateur attempts by the FBI to cover up the Islamist nature of the Orlando attack, removed them.

At first, the FBI refused to even mention the fact the Orlando jihadi was inspired by ISIS, but after criticism, released the text of his 911 calls, but not the audio.

It replaced the word “Allah” with “‘God”, despite knowing precise words matter in truth-telling.

It was clearly an attempt to make the attack appear homophobic, not Islamist.

President Barack Obama and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton deflected attention from the obvious Islamic nature of the terrorism to a debate about gun control.

An FBI spokesman did the same when he downplayed the role of Islamism in the attack, editorializing that the killer, “does not represent the religion of Islam, but a perverted view, which based on what we know today, was inspired by extremist killers.”

In Toronto, Premier Kathleen Wynne, Canada’s first openly gay premier, also refused to address the Islamist nature of the attack, saying, “one cannot fight homophobia with Islamphobia”, at a vigil for the Orlando victims.

This is nonsense. Orlando was an act of Islamic terror and of Islamofascism, a doctrine of hatred towards the West and what it stands for, including LGBTQ rights.

It holds secular liberal democracy in contempt, hates non-Muslims, degrades women and is racist towards non-Arabs, especially black Africans.

It is a supremacist death cult that has the end times as its ultimate goal.

Chia Barsen, a 32-year old Canadian Marxist, was 10 when his family fled Islamic Iran, political refugees escaping the murderous rule of its barbaric ayatollahs.

Commenting on the liberal left’s reaction to the Oralando massacre, Barsen wrote on his blog:

“Blaming guns for the Islamist murder of 49 people in the Orlando gay club, is like saying that Zyklon B gas was the cause of the Holocausts and not the Nazis. Gun control is a clear and present issue in the U.S. and there are countless episodes of shootings in the U.S. to justify the removal of all guns (not just automatic weapons), from the streets.

“However, piggybacking on the gun control debate and not making any mention of the threat of Political Islam and Islamism, is the furthering of a political agenda and not simple ignorance or apathy.” Exactly.

Tarek Fatah

Ex-Adviser to Palestinian Authority says ‘Accept ISIS as Ugly Reality’

Saturday, November 28th, 2015

An American lawyer who previously advised the Palestinian Authority on negotiations with Israel now says that the West cannot defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) and should accept it as an “ugly reality.”

John V. Whitbeck, who previously has written that the 9/11 attacks probably were an “inside job,” wrote his latest thesis Saturday in the Palestinian Authority-based Ma’an News Agency, which noted that it does not necessarily represent the views of the website that is frequently quoted by foreign news sources.

He wrote that the ISIS massacres in France earlier this month “have not changed the priorities of the other states that might be concerned.”

The United States and Britain’s top priority is Syria, where Whitbeck asserts that the United States and Britain are primarily interested in “keeping Russia down, and keeping the Sunni Gulf states happy.”

He also thinks that many Sunni Muslims under the “harsh, austere and often savagely brutal rule” of ISIS actually prefer it to being under the aegis of “what are widely perceived by Iraqi and Syrian Sunnis to be Shiite-dominated or even Iranian-dominated governments.”

As for defeating the ISIS, Whitbeck says that the West has no chance. He wrote that bombing the terrorists is not successful and that sending “boots on the ground would be an avidly sought boon to the Islamic State…since the Sunni states of the region… currently show no interest whatsoever in deploying their own ground forces against fellow Sunnis.”

Here is his advice to President Barack Obama and other Western leaders:

Relax, accept that the Islamic State is an ugly reality that is here to stay (at least for some considerable time).

They should accept that containment is the best that can hoped for and achieved in the near term, and that containment can best be achieved by the Iraqi and Syrian governments and their own military forces.

They should sit back and wait for the Islamic State’s aura of excitement to wear off, for it to become a failed state like so many other regional states in which the West has previously intervened and for the peoples of the region to sort out their own problems in their own way.

He admits that it would be “desirable” for ISIS to disappear but that it cannot be done by force without Sunni Muslim countries sending in soldiers and that it won’t happen so long as the West claims “ownership” of the war.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

US Losing Middle East Coalition

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Ever since the seventies, the world has become accustomed to the split in the Middle East, between those countries that support the West – Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco and Israel, and we might add Turkey to this list as well, and those countries that were members of the opposing, Soviet, coalition: Syria, Libya, Iraq and South Yemen. Lebanon was then between the democratic hammer and the Syrian anvil.

Despite the dissolution of the Soviet Union at the end of the eighties, there were no big shifts in political orientation, and the countries that were faithful to the Western bloc led by the United States remained faithful to it until recently, mainly because a new hostile bloc was formed, led by Iran and supported by Russia and China. The stronger the Iranian threat became, the more the pro-Western countries depended on America for support.

Lately, however, the pro-Western coalition has begun to crumble, and two key countries – Saudi Arabia and Egypt – are searching for a new political crutch, ever since it became clear to them that the American crutch is nothing but “a broken reed” (Isaiah, 36:6). A few more countries can be added to this list, mainly Turkey and the Gulf Emirates.

