Archive for France

Oh, To Be in Paris

Now that sharia is near:

At least as many anti-Muslim acts have taken place in France since the terror attacks this month as for all of last year, a leading Muslim group reported Friday.

The French Council for the Muslim Religion said 128 anti-Muslim actions or threats were reported from January 7th to the 20th — a number that does not include the densely populated Paris region. That’s compared to 133 in all of France, including Paris, in 2014.

Wow! I wouldn’t want to be Muslim in France.

Unless I were Jewish:

The cabinet will discuss Sunday a report pointing to a worrying rise in worldwide anti-Semitism in 2014, including a sharp increase in attacks against Jews.

According to the report, there was a 400 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents during July and August 2014 – likely due to Operation Protective Edge – compared to the same time the previous year.

The report, authored by the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry in cooperation with the Coordination Forum for Countering anti-Semitism, found France to be “the most dangerous country for Jews today,” after “the levels of anti-Semitism and violence against Jews there have reached new heights.”

France saw an increase of 100 percent in anti-Semitic incidents in 2014, with half of the recorded “racist incidents” targeting Jews, even though they constitute less than 1 percent of the population.

The arithmetic is a little tricky, but it would seem that if anti-Muslim backlash keeps up this breakneck (ha-ha) pace, it just might reach the levels Jews saw for all of last year (the overwhelming percentage of which is committed by Muslims).

No offense, France, love you, but if I could dig up all of Burgundy and move it truck by truck to Oregon or California, I would do it, and brick up the rest of Gaul (after rescuing any remaining Jews) for 100 years. This is a problem of France’s making. We fought a Civil War to rid ourselves of an insidious ideology. Let them.

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Je Suis James Earl Ray

As he so often does, James Taranto makes the best case against people like Barack Obama who say “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

But what can one say about this week’s column by DeWayne Wickham, dean of Morgan State University’s School of Global Journalism and Communication in Baltimore? Choudary and Wickham make nearly identical arguments. Their columns are titled, respectively, “People Know the Consequences” and “ ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Crosses the Line.” Neither man expressly endorses the terrorists’ actions, but both strongly imply the victims had it coming because they offended their killers’ religious sensibilities.

Call it the assassin’s veto. And there is no principled basis to apply such a doctrine only in cases of Islamic supremacist violence. Martin Luther King and other civil-rights leaders were assassinated by white supremacists angry over the things the victims had said. By Wickham’s logic, that would have justified government censorship of speech in favor of civil rights. If the courts adopted the Wickham doctrine, extremists of all stripes would have a powerful incentive to kill.

Martin Luther King knew he was shouting “fire” in a crowded church, not least because there was a fire, or a bomb.

He also knew that by speaking out, he might not live to see the day about which he dreamed.

Like anybody, I would like to live – a long life; longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

Who knows how many death threats he received? Who knows how many other black Americans were killed in that lawless century between the Civil War and the Civil Rights era? What Dr. King did know, for sure, was that he was poking a white-robed-and-hooded bear. “I just want to do God’s will. … I’m not fearing any man.”

He may not have feared any particular man, but he would have had plenty to fear from J-School deans like DeWayne Wickham and their ilk in academia and the media. King knew that the possibility of his assassination was a necessary prerequisite for speaking out. Politically correct dimwits like DeWayne would have used it as a reason to censor him.

Yes, you had a dream, Marty, that’s nice. But no one wants to hear about that now. Be a good boy and come down from that mountaintop before anyone gets hurt.

Free speech absolutists (among whom I count myself) claim that censorship is often used against the very people it was meant to protect (anti-pornography laws women “performance artists”). That couldn’t clearer here.

Obama and Kerry tiresomely repeat that we should not hold against all Muslims the acts of a few Muslims (who aren’t really Muslim at all). Agreed (up to a point). But then why the admonition against “slandering the prophet of Islam”? Don’t we have laws and law enforcement to protect us from those very few crazies who would take offense to violent extremes? Should we refrain from going out after dark because of the actions of a very few violent criminals? Or should we live our lives according to the liberties guaranteed in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence—and expect that the government do one of its enumerated jobs and protect our rights (including the right of self-defense, I would argue)?

I think I know how Dr. King would answer that.

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Whodunnit?

