Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Cold Comfort 

"[ISIL is planning] indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians [on a large scale reminiscent of the 1970s IRA bombings]. [This represents an] enormous ongoing risk which none of us can ignore."
"Of course the imminent fall of Mosul and perhaps the prospective retaking of Raqqa are both bound to lead to a higher instance of returning fighters. Does that mean that the British public need to be immediately alarmed at a spike in terrorist activity within this environment?"
"The answer to that is, I don't know, but it doesn't follow as a matter of fact that those who chose to go to live or fight abroad will bring that fight back to this country."
"It is possible to point to distinctions in terms of the mindset, organization and strategy of different terrorist groups and the comparison between Irish republicanism and the ideology of so-called Islamic State."
"But in terms of the threat that's represented, I think the intensity and the potential frequency of serious plot planning -- with a view to indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians of whatever race or colour in metropolitan areas -- represents an enormous ongoing risk that none of us can ignore."
"The sad fact is the threat in this country represented by what we now know as Daesh, so-called Islamic State, is high, is continuing and is not going to abate."
Max Hill, newly appointed United Kingdom terrorism watchdog 
anjem choudary islamic state debate              Anjem Choudary has backed ISIS and claimed UK law is not valid in Britain    [PA]
What a stunning statement. That the United Kingdom might be in danger of terrorist attacks. How far-seeing, and comforting that the man delegated to the position of intelligence observations forewarning the British establishment of imminent and impending dangers appears to be uncertain of whether his country will represent an irresistible target for the forces of Islamist jihad fulfilling their duty as the faith vanguards of Islamist conquest.

Britain is, after all, despite its quite large population of Muslims, still a 'country of war' in the lexicon of Islamic definitions through the Koran identifying any country not subjugated to Islamic rule as not having achieved peace, but rather submerged in its war against Islam through not having submitted to the sovereign reach of the Religion of Peace. The duty of all faithful Muslims is to take part in jihad, bringing peace to nations of war by waging the war of conquest to bring them into the Islamic fold.

Hoping that the hundreds of British jihadis that have left the sceptered isle to fight that battle overseas will eventually return to Britain to resume their former lives, giving Britain no reason to feel troubled over the possibility that, bringing their conflict experience with them, will embolden them to turn on Britain, is to remain blissfully oblivious to the motivations, aspirations and determination of Islam in 'pacifying' the world through jihadist terrorism.

Anjem Choudary muslim extremist shock claims         Anjem Choudary claimed a ban on jihadists returning to Britain would alienate Muslims [PA]
Which is rather strange, since Britain has received more than ample notice that its current status does not find favour with the Muslim world that it has imported through immigration. Some elements of the current status, like the greatly appreciated welfare system with its subsidized housing and generous payouts are seen as amenable, as is the dispensation to Sharia law, but it is intolerable for Muslims to live in a nation governed by non-believers, even if infiltration has succeeded in electing some Muslims to Parliament.

Lauding the capabilities of the British intelligence services in the wake of the 7/7 London bombings in 2005, Mr. Hill evidently believes that repeats of that violent demonstration of British Muslims expressing their loyalty to the nation where they were born and bred will not be repeated. This, though clerics give voice in their mosques to the full and completed Islamization of Britain not too distant in the future. A fairly good grounding has been established, after all, in Britain's own majority-Muslim enclaves.

"It's an enormous concern that large numbers -- we know this means at least hundreds of British citizens who have left this country in order to fight -- are now returning or may be about to return", he allowed, as a bit of a concern. "Enormous concern" was also warranted at the state of British teens as young as fourteen who are in the stages of radicalization through extremist videos and hate speech online. It seems he didn't bother mentioning the fact that Muslims who approve of violent jihad are rather in the majority.

What does he think highly of as a government dedicated to serving all its people equally? Approval of the ministers in Parliament who had given full assent to a compensation payment in the millions to Ronald Fiddler who had been detained at Guantanamo Bay. And who then travelled to Syria with his well-earned wealth to place it at the service of Islamic State, while he carried out a suicide mission in Syria.
British ISIS fighter Jamal Al-Harith, who called himself Abu Zakariya al-Britani, smiles before killing himself in a suicide attack in Mosul
British ISIS fighter Jamal Al-Harith, who called himself Abu Zakariya al-Britani, smiles before killing himself in a suicide attack in Mosul   Twitter

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Implausible Deniability

"[Conspirators dressed in police uniforms were to have opened fire within the crowd] so that citizens would think that the official police are shooting at them."
"Had it been executed, such a scenario would have had an unforeseeable consequence."
"We don’t have any evidence that the state of Russia is involved in any sense . . . but we have evidence that two nationalists from Russia were organizers."
"[Plotters, including Montenegrins, Serbians and Russians, had planned for 500 people to enter Montenegro on election night to] cause violence ... and hire professional sharpshooters to kill the prime minister. The plan was to stop Montenegro on its Euro-Atlantic path, especially to prevent it from entering NATO."
Milivoje Katnic, special prosecutor, Montenegro
In this Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016 file photo, Montenegrin police officers escort people suspected of planning armed attacks after the parliamentary vote in Podgorica, Montenegro
Darko Vojinovic / Associated Press   In this Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016 file photo, Montenegrin police officers escort people suspected of planning armed attacks after the parliamentary vote in Podgorica, Montenegro
Montenegro is in line for acceptance into NATO; it has many sponsors from among the current 28 membership prepared to approve its inclusion into this mutual protection society. The country also aspires to join the European Union. As do many of the Soviet Union's former close allies and satellites, much to Russia's chagrin. Understandable in good part, since East Europe is Russia's geographic bailiwick and the incursion of a presence it views as hostile to its interests such as NATO, is galling to them.

The Kremlin's interference in the business of other nations in its near abroad, where it feels entitled to be involved in manipulating their allegiances has become legendary. Moscow's fingers can be seen in cyber-interference even in the far-abroad, having made its indelible impression on the recently-concluded U.S. presidential race. President Putin's obvious annoyance with Europe and with NATO in involving themselves in Russia's plans to endear itself to Ukraine and the Baltic States has backfired with crippling economic sanctions at a time when Russia's finances have been doubly compromised with low oil and gas returns.

And now, Montenegro seems prepared to indict a Russian intelligence officer whom it sees as the mastermind behind a coup plot meant to apprehend the small nation from joining NATO. An officer with Russia's KGB replacement, the GRU military intelligence service, has now been accused of operating a network of Serbian and Russian nationalists and paramilitaries plotting to assassinate Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic.

Darko Vojinovic / Associated Press
Darko Vojinovic / Associated Press   Milo Djukanovic in a file photo

These revelations result not only from the investigative intelligence of Montenegro itself, but with the added assistance of both British and American intelligence agencies, involved in getting to the bottom of the conspiracy. A second Russian GRU operative has been identified; Vladimir Popov is also being sought for apprehension by Montenegrin authorities. In all, Montenegro plans to indict 24 people involved in the conspiracy to assassinate Mr. Djukanovic and create chaos in the country.

