Month: June 2014

PRISONER—RELEASES & NEGOTIATIONS WITH HAMAS TERRORISTS ARE NOT EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS FOR KIDNAPPING PROBLEM

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail: rob@isranet.org

 

Kidnapped Israeli Teenagers – A Palestinian View: Mudar Zahran, Gatestone Institute, June 25, 2013— While Israel prays for the safe return of three Israel teenagers kidnapped by terrorists last week…

The Names of the Victims: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, June 26, 2014— Three families in Israel are in agony.

Don't Succumb to Hamas: Dr. Shaul Bartal, Israel Hayom, June 30, 2013— The publication of the names of two Hamas operatives suspected of kidnapping the three Israeli teens prompted a particularly thunderous response from Hamas spokespeople.

Israel Must Defeat the Tactics of Terrorists: Daniel Greenfield, Frontpage, June 26, 2014— In Jerusalem, Israelis pray for the return of three missing boys and in the West Bank, Israeli soldiers hunt for them and for their captors.

 

On Topic Links

 

U.S. Senator: Innocent Israeli Kidnapped Boys and Evil Abductors (Video): Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Jewish Press, June 27, 2014

Hamas Extremism: Jerusalem Post, June 24, 2014

The Fight Against Hamas: The Legal Angle: Pnina Sharvit Baruch, INSS, June 27, 2013

Hamas Kidnappings: History of a Constant Threat: IDF Spokesperson, Jewish Press, June 16, 2014

 

KIDNAPPED ISRAELI TEENAGERS – A PALESTINIAN VIEW                

Mudar Zahran                                                                                                    

Gatestone Institute, June 25, 2014

 

While Israel prays for the safe return of three Israel teenagers kidnapped by terrorists last week, although Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas tepidly defended the search for the teens — comments for which many Palestinians attacked him — the official PA daily wrote that "Israel itself is behind the 'kidnapping'," alleging that the three boys were soldiers when in fact they were students, two in high school, and the kidnappings were celebrated by people, glorifying the kidnappers and passing out sweets. The Fatah Facebook page then published a cartoon showing the three kidnapped teenagers as rats bearing the star of David with the caption "The Master Stroke".

 

Keep in mind that the PA exerts extreme monitoring and control over social media used by Palestinians in the West Bank. A Palestinian man was jailed for six months for "liking" an anti-PA post on Facebook. The PA, therefore, is fully responsible for encouraging the celebrations of the kidnappings over Palestinian social media. Responses such as these should help the world — which has been trying to force a peace agreement with the PA down Israel's throat — wake up to the reality that the PA is a terrorist organization that has been inciting acts of violence and radicalism, and should be treated as such. Its leaders should be recognized as terrorists who deserve jail rather than a red carpet treatment in Western capitals.

 

While some argue that freedom of speech is sacred, it seems the only freedom of speech the PA allows is the one that incites terrorism. The first thing the world should remember is that the PA is now officially united with Hamas, a terrorist organization that pledges to destroy a sovereign nation, Israel, and establish a Muslim caliphate. Financing the PA now is therefore financing terrorism. Yet, despite uniting with Hamas, the PA will still apparently be receiving generous financing from the U.S., Canada and Europe. The UK, with the best of intentions, offers an average of $135 million a year to the PA for development; nonetheless, the Guardian newspaper reported that the money, always fungible, was instead being used by the PA to finance terrorist imprisoned in Israeli jails — thus inadvertently financing more terrorism.

 

In addition, it is no secret that the PA officials have been stealing hundreds of millions of dollars of the aid money intended to improve the livelihoods of my people, the Palestinians, with no sign that Western aid to the PA ever filters down to the Palestinian public. Instead of financing the PA leaders' lavish lifestyles, the world might finally start questioning the PA's institutionalized incitement of terror and hatred to my people which they relay daily through media, education and the religious institutions. Ever since the PA came into existence, it has been keen to mass-produce and institutionalize the hatred of Jews and also the West. With their government-controlled TV shows that teach children how to kill Jews, and textbooks that preach hatred for Israel, the PA and Hamas are directly and fully responsible for each and every terror act committed by Palestinians, including the kidnapping of the three teenagers. Is this what the West is so breathless to support?

 

Ironically, the PA is claiming no responsibility for the kidnappings, however you cannot be running TV, newspapers and social media encouraging terror and the murdering of Jews and then claim that you are innocent when acts of terror happen. Another reason for kidnapping the three teenagers, of course, is also the regular prisoner-release agreements forced on Israel. Gilad Shalit was kidnapped and held for five years then released in a prisoner exchange agreement for more than 1,000 terrorist prisoners who were let out of jail. Such deals have been openly encouraged and blessed by the PA leader. In other words, the PA encourages the kidnappings of Israelis to exchange them with terror prisoners. The world should therefore understand Israel's position when it recently called off releasing yet more terror prisoners in a deal promoted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. These releases just encourage the kidnapping of more Israelis.

 

As a Palestinian, I do not wish for any of my people to be in jail; nonetheless, I cannot sympathize with those who kill children and innocent civilians. I also know that releasing those prisoners in "swaps" sets a bad example, and even encourages more of my people to commit acts of terror: they see they can be released in a few years in a prisoner exchange brokered by the West. Would the U.S. or Europe agree to give its cities and parts of its soil to a terrorist organization to establish a country the way Secretary Kerry has been pushing Israel to give up most of the West Bank and return to pre-1967 borders? Also, if the US or any European country were facing terror attacks from any neighboring country, wouldn't it seek to build a barrier to protect itself from that country? The U.S. already has a fortified wall along parts of its border with Mexico to stop illegal immigration — an offense not by any means close to any of the terrorist acts that have claimed the lives of thousands of Israeli civilians over the years. Therefore, can the world keep blaming Israel for having a security barrier?

 

Can we Palestinians blame Israel when the barrier never existed before Hamas and the PLO started launching terror attacks on Israel on a daily basis? Yes, the wall looks sad and ugly and depressing, but if Israel's neighbors proclaim every day that their sole desire is to displace Israel, what else — apart from surrender — can Israel do? We Palestinians know that Israel welcomed us with open arms before the PA came and brought terror-preaching with it. And yes, there have always been constant acts of Palestinian terrorism. But PA terror has became a major industry — in which terrorists are pampered, protected, financed, employed, and glorified by the PA — with streets, soccer stadiums and summer camps named after them. And Europe breathlessly joins in.

 

Israeli measures towards securing the safety of its citizens as well as that of the Palestinians, have been demonized by the world and the so-called Palestinian sympathizers, who choose to ignore the fact that Palestinians' lives have become harder because of the terrorists and not because of Israel. A Palestinian businessman, for instance, who frequently passes illegally into Israel to buy his products, said: "Most people are mad at those who kidnapped the kids…[because] When they commit such acts, we rejoice, celebrate for Israel's suffering, then sit down and worry if we will be allowed into Israel for work and medical treatment. To me, such a kidnapping only destroys the livelihood of my four children. This has to stop, for our own sake."

 

The Palestinian Authority is a terrorist organization, and its leaders are terrorists who deserve international arrest warrants rather than the red-carpet treatment in Western capitals. The PA has been an inciter of terror; it jeopardizes the safety and livelihoods of Israelis and Palestinians alike. This tragedy should remind the world that the PA — and organizations like it — is a threat to all of us and should not be rewarded with still more funds for terrorist behavior. For the sake of both Israel and the Palestinians, it is not Israel but the PA that should be boycotted, excluded and even dissolved.

 

Contents

THE NAMES OF THE VICTIMS                                                                                

Caroline B. Glick                                                                                                

Jerusalem Post, June 26, 2014

 

Three families in Israel are in agony. On June 12, when their sons Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrah and Gil-Ad Shaer were kidnapped by Islamic savages, the Fraenkels, Yifrahs and Shaers entered a new world where every breath they take is filled with devastating guilt – that they breathe free while their sons suffer unknown miseries. Every moment that passes is filled with crushed hope that they will get word that their sons are free, and then the word doesn’t come. And it doesn’t come the next moment, or the next. And so they will live, in agony, until this ordeal has ended. Our hearts go out to these families. Our prayers are continuously directed towards them. And in a profound sense that is uniquely Israeli, the people of Israel share their pain. And with this pain comes a sincere and overpowering desire to do something to bring the captive teenagers home.

 

What can be done? There are only two ways for Israel to free hostages. The government can devote all necessary resources to gathering actionable intelligence that will lead IDF troops to the boys. Or the government can surrender to the terrorists by freeing thousands of Palestinian terrorist murderers from Israeli prisons. So far, the government is concentrating on Option 1. But Option 2 is lurking around the corner. And we need to confront it now – head on – before it takes center stage. Over the past 30 years, Israel has released thousands of terrorists from its prisons in exchange for hostages. Thousands more have been freed as so-called “confidence building measures,” to appease our supposedly moderate Palestinian negotiating partners into sharing a table with their Israeli counterparts. In every instance, these terrorist releases have led to the murder and abduction of other Israelis.

 

The clock started ticking down to Naftali, Gil-Ad and Eyal’s abduction on October 19, 2011 when Israel released 1,027 Palestinian terrorists in exchange for IDF Sgt. Gilad Schalit who had been held hostage by Hamas for more than five years. The countdown also began that day for the murder of Baruch Mizrahi, the police officer who was killed in a roadside shooting in April as he drove to a Passover Seder with his wife and children. Mizrahi’s killer was one of the terrorists released for Schalit. Some politicians are trying to take steps to prevent these swaps in the future. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told the media he will prohibit all members of his Yisrael Beytenu party from voting in favor of a hostages-for-terrorists swap if one is on offer in the future. The day before Fraenkel, Shaer and Yifrah were kidnapped, the Knesset passed a preliminary reading of a bill sponsored by MK Ayelet Shaked from Bayit Yehudi to constrain the president’s power to commute the sentences of some convicted murderers. The idea is that by passing the law, the Knesset will make it impossible for the government to agree to swap murderers for hostages. But then, to avoid the law, all governments will have to do is release prisoners who weren’t sentenced to life without possibility of parole.

 

The problem with statements like Liberman’s and bills like Shaked’s is that they miss the point. The problem isn’t the law. The problem isn’t that in past swaps MKs were given the freedom to vote as they pleased. The problem is our media-compliant leadership refuses to act responsibly. The only way to prevent more Israelis from being abducted in the future is to deter the Palestinians from abducting them. Deterrence cannot be achieved by cheap political pronouncements or insufficient legislation. Deterrence can only be built up over time, by behaving consistently in a manner that convinces the other side that it is not in its interest to do something that you don’t want it to do. Since May 1985, when then-prime minister Shimon Peres freed 1,150 terrorists for three IDF soldiers held hostage by Palestinian terror master Ahmed Jibril, Israel’s behavior has consistently encouraged our enemies to take hostages. Through their willingness to release murderers for hostages – and even for hostage bodies – our leaders have told our enemies that they should feel free to steal our children. Their payoff is guaranteed.

 

Through their willingness to free murderers, our leaders have shown our enemies that they should feel free to murder as many Israelis as they can. They know that once their comrades take another Israeli hostage, (or three), they will go free. And of course, our politicians are not the only ones at fault. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his colleagues and predecessors swim in an acrid stream, where this sort of behavior is required. To their disgrace, our media consistently behave as advocates and lobbyists for hostage-takers and imprisoned murderers against Israeli society. For instance, in the case of Schalit, the media worked hand-in-glove with the Schalit family and its public relations firm to convince the public that we should think of a soldier as a child, and not as any child, but as our child. In more than a thousand media reports, profiles, tear-jerker interviews with Schalit’s kindergarten teachers and siblings, we were told that if we are good and moral people, we must prefer Schalit’s freedom to the continued imprisonment of terrorists who constitute a mortal threat to every other child – and parent – in the country. Public relations agent Tami Shenkman led the campaign for the terrorists’ release. She was the one who put together the sales strategy for convincing us that capitulating to Palestinian extortion is an act of moral courage. For her efforts the media lavished her with fawning, heroic profiles. And for the media’s efforts, three teenagers are now hostages…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

 

Contents

DON'T SUCCUMB TO HAMAS                                                             

Dr. Shaul Bartal                                                                                                 

Israel Hayom, June 30, 2014

 

The publication of the names of two Hamas operatives suspected of kidnapping the three Israeli teens prompted a particularly thunderous response from Hamas spokespeople. It could no longer be denied that Hamas was responsible for the kidnapping. The two kidnappers come from families known for their support of Hamas, and the kidnappers themselves have served time in Israeli prison for being members of the group.

What was left for Hamas to say? Hamas spokespeople claimed the publication of the names stemmed from the "failure of the occupation to find the captives and its failure to achieve its goals." Unlike Khaled Mashaal, Hamas spokespeople did not deny that group was behind the kidnapping.

 

Has Israel in fact failed? Israeli officials have not denied that the purpose of Operation Brother's Keeper is to deal a blow to Hamas and sever the ties between the terrorist group and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. This is well understood. A Fatah website said the objectives of the Israeli operation include "foiling final [Palestinian] reconciliation and creating hostility between different parts of the [Palestinian] people."

 

There is no doubt that Hamas was unpleasantly surprised by Abbas' speech in which he called for the return of the captives to their families and sanctified security cooperation with Israel. Kidnapping "settlers" for the purpose of an exchange is nothing new for Hamas. Hamas literature dealing with the prisoner issue makes mention of Eliyahu Asheri, a settler from Itamar who also just wanted to return home. Asheri was abducted the same day as Gilad Schalit in June 2006. Imprisoned Hamas terrorists Mahmoud al-Adwan and Ali Shawaneh have written that this kidnapping failed because the abductors were unable to keep Asheri alive long enough. This attack was ordered by the Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza, an organization that includes Fatah and Hamas members and carries out joint actions against Israel.

 

Following Abbas' speech, a war of words broke out on social networks and the websites of various Palestinian groups. Hamas took a tough stance, the two main components of which were expressed by Mashaal on Al-Jazeera — justifying the kidnapping and condemning security cooperation with Israel. Mashaal said he would be proud if it turned out Hamas operatives were responsible for the kidnapping. Also, Hamas is calling security cooperation with Israel treason. Abbas is being presented as a Zionist agent and, in one photo circulating online, Abbas is seen as a kippah-wearing settler defending Israel.

 

On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority is defending Abbas' speech. "It is better to make an unpopular speech than a popular one that would cause a massacre of my people," the Fatah website wrote, in a hypothetical quote attributed to Abbas. This is how the Fatah website responded to Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar's criticism of the PA for its security cooperation with Israel: "Why should we accept them as martyrs? Why should Gaza die from the blockade? You are destroying Hebron, Nablus and Ramallah and you are returning to destroy the Palestinian population." Fatah asked, with amazement, how Hamas could organize rallies against Abbas in Judea and Samaria while at the same time demanding that the PA pay the salaries of Hamas workers in Gaza. It appears that, in the wake of the kidnapping, the PA has woken up, realizing that it will be its loss if it succumbs to the temptations of Hamas.

 

Contents

ISRAEL MUST DEFEAT THE TACTICS OF TERRORISTS                                

Daniel Greenfield           

Frontpage, June 26, 2014

 

In Jerusalem, Israelis pray for the return of three missing boys and in the West Bank, Israeli soldiers hunt for them and for their captors. But in the midst of all this, it is important not to lose sight of the larger conflict. Israel made one tragic mistake with the Gilad Shalit deal. That deal, aside from already costing the life of one Israeli, is what led to this kidnapping. One kidnapping turned into three. It can easily become many more.

 

Defeating terrorist tactics can be more important than defeating terrorists. It is not that hard for a modern nation to kill a terrorist. Drones allow us to kill enemies from a distance at the push of a button. But drones cannot protect the morale of a nation. Conventional armies use tactics to defeat enemy forces and seize territory. Terrorists however use tactics to take over mental territory. A suicide bomber is not out to take over a particular block. He is out to change how people think about that city block and the larger conflict.

 

Terrorism has succeeded in accomplishing that goal in Israel. The scale of terrorism turned every piece of land into a mathematical equation. How many lives was this village in Gaza worth? How many lives is this West Bank town worth? How many lives is East Jerusalem worth? However terrorists are not trading an end to violence for a village or a town. They are calculating how many deaths it will take to force Israel to abandon that village or town. And once they have that town, they will use it to inflict more terror on another town or village.

 

Israelis were convinced that a price in lives had been put on Gaza and that if they withdrew, the killing would end. But Gaza was just the beginning. Not the end. Terrorists try to create the perception that the winning side is losing. This perception can be so compelling that both sides come to accept it as reality. Terrorists manufacture victories by trapping their enemies in no-win scenarios that wear down their morale. That is what has been happening to Israel. The entire carrot and stick of the peace process and the suicide bombing, the final agreement that never comes and the final solution that is coming, were designed to wear down Israelis, to make their leaders and people chase down empty hopes. The last few decades were meant to create a sense of helplessness among Israelis. Taking hostages is one form of the no-win scenario. If the winning side can’t cut the Gordian Knot by rescuing the hostages, it faces a choice between releasing terrorists or having to watch its own people held captive or killed. Either one creates a sense of helplessness and defeat. Terrorists are not attacking land or buildings. They are targeting morale. Their goal is to destroy the mental and spiritual resistance of a people by wearing it down with acts of terror, tying it down with moral and legalistic debates, and finally finishing it off with negotiations that are also designed to wear down the other side without ever concluding a final agreement.

 

As important as it is to defeat terrorists, it is even more important to defeat their tactics. The first and best way to defeat terrorist tactics is to refuse to negotiate with terrorists. Terrorist tactics work best when they create complicity on the other side. The first wave of complicity comes from leftist activists and sympathetic terror lawyers making human rights arguments. But the second wave of complicity has to come from the authorities for terrorism to be successful. Negotiating with terrorists makes the negotiators complicit in whatever plans the terrorists have. Once negotiations begin, the terrorists will force the negotiators to violate their own side’s values and to sell out portions of their own population or those of allied countries. These tactics allow the terrorists to divide and conquer the enemy. A terrorist group that seizes hostages from Country X in exchange for Country Y freeing prisoners has managed to turn two of its enemies against each other. If Country Y frees the prisoners, the terrorists win. If Country Y doesn’t free the prisoners, they still win because Country X will now blame Country Y, rather than the terrorists, for what happened. Swap the two countries for two groups of people inside a country and it becomes easier to understand what the terrorists are trying to accomplish by taking hostages.

 

Israelis were convinced that they could buy their way out of the problem by betraying their fellow citizens living in the West Bank and Gaza. European leaders are convinced that they can have peace in their time by pressuring Israel and restraining America. American leaders are convinced that peace will come if they can pressure the Europeans and Israelis to stop offending Muslims. This is classic divide and conquer. The greatest danger of fighting terrorists is falling into a reactive pattern. The more you react to what terrorists do, the more they set the agenda. Taking hostages is the ultimate reactive trap. The kidnapping of three Israeli boys has sent Israel into the same predictable pattern, rounding up the usual suspects, making temporary arrests and a public outcry that, like the one surrounding Gilad Shalit, can easily be turned into a campaign to pay any price to free them. The only way to defeat a terrorist tactic is to invalidate it. The act of invalidating it is often painful, but it’s less painful than not doing it. Refusing to negotiate with terrorists cripples their ability to set the agenda. It’s hard to divide and conquer people who won’t talk to you. Human shields proliferate because they work. The only way to invalidate them as a tactic is by reacting to terrorists the same way whether or not they are using a human shield. Hostages are taken because the terrorists have a realistic expectation of striking a deal. Eliminate the deal and the hostage taking ends…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]            

                            

Contents

On Topic

 

U.S. Senator: Innocent Israeli Kidnapped Boys and Evil Abductors (Video): Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, June 27, 2014 U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R. Tex) spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Thursday, June 26. He spoke about the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach, and their abductors.

Hamas Extremism: Jerusalem Post, June 24, 2014 Blessed be the hands that captured them,” Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas’s political bureau, told Al Jazeera on Monday, referring to those who kidnapped the three boys Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah.

The Fight Against Hamas: The Legal Angle: Pnina Sharvit Baruch, INSS, June 27, 2013Following the abduction of three teenagers on June 12, 2014, Israel launched a campaign against Hamas in the West Bank that involves intensive activity on the ground, including searches, arrests, interrogations, confiscation of property, and other actions.

Hamas Kidnappings: History of a Constant Threat: IDF Spokesperson, Jewish Press, June 16, 2014 Last week’s Hamas abduction followed dozens of attempts to kidnap innocent Israelis. Since the beginning of 2013, Israel has foiled 64 planned abductions, many of them at the hands of Hamas terrorists.

 

 

 

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

THE WEEK THAT WAS: IN MEMORIAM: FOUAD AJAMI, A GREAT M.E. SCHOLAR; U.S. TRAVESTIES: POLLARD AFFAIR & KLINGHOFFER OPERA; NEW BIOGRAPHY: A GREAT ZIONIST LEADER

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail: rob@isranet.org

 

Fouad Ajami, Great American: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2013— Fouad Ajami would have been amused, but not surprised, to read his own obituary in the New York Times.

Pollard’s Release is a Matter of Justice: Alan Dershowitz & Irwin Cotler, Jerusalem Post, June 26, 2014— US President Barack Obama’s response to President Shimon Peres’s request for executive clemency for Jonathan Pollard was to refer the matter to US Attorney-General Eric Holder.

The Perpetual Assassination of the Jew Leon Klinghoffer: Paul Merkley, Baywater Review, June 24, 2014— On October 7, 1985, four pirates, engaged in the cause of the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), took control of the Italian luxury liner Achille Lauro as it was sailing from Alexandria to Port Said, Egypt.

Book Review: 'Jabotinsky' by Hillel Halkin: Douglas J. Feith, Wall Street Journal, May 30, 2013— Vladimir Jabotinsky, the intellectual forebear of the secular Israeli right, is the most vilified and mischaracterized figure in Zionist history.

