Month: November 2015

ISLAMIST ERDOGAN CHALLENGES RUSSIA & OPPRESSES TURKISH MINORITIES

Putin vs Erdogan: Jonathan Spyer, Middle East Forum, Nov. 28, 2015 — The downing of the Russian Suk­hoi SU-24 bomber over Turkish airspace this week is a dramatic escalation in an already existing situation of tacit conflict between Moscow and Ankara in and over the ravaged landscape of northern Syria.

Is Turkey Really at the Table?: Steven A. Cook, Politico, Nov. 24, 2015 — To Westerners, it might seem that Vladimir Putin was exaggerating in anger when, after a Turkish F-16 on Tuesday shot down a Russian fighter jet allegedly violating Turkish airspace, he referred to the government in Ankara as “terrorists’ accomplices.”

Turkey's Oppression Machine: Burak Bekdil, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 22, 2015 — It was 1942 when, one day, Hayim Alaton, a Jewish yarn importer in Istanbul, received two payment notices from the tax office…

Why Aren’t There Ethnic Nation-States in the Middle East?: Seth J. Frantzman, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 29, 2015— On November 20 a map proclaiming “a Turkmen state should be established” circulated on Facebook after reports that minority Turkmen communities had clashed with other groups in Iraq and Syria emerged.

 

On Topic Links

 

Thousands Mourn Kurdish Human Rights Lawyer Killed in Turkey: Ayla Albayrak, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 29, 2015

Tensions with Russia Add to a Chill in Turkey’s Economy: Keith Bradsher, New York Times, Nov. 29, 2015  

Report: Turkey Collaborating with the Islamic State: Ralph Sidway, Jihad Watch, Nov. 27, 2015

Turkey: Wrong Partner to Fight Terror: Burak Bekdil, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 28, 2015                                                                          

PUTIN VS ERDOGAN                            

                      Jonathan Spyer                                       

Middle East Forum, Nov. 28, 2015

 

The downing of the Russian Suk­hoi SU-24 bomber over Turkish airspace … is a dramatic escalation in an already existing situation of tacit conflict between Moscow and Ankara in and over the ravaged landscape of northern Syria. The Turkish action is unlikely to pass without retribution of some kind. This will not necessarily come immediately. Russian President Vladimir Putin's record in international ­affairs suggests that revenge is a dish he prefers to serve cold. But it will come.

 

Nevertheless, the broader Turkish-Russian relationship and the important but limited status of Syria as a proxy war are likely to prevent a complete deterioration in relations between the countries as a result of this event. This latest development serves to highlight the complexity of events in northern Syria. While all sides like to proclaim themselves the opponents of Islamic State, a far more complex set of clashing interests and ambitions are being played out in reality.

 

Despite the dutiful statements and occasional gestures, Russia regards Islamic State as an enemy of secondary importance. For Turkey, meanwhile, it is hardly an enemy at all. Since the outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2011, Russia and Turkey have been arrayed on different sides, as active and energetic backers for their chosen proxy. Putin's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been perhaps the single most crucial factor in enabling the dictator's survival to this point. Russian veto power at the UN Security Council prevented the possibility of international action against the dictator sanctioned by the UN (with the quiet additional backing of China).

 

Russia's continued willingness to provide weapons to its client of long standing kept the dictator's armouries full. And, of course, when Assad found his western coastal enclave menaced by the rebels of the Jaysh al-Fatah (Army of Conquest) coalition in the course of the northern spring and summer, it has been Russian direct intervention that has turned back the immediate threat. The reasons for Russia's staunch backing of Assad have been well-rehearsed and do not need to be reiterated at length: the naval depot at Tartus on the western coast; the planned port at Latakia; the long relations between Syrian Baathists and the Soviet predecessors of the current Russian state dating back to the 1960s; concern over Sunni jihadi proliferation.

 

Add in Putin's brutally realist view of foreign affairs, according to which the worth of the strategic coin of a country in any given region will be measured in large part by its ability to give effective backing to its clients, and the reasons for the Russian stance become clear.  The point of relevance here is that this Russian stance has long placed Moscow on a direct line of confrontation with Turkey.

 

Ankara, for its part, has followed precisely the opposite line on the Syrian crisis. Having ­judiciously developed relations with the Assads before 2011, Turkey's imperious Recep Tayyip Erdogan, then prime minister, rapidly abandoned the relationship when the rebellion started, throwing his country's full weight behind the rebels. The Syrian rebels, almost all Arab Sunni Muslims, have had no better friend than the government of Erdogan. This reporter accompanied rebel arms convoys travelling from Turkey into northern Syria bringing guns for the rebellion as early as February 2012. The convoys were moving with the obvious tacit consent of the border authorities.

 

Similarly, the traffic of refugees to and from northern Syria into Turkey, the easy crossing of the border and the friendly relations between rebel fighters and Turkish soldiers offered ample evidence of the co-operation between the sides. This ground-level evidence was part of a broader strategic choice by the Ankara government. Turkey saw the rebellion as part of a process of change in the Arab world, which fitted with the ambitions of Erdogan strategically and ideologically. Ankara correctly understood the mainly Sunni Islamist rebels to be on a similar ideological page to the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, in Turkey and decided that bringing them to swift victory over Assad would produce a Sunni Islamist-dominated Syria whose natural inclination would be to align with Turkey.

 

Of course, Erdogan miscalculated in expecting a swift victory for the rebels. But he was hardly alone in that. Unlike in the case of Western powers, Turkish support for the rebellion has never ­wavered. The Turks are among the backers of the Jaysh al-Fatah coalition, whose progress in northern Syria was the precipitating factor for the Russian intervention in Syria.

 

The main Russian efforts in Syria so far have been directed not against the Islamic State further east but against the rebel coalition directly adjoining the regime enclave on the western coast that the Russians joined the war to preserve. This coalition is the ­direct ally of the Turks. This is the background to the Turkish decision to down the Russian jet. It needs to be clearly understood. The Russian war in northern Syria is being conducted against forces with which the Turks are ­directly aligned.

 

Further complicating the picture is Ankara's own ambiguous stance towards Islamic State. Putin's remarks following the downing of the SU-24 directly ­accused Turkey of support for the jihadi entity. "IS has big money, hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, from selling oil," the Russian leader said. "In addition they are protected by the military of an entire nation. One can understand why they are acting so boldly and blatantly. Why they kill people in such atrocious ways. Why they commit terrorist acts across the world, including in the heart of Europe."…

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

                                                  

                                                                       

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IS TURKEY REALLY AT THE TABLE?                                                       

Steven A. Cook                             

                                 Politico, Nov. 24, 2015

 

To Westerners, it might seem that Vladimir Putin was exaggerating in anger when, after a Turkish F-16 on Tuesday shot down a Russian fighter jet allegedly violating Turkish airspace, he referred to the government in Ankara as “terrorists’ accomplices.”

Americans aren’t used to thinking of Turkey—our NATO ally and most powerful backstop in the Muslim world—in this way. And surely Putin is just engaging in some saber-rattling. But as Turkey and Russia dispute the incident, it is casting a spotlight on one of the most troubling developments in the evolving struggle in the Middle East: When it comes to fighting the Islamic State and extremism more generally, Turkey—and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan—has become a significant part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.

 

You wouldn’t know this from the official rhetoric. NATO is standing firmly by Turkey in the wake of Tuesday’s incident. And the Obama administration often trumpets the critical importance of Turkey’s participation in the international coalition to counter ISIL. Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy for that coalition, told Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News this summer that the United States “can’t succeed against Daesh [the Islamic State] without Turkey.” And after a bloody two weeks—during which ISIL claimed credit for the Paris shooting and bombing spree, the killing of 43 people in another bombing in Beirut and the downing of a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula—Erdogan, an Islamist who runs a country that is 99.8 percent Muslim, appeared with President Barack Obama ahead of the G-20 summit in Antalya and spoke firmly against jihadism: “We are confronted with a collective terrorism activity around the world. As you know, terrorism does not recognize any religion, any race, any nation or any country. … And this terrorist action is not only against the people of France. It is an action against all of the people of the globe.”

 

For the uninitiated, Erdogan’s statement must have seemed heartening. But close observers of Turkey know better: Over the past five years, American policymakers, Turkey watchers, terrorism experts and a slew of journalists have come to understand that while Ankara can play a constructive role in combating extremism and resolving the Syrian conflict, it has chosen not to. And as that conflict spreads and jumps borders, the Turks’ myopia on jihadism in Syria may very well come back to haunt them and their Western allies.

 

Of course, the Turks didn’t start the war across their border in Syria, in what has become ISIL’s breeding ground. In fact, by Turkey’s own accounts, it made huge diplomatic efforts with Syrian President Bashar Assad to head off that conflict when civil war began to erupt in the summer of 2011. That Syria has descended into unspeakable violence is first and foremost the fault of Assad, his enablers in Tehran and the Kremlin, and Hezbollah, which has provided the manpower to fight alongside Assad’s army and militias. The Turks also deserve credit for how they have handled the flow of more than 2 million Syrian refugees into their country: Turkey has spent $7 billion to care for these people, in well-organized refugee camps that meet international standards.

 

Still, the choices that Erdogan and top Turkish officials have made contributed to the vortex of violence and extremism that is Syria’s reality. Erdogan has never paid a price for these choices either at home, where he has hollowed out Turkish political institutions to ensure his grip on power, or abroad, where Turkey’s NATO allies are forced to pretend, by dint of circumstance and geography, that Ankara shares their goals.

 

It all starts with Turkey’s decade-old relationship with Assad. In the mid-2000s, Erdogan, who was then the prime minister, and the three foreign ministers who served him—Abdullah Gul, Ali Babacan and Ahmet Davutoglu—cultivated Assad. Their goals were both economic and strategic: to improve and expand relations with Syria and thereby provide a land bridge for Turkish trade to the Persian Gulf via Jordan, as well as to peel Damascus away from Tehran. The result was a flowering of relations that included increased trade and investment, security cooperation and joint cabinet meetings; Erdogan even invited the Assad family on vacation (though the trip never actually materialized).

 

But once the Syrian uprising began in March 2011, Erdogan and Davutoglu discovered they had been played. Assad lied to both men, twice reneging on promises to implement political reforms to stem the unrest in Syria, and instead turning to Iran for support. As the Syrian conflict intensified in 2011, refugees flooded across the long Turkish border and Syrian artillery shells fell on Turkish territory. Ankara looked powerless to respond. Not only was the conflict in Syria a security threat to Turkey—one that would grow over time—but Erdogan, who is not used to failing, seemed deeply livid that Assad had spurned his counsel.

 

By late summer 2011, Erdogan had given up on Assad, and Ankara had become the leading international advocate for the end of the Assad regime. Yet the Turks were soon caught off guard by their own diplomatic impotence and unwillingness to venture into the growing maelstrom on their own. In mid-2012, after the Syrians shot down a Turkish reconnaissance plane operating off Syria’s coast, Ankara repeatedly appealed to Washington to intervene in Syria and bring the Assad regime down. This was another miscalculation. Obama, having no intention of deploying forces to the Middle East, demurred. With their Syria policy in tatters and an unwilling ally in Washington, Ankara determined that the only way to respond to Assad was to turn a blind eye to the increasing number of radicalized young men who began using their territory to wage jihad against Assad…                                                                                                                                 

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

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TURKEY'S OPPRESSION MACHINE                                                            

Burak Bekdil                                                                           

Gatestone Institute, Nov. 22, 2015

 

It was 1942 when, one day, Hayim Alaton, a Jewish yarn importer in Istanbul, received two payment notices from the tax office: He was asked to pay 80,000 liras in total — a fortune at that time. He ran to the tax office to object, but was told to pay the whole amount within 15 days. It was the infamous Wealth Tax, passed on Nov. 11, 1942 and it remained in effect for a year and a half until it was repealed on March 14, 1944.

 

The Wealth Tax exclusively targeted Turkey's non-Muslims at a time when 300,000 Orthodox Greeks and 100,000 Jews were living in Istanbul (where total population was one million). The law stated that the homes and workplaces of those non-Muslims who could not afford the tax would be sequestered. Alaton was able to pay no more than 11,000 liras. That was the start of "black years," as Alaton's son, 15 years old at that time, would later recall.

 

Before long, the Alaton's home and store were sequestered. The merchandise in the store and the goods in stock were sold at auction. Every item in the Alaton home, including kitchen utensils, bed frames and lamps were seized and sold too. The family of six was left only with mattresses. In later days, Alaton was taken from his home and sent to a tent camp in Istanbul where he was kept for two months. There were no meals, so his children would bring him whatever food they could find. One day the 15-year-old Ishak went to the camp and saw his father's tent empty. The Turkish authorities had put Alaton, along with many others, on a train bound for the town of Askale, in eastern Turkey, where the non-Muslims would be forced to perform physical labor, in this instance, cutting stones on a hill. Alaton would stay in the forced-labor camp for two hard winters and one summer.

 

The family would not hear from him for a year. During that time, the bodies of 20 laborers at Askale were sent home. Ishak recalls his father's return: "One evening, there was a knock on our door and an aged, wretched beggar stepped in. We wondered who he was and looked at him with curiosity. When he started to speak, we knew from his voice that he was my father." By that time, the family business had gone bankrupt and Alaton, in the grip of a crippling depression, could not leave home. He died running a small store where he sold a small inventory of imported goods.

 

In a 2011 interview, Hayim Alaton's son, Ishak, who, after turbulent years in his youth, would found one of Turkey's most successful industrial conglomerates, would praise Turkey's ruling Islamists, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) by saying "the AKP has taken many positive steps to improve the situation of non-Muslim minorities." Unfortunately, that was a premature conclusion, as the younger Alaton would learn four years later.

 

Under the AKP rule, Turkey's dwindling Jewish community, now at around a mere 17,000, as well as other non-Muslims, have come under systematic intimidation from government politicians and bureaucrats. These non-Muslim minorities are also often the targets of racist attacks. Now 90, Ishak Alaton, although widely respected as "a man of wisdom" by the Turks — Jews, Christians and Muslims alike — is under scrutiny on charges of supporting terror.

 

An Ankara prosecutor is inspecting claims that Alaton has provided financial and moral support to what the state bureaucracy calls "the parallel structure" — a movement led by an influential U.S.-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen. Gulen and his movement were staunch AKP allies until the end of 2013, when the two engaged in an all-out war. The Gulenists accuse Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the AKP of autocratic rule and corruption, and the Turkish government has declared the Gulenists a terror organization that aims to topple the government.

 

The charges against Alaton are based on his 2013 biography, "Unnecessary Man," and were leveled after a former colleague of Alaton's filed a criminal complaint against him. Some passages in the book refer to Alaton's support for the Gulen movement schools outside Turkey, particularly one in Moscow. The probe has been ongoing for about a year. This is the passage from the biography that the prosecutors may be thinking is an evidence of the 90-year-old man's support for terror:

"This [Gulen] movement is a great educational movement. It educates people. It changes people's outlook on life and makes them into better equipped, worldly people. The Gulen movement is involved in educational efforts. I've seen the outcome of such efforts with my own eyes. Once in Moscow we, as a company, participated in the establishment of such a school. We managed to acquire the land from the Moscow municipality and the school began there. The Russian officials asked us, 'What are they trying to do? We don't know them, what do you say?' [My business partner] Uzeyir Garih and I vouched for them, we told them [the Russians], 'Don't worry, let them build the school.'" When it comes to persecution Turkey's state machinery never changes.                                                                     

                                                                                   

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WHY AREN’T THERE ETHNIC NATION-STATES IN THE MIDDLE EAST?                                            

Seth J. Frantzman                                                                                                                   

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 29, 2015

 

On November 20 a map proclaiming “a Turkmen state should be established” circulated on Facebook after reports that minority Turkmen communities had clashed with other groups in Iraq and Syria emerged. The source of the map goes back to July when there were calls for Turkey to establish a safe zone in Syria. “Create a Turkmen state in Syria,” wrote one author on the website ilkok.com. “The government in Turkey should support a Turkmen state. The number of Turkmen is not to be underestimated.” The map claimed there are 4.8 million members of this Turkish minority in Syria and 6.3 million in Iraq, about 20 percent of the population of both countries.

 

The “Turkmen state” is a fantasy that will never come about. It is like other fantasies for pure ethnic-religious states in the region. Last week former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton wrote in The New York Times “to defeat ISIS [Islamic State, aka IS, ISIL or Da’esh], create a Sunni state.” He argued that “Iraq and Syria as we have known them are gone” but that their disintegration at the hands of IS and other factors necessitated the creation of a post-IS “Sunnistan,” a state that could be an oil-producing Sunni blocking force to increasing Iranian hegemony in the region.

 

Bolton’s diagnosis was correct: the Sunnis have been weakened by the staying power of Assad, the Russian intervention and the growth of Iranian influence in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and Lebanon. But a new Sunni Arab state will not emerge (there are already two dozen of them). The “good old days” when Saddam’s legions kept the ayatollahs up at night are no more.

 

These days there are numerous voices advancing concepts of ethnic statelets to replace the apparently failed state structure of the region. A Druse state for southern Syria. A new Alawite mini-state in Syria. Several Kurdish states, or perhaps one large Kurdish state incorporating parts of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. A Turkmen state. A Yazidi autonomous province. An Assyrian Christian province in Iraq. Why haven’t these states emerged and why, with the exception of Kurdistan, will they probably never emerge? The current map of the Middle East is often seen as illegitimate because of its “colonial” origins.

 

“What the Sunni guerrilla army’s victories aim to do is erase the lines drawn across the Middle East by the Sykes-Picot agreement,” asserted an Al-Jazeera program in July of 2014. “What gives legitimacy to ISIL rhetoric,” asked Soumaya Ghannoushi at Al-Jazeera in October of last year. She claimed that the region was paying the price for the failure of “top-town modernization” and the “disintegration of artificial post-colonial national borders… we are witnessing the explosion of the complex demographics of Arab society… its myriad social configurations, religious, sectarian, tribal and ethnic.” The Sunnis, Shi’ites, Arabs, Muslims and Christians, all “turned against each other,” she claimed. In this narrative IS was liberating the Middle East from “the map ISIS hates,” in the words of Malise Ruthven at The New York Review of Books in June of last year. The bogeymen of the story then are the bad colonial masters with their pencils, drawing arbitrary lines on the map.

 

Sykes-Picot imagined zones of influence for Britain and France in 1916. Another map, prepared by T. E. Lawrence in 1918, has been described by his biographer Jeremy Wilson as “a far better starting point than the crude imperial carve-up agreed by Sykes and Georges-Picot.” In the Lawrence map most of Jordan and Syria as well as Anbar province in Iraq are given to Faisal, the son of Sharif Hussein, leader of the Arab revolt. To Hussein’s second son Abdullah would go eastern Iraq, an area populated by Shi’ites. To Hussein’s fourth son Zeid would go a small state north of the Euphrates in what is now Syria. In both the 1916 and 1918 maps a province of “Armenians” was to be created, one on Turkey’s coast and one in the interior. As we know now, most of those Armenians had already been deported and massacred by this time; the Armenian rump state would be built in the Caucuses, not in what is now Turkey…

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

         

On Topic

 

Thousands Mourn Kurdish Human Rights Lawyer Killed in Turkey: Ayla Albayrak, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 29, 2015—Tens of thousands of mourners gathered on Sunday to bid farewell to a prominent human rights lawyer whose shooting death delivered a setback to hopes of bringing an end to months of political violence that has swept through Turkey’s Kurdish region.

Tensions with Russia Add to a Chill in Turkey’s Economy: Keith Bradsher, New York Times, Nov. 29, 2015—A new high-speed rail line, completed last year, now links Eskisehir with Istanbul to the west and Ankara to the east. A narrow, serpentine river meanders through downtown, spanned by graceful blue bridges at almost every block, drawing tourists. Factories here make everything from cakes and cookies to refrigerators, large Ford freight trucks and aircraft parts.  

Report: Turkey Collaborating with the Islamic State: Ralph Sidway, Jihad Watch, Nov. 27, 2015—This damning report on rapidly re-islamizing Turkey’s support for the Islamic State from last year is updated with fresh documentation, corroborating Russian President Vladimir Putin’s charge that Turkey is an “accomplice to terrorists.” Putin and French President Hollande just conducted a meeting in Moscow, indicating Russia and France will cooperate more closely in targeting ISIS’ oil transport lines, one of the key components of Turkey’s aid to the Islamic State, as detailed below.

Turkey: Wrong Partner to Fight Terror: Burak Bekdil, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 28, 2015—Racism is bad, no doubt. But it cannot be the reason why jihadists kill "infidels," including fellow Muslims in Muslim lands. Sadly, the free world feels compelled to partner with the wrong country in its fight against Islamic terror.       

 

 

                  

 

 

 

JEWISH-ISRAELI VICTIMS OF TERRORISM ARE OF LITTLE CONSEQUENCE FOR NYT & BBC

When Will Obama and the West Listen to Hamas?: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 10, 2015 — On Tuesday night, Channel 10 broadcast an interview with PLO chief and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in which Abbas admitted publicly for the first time that he rejected the peace plan then prime minister Ehud Olmert offered him in 2008.

Gaza Theme Parties and Weddings Now Feature Celebrations of Knife Attacks: Elder of Ziyon, Algemeiner, Nov., 2015 — Gaza-based Felesteen reports that Gazans are now creating knife- and dagger-based theme parties and weddings in order to celebrate the wave of terror attacks that have taken place across Israel over the past six weeks.

Bankruptcy and Mud: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 14, 2015 — Palestinian bloggers were amazed when Israelis protested the cruel slaughter of chickens in poultry-packing plants, and during epidemics.

What Do Palestinians Want?: Daniel Polisar, Mosaic, Nov. 2, 2015— The most recent wave of Palestinian terror attacks, now entering its second month, has been mainly the work of “lone wolf” operators running over Israeli civilians, soldiers, and policemen with cars or stabbing them with knives.