Some say Islamist terrorists:

On January 11, 2015, a Dailymotion account called Baqya (a reference to ISIS) posted a seven-minute video of “Abu Basir ‘Abdallah Al-Afriki,” namely Amedy Coulibaly, who perpetrated the January 9, 2015 attack in the kosher supermarket in Paris and murdered a policewoman in Montrouge on the day before. The video, titled “Soldier of the Caliphate,” shows him pledging allegiance to ISIS and preparing for the attacks. It also features several segments in which he speaks to the camera and justifies his actions. Sitting with an ISIS flag behind him and a rifle beside him, he says: “What we are doing, avenging the Prophet, is completely legitimate, deserved and timely. You attacked the Caliphate, the Islamic State, [so] you are being attacked. You cannot attack and [expect] nothing in return.”

Coulibaly also confirms his ties with the Kouachi brothers, perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo shooting. He claims that he gave them thousands of Euros and helped them prepare for the shooting, and that he and they coordinated their actions but acted separately in order to maximize the impact. Finally, he also addresses the Muslims in Europe and France in particular, calling them to join the jihad “to defend Islam.”

Okay, that’s one theory.

Here’s another:

Many people, Dana Kennedy said, were of the opinion that Jews had staged the series of deadly terror incidents to make Muslims look bad, though one went even further with his explanation.

“One person told me that they weren’t just regular Jews that were doing this but in fact but a race of magical shape-shifting Jews that were master manipulators that could be everywhere at the same time,” Kennedy said.

The belief that Jews have supernatural abilities to carry out their wicked plans is not uncommon in the Middle East.

In 2013 during a speech to religious students, Mehdi Taeb, who headed a think tank and was considered close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said that Jews are powerful sorcerers who have used their abilities to attack Iran. He noted that while “the Jews” had yet to unleash their full powers, their abilities were negated after they tried to use magic to interfere with the Iranian elections of 2008 and 2009.

The conspiracy theorists could have been inspired by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s spoof portrayal of anti-Semitic Kazakh journalist Borat, who in a 2006 film reported on “shape-shifting Jews” who had trapped him in their “nest.”

I’ll go out on a limb and say I put the pathological ravings (based on a joke by a kosher-keeping, Hebrew-speaking Jew) of a paranoid people maybe third on my list of two suspects.

All very amusing, I’m sure, but I do have one serious point.

WHAT IN G-D’S NAME ARE WE DOING CATERING TO THE SENSIBILITIES OF A BUNCH OF LUNATICS?

These people are out of their gourds, a clear and present danger to any so unfortunate to cross their paths, and the attitude of Obama, Kerry, et al, is watch what we say, don’t look them in the eye, bow and scrape, etc. Eunuchs all of them.

Achtung, crazy people! Ali G does not attend Friday prayers!

Admiral General Aladeen was not a real dictator!

Jews cannot shape-shift!

Or can they…? Watch your backs.

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I’ll See Your Mark Steyn…

And raise you a Kevin Williamson:

Let us call the roll of national badasses: the 75th Ranger Regiment, USMC Force Reconnaissance, the SEALS, Delta Force . . . James Taylor?

What sort of warriors does a weary nation facing a savage enemy turn to? “The Quiet Professionals,” “Semper Fidelis,” “Death from Above” . . .

“A Churning Urn of Burning Funk.”

The spectacle of the Obama administration’s dispatching Secretary of State John Kerry to “share a big hug with Paris” as James Taylor — who still exists — crooned “You’ve Got a Friend” is the perfect objective correlative for American decline: The pathetic self-regard of John Kerry and James Taylor’s Baby Boomers meets the cynical, self-serving, going-through-the-motions style of Barack Obama’s Generation X as disenchanted Millennials in parental basements across the fruited plains no doubt injured their thumbs typing “WTF?” It is the substitution of celebrity for power, of sentiment for analysis, of sloppy gesture for clear-headed commitment.

We’re responding to barbarism from the 7th century with soft rock from the 1970s.

It’s not about James Taylor, as past his sell-by date as he is. It’s about John Kerry. It’s about Barack Obama. It’s about what used to be the United States of America.

Does a policeman arrive at the scene of a gangland murder (late, after first sending a crossing guard) with a troubadour and a “big hug” for the victims, spouting liberal pieties that while these may be gangland murders, they are the crimes of no particular gang? Maybe in today’s America they do.

When it comes to jihad, there are no obvious solutions, but there are some obvious non-solutions, and an impromptu James Taylor concert surely is one of them.

