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The Uncomfortable Truth About Swedish Anti-Semitism By Paulina Neuding

STOCKHOLM — This past Saturday, a Hanukkah party at a synagogue in Goteborg, Sweden, was abruptly interrupted by Molotov cocktails. They were hurled by a gang of men in masks at the Jews, mostly teenagers, who had gathered to celebrate the holiday.https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/14/opinion/sweden-antisemitism-jews.html

Two days later, two fire bombs were discovered outside the Jewish burial chapel in the southern Swedish city of Malmo.

Who knows what tomorrow may bring?

For Sweden’s 18,000 Jews, sadly, none of this comes as a surprise. They are by now used to anti-Semitic threats and attacks — especially during periods of unrest in the Middle East, which provide cover to those whose actual goal has little to do with Israel and much to do with harming Jews.

Both of these recent attacks followed days of incitement against Jews. Last Friday, 200 people protested in Malmo against President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The protesters called for an intifada and promised “we will shoot the Jews.” A day later, during a demonstration in Stockholm, a speaker called Jews “apes and pigs.” There were promises of martyrdom.

Malmo’s sole Hasidic rabbi has reported being the victim of more than 100 incidents of hostility ranging from hate speech to physical assault. In response to such attacks, the Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a travel warning in 2010 advising “extreme caution when visiting southern Sweden” because of officials’ failure to act against the “serial harassment” of Jews in Malmo.

Today, entering a synagogue anywhere in Sweden usually requires going through security checks, including airport-like questioning. At times of high alert, police officers with machine guns guard Jewish schools. Children at the Jewish kindergarten in Malmo play behind bulletproof glass. Not even funerals are safe from harassment.

Jewish schoolteachers have reported hiding their identity. A teacher who wouldn’t even share the city where she teaches for fear of her safety told a Swedish news outlet: “I hear students shouting in the hallway about killing Jews.” Henryk Grynfeld, a teacher at a high school in a mostly immigrant neighborhood in Malmo, was told by a student: “We’re going to kill all Jews.” He said other students yell “yahoud,” the Arabic word for Jew, at him.

A spokesman for Malmo’s Jewish community put the situation starkly. You “don’t want to display the Star of David around your neck,” he said. Or as spokesman for the Goteborg synagogue put it, “It’s a constant battle to live a normal life, and not to give in to the threats, but still be able to feel safe.”

The question that has dogged Jews throughout the centuries is now an urgent one for Sweden’s Jewish community. Is it time to leave?

Some are answering yes. One reason is the nature of the current threat.

Historically, anti-Semitism in Sweden could mainly be attributed to right-wing extremists. While this problem persists, a study from 2013 showed that 51 percent of anti-Semitic incidents in Sweden were attributed to Muslim extremists. Only 5 percent were carried out by right-wing extremists; 25 percent were perpetrated by left-wing extremists.

Why the Populist Surge Has Missed Canada A decentralized federal government and a consensual culture have kept the lid on social tensions—so far. Mario Polèse

Much has been written and said about the antiestablishment, antiglobalization populist surge sweeping the West over the last several years. The most prominent manifestation of this phenomenon, of course, came in November 2016, when Donald Trump won the presidency, the most stunning electoral feat in American history; earlier in 2016, Trump’s victory was foreshadowed by Britain’s “Brexit” vote to leave the European Union, an outcome pushed for years by the country’s nationalist U.K. Independence Party (UKIP). But the United States and Britain are far from alone. Seemingly every major Western nation now has a populist movement and an anointed leader: Marine Le Pen and the Front National in France; Geert Wilders and the Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Netherlands, which has become the main opposition party in parliament; Austria’s Freedom Party (FPÖ), founded by nostalgic ex-Nazi officers, which missed electing the country’s president by a whisker; and Italy’s Five Star Movement, led, literally, by a clown, Beppe Grillo, suitably called the clown prince. Even in Denmark, the model of a tolerant liberal democracy, the anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party is now the second party in parliament. Farther east, Hungary and Poland are today governed by openly nationalist governments.

National differences notwithstanding, election results show that support for and opposition to populist parties break along similar lines. Supporters tend to be older, less educated, blue-collar, white, male, and living predominantly in small towns or rural areas. Everywhere, the voting geography reveals a split between big cities and the rest of the nation. Manhattan voted massively against Trump, London against Brexit, Vienna against the FPÖ, and Paris against Le Pen; the small-town heartland in each case voted for them. It does not require a sociologist to understand that a similar social divide and mix of concerns are driving populism on both sides of the Atlantic.