 

 

On Topic Links

 

Abbas Accuses Israel of Carrying Out 'Extrajudicial Killings' of Palestinians: Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 23, 2015

Amnesia on Settlements Afflicts Martin Indyk: Benyamin Korn, Algemeiner, Nov. 20, 2015  

Luxury Alongside Poverty in the Palestinian Authority: JCPA, Nov. 5, 2015

Fighting Facebook, Terror Victim’s Son Enlists Knesset in Anti-Incitement War: Renee Ghert-Zand, Times of Israel, Nov. 26, 2015                                                                        

 

 

WHEN WILL OBAMA AND THE WEST LISTEN TO HAMAS?                                                     

Khaled Abu Toameh

           Gatestone Institute, Nov. 10, 2015

 

As President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were talking about the two-state solution during their meeting in the White House…the Palestinian Hamas movement reiterated its intention to destroy Israel. Hamas's announcement shows that the two-state solution is not a recipe for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The announcement also shows that all those who have been talking about a change in Hamas's position towards Israel continue to live in an illusion.

 

As the Obama-Netanyahu meeting was underway, senior Hamas figure Musa Abu Marzouk issued a statement in which he declared: "We will never negotiate with the Zionist entity and we will never recognize its right to exist. We will continue to resist the Zionist entity until it vanishes, whether they like it or not. The soldiers of the Qassam [Hamas's armed wing] were founded to liberate Palestine, even if some have recognized Israel. We want a state from the (Jordan) river to the [Mediterranean] sea."

 

Abu Marzouk's remarks came in response to statements made by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas during a meeting with Egyptian journalists in Cairo on Sunday night. Abbas was quoted as telling the Egyptian journalists that Hamas and Israel were conducting "direct negotiations" to establish a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and parts of the Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Abbas claimed that ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi had offered to annex 1000 square kilometers of Sinai to the Gaza Strip – an offer he (Abbas) had categorically rejected.

 

Abu Marzouk's latest threats to eliminate Israel are not only directed against Abbas, but also towards President Obama and those in the international community who continue to support the idea of establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel. What he and other Hamas leaders are saying is very clear: Even if a Palestinian state is established in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, Hamas and other Palestinians will continue to fight until Israel is completely destroyed.

 

In other words, Hamas is openly stating that it will use any future Palestinian state as a launching pad to attack and eliminate Israel. But Hamas's message has obviously not reached the White House and other Western governments, where decision-makers continue to bury their heads in the sand, refusing to see or hear what some Palestinians are saying. Hamas and many other Palestinians are completely opposed to a two-state solution: they believe that Israel has no right to exist — period — in this part of the world. The only solution they are prepared to accept is one that sees Israel wiped off the face of the earth.

 

Hamas is not a small opposition party in the Palestinian territories that could be dismissed as a minor player. Hamas is a large Islamist movement, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood that controls the entire Gaza Strip with its population of 1.8 million Palestinians. Hamas has its own security forces, militias, weapons and government institutions. Since its violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Hamas and its political allies have turned the coastal area into a semi-independent Islamist emirate.

 

Since then, Hamas has used the Gaza Strip as a launching pad to attack Israel with tens of thousands of rockets and missiles. And Hamas leaders have repeatedly stated that their chief goal is to "liberate" not only the West Bank and east Jerusalem, but "all of Palestine." In short, Hamas wants to replace Israel with an Islamist empire where non-Muslims would be permitted to live as a minority.

 

Hamas considers all Jews as "settlers" and "colonialists" who live in "settlements" such as Beersheba, Rishon Lezion, Ashdod and Bat Yam. Hamas does not differentiate between a Jew living in Ma'aleh Adumim or Gush Etzion (on the West Bank) and Tel Aviv, Haifa and Ramat Gan. That is why the Hamas media and leaders refer to Beersheba and Ra'anana, well within the "pre-1967 borders," as "occupied" cities.

 

The Obama Administration and Western governments can talk as much as they like about the two-state solution. But so long as they refuse to listen to what Hamas and other Palestinians are saying, they will continue to engage in self-deception and hallucination. Even if President Abbas agrees to a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines, he will never be able to persuade Hamas, Islamic Jihad and many other Palestinians to recognize Israel's right to exist. Under the current circumstances, where Hamas and other Palestinians continue to dream about the destruction of Israel, any talk about a two-state solution is nothing but a joke.

 

The Obama Administration and the rest of the international community also need to understand that that the two-state solution has already been realized. In the end, the Palestinians got two states of their own: one in the Gaza Strip and another in the West Bank. The one in the Gaza Strip is run by folks are not much different from Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, while that in the West Bank is controlled by a president who has entered the 11th year of his four-year-term in office and as such is not even seen by his people as a "rightful" leader. This is a reality that the world, including Israel, will have to live with for many years to come. It is time for the world to stop listening only to President Abbas and Saeb Erekat, and start paying attention to what many other Palestinians such as Hamas are saying, day and night, regarding their commitment to destroy Israel.                       

                                                  

                                                                       

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GAZA THEME PARTIES AND WEDDINGS NOW

FEATURE CELEBRATIONS OF KNIFE ATTACKS                                                                         

Elder of Ziyon

                                Algemeiner, Nov. 20, 2015  

 

Gaza-based Felesteen reports that Gazans are now creating knife- and dagger-based theme parties and weddings in order to celebrate the wave of terror attacks that have taken place across Israel over the past six weeks. At weddings and other parties, children are now wearing military uniforms — and young men are displaying daggers and knives. Singers are rhapsodizing about the “heroes” who stab Jews, and calling for more attacks.

 

Fadi Abu Jabb, 27, wore military trousers on the eve of his wedding and placed a dagger on his waist during a bachelor party. Fadi’s friends and relatives shared his joy by dancing with their own knives, to show their support for terror attacks in Jerusalem.

 

Fadi said that the military uniform was his fiancee’s idea, and that his party was meant to show that all Palestinian people support “armed resistance,” and car-rammings, stabbings, and shootings in the West Bank and Jerusalem. He prayed for God to bless him and give him the ability to set up a jihadist family to be part of the Palestine Liberation Army, Allah willing.

In a similar scene, at the wedding party of Murad Hussein there were songs associated with the stabbings. Twelve children in keffiyehs performed. They put on a comic play showing Palestinians attacking a group of Jews causing them to flee — even though they had sub-machine guns — to the amusement of the audience.

 

Majed Nofal, a tailor in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in northern Gaza City, said, “There is a big demand for the purchase of military clothing by citizens, who wear them during special events such as parties and weddings.” He also said he provides military clothing for women who wear them at their own parties as well.    

                                                       

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BANKRUPTCY AND MUD                                      

                                Bassam Tawil

          Gatestone Institute, Nov. 14, 2015

                                   

Palestinian bloggers were amazed when Israelis protested the cruel slaughter of chickens in poultry-packing plants, and during epidemics. "If only we Arabs," they wrote, "who kill people cruelly and wholesale, cared as much about people as the Jews care about animals."

 

Civilian cameras often record events of startling cruelty carried out in Arab countries, in areas of conflict. We often hear Arabs privately saying, "The Zionists have never done to us what we do to ourselves." This is usually said by Syrians, who have hated the Jews for generations, when they give their thanks for the medical treatment they receive in Israel. Despite the hatred fostered by Hamas, after the most recent military operation, many Gazans admitted that the IDF did in fact warn civilians before attacking terrorist targets protected by "human shields."

 

The pictures of an armed Israeli soldier who did not strike back when he was viciously attacked by Palestinian women and children in Nebi Saleh, amazed many regional bloggers. "If such a thing had happened to us," they wrote on Twitter accounts, "the soldier would have killed his attackers without hesitation."

 

As a Palestinian, I know that such situations are produced by Palestinians whose ability to stage them is professional and I know the source of their income. They cynically exploit the Israeli political "left," and enlist photographers to document the events for European-funded "Pallywood" media manipulation.

 

Every Palestinian youth knows that the weekly riots at the "traditional friction points" serve as social events, later used by Palestinians operatives for propaganda. Often, in the finest Hollywood tradition, parties are held after the "conflict action scenes." The festivities sometimes include sex and drugs with the blond, blue-eyed volunteers from abroad, to celebrate another successful encounter with the Israeli security forces.

 

The escalating Palestinian riot routine takes into consideration that risks are few, because of IDF restraint in dealing with "civilians," as we saw in Nebi Saleh when the Israeli soldier who was attacked and bitten did not respond with gunfire to defend himself. Israel's restraint only makes the slaughter, rape and expulsion of Muslims at the hands of Muslims seem all the more vicious.

 

Many of the bankrupt European countries hostile to Israel now find themselves faced with a massive influx of Middle Eastern and African refugees. They are the brothers and sisters of the hundreds of thousands of murdered Muslims and the millions of refugees in tents, with only Allah (s.w.a.t) to pity and protect them. Many die in leaky boats, in a desperate attempt to reach the safe shores of Europe. Those who do make it safely, join the Muslims in the Islamic enclaves where they have been plotting against their hosts for years.

 

The West has waited far too long to wake up to the realization that the Palestinian problem is not the cause of regional events. Therefore, The West's obsession with forcing a "solution" on Israel and the Palestinians will change nothing for the better, it will only expand the catastrophe to the doorstep of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the only islands of security and stability for Arabs, Christians and Jews in the Middle East.

 

In the shadow of the calamity of the refugees, we are slowly understanding that the issue of the return of the Palestinians to "Palestine," which we hang on to so frantically, is an anachronistic, politically manipulated mirage. There is nothing to be done but settle the descendants of the original Palestinian refugees as part of the overall settlement of all the Middle Eastern refugees — if, that is, our Arab brothers ever succeed in extricating themselves from the swamp of the "Arab Spring."

 

What is strange is that the Gulf States, particularly Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which fund Islamic terrorism and pay the salaries of the radical clerics who incite murder and destruction, are silent when it comes to accepting refugees into their countries. Saudi Arabia has hundreds of thousands of empty, air-conditioned tents at its disposal, used only during the hajj pilgrimage. They could help shelter the millions of Sunni Muslim Syrian and Iraqi refugees. But Saudi Arabia does not open its gates to them, not even to a small number.

 

Now, by accusing each other for our refusal, hesitation and rejection of every proposal that might bring the Israelis to the negotiating table, we have finally managed to put an end to the "problem of Palestine." As our elders have said for years: "Falastin ['Palestine' in Arabic] begins with falas [bankruptcy] and ends with teen [mud]."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Contents

                       

WHAT DO PALESTINIANS WANT?                                                                         

Daniel Polisar                                                                                               

Mosaic, Nov. 2, 2015

 

The most recent wave of Palestinian terror attacks, now entering its second month, has been mainly the work of “lone wolf” operators running over Israeli civilians, soldiers, and policemen with cars or stabbing them with knives. The perpetrators, many in or just beyond their teenage years, are not, for the most part, activists in the leading militant organizations. They have been setting forth to find targets with the expectation, generally fulfilled, that after scoring a casualty or two they will be killed or badly wounded. What drives these young Palestinians, experts say, is a viral social-media campaign centered on claims that the Jews are endangering the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and that Israel is executing Palestinian children.

 

Pundits and analysts in Israel and the West, struck by the elements that make this round of violence different from its predecessors over the past decade-and-a-half—which typically featured well-orchestrated shootings, suicide bombings, or rocket fire—have focused on the motivations of individual attackers, on how and why the Palestinian political and religious leadership has been engaging in incitement, and on what Israeli officials or American mediators might do to quell the violence.

 

Absent almost entirely from this discussion has been any attempt to understand the perspective of everyday Palestinians. Yet it is precisely the climate of public opinion that shapes and in turn is shaped by the declarations of Palestinian leaders, and that creates the atmosphere in which young people choose whether to wake up in the morning, pull a knife from the family kitchen, and go out in search of martyrdom. Whether commentators are ignoring the views of mainstream Palestinians out of a mistaken belief that public opinion does not matter in dictatorships, or out of a dismissive sense that they are powerless pawns whose fate is decided by their leaders, Israel, or regional and world powers, the omission is both patronizing and likely to lead to significant misunderstandings of what is happening. In this essay I aim to fill the lacuna by addressing what Palestinians think both about violence against Israelis and about the core issues that supply its context and justification.

 

My interest in Arab public opinion in the West Bank and Gaza is longstanding, dating back to the time regular surveying began there shortly before the 1993 Oslo accords between Israel and the PLO. In 1996, I appeared on a panel with Khalil Shikaki, the pioneering director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR); since then, I have been increasingly impressed with his insights and his institute’s professionalism. I therefore took particular notice of a PSR survey that appeared after the August 2014 ceasefire ending the latest war between Israel and Hamas. It reported, among other findings, that fully 79 percent of Palestinians believed Hamas had won the war and only 3 percent saw Israel as the victor. So convinced were respondents of their side’s strength that nine in ten favored continued rocket fire at Israel’s cities unless the blockade of Gaza were lifted, 64 percent declared their support for “armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel” (meaning, among other things, suicide bombings in Israeli population centers), and 54 percent applauded the event that in large measure had precipitated the 50-day war: the abduction and murder by Hamas operatives of three Israeli teenage boys hitchhiking home from school.

 

In the ensuing months, I read further polls from PSR and other research institutes to see whether support for violence would drop appreciably once the emotions fired by war had cooled. Yet despite a modest decline over time in most indicators, a majority continued to support virtually every kind of attack against Israelis about which they were asked—including rocket fire, suicide bombings, and stabbings. These and other findings led me back to the polls conducted in earlier years, and eventually to embarking on a comprehensive analysis of all reliable and publicly available surveys in the West Bank and Gaza over the past two decades.

 

For this project, I examined over 330 surveys carried out by the four major Palestinian research institutes, each of which has been conducting regular polls for a decade or more: the PSR headed by Shikaki and its predecessor, CPRS; the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC); the Birzeit Center for Development Studies (CDS), whose work was later continued under the same director by the Arab World for Research & Development (AWRAD); and the Opinion Polls and Survey Research Unit of An-Najah National University. Each of the four has conducted between 50 and 120 polls and has made the results available online in English (and generally in Arabic)…

 

Tellingly, poll respondents in the West Bank regularly voice strong criticism of President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) government that rules there, while those in Gaza often speak negatively about the Hamas leadership, so it appears that Palestinians are not cowed from giving their honest opinions. The consensus among informed scholars is therefore that the surveys are reliable, valid, and genuinely reflective of what Arab residents of the West Bank and Gaza think…

 

Since the establishment of the PA in 1994, the Palestinians have been beset by problems. The government has increasingly been viewed as corrupt, undemocratic, and unable to enforce law and order or to reform itself. The economy has generally been weak, infrastructure sub-par, and the PA unable at times to pay salaries. Since Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, the Palestinian state-in-the-making has been divided, with Fatah continuing to rule the West Bank and all efforts at reconciliation a failure. The peace process with Israel has been stalled much of the time, in part because of periodic outbreaks of violence, and the handover of territory and authority to the PA has been far slower than envisioned in the Oslo accords.

 

Who is responsible for the problems plaguing the Palestinians? During the last two decades, the four institutes whose surveys I examined have asked numerous questions on this subject, and on 53 occasions have offered Israel as one of the possible answers. In all but one case, Israel was the answer most widely chosen, usually by a statistically significant margin—including when it came to problems that at least at first glance seemed largely internal. Among these were clashes between PA police and Hamas that left thirteen dead (1994), Palestinian economic problems (2000), the hindering of political reform in the PA (2001), Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to resign as prime minister (2003), lack of law and order in PA-held territories (2004), the blocking of reform in the PA (2004), the Hamas coup that wrested control of Gaza from Fatah (2007), a water crisis in the West Bank and Gaza (2010), a fuel shortage in Gaza (2012), the inability of the PA to pay its employees (2013), and the ongoing inability of Hamas and Fatah to reconcile (2015). A large majority of Palestinians were convinced that Israel sought deliberately to target civilians, and held Hamas blameless for positioning its leadership, fighters, and weapons in populated areas.

 

In matters that necessarily involved both Israel and the Palestinians, massive majorities blamed Israel and denied any responsibility on their side. Cases in point include the suspension of negotiations between Israel and the PLO (1997), the failure of talks at Camp David (2000), the breakdown of a ceasefire during the second intifada (2003), the collapse of the peace process (2004), the outbreak of the first Gaza war (2008), the non-implementation of the Oslo accords (2012), the outbreak of the second Gaza war (2012), and the breakdown of negotiations between the sides and the third Gaza war (2014).

 

So convinced were Palestinians that Israel was responsible for the Gaza wars, for example, that after each conflict, when asked by JMCC pollsters whether they believed it was “possible for the Palestinian side to avoid it, or was Israel planning to launch the war in all cases,” overwhelming majorities averred that Israel was intending to go to war regardless of Palestinian actions. Likewise, a large majority of Palestinians were convinced that Israel sought deliberately to target civilians, and held Hamas blameless for positioning its leadership, fighters, and weapons in populated areas…

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

                                        

On Topic

 

Abbas Accuses Israel of Carrying Out 'Extrajudicial Killings' of Palestinians: Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 23, 2015—Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas repeated his charge on Monday that Israel is seeking to change the status quo at the Temple Mount and carrying out “extrajudicial killings” of Palestinians.

Amnesia on Settlements Afflicts Martin Indyk: Benyamin Korn, Algemeiner, Nov. 20, 2015 —A form of amnesia must be affecting the Obama administration’s former chief Mideast negotiator, Martin Indyk. It is, however, a very selective kind of amnesia–he only forgets concessions that Israel has made.

Luxury Alongside Poverty in the Palestinian Authority: JCPA, Nov. 5, 2015—In communities throughout the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, a surprising degree of luxury exists alongside the poverty. This study includes “A Photo Album of Palestinian Luxury in the West Bank,” offering a more complete picture of living standards there. The truth is that alongside the slums of the old refugee camps, which the Palestinian government has done little to rehabilitate, a parallel Palestinian society is emerging.

Fighting Facebook, Terror Victim’s Son Enlists Knesset in Anti-Incitement War: Renee Ghert-Zand, Times of Israel, Nov. 26, 2015—Micah Avni marked four weeks since the burial of his father killed in a Jerusalem terror attack by visiting the Knesset Wednesday, where he urged lawmakers to do more to quash social media incitement in hopes of heading off another tragedy like the one that left his father dead.

 

                  

 

 

 

LA VIOLENCE CONTINUE

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

 

 

 

 

5 morts lors de deux attentats

           à Tel Aviv et en Cisjordanie

                                 I24, 19 Nov., 2015    

        

Deux attaques perpetrées jeudi en Cisjordanie ainsi qu'à Tel Aviv ont causé la mort de 5 personnes et en ont blessé au moins 6 autres. Suite à ces attaques, le Premier ministre israélien Benyamin Netanyahou s'est exprimé sur sa page Facebook: "La terreur meurtrière a frappé le bloc de Gush Etzion ainsi que Tel Aviv. Mon coeur va aux familles des victimes et je souhaite un prompt rétablissement aux blessés", a-t-il déclaré. "L'islam radical est responsable de ces attaques, et c'est ce même Islam qui a frappé à Paris et qui menace aujourd'hui toute l'Europe", a-t-il ajouté.

 

"Ceux qui ont condamné les attaques terroristes en France doivent condamner les attaques en Israël. Condamner les unes et non les autres, c'est de l'hypocrisie et de la cécité, car c'est le même terrorisme", a-t-il affirmé. Un Israélien, un touriste américain ainsi qu'un Palestinien ont été tués et 7 autres ont été blessés dont deux gravement lors d'une attaque à l'arme à feu dans la région du Goush Etzion en Cisjordanie. Un Palestinien à bord d'une voiture a ouvert le feu sur un groupe de civils à une intersection près du village israélien d'Alon Shvout, a indiqué l'armée israélienne.

 

Puis l'assaillant a pris la fuite en voiture et "a intentionnellement foncé sur un groupe de piétons", a ajouté l'armée. Les forces de sécurité présentes sur place ont alors ouvert le feu sur les assailants. La victime israélienne est un homme de 50 ans tandis que le touriste américain était âgé de 18 ans. Deux terroristes, auteurs de l'attaque, ont été touchés par balles. Les forces de sécurité israéliennes sont à la recherche d'un troisième suspect qui se serait échappé. "Une des voitures ciblées par le terroriste dans l'attaque du Goush Etzion"

 

Plus tôt, deux personnes ont été tuées et une troisième grièvement blessée au cours d'une attaque au couteau dans le sud de Tel Aviv vers 14h00 (heure locale). Un Israélien de 32 ans a été tué sur le coup et un autre homme d'une cinquantaine d'années a succombé à ses blessures quelques minutes plus tard. Une troisième personne est dans un état grave. Le terroriste, un Palestinien âgé de 36 ans du village de Doura près de Hébron, a été neutralisé. Le terroriste, armé d'un long couteau, aurait tenté de pénétrer dans une synagogue au sein du bâtiment Panorama du boulevard Ben Zvi, dans le sud de Tel Aviv.

 

Le Palestinien serait un employé d'un restaurant situé non loin du lieu de l'attentat d'après le site israélien Ynet. Il est détenteur d'un permis de travail et pouvait donc entrer en Israël depuis la Cisjordanie. Il n'aurait pas de passé criminel d'après les premiers rapports. Il a été transféré aux forces de l'Agence de sécurité israélienne (Shin Bet) pour être interrogé.

 

“L'incident a eu lieu alors que nous priions lors de l’office de l'après-midi ", a déclaré un témoin de la scène. “J’ai vu un homme blessé plein de sang. J’ai aussi vu le terroriste qui prenait la fuite. Nous avons pris des bâtons et nous nous sommes lancés après lui. La police est rapidement intervenue.”

 

 

UN PALESTINIEN DE 14 ANS INCULPE DE MEURTRE SUITE A UNE ATTAQUE AU COUTEAU               

I24, 19 Nov., 2015

 

Une opinion publiée dimanche dans le quotidien du journal officiel de l’Autorité palestinienne, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida a accusé l’agence des renseignements d’Israël, le Mossad, pour les attaques meurtrières de vendredi à Paris. Il a suggéré que le Mossad a orchestré les attentats pour ébranler la nouvelle décision de l’UE pour promouvoir la solution à deux Etats et étiqueter clairement les produits israéliens issus des implantations.

 

L’article a été traduit par Palestinian Media Watch, un institut de veille. « Ce n’est pas une coïncidence si le sang humain a explosé à Paris au même moment où les sanctions européennes commencent à être mises en œuvre contre les produits des implantations, et pendant que la France mène l’Europe qui conseille au Conseil de sécurité [de l’ONU] qui mettra en œuvre la solution à deux Etats, la Palestine et Israël – ce que les Israéliens voient comme une mise en garde d’un danger soudain qui vient de l’Europe, où l’initiative de l’occupation sioniste est née… », a affirmé l’article.

