While Islamic State (IS) jihadists battle their way across Syria and Iraq, beheading soldiers and civilians, training children for jihad, their supporters across Europe demand "death to Jews" and call for the blood of infidels.
Now, it seems, some European leaders are refusing to fight back.
The situation has become especially controversial in the Dutch political capital of The Hague, where pro-IS protests in July involved anti-Jewish chants and a violent attack on a female journalist covering the event. As the Jew-hate worsened and violence intensified, witnesses and Jewish advocacy groups called on the mayor's office to step in. But Mayor Josias van Aartsen was on holiday; and his deputy, left in charge, found no reason to intervene.
Residents of The Hague, however, felt otherwise: on Aug. 10, a group calling itself "Pro-Patria" staged its own "freedom march" through the same largely Muslim neighborhood (the Schilderswijk) where the pro-IS demonstrations had been held,. The aim, according to one organizer, was to show "that this so-called Sharia-triangle is still Dutch land, where Dutch laws and rules prevail." (The Schilderswijk has been referred to as the "Sharia triangle" frequently in the Dutch press.)
Mayor van Aartsen, still vacationing in France, did nothing.
Now, van Aartsen has been called back to The Hague to justify his response (or lack of one) just as yet another anti-IS, pro-freedom march is being planned in the Schilderswijk. But this one, he says, goes too far. "No more protests against radical Islam in the Schilderswijk," he declared on his return to The Hague on Thursday. "Too provocative."
In other words, Muslim radicals calling for the death of Dutch non-Muslims, the gassing of Jews – this, Mayor van Aartsen finds acceptable behavior. But a protest against such speech is not: too much violence could ensue. "Ban it," he says, as if to suggest that by banning mini-skirts, you can soon be rid, too, of rape.
Van Aartsen is by no means the only culprit. Efforts to keep from "offending" Muslims are common now throughout Europe , where Christmas celebrations are curtailed and art museums have been known to censor works potentially "distressing" to Muslims. And earlier this week, officials removed a plaque marking the Belfast birthplace of former Israeli president Chaim Herzog "due to a spate of attacks."
Really? Is this how we respond to brutal violence, to racism, to threats on our homes and lives and values? Or has Europe already lost sight of what those values mean, and why they matter?
Alors que les djihadistes de l'État islamique (EI) mènent leurs combats en Syrie et en Irak, décapitant soldats et civils et entraînant des enfants au djihad, leurs partisans en Europe souhaitent la « mort aux juifs » et appellent à verser le sang des infidèles.
Il semble à présent que certains dirigeants européens refusent de riposter.
La situation est devenue particulièrement controversée dans la capitale néerlandaise, La Haye, où les manifestations de soutien à l'EI en juillet ont donné lieu à des slogans antijuifs et à l'agression violente d'une journaliste couvrant l'événement. Voyant la haine antijuive et la violence s'intensifier, des témoins et des associations juives ont fait appel au bureau du maire pour qu'il intervienne. Mais le maire Josias van Aartsen était en vacances et son adjoint qui le remplaçait n'a pas jugé bon d'intervenir.
Les habitants de La Haye, par contre, ne l'ont pas entendu de cette oreille : le 10 août un groupe dénommé « Pro-Patria » a organisé sa propre « marche pour la liberté » dans le même quartier en grande partie musulman (le Schilderswijk) où avaient eu lieu deux manifestations de soutien à l'EI. Selon un organisateur, l'objectif était de montrer « que ce qu'on appelle le Triangle de la Charia est toujours un territoire néerlandais où prévalent la loi et le droit néerlandais. » (Le Schilderswijk a fréquemment été désigné dans la presse néerlandaise comme le « Triangle de la Charia »)
Il s'agissait peut-être là d'une idée naïvement optimiste : la manif venait à peine de commencer quand des habitants pro-EI ont commencé à agresser les manifestants par des jets de pierres et des coups de poings. Six personnes ont été arrêtées.
Le maire van Aarsten, toujours en villégiature en France, n'a pas réagi.
