Blaming the Victim for Anti-Semitism by Asaf Romirowsky and Richard Cravatts Of late we have witnessed a new methodology used to suppress those who speak out against anti- Semitism in academia. Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a Hebrew lecturer at UC Santa Cruz, and Ronnie Fraser, a lecturer in mathematics in London, have respectively taken on their schools and unions with regard to how anti-Semitism has infected their […]

Boston’s Jihadi Terrorists & The Chechen Connection – Rachel Ehrenfeld, Lorenzo Vidino

It is now clear that the Boston Marathon bombing was carried out by Islamist jihadis. It has to been kept in mind that there are two kinds of Chechen terrorists: anti-Russian Chechen nationalists and Chechen Islamists. The terror in Boston was carried out by jihadis who were ethnically Chechen.

Although it will take a while for all the details to come out regarding the Tsarnaevs’ exact connections and motives, it is also highly unlikely that that the brothers were completely independent operators.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother, linked his YouTube page to another video entitled “The Emergence of Prophecy:The Black Flags From Khorasan.” The video, which was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, was reported in October 2011. It was sent by a terrorist group from the Afghan-Pakistan region, identified as the “Caucasus Mujahideen in Khorasan, to their ‘brothers’ in the Islamic Caucasus Emirate and their emir, Doku Umarov.”

Khorasan plays an important role in the Islamic prophecies where Muslims led by a savior, the Mahdi, will defeat the lastDajjal–the false prophet–at the time of a war that will end all war. The Sunnis believe the Mahdi has not yet been born, while the Shia believe that the Twelfth Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, is alive now and hidden by God. However, the “happy end” for both is the same: “An army of black flags from Khurasan that will come to help Imam Mehdi to establish his Caliphate, in Kaaba (Mecca), Saudi Arabia and rule the world under ’the one true religion,’ Islam.”

Jihadist groups, such as the Taliban, the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) in Pakistan, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), al-Qaeda, Hamas and others have been using the “Black Flags from Khorasan,” to rally their jihadi troops. Al Qaeda, for example, regularly puts out an online magazine titled “Vanguards of Khorasan.”



In the beginning, there was Theodor Herzl. Or so I thought. I have a Ph.D. in European history, but I have long been aware of the deficiencies in my knowledge of Jewish history and my Israel literacy. So when I discovered the opportunity to take a non-credit course on Zionism here in New York, I jumped at the chance.

Once enrolled, I learned just how much Zionist history there was before Herzl. Our initial sessions were devoted to a variety of Zionist forerunners and an extensive documentary legacy that anticipated Herzl’s visionary 1896 pamphlet, The Jewish State.

I was dutifully taking notes during our second class meeting when our professor mentioned another text that expressed Zionist sentiments well before Herzl took up his mission. But unlike the writings of Rabbis Yehuda Alkalai and Zvi Hirsch Kalischer, or those of Leon Pinsker and Ahad Ha’am, this text was written in English, and by a woman who wasn’t even Jewish. Somewhat surprisingly, it wasn’t a polemic or a pamphlet. It was a novel by George Eliot (the pen name of Mary Anne Evans), Daniel Deronda, published in 1876, 21 years before Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress.

Now, my Jewish literacy may be sub-par, but I’ve read my share of 19th-century European novels. In one undergraduate seminar titled “Victorian Women Writers,” I was assigned another Eliot tome, The Mill on the Floss. It was around that time, more than two decades ago, that I first discovered—and filed away somewhere in my mental notes—that Eliot had also written a novel with a particularly Jewish dimension, Daniel Deronda. I bought a paperback of the book soon afterward but, confronted with chunky opening chapters that appeared to follow an all-too-traditional plotline (beautiful young Protestant Englishwoman, unexpectedly impoverished, seeks husband), I gave up before I reached the material that truly engages with Jews and Judaism, a narrative that grows more complicated as the mystery of the parentage of the hero, Daniel Deronda, unfolds and his relationships with certain other characters—Jewish characters—deepen.


Henry Percy is the nom de guerre for a technical writer living in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d[at]

“Islam” is the I word, the greatest taboo amongst “journalists” and government spokesmen today.

Consider this article at CBS News. Two years ago the FBI interviewed the older brother, Tamerlan, looking for “extremist ties” or “ties to Chechen extremists.” That’s it, just “extremists.” No hint as to what kind those might be, for we dare not name the Religion of Peace.

The boys’ mother gives the game away (sort of): “Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said her son got involved in ‘religious politics’ about five years ago, and never told her he was involved in ‘jihad.'”