Williamson’s solution:

Seriously: If you’re going to send a past-its-prime musical act to an ally in distress — instead of showing up to join the rest of the heads of state in a show of solidarity — then send in the wild boys from Huntington Park, Calif., who are, like the last effective foreign policy maintained by this country, born of the 1980s. James Taylor tells France, “You’ve got a friend.” Slayer tells the world, “You’ve got a problem.” And there’s something in the Slayer catalog for everybody: “Jihad” for the most literal-minded; “Evil Has No Boundaries,” a sentiment that social conservatives could surely endorse; “War Ensemble” for the neocons; and President John Bolton’s agenda for his first 100 days in office: “Raining Blood.” (“Endless war?” President Bolton scoffs. “Try three weeks.”) If you find yourself in a fight, you want to know that you’ve got a friend. But do you really want that friend to be James Taylor?

He suggests Metal, but I wonder if another genre might not be more juste?

Islamist terrorists, meet Neo-Nazis. You two should hit it off. Or just hit.

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Je Suis Outta Here

We’ve covered some of this ground already, but not in the presence of the divine Caroline Glick:

January 16 is the nine-year anniversary of the beginning of the Ilan Halimi disaster.

On January 16, 2006, Sorour Arbabzadeh, the seductress from the Muslim anti-Jewish kidnapping gang led by Youssouf Fofana, entered the cellphone store where Halimi worked and set the honey trap.

Four days later, Halimi met Arbabzadeh for a drink at a working class bar and agreed to walk her home. She walked him straight into an ambush. Her comrades beat him, bound him and threw him into the trunk of their car.

They brought Halimi to a slum apartment and tortured him for 24 days and 24 nights before dumping him, handcuffed, naked, stabbed and suffering from third degree burns over two-thirds of his body, at a railway siding in Paris.

He died a few hours later in the hospital.

Measured by duration and premeditation, the Halimi torture must rank as the second-worst of France’s recent brushes with Muslim terrorism—worse than the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher massacres, not as horrific as the Toulouse slaughter of Jewish schoolchildren. (Your rankings may differ.)

But is that how France saw it?

The anti-Jewish nature of the gang was clear from its chosen victims. The anti-Semitic nature of their atrocious crime against Halimi was obvious from the first time they contacted his mother, Ruth Halimi, demanding ransom for his release. They made anti-Jewish slurs in all their communications with her.

And as she heard her sons tortured cries in the background, Ruth was subjected to his torturers’ recitation of Koranic verses.

And yet, throughout the period of his captivity, French authorities refused to consider the anti-Jewish nature of the crime, and as a result, refused to treat the case as life threatening or urgent.

The same attitude continued well after Halimi was found. As Weitzmann noted, the investigative magistrate insisted “There isn’t a single element to allow one to attach this murder to an anti-Semitic purpose or an anti-Semitic act.”

The denial went on through the 2009 trials of the 29 kidnappers and their accomplices. Anti-Semitism was listed as an aggravating circumstance of the crime – and as such, a cause for harsher sentencing – only for the gang leader Fofana. And in the end, even for him, the judges did not take it into account at sentencing.

As for those 29 kidnappers and accomplices, as Weitzmann notes, each one of them had a circle of friends and family.

As a consequence, by a one reporters’ conservative estimate, at least 50 people were aware of the crime and where Halimi was being held, while he was being held. And not one of them called the police. Not one of them felt moved to make a call that could save the life of a Jew.

After the fact, the media in France were happy to publish articles by the torturers’ defense lawyers insisting, “Only people motivated by ‘political reasons’ would try to sell the opinion that anti-Semitism is eating away at French society.”

[W]hen Halimi, and six years later when the three children and the rabbi massacred at Otzar Hatorah Jewish day school in Toulouse, were brought to Israel for burial, the media reported their decision in a negative way hinting that it was evidence of the basic disloyalty, or otherness of the Jews of France.

We made the same point about Netanyahu’s insistence on coming to France for the public memorial and march for the victims. Remember, their families had asked that they be buried in Israel. It was only proper that he (even if only symbolically) accompany their bodies to their ancestral home. And he should be praised, not scourged, for offering a home to living French Jews, not just dead ones.

Glick looks at the last nine years of France’s relations with its Jews and sees the same merde, different jour.

[W]hat Halimi’s murder exposed is that anti-Semitism in France is systemic. Muslims are the main perpetrators of violence. And they operate in social environments that are at a minimum indifferent to Jewish suffering and victimization. This violence and indifference is abetted by non-Islamic elites. French authorities minimize the unique threat Jews face. And the media are happy to ignore the issue, or when given the slightest opportunity, to claim that the Jews are responsible for their own victimization.

