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July 2016

Why We Must Use the Label, ‘Radical Islam’ Taking the president up on his conversation starter. Adam Turner

“What exactly would using this label (i.e. radical Islam) accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIS less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction.”

President Obama, June 14, 2016

The President and Administration personnel are unwilling to name the enemy before them, the enemy that killed 49 Americans and injured another 53 more in Orlando: Radical Islam (or related terms such as Islamism, political Islam, jihadists, radical Muslims, etc.).

Contrary to the President’s likely intention, which is to silence criticism of his political correctness, I am going to take him up on his conversation starter.

“What exactly would using this label (i.e. radical Islam) accomplish? What exactly would it change?”

A lot, actually. It is useful to know that these radicals practice a form of the Islamic faith, regardless of whether this version is distorted or not, since this knowledge itself provides actionable intelligence. For example, if the intelligence community, law enforcement, and the general public understand that the terrorists in question are radical Muslims, then they will know that certain places and groups are more likely to be targeted – e.g., a gay night club or a kosher supermarket – and certain times of the year are more likely to see violence – e.g., Ramadan. It means that authorities should be especially alert on Friday night, as this is after Muslims, both radical and non-radical, say their weekly prayers in congregation. It might even tell you specific dates when a terror bombing from radical Muslims might be coming. The attacks on 9/11 by al-Qaeda were apparently meant to respond to the Muslim defeat on September 11, 1683 at the gates of Vienna.

Of course, the President may argue that just because he refuses to articulate that the terrorists are followers of radical Islam, this does not mean that he and his strategists don’t understand that the terrorists are motivated by a radical form of Islam. Unfortunately, however, there is a lot of evidence that this politically correct campaign has left Administration and homeland security officials ignorant of basic facts about radical Muslims. Presumably, this is because, in 2011, John Brennan, then deputy national security adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and now CIA Director, ordered a purge of all federal law-enforcement “training materials that contain cultural or religious content, including information related to Islam or Muslims.”


Nigel Farage is Ukip – whether he leads the party or not is irrelevant

Nigel Farage didn’t set up Ukip, but he reshaped it in his image when he became the party’s leader. Mr Farage’s successor will be in place by September, bringing to an end his nine years at the helm. After clearing away the pint glasses and cigar smoke, how will they manage to fill the Farage-shaped void?

A “void” isn’t strictly speaking an accurate description, as the next Ukip leader will likely find that the man they replace is still keen to be involved. Mr Farage insists he is off because he wants his life back, but he has had some trouble letting go in the past. He tried resigning last year, declaring that he “never felt happier” after stepping down and that an “enormous weight” had been lifted from his shoulders. But he was back three days later, explaining why he was going to carry that weight on for a while longer. He stepped down for a bit longer ahead of the 2010 general election, but came back swiftly after it became clear that Lord Pearson was struggling as his interim replacement.

Mr Farage may have been “chief spokesman” at the time, but party insiders admit to me that he was seen as the “power behind the throne”, so his return to the Ukip helm was regraded as a mere formality.

If next Ukip leader wants to sketch out a different path to Mr Farage, they’ll have to be ready to face their predecessor down when he comes calling. I understand he took pains to make clear to MEPs last week that he may be resigning, but he would still be engaged. That’s hardly a surprise – as Ukip has been a project Mr Farage has spent over 20 years of his life working on. He took what Alan Sked originally launched as the Anti-Federalist League and replaced its academic dustiness with electorally potent blend of populism and charisma. The results speak for themselves: 4 million votes at the last general election and a national vote secured for Brexit. Ukip as it stands is Mr Farage’s baby, so it’s little surprise that he has a vested interest in making sure his successor doesn’t reverse the work he has done.

Not that he’d admit so publicly, as the outgoing Ukip leader was nonchalance itself on the issue of his party’s future over the weekend. Speaking on LBC, he insisted that his successor should take it in a “completely different direction”. But in truth it’ll be only on his terms.