One major outlier exists in this Western dynamic, though: Canada. A Western nation by any measure, a child of Britain and France, Canada has so far produced no evident equivalent of Trump, Wilders, or Le Pen, or of the political parties that back them. The revived Conservative Party of Canada, though it has its share of anti-immigrant supporters, has not veered into the kind of angry nativist oratory heard elsewhere. Political discourse in Canada has remained civilized, on the whole.

Dictators and U.N. Standards The International Criminal Court decides to pick on Jordan.

The U.S. has never joined the International Criminal Court in the Hague, and the court’s strange attack on Jordan this week explains why. The court said it will refer Jordan to the United Nations Security Council for failing to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir after years of giving other countries a pass.

Jordan is one of 123 countries that have joined the ICC since it came into force 15 years ago, and the Hashemite Kingdom may now regret it. Parties grant the court jurisdiction over war crimes, genocide or crimes against humanity, and members are obligated to act on its international arrest warrants. Sudan isn’t a party, but the Security Council can ask the court to investigate crimes there. In 2009 the ICC issued an arrest warrant for the Sudanese president for his manifest depredations in the country’s Darfur region.

This was mostly grandstanding, since the U.N. has done nothing to enforce its warrant. Bashir was traveling in the Middle East within months of the warrant, and he has flown across Africa in recent years without ICC intervention. No other country has earned a referral from the ICC over Bashir.

Yet suddenly the court has decided to make an example of Jordan, which in March hosted an Arab League summit that Bashir attended. This is a strange way to treat a country that has absorbed and cared for millions of Syrian refugees and punched above its weight in the fight against Islamic State. Jordan has a law that protects visiting heads of state on its soil, and its National Assembly is already crafting a legal challenge to the ICC’s decision.

All of which points to the ICC’s arbitrary power, which answers to no political authority beyond its own legal whim. It can pursue its cases without regard for larger security or political interests, such as Jordan’s crucial role as a moderating force in the region. Bashir is a bad dude, but he has improved his behavior in recent years and cooperated with the U.S. in fighting terrorism. Presidents Obama and Trump both loosened sanctions on Sudan.

Absent Security Council action, the referral will go nowhere. But it presents an opportunity for the U.S. to do a favor for a Middle East ally by vowing to veto any punishment against Jordan. If the ICC can arbitrarily harass Jordan, the U.S. and Israel will surely become targets.

NIDRA POLLER: ISRAEL AND PALESTINE-THE BROKEN RECORD

The account that follows has taken on greater significance since December 7th when President Donald Trump announced that he will fulfill the 1995 recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, and take steps to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. International law is being thrown at President Trump and the State of Israel like murderous rocks in the hands of shababs. The peace process is a chorus line of porcelain dolls, too beautiful to touch, endangered by the heavy-handed president and the stubborn Jewish state. A pure white curtain is drawn over Middle East realities and the wailing of the professional mourners breaks the hearts of the world’s media. This brutal unilateral decision is tearing apart the pristine calm of the Middle East. And the 2-state solution in divine perfection floats down from the heavens, escorted by Palestinian angels. Everyone, or at least all the good souls in this wide world, knows the shape and the lines of this perfect state. It was almost ready to land. And now it’s all spoiled.

This is the assumption that underlies the weeping, wailing, and scolding. The righteous indignation. The peace process has been betrayed. The holier than thou international community had set forth the rules and the stepping stone and the destination. How dare this upstart president barge into the head of the line, pluck the gem of Jerusalem, and hand it to Israel?

Take the time to read this detailed account of a Colloquium held in Paris on November 27th. Palestinians and their supporters, speaking to an audience they assumed to be 100% sympathetic, made no secret of their intentions and ultimate objectives: to turn the Oslo process upside down. First, the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state. Then, the negotiations. These were not marginal extremists. Elias Sanbar is the Palestinian ambassador to UNESCO. Hala Abu-Hasira is “first counselor” of the Palestinian mission to France. Invited to take part in a debate on a French TV station yesterday, she smugly declared that Jerusalem, according to international law, is a corpus separatum. That was in 1947!

How Many Muslims in Europe? Pew’s Projections Fall Short by Soeren Kern

Pew’s baseline estimate of the number of Muslims currently in Europe — the estimate upon which its future projections are calculated — has been undercounted by at least five million Muslims.

