Tag: Islamic Jihad

I.S. RECRUITS POTENTIAL JIHADISTS WITH PROMISE OF MARTYRDOM & PARADISE IN AFTERLIFE

ISIS Copies a Palestinian Tactic: Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, Aug. 15, 2016— In my last post, I discussed how Palestinian culture encourages suicidal youngsters to kill by offering a simple bargain: Murder a Jew, and you instantly become a hero.

Islamic State Should be Wiped Out: Prof. Steven R. David, BESA, Aug. 11, 2016— In my last post, I discussed how Palestinian culture encourages suicidal youngsters to kill by offering a simple bargain: Murder a Jew, and you instantly become a hero.

Freelance Jihad: A.J. Caschetta, Washington Examiner, Aug. 11, 2016— Earlier this month, I fired a silver bullet at the heart of the "Lone Wolf" analysis…

Paradise, the New Muslim Utopia: Kamel Daoud, New York Times, Aug. 2, 2016— Future writing project: a topography of paradise in the medieval Muslim imagination.

 

On Topic Links

 

The Destruction of Islamic State is a Strategic Mistake: Prof. Efraim Inbar, BESA, Aug. 2, 2016

Thwarted Canadian Terrorist Attack Still Raises Questions: Scott Newark, IPT, Aug. 15, 2016

Trump's Jihad Against Jihad Deserves Support: Tarek Fatah, Toronto Sun, Aug. 16, 2016

A Growing Trend: Brave Muslim Zionists: Noah Beck, Algemeiner, Aug. 15, 2016

 

 

 

       ISIS COPIES A PALESTINIAN TACTIC

Evelyn Gordon

Commentary, Aug. 15, 2016

 

In my last post, I discussed how Palestinian culture encourages suicidal youngsters to kill by offering a simple bargain: Murder a Jew, and you instantly become a hero. While the West has long turned a blind eye to this behavior, its refusal to look reality in the face is now coming back to haunt it. For today, the Islamic State is making the very same tempting offer to distraught Muslims in Western countries–murder a Westerner, and you can instantly become a hero instead of a failure.

 

It’s no accident that several recent terror attacks in Western countries have been carried out by people who apparently had histories of mental illness, including Nice, Orlando, and several attacks in Germany. Nor is it any accident that the Islamic State is cultivating such people. As with many other terrorist techniques pioneered by the Palestinians, ISIS has copied this one precisely because it proved successful–and not just as a means of recruiting assailants.

 

This tactic also serves two other important purposes. First, it encourages an already strong Western tendency to ignore the terrorists’ true aims. I discussed this with regard to the Palestinians in my previous post; a classic example concerning the Islamic State was Kenan Malik’s op-ed in the New York Times on Tuesday. “In the past, groups employing terrorism, such as the Irish Republican Army or the Palestine Liberation Organization, were driven by specific political aims: a united Ireland or an independent Palestine,” Malik wrote. “Jihadists are different. They have little or no explicit political aim but are driven by a visceral hatred of the West.”

 

In reality, Islamic State is quite open about its aims: It wants to destroy the West and establish a global Islamic caliphate. Indeed, being open about its goals is part of how it attracts new recruits, just as Palestinian organizations attract support by boasting of their efforts to destroy the Jewish state. But at the same time, both the Palestinians and ISIS would prefer that the West not take their goals too seriously since, if it did, it might stop supporting the Palestinians or actually get serious about destroying ISIS. The use of emotionally distressed recruits is an ideal way for terrorists to foster confusion about their aims because it makes it even easier for well-meaning Westerners to reassure themselves that Islamist death cults, which exploit such distress to turn people into killers, aren’t actually the problem. The real issue, they tell themselves, is mental health or social alienation.

 

Second, this tactic helps divide the West and turn it against itself, because it reinforces another existing tendency of many well-meaning Westerners–blaming the victim for having driven the attacker to such a dreadful deed. Westerners have been blaming Palestinian terror on Israel for years, and now, many are blaming themselves for ISIS. A classic example of this tendency emerged the day after deadly attacks killed 129 people at the Bataclan concert hall and other venues around Paris last November. Anshel Pfeffer of Haaretz visited the 11th arrondissement, one of the neighborhoods where attacks took place and discovered that people “aren’t angry, at least not at the perpetrators.”

 

The terrorists are “stupid, but they aren’t evil,” a woman who works at one of the district’s theaters told him. “They are victims of a system that excluded them from society, that’s why they felt this doesn’t belong to them and they could attack. There are those who live here in alienation, and we are all to blame for this alienation.” Some of the others blamed French or American foreign policy. But “no one wanted to talk about Islamists or the Islamic State, even after it took responsibility for the attacks,” Pfeffer wrote. “It was hard to find anyone at this gathering who would say a bad word about the attackers.”

 

Using assailants with a history of mental or emotional problems is an ideal way for terrorists to reinforce this tendency as well, because it enables people to focus on the assailant’s distress, and society’s failure to deal with it, rather than on the evil intent of those who incited him to kill by telling him he would thereby become a hero instead of a loser. Yet both gambits are working for ISIS now precisely because Westerners were conditioned for decades to believe them by the way their own journalists, academics, and political leaders insistently treated Palestinian terror as Israel’s fault.

 

Some Westerners, like the young Parisians interviewed by Pfeffer, have so internalized this attitude that they simply transfer it to their own countries; asserting that their society, too, must be to blame for the attacks against it. Others, like Malik, perform a kind of inversion: Indoctrinated to believe that terror is the victim’s fault, yet unable to believe their own societies evil enough to merit such attacks, they resolve the dilemma by asserting that unlike Palestinian violence–which Malik deems “rational” and “governed by certain norms”– jihadist violence must be senseless than rather than purposeful. “It is the arbitrariness of jihadist violence and its disregard for moral bounds that make it terrifying,” he proclaimed (he evidently thinks murdering random civilians in Israel is well within moral bounds).

 

But whichever approach they choose, the one thing people like Malik and those young Parisians aren’t doing is putting the blame where it belongs: on the terrorist leaders who groom perpetrators to commit mass murder by indoctrinating them to believe that the road to glory runs through killing others. Terror can never be defeated until Westerners recognizes the crucial role played by this glorification of murder. And that won’t happen as long as the West keeps giving it a pass among the Palestinians, for they are the ones who pioneered this culture of death and inspired all the subsequent copycats.                                                   

 

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ISLAMIC STATE SHOULD BE WIPED OUT                  

                                         Prof. Steven R. David                       

BESA, Aug. 11, 2016

 

Prof. Efraim Inbar recently argued (August 2, “Destruction of Islamic State is a Strategic Mistake,” BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 353) that although the West should attempt to weaken Islamic State (IS), it should refrain from seeking its destruction. According to Inbar, IS does not pose much of a threat to the West. Its armed forces are too feeble to defeat determined opposition. Terrorist attacks done in its name are carried out by “lone wolves” with little or no connection to the group. Moreover, IS does the West a service by attracting would-be terrorists, making it easier for intelligence services to identify those who are not killed in battle.

 

An IS without territory, Inbar claims, would focus its efforts on promoting terrorism throughout the world, indirectly strengthening the hand of Assad and his Iranian benefactors. In Inbar’s view, the brutality of IS should not obscure that its presence allows “bad guys to kill bad guys,” ultimately serving Western interests. Therefore, the best policy is to contain IS, but keep its caliphate alive.

 

Inbar deserves credit for his provocative and original analysis. But he is wrong. The existence of IS hurts the West in many ways, making its elimination an urgent priority. The principal threat to the West from IS stems from its support of international terrorism, and this threat is made much worse by the existence of its caliphate. Many terrorists thought to be “lone wolves,” it was later determined, had close ties to IS. Rather than acting on their own or simply being inspired by IS, they were trained, equipped, or directed by operatives of IS acting from its capital of Raqqa.

 

It stands to reason that directing a terrorist network is easier when territory is held than when activities must be conducted in the shadows of hostile states. It is far easier to train recruits, prepare false documents, and plan attacks in one’s own country, free from the fear of police surveillance. It is noteworthy that much of the planning and training for the 9/11 attacks was carried out in the welcoming land of Afghanistan. In response, the US toppled the Taliban government and installed an occupying force to ensure that its territory would never again be used to plot against American soil. The same logic should be applied to the caliphate of IS, which regularly plans and directs terrorist attacks against the West and much of the rest of the world.

 

The caliphate also hurts Western interests by serving as an inspiration for terrorist acts. Inbar assumes that IS attracts individuals already bent on terrorism, but ignores that IS’s very existence inspires terrorists. Why has IS eclipsed Al-Qaeda as the principal threat to the West and worldwide stability? In large measure, it is because of the restoration of the caliphate. Al Qaeda reserved the prospect of such restoration for some distant, unknown future. IS appeals to those who are energized by the notion that the caliphate has now been established. So long as the caliphate endures, so too will the appeal of IS. IS is also more attractive than Al Qaeda because of its slick media campaigns. The videos it posts of its military actions and horrific acts have attracted volunteers from throughout the world. IS’s use of social networking media would not be nearly as effective if it did not have the freedom of its own territory in which to film whatever it chooses.

 

Most important, the persistence of IS is unacceptable because it demonstrates the impotence of the West. In the heart of the Middle East, IS thumbs its nose at the world, killing hundreds of innocents while destabilizing a critical region. What does this say about the West’s ability to protect its own? With each terrorist outrage and triumphant claim of responsibility from IS, the West’s credibility shrinks. If a collection of the world’s most powerful states cannot eliminate an ongoing threat to its interests perpetuated by maybe 30,000 fanatics armed with little more than pick-up trucks, the ability of the West to ensure the security of its own countries – to say nothing of creating a liberal world order –  is called into question.

 

The collapse of IS will not, as Inbar suggests, create a terrorist diaspora. Rather, it will demonstrate the bankruptcy of IS’s ideas, much as the end of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union did much to undermine their respective ideologies. Nor will the end of IS result in the victory of Assad and his Iranian backers. Assad (and Iran) have many other foes throughout the Middle East, all of whom are far more palatable than the brutes of IS. It is far better to align with them than to make common cause with IS, even indirectly. There are valid disagreements about how best to eliminate IS. It is not easy to determine, for example, whether it would be better to rely on indigenous actors or Western intervention. If the West does intervene, the scale and nature of that intervention is and should be the subject of debate. What is clear, however, is that the West and the broader international community would be much better off if IS, and the horrific activities it spawns, were wiped off the face of the earth.

 

 

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FREELANCE JIHAD

A.J. Caschetta                                 

Washington Examiner, Aug. 11, 2016

 

Earlier this month, I fired a silver bullet at the heart of the "Lone Wolf" analysis, a flawed paradigm depicting every jihadist without demonstrable ties to a terrorist organization as an unfathomable mystery whose motives we may never know. Since then I have been inundated with inquiries about a replacement.

If we reject the term "lone wolves," some asked, what shall we call them? In a succinct message, Daniel Pipes offered a wonderful replacement: "freelancers."

 

It's a suitable enough fit based solely on the association with writers or photographers who work without contractual obligations to any particular publication. But the term's etymology in the language of warfare makes it perfect. The word "lance" comes from the Latin lancea, which is a Roman light spear. "Lance" became a nearly universal word in Western Europe, adopted by both Romance (lanca, lanza) and Teutonic (lans, lanze) languages. The legendary warrior Sir Lancelot gets his name from the weapon. In the Middle Ages, spears got bigger, and in medieval warfare the term "lancer" came to denote a horse-mounted spearman. In an era when kings and feudal lords owned the means of conducting war, the Italian condottiere (like Francesco Sforza and Federigo da Montefeltro) broke the mold by selling their martial skills to the highest bidder. Today we call them mercenaries.

 

Global jihadism has become more dispersed, with greater freedom among combatants. The English-speaking world also had warriors who owned the means of conducting warfare. Indentured to none and able to fight for any cause and in any army, they were called "free lancers." Like medieval warfare, the global jihad movement has evolved. Once dominated by hierarchical structures with centralized power, it has become a more dispersed phenomenon with less control over, and greater freedom among, combatants. A pivotal point came with the defeat of the Taliban and dispersal of al Qaeda in 2001.

 

Osama bin Laden once ruled as the uncontested commander of the most significant jihad organization. Under him, a Shura council oversaw the activities of four committees (Special Operations, Military, Public Relations and Finance), which in turn supervised untold numbers of independent cells. After the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, al Qaeda no longer controlled the means of conducting jihad. The training that once occurred in specialized camps located in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Sudan ceased. Bin Laden struggled to maintain his position atop the chain of command. But even at its peak of power, al Qaeda associated with freelancers. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed purportedly cooperated with al Qaeda for years before swearing bay'a (allegiance) to bin Laden. His nephew Ramzi Yousef fought for the cause without ever swearing allegiance to anyone. The debate still rages over whether Abu Zubayda was a member of al Qaeda or a free-lance jihad financier.

 

Likewise, the Palestinian jihad against Israel was once dominated by organizations like the PLO, PIJ, Hamas, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and others. During the deadliest period of the "second intifada," the proliferation of organizations meant that recruiters, handlers and dispatchers were ubiquitous, and freelancers were rare. And while those organizations show no signs of going away, the current so-called "Knife Intifada" has brought about a tactical shift. Kitchen knives and even screwdrivers are the tools of freelance jihad in Israel. When these are unavailable, an opportunistic freelancer can always deploy cars, trucks even bulldozers as weapons.

 

Today's jihadist often works without ties to an organizational hierarchy. In the late 20th century, jihad terrorism was conducted primarily by organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah and al Qaeda. The attacks were meticulously planned over the course of months and even years. In the 21st century, it is beginning to look like jihad terrorism might become dominated by freelancers whose attacks may be near-spontaneous strikes requiring little planning.

 

The term "freelancer" captures precisely the entrepreneurial spirit of today's jihadist who works without ties to an organizational hierarchy but follows the same pattern concerning targets, tactics and goals. Economically, freelancers represent the cheapest form of jihad. Operationally, they are less likely than "members" to attract the attention of law enforcement officials. "Training" can be conducted online. Even if they have "no direct links" to an organization's leadership and have never set foot in Syria or Iraq, American and European Muslims who conduct attacks in the name of the Islamic State or al Qaeda, or "in defense of Muslims," are just as much a part of the movement as anyone fighting in Aleppo or Sana'a. They are not lone wolves and their motives are not unknowable. They are freelancers in the global jihad.

 

 

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                       PARADISE, THE NEW MUSLIM UTOPIA

Kamel Daoud               

          New York Times, Aug. 2, 2016

 

Future writing project: a topography of paradise in the medieval Muslim imagination. But not only medieval, for among Muslims today paradise is also at the center of political discourse, sermons and the contemporary imagination. Paradise as a goal for the individual or the group has gradually replaced the dreams of development, stability and wealth promised by postwar decolonization in the so-called Arab world. These days, one imagines happy tomorrows only after death, not before.

 

“Paradise decks itself in delights,” an editorial writer mused in an Algerian Islamist newspaper during the most recent Ramadan, the month of fasting. The declaration was followed by descriptions of the charms, the delights, the joys that await the faithful after death. This fantasy of paradise, amply depicted as a place of pleasures, with sex and wine, golden adornments and silk apparel, is the opposite of earthly life — and of the frustrations experienced in Arab countries afflicted by economic failures, wars and bloody dictatorships.

 

Firdaus (a remote ancestor of the word “paradise,” derived from the Persian) was promised by the Quran and has been abundantly described in religious literature for centuries. But in recent years, paradise has also become the country dreamed of by the poor, the unemployed, the believer — and the jihadist, thanks to certain religious elites who promote it as a means of recruitment. This is a fascinating renewal of the concept of happiness that was dominant a half-century ago. Back then, the countries of the Maghreb and the Middle East — born out of decolonization often violently wrested from occupying forces that had imposed on them war, poverty and misery — advocated for a vision of the future based on independence, egalitarianism, development, wealth creation, justice and coexistence.

 

That vision of utopia within human reach, which was taken up by the socialist or communist elites and even some monarchies, was a shared political dream, and it gave legitimacy to those new regimes in the eyes of both their own peoples and foreign governments. Decolonization was the era of grand slogans about the advancement of peoples and modernization through massive infrastructure projects. But that dream has aged badly, because of the bloody-mindedness of those authoritarian regimes and the political failures of the left in the Arab world. Today, one has to be a Muslim – by faith, culture or place of residence – in order to experience the full weight of the new post-mortem utopia of the Islamosphere circulating on the internet and the media. It conditions people’s imaginations, political speech, coffee-shop daydreams and the desperation of the younger generations. Paradise has come back into fashion, described in mind-boggling detail by preachers, imams and Islamist fantasy literature.

 

Its main selling point: women, who are promised in vast numbers as a reward for the righteous. The women of paradise, the houris, are beautiful, submissive, languorous virgins. The idea of them feeds a barely believable form of erotico-Islamism that drives jihadists and gets other men to fantasize about escaping the sexual misery of everyday life. Suicide bombers or misogynists, they share the same dream. What about the women allowed into the eternal garden? If men can have dozens of virgins, what of the women, especially considering the machismo of those earthbound dream-makers? The preachers’ responses can be amusing: The woman’s heavenly reward is to be her husband’s happy wife throughout eternity, the two of them destined to enjoy perpetual conjugal felicity, at the symbolic age of 33 and in good health. And if the woman is divorced? A preacher replies that she will be remarried to a dead man who was also divorced.

 

Curiously, this dream of a Muslim paradise finds itself confronted with another dream at once antagonistic and similar: the West. Generating passion or hatred for the Muslim believer and the jihadist alike, the West and its indulgences represent another facet of the post-mortem Muslim paradise. One dreams of going there, whether as migrant or as martyr. One dreams of going to the West and of living and dying there, or of subjugating and destroying it. The new Muslim utopia weighs heavily on today’s Arab world. What motivates the masses, gives sense to their despair, lightens the weight of the world and compensates for sorrow no longer is the promise of a rich and happy country, as was the case after decolonization; it’s a vision of paradise in the afterlife. But this fantasy of eternal bliss also causes uneasiness: For however much one wishes to ignore this, the fact remains that in order to get to heaven, one first has to die.

 

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On Topic Links

 

The Destruction of Islamic State is a Strategic Mistake: Prof. Efraim Inbar, BESA, Aug. 2, 2016—US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter recently gathered defense ministers from allied nations to plan what officials hope will be the decisive stage in the campaign to eradicate the Islamic State (IS) organization. This is a strategic mistake.

Thwarted Canadian Terrorist Attack Still Raises Questions: Scott Newark, IPT, Aug. 15, 2016—Last week's successful prevention of a terrorist attack merits Canadians' appreciation for the effective work of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Ontario Provincial Police and local police.

Trump's Jihad Against Jihad Deserves Support: Tarek Fatah, Toronto Sun, Aug. 16, 2016—It didn't take long for critics of Donald Trump to cry foul when the Republican presidential candidate announced his plans to "temporarily suspend immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting [Islamic] terrorism."

A Growing Trend: Brave Muslim Zionists: Noah Beck, Algemeiner, Aug. 15, 2016—Muslims and Arabs who openly identify as Zionists are growing in number – powered by the freer flow of information and ideas made possible by social media and the search for answers in the wake of the Arab Spring and Islamist terror.

 

 

 

PROGRESSIVES, FEARING “ISLAMOPHOBIA”, IGNORE MUSLIM REFORMERS, ISLAMIST EXTREMISM & HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

Most Muslims Aren’t Jihadists, of Course. But Some of Them Are: Barbara Kay, National Post, Jan. 27, 2016 — In the era when Communism was the big global threat, we used to be able to say, with impunity, that Marxism could exist without Communism but Communism would not exist without Marx…

Obama's Not Listening to the Right Muslims: Tarek Fatah, Toronto Sun, Feb. 9, 2016— As President Barack Obama’s presidential motorcade turned towards the Baltimore Islamic Centre mosque, he could not have missed seeing three Muslim women holding signs protesting his visit.

Lessons From Al Capone On Countering Islamist Violence: Johanna Markand, Daily Caller, Feb. 15, 2016— Eighty-seven years ago yesterday, Al Capone’s South Side gang lured leading members of Bugs Moran’s North Side Irish gang into a Chicago garage and gunned them down execution style in what became known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

How to Fight Homophobia in the Middle East: Benjamin Weinthal, National Post, Jan. 14, 2016 — January began with more horrific news for LGBTs in the Middle East.

 

On Topic Links

 

Explaining the Islamic State Phenomenon: Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, JCPA, Jan. 20, 2016

How to properly beat your wife, according to the PA Mufti in Gaza: Itamar Marcus & Nan Jacques Zilberdik, PMW, Feb. 15, 2016

The Muslim Man’s Sexual “Rights” Over Non-Muslim Women: Raymond Ibrahim, Breaking Israel News, Feb. 17, 2016

Inside Al Huda: Colin Freeze, Globe & Mail, Jan. 8, 2015              

 

 

MOST MUSLIMS AREN’T JIHADISTS, OF COURSE. BUT SOME OF THEM ARE

Barbara Kay                          

National Post, Jan. 27, 2016

 

In the era when Communism was the big global threat, we used to be able to say, with impunity, that Marxism could exist without Communism but Communism would not exist without Marx; that fellow travellers in the West who purposefully infiltrated key political institutions in the service of the Communist revolution were a grave threat to democracy; and that informing the public about their methods was a civic duty, not hate speech against socialists.

 

Today it is the reverse. Islamism is the gravest global threat, but one is pilloried for saying the obvious: there can be an Islam without Islamism, but no Islamism without Islam. It is considered racism to inform the public about the stealth jihad being carried out by fellow-travellers of jihadism. And our leaders seem to be more concerned about offending Muslims than they are with defeating jihadism. This makes no sense to me. Here is some information that should be widely known, but isn’t for the reasons stated above.

 

There are about three million Muslims in America, and roughly 300 of them have been convicted of jihadism in some form — financial support, weapon supply and other criminal acts up to and including murder — since 9/11. The numbers are increasing every year. Last year, at least 80 people were charged in the U.S. in jihad-related cases. But homegrown jihadism of the lone-wolf variety is difficult to predict since, like Canadian Parliament Hill terrorist Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, most have no previous record.

 

President Obama does not help matters when he says, as he did on a CNN show about terrorism, “It’s very important for us to align ourselves with the 99.9 per cent of Muslims who are looking for the same thing we’re looking for.” That’s a number Obama conjured from thin air to comfort himself and to chill honest conversation on the subject. He really has no idea of the breakdown in opinions on the question of what Muslims in general “are looking for.”

 

But if such a breakdown is something that interests you, I recommend a short, but highly informative video in the Clarion Project’s “Challenging Extremism/Promoting Dialogue” series, animated by Canadian Muslim reformist Raheel Raza, entitled, “The Untold Story of Muslim Opinions and Demographics.” Raza, a Sunni Muslim devoted to democracy and pluralism, who has been speaking out against the “disease” of radical Islam for 20 years, is a Canadian treasure. Passionate, transparent and fearless (she has received many fatwas and death threats for her outspoken views), she is a great ambassador for her faith. And very angry at those who would patronize her by pretending that the problem lies with a few “horrible bad people” (as politically correct actor Ben Affleck put it) and not, as she proceeds to tell us, with a very disturbing percentage of the global Islamic population.

 

Islam is the world’s fastest-growing religion, with 1.6 billion Muslims today, and set to surpass Christianity in numbers within the century. So even though the core jihadists are a tiny percentage of the whole, there are plenty of them – up to 200,000 in the Islamic State alone, with many hundreds of thousands in other terrorist groups.

 

If it were only core jihadists we had to contend with, we wouldn’t have much to fear. Unfortunately the terrorist core is surrounded by circles that are more or less supportive of jihadist goals: the Muslim Brotherhood and the organization CAIR, for example, are composed of Islamists who eschew violence themselves, but support triumphalist Islam through legal means: political/institutional memberships, lawfare and relentless promotion of a demonstrably mythic, but guilt-inducing “Islamophobia.”

 

The largest group of concern are those Muslims who are neither Islamist or jihad-supportive, but hold beliefs in retrograde cultural practices that cannot co-exist in harmony with western civilization. In-depth Pew research finds that 27 per cent of Sharia-supportive Muslims — 237 million — believe apostates should be executed, and 39 per cent — 345 million — believe honour killings of girls and women are sometimes or always justified. In Muslim-majority countries, 281 million Muslims support cutting off hands and stonings to death as punishments for proscribed behaviours like (female) adultery and homosexuality. Happily, relatively speaking, while support for terrorism is high in Islamic countries, fewer than 10 per cent of American Muslims (about 300,000) say they agree that terrorism — i.e., killing civilians — is sometimes justified to defend Islam, with the numbers significantly elevated in Europe. 

