Double Standards: Assassinations

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit released a long-secret memo in which the Obama administration laid out its legal reasoning for launching a drone attack on an American citizen overseas. The legal arguments for a targeted killing of an American citizen are greater than for a non-American, since the US citizen is entitled to due process in the court system, whereas a non-American is afforded fewer protections under the law.

The main justification presented in the memo revolved around the targeted person’s “continued and imminent threat of violence or death” to US persons. This justification received little debate in the press, congress or world opinion. All of the debates only revolved around the rights of due process for a US citizen.

The lack of debate would lead one to naturally conclude that everyone agrees with the rationale: that a government is responsible for protecting citizens that are threatened.

However, world opinion does not believe that such rationale is a universal responsibility. World bodies selectively believe that one government has neither the right nor the responsibility to protect its citizens. That government is Israel.

Consider the world reaction to the targeted killing of leading terrorists. The world celebrated the 2011 US assassination of Osama bin Laden, but almost uniformly (Australia was an exception) condemned Israel for the 2004 killing of Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the founder of Hamas.

Sheik Yassin had committed 100 attacks which killed hundreds of people in Israel. He had just completed a terrorist attack in Ashdod and was actively planning new attacks when he was killed. Osama bin Laden had committed a few attacks which killed thousands, and had not committed any recent attacks when he was killed by US special forces.

Below is a sampling of contrasting reactions from world leaders to the two events.

Now consider why Israel often ignores world opinion.

United Nations:

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan: “I condemn the targeted assassination of Ahmed Yassin. Such actions are not only contrary to international law but they do not help the search for a peaceful solution.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed Osama bin Laden’s death as a key turning point in the struggle against terrorism.


EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, described the assassination as “very, very bad news. The policy of the European Union has been consistently condemnation of extra-judicial killing.”

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said: “I would like to congratulate the U.S., pay tribute to its determination and efficiency in reducing the threat posed by terrorists and underline the close cooperation between the EU and U.S. in the fight against terrorism.”


The Holy See unites with the international community in deploring this act of violence that cannot be justified in any state of law. Lasting peace cannot come from a show of force.”

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said that while Christians “do not rejoice” over a death, bin Laden’s death serves to remind them of “each person’s responsibility before God and men” and “bin Laden must answer to God for having killed an innumerable number of people and exploiting religion”.


British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said: “Israel is not entitled to go in for this kind of unlawful killing and we condemn it. It is unacceptable, it is unjustified and it is very unlikely to achieve its objectives.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said that bin Laden’s death would “bring great relief” around the world. “I congratulate President Obama and those responsible for carrying out this operation.”


French President Jacques Chirac “unreservedly condemned” Israel’s assassination of Hamas terror leader Yassin. French Foreign Ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous also said: “France condemns the action taken against Sheikh Yassin, just as it has always condemned the principle of any extra-judicial execution as contrary to international law.”

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said on that bin Laden’s death is a “victory for all democracies fighting the abominable scourge of terrorism. France, the United States and European states work closely together to fight terrorism, so I’m overjoyed at the news.”

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said bin Laden’s death was a result of a “remarkable U.S. commando” operation. “For his victims, justice has been done. Today, in France, we think of them and their families.”


German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer: “The German government is deeply concerned about the development [killing of Sheik Yassin].”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel: “Last night, the forces of peace were able to report a success [killing of bin Laden].”


Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen: “This act will contribute to increased tensions in the area and will make it more difficult to implement an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.”

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre called the death of bin Laden “a break-through in the fight against terror”.


Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller said “Terror and violence is not the way ahead.”

Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said, “I congratulate President Obama and the American people with the success in finishing the era of bin Laden’s unscrupulous and inhumane violence and destruction


Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said Israel’s actions were “thoughtless and reckless, and cannot be justified.”

Japan’s Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto said today that the country welcomed the death of Osama bin Laden as “significant progress of counter-terrorism measures. I pay respect to the US officials concerned.”


