Tag: Palestinian Terrorism


Threatened South to North, IDF Seeks Calm While Steeling for Worst: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, Nov. 14, 2017— With tensions rising in the south amid fears that the Islamic Jihad terror group will attempt to avenge a tunnel demolition two weeks ago…

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft: What It Brings to the IAF: Yaakov Lappin, BESA, Oct. 29, 2017— The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet is poised to become a key tool to help Israel stop Iran and its proxies from creating a threatening military outpost in Syria.

How Technology Is Revolutionizing War: Jeremy Rabkin & John Yoo, National Review, Nov. 14, 2017— In his 2017 inaugural address, President Trump protested that for decades the American people “subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military…

Canadian Forces Pull off a Rare Feat: a Procurement Triumph: Editorial, National Post, Nov. 3, 2017— The Canadian Forces may have recently pulled off a rare feat: a military procurement triumph.


On Topic Links


‘Israel Not Prepared for Drone Threat’: Yona Schnitzer, Breaking Israel News, Nov. 16, 2017

Don't Return Bodies For Nothing: Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, Israel Hayom, Nov. 6, 2017

Canada’s Peacekeeping Incoherence: Richard Shimooka & Don Macnamara, Globe & Mail, Nov. 14, 2017

North Korea and the Threat of Chemical Warfare: Theo Emery, New York Times, Oct. 27, 2017






                                                       Judah Ari Gross

Times of Israel, Nov. 14, 2017


With tensions rising in the south amid fears that the Islamic Jihad terror group will attempt to avenge a tunnel demolition two weeks ago, the Israeli military is finding that striking a delicate balance between keeping terror groups from preparing for a future war and keeping the region relatively calm is easier said than done. While neither side may be gunning for a fight, a miscalculation by the IDF runs the risk of triggering a bloody tit-for-tat fight that can lead to all-out war.


For the past two weeks, the military has been trying to prevent such an escalation as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group has vowed revenge for the army’s demolition of its attack tunnel that crossed into Israeli territory from Gaza. Israel Defense Forces troops in southern Israel have been on alert following last month’s tunnel razing. In the army’s most recent measure, on Monday it deployed its Iron Dome missile defense system in central Israel — including at least one battery in the greater Tel Aviv region — out of concerns the group may retaliate with a barrage of rockets.


In addition to preparing for attack, the Israeli military has also been trying to prevent one, repeatedly warning against a retaliation in direct addresses to both the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Strip’s rulers, Hamas. The army blew up the tunnel, which originated in the Gazan city of Khan Younis and crossed into Israeli territory, near Kibbutz Kissufim, on October 30. In total, 14 terrorists were killed, two of them from Hamas and the rest from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, including two senior commanders. The bodies of five of the Islamic Jihad terrorists, who were working on the tunnel inside Israeli territory, were recovered by the IDF a few days later.


But according to the army, this high body count was not intentional. The goal for the operation, per the IDF, was the destruction of the tunnel, not assassination. In comments after the blast, IDF officials also noted that many of the terrorists died not in the explosion, but in botched rescue attempts. But the military stressed it does not regret the deaths of terrorists, after facing backlash from politicians who interpreted the officers’ comments as apologetic. In light of the body count, the military determined that the group “will have a hard time holding back.”


Incidentally, Tuesday also marks five years since the IDF killed then-Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari in an airstrike, which sparked the week-long Operation Pillar of Defense campaign in Gaza. Palestinian terror groups have been known to carry out attacks to coincide with significant anniversaries. Former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin praised the military on Monday for preparing to counter the threats from Gaza, but warned it not to forget that “the northern front is Israel’s main focus — Assad, Hezbollah, and Iran will seek to challenge the IDF.”


On Saturday, Israel shot down a drone from Syria with a Patriot missile in the third such incident this year, which military officials say is an indication of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s increasing brazenness in light of his successes in the country’s civil war. The army’s top brass and Israeli government officials are also currently locked in intense discussion with their American and Russian counterparts concerning a ceasefire agreement for southern Syria, especially the distance from Israel’s borders that Iran-backed militias will be allowed to operate.  While Iranian entrenchment along the Golan border presents a far greater strategic threat to Israel’s security in the long term, the more pressing concern seems to be the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which could attack at any time.


When the IDF uncovered two Hamas attack tunnels that also crossed into Israeli territory last year, there was also concern of a potential retaliation, but this faded fairly rapidly. In those cases, however, there were no terrorist casualties, as in last month’s demolition. Late Saturday night, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians, published a video message in Arabic directed to the Islamic Jihad leaders in Damascus, telling them that the IDF is aware of the group’s terror plots and that they are “playing with fire.” “We are aware of the plot that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is planning against Israel,” Mordechai said. “Let it be clear: Any attack by the Islamic Jihad will be met with a powerful and determined Israeli response, not only against the Jihad, but also against Hamas,” warned the general.


The group responded a day later, saying the Israeli threats against its leaders constituted “an act of war,” and vowing to continue to try to carry out a revenge attack against Israel. “We reaffirm our right to respond to any aggression, including our right to respond to the crime of aggression on the resistance tunnel,” Islamic Jihad said.


In the eyes of the military, its strike on the tunnel was entirely justified, legally and morally, as it entered Israeli territory and threatened Israeli civilians. As such, the army feels, while it may smart, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad needs to just count its losses and move on. “They violated Israeli sovereignty. They were conducting an act of hostility against Israel. We were able to thwart that, and that is the end of the sentence,” said army spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus in an extended interview with the Israel Project’s podcast on Monday. “And if they will try to aggress again, that will be met with significant resolve and power,” Conricus added.