Indeed, in live reports from the scene of the hostage taking at the kosher supermarket in Paris last week, Weitzmann noted that in the early hours of the attack, French media failed to mention that the hostages were Jews.

This line is a whopper:

When all is said and done, it is their necks on the line while humanity’s conscience is merely troubled.

PS: I wrote yesterday about the flaming a-hole on NPR who ragged on Netanyahu and Israel. One of his points I forgot to mention is that he didn’t think many French Jews would pursue the aliyah suggested by Neyanyahu. His ignorance knows no bounds:

Speaking of aliya is also essential because so far the only thing that has caused French authorities to speak directly against anti-Semitism and take action to defend French Jewry has been the prospect of a mass exodus of their Jews.

The year 2014 saw a 50 percent increase in French aliya. And the Jewish Agency anticipates that that number will double to 15,000 in 2015, with 50,000 more not far behind.

If Jews don’t flee France in 2016, it will be because they’ve already left.

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Netanyahu Takes Selfie With Dead French Jews

Not my opinion—farthest from it—but the opinion of National Public Radio.

What prompted the intemperate outburst against the prime minister of the Jewish State? What wouldn’t?

A little background. Local NPR affiliate WBUR produces a national news talk program, On Point, hosted by Tom Ashbrook. Every Friday, they have a round table discussion of the week’s events, with several guest journalists. I knew something was up when the panel consisted of a retired editor of the Atlantic, a CNN correspondent, and Politico’s Michael Hirsh. A Murderer’s Row of modernist media mediocrity. I guess anyone from Fox, News, the WSJ, the Washington Times, etc. had a previous engagement.

The discussion turned to the rally in Paris, and the “controversy” of Netanyahu’s attendance. Hirsh led the way. Hollande didn’t want Netanyahu to attend, he claimed (there is reporting to that effect, if it is to be believed), but Netanyahu ignored the wishes of his hosts. And why wouldn’t he? The Muslim terrorists targeted the kosher shop because of its association with Jews—why shouldn’t the PM of Israel attend a rally in honor of the Jews who died there? How is that even controversial? Mahmoud Abbas was there. Merkel and Cameron were there. Even the African man (presumably) in the hat. An American functionary was there. But not Netanyahu? That’s insane.

But Hirsch was just getting started. He said Netanyahu hijacked the event to make a plea for French Jews to come to Israel. More, he did so not out of concern for their lives, but out of demographic greed. He needs all the Jews can get his hands on.

You may think I’m mischaracterizing Hirsh’s position. Alas, there is no transcript. (Why can a private radio entrepreneur like Rush Limbaugh get his transcripts up within a few hours, and leave them on the web, searchable, indefinitely, but state-run radio can’t be bothered?)

But there was this supportive comment that confirms everything I wrote:

I want to thank Michael Hirsh from Politico for putting Netanyahu’s self serving comments on inviting French Jews to Israel into perspective. It was a breath of fresh air from someone in the press….and must continue.

I feel it is too bad Jack Beatty doesn’f take on this truth weekly coming out of Israel & the Middle East by their Capital Hill and Wall St Zionist apologists.

Why have freedom of speech and the press and public radio if one is intimidated to take on the truth and the real outlaws of our times in Israel… so many Americans are disgusted with today and boycott.

It seems to me they are the root cause of all this Muslim unrest along with their Wall Street and Wash Apologists and want war daily in the Middle East (see their Bomb ,Bomb Iran mentality in an NYT Op-ed and their warning of “next ” to Syria in London Review) instead of doing what is right and awful and getting off Palestinian land with their illegal Jewish settlements, Fascist wall & blockade of Gaza

Dee, whatever s/he is, loves itself some Michael Hirsh. What was “fresh air” to him/her was one of the most sulfurous emissions from the bowels of Hell to which I have ever had the misfortune of being exposed to. I hear Jim Clancy is out at CNN for his nasty and taunting Twitter comments toward Jews. Maybe Politico is hiring.

But I can’t leave it there. Truth must be heard in the end. This is what Netanyahu said in the Great Synagogue of Paris. Take offense if you will:

On this day, all citizens of Israel and Jews around the world stand with France and the French people. I greatly appreciate the determined stance of the President of France, Francois Hollande, and Prime Minister Valls against any expression of anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism and against terror. This stance is important to France and it is important to the world.