Letters From Our Readers

 

On Topic Links

 

Evgeny Kissin Becomes Israeli Citizen (Video): Youtube, June 15, 2014

As Europe Slides Into a Dark Age, Jews Must Review Their Future: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, June 25, 2014

Do Jews Have a Future in Europe?: Simone Rodan-Benzaquen & Daniel Schwammenthal, Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2013

Presbyterians Aim Misguided Boycott at Israel: Martin Schram, Boston Herald, June 27, 2014

 

FOUAD AJAMI, GREAT AMERICAN                                                            

Bret Stephens                                                                                                        

Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2014

 

Fouad Ajami would have been amused, but not surprised, to read his own obituary in the New York Times.  "Edward Said, the Palestinian cultural critic who died in 2003, accused [Ajami] of having 'unmistakably racist prescriptions,'" quoted obituarist Douglas Martin. Thus was Said, the most mendacious, self-infatuated and profitably self-pitying of Arab-American intellectuals—a man whose account of his own childhood cannot be trusted—raised from the grave to defame, for one last time, the most honest and honorable and generous of American intellectuals, no hyphenation necessary.

 

Ajami, who died of prostate cancer Sunday in his summer home in Maine, was often described as among the foremost scholars of the modern Arab and Islamic worlds, and so he was. He was born in 1945 to a family of farmers in a Shiite village in southern Lebanon and was raised in Beirut in the politics of the age. "I was formed by an amorphous Arab nationalist sensibility," he wrote in his 1998 masterpiece, "The Dream Palace of the Arabs." He came to the U.S. for college and graduate school, became a U.S. citizen, and first made his political mark as an advocate for Palestinian nationalism. For those who knew Ajami mainly as a consistent advocate of Saddam Hussein's ouster, it's worth watching a YouTube snippet of his 1978 debate with Benjamin Netanyahu, in which Ajami makes the now-standard case against Israeli iniquity. Today Mr. Netanyahu sounds very much like his 28-year-old self. But Ajami changed. He was, to borrow a phrase, mugged by reality. By the 1980s, he wrote, "Arab society had run through most of its myths, and what remained in the wake of the word, of the many proud statements people had made about themselves and their history, was a new world of cruelty, waste, and confusion."

 

What Ajami did was to see that world plain, without the usual evasions and obfuscations and shifting of blame to Israel and the U.S. Like Sidney Hook, a great ex-communist of a previous generation, his honesty, courage and intelligence got the better of his ideology; he understood his former beliefs with the hard-won wisdom of the disillusioned. He also understood with empathy and without rancor. Converts tend to be fanatics. But Ajami was too interested in people—in their motives and aspirations, their deceits and self-deceits, their pride, shame and unexpected nobility—to hate anyone except the truly despicable, namely tyrants and their apologists. To read Ajami is to see that his genius lay not only in the breadth of the scholarship or the sharpness of political insight but also in the quality of human understanding. If Joseph Conrad had been reborn as a modern-day academic, he would have been Fouad Ajami.

 

Consider a typical example, from an op-ed he wrote…in February 2013 on the second anniversary of the fall of Hosni Mubarak's regime: "Throughout [Mubarak's] reign, a toxic brew poisoned the life of Egypt—a mix of anti-modernism, anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism. That trinity ran rampant in the universities and the professional syndicates and the official media. As pillage had become the obsession of the ruling family and its retainers, the underclass was left to the rule of darkness and to a culture of conspiracy."

 

Or here he is on Barack Obama's fading political appeal, from a piece from last November: "The current troubles of the Obama presidency can be read back into its beginnings. Rule by personal charisma has met its proper fate. The spell has been broken, and the magician stands exposed. We need no pollsters to tell us of the loss of faith in Mr. Obama's policies—and, more significantly, in the man himself. Charisma is like that. Crowds come together and they project their needs onto an imagined redeemer. The redeemer leaves the crowd to its imagination: For as long as the charismatic moment lasts—a year, an era—the redeemer is above and beyond judgment." A publisher ought to collect these pieces. Who else could write so profoundly and so well? Ajami understood the Arab world as only an insider could—intimately, sympathetically, without self-pity. And he loved America as only an immigrant could—with a depth of appreciation and absence of cynicism rarely given to the native-born. If there was ever an error in his judgment, it's that he believed in people—Arabs and Americans alike—perhaps more than they believed in themselves. It was the kind of mistake only a generous spirit could make.

 

Over the years Ajami mentored many people—the mentorship often turning to friendship—who went on to great things. One of them, Samuel Tadros, a native of Egypt and now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, wrote me Monday with an apt valediction: "Fouad is remarkable because he became a full American, loved this country as anyone could love it, but that did not lessen his passion for what he left behind. He cared deeply about the region, he was always an optimist. He knew well the region's ills, the pains it gave those who cherished it. God knows it gave him nothing but pain, but he always believed that the peoples of the region deserved better."

 

Contents
                                  

POLLARD’S RELEASE IS A MATTER OF JUSTICE                                  

Alan Dershowitz & Irwin Cotler                                                                               

Jerusalem Post, June 26, 2014

 

US President Barack Obama’s response to President Shimon Peres’s request for executive clemency for Jonathan Pollard was to refer the matter to US Attorney-General Eric Holder. Indeed, as it happens, a group of American constitutional and criminal law scholars and practitioners, including six Harvard law school professors, Obama’s alma mater, have written to the president (full disclosure – we are two of the signatories and organizers of the letter) requesting the commutation of Pollard’s sentence to time served. In our letter we argue that “such commutation is more than warranted if the ends of justice are to be served, the rules of law respected and simple humanity secured.”

 

Our letter sets forth 10 compelling legal considerations for the exercise of executive clemency by Obama – and which should commend themselves to Attorney-General Holder – including: First, Pollard was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, one count of conveying classified information to a foreign government, in this instance, Israel, an ally of the US. The usual sentence for this offense is no more than six or eight years, with actual jail time before release averaging two to four years. Pollard is now serving his 29th year of an unprecedented life sentence – an excessive, grossly disproportionate, unfair and unjust sentence.

 

Second, the sentence of life imprisonment was itself a breach of the plea bargain wherein the prosecution agreed not to seek life imprisonment in return for Pollard’s guilty plea, his cooperation with the authorities and his agreement to waive his right to trial by jury. This plea bargain also saved the government much time, money and prospective embarrassment of conducting a trial involving highly sensitive information, and where Pollard might well have been acquitted of the more serious charges. Indeed, Judge Stephen F. Williams of the US Court of Appeals for the First District later referred to the government’s breach of the plea bargain as a “complete and gross miscarriage of justice.”

 

Third, the life sentence was itself secured as a result of the submission – after the plea bargain and in violation of it – of a prejudicial ex parte affidavit to the sentencing judge by then-secretary of defense Caspar Weinberger, to the effect that Pollard had compromised American national security and was guilty of “treason,” and should never be released. However, in a 2004 interview, Weinberger himself admitted that, in retrospect, the Pollard matter was “comparatively minor,” and it is not even referenced in his memoirs. Fourth, Pollard has not only been excessively and disproportionately punished for the crime he did commit, but has been effectively punished and maligned for the crime he never committed – nor was ever charged with– namely, “treason.” Yet, regrettably, prosecutorial “sources” in the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Defense, State and Justice departments, continued to maintain, long after the plea bargain, that Pollard was guilty of treason.

 

Fifth, Pollard was also falsely accused over the years of having compromised US security and American lives in Eastern Europe, when it was Aldridge Ames, the head of the CIA’s Soviet/Eastern Europe Division, who had himself been both the architect of those treasonable acts, and the original source of the false allegations against Pollard. Sixth, a largely ignored December 2012 declassification of a 1987 CIA damage assessment concerning Pollard shows Pollard had co-operated fully and in good faith with governmental authorities, while acknowledging Pollard did not divulge the most sensitive US national security programs. Yet CIA officials continued to knowingly and falsely accuse Pollard of actions prejudicial to US national security…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents
                                  

THE PERPETUAL ASSASSINATION OF THE JEW LEON KLINGHOFFER    

Paul Merkley        

The Baywater Review, June 24, 2014

 

…On October 7, 1985, four pirates, engaged in the cause of the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), took control of the Italian luxury liner Achille Lauro as it was sailing from Alexandria to Port Said, Egypt. They demanded ransom, including the release of 50 Palestinians then in Israeli prisons, for the crew and passengers. The next day, befuddled by the delay in response to their ransom demand, they were delighted to discover that among the passengers was a real live Jew! Not only that — an American Jew! And best of all – a disabled American Jew! God is great! They quickly ordered two members of the ship’s crew to wheel the wheelchair of their helpless and terrified captive – Leon Klinghoffer, then 69, retired and in the midst of celebrating his thirty-sixth wedding anniversary with his wife Marilyn — to the edge of the ship and drop him overboard…

 

As the worldwide press speculated over the meaning of all this, PLO Foreign Secretary Farouq Qaddumi, who knew that his boss Yasir Arafat had indeed commissioned the deed, helped them out by speculating that Klinghoffer’s terminally ill wife Marilyn Klinghoffer had killed her husband for insurance money. Initially, the hijackers were granted safe passage to Tunisia by Egypt, but U.S. President Ronald Reagan ordered a U.S. fighter plane to force the get-away plane to land at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Italy. After fussing over the appropriateness of extradition in such a matter, Italian authorities eventually arrested and later tried the Palestinian terrorists. Reagan’s motto was: “What we want is justice done… a message to terrorists everywhere…. ‘You can hide but you can’t; run…” None of this counted for anything, however, when in 1993 the Clinton government recognized Yasir Arafat and his PLO as the appropriate instrument for peace throughout the Palestine Authority. The Nobel Peace Prize followed shortly after that.

 

There are those who find Ronald Reagan’s judgment simple-minded. Indeed, souls more sensitive than Reagan’s are now proclaiming that the entire “Klinger affair” was misjudged, and blame this misjudgment on the moralistic mentality that even now, is slowly and painfully being overcome by practitioners of the highest culture. John Adams explains that his purpose in writing this opera was “to understand the hijackers and their motivations, and to look for humanity in the terrorists, as well as in their victims.”  Tom Morris, the Director of the new Metropolitan Opera company production believes that “the opera’s most important contribution is in providing an opportunity for the audience to wrestle with the almost unanswerable questions that arise from this seemingly endless conflict.”

 

To these deep-thinkers, production of this opera presents an opportunity to put before enlightened spirits the cause of the suffering Palestinians. The little incident with Klinghoffer was not an act of savagery, as might first appear to decent folk, but a “statement.” In his review of a concert performance at the Juilliard School in January, 2009, Anthony Tommasini, Chief Music Critic for the New York Times, explained: “[This performance] allowed this searing, mystical and ambitious work to come through without the doctrinaire baggage that has attached to it [the Klinghoffer incident] over the years …. Somehow the performers here, too young to have been aware of the polemics the opera initially incited, brought unjaded involvement and affecting commitment to … this multilayered, complex and elusive score under Mr. Adams’s direction.”

 

The appropriate moral-levelling effect appears, Tommasini finds, at the beginning, “with a pair of somber, brooding, agitated choruses, giving voice first to exiled Palestinians, then to exiled Jews.” This exchange between choirs, to right and left of the scene, reminds Tommasini of the similarly powerful “St Matthew Passion,” of Johan Sebastian Bach…This thought goes right off the scale of offense that begins with giggles and ends with blasphemy. But then, the New York Times long ago gave up believing in the ontic possibility of blasphemy – about the same time as it gave up on the notion that that there is such a thing as pornography. These are broken people – these aesthetes who imagine that judgments about right and wrong must go under the yoke of supra-moral hermeneutics. Simple-minded people see a helpless, elderly man pushed overboard by an armed, athletic youth, cheered on by co-sadists. But not all the nuance in the world – not all the unjaded and affecting commitment to all that is multilayered and complex – will ever scrub clean this filth; and all effort along that line is simply demonic…

[To Read the Full Article, With Footnotes, Click the Following Link—Ed.]

                                                         

Contents
 

BOOK REVIEW: 'JABOTINSKY' BY HILLEL HALKIN                                        

Douglas J. Feith                                                                                                          

Wall Street Journal, May 30, 2014

 

Vladimir Jabotinsky, the intellectual forebear of the secular Israeli right, is the most vilified and mischaracterized figure in Zionist history. Until his death in 1940, eight years before the state of Israel's birth, Jabotinsky was the principal political rival of David Ben-Gurion, the Labor Zionist leader who became the Jewish State's first prime minister. Ben-Gurion labeled him "Vladimir Hitler" and denounced him and his followers as extremists and militarists who "educate their youth to kill." Invented 80 years ago for intramural Zionist political purposes, these slanders have now become standard insults that anti-Zionists use to denigrate the Jewish state. The right has dominated Israel's democratic politics since 1977, when Likud's Menachem Begin, a disciple of Jabotinsky, became the country's first nonsocialist prime minister. But Jabotinsky's reputation still awaits general rehabilitation. The cloud that his contemporary rivals cast over him and his political party, which evolved into today's Likud, has never fully dissipated. To understand contemporary Israel requires an appreciation of its conservative political thought that is deeper than name-calling. This means taking Jabotinsky seriously, which is a pleasure to do, not least because his many writings were prescient, humane, artful and often humorous.

 

In his engaging and intelligent biography, Hillel Halkin, himself a brilliant Zionist man of letters—translator, novelist and essayist—illuminates Jabotinsky's multifaceted nature as a littérateur and polemicist, political thinker and activist, family man and frustrated politician. Mr. Halkin's particular interest is the tension between Jabotinsky's lifelong, passionate defense of individual liberty and his staunch Jewish nationalism, exaltation of military discipline and tough line toward the Arabs. Born in 1880 in cosmopolitan Odessa, the only large Russian city in which Jews lived freely, Jabotinsky was secular and sophisticated. Though his father died when he was six and his mother made a meager living running a stationery store, Jabotinsky had a happy childhood in which he played truant and mischief maker, though one with a talent for words. As a teenager, he was already a rising-star journalist, having won a newspaper job by impressing an editor with his translation of Poe's "The Raven" into Russian.

 

Zionism was offering a new answer to the so-called Jewish question: what to do about the Jews' status as unwelcome guests in other peoples' countries. Jabotinsky grasped that Jews in Eastern Europe lived wretched lives—"always in a state of war," as he put it in his memoirs—surrounded by neighbors who generally hated them and sporadically battered, raped and killed them in pogroms that government officials often tolerated and sometimes encouraged. He concluded that Jewish assimilationism would fail and that the Zionists were right: The Jews needed a state where they could be the majority and govern and secure themselves. And only the Jews' ancient homeland—that is, Zion—could attract enough Jews and inspire the exertions necessary to create this new state. The vulnerability, false hopes and complacency of diaspora Jews enraged Jabotinsky. In a play he wrote in 1907, a Zionist warns: "You're in a lion's den. Have no illusions. Your dreams are nothing but a fool's effusions. At the volcano's edge, you're fireflies." The "cringing" of his fellow Jews in the face of danger, the Zionist says, has distressed him so he "couldn't breathe."

 

Jabotinsky, Mr. Halkin argues, could have prospered as a playwright, journalist, poet, novelist and public speaker. His language skills were astonishing. Though his mother tongue was Russian, he was eloquent in Yiddish, Hebrew, English and Italian. Mr. Halkin judges his book "The Five" to be "one of the finest twentieth-century Russian novels." When he lectured, Jabotinsky could "mesmerize an audience for three hours," according to the novelist Arthur Koestler. The Russian diplomat K.D. Nabokov (the novelist's uncle) called Jabotinsky Russia's finest orator. But Jabotinsky gave up his burgeoning literary career to devote his life to promoting a Jewish-majority state in the land of Israel, an area under Turkish rule since 1517. Jabotinsky attended Zionist congresses, edited Zionist periodicals and, in 1908, visited the Holy Land for the first time. There he heard Jews predicting that the Arabs would someday accept Zionism. Why? Because Jewish immigration boosted the economy for all. Or, as many left-leaning Zionists believed, because Arab workers would, out of solidarity, support the Jews in building a socialist community. Jabotinsky dismissed this all as unrealistic. "Arab nationalism was still at an early stage, but future conflict with it, he was convinced, was inevitable," Mr. Halkin notes.

 

The Turks sided with the Germans in the Great War in 1914, and Jabotinsky felt confident that Britain would defeat Turkey and take control of Palestine. He resolved to form a Jewish military unit to aid Britain. His goal, as he wrote to a fellow Zionist in 1915 with impressive prescience, was to ensure the Jewish people a voice "when one day a peace conference is convened, [and] an item on the agenda will be the dismemberment of Turkey." Simply conceiving of the Jewish Legion was an imaginative coup. The world hadn't seen a Jewish military force for nearly 2,000 years. To bring it into being, Jabotinsky had to overcome British reluctance and rude opposition from Zionist movement leaders, who were not military-minded and in any event had resolved on neutrality in the war…

[To Read the Full Article, With Footnotes, Click the Following Link—Ed.]

LETTERS FROM OUR READERS

 

“Dear Professor Krantz, Thank you for your kind words: I am certainly a Zionist at heart! And despite not being a "good Jew" I have that typical genetic Jewish trait of hankering for justice and truth and abhorring dishonesty, deception, lies and especially vile propaganda about Israel, Zionism, Jews and the forever hapless Palestinians…I greatly admire your writing and articles. The CIJR does a great service to all those sane enough to see its honesty and fairness in combating bigotry in all it overt and covert forms… 

—Jerome (May 30, 2014)  

 

“Dear Fred, Olga and I would like to thank you for…the CIJR [Toronto] Gala Luncheon yesterday; it was not only enjoyable but informative. I learned something new about Israel's history, in particular the important role that the Machalniks played in Israel's defense. In bringing such things to public light, it emphasizes the importance of your organization to bettering our understanding of history and to ensuring memories do not fade.”

—Perry (June 12, 2014)

 

“Dear Fred, I would like to congratulate you, Baruch, and the other wonderful volunteers and staff who organized this year's annual [Montreal] Gala. The event [honouring 1948 Machal volunteers & the Israel Air Force] was very moving, and everything was perfect: the themes, the tributes, the speakers, the arrangements. It was a privilege and a pleasure for Steve and I to join you. Mazel tov and Kol Hakavod!”

—Dorothy (June 18, 2014)

 

“Last night was well planned, very interesting, enjoyable and an informative evening…my table was overwhelmed, and I am sure the seed for future involvement is well planted…Congratulations again on a job well done.

—Herb (June 11, 2014)

 

 

Contents

On Topic

 

Evgeny Kissin Becomes Israeli Citizen (Video): Youtube, June 15, 2014 —I was unaware that Evgeny Kissin became an Israeli citizen on December 7, 2013; here is the simple but touching citizenship ceremony, with an introduction by Natan Sharansky, chairman for the Jewish Agency for Israel, before Kissin himself explains the reason for his decision.

As Europe Slides Into a Dark Age, Jews Must Review Their Future: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, June 25, 2014 —Recent developments signal that the prospect of Europe sliding into a new Dark Age is now a horrifying reality.

Do Jews Have a Future in Europe?: Simone Rodan-Benzaquen & Daniel Schwammenthal, Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2013—Just ahead of last month's European Parliament elections, which saw the rise of far-right and anti-Semitic parties, four people were murdered in the Jewish Museum of Brussels.

Presbyterians Aim Misguided Boycott at Israel: Martin Schram, Boston Herald, June 27, 2014 —All hell was breaking out, yet again, in the Arab world that surrounds Israel — well before the late news that broke in a most unlikely locale last Friday and was mainly missed by most of the world.

 

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

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IRAN’S HEGEMONIC ASPIRATIONS RELY ON UNSTABLE IRAQ, COLLUSION WITH ISIS, ASSAD & WEST—& NUCLEAR WEAPONS

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail: rob@isranet.org

 

Second Front Opens in the Sunni-Shia War: Jonathan Spyer, PJ Media,,June 15, 2013— The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) organization swept into the city of Mosul in western Iraq last week. 

ISIS: Iran’s Instrument for Regional Hegemony?: Pinhas Inbari, JCPA, June 19, 2014— The battle currently being waged over the city of Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria reveals a great deal about the political orientation of the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (or ISIS), that recently captured Mosul and large stretches of Iraqi territory hundreds of kilometers away to the south.

As I See It: With Iran, My Enemy’s Enemy is Still My Enemy: Melanie Phillips, Jerusalem Post, June 20, 2014— Rub your eyes. One minute Iran is a principal enemy of civilization – sponsoring terror around the world, arming the Assad regime’s mass slaughter in Syria, developing nuclear weapons to further its war against the West and its declared aim of exterminating Israel.

Inspections: The Weak Link in a Nuclear Agreement with Iran: Dore Gold, JCPA, June 11, 2014— One striking feature appearing in the leading commentaries on the Comprehensive Agreement being negotiated between Iran and the P5+1 is the stress they are placing on the role of inspections in assuring the international community that Tehran will not be permitted to obtain nuclear weapons.

 

On Topic Links

 

The West and Iran – A Muddle and a Mistake: Neville Teller, Jerusalem Post, June 21, 2014

Turmoil in Iraq Spells Trouble for Oil Markets: Gal Luft & Robert McFarlane, Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2014

Spinning the West: Doug Lamborn, Jerusalem Post, June 18, 2014

Iran and the Arab World: Elliott Abrams, Israel Hayom, June 1, 2014

 

SECOND FRONT OPENS IN THE SUNNI-SHIA WAR                                           Jonathan Spyer                                                                                                    

Middle East Forum, June 15, 2014

 

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) organization swept into the city of Mosul in western Iraq last week.  No one has any right to be surprised. ISIL has held a large swath of western Iraq since January – including the city of Fallujah.  The organization was clearly planning a larger scale offensive action into Iraq. In January it had carried out a strategic withdrawal from large swaths of Idleb and Aleppo provinces in Syria. This was intended to consolidate its lines in northern Syria, so as to move fighters out toward Iraq.  ISIL controls a contiguous bloc of territory stretching from western Iraq up through eastern and northern Syria to the Turkish border. 

 

Its “Islamic State” is already an existing, if precarious fact, no longer a mere aspiration.  So, like a state at war, it moves its forces to the front where they are most needed. The rapid collapse of Nouri al-Maliki’s garrison in Mosul in the face of the ISIL assault should also come as no surprise.  These forces are hollow. Saddam Hussein maintained a huge army by coercion. Shirkers and deserters could expect to be executed. But Maliki’s army consists of poorly paid conscripts and often corrupt officers.  The Shia among them in Mosul saw no reason to fight and die for what seemed to them to be Sunni, alien territory.  Sunni officers among the garrison, meanwhile, may well have been working with ISIL itself or with one of the other Sunni Islamist or nationalist formations fighting alongside them. 