 

There are people who will say it is fear-mongering or Islamophobic to discuss these numbers. Doubtless President Obama would find it distasteful. Based on his actions and statements, so, alas, might Prime Minister Trudeau. But pretending these numbers don’t exist, pretending that “extremism” is a random virus that strikes without warning and is completely detached from a belief system has been a strategy tried and found wanting. Having an honest conversation with lucid, reform-minded Muslims like Raheel Raza might be a more fruitful way to go. You can join the conversation at go.clarionproject.org/numbers-full-film/.        

 

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OBAMA'S NOT LISTENING TO THE RIGHT MUSLIMS

Tarek Fatah        

                                                Toronto Sun, Feb. 9, 2016

 

As President Barack Obama’s presidential motorcade turned towards the Baltimore Islamic Centre mosque, he could not have missed seeing three Muslim women holding signs protesting his visit. Standing just a few metres from the mosque were Indian-born American journalist Asra Nomani, Iranian-born human rights activist Nasrin Afzali from Montreal and Nigerian-born convert to Islam Ify Okoye who recently left the Islamic Society of Baltimore after giving up on the widespread misogyny she says is practiced at the centre.

 

The signs read “Women’s Rights in Mosques” and “Separate is not Equal” to highlight the second-class status of women in that particular mosque. If Obama noticed the protesting women, he did not mention it in his speech. Chances are all three just did not fit the profile of what Obama and the Washington media considers a Muslim—women in tightly wrapped hijabs or bearded moustacheless men in long robes.

 

As far as Obama was concerned his speech inside the mosque reflected his infatuation with orthodox ultra-conservative Islam that first came to light during his Cairo speech in 2009. Back then it was the Obama administration that insisted at least 10 members of the banned Islamist group Muslim Brotherhood not only be invited to attend his speech in Cairo, but that they sit in the front row. In his carefully crafted speech, Obama talked about American Muslims strictly in terms of religiosity. As if there were no Muslim trade unionists or astronauts in America, no dancers or designers. As far as Obama was concerned, only mosques, minarets and hijabs were relevant to U.S. Muslims.

 

Obama told his Muslim Brotherhood guests in Cairo: “[T]here is a mosque in every state of our union, and over 1,200 mosques within our borders … the U.S. government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab, and to punish those who would deny it.”

 

Fast-forward to 2016. It was as if he was rounding up his presidency exactly where he began—in the arms of the only Muslims he considers Muslim, the misogynist mosque establishment run by America’s Islamists. There was no mention of the likes of novelist Khaled Hosseini or the self-funded female space traveller Anousheh Ansari let alone the three protesting women outside. In his speech Obama validated the Islamist propaganda that Muslims in America are victims of racism and so-called Islamophobia:

 

“[S]ince 9/11, but more recently, since the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, you’ve seen too often people conflating the horrific acts of terrorism with the beliefs of an entire faith. And of course, recently, we’ve heard inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim Americans that has no place in our country.”

 

Sabah Muktar was the hijab-clad woman who gave the welcome address to the president who was then greeted by five-year old girls also in hijab, their parents wrapping them up in attire that is both political and a symbol of sexuality. After the president and the press left, the hijabi women and girls in the mosque were herded back to the back of the bus, segregated, not to be seen or heard. Nomani went home to hear her president’s speech. I asked her how she felt and this is what she had to say:

 

“We are not under attack by the West. We are in a crisis because of the unchecked intrusions of Saudi Arabia’s extremist doctrine into the West, called Wahhabi or Salafi jihadi. We need to respond with Muslim reform that advocates peace, human rights and secular governance.” Imagine if it was Asra Nomani who had Obama’s ears rather than the hijab-clad women perpetuating their self-inflicted addiction to victimhood. Just imagine.

 

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LESSONS FROM AL CAPONE ON COUNTERING ISLAMIST VIOLENCE

Johanna Markand                          

                                                The Daily Caller, Feb. 15, 2016

 

Eighty-seven years ago yesterday, Al Capone’s South Side gang lured leading members of Bugs Moran’s North Side Irish gang into a Chicago garage and gunned them down execution style in what became known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Amid public uproar, local and federal authorities began for the first time to seriously crack down on Capone, who was listed as “public enemy” number one by the Chicago Crime Commission within a year.

 

Imagine if Italian-American organizations had responded to all this by claiming that the Italian community was caught in the “middle” of organized crime by Irish and other gangs, that the mafia violence was the result of upheaval in Sicily and discrimination in America, and that there would have to be a comprehensive approach by government, community organizations, law enforcement, and citizens to address all gang violence and discrimination, because an approach targeting only the Italian mafia is “not going to handle it.”

 

Would anyone who heard that response have believed the organizations offering it were trying to help law enforcement, the American public, or even their own community? Or would they have believed these groups were in the pocket of the Italian mafia and using any and every excuse possible to do nothing to oppose it?

 

Fast forward to earlier this month, when the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) held a conference of Muslim organizations in the U.S. and other Western nations. Afterwards, USCMO Secretary General Oussama Jammal made a brief statement, then took questions. Asked what his coalition would do “to combat the rising tide of extremism in Europe and the flow of the recruitment of ISIS of European citizens and … young people from the West,” Jammal replied,

 

“We do acknowledge the rise of extremism on both sides and therefore it is a threat to the society at large, not just the Muslim communities from let’s say right-wing extremism but also from the violent extremism that comes from the Middle East as a result of the chaotic political upheaval and situation in that area and the Muslim communities in the West have been caught right in the middle trying to fight both extremism.  And therefore it will take more than just the Muslim community to face these challenges but it’s going to be an integral part of the government, community organizations, and law enforcement and citizens to really face this.  We believe there has to be a comprehensive approach to dealing with violent extremism in any side and therefore one single approach to it we believe is not going to handle it.”

 

Let’s dissect that “answer.” In what has become a trope, Jammal introduces the irrelevant topic of “right-wing extremism” and uses it, first, to imply Islamist extremism is simply one aspect of a more general problem, thereby minimizing the connection between Islamism and jihadi violence. Then, Jammal asserts that Islamist violence is “a result of the chaotic political upheaval and situation” in the Middle East. In other words, Islamist violence is a political problem, resulting from violence in the Middle East. Implicitly, Jammal denies any link between Islamism and Islam or its ideologies, notably the Muslim Brotherhood. One almost expects Jammal to add the claim that Islamist violence is the product of the US invasion of Iraq, as though it did not exist before.

 

Next, Jammal opines that Muslim communities in the West “have been caught right in the middle trying to fight both extremism.” Exactly what are Muslim communities in the middle of? Jammal seems to be claiming that Muslims are the victims here, of both “right-wing” and Islamist extremists. He does not offer any details of how or in what way Muslim communities are the victims of Islamist extremists. Unsuspecting Muslim parents are certainly victimized when ISIS lures their minor children to Syria. Unfortunately, Jammal offers no response at all about whether the new coordinating body has a plan to combat the flight of young Muslims to join ISIS.

 

Instead, Jammal laments that “it will take more than just the Muslim community to face these challenges,” while insisting that there “has to be a comprehensive approach to dealing with violent extremism in any side” and “therefore one single approach to it we believe is not going to handle it.” Therefore what, exactly? The implicit gist here is that, according to Jammal, neither Muslim community members nor Muslim organizations can or should do a thing to counter the lure of ISIS or prevent Islamist massacres so long as law enforcement specifically targets Islamist violence and jihadi organizations.

 

Can one read Jammal’s statement, or the many others like it by USCMO, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and its other member organizations, and believe that these organizations are serious about opposing Islamist violence?

 

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HOW TO FIGHT HOMOPHOBIA IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Benjamin Weinthal                                

National Post, Jan. 14, 2016

 

January began with more horrific news for LGBTs in the Middle East. The Islamic State executed a 15-year-old Syrian boy suspected of being gay by tossing him off a rooftop in the eastern Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor. Such reports are not new, or rare. The time is ripe for Canada and the United States — two countries where the march of progress has secured marriage equality for LGBTs — to confront lethal homophobia and persecution in the Arab world and Iran.

 

Just last month, the Empire State Pride Agenda in New York, an important LGBT human rights NGO, announced that it will disband because it achieved its goals of LGBT equalities over its 25-year history. This was a mistake, in large part because the battle for LGBT protections requires advocacy in Muslim-majority countries. Canada, to its credit, seeks to provide priority resettlement to Syrian LGBT refugees because of their dire plight. But it can do much more to influence a change in anti-LGBT behaviour in the Middle East.

 

The row between Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran over mass executions in the kingdom and the torching of the Saudi embassy in Tehran is a significant opportunity for the West to end the death penalty for LGBTs. The Islamic State organization, which has executed dozens of gays, replicates the anti-gay policies of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and Qatar, to name just some of the most dangerous countries. According to a 2008 British WikiLeaks dispatch, Iran’s regime executed “between 4,000 and 6,000 gays and lesbians” since the Iranian revolution in 1979. Even Arab countries that on paper limit punishment for homosexuality to prison sentences seek to exterminate their LGBT communities.

 

Danny Ramada, a gay Syrian who was granted asylum by Canada, said in November, “Legally speaking, in Syria homosexuals (can be punished) for three years in prison. Three years in prison are, to be honest, a death sentence.” In written testimony to the U.K.’s parliamentary inquiry on the refugee crisis, Subhi Nahas, an openly gay Syrian refugee, wrote, “In 2011, at the start of the uprising in Syria, government media launched a campaign accusing all dissidents of being homosexuals.”

 

Only one Middle East country grants sexual liberty to LGBTs: Israel. An odious campaign called Pink Washing attempts to discredits Israel as part of the larger BDS (Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment) movement targeting the Jewish state. Sadly, LGBT progress in the Middle East is largely limited to Israel. The case of Payam Feili, a gay Iranian poet, provides a telling example. Feili, a prolific writer who has authored nine books, fled to Turkey in 2014 and arrived in Israel in December. He was tortured during the so-called reform administration of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Iran’s security forces subjected him to detentions, harassment and a writer’s blacklist. He survived 44 days of gruelling captivity in a shipping container. Feili saw the deceptive nature of Rouhani’s campaign victory in 2013: “Nothing essential has changed. The structure is still the same. It’s a play, a comic and ugly performance. They’re relying on the naïveté of people to be able to succeed.”

 

In late December, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the first openly gay lawmaker from his conservative Likud party, Amir Ohana, at his swearing-in ceremony in the Knesset. Traditionally, new MPs are welcomed by fellow lawmakers, but Netanyahu sought to make a point with his personal address. “I am happy to accept him in our ranks. Ohana has a rich past in security and is the head of the Likud Pride Group. I accept him with appreciation and pride,” said Netanyahu.

 

When Arab and Iranian parliaments are mature enough to have LGBT MPs, there might, just might, be stability and peace in the Middle East. While many European parliaments, which support LGBT rights, have unilaterally recognized a Palestinian state, they have ignored disturbing remarks from PLO representatives. When asked if gays will be tolerated in a Palestinian state, the PLO ambassador to the U.S., Maen Rashid Areikat, said in 2011, “Ah, this is an issue that’s beyond my (authority).” All of this helps to likely explain why an LGBT film festival organized by Aswat-Palestinian Gay Women could be held in Haifa in Israel this year, but not in the Ramallah, the capital of the Palestinian Authority.

 

What can Canada and the U.S do to improve the conditions of LGBT communities in the Middle East? First, they can provide funds for NGOs seeking to end anti-gay policies in Muslim-majority countries. Second, Canada and the U.S can impose human rights sanctions on individuals and regimes involved in anti-LGBT persecution. Third, economic sanctions should also be considered as part of a pressure-point strategy to change conduct. Lastly, the U.S and Canada should reject nominations from anti-gay Middle East countries to all UN human rights fora. Progress comes slowly. But with help, it can come.

 

 

On Topic

 

Explaining the Islamic State Phenomenon: Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, JCPA, Jan. 20, 2016—Much has been written about the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (the Levant) — ISIS.   Most of the analysts have looked at ISIS as another terrorist organization, an al-Qaeda off-shoot, waging a guerrilla war with cohorts of unorganized thugs.

How to properly beat your wife, according to the PA Mufti in Gaza: Itamar Marcus & Nan Jacques Zilberdik, PMW, Feb. 15, 2016—During a weekly Palestinian Authority TV program on social issues, the Mufti of Gaza Hassan Al-Laham discussed divorce in Islam. He explained that Allah directed men to take four steps to resolve conflicts with one's wife before resorting to divorce…

The Muslim Man’s Sexual “Rights” Over Non-Muslim Women: Raymond Ibrahim, Breaking Israel News, Feb. 17, 2016—In word and deed, in Islamic and non-Islamic nations, Muslim men appear to think that non-Muslim women—impure “infidels”—exist solely to gratify their sexual urges.
Inside Al Huda: Colin Freeze, Globe & Mail, Jan. 8, 2015—Inside the Al Huda Institute’s Canadian chapter, the hijabis are earnest and exuberant. Get them going about their shared passion and they start speaking fast, finishing each other’s sentences and consulting their smartphones. That passion is the Koran, and if you ask them a provocative question about it – say, “How do you reconcile conflicts between Islamic law and Canadian law?” – fingers fly in search of a scripture app.                         

 

 

 

                  

 

 

 

CONTINUING KOBANE SIEGE IS BENEFITS FROM IMPASSE: OBAMA’S “AIR-WAR LIGHT” REINFORCES ERDOGAN’S ANTI-KURDISH REALPOLITIK

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:

 

The War on ISIS: More Than One Battle: Max Boot, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 22, 2014 — On Jan. 21, 1968, North Vietnamese troops attacked the U.S. Marine garrison at Khe Sanh in South Vietnam near the border with Laos.

The Unserious Air War Against ISIS : Mark Gunzinger & John Stillion, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 14, 2014 — Since U.S. planes first struck targets in Iraq on Aug. 8, a debate has raged over the effectiveness of the Obama administration’s air campaign against Islamic State.

Turkey’s Elusive Promised Land and the War on Islamic State: Amotz Asa-El, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 25, 2014— By sheer coincidence, the Syrian town of Kobani – where Kurdish and Islamic State fighters have been squaring off in recent weeks – happens to be tucked just west of Haran, the Turkish spot from which Abraham disembarked on his journey to the Promised Land.

Has Obama Realized the PKK Can Be Allies?: Michael Rubin, Commentary, Oct. 20, 2014 — Difficulties in the Turkish government’s relationship with Turkey’s Kurdish population continue to overshadow efforts to implement a coherent and comprehensive strategy to address the problem of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

On Topic Links

 

Turkey Sets Conditions for Helping West in Kobane Crisis in Syria: Colin Freeman, Telegraph, Oct. 28, 2014

John Cantlie, British Hostage, Seen in ISIS Video Apparently From Kobani: Alan Cowell, New York Times, Oct. 28, 2014

Oil Gives Kurds a Path to Independence, and Conflict With Baghdad: Azam Ahmed & Clifford Krauss, New York Times, Oct. 25, 2014

ISIS Boasts of Its Yazidi Slaves: Daniel Pipes, National Review, Oct. 16, 2014

Fight for Syrian City Strains Jihadists: Asa Fitch & Dion Nissenbaum, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 17, 2014

Turkey Still Thinks This Guy Holding a Baby Bear is a Terrorist. Is He?: Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, Oct. 27, 2014

 

                             

THE WAR ON ISIS: MORE THAN ONE BATTLE                                                  

Max Boot                                                                                                             

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 22, 2014

 

On Jan. 21, 1968, North Vietnamese troops attacked the U.S. Marine garrison at Khe Sanh in South Vietnam near the border with Laos. A 77-day siege ensued, with the U.S. pouring in ever more firepower. The U.S. would drop 100,000 tons of bombs because Gen. William Westmoreland was determined that Khe Sanh not become another defeat like Dien Bien Phu, which had effectively ended France’s colonial presence in Vietnam 14 years earlier. And it didn’t. Eventually the siege was relieved and the attacking forces melted away, having suffered more than 5,000 fatalities (while the defenders lost about 350 men).

 

Today, no one except some veterans and military historians remembers Khe Sanh because in the end it had scant strategic significance: Even though the U.S. won the battle, it lost the war. Not long after having “liberated” Khe Sanh, the U.S. dismantled the base because it served little purpose. This history is worth mentioning because of the parallels, limited and inexact to be sure, between Khe Sanh and Kobani, a Kurdish town in northern Syria. Jihadist forces of Islamic State, also known as ISIS, have been besieging Kobani for weeks, and the U.S. has been ramping up efforts to prevent the town from falling. U.S. airstrikes have apparently taken a heavy toll, eliminating ISIS fighters, artillery, armored vehicles and other heavy weapons. Airstrikes have now been joined by airdrops of weapons and ammunition to the Kurdish defenders. Turkey, which had hitherto not lifted a finger to save Kobani, announced Monday that it would allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters to traverse Turkish territory to join in defending the town.

 

Kobani no longer looks to be in imminent danger of falling. It is even possible that ISIS will give up the fight and pull out. If this happens, it will certainly be good news. The remaining residents of Kobani would be saved from slaughter and their relief would give a moral boost to anti-ISIS efforts. But any celebration should be muted. Winning at Kobani will be no more devastating to ISIS than was the American victory at Khe Sanh to North Vietnam. The problem is that ISIS can readily replace the fighters it loses in Kobani, and heavy weapons are not essential to its guerrilla style of warfare. Even as ISIS is losing a little ground at Kobani, it is gaining strength elsewhere. Its fighters are advancing in Anbar Province with little resistance. They are poised on the outskirts of Baghdad; soon they may be within mortar range of Baghdad International Airport, whose closure would be a disaster. On Monday alone, its car bombs and suicide bombers in Baghdad and Karbala claimed at least 33 lives, a day after a suicide bomber in Baghdad killed at least 28 people in a Shiite mosque. The pattern is reminiscent of the terrorist atrocities perpetrated in 2006 by al Qaeda in Iraq, ISIS’s predecessor, aimed at rallying Sunnis to the terrorists’ side by provoking a civil war with Shiites.

 

As in those dark days, Sunni extremism is provoking an equally extreme response from Iranian-backed Shiites. The replacement of Nouri al-Maliki as Iraq’s prime minister with Haidar al-Abadi, an apparently less sectarian Shiite, was a small step in the right direction for which the Obama administration deserves credit. But there is little reason to think the Iranian hold over a substantial portion of the Iraqi state has been broken. The Iraqi Parliament has approved ministers to run the two security ministries—Interior and Defense. While the Defense pick is Sunni technocrat Khalid al-Obedi, the Interior pick is far more worrisome: Mohammed Salem al-Ghabban is a member of the Badr Organization, one of the chief Iranian-backed Shiite militias that is further destabilizing Iraq with attacks on Sunni neighborhoods. The likelihood is that Mr. Ghabban will take orders from his ultimate sponsor, Gen. Qasem Suleimani, head of Iran’s Quds Force.  This means that the Interior Ministry, in charge of Iraq’s police forces, will become, if it is not already, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Shiite militias and their Iranian string-pullers. This happened in 2006 when the Iraqi police became notorious for kidnapping and torturing Sunnis. This helped bring Iraq to the brink of all-out civil war and will do so again if not checked.

 

The only way to counteract the Iranian capture of the Interior Ministry is to bolster the Iraqi army as an independent fighting force, but there is little sign of this occurring. Shiite sectarians have also deeply penetrated the army and the U.S. has little ability to counteract this insidious development because President Obama will not send a large number of “embedded” advisers to work alongside army units that remain more professional and less politicized. Only 12 U.S. advisory teams have been deployed and only at the brigade level. The other 14 Iraqi brigades identified by the U.S. as “reliable partners” have no advisers at all. None of these advisers, moreover, is allowed to accompany Iraqi troops into combat, where they can be most effective. The U.S. also is not stepping in to offer direct assistance and training to the Sunnis of Anbar Province to allow them to fight back against ISIS, as they did against al Qaeda in Iraq in 2007-08.

 

In Syria the U.S. is also doing little to oppose the Assad dictatorship, leaving it free to continue attacks on areas held by moderate militias affiliated with the Free Syrian Army. This, too, is feeding the radicalization of Syria and Iraq by convincing many Sunnis, rightly or wrongly, that the U.S. is acquiescing to Iranian regional domination—and that ISIS is the only reliable defender that Sunnis have. That impression will be strengthened if the Obama administration reaches a deal with Iran next month that will allow Tehran to maintain its capacity to develop a nuclear weapon.

 

Through the limited application of air power—a mere handful of daily strikes—the U.S. may achieve tactical progress to blunt ISIS’s momentum. But Khe Sanh showed the limits of tactical military victories if they are not married to larger strategic gains—and those are elusive in Iraq and Syria today.

 

                                                                       

Contents             

                                                                                                                              

THE UNSERIOUS AIR WAR AGAINST ISIS                                                          

Mark Gunzinger & John Stillion                                                                                 

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 14, 2014

 

Since U.S. planes first struck targets in Iraq on Aug. 8, a debate has raged over the effectiveness of the Obama administration’s air campaign against Islamic State. The war of words has so far focused on the need to deploy American boots on the ground to provide accurate intelligence and possibly force ISIS fighters to defend key infrastructure they have seized, such as oil facilities. But debate is now beginning to focus on the apparent failure of airstrikes to halt the terror group’s advances in Iraq and Syria—especially Islamic State’s pending seizure of Kobani on the Syrian border with Turkey.

 

While it is still too early to proclaim the air campaign against Islamic State a failure, it may be instructive to compare it with other campaigns conducted by the U.S. military since the end of the Cold War that were deemed successes. For instance, during the 43-day Desert Storm air campaign against Saddam Hussein’s forces in 1991, coalition fighters and bombers flew 48,224 strike sorties. This translates to roughly 1,100 sorties a day. Twelve years later, the 31-day air campaign that helped free Iraq from Saddam’s government averaged more than 800 offensive sorties a day. By contrast, over the past two months U.S. aircraft and a small number of partner forces have conducted 412 total strikes in Iraq and Syria—an average of seven strikes a day. With Islamic State in control of an area approaching 50,000 square miles, it is easy to see why this level of effort has not had much impact on its operations.

 

Of course, air operations during Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom were each supported by a massive coalition force on the ground. Thus it may be more appropriate to compare current operations against Islamic State with the 78-day air campaign against Serbian forces and their proxies in 1999, or the 75-day air campaign in Afghanistan that was instrumental in forcing the Taliban out of power in 2001. Both campaigns relied heavily on partner forces on the ground augmented by a small but significant number of U.S. troops. These air campaigns averaged 138 and 86 strike sorties a day respectively—orders of magnitude greater than the current tempo of operations against Islamic State.

 

Perhaps the small number of strikes in the air campaign against Islamic State is due to the lack of suitable ground targets. Yet representatives from the Pentagon have characterized forces fighting under Islamic State’s black banner as more of a conventional army than a highly dispersed, irregular force similar to today’s Taliban. Moreover, Islamic State fighters are using captured armored vehicles, artillery, mortars and other implements of modern land warfare to seize and hold terrain. These operations require a considerable amount of movement and resupply that can be detected by airborne surveillance. The low daily strike count could be the result of the Pentagon’s applying counterterrorism man-hunting operations over the past decade to the current crisis in Iraq and Syria. These operations generally rely on detailed knowledge of the “pattern of life” of specific small terrorist cells built up over days or weeks of persistent surveillance.

 

The resources required on the ground and in the air to generate such high-fidelity intelligence are considerable in terms of time, money, personnel and surveillance aircraft. While the low strike count appears to support this thesis, it is unlikely that the highly competent men and women in our nation’s military, many of whom are likely to have planned and executed previous successful air campaigns, would adopt such a half-measure approach to operations against ISIS forces. There’s another possibility: The moral imperative and strategic desire to avoid civilian casualties and gratuitous collateral damage may be constraining the coalition’s target-selection process. While these are important factors in any conflict, they must be balanced against the reality that allowing Islamic State fighters to continue their savage aggression nearly unchecked will result in far more civilian casualties and destruction than a more aggressive air campaign that uses precision weapons to rapidly destroy the group’s heavy weapons and troop concentrations.

