Tag: Muslim Extremism

EGYPT GRAPPLES WITH POLITICAL INSTABILITY AND JIHADISM AFTER PROBABLE TERRORIST ATTACK

 

The Terror Attack That Bored America: Noah Rothman, Commentary, Nov. 6, 2015— Increasingly, it appears that the worst terrorist attack on an aircraft since September 11th took place on October 31 over the skies of Egypt.

Allies of Egypt's Leader Fear He's in Jihadis' Crosshairs: Eli Lake & Josh Rogin, Bloomberg, Nov. 6, 2015 — Since 2013, Egypt's president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has kept a tight grip on his country.

A Plague on Egypt’s Tourism: Walter Russell Mead, American Interest, Nov. 6, 2015 — Bomb or no bomb?

Veterans Look Back at World War II Service: Paul Lungen, Canadian Jewish News, Nov. 8, 2015— Morris Polansky was a teenage farm boy living in Oxbow, Sask. when he made his way to Winnipeg to enlist in the Canadian Armed Forces.

 

On Topic Links

 

ISIS’s ‘Most Potent’ Crew Is Now in Sinai—and Says It Bombed Russia’s Jet: Nancy A. Youssef & Shane Harris, Daily Beast, Nov. 5, 2015

In Egypt, Angry Talk of Western Conspiracy Over Plane Crash: Maram Mazen, Washington Post, Nov. 10, 2015

Egypt’s Brazen Crackdown on Critics: New York Times, Nov. 9, 2015

Inculcating Islamist Ideals in Egypt: Yohanan Manor, Middle East Quarterly, Fall, 2015

                                                                             

                  

THE TERROR ATTACK THAT BORED AMERICA

Noah Rothman                            

Commentary, Nov. 6, 2015

 

Increasingly, it appears that the worst terrorist attack on an aircraft since September 11th took place on October 31 over the skies of Egypt. Evidence has begun to mount that the crash of a Russian jet in the Sinai desert, which resulted in the death of all 224 aboard, was the result of an explosion caused by a terrorist device. In the United States, this earth-shattering event has been greeted with a strange mix of confusion and ennui.

 

According to the European investigators who have been scrambling to identify what happened to Metrojet Flight 9268, the cockpit flight recorder audio reveals it was not a mechanical failure that brought the plane down. This revelation followed an unequivocal statement on Thursday from British Prime Minister David Cameron who, while hosting a visit with Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, said that “it looks increasingly likely” that a “terrorist bomb” took down the aircraft. American President Barack Obama confirmed that U.S. intelligence was taking that possibility “very seriously.” “There’s a possibility that there was a bomb on board,” Obama averred.

 

What followed these comments could only be described as chaos. A number of Western airlines halted flights over Sinai airspace, and Russia ceased all flights to the entire country of Egypt. Tens of thousands of European tourists, all racing to the transportation hub of Sharm el Sheikh, found they had been stranded. The United States Department of Homeland Security announced on Friday that a variety of new security measures would be applied to commercial flights departing from certain airports in the Middle East and transiting into America.

 

An Egyptian official told ABC News that local authorities believe that a functional explosive device having been somehow smuggled aboard that plane is the “most plausible scenario” and that technical malfunctions are now “at the bottom of their list of possible scenarios.”

 

If confirmed, this would represent the most successful terrorist attack on airplanes since 9/11. Al-Qaeda had hoped to duplicate its 2001 coup and sought on multiple occasions to attack aircraft. Those plots ranged from the hapless Richard “shoe bomber” Reid’s foiled plot, to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the “underwear bomber,” who unsuccessfully tried to destroy Northwestern Flight 253 on Christmas Day in 2009, to the more serious plot to blow up five European airplanes over the Atlantic around the Christmas holiday last year. In 2012, the Central Intelligence Agency worked with foreign partners to disrupted a Yemen-based al-Qaeda plot to smuggle an experimental device that was designed to evade airport detection methods aboard a U.S.-bound flight. All of these operations failed.

 

Now, it seems as though a terrorist plot to get a bomb on board a European aircraft has finally succeeded. It was not, however, al-Qaeda that succeeded in this feat; it was the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. U.S. officials who spoke to CNN reporter Barbara Starr on condition of anonymity told her on Wednesday that the explosion aboard this plan was most likely caused by a bomb planted “by ISIS or an affiliate.” “The signs pointing to ISIS, another U.S. official said, are partially based on monitoring of internal messages of the terrorist group,” the report read. “Those messages are separate from public ISIS claims of responsibility, that official said.”

 

This should be generating more than a passing headline or two in the United States. Recall that some American cable networks devoted wall-to-wall coverage to a missing aircraft last year, even entertaining the possibility that a gravitational anomaly was responsible for its disappearance. Bizarrely, the very real prospect of renewed and unpreventable terrorist actors targeting and destroying passenger aircraft has not merited nearly the coverage it deserves.

 

One of the most troubling theories (due to its likelihood) is not that a special form of explosive that could evade detection methods was smuggled aboard this aircraft, but that an agent loyal to Islamist terrorists working with airport security facilitated this attack. The Metrojet attack could, as some have suggested, result in Russia stepping up its military campaign in Syria and beginning to target ISIS in earnest. Thus far, Russian aircraft have largely focused on striking anti-Assad, U.S.-aligned rebels and CIA weapons depots. It will almost certainly mean stepped up airport security in the West.

 

Given the likely far-reaching effects of this successful terrorist attack, the muted reaction to it in the United States is incongruous. It is the surest sign yet that Americans have again succumbed to complacency and a “September 10th” mentality.

                                                                       

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ALLIES OF EGYPT'S LEADER FEAR HE'S IN JIHADIS' CROSSHAIRS

Eli Lake & Josh Rogin                                                 

Bloomberg, Nov. 6, 2015

 

Since 2013, Egypt's president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has kept a tight grip on his country. He has jailed, killed and exiled his Islamist opposition. Nonetheless, Israeli officials are said to worry whether he can hold on to power. Speaking Thursday to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Vin Weber, a former Republican member of Congress and the co-chairman of the think tank's task force on Egypt policy, said Israeli officials and others with whom he had spoken are concerned el-Sisi's government will fall.

 

"We encountered a lot of people in Israel and elsewhere that don't think that he is going to survive his term," Weber said. Israeli government representatives declined to comment for this column. One Israeli official disputed Weber's assessment but did not elaborate. Weber's task force met with senior Israeli security officials and diplomats, according to the group's report released this week. "He is under constant death threats," Weber said. "Many people said we're not sure where he sleeps every night. And I think there is that question mark in the minds of the Israelis about whether or not the government can succeed."

 

Questions about el-Sisi's ability to stay in power and run Egypt are newly urgent this week. The U.S. and U.K. governments say there is evidence that the Islamic State placed a bomb aboard a Russian commercial jet that exploded this week over the Sinai. It took off from the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh. On Friday, Russia canceled all flights to Egypt.

 

The group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, which pledged loyalty to the Islamic State in November 2014, initially claimed credit for destroying the Russian Metrojet plane. Despite a new Egyptian military campaign this summer against insurgents in the Sinai, Islamic State-linked jihadis there launched a wave of terror, killing scores of Egyptian soldiers and assassinating the country's chief prosecutor. Last year el-Sisi himself acknowledged there had been two attempts on his life in 2013. 

 

Greg Craig, a former top lawyer in the Obama White House and the co-chairman of the institute's task force, said Egypt's military was working more closely with the Israeli intelligence community — particularly in Sinai — than they ever had before. Nonetheless, Craig said one Israeli military analyst gave the Egyptian campaign in the Sinai very low marks. "We did spend some time with Israeli national security folks. One of the smartest persons I've ever met in terms of analytical capacity was talking about the Egyptian proclivity to do all the wrong things when it comes to counter-insurgency," Craig said. "If you had a list of boxes you checked of things not to do, the Egyptian military has checked every one of those boxes."

 

The Israeli government has enjoyed unprecedented cooperation with el-Sisi's government, particularly in the Sinai where Egypt has worked to destroy the smuggling tunnels operated by Hamas in Gaza. If el-Sisi's government fell and Islamists took over, Israel would face a hostile neighbor on its southern border. 

 

Coups and assassinations are common in recent Egyptian history. El-Sisi seized power in 2013 as hundreds of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets to protest the elected president, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Jihadis in 1981 murdered Anwar al-Sadat, the Egyptian president who signed a peace treaty with Israel, at a military parade in Cairo. Islamists tried to kill Sadat's successor, Hosni Mubarak, in 1995 on a state visit to Ethiopia.

 

Like past Egyptian leaders, el-Sisi also faces threats from within the military. In August an Egyptian court sentenced 26 Egyptian military officers for plotting a coup against the Egyptian president. A retired Egyptian general, Sameh Seif Elyazal, told Foreign Policy last year that 2 million to 3 million Egyptians hate el-Sisi: "Everybody knows that he is a target."

 

Other U.S. officials and outside experts have told us they too worry that el-Sisi's heavy-handed approach could end up bringing down his own government. "The policy that el-Sisi has pursued has created a large number of enemies in the country," said Michele Dunne, the director of the Middle East program at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace. "The fact that one of those enemies would lash out at him whether through violence or a coup, that possibility is there. These are things notoriously difficult to predict."

 

Representative Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told us he was less concerned about the potential for an assassination than he was about the broader issue of stability in Egypt. "It's stating the obvious that all those leaders in the region are under constant death threats, but that's not what concerns me," he said. Nunes, who visited with el-Sisi and toured the Sinai this year, said he was more worried about the broader economic instability in Egypt and a young population that is increasingly falling under the sway of the Muslim Brotherhood and radical jihadi groups. "I hope el-Sisi can keep the country together," Nunes said. "Furthermore the Sinai is completely unstable where jihadis are roaming all over, and on the other side of Egypt you have Libya where we have no plan. This could potentially set Egypt into chaos."

 

Since el-Sisi took power, the U.S. government has struggled internally over whether to embrace what most analysts called a military coup. Although the U.S. government decided not to legally determine whether a coup had taken place, U.S. military sales of large weapons systems were suspended after Sisi took power. Secretary of State John Kerry led the camp pushing for a resumption of normal relations with Egypt, despite Sisi's brutal crackdown on political opposition, civil society and the press. (El-Sisi won a barely contested election in 2014 to the presidency.) By early 2015, the U.S. had fully lifted its suspension of U.S. arms sales to Egypt.

 

Sisi himself called on the international community to support his campaign against jihadis, in a speech Oct. 30 at the International Institute for Strategic Studies Manama Dialogue. He urged world powers to let him consolidate power without criticism and international intervention. "National security in the Arab world is so threatened that it now requires — demands — the protection of what remains of the states and their institutions," he said. "We in Egypt are ready to work together with regional and international powers who understand the importance of the Arab world and believe that it is important not to interfere in Arab affairs, as supporting specific groups detracts from the role of the state."

 

But many of el-Sisi's allies fear the biggest threat to his rule is not international meddling, but Egyptians who have been radicalized by his campaign to consolidate his own power.                                                                    

                                                                       

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A PLAGUE ON EGYPT’S TOURISM   

Walter Russell Mead                                             

American Interest, Nov. 6, 2015

 

Bomb or no bomb? UK flights have started to transport back to Britain some of the 20,000 British tourists who were stranded at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on the Red Sea after intelligence emerged that the Russian plane that crashed over the Sinai over the weekend was likely brought down by an explosive device. But at the same time, Russia has now stopped all Russian flights bound for Egypt, a sign that the country is increasingly taking seriously the possibility that a bomb caused the crash. That coheres with the U.S. intel; replying to calls for caution from the Egyptian foreign minister about jumping to conclusions, a senior U.S. intelligence official said, “He hasn’t seen the information we have.”

 

As the belief that a bomb was the cause of the crash grows, and as investigators sift the debris and listen to the black box recordings (and as we think of the families of the victims), it’s worth thinking about what the crash could mean for Egypt and the world—because trouble in Egypt could be more consequential than many people understand.

 

The disruptions to UK travel to the popular resort will be felt in Cairo: 900,000 British tourists travel to Sharm el-Sheikh each year. In addition, Russian tourism—cheap package tours allowing Russians to get away from the gloom of winter—will be heavily affected, and tourism from the rest of the world will be taking a major knock on the head. Tourists shun places where tourists end up getting killed, and Egypt has never needed tourists more than it does now (the tourism industry in Egypt makes up about 11 percent of its GDP, and indirectly employs around 11.5 percent of the country’s workforce). And unfortunately for Egypt, international investors shy away from violent, unstable parts of the world.

 

Egypt does not have a lot of options for economic growth. The region is beset by wars in Libya, Syria and across the Red Sea in Yemen, and Egypt itself is embroiled in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Morsi government, including the harsh crackdown that followed Morsi’s fall. And even before the Morsi government fell, Egypt was already wounded by the instability under that government and permanently weakened by the old, corrupt nexus of clientelism and rent-seeking at the heart of Egypt’s political economy. All of that means there is not a lot of give in this fragile system on which millions of people depend.

 

Moreover, Egypt cannot expect much more help from abroad. The country is almost an afterthought in the West today, where the chief debate is over how much we should indulge our own narcissism by making meaningless and inconsequential gestures of moral disapprobation in the direction of its president and his very tough regime. That’s a mistake. The West was wrong to allow itself to be distracted from the much more consequential disaster in Syria by the relatively unimportant crisis in Libya (thereby contributing to the collapse of both countries into misery); it would be just as dangerous now to forget just how important Egypt is to the region—and how fragile the structure of Egypt’s society really is. If anarchy, chaos, widespread unrest, and terrorist ideology surge across Egypt, the resulting problems would dwarf anything we’ve seen in Syria.

 

Think, for example, of the migration flows if ordinary Egyptians—and the 8 million Christians among them—became so insecure that they felt the need to flee. Or think of the involvement of world powers seeking stability over the flow of commerce through the Suez Canal, and the panic in the Gulf as one of the remaining pillars of regional order crumbles. In addition, the consequences for Israel if the Sinai’s descent into chaos and jihadi control continues would be huge—as would be the human suffering, the growth in terror, and the impact on world oil prices of inexorably increasing regional disorder. Finally, there is the Humpty Dumpty problem: It would be very difficult to restore order in a country as large as Egypt if a true breakdown comes.