Finalement, il a été rappelé à La Haye pour s'expliquer sur sa réaction (ou plutôt son absence de réaction) juste au moment où une nouvelle marche pour la liberté contre l'EI est prévue dans le Schilderswijk. Mais cette fois, pour le maire, c'en est trop. « Plus aucune manifestation contre l'islam radical n'aura lieu dans le Schilderswijk », a-t-il déclaré à son retour à La Haye, jeudi. « Trop provocant ».
Autrement dit, l'appel au meurtre de Néerlandais non musulmans et au gazage des juifs lancé par des musulmans radicaux est un comportement que le maire van Aartsen juge acceptable. Mais une manifestation contre ce genre de discours ne l'est pas au motif que cela pourrait occasionner trop de violence. « Interdisez-là », a-t-il dit, un peu comme si en interdisant les minijupes on serait bientôt débarrassé des viols.
Van Aartsen n'est pas le seul coupable, loin de là. Les efforts entrepris pour éviter toute « offense » à l'égard des musulmans sont devenus monnaie courante en Europe, où les célébrations de Noël sont rabotées et les musées d'art connus pour censurer des œuvres potentiellement « choquantes » pour les musulmans. Plus tôt dans la semaine, les autorités de Belfast ont fait enlever la plaque commémorative sur la maison natale de l'ancien président israélien Chaïm Herzog « en raison d'une série d'agressions ».
Ah bon ? Est-ce comme cela qu'on répond à la violence, au racisme, aux menaces contre nos foyers, nos vies et nos valeurs ? Ou l'Europe a-t-elle perdu de vue la sens des valeurs et la raison de leur importance ?
Israel's "annihilation" is in progress and "the new generation in Iran will certainly witness our victory over Israel," the Palestinian Authority's envoy to Iran told Gaza supporters Tuesday, reported the Algemeiner website.
"The U.S. and the Western countries have created a fake regime in Palestine to get rid of it and have supplied it with the most advanced weapons," said Salah al-Zawawi.
A day earlier, the Hamas representative to Tehran, Khaled Al-Qadoumi, defended his organization's ongoing terrorist campaign.
"The only mechanism for liberating Palestine is resistance and we have no option that supporting the resistance," Al-Qadoumi told a conference of Palestinian supporters.
The word "resistance" is Hamas-speak for terrorist attacks targeting Israeli civilians.
"Hamas will not talk to those who are willing to make compromise and have negotiations with Israel," he added.
Even though Hamas is demanding a lifting of the Israeli blockade of Gaza, the terrorist organization is committed to the Jewish state's destruction by all means in the longer run.
Al-Qadoumi also lauded Iran's financial and military support, as the Iranian press acknowledges the Islamic Republic's role in transferring sophisticated weaponry to Hamas.
"We hope to be able to make our missiles more advanced with the help of the knowledgeable Iranians."
While indirect negotiations between Hamas and Israel take place in Cairo, the terrorist organization and other Palestinian factions are boasting of their ongoing rocket production capabilities and continue to threaten attacks against Israel.
As ceasefire discussions in Cairo take place, Hamas and Fatah's military wings continue to devote resources to an ongoing terror campaign aimed at attacking Israeli civilians. A video report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) shows Hamas' military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, boasting of its rocket production capabilities.
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Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida starts out with a mocking anti-Semitic insult directed to Israel's Defense Minister.
"Yaalon threatens us with a ground offensive. We say to him: You are threatening us with something we are anticipating, you son of a Jew?"
The Al-Aqsa TV reporter also brags of Hamas' rocket attacks.
"On August 7, when the Zionist military forces were attacking Gaza from air, land, and sea, the Al-Qassam Brigades were launching strikes against Tel Aviv and Haifa, as well as neighboring towns in occupied Palestine."
Hamas refers to all of Israeli territory as "occupied Palestine" and the terrorist organization is committed to the Jewish state's destruction.
"Others continue to produce additional rockets, capable of striking deep into Zionist territory with the utmost precision. These rockets replenish the shortage stemming from daily launchings," the reporter said.
The reference to 'utmost precision' is consistent with Hamas' prior statements that its rockets only target Israeli Jews; however, many errant rockets have caused severe death and destruction among Gaza's population.
Meanwhile, Fatah's military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, also continues to boast of its terrorist role in the latest conflict. Another MEMRI video report shows Fatah affiliated terrorists displaying its own manufactured rockets and "booty" confiscated from the Israel Defence Forces, according to the Lebanese Mayadeen TV station.
