December 21/17

Compiled & Prepared by: Elias Bejjani

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Bible Quotations
Watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles, Keep away from them
Romans 16/:17-20:"I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.  For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you."

Titles For Latest LCCC Bulletin analysis & editorials from miscellaneous sources published on December 20-21/17
Colourful like a Rainbow/Elias Bejjani/December 20/17
The Israelis Who Chased Hezbollah's Cash Before Obama's On -and- Off Fight/Jerusalem Post/December 20/17
Obama's Alternative Facts on the Iran Nuclear Deal/Eli Lake/Bloomberg/December 20/17
Congress to Investigate Obama Scheme to Nix Investigation into Hezbollah Terrorists/Adam Kredo/The WAshington Free Beacon/December 20, 2017
Europe's "Arab Street" Rises Up/Douglas Murray/Gatestone Institute/December 20/2017
Britain: The "Islamophobia" Industry Strikes Again/Bruce Bawer/Gatestone Institute/December 20/2017
Rampant Pedophilia in Pakistani Madrassas/Lawrence A. Franklin/Gatestone Institute/December 20/2017
The Trump's Camp Strategy with Regard to Mueller/Alan M. Dershowitz/Gatestone Institute/December 20/2017
Passing Through to Corruption/Paul Krugman/The New York Times/December 20/17
When Qatar’s famous turncoat talks about Jerusalem/Mohammed Al Shaikh/Al Arabiya/December 20/17

Titles For Latest LCCC Lebanese Related News published on December 20-21/17
Colourful like a Rainbow
Aoun Says Presidency Won't Interfere in Marcel Ghanem's Case
Gemayel Meets French FM, Voices Concern on Freedoms in Lebanon
Mashnouq Calls Uber Unsafe as Drivers Stage Protest
Lebanese Man to Plead Guilty to Prison Escape in U.S.
Parents' Committees at Private Schools Reject Tuition Fees Increase
Beirut-Riyadh Tussle over Ambassadors to be Resolved 'Soon'
Mashnouq Says Creation of Voter Cards, Pre-registration Dropped Due to Time Pressure
Hariri Holds Talks with Jumblat in Clemenceau
Bassil Meets Jumblat
Judge Orders Handover of Dykes Body to Embassy, Remands Suspect in Custody
The Israelis Who Chased Hezbollah's Cash Before Obama's On -and- Off Fight
Obama's Alternative Facts on the Iran Nuclear Deal
Congress to Investigate Obama Scheme to Nix Investigation into Hezbollah Terrorists

Titles For Latest LCCC Bulletin For Miscellaneous Reports And News published on December 20-21/17
ISIS missile strike on El-Arish airport misses Egyptian ministers
Egyptian army: Officer killed in attack in North Sinai
Egypt on high alert ahead of Christmas celebrations
Thick smog keeps schools closed for fourth day in Iran
US launches push at UN for action against Iran
Nikki Haley: Houthi missile on Saudi Arabia ‘bears hallmarks’ of Iran arms attacks
Third Palestinian woman arrested over soldier slapping video
176 Nations At UN Call For Palestinian Statehood
Trump Threatens Fund Cuts for Nations that Vote against His Jerusalem Decision
Saudi King Tells Abbas KSA Supports Palestinians on E. Jerusalem
Canada, US to Host N. Korea Crisis Talks in January

Latest Lebanese Related News published on December 20-21/17
Colourful like a Rainbow
Elias Bejjani/December 20/17

Life with all its complexities is so colourful like a rainbow, and its for your own taste, tolerance, wishes, capabilities and choice to envisage it the way that pleases you

Aoun Says Presidency Won't Interfere in Marcel Ghanem's Case
Naharnet/December 20/17/President Michel Aoun stressed Wednesday that the Presidency will not interfere in the work of the judiciary. “The ceiling of press freedom is truth,” Aoun said during a meeting with financial prosecution judges. “The Presidency has not and will not interfere in any case that the judiciary is looking into, especially those related to journalists, including the journalist Marcel Ghanem,” the president added. “No one is above the authority of the judiciary, which safeguards everyone's rights, protects dignities and achieves justice. It is unacceptable to insult it or defy its rulings by any side,” Aoun underlined. A subpoena was issued Monday for Ghanem, who is one of the most prominent talk show hosts in Lebanon's history. Ghanem is accused of hosting Saudi journalists who branded the Lebanese president and parliament speaker as "terrorists" during one of his show's episodes. Justice Minister Salim Jreissati has asked the country's prosecutor general to launch an investigation against the two Saudi journalists who appeared on Ghanem's Kalam Ennas talk show, one of the most watched weekly TV programs in the country.
The move came at a time when tensions were very high between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia over the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, announced from the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Gemayel Meets French FM, Voices Concern on Freedoms in Lebanon

Naharnet/December 20/17/Kataeb Party chief MP Sami Gemayel wrapped up a several-day visit to Paris on Wednesday by meeting French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. The French minister “expressed interest in exploring in detail the (Lebanese) opposition's opinions and stances regarding a lot of files, especially the current issues in the Lebanese and regional arenas,” a statement distributed by Kataeb's Media Council said. Gemayel for his part stressed the need to “take all the necessary measures to strengthen the state's sovereignty over its territory through its own forces – inside the country and along the border.”He also expressed concern over “the policy of muzzling voices and restricting public freedoms, especially freedom of opinion and freedom of expression, as the electoral juncture nears.”“The Lebanese and French sides noted that only the values of righteousness, freedom and justice can preserve the state of law and the country's higher national interest,” Kataeb's statement added. They also agreed on the need to “reinforce bilateral ties, enhance democracy in Lebanon, and support the organization of timely elections.”

Mashnouq Calls Uber Unsafe as Drivers Stage Protest
Associated Press/Naharnet/December 20/17/Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq warned on Wednesday against using Uber after a driver for the ride-hailing service was arrested in connection with the murder of a British woman who worked at the U.K. Embassy. Mashnouq said the driver had a criminal record, without elaborating, but said that should have been an alarm for anyone seeking to hire him. Mashnouq urged Lebanese to use "traditional" taxis, saying Uber is a "virtual" entity that has no physical representation. "I urge all Lebanese not to use this means (of transport) because we don't consider it safe," he said. "Dealing with Uber is risky and it is better we return to traditional ways." A number of Uber drivers meanwhile blocked a road under the Ring bridge in Beirut “to protest the designation of their firm as illegal,” the National News Agency said. Mashnouq's comments come on a particularly bad day for the San Francisco-based company. The European Union's top court dealt Uber a blow, ruling Wednesday that the ride-hailing company should be regulated like a taxi company and not a technology service. The ruling is likely to result in stricter regulations on the company. The ride-hailing company has had a particularly bad year, in which it has faced a slew of legal cases in Europe, Britain and the United States over licensing and security checks of its registered drivers. Mashnouq was speaking at a public dinner organized by the municipality of Beirut, where Uber is popular among the expatriate community as well as internet-connected young Lebanese, and provided a competitive edge to the traditional taxis in the congested city. An Nahar newspaper said in a report Wednesday that the 29-year-old driver was sentenced to six months in prison 10 years ago for stealing a motorcycle. Uber drivers in Lebanon must be licensed taxi drivers. The company says it enrolls drivers with no criminal record but it is not clear if it runs its own security checks. Also, according to Lebanese law, one's criminal record can be cleared after a certain amount of years. One legal expert told a local daily that crimes less severe than murder can be erased after three years. The U.S.-based Uber said it was "horrified" by the killing of British diplomat Rebecca Dykes, whose body was found Saturday on the side of a road, strangled and showing signs of sexual assault. Uber said it was assisting in the investigation. Also on Wednesday, a Lebanese court ordered news websites to remove pictures of Dykes' body, saying circulating them constitutes a violation of the sanctity of the dead. Websites would be fined over $3,000 for every hour they delay removing the pictures.

Lebanese Man to Plead Guilty to Prison Escape in U.S.
Associated Press//Naharnet/December 20/17/A lawyer for a Lebanese inmate who disappeared 20 years ago from a federal prison in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania says his client intends to plead guilty to an escape charge. Public defender Thomas Livingston spoke to a U.S. news website about Ghassan Saleh's plans after the 66-year-old man was arraigned Tuesday. But he didn't say when the plea would be entered. Saleh was arrested last month after flying into New York City from Lebanon, his native country. Federal officials have said Saleh knew he was wanted when he decided to return to the United States. Saleh was working on a grounds crew when he escaped from the federal prison near Bradford in 1997. He had been serving a sentence of almost six years after being convicted of cocaine trafficking in Michigan.

