Tag: Jihad

AFGHANISTAN VS. PAKISTAN & THE THREAT OF ISLAMIC EXTREMISM

The Dilemma of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy: Muhammad Akbar Notezai, The Diplomat, Aug. 12, 2016— Speaking earlier this year at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs on “Continuing Search for Stability: Pakistan and Afghanistan,” noted Pakistani author Ahmed Rashid was quoted as saying by Dawn that Pakistan has made two “grievous mistakes” in its foreign policy.

Pakistan: The Rebirth of Jihad: Umer Ali, The Diplomat, Aug. 18, 2016— “Bharat ka aik ailaaj, al-jihad” (“The cure to India is nothing but jihad”), the crowd chanted at the start of Jamaat-e-Islami’s anti-India rally near Nasir Bagh, Lahore. The rally, which was destined for Wahga, on Pakistan’s side of the India-Pakistan border, was filled with a mix of emotions – anger, frustration, and hatred.

Afghanistan Is Finally Standing Up to Pakistan: Adam Gallagher, The National Interest, Aug. 4, 2016— As the first president of Afghanistan following the toppling of the Taliban, Hamid Karzai’s legacy will always be decidedly mixed. The famously mercurial Karzai masterfully navigated the traditional tribal politics of Afghanistan, but arguably laid the groundwork for much of the corruption and weak governance that plague the Afghan government today.

Afghanistan Still Hasn’t Recovered from the Soviet Invasion: Shawn Snow, The National Interest, Jul. 31, 2016— In mid-July, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford relayed to the media cautious optimism regarding the war effort in Afghanistan. Afghan security forces—reeling from a bloody 2015 fighting season, which witnessed the first collapse of a major population center since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001—appear to be making slow and steady progress on the battlefield, a rare piece of positive news emanating from the war-torn region.

 

On Topic Links

 

Over A Hundred US Troops Sent to Lashkar Gah to Battle Taliban: Sune Engel Rasmussen, The Guardian, Aug. 22, 2016

State Dept. Approves $60 Million Arms Sale to Afghanistan: Geoff Ziezulewicz, United Press International, Aug. 22, 2016

Pakistan's Hindus Protest Forced Conversions of Girls to Islam: Ayesha Tanzeem, Voice of America, August 11, 2016

Israel, Pakistan, UAE Join US Air Force Exercise: Yonah Jeremy Bob, The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 16, 2016

 

 

THE DILEMMA OF PAKISTAN’S FOREIGN POLICY

Muhammad Akbar Notezai             

          The Diplomat, Aug. 12, 2016

 

 

Speaking earlier this year at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs on “Continuing Search for Stability: Pakistan and Afghanistan,” noted Pakistani author Ahmed Rashid was quoted as saying by Dawn that Pakistan has made two “grievous mistakes” in its foreign policy. The first came at the end of the Cold War, he said, when Pakistan decided to “move proxy resources to Kashmir,” radicalizing the Kashmiri nationalist movement.”

 

The second major error, according to Rashid, came in 2003 when General Pervez Musharraf decided to resurrect the Afghan Taliban. This proved a shot in the arm for the Pakistani Taliban, and within several years local militants in Pakistan were “calling for the overthrow of the Pakistani state.” Increasingly, Pakistan was being accused by neighboring countries of providing safe sanctuaries for militants on Pakistani soil.

 

In the wake of the Taliban’s assault on Peshawar’s Army Public School at the end of 2014, it was widely believed that both the civil and military leaderships of Pakistan were keen to improve bilateral relations with its neighbors. The army launched a robust crackdown on militant groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and elsewhere in the country. As a result, complaints from Pakistan’s neighbors eased, even if they didn’t quite disappear entirely.

 

Meanwhile, Pakistan stayed out of the Yemen conflict, instead declaring that it would remain neutral. Then, in December last year, Islamabad surprised many observers when it announced that it opposed any attempt to topple Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s regime. Speaking with the media, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said, “Pakistan is also against foreign military intervention in Syria and fully supports the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.”

 

These major developments have increasingly irked Saudi Arabia, which has at any rate been tilting toward Pakistan’s arch-rival India. But some independent analysts argued that Pakistan’s foreign policy was now changing for the better. They claimed that the country has now realized it can no longer use militant groups as an “extension of its national security policy.”

 

Unfortunately, the turnaround proved short-lived; militancy has once again strained the country’s ties with India and Afghanistan following tragic incidents in both countries, for which Pakistan was blamed. Ironically, Saudi Arabia, which has its own links to jihad, also raised doubts about Pakistan, with the Saudi Interior Ministry identifying the Jeddah bomber as Pakistani national Abdullah Qlazar Khan.

 

For their part, Pakistani authorities vigorously deny any connection to the attacks, and insist that their soil is not being used against other countries. They cite the Pathankot attack, noting that the director general of India’s National Investigation Agency, Sharad Kumar himself said that there was no evidence to suggest that the Pakistani government was involved.

 

Still, in recent months, Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khawaja Asif has spoken on television of his regret that relations with the U.S. are deteriorating, while criticizing Pakistan’s entry into the war of Afghanistan in 1979 to oust the Soviet Union and its nurturing of terrorists after 9/11, when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan.

 

Washington, D.C.-based political analyst and author Aparna Pande told The Diplomat: “There are two underlying principles of Pakistan’s foreign policy and these principles have remained paramount right from the creation of the country till today. The first is the desire to ‘escape India’ in the sense of creating a national identity that was anti-India. Thus, Pakistan has preferred to be referred to as a Greater Middle Eastern country not a South Asian one, because South Asian would mean accepting that Pakistan was part of the greater Indian civilization. The second principle underlying Pakistan’s policy is the desire for parity with India – not sovereign equality which every country has but parity – and this is specifically with respect to military parity (both conventional and nuclear) and economic parity.”

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

 

 Contents                                                                                                                               

PAKISTAN: THE REBIRTH OF JIHAD

Umer Ali

The Diplomat, Aug. 18, 2016

 

“Bharat ka aik ailaaj, al-jihad” (“The cure to India is nothing but jihad”), the crowd chanted at the start of Jamaat-e-Islami’s anti-India rally near Nasir Bagh, Lahore. The rally, which was destined for Wahga, on Pakistan’s side of the India-Pakistan border, was filled with a mix of emotions – anger, frustration, and hatred. It was attended by Jamaat-e-Islami’s top leadership, including its chief, Siraj-ul-Haq. Accompanying him was Hizbul Mujahideen’s chief, Syed Salahuddin.

 

Earlier in the day, vehicles full of Jamaat-e-Islami and Hizbul Mujahideen volunteers, announcing the rally and singing jihadi tarana, roamed freely around Lahore. Even before the rally, which was scheduled for July 31, camps set up by Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Hizbul Mujahideen could be seen outside the Punjab Assembly building on the Mall Road in Lahore. With full Islamic zeal and zest, the people at these camps chanted pro-Kashmir slogans, encouraging the common citizens to take arms against India.

 

This was only one of the many rallies and processions organized by Islamist groups in the past few weeks.

It all started after Indian forces in Kashmir killed the young militant separatist Burhan Wani. Wani, who belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen, was known for his tech-savvy methods, through which he preached jihad to the people of the valley. He gathered a huge following on social media platforms through his videos – one of the reasons his death sparked sudden outrage across the valley. According to media reports, around 50,000 Kashmiris attended his funeral prayers.

 

Following his funeral, Kashmir saw a series of clashes between the Kashmiri population and Indian forces. Around 62 people have been killed so far, with hundreds more injured. A curfew was imposed, mobile and internet services were jammed, and for a few days, most of the Kashmiri papers were forcefully stopped from being published. This renewed anti-India movement in Kashmir is often described as an indigenous movement, not sponsored by Pakistan. Burhan Wani is said to be the product of the very same movement. However, with Pakistan declaring him a martyr and Syed Salahuddin, head of Hizbul Mujahideen, holding rallies in Pakistan, a few eyebrows have been raised.

Former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani says, “Every time there is unrest in the Kashmir valley, hopes are raised in Pakistan that the solution of the Kashmir issue is near and the jihadists become active.” Emphasizing the attempted hijacking of the Kashmiris’ struggle, he adds, “If anything, jihadi activism delegitimizes the demands of the Kashmiri people in international eyes. Unfortunately, the jihadists and their backers in Pakistan do not see the folly or failure of their policies.”

 

As the renewed protests in Kashmir erupted, it appeared to be a rebirth of jihadi organizations’ activities in Pakistan as well.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa was the first one to take the lead with its “Azadi Caravan.” Setting out from from Lahore on July 19, the caravan was destined to arrive in Islamabad on July 20. Stretching for several kilometers, the caravan consisted of buses, trucks, and cars. As the caravan traveled on the Grand Trunk road, it was received warmly in cities on the way, as participants kept joining the ranks. Buzzing with slogans like “Bharat ki barbadi tak, jang jaari rahay gi” (“The war will continue until India is destroyed”) …

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

                                                    

Contents                                                                                                                                           AFGHANISTAN IS FINALLY STANDING UP TO PAKISTAN        

                                                Adam Gallagher

The National Interest, Aug. 4, 2016

 

As the first president of Afghanistan following the toppling of the Taliban, Hamid Karzai’s legacy will always be decidedly mixed. The famously mercurial Karzai masterfully navigated the traditional tribal politics of Afghanistan, but arguably laid the groundwork for much of the corruption and weak governance that plague the Afghan government today. During his tenure, Karzai often made headlines by frequently excoriating Pakistan for harboring the Afghan Taliban and attempting to rule Kabul by proxy. When Ashraf Ghani, a former World Bank official and development specialist, came to power in 2014, he attempted to reset relations with Islamabad—even shelving a request for military assistance from India, Pakistan’s principal rival. It did not take him long to reconsider.

 

Less than a year into his tenure, Ghani reversed course, saying he believed Pakistan was conducting “undeclared war” on Afghanistan. Following a Taliban bombing that killed more than sixty people in Kabul in April, Ghani blasted Pakistan for providing sanctuary to the group and told the Afghan parliament he would complain to the United Nations Security Council if Islamabad failed to take action. “We don’t expect Pakistan to bring the Taliban to talks, but we ask the Pakistanis to fulfill the promises they made . . . and launch operations against the people who have sanctuaries in Pakistan,” he said. Ghani’s frustration with Pakistan’s lack of action has surely been stoked by the fact that since the U.S. military drawdown at the end of 2014, the Taliban surged, now controlling more territory in the country than at any time since the 2001 invasion, and civilian casualties continue to rise at alarming rates.

 

Back in May, when the late Taliban leader Mullah Mansour was killed by a U.S. drone strike, he was driving through the Baluchistan—a western Pakistani province bordering Iran—with a Pakistani passport. It is widely known that Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan, is home to the Quetta Shura, the leadership of the Afghan Taliban. There have been other prominent examples demonstrating that Taliban leaders have been operating in Pakistan. When Afghan officials met with Taliban delegates at the Pakistani resort of Murree in July 2015, it was widely known that they were traveling from within the country. Last year, the Afghan government revealed that the Taliban’s late leader, Mullah Omar, died in a hospital in Karachi, Pakistan in 2013. And if anyone questions the ability and willingness of the Pakistani intelligence services and military to aid and abet extremists, let’s not forget that Osama bin Laden was eventually found in Abbottabad, Pakistan, close to a military compound.

 

While Islamabad has long denied that it harbors and supports insurgent groups, a 2010 report by Matthew Waldman for the London School of Economics revealed more than just furtive cooperation. Indeed, “This goes far beyond just limited, or occasional support. This is very significant levels of support being provided by the ISI [Pakistan’s intelligence agency]. We're also saying this is official policy of that agency, and we're saying that it is very extensive,” Waldman said.

 

But the reality is that this support is an open secret. In a candid admission this March, Sartaj Aziz, a foreign policy adviser to Pakistan’s prime minister, told a crowd at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, “We have some influence on them [the Afghan Taliban] because their leadership is in Pakistan and they get some medical facilities, their families are here.”

Meanwhile this year, the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (composed of Pakistan, the United States, Afghanistan and China) has failed to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table during several rounds of…

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

 

Contents                                   

             

AFGHANISTAN STILL HASN’T RECOVERED FROM THE SOVIET INVASION

Shawn Snow                                   

The National Interest, Jul. 31, 2016

 

In mid-July, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford relayed to the media cautious optimism regarding the war effort in Afghanistan. Afghan security forces—reeling from a bloody 2015 fighting season, which witnessed the first collapse of a major population center since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001—appear to be making slow and steady progress on the battlefield, a rare piece of positive news emanating from the war-torn region.

 

A multitude of factors are showing encouraging signs for the fledgling Afghan military. Afghan security forces are applying lessons learned to last year’s harrowing fighting season by reducing static checkpoints and pushing for more offensive operations. Prioritizing strategic terrain and pulling back forces from less populated regions, such as the withdrawal from Nowzad, has ushered in new offensive capabilities and strengths for Afghan security forces.

 

New technologies, to include a fixed-wing close air support platform—the A-29 Super Tucano—and the employment of surveillance drones, has bolstered the capabilities of Afghan forces and improved morale of fighting forces on the ground. President Obama approved new rules of engagement for U.S. forces operating in Afghanistan under the train, advise and assist Resolute Support mission, to assist their fellow host-nation forces in targeting the Taliban.

 

All of these steady improvements appear to be showing signs of relative success, as the number of attacks in the country has decreased and Afghan forces continue to conduct offensive combat operations to root out the Taliban.

 

Though the tactical improvements on the ground should be praised, they underscore a major issue regarding coverage of the conflict in Afghanistan: our nearsighted focus on military operations, and not on the political developments that are necessary for lasting peace and stability in the region. After fifteen years of war, the major social, economic and political dynamics that exacerbate tensions in the mountainous country are still very much prevalent in the country, and risk a relapse into the chaotic period that preceded the Soviet withdrawal in 1989.

 

Despite rhetoric emanating from the twenty-four-hour media cycle, the basic fundamentals of Afghanistan’s conflict have changed little since the rise of the Taliban in 1994. After the Soviet Union’s withdrawal in 1989 and the ending of financial assistance in 1992, Afghanistan descended into financial oblivion. The very foundation of Afghanistan’s economic system and livelihood prior to the Soviet Union’s intervention was primarily dependent on muscle labor and rural subsistence farming. The subsequent invasion wrecked a system of living that had endured for centuries, and was replaced with a war economy dependent on foreign aid, monetization and the displacement of rural societies into urban environments—groups that would eventually become dependent on state assistance and welfare.

