Tag: Al Jazeera

PALESTINIAN TERRORISTS SUBSIDIZED BY “PAY-FOR-SLAY” STIPENDS AND GLORIFIED BY AL JAZEERA

Canadian Tax Dollars Shouldn't Subsidize Palestinian Terrorists: Casey Babb, National Post, Aug. 1, 2017 — On July 21, a Palestinian terrorist entered the home of a Jewish family in the West Bank settlement of Halamish and killed Yosef Salomon, 70, his daughter Chaya, 46, and son Elad, 36.

How to Sell a Suicide-Bomber Subsidy to Congress: Eli Lake, Bloomberg, Aug. 1, 2017— Husam Zomlot does not have an easy job. He is the Palestinian Liberation Organization's representative in Donald Trump's Washington.

On Terror Payments, Use Taylor Force Act to Call the Palestinians’ Bluff: Jonathan S. Tobin, JNS, Aug. 1, 2017 — The US Congress is just doing what it always does: pandering to the “Israel Lobby.”

Al Jazeera: The Terrorist Propaganda Network: John Rossomando, IPT News, Aug. 4, 2017Al Jazeera's support for terrorism goes far beyond on-air cheerleading.

 

On Topic Links

 

How Terrorists Use Foreign Aid to Fund Terror: Doug Lamborn and Elazar Stern, Washington Times, Aug. 1, 2017

Sophisticated Australian Airplane Bombing Plot a Warning To the West: Abigail R. Esman, IPT News, Aug. 3, 2017

Amid New US Sanctions, How Much of Iran’s Nuclear Deal Relief Funds Terrorism?: Ariel Ben Solomon, JNS, Aug. 8, 2017

India-US Counterterrorism Cooperation: The Way Forward: Vinay Kaura, BESA, August 8, 2017

 

 

CANADIAN TAX DOLLARS SHOULDN'T

SUBSIDIZE PALESTINIAN TERRORISTS

Casey Babb

National Post, Aug. 1, 2017

 

On July 21, a Palestinian terrorist entered the home of a Jewish family in the West Bank settlement of Halamish and killed Yosef Salomon, 70, his daughter Chaya, 46, and son Elad, 36. As a result of his attack, the assailant, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed will now be paid more than U.S.$3,120 a month by the Palestinian government.

 

Learning of this egregious arrangement will likely shock and sicken many of you. But for Israelis, these “pay-for-slay” stipends are nothing new. The Palestinian government has made terrorism the most lucrative job in the West Bank. If the international community continues to turn a blind eye to Palestinian terror payments and the role international aid plays in fuelling this cycle of violence, the conflict will only get worse.

 

For over 50 years, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have been making financial payments to Palestinian terrorists, prisoners and their families. It was in 1965 when Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat established the Society for the Care of the Families of Martyrs (SAMED) that these payments started, at least in any official capacity. Originally called the Palestine Mujahidin and Martyrs Fund in 1964, the fund was created to provide financial compensation for families of deceased terrorists, as well as maimed or captured terrorists. In 1965-1966, it was transferred over from Fatah to the PLO, and renamed SAMED. According to Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, within 15 years of its establishment, this fund was providing pension payments and social assistance payments to more than 20,000 Palestinian families.

 

Today, the PA is responsible for administering the disbursement of these funds, which are funnelled through the National Palestinian Fund (NPF). The NPF, along with the Institute for Care for the Families of Martyrs, co-ordinates these payments to prisoners, released convicts and deceased terrorists. Embedded in actual Palestinian law, financial support for prisoners and the families of martyrs is rooted in Laws No. 14 and No. 19 of 2004, and Law No. 1 of 2013. Described as “a fighting sector and an integral part of the weave of Arab Palestinian society,” these laws guarantee “the financial rights of the prisoner and his family.” They specifically state that the PA must provide prisoners with a monthly allowance throughout the entirety of their incarceration, as well as salaries and/or jobs upon their release.

 

To put the $3,120 dollar payment to al-Abed in perspective, consider that the minimum wage in the Palestinian territories is approximately US$397 a month, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). Furthermore, nearly 40 per cent of employees in the private sector earn less than the minimum wage in the Palestinian territories. The PCBS also states that, in 2016, nearly 20 per cent of West Bank employees in the private sector earned an average of US$292.

 

According to a new study by the Institute for Contemporary Affairs, the official 2017 PA Budget has committed to increase the salaries of imprisoned and released terrorists by 13 per cent to U.S.$154.4 million dollars. Moreover, the money allocated for the families of those “martyred” in the conflict against Zionism is set to be approximately US$192 million dollars, or about four to five per cent higher than 2016 figures. All in all, the total PA expenditures set aside in 2017 to pay terrorists and/or their families is set to be in the range of U.S.$344-$346 million. Shockingly, this figure amounts to 49.6 per cent percent of all foreign aid slated to be received by the Palestinian government in 2017.

 

If you’re wondering where the PLO is getting all of their money, experts such as Yigal Carmon, founder of the Middle East Media Research Institute and Yossi Kuperwasser, Project Director on Regional Middle East Developments at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, suggest it’s coming primarily from international aid — including aid from Canada. Of particular concern is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Many, including Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, have stated that UNRWA has direct ties to the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas. While the UNRWA lost Government of Canada funding in 2010, following allegations of the organization being connected to Hamas, the Liberal Government announced in November 2016 it would restore funding to UNRWA to the tune of $25 million Canadian dollars. The United States is also a major supporter of the Palestinian Authority. It is abhorrent to think that any money from North America governments might be rewarding terrorism, yet it’s hard to conclude otherwise.

 

The compensation of terrorists is deeply immoral and incomprehensible in and of itself. But it is most problematic because it undermines peace. In addition to directly violating the 1995 Oslo Peace Accords, paying terrorists incentivizes terrorism, which cyclically fuels conflict, erodes Israeli support for peace talks, and further entrenches Palestinian intolerance and extremism. The international community owes it to Israelis, Palestinians, the Salomon family, and the countless other victims of Palestinian violence and terrorism to raise awareness of Palestinian policies to pay terrorists. If we don’t, only time will tell how many more will suffer.                           

                                                                       

Contents

HOW TO SELL A SUICIDE-BOMBER SUBSIDY TO CONGRESS

Eli Lake

Bloomberg, Aug. 1, 2017

 

Husam Zomlot does not have an easy job. He is the Palestinian Liberation Organization's representative in Donald Trump's Washington. And despite Trump's early promise to seek the ultimate deal to bring peace to the Holy Land, his administration is focused on more pressing matters. Zomlot's biggest problem these days is a piece of legislation named for Taylor Force, a former U.S. army officer who was stabbed to death in 2016 when he was in Tel Aviv on tour with his fellow Vanderbilt University graduate students.

 

When Republican Senator Lindsey Graham learned that the family of the murderer would be receiving a lifetime stipend as part of a Palestinian program to pay the families of so-called martyrs and inmates in Israeli prisons, he drafted legislation to end U.S. economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority until the payments ended. The bill is now winding its way through the legislative process and, in some form, will likely end up on the president's desk. While the Trump administration has yet to take a position on it, Zomlot has had the unlucky task of defending the martyr payments to Congress.

 

In an interview last week, he gave me his argument for why the Palestinian Authority has budgeted more than $300 million for its next fiscal year to pay the families of terrorists and other prisoners. "This is a program that is used…for the victims of the occupation," he said. "It's a program to give the families a dignified life, they are provided for, so they and their kids can lead a different future." He said the money goes to pay for laptop computers and college tuition for children who otherwise would be facing a bleak future, and families who may have their homes razed by the Israelis as punishment for spawning a terrorist.

 

Zomlot says this gives no incentive for terrorism. Indeed, he assured me that some graduates of "the program" include high-ranking Palestinian security officials that have cooperated with the Israel Defense Forces. (The PLO has administered these martyr payments in some form since 1965.) What's more, he said, if the Palestinian Authority doesn't pay the families of prisoners, more radical groups likely will fill the void. All of this raises an obvious question. If the Palestinian Authority wants to give poor children laptops and college tuition, why not just do that? Why create a special allowance for only the children and families of Palestinians who kill Jews?

 

And here Zomlot gets to the heart of the matter. "Many of the U.S. officials and lawmakers judge us as if we are in a post-conflict scenario, as we have to behave like a social welfare state, we are not," he told me. "This is a conflict situation." Indeed it is. One needs no further proof of this than the clashes in the last two weeks over Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem after three Israeli Arabs launched a shooting spree from the compound that hosts the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam. Add to this the occupation itself. Palestinians living in the West Bank accused of crimes are given Israeli military trials and almost always convicted. Many of those prisoners have committed ghoulish acts, but many have not, Zomlot said. In this respect, he believes Congress should increase the aid it doles out to the Palestinian Authority, because despite all of this, the Palestinian security forces have helped keep order in the West Bank.  

 

And that is true. But it's also true that the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has in recent years encouraged a resistance to the occupation that is measured in Jewish blood. His Palestinian Authority honors murderers by naming streets and parks after them. When Israel released violent prisoners in 2013 as an inducement to restart peace negotiations, there were official celebrations in Gaza and the West Bank. Two of those released, the cousins Mohammed and Hosni Sawalha, were arrested as teenagers after they entered a bus and began stabbing commuters. Another releasee was Al-Haaj Othman Amar Mustafa, who along with two other assailants posed for a picture outside of the settlement of Ariel with Frederick Steven Rosenfeld, a U.S. Marine who had emigrated to Israel. They confessed to stabbing Rosenfeld and leaving him for dead.

 

When these prisoners were released in 2013, Abbas personally met them and kissed them on the cheek. "We congratulate ourselves and our families for our brothers who left the darkness of the prisons for the light of the sun of freedom," Abbas said at the time. Abbas probably has to say things like this in order to survive. Palestinians have been celebrating such "martyrs" for decades. To speak honestly about Mustafa and the Sawalhas would be seen as betrayal. But Graham and his supporters are under no such constraints. They see Mustafa and the Sawalhas for what they are: murderers.     

                                                           

                                                           

Contents

ON TERROR PAYMENTS, USE TAYLOR FORCE

ACT TO CALL THE PALESTINIANS’ BLUFF

          Jonathan S. Tobin                                                                                    

JNS, Aug. 1, 2017

 

The US Congress is just doing what it always does: pandering to the “Israel Lobby.” That’s how the foreign policy establishment and some on the left regard the bipartisan support for the Taylor Force Act, a bill named after a non-Jewish US Army veteran who was killed in a Palestinian terror attack last year. The legislation would cut off American aid for the Palestinian Authority (PA), unless the PA stops funding terrorism. The bill passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on August 3 in a 17-4 vote, with all of the committee’s Republicans, and six of its 10 Democrats supporting the measure.

 

The notion that the US would halt aid to the PA merely because it doesn’t want to be morally complicit in a “pay for slay” scheme strikes some on the left as lacking sympathy for the Palestinians, as well as self-defeating — since ending the funding might lead to the collapse of the PA. Their assumption is that PA President Mahmoud Abbas means what he says when he and his Fatah Party threaten to disband their Ramallah-based government if the foreign money that keeps it afloat is cut off. This would force Israel to re-assume full control over all of the disputed territories, which most Israelis think would be a disaster.

 

Stopping the terror payments may also be impossible for Abbas, because doing so would contradict the basic narrative of Palestinian history — in which violence against the Jews is viewed as self-defense, and a heroic act of resistance that is deserving of praise. Asking Abbas to take such a step would be tantamount to requesting that he commit suicide. So why do it? The answer is that those demanding a halt to funding the PA are not merely venting their outrage at the Palestinians. They are also pointing the way toward the only possible path to peace.

 

In just the last four years, the PA has spent more than $1.1 billion on salaries for terrorists and pensions for their families. In the next fiscal year, The PA will spend half of all the foreign aid that it receives on this effort. The PA has created a set of financial incentives that not only give Palestinians a reason to commit terror, but embolden their belief that only by shedding Israeli blood, will they ensure that their families are provided with enough money to live comfortably.

 

Those who rationalize the continuation of the current aid to the PA point to the security cooperation that the PA offers to Israel as proof that the Jewish state has a partner for peace. But while this cooperation has value, it has two main purposes: making sure that Abbas’s Hamas rivals don’t gain a foothold in the disputed territories, and ensuring the safety of the Fatah leadership against attacks from the Islamists. Thus, when the PA threatens to halt security cooperation, as it did during the recent controversy over the Temple Mount, the biggest potential loser from such an action would be Fatah, not Israel.

 

That’s why the talk of a PA collapse that Abbas and his apologists continue to invoke is a bluff. Fatah’s survival depends on its ability to use foreign donations to fund its corrupt practices in the disputed territories. The Palestinian faction’s obstruction of economic development or any measures that might end the corruption that enriches its leaders has created a situation in which much of the Palestinian population in the territories depends on fake jobs that Fatah gives out in exchange for support. Thus, while it is true that ending funding for Palestinian terror would be deeply unpopular and might boost Hamas, it would also be the end of Fatah.

 

We also shouldn’t accept the notion that there is any moral equivalence between anger about Western donations rewarding Palestinians who slaughter Jews, and Palestinian anger about settlements. Even if you accept the dubious argument that settlements are the real obstacle to peace — if you think that building a new house in a place Palestinians think should be free of Jews is just as bad as killing people — then all you are doing is making a case that peace between two peoples with such different moral codes is clearly impossible.

 

That’s why it is imperative that the West force Abbas to choose between giving up power, and giving up the gruesome terror-funding scheme. Far from obstructing the chances for peace, as some on the left claim, compelling the Palestinians to reject a culture of violence is the only hope for the resolution to the conflict. No matter where your political sympathies lie, it’s time to realize that opposing the Taylor Force Act undermines any hope for peace.                            

 

Contents

AL JAZEERA: THE TERRORIST PROPAGANDA NETWORK

                             John Rossomando

                                                  IPT News, Aug. 4, 2017

 

Al Jazeera's support for terrorism goes far beyond on-air cheerleading. Many of its employees have actively supported al-Qaida, Hamas and other terrorist groups. Concerns over the network's consistent pro-terrorist positions prompted several Gulf States to demand that Qatar shut it down in June.

 

Sheikh Said Bin Ahmed Al-Thani, director of Qatar's government information office, called such demands "a condescending view [that] demonstrates contempt for the intelligence and judgment of the people of the Middle East, who overwhelmingly choose to get their news from Al Jazeera rather than from their state-run broadcasters," Al-Thani wrote in Newsweek. But a week earlier, United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash detailed Al Jazeera's connections to terrorists and terror incitement in a letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Al Jazeera violates a 2005 U.N. Security Council resolution that called on member states to counter "incitement of terrorist acts motivated by extremism," Gargash charged.

 

The network has given a platform to terrorists like Osama bin Laden, Hamas leaders Khaled Meshaal and Mohammed Deif, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah and others, Gargash wrote. "These have not simply been topical interviews of the kind that other channels might run; Jazeera has presented opportunities for terrorist groups to threaten, recruit and incite without challenge or restraint," Gargash wrote.

 

Al Jazeera took credit for the wave of Arab Spring revolutions in early 2011. Network host Mehdi Hasan noted in a December 2011 column that Al Jazeera gave a regional voice to the irate Tunisian protesters who ousted their dictator that they would not have otherwise had. Faisal Al-Qassem, host of Al Jazeera's show "The Opposite Direction," boasted that television, not the Internet or Facebook, was responsible for the revolutions. Al Jazeera's influence during the Arab Spring and the subsequent revolutions is a factor in the effort by Qatar's Gulf neighbors to clip its wings.

 

Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi used his widely viewed Al Jazeera a program to incite the masses against their dictators. "We salute the [Tunisian] people, which has taught the Arab and Islamic peoples … the following lesson: Do not despair, and do not fear the tyrants, and more feeble the than a spider-web. They quickly collapse in the face of the power of steadfast and resolute peoples," Qaradawi said in a Jan. 16, 2011 Al Jazeera broadcast. "The tyrants never listen and never heed advice, until they are toppled."

 

He likewise called on former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down on his program later that month. "There is no staying longer, Mubarak, I advise you (to learn) the lesson of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali," Qaradawi said referencing Tunisia's toppled dictator. A month later, Qaradawi issued a fatwa calling for the death of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Libya still has not recovered from the toppling of Gaddafi in 2011. Qaradawi urged the overthrow of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad after demonstrations began in Syria that March, sparking the ongoing Syrian civil war.

 

Even before the Arab Spring, Al Jazeera acted as a platform for violent terrorists. Qaradawi's endorsement of suicide bombings aired on Al Jazeera. The network also glorified a female Palestinian suicide bomber whose 2003 attack killed 19 people at an Arab-owned restaurant in Haifa as a "martyr." It also broadcast a 2006 speech by al-Qaida leader Abdel Majid al-Zindani at a pro-Hamas conference in Yemen, even though the United States and United Nations already had designated him as a terrorist. Proceeds from the conference benefited Hamas. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and the widow of slain Hamas leader Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rantisi also attended.

 

"What is our duty towards this righteous jihad-fighting people, the vanguard of this nation? What is our duty? What is our obligation? " al-Zindani asked. "The Hamas government is the Palestinian people's government today. It is the jihad-fighting, steadfast, resolute government of Palestine. "I don't have it in my pocket right now, but I am making a pledge, and as you know, I keep my promises. So I'm donating 200,000 riyals. What about you? What will you donate? Go ahead."

 

Al Jazeera is not just another news organization like CNN, Fox News or the BBC, Qatari intelligence whistle-blower Ali al-Dahnim told Egypt's Al-Bawaba newspaper in April. Qatar's state security bureau both finances and operates Al Jazeera, he claimed. -"By and large, its [Al Jazeera] news content comes under the sway of security officials, rendering it as a mouthpiece for Qatar's security and intelligence apparatus," Al-Dahnim said on Egyptian television. "Not to mention its free publicity to hardened terrorists such as Osama bin Laden who used to use Al Jazeera as an outlet to disseminate his terror messages to the world."

 

Al Jazeera English likewise pushes the Qatari government's favored narratives, such as exaggerating the global importance of its emir. Its short-lived affiliate, Al Jazeera America (AJAM), aired pro-Palestinian propaganda. During the 2014 Gaza crisis, AJAM host Wajahat Ali pushed Hamas' talking points about the territory's population density without a single reference to how the terrorist group used mosques and civilian buildings to launch rockets. "I think it is simply providing one side of a story. It doesn't rise to Soviet propaganda, but it certainly is propaganda for one side," Temple University journalism professor Christopher Harper told the Investigative Project on Terrorism in 2014….

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

 

                                                                       

Contents

On Topic Links

 

How Terrorists Use Foreign Aid to Fund Terror: Doug Lamborn and Elazar Stern, Washington Times, Aug. 1, 2017—On July 14, three Arab citizens of Israel entered Jerusalem’s Temple Mount armed to attack. They shot and killed two Israeli police officers — Hayil Satawi, 30, and Kamil Dhanaan, 22, members of the Israeli Druze community. The terrorists were shot and killed. Their families will receive monthly reward checks from the Palestinian Authority for the rest of their lives.

