Blasphemy Convictions Intensify in Sisi’s Egypt by Raymond Ibrahim

  • “There have been more blasphemy cases and convictions during the Sisi era than during the Morsi era.” — Ibrahim Eissa, Muslim television host in Egypt.

  • Their crime was to have made a 20-second video on a mobile phone mocking the Islamic State — an act interpreted as mocking Islam. In the video, the boys appear laughing and joking, as they pretend to be ISIS members praying and slitting throats. “The judge didn’t show any mercy. He handed down the maximum punishment [five years].”
  • Egypt is becoming more like Pakistan. Although that nation also prohibits the defamation of all religions, only Christians and moderate Muslims are targeted and imprisoned; some, such as Asia Bibi, a 50-year-old Christian woman and mother of five, are on death row. Conversely, Muslims who openly defame Christianity — and they are many — are regularly let off.

Despite Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s many pluralistic words and gestures, which have won him much praise from the nation’s Christians and moderates, he appeases the Islamist agenda in one very clear way: by allowing the controversial defamation of religions law, colloquially known as the “blasphemy law,” to target Christians and moderates in ways arguably worse than under the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi.

Last month three Christian teenagers were jailed for five years for breaking the defamation of religions law. A fourth defendant, 15, was given juvenile detention for an indefinite period. [1] Earlier, they were detained for 45 days and subjected to “ill-treatment,” according to a human rights group.

Their crime was to have made a 20-second video on a mobile phone mocking the Islamic State — an act interpreted as mocking Islam. In the video, the boys appear laughing and joking, as they pretend to be ISIS members praying and slitting throats. The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, an independent rights group, confirmed that the four teenagers were performing scenes “imitating slaughter carried out by terrorist groups.” Even so, according to their defense lawyer, Maher Naguib, the Christian youths “have been sentenced for contempt of Islam and inciting sectarian strife…. The judge didn’t show any mercy. He handed down the maximum punishment.”

Considering that even Egypt’s Al Azhar — the Islamic world’s most prestigious university — refuses to denounce the Islamic State as being un-Islamic, it is not surprising that mockery of ISIS is being conflated with mockery of Islam.

The Christian youths made the brief video in January 2015, when three of them were aged 17 and one 15. It is believed that the court kept delaying their case until the three 17-year-olds turned 18, so they could receive the full penalty as adults. Their teacher, who also appeared in the video, had earlier been sentenced to three years in jail.

Despite Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s many pluralistic words and gestures, he appeases the Islamist agenda by allowing the “blasphemy law” to target Christians and moderates. Pictured above: Sisi became the first Egyptian president ever to visit the St. Mark Cathedral during Coptic Christmas Eve Mass, on January 6, 2015. (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)

Several other Christians have been prosecuted under Sisi’s tenure for insulting Islam and Muslims. One young Christian man was sentenced to six years for “liking” an Arabic-language Facebook page administered by Muslim converts to Christianity. A female Christian teacher was imprisoned for six months after Muslim parents accused her of insulting Islam and evangelizing. Bishoy Armia Boulous, a Muslim convert to Christianity, remains behind bars on trumped up charges of blasphemy, according to his lawyer.

While Christian minorities are the most prone to being targeted by the blasphemy law, secular Muslim thinkers and writers are also on the hit list. In January, Muslim writer Fatima Naoot was sentenced to three years in prison after she criticized the sadistic slaughter of animals that takes place during the Islamic festival, Eid al-Adha. The month before that, television host Islam al-Behairy was sentenced to one year in prison for questioning the validity of some of the sayings (hadiths) attributed to Muslim prophet Muhammad.

Although Egypt’s constitution outlaws the “defamation of religions,” the plural indicates that, along with Islam, Judaism and Christianity are protected. In reality, however, the law is almost exclusively used to prosecute Christian minorities and secular Muslims. Despite the fact that there are many more Muslims than Christians in Egypt, rarely are Islamists arrested and prosecuted for defaming Christianity.

In this, Egypt is becoming more like Pakistan. Although that nation also prohibits the defamation of religions — which technically includes Christianity — only Christians and moderate Muslims are targeted and imprisoned; some, such as Asia Bibi, a 50-year-old Christian woman and mother of five, are on death row. Conversely, Muslims who openly defame Christianity — and they are many — are regularly let off one way or the other. A few weeks ago, a Muslim broke into a church and proceeded to burn its Bibles. Although several Christians caught him and handed him over to police, the perpetrator claimed he was mentally unstable and could not stand trial. In another case, a Muslim shopkeeper started selling shoes that depict the Christian cross on their soles. Christians demonstrated but police did nothing.