 

« La chose sage et correcte à faire est de regarder qui en tire des bénéfices », a poursuivi l’article. « En résumé : ils doivent chercher la dernière place qui a été atteint par les bras de la pieuvre du Mossad… Il est clair que son ‘Mossad’ brûlera Beirut et Paris dans le but d’atteindre les buts [du Premier ministre] Benjamin Netanyahu. Celui, qui a défié le maître de la Maison Blanche, cache dans son âme assez de mal pour brûler le monde ».

 

Par ailleurs, la dirigeante du Mouvement Free Gaza, Mary Hughes-Thompson, a tweeté un message laissant entendre qu’Israël pourrait être derrière les attaques terroristes de Paris. « Je ne l’ai pas accusé Israël d’implication. Pourtant, Bibi est en colère a propos du boycott européen des colonies. Alors, qui sait ? », a-t-elle écrit, en utilisant un surnom pour le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu.

 

Cela n’est pas la première fois Hughes-Thompson suggère l’implication israélienne derrière des attentats contre la France. En janvier, elle avait insinué que le Mossad aurait pu commettre l’attaque meurtrière dans les bureaux de la rédaction de Charlie Hebdo, une attaque qui avait été perpétrée par deux frères islamistes.

 

« Les meurtres #Hebdo sont indéfendables. Vous ne pouvez pas m’empêcher de penser qu’il s’agit d’un faux pavillon du #JSIL Mossad ». JSIL est l’acronyme de « Etat juif dans le Levant », un terme utilisé par les activistes anti-israéliens pour assimiler Israël à l’Etat islamique.       

 

 

HASNA AIT BOULAHCEN, EX-"COW-GIRL" DES QUARTIERS RADICALISEE                            

I24, 21 Nov. 2015

 

Après une enfance maltraitée et une jeunesse de fêtarde, Hasna Ait Boulahcen, 26 ans, avait troqué son chapeau de cow-boy pour le voile intégral. Le corps d'une femme, découvert dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi sur les lieux de l'assaut, "a été formellement identifié, après comparaison d'empreintes digitales, comme étant celui d'Hasna Ait Boulahcen", a annoncé vendredi le procureur de Paris, en charge de l'enquête. Selon ses proches, Hasna Ait Boulahcen avait radicalement changé il y a six mois.

 

"Elle avait commencé par porter le jilbab (tenue recouvrant l'intégralité du corps excepté le visage, ndlr) puis, un mois après, elle était passée au niqab (où l'on ne voit plus que les yeux): elle s'était fabriqué sa propre bulle, elle ne cherchait aucunement à étudier sa religion, je ne l'ai jamais vue ouvrir un Coran", explique à l'AFP un homme qui se présente comme son frère et demande l'anonymat.

 

Jusqu'alors ses proches connaissaient un "garçon manqué", en "blue jean, casquette, lunettes", "physique quelconque", qui "fumait de temps en temps et buvait dans les soirées", raconte un ancien ami, Jérôme. Le père, musulman très pratiquant qui avait quitté le foyer familial pour travailler chez Peugeot, se trouve actuellement au Maroc.

 

Née en août 1989 en périphérie de Paris, elle avait été placée dans une famille d'accueil entre 8 et 15 ans. Une période "heureuse et épanouie", résume son frère. Puis les choses se dégradent: "Pour moi, ça venait de chez elle", des visites une fois par mois chez ses parents. Le 11 septembre 2001, la fillette "applaudissait devant la télé". Elle quitte cette famille d'un coup, à 15 ans. Dernier contact en 2008.

 

"En grandissant, elle a manqué de repères et a a multiplié les fugues, les mauvaises fréquentations", résume son frère. Après sa brutale radicalisation, "un lavage de cerveau" selon sa mère, 58 ans, rencontrée jeudi par l'AFP, la jeune femme "passait son temps à tout critiquer, elle n'acceptait aucun conseil, elle entretenait des relations plus que douteuses", se rappelle son frère.

 

"Elle était en permanence avec son smartphone sur Facebook et Whatsapp. +Fais ta vie, je fais la mienne+, elle disait". Il y a trois semaines, elle était selon lui partie vivre chez une amie, à Drancy…

Lire La Suite

 

COMMENT LES EXPERTS ISRAELIENS ANALYSENT LES ATTENTATS DE PARIS

ACTUJ, 19 Nov., 2015

 

Shimon Vaknin est allé assister à une prière de l’après-midi, qui rassemblait 20 à 30 autres personnes, lorsque les prières ont été interrompues quand l’une des victimes est entrée en titubant dans la pièce cherchant de l’aide et s’est effondrée. « Nous faisions les prières de Mincha [prière de l’après-midi] », a-t-il décrit.

 

« En plein milieu des prières, tout à coup, nous avons vu un homme blessé tomber à l’entrée de la synagogue, et un homme derrière lui avec un couteau qui tentait de rentrer à l’intérieur ». « Quelqu’un a crié ‘c’est un terroriste! ». Pendant que certains des fidèles tentaient d’aider l’homme blessé, le reste des fidèles a rapidement fermé les portes de la pièce, a-t-il ajouté.

 

« Nous avons réussi à fermer les portes et il a essayé de la forcer. S’il avait réussi à pénétrer à l’intérieur, il aurait tué les fidèles. Nous avons utilisé toutes nos forces pour ne pas le laisser rentrer à l’intérieur et puis il est allé vers les magasins à proximité pour essayer de blesser quelqu’un là-bas ».

 

Les hommes à l’intérieur se sont armés de barres et sont partis à la recherche du terroriste et quand ils sont sortis de la pièce, ils ont vu un autre homme sur le sol, également gravement blessé. « C’était un grand miracle ; c’est un terrible désastre mais cela aurait pu être bien pire ».

 

Yisrael Bahar, qui travaille dans un magasin près de l’immeuble, a entendu le vacarme à l’extérieur et est sorti voir ce qui se passait. « Nous avons entendu des cris. Je voyais quelqu’un sur le sol alors qu’un terroriste le poignardait. J’avais une barre avec moi et je l’ai jetée sur lui. Le terroriste a commencé à me courir après, je suis retourné à l’endroit où je travaille et j’ai fermé les portes. Le terroriste s’est rendu compte qu’il ne pouvait pas entrer et est redescendu. Ensuite, nous avons couru vers le blessé et nous lui avons porté assistance. Il est mort dans mes bras ».

 

Un autre témoin, identifié par le site hébreu NRG seulement par le nom de Paz, était dans le bâtiment lors de l’attaque. « Nous étions à l’étage dans un magasin de vêtements. Nous avons vu des gens couverts de sang. L’un d’eux avait été poignardé à la gorge. La police a arrêté le terroriste. La personne qui a été assassinée allait à la prière et a été poignardée dans le cou ».

 

      

LA BRANCHE RADICALE DU MOUVEMENT ISLAMIQUE DECLAREE ILLEGALE PAR ISRAËL

I24,  17 Nov., 2015

 

Le gouvernement israélien a prononcé l'interdiction de la "branche Nord" du Mouvement islamique en Israël accusée d'être un des principaux instigateurs des violences qui ont éclaté début octobre à propos de l'esplanade des Mosquées à Jérusalem, est-il annoncé mardi dans un communiqué.

 

Les députés arabes en Israël ainsi que les chefs des conseils régionaux se sont joint aux représentants du Mouvement islamique dans leur opposition à la décision du gouvernement d’interdire ce mouvement qui prône la haine et la violence. “Il s’agit d’une déclaration de guerre”, a indiqué un des députés.

 

Le Haut comité arabe a appelé à une journée de protestation nationale ce weekend. Le chef de cette organisation Raëd Salah avait été condamné le 28 octobre à 11 mois de prison ferme pour avoir, dans un discours tenu en février 2007, appelé "tout musulman et Arabe à venir en aide aux Palestiniens et à lancer une intifada islamique" pour Jérusalem et l'esplanade, le troisième lieu saint de l'Islam.

 

"Toute personne qui appartient à cette organisation ou toute personne qui lui fournit des services ou qui agit dans son cadre, commet désormais un délit passible d'une peine de prison", précise le communiqué en ajoutant que tous les biens de l'organisation ont été saisis.

 

"La branche Nord du Mouvement islamique mène depuis des années une campagne d'incitation à la violence mensongère sur le thème 'La mosquée Al-Aqsa (sur l'esplanade) est en danger' en accusant faussement Israël de vouloir porter atteinte à la mosquée et de violer le statu-quo", souligne le communiqué en affirmant que "ces activités ont provoqué une montée significative des tensions sur le Mont du Temple".

 

Le gouvernement israélien accuse également le Mouvement islamique de "collaborer étroitement et en secret" avec les islamistes palestiniens du Hamas, au pouvoir dans la bande de Gaza, et d'appartenir au "courant islamiste extrémiste du mouvement des Frères musulmans".

 

Le Mouvement islamique est une entité regroupant à la fois une organisation politique, un groupe religieux d’aide sociale et un fournisseur de services sociaux. Créé dans les années 1970, le but général du mouvement est de rendre plus religieux les Musulmans israéliens.

 

Il doit en grande partie sa popularité au fait qu’il fournit des services qui font souvent défaut aux communautés arabes en Israël. Aujourd’hui, le groupe dirige des jardins d’enfants, des universités, des dispensaires, des mosquées et même une équipe de sport, souvent tous réunis sous le même toit.

 

Le mouvement s’est scindé en deux entités il y a vingt ans. Un groupe, connu comme la "branche Sud", a commencé à présenter des candidats à la Knesset en Israël en 1966 et fait maintenant partie de la Liste arabe unie, une alliance de plusieurs partis politiques arabes. Parmi les 13 membres actuels de la Knesset de la Liste arabe unie, trois sont membres du mouvement.

 

La "branche Nord", bien plus extrémiste, rejette tout légitimation du gouvernement israélien. Ces deux branches opèrent à présent comme deux entités distinctes.

 

                                               

SYRIE: LES DEDALES DE L’IMPASSE                                                                    

David Bensoussan                                                                                                                       

Times of Israel, 20 Nov., 2015

 

 

Malgré les milliers de frappes aériennes, l’État islamique se maintient : grâce aux armes capturées à l’armée irakienne, aux taxes qu’il impose, à la vente de pétrole à la Turquie, à la contrebande d’artefacts archéologiques, aux rançons et aux ventes d’esclaves yazidites et chrétiens.

 

Il est renforcé chaque mois par un millier de combattants venus de l’étranger. On estime à près de 50 milliards la quantité d’armements de l’armée irakienne capturée par l’État islamique. Les frappes aériennes ont figé l’expansion de l’État islamique, notamment dans les régions kurdes au Nord de la Syrie et de l’Irak. Il n’en demeure pas moins que des villes importantes comme Mossoul en Irak et Rakka en Syrie sont encore sous contrôle de l’État islamique.

 

Les factions en lice ont des agendas distincts : le gouvernement actuel s’appuie sur les Alaouites et bénéficie du soutien des Druzes et des chrétiens qui craignent les débordements des salafistes et des Frères musulmans ainsi que sur une partie de la bourgeoisie sunnite. L’État islamique planifie son action apocalyptique contre les Yazidis, les Chiites, les Chrétiens puis les Juifs, dans cet ordre mais les attaques récentes à Beyrouth, au Sinaï et à Paris pourraient signifier un changement d’orientation.

 

Les islamistes radicaux tels Al-Qaeda, Al Nusrah ou Al-Sham ou autres salafistes préfèrent agir immédiatement contre la chrétienté. Les islamistes dits modérés tels les Frères musulmans visent la prise du pouvoir et l’emprise graduelle sur l’ensemble de la société. Les républicains de l’Armée syrienne libre opposés à la dictature du président syrien Assad forment un autre élément de cette équation complexe. Quant aux Kurdes de Syrie et d’Irak, ils essaient de maintenir une autonomie.

 

Au mois d’août 2014, le gouvernement américain a répondu à la requête du gouvernement irakien en lançant des frappes aériennes contre l’état islamique. Ces frappes ont été étendues à la Syrie en septembre 2015.

 

Une coalition de 60 pays dont la France, la Grande-Bretagne et le Canada s’est jointe aux efforts américains. Depuis que la guerre contre les Houtis est engagée au Yémen, l’Arabie saoudite, la Jordanie, les Émirats arabes unis, Bahreïn et le Qatar ont pratiquement cessé leur participation armée contre l’État islamique. Le premier ministre du Canada nouvellement élu a annoncé l’arrêt de la participation de l’aviation canadienne aux frappes contre l’État islamique dans le futur.

 

La Russie a offert un soutien quasi inconditionnel au régime syrien en recourant à son droit de véto en 2011, 2012 et 2014 pour bloquer des décisions du Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU visant à menacer le régime syrien de mesures ciblées.

 

La Syrie continue d’être armée par la Russie qui dispose d’une importante base navale sur la côte syrienne à Tartous. En fin septembre 2015, la Russie s’est lancée dans des opérations aériennes en Syrie. L’efficacité des frappes aériennes est mise en doute par les observateurs et il semble bien que l’offensive de l’armée syrienne soutenue par l’aviation russe n’ait pas été concluante.

 

L’Iran inonde la région de milices chiites, surarme le Hezbollah et donne un appui absolu au régime syrien. La Turquie a finalement accepté de participer à la guerre contre l’État islamique après avoir longtemps fermé les yeux sur le passage de militants et de matériel en route pour l’État islamique.

 

Les contradictions sont flagrantes : les Américains viennent en aide à l’Irak alors même que l’Irak coordonne sa guerre contre l’État islamique avec l’Iran, la Syrie et la Russie ce qui fait braquer encore plus les pays sunnites…

Lire La Suite

 

 

Le président de l'AP a indiqué qu'il n'avait pas pu étudier les cartes proposées par l'ancien PM israélien

 

Le président de l'Autorité palestinienne Mahmoud Abbas a apporté un éclairage nouveau sur la rupture d'une série de pourparlers entamée en 2008, en indiquant qu'il a rejeté à l'époque l'offre d'Ehud Olmert, qui proposait pourtant de placer la vieille ville de Jérusalem sous contrôle international, pour la raison "qu'il n'a pas été autorisé à étudier les cartes".

 

Lors de deux interviews données séparément à la télévision israélienne Channel 10 TV, les deux hommes ont décrit les négociations comme "sérieuses" et a déclaré qu'un accord de paix "était réalisable". Ces révélations indiquent à quel point la région a changé en quelques années seulement. Israël et les Palestiniens sont empêtrés dans un nouveau cycle de violence, et Abbas et l'actuel Premier ministre, Benyamin Netanyahou, arrivent à peine à dialoguer.

 

Les entretiens entre les deux dirigeants ont eu lieu à une époque difficile: l'ancien Premier ministre Olmert, qui était impliqué dans un scandale de corruption, avait annoncé son intention de démissionner. Dans son interview, Olmert revient sur la rencontre qui a eu lieu le 16 septembre 2008, quelques mois avant les élections, au cours de laquelle il a fait des propositions visant à répondre à toutes les préoccupations majeures des Palestiniens.

 

"Je lui ai dit: 'Rappelez-vous mes mots, il faudra attendre 50 ans avant qu'il y ait un autre Premier ministre israélien qui vous offrira ce que je vous propose aujourd'hui. Ne manquez pas cette opportunité'", a déclaré M. Olmert dans l'interview diffusée mardi soir.

 

Olmert a indiqué qu'il avait offert un retrait "quasi-total" en Cisjordanie, proposant qu'Israël ne conserve que 6.3 pour cent du territoire, afin de garder le contrôle des grandes implantations juives. Il a ajouté qu'il avait offert une compensation de 5.8 pour cent du territoire israélien en Cisjordanie ainsi qu'une liaison avec la bande de Gaza.

 

 

EN ARGENTINE, BONNE PIOCHE :                

LE NOUVEAU PRESIDENT MAURICIO MACRI AIME ISRAËL.

Israel Valley, 2015

 

Les relations d’Israël avec l’Argentine ne sont pas aussi mauvaises que l’on croit. Selon Laurence Lagneau : "Fin juin, le ministre argentin de la Défense, Agustin Rossi, a signé un contrat avec la Division de la coopération internationale du ministère israélien de la Défense, pour la modernisation de 74 « Tanque Argentino Mediano » (TAM). Le tout pour un montant de 111 millions de dollars.

 

L’accord prévoit un transfert de technologie afin de permettre à l’Argentine de développer ses propres capacités industrielles en matière de véhicules blindés. « La chaine de production sera installée dans notre pays, où les composants fabriqués localement seront intégrés », a ainsi expliqué Santiago Rodríguez, le secrétaire du ministère de la Production scientifique et technologique de la Défense".

 

Selon LPH : "L’arrivée au pouvoir de Macri met fin au régime de la gauche qui a duré 12 ans. Il se caractérisait notamment par sa politique vis-à-vis de l’Iran : on se souvient du décès mystérieux, en janvier dernier, du procureur Alberto Nisman, chargé pendant dix ans de mener l’enquête sur l’attentat contre un immeuble de la communauté juive en juillet 1994 qui avait causé la mort de 85 personnes.

 

Nisman, trouvé sans vie dans son appartement, venait de mettre en cause la présidente Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner et d’autres personnalités politiques, leur reprochant d’avoir couvert des suspects iraniens impliqués dans cette affaire".

 

Shabbat Shalom  à tous nos lecteurs!

TWO-STATE SOLUTION IGNORES “PALESTINIAN” TERRORISM & DENIAL OF ISRAEL’S RIGHT TO EXIST

When Will Obama and the West Listen to Hamas?: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 10, 2015 — On Tuesday night, Channel 10 broadcast an interview with PLO chief and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in which Abbas admitted publicly for the first time that he rejected the peace plan then prime minister Ehud Olmert offered him in 2008.

Gaza Theme Parties and Weddings Now Feature Celebrations of Knife Attacks: Elder of Ziyon, Algemeiner, Nov., 2015 — Gaza-based Felesteen reports that Gazans are now creating knife- and dagger-based theme parties and weddings in order to celebrate the wave of terror attacks that have taken place across Israel over the past six weeks.

Bankruptcy and Mud: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 14, 2015 — Palestinian bloggers were amazed when Israelis protested the cruel slaughter of chickens in poultry-packing plants, and during epidemics.

What Do Palestinians Want?: Daniel Polisar, Mosaic, Nov. 2, 2015— The most recent wave of Palestinian terror attacks, now entering its second month, has been mainly the work of “lone wolf” operators running over Israeli civilians, soldiers, and policemen with cars or stabbing them with knives.

 

 

On Topic Links

 

Abbas Accuses Israel of Carrying Out 'Extrajudicial Killings' of Palestinians: Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 23, 2015

Amnesia on Settlements Afflicts Martin Indyk: Benyamin Korn, Algemeiner, Nov. 20, 2015  

Luxury Alongside Poverty in the Palestinian Authority: JCPA, Nov. 5, 2015

Fighting Facebook, Terror Victim’s Son Enlists Knesset in Anti-Incitement War: Renee Ghert-Zand, Times of Israel, Nov. 26, 2015                                                                        

 

 

WHEN WILL OBAMA AND THE WEST LISTEN TO HAMAS?                                                     

Khaled Abu Toameh

           Gatestone Institute, Nov. 10, 2015

 

As President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were talking about the two-state solution during their meeting in the White House…the Palestinian Hamas movement reiterated its intention to destroy Israel. Hamas's announcement shows that the two-state solution is not a recipe for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The announcement also shows that all those who have been talking about a change in Hamas's position towards Israel continue to live in an illusion.

 

As the Obama-Netanyahu meeting was underway, senior Hamas figure Musa Abu Marzouk issued a statement in which he declared: "We will never negotiate with the Zionist entity and we will never recognize its right to exist. We will continue to resist the Zionist entity until it vanishes, whether they like it or not. The soldiers of the Qassam [Hamas's armed wing] were founded to liberate Palestine, even if some have recognized Israel. We want a state from the (Jordan) river to the [Mediterranean] sea."

 

Abu Marzouk's remarks came in response to statements made by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas during a meeting with Egyptian journalists in Cairo on Sunday night. Abbas was quoted as telling the Egyptian journalists that Hamas and Israel were conducting "direct negotiations" to establish a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and parts of the Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Abbas claimed that ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi had offered to annex 1000 square kilometers of Sinai to the Gaza Strip – an offer he (Abbas) had categorically rejected.

 

Abu Marzouk's latest threats to eliminate Israel are not only directed against Abbas, but also towards President Obama and those in the international community who continue to support the idea of establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel. What he and other Hamas leaders are saying is very clear: Even if a Palestinian state is established in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, Hamas and other Palestinians will continue to fight until Israel is completely destroyed.

 

In other words, Hamas is openly stating that it will use any future Palestinian state as a launching pad to attack and eliminate Israel. But Hamas's message has obviously not reached the White House and other Western governments, where decision-makers continue to bury their heads in the sand, refusing to see or hear what some Palestinians are saying. Hamas and many other Palestinians are completely opposed to a two-state solution: they believe that Israel has no right to exist — period — in this part of the world. The only solution they are prepared to accept is one that sees Israel wiped off the face of the earth.

 

Hamas is not a small opposition party in the Palestinian territories that could be dismissed as a minor player. Hamas is a large Islamist movement, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood that controls the entire Gaza Strip with its population of 1.8 million Palestinians. Hamas has its own security forces, militias, weapons and government institutions. Since its violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Hamas and its political allies have turned the coastal area into a semi-independent Islamist emirate.

 

Since then, Hamas has used the Gaza Strip as a launching pad to attack Israel with tens of thousands of rockets and missiles. And Hamas leaders have repeatedly stated that their chief goal is to "liberate" not only the West Bank and east Jerusalem, but "all of Palestine." In short, Hamas wants to replace Israel with an Islamist empire where non-Muslims would be permitted to live as a minority.

 

Hamas considers all Jews as "settlers" and "colonialists" who live in "settlements" such as Beersheba, Rishon Lezion, Ashdod and Bat Yam. Hamas does not differentiate between a Jew living in Ma'aleh Adumim or Gush Etzion (on the West Bank) and Tel Aviv, Haifa and Ramat Gan. That is why the Hamas media and leaders refer to Beersheba and Ra'anana, well within the "pre-1967 borders," as "occupied" cities.