 

Fortunately, there are forces that hold Egypt together. Its people have a sense of national identity and common culture that most of its post-colonial, hastily stitched together neighbors lack. Bound together by 5,000 years of history and the waters of the Nile, Egyptians have a deep sense of collective identity; the same orientation toward a powerful state that hampers economic development also supports political stability. So Egypt is not fragile in the way that Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, Iraq and, yes, Iran are fragile.

 

Even so, it is nowhere written on tablets of stone that Egypt can bear every burden and withstand every blow. As in much of the non-oil rich Middle East, the capacity of the Egyptian state to provide its people with acceptable conditions for life has been diminishing over time. The Muslim Brotherhood network became so powerful in part because state institutions were doing such a terrible job alleviating poverty, promoting educational opportunity, offering decent and affordable health care, and generally providing a safe and favorable environment for daily life. The Brotherhood could win friends by establishing parallel institutions that did what the state could not. But now those institutions have been thoroughly disrupted—and the state’s capacity has not grown…

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

                                                           

                                                                       

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VETERANS LOOK BACK AT WORLD WAR II SERVICE                                                                

Paul Lungen                

Canadian Jewish News, Nov. 8, 2015

 

Morris Polansky was a teenage farm boy living in Oxbow, Sask. when he made his way to Winnipeg to enlist in the Canadian Armed Forces. Only 19 at the time, he had wanted to volunteer the year before, but some grizzled veterans from World War I advised him to finish high school first. Likely they knew what he was getting himself into and that there was no hurry to get into the fight. It was still 1940 and there was plenty of action to be seen by Polansky and others who volunteered to join the Canadian Armed Forces. Now 94, Polansky and fellow Jewish veterans Lorne Winer, 97, and Jerry Rosenberg, 93, recalled their military experiences, which saw intense fighting, close calls, the loss of comrades-in-arms and ultimately, victory over the Nazi beast.

 

As they have for years, the three will participate in Remembrance Day ceremonies on Nov. 11 to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Winer and Rosenberg will be part of a contingent of Jewish war veterans of the General Wingate Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, marking the moment at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre at Spadina and Bloor. Polansky will be at Toronto Centre for the Arts, in North York, where he will lay a wreath during the services, just as he has done for several years.

 

Their stories are typical of the thousands of young Jewish men who volunteered to serve during World War II. Jews enlisted in far greater numbers than their proportion of the population would have warranted in 1940s Canada. An estimated 10 per cent of Jews joined one of the branches of the Canadian Armed Forces. For Polansky, at first it was the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps. Coming from rural Canada, he was mightily impressed with an ad that ran on CKY radio in Winnipeg that announced the army was looking for 400 truck drivers. “I could hardly wait,” he said.

 

Pretty soon afterwards, however, he transferred into a unit that maintained and repaired electrical devices, including portable generators used in field medical units. The closest he came to a life and death experience was when in late 1943 the German air force bombed the transport ship he was on, en route to Italy. Luckily most of the soldiers were successfully evacuated in lifeboats before the ship sank, he said. Polansky saw duty in Italy. His unit was later transferred to the fighting in Belgium and Holland.

 

Rosenberg’s military service was entirely at sea. Unusual for most Jewish recruits, who chose the air force or the army, Rosenberg enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy in 1940 and saw duty as a signal man on board a variety of corvettes. The small warships saw convoy duty, escorting merchant vessels from Canada to Britain. The ships were targeted by German submariners, and Winer was part of convoy SC 42 (the 42nd slow convoy), which was devastated by Nazi wolf packs that preyed on lightly defended ships. There was 64 ships in the convoy and only four escorts, including Rosenberg’s corvette, he said.

 

Arrayed against them was a group of 14 U-boats. One or two subs would attack and draw off the defenders, recalled Rosenberg, and then other U-boats would come in and attack the merchant ships. At the end of the engagement, 16 merchant ships were sunk and two others were damaged. Rosenberg, luckily, escaped that fate. “I was never on a ship that was sunk,” he said. But one incident came pretty close. A miscommunication between the captain on the bridge and a fire-control officer below decks, who spoke through communication tubes, led the officer to release depth charges set for 60 feet while the ship was travelling at only six knots. The depth charges exploded almost below the ship and lifted the stern clear out of the water, Rosenberg said…

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

 

 

                                                                           

 

On Topic

 

ISIS’s ‘Most Potent’ Crew Is Now in Sinai—and Says It Bombed Russia’s Jet: Nancy A. Youssef & Shane Harris, Daily Beast, Nov. 5, 2015—Soon after Russian planes began dropping bombs on Islamic militants in Syria a month ago, in an effort to prop up the country’s embattled dictator Bashar al-Assad, ISIS vowed that Russia, and by extension its citizens, would be a target. Last Saturday, Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 departed Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and flew directly over the homebase of an ISIS affiliate with the ambition, and perhaps the capability, to make good on that threat.

In Egypt, Angry Talk of Western Conspiracy Over Plane Crash: Maram Mazen, Washington Post, Nov. 10, 2015 —Egyptian media have reacted with fury as Britain and the United States increasingly point to a bomb as the cause of the Oct. 31 Russian plane crash in Sinai, with many outlets hammering home the same message: Egypt is facing a Western conspiracy that seeks to scare off tourists and destroy the country’s economy.

Egypt’s Brazen Crackdown on Critics: New York Times, Nov. 9, 2015—On Sunday, Hossam Bahgat, a soft-spoken human rights activist and journalist, was summoned to an Egyptian military intelligence office in Cairo. These meetings have long terrified government critics in Egypt because they often lead to a descent into the country’s perverse justice system.

Inculcating Islamist Ideals in Egypt: Yohanan Manor, Middle East Quarterly, Fall, 2015 —In contrast to the widespread perception of the Mubarak regime (1981-2011) as modernist and largely secular, school textbooks of Egyptian history during his reign systematically watered down the narrative grounding the country's national identity in patriotic struggle against foreign invaders (Rome, Byzantium, Crusaders, Ottomans, Britain, Israel).

 

Doris Strub Epstein: GROUP FORMING TO RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS OF YEZIDI GENOCIDE; “THE WORLD IS SILENT” SAYS YAZIDI SPOKESMAN

 

 

 

 

 

The genocidal atrocities being perpetrated daily on the Yazidi people by the Islamic State  have vanished from media radar.   They have been targeted by the IS  for death, forced conversion and sexual slavery. The killing, the torture of thousands; the abduction of girls as young as eight, raped, sold, used as sex slaves by IS fighters, continues unabated. 

Last Friday morning a group met with Yazidis at the Zionist Centre on Marlee, to hear their story and to help raise public awareness of their plight. Participating was Dr. Mordechai Kedar, renowned Arab and Middle East expert, whose cutting edge ideas and leadership abilities have led many to call him the Winston Churchill of our day.  A professor at Bar Ilan University, he also served for many years in the  IDF's Intelligence, specializing on all facets of Islam.  He was in town for a series of lectures.

Hearing Mirza Ismail talk about his people, was eerily reminiscent of the history of the  Jewish people.  He is Chairman of the  Yezidi Human Rights Organization International.  Like the Jews, the Yezidis are an ancient  people, dating back 6,000 years.  Their origin is in the heart of Mesopotamia, the birth place of civilization. They have been attacked again and again over the centuries by Islamic forces, "just because we have a different culture and religion".  Today they are on the verge of annihilation.  "And the world is silent", he told the group in despair.  The Yazidis have an ancient monotheistic religion that is neither Christian nor Muslim.

The present plight of the Yazidis is disturbingly similar to what happened to the Jewish people during the Holocaust. They were persecuted and targeted for  genocide simply because they were Jews and were abandoned by the world.  This time the enemy is wearing black hoods instead of brown shirts.

There are 500,000 -700,000 Yazidis, largely based in Northern Iraq in the province of Nineveh and Mt. Sinjar. But they are also in Syria , Turkey, Iran, Russia, Georgia and Armenia, forced to flee their ancient homelands.  Some are also in the US and about 85 families live in Canada.

In August, 2014, ISIS attacked and took over the Kurdish controlled town of Sinjhar, driving more than 50,00 Yazidis out of their homes and fleeing for their lives to Sinjar Mountain.  An estimated 10,000 men have been executed and as many as 7,000 women and girls have been made sex slaves and sold.  Four hundred escaped and told horrific tales of brutality; multiple rape – 20 to 30 times daily – beatings, being forced to give blood to wounded ISIS fighters. 

Eyewitnesses report stories of beheadings, rape and children dying of starvation and dehydration. William Devlin, a New York pastor who visited in January, called the present situation of more than 300,000 refugees "genocidal and insane" in dire need of humanitarian aid. In the camp "hospitals" there are no doctors.  "For the Yazidis there is no doctors without borders", Merza told the group.  Why in the 21st Century, everybody knows, but nobody cares about our lives?" Furthermore, they are treated "with no respect" by the Muslim UN workers in the camps, he said.

Twelve thousand are still on Mt. Sinjar, totally isolated, lacking food, water and "most important," said Mirza, "arms.  "The US and Europe are giving arms to the Kurds to give to the Yazidis, but they don't.  The world thinks the Kurds are protecting them, but they don't give them any support." Mirza connected Dr. Kedar by telephone to a Yazidi on Mt. Sinjar. They spoke in Arabic.  I could hear the desperation in his voice over the speaker phone. "The world is not taking them seriously.  They have no power because they are not sufficiently organized," said Dr. Kedar.  He proceeded to tell them how to "package" themselves to get the attention of the media and the world.  "If you are not on the media, you don't exist," he said.  Later he arranged a meeting for them with the Indian Consul General.

"Our voices must be their voices," said JIMENA's (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa) president, Gina Waldman.  "Their plight must be our plight."

THE WEEK THAT WAS: JEWS SHOCKED BY MORE BARBARIC ISLAMIC VIOLENCE, POLLARD’S PAROLE DENIED (AGAIN), & RETRACING LVIV’S JEWISH HERITAGE

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 

 

Contents:

 

Statement by Irwin Cotler on the Jerusalem Synagogue Attack: Nov. 18, 2014— Mr. Speaker, early this morning in Jerusalem, two Palestinian men wielding knives, axes and guns stormed a synagogue, killing four people and injuring eight, including one Canadian.

The Accomplishment of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, A Soldier of Allah: Paul Merkley, Bayview Review, Nov. 18, 2014— Islam is becoming more dangerous for everybody every day.

Pollard’s Parole Plastering: Gil Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 19, 2014 — Today, Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard enters the 30th year of his life sentence for the crime of passing classified information to an ally.

Picking up the Pieces of a Lost Culture: Eitan Arom, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 19, 2014 — I’m traveling across the bleak Ukrainian countryside with half a dozen Israeli journalists, two history professors in animated discussion, an employee of Wikipedia and two native speakers of Ukrainian.

 

On Topic Links

 

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: "To be free, you have to let go of hate." (Video): Stand With Us, Nov. 13, 2014

Domestic Radicalization and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: Max Boot, Commentary, Nov. 18, 2014 

The Essentiality of Anger: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2014

In This Struggle, Israel Can Prevail: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 20, 2014

                                      

                                      

STATEMENT BY HON. IRWIN COTLER

ON THE JERUSALEM SYNAGOGUE ATTACK                                                    

Nov. 18, 2014

 

Mr. Speaker, early this morning in Jerusalem, two Palestinian men wielding knives, axes and guns stormed a synagogue, killing four people and injuring eight, including one Canadian. This brutal attack is part of a recent escalation in terrorist violence. Indeed, on the day of the terrorist attack in this House, a terrorist attack killed a three-month-old baby in Jerusalem, and others since. Moreover, this escalation cannot be divorced from the incitement to hate and violence and the glorification of terror propagated by much of the Palestinian media and leadership, where Palestinian authority officials have praised terrorists as “heroic martyrs”, declared that Jerusalem needs blood to purify itself of Jews, while Hamas celebrated the attack and President Abbas' party's Facebook page today announced that candy was being distributed in celebration of it. I join with all hon. members in offering our heartfelt condolences to the victims of today's attack, while we call for an end to incitement, an end to the glorification of terror, an end to the terror itself, and a commitment to peace and non-violence.

 

 

CIJR Congratulates Irwin Cotler, MP for Mount Royal, and former Justice Minister, for being honoured with Maclean’s Magazine “Parliamentarian of the Year.” [to Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

                                                                       

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THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF MICHAEL ZEHAF-BIBEAU,

A SOLDIER OF ALLAH                                                                                   

Paul Merkley                                                                                                                  

Bayview Review, Nov. 18, 2014

 

Islam is becoming more dangerous for everybody every day. In a typical evening broadcast on any of the major global news-networks at least one in three leading items brings to our ears and eyes the horrific effects of the command of Muhammad to “slay the unbeliever.” Typically, there will be stories about this day’s work by suicide-bombers: scores of people who had been going about their daily lives, removed from the earth in the blink of an eye because of the need of dedicated individuals and groups to make theological statements. As I was writing these words the emergency services were cleaning up the human muck left by such incidents in several Arab countries from Mali to Pakistan, in Indonesia and in Muslim parts of Africa as well as in parts of Africa being newly-won for Allah from nominally Christian regimes, such as that in Nigeria. Not always at the top of the news but always going on somewhere are similar events in the Muslim parts of China, Central Asia and the South Pacific – everywhere, in short.

 

The usual intent of these mass-murderers is to display to the world how utterly right he or they are about a point of theological difference between real Muslims and false Muslims. The Holy Qur’an teaches that such differences cannot be set right by argument, because entering into argument with falsifiers of the truth would have to begin with recognizing the right of falsehood to exist at all. Being the inheritors of a spiritual tradition that has at its heart the conviction that God, the Creator of All, has made us in his image (Genesis 1:26), equipped with free will and intelligence, fully responsible for our choices and thus always liable to error — we cannot grasp this zero-sum thinking, and we inevitably go wrong when we imagine that we can – that is, when we rush into the debate seeking to help things out by separating the “moderates” from the “radicals.”