 

So what will happen now?  The pattern of developing events is already clear, and much may be learned from the experience of Syria. Bashar Assad, when rebellion broke out against him in March 2011, sought to use his huge conscript army to crush it.  But the Syrian dictator rapidly found out that his supposedly 295,000-strong army was largely a fiction.  Sunni conscripts refused to engage against the rebels, and Bashar was able to make use only of certain units composed largely of members of his own Alawi sect — units such as the Republican Guard and the 4th Armored Division. 

 

How did Assad address this problem? The answer is that he didn’t — Iran did. Realizing that their Syrian ally was facing defeat because of an absence of reliable manpower, the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps stepped in to effectively create a new, sectarian military for the Assads.  In addition, Iran introduced its various regional paramilitary proxies into the Syrian battlefield. By mid-2013, the new, sectarian infantry force trained by the Quds Force and Hizballah – named the National Defense Force – was beginning to be deployed against the Syrian rebellion.  In addition, Hizballah, and Iraqi Shia volunteers of Sadrist and other loyalties began to fill the gaps in manpower for Assad. These units turned the tide of the Syrian war.  But they have brought Assad survival, not victory.  The dictator rules over only about 40% of the territory of what was once Syria.  The rest is under the control of ISIL, the Kurds, and the Sunni Arab rebels. It is likely that a similar pattern will now emerge in Iraq.  Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani has been in Baghdad since Friday.  He is in the process of organizing Iraqi Shia volunteers, who in the months to come are likely to be transformed into a sectarian military force resembling the Syrian National Defense Force. 

 

Contents

ISIS: IRAN’S INSTRUMENT FOR REGIONAL HEGEMONY?                  

Pinhas Inbari                                                                                                        

JCPA, June 19, 2014

 

The battle currently being waged over the city of Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria reveals a great deal about the political orientation of the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (or ISIS), that recently captured Mosul and large stretches of Iraqi territory hundreds of kilometers away to the south. The siege of Deir ez-Zor has been maintained by the army of Bashar al-Assad in the south and by ISIS to the north and east. Among the forces that have been trapped in the middle are the Free Syrian Army (FSA), raising the question of whether ISIS was colluding with the Syrian government and its Iranian allies to defeat the more mainstream elements of the Syrian opposition. It must be recalled that since the outbreak of the uprising in Syria, and the widespread deployment of Iranian security services there, Iran’s intelligence networks are fully aware of the Syrian military’s activities. Today, given the extraordinary dependence of the Syrian state on Iran, it is difficult to imagine that Tehran is not fully updated on the security policies the Assad regime pursues.

 

The ISIS connection with the Syrian leadership, and hence with Iran, raises serious questions.  It was recently noted that President Assad released ISIS operatives from his prisons and for the most part left it alone, sparing it from attacks by the Syrian army. A New York Times reporter recently wrote on her Twitter account that according to a Syrian government advisor, ISIS was not a priority for Assad’s regime. Two leading American analysts just wrote in the Washington Post, “The non-jihadist Syrian opposition insists that ISIS is a creation of Iran.”

 

The more time passes, the more this notion of a link between ISIS, Syrian and even Iranian intelligence has become fixed in the minds of leading Arab analysts as well. For example, Abdul Rahman al-Rashid, a Saudi commentator for Asharq Al-Awsat and also director of the influential TV channel Al Arabiya, wrote: “ISIS is a creation of Iranian and Syrian intelligence…. Most [of its members] are in the dark [and do not know] they are being manipulated, and some of the al-Qaeda leaders are still living in Iran. Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of the online daily Al-Rai Al-Youm, also saw ISIS’ advance as an Iranian success, and for similar reasons, claiming it would enable Iran and the United States to coordinate their moves in Iraq and possibly in Syria as well.

 

The US Department of the Treasury released a statement designating the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) as a supporter of international terrorist organizations. The US document, published on February 16, 2012, specifically stated that the Sunni “al-Qaeda in Iraq” was provided with money and weapons by the Iranian ministry. Within 14 months al-Qaeda in Iraq would be renamed ISIS (see below). Thus, the notion that Shiite Iran would help Sunni jihadists was not farfetched, even if it seemed to defy the conventional wisdom in Western capitals.

ISIS was established on April 8, 2013, when its subsidiary organization, Jabhat al Nusra, merged with the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), which itself was a successor to al-Qaeda in Iraq. The organization’s leader is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who regards himself as the heir to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and as no less fierce. Immediately after al-Baghdadi’s release from an American prison in 2006, not long before Zarqawi was assassinated, they met, and in the wake of the killing al-Baghdadi was crowned the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq and dubbed it “the al-Qaeda Organization of Mesopotamia.” After the revolt against President Bashar Assad erupted in Syria, the organization emerged in Syria under the new name of ISIS. There it quickly clashed with its former al-Qaeda branch, already active in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra or the al-Nusra Front headed by Abu Muhammad al-Jawlani. The head of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, subsequently decided to eject ISIS from the al-Qaeda network, even though ideologically they remained virtually identical groups.

 

What enabled ISIS’ rapid success in Iraq was the alliance it forged with powerful forces there that previously were reluctant to cooperate with a Salafi organization. These include the Bedouin tribes in the Sunni areas, the Sahwa tribes that previously had cooperated with the Americans, remnants of Saddam Hussein’s old army headed by his deputy Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, and the armed Sufi order, the Naqshbandis, who also are led by al-Douri. The clash between ISIS and al-Nusra sparked accusations that the former was nothing but a means for the Syrian Mukhabarat (Military Intelligence Directorate), along with the Iranians, to plant agents of the Assad regime and of Iran within the Syrian opposition, thereby spreading confusion in its ranks and diverting it from the fight against Assad into internecine struggle. Immediately after ISIS emerged in the Syrian theater, sources in the Syrian opposition told this author: “We are familiar with the commanders of ISIS. Once they belonged to Assad’s intelligence, and now they are operating on his behalf under the name of ISIS.”

 

The daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported that “Emir Raqqah” (the emir of ar-Raqqah, a city in north central Syria), also known as Abu Lukman, had been imprisoned in Syria but was released by the Syrian regime immediately after the outbreak of the Syrian revolt. The release of jihadi prisoners became a pattern.  In the days of President George W. Bush, Syria would send al-Qaeda operatives to Iraq to attack US forces. Subsequently relations cooled and Syria incarcerated these fighters. But after the revolt began, Syrian intelligence again took an interest in them, and freed them – in full coordination with Iran – so that they could infiltrate the ranks of the Salafis now fighting in Syria. Once free, they broke into Iraqi prisons to liberate their comrades, thereby creating the basis for expanding ISIS. Seemingly, the Sunni successes against the Shiites in Iraq would evoke words of encouragement and support from Saudi elements who view Iraq’s Shiite prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, as one of their country’s chief enemies. That is not, however, what happened. It was indeed strange to find the Saudi commentator Abdul Rahman al-Rashid asserting that it was in fact Iran that was benefiting from the exploits of ISIS! He explained that Iran and the United States are now allies, and Iran, should it so desire, now has an opportunity to invade Iraq.  Rashid, however, did not see Iran as intending to do so…
[To Read the Full Article, With Footnotes, Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents

AS I SEE IT: WITH IRAN, MY ENEMY’S ENEMY IS STILL MY ENEMY         

Melanie Phillips  

Jerusalem Post, June 20, 2014

 

Rub your eyes. One minute Iran is a principal enemy of civilization – sponsoring terror around the world, arming the Assad regime’s mass slaughter in Syria, developing nuclear weapons to further its war against the West and its declared aim of exterminating Israel. The next minute it has become America’s ally and the West’s new best friend. The US says it is “open to engaging the Iranians” over the crisis in Iraq. The reason for the volte-face is that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a savage terrorist army previously known as al-Qaida in Iraq, has routed the Iraqi army and now controls territory from the outskirts of Aleppo in Syria to Fallujah and Mosul in Iraq, even threatening Baghdad. The prospect of such a well-equipped and financed fanatical force controlling a swathe of Iraq is an unconscionable threat to the West. It puts oil supplies in jeopardy, creates an enormous territorial infrastructure for holy war and will serve as Indoctrination Central for even more Muslim youths pouring in from the UK and Europe to be trained and sent back to their host countries to perpetrate terrorist atrocities.

Notwithstanding this catastrophe, the US has no intention of getting sucked back into Iraq. Enter Iran, which has offered its ally, Iraq’s Shia Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the use of its army, its spies and its fearsome Revolutionary Guards to deal with the ISIS Sunni insurgency. There are many Western voices saying that, despite Iran’s record, the West should ally with it in dealing with their common enemy in ISIS and stabilizing Iraq. But any cozying up to Iran would be astonishingly short-sighted. For sometimes my enemy’s enemy is also my enemy. And Iran remains the West’s deadly enemy.

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has been in a state of self-declared war against the West. The State Department considers it to be the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. It supports Hamas and Hezbollah, and has been behind countless murderous attacks against US, Jewish and other Western interests. The idea that Iran has an interest in stabilizing Iraq is the opposite of the truth. Iran has every interest in destabilizing Iraq. Since the fall of Saddam, it has been doing precisely that. After years of supporting Shia militias fomenting sectarian strife in Iraq and blowing up US and coalition soldiers there with its roadside bombs, Iran signed a deal last February to sell Iraq arms and ammunition worth $195 million, in violation of international arms trade laws. The aim was to continue to support the Shia militias in terrorist violence against the Sunni minority.

If Iran now embeds itself in Iraq, the country will be permanently destabilized. Saudi-backed Sunni militias will fight back, with the risk of dividing Iraq into two armed camps, Shia and Sunni. These would not only fight each other, but would create two separate Iraqi terrorist bases for jihadi attacks against the West. At the same time, if the West allies with Iran it will also be helping keep its murderous puppet Assad in power in Syria. And if the US really is desperate to use Iran as its proxy against ISIS, that will undermine what remains of the West’s bargaining power in the negotiations to destroy Iran’s capacity to make nuclear weapons. Such an unholy alliance could therefore end up handing Iran a double victory on a plate. Indeed, it’s almost as if it is behind the whole thing.

Although this must be purely speculative, it is not entirely fanciful. For in the Arab and Muslim world, forces can simultaneously be allies and enemies. Although ISIS is a Sunni force and is supposedly at war with the Assad regime in Syria, there is evidence to suggest that both Iran and its Syrian puppet regime may have cooperated with it. In 2012, the US Treasury Department identified Iran as supporting the ISIS precursor, al-Qaida in Iraq. And ISIS is thought to have done oil deals with the Assad regime itself, which some analysts speculate may have wanted to boost jihadi fighters in order to discredit the opposition in Western eyes. It is possible, therefore, that having used ISIS for its own devious ends Iran now finds its activities have got out of hand. Even if Iran had nothing to do with ISIS, however, any Western overtures to the clerical regime would be a serious error.

This week, the Iranian leadership suggested the price of its “help” in “stabilizing” Iraq would be a deal over its nuclear program. State Department denials that these two issues would be in any way linked lack a certain credibility. This is because, since the start of the Geneva negotiations, it has appeared that the US and the rest are determined to do a deal with Iran, even if this is a rotten deal that won’t prevent it from reaching nuclear breakout capacity. Indeed, it is not too cynical to suspect that the Obama administration may be eyeing the Iraq crisis as potential diplomatic cover for a nuclear sell-out to Iran for which it always intended to settle. Moreover, by his own admission Obama aims to achieve a strategic realignment in which Iran is transformed from the enemy of the West into its ally, stabilizing the region by creating a supposed equilibrium of power against Iran’s Sunni enemy, Saudi Arabia. This is a strategic error of the first magnitude…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
                   

                                                        

Contents
 

INSPECTIONS: THE WEAK LINK IN A

NUCLEAR AGREEMENT WITH IRAN                                                                 

Dore Gold                                                                                                          

JCPA, June 11, 2014

 

One striking feature appearing in the leading commentaries on the Comprehensive Agreement being negotiated between Iran and the P5+1 is the stress they are placing on the role of inspections in assuring the international community that Tehran will not be permitted to obtain nuclear weapons. True, all these analyses are agreed that a comprehensive agreement should make more difficult an Iranian “nuclear breakout,” by which Tehran covertly enriches the requisite quantity of uranium for its first atomic weapon. But rather than cut deeply into Iran’s stocks of enriched uranium or drastically limit the number and speed of its gas centrifuge machines, these proposals also suggest that an unusually robust inspection system can play a significant role in assuring that Tehran will have a difficult time breaking out of any of future agreement.

 

Underlying these proposals is an appreciation by the authors that a strategy stressing inspections may have a better chance of being accepted by the Iranian leadership, facilitating the achievement of a diplomatic breakthrough. As a May 2014 report of the International Crisis Group noted: “In principle, Iran appears much more willing to accept additional transparency measures than to restrict the evolution of its nuclear program.” Joe Cirincione, of the Washington-based Ploughshares Fund, aptly commented this year as well that Iranian officials have long held that “transparency – rather than reduction of capabilities – is the key to assuring the world that its program is peaceful.” The Iranians fed these assumptions with generalized statements like the one recently made by President Hassan Rouhani this May: “What we can offer the world is greater transparency.” But he carefully did not enter into specifics about what kind of transparency he had in mind.

 

Nonetheless, experts across the political spectrum seeking possible avenues for some diplomatic progress have speculated and in some cases asserted that inspections and verification should play a larger role in the present day U.S. talks with Iran. Thus, Kenneth Pollack, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, wrote in The New York Times on May 6, 2014, that while Washington appeared to be focused on limiting the number and type of centrifuges that Iran would be allowed to use, the Obama administration should concentrate more on reaching an agreement that would allow the West to conduct intrusive inspections in Iran that would grant “unfettered” access to its nuclear sites.

 

Some of the most important analysis of the current negotiations with Iran suggests that the West is already focused on the special role of inspections in making any diplomatic initiative work. In March 2014, Robert Einhorn, who served as the State Department’s arms control expert during President Obama’s first term in office, published a 50-page paper for Brookings outlining the requirements for a comprehensive nuclear agreement. Einhorn wrote about the need to create “a robust and specially devised monitoring system.” Given Einhorn’s ties with the administration, his Brookings paper was seen in many quarters as a “trial balloon” for U.S. negotiators engaging in the current talks with Iran.

 

The Einhorn paper led the former head of Israeli military intelligence, Major General (res.) Amos Yadlin, to conclude: “The United States appears to be formulating its position on the final agreement, focusing on demands for an unprecedented, tight inspection mechanism for the Iranian nuclear program and an attempt to persuade the Iranian leadership that any violation of the agreement will lead to tough punitive measures (emphasis added).” If the uranium component of the comprehensive agreement is thought of as a three-legged table, with a leg for stockpile reduction, another leg for centrifuge quantities, and a third leg involving intrusive inspections, then it appears that the West is hoping that most of the weight of the table will rely on the leg of inspections. The present discourse raises a fundamental question about the advisability of erecting a comprehensive agreement with Iran that is so highly dependent upon the efficacy of its inspection system and the willingness of Iran to agree to what some analysts call unprecedented levels of transparency. As John Bolton, a former US ambassador to the UN wrote in December 2013, verification is not a panacea for every problem that will arise in an arms control negotiation: “it cannot convert a bad deal into a good deal.”

 

Authoritative Iranian commentary also raises some questions over whether Tehran is actually ready to accept unprecedented inspections of its facilities. For example, Ali Asghar Soltanyieh, the former Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), attacked Pollack’s New York Times op-ed and its proposal for robust inspections as a “full contravention” of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Statute of the IAEA. In an article entitled “How Intrusive Can IAEA Inspections Be?” he accused Pollack of adopting a doctrine of “anywhere, anytime” inspections that was used in the case of Iraq after 1991 and wrongly applying it to Iran. Soltanyieh’s legal critique of Pollack clearly seeks to defend Iranian interests, but it also raises the question of whether a robust inspection system, beyond what exists today, will be as easy to obtain through negotiations as some analysts hope. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has introduced other considerations into the formation of Iranian positions that have nothing to do with legal obligations or international security.9 Thus, in an interview with The New Yorker, he asserted that “Nuclear talks are not about nuclear capability; he then added: “they are about Iranian integrity and dignity.”…

 

It must always be remembered that Iran is not a status quo power. Its constitution calls for the export of the Islamic Revolution. In 1991, its Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted in the Iranian daily Ressalat asking whether Iran seeks hefez (preservation) or bast (expansion), and he answered that it seeks the latter. It views itself increasingly as a hegemonial force in the Middle East. Iran has actively intervened in insurgencies and supplied weapons across the region: in Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Sudan, the Gaza Strip and Lebanon. Its forces are on the ground and engaged in fighting in the Syrian civil war. Advanced Iranian weapons are provided to the Syrian army. Nuclear weapons would significantly bolster its regional standing in the Middle East and serve its aspirations to become a great power…

[To Read the Full Article, With Footnotes, Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents

On Topic

 

The West and Iran – A Muddle and a Mistake: Neville Teller, Jerusalem Post, June 21, 2014

Turmoil in Iraq Spells Trouble for Oil Markets: Gal Luft & Robert McFarlane, Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2014

Spinning the West: Doug Lamborn, Jerusalem Post, June 18, 2014

Iran and the Arab World: Elliott Abrams, Israel Hayom, June 1, 2014

 

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Isi Leibler: As Europe Slides Into a Dark Age, Jews Must Review Their Future

Recent developments signal that the prospect of Europe sliding into a new Dark Age is now a horrifying reality. It is as though all the elements negating the open society have been blended into a witches’ brew to undermine Europe’s liberal cultural ethos.

 

First in line to suffer are the Jews, attacked from all sides, isolated, friendless and unable to adequately defend themselves. Their greatest threat is the rabidly anti-Semitic Muslims supported by anti-Semites from the far Left. This unholy alliance of religious and secular extremists employs radical anti-Israelism as a surrogate for traditional anti-Semitism and is now a fixture at Hezbollah and anti-Israeli demonstrations, where they wave placards and shamelessly accuse Israelis of emulating Nazis.

 

In contrast to the post-Vatican ll Catholics, most Protestant denominations (other than the evangelicals) have revived their vicious efforts to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state. Spearheaded by the radical World Council of Churches, many are vigorously pressing charges of deicide against the Jewish people and resurrecting replacement theology asserting that by rejecting Christ, Jews are no longer the Chosen People. They also collaborate with the Palestinians in promoting Jesus as a Palestinian rather than a Jew. Some even deny the historical link of Jews with the land of Israel, claiming that Jews are descendants of the Eurasian Khazars who converted to Judaism in the eighth century C.E., and that Palestinians are the truly indigenous people of the region.

 

Even non-governmental organizations promoting human rights have been hijacked by the radicals to demonize and delegitimize Israel, focusing far more attention on the construction of homes in exclusively Jewish suburbs of east Jerusalem than on the carnage and murder of tens of thousands in Syria and other Muslim-ruled countries.

 

Officially, most European governments condemn anti-Semitism but, because of a combination of cowardice in facing Islamic violence and fear of losing Muslim electoral support, they abstain from taking the tough action required to turn the tide.

 

Multiculturalism and diversity are admirable qualities for a democracy but can only apply if all parties are committed to an open society. European governments failed to integrate Muslim migrants, enabling radical Islamists to create separatist educational and religious institutions. Their schools and mosques are directed by jihadists and frequently financed by Saudi Wahhabi fanatics who brainwash the second generation of migrants into becoming more radical in Europe than their parents had been in their countries of origin.

 

It is from such incubators that children raised in Europe become engaged in hate crimes, with some graduating into jihadi terrorists. Now there is a frightening additional development with the massive infusion of youngsters volunteering to fight in Syria with al-Qaida and who return to their countries as hardened killers. It is estimated that thousands of European Muslims are, or at one time were, engaged in the fighting in Syria. Most will return home as seasoned killers imbued with jihadi hatred and seeking new targets, primarily Jews.

 

Mohamed Merah, who killed seven people, including three Jewish children and their teacher, in Toulouse in 2012 and Mehdi Nemmouche, who murdered four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum, both had jihadi experience.

 

Regrettably, the culture of political correctness and fear of accusations of Islamophobia for criticizing any aspect of Islam or Muslim behavior prevents appropriate response. Neither the EU nor individual European governments are willing to take tough decisive action, which must include closing extremist Islamic schools, ruthlessly excluding jihadi mullahs from the mosques and aggressively prosecuting Muslim elements engaged in hate crimes, riots or law infringement.

 

An example of the pernicious extent of Islamic influence was the speech delivered by EU Middle East policy chief Catherine Ashton on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, when, to avoid offending Muslims, she omitted any mention of the Jews – the primary victims of the Nazi genocide. The recent mushrooming of popular support for radical right political parties has intensified the problem.

 

Some Jews instinctively feel that the strengthening of the enemies of our enemies is to our benefit. They are wrong. The far Right has indeed been galvanized by those who feel threatened by Muslims. But many (not all) are equally anti-Semitic. Yet, while most individual Jewish voters are likely to avoid extremist parties – both Left and Right – Jewish community policy should be highly selective before officially confronting Right-wing parties.

 

These range from the British U.K. Independence Party, which shuns anti-Semitism, to France’s National Front, which ”softly” distances itself from its anti-Semitic past, to Greece’s blatantly neo-Nazi Golden Dawn, the Hungarian Jobbik party, and the National Democratic Party of Germany, whose anti-Jewish paranoia Hitler would have eagerly endorsed.

 

Golden Dawn and Jobbik must be confronted. However, Jews should be officially neutral about the U.K. Independence Party which has assiduously dissociated itself from any anti-Semitism and refused to associate with parties tainted with Jew-hatred.

 

The National Front is more problematic. Officially, Marine Le Pen has dissociated her party from its former anti-Semitic past and condemned Holocaust denial. Although most of the party’s supporters are not hostile to Jews it still carries some of its former anti-Semitic baggage and Le Pen’s father, a notorious and unrepentant Holocaust denier, remains the honorary chairman and an EU parliamentarian.

 

So long as leadership elements genuinely strive to discard former anti-Semitic associations and unless the party formally adopts anti-Jewish policies, it would be counterproductive to officially designate the largest political party in France as anti-Semitic. The challenge for Jewish leaders is to identify and expose the anti-Semites who are obsessed with insane theories about a global American–Zionist conspiracy, such as Aymeric Chauprade, one of Marine Le Pen’s foreign policy advisers.