On Monday, Israeli forces arrested a top commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the West Bank, in what seems to be a non-verbal deterrent message to the terrorist group. The Shin Bet security service confirmed that Tariq Qa’adan, a senior officer in the Gaza-based terror group’s West Bank wing, was picked up by the IDF in Arrabeh, southwest of Jenin, in the northern West Bank. A Shin Bet official said Qa’adan was arrested “for being a member of a terrorist group.”


According to Yadlin, who now runs the esteemed Institute for National Security Studies think tank, the messages put out by Mordechai and the army’s spokesperson’s office are important tools to prevent escalation and also show a significant change in tack by the military since the 2014 Gaza war, known in Israel as Operation Protective Edge. “The messages and warnings that Israel has been sending to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) over the last couple of days are not incidental, but actually indicate concrete intel according to which PIJ plans to respond to the destruction of his terror tunnel into Israel,” Yadlin wrote on Twitter. “It seems Israel learned the lessons of Operation Protective Edge, and this time it will focus on hitting the heads of the organizations (with a particular focus on the chiefs of their military/terror branches) and their operational infrastructure,” he said.            




Yaakov Lappin

BESA, Oct. 29, 2017


The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet is poised to become a key tool to help Israel stop Iran and its proxies from creating a threatening military outpost in Syria. It will also play a leading role vis-à-vis Hezbollah’s heavily armed fortress in Lebanon. The Lockheed Martin-produced aircraft, which is due to become fully operational in December of this year, brings with it a number of new capabilities that ideally suit Israel’s requirements in terms of monitoring and, when necessary, striking Iranian-Hezbollah-Syrian military targets in Syria and Lebanon. The aircraft is well suited for the mission of selectively targeting the ongoing Iranian-Hezbollah weapons trafficking program.


The F-35 is an intelligence-gathering machine in a league of its own. It is able to deploy a range of sensors to gather detailed information on events on the ground. It can fuse unprecedented quantities of intelligence automatically, then share it with other aircraft and with the Israel Air Force’s (IAF) ground control stations.


This intelligence can then be sent to Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate for further analysis and for the creation of a large databank of targets. This will provide Israel with a significantly enhanced picture of the activities of Iran, Hezbollah, and the Assad regime throughout the northern arena. It will also give Israel a strong starting position in the event of an escalation of the security situation, since these targets can be struck in the future.


In mid-October, an Assad regime SA-5 surface-to-air missile battery detected and fired upon Israeli jets, which were reportedly on an intelligence-gathering mission over Lebanon. That incident is an indication of a growing Iranian-Assad-Hezbollah determination to harass Israel’s intelligence operations. But the F-35, with its stealth capabilities, should be able to evade enemy radar detection, making such crucial missions smoother. Israeli F-35s could be sent to gather intelligence in contested air space filled with hostile radar systems and avoid detection.


IAF officials say they are also working on getting the F-35 to communicate effectively with the older, fourth-generation F-16s and F-15s. In combat situations, the F-35s would be able to spearhead operations, moving first into contested battle zones, striking enemy targets before being detected, and sending back valuable data to the fourth-generation aircraft. Such capabilities will be critical going forward, as both Syria and Lebanon have become filled with a variety of surface-to-air missile systems. Several different types of missile batteries are in the possession of Hezbollah and the Assad regime. In recent years, Russia has also stationed its advanced S-300 and S-400 batteries in Syria.


The F-35’s value in this increasingly complex and challenging environment is clear. It becomes even more pronounced when examining Israel’s need to improve its long-range strike capabilities in the event of a conflict with Iran. The F-35 has unique long-range capabilities. By 2024, Israel will have two full squadrons of F-35 A jets – a total of 50 aircraft. The last 17 of these jets were purchased by Israel in August of this year. The Planning and Organization Department within the IAF is in the midst of intensive preparations aimed at integrating the F-35 into daily operations.


The IAF expects the new aircraft to affect the way the rest of the air force operates and to boost Israeli capabilities across the board. The IDF’s ground forces, too, could experience its benefits. The F-35’s data could be relayed quickly to units on the ground, improving their lethality and battle space awareness. For now, the IAF is continuing to gather vast quantities of intelligence and engage in low-profile action against the radical Shi’ite axis to the north – but it is also planning for the possibility of open conflict. If such conflict unfolds, the IAF will unleash waves of heavy firepower never before seen in the region’s military history. The F-35’s unique awareness of its combat environment will let it take a leading role in such operations.                                                         




          Jeremy Rabkin & John Yoo

National Review, Nov. 14, 2017


In his 2017 inaugural address, President Trump protested that for decades the American people “subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military . . . spent trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.” No longer would the United States waste its blood and treasure fighting abroad for the interests of others. “From this moment on,” Trump declared, “it’s going to be America first.” During the campaign, Trump had launched even sharper critiques of U.S. foreign policy. Paying attention to the interests of foreigners had led the United States into disastrous wars, most lamentably in Iraq. “We shouldn’t have been there, we shouldn’t have destroyed the country, and Saddam Hussein was a bad guy but he was good at one thing: killing terrorists,” Trump said during the campaign.


Despite such rhetoric, the administration did not pursue a foreign policy of isolationism or even non-interventionism. In the Middle East, the United States has not only continued fighting foes from its recent wars but gone beyond them. In April 2017, the Trump administration set aside the passivity of its predecessor and launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles against a Syrian air base in response to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons. It expanded the American deployment of ground troops in the Syrian civil war, provided arms to Kurdish militias, and lent air and tactical support for Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State terrorist group. U.S. troops continued to fight in Afghanistan against a resurgent Taliban, even going so far as to use a massive ordnance bomb against insurgent tunnels. Promising to “bomb the hell out of ISIS” during the campaign, Trump has authorized a significant increase in drone strikes and special operations by both the CIA and the U.S. armed forces.