Parents' Committees at Private Schools Reject Tuition Fees Increase
Naharnet/December 20/17/Private school instructors have been campaigning for the last few month demanding a salary raise following the wage scale approval for public sector employees, a demand dubbed as “unacceptable” by private educational institutions. A vicious circle of demands and denials as professors and teachers demand a raise that will eventually “compel” the schools' administrations to raise tuition fees, thus burdening parents with additional soaring costs for already costly education in Lebanon. Parents' committees have categorically refused any increase in the school’s tuition fees, staging sit-ins near the schools' facilities. They emphasized that they will not sign any school budget that includes an increase. The latest was on Thursday as the parents' committee at the College Notre Dame De Louaize staged a sit-in protesting the administration’s decision to increase the tuition fees. The school's administration replied to the campaigners by deciding to suspend classes on Thursday, saying “the increases are righteous.” President Michel Aoun has reportedly "found a solution for the issue." He said that “the State will fund the teacher's salaries in private schools, provided that the schools' tuition fees are based on their budgets that are subject to the supervision of the Ministry of Education,” al-Joumhouria daily said Wednesday. Early in November, the Syndicate of Private School Teachers have called for a nationwide strike to protest the failure to grant teachers the pay raise stipulated by the wage scale law.

Beirut-Riyadh Tussle over Ambassadors to be Resolved 'Soon'
Associated Press/Naharnet/December 20/17/Lebanon's ambassador to Saudi Arabia and his Saudi counterpart are caught in what appears to be a diplomatic tussle over representation, with each country delaying accreditation of the other's diplomat, though both were named months ago. The delay highlights tension between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon following the bizarre, now-reversed resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri from Riyadh. A Lebanese diplomat told The Associated Press that the issue will be "resolved soon." The diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity according to regulations, didn't elaborate. Lebanon's ambassador to Saudi Arabia was named to the post in late July but remains unaccredited in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia named its ambassador in September. Ambassador Walid al-Yaacoubi arrived in Lebanon in November, but still has not been sworn in by the president and the foreign minister, as customary.

Mashnouq Says Creation of Voter Cards, Pre-registration Dropped Due to Time Pressure
Naharnet/December 20/17/Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq announced on Wednesday that suggestions to create magnetic voter cards and the pre-registration of voters for the upcoming parliamentary elections have been dropped due to lack of time. Mashnouq's remarks came during the ministerial committee meeting tasked with supervising the polls scheduled in May 2018. “In practice, the suggestion to create magnetic votes cards, the creation of a mega-centers and pre-registration for voters (who wish to cast ballots in their places of residency) have been dropped because of lack of time,” said Mashnouq. Lebanon has set the date for the country's first parliamentary elections in nine years, scheduling the vote for May 6. Last week, Mashnouq signed a decree setting the date. For the first time, Lebanese nationals living overseas will be able to cast ballots in early voting. Lebanon's parliament has postponed elections several times over security reasons. Its term was supposed to expire in 2013 but lawmakers approved several extensions since then, the last one in June for another 11 months. Activists accuse politicians of delaying the vote for political reasons. The vote is expected to be a major test for both Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Hizbullah party. Hariri resigned last month but later revoked his resignation.

Hariri Holds Talks with Jumblat in Clemenceau
Naharnet/December 20/17/Prime Minister Saad Hariri held talks Wednesday evening in Clemenceau with Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat. A PSP statement said the meeting was held in the presence of Jumblat's son Taimur and MP Wael Abu Faour. Talks tackled “the latest political developments in Lebanon and the region,” the terse PSP statement added. “With Sheikh Saad Hariri, there is a long history of joint struggle and bright turning points for the sake of Lebanon and its stability and advancement,” Jumblat tweeted after the meeting. “Today, the challenge we are facing is much bigger than that of the past. Solidarity with him and with his reformist vision is more than necessary to shore up the new rule, which has demonstrated high resilience and courage amid the extraordinary circumstances,” Jumblat added.

Bassil Meets Jumblat
Naharnet/December 20/17/Foreign Minister and Free Patriotic Movement leader Jebran Bassil met on Tuesday evening with Progressive Socialist party leader MP Walid Jumblat at the latter's residence in Clemenceau where discussions focused on the latest political developments. Bassil was accompanied by his wife Chantal Aoun. The meeting was held in the presence of Jumblat's wife, Noura, and his son and political heir Taymour. The PSP leader shared photos and tweets of the meeting on his Twitter page. He said: “A friendly and frank political meeting with Minister Jebran Bassil included various issues in which we agreed on the need to strengthen bilateral relationship with him and with the Free Patriotic Movement.“We also agreed on cooperation to address outstanding issues and solve them in the interests of the country,” he said.

Judge Orders Handover of Dykes Body to Embassy, Remands Suspect in Custody
Naharnet/December 20/17/Mount Lebanon Examining Magistrate Hanna Breidi on Wednesday ordered the handover of the body of slain British diplomat Rebecca Dykes to the UK embassy in Beirut after he interrogated the suspect and remanded him in custody, the National News Agency said.
The embassy will repatriate the body to London aboard a private jet, NNA said. The driver, identified as Tarek H., has confessed to killing the woman, a judicial source told AFP on Monday. The driver, 29, with ride-hailing giant Uber admitted strangling the 30-year-old after trying to rape her late on Friday night. Dykes was last seen alive at a party in Gemmayze on Friday night and left in the suspect's car. Her body was found dumped on the side of the road north of Beirut early the following evening. The suspect was arrested on Monday after being tracked down on security camera footage. A senior security official had told AFP that strangulation was the likely cause of death and added that Dykes was found with a string tied around her neck. Uber said it was assisting Lebanese authorities in their investigation. The Lebanese judicial source told AFP the suspect has a criminal past and was arrested twice for alleged harassment and theft related to customers -- a claim refuted by Uber.

The Israelis Who Chased Hezbollah's Cash Before Obama's On -and- Off Fight
Jerusalem Post/December 20/17
Before, during and after the US government went after Hezbollah’s financing, Shurat Hadin was down in the same trenches.
Long before the US ramped up the pressure against Hezbollah’s financial network in 2006, and then dialed it down in 2009-2010, the Mossad and an Israeli NGO were going after the terror group’s monetary oxygen. In fact, even when the US returned to taking a backseat, Shurat Hadin – Israel Law Center – kept going after a major Hezbollah allied Lebanese bank and connected banks, winning a major US court decision in 2012. With Politico’s story on Monday presenting new evidence that the Obama administration backed-off from its pursuit of Hezbollah’s financial network due to a combination of intelligence and diplomacy concerns – notably preserving the Iran nuclear deal – it is worth looking at this other unreported angle to the story. Former Israeli government sources have told the Jerusalem Post that both their intelligence operations as well as lawsuits by Shurat Hadin and others “dramatically impacted Hezbollah’s budget and ability.”
Harpoon, gives significant and vivid details about pursuing Hezbollah’s financial network long before the US got interested in fall 2006. But this part of the book has been under-reported and, along with other details Shurat Hadin explained to the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, shed new light on the new Politico story about the US’s Operation Cassandra – an up-and-down fight against Hezbollah’s financial networks. Darshan-Leitner had been filing anti-terror cases even before the Israeli Harpoon intelligence outfit approached her in 2004. But after Harpoon agents approached her and provided her with information to assist going after the money of terrorists like Hezbollah, Shurat Hadin kicked into high gear. Some of this was in parallel to the US more comprehensively using its resources to go after Hezbollah from 2006-2008. Yet, as Politico explained Monday, the US rolled back those efforts during the Obama administration already in 2009-2010 and even further in 2012, culminating with virtually halting efforts in 2014 as the Iran nuclear deal started to crystallize. Presenting Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center (YouTube/Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center)
It is important to note that spokespeople for Obama have said that tacking terrorists’ finances is not always the whole picture. They said that some of the breaks put on going after Hezbollah’s money could have related to preserving undercover intelligence operations and concerns about Lebanon’s overall stability, not merely preserving the Iran deal.
But the bottom line is that before, during and after the US went after Hezbollah’s financing, Shurat Hadin was down in the same trenches. Possibly the most important decision Shurat Hadin won to cripple aspects of Hezbollah’s financing was a November 2012 decision against the Lebanese Canadian Bank, USA, who had used American Express Bank as its correspondent bank in the US. The decision put new pressures on American and international banks not to risk doing business with shady entities if they presented even the possibility of being terrorism-related. The New York State Court of Appeals decision created much higher risk for terror groups to carry out transactions in US dollars. The New York court issued the ruling in favor of victims of Hezbollah rocket attacks from the Second Lebanon War in 2006 who were citizens of the US, Canada and Israel. Until that decision, terror financing could avoid scrutiny in the US by making fund transfers through American correspondent banks.
A correspondent bank essentially serves as a middle bank for fund transfers for banks that do not have local US branches.  Avoiding having US branches had meant not having to worry about US banking licenses or regulations that were tough on oversight and emphasized revealing funds involved in terror financing. As long as the terrorist-affiliated banks had no local branch in the US, they were insulated from any legal consequences and the correspondent bank could plead ignorance regarding the transactions. However, using a new interpretation of an existing law, the appeals court ruled that correspondent banks would now be held liable for civil damages under anti-terror financing laws if it was found that they facilitated transactions that ultimately could be traced back to terrorist groups. This placed the onus on correspondent banks to do more careful policing of where fund transfers were eventually going and to investigate what could sometimes be many layers of straw companies set up to hide the fact that terrorists were receiving the money.
Most importantly, the 2012 decision pressured many correspondent banks to cease being involved in any transactions where they had doubts about a possible terror connection in order to avoid even the possibility of heavy civil liability and bad press. The lawsuit was filed in 2008 and had mostly been in federal court, but came to state court when the Second Circuit Federal Appeals court asked the New York Court of Appeals to decide how to interpret a New York law on the issue. Lebanese Canadian Bank, USA made and received transfers from an organization that was a front for Hezbollah and used American Express Bank as its doorway to much of the financial world in dollars. Hezbollah is defined by the US as a terrorist organization and any financing of Hezbollah can subject an entity to having its assets seized.
Essentially, Hezbollah and Lebanese Canadian Bank, USA, were using American Express Bank and countless other correspondent banks to get around anti-terror financing laws in the US. Although technically the terrorists could try to avoid the US entirely, the fact was that banks worldwide often preferred and were more able to use US dollars for global transactions.
Shurat Hadin’s litigation against the Lebanese Canadian Bank regarding other issues continues into the present, but it confirmed Tuesday that the 2012 decision “is in full force and has been relied on many times,” including being cited by 31 different courts to date.
Darshan-Leitner said, "It was the Israeli intelligence task force… Harpoon” which first targeted “Hezbollah by going after its international drug trafficking business... It was only after the difficult 2006 war in Lebanon that Israel finally convinced American law enforcement… to target Hezbollah's illegal enterprises and financing.” “Eventually, the US was extremely active in this fight until the Obama Administration decided that it was going to sign a deal with Iran… At that point the intelligence operations targeting Hezbollah's drug trafficking were shamefully thrown under the bus,” to protect the deal, she said.
Looking into the future, she stated, “One can only hope that under the new Washington White House the battle against Hezbollah's funding will be reinstated by the US and it'll work with Israel in killing the terrorists' funding." Several of the main US veterans of Operation Cassandra interviewed in the Politico story also expressed high interest in helping the Trump administration reenter the fray of pursuing Hezbollah financing.