The challenge facing the next Ukip leader is how to follow such a big character. One leading contender, Steven Woolfe, likes to compare this question to “what would happen after Ferguson left Man United”, asking: “Do you want to be Louis Van Gaal or David Moyes?”



Good progress on dry-AMD treatment trials. (TY Karen) Human trials of OpRegen from Israeli biotech Cell Cure (see here) at Hadassah Medical Center are proceeding well. This unique stem cell therapy aims to stop progression of the dry form of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) that leads to blindness.

Oral insulin to replace injections. Israeli TV news about the innovative treatment from Israel’s Oramed that will make life better for many of the 400 million people with diabetes.

When you cannot eat. Many sufferers from cancer, stroke, cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s cannot take food orally. Israel’s Fidmi Medical is developing an innovative enteral feeding device that is secure, reliable, painless and discreet. It is extremely unlikely to get clogged up or be dislodged by (potentially fatal) accident.
http://trendlines.com/portfolio/fidmi/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQz-HBmHrWE

Studying cancer in space. (TY SDM) Israeli startup SpacePharma is working with Bioscience engineering faculty and students at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in a $1.75 million research project that will use research in space to find new cancer cures. They will launch a “lab-on-a-chip” with cancer cells inside in a micro satellite that will orbit the earth, studying how cancer cells behave in zero gravity and micro gravity environments.

UK fellowship award for Israeli CF Professor. (TY Karen) The UK’s Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health has awarded an Honorary Fellowship to Professor. Eitan Kerem, head of the Division of Pediatrics at the Hadassah Medical Center and cystic fibrosis specialist. He was praised especially for his work training Palestinian Arab pediatricians in his cystic fibrosis clinic, and treating Palestinian Arab children.

From Hezbollah to Hamas. The PSC rally at Downing Street : David Collier

After the events of last weekend, when the Hezbollah flag was raised in London, spending an evening at a rally with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) seemed positively benign. How wrong I was.

08 July 2016. Richmond Terrace, London SW1A. An area directly opposite Downing Street that is used for demonstrations. It is two years since the 2014 Israel–Hamas conflict, and today the PSC dusted off their ‘stop the attack’ banners, and came out to protest.

But it isn’t 2014 anymore. It was staged to be a big event. It was an anniversary, it was advertised heavily by the PSC minions, their ‘interim head honcho’ Sarah Apps was there, as were their other ‘chiefs’. By half time I heard conversations amongst the organisers making excuses for the low turnout. Scores of banners were left by the sidewalk, with not enough hands to raise them all aloft

A fact about the state of pro-Palestinian activism is this: More people turned out for the Hezbollah Flag than for this PSC anniversary. There were 170, maybe 200. The Facebook event page suggests 557. It seems lots of those that did attend have multiple accounts on Facebook.

I did learn that I need to take my disguise up to another level. I was wearing a hat and a large Keffiyeh, but was ‘clocked’ as soon as I entered. The PSC and I have history, I am passive, I am an ‘investigative journalist’ and they don’t like what I write. A ‘persona non grata’ they can do little about.

The pro-Israelis were taken to one side by the police. Unmasked now, I saw one of them was Joseph and realised this was an Israel Advocacy Movement (IAM) action. Andrew was there, Ben, Chloé, Micha and perhaps a couple of others.
The Israeli flags

The police formed a line between the two groups and the IAM crowd took out their Israeli flags. On the one side a mob of angry anti-Israeli activists, on the other 5 people with the courage to face them.

The distance between the two groups was negligible. A woman by my side ducked and lunged towards the Israeli group, but was stopped and pushed back. Lighter in hand, it seemed she had wanted to burn an Israeli flag. Looking back over the footage, I saw that the lighter had been placed in her hand only during the confrontation. She never made it through the line of stewards.

There was verbal abuse and a stand-off. More distance was placed between the two sides and the organisers tried to bring people back to the rally. There were still people talking on the stage, microphone in hand, but almost nobody was listening. The mob was where the action was. Hating a Jew clearly far more enticing than listening to the same old rhetoric.