The destruction of Afghanistan’s social fabric during the Soviet occupation, and the displacement of rural societies, would eventually breed resentment and fundamentalist groups throughout the country. The 1992 ending of financial aid was the culminating spark that would light the fire that gave rise to the Taliban …

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

 

Contents                                                                                                                                                           

           

On Topic Links

 

Over A Hundred US Troops Sent to Lashkar Gah to Battle Taliban: Sune Engel Rasmussen, The Guardian, Aug. 22, 2016— More than a hundred US troops have been sent to Lashkar Gah to help prevent the Taliban from overrunning the capital of Afghanistan’s Helmand province, in what is thought to be the first US deployment to the embattled city since foreign troops withdrew in 2014.

State Dept. Approves $60 Million Arms Sale to Afghanistan: Geoff Ziezulewicz, UPI, Aug. 22, 2016— The U.S. State Department has approved a proposed $60 million sale to Afghanistan for a variety of weapons and equipment. Required notification was delivered to Congress Wednesday, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program, said in a statement.

Pakistan's Hindus Protest Forced Conversions of Girls to Islam: Ayesha Tanzeem, VOA, August 11, 2016—Human rights activists joined a call by some members of Pakistan's Hindu community to protest alleged forced conversions of Hindu girls to Islam on Thursday, officially deemed National Minorities Day in Pakistan. The call for protest in various Pakistani cities — as well as abroad in Toronto, New York and Houston —singled out an individual famously known by the alias Mian Mithu as the prime culprit for the alleged conversions.

Israel, Pakistan, UAE Join US Air Force Exercise: Yonah Jeremy Bob, The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 16, 2016— Israel, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates began joint military exercises on Monday as part of the US Air Force’s elite Red Flag drill at Nellis Air Force Base in the Nevada desert. Countries without diplomatic relations are rarely seen in joint military exercises, but few nations would be likely to allow such concerns cause them to miss an opportunity to work with the US Air Force.

LA GUERRE DE LA FRANCE CONTRE LE DJIHAD MONDIAL

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
L'antisionisme d'Obama
Daniel Pipes 
The Washington Times, 22 janvier 2013
Adaptation française: Anne-Marie Delcambre de Champvert
 
Si Barack Obama était réélu – avais-je prédit deux mois avant l'élection présidentielle de novembre 2012- «la façon la plus froide encore jamais vue jusqu'ici de traiter Israël, de la part d'un président américain, s'ensuivrait.» Eh bien, l'élection est terminée et la douche froide est bien en train de solidement se mettre en place. Obama a indiqué au cours des deux derniers mois, ce qui nous attend et ce que nous allons voir, par les mesures suivantes:
 
-en choisissant comme personnalités [pour des postes importants] trois hauts fonctionnaires -John Kerry comme Secrétaire d'Etat, John Brennan comme chef de la CIA, et Chuck Hagel comme ministre de la Défense – dont les opinions, s'agissant d'Israël, vont de l'ignorance totale à la franche hostilité.
 
-en approuvant un énorme cadeau d'armes de pointe- 20 avions de combat F-16 et 200 chars Abrams M1A1 – pour le gouvernement islamiste en Egypte, malgré le fait que son président, Mohamed Morsi, soit en train de devenir de plus en plus despotique et qualifie les Juifs de «suceurs de sang, … bellicistes , les descendants des singes et des porcs ».
 
-en réitérant une tactique paternaliste vieille de 35 ans faisant confiance à cette sorte de personnes ayant des positions connues comme étant anti-Israël pour condamner la politique israélienne tout en faisant semblant de se préoccuper du bien-être du pays: "Israël ne sait pas où est son véritable intérêt."
 
-en ignorant les preuves de l'importation au Caire de pièces détachées de missiles Scud de la Corée du Nord.
 
-en rabrouant les 239 membres de la Chambre qui avaient demandé la fermeture du bureau de l'OLP à Washington en réponse à la forte insistance de l'OLP pour obtenir le statut d'Etat-observateur auprès de l'ONU.
 
Interrogé sur la nomination par Obama de Hagel, Ed.Koch, -l'ancien maire de New York qui, en dépit de sa critique sévère d'Obama l'a néanmoins soutenu pour sa réélection- a fourni une réponse étonnante: «Je pensais qu'arriverait un moment où [Obama] reviendrait sur … son soutien à Israël [mais] cela arrive un peu plus tôt que je ne le pensais.» Même les partisans pro-israéliens d'Obama s'attendaient à ce qu'il se retourne contre l'Etat juif!
 
Ces mesures anti-israéliennes suscitent des inquiétudes, car elles coïncident avec les anciennes vues antisionistes d'Obama. Nous manquons de détails, mais nous savons qu'il a étudié, été l'ami , a noué des contacts, et a encouragé les extrémistes palestiniens. Par exemple:
 
Une photo prise en 1998 le montre en train d'écouter avec une déférente attention le théoricien anti-Israël Edward Said. Obama est resté là sans réagir alors que les conférenciers – lors d'une manifestation de 2003 célébrant Rashid Khalidi, un ancien agent des relations publiques de l'OLP – accusaient Israël de mener une campagne terroriste contre les Palestiniens et comparaient "les colons sionistes en Cisjordanie" à Oussama ben Laden. Ali Abunimah, un agitateur anti-Israël, a félicité Obama en 2004 pour «préconiser une approche équitable du conflit israélo-palestinien," des mots codés pour détacher le gouvernement américain d'Israël. De son côté, Obama a salué Abunimah pour ses articles, anti-israéliens au point de tourner à l'obsession, dans le Chicago Tribune, insistant pour qu'il«continue le bon travail!»
 
Abunimah révèle également que, à partir de 2002, Obama avait mis en sourdine sa rhétorique anti-israélienne », étant donné qu'il avait planifié son départ de la scène politique peu importante de l'Illinois pour aborder la scène nationale», et Obama avait rendu cela explicite deux ans plus tard, s'excusant auprès de Abunimah: "Hé, je suis désolé, je n'en ai pas dit plus sur la Palestine en ce moment, mais nous sommes dans une course difficile des primaires. J'espère que lorsque les choses vont se calmer j'aurai les coudées plus franches. "
 
Et Obama a fait consciencieusement les changements politiques nécessaires, même si ce fut d'une manière crispée et peu enthousiaste (« je dois traiter avec lui tous les jours» se plaint-il à propos du Premier ministre israélien Binyamin Netanyahu). Il a soutenu Israël dans ses guerres de 2008-2009 et 2012 avec le Hamas. Son gouvernement a qualifié le rapport Goldstone de «vicié à la base» et soutenu Israël auprès des Nations Unies en ayant recours aux groupes de pression, aux votes, et aux vetos. Les armements ont afflué. L'exception israélienne [le fait qu'Israël ne fasse pas partie (NDLT)] du traité sur la non-prolifération des armes nucléaires continue. Lorsque Ankara a annulé la participation d'Israël à l'exercice des forces aériennes l'aigle anatolien de 2009, le gouvernement américain s'est montré solidaire. Si Obama a créé plus de crises pour la mise en chantier de logements israéliens, il a finalement permis que cela se calme.
 
Revenant au temps présent: la probable réélection de Netanyahu comme Premier ministre israélien cette semaine se traduira par la continuité du leadership dans les deux pays. Mais cela n'implique pas la continuité dans les relations américano-israéliennes; Obama, libéré des contraintes de la réélection , peut enfin exprimer ses premières idées antisionistes après une décennie de positionnement politique. Attendons-nous à un ton nettement pire du second gouvernement Obama envers le troisième gouvernement Netanyahu.
 
Rappelons qu'Obama avait déclaré en privé en mars 2012 au président russe de l'époque, Dmitry Medvedev («Ceci est ma dernière élection et après mon élection, j'aurai plus de flexibilité»), il y a tout lieu de penser que, après avoir remporté cette réélection les choses se sont maintenant "calmées" et, après une décennie de prudente retenue, il peut «y aller plus franchement» pour faire avancer la cause palestinienne au détriment d'Israël.
 
J'ai aussi prévu en septembre que «les problèmes d'Israël allaient vraiment commencer» si Obama devait remporter un second mandat. Ceux-ci ont commencé; Jérusalem, prépare toi à quatre années difficiles
 
La guerre de la France contre le djihad mondial
Freddy Eytan
terredisrael.com, 30 janvier 2013
 
La présence active des organisations terroristes au Mali est une conséquence directe du « Printemps arabe » et ses répercussions inquiètent également Israël. Des cellules terroristes du djihad mondial avec de grandes quantités d’armes et missiles affluent de partout vers la péninsule du Sinaï et la bande de Gaza.
 
L’opération au Mali est intervenue après l’intervention militaire de l’ancien Président Nicolas Sarkozy en Libye. La chute de Mouammar Kadhafi a provoqué un chaos dans le pays et dans toute la région. Elle a provoqué un renforcement des organisations islamiques extrémistes, et en particulier celle d’Al Qaïda du Maghreb (AQMI).
 
Paris est sans doute préoccupée par la présence d’organisations islamiques et salafistes au sein de la communauté musulmane vivant en France. Ces groupes fanatiques encouragent le phénomène de la conversion à l’islam et encouragent par l’endoctrinement l’implication dans des activités terroristes. Mohammad Merah, responsable de la tuerie de trois soldats français et d’une famille juive à Toulouse, est devenu après son élimination un héros-martyr au sein d’une certaine jeunesse musulmane.
 
Il est bizarre de constater que la France socialiste, celle qui a décidé de retirer ses troupes d’Afghanistan, est déterminée actuellement à poursuivre son engagement militaire au Mali. Et pourtant, elle risque de s’enfoncer pour longtemps encore dans l’immensité des sables du désert du Sahara comme du Sahel. Paris devrait être également très préoccupée par les menaces d’attentats terroristes et notamment contre les institutions de la communauté juive.
Au départ, la France de François Hollande a choisi un vocabulaire peu approprié pour désigner les islamistes du djihad mondial. Pourquoi ne pas appeler un chat un chat et un terroriste un islamiste ? Comment ne pas se souvenir des propos directs et sans ambages de Lionel Jospin qui avait osé dire, ici à Jérusalem, que le Hezbollah est un mouvement terroriste ! C’est vrai, il a été fort réprimandé par Jacques Chirac…
 
La France qui n’avait pas réussi auparavant à libérer un otage français en Somalie a refusé aussi de s’impliquer dans une opération militaire supplémentaire pour libérer les otages étrangers dans les chantiers de gaz en Algérie. Elle a laissé faire une opération indépendante de l’armée locale, qui s’est achevée par un carnage de dizaines d’otages étrangers.
 
Cela fait plus d’une décennie qu’Israël met en garde contre le renforcement des islamistes et notamment de la branche Al Qaïda en Afrique du Nord. Les pays occidentaux et parmi eux les Etats-Unis et la France n’ont pas pris cette menace au sérieux. Même après les attentats du 11 septembre 2001 aux Etats-Unis, la guerre contre le djihad mondial s’est focalisée contre l’Irak et l’Afghanistan. Rappelons aussi qu’en mars 2003, la France s’était opposée vigoureusement à l’invasion américaine en Irak et en décembre dernier elle a retiré ses troupes d’Afghanistan.
 
Avec le déclenchement du « Printemps arabe » en Tunisie et l’effondrement des régimes en Egypte et en Libye, l’anarchie a permis aux groupes terroristes de lever la tête et de s’unir dans une lutte sanglante contre l’Occident et les régimes pro. Des sunnites et des shiites préparent le terrain pour pouvoir mettre en œuvre la politique du djihad mondial.
 
En réalité, Hollande a agi selon la doctrine bien connue, à savoir que toute intervention militaire en Afrique est basée principalement sur des intérêts économiques et l’exploitation des matières premières. Le Président socialiste de la France continue dans la tradition de ses prédécesseurs 50 ans après la fin de l’ère colonialiste. Son pays n’a toujours pas abandonné son “engagement patronal” envers les colonies francophones (Liban, le Maghreb et l’Afrique noire) et continue à fournir une aide militaire, économique, et culturelle.
 
Dans le passé, la France est intervenue militairement au Zaïre, au Tchad et en Côte d’Ivoire. Elle possède des bases militaires permanentes à Djibouti, au Gabon, au Sénégal et même dans le Golfe persique. Des navires de guerre sont présents dans la région pour prévenir des prises d’otages et des attaques pirates.
 
Certes, en dépit du long retard, nous apprécions le combat de la France contre le djihad mondial, mais en conclusion, nous constatons qu’il existe un certain double jeu. Le terrorisme palestinien est toujours justifié et défini comme légitime par ce qu’il s’agit selon Paris de la « la libération de territoires occupés ». Plus encore, la France condamne Israël pour avoir osé lancer des opérations d’auto-défense contre le Hamas ou le Hezbollah, mais juge opportun d’agir contre des terroristes se trouvant à des milliers de kilomètres de sa capitale. Il est bien temps que la France change de cap et réalise que les terroristes islamiques du djihad mondial, au Mali, en Afrique du Nord, dans la Bande de Gaza, et dans la péninsule du Sinaï appartiennent à la même famille terroriste ! Nous devons les combattre ensemble et sans merci !
 
Elections : Le retour du Centre
Shmuel Trigano
upjf.org, 30 janvier 2013
    
L’avantage de l’âge et de la connaissance de l’histoire des partis politiques israéliens permettent d’avoir une perspective inhabituelle sur les récentes élections. Deux phénomènes marquants les caractérisent:
 
– l’apparition sur la scène de deux nouveaux partis Yesh Atid (19 sièges) avec Yair Lapid comme leader et Habayit hayehoudi (11 sièges) avec Naftali Bennett pour tête de liste (en fait c’est la venue de Bennett à la tête de ce parti, déjà existant, qui est la cause de son renouveau).
 
En arrière-plan de ce phénomène, on prend note bien sûr de l’effondrement spectaculaire de Kadima sous la houlette de Shaoul Mofaz, qui passerait de 28 sièges à deux.
 