Obama's Alternative Facts on the Iran Nuclear Deal
Eli Lake/Bloomberg/December 20/17
When the Obama administration sold its Iran nuclear deal to Congress in 2015, one of its primary arguments was that the agreement was narrow. It lifted only nuclear sanctions. America, President Barack Obama told us, would remain a vigilant foe of Iran's regional predations through sanctions and other means.
Thanks to stunning new reporting from Politico's Josh Meyer, we can now assess these assertions and conclude that they are … well, "alternative facts."
Meyer reports that while the US and other great powers were negotiating a deal to bring transparency to Iran's nuclear program, top officials in Obama's government dismantled a campaign, known as Operation Cassandra, intended to undermine “Hezbollah's” global drug trafficking and money laundering network.
A few months after the implementation of that bargain in January 2016, Operation Cassandra was ripped apart. Agents were reassigned. Leads and sources dried up. Bad guys got away.
“Hezbollah” is many things: a Lebanese political party, a militia and a Shi’ite religious movement. It is also an arm of Iranian foreign policy. “Hezbollah” troops fight alongside Iran's Revolutionary Guard commanders in Syria and Iraq. Iran uses the group's operatives for international terror attacks in Latin America. “Hezbollah's” advanced arsenal is supplied by the Iranian state. “Hezbollah's” drug trafficking provides the revenue it needs to spread mayhem. To curb that trafficking is to starve Iran's primary proxy.
The Obama administration believed cracking down on “Hezbollah's” trafficking would undermine nuclear negotiations. As David Asher, a former Pentagon illicit finance analyst and a key player in Operation Cassandra, told Meyer: “This was a policy decision, it was a systematic decision. They serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it was done from the top down.”
The details are troubling. One example involves Ali Fayad, whom DEA agents suspected was the “Hezbollah” operative who reported directly to Russian president Vladimir Putin as a weapons supplier in Iraq and Syria. In 2014 Fayad was arrested by Czech authorities. Meyer reports that even though Fayad was indicted by US courts for planning the murder of US officials, "top Obama administration officials declined to apply serious pressure on the Czech government to extradite him to the United States, even as Putin was lobbying aggressively against it." Fayad eventually found his way back to Lebanon, and is believed today to be back at his old job, supplying Russian heavy weapons to Iranian-backed militants in Syria.
If the Trump administration had let Fayad slip through the net of law enforcement, that would be a five-alarm scandal. And yet for Obama this was part of a pattern. Obama never asked Syria's neighbors to deny fly-over rights to Russian aircraft in 2015, which could have slowed or prevented Putin from establishing air bases in Syria that were used to bomb civilians and aid workers. Russia established those air bases less than two months after the end of the Iran nuclear negotiations. The chief of Iran's Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, also saw the close of the nuclear talks as a green light. He was soon on a plane to Moscow to iron out the tactical alliance between Russia and Iran in Syria as Obama went about trying to persuade more than a third of Congress to support the nuclear bargain.
Obama officials reached for comment disputed elements of Meyer's reporting. Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for Obama, pointed to some European arrests of “Hezbollah” operatives after the implementation of the nuclear deal. But Meyer says officials with Operation Cassandra noted that these suspects were nabbed after the Obama Justice Department shot down efforts to prosecute these operatives in US courts.
A particularly cringe-inducing response came from a senior national security official who suggested, anonymously, to Meyer that agents in a DEA operation might unwittingly botch a CIA or Israeli intelligence operation within “Hezbollah”.
That's doubtful, at least for the CIA. As the Los Angeles Times reported in 2011 the agency's Beirut station, which tracked “Hezbollah”, was put out of business after most of its sources were arrested that year. It's highly unlikely the agency would have been able to build up its source network in a few short years. What's more, the CIA director for Obama's second term, John Brennan, had openly discussed his view of trying to separate “Hezbollah” hardliners from “Hezbollah” moderates in Washington policy forums. The decision to go soft on “Hezbollah” looks entirely deliberate.
So was all of this worth it? We know what the West got out of the nuclear deal: a temporary suspension of Iran's nuclear program and increased transparency into its stockpiles, enrichment facilities and laboratories. At the time the Obama administration told us that in exchange, the US had to lift only the crippling nuclear sanctions against Iran. It turns out the price was much higher.