It Is The Duty of Muslims to Speak Out by Majid Rafizadeh

Islam can provide a powerful language and tool to commit the worst crimes, while at the same time the perpetrators of those attacks feel blessed, privileged, rewarded and on the winning side.

This indoctrination evolves into a deep-seated fear of even questioning, let alone leaving, the rules of Allah and Islam. Once you become the slave of Islam, it kills your courage to leave it.

Unless we gain a better understanding of the nature of Islam — its reliance on Qur’anic verses, as well as its values, principles and ideology, we will not be capable of addressing this threat.

Simply stating that Islam does not have to do anything with these violent acts is not a constructive; it is just a way to avoid tackling the problem. As Muslims, we need to accept the fact that there exist some parts in the religion of Islam that gives social, political, religious, and cultural legitimacy to violence. Otherwise these Islamist groups would not have flourished.

It is sometimes important to talk about things that are tempting to be silent about. It is important to shed light on the intricacies, complexities, and nuances of the religion of Islam as well as the contemporary social, political and economic traditions linked to this faith and the uncontrolled rise of extremism.

I used to be a devout follower of Islam: one of the few who actually read the Qur’an word for word and tried to follow the rules in detail.

The penalty for renouncing Islam, it is also crucial to note, is death. It is legally administered in Islamic societies by governments, Islamic courts, and even individual Muslims who desire to fulfill their duty prescribed by Allah, the Qur’an and Muhammad.

These Islamic laws, of course, create fear about telling the true story.

A Muslim, you see, believes that the Qur’an contains the exact words of Allah. The Qu’ran does not tell stories about God, as does the Bible; it is viewed as the very word of God, similar to the Ten Commandments. They therefore must be implemented without reservation, regardless of time and place.

According to some Islamic teachings, the reward for killing an unbeliever or apostate — someone who leaves Islam and renounces Allah and Muhammad — will receive the best place in heaven.

If you have been indoctrinated by Islam from your earliest childhood and all your life have been a follower of Islam, abandoning or criticizing it is not going to be easy. This indoctrination evolves into a deep-seated fear of even questioning, let alone leaving, the rules of Allah and Islam. Once you become the slave of Islam, it kills your courage to leave it.

Deciding to be free and independent — liberating yourself from being the slave of the rules of Allah and the chains of Islam — becomes inconceivable, out of question.

Islam can provide a powerful language and tool to commit the worst crimes, while at the same time the perpetrators of those attacks feel blessed, privileged, rewarded and on the winning side.

Unless we gain a better understanding of the nature of Islam — its reliance on Qur’anic verses, as well as its values, principles and ideology, we will not be capable of addressing this threat. The challenge before us is no longer just a Muslim issue belonging solely to the citizens of Muslim countries. The threads of fear and cruelty in Islam infest every country. It is a challenge that needs to be dealt with by everyone, the whole world. Otherwise, Islam will only continue to spread in various forms: al Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Jubhat Al Nusra, Hamas, Hizb ut-Tahrir, Islamic Jihad, individual terrorists, and many others.

ISIS Comes to Gaza by Khaled Abu Toameh

Recent reports leave no doubt as to cooperation between Hamas and ISIS groups in Sinai. These reports, the Egyptians and Palestinian Authority argue, provide further evidence that the Gaza Strip remains a major base for various jihadi terror groups that pose a real threat.

The report said that terrorists wanted by the Egyptian authorities were admitted to the Gaza Strip hospital in return for weapons given to Hamas by the Islamic State in the Sinai.

Mahmoud Abbas and the leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) can continue to talk all they want about a Palestinian state that would be established in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. But when ISIS-inspired groups are active in Gaza and there are no signs that the Hamas regime is weakening, it is rather difficult to imagine a Palestinian state.

