Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Daniel Pipes: Lessons from the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist List

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission:

Lessons from the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist List

by Daniel Pipes
April 30, 2013
Cross-posted from National Review Online, The Corner

Most Wanted Terrorists

The FBI's list of "Ten Most Wanted" fugitives dates back to 1950 but the list of "Most Wanted Terrorists" dates back to just after 9/11 and sense that terrorism had become a strategic threat. Today, the list includes 31 individuals, all of them male and with a single exception (Daniel Andreas San Diego, an animal rights extremist), all of them Muslim:

Media Coverage of Arab League Acceptance of Saudi Peace Plan Does Not Ring True

Barry Rubin points out Why the “Arab Peace Initiative” is Both a Good Thing and a Scam:
Yet there are a lot of unaddressed points that make me strongly suspect that this is a public relations stunt to convince America and Western opinion that the Arab states want peace with Israel when not all of them do so.
Rubin finds the latest media coverage of the alleged acceptance of the Saudi Peace Plan by the Arab League to be problematic for a number of reasons -- among them:

Mideast Media Sampler 4/30/13: New York Times Now Agrees Syria Using Chemical Weapons, But...

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

1) The proof?  

Yesterday I noted that the New York Times seemed eager to relegate an article about the administration's reluctance to believe that Assad had employed chemical weapons to the ash heap of history. In a new editorial, Ill-considered advice on Syria, the New York Times view has changed a bit. Why? 
#Syria chemical weapons found in blood samples nearly impossible to fake, US intel sources say. Updated story:wired.com/dangerroom/201…
— Noah Shachtman (@dangerroom) April 25, 2013
In today's editorial, the editors write: 
The failure to act now could be misread by Mr. Assad as well as leaders in Iran and North Korea, whose nuclear programs are on America’s radar. But Mr. Obama should only act if he has compelling documentation that the sarin gas was used in an attack by Syrian forces and was not the result of an accident or fertilizer. The Financial Times reported the evidence is based on two separate samples taken from victims of the attacks. With the civil war in Syria now in its third year and the death toll at more than 70,000, the situation has deteriorated. Mr. Assad remains in power, sectarian divisions have intensified and fleeing refugees are destabilizing neighboring countries. 

Arlene Kushner on Why Arab League Backing Land Swaps In Saudi Peace Plan Is A Scam

From Arlene Kushner:
April 30, 2013

No and No!!

It gets more and more awful.  More disgusting.  More distorted.

The Times of Israel has the following headline this morning (emphasis added):

"In sea change, Arab League backs land swaps in peace talks"

A sea change is defined as a marked change or a transformation.  But what we're looking at here is nothing of the sort. 

The Lengths The Media Goes To Whitewash Terrorism in The Boston Marathon Bombing

It was a blow the immigrant boxer could not withstand: after capturing his second consecutive title as the Golden Gloves heavyweight champion of New England in 2010, Tamerlan Anzorovich Tsarnaev, 23, was barred from the national Tournament of Champions because he was not a United States citizen.
A Battered Dream, Then a Violent Path, New York Times, April 27, 2013

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, Barry Rubin addresses The Truths About Terrorism Whose Names They Dare Not Speak. For example, he notes the above-quoted article in the New York Times, written in part by Deborah Sontag.

According to the article, Tamerlan Tsarnaev's turn to terrorism was due -- at least in part -- because he was blocked from the national Tournament of Champions since he wasn’t a U.S. citizen. The suggestion is that if only the US gave people citizenship more easily, there would not have been a terrorist attack.

Boston Marathon Bombing

What is missing from the article?

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Strengths -- and Limitations -- of India's Ties With Israel

The following by P. R. Kumaraswamy is reposted here with permission of Middle East Forum:

The Maturation of Indo-Israeli Ties
Israel in the World

by P. R. Kumaraswamy
Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2013, pp. 39-48

Since their establishment in January 1992, Israeli-Indian relations have improved dramatically. Israel has emerged as a major Indian trading partner in the Middle East with bilateral trade rising from a meager US$100 million to over $6.6 billion.[1] Cooperation in the military-security arena has similarly grown,[2] and there are widespread popular exchanges between the people of the two countries. The Israeli ambassador is the most sought after diplomat in New Delhi after his U.S. counterpart, and Indo-Israeli ties seem extraordinarily robust. Yet failure to acknowledge the limitations of this relationship would be costly.

Video: Boston Marathon Bombers Were Terrorists -- And So are Those Who Launch Bombs at Israelis

HonestReporting has come out with a video noting the double standard where the media calls the Boston Marathon Bombers terrorists -- but says Palestinians firing rockets are militants:
The media felt no hesitation to label the Boston Marathon bombers as terrorists. They were correct to do so. Terrorist are those who use violence and threats to promote a political purpose.

So when Palestinians launch rockets at civilian targets in Israel, why does the media refuse to call them terrorists? Why do they use the word "militant" instead. These rocket attacks kill innocent civilians and are acts of terrorism.