United States Representative to the United Nations John Negroponte stated that the USA was “deeply troubled by this action by the Government of Israel

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “There is no better rebuke to al Qaeda and its heinous ideology. The fight continues and we will never waiver.”


The Brazilian government said it “deplored the murder of Sheik Ahmed Yassin.”

Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota said the death of Al Qaeda’s leader Osama bin Laden is “important and positive”.


Malaysia strongly condemned the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin: saying the action was a manifestation of terrorism.

Malaysian Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said he hopes that the death of bin Laden would help bring universal peace and harmony.


LUIS ALFONSO DE ALBA GÓNGORA said his country regretted the actions taken by the Israeli army which had resulted in the loss of Sheikh Yassin. Mexico believed these actions broke down the necessary political conditions needed to put an end to escalating violence and to ensure peace in the region. It recognized the right to the self-determination of the Palestinian people, urged the international community to apply the Road Map, and urged the parties not to take unilateral decisions that placed obstacles in front of the road to peace. Societies had the right to live in peace. The protection of the rule of law and respect for human rights was essential to eradicate these acts. The Security Council must take a stance against international terrorism and the international community must continue together to endow the United Nations to guarantee that human rights and fundamental freedoms must be recognized fully

Mexico Ministry of Foreign Relation: The Government of Mexico reiterates its deep conviction that terrorism is a criminal activity that must be fought decisively by the international community because it represents a serious threat to global peace and stability and causes many innocent lives to be lost. That’s why the Government of Mexico recognizes the efforts carried out by the Government of the United States to fight against and capture Osama Bin Laden, the leader of the Al Qaeda terrorist organization. These efforts have resulted in his defeat and death during an operation by U.S. armed forces in Pakistan. This is an act of great significance in the efforts to rid the world of the scourge of terrorism which threatens peace and international security, in particular the one practiced by one of the most cruel and bloody terrorist organizations which has acted against the civilian population and which has caused the loss of many innocent lives, including Mexican citizens in the attacks of September 11th, 2001.


HARDEEP SING. PURI said the killing of Sheikh Yassin had further inflamed passions in the Middle East, and there was concern that it would fuel the cycle of violence and counter-violence in the region, causing a set-back to the efforts to resume the peace process. There could be no military solution to the Middle East problem. States of course had the right to defend themselves, but they also had the responsibility to uphold international law. The people of Palestine deserved the full support of the international community to enable them to realize their national aspirations. There could, of course, be no justification whatsoever for any acts of terror. The international community had to be relentless in fighting the war to eradicate this scourge; no ends could be justified by use of the means of terrorism.

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh: “I welcome it as a significant step forward and hope that it will deal a decisive blow to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. The international community and Pakistan in particular must work comprehensively to end the activities of all such groups who threaten civilized behavior and kill innocent men, women and children.”


CAROLINE MILLER said Australia had consistently supported Israel’s right to defend itself from terrorism. Hamas was a terrorist organization proscribed under the Australian law. It had used suicide bombers to target and murder many innocent Israelis. Australia urged calm and called on both sides to exercise maximum restraint. Violence would not settle the Middle East dispute.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard congratulated the United States on the operation and said she acknowledges the role of Pakistan in the fight against terror.  “Our fight against terrorism does not end with bin Laden’s death. We must remain vigilant against the threat posed by al Qaeda and the groups it has inspired,” she said.

New Zealand:

JILLIAN DEMPSTER said the use of extra-judicial killings by a State was particularly abhorrent. Assassinations such as the extra-judicial killing of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Yassin clearly violated the norms of international human rights law. Not only that, but they did not achieve their stated goal, were counter-productive to peace efforts in the Middle East, and would likely only produce further violence.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key stated that “the world is a safer place without Osama bin Laden”, but “bin Laden’s death may not mean an end to terrorism    

South Africa:

DUDU KHOSA said that her country condemned the assassination of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, founder and spiritual leader of Hamas. Such extra-judicial killings constituted a contravention of international law and relevant United Nations conventions, and only strengthened those not committed to achieving peace in the Middle East. Such acts could only lead to retaliation and counter-retaliation, further eroding any progress being made in the implementation of the Road Map.