On January 26, soon after the sentencing of the writer Fatima Naoot, another moderate Muslim and television host in Egypt, Ibrahim Eissa, scathingly criticized the Sisi government, including by saying that “there have been more blasphemy cases and convictions during the Sisi era than during the Morsi era.” He continued:

There is no greater contradiction between what the state says and claims about itself and the reality on the ground… The Egyptian state is schizophrenic because it says what it does not do…. It’s amazing and baffling to see a state who’s president regularly preaches about the need for religious discourse and renewal — and yet, during Sisi’s 18-19 month tenure, the nation has witnessed more reports, cases and convictions, and the imprisonment of writers, in the name of defamation religions than during the one year tenure of the Muslim Brotherhood president…. The [Sisi] revolution dropped the Brotherhood but kept the ideology unchanged.

Raymond Ibrahim is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (a Gatestone Institute and Regnery publication, April 2013).

Blame Terror on Everyone but Terrorists! by Burak Bekdil

  • Muslims had the habit of slaughtering “infidel” Muslims for centuries when there was not a country called Syria or any “Islamophobia.”

  • The main lack of logic seems to be that innocent people are attacked repeatedly by Muslims, so they become suspicious of Muslims; this suspicion is then called Islamophobia — but it does not come out of thin air.
  • President Erdogan is explicitly saying that even non-terrorist Muslims have the potential to become terrorists if they happen to feel offended. So easily?
  • Pro-Sunni supremacists, such as the Turkish president and his top cleric, do not understand that cartoons do not kill people. But some of their friends do kill people.

There is hardly anything surprising in the way Turkey’s Islamist leaders and their officials in the clergy diagnose jihadist terror: Blame it on everyone except the terrorists. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the inventor of the theory that “there is no Islamic terror,” recently warned that “rising racism and enmity against Islam in Europe[an] and other countries” will cause great tragedies — like the Paris attacks.

Put in another way, Erdogan is telling the free world that Muslims will kill even more people “à la Paris” if they face Islamophobia in the non-Muslim countries they have chosen to attack. This reasoning, in simple order of logic, means that Muslims will not kill innocent civilians in terror attacks if they do NOT face Islamophobia. That is not a convincing argument. Erdogan did not tell anyone whether the jihadists killed more than 100 people in Ankara last October because Muslims face Islamophobia in Turkey.

In Mr. Erdogan’s thinking, there is one — and only one — culprit behind how jihadists cruelly visited Ankara, the Sinai skies, Beirut, Paris and San Bernardino in about the span of a month last year: Erdogan’s worst regional nemesis, Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

Erdogan willingly ignores that jihadist terror, targeting “infidels,” existed long before Assad came to power, and it will exist with or without Assad ruling Syria. Forget non-Muslim “infidels,” in fact. Muslims had the habit of slaughtering “infidel” Muslims for centuries when there was not a country called Syria or any “Islamophobia.” It is simply too manipulative to claim that the Shiite and Sunnis will stop bombing each other’s mosques because Syria is not ruled by Assad, but instead by a Muslim Brother of Erdogan.

The president’s other diagnosis (and prescription) to fight terror is that “Islam and Muslims should not be insulted because of what the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant does.” He is right that 1.5 billion or so Muslims cannot be held accountable for whatever evil a few thousand jihadists do. But he is wrong that euphemizing [Sunni] Islam in the free world will stop the terrorism committed by those few thousand radicals. In fact, by threatening the free world that there may be more terror attacks if non-terrorist Muslims feel offended, President Erdogan is explicitly saying that even non-terrorist Muslims have the potential to become terrorists if they happen to feel offended. So easily? And, if yes, why? How come other offended people do not become terrorists?

More recently, Turkey’s top Muslim cleric, Professor Mehmet Gormez joined in the childish propaganda that puts the blame for terror on people and things other than the terrorists. “Today,” Professor Gormez said, “the damage caused [by] the [Islamic State] networks, distant from any belief, reason and wisdom, who engrave the name [of God] on their so-called flags is no less than the [damage caused by] cartoons [of the Prophet Mohammed] — intolerable by any means — by the pioneers of Islamophobia.”

