re: Hillary Clinton and Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC)
upcoming meeting in D.C.:
This may be an important development — in the wrong direction. The following information is from Clare Lopez.
Beth Gilinsky
The OIC’s full-court press to impose Islamic slander laws on the USA and world in general is really kicking into high gear. Sure you are aware of the OIC Ten-Yr. Agenda on this topic:

The OIC meeting that laid the groundwork for US and DoS to take the lead in implementing the next step — the December12-15 2011 meeting in WDC – was laid in July 2011 at a meeting in Istanbul. Despite there being no actual requirement or need whatsoever for the US to take an active role in this despicable assault on free speech, Sec State Clinton stepped forward (on behalf of the Obama admin) to issue a special invitation to OIC SecGen Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu for him and a working team of experts to come to WDC in Dec 11 to discuss how the U.S. can come into compliance with the OIC objectives to apply Islamic law on slander to the U.S. legal system.

This is a direct assault on the First Amendment, not to mention a violation of Article VI of the U.S. Constitution.

And here are some more links about the upcoming WDC session:

Israel cannot afford the same miscalculations made in the peace treaty with Egypt on its fronts with the Palestinians and the Syrians.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions – Aphorism attributed to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

We cannot conclude from the good intentions of a statesman that his foreign policies will be either morally praiseworthy or politically successful….How often have statesmen been motivated by the desire to improve the world, and ended by making it worse? And how often have they sought one goal, and ended by achieving something they neither expected nor desired? – Hans Morgenthau (1904-1960), on political realism

The sweeping victory of the Islamist parties in the election in Egypt is – somewhat belatedly – beginning to concentrate minds. Israel is being forced to confront the stark possibility that in the foreseeable future, it may be left with no peace, no Sinai… and eventually, no demilitarization.

Inevitably, this unpalatable prospect will force a national reassessment of the process – and the personalities – that brought this ominous situation about, of the prudence of the decisions taken at the time and of the beforethe- fact predictability of its potentially perilous outcome.

Inevitably, too, this will focus attention on Menachem Begin and his role in precipitating Israel’s evacuation of the strategic expanses of the Sinai Peninsula in return for a peace treaty with Egypt, then Israel’s principle adversary.

A brief history
The deal, brokered by US president Jimmy Carter, was concluded in 1979 after two years of intense negotiation following Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s historic 1977 address to the Knesset. It was greeted with great international acclaim – except in the Arab world where it was long regarded as an act of treachery – and the award of Nobel peace prizes to the Egyptian and Israeli leaders.

The intended strategic substance of pact was mutual recognition of each state by the other, and the cessation of the state of war that had existed since the 1948 War of Independence.

Israel undertook a complete withdrawal from Sinai, held by it since the 1967 Six Day War, while Egypt agreed to the demilitarization of the peninsula. The agreement also provided for the free passage of Israeli ships through the Suez Canal, recognition of the Strait of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba as international waterways, and massive US economic and military to Egypt, whose military has since received almost $40 billion from Washington, allowing it to to modernize and revamp its aging Soviet equipment.

Stark asymmetry
Whichever way you slice it, the treaty was afflicted by a stark structural asymmetry in the undertakings of the contracting parties: On the one hand, Israel was called on to relinquish vast physical assets of great strategic and economic value, which could only be retrieved – if at all – by a massive outlay of blood and treasure.

In return for the receipt of these assets – plus generous US financial support – all that was demanded of Egypt was paper promises, which could be violated whenever it deemed it expedient or the profit worth the pain.

This asymmetry was perhaps most aptly articulated by Sadat himself, when in a 1980 interview with The New York Times, he remarked bluntly, “Poor Menachem… I got back… the Sinai and the Alma oil fields, and what has Menachem got? A piece of paper.”

From the outset then, the durability of the peace agreement hinged not only on Cairo’s continuing willingness to honor its commitments, but also its continuing ability to do – despite domestic opposition. This clearly applies – and applied then – not only to the Sadat regime, but to any successors who might accede to power – be it by the bullet or by the ballot.

Predictable perils
There is – and was – no need for the benefit of hindsight to grasp this pivotal feature of the agreement. It was distinctly discernible as an inherent element of the treaty from the get-go. It was always a precarious arrangement — its abrogation, whether sudden or in stages, always a plausible possibility.