Congress to Investigate Obama Scheme to Nix Investigation into Hezbollah Terroristsالكونغرس الأميركي سوف يحقق في فضيحة اوباما وتغطيته لأنشطة حزب الله الإرهابية
Adam Kredo/The WAshington Free Beacon/December 20, 2017
Investigation to focus on Rhodes, senior Obama officials
Lawmakers are launching an investigation into Obama-era efforts to thwart a longstanding U.S. investigation into the Iranian-backed terror group Hezbollah, according to multiple congressional officials and insiders who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.
The Obama administration worked behind the scenes to thwart a decade-long Drug Enforcement Agency investigation into Hezbollah and its highly lucrative drug trade in Latin America, according to a report in Politico. These officials are believed to have run interference on the investigation in order to avoid upsetting Iran and jeopardizing the landmark nuclear accord.
Senior Obama officials in the Treasury and Justice Departments are said to have undermined the DEA's investigation at multiple junctures in order to avoid angering Hezbollah's patron Iran, which could have jeopardized the landmark nuclear agreement.
Congress is now taking steps to formally investigate the reports, which multiple sources described to the Free Beacon as part of a larger Obama administration effort to overlook Iran's global terror operations in order to cement the nuclear deal.
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), a member of the House Oversight Committee and chair of its National Security Subcommittee, told the Washington Free Beacon on Wednesday that he and other top lawmakers are examining evidence that could implicate top former Obama officials, including National Security Council official Ben Rhodes, the architect of the former administration's self-described pro-Iran "echo chamber."
"I've long believed that the Obama administration could not have done any more to bend over backwards to appease the Iranian regime, yet news that the Obama administration killed the investigation into a billion dollar drug ring that lined the terrorist group Hezbollah's pockets in order to save its coveted Iran deal may very well take the cake," DeSantis said.
"Hezbollah is a brutal terrorist group with American blood on its hands and it would be unconscionable for American policy to deliberately empower such a nefarious group," he said.
Lawmakers will be paying particular attention to whether Rhodes or other senior officials accused of misleading Congress and the American public about the Iran deal played a role in thwarting the Hezbollah investigation.
"Congress will be investigating this thoroughly and my National Security subcommittee will be particularly interested in how such a decision came about and whether it was driven by key Iran deal architects such as Ben Rhodes," DeSantis said.
Congressional investigators are already preparing letters to various U.S. government agencies in order to obtain greater information about the alleged interference, according to those with knowledge of the matter.
Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.), a chief national security voice in the House who fought against the nuclear accord, told the Washington Free Beacon that Congress must investigate the Obama administration's actions and work to increase pressure on Hezbollah.
"The report alleging the Obama Administration turned a blind eye and allowed Hezbollah to pump drugs into the United States to fund its terror campaigns in the Middle East is not surprising," Roskam said. "Hampering the DEA's investigation of Hezbollah would be emblematic of the previous administration's fixation to strike a nuclear accord with Iran at any costs."
"This blind eye imperiled our efforts to combat Iran and its proxies' malign behavior and left us with a cash-flush Iran on the warpath across the Middle East with a nuclear program legitimized by the JCPOA," Roskam said, using the acronym for the nuclear deal's official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. "Congress needs to investigate this report and do what the Obama Administration refused to do, severely increase pressure on Hezbollah and hold the terrorist group, and its benefactor Iran, accountable for their crimes."
U.S. drug enforcement agents who spoke to Politico about the matter accused the Obama administration of intentionally derailing an investigation into Hezbollah's drug trafficking and money laundering efforts that began in 2008 under the Bush administration.
The investigation centered on Hezbollah and Iranian-backed militants who allegedly participated in the illicit drug network, which was subject to U.S. wiretaps and undercover operations.
Hezbollah is believed to have been laundering at least $200 million a month just in the United States, according to the report.
When U.S. authorities were ready to make the case against Hezbollah's most senior leadership, Obama administration officials allegedly "threw an increasingly insurmountable series of roadblocks in its way," according inside sources who spoke to Politico about the situation.
The Obama-led effort to block the investigation was "a policy decision, it was a systematic decision," one source said. "They serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it was done from the top down."
One senior congressional source apprised of the matter told the Free Beacon that while lawmakers have long known about the former Obama administration's efforts to steamroll over Congress and ink the nuclear deal, the interference in the Hezbollah investigation could be a matter for law enforcement.
"Add this to the long list of concessions the Obama administration made in pursuit of the nuclear agreement with Iran," said the source, who was not authorized to speak on the record about the matter. "The difference here is that this wasn't just bad policy—it was potentially criminal. Congress absolutely has a responsibility to get to the bottom of this."
Other sources described a long list of efforts by the Obama administration to downplay Iran's terror efforts and turn a blind eye to its illicit efforts to skirt U.S. sanctions.
"The Obama administration started sucking up to Iran from Day 1, because they thought if they showed good faith the [Iranian] Supreme Leader would let Iranian diplomats negotiate with them," according to a longtime congressional adviser who works on Middle East issues, including Iran.
The former administration "looked the other way at sanctions busting, fought Congress against new pressure, and did everything possible to slow roll enforcement," the source said. "Meanwhile the Ben Rhodes echo chamber went into overdrive to sell that they were aggressively—that was the word they shopped around, ‘aggressively'—dealing with Iran. Now we know they were tearing down whatever parts of the federal government where still trying to stop Iran and its terrorists."
Meanwhile, a delegation of lawmakers on the House's Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere sent a letter to President Trump Wednesday urging greater action on Hezbollah in light of the Obama administration's behavior.
The letter pushes the Trump administration to formally designate Hezbollah as a Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO) and as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficking Kingpin (SDNTK). It also demands an investigation into Hezbollah’s criminal enterprises under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
*Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), chair of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa and a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said that Hezbollah's illicit operations in Latin America are growing and threaten the U.S homeland.
"It's no secret that, in its pursuit of the weak and dangerous nuclear deal, the Obama administration ignored Iran's illicit activity and the threat the state sponsor of terror-regime posed to our national security and the security and stability of our allies," Ros-Lehtinen said. "If recent reports of the size and scope of Hezbollah's operations in Latin America are true, we should all be alarmed as it puts the terror group right in our own hemisphere."

Latest LCCC Bulletin For Miscellaneous Reports And News published on December 20-21/17
ISIS missile strike on El-Arish airport misses Egyptian ministers
Debka File/Dec 20, 2017/El Arish airports was struck by an ISIS missile Tuesday, Dec. 19, after two Egyptian ministers had landed there. Neither was harmed, but an unknown number of officers were killed or injured.
Defense Minister Sedki Sobhy and Minister of Interior Affairs Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar had arrived for an inspection of the security situation in northern Sinai, after the most brutal Islamic State attack in modern Egyptian history. The terrorist attack at the al-Rawdi Sufi mosque on Nov. 24 during Friday prayers claimed 309 lives, including 24 children, and injured 128. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi then ordered the Ministers of Defense and Interior to eliminate armed activity in northern Sinai within three months. The attack Tuesday was the closest ISIS’ Sinai affiliate had ever come to threatening the lives of Egyptian ministers. Neither was hurt, but it was a close shave. Some of the officers accompanying them are believed to have been killed or injured; a number of aircraft on the runways of the military airport were damaged, including a helicopter which was wrecked and may have carried the two ministers to El Arish. ISIS later claimed the airport attack. An official statement later said that “security forces have dealt with the source of fire and secured the surrounding area.”
DEBKAfile’s military sources note that, despite Egypt’s official efforts to play down the impact of the Sinai jihadists’ airport strike, it is evident that they were armed with prior intelligence about the arrival time in El Arish of the two Egyptian ministers in charge of the war on Islamist terror. It had most likely come from an informer – either on the airport staff or employed in the surrounding facilities. The ISIS affiliate, although its missile missed the two ministers, managed to reach inside the military airport, firing it from a site in the surrounding dunes.
The next day, the Egyptian president called a meeting with the defense and interior ministers for a report on the airport attack. Presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said that they also reported on”the measures and procedures put in place to fighting fight terrorism and establishing security and stability in northern Sinai, after checking on the forces and security conditions there.”

Egyptian army: Officer killed in attack in North Sinai
Reuters/December 20/2017/An Egyptian military officer was killed and two other people were wounded in a shell attack on a military airport near the town of Arish in the North Sinai region on Tuesday, the army spokesman said in a statement on Facebook. The attack took place during a visit of Egypt’s interior and defense ministers to the area. A security source said neither minister had been hurt during the attack.

Egypt on high alert ahead of Christmas celebrations
Al Arabiya/December 20/2017/Egypt’s Interior Ministry has ordered 230, 000 police officers to secure churches ahead of Christmas celebrations across the nation. A senior official at the ministry quoted by state-run news agency MENA said all security departments are on high alert and will be taking part in protecting 2,626 churches nationwide, including 1,326 Orthodox churches, 1,200 Protestant churches and 200 Catholic churches. The source pointed out that the police officers from the National Security Agency, Public Security, Central Security Forces, Traffic Department, and Firefighters will take part in the plan. The plan will include securing all Christian houses of worship, vital institutions and parks frequented during holidays.

Thick smog keeps schools closed for fourth day in Iran

AFP, Tehran/December 20/ 2017/Schools were closed for a fourth straight day in Tehran on Wednesday as dangerous air pollution covered the Iranian capital and traffic restrictions failed to clear the thick smog. Average airborne concentration of the finest and most hazardous particles (PM2.5) was “unhealthy” at 160 microgrammes per cubic metre, slightly worse than Tuesday, authorities said. That is more than six times higher than the World Health Organization recommended maximum of 25 microgrammes per m3 over a 24-hour period. Authorities extended traffic restrictions so that only one in two cars could go on the street, depending on their number plates. Wednesday is the last day of the week for schools in Tehran and authorities have not yet said whether they will reopen on Saturday. Pollution was also blanketing at least four other major cities: Esfahan in the centre, Orumiyeh in the northwest, Mashhad in the northeast and Tabriz in the northwest. Schools were closed on Wednesday in all of those cities except in Mashhad, the state broadcaster’s website reported. Ambulances were also deployed in the streets for possible medical emergencies, it added. Citizens, especially those with respiratory problems, children and the elderly, were advised to stay at home.

US launches push at UN for action against Iran

AFP, United/December 20/2017/ The United States will in the coming days discuss several options for UN Security Council action against Iran such as sanctions for violating the arms embargo on Yemen, Ambassador Nikki Haley said Tuesday. During a council meeting on Iran, Haley drew a list of possible measures that immediately drew strong reservations from Russia, which has friendly relations with Tehran. The United States has accused Iran of arming militants in Yemen, providing missiles that have been fired at Saudi Arabia, a key US ally. On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia shot down over Riyadh a ballistic missile fired by the Houthi militias, in a strike that Haley said "bears all the hallmarks of previous attacks using Iranian-provided weapons."The missile attack on Riyadh should be a "flashing red siren for this council," she said. Haley suggested strengthening a 2015 resolution endorsing the landmark Iranian nuclear deal or adopting a new measure barring Iran from developing missiles. Under the current resolution, the council calls on Iran not to undertake any launches of missiles capable of carrying a nuclear weapon, but there is no ban on missile tests. "We could explore sanctions on Iran in response to clear its violations of the Yemen arms embargo," said Haley, who also suggested targeting Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard for action. "In the coming days, we will continue to explore these options and others with our colleagues," Haley said. The Russian Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said it was time to "abandon the language of threats and sanctions" and opt instead for dialogue to "concentrate on broadening cooperation and trust."