– cette évolution a pour cadre l’affaiblissement du Likoud-Israel Beitenou, un bloc qui passe de 41 à 31 sièges, tout en restant la principale force politique du pays.
 
C’est ce dernier point qu’il faut d’abord analyser car il est clair que la chute d’influence du Likoud autant que l’effondrement de Kadima ont fourni le réservoir de voix des deux nouveaux partis (originellement Kadima émane d’une scission du Likoud emmenée par Sharon).
 
Le semi-échec de Natanyahou dans l’opération « Colonne de nuée », la déception profonde de ses électeurs devant ses atermoiements, la tension entre la mobilisation militaire et morale du pays et le renoncement à en finir avec le terrorisme de Gaza annonçaient déjà cette évolution.
 
Natanyahou ne communique pas. Il est étrangement absent des tribunes et il ne fait pas de doute que son éloignement lui a terriblement nui alors que Yair Lapid, journaliste et homme de communication, a fait le tour du pays pour recueillir les doléances de l’électorat.
 
De plus, Natanyahou était donné pour vainqueur par les sondages, ce qui a autorisé ses électeurs à manifester leur mécontentement à son égard, en votant pour d’autres partis, sans que pour autant ils ne cessent de voir en lui, semble-t-il, l’homme de la situation.
Il ne faut en effet pas se méprendre Yesh Atid est un parti de centre droit et non de gauche. Ses électeurs peuvent être des transfuges du Likoud qui n’ont pas apprécié la fusion avec Israel Beitenou, trop à droite.
 
Quant à Bayit hayehoudi, la proximité au Likoud est encore plus grande, mais, contrairement à ce que l’on pense, ce parti est au centre-droit. Il ressuscite de façon étonnante le Parti National Religieux, le Mafdal, qui avait été tout au long de l’histoire un parti charnière entre laïques et religieux et que la naissance du Gouch Emounim avait pulvérisé en déplaçant une grande partie de son électorat à droite toute. Le parti de Bennett rassemble aujourd’hui (comme Yesh Atid) laïques et religieux avec cette différence que son engagement sioniste et national est beaucoup plus marqué que pour Yesh Atid.
 
Je vois dans le phénomène que représente le surgissement de ces deux partis une étonnante recomposition de partis centristes qui avaient occupé le milieu du spectre politique israélien depuis ses origines et que l’on connaissait bien dans les années 1960-1970. En fait Yesh Atid prend la place du Parti des « Sionistes Généraux » et Bayit hayehoudi celle du Mafdal. Ces deux partis étaient en règle générale de toutes les coalitions, du temps ou le Parti Travailliste était dominant. La naissance du Likoud (né d’une alliance de 2 partis), du temps de Begin, avait modifié la donne et d’une certaine façon aujourd’hui l’érosion du Likoud leur rouvre la voie.
 
En fait la place des Sionistes Généraux est le ventre mou du système. Depuis 1967, de nombreux partis se sont créés dans ce lieu puis ont disparu aussi vite.
 
Rappelons nous le Dash de Yigal Yadin, rappelons nous, en 2003, le Shinouy du père de Lapid, rappelons nous Kadima. Aujourd’hui Yesh Atid. On peut faire le pronostic que Yesh Atid disparaîtra aussi d’ici la prochaine Knesset. De fait, ce parti promet le changement (sic) – c’était déjà le cas du du parti de son père Shinouy dont le nom, veut dire « changement »- mais son programme est inexistant, son chef une vedette de la TV. Que 19 voix se soient portées sur un tel parti est en fait très inquiétant et le signe d’une déception des électeurs israéliens. C’est sans doute un vote de protestation. Mais un feu de paille sans lendemain. Entretemps bien sûr, ce parti va jouer un rôle important dans la coalition, mais sa capacité de faire face à des décisions gravissimes pour l’avenir de l’Etat est on ne peut plus incertaine.
 
Le déclin du Shas est aussi significatif car lui aussi avait tenté d’occuper le centre vide du système durant plusieurs années. Nous avons pu remarquer que, durant la campagne, Lapid comme Bennett s’adressaient aussi aux électeurs sépharades, sans doute lassés par le parti dont la marque de fabrique était la défense de leurs intérêts. Le Shas a-t-il des chances d’entrer dans la coalition, c’est possible mais comment se comportera-t-il avec un Lapid qui veut annuler tous les privilèges du secteur religieux ? Si Bayit Yehoudi et Yesh Atid entrent en coalition avec Natanyahou, point n’est besoin du Shas. Peut-être même Lapid attirera-t-il Livni. En tel cas la friction avec le Bayit Yehoudi est assurée car Livni et Lapid sont sensibles aux exigences de l’Union européenne et des Etats Unis concernant l’Etat de Palestine. C’est tout autre chose avec Bennett qui est sourcilleux sur le plan de la souveraineté israélienne, du sionisme et pas favorable à la création d’un nouvel Etat entre le Jourdain et la mer.
 
Il est d’alleurs étonnant que la question palestinienne et celle de l’Iran, sauf pour ce dernier point chez Natanyahou, n’ont pas été au centre de la campagne si ce n’est pour Livni dont le faible résultat indique le degré d’intérêt public pour la chose. Bien au contraire, la question sociale et celle des religieux ont suscité les débats les plus forts et expliquent la montée de Lapid. Agitée frénétiquement par le parti Avoda, par Shelly Yachimowitch, elle ne lui a pas profité. Sans doute sa dénonciation du « capitalisme » était-elle trop violente et peu convaincante. Concernant l’enjeu religion-laïcité, les partis qui font office avant tout de laïcité ou de religion sont à égalité : 19 pour Lapid, 18 pour le Shas et les Ultra orthodoxes (Yahadout hatora), si l’on ne compte pas Bayith hayehoudi, plus centriste. Bien que la religion soit pour lui un pilier central, le parti de Naftali Bennett, contrairement aux partis dits « religieux », a des intérêts non sectoriels, couvrant toute la réalité socio-politique.
 
Sur le plan de la politique étrangère, la présence de Lapid dans la coalition ramènera Natanyahou vers le centre et donc vers la vision des choses européenne et américaine, et ce d’autant plus si Tsipi Livni se joint, via Lapid, au gouvernement, ce qui ne sera pas sans provoquer des tensions avec Bennett. Si Lapid donne le ton à la coalition, les angles seront bien « arrondis » avec Obama.
 
D’une certaine façon, le mouvement vers le centre de l’électorat israélien témoigne indirectement aussi de son inquiétude devant l’isolement international d’Israël découlant de la politique américaine et européenne en faveur des Palestiniens. N’oublions pas, cependant, que les nouveaux politiciens qui entrent sur scène sont des néophytes. Ils auront fort à faire avec un politicien chevronné comme Natanyahou… Reste que la politique de ce dernier n’est plus très claire.
 

Lawrence Solomon – Needed: War Against Jihadists

 

Needed – War Against Jihadists

Lawrence Solomon

Originally published in The Financial Post, Jan 18, 2013

 

Two years ago, before President Obama and other Western leaders gave their blessing to the Arab Spring by calling for the ouster of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, the Middle East was ruled mostly by secular dictators who made nice to the West while ruthlessly suppressing jihadists. Today, the Middle East is increasingly being ruled by jihadists who hate the West, plot to target Western facilities and take Western hostages, and have an ever-growing land base from which to operate. How’s that working out for us?

 

The secular state of Mali in the central Sahara is the latest domino to totter, thanks to NATO countries such as France, the U.K., Canada, and the U.S. — the very same countries that are now scrambling to save it. Mali’s undoing began last year when the West short-sightedly decided to overthrow a de facto ally, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was helping the West combat al-Qaeda abroad while he suppressed it at home.

 

Gaddafi’s overthrow and the anarchy that followed created a free-for-all in the country’s vast arms depots, soon emptied to enable terrorists throughout the Middle East and beyond. Gaddafi’s overthrow unleashed more than arms, however — it also unleashed thousands of Malian rebels living in Libya, members of the Tuareg tribe to whom Gaddafi had provided refuge and who then fought with him against the NATO invaders.

 

These Tuareg fighters, forced to flee Libya after their patron was deposed, went back to their home country fully armed, where they joined in al Qaeda’s quest to take over Mali. Now the French find they are fighting the same Tuareg in Mali that they fought in Libya.

 

To add to the ironies, and the witlessness of the West’s Arab experts, the U.S. trained and armed some 1500 Tuaregs and other tribesmen to fight al-Qaeda, not realizing they would switch sides and fight with al-Qaeda against the Mali government and against the West.

 

The Western nations now fear that the entire Saharan belt — spanning the breadth of Africa — may fall to the jihadists who, no longer contained by Arab dictators, will have acquired vast new lands and endless potential to plan and launch attacks on Western targets.

 

Much of the north coast of Africa has already become jihadi or jihadi-friendly with secular governments having been overthrown in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. In North Africa, only Morocco and Algeria, site of this week’s deadly hostage taking, remain hostile to jihadi takeovers. East of Africa, the jihadists are waging war against a secular tyrant who to date has been their match in ruthlessness — Syria’s Assad. Should he fall, and possibly before, the next domino to fall could be the pro-Western monarchy of Jordan.

 

The West glaring miscalculated in thinking largely tribal societies could peacefully and instantly morph into live-and-let-live democracies friendly to the West. It has done the peoples of those countries no favour.

 

Since the Arab Spring, some 100,000 have died in the violence, 60,000 in Syria alone. At least 600,000 have fled their countries, more than 100,000 of them Christian Copts in Egypt who foresee no co-existence with jihadists. Along with the death and destruction comes disease, hunger and economic suffering — the citizens in all of the affected countries, including the newly democratized ones, had higher incomes under the secular dictatorships.

 

The West needs to understand that it is at war with a jihadi ideology, waged by strong-willed adherents convinced — with good reason — that they are winning with the help of Allah against weak-willed appeasement-oriented infidels. They will continue to win until the West sees the struggle in ideological terms. Ideologues can’t permanently be bought off; they can’t ever be reasoned with; they can’t easily be defended against, not in a world of global investments and international tourism. They can only be defeated.

 

Many in the West, citing past British and Russian defeats in Afghanistan as examples, believe that victory would take decades, if victory against jihadists waging holy war is possible at all. This misreads history.

 

Jihadi warriors for a millennium and a half have waged holy war against other Muslims and non-Muslims alike — this is nothing new. Jihadists have also won and lost their share of battles, and when they have lost they have then accepted defeat.

 

Some eruptions aside, the Turks maintained peace against enemies who had waged jihad for decades and centuries at a time, as have colonial powers before and after World War I. And until the Arab Spring, secular Muslim dictators throughout the Middle East have effectively neutralized jihadists, who often do not represent mainstream Muslim ­thinking.

 

The West can defeat today’s jihadists more easily than it has defeated them in the past — they have not become appreciably more militarily capable than the jihadists of old while the West has. But to win what may in future be seen as the Third World War, the West will need to enlist its friends, even when they are distasteful secular dictators such as Mubarak and Gaddafi. To win the Second World War against the Fascists, after all, the West didn’t flinch at joining forces with the communist Soviet Union.

 

 

AS “ISLAMIC SPRING” REINFORCES POWER-DRUNK HAMAS, ISRAEL’S HOSPITALS HEAL GAZAN, P.A. CHILDREN

Download Today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf 

 

Contents:                          

 

The Long-Term Implications of the Israel-Hamas Clash: Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Nov. 21, 2012 —This clash did not begin with rocket fire but with ramped-up terror activity on the Israel-Gaza border, including the detonation of an explosive-filled tunnel that had been dug into Israeli territory and the firing of an anti-tank missile at an IDF jeep on a border patrol.

 

The Children Given Life In The Midst Of War: Nicky Blackburn, Israel 21C, Nov. 20, 2012— Mohamed is from Betlahia in Gaza, and his operation is taking place in Israel in the midst of a bitter and dangerous conflict that has seen both sides bombing each other continually for seven days.

 

Hiding Jewish Origins is Futile and Pathetic: Rabbi Dov Marmur, Canadian Jewish News, Nov. 15, 2012—The formal notice of the passing of  Walter Carsen, the renowned Canadian patron of the arts who died last month shortly after his 100th birthday, stated that he was “of German origin.”…In fact, he was Jewish, as are his two children, which they only found out from their mother when they were in their teens.

 

On Topic Links

 

New Jewish Museum to Open Next Year in Warsaw: Dr. Catherine Chatterley, Winnipeg Jewish Review, Oct. 25, 2012

Why Was There War In Gaza?: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Nov. 22, 2012

The Truth About Gaza: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 19, 2012

 

 

THE LONG-TERM IMPLICATIONS OF THE ISRAEL-HAMAS CLASH

Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi,

Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, November 21, 2012

 

The current clash between Israel and Hamas has been continuing in a mode of static warfare, marked by ongoing missile fire at Israeli communities from Gaza and Israeli aerial attacks on terror targets….This clash did not begin with rocket fire but with ramped-up terror activity on the Israel-Gaza border, including the detonation of an explosive-filled tunnel that had been dug into Israeli territory and the firing of an anti-tank missile at an IDF jeep on a border patrol.

 

These attacks, part of a long series of shooting and explosive-charge incidents along the border, showed how Hamas’ strategy had changed over the past two years. In Hamas’ view, the Arab Spring, which has become an Islamic Spring in the Middle East, has altered the balance of power between the Arab world and Israel.

 

Egypt, in the past a close U.S. ally and supporter of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah led by Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), is now Islamist and led by the Muslim Brotherhood movement, the parent-movement of Hamas. Egypt’s new Islamist government regards Hamas as a strategic partner in the struggle against Israel. It musters all its political power to help Hamas in the international arena, including harnessing the Arab League to this mission. Indeed, it is through Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood regime that Hamas now enjoys the possibility of dialogue with the United States and Europe.

 

Hamas has also drawn great encouragement from its political achievements. Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh was received as a head of state in visits to the Arab Spring countries and Iran, and the emir of Qatar made the first state visit to Gaza and bestowed Arab legitimacy on Hamas’ rule.

 

The power-drunk mood is evident in the statements of senior Hamas officials over the past two years. In the past, Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin predicted Israel’s destruction by the end of the third decade of this century, and other senior Hamas figures said the next generation would be the one to witness the liberation of Palestine. Today, though, the tune has totally changed. Liberating Palestine “from the river to the sea” is portrayed as a fully realistic goal for the present generation thanks to the Islamic Spring, which has redrawn the map of the Middle East, and in light of the decisive role of the jihad-ready Muslim masses in giving the region its character.