 

The Obama Administration and Western governments can talk as much as they like about the two-state solution. But so long as they refuse to listen to what Hamas and other Palestinians are saying, they will continue to engage in self-deception and hallucination. Even if President Abbas agrees to a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines, he will never be able to persuade Hamas, Islamic Jihad and many other Palestinians to recognize Israel's right to exist. Under the current circumstances, where Hamas and other Palestinians continue to dream about the destruction of Israel, any talk about a two-state solution is nothing but a joke.

 

The Obama Administration and the rest of the international community also need to understand that that the two-state solution has already been realized. In the end, the Palestinians got two states of their own: one in the Gaza Strip and another in the West Bank. The one in the Gaza Strip is run by folks are not much different from Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, while that in the West Bank is controlled by a president who has entered the 11th year of his four-year-term in office and as such is not even seen by his people as a "rightful" leader. This is a reality that the world, including Israel, will have to live with for many years to come. It is time for the world to stop listening only to President Abbas and Saeb Erekat, and start paying attention to what many other Palestinians such as Hamas are saying, day and night, regarding their commitment to destroy Israel.                       

                                                  

                                                                       

Contents

                       

   

 

GAZA THEME PARTIES AND WEDDINGS NOW

FEATURE CELEBRATIONS OF KNIFE ATTACKS                                                                         

Elder of Ziyon

                                Algemeiner, Nov. 20, 2015  

 

Gaza-based Felesteen reports that Gazans are now creating knife- and dagger-based theme parties and weddings in order to celebrate the wave of terror attacks that have taken place across Israel over the past six weeks. At weddings and other parties, children are now wearing military uniforms — and young men are displaying daggers and knives. Singers are rhapsodizing about the “heroes” who stab Jews, and calling for more attacks.

 

Fadi Abu Jabb, 27, wore military trousers on the eve of his wedding and placed a dagger on his waist during a bachelor party. Fadi’s friends and relatives shared his joy by dancing with their own knives, to show their support for terror attacks in Jerusalem.

 

Fadi said that the military uniform was his fiancee’s idea, and that his party was meant to show that all Palestinian people support “armed resistance,” and car-rammings, stabbings, and shootings in the West Bank and Jerusalem. He prayed for God to bless him and give him the ability to set up a jihadist family to be part of the Palestine Liberation Army, Allah willing.

In a similar scene, at the wedding party of Murad Hussein there were songs associated with the stabbings. Twelve children in keffiyehs performed. They put on a comic play showing Palestinians attacking a group of Jews causing them to flee — even though they had sub-machine guns — to the amusement of the audience.

 

Majed Nofal, a tailor in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in northern Gaza City, said, “There is a big demand for the purchase of military clothing by citizens, who wear them during special events such as parties and weddings.” He also said he provides military clothing for women who wear them at their own parties as well.    

                                                       

Contents

                       

   

BANKRUPTCY AND MUD                                      

                                Bassam Tawil

          Gatestone Institute, Nov. 14, 2015

                                   

Palestinian bloggers were amazed when Israelis protested the cruel slaughter of chickens in poultry-packing plants, and during epidemics. "If only we Arabs," they wrote, "who kill people cruelly and wholesale, cared as much about people as the Jews care about animals."

 

Civilian cameras often record events of startling cruelty carried out in Arab countries, in areas of conflict. We often hear Arabs privately saying, "The Zionists have never done to us what we do to ourselves." This is usually said by Syrians, who have hated the Jews for generations, when they give their thanks for the medical treatment they receive in Israel. Despite the hatred fostered by Hamas, after the most recent military operation, many Gazans admitted that the IDF did in fact warn civilians before attacking terrorist targets protected by "human shields."

 

The pictures of an armed Israeli soldier who did not strike back when he was viciously attacked by Palestinian women and children in Nebi Saleh, amazed many regional bloggers. "If such a thing had happened to us," they wrote on Twitter accounts, "the soldier would have killed his attackers without hesitation."

 

As a Palestinian, I know that such situations are produced by Palestinians whose ability to stage them is professional and I know the source of their income. They cynically exploit the Israeli political "left," and enlist photographers to document the events for European-funded "Pallywood" media manipulation.

 

Every Palestinian youth knows that the weekly riots at the "traditional friction points" serve as social events, later used by Palestinians operatives for propaganda. Often, in the finest Hollywood tradition, parties are held after the "conflict action scenes." The festivities sometimes include sex and drugs with the blond, blue-eyed volunteers from abroad, to celebrate another successful encounter with the Israeli security forces.

 

The escalating Palestinian riot routine takes into consideration that risks are few, because of IDF restraint in dealing with "civilians," as we saw in Nebi Saleh when the Israeli soldier who was attacked and bitten did not respond with gunfire to defend himself. Israel's restraint only makes the slaughter, rape and expulsion of Muslims at the hands of Muslims seem all the more vicious.

 

Many of the bankrupt European countries hostile to Israel now find themselves faced with a massive influx of Middle Eastern and African refugees. They are the brothers and sisters of the hundreds of thousands of murdered Muslims and the millions of refugees in tents, with only Allah (s.w.a.t) to pity and protect them. Many die in leaky boats, in a desperate attempt to reach the safe shores of Europe. Those who do make it safely, join the Muslims in the Islamic enclaves where they have been plotting against their hosts for years.

 

The West has waited far too long to wake up to the realization that the Palestinian problem is not the cause of regional events. Therefore, The West's obsession with forcing a "solution" on Israel and the Palestinians will change nothing for the better, it will only expand the catastrophe to the doorstep of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the only islands of security and stability for Arabs, Christians and Jews in the Middle East.

 

In the shadow of the calamity of the refugees, we are slowly understanding that the issue of the return of the Palestinians to "Palestine," which we hang on to so frantically, is an anachronistic, politically manipulated mirage. There is nothing to be done but settle the descendants of the original Palestinian refugees as part of the overall settlement of all the Middle Eastern refugees — if, that is, our Arab brothers ever succeed in extricating themselves from the swamp of the "Arab Spring."

 

What is strange is that the Gulf States, particularly Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which fund Islamic terrorism and pay the salaries of the radical clerics who incite murder and destruction, are silent when it comes to accepting refugees into their countries. Saudi Arabia has hundreds of thousands of empty, air-conditioned tents at its disposal, used only during the hajj pilgrimage. They could help shelter the millions of Sunni Muslim Syrian and Iraqi refugees. But Saudi Arabia does not open its gates to them, not even to a small number.

 

Now, by accusing each other for our refusal, hesitation and rejection of every proposal that might bring the Israelis to the negotiating table, we have finally managed to put an end to the "problem of Palestine." As our elders have said for years: "Falastin ['Palestine' in Arabic] begins with falas [bankruptcy] and ends with teen [mud]."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Contents

                       

WHAT DO PALESTINIANS WANT?                                                                         

Daniel Polisar                                                                                               

Mosaic, Nov. 2, 2015

 

The most recent wave of Palestinian terror attacks, now entering its second month, has been mainly the work of “lone wolf” operators running over Israeli civilians, soldiers, and policemen with cars or stabbing them with knives. The perpetrators, many in or just beyond their teenage years, are not, for the most part, activists in the leading militant organizations. They have been setting forth to find targets with the expectation, generally fulfilled, that after scoring a casualty or two they will be killed or badly wounded. What drives these young Palestinians, experts say, is a viral social-media campaign centered on claims that the Jews are endangering the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and that Israel is executing Palestinian children.

 

Pundits and analysts in Israel and the West, struck by the elements that make this round of violence different from its predecessors over the past decade-and-a-half—which typically featured well-orchestrated shootings, suicide bombings, or rocket fire—have focused on the motivations of individual attackers, on how and why the Palestinian political and religious leadership has been engaging in incitement, and on what Israeli officials or American mediators might do to quell the violence.

 

Absent almost entirely from this discussion has been any attempt to understand the perspective of everyday Palestinians. Yet it is precisely the climate of public opinion that shapes and in turn is shaped by the declarations of Palestinian leaders, and that creates the atmosphere in which young people choose whether to wake up in the morning, pull a knife from the family kitchen, and go out in search of martyrdom. Whether commentators are ignoring the views of mainstream Palestinians out of a mistaken belief that public opinion does not matter in dictatorships, or out of a dismissive sense that they are powerless pawns whose fate is decided by their leaders, Israel, or regional and world powers, the omission is both patronizing and likely to lead to significant misunderstandings of what is happening. In this essay I aim to fill the lacuna by addressing what Palestinians think both about violence against Israelis and about the core issues that supply its context and justification.

 

My interest in Arab public opinion in the West Bank and Gaza is longstanding, dating back to the time regular surveying began there shortly before the 1993 Oslo accords between Israel and the PLO. In 1996, I appeared on a panel with Khalil Shikaki, the pioneering director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR); since then, I have been increasingly impressed with his insights and his institute’s professionalism. I therefore took particular notice of a PSR survey that appeared after the August 2014 ceasefire ending the latest war between Israel and Hamas. It reported, among other findings, that fully 79 percent of Palestinians believed Hamas had won the war and only 3 percent saw Israel as the victor. So convinced were respondents of their side’s strength that nine in ten favored continued rocket fire at Israel’s cities unless the blockade of Gaza were lifted, 64 percent declared their support for “armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel” (meaning, among other things, suicide bombings in Israeli population centers), and 54 percent applauded the event that in large measure had precipitated the 50-day war: the abduction and murder by Hamas operatives of three Israeli teenage boys hitchhiking home from school.

 

In the ensuing months, I read further polls from PSR and other research institutes to see whether support for violence would drop appreciably once the emotions fired by war had cooled. Yet despite a modest decline over time in most indicators, a majority continued to support virtually every kind of attack against Israelis about which they were asked—including rocket fire, suicide bombings, and stabbings. These and other findings led me back to the polls conducted in earlier years, and eventually to embarking on a comprehensive analysis of all reliable and publicly available surveys in the West Bank and Gaza over the past two decades.

 

For this project, I examined over 330 surveys carried out by the four major Palestinian research institutes, each of which has been conducting regular polls for a decade or more: the PSR headed by Shikaki and its predecessor, CPRS; the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC); the Birzeit Center for Development Studies (CDS), whose work was later continued under the same director by the Arab World for Research & Development (AWRAD); and the Opinion Polls and Survey Research Unit of An-Najah National University. Each of the four has conducted between 50 and 120 polls and has made the results available online in English (and generally in Arabic)…

 

Tellingly, poll respondents in the West Bank regularly voice strong criticism of President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) government that rules there, while those in Gaza often speak negatively about the Hamas leadership, so it appears that Palestinians are not cowed from giving their honest opinions. The consensus among informed scholars is therefore that the surveys are reliable, valid, and genuinely reflective of what Arab residents of the West Bank and Gaza think…

 

Since the establishment of the PA in 1994, the Palestinians have been beset by problems. The government has increasingly been viewed as corrupt, undemocratic, and unable to enforce law and order or to reform itself. The economy has generally been weak, infrastructure sub-par, and the PA unable at times to pay salaries. Since Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, the Palestinian state-in-the-making has been divided, with Fatah continuing to rule the West Bank and all efforts at reconciliation a failure. The peace process with Israel has been stalled much of the time, in part because of periodic outbreaks of violence, and the handover of territory and authority to the PA has been far slower than envisioned in the Oslo accords.

 

Who is responsible for the problems plaguing the Palestinians? During the last two decades, the four institutes whose surveys I examined have asked numerous questions on this subject, and on 53 occasions have offered Israel as one of the possible answers. In all but one case, Israel was the answer most widely chosen, usually by a statistically significant margin—including when it came to problems that at least at first glance seemed largely internal. Among these were clashes between PA police and Hamas that left thirteen dead (1994), Palestinian economic problems (2000), the hindering of political reform in the PA (2001), Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to resign as prime minister (2003), lack of law and order in PA-held territories (2004), the blocking of reform in the PA (2004), the Hamas coup that wrested control of Gaza from Fatah (2007), a water crisis in the West Bank and Gaza (2010), a fuel shortage in Gaza (2012), the inability of the PA to pay its employees (2013), and the ongoing inability of Hamas and Fatah to reconcile (2015). A large majority of Palestinians were convinced that Israel sought deliberately to target civilians, and held Hamas blameless for positioning its leadership, fighters, and weapons in populated areas.

 

In matters that necessarily involved both Israel and the Palestinians, massive majorities blamed Israel and denied any responsibility on their side. Cases in point include the suspension of negotiations between Israel and the PLO (1997), the failure of talks at Camp David (2000), the breakdown of a ceasefire during the second intifada (2003), the collapse of the peace process (2004), the outbreak of the first Gaza war (2008), the non-implementation of the Oslo accords (2012), the outbreak of the second Gaza war (2012), and the breakdown of negotiations between the sides and the third Gaza war (2014).

 

So convinced were Palestinians that Israel was responsible for the Gaza wars, for example, that after each conflict, when asked by JMCC pollsters whether they believed it was “possible for the Palestinian side to avoid it, or was Israel planning to launch the war in all cases,” overwhelming majorities averred that Israel was intending to go to war regardless of Palestinian actions. Likewise, a large majority of Palestinians were convinced that Israel sought deliberately to target civilians, and held Hamas blameless for positioning its leadership, fighters, and weapons in populated areas…

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

                                        

On Topic

 

Abbas Accuses Israel of Carrying Out 'Extrajudicial Killings' of Palestinians: Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 23, 2015—Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas repeated his charge on Monday that Israel is seeking to change the status quo at the Temple Mount and carrying out “extrajudicial killings” of Palestinians.

Amnesia on Settlements Afflicts Martin Indyk: Benyamin Korn, Algemeiner, Nov. 20, 2015 —A form of amnesia must be affecting the Obama administration’s former chief Mideast negotiator, Martin Indyk. It is, however, a very selective kind of amnesia–he only forgets concessions that Israel has made.

Luxury Alongside Poverty in the Palestinian Authority: JCPA, Nov. 5, 2015—In communities throughout the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, a surprising degree of luxury exists alongside the poverty. This study includes “A Photo Album of Palestinian Luxury in the West Bank,” offering a more complete picture of living standards there. The truth is that alongside the slums of the old refugee camps, which the Palestinian government has done little to rehabilitate, a parallel Palestinian society is emerging.

Fighting Facebook, Terror Victim’s Son Enlists Knesset in Anti-Incitement War: Renee Ghert-Zand, Times of Israel, Nov. 26, 2015—Micah Avni marked four weeks since the burial of his father killed in a Jerusalem terror attack by visiting the Knesset Wednesday, where he urged lawmakers to do more to quash social media incitement in hopes of heading off another tragedy like the one that left his father dead.

 

                  

 

 

 

AMID ESCALATING SYRIAN CHAOS, TRUDEAU SHOULD KEEP CANADIAN JETS IN M.E.

AS WE GO TO PRESS: TURKEY SHOOTS DOWN RUSSIAN JET FIGHTER: Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian jet fighter along the Syrian border on Tuesday, sparking fury in Moscow that threatened to undercut growing efforts to create a new international coalition to confront expanding Islamic State terrorism. The Turkish military strike, captured by dramatic video, marked the first time since 1952 that a North Atlantic Treaty Organization member has shot down a Russian plane. As Russian helicopters searched for the two missing pilots, President Vladimir Putin accused Turkey of a “stab in the back” and of aiding terrorists. Ankara has repeatedly accused Russia of breaching Turkish airspace from Syria, and shot down an unmarked Russian-made drone in mid-October. (Wall Street Journal, Nov. 24, 2015)

 

First Things First — Exterminate ISIL: Conrad Black, National Post, Nov. 21, 2015 — In general, we want to encourage politicians to do after they win elections what they promised they would do before the election …

The Kurds Can Defeat ISIS if We Provide Incentives: Jonathan Spyer, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 22, 2015 — Islamic State (aka ISIS) is a murderous enterprise based on an insane ideology. It nevertheless desires its own survival and expansion.

The Deal and the War: Lee Smith, Weekly Standard, Nov., 2015 — In July the Obama administration and its European and Russian partners met with Iran in Vienna to sign the so-called nuclear deal.

Victory Without Soldiers?: Reuel Marc Gerecht, Weekly Standard, Oct. 26, 2015— With the war in Syria becoming ever more complex and murderous, it’s worthwhile to revisit a guiding principle of Barack Obama…

 

On Topic Links

 

Putin the Bully Just Got a Bloody Nose. Now, We Wait: Matt Gurney, National Post, Nov. 24, 2015

Iran’s Elite Forces Enduring Rising Casualties in Syrian Offensive: Steven Emerson, Algemeiner, Nov. 24, 2015  

Terror Is Terror Is Terror: Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall, JCPA, Nov. 23, 2015

Obama’s Syrian Illusions: Wall Street Journal, Nov. 2, 2015

                                                                             

FIRST THINGS FIRST — EXTERMINATE ISIL                                                             

Conrad Black

National Post, Nov. 21, 2015

 

In general, we want to encourage politicians to do after they win elections what they promised they would do before the election, and from that perspective it is hard to blame Justin Trudeau for continuing to promise to withdraw Canada’s CF-18’s from the air war against the Islamic State (ISIL). I don’t think it was a pledge that ever should have been made, and I commended the Bloc Québécois leader, Gilles Duceppe, in the one shining moment of his campaign, for supporting Stephen Harper on this point…

 

In a blending of hope with benign intuition and a sliver of first-hand information, I attributed Trudeau’s pledge to withdraw Canada’s very small air contingent from the Allied force attacking ISIL to well-founded reservations about American leadership of the coalition. The whole effort was only mounted after U.S. President Barack Obama’s pretense that that there were no more terrorists had been exposed as completely fraudulent after his abrupt and churlish departure from Iraq, leaving most Iraqis in the hand of Iran, and control of Sunni Iraq torn between Iran and ISIL. This was the farthest possible outcome from American ambitions when the U.S. invaded that country in 2003.

 

What ensued was a desultory effort to train the battered hulk of Iraq’s Sunni military and a Western air campaign in the tradition of the Yugoslav Wars: bombing from such high altitudes it was a war worth killing for but not worth dying for. The action, replete with astonishing affronts from the Russians, who purported to shoulder the U.S. out of Syrian air space when they felt like doing so, plodded along in this unconvincing manner, with Obama portentously announcing on Nov. 13 that ISIL had been “contained.” This was shortly after what he had called the “JV team” (Junior Varsity) killed 224 people in a Russian airliner blown up in Egyptian airspace, and mere hours before it murdered 129 innocents in Paris.

 

Obama has continued his unutterably irritating practice of referring to “extreme behaviour” but not to Islamist terrorism. But France has declared a state of emergency in response to what it considers an act of war, and has invoked the European Union’s Lisbon pledge requiring all members to assist one of the EU countries that has been attacked. France has been one of Europe’s most influential countries since the beginning of the nation state, and its responses to the Paris outrages will be consequential. French President François Hollande is trying to co-ordinate a vastly escalated counter-offensive against ISIL with Russia, the United States, and other countries, and Obama’s virtual combat against a supposedly gasping rag-tag of demented amateurs has suddenly become much more purposeful.

 

Where the American president had infamously drawn a “red line” over Syrian president Assad’s gassing of his own citizens, and then abdicated the prerogatives of the commander-in-chief to the hydra-headed Congress before dumping the issue into the lap of the mischief-making Russian President Vladimir Putin, French and Russian fleets are now to rendezvous in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle will bring 40 warplanes into the theatre for intensive and continuous attacks on ISIL. It is probably too much to hope that Obama’s inexplicable mental block against taking the anti-ISIL effort seriously can be entirely overcome, and he has never shown the slightest interest in keeping the Western Alliance ticking over.

 

But even he may have some concerns if the French and Russians stampede almost every other serious country into concerted and severe action, which is entirely justified, long overdue, and would be successful, and effectively set themselves at the head of a coalition of everyone who wants to do something about ISIL slaughtering civilians almost indiscriminately over an ever-wider arc of territory and in increasingly more appalling massacres. Obama’s aim has appeared to be not only to do nothing, but to discourage others from doing anything that might disturb his effort to appease Muslim extremists, whether sectarian zealots like the Iranian theocracy or secular despots like Assad.

 

His policy is insane, and has been a conspicuous failure, unless the recent acquiescence in an eventual Iranian nuclear military capability miraculously makes the world safer. But he is assumedly sincere and thinks turning the other cheek will accomplish something useful. The Paris outrages and Russian airliner bombing may not convince him to change direction, but they may effectively depose the United States as the world’s chief alliance leader, until it chooses to resume that role. Such a development would spike Obama’s offensive of pre-emptive concessions. An unlikely group of countries making common cause, probably including both the moderate Muslims like Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, as well as Israel and even Iran, will then be interim trustees for the United States as principal power in the world while Obama plays out his pacifistic fantasies in solitude (no other country takes this charade of his seriously), until the next U.S. president is installed. Neither Mrs. Clinton nor any of the serious Republicans will continue Obama’s replacement of foreign policy with psychiatry and his transformation of the Pentagon into the Peace Corps…

 

 

In all of these circumstances, Prime Minister Trudeau should reconsider his strategy and the country’s interest. He is unambiguous in his animosity to ISIL and his desire to increase the contribution to training anti-ISIL Sunni Muslim forces is good policy. Our air contribution has been tokenistic (six CF-18’s and three support planes), but the whole campaign has been tokenistic up to now — a few missions a day and certainly nothing on a scale that anyone would expect to be more than a nuisance to ISIL…

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

           

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THE KURDS CAN DEFEAT ISIS IF WE PROVIDE INCENTIVES                                                  

Jonathan Spyer

Middle East Forum, Nov. 22, 2015

 

Islamic State (aka ISIS) is a murderous enterprise based on an insane ideology. It nevertheless desires its own survival and expansion. In October, prior to the downing of the Russian jet over Sinai and the attacks last week in Paris, no serious threat to its continued existence was apparent. The US-led coalition bombing campaign was halfhearted, and Western support for Kurdish and Arab elements engaged in conflict with Islamic State was clearly intended to contain, rather than destroy, it.