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Abu Muhammad, an Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades spokesman, demonstrates how the terrorist organization prepares for war while negotiations are taking place.
"Our conditions for a lull were conveyed by our delegation, headed by Azzam Al-Ahmad, but our engineering and manufacturing units are continuing to operate as usual. They provide supplies on a daily basis to the brothers fighting throughout Gaza. The units supply them with the ammunition they need – rockets and explosive devices."
A brigades member reiterates that his organization is committed to a terrorist campaign against Israel.
"The only effective course of action against the enemy is armed struggle – kidnapping soldiers, striking the enemy, and martyrdom operations. We in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades promise you that we are preparing a high-profile attack against the Zionist enemy: kidnapping Zionist soldiers and imprisoning them, in order to empty the Zionist prisons of our commanders and comrades held there."
"We are going to transfer this [missile] to a position from where we will target [the enemy]," a brigades member said.
It is important to note that Hamas is not the only terrorist organization attacking Israeli civilians. Other factions, including the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Fatah's military wing, are also continuously preparing for further terrorist attacks against the Jewish state.
Military intervention in Iraq may be the only way to stop the genocide against the country's Christian minority by the Islamic State (formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS), a senior Vatican diplomat says.
"At this moment, we hope the voice that is surging from different Christian and religious communities, from moderate Muslims, from people of good will around the world, may find the response of concrete humanitarian assistance that is provided for the Christians in northern Iraq as well as some political and even effective military protection," Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's permanent observer to the United Nations told Vatican Radio.
At least 100,000 Christians have fled their villages in the Nineveh plains of northern Iraq, according to Iraq's Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako. Last month, the Islamic State ordered Christians living in Mosul to pay the jizyah tax mandated by the Quran, convert to Islam, or face death.
Sako called the Islamic State's onslaught a "Way of the Cross" for Iraq's Christians who have been in the region since the beginnings of Christianity. They have been forced to flee on foot amid Iraq's summer heat.
"They are using the sword to cut off hand[s] and also beheading other[s] so I don't think this is the behavior of human beings, but wild animals do that," an Iraqi Christian refugee told CBN News.
Islamic State terrorists have looted the Christians' possessions – everything from dentures to wedding rings – leaving them destitute. Churches have been burned or converted into mosques. Ancient Christian manuscripts also have been burned, and Christian symbols have been desecrated.
"They are killing our people in the name of Allah and telling people that anyone who kills a Christian will go straight to heaven," Archbishop Toma Dawod of the Syrian Orthodox Church told U.K.'s The Guardian newspaper following the fall of Qaraqosh, which had been Iraq's largest Christian city, to the Islamic State.
Archbishop Tomasi also complained that a "certain indifference" to Christian suffering in Iraq existed in the international community.
"It is difficult to convince—because of false modesty, I would say—the Western powers to take a strong stance in defense of the Christians," Tomasi said.
This stance was echoed by Sako, who complained that President Obama's decision to bomb Islamic State artillery positions near the Kurdish region was inadequate and that humanitarian aid alone was insufficient.
"The position of the American President Obama to only give military assistance to protect Erbil is disappointing," Sako wrote. "The Americans are not up to a rapid solution to give hope specifically as they are not going to attack ISIS in Mosul and in the Nineveh plain.
"There is no strategy to dry up the sources of manpower and the resources of these Islamic terrorists."
A man alleged to be supplying military-grade weapons and ammunition to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was ordered held without bail, the New York Daily News reported Monday.
Donald Ray Morgan, who also goes by the alias "Abu Omar al Amreeki," was arrested Aug. 2 at New York's John F. Kennedy airport after returning from an eight-month stay in Lebanon. He was charged with being a felon in possession of firearms.
During a bail hearing in Brooklyn federal court last week, prosecutors presented evidence suggesting Morgan trafficked in guns for ISIS and argued for his continued detention pending trial. He has been convicted previously of firing a gun, the report added.
Federal agents were alerted to Morgan after they came across his Twitter posts pledging allegiance to ISIS and calling for jihad in Syria, Iraq, and possibly the United States. Morgan also referred to himself as a mujahid, or Islamic holy warrior.