Sophisticated Australian Airplane Bombing Plot a Warning To the West: Abigail R. Esman, IPT News, Aug. 3, 2017—Australia's arrest Saturday of four men suspected of plotting a terrorist attack on a commercial airliner signals more than a resurgent terror threat to airplanes. Because the alleged weapon involved smuggling explosives and poison gasses in a standard kitchen utensil – a meat grinder or mincer – it demonstrates, too, the rapidly increasing sophistication of these plots and the development of new means of attack.

Amid New US Sanctions, How Much of Iran’s Nuclear Deal Relief Funds Terrorism?: Ariel Ben Solomon, JNS, Aug. 8, 2017—As the Trump administration ramps up sanctions against Iran, how much of Iran’s sanctions relief from the nuclear deal of 2015 is funding the Islamic Republic’s support for sectarian conflict and terrorism across the Middle East?

India-US Counterterrorism Cooperation: The Way Forward: Vinay Kaura, BESA, August 8, 2017 —State visits are a good indicator of the strength of bilateral relations, in terms of the hospitality bestowed on the visiting leader and the deals reached. According to these criteria, Indian PM Narendra Modi’s June visit to the US was successful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISRAEL, ALIGNING WITH SUNNI STATES AGAINST QATAR, PLANS TO SHUTTER AL JAZEERA

 

Qatar’s Support of Islamists Leads to Global Terrorism: Ariel Ben Solomon, Jerusalem Post, August 1, 2017— Should Israel join the status-quo Sunni states led by Saudi Arabia in their pressure campaign against terrorism-supporting Qatar, which is promoting Islamist revolutionary movements across the region, including in Israel?

Qatar's Comeuppance a Long Time Coming: Raymond Stock, The Diplomatist, July 2017— Jutting into the Persian Gulf like lower Michigan minus its thumb, the super-rich peninsular nation of Qatar has long been a problem—one that has now brought the region to the brink of a potentially catastrophic conflict.

The Cost of Supporting Israel Has Never Been Lower: Elliot Kaufman, National Review, July 17, 2017— In Oslo, the Tony Award–winning play set in the early 1990s, a Palestinian negotiator makes a powerful claim to his Israeli counterpart: “Until you make peace with us,” he says, “you’ll never be accepted by your neighbours.”

Living in the Real World Means Doing Business with Bad Guys Like the Saudi Regime: Editorial, National Post, Aug. 4, 2017 — It isn’t terribly surprising to learn that Canadian-made military vehicles are apparently being used against civilians by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

 

On Topic Links

 

Joining Arab States, Israel Says it Plans to Ban Al-Jazeera: National Post, Aug. 6, 2017

Latest Developments in Saudi Arabia Chart a Course for Israeli Ties With Arab World: Sean Savage, JNS, July 3, 2017

Qatar and the Saudis – Getting Ready for the Next Round: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, July 10, 2017

Former Liberal Cabinet Minister Calls for End to Canadian Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia: Steven Chase, Globe & Mail, Aug. 1, 2017

 

 

QATAR’S SUPPORT OF ISLAMISTS LEADS TO GLOBAL TERRORISM

Ariel Ben Solomon

Jerusalem Post, August 1, 2017

 

Should Israel join the status-quo Sunni states led by Saudi Arabia in their pressure campaign against terrorism-supporting Qatar, which is promoting Islamist revolutionary movements across the region, including in Israel? Israel took a step in this direction on Wednesday as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated on Facebook that he will seek to remove Qatar’s pan-Arab media channel Al Jazeera from the country for inciting violence in Jerusalem.

Also on Wednesday, US Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) stated in congressional testimony, “Qatar has been known to be a permissive environment for terror financing reportedly funding US designated foreign terrorist organizations such as Hamas as well as several extremist groups operating in Syria.” The congresswomen went on point out that all Gulf states have had problems with facilitating terrorism, but that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are dealing with the issue at a “faster rate.” Not so in Qatar.

 

In a study by David Andrew Weinberg that was published in January by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) titled “Qatar and Terror Finance: Part II: Private Funders of [al-Qaida] in Syria,” he wrote: “Based on these cases, there is no persuasive proof that Qatar has stopped letting certain terror financiers off the hook…Indeed, it is impossible to identify even a single specific instance of Qatar charging, convicting, and jailing a US- or UN-designated individual,” said the report.

 

Qatar is a principal funder of Hamas – both in Gaza and in the West Bank.  For example, Israel could lobby the US and European governments to up the pressure on Qatar, so that it withdraws support for radical groups, preachers and the radical Islamist content promoted on its popular pan-Arab Al Jazeera media channel, which is broadcast in hundreds of thousands of Israeli Arab living rooms.

 

By joining with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain, which already cut ties with Qatar, Israel would be able to further align its national interest with these countries, and particularly in opposition to Iran, the leading sponsor of terrorism in the world. Israel could also join the lobbying effort to get Qatar to break off its relations with Iran, with which it shares the largest offshore gas field in the world, known as the North Dome/ South Pars.

 

Qatar hedges its position with Iran because it fears that its relatively small population of 250,000 citizens and over 2 million people total (and lackluster military prowess), would place it at risk from the regional power of nearly 83 million that is located just a hop across the Persian Gulf. Qatar has invited Turkey, another supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, to deploy its troops there, to deter Saudi Arabia and other neighbors. Additionally, Qatar feels protected because it hosts the Al Udeid military base, the largest US base in the Middle East.

 

However, the Trump administration has hinted that it could easily be moved to another Arab country. “If we ever had to leave, we would have 10 countries willing to build us another one, believe me, and they will pay for it,” US President Donald Trump said in an interview with CBN News this month. This coalition of Sunni states led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, along with Israel and the US, could work to counter the Brotherhood brand of Islamism globally – by cutting off its funding and incitement on media platforms – and this starts with Qatar.

 

The US has tremendous leverage over Qatar not only because of the base, but also because it could put pressure on the country through the international financial banking system Washington controls. Qatar and prominent financiers residing there back the Muslim Brotherhood movement, its Palestinian offshoot Hamas and allegedly also jihadi groups al-Qaida and Islamic State. The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, has served as the ideological gateway for more radical Islamist offshoots such as Islamic Jihad, al-Qaida and Islamic State, which strike out against regional governments and the West.

 

As John Hannah at FDD, a former official in the George W. Bush White House, stated at a conference in May: “It’s no coincidence, Muslim Brotherhood has been the gateway drug for violent Islamists the world over.” However, all Islamist groups have the ultimate goal to strive for global power, they just go about it with varying degrees of violence and pragmatism…

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

 

 

Contents

QATAR'S COMEUPPANCE A LONG TIME COMING

Raymond Stock

    The Diplomatist, July 2017

 

Jutting into the Persian Gulf like lower Michigan minus its thumb, the super-rich peninsular nation of Qatar has long been a problem—one that has now brought the region to the brink of a potentially catastrophic conflict.

 

Seen for decades as a more liberal extension of the arch-conservative Saudi Kingdom, since the mid-1990s Qatar has striven to maintain that façade, even as it aided and funded the global jihad, both directly indirectly, and grew dangerously close with an ever-more strident and aggressive Iran. As the tensions built, erupted, subsided and built again during this time, it finally took a US administration willing to back up and rally the countries that Qatar's actions have threatened—primarily the very states that have moved against it now—to bring matters to a head.

 

The result has been a lengthening physical and diplomatic embargo on Qatar that could lead to war, or perhaps impede the war to kill the Islamic State (IS). In either case it would leave a lasting rift among four of the six states in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and lands far beyond them. Begun by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain, later joined by Chad, Libya, the Maldives, Niger and Yemen, this was a crisis, sadly, whose time had come.

 

While much has been made of the reaction to a May 23 report by Qatar's state news agency (improbably) praising both Iran and Israel and predicting a short term in office for Trump, it does not appear to have been the real trigger for the incident. Qatar claims it was hacked, dismissing the disputed posting as "fake news." CNN reported on June 7 that US intelligence believes it was the work of unnamed Russians, though the FBI is now on the case.

 

Yet the real kicker was clearly the $1 billion Qatar paid in April to free a group of 26 of its nationals kidnapped by the Iran-linked Shi'ite militia Kita'eb Hizbollah while hunting in Iraq in December 2015. Freed in the same deal were 50 Islamists seized by other jihadis in Syria, as reported in The Financial Times on June 5—thus both "Iranian security officials" and an al-Qaeda (AQ) affiliate, al-Nusra Front, apparently received the cash. Worse, the deal was evidently done behind the back of the Baghdad government led by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi—who is trying to rein in the brutal Shi'ite militias while fighting ISIS. Al-Abadi announced in April that Iraq had confiscated "millions of dollars" in suitcases from Qatari planes on its territory, says the FT.

 

Meanwhile, Iyad Allawi, Iraq's secular Shi'ite vice president, quoted by Reuters at a Cairo news conference June 19, accused Qatar of seeking to divide Iraq "into a Sunni region in exchange for a Shi'ite region…It is time we spoke honestly and made things clear (to the Qataris) so that we can reach some results," Allawi insisted. "After that confrontation, comes reconciliation," he stated–without saying how.

 

Qatar has not always behaved this way. I served as Head of the Academic Section under the Cultural Attaché of the State of Qatar, part of the Qatari embassy in the US, from 1986-90, advising students on university scholarship from Doha in North America. The Qataris with whom I worked and met at the time were generally conservative, but kind-hearted, forward-looking and not fanatical—hence it is hard indeed to personally advocate action against their country.

 

The trouble began with the overthrow of the old emir, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, by his son, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, in 1995. Sheikh Hamad pushed for a more modern, constitutional, somewhat more egalitarian government at home (primarily for its roughly 300,000 citizens, rather than its 2,000,000-plus, often virtually enslaved foreign workers)—while apostasy from Islam, adultery and homosexuality remain capital crimes.

 

He also allowed the creation of Al Jazeera television, hailed by many as a voice of open democracy—though its Arabic arm has mainly carried a mixture of Islamist and other anti-Western propaganda with agitation against other Arab regimes (along with often vociferous debate programs), and has had ties to AQ behind the scenes. (The network's more secular-left leaning English-language service has won many fans in the West, who do not grasp or would even rationalize the radicalism of the Arabic version seen in the Middle East.)

 

Stunningly, Al Jazeera's former bureau chief in Cairo, Canadian-Egyptian citizen Mohamed Fahmy, jailed for 438 days in Egypt for allegedly colluding with efforts by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) to overthrow Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in 2014, has recently filed a lawsuit in British Columbia against his former employers. Eli Lake of Bloomberg News wrote on June 23 that Fahmy accuses Al Jazeera of deliberately serving the MB and of being "a mouthpiece for Qatari intelligence" and "a voice for terrorists," something he says he learned from Islamists in Cairo's infamous Tora Prison, who told him how they had cooperated closely with the network…

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

 

 

Contents

THE COST OF SUPPORTING ISRAEL HAS NEVER BEEN LOWER

                             Elliot Kaufman

                                                  National Review, July 17, 2017

 

In Oslo, the Tony Award–winning play set in the early 1990s, a Palestinian negotiator makes a powerful claim to his Israeli counterpart: “Until you make peace with us,” he says, “you’ll never be accepted by your neighbours.” But that’s just not true any more for Israel — with major implications for American foreign policy. Allying with Israel no longer risks losing the Arabs to the Soviet camp or risks the wrath of OPEC. In fact, U.S. support for Israel no longer alienates Arab governments at all. In a surprising twist of fate, Arab states now tend to view Israel as a crucial partner in their more important standoff against Iran. These nations do not have the luxury of worrying about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict right now. The rise of Iran, its nuclear program, and its proxies are far more pressing.

 

All of this means that American support for Israel has never been less costly — and has never made more sense — than it does now. As Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, declared in February, “for the first time in my lifetime, and for the first time in the life of my country, Arab countries in the region do not see Israel as an enemy, but, increasingly, as an ally.” Even the leader of Hezbollah, Iran’s terrorist proxy in Lebanon, has noticed that “these days Israel is [no longer] officially considered the Arab League’s enemy.”

 

When Israel and Hezbollah agree about something, it’s probably true. Take Saudi Arabia, the most powerful Gulf state. Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini used to call Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi leaders a “band of heretics,” and the Wahhabis feel more or less the same about Iran’s Shia majority. Moreover, both nations struggle for power in the region. Especially since the rapid ascent of Mohammed bin Salman, the hawkish new Saudi crown prince, Saudi Arabia has worried about Iran’s efforts to expand its control over Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. It worries even more about the Iranian nuclear program.

 

On all of these issues, Israel is a key ally. It was Israel, after all, that pushed for a better nuclear deal, that delayed Iran’s nuclear program with cyberwarfare and targeted assassinations, that fights Hezbollah in Lebanon, and it is Israel that destroyed the Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007. Furthermore, reports have suggested that Israel is providing the Saudis with crucial intelligence on Iran, ISIS, and Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen and Syria. Relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia have not yet been normalized, but they are no longer frigid. Last summer, a Saudi general met a former Israeli diplomat at the Council on Foreign Relations. The two shook hands and smiled before flashing cameras. If that had happened just a few years ago, the general could have expected to find himself out of a job or worse.

 

Another meeting joined Saudi prince Turki al-Faisal with a retired Israeli major general. Remarkably, Prince Faisal spoke of “cooperation between Arab countries and Israel in meeting the threats, wherever they come from — whether it is Iran or any other source.” Ahmed Asiri, the kingdom’s deputy intelligence chief, acknowledged in February that “we have the same enemy, the same threat . . . and we are both close allies of the Americans.” Numerous reports support these statements; senior Israeli and Saudi officials have supposedly been secretly meeting for at least the past six years.

 

The Saudis still want Israel to make peace with the Palestinians, but protracted negotiations will not get in the way of security cooperation. After all, if you believe that “Iran is on a rampage” in order to “reestablish the Persian Empire,” as the Saudi foreign minister told Politico, you start looking to untraditional allies. You might even try convincing your people that Israel isn’t so bad. As early as last summer, the tightly controlled Saudi media began criticizing anti-Semitism repeatedly. Saudi TV no longer fixates on “Israeli aggression.” Now the new buzzword is “Persian aggression.” A column in the Saudi daily Al Riyadh argued that there was no reason to “unjustifiably demonise” Israel. These things do not happen by accident in Saudi Arabia. Saudi leadership is preparing their people for better relations with Israel. Saudi propaganda and the reality of the Middle East — Iran is advancing while Israel is not — have steadily combined to get the message across to regular Saudis. A recent poll found that only 18 percent of Saudis view Israel as their principal enemy, good enough for just third place, while 22 percent pointed to ISIS and 53 percent chose Iran.

 

The good news for Israel, however, is not limited to Saudi Arabia. Israeli officials have reportedly made multiple secret trips to the United Arab Emirates, where Israel has opened its first diplomatic mission. Almost bizarrely, the UAE’s foreign minister recently went so far as to slam Al Jazeera for its anti-Semitic coverage. Who knew they cared? Jordan, fearing Iran, ISIS, and the spillover from Syria, has also found reason to turn to Israel. Israeli intelligence now helps keep Jordan safe, and a new agreement ensures that Israeli natural gas keeps it prosperous. Their peace treaty, signed in 1994, goes unchallenged…

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

 

                                                                       

Contents

LIVING IN THE REAL WORLD MEANS DOING

BUSINESS WITH BAD GUYS LIKE THE SAUDI REGIME                                                                           

Editorial                                                                                                                        

National Post, Aug. 4, 2017

 

It isn’t terribly surprising to learn that Canadian-made military vehicles are apparently being used against civilians by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The decision by the former Conservative government to sell Saudi Arabia light armoured vehicles — infantry carriers armed with machine guns, anti-tank cannons and missiles and light automatic cannons — was controversial at the time for this very reason. Saudi Arabia’s human rights record is appalling. Its oppression of its own people at home (including the entire female population) is a matter of record. International rights groups have also slammed the Saudi military’s conduct in combat during the ongoing intervention in Yemen’s civil war, with reports of air strikes that have not only killed civilians, but seemed to have no apparent military objective. Collateral damage is bad enough; deliberately bombarding civilian areas is a war crime.

 

None of this was unknown or unforeseeable when Canada agreed to sell the Saudis military equipment. But the Conservatives first, then the Liberals (who stood by the arms sales after the 2015 election), were clearly seduced by the amount of cash on offer: at least $15 billion for 900 light armoured vehicles from London, Ont.’s, General Dynamics, and a series of smaller contracts with other Canadian firms for other items of military kit. And while it was the giant General Dynamics contract that attracted all the attention, it is a smaller contract, to Terradyne, a firm north of Toronto, that has thrust this issue back into the spotlight.

 

Video footage has recently emerged that appears to show Canadian-made Terradyne Gurkha vehicles — similar to an American Hummer-style vehicle — being used in a security operation against Saudi civilians, specifically, members of the Shiite Muslim religious minority in a restive province of the kingdom. This isn’t surprising, given the monarchy’s horrific record of abusing its own civilians, particularly its small Shiite minority. But it does put Ottawa in an awkward position. Both the Conservatives and Liberals had insisted that they had been given Saudi assurances that our weapons would not be used against civilians; if they were, we could suspend further sales.

 

We have that right. Canada’s export rules, flagging restrictions on defence sales to countries with “poor human-rights records,” even point in that direction. But as appalling as the Saudi regime can be, there are other Canadian interests involved here that Ottawa has a duty to also consider. Saudi Arabia is not an ally, per se, but it is a security partner. Given the multiple overlapping disasters currently unfolding in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is a country we need on our side. Geopolitics is an unavoidably ugly business and the reality that these kinds of arrangements are necessary is the reason why.

 

We would prefer to live in a world where we could have our armoured cake and sell it, too. If it was possible to sustain our large and growing armaments industry entirely on the back of sales to The Netherlands and New Zealand, we could content ourselves on providing everything our Dutch and Kiwi allies need to annihilate a Russian tank division or two, and for a tidy profit. Though we often roll our eyes at the horrible habit all Canadian governments tend to fall into of using military procurement projects to develop or sustain a domestic armaments industry, we do acknowledge the strategic value of our military having domestic supplies for advanced weaponry. Exporting those arms abroad helps offset the simple reality that the Canadian Armed Forces are themselves not large enough to sustain the kind of industry we have developed here. Exports are essential to sustain these jobs and capabilities.

 

While this whole affair stinks, consider the alternative: Canada doesn’t sell to Saudi Arabia, our economy suffers, our own domestic military production capabilities suffer (or die); meanwhile, Saudi Arabia sinks its vast cash reserves into buying someone else’s weapons and carries on as ever. Canada can keep its hands more or less clean, or it can sustain an arms-export industry that provides important economic and security benefits to our own country. If it’s possible to do both at once, we’ve yet to figure out how.