“Religious politics.” Now that’s a little more suggestive. Lutherans petitioning for a zoning variance to turn their church into multi-family housing units? The National Council of Churches looking “for political leaders for whom a foreign policy based on cooperation and global justice is an urgent concern”? Tamerlan could have been lending a hand to most any kind of “religious politics.” But then mother mentions “jihad.” That is troubling. I’ve never heard of Lutherans, Methodists, or, for that matter, Baptists being involved in jihad, in trying to persuade politicians with pressure cookers.

Incidentally, look up Tamerlan’s namesake. According to some estimates, the 14th century Muslim conqueror of south-central Asia killed 5% of the world’s population. That’s impressive, a wonderful role model for a modern follower of the Religion of Peace.

Meanwhile, our president is baffled as to motive. In his press conference Friday, Mr. Obama did not mention religion at all, much less the I word. “Why did young men who grew up and studied here as part of our communities and our country resort to such violence [1:58]?” His heart is not in the sentiment, read listlessly, the question purely rhetorical, merely a throw-away line. But he is filled with certitude when it comes to diversity, using the word twice: “That American spirit includes staying true to the unity and diversity that makes us strong [3:30].” Strong? Strong enough for a great city to be held hostage for four days by only two true believers? And the three dead bombing victims “reflected all the beauty and diversity of our country [4:40].” Didn’t Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev reflect our diversity as well?

Welcome to self-censorship. “Islam” is the I word.

I SAW SOMETHING SO I’M SAYING SOMETHING: STELLA PAUL Are you fed up with the antiseptic slogan, “If you see something, say something?” The authorities expect us to report suspicious backpacks, but stay silent as the tomb about the nature of the men who put them there. We’re instructed to speak up about a bloodied man’s movement under a boat tarp, but to […]

ENEMY COMBATANT OR COMMON CRIMINAL? Enemy Combatants in Boston Was there a FISA order issued for Tamerlan Tsarnaev? A row has broken out over whether the Obama Administration is violating the legal due process of Boston terror suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by not reading him his Miranda rights before questioning. The more relevant question for the safety of the U.S. […]



LONDON – The UK is already known as a hub for the delegitimization of Israel, but the situation is about to worsen. According to Ronnie Fraser, there is likely to be an upturn in anti-Israel activity on university campuses and among trade union activists.

The reason is a landmark legal case, launched by Fraser himself, which he just lost. A freelance mathematics lecturer, Fraser took the University and College Union (UCU) to an employment tribunal for harassment, alleging that its anti-Zionist activity – including several votes on an academic boycott – crossed the line into anti-Semitism to the extent that the academics’ trade union was “institutionally anti-Semitic.” In a mammoth case heard over 20 days in late 2012, 10,000 documents were presented and 29 witnesses testified on Fraser’s behalf, including two members of Parliament. Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson also submitted written evidence.

The stakes were clear: win, and anti-Israel activists would have to be much more careful about the language and tactics they used. Lose, and they would gain some legal protection.

On the eve of Passover, the employment tribunal rejected Fraser’s case in scathing terms, clearly seeing it as an attempt to shut down debate on Israel.

“At heart,” wrote the three judges, “it represents an impermissible attempt to achieve a political end by litigious means.”


“Jews of every conceivable religious and political belief lived, fought and died in Warsaw. But their plight illustrated that the Zionist idea that Jews must take their fate into their own hands was correct. What the Zionists understood in the pre-Holocaust era was that the belief that Europe could remain home to millions of Jews was an illusion. Zionist leader Vladimir Ze’ev Jabotinsky told the Jews of Warsaw on Tisha B’Av—the date on which Jews commemorate the destruction of their ancient Temple—in 1938 that “the catastrophe is coming closer” and they and the rest of European Jewry must be evacuated. Rather than working with him to save European Jewry, the Bundists mocked Jabotinsky.From the perspective of 2013, the Zionist critique of pre-war Jewish complacence is still compelling. Today, even the U.S. State Department has concluded that a troubling wave of anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe. In France, the largest Jewish community on the continent is under siege with many leaving for Israel. The concept that the Jews must have a state of their own where they can stand against the still-vibrant forces of hate remains irrefutable.”

