Ο αυτοαποκαλούμενος «Πρόεδρος της Τσαμουριάς», Φεστίμ Λατό, φέρεται να δολοφονήθηκε στην Ολλανδία.
Οι φίλοι του αναφέρουν ότι σκοτώθηκε από τις ελληνικές μυστικές υπηρεσίες.
Επίσης, τα αλβανόφωνα μέσα ενημέρωσης αναφέρουν ότι ο Λατό εκτελέστηκε μυστηριωδώς.
Στο προφίλ του στο “Facebook”, πολλοί από τους φίλους του εκφράζουν τα συλλυπητήρια τους στην οικογένειά του και «στο αλβανικό έθνος για αυτήν τη μεγάλη απώλεια».
Ο θάνατος του Φεστίμ Λατό είναι «ύποπτος» διότι, όπως γράφουν αλβανικά ΜΜΕ και αναδημοσιεύει το “Βαλκανικό Περισκόπιο”, έγινε με μυστηριώδη τρόπο και ακόμη δεν είναι γνωστό ποιός είναι ο δράστης.
Επίσης, δεν υπάρχουν πληροφορίες για αυτό το γεγονός.
Η ολλανδική Αστυνομία ανακοίνωσε το συμβάν στην οικογένεια του Λατό στην Αυλώνα.
Όπως αναφέρθηκε, η δολοφονία θα μπορούσε να γίνει για πολιτικούς λόγους.
Ωστόσο, δεν υπάρχουν επίσημες πληροφορίες από την αλβανική Αστυνομία για τη δολοφονία του.
Οι συγγενείς και φίλοι εξακολουθούν να εκφράζουν συλλυπητήρια για την απώλεια του στην ιστοσελίδα του στο “Facebook”, γράφει η “Balkan Web“.
Από την άλλη, η ιστοσελίδα “albeu.com” αναφέρει ότι ο Φεστίμ Λατό είχε προσκαλέσει στο σπίτι του δύο άτομα για καφέ και όταν βγήκε στο κατώφλι του σπιτιού του να τους υποδεχθεί πυροβολήθηκε και πέθανε ακαριαία.
2. Παρακάτω, η Σύμμαχος των Η.Π.Α. και μέλος του ΝΑΤΟ, Τουρκία!
Τους έπιασαν «επί το έργον» στην Εύβοια! Εμπρηστές προσπαθούσαν να βάλουν φωτιά σε δασική περιοχή
Εμπρηστές που σκόπευαν να βάλουν φωτιά κοντά σε δασική περιοχή με διάσπαρτους οικισμούς πρόλαβαν Αστυνομία και Πυροσβεστική, με την πολύτιμη βοήθεια ενός 46χρονου φύλακα.
Συγκεκριμένα το πρωί της Κυριακής, 21-07-2019, ο άνθρωπος που είναι επιφορτισμένος για την ασφάλεια ως ιδιώτης, των οικισμών Σκροπονερίων και Βουλευτικών στον Δήμο Ανθηδώνος παρατήρησε ένα λευκό φορτηγάκι άνευ διακριτικών και πινακίδων, να κινείται ύποπτα στην περιοχή.
Σύμφωνα με τη μαρτυρία του, δύο άτομα που επέβαιναν σε αυτό εναπόθεσαν στο πρανές μία χάρτινη συσκευασία. “Εν συνεχεία” και στη θέα του φύλακα, τα άτομα μπήκαν βιαστικά στο φορτηγάκι και εξαφανίστηκαν προς άγνωστη κατεύθυνση.
Στο σημείο έφτασαν γρήγορα η Άμεση Δράση από τη Χαλκίδα και η Πυροσβεστική Υπηρεσία Θήβας, διαπιστώνοντας ότι εντός της συσκευασίας υπήρχε ένα αντικουνουπικό σπιράλ το γνωστό φιδάκι, στο οποίο είχαν προσαρτήσει με αυτοκόλλητη ταινία τέσσερα σπίρτα και γύρω από αυτό ήταν εμποτισμένο με εύφλεκτο υγρό, πιθανόν παραφινέλαιο, χαρτί υγείας!
Η Υπηρεσία της Πυροσβεστικής της Θήβας, ανέλαβε την προανάκριση μιας υπόθεσης που δείχνει ότι υπάρχει οργανωμένο σχέδιο εμπρησμού της περιοχής.
Τόσο ο αριθμός των ατόμων που συμμετείχαν μαρτυρά ότι δεν πρόκειται για απλά έναν τρελό που θέλει «να βλέπει τους πυροσβέστες και τα πυροσβεστικά να τρέχουν», όσο και η επιμέλεια ενός τόσο απλού όσο κι επικίνδυνου εμπρηστικού μηχανισμού, δείχνει ότι υπάρχει γενικότερο σχέδιο καταστροφής των συγκεκριμένων περιοχών.
Rusya’da üretilen robot asker FEDOR‘un görev yeri belli oldu
Rusya “Federal Uzay Ajansı” (“Ros – cosmos”) Başkanı Dmitriy Rogozin, Rus kozmonotların insan benzeri robot FEDOR ile yapacakları çalışmanın Rusya’nın derin uzayı araştırma yolundaki ilk adımı olacağını belirtti.
Robot, “Android Technics ve Advanced Rsearch Fund” firmaları tarafından geliştirilen FEDOR geçtiğimiz dönemde yayınlanan videolarında iki tabancayı etkileyici bir doğruluk payıyla kullanabiliyordu.
Ποινική δίωξη για αδικήματα σε βαθμό πλημμελήματος άσκησε ο εισαγγελέας σε βάρος φερόμενου ως ηγετικού μέλους της ομάδας «Ρουβίκωνας» που συνελήφθη χθες το απόγευμα.
Η δίωξη που ασκήθηκε, περιλαμβάνει το αδίκημα της διέγερσης σε διάπραξη εγκλημάτων που σχετίζεται με αναρτήσεις του κατηγορούμενου στα μέσα κοινωνικής δικτύωσης, και αυτό της ηθικής αυτουργίας σε φθορά ξένης ιδιοκτησίας, για την επίθεση με μπογιές στο κτίριο του ΣΕΒ. Ο κατηγορούμενος παραπέμφθηκε για να δικαστεί στο αυτόφωρο.
Τα αρχαιολογικά ευρήματα που «έθαψαν» οι Σκοπιανοί, διότι αποδεικνύουν ότι Μακεδόνες είναι μόνο οι Έλληνες!
Μόνο ένα ενδιαφέρον υπήρξε από τον τότε αρχαιολόγο Πάσκο Κούζμαν, και αυτό, για τη νεκρόπολη, ότι μπορεί να κρύβει τον τάφο του …Μεγάλου Αλεξάνδρου, τίποτε άλλο…
Η περιοχή βρίθει από ελληνικές επιγραφές και εκείνο το μάρμαρο με την επιγραφή «ΜΑΚΕΔΟΝΙΑΡΧΩΝ» έχει μια σημασία που δεν είναι γνωστή σε εμάς, γράφει το σλαβικό Denesen.mk.
Αλλά ας δούμε αυτόν τον αρχαιολογικό χώρο που αφέθηκε στην τύχη του, εξαιτίας του ότι δεν ‘ενδυνάμωνε’ την ιδεολογία του Γκρούεφσκι, περί «μακεδονικής εθνότητας».
Calling Judea and Samaria “occupied territory” does not help resolve the conflict, Jason Greenblatt told PBS.
By United With Israel Staff
U.S. Special Representative for International Relations Jason Greenblatt has again come to Israel’s defense, rejecting old notions of Israel as an occupier responsible for the victimization of the Palestinian people.
Asked what “responsibility the Israelis bear for the current state of affairs in the Middle East,” Greenblatt told interviewer Judy Woodruff:
“I think that Israel is actually more the victim than the party that’s responsible,” adding that “from the moment of its formation, they were attacked multiple times. They continue to be attacked with terrorism. So I’m not sure I understand the premise of the question.”
“I think that they’re trying their best to succeed,” said the senior official. “They have actually succeeded in many ways, especially economically, under very, very trying circumstances.”
Woodruff persisted, asking: “You don’t see mistakes they have made, places where they have overstepped their authority?”
The envoy stood his ground: “I think Israel is doing the best that it possibly can under very challenging circumstances.”
He then began rejecting the usage of terms such as “settlements” to describe Israeli communities located in territories captured by the Jewish State in the 1967 war, saying “it’s a pejorative term. I use the term neighborhoods and cities.”
Greenblatt also referred to the West Bank by its biblical name, Judea and Samaria, and countered the argument that the territories are “occupied” by Israel.
“I would argue that the land is disputed. It needs to be resolved in the context of direct negotiations between the parties. Calling it occupied territory does not help resolve the conflict,” the Trump adviser told PBS.
Asked about when the U.S. political plan for Israel and the Palestinians would be announced, Greenblatt replied: “The president will make his decision soon.”
He explained that “it’s no secret that, when the Israelis had to go to a second election, that sort of threw us off a little bit.
“We haven’t yet decided whether we release the plan before or after the Israeli elections, if it’s after the Israeli elections, before or after the government is formed. We’re still evaluating that,” said Greenblatt.
He bemoaned the fact that Palestinians with whom he meets are afraid to reveal their identity. “I meet countless Palestinians here in the region,” the American envoy told PBS.
“They know I’m very active on Twitter. And no matter how great the meeting goes — and almost all of them are great, even if they are tough discussions about U.S. policy — they always plead with me when I leave: ‘Please do not tweet about our meeting. Please do not tell who you met with,’” said Greenblatt.
“I have to respect that,” he said. “They are afraid, and that’s unfortunate.”
Danny Danon to Nasrallah: What you hide we shall find
The Israeli representative to the U.N, slammed Hezbollah leader in Arabic after the former denied Danon’s claims the terror group is using the port of Beirut for military purposes.
