Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
L'institut Canadien de Recherches sur le Judaisme
Strength of Israel will not lie

Author: Isranet Publications

WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW” FEB 20TH 2019

WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW”

 

Contents: | Weekly Quotes | Short Takes | On Topic Links

 

On Topic Links

Watch: How the World Council of Churches’ Anti-Israel Activities Were Exposed: United With Israel, Feb. 18, 2019
Netanyahu Achieves Major Diplomatic Triumph in Warsaw: David Isaac, World Israel News, Feb. 18, 2019
Caroline Glick: Ilhan Omar & Co. Were Elected Because of Their Racism, Not In Spite of It: Caroline Glick, Breitbart, Feb. 17, 2019
If Not Now, When? Gideon Taylor, Colette Avita, Jerusalem Post, February 18, 2019

WEEKLY QUOTES

“The risk (of war) is great. The risk will be even greater if you continue to turn a blind eye to severe violations of international law. Israeli behavior is putting international law on the shelf, U.S. behavior is putting international law on the shelf,” — Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zasrif said at the Munich Peace and Security Conference on the Middle East. In an interview with Germany’s Der Spiegel Online, he also rejected Vice President Mike Pence’s remarks accusing the Islamic Republic of antisemitism akin to the Nazis, calling them “laughable,” and insisted that “Iran has always supported the Jews. We are just against Zionists. The Holocaust was a disaster.” (Haaretz, Feb. 17, 2019)
“You have just heard foreign minister Zarif. Do not be deceived by his eloquence. Do not be fooled by his lies. As IDF former Chief of Staff, I saw first-hand precise information regarding what is really happening in Iran. Hence, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the regime Mr. Zarif represents is an evil one… It is no secret that Prime Minister Netanyahu is my political rival. We disagree on many issues. But make no mistakes – we are both devoted sons of the same nation. When Israel’s security is under threat, there is no daylight between us…. When it comes to defending Israel- we are united. I am standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Prime Minister Netanyahu in the fight against Iran’s aggression. I am certain he will do the same when I will be the Prime Minister of Israel.” — Benny Gantz, Founder of the newly formed Israel Resilience Party at the Munich Security Conference. He also called Hezbollah “the most dangerous terror organization in the world. Those in Europe who seek peace, security and stability- must take action and fully designate Hezbollah as the terror organization that it is. Inaction is unacceptable. We have all seen the tragedy in Syria […] But the good news is that in many ways pragmatic Arabs and Israelis are closer than ever before. Many in the Arab world have realized that Israel is not part of the problem but part of the solution.” (Arutz Sheva, Feb. 17, 2019)
“If Israel makes a mistake that sparks a new war, they can rest assured that this will bring about their elimination… They will be annihilated before the Americans get here. They should look for cemeteries outside of occupied Palestine. No technical obstacles are preventing us from increasing the range, the precision, or the destructive power of our long-range missiles. This also applies to our powerful propellants. We are not facing any technical obstacles with any of these,” — IRGC Deputy Hossein Salami in an interview on Channel 2 TV (Iran). (MEMRI, Feb. 4, 2019)

“Objectively speaking, Hitler wins. But as far as we’re concerned, we should erect a statue of Hitler for what he did to the Jews.” — Egyptian researcher and poet Mohamed Gad El-Zoghby was asked in a February 9, 2019 interview on Safa TV (Saudi Arabia/Egypt) who was worse: Adolf Hitler or Imam Khomeini. El-Zoghby accused Imam Khomeini of collaborating with the Jews and praised Hitler for supporting the Arab cause in Palestine. (MEMRI, Feb. 9, 2019)
“I see the ballistic missile program, I see Iran in Yemen and above all I see Iran in Syria … The only question that stands between us on this issue is, do we help our common cause, our common aim of containing the damaging or difficult development of Iran, by withdrawing from the one remaining agreement? Or do we help it more by keeping the small anchor we have in order maybe to exert pressure in other areas?” – German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Munich Security Conference, for which she drew lengthy applause. (AP, Feb. 16, 2019)
“The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial. The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them…. …. The U.S. does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go. We do so much and spend so much – Time for others to step up and do the job that they are so capable of doing. We are pulling back after 100% Caliphate victory!” – US President Donald Trump on Twitter. Trump’s comments come as the area that ISIS now controls shrunk to just 700 square meters, according to a commander with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). (CNN, Feb. 17, 2019)
“This is exactly the intention, to move the next coalition of the State of Israel to the center-right, not to the extreme right.” — the head of the Institute for National Security Studies, Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin said in an interview with Reshet Bet, responding to whether the US will be supporting Benny Gantz’s Israel Resilience Party in the April election. Regarding the Jared Kushner Peace plan, an outline of which was revealed at the Warsaw Summit, he added, “I think that Netanyahu, as an experienced statesman, understood that he is going to get the Trump plan not in the summer but immediately after the elections.” (Arutz Sheva, Feb. 17, 2019)
“I am very happy to report that the process of stabilizing relations with Israel is at its height,” Venezuela’s self-declared leader Juan Guaida told Israel Hayom in an interview. A formal announcement on reestablishing ties and opening a new Venezuelan embassy in Israel would come “at the proper time.” Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez fostered ties with the Palestinians as well as Iran. Israeli leaders said Caracas’s posture prompted a flight of Venezuelan Jews. (Reuters, Feb. 12, 2019)
“As the situation in Syria stabilizes, Hezbollah is returning its forces to Lebanon. Despite the many casualties it took, the organization is coming back with extensive combat experience. They are no longer a guerrilla group, but a real army. They fought there in companies and battalions, very similar to armies. They operate in civilian areas and are ready to use large quantities of anti-tank missiles. This is a challenge the IDF must train for.” — Col. Dudu Sonago, the 401st Brigade of the IDF’s Armored Corps during a large-scale military drill in the Jordan Valley to prepare soldiers for potential future fighting against Hezbollah in Lebanon. (Algemeiner, Feb. 15, 2019)
“I have become embarrassed and ashamed to remain in the Labour Party. I have come to the sickening conclusion that it is institutionally antisemitic.” – Wavertree MP Luciana Berger speaking as to why she and six other Labour MPs resigned from the party. Opposition to leader Jeremy Corbin’s approach to Brexit and claiming that the party’s shift to the “hard left,” were other reasons cited. In a direct challenge to Corbyn, the seven centrist MPs said they were courting others from across parliament to join their group, saying “enough is enough” in keeping silent over their doubts about the Labour leader’s fitness for office. The seven lawmakers are Leslie, Luciana Berger, Angela Smith, Gavin Shuker, Chuka Umunna, Mike Gapes and Ann Coffey. They will continue to sit as members of parliament under the banner “The Independent Group.” (Algemeiner, Feb. 18, 2019)