Today is the 70th anniversary of the start of one of the greatest acts of heroism in the history of the world. On April 19, 1943, SS forces entered the Warsaw Ghetto to begin the final “liquidation” of the enclave in which hundreds of thousands of Jews had been herded. But instead of rounding up the tens of thousands of starving Jews, they were attacked by Jewish resistance forces that stalled their advance and set off a battle that would last for weeks. Two separate groups organized the resistance. One was the ZOB—The Jewish Combat Organization—a coalition that was largely led by left-wing Zionists. The other was the ZZW—the Jewish Military Union—led by right-wing Zionists. Both fought bravely in a struggle that could not alter the fate of the Jews of Warsaw but which nevertheless reminded the world that the honor of the Jewish people had been redeemed in even the most hopeless of circumstances.

Resistance to the Nazis was expressed in many ways, and we now understand that those who stayed with the elderly and children as well as those who died with dignity in other ways deserve to be remembered just as do those few who were able to take up arms against their murderers. But we rightly remember the Warsaw Ghetto fighters and all those who were able to resist the Nazis because their efforts were a symbol of heroism that has inspired subsequent generations of Jews to stand up against those who seek to carry on the hate of Hitler and his legions. The most famous moment of the revolt was the raising by the ZZW of the flag of Poland and the blue and white banner of Zionism over Muranowski Square. This was an event that even the Germans considered of immense importance since it showed their opponents were part of a nation they could not kill–a nation that would be reborn five years later as the State of Israel.

But in a curious act of revisionism, the New York Times commemorated the Ghetto Uprising today with an article that seeks to push back against this narrative and to replace it with one that downgrades the importance of Zionism in both the story of the Warsaw revolt and its place in Jewish history.

Yale University scholar Marci Shore’s “The Jewish Hero History Forgot” focused on Marek Edelman, one leader of the ZOB who was not a supporter of Zionism. While Edelman deserves to be honored as a hero, her attempt to debunk the traditional view of the uprising tells us more about the left’s animus toward Israel than it does about the events of 1943 or the Jews of Poland. Though all those who resisted and even those who did not should be memorialized, the idea that Edelman’s distaste for the Jewish state should be the last word about the Holocaust is as offensive as it is a distortion of Jewish history.


If your concern about the threat posed by the Tsarnaev brothers is limited to assuring that they will never be in a position to repeat their grisly acts, rest easy.

The elder, Tamerlan—apparently named for the 14th-century Muslim conqueror famous for building pyramids of his victims’ skulls to commemorate his triumphs over infidels—is dead. The younger, Dzhokhar, will stand trial when his wounds heal, in a proceeding where the most likely uncertainty will be the penalty. No doubt there will be some legal swordplay over his interrogation by the FBI’s High-Value Interrogation Group without receiving Miranda warnings. But the only downside for the government in that duel is that his statements may not be used against him at trial. This is not much of a risk when you consider the other available evidence, including photo images of him at the scene of the bombings and his own reported confession to the victim whose car he helped hijack during last week’s terror in Boston.

But if your concern is over the larger threat that inheres in who the Tsarnaev brothers were and are, what they did, and what they represent, then worry—a lot.

For starters, you can worry about how the High-Value Interrogation Group, or HIG, will do its work. That unit was finally put in place by the FBI after so-called underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up the airplane in which he was traveling as it flew over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009 and was advised of his Miranda rights. The CIA interrogation program that might have handled the interview had by then been dismantled by President Obama.


Saudi Arabia opens luxury rehab center for Qaeda terrorists

Extremists jailed during crackdown on local branch of al-Qaeda will be able to swim, work out and watch television between meetings with counselors. ‘To fight terrorism, we must give them an intellectual and psychological balance,’ says director of rehab centers

Saudi Arabia is hoping to wean jailed al-Qaeda terrorists off religious extremism with counseling, spa treatments and plenty of exercise at a luxury rehabilitation center in Riyadh.In between sessions with counselors and talks on religion, prisoners will be able to relax in the center’s facilities which include an Olympic-size indoor swimming pool, a sauna, gym and a television hall.

The new complex is the work of the Prince Mohammed bin Nayef Center for Counseling and Care, a body set up seven years ago to rehabilitate extremists jailed during a Saudi crackdown on the local branch of al-Qaeda.

“Just under 3,000 (Islamist prisoners) will have to go through one of these centers before they can be released,” interior ministry spokesman General Mansur al-Turki told AFP during a tour of the new center.

Another center has already opened in the western port city of Jeddah, and three more are planned for the north, east and south of the desert kingdom.

The new facility in Riyadh, however, is the first to offer inmates a taste of luxury as an incentive to moderate their beliefs.