South Africa Department of International Relations and Cooperation reaffirmed South Africa’s support for stemming “the demon of terrorism in all its manifestations


VLADIMIR PARSHIKOV said the Russian Federation supported the proposal to hold the special sitting since it was concerned about the worsening situation in the Middle East in general. The recent acts committed by Israel were a serious threat to the Road Map to peace and these acts of violence would nullify every effort taken by the Quartet. Both parties must show restraint and a high level of responsibility to commit themselves to peace. The Russian Federation would also vote in favour of the proposed draft resolution of the Security Council condemning all acts of terrorism including those committed recently by Israel.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry published a statement on its website calling bin Laden’s death a “landmark point… The elimination of Osama bin Laden, a notorious figure and the number one terrorist, is a landmark point in fighting international terrorism. This is an extraordinary event for the entire anti-terror coalition which will have a lasting practical meaning in terms of decapitation of the criminal organization,” the statement said. “It will become an important symbol since it took place on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the U.S. As part of the anti-terror coalition, we sympathize with the Americans, and appreciate the fact that the Russian authorities were informed about the news (of bin Laden’s elimination) ahead of the official announcement of U.S.President Barack Obama.”


SHA ZUKANG said the act of assassination by Israel was strongly condemned in the belief that the practice of targeted liquidation was not conducive to the settlement of the Middle East issue, rather, it would trigger more conflicts and bloodshed and further destabilize the region.

Chinese spokesman: We have noted the announcement and believe this is a major event and a positive development in the international struggle against terrorism.

Sri Lanka:

SARALA M. FERNADO said extra judicial killings were in contravention to international law and should be condemned in no uncertain terms by peace-loving countries. Terrorism brought immense pain to innocent civilians, broke social systems, generated hatred and darkened the future of the generations to be born. For a peaceful resolution to the Middle East conflict, all parties should exercise restraint and refrain from any form of violence, as these only contributed to diminish hopes for a lasting peace.

External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris congratulated the US and said: “the killing of the terrorist leader [bin Laden] by US forces sends a warning to other terror groups as well.” Cabinet Minister de Silva added: the assassination “sheds a lot of light on how a ruthless terrorist group should be crushed.”


Prime Minister Recep Erdogan called the killing of Yassin “a terrorist act” and said that “the assassination was not humane.”

President Abdualla Gul declared that the killing of bin Laden was a message for terrorst organizations all around the world.

Saudi Arabia:

ABDULWAHAB ABDULSALAM ATTAR said that Israel had no use for the resolutions adopted by this august Commission, nor for the Geneva Conventions. The assassination of Sheikh Yassin was a crime. Israel also tortured detainees and prisoners in contravention of international law. The international community was urged to put an end to such crimes, including that committed against Sheikh Yassin. This criminal act must be deplored in this forum. Otherwise, the Commission risked losing its credibility. Full solidarity with the sufferings of the Palestinian people must also be expressed.

Statement on Saudi Press Agency: “An official source has expressed the hope of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that the extermination of the terrorist head of Al Qaeda is a step towards the reinforcing of the international efforts to combat terror and breaking up its cells. And the extinguishing of the misleading school of thought it rests on.


MANAF AL-SALAHI said his country condemned the escalating Israeli policies which had taken a dangerous turn with the assassination of last week which was a clear violation of international norms and laws. This act may bring the region into spiralling violence. The peace process as a whole had reached a stalemate and it would be difficult for the peace process to be revived unless the international community pursued the road to peace in a strict way.

Embassy of Yemen in the U.S. released a statement welcoming “the elimination of Usama Bin Ladin, the founding father of the Al-Qaeda’s terrorist network. The successful operation, spearheaded by U.S. forces, marks a monumental milestone in the ongoing global war against terrorism.”