Indeed, it would seem that Sadat himself was keenly conscious of the fragility of the treaty and how future Egyptian regimes may well feel unbound by its terms. In a 1975 interview he openly stated: “The effort of our generation is to return to the 1967 borders.

Afterward the next generation will carry the responsibility.”

Yet within the Israeli public discourse, any suggestion that the potential long-term strategic dangers might outweigh the undeniable short/intermediate-term benefits, were dismissed as the demented raving of extremist warmongers. Anyone who dared caution that the situation now emerging in Egypt and along our southern border, might in fact emerge, was scorned either as a deranged scaremonger or a uniformed ignoramus.

Consequently, there was no serious public discussion of how to respond to an intentional violation of the agreement, or an unintentional collapse of Cairo’s ability to uphold it. And in the absence of a clear and credible comprehension of what penalties such violations would incur, only a giant leap of faith in Arab altruism could induce the belief that these scenarios were implausible.

However, beyond the mindless malice and myopia of political debate in Israel, questions must be raised as to the judgment and foresight of the Israeli leadership that consented to forgo the tangible fruits of military victory for the ephemeral promise of political peace.

As Begin was the overwhelmingly dominant figure involved in Israel’s acquiescence to the treaty terms, it is likely such a reevaluation would, as an unintended side effect, damage his standing in the national pantheon.

‘The road to hell…’
The objective would be to enhance awareness of the non-static nature of Israel’s political environment, and to develop deeper understanding of how the nation should manage long-term risk in the dynamic instabilities of the Middle East. But more specifically – and more important – it is imperative to avoid creating similar situations of strategic danger through similar strategic misunderstandings of the dynamics in play on Israel’s other fronts with the Palestinians, the Syrians and the Jordanians.

There can, of course, be no doubt as to the totality of Begin’s commitment to Israel and to its security, or as to fever of his devotion to Zionism and its ideals. Indeed for many, he was the epitome of the leader whose absolute dedication to his country and his people was never subordinated to, or sidetracked by, the pursuit of partisan interest, private gain or personal prestige.

However, pure motives and noble intentions are no guarantee of effective statesmanship or strategic acumen.

Indeed, as Hans Morgenthau, one of the most influential figures in the study of modern international politics, remarked: “Chamberlain’s politics of appeasement were, as far as we can judge, inspired by good motives; he was probably less motivated by considerations of personal power than were many other British prime ministers, and he sought to preserve peace and to assure the happiness of all concerned. Yet his policies helped to make the Second World War inevitable, and to bring untold miseries to millions.”

While any comparison between the two men is wildly inappropriate, the bloodcurdling frenzy of the lynch mob that stormed the Israeli Embassy in Cairo in September may prove that Begin’s declaration of “No more war, no more bloodshed, peace forever” was no less premature and naïve than Neville Chamberlain’s “Peace in our time.”


Democracy strikes back
Last Thursday, in an address before the Association for Public Law’s annual conference at the Dead Sea, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch launched an unhinged attack on the Knesset and the government.
Beinisch accused Israel’s elected officials of “inciting against the judges” through their proposed legislation that would place minimal constraints on judicial power.
In her words, “For the past few years a campaign has been waged that is gaining strength whose goal is to weaken the judicial system and first and foremost the Supreme Court. This is a campaign of delegitimization being led by a number of politicians, members of Knesset and even government ministers. They provide the public with incorrect and misleading information that has deteriorated into incitement directed against the court, its members and its judicial work.”
Beinisch claimed that the attempts by Israel’s elected leaders to curb judicial power places the country on a slippery slope whose ultimate end is to destroy the values that underpin Israeli democracy. After she stepped down from the podium, her associates briefed journalists without attribution that Beinisch believes that the bills being debated are comparable to Nazi legislation barring Jews from the public square.
Since Beinisch’s professional godfather, retired Supreme Court president Aharon Barak, enacted his “judicial revolution” in the 1990s, Israel’s judicial system has been without parallel in the Western world. Under Israel’s judicial selection system, judges effectively appoint themselves. And since Barak’s presidency of the Supreme Court, justices have used this power to ensure ideological uniformity among their ranks. Jurists opposed to judicial activism have been largely blocked from serving on the High Court, as have jurists with non-leftist politics.