The plot, evidently, was coordinated in Serbia by Sismakov and Popov. Warrants for both men have been issued by Interpol, but since the Russian constitution does not permit its citizens to be extradited, the Montenegrins may have their work cut out for them, particularly since the Kremlin has denied any culpability in the alleged plot. But it cannot be happy with the imminence of Montenegro joining NATO, since that event would shut it out of a military port on the Adriatic.

According to prosecutor Katnic, "Russian state bodies" have been implicated in the assassination plot. On the cusp of the parliamentary elections 20 people were arrested before their plan to mingle with opposition protesters at the parliament building in Podgorica was foiled. Had the plan succeeded it would have been because the plotters were meant to force their way into the parliament while dressed in police uniforms, they would have fired on the crowd, and shot Mr. Djukanovic dead.

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Totalitarian Hamas, Governing a Suffering Refugee Camp Community

"The Gazans must understand that Israel, which withdrew from the Gaza Strip to the last millimetre, is not the source of their suffering -- it is the Hamas leadership, which doesn't take their needs into consideration."
"The moment Hamas gives up its tunnels and rockets, we'll be the first to invest."
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman
Gaza City -- Refugee Camp?

There is little reason for the coastal strip of Gaza not to function well as a self-sustaining enclave administered by a responsible government, with good trading relations across neighbouring borders. As it is some members of the ruling Hamas elite take advantage of the medical expertise in Israeli hospitals to send their ailing family members into Israel for advanced medical care. These are the same elites whose founding charter expresses topmost of its agenda a commitment to the destruction of that same State of Israel.

Grand Palace Hotel

That commitment keeps them inordinately busy. Constructing tunnels for various purposes; smuggling across borders, both goods and weapons, as well as terrorists. The tunnels running from Gaza into Israel enable Hamas to infiltrate the country they are determined to destroy, to try to capture Israeli soldiers, to conduct terror raids within Israeli border kibbutzes, as an entryway to Israel should they decide to initiate another of their sporadic challenges leading to conflict.

It is time-consuming and expensive to build those tunnels, to outfit them with electricity, with tracks, as storage units. The tunnels leading into the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt must be constantly rebuilt after being destroyed by Egyptian authorities when they can be detected. Some of the tunnels collapse during building, trapping within them Hamas conscripts charged with their construction; buried and suffocated to death, including teens conscripted for the work.

Thank heavens for the conscience of the international community which, with the United Nations, funded globally, does not hesitate to fund all the necessities of life for the poor, miserable Palestinian Gazans living hand-to-mouth. Those in the Scandinavian countries, for example, who cannot conceive that there are millionaires in Gaza, courtesy of their own generosity in their equivalent of Care packages for the men, women and children whom Israeli cruelty has consigned to poverty.
Luxury hotel overlooking Gaza Beach
The immense amount of concrete used for the tunnels sidelines the legitimate purpose of the concrete which is to rebuild vital infrastructure and dwellings, lost to conflict situations when Hamas stations their attack sites against Israel within civilian enclaves, knowing full well that the Israeli response will be to target the sites where the rockets emanate from. But that suits the Hamas public relations purpose very well, since any and all civilian casualties are hugely useful in persuading the international community that Israel targets helpless civilians.

Were all that energy to be converted to the useful administration of Gaza to benefit its million and three-quarters residents, the funding and the time and the concentration to benefit a society dedicated to civic and civil normalcy would most certainly result. Peaceful relations with neighbours would translate to economic opportunities and increased employment, benefiting the entire geography. A Hamas administration concerned with the well-being of Gazans, abandoning its obsession with destroying Israel, would itself be normalized.
Islamic University of Gaza |

But 'normalization' is a dirty word in the lexicon of the Palestinian leadership, both in the West Bank and Gaza. For normalization is seen as a repudiation of their half-century and more of dedication to combating a foreign element in their midst; Jews in a land of Arabs, notwithstanding that the Jews reflect a people that long predated the current Arab presence in the land of Judea. 'Normalization' equates with capitulation, and only the weak capitulate and make accommodation with those they are sworn to defeat.
5 star Al-Mashtal Hotel
5 star Al-Mashtal Hotel

Last week the Israeli Defence Minister issued a statement in Arabic to Gazans, offering to help build them a seaport, an airport and all else that would advance their interests in the creation of tens of thousands of job opportunities. Israel would do that and much more, if Hamas would cease building tunnels and no longer fire rockets into Israel. With Israel's wish to live in peace with its neighbours, a pledge from Hamas to demilitarize and finally accept the presence of a Jewish state, the opportunity is there to be reasonable.

Israel would also like to be accommodated in its request to have two bodies of Israeli soldiers returned. The response to this offer was Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar offering the return of the two soldiers in exchange for the release of all Palestinian prisoners currently within the Israeli penal system. There for various criminal offences, all related to the dedication to the destruction of the State of Israel.

Al-Aqsa University

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

The News Fit to Print

"We've got to keep our country safe. You look at what's happening to Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this. Sweden. They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible."
U.S. President Donald Trump
Pete Marovich/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The American public, termed the "deplorables" by his rival for the presidency, and whom virtually all media anywhere in the world lump together disparagingly as the misbegotten "populists", evidently see beyond this man's grandstanding showcasing of self as Commander in Chief par excellence. This is a man whose utterances are as coarse as his expressions and his interactions with women, a man whose compulsion to authority leads him naturally to embellishments which in plain language means he lies unrestrainedly to suit his purposes.

His main purpose is to draw attention to himself. That old adage that any publicity is good publicity, is one that this man instinctively has taken as his motivation for outrageous statements, bearing no resemblance to fealty to truth or to the public weal. The overwhelming 'good' for this man is to ensure that all eyes are drawn to him. And they are, admiringly from some sources, and with indignant consternation and outright, deserved hostility from others.

Yet a news poll has resulted in a release that the public considers this administration to be more above-board and imbued with more palatable intentions than the media that report on him. If distrust of the most important political office on Earth is a matter of great fear and upheaval, requiring diplomatic skills of as-yet-unknown quality to leaven augers the potential of equilibrium forever unbalanced, it is the news media and their reportage that the public believes has led to this situation.

Protesters set a fire
French mobs, defiant of police, riot in Paris -- Getty Images

The highest office in the political landscape of the United States has increasingly become dependent on political manipulation through the resources available in public relations and steering the gullible to believe what they 'see' on the surface, not what exists on the deeper scale of reality. And increasingly, political office in the United States has been for sale to the highest bidder. Without the loose pockets of interests intent on seeing that their issues come to the fore to instruct the advance of society, politics and above all, business, leading to approval of whoever has the greater financial assets and celebrity support, there is no winner.