 

Canadians are not used to pondering geopolitics in these terms. We prefer to view the world as neatly divided into good and bad. Two generations of relative peace, along with our peacekeeping myths, have sheltered us from the realities of a frequently violent world. But there is nothing new about doing business with governments we find odious because it serves a greater good. Saudi Arabia, for all its offences, has proved to be a fundamental Middle East partner in combating the Islamic State and containing Iran’s belligerent ambitions and regional warmongering. Given the grave new stakes at play in the Middle East, even Israel has recognized the need of working alongside the Saudis.

 

It’s always possible that this sort engagement will help bring Saudi Arabia further into the fold of Western liberal democracy, just as some Canadians believe that our deepening friendship with China can moderate that inhumane regime. We’re skeptical on both counts. But in the meantime we must deal with, and make deals in, the world as it is, with all its imperfections.

 

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Joining Arab States, Israel Says it Plans to Ban Al-Jazeera: National Post, Aug. 6, 2017 —Israel said Sunday it plans to ban Qatar’s flagship Al-Jazeera news network from operating in the country over allegations it incites violence, joining Arab nations that have shut down the broadcaster amid a separate political dispute.

Latest Developments in Saudi Arabia Chart a Course for Israeli Ties With Arab World: Sean Savage, JNS, July 3, 2017—Building off the last few years of rumors and reports regarding clandestine relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, mainly motivated by their shared concerns over Iran’s nuclear program and destabilizing regional activities, two recent developments highlight a potential route for Israel to firm up support within the Arab world.

Qatar and the Saudis – Getting Ready for the Next Round: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, July 10, 2017—Tensions are at an all time high between the four countries – Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Emirates and Egypt – and Qatar, supported by the large, powerful forces of Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Russia and Hezbollah. The four countries handed Qatar a list of 13 demands and an ultimatum: either carry them out to the letter or else. They have since retracted them.

Former Liberal Cabinet Minister Calls for End to Canadian Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia: Steven Chase, Globe & Mail, Aug. 1, 2017—A former federal Liberal cabinet minister and human-rights lawyer says Saudi Arabia’s apparent deployment of Canadian-made combat vehicles against Saudi citizens demonstrates why Canada should end all arms sales to the Islamic kingdom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GULF CRISIS: ARAB STATES CUT DIPLOMATIC TIES WITH QATAR OVER TERROR FUNDING & AL JAZEERA

Of Tribes and Terrorism: Lee Smith, Weekly Standard, June, 2017— Last week, several Arab states, including Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, put Qatar on notice.

Qatar, Trump and Double Games: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, June 8, 2017 — US President Donald Trump has been attacked by his ubiquitous critics for his apparent about-face on the crisis surrounding Qatar.

How Can Canada Pretend that Saudi Arabia is an Honourable, Peaceful Country?: Robert Fulford, National Post, May 12, 2017 — If you believe the official word from Ottawa it appears Saudi Arabia and Canada are on good terms.

Saudi Arabia's 'Lavish' Gift to Indonesia: Radical Islam: Mohshin Habib, Gatestone Institute, Apr. 29, 2017 — Accompanied by a 1,500-strong entourage, Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz arrived in Indonesia on March 1 for a nine-day gala tour.

 

On Topic Links

 

Gregg Roman on the Rift Between Qatar and the Arab Gulf States (Video): I24News, June 6, 2017

The “Game of Camps” Revisited: Why Qatar? Why Now?: Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman, BESA, June 12, 2017

Qatar's Increasing Isolation in the Arab World: Jonathan Spyer, Jerusalem Post, June 10, 2017

Saudi Arabia is Destabilizing the World: Stephen Kinzer, Boston Globe, June 11, 2017

 

 

OF TRIBES AND TERRORISM

Lee Smith

Weekly Standard, June, 2017

 

Last week, several Arab states, including Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, put Qatar on notice. They removed their diplomats from Doha, closed airspace and ports to Qatari vessels, expelled Qatari nationals, and prohibited their own nationals from visiting the country. Among other key demands, Qatar's Arab opponents want the emirate to stop backing Islamic extremists, Sunni and Shia, and shut down hostile press outlets, including Doha's jewel, Al Jazeera.

 

Reports suggest the breaking point was Doha's decision to send nearly $1 billion to rescue a hunting party held captive in Iraq—a ransom paid to Iran and to Sunni extremists, both of whom the Arab states consider threats to their national security. The ransom may be the proximate cause of the crisis, but tension has been brewing for some time.

 

The key players are the Emiratis and Saudis, the two major powers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), of which Qatar is also a member. Bahrain is effectively a Saudi province and Egypt, while contemptuous of Qatar, is incapable of projecting much power without the financial support of its Emirati patrons. In 2014, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE removed their diplomats to protest Qatar's interference in their internal affairs. That crisis was partly precipitated when Qatar backed Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood government while the others supported General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's coup.

 

Regional experts explain that the conflict goes back further still: "2014 was just a culmination of problems that were brewing for 20 years," says Mohammed al-Yahya, a Saudi analyst close to the government in Riyadh and a fellow at the Atlantic Council. "Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani [who ruled Qatar until 2013; his son rules now] overthrew his father in a coup in 1995. The Saudis disapproved. It's not part of the culture of the GCC states to overthrow monarchs in coups like this. And Sheikh Hamad had a lot of animosity toward Saudi Arabia, Qatari posture shifted 180 degrees after the coup."

 

Indeed, that was the central purpose of Al Jazeera—to serve as an instrument with which Hamad attacked his larger and richer Gulf neighbor. Internationally, the satellite network is known for its anti-American posture. After 9/11, it was virtually Osama bin Laden's bulletin board, posting videos the al Qaeda leader sent to the network through couriers. During the U.S.-led coalition's invasion of Iraq, Al Jazeera openly sided with the remnants of Saddam Hussein's forces as they targeted American troops and allies.

 

From Doha's vantage point, though, beating up on the Americans was just another way to target Washington's local client, Saudi Arabia. The Qataris have no real problem with the United States—they host Al Udeid, the biggest American military base in the Middle East and CENTCOM's headquarters in the region. But that's the Qatar way, play both sides—making nice with the Americans and the people who want to kill Americans, Sunnis as well as Shiites, is just another day at the office in Doha. Similarly, Qatar shares with Iran the world's largest natural gas field, South Pars, the source of nearly all its revenue, so it's cozy with Tehran even as its GCC allies see Iran as threat.

 

The hope, says al-Yahya, "was that things would be different under the new emir, Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, whom Hamad appointed after he abdicated in 2013. But to Riyadh, these hopes turned out to be misplaced." Indeed, many assume that the father is still running the show. "Tamim is so weak," said another Saudi analyst who requested anonymity. The same source explained that Qatar's former prime minister, Hamad Bin Jassim al-Thani, spent last week on Capitol Hill to lobby Congress after President Donald Trump identified Qatar as a source of terrorism in yet another ill-advised tweet. The Qataris have a powerful ally in the Pentagon—Al Udeid Air Base is a key installation from which the United States runs operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other regional hotspots. No one wants the Americans to leave Al Udeid—except the Emiratis…

 

It's perhaps useful to see the current crisis in a wider aperture, since it goes back way beyond the last 20 years. Many of the Gulf's ruling families are from the same region on the Arabian Peninsula and have been bickering with or actively fighting each other for a very long time. Rival clans that became energy-rich monarchies are playing out their feuds on a very large stage now for several reasons. First, with the region embroiled in conflict from Libya to Syria to Yemen, the stakes are high. Second, both Qatar and the UAE exercise a considerable amount of influence in Washington, largely but not exclusively through the money they donate to think tanks. But most crucially, the president of the United States inserted himself in the middle of it.

 

Trump's visit to Riyadh was a success, it was the aftermath that was a problem. While there, he enlisted the support of Arab and Muslim leaders in the fight against terrorism. From the perspective of the Saudis and others, Trump's promise to forswear interference in their societies marked a welcome change from the last two administrations—and was likely read by them as a green light to sort out local affairs, starting with Qatar. His tweet two weeks after his visit confirmed that. "During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar—look!"

 

"Obama protected Doha," the Saudi analyst explained. "He used them to keep the Saudis off balance, but now that he's gone the Qataris lost their defender." The point is not that Trump should likewise shield an adventurist Doha but that it's probably not prudent to widen the natural rift in the GCC, an institution designed to project American power in the Persian Gulf. Further, when you have problems with an ally, scream at them in private, rather than chide them in front of the world.

 

If the Emiratis had a specific goal in mind, hosting a major U.S. base, the Saudis aimed to show the Americans that they can be helpful. "The Saudis wanted to get the GCC in line to take on Iran," says Tony Badran, research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "They wanted to show the Trump administration that they are part of the solution, an American partner against all the destabilizing stuff in the region, whether that's Iran or Sunni extremism." What the Saudis don't need is an argument over who funds terror, says Lebanese political analyst Elie Fawaz. "Once they open that can of worms, they'll get dragged into it. The pro-Iranian camp attacked them for backing terrorism to win support from the Obama administration, and now the Qataris will get into it."

 

The reality is that there are plenty of problematic actors in the GCC, including the Emiratis, who do business with Iran and have sheltered figures from the Syrian regime that the Saudis and Qataris oppose. "The Arabs are divided," says Fawaz, "but there isn't much wisdom in opening up another front in a destabilized region." Mohamed al-Yahya, the analyst close to the Saudi government, agrees. "The Saudis want a unified GCC. The point is not to bring Qatar to its knees, but to get it back on track to join in pushing a unified GCC agenda. No one wants this to continue." Trump later walked back his tweet and in a phone call with the Qatari emir offered to mediate the crisis, even if it takes a White House meeting. What's most important, however, is that the administration doesn't let local players, whether that's Qatar or the UAE or Saudi Arabia, set American priorities. Intra-Arab conflict should not distract the administration from keeping regional partners focused on the two key issues on the U.S. agenda— stopping Iran and crushing ISIS.                                                 

 

Contents                                                                        

 

QATAR, TRUMP AND DOUBLE GAMES                                                                                                        

Caroline B. Glick                                                                                                                        

Jerusalem Post, June 8, 2017

 

US President Donald Trump has been attacked by his ubiquitous critics for his apparent about-face on the crisis surrounding Qatar. In a Twitter post on Tuesday, Trump sided firmly with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and the other Sunni states that cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and instituted an air and land blockade of the sheikhdom on Monday. On Wednesday, Trump said that he hopes to mediate the dispute, more or less parroting the lines adopted by the State Department and the Pentagon which his Twitter posts disputed the day before.

 

To understand the apparent turnaround and why it is both understandable and probably not an about-face, it is important to understand the forces at play and the stakes involved in the Sunni Arab world’s showdown with Doha. Arguably, Qatar’s role in undermining the stability of the Islamic world has been second only to Iran’s. Beginning in the 1995, after the Pars gas field was discovered and quickly rendered Qatar the wealthiest state in the world, the Qatari regime set about undermining the Sunni regimes of the Arab world by among other things, waging a propaganda war against them and against their US ally and by massively funding terrorism.

 

The Qatari regime established Al Jazeera in 1996. Despite its frequent denials, the regime has kept tight control on Al Jazeera’s messaging. That messaging has been unchanging since the network’s founding. The pan-Arab satellite station which reaches hundreds of millions of households in the region and worldwide, opposes the US’s allies in the Sunni Arab world. It supports the Muslim Brotherhood and every terrorist group spawned by it. It supports Iran and Hezbollah. Al Jazeera is viciously anti-Israel and anti-Jewish. It serves as a propaganda arm not only of al-Qaida and Hezbollah but of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and any other group that attacks the US, Israel, Europe and other Western targets.

 

Al Jazeera’s reporters have accompanied Hamas and Taliban forces in their wars against Israel and the US. After Israel released Hezbollah arch-terrorist Samir Kuntar from prison in exchange for the bodies of two IDF reservists, Al Jazeera’s Beirut bureau hosted an on-air party in his honor. Al Jazeera was at the forefront of the propaganda campaign inciting against then-Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2012. Its operations were widely credited with inciting their overthrow and installing in their places regimes controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood and other jihadist groups.

 

As for the Qatari regime itself, it has massively financed jihadist groups for more than 20 years. Qatar is a major bankroller not only of al-Qaida and Hamas but of militias associated with ISIS in Iraq and Syria. In a State Department cable from 2009 published by WikiLeaks, US diplomats referred to Qatar as the largest funder of terrorism in the world. According to the Financial Times, the straw that broke the camel’s back for the Saudis and their allies was their discovery that in April, Qatar paid Iran, its Iraqi militias and al-Qaida forces in Syria up to a billion dollars to free members of the royal family held captive in southern Iraq and 50 terrorists held captive in Syria.

 

Given Qatar’s destabilizing and pernicious role in the region and worldwide in everything related to terrorism funding and incitement, Trump’s statement on Tuesday in support of the Sunnis against Qatar was entirely reasonable. What can the US do other than stand by its allies as they seek to coerce Qatar to end its destabilizing and dangerous practices? The case for supporting the Saudis, Egyptians, the UAE and the others against Qatar becomes all the more overwhelming given their demands. The Sunnis are demanding that Qatar ditch its strategic alliance with Iran. They demand that Qatar end its financial support for terrorist groups and they demand that Qatar expel terrorists from its territory. If Qatar is forced to abide by these demands, its abandonment of Iran in particular will constitute the single largest blow the regime in Tehran has absorbed in recent memory. Among other things, Qatar serves as Iran’s banker and diplomatic proxy.

 

If the story began and ended here, then Trump’s anti-Qatari stance would have been the obvious and only move. Unfortunately, the situation is not at all simple. First there is the problem of Doha’s relations with key Americans and American institutions. Ahead of the 2016 US elections, WikiLeaks published documents which disclosed that the emir of Qatar presented Bill Clinton with a $1 million check for the Clinton Foundation as a gift for his 65th birthday. During Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, Qatar reportedly contributed some $6m. to the Clinton Foundation. Clinton, for her part, was deeply supportive of the regime and of Al Jazeera. For instance, in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2011, Clinton praised Al Jazeera for its leading role in fomenting and expanding the protests in Egypt that brought down Mubarak. Clinton wasn’t the only one that Qatar singled out for generosity. Since the 1990s, Qatar has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in US universities. Six major US universities have campuses in Doha…

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

                                                                                   

 

Contents   

                       

HOW CAN CANADA PRETEND THAT SAUDI ARABIA

IS AN HONOURABLE, PEACEFUL COUNTRY?

Robert Fulford

National Post, May 12, 2017

 

If you believe the official word from Ottawa it appears Saudi Arabia and Canada are on good terms. A Canadian government website, dealing with trade, takes care to assert that we share with the Saudis “many peace and security issues, including energy security, humanitarian affairs (including refugees), and counter-terrorism.” It also says admiringly that “The Saudi government plays an important role in promoting regional peace and stability.”

 

No wonder Canada seems willing to sell military vehicles and other products to Saudi Arabia. It sounds like a friendly government we should enjoy dealing with. Not democratic, of course, but sort of on the right side, at least sometimes. On the other hand, UN Watch, an independent monitoring service, this week sent out a bulletin headed “UN holds lavish NGO forum in Saudi Arabia while rights activists languish in prison.” It seems that the Saudis, with support from a Saudi foundation headed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudi minister of defence, generously hosted a large global gathering of non-government organizations on the subject of Youth and their Social Impact. It was staged in the luxury of the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh (which advertises Distinguished Fine Dining and All-Men’s Spa) — even as, UN Watch went on, “young bloggers and human rights activists like Raif Badawi languish in prison for the crime of advocating freedom in Saudi Arabia.”

 

The name “Raif Badawi” was placed near the top of the bulletin because UN Watch knows it’s the name most likely to upset Saudi officialdom. In fact, to many people the treatment of Badawi damns Saudi Arabia as irredeemably evil. Saudi law gives the state the right to ban any organization the government opposes, on grounds that it violates “Islamic Sharia” or public manners or national unity. Individuals committing such crimes, even if they are otherwise peaceful, get long prison sentences. Many activists are currently in jail for advocating human rights reforms. And Raif Badawi? The more you know about Saudi Arabia, the worse it appears. Once you digest the stifling and humiliating rules governing women, and perhaps even consider them routine, you may begin to wonder how the Saudis treat men. And then you come across Raif Badawi and everything grows darker still.

 

He’s a young Saudi Arabian writer, the creator of the website Free Saudi Liberals. He was arrested in 2012 for insulting Islam through electronic channels and charged as well with apostasy, the abandonment or breach of faith (though he says he’s still a Muslim). He’s not respectful of the grand institutions of the country. He’s referred, for instance, to Al-Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University as “a den for terrorists.” Even worse, he believes in secular government — “Secularism is the practical solution to lift countries (including ours) out of the Third World and into the First World,” he says. “Look at what happened after the European peoples succeeded in removing the clergy from public life and restricting them to their churches. They promoted enlightenment, creativity and rebellion. States which are based on religion confine their people in the circle of faith and fear.”

 

Badawi apparently lives his life by words he quotes from Albert Camus: “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” He was sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes in 2013, then re-sentenced in 2014 to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison plus a fine. The lashes were to be carried out over 20 weeks. The first 50 were administered on January 9, 2015 — in front of a mosque while hundreds of spectators shouted “Allahu Akbar.” The succeeding lashes are indefinitely postponed, apparently because of his health. He’s known to have hypertension and his condition has worsened since the flogging began. His wife, who lives with their three children in exile in Canada, predicts that he won’t be able to survive more lashes.  Still, that part of his sentence hangs over him, capable of being invoked at the pleasure of his jailers…                                                                                  

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

 

Contents                                                                                                                     

SAUDI ARABIA'S 'LAVISH' GIFT TO INDONESIA: RADICAL ISLAM

Mohshin Habib

Gatestone Institute, Apr. 29, 2017

 

Accompanied by a 1,500-strong entourage, Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz arrived in Indonesia on March 1 for a nine-day gala tour. He was welcomed warmly not only as the monarch of one of the world's richest countries, but as the custodian of Islam's two holiest cities, Mecca and Medina.

 

While appearing to be taking a holiday rather than embarking on an official state visit — the 81-year-old sovereign spent six days at a resort in Bali — the king had some serious business to attend to. In what was advertised as an effort to promote "social interaction" between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia — with His Majesty announcing a billion-dollar aid package, unlimited flights between the two countries and the allotment of 50,000 extra spots per year for Indonesian pilgrims to make the hajj to Mecca and Medina – it seems as if the real purpose of the trip was to promote and enhance Salafism, an extremist Sunni strain, in the world's largest Muslim country, frequently hailed in the West as an example of a moderate Islamic society.

 

Jakarta-based journalist Krithika Varagur, writing in The Atlantic on the second day of the king's visit, describes Saudi efforts in Indonesia: "Since 1980, Saudi Arabia has devoted millions of dollars to exporting its strict brand of Islam, Salafism, to historically tolerant and diverse Indonesia. It has built more than 150 mosques (albeit in a country that has about 800,000), a huge free university in Jakarta, and several Arabic language institutes; supplied more than 100 boarding schools with books and teachers (albeit in a country estimated to have between 13,000 and 30,000 boarding schools); brought in preachers and teachers; and disbursed thousands of scholarships for graduate study in Saudi Arabia."

 

This Saudi influence has taken a serious toll on Indonesia, 90% of whose 250 million people are Sunnis. Despite its pluralistic constitution, which says, "The state guarantees each and every citizen the freedom of religion and of worship in accordance with his religion and belief," Indonesia — which declared independence in 1945 — has grown increasingly intolerant towards Christians, Hindus and Shiite Muslims. Prior to Saudi Arabia's attempts to spread Salafism across the Muslim world, Indonesia did not have terrorist organizations such as Hamas Indonesia, Laskar Jihad, Hizbut Tahrir, Islamic Defenders Front and Jemmah Islamiyah, to name just a few.

 

Today, it is rife with these groups, which adhere strictly to Islamic sharia law, Saudi Arabia's binding legal system, and which promote it in educational institutions. Like al-Qaeda and ISIS, they deny women equal rights, believe in death by stoning for adulterers and hand amputation for thieves, and in executing homosexuals and "apostate" Muslims. The most recent example of the way in which this extremism has swept Indonesia took place a mere three weeks after the Saudi king wrapped up his trip. On March 31, at least 15,000 hard-line Islamist protesters took to the streets of Jakarta after Friday prayers, calling for the imprisonment of the capital city's Christian governor, who is on trial for "blaspheming the Quran."

 

This paled in comparison to the crowds — numbering about 200,000 at each violent rally — which flooded the city last November, December and February. The crowds were demanding that Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (known familiarly as Ashok) be jailed for telling a group of fishermen that, as they are fed lies about how the Quran forbids Muslims from being governed by a kafir, an infidel, he could understand why some of them might not have voted for him. If convicted, Ashok stands to serve up to five years in prison. Sadly, such a jail term is nothing, when one considers the Islamist prison that the country as a whole has become — courtesy of King Salman and his lavish "gifts."

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Gregg Roman on the Rift Between Qatar and the Arab Gulf States (Video): I24News, June 6, 2017—Middle East Forum Director Gregg Roman appeared on i24NEWS English to discuss the recent decision by Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf states to cut ties with neighboring Qatar.

The “Game of Camps” Revisited: Why Qatar? Why Now?: Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman, BESA, June 12, 2017—Sheikh Tamim’s recent tweet urging a soft line towards Iran might be authentic (as the Saudis say) or a deliberate hoax (as the Qataris were quick to claim), but the subsequent onslaught against Qatar has little to do with Iran. Qatar is no Iranian proxy: in practice, the Qataris finance anti-Iranian forces in Syria and joined the anti-Houthi war in Yemen.

Qatar's Increasing Isolation in the Arab World: Jonathan Spyer, Jerusalem Post, June 10, 2017—The decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen to cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar is the latest step in the reemergence of a clearly defined US-led Sunni Arab bloc of states. The task of this alliance is to roll back Iranian influence and advancement in the region, and to battle against the forces of Sunni political Islam.

Saudi Arabia is Destabilizing the World: Stephen Kinzer, Boston Globe, June 11, 2017—Just a few months ago, the governor of Indonesia’s largest city, Jakarta, seemed headed for easy re-election despite the fact that he is a Christian in a mostly Muslim country. Suddenly everything went violently wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE MUSLIM “MARTIN LUTHER”?: WITH ANKARA RELATIONS “IN RUINS” & POSSIBLE QATAR RAPPROCHEMENT—SISI CALLS FOR ISLAMIC REFORMS

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 

 

Contents:

 

From Egypt's Leader, an Ambitious Call For Reform in Islam: Sarah El Deeb & Lee Keath, Yahoo News, Jan. 8, 2014— Egypt's president opened the new year with a dramatic call for a "revolution" in Islam to reform interpretations of the faith entrenched for hundreds of years, which he said have made the Muslim world a source of "destruction" and pitted it against the rest of the world.

Amid Rumors of Mashaal's Expulsion, Doha Trying to Regain Alliance With Egypt, Saudi Arabia: Jonathan Spyer, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 11, 2014— It is still not clear whether reports in Turkish newspaper Aydinlik concerning the expulsion by Qatar of Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal are accurate.

Erdogan's Egyptian Nightmare: Burak Bekdil, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 30, 2014— Back in 2011, everything ostensibly was coming up roses between Turkey and Egypt.

Egypt Urges West to Provide Military Support to Tackle Islamic Extremists: Matina Stevis, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 13, 2015 — Western powers should give military support to Egypt to help it combat the Islamic extremism that led to the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a kosher supermarket in Paris, the Egyptian foreign minister said Tuesday.

 

On Topic Links

 

Egypt’s Sisi: Islamic “Thinking” Is “Antagonizing the Entire World”: Raymond Ibrahim, Islam Translated, Jan. 1, 2015

Egyptian President al-Sisi vs. Hamas: Yoni Ben Menachem,  JCPA, Dec. 4, 2015

Report: Egypt Arrests ISIS Cell Planning to Assassinate Key Political Figures: Yasser Okbi & Maariv Hashavua, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 5, 2015

John Baird Headed to Egypt to Push for Jailed Canadian Journalist Mohamed Fahmy’s Release:  National Post, Jan. 13, 2015

                                               

 

FROM EGYPT'S LEADER, AN AMBITIOUS CALL FOR REFORM IN ISLAM                                                

Sarah El Deeb & Lee Keath                                                                                                    

Yahoo News, Jan. 8, 2015

 

Egypt's president opened the new year with a dramatic call for a "revolution" in Islam to reform interpretations of the faith entrenched for hundreds of years, which he said have made the Muslim world a source of "destruction" and pitted it against the rest of the world. The speech was Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's boldest effort yet to position himself as a modernizer of Islam. His professed goal is to purge the religion of extremist ideas of intolerance and violence that fuel groups like al-Qaida and the Islamic State — and that appear to have motivated Wednesday's attack in Paris on a French satirical newspaper that killed 12 people.

 

But those looking for the "Muslim Martin Luther" bringing a radical Reformation of Islam may be overreaching — and making a false comparison to begin with. El-Sissi is clearly seeking to impose change through the state, using government religious institutions like the 1,000-year-old al-Azhar, one of the most eminent centers of Sunni Muslim thought and teaching. Al-Azhar's vision for change, however, is piecemeal, and conservative, focusing on messaging and outreach but wary of addressing deeper and more controversial issues.

 

Al-Azhar officials tout a YouTube channel just launched to reach out to the young, mimicking radicals' successful social media outreach to disenfranchised youth. They proudly point out that clerics in the videos wear suits, not al-Azhar's traditional robes and turbans, to be more accessible. Young people "have a negative image toward this garb," said Mohie Eddin Affifi, an al-Azhar official. "As soon as they see it they don't listen." In a more ambitious effort, religious school textbooks are under review. Affifi said texts outlining rules for slavery, for instance, have been removed. It's a problem across the Muslim world: State religious institutions are burdened by stagnation and heavy control by authorities.

 

For decades, al-Azhar has lost credibility in the eyes of many Muslim youth who see it as mouthpiece of the state rather than an honest interpreter of religion. More appealing to some young men and women searching for identity in a rapidly changing world are calls for a return to the roots of the faith, including from the extremists of al-Qaida and the Islamic State. In his Jan. 1 speech at al-Azhar addressing Muslim clerics — held to mark the Prophet Muhammad's birthday — el-Sissi called on them to promote a reading of Islamic texts in a "truly enlightened" manner to reconsider concepts "that have been made sacred over hundreds of years." By such thinking, the Islamic world is "making enemies of the whole world. So 1.6 billion people (in the Muslim world) will kill the entire world of 7 billion? That's impossible … We need a religious revolution."

 

Radicals — and el-Sissi's Islamist political opponents who have wide religious followings — angrily denounced el-Sissi, saying he was trying to corrupt the religion. Even secularists, who would normally promote a more modern interpretation of Islam, frowned at el-Sissi's statist approach to such a complicated issue. "A state-approved revolution," questioned Amina Khairi, a columnist in the generally pro-state newspaper al-Watan. And even state religious officials pushed back against the use of the word "revolution" or the idea of dramatic change. Affifi, from al-Azhar, told the AP that el-Sissi didn't mean changing texts — something even el-Sissi quickly made clear in his speech. "What the president meant is that we need a contemporary reading for religious texts to deal with our contemporary reality," said Affifi, who is secretary general of the Islamic Research Center. The center is an Al-Azhar body responsible for studying Islamic issues and for providing preachers to explain religious affairs to the police, military, schools, government and private companies. It is also responsible for censorship. He said al-Azhar has already been working for months on such a campaign, following calls for modernizing the faith that el-Sissi has been making since his May presidential election campaign. Committees have been examining textbooks used in the large network of grade schools and universities that al-Azhar runs across Egypt to remove things that have "no place in modern life." Texts on slavery and on refusing to greet Christians and Jews, for example, have been removed. Affifi said positions on issues like slavery, jihad and dealings with non-Muslims were adopted by scholars five centuries ago in a particular historical context. "These were opinions of scholars, these interpretations are not sacred."

 

There is also a push to encourage a nationalism that officials see as moderating religious sentiment. El-Sissi this week attended Christmas services for Egypt's Orthodox Coptic Christians and declared that Egyptians should not view each other as Christians or Muslims but as Egyptians. The sheik of al-Azhar has launched a campaign in schools and universities promoting the message that "love of nation is part of faith," said Affifi. Al-Azhar also plans to introduce a new Islamic culture course in all of Egypt's universities, Affifi said. For el-Sissi, the impetus for his modernization campaign is not only the violence wreaked by extremist groups around the Mideast and the world. It's also rooted in his political rivalry with the Muslim Brotherhood. El-Sissi, then head of the military, led the overthrow in July 2013 of an elected president from the Brotherhood, and since then Egypt has cracked down hard on Islamists, with hundreds killed in street clashes and thousands jailed. To counter Islamists' claims of religiosity, el-Sissi has presented himself throughout his rise as a pious proponent of a moderate, mainstream Islam…         

 

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

                                                                                   

Contents                                                                            

                                                    

AMID RUMORS OF MASHAAL'S EXPULSION,                                

DOHA TRYING TO REGAIN ALLIANCE WITH EGYPT, SAUDI ARABIA                                                 

Jonathan Spyer                                                                                                             

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 11, 2015

 

It is still not clear whether reports in Turkish newspaper Aydinlik concerning the expulsion by Qatar of Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal are accurate. Hamas officials have indignantly denied that their leader is shortly set to quit his Doha home. But certainly, Mashaal’s expulsion would fit with the broader pattern of recent events. Recent months have witnessed a number of acts by Qatar suggesting it is seeking to repair relations with its fellow Gulf monarchies, and with Egypt. Hamas, the enemy of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the Saudis, can have no part in this.

 

The expulsion of Mashaal, if it takes place, will be the latest concession by Doha to the wishes of Cairo and Riyadh. Qatar’s latest moves are the fruit of partial defeat for Doha in its regional agenda; Saudi Arabia and Egypt are the winners. Lets take a look.  Qatar, in the first two years of the regional upheaval that began in 2011, appeared to be riding high. The tiny emirate backed the Muslim Brotherhood movement; its enormously influential Al Jazeera channel pumped out propaganda on behalf of the movement and against its enemies. In late 2012, at what was evidently its high-water mark, the Qatar-Brotherhood alliance appeared to be forming a new power bloc in the Middle East. The Brotherhood had achieved power in the most populous Arab state – Egypt. It[s] Tunisian iteration, al-Nahda, won elections there. Militias associated with a Brotherhood-type outlook and financed by Qatar, such as the Tawhid Brigade of Aleppo, were playing a key role in the Syrian war – and victory looked within reach. Turkey, under the rule of the Brotherhood-influenced AK Party, had drawn close to Qatar and saw itself playing a key role in the emergent Sunni Islamist alliance.

 

Two years on, nearly all of this is in ruins. Most importantly, the army is back in power in Egypt and is engaged in an attempt to crush the Brotherhood. In Tunisia, Nahda lost elections in 2014 and has ceded power to its non-Islamist rivals. In Syria, a region-wide mobilization by Iran of its allies and proxies, and the determined support of Russia as well as rebel confusion and disunity, have saved Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime. This has left both Qatar and Hamas somewhat beached. Doha had antagonized its fellow Gulf monarchies to distraction, in the service of a new power bloc that apparently is not going to come into existence after all. Hamas, meanwhile, had also placed its bets on this emergent Sunni Islamist bloc. The Palestinian branch of the Brotherhood had removed itself from Damascus, rejected the Iranian attempt to exhort it to declare its support for Assad, and suffered a major loss in Iranian funding as a result.

 

Recent months have seen both Qatar and Hamas seeking to adjust themselves to this new reality, but in different directions. In mid-September, Doha ordered several prominent members of the Egyptian Brotherhood to leave the emirate. They had been offered asylum after fleeing their country following the military coup in July 2013. The first indication of improved relations with other Gulf states came after a surprise summit of Gulf Cooperation Council countries on November 16, 2014. As a result of this meeting, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates agreed to return their ambassadors to Qatar after an absence of eight months. In the days after, Saudi King Abdullah II received a phone call from Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. The GCC summit in Bahrain in early December saw further Qatari concessions on Libya and Egypt, where Doha’s position had run in direct contradiction to that of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

 

Doha gave its full support to Sisi and his “road map” for Egypt at the summit; afterward, Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid Bin Mohammed al-Attiya pledged Doha’s support for Sisi, and spoke of the importance of Egypt’s regional role. Then, on December 20, Sisi met with an envoy of the Qatari emir, in a meeting brokered by Riyadh. Thus, the Mashaal departure, if indeed it takes place, will be the latest in a string of concessions offered by Doha to the Cairo-Riyadh alliance – which is emerging as the key power arrangement among the Sunnis at present.

 

Qatar is of course enormously wealthy, but it is also a flimsy state, lacking hard power of any kind. For its economic and business activities to continue to flourish, it cannot afford to stray too far from existing power alliances, which will inevitably be dominated by states other than itself. For a while, the Qataris thought they were set to be the financiers and cheerleaders of a new, Egypt-centered bloc – yet that bloc was stillborn. The Qataris are now accommodating themselves to this reality. Hamas, too, must make its own new arrangements, and indications are that the movement is leaning in the direction of renewed rapprochement with Iran. The year 2014 saw a gradual thaw in relations between Hamas and Tehran, though all suspicion is unlikely to have dispelled. Hamas’s needs are different from those of Qatar. And of course, Hamas has no way to align with the Cairo-Riyadh alliance – which regards it as an element of the Brotherhood they are seeking to defeat. This leaves Tehran or Ankara as possible backers – or more likely, a hedging and a combination of the two.

 

Of course, one should not assume that Qatar will entirely end its support for Islamist movements. Doha has not fallen in love with Riyadh; it is repositioning out of necessity and through clenched teeth. The more extravagant Egyptian demands – such as that Doha expel prominent Brotherhood preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi – are unlikely to be fulfilled; Qaradawi has lived in the emirate since 1961. Ultimately, what the Qatari concessions indicate is the burgeoning strength of the Cairo-Riyadh alliance, which has forced a Qatari realignment while appearing to offer no, or hardly any, gestures in return. This new alliance (which has good, if largely silent, relations with Israel), is perhaps the most important diplomatic development in the region since 2011. As of now, with the US seeking rapprochement with Iran, the main blocs facing one another in the region are the Iranians and their allies against the Saudis and their own. The Brotherhood and the Salafists are a factor, to be sure, but for the moment a weaker one. In sum, the travails and maneuvering of Qatar and Hamas reflect the disarray of the Sunni Islamist camp.

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                      

                                         

                  

ERDOGAN'S EGYPTIAN NIGHTMARE                                                                                    

Burak Bekdil                                                                                                       

Gatestone Institute, Dec. 30, 2015

 

Back in 2011, everything ostensibly was coming up roses between Turkey and Egypt. In a speech that year, then-Turkish President Abdullah Gul mentioned "…an axis of democracy of the two biggest nations in our region [Turkey and Egypt], from the north to the south, from the Black Sea down to the Nile Valley…" In September 2011, then-Prime Minister [now President] Recep Tayyip Erdogan found an emotional hero's welcome at Cairo's Tahrir Square. Tens of thousands of Egyptians had flocked to the Cairo airport to welcome him. Streets were decorated with posters of Erdogan. In early 2012, a survey by TESEV, a Turkish think-tank, found that Turkey was the most popular country for the residents of seven Arab countries, including Egypt. But against that glittering backdrop, this author wrote in June 2011: "For Ankara, Cairo can be the new Damascus until another capital becomes the new Cairo. At that time, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Erdogan's one-time best regional ally, had already become his worst regional nemesis.

 

The Turkish-Egyptian love affair would, in fact, be quite short-lived. In August 2013, about a month after General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Egypt toppled the Muslim Brotherhood rule of President Mohammed Morsi, Erdogan appeared on TV, reading — in an unusually soft voice — a letter by the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed al-Beltagy. The letter was written to Beltagy's daughter Asmaa, a 17-year-old girl, who had been killed in Cairo when security forces stormed two protest camps occupied by supporters of the deposed president. Poor Asmaa had been shot in the chest and back. "I believe you have been loyal to your commitment to God, and He has been to you," her father wrote in the letter. "Otherwise, He would not have called you to His presence before me." Erdogan's tears were visible. Later, Asmaa became another symbol for Turkish Islamists; Erdogan cheered party fans with the four-finger "Rabia" sign, in reference to his solidarity with the Muslim Brotherhood, and as a sign of his endearment for the unfortunate girl. Even on the playing field, a few footballers made the same sign after scoring.

 

After the coup in Egypt, when el-Sisi ran for president and won the elections, Turkey's Erdogan declared them "null and void." And not just that. Erdogan also said that he did not view el-Sisi as "president of Egypt." At another time, he said, "Turkey would not recognize the coup regime in Egypt." Last July, he called el-Sisi "an illegitimate tyrant" and a "coup-maker." Meanwhile, neither was Erdogan a "rock star" in Cairo nor was Turkey "the most popular country." Egyptian non-governmental organizations [NGOs] called on Egyptians and Arabs to boycott Turkish goods and soap operas. Egypt's intellectuals, writers and businessmen were recommending a break in Egypt's relations with Turkey because "they were disappointed." Egypt unilaterally cancelled both visa-free travel for Turkish citizens and a transit agreement for Turkish trucks.

 

In the anti-el-Sisi campaign, Turkey was not alone. Its only regional ally, Qatar, fully supported Turkey against Egypt's elected "coup leader." Erdogan was happy. At least until a few days ago…. In Ankara, Erdogan was all smiles when he offered a red-carpet ceremony to the visiting Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. Happy to have his best ally as a guest, Erdogan probably did not know the Emir's next move on the Middle Eastern chessboard. A few days after al-Thani's merry visit to Ankara, Qatar announced its determination to thaw ties with Egypt, ending its alliance with Turkey over "Egypt's illegitimate tyrant." "The security of Egypt is important for the security of Qatar … the two countries are linked by deep and fraternal ties," ran a statement from the office of al-Thani on Dec. 21. It was a real cold shower on Ankara — and Erdogan. The statement had come one day after el-Sisi met in Cairo with a Qatari envoy, suggesting a possible thaw in relations. After the meeting, el-Sisi's office issued a statement saying, "Egypt looks forward to a new era that ends past disagreements." Apparently, the Egyptian-Qatari reconciliation had been brokered by Saudi Arabia and, once again, Turkey was the odd one out.

 

In its immediate vicinity, Turkey does not have diplomatic relations with three countries — Armenia, Cyprus and Syria — and has deeply problematic diplomatic relations with two countries: Israel and Egypt. This situation is not sustainable. Even Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc has said that Turkey should repair its relations with Egypt. But this is not an easy task. In the unlikely event of a reconciliation, Erdogan's previous big words on el-Sisi the coup-maker will make him look like a leader shaking hands with an "illegitimate tyrant." On Dec. 24, Turkey's foreign ministry spokesman said that bilateral ties with Egypt could "normalize if the country properly returns to democracy, if the Egyptian people's free will is reflected in politics and social life." Meaning, no normalization. The spokesman would not comment on Qatar's policy change on Egypt. Turkey aspires to be a regional leader with no, little or problematic dialogue with about a dozen countries in its region. Erdogan's top advisors have found a nice euphemism for this situation: "precious loneliness." In reality, it is rather a blend of miscalculation and over self-confidence.                                                                                               

Contents                                                                                      

                      

 

EGYPT URGES WEST TO PROVIDE MILITARY SUPPORT TO TACKLE                                        

ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS                                                                                            

Matina Stevis                                                                                                                 

Wall Street Journal, Jan. 13, 2015

 

Western powers should give military support to Egypt to help it combat the Islamic extremism that led to the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a kosher supermarket in Paris, the Egyptian foreign minister said Tuesday. Along with other foreign leaders, Sameh Shoukry attended a rally Sunday in the French capital in honor of the 17 people who were killed in last week’s attacks. On Tuesday, Mr. Shoukry said his government deserves the weapons it needs to help fight the terrorist groups who carry out such assaults. “We expect that our partners to whom we have continued to lend our support…will reinforce our ability to be an active participant in the fight against terrorism, whether indigenously or internationally,” he said in an interview at U.N. offices in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

 

The foreign minister also described as “counterproductive” discussions about a coalition in which some members are restricted in their acquisition of arms and military technology. The U.S. suspended part of its $1.3 billion in annual economic and military aid to Egypt after Mohammed Morsi, the country’s first freely-elected president, was ousted in a military-led coup in July 2013. Part of the withheld aid was restored last June, and the entire amount was reinstated in a $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in December. Under the bill, the money will be disbursed subject to the Cairo government taking steps to improve human-rights conditions in Egypt.

 

The presence of a top Egyptian official at Sunday’s rally, which was intended as an affirmation of press freedom and freedom of expression, has been widely denounced, occurring as it did amid criticism of its human-rights record by foreign governments and rights organizations. The monitoring group Reporters Without Borders said in a statement that it was “appalled by the presence of leaders from countries where journalists and bloggers are systematically persecuted such as Egypt.” About 1,300 protesters were killed by Egyptian police and more than 3,500 Muslim Brotherhood supporters were arrested in 2014, Human Rights Watch said in a report issued in December. The group also found evidence of torture of political detainees in Egyptian prisons and extrajudicial killings.

 

Mr. Shoukry’s participation in the rally also came against the background of the highly publicized conviction last year of three journalists for the satellite broadcaster Al Jazeera. The three—an Egyptian, an Australian and an Egyptian who also holds Canadian citizenship—were convicted by an Egyptian court last year and sentenced to long jail terms for news reporting that was “damaging to national security.” On Jan. 1, they were granted a retrial. Mr. Shoukry said the criticisms for participating in the Paris rally were “totally unfair and it is a convolution and a disservice to those journalists that lost their lives in France. The issue should not be utilized or manipulated.” Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi has been under international pressure to invoke his executive power and free the journalists or deport the two holding foreign passports. In his comments Tuesday, the foreign minister said the president would resort to that pardon power “when he deems it necessary and of an interest to the nation.”

Mr. Shoukry said Egypt’s bid for one of the 10 nonpermanent seats on the U.N. Security Council wouldn’t be affected by the journalists’ court case. “I think Egypt’s contribution to the international community and multilateralism far exceeds any specific case related to other legal dimensions.” At a reception following his comments to reporters in Nairobi, a number of Nairobi-based foreign correspondents staged a peaceful protest, standing near Mr. Shoukry with their mouths taped, an image that has become ubiquitous in protests around the world supporting the immediate release of the Al Jazeera reporters. The protesting journalists were removed by security guards.

 

Contents           

 

On Topic

 

Egypt’s Sisi: Islamic “Thinking” Is “Antagonizing the Entire World”: Raymond Ibrahim, Islam Translated, Jan. 1, 2015—Speaking before Al-Azhar and the Awqaf Ministry on New Year’s Day, 2015, and in connection to Prophet Muhammad’s upcoming birthday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a vocal supporter for a renewed vision of Islam, made what must be his most forceful and impassioned plea to date on the subject.

Egyptian President al-Sisi vs. Hamas: Yoni Ben Menachem,  JCPA, Dec. 4, 2015—At the end of last month, Egypt’s Prosecutor General filed a lawsuit against Hamas’ military arm Ezzedin Al Qassam for a quick trial. The proceedings were intended to declare Hamas a terrorist organization and outlaw its activity altogether.

Report: Egypt Arrests ISIS Cell Planning to Assassinate Key Political Figures: Yasser Okbi & Maariv Hashavua, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 5, 2015—Egypt has arrested an Islamic State cell that planned to assassinate government ministers, media personalities and businessmen in the coming days, Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai reported on Monday.

John Baird Headed to Egypt to Push for Jailed Canadian Journalist Mohamed Fahmy’s Release:  National Post, Jan. 13, 2015— Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is on his way to Egypt, where he is expected to push for the release of imprisoned Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy.

 

           

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

QUÉBEC, QATAR, TOULOUSE, IRAN…

 

 

 

QUÉBEC: L'IMAM SAÏD JAZIRI, UN MANIPULATEUR
Dépêche

Postedeveille.ca, 2 avril 2012

L'imam islamiste Saïd Jaziri, un Tunisien, a été expulsé du Canada en octobre 2007 pour avoir menti aux autorités lors de sa demande d'asile politique. Il avait omis de déclarer qu'il avait fait usage de faux passeports et qu’il avait un casier judiciaire en France et en Tunisie. Il accuse maintenant le Canada de l'avoir «envoyé directement à la torture». Voir l'article de Taïeb Moalla dans le Journal de Québec, au titre trompeur: Le Canada a envoyé Saïd Jaziri à la torture. Pour un portrait de cette fripouille, lire l'article de Me Ftouh Souhail, avocat à Tunis, datant de 2009. Jaziri, qui se présente comme un «modéré», s'était prononcé en faveur de l'instauration de tribunaux de la charia et avait organisé une manifestation violente pour protester contre les caricatures danoises de Mahomet.

 

En 2011, Jaziri a tenté de revenir au Québec en passant par les USA. Ce grand voyageur qui semble disposer d'un budget illimité pour s'offrir les services des meilleurs avocats, a été arrêté aux USA après avoir franchi illégalement la frontière mexicaine dans le coffre d'une voiture. Il a demandé l'asile aux USA, ce qui ne semble pas avoir fonctionné puisqu'il est de retour en Tunisie. Le Canada l'aurait envoyé à la torture? Vraiment? En 2009, le journaliste Marc Thibodeau de La Presse l'avait joint par téléphone à Tunis pour faire un suivi. Jaziri avait alors indiqué qu'il n'avait «pas de problème» avec le gouvernement local. «La Tunisie a été beaucoup plus humaine avec moi que le Canada», a-t-il souligné.

 

Jaziri semble vouloir soutirer de l'argent aux contribuables canadiens. Il a d'ailleurs confié ses intentions à l'AFP : «Le Canada a sous-traité ma torture en Tunisie. C'est aussi simple que ça. … Je veux juste que les personnes responsables de mon expulsion (ndlr: du Canada) soient jugées et que je puisse revenir à Montréal pour m'occuper de ma famille».

 

Jaziri a eu un fils avec la québécoise convertie Nancy Adams alors qu'il était déjà sous le coup d'une ordonnance d'expulsion. Aujourd'hui, le Journal de Québec joue sur le registre de la culpabilisation éhontée en publiant un article illustré par une photo du petit Mohamed pleurant l'absence de son papa. Or cet enfant est victime des mauvaises décisions de ses parents, qui tentent d'en reporter les conséquences sur l'ensemble de la société québécoise. Quelle manipulation!

QUÉBEC: L'ISLAMISATION DE L'UNIVERSITÉ MCGILL
Dépêche

Postedeveille.ca, 1 avril 2012

Les universités occidentales sont à vendre au plus offrant, en l’occurrence les bédouins incultes des pétromonarchies, et ce financement a un impact sur l’enseignement et la recherche.

 

L’Université McGill de Montréal vient d’annoncer un important don du Qatar:

 

L’Université McGill et son Institut d’études islamiques ont reçu un généreux don de 1,25 million de dollars de l’État du Qatar. Annoncé aujourd’hui lors d’une visite à McGill de Son Excellence Salem Al-Shafi, premier ambassadeur du Qatar au Canada, ce don coïncide avec le 60e anniversaire de l’Institut et servira à financer une série de conférences qui seront présentées l’année prochaine:

 

«Nous croyons que cette contribution permettra à l’Institut de poursuivre l’importante mission qu’il s’est donnée lors de sa création, en 1952, qui est de favoriser l’avancement de la recherche sur l’Islam, ainsi que sur l’histoire et la civilisation du monde islamique, affirme Son Excellence Al-Shafi. Nous croyons également que l’Institut partage notre vision selon laquelle le savoir et l’éducation sont essentiels pour faire face aux défis d’un monde en perpétuelle évolution, qu’ils nous fournissent les outils nécessaires pour mieux comprendre les liens sans cesse changeants qui existent entre la religion et l’humanité, et qu’ils contribuent à notre bien-être et à la coexistence entre les peuples.»

 

Point de bascule [pointdebasculecanada.ca] publie un dossier sur cet évènement, où il rappelle que le Qatar possède un Centre international pour la propagation de la charia «éthique» établi en collaboration avec le prédicateur Qaradawi ainsi que Tariq Ramadan. Point de bascule note que l’annonce du don intervient peu après que la France a interdit des prédicateurs extrémistes de son territoire, y compris Qaradawi. Le ministre de l'Intérieur a également regretté la venue prochaine de Tariq Ramadan «dont les positions et les propos sont contraires à l'esprit républicain». Rappelons que Ramadan doit sa nomination comme titulaire d'une chaire d'études islamiques à Oxford à la générosité d'un roitelet arabe.

 

L’année dernière, Barbara Kay signait un article fouillé dans Campus Watch sur les dons aux universités du Canada et des États-Unis par des groupes liés à l'islam radical. Elle y souligne le manque stupéfiant d'examen diligent du dossier des donateurs. Elle déplore que des groupes radicaux colonisent les universités, devenues des lieux de propagande et d'apologie plutôt que de haut savoir, et blanchissent leur réputation en associant leur nom à des institutions prestigieuses. Elle prévient que la liberté académique est menacée.

 

En Grande-Bretagne, des études sur les dons des pays arabes aux universités ont révélé que sous des apparences philanthropiques, ces dons sont faits avec l’intention réelle de changer le climat intellectuel du pays. Selon l’étude du professeur Anthony Glees, ces dons ont pour véritable objectif de promouvoir une idéologie extrémiste et d’agir comme véhicule de propagande du courant wahhabite de l'islam au sein des universités. Ce financement encourage, conclut-il, «le mauvais type d'éducation, par le mauvais type de personnes, avec des fonds provenant du mauvais type de bienfaiteurs». Une autre étude révèle que le contenu de l’enseignement dans les centres financés par ces dons présente aux étudiants locaux et étrangers une vision du monde presque exclusivement anti-occidentale.

JUSQU’OÙ VA-T-ON LAISSER
L’INFLUENCE DU QATAR SE DÉVELOPPER?

Roger Cukierman
UPJF.org, 3 avril 2012

On voit apparaître en France depuis quelques années un émirat musulman particulièrement dynamique: le Qatar. Il envahit notre économie. C’est une invasion par le haut. Le Qatar est le 3ième exportateur mondial de gaz. Ce qui lui permet de détenir le record du plus haut revenu par tête au monde, et d’investir notamment en France, mais aussi en Grande Bretagne et en Allemagne [ainsi qu’au Canada, voir article ci-haut]. Le Qatar est un pays minuscule, grand comme la Corse. Il est dirigé par le Cheikh Hamad Al Thani. Il abrite 1,8 million d’habitants dont 10 % seulement sont des Qataris de souche, musulmans sunnites. Le reste est composé de travailleurs immigrés dont quelques jeunes Français de nos banlieues.

 

Les Qataris sont depuis peu les premiers actionnaires de Lagardère, avec 26% du capital. Or, cette société est gros actionnaire de Hachette, Europe 1, Canal +, et EADS, société mère d’Airbus. Il n’y a pas plus stratégique que la communication et l’aéronautique! Le Qatar a aussi des participations dans Total, LVMH, Vinci, Veolia, et possède plusieurs palaces hôteliers à Paris et à Cannes. S’ajoute à ces investissements une résidence somptueuse dans l’ile Saint-Louis, l’Hôtel Lambert qui appartenait autrefois à Guy de Rothschild

 

Mais c’est un investissement relativement modeste 40 Millions d’euros, qui a fait le plus de bruit en France: l’achat du PSG. L’émir désire avec l’aide du français Richard Attias, spécialiste des grands événements, faire du Qatar une capitale du sport, avec tournois de tennis, courses automobiles ou cyclistes. Le Qatar a même remporté l’organisation de la Coupe du Monde de football en 2022 et Al Jazeera a obtenu les droits télé du championnat de football de Ligue 1 et de la coupe d’Europe.

 

Cet intérêt du Qatar pour le sport lui donne une image positive auprès de l’opinion publique française. Les relations chaleureuses entre l’émir du Qatar et les Autorités françaises se sont manifestées par une convention fiscale qui exonère le Qatar d’impôts. Il est paradoxal d’accueillir à bras ouverts les capitaux étrangers au moment où l’excès d’impôts incite nombre de capitalistes français à envisager l’exil fiscal. Mais les Qataris savent être généreux, par exemple pour le sauvetage des infirmières bulgares, ou pour la création d’un fonds de 50 millions d’euros destiné à la création d’entreprises par les jeunes des banlieues.

 

Et c’est là que le bât blesse! Que veut réellement ce pays dirigé par un islamiste convaincu en étant aussi présent en France, particulièrement auprès des 10% ou plus de la population française de confession musulmane? En réalité la position du Qatar est très ambigüe. La réputation du Qatar doit beaucoup à la chaîne de télévision Al Jazeera, concurrent redouté de CNN ou BBC. Al Jazeera diffusait avec empressement les messages de Ben Laden. Elle donne la parole au prêcheur islamiste Qaradawi qui exprime sa haine des Juifs, recommande la lapidation des femmes adultères, et la mort des homosexuels et des apostats. Au point que notre gouvernement vient de lui refuser l’entrée sur le territoire français. Quant au gouvernement qatari il soutient en Égypte les salafistes, plus extrémistes encore que les frères musulmans, et maintient des rapports étroits avec le Hezbollah, le Hamas, et les talibans.

 

À l’inverse, le Qatar entretient les meilleures relations avec les Occidentaux, a eu des contacts avec Israël jusqu’en 2009, et s’est rangé aux côtés de la France et de la Grande-Bretagne lors du conflit contre Khadafi. En résumé, l’argent provenant du gaz a été intelligemment utilisé pour permettre à cet émirat de jouer un double jeu auprès de tous les acteurs, les gentils comme les méchants, de la scène internationale. Mais jusqu’où va-t-on laisser l’argent qatari pénétrer notre économie, et influencer nos dirigeants comme nos concitoyens?

QUAND UNE CERTAINE GAUCHE INTERDIT DE METTRE EN GARDE
CONTRE CETTE HAINE ISLAMISTE DE L'OCCIDENT

Gilles William Goldnadel
Atlantico.fr, 2 avril 2012

Au lendemain des deux drames montalbanais et toulousain, sans doute pour très peu de temps, les évidences indicibles peuvent être dites et montrées. Il existe encore, et si l’on ose dire, une fenêtre de tir, étroite, que l’idéologie en majesté va s’employer à refermer, comme elle en a la magie. Entre-temps, les Français auront pu apprendre ce qu’on leur cachait comme à des enfants immatures ou des adultes incapables. Ainsi, si l’identité du tueur ne leur avait pas été révélée aussi prestement, nul doute que les prestigieux invités au congrès annuel de l’Union des Organisations Islamiques de France (UOIF) qui se tiendra de ce vendredi à lundi au Bourget, auraient été reçus sans encombre et dans le silence des médias.

 

Nul n’aurait su, par exemple, que M. Abdallah Asfar avait légitimé le fait de battre son épouse si elle n’obéissait pas à son mari. Ou que les proches du Hamas, Messieurs Akrima Sabri et Al Huazi avaient respectivement déclaré : «Je vous annonce qu’il y a des centaines de femmes qui sont prêtes à se sacrifier pour libérer la terre de Palestine, et à sacrifier ce qu’elles ont de plus cher, leurs propres enfants» et encore: «Oui, je suis antisémite. Si ce ne sont pas les dirigeants arabes, nous devrons dévorer les juifs avec nos dents». Pour ne pas être en reste, le quatrième hôte empêché de l’UOIF, M. Al Qarni a qualifié les juifs de «frères des singes et des porcs» (le Figaro du 30 mars).

 

De même, jusqu’à présent, tous mes efforts à populariser les prêches sur Al-Jazira du cheikh Qaradawi, qui ne viendra pas non plus au Bourget à la suite de l’intervention de Nicolas Sarkozy auprès de l’émir du Qatar, qui a bien voulu se montrer compréhensif, étaient demeurés vains. Les Français auraient continué d’ignorer la qualité de la prose de celui qui, dans son ouvrage «le licite et l’illicite» recommande l’extermination physique des homosexuels.

 

Sur Qatar TV, en février 2006, cet ami du Hamas, déclara que «les opérations martyrs sont autorisées, même s’il se trouve des civils parmi les victimes». Pour ce qui est des occidentales violées, il ajoutait que celles-ci l’avaient été par ce que «une provocatrice non habillée décemment devait être punie (…) pour qu’elle soit affranchie de la culpabilité, une femme violée doit avoir montré la bonne conduite». Mme Gisèle Halimi et ses amies féministes ne semblent pas avoir été très émues jusqu’alors de semblables propos.

 

Ou encore, cette sortie le 28 janvier 2009, toujours sur Al-Jazira, dont bien peu d’antiracistes autoproclamés, hier encore, faisaient grand cas: «Tout au long de l’histoire, Allah a imposé aux juifs les personnes qui les puniraient de leur corruption. Le dernier châtiment a été administré par Hitler – et bien que les juifs aient exagéré les faits – il a réussi à les remettre à leur place. C’est est un châtiment divin. Si Allah veut, la prochaine fois ce sera par la main des musulmans». Pour se consoler, le public de l’UOIF pourra toujours applaudir Tariq Ramadan qui vient de considérer que Mohamed Merah «renvoyait la France à son miroir» et que celui-ci avait «fini jihadiste sans réelle conviction après avoir été un citoyen sans réelle dignité». […]

 

(Gilles William Goldnadel est un avocat pénaliste aux prises de position contestataires, président fondateur d'Avocats sans frontières. Il est l'auteur de «Réflexions sur la question blanche» et de «Le vieil homme m'indigne!: Les postures et impostures de Stéphane Hessel» parus chez Jean-Claude Gawsewitch.)

PAS D'EXCUSES POUR MERAH!
Giulio Meotti
Courrierinternational.com, 30 mars 2012

«Mohammed Merah n’est pas un loup solitaire, il avait de nombreux complices et tous n’étaient pas musulmans. La réaction de l’Occident relève du déni». Caroline Glick, rédactrice en chef du quotidien israëlien Jerusalem Post, livre ainsi son interprétation du massacre de Toulouse. Une véritable opération de dissimulation est en cours, fondée sur une immense méprise. Un musulman français a fauché trois parachutistes à coups de mitraillette, avant d’abattre un enseignant juif, ses deux enfants et une autre fillette. Dans les heures qui ont précédé l’assaut final des forces spéciales et son issue fatale, jeudi dernier, Mohammed Merah a révélé avoir préféré refuser une mission suicide d’Al-Qaida pour «rester en vie» et multiplier les attaques.

Merah n'a pas voulu se faire exploser pour semer la mort, il a tenu à regarder ses victimes dans les yeux, il les a achevées d’une balle en pleine tête, il les a même filmées, il les a exterminées au seul motif qu’il s'agissait de soldats ou de Juifs. Symboliquement, la dépouille de Merah devait être enterrée en Algérie, terre islamique où vit son père [après le refus des autorités algériennes, Mohammed Merah a finalement été enterré en banlieue toulousaine], alors que ses victimes juives avaient déjà été inhumées en Israël, un pays que les islamistes de son acabit aimeraient voir rayé de la carte.

 

Sur les sites Internet islamistes, les hommages au «martyre du frère Mohammed Merah», «la terreur de la France» confirment que Merah n’était pas une exception. L’administrateur du forum Al Shumukh lui a dédié une prière: «Ô Allah, accueille-le aux plus hauts niveaux du paradis parmi les prophètes, les hommes pieux et les martyrs». Une partie de la presse européenne, de ses intellectuels assermentés et de sa classe dirigeante s’obstine pourtant à faire de Merah un cas psychiatrique. Il avait divorcé deux jours avant le massacre des juifs de Toulouse, souligne-t-on. Il était chômeur. Il «délirait» et, comme n’importe quel serial killer, «il éprouvait du plaisir à tuer».

 

Tariq Ramadan l’a érigé en symbole de l’aliénation sociale qui gangrène les banlieues françaises. Les journaux français ont concocté une dichotomie réconfortante: «L’ignoble criminel et la France raciste». Merah a beau être coupable, la France est raciste et l’a bien cherché. La méprise se nourrit de la paranoïa. On en arrivera bientôt à plaider l’innocence de l’auteur des attentats, accablé d’une «situation familiale problématique» ou d’une «situation sociale peu enviable». […]

 

La minimisation de l’attentat est une aubaine pour tous ceux qui, dans le silllage de Le Pen, ne s’embarassent d’aucune nuance et veulent déclarer la guerre à l’immigration toute entière. Douglas Murray, collaborateur du Wall Street Journal et du Daily Telegraph, auteur d’essais sur l’Europe, fait partie des intellectuels qui ont inspiré le revirement du Premier ministre anglais David Cameron en matière de multiculturalisme [en février, Cameron a affirmé l'échec du multiculturalisme]. Il déchiffre pour Il Foglio l’opération culturelle en cours sur le massacre de Toulouse: «On a d'abord pensé que le meurtrier était néonazi, alors les médias se sont empressés de construire de toutes pièces le profil d’un coupable idéal en allant rechercher des photos de fascistes tatoués. Quand il est apparu que l’assassin était djihadiste, un grand silence a recouvert toute l’affaire. L’opération "déni" a démarré. La presse a alors inventé la figure du loup solitaire.»

Selon Douglas Murray, le phénomène est à la fois idéologique et culturel. «C’est la maladie de l’Occident, une cécité répétitive devant ce qui nous attend. Elle trahit un manque total de volonté d’appréhender le problème du multiculturalisme et de l’extrémisme islamique, qui se répand dans notre société. Il existe une hostilité et un dénigrement ultra-libéral qui fait l’amalgame entre dénonciation de l’islamisme en Europe et islamophobie. A Toulouse, le choix des mots s’est révélé décisif pour édulcorer l’identité du meurtrier. On s’est efforcé de trouver des excuses au terrorisme islamique.»

Selon Murray, la tragédie de Toulouse nous confronte à l’échec des modèles communautaristes d’intégration: «Le multiculturalisme d’Etat a ravalé les nations européennes au rang d’auberges. Le credo politique a poussé les Etats à traiter et à juger les personnes en fonction des critères de leur "communauté" d’origine. Les attentats et les complots terroristes en Grande-Bretagne et en Europe, menés par des extrémistes élevés sur le territoire national, ont conduit à un point de rupture que nul ne peut plus ignorer.»

POUR UN RÉALIGNEMENT DES FORCES AU MOYEN-ORIENT
DEVANT LA MENACE D’UN IRAN NUCLÉAIRE

David Bensoussan

Isranet.org, 5 avril 2012

Efforts diplomatiques, activités subversives, et sanctions économiques ont jusqu’à présent échoué et l’option d’une opération militaire qui ferait cesser les efforts iraniens visant à développer la technologie nucléaire à des fins militaires devient de moins en moins hypothétique. Les conséquences sur le plan mondial seraient considérables: hausse vertigineuse du prix du pétrole, conflit généralisé au Proche-Orient et augmentation des activités terroristes dans le monde entier. Est-ce-là un scénario inévitable?

 

Efforts diplomatiques, activités secrètes et sanctions économiques

 

Les puissances occidentales et Israël ont exprimé leur inquiétude devant la possibilité que l’Iran ne se dote d’une arme atomique. Au fil des années, les négociations avec l’Iran et les efforts diplomatiques visant à enrayer le projet iranien ont échoué et n’ont fait que faire gagner du temps aux Iraniens. Des activités clandestines dont il est difficile d’attribuer l’initiative, ont résulté en des pannes d’ordinateur au moyen de l’insertion d’un virus informatique ou peut-être même à l’élimination de savants iraniens. Cela n’a guère arrêté le gouvernement iranien, mais a quand même retardé leur projet. Les sanctions économiques ont eu plus de vigueur après que l’Agence internationale de l’énergie atomique ait conclu dans son rapport en 2011 que l’Iran œuvre en vue de fabriquer une arme atomique et soit en passe d’y parvenir. Tout récemment, en février 2012, le président Obama a ordonné le gel des avoirs iraniens dont ceux de la banque centrale d’Iran. De son côté, l’Union européenne a décrété un embargo sur les nouveaux contrats d’importation de pétrole; les anciens contrats ne seront plus en vigueur à partir de juillet 2012. Les USA ont augmenté leurs forces terrestres et navales dans le Golfe persique (le Golfe arabique) en vue de protéger le passage du pétrole dans le détroit d’Ormuz si l’Iran s’aventurait à le bloquer. Les États-Unis et les pays européens ont demandé au Conseil de sécurité d’appliquer des sanctions contre l’Iran, mais la Russie et la Chine s’y sont opposées. L’Iran est un acheteur d’armement russe important et la Chine a besoin du pétrole iranien.

 

Devant l’entêtement du gouvernement iranien, la probabilité d’une option militaire va croissant, que ce soit par Israël, ou encore par les États-Unis et les puissances européennes.

 

L’option militaire 

 

Une attaque israélienne rencontrerait beaucoup plus de difficultés que dans le cas du bombardement du réacteur irakien Tammouz. Les centrales nucléaires iraniennes sont dispersées et enfouies sous terre, parfois dans des zones peuplées. Israël peut agir en ayant recours à son aviation ou au moyen de missiles. Toutefois, les missiles iraniens Shaab 3 ont un rayon d’action qui peut atteindre Israël et, selon toute probabilité, la Syrie et le Hezbollah tireront des milliers de missiles contre Israël. Selon le Premier ministre israélien Netanyahou, une telle attaque est à prévoir même si les États-Unis se lancent dans une attaque contre l’Iran et que, par conséquent, l’attaque avec de missiles conventionnels serait préférable à une attaque nucléaire. Toutefois, bien des politiciens et des journalistes trouvent que cette attaque est irresponsable. Le Pentagone et le ministre des Affaires étrangères français ont exprimé leur inquiétude face à cette option. Quant à la Russie, elle prédit que cette dernière serait catastrophique.

 

Une attaque américaine aurait une puissance et un impact bien plus considérables. L’Occident n’est guère intéressé par un Iran atomique, car il constitue un danger pour l’ensemble du monde et bien des pays arabes  sont du même avis, le conflit entre Arabes en majorité sunnites et Iraniens en majorité chiites étant par ailleurs millénaire. Aussi, il n’est pas à exclure qu’une nouvelle guerre se tiendra,  similaire à celle de la Guerre du Golfe qui a permis aux États-Unis, à l’Europe ainsi qu’à un bon nombre de pays arabes d’être unis. Or, l’Amérique est fatiguée des guerres suite à son intervention en Afghanistan et en Irak. L’économie américaine s’essouffle et une guerre ne ferait qu’empirer la situation.

 

Israël n’arrête pas de réitérer que plus d’une alarme a été sonnée depuis une dizaine d’années et que la situation actuelle n’est pas sans rappeler celle des années 30 durant la montée du nazisme. Or, en 1940, il était déjà trop tard. Tout porte à croire qu’Obama ordonnera une attaque, mais que celle-ci ne se fera qu’in extremis et pas avant les élections américaines qui se tiendront en novembre 2012. De plus en plus, le Premier ministre israélien Netanyahou exprime sa conviction à l’effet qu’il serait dangereux de compter sur le reste du monde et qu’Israël ne doit compter que sur elle-même.

 

Pour un réalignement des forces au Moyen-Orient

 

La conception qui a prévalu jusqu’à ce jour veut que la possession de l’arme atomique soit en soi un équilibre de la terreur attendu que son usage impliquera l’annihilation réciproque. Cela s’applique-t-il dans le cas de l’Iran? Pensons au leader Rafsandjani qui, lors des élections iraniennes précédentes, fut considéré comme étant un modéré par les médias occidentaux durant les élections précédentes a déclaré lors d’un sermon fait à l’université de Téhéran en 2001: «l’emploi d’une seule arme nucléaire contre Israël détruirait tout, mais, contre le monde islamique, ne causerait que des dommages limités.» En outre, il existe une lecture islamique voulant qu’un pays conquis par l’islam doive rester entre les mains des Musulmans. Étrangement, cette lecture ne s’applique pas à l’Espagne ou aux Balkans, mais uniquement à Israël. Elle s’exprime d’une façon radicale: «L’entité sioniste est une forme de tumeur maligne du cancer qu’il faut extirper.» ou encore «l’extermination d’Israël est un devoir religieux.» Qui plus est, il est difficile de chasser de l’esprit l’idéal de martyrologie chiite et sa vision d’une apocalypse rédemptrice qui précéderait la venue du mahdi, le messie chiite.

 

Les discours haineux et l’enseignement de la haine précèdent généralement des actes irréfléchis. Or, les médias du Moyen-Orient sont sursaturés par la tenue de tels discours depuis plusieurs décennies: la cause palestinienne a servi de prétexte pour subjuguer les masses arabo-musulmanes. Aujourd’hui encore et pour augmenter leur influence dans le monde arabe, la Turquie et l’Iran se font la compétition pour montrer aux masses arabes lequel des deux est le plus anti-israélien. Ces deux pays continuent donc de déstabiliser la région, durcissant les positions des principaux concernés: les Israéliens et les Palestiniens. Or, s’il fallait prendre au sérieux la menace iranienne, en cas de conflit atomique, il ne resterait ni les uns ni les autres.

 

Plus que jamais, le temps est venu pour les Israéliens et les Palestiniens de cesser d’être les pions des aspirations hégémoniques des puissances du Moyen-Orient et de bâtir des relations de confiance afin de faire les compromis indispensables à une paix durable.  

 

(L’auteur est professeur de sciences à l’Université du Québec)

QUÉBEC, QATAR, TOULOUSE, IRAN…

 

 

 

QUÉBEC: L'IMAM SAÏD JAZIRI, UN MANIPULATEUR
Dépêche

Postedeveille.ca, 2 avril 2012

L'imam islamiste Saïd Jaziri, un Tunisien, a été expulsé du Canada en octobre 2007 pour avoir menti aux autorités lors de sa demande d'asile politique. Il avait omis de déclarer qu'il avait fait usage de faux passeports et qu’il avait un casier judiciaire en France et en Tunisie. Il accuse maintenant le Canada de l'avoir «envoyé directement à la torture». Voir l'article de Taïeb Moalla dans le Journal de Québec, au titre trompeur: Le Canada a envoyé Saïd Jaziri à la torture. Pour un portrait de cette fripouille, lire l'article de Me Ftouh Souhail, avocat à Tunis, datant de 2009. Jaziri, qui se présente comme un «modéré», s'était prononcé en faveur de l'instauration de tribunaux de la charia et avait organisé une manifestation violente pour protester contre les caricatures danoises de Mahomet.

 

En 2011, Jaziri a tenté de revenir au Québec en passant par les USA. Ce grand voyageur qui semble disposer d'un budget illimité pour s'offrir les services des meilleurs avocats, a été arrêté aux USA après avoir franchi illégalement la frontière mexicaine dans le coffre d'une voiture. Il a demandé l'asile aux USA, ce qui ne semble pas avoir fonctionné puisqu'il est de retour en Tunisie. Le Canada l'aurait envoyé à la torture? Vraiment? En 2009, le journaliste Marc Thibodeau de La Presse l'avait joint par téléphone à Tunis pour faire un suivi. Jaziri avait alors indiqué qu'il n'avait «pas de problème» avec le gouvernement local. «La Tunisie a été beaucoup plus humaine avec moi que le Canada», a-t-il souligné.

 

Jaziri semble vouloir soutirer de l'argent aux contribuables canadiens. Il a d'ailleurs confié ses intentions à l'AFP : «Le Canada a sous-traité ma torture en Tunisie. C'est aussi simple que ça. … Je veux juste que les personnes responsables de mon expulsion (ndlr: du Canada) soient jugées et que je puisse revenir à Montréal pour m'occuper de ma famille».

 

Jaziri a eu un fils avec la québécoise convertie Nancy Adams alors qu'il était déjà sous le coup d'une ordonnance d'expulsion. Aujourd'hui, le Journal de Québec joue sur le registre de la culpabilisation éhontée en publiant un article illustré par une photo du petit Mohamed pleurant l'absence de son papa. Or cet enfant est victime des mauvaises décisions de ses parents, qui tentent d'en reporter les conséquences sur l'ensemble de la société québécoise. Quelle manipulation!

QUÉBEC: L'ISLAMISATION DE L'UNIVERSITÉ MCGILL
Dépêche

Postedeveille.ca, 1 avril 2012

Les universités occidentales sont à vendre au plus offrant, en l’occurrence les bédouins incultes des pétromonarchies, et ce financement a un impact sur l’enseignement et la recherche.

 

L’Université McGill de Montréal vient d’annoncer un important don du Qatar:

 

L’Université McGill et son Institut d’études islamiques ont reçu un généreux don de 1,25 million de dollars de l’État du Qatar. Annoncé aujourd’hui lors d’une visite à McGill de Son Excellence Salem Al-Shafi, premier ambassadeur du Qatar au Canada, ce don coïncide avec le 60e anniversaire de l’Institut et servira à financer une série de conférences qui seront présentées l’année prochaine:

 

«Nous croyons que cette contribution permettra à l’Institut de poursuivre l’importante mission qu’il s’est donnée lors de sa création, en 1952, qui est de favoriser l’avancement de la recherche sur l’Islam, ainsi que sur l’histoire et la civilisation du monde islamique, affirme Son Excellence Al-Shafi. Nous croyons également que l’Institut partage notre vision selon laquelle le savoir et l’éducation sont essentiels pour faire face aux défis d’un monde en perpétuelle évolution, qu’ils nous fournissent les outils nécessaires pour mieux comprendre les liens sans cesse changeants qui existent entre la religion et l’humanité, et qu’ils contribuent à notre bien-être et à la coexistence entre les peuples.»

 

Point de bascule [pointdebasculecanada.ca] publie un dossier sur cet évènement, où il rappelle que le Qatar possède un Centre international pour la propagation de la charia «éthique» établi en collaboration avec le prédicateur Qaradawi ainsi que Tariq Ramadan. Point de bascule note que l’annonce du don intervient peu après que la France a interdit des prédicateurs extrémistes de son territoire, y compris Qaradawi. Le ministre de l'Intérieur a également regretté la venue prochaine de Tariq Ramadan «dont les positions et les propos sont contraires à l'esprit républicain». Rappelons que Ramadan doit sa nomination comme titulaire d'une chaire d'études islamiques à Oxford à la générosité d'un roitelet arabe.