The media should use the word "terrorism" when it is the most accurate description of an attack.
Here is the video:

Mideast Media Sampler - 4/29/13: Developments On Whether Syria Is Using Chemical Weapons

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

1) The New York Times, Syria, Chemical Weapons and the Obama Administration

Last week the editors of the New York Times asked Were Chemical Weapons Used in Syria? 
It would be alarming if Mr. Assad crossed a line few others have crossed. Within one minute, nerve agents like sarin can trigger eye pain, nausea and vomiting, loss of bowel function, difficulty breathing and muscle weakness. But the case against Mr. Assad, so far, is thin. Experts say the best way to prove that chemical weapons have been used is to collect soil samples promptly at the site and examine suspected victims. That’s hard to do in a war zone, and, so far, Israel, Britain and France have not offered physical proof (Israeli officials cited only photographs of Syrians “foaming at the mouth.”) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel told Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday that he “was not in a position to confirm” his own government’s intelligence assessment. 
Given such mixed messages, Mr. Kerry and other administration officials have said, that while sharing some of the suspicions of America’s allies, they simply don’t have the facts to make a judgment, much less fashion a policy response.

From 1999: Daniel Pipes on Al-Hudaybiya and Lessons from the Prophet Muhammad's Diplomacy

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission.

[Al-Hudaybiya and] Lessons
from the Prophet Muhammad's Diplomacy

by Daniel Pipes
Middle East Quarterly
September 1999

On 10 May 1994, Yasir Arafat gave what he thought was an off-the-record talk at a mosque while visiting Johannesburg, South Africa. But a South African journalist, Bruce Whitfield of 702 Talk Radio, found a way secretly to record his (English-language) remarks. The moment was an optimistic one for the Arab-Israeli peace process, Arafat having just six days earlier returned triumphantly to Gaza; it was widely thought that the conflict was winding down. In this context, Arafat's bellicose talk in Johannesburg about a "jihad to liberate Jerusalem," had a major impact on Israelis, beginning a process of disillusionment that has hardly abated in the intervening years.

No less damaging than his comments about Jerusalem was Arafat's cryptic allusion about his agreement with Israel. Criticized by Arabs and Muslims for having made concessions to Israel, he defended his actions by comparing them to those of the Prophet Muhammad in a similar circumstance:
I see this agreement as being no more than the agreement signed between our Prophet Muhammad and the Quraysh in Mecca.

Raymond Ibrahim on Muslim Doctrine Concerning Churches

The following by Raymond Ibrahim is reposted here with permission of Middle East Forum:

Death to Churches Under Islam
A Study of the Coptic Church

by Raymond Ibrahim
The Inquisitr
April 25, 2013

Christians throughout the Islamic world are under attack. Unlike Muslim attacks on Christians, which are regularly confused with a myriad of social factors, the ongoing attacks on Christian churches in the Muslim world are perhaps the most visible expression of Christian persecution under Islam. In churches, Christians throughout the Islamic world are simply being Christians—peacefully and apolitically worshipping their God. And yet modern day Muslim governments try to prevent them, Muslim mobs attack them, and Muslim jihadis massacre them.

To understand the nature of this perennial hostility, one must first examine Muslim doctrines concerning Christian churches; then look at how these teachings have manifested themselves in reality over the course of centuries; and finally look at how modern day attacks on Christian churches mirror the attacks of history, often in identical patterns. The continuity is undeniable.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Video: Let's Blame Israel!

A humorous -- and not so humorous -- look at some of what Israel is accused of.

Video: The Ongoing Attempt To Portray Israeli Democracy As Apartheid

It is a popular propaganda point: "Israel is an apartheid state".
That is, Israel treats Palestinians, the way black South Africans were treated in the days of apartheid. But is the claim true? Are Arabs in Israel really treated as second-class citizens? Is Israel a racist nation? We hope you'll watch this video and judge for yourself.

With Kerry's Newest Attempt At Israel-Palestinian Peace, Media Trots Out Same Old Optimism

The sober assumption that Middle Eastern instability is today endemic has found little favour either in Britain or in America. The prevalent fashion has been to proclaim the latest revolution as the herald of a new day, and the newest turbulence as the necessary and beneficent prelude to an epoch of orderliness and justice.
Elie Kedourie, “The Middle East and the Powers,” in The Chatham House Version: And Other Middle Eastern Studies, 1970.

Some things never change.

In resonse to renewed efforts at peace negotiations between Netanyahu and Abbas, Barry Rubin wonders How Much Did U.S. Policymakers Learn about the Middle East in Forty Years? Some Proof
Consider this quotation:
“Israeli pessimism seems largely if not entirely unwarranted. It seems based on an extraordinary lack of understanding of what happened in the Arab world in the last year and a half. Rather than girding their loins for the fifth, sixth, seventh Israeli-Arab wars. The Israelis might examine more carefully than they seem to have done so far the alternative of a peaceful accommodation with the Arabs."