 

Conversely, Hamas views Israel as floundering in growing strategic distress as Turkey and Egypt become major, bitter enemies within the Arab world’s new vision of its struggle. The Hamas leadership sees Israel’s political and military options, including the exercise of its right to self-defense, as increasingly limited.

 

In the context of the new balance of power, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal asserted that Israel can neither swallow Gaza nor eject it; that is, it has no real way of coping with the challenge Hamas poses to its security and, in the long term, existence. It was this that led Hamas to adopt a new, bolder and provocative policy that seeks to substantially and systematically erode the “rules of the game” that prevailed in the informal ceasefire understandings between Israel and Hamas, whereby the Palestinian armed struggle was kept on a low flame.

 

Although, in hindsight, Hamas made a tactical error regarding Israeli policy, its basic approach has not changed: it views each round of armed conflict with Israel as a stage in a long-term war of attrition…At the same time, Hamas sees these armed clashes as a means of inflaming the West Bank, thereby opening a further front against Israel and wresting rule from the Palestinian Authority….

 

Despite the military blows it has suffered, Hamas is coming out stronger from this round of conflict with Israel. Neither Egypt nor Turkey, nor any of the Arab League countries, has condemned Hamas’ rocket fire on Israeli communities, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, as a war crime. On the contrary, Hamas enjoys wall-to-wall backing in the Arab world, and the current crisis has highlighted Egypt as Hamas’ new patron since the closing of the group’s offices in Damascus. The financial aid that will flow into Gaza will enable Hamas to rebuild and even further develop its military infrastructure for the next round.

 

“Blockaded” Gaza is not blockaded at all. Its border with Egypt is open, for all intents and purposes. Hundreds of thousands of people pass through it, along with commodities at a rate of millions of dollars annually, together with enormous quantities of weapons, as the latest clash has made evident. This de facto open border with Egypt gives Hamas an important advantage in rehabilitating its capabilities and developing its military infrastructure.

 

The new Middle East has not brought tidings of democracy with Western values of human rights. Instead democracy has provided a one-time means for the Muslim Brotherhood and other movements to take the reins of power. The real aim is to institute shari’a law in stages – in the view of the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood movement, the only real form that democratic values can take….

 

Although Hamas has tried to conceal Iran’s role in building the military infrastructure in Gaza, that role has been confirmed and officially acknowledged by Islamic Jihad. Fajr-5 missiles and other weapons have been ferried from Iran and Hizbullah to Hamas and the Palestinian terror organizations, and Iran has given much assistance in training the Palestinian forces for battle.

 

Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are prepared to cooperate with Iran even though it is actively supporting the Assad regime in Syria – which, over the past two years, has been committing war crimes against the Sunni population that reach the level of crimes against humanity and genocide.

 

The Iranian role reveals more than anything else the supreme common denominator between radical Shiite Islam and radical Sunni Islam. The two sides are able to overcome their profound differences and cooperate on the basis of a shared sphere of interests: the struggle against Israel, the continuation of the revolutions of the Islamic Spring, and the ejection of Western influence from the region.

 

Gaza’s transformation into a terror entity, with an extensive military infrastructure and advanced weaponry, removes the basis for any claim that territory is no longer important in the missile era, and demonstrates the vital need for continued Israeli control of key areas of the West Bank that, under any scenario, would give it even minimally defensible borders. A withdrawal to the 1967 lines would likely result in Israel facing yet another military and terrorist front that could, by linking up with regional actors such as Iran, Egypt, and Hizbullah, threaten Israel’s continued existence….

 

Once again, radical leftist organizations have come out in support of Hamas. In Toronto, for example, Canadian leftist activists have upheld Hamas’ “right of resistance” as evidenced in the current hostilities, ignoring the fact that international human rights organizations define such tactics as war crimes. The unwritten alliance between the radical left and Hamas rests on common demands that the West change its policy in the Middle East, stop supporting “illegitimate” Israel, and instead opt for cooperation with the rising Islamic forces.

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

THE CHILDREN GIVEN LIFE IN THE MIDST OF WAR

Nicky Blackburn,

Israel21C, November 20, 2012

 

Mohamed Ashgar is bored. The 11-year-old, who suffers from rheumatic heart disease, has been at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon for a week waiting for surgery, but it was delayed because of poor blood test results. Now he just wants to have the operation and get back home quickly to his parents and his four brothers and sisters. His dream when he is finally well again – to go back to school. Ill health has kept him out of class for over a year already.

 

Sitting on the end of his bed in hospital pajamas, Mohamed has a cheeky face and a sweet, wide grin. He tells ISRAEL21c that he’d like to be prime minister when he grows up – maybe. It’s all so completely normal, except for one thing: Mohamed is from Betlahia in Gaza, and his operation is taking place in Israel in the midst of a bitter and dangerous conflict that has seen both sides bombing each other continually for seven days.

 

On Sunday, Mohamed and his grandfather Dahud, 58, who accompanied him into Israel, were in the hospital when a siren went off. They and the other children on the ward – many of them crying and scared — were hurried to the shelter, a room at the end of the corridor that doubles as a nurses’ cupboard with boxes of stationery and spare pajamas on the shelves.

 

The missile from Gaza was intercepted by the Iron Dome, but fragments of it fell a few meters from the hospital, causing a car to burst into flames. Another part of the shell was later found inside the hospital.

 

Mohamed is in Israel thanks to the Israeli charity Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), a non-profit organization based at Wolfson that provides children from developing countries, often those ravaged by war, with heart surgery and follow-up care.

 

He’s not the only child at the clinic from Gaza right now. There are also two baby girls – Remas, and Leen, who has Down syndrome — and a six-year-old boy, Salah, who arrived with his mother on Sunday during the siren. In the midst of some of the fiercest fighting, they managed to come by car from Khan Yunis to Gaza City, and then by ambulance to the Erez crossing, where they were met by Israelis and brought to Wolfson.

 

There are Palestinians from the West Bank too, including six-month-old Losen, who was in surgery when the sirens went off. Her father, Ahmad Faygan, 30, a municipality worker from Tul Karem, said the only thing he could think about as the sirens blared was whether the surgeons would abandon his daughter to take to the shelters. They didn’t. There are five Iraqi children, and 18 others from Kosovo, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zanzibar – all mixed in together.

 

SACH is the largest program of its kind in the world. Aside from bringing children to Israel for lifesaving surgery, the organization trains physicians, goes on missions abroad to operate on kids, and has a weekly clinic on Tuesdays for children in the West Bank and Gaza. The 70 to 80 medical staff involved in the program all work voluntarily. All medical costs for most of the patients are covered by SACH.

 

The organization was conceived by US immigrant Dr. Amram Cohen, and founded in 1995 by Cohen and Dr. Sion Houri, now head of the pediatric intensive care unit at Wolfson. It began with Ethiopian children and broadened to include children from 44 countries. Cohen died in 2001 in a climbing accident on Mount Kilimanjaro.

 

Some 3,000 children have had surgery at Wolfson through SACH, of which about half are Palestinian, and 70 percent of these from Gaza. SACH also sends Israeli doctors to train cardiologists and treat patients in the developing world. In addition, SACH personnel at Wolfson train medical practitioners from developing countries — so far, nearly 80 doctors, including about 20 Palestinians – and work intensively with doctors in Tanzania and Ethiopia….

 

Does being in a conflict with Gaza make a difference to the staff? “From outside it might look strange, but here it’s routine,” says Houri, as he walks the wards of the pediatric department greeting patients, parents and nursing staff in a mix of Hebrew, Arabic and English. “It’s Middle East logic: At the same time we are bombing each other, a mother comes with her son from Gaza for surgery. Missiles are falling, but we carry on as usual. For us it’s normal to be so abnormal….

\

For the parents and children from Gaza right now, it’s no doubt a surreal experience. Their leadership is at war with Israel, militants are firing hundreds of missiles at Israeli cities and towns, and their own families are sheltering from Israeli retaliation. But here in Israel they are treated warmly and compassionately, and – most important of all – their children are being given vital surgery. “We are very glad to be here for the operation, but we really feel for our family back home,” says Dahud. “We aren’t frightened for ourselves; we’re frightened for them in Gaza. We feel more protected here.”

 

“We have family in Gaza and we’re very much afraid of what’s happening there, but we aren’t nervous about being here in Israel,” says 26-year-old Anfam Faygan, mother of Losen. “We have some anxieties about being hit by a missile, but we don’t feel any different from the other parents in the hospital. They treat our daughter as they would their own.” It’s her daughter’s second operation at Wolfson. Her first was at the age of 10 days. Her final corrective surgery was on Sunday. “The parents and children feel very safe in Israel,” remarks Houri, whose son is now serving in the Israel Defense Forces. “You can see they feel good, by their smiles.”

 

He remembers an incident some years ago when two Israeli soldiers in Ramallah were lynched by a mob of Palestinians. At the same time a Palestinian mother was at Wolfson with her child. “She was sitting outside the ward and she was completely white,” says Houri. “I had to calm her down. Here, now, people don’t seem to be in much anxiety. Their main concern is that people at home might get hurt, not that they are here amongst Israelis.”

 

Does all this work with Gaza have an impact on the situation? “Judging by the amount of missiles that have fallen on Israel, it doesn’t seem to,” says Houri ruefully. “We just have to do what we can. People know the reality. It’s not just one child from Gaza that we’ve operated on, it’s not something that can be hidden away. We’ve operated on hundreds of children. We’ve had all kinds of reactions over the years. At Wolfson, Palestinian and Israeli mothers sit down and talk to each other for the first time.”…

 

In the meantime, Mohamed is still anxiously waiting for his turn. If his blood tests improve, the operation should go ahead next week. His grandfather, who worked for 40 years in Israel, hopes that one day the situation between Gaza and Israel will improve.

 

“I used to travel all over the country for work and then go home afterwards,” he says passionately. “I’m hoping that these days will come again.”

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

HIDING JEWISH ORIGINS IS FUTILE AND PATHETIC

Rabbi Dov Marmur

Canadian Jewish News, November 15, 2012

 

The formal notice of the passing of  Walter Carsen, the renowned Canadian patron of the arts who died last month shortly after his 100th birthday, stated that he was “of German origin.” He’s said to have described himself as “European.” In fact, he was Jewish, as are his two children, which they only found out from their mother when they were in their teens. Carsen’s parents were murdered in Auschwitz. For much of his life, he was estranged from his brother who had escaped to South America, perhaps because the latter had affirmed his Jewishness.

 

In a lengthy obituary by Paula Citron in the Globe and Mail on Oct. 13, [2012], we read that Carsen was born in Cologne into a family of assimilated Jews, fled to England to escape the Nazis and was deported to Canada as “an enemy alien” together with other Jews, many of whom came to play and important role in this country.

 

But when another deportee, Eric Koch, was preparing his book about the deportation, Carsen refused to be interviewed. Citron remarks, echoing a statement by Carsen’s daughter, that “his inability to come to terms with the Holocaust continued throughout his life.”

 

Like for so many assimilated Jews, “kultur” seems to have become for Carsen a substitute for religion. The universal nature of the arts may have appealed to him as a tool in his delusion that patronage would submerge his Jewish identity. Even his real surname, in the words of the obituary, “became part of his lost history.”

 

The story of Walter Carsen brings to mind countless others, among them Robert Maxwell, the British politician and media baron. He was born in what later became Czechoslovakia into a Yiddish-speaking family.  Virtually all of its members perished in the Shoah.  For a long time, he tried to conceal his Jewish origins and was even said to read the Lesson in the Anglican Church close to his stately home.

 

Encouraged by his non-Jewish wife and probably provoked by antisemitic slurs as his business empire began to unravel, he came to acknowledge his roots by promoting Holocaust education and supporting Israel. He was buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. One of the eulogies was delivered by then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, in which he hinted at Maxwell’s services to Israeli intelligence….

 

Unlike Carsen, who by all accounts was a very successful and highly respected businessman, Maxwell turned out to have stolen countless millions from his company. This and his alleged involvement with Israeli intelligence gave rise to many speculations about how he died.

 

In her memoir,  A Mind of My Own,  his wife, Elizabeth, explores the complexity of her husband’s character and his burning desire for acceptance. She seeks to fathom what it does for a person’s identity when it’s coupled with an insatiable urge for wealth and recognition, and manifest in the mistaken – in Maxwell’s case – the belief that having survived Hitler makes you invincible….

 

The late Chaim Bermant, a distinguished British-Jewi8sh journalist and author, wrote about Maxwell: “The fact that he had fought in the war and been decorated for valour by Montgomery, that he had a stately home in Oxford, was a member of Parliament and was married to a Christian woman who was every inch a lady, did not, however, make him an English gentleman.”

 

Canada is more accommodating to ambitious immigrants. The fact that Carsen had given away most of his fortune to the arts, that he was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Order of Canada, and that several institutions and funds bear his name did make him the Canadian equivalent to a British gentleman.

 

But it’s tragic that in the process he should have tried to conceal his Jewishness.  Had he acknowledged his origins with pride, it’s very likely that he would have died no less honoured but very much happier. Carsen and his ilk remind us that hiding one’s Jewishness is both futile and pathetic.

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

New Jewish Museum to Open Next Year in Warsaw: Dr. Catherine Chatterley, Winnipeg Jewish Review, Oct. 25, 2012 —The new Museum of the History of Polish Jews is scheduled to open in Warsaw in early 2013. Designed by Finnish architect Rainer Mahlamäki …the museum is built on the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto facing the famous Rappaport monument depicting the Ghetto Fighters.

 

 

Why Was There War In Gaza?: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Nov. 22, 2012—Why was there an Israel-Gaza war in the first place? Resistance to the occupation, say Hamas and many in the international media. What occupation? Seven years ago, in front of the world, Israel pulled out of Gaza.

 

The Truth About Gaza: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 19, 2012—I was wrong to support Israel's 'disengagement' from the Strip in 2005. The diplomatic and public-relations benefit Israel derives from being able to defend itself from across a "border" and without having to get into an argument about settlements isn't worth the price Israelis have had to pay in lives and terror.