Contents
SHORT TAKES

PRESIDENT TRUMP NOMINATED FOR NOBEL PEACE PRIZE (Tokyo) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has recommended President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize, in response to a request from the US government, according to the Japanese newspaper Asahi for his easing of tensions with North Korea. There are 304 candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 out of whom 219 are individuals and 85 are organizations. (Jewish Press, Feb. 17, 2019)
ONE THIRD OF BRITISH VOTERS BELIEVE LABOUR PARTY LEADER JEREMY CORBYN IS ANTISEMITIC: POLL (London) — A YouGov poll shows that 34 percent of voters consider Corbyn antisemitic, while 32 percent said they didn’t know. Only 24 percent said unequivocally that he is not. Asked if the Labour Party is antisemitic, 24 percent of those surveyed answered yes. (Algemeiner, Feb. 17, 2019)
ANTISEMITIC POSTERS FOUND OUTSIDE TUFTS HILLEL (Massachusetts) — More than a dozen anti-Semitic and anti-Israel posters were discovered outside the Hillel at Tufts University bearing images of militarized pigs, including at least one consisting of a caption that reads “DESTROY ISRAELI APARTHEID FORCES AND AMERIKKKAN PIGS WHICH FUND IT. FREE PALESTINE.” University president Anthony Monaco, in an email to the Tufts community did not explicitly label the posters as anti-Israel or antisemitic, rather as “disturbing and hurtful” to the school. (JNS, Feb. 13, 2019)
VIRGINIA DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE WHO SPEWED ANTISEMITIC RHETORIC HAS A RADICAL PAST (Virginia) – Ibraheem Samirah, a 27-year-old Virginia General Assembly candidate apologized for past social media posts excoriating Jews and Israel but continues to shade his involvement with groups which would like to see Israel eliminated, a sentiment that was prominent in his life. The posts, first published Feb. 7 by Big League Politics, claimed that sending money to Israel was “worse” than sending money to the Ku Klux Klan and wishing that former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would burn in hell. (IPT News, Feb. 18, 2019)

NATION OF ISLAM LEADER LOUIS FARRAKHAN UNLEASHES TORRENT OF VERBAL ATTACKS ON JEWS (Chicago) – Speaking at the Saviours’ Day event at the United Center in Chicago. Louis Farrakhan’s speech was rife with antisemitism, according to an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) report. Among his other remarks, he claimed that anti-black racism ‘was started by Jewish rabbinical leaders’ in ancient times, and that Jewish racism towards Africans is ultimately responsible for the ‘enslavement… colonization…dehumanization…[and] denial of self-determination’ to black people throughout history.” (Algemeiner, Feb. 18, 2019)

GERMAN REPORT: ASSAD REGIME RESPONSIBLE FOR 98% OF 336 CHEMICAL WEAPONS ATTACKS IN SYRIA (Berlin) — The Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi), a non-profit think tank established in 2003 in Berlin, estimates that some 90% of all confirmed chemical attacks were launched after the August 2013 threat by President Obama that should the Assad regime use chemical weapons again, it would cross a red line and change his policy regarding military intervention in Syria. It also points an accusing finger at the Russian military for aiding and participating in these war crimes. (Jewish Press, Feb. 17, 2019)

FIRST DAY ON THE JOB, NEW FOREIGN MINISTER KATZ INSULTS POLAND (Jerusalem) — Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki will not attend the planned Monday meeting of the leaders of central European EU members in Israel because of what the new substitute foreign minister Yisrael Katz said concerning the role of the Poles in the extermination of Jews during WW2. During an interview with Israel’s 24-News, he quoted Yitzchak Shamir who said that “Poles suckled antisemitism with their mother’s milk.” (Jewish Press, Feb. 18, 2019)

GIANT NAZI SWASTIKA ADORNS STAIRCASE IN KIEV MALL, LATEST IN UKRAINE ANTISEMITISM (Kiev) — A facsimile of the Nazi flag with a giant swastika in the middle was painted on to a central staircase in the middle of the Gorodok shopping mall in the Ukraine capital city of Kiev several hours before Ukrainian nationalists marched through central Kiev brandishing the neo-Nazi Wolfsangel symbol. (Jewish Press, Feb. 18, 2019)

A RARE 1,900-YEAR-OLD COIN FROM THE TIME OF THE BAR KOCHBA REVOLT UNEARTHED (Lachish region) — Coins of this type that bears the name Shimon – Bar Kochba’s first name – were minted during the Bar Kochba revolt from 132-135 CE, during which Jewish rebels managed to regain some autonomy from Rome. The “second year” is either the year 133 or 134 CE. (Times of Israel, Feb. 11, 2019)

U.S. REVIVES SECRET PROGRAM TO SABOTAGE IRANIAN MISSILES AND ROCKETS (Washington) — The U.S. has accelerated a secret program to sabotage Iran’s missiles, according to current and former administration officials. Two failed Iranian attempts to launch satellites in the past month were part of a pattern. Over the past 11 years, 67% of Iranian orbital launches have failed, compared to a 5% failure rate worldwide for similar space launches. U.S. officials described a far-reaching effort, created under President George W. Bush, to slip faulty parts and materials into Iran’s aerospace supply chains. (New York Times, Feb. 13, 2019)

THOUSANDS RALLY AGAINST ANTISEMITISM AFTER SPIKE IN ATTACKS (Paris) – Political leaders from all parties, including former Presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, gathered in Paris filling the Place de la Republique to decry antisemitic acts with one common slogan: “Enough!” People also lined the streets of cities from Lille in the north to Toulouse and Marseille in the south. President Emmanuel Macron paid respects at one of the 96 desecrated graves in the village of Quatzenheim, near the eastern city of Strasbourg. (NBC News, Feb. 19, 2019)
SECURITY CABINET DEDUCTS HALF A BILLION SHEKELS FROM PA TAX FUNDS (Jerusalem) – Security officials presented data showing that in 2018, the Palestinian Authority transferred the above-stated amount to terrorists imprisoned in Israel and their families and to released prisoners. Additional deductions will be made linking PA payments to terrorism. The amount frozen will be updated, as per the information received, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Jewish Press, Feb. 17, 2019)