In Asia, the Trump administration did not send U.S. forces into direct combat, but it resorted to the threat of force to support its foreign policy. To pressure the North Korean regime to halt its nuclear-weapons program, Trump dispatched the USS Vinson aircraft-carrier strike group and a nuclear submarine to the area. “There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea,” he said. “Absolutely.” His administration proposed a more aggressive response to China’s building of artificial islands in the South China Sea. “Building islands and then putting military assets on those islands is akin to Russia’s taking of Crimea. It’s taking of territory that others lay claim to,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in his confirmation hearing. “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops, and second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.” To enforce such demands would require more frequent freedom-of-navigation patrols and could even call for naval blockades.


For all that, President Trump shows little sign of reversing the Obama administration’s caution on risking American lives. He continues to criticize the U.S. interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan as “costly” — by which he seems to mean costly in American lives but also in budget allocations. The Trump administration faces a quandary. Restoring a muscular American foreign policy will demand a higher rate of operations and deployments, increasing costs and risking greater casualties. Though the administration has proposed increases in military spending, it remains cautious about costly foreign commitments.


Technology can help resolve this looming impasse. Robotics, the Internet, and space-based communications have increased productivity across the economy. These same advances may have a comparably transformative impact on military affairs. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) allow pilots to strike targets more precisely at reduced cost, with less harm to bystanders and less threat to themselves. Cyber weapons permit nations to impose disruptions on an adversary in more precisely targeted attacks and without physical destruction. Space-based networks enable militaries to locate their forces exactly, lead their troops more effectively, and target their enemies more precisely.


These new advances are turning military development away from the 20th century’s reliance on draft armies equipped with simple, yet lethal, mass-produced weapons. As nations use force that becomes more precise and discrete, they can consider changing rules developed in the era of mass armies and attrition warfare. The laws of war need not fuss over the line between targetable military and immune civilian assets when nations can rely on UAVs to deliver precision-guided munitions on particular targets.


As it is, reluctance to use force has led western nations to rely on economic sanctions, which punish entire populations. Drones and cyber attacks might achieve comparable results to economic sanctions by inflicting harm on the target state’s economy, but in a more precise manner. Such an approach may avoid unintended effects of sanctions and operate much more quickly and reliably, leaving adversaries less time to adapt to (or circumvent) sanctions. To make the most of those new capacities, we should rethink current legal formulas purporting to regulate when “military force” is lawful, and against what targets.


New weapons technologies could help the United States and its allies protect international stability. WMD proliferation, international terrorism, human-rights catastrophes, and rising regional powers are threatening the liberal international order constructed by the U.S. and its allies after World War II. Nations will be discouraged from confronting these problems with conventional force. But if new technology reduces the costs of war while improving its effectiveness, nations may turn to force more often to promote desirable ends. Promoting international stability remains a global public good, in that peace benefits all nations regardless of who pays for it. This gives nations a strong incentive to free-ride off the efforts of others to maintain international peace and security. If using force becomes less expensive and more effective, nations may turn to force more readily when the times require it. New weapons may be particularly helpful in situations where a large-scale military response would seem excessive but mere words seem insufficient.


In fact, new weapons technologies may produce the welcome benefit of reducing the harms of individual disputes. While the United States, among others, is rapidly developing new means of fighting, these innovations may limit war. Robotics can reduce harm to combatants and civilians by making attacks more precise and deadly. Cyber can more effectively target enemy military and civilian resources without risking direct injury to human beings or the destruction of physical structures. Space satellites will provide the sensors and communications that make possible the rapid, real-time marriage of intelligence and force, and future orbital weapons may create a viable defense to nuclear missiles.






National Post, Nov. 3, 2017


The Canadian Forces may have recently pulled off a rare feat: a military procurement triumph. We are reluctant to even write these words, lest the cosmos note this aberration from the natural order of things and immediately smite the project. Barring otherworldly intervention, though, the recent conversion of MV Asterix is the kind of smart, efficient military procurement we see so rarely. Asterix is a large ship, originally intended to serve as a commercial vessel, which was rapidly refitted by Quebec’s Davie Shipyard to serve as a logistical support ship for the Royal Canadian Navy. She is completing sea trials now and will be ready for active service imminently, perhaps as early as this month.


A modern navy is only as effective as its logistics ships, floating warehouses that sail with the warships and provide stores of food, fuel, ammunition, spare parts and advanced medical care facilities for fleets on the move. In recent years, Canada had lost both of its support ships to a combination of old age, bad luck and political mismanagement.  Old age: the ships were well into their fifth decade when retired, and well behind the technological curve. Bad luck: both ships were suddenly retired after unforeseen crises — an onboard fire and a collision at sea, respectively. Political mismanagement: even though the fire and collision were unforeseeable, the need to replace the ships wasn’t, but both Liberal and Conservative governments had failed to invest the funds necessary to replace the vessels.


Without them, the Navy is essentially limited to being a coastal patrol force. New ships have been ordered, at an estimated cost of billions, but aren’t due until the early 2020s. Enter the Asterix. She will return a vital capability to the Navy, and the total cost of the project is less than $700 million — a comparative bargain. So much so that we question the need to wait for the new ships at all. The government should at least explore the possibility of repeating the process with another vessel, so that we can put one on both the east and west coasts. But at least the Navy can begin functioning as a proper fighting force again. We hope the success of this project, and its real economic and military advantages, are not overlooked by a government (and Navy) that needs all the good news it can get.