Drones and Chemical Weapons Underscore Iran-Driven Middle East Threats

The Israel Project

April 25, 2013
TIP Press: press@theisraelproject.org
Main Office Phone Number:  202-857-6644

Drones and Chemical Weapons: Day of Danger Underscores Iran-Driven Middle East Threats

Fears that Iran and its proxies are pushing the Middle East toward war deepened today in the wake of several incidents and announcements.

The morning began with news that the Israeli Air Force had downed a drone, likely piloted by the terror group Hezbollah, over the Mediterranean Sea near Haifa. Analysts characterized the flight as a publicity stunt designed to deflect criticism over Hezbollah's involvement in the Syrian war. The group has poured thousands of soldiers into the country to fight on behalf of the Bashar al-Assad regime, and rebels have responded by attacking Lebanon.

Within hours of the news of the drone attack, U.S. officials revealed that the Bashar al-Assad regime -- fighting on one side of that conflict -- had used chemical weapons in its war against rebel groups.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Raymond Ibrahim: The Siege of Egypt's St. Mark Cathedral -- An Insider's Account

The following by Raymond Ibrahim is reposted here with permission of Middle East Forum:

The Siege of Egypt's St. Mark Cathedral
An Insider's Account

by Raymond Ibrahim
Gatestone Institute
April 22, 2013

What really happened on Sunday, April 7, 2013, during the St. Mark Cathedral attack in Cairo, where two Christians were killed and dozens wounded by Egyptian forces? As usual, different reports gave different versions, but now that the smoke has settled, the truth as first asserted during the attack by Coptic activists has been confirmed.

Back during the conflict, when state security was actually besieging the St. Mark cathedral—the most sacred building for millions of Coptic Christians and the only apostolic see serving the entire continent of Africa—Amir Ramzi, a Coptic man who managed to escape the compound where hundreds of other Copts were trapped all night was interviewed by phone on the popular Egyptian show, Cairo Today.

Mideast Media Sampler - 4/26/13: Will The US Go Into Syria -- On The Side of Assad?

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

Next in Syria

Why hasn't the United States acted more strongly against Bashar Assad? 
Read: nyti.ms/12Ke82b on Assad's effort to sell his line to the US. Then this on why WH has already bought it: mme.cm/887R00
— Tony Badran (@AcrossTheBay) April 25, 2013
The New York Times reports on Syrian efforts to influence American thinking. 
As Islamists increasingly fill the ranks of Syrian rebels, President Bashar al-Assad is waging an energized campaign to persuade the United States that it is on the wrong side of the civil war.

UN's Richard Falk's Latest Smear of Both the US and Israel

For Immediate Release:
April 26, 2013
Contact: info@humanrightsvoices.org
Follow us on Twitter

UN Official's Smear of Boston Victims Just Latest Attack On US, Israel

This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on Breitbart News. 

On July 7, 2011, U.S. UN Ambassador to Geneva, Eileen Donahoe, issued a statement on Richard Falk. He’s the UN "human rights expert" who thinks Boston had it coming. The professor who labeled Boston’s victims “canaries” because resistance to “the American global domination project” is justified. The same guy who has been spouting antisemitism and anti-Americanism from his UN perch for years.

It reads: "Mr. Falk’s continued comments and postings to his personal blog are deeply offensive, and I condemn them in the strongest terms. I am registering a strong protest with the UN on behalf of the United States. The United States has often been critical of Mr. Falk’s approach to his mandate, including his one-sided and politicized view of situation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. We hope that he will resign, recognizing that his continued status as a UN mandate holder is a blight on the UN system."

What happened next?

Video: Latma Examines The FBI Investigation of The Boston Marathon Bombing

This week, Latma takes a look at how the FBI investigates the motive of the Boston Marathon bombers.

Here is the video:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Arlene Kushner on Latest in Iran and Syria, As Events There Draw Close To Requiring A Response

Arlene Kushner:
April 25, 2013

On the Edge

No one from the upper military echelon of Israel is whispering in my ear, but the signs seem fairly unmistakable.
Yesterday, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor told the Security Council:
"The Iranian nuclear program continues to advance at the speed of an express train," Prosor said. "The international community's efforts to stop them are moving at the pace of the local train, pausing at every stop for some nations to get off and on."
An apt analogy, I thought.

Video: Ouda Tarabin, an Israeli Arab, Held in Egypt on Espionage Charges Without Due Process

Ouda Tarabin is an Israeli Arab who has been imprisoned in Egypt since 2000 when he went to visit his sister in El Arish -- but without proper papers. Tarabin was charged with espionage, but was never given an opportunity to defend himself. It is questionable at best whether he got a fair trial and is currently on a hunger strike.

His story is not getting much of a hearing.

Kerry Thinks Iranian ‘Democracy’ & America’s Have Lots in Common

For Immediate Release:
April 25, 2013
Contact: info@humanrightsvoices.org
Follow us on Twitter

This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on National Review Online.

Secretary of State John Kerry seems to believe that Iranian elections are just like American ones. In fact, he would describe them as “normal.” At least, that’s what he told the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations last Thursday in his first Senate hearing since his confirmation.

