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January 2018

The NGO Industry’s Terror Trail Gatestone’s Person of the Week: Dr. Gerald Steinberg by Ruthie Blum

All a group has to say to garner the support of many European politicians is that its mission is to promote human rights. The words have a “halo effect,” a term used in psychology to describe the tendency to favorably judge people, companies, groups, products, and so forth, based on the image of morality or some other positive factor. In the context of NGOs, groups that claim to promote values seen as universally good — such as peace, human rights, justice and coexistence — are automatically perceived as credible and above criticism or investigation.

After World War II and the Communist period, the concept of “civil society” — later called “NGOs” by the UN — became holy in Europe. Civil society was supposed to be the antidote to manipulative democracy, like that of the Weimar Republic. But they forgot to ask what happens when civil society is itself the manipulating force. There are no checks and balances imposed on it.

The NGO lobby at the UN plays a crucial role, because it is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year business. It is an industry, and it needs to be called just that.

Last week, Professor Gerald Steinberg, founder and president of the Jerusalem-based research organization NGO Monitor, had “breaking news”: The Danish government had formalized a decision to stop funding the Human Rights International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, an NGO framework established in 2013 at Birzeit University in Ramallah, with an annual budget of millions of euros, paid for by the governments of Sweden, Holland, Denmark and Switzerland.

Steinberg’s research had revealed that of the 24 core NGOs funded by the Secretariat, six have ties to the Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – which is on the EU’s official list of terrorist organizations — and 15 are involved in worldwide campaigns to destroy Israel by economic means.

Denmark’s decision, according to Steinberg, came on the heels of votes in the Swiss Parliament calling on the government to cease funding “projects carried out by NGOs involved in racist, anti-Semitic or hate incitement actions.” Denmark’s decision also coincided with an investigation launched by The Netherlands into the Secretariat funding. “The Danish example is the most important,” he said, “as it is the largest chunk that has been cut in one fell swoop, and Danes were among the Secretariat’s founders.”

The Regime Chants “Death to America”, Iranians Chant “Death to Mullahs” by Majid Rafizadeh

Now, people in Iran are demanding not just limited reforms but regime change. The government has been doing all it can to stoke the flames of hatred, but has been trying to deflect it to “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.

The Trump administration is taking the right side by supporting the Iranian people; they are the principal victims of the Iranian regime and its Islamist agenda.

Let us not be on the side of history that would remain silent in the face of such crimes against humanity, let us not join the ranks of other dictators, terrorists, and criminals, that turned a blind eye to violence, and the will of brave, innocent people.

Protests have grown and have spread across Iran in cities such as Tehran, Kermanshah, Shiraz, Rasht, Qom, Hamedan, Ahvaz, Isfahan, Zahedan, Qazvin, and Sari.

The political nature of the protests has been made clear from the outset and the regime is experiencing a political earthquake. The regime’s gunmen have been out in full force. Despite the brutal power being deployed to crush these peaceful demonstrators — four protestors have already been reported killed — more people are flooding the streets in defiance of the regime.

The scale of these sudden protests is unprecedented during the last four decades of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s rule.

These demonstrations, however, are different from other protests in Iran since 1979, when the theocratic regime was established. In 2009, during the popular uprising in the name of the “Green Movement,” people were protesting against rigged elections and the presidency of the anti-Semitic politician Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Chants echoed through the streets, “Where is my vote?” while the government ratcheted up its power to silence the protestors.

The Islamization of Britain in 2017 “I think we are heading towards disaster.” by Soeren Kern

Reports of alleged links between Islamic charities and terrorism or extremism surged to a record high, according to the Charity Commission, a charity watchdog.

Azad Ali, an Islamist who has said that he supports killing British soldiers, was named a director of Muslim Engagement and Development (Mend), a controversial Muslim pressure group which advises the British government. Ali said that the jihadist attack at Westminster on March 22, 2017 was not an act of terrorism.

“Politicians tell us they are unafraid, but they are never the victims. How easy to be unafraid when one is protected from the line of fire. The people have no such protections.” — Manchester-born singer Morrissey.

The British government refused to say whether telling people about Christianity could be a hate crime. Lord Pearson of Rannoch said that when he raised a question on the issue in the House of Lords, the government failed to state clearly whether Christians can be prosecuted just for stating their beliefs.

The Muslim population of Britain surpassed 4.1 million in 2017 to become around 6.3% of the overall population of 64 million, according to a recent study on the growth of the Muslim population in Europe. In real terms, Britain has the third-largest Muslim population in the European Union, after France, then Germany.

The rapid growth of Britain’s Muslim population can be attributed to immigration, high birth rates and conversions to Islam.

Islam and Islam-related issues, omnipresent in Britain during 2017, can be categorized into several broad themes: 1) Islamic extremism and the security implications of British jihadists; 2) The continuing spread of Islamic Sharia law in Britain; 3) The sexual exploitation of British children by Muslim gangs; 4) Muslim integration into British society; and 5) The failures of British multiculturalism.


January 1. Hundreds of adult asylum seekers lied about their age in order to enter Britain “as teenagers,” according to official data provided under the Freedom of Information Act. Figures obtained by Mail on Sunday show that social workers carried out 2,028 age tests between 2013-2016, during which almost one in four of the claimants — 465 — were found to be over 18. By concealing their real age, migrants hope to improve their chances of being granted asylum.