PRESIDENT RIVLIN LAUNCHES FIRST ISRAELI SPACECRAFT TO THE MOON (Cape Canaveral) — Eight years of intensive work by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries will come to fruition with the launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, this Thursday. The spacecraft, named Bereishit (Genesis), will carry a time capsule, which has a huge database saved on special disks that can be removed from the spacecraft. There are hundreds of digital files, including the Bible and details about SpaceIL, the building of the spacecraft, Israeli national symbols, cultural items and materials collected by the public over the years. The time capsule will remain on the moon after the mission is completed. (Jewish Press, Feb. 17, 2019)
MEDICAL AL STARTUP HEALTHYMIZE TAPS INTO VOICE ANALYSIS TECH TO MONITOR HEALTH (Jerusalem) — With its personalized, artificial intelligence-based voice analyzing software, Healthymize turns smart devices into remote patient monitoring devices for voice-affecting diseases such as asthma, pneumonia or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It automates labor-intensive phone monitoring to manage chronic patients, giving healthcare professionals the ability to assess the speech of a patient at any time. (No Camels, Jan. 23, 2019)
FOREIGN INTERVENTION NOTED IN ISRAEL’S ELECTIONS (Jerusalem) — Several senior security officials, including ISA (Shabak) chief Nadav Argaman and several Israeli cyber consultants, have taken note recently of apparent attempts by several foreign countries to interfere in the upcoming Israeli elections via cyber and IW (Information Warfare) attacks. Below the radar, there is evidence that at least one country – Saudi Arabia may be attempting to interfere via more traditional methods that includes hiring PR teams, advertising agencies, and policy advocacy and lobbying companies. (BESA, Feb. 17, 2019)
CANADIAN CAPTURED IN SYRIA ADMITS TO ROLE IN ISIS EXECUTION VIDEOS (Syria) — Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed, who was detained by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces on Jan. 13, acknowledged his role in the ISIS videos Flames of War and Flames of War 2, the Rojava Information Centre said. (Global News, Feb. 16, 2019)
FORMER US INTELLIGENCE AGENT CHARGED WITH SPYING FOR IRAN (Washington) — Monica Witt, 39, a U.S. Air Force counterintelligence agent who had studied Farsi, carried out covert missions in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. An indictment made public on Wednesday accused Witt of defecting to Iran in August 2013 to work with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in betrayal of the U.S. (New York Times, Feb. 13, 2019)
On Topic Links
Watch: How the World Council of Churches’ Anti-Israel Activities Were Exposed: United With Israel, Feb. 18, 2019 — The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) – a project of the World Council of Churches (WCC), one of the biggest ecumenical organizations in the world – is a political project disguised as a human rights group.
Netanyahu Achieves Major Diplomatic Triumph in Warsaw: David Isaac, World Israel News, Feb. 18, 2019 — In Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-fought diplomatic effort to bring about international pressure on Iran there have been many impressive moments.
Caroline Glick: Ilhan Omar & Co. Were Elected Because of Their Racism, Not In Spite of It: Caroline Glick, Breitbart, Feb. 17, 2019 — Rep. Ilhan Omar is an antisemite and, as the actions of the congressional Democratic leadership last week made clear, hating Jews is a perfectly acceptable position in today’s Democratic Party.
If Not Now, When? Gideon Taylor, Colette Avita, Jerusalem Post, February 18, 2019 — The turmoil surrounding the canceled visit to Israel this week of Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki provides a very timely reminder of a key aspect of Poland’s relationship with the past.

From our board: Speaker Pelosi can either reject anti-Semitism or tolerate it, not both by Bradley Martin

 

By Bradley Martin

 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi did the right thing and spoke at a Women’s March event that rejected the anti-Semitism of national organization leaders such as Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory.

But just days before the event, Pelosi appointed newly elected congresswoman Ilhan Omar to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. This happened right after Omar defended her comment on Twitter accusing Israel of having “hypnotized the world.”

Aside from invoking an anti-Semitic trope steeped in centuries of bloody history, Omar also supports the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that singles out the Jewish state for economic isolation while ignoring the atrocities committed against women, minorities and the LGBTQ community by the Arab and Muslim world.

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From our board: Tulsi Gabbard’s Ignorance Regarding Syria Reveals She’s Unfit To Be President by Bradley Martin

 

By Bradley Martin

 

Democratic presidential candidate and congresswoman from Hawaii Tulsi Gabbard, appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” last week, repeatedly defended Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, refusing to denounce him either as an “enemy” or even an “adversary.”

“Assad is not the enemy of the United States because Syria does not pose a direct threat to the United States,” declared Gabbard, who had previously met with Assad. “We have to look to who poses a threat to the United States.”

It is, frankly, very disturbing that Gabbard has been taken in by Assad’s propaganda. The State Department has listed Syria as a state sponsor of terrorism for the past several decades. Syria provides support for myriad terrorist groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, all of which openly maintain offices in Damascus.

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ANTI-ISRAEL MUSLIMS ELECTED TO U.S. CONGRESS; IN CANADA, TAXPAYERS INDIRECTLY FUNDING HAMAS

First Muslim Women in US Congress Misled Voters About Views on Israel: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 16, 2018— Ilhan Abdullahi Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Harbi Tlaib of Michigan will be the first two Muslim women ever to serve in the US Congress.

Is Canada Knowingly Funding Extremism and Terrorism?: Tom Quiggin, IPT News, Oct. 18, 2018— Canadian taxpayer money may be finding its way to Hamas, a listed terrorist group.

Laïcité Can Help Block Advance of Political Islam: Lise Ravary, Montreal Gazette, Oct. 22, 2018 — “We must get involved in all domains where we can have more Islam …”

Congress Has the Chance to Combat Terrorist Use of Human Shields: Rabbi Abraham Cooper, The Hill, Oct. 10, 2018 — Innocent civilian casualties are an inevitable legacy of any war.

On Topic Links

Don’t Expect Democrats to Obstruct Trump’s Pro-Israel Policies – or Punish Netanyahu: Jonathan S. Tobin, Ha’aretz, Nov. 8, 2018

Canada’s Welcome Mat for Jihadis Poses Threat to US: Clarion Project, Nov. 18, 2018

Jihad Jane’s Recruiter Sentenced to 15 Years: Abha Shankar, IPT News, Oct 31, 2018

Islamic State’s Future in Afghanistan – Part II: Daud Khattak, BESA, Nov. 19, 2018

                             

FIRST MUSLIM WOMEN IN US CONGRESS

MISLED VOTERS ABOUT VIEWS ON ISRAEL                                                                          Soeren Kern                                     

Gatestone Institute, Nov. 16, 2018

 

Ilhan Abdullahi Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Harbi Tlaib of Michigan will be the first two Muslim women ever to serve in the US Congress. Most of the media coverage since their election on November 6 has been effusive in praise of their Muslim identity and personal history. Less known is that both women deceived voters about their positions on Israel. Both women, at some point during their rise in electoral politics, led voters — especially Jewish voters — to believe that they held moderate views on Israel. After being elected, both women reversed their positions and now say they are committed to sanctioning the Jewish state.

America’s first two Muslim congresswomen are now both on record as appearing to oppose Israel’s right to exist. They both support the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Both are also explicitly or implicitly opposed to continuing military aid to Israel, as well as to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — an outcome that would establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Instead, they favor a one-state solution — an outcome that many analysts believe would, due to demographics over time, replace the Jewish state with a unitary Palestinian state.

Ilhan Omar, who will replace outgoing Rep. Keith Ellison (the first Muslim elected to Congress) in Minnesota’s 5th congressional district, came to the United States as a 12-year-old refugee from Somalia and settled in the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and Saint Paul, in the late 1990s. In her acceptance speech, delivered without an American flag, Congresswoman-elect Omar opened her speech in Arabic with the greeting, “As-Salam Alaikum, (peace be upon you), alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah), alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah.” She continued: “I stand here before you tonight as your congresswoman-elect with many firsts behind my name. The first woman of color to represent our state in Congress. The first woman to wear a hijab. The first refugee ever elected to Congress. And one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress.”