 

 

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.

 

 

Ber Lazarus, Publications Editor, 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

HISTORY’S MOVED ON: ARAB WOUNDS SELF-INFLICTED, WHILE IRAN’S BOMB, NOT GAZA, IS ISRAEL’S PROBLEM

Contents:                             Download Today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf 

 

 

In the Shoes of an Israeli : Charles Bybelezer, Front Page Magazine, Nov. 22, 2012 —It is an abstract exercise to envision, however inadequately, but I have often wondered: what would it be like to live amid a constant barrage of rockets, dashing for shelter with every renewed blast of the siren?

It’s about Tehran, not Gaza: Mike Evans, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 21, 2012—As missiles supplied to Iran’s proxy Hamas fly over the nation of Israel another source for concern hovers at the back of the minds of Israel’s leaders: Iran’s nuclear program.

 

Will the Arab Spring Deliver for Hamas?: Fouad Ajami, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 20, 2012—Mr. Morsi didn't rise to power to carry the burden of the Palestinian question. Egyptians could rightly claim that they had paid their dues for Palestine. Enough was enough…

 

Arab Columnists Criticize Hamas: MEMRI, Nov. 20, 2012—Alongside the official Arab condemnations of Israel's attack on Gaza, and the popular protests against it in some of the Arab countries, there has also been criticism against Hamas. This criticism is mainly voiced in the countries of the moderate Arab camp (headed by the Gulf states, the PA and elements in Egypt), which opposes the resistance camp (headed by Iran, Syria and Hizbullah)..

On Topic Links

Israel’s Gaza Options: Prof. Frederick Krantz, Isranet, December 31, 2009

Palestinian Ambassador: Hamas Must Go: Barak Ravid, Ha’aretz, Nov.21, 2012

Human Rights Hypocrisy in Gaza: Gerald M. Steinberg, National Post, Nov 20, 21012

Hamas Violence Forcing Israel to Defend Itself: Joel Lion, The Montreal Gazette, Nov. 21, 2012

Behind The Scenes: Israel's Decision to Accept Gaza Truce: Barak Ravid, Ha’aretz, Nov.22, 2012

Israel's Pillar of Defense Achieved its Goals: Aluf Benn, Ha’aretz, Nov. 22, 2012

 

 

IN THE SHOES OF AN ISRAELI
Charles Bybelezer

Front Page Magazine, November 22, 2012
 

I often try to place myself in the skin of an Israeli southerner. It is an abstract exercise to envision, however inadequately, but I have often wondered: what would it be like to live amid a constant barrage of rockets, dashing for shelter with every renewed blast of the siren? But never did I conceive actually taking a small step in their shoes.

 

Such was the case last week, as the “Code Red” early warning rocket alarm system blared throughout Tel Aviv for the first time since the Gulf War in 1991. As I looked out my window, the tension was palpable. Nobody so much as flinched. It took 30 seconds—what seemed like a small eternity—for the enormity of the situation to sink in. As people regained their senses, panic set in, sending everyone racing for cover.  And then the explosion.
 

The whole surreal sequence lasted all of 45 seconds—less than one minute to find shelter; not a bomb shelter, mind you, as there simply is no time, but rather any enclosed space, devoid of windows of course, preferably a hallway or staircase. Fourty-five seconds. Count it out. In Israel, it can be the difference between life and death.

 

Tragically, three more Israelis fell victim to this harsh reality last week, after their apartment building in Kiryat Malachi was struck by a rocket fired by Gaza-based Palestinian terrorists, The missile was one of approximately 1000 fired towards Israel from the Strip between Wednesday and Sunday, following the launch of Operation Pillar of Defense, a military offensive which saw the Israel Air Force strike an equal number of terror targets in Gaza over the same period.

 

It is important to keep this in mind as accusations of “disproportionality” inevitably begin to be hurled from all directions at Israel. It is hogwash. The Jewish state cannot be faulted—but rather should be hailed—for investing billions of dollars to develop a technological miracle: Iron Dome. By intercepting in the last week upwards of 300 rockets destined for Israeli civilian centers, the anti-missile defense system saved countless Israeli lives. Likewise, it also saved Palestinian lives, which surely would have been lost in the event the IDF was forced to retaliate to a direct hit, say, on Tel Aviv.
 

This is in stark contrast to Hamas’ practice of concealing weaponry in residential buildings, schools, hospitals and mosques thereby guaranteeing the unnecessary loss of life despite the precision of Israeli strikes.  On this point, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s statement to the foreign press at the outset of Pillar of Defense was particularly poignant:

“Seven years ago, Israel withdrew from every square inch of Gaza. Now, Hamas took over the areas we vacated. What did it do? Rather than build a better future for the residents of Gaza, the Hamas leadership, backed by Iran, turned Gaza into a terrorist stronghold.  I’m stressing this because it’s important to understand that there is no moral symmetry; there is no moral equivalence, between Israel and the terrorist organizations in Gaza. The terrorists are committing a double war crime. They fire at Israeli civilians, and they hide behind Palestinian civilians.”

 

The fact of the matter is that Israel had no choice but to act, given that residents of the south have been living in a state of paralysis for nearly a month. The mission, after all, was initiated only after Palestinians fired over 150 rockets into southern Israel from November 9- 11; mass terror attacks which came on the heels of the more than 100 rockets fired from Gaza into the Jewish state in a span of 24 hours in late October.

 

But with restraint comes consequences, and the bitter truth is that, even with this temporary ceasefire in place, it may be too late to defuse the Gaza ticking time bomb. The geopolitical conditions in the region have changed, and Hamas’ newfound assertiveness is the direct outcome of the emergence in Egypt of its progenitor and patron, the Muslim Brotherhood….

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi made this clear by recalling Egypt’s ambassador to Israel at the onset of the “brutal assault” on Gaza. Last Friday he vowed that “Cairo will not leave Gaza on its own. Egypt today is not the Egypt of yesterday.” In a further show of solidarity, an Egyptian prime minister for the first time travelled to the Strip; the visit was, in Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh’s words, “a message to the occupation.”

 

The nature of that message was repeatedly conveyed throughout Hesham Kandil’s trip—the beginning of which was supposed to usher in a three hour ceasefire—with the launching of fifty rockets at Israel, including two at Tel Aviv. That Egypt’s new Islamist government backs Gaza’s terrorist rulers was expressly confirmed by Hamas’ armed wing, which claimed responsibility for the attack on Tel Aviv while Kandil was still in the coastal enclave….

 

The point is this: when strategic threats are permitted to fester, they inevitably intensify. In this respect, for far too long one million Israelis living in the south were left to endure inhumane conditions. The eventual outcome of inaction in the face of terror was entirely predictable: what was tolerated in Sderot became the norm in Ashdod and Ashkelon, and then in Beersheva. Now, the rockets are being fired at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, as the front lines of the Arab-Islamic war against Israel shift to the heart of the country.

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

IT’S ABOUT TEHRAN, NOT GAZA

Mike Evans

Jerusalem Post, November 21, 2012

 

As missiles supplied to Iran’s proxy Hamas fly over the nation of Israel another source for concern hovers at the back of the minds of Israel’s leaders: Iran’s nuclear program. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency almost 3,000 machines used to produce nuclear fuel have been mounted at the underground military facility near the city of Qom. This move doubles Iran’s ability to generate medium grade, or 20 percent enriched, uranium in the months ahead.

 

What is the global significance of this action? By March or April 2013, Iran’s military could possess enough uranium for one viable atomic weapon. At that point, the fanatical Muslim leaders in the country will have reached the “red line” indicated by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu [at the UN]. It is at that point Israel’s leaders must determine not if, but when to take action to protect its populace….

 

Leaders in Tehran continue to assert that Iran’s nuclear program is only for domestic use. According to sources, Iran’s stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 percent amounts to 232 kilograms of which approximately 96 kilos could be used in the production of a weapon. Knowledgeable experts assess that another 120 to 150 kilograms would be needed for the production of a nuclear bomb.

 

With the Qom plant fully operational, and by restructuring the centrifuges, Iran could easily convert the store of uranium to weapons-grade within months. The changes at the facility in Qom are of particular concern to IAEA negotiators, to the United States, to Europe, and particularly to Israel. It is feared that the nuclear installation in Qom is invulnerable to attacks by air.

 

Thus far, United Nations Security Council talks with Iran’s officials have produced no discernible outcome, and frankly why should they have? Despite the 80% drop in the value of the Iranian currency, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have seen nothing to make them believe the US or its European allies would make any move to stop Iran’s forward motion….

 

Also of great concern to the Israelis is a report that a freighter is en route from Bandar Abbas to Gaza with a payload of 220 short range and 50 Fajr-5 missiles with larger warheads and greater range than those Hamas possessed at the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense.

 

The cargo on the freighter would replace the dwindling stockpile of missiles fired into Israel since November 10. To cover its tracks, the ship has changed names and ownership several times since its launch. She departed Bandar Abbas as the Vali-e-Asr under the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines. On the South Pacific Island of Tuvalu, its name was changed to the Cargo Star and hosted a Tuvalu flag….
 

Intelligence sources have also revealed that Revolutionary Guard Units from Iran are serving as advisers to the Gaza terrorists.  What better way for Iran to conceal its determination to distract Israel, and the world, from its nuclear program than to begin a skirmish with the Jewish nation?

 

The writer is a New York Times bestselling author. His latest book is Seven Days, a new fiction book telling the riveting story of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

WILL THE ARAB SPRING DELIVER FOR HAMAS?

Fouad Ajami

Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2012

 

'Egypt of today is entirely different from the Egypt of yesterday, and the Arabs of today are not the Arabs of yesterday." So said Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi after Friday prayers last week, adding: "We will not leave Gaza alone."

 

And Gaza will not leave Mr. Morsi alone. As in decades past, Egypt is playing mediator between the Palestinians and Israel—but Mr. Morsi finds himself in a more precarious position than his predecessors. He has been involved in a delicate balancing act since his election in June, mindful of his indebtedness to the Hamas-allied Muslim Brotherhood that brought him to power and of his need not to alienate his foreign-aid benefactors in Washington….

 

Mr. Morsi didn't rise to power to carry the burden of the Palestinian question. The 18 magical days of protests in Tahrir Square that upended the military regime, and the elections that followed, weren't about pan-Arab duties. Egyptians could rightly claim that they had paid their dues for Palestine. Enough was enough—the last of Egypt's four wars with Israel (in 1973) appeared to deliver a binding verdict: Egypt would put behind it the furies and the dangers of the struggle of Palestine. Yet here was Mr. Morsi indulging the radicalism and ruinous ways of Hamas when even the Palestinians have fed off  that diet for far too long.

 

It is commonplace to observe that the Arab Awakening of 2011-12 has remade the region, that the rise of Islamist governments in Egypt and Tunisia, and the rebellion in Syria, have brought a new balance of Arab forces. The men of Hamas could see this new landscape as favorable to their kind of politics. Hamas fought a fratricidal war against its rival, Fatah, and the prize in 2007 was Gaza's virtual secession, under Hamas rule, from the Palestinian National Authority in the West Bank. The established Arab states had cast their lot with the "legitimate" order of Fatah, and Hamas was left to the isolation of Gaza….

 

But the Arab rebellions suddenly gave Hamas a reprieve from this dilemma. The secular regimes toppled, and political Islam began riding what looked like an irresistible historical wave. Gone was the Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak, who had been a partner of Israel in the blockade that isolated Gaza. Hamas could read his demise as evidence that 'collaborationist" regimes aren't destined to last.

 

The ascendancy of the Muslim Brotherhood in Tunisia and Egypt only added to Hamas's conviction that history was breaking its way. Throughout their modern history, the Palestinians have looked for a redeemer—a man, a power—that could spare them the rigors of a compromise with their Zionist adversaries…

 

Then, as luck would have it, there was the emir of Qatar, eager for a role beyond his small principality. He has vast treasure and sway over the Qatari-based satellite channel al-Jazeera. He bet big on the Libyan revolution against Moammar Gadhafi and on the Syrian rebellion, and he had some sympathy for Hamas. Last month, the emir made a highly publicized visit to Gaza, bringing aid of $400 million and the promise of more.  So an Egyptian-Turkish-Qatari alliance formed….

 

On Sunday [Nov. 18] in Egypt’s leading official daily, Al-Ahram, I came upon a daring column by one of that paper’s writers, Hazem Abdul Rahman. The solution lies in the development of Egypt, not in Gaza, he observed. He minced no words: President Morsi wasn’t elected to serve the cause of Palestine—his mandate was the “pursuit of bread, freedom, and social justice.” The popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood has eroded, but it cannot find salvation in foreign policy: “That road is blocked, the other players are ill-intentioned, including Hamas, Syria, Hezbollah, Iran, even the United States.”

 

Mr. Abdul Rahman didn’t think much of Mr. Morsi’s decision to withdraw the Egyptian ambassador to Israel after its counterattack against Hamas began last week. Egypt needed its ambassador there to conduct its own diplomacy, the columnist said, and this was nothing more than grandstanding.

 

The Palestinians ignore a fundamental truth about the Arab Awakenings at their peril. These rebellions were distinctly national affairs, emphasizing the primacy of home and its needs. Indeed, the Palestinians themselves have bristled in indignation that the pan-Arab media have zealously covered Syria while all but ignoring Palestine, which was the obsession of the 1960s and 1970s.

 

History has moved on, and Arab populations have gone their separate ways. They caught on to the sobering conclusion that the cause of Palestine had been hijacked by military regimes and tyrants for their own ends. As they watched the Syrian fighter jets reduce so much of the fabled city of Aleppo to rubble, they understood that their wounds are self-inflicted, that their political maladies have nothing to do with Israel. Hamas better not press its luck. Palestinian deliverance lies in realism, and in an accommodation with Israel. Six decades of futility ought to have driven home so self-evident a lesson.