 

Within the world of Islam, there have always been elements so fanatical – nowadays, our journalists call them “Islamists” — that the political leaders of the time have had to rally the community against them, using the full force of loyal and equally bloody-minded armies to crush and pulverize them – for the sake of the continuity of life. In the absence of such loyal and bloody-minded armies, the leaders of the regime have no alternative but to flee the land. In this connection, the story of the “Assassins” of the Eleventh to Thirteenth Centuries is instructive.

 

A few weeks ago there went out from the website of Islamic State to all the faithful everywhere in the world this ukase from Abu Muhammad al Adnan: “If you are not able to find an IED, a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car.” Here we find up-to-date and practical advice for carrying out the mandate that Muhammad left to all the faithful: “Fight and slay the Pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (Sura 9:5.) ISIS’s hot-off-the-press instructions lack nothing to make them immediately applicable to daily life. Paradoxically, as the Islamist organizations have mutated to meet the challenge of commanding millions of souls in the age of the internet and cell-phone, unlimited possibilities for solitary response have also ramified – making use of objects lying as close to hand today as the knife was in the days of the Prophet, items for which the world owes everything to European invention and nothing to Islam.

 

Now cottage-industry jihad has come to Canada. In recent weeks, Canadian citizens have been murdered by solitary Muslim zealots in broad light of day because their uniforms identified them as Canadian military. Progressive politicians and commentators are exhausting their deposit of credibility as they argue whether such creatures as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau and Martin Rouleau were “solitary agents” or foot-soldiers in the ranks of some Islamist organization, known or yet to be uncovered. The first murdered Nathan Cirillo, a reservist-soldier standing guard at the National Cenotaph and then ran up Parliament Hill and into the Centre Block intent on murdering parliamentarians; the second used his car to murder soldier Patrice Vincent on a street-curb in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. Each left unambiguous testimony to his conviction that he was a soldier for Allah.) Neither of these individuals needed to have been a card-carrying member of anything in order to win the prize of eternal martyrdom held out by these internet scholars of Islam. Here is the paradox: by acting utterly alone, seeking the purpose of his life in annihilation of himself and others, each of these men was accomplishing, all by himself, everything for which all the Islamist organizations exist. This is not the sort of individualism that Western political philosophers like to celebrate.

 

Many commentators (including the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition in Canada’s Parliament) persist in ringing the changes on the theme that Zehaf-Bibeau’s motives are a mystery. (“Mulcair deems Ottawa shooter Michael Zehaf Bibeau a criminal, but not a terrorist,” National Post, October 29, 2014.) It is politically urgent to such people to keep maximum distance between this mad man’s deed and the Muslim community. But most people acknowledge that Zehaf-Bibeau knew exactly what he was doing, and that we do not need specialized sociological or therapeutic vocabulary to comprehend it. He simply wanted everything that we belong to die. The marvelous fact is that Zehaf-Bibeau accomplished just the opposite of what he intended. He assaulted the Center Bloc and briefly made most of the Members of Parliament his prisoners, cowering in realistic fear for their lives. But when they were let out, they were changed for ever. Only a few hours later, we saw the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Official Opposition and the Leader of the Liberal step out of their places in the House and embrace without embarrassment – something none of us ever expected to live to see!

 

An even more profound and widespread effect could be seen when Remembrance Day came around a few days later. For several decades now, the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the National Memorial in Ottawa and those held at the thousands of municipal monuments throughout the land have stood alone as occasions in our public life when Christian hymns are sung aloud by children’s choirs and by unembarrassed crowds of civilians and when prayers are addressed out loud to God — and it is all televised without interruption! This years’ Remembrance Day (as noted by the Hamilton Spectator) was marked by “record commemorative crowds, soaring poppy sales, a revived drive for a statutory holiday and media coverage stretching over several days…. Far from fading in significance as once feared, Remembrance Day is resonating with Canadians more now than it has in decades.” (Hamilton Spectator, November 7; “Remembrance Day 2014; Record-Breaking Sales Lead to Poppy shortage,” Huffingtonpost.ca, November 7, 2014.) And this year, as a bonus, there has been a stream of statements from all the Muslim organizations and from the Mosques affirming loyalty to Canada and repudiation of violence. None of this bears any resemblance to what this soldier of Allah intended.

 

Paul Merkley is a CIJR Academic Fellow

         

                                                                       

Contents           

                                                                                         

                             

POLLARD’S PAROLE PLASTERING                                                                      

Gil Hoffman

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 19, 2014

 

Today, Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard enters the 30th year of his life sentence for the crime of passing classified information to an ally. As he does so, he is aware that yet another possible door to his long-awaited freedom has just slammed shut. The first time such a door closed was November 21, 1985, when he was prevented from entering the Israeli Embassy in Washington and arrested outside. Today also marks another significant anniversary: 19 years since the day he became eligible for parole after 10 years in prison. Since then, he has decided repeatedly not even to try and seek parole, because his release would be conditional, and his lawyers had told him that he had no chance in a parole hearing where the legal deck would be overwhelmingly stacked against him.

 

Many have questioned why Pollard never even tried the parole path and focused instead on seeking clemency – asking presidents of the United States to commute his life sentence to the time he had already served. But after so many years of failure, that strategy was secretly reconsidered and replaced last year, according to documents and information revealed exclusively to The Jerusalem Post. Pollard finally applied for parole in December 2013. The person who persuaded him to take that step was the man in whose hands his fate lies: US President Barack Obama. Obama’s statements when he came to Israel in March 2013 left no doubt about what approach Pollard should take. The president ended hopes that he would announce clemency for Pollard during the visit as part of a so-called charm offensive. But he hinted that if Pollard were to apply for parole, he would be treated like any other prisoner. “I have no plans for releasing Jonathan Pollard immediately, but what I am going to be doing is make sure that he – like every other American who has been sentenced – is accorded the same kinds of review and same examination of the equities that any other individual would be provided,” Obama told Channel 2 anchorwoman Yonit Levi in an interview. Obama said his obligation as president was to uphold his country’s laws and make sure they were applied consistently, “to make sure that every individual is treated fairly and equally.”

 

Here was the opportunity that Pollard had been waiting for. He felt he had been treated unfairly and unequally for so many years, and now the president was hinting – in his view, even promising the Israeli people on record on the highly rated nightly news – that he would fix that. Pollard’s parole hearing was scheduled for April 1. But then a different opportunity came, the sort Pollard had always made a point of rejecting. Obama was ready to commute Pollard’s sentence as a gesture to Israel for releasing Israeli Arab prisoners as part of an American-brokered diplomatic process with the Palestinians. That process nearly brought Pollard home in time for the Passover Seder, but it ultimately failed. Pollard withdrew his parole application so it would not be connected to a trade for terrorists. Only when the trade talk died down did he reapply for a parole hearing, which was scheduled for July 1. He and the team working for his release then had a limited time to make efforts to ensure the parole hearing would go well. To that end, they enlisted the man who is arguably the most respected Israeli in America – possibly the only Israeli who enjoys a close relationship with Obama: then-president Shimon Peres.

 

Peres’s role in bringing about Pollard’s release was more than symbolic. He was the prime minister at the time of Pollard’s arrest. At the time, he did not alert the embassy staff about Pollard to ensure he would be let in, and he gave the US documents with Pollard’s fingerprints that incriminated him. Many Israelis saw Pollard’s continued incarceration as a lingering stain on Peres’s decades of public service that neither of the medals he recently received in Washington could remove. The two presidents were due to meet in the US capital during Peres’s final tour in office on June 25, six days before the parole hearing. Peres vowed to the people of Israel to take action for Pollard, and the Israeli agent’s pro-bono lawyers prepared him meticulously. Respected New York attorneys Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, who have represented Pollard for free for 15 years, met with Peres’s aides extensively to explain how the US parole process worked. Lauer reviewed the information with Peres himself at Washington’s Willard Hotel immediately before he met with Obama.

 

Peres’s message to Obama was to be the following: You don’t have to grant clemency. In fact, you can distance yourself from the matter completely. Just privately let the US Justice Department know that you don’t oppose paroling Pollard and letting him leave for Israel. Obama would not need to get his hands dirty, just keep the commitment he had made to Israelis 15 months earlier to treat Pollard fairly, like any other prisoner, and let his parole be assessed naturally on the merits of his case. Following the meeting, Peres’s diplomatic adviser Nadav Tamir reported back to the lawyers with good news: The message had indeed been delivered. Peres’s office leaked to the press that Obama had personally referred the matter to his attorney-general and close confidant Eric Holder – the head of the American Justice Department and the chief law-enforcement officer of the US government. “The entire nation is interested in releasing Pollard, and I am the emissary of the nation,” Peres told reporters after the meeting. “I don’t think of myself as Shimon. I am the representative of the State of Israel, and I speak in the name of its people.”…

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

                                   

                                                                       

Contents        

                                                                                                                                  

PICKING UP THE PIECES OF A LOST CULTURE                                               

Eitan Arom                                                                                                                        

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 19, 2014

 

I’m traveling across the bleak Ukrainian countryside with half a dozen Israeli journalists, two history professors in animated discussion, an employee of Wikipedia and two native speakers of Ukrainian. Together, we form the press attaché for Limmud FSU, an organization that travels the former Soviet Union to stoke the heritage and Jewish life of the Jews still there. We pull off the highway into a town called Brody in Western Ukraine and stop at the main square. In the middle of the overgrown grassy plaza, facing two Soviet-looking apartment blocs and a convenience store, is a synagogue. Or more precisely, what used to be a synagogue – its roof has fallen in and the interior is choked with undergrowth.

 

We all troop out of the bus. I turn up my collar against the damp and chill. The Great Synagogue of Brody is a metaphor for Eastern European Jewry, written in stone. Cut down at the apex of its greatness, once the site of rich culture, legend and scholarship, it is now derelict. It is a faint shadow of what it was, much like the community to which it once played home. And yet, Europe is full of these ruins. Walking around the perimeter of the eerie monument, I ask myself: what am I supposed to feel – other than the cold? Thousands of Jewish cemeteries, schools, mikvaot (ritual baths) and places of worship face a similar fate across Ukraine and the rest of Eastern Europe. Languishing for many long years under the cruel and intentional neglect of the Soviet regime, they now overstretch the resources of the region’s much-diminished Jewish population to protect.

 

It’s hard to know why these derelict or otherwise reconstituted buildings are so important to the Jewish people. Certainly, history has practical value – there’s that oft-repeated idiom about knowing your past to avoid repeating it – but it doesn’t explain why Jewish historiography can put such a heavy focus on individual people, places, stories. Surely the broader picture of a people destroyed by industrialized, political hatred does the trick, right? Yet the ghost of a culture that lives in Eastern Europe holds an attraction for today’s Jews that I don’t pretend to fully understand. Among those traveling with the Limmud FSU press corps is Fania Oz-Salzberger, a professor of history at Haifa University and the daughter of Israeli novel-ist Amos Oz. Rovne is the childhood home of her grandmother, Oz’s mother, and is memorialized in Oz’s novel A Tale of Love and Darkness, soon to be a motion picture starring Natalie Portman. But the Rovne of Oz’s book – a community with more than 20,000 Jews – is gone. The house where Oz-Salzberger’s mother grew up stands (we attended the installment of a plaque at the site) but the inhabitants share no relation with her other than their goodwill. Even in the absence of the Jewish population they once housed – the same population that in-vented the Hassidic movement – the abandoned or re-purposed structures that mark our Eastern European heritage command our inexplicable attention and respect.

 

About three hours by car to the southeast of Rovne is Lviv, where Limmud FSU’s annual festival of culture and learning in Ukraine took place this month. The city of pristine Polish architecture is a draw for history-seekers both Jewish and otherwise. Krysztof Willmann is an amateur historian of Lviv, a Warsaw resident who dedicated himself to researching the place his parents fled after his father ran afoul of the Gestapo. After retiring from his career as a PhD economist, Willmann spent two years in Lviv documenting the rich history of the town. He researches people and places, participating, for example, in the annual International Bruno Schulz Festival celebrating the Jewish artist and critic slaughtered in the Holocaust. It’s a vocation that costs rather than earns him money. He describes finding and purchasing with his own funds a letter written by a famous prewar actress from Lviv.

 

What’s the point of this whole business? Why does Willmann care about an actress from a city he didn’t grow up in? Why do we Jews care about old hulks of buildings that haven’t seen Jewish worship since before the war? Something of an answer to those questions can be found in the achingly tragic and hysterically funny story told in Liev Schreiber’s Everything is Illuminated, based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel of the same name. The main character, named Jonathan Safran Foer after the author, is a magpie-like collector of family heirlooms, seeking items for his collection from grandfather’s shtetl in Western Ukraine. When he reaches the site of the shtetl, only one woman remains, a recluse whose sister was his grandfather’s sweetheart. She reveals to Foer that before being killed by the Nazis, her sister left her wedding ring buried under the ground, “in case someone should come searching one day.” “So they would have something to find?” asks Foer’s translator. “No, it does not exist for you,” she answers “You exist for it. You have come because it exists.

 

Stories don’t exist for us. They exist whether we see them there or not, and they exist for their own sake. Given that they are there, collecting them seems the only human thing to do. Foer, Oz-Salzberger, Willmann – these people are collectors. They collect stories, mo-ments, and objects from the past. The exercise is important for its own sake. As a journalist, this is a fact I should probably have grasped by now. After all, my world is made up of stories. I scurry around looking for plotlines, characters, settings, anecdotes, and disseminate them to as many people as possible. I do it for it’s own sake. I do it because these stories exist. Because, unequivocally and above all else, they are human.


 

 

 

Friends, On the Sabbath, tomorrow, congregations across Canada, will show their solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Israel – see the link below. On Tuesday, the terrorists struck at the core of our identity as Jews – of who we are – they deliberately committed a grotesque and monstrous attack against innocent worshippers, rabbis, praying to God in the sanctity of a synagogue, a house of worship in Har Noff Israel.

 

The terrorists want us to be afraid – their goal is to promote fear – now is the time to show strong support for Israel and go to Israel and be there just to make the statement “We will not be intimidated”. People living in Western society who value life and believe in the sanctity of life are shocked at the outrageous attacks committed by these sociopaths with no moral conscience – they are murderers.  How can someone be capable of committing such evil? 