 

Finally, the daily strike count suggests that the strategy underlying the air campaign may be influenced by a desire to apply the least amount of force possible while still claiming credit for doing something about Islamic State. This rationale would fit with the administration’s claims that degrading and eventually defeating ISIS is likely to take many years. It may reflect lingering doubts by some policy makers over how serious and far-reaching the threat of an Islamic State caliphate really is to our nation’s vital interests. Or it may be a simple reluctance to begin another open-ended military operation in the Middle East. In the end, no matter the reason, the timorous use of air power against Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria is unlikely to reduce the territory under their control, curb the brutal murder of innocent civilians, or prevent the creation of a sanctuary for an enemy that has sworn to continue its fight on a more global scale.

                                                                                   

                                                                       

Contents    

                                                                                                                                               

TURKEY’S ELUSIVE PROMISED LAND

AND THE WAR ON ISLAMIC STATE                                                 

Amotz Asa-El                                                                                                     

Jerualsem Post, Oct. 25, 2014

 

By sheer coincidence, the Syrian town of Kobani – where Kurdish and Islamic State fighters have been squaring off in recent weeks – happens to be tucked just west of Haran, the Turkish spot from which Abraham disembarked on his journey to the Promised Land. The current confrontation’s many protagonists may have different ideas about their own promised land, but they all know its location and all carry a road map leading there. The Kurds want a state that will weld slivers of Turkey, Syria and Iraq; President Bashar Assad wants a Syria that will sprawl from the Anti-Lebanon to the Tigris; Iran wants to suspend a Shi’ite bridge between the thresholds of Afghanistan and Egypt; Saudi Arabia wants quiet outside its palaces’ gilded windows; and Islamic State’s jihadists want to drown the Middle East in blood and then, as their leader put it, march on Rome. One actor, however, seems increasingly disoriented and indecipherable: Turkey.

 

Hardly a mile from Kobani, Turkish officers were seen in recent weeks surveying pillars of smoke and listening to machine-gun staccatos from atop their American- made tanks this side of the border. Their failure to come to the rescue of the predominantly Kurdish town has brought to mind the Red Army’s two-week wait before storming Warsaw, a choice Poles say was designed to let the Nazis kill more Poles; as well as the Allies’ delay in launching D-Day, which Stalin saw as an Anglo-American ploy to let the Germans kill yet more Soviets before Germany’s defeat. The stakes in Kobani are different, as even on the eve of the Syrian civil war, the dusty town was inhabited by just 50,000; unlike Warsaw, it is a godforsaken frontier town. Even so, this is where the war on Islamic State reached Turkey’s doorstep, and where the Turkish response kept the whole world guessing just where Ankara stands, and what its war aims might be.

 

The analogies to wartime Germany and Russia have come to mind because of Turkey’s apparent abandonment of Syria’s Kurds to Islamic State’s devices. Like the Red Army at Warsaw’s gates, the mighty Turkish army, the world’s eighth-largest, can roll ahead and effortlessly scatter Islamic State’s black-clad fighters under a hailstorm of artillery, armor and fighter jet bombs. Convinced that Turkey was deliberately abandoning their brethren, Kurdish rioters took to the streets in early October in cities throughout Turkey, where police confronted them forcefully, leaving at least 30 dead and dozens wounded. The Kurdish aspect of the situation is particularly confusing because a mere 20 months ago, Turkey launched a peace process with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), its nemesis of 40 years, which in turn formally announced a ceasefire and also ordered its fighters to retreat beyond Turkish borders. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government saw in this deal a major accomplishment, leaving the impression that such a spirit of appeasement came more easily to a religious leadership that cared for nationalism less than its secular predecessors. Now, all this has unraveled. The Kurds canceled the cease-fire, and many among Turkey’s 20-percent Kurdish minority are ready to renew their struggle for independence.

 

Yet the Turks not only provoked the same Kurds they had previously courted and placated, they also thumbed their nose at US President Barack Obama – by refusing to allow US bombers to take off from Turkish airfields at Syria’s backdoor, compelling them to instead fly almost 2,000 km. from Arab bases in the Gulf. Subsequent reports that Ankara was retreating from its refusal to allow Kurdish units to cross into the battlefields, and ongoing complaints that Turkey was enabling foreigners’ entry into Syria along the so-called “jihadist highway,” intensified confusion over Turkey’s stance. Pundits and diplomats the world over scratched their heads: Is Turkey with the Kurds or against them? Is it with America or against it, with the jihadists or against them?

 

Turkey’s attitude toward the Arab world’s four-year period of turmoil has been driven by three sometimes contradictory sentiments: military caution, historic pretension and regional frustration. Thrusting the Turkish military into battle is not as simple as it sounds, for three reasons: First, the Turkish army has not fought a war since invading Cyprus 40 years ago. Second, following the entire general staff’s forced resignation three years ago in the wake of Erdogan’s assault on it, the army’s new leadership is not as confident and battle hungry as their predecessors might have been. And lastly, a fighting, and potentially victorious and glorified, army would constitute a political threat to Erdogan and his Islamist administration.

Since modern Turkey’s foundation 90 years ago, its generals’ involvement in politics had been blunt and at times violent, particularly when it came to imposing secularism – until the last decade, when Erdogan boxed the military and brought its politicking to an end. Turkish generals now won’t touch politics with a 10-foot pole, but they remain suspected closet secularists. War would empower them – and empowered generals would be, from Erdogan’s viewpoint, unpredictable. This caution also explains Erdogan’s demand that the US impose a no-fly zone on Syria, and support him in creating a buffer zone in northern Syria. Such measures would mean military impact, without military heroism.

 

Beside its lack of appetite for military invasion, Turkey has ideological reasons to avoid the war on Islamic State. Erdogan, and even more so Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, are driven by a sense of historic mission that does not sit well with joining a Western-led assault on Muslims. Turkish scholars now call the pair’s platform “pan-Islamism,” as opposed to the previously used “neo-Ottomanism.” One such scholar, Marmara University’s Behlul Ozkan, has studied some 300 articles Davutoglu penned as an academic before the Islamists’ rise to power, most of which have never been translated. His findings indicate that Davutoglu believes Turkey has a historic mission to revive and lead a Sunni triangle that would stretch from North Africa through the Balkans to Central Asia. In a sense, Islamic State’s vision of a caliphate has stolen Davutoglu’s thunder…

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

 

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HAS OBAMA REALIZED THE PKK CAN BE ALLIES?                                       

Michael Rubin                                                                                                     

Commentary, Oct. 20, 2014

 

Difficulties in the Turkish government’s relationship with Turkey’s Kurdish population continue to overshadow efforts to implement a coherent and comprehensive strategy to address the problem of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The problem is this: While to most American audiences the Kurds might simply be the Kurds, they are divided politically, linguistically, and culturally. In short, the United States now works closely with Iraqi Kurds, but labels the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) as a terrorist group. Herein lies the problem: Masud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq, may depict himself and may be considered by some American officials to be a Kurdish nationalist leader, but his popularity is largely limited to two Iraqi provinces: Duhok and Erbil. And even in Erbil, his popularity is tenuous.

 

The imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan remains the most popular figure among Turkey’s Kurds, enjoying the support of perhaps 90 percent of Syrian Kurds, whereas Barzani barely musters 10 percent popularity there. Whereas Turkey long sought to declare Öcalan irrelevant, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reconfirmed Öcalan as the paramount Kurdish leader in Turkey when he had his administration negotiate a ceasefire with the imprisoned Kurdish leader. This may not have been Erdoğan’s intention, but it was the result. The irony here for Turkish nationalists is that Erdoğan was likely never sincere about achieving peace with the Kurds, or at least with those Kurds who continued to embrace ethnicity rather than Sunni Islam as their predominant identity. After all, every Erdoğan outreach to the Kurds occurred in the months before elections, and was abandoned in the weeks following them, when Erdoğan no longer needed Kurdish electoral support.

 

Even as Erdoğan now acquiesces to some support for the besieged Kurds of Kobane, he seeks to limit the provision of that support to his allies among Barzani’s peshmerga, never mind that KDP peshmerga would be out of place in Syria and do not have the skill or dedication that the PKK’s Syrian peshmerga, the YPG, have exhibited. If Erdoğan thinks Barzani’s peshmerga can save him, he is kidding himself: As soon as those Kurdish fighters enter Syria, they will subordinate themselves to the YPG which know the ground and are, at this point, better motivated and more skilled. Erdoğan continues to insist that there is no difference in his mind between the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the PKK: To the Turkish President, they’re all terrorists. Evidently, however, the American position is shifting. Obama has insisted that he approve every military operation in Syria. This is why the recent airdrop of supplies to Kobane is so important: That airdrop directly assists the PYD, YPG, and the PKK. In effect, Obama is now aiding a group that his State Department still designates a terrorist group. In reality, that designation is probably long overdue for a review if not elimination. The PYD governs Syrian Kurdistan better than any other group which holds territory runs its government. Nowhere else in Syria can girls walk to school without escort (let alone attend school) or is there regularly scheduled municipal trash pick up. And the YPG, meanwhile, has been the most effective force fighting ISIS and the Nusra Front. Given a choice between ISIS and the PKK, the United States should choose the PKK. The group may not be perfect—it retains too much of a personality cult around Öcalan and internally could become more transparent and democratic—but in this, it is no different than Barzani’s KDP. Indeed, the only difference between the two is that the PKK has not indulged in the same sort of corruption that has transformed Barzani and his sons into billionaires.

 

The most interesting aspect of the U.S. airdrop to the Kurds of Kobane is how muted the reaction has been. Turkey might like to think the nearly 150 members of the Congressional Turkey Caucus would hold water for Ankara and object to the provision of arms and aid to a group Turkey’s president considers to be a terrorist entity, but its members recognize that most American officials now consider the Hamas-loving Erdoğan to be more of a threat to peace than the PKK. Indeed, perhaps with this airdrop, the change so long denied by diplomats is now apparent: The Emperor Erdoğan has no clothes. It is too early to suggest that Öcalan trumps Erdoğan in the American mind but thanks to more than a decade of Erdoğan’s rule, when deciding between Turkey and the PKK, American officials no longer will automatically side with Turkey.      

Contents                                               

 

On Topic

 

Turkey Sets Conditions for Helping West in Kobane Crisis in Syria: Colin Freeman, Telegraph, Oct. 28, 2014 —Turkey has named its price for co-operation in the West's fight to end the Islamic State's stranglehold on the Syrian border town of Kobane, saying the fight must be led by the Free Syrian Army rather than Kurdish "terrorists".

John Cantlie, British Hostage, Seen in ISIS Video Apparently From Kobani: Alan Cowell, New York Times, Oct. 28, 2014—A British hostage of the Islamic State has been shown in a video, apparently made in the beleaguered Syrian town of Kobani near the Turkish border, depicting him as a combat correspondent and forecasting that the town is about to fall to militants despite waves of American airstrikes.

Oil Gives Kurds a Path to Independence, and Conflict With Baghdad: Azam Ahmed & Clifford Krauss, New York Times, Oct. 25, 2014 —Roughly two dozen huge oil tankers are idly turning figure eights around the Mediterranean or on the high seas, loaded with oil pumped from wells in Iraqi Kurdistan but with nowhere to legally offload it.

ISIS Boasts of Its Yazidi Slaves: Daniel Pipes, National Review, Oct. 16, 2014 —That the Islamic State has enslaved Yazidi women and children it captured is an established fact.

Fight for Syrian City Strains Jihadists: Asa Fitch & Dion Nissenbaum, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 17, 2014 —Islamic State’s protracted battle for the Syrian city of Kobani against an expanding U.S.-led military campaign and Kurdish militia is straining the insurgency, Syrian opposition activists, Kurdish politicians and U.S. officials said.

Turkey Still Thinks This Guy Holding a Baby Bear is a Terrorist. Is he?: Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, Oct. 27, 2014 —The photo above, of a Kurdish fighter nursing an orphaned baby bear, is a controversial one.

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
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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

AFTER THE OTTAWA PARLIAMENT ATTACK: ISLAMIST VIOLENCE HERE & ABROAD REMINDS US: “ALL THAT IS NECESSARY FOR EVIL TO PREVAIL IS FOR GOOD PEOPLE TO DO NOTHING”

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:

 

In the Shadow of a Young Corporal’s Death, Canada’s Greatness Shines Through: Rex Murphy, National Post, Oct. 25, 2014 — Out of this dark week there has come very much that is good.

Under Siege, Egypt Looks For Allies: Zvi Mazel, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 27, 2014— Over the weekend, 30 Egyptian soldiers were killed and 31 wounded in one of the worst terrorist attacks in the past year in northern Sinai.

Parliamentary Recognition of Palestine – Legally, Historically and Politically Questionable : Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Oct. 27, 2014

‘Ehr Daw’ — They’re Here: Rabbi Shalom Lewis, Frontpage, Oct. 7, 2014 — I thought that maybe I’d start with a rendition of Paul McCartney’s plaintive masterpiece “Yesterday”…

On Topic Links

 

Terrorism Defies Definition: Daniel Pipes and Teri Blumenfeld, Washington Times, Oct. 23, 2014

Egypt Cancels Israel-Hamas Talks, Shutters Rafah, Plans Anti-Smuggling Wall After Mass Car Bombing: Dave Bender, Algemeiner, Oct. 26, 2014

The Role of Hamas and Fatah in the Jerusalem Disturbances: Pinhas Inbari, JCPA, Oct. 26, 2014

MPs 'Encouraged Hamas Terrorism' by Voting for Palestinian State Says Israel: David Blair, Telegraph, Oct. 24, 2014

 

                  

IN THE SHADOW OF A YOUNG CORPORAL’S DEATH,

CANADA’S GREATNESS SHINES THROUGH                                             

Rex Murphy                                                                                                                  

National Post, Oct. 25, 2014

 

Out of this dark week there has come very much that is good. And I am not just pointing to the very welcome spirit of concord the three political parties have, up to now, manifested in the Commons and outside. Nor the address of our three main political leaders, though again, their talks both in tone and content offered much to be regarded. Rather I am thinking of the unofficial moments, captured on video or in photographs, showing people acting so well, in moments of great distress or at some levels of real peril to themselves. Even after three days,  the very early scene of passersby, earnestly trying to care for Corporal Nathan Cirillo — this was but mere instants after his being shot — shimmers in the mind.

 

Everyone has seen that image, the huddle of people bent over him, and, as we have learned from news stories, even to his last breath assuring him that “he was loved.” It was very much the parable of the Good Samaritan in real and present time, only in Ottawa Wednesday morning, it wasn’t one Samaritan. There were at least four. Such loving attention, at a time when the scene was still in chaos and it was unknown how many shooters there might be, said so much more than the thousands of words we have heard. Even in the shadow of the young corporal’s death, it is not too much to say that this was a very gratifying moment — a tragic moment, but one worth honouring. All Canadians immediately recognized the actions of the corporal’s final companions as an example of how people should act at such a time, how we would wish to have acted. And how, heaven forbid, we may wish to be treated if it was us laying on that sacred ground, breathing our last breaths. We are, in part, very much the people we choose to admire, and our national character can, in some measure, be limned by the actions we choose to esteem. Our age, hag-ridden by the tinsel fame of hollow celebrity, calls for the counterbalance of real worth and real achievement being given deeper regard, of holding up those who neither have fame nor are seeking it, acting in casual nobility and with real care.

 

Canadians light on special people from everyday life who act with selflessness, or associate themselves with issues of genuine need, and place them in a kind of unofficial pantheon. They are our moral heroes. The most vivid example is perhaps that of Terry Fox, who Canadians still hold fresh and high in their regard even 30 years after his magnificent odyssey in rain, snow and glorious sunlight across the country. The country took to him, not only because of his mighty endurance at the very crest of his illness — which was a blazon all its own —  but just as much so because of the utter selflessness with which he spent his last days.

 

I see very much of the same thing in how swiftly and intensely the modest and unassuming person of Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers has found immediate home in the hearts and minds of everyone across the country. Of his pure bravery, most of us stand in awe. Bravery, or courage, as was said of old, is the cardinal virtue, as without it none of the other virtues can or will be exercised. Canadians took to Kevin Vickers, however, for reasons beyond even his courage. It was so much his manner. Here is a man to whom duty — a word I feel sometimes has slipped out of the vocabulary of our glib days — was as his life. His self-possession in the heat of an absolutely sudden crisis, his instantaneous response in a time of danger, and his visible awkwardness the next day when he was showered by the thunder of applause and tribute, left us gaping with admiration and affection.

 

We are always wondering if the days of sacrifice and full generosity are behind us. Every generation sees the one previous as somehow more stern and stoic, less caught by the trivia of position or wealth or power, than our own. We yearn for purpose and examples of those who live by codes of honour and duty. But, as we have seen, great men and women, in the sense of great I am underlining here, are still with us. And they carry the same mien, speak in the same un-self-regarding accents, as the men and women of yesterday. I think of Captain Sullenberger, who landed an Airbus loaded with passengers on the flowing waters of the Hudson River. Of how even after that unbelievable, harrowing descent and landing, he was reported as going through the cabin of the plane making sure everyone had gotten safely off, before he left the jet. He was another of those quiet, unassuming gentlemen who so quietly perform with a self-possession that takes our breath away, and who is almost surprised — and certainly uncomfortable — when half the world takes him in their hearts as special. Our man Vickers is such a fellow, a gentleman, a man of duty. He makes us proud as Canadians that he is one of ours. And that is a good thing for this country, for we are all, in part, who we choose to admire.

 

Then, of course, there are the two soldiers, Cpl. Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was murdered in Quebec on Monday. Among our military their deaths have of course had special impact. And Canadians hold their military in a very special place. They are the institution we have chosen to admire. Cpl. Cirillo’s death, because of the whole drama of the day, and most particularly because of the symbolism of his place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, has been the larger story. His youth, vitality and friendliness — which we see so vibrantly in the many online, newspaper and broadcast pictures of him — summoned the deepest response from all the country. One picture alone of his forlorn dogs, vainly awaiting his return, had more pathos than a thousand pages of Dickens. Cpl. Cirillo is now another enrolee in this country’s unofficial pantheon, the gallery of those very special individuals, we have chosen to stand as representatives of what, in an ideal world, we would all choose to be. To the most enduring question of ours — what does it mean to be Canadian? — the passersby who tended the soldier, the Sergeant-at-Arms, the young solider at the tomb, and WO Vincent, the career military man going about his business in the uniform he earned the right to wear, gives us the answer we need. It was a dark week, but one too that had more than its share of special light. We will remember our fallen, and the light that they shone.

 

                                                                       

Contents     

                                                                                                                                      

UNDER SIEGE, EGYPT LOOKS FOR ALLIES                                                      

Zvi Mazel                                                                                                            

Jerusalem Post, Oct. 27, 2014

 

Over the weekend, 30 Egyptian soldiers were killed and 31 wounded in one of the worst terrorist attacks in the past year in northern Sinai. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reacted with a stark declaration, saying terrorism was an existential threat and that Egypt will fight it till it is eradicated. Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis is at the forefront of Jihadi groups grimly determined to throw the country into chaos. The army is making an all-out effort to eliminate all Islamist terrorist movements, and claims to have killed some 600 insurgents and to have destroyed many of their strongholds, seizing huge amounts of arms and explosives – last week it estimated the number of underground tunnels blown up or closed at 1,875.

 

Those were heavy blows to the terrorists, but they are securely entrenched among the population in the north of the peninsula, and they can depend on their extensive networks of Beduin in the area. Furthermore, they are being reinforced by a steady stream of men and material coming through all Egypt’s borders. It can be said that to a certain extent, Egypt is under siege, with the Gaza Strip functioning as the logistic hub. Gaza has the capacity to develop and produce weapons, to package explosives and to train terrorists before infiltrating them to the peninsula through the tunnels, of which there are always enough left for that purpose.

 

However, an ever-growing number of fighters and ammunition are coming in through the borders with Libya and Sudan. The border between Egypt and Libya runs across 1,200 km. of deserts and mountains, making monitoring near impossible, the more so since strife-torn Libya is no longer functioning as a sovereign state. Its capital city has been partially taken over by Islamic and tribal militias, its parliament and its government have fled to Tobruk, not far from the Egyptian border. Many jihadi terrorists, among them some who came from Syria and Iraq, can be found all along that border. Dozens of Egyptians soldiers have been killed in recent months in a number of clashes with insurgents infiltrating from Libya. And if that was not enough, more arms and more rebels are coming in from Sudan, through its 400-km.- long border with Libya.

 

There could also be Iranian weapons still reaching the Sinai Peninsula. Iran is intent on destabilizing Egypt, even if it entails aiding extremist Sunni movements as it did with al-Qaida in the past. During the Mubarak era, extensive smuggling networks were left to grow in Egypt as a whole and in the Sinai Peninsula, in the mistaken belief that it was a problem for Israel alone. It was a costly mistake, for which Egypt is paying dearly. Sisi was confident he could depend on America’s assistance to fight the threat of terror. However, instead of cooperating with Cairo, the White House, still smarting over the ouster of former president Muhammad Morsi and of the Muslim Brothers, declared an embargo on arms for Egypt. The recent visit of the Egyptian president to Washington and his meeting with his American counterpart did not bring a thaw. Obama allegedly quizzed Sisi over human rights in Egypt. The Egyptian president retaliated by saying he would join the coalition against Islamic State but would not send troops, since they were badly needed to defend his country against terror. Relations between the two countries are still fraught, though America is now grudgingly dispatching ten Apache helicopters that were meant to have been delivered a year ago.

 

Deprived of the support of his country’s former staunchest ally, Sisi had to look elsewhere. He is in the process of setting up his own coalition with North African countries facing the threat coming from Libya, such as Sudan and Algeria. He is in close contact with the legal government of Libya, whose prime minister, Abdullah al-Thani came to Cairo in mid-October and signed a cooperation agreement between the two armies. Egypt will help train Libyan security forces and police, there will be joint border control, and cooperation will extend to exchange of intelligence. This was followed by steps on the ground. “Unidentified” planes bombed Tripoli airfield, held by Islamic and tribal militias. Various groups accused Egypt, and the White House was prompt to condemn the raids. Cairo denied that its forces intervened beyond its borders. It appears likely that the attack was not carried out by the Egyptian army, but probably by Libyan pilots taking off from Egyptian air fields flying Egyptians planes and planes from the Emirates. The Libyan army has now launched an all-out offensive against the Islamists with the help of former renegade general Khalifa Haftar and has retaken Benghazi – it is moving to reconquer Tripoli and restore order…

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

                                                                                   

                                                                       

Contents            

                                                                                                                              

PARLIAMENTARY RECOGNITION OF PALESTINE –          

LEGALLY, HISTORICALLY AND POLITICALLY QUESTIONABLE                                                                           

Amb. Alan Baker,                                                                                     

JCPA, Oct. 27, 2014

 

On October 13, 2014, the British Parliament, in its House of Commons, adopted a resolution by a majority of 274 votes, with 12 opposing votes, that states: “That this House believes that the government should recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.” Proponents of this curious resolution claimed that “recognizing Palestine as a state would be a symbolically important step towards peace.” The Labour Party shadow foreign secretary Ian Lucas even opined that the resolution would “strengthen the moderate voices among the Palestinians who want to pursue the path of politics, not the path of violence.” He went on to claim that “this is not an alternative to negotiations.  It is a bridge for beginning them.”

 

However, former Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind disagreed and suggested such a move should not be adopted because it would be purely symbolic: “For me the most important question is what practical benefit would passing this resolution make?” he asked. “It might make us feel good. But recognizing a state should only happen when the territory in question has the basic requirements of a state.  And through no fault of the Palestinians that is not true at the moment and it seems to me that the resolution before us is premature as we do not have a Palestinian government.” A similar vote by the Upper House of the Irish Parliament, known as the “Seanad Eireann,” adopted on October 23, 2014, stated: “Seanad Eireann calls on the government to formally recognize the state of Palestine and do everything it can at the international level to help secure a viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” A similar position was put forward by the new prime minister of Sweden, Stefan Lofven, who stated in an inaugural address to the Swedish parliament on October 3, 2014: “The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law.  A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine.”