 

By its own actions, Islamic State has now altered this calculus. Why might it have chosen to do so, and what is this likely to mean for the next phase of the conflict in Iraq and Syria (and now metastasizing beyond it)? The bombings in Paris constitute the latest act in a turn toward international terrorism by Islamic State that began in the summer of this year. It claimed responsibility for a bombing of a Shi'a mosque in Kuwait on June 26. But the first really substantial evidence of this turn was the attack on July 21 on a Kurdish community center in the town of Suruc, close to the Syrian-Turkish border. This attack was clearly intended as a strike at the "underbelly" of an enemy that formed the main barrier to Islamic State's ambitions in northern Syria.

 

The Suruc bombing was followed in subsequent months by Islamic State acts of terrorism in Ankara against a pro-Kurdish demonstration, over the Sinai against the Russian Metrojet Flight 9268, in south Beirut against the Hezbollah-controlled Borj al-Barajneh area, and now in Paris. The tactical motivation for these attacks is fairly obvious. In all cases, the attacks are against forces or countries engaged on one level or another against Islamic State.

 

Islamic State has lost around 20-25 percent of its holdings in the course of the last half year. But these losses are manageable. Indeed, the group has in recent weeks continued to expand in a western direction, across the desert to Palmyra and thence into Homs province in Syria. Why, then, embark on a path that risks the destruction of Islamic State at the hands of forces incomparably stronger than it?

 

The answer is that Islamic State does not, like some other manifestations of political Islam in the region, combine vast strategic goals with a certain tactical patience and pragmatism. Rather, existing at the most extreme point of the Sunni Islamist continuum, it is a genuine apocalyptic cult. It has little interest in being left alone to create a model of Islamic governance according to its own lights, as its Western opponents had apparently hoped. Its slogan is "baqiya wa tatamaddad" (remaining and expanding). The latter is as important an imperative as the former. Islamic State must constantly remain in motion and in kinetic action.

 

If this action results in Western half-measures and prevarication, then this will exemplify the weakness of the enemy to Islamic State supporters and spur further recruitment and further attacks. And if resolve and pushback are exhibited by the enemy, these, too, can be welcomed as part of the process intended to result in the final apocalyptic battles which are part of the Islamic State eschatology.

 

Because of this, allowing Islamic State to quietly fester in its Syrian and Iraqi domains is apparently not going to work.

 

The problem and consequent dilemma for Western policy-makers are that Islamic State is only a symptom, albeit a particularly virulent one, of a much larger malady. Were it not so, the matter of destroying a brutal, ramshackle entity in the badlands of Syria and Iraq would be fairly simple. A Western expeditionary force on the ground could achieve it in a matter of weeks and would presumably be welcomed by a grateful population. This, however, is unlikely to be attempted, precisely because the real (but rarely stated) problem underlying Islamic State is the popularity and legitimacy of virulently anti-Western Sunni Islamist politics among the Sunni Arab populations of the area.

 

This is evidenced by the fact that the greater part of the Syrian Sunni Arab rebellion also consists of Sunni Islamist or jihadi forces, many of them not a great deal less extreme than Islamic State. The most powerful rebel coalition, Jaysh al-Fatah, for example, is a union between al-Qaida (Jabhat al-Nusra), the Muslim Brotherhood and local Salafi elements.

 

As the Iraq insurgency and the Syrian and Palestinian examples show, the tendency of popular and street-level Arab politics in the Levant and Iraq is to take the form of violent politicized religion. As a result, any Western force entering Islamic State territory as a liberator would rapidly come to be considered an occupying force and would be the subject of attacks.

 

It is possible that because of this, Western policy will continue to follow the path of least resistance, as evidenced by the French bombing of Raqqa this week. Such bombings may serve to sate an understandable feeling of rage and desire for revenge on the part of the French public, but they will do little to degrade, much less dislodge, Islamic State…

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

                                                  

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THE DEAL AND THE WAR                                                                                     

Lee Smith

                                                                       

Weekly Standard, Nov. 30, 2015

 

In July the Obama administration and its European and Russian partners met with Iran in Vienna to sign the so-called nuclear deal. The general idea was to at least delay nuclear proliferation in an already volatile part of the world. No doubt the White House was hoping for much more—that the Islamic Republic of Iran could be welcomed back into the community of nations, bringing stability to a violent Middle East. But it is now clear that Obama’s great diplomatic endeavor has had the opposite effect: Sectarian war is engulfing the Middle East. Four months after the Iran deal was signed in the Austrian capital, Europe is perhaps irrevocably changed. The November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris look like one salvo in what is likely to become a long-running and brutal conflict on the continent.

 

Sure, German chancellor Angela Merkel should be held accountable for the flood of Muslim-world refugees making their way to Europe. She welcomed 800,000 to her own doorstep, and millions more will feel encouraged to follow. She didn’t mean to overwhelm her EU neighbors and expose them to danger. She didn’t mean to overtax European security services already concerned about European Muslims returning from the war in Syria and Iraq. And neither did Barack Obama. He wanted to extricate America from Middle East conflicts, not broaden them.

 

Obama didn’t want to commit force to the Syrian conflict because he believes there’s little upside in engaging in the endless wars of the Middle East. No less important, he feared that backing proxy forces to topple Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad was likely to anger Assad’s patrons in Tehran, causing them to walk away from the deal. Senior members of his own cabinet recommended to the president that we at least establish a buffer zone, or a no-fly zone to protect those fleeing from Assad and his allies, a policy that would have had bipartisan support. But protecting those refugees might have required firing on the forces hunting them, angering the Iranians, so Obama turned a deaf ear. The Iran deal, he thought, would balance out these warring sects and force them to come to an accommodation with each other.

 

As the wars in Syria and Iraq raged, observers noted that the borders of the Middle East were collapsing. Whether the post-World War I state system of the region is falling apart or not, the reality is that borders are somewhat irrelevant in a part of the world where tribes extend from Lebanon to Yemen or Syria to Saudi Arabia. The key feature of Middle Eastern history throughout the ages is not the borders, but the populations. The White House had its eye on the wrong big picture.

 

There is some confusion in the popular imagination about the source of the refugee crisis. ISIS, for all the gory violence and punishments it visits on the townsfolk it rules, is responsible for only a small percentage of the refugees from the Syrian civil war (among them the Yazidis and Christians it has targeted for extermination). Overwhelmingly, the Syrian refugees are Sunnis in flight from the campaigns of sectarian cleansing waged by the pro-Iran camp, especially the Assad regime and its Hezbollah and Iranian allies. Many European leaders now let on that they agree with Iran and Russia that Assad should stay, believing this is the only way to stabilize the situation. But it’s the Syrian president who drove the Sunnis out. With no buffer zones, the refugees went first to the states on Syria’s borders, and some made the long trip to the Gulf Arab states. The numbers of refugees, in the millions, and their needs quickly overwhelmed Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. Besides, Europe was always a more attractive destination. All they needed was an invitation.

 

Without question, the vast majority of these poor and huddled masses are simply looking for safety, work, and a future for their families. Some are hustlers, of course, happy to sign up for a handout from self-advertised welfare states. And a few others have war on their minds. War against Europe, and war against each other. A colleague recently back from Germany showed me photographs he’d taken of the refugees. These are Syrians, he said. And these are Iranians. Even among the Syrians are scores of Lebanese and Iraqis, including Shiites, traveling on forged Syrian documents to enhance the probability of finding refuge in Europe. In other words, the two sides of the Middle East’s sectarian conflict, Sunnis and Shiites, have made their way to the continent. Most of them are young men of military age.

If ISIS managed to send operatives back to the continent from which they came, the region’s other bad actors have probably also done the same. The Islamic Republic of Iran, which waged a campaign of terror in Paris in the 1980s, would not want to miss out on an opportunity to place assets among the refugees. We’re therefore likely to see a replay of previous waves of terror in Europe, which is to say further terrorist attacks, street violence, and assassinations.

The nuclear deal with Iran may well go down in history as a pivotal moment, just not in the way Obama imagined. Not only has it paved the way for Iran to have a nuclear weapon within 15 years, as its many critics correctly warned, but it has also worsened the sectarian conflicts of the Middle East and exported them to Europe. Some deal.                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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VICTORY WITHOUT SOLDIERS?                                   

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Weekly Standard, Oct. 26, 2015

 

With the war in Syria becoming ever more complex and murderous, it’s worthwhile to revisit a guiding principle of Barack Obama: The use of American military power is likely to do more harm than good in the Middle East, and even in the region’s violent struggles, soft power is important, if not decisive, in resolving conflicts. If Islamic militancy is to be defeated, better ideas, advanced by Muslims, backed up if necessary by Muslim soldiers, must be the principal means.

 

We do not know whether the president sincerely believes in this military-lite, soft-power-heavy, Muslim-versus-Muslim answer to Islamic radicalism; he may well just care about his progressive agenda at home. A non-interventionist foreign policy, and all the intellectualism that surrounds it, may be only an afterthought, a byproduct of his determination to keep his liberal aspirations for America undiminished by arduous and expensive foreign adventures.

 

But we cannot ignore the fact that terrorist safe havens now cover a large swath of the Middle East and may soon extend once again across southern Afghanistan. Let us assume that the president sincerely believes that Islamic militancy must be defeated by ideas for it to be downed on the battlefield. Let us also assume that this Middle Eastern question will eventually compel some sustained attention from Republican presidential candidates, since one of them may well succeed Obama and confront the Syrian war, which is rattling both Europe and the Near East. A Republican president could choose to ignore the conflict, citing the same arguments Obama does, with a conservative twist. Republicans don’t appear any more eager than Democrats to send American forces again into Muslim lands. Vladimir Putin’s arrival has probably made punting an even more attractive bipartisan option, since changing policy in Syria could well pit the United States militarily, indirectly or directly, against Russia. Barring a massive terrorist strike against America launched from the Islamic State or elsewhere in Syria, even a half-million dead Syrians—double the current accepted number—and millions more made homeless will likely not push Americans to intervene.

 

But fear of entanglement aside, does the president’s view make sense historically? Have Muslims viewed militant irruptions as preeminently battles of ideas? Or have they seen such struggles as contests of swords and gunpowder? In the past, what have been the winning strategies against “violent extremism” in the Middle East?

 

Historical parallels to the Islamic State are imperfect. Although Islamic history has seen an enormous number of politico-religious rebellions, the vast majority failed to displace the ruling powers, and successful movements seeking explicitly to revive the early caliphate have been rare. The Islamic State in this sense is a product of modernity: It couldn’t have happened without the rise of modern fundamentalism, which zealously ignores—or delegitimizes—the history, the perceived moral compromises, of medieval and modern Muslim empires and states and returns the believer to the most virtuous age, to the community of the prophet Muhammad and the first four caliphs, the Rashidun, the Rightly Guided Ones.  

 

But jihadist revivalism is a not infrequent occurrence. As Princeton’s Michael Cook noted in Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought, an important book for understanding historically the moral reflexes and agony of faithful Muslims: It was the fusion of this egalitarian and activist [Arab] tribal ethos with the monotheist tradition that gave Islam its distinctive political character. In no other civilization was rebellion for conscience sake so widespread as it was in the early centuries of Islamic history; no other major religious tradition has lent itself to revival as a political ideology—and not just a political identity—in the modern world…

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

                                        

 

On Topic

 

Putin the Bully Just Got a Bloody Nose. Now, We Wait: Matt Gurney, National Post, Nov. 24, 2015—Tuesday’s destruction of a Russian Air Force SU-24 warplane by Turkish F-16 fighters is, to say the least, a worrying development. NATO and Russian forces haven’t directly and openly exchanged deliberate fire since the early days of the Cold War. This is not some nervous sentry popping off over a border fence with a rifle. This is a high-tech warplane blowing another high-tech plane out of the sky with a guided missile in compliance with specific and clear orders and rules of engagement. It’s a big development, a scary one, even. But it’s not surprising, or even unwarranted.

Iran’s Elite Forces Enduring Rising Casualties in Syrian Offensive: Steven Emerson, Algemeiner, Nov. 24, 2015 —Fearing the overthrow of Bashar Al-Assad’s regime, an emboldened Islamic Republic of Iran has drastically increased its involvement in Syria, despite suffering heavy losses among its elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Terror Is Terror Is Terror: Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall, JCPA, Nov. 23, 2015—Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was scheduled to make an official visit to France on November 14, 2015. Then, a short time before his arrival, terror struck Paris, and the Iranian foreign minister hastened to announce the visit’s postponement.

Obama’s Syrian Illusions: Wall Street Journal, Nov. 2, 2015—So the U.S. government that was surprised by Vladimir Putin’s takeover of Crimea, surprised by his invasion of eastern Ukraine, surprised by his plan to sell S-300 missiles to Iran, and surprised by his intervention in Syria now thinks the Russian strongman will sue for peace in Syria on U.S. terms and oust Bashar Assad.

 

 

                  

 

 

 

THE WEST MOURNS VICTIMS OF TERRORISM— AS LONG AS THEY AREN’T ISRAELI

How Serious is France About the War against Muslim Terror?: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 16, 2015 — Many tough words have been used by President François Hollande and other French leaders after the terrible massacres in Paris on November 13.

The West Can Win a Battle of Ideas … Assuming it Has Any: National Post, Nov. 18, 2015 — The French government has promised a “pitiless” response to the terrorist attacks on Paris.

Blind Europe Scapegoats Israel for Paris, Cancels out Israeli Victims: Giulio Meotti, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 23, 2015 — When jihadists killed civilians in Paris, Europe called it "terrorism".

Netanyahu Nails It: The Enemy is ‘Medievalism’: Jonah Goldberg, New York Post, Nov. 13, 2015— Americans could learn a thing or two from Bibi Netanyahu.

 

On Topic Links

 

Things the French Can Do That Israelis Cannot: Elder of Ziyon, Algemeiner, Nov. 16, 2015

As U.S. Escalates Air War on ISIS, Allies Slip Away: Eric Schmitt & Michael R. Gordon, New York Times, Nov. 7, 2015  

Republican Candidates Urge Aggressive Response After Paris Attacks: Patrick Healy, New York Times, Nov. 14, 2015

ISIL’s Aims and Appeals: Robert Fulford, National Post, Nov. 20, 2015

                                                                             

 

HOW SERIOUS IS FRANCE ABOUT THE WAR AGAINST MUSLIM TERROR?                                                         

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Arutz Sheva, Nov. 16, 2015  

 

Many tough words have been used by President François Hollande and other French leaders after the terrible massacres in Paris on November 13. "Even if France is wounded, she will rise," Hollande said. "Even if we are in grief, nothing will destroy her.” He also called the massacres an “act of war.” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said “we are at war.” The government has also called a state of emergency which it now wants to extend for three months.

 

The French government gives the impression that it is going to undertake a huge program to fight the Islamic State. French planes have already bombed the Syrian city Raqqa, the de facto capital of the organization. As an aside one might mention here that a summer 2014 poll found that 16% of the French population viewed ISIS favorably at that time.

 

France or indeed any other country going to war, has to assess the battlefield. In a post-modern society this is radically different from classic warfare, as it is not limited to a geographically defined area. The battlefield includes a disparate collection of many individuals with seditious intentions. Radical Muslim ideology is widespread in France and elsewhere in Western Europe. The Islamic State variant is just one among several others. Some of the terrorists came from the Molenbeek quarter, a radical Muslim hotbed in Brussels. The Belgian government has admitted that it has lost control over the area. France has temporarily closed its borders.  However, instituting permanent border controls is a prerequisite in any effective fight against radicalized Muslims. Such a measure will inevitably undermine the Schengen open borders agreement, one of the major achievements of the EU.

 

France’s leaders have given no indication, in what we have heard from them thus far, that the country intends to deal with the entire battlefield. On the contrary, after the January 2015 murders of the Charlie Hebdo journalists and the Jews in the Hyper Cacher supermarket, Hollande nonsensically claimed that when a Muslim with intent to murder shouts “Allahu Akbar” as a battle cry it has nothing to do with Islam

 

Hollande stated: “these fanatics have nothing to do with the Muslim religion.” He thus nonsensically claimed that when a Muslim with intent to murder shouts “Allahu Akbar” as a battle cry it has nothing to do with Islam. Valls spoke more truthfully when he commented on the minority ghettoes at the time. He said that there is a “territorial, social, and ethnic apartheid” separating these neighborhoods from the rest of France.

 

These attacks pose a problem far greater than that faced in January this year, as the target is clearly no longer limited to journalist and Jews. The whole of France — and by extension Europe – its population and culture, is under attack. Problems in the French Muslim community have multiple aspects, as for instance pointed in a study by Gilles Kepel. It is probable that only a small percentage of the anti-democrats among the Muslims in France currently harbor terrorist intentions. However, many more are susceptible to radicalization, and therefore must be seen as potential terrorists. Convincing a few more French Muslim leaders to condemn the murders is not going to help much. The real postmodern war against violent and other antidemocratic Muslims requires a master plan that goes far beyond interim measures such as the closure of radical mosques.

 

This means reclaiming the lost territories in French cities and society, a move tantamount to the elimination of defined urban areas currently ruled, to all intents and purposes, by Sharia law, where French law has been marginalized. It would mean the end of “no go zones” where the police can only enter in large numbers on an ‘ad hoc’ basis.

 

To state explicitly that government control would have to be restored in self-contained Muslim enclaves would verge on the sacrilegious for a socialist politician in France. This is not the result of a conspiracy of silence on the part of the French government and politically correct media. Such avoidance has its origins in something more insidious: a sanitization of public expression encouraged by the establishment’s main actors, both social and political. The absence of any clear mention of problems specifically related to the French Muslim population and to Islam, allows for the fallacious belief that such problems are not major. 

 

In order to fight the war it has declared against terrorism, the government has to define the battlefield. This requires statements which, within the French context, would be extreme. They boil down to: ‘In order to effectively fight the Islamic State, we have to reassess systematically what is wrong in French society, with a strong emphasis on its Muslim component. We are going to deal with these problems come what may, and however long it takes, in a systematic way. We know that if we don’t do so we are asking for even more trouble.’ 

 

In France there are important forces which are not part of the establishment, which may have been propelled forward by the massacres. The main one is Marine le Pen’s right wing National Front party. Its leaders have no problem in pointing out their very different and sometimes racist views of what is wrong in French Muslim society.

 

It may still be too early to see a further popular swing toward the party in the upcoming regional elections at the beginning of December. But even shortly before the massacre, Le Pen was leading in the polls for the first round of the 2017 presidential election, ahead of the Republicans’ Nicolas Sarkozy. Hollande was behind in third place, and according to the polls, would not make it to the second round. This is an additional incentive for him to take matters far more seriously in the current crisis than he has done so far.

 

By observing whether the battlefield has been correctly addressed, as time passes political observers will be able to judge the extent to which the French government is serious about dealing with and preventing terrorism. As far as Israel is concerned: if France acts as it should do for its own security, then it should be more difficult for its government to come up with further disturbing posturing in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and condemnations of Israeli actions against terrorists.

 

If France does not act, Israel can only emphasize that France’s policies have led to a far greater Muslim-perpetrated massacre in Paris, than has ever occurred in Israel. If Hollande is serious, the French intelligence services would do well to come to the only democratic country in the Middle East for more sophisticated advice. Israel has successfully developed detailed intelligence methods over the years to avoid such massacres, dealing with a constant threat of many willing Palestinian and to a lesser extent local Muslim perpetrators.                                                           

 

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THE WEST CAN WIN A BATTLE OF IDEAS … ASSUMING IT HAS ANY                                                          

National Post, Nov. 18, 2015

 

The French government has promised a “pitiless” response to the terrorist attacks on Paris. And it has dropped a few dozen bombs and kicked down some doors. But this crisis requires more than theatre. It requires genuine resolution, which must begin above the neck before radiating down through the spine. To be fair, French President François Hollande seems to be trying to assemble an international coalition to go after ISIL on the ground, despite U.S. President Barack Obama’s no-boots pledge. But the issue is the West’s overall willingness to defend itself military and intellectually. And here the indications are troubling.

 

Among Hollande’s announcements after the Paris attacks was freezing the decline in French military personnel temporarily. If that’s his idea of mobilization for total war, he’s not serious. Nor was he in announcing this spring that instead of sliding to 1.2 per cent of GDP, French military spending would hover briefly around 1.4 per cent, well below NATO’s two per cent pledge. If you add pensions, the number rises to 1.8 per cent. What kind of defence department sees almost a quarter of its spending go to pensions? Answer: the military in a welfare state. Which is also the answer to an even more problematic question: how can any country bring in enormous numbers of culturally hostile immigrants to “reverse” its economic and demographic decline, then leave them to fester resentfully on handouts in squalid suburbs?

 

The French police are now carrying out hundreds of raids on known “militants.” But if they knew about them, and arrests worked, why not act before the slaughter? The raids may impress law-abiding citizens, but they basically pointlessly disrupt the lives of people who already had nothing better to do than sit around despising the infidel society that shelters and subsidizes them, while occasionally plotting mayhem.

 

The search for perpetrators of the Paris attacks has included the radical Muslim Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek, an infamous incubator of terror within easy reach of glittering cafes and EU headquarters. The Belgian prime minister just sighed, “There is almost always a link with Molenbeek. That’s a gigantic problem, of course.” So is sophisticated resignation in the face of known facts, including the long-standing funding of radical Wahabi mosques in Molenbeek by our Saudi “allies,” who forbid construction of churches in their country.

 

We are not suggesting banning radical speech or sermons. Open societies win the battle of ideas … but only if they engage in it. And it is not enough to know what we are fighting against. We must know what we are fighting for. A real response would certainly include rearming militarily instead of clutching Uncle Sam’s pant-leg. France has carried out some 200 air strikes against ISIL since September 2014, barely one every two days. And its task force, centred on the currently operational aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, consists of some three dozen planes. That’s not an air force, it’s a few squadrons. And it’s not a war, it’s a public relations exercise.

 

The United States, by contrast, has carried out nearly 6,400 air strikes in its half-hearted, unfocused intervention. And after Paris, it went after hundreds of trucks carrying ISIL oil inside Syria, something the French, or Canadians, literally could not do. The United States is the only Western nation to maintain a real military, though small by historical standards. It is also, not by coincidence, the only Western country to retain robust pride in its heritage and a birthrate that does not spell demographic decline.

 

America has its problems, to be sure. One currently occupies the White House. President Obama famously sneered at American exceptionalism, saying it was just like everyone else’s. But it’s not. America is the land of the free. So what is France? Its intellectuals and politicians may take perverse pride in their cultural differences from “Anglo-Saxons.” But France is part of the West, an inheritor of the Roman tradition of the rule of law and the Christian notion of individual dignity that, historically, produced open societies.