Israeli satellite ‘Amos-17’ to be launched into space next week from Florida
|Trump Peace Team Returning to Mideast|
|Did Iran Use Russian Spy Technology to Lure British Tanker Into Its Waters?|
“Today, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) released “Russian Efforts Against Election Infrastructure,” the first volume in the Committee’s bipartisan investigation into Russia’s attempts to interfere with the 2016 U.S. elections.” …
China’s National Defense in the New Era The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China July 2019 First Edition 2019
ISBN 978-7-119-11925-0 © Foreign Languages Press Co. Ltd., Beijing, China, 2019 Published by Foreign Languages Press Co. Ltd.
For the first time in four years, China’s Ministry of National Defense on Wednesday released a white paper on the country’s overall national defense strategy, disclosing that, before 2017, its military spending accounted for 1.28 percent of its GDP. …
Netanyahu: ‘We want quiet but prepare for battle‘
|Mossad Tips Off Ugandan Officials, Hezbollah Agent Arrested|
“Without Israel, the entire Middle East would collapse to the forces of Islamic radicalism,” Netanyahu told US Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
By United With Israel Staff
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared that Israel is an “irreplaceable power.”
Meeting in Jerusalem with the visiting U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the Israeli prime minister explained that “there is no other power within the region without whose presence and activity here, I would say, the region would collapse.”
“Without Israel, without the things that we do and the things that we stand for and the things that we protect, I think the entire Middle East would collapse to the forces of Islamic radicalism.”
The prime minister stated that he had just met with a visiting delegation of journalists from Arab countries, who talked about “how so many in the Arab world want to have peace with Israel, normalization with Israel, want to come to Israel. They’re not always free to express it, and there’s always opposition from those who want to take us back, but they expressed that desire.”
On the matter of the U.S. energy secretary’s visit, a joint statement released by Perry and his Israeli counterpart, Yuval Steinitz, said that they are “committed to continuing the positive energy partnership between our two countries” such as gas projects in the Mediterranean Sea and “advancing energy security through cybersecurity collaboration, information sharing, and training in cybersecurity,”
They spoke of “utilizing clean energy technologies and resources to enhance our security, peace, and prosperity, and that of our partners,” according to the joint statement.
“The special bond between the United States and Israel is stronger than ever under the leadership of @realDonaldTrump and @IsraeliPM @Netanyahu,” Perry tweeted.
He also wrote that he had “a productive meeting…with Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs
@Israel_katz on cybersecurity cooperation and regional challenges and opportunities” and toured the historic City of David in Jerusalem, saying that the “excavation and preservation of this historic place is awe-inspiring.”
11. Israeli ambassador secretly flew to Alaska to coordinate strategy against Iran
By World Israel News Staff
Amid growing tensions between the U.S. and Iran, Ron Dermer, Israel’s Ambassador to Washington, traveled to Alaska last week to discuss enhanced coordination and strategy, Israel’s Channel 13 News reported on Friday.
The trip marked “a significant upgrade in Israeli security coordination with the U.S. against Iran,” the report said.
Additional details have been barred from publication, the report added, quoting unnamed Israeli sources.
Tehran on Wednesday successfully test-fired a medium-range ballistic missilewhich flew more than 600 miles from the southern part of the country to an area outside Tehran, in the north, a U.S. official told Fox News.
Iran announced that it was enriching uranium above the level permitted by the 2015 nuclear deal due to what it said was a lack of European action to save the pact after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Iran has also taken to using target faces with pictures of Netanyahu and Trump for their training exercises.
Earlier this week, Iran announced that it had arrested 17 Iranian nationals allegedly recruited by the CIA to spy on the country’s nuclear and military sites, to which President Donald Trump responded that the claim had “zero truth.”
Last week, the Iran Revolutionary Guard shot down an American drone. “Iran made a very big mistake,” Trump warned.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also issued a statement on the incident, commenting, “In the last 24 hours, Iran has intensified its aggression against the United States and against all of us. And I repeat my call for all peace-loving countries to stand by the United States in its effort to stop the Iranians’ aggression. Israel stands by the United States on this.”
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Trump indicated that the U.S. was “ready for the absolute worst.”
“Frankly, it’s getting harder for me to want to make a deal with Iran because they behave very badly. They’re saying bad things,” Trump said.
“We are very geared up,” he added, noting Iran is “really the number-one state of terror in the world.”
Key US Base at Risk as Turkish-US Tensions Escalate
By Dorian Jones July 25, 2019
With the United States mulling sanctions over Turkey’s recent procurement of Russian missiles, Ankara is warning that America’s use of a critical military air base could be at risk.
The U.S.’s decades-long use of Incirlik Air Base is seen as not only of vital military importance, but underscores the strategic relationship between the two NATO allies.
“We are currently running the process [of retaliatory measures], whether it’s Incirlik, Kurecik [U.S. radar base in Turkey] or other issues,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned Washington this week, in the latest ratcheting up of bilateral tensions.
“If America has very negative steps toward us,” he added, “if there are sanctions or further steps, we will have answers to America.”
Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly made a similar threat over Incirlik’s use, in his meeting with President Donald Trump in June on the sidelines of the G-20 economic summit in Osaka, Japan.
This month’s delivery of Russia’s S-400 missile system to Turkey violates the U.S.’s Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, which prohibits major purchases of Russian military equipment. Under CAATSA, Ankara could face significant financial and economic sanctions. The S-400 purchase has already resulted in Turkey’s exclusion from buying America’s latest F-35 fighter jet. U.S. officials believe Turkey’s decision to use the Russian advanced radar technology could compromise NATO’s military systems in the country. The F-35 is NATO’s newest stealth fighter jet.
Analysts say Ankara has always viewed America’s use of Incirlik as significant leverage at times of bilateral tension. As far back as the Cold War, the vast air base located close to the Syrian frontier has been vital to U.S. strategic interests. According to nuclear watchdogs, as many as 50 nuclear weapons are stored at Incirlik.
American forces continue to use Incirlik in the war against the Islamic State terror group in both Iraq and Syria, as well as being an important logistics hub. But analysts say the importance of Incirlik extends far beyond military interests.
“The military component of Turkey’s anchorage in the West is very significant. In this regard, Incirlik has been one of the backbones of this relationship with the West,” said Galip Dalay, a visiting scholar at Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University. Dalay is also a research director of the Istanbul-based Middle East research group Al Sharq Forum.
“If the Incirlik use is terminated, that would definitely create further discussion, over the future of Turkey’s U.S. relationship and Turkey’s place in NATO in general,” he added. “In this regard, the symbolism of Incirlik is far more important than its military utility, although this is very important in terms of the war on terror in Syria and Iraq.”
Ankara in the past has threatened Washington over Incirlik’s use. Onerous restrictions on its use by American planes have occasionally been imposed, but the base has remained open even at times of high diplomatic tension. Ankara again is looking to a diplomatic resolution.
“Ankara’s calculation was built on the fact that all our strategy is built around the authority of Donald Trump, and until now it has worked,” said former senior Turkish diplomat Aydin Selcen, referring to the U.S. president. “Trump can delay CAATSA sanctions; this is what the calculation is by Ankara.”
Trump has voiced his opposition to imposing sanctions on Turkey. The U.S. president has acknowledged he has developed a good working relationship with Erdogan; however, Trump is facing growing pressure from Congress with bipartisan support for the imposition of sanctions on Turkey.
If Washington were to follow through on sanctions, then America’s presence at Incirlik could be at risk. “One thing right now we’ve learned that most of the things we thought were bluffs turned out to be the case,” said Dalay.
“The purchase of S-400 – many analysts in [Washington] D.C. thought this was just a negotiating tactic, but it became clear Turkey meant it. I think many things are possible. In this regard, Incirlik [closure] is a possibility if we witness further escalation if the U.S. imposes hard CAATSA sanctions. Anything is possible.”
The Pentagon, however, could be taking steps to end its dependence on Incirlik, given that Turkish-U.S. relations have been strained for many years, going back to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. The U.S. recently spent $150 million, enhancing the Muwaffaq Salti Air Base in Jordan. Such measures could be a sign of a broader strategic shift.
“From what I understand, they [U.S.] are investing heavily in other bases,” said international relations expert Soli Ozel of Istanbul’s Kadir Has University. “And maybe no single base can fulfill the function of Incirlik, but maybe a combination of bases can substitute for Incirlik.”
“Since 1992, Turkey created a lot of resistance over the use of Incirlik,” he added. “At some point, the Americans may have started to seek alternatives and maybe now are close to finding alternatives. Which means Incirlik will no longer be the trump card that it used to be for Ankara.”
Some observers have described Incirlik as the glue that helps bind the two allies together.
“If the Americans pull out of Incirlik, then the Americans are sincere to create trouble for Turkey,” said international relations professor Huseyin Bagci of Ankara’s Middle East Technical University. “Then I would really worry for the future of this relationship.”
Orthodox Jewish woman to head National Security Agency’s new cybersecurity section
JTA – An Orthodox Jewish woman has been tapped to head the National Security Agency s new Cybersecurity Directorate.
Anne Neuberger of Baltimore has worked at the NSA for the past decade. She helped establish the U.S. Cyber Command and worked as chief risk officer, where she led the agency s election security efforts for the 2018 midterms. She currently is an assistant deputy director the agency.
She previously was the deputy chief management officer at the U.S. Navy and worked for the secretary of defense.
Neuberger, 43, also known as Chani, is from the heavily Jewish Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood of Borough Park, where she attended the Bais Yaakov Jewish day school for girls, according to the Yeshiva World News. She is a graduate of Touro College in New York and Columbia business school, and worked in the White House Fellows program.
Neuberger told The Wall Street Journal that the directorate will more actively use signals intelligence gleaned from expanded operations against adversaries. As part of its mission, the directorate will work to protect the U.S. from foreign threats by sharing insight into specific cyber threats with other federal agencies as well as the private sector.