The UCIDE figures — which posit that there are roughly 750,000 more Muslims in Spain today than the estimate proffered by Pew — are widely recognized in Spain as the most accurate assessment of the Muslim population in that country. It remains unclear why Pew failed to mention the UCIDE report in its source appendix.

In Germany, Pew “decided not to count” the one million plus Muslim asylum seekers who arrived in the country in 2015/2016 because “they are not expected to receive refugee status.”

The Pew report entirely ignores the key issue of how Europe will integrate tens of millions of Muslim migrants whose values — including anti-Semitism, polygamy, female genital mutilation and honor violence — cannot be reconciled with those of Europe’s Judeo-Christian and liberal-democratic heritage.

Europe’s Muslim population is set to double — and possibly triple — between now and 2050, according to new projections by the Pew Research Center.

The projections, contained in a report, “Europe’s Growing Muslim Population,” confirm what has long been common knowledge: decades of declining European birthrates, coupled with mass migration from the Muslim world, are fast-tracking the Islamization of Europe.

The demographic calamity facing Europe, however, is even worse than the Pew report lets on. A critical analysis of the data shows that Pew’s calculations of the current Muslim population in key European countries are partial and incomplete — and in some instances inaccurate. As a result, Pew’s baseline estimate of the number of Muslims currently in Europe — the estimate upon which its future projections are calculated — has been undercounted by at least five million Muslims, whose presence in Europe will significantly increase the future size of the continent’s Muslim population.

The Pew report offers three projections based on three different scenarios involving migration during the next three decades. The baseline for all three scenarios is the Muslim population in Europe (defined by Pew as the 28 countries presently in the European Union, plus Norway and Switzerland), estimated at 25.8 million (4.9% of the overall population) as of mid-2016 — up from 19.5 million (3.8%) in 2010.

The first scenario envisions a complete halt to Muslim immigration between now and 2050. This scenario will not occur, of course, but was modeled to determine what the future might look like with migration removed from the equation.

In this scenario, Europe’s Muslim population is projected to increase by about 10 million people, from an estimated 25.8 million Muslims in 2016 to 35.8 million in 2050. In percentage terms, the Muslim population would rise from about 5% of Europe’s overall population today to 7.4% at midcentury — not only because Muslims are growing in absolute numbers, but because the non-Muslim population in Europe is expected to decline by roughly 10%.

Islamic Terrorism vs. Political Correctness by A. Z. Mohamed

Religion (in this instance, Islam) plays a smaller part in what makes terrorists tick than “the [human] need for… personal significance… Especially when it comes to violence that is shunned by most religions and most cultures, you need validation from a group of people that would then become your reference group. So the group component is very important, particularly when it comes to antisocial activities that are forbidden or shunned….” — Arie W. Kruglanski, distinguished professor of psychology at the University of Maryland and former co-director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism

It seems as if many analysts gloss over the role of Islamic teachings — the Quran, the Sunna, and fatwas — by minimizing them while highlighting matters such as the need for personal significance and validation. By minimizing the content of the Islamic literature, what they overlook is that Islamic teachings actually justify many activities that they would label antisocial.

The validation jihadists get from their reference group is mainly Islamic in words and meanings and that reference group has no significance without referring to the Islamic texts. What seems a universal dismissal or whitewashing — intentionally or not — of what is written in the texts, has become so prevalent, that it undermines our ability to recognize, let alone rectify, it.

Even relatively “moderate” Muslims, as hard as it is for a Westerner to comprehend it, deeply believe that we are here just for an insignificant instant, and that the really important life is yet to come in the afterlife.

Responding to findings of a recent study on what motivates both ISIS fighters and those who combat them, Arie W. Kruglanski — distinguished professor of psychology at the University of Maryland and former co-director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism — said:

“The ideology component addresses individuals’ need to matter and feel significant. … It tells people what to do, such as fight and make sacrifices, in order to gain respect and admiration from others.”

Kruglanski, whose 2014 article, “Psychology Not Theology: Overcoming ISIS’ Secret Appeal,” argues that religion (in this instance, Islam) plays a smaller part in what makes terrorists tick than “the [human] need for … personal significance.” He added:

“Especially when it comes to violence that is shunned by most religions and most cultures, you need validation from a group of people that would then become your reference group. So the group component is very important, particularly when it comes to antisocial activities that are forbidden or shunned.”

Islamist Immigrants in Germany Love Hitler By Michael van der Galien

Conservative Europeans have frequently complained that the wave of immigration from the Middle East seems to have gone hand in hand with a new surge of anti-Semitism. Progressive Europeans don’t have the courage to publicly say that those immigrants admit they hate Jews.