In this thinking, the men of Islamic State, who have the habit of beheading people and cheerfully releasing their videos, of raping “slave” women and of mass-killings in Muslims lands, do the same damage as people who just draw cartoons. And, in this thinking, cartoonists are as evil as the jihadists who killed them in the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris a year ago, or as evil as the other jihadists who killed over 130 people in the French capital in just one evening.

In the thinking of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) and top Muslim cleric, Professor Mehmet Gormez (center), the men of Islamic State, who have the habit of beheading people, raping “slave” women and mass-killings in Muslims lands, do the same damage as people who just draw cartoons, such as Stéphane Charbonnier (right), the murdered editor of Charlie Hebdo.

Pro-Sunni supremacists, such as the Turkish president and his top cleric, do not understand that cartoons do not kill people. But some of their friends do kill people. Just as Erdogan’s presidential jet left Riyadh, the Saudi capital, after a lucrative state visit, the Saudis decided to execute 47 Shiite men on charges of “terrorism,” adding more fuel to the sectarian war in the Middle East.

Erdogan is wrong. And so is his chief cleric. Muslim terrorists of this or that sect tend to kill each other in Muslim countries, not in non-Muslim lands. The main lack of logic seems to be that innocent people are attacked repeatedly by Muslims, so they become suspicious of Muslims; this suspicion is then called Islamophobia — but it does not come out of thin air. It is the same Muslim terrorists of this or that sect who bomb each other’s mosques in Muslim countries, not in non-Muslim lands. It is not the “Islamophobes” who kill Muslims and others.

At the 59th General Assembly of the United Nations in 2005, Spain’s President Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero proposed an initiative that went down in the world-politics wastebasket: “The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.” The initiative would galvanize international efforts against extremism, would forge international, intercultural and interreligious dialogue and all other niceties. It would defuse tensions between the Western and Islamic worlds.

This author has lost count of the death toll from Islamist extremism since then. Any idea who was the co-sponsor of the UN initiative? A clue: It was the Turkish “sultan,” who thinks that there is no such a thing as Islamic terror and argues that Islamophobia is to blame for any terror — not Islamic extremism, of course.

Burak Bekdil, based in Ankara, is a Turkish columnist for the Hürriyet Daily and a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Birangiye leta ya FPR,yemeye imishyikirano na FDLR.

Amakuru aturuka mu nego za perezida Paul Kagame mu rwego rw’ubutasi,zikonara nawe kuburyo bwa hafi,dore yuko har’inzego z’ubutasi zizwi,zinafite amazina ,hakaba nizindi zidafite amazina cyane za kagame kugiti cye zidafite aho zihuriye n’izitwa izego z’igihugu.


Aya makuru yizewe kandi afite gihamya,avuga yuko haba har’ibihugu by’ibihangage bimaze kumisha leta y’Urwanda yuko Paul kagame akwiye kumvikana cyangwa gushyikirana n’umutwe wa fdlr umaze imyaka irenga 20 urwana na leta y’Urwanda.

 

Kagame akaba yari yarigize indakoreka kubijyanye n’imishyikirano hagati ye,na fdlr,ibi rero bikaba bimaze kurambirana,none akaba yasabwe kwemera nta mananiza akumvikana nabo atavuga rumwe nabo,ibyo bikaba biturutse kukifuzo cya perezida wa Tanzania yagejeje kubihugu bibaha imfanyo.

 

Twabibutsa ko,umwaka ushize ariho perezida w’America yasuye igihugu cya Tanzania agasiga atanze amabwiriza yuko Tanznia ikwiye gufasha kurangiza intambara imaze igihe kinini mukarere,ibyo bikaba bitarashimishije nyakubahwa Paul Kagame warumaze igihe yarigaruriye akarere kose.

 

None ubu politiki ya munyangire ikaba imaze kumenyekana cyane kubamushyigikiraga,akaba arimpamvu yategetswe kuba yakumvikana vuba na bwangu nabo atavuga rumwe nabo cyane umutwe wa fdlr,abatujejeho aya makuru baratangazaa yuko,ngo kagame ng’ubu yananiwe gucira cyangwa kumira,ario ngo munama yamuhuje na Gen.Nyamvumba,Gen.Kabarebe,Gen.Nziza,Gen.Karenzi Karake,ngo bemeje yuko bagiye kwemera iyo mishyikirano ariko birinda gufata icyemezo batarabaza umusaza mukuru Tito Rutaremara nabandi bagize agatsiko k’ubwicanyi ka FPR.