The jihadi groups clearly seek to create an Islamic emirate combining the Gaza Strip and Sinai. Abbas might thank Israel for its presence in the West Bank — a presence that allows him and his government to be something other than infidel cannon fodder for the jihadis.

Hamas denies it up and down. Nonetheless, there are growing signs that the Islamist movement, which is based in the Gaza Strip, is continuing to cooperate with other jihadi terror groups that are affiliated with Islamic State (ISIS), especially those that have been operating in the Egyptian peninsula of Sinai in recent years.

This cooperation, according to Palestinian Authority security sources, is the main reason behind the ongoing tensions between the Egyptian authorities and Hamas. These tensions have prompted the Egyptians to keep the Rafah border crossing mostly closed since 2013, trapping tens of thousands of Palestinians inside the Gaza Strip.

In 2015, the Egyptians opened the Rafah terminal for a total of twenty-one days to allow humanitarian cases and those holding foreign nationalities to leave or enter the Gaza Strip.

This year so far, Rafah has been open for a total of twenty-eight days. Sources in the Gaza Strip say there are about 30,000 humanitarian cases that need to leave immediately. They include dozens of university students who haven’t been able to go back to their universities abroad and some 4,000 patients in need of urgent medical treatment.

Surprisingly, last week the Egyptians opened the Rafah terminal for five days in a row, allowing more than 4,500 Palestinians to leave and enter the Gaza Strip. The unusual gesture came on the eve of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr. However, the terminal was closed again at the beginning of the feast on July 6.

The renewed closure of the Rafah terminal coincided with reports that efforts to end the tensions between Hamas and Egypt hit a snag. According to the reports, the Egyptian authorities decided to cancel a planned visit to Cairo by senior Hamas officials. The decision to cancel the visit, the reports said, came in the wake of the dissatisfaction of the Egyptians with the way Hamas has been handling security along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. The closure of the border crossing came as a blow to Hamas’s efforts to patch up its differences with Egypt and pave the way for easing severe travel restrictions imposed by Cairo on the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.


Generals renowned for strategy and bravery in war often make very poor national leaders. I speak here not of tin pot dictators and “generalisimos” whose chests are festooned with medals and ribbons, but of Israeli generals. As Martin Sherman, Israel’s superb commentator, wrote in The Jerusalem Post over a year ago in “Goofy Generals Galore”: “Virtually every time top military figures have departed from their field of expertise and ventured into one where they have none (politics), they have–almost invariably—been disastrously wrong.”

Moshe Dayan was commander of the Jerusalem front in Israel’s War of Independence and Chief of Staff during the 1956 Suez War. In 1967, while Minister of Defense, he became the symbol of the IDF. Probably the most famous photograph of the 1967 war, is that of Dayan praying at the just-liberated Western Wall. His downfall came when he was blamed for the intelligence failures prior to the 1973 war. Inexplicably in 1977 Menachem Begin restored him to public life by making him Foreign Minister. Dayan played a critical role in implementing the infamous Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt. As lead negotiator, he held secret meetings with officials in India, Iran, England and Morocco and prodded a reluctant Begin to accept all Sadat’s demands. The resulting peace agreement gave Israel nothing but promises, which were flouted by Egypt before the ink was dry. In return Israel surrendered the entire Sinai and agreed to give ‘autonomy” to the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria. As Henry Kissinger later commented, “autonomy” was the embryo of partition and independence.

Yigal Allon was a respected general who served as Prime Minister for three weeks in 1969 when Levi Eshkol died suddenly. Shortly after the 1967 war his Allon Plan proposed the first post war surrender: it proposed partitioning the West Bank between Israel and Jordan, creating a Druze state in the Golan Heights, and returning most of the Sinai to Arab control. It was immediately rejected by King Hussein and ridiculed by the other Arab states, but it laid bare Israel’s willingness to divide the area, laying the ground for successive American sponsored “peace processes.”