MOHAMMAD REZA ALBORZI said the international community had once again been witness to yet another act of brutality and barbarism and extra-judicial targeted assassination by Israel. The relentless massacre of Palestinians and targeted assassinations were strongly condemned, as these acts were clear instances of State terrorism, which further revealed the violent face of the Israeli Government before the international community. That these atrocities were perpetrated at the very time when the Commission was in session clearly manifested Israeli continued defiance of this body and was an appalling affront to the Commission’s credibility. It was high time that the Commission considered some sort of preventative mechanism to bring an end once and for all to the continued Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.

Iran Foreign Ministry:  The Islamic Republic of Iran hopes that the death of Osama bin Laden will put an end to war and the killing of innocent people and restore peace to their region, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency. The IRNA website reports Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that foreign countries now have no excuse for military buildup in the region to fight terrorism.”


SHEHAB A. MADI said the assassination of Sheikh Yassin was a crime that would only lead to further escalation, violence and instability in the region. It was another crime against the Palestinian people and a clear violation of all norms and international conventions. The policy of assassination which led only to more escalation and violence was totally rejected.

Jordan said the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is likely to end unjust campaigns in the West against Islam.


OMAR HILALE said his country strongly condemned the assassination of Sheikh Ahmad Yasssin and other civilians by Israel. This would have dangerous consequences that would destabilize further the region. Morocco rejected violence and everyone should return to the negotiating table. It was the responsibility of the international community to condemn Israeli acts.

Communications Minister Khalid Naciri said that “the entire world suffered from bin Laden and the organization he created“.

In total, 31 countries voted in favor of a UN Commission on Human Rights resolution “Which Condemns Continuing Grave Violations Of Human Rights in Territory, Including Tragic Assassination of Sheikh Yassin”: Argentina, Armenia, Bahrain, Bhutan, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Congo, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Mauritania, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Togo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

Despite condemning Israel for killing an active terrorist, these countries extolled the US doing the same thing:

Argentina President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said “Bin Laden’s activities are repudiated by all people and nations who truly believe in the dignity of the human condition, and we stand in support of all his victims.”

Chile President Sebastián Piñera said he was “glad that the whole world learned that, though late, justice arrives, and that crimes committed against innocent people around the world will not go unpunished.”

Ansyaad Mbai, the head of Indonesia’s counter-terrorist agency, said that bin Laden’s death “would bring positive impact” and that “it would reduce movements organized by radical groups since their main figure had died.”

Ethiopian Communication Department said “The Ethiopian Government salutes all parties involved in this operation, particularly the US anti-terrorist operatives, for hunting and destroying this unrepentant leader of an international terrorist organization.”

Eyal Gilad Naftali Klinghoffer. The new Blood Libel.

A troublesome series of reports in major “liberal” media outfits like the New York Times and BBC have shown a pattern of “blame the victim” uniquely when it comes to Jews and Israel.

Consider the BBC’s Nicky Campbell’s coverage of the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaer and Naftali Frankel, in Judea & Samaria arguing that “Palestinians would say perhaps these people were in the West Bank illegally.” He then continued to discuss Arabs in Israeli jails to “give [the kidnapping] some perspective” as if the comments provided any justifications for the kidnapping of teenagers trying to get home from school. (I suppose Nicky would support Iraqis kidnapping his daughters because of the UK involvement in the Iraqi war.)

The New York Times followed on June 16 when it posed several questions regarding “the cavalier practice of hitchhiking” in the West Bank. Was the NYT suggesting that these boys were responsible for their own kidnapping?

The hitchhiking abduction coverage was not unique. The New York Times ran an editorial on 6/19/14 bemoaning that the New York Metropolitan Opera, “bowing to the wishes of Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters and other Jewish critics,” decided to not globally telecast an opera about the murder of a 69-year old American Jew by Palestinian terrorists. The Times thought that “the opera gives voice to all sides” as if the rationale of the murder of an elderly American confined to a wheelchair was worthy of serious consideration. The general manager of the Met, Peter Gelb, said that the composer “John Adams said that in composing ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’ he tried to understand the hijackers and their motivations, and to look for humanity in the terrorists.” Gelb and the Times have called the opera “a masterpiece”. I am considering the right term for the Met and the Times.