 

Amakuru akomeza avuga yuko ngo nyuma yiyo nama bahise bahamagaza abasivile bibnikomerezwa birimo Ministiri Musoni James na Tito nabandi ngo bemeza yuko bagiye kwemera imishyikirano,ariko bakazahita batanga ruswa y’incamugongo kubayoboi ba fdlr kuburyo bazahita bitandukanya nuwo mutwe nyuma kuba bazaba bamaze kwinjira mu gihugu.

Ndetse bikanavugwa yuko ngo bazahita batangiza intambara kugirango abo bahutu bashaka kugaragaza imbaraga muruhando rw’amahanga zizahite ziburizwamo.Undi yagize ati,ahubwo izaba ibaye inzira nziza yokuburizamo imbaraga za Twagiramungu amaze igihe arata ko akorana na fdlr hamwe nabasangira ngendo ba PS Imberakuri.

 

Ibyo birigutegurwa cyane ko,gahunda y’amatora azaba muri 2017,yegereje,bakaba bashaka gukora vuba nk’uko umwakagara yabisabye yuko bagomba gukora ibishoboka byose ntibasangire ubutegetsi n’interahamwe zasize zimennye amaraso wagirango zamurushije kumena menshi.

 

Ubwo rero urabewumva birenge niwowe ubwirwa,fdlr abanyarwanda babateze amaso,muhora muvuga yuko muaharanira uburenganzira bwana ba banyarwanda,reka turebe rero igihe cy’ukuri n’ikinyoma kigiye gushyirwa ahagaragara,usibye yuko,ari nako ubuhanuzi buvuga yuko fdlr izagirana imishyikirano na leta,ariko bakazaba ibisambo bakazarya intoryi bityo bikazavamo ubuhemu hagati yabasanbgira ngendo.

Biafra: Where is the International Community? by Judith Bergman

  • A new generation of Biafrans is now peacefully advocating for an independent Biafra. Muhammadu Buhari, the Muslim president of Nigeria, is fighting the nascent independence movement with military force.

  • “I saw one boy trying to answer a question. He immediately raised his hands, but the soldiers opened fire …” — Witness to the shootings, to Amnesty International.
  • As for IPOB’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu, director of London-based Radio Biafra, he was arrested in October 2015 and has been held since, illegally, despite meeting bail conditions.
  • It is noteworthy that a peaceful situation, such as that of the pro-Biafra movement, apparently requires a “military option”, whereas a lethal terrorist group, such as the Muslim Fulani herdsmen, who murder innocent civilians, does not. This tactic furthermore brings into question whether Buhari’s efforts at curbing Boko Haram in the country are genuine or merely a play he puts on half-heartedly for the benefit of the international community.

On paper, the plight of Biafrans — whose state in what is today southeastern Nigeria, lasted for only three years, 1967-70, before the Nigerian authorities ended it with a genocide against them — should, for the international community, be an open-and-shut case.

Journalists, human rights activists, social justice warriors on campuses throughout the West, and organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union, all ostensibly claim to care deeply about human rights, especially for people whom the Europeans once colonized.

Biafra constitutes a textbook example of British colonization. The country’s brief existence was cut short by the Nigerian government’s genocide, which crushed all hopes for independence and self-determination. Biafrans, today, are denied their fundamental rights of assembly and free expression — rights that are guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution. The Nigerian government continues murderously to oppress them and their movement for sovereign freedom.

The international community, headed by the UN, which preaches the gospel of human rights and self-determination, persistently ignores their national aspirations.

The territories that constitute present-day Nigeria came under colonial occupation as British protectorates around 1903. Nigeria is essentially an artificial construct, created as a colony by Great Britain in 1914, when it merged the protectorates. The country is made up of a number of different indigenous African peoples, among them the Biafrans, who are ethnically predominantly Igbo.