She will be one of the highest-ranking women at the NSA since Ann Caracristi was named deputy director in 1980, according to the newspaper. Neuberger will report to the agency s head, Gen. Paul Nakasone.
(Photo – NSA)
US energy secretary Rick Perry signs cooperation deal in Israel
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Together with his Israeli counterpart, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry officially launched a new center Monday that will help fund the joint research of Israeli and American companies and academic institutions in various energy fields to the tune of $16 million.
The U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence in Energy, Engineering and Water Technology was initially announced in April, with the aim of developing innovative technologies in the areas of fossil fuels, energy storage, cybersecurity for energy infrastructure, and the “energy-water nexus.”
Perry took the opportunity of his first official visit to Israel and meeting with Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz to formally publicize the center’s opening and put a call out for proposals from Israeli and American entities to compete for the funding that is to lead to practical commercial applications.
The Energy Center, as it is being called, will be run through the energy program of BIRD – the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation. BIRD has been providing funding for cooperative ventures between Israeli and American companies and institutions in many technology sectors, as well as agriculture, communications, and life sciences, for over 40 years.
In a tweet following the announcement, Perry said, “The shared energy and technology goals of our countries remain a priority for the United States. The continued success of the BIRD Energy program and launch of the U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence in Energy, Engineering, and Water Technology will bring our research enterprises even closer together.”
The two energy czars also signed a cooperation agreement to enhance cybersecurity collaboration in the energy field and improve investment and open markets for Eastern Mediterranean gas.
The recent massive natural gas findings off the coasts of Israel, Egypt and Cyprus led to the establishment in January of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) by these countries, joined by Greece, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. Its purpose is to develop a regional market for this energy source by building pipelines and making use of local LNG (liquid natural gas) export infrastructure.
Perry continued his tour by visiting energy facilities in Ashdod Tuesday, including the American Noble gas exploration company, which is a partner with Israeli Yitzchak Tshuva in the huge Leviathan gas field.
He called the Noble business “a great example of U.S. technology, a U.S. company working in Israel. It’s my hope that this is just the first chapter of a very long story of further American investment in Israel’s energy sector.”
Perry will continue on to Cairo with Steinitz on Tuesday to attend the second meeting of the EMGF.
15. Boris Johnson, self-described ‘passionate Zionist,’ to become British leader
He defeated his rival Jeremy Hunt overwhelmingly in a vote of Conservative Party members and will be installed as prime minister in a formal handover from Theresa May on Wednesday.
The victory is a triumph for 55-year-old Johnson, an ambitious but erratic politician whose political career has veered between periods in high office and spells on the sidelines.
Johnson has vowed that Britain will quit the European Union on the scheduled date of Oct. 31 even if it means leaving without a divorce deal. But he faces a rocky ride from a Parliament determined to prevent him from taking the U.K. out of the 28-nation bloc without a withdrawal agreement.
May stepped down after Britain’s Parliament repeatedly rejected the withdrawal agreement she struck with the 28-nation bloc. Johnson insists he can get the EU to renegotiate — something the bloc insists it will not do.
If not, he says Britain must leave the EU on Halloween, “do or die.”
In a recent interview with the U.K.’s Jewish News, Johnson said that he is a “passionate Zionist” and that “wild horses wouldn’t keep me away” from visiting the Jewish State as British premier.
16. Turkey warns it will retaliate if US imposes sanctions over S-400s
“If the United States portrays an adversarial attitude towards us, we will take retaliatory measures, as we’ve told them. This is not a threat or a bluff,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told broadcaster TGRT Haber, Reuters reported.
“We are not a country that will bow down to those who show a animosity towards Turkey,” he said, reiterating a threat of retaliation that Turkey made last month.
The first shipment of S-400s arrived in Turkey loaded onto three planes on July 12 at the Murted Air Base near the capital of Ankara. More deliveries were on the way, the Defense Minister said at the time.
Turkey ignored U.S. warnings to pull back from the deal — reportedly costing more than $2 billion. The Trump administration said Turkey would face economic sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act if it went ahead with the purchase.
After Turkey ignored these warnings, the U.S. promptly cancelled Turkey’s participation in its program to produce high-tech F-35 fighter jets.
According to a report by the TASS news agency, Turkey might end up making components of the S-400 instead. TASS reports that Sergei Chemezov, head of Russia’s Rostec state conglomerate, said that Russia and Turkey were discussing the possibility, said the Reuters report.
The Post has learned that a major, unnamed donor has been enlisted to make the event possible.
North Korea’s Latest Escalation: A Deadly New Submarine
By William Gallo July 22, 2019
It’s not a missile launch or a nuclear test. But Kim Jong Un’s unveiling of a new submarine is the latest way North Korea appears to be pressuring the United States, as working-level nuclear talks struggle to get off the ground.
North Korean state media on Tuesday published pictures of Kim inspecting an imposing, newly built submarine, saying the vessel will soon be deployed in the waters off Korea’s east coast.
“[Kim] expressed great satisfaction over the fact that the submarine was designed and built to be capable of fully implementing the military strategic intention of the Party under various circumstances,” reported the official Korean Central News Agency.
Although the article didn’t say what kind of weapons the submarine would carry, the reference to “strategic” capabilities implied the vessel could handle nuclear-capable missiles for strategic deterrence purposes.
The new submarine is a reminder that North Korea continues to develop and diversify its weapons program, amid yet another delay in nuclear talks with the United States.
Unpredictable new threat
The development of submarine-launched ballistic missiles, or SLBMs, would add an unpredictable new component to North Korea’s arsenal. SLBMs are mobile, potentially increasing the range of North Korea’s ballistic missile arsenal. They are also easier to hide.
“ICBMs were for responsiveness and range, SLBMs are for survivability,” tweeted Vipin Narang, a nuclear expert and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Following several failed tests, North Korea in 2016 successfully tested a ballistic missile launched from an experimental Gorae-class submarine.
Several reports, based partly on commercially available satellite images, have suggested North Korea was working on a new, larger class of submarine that could fire several SLBMs.
The submarine unveiled Tuesday appears to confirm those reports, according to many analysts. Other analysts said the new vessel may be from one of North Korea’s existing class of submarines that has been modified to carry ballistic missiles.
“It seems like a 3000-ton submarine that can house three to four submarine-launched ballistic missiles,” says Park Won-gon, a professor at Handong Global University.
“It is well-known that submarines are hard to defend against. It is a kind of ultimatum when it comes to having nuclear power abilities,” Park says.
The submarine rollout appears to be North Korea’s latest attempt to increase its leverage in nuclear talks with the United States.
In May, North Korea launched several short-range ballistic missiles and other projectiles – its first ICBM launches in a year and a half.
Last week, North Korea threatened to resume long-range ballistic missile launches, as well as nuclear tests, if the U.S. and South Korea go ahead with a planned joint military exercise expected to begin next month.
U.S. President Donald Trump has not commented on the submarine, but he has shrugged off the other North Korean provocations, suggesting he’s in no hurry for a deal.
By unveiling the submarine, North Korea is “obviously to put pressure on the U.S.,” says Shin Beom-chul, senior analyst at Seoul’s Asan Institute for Policy Studies. But he says the North Korean provocations appear to be carefully calibrated.
“Neither the U.S. nor North Korea will stop the talks, even though North Korea may try to improve its bargaining position,” he says.
No timetable for talks
Trump on Monday acknowledged there is no timetable for resuming working-level negotiations.
White House officials had spoken of a breakthrough after Kim and Trump agreed to restart talks during a hastily arranged meeting last month at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said he hopes the working-level talks will begin “in a couple of weeks.” Pompeo had previously said he thought the talks would start around the middle of July.
Over a year into Trump’s outreach to Kim, U.S. officials acknowledge the two sides haven’t even agreed on what the idea of denuclearization means. Asked about that disagreement Monday, Pompeo pushed back.
“I’ve talked to Chairman Kim about this many, many times. [There is] absolute clarity. There’s no dispute,” Pompeo said.
“This is the fully denuclearized, verified effort that we have been talking about for all of this time,” Pompeo said. “I hear people talk about whether there’s ambiguity. There’s no ambiguity.”
North Korea has set an end-of-the-year deadline for the U.S. to make more concessions in the talks.
Juhyun Lee contributed to this report.
Russian Foreign Ministry Unveils Concept of Collective Security in Persian Gulf Region
The situation in the Persian Gulf has been overshadowed by a series of incidents, including attacks on oil tankers in June and the seizure of the UK-flagged Stena Impero vessel last week.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov on Tuesday presented the Russian concept of collective security in the Persian Gulf to diplomats in Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
“The main principles underlying the Concept are a step-by-step approach, multilateralism and strict observance of international law, primarily the UN Charter and its Security Council’s resolutions. The future strategic task outlined in the document is the creation of a mechanism of collective security and cooperation in the Persian Gulf region with the involvement on an equal basis of all the regional states,” the ministry said in a statement.
According to the concept of collective security, countries of the region will be offered the opportunity to establish so-called ‘hotlines’ between their respective militaries.
“With regard to the situation in the Persian Gulf region, the states, located in this region, and non-regional parties … accept mutual obligations of transparency in the military field (dialogue on military doctrines, subregional meetings of defense ministers, establishment of ‘hot lines,’ exchange of preliminary notifications on military exercises and flights of military aircraft, exchange of observers, abandoning permanent deployment of groups of non-regional states in the territory of the Persian Gulf countries, exchange of information on the purchase of arms and armed forces,” the document reads.
Russia also suggests a halt to the permanent deployment of foreign troops in the region.
“The sides should … sign agreements on arms control, which include the establishment of demilitarised zones, a ban on the destabilising stockpiling of conventional arms, including anti-missile [arms], and a balanced reduction of armed forces by all sides,” the document reads.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzia said on Tuesday during a UN Security Council debate on the situation in the Middle East that the rapid buildup of foreign military forces in the Persian Gulf carries the risk of sparking an unwanted conflict.