 

Analyzing these statements and votes logically, they would appear to be based on questionable legal, historic and political premises, as well as being in and of themselves self-contradictory and constituting, by their terms, a non-sequitor. As such, they would appear to be both ill-advised and based on a mistaken reading of the situation. The reference to the ultimate aim of a “negotiated two-state solution” correctly acknowledges the present legal situation in which the issue of final status of the territory is a distinct negotiating issue between Israel and the Palestinians, pursuant to the Oslo Accords, to which the UK, Ireland and Sweden, as part of the EU, are signatory as witness. However, in acknowledging this, it is clear that the issue of the permanent status of the territory remains an open negotiating issue, yet to be agreed-on, and one may assume that upon resumption of the negotiating process, it will be duly addressed by the parties as one of the central agenda items.

 

Accordingly, the British House of Commons, the Irish Upper House and the Swedish prime minister would appear to contradict themselves by recognizing that negotiations are still pending, but nevertheless at the same time prejudging the outcome of the very negotiation they purport to support, by calling for recognition of the state of Palestine. Clearly no such a Palestinian state or sovereign entity exists and thus cannot logically be recognized or acknowledged by the UK Parliament. Similarly, no international treaty, convention or binding international resolution or determination has ever been adopted or entered into, that determines that the territories in dispute are indeed Palestinian. In this context, the Palestinian leadership itself is committed, pursuant to the Oslo Accords, to negotiate the issue of the permanent status of the territory.  Article V of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements signed by Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin on September 13, 1993 states as follows: “2. Permanent status negotiations will commence as soon as possible, but not later than the beginning of the third year of the interim period, between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian people representatives. 3. It is understood that these negotiations shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbors, and other issues of common interest.” Accordingly, the outcome of such negotiations and the ultimate status of the territory, whether as a Palestinian state or any other sovereign entity agreed-upon by the two sides, cannot be arbitrarily imposed by external parties, including the UK, Irish or Swedish parliaments, or the UN. It may only emanate from a bona-fide negotiating process as well as in accordance with accepted norms and requirements of international law regarding the characteristics of statehood. Such norms and requirements are set out in international law in article 1 of the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States that clearly determines the attributes of statehood: “The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: a ) a permanent population; b ) a defined territory; c ) government; and d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.” The Palestinians clearly do not meet the requirements set out in this convention.

 

Since the issue of the permanent status of the disputed territory is an agreed-upon negotiating issue, as indeed acknowledged by the international community including the UK, Ireland and Sweden,  any resolution by the House of Commons, the Irish Upper House of Parliament or the Swedish prime minister calling for recognition of a Palestinian state in effect purports to pre-empt the outcome of that negotiation through a one-sided determination that totally ignores legitimate legal and historic claims to the territory by Israel, including those based on historic and legal commitments to which the United Kingdom itself is bound. They would thus appear to be intervening in a bona fide negotiating process by supporting one side only. This is far from constituting any “bridge” to negotiations, so described by shadow foreign minister Mr. Ian Lucas, or “morally right,” as stated by Mr. Nicholas Soames. To the contrary, rather than encouraging a return to negotiations, as claimed by the proponents of these resolutions, such one-sided and biased issuances emanating from European parliaments will only serve to impede any bona fide and genuine negotiation by encouraging the Palestinians to adopt arbitrary and uncompromising positions on the issues on the negotiating agenda, knowing that they have the support of those European countries.

 

While clearly it is the sovereign prerogative of the British, Irish or Swedish Parliaments to adopt whatever resolution they choose, one might assume that they would not want to be misled or manipulated, whether by narrow political interests, external political or economic pressures or any other cause, into adopting a resolution that is legally and politically ill-advised and mistaken. It would be legally and politically prudent were the UK House of Commons and the Irish Upper House, as well as the Prime Minister of Sweden, to reconsider such ill-advised resolutions or statements, which certainly do no credit to them nor to those MPs who advanced and supported them…

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

 

                                                                                   

Contents                                    

                                                                         

EHR DAW’ — THEY’RE HERE                                                                      

Rabbi Shalom Lewis                                                                                            

Frontpage, Oct. 7, 2014

 

I thought that maybe I’d start with a rendition of Paul McCartney’s plaintive masterpiece “Yesterday”… “Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they’re here to stay, oh I believe in yesterday” – but then I thought, too romantic…And then I remembered Joseph Conrad’s sadly, cynical observation – – “The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary. Men alone are quite capable of every wickedness,” and sadly it felt right.

 

And so, here were are in a place of unimagined chaos and cowardice, paralysis and brutality. The beast roams the earth; we are stymied, stunned and continue to fiddle. My friends, “Ehr Kumpt Part 2, the Sequel.” This is not a time for delicacy. For tiptoeing. It is not a time to parse words nor worry about offending someone with unfiltered vocabulary. Time is no longer a luxury we possess. Distance no longer provides protection. We are being threatened like no time before, by an enemy obsessed with an apocalyptic endgame that will bring only disaster. An enemy that worships savagery. An enemy that celebrates depravity. An enemy that glorifies the death of the young. There has been a seismic shift in our world. We feel it. We see it. We know it. We dare not deny it. Pick up any newspaper on any day, the first page, the second page, the third page, the fourth page and beyond – – most of the articles are about radical Muslims, not just ISIS, immersed in a vicious culture of blood and slaughter. Skip to the sports page or the crossword puzzle if you wish, but that doesn’t make the uncomfortable news go away. In fact, it brings joy to the jihadists who hope for our indifference. If we deny evil then we need not fight it. It doesn’t exist – just a few lunatics, thousands of miles away, pounding sand, blowing each other up and occasionally beheading an unlucky journalist. Not so bad. For years, we have been mercifully spared the ugliness and intimacy of war…But today, war has been redefined and relocated. Geneva is finished. We are all combatants in the cross hairs. We are all on the front lines, like it or not. The battlefield has no boundaries and the war, no rules. The enemy targets deliberately, fiendishly, any place of innocence. All are vulnerable and so we must recalculate our strategy, re-examine our tolerance, re-energize our resolve and unequivocally identify the evil doers. Let us not be silenced by fear, by feckless goodwill, by reckless hope, by meaningless rhetoric.

 

There are one billion Muslims in the world and authorities agree that 5% are committed Islamists who embrace terror and wish to see, by any means possible, the Muslim flag fly over every capital, on every continent. I was relieved when I heard only 5%. Thank God it’s only 5%. Now I could sleep soundly. But wait, let me figure this out, 5% of a billion is… 50 million Koran-waving, Allah Akbar-howling Muslim murderers out there planning to slit our throats, blow us up or forcibly convert us…But what disturbs me is, where are the other 950 million Muslims who are not terrorists? Who are not bomb-blasting, acid-throwing zealots? Where are the other 950 million Muslims who tuck their children in at night with a lullaby, who are okay with Christians and Jews, crave a peaceful world and wish nothing more than a tasty bowl of hummus and a friendly game of Shesh Besh with a neighbor? I want to believe they are out there, for their sake and for ours. I want to believe they weep in pain over the desecration of their faith. I want to believe that we have partners who dream the dreams we do and wish upon the same star. I want to believe – – but where are they? A silent partnership is no partnership. Sin is not just in the act of commission – it is also in the act of omission. Most Germans were not Nazis – but it did not matter. Most Russians were not Stalinists – but it did not matter. Most Muslims are not terrorists – but it does not matter. Stand up righteously or get out of the way. Perhaps in every mosque, in every midrassah, in every Muslim neighborhood, Edmund Burke’s powerful warning should be chiseled on a wall in Arabic, in Farsi, in Pashto, in Urdu, for all to read and heed. “All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.”…                                           

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

           

Contents                                               

 

On Topic

 

Terrorism Defies Definition: Daniel Pipes and Teri Blumenfeld, Washington Times, Oct. 23, 2014 —Defining terrorism has practical implications because formally certifying an act of violence as terrorist has important consequences in U.S. law.

Egypt Cancels Israel-Hamas Talks, Shutters Rafah, Plans Anti-Smuggling Wall After Mass Car Bombing: Dave Bender, Algemeiner, Oct. 26, 2014 —After a terror attack on Friday killed at least 30 Egyptian soldiers in the northern Sinai, Cairo has declared a state of emergency in the area, closed down the Rafah crossing from Gaza, canceled indirect cease-fire talks between Israel and Hamas, and now says it will build a wall to block smuggling with the coastal enclave, Israel’s NRG News reported.

The Role of Hamas and Fatah in the Jerusalem Disturbances: Pinhas Inbari, JCPA, Oct. 26, 2014 —The deterioration of the security situation in Jerusalem cannot be understood only on the Israeli-Palestinian level…

MPs 'Encouraged Hamas Terrorism' by Voting for Palestinian State Says Israel: David Blair, Telegraph, Oct. 24, 2014 —Parliament was guilty of “encouraging terrorist attacks” and “giving up” on peace when MPs cast a “miserable” vote in favour of Palestinian statehood, according to an Israeli cabinet minister.

 

 

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 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

THE WEEK THAT WAS: TERRORIST ATTACKS, & “KLINGHOFFER” CONTROVERSY, REMIND US OF THE DEADLY THREAT OF ISLAMIST TERROR

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:

 

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Now Belongs, in Part, to the Memory of one we Know: Father Raymond J. de Souza, National Post, Oct. 24, 2014 —I have been to the cenotaph many times to pray for our country and to honour our fallen.

The Allure of Radical Islam in Canada: David Frum, The Atlantic, Oct. 23, 2014 — Last year, the head of Canada’s security agency delivered a warning to the Canadian Senate.

‘The Death Of Klinghoffer’ Is An Injustice To Our Father’s Memory: Lisa & Ilsa Klinghoffer, Jewish Press, Oct. 23, 2014— On Oct. 8, 1985, our 69-year-old wheelchair-bound father, Leon Klinghoffer, was shot in the head by Palestinian hijackers on the Achille Lauro cruise ship.

Metropolitan Opera Stifles Free Exchange of Ideas about a Propaganda Opera: Alan M. Dershowitz, Gatestone Institute, Oct. 21, 2014 —On Monday night I went to the Metropolitan Opera. I went for two reasons: to see and hear John Adams' controversial opera, The Death of Klinghoffer; and to see and hear what those protesting the Met's judgment in presenting the opera had to say.

Quiet Heroes of the Second World War: Susan Schwartz, Montreal Gazette, Oct. 7, 2014— Nelly Trocmé Hewett, the daughter of two quiet heroes of the Second World War, will be in Montreal later this month to talk about her parents, Magda and André Trocmé, who inspired a network of resistance to the Vichy government’s deportation of thousands to concentration camps.

On Topic Links

 

Bruce MacKinnon’s War Memorial Cartoon Touches Hearts Worldwide: Mary Ellen Macintyre, Herald News, Oct. 23, 2014

Canada Mosque Teaches 4-Year-Olds How to Behead (Video): WND, Oct. 3, 2014
An Assault on the Heart of the Canadian State (Video): Mark Steyn, Steyn Online, Oct. 23, 2014

Brigitte Gabriel Keynote Speaker at United Nations (Video): Youtube, Sept. 9, 2014

Hebrew –English Bilingual School in Harlem (Video): Jerusalem Online, Oct. 24, 2014

Klinghoffer and the ‘Two Sides’ of Terrorism: Floyd Abrams, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 15, 2014

 

                                                                                                           

TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER NOW BELONGS,

IN PART, TO THE MEMORY OF ONE WE KNOW                                    

Father Raymond J. de Souza                                                                                         National Post, Oct. 24, 2014

 

I have been to the cenotaph many times to pray for our country and to honour our fallen. Another visit is required now, because it has been consecrated anew. The blood of Corporal Nathan Cirillo has been shed. The tomb of the Unknown Soldier now belongs in part to the memory of one we know. Cpl. Cirillo was there because the National War Memorial had been desecrated in 2006 on Dominion Day. Some young hooligans relieved themselves on it, and in response a ceremonial guard was placed there, both to honour the dead and to keep vandals away. When shrines or sanctuaries are desecrated, they must be reconsecrated — whether it be the temple of Jerusalem in ancient times or the churches burned this summer in Nigeria.

 

The cenotaph, desecrated in 2006, was reconsecrated on Wednesday in the most dramatic way possible — set apart once again, made sacred once again. It was Lincoln who gave us the words at Gettysburg: “In a larger sense, we cannot dedicate ….we cannot consecrate … we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.” The National War Memorial — titled “The Response” — was dedicated in 1939 by King George VI to commemorate the Great War, just months before a war of even greater carnage would begin. In 1982 it was formally re-dedicated to honour the fallen of the Second World War and Korea, and in 2000 the remains of a soldier from Vimy were interred to make it the Canadian tomb of the Unknown Soldier. After Cpl. Cirillo was killed on site, there will be no need for another ceremony to include here the fallen of the wars against Islamist terror. That has been done in his blood.

 

Wednesday was intended by the assassin to be rich in symbols — an attack on the soldiers’ memorial, an attack on Parliament. So it was supremely fitting that he was stopped by a figure both symbolic and real, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons, the mace-bearer who marches before the Speaker in the opening ceremonial of the Commons. Kevin Vickers is also the head of security on the Hill, which is why in addition to carrying the mace, he can fire a pistol. It is irreverent to imagine that he might have bludgeoned Michael Zehaf-Bibeau into submission with the mace itself, but that was symbolically the case. The mace represents the authority of the chamber conferred by the Crown (which is why it is draped in the presence of the sovereign herself). It is a fitting symbol of Parliament itself. In the person of its mace-bearer then, Parliament offered its own “Response” to the attempted attack on its peaceable assembly.

 

In the coming days I expect that both the cenotaph and Parliament Hill will be closed off to public access. I remember working on the Hill 25 years ago when it was possible to drive up to Parliament buildings freely and enter them with a simple indication of which office you wished to visit. It has not been like that for many years now, but as soon as possible the symbol of our national democracy — and the symbol of the fallen who have sacrificed their lives in its service — should return to being living symbols, signs that are not only signs, but which accomplish what they signify. Keep them open; do not let them become symbols instead of a free people held captive by liberty’s enemies. Perhaps this Remembrance Day, a variation on the usual ceremony could be added. Have the Sergeant-at-Arms carry the mace from the cenotaph back to the Commons in a public procession which honours the fallen at the memorial and makes it clear that the work they died to protect will continue — open and accessible, glorious and free, for on Wednesday in Canada, Nathan Cirillo and Kevin Vickers were standing on guard for thee.

 

                                                                  

Contents        

                                                                                 

THE ALLURE OF RADICAL ISLAM IN CANADA

David Frum                                                                                                                    

The Atlantic, Oct. 23, 2014

           

Last year, the head of Canada’s security agency delivered a warning to the Canadian Senate. “Five years ago we weren’t as worried about domestic terrorism as we are now,” said Richard Fadden. He explained why: In the 1990s and early 2000s, Islamic terrorism was perpetrated by structured organizations with lines of command—groups like al-Qaeda and Somalia’s al-Shabab. But the U.S.-led anti-terrorism coalition had smashed the leadership of these groups, and left behind a motley bunch of autonomous freelancers whose plots were much “harder to get your hands on.” Western intelligence agencies were seeing far fewer large-scale plots like those that did so much damage in New York City, in Washington, in Bali, in Madrid, and in London in the early 2000s, Fadden continued, but they were collecting much more chatter about smaller-scale threats against less predictable targets.

 

Fadden’s prophecy has been all too tragically vindicated this week. On Monday, a French-Canadian convert to Islam drove his car at two Canadian soldiers in the small city of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, southeast of Montreal. One soldier was killed. The assailant was shot and killed by police after a high-speed car chase. Wednesday brought a spectacular attack on the National War Memorial and Parliament in Ottawa. Again, a soldier was killed, before the assailant himself was reportedly felled by the sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons. This attacker too was a Canadian-born Muslim convert, the son of a French-Canadian woman and (according to recent press reports) a Libyan man who had emigrated to Canada. The Saint-Jean hit-and-run driver, Martin Couture-Rouleau, appeared on a list of 90 persons monitored by Canadian police and had been identified as a “high-risk traveler”; He was arrested last summer when he tried to leave the country for the Middle East. Official sources have not said anything about whether Couture-Rouleau and the Ottawa shooter, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, were acquainted or connected in any way. Former Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, however, told The Daily Beast on Wednesday that the two men may have visited the same Internet chat rooms. ISIS has promoted using cars as weapons against Westerners, though it remains unclear whether Couture-Rouleau drew inspiration from the extremist group.

 

Since 2006, Canadian security has thwarted many localized plots—two in 2013 alone. At a July 1 Canada Day celebration in front of the British Columbia legislature, two Canadian-born converts to Islam intended to detonate homemade pressure-cooker bombs, police charge. Two non-citizens—one Palestinian, one Tunisian—were arrested in April 2013 for allegedly plotting to derail a passenger train. A lot of energy is wasted debating whether do-it-yourself jihadists should be called “terrorists.” The Obama administration notoriously insisted on describing the Ford Hood shooting of 2009 as an incident of “workplace violence,” not terrorism. The killer at Fort Hood, Major Nidal Malik Hassan, was perceived by colleagues as mentally troubled long before he opened fire, killing 13 and wounding 32 more. Judging by media reports, Zehaf-Bibeau likewise could be described, if one wished to eschew the T-word, as a troubled misfit with a long record of petty criminality. On the other hand, what kind of person would one expect jihadists to recruit from inside a Western society? In countries like Canada, Australia, Britain, and the United States, the call to Islamic holy war often appeals to more marginal people: the thwarted, the troubled, the angry. And yet even so, the Saint-Jean killer—Couture-Rouleau—reportedly had a clean police record and a reasonably stable personal life until his conversion to Islam. He owned a pressure-washing business and lived in a single family home with his father.

 

If you are alienated, angry, and attracted to violence, radical Islam provides a powerful ideology of justification. If you are lonely and purposeless, it offers redemptive self-sacrifice (one report claims that Couture-Rouleau persuaded “four or five” friends to convert to Islam with him). Until roughly 1960, French-speaking Quebec ranked as one of the most Catholic societies on earth. In the late 1950s, more than 80 percent of French Quebeckers could be found at Mass on Sundays, according to one famous estimate. Then, abruptly, in the short span of years from 1960 to 1980, religion seemed almost to vanish from the province. It’s been aptly said that from the point of view of religious observance, “centuries, not decades” separated the Quebec of the 1980s from the Quebec of the 1950s. Yet the hunger for meaning is always a part of the human spirit. In a different time, Couture-Rouleau might have vanished into a monastery. In the 21st century, he found a different and deadlier path. The alleged would-be British Columbian bombers might likewise have gravitated to Maoism in the 1960s or Nazism in the 1930s. But those ideologies too have lost their hold on the modern mind, leaving radical Islam as the strongest competitor for the credence of those who seek self-fulfillment through mass destruction…

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

                                                                                   

                                                                       

Contents                    

                                                                                                

‘THE DEATH OF KLINGHOFFER’ IS AN INJUSTICE

TO OUR FATHER’S MEMORY                                                            

Lisa & Ilsa Klinghoffer                                                                                      

Jewish Press, Oct. 23, 2014

 

On Oct. 8, 1985, our 69-year-old wheelchair-bound father, Leon Klinghoffer, was shot in the head by Palestinian hijackers on the Achille Lauro cruise ship. The terrorists brutally and unceremoniously threw his body and wheelchair overboard into the Mediterranean. His body washed up on the Syrian shore a few days later. Beginning on Oct. 20 for eight performances, a baritone portraying “Leon Klinghoffer” is appearing on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera and singing the “Aria of the Falling Body” as he artfully falls into the sea. Competing choruses will highlight Jewish and Palestinian narratives of suffering and oppression, selectively presenting the complexities of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

 

The four terrorists responsible for his murder will be humanized by distinguished opera singers and given a back-story, an “explanation” for their brutal act of terror and violence. Opera-goers will see and hear a musical examination of terrorism, the Holocaust and Palestinian claims of dispossession – all in under three hours. Since the Met Opera’s decision to stage “The Death of Klinghoffer” by composer John Adams became public several months ago, much has been said and written about our father. Those opposed to the opera’s appearance in New York have elevated his murder at the hands of terrorists into a form of martyrdom. To cultural arbiters and music critics, meanwhile, his tragic story has been seen merely as a vehicle for what they perceive to be artistic brilliance. For us, the impact and message of the opera is much more deeply felt and tragically personal. Neither Mr. Adams nor librettist Alice Goodman reached out to us when creating the opera, so we didn’t know what to expect when we attended the American debut at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1991. We were devastated by what we saw: the exploitation of the murder of our father as a vehicle for political commentary. Over the years we have been deeply distressed with each new production of “Klinghoffer.” Critical views of Israel permeate the opera, and the staging and props of various productions have only amplified that bias. To have it now produced in New York – in our own backyard – by the country’s most prestigious opera company is incredibly painful.

 

We have always been strong supporters of the arts, and believe they can play an important role in examining and understanding significant world events. “Klinghoffer” does no such thing. It presents false moral equivalencies without context and offers no real insight into the historical reality and the senseless murder of an American Jew. The opera rationalizes, romanticizes, and legitimizes the terrorist murder of our father. Long ago we resolved never to let the last few minutes of Leon Klinghoffer’s life define who he was as a man, husband, and father. Opera patrons will only see Leon Klinghoffer presented as a victim – but he was so much more. Our father was an inventor who loved to work with his hands. After his stroke, he continued to use his one good arm to repair anything that needed fixing. Every Saturday night he and our mother, Marilyn, would get dressed up and go out dancing. Family and friends meant everything to him. He was on a cruise with our mother, celebrating their 36th anniversary with a group of lifelong friends who summered together on the Jersey shore, when terrorists took over the ship, announced a hijacking in progress, and separated the Jewish passengers from those on board. The terrorist thugs who murdered Leon Klinghoffer didn’t care about the good, sweet man our father was. To them he was just a Jew – an American in a wheelchair whose life they considered worthless.

 

As the years have passed, we have tried to ensure that his murder would not be forgotten or, worse, co-opted or exploited by those with an agenda. We believe his ordeal should continue to serve as a wake-up call to civilized society about the dangers of terrorism. We have dedicated our lives since the tragedy to educating people about terrorism, and putting a personal face on victims and their families through the Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation of the Anti-Defamation League. Our father was one of the first American victims of Middle Eastern terrorism. Today with the memory of 9/11, the reality of al Qaeda and ISIS, and countless other attacks and threats, Americans live under the deadly threat of terrorism each and every day. Terrorism is irrational. It should never be explained away or justified. Nor should the death of innocent civilians be misunderstood as an acceptable means for drawing attention to perceived political grievances. Unfortunately, “The Death of Klinghoffer” does all of this and sullies the memory of our father in the process.

                                                                       

Contents     

                                                                                                        

 

METROPOLITAN OPERA STIFLES FREE EXCHANGE

OF IDEAS ABOUT A PROPAGANDA OPERA       

Alan M. Dershowitz                                                                                                        Gatestone Institute, Oct. 21, 2014

 

On Monday night I went to the Metropolitan Opera. I went for two reasons: to see and hear John Adams' controversial opera, The Death of Klinghoffer; and to see and hear what those protesting the Met's judgment in presenting the opera had to say. Peter Gelb, the head of the Met Opera, had advised people to see it for themselves and then decide. That's what I planned to do. Even though I had written critically of the opera—based on reading the libretto and listening to a recording—I was also critical of those who wanted to ban or censor it. I wanted personally to experience all sides of the controversy and then "decide." Lincoln Center made that difficult. After I bought my ticket, I decided to stand in the Plaza of Lincoln Center, across the street and in front of the protestors, so I could hear what they were saying and read what was on their signs. But Lincoln Center security refused to allow me to stand anywhere in the large plaza. They pushed me to the side and to the back, where I could barely make out the content of the protests. "Either go into the opera if you have a ticket or leave. No standing." When I asked why I couldn't remain in the large, open area between the protestors across the street and the opera house behind me, all I got were terse replies: "security," "Lincoln Center orders."

 

The end result was that the protestors were talking to and facing an empty plaza. It would be as if the Metropolitan Opera had agreed to produce The Death of Klinghoffer, but refused to allow anyone to sit in the orchestra, the boxes or the grand tier. "Family circle, upstairs, side views only." That's not freedom of expression, which requires not only that the speakers be allowed to express themselves, but that those who want to see and hear them be allowed to stand in an area in front of, and close to, the speakers, so that they can fully participate in the marketplace of ideas. That marketplace was needlessly restricted on the opening night of The Death of Klinghoffer. Unable to see or hear the content of the protest, I made my way to the opera house where I first registered a protest with the Met's media person and then sat down in my fourth row seat to listen and watch the opera. I'm an opera fanatic, having been to hundreds of Met performances since my high school years. This was my third opera since the beginning of the season, just a few weeks ago. I consider myself something of an opera aficionado and "maven." I always applaud, even flawed performances and mediocre operas. By any standard, The Death of Klinghoffer, is anything but the "masterpiece" its proponents are claiming it is. The music is uneven, with some lovely choruses—more on that coming—one decent aria, and lots of turgid recitatives. The libretto is awful. The drama is confused and rigid, especially the weak device of the captain looking back at the events several years later with the help of several silent passengers. There are silly and distracting arias from a British show girl who seems to have had a crush on one of the terrorists, as well as from a woman who hid in her cabin eating grapes and chocolate. They added neither to the drama nor the music of the opera.