After Nigeria’s independence from Great Britain in 1960, Biafra seceded from Nigeria, and in 1967 declared its own state. The Nigerian government refused to accept the secession and responded by launching a war on Biafra. The assault included a blockade of the nascent state, and resulted in the murder of more than two million Biafrans, many of whom were children who starved to death because of the blockade.

The Biafrans, watching the dissolution of their young state, surrendered to Nigeria in January 1970. They realized, perhaps, that the world’s abandonment of them did not warrant any future for their cause.

Unlike others at that time, such as the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Biafrans did not engage in hijacking and bombing airplanes, taking hostages and other forms of terrorist attacks against innocent civilians to further their cause. The international community responds obediently to terrorism. Whereas the PLO has now become the Palestinian Authority (PA) and is among the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid, with a plethora of “human rights activists” championing its cause (as well as a UN body, UNRWA, exclusively for Palestinians), it would be hard to find a diplomat at the UN who even knows how to pronounce “Biafra”.

The question inevitably comes to mind, why the ostensibly anti-racist, pro-self-determination international community of opinion makers and human rights advocates has neither the political goodwill, nor the treasure to spare for the Biafrans.

Although the genocide effectively ended Biafran independence, a new generation of Biafrans is now peacefully pressing for an independent Biafra again. In an example of extreme hypocrisy, Muhammadu Buhari, the Muslim president of Nigeria, has declared himself fully committed to a Palestinian state, while his military fights the Biafran movement for self-determination with brutal force.

On May 30, Biafrans commemorated Biafra Heroes Remembrance Day. According to Amnesty International, the only major human rights organization that has interested itself in Biafra,

“An on-the-ground investigation… has confirmed that the Nigerian army gunned down unarmed people ahead of last month’s planned pro-Biafran commemoration events in Onitsha, Anambra state.

“Evidence gathered from eyewitnesses, morgues and hospitals confirms that between 29-30 May 2016, the Nigerian military opened fire on members of the Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB), supporters and bystanders at three locations in the town.”

“Opening fire on peaceful IPOB supporters and bystanders who clearly posed no threat to anyone is an outrageous use of unnecessary and excessive force and resulted in multiple deaths and injuries. In one incident, one person was shot dead after the authorities burst in on them while they slept,” said M.K. Ibrahim, Country Director of Amnesty International Nigeria. He continued, “This is not the first time that IPOB supporters have died at the hands of the military. It is becoming a worrying pattern and this incident and others must be immediately investigated”.

Also, according to Amnesty, some of the dead and injured IPOB supporters were shot in the back, an indication that they were fleeing the scene when they were shot. In addition, soldiers stormed St. Edmunds Catholic church, where hundreds of people, who had come from other parts to participate in the pro-Biafran commemoration events, were sleeping. According to one witness:

“At about midnight, we heard someone banging the door. We refused to open the door but they forced the door open and started throwing teargas. They also started shooting inside the compound. People were running to escape. I saw one guy shot in the stomach. He fell down but the teargas could not allow people to help him. I did not know what happened to the guy as I escaped and ran away.”

Another witness told Amnesty that on the morning of May 30, he saw soldiers open fire on a group of around 20 men and boys aged between 15 and 45. He said that five of them were killed. “I saw one boy trying to answer a question. He immediately raised his hands, but the soldiers opened fire…He lay down, lifeless. I saw this myself.” The witness described how military officers loaded men with gunshot wounds into one van, and what appeared to be corpses into another. Later that morning, another witness described how police shot a child bystander as a group of young men protested the shootings.

According to Amnesty,

“Following the shootings, the military told media sources that the soldiers only opened fire after being shot at first, but Amnesty International’s research has found no evidence to support this. All the people the organization interviewed said that the protesters were not armed; one young man said that he threw stones at the police and military after they shot teargas at the IPOB members. He said the military then fired live ammunition in return. Information gathered by Amnesty International indicates that the deaths of supporters and members of IPOB was the consequence of excessive and unnecessary use of force. International law requires the government to promptly investigate unlawful killings with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice. Amnesty International is also calling for those IPOB supporters still held in detention without charge to be either immediately charged or released”.

Amnesty International began research into the violence and killings of IPOB members and supporters in southeast Nigeria in January 2016 and is expected to publish a comprehensive report on the matter in the near future.