 

It should also be noted that although 70 percent of the French population fear Islamic domination, that has not stemmed the tide of traditional anti-Semitism, as evidenced by the popular support enjoyed by comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala with his “quenelle,” the inverted Nazi salute.

 

The writing is clearly on the wall. Hostility is intensifying with renewed efforts to ban circumcision and shechita (kosher slaughter) by hypocritical societies that respect hunting as a sport.

 

In a sense, it is even worse for Jews today than during the 1930s when at least the liberals and the Left combatted anti-Semitism. What is more depressing is that, as a rule, the public is even more anti-Semitic than the government and perceives Israel as the principal source of global evil – no different to the Middle Ages when the Jews were regarded as the source of all natural disasters such as plagues and famine.

 

Despite the hullaballoo surrounding Islamophobia, it is Jews and not Muslims, who require armed guards at their schools and houses of worship. And the hate crimes, now including murder, perpetrated against Jews are infinitely more acute than those suffered by Muslim minorities. Indeed it is preponderantly Muslims who are engaged in violence against Jews.

 

The two major European Jewish communities react differently. The vast majority of French Jews are under no illusion about their future and many are planning to leave. Their leaders speak out, courageously protest against anti-Semitism and defend Israel.

 

In contrast, much of Anglo Jewry remains in denial, deluding themselves that their lives are unaffected by anti-Semitism despite what they read and see in the media and what their children endure at the university campus. Their leaders, the traditional “trembling Israelites,” believe primarily in “silent diplomacy” and seem to have only marginal influence in the corridors of power.

 

Most Jews cannot be expected to live like pariahs. To continue to live a Jewish life in which anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism occupy such dominant roles is soul-destroying, especially for youngsters.

 

There are today about 1.5 million Jews in Europe – just one-seventh of the prewar numbers. There will always be Jews in Europe, but the communities will shrink to tiny enclaves unless the tide is turned. Those in a financial position to do so will voluntarily leave or at least encourage their children to leave. Many will come to Israel.

 

In this highly depressing European environment, we can begin to visualize how Jews felt in the 1930s, unable to obtain entry visas from any country to escape the Nazis as the Holocaust approached. It should make us appreciate more than ever how blessed we are to have a Jewish state powerful enough to defend us from the barbarians at our gates and able to provide a haven and assistance to Jews in need.

Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail: rob@isranet.org

 

 

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes On Topic Links

 

 


Download a pdf version of today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf
 

Media-ocrity of the Week: “On Monday and Tuesday, House committees held multiple hearings surrounding the revelations that the hard drive of former IRS executive Lois Lerner had been destroyed containing thousands of emails pertinent to the investigation of their targeting of conservative groups. Despite the new details and the subsequent congressional hearings, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley has been the only network evening news program to cover the revelations, with ABC and NBC ignoring the story altogether. On Tuesday, June 24, CBS’s Scott Pelley highlighted: “Today on Capitol Hill, House Republicans held another fiery hearing on Lois Lerner's missing e-mails. Their third hearing in five days. Lerner is the former IRS executive at the center of an investigation into why some conservative groups, including Tea Party affiliates, received extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.” (CyberAlert, June 25, 2014)

On Topic Links

 

Mother of Kidnapped Israeli Teen Addresses UN Human Rights Council, Appeals for Help (Video): UN Watch, June 24, 2014

Kurdistan: A Pipe Dream Come True on the Sidelines of Iraq: Patrick Martin, Globe & Mail, June 19, 2014

Kurdish Region Offers Refuge for Christians: Matthew Fisher, National Post, June 22, 2014

A Wicked Act: National Review, June 24, 2014

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

“It’s to be expected that there will be some more friction on the ground,” — Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. Israeli troops killed a Palestinian youth before dawn Friday and seriously wounded several adults as their sweeping West Bank arrest campaign following last week’s disappearance of three Israeli teenagers both slowed and encountered more resistance. About 25 Palestinians were rounded up overnight, the Israeli military said in a statement, less than half the typical daily number earlier this week. The arrests bring the total detained since Saturday to 330, 240 of them leaders of the militant Islamic movement Hamas. “The mission is ongoing. It is a substantial mission, the most substantial mission in Judea and Samaria since 2002,” Lerner said. “But it is the most substantial terrorist attack in Judea and Samaria also in recent years. People can’t expect to just hijack little boys on their way home from school and we won’t do anything about it.” The three teenagers — Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, who is also 16 and is a citizen of both Israel and the United States — were last heard from on June 12 around 10 p.m. as they hitchhiked home from their yeshivas in Judea and Samaria. (New York Times, June 20, 2014)

 

“We will not interfere in judicial matters because the Egyptian judiciary is an independent and exalted judiciary,” —Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, in a nationally televised speech, ruling out pardoning three Al-Jazeera journalists, including one Canadian, Mohammed Fahmy, sentenced to seven years in prison.  “If we desire [strong] state institutions we must respect court rulings and not comment on them even if others don’t understand these rulings,” he said. (Globe & Mail, June 24, 2014)

 

“I don’t think anyone believes he [Mr. Fahmy] is in cahoots with the Muslim Brotherhood,” — Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, “but obviously the government of Qatar has a close relationship.” Baird said the prosecution was based on the fact that Al Jazeera is funded by the ruling family of Qatar, which has also supported the Muslim Brotherhood. (Globe & Mail, June 24, 2014)

 

“What you’re seeing in the Middle East today in Iraq and in Syria is the stark hatreds between radical Shi’ites, in this case led by Iran, and radical Sunnis led by al Qaeda and ISIS and others,” —Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” referring to the group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. “Now, both of these camps are enemies of the United States. And when your enemies are fighting each other, don’t strengthen either one of them. Weaken both,” Netanyahu added. (Honest Reporting, June 23, 2014)

 

“They do pose a threat,” —U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, referring to the fighters from the ISIS. “They cannot be given safe haven anywhere,” he added. After finishing a day of crisis talks with Iraqi leaders, Kerry said Monday that the Sunni militants seizing territory in Iraq had become such a threat that the U.S. might not wait for Iraqi politicians to form a new government before taking military action. “That’s why, again, I reiterate the President will not be hampered if he deems it necessary if the formation is not complete,” he added, referring to the Iraqi efforts to establish a new multi-sectarian government. Within Iraq, U.S. officials say, ISIS has set its sights on destroying the Shiite shrine in Samarra, which would likely lead to an explosion of sectarian violence in Iraq. “Clearly, everyone understands that Samarra is an important line,” Kerry said. “Historically, an assault on Samarra created enormous problems in Iraq. That is something that we all do not want to see happen again. And so the president and the team, the entire security team, are watching this movement and these events very, very closely.” (Globe & Mail, June 23, 2014)

 

“We strongly oppose the intervention of the U.S. and others in the domestic affairs of Iraq,” —Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, opposing intervention by the U.S. in neighboring Iraq, where Islamist terrorists opposed to Iran have seized a number of towns and cities. “The main dispute in Iraq is between those who want Iraq to join the U.S. camp and those who seek an independent Iraq,” said the ayatollah, who has the final say over government policies. “The U.S. aims to bring its own blind followers to power since the U.S. is not happy about the current government in Iraq.” (New York Times, June 22, 2014)

 

“The time is here for the Kurdistan people to determine their future and the decision of the people is what we are going to uphold,” —Iraqi Kurdish President Massoud Barzani, indicating on Monday that his region would seek formal independence from the rest of Iraq. “Iraq is obviously falling apart,” Barzani added, “and it’s obvious that the federal or central government has lost control over everything. Everything is collapsing – the army, the troops, the police…we did not cause the collapse of Iraq. It is others who did. And we cannot remain hostages for the unknown.” Iraqi Kurdish independence has long been a goal, and the region has had autonomy from Baghdad for more than two decades, but they have never before said they would actually pursue that dream. But the latest crisis, in which Sunni Islamists have captured a large swath of Iraqi territory on the border of Iraqi Kurdistan, seems to have pushed the Kurds over the edge. (CNN, June 23, 2014)

 

“If the recent events spill over into Jordan and ISIL forms strongholds in the Hashemite kingdom … Jordan is liable to be engulfed in chaos with the survival of the kingdom threatened,” —Kobi Michael and Udi Dekel, Senior Research Fellows at the Institute for National Security Studies. Already it is being threatened by a growing number of jihadist cells “infiltrating the state under the guise of refugees.” Saudi Arabia has announced that if necessary it would dispatch tanks to defend Jordan. But that won’t be enough to stop the advance of an insidious force such as ISIL. Nor can Jordan count on Washington to do the right thing in time, according to the Israeli researchers. “Jordan needs a clear strategic military ally,” Michael and Dekel say, and “although it cannot admit it openly, its only practical strategic military ally is apparently Israel.” Indeed, the last thing Israel wants is a terrorist group, such as ISIL, camped on the border across the Jordan River, and it will do whatever it must to keep Jordan free of these forces. (Globe & Mail, June 24, 2014)

 

"We have used the word crisis about Iraq before, but this is the real thing," —a Western diplomat, adding that “there is no doubt about the scale of the threat that it poses to Iraq's continued existence as a state, and it is also a threat to the wider region too." Western officials fear Iraq is facing imminent break-up, as the jihadist takeover of the north seeks to carve the country into different religious fiefdoms. Using their strongest language to date, diplomats warned that the "sheer scale" of the crisis could defeat belated efforts by the country's fractious politicians to resolve it. Separately, the United Nations gave its first estimate of the human cost of the crisis. It said that around 1,075 people – at least three-quarters of them civilians – had died in Iraq since the Isis assault began on Mosul. (Telegraph, June 24, 2014)

 

"When the Middle East is fragmented in this horrible war, this savage, savage war between militant Shiites and militant Sunnis … the only place where you have freedom, tolerance, protection of minorities, protection of gays, protection of Christians and all other faiths, is Israel," —Prime Minister Netanyahu, criticizing the decision by the U.S. Presbyterian Church to divest from U.S. companies whose products Israel uses in Judea and Samaria, saying the vote was misguided and unfair. "Let's arrange a bus tour for [Presbyterians] in the region. Let them go to maybe Syria, Lebanon, Iraq. I would give two pieces of advice, though: one, make sure the bus is an armored bus, and two, don't say you are Christian," Netanyahu said. (Israel Hayom, June 23, 2014)

 

“It is to the Canadian government’s great and eternal shame that more was not done,” —Steve Rambam, the renowned “Nazi hunter,” who was in Toronto on Tuesday. It is estimated that between 2,000 and 5,000 war criminals fled to Canada after the Second World War, but not one Nazi has ever been successfully prosecuted. Activists say it’s not too late for Canada to act. Rambam, the U.S. private investigator who will speak at an event for impoverished Jews in Toronto on Tuesday, believes scores of war criminals are still living in Canada. “Entire units came en masse into Canada through Halifax in the 1940s,” he said. “Canada knew at that time who they were. “If there are a few cases that can still be brought, just for the sake of doing the right thing, then that should happen…none will live long enough to make it to trial, they will hire excellent lawyers. …they’ll delay and throw legal roadblocks in the way until they have died safely in their beds, but it’s the point of doing it.” Rambam interviewed 72 out of a list of 1,000 suspected Nazis living in Canada. His work was sent to the authorities, but he said little was done. “It’s a stain on the history of Canada,” he said. (National Post, June 22, 2014)

 

“It pained us deeply to read “The Klinghoffer Tragedy” (NYT editorial, June 20), criticizing the Metropolitan Opera’s decision not to simulcast John Adams’s opera “The Death of Klinghoffer,” and defending the opera against its critics by claiming that it “gives voice to all sides in this terrible murder.” The Met should be praised, not faulted, for taking a step that will prevent this biased and flawed opera from appearing in 66 countries, including in some regions where anti-Semitism is disturbingly on the rise. The Met did not “bow” to our wishes in canceling the global simulcast scheduled for this fall, but rather listened to our concerns and acted appropriately. We are strongly opposed to censorship and resent the implication that we would want to censor an artistic event. 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 the 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. These terrorists hijacked an Italian ship with American tourists and murdered an American Jew. What, precisely, did this have to do with Israel? Absolutely nothing. Our father’s death should serve as a reminder of the lethality of terrorists who kill civilians, including women, children and the elderly, without compunction, and of the imperative to stop others from striking again. Any effort to politicize that message is a distortion of our father’s horrific death. People of all faiths should be concerned and appalled. There is never a justification for terrorism,” —Lisa Klinghoffer & Ilsa Klinghoffer, children of Leon Klinghoffer, in a letter to the editor of the New York Times. (New York Times, June 20, 2014)

 

Contents

SHORT TAKES

 

ISRAEL AIRSTRIKES HIT 9 TARGETS IN SYRIA (Jerusalem) —Israeli warplanes bombed a series of targets inside Syria early Monday, the Israeli military said, in response to a cross-border attack that killed an Israeli teenager the previous day. In all, Israel said it struck nine military targets inside Syria, and "direct hits were confirmed." The targets were located near the site of Sunday's violence in the Golan Heights and included a regional military command centre and unspecified "launching positions." In Sunday's attack, an Israeli civilian vehicle was struck by forces in Syria as it drove in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. A teenage boy was killed and two other people were wounded. (CBC, June 22, 2014)

 

STATE SEEKS TO RETURN TO PRISON 54 PALESTINIANS RELEASED IN SCHALIT DEAL (Jerusalem) —Israel is seeking to re-imprison 54 Palestinians who were pardoned and released in the framework of the Gilad Schalit prisoners exchange deal. The 54 were among the over 350 Palestinians arrested recently by the IDF during the ongoing search and rescue operation for three kidnapped boys. In the IDF courts, the prosecutor must either prove that an offense has been committed to get a maximum prison sentence restored, or to at least show that some aspects of the former prisoners’ pardoning conditions were violated in order to obtain a partial restoration of their sentence to prison. (Jerusalem Post, June 24, 2014)

 

PRESBYTERIANS NARROWLY VOTE TO DIVEST FROM COMPANIES USED BY ISRAEL (New York) — The U.S. Presbyterian Church on Friday became the most prominent religious group in the U.S. to endorse divestment as a protest against Israeli policies toward Palestinians, voting to sell church stock in three companies whose products Israel uses in the occupied territories. The General Assembly voted by a narrow margin — 310-303 — to sell stock in Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions. The American Jewish Committee, a policy and advocacy group based in New York, said the vote was "driven by hatred of Israel." Israeli officials, along with many American Jewish groups, have denounced the campaign as an attempt to delegitimize the Jewish state. (Fox News, June 21, 2014)

 

LEBANON DETAINS 17 SAID TO BE ISLAMIST MILITANTS (Beirut) —Lebanese security forces arrested 17 men in two Beirut hotels on Friday on suspicion that they were plotting to assassinate a prominent Lebanese Shiite leader, a government official said, describing an attack that could inflame sectarian conflict across the Middle East. Investigators are exploring whether the men intended to kill Nabih Berri, the speaker of Parliament, who has been a leading Shiite political figure in Lebanon for decades. Intelligence reports identified the men as members of a newly established terrorist cell in Beirut that was believed to include foreigners, the official said, adding that there were suspicions that they belonged to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Sunni militant group known as ISIS. Spreading ISIS attacks to Lebanon, the region’s most religiously diverse country, could intensify the destabilizing sectarian conflict. (New York Times, June 20, 2014)

 

BOKO HARAM REPORTEDLY KIDNAPS ANOTHER 91 YOUTHS IN NORTHEAST NIGERIA (Maiduguri) —Terrorists have abducted 60 more girls and women and 31 boys in weekend attacks on villages in northeast Nigeria, witnesses said Tuesday, another sign of the Nigerian military's failure to curb an Islamic uprising. Some married women were taken along with their children who range in age from three to 15, said witnesses. Nigeria's government and military have been widely criticized for their slow response to the abductions of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped April 15. This year, the Boko Haram terrorists have embarked on a two-pronged strategy — bombing in cities and a scorched-earth policy in rural areas where they are devastating villages. (Ha’aretz, June 25, 2014)

 

APOSTATE WOMAN, FAMILY RE-ARRESTED (Khartoum) —Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman released from prison this week after worldwide protests at her death sentence for apostasy, was re-arrested at Khartoum airport Tuesday. Their lawyer, Elshareef Ali Mohammed, said they were given no reason for their arrest. The head of a human rights group that has been working with Ms. Ibrahim’s lawyers said the family had been detained by national security officials, apparently over their travel plans. Ms. Ibrahim was released from Omdurman women’s prison Monday. She had spent six months in a jail cell, sentenced to execution by hanging for abandoning Islam, despite her protestations she was raised a Christian by her Ethiopian Orthodox mother after her Muslim father left. In Sudan, which imposes Shariah law, apostasy is a crime punishable by death. Her sentence, imposed on May 15, included 100 lashes for adultery as a result of her marriage to a Christian. (Telegraph, June 24, 2014)

 

AFGHAN LEADER BACKS U.N. ELECTION ROLE (Kabul) —Seeking to quell a political crisis surrounding the June 14 election to choose his successor, President Hamid Karzai reversed course on Friday and suggested that the U.N. get involved in helping Afghanistan settle disputes over the voting. Until now, Karzai had dismissed any suggestion that Afghanistan needed help running the election, and said that foreigners should stay out of the country’s politics. The election, whose ballots are still being counted, was a runoff between Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister who won the most votes in the first round in April, and Ashraf Ghani, who placed a distant second in that balloting. Abdullah’s followers said early tallies showed suspicious vote totals in the runoff in areas where Ghani is popular, and raised allegations of widespread fraud. (New York Times, June 20, 2014)

 

ARREST OF CONCENTRATION CAMP GUARD SHOWS SEA CHANGE IN GERMAN POLICY (Philadelphia) — The arrest of an alleged concentration camp guard in the U.S. marks a change in Germany’s legal approach to the prosecution of members of the dwindling number of war criminals who participated in the Holocaust, the Simon Wiesenthal Center stated on Thursday. Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the center’s chief Nazi hunter, said the arrest of Johann Breyer, a Pennsylvania resident, was significant in that it marked a shift in the burden of proof required for a successful prosecution. The retired tool-and-die maker, born in Czechoslovakia, is accused of joining the Waffen SS at age 17 and later serving as a camp guard. He moved to the United States in 1952. Germany is pressing for his extradition, and has issued a warrant for his arrest. According to Zuroff, Germany would not previously have been interested in going after Breyer, as “evidence of a specific crime against a specific victim” was required. However, after the successful 2011 conviction of Sobibor guard John Demjanjuk, the evidentiary bar was lowered, Zuroff said, explaining that the case paved the way for a more vigorous approach to prosecuting Nazi crimes. (Jerusalem Post, June 20, 2014)

 

ADL BRIEFS KNESSET DIASPORA COMMITTEE ON ANTISEMITISM POLL (Jerusalem) —The Anti-Defamation League briefed lawmakers on its recent worldwide study of antisemitism in a presentation to the Knesset’s Immigration Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee on Sunday. According to the ADL Global 100 Index, which was released to the public in May and summarized polls of residents of over 100 global locations, negative attitudes toward Jews are “persistent and pervasive around the world.” Of the people surveyed, 41 percent said that the assertion that “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country/the countries they live in” is probably true, making it the “most widely accepted stereotype in five out of the seven regions surveyed..” In response to the briefing, committee member MK Dov Lipman said that he was “actually happy to learn that an overwhelming majority of people in the world don’t harbor negative feelings toward Jews and that those who do are predominantly in the Muslim world.” The problem, he added, is that “those who are against [us] are very loud.” The one area of concern, Lipman said, was the degree to which people view Jews as more loyal to Israel than their own countries, calling it an issue “which Diaspora Jews need to work out.” When asked what should be done about this problem, Lipman responded with a chuckle, saying that “if they are more loyal to Israel I guess they should just move to Israel. If they are not then they have to find ways to make this clear.” (Jerusalem Post, June 24, 2014)

 

DERSHOWITZ AMONG LEGAL SCHOLARS URGING OBAMA TO RELEASE POLLARD (Washington) —Ten leading legal scholars, including Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, urged President Obama to grant clemency to Jonathan Pollard. Others who signed the June 20 letter include Irwin Cotler, the former Canadian justice minister, and Nadine Stroessen, the former ACLU president. The scholars, including six from Harvard Law School, where Obama earned his law degree, outlined nine considerations they say merit the release of Pollard. Among them are what they deem is an excessive sentence for his crime; the fact that an array of former U.S. officials who were in office when Pollard was a spy now advocate his release; and what they describe as the prejudicial interference in his 1987 sentencing by then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. “Mr. President, it is precisely for standing injustices like this – and where the justice system has failed and cannot provide relief – that the U.S. Constitution has vested in the President the power of executive clemency,” according to the letter. Israeli President Shimon Peres said that he would press Pollard’s case this week during his final visit to the United States in an official capacity. (JTA, June 25, 2014)

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

Mother of Kidnapped Israeli Teen Addresses UN Human Rights Council, Appeals for Help (Video): UN Watch, June 24, 2014—Rachel Frankel, the mother of 16-year-old Israeli-American kidnap victim Naftali Frankel, who was one of three yeshiva students abducted by Hamas nearly two weeks ago, addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council, in Geneva, on Tuesday to appeal for international support to return the children.

Kurdistan: A Pipe Dream Come True on the Sidelines of Iraq: Patrick Martin, Globe & Mail, June 19, 2014 —‘Welcome to Kurdistan,” said Massoud Barzani, the diminutive head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party at his mountaintop headquarters northeast of Erbil, capital of today’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).           Kurdish Region Offers Refuge for Christians: Matthew Fisher, National Post, June 22, 2014—Convert to Islam or face the sword.                                                        

A Wicked Act: National Review, June 24, 2014 —The world’s organized hostility to Israel would be kind of funny if it didn’t have such serious consequences, or potential consequences.