 

In Israel, most restaurants, shops and malls have security at their entrances – in Toronto, many synagogues, schools and community centres have security at their entrances – synagogues in Israel will have to follow suit – pogroms against Jews must stop… Plan on attending a synagogue on Shabbat where we will stand together in solidarity…

[For More Information Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Shirley Anne Haber, The Media Action Group

 

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

 

 

 

Contents           

 

On Topic

 

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: "To be free, you have to let go of hate." (Video): Stand With Us, Nov. 13, 2014

Domestic Radicalization and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: Max Boot, Commentary, Nov. 18, 2014  —Israel appears to be facing a do-it-yourself terrorist offensive.

The Essentiality of Anger: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2014 —A grotesque kind of quiet has taken root among Israelis in the Promised Land; a morose passivity that expresses depression and suggests acquiescence.

In This Struggle, Israel Can Prevail: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 20, 2014 —During these difficult days of increasing terror, the most urgent question is: What can we do in order to cope optimally with the growing terrorist violence in Israel, knowing that behind the scenes there are several players who are expending intense efforts to bring about an explosion.

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

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PERSPECTIVES ON, AND AFTER, THE JERUSALEM SYNAGOGUE SLAUGHTER: AT THE SHUL, AND WHAT O. SHOULD HAVE SAID

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 

 

Contents:

 

 

Letter From Jerusalem: Nov. 20, 2014— Yesterday at about 7 am my daughter Miri called. "Mordechai just came home from shul. He said that Arabs came in and are shooting, and that a man with an axe is hitting everyone. Some of the people threw chairs at them, but it didn't help".

Statement by Jack Kincler on Jerusalem Synagogue Attack: Jack Kincler, CIJR, Nov. 19, 2014— I read carefully President Obama’s statement following the beheading of Peter (Abdul-Rahman) Kassig, here is what he said

Responding to the Slaughter: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2014 — What we are seeing in Jerusalem today is not simply Palestinian terrorism. It is Islamic jihad.

A Sunni Hezbollah?: Jonathan Spyer, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 9, 2014 — Jabhat al-Nusra, like the Lebanse Shi’ite organization, is emerging as a movement that combines uncompromising jihadi ideology with tactical flexibility.

 

On Topic Links

 

Palestinian Terrorists Should Know: It’s Not Going to Work: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, Nov. 18, 2014 

Blaming Israel for Palestinian Violence is Racist: it Denies That Arabs are Moral Agents: Alan Johnson, Telegraph, Nov. 20, 2014

'It Looked Like a Pogrom': Yardena Schwartz, Foreign Policy, Nov. 19, 2014

Battle of Jerusalem: What Congress Should Do Now: Seth Lipsky, New York Post, Nov. 19, 2014

 

                                      

[The following letter is from a person whose family was directly involved in the recent terrible terrorist murders at the Bnei Torah synagogue in Har Nof, west Jerusalem; it was forwarded by a mutual friend, and is published with the permission of the author—Ed.]     

 

 

LETTER FROM JERUSALEM

                                                          Nov. 19, 2014

 

Dear friends,

 

Yesterday at about 7 am my daughter Miri called. "Mordechai just came home from shul. He said that Arabs came in and are shooting, and that a man with an axe is hitting everyone. Some of the people threw chairs at them, but it didn't help". The twelve-year-old had hit the floor along with everyone else when the bullets began to fly. He was fully aware of what was going on, and what it meant. He somehow found the courage to let go of his father's hand, crawl towards the exit and break into a run.

 

Some of you know Miri and her family. She has had some of you over for Shabbos and holidays, and others sleeping in one of her kid's bedrooms when the crowd at my house gets too big to accommodate sanely. Mordechai is blonde, freckled, and a soft-spoken somewhat introverted and studious boy, much like his father, Shmuli. He is not Huck Finn, and the courage he found at those moments was a gift straight from G-d. By the time he finished telling Miri what happened, sirens from Hatzalah ambulances, police cars, and Magen David could be heard telling her that there were casualties. "Where's Shmuli" was the thought that entered her mind again and again as the seconds which felt like hours began to tick. She called me and said, "Say Tehillim. There is shooting in Bnei Torah". I began to say the ancient prayers, stopped myself and called Rabbi Weidan, and told him what was happening. I then began the Tehillim again, knocked on my neighbor's door and told her to do the same. Chani called and told me to look at the news to see what was really happening. Nothing was reported as yet. Of course not. It was only 7:10.

 

I realized that the whether or not the attack was over, that no one as yet knew whether the murderers escaped. I called again, asking that everything be done to see that no one leaves the campus, and then called Miri. Thank G-d she had the sense to stay indoors and not run to the besieged synagogue. When Mordechai came home, the shooting was still happening. By 7:20 we both realized that if she didn't hear from Shmuli, something was very wrong. The police and other services had no information as yet to give to the public, but a family friend who had seen the terror with his own eyes, said that Shmuli had been taken to Haddassah EIn Karem. When Mordechai let go of his hand, he instinctively ran after the child placing himself in the sight of the terrorists. One of them attacked him with his axe, hitting him on the left side of his head, his back and his arm. Somehow he made it to the door. Josh White, a student of Machon Shlomo, was riding down Agassi on his bike. He noticed what he described later as "a lot of confusion" in front of Bnei Torah, asked someone what was going on, and surprisingly (for Har Nof) the man answered him in Hebrew! In the midst of what to him was gibberish, he picked up the word Aravim (Arabs) and immediately grasped what was happening.

 

He approached the shul and saw Shmuli who was still aware. The Machon student took off his shirt and stopped the bleeding, a move which may have saved Shmuli's life. The shooting was still happening inside. It was about 7:15! The emergency crew drew back, but because Shmuli was already outside, they evacuated him, thus making him the first of the wounded to be taken to Hadassah, another factor in his survival. Before collapsing, he asked where Mordechai was, and when he was told that the boy ran away from the carnage, he said, "Baruch Hashem". Inside, the terrorists were continuing their "work". When they entered they turned to their left, and immediately cut down Rabbi Twerski and Rav Kalman Levine, who were standing in the corner. Reb Kalman was the husband of Chaya, formally Markowitz, who was a student and later a madrichah at Neve. Her husband was not a regular attendee of Bnei Torah. He would generally daven in the earliest possible minyan so he could get in a couple of hours of learning before beginning his day. Yesterday he had a question about something he had learned and had gone after davening to Bnei Torah to put the question to its erudite rav, Rabbi Rubin. The question will now only be resolved in the Heavenly Academy.

 

Rev Avraham Goldberg, the third man to be killed, is Breina Goldberg's husband. Many of you know Breina as the warm caring efficient secretary-cum -mother figure at the front desk in the afternoon. I don't as yet know how her husband, or Reb Kupinski, the fourth victim, met their deaths. The only thing that I know, is that it was brutal and swift. The first policemen to enter were traffic cops who knew what they were facing, and also knew that they were not wearing protective gear. They entered anyway and together with the forces that came afterwards ended the bloodbath. By 7:30 the murderers were apprehended.

 

Miri, my daughter Guli, and her husband were in Hadassah. Miri's other kids were watched by relatives and friends for the day. Mordechai was urged to speak about what he saw again and again in order to diminish the damage of the trauma he had undergone. The rest of the family flowed in, saying Tehillim and waiting for updates. The hospital social worker, Aviva, who is blessed with the rare gift of being empathic without being overbearing, and the women of Ezer Mitzion (a volunteer organization) kept us well supplied with food, calming conversation and practical advice. We were allowed to see Shmuli who was put under anesthesia. We don't know if he heard us or not, but we were talking to him stressing that Mordechai was fine. In the hours before the surgery was done, we found ourselves with Risa Rotman. Her husband, Chaim Yechiel ben Malka, was also attacked, and the extent of his wounds is very serious. Some of you may know Risa (who if I am not mistaken also is an OBG) and those of you whose husbands learned in Ohr Sameach or who recall Reb Meir Shuster who he helped unstintingly for years, may know him as Howie. The policeman who entered first, passed away. May Hashem avenge his blood.

 

Every day in Eretz Yisrael is a gift and a miracle. I have no pretensions of knowing Hashem's will, but I do know that everything He does is purposeful, and that His compassion that is often hidden from the human eye. Anyone who values human life and reality and the eternal nature of the soul is appalled by the idea of people entering a synagogue and killing people who they never met randomly.

 

Except for CNN. They reported the entire event as an attack on a mosque.

Except for BBC. They reported that the Israeli police killed two Palestinians (they meant the murderers). The victims of Israeli brutality presumably were going on a stroll through scenic Har Nof when attacked by the racist troops….

 

Please post the truth to whomever you can reach.

Please, please continue saying Tehillim for Shmuel Yerucham ben Baila and the other victims. Daven that Hashem give strength to the five new widows and 24 new orphans. Most of all thank Hashem that we are not Them, and treasure Hashem's Torah and His Land.

                                                                                                                        Love always,

                                                                                                                            Tziporah

 

         

STATEMENT ON THE JERUSALEM SYNAGOGUE ATTACK                           

Jack Kincler                                                                                                       

CIJR, Nov. 19, 2014

 

I read carefully President Obama’s statement following the beheading of Peter (Abdul-Rahman) Kassig, here is what he said: “Today we offer our prayers and condolences to the parents and family of Abdul-Rahman Kassig, also known to us as Peter.  We cannot begin to imagine their anguish at this painful time. Abdul-Rahman was taken from us in an act of pure evil by a terrorist group that the world rightly associates with inhumanity.  Like Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff before him, his life and deeds stand in stark contrast to everything that ISIL represents.  While ISIL revels in the slaughter of innocents, including Muslims, and is bent only on sowing death and destruction, Abdul-Rahman was a humanitarian who worked to save the lives of Syrians injured and dispossessed by the Syrian conflict.  While ISIL exploits the tragedy in Syria to advance their own selfish aims, Abdul-Rahman was so moved by the anguish and suffering of Syrian civilians that he traveled to Lebanon to work in a hospital treating refugees.  Later, he established an aid group, SERA, to provide assistance to Syrian refugees and displaced persons in Lebanon and Syria.  These were the selfless acts of an individual who cared deeply about the plight of the Syrian people. ISIL's actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith which Abdul-Rahman adopted as his own.  Today we grieve together, yet we also recall that the indomitable spirit of goodness and perseverance that burned so brightly in Abdul-Rahman Kassig, and which binds humanity together, ultimately is the light that will prevail over the darkness of ISIL.”

 

Here below is a very similar statement, substituting the ISIL terrorists for Hamas and Palestinian terrorists,   which is what we should have heard from Pres. Obama today, the only difference being that it is Jewish blood which was spilled and, as PM Netanyahu put it in his reaction to today’s atrocity, in a press conference in Jerusalem Tuesday night, “"I call on all the leaders of countries in the Western world: I want to see outrage over this massacre. I want to see denunciation”. He went on to urge the international community not make a distinction between Jewish and non-Jewish blood.

 

Imagine now President Obama and other world leaders making the following statement: Statement by the President on the Death of Rabbi Moshe Twersky, Rabbi Kalman Levine,  Aryeh Kupinsky, Avraham Shmuel Goldberg and  Zidan Saif (May their memory be a blessing): “Today we offer our prayers and condolences to the parents and families of Rabbi Moshe Twersky, Rabbi Kalman Levine,  Aryeh Kupinsky, Avraham Shmuel Goldberg and  Zidan Saif .  We cannot begin to imagine their anguish at this painful time. The five terrorist massacre victims were taken from us in an act of pure evil by a terrorist group that the world rightly associates with inhumanity.  Like the thousands of Palestinian terror victims before them including a 3-month-old baby, Chaya Zissel Braun, killed on the 22nd Oct. 2014, their lives and deeds stand in stark contrast to everything that Hamas and Palestinian terrorists and the Palestinian people represent.  While Hamas and Palestinians revel in the slaughter of innocents, including Muslims, and are bent only on sowing death and destruction, the Israeli victims were  humanitarians and God-fearing people who were innocent civilians. While Hamas and other Palestinian terror organizations exploit the tragedy in Jerusalem to advance their own selfish aims, the Israeli Government and the Israeli people show the utmost restraint given the strong emotional reaction to this despicable massacre. These murdered Israelis were all people who acted always selflessly as individuals who cared deeply about their families, their beliefs and their country. Hamas and Palestinian  terrorists actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith. Today we grieve together, yet we also recall that the indomitable spirit of goodness and perseverance that burned so brightly in the victims of this heinous massacre, and which binds humanity together, ultimately is the light that will prevail over the darkness of Hamas and Palestinian Terrorism and hatred.”

 

Instead, here is what President Obama had to say condemning the killings in the synagogue, creating an imaginary moral equivalency between the Israeli victims of this terrible, monstrous massacre and the Palestinian terrorist butchers:   “There is and can be no justification for such attacks against innocent civilians…Too many Israelis have died; too many Palestinians have died. At this difficult time, I think it’s important for both Palestinians and Israelis to try to work together to lower tensions and reject violence.” He added: “We have to remind ourselves that the majority of Palestinians and Israelis overwhelmingly want peace.”

 

Jack Kincler is CIJR’s National Chairman

         

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RESPONDING TO THE SLAUGHTER                                                                    

Caroline Glick

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2014

 

What we are seeing in Jerusalem today is not simply Palestinian terrorism. It is Islamic jihad. No one likes to admit it. The television reporters insist that this is the worst possible scenario because there is no way to placate it. There is no way to reason with it. So what else is new? The horrible truth is that all of the anti-Jewish slaughters perpetrated by our Arab neighbors have been motivated to greater or lesser degrees by Islamic Jew-hatred. The only difference between the past hundred years and now is that today our appeasement-oriented elite is finding it harder to pretend away the obvious fact that we cannot placate our enemies. No “provocation” by Jews drove two Jerusalem Arabs to pick up meat cleavers and a rifle and slaughter rabbis in worship like sheep and then mutilate their bodies. No “frustration” with a “lack of progress” in the “peace process,” can motivate people to run over Jewish babies or attempt to assassinate a Jewish civil rights activist.