 

It cannot survive as merely a collection of hedonists who sip wine in cafes, listen to rock music and welcome tourists to the Eiffel Tower. It must be a vital, vigorous part of the West, seeking immigrants who share Western values. Where is the “fraternité” of Muslim immigrants who, we are assured, mostly reject terrorism but have for some reason made their grubby neighbourhoods no-go areas for kuffar police and firefighters?

 

We do not accept respected historian Niall Ferguson’s vision of the last days of Rome in the streets of Paris. ISIL is considerably less competent or vigorous than the barbarians who overwhelmed Rome and the West has deep reserves of strength. But defeating the jihadi cause is going to take a lot more than self-indulgent Facebook images, soppy songs and tricoloured lights, political bluster and a few dozen well-publicized air raids.

 

ISIL’s ideas are repugnant. But they are simple, giving them great appeal to people who are repugnant and simple. And even a bad idea can defeat no idea. To win this long war, the West needs spines connected to brains, a strong military defending a strong sense of self. We are not there yet by any means.                                                                 

                                                                       

Contents

                       

   

 

BLIND EUROPE SCAPEGOATS ISRAEL FOR PARIS,                                        

CANCELS OUT ISRAELI VICTIMS                                                                                            

Giulio Meotti         

                                                                       

Arutz Sheva, Nov. 23, 2015  

 

When jihadists killed civilians in Paris, Europe called it "terrorism". When jihadists kill Israeli civilians in Tel Aviv, as occurred last Thursday and Sunday, Europe calls it "militancy" and cancels out the Israeli victims of terror. If America eliminates Osama bin Laden it is "justice" announced on TV; if Israel kills Sheik Ahmed Yassin it becomes "retaliation" to be ashamed of. But we are past these heinous double standards, we are in the middle of what the Israeli deputy foreign minister, MK Tzipi Hotovely, called "blood libels."

 

It is the same illness that struck different parts of the free world in the Thirties. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is obviously not the reason for the wave of massacres perpetrated by Islamic State; those that attacked French in the heart of Paris, or killed Christians or Yazidis, did not do it because of the Palestinians. Yet we cannot count the ministers in Europe and Nobel Prize winners who immediately connected the French massacres to the "Israeli-Palestinian" question, not by equating Palestinian Arab terror with worldwide Arab terror, but by throwing some responsibility on the Jews.

 

"We are not guilty of the terrorism that strikes us, more than the people of Paris are guilty for the attacks that they suffered," said the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "Therefore, of course, we reject this accusation. But now we are facing something new: not only we are blamed for the terrorism we suffer. Now we come to the absurd that we are even blamed for the terrorism directed at the French."

 

Interviewed by SVT2 on the terrorist attack in Paris, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Margot Wallstrom, said that "to counter radicalization we must go back to the situation in the Middle East, where the Palestinians see that there is no future for them and must accept desperation and resort to violence. " The same words were used by Jan Marinjissen, secretary of the Socialist Party in the Netherlands, who on radio NPO said that "their (ISIS, ed) behavior is related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." Former Foreign Minister of Iceland, Jon Hannibalsson, asked not only to pray for the French victims of the attacks, but also for the Palestinians. "Yes, we pray for Paris, but we also pray for the Palestinians killed in the Occupied Territories". Former British Minister John Prescott wrote in the Daily Mirror: "We need to find a lasting peace throughout the Middle East. We can not let the plague of bad feelings and bad blood in Israel and in the Palestinian territories continue. The best tribute to those who died in Paris, is not to send troops and drones in Syria. And 'to channel the anger for a lasting peaceful solution in this area'. "

 

The former president of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize, Martii Ahtisaari, said: "Europe must pay attention to the reasons for radicalization. Advancing the peace process in the Middle East is of fundamental importance. The issue of Israel and Palestine must be resolved." The same by the former Foreign Minister of Ireland, Dermot Ahern, who has so perspicaciously explained the origins of ISIS: "It comes from the destabilization of the entire region because of the Israeli-Palestinian issue." Former US President and Nobel Peace Prize Jimmy Carter, also said at the Jon Stewart Show: "One of the sources is the Palestinian problem."

 

It is the same illness that struck different parts of the free world in the Thirties. Blaming the Jews whenever something bad happens is an old habit. These leaders of the European Union, including two Nobel Prize for Peace laureates, were looking for an excuse to offer to the terrorists who massacred 130 people in Paris. Again, at the expense of Israel and Jews.

 

Last week, a beautiful young Jew, Ezra Josh Schwartz, was killed in Gush Etzion by the same enemies of civilization as in Paris. But nobody in Europe lit candles for him. A noble Jew. Already forgotten by the shameless and blind Europe.                                                              

 

Contents

 

NETANYAHU NAILS IT: THE ENEMY IS ‘MEDIEVALISM’                                       

Jonah Goldberg

 

New York Post, Nov. 13, 2015

 

Americans could learn a thing or two from Bibi Netanyahu. The Israeli prime minister was in Washington this week to receive the American Enterprise Institute’s Irving Kristol Award. He made some controversial remarks — at least controversial at AEI, where I am a fellow, and where the freedom agenda is alive and well — about the need to be realistic about what’s going on in the Middle East. Sometimes, he said, brutal dictators are better than the real-world alternatives: even more brutal Islamist movements hell-bent (or, if you prefer, paradise-bent) to conquer the world.

 

 

Less controversial but more intriguing was his description of the turmoil in the Middle East. “The core of the conflicts in the Middle East is the battle between modernity and early primitive medievalism,” Netanyahu explained. Everyone understood what he meant, of course. The Islamic State believes the Muslim world took a wrong turn more than a thousand years ago.

 

The Taliban, the Wahhabis, al-Qaida, the Muslim Brotherhood and all the other Islamists share this same worldview to one extent or another. Not every Islamist believes in crucifying Christians or throwing acid in the face of little girls going to school. But they all reject modernity, pluralism, secularism, democracy and, in many cases, even science. “Medievalism” isn’t a perfect word, but it’s a better word than “terrorism” or “Islamism.”

 

President George W. Bush settled on “the war on terror” to describe our fight with Islamic terrorists. But there are problems with using “terrorism” as a euphemism for Islamic radicals. I’ll give you three. First, terrorism is a tactic. If North Korea launches a nuclear missile at the United States, we will not declare war against intercontinental ballistic missiles. We will declare war against North Korea.

 

Second, in a war, tactics are secondary. Let’s imagine the Islamic State kept growing and became a major military power. If it replaced typical terror tactics with tanks, ships and armies but continued to make war against the US and our allies, that wouldn’t change the fact that we’d still need to destroy our enemy.

 

Last, there are many terrorist groups that are not Islamic at all. The self-described “Real IRA” is certainly a terrorist outfit, and I have no problem with it being crushed, but it is not a strategic threat to the United States. This is why many conservatives prefer terms like “jihadism” or “radical Islam” — for the simple reason that it’s more accurate. Conceptual clarity is essential to national security strategy.

 

Still, one can understand why Bush didn’t want to declare war on Islamism or jihadism. Put simply, such labels create a propaganda problem because they make it easier for the radicals to claim we are at war with Islam itself. There are more than a billion Muslims in the world, and while far too many are sympathetic to the jihadists, there are still hundreds of millions who reject terrorism. It doesn’t help us with our Muslim allies when we sound like we’re at war with their faith.

 

Israel certainly can’t afford to sound like it’s at war with Islam, not when it needs to work with Muslim countries like Egypt and Jordan. Hence the term “medievalism.” While not perfect, the term is far more clarifying and accurate than “terrorism.” It also helps to illuminate why the left is so wrongheaded in its knee-jerk tendency to condemn criticism of Islamic radicalism as intolerant.

 

At the core of progressive ideology is the Whiggish idea that modernity is preferable to the customs of the past. As a conservative, I think progressives often go too far in applying and misapplying this thinking. But they’re right on the big picture. Modernity — by which I mean tolerance, pluralism, equality, democracy — is preferable to absolutism.

 

In February the UN issued a report chronicling how the Islamic State was burying alive, beheading and crucifying children. The next day, President Obama went on a tear about how we in the West shouldn’t get on our “high horse” about it because Christians did terrible things a thousand years ago.

 

I’d still rather live under medieval Christians than under the Islamic State, but that’s beside the point. The reason Obama’s statement was so morally obtuse is that he was comparing medieval Christians from a millennium ago to monsters who proudly videotape their crimes in the here and now. If we can’t get on our high horses about that, what use is there in having high horses at all?

                                               

On Topic

 

Things the French Can Do That Israelis Cannot: Elder of Ziyon, Algemeiner, Nov. 16, 2015—On Friday night, French President Francois Hollande said, “To all those who have seen these awful things, I want to say we are going to lead a war which will be pitiless.”

As U.S. Escalates Air War on ISIS, Allies Slip Away: Eric Schmitt & Michael R. Gordon, New York Times, Nov. 7, 2015—As the United States prepares to intensify airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria, the Arab allies who with great fanfare sent warplanes on the initial missions there a year ago have largely vanished from the campaign.

Republican Candidates Urge Aggressive Response After Paris Attacks: Patrick Healy, New York Times, Nov. 14, 2015—Visions of two Americas emerged from the 2016 presidential field on Saturday, at the Democratic debate and at Republican campaign events, as the candidates sought to project leadership after the Paris attacks and maneuver for political advantage in a rare moment when national security held voters’ attention.

ISIL’s Aims and Appeals: Robert Fulford, National Post, Nov. 20, 2015—The outrage that traumatized Paris last weekend, and sent a shiver of foreboding across the planet, has altered the place of radical Islam in our mental map of the world. The president of France, François Hollande, said his country will make “pitiless” war against ISIL — and France sent off warplanes to prove it. That’s a humanly angry response but most of us are still trying to absorb the new global reality that ISIL now forces us to live within.

 

                  

 

 

 

THE WEEK THAT WAS: POLLARD FINALLY FREED! WAR AGAINST “FASCISLAMISTS” & ON CAMPUSES, “SAFE SPACES” & “MICRO-AGGRESSIONS”

Jonathan Pollard, Jewish-American Spy for Israel, Going Free After 30 Years: Mitch Ginsburg, Times of Israel, Nov. 20, 2015 — Jonathan Jay Pollard, the American-Jewish spy for Israel whose conviction on charges of espionage shaded the relations between the two countries and raised, yet again, the ancient allegation of Jewish dual loyalty, was finally to be freed on parole Friday after 30 years.

War: Thinking the Unthinkable: Bernard-Henri Lévy, Huffington Post, Nov. 18, 2015 — So it's war. A new kind of war.

The Rise of the College Crybullies: Roger Kimball, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 13, 2015 — For more than a week now, the country has been mesmerized, and appalled, by the news emanating from academia.

A Crisis Our Universities Deserve: Ross Douthat, New York Times, Nov. 14, 2015— Between the 19th century and the 1950s, the American university was gradually transformed from an institution intended to transmit knowledge into an institution designed to serve technocracy.

 

On Topic Links

 

The World is at War: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 20, 2015

Pollard’s Tragedy of Errors: Gil Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2015  

University Administrators and Real Professors Should Take Note: Every Brain Needs a Spine: Rex Murphy, National Post, Nov. 14, 2015

Columbia Protesters Cheer: 'I Love Black Criminals': Aaron Short, New York Post, Nov. 15, 2015

                                                                             

JONATHAN POLLARD, JEWISH-AMERICAN SPY FOR ISRAEL,

GOING FREE AFTER 30 YEARS                                                                  

Mitch Ginsburg                

                                Times of Israel, Nov. 20, 2015

 

Jonathan Jay Pollard, the American-Jewish spy for Israel whose conviction on charges of espionage shaded the relations between the two countries and raised, yet again, the ancient allegation of Jewish dual loyalty, was finally to be freed on parole Friday after 30 years.

 

Pollard, a civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy, spied for Israel for the span of 18 months. His capture and his subsequent treatment — by Israel, which threw him out of its Washington embassy and into the arms of waiting FBI agents, and by the United States, which agreed to a plea bargain and then sentenced him with uncommon severity — left him deeply embittered.

 

He was caught in November 1985 and given a life sentence two years later. There was no trial. Pollard, abiding by the prosecution’s terms, cooperated with FBI investigators and pleaded guilty to one count of espionage, conspiring to deliver national defense information to a foreign government. The prosecution honored its commitment and requested a “substantial” prison term rather than life behind bars. Judge Aubrey Robinson Jr., not bound by the prosecution’s plea bargain and apparently swayed by secretary of defense Caspar Weinberger’s damage-assessment brief, nonetheless sentenced Pollard to life. The content of Weinberger’s memo remains classified until today.

 

For the first 11 years of his incarceration, Israel refused to acknowledge that Pollard had operated as an authorized spy. He was not granted Israeli citizenship until November 1995. Nor was he much of a cause célèbre. Two notable backers of clemency were Rabbi Avi Weiss of Riverdale, New York, and Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard University, both of whom advocated for his release during the early nineties. At that time the vast majority of Jewish leaders in the US sought to distance themselves from the case, which, like the trial and execution of Jules and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953, was seen as corrosively toxic to the achievements of American Jewry.

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the first Israeli leader since Pollard’s capture who presumably had no involvement in, or knowledge of, the case in real time, requested a presidential pardon from Bill Clinton in October 1998. Only Pollard’s release, he contended, would allow him to sign the second stage of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians at Wye River, Maryland. CIA Director George Tenet, also present at Wye River, served Clinton with an ultimatum: he would quit if the president acquiesced.

 

Subsequently, a growing list of American leaders, Jewish and otherwise, called for Pollard’s release. The US assistant secretary of defense at the time of his capture, Lawrence Korb, said in 2010 that “an injustice was done to Pollard” and that he should be released “before it is too late.” Former secretaries of state George Shultz and Henry Kissinger echoed that call. None, though, spoke as firmly as former CIA director James Woolsey, who hinted at anti-Semitism as a root cause of his lengthy incarceration: “There is absolutely no reason for Pollard to be imprisoned for as long as [Aldrich] Ames and [Robert] Hanssen, and substantially longer than spies from other friendly, allied, and neutral countries,” he wrote in 2012 in a letter to the Wall Street Journal. “For those hung up for some reason on the fact that he’s an American Jew, pretend he’s a Greek- or Korean- or Filipino-American and free him.”

 

Donald Rumsfeld, early in his tenure as secretary of defense under president George W. Bush, wrote a memo that encapsulated the sentiment of the anti-clemency camp. “Representatives of the Israeli government are coming to Washington DC to meet with you,” he opened a March 2001 memo to Bush. They would likely ask for Pollard’s freedom, he wrote dryly. “Indeed it tends to happen repeatedly during the course of an Administration.” Rather than merely saying no, Rumsfeld suggested that Bush say: “…definitely no – no today, tomorrow and the next day, and that it is not a matter that you would consider during your administration. The advantage of being forceful the first time they visit the subject is that it might set them back on their heels and give them pause about bringing the subject up to you ever again.”

 

Pollard, known to his friends and colleagues as Jay, was raised in South Bend, Indiana, where, according to de-classified CIA documents, he lived a childhood “marked by material sufficiency, strong intellectual stimulation within a closely knit family and some bruising experiences as a member of the Jewish-American minority growing up in middle-America.” The Klan, he told Wolf Blitzer in the latter’s enduringly excellent book “Territory of Lies,” “was well organized in my city.”

 

A trip to Dachau, followed by a summer in Israel at a science camp at the Weizmann Institute, cemented in his mind a commitment to Israel’s security. The commitment, though, while apparently genuine — there have been doubters, citing offers Pollard allegedly made to trade classified documents to the governments of South Africa, Argentina, and Taiwan before ever coming into official contact with Israel — was not rooted in entirely stable ground. In college, at Stanford University, he claimed to work for the Mossad. On one occasion, he waved a pistol in the air “and screamed that everyone was out to get him,” according to the CIA papers.

 

Lieutenant Commander David G. Muller, Jr., who ran an analytical section at the US Navy’s Field Operational Intelligence Office in Suitland, Maryland, told Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker in 1999 that when he first met Pollard, during a job interview in the early eighties, the future spy had come late for the interview and told him a complicated tale about how his then fiancé, Anne Henderson, had been kidnapped over the weekend by IRA operatives. “I ought to have gone to the security people and said ‘hey, this guy’s a wacko,” Muller said…                                                                                                                                    

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

 

Contents

 

                      WAR: THINKING THE UNTHINKABLE

Bernard-Henri Lévy                                  

Huffington Post, Nov. 18, 2015

 

So it's war. A new kind of war. A war with and without borders, with and without states, a war doubly new because it blends the nonterritorial model of Al-Qaeda with the old territorial paradigm to which Daesh has returned. But a war all the same. And, faced with this war unwanted by the United States, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, and now France, only one question is worth asking: What should we do? How, when a war like this is forced upon you, do you respond and win?

 

Principle number 1: Don't play with words. Call things by their right names. Dare to utter the terrible word "war," a word that the democracies try to push out of the range of hearing, beyond the bounds of their imagination, their symbolic system, and their reality. This aversion to war is their mission, their distinguishing trait, and their crowning glory, but it is also their weakness.

 

Recall the nobility and the candor of Léon Blum revealing, in a famous debate with Elie Halévy in the 1930s, that he could not grasp the notion of democracy at war, except as a contradiction. Recall the dignity but also the limits of the great consciences of humanism in the second half of that same decade, when they watched with alarm as Georges Bataille, Michel Leiris, Roger Caillois, and others from the College of Sociology called for the intellectual rearmament of a world that believed, then as now, that it was done with its dark past and with history.

 

That is where we stand today. Thinking the unthinkable: war. Accepting the oxymoron of a modern republic required to wage war to save itself. And thinking it all the more painfully because none of the rules laid down by theoreticians of war, from Thucydides to Clausewitz, seem to apply to that nonexistent state that brings fire from a distance that is all the greater because its frontlines are fluid and its fighters have the tactical advantage of making no distinction between what we call life and what they call death.

 

France's government, including the president, understands this. French political leaders across the spectrum have voiced their unanimous support. That leaves you, me, and society, both collectively and individually. Each of us, this time, is a target, a frontline, a soldier without knowing it, a cell of resistance, a locus of mobilization and of biopolitical fragility. The idea is heartbreaking and appalling, but it is a fact that we must face.

 

Principle number 2: The enemy. To utter the word war is to evoke an enemy. As Carl Schmitt taught, we must deal with the enemy as enemy, viewing him as someone to be tricked, outmaneuvered, tangled up in negotiations, or struck silently, depending on the tactics adopted–but in no case appeased. Following Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas, and every other theoretician of just war, we must also call the enemy by his true name.

 

That name is not "terrorism." The enemy is not a dispersed collection of "lone wolves" or "lunatics." And, as for the relentless culture of excuses that persists in portraying Daesh death squads as oppressed and excluded individuals pushed to the edge by an unjust society and forced by poverty to execute young people whose only crime is to like rock music, soccer, or a cool autumn night at a sidewalk cafe, that is an insult to the world's poor as well as to the dead. No.

 

These ignorant men who level their guns at the gift of life and at the freedom of movement and expression of the world's great cities; who detest the urban spirit as much as they do the underlying spirit of laws, rights, and peaceful autonomy of people freed from ancient subjections; who could benefit, if only the words were not so utterly foreign to them, from Victor Hugo's protest in response to the massacres of the Commune: that attacking Paris is worse than attacking France because it destroys the world–these men should rightfully be labeled fascists. Better: FASCISLAMISTS.

 

Better: the product of the grafting that Paul Claudel saw coming when he noted in his journal for May 21, 1935, in one of those insights that occur only to the truly great: "Hitler's speech? A kind of Islamism is being created at the center of Europe." What is the advantage of naming things accurately? To place the cursor right where it belongs. To remind us that against such an adversary war must be waged without truce or mercy. And to require each of us, everywhere, in the Arab-Muslim world as on the rest of the planet, to say why we are fighting, alongside whom, and against whom. Of course this does not mean that Islam, any more than other systems of thought, has a special affinity for the worst. It does not…

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

                                                                     

                                                                       

Contents

    

THE RISE OF THE COLLEGE CRYBULLIES                                                               

Roger Kimball                           

                      Wall Street Journal, Nov. 13, 2015

 

For more than a week now, the country has been mesmerized, and appalled, by the news emanating from academia. At Yale the insanity began over Halloween costumes. Erika Christakis, associate master of a residential college at Yale, courted outrage by announcing that “free speech and the ability to tolerate offense are the hallmarks of a free and open society” and it was not her business to police Halloween costumes.

 

To people unindoctrinated by the sensitivity training that is de rigueur on most campuses today, these sentiments might seem unobjectionable. But to the delicate creatures at Yale’s Silliman College they were an intolerable provocation. What if students dressed as American Indians or Mexican mariachi musicians? Angry, hysterical students confronted Nicholas Christakis, Erika’s husband and the master of Silliman, screaming obscenities and demanding that he step down because he had failed to create “a place of comfort, a home” for students. The episode was captured on video and went viral.

 

At the University of Missouri, Jonathan Butler, the son of a wealthy railroad executive (2014 compensation: $8.4 million), went on a hunger strike to protest what he called “revolting” acts of racism at Mizzou. Details were scanty. Nevertheless, black members of the university football team threatened to strike for the rest of the season unless Tim Wolfe, Mizzou’s president, stepped down. A day or two later, he did. Emboldened, student and faculty protesters physically prevented reporters from photographing a tent village they had built on public space. In another shocking video, a student photographer is shown being forced back by an angry mob while Melissa Click, a feminist communications teacher at Mizzou, shouts for “muscle” to help her eject a reporter.

 

What is happening? Is it a reprise of the late 1960s and 1970s, when campuses across the country were sites of violent protests? In my book “Tenured Radicals: How Politics Have Corrupted Our Higher Education,” I showed how the radical ideology of the 1960s had been institutionalized, absorbed into the moral tissues of the American educational establishment. As one left-wing professor wrote in the Chronicle of Higher Education, “After the Vietnam War, a lot of us didn’t just crawl back into our literary cubicles; we stepped into academic positions. With the war over, our visibility was lost, and it seemed for a while—to the unobservant—that we had disappeared. Now we have tenure, and the work of reshaping the universities has begun in earnest.”