Saudi Arabia

In an unprecedented move, the Saudi kingdom has refused to become a member of the most powerful body in the world, the Security Council of the UN, a body authorized to deal with the world’s security problems and, with the power of the authority vested in it, can even declare war as a world body on a country that violates its resolutions. The question that immediately arises is: why did Saudi Arabia refuse to become a member of the body that is perhaps the only one capable of dealing with Iran’s military nuclear project? Why did Saudi Arabia reject the opportunity to influence events in Syria from within the Security Council? Why doesn’t Saudi Arabia take advantage of the most important stage in international policy in order to take action against Israel?

The superficial reason is that which the Saudi foreign office published, expressing an ethical position: the kingdom will not agree to enter the Security Council until the Council undergoes reforms that will enable it to fulfill its role, which is to maintain world peace. The obsolete apparatus, the wasteful practices, and double standards used by the Security Council all prevent it from fulfilling its role. There are many examples of this: the Palestinian problem has not been solved despite it having been created 65 years ago, and despite the fact that the wars stemming from it have threatened the peace of the entire region and the world several times. The Council allows the Syrian dictator continue slaughtering his citizens for almost three years without imposing effective sanctions, and the Council has failed to achieve the goal of turning the Middle East into an area free of weapons of mass destruction because it has not managed to create an effective method of oversight for military nuclear projects.

Despite the fact that the Saudis do not speak specifically about Iran in their official announcement, it is clear that their reference is not to Israel, from whom they fear no danger, but to Iran, whose nuclear plans do keep them awake at night. However, it is specifically the Iranian nuclear issue which should have pushed Saudi Arabia to become a member the Council; membership could have granted them an active role in making decisions against Iran, so why not join?

In part, the reasons relate to the way that the Saudis see the international alignment of countries recently but is also connected to the customary culture of honor in the Middle East, without which it would be impossible to understand the behavior of the Saudis, proud sons of the desert.

First of all, a person of honor does not join a club where he is considered a class ‘B’ member. In the Security Council there are class ‘A’ members – the five permanent members (the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China) who have nuclear weapons and veto power, and there are class ‘B’ members – the ten countries with temporary membership, who are not allowed to attain nuclear weapons and do not have veto power. Saudi Arabia would in no way agree to be a class ‘B’ member of any organization, and would prefer not to join because honor is more important to it than anything else.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar

The Undivided Past

Friday, October 4th, 2013

There are several words used in the Bible to describe the Jewish people. At one stage we were simply tribal. Then we became an “Am”, a people, a “Goy”, a nation, a “Mamlacha”, a kingdom. Post-Biblically, if the gentiles called us Jews, Judeans, Israelites, Hebrews, Yids, or whatever, we used “Yisrael” as the name of choice, in the main, which meant a people, a culture, a religion, a relationship with God and a land, all of that in varying and amorphous degrees. We knew what it meant, even if others were confused or bemused. It takes one to know one.

Under pagan empires religion was not a factor, just loyalty to an overarching regime or royal family. If you were a serf it was loyalty to your lord and village. Neither the Persian, nor the Greek, nor the Roman Empires cared how you worshipped or behaved, so long as you professed loyalty to the empire. Then Christianity emerged as the religion of the Roman Empire and other religions were marginalized. Ironically the bloodiest battles were within Christianity, between one theological variation and another. The same thing happened under Islam. Ideals soon got perverted by politics and as today, Muslims of different sects killed more Muslims than all their enemies put together and doubled. Freud memorably described this internal divisiveness as “the narcissism of minor differences”.

In the West, most Jews that non-Jews encounter are not particularly committed to being Jewish. For Jews like a Soros or a Zuckerberg, it’s an accident of birth, a minor casual affiliation, like belonging to the Church of England. And this explains why most of those in the West who think about the matter reckon that the Jews are not really too concerned about having a land of their own and that it was only the accidental intervention of imperialist powers that explains the Jewish presence in the Middle East. It was a misjudged adventure. And really the Jews ought to pick up and leave and stop being nasty to the indigenous population.

It takes an objective observer to notice that for millennia Jews have shared a powerful core identity, even if in almost every situation except when they were given a choice, most Jews actually abandoned the community of Jews. But it took a determined minority within a minority to fight hard, relentlessly, and ultimately victoriously for its Jewish identity.