Address of the President, Broadcast from the Oval Room of the White House, Nationally and Over a World-Wide Hookup


The sudden criminal attacks perpetrated by the Japanese in the Pacific provide the climax of a decade of international immorality.

Powerful and resourceful gangsters have banded together to make war upon the whole human race. Their challenge has now been flung at the United States of America. The Japanese have treacherously violated the longstanding peace between us. Many American soldiers and sailors have been killed by enemy action. American ships have been sunk; American airplanes have been destroyed.

The Congress and the people of the United States have accepted that challenge.

Together with other free peoples, we are now fighting to maintain our right to live among our world neighbors in freedom, in common decency, without fear of assault.

New emails emerge in Gunwalker scandal
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Former FBI agent held captive in Iran
Friday, December 9, 2011
Long after he vanished in Iran, retired FBI agent Robert Levinson reappeared in a video and a series of photographs sent to his family over the past year, transforming a mysterious disappearance into a hostage standoff with an unknown kidnapper, The Associated Press has learned. Read more…

Boehner makes last-ditch effort for payroll tax cut
Friday, December 9, 2011
House Speaker John Boehner has tossed some sweeteners to get Republcans to support an extension of the payroll tax cut. Read more…

Read more at:


The strange tale of Paul Ernst Fackenheim

In the North African desert during the summer of 1942, a pivotal battle of the Second World War took place between the German Afrika Corps under Erwin Rommel and the British and Commonwealth troops under Bernard Montgomery. The site of the battle was an oasis called El Alamein, which lay some 140 miles west of Cairo, Egypt.

The outcome of the battle determined whether the victorious push by Hitler’s vaunted Afrika Corps westwards towards the strategic Suez Canal and the oil fields of the Middle East would succeed or not. If the Afrika Corps won the battle, Britain and the Allies would be dealt a crushing blow from which they would likely not survive and the Third Reich would emerge triumphant. If they were stopped at El Alamein and forced to withdraw westwards, the Hitlerian Empire would begin to unravel.

And so it was that Rommel, starved of supplies, was defeated in late 1942 and forced to begin a long retreat. But before the two armies met on that fateful battlefield, the German High Command was faced with a desperate need to infiltrate British intelligence and learn as much as possible of the military disposition and tactical plans of the Allies.

The German Nazi espionage organization, the Abwehr, thus hatched an incredible and most unlikely plan.

1941 was another catastrophic year for the Jews of German occupied Europe. Death camps, roving killing squads, the einsatzgruppen, gas chambers, ghettos, and every horror invented by mankind was being employed by the Germans and their European allies against the hapless and abandoned Jews. Millions had already been done to death by the German Nazi juggernaut of death.

Death camps dotted the European continent and were the sites where endless transports of Jewish men, women, children and babies daily arrived by cattle trains from all over the European hell. Many of these camps, such as Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald and Auschwitz lay outside of villages and towns in which the civilian populations went about their daily lives, while thousands of hapless Jews were being systematically slaughtered.

One of these camps lay outside the pretty Bavarian village of Dachau and it is to this hell on earth that one Paul Ernst Fackenheim was brought to be worked to death or arbitrarily murdered by any one of the German guards who infested those places of unparalleled horror.

Michael Bar-Zohar’s book about Fackenheim titled, ARROWS OF THE ALMIGHTY — The Most Extraordinary True Spy Story of World War II, included this following and chilling account of the living hell that was the German Nazi death camp of Dachau:

“It is a morning in April 1941. In Dachau 500 prisoners in blue-striped uniforms — the inmates of the ”Jewish block” of Camp Number Three — tensely await the new day’s horrors. Some will be beaten to death, some shot.

“Others will be taken to the Bunker (”the sinister cave used for solitary confinement, where the tortures inflicted . . . were so cruel that they were kept secret even from the regular SS guards”) or sent to a torture table called the Bock (on which one would be bound and then struck with a bullwhip that had been soaked in water).

“The crematorium will receive its share. Groups of others will listlessly head off to do the camp’s soul-destroying, physically punishing work, in the stone quarry or the swamp.”

Fackenheim, like so many other German Jewish men, had been a highly decorated officer who had fought valiantly for the Fatherland in World War One. But his patriotism was to no avail in the insanity that now gripped Germany under its leader; Corporal Adolf Hitler.

But Fackenheim was to be saved by the Abwehr , the German military intelligence service, over the strenuous objections of the Gestapo and SS. What was the reason for his salvation and escape from certain death?

