March 2013

Urge US Secretary of State Kerry to Condemn Erdogan's Anti-Semitic Slur in Turkey Meeting Tomorrow

Feb 28 2013
UPDATE: At 3:00 am this morning, UN Watch broke the story that Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called Zionism a "crime against humanity" in a speech before yesterday's UN global summit on tolerance in Vienna.

Attacks on Egyptian women escalate, Egyptian law-makers blame victims /Sharyn Mittelman

Feb 27 2013
While sexual assaults in Tahrir Square are sadly not new, recently they reached "epidemic" proportions. And while many are asking the Egyptian government to condemn these organised attacks on women, instead some Egyptian parliamentarians have blamed the victims.

Countdown to the Sixth Intifada Emmanuel Navon

28 February 2013
The death of Arafat Jaradat in an Israeli jail has raised the fear of a “third intifada.” But if a new intifada were indeed to erupt, it would not be the third. It would be the sixth.

What John Kerry Doesn’t Know About Democracy and Also About Islam By Barry Rubin

28 Feb 2013
In practically his first outing as secretary of state abroad, John Kerry made some remarkable statements in a meeting with young Germans. The main thing being widely quoted is this:

“In America, you have a right to be stupid if you want to be,” he said. “And we tolerate it. We somehow make it through that. Now, I think that’s a virtue. I think that’s something worth fighting for.”

Of course, there’s a right to be stupid in America! Indeed, just this week it's been expanded into having a right to be simultaneously stupid and secretary of defense!

Will There be Another Intifada? by Mordechai Kedar

Friday, March 1, 2013
In recent weeks we have seen an escalation in public disturbances, demonstrations, Molotov cocktails and militant declarations of activists in the field. And the question that naturally arises is "What are the causes and reasons for these developments, and are we about to experience a third intifada?"

The Arab spokesmen give three main reasons for the increase in events: the Palestinians who are prisoners in Israeli jails, the economy and the lack of progress toward independence.

The Issue of the Prisoners

Palestinians to Hagel Report: "We Don't Need U.S. Troops Here" by Khaled Abu Toameh

March 1, 2013
Any Arab leader who agrees to join a U.S. or NATO force will be denounced by his people as a traitor and puppet in the hands of Zionists and Americans. Any foreign troops will become a target for terror attacks, as happened in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Palestinians repeated this week their opposition to the new-old idea of deploying a U.S.-led international force in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Erdogan's Speech was Widely Condemned

March 1, 2013

Good news: Although they stayed until UN Watch exposed, and called on the world to denounce, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s repugnant speech calling Zionism a “crime against humanity” -- at a UN forum supposedly dedicated to tolerance -- today both the United Nations and the United States strongly condemned him:

• UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Erdogan’s “hurtful and divisive comments” were “not only wrong" but “contradict the very principles on which the Alliance of Civilizations is based.”

U.S. Helping Israel's Defense by Yaakov Lappin

March 1, 2013
Cooperation between the two countries today is at an unprecedented level. The other part involves devastating offensive capabilities, designed to surprise adversaries, bringing any war to a swift conclusion.

The cheering and the hugs exchanged by Israeli and American teams this week at Palmahim Air Force base, south of Tel Aviv, marked a historical turn of events.

How the Turkish Prime Minister condemned himself by calling Zionism a ‘crime against humanity’ by Sharyn Mittelman

Mar 1 2013
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan on March 1 offensively equated Zionism to racism and fascism at the "Fifth Alliance of Civilizations Forum" in Vienna. During the forum, Erdoğan reportedly stated:

"Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity."

Iran’s Attempted Rapprochement with Egypt: Implications for Sunni-Shiite Relations Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall,

February 27, 2013
The Arab Spring has reinforced the conflict between the Arab states and Iran. While Iran continues to see the Islamic manifestations of the Arab Spring as an opportunity to promote its Islamic hegemonic aims, the series of upheavals in the Arab world has in fact widened the gaps between Iran and the Arab states. This is mainly due to Iran’s unequivocal and ongoing backing of Syria, where Assad keeps trying to crush the opposition, and Iran’s support for the Shiite opposition in Bahrain.

America's Withdrawal from the Middle East under the Obama Doctrine A briefing by Lee Smith

February 6, 2013
Lee Smith, senior editor with the Weekly Standard, Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and author of the 2010 critically-acclaimed book, The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations, briefed the Middle East Forum via conference call on February 6, 2013.