“Against the backdrop of an ongoing exchange of recriminations, there is an increase in military presence, by states that are not part of the region, which creates risks of an armed clash,” Nebenzia said.
The diplomat called on all parties to contribute to the de-escalation of the situation by resolving the existing differences through political and diplomatic efforts.
Is the Palestinian Authority really set to cut ties with Israel?
implementing its agreements with Israel.
But the Palestinian Authority leader had not previously spoken so clearly and definitively of a break in cooperation.
What are the agreements with Israel and will Abbas’s comments change anything?
What did Abbas say?
Abbas spoke Thursday night after a week in which Israel demolished 12 illegal Arab residential buildings in Sur Baher, a neighborhood that straddles eastern Jerusalem and Palestinian Authority-administered territory in Judea.
Israel said the buildings, most of which were still under construction, built too close to the security fence built around the outskirts of Jerusalem.
But Abbas on Thursday labelled the demolitions an act of “ethnic cleansing.”
In response, the 84-year-old PA leader said, “we announce the leadership’s decision to stop implementing the agreements signed with the Israeli side.”
He said a committee would be formed immediately to implement the decision.
What are the agreements?
In the early 1990s Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, then headed by Yasser Arafat, signed a number of peace agreements under US sponsorship.
Abbas was a key figure in negotiating the so-called Oslo Accords.
They led to the creation of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and cover a range of issues including water usage, electricity, security coordination and economic relations between the two sides.
Ripping up the agreements could seriously impact security in Judea and Samaria.
Relations between Abbas’s administration, based in Ramallah, and the Israeli government have worsened in recent months.
In addition to the house demolitions, Israel has also started deducting around $10 million a month from tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.
That corresponds to the amount it says the PA pays to families of terrorists or directly to the terrorists themselves in Israeli jails.
The Palestinian Authority has in response refused to take any of the roughly $180 million in monthly tax revenues until the full amount is transferred, leaving Abbas’s PA in financial crisis.
Will the PA follow through?
Palestinian Authority officials have previously made a number of threats to cut relations with Israel.
In January last year, the Palestinian Central Council voted to suspend recognition of Israel, but the decision has yet to be implemented.
Thursday’s comments were the most direct by Abbas himself regarding the agreements but there is skepticism that he will follow through.
Ending the agreements could lead to the demise of the Palestinian Authority of which he is president.
“It is useless to talk about halting agreements with Israel without talking about the fate of the Palestinian Authority and changing its shape and functions,” said analyst Hani al-Masri.
“The resolution is a repetition of previous resolutions.”
(Photo – Wiki Commons)
The Jewish Community’s Role in the Era of Identity Politics
In a memorable episode of the television series “The Sopranos,” Tony’s Jewish colleague Herman “Hesh” Rabkin confronts an African American music industry mogul about monetary reparations to black musicians.
“You’re talking to the wrong white man, my friend,” says Hesh, who goes on to assert that the Jewish people spent centuries in servitude before the beginning of the African slave trade. (You can watch the unvarnished and somewhat uncomfortable version of his remarks by searching for the “A Hit Is a Hit” episode from the HBO series’ first season.)
Setting aside the distasteful, racially charged language the show’s writers put into the Jewish gangster’s mouth, Hesh was articulating one of the fundamental beliefs the Jewish community carries about itself. He is saying we are an oppressed minority — or at least, we were for a long time. He reminds us we are products of our own history and self-perception, whether others share that assessment or not.
This thinking is reinforced within us with unfortunate frequency: every time nativist-driven bigotry espouses hatred against Jews from the right, and every time virulent anti-Zionism crosses the line into anti-Semitism on the left. Those haters obviously do not share our impression of ourselves. In an era of identity politics, what is our identity to them?
“Oppressed minority” is a pretty strong term and somewhat overstated. Even while we feel the growing threat of blood-and-soil racists and boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS)-motivated haters, and even as we persevere through the tragedies of Pittsburgh and Poway, terms such as “oppressed” seem like a little much. We still do feel like outsiders here, even if the blatant oppression that is a central part of our heritage is no longer part of our daily lives in 21st-century America.
Are Jews a minority — oppressed or otherwise? From a statistical standpoint, of course we are. We are approximately 2 percent of the nation’s population, which qualifies us for that status without much debate. However, much of American society considers us cultural outsiders, as well. Our faith, our history and our heritage combine to exclude us from what many consider to be comfortable societal norms.
If we still are a minority group in the eyes of many conservatives, that status disappears when we engage on the political left. Our educational and economic accomplishments disqualify us from being considered minorities in their eyes — statistically or ethnically. From the vantage point of many ardent progressives, we are not the oppressed, but the oppressors.
“People make progress and solve problems when principled progressives and equally principled conservatives come out of their ideological end zones and move closer to midfield.”
The biblical tale of David and Goliath may help us understand the predicament we face — from two very different perspectives. We still consider ourselves as David. After thousands of years as the underdog, we’ve earned that status many times over. But many liberals see us as Goliath, and the more we protest the unfairness of that designation, the more alienated they become.
On the other side of the fence, many conservatives regard us as the little guy. They like being Goliath and don’t have much incentive to make room for us at the giant’s table. The result is that on a hyper-polarized political and societal landscape, it often feels like neither of the main combatants believe the Jewish community belongs on its side. David thinks we’re Goliath, and Goliath thinks we’re David. Both liberal and conservative extremists believe us to be a problem, an irritant or a target. Sometimes, they see us as convenient collaborators and generous supporters. They rarely see us as true allies or friends.
The partisan alignment among American Jews and the reasons behind those leanings are familiar. A portion of the community gravitates toward Republicans because of issues relating to the economy and to Israel. A large majority favor the Democrats — often because our centuries of outsider status manifest as a commitment to social justice and helping the disadvantaged.
Regardless of party registration or ideological preference, each of us must make a compromise when we cast our ballots. Most Republicans do not support the anti-Semites who marched in Charlottesville, Va., but voting for a GOP candidate enlarges the platform on which alt-right haters stand. Most Democrats do not believe Jews control the world economy, but electing a Democrat of any ideological stripe furthers the reach of those who stand against Israel and its children.
Such are the limitations of a two-party system that most of us scarcely consider the sacrifice such tradeoffs require, if only because there is no alternative. Vote for a pro-Israel politician in either party and we also empower the anti-Semitic fringe that shares that candidate’s registration. We’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that elevating those who hate us — from the far right or the far left — is a necessary evil to thwart the even more despicable haters among the opposition.
This leads to a sort of selective outrage in which we ignore the worst excesses of the outliers in our own party and instead concentrate solely on the sins of our opponents. There’s no intellectually honest way for a Jewish Republican to defend Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), or a pro-Israel Democrat to stand up for Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). So why bother trying? It’s much easier and much more cathartic to direct our anger toward those who both hate Jews and disagree with us on health care reform or offshore oil drilling. However, selective outrage toward the opposition also means selective silence toward our putative partisan allies — and our silence gives them strength.
“We’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that elevating those who hate us — from the far right or the far left — is a necessary evil to thwart the even more despicable haters among the opposition.”
The result is that the Jewish community has become just as polarized as the broader electorate, even though such balkanization works against our own interests as a community. We allow both parties to exploit our support when we can be helpful and marginalize us whenever the loudest and angriest voices on the far left and far right make demands at our expense.
The political gymnastics Democratic House leadership has performed to delay a vote on the pending anti-BDS resolution would be comical if it were not so appalling. But it has nothing on the rationalizations and excuses leading Republicans offer when President Donald Trump’s administration invites known anti-Semites to the White House.
And finding members of Congress willing to criticize both these outrages rather than taking the easy way out and targeting their fire solely toward the other party’s cowardice is no easy task.
Republicans are full-throated in their support for Israel because Zionism resonates with their non-Jewish voters, too. But the reservations of their Jewish supporters are largely ignored on domestic, social and cultural issues such as abortion rights and same-sex marriage that motivate conservative grassroots activists. On the other hand, Democrats can commit fully to those same domestic policy matters knowing their loyalists — both Jewish and not — are in strong agreement. However, they must be much more cautious regarding Israel because of the animosity many progressives harbor toward Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
The result is that Jewish voters on both sides largely are taken for granted. Democrats and Republicans know their Jewish supporters — and donors — will remain loyal and will vote in large numbers. Both parties’ leaders have become proficient at proclaiming Israel should not be a partisan issue, even as both sides assiduously work to ensure that its side is seen as a more effective partner for the Jewish state. Because 21st-century elections are won by motivating the party’s ideological base, placating the anti-Zionist progressives and the alt-right nativists almost always take priority over addressing the needs of American Jews.
Political parties address our goals only when they don’t conflict with the demands of the hardliners, because we don’t threaten to switch sides or stay home. As the two main parties continue to move further from the political center, the need to cater to their true believers continues to grow, and the importance of Jewish voters on both sides continues to shrink.
Both liberal and conservative extremists believe us to be a problem, an irritant or a target. Sometimes, they see us as convenient collaborators and generous supporters. They rarely see us as true allies or friends.
There are many reasons to rebuild our nation’s political center that have nothing to do with either Israel or Judaism. A functioning government capable of confronting and resolving our most pressing challenges is foremost among them. Young people today read stories in history books about former President Ronald Reagan and former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill working across party lines to save Social Security, or former President Bill Clinton and former Speaker Newt Gingrich teaming up to balance the budget. But for millennials who grew up in an era of scorched-earth partisanship, they may as well be learning about the butter churn or the eight-track tape player. They don’t doubt these things ever existed; they just dismiss them as ancient artifacts — from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
Growing up in that far-away galaxy, I learned at a young age the essential difference between politics and football is that in politics, victories come between the 40-yard lines. People make progress and solve problems when principled progressives and equally principled conservatives come out of their ideological end zones and move closer to midfield. What ideologues deride as the “mushy middle” is the space where successful leaders on both sides can achieve many of their goals by realizing they must allow their opposite numbers to achieve some of their goals, as well. They understand progress is not the enemy of perfection, but a way of moving closer toward it.