 

“Tenured Radicals” provides an account of that reshaping, focusing especially on what it has meant for the substance of a college education. The book includes a section on “academia and infantilization.” But when I wrote in 2008, the rhetoric of “safe spaces,” “microaggressions” and “trigger warnings” had not yet colluded to bring forth that new academic phenomenon, at once tender and vicious, the crybully. The crybully, who has weaponized his coveted status as a victim, was first sighted in the mid-2000s. He has two calling cards, race and gender. By coincidence Lawrence Summers, then president of Harvard University, was involved in the evolution of both.

 

Race came first. In 2001 Mr. Summers made headlines when he suggested that Cornel West—then the Alphonse Fletcher, Jr., University Professor and eminence in the African and African American Studies Department at Harvard—buckle down to some serious scholarship. (Mr. West’s most recent production had been a rap CD called “Sketches of My Culture.”) Mr. Summers also suggested that the professor lead in fighting the scandal of grade inflation at Harvard, where one of every two grades was an A or A-. A national scandal erupted. Black professors at Harvard threatened to leave—Mr. West soon decamped to Princeton—and the New York Times published a hand-wringing editorial criticizing Mr. Summers, who quickly recanted, noting that the entire episode had been “a terrible misunderstanding.”

 

Then came gender. In 2005 Mr. Summers spoke at a conference on “Diversifying the Science & Engineering Workforce” at MIT. He speculated on why there aren’t more women scientists at elite universities. He touched on several possibilities: Maybe “patterns of discrimination” had something to do with it. Maybe most women preferred to put their families before their careers. And maybe, just possibly, it had something to do with “different availability of aptitude at the high end.” What a storm that last comment sparked! “I felt I was going to be sick,” wailed Nancy Hopkins, a biology professor at MIT, who had walked out on Mr. Summers. “My heart was pounding and my breath was shallow, low,” Ms. Hopkins said. “I was extremely upset.”…

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

                                                                       

 

Contents

 

A CRISIS OUR UNIVERSITIES DESERVE                                                                     

Ross Douthat

 

New York Times, Nov. 14, 2015

 

Between the 19th century and the 1950s, the American university was gradually transformed from an institution intended to transmit knowledge into an institution designed to serve technocracy. The religious premises fell away, the classical curriculums were displaced by specialized majors, the humanities ceded pride of place to technical disciplines, and the professor’s role became more and more about research rather than instruction.

 

Over this period the university system became increasingly rich and powerful, a center of scientific progress and economic development. But it slowly lost the traditional sense of community, mission, and moral purpose. The ghost of an older humanism still haunted its libraries and classrooms, but students seeking wisdom and character could be forgiven for feeling like a distraction from the university’s real business.

 

At which point the student radicalism of the 1960s entered the picture. The radicals moved quickly to dismantle the vestiges of moral conservatism on campus — the in loco parentis rules that still governed undergraduate life, for instance. But their real mission was actually a kind of remoralization, a renewal of the university as a place of almost-religious purpose, where students would be educated about certain great truths and then sent forth to live them out. It was just that these truths were modern instead of ancient: The truths of the antiwar and civil rights movements, and later of feminism and environmentalism and LBGTQ activism and a long list of social justice causes.

 

With time, the university ceded just enough ground to co-opt and tame these radicals. It adopted their buzzwords as a kind of post-religious moral vocabulary; it granted them the liberal arts as an ideological fiefdom (but not the sciences or the business school!); it used their vision of sexual liberation as a selling point for applicants looking for a John Belushi-esque good time. The result, by the time I arrived at college late in the 1990s, was a campus landscape where left-wing pieties dominated official discourse, but the university’s deeper spirit remained technocratic, careerist and basically amoral. And many students seemed content with that settlement.

 

This was the heyday of what my colleague David Brooks dubbed “the organization kid,” a vaguely liberal but not at all radical specimen to whom both traditional humanism and left-wing politics seemed entirely lacking in appeal. Now, though, radicalism is back, and the settlement that kept the careerist peace on campus seems to be cracking up all over. At small liberal-arts colleges, big state schools and Ivies alike, protesters are defenestrating presidents and deans, occupying quads, and demanding wholesale social and academic change.

 

It probably goes without saying that I have little sympathy for the goals of these new activists. In the academy they have in mind, ideas I cherish would probably be banned as hate speech and a past I treasure buried under “trigger warnings.” But the activists’ many critics, conservative and liberal, need a clearer sense of what these students are reacting against. The protesters at Yale and Missouri and a longer list of schools stand accused of being spoiled, silly, self-dramatizing — and many of them are. But they’re also dealing with a university system that’s genuinely corrupt, and that’s long relied on rote appeals to the activists’ own left-wing pieties to cloak its utter lack of higher purpose…

 

And within this system, the contemporary college student is actually a strange blend of the pampered and the exploited. This is true of the college football recruit who’s a god on campus but also an unpaid cog in a lucrative football franchise that has a public college vestigially attached. It’s true of the liberal arts student who’s saddled with absurd debts to pay for an education that doesn’t even try to pass along any version of Matthew Arnold’s “ best which has been thought and said,” and often just induces mental breakdowns in the pursuit of worldly success. It’s true of the working class or minority student who’s expected to lend a patina of diversity to a campus organized to deliver good times to rich kids whose parents pay full freight. And then it’s true of the rich girl who discovers the same university that promised her a carefree Rumspringa (justified on high feminist principle, of course) doesn’t want to hear a word about what happened to her at that frat party over the weekend.

 

The protesters may be obnoxious enemies of free debate, in other words, but they aren’t wrong to smell the rot around them. And they’re vindicated every time they push and an administrator caves: It’s proof that they have a monopoly on moral spine, and that any small-l liberal alternative is simply hollow. Or as the great Walter Sobchak might have put it: “Say what you want about the tenets of political correctness, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.” Which might turn out to be the only epitaph for the modern university anybody needs to write.                       

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

                                               

 

On Topic

 

The World is at War: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 20, 2015—The world is at war. And that's old news. Immediately after 9/11, over 14 years ago, former Mossad Chief Efraim Halevy said that WWIII had begun. The only thing that has changed over the past few days is that the rest of the world is also beginning to realize that it is at war.

Pollard’s Tragedy of Errors: Gil Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2015  —Dictionaries define William Shakespeare’s tragedies as his plays dealing with tragic events and having an unhappy ending, especially one concerning the downfall of the main character.

University Administrators and Real Professors Should Take Note: Every Brain Needs a Spine: Rex Murphy, National Post, Nov. 14, 2015—The most recent reports say there is a crisis in child services in the United States. The cost of daycare spaces has reached absolutely astronomic levels. Placement at the University of Missouri, for example, easily breaks the $40,000 threshold.

Columbia Protesters Cheer: 'I Love Black Criminals': Aaron Short, New York Post, Nov. 15, 2015—Either you’re with us or you’re against us. Columbia student activists are pestering peers to attend campus protests and walk-outs in solidarity with college students at Missouri and Yale or risk social isolation, students say.

                  

 

 

 

SUÈDE, AUTORITÉ PALESTINIENNE: LE DÉLIRE

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

 

 

 

 

La Suède lie les attaques terroristes

à Paris au désespoir des Palestiniens                                                                                        

I24, 16 Nov., 2015

             

La ministre suédoise des Affaires étrangères, Margot Wallström, a indiqué samedi à la télévision suédoise qu’afin d’empêcher la radicalisation des jeunes musulmans, il faut s’occuper des situations au Moyen-Orient comme celle des Palestiniens qui sont désespérés et n’ont aucun avenir, rapporte le journal Times of Israel.

 

Les déclarations de la ministre suédoise interviennent au lendemain des attentats terroristes à Paris qui ont tué plus de 129 personnes. Le ministère israélien des Affaires étrangères a décidé de convoquer l’ambassadeur de la Suède en Israël.

 

“Les déclarations de la ministre suédoise sont choquantes. La ministre prend systématiquement position contre Israël et montre une hostilité sans égale lorsqu’elle pointe du doigt un quelconque lien entre les attentats à Paris et le conflit entre Israéliens et Palestiniens”, a indiqué un responsable du ministère israélien des Affaires étrangères.

 

“Les déclarations de Margot Wallström sont à la limite de l’antisémitisme”, a indiqué Tzipy Hotovely, la Vice-ministre israélienne des Affaires étrangères. L’ambassade de Suède en Israël a affirmé que Wallström n’a en aucun cas lié le conflit israélo-palestinien aux attentats à Paris. Le ministère des AE a par la suite publié un communiqué sur son site internet par rapport aux attentats.

 

“La Suède condamne les terribles actes terroristes survenus hier à Paris. Ces actes ont ciblé et tué des citoyens innocents. Nos pensées vont aux victimes et à leurs familles. Ces actes de terrorisme sont une attaque contre la démocratie et nos sociétés ouvertes”. “Il convient de répondre avec détermination à ces attaques ; nous devons repousser le terrorisme et les responsables doivent répondre de leurs actes. Nous devons également lutter efficacement à long terme contre les causes profondes du terrorisme et renforcer les actions contre l’extrémisme et le fanatisme”, a affirmé Margot Wallström.

 

 

LE QUOTIDIEN OFFICIEL DE L’AUTORITE PALESTINIENNE :

ISRAËL A MENE LES ATTAQUES DE PARIS                                                                   

Times of Israel, 15 Nov., 2015

 

Une opinion publiée dimanche dans le quotidien du journal officiel de l’Autorité palestinienne, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida a accusé l’agence des renseignements d’Israël, le Mossad, pour les attaques meurtrières de vendredi à Paris. Il a suggéré que le Mossad a orchestré les attentats pour ébranler la nouvelle décision de l’UE pour promouvoir la solution à deux Etats et étiqueter clairement les produits israéliens issus des implantations.

 

L’article a été traduit par Palestinian Media Watch, un institut de veille. « Ce n’est pas une coïncidence si le sang humain a explosé à Paris au même moment où les sanctions européennes commencent à être mises en œuvre contre les produits des implantations, et pendant que la France mène l’Europe qui conseille au Conseil de sécurité [de l’ONU] qui mettra en œuvre la solution à deux Etats, la Palestine et Israël – ce que les Israéliens voient comme une mise en garde d’un danger soudain qui vient de l’Europe, où l’initiative de l’occupation sioniste est née… », a affirmé l’article.

 

« La chose sage et correcte à faire est de regarder qui en tire des bénéfices », a poursuivi l’article. « En résumé : ils doivent chercher la dernière place qui a été atteint par les bras de la pieuvre du Mossad… Il est clair que son ‘Mossad’ brûlera Beirut et Paris dans le but d’atteindre les buts [du Premier ministre] Benjamin Netanyahu. Celui, qui a défié le maître de la Maison Blanche, cache dans son âme assez de mal pour brûler le monde ».

 

Par ailleurs, la dirigeante du Mouvement Free Gaza, Mary Hughes-Thompson, a tweeté un message laissant entendre qu’Israël pourrait être derrière les attaques terroristes de Paris. « Je ne l’ai pas accusé Israël d’implication. Pourtant, Bibi est en colère a propos du boycott européen des colonies. Alors, qui sait ? », a-t-elle écrit, en utilisant un surnom pour le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu.

 

Cela n’est pas la première fois Hughes-Thompson suggère l’implication israélienne derrière des attentats contre la France. En janvier, elle avait insinué que le Mossad aurait pu commettre l’attaque meurtrière dans les bureaux de la rédaction de Charlie Hebdo, une attaque qui avait été perpétrée par deux frères islamistes.

 

« Les meurtres #Hebdo sont indéfendables. Vous ne pouvez pas m’empêcher de penser qu’il s’agit d’un faux pavillon du #JSIL Mossad ». JSIL est l’acronyme de « Etat juif dans le Levant », un terme utilisé par les activistes anti-israéliens pour assimiler Israël à l’Etat islamique.

      

 

LA POLICE PERQUISITIONNE DES BUREAUX DU CROISSANT-ROUGE PALESTINIEN                                          

Times of Israel, 17 Nov. 2015

 

La police a confirmé qu’ils ont perquisitionné un bureau du service médical d’urgence du Croissant-Rouge à Jérusalem-Est. La porte-parole de la police, Louba Samri, a indiqué qu’ils ne peuvent pas révéler quelles sont leurs intentions à ce moment de la procédure.

 

Selon les médias sociaux, le raid a eu lieu dans un bureau du Croissant-Rouge à Silwan. On ne sait pas s’il y a eu des arrestations. Les responsables israéliens ont affirmé que des médecins du Croissant-Rouge ont violé les normes humanitaires en refusant d’aider les victimes d’une attaque terroriste dans le sud de la Cisjordanie vendredi.

 

Une femme qui se trouvait dans une voiture dans laquelle son mari et son fils ont été abattus a déclaré que les médecins du Croissant-Rouge sont arrivés sur les lieux mais qu’ils sont repartis aussitôt après avoir vu que les victimes étaient des Israéliens.

 

Un porte-parole du Croissant-Rouge a répondu que le groupe était prêt à aider mais qu’une ambulance du Magen David Adom est arrivée avant qu’ils puissent faire quelque chose.

 

Dimanche, Netanyahu a ordonné à l’émissaire de l’ONU, Danny Danon, de déposer une plainte auprès de la Société internationale de la Croix-Rouge au sujet de l’incident.

 

 

DES TEMOINS DECRIVENT L’ATTAQUE AU COUTEAU DE TEL AVIV

Times of Israel, 19 Nov., 2015

     

Shimon Vaknin est allé assister à une prière de l’après-midi, qui rassemblait 20 à 30 autres personnes, lorsque les prières ont été interrompues quand l’une des victimes est entrée en titubant dans la pièce cherchant de l’aide et s’est effondrée. « Nous faisions les prières de Mincha [prière de l’après-midi] », a-t-il décrit.

 

« En plein milieu des prières, tout à coup, nous avons vu un homme blessé tomber à l’entrée de la synagogue, et un homme derrière lui avec un couteau qui tentait de rentrer à l’intérieur ». « Quelqu’un a crié ‘c’est un terroriste! ». Pendant que certains des fidèles tentaient d’aider l’homme blessé, le reste des fidèles a rapidement fermé les portes de la pièce, a-t-il ajouté.

 

« Nous avons réussi à fermer les portes et il a essayé de la forcer. S’il avait réussi à pénétrer à l’intérieur, il aurait tué les fidèles. Nous avons utilisé toutes nos forces pour ne pas le laisser rentrer à l’intérieur et puis il est allé vers les magasins à proximité pour essayer de blesser quelqu’un là-bas ».

 

Les hommes à l’intérieur se sont armés de barres et sont partis à la recherche du terroriste et quand ils sont sortis de la pièce, ils ont vu un autre homme sur le sol, également gravement blessé. « C’était un grand miracle ; c’est un terrible désastre mais cela aurait pu être bien pire ».

 

Yisrael Bahar, qui travaille dans un magasin près de l’immeuble, a entendu le vacarme à l’extérieur et est sorti voir ce qui se passait. « Nous avons entendu des cris. Je voyais quelqu’un sur le sol alors qu’un terroriste le poignardait. J’avais une barre avec moi et je l’ai jetée sur lui. Le terroriste a commencé à me courir après, je suis retourné à l’endroit où je travaille et j’ai fermé les portes. Le terroriste s’est rendu compte qu’il ne pouvait pas entrer et est redescendu. Ensuite, nous avons couru vers le blessé et nous lui avons porté assistance. Il est mort dans mes bras ».

 

Un autre témoin, identifié par le site hébreu NRG seulement par le nom de Paz, était dans le bâtiment lors de l’attaque. « Nous étions à l’étage dans un magasin de vêtements. Nous avons vu des gens couverts de sang. L’un d’eux avait été poignardé à la gorge. La police a arrêté le terroriste. La personne qui a été assassinée allait à la prière et a été poignardée dans le cou ».

      

 

ÉTAT PALESTINIEN OU ETAT DE DENI ?         

Bret Stephens                         

Dreuz,  9 Nov., 2015

 

 

Comme le faisait remarquer Guy Millière, ceux qui sont limités à lire les médias de masse en français ne peuvent développer qu’une vision étroite et bornée de ce qui se passe dans le monde.

J’ai traduit ce texte pour aider les lecteurs de Dreuz à éviter l’asphyxie dont parle Millière.

 

On ne fait pas la paix avec ses ennemis, on fait la paix avec ses anciens ennemis. De tous les clichés politiques, il y en a t-il jamais eu de plus malencontreux que la phrase – attribuée soit au Premier ministre martyr israélien Yitzhak Rabin ou au légendaire ministre de la Défense Moshe Dayan – selon laquelle «vous faites la paix avec vos ennemis, pas avec vos amis» ?

 

D’accord, « Give Peace a Chance » et « construire la nation chez soi » sont de bien pires clichés. Mais cette phrase de Rabin ou Dayan constitue l’expression la plus aboutie de l’abrutissement qui passe pour de la sagesse parmi les gens qui se croient intelligents. À la suite de la séance de «réconciliation» cosmétique lundi entre le président Obama et le Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Nétanyahou, il est temps de réexaminer ce concept.

 

Soyons sérieux : vous ne faites pas la paix avec vos ennemis. Vous faites la paix avec vos anciens ennemis, soit parce que vous les avez vaincus comme les Alliés ont vaincu les puissances de l’Axe durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale ; soit parce qu’ils se sont effondrés telle l’Union soviétique après la chute du mur de Berlin ; ou alors parce qu’ils vous ont vaincus et vous êtes capable d’accepter ce résultat en demeurant à distance.

 

Exemple : les Américains au Vietnam. En de rares et précieuses occasions, les deux parties se rendent compte que leurs intérêts sont mieux servis par un règlement négocié qu’ils sont prêts à honorer. Ce fut le miracle de 1977, lorsque l’Égyptien Anouar El-Sadate allât en Israël pour montrer qu’il avait sincèrement accepté le droit d’existence de l’État juif. Geste qu’il a payé de sa vie.

 

Ceux qui restent des ennemis ne font pas la paix. Ils peuvent cesser de se combattre ouvertement, tels le Pakistan et l’Inde, alors qu’Islamabad continue de soutenir par procuration le terrorisme anti-indien.

 

Ils peuvent organiser un armistice à long terme du genre qu’a la Corée du Sud avec la Corée du Nord. Mais là, il s’agit d’une paix préservée par 700 000 soldats sud-coréens en service actif et des troupes américaines auxquelles on ajoute plus d’un million de mines terrestres dans la zone démilitarisée.

 

Ces 22 dernières années, depuis que Rabin a signé les accords d’Oslo avec Yasser Arafat et l’OLP, Israël a tenté de réaliser une chose sans précédent : faire la paix avec un ennemi qui ne démontre aucun intérêt à devenir un ex-ennemi.

Daniel Polisar, un politologue israélien, a récemment publié une étude fascinante dans le magazine Mosaïc concernant l’opinion publique palestinienne basé sur 330 sondages réalisés depuis de nombreuses années. C’est une lecture vivifiante (pour les esprits anesthésiés par les médias de masse).

 

«Lorsqu’on a demandé si hypothétiquement l’utilisation par Israël d’armes chimiques ou biologiques contre les Palestiniens* constituerait de la terreur, 93 pour cent ont dit oui, » note M. Polisar. «Mais quand la question identique a été posée concernant l’utilisation de ces armes de destruction massive par des Palestiniens contre des Israéliens, seulement 25 pour cent ont répondu par l’affirmative.»

 

Autres détails : Un sondage datant de 2011 révèle que 61% des Palestiniens pensent qu’il est moralement juste de donner des noms de terroristes à des rues palestiniennes. En Décembre 2014, 78% des Palestiniens ont exprimé leur soutien aux «tentatives de poignarder ou d’écraser des Israéliens» en Cisjordanie et à Jérusalem. Seulement 20% y étaient opposés.

Les Palestiniens ont aussi constamment soutenu les attaques terroristes contre les Israéliens à l’intérieur des frontières originales d’Israël, «souvent par autant que six pour un.»

 

Les Palestiniens blâment régulièrement Israël pour des problèmes sur lesquels il n’a aucun contrôle, comme le coup d’État sanglant de 2007 lors duquel le Hamas a arraché le pouvoir au Fatah dans la bande de Gaza.

Quatre-vingt-quatre pour cent des Palestiniens admettent avoir une opinion «très défavorable» des Juifs.

Une majorité de Palestiniens pensent qu’Israël « détruira les mosquées Al-Aqsa et du Dôme du Rocher et construira une synagogue à leur place.»

 

Quant à l’idée de partager la terre, seulement 12% des Palestiniens conviennent que «les Juifs et les Palestiniens ont droit à la terre.» Plus de 80% estimaient que « c’est la terre des Palestiniens et les Juifs n’ont aucun droit sur elle.»

La plupart des Palestiniens pense aussi qu’Israël n’existera plus d’ici 30 ou 40 ans, soit «parce que la résistance arabe ou musulmane va le détruire» soit à cause de ses «contradictions internes».

 

En quoi serait-ce sensé de renoncer lors de négociations à ce qui est vôtre en droit aujourd’hui et sera vôtre en action demain ?

Les dirigeants palestiniens n’aident en rien : quand ils ne sont pas occupés à inciter à la violence ou à inventer de sombres complots israéliens, ils colportent des mensonges, par exemple qu’Israël est en train de créer un État d’apartheid.

La seule personne qui fasse obstacle à la voie de la démocratie palestinienne c’est le président palestinien Mahmoud Abbas, qui n’a pas tenu une seule élection depuis une décennie.

 

La seule force qui s’oppose en permanence à la création d’un État palestinien, ce sont les Palestiniens eux-mêmes qui pensent qu’ils peuvent obtenir leurs droits en poignardant leurs voisins.

Ce qui nous ramène à la réunion de lundi dans le bureau ovale.

 

Avec une bonhomie forcée, l’Administration Obama a tiré sur la sonnette d’alarme faisant résonner l’appel habituel des «deux minutes avant minuit» avant la fin supposée de la solution des deux États.

 

«Pour Israël, plus il y a des constructions de colonies, plus est minée la capacité de parvenir à la paix », a dit Ben Rhodes, conseiller adjoint à la sécurité nationale, lors d’une entrevue accordée à Haaretz.