The elevation of Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States of America simply represents the thrust of latter-day election techniques have reached their apogee. Inchoate as his message may be through the auspices of a poor communicator who celebrates himself as the master of social media communication, it only reflects the depths to which human intelligence and the ability to speak rationally to one another has fallen.

That he is more invested in himself as drama-of-the-times than as responsible international spokesperson for stable relations globally, only reflects as well the failure of an institution as nobly-launched with high expectations dashed in actual practise, as the United Nations has been. He has assured himself of the immutable quality of his own image; he has simply replaced 'God' with 'Trump' in the message on the American dollar. In so doing he is more upfront than his predecessor.

A pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel protest in Gothenburg, Sweden in November 2015. The signs in Swedish read 'Boycott Israel.' (Marianne Pleen Schreiber)
A pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel protest in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2015. The signs in Swedish read ‘Boycott Israel.’ (Marianne Pleen Schreiber)

As  for Mr. Trump's allusion to 'what has happened to Sweden', which Sweden indignantly denies, as does France, as does Germany, as does the Netherlands, as does Norway and Great Britain, it is as clear as day to those whose vision has not been occluded by political correctness that he speaks of the evidently unspeakable truth that they have all been overtaken by the lethal virus of political Islam, a virulent, violent jihad-infested ideology which is altering their culture, heritage, justice system and social mores, leaving moderation to support mendaciousness.

Illustrative photo of a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Stockholm, Sweden, on January 20, 2009. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Stockholm, Sweden, on January 20, 2009. Passersby on a central street in Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö, were greeted with chants in Arabic urging the killing of Jews.   (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

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The Holy Grail of Haven

"We are seeing the new boats, which are not equipped with anything, but they carry more people."
"This is going to be even more disastrous for the migrants."
Ayoub Gassim, Libyan coast guard spokesman 

"It's really strange that smugglers would take off the engine [removing from the large inflatable rubber flotation devices the only method by which they can be moved in the choppy waters of the Mediterranean, before abandoning those packed into the rubber watercraft to their fate]."
Flavio Di Giacomo, spokesman, International Organization for Migration, Rome

"Traffickers came and removed the engine from the boat and left the craft adrift."
"This is not a only horrible number of deaths in one incident but it strikes us as something that we haven’t really seen much of, which is either deliberate punishment or murder of migrants."
Joel Millman, spokesman, International Organization for Migration (IOM)
The bodies were found on the beach on Monday morning. Photograph: Libyan Red Crescent

Not so strange, actually. The human smugglers don't concern themselves overly with the conditions they deliberately place vulnerable men, women and children in. Uppermost in their minds is the profit they will gain through their enterprise. And keeping their own costs to a minimum is key to exactly how much profit will fall to them. The rubber craft are expendable, the engines that drive them to their purported destination of freedom can be re-used, why waste them?

There is a world-wide pandemic that the World Health Organization has not yet addressed itself to. The propensity of people to risk their lives in a venture that clear thinking would identify as inimical to survival. Biologists were always baffled at the natural phenomenon of lemmings flooding a landscape in a mass move to commit themselves to a fated destiny, by throwing themselves over cliffs. Until they decided that wasn't what happened at all.

"An army of lemmings advanced with extraordinary purpose, 'never suffering itself to be diverted from its course by any opposing obstacles', not even when confronted by rivers, or even the branches of narrow fjords. 'They are good at swimming'," explained Nils Christian Stenseth of the University of Olso in Norway. 'They can easily go across small bodies of water, across small lakes'." It is predators like stoats that biologists now attribute their massive die-offs to.

In the world of humankind, the stoats are the corrupt governments that dispossess their citizens of their basic human rights, causing poverty and hopelessness, tribal repression and ethnic cleansing, amid sectarian-motivated conflicts. The governments that take for themselves the riches that natural resources gain, meant for the improvement of the country, while repressing and constricting opportunities for the masses.
And apparently it is this mass of hopeless, opportunity-seeking, conflict-fleeing people who form the basis of the human herds that migrate from their countries of birth in hopes of arriving eventually at the shores of other, more successful, civilized countries whose leaders are infinitely less corrupt and less given to conflict and to leaving their populations to fend for themselves against hunger and deprivation. These are people who have convinced themselves that opportunities lie elsewhere.

And who, despite all the dangerous obstacles they most surely are aware of that they will encounter in the vast distances they must cover to reach a place of haven, embark on such journeys, risking those very real, and impending dangers. All the more so when it has become common knowledge that thousands of migrants and would-be refugee and asylum seekers have died attempting to cross from North Africa and the Middle East toward the shores of Europe.

The mass psychosis once attributed to lemmings now appears to have infected people desperate to escape their fate of limited life experiences, poor health outcomes, starvation, government instituted massacres and the stasis of mental and physical impoverishment. And so, for them there is no such thing as 'better judgement'. They compartmentalize the shocking news of thousands drowning when unstable watercraft disintegrate leaving their passengers to a watery fate. It happens, it will happen.

Their luck would prevail. They harbour such desolate thoughts of their circumstances that they feel, alternately, that taking the gamble is their only choice. That should they lose, all they will give away is a life not worth living. The temptation to reach a harbour where they will be accepted, however reluctantly, because there are sympathetic responses to their plight, and they will, given time, prosper there and obtain a life hitherto denied them, is the motivating factor.

There may be people indigenous to the country they are entering 'illegally' whose status is as compromised by poverty and lack of opportunity equal to their own, but they would not believe that to be so, in any event. They risk everything, and yet nothing. The popular sea traffic route to Europe gave up 74 dead bodies this past week, and winter is not yet over, leading those on the receiving end of the endless stream of migrants and death, to speculate on what spring will bring.


The smuggling season reaching from Libya to Europe on a wintry sea route has begun with a vengeance; what is yet to come is horrendous in its outcome. Close to the bodies of the dead African migrants, more bodies were noted floating out further at sea, along with a torn rubber boat. The smugglers, noted Mr. Gassim, left Libya for Italy on Saturday and were left to drift for several days. The rubber boat was packed with up to 180 people; a number more likely to capsize such a fragile vessel.

But this obvious observation appears not to have deterred those who boarded from doing so.

A week ago Friday and Saturday over 500 other migrants were rescued while at sea. In January alone 228 deaths at sea were recorded. The total for 2016 was over 4,500 drowning deaths, migrants on smuggling routes from Libya to Italy, according to a European Border and Coast Guard Agency report. With the acknowledgement that the figure given represents a low estimate since so many deaths are unrecorded. With each year that passes the death toll increases over that of the year before.

The boats are poorly built, they are smaller than in previous years, yet they are packed tight with migrants, shipped in greater numbers than previously, to maximize profit. This year the average boat carries 150 each vessel, whereas in years previously the average per vessel had been roughly 100 migrants. Sub-Saharan Africa as well as the Middle East are the sources for most of the migrants, convinced a better life awaits them in Europe.