 

 

 

Rob Coles, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme,   www.isranet.org Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284. mailto:ber@isranet.org

 

 

 

 

 

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DISFUNCTIONAL “PALESTINE” UNDERLIES “P.P.”, “TWO-STATE SOLUTION”, & “P.U.G.” FAILURES &— DESPITE ABBAS’ WORDS—THE KIDNAPPINGS

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail: rob@isranet.org

 

FOUAD AJAMI 1945-2014 —Fouad Ajami, who was a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution and one of the most passionate critics of President Barack Obama's foreign policy in the Middle East, passed away Sunday after a battle with cancer. The 68-year-old Ajami had remained active and engaged in public policy debates right until the end. A week ago, he published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal placing the blame for the collapse of Iraq squarely at the White House door. "Two men bear direct responsibility for the mayhem engulfing Iraq: Barack Obama and Nouri al-Maliki," he wrote. Ajami believed Obama had failed in his professed duty to provide global leadership: "Today, with his unwillingness to use U.S. military force to save Syrian children or even to pull Iraq back from the brink of civil war, the erstwhile leader of the Free World is choosing, yet again, to look the other way." (Breitbart, June 22, 2014)

 

Contents:

 

Analysis of an Abduction: Return Our Brothers: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, June 19, 2013— On Thursday, June 12, the weekly edition of the IDF newspaper, Bamachane (literally, "in the boot camp") came out.

A Road Map For American Diplomacy in the Middle East: Eric R. Mandel, Jerusalem Post, June 22, 2014— The Obama administration’s attempt to resolve the Israeli- Palestinian conflict once again has failed.

The Peace Process Hoax: Charles Bybelezer, Jerusalem Post, June 16, 2014— There was never any doubt that the international community would recognize a Palestinian terror government.

Dangerous and False Palestinian “Unity”: Prof. Efraim Inbar, Besa Center, June 5, 2014— The new Palestinian “unity” government is not about the reestablishment of one Palestinian political entity that could develop into a functioning Palestinian state.

 

On Topic Links

 

Abbas’s Role: Jerusalem Post, June 19, 2014

New Palestinian Intifada – Against Abbas: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Istitute, June 23, 2014

Europe's and U.S. Complicity in Kidnapping and Violence: Richard Kemp, Gatestone Istitute, June 20, 2014

Israel Facing Its Third Intifada: Hana Levi Julian, Jewish Press, June 17, 2014

 

 

ANALYSIS OF AN ABDUCTION: RETURN OUR BROTHERS                  

Dr. Mordechai Kedar                                                                                                      

Arutz Sheva, June 19, 2014

 

On Thursday, June 12, the weekly edition of the IDF newspaper, Bamachane (literally, "in the boot camp") came out. On the lower part of the cover the following sentence appeared: "Take precautions. Danger of kidnapping. A large rise in the number of hitch hiking soldiers." That very night Eyal, Gilad and Naftali were abducted as they waited for a lift at the Gush Etzion junction. A week has passed since then and at the time of this writing, we have no knowledge about how the kidnapping occurred, who exactly did it, where the boys are and what the abductors want. The lack of information points to a well planned operation that left no traces. It also points to an  experienced organization, leading to an accusing finger being pointed at Hamas, and specifically at the Izz-a-Din Al-Kassam Brigades.

 

The Israeli government announced publicly that Hamas had committed the kidnapping and launched a wave of arrests of Hamas leaders and activists in Judea and Samaria. I am of the opinion that the IDF has proof of Hamas involvement, but is keeping the details under wraps at present in order to keep the investigation secret. Moreover, the atmosphere Hamas has created also supports the supposition that it was the kidnapper. Speeches by Hamas leaders, especially Khaled Mashaal contained hints that the organization would repeat kidnappings of soldiers or civilians, as they had done with Gilad Shalit and others before him, keeping Israelis in anxious suspense, demanding exorbitant ransoms, holding tough negotiations, using emotional blackmail and demanding a massive prisoner release. The organization's success in freeing over one thousand prisoners for Shalit taught Hamas that this is a method that works. In addition, this method divides the Israeli public, causing controversy over whether or not to free prisoners with blood on their hands. This dispute spawns laws that address the issue of freeing terrorists, initiatives that deepen the ongoing controversy – another achievement for Hamas.

 

Over the last few years Israelis have come to believe that the geographic separation between Gaza and Judea-Samaria mirrors the political situation; that is, Hamas rules Gaza and Fatah rules Judea and Samaria. Even Israeli lawmakers believe this distinction, with the result that the IDF did not receive clear and unequivocal orders to fight the Hamas infrastructure in Judea and Samaria, so that until the kidnapping there were almost no activities aimed at the Hamas organizational network in the area. Coordinated activity with PA forces gave the impression that things were under control and that Israel does not have to worry about the organization or about its military wing. The reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas also played a part. Israel believed that Hamas would turn to the political arena, to governing, elections and perhaps to taking over the PA peacefully and abandoning the continuation of warfare against Israel. The relative quiet on the Gazan front over the last few months lowered Israel's anxiety level vis a vis Hamas military activities, certainly with regard to Judea and Samaria.

 

Proof of Hamas strength among the public was in evidence just last month in the student council elections at BIr Zeit University. The PLO garnered 23 of the 51 seats, Hamas 20, the Popular Front 7 and the Democratic Front 1. There were those in Israel who saw this as a worrying sign of Hamas' growing strength, while others saw it as a sign that Hamas is changing from a terror organization to a political entity. Israel did not realize that Hamas is doing what Hezbollah did in Lebanon: joining politics but continuing terror. After Hamas' electoral success, Hamas leader Hassan Youssef, appeared before the 20 elected Hamas delegates. His speech is on the web for everyone to hear his shouting and to read the following excerpts -with my comments in parentheses. "They say Hamas is finished, there is reconciliation. But I tell you so that all the students can hear, for all the world,to hear, for all the media to hear, we are the only ones, Gaza is the only one that has new weapons. Everyone knows that one day Gaza will be, at some point, under the guise of resistance, able to be the one that takes the enemy by surprise and executes an attack with the help of Allah. (Wild applause).

 

"And I am not saying this without giving it serious thought (repeats this) because (Hamas) resistance in Gaza has much, and Gaza today, all of Palestine, every centimeter of the land of historical Palestine [sic] in Gaza is within reach of rockets from Gaza, glory to Allah.(loud applause and cries)…oh brothers and sisters, let me say my last words: there is no way we will accept this reconciliation (with the PLO) at any price if it entails affecting the equation of our security fist (i.e. the joint security arrangements with Israel under which the PA neutralizes terror), we will under no circumstances allow that here on the West Bank (the audience applauds)…my brothers and sisters, you are strong, you are great,you are mighty, you are laying the foundation for the next stage. You will soon see, I swear to you by Allah, that just as I see you (before me), so will you see the coming victory, by Allah's Will, and on that day the (Muslim) believers will rejoice in the victory of Allah who supports (and brings victory) to whom he wishes to. May Allah bless you…" The fact that the head of a terror organization appeared in an academic institution and was authorized to speak from a speaker's podium covered with the Hamas flag did not give rise to any reaction from the lovers of "academic freedom" in Israel or the world, those who fight Israel, call her an "apartheid state" and call to boycott, sanction and divest from her.

 

Hassan Youssef  made a strong point for connecting Hamas in Gaza with the  movement's presence in Judea and Samaria , but Israel did not see it that way, because it was easier to see everything through the perspective of reconciliation –  "it is not in Hamas' interests to engage in terror at this stage" said all those viewing Hamas with Israeli eyes, attempting to evaluate that movement's behavior using Israeli logic. Unfortunately, the situation was quite different out there as the PA security system did not expose the kidnappers' plans, or ignored them so as not to interfere with efforts for reconciliation. Under the "watchful eyes" of the Palestinian security apparatus, a massive Hamas infrastructure developed, one that carried out an almost perfect kidnapping, escape, concealment of the boys or their transport elsewhere. Almost perfect, because of the fact that one of the victims was able to call the police and whisper something that was not understood properly. A perfect kidnapping would have prevented the victims from connecting with any outside source.

 

Following the kidnapping, Israel decided to do what the PA did not: Israel imprisoned a good many of those freed in the Shalit deal once again, using plain logic:  their release was conditional on the release of an Israeli, and abducting Israelis justifies returning them to prison. Israel also arrested Hamas parliamentary representatives, shut down "charity" organizations and means of communications belonging to Hamas. In brief, Israel is doing what she must do in order to prevent Judea and Samaria from becoming a Gaza-style state. Israel's actions are taking place in a relatively benign international climate, because the entire world is focused on Iraq, whose lands are rapidly being conquered by ISIS, and the organization poses a threat to the northern Iraqi oil industry. Iran is involved, the US is sending troops and the world is hoping that Iraq will survive as a united country. What is going on in Ukraine also takes center stage, more so since the rebels managed to down a Ukranian aircraft and kill close to 50 government troops. In Kenya, the Somalian "Shabbab Almujaddin" militia  slaughtered masses of people, and the World Cup games in Brazil are much more interesting than the kidnapping of three Israelis and Israel's actions against Hamas in Judea and Samaria…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

 

Contents
                                  

A ROAD MAP FOR AMERICAN DIPLOMACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST  

Eric R. Mandel                                                                                                   

Jerusalem Post, June 22, 2014

 

The Obama administration’s attempt to resolve the Israeli- Palestinian conflict once again has failed. This should have surprised no one. The administration should take a break after the recent kidnappings, but don’t count on it. Israel remains the only nation in the Middle East susceptible to American pressure. The administration’s belief that Israel is the intransigent party, and that a breakthrough in this conflict will open up possibilities for engagement throughout the Middle East, will motivate it to try again soon. Failures created by America’s dysfunctional foreign policy in the region (where American influence is almost non-existent) will motivate the administration to return sooner than later to the Israelis and Palestinians.

So what went wrong this time? There is a litany of reasons why these particular negotiations failed. But among them is the fact that these negotiations followed the well-worn pattern of ignoring the fundamental reasons for the conflict. Some make excuses such as “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a weak leader,” but this is a symptom of the disease, not a cause. The important question to ask is: “Will this president and those that follow learn the lessons of the past, or will they repeat the same mistakes?” Entering negotiations that are doomed to failure gives the Palestinian people false hope, while the Israelis endure the inevitable subsequent terrorism. America, for its part, suffers another black eye in the international community, which undermines American foreign policy interests and influence throughout the world.

With this in mind and acknowledging that American pressure on Israel will return sooner rather than later, here is a checklist for the next American president to consider with regard to initiating another round of negotiations: • Understand the Arab and Muslim World. The Arab and much of the Muslim world think and negotiate in profoundly different ways than the West. This is not meant to be condescending, but is merely a statement of fact. Whether it is ignorance of the Iranian concept of taddiyah, whereby deceiving your enemy in negotiations is religiously sanctioned, or the assumption that Arabs will follow economic interests over tribal allegiances, lack of understanding of the Arab and Muslim world will lead to failure.

• Brush up on history. Remember that most of the Arab World was artificially created less than 100 years ago. Treating the borders of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia as sacrosanct will not only thwart a resolution of Middle East conflicts, but also will make almost impossible territorial resolutions with these countries and with the Kurds.

• Don’t equate elections with democracy. Unless the rule of law, tolerance, pluralism, freedom of speech and freedom of the press precede an election, you must remain skeptical about the results of elections in the Middle East.

• Remember the issues run deep. Realize that even if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved, it will actually make a relatively small impact on the Arab and Muslim worlds. Sunnis and Shi’ites will still fight for regional hegemony, and Iran will still want a nuclear weapon in pursuit of that goal. The chaos and slaughter in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq will not diminish, while the Saudis will still be just as misogynistic and intolerant as ever.

• Understand that border adjustments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are a final-status issue. They are not the essence of the conflict. Until one stops treating the conflict as simply a land dispute, there is almost no chance of resolution. At a deeper level, conflict resolution must address whether the Palestinian Arabs can overcome the concept of Dar al-Islam, the Islamic belief that no land once controlled by Muslims can revert to infidel hands, i.e. Jews, Hindus or Christians…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents
                                  

THE PEACE PROCESS HOAX                                                                                  

Charles Bybelezer

Jerusalem Post, June 16, 2014

 

There was never any doubt that the international community would recognize a Palestinian terror government. After all, the charter of the PLO – the controlling faction of the Palestinian Authority – explicitly calls for Israel’s destruction, as does the constitution of PA “President” Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, which itself was founded as a “resistance” group. By corollary, Abbas  refuses to recognize the Jewish state’s right to exist in any borders, presupposing that it has none. But this never prevented the international community, including the United States, from embracing the Palestinian leadership as a “partner for peace” to the tune of billions of dollars annually, a fair portion of which already is allocated to paying the salaries of Hamas bureaucrats in Gaza, not to mention jailed Palestinian murderers.

 

The real question is why Jerusalem expected differently, leaving it unprepared for an eminently predictable scenario. The Israeli government has been operating on a faulty premise since 1993, when it signed the Oslo Accords with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat, effectively importing his terror infrastructure from faraway Tunis to the Jewish people’s biblical heartland, on the very outskirts of Israel’s major population centers. The peace process was always a hoax, masking – poorly – the perpetual Palestinian refusal to accept the verdict of 1947/48; both of the United Nations and the ensuing war. While this Palestinian revanchism has become increasingly explicit with time, it should have been perceived as the writing on the wall for those who prefer to confront rather than escape reality. The Palestinian national movement – beginning with Haj Amin al-Husseini, the former grand mufti of Jerusalem, Nazi collaborator and Palestinian “godfather” – was founded, and has since been predicated on the total rejection of Jewish sovereignty. It is the raison d’etre of Abbas, as it is for Hamas. This accounts for Abbas’ repeated assertions that there are no conceptual differences between his Fatah party and the designated terror group. For over two decades, then, Israel has been pursuing a fiction – the phony two-state “solution” – which has become a concept “too big to fail.” The international community has invested too much time, effort and “prestige” into the peace process to ever discard it. Meanwhile, the Israeli Left, whose policies have been thoroughly discredited at the ballot box repeatedly but which nevertheless maintains a stranglehold on various influential institutions, including the media, continues to provide cover for the professional peace processors’ fantasies, because in the absence of the process, the Left’s entire political platform would evaporate instantaneously.

 

But Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has, for his part, no excuse to continue the charade. Israel’s prime minister failed his constituency miserably when he accepted the legitimacy of Palestinian statehood in 2009, after vowing not to in his election campaign. The move could perhaps have been justified as a way to curry favor with Washington in order to tackle a more pressing existential matter: Iran’s atomic program. But as it has become increasingly clear that Obama’s embrace of yet another terror regime will, nonetheless, eventually allow Tehran to go nuclear, Netanyahu’s continued support for the two-state lie (especially when considering his supposed ideological predilections) has become indefensible. Netanyahu has been duped countless times by Obama, an unreliable ally who has courted some of Israel’s worst enemies (the latest reports suggest the White House conducted secret back-channel negotiations with Hamas for six months before signing off on its inclusion in the Palestinian government). Nevertheless, Netanyahu repeatedly has folded in the face of pressure by making inexcusable “bold sacrifices” for a peace nobody on the other side wants. Even the recent release of dozens of murderers in exchange for nothing garnered Israel no “points” with anyone…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

[The author is a correspondent for i24 News, and CIJR’s former publications editor—Ed.]       

           

                                                          Contents
 

DANGEROUS AND FALSE PALESTINIAN “UNITY”

Prof. Efraim Inbar                                                                                                      

Besa Center, June 5, 2014

 

The new Palestinian “unity” government is not about the reestablishment of one Palestinian political entity that could develop into a functioning Palestinian state. Already in the early 2000s, the Palestinian Authority (PA) degenerated into a failed state as it lost monopoly over the use of power in the territory under its jurisdiction with the advent of several competing militias. Indeed, in June 2007 Hamas orchestrated a military coup that put the Gaza Strip under the control of this terrorist organization. Despite the current “unity” discourse, the Palestinians remain as divided as before. The only true test for “unity” of a political entity is monopoly over the use of force. As long as the military branch of Hamas remains independent, there is no unity; just evidence of the “Somalization” of Palestinian politics. Islamic Jihad also remains fiercely independent in Gaza, as well as other Jihadist organizations. In fact, under the current accord, instead of the PA regaining lost Gaza, Hamas is gaining better access to the West Bank.

 

Unfortunately, what is happening in the Palestinian territories is part of a larger phenomenon characteristic of much of the Arab world before and after the so-called “Arab Spring.” Lebanon, Somalia Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and even Egypt are plagued by a plethora of militias eroding the exclusive control of the central authorities. It is not clear to what extent are Palestinians able to move beyond this general Arab political malaise. In fact, it is hard to believe that Hamas will give up control over the Gaza Strip. The de facto statehood which Hamas enjoys is good business, as it allows for the extraction of taxes and fees. In addition, it serves the extremist Hamas ideology that demands building Islamist political structures and keeping alive the military and theological struggle against the unacceptable Jewish state. Hamas has made it clear that it has not mellowed one bit on this issue. It also hopes to get a better foothold in the West Bank to fortify its role in Palestinian society. Hamas seeks to emulate the road taken by Hizballah in gaining political hegemony in Lebanon while maintaining a military force independent of the central government.

 

The reaction of the US and the EU to the new government –business as usual – is counterproductive and morally wrong. This approach helps the Palestinians evade facing their fundamental dilemma in state building: that there is no chance to attain statehood without achieving a monopoly over use of force. Thus the current Western stance, which allows for the continuation of a fragmented Palestinian polity, makes the establishment of a real, stable Palestinian state more unlikely than ever. Continuous economic support for a failing Palestinian order preserves its dysfunctional characteristics and does not encourage the Palestinians to make the needed difficult choices. Moreover, recent Western reactions to Palestinian “unity” are destructive for peace-making. Acceptance of a growing role for Hamas is inimical to Israeli-Palestinian peaceful co-existence. Radical Hamas is totally opposed to such a scenario and is unlikely to give up violence against Israel. After all, the Islamists are encouraged by the trends in the Arab world – whereby political Islam seems to be gaining greater power than ever before, and where the US seems to be in constant retreat.

 

It is not the first time the Europeans and the Americans adopt misguided policies towards the Middle East, displaying naiveté, misunderstanding of Middle East realities, and moral failure. If the West is serious about the two-state paradigm and opposing Islamist terrorism, it must insist that Mahmoud Abbas reject cooperation with terrorist entities such as Hamas. Such cooperation can bring only additional disasters on Palestinian society. Hamas is hardly a democratic or a modernizing force as we have seen from its short rule over Gaza. A growing Hamas input in Palestinian society means growing deficits in human rights, and in economic and educational performance. It will also increase the hatred to Jews and will fuel additional violence that is likely to trigger a tough Israeli response. This is not what the Palestinians need if they are interested in liberty, prosperity and peace.

 

From an Israeli point of view, the mass demonstrations in favor of “unity” and the very few Palestinian voices opposing the deal with Hamas are depressing. The Palestinian “unity” deal reinforces the negative image Israelis have of their close neighbors: that Palestinian society is addicted to violence, where the shaheed (martyr) who attempts to kill as many Jews as possible – is the role model. Palestinian society, under the spell of a nationalist and Islamic ethos, is simply unable to bring itself to a historic compromise with the Zionist movement that would end the conflict. Unfortunately, Palestinian rejectionism has won the day whenever a concrete partition plan was on the agenda. The ascendance of Hamas in Palestinian politics through this false “unity” government, further undermines the search for peace.

 

Contents

 

On Topic

 

Abbas’s Role: Jerusalem Post, June 19, 2014 —Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has denounced the abduction of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrah. He should be commended for doing so.

New Palestinian Intifada – Against Abbas: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Istitute, June 23, 2014 —What happened in the center of Ramallah on the morning of June 22 could signal the beginning of an uprising, or intifada, against the Palestinian Authority [PA].

Europe's and U.S. Complicity in Kidnapping and Violence: Richard Kemp, Gatestone Istitute, June 20, 2014—The world has undergone gut-churning revulsion this week at the videos of rows of kneeling young Iraqi men callously gunned down by Al Qaida terrorists in Mosul.

Israel Facing Its Third Intifada: Hana Levi Julian, Jewish Press, June 17, 2014—I believe the Palestinian Authority unity government has launched a third intifada.

 

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

THE WEEK THAT WAS: U.S. M.E. POLICY BOLSTERS ISLAMISTS; ANTISEMITIC OPERA SCHEDULED FOR MET; NEW BIOGRAPHIES OF CHABAD’S 20TH CENTURY LEADER

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail: rob@isranet.org

 

Abdication has a Price: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, June 19, 2013— Yes, it is true that there was no al-Qaeda in Iraq when George W. Bush took office. But it is equally true that there was essentially no al-Qaeda in Iraq remaining when Barack Obama took office.

Three Boys, Iran and American Retreat: Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, June 18, 2014— Last Thursday three Israeli teens — Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar, both 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19 — were kidnapped while hitchhiking home from school. Fraenkel is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Israel.

The Problem With the Klinghoffer Opera: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, June 17, 2014— In an attempt to split the difference with its critics, the Metropolitan Opera announced today that it would go ahead with its plans to put on a production of John Adams’ opera The Death of Klinghoffer but would not include the piece in its list of live simulcasts that can be watched in movie theaters around the world.

Book Review: 'Rebbe' by Joseph Telushkin and 'My Rebbe' by Adin Steinsaltz: Dara Horn, Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2014—“Are you Jewish?” If you've lived in a large American city in the past 30 years and look the part, chances are that a young Hasidic man has approached you with this question.

 

On Topic Links

 

Canadian Jews Rally for Kidnapped Israelis: Paul Lungen, Canadian Jewish News, June 20, 2014

The Message Behind the IDF’s Extensive Operation: Yaakov Lappin, Jerusalem Post, June 18, 2014

Silence Comes as No Shock: Batsheva Neuer, Jerusalem Post, June 18, 2014

Metropolitan Opera Romanticizes One NYer’s Murder: Ronn Torossian, New York Post, June 16, 2014

 

 

ABDICATION HAS A PRICE                                                        

Charles Krauthammer                                                                                                   Washington Post, June 19, 2014

 

Yes, it is true that there was no al-Qaeda in Iraq when George W. Bush took office. But it is equally true that there was essentially no al-Qaeda in Iraq remaining when Barack Obama took office. Which makes Bush responsible for the terrible costs incurred to defeat the 2003-09 jihadist war engendered by his invasion. We can debate forever whether those costs were worth it, but what is not debatable is Obama’s responsibility for the return of the Islamist insurgency that had been routed by the time he became president.