 

Then there were the choruses. The two that open the opera are supposed to demonstrate the comparative suffering of the displaced Palestinians and the displaced Jews. The Palestinian chorus is beautifully composed musically, with some compelling words, sung rhythmically and sympathetically. The Jewish chorus is a mishmash of whining about money, sex, betrayal and assorted "Hasidism" protesting in front of movie theaters. It never mentions the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, though the chorus is supposed to be sung by its survivors. The goal of that narrative chorus is to compare the displacement of 700,000 Palestinians—some of which was caused by Arab leaders urging them to leave and return victoriously after the Arabs murdered the Jews of Israel—with the systematic genocide of six million Jews. It was a moral abomination. And it got worse. The Palestinian murderer is played by a talented ballet dancer, who is portrayed sympathetically. A chorus of Palestinian women asks the audience to understand why he would be driven to terrorism. "We are not criminals," the terrorists assures us. One of the terrorists—played by the only Black lead singer—is portrayed as an overt anti-Semite, expressing hateful tropes against "the Jews". But he is not the killer. Nor, in this opera, is Klinghoffer selected for execution because he is a Jew. Instead, he is picked because he is a loudmouth who can't control his disdain for the Palestinian cause.

 

At bottom The Death of Klinghoffer—a title deliberately selected to sanitize his brutal murder—is more propaganda than art. It has some artistic moments but the dominant theme is to create a false moral equivalence between terrorism and its victims, between Israel and Palestinian terrorist groups, and between the Holocaust and the self-inflicted Nakba. It is a mediocre opera, by a good composer and very bad librettist. But you wouldn't know that from the raucous standing ovations received not only by the performers and chorus master, who deserved them, but also by the composer, who did not. The applause was not for the art. Indeed, during the intermission and on the way out, the word I heard most often was "boring." The over-the-top standing ovations were for the "courage" displayed by all those involved in the production. But it takes little courage to be anti-Israel these days, or to outrage Jews. There were, to be sure, a few brief expressions of negative opinion during the opera, one of which was briefly disruptive, as an audience member repeatedly shouted "Klinghoffer's murder will never be forgiven." He was arrested and removed. What would require courage would be for the Met to produce an opera that portrayed Mohammad, or even Yassir Arafat, in a negative way. The protests against such portrayals would not be limited to a few shouts, some wheelchairs and a few hundred distant demonstrators. Remember the murderous reaction to a few cartoons several years ago.

                                                                       

Contents     

                                                                                                                

QUIET HEROES OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR                                               

Susan Schwartz                                                                                                   

Montreal Gazette, Oct. 7, 2014

 

Nelly Trocmé Hewett, the daughter of two quiet heroes of the Second World War, will be in Montreal later this month to talk about her parents, Magda and André Trocmé, who inspired a network of resistance to the Vichy government’s deportation of thousands to concentration camps. A book of selected writings by the Trocmés, translated into English for the first time, was published this year by McGill-Queen’s Press: Magda and André Trocmé: Resistance Figures.

 

André Trocmé was a Protestant minister in the small Protestant farming village of Chambon-sur-Lignon in Vichy France, which was collaborating with the Nazis. He used his pulpit to encourage his congregation to shelter Jew fleeing Nazism; Magda Trocmé organized the operation. Other area ministers did the same; together, they helped to motivate several thousand citizens in Le Chambon and surrounding areas to give sanctuary to an estimated 3,500 Jews and 1,500 other refugees, mainly political dissidents, from across Europe. In 1942, when Trocmé was asked to turn over Jews to a Vichy official, he is reported to have said: “We don’t know what a Jew is. We only know men.” In what may well have been the war’s largest communal rescue effort, the people of Chambon, located in the mountains of south-central France, sheltered people in their homes and farms and in public institutions. Defying the Nazis and the French government collaborating with them was dangerous work, with the risk of death for anyone caught. A cousin of Rev. Trocmé, Daniel Trocmé, was sent to the Majdanek concentration camp in Poland, where he perished. Both André and Magda were recognized by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial centre in Israel, as Righteous among the Nations. Le Chambon and its neighbouring communities are also honoured at Yad Vashem. Their daughter Trocmé Hewett, now 87, was a teenager during the war and later emigrated to the United States…There are two new books on Le Chambon: Caroline Moorehead’s Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France, to be published Oct. 28, and Moorehead, and A Good Place to Hide: How One French Village Saved Thousands of Lives, by Peter Grose, due out next spring.

           

Contents                                               

On Topic

 

Bruce MacKinnon’s War Memorial Cartoon Touches Hearts Worldwide: Mary Ellen Macintyre, Herald News, Oct. 23, 2014 —After his powerful artistic response to tragic events in Ottawa, it seemed everyone wanted a piece of Herald cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon on Thursday.

Canada Mosque Teaches 4-Year-Olds How to Behead (Video): WND, Oct. 3, 2014
An Assault on the Heart of the Canadian State (Video): Mark Steyn, Steyn Online, Oct. 23, 2014

Brigitte Gabriel Keynote Speaker at United Nations (Video): Youtube, Sept. 9, 2014

Hebrew –English Bilingual School in Harlem (Video): Jerusalem Online, Oct. 24, 2014

Klinghoffer and the ‘Two Sides’ of Terrorism: Floyd Abrams, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 15, 2014—The Metropolitan Opera in New York on Monday will present John Adams ’s opera “The Death of Klinghoffer. ” The organization’s decision to mount the production has already spurred protests, with more to come.

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

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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

IN MEMORIAM: OTTAWA & JERUSALEM MOURN TERRORIST VICTIMS: HARPER: “WE WILL NEVER BE INTIMIDATED”

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:

 

Stephen Harper’s Speech on the Ottawa Shooting, Full Text: National Post, Oct. 22, 2014

Visibly Shaken Harper Proclaims ‘Canada Will Never be Intimidated’: John Ivison, National Post, Oct. 22, 2014— The goal of the coward who shot a reservist, providing ceremonial guard to the Tomb for the Unknown Soldier, was to cause shock and fear across this country.

Terrorists Don’t Have a Chance in this Country: Margaret Wente, Globe & Mail, Oct. 23, 2014 I was never prouder of my country than I was Wednesday.

Terrorist Kills Infant, Wounds Several, After Ramming Car Into Crowd in Jerusalem: Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 23, 2014— A three-month-old girl, identified by her grandfather as Chaya Zissel, was killed and several US citizens and Israelis were wounded Wednesday evening when a convicted Palestinian terrorist from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan rammed his vehicle into a crowd of people in the capital.

Israel Under Attack, Again: Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, Oct. 22, 2014— In the capital of a U.S. ally, a terrorist drove his car into a crowd, injuring eight people, including a three-month old baby.

Unrest, Instability, Intifada — Whatever its  Name, it’s in Hamas’s Interest: Mitch Ginsberg, Times of Israel, Oct. 23, 2014—Whether the violence in Jerusalem since the gruesome murder of Muhammad Abu-Khdeir in July amounts to a Third Intifada will only be clear in hindsight.

On Topic Links

 

Krauthammer: Ottawa Gunman, Homegrown Threats Are ‘New Face Of Terrorism’ [VIDEO]: Daily Caller, Oct. 22, 2014

The Terrorism Threat to Canada: Jonathan D. Halevi, JCPA, Oct. 23, 2014

Terror Shouldn't Break Our Ties With Our Soldiers: David Bercuson, Globe & Mail, Oct. 22, 2014

Lieberman: Terror in Jerusalem and Ottawa Part of ‘Global Epidemic’: Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu, Jewish Press, Oct. 23, 2014

Abbas’s Fatah Honors Jerusalem Hit-and-Run Terrorist: Elhanan Miller, Times of Israel, Oct. 23, 2014

                            

STEPHEN HARPER’S SPEECH ON THE OTTAWA SHOOTING,

FULL TEXT                                      

National Post, Oct. 22, 2014

 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed the nation on Wednesday to denounce the savage murder of Corporal Nathan Cirillo and declare: Canada will never be intimidated. Here is a transcript of his speech.

 

My fellow Canadians, for the second time this week there has been a brutal and violent attack on our soil. Today our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll and Sunderland Highlanders. Cpl. Cirillo was killed today, murdered in cold blood, as he provided a ceremonial honour guard at Canada’s National War Memorial, that sacred place that pays tribute to those who gave their lives so that we can live in a free, democratic and safe society. Likewise our thoughts and prayers remain also with the family and friends of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent who was killed earlier this week by an ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and Levant] inspired terrorist. Tonight we also pray for the speedy recovery of the others injured in these despicable attacks.

 

Fellow Canadians, we have also been reminded today of the compassionate and courageous nature of so many Canadians like those private citizens and first responders who came to provide aid to Corporal Cirillo as he fought for his life and, of course, the members of our security forces in the RCMP, the City of Ottawa Police and in Parliament who came quickly and at great risk to themselves to assist those of us who were close to the attack.

 

Fellow Canadians, in the days to come we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he many have had. But this week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world. We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and on our institutions of governance are by their very nature attacks on our country, on our values, on our society, on us Canadians as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all.

 

But let there be no misunderstanding: we will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated. In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts, and those of our national security agencies, to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home. Just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores. They will have no safe haven.

 

Well, today has been, without question, a difficult day. I have every confidence that Canadians will pull together with the kind of firm solidarity that has seen our country through many challenges. Together, we will remain vigilante against those at home or abroad who wish to harm us. For now, Laureen, Ben and Rachel and I join all Canadians in praying for those touched by today’s attack. May God bless them and keep our land glorious and free.

                                                                       

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VISIBLY SHAKEN HARPER PROCLAIMS

‘CANADA WILL NEVER BE INTIMIDATED’

John Ivison                                                                                                           

National Post, Oct. 22, 2014

           

The goal of the coward who shot a reservist, providing ceremonial guard to the Tomb for the Unknown Soldier, was to cause shock and fear across this country. In one of the most important speeches of his political life, Stephen Harper said we will not be intimidated. “Canada will never be intimidated. It will strengthen our resolve to redouble our efforts,” he said. A visibly shaken Prime Minister said his government will take “all the necessary steps” to keep Canadians safe, without being specific about the measures he plans to take. He condemned the second “brutal and violent” attack this week, particularly the “cold-blooded murder” of Nathan Cirillo. He said the incidents were direct attacks on Canadian democracy, values and society.

 

It was a day of extraordinary feats of courage and compassion by Canadians like Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, who is understood to have shot the alleged assailant; by the four remarkable citizens of Ottawa who tended to a dying Cpl. Cirillo; by the caregivers forced to look after toddlers in the parliamentary daycare during more than 10 hours of lockdown; by all the soldiers, police and paramedics who put themselves in harm’s way to protect their fellow Canadians.

 

Ottawa is not a city that engenders warm feelings from the rest of the country. It is a city where it’s been said you can wander safe – but lonely. Neither of those descriptions was appropriate on a very black Wednesday in the capital. How could this not change us? The ceremonial guard at the War Memorial has already been cancelled. All of Canada’s military bases across the country have been closed. There are clear questions about the security arrangements at the front door of Centre Block, and whether they are sufficiently robust.

 

It has always surprised, and delighted, me that access into the Parliament Buildings is so straightforward. It has always worried me that a Mumbai-style attack would meet little in the way of resistance from the unarmed Hill security guards at the front door. That is not to take away from the heroism of security staff, who prevented a much more bloody incident. But we have always made a conscious tilt toward openness and access, and away from the kind of more intrusive security common in Washington and London.

 

We now have to ask ourselves whether we as a society are prepared to give up some of our freedoms in order to provide a little more protection. If we weren’t already aware — we are at war with an enemy that considers its way of life can only flourish if ours is extinguished. We are at war, whether we like it or not.

 

                                                                                   

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TERRORISTS DON’T HAVE A CHANCE IN THIS COUNTRY                           

Margaret Wente                                                                                                  

Globe & Mail, Oct. 23, 2014

 

I was never prouder of my country than I was Wednesday. I learned that we are pretty cool people in a crisis. It’s easy to overreact when someone with a gun storms your seat of government and opens fire – especially when you suspect that person is a radicalized terrorist with an unknown number of accomplices. But we didn’t overreact.

 

What I saw was an institutional response that was professional, quick, efficient and calm. Nobody panicked. I saw our police and security forces handle an unprecedented emergency with great competence and a minimum of fuss. They sprang into action within minutes of the gunfire, and didn’t push any innocent civilians around. I saw the media report the story with care and restraint. No premature conclusions. No scare talk. The CBC reporters never turned a hair. The unflappable Peter Mansbridge is still the best quarterback in the business. The Globe’s astonishing Josh Wingrove had the fortitude to film the bullets spraying and duck for cover. His electrifying video was shown around the world. I saw half a dozen bystanders come to the aid of the soldier who’d been shot as he guarded the National War Memorial. One gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Clearly they weren’t thinking about themselves.

 

And I learned that I had woefully underestimated our quaint parliamentary traditions. I’d always thought our sergeant-at-arms was just some guy whose job was to re-enact one of our dustier traditions by dressing up in funny clothes and carrying around a mace (whatever that is). Who knew he was also a crack shot? But Kevin Vickers, who is 58 and looks it, reportedly can aim and fire with deadly precision when his nation is attacked, then go back into his office to reload. He’ll never brag about it, either. That would be un-Canadian.

 

Mr. Vickers is the reason why terrorism doesn’t have a chance in this country. He has made a career of reaching out to Muslims, Sikhs, First Nations, and others who haven’t always been included in this country. When the Idle No More movement marched on Parliament Hill, he formally exchanged tobacco with a First Nations chief and said, “I understand your frustration. I understand the conditions in which you people live and I also understand the importance of tobacco and what it means as not only a gift, but as a sign of respect for your people.” After the Quebec National Assembly banned the kirpan, he made sure the ceremonial dagger would be allowed in the House of Commons. As he told one gathering of Sikhs, he doesn’t like the word “tolerance.” “No,” he said. “As head of security, I am going to accept and embrace your symbol of faith within the Parliamentary Precinct.”

 

Did yesterday change everything? I don’t think so. The truth is that we’re still as safe (or not) as we were last week. In spite of the terrible, nerve-rattling tragedies of the past few days, we are no more vulnerable to terrorism than any other Western nation, and probably (because of geography) somewhat less. We’ll simply have to be on guard. We’ll find out much more in the days ahead – about the shooter, why he did it, whether there were lapses in security. We will debate whether our security forces need extra powers to do their jobs. As we do that, we should keep in mind the words of Kevin Vickers. “I told them that if they made me their sergeant-at-arms, there would be no walls built around Canada’s parliamentary buildings,” he said.

 

Parliament Hill, always open to all the people, will probably become less open than before, and that is a real loss. But I’m pretty sure people will be back next summer to do yoga on the grass. Soldiers will continue to wear their uniforms off base. We Canadians are steadfast and a bit phlegmatic. These are among our finest traits. We don’t get that excited, and we won’t be cowed into giving up our freedoms. Also, when necessary, we can shoot to kill. So long as we retain these virtues, the terrorists don’t have a chance.

 

                                                                       

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TERRORIST KILLS INFANT, WOUNDS SEVERAL,

AFTER RAMMING CAR INTO CROWD IN JERUSALEM                                   

Daniel K. Eisenbud                                                                                             

Jerusalem Post, Oct. 23, 2014

 

A three-month-old girl, identified by her grandfather as Chaya Zissel, was killed and several US citizens and Israelis were wounded Wednesday evening when a convicted Palestinian terrorist from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan rammed his vehicle into a crowd of people in the capital. The attack, which was captured by a security camera, took place at the Ammunition Hill light-rail stop a few hundred meters from Israel’s national police headquarters, situated across a densely traveled thoroughfare, shortly after 6 p.m., a senior police official said. The terrorist was shot by police and late Wednesday evening he died in hospital.

“The vehicle ran over a number of people, including several Americans, as they exited the train, and the suspect was shot when he attempted to flee the scene by foot,” the official said, requesting anonymity until the US State Department confirms the American casualties. “Nine people were injured, three seriously, including an American infant who died after sustaining critical injuries,” he continued. The official described the suspect as a convicted terrorist who served a recent prison sentence in Israel, but did not indicate whether he was released during the 2011 Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange or last year’s release of more than 70 convicted Palestinian terrorists during peace negotiations. All the victims of the attack were transported to area hospitals for treatment, he said.

Following the attack, US State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said she could not confirm or deny the citizenship of the victims and urged restraint while calling on all parties to “maintain calm” as US and Israeli officials continue to gather facts about the incident. The attack comes two days after nine Israeli families moved into the suspect’s Arab neighborhood amid ongoing Palestinian rioting and international condemnation. Meanwhile, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, whose administration has been beleaguered by chronic violence in the capital since June, issued a statement describing Wednesday’s murder as intolerable.
“We must restore peace and security in Jerusalem,” he said. “As I have said for months, the situation in Jerusalem is intolerable and we must act unequivocally against all violence taking place in the city. “Today, more than ever, it is clear that we must send police forces into neighborhoods where there are disturbances, placing them strategically and widely in significant numbers,” he continued. The mayor added that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has given instructions to reinforce police units in east Jerusalem “to implement an operational action plan formulated to deal with riots, including the addition of personnel and special units, using technological means and increased intelligence.” “I will continue to be vigilant, and we will not rest until security is restored in Jerusalem,” Barkat said.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said rioting ensued in Isawiya and Silwan shortly after the terrorist attack. “Police units have been dispatched and have contained the rioting,” Rosenfeld said at 10 p.m., adding that no injuries were reported. Police issued a statement on Wednesday night saying that Police Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino had met earlier with the heads of the Jerusalem district police and all top police operational branches and ordered that a special security plan approved Wednesday morning for Jerusalem go into effect immediately. They added that police will deploy officers across the city at flash points and based on real-time intelligence, and that they will work together with all security agencies and do whatever it takes in order return peace and quiet to the city. They also vowed to find any other people involved in Wednesday’s attack. Chaya Zissel’s funeral was held on midnight on Wednesday in Jerusalem.

                                                                       

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ISRAEL UNDER ATTACK, AGAIN                                                                 

Jennifer Rubin                                                                                                    

Washington Post, Oct. 22, 2014

 

In the capital of a U.S. ally, a terrorist drove his car into a crowd, injuring eight people, including a three-month old baby. News reports indicate that the baby subsequently died. From the Jerusalem Post:     Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas encouraged violence against Jews in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said following the vehicular terror attack in Jerusalem Wednesday. “This is how Abbas’ partners in government [Hamas] act. This is the same Abbas who, only a few days ago, incited toward a terrorist attack in Jerusalem,” he said. Netanyahu ordered that security forces in Jerusalem be reinforced following the attack, consulting with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Israel Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino and Shin Bet Director Yoram Cohen.

 

According to other media reports, the driver was allegedly a Palestinian who previously was in prison. The Times of Israel reports: “Unconfirmed reports said the suspect was Abdelrahman al-Shaludi, a former Palestinian prisoner from the flashpoint neighborhood of Silwan. Police confirmed that the suspect, which it had yet to name, was from Silwan and had previously served in Israeli prison.”

 

Coincidentally the attack comes on the same day two U.S. senators — Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) — wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry about more than $150 million in assistance going to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) despite its track record during the recent Gaza war in storing terrorist weapons at its sites: Given UNRWA’s record and the absence of an independent investigation into its actions during the conflict, we were dumbfounded when, on October 12th, you reiterated, without any qualification, that the United States would provide more than $150 million to UNRWA programs in Gaza. This blind support sends the wrong message to an institution that has already become far too dependent on the largesse of the American taxpayer and repeatedly failed to ensure that its facilities and resources are not used by terrorists who wish to sow chaos and instability rather than aid the Palestinian people.

 

The United States should assist the people of Gaza as they rebuild after yet another Hamas-caused conflict. But this support cannot come at the expense of Israel’s security. We will not support the provision of future U.S. assistance to entities or projects in Gaza unless the State Department assures Congress that UNRWA or the relevant recipient entity has imposed independently audited accountability measures to verifiably prevent any U.S. assistance from aiding, directly or indirectly, extremists’ efforts to rearm or lay the groundwork for future attacks against Israel. What many in the West treat as “Oh, another attack in Israel,” should not be overlooked. It should be obvious who are friends are and who are enemies are. The latter are the ones who take aim at innocents to kill and wound them. Some moral clarity at the presidential level would be most welcomed.                                  

 

                                                                       

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UNREST, INSTABILITY, INTIFADA —

WHATEVER ITS NAME, IT’S IN HAMAS’S INTEREST

Mitch Ginsberg                                                                                                  

 

Times of Israel, Oct. 23, 2014

 

Whether the violence in Jerusalem since the gruesome murder of Muhammad Abu-Khdeir in July amounts to a Third Intifada will only be clear in hindsight. But what the murder on Wednesday of Chaya Zissel Braun has shown, beyond the ruthlessness of the act and the enduring tension in Jerusalem, is the shrewdness of Hamas’s strategy of overthrowing the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank by, of all things, persistently killing innocent Israelis.

 

That is one of the ways Israel should view the recent developments in Jerusalem. When Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, a Hamas member and relative of a former head of the organization’s armed wing, turned his car into a lethal weapon on Wednesday, he was, whether by design or not, acting exactly according to the alleged Hamas coup plans exposed in August. At the time, the Shin Bet said that it had exposed a Hamas plan to “overthrow the Palestinian Authority and seize control of Judea and Samaria.”

 

Many pictured a coup: the surrounding of the Muqata and the deposing of the chairman of the Palestinian Authority. But what the Shin Bet actually uncovered was a plan, coordinated from Hamas headquarters in Turkey, to establish a loose network of terror cells, comprising a total of 93 operatives, which would “destabilize the security situation in the West Bank and carry out a string of grave attacks in Israel.” The Shin Bet left the rest unsaid: Israel, as happened in Gaza, would assign blame to the PA, seethe, and finally retaliate, weakening the PA to the point that Hamas could step in and finish it off.

 

And the reactions to the terror attack were, in fact, unusually harsh and directed squarely at PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, speaking from Washington, said that “there is none, nor has there ever been, in the Palestinian Authority a culture of peace, but rather a culture of incitement and jihad against Jews.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assigned blame to Hamas, but also to Abbas, “who just a few days ago incited attacks on Jews in Jerusalem,” as he said in a statement. Hamas, of course, cannot take all of the credit for the roiling tension and constant drip of violence in the northern part of the city since the July murder. Other forces are at work, too – the friction on the Temple Mount and the status quo that leaves many Arab residents of East Jerusalem cut off from the West Bank and also unaffiliated, at least by citizenship, with Israel. Nonetheless, it is squarely within the organization’s interest to perpetuate instability so that even a random spark could light the fire of a third intifada.

 

“I say this and I repeat, I do not recognize an intifada,” Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch insisted Wednesday after the terror attack. Instead, he said, there was “a rise of incidents” of late but one that, with the help of an increased police presence in the capital, “we will overcome.” For Aharonovitch and the Israel Police, an organization beset by widespread malfeasance, that will be a tall order, and one hopefully achieved before the fire hops the fence and spreads to the West Bank.

           

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On Topic

 

The Terrorism Threat to Canada: Jonathan D. Halevi, JCPA, Oct. 23, 2014—On October 22, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, Canadian-born and a convert to Islam, shot dead a soldier and was killed after opening fire inside the Parliament in Ottawa

Krauthammer: Ottawa Gunman, Homegrown Threats Are ‘New Face Of Terrorism’ [VIDEO]: Daily Caller, Oct. 22, 2014—Appearing on “Special Report” Wednesday night, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer opined that individual attacks such as the shooting at Parliament Hill in Ottawa Wednesday is “the new face of terrorism.” 