For American Jews, a revitalized political center would mean we no longer would be held hostage to the agents of intolerance that control the agendas of both major parties. When Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) minimizes the horrors of German death camps, honorable centrists in both parties will denounce her conviction, the same way they will condemn political strategist Steve Bannon when he flirts with the Nazis’ modern-day descendants across the globe.
Our incentive to assist in the efforts to create a common ground on which leaders from both sides can come together is not just so we can help repair a broken political system; it’s to build a political home for ourselves — one where we can feel welcome and truly belong.
Excusing the bad behavior of a fellow partisan is easy to justify when pledging allegiance to a political party comes before allegiance to a flag or the principles of fairness and tolerance the flag represents. When we remember there are good people on the other side of the 50-yard line, too — people who may disagree on how to solve a community’s problems but agree on the need to work together to resolve those problems — it becomes much easier to call out the haters in our own ranks and move forward without them.
Most Jewish voters will never feel at home in a party of extremists — whether that extreme is on the far left or the far right — but the zealots are growing in strength and numbers. The same potion of economic inequality, social media provocation and radical populism drives an impatience with traditional politics and hatred toward “outsiders” like us. Our incentive to assist in the efforts to create a common ground on which leaders from both sides can come together is not just so we can help repair a broken political system; it’s to build a political home for ourselves — one where we can feel welcome and truly belong.
The concept of belonging is one that doesn’t come easy to us. We’re much more accustomed to marginalization and persecution, so we’re naturally suspicious that assimilation can be a slippery slope toward loss of our hard-won identity. Throughout history, the worst oppression the Jewish people have faced originated with the ideological outliers on the far right or the far left, which gradually infected the mainstream.
Building a bulwark against those extremists by strengthening a bipartisan center is both necessary self-protection and smart politics — but it can’t happen until our community decides to stop being manipulated by the two political parties to achieve their goals, and start using them to achieve ours.
22. ISRAELI ELECTION STILL A WILD CARD
The final issue that will determine whether or not Netanyahu forms the next government.
Benjamin Netanyahu became Israel’s longest-serving prime minister on Friday, and he is favored to win the next elections in September. But the outcome is still uncertain.
On Sunday, the President tweeted: “Congratulations to Bibi @Netanyahu on becoming the longest serving PM in the history of Israel. Under your leadership, Israel has become a technology powerhouse and a world class economy….”
He continued: “….Most importantly you have led Israel with a commitment to the values of democracy, freedom, and equal opportunity that both our nations cherish and share!”
Netanyahu quickly thanked Trump for his support, tweeting, “Thank you, President Trump, for your warm words, outstanding support & incredible friendship. I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with you. Under your leadership, we’ve made the alliance between our two remarkable countries stronger than ever. I know there’s more to come.”
The exchange between the two leaders is a testament to the strength of their relationship, perhaps the strongest relationship a U.S. president has ever had with an Israeli leader. The strength of their ties has played a key role in the rapid expansion of the U.S.-Israel alliance during Trump’s tenure.
To get a sense of how intimate the relations have become, consider the reports in the Arab media regarding last Thursday’s mysterious airstrike against an Iranian missile base in Nineveh province in Iraq. According to the Arab media, Israeli bombers carried out the bombing after taking off from a U.S. airbase along the tri-border between Israel, Jordan and Syria.
The allegations themselves show that the Arabs and the Iranians view U.S.-Israel ties to be deeper and far more operational than ever before.
In light of the unprecedented growth of U.S.-Israel ties under Trump and Netanyahu, it makes sense that Trump is frustrated that Netanyahu is now standing for election for the second time in a year.
Trump administration officials have reportedly expressed concerns to their Israeli interlocutors about Netanyahu’s political future and his possible successors in the event he is defeated in the September 17 elections.
To recall, Israel held general elections on April 9. Netanyahu and his Likud Party won a commanding mandate to form a governing coalition. Likud garnered 35 seats in Israel’s 120-member Knesset. Blue and White, the center-left party that competed against Likud, also won 35 seats, with slightly fewer votes. But overall, the center-right and right-wing parties won 55 percent of the vote, to the center-left and left’s 36 percent. The remainder of the vote went to Arab parties that traditionally have refused to join any governing coalition.
Despite the right/center-right’s commanding electoral victory, two obstacles blocked Netanyahu from forming a coalition government and compelled him to call for new elections.
First, Avigdor Liberman, Netanyahu’s former defense minister and the head of the small Israel Beitenu party, refused to join the coalition. Liberman’s party won five seats in April and so gave Netanyahu’s coalition a potential majority of 65 seats out of 120. By refusing to join the coalition, Liberman prevented Netanyahu from forming a governing majority.
The second reason Netanyahu was unable to form a government was the fragmentation of the ideological right wing. Just as elections were being called in December 2018, then-education minister Naftali Bennett and then-justice minister Ayelet Shaked announcedthat they were bolting their party and forming a new, more socially liberal party called the New Right. (Full disclosure: the author ran as a candidate on the New Right list.) Also running was a former Likud lawmaker named Moshe Feiglin, whose Zehut party shared similar positions on social and economic issues the New Right.
That splintered the ideological right. Israel’s electoral law requires parties to win a minimum of 3.25 percent of the overall vote, which translates into four Knesset seats, to cross the electoral threshold. Cumulatively, the New Right and Zehut won 6 percent of the vote, the equivalent of seven Knesset seats. But neither of them crossed the threshold. The right lost seven seats it would otherwise have run, and Netanyahu lost the ability to form a government without Liberman.
Liberman insisted that his refusal to join Netanyahu’s government owed to his opposition to the ultra-Orthodox parties that form the core of the Likud’s natural coalition partners. But neither the general public nor the Israeli commentariat believed his claims. The two men have a thirty-year relationship that has known its ups and downs. Most Israelis believe that Liberman was motivated by hatred of Netanyahu. Once it was clear that the election results gave Liberman the power to block Netanyahu from forming a government, Liberman was in a position to dictate his terms for joining the coalition. Netanyahu and the ultra-Orthodox parties were willing to accept his demands. The fact that Liberman still refused to make a deal demonstrated that his desire to destroy Netanyahu politically outweighed rational political calculations.
The polling data taken since the election in April indicates that there has been no movement along the right-left political spectrum. Fifty-five percent of Israelis still identify with the right and center-right. And Netanyahu remains the leader that the public wishes to see in standing at the helm of the next government.
At the same time, the repeat elections that Liberman was able to instigate due to the fragmentation of the ideological right revolve around one issue: Netanyahu.
On the left, parties are being formed and organized around this issue. Former Israeli premier Ehud Barak reentered the political fray as the head of a new party – the Israel Democratic Party – with the sole agenda of unseating Netanyahu. Blue and White also insists it will not join a coalition government with Netanyahu.
The main dispute that seems to be animating and fragmenting the left in fact is whether any of the parties in the bloc will be willing to join a coalition led by Netanyahu. Labor Party leader Amir Peretz, a former union leader and avowed socialist, forged a coalition with another socialist party last week. Both he and his new partner, Gesher Party leader Orly Levy, have hinted that they will be willing to break ranks and join a Netanyahu-led coalition. If they follow through after the elections, they will neutralize Liberman’s power to make or break the next government.
On the right, three issues will determine whether the 55 percent of Israelis who favor right-wing or center-right parties will see the formation of a center-right government under Netanyahu’s leadership.
The first issue is whether the bloc without Liberman will have the requisite 61 Knesset seats to form a government . Current polling still gives Liberman the kingmaker role. But it is hard to credit polls so early on in the race.
The second question is what will happen on the ideological right. A week remains before the parties finalize their lists and submit them to the Central Elections Commission. Currently, negotiations are ongoing between Shaked and Bennett’s New Right party and the Jewish Home party they abandoned. The parties hope to unify and bring in another right-wing splinter party. If these negotiations succeed, the prospect of April’s vote dump repeating itself will diminish significantly. Netanyahu’s prospects of forming a government without Liberman will rise in turn.
The final issue that will determine whether or not Netanyahu forms the next government is whether and how many other politicians on the right will join Liberman in working to overthrow Netanyahu, even at the price of allowing the formation of a leftist government.
Within Likud, senior politicians have told Breitbart News that they will not permit a third election. “If Netanyahu can’t form a government this time around, he will be unseated,” one senior party official said. Several others agree.
They have also said clearly that they will prefer to form a government with Blue and White without Netanyahu than to hold a third election.
In short, while the Israeli public shares the Trump administration’s view that Netanyahu is the best man to lead Israel today, a handful of Israeli politicians in key positions would be willing if not happy to see him go.
The clarity ofhis expected mandate will determine whether these politicians – motivated by ambition and envy — succeed or fail.
23. IS THERE ANY HOPE FOR WESTERN EUROPE?
An interview with Bruce Bawer, author of ‘While Europe Slept.’
Bruce Bawer’s new book, Islam: The Essays
Years ago as I was awakening from my long Democrat slumber and educating myself about Islam, one of the most eye-opening books that I read was a 2006 page-turner titled While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West From Within, by a gay American living in Western Europe. Not only was it enlightening, but it made me an instant fan of Bawer’s compelling storytelling. In addition to following his subsequent books such as Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom, The Victims’ Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind, and even a thriller about Islamic terrorism called The Alhambra, I was fortunate and honored to become friends with Bruce through our mutual work for the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Now Bawer has released a new volume with a stark black cover titled Islam: The Essays, a massive collection of well over three hundred of his articles on this crucial subject dating from the fall of 2002 through the summer of 2018. Though he suggests that the reader undertake the book chronologically in order to understand the evolution of his understanding of the topic (“Early on, for instance, I refer to ‘fundamentalist Islam’; soon enough, I drop the word ‘fundamentalist,’ having realized that Islam itself, properly understood, is fundamentalist.”), Bawer is such an engaging, perceptive writer that one can open the book at random to literally any page and find it impossible to stop reading. A chilling chronicle of the Islamization of multicultural Europe over the last 17 years, Islam: The Essays is a must-have for FrontPage Mag readers and for others in need, like I once was, of awareness and insight into the Religion of Peace™.