 

(Mr. Ajami is a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution and the author most recently of "The Syrian Rebellion" (Hoover Press, 2012)

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

ARAB COLUMNISTS CRITICIZE HAMAS

MEMRI, November 20, 2012

 

Alongside the official Arab condemnations of Israel's attack on Gaza, and the popular protests against it in some of the Arab countries, there has also been criticism against Hamas. This criticism is mainly voiced in the countries of the moderate Arab camp (headed by the Gulf states, the PA and elements in Egypt), which opposes the resistance camp (headed by Iran, Syria and Hizbullah). The following are excerpts from some of the articles: 

 

Egyptian Columnists: Hamas's Actions Have Devastating Consequences

 

Gamal Al-Ghitani, editor of the weekly culture supplement of the Egyptian government daily Al-Akhbar, claimed in an article that Hamas's policy is never intended for the good of the Palestinian interest, and expressed fear that this policy would be used by Israel as a pretext to occupy Sinai: "There is nothing that makes our hearts bleed like the pictures of the martyrs killed in Gaza as a result of Israeli fire and the mistakes of Hamas, which hijacked the [Gaza] Strip and its residents and forced them to accept its control and the control of its allies, in order to carry out a worrying policy that caused dire results. The most dangerous [result] is transforming the Palestinian cause from a national cause based on land and people to a religious issue…

 

"Hamas's plans… are never meant to benefit Palestine and the Palestinian cause. On the contrary, they grant a golden opportunity to the Israeli extremists to initiate a war against the defenseless Palestinian people… Hamas and its dangerous policy… place the entire homeland under a threat, the most minimal devastating consequence of which would be granting Israel a pretext to invade Sinai and recapture it in response to military operations launched from Sinai by factions associated with jihad organizations like Al-Qaeda and with [organizations] linked to Hamas… We must act wisely and reconcile the national and pan-Arab interests.”

 

Ibrahim 'Issa, editor of the independent Egyptian daily Al-Dustour Al-Asli wrote: "It is our human, religious, and national duty to support the Palestinian people in Gaza without any bargaining. Avoiding [this duty] is a weakness and a disgrace. Notice that I call [to support] the Palestinian people – not Hamas – since Hamas's decisions can sometimes be useful and correct, but can sometimes be disastrous for the people… This is a movement that has not conducted new elections to demonstrate the people's consent or opposition to its policy, [even though] seven years have passed since the elections [that brought it to power], which were the first and last [elections it ever won]…"

 

Columnists: Gaza Is A Pawn On Iran's Chessboard

 

Lebanese journalist Khayrallah Khayrallah wrote on the liberal website elaph.com that the Gaza war is a result of Iran's wish to demonstrate its control over Gaza and the Muslim Brotherhood. The hope that Iran and Egypt would come to the Palestinians' rescue, he said, only reflects the breakdown of the Arabs' powers of reasoning: "The Palestinian people and their cause are nothing but a bargaining chip for Iran. Sadly, some Palestinians believe that Iran is on their side and that it will [help them] get back Jerusalem. Some Palestinians also believe today that Egypt can be counted upon to start a new war in the region, when Egypt… [actually] has other worries having to do with overcoming its deep political, economic and social crisis…
 

"The Palestinians still dream that some Arabs and Iranians will leap to their rescue. They do not understand that the Iranian missiles in their possession are merely a tool – [a means] by which Iran can [demonstrate] that it has the first and last word in Gaza and that it controls key parts of the Hamas movement, as well as some small [Gazan] organizations… This is a breakdown of Arab reasoning, which fails to grasp that the war currently raging [in Gaza reflects] Iran's desire to show the Arabs that it can use the Muslim Brotherhood to realize its goals…”

 

Egyptian journalist 'Imad Al-Din Adib wrote an article titled "Look For Iran In All That Happens" in the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. He stated: "Iran plays a devastating role in the Arab arena while exploiting the regional tensions during the Arab Spring revolutions in order to heat up the region and harass Tel Aviv and Washington, which could eventually lead them to agree to negotiate with Iran on Iran's own terms… The Iranians follow a simple philosophy: 'Start a fire in the region until the world complains about the flames and [world leaders] come to you asking for your intervention. Then you can bargain with them and receive what you want'…

 

"Iran wants [to bargain for] three main things: recognition of its nuclear capabilities; the lifting of the trade and economic embargo; and the restoration of its [relations with the world]  and admission into the international community on all levels… "The countries burned by the fire Iran started now see it as the 'Great Satan,' which ignites the fires of tension in the region… We are [merely] a pawn on the Iranian chessboard, and Iran does not care if the region is set on fire, if its economy is ruined, or if everyone is standing on the brink of a devastating war."

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

Israel’s Gaza Options: Prof. Frederick Krantz, CIJR Isranet, Dec 31, 2009 —Hamas is a Sunni Islamic radical terrorist organization whose primary raison d’etre, clearly expressed in its founding covenant, is the destruction of Jewish Israel.  

 

Palestinian Ambassador: Hamas Must Go: Barak Ravid, Ha’aretz, Nov.21, 2012 —As the Israel Air Force continued to pulverize Gaza and Hamas fired rockets at the south of Israel last Monday, an Israeli ambassador telephoned his Palestinian counterpart. Both officials have served for several years in the capital of the same major country.

 

Human Rights Hypocrisy In Gaza: Gerald M. Steinberg, National Post, Nov 20, 21012—Human rights and international law, or at least the accompanying rhetoric, are an integral part of 21st-century warfare. In Iraq, Afghanistan and whenever Israel acts to defend its citizens, a cacophony of United Nations ideologues and their allies in groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch automatically condemn the use of force as a “war crime.”

 

Israel's Pillar Of Defense Achieved Its Goals: Aluf Benn, Ha’aretz, Nov.22, 2012 —Its objectives: to reinstate the Gaza cease-fire with Hamas, which had unraveled in recent months, and to stabilize the peace with Egypt now that the Muslim Brotherhood is in power.

 

Hamas Violence Forcing Israel To Defend Itself: Joel Lion, The Montreal Gazette, Nov. 21, 2012—But while suffering is of course universal, the symmetry that has been played over again and again is only an illusion. A closer examination of the facts paints a different picture, one that is far from symmetrical.

 

Behind The Scenes Of Israel's Decision To Accept Gaza Truce: Barak Ravid, Ha’aretz, Nov.22, 2012—The Israeli decision to accept the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire deal was made after two days of fierce disputes among the triumverate of top Israeli ministers that led the operation in Gaza, as well as the broader forum of nine.

 

 

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.

 

 

Ber Lazarus, Publications Editor, 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

GAZA WAR: WESTERN MEDIA, STATES DON’T GET IT: ONLY FORCE CAN DETER TERRORIST WAR CRIMES

Contents:                             Download Today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf 

 

Western Media Elites Just Don’t Get the Middle East: Barry Rubin, Jewish Press, Nov. 18, 2012 —The elite currently in power in the Western mass media is never going to comprehend the Middle East. There is a problem with bias, for sure, but the big problem is the impenetrable ignorance of the very people who are entrusted with explaining the region to others.

 

Israel’s Just War: Jonathan Kay, National Post, Nov 19, 2012 — Were Israel truly to unleash its firepower in the manner of, say, Bashar Assad against his own people (37,000 dead and counting in Syria — as opposed to about 100 in Gaza during the current campaign), then all of Gaza would be a smoking ruin, and a million desperate Gazan refugees would be streaming into Egypt.

 

In Support of a Ground Offensive: Efraim Inbar and Max Singer, Mid East Forum, Nov. 19, 2012—In our view, an armored push into Gaza in order to deal the Hamas military wing a decisive blow is necessary. From a strategic, long-term perspective, Israel cannot avoid confronting Hamas head-on, and must take action sooner rather than later.

Hamas Uses Palestinian Children As Human Shields: InfoLive.TV, Jan 1, 2010—A short video presenting visual evidence of the long-standing Hamas tactic of exploiting civilians as human shields, and civilian buildings as cover for terrorist attacks. 

 

On Topic Links

 

Who Wants to Defeat Hamas?: Neville Teller, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2012

Should Israel Agree to a Cease-fire?: Robert Spencer, Front Page Magazine, Nov 20, 2012

Palestinian State 2.0: Asaf Romirowsky, YNet News, November 1, 2012
The ‘Kids’ Behind IDF’s Media: Allison Hoffman, Tablet Magazine, November 20, 2012

When Did Hamas Become Secular?: Hanin Ghaddar, Now Lebanon, November 19, 2012

 

 

WESTERN MEDIA ELITES JUST DON’T GET THE MIDDLE EAST
Barry Rubin

Jewish Press, November 18, 2012

 

The elite currently in power in the Western mass media is never going to comprehend the Middle East. There is a problem with bias, for sure, but the big problem is the impenetrable ignorance of the very people who are entrusted with explaining the region to others. They insist on imposing their own misconceptions on the situation while ignoring the evidence.

 

Consider Janine Zacharia. What a distinguished resume: Jerusalem bureau chief and Middle East Correspondent for the Washington Post (2009-2011); chief diplomatic correspondent for Bloomberg News (2005-2009) and before that five years working for the Jerusalem Post in Washington DC and another five years working for Reuters and other publications from Jerusalem. Right now she’s a visiting lecturer at Stanford University in communications.

 

Surely, such a person must understand the region’s issues and if anyone isn’t going to have an anti-Israel bias in the mass media it would be her. And she isn’t anti-Israel in a conscious, political sense. Indeed, she obviously views herself as being sympathetic. Rather, it is her assumptions that make her type of views inevitably anti-Israel and more broadly inevitably destructive of U.S. interests on other issues.

So here’s her article in Slate. The title is “Why Israel’s Gaza Campaign is Doomed.” Not, why this response is the best of a set of difficult options; not why the world should support Israel; not why Hamas should be removed from power with international support but why Israel is wrong and stupid to fight. “Doomed” is a pretty strong word.

 

The subhead—adapted from Zacharia’s text—is “Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to bomb Hamas militants will leave Israel more isolated, insecure, and alone.” Not the decision of Israel’s unanimous leadership including first and foremost its military and defence experts but that of a prime minister who now plays a role for the American media most closely approximated to that held by former President George W. Bush.

 

And by defending itself against an onslaught of rockets—120 in one week–Israel will be worse off even though by the way every Western country I’m aware of has supported Israel. Why will Israel be more isolated, insecure, and alone? Because the unspoken assumption of the Western media elite is that anyone who uses force, even in self-defence, ends up worse off.

 

It is quite reasonable to state that the campaign will not end the problem. Everyone in Israel and in Israel’s leadership and all the generals and Netanyahu know this very well. They also know that a country that does not defend itself and maintain its credibility and deterrence is going to end up doomed, isolated, insecure, and alone.

 

They also know that the best that can be expected given this situation is to force Hamas to deescalate for two or three years before the next round. One of the goals of the operation is to destroy the large military stockpiles–especially longer-range missiles–that Hamas has accumulated since 2009. Thus, Hamas will have to start all over again to smuggle in weapons. The next time they start a war it will be from a far weaker position than if they had not taken such losses….

 

Zacharia…faithfully represents the current standpoint of the Western elite. Here is her prescription: “Israel needs a far more sophisticated, diplomatic, long-term strategic policy for dealing with Gaza and all the threats around it—from Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and perhaps Egypt. A new Israeli approach may have to include a willingness to at least try talking to Hamas, which is fighting its own internal battle against even more radical, anti-Israel groups in the Gaza Strip. It may mean putting more pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, languishing in irrelevance in Ramallah, to make peace with Hamas so there can be negotiations with Israel and a permanent end to this rocket-war madness.”

 

[For Zacharia:]

 

–The “Palestinian militant groups” want to drag Israel into an all-out war. Therefore, she reasons, Israel is foolish to engage in such a war. But the other side wanting a war that Israel prefers to avoid has been a common feature of Israeli history as in 1948, 1967, and 2006. The Palestinian leadership and Arab states misjudge the balance of forces (that is, they don’t know they lose) or feel such a losing war is worthwhile to mobilize popular support and to prove the individual group involved (in this case Hamas) is the best and most courageous of Fedayeen.

 

–The other side consists of “militant groups.” The problem with avoiding the word “terrorist” is not that it sanitizes those attacking Israel but that it downgrades their ideology and intentions. Hamas openly declares it will destroy Israel and commit genocide against Jews generally. Terrorism is a tactic. What lies behind it is a desire to murder all the civilians on the enemy side, whether or not any specific attack succeeds in killing a few of them….

 

–The fault is with Israel. It doesn’t have a proper diplomatic policy, you see, because there’s no willingness to talk to Hamas. Does Hamas [not have a] character of its own? Might it have an ideology and goals of its own? Might Hamas be to Israel what al-Qaida is to the United States?

 

If one actually knew anything about Hamas–and Israelis have three decades of experience in studying, fighting, and dealing with it—the idea of a negotiated solution would be ridiculous….Yet Zacharia is blaming Israel for not being good enough to negotiate a deal with a group whose televised children’s shows call for the physical extinction of Israel, the mass murder of its inhabitants, and future careers for kiddies as suicide bombers.

 

–Hamas is fighting even more radical groups in the Gaza Strip and therefore it must be moderate or at least potentially so. That isn’t really true. Of course, Hamas cracks down on groups that attack its own rule or prove to be inconvenient. But far more often it cooperates with Islamic Jihad and even al-Qaida affiliated groups. These attack Israel with Hamas’s cooperation and forbearance and then Hamas can claim innocence, thus waging war and claiming it isn’t doing anything at all. This is a transparent ploy but one that, as with Zacharia, many influential people in the West buy hook, line, and sinker.

 

–Israel can “put pressure” on Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, which rules the West Bank, and end the attacks from the Gaza Strip permanently. Yet anybody—much less a journalist who spent years dealing with the Middle East—should know that Abbas has zero influence in the Gaza Strip and any deal he makes (and he doesn’t intend to make one) will have no effect on Hamas or the Gaza Strip….

 

In other words, what Zacharia writes—and this is common throughout Western academic, media, and governmental circles—is completely absurd. The solution not being taken up is to overthrow Hamas just like the Taliban was overthrown in Afghanistan…But there is zero support in the West for bringing down Hamas. President Barack Obama helped bring a pro-Hamas regime in Egypt. And the man who never pressured Abbas pressured Israel to reduce sanctions on the Gaza Strip, thus helping Hamas remain in power so it can continue firing rockets at Israel.

 

I do not expect the mass media to improve nor do I have any hope of educating the journalists who write this kind of thing. They are not going to change in the near- or even medium-term future. Hence, they will be ignored instead. Equally, the governments who follow this kind of line will have no effect—at least no positive effect—on regional problems. The new feature of the last few years is that the U.S. government has contributed to making things much worse.
 