The U.S. Attorney's office in the Eastern District of New York confirmed reports that Morgan "expressed his allegiance to the leader of ISIS on his twitter account: Abu Omar al Amreeki." His Twitter account appears to have been disabled.
The judge has ordered the case transferred to Morgan's home state in North Carolina.
Supporters of the genocidal Islamic State, formerly ISIS, violently attacked Kurdish Yazidis living in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, according to Soeren Kern of the Gatestone Institute. German police say Muslim extremists stormed a restaurant in the German town of Herford on Thursday afternoon.
They tried to remove a poster calling for support of thousands of Yazidis in Iraq, who face the choice of converting to the Islamic State's brand of Islam or death. Some 500 Yazidis have been killed by the Islamic State thus far, including some who have been buried alive, according to Iraqi authorities.
Thousands of Yazidis have been left stranded, dying of thirst and disease on Iraq's Mount Sinjar. President Obama responded to their plight last week by ordering airdrops with emergency relief supplies.
Yazidis in the German restaurant, including its 30-year-old owner, were injured by the Muslim extremists in the brawl, which was fought using knives and bottles. Police arrested six people – five Chechen Salafists and a German Muslim convert. Two of the Salafists have been monitored by German intelligence, according to media reporting.
Around 300 Yazidis gathered in the town center several hours after the restaurant attack and clashed with a large group of hooded Salafists. About 100 police reserves came in to restore order using copious amounts of pepper spray.
Most of Germany's estimated 60,000 Yazidis live in North Rhine-Westphalia. Salafists comprise a minority among Germany's 4. 3 million Muslims, but authorities have become increasingly concerned with young Muslims being seduced by Salafi jihadist ideology.
More than a dozen men from Herford have joined the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and at least one was killed in the fighting.
A 27-year-old German jihadist from the city of Essen, believed to be fighting in Syria identified as Silvio K., also threatened to bomb an American nuclear-weapons depot near Koblenz on Thursday. This shows that Germany "is still the focus of jihadist terrorism" and that those returning from Syria remain a threat, a German interior ministry spokesperson said.
German supporters of the Islamic State also threatened Jews at a demonstration captured in a YouTube video dated Aug. 5. Demonstrators carried numerous jihadist banners.
"Jews, we will not forget you," the protest leader shouted. "You are the terrorists."
Hamas used a Greek Orthodox Church sheltering hundreds of Palestinians who fled their homes to escape Israeli shelling of the terrorist group's positions in Gaza City to launch rockets, according to an interview by CBN News.
Archbishop Alexios, who oversees the church, says Hamas set up a rocket-launch site adjacent to the church even though at least 1,000 Muslim refugees had crowded inside. He told CBN News the terrorists set up the launch site near a roof terrace outside his office at the 12th century church.
Several Israeli shells hit the church compound on July 21, according to the Times of Israel in response to rocket fire from the site. Alexios' revelation marks the third independent confirmation of Israel's claim that Hamas uses heavily-populated areas to launch rockets in less than a week.
TV news crews from France 24 and India's NDTV reported earlier this week that they had each found Hamas launch sites in crowded areas of Gaza City. Video of rocket launches taken by Israeli drones flying over Gaza likewise show Hamas using densely-populated parts of the enclave to fire on Israel.
Alexios said he did not want to take sides in the conflict, but declined to provide further information about Hamas activities due to security concerns. Gaza's 1,500 Christians comprise a tiny fraction of the total population of 1.8 million residents.
With the end of the latest cease-fire and Hamas' resumption of firing rockets on Israel, there can be little doubt the terrorists will continue their practice of using densely populated areas to launch their rockets, endangering civilians.
As fighting resumed Friday between Hamas and other Gaza-based jihadi groups and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), it's a good time to reflect on how reliable casualty counts from Hamas-controlled health services may be.
Israel honored the recent 72-hour ceasefire and agreed to extend it. Had Hamas responded in kind, no more Gaza residents would be harmed (except for suspected collaborators killed by Hamas or jihadis who botch the job trying to make new bombs).
This likely will return focus to the volume of civilian deaths in Gaza. But separate analyses, one by an Israeli research center and one by the BBC's chief statistician, say the ratio of terrorists killed to civilians may be much closer than the estimates often repeated in news media accounts.