And Europe shudders.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

The Arab World -- Frozen In Time

"Arab youth today remain mired in poverty; they are politically marginalized and voiceless, economically disenfranchised, and socially prone to radicalization and violence."
Nimrod Raphael, Israeli analyst

"The United States created the Islamic State ... the U.S. was the secret instigator of all the Arab Spring uprisings ... the Syria uprising was not a popular movement but instead was instigated by the U.S. in order to remove the anti-imperialist Assad ... the U.S. intentionally creates failed states like Libya in order to keep the region in turmoil ... the Bush administration planned the 9/11 attack in order to further repression and start wars in the Middle East."
Reese Ehrlich, left-wing conspiracy theorist

The face of the world has changed in just a short period of time. It started in the Middle East, when between 2009 to 2014 roughly 22 million Arabs decided to migrate from their places of birth. Arab emigres wound up in immense numbers in Europe, where they joined earlier migrants in the areas now known as "no go" zones that so efficiently breed jihadis. And while European state police evade entering those "no go" zones to avoid the violence that will invariably descend upon them, out of those zones venture inhabitants into the larger areas where they protest and attack non-Muslim residents.

Radical Islam has been on the march for quite some time. Its essence has been bred in the Salafist Wahhabist Islam practised in Saudi Arabia, which has generously funded the establishment of mosques and madrassas throughout Europe, North America, Africa, Asia, to ensure that their particular brand of Islam is practised and continues spreading. Out of that brand has come a volatile anger against the West, against democracy and its vision of human rights.

That Sunni Wahhabist fundamentalism need go no further than the Middle East to find its targets, the vulnerable Christians of ancient lineage among them. These minorities of the Arab world have been the target of venomous attacks for daring to remain within a geography consecrated to Islam. The United Nations is where the Arab bloc led by the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation speaks of the evils of "Islamophobia", but appears to have no words to describe the genocidal miseries suffered by Christians in the Medieval world of Islam.

The population of the Middle East is heavy on its youthful component where 30 percent of the population is between the ages of 15 and 29, poorly educated, and lacking employable skills in an area where there is little employment to be had, other than within government and where positions are monopolized by family units and authority and opportunity rests within the patriarchy and the clan. The government elites control oil wealth and the great bureaucracy that exists is exclusive to "forged uncompetitive and monopolistic alliances".

It is a broad atmosphere where manufacturing is virtually absent, with oil wealth maintaining everything. Overseas investment is the order of the day, since the elite never know with any certainty whether the order may change and their wealth might be compromised. Development reports of the Arab world point to sparse translations from other languages into Arabic; a general disinterest in what generates advances elsewhere. Freedom of speech is absent, and interest in science is abysmal, reflecting a "curiosity deficit" where a modern economy eludes and censorship rules.

But wait, there's more, thanks to the United Nations' statistics informing that while five percent of the global population resides in the Arab world, 45 percent of all global terrorist attacks are accounted for emanating out of that world. Of the world's violent conflicts, 17.6 percent belong to the Arab world, as well as 68.5 percent of deaths related to those conflict, and certainly not to be overlooked, 47 percent of the internally displaced worldwide.

Over 43 percent of the world's total proven oil reserves lie under the sands of the Middle East and North Africa. Which helps enormously to fund the Arab world's spending on military technology, 65 percent higher in expenditure than the global average, fuelling the ongoing agony of the Arab world's people. No measure of success by any standards whatever. But resentment in abundance. And invented reasons why there is such lack of success in a vast population disinterested in furthering its own interests to advance into the future.

That resentment taking the form of the conspiracy theories serving to explain just why it is that Arab states represent such total failures in every index of human ingenuity, discovery, education, production and culture. See the enumerated themes above as listed by journalist Reese Ehrlich.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Changing Horses in Mid-Stream

"I can't think of a different way to do this that doesn't create all the problems that have been there from the past. I think we've got it right [through the current efforts on the part of allied troops aiding the Iraqi military to restore parts of their country militarily captured by Islamic State for its caliphate]."
Canadian Brigadier-General David Anderson, Persian Gulf

"What's happening now with the strategy ... is we are enabling our [Iraqi] partners to defeat Daesh. We're also creating capacity for the longer term."
"And in trying to accelerate that or do it for them, we then start owning the problem and affect their ability to create their own capacity, which is the key to long-term stability in the region."
"We are closer than we think [to a final solution to ridding Iraq and Syria of Islamic State threats]. And that's the adult discussion that's going to play out there in the next little bit."
Canadian Brigadier-General Stephen Kelsey, Persian Gulf
The existing strategy that American and coalition troops in Iraq have resolved represents the best way forward in opposing the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's presence in the Middle East dominating the conversation of Islamist fascism, is translated with an oblique nod to the mistakes made by the previous American administration of George W. Bush, in the aftermath of its 2003 invasion of Iraq and its subsequent years of occupation, in the process using Americans as overseers of Iraqi administration with the removal of Saddam Hussein's Baathist government.

That transition from a brutal dictatorship to the chaos of an occupation where the lead occupying force had no planned agenda for the transition of power and thought to administer the affairs of the country on its own, to guide it toward a Western-style democracy, led to its insistence that the dominant Shiites, the minority Sunnis and the Iraqi Kurdish populations share the executive powers of a new Iraqi administration. Concurrently, with the breakdown of forced restraints, sectarian conflict broke out with Sunnis and Shiite militias brutalizing one another's communities.

Canadian special forces look over a Peshmerga observation post, Monday, February 20, 2017 in northern Iraq. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
The Kurds simply sequestered themselves peacefully in Kurdistan, maintaining their own Peshmerga forces and governing their third of Iraq sensibly and efficiently, while their counterpart Sunni and Shias, continued to assault one another, despite the American efforts to bring them together. The U.S. clearly knew little of the ancient tribal, sectarian enmities, neither foreseeing them, or capable of restraining them. The eventual Shiite-led Iraqi government shut out the Sunnis, a reversal of the days of Saddam Hussein when the minority Sunnis ruled.

The Sunni resentment, fuelled by the former elite Sunni military chiefs resulted in the formation of the Islamic State when it broke away from its initial al-Qaeda-linked affiliation. What the Canadian military views as a return to the old American method of taking control, brought on by President Donald Trump's expressed disgruntlement at the slow pace of defeating Islamic State, is concerning primarily because of its experience of failure. Just as in Afghanistan when the U.S. and NATO troops did the military heavy lifting against the Taliban until it occurred that training the Afghan military and police to look after their own affairs was the obvious, preferred option.

And this is precisely what is taking place today in Iraq, the training of both the regular Iraqi military which had previously been trained by the Americans, but whose reactive impulse on realizing that Islamic State was marching toward Iraq's second largest city, Mosul, was to desert their military barracks with all the high-tech U.S.-supplied military equipment, and leave the city, its inhabitants and its wealth, including the barracks and their military equipment to the invading Islamic State, as part of their emerging caliphate.