Mr. Smith characterized the Obama administration's Middle East policy as one of "extrication" from the region. The major problem with this policy, he argued, is that "vacuums are filled by other people, and not always filled by friendly powers."

The United Nations Elevates Syria and Sudan

Sunday, March 3rd
UN Watch Executive director Hillel Neuer addressed two panel sessions today with McGill University historian and author Gil Troy, and Dr. Tal Becker, Principal Deputy Legal Adviser of the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Tonight, 9:30 pm: Friends of UN Watch are invited to gather with executive director Hillel Neuer for an informal get-together at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Cure Bar & Bistro. Details / RSVP

Turkey riding on the back of the tiger By Pinhas Inbari

04 March 2013
Geopolitical forces in the Middle East demand the return of cooperation and amicable relations between Turkey and Israel. The two former allies face similar challenges like the growing threat of terrorist Iran, with its dangerous nuclear ambitions, and the possibility that Syria becomes a launching pad for Sunni al-Qaeda affiliated terror groups in the Middle East and Europe.

Apology ordered for Irish TV host who called Israel ‘cancer’By Anna Sheinman

Monday 4 March, 2013
Irish TV channel TV3 has been ordered to apologise live on air after its presenter Vincent Browne called Israel a “cancer”.

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has upheld a complaint against the well - known TV host of Tonight With Vincent Browne, who said on an October show that Israel was "the cancer in foreign affairs.”

He went on to say that Israel “polarises the Islamic community of the world against the rest of the world” and that the creation of Israel was “a massive injustice — they stole the land from the Arabs.”

Cry for Argentina by David Harris

March 3, 2013
Argentina has just approved a memorandum of understanding with Iran to jointly investigate the 1994 terrorist bombing of the AMIA, or Jewish federation, building in Buenos Aires. The blast killed 85 people and wounded 300.

There's only one problem with the agreement -- it's alleged that the current Iranian regime, plus its proxy, Hezbollah, was responsible for the attack. That's not speculation, but the conclusion, reached years ago, by the Argentine government!

The Forgotten Secular Turkish Model Turkey, Past and Future by H. Akın Ünver

March 5 2013
As the euphoric predictions of a brave new Middle East give way to more tempered expectations, Turkey is increasingly seen as a possible model for the fledgling Arab governments to emulate.

UNRWA cancels Gaza marathon after Hamas bans women from taking part With AP

05 March 2013
The UN aid agency UNRWA has canceled a planned marathon in the Gaza strip following a ban on women runners imposed by the territory’s Hamas rulers. UNRWA, which assists Palestinian refugees and also sponsors and organizes the event, announced on Tuesday that plans for the April race have been scrapped. A statement from agency says that “this disappointing decision follows discussions with the authorities in Gaza who have insisted that no women should participate” in the marathon.

Palestinians' Double-Standards Exposed Again by Khaled Abu Toameh

March 5, 2013
What is surprising — and disturbing — is that the UN, the international media and human rights groups are willing to be complicit in this effort to prevent the outside world from learning about what is going on in Palestinian prisons in the West Bank. Once again it has been proven that a story that reflects negatively on the Palestinian Authority leadership has no chance of finding its way to the international media. But a story that reflects negatively on Israel will always be welcomed by the international media, human rights organizations and the UN.

Belgian Attitudes Toward Jews by Peter Martino

March 4, 2013
The survey, conducted by Professor Mark Elchardus also showed that Islamic anti-Jewish feelings are widespread among all socio-economic and ethic groups, regardless of whether the pupils are from richer or poorer families, or whether the parents consider themselves moderate or traditionalist. This leads to the conclusion that the anti-Jewish sentiments are caused by Islam, and not by socio-economic factors.

Adoption Jihad, Halal Hysteria, and More by David J. Rusin

Mar 4, 2013
Islamist Watch (IW) maintains an extensive archive of news items on nonviolent Islamism in the Western world. The complete collection can be found here; lists organized by topic are accessible on the right side of the IW homepage.