Omar faced some controversy during the campaign, including a disturbing report that she had married her own brother in 2009 for fraudulent purposes, as well as a tweet from May 2018 in which she refers to Israel as an “apartheid regime,” and another tweet from November 2012, in which she stated: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

After the tweets came to light, Omar met with members of her congressional district’s large Jewish population to address concerns over her position on Israel, as reported by Minneapolis’s Star Tribune. During a Democratic Party candidates’ forum at Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park on August 6 — one week before Omar defeated four other candidates in the party’s primary — Omar publicly criticized the anti-Israel BDS movement. In front of an audience of more than a thousand people, Omar said she supported a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict and that the BDS movement aimed at pressuring Israel was not helpful in trying to achieve that goal.

Pressed by moderator Mary Lahammer to specify “exactly where you stand on that,” Omar replied that the BDS movement was “counteractive” because it stopped both sides from coming together for “a conversation about how that’s going to be possible.”

Less than a week after being elected, however, Omar admitted that she supports the BDS movement. On November 11, Omar’s office told the website MuslimGirl.com that she favors BDS against Israel: “Ilhan believes in and supports the BDS movement, and has fought to make sure people’s right to support it isn’t criminalized. She does however, have reservations on the effectiveness of the movement in accomplishing a lasting solution.” On November 12, Omar told TC Jewfolk, a website catering to the Jewish community in the Twin Cities, that her position on the BDS movement “has always been the same” and pointed to her vote as a state lawmaker against House bill HF 400, which prohibits the state from doing business with companies or organizations that boycott Israel.

In a recent interview with the Star Tribune, Omar characterized the controversy over her tweets about Israel as an effort to “stigmatize and shame me into saying something other than what I believed.” In a July 8, 2018 interview with ABC News, for a segment entitled, “Progressive Democrats Increasingly Criticize Israel, and Could Reap Political Rewards,” Omar defended her tweets. She said the accusations of anti-Semitism “are without merit” and “rooted in bigotry toward a belief about what Muslims are stereotyped to believe.”

On September 22, Omar was the keynote speaker in Minneapolis at a fundraiser focused on providing monetary support for Palestinians in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. The US Department of State has officially designated Hamas a terrorist group. After the event, Omar tweeted: “It was such an honor to attend the ‘Dear Gaza’ fundraiser … I know Palestinians are resilient people, hateful protesters nor unjust occupation will dim their spirit.”

Writing in the New York Post, political commentator David Harsanyi noted that Omar’s rhetoric had anti-Semitic undertones: “Now, it isn’t inherently anti-Semitic to be critical of Israeli political leadership or policies. The Democratic Party antagonism toward the Jewish state has been well-established over the past decade. But Omar used a well-worn anti-Semitic trope about the preternatural ability of a nefarious Jewish cabal to deceive the world….

In Michigan, meanwhile, Rashida Tlaib, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, won a largely uncontested race for the open seat in state’s heavily Democratic 13th congressional district. In Tlaib’s acceptance speech, delivered with a Palestinian flag, she credited her victory to the Palestinian cause. “A lot of my strength comes from being Palestinian,” she said.

Like Omar, Tlaib has changed her positions on key issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. During her race for the Democratic nomination in the state primary, Tlaib actively “sought out the support and received the endorsement of J Street.” J Street is a left-leaning organization that is highly critical of the Israel government, and through “JStreetPAC,” it also allocates financial support to those who back J Street’s policies. J Street endorsed Tlaib “based on her support for two states” with the JStreetPAC website claiming that she “believes that the U.S. should be directly involved with negotiations to reach a two-state solution. Additionally, she supports all current aid to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.”

After her primary win on August 7, however, Tlaib radically shifted her positions on Israel, so much so that Haaretz suggested that she pulled a “bait-and-switch.” In an August 14 interview with In These Times magazine, Tlaib was asked whether she supported a one-state or two-state solution. She replied: “One state. It has to be one state. Separate but equal does not work…. This whole idea of a two-state solution, it doesn’t work.” Tlaib also declared her opposition to US aid for Israel, as well as her support for the BDS movement…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                    

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IS CANADA KNOWINGLY FUNDING EXTREMISM AND TERRORISM?

Tom Quiggin

IPT News, Oct. 18, 2018

Canadian taxpayer money may be finding its way to Hamas, a listed terrorist group. The Criminal Code of Canada forbids funding terrorism, as well as forbidding the facilitation of those funding terrorism. But last Friday, Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau announced that Canada would send $50 million in the next two years to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). This is in addition to the $110 million that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has committed to UNRWA since 2016. UNRWA has been repeatedly accused of supporting extremism, promoting violence and not checking beneficiaries against a list of known terrorists provided by the police. The announcement made no reference to UNRWA’s alleged connections, and said the money is meant to help provide education and health services to Palestinians.

Funding UNWRA is not illegal in Canada, although given the agency’s reputation, it is a questionable use of taxpayer money. For instance, in August President Donald Trump withdrew $300 million in UNRWA funding. The U.S. government would no longer “shoulder the very disproportionate share of the burden of UNRWA’s costs,” a U.S. State Department press release said, calling it an “irredeemably flawed operation.” In addition to funding UNRWA, the Trudeau government gave millions of taxpayers’ dollars to Islamic Relief Canada. Some of this money is forwarded to Islamic Relief Worldwide (UK), which has been repeatedly linked to Hamas…

The Canadian aid is funneled through government programs, including International Humanitarian Aid Program (2017), M103 Islamophobia Funding (2018), Canada Summer Jobs Program (2017 and 2018), Myanmar Crisis Relief Fund/Islamic Relief (May 2018), Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund CHAF, Canada’s Humanitarian and Development Assistance to Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, and Prime Minister Trudeau’s volunteer work and promotional video for Islamic Relief Canada.

In June, MP Iqra Khalid of Mississauga announced that $23 million Canadian dollars would help fund her M103 Parliamentary Motion on “Islamophobia.” The money, she said, would go to Islamic Relief Canada and a local boys and girls club. Other members of Parliament who appear to have played a role in directing money to Islamic Relief Canada include Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Immigration and Refugees Minister Ahmed Hussen, Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, International Development Minister Bibeau and Parliamentary Secretary Omar Alghabra.

A variety of independent and credible sources have identified Islamic Relief Worldwide as funding extremist and terrorist activities. This includes American think tank studies and international actors. The following is a partial list of statements concerning the activities of Islamic Relief International. 1. In 2014 the United Arab Emirates produced a list of organizations they deemed to be terrorist entities. Among those was Islamic Relief Worldwide and Islamic Relief UK. 2. In 2017, Bangladesh banned three organizations, including Islamic Relief, from working with Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar out of concern about potential radicalization in refugee camps. 3. In 2014, Israel banned Islamic Relief from operating in the occupied West Bank, accusing Islamic Relief Worldwide of being a source of funding for the Palestinian Hamas Islamist movement. That led the UK Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) to remove Islamic Relief from its online donations page. The Financial Post of Canada similarly removed Islamic Relief from a charity page “since its international arm has been banned elsewhere (though not in Canada) for allegedly funneling funds to the terrorist organization Hamas.” 4. In 2015, the HSBC Bank of the United Kingdom closed Islamic Relief accounts citing fears that money could wind up with terrorist groups. 5. In 2012, the UBS cut ties with Islamic Relief due to concerns about counter-terrorist regulations.