January 1. Reports of alleged links between Islamic charities and terrorism or extremism surged to a record high, according to the Charity Commission, a charity watchdog. The number of times the Commission shared concerns about links between charities and extremism with police and other agencies nearly tripled, from 234 to 630 in just three years.

January 4. Jamshid Piruz, a 34-year-old Afghan-born Dutch citizen declared guilty of murder in the Netherlands, pled guilty to attacking two British police officers with a hammer. Piruz entered the UK unchallenged, despite being convicted of decapitating a Chinese woman in Amsterdam. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the murder, but released early. As a Dutch resident, Piruz was allowed to travel freely across the EU. “Britain has got to have tougher border controls,” said MP Henry Smith.

Crown Jewels A new miniseries only goes halfway in depicting its royal subject. Stefan Kanfer

When Upstairs, Downstairs became an international hit, British television producers assumed that they could quickly come up with another dramatized exposé of country-house life. Wrong again. It took the BBC—in a joint-production venture with Netflix—four decades to create Downton Abbey, a series in which the butler and the cook were every bit as engaging as Lord and Lady Downton.

Now the Brits have another smash—but this one marks a significant departure from its predecessors. In The Crown, what happens below stairs stays below stairs. This drama is all about the current Queen Elizabeth, from the time of her childhood, through initiation into the roiled world of royal worldlings, to her difficult marriage, to her troubled middle age and ultimately, after she learns to connect with the British public, her serene senior years.

In Parts I and II, Elizabeth (deftly played by Claire Foy) watches her odious, Nazi-sympathizing uncle, King Edward VIII (Alex Jennings, in a tour de force performance), abdicate the throne to wed a commoner. Then she witnesses her stuttering, publicity-shy father (Jared Harris) take over (The King’s Speech built an epic drama on these shortcomings). Alas, before his elder daughter is ready to wear the crown, King George VI dies of lung cancer.

The new queen is so innocent that the staff, out of earshot, refer to her as Shirley Temple. The naivete is not to last. Elizabeth’s new husband Prince Philip (Matt Smith) assumes the responsibility of her sexual education. But the political and social schooling is led by Winston Churchill (John Lithgow), the lion at sunset. The prime minister is determined that this young lady absorb the basics of regal propriety, diplomatic lingo, and British back-bench maneuvering. She starts out abysmally ignorant of all three.

Sir Winston is a shrewd tutor, but he is also infirm. As Elizabeth grows, she learns to lean on her courtiers. Soon she finds a way to show nothing in her face, to express little in her speeches, and to exert control while seeming to be above the considerations of politics and the Great Game of a shrinking empire. But this mastery of form demands a mask of remoteness lacking human sympathy. Elizabeth alienates Prince Philip, turning him into a distant consort who would rather make merry than make tours. She refuses to allow her sister, Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby) to wed the man she loves because RAF hero Peter Townsend (Ben Miles) is divorced and therefore anathema to the Church of England, which Elizabeth nominally heads. Of greater significance, she takes an unseen hand in national policy, chews out the occasional prime minister, and makes sure to kick the ailing Anthony Eden (Jeremy Northam) when he’s down.

Tax Reform’s Warning Shot for Universities The GOP puts liberal academia on notice. Howard Husock

Support for, and reaction to, the tax-reform bill has divided almost entirely along partisan lines, with one notable exception: many on the right and the liberal left alike have denounced a new 1.4 percent tax on net investment income for the largest university endowments—those whose value exceeds $500,000 per student. Prominent conservatives such as George Will, Gregory Mankiw, and Michael Strain have characterized the tax—which will affect about 30 universities, including such major research institutions as Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton—as motivated by anti-intellectualism and partisanship, aimed at liberal academia. Will, who has served as a Princeton trustee, described the tax as an “astonishingly shortsighted” threat to the tradition of “great research universities (that) have enabled the liberal arts to flourish, the sciences to advance and innovation to propel economic betterment.”

Yet it’s worth keeping in mind that the federal government will continue to be the nation’s primary source of university research money. The government not only funds research through direct grants but also supports the facilities and staff of universities through “overhead” payments, which amount to many billions of dollars. The National Institutes of Health, for instance, distributed some $5.7 billion in overhead payments in 2013 alone, in addition to tens of billions of dollars in direct research grants. That same year, Stanford got 31 cents in overhead on top of every research grant dollar it received. Each university negotiates its own overhead rates, and complex formulas dictate what portion of the negotiated rate is actually disbursed along with direct research funding. According to federal data obtained by Nature, Johns Hopkins has negotiated a 62 percent overhead rate. By comparison, the European Union sets a flat overhead rate of 25 percent for all institutions receiving research grants.

The question that universities should ask themselves is how they have lost, at least in part, the longstanding bipartisan support that made the federal government the major financial backer of research, as well as a generous funder of university overhead costs. The original champion of federal research, development, and overhead grants for research institutions was the farsighted Vannevar Bush, the first presidential science advisor, who served Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. It was under Bush that the Office of Scientific Research and Development first negotiated a research overhead rate, with MIT. Today, the U.S. leads the world in government research and development spending; some $40 billion is distributed to nearly 900 colleges and universities, accounting for 60 percent of these institutions’ research funding. (Twenty percent of the total went to just ten universities, including Stanford, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins). The results—from the mapping of the human genome to the creation of the Internet—have transformed the world.