 

The reason that these terrorists have decided to kill Jews is that they take offense at the fact that in Israel, Jews are free. They take offense because all their lives they have been taught that Jews should live at their mercy, or die by their sword. They do so because they believe, as former Jordanian MP Ya’qub Qarash said on Palestinian television last week, that Christians and Muslims should work together to forbid the presence of Jews in “Palestine” and guarantee that “not a single Jew will remain in Jerusalem.” Our neighbors are taught that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, signed the treaty of Hudaybiyah in 628 as a ploy to buy time during which he would change the balance of power between his army and the Jews of Kuraish. And 10 years later, once his army gained the upper hand, he annihilated the Jews.

 

Throughout the 130-year history of modern Zionism, Islamic Jew-hatred has been restrained by two forces: the desire of many Arabs to live at peace with their Jewish neighbors; and the ability of Israeli authorities and before them, British authorities, to deter the local Arab Muslims from attacking. The monopoly on Arab Muslim leadership has always belonged to the intolerant bigots. Support for coexistence has always been the choice of individuals. Haj Amin el-Husseini’s first act as the founder of the Palestinian Arab identity was to translate The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and serialize them in the local press. During the Arab jihad of 1936-1939, Husseini’s gangs of murderers killed more Arabs than the British did. He targeted those who sought peaceful coexistence with the Jews. His successor Yasser Arafat followed his example. During the 1988-1991 Palestinian uprising, the PLO killed more Palestinians than the IDF did. Like Husseini, Arafat targeted Palestinians who worked with Israel. Since Israel imprudently embraced Arafat and the PLO in 1993 and permitted them to govern the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and exert direct influence and coercive power over the Arabs of Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority’s governing institutions have used all the tools at their disposal to silence those who support peaceful coexistence with Israel, and indoctrinate the general public in Islamic and racial Jew-hatred. Much has been made of the recent spike in incitement of violence by Palestinian leaders led by Arafat’s successor Mahmoud Abbas. But the flames Abbas and his comrades are throwing would not cause such conflagrations if they hadn’t already indoctrinated their audience to desire the destruction of the Jews. You cannot solicit murder among those who haven’t been taught that committing murder is an act of heroism.

 

Today Israel must take swift, effective action to stop the slaughter. The damage that has been done to the psyches of the Arabs of Jerusalem and their brethren in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, cannot be repaired in a timeline relevant to the task of preventing the next massacre. This means that for the time being, on the tactical level, Israel’s only play is strengthening its deterrence. Israel faces two major constraints in meeting this challenge. First, the European Union and the Obama administration, as well as the US foreign policy elite, are obsessively committed to a policy of empowering the Palestinians against Israel. The Spanish parliament’s decision to go ahead with its planned vote to recognize the “State of Palestine,” just hours after the massacre at the Bnei Torah Kehillat Yaakov synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood shows that the EU’s dedication to strengthening the Palestinians against Israel is entirely unrelated to events on the ground. They don’t care who the Palestinians are or what they do. For their own reasons they have made supporting the Palestinians at Israel’s expense their top foreign policy priority.

 

Similarly, US President Barack Obama couldn’t contain his compulsion to pressure Israel even in his statement condemning the massacre. Even there, Obama called on Israelis and Palestinians equally to restrain themselves. Obama’s unabated hostility toward Israel was brought to bear on Tuesday afternoon when the State Department restated its rejection of Jewish property rights in Jerusalem and its desire to see the homes of terrorist murderers left intact for the welfare of their terror-supporting families. On Tuesday, Israel’s social media outlets were filled with angry rebukes of Western media outlets from CNN to MSNBC to CBS, to the BBC. All these networks, and many others, did everything in their power to explain away the synagogue slaughter as just another instance of a cycle of violence. That is, they all sought to frame the discussion in a way that would lead their viewers to the conclusion that the slaughter of praying rabbis was justified. While appalling, the coverage was not the least surprising. The Western elite media’s devotion to their false narrative of Israeli culpability for all the problems in the region is absolute. Networks would rather wreck their professional reputations than tell the truth. Together with the EU, the American policy elite and the Obama administration, the media place Israel’s leaders in a bind. Every step they take to defend the country and protect the rights of Jews meets with automatic and libelous condemnation…

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

                                   

                                                                       

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A SUNNI HEZBOLLAH?                                                                                   

Jonathan Spyer                                                                                                                

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 9, 2014

 

Jabhat al-Nusra, like the Lebanse Shi’ite organization, is emerging as a movement that combines uncompromising jihadi ideology with tactical flexibility. Jabhat al-Nusra, the Islamist group which constitutes al-Qaida’s “official franchise” in Syria, this week carried out a successful offensive against Western-backed rebel militias in northern Syria. Key areas were captured. Islamic State and its activities further east continue to dominate Western media reporting on the war in Syria. But in northwest Syria, Lebanon and the area immediately east of the Golan, it is Nusra which is becoming the main Sunni jihadi force on the ground.

 

There are significant differences in the praxis of these two movements, despite their near-identical ideological stances. Islamic State prefers to rule by straightforward terror – see its slaughter of 322 members of the Albu Nimr tribe north of Ramadi this week. Nusra is no less brutal when it deems it necessary, but follows a different, more sophisticated trajectory. This requires Nusra to at times cooperate with other Sunni groups (including Islamic State), and at other times fight them. The assault against rival rebel groups began on Saturday and was mainly focused against the Syria Revolutionaries Front (SRF), led by former construction worker Jamal Ma’arouf. Ma’arouf, who hails from the Jebel Zawiya region of Idlib province, emerged as a successful warlord in one of the heartlands of the Syrian Sunni rebellion. According to sources in northern Syria, however, Ma’arouf is seen by many as a corrupt figure who has personally enriched himself in the course of the Syrian war.

 

The tensions between Nusra and SRF in the north are of long standing, and have claimed lives on both sides. They are concerned with power, and the control of populations, land and resources. Nusra’s forces made rapid progress into Jebel Zawiya, capturing Ma’arouf’s home village of Deir Sunbul; the smaller Harakat Hazm militia also abandoned a number of villages in the wake of the group’s advance. Nusra is now just a few miles from the Bab al-Hawa border crossing between Syria and Turkey. Ma’arouf was known to have been in contact with Western officials, though the extent of aid to his movement is not clear. Hazm, however – which numbers only around 5,000 fighters – was the recipient of direct Western help, including a number of BGM-71 TO W anti-tank systems delivered this past spring.  These systems may well now be in the hands of the al-Qaida- associated Nusra, following Hazm’s abandonment of areas of northern Idlib province in the wake of Nusra’s advance against the SRF. The future of Hazm and SRF in the rebel heartland of northwest Syria now looks uncertain. Nusra appears uninterested in proclaiming an “Islamic state” of its own any time soon, but it is clearly deeply interested in capturing and holding ground in this area – and is doing so.

 

Oddly, in other areas, Nusra cooperates with the very forces it fights in the north. In western Syria and the Lebanese Beka’a, for example, Nusra and Islamic State work together in the Qalamun mountains area, and in frequent forays into Lebanon. There, they seek to secure a link between pro-rebel Sunni towns in the Beka’a and the jihadi fighters in the mountains, so as to ensure a supply route throughout the winter. Nusra recently killed around 10 Hezbollah fighters in a hitand- run raid on a position near Britel. It also took part, together with Islamic State, in a large-scale raid on the town of Arsal in August, capturing a number of Lebanese soldiers. Nusra leader Muhammad al-Jowlani issued a statement on Tuesday, promising further incursions into Lebanon. Addressing Hezbollah directly, Jowlani said, “The real war in Lebanon is yet to begin, and what is coming is so bitter that [leader] Hassan Nasrallah will bite his fingers in remorse for what he has done to Sunnis.”…

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

 

Contents           

On Topic

 

Palestinian Terrorists Should Know: It’s Not Going to Work: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, Nov. 18, 2014 —Really, the last thing any of us wants to do on a day like this is write.

Blaming Israel for Palestinian Violence is Racist: it Denies That Arabs are Moral Agents: Alan Johnson, Telegraph, Nov. 20, 2014 —There were some odd media reactions this week to the murder of four Jews at prayer (and the heroic Israeli Druze first responder Zidan Saif who tried to rescue them) by two Palestinians perpetrators in Jerusalem.

'It Looked Like a Pogrom': Yardena Schwartz, Foreign Policy, Nov. 19, 2014 —When Jews pray, particularly religious Jews, it is usually with their eyes closed.

Battle of Jerusalem: What Congress Should Do Now: Seth Lipsky, New York Post, Nov. 19, 2014 —Let the massacre of the rabbis in Israel serve as a wake-up call to the new Congress that will be seated in Washington come January.

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

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BARBARIC JERUSALEM VIOLENCE: SYMPTOMATIC OF ISLAMIST TERROR PLAGUING THE MIDDLE EAST

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 

 

Contents:

 

As We Go To Press: ISRAEL BLAMES ABBAS, PROMISES HARSH RESPONSE TO SYNAGOGUE TERROR ATTACK (Jerusalem) — Israeli political leaders are blaming Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for inciting Tuesday's bloody terrorist attack inside a Jerusalem synagogue that killed four people and injured eight others. The two terrorists, who carried axes and a gun, also were killed in a shootout with police. The attack took place in a synagogue in Jerusalem's Har Nof neighborhood. All four murder victims were rabbis. Three of them, Aryeh Kopinsky, Moshe Twersky, and Calman Levine, were dual American-Israeli citizens. The fourth, Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, was a British-Israeli citizen. Twersky's grandfather is an iconic figure in modern Orthodox Judaism.

 

"This is the direct result of the incitement being led by Hamas and Abu Mazen (Abbas), incitement which the international community is irresponsibly ignoring," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. "We will respond with a heavy hand to the brutal murder of Jews who came to pray and were met by reprehensible murderers." Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman echoed that, saying "the responsibility rests entirely with the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas has deliberately turned the conflict into a religious conflict between Jews and Muslims…” The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claimed responsibility. The slaughter drew immediate praise from Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)…Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said it was in revenge for the death of a Palestinian found hanged in a bus Sunday night. An autopsy determined it was a suicide… Secretary of State John Kerry called Netanyahu Tuesday to offer condolences over the attack, describing it as an "act of pure terror and senseless brutality" and called on the Palestinian leadership to condemn it "in the most powerful terms."… (IPT Blog, Nov. 18, 2014)

 

The Quiet Holiness of a Synagogue Shattered by Unholy Terror: David Brinn, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 18, 2014 — All of the other terror attacks of the last few months led up to this one – the triumphant operation Hamas has labeled a "high-quality" attack.

Paving the Way for Islamic State in Israel: Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom, Nov. 18, 2014— During morning prayers at a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, two Arabs with massacre on their minds entered the premises armed with guns and axes. 

What Makes Islamic State so Attractive?: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 6, 2014 — The fact that Islamic State (formerly Daesh or ISIS/ISIL) is highly popular in the Islamic world cannot be ignored.

The Ancestors of ISIS: David Motadel, New York Times, Sept. 23, 2014— In the last few years, there has been a dramatic rise of a seemingly new type of polity: the Islamic rebel state.

 

On Topic Links

 

Global Terrorism Index Report: Institute for Economics and Peace, Nov. 16, 2014 

The Silence of Prayer, Shattered in a Synagogue Bloodbath: Mitch Ginsburg, Times of Israel, Nov. 18, 2014

Israel's Arabs Need Better Leaders: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 18, 2014

Yes, Mahmoud Abbas IS to Blame: Ari Soffer, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 18, 2014

The Pentagon’s ‘Nine-Brigade Gamble’ on Iraq: Robert H. Scales, Washington Post, Nov. 10, 2014

Quebec Voters at the Heart of NDP, Liberal Positions on Iraq: J.L. Granatstein, Globe & Mail, Oct. 8, 2014

 

                            

THE QUIET HOLINESS OF A SYNAGOGUE

SHATTERED BY UNHOLY TERROR                                         

David Brinn                                                                                                                       Jerusalem Post, Nov. 18, 2014

 

All of the other terror attacks of the last few months led up to this one – the triumphant operation Hamas has labeled a "high-quality" attack. The months of Palestinian incitement over the Israeli "takeover" of al-Aksa mosque did its job in making an impression on young Palestinians and turning them into fanatical terrorists who executed Tuesday's bloodbath in Har Nof. It was a palpable sense of shock and revulsion that overtook the nation on Tuesday when the sanctity of a synagogue was violated and Jewish worshipers were struck down in a scene that summoned images of pogroms and Nazi atrocities – images that we thought were part of our past, not our present. No amount of mea culpas about the "occupation" dehumanizing them or Israel's policies pushing them into a corner where they're forced to lash out can rationalize the depravity of  Palestinian society that not only enables acts like this but then praises them and justifies continued "resistance." And now, as a result, their lives are going to get a lot harder.  Israel surely knows how to make peace, but it can just as effectively make war – whatever path it needs to take to protect its people. If the people of Jabel Mukaber  – instead of gathering en masse in a rally of condemnation of the acts of their sons  – react as they did by engaging security forces with rocks and violence,  it's clear that the intifada era is not going to pass quietly.

 

Who will be the next young Palestinian driven by the incitement of their political and religious leaders to pick up an axe or a knife and betray their humanity? That fear has spread throughout Israel – and while it's disconcerting for  us, it's worse news for the Palestinians we share the city with – Palestinians like the cleaning staff at Jerusalem Capital Studios that houses The Jerusalem Post. They too are young Jerusalem Palestinians with similar backgrounds to the perpetrators of Tuesday's terror. I see them every day, exchange pleasantries, just like the worshipers in Har Nof likely did with the two terrorists who reportedly worked in the neighborhood. When two of the regular staffers entered my office in the afternoon to empty the trash bin and replace it with a new nylon bag, I found myself for the first time tensing up and watching their every move out of the corner of my eye. It's a sad, unfortunate reality that results in shadowy suspicions like that, but from now on, no excuses will be made.  The quiet holiness of a Har Nof synagogue being shattered by unholy death made sure of that.             

         

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PAVING THE WAY FOR ISLAMIC STATE IN ISRAEL                               

Ruthie Blum       

Israel Hayom, Nov. 18, 2014

 

During morning prayers at a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, two Arabs with massacre on their minds entered the premises armed with guns and axes. They managed to kill four worshippers and wound several others before being shot down by police. Immediately this was reported in the media as a revenge attack for the death of an Arab bus driver (employed by the Israeli company, Egged) on Sunday night. A forensic examination, conducted on Monday in the presence of an Arab coroner, showed that the deceased had hanged himself. But his parents insisted he was murdered by Jews. Riots ensued. But then, mass protests against perceived Israeli crimes have been going on for months. Each is given a specific label, but they are all part of what I would call the "Temple Mount Intifada."