The German High Command’s great fear was what the outcome of the North African campaign would be. Having already launched Operation Barbarossa by invading Russia, the now desperate need by Nazi Germany to succeed in the drive to Egypt and beyond was paramount.




Yusuf al-Qaradawi (1926—) is a modern Muslim scholar and preacher best known for his popular Al Jazeera program “ash-Sharia wal-Hayat” (Sharia and Life), and his website Islam Online (now On Islam). He has also published some fifty books, including The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam and Islam: The Future Civilization. Al-Qaradawi was born in Egypt, and attended Al Azhar University. Qaradawi was a follower of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna during his youth, and was imprisoned first under the monarchy in 1949, then three times after the release of his Tyrant and the Scholar, poetic Islamic plays expressing political messages. He has also worked in the Egyptian Ministry of Religious Endowments, has been the Dean of the Islamic Department at the Faculties of Sharia and Education in Qatar, and has been chairman of the Islamic Scientific Councils of Algerian Universities and Institutions. Qaradawi is the head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, and is considered the “Spiritual Guide” of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Friday February 18, 2011 marked Qaradawi’s triumphal return [2] to Cairo, which was sanctioned by the nation’s provisional military rulers, and punctuated the so-called “Arab Spring.” Just before the overwhelming electoral victory [3] for the Muslim Brotherhood and other mainstream Sharia-advocating [4] political parties in Egypt, Qaradawi issued a fatwa [5] (on November 24, 2011) revealing his traditional Islamic Weltanschauung about how Islam’s totalitarian religio-political legal code [6] should be fully re-applied, gradually—in Egypt, and beyond.

The key extracts from Qaradawi’s fatwa [5] (hat tip Dave Reaboi), are provided just below, followed by a brief elaboration of the views of Caliph Umar b. Al-Aziz (r. 717-720 AD), whom Qaradawi cites so approvingly as a timeless example for Islamic governance, according to the Sharia:

Gradualism in applying the Shariah is a wise requirement to follow. In doing so, we will be following Allah’s Laws with regard to physical nature and teachings of Islam. Gradualism was observed in enjoining the obligations of Islam such as Prayer, fasting, et cetera, and in forbidding the prohibitions as well… Being a divine law, gradualism is to be followed on the political level nowadays. That is to say, gradualism is to be observed when it comes to applying the rulings of the Shariah in today’s life when Muslims have been socially, legislatively, and culturally invaded. If we want to establish a real Muslim society, we should not imagine that such an end can be achieved by a mere decision issued to that effect by a king or a president or a council of leaders or a parliament. Gradualism is the means through which such an end can be fulfilled. Gradualism here refers to preparing people ideologically, psychologically, morally, and socially to accept and adopt the application of the Shariah in all aspects of life, and to finding lawful alternatives for the forbidden principles upon which many associations have been founded for so long. Gradualism in that sense does not mean we are to procrastinate and put off applying the Shariah. It is not to be taken as a pretext for discouraging people and foiling their pressing demands to establish Allah’s Laws. It, rather, should spur us to spotlight our aims, set our plans, and decide, sincerely and wisely, on the gradual stages to be taken in that respect. In that way, step by step, and through wise planning, organizing and determination, we can reach the last and long-awaited stage of applying all the teachings of Islam heart and soul. This was the same approach that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) adopted so that he (peace and blessings be upon him) could change the pre-Islamic life of degeneration and ignorance into the enlightened life of Islam. There is an example in that respect which is related concerning Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz* [r. 717-720], whom the Muslim scholars regard as the fifth rightly-guided caliph and a true follower of his great-grandfather, Umar ibn Al-Khattab [r. 634-644]. Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz’s son, Abdul-Malik, who was a firm pious young man, said to his father one day, ‘O father! Why you do not implement the rulings firmly and immediately? By Allah, I would not care if all the world would furiously oppose us so long as we seek to establish the right [that Allah Almighty has enjoined].’ These words show how zealous that young man was to destroy all signs of corruption and deterioration immediately and without delay whatever the consequences. But the wise father said to his son, ‘Do not deal with matters hastily, son. Allah Almighty [Himself] despised drinking alcohol twice in the Qur’an and did not declare it forbidden but in the third time. I am afraid that if I enjoined the right on people at one stroke, they would give it up all at once, which might lead to sedition.’ That attitude of Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz shows that he saw it wise to tackle matters gradually. He was guided in that respect by Allah’s dealing with prohibiting alcohol. Umar wanted to lead people step-by-step towards establishing the right and this, in fact, is the wise juristic approach to handle matters.