Nikki Haley: Houthi missile on Saudi Arabia ‘bears hallmarks’ of Iran arms attacks
Al Arabiya/December 20/2017/US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said a missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi group toward Riyadh on Tuesday "bears all the hallmarks of previous attacks using Iranian-provided weapons."Saudi air defenses shot down the ballistic missile, the Saudi-led coalition said. There were no reports of casualties or damage. This statement came during a special session of the Security Council to discuss the commitment of Iran to implement the terms of the nuclear agreement in accordance with UN resolution 2231."If we do nothing about the missiles fired at Saudi Arabia, we will not be able to stop the violence," warned Haley. "There is clear evidence that the missiles that landed on Saudi Arabia come from Iran," she said. She asked the American delegate about the nature of the situation if those missiles were aimed at Europe or America, stressing that Saudi Arabia is a G20. "We have an opportunity to confront the Iranian regime, which violates Security Council resolutions," she added. "Iran's aggressive actions will be intensified if not addressed," she said, adding that "America will continue to provide the United Nations and the Security Council with information about Iran's aggressive activities."She stressed the need to adopt a new international resolution that increases pressure on Tehran. The EU's representative to the United Nations said on Tuesday that Iran's nuclear program is subject to verification. He called on the EU to address the issue of the Iranian missiles, pointing to the need to ensure the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program. The representative of the European Union urged the parties in the Middle East to avoid escalation. In his speech, the Egyptian delegate to the Security Council called on Iran to stop any activities that would fuel conflict in the region. (With Reuters)

Third Palestinian woman arrested over soldier slapping video
AFP, Ramallah/AFP, Tehran/December 20/ 2017/Israeli forces arrested a third Palestinian woman on Wednesday in connection with a viral video showing Israeli soldiers being slapped in the occupied West Bank. Soldiers arrested Nour Naji Tamimi, 21, from the village of Nabi Saleh north of Ramallah in the West Bank, residents said. Cousin Ahed Tamimi, 17, a well-known campaigner against Israel's occupation, was arrested on Tuesday along with her mother. The video shot last Friday, apparently with a mobile telephone, showed two Palestinian girls approaching two Israeli soldiers, before shoving, kicking and slapping them while filming on mobile phones. The heavily armed soldiers do not respond in the face of what appears to be an attempt to provoke rather than seriously harm them. They then move backwards.The army confirmed it had made a third arrest. The cousin is expected to be brought before an Israeli military court on Wednesday. The video appears to have been filmed on the steps of the Tamimi house, during a day of protests against US President Donald Trump's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. It has been widely picked up by Israeli media, which often accuse Palestinian protesters of seeking to provoke the army into responses which are then filmed. Israeli politicians hailed the restraint of the soldiers as evidence of the military's values. Palestinians on social media criticized Ahed's arrest in the middle of the night, arguing it is the people's right to resist military occupation. A member of the Tamimi family was shot in the head with a rubber bullet during protests on Friday, the family said.

176 Nations At UN Call For Palestinian Statehood

Jerusalem Post/December 20/17
The General Assembly voted 176-7 on Tuesday to affirm the Palestinian right to self-determination, one day after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas pledged to renew his quest for state membership in the international body.
The vote is nonbinding and has no impact beyond underscoring international support for Palestinian statehood among most of the UN’s 193 members.
The United States, Canada and Israel were among the seven that opposed the text; four states abstained.
While the General Assembly approves a similar text each year, PLO Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour said this year’s vote had to be seen within the context of international opposition to US President Donald Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
On Monday, the US vetoed a UN Security Council resolution against the declaration that had the support of the other 14 nations on the 15-member body.
“The world rejects the new US position on Jerusalem, which increases its isolation, because it decided to stand by the occupying state, Israel, in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions,” Mansour said, according to Wafa, the Palestinian news agency.
It is one of a number of moves the Palestinians are taking at the UN this week to underscore their claim that Israel and the US are isolated on the world stage when it comes to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.
On Wednesday, the General Assembly will vote on a resolution stipulating the right of the Palestinian people to their natural resources in “occupied territory,” Mansour added. This includes the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
But the PLO needs Security Council approval to become a UN member state, which means that the US can block its momentum.
The PLO is seeking a way to circumvent the US; to date there are few UN organs that provide an alternative to a Security Council vote.
The primary organ for neutralizing the Security Council is the General Assembly’s Uniting for Peace Resolution 377A, approved in 1950 to neutralize the Soviet Union’s power at the Security Council, which at the time was blocking action on Korea.
Since then, the General Assembly has held 10 emergency session under Resolution 377A, half of which have been about Israel.
The last one was opened in 1997 over Israeli construction in Jerusalem’s Har Homa neighborhood, located over the Green Line. Eighteen General Assembly meetings have been held under that session’s title.
The last such emergency session was in 2009, regarding the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
In 2012, the General assembly voted to recognize “Palestine” as an observer state, a move considered to be a form of de facto statehood recognition, but which does not grant the Palestinians full statehood rights.
Resolution 377A has not yet been used for statehood affirmation.
The Arab states, however, made use of it to reconvene the 10th emergency session on Thursday, so that the General Assembly can approve the vetoed Security Council text on Jerusalem. Turkey, Yemen and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation issued a request for such a session.
A resolution passed under 377A is not as binding as a Security Council resolution, but is stronger than a regulation General Assembly text.
Alan Baker, former legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem and a senior fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said that such a move was a “big bluff.”
Such a session can adopt resolutions, and “they carry a bigger punch,” but they are not binding, he said.
In general, the UN “cannot determine that a declaration by a US president can be legal or illegal, because the declaration itself does not violate any international law,” Baker said.
Separately, Jordan’s King Abdullah is in Europe to bolster opposition to Trump’s Jerusalem declaration. Abdullah and Pope Francis spoke privately for about 20 minutes at the start of the King’s visit to the Vatican and France.
A Vatican statement said they discussed “the promotion of peace and stability in the Mideast, with particular reference to the question of Jerusalem and the role of the Hashemite Sovereign as Custodian of the Holy Places.”
The statement said both sides wanted to encourage negotiations. He also met in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss Jerusalem and the peace process. Reuters contributed to this report.

Trump Threatens Fund Cuts for Nations that Vote against His Jerusalem Decision
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/December 20/17/U.S. President Donald Trump threatened funding cuts for unspecified countries as the U.N. General Assembly prepared to vote on condemning Washington's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "All these nations that take our money and then vote against us at the Security Council and they vote against us potentially at the Assembly," Trump said at the White House. "They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars and then they vote against us. Well, we're watching those votes," he continued. "Let them vote against us. We'll save a lot. We don't care."

Saudi King Tells Abbas KSA Supports Palestinians on E. Jerusalem
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/December 20/17/Saudi King Salman on Wednesday pledged the kingdom's support for east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state during talks with President Mahmoud Abbas. The monarch stressed "the legitimate right of the Palestinian people in establishing their independent state with east Jerusalem as its capital," the SPA official news agency reported. The visit comes after U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this month recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, sparking angry reactions by the Palestinians and Arabs. On Monday, Abbas reiterated his opposition to any U.S. role as broker between the two sides, saying "whoever allows the United States to return as a partner or mediator in the peace process is crazy." Abbas has sent delegations to China and Russia to ask them to take a greater role in the peace process with Israel, an official said on Tuesday.

Canada, US to Host N. Korea Crisis Talks in January

Agence France Presse/Naharnet/December 20/17/Canada and the United States announced Tuesday they will host a summit of foreign ministers in Vancouver on January 16, including envoys from Japan and South Korea, to seek progress on the North Korean nuclear crisis. "We believe a diplomatic solution to the crisis is essential and possible," Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told a joint press conference with visiting US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Tillerson said the meeting would seek to further increase pressure on North Korea to come to the table to negotiate an end to its nuclear program. This could include "other steps that could be taken to put additional pressure on the regime in North Korea," as well as preparing for the prospects of talks, he said. "We (will) continue to find ways to advance the pressure campaign against North Korea," Tillerson said, "to send North Korea a unified message from the international community that we will not accept you as... a nuclear weapons nation, and that all of us share one policy and one goal -- the full complete verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.""It's all intended to lead to talks. Otherwise we wouldn't need to do this. We would just go straight to the military option," he said. "The White House supports diplomatic talks," Tillerson added, dismissing suggestions of a rift between US President Donald Trump and his chief diplomatic. Freeland said Canada and the United States "are aligned with the rest of the world in our position that these provocative and illegal acts cannot be tolerated. We fully support regional and international efforts to address the North Korean threat and the work of the UN Security Council."The so-called Vancouver Group will also include Australia, Belgium, Britain, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey. Throughout the afternoon, Tillerson and Freeland also discussed Canada-US border security, North American defense, energy and environmental cooperation, and the ongoing renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which binds the two countries with Mexico to form the world's second-largest trading bloc after the EU. They also discussed the plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar and "the potential for a peacekeeping mission" in Ukraine. Freeland will travel to Ukraine to meet with government officials on Wednesday. As well, said Freeland, she and Tillerson considered "the crisis in Venezuela and what actions we can take individually, together and in cooperation with the Lima group... to address the deteriorating political, economic and humanitarian situation there." Canada hosted foreign ministers of 12 countries of the Americas in October to try to find ways to cool the fierce power struggle that had been raging for months between President Nicolas Maduro's left-wing nationalist government and the center-right opposition. Later Tuesday, Tillerson was to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau before heading back to Washington.