Mideast Media Sampler 4/25/13: In Canada, More Simplistic Explanations To Deny Terrorism

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

1) Shia is Shia and Sunni is Sunni and never the twain shall meet 

A couple of Al Qaeda terrorists were arrested in Canada. So of course, expect the LA Times to start its account with this: 
Police in Canada said Monday that two men suspected of plotting to derail a passenger train were guided by Al Qaeda elements in Iran, but the statement surprised many experts who study terrorism in the Middle East and Iran. “It frankly doesn’t compute for me,” said Barbara Slavin, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. "If there is any link, I would think it was extremely tangential." 

Video: The Spring of Judea and Samaria

This video is a Jewish Heritage Project Production:
"The ground breaking documentary on the rise of Jewish culture on the land at the cradle of Jewish civilization. That is the Land of the so called West Bank. Never has there been a chance for the Jewish people of these communities to tell their story to the world and also for the world to see these outstanding communities."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Raymond Ibrahim: Muslim Persecution of Christians: February, 2013

The following by Raymond Ibrahim is reposted here with permission of Middle East Forum:

Muslim Persecution of Christians: February, 2013

by Raymond Ibrahim
Gatestone Institute
April 18, 2013

Reports of Christian persecution by Muslims around the world during the month of February include (but are not limited to) the following accounts. They are listed by form of persecution, and in country alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity:

Secretary of State Kerry Blunders Again In Turkey, As Erdogan Rebuffs Him And Will Go To Gaza

Jonathan Tobin writes that Turks Show Kerry Who’s the Boss after Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan rebuffed Kerry's request that he delay his trip to Gaza and told him in no uncertain terms that not only was he going as scheduled, and that it was no business of the US to interfere:
The Turkish insistence on going ahead with a gesture designed to prop up the Islamist dictators of Gaza shows that the entire premise of Kerry’s plan for a new bout of Middle East peace negotiations is based on false hopes and misperceptions. While Kerry already seemed to be setting himself up for failure with the Palestinians, the umbrage expressed by Ankara seems to indicate that more is wrong here than the new secretary’s faith in shuttle diplomacy. It’s not only that the administration seems blind to the realities of the Middle East. The former senator, who thinks of himself as a skilled and sophisticated envoy to the world, is handicapped by his blind faith in diplomacy and determination to ignore the power of Islamist ideology. And as this latest spat with Turkey illustrates, that failure may lead to Kerry making a bad situation even worse.

Education By Murder: What Effects The Boston Marathon Bombing Will -- And Won't -- Have

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission:

Education by Murder in Boston

by Daniel Pipes
The Washington Times
April 24, 2013

N.B.: Text differs slightly from the Washington Times

What will be the long-term impact of the Apr. 15-19 Boston Marathon attack and the ensuing action-movie-style chase, killing a total of four and wounding 265?

Let's start with what its impact will not be. It will not bring American opinion together; if the "United We Stand" slogan lasted brief months after 9/11, consensus after Boston will be even more elusive. The violence will not lead to Israeli-like security measures in the United States. Nor will it lead to a greater preparedness to handle deadlysudden jihad syndrome violence. It will not end the dispute over the motives behind indiscriminate Muslim violence against non-Muslims. And it certainly will not help resolve current debates over immigration or guns.

United We Stand
United We Stand postage stamp.
What it will do is very important:

Mideast Media Sampler 4/24/13: Hezbollah On The Prowl For Passports And Funding For Terrorism

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

2) Getting around with Hezbollah

Last month the National Post reported Hezbollah deliberately seeks Canadians because of internationally accepted passports: senior CSIS official:
The terrorist group Hezbollah has been seeking operatives with Canadian passports, a senior intelligence official told MPs reviewing a bill Thursday that could strip terrorists of their citizenship. Appearing before the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service official said Canadian passport holders were being actively sought by terrorist groups. ... The RCMP is also investigating allegations a Lebanese-Canadian Hezbollah member was behind last July’s bombing of a bus full of Israeli tourists at Sarafovo airport on the Black Sea coast. The suspect, who now lives in Lebanon, had used his Canadian passport to travel to Bulgaria.

Daniel Pipes: The Year the Arabs Discovered Palestine (1920)

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission.
Note: There is also a short version of this article available online.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New Additions To Board Of Human Rights Watch Only Adds To Its Bias and Lack of Credibilty

April 23, 2013 
Lenny Ben-David
NGO Monitor

Human Rights Watch's Board Changes
Add to Bias and Lack of Credibility

Jerusalem -  The announcement this week that Human Rights Watch (HRW) chairman of the board, James Hoge, Jr. is being replaced by co-chairs Joel Motley and Hassan Elmasry, effective October 2013, will further damage the NGO's credibility, said Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor.

Raymond Ibrahim: Islam's Collective Punishment of Christians

The following by Raymond Ibrahim is reposted here with permission of Middle East Forum:

Islam's Collective Punishment of Christians

by Raymond Ibrahim
Investigative Project on Terrorism
April 18, 2013

As many of Israel's critics portray it as collectively punishing the Palestinians, overlooked and unsaid is the greater frequency with which Muslims collectively punish the religious minorities living under their authority, often in atrocious ways.

Consider Egypt alone. The most recent attacks on Egypt's Copts, culminating in the unprecedented besiegement of the St. Mark Cathedral, the holiest site of Coptic Orthodoxy, is the latest large-scale "collective punishment" of the nation's indigenous Christian minority. Indeed, almost all of the major attacks on Copts are carried out in the context of collective punishment, based on the idea that, if just one Christian upsets Muslims, all Christians—and their churches and their women and their children—become fair game.

Arlene Kushner: Not All Muslims Are The Same

From Arlene Kushner
April 23, 2013

Muslims Not All the Same

I had expected to move today to issues other than the Boston terror attack.  Barry Rubin, however, has written an excellent piece on this subject -- "Who Will Keep More Muslim Teenagers from Becoming the Next Boston Terrorists?" I begin with this.
Since writing last, I've had correspondence with a couple of my readers regarding the concept of Islamists, jidhadists, radical Muslims vs. Muslims.  They both objected, each in his own way, to my making a differentiation between the radicals and moderate Muslims, whom they claim do not exist, as Islam is a violent religion.  Period. 
Two readers out of thousands is a very small percentage. But it occurs to me that there may be other readers who did not write but entertain similar thoughts.  And so I think it important to visit the issue here.

Mideast Media Sampler 4/23/13: Will Turkey Allow Israeli Planes Into Turkey To Bomb Iran?

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

1) The Mahnaimi problem Turkey denied a report that was made on Sunday by Uzi Mahnaimi that Turkey agree to allow Israel bases from which to attack Iran. The Times of Israel follows up on its earlier report:
A Turkish official told the Hurriyet Daily News that the Sunday Times report was “a hypothesis” about the “step by step” process of the normalization of Turkish-Israeli relations. “Talking about the prospects of a military cooperation at this stage would be irrelevant,” he added. “We are not there yet. We haven’t even yet appointed a new ambassador to Israel.”

UN Human Rights Official, Richard Falk, Says Boston Got What It Deserved

For Immediate Release:
April 22, 2013
Contact: info@humanrightsvoices.org
Follow us on Twitter

UN Human Rights Official Says Boston Got What It Deserved

This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared today on Breitbart.com.

UN Human Rights Council “expert” Richard Falk has published a statement saying Bostonians got what they deserved in last week’s terror attack. He quotes W.H. Auden to make his point: "to whom evil is done/do evil in return.”

Richard Falk is the UN’s “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.” He has held the post since 2008, despite exposure as a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Why Europe Is Irrelevant in the Pursuit of Israel - Palestinian Peace

Elliott Abrams explains Why Europe Can’t Bring Peace To The Middle East. The answer is apparently due to their enormous bias -- as illustrated by a letter from the “European Eminent Persons Group on the Middle East Peace Process.”

It is a letter containing such gems of ignorance and anti-Israel reflex as this:
We have watched with increasing disappointment over the past five years the failure of the parties to start any kind of productive discussion, and of the international community under American and/or European leadership to promote such discussion. We have also noted with frustration and deep concern the deteriorating standards of humanitarian and human rights care of the population in the Occupied Territories.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Refuses To Condemn Rocket Attack On Israel

It doesn’t matter whether Tamerlan or Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ever took the usual American school trip to the United Nations. The poisonous ideology of Islamic countries that is continually broadcast unimpeded from the UN’s global stage is ubiquitous.
Anne Bayefsky

Expect many to try to explain why the Boston Marathon bombing happened.

Some will blame Islamist ideology.
Others will blame the US government.
Still others will blame American society.

But according to Anne Bayefsky: "Why" Boston Terror? Try the UN:

Was Iran Planning Further Terrorist Attacks in Bulgaria?

Benjamin Weinthal reports in the Jerusalem Post that Iran agent monitoring Chabad arrested in Bulgaria:
Bulgarian police officers last summer arrested a Canadian citizen linked to the Iranian government who engaged in surveillance of the local Chabad center in the capital of Sofia, a well-placed and reliable local source told The Jerusalem Post last week, on condition of anonymity due to security reasons.

An Iranian-sponsored female agent in her 50s, holding a Canadian passport, traveled from Istanbul to Sofia several weeks after the bombing of the Israeli tour bus in the Black Sea resort town of Burgas in July 2012. She was arrested on her first day in Sofia after the Bulgarian police, on high alert, noticed she was monitoring the Chabad center.
Bulgaria has already found Hezbollah to be responsible for last years terrorist attack in its country -- and as a puppet of the Iranian regime, Hezbollah does nothing without the approval of Iran.

Bulgaria bus bombing last year

The question is what is so special about Bulgaria that would lead Iran to want to launch another terrorist attack against Israel inside the same country?

Maybe because Iran thinks its so easy:
Dr. Matthew Levitt, director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and a leading authority on Hezbollah’s global terror operations, told the Post that, “It would not surprise [us] if Iran or Hezbollah were found to be behind this plot [against the Chabad center] last year. Recall that five years earlier Western intelligence indicated that ‘Hezbollah chiefs and Iranian intelligence officials had put Bulgaria on a list of nations propitious for developing plots against Western targets.’ “Their first attempt at killing Israeli tourists failed when a suspicious package was noticed on a bus carrying Israeli tourists from Turkey to Bulgaria in January 2012. Six months later Hezbollah operatives struck again, this time with devastating success in Burgas.” [emphasis added]
In light of Iran's continued interest in carrying out terrorist attacks in Europe -- and using Hezbollah to carry out those attacks -- Europe in general, and France and Germany in particular, should take Hezbollah terrorist attacks more seriously and put them on the list of known terrorist groups as soon as possible.

If you found this post interesting or informative, please it below. Thanks!

Technorati Tag: and and and .

Mideast Media Sampler 4/22/13 Is Syria Using Chemical Weapons (And Will Obama Admit It?)

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

1) The red line?

Back in December, NBC News reported that Syria had loaded chemical weapons onto planes and was prepared to use them against civilians.
Syria prepared to use chemical weapons against own people; military awaits final orders, US officials tell @nbcnews nbcnews.to/RCH3Cz
— Breaking News (@BreakingNews) December 5, 2012
Late last week the Washington Post reported Britain, France claim Syria used chemical weapons:

Kerry's Mixup: Compares Victims of Boston Marathon Bombing With Terrorists of Mavi Marmara

The Washington Times claims Secretary of State John Kerry pushes Turkey-Israel rapprochement.

Yeah, as if.

Not only does Kerry imply a comparison between Israel on the one hand and the Boston Marathon bombing terrorists -- he also compares the victims of the Tsarnaev brothers with those killed aboard the Mavi Marmara, when in fact the Turks killed on the Mavi Marmara were members of the terrorist associated IHH

Secretary of State John Kerry

The Washington Times reported Kerry's statement as follows:

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Arlene Kushner on The Boston Marathon Bombing: How Tsarnaev Brothers Became Islamist Radicals

From Arlene Kushner:
April 21, 2013

The Boston Terror Lessons

There is, of course, a lot of nonsense floating about with regard to terrorists Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev -- such as the claim by his mother that they're "innocent" and were "framed" by the FBI.
And there is a great deal that is still unknown.  It is being broadly assumed, for example, that these guys, who were involved in a shoot-out that left at least one dead are also the terrorists who set off the bombs at the Marathon, and yet I do not believe that this is known with any certainty. 
But not only is there a great deal that is still to be exposed in this case, there are undoubtedly facts that will be kept from the public even if and when the authorities discover them.  We are not exactly dealing with a nation that is "up-front" about jihad and Islamic threats.  Not with the current obsession with political correctness and "Islamophobia" -- and a president who has banned allusions to Islam with regard to terror attacks.  To this day the Fort Hood massacre has never been identified as the Islamic terrorism that it was.

Will The Boston Marathon Bombing Change Anything?

According to Barry Rubin, No, Boston Will Not Change Anything

Rubin points out that regarding the terrorist attack by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston Marathon bombing, the issue is not the heroes who shined in saving the victims or capturing the brothers, nor even the quality of the police work -- the issue is the vulnerability of the US revealed by the attack.

After Boston Marathon Bombing, Should Niqabs and Burqas Be Banned?

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission:

Boston Bombing Lesson: Ban Niqabs and Burqas

by Daniel Pipes
April 21, 2013
Cross-posted from National Review Online, The Corner

The Tsarnaev brothers pulled off their terrorist attack with great skill but made a fatal mistake in letting their faces and bodies be seen at a heavily photographed international sporting event. This meant that multiple images of them were available for a massive law enforcement squad to comb over and, after three days, identify them by name and appearance.

This rapid identification was not unprecedented – the London police had done likewise in the July 2005 suicide bombings but because none of the four perpetrators survived that attack, that was more a theoretical achievement than a practical one. To the best of my knowledge, the Tsarnaevs were the first terrorists to be tracked down via still and video pictures.

In retrospect, the brothers should not have exposed their appearances. But how to avoid doing so? Hoodies leave the face exposed. Ski masks arouse suspicion in temperate weather, as do Halloween masks all but one night a year, and stocking masks at any time.

NGO Monitor: US Human Rights Report Gives High Marks to Israel

April 21, 2013 

Lenny Ben-David
NGO Monitor
U.S Human Rights Report Gives High Marks to Israel; Report on Gaza and West Bank Relies
on Unverified NGO Claims
Jerusalem - The U.S State Department released this week its Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2012. The chapters on Israel and on the West Bank/Gaza are marked by very different analyses, conclusions and methodologies.

The Boston Marathon Bombing: A Call To Action or A Sign of Things To Come?

Barry Rubin asks Who’s Going to Keep More Teenage Muslims from Becoming the Next Boston Marathon Terrorists? Nobody.

At issue is how Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev seemed to suddenly become radical Islamist terrorists.

The cause, Rubin notes, is the prolific amount of revolutionary Islamist propaganda available:
There are literally hundreds of Internet sites, videos, preachers, books, and everything else you can think of that promote revolutionary Islamism. They tell Muslims that they should and must be revolutionaries and terrorists; they cite holy works to do so.
The problem then is the lack of anything to counteract this:

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Arlene Kushner on Latest Events About and In Response To Iran

From Arlene Kushner:
April 19, 2013


I will not here have comment about the terrorist attack in Boston and subsequent events at MIT -- even as I am watching it all closely (actually having relatives in and near Boston myself). The story is unfolding as I write, and comments now would be premature.
I recently wrote about Salam Fayyad's resignation as prime minister of the PA, citing several analysts who indicated quite clearly what a negative omen this was for Oslo, for "the peace process," and all the rest.  I wondered, as I wrote, how the Obama administration would respond to this. 
Would there be sufficient comprehension of the implications of the situation so that attempts to push "peace" would be put on a back burner?
Well, I have my answer now.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Boston Marathon Bombing and No-Fault Terrorism (Update: Just Ask The New York Times!)

DIESEL: (As Judge) Right!

Officer Krupke, you're really a square;
This boy don't need a judge, he needs an analyst's care!
It's just his neurosis that oughta be curbed.
He's psychologic'ly disturbed!

I'm disturbed!

We're disturbed, we're disturbed,
We're the most disturbed,
Like we're psychologic'ly disturbed.

DIESEL: (As Judge) In the opinion on this court, this child is depraved on account he ain't had a normal home.

ACTION: (Spoken) Hey, I'm depraved on account I'm deprived.
"Gee, Officer Krupke," West Side Story

After all of the speculation about the identity of the perpetrators behind the Boston Marathon bombing, we now know who they are. We know they are not right wing radical white men. Instead, they are Muslim extremists. From the beginning, comments were being made about how to relate to the terrorists in general, and later -- how to relate to the fact they are Muslim.

Mideast Media Sampler - 4/19/13 When The Media Gets It Wrong

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

1) Getting it wrong 

In the early part of the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing the media were regularly getting things wrong and reporting them. Daled Amos commented: 
Pity the media - spoiled by Middle East reporting where not used to having to retract inaccurate stories after report first thing they hear.
— daledamos (@daledamos) April 17, 2013

Video: Latma Brings You Obama's Foreign Policy Succeses

This week, Latma brings you Obama's advisor, who discusses Obama's great foreign policy successes. Also, Hamas the suicide bombers go on strike in Gaza.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Is It Time To Start Offering Chess To Second Graders As A Compulsory Class?

Deutsche Welle posted on YouTube about Armenia, where Chess has become a compulsory subject, starting in second grade:
Armenia is a country facing many problems. Its ceasefire with neighboring Azerbaijan is rocky, and its economy is struggling. Now Armenia is hoping chess could help improve its fortunes. Armenian schools are introducing chess as a compulsory subject. The idea comes from chess Grandmaster Smbat Lputian, who founded a chess academy in Yerevan. The game is said to hone analytical skills and improve memory and concentration. Lputian says that could help children in other subjects too. And he's convinced that a country of chess players is capable of many achievements.

Suffering Of Syrian Refugees Highlights UNRWA Abuses and Extravagances

Evelyn Gordon writes about How UNRWA Steals Money from Those Who Need It Most:
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees is threatening to end relief operations for Syrian refugees, who currently number 1.3 million and counting, if it doesn’t receive the necessary funds soon. The agency says it has received only a third of the $1 billion it needs through June, and only $400 million of the $1.5 billion donors pledged earlier this year. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned explicitly that absent more funds, UNHCR will have to stop distributing food to refugees in Lebanon next month. And Jordan, which has the largest population of Syrian refugees, is threatening to close its borders to new entrants unless more aid is forthcoming urgently.
Syrian refugees

Unlike The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, which is threatening to end relief operations for Syrian refugees due to lack of funding, UNRWA has no problem providing benefits to Palestinian Arabs beyond what refugees normally receive:

The Islamic War Against Christianity Just Took A Turn For The Worse

The following by Raymond Ibrahim is reposted here with permission of Middle East Forum:

An Islamic Declaration of War on Christianity

by Raymond Ibrahim
April 17, 2013

While it is easy to confuse the recent jihadi attack on Egypt's St. Mark Cathedral in Cairo as just more of the usual, this attack has great symbolic significance, and in many ways bodes great evil for Egypt's millions of Christians.

Consider some facts: St. Mark Cathedral—named after the author of the Gospel of the same name who brought Christianity to Egypt some 600 years before Amr bin al-As brought Islam by the sword—is not simply "just another" Coptic church to be attacked and/or set aflame by a Muslim mob (see my forthcoming book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians, for a comprehensive idea of past and present Muslim attacks on Coptic churches). Instead, it is considered the most sacred building for millions of Christians around the world—above and beyond the many millions of Copts in and out of Egypt. As the only apostolic see in the entire continent of Africa, its significance and evangelizing mission extends to the whole continent, including nations such as Sudan, Ethiopia, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria, to name just a few. As an apostolic see—the actual seat of an apostle of Christ—the cathedral further possesses historical significance for Christianity in general.