Germany, Wavering AllyPosted By Kenneth R. Timmerman

URL to article:

As German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy do their best to put on a public face of cooperation in resolving Europe’s escalating sovereign debt crisis, behind the scenes both leaders are seething.

They are angry with each other, angry with each other’s policy choices, angry with each other’s friends and allies.

It’s well-known that German taxpayers are fed up with footing the bill for Greeks who take longer vacations than they do and retire on full government pensions many years earlier than they can. Less known is that the German government is actively considering allowing Greece – and possibly Portugal and even Italy and Ireland – to drop out of the Euro-zone.

“If the Euro fails, it will be Merkel’s fault,” a senior advisor to French president Sarkozy told me recently. “Germany has been resisting efforts to prop up the Euro. If the Euro collapses, it will be as much Germany’s fault as it will be that of the over-indebted Euro-zone members.”

Europeans are used to duplicity. That’s why they weren’t surprised to hear President Obama sharing derogatory personal remarks about Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to French president Sarkozy when both leaders apparently thought the microphones were off.

But the duplicity of German Chancellor Merkel – smiling at Sarkozy in public, while throwing daggers at him in private – takes the cake.

The European media often talks of the Paris-Berlin axis, a code phrase meant to signify a marriage of reason between Europe’s two biggest economies.


MPAC Hosts Terror-Supporting Islamist From Tunisia Posted By Ryan Mauro

URL to article:

The Muslim Public Affairs Council says it condemns Hamas and “all terrorism, including suicide bombing.” Yet, it is praising the Tunisian Islamist leader, Rachid Ghannouchi, who supports almost everything that MPAC claims to be against. MPAC even arranged two speaking engagements for the Muslim Brotherhood member on November 29, with one taking place inside Capitol Hill’s Canon Office Building.

In its announcement of the events, MPAC complimented Ghannouchi “One of the most important figures in modern Islamic political thought and theory.” As the Investigative Project on Terrorism reports, the director of MPAC’s office in Washington D.C. said he is a “modern intellectual giant on Islam and governance.”

MPAC asserts that Ghannouchi has “long been an advocate of the Islamic principles of pluralism, freedom and democracy,” leaving its supporters completely unaware of the extremism he has long advocated. This includes Sharia-based governance, Hamas, suicide bombings, terrorism, anti-Westernism, the destruction of Israel and even the murdering of Israeli children.


Reuters’ Apparent Pro-Palestinian Bias

A big hat tip to Paul in Oz for sending me the following article by Henry I. Silverman from Roosevelt University in the USA.

The abstract of the article (in the current issue of The Journal of Applied Business Research, and entitled ‘Reuters: Principles Of Trust Or Propaganda?’) runs as follows:

‘This paper examines a sample of fifty news-oriented articles related to the Middle East conflict published on the Reuters proprietary websites across a three month study window. A combination of Ethnographic Content Analysis and primary survey data are employed to identify, code and validate reporting/ethical failures in the articles, i.e., propaganda, logical fallacies, and violations of the Reuters Handbook. Tests are run to measure for 1) shifts in audience attitudes and support for the primary belligerent parties in the Middle East conflict following readings of the sample and, 2) associations between the reporting/ethical failures and audience attitudes/support. Over 1,100 occurrences of reporting/ethical failures across forty-one subcategories are identified and a significant shift in audience attitudes and support following article readings is observed. Significant associations are found between 1) the use of atrocity propaganda and audience favorability/sympathy toward the Arabs/Palestinians; 2) the use of the appeal to pity fallacy and audience favorability/sympathy toward the Arabs/Palestinians; and 3) the use of atrocity propaganda, appeal to pity and appeal to poverty fallacies, and audience motivation to take supportive action on behalf of the Arabs/Palestinians. It is inferred from the evidence that Reuters engages in systematically biased storytelling in favor of the Arabs/Palestinians and is able to influence audience affective behavior and motivate direct action along the same trajectory. This reflects a fundamental failure to uphold the Reuters corporate governance charter and ethical guiding principles.’