 

This latest war of attrition against Israel was ostensibly caused by a movement of Jews who wish to alter the status quo and be allowed to pray at the Temple Mount. But Muslims, who have free rein to worship at the Al-Aqsa mosque, consider this an assault. They rationalize their rejection of religious coexistence by denying a Jewish connection to the site. "Temple denial" is a term coined by Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs head Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the U.N. and current foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In his 2007 book, "The Fight for Jerusalem: Radical Islam, the West, and the Future of the Holy City," Gold called the attempt on the part of Palestinian Liberation Organization chief Yasser Arafat to delegitimize Israel by rejecting Jewish claims to the holy city.

 

Since then, Gold has shown how Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has picked up where Arafat left off, continuing the campaign to cast aspersions on Israel's connection to Jerusalem in general and to the Temple Mount in particular. Indeed, Abbas and other PA figures have taken many opportunities to assert that if there was a Jewish Temple 2,000 years ago, it was located in Nablus. When Gold first began to warn about Temple denial as a dangerous propaganda tool with a contagious message, some pundits shrugged it off. After all, there is not only a religious connection on the part of the Jews to the holiest site in Judaism; there is also abundant archaeological evidence on and around the site to prove it. Furthermore, as Gold wrote in these pages ("Abbas' Temple denial," March 2, 2012), "The great irony of this new Palestinian version of Jerusalem's history is that it contradicts the original Islamic tradition. Abu Ja'far Muhammad bin Jarir al-Tabari (839-923 C.E.) was a leading commentator on the Quran and is known as one of Islam's greatest historians. In his account of the conquest of Jerusalem by the second caliph, Umar bin al-Khattab, al-Tabari describes him heading toward 'the area where the Romans buried the Temple [bayt al-maqdis] at the time of the sons of Israel.'"

 

Gold's analysis and admonitions were prescient. The current wave of Palestinian terrorism is the culmination of decades of revisionist history, raised by Arafat at the end of the Camp David summit in 2000, and relentlessly promoted since then by his successors in the PA and by radical Muslims elsewhere.It is this, too, that is enabling Islamic State to gain a foothold in Jerusalem. According to the online news site Vocativ, a campaign called "Recruitment for Al-Aqsa" has been circulating on Islamic State social media sites. "The goal of this holy campaign is to prepare suicide and jihadi attacks against the Jews … in order to implement the law of Allah and liberate the captive Al-Aqsa mosque from the hands of the filthy Jews," says the group behind it. This mission statement is accompanied by Skype, Twitter, phone and e-mail contacts, as well as calls for volunteers and a fund-raising pitch that reads as follows: "Our Muslim brother, if you can't be a mujahid by yourself, then you should know that your brothers in Palestine promised to Allah to go in the path of jihad. Don't be cheap with your money." When Vocativ called the number listed on the posting, a man answered and said that the aim is to recruit 50 fighters and pay each one a $2,500 stipend in cash, to cover the cost of a Kalashnikov rifle, magazines and bullets.

 

So here we have it. The Temple Mount is even being used by Islamic State supporters to attract recruits. The United States and Europe have wasted precious energy and resources on myopic "solutions" to what has become an almost uncontainable global phenomenon. Blaming Israel for any of it not only reeks of anti-Semitism; it is also utterly counter-productive. The Temple Mount is not the cause of the "controversy." Nor are Jews who insist on the right to pray there "provocateurs." It is this fact that must be recognized and reckoned with. Otherwise, it won't be long before decapitation videos start going viral from Jerusalem.

                                                                       

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WHAT MAKES ISLAMIC STATE SO ATTRACTIVE?                                          

Dr. Mordechai Kedar                                                                                                     

Arutz Sheva, Nov. 6, 2014

 

The fact that Islamic State (formerly Daesh or ISIS/ISIL) is highly popular in the Islamic world cannot be ignored. Not a day goes by without reading about large numbers of people from all parts of the globe – both Muslims, would-be Muslims and converts – arriving in droves at the Jihad centers of Syria and Iraq  prepared to give up their lives for Islamic State. A number of groups have sworn allegiance to the "State's" leader, Caliph Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. The most recent of these is Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a terror group based in Sinai that poses a threat to Egypt. In addition, the fact that we have not heard of one protest or demonstration against Islamic State anywhere in the Islamic world, not even against its treatment of minorities, women and children, cannot be ignored.  The thunderous quiet is in sharp contrast to the violent demonstrations that enveloped that very same world over caricatures, films and military actions of which it disapproved. Does the Islamic world agree with beheadings, mass murder of minorities and the sale of women in the slave market? And another question that needs answering is why Al Qaeda was not as attractive as Islamic State during the years in which it operated.

 

The most meaningful answer to these questions is that to many Muslims, Islamic State appears to be the real thing – pure, holy, original and unadulterated Islam. To them, it is the Islam that Mohammed brought to the world and that guided his cohorts and those who ruled after him. Many Muslims have read or heard about books on Islamic history, where the way Islamic forces conquered most of the 7th century world, butchering infidels, looting churches and monasteries, selling infidels on the market and forcing those who were vanquished to convert, is described with great pride – and without an iota of shame. Islamic historians have never felt the need to apologize for the way in which they conquered the world, to the point where they constantly describe Islam as a religion of peace. Islamic State today is doing the same: it conquers areas, beheads  some, crucifies others, sells men and women into slavery just the way the first Muslims did in the seventh century, and it also cuts off the hands of thieves, stones adulterers, whips criminals, all in accordance with Sharia law. Can any Muslim believer protest against Sharia? Can he protest the return of Muslim practices to the glorious days of the Prophet and his followers? Can a Muslim criticize Mohammed's behavior when the Islamic faith declares him infallible?

 

In contrast to al Qaeda, which never took over territory in order to establish an Islamic state, IS is the modern territorial expression of what seems to be the exact replica of what Mohammed created in the seventh century. The writing on the IS flag is taken from the seventh century and followers believe that it includes Mohammed's seal. A good many IS fighters wear black, as did the early fighters for Islam. At the head of IS today is a Caliph, the title given to those rulers who took over after Mohammed. This is a crucial point, because the institution of the Caliphate was dissolved in 1924 by Attaturk (Mustafa Kamal), who has now been declared an enemy of Islam by the faithful. He stopped Sharia, set fire to mosques, closed madrassas, switched from Arabic to Latin letters and tried to uproot Islam from Turkey by every means at his disposal.  IS, however, has arrived to renew the Caliphate, a subject that plays on a sensitive string in the Islamic heart.

 

Another issue is that IS does not hesitate to threaten the infidel Western powers, and has no problem butchering American and British citizens– the symbols of heretic Christian Western hegemony. These murders are carried out confidently and unashamedly in front of the camera, while the murderers read a scornful English message meant for those countries' leaders, considered the strongest men in the world, leading the strongest countries in the world The sheer audacity of IS makes Moslems all over the world proud and makes them feel that this is the way a true Moslem should act and speak when faced with heretics. This issue is most important to the young Muslims living in the Europe and the USA, who have not been absorbed into Western society and have developed feelings of rage against the countries in which they were raised. Their mass exodus to the Jihad centers of Iraq and Syria stems from their desire to take revenge on the West for pushing them, the children of  immigrants, to the periphery of society and for discriminating against them although they were born, raised and educated in the West. Of late, several videos video clips have surfaced whose subject is the young Yazidi women handed over to the fighters of IS to serve as slaves. The clips portray the lighthearted bantering of the fighters prior to the young women's being divided up among them. In traditional Islamic societies, where men are not allowed to have any contact with women other than their wives, this relaxation of prohibitions acts as a strong drawing factor.

 

Islamic State arrived in a world where social media – youtube, facebook, twitter – are within everyone's reach, mainly through the use of mobile phones. The intensive utilization of these methods of communication by IS activists on internet sites set up for that purpose, facilitates recording their ideas, propagating them and recruiting volunteers. Islamic State is a wealthy organization: it has wrested control over oil fields, and countries – most likely Turkey – buy oil from it, some directly and some indirectly. IS fighters rob banks, kidnap people for ransoms in the millions, receive massive funding from countries such as Qatar, levy taxes on the populations forced to live under IS control in the areas it has conquered.  All this enables IS to purchase arms, weapons, means of communication and transportation that create the image of success – and in attracting people, nothing succeeds like success. Islamic State has gained possession of arsenals of American weapons and arms that belonged to the Iraqi army. These are now in the hands of the Jihadists. Some of the weapons airlifted to the Kurds fighting in Kobane in northern Syria, fell into the hands of IS as, literally, gifts from heaven. Many Muslims believe that American weaponry that serves Jihad fighters battling America is a sign from heaven proving that Allah is helping the Jihad fighters win against their enemies by means of the enemies' own weapons.

 

Just for the sake of comparison: al Qaeda does not control any territory, does not collect taxes, does not force Sharia law on local populations, has no Caliph at its head, and even its Jihad against infidels has waned over the years. Al Qaeda's image is that of a tired, old, decrepit organization that has lost its way, while Islamic State – at this point – seems a young and vibrant one, whose actions are in true accordance with Islamic precepts and which does not give any consideration to the heretical, materialistic and permissive cultural mores with which Western culture tries to inculcate Muslims all over the world. As things stand, IS will probably grow larger over the next few months – or years – and become more dangerous and influential in the Middle East and possibly the world. This organization can be made to disappear in one of two ways: the first, a battle to the death that the world declares against it, putting "boots on the ground" to destroy or imprison the Jihadists, down to the last man. The problem with this scenario is the high price in human life and resources the world will have to pay in order to bring it about.

 

The second scenario is what has always happened in Islamic history: once a group begins to rule, internal feuds appear based on ideology, religion, funds, personal differences, tribal and organizational animosities – leading to eventual disintegration and its fall from power. The problem with this scenario is that it takes a long time and can span decades during which the organization continues shedding blood and turning its subjects' lives into hell.  Meanwhile, the world does nothing of any consequence against IS, which is advancing, gaining control over more territory and threatening other nations in its immediate environs. Organizations and volunteers are eagerly joining it and there is no end in sight. Islamic State is undoubtedly more attractive than al Qaeda, making it stronger and turning it into a clear and present danger to the Middle East and the entire world. The real problem in the West today is that too many European politicians depend on the votes of large, ever growing Muslim populations, meaning that there is very little chance that these politicians will take a stand against anything Islamic, including Islamic State and how it must be addressed.

                                                                       

Contents                           

                                                                                                                         

THE ANCESTORS OF ISIS                                                                             

David Motadel                                                                                                                  

New York Times, Sept. 23, 2014

 

In the last few years, there has been a dramatic rise of a seemingly new type of polity: the Islamic rebel state. Boko Haram in West Africa, the Shabab in East Africa, the Islamic Emirate in the Caucasus and, of course, the Islamic State in the Middle East, known as ISIS, or ISIL — these movements not only call for holy war against the West, but also use their resources to build theocracies. Though in some respects unprecedented, these groups also have much in common with the Islamic revivalist movements of the 18th century, such as the Wahhabis on the Arabian Peninsula and the great jihadist states of the 19th century. They waged jihad against non-Muslim powers, and at the same time sought to radically transform their own societies. One of the first groups to engage in anticolonial jihad and state-building was the fighters led by Abd al-Qadir, who challenged the French imperial invasion of North Africa in the 1830s and 1840s. Qadir declared himself “commander of the faithful” — the title of a caliph — and founded an Islamic state in western Algeria, with a capital in Mascara, a regular army and an administration that enforced Shariah law and provided some public services. The state was never stable, nor did it ever encompass a clearly defined territory; it was eventually destroyed by the French…

 

The most sophisticated 19th-century Islamic rebel state was the Caucasian imamate. Its imams rallied the Muslims of Chechnya and Dagestan into a 30-year holy war against the Russian empire, which sought to subdue the region. During the struggle, the rebels forced the mountain communities into a militant imamate, executing internal opponents and imposing Shariah law, segregation of the sexes, bans on alcohol and tobacco, restriction on music, and the enforcement of strict dress codes — all hugely unpopular measures. Czarist troops confronted the imamate with extreme brutality, eventually shattering it. In all of these cases, there were two distinct, though intertwined, conflicts, one against non-European empires and one against internal enemies, and both struggles were combined with state-building. This pattern is in fact not unique to the emergence of Islamic rebel states. The sociologist Charles Tilly once identified war as one of the most crucial forces in the formation of states: The foundation of a centralized government becomes necessary to organize and finance the armed forces. At the same time, Islam was at the center of these movements. Their leaders were religious authorities, most of them assuming the title “commander of the faithful”; their states were theocratically organized. Islam helped unite fractured tribal societies and served as a source of absolute, divine authority to enhance social discipline and political order, and to legitimize war. They all preached militant Islamic revivalism, calling for the purification of their faith, while denouncing traditional Islamic society, with its more heterodox forms of Islam, as superstitious, corrupt and backward.

 

Today’s jihadist states share many of these features. They emerged at a time of crisis, and ruthlessly confront internal and external enemies. They oppress women. Despite the groups’ ferocity, they have all succeeded in using Islam to build broad coalitions with local tribes and communities. They provide social services and run strict Shariah courts; they use advanced propaganda methods.If anything, they differ from the 19th-century states in that they are more radical and sophisticated. The Islamic State is perhaps the most elaborate and militant jihad polity in modern history. It uses modern state structures, including a hierarchically organized bureaucracy, a judicial system, madrasas, a vast propaganda apparatus and a financial network that allows it to sell oil on the black market. It uses violence — mass executions, kidnapping and looting, following a rationale of suppression and wealth accumulation — to an extent unknown in previous Islamic polities. And unlike its antecedents, its leaders have global aspirations, fantasizing about overrunning St. Peter’s in Rome. And yet those differences are a matter of degree, rather than kind. Islamic rebel states are overall strikingly similar. They should be seen as one phenomenon; and this phenomenon has a history. Created under wartime conditions, and operating in a constant atmosphere of internal and external pressure, these states have been unstable and never fully functional. Forming a state makes Islamists vulnerable: While jihadist networks or guerrilla groups are difficult to fight, a state, which can be invaded, is far easier to confront. And once there is a theocratic state, it often becomes clear that its rulers are incapable of providing sufficient social and political solutions, gradually alienating its subjects.