Somehow, these outlets believe that Jews bare at least partial responsibility for the crimes committed against them: Jews are not victims; they are vehicles to voice displeasure of the state of the Palestinian Arabs.

To illustrate and contrast the vileness of this targeting of Jews and Israel by these media outlets, consider the coverage of other crimes during this same time period.

The New York Times covered the sexual assaults of women in Egypt during the celebrations for new President Abdul Fattah al Sisi with appropriate disgust. It ran articles, editorials and op-eds that condemned the attacks. The Times did not run articles questioning why the women were out late among so many men. The paper did not suggest that the women were dressed inappropriately. It did not post articles by Egyptian clerics who describe the value of modesty for women and the inappropriateness of their being out among men. Because if the paper had done so, it would have served to validate the disgraceful attack and place blame on the victim.

Similarly when a young man, Elliot Rodger, went on a shooting rampage in California because he felt rejected by girls in his school, the papers did not post opinions that girls should be nicer to young men and consider their feelings. As is clearly obvious, doing so would be an insult to all of the innocent victims of the rampage.

The daughters of Leon Klinghoffer, Lisa and Ilsa, put it best in their letter to the editor of the New York Times on June 21: “Our 69 year-old father was singled out and killed by Palestinian terrorists on his wedding anniversary cruise in 1985 solely because he was Jewish. His memory is trivialized in an opera that rationalizes terrorism and tries to find moral equivalence between murderers and the murdered. Imagine if Mr. Adams had written an opera about the terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks, and sought to balance their worldview with that of those who perished in the twin towers. The outcry would be immediate and overwhelming. But ‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’ and an opportunity to ‘debate’ the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is an outrage.”

The media’s blind spot for Jewish victims in its visual field have left Jews in the dark ages of history once again. The “progressives” are developing a new Blood Libel, in which every Jew has a hand soaked in the misfortune of Arabs. They have turned the State of Israel into a new blood matzah, conceived and living in sin.  During the Dark Ages, Jews were accused of taking missing Christian children.  At present, the progressive press blames Jews for their own missing and felled Jews – sacrifices that must be made to uphold the evil Jewish State.

Can anything right the “left”? If the Royal Ballet were to perform “The Untimely Fall of Lee Rigby” with beautiful arias about the sorrowful tale of Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, the two people who were sentenced to life in prison for Rigby’s murder, would the press react? Would the British press cheer the “work of art” and celebrate the “humanity in the terrorists” who hacked a soldier to death on the streets of England to avenge the killing of Muslims by British forces? The Klinghoffer daughters believe the “outcry would be immediate and overwhelming,” from the press and public. While I agree, I fear that it would not cause progressives to rethink their attitude towards Jews. The new Blood Libel has caught hold.

Related FirstOneThrough articles:

The Death of Civilians; the Three Shades of Sorrow

UN Comments on the Murder of Innocents: Itamar and Duma

Israel lends a hand. Will it be offered one as well?

In May, Israel joined the US, Canada, France and England in providing support to Nigeria in its efforts to find the over 200 teenaged girls abducted by Boko Haram. “Israel expresses deep shock at the crime against the girls,” Netanyahu told the Nigerian president, “We are ready to help in finding the girls and fighting the cruel terrorism inflicted on you.”

Israel has a long history of providing aid to countries in trouble – even those where it does not have diplomatic relations, as seen in the video below.

It will be interesting to see if the world exerts pressure on, and withholds aid to the new Palestinian government, in light of the recent abduction of three Israeli teenagers. However, when one considers that only five of the 193 UN countries are helping Nigeria, one should temper expectations.

The NY Times begins its assault on Israel’s Search and Rescue

It has been several weeks since Boko Haram kidnapped over 200 teenagers from their school. Over these weeks, the New York Times has repeatedly faulted the Nigerian government for not being aggressive enough in finding the girls. But in less than one week since the kidnapping of three Jewish teenagers, the New York Times is already running articles that Israel is too aggressive in trying to bring their boys back home.