Thus far, Amnesty says , its research shows that,

“Since August 2015, there have been at least five similar incidents in Onitsha alone where the police and military shot unarmed IPOB members and supporters. Amnesty has documented cases of alleged unlawful killings by the Nigerian army between August 2015 and May 2016. In August 2015, military officers opened fire on peaceful supporters of IPOB calling for an independent Biafran state. The killings and mass arrests of members and supporters of IPOB by joint military and police operations continued…. On 17 December 2015, for example, the military killed five people when they opened fire on members of the IPOB who were demonstrating in Onitsha in a celebration of a court order for the release of their purported leader, Nnamdi Kanu. In February 2016, the Nigerian military used excessive force to disperse a peaceful gathering in a school compound in Aba. At least nine people were killed and many more injured…”

As for IPOB’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu, director of London-based Radio Biafra, he was arrested in October 2015 and has since been held, illegally, despite meeting bail conditions.

Supporters of “Indigenous People of Biafra” (IPOB) protest in London against the Nigerian military’s killings of civilians in Biafra, and call for the release of IPOB’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu, November 13, 2015. (Image source: David Holt/Flickr)

By contrast, while President Buhari uses military force against the peaceful Biafran movement, including at events as innocuous as Biafran commemoration ceremonies, his government has stated that it will not use military force against Fulani herdsmen. The latter comprise a predominantly Muslim, semi-nomadic group, now deemed to be the fourth-deadliest terror group in the world according to the Global Terrorism Index (GTI). Between 2010 and 2013, they killed 80 people in Nigeria, but by the end of 2014, this figure had risen to at least 1,229 people, according to the GTI, which ranked the African nation as the world’s third most terrorized country.

According to Buhari’s Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, however,

“This is a non-military issue that borders on law and order. It is not every security issue that you call in the military. It is the responsibility of the police to maintain peace. I believe that if we put the police in proper position in terms of discharging its functions, then there would be no need for military option. The police are equal to the task…. In any case, I do not even have the power to deploy the military for anything. It is only when the situation gets out of hand that you invite the military.”

It is noteworthy that a peaceful situation, such as that of the pro-Biafra movement, apparently requires a “military option”, whereas a lethal terrorist group, such as the Muslim Fulani herdsmen, who murder innocent civilians, does not. This tactic furthermore brings into question, whether Buhari’s efforts at curbing Boko Haram in the country are genuine or merely a play the Nigerian president puts on half-heartedly for the benefit of the international community.

The situation should at least give countries such as Germany serious reason to reconsider their involvement in the region. Germany has said that it will begin supplying military hardware to the Nigerian government to address “security challenges in its North East and Niger Delta regions” before the end of 2016. One has to wonder whether Germany, a country that has invited migrants into its country in order to show how tolerant it is, has considered that it risks supplying the Nigerian government with military hardware that could well be used to kill Biafrans.

Other countries in the process of selling, or planning to sell, weapons to Nigeria, include the United States, which refused — bizarrely, out of “human rights concerns” — to provide the former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian, with weapons to fight Boko Haram, but apparently has no qualms about helping Buhari, a Muslim, whose murder of defenseless people in southeastern Nigeria is evidently considered unproblematic.

In short, the international community has a lot of explaining to do.

Judith Bergman is a writer, columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

Beyond the Failed “Two-State Solution” by Guy Millière

  • “No one should be telling Israel that it must abide by some agreement made by others thousands of miles away… When I become president, the days of treating Israel like a second-class citizen will end on day one… There is no moral equivalency. Israel does not name public squares after terrorists.” — Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, March 21, 2016.

  • Many Western leaders behave as if they genuinely want the destruction of Israel and the murder of Israeli Jews. They have Jewish blood on their hands and many skeletons in their closet.
  • In 1977, Zuheir Mohsen, a PLO leader, said bluntly that the Palestinian people were invented for political purposes.
  • During the British Mandate (1922-1948) the Arabs never used the word “Palestine,” and called the area a “province of Damascus”.
  • For 19 years (1948-1967), the Gaza Strip was occupied by Egypt, and Judea and Samaria were occupied by Jordan. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) never said that Egypt and Jordan were “occupying powers,” and never described the Gaza Strip and Judea-Samaria as “Palestinian”.
  • The failed two-state model could be replaced by alternative solutions requiring the dismantling of Palestinian Authority and its replacement by something infinitely better for Israel and the Arab population of the area.