And that’s why there will be no “permanent end” to this rocket war madness or all of the other varieties of madness that are getting worse in the region. It is the policy of those people who do not understand what they are talking about or dealing with who are doomed. They are the ones who need a new policy.

 

Top of Page

 

 

ISRAEL’S JUST WAR

Jonathan Kay

National Post, Nov 19, 2012

 

This is the third time the world has seen this tragedy performed. Act I was in 2006, during Israel’s Lebanon War with Hezbollah. Act II played out in 2008 and early 2009, with the first Gaza War. And now Act III is being performed, once again in Gaza.

 

In all three instances, the pattern has been the same: A militant group provokes Israel through kidnapping, bombardment or terrorist attacks. When Israel’s collective tolerance reaches its limit, the IDF returns fire with its larger arsenal. In 2006 and 2008, Israel followed up with a ground invasion.

 

The media coverage also follows a predictable pattern. In all three cases described above, international reports generally were fairly balanced until such time as Israel actually exercised its right to self-defence. At that point, reporters began turning the struggle into a David-vs-Goliath narrative that ignores the morally essential question of who started the conflict.

 

As the conflicts dragged on, even the terrorists’ most hideous tactics — deliberately targeting civilian population centers — were re-imagined as heroic gestures of defiance. Great attention has been paid to the cheers of glee that always rise up among Arabs when some feeble trophy — destroying an Israeli house, or spreading temporary panic in the southern part of the country — is won.

 

The missile sites and rocket-launching cells that Israel destroys, on the other hand, receive relatively scant attention. Hamas and Hezbollah minders have little interest in taking a BBC or CBC reporter to see the wreckage of Iranian-made munitions….

 

Given the close confines of Gaza, and the cynical manner by which Hamas stores and operates its weapons near civilian areas, it is a tribute to Israel that the body count is not higher in the current conflict. But that is no comfort to the Arab parents, siblings and spouses who have seen their loved ones killed by Israeli weapons. This includes the surviving members of the Dalu family, whose two-storey home was demolished on Sunday, killing 12 at one blow. However this war came about, and whatever the religion of the victims, that is a hideous human tragedy, full stop.

 

Such examples show that Gazans are double victims — politically enslaved to warmongering Hamas Islamists, and also physically endangered when Israel inevitably retaliates. Even in death, these victims are exploited in lurid funereal displays that feature the corpses of young children held aloft by shrieking cadres as propaganda totems for the benefit of YouTube.

 

All wars are hell — which is why Hamas and Hezbollah, were they led by rational and humane men instead of unhinged anti-Semites, wouldn’t start them. What needs to be remembered — despite all the emotional power that the image of even one bloodied Arab child musters in the eye of the observer — is that Israel has done everything in its power to cut through the fog of war, and focus its firepower on missiles and militants.

 

Remember, too: Were Israel truly to unleash its firepower in the manner of, say, Bashar Assad against his own people (37,000 dead and counting in Syria — as opposed to about 100 in Gaza during the current campaign), then all of Gaza would be a smoking ruin, and a million desperate Gazan refugees would be streaming into Egypt.

 

Incidentally, if one substitutes the word “Jew” for “Gazan,” and “the sea” for “Egypt,” the apocalyptic scenario imagined in the immediately previous sentence is precisely the exterminationist fantasy that propels Hamas and Hezbollah jihadists to turn Gaza and southern Lebanon into one big suicide cadre.

 

As polls demonstrate, Israelis are proud of the way the war has been conducted on their side. Meanwhile, the country’s Iron Dome anti-missile system has shown residents that the IDF has an emerging answer to “asymmetric” Hamas and Hezbollah aggression. Widely cheered scenes of Iron Dome intercepting missiles over Tel Aviv actually have served to bring the nation together and raise morale — an ironic effect given jihadis’ delusion that their missile attacks can bring Israel to its knees.

 

Hamas no doubt will invent reasons to claim “victory” when the current conflict ends. But perhaps once all the bodies are buried, they will have time to reflect on how cruel and ultimately pointless their campaign against Israel has become.

 

But if they don’t, Israeli generals will be ready to do this all over again a few years from now, in Act IV. Israel can’t make Palestinian terrorists stop hating Jews. But they can teach them hate’s consequences as many times as it takes. Don’t blame Benjamin Netanyahu if they’re slow learners.

 

Top of Page

 

 

IN SUPPORT OF A GROUND OFFENSIVE

Efraim Inbar and Max Singer

Mid East Forum, November 19, 2012

 

For nearly a week, Israel has been under attack from terrorist elements in Gaza, primarily Hamas. As the Israeli air force and navy respond with surgical, targeted strikes on Hamas facilities, the government is weighing the possibility of ordering a ground offensive too.

 

In our view, an armored push into Gaza in order to deal the Hamas military wing a decisive blow is necessary. From a strategic, long-term perspective, Israel cannot avoid confronting Hamas head-on, and must take action sooner rather than later. For Israel to restore quiet to its borders and ensure its survival in the new Middle East, Arab governments and terror organizations must feel that it would be a mistake for them to militarily challenge Israel. Israel must demonstrate that even in the face of great political pressures it is strong enough and willing, when necessary, to take vigorous action.

 

While strong Israeli action carries serious risks, strength and victory also bring many benefits. In the current and developing environment Israel has no safe or good choices; it will have to take dangerous actions. Acting later will be more dangerous than acting now, and sooner or later Israel will be forced to act.

 

For some time, we have advocated the need to respond to attacks from Gaza with a large-scale military operation. We said that if no such action was taken, the attacks against Israel would surely increase, and indeed they have. Gaza is small enough for Israel to destroy most of the infrastructure and the leadership of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the other terrorist organizations that are based there. The goal of such a ground offensive would be to restore deterrence and signal an Israeli determination to battle the rising Islamist forces in the region. By acting sooner in Gaza, Israel will also greatly reduce the missile retaliation it would face if and when it strikes Iran's nuclear facilities.

 

Current political conditions seem to weigh in Israel's favor for an incursion into Gaza now. Hamas is politically weakened, and most of the Arab world is busy with pressing domestic issues, or with other crises such as Syria. Today we can again say that attacks on Israel will surely further increase if the IDF does not now take the drastic and dangerous action involved in a full-scale military invasion of Gaza. A smaller operation, akin to Cast Lead, will create at most another short postponement of attacks on Israeli civilians and will be followed by further escalation.

 

When its environment is benign, a country should act prudently and cautiously avoid trouble. But Israel already lives in a different kind of environment, and there is every reason to expect that this environment will become more hostile in the next few years, as the Muslim Brotherhood comes to power in more countries and consolidates its position in Egypt, and as the West sinks deeper into modes of appeasement. In particular there is likely to be a higher cost to an attack on Hamas in the future as the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt strengthens its ties with the terror group.

 

If Israel tries to "accommodate" the current nasty diplomatic environment, it will gradually see its security eroded. Instead, Israel must boldly protect its interests and make sure that its enemies are afraid of potentially devastating consequences. As long as they believe that political pressures prevent the Jewish state from harming them, these enemies will inexorably and assuredly increase their attacks on Israel. This is due partly to natural strategy and partly to the temptation in each country to seek internal political gain by acting against Israel. With growing Muslim Brotherhood power, and the growing partial rivalry between the Brotherhood and Salafi jihadists in Egypt, the political pressure on Cairo to act against Israel will grow….

 

Deterrence will be created if the military branches of Hamas and the PIJ are decimated. In addition to deterrence, important practical military benefits will be gained by destroying the physical and human infrastructure that Hamas, PIJ, and other organizations have built up in Gaza, even though such infrastructure can be and will likely be rebuilt….

 

It is likely that Israel will face very great pressure, even from the US, to desist from such an operation. Israel should resist such pressure. It should explain to the US administration and to the public what its objectives in Gaza are – the destruction of the military organizations that are threatening and attacking Israel – and the necessity of staying in Gaza for the weeks required to achieve these objectives, which will postpone the next crisis as long as possible.

 

If Israel is diplomatically forced to abort the effort before achieving its goals it will pay the full political price and get only a fraction of the benefits it needs in return. In fact, Israel will pay a greater political price for an attack that is prematurely cut short than it would if it were able to complete the job, no matter how much it would suffer in the court of public opinion.

 

Of course, a ground offensive runs the risk of getting bogged down in the Gaza quagmire and of costing Israel unexpectedly heavy troop losses. Obviously, the IDF needs to develop and effectively execute a plan designed to avoid these pitfalls. Our point is that from a strategic, long-term perspective, Israel cannot wait any longer and must confront Hamas head-on.

 

The bottom line is that Israel is surrounded by enemies who will spare no efforts to kill as many Israelis as possible. Israel cannot respond effectively to each small attack, and the only way to prevent small attacks is to make the enemies believe that they cannot tell when Israel will respond to a small attack with a blow that the enemy is really afraid of. What the enemy is afraid of is the loss of power, and perhaps some of the terrorist leaders are also afraid of being killed. Therefore, an escalation of conflict via a ground operation, an idea that most of the international community opposes, is nevertheless necessary.

 

Prof. Efraim Inbar is a professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. Dr. Max Singer is a founder of the Hudson Institute and a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

 

Top of Page

 

 

HAMAS USES PALESTINIAN CHILDREN AS HUMAN SHIELDS

InfoLive.TV, Jan. 1, 2010

 

A short film presenting visual evidence of the long-standing Hamas tactic of exploiting civilians as human shields, and civilian buildings as cover for terrorist attacks. Footage shows examples of Palestinian terror groups hiding behind the Palestinian civilian population in order to launch attacks against Israeli targets.

 

“The parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations…” Geneva Convention

 

 

Top of Page

 

 

 

Should Israel Agree to a Cease-fire?: Robert Spencer, Front Page Magazine, Nov. 20, 2012—In all negotiations that may transpire, Israel will insist that the rocket attacks from Gaza must cease. But no cease-fire or previous negotiated settlement of any kind has ever accomplished this; why will this one be different? For that matter, no state has ever successfully reached a negotiated settlement with an enemy who had vowed to destroy it; why is Israel constantly expected to be different?

The ‘Kids’ Behind IDF’s Media: Allison Hoffman, Tablet Magazine, November 20, 2012 —The government still has to generate the talking points, what we want to achieve, and then we turn it over to the kids, and they translate it into this new language of social media,” said Daniel Seaman, deputy director general of the Ministry of Public Information and Diaspora Affairs, who ran the government press office during Operation Cast Lead. “I say it’s magic.”

 

When did Hamas become secular?: Hanin Ghaddar, Now Lebanon, November 19, 2012—The Syrian opposition can resist Assad as much as they want, but their cause will not be recognized by these leftists as long as some Islamists have joined them. Meanwhile, Hamas and Hezbollah can be as Islamist as they want; they will be forgiven, as long as they resist, or say they are resisting, Israel.

 

Who wants to defeat Hamas?: Neville Teller, Jeruslaem Post, Nov. 20, 2012 —Writing from Gaza during Israel’s current “Pillar of Defense” operation, one particular journalist from the UK called Hamas “the elected government in Gaza.” The idea that somehow Hamas is a legitimate administration has found widespread acceptance. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.

 

Palestinian State 2.0: Asaf Romirowsky: YNet News, November 1, 2012—While a functioning Palestinian State remains desirable, the fact that Palestinian leadership has refused to directly negotiate with Israel and uses bodies like the UN to endorse a "virtual" state that has no viable infrastructure is telling. Is the Palestinian goal a state of their own, or just the erasure of Israel, to be followed by what?

 

 

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.

 

 

Ber Lazarus, Publications Editor, 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

EGYPT’S MORSI, HAMAS & SUADI ARABIA: “PATIENT JIHAD” OR VIOLENT ECONOMIC COLLAPSE?”

THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD'S PATIENT JIHAD

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Jewish Ideas Daily, July 25, 2012

 

Mohamed Morsi’s recent election as president of Egypt has proved a matter of concern.  A candidate from the radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, many fear that Morsi’s victory, along with the Brotherhood’s parliamentary successes, will threaten Egyptian-Israeli peace. More generally, it is unclear whether the Brotherhood, now empowered in its native state, will prove a moderating or destabilizing force in the Arab world.

 

And so observers listened carefully to Morsi’s inauguration speech, in which he seemed to be addressing these two concerns.  Part of his speech, widely interpreted as a reference to future relations with Israel, emphasized ‘the state of Egypt's commitment to international treaties and agreements.  More broadly, he declared that ‘we carry a message of peace to the world.’

 

Encouraging as these statements may be, in fact they accord neatly with the Brotherhood’s sophisticated strategy for dealing with outsiders. That strategy is laid out comprehensively in Mustafa Mashhur’s Jihad is the Way. Mashhur, leader of the Brotherhood in Egypt from 1996 to 2002, explains the movement’s religious beliefs and aspirations in detail—especially the role of violent jihad in bringing about a world under a unified Islamic Caliphate.  It gives reason to doubt Morsi’s reassurances.

 

Jihad is the Way defines Israel and Israelis as ‘the criminal, thieving gangs of Zion,’ and Mashhur stresses that the notion of Israel’s foundation on stolen land is not an opening position for negotiations, but a non-negotiable article of ‘faith and religion.’ Further, the land was stolen not only from Palestinian Arabs but from Islam:

 

‘Know that the problems of the Islamic world, such as Palestine . . . are not issues of territories and nations, but of faith and religion. They are problems of Islam and the Muslims, and they can be resolved neither by negotiation nor by recognizing the enemy's right to the Islamic land he stole.’… [Emphasis ours – Ed.]

 

As for the Brotherhood’s impending effect on the wider Arab world, Morsi’s ‘message of peace’ is also not what it seems. Mashhur explains: ‘Jihad and preparation for jihad are not only for the purpose of fending-off assaults and attacks against Muslims by Allah's enemies, but are also for the purpose of realizing the great task of establishing an Islamic state, strengthening the religion, and spreading it around the world.’

 

‘Martyrdom for Allah,’ Mashhur writes, ‘is our most exalted wish.’  Jihad is indeed the way, and not only has Morsi never rejected this ideology—he is now its most senior political representative in Egypt.

 

So how are these contradictions to be understood? Why does Morsi talk peace when he explicitly adheres to an ideology of war?