Bruce Bawer was able to find time to answer a few of my questions about the book and about the Islamization of Europe today.
Mark Tapson: Bruce, you note in your opening essay that it wasn’t until you moved from your native New York to Western Europe in ’98 that what you then called “fundamentalist” Islam became a daily reality for you. How was that daily reality different, and how long did it take you to fully grasp what the Islamization around you meant for Europe and the West? Was there any particular incident that showed you the writing on the wall?
Bruce Bawer: I moved from New York to Amsterdam in September 1998. First I rented a one-room flat in a beautiful part of central Amsterdam, not far from the Rijksmuseum. I spent much of my time wandering around the city and glorying in it, and saw nothing that dampened my enthusiasm. A day or two after New Year’s 1999 I traded up to a charming walk-up in a classic old townhouse on the Oude Schans canal a few blocks east of Dam Square. The view through the high windows was spectacular; again, everything seemed hunky-dory.
I’d been in that flat only a couple of weeks, however, when the landlord, claiming that the guy who had sublet it to me had no legal right to do so, sued both of us, forcing me to relocate pronto to less felicitous quarters in a neighborhood called the Oud West, just west of downtown. From my first day there, every time I looked out the window I’d see one or more women in hijab, each pushing a stroller or baby carriage, and each accompanied by one or more small children. A few doors down from my new place was a storefront establishment with a sign over it reading “neighborhood association” and with a Turkish flag flying over the door. When I walked up and looked inside – I wrote about this in While Europe Slept (2006) – a bunch of nasty-looking non-Dutch faces glared back at me.
Obviously there was something major happening on the outskirts of Amsterdam – something that wasn’t reflected in the newspapers I read and the news programs I watched on Dutch TV. And if this was happening in Amsterdam, I surmised, it was probably happening in other major European cities. Eager to find out more, I hightailed it to the library, where I found a book by some English guy outlining – and celebrating – the recent rise of Islam in Europe, his argument being that Europe, having grown too secular, needed a spiritual component. I already knew enough about Islam – although within the next few weeks and months I learned a lot more – to realize that introducing Islam to Europe on a mass scale would not enhance the native’s spiritual lives but would present them with a host of challenges, some of them potentially insuperable.
MT: You write often about the scourge of multiculturalism and how it aids and abets Islam while inculcating Westerners with a loathing of their own culture. What is the antidote to multiculturalism? What will it take to reverse this indoctrination?
BB: I’ll get back to you on that one after I finish curing cancer. Seriously, it’s tough. What to do when kids across the Western world are being indoctrinated with multiculturalism from the moment they first enter a classroom? Multiculturalism has captured the schools and universities and mainstream media. Kids are fed a Howard Zinn version of history that, if you were brainwashed with it and never exposed to any other version, would make you hate your country, too. I do see a glimmer of hope in the fact that multiculturalists have gone so far that more and more young people are starting to see through it. I would like to think that writers like you and me can sway a lot of uncertain young minds, but the people who are succeeding at that task on a big scale are people closer to their own generation who give talks at campuses (if allowed) and post videos online (if not deplatformed) that debunk the multicultural narrative. For a lot of young people, moreover, personal exposure to the ugly realities of Islam, which are so utterly at odds with the propaganda they’ve been fed, can help them snap out of their multicultural reveries.
MT: You mention that this collection of essays “reflects certain lamentable developments in the mainstream media” – meaning, of course, its reflexive defense of Islam. Do you see any hopeful sign that either the American or European mainstream media are waking up to the Islam Problem, or are they even more stubbornly entrenched than ever in their denial?
BB: The latter. The New York Times gets worse and worse. Even Fox News punished Jeanine Pirro recently for daring to suggest that Ilhan Omar, hijab and all, might actually be a devout follower of her own religion’s dictates. Part of the problem is that the old-fashioned type of journalist, the street-smart working-class guy who had a healthy suspicion of all elites and a well-developed BS detector and used to be played in movies by guys like Spencer Tracy, has long since died off and been replaced by privileged kids from fancy colleges and journalism schools who have been marinated for years in identity-group ideology and who are often clueless about the real world. In the last couple of years websites that were receptive to articles critical of Islam have seemed to back off from the topic. Why? Cowed by advertisers? Afraid to offend the GOP establishment? Who knows?
MT: Through their immigration policies and willful blindness about Islam, the political and media elites have betrayed the citizens of Europe. Do you think the recent rise of European populism can stem the tide of the continent’s Islamization, or is it “too little, too late”?
BB: The so-called “populists” are winning big scare headlines in the leftist mainstream media, but not enough votes to make a difference. In this year’s European elections, Germans, apparently having forgotten the mass rapes on New Year’s Eve 2015-16, went for the Greens. In France, the weekly street protests bv gilets jaunes seem barely connected to concerns about rapid Islamization. Belgium? Forget it. Sweden? Lost. In Denmark’s 2019 elections, support for the Islam-critical Danish People’s Party dropped like a rock. In the UK, the success of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party was a step forward, but if Brits want to save their country they’ll need to overcome Farage’s silence on Islam. In the Netherlands, Thierry Baudet’s Islam-critical party, founded three years ago, is doing OK, but largely because it’s taking voters from Geert Wilders. And in Norway the once-promising Progress Party, now in government for six years, has long since gone mainstream, leaving critics of Islam without a real home.
The brightest glimmer of hope in Western Europe is in Italy, where Matteo Salvini’s victory last year, like Trump’s in 2016, encouraged serious people across the continent who want their own countries to take such steps. Many also look with admiration to the governments in Hungary, Poland, and other Eastern European countries that have withstood EU demands that they take in Muslim migrants. But is there any real hope for Western Europe? I have to admit to being baffled and frustrated by the continued refusal of these countries’ voters to stand up for their children’s futures, but I have to add that other informed observers are more optimistic than I am.
24. DEUTSCHLAND ÜBER ALLES
The Fourth Reich picks a new Führer.
No sane person could have witnessed the coronation this week of the new grand poobah of the European Union without recognizing just how utterly undemocratic – and dangerous – this institution is.
Her name is Ursula von der Leyen, a name that instantly communicates two important facts: (1) she is German; (2) she is a member of a hereditary elite.
To be sure, the “von” is courtesy of her husband, who belongs to an aristocratic family. But her own blood also runs blue. In addition to having a tony Teutonic lineage – she was born into the patrician Albrecht clan – she’s descended from a couple of the biggest slave traders in the American South. Her grandfather, Carl Albrecht, was a psychologist famous for his studies of “mystical consciousness.” Her father, Ernst Albrecht, was one of the very first bureaucrats to tread the corridors of power in what would later become the European Union
Raised in Belgium, von der Leyen studied in Germany and Britain, and lived for a while in the U.S., along the way picking up degrees in economics and public health and also becoming a gynecologist. But she eventually settled on politics, hitching her wagon to Angela Merkel and climbing the ladder of power in Germany, getting herself elected to the Bundestag and serving in turn as Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth; Minister of Labor and Social Affairs; and Minister of Defense. In the last-named position, she didn’t exactly cover herself in glory: as President Trump has pointed out, Germany has consistently failed to pull its weight in NATO; British journalist Andrew Neil recently referred to her as a “failed” Defense Minister and as “the second most unpopular politician in Germany.”
None of which should come as a surprise, because the top Brussels jobs are routinely the next stop for failed, unpopular European politicians. You don’t need to be competent to get tagged for a leadership position in the EU, and you definitely don’t need to be popular. Von der Leyen got picked to be the most powerful official in the EU – with a population upwards of 500 million – by the twenty-eight members of the Council of Europe. On Tuesday, the European Parliament got to weigh in on her appointment and to vote to ratify her selection, but it was hardly an exercise in democracy: as in the Soviet Union and other Communist states, it was an “election” with one candidate.
And von der Leyen won. It was a close vote, but she still won. Consequently, as the EU continues its long metamorphosis from a coal and steel community into a hyperstate, the closest thing it has to a president is a woman who has said that she looks forward to a United States of Europe and is eager to build an EU military. Perhaps one reason for her disastrous tenure in the German Defense Ministry (as Andrew Neil put it: “Sixty percent of their planes can’t fly. A hundred percent of their submarines can’t take to the sea”) was that she wasn’t really all that interested in upgrading her own country’s armed forces and keeping NATO strong – her real goal is to establish the EU as a major military power, effectively replacing NATO.
Before the EU Parliament voted on her candidacy, von der Leyen was given a chance to address its members. Her speech was a cavalcade of clichés about “turn[ing] challenges into opportunities” and “tak[ing] bold steps together,” not to mention developing “frameworks,” creating “mechanisms,” and introducing new “schemes.” Banal stuff. But the actual content was frankly scary, even for those of us who are already onto these people’s dark intentions. Speaking in the chamber of the EU Parliament, von der Leyen sounded for all the world like a dictator, calling for her subjects to march in unison, to “move together” in “solidarity,” because “we all share the same destination.” She made it clear that there is something called “the European way,” and she knows what it is – it is now her job to define what it is – and everybody had better get on board pronto and move in lockstep into the golden future time. She promised a new “European climate law,” a new EU unemployment-insurance arrangement, and a variety of other new laws and regulations. She vowed to order member states to provide equal numbers of male and female EU commissioners – and she vowed that if they failed to comply, she would reject their nominees and force them to bend to her will.