 

By 2009, al-Qaeda in Iraq had not just been decimated but humiliated by the U.S. surge and the Anbar Awakening. Here were aggrieved Sunnis, having ferociously fought the Americans who had overthrown 80 years of Sunni hegemony, now reversing allegiance and joining the infidel invader in crushing, indeed extirpating from Iraq, their fellow Sunnis of al-Qaeda. At the same time, Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki turned the Iraqi army against radical Shiite militias from Basra all the way north to Baghdad. The result? “A sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq.” That’s not Bush congratulating himself. That’s Obama in December 2011 describing the Iraq we were leaving behind. He called it “an extraordinary achievement.”

Which Obama proceeded to throw away. David Petraeus had won the war. Obama’s one task was to conclude a status-of-forces agreement (SOFA) to solidify the gains. By Obama’s own admission — in the case he’s now making for a status-of-forces agreement with Afghanistan — such agreements are necessary “because after all the sacrifices we’ve made, we want to preserve the gains” achieved by war.

 

Which is what made his failure to do so in Iraq so disastrous. His excuse was his inability to get immunity for U.S. soldiers. Nonsense. Bush had worked out a compromise in his 2008 SOFA, as we have done with allies everywhere. The real problem was Obama’s determination to “end the war.” He had three years to negotiate a deal and didn’t even begin talks until a few months before the deadline period. He offered to leave about 3,000 to 5,000 troops, a ridiculous number. U.S. commanders said they needed nearly 20,000. (We have 28,500 in South Korea and 38,000 in Japan to this day.) Such a minuscule contingent would spend all its time just protecting itself. Iraqis know a nonserious offer when they see one. Why bear the domestic political liability of a continued U.S. presence for a mere token?

 

Moreover, as historian Max Boot has pointed out, Obama insisted on parliamentary ratification, which the Iraqis explained was not just impossible but unnecessary. So Obama ordered a full withdrawal. And with it disappeared U.S. influence in curbing sectarianism, mediating among factions and providing both intelligence and tactical advice to Iraqi forces now operating on their own. The result was predictable. And predicted. Overnight, Iran and its promotion of Shiite supremacy became the dominant influence in Iraq. The day after the U.S. departure, Maliki ordered the arrest of the Sunni vice president. He cut off funding for the Sons of Iraq, the Sunnis who had fought with us against al-Qaeda. And subsequently so persecuted and alienated Sunnis that they were ready to welcome back al-Qaeda in Iraq — rebranded in its Syrian refuge as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — as the lesser of two evils. Hence the stunningly swift ISIS capture of Mosul, Tikrit and so much of Sunni Iraq.

 

But the jihadist revival is the result of a double Obama abdication: creating a vacuum not just in Iraq but in Syria. Obama dithered and speechified during the early days of the Syrian revolution, before the jihadists had arrived, when the secular revolt was systematically advancing on the Damascus regime. Hezbollah, Iran and Russia helped the regime survive. Meanwhile, a jihadist enclave (including remnants of the once-routed al-Qaeda in Iraq) developed in large swaths of northern and eastern Syria. They thrived on massive outside support while the secular revolutionaries foundered waiting vainly for U.S. help. Faced with a de facto jihadi state spanning both countries, a surprised Obama now has little choice but to try to re-create overnight, from scratch and in miniature, the kind of U.S. presence — providing intelligence, tactical advice and perhaps even air support — he abjured three years ago. His announcement Thursday that he is sending 300 military advisers is the beginning of that re-creation — a pale substitute for what we long should have had in place but the only option Obama has left himself. The leverage and influence he forfeited with his total withdrawal will be hard to reclaim. But it’s our only chance to keep Iraq out of the hands of the Sunni jihadists of ISIS and the Shiite jihadists of Tehran.

 

 

Contents
 

THREE BOYS, IRAN AND AMERICAN RETREAT                                               

Jennifer Rubin                                                                                                    

Washington Post, June 18, 2014

 

Last Thursday three Israeli teens — Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar, both 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19 — were kidnapped while hitchhiking home from school. Fraenkel is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Israel. Secretary of  State John Kerry put out a statement: “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 hope for their quick and safe return home.  We continue to offer our full support for Israel in its search for the missing teens, and we have encouraged full cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian security services.  We understand that cooperation is ongoing. We are still seeking details on the parties responsible for this despicable terrorist act, although many indications point to Hamas’ involvement.  As we gather this information, we reiterate our position that Hamas is a terrorist organization known for its attacks on innocent civilians and which has used kidnapping in the past.”

 

Interestingly, Kerry did not mention that one of the kidnapped boys is also an American. Although he plainly indicated that Hamas was implicated and reiterated it is a terrorist group, U.S. policy continues to tolerate the unity Palestinian government, indeed suggesting this might be a good thing. Meanwhile the president has not spoken a word about the kidnapping in public – not even a hashtag from the first lady has been forthcoming. Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies tells Right Turn, “The administration’s silence on the West Bank kidnapping is surprising on two fronts. First, one of the abducted teens reportedly is a U.S. citizen. Second, the U.S. and Israel appear to agree that Hamas is involved, just weeks after Hamas-controlled Gaza reconciled with the West Bank Palestinian Authority.”

 

Perhaps the second point explains the first: If the administration made a big deal of the kidnappings it would call attention to its continued toleration of the unity government, comprised of the Palestinian Authority and the groups likely responsible for  boys’ kidnapping. Then Congress and the American people might actually demand the United States give up on the fraudulent peace talks, stop pretending the unity government is simply made up of “technocrats” and start exerting pressure on Palestinian terrorists and its patrons in Tehran. An official of a pro-Israel group e-mails, “The kidnappings underscore the reality it is pure folly to consider the Palestinian Authority-Hamas alliance as a government of mere ‘technocrats.’  Unless one believes there is such thing as ‘technocratic terrorists’, Hamas has demonstrated once again that they are nothing more than a gang of Islamic extremists who are dedicated to Israel’s destruction.”

 

Taking a step back, the administration’s Israeli policy is only one portion of its incoherent approach to the Middle East. Hamas is supported by and increasing at the beck and call of the mullahs, Iran expert Ray Takeyh explained today at a panel on Iran sponsored by the group JINSA. We do nothing in Syria (an Iran client) and apparently want to talk to Iran about Iraq, where Iran has been stirring sectarian violence and seeks to dominate. And we expect to demonstrate to Iran and our Sunni allies that we are serious about Iran’s behavior in the region, not only its pursuit of nuclear weapons? They can be forgiven if they’ve jumped to the conclusion the United States is unwilling to directly take on Iran or those it supports…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents
 

THE PROBLEM WITH THE KLINGHOFFER OPERA                                          

Jonathan S. Tobin                      

Commentary, June 17, 2014

 

In an attempt to split the difference with its critics, the Metropolitan Opera announced today that it would go ahead with its plans to put on a production of John Adams’ opera The Death of Klinghoffer but would not include the piece in its list of live simulcasts that can be watched in movie theaters around the world. Though sticking to his belief that the opera is not anti-Semitic, Met general manager Peter Gelb, did appear to be heeding the warnings of the Anti-Defamation League that the broadcast of Klinghoffer around the globe at a time of increasing anti-Semitism in Europe, Africa and Asia would be a mistake.

 

Predictably, neither side in this dispute is happy. The ADL and the family of Leon Klinghoffer, whose murder by Palestinian terrorists is depicted in the opera, are upset about Gelb’s determination to stage the piece in spite of protests. Meanwhile composer John Adams defended his opera and told the New York Times that he believes any effort to limit its reach not only raises issues about artistic freedom but also promotes intolerance. Adams’ position is absurd but he is right to think his anger about Gelb’s move will resonate in the artistic community. As with any issue involving critics of politicized art, those who are offended by the opera invariably are portrayed as small-minded or wishing to silence dissident voices. Defenders of Klinghoffer will claim, not without some justice, that many staples of the classic operatic repertory were once politically controversial and subjected to censorship. But comparisons with the operas of Giuseppe Verdi, to take just one prominent example, which were often rightly seen as subverting repressive monarchies or promoting the cause of Italian freedom, and Adams’ excursion into the Middle East conflict, are not apt. The libretto of “Klinghoffer” rationalizes terrorism, denigrates Jews and treats the plight of the Palestinians as morally equivalent to the Holocaust. Whether or not one accepts the notion that Adams’ creation is a musical masterpiece, as the Met insists, the point of the piece is one that is not merely offensive. It is, in its own way, a part of the global campaign of delegitimization of the Jewish state and the Jewish people. As such, the decision of one of the world’s leading arts organizations as well as one of the great cultural institutions of the city with the world’ largest Jewish populations, to produce this atrocity, even if won’t be shown around the world, is deeply troubling.

 

The problem with Klinghoffer is not, as some of its defenders have always claimed, that it humanizes the Palestinians. But by using the story of the hijacking of the Italian cruise ship, Achille Lauro as the setting for its attempt to juxtapose the Jews and the Palestinians, it creates a false moral equivalence thought ought to offend all decent persons, especially in the city where the 9/11 attacks occurred less than 13 years ago.

For those who don’t remember, the Achille Lauro incident was one of the most shocking acts of international terrorism. During a cruise from Alexandria, Egypt to Ashdod, Israel in 1985, the ship was taken over by terrorists from the Palestinian Liberation Front, a faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization led by Yasir Arafat. Eventually, the hijackers traded the ship and its passengers for promises of safe conduct from the Egyptian government. But before they left it, the Palestinians murdered one of the many American passengers; a wheelchair-bound elderly Jew named Leon Klinghoffer, and then threw his body into the sea. To say that art should challenge its audiences to rethink their positions on issues or values is one thing. But to rationalize terrorism and the murder of a helpless old man simply because he was a Jew and spoke up against his tormentors does more than push the envelope of conventional tastes. It treats the indefensible as arguable. It portrays actions which are, in any civilized society, considered immoral and base and treats them as merely a question of one’s point of view. As such, “Klinghoffer” must be considered as not merely offensive but morally corrupt.

 

Given its contemptible premise, many people who know little of the cultural world in our day, may find it hard to understand how Klinghoffer could have been initially produced only a few years after the events it depicts took place in 1991 and become in the last quarter century a staple of the international operatic repertory, at least as far as contemporary opera is concerned. But such offensive views are mainstream opinion in the world of high art these days where productions of classics are often distorted to transform them from their religious and sentimental origins into parables for Marxist or other left-wing ideologies. Indeed, even operas which are inherently sympathetic to the Jews, like Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila, have been turned into pro-Palestinian parables (though, it must be admitted that the Met’s 1998 Samson is actually quite sympathetic to the Jews). In such an artistic milieu, Klinghoffer is considered no more controversial than Verdi’s Rigoletto.

 

That the Met, which has a large Jewish fan base, should go down this contemptible road with Klinghoffer is a testament to Gelb’s determination to transform the venerable opera house into a laboratory for contemporary theater. Gelb has offended many, if not most of his subscribers with awful and ugly modernist productions in recent years and become the butt of almost constant attacks from disgruntled New York opera fans. But he has, to date, survived these disasters and, with a contract that runs into the next decade, seems to think that he can do, as he likes. But the Klinghoffer controversy comes at a particularly bad time for him. The Met is currently negotiating with its unions about new contracts and Gelb has decided to try cut back on salaries and benefits for opera house workers as well as the chorus and orchestra. The conflict has been embittered by Gelb’s arrogance and profligate spending on his pet productions as well as the fact that he pulls down, as the New York Times reported yesterday, a whopping $1.8 million in salary, a staggering amount [at] an arts institution that is hurting financially. While it is always difficult to predict the course of labor negotiations, a strike that would postpone the opening of the Met this September or even the cancellation of the entire 2014-15 season a very real possibility. If so, the planned October-November run of Klinghoffer may never happen.

 

But strike or no strike, the decision to stage Klinghoffer taints the reputations of both Gelb and the Met. If the labor dispute results in a postponement of the Klinghoffer performances, the Met board should seize the opportunity to junk the production entirely. Indeed, now that Gelb has already admitted that the opera may well fan the flames of anti-Semitism if broadcast abroad, the Met should not do so at home either. If they don’t rethink their misguided plan, one of New York’s most beloved arts organizations will come under increasing and justified criticism for legitimizing terror and feeding anti-Semitism. It would be a fitting punishment if, along with all of his other problems, Gelb pays for this monumental error in judgment with his job.     

                                                                             

Contents
                            

BOOK REVIEW: 'REBBE' BY JOSEPH TELUSHKIN

AND 'MY REBBE' BY ADIN STEINSALTZ

Dara Horn

Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2014

 

“Are you Jewish?” If you've lived in a large American city in the past 30 years and look the part, chances are that a young Hasidic man has approached you with this question. Men who answer "yes" are given a quick tutorial in donning tefillin, ritual objects worn by Jewish men during prayer; women receive Sabbath candles with instructions to recite ancient blessings. It all seems suspiciously cultlike, but these bearded enthusiasts aren't out to convert anyone. They are emissaries of Chabad (also known as Lubavitch), a religious movement whose goal is to expose more Jews to Judaism—unconditionally.

 

Their approach has succeeded in a secular age when hundreds of other Jewish organizations have failed. A recent Pew study of American Jews showed a dramatic attenuation of communal ties, and other religions have also seen declining institutional involvement, but Chabad has built thriving outposts from Anchorage to Zimbabwe, touched the lives of millions, and become ubiquitous almost to the point of comedy. On a recent trip to Australia, I discovered that the building adjacent to my hotel in Melbourne was an exact replica of 770 Eastern Parkway, Chabad's legendary Brooklyn headquarters. Two excellent new biographies of Chabad's great 20th-century leader, the Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-94), help explain how one man turned a decimated sect into a world-wide presence.

 

Hasidism is a religious revival movement inspired by the spiritual crises that followed the 1648 massacres of tens of thousands of Jews in Ukraine. Led by charismatic leaders called rebbes (a variant of a Hebrew word for "teacher") who elevated seeking God through sincere action like prayer and deeds of kindness above studying Torah. Hasidism flourished in Eastern Europe, with various dynastic courts gaining ardent followers. In the 1780s, a rebbe named Shneur Zalman in the Belarusian town of Lubavitch founded a new Hasidic group called Chabad (a Hebrew acronym for wisdom, understanding and knowledge), distinguished for its intellectual rigor. He also began his own dynasty; leadership descended within the family through followers' consensus. It is this mantle that Menachem Mendel Schneerson, a direct descendant of Shneur Zalman, reluctantly assumed after the death of his father-in-law Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, the sixth rebbe, in 1950. (The tangled Schneerson family tree would put the Windsors to shame.) After a year of power struggles with a brother-in-law who badly wanted the job—and whose son was later sued by Chabad for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of rare books—Schneerson became the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe in 1951.

 

By all accounts, Schneerson, born in 1902 and raised in Ukraine, was gifted with extraordinary intelligence and empathy. He never studied in a yeshiva but learned Torah and Talmud with his father and reportedly committed all 63 tractates of the Talmud to memory; his close relationship with his father-in-law, whom he first met in 1923 and who was later imprisoned and exiled by the Soviets, defined his spiritual life. As a young man he studied physics, calculus and philosophy at the University of Berlin. Just before the Nazi takeover, Schneerson and his wife moved to Paris, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering. This served him well when the couple escaped to New York in 1941, where he found a job at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, supervising work on battleship electrical systems. Most Lubavitchers were murdered in the Holocaust; at Chabad's new Crown Heights headquarters, people had to be pulled off the street to provide the quorum of 10 Jewish men for prayers. The new Rebbe's worldliness—he spoke seven languages and could read more than 10—prepared him to lead not just a small sect but a movement that could reach millions.

 

Those who admire young Mormons who commit to two-year missions ought to be awed by Chabad shluchim (emissaries), young married couples barely in their 20s who are sent to far-flung places to build Jewish communities and serve the needs of Jewish travelers—not for two years but for their entire lives, raising their children abroad. As pre-eminent Israeli Torah scholar Adin Steinsaltz details in "My Rebbe," this practice began with the fifth rebbe at the turn of the 20th century, who sent shluchim to outlying regions of the Russian empire. But Schneerson vastly expanded the program. Shluchim are recruited for their intelligence and ingenuity, serve voluntarily, receive no salary (they must raise funds to support themselves), and devote their lives to bringing Judaism to places where resources like kosher food or synagogues are often nonexistent.

 

The Rebbe insisted on maintaining shluchim in challenging circumstances. In "Rebbe," American rabbi and author Joseph Telushkin describes a 1982 incident where the Israeli government planned to evacuate the Tunisian Jewish community after the Palestine Liberation Organization established a headquarters in Tunis. The Rebbe, citing his own intelligence sources, insisted the threat wasn't credible. The Israelis backed down, and Chabad, along with the city's native Jewish community, remains in Tunis today. Such persistence isn't without risk: In 2008, shluchim in Mumbai were targeted, tortured and murdered during citywide terrorist attacks, an incident that goes unmentioned in these books. It is worth noting that this atrocity did not lead to any pullback—8,000 shluchim currently serve around the world.

 

Both of these biographies depict the Rebbe's management style. One of the Rebbe's principles, for instance, was his religiously motivated insistence on never waiting to get things done. As Mr. Telushkin recounts, in 1978 a Jewish chaplain for South African prisons visited the Rebbe and lamented that Jewish prisoners, many of whom were dissidents, had permission to observe Passover but not Hanukkah. The Rebbe suggested that the chaplain approach the director of prisons. When the chaplain noted that Hanukkah would begin the following evening, the Rebbe told him to call the director at home, even though it was after midnight in Johannesburg, so that "he would be impressed by the matter's urgency." The director was indeed impressed, and prisoners received Hanukkah candles the following night.

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents

 

CIJR Wishes All Its Friends & Supporters Shabbat Shalom!

 

On Topic

 

Canadian Jews Rally for Kidnapped Israelis: Paul Lungen, Canadian Jewish News, June 20, 2014 —As three abducted Israeli teens entered their second week of captivity, communities from across the country and around the world held vigils, gathered in solidarity and said prayers for their safe return.

The Message Behind the IDF’s Extensive Operation: Yaakov Lappin, Jerusalem Post, June 18, 2014— The clear message behind the IDF’s large-scale operation in the West Bank is that Israel will not turn the other cheek in the face of wanton terrorism against its civilians.

Silence Comes as No Shock: Batsheva Neuer, Jerusalem Post, June 18, 2014 —Five days after three Israeli teenagers were abducted by Islamic terrorists, there was still silence from EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Metropolitan Opera Romanticizes One NYer’s Murder: Ronn Torossian, New York Post, June 16, 2014—In 1985, New Yorker Leon Klinghoffer, 69, and his wife Marilyn took a cruise to celebrate their 36th wedding anniversary. Leon never came back: Four members of the Palestine Liberation Front hijacked the Achille Lauro, shot him in the head and threw him overboard in his wheelchair.

 

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

Isi Leibler: Our Islamic Fundamentalist Adversaries are Inhuman Barbarians

Fears for the well-being of the abducted teenagers dominate our minds and prayers and we share the pain of their parents and families. And the nation as a whole is displaying the unity that has always been the hallmark of the Jewish people when confronted with such situations.

 

However there are a few demented Israelis, exemplified by Yedioth Ahronoth journalist Raanan Shaked who blames the tragedy on “these nut jobs [who] take the kids with them to live in the territories.” The Alice in Wonderland nature of our democracy also enables Balad MK Hanin Zoabi to deny that the abductors were terrorists and shamelessly justify the kidnapping as an act of resistance to “Palestinian suffering”. She was supported by Avram Burg who, in Haaretz, attributed the abduction to “the suffering of a society, its cry, and the future of an entire nation that has been kidnapped by us”.

 

But the overwhelming majority of our politicians, whose despicable behavior reached an all-time low during the course of the presidential elections, are united and compassionate in their handling of this ongoing crisis.

 

Since the creation of the state, we have endured endless terrorist acts targeting innocent Israelis of all ages. The global media has portrayed the kidnapping as an attack on “settlers.” This is especially ironic given the history of Gush Etzion – from where the teenagers were abducted – a settlement bloc founded by the children and survivors of a community destroyed and razed to the ground during the 1948 War of Independence.

 

In this context, we must come to terms with the reality that the world is indifferent to what happens to Israel, as exemplified yet again by the EU failing to make a formal statement for five days. When it did, the statement was not signed by foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who never misses an opportunity to release immediate statements in her own name condemning Israel for construction in east Jerusalem Jewish suburbs.

 

Ironically, as this kidnapping saga is unfolding in Israel, in New York there has been furious debate surrounding the Metropolitan Opera production of “Death of Klinghoffer,” a vile drama based on the callous murder of a crippled Jew on a cruise ship by Palestinian terrorists which seeks to rationalize and humanize the terrorists and rationalize their motivations.

 

The major problem today is that the international community denies the barbaric nature of Islamic fundamentalism. Surely the carnage taking place in Syria and now Iraq, which matches the worst examples of medieval butchery, should have served as a wakeup call. The behavior of the Sunni jihadists in the capture of Mosul, in which hundreds, if not thousands, of soldiers and policemen were decapitated and their heads placed on display, explains why over half a million of the city’s inhabitants fled. Likewise the 185,000 butchered by both sides in the Syrian civil war and the 300 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped and apparently sold as slaves. The jihadists — Sunnis and Shiites alike — are barbaric monsters.

 

But in relation to Israel and its neighbors, the international community finds it far more convenient to portray the conflict in terms of Palestinians seeking national independence from their Israeli “occupiers.” The fact that the Palestinians were offered 95% of the territories over the Green Line and spurned statehood on numerous occasions, underlines their true aspiration — which is not real estate but the elimination of Jewish sovereignty.

 

The whole region is a scorpions’ den of barbaric activity. Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — the military wing of Fatah, a component of the PA — are birds of a feather, akin to their cruel and murderous Syrian and Iraqi counterparts. The Shiites, whom they seek to exterminate, are equally brutal toward the Sunnis when they are in control. Thus it is impossible to differentiate between the cruel brutality of the Hezbollah Shiites and the Hamas Sunnis. If these barbarians have the capacity to behave so cruelly toward their own kinsmen, one can only shudder at what they would do to Jews if they had the opportunity.