I wish to convey my condolences to the families of the journalists and police and all those innocent people who were murdered while realizing their most basic rights: freedom of expression, freedom of thought and freedom of belief, even the freedom not to believe. These are the values on which modern France is built and these are values that are worth fighting for.

Today I marched through the streets of Paris, in one line with leaders from around the world, in order to say that terror must end. It is time that we fight against terror together. And I would like to use this opportunity to salute the French security forces who acted with remarkable bravery, as well as to express my appreciation to the Malian, who is a Muslim, who helped save seven Jews.

My dear brothers and sisters, I came here from Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel, to share in your pain over the murders of Francois-Michel, Philippe, Yoav and of Yohan, who bravely tried to grab the terrorist’s gun and was fatally wounded. The memory of our four holy brothers will be forever engraved on the hearts of our people.

Our shared enemy is radical Islam, not Islam and not just radicals – radical Islam. This form of Islam has many names: ISIS, Hamas, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, al-Shabab, Hezbollah; but they are all branches from the same poison tree.

Although the various factions of radical Islam are given to local bloody conflicts, including amongst themselves, they all share the same aspiration: To impose a dark tyranny on the world, to return humanity one thousand years to the past. They trample anyone who does not share their path, first and foremost their Muslim brothers, but their greatest hatred is saved for Western culture, that same culture that respects freedom and equal rights – all the things they so despise.

For this reason it is not a coincidence that radical Islam has sought to destroy Israel from the very day it declared its independence: Because Israel is the only Western democracy in the Middle East, because Israel is the only place that is truly safe for Christians, women, minorities, that respects all human rights.

Well, here is another truth: Radical Islam does not hate the West because of Israel. It hates Israel because it is an organic part of the West. It rightly views Israel as an island of Western democracy and tolerance in an ocean of fanaticism and violence that it wishes to impose on the Middle East, Europe and the entire world.

Israel is not under attack because of this or that detail of its policies, but rather because of its very existence and nature.

Israel stands with Europe and Europe must stand with Israel. As the civilized world today stands with France against terror, so must it stand with Israel against terror. It is the exact same terror. Those who slaughtered Jews in the synagogue in Jerusalem and those who slaughtered Jews and journalists in Paris belong to the same murderous terrorist movement. They should be condemned in the same measure and they must be fought in the same manner.

Only when the international community fights our shared enemy in a uniform manner will we know that we are on the path to victory. I promise you: Israel will continue to fight against terror. Israel will continue to defend itself and we know that when we defend ourselves, we defend the entire civilized world.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, Jews of France, I would like to say to you what I say to our Jewish brothers and sisters from all countries: You have the full right to live in safety and tranquility as citizens with equal rights wherever you wish, including here in France. But Jews of our time have been blessed with another right, a right that did not exist for previous generations of Jews: The right to join their Jewish brothers and sisters in our historic homeland, the Land of Israel; the right to live in our free country, the one and only Jewish state, the State of Israel; the right to stand tall and proud at the walls of Zion, our eternal capital of Jerusalem.

Any Jew who wishes to immigrate to Israel will be welcomed with open arms and warm and accepting hearts. They will not arrive in a foreign land but rather the land of our forefathers. God willing, they will come and many of you will come to our home. Am Yisrael Chai.

The Obama regime dismisses him as “chickens**t” and “Aspergery”. I find him inspiring—one of the very few leaders in the world today willing to speak the truth, certainly the most moving. Those who are affronted choose to be so. They know very well what they do. I choose never to forgive them.

PS: How could I forget that Netanyahu came to claim the bodies of the four dead Jews for burial in Israel—at the request of the families?! This makes criticism even more obscene, if possible. I’m so disgusted, I could spit.

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Oh No He Di-unt!

Someone please tell we we are not being led by such a team of imbeciles. Someone? Anyone? Hello…hello?

After the administration’s noticeable lack of presence in post-attack Paris events, Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in France this week, bringing with him a “big hug” and a serenade from soft rock singer James Taylor.

Kerry is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Paris after Islamist terror attacks left 17 people dead, not including the 3 gunmen killed in police raids. He met Friday morning with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and French President Francois Hollande “to share a big hug with Paris.”

Later in the day, Kerry attended a ceremony with Taylor in tow, who broke out the guitar and played his 1971 hit “You’ve Got a Friend” for all in attendance.