In this light, the international community should continue to check the expansion of groups like the Islamic State, and intervene to prevent widespread human rights abuses. But given that the United States and its allies are unlikely to commit the massive military resources necessary to defeat the Islamic State — let alone other jihadist states — the best policy might be one of containment, support of local opponents and then management of the groups’ possible collapse. We need to recognize what these groups really are. Referring to them as a “cancer,” as President Obama has, is understandable from an emotional standpoint, but simplifies and obscures the phenomenon. Jihadist states are complex polities and must be understood in the context of Islamic history.

 

Contents           

 

On Topic

 

Global Terrorism Index Report: Institute for Economics and Peace, Nov. 16, 2014—17,958 people were killed in terrorist attacks last year, that’s 61% more than the previous year.

The Silence of Prayer, Shattered in a Synagogue Bloodbath: Mitch Ginsburg, Times of Israel, Nov. 18, 2014 —Yaakov Amos had just finished calling silently on God to “grant peace everywhere, goodness and blessing; grace, loving kindness and mercy to us and unto all Israel, Your people,” when two terrorists stormed into Har Nof’s largest synagogue at 7:01 a.m. on Tuesday.

Israel's Arabs Need Better Leaders: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 18, 2014 —Some representatives of the Arab community in Israel are continuing to cause tremendous damage both to their constituents and coexistence between Jews and Arabs.

Yes, Mahmoud Abbas IS to Blame: Ari Soffer, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 18, 2014 —The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades – the "armed wing" of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group – has officially taken credit for this morning's brutal terrorist attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem.

The Pentagon’s ‘Nine-Brigade Gamble’ on Iraq: Robert H. Scales, Washington Post, Nov. 10, 2014—Last Friday, on a dead news night and three days after the election, the White House announced another surge of U.S. troops to Iraq. Why now? Why so many? And are these enough to defeat the Islamic State?

Quebec Voters at the Heart of NDP, Liberal Positions on Iraq: J.L. Granatstein, Globe & Mail, Oct. 8, 2014 —The position taken by the New Democratic Party on Canadian airstrikes against Islamic State on Oct. 6 and 7 is surely no surprise.

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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VOUS AVEZ DIT EXTRÊMISTES?

 

 

VIOLENCES DE BEIT SHEMESH:
QUI SONT CES ULTRA-ORTHODOXES?

Julien Bahloul

Guysen.com, 28 décembre 2011

Qui sont les ces ultra-orthodoxes responsables des violences de ces derniers jours? Les orthodoxes israéliens refusent d’être tous mis dans le même sac. Et pour cause. Le groupe à l’origine des récents évènements est affilié à la petite secte religieuse des Toldot Aharon.

 

Cette dernière est essentiellement basée à Londres, à New York, dans le quartier de Mea Shearim à Jérusalem et à Beit Shemesh, où se sont concentrés les récents évènements. Ils seraient une cinquantaine de familles dans cette ville.

 

Dirigée par le rabbin David Kohn, elle est née d’une scission avec le mouvement orthodoxe Shomer Emunim. Les deux groupes ont en commun un mode de vie très rigide (la mouvance Shomer Emunim proscrit par exemple le port de vêtements en laine) et la haine du sionisme. Ils estiment que l’État d’Israël dans sa forme actuelle est une aberration et une insulte à la promesse messianique d’un retour des Juifs en terre promise lorsque le Temple de Jérusalem sera rebâti.

 

A Jérusalem, les hommes mariés et non mariés revêtent la veste blanche et grise «Zebra» durant la semaine et la veste or bekishes durant le shabbat. Les membres du Toldot Aharon sont les seuls Juifs orthodoxes à avoir le même code vestimentaire pour les hommes mariés ou non mariés âgés de plus de 13 ans. La distinction entre un homme marié et un homme célibataire se fait sur la base des chaussures. Le premier revêt des souliers blancs tandis que le second en revêt des noires.

 

Les femmes mariées cachent leurs cheveux sous une perruque. La pudeur exigée est la plus sévère de tous les groupes orthodoxes juifs. Certaines femmes, pas toutes, vont jusqu’à se raser le crane. Cette tradition se retrouve essentiellement dans la communauté de Jérusalem. Par ailleurs, au sein de la capitale israélienne, les jeunes filles pas encore mariées séparent leurs cheveux en deux tresses alors que, la plupart du temps, les filles orthodoxes n’en ont qu’une en forme de queue de cheval.

 

Mais ce qui distingue surtout ces ultra-orthodoxes des orthodoxes «classiques» est leur rapport à l’État d’Israël. La majorité des orthodoxes israéliens ne sert pas dans l’armée car elle estime qu’être soldats l’empêcherait de consacrer tout son temps à Dieu et à l’étude de la Thora. En revanche, elle est respectueuse des lois de l’État d’Israël, participe à la vie politique du pays en étant représentée par divers partis. A la naissance de l’État, les dirigeants orthodoxes avaient assuré David Ben Gourion de leur soutien à son gouvernement et à la fondation du pays, en échange de la garantie qu’Israël respecterait un certain nombre de règles: pas de services publics durant le shabbat, nourriture casher dans les cantines du service public, monopole sur les questions familiales (naissance, mariage, divorce, décès) accordés aux tribunaux rabbiniques etc. Cet accord est connu sous le nom du «statu quo» entre religieux et laïcs qui permet à l’État d’exister et aux deux populations de coexister.

 

A l’inverse, les ultras ont toujours refusé la moindre entente avec les gouvernements israéliens dont ils ne reconnaissent ni la légitimité, ni l’autorité. Présents en terre d’Israël depuis des siècles, ils n’ont jamais accepté que les «sionistes» puissent leur donner des ordres. La moindre intervention policière dans l’un de leurs quartiers vire souvent à la violence. Le cas d’une décision de justice, il y à quelques années, de retirer la garde d’un enfant à une femme soupçonnée de maltraitance sur ce dernier avait provoqué des émeutes. Les ultras avaient même accusé l’hôpital d’avoir volontairement aggravé l’état de santé de l’enfant et les «sionistes» d’avoir créé un complot de toute pièce.

 

Ces ultra-orthodoxes ont une capacité à faire du bruit qui parait parfois impressionnante. Ils n’hésitent pas à croiser le fer avec la police ou avec l’armée.Ils représentent aujourd’hui un défi de crédibilité pour le gouvernement israélien qui devra assoir son autorité et rétablir le calme. Un défi d’autant plus grand que cette secte religieuse n’est qu’un groupuscule extrémiste et que les Israéliens ne comprennent pas qu’un nombre aussi peu élevé de personnes parvienne à faire autant de bruit.

PLUSIEURS MILLIERS DE PERSONNES RÉUNIES
POUR DIRE NON À L'INTÉGRISME RELIGIEUX

Mathias Ryan

Guysen.com, 28 décembre 2011

Plusieurs milliers de personnes ont manifesté mardi 27 décembre à Beit Shemesh pour dénoncer les juifs ultra-orthodoxes qui cherchent à imposer leurs codes religieux dans cette ville située à une trentaine de kilomètres de Jérusalem.

 

Des échauffourées ont éclaté lundi à Beit Shemesh, après le tollé provoqué par des images de télévision montrant une fillette de huit ans se plaignant d'avoir été insultée sur le chemin de l'école par des juifs ultra-orthodoxes.

 

Ces derniers, qui lui reprochaient une tenue «indécente», lui ont craché dessus, a-t-elle déclaré. Ces images ont alimenté la crainte d'une poussée de l'extrémisme religieux dans le pays. (…)

 

La dirigeante de l'opposition parlementaire, Tzipi Livni, qui voit dans ces évènement l'occasion de faire remonter sa côte de popularité, a participé mardi au rassemblement de Beit Shemesh et a dénoncé «les extrémistes qui veulent imposer leurs vues à tous». Des manifestants brandissaient des pancartes où on pouvait lire: «nous ne deviendrons pas un autre Téhéran», allusion aux règles strictes imposées aux Iraniens par les dirigeants de la République islamique.

 

Auparavant, le président israélien Shimon Peres avait appelé la population à se rassembler pour protester contre les pressions des juifs ultra-traditionalistes. «Nous combattons pour préserver l'âme de la nation et la nature de l'État», a-t-il déclaré dans une allocution retransmise à la télévision. «C'est une journée test. Toute la nation devra se mobiliser pour sauver la majorité des griffes d'une petite minorité, qui met à mal nos valeurs les plus sacrées», a dit Shimon Peres. «Personne n'a le droit de menacer une petite fille, une femme ou qui que ce soit, en aucune manière», a t-il ajouté. «Ils ne sont pas les seigneurs de cette terre.» (…)

 

Les autorités ont alimenté la colère des fondamentalistes hostiles à la mixité en enlevant une pancarte qui appelait les femmes à éviter certaines rues où résident les ultra-orthodoxes. Hommes et femmes sont d'ores et déjà séparés sur certaines lignes de bus de quartiers ultra-orthodoxes de Jérusalem.

LES OBSERVATIONS D’UN CANADIEN
SUR LES ISLAMISTES DE TUNISIE

Dépêche

Pointdebasculecanada.ca, 29 décembre 2011

Lors de la récente campagne électorale tunisienne, Rafaël Primeau-Ferraro a pris l’initiative d’aller en Tunisie pour alimenter un blogue qui rendait compte des activités ayant entouré l'élection de l'Assemblée Constituante qui a eu lieu le 23 octobre 2011.  Primeau-Ferraro mit fin à son blogue à la mi-novembre, deux semaines après la tenue des élections. Il consacra une partie de son dernier article à expliquer ce qui l’amena à changer d’opinion face au parti Ennahda durant les six semaines qu’il passa en Tunisie. Nous reproduisons cette portion de l’article intitulée Les islamistes.

 

En ce qui a trait aux islamistes, mon opinion a changé récemment. En débutant ce blogue, je tenais à rester objectif. C’est pourquoi j’ai pris la décision de mettre de côté les préjugés dont ils font l’objet et j’ai préféré, comme il sied en démocratie, leur donner le bénéfice du doute. Il m’apparaissait logique de laisser la chance au coureur. Après tout, le programme d’Ennahda semblait reposer sur une vision moderne et ouverte de l’Islam et leurs idées ne semblaient pas non plus restreindre les droits de quiconque.

 

À tout évènement, le parti islamiste était alors accusé – surtout par les médias français – de tenir un double discours. D’autres les ont carrément traité d’extrémistes et parfois même de criminels avec preuves à l’appui. C’est le cas de la Section du statut du Canada, tel que le révèle un jugement de la Cour d’appel fédérale canadienne en 2003, Zrig c. Ministre de la Citoyenneté et de l’Immigration.

 

On y relève notamment que la Section du statut canadien a qualifié Ennahda de «branche armée qui utilise des méthodes terroristes» et qui aurait été impliqué dans «des assassinats et des attentats à la bombe».

 

À propos du chef Rached Ghannouchi, on y affirme qu’il «est considéré par certaines sources comme étant l'un des maîtres à penser du terrorisme» et également qu’il «a fait un appel à la violence contre les États-Unis et a menacé de détruire leurs intérêts dans le monde arabe. En outre, il a demandé la destruction de l'État d'Israël.» (…)

 

Faisant fi de tous ces éléments, je me suis concentré uniquement sur les actions et les paroles du parti islamiste, le qualifiant même de «modéré» dans certains de mes articles. Les gens d’Ennahda ont demandé fréquemment à leurs détracteurs «d’attendre de voir comment ils agiront avant de les critiquer».

 

C’est ce que j’ai fait et j’ai l’impression aujourd’hui d’avoir été roulé dans la farine. J’en suis malheureusement venu à la conclusion que le parti tient effectivement un double discours et que ses dirigeants cachent à la population plusieurs des idées auxquelles ils adhèrent.

 

Les récentes déclarations de Souad Abderrahim, la députée la plus en vue d’Ennahda dont on vante le «modernisme», jumelé au silence complice des dirigeants du parti m’ont laissé vraiment perplexe. Affirmer entre autres «que les mères célibataires n’ont pas le droit d’exister» et qu’il n’y a pas de place «pour une liberté totale et intégrale en Tunisie» ne correspond pas tout à fait, à mon avis, à une vision modérée. De plus, elle avait également déclaré quelques jours auparavant qu’Ennahda «ne compte pas fermer les boîtes de nuit, mais par contre ancrera les bonnes mœurs.»

 

Ce qui m’a le plus étonné n’est pas nécessairement les déclarations de Mme Abderrahim, mais plutôt l’absence d’indignation d’une grande partie de la population. À preuve, plusieurs journaux n’ont pas jugé la nouvelle suffisamment intéressante pour la publier et mis à part la réaction outrée des jeunes sur les réseaux sociaux, on ne sentait pas vraiment l’acrimonie que ces propos auraient normalement dû soulever.

 

Peut-être est-ce le signe que de nombreux Tunisiens partagent au fond d’eux-mêmes l’opinion de la députée? C’est ce que croit Lofti Achour, producteur de cinéma connu, dans un texte…fascinant qui vaut vraiment la peine d’être lu.

 

La théorie de ce dernier, à l’effet que plusieurs personnes appuient secrètement Ennahda mais n’oseraient pas l’avouer publiquement, pourraient fort bien expliquer les résultats du parti islamique aux dernières élections. (…)

LE RÉSEAU PRO-CHARIA DE
L’IMAM FOUDIL SELMOUNE DE BROSSARD

Dépêche

Pointdebasculecanada.ca, 28 décembre 2011

Le 22 novembre 2011, l’imam Foudil Selmoune expliquait à Radio-Canada que les lois de Dieu ordonnent l’amputation et la lapidation et qu’«on peut pas les changer». Face aux réactions négatives dans Le Devoir (5 décembre) et à l’Assemblée nationale du Québec (8 décembre), plusieurs leaders des Frères Musulmans ont joué les victimes. Ils se sont plaints que les propos de l’imam auraient été «manipulés» pour «cibler la communauté musulmane». Ils prétendent que Selmoune voulait simplement «définir» la charia sans la «préconiser». Des larmes de crocodiles.