The “peace conference” held in Paris on January 15, 2017 was supposed to be a continuation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 (voted on December 23, 2016), and John Kerry’s speech five days later. It was supposed to isolate Israel even further and provide a new step towards the declaration of a “Palestinian State”. It was a total washout. The final declaration, prepared in advance, was not ratified, and the resolution published at the end was so watered down it was meaningless. The United Kingdom’s representatives refused to sign it. US Secretary of State John Kerry chose to remain silent. French President François Hollande delivered a speech full of empty words, praising resolution 2334 and desperately stressing the need to “save the two-state solution”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the conference as the “death throes of yesterday’s world”. He may be right.

The Obama years are gone. The Trump years will be different. US President Donald J. Trump stated on March 21, 2016:

“No one should be telling Israel that it must abide by some agreement made by others thousands of miles away… When I become president, the days of treating Israel like a second-class citizen will end on day one… There is no moral equivalency. Israel does not name public squares after terrorists.”

The Republican Party platform adopted on July 12, 2016 went in the same direction, clearly stated an opposition to “any measures intended to impose an agreement or to dictate borders or other terms”, and called for “the immediate termination of all U.S. funding of any entity that attempts to do so”. It added that the Republican Party is “proud to stand with Israel now and always”. It did not refer to the “two-state solution”.

One of Donald Trump’s first decisions was the appointment of David Friedman as US Ambassador to Israel. Friedman has said often that he wanted the US Embassy in Israel to be located in Jerusalem, and regarded the two-state solution as a “dangerous illusion.”

The two-state solution is much worse than a dangerous illusion. It places on the same level a democratic state and a rogue entity that glorifies terrorism and uses its media and schoolbooks to incite hatred and the murder of Jews. The two-state solution does not demand that the Palestinian Authority (PA) change its behavior; it therefore endorses what the PA does.

The two-state solution is also based on falsehood. It claims the rights of a “Palestinian people” that does not exist. In 1977, Zuheir Mohsen, a PLO leader, said bluntly that the Palestinian people were invented for political purposes. More recently, Mahmoud Abbas described Jordanian and Palestinian Arabs as “one people living in two states.”

The two-state solution invokes “Palestinian territories” that also do not exist. There has never been an Arab or Muslim “Palestinian State.” Palestine is a name the Romans gave to Judea in the land of Israel in the Second Century AD, after they crushed a Jewish revolt and were already then trying to negate a Jewish presence. Since then, the region has never enjoyed any autonomy. During the British Mandate (1922-1948), the Arabs never used the word “Palestine” and called the area Balad esh-Sham (province of Damascus). For 19 years (1948-1967), the Gaza Strip was occupied by Egypt, and Judea and Samaria were occupied by Jordan. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) never said that Egypt and Jordan were “occupying powers,” and never described the Gaza Strip and Judea-Samaria as “Palestinian”.

Israel ceded to international pressure by agreeing to recognize the PLO as an interlocutor and, at the time of the Oslo Accords, entering into a hollow “peace process.” The “two-state solution” became the basis for subsequent negotiations.

The price paid by Israel and the Israeli people quickly became extremely high. After the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority launched a far greater number of bloody attacks against Israel.

Only the construction of the security barrier (2003-5) ended the carnage. About 500 suicide bombings and other assaults took place between 1994 and 2002. More than one thousand Israelis lost their lives. Many more were wounded or maimed.

The PA obstinately refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, which means it never recognized Israel. It never gave up demanding the return of “refugees”: 500,000 people who left Israel in 1948, when the Arab countries launched a war of extermination against the Jewish state, most of them with no roots in the Israeli land. They became the only refugees in the world who are denied the right of resettlement. A few thousand are still alive, but most of today’s so-called “Palestinian refugees” were not born on Israeli soil, have never set foot in Israel and know nothing about the country to which they are supposed to want to “return”, despite what Palestinian propaganda told them. They now number more than six million. It is not hard to guess what their “return” would mean.

All peace proposals made by Israeli leaders were rejected by Palestinian leaders, without even a counter-offer.