First of all, “You’ve Got a Friend” was written by Carole King, so I don’t know why Kerry left her at home.

Second of all, the lyrics go:

Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there

But as photographic evidence clearly demonstrates, we weren’t there, or anywhere near:

I had a few issues with Bush’s Secretaries of State, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice (insufficient support for Israel), but my God, they are towering statespersons compared to Obama’s dunces:

Today, for the first time in my adult life, I am embarrassed to be an American.

PS: Maybe Kerry said he’s bring a “big lug” instead of a “big hug”. His French isn’t as good as he thinks it is.

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French Jews

I thought you’d enjoy this picture of French Jews prior to making Aliya, taken in July 2014

french jews aliya
FRENCH JEWISH children at the historic Synagogue des Tournelles in Paris in July ahead of their aliya with their families..

– Aggie

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Ils ne Sont Pas Charlie Hedbo

A couple of outlier reactions.

Boko Haram:

The leader of Nigeria’s brutal Islamist sect Boko Haram praised the perpetrators of last week’s Paris terror attacks in a video posted online Wednesday. The video, verified by jihadi monitoring group Flashpoint Intelligence, featured an animated eight-minute speech from Abubakar Shekau, the little-known figure believed to be the group’s commander. He said the group was pleased by the attacks.

Specifically:

‘We are indeed happy with what happened in France,’ the group’s leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video posted online.

‘We are happy over what befell the people of France… as their blood was shed inside their country as they (try to) safeguard their blood,’ he said.

What about China?

China’s state news agency, Xinhua, ran a commentary by its Paris bureau chief in which he said: “Unfettered and unprincipled satire, humiliation and free speech are not acceptable.”

A commentary posted on the Xinhua website also warns that we now live in “a reality that demands basic respect and prudence be exercised in mass communication so as to reduce inter-culture and inter-religion misunderstanding and distrust, which can easily be exploited by terrorists.”

That’s awfully measured for the Chinese. This is more typical:

Chinese police shot and killed six would-be bombers Monday in the latest violence to strike the restive far northwestern region of Xinjiang, a local government spokesman and official website said.

Critics and human rights advocates say Uighurs have chafed under the repressive rule of the Han Chinese-dominated government and complain of economic disenfranchisement with the inflow of Han Chinese to their homeland.

Authorities have responded to militants’ attacks by launching a one-year crackdown on violence in Xinjiang, where security was already tight following riots in the regional capital in Urumqi in 2009 that left nearly 200 people dead.

That’s the China I know.

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Why is This Man Smiling?

A massacre of Jews, and he’s not (directly) to blame? What’s not to smile about?

Untitled

His Excellency, François Hollande

Dear Mr. President,

First, I wish to express my deep condolences over the killing of innocent citizens in the recent terror attacks in Paris.

Second, I want to apologize to Your Excellency for not revealing my true identity. After you read my letter, you will realize why people like me are afraid to reveal their real identity.

I decided to write to you this letter after hearing my president, Mahmoud Abbas, declare that you had invited him to attend the anti-terror rally in Paris earlier this week.

Like many Palestinians, I see President Abbas’s participation in a rally against terrorism and assaults on freedom of speech as an act of hypocrisy — a condition that is not alien to Palestinian Authority leaders.

In fact, many Palestinians nearly fell off their chairs upon seeing their president march in the front row of a rally in your capital, in protest against terrorism and assaults on freedom of the media.

President Abbas’s participation in the rally is an insult to the victims of the terror attacks. It is also an insult to Western values, including freedom of expression and democracy.

Your Excellency, myself and other journalists living under the rule of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank were the first to be offended by the invitation you extended to President Abbas to attend the anti-terror rally.

Undoubtedly, you are unaware of the fact that Abbas is personally responsible for punishing Palestinian journalists who dare to criticize him or express their views in public. Of course, Your Excellency, we cannot blame you for being unaware of this assault on public freedoms because the mainstream media, including French newspapers and magazines, deliberately turn a blind eye to these practices. Every day we see that the Western media does not care about such violations unless they are committed by Israel.

That is why, Your Excellency, you are probably unaware of the cases of several Palestinian journalists who have been arrested and intimidated by President Abbas’s security forces over the past few years. Yes, this is the same Abbas who came to Paris to express his condolences over the brutal killing of the Charlie Hebdo journalists.