NYT on Nigeria:

5/24/14: “That the hopes of many across the globe rests on such a weak reed as the Nigerian military has left diplomats here in something of a quandary about the way forward. The Nigerian armed forces must be helped, they say, but are those forces so enfeebled… the military presence on some of the region’s most dangerous roads is light, with only a handful of checkpoints

5/27/4: [Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan] “responded to the kidnappings in the same way that he has responded to countless other Boko Haram atrocities (or indeed to the anti-civilian depredations of his own military): minimally, or not at all.”

NYT on Israel:

6/17/14 by Jodi Rudoren, the official NY Times reporter who covers news from a Palestinian perspective: “It was Day 3 of what Palestinians are universally calling a ‘siege’ on Hebron,” Jodi does not discuss the violent history of Hamas nor its past use of kidnapping. She quotes a “father of 10” (is this man with Hamas? A shopkeeper? Does his being a parent of 10 make him more or less reliable?): “’This is like they arrest 800,000 people in the Hebron area – look at the checkpoints.’”

Jodi continued that “many here and elsewhere in the Palestinian territories questioned whether the abductions even happened. Leaders referred to the ‘alleged kidnapping’ in their official statements… [Israel] staged the event…as a pretext to oust Hamas from the West Bank.”  Nice work getting a conspiracy theory into the public.

I wonder if the NY Times will get a reporter to cover the news from Boko Haram’s perspective. Perhaps they should send Jodi.

Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Missing Kids and Prayers

This past Mother’s Day, US First Lady, Michelle Obama gave an impassioned address about the abducted teenaged girls in Nigeria. The White House highlighted her “thoughts, prayers and support in the wake of the unconscionable terrorist kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls.”

Her feelings were heartfelt about “this unconscionable act [that] was committed by a terrorist group” in abducting innocent girls going to school. Mrs. Obama continued that: “in these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters” and “that Barack has directed our government to do everything possible to support the Nigerian government’s efforts to find these girls and bring them home.”

The crime committed by Boko Haram was horrific and Michelle Obama’s comments were not just a reflection of the country’s disgust with the kidnapping, but a clever use of Mother’s Day to draw the entire nation to the cause.

It made me hopeful that yesterday, on Father’s Day, that the US President would address the country in a similar way, as it was just a few days after three teenage boys were abducted near their school in Israel – especially since one of the boys is a 16-year old American citizen.

But President Obama did not address the abduction at all.

(US Secretary of State John Kerry did offer that “the United States strongly condemns the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers and calls for their immediate release. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families. …We continue to offer our full support for Israel in its search for the missing teens.” It is curious that Kerry chose not to mention that one of the teens has dual USA-Israel citizenship- but at least he issued a strong statement.)

While President Obama may not look at these Jewish boys and “see his own daughters”, he should at least see innocent teenagers and especially an American citizen. His outrage should match Michelle’s. His labeling the kidnappers as terrorists should be unequivocal. His efforts to assist Israel to bring them home safely should be unwavering.

President Obama’s annual Father’s Day address talked about the importance of fathers being present to act as fathers to their children.  As his wife may remind him, we need the children to be safe at home with them to make that happen.

The Sad Assault on Women in the Middle and Far East

The world recently heard of horrific attacks on women in the Middle and Far East.

Last week, the world saw a video of a 19-year old woman fleeing a gang rape in Egypt in the middle of the presidential inaugural celebration in Tahrir Square. Remarkably, she was luckier than other recent victims.

Two weeks ago in India, two girls- aged 15 and 14 – were gang-raped and then strangled and hung from trees near their homes.

In Pakistan, an 18-year girl was raped by 5 men. After the police released the men, she set herself on fire outside of the police station.

pakistan girl on fire
Pakistani rape victim dies after setting herself on fire when her attackers were released,
March 2014

The treatment of women in much of the world is appalling. From the youngest age, women are often restricted from gaining an education. These girls are then married off (often under 14 years old) to much older men and become completely dependent on them for survival. Should these young women challenge the system and go to school or spur a marriage proposal, they are often attacked and disfigured for life.