Anyone who pays attention to the Palestinian media knows why: when speaking Arabic, Palestinian leaders say that “Palestine” will go from the (Jordan) river to the (Mediterranean) sea. Israel does not exist either on Palestinian maps or on the Palestinian Authority logo. The PA is supposedly non-religious, but Palestinian TV teaches jihad to children, and encourage them to “shoot Jews” because it is pleasing to Allah. Palestinian imams at public events explain that the Palestinian “war with the descendants of the apes and pigs [i.e., Jews] is a war of religion and faith,” and add that all “Palestine” is a part of dar al-islam and is to remain “under Islamic dominion forever.” Denial of Jewish history in Jerusalem and in the land of Israel has always been a central component of PA propaganda.

Many Israelis desperately continue to believe that peace with Palestinian Authority is possible. But more than half the Israeli population no longer entertains that illusion.

For decades, many Western leaders have relentlessly demanded more concessions from Israel, and have spoken and acted as if they did not know what the Palestinian Authority really is and what Palestinian leaders really want. They have been accomplices and liars. They behave as if they genuinely want the destruction of Israel and the murder of Israeli Jews. They have Jewish blood on their hands and many skeletons in their closet. They continue to finance Palestinian propaganda, Palestinian terrorists, and international and Palestinian NGOs that support the genocidal Palestinian agenda. They even gave money that was used to reward the murderers of Jews. Some of them seem to long for what Giulio Meotti calls a “new Shoah,” and seem disappointed that it has not yet occurred.

The Obama years were particularly horrendous. In his June 2009 Cairo speech, Barack Obama compared Israel, the only open and truly pluralistic county in the Middle East, to South Africa in the apartheid years and to the American South at the time of slavery. He repeatedly called for Israel’s return to “pre-1967 borders”, but never said that they were not borders, but merely the 1949 armistice lines. He used the term “resistance” to speak about Palestinian terrorism. He described settlements as the main obstacle to peace, thereby endorsing the Palestinian Authority’s desire for the ethnic cleansing of Jews. When he spoke of attacks on Israelis, he never explicitly condemned the attackers and never said they were Palestinians.

In his June 4, 2009, speech in Cairo, Barack Obama compared Israel, the only open and truly pluralistic county in the Middle East, to South Africa in the apartheid years. (Image source: White House)

The European Union and most European countries supported all the positions taken by Barack Obama.

Furious after the results of the January 15 conference, President François Hollande said he had to “send a warning” to the Trump Administration. Fortunately, a warning sent by a failed president in a country where nearly six hundred areas are no-go zones under the control Islamic “enforcers” control does not matter much.

On January 20, 2017, a new era began.

The acceptance of the Palestinian glorification of terrorism, the incitement to hatred and murder of Jews, the acceptance by Western leaders of the falsifications of history on which the Palestinian cause rests may also end.

In the early days of his term, still only in its third week, President Trump decided to halt U.S. funding to UN agencies and other international bodies that grant the Palestinian Authority full membership. He added that any organization “controlled or substantially influenced by any state that sponsors terrorism” will lose US aid. U.S. funding to the PA will certainly be curtailed soon. In a much-discussed statement, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, said that the construction of new settlements “may not be helpful”, but added immediately that the Trump administration “don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace”.

A “Trump effect” could lead to political change in Europe. More and more Europeans are tired of policies of appeasement and submission to Islam. Pro-Jewish and pro-Israel sentiments are rising in most European countries.

Sunni Arab countries still verbally support the Palestinian cause, but the rise of Iran in the Middle East and the stated ambitions of Tehran’s mullahs concern them more. If the United States becomes energy-independent, all oil-producing Muslim countries will also have other concerns than the Palestinian leaders’ demands.

In a recent article describing the “eight great powers of 2017”, Walter Russell Mead and Sean Keeley wrote: “Israel is a rising power with a growing impact on world affairs.” Israel is increasingly unwilling to submissively accept arbitrary decisions and pressures.

The recent solution offered by Daniel Pipes, “Israel wins, Palestinians lose”, could take shape.

The period of “the two-state solution” as the only solution is probably over. The period when the two-state solution could be imposed on Israel from outside also probably belongs to the past.

The failed two-state model could be replaced by alternative solutions requiring the dismantling of Palestinian Authority and its replacement by something infinitely better for Israel and the Arab population of the area.

“Terrorism is successful,” wrote Alan Dershowitz in 2003, ” when the international community gives in to the demands of terrorists.”

The leaders of the Palestinian Authority might learn the hard way that the time when terrorism works is over.

Dr. Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, is the author of 27 books on France and Europe.

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