Terror Shouldn't Break Our Ties With Our Soldiers: David Bercuson, Globe & Mail, Oct. 22, 2014—Within 72 hours, two members of the Canadian Armed Forces were attacked and killed on the soil of Canada for no reason other than that they wore the uniform of the Canadian military. That has never happened before.

Lieberman: Terror in Jerusalem and Ottawa Part of ‘Global Epidemic’: Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu, Jewish Press, Oct. 23, 2014—Wednesday’s terrorists attacks “almost at the same time in both ends of the world show that terror is a global epidemic,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wrote on his Facebook page.

Abbas’s Fatah Honors Jerusalem Hit-and-Run Terrorist: Elhanan Miller, Times of Israel, Oct. 23, 2014 —Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement published a poster Thursday celebrating Palestinian terrorist Abdel Rahman Al-Shaludi, who killed three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun and injured eight other Israelis in a hit-and-run car attack in Jerusalem the previous day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

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TERRORIST I.S., AIDED BY WESTERN RECRUITS & APOLOGISTS, LEADS GLOBAL ISLAMIST JIHAD

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Contents:

 

As We Go to Press: SOLDIER DIES AFTER BEING RUN DOWN IN SUSPECTED TERROR ATTACK (Montreal) —The driver of a car who rammed two Canadian Forces members near Montreal before being shot dead by police was known to counter-terrorism authorities who believed he had become radicalized, the RCMP said on Monday as they continued to investigate the possible terrorist attack. The 25-year-old, known as Martin “Ahmad” Rouleau, allegedly hit two members of the Canadian Forces as they were walking in a strip mall just outside St-Jean-sur-Richelieu at about 11:30 a.m. Early Tuesday, one of two soldiers hit by the car died of his injuries. The second soldier’s injuries were described as less serious. A Twitter account under the name Ahmad Rouleau featured the banner of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham, the terrorist group that last month called on its followers to kill Canadians because of Ottawa’s role in the anti-ISIS military coalition. “Islam is the only true religion. Anyone who want scientific proof of God that your terrorist Zionism Rothschild media hide, contact me or add me if you re open minded,” he commented beneath an online Time magazine article last May. (National Post, Oct. 20, 2014)  

 

Thank You, ISIS: David Horowitz, National Review, Oct. 9, 2014— Beheadings of innocent human beings are unspeakable acts reflecting the barbaric savagery of the Islamic “holy war” against the West — against us.

Is the Islamic State a Good Thing?: Raymond Ibrahim, Frontpage, Oct. 2, 2014— The Islamic State (IS) continues expanding its territory and influence through jihad

Western Civilization Must Rally Against the Threat of a New Medievalism: Tasha Kheiriddin, National Post, Sept. 4, 2014— The barbarians are not at the gates; they are inside them.

Radical Islam, Israel and Agitprop: Guy Millière, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 28, 2014— Understanding radical Islam requires going back to its roots.

               

On Topic Links

 

Canadian Jihadist Unmasked: Stewart Bell, National Post, Sept., 2014

The I-Word: Rex Murphy, National Post, Aug. 23, 2014

What The "Two State Solution" Has to Do with the Rise of Islamic Extremism: Zero: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Oct. 20, 2014

You Can’t Reform Islam Without Reforming Muslims: Daniel Greenfield, Frontpage, Oct. 21, 2014

                   

                                                 

THANK YOU, ISIS

David Horowitz                                                                                                              

National Review, Oct. 9, 2014

           

Beheadings of innocent human beings are unspeakable acts reflecting the barbaric savagery of the Islamic “holy war” against the West — against us. Yet despite the intentions of their perpetrators, they have had an unexpected utility. Their gruesome images have entered the living rooms and consciousness of ordinary Americans and waked them up. The barbarity of the Islamic movement for world domination has actually been evident for decades: in the suicide bombing of the Marine compound in Lebanon in 1982, in the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, in the suicide attacks on Jews — men, women, and children — during the second Palestinian Intifada in 2000, in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001, and in the beheadings perpetrated in Iraq by al-Qaeda’s Abu al-Zarqawi and the Salafist group known as Ansar al-Islam during the Iraq War.

 

Unfortunately, the response to these barbarities on the part of the Democratic party and the liberal elites has been to condemn and marginalize anyone who called them barbarous. In their eyes, it is racist to use the word “barbarism” to describe the acts of any Third World people. To associate Islam with the Islamists was Islamophobic. President Obama is still trapped in this time warp, denying in so many words that the Islamic State is Islamic. For America’s commander-in-chief to make such an obviously moronic statement about his country’s enemy in wartime reflects how deeply settled is the ideology of protecting the Islamists (and jeopardizing the innocent). Even Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, could not bring himself to describe the enemy as Islamic. Settling on “War on Terror” as a descriptive term was a way of eliding the fact that the savagery was motivated by not by nihilism but by Islamic faith. The Obama Democrats have gone even deeper into denial, eliminating “War on Terror” from the government vocabulary and replacing it with “overseas contingency operations.”

 

For more than a decade, a handful of conservatives, of whom I was one, tried to sound the alarm about the Islamist threat…In 2006 and 2007, I organized nearly 200 “teach-ins” on American campuses, which I called “Islamo-Fascism Awareness” weeks. The idea was to legitimize the term “Islamo-fascist” as a description of the enemy confronting us. These demonstrations were attacked by the Muslim Students Association, which is a recruiting organization for the Muslim Brotherhood, and by Students for Justice in Palestine, a front for the terrorist party Hamas. They also inspired the contempt of the liberal Left… Resolutions denouncing critics of Islamic misogyny and terror as “Islamophobes” were unanimously passed by leftist-run student councils at UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, and a dozen other elite schools. Lengthy reports on the menace of Islamophobia targeted me and other speakers at our campus demonstrations, including Robert Spencer and Daniel Pipes…

 

And then came ISIS. The horrific images of the beheadings, the reports of mass slaughters, and the threats to the American homeland have accomplished what our small contingent of beleaguered conservatives could never have achieved by ourselves. They brought images of these Islamic fanatics and savages into the living rooms of the American public, and suddenly the acceptable language for describing the enemy began to change. “Savages” and “barbarians” began to roll off the tongues of evening-news anchors and commentators who never would have dreamed of crossing that line before, for fear of offending the politically correct. Virtually every major Muslim organization in America is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, the fountainhead of Islamic terror. Huma Abedin, who was deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (and is still Clinton’s confidante and principal aide), comes from a family of Muslim Brotherhood leaders. Yet legislators who have the power to investigate these matters are still intimidated from even raising them. Representative Michele Bachmann, who did raise them, was excoriated as a racist not only by the Left but also by John Boehner and John McCain.

 

Language is a weapon in the battle against the threat we face. We cannot fight a war effectively when we cannot name the enemy or describe his methods or examine his influence on our own policy. The Islamic State has created an opportunity for common sense and realism to prevail. The tragedy is that it has taken the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Christians in the Middle East and the ongoing extermination of the Catholic presence in Iraq to begin to wake people up. And, unfortunately, the president is still asleep or, less charitably, is hostile to American purposes, is hostile to the military that defends us, and identifies more with the Islamic world that has produced these forces who would destroy us than with the country he is sworn to defend.

                                                                                   

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IS THE ISLAMIC STATE A GOOD THING?                                                          

Raymond Ibrahim                                                                                               

Frontpage, Oct. 2, 2014

 

The Islamic State (IS) continues expanding its territory and influence through jihad. Religious minorities that fall under its sway—at least the fortunate ones—continue to flee in droves, helping make the Islamic State what it strives to be: purely Islamic. Left unfettered, with only cosmetic airstrikes by an indecisive Obama administration to deal with, IS continues growing in strength and confidence, as Western powers again stand idly by. More and more Muslims around the world, impressed and inspired by what they see, become convinced that the Islamic State is in fact the new caliphate deserving of their allegiance.  Such Muslims—the most “radical” kind, who delight in the slaughter and subjugation of “infidels”—continue leaving Western nations and migrating to the Islamic State to wage jihad and live under Sharia. In other words, a sizable chunk of the world’s most radicalized/pious Muslims all become localized in one region.  There they openly and proudly display their anti-infidel supremacism.

 

Throughout, Western media have no choice but to report objectively—so thoroughly exposed for its barbarity has IS become that it is an insurmountable task to whitewash its atrocities.  The world has seen enough about IS to know that this is a savage, hostile, and supremacist state without excuse. Even Obama, after originally citing “grievances” as propelling the Islamic State’s successes, recently made an about face, saying “No grievance justifies these actions.” Put differently, the “Palestinian card” will not work here.  Western media, apologists, and talking heads cannot portray IS terror—including crucifying, beheading, and raping humans simply because they are “infidels”—as a product of “grievances” or “land disputes.” Indeed, the Islamic State itself, which is largely composed of foreigners, is the one invading other territories (Iraq, Syria), massacring and driving out their most indigenous inhabitants, from Christians to Yazidis.

 

In time, the Islamic State’s borders are fully consolidated and the “caliphate” is a fact of reality.  Its war on fellow Muslim “apostates”—its current excuse for not engaging the greatest of all “infidels” in the region, Israel—eventually comes to a close or stalemate. Then the inevitable happens: another conflict erupts between Israel and Hamas; Muslims around the word, including those under IS authority, drunk with power and feelings of superiority, demand that the time to wipe out the Jewish infidel has finally come; that the second phase of the caliphate is now or never—conquest of “original infidels.” As Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu recently declared during his U.N. speech, “ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree. ISIS and Hamas share a fanatical creed, which they both seek to impose well beyond the territory under their control.” Thus the Islamic State will eventually be compelled to start saber rattling and worse against Israel.  After all, its entire legitimacy is founded on its namesake—that it is the “Islamic state,” the state that magnifies and protects Islam and Muslims.   It must eventually confront Israel or else be proven the greatest of all hypocrites or munafiqun—a term of great rebuke in the Koran, which some Muslim authorities are already applying to IS for not confronting Israel now.

 

Conflicts inevitably ensue between Israel and its neighboring Islamic State. But unlike the Jewish state’s war on Hamas—which the mainstream media can manipulate and portray as a war on innocent Palestinian women and children—world governments and media will find it exceedingly difficult to criticize Israel should any conflict between it and IS arise…Moreover, the argument habitually used against Israel—that its war on Hamas creates innocent Palestinian casualties—loses all legitimacy in any war on the Islamic State.

 

After all, IS, the state itself—not some terrorist organization ensconced within the state—is beheading, massacring, and enslaving humans solely on the basis of their religious identity.  Its citizens—who went there of their own accord, unlike “displaced” and “trapped” Palestinians—are fanatical, extremist Muslims, whose greatest aspiration is to decapitate an infidel. No one can apologize for this. The best that can be said is that this is not “true” Islam. This is why, even now, the pro-Islamic Obama administration is forced to condemn IS and even (if perfunctorily) militarily engage it. In short, conventional war becomes very justifiable against IS—especially because there is no longer any worry of accidentally killing this or that moderate or non-Muslim, as they have all been driven away, replaced by Islamic terrorists from around the world. And conventional war has traditionally been the bane of Islamists, who prefer terrorism, hiding among civilians, using them as shields, and playing the victim. Safe from international censure and pushed to the edge, Israel eventually obliterates the Islamic State, while even Islam’s greatest apologists in the West must hold their tongue or else be seen as defenders of the state responsible for the greatest atrocities—crucifixions, beheadings, rapes, slavery, and wholesale massacres—so far committed in the 21st century…

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

 

                                                                       

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WESTERN CIVILIZATION MUST RALLY

AGAINST THE THREAT OF A NEW MEDIEVALISM                                         

Tasha Kheiriddin                                                                                                 

National Post, Sept. 4, 2014

 

The barbarians are not at the gates; they are inside them. In middle-class Canada, America and Britain, Islamic radicals scoop up young recruits to practice jihad against the countries that nurtured them. Others commit atrocities against those who do not share their faith, such as the horrific case of Muslim gangs in Rotherham, England, sexually abusing 1,400 non-Muslim schoolgirls over the past 16 years. Still others kill women and girls from their own faith community, for staining the family honour by daring to date a person of their own choosing, or leave an abusive husband.

 

The Western world is embroiled in a war of civilizations, not only overseas, but on its own soil. And right now, it is losing. It has become undone by the very quality that underpins its own religious morality: mercy. In modern times, mercy has morphed into political correctness. Turn the other cheek, even if it gets slapped repeatedly. Treat everyone as an equal, even if they think it’s acceptable to kill or abuse others in the name of one’s faith. But this type of extremism is not religion, naysayers retort: It’s culture. There is nothing in the Koran that mandates the beheading of infidels, the gang rape of children, the genital mutilation of girls, or even the wearing of burkas. Those are cultural perversions, and it’s wrong to tar Islam, and all Muslims, with one bloody brush. One can debate the texts of Islam ad nauseum: What matters are not the actual words, but the use to which they are put. It is true that there are many peaceful Muslims who reject these ideas. But there are many who do not. And more worrisome still, many of them come to their beliefs as young adults, radicalized by those who use the religion for their own purposes. Fear of being labelled “Islamophobic” prevents both discussion of and action against the problem. But the harsh truth is that the organizing principle of Islamic violence is Islam. Without it, there would be nothing to pervert in the first place. Without the call for the creation of an Islamic State, James Foley and Stephen Sotloff would still be alive. Without the belief that women, and non-Muslim women in particular, are second-class citizens, Rotherham would not have become a cesspool of child rape.

 

To be fair, Islam is not the only religion which has been used for violent ends. Catholicism provided the backdrop for the Spanish Inquisition, and Calvinism for the Salem Witch Trials. Christians treated women as inferior to men for centuries, based on the “word of God”; some modern-day religious sects, such as the polygamists of Bountiful, B.C., still do. But over time, mainstream Christianity changed. The Enlightenment spurred an evolution in Western thought. The value of personal freedom gained prominence, while church and state became increasingly separate entities. Over time, these changes begat rights for various social groups, including women, gays and lesbians, and racial minorities. You would think that the inheritors of the Enlightenment would be camped out on the White House lawn demanding that the Islamist threat to Western liberties be stopped. You would think that feminists would storm the gates of 10 Downing Street and demand that the police in Rotherham be jailed for failing to protect their girls. You would think that the LGBT community would realize that the real threat to equality is not the café down the street that doesn’t have transgendered washrooms, but the imam at the local mosque preaching that homosexuals are perverts and should be jailed. Don’t get me wrong: the answer to Allahu Akbar is not Deus vult. The West need not reenact a 21st-century version of the Crusades. But it must rally against the threat of a new medievalism. It cannot allow religious extremists of any faith to turn back the clock of civilization. Calling out crimes based in religion is not racist, but reality — and the first step to stopping them.

                                                                       

Contents               

                                                                                             

RADICAL ISLAM, ISRAEL AND AGITPROP                                                         

Guy Millière                                                                                                         

Gatestone Institute, Sept. 28, 2014

 

Understanding radical Islam requires going back to its roots. The Christian idea of rendering "unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's" never existed in Islam. Its absence has had consequences, including, possibly, the decline of the Muslim civilization and the feeling of humiliation that resulted. During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when Muslim clerics observed that the Islamic world was not keeping pace with the West and was on the verge of collapse, they may have decided they needed answers. Some of these clerics turned to the West, where they chose to study Western political ideas. They spoke of necessary reforms, and created secret societies and nationalist organizations. Other clerics chose dogmatic, strict readings of the Quran. They found inspiration in the writings of Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab and in the established fundamentalist movements. Several secret societies gained strength and came to power: the Young Ottomans staged a coup d'état in 1876; the Young Turks ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1908 to 1918. Nationalist revolts took place: Colonel Ahmed Urabi led a mutiny in Egypt in 1879. A secret society, calling Arabs to recover their "lost vitality," was created in Beirut by Ibrahim al-Yaziji in the late 1870s. The House of Saud, led by Wahhabis, mounted military campaigns against other tribal rulers and the Ottomans in order to seize the Arabian Peninsula. From 1855-56 until his death in 1897, Sayyid Jamāl ad-Dīn al-Afghānī travelled throughout the Muslim world to call desperately for a return to the "original principles" of Islam.

 

But the decline did not stop and the collapse occurred. The First World War led to the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire, the emergence of modern Turkey, and the creation of kingdoms and Mandates in the Arab World. In 1923, the Ankara-based Turkish regime, founded by Mustafa Kemal Pasha [Atatürk], became the officially secular Republic of Turkey. Arab nationalists, whom Britain had used as a weapon against the Ottoman Empire, felt betrayed when Britain and France settled on the division of Arab territories and did not satisfy Arab demands. The leader of the Arab revolt, Emir Faisal ibn Hussein, for example, asked during the 1919 Paris Peace Conference in Versailles that, "the Arabic-speaking peoples of Asia" be recognized as "independent sovereign peoples," and that "no steps be taken inconsistent with the prospect of an eventual union" of Arab "areas under one sovereign government." As Arab nationalists grew bitter, pan-Arab nationalism emerged throughout the Arab world. The House of Saud united the kingdoms of the Hejaz and Nejd, and created the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932. Around the same time, radical Islam arose. The Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwān al-Muslimūn), established in 1928, quickly became the main radical movement.

 

Radical Islam soon took on a different color. Although it is sometimes described as a by-product of fundamentalism, it is really fundamentalism influenced by Western totalitarian dogmas: Marxism, Leninism, fascism, National-Socialism. The borders between radical Islam, Islamic fundamentalism, and Arab Nationalism have always been porous. Fundamentalist Islam "must have power in this world. It is the true religion—the religion of God—and its truth is manifest in its power…. [I]f Muslims now return to the original Islam, they can preserve and even restore their power." In the late 1950s, the political landscape of the Muslim world was relatively easy to describe. Saudi Arabia was fundamentalist. Some moderate kingdoms existed: Jordan, Morocco, Iran. Turkey was a secular republic. Lebanon was a "unitary confessionalist" Republic: a Republic resting on a power-sharing mechanism based on religious communities. Arab nationalists had taken power in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Tunisia, and were about to take power in Algeria. The major Muslim countries in Asia — Pakistan and Indonesia — were not especially present in the news. Pakistan declared Islam as its state religion in 1949: most Pakistani Muslims belonged at the time to the Barelvi movement, much influenced by Sufism.[6] The Deobandi movement, inspired by Wahhabism, was not politically influential. And in Indonesia, the main Muslim groups — Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah — advocated religious moderation.

 

Meanwhile, radical Islam was growing in the shadows. In the 1960s, Arab nationalism was still gaining ground: Libya and Algeria were added to the list of countries ruled by people calling themselves Nationalists. In the 1970s, a civil war erupted in Lebanon. Palestinian militias were expelled from Jordan. They settled in South Lebanon and began fighting Christian militias. As central government authority quickly disintegrated, Shi'a militias that were beginning to form joined in the fighting. The great change occurred on April 1st 1979: Iran, with its version of radical Shi'a Islam, became an Islamic Republic. From then on, radical Islam spread rapidly. In 1985, various violent Lebanese Shi'a extremist groups founded Hezbollah, apparently in the hope of establishing an Islamic State in Lebanon. Two years later, in 1987, Hamas, an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, was founded in Gaza City. Al-Qaeda, a radical Wahhabi movement calling for global jihad, was created in 1988-1989 by Osama bin Laden and Abdullah Yusuf Azzam. In Algeria, the Islamic Salvation Front started its bloody activities in 1989. Afghanistan became an Islamic State in 1992. The Taliban established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in 1996. Countless more violent and deadly developments have taken place since. Radical Islam is now present on every continent. It has many names, various appearances, and is now a global threat.

 

In the meantime, as nationalism was on the rise all over the world and the idea of national liberation filled the atmosphere, Zionism emerged as the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, urging Jews scattered all over the earth to come back to "the Land of Israel." The movement began during the collapse of the Muslim world. The First Aliyah [lit. "going up"] to Israel took place in 1881; the First Congress of the World Zionist organization took place in Basel, in 1897, and the Second Aliyah began in 1904. In the 1920s, as the Ottoman Empire was dismantled, and the secret societies, nationalist organizations and fundamentalist movements rose in the Muslim world, Zionism also gained strength. In 1917, the Jewish Legion, a group of Zionist volunteers, assisted the British Army in Palestine (the name given to the land by Roman Emperor Hadrian in 135 A.D., to try to rid it of its Jewish roots). The same year, the Balfour Declaration confirmed support from the British government for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." In 1922, the League of Nations granted Britain a mandate over Palestine to establish the "national home for the Jewish people." The official document explicitly states that "a recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine."

 

Zionism was compatible. It could coexist with moderate kingdoms, such as Morocco, with secular republics such as modern Turkey, and with republics such as Lebanon before its civil war. Islamic fundamentalism and Arab Nationalism, however, are not compatible with Zionism. In the eyes of Islamic fundamentalists, Jews are ahl al-ḏimmah, people of the dimmah: inferiors who are allowed to survive in an Islamic-conquered land only if they accept being subjugated and deprived of any legal or human rights. Further, in fundamentalist Islam, the entire world is divided into either the Dar al-Islam [The House of Islam] or the Dar al-Harb [The House of War], where Islam does not yet dominate. In the eyes of Islamic fundamentalists, therefore, every territory — whether Israel or Spain's al-Andalus — that has ever been under the rule of Islam must remain irreversibly under the rule of Islam — a waqf, or religious endowment, held in trust for Allah as part of his dar al-Islam [the House of Islam]. Originally, Arab nationalists wanted to end the Ottoman domination of Arab lands; then, after the Ottoman Empire was dissolved in 1918, they wanted the end of all Western presence in the Arab world…

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

                                                           

Contents                                               

 

On Topic

 

Canadian Jihadist Unmasked: Stewart Bell, National Post, Sept., 2014—Adept at using social media and fluent in English, Abu Turaab is part of the new generation of jihadists who have stormed the Internet to spread the dark message of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham.

The I-Word: Rex Murphy, National Post, Aug. 23, 2014—“What’s in a name?” That famous question came from the mouth of Shakespeare’s Juliet Capulet while under her rhapsodic infatuation with Romeo Montague.

What The "Two State Solution" Has to Do with the Rise of Islamic Extremism: Zero: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Oct. 20, 2014—U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's claim that the lack of a "two-state solution" has fueled the rise of the Islamic State [IS] terrorist group reinforces how clueless the U.S. Administration is about what is happening in the Arab and Islamic countries.

You Can’t Reform Islam Without Reforming Muslims: Daniel Greenfield, Frontpage, Oct. 21, 2014—Every few years the debate over reforming Islam bubbles up from the depths of a culture that largely censors any suggestion that Islam needs reforming.

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

 

ContentsDownload today's Daily Briefing.pdf

 

Media-ocrity of the Week

Weekly Quotes 

Short Takes

On Topic Links

 

 

Patronising the Palestinians: Pat Condell, YouTube, Jan. 3, 2013

A Trail of Bullet Casings Leads From Africa’s Wars Back to Iran: C. J. Chivers, New York Times, Jan. 11, 2013

Good News for Knees: Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel 21C, January 15, 2013

 

Media-ocrity of the Week

 

New York Post review of
THE CRISIS OF ZIONISM
by Peter Beinart

 

Beinart’s contention is that the West Bank occupation that has gone on for so manyyears is changing the nature of Israel itself, so it’s less democratic than it used to be, and it might be impossible for there to be two separate states. Unfortunately, Israel’s isolating itself from many nations. Beinart’s an Orthodox Jew, and I found this book very convincing. —Sheldon Harnick, the lyricist for “Fiddler on the Roof”. 