“The world,” she pronounced, “is calling for more Europe. The world needs more Europe….Europe should have a stronger and more united voice in the world.” Note that “more united” bit – this is a canny way of saying that the duly elected governments of supposedly sovereign EU nations should henceforth be even more obedient to her than they were to her predecessor, Jean-Claude Juncker. Then there was this: “We must have the courage to take foreign policy decisions by qualified majority and to have the courage to stand behind them.” This is a sheer power grab: what she’s saying here is that she plans to compel member states, whatever the will of their citizens, to subscribe to a single foreign policy to be determined by Brussels.
She even compared the EU to a marriage. Nor was it possible to ignore her fondness for the words “strong” and “strength.” The idea of herself as Führer of a mighty realm stretching from Portugal to Finland, from Ireland to Cyprus, manifestly gets this woman’s juices flowing. After the European Parliament confirmed her as President of the European Commission, she gave an acceptance speech in which she actually told the legislators that “your confidence in me is confidence in Europe.” Translation: L’État, c’est moi. What is it about the spectacle of a power-hungry German envisioning an omnipotent European empire – with herself at the helm – that sounds so unsettling? Who was it, again, who said “Ich bin Deutschland, und Deutschland bin ich”?
As Nigel Farage commented in the European Parliament on Tuesday, von der Leyen is plainly out “to take control of every single aspect of our lives….she wants to build a centralized, undemocratic, updated form of communism.” The second the word “communism” passed his lips, the hall was filled with cries of outrage. But it was scarcely an exaggeration. (Imagine if he had said “Nazism”!) Noting von der Leyen’s enthusiasm for an EU military, Farage pointed out that “what is there for defense can also be used for attack.” Indeed, there can be little doubt that one reason von der Leyen and company are itching to build a European army is that they want to prevent any more Brexits: try to pull your country out of the EU a few years from now and, if she has her way, Brussels will do to you what Moscow did to Hungary in 1956 and to Czechoslovakia in 1968.
Welcome, then, to the new Europe. Just make sure to stay in line and keep your mouth shut – except, of course, when singing the “Ode to Joy.”
İkinci S-400 bataryaları Ankara’ya getirilecek
Milli Savunma Bakanlığı, S-400 birinci grup malzemelerinin sevkiyatının 30 sorti ile bugün tamamlandığını açıkladı. S-400 kurulum çalışmalarının başlandığını ve devam ettiğini aktaran askeri yetkililer, ikinci grup sevkiyatın da Ankara’ya yapılacağını söyledi.
Yetkililer, ABD’de F-35 eğitiminde bulunan yaklaşık 40 pilot ve bakım ekibinin yurda dönüşleri için çalışma başlatıldığı bilgisini verdi. Yetkililer, Fransa’nın teklif ettiği bir adet SAMP-T bataryasının konuşlanacağı bölge ile ilgili, “Güneydoğu Anadolu bölgesinde keşif çalışmaları sürüyor. Güney sınırımızda olacak” dedi. Yeni askerlik sisteminin yürürlüğü girmesinden bu yana 6 aylık hizmet süresini tamamlayan 122 bin asker terhis edildi.
Milli Savunma Bakanlığı’nda bugün sabah düzenlenen basın toplantısında, S-400 Hava savunma sistemi teslimatı, Fırat’ın doğusunda Güvenli Bölge görüşmeleri, Irak’ın kuzeyinde devam eden Pençe Harekatı ve terörle mücadelede yaşanan son gelişmeler değerlendirildi.
Toplantıda ön plana çıkan ana başlıklar şöyle:
Son üç ayda PKK/KCK terör örgütüne karşı yurt içi ve Irak’ın kuzeyinde yürütülen operasyonlarda 24’ü sözde lider kadroda olmak üzere 489 terörist etkisiz hale getirildi.
27 Mayıs’ta başlayan Pençe Harekatı’ndan bugüne Irak’ın kuzeyinde 204 PKK’lı terörist etkisiz hale getirildi. Teröristlerin 71’i ise Pençe Harekatı kapsamında Hakurk bölgesinde öldürüldü. Etkisiz hale getirilen 204 teröristten 177’sinin düzenlenen hava harekatlarında etkisiz hale getirilmesi, hava harekatlarının etkinliğini ortaya koydu.
FETÖ İLE MÜCADELE
15 Temmuz Darbe Girişimi’nden bu yana TSK’da FETÖ ile mücadelede toplam 17 bin 505 personel ihraç edildi, 6 bin 245 personel hakkında adli ve idari süreç devam ediyor.
OHAL’in kalkmasından bugüne kadar Bakan onayı ile 2 bin 423 personel ihraç edildi, 226 emekli personelin rütbeleri geri alındı.
122 BİN ASKER TERHİS OLDU
Yeni askerlik sisteminin yürürlüğü girmesinden bu yana 6 aylık hizmet süresini tamamlayan 122 bin asker terhis edildi.
S-400 birinci grup malzemelerinin sevkiyatı 30 sorti ile bugün tamamlandı. S-400 kurulum çalışmalarının başlandığın ve devam ettiğini aktaran askeri yetkililer, ikinci grup sevkiyatın da Ankara’ya yapılacağını söyledi.
F-35 TARTIŞMASI: PİLOTLARIMIZIN EĞİTİMLERİ DONDURULDU
F-35 projesiliyle ilgili olarak askeri yetkililer, “Türkiye’ye uçakların ve mal/hizmet teslimatının süresiz olarak askıya alındığı ve Türkiye’ye yeni iş payı verilmeyeceği belirtilmiş, Pilotlarımızın ABD’deki eğitimleri dondurulmuştur.
F-35 projesinin önemli bir ortağı olan ve bütün yükümlülüklerini yerine getiren Türkiye’nin tek taraflı ve adil olmayan bir karar ile proje ve iş paylarından çıkarılmaya çalışılmasının meşru bir gerekçeye dayanmadığı açıktır. F-35 programından çıkarılmamız NATO’nun özellikle güney kanadındaki gücünü de olumsuz etkileyecektir. ABD’nin mevcut yaklaşımından vazgeçmesini ve ilişkilerimize zarar verebilecek adımlardan kaçınmasını beklemek stratejik ortak olarak en doğal hakkımızdır” dedi.
Yetkililer, ABD’de F-35 eğitiminde bulunan yaklaşık 40 pilot ve bakım ekibiyle ilgili olarak, “Yurda dönmeleri ile ilgili dönüş çalışmaları başlatıldı” bilgisini verdi.
SAMP-T FÜZELERİ GÜNEYDE KONUŞLANACAK
Yetkililer, Fransa’nın teklif ettiği bir adet SAMP-T bataryasının konuşlanacağı bölge ile ilgili, “Güneydoğu Anadolu bölgesinde keşif çalışmaları sürüyor. Güney sınırımızda olacak” dedi.
Askeri yetkililer, ABD’nin Suriye Özel Temsilcisi James Jeffrey’in Ankara’daki Güvenli Bölge temasları ve MSB’deki ABD-Türkiye askeri heyetlerin görüşmleriyle ilgili olarak da “Çalışmalar önümüzdeki dönemde devam edecek. Öte yandan Fırat’ın doğusuna yönelik operasyon hazırlıkları tamamlanmıştır” dedi.
MENBİÇ YOL HARİTASI
Askeri yetkililer, Menbiç Yol Haritası’nın nihai hedefi olan YPG’nin bölgeden çıkarıldığına, ağır silahların toplandığına ve yerel yönetimin teşkiline yönelik bir tespit yapılamadığını vurguladı. Halen bölgede yaklaşık bin kadar terör örgütü mensubunun bulunduğunu kaydettiler.
26. HEZBOLLAH OPERATIVE KILLED IN SOUTHERN SYRIA WAS PART OF GOLAN FILE
Mashour Zidan was killed Monday in the southern Syrian town of Sasa not far from the Israeli Golan Heights
The Hezbollah operative killed in Syria on Monday was part of the group’s clandestine “Golan File,” which aims to establish and entrench a covert force on the Syrian Golan Heights that is designed to act against Israel when given the order.
Mashour Zidan, a resident of the Druze village of Khadr on the Syrian Golan Heights, was killed after a bomb planted in his car exploded as he was driving near the town of Sasa in southern Syria.
While Syria’s official news agency SANA blamed his death on a bomb, Syrian opposition reports stated that he was killed in an airstrike by an Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle.
Israel, which does not comment on foreign reports, has remained mum on his death. Hezbollah has also remained quiet and has not blamed Israel for the assassination.
According to the Lebanese news site al-Modon, Zidan was believed to have been killed fighting in Syria’s eastern Ghouta after he “mysteriously disappeared four months earlier.” But according to the report, Zidan had been summoned to Lebanon before he returned to Syria with a new identity.
His “mysterious” disappearance came around the time Israel announced that it uncovered Hezbollah’s Golan File network.
According to a report in Haaretz, Zidan was responsible for recruiting volunteers from villages near the border with Israel in order to gather intelligence about IDF movements and hide explosive devices, light weapons, machine guns and anti-tank missiles in their homes.
The Golan File has its headquarters in Damascus and Beirut, and there are dozens of operatives operating in the Syrian towns of Khadr, Quneitra and Erneh who collect intelligence on Israel and military movement on the Israeli Golan Heights.
According to the IDF, the Hezbollah terrorists involved in the clandestine network focus on familiarizing themselves with the Syrian Golan Heights and on gathering intelligence on Israel and the border area. They are also working to establish intelligence-gathering capabilities against Israel, operating from civilian observation posts and regime military positions near the border.
Senior intelligence officers in the IDF’s Northern Command said that Hezbollah’s Golan File began in the summer, following the reconquering of the Syrian Golan by regime troops. Operatives involved in the file have weaponry available from the civil war, and if needed, will receive additional weaponry from Lebanon or existing arsenals kept by Hezbollah and Iran.