On Topic Links


‘Israel Not Prepared for Drone Threat’: Yona Schnitzer, Breaking Israel News, Nov. 16, 2017—he IDF has  yet to develop a suitable response to the threat of cross border drone attacks, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira said in a special report issued Wednesday that also looked at regulation of domestic drone use.

Don't Return Bodies For Nothing: Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, Israel Hayom, Nov. 6, 2017—The Israel Defense Forces has racked up three recent achievements on the southern front: locating an attack tunnel leading into Israel and blowing it up; striking over a dozen terrorists, including senior Islamic Jihad operatives; and according to an IDF report on Sunday, holding on to bodies of the terrorists who were in the tunnel at the time of the strike.

Canada’s Peacekeeping Incoherence: Richard Shimooka & Don Macnamara, Globe & Mail, Nov. 14, 2017—Over the past few weeks there has been a renewed impetus toward Canada undertaking a new peacekeeping mission. While some of the motivations behind such an intervention are laudable, they present a number of challenges and considerations that should be fully understood before a commitment is made.

North Korea and the Threat of Chemical Warfare: Theo Emery, New York Times, Oct. 27, 2017—The war of words between President Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un over Pyongyang’s nuclear program has rattled nerves around the world. But the trial of two women in Malaysia for using the nerve agent VX to kill Mr. Kim’s half brother is a reminder that North Korea’s lethal arsenal isn’t limited to nuclear weapons. The North’s chemical weapons pose a grave risk to South Korea and to regional stability.







Is the Las Vegas Mass-Murderer a Terrorist?: National Review, Oct. 2, 2017 — In Las Vegas, (at least 58) people are dead, and perhaps hundreds of others have been injured, in the deadliest mass-shooting attack in American history.

The Big Middle East Lie: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Oct. 2, 2017— Nimer Mahmoud Jamal, the 37-year-old Palestinian terrorist who on September 25 murdered three Israelis at the entrance to Har Adar near Jerusalem, had a permit from the Israeli authorities to work in Israel.


Hamas Masquerade: Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom, Oct. 1, 2017 — It took Hamas 10 years to completely ruin the Gaza Strip and prove to all that it can't and is not worthy of ruling over its inhabitants.

Interpol and the Palestinians: Where’s a Cop When You Need One?: Jonathan S. Tobin, JNS, Oct. 2, 2017 — The good news is that Interpol apparently isn’t the international police agency that movies and television shows have led us to believe.


On Topic Links


Palestinian Leaders Unite in Praise of Deadly Terror Attack: United With Israel, Sept. 27, 2017

Don't be Fooled by Hamas and Fatah Reconciliation in Gaza: Barry Shaw, Arutz Sheva, Sept. 28, 2017

Iran and Hamas Reconnect: Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall, JCPA, Sept. 25, 2017

Abbas Says No to 'Hezbollah Model' in Gaza as Hamas Hopes to Retain Armed Wing: Jack Khoury, Ha’aretz, Sept. 30, 2017


AS WE GO TO PRESS: EDMONTON ATTACK SUSPECT CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER: A suspect has been charged in an attack in which an Edmonton officer was stabbed and four people were injured when they were hit by a rental truck fleeing police. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif faces five counts of attempted murder, five counts of dangerous driving and one weapons-related charge. Although police have said that terrorism charges are expected, none has been laid so far. Sharif, who is 30, is a Somali refugee once investigated for allegedly espousing extremism. Edmonton police…said the events of Saturday night appear to have been the work of a single person. It started when a police officer handling crowd control at a football game was hit by a speeding car that rammed through a barrier and sent him flying five metres through the air. The driver got out, pulled out a large knife and began stabbing the officer. A suspect was taken into custody by police hours later after a chase through downtown Edmonton in which four pedestrians were purposely hit by the driver… (National Post, Oct. 2, 2017)




Andrew C. McCarthy

National Review, Oct. 2, 2017


In Las Vegas, (at least 58) people are dead, and perhaps hundreds of others have been injured, in the deadliest mass-shooting attack in American history. Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old Nevadan believed to be the lone gunman, fired upon attendees of the Route 91 Harvest music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort across the street. He killed himself before police reached him.


As we begin to process what has happened, it is important to remember — as we have learned from too many of these incidents — that initial reports are often wrong. We must wait for investigators and responsible journalists to do their work before we can have a clear picture of what happened.


On that score, news reports this morning are already referring to this atrocity as a “terrorist attack.” And that was even before the Islamic State jihadist organization claimed responsibility for the attack, a claim that has just been reported by the Washington Examiner. ISIS offered no proof of its assertions that Paddock was a recent convert to Islam and had carried out the massacre on the terror network’s behalf. Again, we cannot assess it until the investigation unfolds.


Clearly, Paddock did terrorize a community, particularly an event attended by 22,000 people, at least hundreds of whom he put in mortal peril. Does that make him a terrorist? Let’s put the unverified ISIS claims aside. If Paddock was a lone gunman acting independently and not under the influence of any organization or ideology, the answer to the question may depend on which law we apply — the federal penal code or Nevada’s criminal law.


We’ve recently had occasion to consider federal terrorism law in connection with a discussion over whether the violent “Antifa” movement should be legally designated as a terrorist organization. Under the U.S. penal code (section 2331(5) of Title 18), a violent act meets the definition of “domestic terrorism” if the actor was seeking: (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.