Now, the new American Commander-in-Chief, totally ignorant of the fine points of military strategy, let alone the prevailing atmosphere in the countries where American troops along with Canadian and European troops are training both the Iraqi military and the Peshmerga in the culture of advanced warfare, and the use of new defensive techniques and weaponry, the new option seems to be to return the failed in-a-hurry strategy of the past. To put more American boots on the ground and take the initiative away from the Iraqi military to look after the security of their own country.

This appears to be the go-ahead strategy of President Trump who has authorized the new U.S. Defense Secretary, James Mattis to travel to Iraq on a mission to plan for 'speeding up' the campaign. Thus to fulfill candidate Trump's presidential election criticism of the slow progress in reducing Islamic State to non-existence, promising he would bring in a new approach to defeat ISIL.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Revealing Canadian Values in Welcoming Immigrants/Refugees

"Generation after generation [of Canadians complain that newcomers are not integrating into Canadian society]."
"I suspect many [of the respondents] don't know newcomers well. Those of us who do know newcomers, know they're constantly exhausting themselves to do all they need to do [to] make a success of their life in Canada."
"What are we doing to ensure newcomers are able to fit in?"
Janet Dench, executive director, Canadian Council for Refugees

What are we doing? Leaving no assist unturned, from government and private agencies assisting immigrants and refugees to acclimate themselves, learn the language, apply for benefits, use the universal health care system, register for assisted housing, look for employment, school their children and make no demands whatever on the recipients of all this largesse along with general goodwill emanating from the Canadian publicr. The better question is what are the newcomers doing to fit in?

Famously, Canada is a nation built on immigrants who have chosen to arrive at its shores to make a new life for themselves. Originally, those immigrants were supplied by English-speaking Europeans initially, along with immigrants from France. Prospective immigrants from Asia and Africa and those with certain European ethnic backgrounds like Jews were not particularly welcome. Infamously, in the late 19th and early 20th Century Canadian governments put head taxes on Asians to dissuade them from coming to Canada, and during World War II interned Japanese-Canadians, and placed European Jews escaping the Holocaust into camps alongside "enemy aliens".

All of the immigrants that arrived in Canada, those not looked upon favourably, made a concerted effort to find a place for themselves, to meld as best they could, into the prevailing social structure, to familiarize themselves with the language, the culture, the values and the laws. And the succeeding generations had no problems whatever expressing all of that, the language, the culture the values and the laws as being of utmost importance to them, as Canadians. Furthermore, at that time in Canadian history there were no government assists at various levels. "Newcomers" had to struggle on their own.

Now, when immigrants and refugees arrive, it is to a Canada that is open and welcoming to all, a country whose social and welfare support networks are all-encompassing and generous at every level of government. Where earlier, the struggle of new Canadians was to survive and at the same time integrate, currently the level of struggle to survive is hugely reduced, thanks to a generous tax-funded network of assists, and many of those arriving feel no particular urgency to integrate. In fact, second- and third-generation immigrant children becoming fully Canadian is no longer the norm.

And there lies the rub. The mass migration of people from the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia to escape less than prosperous and politically stable environments under Muslim-majority rule, has led to a gradual and none-too-subtle alteration in the social customs, political-religious realities in the countries that have absorbed them. Looking to countries like Sweden, Norway, Belgium, France and Germany as an example, vast no-go ghettos have evolved where resistance to integration is the norm.

That resistance revolves around Islam. Where Muslim populations feel great resentment against the social mores, justice system and culture and heritage of the indigenous populations and where, as in the United Kingdom, mosques ring out with condemnation of the West and the democratic way of life, agitating for the imposition of Shariah law. And wherever large populations of Muslims agglomerate, there arises a number of problems. One of which is the eagerness of Muslims to live on welfare payments in favour of working for a living.

Another is the realization that criminal acts far in excess of their numbers arise out of that community. And finally, that anti-Semitism on a viral, combustible scale rears its ugly head, at the very time that Muslims decry "Islamophobia" that has resulted largely not from the enumerated social problems, but the steady rise of violent Islamism embracing jihad and trolling within the Muslim ghettos for new conscripts into jihad. The violence in the name of Islam and the hostility emanating from Muslim populations against the West and democracy is not spoken of in polite, leftist company.

To do so is to be labelled 'racist' and to invite the condemnatory label of "Islamophobic" against those who dare to offend by side-stepping the prevailing political correctness. If there is any true irony in this situation it is that Muslim refugees have been created on a gigantic scale of upheaval resulting from Muslims slaughtering Muslims through sectarian conflict. And it is not other Muslim countries by and large that absorb the haven-seeking Muslims who flee oppression and danger but Western countries who see it as their humanitarian duty. And whom the haven-seeking later turn against.

A new survey undertaken by the Angus Reid Institute determined that 47 percent of respondents from among 1,508 Canadians questioned in early February believe that Canada is absorbing "about the right number" of refugees, while 51 percent feel the number is "already too high", and eleven percent would prefer to see Canada open its doors to even more refugees. Six in ten Canadians feel the government has "done a good job" in its refugee file.

One quarter of respondents feel, however that Canada should have undertaken a temporary ban on refugees, reflecting the executive order signed by American President Donald Trump briefly halting entry of all refugees into the United States, along with citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries. Canadians in British Columbia and the Atlantic Provinces were more favourable in allowing more refugees into Canada. Half of Albertans and 55 percent of those in Saskatchewan feel the numbers are too high.

It is the opinion of 54 percent of respondents of the survey that refugees make an insufficient effort to "fit into mainstream Canadian society". A Pew Research Centre poll established that 90 percent  of Canadians feel the capability of speaking English or French, sharing Canadian customs and traditions are of vital importance in reflecting "truly Canadian" values. For them it appeared to be of less importance if immigrants or refugees were born in Canada, or if they were Christian.

How do supporters of Canada’s major political parties feel about the requirement to show faces at while taking the citizenship oath?

  • 96 per cent of Conservative supporters
  • 85 per cent of Liberal supporters
  • 83 per cent of NDP supporters
  • 81 per cent of Bloc Quebecois supporters

How do political party supporters feel about allowing Muslim women to wear a niqab or burka while taking the citizenship oath?

  • 78 per cent of Conservative supporters disagree with allowing Muslim women beign allowed to where a niqab or burka when being sworn in as Canadians
  • 76 per cent of Bloc Quebecois supporters
  • 66 per cent of NDP supporters
  • 60 per cent of Liberal supporters

Percentage of political party supporters who feel the burka and niqab are symbols of oppression rooted in a culture that is anti-women.