The next general to become Prime Minister was Yitzhak Rabin who served twice, from 1974 to 1955 and again from July 1992 to November 1995 when he was assassinated. While during his first tenure he oversaw the hugely successful Entebbe rescue, during his second term he signed off on the Oslo agreement which was followed by a large and bloody siege of terrorism and continues to have catastrophic consequences for Israel. He shared a Nobel peace prize with Yasser Arafat for his disastrous actions.

Lt. General Ehud Barak is the most highly decorated soldier in Israel’s history and was Chief of Staff from 1991 to 1995. In 1999 he won against Netanyahu and became Israel’s tenth Prime Minister. He promptly resumed negotiations with the PLO and stated: “Every attempt to keep hold of the West Bank and Gaza leads, necessarily, to either a nondemocratic or a non-Jewish state. Because if the Palestinians vote, then it is a binational state, and if they don’t vote it is an apartheid state.”

This was mild compared to his recent statements. As David Hornik one of Israel’s best commentators points out: “In a speech on June 16, 2016 Barak—who, as Netanyahu’s defense minister, had warned steadily that time was running out to stop Iran’s nuclear program—said that Israel faced “no existential threats.” He went on to accuse Netanyahu of “Hitlerizing” threats to Israel, declaring “Hitlerization by the prime minister cheapens the Holocaust…. Our situation is grave even without [comparisons to] Hitler….”

Barak went on to give his own outrageous mis-characterization of the current situation:

“Only a blind person or a sheep, an ignoramus or someone jaded, can’t see the erosion of democracy and the ‘budding fascism.…’ If it looks like budding fascism, walks like budding fascism and quacks like budding fascism, that’s the situation…. In capitals around the world—in London and Washington, in Berlin and Paris, in Moscow and Beijing—no leader believes a word coming out of Netanyahu’s mouth or his government’s.”

Dr. Jihad: Muslim doctors and the global jihad By Carol Brown

Where Trump goes, so do protestors. The GOP convention in Cleveland will be a flash point for many of them.

One group will be from the Stand Together Against Trump PAC which was formed by local physicians who want to protest Trump’s position on Muslim immigration. The PAC has eight leaders including six doctors, four of whom are Muslim. The founder, Dr. Bryan Hambley, said the group finds the “rhetoric” of banning Muslims from the United States “shocking.”

The upcoming protest at the GOP convention will not be Hambley’s first. He was escorted out of a protest in March after removing his sweatshirt to reveal a t-shirt that read: “Muslim doctors save lives in Cleveland.”

With all this talk of Muslim doctors saving lives, I thought I’d highlight a few examples where they strayed a long way (to put it mildly) from their oath of “first do no harm.”

Last month an international search began when medical school graduate Mohamed Maleeh Masha vanished from Flint, Michigan. Authorities believe he is now in Syria providing medical care to wounded ISIS jihadists, tending to dozens if not hundreds each day. Masha is also likely making propaganda videos since upper-class professionals like doctors are sought after for this job with the hope they’ll convince other professionals in the West to join the cause.

In Masha’s case, as with others, there are the usual questions being raised about how he became “radicalized” (aka devout; hint: the Quran) with a hypothesis being floated that he “may have become more invested in the Islamic faith before fleeing to join ISIS.” (Including the word “may” is probably unnecessary, but other than that the link between Islam and terror is a welcome change from the usual battery of lies.)

Masha is the latest in a string of Muslim physician terrorists. Several years ago in Florida, Dr. Rafiq Sabi was sentenced to 25 years in prison for providing material support to terrorists. The trial judge stated that part of what contributed to the near maximum sentence was Sabir’s lack of contrition coupled with his “deeply held views regarding militant fundamentalist Islam.” (Hmm. There’s that link again, though the words “militant” and “fundamentalist” are superfluous.)

U.S. Transfers Yemeni Detainee From Guantanamo to Italy Announcement follows disappearance of transferred detainee in Latin America By Felicia Schwartz

The U.S. military said Sunday it transferred a Yemeni detainee to Italy from the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The transfer of Fayiz Ahmad Yahia Suleiman to Italy was announced as a search is under way in Latin America for former Syrian detainee Abu Wa’el Dhiab, who was resettled in Uruguay in 2014 along with five other prisoners. He was reported missing by Uruguayan officials last week and appears to have fled the country.