The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center researched the names of the first 300 people killed in Gaza, drawn from Palestinian Health Ministry lists. It found about half of the dead had demonstrable ties to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad or other terrorist groups. That may be a low-end estimate, the center explained, because "there are terrorist operatives who do not appear in the Palestinian Health Ministry's records (either deliberately or because their bodies have not yet been recovered)." [Emphasis original]
When the conflict began last month, a Hamas video advised Palestinians to "not forget to always add innocent citizen [written on screen in Arabic and English] to describe those who are killed in the aggression on Gaza after the Israeli attacks." That includes anyone from Hamas commanders to those launching rockets.
In a report Thursday, BBC Head of Statistics Anthony Reuben cited United Nations data which showed that, out of 1,843 Palestinians killed during the past month, 1,354 were described as civilians, including 415 children and 214 women. That left 725 men outside of the 216 members of armed groups killed. That, Reuben wrote, doesn't make sense.
"[If] the Israeli attacks have been 'indiscriminate', as the UN Human Rights Council says, it is hard to work out why they have killed so many more civilian men than women," he wrote.
This is nothing new.
In 2009's Operation Cast Lead, Hamas claimed only about 50 people among the 1,300 dead Palestinians were its fighters. But a Hamas minister later said that 400 of its fighters and security personnel were killed. Israel says that figure is closer to 600.
A 2002 operation aimed at rooting out terrorists in the West Bank city Jenin drew international condemnation as a "massacre" of more than 1,000 people, a claim fueled by repetition by western media. Subsequent investigation placed the Palestinian death toll at 56 people.
None of this minimizes the tragic loss of innocent lives. But, as Reuben wrote in his BBC article, "War zones are not easy places to collect statistics."
A previously unreported video filmed last month in heart of London and posted to YouTube illustrates the anti-Semitic rage enveloping Europe since the start of the latest Gaza war.
Chants of "Heil Hitler" and "Oh Jew, you will die" could be heard from the Algerian crowd amid pro-Palestinian signs saying "End the Siege on Gaza," "Free Palestine" and "Freedom for Palestine." Others carried the Algerian and Palestinian flags.
Protesters chanted "Allahu Akbar!" – God is greatest – as they burned an Israeli flag.
These protests underscore Europe's lingering problem with anti-Semitism – this time fueled by Muslim and leftist animus against Israel.
Jews elsewhere in the United Kingdom have faced Nazi-tainted taunts from Arab or Muslims. British police and Jewish leaders have counted more than 100 hate crimes targeting Jews in July alone.
"Every time we see a conflict in the Middle East, there is an immediate increase in anti-Semitism here in the U.K.," Mark Gardner of the British anti-Semitism watchdog group Community Security Trust told the BBC. "This latest conflict between Israel and Hamas has dragged on for longer than most of them do, and the anti-Semitism therefore has built and built, and become increasingly worrying for the Jewish community."
A group of pro-Palestinian men, described as South Asian, reportedly shouted "Heil Hitler" and pelted pedestrians with cans and eggs as they drove through in a multi-car caravan through Broughton Park, a predominately Jewish suburb near Manchester on July 12.
In another UK demonstration, demonstrators carried signs saying, "Hitler you were right!" according to The Daily Mail.
Anti-Semitism in France has been more intense and occasionally turned violent.
Rioters attacked Jewish-owned stores on July 20 in the French town of Sarcelles, near Paris. Algerian demonstrators rioted in Paris, hurling chairs and other objects to protest Israel's bombing of Gaza. Protesters attacked a synagogue in Paris, and some chanted "Death to Jews."
In Germany, a Molotov cocktail was thrown through the window of the Bergische synagogue in Wuppertal, previously destroyed on Kristallnacht in 1938, last month. Slogans such as "Jew, coward pig, come out and fight alone," and "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas" have been used by pro-Palestinian protesters in demonstrations across Germany.
"These are the worst times since the Nazi era," Dieter Graumann, president of Germany's Central Council of Jews, told The Guardian.
Dutch Jews have not fared much better. A pro-ISIS demonstration took place in The Hague on July 24 where protesters talked about killing Jews.