  • 86 per cent of Bloc Quebecois supporters
  • 84 per cent of Conservative supporters
  • 70 per cent of NDP supporters
  • 66 percent of Liberal supporters
Global News

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Monday, February 20, 2017

China Ruling The Rails

"It is indeed a  historic moment, a pride for our nations [Djibouti and Ethiopia] and peoples."
"This line will change the social and economic landscape of our two countries."
Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopian Prime Minister

"If you're looking for new markets, Africa is the place to be. But right now, the United States is not leveraging Africa's huge potential."
"By contrast, the Chinese are there, and they are willing to take risks."
Amadou Sy, director, Africa Growth Initiative, Brookings Institution

"For this, we have the Chinese to thank, because they shared with us their money and their technology."
"More than anything we thank them for showing confidence in us."
Daha Ahmed Osman, tech specialist, Djibouti

During the time of colonial rule in Africa, Europeans built a wide network of rail lines. In the years following the European surrender of their former colonies to African self-rule, most of those rail lines fell into a state of disrepair. Now, however, China has come to the rescue. Foreseeing that in enabling Africa to forge into the future, giving it the transportation it so badly requires for the transport of goods and servicing peoples' needs to aid the economy of a bright new future, China knows that it too will benefit from increased trade and movement of goods.

But China is putting its financial backing squarely where its interpretation of future economic prosperity should hit. It has invested over $14-billion in Djibouti, a nation stuck in poverty and unemployment. Projects that China is involved in moving forward include three ports, two airports, and a pipeline to bring water in from Ethiopia. Ethiopia is hugely dependent on Djibouti's ports, accounting for the movement of 90 percent of its foreign trade. All that, aside from the rail lines.

Chairman of Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority, Aboubaker Omar Hadi expresses his aspirations for his nation's future with the new railway representing the first portion of a trans-Africa route. "The train is already a game-changer [envisioning the future rail line expanding from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic]." Just the Djibouti portion slices to 12 hours a former three- or four-day truck trip.

While the Western banking system bypassed Djibouti's needs for infrastructure upgrades, China responded wholly to fill that need. It does have a pay-back cost, however, in an enormous debt amounting to 60 percent of the nation's GDP. Shrugged off as inconsequential, given Djibouti's 6.7 percent growth rate, enabling Djibouti, claims Hyas Moussa Dawaleh, its finance minister, to meet its loan obligations with ease.

China designed the rail system, it supplied the trains for the system, and it sent along hundreds of its skilled engineers to do the work, that took six years to build the 750-kilometer line. The route heading from Djibouti to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, is the first electric transnational railway in Africa. It took $4-billion to see fruition, with Chinese banks accounting for almost all the financing. China has exported its expertise in producing for itself the most modern rail network in the world.

And since it has the expertise, it has struck out boldly to take that experience global. Forget cheaply made knock-offs, providing world markets and bargain-hungry consumers with products out of China. This is a different China, a technologically advanced nation of rail builders prepared to share knowledge and building expertise, throwing in generous loans for good measure. Subway cars built in China are set to appear shortly in Chicago and Boston. A $5-billion high-speed rail line is scheduled for Indonesia.

A rail freight service was recently installed for service between London and Beijing. The 4,000 kilometer Pan-Asia Railway Network is set to link China to Laos, Thailand and Singapore, a dizzying accomplishment in connectedness and trade potential. But it is China's attention to sub-Saharan Africa that holds out huge promise for African advances into the future, where currently, only half of its roads are paved and close to 600 million people have no access to electricity.

Many of the emerging African projects represent part of Beijing's Silk Road initiative reborn, an effort estimated at $1-trillion with intentions of instituting deep ties between China and trading partners in the developing world. To that end, a two-year-old light-rail system built and financed by China in Addis Ababa, another between Nairobi, Kenya and Mombasa is to open late in this year, along with a rail modernization effort in Nigeria, with an urban transit system for Lagos.

This will be China's century; it came, it saw, it conquered.
A security guard during the inauguration of the new line. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Drivers of Anti-Semitism Decry 'Islamophobia'

"The recent killings of Muslims praying in the mosque in Quebec City is not an accident. This is the direct result of dog-whistle politics -- the politics of fear and division."
"The elements who championed charter values, niqab ban, barbaric cultural practices tip line -- all targeted at Canadian Muslims."
"This had been building up for a period of time. Some day, something had to happen."
Chandra Arya, Member of Parliament, Liberal, Ottawa/Nepean

"It is unacceptable [accusations of Conservative incitement]. I think everybody has to be careful what is said in that room [Parliamentary chamber, House of Commons]."
"Canadians will judge who has the point, who has the most developed common sense in this argument."
Gerard Deltell, Member of Parliament, Quebec Conservative
Adam John stands with a Hamas flag, which he says he was holding as a Muslim flag. It caused a social media stir after a Palestinian protest in downtown Ottawa. Samantha Wright Allen / Ottawa Citizen

Mr. Deltell was referring both to the charges levelled by MP Chandra Arya and his Liberal colleague Omar Alghabra, a Liberal Member of Parliament from the Toronto area, who spoke in the House of Commons to ask whether Mr. Deltell "accepted some responsibility" [for] "the type of rhetoric" [held to be incendiary common on some Quebec talk radio stations. Both Liberal MPs, Muslims both, were accusing their Conservative colleagues of inciting to violence against Muslims through their criticisms of Islam.

Another Muslim Member of Parliament had introduced a motion to the House, asking it to investigate incidents of "Islamophobia", and to denounce within the Canadian discourse anything that its defenders characterized as "Islamophobic" in character. The motion speaks to discrimination against faith groups, but mentions "Islamophobia" in particular and in isolated exceptionalism. This motion was decried by the Conservatives in the House who indicated that with the removal of the word "Islamophobia" singling out Islam, they would accept the motion.

Their recommendation was met with a firm rejection. It is hardly surprising that Islam is criticized for its breeding, through its sacred scriptures, violence among its faithful. The Koran has numerous passages calling for jihad, and speaking of non-Muslims, Christians and Jews in particular as enemies who should be slaughtered. With that universal call among Muslims to jihad and the constant animus expressed against non-Muslims, Infidels, Christians and Jews -- kuffars -- violence rages globally.

The most Islamist of Muslim countries, Pakistan and Turkey, Iraq and Syria, are constantly in conflict, and the targets are not only non-Muslims, but other Muslims as well, dying in huge numbers, all worshippers of the same faith, but tribal and sectarian enmity has resulted in hatred and unremitting violence. Islam declares itself a religion of peace, while practising division, deceit and atrocities against Muslims, minority ethnic groups and other religions.

How surprising can it be that Islam, and the Prophet Mohammad who had spread his gospel by the scimitar not the holy word, sweeping through the Middle East, Europe, North Africa and Asia in a bloody conquest, would not come under question for its alleged peacefulness? Particularly since it threatens and moves from threat to savage destruction and bloody slaughter, creating the world's largest number of refugees fleeing its wars on civilization.

