We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to: Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 –
The Fruits of Cowardice and Appeasement: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 12, 2014— The ill winds that have been gathering over Europe became a tornado last week in Paris with the barbaric Charlie Hebdo massacre, followed by the horrific terrorist attack at a kosher supermarket – a total of 17 dead in three days.
One Kumbaya March Can’t Stop Islamism or Cleanse Europe of Jew-Hatred: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Jan. 11, 2014— The spectacle of more than a million people taking to the streets of Paris in protest against the attacks against the massacres at Charlie Hebdo and a kosher market is in and of itself a good thing.
ISIS & al Qaeda Killers Unite in Paris—and Beyond: Christopher Dickey, Daily Beast, Jan. 12, 2014— The slaughter of journalists, the murders of cops, and the savage executions of Jewish shoppers in Paris last week are forcing the security and intelligence services in Europe and the United States to reexamine their assumptions about the threat of jihadi violence.
We Are Not Charlie Hebdo: Rex Murphy, National Post, Jan. 10, 2015 — Following the butchery at the Paris magazine Charlie Hebdo, we are in the middle of another blizzard of post-facto hashtag bravery.
The Links Among the Paris Terror Suspects and Their Connections to Jihad: New York Times, Jan. 11, 2015
Sharansky: Paris Massacre Shows Time Running out for Europe: Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel, Jan. 8, 2015
It’s Islam, Stupid!: Martin Sherman, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 8, 2015
Do Not Submit! Republish the Mohammed Cartoons Everywhere. Here’s How.: PJ Media, Jan. 7, 2014
Jerusalem Post, Jan. 12, 2015
The ill winds that have been gathering over Europe became a tornado last week in Paris with the barbaric Charlie Hebdo massacre, followed by the horrific terrorist attack at a kosher supermarket – a total of 17 dead in three days. But alas, the horror will in all likelihood soon recede and life will continue as usual until the next attack. Let me say at the outset that, while obviously condemning the murders and unequivocally defending freedom of expression, I do not associate myself with the “Je suis Charlie” movement. In condemning these barbaric acts, we are not obliged to identify with the racism and vulgarity of the victims. Charlie Hebdo was obscenely offensive to Christians and Muslims and promoted vulgar anti-Semitic satire. On the other hand, some Mormons were presumably outraged by the satirical musical The Book of Mormon, but that did not grant them license to embark on a killing spree of the producers. Western governments have yet to internalize the reality that what happened in Paris was not merely another instance of “terrorism” but a classic manifestation of the “clash of civilizations.”
Aside from murderous attacks primarily directed against Jews in Europe over recent months, there have been ongoing massacres and atrocities committed by Islamic terrorists throughout the world. To name a few: the butchering of 2,000 Nigerians in the wake of the Boko Haram enslavement of 300 schoolgirls; the murder of 130 schoolchildren in Peshawar, Pakistan, by the Taliban; the barbaric videos broadcast of hostages being decapitated; ongoing mass murder in Syria and Iraq; oppression of women; and gruesome persecution, expulsion and murder of Christians in the Middle East. Today, as the global impact of Islamic fundamentalism grows exponentially, with increasing manifestations of brutal terrorism, Western leaders lack the courage to even identify the enemy. It has ominous parallels to the struggle with Nazism. Then as now, Western governments initially sought to avoid conflict by appeasing the barbarians – which only served to embolden them.
Following the 9/11 attacks, US president George W. Bush, in his call for concerted military action against global Islamic terrorism, sought to placate his Arab allies by describing Islam as a “religion of peace.” This absurd mantra was repeatedly chanted whenever Islamic terrorism was mentioned and has become an overused term of the political lexicon. But it was President Barack Obama and his administration that must be held accountable for systematically denying the existence of Islamic terrorism, even avoiding the term “Islamic terrorism,” despite the dramatic mushrooming of the phenomenon. The same obstinate refusal to face reality, and the effort to appease their increasingly radicalized Muslim communities, motivated all European governments – in particular the French – to repeatedly state, despite all evidence to the contrary, that these acts of terrorism were unrelated to Islamic radicalism and were the actions of “lone wolves” or demented individuals. Even now, when the massacres were accompanied by calls of “Allahu Akbar” and “We are avenging the Prophet Muhammad,” French President François Hollande refused to use the word “Islam,” merely referring to “obscurantist” forces. However, in stark contrast to Obama, Hollande at least condemned the kosher supermarket attack as a “dreadful anti-Semitic attack.”
