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'Palestine' and ISIS: Different Branches, Same Tree: Prof. Louis René Beres, Arutz Sheva, Feb. 4, 2015 — Credo quia absurdum. "I believe because it is absurd."
Hamas and the Nexus of Global Jihad: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 5, 2015 — On Wednesday, Hamas leader in Gaza Mahmoud Zahar called on Hamas terrorists in Lebanon and Syria to attack Israel “to help us liberate Palestine.”
Here's What a Hamas Training Camp for Teens Looks Like: William Booth, Washington Post, Jan. 29, 2015 — Judging by the orderly rows of hundreds of young wannabes lined up in crisp military fashion at their graduation ceremony here Thursday, the armed wing of the Islamist movement Hamas will have plenty of eager recruits this year.
A Clear Answer to an Old Debate: Arafat Colluded with Hamas Against Israel at the Height of the Oslo Years: Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, JCPA, Jan. 15, 2015— On December 15, 2014, the Palestinian News Agency published an interview with Mahmoud Al Zahar, a member of the Hamas Political Bureau and one of the organization’s most prominent leaders.
Gag Order Lifted on Naval Interception of Rocket Materials for Hamas (Video): Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu, Jewish Press, Feb. 11, 2015
Gaza Terrorist Groups Rebuilding Militaries, Training Recruits for War: IPT News, Feb. 4, 2015
Ten Points Regarding the Fundamental Breach by the Palestinians of the Oslo Accords: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Jan. 5, 2015
The PA and Hamas are a Greater Threat to Israel than IS: Giulio Meotti, Arutz Sheva, Feb. 4, 2015
Prof. Louis René Beres
Arutz Sheva, Feb. 4, 2015
Credo quia absurdum. "I believe because it is absurd." Plainly, a Palestinian state – any Palestinian state – would directly benefit anti-American terrorists. Why, then, does the President of the United States effectively support a prospectively Jihadist "Palestine," and simultaneously make war against Islamic State (ISIS)? In Washington, the issues of Palestinian statehood and ISIS aggressions are normally regarded as unrelated. Nonetheless, it is worth considering that these security issues are actually linked, and that any creation of Palestine would have substantially corrosive implications for America's still-unsteady struggle against ISIS. Ultimately, the most conspicuous victim of Palestine would be Israel, an indispensable U.S. ally in the Middle East.
"I believe because it is absurd." Even while dealing with multiple and increasingly virulent Jihadist enemies, most notably ISIS, U.S. President Barack Obama accepts the presumed benefits of a Palestinian state. Oddly, and perhaps without any intended bias against Israel's reciprocal security needs, Mr. Obama remains convinced that there is some discernible symmetry between Israeli and Palestinian claims for statehood. Ignoring the entire history of a non-state Palestine, from the 400-year rule of the Ottoman Turks, to the Balfour Declaration (1917), to the San Remo Conference (1920), to the Treaty of Sèvres (1922), to the British Mandate (1922), and beyond, to the U.N. Charter, the president's contradictory convictions have been sorely under-researched, and grimly ironic.
Always, in such matters, truth is exculpatory. At some point, if they can somehow manage to stop abducting and murdering each other – and all the while staving off the even more lascivious killers of al-Qaeda and ISIS – the Palestinian Authority and Hamas will advance a joint plan for Palestinian sovereignty in the West Bank (Judea/Samaria), Gaza, and East Jerusalem. This generally anticipated announcement, while contrary to all codified expectations of Oslo Agreement obligations to Israel, would still elicit the enthusiastic corroboration of President Obama's "Road Map." Although it would likely be overlooked by the White House, any such "cartographic" support would cynically mock authoritative international law. In essence, it would undercut global legal order far beyond even its prima facie Oslo Agreement violations.
"I believe because it is absurd." Any such "Road Map" support would be at odds with the governing treaty on statehood under international law, a "constitutive" pact known formally as The Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (1934). Significantly, because this vital fact of law is neither widely known nor meaningfully understood, authentic conferral of statehood is always independent of UN actions, or of recognition by any existing states. Of course, the main problem here, for both the United States and Israel, does not concern pertinent international law, or even the “Montevideo Convention," as it is better known. Rather, it concerns the de facto implementation of Palestinian statehood. Unassailably, a Palestinian state – any Palestinian state – could enlarge the worldwide risks of terrorism, and, eventually, the unspoken but corollary perils of a regional nuclear war.