The use of federally registered charities to fund terrorism is not a new practice. In the United States, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development was considered the country’s largest Muslim charity until it was shut down in 2001 for funneling millions of dollars to Hamas. Canada revoked the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy (IRFAN)’s charitable status in 2014 for similar Hamas support. The Islamic Society of North America in Canada has suffered four different charity revocations – two of which were for funding the Jamaat e Islami terrorist group.

What is different in this case, however, is how the money is getting directed down the path to terrorism. In the recent past, it was private citizens exploiting weaknesses in government oversight of registered charities. Now, however, it appears that Canadian MPs are using their positions to direct millions of dollars to Islamic Relief Canada. Some of this money is passed to Islamic Relief Worldwide, which is in turn passing money to extremist and terrorist groups. Given that it is generally known about Islamic Relief Worldwide’s terrorism financing connections, Canadian officials appear willfully blind. Even if they don’t know better, this practice violates Canadian law and Canadian values. An investigation could determine if the money could wind up in the hands of a terrorist organization.

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LAÏCITÉ CAN HELP BLOCK ADVANCE OF POLITICAL ISLAM                                                   Lise Ravary

Montreal Gazette, Oct. 22, 2018

“We must get involved in all domains where we can have more Islam …” “The more we are present, the more women are seen wearing hijab, discussing it, explaining their approach, explaining who they are, the more we will create habits and things will change.” “We must control school programs and stop them from propagating values that do not conform to our principles.” “We must move into public schools, using empty spaces to dispense complementary religious learning.”

These words by Swiss-born global superstar Muslim preacher Tariq Ramadan, grandson of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, explain why so many francophones see hijabs and niqabs as symbols of political Islam, or Islamism: using the tools of the state in order to further a religious agenda. Before being jailed in France to await trial on rape charges, Ramadan was a frequent visitor to Quebec, where he gave interviews to mainstream media and spoke to large crowds at the Palais des congrès.

Francophones read newspapers, books and magazines from France, where relationships between immigrants from North Africa and Français de vieille souche are bad for reasons that mostly don’t exist here. France failed at integrating les Maghrébins who moved there after her North African possessions became independent. Algeria, in particular, was not just a colony, it was a full-fledged French territory, its inhabitants French citizens. The terrible war of independence created a lot of hatred, bitterness and resentment before de Gaulle said “enough” in 1962.

Islamists continue to make inroads in France. Newspapers often report comments by radical imams on women, non-Muslims or Jews that make people’s hair stand on end. Salafist imams are regularly expelled and hundreds of mosques have been closed in recent years. More than 500 French Muslims joined ISIS. Who can forget Charlie Hebdo, le Bataclan and the people killed in Nice on Bastille Day?

Many francophones worry that Quebec will turn into France, where crowds pray in the streets, because Canada’s multiculturalism, they feel, promotes apartness instead of togetherness. As Ramadan said to L’Express: “We are in favour of integration as long as we control the content.” Although his speeches in Arabic have always been more strident and extreme than in French, he cultivated the image of bridge builder, a man of peace. People bought into his mystique. The sexual assault accusations have not stopped many Muslims from admiring Ramadan. Being the grandson of Hassan al-Banna confers a lot of prestige although he denies being a member of the Brotherhood.

Laïcité, which has never been explained to Quebecers, cannot and should not silence people like Ramadan, unless they promote hatred or incite violence. In itself, political Islam is not a crime. But many Quebecers feel that laïcité could at least prevent attempts to change things toward “more Islam.” However, this strategy did not work so well in France, where laïcité has been the law of the land since 1905. Yet, with laïcité, public schools could not set aside rooms for prayer, separate boys and girls — even non-Muslim — for gym, pull students from music lessons or sex education, or agree to some parents’ requests for segregated school yards.

Last spring, a public school in Montreal was set to rent out its premises for the annual “cérémonie du voile,” a Shiite ritual during which 9-year-old girls agree to wear the hijab forever. Many Muslims feel the girls are too young to take on such a commitment. Religions should be kept out of all state institutions, not only to stop people like Tariq Ramadan and other insidious promoters of Islamism from scoring political points, but also to allow the faithful to worship without having fingers pointed at them. Let’s not forget that many Muslims who emigrated here did so to escape Islamism.

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CONGRESS HAS THE CHANCE TO COMBAT

TERRORIST USE OF HUMAN SHIELDS                                                               

Rabbi Abraham Cooper

The Hill, Oct. 10, 2018

Innocent civilian casualties are an inevitable legacy of any war. But the idea that armies would use civilians as human shields to protect armed combatants from the enemy’s bullets is considered by most civilized nations and adherents to International Law (1949 Geneva Conventions, the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions, and the 1998 Rome Statute) to be a War Crime.

During World War II, across Europe and in Asia, the Axis partners were accused of deploying human shields to secure military objectives, root out insurgents and in the Battle of Okinawa, use civilians in a ferocious battle the Japanese knew they would lose. Over 100,000 Okinawans perished.

Saddam Hussein took the deployment of human shields to a whole new level. In the lead up to the Gulf War of 1990-1991. Hussein detained hundreds of citizens of Western countries as human shields in an attempt to deter nations from launching military strikes. A number of these hostages were filmed meeting Hussein, and kept with him to deter any targeted attacks, whilst others were held in or near military, nuclear and industrial targets.

More recently, in 2016, Islamic State fighters began using human shields — hostages — in Fallujah. Fox News reported that the shields consisted of “several hundred” families — in other words, an entire neighborhood. USA Today reported that Islamic State thugs were “locking some families down inside the hospital building.” The Iraqi government and the UN also estimated at least 50,000 innocent people were trapped in Fallujah.

Which brings us to the new Capitol Hill initiative. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) have introduced an increasingly rare bipartisan bill to counter the use of human shields by Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Nigeria’s Boko Haram and other terrorist groups. Why the need for the bill now? What can it achieve? Most of the examples of cited above about the use of human shields in the past took place in the heat of battle or as a desperation move on the eve of a military confrontation.

In our time, we are confronted with Iranian-backed terrorist groups who brazenly have established the deployment of human shields as a core tactic and strategy for present and future battles with the enemy. For months now, Hamas has been using children as part of orchestrated riots at the Gaza-Israeli border. When Israel soldiers rush to the area and see children, their first reaction is to hesitate targeting children. These traps have already cost the lives of an Israeli soldier.