Many (perhaps most) mass killings will meet this test. Plainly, shooting at a crowd is an act of intimidation. But as the word “coerce” (also in that first clause) implies, the federal terrorism statute speaks to intimidation or coercion of a civilian population toward some identifiable objective. This kind of intimidation is easy to make out when the aggressor is a jihadist, whether associated with an outfit such as ISIS or merely “inspired by” sharia-supremacist ideology (which seeks the imposition of sharia law and to force changes in American policy). Establishing such intimidation is also straightforward when a group with a radical political agenda, such as Antifa, is involved. It is more difficult, though, when we are dealing with a lone gunman…

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



THE BIG MIDDLE EAST LIE                                                               

Bassam Tawil

Gatestone Institute, Oct. 2, 2017


Nimer Mahmoud Jamal, the 37-year-old Palestinian terrorist who on September 25 murdered three Israelis at the entrance to Har Adar near Jerusalem, had a permit from the Israeli authorities to work in Israel. His family and friends say he also had a good life and was considered lucky to have been employed by Jews because he received a higher salary and was protected by Israeli labor laws. The night before Jamal set out in his murderous mission, he spent a few hours at the fitness gym in his village, located only a few miles away from Har Adar.


So, Jamal, the murderer of the three Israelis (two of the victims were Arab Israelis), was not poor. He was not unemployed. In fact, according his friends, Jamal earned much more than what a senior police officer or school teacher working for the Palestinian Authority or Hamas brings home every month. What was it, then, that drove Jamal to his murderous scheme, gunning down three young men who were supposed to be facilitating his entry into Israel? Was it because he could not provide for his children? No. Was it because his landlord was pressuring him about the rent? No: Jamal lived in a nice place of his own, complete with furniture, appliances and bedrooms that any family in the West would be proud to own.


Jamal wanted to murder Jews because he believed this was a noble deed that would earn him the status of shaheed (martyr) and hero among his family, friends and society. In Palestinian culture in particular, and Arab culture in general, murderers of Jews are glorified on a daily basis. They are touted as the lucky ones who are now in the company of Prophet Mohammed and the angels in Paradise. Male terrorists are also busy with the 72 virgins they were awarded as a prize for murdering Jews. The murderers — as Muslim clerics and leaders hammer into the heads of Palestinians — are also given access to rivers of honey and fine drinks once they set foot in their imaginary Paradise.


Jamal's friends and family are now convinced that he has been rewarded by Allah and Prophet Mohammed in Paradise for murdering three Israelis. They do not care about his children, whom he left behind, and certainly not about the families of the three Israelis he murdered. In his village and on social media, Jamal is being hailed as a hero and martyr. Not a single Palestinian has come out against the cowardly terror attack by a man who took advantage of a permit from the Israeli authorities to commit a terror attack.


The Jewish families that once employed Jamal as a cleaner had trusted him. They had opened their homes and hearts, as well as their wallets, to him. The Israeli authorities wanted to trust him and see him as a normal person who just wanted a job with a decent income to support his family. But Jamal, like many other Palestinians, betrayed the trust the Jews gave him. He chose to stab in the back the same people who had gone out of their way to help him. Sadly, this terrorist also betrayed the cause of thousands of Palestinian workers who enter Israel for work every day. These workers stand to lose the most from Jamal's terror attack and treachery. Luckily for them, the Israeli authorities are saying that the Har Adar murder will not affect Israel's policy of granting permits to Palestinians to work inside Israel, because the vast majority are not involved in violence.


The Har Adar murders ought to teach us at least one thing: that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not about the economy or improving the living conditions of the Palestinians. Jamal, who had a job and freedom of movement and a lovely apartment, surely proves this point, as do the murders or attempted murders by other well-to-do terrorists such as Mohammad Atta, Osama bin Laden, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and many others. Jamal's bloody lesson, however, apparently still needs to be learned by the West, which, despite all evidence, doggedly persists in drawing an unbroken line between Palestinian terrorism and poverty.


Jamal, however, is far from the first terrorist to convey this crucial lesson: most Palestinian terrorists over the past decades were educated and had jobs. Some Palestinian suicide bombers were nurses, schoolteachers and lawyers. Some came from middle class and even wealthy families and clans. Money and education, however, did not stop them from committing atrocities against Israelis. Terrorists like Jamal are motivated by deep hatred for Jews and Israel. They have been indoctrinated and brainwashed by their leaders and Muslim religious clerics into believing that Jews are evil and need to be eliminated by all available means.


Not a single terrorist has complained of carrying out an attack because he or she were starving, had no food for the children and were unable to buy ice cream from the local grocery store. The terrorists, in fact, spell it out as it is: they openly announce that they are motivated by their indoctrinated hatred for Israel and Jews. This is what the Palestinian, Arab and Islamic propaganda machine has done to generations of Arabs and Muslims. Officials and people in the West may deny what they hear as hard as they like; but the terrorists could not be more are honest about what their murderous motives are.


What, then, about those on the West who continue to talk about the conflict as if it were about creating new jobs and paving roads and improving infrastructure for the Palestinians? This seems to be the approach endorsed in the U.S. by Donald Trump's administration. There is nothing wrong, of course, with boosting the economy and creating job opportunities. This might have a moderating effect on a few Palestinians. They will be happy to see a better economy and a drop in the unemployment rate. Such measures, however, will never change the hearts and minds of Palestinians. Palestinians will never recognize Israel's right to exist because Americans and Europeans built them an industrial park somewhere in the West Bank. Over the past 25 years, the Palestinians have received billions of dollars in aid from the international community. When they headed to the ballot boxes, they voted for Hamas because it told them it will destroy Israel. Palestinians are most likely to vote for Hamas once again if free and democratic elections were held tomorrow in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.