Mr. Suleiman, the Yemeni detainee, was approved for transfer six years ago. He had been in Guantanamo for 14 years and had never been charged with a crime. Mr. Suleiman had been suspected of fighting with al Qaeda in Afghanistan against U.S. and coalition forces and had a history of hunger striking, according to leaked military documents about the detainees.

The transfer of the Yemeni detainee brings the prison’s population down to 78, including 28 approved for transfer.

Defending the Obama administration’s policy last week in front of lawmakers, the State Department’s envoy for closing the Guantanamo detention center, Lee Wolosky, said transfers are made only after the U.S. secures assurances that the receiving country will provide “a security framework that we assess will substantially mitigate the threat a detainee may pose after transfer.”

Mr. Suleiman’s transfer was approved by six U.S. agencies, including the Departments of Defense, State, Justice and Homeland Security as well as the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The Defense Department notifies Congress of the moves 30 days in advance.

“The United States is grateful to the government of Italy for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility,” the Pentagon said in a statement. Italian officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

At a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week, Republicans reiterated their opposition to Mr. Obama’s plan to close the prison at Guantanamo, citing Mr. Dhiab’s disappearance as evidence that some countries are ill-prepared to accommodate detainees. Both Republicans and Democrats said they were frustrated that Uruguay couldn’t account for Mr. Dhiab’s whereabouts. CONTINUE AT SITE

Stuart Green:I’m Banning Laptops From My Classroom Students use computers to take notes, sure, but that’s not all. One spent classtime streaming a hockey game.

Mr. Green is a professor at Rutgers Law School and the author of “Thirteen Ways to Steal a Bicycle: Theft Law in the Information Age” (Harvard University Press, 2012).

For more than 20 years, I have taught college graduates, most in their mid-20s, the basics of criminal law and procedure. In all that time, at half a dozen law schools, I’ve had the daily opportunity to observe some of the miracles that modern technology has wrought in the legal academy: Computerized research. PowerPoint. No more handwritten blue books!

But now and then, carrying out my institutional duty to observe classes taught by younger colleagues, I move from the front of the classroom to the rear. What a revelation to see what the students are up to. While virtually all of them have open laptops and most are taking notes, many seem more intent on emailing and texting, posting on social media, reading news sites, shopping online, or looking at YouTube videos. I recently saw one student systematically checking out law-firm websites for summer-associate salaries. Another spent an entire class streaming an NHL hockey game.

If this is what the students are doing while I’m sitting behind them, observing the class, I can only imagine what they’re doing when I’m up front, lecturing.

Has the time come to ban laptops from my classes? The arguments for doing so seem pretty straightforward. As common sense suggests, and a March 2013 study by Faria Sana, Tina Weston and Nicholas J. Cepeda confirmed, students who are multitasking during class have less understanding and recall of what’s being discussed.

The study also found that “participants who were in direct view of a multitasking peer scored lower on a test compared with those who were not.” So the student with the game on his laptop is also making it harder for the student sitting behind him to focus.

My school has spent a fortune for classrooms with comfortable seating, quality lighting and good acoustics. Don’t we also owe students a physical environment in which they’re not bombarded with the laptop-generated equivalent of Times Square?

Even when multitasking is blocked, students who take notes on a computer tend to perform worse than students who take notes by hand, according to a 2014 study by Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer. They found that laptop users were basically creating a transcript of the lecture, while those taking notes by hand were synthesizing the information. This confirms my own experience when meeting with students who appear to have a nearly verbatim record of what I said in class but fail to grasp what I was trying to convey. It’s like making a cake recipe from scratch, measuring out all the ingredients perfectly, but forgetting to put the concoction in the oven. CONTINUE AT SITE