Rather than condemn Hamas, as outgoing US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley tried unsuccessfully at the Security Council and General Assembly tried to do, UN members always vote to condemn Israel for defending herself. This only encourages Hamas to put more children at risk. Every dead child is a social media bonanza. In early wars with Israel, Hamas used civilian infrastructures, including UNRWA schools to store missiles and launch them against the Jewish State. While using children as cannon fodder, the Hamas brain-trust found safe haven beneath a civilian hospital. Palestinian children have died building terror tunnels burrowing into Israeli communities…

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

Contents

 

On Topic Links

Don’t Expect Democrats to Obstruct Trump’s Pro-Israel Policies – or Punish Netanyahu: Jonathan S. Tobin, Ha’aretz, Nov. 8, 2018—The 2018 U.S. midterm elections were a mixed bag for U.S. partisans.

Canada’s Welcome Mat for Jihadis Poses Threat to US: Clarion Project, Nov. 18, 2018—Canada’s welcome mat for jihadis — including returning ISIS terrorists as well as numerous Islamists immigrants — is well known.  This not only threatens our northern neighbors but is an increasing threat to the U.S. as well.

Jihad Jane’s Recruiter Sentenced to 15 Years: Abha Shankar, IPT News, Oct 31, 2018—An Algerian man was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in prison for conspiring with Americans and others to recruit men and women in Europe and the United States to a terrorist cell to wage violent jihad in the West.

Islamic State’s Future in Afghanistan – Part II: Daud Khattak, BESA, Nov. 19, 2018—Islamic State in Khorasan (IS-K) emerged in Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, on the border of Pakistan’s volatile tribal region.

HAMAS WANTED ESCALATION WITH ISRAEL DURING LATEST ROCKET BARRAGE, BUT BIBI “PREVENTED UNNECESSARY WAR”

Will History Repeat Itself if the Right Brings Down a Likud Government?: Jeff Barak, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 18, 2018— Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu knows his history: Whenever a Likud-run government has been brought down by its erstwhile allies on the Right, the Left has returned to power.

Why Israel Doesn’t Want a War With Gaza: Mudar Zahran, American Thinker, Nov. 16, 2018 — The Israeli people are rarely as angry with their political leadership as they are today – and the reason for their anger is clear: they believe that their leadership has failed to take decisive military action against the terrorist group Hamas in Gaza.

What is Hamas’s End-Game? Escalation Control: Dan Feferman, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 15, 2018— I almost entitled this piece “Hamas, What the Hell?!” but I thought better of it.

Palestinians Arresting Women; Where are the Media?: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 19, 2018 — Last August, the Palestinian Authority (PA) protested because Israel arrested a Palestinian woman from Hebron on charges of incitement and affiliation with Hamas.

On Topic Links

Let Me Get On With My Job: How Netanyahu Dwarfed his Political Rivals Within: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, Nov. 19, 2018

How Hamas Brought Israel to the Brink of Election Chaos: Seth J. Frantzman, National Interest, Nov. 16, 2018

Liberman: Bennett Flip-Flop Shows Why Hamas is Emboldened: Stuart Winer, Times of Israel, Nov. 19, 2018

The Israeli Security Concept: Wandering Through a Maze: Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, BESA, Nov. 15, 2018

                   

WILL HISTORY REPEAT ITSELF IF THE

RIGHT BRINGS DOWN A LIKUD GOVERNMENT?                                                                             Jeff Barak                                                           

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 18, 2018 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu knows his history: Whenever a Likud-run government has been brought down by its erstwhile allies on the Right, the Left has returned to power. Hence his determination to recapture control of his coalition and not be seen as having been forced into elections in March.

If there are to be early elections, it is crucial for the prime minister’s positioning that he is the person pulling the plug on his government, at a time of his own choosing, as opposed to losing a no-confidence vote in the Knesset and being kicked out of office.

In 1992, the hardline Yitzhak Shamir had to bring forward the date of the elections after two small right-wing parties left his coalition to protest against a plan to grant autonomy to the Palestinian population in West Bank and Gaza Strip. Fought against a background of a poorly performing economy, no progress in the peace process, and public protests against institutional corruption (unlike our present prime minister, Shamir himself was famed for his frugal lifestyle and disinterest in money), Yitzhak Rabin succeeded in forming the first Labor-led coalition for 15 years.

Seven years later, Netanyahu shared a similar fate to Shamir. Unable to win the right wing’s support for the Wye Agreement, which promised further Israeli withdrawals from populated areas in the West Bank, Netanyahu lost a vote of no confidence in the Knesset, forcing his government to disband. In the resultant elections, Netanyahu was decisively beaten by Labor’s Ehud Barak and turned out of office.

Avigdor Liberman’s resignation as defense minister threatens Netanyahu with a repeat performance of 1992 and 1999. Yet again, a Likud prime minister is being undermined by a political ally to the right of him. Liberman’s charge that Israel capitulated to terrorism in agreeing to a ceasefire with Hamas after the Palestinians fired almost 500 rockets into Israel is a deadly missile attack on Netanyahu’s credentials as Israel’s Mr. Security.

Netanyahu has always promised his supporters a vigorous response to Palestinian terrorism, but his current premiership has been marked by a surprising and welcome pragmatism. On the eve of the most recent round of fighting in Gaza, Netanyahu was busy telling reporters he was doing everything in his power “to prevent an unnecessary war.” On a national level, his decision to follow through on this by seeking a ceasefire and not stepping up Israel’s reaction to Hamas’ rocket attacks was the correct one to make, although it will cost him politically.

Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi gave the game away as to Netanyahu’s thinking, with his unscripted remarks that Hamas’ rocket attacks were “minor” in the sense they were not targeted at Tel Aviv. Unpalatable as this truth is, there is a huge difference in terms of the country’s national interest between rockets disturbing Israeli life in Gaza Strip periphery communities and one blowing up a plane on the runway at Ben Gurion Airport. Opposition politicians sanctimoniously declaring otherwise are guilty of shameless political cynicism.

Nevertheless, a prime minister cannot afford to be seen as weak on countering terrorism. Liberman’s resignation, combined with Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett’s constant attacks on the IDF’s weak response to events in Gaza, will inevitably erode Netanyahu’s standing among his base. The demonstrations against the ceasefire in the Likud-supporting heartland of Sderot will definitely have set off the political warning bells in the prime minister’s Balfour Street residence.

On top of this, Netanyahu also risks fighting early elections at exactly the time when Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit is liable to make his decision regarding an indictment in the various corruption cases surrounding the prime minister. Despite the prime minister’s insistent denials there is nothing to these charges, he certainly does not want to be going to the polls under the cloud of a criminal indictment.

But unlike 1992 or 1999, Netanyahu is not facing a serious opponent with real leadership credentials. As former IDF chiefs of staff, both Rabin and Barak could outperform Netanyahu in the security arena. Both men also offered the country a chance of real change, which Rabin delivered with the breakthrough Oslo Agreements with the PLO and Barak with his courageous unilateral withdrawal of the IDF from Lebanon.

Unfortunately, there is no one in today’s opposition with a similar profile to either Rabin or Barak, nor is there one dominant party able to challenge the Likud’s standing as Israel’s largest party.