The following are some of the recent developments covered in the IW database:

Shari'a worms its way into Spanish adoption law

Racist Incidents Stun Campus and Halt Classes at Oberlin Dustin Franz for The New York Times

March 4 2013
Students and faculty members packed Finney Chapel at Oberlin College on Monday for a discussion about a recent flurry of hate-related incidents.
OBERLIN, Ohio — Oberlin College, known as much for ardent liberalism as for academic excellence, canceled classes on Monday and convened a “day of solidarity” after the latest in a monthlong string of what it called hate-related incidents and vandalism.

A campus rally on Monday included members of Dance Diaspora, a West African dance group at Oberlin, 30 miles outside Cleveland.

What if They Mean What They Say? by Shoshana Bryen

March 5, 2013
Many people thought Hitler's words were just words. They were wrong. If he'd had nuclear weapons, he would have used them. How is it possible to believe they do not mean what they say?

The U.S. generally makes allowance for verbal excesses from foreign governments, but if expressions of hatred and incitement to violence are actually harbingers of behavior, destruction and murderousness cannot be far behind.

Palestinian prisoner issue plagued by selective reporting / Ahron Shapiro

Mar 6 2013
Who are Samer Issawi and Ayman Sharawneh, the hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners that have become the latest "cause célèbre" for pro-Palestinian activists?

(See our update on how the prisoner issue appears to be a deliberate pretext for creating unrest in an effort to push the Palestinian agenda prior to US President Barack Obama's visit to the region later this month).

Britain Legitimizes, Funds Terrorist Movement by Samuel Westrop

March 5, 2013
Jamaat-e-Islami, an extremist Bangladeshi Islamist group responsible for mass killings in 1971, has established itself as a leading force among British Muslims.

Forty years after Pakistani forces and their Islamist collaborators slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people, there is finally some semblance of justice in Bangladesh. Of the ten people indicted for acts of genocide by the Bangladeshi war crimes tribunal, eight of them are from the Islamist movement, Jamaat-e-Islami.

Mass Arrest and Torture of Christians in Libya by Raymond Ibrahim

March 1, 2013
Last week's news of four Christian missionaries in Libya placed under arrest, possibly facing the death penalty for "proselytizing," is apparently the tip of the iceberg. Yesterday, Arabic media reported that over 100 Christian Copts from Egypt, who appear to have been living and working in Libya, were recently arrested in Ben Ghazi—also on the accusation, or pretext, of being "Christian missionaries."

"Moderate" Turkey by Ali Uyanik

March 6, 2013
Minorities have been classified by the political elite as dangerous for the nation. "We did not want to leave because the mob would then have gotten what it wanted: to expel minorities and dissenters. The people with whom we lived very well avoid me; some even joined the mob." — Servet Evli, Turkish Alevi, targeted with ostracism, imprisonment and death threats.

Debate at the highest political level in Norway following TV report on PMW findings by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Mar. 3, 2013
MPs challenge Norway's funding of the PA
and criticize Norway's failure
to stop PA Antisemitism and hate promotion

A debate at the highest political level is underway in Norway following NRK TV's 11-minute report on Palestinian Media Watch's findings about PA hate promotion, as documented in PMW's book Deception. The report by investigative journalist Tormod Strand showed explicit examples of ongoing hate incitement, Antisemitism and terror glorification by the PA.

PA rejects Norwegian TV report about PA hate incitement and terror glorification by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Mar. 4, 2013
PA Ambassador:
"They used rumors and exaggerations.They exaggerated all kinds of news items to foster a negative attitude among Norwegians against the Palestinian issue and the Palestinian leadership..."

PA TV News:
TV report is "part of an incitement campaign started by the Israeli Foreign Ministry on a global level to affect the positions of countries that support Palestine."

Foreign Minister of Norway:

Love letter to Hamas - Paul McGeough's front-page profiles of Khaled Meshal / Sharyn Mittleman

Mar 5 2013
The Age and Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday dedicated their front pages to a profile of Hamas leader Khaled Meshal - interviewed in Qatar by Fairfax senior journalist Paul McGeough. There were also a number of subsequent articles on Meshal by McGeough over the weekend in those papers.

Who Is the "Imperialist Tool" in the Middle East? By Barry Rubin

06 Mar 2013
Let's examine claims from the radical academia currently hegemonic in North America and Europe. What is fascinating is that a well-informed observer can easily demolish such claims. That's precisely why such people are not being trained today and those who do exist must be discredited or ignored to keep students (and the general public) relatively ignorant.