German newspaper Bild investigated this matter. The results of the investigation show that although many immigrants are positive about Germany and its people, they’re also extremely anti-Semitic.

“Until now, this discussion about anti-Semitism among immigrants was based on assumptions,” Deidre Berger, director of the ACJ, comments. “Now we have a science-based picture: anti-Semitic resentments, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and a categorical rejection of Israel are widely held among immigrants from the Middle East.”

She adds that “the problem is bigger than we assumed previously.”

When asked by social scientists whether they believe that it’s bad for Israel to exist, the universal answer was, “yes, obviously.”

Generally, the immigrants believe that Jews are extremely powerful — pulling on every country’s strings to get their way. Manipulating and dishonest. That’s basically the image of Jews that Nazi propaganda wanted to create.

“Israel, especially Jews, are known to be the biggest financial power in the world, so they control the world with their money,” one “refugee” from Iraq told the researchers. It’s important to note that he starts off by saying “Israel” but quickly changes that into “Jews.” Israel and Jews are synonymous for these people. That’s why their “anti-Zionism” is in fact anti-Semitism. CONTINUE AT SITE

Islamic Extremism: Who is Purest of Them All? by Giulio Meotti

In the twentieth century, targets were churches and synagogues; today, they are churches, synagogues, mosques, temples — wherever there is a faith, even a Muslim one, that these Islamic fundamentalists want to “purify”.

Radical Islam has declared war on the pillars of the West: modernity, science, rationalism, tolerance, equality under the law, freedom of expression and the dignity of the individual, to name only a few. Many of these ideas are currently under threat in Western Europe.

Many Europeans might sentimentally think of the hundreds of thousands of Muslims pouring into Europe as “the new Jews” – even though their culture is virtually opposite to the Jews’ — but perhaps the Europeans should be aware that they have now forced the Jews to flee twice in the modern era.

Islamists are erasing civilizations. Is Europe’s next?

The number of victims in the jihadist attack at a Sufi Mosque in Egypt has risen to 305 and is destined to rise even more. Inside this number there is another one, even more tragic: the 27 children murdered by Islamic terrorists. It has been not only one of the world’s most sickening terror attacks since 9/11. It was, in intent, a genocidal attack aimed to erase a religion and a community from the face of earth.

The murder of children is the most ruthless face of the war that radical Islam has declared: Palestinian children used as human shields by Hamas, Israeli children butchered in buses and cars, Iraqi children massacred by smiling terrorists with candy, French children brought as recruits to Raqqa, Iranian children sent by the Ayatollah Khomeini to Iranian camps, Christian children wiped out by the Taliban in Pakistan, Western children murdered in Barcelona, Manchester and Nice, and the children of Beslan forced to drink their own urine before being killed. How much longer will we have to update the ferocity of radical Islam?

Some Muslim writers have compared the savagery of extremist Muslims to that of the Nazis. In his novel “Le village de l’Allemande”, the Muslim Algerian writer Boualem Sansal compared the similarities: “Single party, militarization, propaganda, falsification of history, xenophobia, affirmation of a plot hatched by Israel and the United States, etc.” According to another Muslim dissident, Naser Khader, “the radical Muslims are the Nazis of Islam”.

Locked up in the Islamic Republic of Iran by Denis MacEoin

What is genuinely troubling was the way in which Robert Levinson’s fate has been kept largely secret. The Iranian authorities have never revealed who captured him, who currently holds him, what charges have been laid against him, or even if he is still alive. And no effort has been made to negotiate his release, set a prison term, or work by the rules of international intelligence or diplomacy.

An Iranian revolutionary court charged Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, without the slightest evidence, of “plotting to topple the Iranian regime”. This was done in a trial without a defence lawyer, without any details of her “offence”, and ended in a sentence to five years in prison.

All of you will be familiar with articles on individuals who have been imprisoned, tortured, or even executed in several Muslim countries. Many such individuals are Iranians, imprisoned unjustly for their beliefs or actions that would be considered perfectly innocent or even praiseworthy in the West. Since the revolution of 1979, Iran has been not only the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, but also one of the world’s most consistent human rights abusers. In Amnesty International’s most recent (2016-2017) report on rights issues in the country, it listed abuses under numerous headings:

Freedom of expression, association and assembly
Torture and other ill-treatment
Unfair trials
Freedom of religion and belief
Discrimination – ethnic minorities
Women’s rights
Death penalty

Iran has the sixth highest number of prisoners in the world, although it comes only nineteenth in the size of its population. In 2011, there were 250,000 prisoners overall, a figure that dropped by 2014 to 225,624 — still a very high figure. Even North Korea — which has a vast range of political prison camps, forced labour camps, and other facilities, albeit with a small overall population — has fewer: the U.S. State Department human rights report for 2016 says that estimates of the prison population total range between 80,000 and 120,000.