Latest LCCC Bulletin analysis & editorials from miscellaneous sources published on December 20-21/17
Europe's "Arab Street" Rises Up
Douglas Murray/Gatestone Institute/December 20/2017
Hamas called for a "Day of Rage" -- as opposed to the days of peace and harmony the terrorist group ordinarily calls for -- but this did not spill out very far.
In Stockholm, meanwhile, the new "locals" contented themselves with setting light to the Star of David rather than to real live Jews as their compatriots in Gothenburg had tried to do.
The fabled "Arab Street" had been meant to rise up. And it did rise up. But not in the Arab world... instead it lit up in Europe.
It is now a fortnight since President Trump made his historic announcement about the status of Jerusalem. The speech which announced that America would drop the pretence that Jerusalem is not the capital of the State of Israel was relayed live around the world. Across the major networks and the world's front pages the response was almost unanimous. They proclaimed this a major foreign policy blunder which would lead to any number of problems including -- many predicted -- an immediate "third intifada."
The world's cameras immediately turned to Bethlehem where a small group of enterprising Palestinians burned an American flag for the cameras. This picture went around the world. Otherwise, not very much appeared to be happening. Hamas called for a "Day or Rage" -- as opposed to the days of peace and harmony the terrorist group ordinarily calls for -- but this did not spill out very far. The Friday immediately following the announcement might have been a flashpoint, tempers being famously frayed after the act of afternoon worship. And yet, as the BBC's veteran reporter Jeremy Bowen tweeted from the scene, "At Damascus Gate in Jerusalem press pack outnumbering demonstrators." The fabled "Arab Street" had been meant to rise up. And it did rise up. But not in the Arab world.
In London, the American Embassy was the scene of a protest called for by a number of prominent left-wing and Labour party activists as well as a some Muslim groups. The Labour MP Andy Slaughter was among those who addressed the crowds. This swiftly arranged protest soon degenerated into the usual anti-Semitic rally, with the crowds chanting "From the Rivers to the Sea Palestine will be free" (that is "There will be no Israel at all, not even a sliver of the land"). And the crowd also chanted "Khaybar Khaybar, ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad, sa yahud". That is, "Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning." For the crowd outside the American embassy in London, threatening Jews with the memory of the seventh century obliteration of a Jewish community near Medina was clearly an entirely appropriate move.
Meanwhile, in Amsterdam, a man carrying a Palestinian flag and wearing a keffiyah headed to a heavily Jewish quarter of the city. There he proceeded to smash in the windows of a kosher restaurant. The whole thing was caught on camera. Again it appeared to make perfect sense to the assailant. The American president recognised Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel and this man headed out to carry out a replay of Kristallnacht at a Jewish business on a Dutch street.
Further north, the situation was worse. In Sweden, the nation's new local traditions immediately followed President Trump's speech. Spontaneous protests erupted in the city of Malmö on the Thursday and Friday evenings after the Jerusalem announcement. In a city whose name has become a byword for the new, imported form of European anti-Semitism, the crowd shouted chants such as "We're going to shoot the Jews". Further north, in the city of Gothenburg, things got even uglier. On Saturday night, a group of around 20 masked men attacked the local synagogue, hurling objects and Molotov cocktails. At the time of the attack, there was a youth event happening at the community centre connected to the synagogue. The 20-30 young people attending the event were herded down into the building's basement as the gasoline began to be smelled. In Stockholm, meanwhile, the new "locals" contented themselves with setting light to the Star of David rather than to real live Jews as their compatriots in Gothenburg had tried to do.
In Germany, crowds of people recently imported into the country burned the Star of David, as well. Although German politicians condemned the action, taking place as it did in the centre of Berlin, there is little they can do about it. Last year there were 470 anti-Semitic incidents in the German capital alone. This constituted an increase of 16% in the single year from 2015 to 2016. Stories like that of a Jewish schoolchild -- the grandson of Holocaust survivors -- being forced to leave his Berlin school earlier in the year after being attacked by Muslim students, is just one story that is making some Germans nervous.
Following President Trump's announcement about the status of Jerusalem, the fabled "Arab Street" rose up in Europe. In Germany, crowds of people recently imported into the country burned the Star of David. Pictured: Several thousand, mostly Muslim, protesters in Berlin, on December 8, 2017.
In Germany, however, as in Sweden, Holland, Britain and every other country in Western Europe, there is no point in merely being nervous. It appears that the instinct that really has a point is wilful optimism. After this recent spate of attacks, the former Swedish politician Carl Bildt summed up the view of an entire establishment. While lamenting the anti-Semitism and misogyny of many migrants from the Arab world, Bildt wrote:
"Most refugees coming to our country from Muslim countries have adjusted to the values of tolerance central to our society. The fact that many of these people have often fled different systems of intolerance helps that process."
Mr. Bildt, like so many other politicians of his generation, is now willing to admit some truths about the effects of mass migration which he would never have admitted even a few years ago. But the successor to silence turns out to be this blind, wilful optimism. It recognises that, sure, some of the migrants come to us with rampant Jew-hatred. And sure, some of them do not like women or gays. But in time they will become as friendly towards Jews as any other European.
Perhaps Mr Bildt is right to have his optimistic vision of the migrants becoming just like everyone else. Or perhaps -- and a lot rides on this -- he is wrong. Considering that possibility, all of these recent events present the most ominous possible warning-sign. Events such as those since President Trump's announcement should be sending up the clearest possible flare. Yet it is one that too few people are still willing to see. It is taking people time to recognise that the fabled "Arab Street" did light up in recent days. But it lit up in Europe.
**Douglas Murray, British author, commentator and public affairs analyst, is based in London, England. His latest book, an international best-seller, is "The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam."
© 2017 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