 

 

Weekly Quotes

 

"America must signal that it will not be business as usual with the government of the Arab world's largest and most powerful nation, while they continue to characterize Jews as 'descendants of apes and pigs', 'war mongers', and threaten anti-Semitic Jihads. Today Egypt is asking the U.S. and the international community for $12 billion to keep its ailing economy afloat. Now is the time for American leadership to demand an end to Egypt’s public anti-Semitic posturing. The mainstreaming of Jew-hatred in the Arab and Muslim world will not only end hopes for any Middle East peace deal, but puts Jews in jeopardy around the world."—Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, Founder and Dean and Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. (Simon Wiesenthal Center, Jan. 15, 2013)

 

“Dear brothers, we must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred towards those Zionists and Jews, and all those who support them. They must be nursed on hatred. The hatred must continue. [T]hese bloodsuckers who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs. The Zionists have no right to the land of Palestine…. What they took before 1947-8 constitutes plundering, and what they are doing now is a continuation of this plundering. By no means do we recognize their Green Line. The land of Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, not to the Zionists." The Arab-Islamic world "want[s] a country for the Palestinians on the entire land of Palestine…[and] all the talk about a two-state solution and about peace is nothing but an illusion." The Jews "have been fanning the flames of civil strife wherever they were throughout history. They are hostile by nature…. The Zionists understood nothing but the language of force."—Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in comments made in TV interviews in 2010 discovered and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). (Jerusalem Post: Jan 15, 2013)
 

"We believe that President Morsi should make clear that he respects people of all faiths and that this type of rhetoric is unacceptable in a democratic Egypt.” President Morsi’s comments were "deeply offensive," and ran counter to the goal of peace in the region.—White House spokesman Jay Carney condemning comments Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi made in 2010 when he was still a Muslim Brotherhood leader, before being elected President. (Huffington Post, Jan 15, 2013)

 

“Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.”—U.S. President Barack Obama, quoted by Jeffrey Goldberg, correspondent for Bloomberg News, in reference to Israeli announcements concerning new building in settlements in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria which, according to Goldberg,  Obama views, as moving Israel down a path toward near-total diplomatic isolation. “If Israel, a small state in an inhospitable region, becomes more of a pariah – one that alienates even the affections of the U.S., its last steadfast friend, it won’t survive. Iran poses a short-term tthreat to Israel’s survival; Israel’s own behaviour poses a long term one.” — Jeffrey Goldberg paraphrasing President Obama. (Bloomberg News, National Post, Jan. 14, 16, 2013)

 

"Your activism and your intolerance are abominable. Phony Facebook "fans" have posted messages expressly asking our musicians not play in Israel. This is sheer harassment. Moreover, it's really quite surprising because these fans purporting to sway the artists are not fans at all, but simply your army of little soldiers polluting the calm and positive spaces of our artists' Facebook pages. …What bothers me the most about your effort…is your hatred of Israel, a pathological hatred, blind and most assuredly hidden behind a veil of "political correctness." Your actions don't demonstrate a love or defense of Palestinians but rather a hatred for Israelis.”—Christophe Deghelt, manager for jazz musician Jack Terrasson, speaking out against BDS online harassment of artists. (Camera, Jan. 14, 2013)

 

 “If there is no diplomatic decision, the Palestinians will go back to terror. Knives, mines, suicide attacks. Even if the local inhabitants do not want to resume the violence, they will be under pressure of the Arab world.”—Israeli President Shimon Peres in pre-election comments to the New York Times magazine critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach to the “peace process”. Peres drew criticism for violating the principle of Presidential political impartiality. (National Post, Jan. 11, 2013)

 

“This afternoon, French armed forces lent support to units of the Malian army to fight against terrorists. This operation will last as long as needed. We have one objective: to make sure that when we leave, when we end this intervention, there is security in Mali, legitimate leaders, an electoral process and the terrorists no longer threaten its territory. We are confident about the speed  with which we will be able to stop the aggressors”—French President Francois Hollande commenting on the French government’s sudden decision to assist to the Malian army in its fight against the encroachment of al-Qaeda-linked rebels in the country.

   “I would advise France not to sing their victory song too quickly. They managed to leave Afghanistan. They will never leave Mali.”— Omar Ould Hamaha, a commander of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, in response to the French military intervention. (Wall Street Journal, National Post,  Jan. 12 16, 2013)

 

“The establishment of a terrorist region in the middle of Africa is of grave concern to the broader international community, including Canada and our close allies.” —Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Canada’s participation (the loan of one transport aircraft) in France’s intervention in Mali. (Globe and Mail, Jan. 15, 2013)

 

“No fear, no horror, power belongs to the people. No to emerging dictatorship. No to religious dictatorship. Ennahda out, down with the [Muslim] Brotherhood Party. Where is the constitution? Where is democracy?” —Tunisian demonstrators chanting slogans against the ruling Islamist Ennahda Movement. (Globe and Mail, Jan. 15, 2013)

 

“We were waiting for our deaths so we came out, but we found our second deaths here. There we were foing to die from the fires. Here we’re going to die from the cold . We don’t want to die in this tent.”—Abu Tarik, a Syrian refugee in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. (New York Times, Jan 13, 2013)

 

“The transition is well under way. By the end of next year, 2014, the transition will be complete. Afghans will have full responsibility for their security and this war will come to a responsible end. Starting this spring our troops will have a different mission: training, advising, assisting Afghan forces.” —U.S. President Barack Obama on ending the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. (New York Post, Jan. 12, 2013)

 

“It is part of our war strategy to target any foreign citizen whose country has a military presence in Afghanistan and enters our country without permission from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.” —Zabiullah Mujahid, spokeman for Afghan insurgents from northern and eastern Afghanistan.  “No part of Afghanistan should be considered immune from violence. There is an ongoingand increased risk of kidnapping and assassination of U.S. citizens.”— U.S. State Department travel advisory.(New York Times, Jan. 13, 2013)

 

“The United Nations seems to have an unwritten rule that the more barbaric the nation, the better its chance of being appointed to monitor barbarity. Last month [Nov] , Sudan – whose president, Omar al-Bashir, has been charged with genocide by the International Criminal Court – was awarded a seat on the Economic and Social Council, which is responsible for upward of 70 percent of the human and financial resources at the UN. The advocacy group UN Watch complained that Sudan was “genocidal, misogynistic and repressive. So it’s no wonder they fit right in.”—the editors of National Review in the Dec. 17 issue as quoted by Leah Speer in the New York Post. (New York Post, Dec. 15, 2012)
 

“The question is: Why do Arabs fear a right-wing Israeli government? The reasons for the concern stem from the cultural mindset of the region. An Israel that has a strong character and is confident of itself and the justice of its cause, might stop behaving like a dishrag, as it has done in the past, more than once, under the irresponsible leadership of the bleeding hearts who are the "Pursuers of Peace", and might adopt a pattern of behavior typical to the Middle East.  In the embattled region where Israel is situated, the weak individual gets beaten up: he is shot at, missiles rain down upon him, his buses are blown up, he is de-legitimized, marginalized diplomatically, sued in international courts, states are established on his back that threaten him and declare their violent struggle against him again and again, and he – the weak one – must take all of this garbage that is rained down upon him and say, "It's only words". Sometimes he issues a warning but few take him seriously because he is weak and obsequious; he ‘seeks peace’.”—Mordechai Kedar, a 25-year veteran of Israeli army intelligence and a Bar-Ilan University expert on Israeli Arabs.

 

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‘JEW’ IS THE NEW ‘COOL’ IN DUTCH, LINGUIST SAYS(The Hague) Dutch teenagers are using “Jew” akin to “cool” or “awesome” in English, according to a linguist from Leiden University. Professor Marc van Oostendorp wrote Monday on his blog that he heard the new usage of the word “jood” (pronounced yode) at a high school in Leiden shortly after learning about the phenomenon from an online forum about the Dutch language. “One is at first unsettled by it. The word Jew is still a slightly sensitive issue if used improperly,” van Oostendorp wrote. Van Oostendorp notes that Dutch already has one positive exclamation connected to Judaism in “tof,” which was borrowed from Yiddish and means “good,” but he writes that “it’s not clear if those two are connected. I don’t believe too many people are aware of the etymology.” (Times of Israel, Jan. 15, 2013)

 

CANADIAN FIRM TO DREDGE, PURIFY KISHON RIVER(Jerusalem)A Canadian sewage giant, EnGlobe, will be dredging the Kishon riverbed and purifying its sediments in an effort to turn Israel’s once most polluted waterway into an oasis for the country’s northern residents. In addition to preventing floods, revamping the Kishon will decrease land pollution damages, encourage a more vibrant collection of biodiversity, and provide an oasis for the public. “Canada is one of our strongest allies around the world, if not the strongest lately, and I think it’s very important for us to strengthen the relationship. It’s great that you have companies with the international experience and abilities to do such a project,” Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said. Canadian Ambassador Paul Hunt praised the success of EnGlobe and said that he looked forward to following the progress of the Kishon’s ongoing rehabilitation. (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 15, 2013)

 

EGYPTIAN MOM, KIDS SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS IN PRISON FOR CONVERTING TO CHRISTIANITY(Cairo) The criminal court of Beni Suef (115 kms south of Cairo) has sentenced an entire family to prison for converting to Christianity. Nadia Mohamed Ali and her children Mohab, Maged, Sherif, Amira, Amir, and Nancy Ahmed Mohamed abdel-Wahab will spend 15 years in prison. Seven other people involved in the case were sentenced to five years in prison. (Asia News, Jan. 14, 20)
 

FACEBOOK 'CENSORS' PALESTINIAN WRITER POSTING ANTI-CORRUPTION ARTICLES—(Jerusalem) Khaled Abu Toameh has had his Facebook account suspended after a flurry of threats, seemingly simply for posting anti-corruption articles implicating the Palestinian Authority. Toameh also told The Commentator that over the past few days, he has been the subject of much online abuse, as well as threats and an apparently concerted smear campaign against him. This recently culminated in the posting of an article on the ‘Sabbah biz’ website, accusing Toameh of being an ‘Israeli Hasbara agent’ and showing a picture of him with the Star of David on his head. The website is run by ‘Haitham Sabbah’, who is based out of Tulkarm in the West Bank. (The Commentator, Jan. 15, 2013)
 

ISRAELI IMPLANT ENABLES BODY TO REGENERATE JOINT CARTILAGE—(Tel Aviv) A privately held Israeli medical device company is now offering a safe and effective novel off-the-shelf cartilage regeneration solution in a global market worth an estimated $1.6 billion annually. CartiHeal’s trademarked Agili-C can be implanted in a single-step arthroscopic procedure. In clinical studies, it was shown to regenerate true hyaline cartilage (the most abundant type of cartilage in the human body) after six months. Founder and CEO Nir Altschuler tells ISRAEL 21C that this is a breakthrough in the field — the “Holy Grail” in orthopedics. “Our clinical results, to date, confirm rapid cartilage and bone formation, as clearly visible on MRIs and X-rays,” says Altschuler. “Patients are reporting significant improvement in pain level and return to normal function, including sports.” (Israel 21C, Jan 15, 2013)

 

PROMINENT KURDISH REBEL MURDERED IN FRANCE—(Paris) Sakine Cansiz, one of the original founders of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), well as two other women, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Soylemez were found shot dead inside the Kurdish Institute of Paris. Cansiz led a tough life that included stints on the frontlines and in notorious Turkish jails, making her a legend in PKK ranks. Born in the mountainous Tunceli province in eastern Turkey, Cansiz’ family belongs to the minority Alevis — a historically persecuted sect that is considered an offshoot of Shia Islam. An eloquent women’s rights proponent, Cansiz insisted that women’s participation in the PKK’s armed struggle was not a “token gesture” nor were they “a showpiece”. (France 24, Jan. 12, 2013)

DOZENS KILLED AS EXPLOSIONS HIT SYRIAN UNIVERSITY—(Beirut, Lebanon) At least two deadly explosions, possibly caused by regime airstrikes or rebel bombs, devastated the campus of Aleppo University in Syria on Tuesday [Jan 15] as students were taking exams, a major escalation of the violent struggle for control of the country’s largest city. The opposition and the government blamed each other for the blasts, among the worst since the Syrian conflict began nearly two years ago. Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Jaafari, said at a Security Council meeting that 82 people had been killed and 192 wounded in the explosions, which he called a terrorist attack. (New York Times, Jan. 16, 2013)

 

A TRAIL OF BULLET CASINGS LEADS FROM AFRICA’S WARS BACK TO IRAN—(Washington, DC) For six years [2006-2012], a group of independent arms-trafficking researchers [have] worked to pin down the source of the mystery cartridges turning up in several African conflicts. Their finding showed that for the past several years Iran’s state-manufactured ammunition was distributed through secretive networks to a long list of combatants, including in regions under United Nations arms embargoes. The trail of evidence uncovered by the investigation included Iranian cartridges in the possession of rebels in Ivory Coast, federal troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Taliban in Afghanistan and groups affiliated with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Niger. The ammunition was linked to spectacular examples of state-sponsored violence and armed groups connected to terrorism — all without drawing wide attention or leading back to its manufacturer. (New York Times, Jan 12, 2013)

 

PALESTINIAN FLIGHT VEXES SYRIA'S NEIGHBORS—(Cyber City, Jordan) Fighting in Damascus has sparked fears of a mass exodus of some 500,000 Palestinians toward neighbors Lebanon and Jordan, where officials concerned about stability have moved to limit their entry. Jordan is admitting Syrians but turning Palestinians away at the border. Prime Minister Abdalla Ensour said accepting Palestinians was a "red line" for Jordan because it would spur a greater influx, and that Israel is ultimately responsible for their fate. "Jordan is not a place for solving Israel's problems, and there is a clear, sovereign Jordanian decision to deny entry to Palestinians," he told the Arab daily al-Hayat on Thursday. The prospect of a large new influx of Palestinians has rekindled bad memories from the 1970s, when militants—among the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who arrived after the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948 and 1967—sparked a civil war in Lebanon and an uprising against the Jordanian monarchy. (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 12, 2013)

BIZARRE REPORT: CLINTON INJURED, US NAVY SEAL KILLED IN SECRET US MISSION TO IRAN(Moscow)A [Russian] Foreign Military Intelligence (GRU) report circulating in the Kremlin today [Dec 30] is saying that United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was injured, and a top US Navy Seal Commander killed, when their C-12 Huron military passenger and transport aircraft crash-landed nearly 3 weeks ago in the Iranian city of Ahvaz, near the Iraqi border. GRU analysts say in this report that when the C-12 Huron entered into Iranian airspace neither American nor IranIAN air force units responded, clearly indicating that this secret mission was sanctioned. Upon the C-12 Huron landing at Ahwaz, however, this report says it encountered “extreme turbulence” causing it to leave the runway where its main landing gear then collapsed, causing it to crash. This unconfirmed, claims that Secretary Clinton was flying to Iran to meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, who had already landed at Ahwaz just prior to Clinton’s alleged crash. (EU Times, an on-line publication, Dec 30th, 2012) [This  story is completely unconfirmed but not completely out of the realm of the plausible. – Ed.]

 

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Patronising the Palestinians: Pat Condell, YouTube, Jan. 3, 2013

 

A Trail of Bullet Casings Leads from Africa’s Wars Back to Iran: C. J. Chivers, New York Times, Jan. 11, 2013 — For the past several years, even as Iran faced intensive foreign scrutiny over its nuclear program and for supporting proxies across the Middle East, its state-manufactured ammunition was distributed through secretive networks to a long list of combatants, including in regions under United Nations arms embargoes.

 

Good News for Knees: Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel 21C, January 15, 2013—In a groundbreaking advance, a novel Israeli implant provides a scaffold for the body to regenerate true joint-protecting cartilage.

 

 

Ber Lazarus
, Publications Editor
Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme   www.isranet.org  Tel: (514) 486-5544 Fax: (514) 486-8284

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine (current issue: “Israel’s Levy Report”:  ISRAZINE.

 

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by fax and e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends and family to visit our website for more information on our Briefing series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, contact 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 membership contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address or “Donate” button on Website)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s Briefing series 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 opinion of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Institute.

 

 

 

Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

 

ContentsDownload today's Daily Briefing.pdf

Weekly Quotes 

Short Takes

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Alan Dershowitz Speaking at the Standwithus Festival of Lights: Stand With Us, You Tube, Dec. 4, 2012

Diving Currency Adds to Egypt's Woes: Matt Bradley, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 30, 2012

The Peace Index Data – December 2012 (pdf): Israel Democracy Institute, Jan 2, 2013

 

 

 

Weekly Quotes

 

 

 

Always, always believe the threats of your enemies more than the promises of your friends.”—Elie Weisel quoted by Alan Dershowitz in a speech to Stand With Us. (Stand With Us , Dec.4, 2012)

 

“If Iran is allowed to develop nuclear weapons on the watch of any president, that president will go down in history as the Neville Chamberlain of the 21st C.—Alan Dershowitz in a speech to Stand With Us. (Stand With Us , Dec.4, 2012)

 

“A woman's role is to instill love of jihad and martyrdom in her children…and in encouraging them to wage Jihad for the sake of Allah. This is absolutely the most glorious thing a woman can do….If every mother were to prevent her son from waging Jihad for the sake of Allah, who would wage Jihad? Who would support Palestine? Palestine is dear to us, and its price is paid with our body remains and our lifeblood.  Is not Allah's reward precious? Allah's reward is Paradise. Paradise requires from us our blood, our body remains, and our efforts for its sake.  I am constantly praying: "Allah, make the end of our days be in martyrdom." I pray for this even for my husband and my children. None of us want to die in our beds.”—Umm Osama, wife of Hamas Gaza MP Khalil Al-Hayya, from an interview aired on Al-Aqsa TV. (MEMRI TV, Dec 2, 2012)

 

"The danger to the world is not a university in Ariel. The danger to the world is not that Israel is building neighbourhoods in Jerusalem. The danger is Iran, which is building nuclear weapons. The danger is Syria's arsenal of chemical weapons. History will judge harshly those who equate democratic Israel — which is establishing a university — and dictatorial regimes that slaughter their people and which hold atomic weapons of mass destruction.”—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a visit to the newly accredited Ariel University, the first Israeli university to be established in a settlement in Samaria. (The Algemeiner, Jan 8, 2013)

 

“Now comes the latest news that Al [Gore] has sold Current [Cable TV], for the magnificent sum of $500-million, $100-million of which is his alone. Not bad for a TV station with less reach and inferior programming to most billboards. To whom did the Lord of the Upper Atmosphere sell? Why to al-Jazeera — which is to say, effectively to the ruler of Qatar, a wealthy country that has nothing else to sustain it but the sale of its huge petroleum resources. Qatar is about oil, oil and more oil. It is a global warmer’s hell. Surely there is some pill too tough to swallow in the idea of the world’s greatest alarmist on the subject of global warming, the evils of petroleum economies and the menace of fossil fuels accepting half-a-billion dollars from a state that utterly epitomizes the practices and product he most evangelistically despises.”—Rex Murphy in a National Post op-ed article. (National Post, Jan 5, 2013)

 

“[I]t’s becoming hard to deny that [Chuck] Hagel’s anti-Israel rhetoric and views and antipathy toward defence spending and sanctions on Iran are positives with this president, not demerits. A leading Democrat with a pro-Israel organization told me, ‘…[with] Hagel’s offensive record – from his slurs against minority groups like gays and Jews to his views on Iran and terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas – it is going to be very awkward for Democrats in the Senate.’”—Peggy Noonan in a New York Post op-ed article. (New York Post, Jan 6, 2013)

 

“When I look at Netanyahu, I don’t see a shred of personal example as a leader in him. There is a leadership crisis. It’s a crisis of value, it is a total disregard for the public. People may think that I see this in an overly extreme manner. I am telling you that from up close, things look even worse. I am convinced we deserve a better leadership that's braver and more moral, and that sets a better personal example….I have a very strong feeling that with the Iranian issue Netanyahu is 'haunted' by (former Israeli prime minister) Menachem Begin, who attacked the reactor in Iraq, and by (former Israeli prime minister Ehud) Olmert, who, as it is claimed in many places, attacked the reactor in Syria.” Netanyahu "wants to go down in history as someone who did something of the same proportions."—Yuval Diskin, former head of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency in an interview with Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot. Netanyahu's office in a text-messaged statement called Diskin's comments "baseless" and accused him of personal frustration over not being selected to head the prestigious Mossad spy agency. (Yahoo News, Jan 5, 2013)

 

“It’s not that we want to leave [Egypt]. We don’t. It would be very hard to abandon everything we have and start over”. —Ms. Nessim, a Maronite Christian. “But,” in this environment [Morsi’s Muslim Brothers-dominated Egypt] “we worry about the children. I thought maybe Jacky and the kids should go, at least for now.”Mr. Sedrak, Ms. Nessim’s husband. “But I said ‘No’. That’s the sort of thing that ruins a family.”—Ms. Nessim. “Either it becomes like Afghanistan with the Taliban, in which case we’ll have no choice but to leave. Or it gets rid of the Brotherhood and becomes a civilized country. I believe that is what is going to happen, and it will happen very soon.” Mr. Sedrak (The Globe and Mail, Jan.4, 2013)

 

“Christians are approaching Christmas with disappointment, grief and complaints, fearing not only their problems but Egypt’s situation in general. During the reign of [ousted President Hosni] Mubarak and the [military rulers], mainly Christians were facing problems, but now with the Muslim Brotherhood leaders, each and every moderate Egyptian is facing problems. It is not actual frequent sectarian violence, it is fear of further marginalization and second class citizenship.” —Amir Ramzy, a Coptic Christian and a judge in Cairo’s Court of Appeals. Egypt has been deeply polarized as it drafted the constitution. Christians and liberals walked out of the committee writing it, complaining that their concerns were not being addressed by the Islamist majority. (National Post, Jan 7, 2013)

 

"The point is that the government or the governing party alone, as we have seen until now is unable to lead the country in such an extremely dangerous situation. I'm not talking about a dialogue, I'm not talking about a meeting, I'm talking about [forming] a real coalition government."—Amr Moussa, a secular-leaning former presidential candidate and one of the leaders of the National Salvation Front, a leading opposition umbrella group. (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 31, 2012)

 

“The United Nations seems to have an unwritten rule that the more barbaric the nation, the better its chance of being appointed to monitor barbarity. Sudan – whose president, Omar al-Bashir, has been charged with genocide by the International Criminal Court – was awarded a seat on the Economic and Social Council, which is responsible for upward of 70 percent of the human and financial resources at the UN. The advocacy group UN Watch complained that Sudan was “genocidal, misogynistic and repressive.” So it’s no wonder they fit right in.”—National Review editorial (Dec 17, 2012) quoted by Leah Speer in the New York Post. (New York Post, Dec. 15, 2012)

 

"I am profoundly concerned and disappointed by President Obama’s nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense. Recent reporting has made clear that Senator Hagel’s views and inflammatory statements about Israel are well outside the mainstream and raise well-founded doubts that he can be trusted to manage the special relationship the United States shares with our greatest Middle East ally." —US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on [his]  opposition to Hagel's nomination, confirming, as well, that the move faces "widespread and bipartisan opposition" in the Senate. (Jerusalem Post, Jan 8, 2013)

 

“It’s very disappointing, I believe he will ultimately regret it. It undoubtedly will reduce support for him in the Jewish community, but I don’t think he [the President] worries about that now that the election is over. I believe it will encourage the jihadists. They will say: ‘Ah, we are winning the battle. America is beginning to desert Israel,’” — Ed Koch, former mayor of New York. (Newsmax, Jan 8, 2013)

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ARAB-ISRAELI FATALITIES RANK 49TH(Washington) The Arab-Israeli conflict is often said, not just by extremists, to be the world's most dangerous conflict – and, accordingly, Israel is judged the world's most belligerent country. But is this true? The total number of deaths in conflicts since 1950 number about 85,000,000. Of that sum, the deaths in the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1950 include 32,000 deaths due to Arab state attacks and 19,000 due to Palestinian attacks, or 51,000 in all. These figures mean that deaths in Arab-Israeli fighting since 1950 amount to just 0.06 percent of the total number of deaths in all conflicts in that period.  [In fact] some 11,000,000 Muslims have been violently killed since 1948, of which 35,000, or 0.3 percent, died during the sixty years of fighting Israel [Israeli Jews counted for 16,000 of the 51,000 deaths.] In contrast, over 90 percent of the 11 million who perished were killed by fellow Muslims. (Mid East Forum, Jan 7, 2013)

 

TERROR ATTACKS IN WEST BANK, JERUSALEM ON THE RISE(Jerusalem) December 2012 witnessed a 400% spike in the number of terrorist attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem compared to August, according to statistics published by the Shin Bet security service on Monday. The Shin Bet tallied 111 attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem in December: 98 involved firebombs, six involved explosive devices, and three involved grenades. There were two instances of small arms fire, a stabbing, and a hit-and-run. Three Israelis were injured in the attacks. At the same time, there was a marked drop in terrorist attacks on Israel's border with Gaza. Only one mortar was fired into Israel in December. (Times of Israel, Jan 7, 2013)

 

FAYYAD: PA IS ON THE VERGE OF BANKRUPTCY(Ramallah) The Palestinian Authority is on the verge of bankruptcy because of the severe financial crisis it has been facing over the past two years, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Tuesday. He blamed Israel and Arab donor countries for the current crisis as international aid dropped from $1.8 to $ 1 billion. Fayyad said that he did not rule out the possibility that Palestinians would once again take to the streets to protest against economic hardships, as was the case in September 2012.  (Jerusalem Post, Jan 8, 2013)