And in Canada, where Muslims are insistent that they are unfairly targeted for discrimination, where "Islamophobia" threatens their security, it is the much smaller community of Jews who suffer violent acts of hatred expressed through anti-Semitism. The most prominent driver of anti-Semitism in Canada as it has been throughout North America and Europe, has been the flood of Muslims who have emigrated from their countries of origin to find security and economic futures abroad, who have spread their hatred of Jews, creating the viral climate of expanding anti-Semitism.

The long reach of the Muslim Brotherhood has inveigled their presence everywhere. The Hamas offshoot of the Brotherhood has its passionate supporters within Canada. Even while Hamas is on Canada's list as an outlawed terrorist group, members of Hamas as well as the Brotherhood have infiltrated Canada and attempt to influence government. They have enjoyed great success in calling for support and sympathy for the Palestinians, portraying them as suffering under Israeli occupation when in fact they are suffering under the maladministration of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Another Human Rights Battle Lost by the Iranian Republic

"I see no reason to deprive the plaintiffs of their entitlement to costs of successfully defending these motions [to charge the government of Iran for payment of legal costs]."
"[The case involved] complex and important issues that had not been previously decided. [The victims' lawyers had discharged their obligations in a] cost-effective manner."
Justice Glenn Hainey, Ontario Superior Court
In this Dec. 29, 2016 file photo, released by the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), a long-range S-200 missile is fired in a military drill in the port city of Bushehr, on the northern coast of Persian Gulf, Iran. (Amir Kholousi, ISNA via AP, File)
In this Dec. 29, 2016 file photo, released by the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), a long-range S-200 missile is fired in a military drill in the port city of Bushehr, on the northern coast of Persian Gulf, Iran. (Amir Kholousi, ISNA via AP, File)
The previous Conservative government of Canada had disinvited the Islamic Republic of Iran to maintain its embassy in the capital and its other missions within Canada, as it withdrew its diplomats from Tehran, returning them to Canada, having no wish to further permit Iran to interfere in Canadian affairs, as it had been doing, a malign force for ill will and destabilization. Canada at least took those steps to indicate it had little appreciation for the Republic's campaign to inflate its influence in the West.

The current Liberal government of Canada has announced its intention of restoring diplomatic relations with Iran, to reinstall Canadian diplomats in its Tehran mission, and inviting the Iranian theocratic administration which makes no secret of its detestation of the West and its democratic institutions to return to full diplomacy. The Iranian regime has indicated that it may reciprocate intentions to restore relations should the Liberal government take steps to overturn the Ontario court ruling that it must pay victims of the terrorist groups that Iran sponsors.

The Islamic Republic had been ordered in June of 2016 to transfer millions of non-diplomatic assets in Canada to three groups of people who had suffered violence inflicted upon them by terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah, armed and supported financially by Iran. In fact, the potential total of the amount that Iran has been ordered to pay in penalties for such international criminal offences will go well beyond the value of the non-diplomatic assets held in Canada, upwards of $1.7-billion.

The Iranian regime had some difficulty imagining that it would be found liable in international courts for the violence it promulgates and incites through its proxy terrorist groups, but reality hit when American courts imposed similar penalties upon Iran, and Canadian courts followed suit once U.S. and Canadian governments made it lawful. This is yet another form of exacting justice for victims of violence such as that promoted by the Republic of Iran.

Which had the unmitigated audacity to inform the world -- as a push-back to the new American President Donald Trump's assertive promise that the United States will go to new and deserved lengths to ensure that Iran's aspirations to achieve nuclear and intercontinental ballistics supremacy will not come to fruition -- that Israel is the "biggest threat to the peace and security in the region and the world", as voiced by Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi.
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi briefs journalists at a press conference in Tehran on August 22, 2016. (screen capture: YouTube)
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi briefs journalists at a press conference in Tehran. (screen capture: YouTube)

Iran, according to the Ontario Superior Court justice was attempting to set aside "substantial judgements". The Justice for Victims of Terrorist Act, enacted in 2012, ensures that immunity would be stripped from terrorist-sponsoring regimes. This gave victims of terrorism the opportunity to sue such regimes by collecting civil damages in Canadian courts, following the American example.

The latest ruling that Iran would have to pay the $300,000 legal bills of victims who had turned to the Ontario court to seek compensation under the JVTA, simply represents the most recent loss in civil court for Iran. The Republic had invoked grounds that it had the protection of state and diplomatic immunity. That ploy, under the circumstances, no longer works.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Air India, Unresolved, Injustice

"There has been no evidence of communication with any negative associates who may hold extremist views or be involved in political activity."
"[Inderjit Singh Reyat was so loyal to Ripundaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri] that you were willing to lie for them in court."
"As a result of your committing perjury, the co-accused were not convicted of any criminal offences."
Laura Hall, Parole Board of Canada
25 years later: Revisiting the Kanishka tragedy
Breaking News

Citing a low risk to reoffend, Ms. Hall on January 27, removed the special conditions that Reyat must live in a halfway house in a British Columbia community. He is the sole individual ever convicted in the horrific 1985 Air India bombing, his participation in the plot and his enabling of it to succeed notwithstanding, he is now free to live in his family home. He was released from prison a year earlier, with two-thirds of his sentence for perjury at the trial of two co-accused, served. His lies during the trial of the two men accused of carrying out the plans that destroyed 329 lives meant that they were acquitted for lack of evidence, and he was given a five-year prison sentence for perjury.

Reyat, a mechanic by trade, produced the bombs that were meant to blow up two Air India Flights. In June of 1985, CSIS agents found traces of a rudimentary bomb after a test demonstration Reyat had conducted for his friend Parmar. Bomb fragments found in Tokyo after the death of two baggage handlers matched items that Reyat had acquired before the Narita explosion; Micronta timers from Radio Shack, batteries, an FM tuner casing as a bomb housing, and a VCR. The bombing of Air India Flight 182, however was a complete success for the three co-conspirators, killing all aboard.

As a Crown witness against Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagro, Reyat repeatedly lied, to protect them from being found guilty of a horrendous atrocity. As a result, both men were acquitted of the crimes that they had committed. Parmar was a Sikh cleric, born in Punjab, who migrated to Canada in 1970. In 1978 he founded the terrorist group Babbar Khalsa, whose aim was the formation of an independent Republic of Khalistan in Punjab State, India. India wanted him for the murder of a Punjab village policeman.

CSIS placed  him under investigation after he had sworn to avenge the assault of the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984. And Reyat became a member of Babbar Khalsa, as a fundamentalist Sikh. The Sikh separatists followed Babbar Khalsa's leader, Talwinder Parmer, who was the plot mastermind. He had left British Columbia for India in 1992 where he was killed by Indian police. Reyet had been found guilty of manslaughter resulting from the bomb he built which exploded at Narita; for that he earned a ten-year sentence.

