Let's start today with a report from the Stonegate Institute written by Soeren Kern, Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Strategic Studies Group based in Madrid (with thanks to Micki L):
"The United States ambassador to Spain recently met with a group of Muslim immigrants in one of the most Islamized neighborhoods of Barcelona to apologize for American foreign policymaking in the Middle East.
"U.S. Ambassador Alan Solomont told Muslims assembled at the town hall-like meeting in the heart of Barcelona's old city that the United States is not an 'enemy of Islam' and that U.S. President Barack Obama wants to improve America's image in the Middle East as quickly as possible by closing the 'dark chapters' of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan.
"'There are things that the United States has done badly,' Solomont said at the February 28 gathering organized by a non-profit organization called the Cultural, Educational and Social Association of Pakistani Women. 'But now the Obama government wants to improve relations with Muslims,' he promised."
Alan Solomont? A founder of JStreet and a key fundraiser for Obama (which is undoubtedly how he achieved the ambassadorship).
But Soeren tell us more:
"In Ireland...the U.S. Embassy in Dublin recently sponsored a seminar ostensibly designed to help Muslim immigrants increase their influence within the Irish business and financial communities.
"The opening speech at the event was delivered by Imam Hussein Halawa of the Islamic Cultural Center of Ireland, despite the fact that leaked U.S. State Department cables show that the U.S. government has known for many years that Malawa is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and serves as the right-hand man of the radical Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi. (Emphasis added)
"Halawa, an Egyptian immigrant who has dedicated his life to the cause of introducing Islamic Sharia law in Europe, told those in attendance that the main purpose of the conference was to bring the Irish banking system into conformity with Islamic legal principles. U.S. Ambassador Dan Rooney, a lifelong Republican turned Obama acolyte, said at the same conference that the United States was a 'solid partner' behind Halawa's venture. (Emphasis added)
"...In France, the U.S. Embassy in Paris co-sponsored a seminar to teach Muslims in France how they can politically organize themselves. Operatives from the Democratic Party coached 70 Muslim 'diversity leaders' from disaffected Muslim-majority suburban slums known as banlieues on how to develop a communications strategy, raise funds and build a political base.
"The French government -- which has been trying to reverse the pernicious effects of decades of state-sponsored multiculturalism -- expressed dismay at what it called 'meddling.'
"...In Norway, where Muslim immigrants already have more rights than native Norwegians, the U.S. Embassy in Oslo organized a 'dialogue meeting' designed to 'empower' Muslim immigrant women in the country.
"According to the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, Obama's special envoy to the Muslim world, Farah Pandith, castigated the Norwegian government's integration policies as being insufficiently fair to Muslim immigrants. She also told Norwegians that Muslims are 'more free to practice Islam in the United States than in any other country in the world.' Conservative Party leader Erna Solberg said Norway has much to learn from the Americans.
"In Britain, U.S. embassy employees in London frequently conduct outreach to help 'empower' the Muslims across the country. According to a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable, for example, Ambassador Louis Susman 'engages with U.K. Muslim communities regularly…he has spoken to Muslim groups in Wales and Scotland, visited the London Central Mosque, and hosted an interfaith breakfast at his residence, among other activities.'
"Susman has come under fire for visiting another London mosque, namely the East London Mosque, which is one of the most extreme Islamic institutions in Britain. Built with money from Saudi Arabia to propagate Wahhabi Islam, the sprawling facility is home to the London Muslim Center, which the U.S. government has long known is a haven for Islamic extremists. During his visit, Susman spoke of his 'great admiration' for the mosque and his enthusiasm for meeting its staff." (Emphasis added)
Not enough, however, that your head should spin on reading this material. It is essential to share it broadly. Let those who would vote for Obama understand precisely what they would be voting for.
And then we have EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who yesterday noted the horrific murder of four Jews, three of them children, in front of a school in Toulouse, with these words:
"We remember young people who have been killed in all sorts of terrible circumstances -- the Belgian children having lost their lives in a terrible tragedy [in a bus accident last week in Switzerland], and when we think of what happened in Toulouse today, when we remember what happened in Norway a year ago, when we know what is happening in Syria, when we see what is happening in Gaza and in different parts of the world -- we remember young people and children who lose their lives."
It is difficult not to draw the conclusion from these words that she was comparing the deliberate and cold-blooded (see more below) murder of kids in front of a school with Israel's acts of self defense against rockets aimed from Gaza at Israeli civilians, including children.
The organization StandWithUs is demanding that Ashton either apologize or resign. StandWithUS France Director Laurent Preece has it right, I think, when he calls her statement "pandering." She was attending a meeting with Palestinian youth in Brussels when she made her comment.
Ashton is now saying she didn't intend to draw a comparison. As The Israel Project puts it, she is "backpedaling furiously." But such comments, made without careful thought for fallout, can be very revealing.
The four slain in Toulouse yesterday are to be buried here in Israel. Rabbi Yonatan Sandler, who was French born, studied here in Jerusalem before returning to France to teach. It was his hope to ultimately return to Israel with his family.
The last of the four to be killed yesterday was eight-year-old Miriam Monsonego. The murderer, after having shot the others, got off his motorbike, chased into the crowd, caught her and shot her in the head. This horrendous act was caught on a security camera.
"He assassinated them as if he was killing animals," said Nicola Yardeni, the regional president of the French Jewish umbrella group CRIF, cited by the Telegraph.
"You see a man park his motorcycle, start to shoot, enter the school grounds and chase children to catch one and shoot a bullet into her head. It's unbearable to watch. He was looking to kill."
Credit: Flash 90
This? I'm not sure it makes the head spin. Rather, you look at the picture of this child, understand what happened to her, and it makes the heart stop for a moment.
There are no certainties yet, but in connection with the murders, police are searching for three former French paratroopers who reportedly were discharged after a picture of them was discovered with a swastika, their arms raised in a nazi salute.
The sincerity of French officials with regard to the grief they feel over this, and their intention of catching those responsible seems beyond question.
However, protestations that they are shocked that it could have happened ring a bit hollow.
Hamas official Ismail al-Ashqar, who has advocated terrorism against Israel, was scheduled yesterday to give testimony on the situation in Gaza to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Don't try to make sense of this, for we are, after all, talking about the notoriously anti-Israel HRC.
After Israeli Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Aharon Leshno-Yaar registered a complaint, the testimony was cancelled and al-Ashqar, who was already in the building -- in order to make a presentation at an event organized by the UN-accredited NGO Maarij Foundation for Peace and Development (MFPD) -- was asked to leave.
Al-Ashqar's testimony was to be received in the context of a "general debate" on the human rights situation in "Palestine and other occupied Arab territories" that the Human Rights Council has opened. Rest assured the Council will not be investigating the deprivation of human rights visited upon Palestinian Arabs by UNRWA, Hamas or the PA.
They are, however, talking about sending a fact-finding mission here, to look at "settlements" and construction in eastern Jerusalem and how these impinge on the "civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people."
Israel, which is being called upon to cooperate, most certainly will not, should this come to pass -- which is dubious at present.
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.