 

The answer lies in the fundamental principles of the Muslim Brotherhood—principles largely overlooked in the West. As opposed to the ideology of al-Qaeda, which preaches continuous confrontation and attacks on infidels regardless of the immediate political costs, the Brotherhood places the highest priority on careful preparation and the strategic timing of political and military activity. Jihad is the Way stresses the necessity of timing the eventual jihad prudently; as a proof text, it cites a Quranic passage in which Muhammad does not rush to fight until the timing is right:

 

When the Muslims were a persecuted minority, the Prophet Muhammad did not instruct the Muslims to retaliate. Instead, he taught them ‘Sabr,’ patience and resolve . . . and when the conditions were right, permission was given to fight in the words of Allah . . .

 

Timing, therefore, is an integral part of the Brotherhood’s political and military decisions:

 

When the Brotherhood sends their youth to jihad at the appropriate time, they are not pushing them towards destruction. Rather, abstaining from jihad at its appropriate time is destruction . . . Similarly, it is not necessary for the Muslims to repel every attack or damage caused by the enemies of Allah immediately, rather [this is required] when ability and the circumstances allow for it.

 

In this context, Morsi’s statements look more like stratagems.  Standing by Egypt’s international commitments now does not preclude war later; and assurances of peaceful intent do not jettison jihad from the agenda—in fact, as far as the Brotherhood is concerned, they advance it. Morsi does not have to change his opinions, nor does he have to reject the Brotherhood’s fundamental beliefs when he speaks of peace. Since nullifying its treaty with Israel might isolate Egypt politically and bring it economic ruin, Morsi can instead apply the Brotherhood’s principle, as learned from Muhammad: ‘’Sabr’—patience and resolve.’ The necessity to strengthen and stabilize Egyptian society is an adequate priority now—it is, moreover, the very means by which to prepare Egypt to lead the Islamic world and to fulfill Islam’s global destiny.

 

Peaceful statements released from Egypt over the next few years should not deceive observers into believing that the Brotherhood has abandoned its religious ideology and its comprehensive Islamic vision. Talking peace, while preparing for jihad, is an integral part of jihad.

 

So when will Egypt break its treaty with ‘the criminal, thieving gangs of Zion’? Morsi will make the same calculation as Muhammad: when conditions are right.

 

THE BROTHERS AND THE MUSLIMS

Mordechai Kedar.

Israel Against Terror, June 28, 2012

 

A Short History of the Muslim Brotherhood

 

In 1928, group of Islamist zealots established the Muslim Brotherhood movement in response to the challenges that were presented by new trends that rocked the cultural life in post WWII Egypt. In those days Egypt was under British occupation and Britain pulled on the strings of power as it pleased, in an effort to influence the society in a secular, Western direction.

 

As a result, new socio-political trends emerged in Egyptian society: there were those that saw the Egyptian character as based on Pharaonic heritage (a symbol of heresy in Islam) as the source of inspiration of modern Egypt; others saw the Arab nation (of Muslims, Christians, Jews and others, all of whom speak Arabic) as the province of affiliation; and there were also those who saw the Greek (Alexander, Ptolemy) and the Roman (Cleopatra) past as the source of European identity of the Egyptian people.

 

All of these trends were anti-Islamic, and the Brotherhood – headed by the founder of the movement, Hassan Al-Banna – saw the occupation by the Christian, wine-drinking and pork-eating British, as the source of all the cultural problems of the Land of the Nile, so they placed the struggle against the foreign occupation at the top of their priorities.

…[T]he Brotherhood saw the purification of Egyptian society from the influence of Western culture as a secondary task, that in their opinion is rotten corrupt, permissive and not suitable to Islamic society. The struggle over the culture placed the Brotherhood in conflict with the new socio-political theories about the source of collective inspiration of the Egyptian people, which is noted above. In answer to all of these trends the Brotherhood claimed that ‘Islam is the Solution’; it is forbidden for a Muslim society, whose guide is on high, to search among other cultures for solutions and arrangements that are the mere works of man.

The third task that the Brotherhood took upon themselves is to prove that indeed ‘Islam is the solution’, by imposing Islamic Shari’a in all areas of life, private, family, political, economic and diplomatic. This task, which aspires to impose the rules of Islam on the politics and the state, has created the concept of ‘political Islam’ in contrast to other religions, which separate between religion and state…The symbol of the organization expresses this ideology well: the color of green represents Paradise, two swords in the center express the two basic avowals of Islam – there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger – and one word, which appears in the Qur'an just once, written above: ‘Wa-aidu’ – ‘and prepare’.

 

This word is the beginning of the passage from the Qur'an (chapter 8, verse 59) ‘and prepare’ whatever you can of your strength and your harnessed horses in order to impose fear (ie. terror) in the hearts of Allah's enemy and your enemies’…

When the Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt, King Fuad the First ruled, and in 1936 his son Farouk succeeded him, and ruled until the Officers' Revolution in July 1952. During the monarchy, the Brotherhood acted very freely, because the regime was incredibly ineffective. In December 1948 an activist from the movement assassinated the prime minister, Nukrashi, and two months afterward the movement's founder and leader – Hassan al-Banna – was murdered, apparently by agents of the regime.

The regime of the Officers was much more determined and decisive, and in general, conducted a stubborn battle against the Brotherhood because it saw them and their activities as an attempt to undermine its legitimacy and stability. In1966 President Gamal Abd al-Nassar hung the ideologue of the movement, Sayyid Qutb, because in his writings, he claimed that any regime that does not implement Shari'a is like the heresy that preceded Islam, or idol worship, and therefore it is justified to conduct a jihad against it…

Because the Brotherhood was marginalized politically during the years of the Officers' Regime, they found their fertile field of activity within the economically and politically marginalized people, and turned their energies to charitable activities within the society of the tens of millions of Egyptians living in the poor, unplanned neighborhoods at the margins of the cities, without running water, without sewage, without electricity, without telephone lines, without medical services or educational services, without work and without hope.

 

It was the Brotherhood who supported these miserable people for years, out of a feeling of commitment, responsibility and mutual trust rooted in Islamic values, which does not differentiate between religion, society, politics, economics and culture. The regime allowed them to operate among the weak neighborhoods, since it did not see acts of charity and kindness as a danger to the stability of the regime, and because the burden on the state of caring for the poor population was eased because of the Brotherhood's activities. The people held the Brotherhood in high regard, because for many years, the Brotherhood supported the poor among the people wholeheartedly; and because they are not corrupt and greedy like the ‘fat cats’ who ruled the state and because they relate to the people with respect, unlike the regime, which humiliated them and oppressed them cruelly.…

Those who initiated the street riots that broke out in Egypt on the 25th of January, 2011, which some call the ‘Arab Spring’, were throngs of Egyptian secular youth, some of whom were educated, who were sick of the corrupt and cruel regime, which was slated to be passed down to the son of the ruler. ‘The Muslim Brotherhood’ did not take a meaningful part in the demonstrations, but rather sat on the sidelines watching to see which side would win. After the military forced Mubarak to resign on the 11th of February, the Brotherhood went out to al-Tahrir Square in order to take advantage of the opportunities that it had awaited patiently for many years.

 

The Qur'an (Chapter 2, Verse 152) states that ‘Allah is with the patient’, and indeed Allah is with them: in the period that preceded the November 2011 elections to parliament, the Brotherhood activated Operation Da'wah’ (Islamic outreach), in order to translate their investment of years of community efforts into political support by the public. Spokesmen of political Islam, headed by Yosef al-Qaradawi, mobilized themselves in support the Brotherhood, and the result was that almost half of the seats of parliament were won by the ‘Party of Freedom and Justice’, the representative of the Brotherhood, and a quarter more of the seats were won by the ‘Party of Light’, the representative of the more conservative Salafi groups. This is how the decisive majority of the Egyptian parliament was suffused with the color green, the color of Islamic Paradise, in a truly democratic way.

It is important to note here that one of the most eloquent spokesmen of the Brotherhood, Sheikh Safwat Hijazi, appeared on the 1st of May this year, and gave a speech that was broadcast live for thousands of people to see, as part of the Brotherhood's preparations for the elections. In his fiery discourse Hijazi announced that the goal of the Brotherhood is the unity of all the Arab states into one giant Islamic Caliphate, under Morsi's flag, whose capital will be ‘not Mecca and not Medina but al-Quds [Jerusalem]’. His words reflect very well the goal of the movement – to erase the heritage of colonialism, principally the borders marked by colonialist interests, which damaged both the Arab world and Islam; the elimination of Israel; and imposition of Islam on Judaism.

 

It might be that this referred to a far-off hope and not immediate plans, but the cheers of support from the throats of the masses who crowded into the street expressed the collective energy behind the idea, just waiting for the suitable moment to turn it into reality. Besides this, we must take very seriously the hopes of others, because the state of Israel is exactly the realization of hopes (‘If you will it, it is not a legend’), and our enemies learn from us how to realize hopes as well.

With the winning of the presidency of Egypt…, they have conquered another position on their way to the realization of their Islamic program, and the question of how they will continue from here disturbs the sleep of many in Israel and in the world…

 

Who are you, Muhammad Morsi?

Muhammad Morsi was born in 1951 in the village of al-Adwa…to a hard-working rural family, the first of its six children. He served as a soldier in the chemical warfare unit in the second Army in the years 1975-6. He is married to Naglah Mahmoud, and they have a daughter, four sons, and three grandsons. He excelled in his studies from a young age and earned a Master's degree in engineering from the University of Cairo and a doctorate in California in the United States, where he also taught. (Another proof that western studies do not turn a Muslim to an adherent of Western culture.)

 

Morsi joined the Muslim Brotherhood movement in 1979, and served as a member of its ‘board of instruction’ and endured persecution and harassment by the Mubarak regime. Like many other leaders of the movement, he was tried and imprisoned a number of times…Between the years 2000 and 2005 he was the head of a group of independent members of parliament who were people of the Brotherhood…

 

In 2006 he was imprisoned and when he was subsequently freed, he was put under house arrest. In January 2011, immediately after the demonstrations broke out, he was sent again to prison…Before the elections for the presidency he resigned his position in parliament, and after he won 51.7% (compared to 48.3% for Shafiq) he left the Muslim Brotherhood in order to be the ‘president of everyone’. [for the complete article see Link below in On Topic – Ed.]

 

SAUDIS TO MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD: DROP DEAD

David P. Goldman

Gatestone Institute, Aug 8, 2012

 

‘The uneasy modus vivendi between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military most likely will fail, and probably sooner than later,’ I argued July 9, and the aftermath of the terrorist execution of sixteen Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai peninsula supports this conclusion. The funeral service for the dead soldiers erupted in rage against the Brotherhood, Al Ahram reports today from Cairo:

 

In a tense scene, hundreds of Egyptians gathered at Al-Rashdan Mosque in Cairo's Nasr City district around midday on Tuesday to attend the funeral service held for the 16 Egyptian guards killed at the Egypt-Gaza border on Sunday. Security forces were heavily deployed around the mosque, and several of the surrounding streets were blocked off.

Getting close to the mosque, Ahram Online found families of the killed soldiers, as well as some public figures, mourners and many angry protesters. The group was split between those who had made it inside the mosque to pray for the killed soldiers and the rest who waited outside in anger, chanting almost without pause, and at times fighting with each other.

 

Protesters mainly chanted against President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, describing them as ‘betrayers of the country’ and claiming that the Brotherhood collaborated with Hamas, which they accuse of involvement in the killing of Egyptian soldiers. ‘Down with the rule of the Supreme Guide of the Brotherhood’ and ‘The Brotherhood are agents and betrayers’ were among the slogans that were chanted. The infuriated protesters also kicked out any citizen whom they suspected to be a member of the Islamist group. Most bearded men were labelled as members of the Brotherhood and were forced to leave.

 

Crucial to understanding Egypt's internal wrangling between the Brotherhood-dominated elected government and the military in the wings is the harsh reality of Egypt's economy: the country is nearly dead broke, and close to the point where it no longer can finance its $36 billion annual trade deficit. Egypt imports half its food, and is the world's largest wheat importer. Wheat and other food prices went through the roof due to the American drought and poor harvests elsewhere. Egypt is almost out of money. It also has trouble financing its enormous internal budget deficit (around 12% of GDP).

 

The most likely outcome will be a substantial currency devaluation before year-end, with a sharp rise in food and energy prices, all of it laid at the door of the Muslim Brotherhood. The military will consolidate its grip over Egyptian politics in one fashion or another. As I wrote in the cited July 9 post: ‘The economic context is necessary to make sense of Egypt's politics: it points to an important conclusion, that no path exists to stable rule by the Muslim Brotherhood.’

 

The most important news to come out of Egypt in the past several weeks was yesterday's central bank announcement that foreign exchange reserves fell sharply during July. Liquid reserves fell by a quarter, from $7.8 billion to $5.9 billion. Al Ahram reported:

 

Egypt's net international reserves fell in July after inching up for three months in a row. Figures from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) published on Tuesday showed that Egypt's foreign currency reserves stood at some $14.42 billion by the end of July, down from $15.53 billion in June.   The CBE said on its website that the fall was due to maturing Egyptian bonds and payment of the Paris Club member countries' debt totaling some $1.64 billion.

 

Saudi Arabia…didn't peel off a single dinar for the flailing Egyptians during the month of July, despite Prime Minister Morsi's high-profile trip to Riyadh during the middle of the month. With liquid reserves below $6 billion (the rest is gold, credits at the IMF, and a few other illiquid items) Egypt can pay for another two months' of its trade deficit. The Saudis do not want to feed the mouth that bites their hand.

 

…The Saudis fear the Muslim Brotherhood, though, as much as they fear Iran: the Brotherhood's updated Islamism combines traditional religious authority with the organizing methods of modern totalitarian parties, and represents the most credible internal challenge to the Saudi monarchy. Saudi Arabia supported deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and bitterly rued his overthrow.

 

Evidently the Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and its Saudi backers intend to let the Morsi government take the blame for Egypt's impending economic disaster. The assault on Egypt's prime minister at the soldiers' funeral may mark the decline of the Islamist organization. The only friend the Muslim Brotherhood has left is the Obama administration, which cannot–in an election year–give the Morsi government what it needs the most–enough money to get through the next few months.