Now that Liberman has fired the first bullet in the 2019 election campaign, Israel’s center and center-left parties have a short window of opportunity to rally behind one leader – a returning Ehud Barak? Tzipi Livni? (Yair Lapid is too lightweight for the role and Avi Gabbai is a political nonentity) – and form one party to rival the Likud and bring down Binyamin Netanyahu. If they fail to do so, then Netanyahu will most likely break the pattern of 1992 and 1999 and re-emerge as the country’s next prime minister, despite having lost the support of his right-wing allies.         

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WHY ISRAEL DOESN’T WANT A WAR WITH GAZA

Mudar Zahran

American Thinker, Nov. 16, 2018

The Israeli people are rarely as angry with their political leadership as they are today – and the reason for their anger is clear: they believe that their leadership has failed to take decisive military action against the terrorist group Hamas in Gaza.

As witnessed by the world a few days ago, Hamas began shooting rockets at southern Israeli towns and villages. In total, more than 500 rockets were launched, and in response, Israel undertook very precise, decisive and surgical military air strikes, hitting some of Hamas’s most significant facilities and military installations. This brought about a very quick cease-fire, a cease-fire that has come as a disappointment for many Israelis – especially those who bore the brunt of the attacks. Apparently, the Israeli public wanted military actions that would either annihilate Hamas, or, at least, serve as a deterrent that would force it to stop shooting rockets into Israel.

The call for tough military action against Hamas is so strong that Netanyahu’s Minister of Defense, Avigdor Lieberman, resigned in protest after the Prime Minister settled for a quick cease-fire despite Hamas’s defiance, millions of dollars in damage, and more financial support from Iran. Apparently, the Israeli public was further provoked when they saw Hamas celebrating the ceasefire, jubilantly declaring it a “victory” against Israel specifically, and Jews, generally. While militant Hamas operatives celebrated, many Israeli politicians, writers, and commentators are fed up and spitting bullets over what they perceive as the Prime Minister’s inherent weakness in combating terrorism. As a result, hundreds of Israelis from the targeted southern villages protested publicly against the ceasefire.

While the anger of many Israelis is understandable, the facts on the ground clearly explain Netanyahu’s decision to agree to a quick ceasefire – a ceasefire that saved lives on both sides. Simply put, Hamas wants war. It is my experience that when an enemy is so determined to get into an armed conflict, one must be very careful not to give the enemy what they want. Additionally, we have to realize this: those pushing the Hamas buttons are heavily financed by Iran, through the mother group, the Muslim Brotherhood, who is also deeply in bed with Iran. Therefore, it is no stretch of the imagination as to why Hamas started provoking Israel: The military actions started shortly after US sanctions on Iran took effect. In fact, unprovoked, Hamas did not have any apparent reason to start fighting; to the contrary, things were going well for Hamas.  On the very day Hamas began firing rockets, they received $15 Million from Saudi Arabia and $60 Million from Qatar to pay its public servants who have not received pay checks. As a result, a joyous atmosphere was dominant in Gaza.

At this point, evidence shows that it is safe to say that Hamas operates upon orders from its Iranian mentors. Iran is already feeling the pain caused by the US-imposed sanctions, and with more sanctions likely to come in the future, they are lashing out – and Israel is their best bet to rally support for them. In other words, Iran needs a war as a diversion from its predicaments, and to tell the US that it could cause trouble and must be left alone, otherwise full scale war will break out.

That said, Netanyahu clearly could have launched a war that would have brought him tremendous public support and strengthened his political position with the Israeli public. Nonetheless he did not give in to public pressure, and did what he felt was right based on military intelligence, because he knew the outcome would hurt Israel’s interest in the long run. The world has to recognize that if Iran got the war it wanted, it would have been the best thing that could happen for them. To make matters worse, their puppets in Hamas really don’t care how many of my people are killed in the process. That is because their terrorist leaders are millionaires hiding in bunkers. In other words, Hamas didn’t have much to lose, while Iran had a lot to gain – and Netanyahu understands this.

On the other hand, Hamas fulfilled its ‘handshake agreement’ with their bosses, and eventually agreed to a ceasefire, against their wishes. In support of this, an Egyptian military intelligence source confided in me yesterday, saying that Egypt conveyed a stern message to Hamas. He told me that the message said the following: “Unless you stop, President Trump will allow Israel to annihilate you”. This scared Hamas to the core, and forced them to agree to the ceasefire.

As for Netanyahu, he has risked his public approval ratings and political career for the sake of his nation’s interest. This is true diplomacy and should be supported around the world.  As an Arab, Palestinian, Jordanian and a Muslim, I could not help but think how Arab leaders regularly sacrifice their people for political gain while an Israeli leader is risking his entire political career to save his people. This…is the difference between a politician, and a statesman.

 

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WHAT IS HAMAS’S END-GAME? ESCALATION CONTROL                                      

Dan Feferman

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 15, 2018

I almost entitled this piece “Hamas, What the Hell?!” but I thought better of it. So, I’ll ask in another way: What is Hamas’s end-game? The answer is: escalation control. In recent months, Hamas has encouraged tens of thousands of miserable and frustrated Gazans to vent their domestic anger not at them, but rather at the Gaza-Israel border. Protesters cut through the fence, torched thousands of tires, threw rocks, shot at soldiers and then realized they can terrorize Israel, Iron Dome and all, with kites and children’s balloons hooked up to flaming Molotov cocktails.

Why? To pressure Israel to relax the blockade it currently maintains on Gaza, together with Egypt and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. The ruthless and crafty terrorist-group-turned-government of the coastal enclave well understands that Israel will not commit mass killing of mostly unarmed Palestinians on its border and that despite its technological and military superiority, it has not yet found an answer to floating fire bombs and favorable winds. Hamas is also well aware that Israel – despite the bluster of its far-right politicians – has no interest in another war in Gaza, and certainly has no interest in reconquering the strip and establishing military control. Hamas well understands that for Israel, it is the lesser evil of many bad options in Gaza.

According to press reports and official comments from Israeli officials, the sides finally reached an agreement recently (through third-party mediators, of course) for a long-term cease-fire in which the protests, balloons and rockets would stop in exchange for Hamas gaining access to a port of its own (possibly in Cyprus), work permits for Gazans to enter Israel, and a relaxation on the embargo. The last piece of the puzzle included Egyptian pressure on the Palestinian Authority to allow such a dynamic, despite that it would grant Hamas the legitimacy it so craves while sidelining Ramallah, pushing it further away from its illusory control over what happens in Gaza. Just to make sure, Hamas also demanded last week, in full mafia form (and got) Israel to accept and even help facilitate the transfer of $15 million in cash (literally, three suitcases in a car) each month from Qatar to help pay Hamas salaries, after Ramallah stopped paying those. Electricity in the Strip is already up from four to eight hours a day since Qatari cash and fuel began entering the impoverished territory through Israel.