 

SYRIAN REFUGEES ATTACK AID WORKERS IN JORDANIAN CAMP(Zaatari, Jordan) Syrian refugees in a Jordanian camp attacked aid workers with sticks and stones on Tuesday, frustrated after cold, howling winds swept away their tents and torrential rains flooded muddy streets overnight. The riot broke out after the region’s first major winter storm this year hit the Zaatari refugee camp, home to nearly 50,000 refugees in Jordan’s northern desert. Inside the camp, pools and lakes surrounded tents, stranding refugees including pregnant women and infants.Police said seven aid workers were injured. “It is hell — boiling hot in the summer and freezing cold now,” lamented Ahmed Zibi, 45, who said he spent the night watching over his five children when his tent collapsed. “Rain flooded the tent and its shafts submerged and collapsed on us.” (National Post, Jan 8, 2013)

 

HEZBOLLAH SENT 5,000 FIGHTERS TO HELP ASSAD(Riyad) Some 5,000 Hezbollah combatants reportedly entered Syria in December to aid the faltering regime of Bashar Assad, according to a Saudi daily on Monday. Al-Watan, a government daily, said four “support battalions” comprising at least 1,300 soldiers each had succeeded in killing some 300 rebel soldiers in recent weeks as battles raged between government and opposition forces around the capital Damascus. The fighters reportedly entered Syria through the border town of Madaya, located northwest of Damascus. (Times of Israel, Jan 8, 2013)

 

EGYPT SEEKS $500B FROM ISRAEL FOR SINAI DAMAGE(Cairo) In December of 2011 Egypt sent the United Nations a report detailing the reasons for which Israel owes the government of Egypt $500 billion for damage sustained by the Sinai Peninsula when it was controlled by Israel between 1967 and 1982. The 750-page report describes the plethora of ways in which Israel supposedly shattered the local economy. It asserts that Israel destroyed the fishing industry and 40 percent of the coral reefs; took valuable oil, gold, and gems, leaving only “worthless” rock behind. It goes on to say that maritime trade through the Suez Canal was disrupted between 1967 and 1975, thus depriving Egypt of millions of dollars’ worth of revenue; Israel also stole just under $50 billion worth of sand; and conducted excavations, stealing valuable artifacts from both the land and museums in the area. (Nuqudy, Jan 7, 2013)

 

CONCERN OVER POSSIBLE URANIUM STOCKPILE IN SYRIA(London) Concern is heightening over the possible existence of up to 50 tons of enriched uranium in Syria, the Financial Times reported Tuesday [Jan. 8], a stockpile large enough for the production of five atomic bombs. The worry stems from the Assad regime's attempt to build a nuclear reactor in the eastern city of at Al-Kibar in the mid-2000s. With assistance from North Korea, Damascus is believed to have nearly completed the facility prior to its destruction in an alleged Israeli airstrike in 2007. According to one anonymous official quoted by the Financial Times, “Syria is almost certainly in possession of good quality uranium of the type that Iran has been trying to acquire on the international market for years. It would certainly be possible to transfer this from Syria to Iran by air.” (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 9, 2013)

 

POLISH GOV'T TO TURN NAZI HQ INTO EDUCATIONAL CENTER(Krakow, Poland) The Polish government has announced plans to renovate Adolf Hitler’s wartime headquarters in Nazi-occupied Poland – a network of bunkers known as the “Wolf’s Lair” – and turn it into an educational center and museum. “The main idea behind the project is to introduce the Wolf’s Lair as a place where totalitarian ideas developed and their horrific results,” said Jan Zaluska, 65, the CEO of Wolf’s Nest, the company that leased the site in 1991 and has operated it ever since. “We will turn the Wolf’s Lair into an educational center, especially for the younger generation,” said Zaluska. “We are very concerned by the fact that the younger generation’s knowledge of history gets worse every year as observed in the students who have been coming here from all over the world in recent years.” (Jerusalem Post, Jan 8, 2013)

 

HEBREW UNIVERSITY SCIENTISTS HELP BLIND 'SEE WITH EYE MUSIC'(Jerusalem) By activating their visual brain cortex, people who were born blind can describe objects and even identify letters and words, with the proper stimulation and using a device for sensory exchange developed by Hebrew University researchers. The research team, headed by Prof. Amir Amedi of the Edmond and Lilly Safra Center for Brain Sciences and Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada and including doctoral student Ella Streim-Amit, developed a unique training program for seeing while using the device, which transfers visual information to the blind via their healthy senses. The device translates pictures into tones; after a few dozen hours of training, the blind from birth can identify images and put them in visual categories such as faces, houses, parts of the body, ordinary objects and textures. (Jerusalem Post, Jan 8, 2013)

 

QATAR TO DOUBLE AID TO EGYPT(Cairo) Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani said Tuesday [Jan 7] in Cairo that Qatari aid to Egypt will increase to $1 billion from $500 million, and that money loaned to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will also be doubled to $4 billion.   Qatar also plans investment in two major projects on the Mediterranean and at Port Said to cost $18 billion. (Daily News-Egypt, Jan 7, 2013)

 

ISRAELI HIGH-TECH START-UPS SOLD FOR COMBINED $5.5 BILLION IN 2012(Tel Aviv) Fifty Israeli high-tech start-up companies were bought out in 2012 for a total of $5.5 billion, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers Israel. In recent years, buy-out deals in the Israeli high-tech sector have become fewer, but larger.  Rubi Suliman, the head of PwC's high-tech practice, noted: "Recently, we are seeing Israeli companies grow, and become world leaders in their areas. We are seeing companies with revenues of over $100 million. We did not see these in the past. They were being sold much earlier, often pre-revenue." (Israel Hayom, Jan 8, 2013)
 

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Alan Dershowitz Speaking at The 2012 Standwithus Festival of Lights: Stand With Us, You Tube, Dec. 4, 2012 — Alan Dershowitz speaking at the 2012 Stand With Us Dinner before 1100 attendees, touches on Hamas, Gaza, apartheid, Iran, and hopes for peace.

 

Diving Currency Adds to Egypt's Woes: Matt Bradley, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 30, 2012—Government unveils new steps in bid to avoid devaluation. Egypt's currency plunged to new depths on Sunday as policy makers tried to reassure the public and investors that they can prevent a full-scale currency devaluation while still repairing Egypt's budget deficit.

 

The Peace Index Data – December 2012(pdf): Israel Democracy Institute, Jan 2, 2013—Some claim that no matter which of the large parties wins in the upcoming elections, the peace process with the Palestinians is at a standstill, for reasons that have nothing to do with Israel, and that there is no chance of progress in the foreseeable future. Do you agree or disagree with this claim? Strongly & moderately agree: Jews – 66.7%; Arabs (in Israel) 28.7%

 

 

Ber Lazarus
, Publications Editor
Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme   www.isranet.org  Tel: (514) 486-5544 Fax: (514) 486-8284

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine (current issue: “Israel’s Levy Report”:  ISRAZINE.

 

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by fax and e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends and family to visit our website for more information on our Briefing series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, contact 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 membership contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address or “Donate” button on Website)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s Briefing series 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 opinion of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Institute.

 

 

 

Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

 

ContentsDownload today's Daily Briefing.pdf

Weekly Quotes 

Short Takes

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Egyptian Cleric Threatens Copts With Genocide: Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 28, 2012

Hizbullah Partners with Mexican Drug Cartels: Eldad Beck, YNet News, Dec. 29, 2012

Iran Wakes to New Syrian Reality : Walter Russell Mead, American Interest, Dec. 30, 2012

 

 

Weekly Quotes

 

 

“In choosing not to stand idly by as the age-old hatred of the Jewish people has been transferred to the ‘collective Jew,’ I have been speaking up against the new anti-Semitism that is so pervasive today in the world. It targets the Jewish people by targeting the Jewish homeland as the source of injustice and conflict in the world. It is perversely couched in the language of human rights. Just as conventional anti-Semitism denied Jews the right to live as equal members of humanity, the new anti-Semitism denies the State of Israel the right to live as an equal member of the international community.  Worse still, when this new anti- Semitism expresses itself in the call for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people, it is no longer hate speech, it is incitement to genocide. And we have to name it for what it is.” —Canada’s Foreign Minister, John Baird quoted by Malcolm Hedding in “A Grave Decision”, Jerusalem Post. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 26, 2012)

 

“The Zionist self-haters are different than the anti-Zionists in that the former are as firm in their commitment to a Jewish State as they are to an Arab one. Since they have deluded themselves into believing that the Arab world has accommodated itself to the existence of Israel, to them the core of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict has already been resolved. What is necessary to end the current violence is only to expunge the Israeli sin of “occupation,” a sin that has badly stained their blanched humanitarian consciences. Indeed, they see resistance to the “occupation” as legitimate and believe that returning to the pre-1967 lines will end the conflict and secure Israel’s future.”—Ron Dermer, an influential aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and considered a favourite to become Israel’s next ambassador to the United States, quoted by Alison Hoffman in “Bibi’s Brain”, Tablet. (Tablet Magazine, Sept. 3, 2011)

 

"Any sensible person can understand Hamas is able to replace the Palestinian Authority – before an agreement or after an agreement – as witnessed in Gaza."—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an apparent response to President Shimon Peres's call to renew talks with "partner for peace"–Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Netanyahu said that, as opposed to the "voices that I have heard recently urging me to make concessions and withdraw," he would continue to manage the diplomatic process "responsibly and sagaciously and not in undue haste," adding that Israel must avoid allowing a "third Iranian terror base in the heart of the country." (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 1, 2013)

 

“Let us ensure that we have full sovereignty within the 1948 armistice lines,” before attempting to extend sovereignty to the areas liberated in the 1967 Six Day War. “Go to the Temple Mount and you will see Israeli police quaking in their boots from fear of the Waqf. We do not even have sovereignty over many parts of Jerusalem.”—Likud Knesset candidate Moshe Feiglin. (Arutz Sheva, Jan. 1, 2013)
 

“I just want quiet for my children and my country. [But], I don’t think any contract we’d do with them [the Palestinians] would give us quiet. We want to pay the price [for peace], but we don’t believe in the other side.”—Ayal Sheffer, a publishing executive in Rishon LeZion commenting on the aftermath of Operation Pillar of Defense. His sentiments reflect a recent poll on behalf of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs that found that 83 percent of Israeli Jews do not believe that a withdrawal to the 1967 borders and a division of Jerusalem would bring an end to the conflict. (New York Times, Dec. 31, 2012)

 

"There will be no such thing as Israel, instead there will be Palestine which will be home to Jews, Muslims and Druze and all of the people who were there from the start. Those who want to stay will stay as Palestinian citizens. Those who conquered Palestine will have to go back to their countries. Palestine houses people who conquered it and those occupiers have previous homelands."—Essam al-Aryan, Muslim Brotherhood official, Freedom and Justice Party's deputy chairman, and advisor to the Egyptian president, on his Facebook page in response to criticism across Egypt for his statement Thursday, [Dec. 27] that the return of Egyptian Jews to Egypt [would] enable Palestinians to return to their homeland: "Every Egyptian has a right to return especially if he is making room for a Palestinian. I want to enable the Palestinians to return to their land," he said. "I call upon the Jews, Egypt is worthier of you than Israel." Distancing itself from al-Aryan , Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Mahmoud Ghozlan said the statements do not represent the movement's stance, [rather] "Egyptian Jews are criminals who must be punished for what they did to Egypt and the Palestinians," he said. (YNet News, Jan. 1. 2013)

 

"This is the first time the Palestinian authorities have issued such a ban, which poses a serious threat to freedom of information. It will also create problems for the not insignificant number of Palestinian journalists in the Gaza Strip who work for Israeli TV stations and newspapers. We urge the Hamas government to rescind this order."Reporters Without Borders in shocked response to the ban imposed by Hamas on Palestinian journalists in Gaza from co-operating with the Israeli media. (The Guardian, Dec. 27, 2013)

"Given there has been no let-up in the conflict since the end of November, we can assume that more than 60,000 people have been killed by the beginning of 2013. The number of casualties is much higher than we expected, and is truly shocking. The failure of the international community, in particular the Security Council, to take concrete actions to stop the blood-letting, shames us all. Collectively, we have fiddled at the edges while Syria burns."—U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay Wednesday [Jan. 2] following the release of an exhaustive UN study on the killings in Syria. (National Post, Jan. 2, 2013)

 

“People are talking about a divided Syria being split into a number of small states like Yugoslavia. This is not what is going to happen. What will happen is Somalization — warlords.” Without a peace deal Syria would be “transformed into hell.”—Lakhdar Brahimi, international envoy to Syria, at a news conference at Arab League headquarters in Cairo. (New York Times, Dec. 31, 2012)

 

“My message to the State Department has been very simple, and that is we’re going to solve this. We’re not going to be defensive about it; we’re not going to pretend that this was not a problem — this was a huge problem. It confirms what we had already seen based on some of our internal reviews; there was just some sloppiness, not intentional, in terms of how we secure embassies in areas where you essentially don’t have governments that have a lot of capacity to protect those embassies,” —U.S. President Barak Obama commenting on the independent inquiry’s report on the attack against the American diplomatic compound in Libya that killed four Americans on Sept. 11. (New York Times, Dec. 30, 2012)

"I love the army. If I was born and raised in Syria, I would have served in their army. But I live here, so I decided to do my part and enlist."—Samir (an alias), 26, an Israeli Arab who serves in the Tavor battalion, one of the Home Front Command's search and rescue battalions whose men also perform combat duties. A married father of one, Samir also had to persuade his wife to support his choice. "It is not simple, my wife opposed my enlistment; she wanted her husband close to home. But she came around in the end. She and my parents were the only ones who supported my decision.” Despite the difficulties and fears, Samir calls on Muslim youths to follow in his footsteps. "If you love this system, I definitely recommend it, it's very gratifying." (YNet News, Dec. 30, 2012) 

 

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RITA LEVI-MONTALCINI (1909-2012) NOBEL LAUREATE AND NEUROBIOLOGIST DIES AT 103 – (Rome) Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini, a Nobel Prize-winning neurologist who discovered critical chemical tools that the body uses to direct cell growth and build nerve networks, opening the way for the study of how those processes can go wrong in diseases like dementia and cancer, died on Sunday at her home in Rome. She was 103. “I don’t use these words easily, but her work revolutionized the study of neural development, from how we think about it to how we intervene,” said Dr. Gerald D. Fishbach, a neuroscientist and professor emeritus at Columbia. (New york Times, December 31, 2012)

 

HUNDREDS PROTEST IN TEL AVIV, DEMAND MIGRANT DEPORTATIONS(Tel Aviv) Calling for the deportation of Sudanese and Eritrean migrants from Israel after an Eritrean man allegedly raped an 83-year-old Tel Aviv woman last weekend, hundreds of demonstrators marched from the city’s Hatikvah neighborhood to its central bus station Monday night. The event, called “Blowing up the Silence,” was organized by MK Michael Ben Ari, of the newly formed Otzma Leyisrael party…the demonstrators…operated under the slogan “Getting Sodom (and Gomorrah) out of Tel Aviv and returning it to Africa.”  Ben Ari told the crowd that southern Tel Aviv neighborhoods had been taken over by “infiltrators” saying, “When there are no police and there is no government, only we can stop the next rape.” (Times of Israel, Dec. 31, 2012)

 

FRENCH GOVERNMENT CUTS IMMIGRANTS WELFARE BY 83%(Paris) French Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced [Dec. 27] significant changes in the country’s migration policy. The government will reduce financial assistance to immigrants. Starting March 1 of [2013], French immigrant benefits will be reduced by 83 percent. The amount of compensation to immigrants who voluntarily want to return home will be also reduced. In March of 2013 monthly [welfare] amounts will be reduced from 300 to 50 euros for every adult and from 100 to 30 euros for every minor. If this is not done, Valls said, the costs for the maintenance of migrants now paid by the French Treasury will continue to devastate the economy of France. (EU Times, Dec. 28, 2012)

 

EGYPT PREVENTS LARGE-SCALE SMUGGLING OF WEAPONS INTO GAZA(Washington) Egypt has prevented three instances of large-scale smuggling of weapons into the Gaza Strip (two originating from Libya, and another from Iran through Sudan) since the end of operation Pillar of Defense, according to Western sources. The activity against the weaponry smuggling is part of Egyptian-US coordination, agreed upon in the discussions leading to the end of the operation. The agreement includes assistance with US technological measures made available for Egyptian use, and intelligence cooperation in order to counter the smuggling of weapons. Israel and the US now expect that Egypt will do everything against the smuggling of weapons through Egyptian territory into the Gaza Strip. (Israel Defense, Jan. 1, 2013)

 

JERUSALEM PRESSES CASE FOR EU TO BAN HEZBOLLAH(Berlin) The Israeli government is redoubling its efforts to convince the European Union to outlaw Hezbollah within the 27-member body because of the Lebanese group’s record of terrorism. According to reports in the Hebrew media, Israel’s new case involves showing Hezbollah’s role in the 2005 murder of Lebanese president Rafik Hariri, based on evidence culled from the international tribunal that investigated the bombing. Israel is slated to reveal documentary material about Hezbollah’s role in destabilizing Syria and joining forces with Bashar Assad’s regime in the ongoing campaign to obliterate that country’s pro-reform movement. Hezbollah’s narcotics and money-laundering operations are part of Israel’s dossier. (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 2, 2013)

 

LEBANESE MILITARY INVESTIGATING INVASION BY ISRAELI PEPPERS(Sidon, Lebanon) A Lebanese shopper discovered a bag of three kinds of [sweet] peppers made in Israel while shopping Tuesday at Spinneys, one of Lebanon’s largest retailers, in the coastal city of Sidon. He immediately contacted local authorities who in turn contacted the Lebanese Army. Members of military intelligence and police arrived to discover 13 similar bags that have the word “Israel” printed on the sale tag. The case was then referred to the military judiciary for investigation into how the products made it through the customs department at the port or the airport. (The Daily Star, Jan.1, 2013)

 

ARAB STATES ABANDON CASH-STRAPPED PA(Ramallah) Facing a billion-dollar deficit and with no funds to pay government employee salaries, the Palestinian Authority has asked Russia and China to help rescue it from financial collapse. Foreign Minister Riyad Maliki this week blasted Arab countries for not fulfilling financial pledges toward the Palestinian Authority. The Arab League decided last March to create a “financial safety net” of $100 million a month to protect the Palestinian Authority from financial collapse. Arab failure to fulfill a pledge to fund that safety net proved that “the Arab nation is, incredibly, moving away from the Palestinian issue,” Maliki said. (Times of Israel, January 2, 2013)

 

SAUDIS SWEAT AS ENERGY REVOLUTION CHANGES THE RULES—(Washington) The US shale gas boom, drastically cutting the cost of gas, is shaking the foundations of the Saudi Arabian economic model—and more is coming. The highly profitable $100bn Gulf petrochemical industry is taking a hit as its biggest customer—the U.S.—is importing less and relying instead on domestic production. The rapidly growing Saudi population wants to consume (subsidized) petrochemicals at home, air conditioning Saudi houses and running Saudi cars instead of exporting product abroad.  Falling production, demand, and prices are beginning to hurt. (American Interest, December 29, 2012)

 

EGYPT "ON THE VERGE OF BANKRUPTCY"—(Cairo) Egypt is effectively out of cash. With foreign exchange reserves at a “critical minimum,” Egypt’s central bank imposed exchange controls and let the Egyptian pound exchange rate fall by about 5 percent from the level prevailing through most of 2012. The central bank will ration foreign exchange by holding auctions at which a limited amount of hard currency is offered, and restrict corporate cash withdrawals to $30,000 per day as well as limiting the amount of cash an individual may transfer out of the country to $10,000. Because Egypt’s main source of foreign exchange is remittances from Egyptian citizens working overseas, the latest set of measures are likely to backfire. Individuals are likely to delay sending remittances until they believe that the Egyptian pound has stabilized, aggravating the foreign exchange shortage. (JINSA December 31, 2012)

 

VIEWS OF THE ISRAELI PUBLIC ON ISRAELI SECURITY AND RESOLUTION OF THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT"—(Jerusalem) Main points: 76% of Israelis (83% of Jews) believe that a withdrawal to the 1967 lines and a division of Jerusalem would not bring about an end of the conflict. 61% of the Jewish population believes that defensible borders are more important than peace for assuring Israel’s security (up from 49% in 2005). 78% of Jews indicated they would change their vote if the party they intended to support indicated that it was prepared to relinquish sovereignty in east Jerusalem. 59% of Jews said the same about the Jordan Valley. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs/Dahaf Institute Survey, Dec. 2012)

 

SENATE REPORT WIDENS FAULT FOR BENGHAZI FAILURES(Washington) The Senate report was harshly critical of the State Department for failing to recognize and respond to security risks. The State Department and Pentagon had no viable way to rescue Americans in Benghazi, Libya, falling short of their responsibility to develop plans to evacuate U.S. citizens. But it also [found] fault with the Obama administration for being "inconsistent" about whether the assaults on U.S. posts in Benghazi were a terrorist attack. The inconsistency "contributed to the confusion in the public discourse" about the attacks, write Sens. Joe Lieberman (I., Conn.) and Susan Collins (R., Maine), the chairman and senior Republican of the committee and the report's authors. Details turned up by the investigation show "a shocking irresponsibility to protect American diplomatic personnel in Benghazi," Mr. Lieberman said in an interview on Sunday [Dec. 30]. (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 30, 2012)

 

RENDITIONS CONTINUE UNDER OBAMA(Washington) Three European men with Somali roots were arrested on a murky pretext in August as they passed through the small African country of Djibouti. U.S. agents accused the men — two of them Swedes, the other a longtime resident of Britain — of supporting al-Shabab, an Islamist militia in Somalia that Washington considers a terrorist group. Two months after their arrest, the prisoners were secretly indicted by a federal grand jury in New York, then clandestinely taken into custody by the FBI and flown to the United States to face trial. The men are the latest example of how the Obama administration has embraced rendition — the practice of holding and interrogating terrorism suspects in other countries without due process — despite widespread condemnation of the tactic in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. (Washington Post, Jan. 1, 2013)

 

ISRAEL HOME TO 8 MILLION CITIZENS(Jerusalem) A new survey by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) says that as 2012 draws to an end Israel's population numbers 7,981,000 people. According to the CBS, 6,015,000 (75.4%) of Israelis are Jews, 1,648,000 are Arabs and 319,000 are affiliated with other various religions and ethnic groups.  In the course of 2012, the population of Israel increased by 145,000 people, or 1.8%, similar to the increase in the last decade. Some 170,000 babies were born in 2012, in addition to the arrival of 16,500 new immigrants. (YNet News, Dec. 30, 2012) 

 

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Egyptian Cleric Threatens Egypt's Copts With Genocide: Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 28, 2012—"The day Egyptians…feel you [Copts] are against them, you will be wiped off the face of the Earth." — Dr. Wagdi Goneim. Islamic leaders continue to portray the popular protests against President Morsi and his recently passed Sharia-heavy constitution as products of Egypt's Christians.

 

Hizbullah Partners with Mexican Drug Cartels: Eldad Beck, YNet News, Dec. 29, 2012—U.S. intelligence indicates that Mexico is home to some 200,000 Syrian and Lebanese immigrants – most of them illegal – who were able to cross the border via an extensive web of contacts with drug cartels. Western intelligence agencies have gathered ample evidence suggesting that the drug cartels in Mexico – which are the de facto rulers of the northern districts bordering the U.S. – are in cahoots with Islamic terror organizations.

 

Iran Wakes to New Syrian Reality : Walter Russell Mead, American Interest, Dec. 30, 2012—Syria is crucial to Iran's grand design in the Middle East. It was also the means by which Iran was able to support Hizbullah in Lebanon and construct an anti-Israel alliance with Hamas that helped offset Iran's deep disadvantages on the Arab street, making it look less like a "Persian" and "heretical" anti-Arab power and more like a leader of global Islam in the fight against the West. The growing likelihood that decades of building this position will end in catastrophe represents the greatest threat to the Iranian regime since its failure in the Iran-Iraq war. 

 

 

Ber Lazarus
, Publications Editor
Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme   www.isranet.org  Tel: (514) 486-5544 Fax: (514) 486-8284

 

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