Iran is also notorious for the number of executions it carries out, often for drug-related crimes, but also on religious and political charges. In an article by Iran expert Majid Rafizadeh, president of the International American Council (IAC), Iran has overtaken China as the world’s worst offender in extreme use of execution as a punishment, often for offences that would not even carry penalties in any Western country, including the United States:

Since January 2016, Iran has executed at least 230 people, that is at least one person a day on average. The number of executions has recently increased and Iran ranks first in the world, followed by China, when it comes to executions per capita. Iran executed approximately 1000 people in 2015.

In the Amnesty International report on Iran, there appears one paragraph of considerable concern for foreign citizens and Iranians with dual nationality, notably US and British citizenship:

Several foreign nationals and Iranians with dual nationality were detained in Tehran’s Evin Prison with little or no access to their families, lawyers and consular officials. These prisoners were sentenced to long prison terms on vague charges such as “collaborating with a hostile government” after grossly unfair trials before Revolutionary Courts. The authorities accused the prisoners of being involved in a foreign-orchestrated “infiltration project” pursuing the “soft overthrow” of Iran. In reality, the convictions appeared to stem from their peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and association.

Trump Withdraws from Globalist Migration Compact Defends U.S. sovereignty on immigration policies. Joseph Klein

The Trump administration has decided to withdraw from participation in the United Nations Global Compact on Migration, representing another significant departure from the global governance policies of the Obama administration. In September 2016, during the waning days of the Obama administration, the United States had joined with the other member states of the UN to adopt a “non-binding “political declaration, the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. They agreed to undertake negotiations towards a consensus on international norms by September 2018 to help guide member states’ immigration policies. U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in a recent statement, announcing U.S. withdrawal from participation in this globalist compact, that “our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone. The global approach in the New York Declaration is simply not compatible with US sovereignty.”

The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, Ambassador Haley said, “contains numerous provisions that are inconsistent with U.S. immigration and refugee policies and the Trump Administration’s immigration principles.” The Declaration says, for example, that all migrants are “rights holders,” which are “universal.” It seeks a commitment to “strengthening global governance of migration.” It calls for applying international law to a state’s implementation of its own border control procedures. It calls for migration policies that promote “family reunification” – a euphemism for chain migration. It stipulates that migrant children should receive “education within a few months of arrival” with budgetary prioritization to facilitate this, all without any consideration of cost, language issues or the impact of such prioritization on the funding of the educational needs of the host country’s own citizens.

Predictably, UN officials and open border advocates have protested the Trump administration’s decision “to disengage from the process leading to the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration,” as UN General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak put it in a statement issued by his office. They claimed that nothing in the New York Declaration or in an ultimate global compact would be legally binding. National sovereignty would be respected, they promised. If that is so, however, what did Mr. Lajcak mean when, in that same statement, he talked about a commitment to “strengthening global governance of migration,” which is also the language used in the New York Declaration itself?

How would “global governance” work if there is technically no legally binding treaty? It would work through the insidious process of using the United Nations to forge an “international consensus” among representatives of the UN member states around broadly worded “international norms.” Such norms would purport to create, or broaden the scope of, a “universal” right, declared as such by all or a significant majority of the member states. As interpretations of norms acknowledging such rights are repeated in international bodies and incorporated into the laws or judicial rulings of more and more member states, they can then become a part of what international lawyers refer to as legally binding “customary international law,” whether there is a formal treaty or not. In the words of a prominent legal treatise (Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States), customary international law results “from a general and consistent practice of states that they follow from a sense of legal obligation.”

The UN can set in motion a process under which customary international law is created. As the Restatement treatise notes, the “United Nations General Assembly in particular has adopted resolutions, declarations, and other statements of principles that in some circumstances contribute to the process of making customary law.” A United Nations Global Compact on Migration may well fall into this category. Only if a member state persistently objects to a particular requirement of customary international law, would it generally be exempt from it. That is why it was imperative for President Trump to make clear when he did that the United States would not participate in the global migration compact and that it considers itself to be bound legally only by its own immigration laws.