If you like ISIS, you'll love Palestine. Why? The reasons are not hard to fathom. Following Israel's latest self-defense war, an obligatory conflict in Gaza waged as Operation Protective Edge, it should be apparent that any state of Palestine could cheerfully inflict incessant aggressions upon Israel, including even an orchestrated barrage of incursions aimed at further territorial extensions. One should recall, in this connection, that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was formed in 1964, three years before there were any "occupied territories." What, precisely, was PLO (now PA) seeking to "liberate?" The answer, of course, is all of Israel. Predictably, in expanding beyond its more-or-less properly designated state boundaries, such territorial extensions would be justified in order to ensure Palestine's legal "equality" with Israel. After all, under international law, "sovereign equality" is always treated as a fundamental or "peremptory" norm. Here, however, Palestinian applications of this rule would represent little more than a jurisprudential manipulation or contrivance of "lawfare."
Truth is exculpatory. Palestinian plans for an Israeli "final solution" are unhidden. Even now, irredentist Palestinian intentions are easy to decipher. Already, official PA maps identify Israel as a part of Palestine. On these maps, there is never any acknowledgment of "sovereign equality." In this murderous cartography, there is only a "one state solution." "I believe because it is absurd." Any Palestinian state would have a promptly injurious impact on vital American strategic interests, and, simultaneously, on Israel's physical survival. After Palestine, Israel, facing an even more expressly formidable "correlation of enemy forces," would require ever-greater excursions into existential self-reliance. In turn, any such enhanced journeys would call for: (1) a more coherent and more openly disclosed nuclear strategy, one focusing comprehensively upon deterrence, preemption, and war fighting capabilities; and (2) a corresponding and interpenetrating conventional war strategy. Technically, and in more narrowly operational military parlance, these expanded strategic obligations would entail (3) a more nuanced understanding of critical "force multipliers;" (4) a more emphatic doctrinal commitment to "escalation dominance;" and (5) a broader appreciation of certain important "synergies," e.g., the negative interaction effects of our ongoing U.S./coalition war against ISIS, with the ongoing results of Palestinian state violence against Israel….
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Jerusalem Post, Feb. 5, 2015
On Wednesday, Hamas leader in Gaza Mahmoud Zahar called on Hamas terrorists in Lebanon and Syria to attack Israel “to help us liberate Palestine.” At the same time, Zahar denied that Hamas has been involved in the terrorist insurgency in Egypt. As he put it, “Our guns are always trained on the enemy,” that is, Israel.
The Egyptian regime was not impressed by Zahar’s protestations. Last Saturday, an Egyptian court upheld an October 2014 decision by the Egyptian government to outlaw Hamas’s terrorist shock forces Izzadin Kassam, and designate it a terrorist organization. Both the government’s initial designation and the court’s decision were in some sense, watershed events. They represent the first time an Arab regime ever defined any Palestinian terrorist organization as a terrorist group. But in truth, Egypt had no choice. Despite its insistent protestations that the Jews are its only enemies, Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, has been a major player, indeed, arguably the key player in the jihadist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula that threatens to destroy the political, economic and military viability of the Egyptian state. The declared purpose of the insurgency is to overthrow the regime of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and integrate Egypt into Islamic State’s “caliphate.”
Last week saw yet another devastating terror assault against Egyptian security forces and civilians in Sinai and in cities around Egypt. Thirty- two people, mainly soldiers, were killed in a coordinated, multifaceted attack that included Hamas’s three signature modes of operation – mortars, rockets and suicide bombings. Last week’s assault, like almost all previous ones, was credited to Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a jihadist group that has pledged allegiance to Islamic State and declared Sinai a province of its “caliphate.” According to a report by Yoram Schweitzer from the Institute for National Security Studies, Hamas members were among the original founders of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. The Egyptian government views Hamas-controlled Gaza as the rear headquarters of the group. In founding the group, Hamas cooperated with local Salafist Beduin and with al-Qaida terrorists who escaped Egyptian prisons during the January 2011 uprising against then-president Hosni Mubarak.