The IDF believes that the next war on the northern border will not be limited to one front, but will be fought along the entire northern border with both Lebanon and Syria. The military also expects that during the next war, Hezbollah will try to bring the fight to the home front by infiltrating Israeli communities to inflict significant civilian and military casualties.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in mid-July that the group had decreased the number of its fighters supporting the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria, and had redeployed the troops to southern Lebanon as well as the Syrian Golan Heights.
Two days before Zidan was assassinated, the Daily Beast quoted several Hezbollah commanders saying that the majority of deployment has taken place on the Lebanese side of the border. The group has also bolstered its forces on the Syrian Golan Heights, bordering Israel.
27. CONFRONTATION IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN
Scientists have observed a buildup of tectonic strain under the Turkish Sea of Marmara, which could soon trigger a massive earthquake.
Scientists have observed a buildup of tectonic strain under the Turkish Sea of Marmara, which could soon trigger a massive earthquake. (ΠΑΝΤΑ ΞΕΡΟΥΜΕ ΤΙ ΓΡΑΦΟΥΜΕ)! However, even without the benefit of seismic technology, it is possible to note rumblings in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Cyprus issue is a hardy perennial. For the last 55 years, UNFICYP (the UN’s peacekeeping force in Cyprus) has been deployed to keep the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots apart, but it is a question of how long the Security Council is prepared to continue renewing the force’s mandate.
On the other hand, six UN secretaries-general and countless envoys have spent the last 40 years trying to bring the two communities together again with little result.
The first secretary-general to step up to the plate, Kurt Waldheim, called the Cyprus talks “the most frustrating and thankless task of my term of office,” and the latest, António Guterres, in his October report to the Security Council spoke of “a horizon of endless process without result.”
The carefully crafted Annan Plan was in 2004 accepted by two-thirds of the Turkish Cypriots and rejected by three-quarters of the Greek Cypriots, and two years ago reunification talks in Crans-Montana in Switzerland collapsed. Guterres is at his wits’ end and is casting around for new ideas to break the deadlock.
The discovery of vast resources of hydrocarbons in the Levant Basin in 2010 changed the nature of the issue from the distribution of political rights to the exploitation of natural gas reserves. Cyprus has delimited its EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) and concluded agreements with Egypt, Lebanon and Israel according to the median line principle but Turkey insists the extent of its continental shelf and shoreline overrides this principle.
As Turkey is not a signatory to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), this excludes an application to ITLOS (International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea). As Turkey neither recognizes the Republic of Cyprus nor the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, it has preferred a settlement based on the use of force.
In January, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan underlined in a speech at the Ankara Military Academy: “If you don’t have enough military, political and economic might, you should know that nobody will take you seriously.” This was followed by two massive demonstrations of Turkey’s maritime power in February and May, the Blue Homeland and Sea Wolf drills in the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Since 2014 a Turkish seismic research vessel has conducted surveys inside Cyprus’s EEZ, and in May a Turkish drillship with a naval escort began operations off southwestern Cyprus. Despite protests from the US, the EU, Greece, France and Egypt, a second drillship has been sent to begin operations off the eastern coast. Symbolic EU sanctions have been met by Turkey’s decision to send a fourth ship to the area.
The only demonstration of hard power has come from France, which has agreed with Cyprus to upgrade a naval base to accommodate larger warships such as an aircraft carrier. Erdogan, in turn, has told French President Emmanuel Macron he has nothing to do with Cyprus and has no right to speak on the Cyprus issue. But France does through the partnership of French firm Total and Italian company Eni exploring in two blocks of Cyprus’s EEZ. As do the US (Noble Energy and ExxonMobil) Qatar, (Qatar Petroleum), South Korea (Kogas), the UK and the Netherlands (Shell) and Israel (Delek Group), all exploring in the area.
Egypt, because of the discovery of large reserves of natural gas in its Zohr Field, has become a major player, and in January, together with Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan and the Palestinians, formed the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum in Cairo. Turkey was excluded.
Later this month the Gas Forum will be held in Cairo with delegations from Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, the Palestinian Authority and Italy. Four days later there will be an Eastern Mediterranean energy summit in Athens with the participation not only of Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt but also of the US.
In March US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took part in the sixth trilateral summit of the alliance between Cyprus, Greece and Israel, and in a joint declaration the leaders agreed to support energy independence and security and to “defend against external malignant influences” in the Eastern Mediterranean and the broader Middle East.
Now Turkey has been excluded from the F-35 program, and the Senate’s bipartisan Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act, which defines Greece as a valuable member of NATO, Israel a steadfast ally and Cyprus a key strategic partner, chalks out a new strategic alliance.
This has been confirmed by Erdogan, who in a presentation of the S-400 system stated that despite the political and military pacts Turkey has established with the West, it is from there the greatest threats come – politically, economically and culturally. Greece and Greek Cyprus have been hanging like a Sword of Damocles over their heads.
The writer is a commentator on Turkish affairs in the Danish and international press.
TURKISH PAPER PUBLISHES LETTER CLAIMING ‘JEWS TRAINING DOGS TO ATTACK MUSLIMS’
‘Yeni Akit’ has a reputation for antisemitic rhetoric and hate speech and for reportedly sympathizing with Islamic extremism.
A popular Turkish newspaper has allowed a blatantly antisemitic reader’s letter to be published on its website.
In the letter to the daily pro-government Yeni Akit, the writer claimed that “Jews are training [stray] dogs [in the Turkish streets] to attack Muslims” and also makes reference to the antisemitic blood libel claims in which Jews would murder Christian children and drink their blood.
The reader claimed that there was a problem with street dogs in a district of northern Istanbul, that Jews living in the area were teaching them to attack Muslims, that “about 100 Muslims have been bitten so far,” and that this was “deliberate.”.
The paper has a reputation for being sympathetic to Islamic fundamentalism, for hate speech and also reportedly has close ties to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and is a staunch supporter of his ruling party.
Following the publication of the letter, several readers commented and criticized Yeni Akit for publishing such a thing.
“This is shameful, it’s outright racism,” one person wrote in the comments section, while another questioned, “[why] our country is encouraging racism?”
A third wrote that it’s not possible for a dog to be able to distinguish between Muslims, Jews and Christians, adding that it’s not possible to train them to do so either.
According to independent Turkish news site Ahval, a leader in the ruling party AKP Mustafa Yeneroğlu also shared his disgust for the piece.
He said that this was “the language of Nazis”, and warned that Muslims too faced similar allegations.
“It’s truly devastating to see Jews and Christians from time to time subjected to the same thing Muslims in Europe continually face. Muslims aren’t racist. Muslims don’t deal in hate or produce false news,” Yeneroğlu said in a tweet.
This is not the first time the paper has shared antisemitic sentiments.
In 2014, Yeni Akit shared a spate of antisemitic articles in which it made attempts to blame the Jews for the country’s recent Soma coal mine disaster in which 300 were killed.
The newspaper also criticized the mine’s owner for having a Jewish son-in-law and “Zionist-dominated media” for twisting the facts.
In September 2014, Yeni Akit columnist Faruk Cose charged that Turkish Jews “should be taxed” to pay for reconstructing buildings damaged in Gaza during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, while in December 2014, the newspaper used a picture of Adolf Hitler as the centerpiece for its daily word game, and the phrase “We long for you,” meaning Hitler, as the answer to the puzzle.
According to a 2017 report by the Hrant Dink Foundation, Jews, Syrians, Greeks and Armenians have been found to be the main targets of hate speech in Turkish media.
The report also found that Yeni Akit was one of three well-known newspapers in the country that used “the most discriminating language [against] different ethnic and religious groups.”
It doesn’t just attack Jews, with derogatory articles and columns also being written about the LBGTQ community, politicians, journalists and other ethnicities. It is also known for censoring women.
The paper has a large following on social media with almost 200,000 followers on Twitter.
RUSSIA AND TURKEY ARE BECOMING ALLIES, OVERSHADOWING ISRAEL – ANALYSIS
As Turkey and Russia grow closer they inevitably also grow closer in their work on ending the Syrian conflict and also on other regional and international issues.
An emerging Russia-Turkey alliance in defense and energy will have long-term effects on the Middle East and Israel. This comes in the wake of Turkey acquiring Russia’s S-400 air defense system and the development of the Turk-Stream pipeline, which stretches across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey.
As Turkey and Russia grow closer, they inevitably also grow closer in their efforts to end the Syrian conflict, as well as other regional and international issues. This has led Turkey away from its traditional alliance with the US, and focused on a new alliance structure with Russia and other allies, for instance a Turkey-Qatar and Russia-Iran alliance, in which they share certain interests. In the long term, a closer block of Russia-Syria-Iran-Turkey-Qatar may emerge, alongside other powerful states such as China, India, and central Asian actors, some of which seek to challenge the US.
This has long-term implications for Israel because Israel is a close US ally that opposes the rising power of Iran in the Middle East. Israel enjoyed close relations with Turkey up until the mid-2000s, when things soured under Turkey’s current administration. Russia and Israel enjoy good relations today, but what happens if their interests begin to not coincide in places like Syria, where tensions already exist?
Some recent headlines represent the growing alliance. The National Interest says that Turkey stockpiled F-16 partsprior to acquiring the S-400, knowing US relations would suffer. Russia has recently restored some visa-free travel from Turkey. Russia and Turkey are discussing joint production of civilian aircraft and helicopters. Tass News says that they may also begin joint exploration for energy in the Mediterranean. (Τί σας γράφαμε 2,3 άρθρα “πίσω”);
Taken together, it is clear that a defense and energy alliance is growing. Israel has its own energy interests in the Mediterranean and its own defense relationships. The long-term effect of the Russia-Turkey alliance is in its infancy, but joint defense work and energy exploration should be taken more seriously by neighbors in the Middle East.