Britain: The "Islamophobia" Industry Strikes Again
Bruce Bawer/Gatestone Institute/December 20/2017
The Runnymede Trust report's solitary reference to the fatwa against Salman Rushdie states: "In Britain... many Muslims felt unsupported in their reaction to Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses and faced a backlash from those who they felt prioritized freedom of speech above respect for minorities." Apparently, Britons who stood up for Rushdie's right not to be slaughtered for writing a novel were guilty of Islamophobia.
Much of Runnymede's report is devoted to the high levels of Muslim poverty and unemployment in the U.K. -- but instead of seeking reasons for this problem in Islam itself, it blames this problem primarily on "institutional racism," while avoiding the ticklish question of why Hindus, whom one would also expect to be victims of "institutional racism" in Britain, are economically more successful than any other group in that nation, including ethnic British Christians.
The Runnymede report points out that domestic violence and child abuse are also committed by Westerners; the difference, needless to say, is that while FGM and honor violence enjoy widespread approval in Muslim societies and communities, where they are viewed as justifiable (if not compulsory) under Islam, domestic violence and child abuse are universally condemned in Western society and are never defended on cultural or religious grounds.
Founded in 1968, the Runnymede Trust describes itself as "the UK's leading independent race equality think tank." Its chair is Clive Jones CBE, a former executive at Britain's ITV; its director is Omar Khan, a Governor of the University of East London and member of a variety of advisory groups involving ethnicity and integration. Runnymede's reports are taken extremely seriously, and its recommendations heeded, at the highest levels of the British government.
In 1994, Runnymede published a report on anti-Semitism. Its title, A Very Light Sleeper, was borrowed from a statement by the author Conor Cruise O'Brien: "Anti-Semitism is a very light sleeper." Now, anyone familiar with contemporary Britain knows that the alarming contemporary rise in Jew-hatred in that country – as in all of western Europe – is principally a consequence of the growing population of Muslims. But the Runnymede Trust's report seemed designed mainly to divert attention away from that fact. Tracing anti-Semitism through Luther, Voltaire, Marx, Henry Ford, and Hitler, the report did a splendid job of implicitly identifying anti-Semitism as a Western phenomenon – a product of what the report presented a distinctively Western tendency to divide the world into "us" and "the Other."
Of course, no civilization is more virulently anti-Semitic than Islamic civilization. But the Runnymede Trust's 1994 report presented as gospel the at best exaggerated notion that medieval Islamic societies were tolerant of Jews, who were thus "able to play a full part" in those societies. To the extent that the report acknowledged the reality of today's Muslim anti-Semitism, it depicted that prejudice (a) as being confined to "extremist" groups, such as Hizb ut-Tahrir, that (it was quick to emphasize) are also hostile to many Muslim countries; (b) as being caused by anger over the fact that Jerusalem, "the third most sacred place for Muslims after Mecca and Medina," is controlled by Israel; or (c) as being caused by irrational fears of the sort that also exist in Christianity and other religions.
But when it came to Jews and Muslims, the thrust of the report is summed up in its assurance that the Koran also "refers to Jews and Christians as People of the Book" – never mind that the Koran also refers to Jews as "apes and swine," describes them as cursed, calls on Muslims to kill them, and forbids Muslims from befriending them. Reading Runnymede's report on anti-Semitism, one gathered the impression that it was compiled mostly so that Runnymede could be able to point to it and say that it had, in fact, issued a report on anti-Semitism.
The reality is that the Runnymede Trust does not appear to be terribly interested in anti-Semitism. For many years, it has seemed to be far more exercised about the purported pervasiveness of anti-Muslim prejudice in the U.K. In 1997, it published a report, Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All, which "was launched at the House of Commons by then-Home Secretary Jack Straw." Of its 60 recommendations, many were ultimately implemented. This year, on the twentieth anniversary of that report, Runnymede issued a new, 106-page report, Islamophobia: Still a Challenge for Us All, edited by Farah Elahi and Omar Khan. The new report is a remarkable document. Among its premises is that "anti-Muslim hate crime" is a major crisis in the U.K. that demands urgent action by politicians, police, educators, employers, civil-society groups, the media, and pretty much everybody else. As for the far more serious matter of crimes committed by Muslims, the report mentions them only within the context of discussions of anti-Muslim hate. In the town of Rotherham alone, for example, in accordance with orthodox Islamic attitudes toward "uncovered" or "immodest" infidel females, over 1400 non-Muslim girls are known to have been sexually abused by so-called Muslim "grooming" gangs in recent years – but the epidemic of "grooming" is cited in the Runnymede report only as one item on a list of practices and phenomena that it identifies as contributing to British "stereotypes" about Muslims. Similarly, here is the Runnymede Trust report's solitary reference to the fatwa against Salman Rushdie: "In Britain...many Muslims felt unsupported in their reaction to Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses and faced a backlash from those who they felt prioritized freedom of speech above respect for minorities." The point here is apparently that Britons who stood up for Rushdie's right not to be slaughtered for writing a novel were guilty of Islamophobia.
In the town of Rotherham, England, in accordance with orthodox Islamic attitudes toward "uncovered" or "immodest" infidel females, over 1400 non-Muslim girls are known to have been sexually abused by so-called Muslim "grooming" gangs in recent years.
The report does acknowledge the reality of what it euphemistically calls "the terrorist threat," but it never seriously addresses this threat and excuses this failure by explaining that "this report is about Islamophobia." While noting, moreover, claims that some individuals that Islam "should be subject to criticism" because it "is a system of beliefs," the report maintains that this "focus on ideas (or 'ideologies') has obscured what instead should be a focus on people." The point apparently being that even if you're criticizing Islam strictly as a set of ideas, that act of criticism is still being directed at people – which, again, makes you an Islamophobe. Several paragraphs of the report are, indeed, devoted to a convoluted "explanation" of why, even though Islam is not a race, Islamophobia is nonetheless a form of racism.
The British government's program Prevent, the part of its counterterrorism strategy that seeks to inhibit the radicalization of British subjects, also comes in for criticism in Runnymede's report. Prevent is faulted both for being rooted in the notion (which it finds offensive, true or not) that the chief terrorist threat to the country is posed by "Islamist terrorists" (a term that the report puts in scare quotes) and for "put[ting] the onus on Muslim communities." The report charges that because the British government, as part of the Prevent program, monitors (for example) imams who preach violence against the West, Prevent represents a violation of free speech. I can find no record of the Runnymede Trust ever criticizing the zealous attempts by British authorities to silence critics of Islam – a practice that has led to the banning from the U.K. of prominent American critics of Islam, even as the government has continued to permit preachers of violent jihad to enter the country.
Much of Runnymede's report is devoted to the high levels of Muslim poverty and unemployment in the U.K. – but instead of seeking reasons for this problem in Islam itself, it blames this problem primarily on "institutional racism," while avoiding the ticklish question of why Hindus, whom one would also expect to be victims of "institutional racism" in Britain, are economically more successful than any other group in that nation, including ethnic British Christians.
There is nothing in the Runnymede Trust report about Islamic theology – about jihad, sharia, the caliphate, the systematic subjugation of women, the execution of adulterers and apostates and gays. Audaciously, a chapter on women and Islam reduces the whole question to "Western stereotypes of Muslim women as oppressed, passive victims." Female genital mutilation (FGM) and honor violence, the report asserts, have been "sensationalized" by the British media. In an effort to downplay the importance of these phenomena, the Runnymede report points out that domestic violence and child abuse are also committed by Westerners; the difference, needless to say, is that while FGM and honor violence enjoy widespread approval in Muslim societies and communities, where they are viewed as justifiable (if not compulsory) under Islam, domestic violence and child abuse are universally condemned in Western society and are never defended on cultural or religious grounds.
As for Islamic patriarchy, the report insists that patriarchy exists in the West as well as in the Islamic world. The report's repeated endeavors to draw this kind of moral equivalency are so patently absurd – and desperate – that they do not even merit a civilized response. Indeed, the report itself – whose authors are manifestly determined throughout to absolve Islam of any blame for anything whatsoever, and to attribute every ill afflicting the British Muslim community to Islamophobia – would not merit any comment at all if the Runnymede Trust were not taken as seriously as it is in the corridors of British power.
*Bruce Bawer is the author of the new novel The Alhambra (Swamp Fox Editions). His book While Europe Slept (2006) was a New York Times bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.
© 2017 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

Rampant Pedophilia in Pakistani Madrassas

Lawrence A. Franklin/Gatestone Institute/December 20/2017
A recent Associated Press probe provided accounts of the rampant pedophilia, allowed to go unchecked due to a combination of factors, among them the fact that most of the victims are from poor and vulnerable families. Those who do try to complain are often bribed or threatened into silence.
Islamic judicial officials, and even civil court judges, usually urge those accused of sexual abuse to offer "blood money" to the victim or the family in exchange for withdrawing the complaint and "forgiving" the perpetrator.
Well-connected violators reach out to community leaders, particularly in rural areas, and persuade them to pressure parents of victims into keeping silent by accusing them of bringing shame to their villages or warning them that they will be subject to counter-charges of blasphemy.
Sexual abuse of young boys and girls in Pakistan's madrassas (Islamic schools) continues to be both pervasive and suppressed, according to the latest "Cruel Numbers" annual report by Sahil, a child-protection NGO operating in four of the country's main provinces.
A recent Associated Press (AP) probe provided accounts of the rampant pedophilia, allowed to go unchecked due to a combination of factors, among them the fact that most of the victims are from poor and vulnerable families. Those who do try to complain are often bribed or threatened into silence. As a result, the head of Sahil said, the 359 cases reported by the media over the past decade are "barely the tip of the iceberg."
A mere fraction of sexual-abuse allegations has reached the court adjudication stage, and only a handful of the perpetrators in those cases have been indicted; very few have been convicted. Islamic judicial officials, and even civil court judges, usually urge those accused of sexual abuse to offer "blood money" to the victim or the family in exchange for withdrawing the complaint and "forgiving" the perpetrator.
In addition, well-connected violators reach out to community leaders, particularly in rural areas, and persuade them to pressure parents of victims into keeping silent by accusing them of bringing shame to their villages or warning them that they will be subject to counter-charges of blasphemy.
The AP report further found links between some of the tens of thousands madrassas in Pakistan (22,000 registered ones and thousands more unregistered ones operating out of garages, abandoned storefronts and private homes) and terrorist networks. One mullah-instructor in Karachi accused of sexual abuse, for example, arrived in civil court surrounded by several members of the Sipah-e-Sahaba (Guards of the Prophet's Companions), a Sunni Islamic terrorist group with Pakistani government connections. The group's intimidating presence was enough to lead to the dismissal of the case.
The "infestation" of sexual and physical abuse in Pakistan's madrassas is made easier by the very nature of their fundamentalist Sunni curricula, which corresponds to and influences Pakistani society as a whole. Most of the country's madrassas espouse the Deobandi School of Sunni Islam, the Pakistani mirror image of Saudi Wahhabism. Many are financially supported by Saudi grants; some are even staffed by Saudi instructors.
Students at the Jamia Binoria Madrassa in Karachi. Picture is for illustrative purposes only. (Image source: United States Journalists Exchange/Flickr)
The permissive attitude toward pedophilia in madrassas is related to the primary status of the adult male in Pakistan, as in other radical Muslim-majority societies. The tendency to ignore it is magnified when religious officials are the ones committing the atrocities, as the behavior reflects badly not only on the perpetrators themselves, but has the potential to damage Islam's reputation.
It is thus imperative to provide support to those brave organizations and individuals who risk their lives and livelihoods to expose and eradicate the abuse and its apologists.
**Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin was the Iran Desk Officer for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. He also served on active duty with the U.S. Army and as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve.
© 2017 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