So, if Hamas got what it wanted, what does it get from such an unprecedented escalation (Hamas fired more rockets in one day than ever before)? And why now? What the hell, Hamas?! The short answer is: Escalation control, and because it can. While Hamas’s leadership has begrudgingly accepted that they will not be able to defeat and destroy Israel in the conceivable future, they are also acutely aware that Israel will do almost anything to avoid a full-on invasion of Gaza that would result in toppling Hamas’s rule. Such an operation would be extremely costly in Israeli lives, could take many months if not longer to restore order, and would draw significant international criticism as it would most likely result in thousands of Palestinian casualties. While many Israelis say they are in favor of such an operation now, it would become increasingly politically unpopular as the months go by and the casualty count inevitably climbs.

Since Hamas wrested control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in 2007, it has instigated three extended conflicts against Israel, characterized by rocket and mortar fire and the digging and utilization of terror tunnels. Having largely neutralized these threats through technological innovation, Israel retaliated each time through aerial and artillery strikes, carefully choosing targets either for their symbolic or military value. The aim in each round of fighting has been to limit Hamas’s war-making ability, reestablish deterrence, and gain escalation control. In other words, Israel has aimed to set the rules of the game; Hamas sought to challenge those rules and establish rules of its own. The two sides, despite a total asymmetry of capabilities, have stumbled, more or less, onto the same playing field. Rockets beget air strikes – that is agreed. But as it turns out, rockets and mortars fired on Israeli border communities beget symbolic air strikes against pinpoint targets replete with advanced warnings (“knock on the roof”) to minimize civilian casualties, or only against the launch-team. Rockets at Ashkelon equal more significant air strikes against high-value targets (as happened last night – Israel struck 160 targets). Hamas already warned the next phase will be to extend rockets to Beersheba and Ashdod, which would invite targeting even higher value targets. Rockets on Tel Aviv will force the ground invasion neither side wants. Apparently, attempts to breach the border fence or incendiary balloons do not pass the threshold for a serious Israeli retaliation. Hamas already succeeded in establishing those rules and Israel has, more or less, accepted them.

According to the IDF Spokesperson, a covert Israeli military unit on a routine mission over the weekend deep in Gaza stumbled upon a Hamas force, resulting in a fire fight in which a senior Israeli officer and seven Hamas members, including a senior military figure were killed. So why risk a major escalation now that could cancel all the significant gains Hamas made? Simple. The 460 rockets fired into Israel, including an anti-tank missile that hit a bus (that just minutes before was full of young soldiers) are Hamas trying to gain an upper hand in the game for escalation control. An Israeli military operation deep in Gaza that ends up killing a senior Hamas leader equals hundreds of rockets, and Hamas wants to make sure Israel thinks twice before trying that again. As the sides reportedly reach a fragile cease-fire to end this two-day exchange, it seems that so far, and at least this time, Hamas has succeeded in controlling the escalation scale, and thus further weakening Israeli deterrence. Until next time.

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PALESTINIANS ARRESTING WOMEN; WHERE ARE THE MEDIA?                                       Bassam Tawil

Gatestone Institute, Nov. 19, 2018

Last August, the Palestinian Authority (PA) protested because Israel arrested a Palestinian woman from Hebron on charges of incitement and affiliation with Hamas. The 42-year-old woman, Lama Khater, is also known as a strong critic of the President Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority. Khater’s scathing attacks on Abbas and his government, however, did not stop the Palestinian Authority from condemning Israel and demanding her immediate release.

This was not the first time that the Palestinian Authority has condemned Israel for arresting a Palestinian woman who voiced criticism of Abbas and his policies. Last year, the Palestinian Authority condemned Israel for arresting Khaleda Jarrar, a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, one of several PLO terrorist groups. Jarrar was arrested by Israel for membership in a terrorist group and incitement.

The incidents concerning Khater and Jarrar came to mind this week as Palestinian sources revealed that Mahmoud Abbas’s security forces in the West Bank arrested two Palestinian women. The first woman, Majdoleen Marab’eh, was arrested in the West Bank city of Qalqilya after she criticized the Palestinian Authority’s controversial social security law. The law, which has sparked a wave of protests among Palestinians, calls for deducting 7% of private sector employees’ monthly salaries for a social-security fund and setting the retirement age for men and women at 60 years.

The second woman recently arrested by the Palestinian security forces is Suha Jbara, a mother of three from a village near Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinians in the West Bank. According to Palestinian sources, the 31-year-old Jbara was arrested on November 2, when more than 25 Palestinian security officers raided her home and arrested her in front of her three children. The sources said she was suspected of transferring donations collected from Palestinians in the West Bank to the families of Palestinians killed and wounded by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip.

Her father, Badran, said she was first taken to a Palestinian Authority detention center in Ramallah where, after a brief interrogation, she was transferred to the PA’s notorious Jericho Prison. He said that although his daughter suffers from a heart disease, she has been denied medical treatment and was being held in harsh conditions. A lawyer appointed by her family has since been banned from seeing her. Jbara’s family has expressed deep concern about her health. “We’re very concerned about her condition because she’s being held in harsh conditions,” the family complained. “Her three children, aged 12, 9 and 8, have since been crying, and are refusing to eat and go to school.”

“In the past few days, there is widespread outrage on social media over the arrest of Suha Jbara,” said Obada Subeih in a blog in the Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera network. “Undoubtedly, the Palestinian Authority has become a heavy burden on the Palestinian people. The charges attributed to her are a moral scandal for the Palestinian security forces and the Palestinian political leadership in Ramallah.” Several Palestinians took to social media to express extreme consternation over the arrest of Jbara, and described her imprisonment as “disgraceful.” They also launched several hashtags demanding her release and calling on the International community to exert pressure on the Palestinian Authority to stop targeting women. These appeals, however, have thus far fallen on deaf ears. The Palestinian media in the West Bank, which is directly and indirectly controlled by Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, has ignored the arrest of the two women…

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

Contents

On Topic Links

Let Me Get On With My Job: How Netanyahu Dwarfed his Political Rivals Within: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, Nov. 19, 2018 —It was over for Benjamin Netanyahu. He’d agreed on an informal truce with Hamas after 500 rockets had been fired at Israel, and his defense minister, the volatile Avigdor Liberman, had resigned in a seething firestorm of anger and recrimination.

How Hamas Brought Israel to the Brink of Election Chaos: Seth J. Frantzman, National Interest, Nov. 16, 2018—Hamas didn’t achieve a military victory. But toppling the defense minister is a kind of victory because it shows that Hamas can shake Jerusalem’s politics at the very top.

Liberman: Bennett Flip-Flop Shows Why Hamas is Emboldened: Stuart Winer, Times of Israel, Nov. 19, 2018 —Former defense minister Avigdor Liberman said Monday that the decision by leaders of the Jewish Home party to drop their ultimatum and remain in the coalition was emblematic of Israel’s inability to follow through on its military threat against terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli Security Concept: Wandering Through a Maze: Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, BESA, Nov. 15, 2018—The discourse that tends to swirl in the wake of events like this week’s sharp Gaza escalation generally revolves around a clichéd discussion about “the loss of deterrence.”