We might remember this as Trump's Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, returns to our region to discuss ways of reviving the so-called peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. The Trump administration and Jason Greenblatt seem to have bought the lie that "It's about money, stupid." No. The conflict is about an unbendable refusal to allow a Jewish Israel to exist in the Middle East. It is about the abiding interest in the Arab and Islamic world to obliterate Israel and murder Jews. It is about the ongoing, bloody Arab and Islamic incitement against Israel and Jews. Jobs are not the problem, and they are not the solution. Let us pay attention to reality for a change: Jamal and his fellow terrorists can teach us something — if only we would listen.




HAMAS MASQUERADE                                       

                                                Prof. Eyal Zisser

Israel Hayom, Oct. 1, 2017


It took Hamas 10 years to completely ruin the Gaza Strip and prove to all that it can't and is not worthy of ruling over its inhabitants. A decade after the terrorist organization forcefully seized control of the coastal enclave its government has crumbled, but more importantly, the situation for the people of Gaza has never been more desperate. Unemployment and poverty are rampant, quality of life is in sharp decline and infrastructure is collapsing. There has only been steady progress in one area – tunnel digging along the border with Israel is prospering and the group has expanded its missile arsenal.


The first place Hamas has looked for a solution is Tehran, which is looking to bring the group back into its fold after several years of severed ties. The Arab spring revolution in Egypt and Syria distanced Hamas from Iran, bringing it closer to Turkey and even Qatar. These Sunni countries have been a disappointment and their ability to help the organization has been and remains limited. Hamas can only receive unlimited weapons and money from the Iranians, even if doing so means it must sharply alter its positions. This pertains, for example, to the Sunni rebel groups in Syria, which Hamas has supported over the years but now must abandon.


At the same time Hamas is also working to improve its relations with the Palestinian Authority; more precisely it is trying to turn the PA into a human shield to perpetuate its rule over Gaza. In this context, Hamas' leaders declared an end to the "Hamas government" in Gaza, and their willingness to give the keys to Gaza to the Palestinian national unity government sitting in Ramallah. This is merely a charade, however, as Hamas is unwilling to truly relinquish its power and will not allow, for instance, the PA's security apparatus to deploy in Gaza. In this vein, it will permit the PA and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, to resolve the electricity crisis in Gaza and to try improving the economic situation there. Meanwhile, Hamas will still reserve ultimate say in Gaza and will be the only entity with weapons.


Hamas, therefore, is trying to mimic the Lebanese model. In Lebanon, the government maintains diplomatic relations with the international community and is responsible for the welfare of the population and bettering the economy; Hezbollah, meanwhile, is the driving military force without bearing governmental responsibility for the fate of Lebanon. This is a comfortable arrangement, as the Lebanese government provides protection for Hezbollah and mainly absolves it of any responsibility for the Lebanese population.


Abbas does have reasons to be happy with this arrangement, as it means the economic pressure and sanctions he has imposed on Hamas has borne fruit. Egypt, too, is satisfied and continues to advance Palestinian reconciliation, in the hopes that such a development will empower its protégé, Mohammed Dahlan, in Gaza and perhaps the West Bank as well. Without a doubt, however, the main winner is Hamas, which will cede governmental responsibility for the economy and welfare, which it never cared for regardless, in exchange for a security blanket from the PA and perhaps Egypt. All the while it will continue ruling the Strip with an iron fist.


Hamas' game is obvious, but its decision to pursue a two-pronged course of reconciliation with the PA and Iran poses a challenge to Israel. During Operation Protective Edge, Israel allowed Hamas to remain in power in Gaza because it believed that doing so would render it deterred and restricted. Now, however, Hamas is trying to shed these restrictions and essentially erase Israel's leverage against it. Israel cannot allow this to happen.                                                           





Jonathan S. Tobin

JNS, Oct. 2, 2017


The good news is that Interpol apparently isn’t the international police agency that movies and television shows have led us to believe. The bad news is that the international community just gave another seal of approval to those who traffic in terrorism. The Palestinian Authority (PA), just as it has done at other international organizations, recently gained admittance to Interpol by an overwhelming vote of member nations.


Though the PA does autonomously govern most of the West Bank, it doesn’t exercise sovereign control over any territory. But the international community has nevertheless embraced every opportunity to grant recognition to Palestinian Arab aspirations for statehood — without first forcing them to conclude a peace with Israel that could resolve the dispute by the two peoples over one, small land.


The latest move sounds scarier than some of the others, because most of us assume that Interpol is an international police force with power to make arrests and act with impunity around the globe. Yet it turns out that this perception of Interpol is misleading. Interpol has no law enforcement agents, and arrests no one. It is merely a coordinating group that functions as an administration liaison between police departments of different countries. It does help fight international crime by making the large database that it maintains available to law enforcement agencies — but that’s about the extent of it.


One thing that members of Interpol can do is to issue so-called “red notices” about outstanding criminals; but these are not international arrest warrants. Nevertheless, this raises the possibility that the PA might copy the practice of leftist foes of Israel in various Western countries, who seek to indict Israeli officials on bogus allegations of war crimes. The US has already said it won’t recognize any red notices from the PA. And since the PA is dependent on cooperation with Israeli security agencies to defend themselves against Hamas and more radical opponents, this would be a risky strategy. If the PA does use the tactic, it would probably be directed against Palestinian political foes, rather than Israelis.