Throughout the world, jihadist mullahs and preachers promote hatred and extremism. In European cities, second-generation homegrown Muslims and converts are indoctrinated to endorse and in some cases participate in jihad and the murder of infidels. Those who convert are not necessarily from the underprivileged classes, but “ideologues,” many of whom belong to comfortable middle class families and are university graduates. But worse has been the unspoken acquiescence of most governments and the media, preventing any meaningful discussion of the threat from Islamic extremism. Apart from downplaying and often even denying the overriding Islamic element in acts of terrorism, governments and media have disgracefully branded as “Islamophobic” any serious effort to discuss and analyze the problem, even promoting “hate speech” legislation to stifle any such public discussion. They have been further emboldened by the failure to immediately prosecute Islamic extremists who threaten violence against those who express criticism of or dishonor Islam. What is truly ironic is that many of those on the Left who normally endorse the crudest outbursts against Christianity and Judaism are the first to accuse any critics of Islam of Islamophobia, and display far greater concern for the sensitivities of Muslims. In many instances, Obama and European leaders have apologized and even groveled after some crude outburst against Islam was expressed by individuals, many of whom were of marginal importance.
Of course not all Muslims are terrorists. But the number of radicals is dramatically increasing and like al-Qaida in the previous decade, Islamic State is providing them with a sense of empowerment and imbuing them with a willingness to die in pursuit of their objectives. The Paris massacres exemplify what we can expect from the thousands of well-trained, battle-hardened indigenous assassins after they return from Middle East conflict zones, imbued with the fanaticism to sacrifice their lives to promote Islam and terrorize infidels, especially Jews. While local Muslim leaders and heads of Islamic states condemned the massacres, it is chilling to witness the extent to which popular public opinion, especially in the Arab world, supports terrorism. We should remind ourselves that this is nothing new: the Iranian ayatollah’s fatwa to murder novelist Salman Rushdie was overwhelmingly endorsed in the Islamic world. Even if only 20 percent of Muslims are considered pro-jihadist – and there are in all probability more than that – this would represent two or three hundred million potential terrorists. To persist in denying the existence of such a huge Islamic terrorist presence is utterly delusional. Above all, such denial undermines the moderate Islamic forces striving to stem or isolate this poisonous fanaticism that has arisen from within…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following link—Ed.]
Jonathan S. Tobin
Commentary, Jan. 11, 2015
The spectacle of more than a million people taking to the streets of Paris in protest against the attacks against the massacres at Charlie Hebdo and a kosher market is in and of itself a good thing. The condemnations of Islamist terror from a broad cross-section of French society and the willingness of many world leaders, including some from Arab and Muslim nations, to take part in the event is encouraging to those who have noted with dismay not only the assault on free speech but also the many attacks on Jews in Europe in recent years. This has led some to express the hope that the march will mark a turning point in the struggle against Islamist terror and anti-Semitism in which a unified European continent will somehow reject hatred. But while it would be wrong to react to what is being portrayed by the cable and broadcast networks as a transcendent kumbaya moment with pure cynicism, it is important that no one should think a march can by itself undo the wide support that is given Islamist ideology in the Arab world. Nor should we confuse bromidic statements by leaders with policies that will end the delegitimization of Israel and the Jews.
The first thing that must be understood about this week’s tragic events is that they must not be viewed in isolation from either the recent history of violent protests and attacks on journalistic outlets by Muslims or the rising tide of anti-Semitism that has swept over Europe. It is comforting for those marching and those reporting the march to pretend as if the Charlie Hebdo and kosher market terrorists were a small, isolated cell of extremists operating outside of the Islamic mainstream. But the large mobs that took to the streets to riot and kill after a Danish newspaper published cartoons that Muslims also thought were offensive in 2004 or the many other instances of similar behavior since then point toward a contrary conclusion. Indeed, the support for Islamist political movements throughout the Middle East who share many of the beliefs of the terrorists makes it obvious that although many, even perhaps a majority of Muslims don’t agree with them, the attackers committed this slaughter in the belief that tens if not hundreds of millions of their co-religionists are prepared to rationalize if not justify their unspeakable acts of barbarism.
Similarly, the decision of the terrorists to target a kosher market on the eve of the Sabbath cannot be taken out of the context of a situation in France and Europe in which Jews have felt themselves under siege. Some have excused the numerous attacks on Jews as the natural reaction to outrage about Israel’s attempts to defend itself against terrorism. But this “new” anti-Semitism is merely a variant on the more traditional forms of Jew hatred that have found new traction because they draw on the hostility of non-Muslim intellectual elites for Israel as well as that of immigrants from the Middle East and the vestiges of pre-Holocaust French anti-Semitism. Long before the slaughter of the past few days, Jewish travelers to France were warned not to dress in a manner that would identify them as Jewish and thus be vulnerable to random street violence, if not worse. As I wrote on Friday, the primary fear expressed by the media was that there would be a backlash against Muslims. But the Hyper Cacher terror attack illustrated that it was the Jews who had most to fear, not Muslims or Arabs. The fact that the Grand Synagogue in Paris was closed for Sabbath services this week because of fear of more terrorism while the Parisian Great Mosque remained open tells us all we need to know about where the real threat lies.
It would be nice to think a grand gesture such as that of the march or even the very appropriate statements about Jewish security from French leaders would be enough to change things. But history tells us about how adaptable and persistent the virus of anti-Semitism has been. It has morphed from a defining characteristic of the old French religious right to that of fascism to Nazism and then to Communism and now is a fundamental aspect of an Islamist movement that can claim broad support around the world. This deep-seated variant of hate can draw on the sympathy of both the left and right wings of European politics that share the Islamists’ antipathy for Israel and Jewish identity. A Europe where bans of circumcision and kosher slaughter are thinkable and where boycotts of Israel are increasingly popular is not one in which Jew-hatred or Islamism can be waved away with a rhetorical flourish or a mass media event.
Defeating the Islamists will require both Muslims and non-Muslims to acknowledge the religious roots and motivation of the terrorists, something most European leaders as well as President Obama seem incapable of doing. Similarly, pushing anti-Semitism back to the margins of European society will need more than merely social media hastags or a unity march. The ease with which it has been revived only a generation after the Holocaust teaches us that ensuring Jewish security or that of the West will require more than gestures.
Daily Beast, Jan. 12, 2015
The slaughter of journalists, the murders of cops, and the savage executions of Jewish shoppers in Paris last week are forcing the security and intelligence services in Europe and the United States to reexamine their assumptions about the threat of jihadi violence. In crisis meetings in Paris and London today, leaders are trying to get a handle on what French Prime Minister Manuel Valls admitted were “clear failings” by the police and intelligence apparatus. What went wrong? How could the authorities have failed to identify and watch very, very closely these men—Amedy Coulibaly and Chérif and Saïd Kouachi—who had records of involvement with violent jihad organizations dating back more than a decade; who established links to terrorist organizations in both North Africa and the Middle East; and who were in close contact with a convicted terrorist who once masterminded a plot to blow up the United States embassy in Paris?
Those are the sorts of dots that are supposed to be connected instantly by security services, and that are supposed to raise huge red flags. And yet, they did not. Veteran intelligence and counterterror analysts in both the United States and France say they believe that part of the problem is the desire of Western governments, and especially Western politicians, to categorize terrorists in terms of their supposed organizations, and then to draw erroneous or irrelevant conclusions based on those categories. As a result, officials were puzzled, if not stunned, when Chérif Kouachi told the French BFMTV network over the phone on Friday that his operation against the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine was backed by al Qaeda in Yemen, while his evident accomplice, Amedy Coulibaly, in a call to the same network and in a video released yesterday, claimed his allegiance was to the so-called Islamic State and its self-proclaimed caliph.
Aren’t those organizations, al Qaeda and ISIS, literally at war with each other on the Syrian battlefield? Aren’t their leaders, Ayman Zawahiri and Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, bitterly competing for international recognition as the leaders of global jihad? The answer to both questions is yes. But, here’s the problem: Knowing that does not make anyone in the West any safer, because for the likes of the Kouachis and Coulibaly, those issues are secondary if not, indeed, entirely irrelevant. “One says one thing, another says another,” a senior veteran of the CIA’s decades-long fight against jihadis told The Daily Beast, “but in the minds of these people—these three [in France] and thousands more—this is a distinction without a difference. The super-bosses may be wrapped up in these ideological fights, but the followers really are not.” And that is especially true for those who are intent on carrying out attacks in the West, far from the competition for geographical territory in Syria and the isolated ideological pontification of al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan. “The footsoldiers don’t give a s**t,” as this veteran analyst and operative put it. “And at the end of the day, who of us gives a s**t who they are killing for?” The challenge is to stop the people on the ground in Europe or the United States or Canada or Australia or wherever they may be from murdering innocent people, and that requires precisely the kind of close surveillance that was not conducted on these guys.
To focus on organizations and imagine that the hit-men who claim allegiance to those organizations are following some rigid set of rules merely “distracts attention from the threat,” said the CIA veteran, who asked not to be named publicly criticizing his colleagues. “One of the problems with U.S. policy is that they are trying to stovepipe these groups when the problem is a global ideology.” Bruce Hoffman, the director of Georgetown University's Center for Security Studies, and author of several books on terrorism, notes that the rivalry between Zawahiri and his former disciple the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghadi is at least as much a matter of personalities and egos as it is of ideologies, which are essentially the same when it comes to inspiring terrorism. "Hotheads like these two brothers and their friend are less concerned about the ideological niceties and more like throwbacks to what Frantz Fanon [the famous theoretician of revolution and guerrilla warfare] called the catharsis of violence," said Hoffman.
Clint Watts at the Foreign Policy Research Institute writes that jihadi terrorism is on its way to becoming a social movement, based on three forces: "the growing development and global proliferation of social media, an unending call for jihad due to the intractable Syrian civil war, and the West’s failure to adapt to the wicked problem of non-state threats in a networked world." The ideas behind it are simple and the understanding of them by killers like Coulibaly and the Kouachis is, at best, rudimentary. In the video in which he pledges allegiance to ISIS, Coulibaly has to read a phonetic version of the pledge in Arabic, and can barely pronounce each word. The actions of these men are based on simple equations: Cartoonists insult the Prophet, therefore cartoonists must be killed; Jews occupy Muslim Palestine, therefore Jews must be killed. Within that shallow pond of absolute hatred all sorts of evil organisms can develop and thrive, quite independently of organizational direction. And when law enforcement and intelligence services focus too much on one hierarchy or another, they completely miss the nature of these groups, says Alain Bauer, a prominent French criminologist and terrorism analyst. “They don’t understand how these things evolve, that this is a live thing, it is like a disease,” he told The Daily Beast. The virus constantly morphs and adapts, and much more quickly than the law-enforcement agencies trying to stop it…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following link—Ed.]
National Post, Jan. 10, 2015
Following the butchery at the Paris magazine Charlie Hebdo, we are in the middle of another blizzard of post-facto hashtag bravery. All over the Internet there are whole mobs holding up little signs: “I am Charlie Hebdo,” “We are Charlie Hebdo” The idea, I presume, is to broadcast their commitment to the Western idea of freedom of speech and the press. Let’s put it plainly: The solidarity would have been a lot more impressive, more persuasive, some time before this week’s mass butchery. Indeed, at our universities, newspapers and broadcasters, we have seen an ever-shrinking defence of free speech, a timid reluctance to take on those who claim special privilege to shut down those they simply don’t like. The great institutions of the West, the press and the universities, have been at best complicit and at worst cowardly when it comes up to defending freedom of speech — not from threats of Islamist fanatics with guns, but in much less demanding circumstances.
Where was this “we” when a video critical of Islam was mendaciously identified as the “cause” of the terror attack on Benghazi? Where was “we” when Hillary Clinton went on Pakistani television to declaim against this “reprehensible” video and revile its maker, and at the Benghazi victims’ funerals said: “We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.” Where was “we” when the filmmaker was arrested, while to this day the butchers of Benghazi roam the Earth unmolested? Where is this We of the Hashtags when whole swathes of the press, and some political leaders, refuse to call acts that are plainly terroristic by their proper name? Can those who refuse to say the word “terrorism” after a terrorist act now claim they are Charlie Hebdo? And where was We of the Hashtags when President Obama made the inexplicable declaration at the United Nations that “the future does not belong to those who slander the Prophet?” More than anything else, that sounds like a fulsome statement of accord with those who denounce cartoons and videos and editorials about the “Prophet,” who riot after he is “traduced” by someone in the West. There is no “We are Charlie Hebdo” in that statement. There is surrender instead.