From the outset, Egyptian security forces alleged that Hamas terrorists conducted the prison breaches. Among the other Islamists released during the jail breaks was Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi. Morsi reportedly used Hamas terrorists as his regime’s Praetorian guard. They were charged with protecting the Muslim Brotherhood regime from protesters who opposed his moves to rapidly transform Egypt into an Islamist state and the spearhead of the Brotherhood’s sought-for global caliphate. From an ideological perspective, there is no distinction between the Brotherhood and Hamas. From an organizational perspective, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood branch has no difficulty integrating its forces seamlessly into the wider Muslim Brotherhood operational structure to serve what it views as their common ends.
And this brings us back to the insurgency in Sinai. In addition to claiming that Hamas enables Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, Cairo accuses Hamas of having directly carried out several mass casualty terror attacks against its security forces. The most recent one, carried out in late October 2014, killed 31 soldiers. It precipitated Cairo’s decision to expand its security zone between Gaza and Sinai from 1 to 2 kilometers and begin emptying the Egyptian side of the border-straddling city of Rafah. It was also the catalyst for the government’s decision to label Izzadin Kassam a terrorist group. The timing of last week’s attack indicates the close coordination between Hamas-Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and the Muslim Brotherhood. As The Washington Free Beacon reported, two days before the attacks the Muslim Brotherhood issued a call for “a long, uncompromising jihad” in Egypt.
Hamas’s intimate relationship with what has now become the Islamic State affiliate in Sinai may well have facilitated the seeding of Islamic State cells in Gaza and Judea and Samaria, where Hamas terrorists are increasingly declaring their allegiance to Islamic State. Following last month’s massacre of the French journalists at Charlie Hebdo in Paris, several hundred protesters in Gaza waved Islamic State flags while burning the French flag in support of the massacre. In recent weeks, Israeli security forces have arrested several cells of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians from Judea and Samaria that sought to establish Islamic State cells.
Beyond its role in both leading and enabling the insurgency in Sinai in concert with the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas serves as a bridge between Iran and Sunni jihadists. In the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge last summer, Hamas began rebuilding its ties to Iran. Until the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, when Hamas felt obliged to support the Muslim Brotherhood that was fighting the Iranian-backed regime of President Bashar Assad, Iran had served as Hamas’s primary state sponsor since 2005. Iran never entirely cut off its support for Hamas. But after last summer’s war, it reinstated its formal alliance with Hamas. On Saturday, in an interview with Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television, Hamas’s Zahar called on Iran to increase its aid to the terror group. He also called on Hezbollah to increase its cooperation with Hamas and send terrorist reinforcements to Gaza, Judea and Samaria.
Two days later, Iranian Brig.-Gen. Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace division, answered Zahar’s call. In an interview with Iran’s Fars news agency on Monday, Hajizadeh said that Iran is “exporting the technology of manufacturing missiles and other equipment,” to “Syria, Iran and Palestine as well as Lebanon’s Hezbollah to stand up to and ground the Zionist regime, ISIL and other Takfiri [i.e. fake Islamic] groups. Hamas’s bridging role between the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State on the one hand, and between Iran and Hezbollah on the other, shows two things. First, that the Palestinian jihadist group, which the European Union is now trying to decide whether or not to label a terrorist organization, after the previous designation was struck down by an EU court, is about much more than destroying Israel. It poses a threat to people far beyond Israel. And its role in the terror nexus is not that of a bit player, but of a linchpin and a unifying force. It also shows the unity of the threat of Sunni and Shi’ite Islamic totalitarianism. Egypt recognizes this unity….
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Washington Post, Jan. 29, 2015
Judging by the orderly rows of hundreds of young wannabes lined up in crisp military fashion at their graduation ceremony here Thursday, the armed wing of the Islamist movement Hamas will have plenty of eager recruits this year. More than 17,000 fresh-faced teenagers and young men, ages 15 to 21, mustered at a dozen camps over the past week in the Gaza Strip to climb ropes, practice close-order drills and fire Kalashnikov rifles, all of them pledging to defend the coastal enclave and ready to fight the next war against their Zionist enemies. They also learned how to perform first aid and throw a grenade. They watched — but did not touch — as instructors showed them the basics of improvised explosive devices.
For the first time, the Hamas military wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, hosted the Gaza teens and young men for a week of training in the martial arts at previously off-limits Qassam bases. In the past, the military-style camps have been run by Hamas’s political wing, and during the summer sessions, the camps included lots of sports, religion and playtime on the beach. These winter camps were different, more serious, more martial. The attendees were older and the trainers were Qassam commanders dressed in khaki camouflage who barked orders like drill sergeants, answered by shouts of “Allahu akbar” by the attendees. Qassam commanders allowed a…reporter to enter two camps, but they did not let the reporter stay more than 30 minutes or take photographs until Thursday’s more-scripted graduation.
Military commanders for Hamas, which has been branded a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel, said the camps were designed to boost the Palestinian resistance and to give Gaza’s frustrated and unemployed youths a way to blow off steam — and shoot some guns. A Qassam officer who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Mujahed said the camps were not organized to recruit new cadres to the militia, although he conceded that candidates were chosen from the ranks. “We have more than enough recruits. Too many,” he said. “The camps are designed to answer the demands of the youth — to do something.”
Critics of Hamas said the camps were designed to bolster the group’s popularity and distract residents from the grim conditions of Gaza: the unpaid salaries, the lack of reconstruction, the closures of the strip to trade and travel. According to initial estimates by Israeli and Palestinian groups, about 1,000 Gaza combatants may have died in the 50-day summer war between Hamas and Israel, which has the best-equipped army in the Middle East. Analysts estimate that al-Qassam, the largest and best-equipped of the half-dozen militias in Gaza, has 20,000 or 25,000 fighters in its ranks. The heavy losses of the summer do not appear to have dimmed the zeal of Gaza’s young men, who said they were ready to fight the Jewish state again. Hamas and Israel have fought three wars in the past six years, and the Hamas movement remains in control in the Gaza Strip.
Ahmad Ismail, 16, dressed in a black Qassam T-shirt, said after his graduation: “I have received training on using weapons, especially rifles, and climbing on ropes, marching, shooting, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars. We also had practical training and got to shoot the Kalashnikovs.” He said: “I wish I could join Qassam Brigades now. I want to fight Israel. I want to kick them out of our land. I am ready now.” Israeli military intelligence officers say the Hamas military wing will have no trouble recruiting more troops. “There is no shortage of manpower in Gaza,” said one Israeli officer selected to speak to the foreign news media. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because of Israeli military protocol. The Israeli officer said Hamas was “assembling new rockets as fast as they can.” He said it didn’t matter if longer-range rockets and their propellants might not be available because the military-led government in Egypt has closed down most of the smuggling tunnels into Gaza. “Hamas is making plenty of rockets,” he said. Hundreds a week, thousands a month. He said the militias in the strip would be fully armed and staffed in a few months. “The decision to go to war is a political one for Hamas,” he said. “On the military side, they’re ready to go today.”…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi
JCPA, Jan. 15, 2015
On December 15, 2014, the Palestinian News Agency published an interview with Mahmoud Al Zahar, a member of the Hamas Political Bureau and one of the organization’s most prominent leaders. Al Zahar referred in the interview to the events preceding the outbreak of the Second Intifada on September 28, 2000. The excerpt below is taken from this interview. “Abu Amar [Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat] reached the decision that the negotiations at the Camp David summit [in July 2000] were going nowhere. He sent a security representative to Sheikh Salah Shehade [head of the Hamas military wing at the time] with the message: ‘I have no objection to Hamas taking action’ and we knew [what this meant] when we met to go over details.” “Some of us said: ‘Those people [the PA] want to know who is [behind] Unit No. 103 or the groups [terror factions] that would carry out [terror attacks] under the name of Omar al-Mukhtar, so that they can report on us, because they [the PA] coordinate with Israel on security matters.’”
“Others said: ‘No, let’s take this opportunity to carry out acts [terror attacks] jointly with them [the PA] or take arms from them. Their method is well known and if they had wanted to use us they would have reported on us [to Israel] and they would be partners [with Israel in anti-terror activities]. “We received arms from them [the PA] and carried out the acts [terror attacks]. [In response to the interviewer’s question, not clearly audible, about the source of the weapons]: ‘[We got the weapons] from Fatah here [in the Gaza Strip], from the [then Palestinian] Authority here [in the Gaza Strip]…. We took those weapons from them and carried out the acts [terror attacks]. They told Abu Amar [Yasser Arafat]: Wait a minute, it was not us who brought you to this situation. There was a siege [by the IDF on the Mukataa Compound in Ramallah, which served as the main headquarters for the Palestinian government, including Arafat’s office], and the [West] Bank was re-occupied [in Operation Defensive Shield in April 2002], and wiping him out [blaming Israel for the alleged “assassination” of Arafat].” [In response to the interviewer’s question about Arafat’s motives in allowing Hamas to carry out terror attacks after the Camp David summit]: “Only Allah, blessed be He, can know those intentions. Was it done to improve the terms of the negotiations or were they meant to show a shift [in Arafat’s policy]? These are things that Allah, blessed be He, will account for [with Arafat].”