 

Israel represents an oasis of relative tranquility in this tumultuous region. It is ironic that in recent months Israel has even been treating casualties from the civil war in Syria. We unhesitatingly provide medical services to Palestinians, including two years ago, the granddaughter of Ismael Haniyeh, the Gaza-based head of Hamas who continues calling for the slaughter of Jews. Incredibly, during the same week as the abduction, Mahmoud Abbas had no inhibitions about having his wife treated at Assuta Medical Center in Tel Aviv.

 

Yet when Israeli civilians are targeted by missiles from Gaza, all that the U.S. and the international community requires of Abbas is his statement that it is not in the interests of the Palestinians at that time to launch rockets against Israel. Only after four days did Abbas respond and condemn the abduction — but it was subsumed with a protest against the Israelis for disrupting of Palestinian life as they searched for the perpetrators.

 

In the meantime, the Palestinians publicly rejoiced, both in PA areas and in Gaza. Revolting cartoons were published in the official Palestinian Authority daily and Fatah publications celebrating the abduction. This is consistent with the statement made on PA TV earlier this year by leading PA official Jibril Rajoub, stating that “if Hamas wants to kidnap soldiers … we encourage them. When they kidnapped [Gilad] Schalit, we congratulated them.” It is worth noting that there is no distinction between the incitement to hatred by the PA and that promoted by the openly genocidal Hamas.

 

Yet last month, the Obama administration effectively sanctioned the union of the PA with Hamas, which subsequently publicly reaffirmed its genocidal objectives and calls on its followers to contribute to the destruction of Israel. And our “peace partner” merely shrugs his shoulders when members of his coalition call for our annihilation.

 

U.S. President Barack Obama may boast that he oversaw the targeted killing of bin Laden, but the reality is that today, Islamic fundamentalism is stronger than ever. In fact, unless firmly repulsed in the coming weeks, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan and a number of other potential regional hotspots could well establish caliphates which will emerge as launching pads for exporting terror to all parts of the world. They will of course also be able to utilize as terrorists those returning citizens from Europe and North America who fought with them against Shiites. These will be in addition to Iranian Shiite terrorists like Hezbollah who are already engaged in global terror and who will be enormously empowered if Iran becomes a nuclear power.

 

If global leaders continue burying heads in the sand and refuse to urgently confront the nightmarish reality of Islamic fundamentalism with its messianic global overtones, it will be far more costly to oppose these forces when they have become further entrenched.

 

Israel is at the frontlines of this battle against global jihad. It must react harshly if those abducted are not released. Failure to do so will further embolden the barbarians and incentivize them to kidnap more Israelis and perpetrate further acts of terror.

 

Past mistakes must not be repeated. The mass release of 1,027 prisoners in return for the release of Schalit in 2011 was compounded with the government’s abysmal decision last year – under US pressure – to release over 100 murderers in order to induce the PA to come to the negotiating table. The army has already been forced to arrest a number of those released. It is imperative that we review all procedures relating to the incarceration of terrorists and ensure that imprisonment will no longer be regarded by them as a paid vacation with an optional university education — to be employed after release in a hostage exchange.

 

Finally, despite our fears, we can only continue praying for the safe rescue of the teenagers with whom the entire nation identifies. But we should brace ourselves for tough times ahead and seek to retain the current sense of unity in which the nation and its leaders display compassion and tolerance and avoid reverting to the hostility and extremism that polarizes us.

OPERATION BROTHER’S KEEPER: ONGOING SEARCH FOR THREE KIDNAPPED STUDENTS HIGHLIGHTS ANTI-ISRAEL REALITY OF HAMAS, LIBERAL MEDIA, & “P.U.G.”

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail: rob@isranet.org

 

Breaking News: ISRAELI OFFICIAL NAMES HAMAS LEADER ABROAD AS SUSPECT BEHIND KIDNAPPINGS (Jerusalem) —Hamas leader currently living in Turkey is believed to be behind the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank last week, an Israeli security official said Thursday. The official spoke as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the attempts to bring home the three Israelis were making progress — “We today know more than we knew a few days ago,” he said. According to the unnamed official, Saleh al-Arouri — a former West Bank resident deported from the region after serving a prison sentence in Israel for several years, who is now a leading figure in Hamas overseas operations — is thought to have been a key figure for years in attempts to initiate terror attacks in the West Bank, funding and arranging the training of terror cells. (Times of Israel, June 19, 2014)

 

Update on Mohammed Zoabi: ZOABI’S FAMILY ARRESTED FOR JENIN KIDNAP THREAT (Jenin) —Mohammed Zoabi, the young Israeli-Arab from Nazareth who posted a pro-Israel video in English, Hebrew and Arabic condemning the kidnapping of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shayer and Naftali Frenkel has gone to a safe location, following a kidnapping attempt against him. Zoabi had reported previously on his Facebook page that he received death threats, but now it goes much farther than that. Last night it was disclosed that police arrested Zoabi’s father, uncle and grandmother, for threatening to kidnap him and take him to Palestinian Authority controlled Jenin. Mohammed’s cousin is none other than the anti-Zionist MK Hanin Zoabi, who has stated that the Hamas kidnappers are not terrorists. (Jewish Press, June 18, 2014)

 

Zoabi’s video condemning the kidnapping, photos of young Palestinians celebrating the kidnapping,  as well as a new anthem supporting the three abducted Israeli teens, can be viewed in the On Topic Links—Ed.

 

Contents:

 

West Bank Kidnapping Triggers Massive Crackdown on Hamas: Yaakov Lappin, Algemeiner, June 18, 2013— The kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank last week has triggered an enormous and ongoing Israeli crackdown on Hamas, causing the organization to suffer a setback to its presence in the Palestinian territories.

Our Islamic Fundamentalist Adversaries are Inhuman Barbarians: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, June 19, 2014— Fears for the well-being of the abducted teenagers dominate our minds and prayers and we share the pain of their parents and families.

Ignoring the Elephant: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, June 17, 2014— Three Jewish boys were abducted by Palestinian terrorists while trying to catch a ride home from school Thursday night. And as far as the foreign press is concerned, it’s their own damned fault.

How the West Facilitates Hamas's Mission:  Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, June 17, 2014 — The reconciliation agreement that was signed between rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas in April, and the subsequent formation of a unity government, was supposed to put an end to their dispute, which erupted after Hamas won the January 2006 parliamentary election.

 

On Topic Links

 

A New, Soulful Anthem: 'Bring Back Our Boys' (Video): Arutz Sheva, June 18, 2014

Mohammad Zoabi’s Strong Message About The Kidnappings (Video): Israeli Cool, June 14, 2014

Arab MK Upset By Relative’s Public Call For Return of Teens: Ariel Ben Solomon, Jerusalem Post, June 17, 2014

Les Palestiniens Utilisent Leurs Enfants Pour Exprimer Leur Joie Concernant L’enlèvement Des Adolescents Israéliens: Europe Israel, June 17, 2014        

Hamas Kidnappings: A Constant Threat in Israel: IDF Blog, June 16, 2014

Hamas and ISIS: Jerusalem Post, June 17, 2014

 

WEST BANK KIDNAPPING TRIGGERS MASSIVE CRACKDOWN ON HAMAS                                                                 

Yaakov Lappin                                                                                                                 Algemeiner, June 18, 2014

 

The kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank last week has triggered an enormous and ongoing Israeli crackdown on Hamas, causing the organization to suffer a setback to its presence in the Palestinian territories. Eyal Yifrach, 19, and 16-year-olds Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel had been hitchhiking in the Gush Etzion area near Hebron before suddenly vanishing Thursday. Israeli officials say their assessments leave no doubt that Hamas snatched the teenagers.

 

In the ensuing days, the Israeli defense establishment launched a two-pronged campaign called Operation Brother’s Keeper. The first pillar of the response revolves around a classified search for the abductees, led by the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency]. The domestic intelligence agency maintains a tight grip on the West Bank, and has been able to thwart 44 previous kidnapping attempts since the beginning of 2013. It is now at the center of an intensive large-scale effort, and is directing infantry forces to areas where the missing boys might be held. Additionally, the IDF has imposed a partial closure on the greater Hebron area, enabling civilian life to continue, but placing Hamas under real pressure.

 

The second pillar of the response has seen a series of raids across the West Bank by IDF units, resulting in the arrest of more than 200 security suspects so far, most of them Hamas members. To carry out the raids, the IDF sent reinforcement battalions to the West Bank, and a total of 10 divisions, backed by special forces and intelligence units, are currently launching wave after wave of arrests of Hamas members. According to senior IDF sources, the raids are not only targeting armed Hamas cells, but also the organization’s political networks, religious centers aimed at the spreading of Hamas ideology, and financial nerve centers.

 

The aim of this effort is to roll back Hamas’ ambitions to become a dominant force in the West Bank, thereby creating long-term security. Nearly all of Hamas’s leadership in the West Bank is in custody, including figures like Hassan Yousef, and the chairman of the Palestinian legislative council, Aziz Dwik.

Some raids, such as Monday night’s wave of arrests launched by 1,000 infantry soldiers in Nablus, turned up a sizeable cache of automatic weapons, grenades, and explosives, while others resulted in the IDF seizing terrorist funds and documents that have intelligence value.

 

The development has placed the tenability of the Fatah-Hamas reunification process in jeopardy. The Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority is under heavy pressure to distance itself from Hamas’ kidnapping. One PA official indicated the reunification deal would be null and void if Hamas is found responsible. As a result, say senior Israeli security officials, the attack has strategically harmed Hamas, to the extent that the terror organization will end up regretting it.

 

The officials have indicated that the campaign of raids will continue for an extended period. It remains unclear whether Hamas’ military wing in Gaza, the Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades, had a hand in organizing the kidnapping. If Israeli intelligence determines that it did, that could place the Hamas regime in Gaza and Israel on a speedy collision course. Alternatively, should violent clashes erupt in the West Bank in the course of future raids, terrorist factions in Gaza could begin firing rockets into southern Israel. The IDF says it is acutely aware of the possibility of a security escalation in Gaza, and has deployed Iron Dome anti-rocket defense systems across southern Israel in anticipation.

 

For now, however, Hamas in Gaza appears to be deterred, and Hamas in the West Bank is at the receiving end of an Israeli clampdown not seen in many years. The coming days will reveal whether the situation will escalate further, and, perhaps, the fate of the three kidnapped youths.

 

Contents
                                  

OUR ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALIST ADVERSARIES

ARE INHUMAN BARBARIANS                                                                                 

Isi Leibler                                                                                                                           Candidly Speaking, June 19, 2014

 

Fears for the well-being of the abducted teenagers dominate our minds and prayers and we share the pain of their parents and families. And the nation as a whole is displaying the unity that has always been the hallmark of the Jewish people when confronted with such situations. However there are a few demented Israelis, exemplified by Yedioth Ahronoth journalist Raanan Shaked who blames the tragedy on “these nut jobs [who] take the kids with them to live in the territories.” The Alice in Wonderland nature of our democracy also enables Balad MK Hanin Zoabi to deny that the abductors were terrorists and shamelessly justify the kidnapping as an act of resistance to “Palestinian suffering”. She was supported by Avram Burg who, in Haaretz, attributed the abduction to “the suffering of a society, its cry, and the future of an entire nation that has been kidnapped by us”. But the overwhelming majority of our politicians, whose despicable behavior reached an all-time low during the course of the presidential elections, are united and compassionate in their handling of this ongoing crisis.

 

Since the creation of the state, we have endured endless terrorist acts targeting innocent Israelis of all ages.

The global media has portrayed the kidnapping as an attack on “settlers.” This is especially ironic given the history of Gush Etzion – from where the teenagers were abducted – a settlement bloc founded by the children and survivors of a community destroyed and razed to the ground during the 1948 War of Independence. In this context, we must come to terms with the reality that the world is indifferent to what happens to Israel, as exemplified yet again by the EU failing to make a formal statement for five days. When it did, the statement was not signed by foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who never misses an opportunity to release immediate statements in her own name condemning Israel for construction in east Jerusalem Jewish suburbs. Ironically, as this kidnapping saga is unfolding in Israel, in New York there has been furious debate surrounding the Metropolitan Opera production of “Death of Klinghoffer,” a vile drama based on the callous murder of a crippled Jew on a cruise ship by Palestinian terrorists which seeks to rationalize and humanize the terrorists and rationalize their motivations.

 

The major problem today is that the international community denies the barbaric nature of Islamic fundamentalism. Surely the carnage taking place in Syria and now Iraq, which matches the worst examples of medieval butchery, should have served as a wakeup call. The behavior of the Sunni jihadists in the capture of Mosul, in which hundreds, if not thousands, of soldiers and policemen were decapitated and their heads placed on display, explains why over half a million of the city’s inhabitants fled. Likewise the 185,000 butchered by both sides in the Syrian civil war and the 300 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped and apparently sold as slaves. The jihadists — Sunnis and Shiites alike — are barbaric monsters.

 

But in relation to Israel and its neighbors, the international community finds it far more convenient to portray the conflict in terms of Palestinians seeking national independence from their Israeli “occupiers.” The fact that the Palestinians were offered 95% of the territories over the Green Line and spurned statehood on numerous occasions, underlines their true aspiration — which is not real estate but the elimination of Jewish sovereignty.

 

The whole region is a scorpions’ den of barbaric activity. Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — the military wing of Fatah, a component of the PA — are birds of a feather, akin to their cruel and murderous Syrian and Iraqi counterparts. The Shiites, whom they seek to exterminate, are equally brutal toward the Sunnis when they are in control. Thus it is impossible to differentiate between the cruel brutality of the Hezbollah Shiites and the Hamas Sunnis. If these barbarians have the capacity to behave so cruelly toward their own kinsmen, one can only shudder at what they would do to Jews if they had the opportunity.

 

Israel represents an oasis of relative tranquility in this tumultuous region. It is ironic that in recent months Israel has even been treating casualties from the civil war in Syria. We unhesitatingly provide medical services to Palestinians, including two years ago, the granddaughter of Ismael Haniyeh, the Gaza-based head of Hamas who continues calling for the slaughter of Jews. Incredibly, during the same week as the abduction, Mahmoud Abbas had no inhibitions about having his wife treated at Assuta Medical Center in Tel Aviv. Yet when Israeli civilians are targeted by missiles from Gaza, all that the U.S. and the international community requires of Abbas is his statement that it is not in the interests of the Palestinians at that time to launch rockets against Israel. Only after four days did Abbas respond and condemn the abduction — but it was subsumed with a protest against the Israelis for disrupting of Palestinian life as they searched for the perpetrators.

 

In the meantime, the Palestinians publicly rejoiced, both in PA areas and in Gaza. Revolting cartoons were published in the official Palestinian Authority daily and Fatah publications celebrating the abduction. This is consistent with the statement made on PA TV earlier this year by leading PA official Jibril Rajoub, stating that “if Hamas wants to kidnap soldiers … we encourage them. When they kidnapped [Gilad] Schalit, we congratulated them.” It is worth noting that there is no distinction between the incitement to hatred by the PA and that promoted by the openly genocidal Hamas. Yet last month, the Obama administration effectively sanctioned the union of the PA with Hamas, which subsequently publicly reaffirmed its genocidal objectives and calls on its followers to contribute to the destruction of Israel. And our “peace partner” merely shrugs his shoulders when members of his coalition call for our annihilation.

 

U.S. President Barack Obama may boast that he oversaw the targeted killing of bin Laden, but the reality is that today, Islamic fundamentalism is stronger than ever. In fact, unless firmly repulsed in the coming weeks, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan and a number of other potential regional hotspots could well establish caliphates which will emerge as launching pads for exporting terror to all parts of the world. They will of course also be able to utilize as terrorists those returning citizens from Europe and North America who fought with them against Shiites. These will be in addition to Iranian Shiite terrorists like Hezbollah who are already engaged in global terror and who will be enormously empowered if Iran becomes a nuclear power.

 

If global leaders continue burying heads in the sand and refuse to urgently confront the nightmarish reality of Islamic fundamentalism with its messianic global overtones, it will be far more costly to oppose these forces when they have become further entrenched. Israel is at the frontlines of this battle against global jihad. It must react harshly if those abducted are not released. Failure to do so will further embolden the barbarians and incentivize them to kidnap more Israelis and perpetrate further acts of terror.

 

Past mistakes must not be repeated. The mass release of 1,027 prisoners in return for the release of Schalit in 2011 was compounded with the government’s abysmal decision last year – under US pressure – to release over 100 murderers in order to induce the PA to come to the negotiating table. The army has already been forced to arrest a number of those released. It is imperative that we review all procedures relating to the incarceration of terrorists and ensure that imprisonment will no longer be regarded by them as a paid vacation with an optional university education — to be employed after release in a hostage exchange.

 

Finally, despite our fears, we can only continue praying for the safe rescue of the teenagers with whom the entire nation identifies. But we should brace ourselves for tough times ahead and seek to retain the current sense of unity in which the nation and its leaders display compassion and tolerance and avoid reverting to the hostility and extremism that polarizes us.

 

Contents
                                  

IGNORING THE ELEPHANT                                                                                    

Caroline B. Glick                        

Jerusalem Post, June 17, 2014

 

Three Jewish boys were abducted by Palestinian terrorists while trying to catch a ride home from school Thursday night. And as far as the foreign press is concerned, it’s their own damned fault. As Honest Reporting documented, everyone from The Guardian to CNN, to Sky News to the Christian Science Monitor blamed Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frankel for their victimization. The boys deserve whatever they get, according to the media, because they are Jews and Jews have no right to be located anywhere that the Palestinians demand be cleansed of Jewish presence. And the Palestinians demand that Gush Etzion be emptied of Jews. So the boys, who dared to be located in Gush Etzion, had it coming.

 

And the blame doesn’t end with the victims. In trying to rescue them, the Israeli government is also committing an unpardonable crime – against Palestinian unity, no less. According to The New York Times’ Israel bureau chief Jodi Rudoren, by searching for the boys, Israel has “further destabilized Israeli-Palestinian relations, and challenged the new Palestinian government’s ability to hold together disparate political factions and reunite the West Bank and Gaza after a seven-year split.” As Seth Mandel wrote in Commentary, “If the unity government can survive only by being permitted to carry out terrorism against Israel without response or consequences, it is not so much a government as a sadistic terrorist gang.” Mandel understated the problem. There is no conditionality. The Palestinian government is “a sadistic terrorist gang.” “The disparate political factions,” Rudoren was referring to are Fatah and Hamas.

 

Hamas, as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, kidnapped the teenagers. Hamas is a jihadist movement recognized by the US State Department and the EU as a foreign terrorist organization. Its declared goal is the genocide of world Jewry. And to advance its aim, it has murdered Jews, and incited, trained and indoctrinated Palestinians to murder Jews every single day since it was founded in 1988. As for Fatah, since Frankel, Shaer and Yifrach were taken on Thursday night, Fatah has glorified and celebrated their capture on its official Facebook page and its official newspaper. Fatah’s Facebook page depicted the boys as rats, reeled in by a fishing pole. The Palestinian Authority’s daily newspaper Al Hayat al Jadida published a mock World Cup logo in which three hands held three people who held their hands up in surrender. And Fatah activists posted a revealing directive on Facebook after the boys were abducted.

 

No, Abbas’s “moderate” faction of the Palestinian unity government, so energetically supported by the US, the EU and the western media, did not call for the public to quit celebrating the abduction. Nor did it condemn the brutal assault. The Fatah activists called for shopkeepers in the vicinity of the kidnapping to destroy any footage their security cameras filmed in the 24 hours following the operation to prevent the IDF from seizing the footage and using it in its efforts to locate the boys. That makes Fatah an accessory after the fact to the attack. And yes, that means that the PA – which is comprised of Fatah and Hamas – is in fact one great big terrorist organization. When Rudoren and her colleagues in the media look in the mirror, they don’t see themselves as enablers of murderers and champions of terrorists. They see themselves as right-minded people who seek peace. The same of course goes for the EU, which celebrated the formation of the Fatah-Hamas unity government, and has so far refused to condemn the kidnapping. It also goes for the Obama administration which raced the EU to recognize the Fatah-Hamas government and promised that the US would continue funding the PA in breach of the letter of US law. They all say they just want peace, for the betterment of all. Taking them at their word, it is mystifying why they are so unconcerned with the behavior of Palestinian leaders…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                                                             

                                                         

Contents
                            

HOW THE WEST FACILITATES HAMAS'S MISSION                                         

Khaled Abu Toameh

Gatestone Institute, June 17, 2014

 

The reconciliation agreement that was signed between rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas in April, and the subsequent formation of a unity government, was supposed to put an end to their dispute, which erupted after Hamas won the January 2006 parliamentary election. But the kidnapping of three Israeli youths in the West Bank last week has shown that the gap between Fatah and the Islamist movement Hamas remains as wide as ever, and that the two parties continue to treat each other with suspicion.

 

The unity government, headed by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, is supposed to represent both Fatah and Hamas, although none of the ministers in an official member of the two parties. Since the abduction of the three youths, however, the two Palestinian partners have been speaking in different voices. While Fatah has condemned the kidnapping, Hamas has hailed it as a "heroic operation." Five days after the kidnapping, Mahmoud Abbas's office issued a statement condemning the incident and calling for an end to violence "by any party." Abbas has even instructed the Fatah-dominated security forces in the West Bank to assist Israel in the manhunt for the missing teenagers — much to the satisfaction of some Israeli security officials.

 

In contrast, Hamas, whose men are believed to be responsible for the abduction of the three youths, has condemned Abbas's stance. Several Hamas leaders and spokesmen in the Gaza Strip have even urged Abbas and the new government immediately to halt security coordination with Israel; they have dubbed it a "stab in the back of Palestinian resistance and prisoners" held by Israel. Before the formation of the Hamas-Fatah unity government, Abbas did everything he could to reassure the Americans, Europeans and Israelis that the unity government would "renounce violence and recognize Israel's right to exist." Abbas even assured U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that the unity government would commit itself to all agreements signed between the Palestinians and Israel. On the basis of Abbas's assurances, the Obama Administration and several EU governments rushed to announce that they would work with the new Palestinian government, even as Hamas continued to deny the Palestinian Authority president's claims. As former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said, "Hamas will continue to hold onto its strategy, whether it is inside the government or outside." When Haniyeh talks about Hamas's strategy, he is referring to the movement's declared intention to destroy Israel and replace it with an Islamic state.