He had pleaded guilty to manslaughter, acknowledging his role in the Air India Flight 182 bombing. But he chose to lie repeatedly rather than implicate his co-conspirators. For the deaths of 331 people, the flight's passengers and the two Narita baggage handlers, there isn't much to show for justice on behalf of the families of those Canadian citizens who died at the hands of fundamentalist terrorists. Who have been able to resume their lives, untroubled by conscience as mass murderers.

Even the one man who had confessed and been convicted, managed to pay a less-than-steep price for destroying so many lives. The conspiracy involved others as well, none of whom had to pay the price for their collaboration in a horrendous scheme meant to assault India by killing innocent people who just happened to be on an Air India flight.

25 years later: Revisiting the Kanishka tragedy
The mastermind of the Air India Kanishka bombing, was arrested in 1991 in Bombay, where he was - so says the police - killed in a police encounter. Babbar Khalsa chief Talwinder Singh Parmar(R), who had by then started his own terrorist outfit, was gunned down.

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The Discomfort of Being a Jewish Student at McGill

"Instead of dealing with this important and distasteful issue, supporters from the gallery for [Igor Sadikov] turned the meeting to attack me and request that I be removed as a representative of SSMU [Students' Society of McGill University] due to my faith."
"I was left isolated and alone to respond. My fellow representatives sat in silence and permitted this malicious, prejudicial, and unjustified attack to continue."
Jasmine Segal, social work students representative on SSMU council

"Since SSMU has a social justice mandate, why does it allow Zionist councillors on council when Zionist ideology is inherently [linked to] ethnically cleansing Palestinians?'
Pro-Palestinian activist tweet to The McGill Daily student newspaper

"This tweet and the discourse that followed on Thursday have unleashed a wave of condemnation of Zionists and Jews at McGill and have normalized inciting violence against students who identify as such."
"If anything, I feel more unsafe and more singled out now than I did last week because of the campus groups who have used Sadikov's tweet as an opportunity to express their anti-Zionist, and often anti-Semitic views."
Molly Harris, third-year Arts student

"If the abilities of any councillor were questioned on the basis of their personal identity [SSMU executive condemns that violence]."
"The SSMU recognizes that this is an emotional and contentious issue revolving around differing interpretations of historical and cultural contexts."
Students' Society of McGill University board of directors
McGill BDS students demonstrate on campus MCGILL DAILY PHOTO
McGill BDS students demonstrate on campus MCGILL DAILY PHOTO
There was a time, decades ago, when McGill University committed to a policy where the number of Jews admitted to study was strictly limited. That time long past, and Jewish students responded to the lifting of restrictions by flooding to the university to pursue their academic studies and plan careers, feeling comfortable in the university environment of equality. An immigration influx of Muslims and Arabs to Canada has brought a new threat to the comfort of Jewish students in academic institutions, where activist Muslim groups have incited 'progressive' leftists to rally to the 'cause' of Palestinians.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement gained momentum and in February of last year the SSMU managed to pass the BDS motion for the university through the student body, though a minuscule number of the actual student body voted for BDS. The activists on the student council, after a year and a half of previous agitation to pass BDS, succeeded. In the very same month, almost to a day, the Parliament of Canada passed a motion condemning the BDS movement taking place in Canada, equating it with anti-Semitism.

More recently, a student politician at McGill, Igor Sadikov used his Twitter account to invite followers to "punch a Zionist". That invitation led to no little amount of consternation and condemnation, but as well, support. Targeting McGill's Jewish students for violence, both verbal and physical is not reflective of a civil society, but Canadian academic society has become anything but civil in the last several years with political agitation aimed at condemning the State of Israel, and by default, Jewish students at Canadian universities.

The board of directors of the Students' Society of McGill University where Sadikov sits to represent political students rejected a motion calling for his removal from the board, by a vote of five to four. Elected representatives chose to refuse to denounce this student, standing by, as instead of removing and denouncing someone who clearly incited to violence, a Jewish student was heckled and defamed as a Zionist as though that designation merited censure and did not in fact represent a clear instance of anti-Semitism.

The McGill Daily has a policy that it will not publish Zionist points of view. As a student newspaper it is meant to reflect the interests of all students at the university. When all of this latest eruption over Zionism and the place of Jewish students on campus was being discussed, the newspaper reported a complaint from a pro-Palestinian activist regarding the presence of Zionists on the student council. A quite unspeakable situation where a Jewish student who supports the State of Israel is considered persona non grata on a university student council, rejected because she is a Jew and a Zionist.

McGill now has a fairly unenviable reputation -- for a pluralist, liberal-democratic society -- as an anti-Semitic institution where bigotry against Jews and discriminatory tactics along with fairly compelling threats are the order of the day. A malicious and degrading pursuit by supporters of the slander that Israel is a threat to the living existence of Palestinians, as an apartheid state visiting violence on helpless Palestinians has gained acceptance, thanks to the presence of Muslim recruiters successfully swaying the loyalty of 'progressives' on campus.

The atrocious distortion that Jews are the aggressors and Palestinian Arabs the victims despite decades of violently murderous attacks by Arabs against Jews has gained traction building on latent anti-Semitism in Quebec and elsewhere, disabling the ability of Jewish students to feel safe and comfortable as Canadians in a Canadian academic institution. In a Canada where the Muslim population vastly outdistancing by well over a million to 385,000 the number of Jews, complains that it is suffering from "Islamophobia" when in fact incidents of anti-Semitism far outnumber those of anti-Muslim acts.

The irony being, of course, that much of the anti-Semitism that has taken hold has been given an immense boost by the enmity of the growing Muslim population against the Canadian Jewish population. A fairly accurate reflection of what is occurring when the Palestinians are identified as victims of Jewish persecution. No recognition that Palestinians inflict violence on Israeli Jews as a point of honour. Little wonder that McGill University is ranked number four in the worst of North American academic institutions to be a Jewish student, exposed to anti-Semitic discrimination.

This, at a university where a large proportion of the professors are in fact of Jewish origin. Perhaps there is hope in the fact that 150 McGill professors last year in an open letter, wrote their opinion of the BDS movement reflecting the focus of the student society; this paragraph from their letter to the university executive is telling:
"Unfortunately, in its disproportionate focus on Israel, in its founding declaration, and in many statements by key members of the movement, the BDS movement tries to squelch speech and intimidate those who support Israel’s right to exist. The BDS movement repeatedly jumps from criticizing particular Israeli policies to delegitimizing the State of Israel. The July 2005 Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS quickly shifts from fighting “the occupation” to demonizing Israel to rejecting Israel’s existence. The leading BDS activist Omar Barghouti – whose calls for boycott overlook his own studies at Tel Aviv University – states a “Jewish state in Palestine in any shape or form cannot but contravene the basic rights of the indigenous Palestinians."

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