Mahmoud Al Zahar has made similar claims in previous interviews about Arafat’s go-ahead to Hamas for terror attacks after the Camp David summit. Below is an excerpt from a report in Al-Quds newspaper on April 9, 2005: “Al Zahar said that the Palestinian Authority reached what Hamas had warned against, namely the Israeli Occupation’s denial of agreements signed with the PLO, clarifying that: ‘After the failure of the Camp David negotiations, the PLO began to tell Hamas that this was the opportunity to begin actions [that is, terror attacks against Israel]. Hamas was mistrustful of this approach, but nevertheless carried out attacks under the name of the Omar al-Mukhtar Force.” Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported on September 29, 2010 that, at a ceremony marking the anniversary of the Al Aqsa Intifada, Mahmoud Al Zahar said: “The late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat told Hamas to undertake a number of military acts in the heart of Israel, after he felt that negotiations with the occupying regime at the time had failed.”
In an interview on the official Hamas website (Palestine-info.info) on October 8, 2010, Mahmoud Al Zahar was asked about his statement that Hamas had been permitted to launch terror attacks prior to the outbreak of the Al Aqsa Intifada. Below is an excerpt from that interview: [Question] “You have previously said that President Abu Amar [Yasser Arafat] instructed Hamas to carry out terror attacks while he was under siege in Ramallah. Can we expect that Abu Mazen [the current Chairman of the Palestinian Authority] will reach a similar stage in his relationship with the [Hamas] movement?”
[Al Zahar] “Abu Amar did not tell Fatah to hold talks with Hamas in order to carry out attacks because of support for the opposition, but because of his desire to use terror attacks for tactical purposes. I remember attending the People’s Conference with [senior Fatah representatives] Hani al-Hassan, Abu Ali Shahin and Abdullah Elhourani in the el-Sheikh Awad Hall at el-Al Zahar University [in Gaza]. At that time those present raised the necessity for Hamas to launch terror attacks against the Israeli occupation, and it was no secret. Abu Amar wanted it to be a tactical measure designed to exert pressure on Israel through Hamas. Abu Mazen does not have that courage or that attitude and is not capable of gambling with his life to that end. By this I meant to suggest to the public that at certain points in time use was made of the opposition for tactical goals, and it does not arise from an attitude that sought to improve the negotiation terms. For that reason, I have no interest in changing the endeavors whereby reconciliation and opposition were attempted in order to improve the terms of the negotiations. But it is vital that they [reconciliation and opposition] should be based on a strategic overview.”
Gag Order Lifted on Naval Interception of Rocket Materials for Hamas (Video): Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu, Jewish Press, Feb. 11, 2015 —The Navy and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) intercepted a boat last January that was on its way to Gaza with materials for manufacturing rockets and mortar shells, according to military spokesmen after a gag order on the counter-terrorist operation was lifted on Wednesday.
Gaza Terrorist Groups Rebuilding Militaries, Training Recruits for War: IPT News, Feb. 4, 2015 —Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations are intensifying efforts to rebuild military capabilities damaged during last summer's war with Israel, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reports.
Ten Points Regarding the Fundamental Breach by the Palestinians of the Oslo Accords: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Jan. 5, 2015—The peace negotiation process as set out in the Oslo Accords was intended to lead to peace between Israel and the Palestinian People and mutual recognition of each other’s “mutual legitimate and political rights” (Preamble, Oslo I and Oslo II).
The PA and Hamas are a Greater Threat to Israel than IS: Giulio Meotti, Arutz Sheva, Feb. 4, 2015—Israel's president, Reuven Rivlin, just went to the United Nations to denounce the threat of a new Nazism, the Islamic State or Caliphate. Czech president, Milos Zeman, said the same at a conference in Prague against anti-Semitism. It is now very trendy, even among Israel's friends, to compare these Jihadists to Hitler.
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