Seen in that light, the Interpol vote can be viewed as just another meaningless gesture that does nothing to advance peace — or Palestinian aspirations for actual statehood. But the decision is not entirely harmless — because the same PA that just joined Interpol actually funds terrorism. The PA pays salaries and pensions to Palestinians who commit terrorism against Israelis and others (including Americans). This program has an ascending scale of compensation, which gives greater rewards for more serious crimes involving bloodshed. The PA’s education system and official media also incite hate, and applaud acts of terror on a regular basis. Just last week, Abbas’ Fatah party lauded a deadly attack that resulted in the killing of an Israeli Border Police officer and two security guards, one of whom was an Arab Israeli. And now, the family of the slain terrorist can expect a generous pension from the PA.


Though some excuse this practice of paying terrorists as a legitimate aspect of their political culture, it is one more indication that Palestinians are still stuck fighting the same war on Zionism and Israel that they’ve been fighting for a century. And it illustrates the folly of any policy towards the Palestinians that does not start with an effort to impress upon them the necessity to accept the existence of a Jewish state. Until Israel makes it clear that its existence is conclusive and final, no peace plan, including a two-state solution, will be possible.


Unlike its predecessor, the Trump administration has made it clear that it regards the PA’s attitude toward terror as an impediment to peace. Congress might be on its way to passing the Taylor Force Act, which is named for an American veteran who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist; the bill would make future aid to the PA contingent on ending its incitement and terror funding. But with the Interpol vote, the world has once again sent the opposite message to the Palestinians about terror and ending the conflict. A group that honors and pays terrorists rather than arresting them just joined the international law enforcement establishment. Israelis, Jews and Americans that are targeted for death by Palestinians are justified in wondering: where’s a cop when you need one?



On Topic Links


Palestinian Leaders Unite in Praise of Deadly Terror Attack: United With Israel, Sept. 27, 2017 —The reactions to Tuesday morning’s terror attack that left three Israelis dead by the two largest Palestinian factions were of full endorsement and support for the terrorist’s actions.

Don't be Fooled by Hamas and Fatah Reconciliation in Gaza: Barry Shaw, Arutz Sheva, Sept. 28, 2017—Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar is ready to hand over the civil administration of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority. Don't be fooled by this gesture.

Iran and Hamas Reconnect: Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall, JCPA, Sept. 25, 2017—With an eye to Syria’s postwar period, Iran is working to unite the ranks of the “resistance camp” to continue the struggle against Israel and deepen the dissension in the Arab world. Iran views Hamas, despite its independent path, as an important element of this camp that challenges not only Israel but also the main members of the “moderate” Arab camp, and hence contributes to bolstering its influence in the region.

Abbas Says No to 'Hezbollah Model' in Gaza as Hamas Hopes to Retain Armed Wing: Jack Khoury, Ha’aretz, Sept. 30, 2017—Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip and senior Palestinian Authority officials issued further declarations over the weekend about their commitment to reconcile and said both sides are committed to moving the process ahead.






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

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

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

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


On Topic Links


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

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

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

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





Casey Babb

National Post, Aug. 1, 2017


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




Eli Lake

Bloomberg, Aug. 1, 2017


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


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


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


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


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


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


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






          Jonathan S. Tobin                                                                                    

JNS, Aug. 1, 2017


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




                             John Rossomando

                                                  IPT News, Aug. 4, 2017


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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




On Topic Links


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

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

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

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









Trump, the Pistol and the Olive Branch: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 16, 2017 — With a gun on his hip, on November 13, 1974, PLO chief Yasser Arafat stood before the UN General Assembly and

 made the West an offer that it didn’t refuse.

Understanding Israel’s Message on ISIS-Inspired Terror in Jerusalem: Dan Diker, JCPA, Jan. 12, 2017— Speculation over possible ISIS involvement was triggered by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s comment at the scene, “All signs point to the attacker being a supporter of the Islamic State.”

Fatah and Hamas Finally Agree on Something: Stephen M. Flatow, JNS, Jan. 12, 2017— Fatah and Hamas don’t always get along.

A Palestinian Defeat is Good for All: Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum, Dec. 28, 2016— Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was photographed on Dec. 21 carrying a copy of Nothing Less than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History by John David Lewis (Princeton University Press, 2010).


On Topic Links


A Life of Degradation and Bitterness Under Fatah Rule: The Jerusalem Center, JCPA, Jan. 12, 2017

Palestinians: Glorifying Mass Murderers: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 10, 2017

Hamas, ISIS Affiliates, See Opportunity in Terror Truck Attack: Yaakov Lappin, IPT, Jan. 11, 2017

The Cyber Bikini Intifada: Ruthie Blum, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 15, 2017




Caroline Glick

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 16, 2017


With a gun on his hip, on November 13, 1974, PLO chief Yasser Arafat stood before the UN General Assembly and made the West an offer that it didn’t refuse. At the end of a long speech in which he rewrote history to erase all connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel and criminalized the very notion of Jewish freedom, Arafat declared, “Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter’s gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand. I repeat: Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.”


Arafat’s offer has served since that time as the foundation of European relations with the Palestinians and the wider Islamic world. It has also been the basis of US-PLO relations for the better part of the past four decades. His trade was simple and clear. If you stand with the PLO in its war to annihilate Israel and deny Jewish freedom, then PLO terrorists and our Arab state supporters will leave you alone. If you refuse to join our war against the Jewish state, we will kill you.