 

The Obama Administration and those EU governments that rushed to welcome the alliance between Fatah and Hamas did not want to pay attention to the Islamist movement's announcements that it would take advantage of the unity government to move terrorism to the West Bank. If it turns out that Hamas was indeed behind the kidnapping of the Israeli youths, it shows that the movement has kept its word to use the reconciliation pact with Fatah as a means to move its terror activities to the West Bank. Hamas's ultimate goal is to extend its control to the West Bank, and not merely get new jobs and salaries from Abbas. The honeymoon between Fatah and Hamas now seems to be nearing its end as the two parties resume their rhetorical attacks on each other in the aftermath of the kidnapping. Abbas may now finally have realized that Hamas's real intention is to get rid of him and turn the West Bank into a battlefield against Israel. It is obvious that all those who were quick to welcome the partnership between Fatah and Hamas — the U.S. and Europe — have emboldened and legitimized the Islamist movement, thus facilitating its mission to carry out terror attacks against Israelis as well as to take over the West Bank.

 

 

Contents
 

On Topic

 

A New, Soulful Anthem: 'Bring Back Our Boys' (Video): Arutz Sheva, June 18, 2014 —Two days after Israeli singers Gad Elbaz and Naftali Kalfa released a prayerful song calling for the return of the three teens kidnapped last Thursday by Hamas terrorists, a new, soulful anthem for the release of the three has been released by Shmueli.

Mohammad Zoabi’s Strong Message About The Kidnappings (Video): Israeli Cool, June 14, 2014 —In response to the recent kidnapping of 3 Jewish Israeli teens by a terrorist group, Mohammad Zoabi gives his strong message to the terrorists and to Bibi Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel…his message is in English, Hebrew and Arabic.

Arab MK Upset By Relative’s Public Call For Return of Teens: Ariel Ben Solomon, Jerusalem Post, June 17, 2014—17-year-old Mohammad Zoabi, a cousin of Balad MK Haneen Zoabi, made a video calling on “terrorists” to return the three yeshiva students missing in the West Bank since Thursday night and presumed to have been kidnapped.

Les Palestiniens Utilisent Leurs Enfants Pour Exprimer Leur Joie Concernant L’enlèvement Des Adolescents Israéliens: Europe Israel, June 17, 2014—Dans les rues et partout sur le net, les Palestiniens crient haut et fort leur soutien aux terroristes qui ont kidnappé les trois jeunes Israéliens 

Hamas Kidnappings: A Constant Threat in Israel: IDF Blog, June 16, 2014—Last week’s Hamas abduction followed dozens of attempts to kidnap innocent Israelis.

Hamas and ISIS: Jerusalem Post, June 17, 2014—As Israelis unite in collective concern for the fate of the three kidnapped teenagers, it seems the rest of Middle East is deteriorating from day to day.

 

 

                               

 

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail: rob@isranet.org

 

 

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes On Topic Links

 

 


Download a pdf version of today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf
 

On Topic Links

 

Mohammad Zoabi’s Strong Message About The Kidnappings (Video): Israeli Cool, June 14, 2014

Palestinians and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Alan Baker, Jerusalem Post, June 16, 2014

How the West Facilitates Hamas's Mission: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, June 17, 2014

Second Front Opens in the Sunni-Shia War: Jonathan Spyer, Middle East Forum, June 15, 2014

The Pace of Obama's Disasters: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2014

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

"The operation overnight in which Hamas terrorists were arrested, including those released in the prisoner swap for Gilad Schalit, is an element that carries with it an important message," —Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, praising the Israeli security services on Wednesday for their overnight roundup of dozens of Palestinians, including 50 Hamas operatives, in the West Bank search for three kidnapped Jewish teens. He added that "this is all part of a series of many operations that will continue, and their goal is to retrieve the kidnapped youngsters and strike a blow to Hamas in Judea and Samaria." (Jerusalem Post, June 18, 2014)

 

“We have a goal and it is to find the three boys and to bring them home, as well as to harm as much as possible Hamas. And that is what we will do,” — IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. Gantz also praised Israeli security forces operations in the framework of the “Return Our Boys” operation. According to Gantz, “We are on the way to an important battle. The cabinet will talk today about punitive actions against Hamas.” (Jerusalem Online, June 17, 2014)

 

"Those who kidnapped the three teenagers want to destroy us. We will hold them accountable," — Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, at an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah. The PA has threatened to end its unity deal with Hamas over the kidnapping according to unconfirmed reports, even as it celebrates the kidnapping. Abbas also defended the cooperation between PA security forces and the IDF in the operation, saying "the kidnapped are human beings like us…it is in our interest to have security coordination with Israel because that would help protect us," Abbas said, claiming "I say it frankly, we will never have another Intifada – that would destroy us." Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza on Monday condemned Abbas over the cooperation, saying instead he should declare “jihad” against the “Zionists.”

(Arutz Sheva, June 18, 2014)

 

“It has been five days since our boys went missing. I ask the international community – where are you?” —Israel’s ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor, who gave a short statement to the press on Tuesday morning, publicly addressing the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers for the first time since their disappearance on Thursday evening. Prosor continued: “The kidnapping took place just 10 days after Fatah and Hamas formed a unity government. All those in the international community who rushed to bless this marriage, should look into the eyes of the heartbroken parents and have the courage to take responsibility by condemning the kidnapping.” Israel is now paying for the “bad deal” that the international community bought when it supported the newly formed Palestinian unity government, Prosor said. “It’s worth recalling that the Palestinians recently signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child. They obviously signed without reading it.” (Jerusalem Post,  June 18, 2014)

 

“[Saudi Arabia is] responsible for supporting these groups financially and morally, and for the outcome of that which includes crimes that may qualify as genocide: the spilling of Iraqi blood, the destruction of Iraqi state institutions and historic and religious sites,” —Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in an angry outburst certain to inflame passions in the region, accusing Saudi ruling royals of backing genocidal war criminals. Fierce fighting raged less than 50 kilometres away from Baghdad, and advancing Sunni militants forced Iraq’s biggest oil refinery to shut down. To the west, Sunni forces were at the outskirts of the sprawling capital and car bombs exploded in Baghdad’s densely populated Sadr City slum. (Globe & Mail, June 17, 2014)

 

“It is Baathists from Tal Afar who enabled Isis to take over the town. They have a strong presence and are very well organised,” — a senior Iraqi intelligence officer from the Tal Afar area of Iraq. “This is the return of Saddam’s men,” he added. Tal Afar was once the emblem of US military success in Iraq – the city where American forces defeated their adversaries twice. First they drove out the army of Saddam Hussein, and later the Islamist militants who rose up against the occupation. Less than a decade later, the two US foes have joined forces to seize back Tal Afar, and the machine guns and armoured vehicles that American troops left behind to defend its new-found freedom are being used by the very insurgents they sought to defeat. (Telegraph, June 17, 2014)

 

“It’s really serious,” —Ala Talabani, a Kurdish representative from Kirkuk in the Iraqi parliament. “We have to consider this unlike any other issue in Iraq. There were always terrorist attacks here and there since the collapse of the regime in 2003. But this is different. It is really threatening all the Iraqi communities, the political process, the democratic process and what we have achieved so far in creating government and democratic elections. It is threatening all Iraqi people,” he said. (National Post, June 16, 2014) 

 

“We believe in God now in a real Islamic way, not like them,” —Aso Mamand, leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in Kirkuk, by far the most powerful political party in the city, which has a Kurdish majority. “They are Islamic extremists, so wherever they are, they will hurt that area. What they are planning to do is turn back Iraq to a very distant past, to go to the time of the caliphate. They are very bad. They are rejected by everyone,” said Mamand. (National Post, June 16, 2014) 

 

"I don't know exactly if the air strikes right now are the answer. I'm not sure because I don't claim to be that smart, but I know there are people like Jack Keane and Gen. (David) Petraeus and others who are that smart, and I know that this team that (Obama's) got around him now ought to be fired." —U.S. Senator John McCain, in a contentious interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday. McCain said he was talking about "everyone on the National Security team. They have been a total failure." McCain said that "there are no good options" in Iraq right now, as city after city falls to Islamic jihadists who plan to establish their own Islamic state stretching from Syria to Iraq. (CNS News, June 13, 2014)

 

“He said, ‘I’ll see you guys in New York,’” —Army Col. Kenneth King, then the commanding officer of Camp Bucca, recalling Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi’s words as he was freed from the U.S. detention camp in 2009. Al-Baghdadi, the Islamist extremist who is now the leader of ISIS, has been called the most dangerous man in the world. “We spent how many missions and how many soldiers were put at risk when we caught this guy and we just released him,” King said. Al-Baghdadi knew that many of his captors were from New York, reservists with the 306 Military Police Battalion, a unit based on Long Island that includes numerous members of the NYPD and the FDNY. King had not imagined that in less that five years he would be seeing news reports that al-Baghdadi would become leader of the ultra-extremist terrorist army sweeping through Iraq toward Baghdad. (Frontpage, June 14, 2014) 

 

“I have come to tell you and every Egyptian woman that I am sorry…I apologize to all of you.” —Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, apologizing to a woman who was brutally assaulted during a celebration of his inauguration last week in Tahrir Square, Cairo. His visit came as outrage spread over the attack, part of which was captured in a shaky video posted on YouTube. It showed a crowd of men surrounding the woman – she is bloodied, bruised and stripped naked – as a police officer struggles to get her into an ambulance. “We as a state,” el-Sisi added, “will not let this happen again.” El-Sisi’s appearance was the first time a high-level Egyptian leader even acknowledged that sexual assault and harassment are a constant threat, and the state has done little or nothing to punish men who perpetrate these acts. (Globe & Mail, June 14, 2014)

 

“I felt it was important for us Palestinians to learn about this event first because it is historically wrong to deny it and also because it is morally wrong to ignore it," —Mohammed Dajani, who resigned from his post at Jerusalem's Al-Quds University last week. Dajani, who took a group of students to visit the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland in March, faced abuse, intimidation and death threats over the visit. Al-Quds dissociated itself from the project but defended his right to be involved. "I felt I should not be a bystander but take a stand. I lived in a culture where the Holocaust was not viewed in depth and was used artificially, linking it to the Nakba. We never learned about its impact, its lessons, why it happened, to whom it happened. It was always in the background as if it was a taboo topic," explained Dajani. (Guardian, June 13, 2014)

 

Contents

SHORT TAKES

 

OVER 30,000 PRAY FOR KIDNAPPED TEENS AT WESTERN WALL (Jerusalem) —Thousands of Israelis gathered at the Western Wall plaza on Sunday to join in supplication for the safe release of three yeshiva students who were kidnapped in the West Bank. Police estimated that over 30,000 people, among them family members of the abducted teens, attended the prayer session. Eyal Yifrach, 19, from Elad near Petah Tikva, Gil-ad Shaar, 16, from the settlement of Talmon, and Naftali Frenkel, 16, a dual Israeli-American citizen from Nof Ayalon near Modi’in, were abducted while hitchhiking south of Jerusalem Thursday night, sparking a wide-ranging manhunt in the West Bank. (Times of Israel, June 15, 2014)

 

ISRAEL RE-ARRESTS 51 PALESTINIANS FREED IN GILAD SHALIT SWAP (Jerusalem) —Fifty-one prisoners, released in the 2011 deal that secured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit’s freedom, were re-arrested Wednesday among a group of more than 65 Palestinians detained by the IDF as part of the search for three Jewish teens believed to have been abducted by Hamas. Israel freed 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in the exchange for Shalit. IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said that a total of 240 Palestinians have been arrested in Judea and Samaria amid a crackdown on Hamas since the June 12 kidnapping near Hebron. Israel’s Civil Administration also raided nine Hamas-linked institutions in Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tulkarem,‎ and Nablus. (Algemeiner, June 18, 2014)

 

IRON DOME INTERCEPTS 2 ROCKETS FIRED AT ASHKELON (Tel Aviv) —Gaza Strip terrorists fired two Grad rockets at Ashkelon on Sunday night, which were successfully intercepted by an Iron Dome battery deployed in the area. Some debris from the intercepted rockets landed on several homes in the city, but caused no damage or injuries. The rocket fire took place against the backdrop of the security escalation in Judea and Samaria over the past few days since the abduction of three Israeli teenagers and the subsequent military operation underway to try to find them. (Israel Hayom, June 16, 2014)

 

IRAQI SHIITE CLERIC ISSUES CALL TO ARMS (Baghdad) — The specter of sectarian war and partition of Iraq grew on Friday as the country’s top Shiite cleric implored his followers to take up arms against an insurgent army of Sunni terrorists who have captured broad stretches of northern territory this week in a sweep toward Baghdad. The statement by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani came as President Obama told the Iraqis they need to resolve the crisis themselves and vowed not to redeploy United States forces in Iraq. Heeding the call to arms, Shiite volunteers rushed to the front lines, reinforcing defenses of the holy city of Samarra 70 miles north of Baghdad, and helping thwart attacks by Sunni fighters in some smaller cities to the east. The confrontations suggested that Shiites and Sunnis would once again engage in open conflict for control of Iraq, as they did during the height of the American-led occupation that ousted Saddam Hussein. (New York Times, June 13, 2014)

 

U.K. AND THE US TO HOLD DIRECT TALKS WITH IRAN (London) — Britain and the US are to enter direct talks with Iran over how to stabilise the situation in Iraq as the country heads towards a de facto partition between Sunnis, Shia and Kurds. William Hague, the U.K. foreign secretary, spoke by phone to his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on the weekend, on subjects that included Iraq. A senior US state department official confirmed that the Iraq situation had been discussed on the sidelines at Vienna. “We are open to engaging the Iranians, just as we are engaging other regional players on the threat posed by ISIS in Iraq,’ the official said after a brief meeting. Yesterday, William Hague announced that the U.K. will reopen its embassy in Tehran, which had been closed since a pro-regime mob looted the premises almost three years ago. (Telegraph, June 16, 2014)

 

IRAN OFFERS IRAQ ‘EVERYTHING IT NEEDS’ TO FIGHT ISIS (Tehran) —As President Obama weighs whether to re-enter the Iraq war, the country’s neighbor, Iran, is looking to step into the void. U.S. and senior Iraqi officials claim that Iran is now offering the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki its army, its spies and highly trained irregular units from its revolutionary guard corps to root out the Sunni insurgency that now threatens Baghdad. Gen. Qassem Solaimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, arrived in Baghdad last week with an entourage of military advisers to begin preparations for such a counter-offensive. (Daily Beast, June 16, 2014)

 

CANADIAN OFFICIALS EYEING IRAN OVER POSSIBLE TERROR ATTACKS ON OTTAWA (Ottawa) —Noting Iran’s rising “anti-Canada rhetoric,” intelligence officials have been monitoring the Islamic republic as a potential terrorist threat to the Ottawa area, newly declassified documents show. While the diplomatic falling out between Ottawa and Tehran is well-known, the intelligence reports are the first indication the Canadian government is tracking the possibility it could lead to terrorism in the capital. The reports, written by the Integrated Terrorist Assessment Centre, do not specify the exact nature of the threat Tehran may pose to the Ottawa region but in the past Iran has used its proxy force, Hezbollah, to attempt attacks internationally. The documents also note the Iran connection to last year’s alleged plot to derail a Toronto-bound passenger train. The RCMP says the conspiracy was directed by al-Qaida figures operating out of Iran. (National Post, June 17, 2014)

 

U.S. CAPTURES SUSPECTED LEADER IN 2012 BENGHAZI ATTACK (Washington) — One of the suspected ringleaders of the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya — who taunted the United States for months while hiding in plain sight — was captured in a weekend raid by US special forces. Elite troops working with the FBI nabbed Ahmed Abu Khattalah on Sunday on the outskirts of Benghazi following months of planning. His whereabouts, however, were hardly a secret. As recently as six months ago, Abu Khattalah was granting interviews — and daring the United States to come and get him. Abu Khattalah’s the first person to be charged in the fiery attack on a US consulate in Libya in which US Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed. The building was torched by a mob armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. Three other Americans were slain in that attack and a second assault on a CIA facility in the city. (New York Post, June 17, 2014)

 

PAKISTAN OPERATION TARGETS WAZIRISTAN MILITANTS (Islamabad) —Pakistan said it launched a major ground offensive on Sunday to clear out the Pakistani Taliban and other local and foreign militants from the North Waziristan tribal area. The news followed predawn airstrikes by Pakistan that the military said killed 105 militants in the northwestern tribal areas. Washington has pressed Islamabad for years to clear out North Waziristan, a sanctuary for Pakistani militants, Afghan insurgents and al Qaeda operatives. Militants based there claimed responsibility for the June 8 attack on Karachi's Jinnah International Airport that left at least 35 dead. North Waziristan, along the border with Afghanistan, is the only one of Pakistan's seven tribal areas that is still largely under militant control. (Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2014)

 

AL-SHABAAB CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR KENYA ATTACK THAT KILLED 48 (Mombasa) —The Islamist terror group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for a brutal, religiously-motivated attack in Kenya that killed 48 people Sunday night. A Kenyan police official said Monday that gunmen targeted two hotels, a bank and a police station in Mpeketoni, a coastal resort town 60 miles from the Somali border and  popular with Western tourists.  Al-Shabaab — Somali terrorists linked to Al Qaeda — admitted to carrying out the coordinated assault, with little resistance from Kenya's security forces. Like the gunmen who attacked Nairobi's Westgate Mall last year, the Mpeketoni attackers gave life-or-death religious assessment, a witness said, killing those who were not Muslim. "They came to our house at around 8 p.m. and asked us in Swahili whether we were Muslims. My husband told them we were Christians and they shot him in the head and chest," said Anne Gathigi. (Fox News, June 16, 2014)

 

BOKO HARAM BOMB WORLD CUP VIEWING VENUE IN NIGERIA (Damaturu) —A suicide bomber detonated a tricycle taxi packed with explosives at an outdoor World Cup viewing center in a northeast Nigerian city Tuesday night, leaving at least 13 people killed. Hospital workers said the death likely will rise with 15 people critically wounded and casualties still coming in to the main hospital at Damaturu, capital of Yobe state. There was no immediate claim for the blast, however, witnesses were blaming Islamist fighters from Boko Haram who have targeted football viewing centers and sports bars in the past. Two explosions in recent weeks killed at least 40 people in two northern cities. (Ha’aretz, June 18, 2014)

 

ANTWERP MUSLIMS THROW ROCKS AT JEWISH SCHOOL BUS (Antwerp) —A Jewish school bus in Antwerp, Belgium had rocks thrown at it by Muslim teens on Sunday, reported Orthodox Jewish media. The teens surrounded the bus, which was carrying kindergarten students from the Antwerp Hayder school and proceeded to throw stones. Nobody was injured in the attack. Police are investigating the incident but no arrests have been made so far. (Jerusalem Post, June 17, 2014)

 

HOLOCAUST DENIER KEEGSTRA DEAD AT 80 (Red Deer) — Jim Keegstra, who has died aged 80, was a Holocaust denying high school teacher, mechanic, and mayor of Eckville, Alta., whose prosecution for the wilful promotion of hatred went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, where the controversial law was upheld as a fair limit on free speech. Fixated on the anti-Semitic forgery the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, Mr. Keegstra denigrated Jews to his students in the 1980s. His case was part of a landmark trio of hate crime cases the Supreme Court of Canada decided in 1990, in each case upholding the law being challenged. Mr. Keegstra’s case, along with the Ontario case of Don Andrews and Robert Smith, ended with a split 4-3 ruling against him. (National Post, June 13, 2014)

 

MET CANCELS SIMULCAST OF ANTI-ISRAEL OPERA, PROCEEDS WITH LIVE SHOWINGS (New York)—New York’s Metropolitan Opera canceled an HD transmission of the anti-Israel opera “The Death of Klinghoffer” following widespread outreach efforts, but eight live performances of the opera will proceed as scheduled this fall. The opera, about the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship and Palestinian terrorists’ murder of one of its Jewish passengers, has been heavily criticized for its sanitization of Palestinian terrorism and invoking of anti-Semitic canards. Myron Kaplan, an opera expert and a senior research analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), was the first commentator to publicly criticize the Met’s planned Nov. 15 simulcast of the anti-Israel opera. In an open letter to Met General Manager Peter Gelb, Kaplan wrote that the HD transmission would give “wide international distribution to what is, at its heart, an anti-Jewish slander.” (JNS, June 18, 2014)

 

FORMER LAVAL UNIVERSITY IMAM CONDEMNS WORLD CUP AS PART OF JEWISH PLAN OF WORLD DOMINATION (Montreal) —On June 10, the Islamist preacher Hamza Chaoui published a text on his Facebook page condemning the World Cup. The Journal de Montréal reported that Chaoui described soccer as a “scourge” because of “the display of body parts that should be covered and the presence of almost naked players at the end of the game.” Chaoui also presented the soccer championship as a stratagem conceived to distract non-Jews from a Jewish plan of world domination. He quoted from a French version of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion to justify his position: [Translated] “In order to prevent non-Jewish people from finding out about our new plans and strategies, we will entertain them with many types of games, we will advertise them in newspapers and will invite them to attend the matches. This way, these new pleasures will divert their attention away from the areas of conflicts.” (Point de Bascule, June 13, 2014)

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Mohammad Zoabi’s Strong Message About The Kidnappings (Video): Israeli Cool, June 14, 2014 —In response to the recent kidnapping of 3 Jewish Israeli teens by a terrorist group, Mohammad Zoabi gives his strong message to the terrorists and to Bibi Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel…his message is in English, Hebrew and Arabic.

Palestinians and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Alan Baker, Jerusalem Post, June 16, 2014 —This tragic situation should serve as a wake-up call to us to stop burying our heads in the sand.

How the West Facilitates Hamas's Mission: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, June 17, 2014—The reconciliation agreement that was signed between rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas in April, and the subsequent formation of a unity government, was supposed to put an end to their dispute, which erupted after Hamas won the January 2006 parliamentary election.

Second Front Opens in the Sunni-Shia War: Jonathan Spyer, Middle East Forum, June 15, 2014 —The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) organization swept into the city of Mosul in western Iraq last week. No one has any right to be surprised.

The Pace of Obama's Disasters: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2014—Was it only 10 months ago that President Obama capitulated on Syria?

 

 

 

Rob Coles, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme,   www.isranet.org Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284. mailto:ber@isranet.org

 

 

 

 

 

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