The most recent example of Abbas’s crackdown on Palestinian journalists occurred shortly before Your Excellency phoned President Abbas to invite him to Paris. The case involves my female colleague, Majdolin Hassouneh, who was detained for “extending her tongue,” or insulting, President Abbas.

And, Your Excellency, if you want further evidence of President Abbas’s clampdown on political satire, you can ask Palestinian comedians Abdel Rahman Daher and Mahmoud Rizek. The two men are currently in Jordan because they are afraid to return to the West Bank. No, Your Excellency, they are not afraid to return home because of Israel. They are afraid of being arrested by President Abbas’s security forces, which accuse the two men of insulting their leader.

President Abbas, Your Excellency, should be the last person to walk in a march honoring journalists who were massacred because of their satirical work. His participation in the Paris rally is not only in an insult to the memory of the slain journalists, but to all those who believe in freedom of expression and media.

I also want to bring to the attention of Your Excellency that while President Mahmoud Abbas was attending the rally in Paris, a human rights group published a report accusing the Palestinian Authority of “waging war” against university students in the West Bank. According to the report, 24 students have been arrested in recent weeks by Abbas’s security forces for “political reasons.”

Again, I’m sure Your Excellency did not hear about the crackdown on university campuses because Western media outlets and foreign journalists based here do not report about such stories. You read and hear about such incidents only when the Israeli army or police are involved.

I do not want to take much of your time, Your Excellency, by telling you about President Abbas’s double standards and hypocrisy on the subject of terrorism. You can learn a lot about this by going on the Internet and seeing, with your own eyes, how our president often condones and glorifies terrorism and terrorists.

You will even discover that our president, who will soon celebrate his 80th birthday, is prepared to stay awake all night to welcome Palestinians released from Israeli prison for murdering Jews and committing terror attacks no less serious than the ones your country experienced last week.

You will also discover, Your Excellency, that our president also rewards terrorists by granting them monthly salaries and other privileges.

What would be your reaction, Your Excellency, if someone decided to reward financially the families of the terrorists who massacred the innocent civilians in Paris?

Your Excellency, perhaps it is now too late to talk about the decision to invite President Abbas to the anti-terror rally. The damage has already been done, as far as I and many Palestinians are concerned. The way we see it is as follows: President Abbas has once again managed to deceive you and the rest of the international community by placing himself on the side of the good guys in their fight against terrorism and extremism. Even worse, President Abbas has managed to create the false impression that he cares about freedom of speech and independent journalism.

Undoubtedly, now Palestinians like me will now pay a heavier price because President Abbas has been emboldened by his participation in the Paris rally. President Abbas will now step up his assaults on public freedoms because he knows that the international community will only see photos of him marching together with Your Excellency and other world leaders in defense of freedom of expression.

By extending the invitation to President Abbas, you have caused damage to Palestinians like me who have been hoping that someone — maybe even a leader like you — would finally expose the dictatorship of the Palestinian Authority for what it is. President Abbas’s participation in the Paris rally is a severe blow to people like me who are genuinely opposed to terrorism and suppression of free speech.

Your Excellency, now that the damage has already been done, all that is left for people like me is to beg you to take all what I have said into account in your future dealings with President Abbas. Please do not hesitate to raise these issues with President Abbas the next time he requests your support for the creation of an independent Palestinian state. Otherwise, France will be helping to establish another corrupt and repressive Arab dictatorship — one that glorifies and rewards terrorists no different from those who carried out the Paris attacks.

Finally, Your Excellency, I hope that by now you understand the reason why I am too scared to reveal my identity.

Sincerely,

A Palestinian Journalist with No Name or Voice

I wanted to cut more, but I couldn’t.

Aussie Dave at Israellycool.com has the best response.

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When Does the Bombing of Turkey Begin?

Because someone is really asking for it:

“The duplicity of the West is obvious. As Muslims we have never sided with terror or massacres: racism, hate speech, Islamophobia is behind these massacres,” [Erdogan] told reporters. “The culprits are clear: French citizens undertook this massacre and Muslims were blamed for it.”

But he was kind enough to explain hisself:

“How can a man [Benjamin Netanyahu] who has killed 2,500 people in Gaza with state terrorism wave his hand in Paris, like people are waiting in excitement for him to do so? How dare he go there?” he said Monday as he stood alongside visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

“You should first give an account for the children and the women you have killed.”