 

Comme ce serait doux si tout ce qu’Israël avait à faire pour faire la paix serait de démanteler ses colonies. Ce serait encore plus doux si le président américain trouvait le moyen de s’en prendre un peu moins aux politiques de logement du gouvernement israélien et un peu plus à la culture politique palestinienne dominée par l’obsession de tuer des Juifs.

Si M. Obama veut savoir pourquoi il est tellement détesté par les Israéliens, voilà la raison.

 

 

         

UN PRINCE SAOUDIEN PROMET SON SOUTIEN A ISRAËL                                                                   

Isabelle Puderbeutel                                                                                                      

Actuj, 13 Nov., 2015

 

 

Membre de la famille royale saoudienne, le prince Al-Walid ben Talal est un personnage original qui, malgré sa piété, surprend souvent par son ouverture d'esprit. C'est pourquoi les propos qu'il aurait récemment tenus au cours d'une visite au Koweit ont suscité un grand intérêt.

 

Selon le quotidien koweïtien Al Qabas, il aurait appelé son pays, l'Arabie Saoudite, à reconsidérer ses engagements régionaux et à élaborer une nouvelle stratégie pour lutter contre l'influence croissante de l'Iran dans le Golfe en renforçant un pacte de défense avec l'Etat hébreu.

 

Plus surprenant encore, il aurait déclaré qu'il soutiendrait Israël en cas de nouvelle Intifada palestinienne. « Je me rangerai du côté de la nation juive et de ses aspirations démocratiques, en cas de déclenchement d'une Intifada palestinienne et j'userai de toute mon influence pour briser les initiatives arabes sinistres visant à condamner Tel-Aviv, parce que je considère l'entente israélo-arabe et une future amitié comme nécessaires pour empêcher l'extension dangereuse de l'Iran », a déclaré le prince al-Walid d'après l'agence de presse du Koweït KUNA. « L'ensemble du conflit au Moyen-Orient équivaut, de mon point de vue, à une question de vie ou de mort pour l'Arabie Saoudite, et je sais que les Iraniens cherchent à renverser le régime saoudien en jouant la carte palestinienne », aurait-il ajouté.

 

Des propos pro israéliens démentis par le cabinet du prince saoudien. Mais quelques jours après leur publication, ces propos surprenants ont été démentis par le cabinet du prince saoudien par le biais d’un communiqué, cité par L'Orient-Le Jour. Il affirmait que les déclarations attribuées au prince avaient été « montées de toutes pièces » et ajoutait que l’émir saoudien « n'a jamais été en contact avec l’agence koweïtienne et n’a pas fait de déclarations sur ces sujets ».

 

Le prince Al-Walid ben Talal est âgé de 60 ans. C'est un homme d'affaires richissime, actif dans le monde entier, dont la fortune était évaluée en 2013 à 26 milliards de dollars par Bloomberg qui le classait au 20e rang parmi les personnes les plus riches du monde.

 

Shabbat Shalom  à tous nos lecteurs!

GROWING ISRAELI HIGH-TECH INDUSTRY LEAD BY MEDICAL & CYBERSECURITY START-UPS

How War Made Israel Good at Creating Medical Tech: Paul Brent, Globe & Mail, Nov. 2, 2015 — Last year, six of the 10 companies on Forbes’s Top 10 Health Tech Changing the World were Israeli.

Israeli Tech Startups Tap Former Military Officers: Orr Hirschauge, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 26, 2015 — Last year, Cytegic Ltd., a cybersecurity startup here, approached Carmi Gillon, former chief of Israel’s domestic-intelligence agency about serving as its chairman.

London’s Boris Johnson Bearish on BDS, Bullish on Trade Upon Visiting Israel: Bradley Martin, JNS, Nov. 13, 2015 — “It’s fantastic to see that cutting-edge technology, such as Cycle Safety Shield developed by Mobileye in Israel, is being utilized to help make London’s roads safer,” said London Mayor Boris Johnson during his trade mission to Israel this week.

Culture, Religion and Israel’s Economy: Samuel Gregg, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 30, 2015— Amid what seems to be a growing onslaught of regional and international challenge and unrest, one rare piece of good news is the Israeli economy.

 

On Topic Links

 

MIT Honors 3 Israelis Among its Top 35 Under 35 Scientists: David Shamah, Times of Israel, Nov. 15, 2015

Foreign Investors Demonstrate Confidence in Israel (from a Startup Nation to an Exit Nation): Yoram Ettinger, Ettinger Report, Oct. 16, 2015  

Israeli Demography Expert Refutes Claim That Baby Boom Is Bad for Jewish State’s Economy: Ruthie Blum, Algemeiner, Sept. 27, 2015

In Landmark Visit, Indian President Strengthens Alliance With Israel: Bradley Martin, JNS, Nov. 13, 2015

                                                                             

 

HOW WAR MADE ISRAEL GOOD AT CREATING MEDICAL TECH

Paul Brent                                                 

Globe & Mail, Nov. 2, 2015

 

Last year, six of the 10 companies on Forbes’s Top 10 Health Tech Changing the World were Israeli. The country, already known as an incubator of high-technology businesses, is a strong player in a growing global medical devices market, which is expected to grow by billions of dollars in the next few years, according to market research companies.

 

Investment in startup tech companies in Israel has grown to more than $5-billion (U.S.) in 2015, according to Jon Medved, Jerusalem-based founder and chief executive officer of OurCrowd, an equity-crowdfunding group for those investing in Israeli and global startups. Global tech giants are paying attention and transforming the country from simply a place where tech ideas come to life into a research and development hub. Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd. acquired security startup WatchDox this year, joining giants such as Apple, Google, and Samsung, which all operate R&D facilities there.

 

While much of the attention has been on the success and eventual takeover of tech startups such as Waze (the GPS application acquired by Google Inc.) or LinX (a camera tech company purchased by Apple Inc.), the country is making great strides in medical products. A 2012 study from Israel’s ministry of industry, trade and labour found 656 medical device companies operating there and that it is the leading country in terms of patents granted per capita in the medical devices field. Israeli government figures compiled this year show 725 medical devices companies, comprising more than one-half its 1,380 active life sciences companies).

 

An aging world population bodes well for the global medical devices market as the over-65 population is expected to grow to more than one billion in the next five years, with much of that occurring in developed economies. A report by Britain-based market research firm Visiongain forecasts the medical devices market to swell to nearly $400-billion (U.S.) in 2017 from $321-billion in 2012.

 

“Israel, for 30, maybe 40, years has been a leader in basic medical research. They have some of the best practical operating hospitals and research hospitals in the world. They have pioneered all sorts of techniques. The speed of innovation from laboratory to practice is strong,” says Steven Schoenfeld, founder and chief investment officer of BlueStar Global Investors LLC, a New York-based firm that specializes in the Israeli capital markets. While the company offers an index tracking about 120 Israeli companies listed in a number of countries (of which 27 per cent are in the health care field), it plans to launch an exchange traded fund focusing on the Israeli tech sector. A couple of other companies offer Israel-focused ETFs, while some technology funds include Israeli companies.

 

According to one academic, Israel’s unique, hothouse ecosystem is behind its success in the development of medical products. “There is a lot of willingness to experiment which doesn’t tend to exist in other societies,” says Guy David, a professor of health care management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

 

Dr. David, who was born and raised in Israel, now regularly takes Wharton students to Israel to learn about medical and tech startups. It’s the non-hierarchical, best-idea wins approach that is echoed by the country’s citizen army (where orders are regularly questioned and teamwork is prized). That army experience is, he believes, a big part of the success story. Add in the unfortunate reality of frequent trauma and requirement for rehabilitation for many citizens because of wars and terrorism fuelling the success of companies such as ReWalk Robotics’ customizable exoskeleton or medical imaging company Surgical Theater (founded by two former Israeli air force pilots).

 

“The medical society in the U.S. – and it is true for Canada as well – it is very stagnant in a way. Doctors are very skeptical when you come and introduce new things. I think it is in the culture both for patients and physicians in Israel to adopt those things.” The Wharton professor says Israel’s “no rules” business culture is the reason most successful startups are eventually acquired by foreign firms. “It is startup nation, but not scale-up nation. To scale up things you need to follow rules, you need institutions, you need organization, you need order, you need patience. None of those characteristics exist in that country.”

 

Israel is now looking to move its medical innovations from the idea and prototype phase to widespread use and acceptance. For instance, Israel is seeking to capitalize on clinical experience in Canada, says Rafael Barak, the country’s ambassador in Canada. Israeli life sciences companies “need clinical experience and Canada has it,” he explains. The ambassador points to the success that Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. has had in Canada as an example of what the two countries can do together. Teva, the world’s largest generic drug maker, has extensive operations in Canada.

 

The two countries have more in common than they might think, he adds. “I think in a way we are suffering from the same sickness, that the American companies are buying us for cheap.” However, Israel has an advantage, says Henri Rothschild, president of the Canada-Israel Industrial Research and Development Foundation (CIIRDF), an Ottawa-based organization that promotes collaborative research and development between private-sector companies in both countries, with a focus on the commercialization of new technologies. The CIIRDF is focused on “the spillover effect of technology developed for one purpose applying to another,” says Dr. Rothschild, a former chief scientist at Industry Canada.

 

“That is the essence of Israeli comparative advantage. It is not that they have capability in defence, capability in medical and capability in communications. They do in all those areas. It is that right now, technologies cut across the board.”                  

                                                                       

Contents

                       

   

ISRAELI TECH STARTUPS TAP FORMER MILITARY OFFICERS                                                                  

Orr Hirschauge                

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 26, 2015

 

Last year, Cytegic Ltd., a cybersecurity startup here, approached Carmi Gillon, former chief of Israel’s domestic-intelligence agency about serving as its chairman. “I know nothing about cybersecurity,” he remembers telling a banker seeking advice on how to thwart hackers, around the same time. For many Israeli tech startups, that’s not a problem. As they scramble for funding and compete for programmers, they are also looking for a few good men—preferably former military and intelligence officers.

 

Israel is punching above its weight amid today’s tech boom, fostering a bevy of startups and tech innovation, particularly in military-related fields like cybersecurity and homeland security. That is partly due to the close ties between Israel’s tech-savvy military and its startup scene. Nothing underscores that connection more than a big-name former Israeli general or spymaster on the team. The brass can help bring a young company gravitas in the eyes of prospective clients, executives say. It can also help bring in funding, or open doors with former military and government colleagues, in Israel and overseas.

 

“With governmental clients, like homeland-security departments, the fact that someone they knew in a previous military role is sitting across the table is valuable,” says Nimrod Kozlovski, a partner at Jerusalem Venture Partners, a cybersecurity-focused venture-capital firm. Few have a bigger Rolodex than retired Lt. Gen. Ehud Barak. A former prime minister, he also served at one time or another as defense minister, army chief of staff and chief of military intelligence.

 

In May, Mr. Barak, 73 years old, joined the board of FST21 Ltd., which uses facial, voice and behavioral recognition to authenticate identities. FST21 was founded by Maj. Gen. Aharon Ze’evi-Farkash, another former head of military intelligence. Mr. Barak said Israel’s new breed of startup founders can learn a trick or two from the old guard. “It’s a combination of the freshness of the tech entrepreneurs and their innovative curiosity, with the experience of the veterans,” he says.

 

Retired Brig. Gen. Pinchas Buchris joined Adallom Inc., a cloud-security startup, in 2012, eventually becoming its vice president of cyberstrategy before Microsoft Corp. snapped up the company earlier this year. He retired from active military service in 2002, after leading the Israeli army’s military intelligence Unit 8200—the country’s equivalent of the National Security Agency. Packed with tech-savvy recruits doing their mandatory military service, the unit has spawned much of the current generation of startup entrepreneurs and programmers. Gen. Buchris, 59, says he feels at home among Israel’s young, tech startup scene. “I’m three decades their elder, but this is no different than what I experienced in the army,” he says.

 

Retired Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, 61, a former infantry and armored-divisions officer who also served as the Israel Defense Forces’ chief of staff, joined Windward Ltd., a Tel Aviv-based maritime data and analytics company, in February as an adviser to the company’s board. Windward Chief Executive Ami Daniel said Gen. Ashkenazi gives his company credibility “in a domain where clients want to remain anonymous.” Gen. Ashkenazi said he was “delighted” to be working to bring innovation to a “world where I spent most of my life.”

 

The transition isn’t always easy. Gen. Ze’evi-Farkash, 67, CEO of FST21, the company that recruited Mr. Barak to its board, said he needed to get used to doing things like setting his own meetings without a secretary. “Suddenly you work in a flat organization with no barriers between you and others,” he says. He also had to get used to reporting to a board of directors. “As a commander, you get assignments and resources,” he says. “You are not required to report back to the board.”

 

Mr. Gillon, 65, the former boss of Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, or Shin Bet, had some early missteps after taking over as Cytegic’s chairman. He started his career as an elite bodyguard for the service, climbing the ranks to become the agency’s chief spymaster in 1995. He left a year later in the fallout over the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Before Cytegic came knocking, Mr. Gillon had run an insurance company, served as Israel’s ambassador to Denmark and as vice president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

 

Shortly after taking over as chairman of Cytegic, he overruled the company’s management team over where the company should roll out its product—a tool for managing an organization’s exposure to high-tech cyber intruders. Mr. Gillon wanted Cytegic to hit smaller markets first, before venturing into the U.S. “After a couple of months I realized I was wrong,” he says now.

 

Shay Zandani, the company’s CEO, said he values Mr. Gillon’s contacts and his “high-level strategic thinking.” He attributes part of the $6 million of funds the company has raised to Mr. Gillon’s investor outreach. Still, he says, “I think we lost some six months” with Mr. Gillon’s marketing misfire.                                                                                                    

 

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LONDON’S BORIS JOHNSON BEARISH ON BDS,

BULLISH ON TRADE UPON VISITING ISRAEL                                                           

Bradley Martin                          

                                                                       

JNS, Nov. 13, 2015

 

“It’s fantastic to see that cutting-edge technology, such as Cycle Safety Shield developed by Mobileye in Israel, is being utilized to help make London’s roads safer,” said London Mayor Boris Johnson during his trade mission to Israel this week. Johnson arrived in Israel with an official trade delegation, mainly to promote bilateral trade in technology between the cities of London and Tel Aviv. His mission was to promote the British capital’s high-tech sector, in a bid to get more Israeli companies to expand to London and make IPOs (initial public offerings) on its stock markets.

 

London is currently home to 141 Israeli high-tech firms, according to London & Partners (the mayor’s promotional agency) and the IVC Research Center. There are currently 16 Israeli tech firms listed across London Stock Exchange’s markets with a combined market value of £3.7 billion ($5.6 billion).

 

Johnson was also very critical of the movement to boycott Israel, deriding them as “a bunch of corduroy-jacketed lefty academics.” “I cannot think of anything more foolish than to say that you want to have any kind of divestment or sanctions or whatever or boycott, against a country that when all is said and done is the only democracy in the region,” he said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2.

 

While the focus of Johnson’s trip was to expand tech ties between London and Tel Aviv, the mayor took the opportunity to visit other parts of Israel. While lauding Israel’s diversity, he joined Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem to attend and participate in a friendly Jewish-Arab soccer game. This was the kickoff for a new soccer season organized by the “Equalizer” organization. Working with about 140 schools across Israel to build confidence and understanding between Jewish and Arab children, the organization itself is supported by the British Embassy in Israel.

 

Rivlin thanked Johnson for his support of this project to promote coexistence. The mayor thanked Rivlin for his warm welcome and expressed his pride at the opportunity to visit Israel, and especially Jerusalem. Johnson also visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem for the first time in his life, affirming his Russian Jewish ancestry. Calling his visit to one of Judaism’s holiest sites a “great privilege,” he joined in prayers for peace in Jerusalem.

 

“That’s what Jerusalem is all about. It is about the great faiths coming together in one place in the holiest city in the world. I think that anyone who comes here wants to see that spirit of understanding,” Johnson said. Johnson’s planned tour of the Palestinian territories in the West Bank was cancelled, following his criticism of the BDS movement against Israel. Shortly after arriving in Ramallah, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah warned that Johnson’s security would be “at risk” if he went ahead with his visit.

 

Johnson was due to meet with a Palestinian youth group and businesswoman, but his invitations to those events were retracted following his anti-boycott comments. Though the London mayor did tone down his original comment by saying that there wasn’t anything wrong with wearing a corduroy jacket, he stood by his condemnation of the boycott movement against Israel. It is expected that as a result of this Johnson’s diplomatic mission, technological trade and cultural cooperation will continue to expand greatly between the City of London and the State of Israel.        

 

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CULTURE, RELIGION AND ISRAEL’S ECONOMY                                                     

Samuel Gregg

                                                

Jerusalem Post, Aug. 30, 2015

 

Amid what seems to be a growing onslaught of regional and international challenge and unrest, one rare piece of good news is the Israeli economy. Despite the broader global market turmoil, Israel’s economy has weathered the years since 2008 relatively well – certainly in comparison to most Western European nations.

 

As illustrated in a June report produced by the Kohelet Policy Forum, nominal and real incomes in Israel have continued to grow since 2008, the unemployment rate had fallen to just under six percent, inequality continues to drop and the labor force is expanding. Over the past three years, Israel’s ranking in the Index of Economic Freedom has continued to improve, while America’s has generally declined.

 

Certainly Israel faces some major economic challenges, and the uncertainty which has racked the global marketplace in recent days has not skipped over Israel. The Kohelet report underscored excessive regulation, over-bureaucratization and lower labor productivity compared to the OECD average. But it’s no exaggeration to say that many developed economies – mired in debt, out-of-control welfare spending and high unemployment – would envy the Israeli economy’s current overall trajectory.

 

It’s the economist’s job to try and understand why some economies, like Israel’s, are doing comparatively better than others. Less well-known, however, is that more economists are looking beyond strictly economic explanations to explain economic successes and failures. As it turns out, they are discovering that culture matters.

 

The most advanced work in this area has been by the 2006 Nobel economist Edmund Phelps. For several years, he has been advancing the thesis that while good policy is important, the value commitments prevailing in a given society help explain why economies with very similar structures and institutions can produce quite different economic outcomes. Much of this argument is summarized in Phelp’s 2013 book, Mass Flourishing. Here Phelps draws on a range of data to argue that developed nations which attach higher value to economic security than economic freedom run a higher risk of economic decline in an increasingly competitive global economy.

 

This, Phelps maintains, helps to explain why much of Western Europe is apparently incapable of engaging in substantive economic reform. If most Western Europeans are asked what they value more – liberty or security – you can safely bet they will nominate security. Placing a premium on security has economic consequences and helps explain why Western Europe has such low levels of entrepreneurship and innovation compared to America.

 

Culture’s economic significance, however, goes beyond the liberty/security nexus. It’s not a coincidence that the word “culture” is derived from the word “cult.” This reflects the fact that a society’s dominant cult – i.e., religion – is always central to its culture. That suggests that more attention should be paid to religion’s role in shaping economic outcomes. Is it the case that a society like Israel – the Jewish homeland for the Jewish people, with a majority of Jewish citizens (with obviously varying levels of religious commitment) – is more likely to emphasize certain values which, in turn, will have particular economic consequences? This isn’t a new discussion. 110 years ago, Max Weber famously raised the issue in his Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. While many scholars (including myself) have taken issue with Weber’s particular claim that certain forms of Protestant Christianity helped to facilitate capitalism’s emergence, few dispute that religious belief has some type of impact upon an economy’s character.

 

Take, for instance, Judaism. As the theologian Michael Novak underscores in his seminal text, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, some of Judaism’s most sacred texts, such as the Book of Genesis, stress that humans aren’t meant to be passive. Instead they are commanded to work and be creative. Over the centuries, this helped generate a respect for economic liberty and commerce among Jews that was largely absent from the surrounding pagan cultures. The worlds of Greece and Rome, for instance, generally disdained commercial activity in favor of cultures that valued military valor.

 

Judaism also articulates a linear understanding of history and holds that human freedom has a role in unfolding it. By contrast, Greco-Roman culture not only embodied circular conceptions of time, but their religions portrayed the gods as rather frivolous creatures who treated human beings as mere playthings. In other words, Judaism holds that neither the world nor the human beings who inhabit it are ultimately meaningless. This is likely to facilitate very different perspectives on the significance of human choice and action, including in the economy.

 

Christianity was fortune enough to inherit Judaism’s emphasis upon these things. Indeed, scholars such as the sociologist Rodney Stark have produced compelling arguments to suggest that it was precisely because Judaism and Christianity prevailed over the Greco-Roman pagan religions that capitalism first developed and eventually flourished in Western Europe. That doesn’t mean the process was somehow automatic. Other factors, particularly the development of specific property arrangements and the rule of law, played major roles in capitalism’s rise in the West and its ongoing embrace by cultures in which Jews and Christians are distinct minorities.

 

That said, we need more research on the ways in which religion and culture shape economic life. That’s especially important for a country like Israel in which Judaism is central to the nation’s self-understanding. Israel is certainly more committed to economic freedom than it was, say, 20 years ago. But exploring the links between Judaism and the development of market economies contains significant potential to shift the cultural balance more toward economic liberty and subsequently wider prosperity for all – an analysis which becomes all that much more critical in these days of uncertainty and economic turmoil.                                                                          

On Topic

 

MIT Honors 3 Israelis Among its Top 35 Under 35 Scientists: David Shamah, Times of Israel, Nov. 15, 2015—Three Israelis are among 35 honored this year by MIT with its annual list of young researchers who have had a huge impact on the world – and are expected to go on to do much more

Foreign Investors Demonstrate Confidence in Israel (from a Startup Nation to an Exit Nation): Yoram Ettinger, Ettinger Report, Oct. 16, 2015  

Israeli Demography Expert Refutes Claim That Baby Boom Is Bad for Jewish State’s Economy: Ruthie Blum, Algemeiner, Sept. 27, 2015—Israel’s population explosion is cause for economic optimism, not woe, says the author of several studies on the demographic make-up of and forecast for the Jewish state.

In Landmark Visit, Indian President Strengthens Alliance With Israel: Bradley Martin, JNS, Nov. 13, 2015 —In the first-ever official visit by an Indian head of state to Israel, President Pranab Mukherjee arrived in Jerusalem this week to discuss a wide range of issues including the negotiation of an extensive free-trade agreement, bilateral cooperation in agricultural and other technologies, and expanded counter-terrorism coordination.