The Trump's Camp Strategy with Regard to Mueller

Alan M. Dershowitz/Gatestone Institute/December 20/2017
The Trump team is probably not going to seek to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. To do so would be to provoke Trump's crucial supporters in Congress. Instead, they seem to be seeking to discredit him and his investigation. This is apparently designed to achieve two possible results: the first is to put pressure on the Special Prosecutor to lean over backwards in order to avoid any accusation of bias against Trump and his team. Mueller cares deeply about his reputation for integrity and will want to emerge from this process with that reputation intact. Accordingly, he may err – consciously or unconsciously – in favor of Trump in close cases so that the public will regard him as unbiased and fair-minded.
This is a classic tactic used by lawyers, athletic coaches, business people and others in how they deal with decision makers. The great Red Auerbach, former coach of the Boston Celtics, once told me that when he screams loudly at officials, he generally gets the next close call in his favor. I have heard the same from baseball managers regarding balls and strikes.
This is a somewhat risky strategy in the context of law, because attacking the decision maker could also backfire. Whoever thinks about using this tactic should understand the particular decision maker against whom it is directed. Mueller seems like an appropriate target because of his concern for his reputation for fairness.
Even if this tactic were not to work, the attack on Mueller gives the Trump team some legal weaponry in the event of an indictment or a recommendation for impeachment. If a significant portion of the country believes that the Special Counsel was unfair, this could help in legal proceedings before judges or jurors.
So attacking Mueller may appear to be a win-win tactic for the team – certainly a lot better than firing Mueller. Fortunately for the Trump team, Mueller has played into their hands by his sloppiness in conducting the investigation. He has been incautious with his choice of personnel – too many of them seem biased against Trump, not only by their backgrounds, but by their tweets and messages. When you go after a President, you must be Caesar's wife – above suspicion or reproach. Mueller seems to be failing the Caesar's wife test. Moreover, the manner by which he acquired emails and other documents from the Trump transition team may raise some legal questions. The same may be true if he used the questionable dossier against Trump as a basis for securing warrants.
All in all, the Trump team is in a better position continuing to challenge Mueller than trying to get rid of him as the Special Counsel.
This is not a game, of course. Lives and liberty are at stake, but gamesmanship has always been part of our legal system, for better or worse.
Mueller can improve his situation in several ways. First, he should appoint an ethics expert to advise him – a former judge who is beyond reproach. Names like George Mitchell, Louie Freeh, and Justice David Souter come to mind. That advisor could assure him in going forward there will be no more embarrassing revelation of messages or emails that create the appearance, if not the reality of bias. He must also be more careful in how he obtains evidence. The last thing he should do is give ammunition to defense attorneys to challenge his evidence gathering methods.
In setting out this analysis, I am not taking sides. I am simply sharing my 50 years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer who has seen the criminal justice system up-close, warts and all. As James Madison wrote in Federalist 51 "Perhaps everyone will agree that if we were all angels, no state would be necessary, and if angels were the governors, they would require neither internal nor external constraints to ensure that they governed justly." Neither the Trump team nor the Mueller team are angels. They are human beings with human limitations. But an investigation of a president must be as close to angelic as any human endeavor can be. Otherwise the public will not have confidence in the results.
**Alan M. Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and author of Trumped Up, How Criminalization of Political Differences endangers Democracy.
**This article was first published at Fox News.
© 2017 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

Passing Through to Corruption
Paul Krugman/The New York Times/December 20/17
Unless something drastic happens, this will be the week Republicans ram through a tax cut that adds more than a trillion dollars to federal debt while undermining health care for millions. They will do so by violating all previous norms for major legislation, having held not a single hearing and rushed to a vote before the new senator from Alabama could be seated.
The question is, why are they doing this? For this bill isn’t just a policy crime; it also seems to be a political mistake. It will, however, be good, one way or another, for the bank accounts of quite a few Republican members of Congress. Is that why it will pass?
About the politics: Normally, politicians willing to add a trillion dollars to the debt can hand out enough goodies to make their plans popular, at least for a while. The George W. Bush tax cuts heavily favored the rich over the middle class, but they contained enough clear middle-class tax cuts to have broad public approval, at least at first.
This bill, however, faces heavy disapproval. Ordinary voters may not be able to parse all the details, but they have figured out that this bill is a giveaway to corporations and the wealthy that will end up hurting most families. This negative view isn’t likely to change.
Nevertheless, Republicans have persisted. Why?
One answer may be that they really believe that tax cuts will unleash a huge economic boom. There’s almost complete consensus among experts that it will do no such thing — but the G.O.P. has been waging war on expertise in all fields. (Among the terms reportedly banned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are “evidence based” and “science based.”)
So you get people like the Republican congressman who told CNBC’s John Harwood that his colleagues told him there are models predicting huge gains (there aren’t), that he doesn’t know what those models are, but that he trusts his party’s line.
Another answer may be that Republicans believe that legislative victories put “points on the board,” helping their electoral prospects, even if the bills are unpopular. Obama officials thought the same thing back in 2009 — but they were wrong: Major legislative victories on economic stimulus, health care and financial reform did nothing to stop disastrous losses in the 2010 midterm elections.
The final, and most disturbing, possible explanation for the behavior of Republican legislators is that they’re supporting legislation, knowing that it’s bad for both the country and their party, because it’s good for them personally.
Some Republicans have been quite open in saying that they felt compelled to push forward on corporate tax cuts to please their donors. But I’m talking about more than campaign finance; I’m talking about personal payoffs.
Raw bribery probably isn’t the issue, although insider trading based on close relationships with companies affected by legislation may be a much bigger deal than most realize. But the revolving door is an even bigger deal. When members of Congress leave their positions, voluntarily or not, their next jobs often involve lobbying of some kind. This gives them an incentive to keep the big-money guys happy, never mind what voters think.
One perverse effect of this incentive is that recent G.O.P. electoral losses may have strengthened the party’s determination to do unpopular things. Suppose you represent a mildly Republican-leaning district in, say, California or New York. Given what looks like a building Democratic wave, your odds of keeping that seat next year look low whatever you do — so it’s time to focus on pleasing your future employers on K Street.
And when it comes to the Senate, bear in mind that many senators are personally wealthy, meaning that they might be swayed by policies that enhance their personal fortunes. Which brings us to the “Corker kickback.”
Senator Bob Corker, citing concerns about the deficit, was the only Republican to vote against the Senate version of the tax bill. Now, however, he says he will vote for a final version that is no better when it comes to fiscal probity. What changed?
Well, one thing that changed was the insertion of a provision that wasn’t in the Senate bill: Real estate companies were added to the list of “pass-through” businesses whose owners will get sharply lower tax rates. These pass-through provisions are arguably the worst feature of the bill. They will open the tax system to a huge amount of gaming, of exploiting legal loopholes to avoid tax.
But one thing they will also do, thanks to that last-minute addition, is give huge tax breaks to elected officials who own a lot of income-producing real estate — officials like Donald Trump and, yes, Bob Corker.
Corker denies that he had any role in adding that provision. But he has offered no coherent alternative explanation of what changed his mind about voting for a bill that explodes the deficit.
We may never know exactly what happened with Corker. But there’s every reason to believe that Republicans in Congress are taking their cues from a president who openly uses his office to enrich himself. Goodbye, ideology; hello, corruption.

When Qatar’s famous turncoat talks about Jerusalem

Mohammed Al Shaikh/Al Arabiya/December 20/17
Saudi Royal Court advisor Saud Al-Qahtani recently tweeted about a “funny historical incident” related to the controversial cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. A long time back, the leader of “Two-Hamads” regime came crying to the once mature Qatari leadership seeking clemency for the controversial Islamic scholar Qaradawi. The royal audience reprimanded him for making the plea as Qaradawi was supportive of Hezbollah.
In response, he replied: “May God bless you, if you wish me to bring him and dance before you, I shall do so gladly.” The then Qatari foreign minister released this video segment wherein Al-Qahtani states Qaradawi made the predictable 180 degree about-face in his position regarding Hezbollah. The statement of Qatar’s Emir in this incident is said to be well documented in the archives of the Royal Court. Perhaps this is the only true claim made by the rulers of Qatar, although as is well-known they rarely say the truth.
Raking up public outrage
I was reminded of this statement when I read the recent angry response of Qaradawi — by which he deftly seeks to reclaim his lost glory — to the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the announcement that it would move its embassy there. This unreliable opportunist has tried to exploit the popular outrage in the wake of this unfortunate event. In his tweet, Qaradawi insults the United States in a way which Imam Malik would have found improper while pronouncing in favor of the prohibition of wine.
Perhaps Qaradawi forgot that he had once even given his blessings to the NATO alliance, the military arm of the West. When Obama was supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood, Qaradawi stated in what can only be considered sheer idiocy that “If the Prophet (peace be upon him) was alive he would have shaken hands with NATO.” Here, Qaradawi was clearly behaving like an exotic dancer who would make Najwa Fouad, the famous Egyptian dancer, embarrassed of her talents, as he swayed his hips on the demands of the audience. The man is clearly without any principles, as he oscillates and changes his colors like a chameleon. He supports the United States if the Islamic segment of the populace starts supporting it, and he changes his orientation the moment the masses seek a change of hearts.
Playing to the gallery
Qaradawi, like many others who follow him on this path, is a chimera. He does what Qatar wants him to do and not what Islam wants them to be. These politicking Muslims have neither shame nor fear of God, or respect for his creation because when they issue these fatwas, they are fully aware that their followers are like sheep that will blindly follow them to Hell. The typical member of the Muslim Brotherhood is completely insensitive. He is institutionally brainwashed to blindly follow and be submissive. Tilimsani once stated of the preachers of the Muslim Brotherhood, “The Ikhwani in the hands of his sheikh is like the dead in the hands of those who wash him.” They thereby deprive man of his most important mental faculties. I have no doubt that Qaradawi is well aware of the inanity, naiveté and indifference of his followers, otherwise he wouldn’t reveal his true colors so blatantly, as he did when he tampered with the sayings of the Prophet.