Be happy to. Some women were killed when Hamass fired missiles from a residential area; a few children did when Hamass wouldn’t let them flee; and a few more of both when Hamass fired missiles that “unintentionally” hit Arab targets. That covers most of it.

But thanks for sharing your hateful, despicable opinion. You have company, but only you run a country. You tool.

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Waiting for Dumbo

Boy, this story about Obama blowing off the rally against Muslim terrorism in France is getting a lot of play. Let’s look at some of the takes.

Josh Earnest (by name and nature):

Some have asked whether or not the United States should have sent someone with a higher profile than the ambassador to France. I think it is fair to say we should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there.

Eric Holder was in town, but he had tickets to the Folies Bergère.

A little more Earnest:

ACOSTA: Does the president believe that the White House made a mistake?

EARNEST: I have not spoken to the president about this specific matter.

ACOSTA: And you said that this decision did not reach his level. Doesn’t the buck stop with the president?

EARNEST: It always does. He would be the first person to tell you that.

ACOSTA: So why wasn’t this decision brought to him?

EARNEST: Well, Jim, I’m not going to sort of unpack the planning and logistics that go into these kind of decisions.

ACOSTA: Why not?

Sometimes the best questions when asking truth of power are the simplest. Why? Why not? And then just wait:

EARNEST: Well, just because they’d be pretty complicated.

Netanyahu solved the “complications”.

Andrea Mitchell, considering the usual suspects:

Look at the pictures of the unity march Sunday, world leaders representing all of Europe, even Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu along with his adversary Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but not President Obama, Joe Biden, or anyone else from the cabinet.

President Obama was at the White House, the Vice President was at his home in Delaware. This comes after a noticeable absence of really strong reaction after those horrors in France last week.

Some comments that he made in the Oval Office, at a photo opportunity, and a line or two added to a community college event in Nashville.

Attorney General Eric Holder was in Paris for a counter-terror meeting, but he didn’t march. At the time he was actually doing interviews with Meet The Press, by satellite and other TV networks.

Secretary of State John Kerry seems to be the only top official with a real explanation. He was keynoting a climate summit in India, he will now travel to Paris Thursday, he was planning to be nearby in Geneva for nuclear talks with Iran.

A “climate summit” in India trumps a multi-million person march against terrorism and mass murder? Obama chose rather to meet with the San Antonio Spurs basketball team, and he had a better excuse.

Jake Tapper:

This president has acknowledged in the past that he doesn’t have the same prediliction for optics, as he refers to it. Images as previous presidents said. He has said it was not his strength. I think it was more than just optics. If you look at the reality of the march, world leaders were not actually marching all the way, but be that as it may, this is being referred to here in France as France’s 9/11.

This is being referred to as a demarcation, a moment where this country is changing.

17 innocent people killed here in France is horrific but can’t compare to 3,000. You also have to look at the fact of, who was the first world leader to come to the United States after the trauma in 2001 who was it?

The president of France. Jacques Chirac came to Washington D.C. and New York right after 9/11, within a week and a half or so.

How far has the Messiah tumbled when he prompts unfavorable comparisons to Jacques-[bleepin’]-Chirac?

But enough with the lap dogs of the press. Jonah Goldberg:

I mean, look, first of all, the guy with the Greek columns, the guy who campaigned in Berlin that somehow he doesn’t like the the theater of politics strikes me as a little ridiculous. The pattern here is that whenever they blow it with their communication shop, the pattern is to then say, ‘well, we’re just too good for the optics,’ but other times they’re perfectly happy to exploit optics and do theater, just sometimes they’re bad at it and say — It’s like when you trip and you say I meant to do that.

Look, everyone agrees that this was a mistake. The question is why this is a mistake.

Goldberg has his theory. And Rush Limbaugh has his:

He’s not gonna subject himself. He’s not going to put himself in a group where he is seen as one of many, many equals.

The other thing is, what was being condemned here? Militant Islam was on the plate here for being condemned. Now let’s face it. This is the president, who at the United Nations, said that we must never allow the word of the prophet to be smeared. I’m paraphrasing. This is the president who wrote that one of the most beautiful sounds he’s ever heard is the morning call to prayer at a mosque in a city where Islam is being practiced. The White House is saying, nah, Obama couldn’t go because this wasn’t about Obama. That’s exactly right, by the way. They may be trying compliment or stave things off, it wasn’t about Obama, so why should he be there? He wasn’t gonna go out and be about, you know, one of 40 people doing the same thing.

There are many other comments and opinions. This is just a sample.

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