And what about our prophets, of the Enlightentment and democracy, who made free speech the core of our lives and politics? We are notoriously timid in defending them, and almost tumid with the desire to speak up for those who despise them. Why do we wallow in some shallow hollow of factitious guilt, moaning over our failings to “understand” after 9/11, after Mumbai, after London, after Ottawa, after Paris this week, rather than laying the guilt on the real perpetrators and the ideology that fires them? Our universities bleat about inquiry and free speech, but they are feeble and craven, caving in to protestors and special interests, pleading “sensitivity” and the “wish not to offend” any time some topic or speaker threatens to “hurt” the professionally agitated on campus. Where was “we” when a band of fatuous progressives protested former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice giving a convocation address at Rutgers University? She worked for Bush, so free speech be dammed.
Where was We of the Hashtags when Ann Coulter was pre-emptively cautioned about what she could or should say by officials at the University of Ottawa? Where was “we” when Ayaan Hirsi Ali was humiliated and an honourary degree invitation revoked after campus activists at Brandeis University — faculty and students — protested? Brandeis mounted a defence of free speech that would have Patrick Henry drooling with envy: “[Ali] is a compelling public figure and advocate for women’s rights. … That said, we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.” A Presidential Medal of Freedom for that wonderful “that said.” There are more examples closer to home: Christie Blatchford howled from the stage at the University of Waterloo, a pro-life speaker at St. Mary’s University in Halifax met with the feverish chant of “No hate speech in our school!” — and the administration, of course, shutting down the talk. I could continue for a week. This part of the world has a sack full of pieties when it comes to free speech, but its own actions, and frequently its own words, put the lie to all of them. Bowing to ruthless protest has become a habit. Labelling speech some people simply do not wish to hear as “hate speech” succeeds in silencing it. In matters big and small, on issues from global warming to abortion, there is collusion — we call it political correctness — over what should not be said, what cannot be said.
It’s worth adding too that there is no such fastidiousness when it comes to images rebuking, mocking, insulting or demeaning any of the symbols — the cross, the host, the mass — of the Christian faith. The North American media and so-called comedy shows make a tiresome habit of slandering or crudely defaming the majority faith of the North American continent, all the while lying — yes lying — that they are equal opportunity offenders. In the domain of the laugh-generators of late night TV, Christ gets a pie in the face every 10 minutes while Mohammed is awarded the incense of silence, becomes “he whose name must not be spoken.” Jon Stewart is not Charlie Hebdo. He is that wonderful self-contradiction, a “safe-target” satirist. Bush jokes are the coward’s idea of humour. All of which makes this hashtag war, all the We are Charlie Hebdo manifestations, so very, very hollow. If we will not speak for free speech when it is shut down by special interests, protestors of the politically correct, on campuses and in newspapers, we manifest that we are not serious about free speech. There is no “we” after the killings. There are very few worthy of that claim … and, alas, under the shout of allahu akbar, 12 of them are now quite dead.
The Links Among the Paris Terror Suspects and Their Connections to Jihad: New York Times, Jan. 11, 2015—The three men killed by the French police on Friday have been linked by French and American intelligence officials to Islamic militant organizations.
Sharansky: Paris Massacre Shows Time Running out for Europe: Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel, Jan. 8, 2015—On the day after Islamist terrorists massacred 12 people in the heart of Paris, committing what some called France’s 9/11, Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky resisted the temptation to use the tragedy to push for upped immigration to Israel from an increasingly dangerous France.
It’s Islam, Stupid!: Martin Sherman, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 8, 2015—One out six people all over the world is a Muslim…
Do Not Submit! Republish the Mohammed Cartoons Everywhere. Here’s How.: PJ Media, Jan. 7, 2014—Today’s terror attack on Charlie Hedbo, the irreverent French satirical magazine that was one of the few media outlets in France to publish the original “Mohammed cartoons,” is an attempt by Islamic fundamentalists to enforce shari’a worldwide, even on non-Muslims.
Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.
CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.
The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.
CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.
Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research/ L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org
Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; firstname.lastname@example.org