To paraphrase George Santayana’s famous statement, those who fail to learn from history make fun of those who do.

Activists slam U.N. Human Rights Council tribute to Chavez

March 6, 2013. UN Watch led the campaign against Venezuela's election to the UNHRC, brought Chavez victims to testify in the council, and organized the draft UN resolution condemning his abuses.

Europe Rolls Over for Hezbollah Blackmail by Soeren Kern

March 7, 2013
The recent cases in Bulgaria and Cyrus provide irrefutable evidence that Hezbollah is highly active in Europe, where it raises funds, launders money, traffics drugs, recruits operatives and plots attacks with impunity

The main objective of Israeli President Shimon Peres's week-long state visit to Brussels, Paris and Strasbourg March 5-12 is apparently to persuade reluctant European leaders to designate Lebanon's Hezbollah movement a terrorist organization.

Why Hugo Chavez will not be missed by Venezuela's Jews Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Mar 7 2013
The numerous obituaries and eulogies being written for the recently deceased Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez all seem to agree on one thing: the man was polarising.

[Defending Lars Hedegaard:] "A Stew of Anti-Muslim Bile and Conspiracy-Laden Forecasts" by Daniel Pipes

March 6, 2013
At 11:20 a.m. on Feb. 5, Lars Hedegaard answered his door bell to an apparent mailman. Instead of receiving a package, however, the 70-year-old Danish historian and journalist found himself face to face with a would-be assassin about one third his age. The assailant shot him once, narrowly missing his head. The gun locked, Hedegaard wrestled with him, and the young man fled.

Police search the area around Lars Hedegaard's residence after the assault.

The UN's Human Rights Credibility Gap on Syria By Joel Brinkley

March 6, 2013
The United Nations seems ceaselessly determined to discredit itself.
What better evidence could you find than its choice last week for rapporteur of the UN’s Special Committee on Decolonization?

The committee’s job is to monitor human rights in the world’s 16 “non-self-governing territories” such as the Falklands, Guam, and the Western Sahara. And its choice for reappointment as rapporteur: Syria, that bastion of human rights.

Sunni Reachout to the Shia Crescent by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

March 7, 2013
When it comes to Middle East analysis, one of the conventional lines of approach taken is to assume the sectarian paradigm whereby regional developments are interpreted through the lens of Shia-Sunni relations that are perceived as becoming ever more tense.

Spain: Supreme Court Overturns Burqa Ban by Soeren Kern

March 4, 2013
The ruling denotes a step forward in the continuing efforts to establish Islam as a mainstream religious and political system in Spain.

The Spanish Supreme Court has ruled that a municipal ordinance banning the wearing of Islamic burqas in public spaces is unconstitutional.

In its 56-page ruling, made public on February 28, the Madrid-based Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo) said the Catalan city of Lérida exceeded its authority when, in December 2010, it imposed a burqa ban.

Good News; War Postponed: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Angry at Hamas, Cuts Off Weapons By Barry Rubin

08 Mar 2013
Something both positive and revealing has just happened and while it undermines one prediction of mine it reinforces another. I’m delighted to see it.

Rare Justice in Two U.N. Reversals: Turkey Condemned, Sudan Shamed

MARCH 8 2013
In the past week, thanks to UN Watch action, two wrongdoers at the U.N. suffered a reversal of fortune: World leaders denounced Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's U.N. speech calling Zionism a "crime against humanity"; and the genocidal regime of Sudan's Omar al-Bashir was removed from a U.N. humanitarian post.

Sudan Removed from U.N. Humanitarian Post

Palestinians Plan "Warm" Welcome for Obama by Khaled Abu Toameh

March 8, 2013
There is no reason why Obama should not take all these threats seriously.
US President Barack Obama is coming to the Middle East later this month to explore the possibility of resuming peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

But while Obama is thinking of ways to revive the stalled peace talks, Palestinian activists say they are planning a "warm" welcome for him when he visits Ramallah or any other Palestinian city in the West Bank.