In his book The Undivided Past: Humanity Beyond Our Differences, David Cannadine writes:

“Egypt under the Pharaohs may have resembled a nation…but there was no accompanying sense of public culture or collective identity. As for the ancient Greeks, their limited pan Hellenic aspirations embodied in their shared language, Homeric epics and Olympic games foundered on the disputatious reality of their fiercely independent city-states. Similar objections have been made to claims that the Sumerians, the Persians, the Phoenicians, the Arameans, the Philistines, the Hittites and the Elamites were ancient nations, or that the Sinhalese, the Japanese or the Koreans might be so described during the first millennium of the common era. Only in the case of Israel does it seem plausible to discern a recognizable ancient nation with its precise though disputed territoriality, its ancient myths, its shared historical memories of the Exodus, the Conquest and wars with the Philistines, its strong sense of exceptionalism and providential destiny and its self-definition against a hostile “other” and its common laws and cultures. These were and are the essential themes in the unfinished history of the Jews this example has also furnished ever since a developed model of what it means to be a nation.” (p. 58)

Throughout exile we somehow did preserve a sense of belonging to a people, to a tradition, to a land, a sense of community, Klal Yisrael. This is why the problem of Israel in the Middle East, the Jewish problem, is so intractable. The overwhelming majority of Jews now living in Israel or the West Bank are committed to the notion of a Jewish people. It is not to be compared as ignorant opponents of Israel try, to a few British or white imperialists imposing themselves on a vast majority “other”. Some may try to delegitimize us by overturning a decision of the United Nations, but they cannot delegitimize or wish away the Jewish people.

Jeremy Rosen

Leading Israeli Analysts Can’t Agree on PA Strategy

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

 Although most of the analysts warned against the U.S. campaign to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank in 2014, they could not agree on an Israeli alternative. Some of the analysts urged Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to formulate an interim solution to the West Bank while others said relations with the PA would continue to mark a conflict that must be managed.

“Netanyahu is going through the same syndrome as did Begin, Rabin, Sharon, and Olmert,” Shmuel Sandler, the deputy director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Affairs, said. “He wants to stake a place for himself in the chronicles of the Jewish state as a contributor to a peace process.”

The center conducted a recent roundtable discussion on the Israeli-Palestinian process, which the United States wants completed by early 2014. One of the analysts said the negotiations have been complicated by the insistence of President Barack Obama to link this with Iran’s nuclear program.

“Obama, with absolutely no reasonable basis, combines the Israeli-Palestinian issue with the American-Iranian file,” Mordechai Kedar, who also consults with Israel’s government and military, said. “This way Obama can show his face in public as someone who had at least one success in the Mideast, after his failures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Syria and more.”

Kedar, a specialist on the Arab world, warned Netanyahu against establishing a Palestinian state. Instead, Kedar, who dismissed the prospect of an agreement with the PA, said Israel should offer what he termed an “eight-state solution.”

“This involves the establishment of a council of Palestinian emirates or mini-states based on the sociology of the different clans and tribes in Gaza, Judea and Samaria [West Bank],” Kedar said. “This will give Arab leadership a firm local base with a traditional and homogeneous sociological foundation.”

The analysts also disagreed over Israel’s strategic position. Several of the analysts, including center director Efraim Inbar, said Israel, despite threats of Western sanctions, was becoming stronger economically and militarily.

But others said Netanyahu was driven by his fear of a crisis with Obama. They said time was working against Israel. “Israel’s legitimacy is a strategic asset,” Joshua Teitelbaum said. “It is getting harder and harder to convince even Israel’s supporters of the legitimacy of expanded Jewish settlement in areas that are still under negotiation for the establishment of a possible Palestinian state.”

David Bedein

Rouhani Says Ice Beginning to Break with the West, Bibi Not Impressed

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that the ice was already “beginning to break” between his country and the West. This despite the fact that there has been no meeting, no hand-shake, not even a polite nod in passing between himself and President Barack Obama in the UN halls in New York City.

White House officials confirmed on Tuesday that no meeting would take place, indicating that meeting would be “too complicated” for the Iranian when he goes back home.

Rouhani addressed the UN General Assembly for the first time on Tuesday afternoon, and then sounded conciliatory in a CNN interview. He said there had been “some talks” to arrange a meeting to give himself and Obama an opportunity to “talk with each other” but there was not sufficient time to coordinate such a meeting.

There you go, it wasn’t obedience to the ayatollah back home, it was just bad timing.

Asked whether he has been “authorized” by the Iranian supreme leader to improve ties with the West, Rouhani said he has the authority to do what he wants, according to national interests.

The supreme leader, he said, is not opposed to negotiations if they are necessary for the national interests of Iran.

“But speaking of the ice-breaking you mentioned, it’s already beginning to break because the environment is changing. And that has come about as a result of the will of the people of Iran to create a new era of the relations between Iran and the rest of the world,” Rouhani told CNN.

While the centrifuges keep on churning and while Iran is putting together warheads. A brave, new era, indeed.

When the CNN host asked him to deliver a message directly to the U.S. public, Rouhani said in English, “I would like to say to American people: I bring peace and friendship from Iranians to Americans.”



Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed President Obama’s call for Iran’s recent “conciliatory words” to be “matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable.”

A JTA report suggested that Netanyahu’s insistence on dismantling any Iranian nuclear capacity as a condition for stopping the boycott against it could signal a major difference with the Obama administration as the U.S. engagement with Iran advances.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rouhani-says-ice-beginning-to-break-with-the-west-bibi-not-impressed/2013/09/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: