Saturday, May 23, 2015

Updates From The Epicenter And Beyond

Senior Israeli diplomat: 'This land is ours' - Yahoo News

 Israel's new deputy foreign minister on Thursday delivered a defiant message to the international community, saying that Israel owes no apologies for its policies in the Holy Land and citing religious texts to back her belief that it belongs to the Jewish people.

The speech by Tzipi Hotovely illustrated the influence of hardliners in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new government, and the challenges he will face as he tries to persuade the world that he is serious about pursuing peace with the Palestinians.

Hotovely, 36, is among a generation of young hard-liners in Netanyahu's Likud Party who support West Bank settlement construction and oppose ceding captured land to the Palestinians. Since Netanyahu has a slim one-seat majority in parliament, these lawmakers could complicate any attempt to revive peace talks.

With Netanyahu also serving as the acting foreign minister, Hotovely is currently the country's top full-time diplomat.
In an inaugural address to Israeli diplomats, Hotovely said Israel has tried too hard to appease the world and must stand up for itself.
"We need to return to the basic truth of our rights to this country," she said. "This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologize for that."
Hotovely, an Orthodox Jew, laced her speech with biblical commentaries in which God promised the Land of Israel to the Jews. Speaking later in English, she signaled that she would try to rally global recognition for West Bank settlements, which are widely opposed.

Isis has used the latest issue of its propaganda magazine Dabiq to suggest the group is expanding so rapidly it could buy its first nuclear weapon within a year.
The hyperbolic article, which the group attributes to the British hostage John Cantlie, claims Isis has transcended its roots as “the most explosive Islamic ‘group’ in the modern world” to evolve into “the most explosive Islamic movement the modern world has ever seen” in less than twelve months.
Photojournalist Cantlie is regularly used in the terror group’s propaganda and has appeared in a number of videos, including a YouTube series called "Lend Me Your Ears". He has been held a hostage by Isis for more than two years.

The piece, entitled "The Perfect Storm", describes militant Islamist groups such as Boko Haram, which recently pledged allegiance to Isis, uniting across the Middle East, Africa and Asia to create one global movement.
The article claims this alignment of groups has happened at the sane time as Isis militants have seized “tanks, rocket launchers, missile systems, anti-aircraft systems,” from the US and Iran before turning to the subject of more extreme weapons the group is not in possession of - such as nuclear weapons.

"They’ll [Isis] be looking to do something big, something that would make any past operation look like a squirrel shoot, and the more groups that pledge allegiance the more possible it becomes to pull off something truly epic.
“Remember, all of this has happened in less than a year. How more dangerous will be the lines of communication and supply a year on from today?”

The finances of the group have been estimated by some to be in the $2billion area, though it is impossible to verify how much money it actually has access to.

Iranian officials have been thrown into a fit over distorted comments attributed to Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon that have swept across the internet and include popular anti-Israel sites.

A report by Iran's Fars news agency on Wednesday claimed that the defense minister supposedly said “We are going to hurt Lebanese civilians to include kids of the family. We went through a very long deep discussion … we did it then, we did it in [the] Gaza Strip, we are going to do it in any round of hostilities in the future,” while speaking at an unnamed "conference in Jerusale

The quote was most likely based on Ya'alon's comments from the May 5 Shurat Hadin conference. He was recounting targeting decisions in which he was involved when it first became apparent that Hezbollah was purposely placing weapons in civilian homes in Lebanon. He said that “If we don’t intercept the rocket-launchers in advance, civilians will be hurt, if not killed. If we hit the launchers, it will hurt or kill Lebanese civilians.” He said a “long, deep discussion” regarding the “moral and legal considerations” took place before the final decision to strike the rocket launcher.

Another quote attributed to Ya'alon, for which a basis could not be found, claimed that Israel would act "as the Americans did in 'Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end the fatalities of 200,000.'" 

In response, Iranian Major General Rahim Safavi threatened Israel with violence, saying that "the Zionists and the US are aware of the power of Iran and Hezbollah, and they know that over 80,000 (Iranian) missiles are ready to rain down on Tel Aviv and Haifa."

"We have displayed part of our military capabilities while we have kept many of our achievements and capabilities hidden to outsiders," a comment which comes just a month after P5+1 countries agreed to a framework deal with Iran. "Our response will be crushing not just to the Zionist regime, but to any other aggressor who intends to take action against us.

 Fernando Gentilini is the new EU Special Representative for the Middle East peace process. His tasks are to contribute to actions and initiatives leading to a  final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on a two state solution. He will facilitate contact between the parties and contribute to setting up a possible new framework for negotiations.
As anticipated last month by, Gentilini is is been appointed today by the Council of Europe. Former director for Western Europe, Western Balkans and Turkey for the European External Action Service, Fernando Gentilini has an extensive career in foreign affairs: from May 2011 to January 2012, he was EU Special Representative in Kosovo. He will take up his duties immediately and is initially appointed until 30 April 2016 in an effort to re-launch the Process as quickly as possible.
The European Middle East position was created in 1996 after the Oslo Accords offered the prospect of real progress towards a Israel-Palestinian peace deal. Mogherini’s predecessor, Briton Catherine Ashton, abolished the office in a controversial move ai

China tried to electronically jam US drone flights over the disputed South China Sea in order to prevent surveillance on man-made islands Beijing is constructing as a part of an aggressive land reclamation initiative, US officials said.
Global Hawk long-range surveillance drones were targeted by jamming in at least one incident near the Spratly Islands, where China is building military facilities on Fiery Cross Reef, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
That statement follows Thursday reports that the Chinese navy warned a US surveillance plane to leave the same area eight times in an apparent effort to establish and enforce a no-fly zone, a demand Washington rejected.
“This is the Chinese navy … This is the Chinese navy … Please go away … to avoid misunderstanding,” a radio call in English from an installation on Fiery Cross said. The warnings were reported by CNN, which had a crew on the aircraft.
Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said the United States does not recognize China’s sovereignty claims over the new islands. He added that flights and Navy ships will continue their routine patrols, but will maintain a distance of at least 12 miles from the island.
Details of the drone interference are classified, but last week, David Shear, the assistant defense secretary for Asian and Pacific security affairs, said Global Hawks are deployed in Asia as one element of a buildup of forces near the South China Sea.
“We’re engaged in a long-term effort to bolster our capabilities in the region,” Shear told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Just a few examples of the increases in our capabilities in the region include the deployment of Global Hawks and F-35s. Soon we will be adding to the stock of V-22s in Japan as well.”

After weeks of wrangling, Senate lawmakers approved legislation that would give President Obama "fast track" powers to negotiate international trade deals. 

The vote came after lawmakers defeated several "poison pill" amendments that would have made it difficult for the bill to become law. 

Obama released a statement praising the passage of the bill, which he called "an important step toward ensuring the United States can negotiate and enforce strong, high-standards trade agreements."

The great columns and pediments of Washington, D.C. that give it a Roman and Greek air have their origins in a lost city in the Syrian desert. After Robert Wood and James Dawkins visited the ruins of Palmyra in the eighteenth century, the illustrations of the bare columns and broken arches helped inspire neoclassical architecture. Now the city that helped inspire Washington is occupied by ISIS.

It is a historical irony that the classical architecture of our national capital where Islamic terrorists are appeased owes a good deal to a forgotten Christian outpost that surrendered to the armies of Islam.

Some would even say that history is repeating itself.

Palmyra fell when it was besieged by the savage horde of Khalid ibn al-Walid; the Sword of Allah. The Sword of Allah was known for numerous atrocities. One particularly gruesome account describes how he murdered the Arab poet and chieftain Malik ibn Nuweira for returning taxes demanded by Mohammed to his people, telling them, “Your wealth is now your own.” The Islamic IRS was even nastier than ours.

The Sword of Allah cut off Malik’s head and used it to cook dinner before raping his wife. Through such atrocities, that helped inspire the modern crimes of ISIS, the Sword of Allah was able to keep Mohammed’s conquests together after his death. When he came to Palmyra, the Sword swore by Allah that he would conquer it even if it were in heaven and capture its sons and daughters.
Hoping to save their lives, the people of Palmyra surrendered and became dhimmis. Arabic replaced Aramaic, Islam replaced Christianity and the city once founded by King Solomon mostly vanished from history. Those inhabitants who survived the terrible centuries of Islamic occupation, lost their identity, their religion and any knowledge that they were of a nobler kind than their brutal conquerors.
Palmyra falls again with its capture by ISIS. This fall may be its final one. If ISIS has its way, the ruins of the city that helped inspire the rebirth of classical architecture in England and America will be destroyed.
Like the old armies of Islam that destroyed the Library of Alexandria because its books were a threat to the totalitarian writ of the Koran, ISIS destroys the remains of the civilizations that predated Islam. It is not alone in seeking to destroy the histories of more civilized times so that none of the peoples under its rule can ever seek to better themselves by reaching for something higher and better than the Koran.

America found inspiration in ancient civilizations to reach higher. ISIS wants a world where no one can ever know that there were better men than Mohammed and the Sword of Allah, so that its followers will aspire to be nothing better than murderers and rapists, destroying the past to kill the future.

The typical method of shutting down a Mohammed cartoon event is analogous to the “heckler’s veto”. However, it goes beyond a guy at the back of the room shouting at the top of his lungs, forcing the speaker to give up and leave the mike. And it’s far more effective than a bunch of leftist boneheads standing around blowing whistles, drowning out the speaker.
All you have to do is spread the word that people are going to show up with AK-47s and perforate everyone who attends the event. That guarantees that the authorities will shut it down.
A few days ago an outfit in Ottawa decided to observe the Sixth Annual Draw Mohammed Day (which is tomorrow) by holding an event on Parliament Hill. This was the notice they sent out: 
International Draw Muhammed Day 2015
Date: Wednesday, 20th of May, 2015
Time: 13:00 to 15:00
Place: Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada
Come and join us in drawing Muhammed, the Pope’s Mother, Buddha with headphones and or any other religious/political figure!
Let’s exercise our freedom to blaspheme — while we still can!!!
We will meet by the East entrance of The Hill Where the October 22nd shooter entered The Hill) at 1 pm and walk to the North-East corner of the lawn, so we are very close to the route the shooter took. There, I will set up the table (and tent, if it rains) and we can get down to some blasphemous art!
Please, spread the word as far and wide as you can.
Well, it turned out that their freedom to blaspheme had already been taken away. This afternoon the organizers sent out this notice:

After having been given (last week) the go ahead with the Draw Muhammed Day on Parliament Hill for tomorrow, 20th of May, by the RCMP security people, I have just received a phone call (at 5:25 pm) from Canadian Heritage cancelling the event due to ‘security concerns’.
The Canadian Heritage representative said he was unable to give me further details regarding the last minute cancellation and said no appeal was possible.
Such is the state — or lack thereof — of free speech in Canada.
Thanks to all of you who helped spread the word about the planned event — please, let your contacts know that, at this late an hour, our freedom of speech has been cancelled.
So sorry,
As Vlad says:
The cancelation of this event however raises a very frightening question. Who exactly makes the laws in Canada, if an event can take place or not based on the preferences of one group acting illegally and with threat of deadly force at the federal capital buildings of Canada? This is a black day for national sovereignty in the free world and Canada especially indeed.

I am so confused. Perhaps the progressives are correct and we right-wingers are inadequately subtle and nuanced in our thinking. I know that liberals speak out against labeling and stereotyping, but that confuses me too because they have built up so many tiny little contradictory pigeonholes to stuff people into and for the life of me I can’t figure out who goes where.  

If I am afraid that Islamists might kill me, and I want to stop them, I’m Islamophobic, but a “phobia” is an unreasonable fear -- like arachibutyrophobia, an irrational, intense fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. PB is a little gluey, but that’s what the J is for, so there’s no reason for fear. No one has ever died from peanut butter stickiness. But millions have died horrifying deaths at the hands of Islamists, so it seems reasonable to have some serious concerns about their intentions. Even if only 1% are dangerous, that still makes a million of them running around with bombs and machetes. Pardon my Islamophobia, but yikes.

If, however, I’m afraid of offending said Muslims, and kowtow to their every ridiculous demand, I’m not Islamophobic, I am compassionate and multicultural and diverse. Muddle, muddle. This same principle appears when dealing with issues surrounding gay rights.

If I am against gay marriage and wish that homosexuals would keep their clothes on in public, then I’m homophobic, somehow afraid of these sequined and painted people who mostly just want to force me to say that what they do is just fine with God, who, according to them, doesn’t exist (Large question mark appears over my head).

For quite a long time I laughed at the term “homophobic” because it was so over-reactive, but given recent developments and the gay rights folk being willing to ruin, bankrupt, and dispossess Christians who are unwilling to countermand God’s instructions on marriage, perhaps it’s reasonable to be afraid of same-sex couples. But then if the fear is rational it isn’t a phobia.

Speaking of gay issues, what do we call the liberal gay male who is pro-Palestinian? Do these guys not know that Muslims in their own countries throw gay men off roofs?  And what do we call liberal women who seem comfortable with the prospect of Sharia? There’s no term for them? Allow me: Christophobic nincompoops.

Now, if one is both pro-Islamic and anti-sexist (anti-sexist=anti-male, which is, in some mysterious way, not sexist) then how can you accept the anti-female dictates of Sharia Law? Are you afraid you would be labeled mutilaphobic if you took a stand against such practices? I should also point out that Muslim men are given permission by the Koran to marry four wives, simultaneously, and to beat them whenever they wish. But we would be mistaken if we think this behavior is sexist. To think so would be provincial and naïve, completely lacking in the suavity of multiculturalism. And any woman, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Brigitte Gabriel, who speaks out against Islamic barbarism toward women is a hateful bigot -- we must somehow digest that, confounding as that may be.  

Then there’s racism; what makes a person racist? Evidently, distrusting Barack Obama and Eric Holder. But, you have to understand that their being black is not the issue. After all, it’s okay to hate Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, Allen West, etc. The issue is conservative vs. progressive, not black versus white. They say that’s the point, but it isn’t. It has something to do with authenticity -- whatever that means. Obama is not of slave blood, is not poor, never has been. But he is an authentic socialist, so I assume that is the issue in racism; one must have X amount of melanin in the skin and vote Democrat -– such a person can have nothing critical said about them. I have no idea why.

That gets us to the issue of thugism. He who is prone to tearing up private property, setting fire to family businesses, shooting cops, and expecting to be paid for his trouble may mistakenly be called a thug. This is deceptive because if said thug is also black then he can’t be a thug, because thug is the new incarnation of the word n----r, which can only be used by racists (unless the speaker is authentically black). And don’t forget that racists can only be white and can only vote Republican -- in spite of the fact that slavery and racism are Democrat constructs. It was Republicans who pushed to rid our society of both. Do you see why I’m puzzled?

It’s also baffling that the aborting of black babies is not racist. That blacks appear, if the statistics are accurate, to be more babyophobic than other races mystifies me. They are dooming their own race to perpetual minority status, but it’s still racist to be against that practice. Sexist also, evidently because we only honor the vagina, the playground, and not the reproductive part of feminine power. Perplexing in the extreme.

I am beginning to understand the left’s fascination with drugs. Anyone thisrealityphobic has got to be heavily medicated to make it from one day to the next. In fact, I may need medicating if I have to listen to much more of this drivel. I don’t hate blacks, gays, or Muslims, but I do hate it when people use the smoke and mirrors of illogic and linguistic trickery to hide the fact that they have no idea what they are talking about. Call me a phobiaist, if you must call me something, and try talking sense. We’d all be happier.

Actually, the article above characterized my personal confusion over the inconsistencies listed above...Until I stumbled on the following book which I highly recommend:

Throughout the twentieth century, the Western Left supported one totalitarian killing machine after another. Prominent intellectuals venerated mass murderers such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, and Ho Chi Minh, excusing their atrocities while blaming the West, and even the victims, for the crimes. After 9/11, history repeated itself. The only difference was that the Left’s favorite murderers were waving not the red flag of proletarian revolution, but the black flag of Islamic jihad. Now, in “United in Hate,” Jamie Glazov, editor of, analyzes the Left’s contemporary romance with militant Islam as a continuation of the Left’s love affair with communist totalitarianism in the 20th Century.

In this provocative exposé, Glazov — whose childhood in Soviet Russia gives him a unique perspective on totalitarian ideologies — dissects the psychology of those who live in freedom yet yearn for its opposite. 

How can leftists in the West worship the very systems under which they themselves would perish? 

Why are Leftists, obsessed with women's rights and gay rights, walking in lockstep with a religion that not just denounces such rights but executes those trying to practice them? 

What is the pernicious mindset that views the freest country in the world as worthless and ugly? 

Why do Leftists yearn to force historical blindness upon the world — to wipe out the memory of the hundreds of millions of people who have suffered under totalitarianism? The answers are here.

Some highlights and key themes of United in Hate:

  • How the radical Left and radical Islam share a profound hatred for Western culture, for a capitalist economic structure that recognizes individual achievement, and for the Judeo-Christian heritage of the United States
  • How the Left and Islam both seek to establish a new world order — leftists in the form of a classless communist society, and Islamists in the form of a caliphate ruled by Sharia law
  • How, to achieve these goals, both are willing to ‘wipe the slate clean’ by means of limitless carnage, with the ultimate goal of erecting their utopia upon the ruins of the system they have destroyed
  • The lust for death: a foundation of the Left’s romance with militant Islam, as it was with communism Former president Jimmy Carter’s pilgrimage to Cairo, in April 2008, to meet with — and embrace — the leaders of the terrorist organization Hamas
  • How, in 2005, when U.S.-liberated Iraqi citizens twice defied terrorist threats to cast their votes in free elections, the Left greeted the news with calls for an immediate American withdrawal
  • The columnist for a prominent left-wing publications who called on her comrades to join hands with the terrorist faction of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr
  • The member of the British Parliament who calle for a global Muslim-leftist alliance against America and its allies
  • How “peace mom” became a poster child of the American Left by calling terrorists “freedom fighters” and cheering for their victory
  • How Western leftists reached out in solidarity to the terrorists of Hezbollah (“the Party of God”) after it launched hundreds of rockets into Israeli cities in 2006
  • “The U.S. has brought this on itself”: How, in the wake of 9/11, leftists blamed America for provoking it — and even praised it as a kind of karmic justice
  • How, after 9/11, leftists loud opposed the U.S. mission to oust the Taliban in Afghanistan — even though everything it represented, such as the brutal suppression of women, was supposed to be anathema to the Left
  • How the Left succeeded in making America vulnerable to 9/11 by opposing all preventive measures — including some urged by Bill Clinton — leading up to it

“The modern Left’s core consists of the ideological descendants of the communist/progressive Left that wanted the West to lose the Cold War to the Soviet Union,” writes Glazov. “Upon the foundation of their hatred for the United States, its members have forged their alliance with radical Islam, whose wellspring of anti-American hatred runs just as deep.” A timely and provocative look at the beliefs motivating America-hating Leftists, United in Hate exposes the ugly instincts that inspire both radical Islam and the radical Left — and what brings them into solidarity.

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