50 Years of Syrian Misery by Daniel Pipes

March 8, 2013
The horrors of today's Syria – repression, civil war, barbarity – resulted from many developments; one of the most important occurred 50 years ago today. That's when the pedantically named "Military Committee of the Syrian Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'th Party," whose leadership included Hafez al-Assad, took power in Damascus in what has come to be known, again pedantically, as the "8 March Revolution." The Ba'th (or Baath) party has ruled the country ever since, first under Hafez (1970-2000) and then under his son Bashar (since 2000).

A tale of two summits: Human rights abusers condemned at one meeting, entertained at another By Scott Barber

March 1, 2013
Last week two summits were held on human rights.At one, the Geneva Summit on Human Rights & Democracy, delegates heard harrowing stories of brutality, rape and torture under some of the most oppressive regimes in the world.

At the other, United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) diplomats -- some of them from the same governments mentioned in the first summit -- took the floor. The National Post's Scott Barber reports on the conflicting summits.

(organized by UN Watch & 20 other NGOs)

Who Protected Usama bin Ladin?: An Investigation into Forgotten By Barry Rubin

07 Mar 2013
On the basis of easily obtainable evidence, it is possible to ask the following questions:
Why has there never been any government investigation that yielded changed policies into Pakistani complicity in protecting Usama bin Ladin and the Taliban at a time that these forces were killing hundreds of Americans in Afghanistan and elsewhere?

How has large-scale U.S. aid to Pakistan continued without change and without this question being answered?

The 'segregated buses' canard / Ahron Shapiro

Mar 8 2013
Like the wheels on a bus, there has been politicised spin going around regarding the launch by Israel of two new bus routes between the West Bank and central Israel designed to serve the needs of about 1,300 of the 30,000 Palestinians who work inside Israel daily.

If you were to believe the erroneous narrative that has gained traction in world media this week, however, the buses are "Palestinian-only" and represent the beginning of a segregationist policy in Israel.

The Iran Lobby Buys a Friendly Face for Despotism by Stephen Schwartz

March 10, 2013
The funding of a significant pro-Iran lobby that funnels money to American universities was disclosed to the wider public for the first time during the U.S. Senate's recent confirmation battle over Chuck Hagel's successful nomination as secretary of defense. By far the largest grantor is the Alavi Foundation, now under federal investigation, which has given Harvard University $345,000 over nine years ending in 2011. Other institutions in the U.S. and Canada have also benefited from Iranian largesse.

Will Syria's Strife Rip Lebanon Apart? by Hilal Khashan

March 11 2013
The assassination of Lebanese security chief brigadier general Wissam Hassan on October 19 has rekindled fears of renewed confessional strife in Lebanon. The anti-Assad opposition quickly blamed the Syrian regime for eliminating one of its foremost Beirut opponents while enraged demonstrators took to the streets to demand the resignation of prime minister Najib Miqati.[1]

Who Are These Moralists? by Douglas Murray

March 11, 2013
With Israel, every death is investigated, every movement protested against. Yet when it comes to the wholesale slaughter in Syria, there is just a single global shrug. People cannot be wholly surprised if some of us choose to observe that many of those who comment with fury about Israel have revealed themselves to be neither humanitarians nor journalists but pure and simple anti-Israel political activists.

Crisis in the Palestinian Authority By Pinhas Inbari

11 March 2013
On the eve of US President Barack Obama's visit to Israel, a constitutional crisis has erupted in the Palestinian Authority. PA Finance Minister Nabil Qassis presented his resignation to Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who accepted it immediately. However, the resignation was rejected by President Mahmoud Abbas, who was attending meetings in Saudi Arabia at the time.

UN clears Israel of charge it killed baby in Gaza By Raphael Ahren

March 10 2013
UN clears Israel of charge it killed baby in Gaza. Jerusalem had been blamed for death of BBC correspondent’s son during mini-war, but otherwise critical report finds shrapnel from Hamas misfire responsible
Jihad Mishrawi speaks to the media, while carrying the body of his son Omar, on November 15, 2012. (photo credit: screenshot BBC)
Jihad Mishrawi speaks to the media, while carrying the body of his son Omar, on November 15, 2012. (photo credit: screenshot BBC)

Hélas in Gaza and other stories / Ray Cook

10 Mar 2013 04:59 AM PDT
You may have thought not much has been going on in Gaza recently. That is, if you stick to the mainstream media.

When it comes to the BBC, my headline could have been ‘Clueless in Gaza’. Apologies to both John Milton and Aldous Huxley.