In such a world, a woman’s mind is neither nurtured nor respected.  Her opinions are neither noted nor considered.  Her role rests solely as sexual partner and mother.  It is therefore both terrible and unsurprising, that sexual assaults on teenaged girls would flourish in such an environment.

A music video by First.One.Through with music by Bon Jovi about the terrible attacks on women:

Related First.One.Through articles:

Honor Killings in Gaza:

The New York Times wants the military to defeat terrorists (but not Hamas)

NYT 6/9/14: “Pakistan’s Latest Crisis” was a call to action for the military to defeat terrorists. What about Israel defeating Hamas? Not so much.

The Pakistan editorial led with a strong statement about the Taliban: “In its increasingly violent effort to destroy the Pakistani state”, the NYT made the Taliban’s ultimate goal clear. It continued with a call for the Pakistani government to wake up: “Will this be the crisis that finally persuades Pakistan’s government and its powerful military to acknowledge the Taliban’s pernicious threat and confront it in a comprehensive way? It should be.” The NYT editorial board clearly spelled out its desire for a military strike to defeat the terrorist entity that attacked civilians in Pakistan.

It is distressing to compare these statements with the 11/20/12 editorial about Gaza firing nearly 1000 rockets into Israel. The NYT did not describe Hamas as a terrorist entity (labeled so by the US, Canada, EU, Japan, Jordan, Egypt and Israel). It did not state that Hamas seeks the destruction of Israel – which it has made clear throughout its charter, and the statements and actions of its leadership for many years. Rather, the NYT stated that Hamas “resorted to violence” in a statement that is either evil or laughable in its ignoring the calls for death and destruction of Jews and the Jewish State.

The Times then went on to blame Israel: “Israel also has a responsibility for the current crisis,” Is the Times suggesting that if all the Jews would just leave the Middle East and dissolve Israel the way Hamas desires, they wouldn’t have to “resort to violence”?

The NYT was loath to suggest that Israel stamp out the terrorist entity bent on its destruction stating: “But military action is no long-term answer.”

The difference between the Taliban and Hamas is that Hamas is an elected government, having won 58% of the Palestinian vote in 2006. It governs a territory, Gaza, since 2007. But its desire to destroy all of Israel and kill civilians is not an iota less than the Taliban’s goals in Pakistan and the response from the government and military should similarly be supported. The links to the two editorials are below:


Pakistan-Taliban editorial:

given recent events, one has to assume the militants will stop at nothing until the state is utterly destabilized and they have taken control. Pakistani political and military leaders need to be honest about the militant threat that they and their people are facing


Israel-Hamas editorial

“If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel had pursued serious negotiations on a two-state solution with the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinians could have hope in a different future

When were Jews barred from living in Judea & Samaria?

Jews have lived in Judea and Samaria for 3000+ years, except for windows of time when they were barred by the Romans, during the Crusades, and most recently, when the Jordanians attacked Israel and illegally annexed the area.  The Ottomans had no limit on Jews living there. The British also allowed Jews to live in the area.

No one denies that Israel administers the land and approves housing for Jews and non-Jews today. How could Israel only approve housing permits for non-Jews and deny the ability of Jews to live there?  How can people not condemn Abbas for suggesting Jews should be barred from the land?


The NY Times outdoes itself Swapping News and Editorials

The New York Times has established a reputation for infusing its news stories with the editors’ biases.  However, it outdid itself when it posted an editorial about Obama’s drone strikes one day, and subsequently posted the virtually identical article as a news story on the following day.  Both had the same misstatements which: ignored the studies pointing to Obama’s killing of civilians with drones; blamed Bush for the program; and defended Obama.

The editorial:

The “news story” the next day:


Obama is the Drone President

Barack Obama promised a presidency of transparency- he has delivered the opposite.

His use of drones in Pakistan and other countries has killed hundreds of civilians.  He has also authorized the assassination of an American citizen without due process, and he has not made the legal papers rationalizing such extrajudicial killing available to the public.