 

Apparemment, les «lois de Dieu» que Selmoune a décrites comme immuables le 22 novembre seraient devenues modifiables et optionnelles en l’espace de quelques jours. Dans ce qui suit, Point de Bascule démontre la mauvaise foi des islamistes en rappelant l’association du Centre islamique de Brossard avec plusieurs organisations qui ne se limitent pas à «définir» la charia mais qui la «préconisent» bel et bien, ici et maintenant:

 

1. Conseil musulman de Montréal (Montreal Muslim Council): Son leader, Salam Elmenyawi, fut l’instigateur d’un projet de conseil de la charia au Québec en 2004;

 

2. IRFAN-Canada: L’organisation était un collecteur de fonds du Hamas au Canada au moins jusqu’à la révocation récente de son statut d’organisme de bienfaisance. De l’aveu des dirigeants du Hamas, l’organisation vise non seulement l’élimination d’Israël mais également l’islamisation (charia-isation) des sociétés occidentales;

 

3. Islamic Online University (IOU): Le Centre de Brossard prête ses locaux à cette organisation qui dispense des cours de charia via internet pour que les étudiants y passent leurs examens. Le fondateur d’IOU, Bilal Philips, s’est déclaré favorable à l’exécution des homosexuels, à la lapidation et aux autres peines barbares commandées par la charia;

 

4. Forum musulman canadien: Dans le passé, le FMC a représenté différentes organisations des Frères Musulmans, dont la Muslim Association of Canada (MAC). La MAC déclare appliquer l'islam tel qu'il a été compris par le fondateur des Frères Musulmans, Hassan al-Banna. De son propre aveu, al-Banna promouvait la modification des lois pour les rendre conformes à la charia.

 

Les différentes appellations du Centre islamique de Brossard

 

Le Centre islamique administré par l’imam Foudil Selmoune est identifié sous diverses appellations dans les médias et les documents officiels:

 

  • Islamic Community Centre(ICC);
  • Centre communautaire islamique de la Rive-Sud;
  • Centre L'Markaz-e-Islam de la rive sud / Markaz-e-Islam Center of the south shore; C’est l’appellation utilisée dans les documents de l’Agence de revenu du Canada (ARC). Le mot markaz signifie centre en arabe. Le centre islamique de Brossard bénéficie du statut d’organisme de bienfaisance auprès des autorités canadiennes;
  • Centre culturel musulman de Brossard(CCMB): cf. Le Courrier du Sud (24 septembre 2010). (…)

 

Conseil musulman de Montréal (CMM)

 

À son habitude, Salam Elmenyawi du CMM a joué la carte de la victime. Dans son communiqué du 19 décembre, il a déclaré que le reportage de Radio-Canada venait «cibler la communauté musulmane», qu’il constituait un «profilage» (?) anti-musulman, etc. Elmenyawi n’a évidemment aucune crédibilité pour nous rassurer sur l’absence d’intention des islamistes d’instaurer la charia au Canada puisqu’il fut lui-même, en 2004, l’instigateur d’un projet de tribunal islamique au Québec.

 

À l’époque, Elmenyawi avait indiqué au Devoir (11 décembre 2004) que le tribunal islamique qu’il cherchait à implanter porterait le nom de «Conseil de la charia». Toujours selon Le Devoir, une quarantaine de mosquées et d'organisations musulmanes appuyaient le projet. L’article identifia le cheik Abderrahman Ibrahim, un gradué de l’Université de Médine (Arabie saoudite), comme un autre des responsables du projet d’implantation de la charia au Québec.

 

Avant le vote unanime de l’Assemblée nationale du Québec contre l’introduction des tribunaux islamiques au Canada (26 mars 2005), la députée Fatima Houda-Pepin avait rappelé que la Ligue islamique mondiale d’Arabie saoudite (LIM – Muslim World League) était derrière le projet d’introduction de la charia en Amérique du Nord. Dès 1991, la LIM finança une rencontre d’imams des États-Unis et du Canada à Washington sous le thème Élaborer des stratégies pour introduire la charia au Canada et aux États-Unis. (cf. Journal des débats de l’Assemblée nationale)

 

Elmenyawi mentionna également au Devoir que Youssef Qaradawi (Al Kardaoui) faisait partie des experts de l’islam que son Conseil de la charia envisageait consulter dans le futur.

 

À titre indicatif, voici des avis récents rendus par Youssef Qaradawi sur des sujets divers:

 

  • Il endosse le meurtre des musulmans qui quittent l'islam (cf. Archives PdeB);
  • Il justifie les mutilations génitales féminines (cf. Archives PdeB);
  • Il justifie le meurtre des homosexuels (cf. Archives PdeB);
  • Il soutient que Hitler avait été envoyé par Allah pour punir les juifs (cf. Archives PdeB);
  • Il déclare légitime de recourir à la force «à toutes les fois que c'est possible» pour faire appliquer les principes de l'islam (cf. «changing wrong by force whenever possible» – Priorities of the Islamic Movement, chapitre 4);
  • Il encourage la formation de «ghettos musulmans» aux États-Unis, au Canada, en Australie et ailleurs en Occident (Priorities of the Islamic Movement, chapitre 4);
  • Il promeut la conquête de l’Occident par les musulmans (cf. MEMRI).

 

IRFAN-Canada, le collecteur de fonds du Hamas

 

IRFAN-Canadaavait le statut d’organisme de bienfaisance jusqu’à ce que l’Agence de revenu du Canada (ARC) ne le lui retire en 2011. L’ARC justifia sa décision en faisant valoir qu’IRFAN servait de collecteur de fonds du Hamas au Canada. Le Hamas est inscrit sur le registre des entités terroristes maintenu par le gouvernement canadien depuis 2002. Seulement pour la période allant de 2005 à la fin de 2009, IRFAN a transféré 14,6 millions $ au Hamas. (…)

 

Forum musulman canadien

 

Le Forum musulman canadien (FMC), qui signa la lettre de protestation en faveur de l’imam Selmoune de Brossard, agit comme un regroupement d’organisations associées aux Frères Musulmans au Canada. Dans un message de félicitation adressé à Gilles Duceppe en 2010, le FMC se présentait comme le porte-parole de neuf organisations, dont l’ICC (Brossard) et la Muslim Association of Canada (MAC). (…)

 

Un des membres actuels du conseil de direction du Forum musulman canadien se dénomme Bilal Hamideh. Il a été président de la Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) à l’Université Concordia de 2000 à 2005. La MSA fut l’une des toutes premières organisations mises sur pied par les Frères Musulmans en Amérique du Nord. (cf. Discover The Networks)

 

La MSA a été décrite dans un rapport de la police de New York de 2007 (cf. p. 68 – Archives PdeB) comme un «incubateur» de radicalisme. (…)

 

En dépit de l’appui qu’il accorde à Youssef Qaradawi, Salam Elmenyawi est accrédité par l’Université Concordia comme l’aumônier des étudiants musulmans. La MSA de Concordia l’invite fréquemment à présenter des conférences. Dans une invitation à venir écouter Elmenyawi en avril 2010, la MSA de Concordia le présenta comme un sheikh et non simplement comme un brother (frère), ce qui témoigne du prestige dont il jouit chez les Frères Musulmans.

 

Islamic Online University

 

Bilal Philips est né en Jamaïque et a grandi au Canada avant de se convertir à l’islam en 1972. Après avoir enseigné la charia au Moyen-Orient, il a mis sur pied un programme d’études islamiques via internet.

 

Au Canada, plusieurs centres dirigés par les Frères Musulmans facilitent la propagation des idées de Philips en accueillant ses étudiants au moment où ils doivent passer leurs examens. Le Centre de Foudil Selmoune à Brossard est l’un de ceux-là.

 

Le 3 juillet 2011, le Globe & Mail (archivé sur JihadWatch) rapporta que Bilal Philips avait été expulsé d’Allemagne après avoir ouvertement justifié le meurtre des homosexuels.

 

En 2007 le site australien 9News (archivé sur JihadWatch) rapporta que, selon le site personnel de Philips, les amputations des mains, les décapitations, les lapidations et les séances publiques de flagellation prévues par la charia devaient se dérouler exclusivement les vendredis. Philips encourage également le mariage des fillettes pré-pubères.

 

Le 15 février 2011, le National Post (archivé sur JihadWatch) rapporta que Philips, lui-même un ancien musicien, plaidait pour l’interdiction des instruments de musique à vent et à cordes. Selon lui, c’est parce que leur musique peut apporter un réconfort aux hommes et les éloigner d’Allah qu’ils doivent être interdits. Selon les principes de charia défendus par Philips, seul le tambour est permis dans certaines circonstances.

LA VICTOIRE DU DROIT À L’OBSCURANTISME
Jean-François Lisée

Lactualite.com, 21 décembre 2011

Parlons sérieusement. Lorsqu’un parent musulman demande à une maternelle le droit d’imposer à sa fillette un «écouteur anti-bruit» pour la protéger contre… la musique, il fait preuve d’obscurantisme. Mais lorsque la maternelle accepte, elle fait beaucoup plus. Elle reconnaît au parent le droit à l’obscurantisme et le droit de l’imposer à son enfant, dans une institution publique!

 

Comme ce sont les éducateurs de maternelle qui mettent et enlèvent l’écouteur à la fillette pendant les moments, nombreux, où la satanée musique est entendue, le service public devient, non seulement le spectateur inactif, non seulement le complice conscient, mais le servile exécutant de l’obscurantisme.

 

Le cas, certes, est exceptionnel. C’est la réponse de la société québécoise qui fait problème. Jusqu’à la ministre Line Beauchamp qui affirme que ce n’est «pas un compromis au programme québécois des études». Elle a raison. Ce n’est pas un compromis. C’est une reddition.

 

On nous explique que cet «accommodement» n’est appliqué que pour un an. Qu’il vise l’intégration de l’enfant. C’est faux. L’accommodement vise strictement à se plier aux volontés obscurantistes du parent. Et maintenant qu’il a eu gain de cause, et maintenant que même la ministre trouve cela acceptable, pourquoi ne pourra-t-il pas, demain, réclamer l’écouteur anti-bruit en première année, et en deuxième, et en troisième?

L’État québécois, du haut en bas, n’a établi autour de ce cas ahurissant aucun principe qui puisse indiquer aux obscurantistes que leurs demandes sont irrecevables.

 

Savoir où tracer la ligne

 

L’argument invoqué est toujours le même: notre objectif est le bien de la fillette. Puisque la maternelle cinq ans n’est pas obligatoire, le refus de l’accommodement pourrait conduire le parent à soustraire sa fille à l’école publique. Elle serait donc dans l’obscurantisme à temps plein. Ma réponse à moi est autre: presque 100% des enfants vont désormais à la maternelle cinq ans. Cette année de préparation fait désormais partie d’introduction aux savoirs de base. Il est temps de rendre cette année obligatoire.

 

Bien. Mais alors, nous dit-on, les obscurantistes enverront leurs enfants dans les écoles religieuses dont plusieurs, au Québec, sont subventionnées. Ma réponse à moi: programmer l’élimination graduelle des subventions publiques aux écoles religieuses. Pour les écoles religieuses non-subventionnées, n’accréditer que celles qui appliquent le programme d’études général, incluant évidemment sport et musique.

 

Le but de la société québécoise n’est pas d’aménager des lieux où les obscurantistes pourront à loisir endoctriner leurs enfants. Le but de la société québécoise doit être de permettre à chacun des enfants québécois de s’épanouir pleinement, au contact de la connaissance, de la science et de la culture. Si, devenus adultes consentants, ils souhaitent choisir l’obscurantisme, ce sera leur droit.

 

Société et obscurantisme

 

Je me répète mais j’estime que tous le débat récent sur l’intégration et les accommodements évacue une question essentielle: le fait qu’il est légitime, pour une société, d’indiquer son refus des comportements obscurantistes, du moins dans l’espace public.

 

Chacun a des droits, bien évidemment, y compris la liberté de conscience, même lorsque cette liberté signifie l’adhésion à une variante de la foi qu’on peut qualifier d’orthodoxe. Dans ces cas, il s’agit en quelque sorte du droit de vivre en marge des valeurs plus généralement acceptées – notamment l’égalité des sexes et la volonté de vivre ensemble.

 

La société doit, c’est certain, admettre et protéger ces choix religieux orthodoxes. Elle n’est cependant pas tenue de s’y montrer favorable ou d’agir pour qu’un mode de vie marginal puisse se déployer dans l’espace public sans entraîner nombre d’inconvénients à ses adhérents. C’est ma conviction que, règle générale, il appartient aux citoyens québécois qui choisissent des croyances ou un comportement marginal de s’accommoder des pratiques communes, plutôt que l’inverse.

 

J’estime de plus qu’il est tout à fait légitime que la société québécoise prenne consciemment la décision d’envoyer le signal que ces choix de vie ne sont pas ceux qu’elle valorise, notamment lorsqu’ils impliquent une vision inégale des sexes ou le refus de l’interaction avec les autres membres de la société, comme dans le cas de la fillette privée de musique.

 

Voilà ce à quoi servirait une Charte de la laïcité: à ce que la société québécoise dise clairement et lisiblement, à elle-même d’abord et à tous ceux qui veulent se joindre à elle ensuite, les principes qu’elle compte appliquer….

 

Charest: une responsabilité écrasante

 

Dans cette affaire, comme dans celle de la décision de fournir des hijabs aux musulmanes gardiennes de prison, la responsabilité du gouvernement Charest est écrasante. Le Rapport Bouchard-Taylor, à mon avis très décevant, proposait au moins d’interdire aux juges, policiers et gardiens de prison de porter des signes religieux ostentatoires. Le gouvernement n’a même pas légiféré sur ce point, consensuel entre tous, ce qui mène au précédent maintenant créé pour les geôlières. Pourquoi pas, demain, les policières ?

 

Sur ce point, comme sur la langue en général, Jean Charest aura fait perdre au moins huit ans au Québec. Espérons que cette question sera aussi posée, le jour où, enfin, l’électorat lui donnera son dernier bulletin de notes.