Mideast Media Sampler 4/18/13: Stalemate in Syrian Civil War

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

1) Syria and contiguity

Jacques Neria writes in Stalemate in the Syrian Civil War:
While Assad has survived so far, he has not been able to quell the rebellion, the economy is in shambles, and so are most of the areas hit by the civil war. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are either refugees in camps in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, or are homeless in their own localities. Never in its history has Syria been so isolated, both in the Arab and international domains. Never has a Syrian regime been so widely condemned in international forums. Nevertheless, Assad has managed to survive, not only because of his power structures but also, and mainly, because of the support of Russia, China, and most especially Iran and Hizbullah.
The strategists around Assad chose deliberately to give up territory inessential to the regime’s survival, mainly in the periphery near the borders with Turkey, Iraq, and Jordan. As a result, the Kurdish minority found itself for the first time in Syria’s modern history in a vast autonomous territory bordering Turkey, geographically connected to their brethren in Iraq and Iran, with a potential of establishing the much-dreamed-of Kurdish homeland.

Obama Administration Is Afraid Of An Outright Victory By Syrian Rebels

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission:

"U.S. Fears Syria Rebel Victory, for Now"

by Daniel Pipes
April 17, 2013
Cross-posted from National Review Online, The Corner

The commentariat universally rejected my Apr. 11 column arguing that Western governments should "Support Assad" on the grounds that he is losing and we don't want the Islamist rebels to win in Syria but prefer a stalemate. An Arabic website in France threatened me.

Fine. But the Wall Street Journal today reports in "U.S. Fears Syria Rebel Victory, for Now" by Julian Barnes that the Obama administration is in fact following my counsel.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Media Coverage Of Boston Marathon Bombing: Telling It Until They Get It Right

Don't get stuck on stupid, reporters. We are moving forward. And don't confuse the people please. You are part of the public message. So help us get the message straight. And if you don't understand, maybe you'll confuse it to the people. That's why we like follow-up questions.
Lieutenant General Honore to journalists during Hurricane Katrina

Hot Air has a good overview of just how clueless the media is about developments in the Boston Marathon bombing. Looking over the various updates that the post goes through, some things become obvious:

Arlene Kushner on Response To Rabbis Who Denied Free Speech To Pamela Geller

From Arlene Kushner:
April 17, 2013

Gratitude Beyond Measure

Yom Ha'Atzmaut is over, and we return to "normal," whatever that means today.  But first I want to extend the theme of Yom Ha'Atzmaut for just a moment.

Israeli flag
Credit: Dartmouth Hillel

With all of the writing I did two days ago, I have not yet, this year, done justice to what Israel means for me, and for the Jewish people (even for those Jewish people who have opted not to care).

With all of my being, I am grateful to be an Israeli, and to be part of the stream of Jewish history that leads us here. The hand of the Almighty is clear in our ingathering: Today -- with over six million Jews -- we have the largest Jewish population in the world.  It is anticipated that within 20 years the majority of the world's Jews will live here. More Jewish study goes on now here than at any time or place in our history.  Our people are happy -- every poll indicates this -- and proud to be Israeli. And we choose life -- having the highest birth rate of Jews anywhere.  This is our Jewish future.


The story of Pam Geller -- and her talks this past Sunday on Sharia law -- is hardly over.  It has many layers, many ramifications, and information continues to come to me.

Mideast Media Sampler 4/17/13: Palestinian Museums Of Fabricated History

by David Gerstman, contributing blogger at Legal Insurrection

1) A museum to a false history

A few years ago Hezbollah opened up a museum devoted to boasting of its victories against Israel. Last year, Sharon Weinberger wrote about Hezbollah’s terror tech museum:
The museum features different units of Hezbollah, including its missile unit. Hezbollah’s increasing rocket and missile capabilities were some of the defining features of the 2006 war and continues to attract attention. In 2010, then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates accused Iran and Syria of equipping Hezbollah with advanced weaponry. “We are at a point now where Hezbollah has far more rockets and missiles than most governments in the world and this is obviously destabilizing for the whole region,” he said.
More recently, the Lebanese magazine, NOW featured an article about the museum.
“I came here to see what the Islamic Revolution in Lebanon did to free my land and my village,” visitor Kamel Mouradi said, referring to Hezbollah, which was founded by the Iranian establishment.
Up the hill from the Abyss is a walkway that leads tourists through a dense forest. Visitors walk past a hidden cove where former Secretary General of Hezbollah Sayyed Abbas Moussawi would pray and encourage fighters. Life-size replicas of Hezbollah militants are spread throughout the woods – some carrying missiles, others firing them and another, kneeling down to pray.
Not to be left out, Hamas now plans to build a museum devoted to its resistance, with Iranian help.

Daniel Pipes from July 2008: Which Has More Islamist Terrorism, Europe or America?

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

With Egypt Suffering From Real Hunger, Obama Sends Tear Gas Instead Of Food

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission: