Tag: egyptian citizenship for palestinians

CURRENT WAVE OF ANTISEMITIC TERROR IS A PRODUCT OF SADISTIC PALESTINIAN CULTURE, INFLUENCED BY I.S.

 

NB: EXCITING UPDATE TO OUR CONFERENCE: KEYNOTE ADDRESS WILL BE FROM RABBI IRVING GREENBERG, & A SPECIAL VIDEO PRESENTATION FROM ELIE WIESEL!

 

Beth Tikvah Synagogue & CIJR Present: The Annual Sabina Citron International Conference: THE JEWISH THOUGHT OF EMIL L. FACKENHEIM: JUDAISM, ZIONISM, HOLOCAUST, ISRAEL — Toronto, Sunday, October 25, 2015, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The day-long Beth Tikvah Conference, co-chaired by Prof. Frederick Krantz (CIJR) and Rabbi Jarrod R. Grover (Beth Tikvah), open to the public and especially to students, features original papers by outstanding Canadian and international scholars, some his former students, on the many dimensions of Emil L. Fackenheim's exceptionally powerful, and prophetic thought, and on his rich life and experience. Tickets: Regular – $36; Seniors – $18; students free. For registration, information, conference program, and other queries call 1-855-303-5544 or email yunna@isranet.org. Visit our site: www.isranet.org/events.

 

“This is a liberation organization? Its goal is to destroy a state; to kill men, women and children – this is its method and this is a national movement?  There was a Spring of Nations – that was a national movement; there was an American Revolution – that was a national movement; there was a war for Israel’s independence – that was a national movement. This, however, is a movement of murderers of the most base kind ever since the Gestapo…and they will not succeed. We will strike them, we will pursue them ‘til the bitter end. We will not allow them any respite.

 

This is the difference between the Galut and a homeland. Our fellow Jews could not defend themselves. They had not the withal. What could they employ? No one would protect them. Here, thank God, we are living in the Land of Israel. Here we will defend every child, every woman, every man and the murderers will not go unpunished.”

 

—Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Knesset Speech, May 9, 1979 (Menachem Begin Heritage Center, 13 Oct., 2015)

 

Third Intifada Or Third Reich?: Dr. Phyllis Chesler, Jewish Press, Oct. 15, 2015 — Polish journalist Anna Bikont has written a masterwork (The Crime and the Silence) about the infamous 1941 massacre of Jews in wartime Jedwabne – not by Nazi soldiers by their Polish Catholic neighbors.

Sadism and Masochism in International Culture: Alex Joffe, Times of Israel, Oct. 14, 2015— To cultures have personalities, meaningful collections of attitudes and behaviors?

ISIS Fires Up Palestinians: Bassam Tawil, National Post, Aug. 20, 2015 — By now, it has become clear that our young Palestinian men and women have learned a lot from the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group.

An Open Letter to the World: Paula Stern, Jewish Press,  Aug. 15, 2015 — In the last few days, as Israel has been hit with a wave of terror, I’ve started to write many times and each time, was only able to capture a fraction of what is on my mind and in my heart.

 

On Topic Links

 

Arabs Set Fire to Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem, Pushed Back by PA Police: Jewish Press, Oct. 16, 2015

Fatah’s ‘Symphony of Love’ for Jerusalem on Twitter: Hana Levi Julian, Jewish Press, Oct. 15, 2015

Only Four NGOs Condemn Anti-Israeli Violence, Others Focus on Israeli ‘Unlawful Killing’: Jewish Press, Oct. 15, 2015

Israel Must Deport the PLO: Daniel Greenfield, Sultan Knish, Oct. 17, 2015

                                      

                                      

THIRD INTIFADA OR THIRD REICH?        

Dr. Phyllis Chesler                                                                                                                                  

Jewish Press, Oct. 15, 2015

 

Polish journalist Anna Bikont has written a masterwork (The Crime and the Silence) about the infamous 1941 massacre of Jews in wartime Jedwabne – not by Nazi soldiers by their Polish Catholic neighbors. At least forty residents of Jedwabne beat, herded, and drove between 200 and 340 of their Jewish neighbors into a barn, locked the doors, and set the barn on fire.

 

The killers took over all the Jewish homes and shops, moving right in – and without shame helped themselves to furniture, clothing, jewelry, china, market wares, and rich farming acreage. And they tried to keep what they had done secret; when challenged, they denied it. Every eyewitness was made to understand that anyone who “talked” would be killed.

 

In order to explain such a heinous massacre, Bikont begins by describing what the situation like was for Jews in rural, agricultural Poland in the 1920s and 1930s. Catholic priests routinely preached and propagandized against Jews; a climate was created in which, according to Professor Jerzy Jedlicki, “hatred towards Jews, contempt and mockery of Jews, [became] part of twentieth-century European culture…”

 

In painstaking and painful detail, Bikont recounts what a relative, Oleg Wolynski, told her, an account confirmed by Zygmunt Klukowski’s Diary of the Occupation. The Poles eagerly took part in liquidation raids, “hunted down Jews, drove them to the magistrate or police station, beat them, kicked them. Boys chased little Jewish kids who were killed by policemen right in front of everyone.” Before the Holocaust, Poles laughed and joked as they harassed, beat, hacked at, tortured, and burned alive Jewish men, women, and children.

 

Why do I refer to these events? Most Arab and Muslim countries, before the advent of ISIS, significantly “cleansed” their countries of Jews by torturing and murdering them or by exiling them with a few dollars in their pockets. Like the Poles of Jedwabne, Arab Muslims also took over all the Jewish homes, shops, factories, furniture, and land. Jews from Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and other Muslim countries never received the slightest compensation or sympathy.

 

Like the Polish Catholic priests in pre-World War II rural Poland, mullahs and imams in Palestine and all across the Muslim world have been whipping Muslims into a Jew-hating frenzy for a long, long time. With the advent of the Internet, their message of hate reaches significantly more people.  Arab terrorists have spent decades hijacking planes, blowing up synagogues, and sending human bombs into crowded shopping malls, cafes, pizza parlors, nightclubs, and hotels. In recent years they’ve also been launching rockets at Israeli civilian centers.

 

Now individual Arab Muslims are stabbing Jews of all ages. Lynch mobs are stoning Israeli Jews at prayer as well as Israeli cars on the road. They wield cinder blocks and deadly rocks. Individual Arab Muslims are shooting and stabbing “religious” and “settler” Jews, or trying to run them over with cars. They have been empowered to do so by President Obama’s dangerously misguided foreign policy and by Palestinian religious and political leaders who have lied to their people about Jews endangering mosques and have imbued them with dangerous religious hatred. Just like the Catholic priests did in rural Poland.

 

Earlier this month, Mrs. Odel Bennett, a wife and young mother of two, was returning with her family from praying at the Kotel. She was stabbed in the back and neck by a terrorist who had killed both her 22-year-old rabbi husband, Aharon, and 41-year-old Rabbi Nehemia Lavi. He had also shot her two-year-old son Natan in the leg. The terrorist was a Palestinian law student. He was not illiterate. He was not educationally deprived, reduced to humiliating manual labor. He was not starving. (Many of the 9/11 terrorists were educated and came from solidly middle class families. Bin Laden himself was a multi-millionaire. This is different from rural, Catholic, pre-Holocaust Poland.)

 

As Mrs. Bennett staggered down an alley in the Old City, the terrorist’s knife still lodged in her neck, she begged the Arabs nearby to help her. Instead they “stood chatting and laughing – they spat at me.” One man continued to drink a soda; others shook her off when she tried to hold onto them to lift herself off the ground. “I was looking for a glimmer of mercy in their eyes,” she said. She was rescued by Israeli police officers.

 

In 2010 at Yale, I chaired and spoke at a panel on anti-Semitism organized by Dr. Charles Small. One of the panelists, my friend and ally Dr. Richard Landes, ended his speech rather abruptly. He said: “Folks, they are coming to shecht [butcher] us. The least we can do is, like Balaam’s donkey, open a mouth.” Five years later, I share his words with everyone reading this. More than ever, we need to open our mouths.                   

 

                                                                       

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SADISM AND MASOCHISM IN INTERNATIONAL CULTURE                                                                            

Alex Joffe                                                                                                   

Times of Israel, Oct. 14, 2015

 

To cultures have personalities, meaningful collections of attitudes and behaviors? If so, what does the ongoing wave of stabbings of Israelis –elderly passersby, strangers on buses, boys on bikes, infants in carriages- say about Palestinian culture? Who are they, really? One suggestion is that Palestinian culture has been overtaken by psychosis. But what is the underlying cause for this flight to unreality? Part of the answer is sadomasochism.

 

All cultures have a touch of sadism. Political success requires defeating and humiliating enemies in battle, if only occasionally. Individuals capable or prone to committing terrible pain upon others are found everywhere. And all societies endorse a degree of institutional sadism – police, prisons, military – as part of their monopoly on violence. But for most, pain is only a means to an end, political success and cultural survival, which are the true pleasures.

 

But inflicting pain and rejoicing in suffering is so visible within Palestinian culture that it could be construed as a defining trait. Israelis being murdered, kidnapped or even just rocketed are causes to hand out sweets to strangers in the street, to publicly affirm – and to invite others to affirm – pleasure in the suffering of others. This is a cultural psychology of objectification and dehumanization. But to characterize it merely as the result of pervasive incitement is inadequate.

 

Sadism of course is hardly restricted to Palestinian culture. Native American tribes routinely tortured and killed their captives for sport. Torture is rife in Afghan and Pakistani society, as well as in Mexico and Central America. ISIS broadcasts its beheadings, crucifixions and mass killings as messages to their enemies and to display religious devotion and resolve. European and North American cultures are hardly virtuous – recall Abu Ghraib, not to mention Auschwitz – but today sadism is the individual exception rather than the societal rule. Systematizing it in culture is anathema. With the exception of warfare, elites that set trends and values, religious authorities, educators, media and politicians, never endorse sadism.

 

The leaders of Palestinian culture do. As Gaza’s Sheikh Muhammad Sallah put it, “My brother in the West Bank: Stab! My brother is the West Bank: Stab the myths of the Talmud in their minds! My brother in the West Bank: Stab the myths about the temple in their hearts!” This merely operationalized Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’ dehumanizing call to arms: “Al-Aksa is ours and so is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. They have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet. We won’t allow them to do so and we will do whatever we can to defend Jerusalem.” To these we may add generations of Fatah newspapers, Hamas summer camps, Friday sermons, children’s TV characters like Nahoul the bee, and much more.

 

Individual Palestinians of course are disgusted by kidnapping and murder, by rocket attacks and inevitable retaliation. But few speak out for fear of ostracism and violence. Palestinian culture as a whole rejects empathy with Israelis as deviance. Why the inability to feel a human connection with Jews and Israelis? One explanation is that their experience at the hands of Israelis is so uniquely terrible that however Palestinians respond is logical and virtuous. In this narrative dispossession and ‘occupation’ legitimize Palestinian violence, which is not really violence at all but ‘ legitimate resistance’ by victims par excellence.

 

But the fetish of ‘resistance’ and victimhood leads to another notable Palestinian cultural trait, masochism. The ideology of steadfastness and resistance has long celebrated Palestinian ability to endure pain, much of which it creates itself. Decades of theatrical – and individual – violence necessarily and by design provoked Israeli responses. At every step potential gains were secondary to inflicting real and psychological pain on Israeli civilians and the political-cultural goal of ‘publicizing the Palestinian cause.’ Israeli counterattacks were used to rally support, quash peaceful voices, and cement the reign of the PLO and then Hamas. Retaliation was demanded and then reveled in, amidst blood and ashes, reinforcing the self-perception of Palestinian victimhood.

 

The goal of Hamas’s rocket campaign of 2014 was sadistic, random destruction, but the construction of an entire battlespace within and below Gaza’s civilian population was deeply masochistic. Tunnels connected homes, clinics and schools in order to be tactically useful for fighting and strategically useful when destroyed. The population was not merely a human shield for Hamas, but a line of defense that Hamas knew would be destroyed. When tunnel entrances are behind someone’s kitchen sink, to what extent were Gaza’s civilians were also aware of Hamas’s strategy? They became, willingly and not, human sandbags.

 

Conventional terrorism has a group context that rationalizes violence and states ‘we are the resistance.’ Today’s interpersonal violence manifests culture at the individual level, where sadism and masochism are no longer political but supremely personal. They appear unmoored from notions of cause and effect that motivate political violence like hostage taking or even bombings, designed to provoke fear and specific actions like freeing prisoners.

 

Masochism has effects beyond dead civilians and the desired international condemnation. It demands that Palestinian society be dragged by the violence of the street, by factions and ‘rogue cells,’ whose unauthorized and untimely violence must be endorsed lest resistance be ‘betrayed.’ The deepest ‘cycle of violence’ is the individual who invites punishment for the whole, which must then be endorsed and endured.

 

The masochism of the current stabbing campaign is apparent, since any rational analysis based on experience would conclude that Israelis will suffer but Palestinians will ultimately suffer more. But against this is something else, captured neatly in Hamas’ preaching “Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah.” Here is a religious appeal to a higher reality that cannot be refuted by logic or experience. Masochism is an avenue to salvation, transforming murderers into heavenly beings…

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

                                                           

                                                                       

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ISIS FIRES UP PALESTINIANS                                                                                          

Bassam Tawil

Gatestone Institute, Oct. 19, 2015

 

By now, it has become clear that our young Palestinian men and women have learned a lot from the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group. This new "intifada" that some Palestinians are now waging against Israel should be seen in the context of the wider jihad that is being waged by the Islamic State, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda against the "infidels, Zionists, apostates, Crusaders" and against non-extremist Muslims. The tactics employed by Palestinian youths over the past two weeks show that they are doing their utmost to copy the crimes and atrocities committed by the Islamic State in Syria, Iraq, Libya and other Arab countries.

 

Although the Islamic State is not physically present in the West Bank or Jerusalem (largely thanks to the efforts of the Israel Defense Forces and other Israeli security agencies), there is no denying that its spirit and ideology are hovering over the heads of many of our young men and women.  The current wave of stabbings of Jews in Israel and the West Bank is an attempt to imitate Islamic State terrorists who have been using knives to behead many Muslims and non-Muslims during the past two years.

 

Like the Islamic State, many of the Palestinian terrorists who recently stabbed Jews saw themselves as jihadis acting in the name of Allah, the Quran and the Prophet Mohammed. This was evident by the Palestinian terrorists' cries of "Allahu Akbar!" ["Allah is Greater!"] as they pounced on their victims. Our young men and women must have been watching too many videos of Islamic State jihadis shouting "Allahu Akbar!" as they beheaded or burned their victims.

 

The stabbing attacks that were carried out in the past two weeks were actually attempts to slit the throats of Jews, regardless of their age and gender. In most instances, the terrorists were aiming for the upper part of the body, focusing on the victims' throats and necks. The Palestinian terrorists are now trying to replace Islamic State jihadis as the chief "butchers" of human beings in the Middle East. For now, they seem to be partially successful in their mission.

 

Our young men and women have learned from the Islamic State not only the practice of stabbing the "infidels," but also how to destroy religious sites. On Thursday night, scores of Palestinians attacked and torched Joseph's Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus, in scenes reminiscent of the Islamic State's destruction of ancient and holy sites in Syria and Iraq. The shrine was set on fire for no reason other than that it is revered as the tomb of a Jewish biblical figure. This is a site frequented by Jewish worshippers, although it is under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its security forces in Nablus. It is worth noting that agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinians guarantee access for Jewish worshippers to Joseph's Tomb, and there were assurances to the Israelis that the PA could be trusted to safeguard the site.

 

What the Palestinians did to Joseph's Tomb is no different from what the Islamic State and other terrorist groups have been doing to holy sites and archaeological sites in Syria and Iraq. The Palestinians who attacked Joseph's Tomb were obviously influenced by the crimes of the Islamic State against religious and ancient sites. What is still not clear is why the Palestinian Authority security forces, which maintain a tight grip on Nablus, did nothing to prevent the arson attack. How can our leaders in Ramallah accuse Jews of "contaminating" the Aqsa Mosque with their "filthy feet" at a time when our youths burn a religious site such as Joseph's Tomb?

 

This is not the only Jewish holy site that has been targeted by Palestinians in recent years. While our leaders are screaming day and night about Jews "invading" and "desecrating" the Aqsa Mosque, Palestinians from Bethlehem have been throwing stones, petrol bombs and explosive devices at Rachel's Tomb near the city. This has been going on for several years now, in an attempt to kill Jewish worshippers and the Israeli soldiers guarding Rachel's Tomb.The attacks on Joseph's and Rachel's Tombs in Nablus and Bethlehem are part of a Palestinian-Islamic campaign to destroy Jewish holy sites and deny any Jewish link to the land. The attacks are an attempt to rewrite history so that Jews will not be able to claim any religious ties to the land. This is exactly what the Islamic State is doing these days in Syria and Iraq: "erasing history that lets us to learn from the past."…

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

                                                                       

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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE WORLD                                                                                         

Paula Stern

Jewish Press, Oct. 15, 2015

 

In the last few days, as Israel has been hit with a wave of terror, I’ve started to write many times and each time, was only able to capture a fraction of what is on my mind and in my heart. To some extent, feelings are so fleeting, despair so deep, that you realize you can’t capture it and you give up. In each half-finished post (or less or more), there is an element I want to share…and then, I get to a point and realize I can’t. I can’t really explain. I have another thought and so am starting that post but rather than let all these go…I’m going to publish them as they are…unfinished, unedited…unsure. Here’s one:

 

Dear World, This morning, a Palestinian woman blew herself up on the road that goes past my city and into Jerusalem. Her goal was to get herself to downtown Jerusalem (where I work daily) where tens of thousands of people shop and work and kill as many Israelis/Jews as possible. She was stopped with the help of God and an alert policeman from my city.

 

For many days now, you have ignored the ongoing wave of terror directed at Israelis. You have ignored the murder of parents, the orphaning of children. You do not see the violence, the stabbings, the terror, the stoning attacks and the fireworks used as weapons to attack innocent people who are just trying to live their lives and hold on to some level of normalcy. The anger we have here boils inside – partly for what is being done here; partly for the Palestinians attempt to twist the facts to claim WE are guilty. A 19-year old stabs a 15 year old…an innocent, unarmed 15 year old waiting for a train…quick acting security manage to shoot and kill the 19 year old before he can kill the 15 year old or anyone else…and Abu Mazen mourns for the 19 year old terrorist/murderer.

 

A 13 year old Palestinian critically stabbed a 13 year old Jewish boy – and the Palestinians run to the world and complain about the Palestinian 13 year old murderer who was neutralized. And the other part is that you, the world, are stupid enough and deaf enough to accept the Palestinians at their word and speak of Jews and Arabs at war and Israel and the Palestinians needing to calm down. Would you calm down if your child was stabbed simply for being in the street waiting for a bus or a train?

 

Wake up…I would say before it is too late, but I’ve been on the streets of London and Amsterdam – it’s already too late. Europe is dying. As amazing as that sounds, it is the truth. You are about to lose your identity, your enlightenment. Wait, this wave of terror we are experiencing…it’s coming your way.

 

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On Topic

 

Arabs Set Fire to Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem, Pushed Back by PA Police: Jewish Press, Oct. 16, 2015—Several hundred Palestinian Authority Arabs Thursday night set fire to parts of the Joseph’s Tomb compound in the site of biblical Shechem, using firebombs. Palestinian police removed the rioters and put out the fire.

Fatah’s ‘Symphony of Love’ for Jerusalem on Twitter: Hana Levi Julian, Jewish Press, Oct. 15, 2015 —As Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas proclaims the wish of his people for “peace,” the PA’s leading Fatah faction sings a very different song.

Only Four NGOs Condemn Anti-Israeli Violence, Others Focus on Israeli ‘Unlawful Killing’: Jewish Press, Oct. 15, 2015—Only B’Tselem, Rabbis for Human Rights, New Israel Fund (NIF), and Human Rights Watch (HRW) were quick to condemn the attack against Israeli civilians, according to an NGO Monitor report this week.

Israel Must Deport the PLO: Daniel Greenfield, Sultan Knish, Oct. 17, 2015 —The only reason the 80-year-old dictator of the PLO has a new $13 million palace, even while claiming to be short of funds, a $100 million bank account and a 1,000 member presidential guard is because of the same agreement with Israel that he just disavowed.

 

 

OBAMA’S EGYPT POLICY UNDERCUTS US’S  M.E. STANDING,  AS MORSI TILTS CONSTITUTION & PLAYS TO HAMAS IN GAZA

 

 

Articles:

The Region: Empowering the Middle East’s Radicals :

Barry Rubin, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 14, 2012

There are two problems with US policy toward the Middle East:

both the analysis and response aren’t just wrong, they make

things much worse.

 

Fascism In Our New Constitution :

Sherif Younis, Egypt IndependentOct. 8, 2012

The most critical culprit in the current draft constitution being

finalized by the Constituent Assembly is the definition of

citizenship — who is a citizen? The draft constitution defines

citizens as those whose identity is primarily Islamic, and,

secondly, nationals of the country. In this conception of

citizenship, the state aims to control and hegemonize

citizens’ visions, stances and beliefs, working to entrench

them and produce standardized citizens.

 

Egypt Grants Citizenship to 50,000 Palestinians :

Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 11, 2012

Some 50,000 Palestinians, most of them from the Gaza Strip,

have been granted Egyptian citizenship over the past few months,

an Egyptian security official revealed Thursday.  The official said that

the Egyptian Interior Ministry had been instructed to give Egyptian citizenship

to all Palestinians who were born to Egyptian mothers.

 

 

On Topic Links

 

IDF Ups Security Measures Along Israel-Egypt Border :

Yoav Zitun, Ynet News, Oct. 15, 2012

Jama'a al-Islamiya: We Will Fight for Sharia, Even If Blood is Shed :

Al-Masry Al-Youm , Egypt Independent, Oct. 13, 2012

The Powerlessness Excuse: Debunking the Claim that Obama Could

Not Influence the ‘Arab Spring’: Barry Rubin Jewish Press, Oct. 16th, 2012

 


THE REGION: EMPOWERING THE MIDDLE EAST’S RADICALS

Barry Rubin

Jerusalem Post, October 14/2012

 

There are two problems with US policy toward the Middle East: both the analysis and response aren’t just wrong, they make things much worse.

 

The White House has supported the anti-Semitic, anti-American Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Syria; insisted the Brotherhood is moderate; gave untrained, unreliable Libyans control over the US ambassador’s security leading to his death; denied revolutionary Islamists attacked the US embassy and ambassador in Libya for reasons having nothing to do with a California video; apologized for the video in a way that escalated the crisis elsewhere; wrongly claimed al-Qaida is finished, etc.

 

Meanwhile, the Obama administration responds with a democracy- will-solve-everything approach which the same people ridiculed when President George W. Bush advocated it. The errors are deepened in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s latest defense of these wrong-headed policies in a speech given at my first employers, the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

 

Her argument is that the United States should ignore violence and extremism and help build democracies.

The problem is that most of the violence and extremism comes from forces that the Obama administration supports or groups basically allied with those forces. Everything she says lays a basis for disaster:

 

The US government must not be deterred by “the violent acts of a small number of extremists.”  The problem is not a “small number” of extremists – implying al-Qaida – but a large number of them. Extremists now rule in Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Tunisia, and – despite camouflage – Turkey. They may soon be running Syria.

 

More than a decade after September 11, the Obama administration is fighting the last war – the battle against al-Qaida – rather than recognizing that a small group committing periodic terrorist acts is less important than a huge organization taking over entire countries.    “We recognize that these transitions are not America’s to manage, and certainly not ours to win or lose.”

 

 Of course the United States doesn’t manage these transitions, but does – or can – have influence. In Egypt, the Obama administration used its influence to push the military out of power and encourage the Brotherhood. In Syria, it backed management by the pro- Brotherhood Turkish regime and the choice of a Brotherhood-dominated exile leadership. In Bahrain, if not stopped by the State Department it would have helped bring to power a new regime likely to have been an Iranian satellite.

 

 “But we have to stand with those who are working every day to strengthen democratic institutions, defend universal rights, and drive inclusive economic growth. That will produce more capable partners and more durable security over the long term.”

 

Yet the Obama administration has definitely not stood with those people! It has not channeled arms to moderates in Syria, but rather to the Brotherhood, and tolerated Saudi Arabia supplying arms to Salafis. It has done nothing to protect the rights of women or Christians.

 

Moderates in Lebanon, Syria and Egypt – as well as Turkey and Iran – know the Obama administration has not helped them. “We will never prevent every act of violence or terrorism, or achieve perfect security. Our people cannot live in bunkers and do their jobs.”

 

Yes, perfection is hard. But what does that have to do with sending the ambassador to Libya into a lawless city with no protection? And of course you can’t achieve even minimal security if you refuse to recognize where unrest and anti-American hatred originate.

 

For example, the Egyptian government knew that there would be a demonstration outside the US embassy in Cairo and must have known the demonstrators would storm the compound. Their security forces did nothing to protect the embassy. Why? Because they want to stir up anti-Americanism and use it to entrench themselves in power, even as the Obama administration praises the Brotherhood’s regime and sends lots of money.

 

“For the United States, supporting democratic transitions is not a matter of idealism. It is a strategic necessity.” This is absurd. Are “democratic” regimes always better for American strategic concerns than dictatorships? That’s untrue in Egypt and many other countries in the past half-century.

 

Clinton said there has been a backlash against extremist groups in Libya and Tunisia. But the backlash is by frightened people who fear, with good reason, that the extremists are winning.

 

“We stand with the Egyptian people in their quest for universal freedoms and protections…. Egypt’s international standing does depend both on peaceful relations with its neighbors and also on the choices it makes at home and whether or not it fulfills its own promises to its own people.”

 

In fact, Egypt’s people voted – 75 percent in parliamentary elections and about 53 percent in presidential balloting – for those opposing universal freedoms and protections. And if Obama won’t get tough, the Brotherhood regime knows it can repress people at home and let terrorists stage cross-border attacks against Israel without concern for its international standing.

 

“We have, as always, to be clear-eyed about the threat of violent extremism. A year of democratic transition was never going to drain away reservoirs of radicalism built up through decades of dictatorship.”

 

Drain away? This year has empowered radicals! An Obama administration so far from reality subverts US interests and makes the Middle East a far more tragic and dangerous place.  They are doubling down on their errors and will no doubt continue to do so if they have four more years to continue making costly mistakes.  (Top of Page)

 

 

FASCISM IN OUR NEW CONSTITUTION

Sherif Younis

Egypt Independent, October 8, 2012 – 16:23

 

The most critical culprit in the current draft constitution being finalized by the Constituent Assembly is the definition of citizenship — who is a citizen?  The draft constitution defines citizens as those whose identity is primarily Islamic, and, secondly, nationals of the country. In this conception of citizenship, the state aims to control and hegemonize citizens’ visions, stances and beliefs, working to entrench them and produce standardized citizens.

 

Women, in particular, are largely excluded from the constitution, while the basic concepts of creativity and rebellion, as well as revolt, are largely supressed. Members of the Constituent Assembly are neither stupid, nor are they playing the fool. They are drawing on old ideas of the state as one that disciplines the nation in order for the people to reconcile with a supposed identity.

 

To them, this is the essence of patriotism and freedom. This understanding is essentially a legacy of Nasserism, adopted by the Muslim Brotherhood and radical nationalists.  The idea of stipulating a fixed predetermined identity for the state essentially aims at producing a suppressive state. And it is a self-contradictory idea that suggests that a certain identity — be it Islamic or Egyptian — in fact exists, yet is dealt with as an identity that has to be imposed and protected against “distortions” or “foreign influences.”

 

This idea eventually divides the nation into a group of “indigenous people” who are seen to carry the authentic identity of the state on the one hand, and outsiders and traitors on the other hand. The state, with its suppressive tools, is supposed to teach the people about their identity, which is also paradoxically supposed to be inherent in them.

 

That way, state suppression of freedom and pluralism becomes the essence of its own understanding of freedom — and herein lies the contradiction in this draft constitution. Therefore, the initial chapter on the identity of the state restricts freedom before even reaching the freedom chapter.

 

Let us now discuss some proposed articles of the constitution to better understand the problematic stipulations and their consequences in Egypt following the 25 January [2011] uprising.

 

Article 1: The Arab Republic of Egypt is a unified state with indivisible sovereignty. It has a democratic regime that depends on the principles of shura [consultation], pluralism and citizenship, and that regards all citizens as having equal rights and duties. The Egyptian people are a part of the Arab and Islamic nation and insist on their belonging to the Nile Basin, the African continent and their Asian corridors.

 

The principle of shura is an ambiguous concept, and to say that democracy depends on shura — which is a vague idea, even in Islamic jurisprudence — opens the door to restricting democracy. But given the Islamist composition of the Constituent Assembly, this ambiguity may have been intentional.

 

Article 5: Sovereignty is for the people alone and the people are the source of powers. The people exercise sovereignty and protect it, and preserve national unity in the manner determined in the constitution.

 

It is worth noting here that some members of the assembly have suggested that the article states that sovereignty is for God alone, who has bestowed it on the nation to exercise it, and that the people are the source of powers.

 

The variation on the article suggested by some members is reflective of the general spirit dominating the chapter on fundamental state components. This chapter suggests that the state enjoys authority over the Creator, and that it has, in the name of the people, surrendered sovereignty to Him, such that this sovereignty, which is exalted from a religious perspective, has a concrete geographical space throughout which the people can exercise sovereignty.

 

This is a giant step toward the creation of a religious state. In practice, who would have the authority in this religious state? Rumor has it that there is a tendency within the assembly to grant this authority to Al-Azhar.

 

But if in fact such a stipulation is passed, Islamists from the different currents will scramble to control this institution, since whoever controls it would be in control of society and the religious state. Additionally, by taking politics outside the context of the concrete and controllable — through bestowing sovereignty to God — we will be in fact laying the foundation for a fascist state….

 

Article 9: The divine entity is sacrosanct, and so are the entities of the Messengers of God and his Prophets, the wives of the Prophet and the Righteous Caliphs.

 

The stipulation to protect prophets and messengers assumes that the state is a religious one, and more precisely Sunni — one that undermines the concept of citizenship and equality mentioned above. This article reveals a desire on the part of the assembly to undermine citizenship and freedom of expression, given that poetic and literary works often figuratively refer to these figures and the divine entity.  

 

Article 12: The family constitutes the basis of society, and it finds its pillars in religion, ethics and patriotism. The state and society should preserve the religious and ethical identity of the family and the values determining its identity, and work on retaining its coherence and stability, and protecting it.

 

State hegemony over the identity of the family is a form of interference in private life that reaches the level of fascism, and opens the door to political conflict over the use of state tools to determine the crux of that identity and impose it. Family values and ethics are a relative and changeable concept, and so it is unimaginable to have a predetermined model for them, unless within the framework of a Nazi or fascist regime. For example, some Egyptian families allow that their daughters travel abroad to work or study, while others do not. And the majority of Egyptian families would not have allowed their daughters to travel alone a few decades ago.  Ethics and the concept of religion are changeable and historical. This article crystallizes why the idea of state identity itself is problematic.

 

Article 14: The state guarantees that women strike a balance between their duties toward the family and their work in society, and it also guarantees that women are treated as equal to men in the political, social, cultural and economic realms of life, all while upholding the rulings of Islamic Sharia.

 

While the stipulation that Islamic rulings become the main source of legislation was previously taken out from Article 2 of the constitution, its re-emergence here could threaten the principle of equality. Certain fatwas allow the marriage of young girls, for instance, for many of them were issued in old times.… Will these fatwas still hold? Women should not become victims of these flaws.

 

Article 15: The state and society are committed to safeguarding ethics and protecting them, and entrenching authentic Egyptian traditions and the exalted religious discipline, patriotism, ethical values, the historical and civilizational legacy for the nation, general manners and Arab culture, and maintaining monuments and natural reserves within the limits of the law and public order. The state commits to following those principles and entrenching them.

 

The idea of having a predetermined, essentially Islamist identity for the state and its residents crystallizes in this article. Regardless of the type of identity, having the identity stated in the constitution from the outset indicates that the constitution is authoritative because it entrusts the state with determining proper ethics, traditions and legacy, and safeguarding them. Yet this vision is illusory, since values and traditions mean different things in different parts of the country.

 

More alarmingly, however, this stipulation allows for the emergence of an ethical police force to monitor and control what is vaguely defined as ethics and norms. This empowers the emergence of “vigilante morality police” by radical groups such as the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, or regular citizens who would volunteer to terrorize their fellow citizens in accordance with official or unofficial understandings of proper ethics and norms.

 

In general, the above constitutional articles assume that the state is superior to the people, and should hence instill certain ethics in society, which are, in certain perceptions of this constitutional chapter, “derived from the divine.”

 

And finally, the state here is conceived as one that reflects the “will of a nation” and does not express the “will of its people.” This understanding treats the nation as an external body of people that surpasses civilizations and has roots in the past, and seeks to be present in the future. This is exactly the basis of fascism and Nazism.

 

 (Sherif Younis is a lecturer of Egyptian and European modern history at Helwan University, and a professional translator. This article was originally published in Egypt Independent's weekly print edition and has been translated by Dina Zafer.)  (Top of Page)

 

 

EGYPT GRANTS CITIZENSHIP TO 50,000 PALESTINIANS

Khaled Abu Toameh

Jerusalem Post, October 11, 2012

 

Some 50,000 Palestinians, most of them from the Gaza Strip, have been granted Egyptian citizenship over the past few months, an Egyptian security official revealed Thursday.  The official said that the Egyptian Interior Ministry had been instructed to give Egyptian citizenship to all Palestinians who were born to Egyptian mothers.

 

The official, who was not identified, told the Egyptian newspaper El-Watan that the instructions came from the country’s High Administrative Court in Cairo last May. The official pointed out that the number of Palestinians who have received Egyptian citizenship increased dramatically after the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak. Egypt now occupies second place – after Jordan – in granting citizenship to Palestinians.

 

The court decision paved the way for thousands of Palestinians, particularly those living in the Gaza Strip, to apply for and receive Egyptian passports. Until recently, Egypt, like most Arab countries, had refused to grant citizenship to Palestinians in accordance with an Arab League resolution dating back to 1965.

 

According to the resolution, “Palestinians who are residing in the Arab countries are given, upon their request, valid travel documents. The concerned [Arab] authorities must, wherever they be, issue these documents or renew them without delay.”

 

The Arab countries have justified their refusal to grant citizenship to Palestinians by arguing that they wish to protect the Palestinian identity and ensure their return to their original homes inside Israel. The Egyptian official also revealed that Cairo was now studying the request of an additional 35,000 Palestinians to receive Egyptian citizenship.

 

He predicted that by 2013 the number of Palestinians who would have received Egyptian citizenship would rise to 100,000. Mahmoud Zahar, a senior Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, disclosed earlier this year that he too had become an Egyptian national thanks to the fact that he had been born to an Egyptian mother. (Top of Page)

 

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IDF ups Security Measures Along Israel-Egypt Border :

Yoav Zitun, Ynet News, Oct. 15, 2012

Military deploys sophisticated sensor system along new fence,

volatile Dune sector. Deployment moved up following increase

in Sinai-based terror threats.

 

Jama'a al-Islamiya: We will Fight for Sharia, even if Blood is Shed :

Al-Masry Al-Youm , Egypt Independent, Oct. 13, 10/2012

Jama'a al-Islamiya hinted Friday that it may be willing to resort to violence

in order to see Sharia adopted in the latest draft of the constitution from the

Constituent Assembly.  The group called on Egyptians to collect funds for

what it described as a battle against “secularists and liberals.”

 

The Powerlessness Excuse: Debunking the Claim that Obama Could

Not Influence the ‘Arab Spring’: Barry Rubin Jewish Press, Oct. 16th, 2012

One argument we will be increasingly hearing is that President Barack Obama

couldn’t have done anything to change events in the Middle East. This is ironic

of course because when things were going well he wanted to take credit as the

inspiration for the “Arab Spring.”