 

L’année dernière, Barbara Kay signait un article fouillé dans Campus Watch sur les dons aux universités du Canada et des États-Unis par des groupes liés à l'islam radical. Elle y souligne le manque stupéfiant d'examen diligent du dossier des donateurs. Elle déplore que des groupes radicaux colonisent les universités, devenues des lieux de propagande et d'apologie plutôt que de haut savoir, et blanchissent leur réputation en associant leur nom à des institutions prestigieuses. Elle prévient que la liberté académique est menacée.

 

En Grande-Bretagne, des études sur les dons des pays arabes aux universités ont révélé que sous des apparences philanthropiques, ces dons sont faits avec l’intention réelle de changer le climat intellectuel du pays. Selon l’étude du professeur Anthony Glees, ces dons ont pour véritable objectif de promouvoir une idéologie extrémiste et d’agir comme véhicule de propagande du courant wahhabite de l'islam au sein des universités. Ce financement encourage, conclut-il, «le mauvais type d'éducation, par le mauvais type de personnes, avec des fonds provenant du mauvais type de bienfaiteurs». Une autre étude révèle que le contenu de l’enseignement dans les centres financés par ces dons présente aux étudiants locaux et étrangers une vision du monde presque exclusivement anti-occidentale.

JUSQU’OÙ VA-T-ON LAISSER
L’INFLUENCE DU QATAR SE DÉVELOPPER?

Roger Cukierman
UPJF.org, 3 avril 2012

On voit apparaître en France depuis quelques années un émirat musulman particulièrement dynamique: le Qatar. Il envahit notre économie. C’est une invasion par le haut. Le Qatar est le 3ième exportateur mondial de gaz. Ce qui lui permet de détenir le record du plus haut revenu par tête au monde, et d’investir notamment en France, mais aussi en Grande Bretagne et en Allemagne [ainsi qu’au Canada, voir article ci-haut]. Le Qatar est un pays minuscule, grand comme la Corse. Il est dirigé par le Cheikh Hamad Al Thani. Il abrite 1,8 million d’habitants dont 10 % seulement sont des Qataris de souche, musulmans sunnites. Le reste est composé de travailleurs immigrés dont quelques jeunes Français de nos banlieues.

 

Les Qataris sont depuis peu les premiers actionnaires de Lagardère, avec 26% du capital. Or, cette société est gros actionnaire de Hachette, Europe 1, Canal +, et EADS, société mère d’Airbus. Il n’y a pas plus stratégique que la communication et l’aéronautique! Le Qatar a aussi des participations dans Total, LVMH, Vinci, Veolia, et possède plusieurs palaces hôteliers à Paris et à Cannes. S’ajoute à ces investissements une résidence somptueuse dans l’ile Saint-Louis, l’Hôtel Lambert qui appartenait autrefois à Guy de Rothschild

 

Mais c’est un investissement relativement modeste 40 Millions d’euros, qui a fait le plus de bruit en France: l’achat du PSG. L’émir désire avec l’aide du français Richard Attias, spécialiste des grands événements, faire du Qatar une capitale du sport, avec tournois de tennis, courses automobiles ou cyclistes. Le Qatar a même remporté l’organisation de la Coupe du Monde de football en 2022 et Al Jazeera a obtenu les droits télé du championnat de football de Ligue 1 et de la coupe d’Europe.

 

Cet intérêt du Qatar pour le sport lui donne une image positive auprès de l’opinion publique française. Les relations chaleureuses entre l’émir du Qatar et les Autorités françaises se sont manifestées par une convention fiscale qui exonère le Qatar d’impôts. Il est paradoxal d’accueillir à bras ouverts les capitaux étrangers au moment où l’excès d’impôts incite nombre de capitalistes français à envisager l’exil fiscal. Mais les Qataris savent être généreux, par exemple pour le sauvetage des infirmières bulgares, ou pour la création d’un fonds de 50 millions d’euros destiné à la création d’entreprises par les jeunes des banlieues.

 

Et c’est là que le bât blesse! Que veut réellement ce pays dirigé par un islamiste convaincu en étant aussi présent en France, particulièrement auprès des 10% ou plus de la population française de confession musulmane? En réalité la position du Qatar est très ambigüe. La réputation du Qatar doit beaucoup à la chaîne de télévision Al Jazeera, concurrent redouté de CNN ou BBC. Al Jazeera diffusait avec empressement les messages de Ben Laden. Elle donne la parole au prêcheur islamiste Qaradawi qui exprime sa haine des Juifs, recommande la lapidation des femmes adultères, et la mort des homosexuels et des apostats. Au point que notre gouvernement vient de lui refuser l’entrée sur le territoire français. Quant au gouvernement qatari il soutient en Égypte les salafistes, plus extrémistes encore que les frères musulmans, et maintient des rapports étroits avec le Hezbollah, le Hamas, et les talibans.

 

À l’inverse, le Qatar entretient les meilleures relations avec les Occidentaux, a eu des contacts avec Israël jusqu’en 2009, et s’est rangé aux côtés de la France et de la Grande-Bretagne lors du conflit contre Khadafi. En résumé, l’argent provenant du gaz a été intelligemment utilisé pour permettre à cet émirat de jouer un double jeu auprès de tous les acteurs, les gentils comme les méchants, de la scène internationale. Mais jusqu’où va-t-on laisser l’argent qatari pénétrer notre économie, et influencer nos dirigeants comme nos concitoyens?

QUAND UNE CERTAINE GAUCHE INTERDIT DE METTRE EN GARDE
CONTRE CETTE HAINE ISLAMISTE DE L'OCCIDENT

Gilles William Goldnadel
Atlantico.fr, 2 avril 2012

Au lendemain des deux drames montalbanais et toulousain, sans doute pour très peu de temps, les évidences indicibles peuvent être dites et montrées. Il existe encore, et si l’on ose dire, une fenêtre de tir, étroite, que l’idéologie en majesté va s’employer à refermer, comme elle en a la magie. Entre-temps, les Français auront pu apprendre ce qu’on leur cachait comme à des enfants immatures ou des adultes incapables. Ainsi, si l’identité du tueur ne leur avait pas été révélée aussi prestement, nul doute que les prestigieux invités au congrès annuel de l’Union des Organisations Islamiques de France (UOIF) qui se tiendra de ce vendredi à lundi au Bourget, auraient été reçus sans encombre et dans le silence des médias.

 

Nul n’aurait su, par exemple, que M. Abdallah Asfar avait légitimé le fait de battre son épouse si elle n’obéissait pas à son mari. Ou que les proches du Hamas, Messieurs Akrima Sabri et Al Huazi avaient respectivement déclaré : «Je vous annonce qu’il y a des centaines de femmes qui sont prêtes à se sacrifier pour libérer la terre de Palestine, et à sacrifier ce qu’elles ont de plus cher, leurs propres enfants» et encore: «Oui, je suis antisémite. Si ce ne sont pas les dirigeants arabes, nous devrons dévorer les juifs avec nos dents». Pour ne pas être en reste, le quatrième hôte empêché de l’UOIF, M. Al Qarni a qualifié les juifs de «frères des singes et des porcs» (le Figaro du 30 mars).

 

De même, jusqu’à présent, tous mes efforts à populariser les prêches sur Al-Jazira du cheikh Qaradawi, qui ne viendra pas non plus au Bourget à la suite de l’intervention de Nicolas Sarkozy auprès de l’émir du Qatar, qui a bien voulu se montrer compréhensif, étaient demeurés vains. Les Français auraient continué d’ignorer la qualité de la prose de celui qui, dans son ouvrage «le licite et l’illicite» recommande l’extermination physique des homosexuels.

 

Sur Qatar TV, en février 2006, cet ami du Hamas, déclara que «les opérations martyrs sont autorisées, même s’il se trouve des civils parmi les victimes». Pour ce qui est des occidentales violées, il ajoutait que celles-ci l’avaient été par ce que «une provocatrice non habillée décemment devait être punie (…) pour qu’elle soit affranchie de la culpabilité, une femme violée doit avoir montré la bonne conduite». Mme Gisèle Halimi et ses amies féministes ne semblent pas avoir été très émues jusqu’alors de semblables propos.

 

Ou encore, cette sortie le 28 janvier 2009, toujours sur Al-Jazira, dont bien peu d’antiracistes autoproclamés, hier encore, faisaient grand cas: «Tout au long de l’histoire, Allah a imposé aux juifs les personnes qui les puniraient de leur corruption. Le dernier châtiment a été administré par Hitler – et bien que les juifs aient exagéré les faits – il a réussi à les remettre à leur place. C’est est un châtiment divin. Si Allah veut, la prochaine fois ce sera par la main des musulmans». Pour se consoler, le public de l’UOIF pourra toujours applaudir Tariq Ramadan qui vient de considérer que Mohamed Merah «renvoyait la France à son miroir» et que celui-ci avait «fini jihadiste sans réelle conviction après avoir été un citoyen sans réelle dignité». […]

 

(Gilles William Goldnadel est un avocat pénaliste aux prises de position contestataires, président fondateur d'Avocats sans frontières. Il est l'auteur de «Réflexions sur la question blanche» et de «Le vieil homme m'indigne!: Les postures et impostures de Stéphane Hessel» parus chez Jean-Claude Gawsewitch.)

PAS D'EXCUSES POUR MERAH!
Giulio Meotti
Courrierinternational.com, 30 mars 2012

«Mohammed Merah n’est pas un loup solitaire, il avait de nombreux complices et tous n’étaient pas musulmans. La réaction de l’Occident relève du déni». Caroline Glick, rédactrice en chef du quotidien israëlien Jerusalem Post, livre ainsi son interprétation du massacre de Toulouse. Une véritable opération de dissimulation est en cours, fondée sur une immense méprise. Un musulman français a fauché trois parachutistes à coups de mitraillette, avant d’abattre un enseignant juif, ses deux enfants et une autre fillette. Dans les heures qui ont précédé l’assaut final des forces spéciales et son issue fatale, jeudi dernier, Mohammed Merah a révélé avoir préféré refuser une mission suicide d’Al-Qaida pour «rester en vie» et multiplier les attaques.

Merah n'a pas voulu se faire exploser pour semer la mort, il a tenu à regarder ses victimes dans les yeux, il les a achevées d’une balle en pleine tête, il les a même filmées, il les a exterminées au seul motif qu’il s'agissait de soldats ou de Juifs. Symboliquement, la dépouille de Merah devait être enterrée en Algérie, terre islamique où vit son père [après le refus des autorités algériennes, Mohammed Merah a finalement été enterré en banlieue toulousaine], alors que ses victimes juives avaient déjà été inhumées en Israël, un pays que les islamistes de son acabit aimeraient voir rayé de la carte.

 

Sur les sites Internet islamistes, les hommages au «martyre du frère Mohammed Merah», «la terreur de la France» confirment que Merah n’était pas une exception. L’administrateur du forum Al Shumukh lui a dédié une prière: «Ô Allah, accueille-le aux plus hauts niveaux du paradis parmi les prophètes, les hommes pieux et les martyrs». Une partie de la presse européenne, de ses intellectuels assermentés et de sa classe dirigeante s’obstine pourtant à faire de Merah un cas psychiatrique. Il avait divorcé deux jours avant le massacre des juifs de Toulouse, souligne-t-on. Il était chômeur. Il «délirait» et, comme n’importe quel serial killer, «il éprouvait du plaisir à tuer».

 

Tariq Ramadan l’a érigé en symbole de l’aliénation sociale qui gangrène les banlieues françaises. Les journaux français ont concocté une dichotomie réconfortante: «L’ignoble criminel et la France raciste». Merah a beau être coupable, la France est raciste et l’a bien cherché. La méprise se nourrit de la paranoïa. On en arrivera bientôt à plaider l’innocence de l’auteur des attentats, accablé d’une «situation familiale problématique» ou d’une «situation sociale peu enviable». […]

 

La minimisation de l’attentat est une aubaine pour tous ceux qui, dans le silllage de Le Pen, ne s’embarassent d’aucune nuance et veulent déclarer la guerre à l’immigration toute entière. Douglas Murray, collaborateur du Wall Street Journal et du Daily Telegraph, auteur d’essais sur l’Europe, fait partie des intellectuels qui ont inspiré le revirement du Premier ministre anglais David Cameron en matière de multiculturalisme [en février, Cameron a affirmé l'échec du multiculturalisme]. Il déchiffre pour Il Foglio l’opération culturelle en cours sur le massacre de Toulouse: «On a d'abord pensé que le meurtrier était néonazi, alors les médias se sont empressés de construire de toutes pièces le profil d’un coupable idéal en allant rechercher des photos de fascistes tatoués. Quand il est apparu que l’assassin était djihadiste, un grand silence a recouvert toute l’affaire. L’opération "déni" a démarré. La presse a alors inventé la figure du loup solitaire.»

Selon Douglas Murray, le phénomène est à la fois idéologique et culturel. «C’est la maladie de l’Occident, une cécité répétitive devant ce qui nous attend. Elle trahit un manque total de volonté d’appréhender le problème du multiculturalisme et de l’extrémisme islamique, qui se répand dans notre société. Il existe une hostilité et un dénigrement ultra-libéral qui fait l’amalgame entre dénonciation de l’islamisme en Europe et islamophobie. A Toulouse, le choix des mots s’est révélé décisif pour édulcorer l’identité du meurtrier. On s’est efforcé de trouver des excuses au terrorisme islamique.»

Selon Murray, la tragédie de Toulouse nous confronte à l’échec des modèles communautaristes d’intégration: «Le multiculturalisme d’Etat a ravalé les nations européennes au rang d’auberges. Le credo politique a poussé les Etats à traiter et à juger les personnes en fonction des critères de leur "communauté" d’origine. Les attentats et les complots terroristes en Grande-Bretagne et en Europe, menés par des extrémistes élevés sur le territoire national, ont conduit à un point de rupture que nul ne peut plus ignorer.»

POUR UN RÉALIGNEMENT DES FORCES AU MOYEN-ORIENT
DEVANT LA MENACE D’UN IRAN NUCLÉAIRE

David Bensoussan

Isranet.org, 5 avril 2012

Efforts diplomatiques, activités subversives, et sanctions économiques ont jusqu’à présent échoué et l’option d’une opération militaire qui ferait cesser les efforts iraniens visant à développer la technologie nucléaire à des fins militaires devient de moins en moins hypothétique. Les conséquences sur le plan mondial seraient considérables: hausse vertigineuse du prix du pétrole, conflit généralisé au Proche-Orient et augmentation des activités terroristes dans le monde entier. Est-ce-là un scénario inévitable?

 

Efforts diplomatiques, activités secrètes et sanctions économiques

 

Les puissances occidentales et Israël ont exprimé leur inquiétude devant la possibilité que l’Iran ne se dote d’une arme atomique. Au fil des années, les négociations avec l’Iran et les efforts diplomatiques visant à enrayer le projet iranien ont échoué et n’ont fait que faire gagner du temps aux Iraniens. Des activités clandestines dont il est difficile d’attribuer l’initiative, ont résulté en des pannes d’ordinateur au moyen de l’insertion d’un virus informatique ou peut-être même à l’élimination de savants iraniens. Cela n’a guère arrêté le gouvernement iranien, mais a quand même retardé leur projet. Les sanctions économiques ont eu plus de vigueur après que l’Agence internationale de l’énergie atomique ait conclu dans son rapport en 2011 que l’Iran œuvre en vue de fabriquer une arme atomique et soit en passe d’y parvenir. Tout récemment, en février 2012, le président Obama a ordonné le gel des avoirs iraniens dont ceux de la banque centrale d’Iran. De son côté, l’Union européenne a décrété un embargo sur les nouveaux contrats d’importation de pétrole; les anciens contrats ne seront plus en vigueur à partir de juillet 2012. Les USA ont augmenté leurs forces terrestres et navales dans le Golfe persique (le Golfe arabique) en vue de protéger le passage du pétrole dans le détroit d’Ormuz si l’Iran s’aventurait à le bloquer. Les États-Unis et les pays européens ont demandé au Conseil de sécurité d’appliquer des sanctions contre l’Iran, mais la Russie et la Chine s’y sont opposées. L’Iran est un acheteur d’armement russe important et la Chine a besoin du pétrole iranien.

 

Devant l’entêtement du gouvernement iranien, la probabilité d’une option militaire va croissant, que ce soit par Israël, ou encore par les États-Unis et les puissances européennes.

 

L’option militaire 

 

Une attaque israélienne rencontrerait beaucoup plus de difficultés que dans le cas du bombardement du réacteur irakien Tammouz. Les centrales nucléaires iraniennes sont dispersées et enfouies sous terre, parfois dans des zones peuplées. Israël peut agir en ayant recours à son aviation ou au moyen de missiles. Toutefois, les missiles iraniens Shaab 3 ont un rayon d’action qui peut atteindre Israël et, selon toute probabilité, la Syrie et le Hezbollah tireront des milliers de missiles contre Israël. Selon le Premier ministre israélien Netanyahou, une telle attaque est à prévoir même si les États-Unis se lancent dans une attaque contre l’Iran et que, par conséquent, l’attaque avec de missiles conventionnels serait préférable à une attaque nucléaire. Toutefois, bien des politiciens et des journalistes trouvent que cette attaque est irresponsable. Le Pentagone et le ministre des Affaires étrangères français ont exprimé leur inquiétude face à cette option. Quant à la Russie, elle prédit que cette dernière serait catastrophique.

 

Une attaque américaine aurait une puissance et un impact bien plus considérables. L’Occident n’est guère intéressé par un Iran atomique, car il constitue un danger pour l’ensemble du monde et bien des pays arabes  sont du même avis, le conflit entre Arabes en majorité sunnites et Iraniens en majorité chiites étant par ailleurs millénaire. Aussi, il n’est pas à exclure qu’une nouvelle guerre se tiendra,  similaire à celle de la Guerre du Golfe qui a permis aux États-Unis, à l’Europe ainsi qu’à un bon nombre de pays arabes d’être unis. Or, l’Amérique est fatiguée des guerres suite à son intervention en Afghanistan et en Irak. L’économie américaine s’essouffle et une guerre ne ferait qu’empirer la situation.

 

Israël n’arrête pas de réitérer que plus d’une alarme a été sonnée depuis une dizaine d’années et que la situation actuelle n’est pas sans rappeler celle des années 30 durant la montée du nazisme. Or, en 1940, il était déjà trop tard. Tout porte à croire qu’Obama ordonnera une attaque, mais que celle-ci ne se fera qu’in extremis et pas avant les élections américaines qui se tiendront en novembre 2012. De plus en plus, le Premier ministre israélien Netanyahou exprime sa conviction à l’effet qu’il serait dangereux de compter sur le reste du monde et qu’Israël ne doit compter que sur elle-même.

 

Pour un réalignement des forces au Moyen-Orient

 

La conception qui a prévalu jusqu’à ce jour veut que la possession de l’arme atomique soit en soi un équilibre de la terreur attendu que son usage impliquera l’annihilation réciproque. Cela s’applique-t-il dans le cas de l’Iran? Pensons au leader Rafsandjani qui, lors des élections iraniennes précédentes, fut considéré comme étant un modéré par les médias occidentaux durant les élections précédentes a déclaré lors d’un sermon fait à l’université de Téhéran en 2001: «l’emploi d’une seule arme nucléaire contre Israël détruirait tout, mais, contre le monde islamique, ne causerait que des dommages limités.» En outre, il existe une lecture islamique voulant qu’un pays conquis par l’islam doive rester entre les mains des Musulmans. Étrangement, cette lecture ne s’applique pas à l’Espagne ou aux Balkans, mais uniquement à Israël. Elle s’exprime d’une façon radicale: «L’entité sioniste est une forme de tumeur maligne du cancer qu’il faut extirper.» ou encore «l’extermination d’Israël est un devoir religieux.» Qui plus est, il est difficile de chasser de l’esprit l’idéal de martyrologie chiite et sa vision d’une apocalypse rédemptrice qui précéderait la venue du mahdi, le messie chiite.

 

Les discours haineux et l’enseignement de la haine précèdent généralement des actes irréfléchis. Or, les médias du Moyen-Orient sont sursaturés par la tenue de tels discours depuis plusieurs décennies: la cause palestinienne a servi de prétexte pour subjuguer les masses arabo-musulmanes. Aujourd’hui encore et pour augmenter leur influence dans le monde arabe, la Turquie et l’Iran se font la compétition pour montrer aux masses arabes lequel des deux est le plus anti-israélien. Ces deux pays continuent donc de déstabiliser la région, durcissant les positions des principaux concernés: les Israéliens et les Palestiniens. Or, s’il fallait prendre au sérieux la menace iranienne, en cas de conflit atomique, il ne resterait ni les uns ni les autres.

 

Plus que jamais, le temps est venu pour les Israéliens et les Palestiniens de cesser d’être les pions des aspirations hégémoniques des puissances du Moyen-Orient et de bâtir des relations de confiance afin de faire les compromis indispensables à une paix durable.  

 

(L’auteur est professeur de sciences à l’Université du Québec)

TWITTER, FACEBOOK, & JOURNALISTS ABOUND… BUT IS THE MEDIA’S MESSAGE AUTHENTIC?

 

 

THE REALITY OF REVOLUTION
David Rieff
New Republic, February 14, 2011

 

In both the euphoria and the apprehension that have accompanied the popular uprisings in the Arab Middle East…there has been an avalanche of the usual cyber-utopian techno-babble about the emancipatory potential of the Bluetooth devices and Twitter feeds for which authoritarian tyrannies are said to be no match. The political simple-mindedness of this may not always be at the level of a Tim Connors, the California venture capitalist…who began a blog post on the subject with the following sentence: “10 folks in a small apartment in Egypt used social media and cell phones to start a revolution, and 17 days later the president of many decades is out of power.” But it is not all that far from it either.

Throughout its extensive coverage of the events in Tahrir Square, CNN devoted an enormous amount of time to what was appearing on blogs or being tweeted, and to the Mubarak regime’s decision…to shut down access to the internet and cell phones.… And, as President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton went back and forth about what position to take on whether Mubarak should stay or go, the one subject about which they seemed in no doubt…was that he should turn the internet and the mobile phones back on.…

Were information technology not the Golden Calf of our age, no sensible person could possibly believe that the North African revolution took place thanks to social media. As Evgeny Morozov points out in his fine new book, The Net Delusion, this is the same sort of utopian credulousness that led Marx to write that the communications revolution of the railways under the Raj would lead Indians to give up the caste system. This is not to say that social networks don’t matter; they matter a lot. But they do not incarnate freedom, do not bring about some final, heaven-like stage of human history. Indeed, if there was a proximate cause, on the order of Connors’ “10 folks in a small apartment using social networks,” to the Tunisian uprising, it was that least virtual of political acts—the decision of Mohamed Bouazizi, a street vendor in the central Tunisian city of Sidi Bouzid who burned himself to death in protest over the police seizing his [produce] cart…and more generally, over police brutality and grinding unemployment, poverty, and lack of opportunity. That was the action that provoked the first anti-government demonstrations in Tunisia and soon spawned other self-immolations from Egypt to Mauritania.

But self-immolations do not fit into the cyber-utopian narrative. Like suicide bombings, they are simply too far removed from almost all of us who come from the West. In contrast, tweets and Facebook and the rest of life in cyberspace are essential to the way we now live (if we don’t join in, we’re curmudgeons, contrarians, etc.—the Silicon Valley equivalent, I suppose, of the old Marxist condemnation of those who were “on the wrong side of history”). So, in rooting for the tweeters in Tahrir Square, we are actually rooting for ourselves.

But what’s wrong with that, you may ask, if what we are supporting in Tunis or in Cairo, and hoping for in Algiers and Tripoli and Sana and Nouakchoutt, are the best of our ideals both personally and as societies—our belief in individual freedom and in representative democracy? To which the answer is: nothing, so long, that is, as we do not confuse our situation with theirs. My fear, though, is that this is precisely what we are doing.

Democracy, freedom of expression, individual rights, and the rule of law are all wonderful things.… But these democratic dreams are likely to benefit only a small minority of the population, even if, in a country as populous as Egypt, that is still a great many people in absolute numbers.… It will be a fine thing if, as has been promised in both Algeria and Egypt, the army makes good on its promises to end decades-old states of emergency. But will these changes from the top down, from which the upper middle classes—the Bluetooth, tweeting classes, to be blunt—stand to benefit almost immediately, do anything to improve the lot of the Mohamed Bouazizis of the world? Will they find it easier to find a job, feed their families, in short, to live with dignity? On that, surely, the verdict is very much still out.

Certainly, poor Tunisians don’t seem very confident. In the weeks since the fall of the Ben Ali dictatorship…thousands upon thousands of Tunisians have set out in boats trying to reach Europe and a better life.… [However], the young men on these often far too unseaworthy boats are not chronicling their trip on their mobile phone cameras, or tweeting about them, or notifying their friends on their Facebook pages that they have decided to throw the dice and try to make it to Europe. And there are far more of these people in the Arab Middle East today than the kind of young democracy activists that we have quite rightly been extolling in the West during these past several extraordinary weeks.…

In Yeats’ great poem “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death,” the airman flying for the Royal Flying Corps over the trenches muses on why he ever volunteered to fight for Britain. Thinking of his countrymen in his own village back home, the airman acknowledges that:

My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.

If, when you read this, it is past dark in Europe and North Africa, remember those boats heading north, crammed with the twenty-first century’s equivalent of Kiltartan’s poor, and ask yourself whether what they see is what we see. At the very least, Caveat celebrator.

(David Rieff is a contributing editor for The New Republic.)

 

THE REAL EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION
WILL NOT BE BROUGHT TO YOU BY CNN
Daniel Greenfield
Daniel Greenfield Blog, February 16, 2011

 

There are two Egyptian revolutions. The one marketed for Western consumption by Egyptian bloggers and the American media—and the real revolution. The rape of [CBS Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent] Lara Logan brought that second revolution out of the shadows for the first time. This was certainly not the first sexual assault arising out of the Jan. 25 protests. It won’t be the last either. The Western educated Egyptians promoting the protests have always managed to sell the press on the story that all the violence, from the looting of the Egyptian museum, the attacks on reporters, the prison breaks and the mass rapes and robberies were all the work of pro-Mubarak forces. But when Logan was attacked, she was among a crowd celebrating the fall of Mubarak. These were the very people that she and her colleagues had come to Egypt to support.

The actual Jan. 25 revolution was wildly different from the one depicted in news reports. Behind the veil of English speaking Twitter feeds by young activists, is an angry and bigoted population.… Few of the gullible Western supporters who follow the revolution by Twitter, understand just how much the ordinary Egyptian taking part in the protests hates them. Behind all the English language signs produced for the foreign press and the articulate bloggers cultivated by the U.S and EU governments, is [a] mob who believes that Mubarak was a puppet of the CIA and the Mossad. And who believe the same thing about all the earnest CNN and CBS correspondents who came to be photographed against the background of a revolution.…

The cries of “Yahood, Yahood” or “Jew, Jew” reportedly shouted at CBS’s Logan while she was being sexually assaulted, reflect two things. Yahood is a common insult in the Middle East. American soldiers in Iraq are referred to as Yahood or Jews. (Some have drawn geopolitical inferences from this, but you only need to turn on South Park to see ‘Jew’ used as an insult in our own hemisphere.) The difference is that in the Muslim world, ‘Yahood’ is far more ubiquitous, and often accompanied by conspiracy theories and violent threats. The negative depiction of Jews is rooted in the Koran, making it ubiquitous through the Muslim world.

The other aspect of it however is the prevalence of conspiracy theories throughout the Arab Muslim world. In Egypt, Nazi propaganda merged with traditional Islamic beliefs to give rise to Islamofascist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood. While Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are given little credibility in civilized nations—they are still highly popular in the Muslim world. Conspiracy theories are the best refuge of failed societies.…

The real Egyptian revolution was mob violence against the targets of their conspiracy theories, rather than a movement toward democracy. Assaults on Western reporters are not an aberration, but the norm. As often as CNN cheers on the revolution, the average Egyptian will still call them Yahood and CIA. Because the average Egyptian is fueled by hate for outside forces, rather than a striving for progress and reform.

Egyptian activists are apologizing to Lara Logan on Twitter, and assuring everyone that this does not represent Egypt. But there are far more Egyptians who harass women, than use Twitter to promote democracy.… Sexual violence is a routine part of Egyptian mob scenes. In 2006, a crowd celebrating Eid Al-Fitr began assaulting every woman in sight. In 2009 alone, the UK foreign office reported handling nearly 30 cases of sexual assault against British nationals… According to a 2008 study, 68 percent of Egyptian women complained of being harassed on a daily basis, while 98 percent of foreign women did.

[As such], when a group of jubilant enthusiasts of democracy found themselves near a Western female reporter without police supervision, what followed was absolutely horrible [but also] terribly inevitable. It is what 98 percent of foreign women in Egypt risk encountering every day.…

 

LARA LOGAN AND MEDIA RULES
Caroline B. Glick

Jerusalem Post, February 18, 2011

 

Among the least analyzed aspects of the Egyptian revolution has been the significance of the widespread violence against the foreign media covering the demonstrations in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. The Western media have been unanimous in their sympathetic coverage of the demonstrators in Egypt. Why would the demonstrators want to brutalize them? And why have Western media outlets been so reticent in discussing the significance of their own reporters’ brutalization at the hands of the Egyptian demonstrators?

To date the most egregious attack on a foreign journalist in Cairo’s Tahrir Square took place last Friday, when CBS’s senior foreign correspondent Lara Logan was sexually assaulted and brutally beaten by a mob of Egyptian men. Her own network, CBS, took several days to even report the story, and when it did, it left out important information. The fact that Logan was brutalized for 20 to 30 minutes and that her attackers screamed out “Jew, Jew, Jew” as they ravaged her was absent from the CBS report and from most other follow-on reports in the U.S. media.…

So far the only culprit the U.S. media have managed to find for the sexual assault perpetrated against Lara Logan…has been a radical leftist reporter named Nir Rosen. On Tuesday, Rosen wrote defamatory attacks against Logan on his Twitter account. He mocked her suffering and bemoaned the fame the attack would win her. Rosen’s statements on Twitter set off a feeding frenzy of reporters and commentators who raced to condemn him. New York University’s Center for Law and Security, where Rosen served as a fellow, hastened to demand his resignation.

The onslaught against Rosen for his anti-Logan statements is extremely revealing about the nature of the international media. Rosen’s writings reveal him as an anti-Semite and an anti-American. Rosen has written prolifically about his hope to see Israel destroyed. His war reporting from Afghanistan and Iraq unfailingly takes the side of America’s enemies. He was an embedded reporter with the Taliban and is an outspoken champion of Hezbollah, Hamas and the Taliban.

Rosen’s hateful politics have brought him book contracts, prestigious fellowships, interviews on influential television shows and even a request to give testimony before the U.S. Senate. His work has been published in elite magazines and newspapers. No one batted a lash when he called for Israel to be destroyed or supported the Taliban.… But for attacking Logan, he was excommunicated from polite society.…

In the hopes of rehabilitating himself, Rosen gave a groveling interview to CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night in which he called himself “a jerk.” But it is too late. He broke the rules.

The story of the media at Tahrir Square exposes those rules for all to see. The bravery of the journalists on the scene, the media’s determination to ignore Islamic misogyny, and their expulsion of Rosen from polite society all tell us that what drives the international media is not a quest for truth. It is a quest to advance the ideology of identity politics.

Identity politics revolve around the narrative of victimization. For adherents to identity politics…the status of victimhood is not determined by facts, but by membership in an identity group.… In light of this, a person’s membership in specific victim groups is far more important than his behavior. And there is a clear pecking order of victimhood in identity politics. Anti-American Third World national, religious and ethnic groups are at the top of the victim food chain. They out-victim everyone else. After them come the Western victims: Racial minorities, women, homosexuals, children and animals. Israelis, Jews, Americans, white males and rich people are the predetermined perpetrators.…

In cases when victim groups are attacked by victim groups—for instance when Iraqis were attacked by Saddam, or Palestinians are attacked by the PA, the media tend to ignore the story. When members of Western victim groups are attacked by Third World victims, the story can be reported, but with as little mention of the identity of the victim-perpetrators as possible. So it was with coverage of Logan and the rest of the foreign reporters assaulted in Egypt. They were attacked by invisible attackers with no identities, no barbaric values, no moral responsibility, and no criminal culpability. CBS went so far as to blur the faces of the men who surrounded Logan in the moments before she was attacked.

When we understand the rules of reportage as dictated by adherents to identity politics, we understand why Rosen was excommunicated when he mocked Logan and not when he called for Israel’s destruction, condemned the commemoration of the September 11 attacks, or sided with the Taliban and the Iraqi insurgents killing Americans. In those cases, he followed the rules—preferring the cause of “victims” over the lives of “perpetrators.” But when he mocked Logan, he crossed the line. He treated Logan as a perpetrator because he thought of her as an insufficiently anti-American reporter. He didn’t realize that when she was brutalized, she had slid into the victim category.…

Lara Logan and the other hundred reporters attacked in Tahrir Square are real victims, not because of who they are, but because of what happened to them. The Egyptians who attacked them are real criminals, not because of who they are, but because of what they did. But until reporters are willing to admit this—that is, until they dump their ideological attachment to identity politics in favor of the truth—news consumers worldwide will continue to receive news reports that obfuscate more than they tell us about the world we live in.

 

THE AL JAZEERA EFFECT
Hugh Miles
Foreign Policy, February 8, 2011

 

“Long live Al Jazeera!” chanted Egyptian protesters in Tahrir Square on Feb. 6. Many Arabs—not least the staff at Al Jazeera—have said for years that the Arab satellite network would help bring about a popular revolution in the Middle East. Now, after 15 years of broadcasting, it appears the prediction has come true. There is little question that the network played a key role in the revolution that began as a ripple in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia, and ended up a wave that threatens to wash away Egypt’s long-standing regime.…

Al Jazeera’s powerful images of angry crowds and bloody morgues undercut the Egyptian regime’s self-serving arguments and stood in sharp contrast to the state-run TV channels, which promoted such a dishonest version of events that some of their journalists resigned in disgust. At least one popular TV talk-show presenter, Mahmoud Saad, was later seen being carried on the shoulders of triumphant demonstrators in Tahrir Square. While Al Jazeera was showing hundreds of thousands of people calling for the end of the regime, Egyptian TV showed humdrum scenes of traffic quietly passing by; when Al Jazeera reported hundreds of people queuing for bread and petrol, Egyptian TV showed happy shoppers with full fridges using footage filmed at an unknown time in the past.

During the uprising in Cairo, the Egyptian government systematically targeted Al Jazeera in an attempt to impede the network’s gathering and broadcasting of news. On Jan. 27 Al Jazeera Mubasher, the network’s livechannel, was dropped by the government-run satellite transmission company, Nilesat. On Jan. 30, outgoing Egyptian Information Minister Anas al-Fiqi ordered the offices of all Al Jazeera bureaus in Egypt to be shut down and the accreditation of all network journalists to be revoked. At the height of the protests, Nilesat broke its contractual agreement with the network and stopped transmitting the signal of Al Jazeera’s Arabic channel—which meant viewers outside Egypt could only follow the channel on satellites not controlled by the Egyptian authorities. To the rescue came at least 10 other Arabic-language TV stations, which stepped in and offered to carry Al Jazeera’s content.…

[On Jan. 31], six Al Jazeera English journalists were briefly detained and then released, their camera equipment confiscated by the Egyptian military. On Feb. 3, two unnamed Al Jazeera English journalists were attacked by Mubarak supporters; three more were detained. On Feb. 4, Al Jazeera’s Cairo office was stormed and vandalized by pro-Mubarak supporters. Equipment was set on fire and the Cairo bureau chief and an Al Jazeera correspondent were arrested. Two days later, the Egyptian military detained another correspondent, Ayman Mohyeldin; he was released after nine hours in custody. The Al Jazeera website has also been under relentless cyberattack since the onset of the uprising.…

After the first few days of the uprising, the Egyptian state media began running an insidious propaganda campaign in an apparent effort to terrorize ordinary Egyptians into staying at home and off the streets. Channel 1 on Egypt state TV issued vague yet alarming warnings about armed thugs trying to infiltrate the protests and later broadcast live phone-ins in which members of the public complained about looting and disorder.… Egyptian state media also issued warnings of international journalists with a “hidden agenda” and accused Al Jazeera of “inciting the people.” One supposed “foreign agent” was shown on Egyptian state TV with face obscured, claiming that she had been trained by “Americans and Israelis” in Qatar, where Al Jazeera is based.

But the lid on Pandora’s box has been prized open.… Given Al Jazeera’s enormous influence on the Arab street and its…message that Arab dictatorships are, in fact, mortal, it is no wonder dictators and despots across the region have been left feeling rather rattled.… But whether the Al Jazeera effect will continue to ripple across the Middle East or the heavy hand of state pressure will attempt to shut Pandora’s box again—however temporarily—is yet too close to call.

 

You are cordially invited to a film screening to be held at the Beth Zion Congregation on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 8:00 PM. The documentary “Iranium” gives the viewing public a better understanding of the threat posed by a nuclear Iran. The Honourable Irwin Cotler MP will be the guest speaker. Prof. Cotler’s knowledge of the repressive Iranian regime is vast and his work on international human rights issues is tremendous.

A true social action program, there will be a petition available for signing, which will ask the Federal government to redouble its efforts to hold the Iranian leadership accountable for state-sanctioned domestic repression and human rights abuses. Prof. Cotler has promised to personally bring this petition to the House of Commons.

Please call the Beth Zion office at 514-489-8411 #24 to reserve your place.