Today, Arafat’s successor, Mahmoud Abbas, is reiterating Arafat’s offer. Speaking Saturday at the Vatican after the Holy See decided to recognize “Palestine,” Abbas said that if US President-elect Donald Trump goes ahead with his plan to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, it will “fuel extremism in our region, as well as worldwide.” Abbas’s spokesman was more explicit. Saturday night, Osama Qawasmeh, spokesman for Abbas’s Fatah PLO faction and member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council, said that if the US moves its embassy to Israel’s capital city, “The gates of hell will be opened in the region and the world.” Abbas and Qawasmeh also said that the PLO expects that members of the international community will make Trump see the light and abandon his plan.


French President Francois Hollande’s “peace conference” on Sunday was the international community’s way of fulfilling Abbas’s demand. As multiple commentators have noted, the conference’s purpose wasn’t to promote the prospects for peace. It was to constrain Trump’s policy options for handling the Palestinian war against Israel. By bringing together representatives of some 70 countries to insist that Israeli homeowners are the moral equivalent of Palestinian terrorists, Hollande and his comrades hoped to box Trump into their PLO-compliant policy.


Spelling out the demand Trump is required to accept, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc-Ayrault parroted the Palestinian threats. Asked by the French media Sunday if moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem would provoke the Palestinians, Ayrault said, “Of course.” He then demeaned Trump’s plan to move the embassy as nothing but the regular bluster of American politicians. In his words, “I think he [Trump] would not be able to do it. It would have extremely serious consequences and it’s not the first time that it’s on the agenda of a US president, but none has let himself make that decision.”


Ayrault is correct about Trump’s predecessors. To one degree or another, since the early 1970s, successive US administrations have joined the Europeans in selling Israel down the river to prevent Arafat’s minions from pointing their guns at the American people. Like the Europeans, the Americans have upheld their side of this bargain even when the PLO failed to uphold its end. For instance, in 1973 Arafat ordered his terrorists to storm the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum and take US ambassador Cleo Noel, his deputy, George Curtis Moore, and Belgian diplomat Guy Eid hostage. Arafat then ordered his henchmen to murder the diplomats after then president Richard Nixon rejected his demand to release Robert F. Kennedy’s Palestinian murderer, Sirhan Sirhan, from prison. Instead of responding to the execution of US diplomats by siding with Israel against the PLO, the US covered up and denied the PLO’s responsibility for the attack for the next 33 years.


The US is still covering up for the PLO’s murder of US embassy personnel in Gaza in 2003. At the same time, it is providing the PLO with nearly three quarters of a billion dollars in direct and indirect annual aid, including the training and provision of its security forces. The Europeans for their part have egged the US along throughout the years. France has generally led European efforts to convince the Americans to side with Palestinian as well as Hezbollah terrorists in their war against Israel in the name of “peace.” Sunday morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the Paris conference as a “futile” relic of a period that is about to end. Netanyahu said that the conference’s goal of boxing Israel into an untenable framework for dealing the Palestinians was nothing more than the “final palpitations of a yesterday’s world.” “Tomorrow,” he intoned, “will look a lot different. And tomorrow is very close.”…

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




ON ISIS-INSPIRED TERROR IN JERUSALEM                                                               

Dan Diker                                                           

                              JCPA, Jan. 12, 2017


News headlines across Israel and the world reported that ISIS may have inspired the Palestinian terrorist who committed the deadly January 8, 2017, truck ramming attack in Jerusalem that killed four Israelis and injured 16. Speculation over possible ISIS involvement was triggered by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s comment at the scene, “All signs point to the attacker being a supporter of the Islamic State.” Referring to similar recent ISIS truck ramming attacks in Europe, Netanyahu added, “We know that we have here a series of attacks, and there could be a link between them, from France to Berlin, and now Jerusalem.”


Netanyahu’s announcement underscored an important and often overlooked principle: Radical Islamic terror in Europe and Israel are both motivated by radical and extremist ideologies and must be condemned equally. Israel has been subject to endless justifications and warnings by Western leaders and media that Palestinian terror is largely the result of “settlements,” “occupation,” “lack of peace,” and “lack of a two state solution.”


Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and the Israeli body politic criticized this frequent differentiation of “good terrorists and bad terrorists.” One recalls muscular Western condemnations of Salafist terror’s “psychopathic monsters” as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had branded the ISIS terrorists who massacred 130 people and wounded hundreds in simultaneous Paris attacks in 2015. “Psychopathic,” ideologically and religiously motivated terrorists also live and work in Jerusalem. The “truck” terrorist, Fadi al-Qanbar, a father of four young children, lived in the neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber. He was not driven by socioeconomic deprivation or nationalist sentiment. He enjoyed complete freedom of movement and received the same social and economic benefits as Jews and other residents of Jerusalem.


Jabel Mukaber is also known as known as a hotbed of religious jihadi incitement. A neighborhood communal leader said that in the late 1980s the neighborhood became a hotbed of Islamism. Neighborhood children as young as eight and nine years old have declared their intentions to become “martyrs for Allah” according to interviews conducted in Jabel Mukaber by Islamic affairs expert Avi Issacharoff. Jabel Mukaber is also home to the jihadist terrorist cell that massacred Jewish worshipers in a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood in 2014.  A sister of Fadi al-Qanbar, confirmed Jabel Mukaber’s growing reputation for radical Islamism. She told Israel’s YNET News, “Praise be to Allah that he (al-Qanbar) became a martyr. It is the most beautiful kind of saintly death. Allah chose him for this martyrdom. Thank God.”


It is true that UN officials and western leaders uncharacteristically and unconditionally condemned the Jerusalem truck ramming terror attack. However, one cannot ignore the context of the these condemnations as a collective expression of diplomatic discomfort in the aftermath of the politically-fueled and distorted resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council on December 23, 2016 that delegitimized Israel’s sovereignty and annulled its sui-generis 3,000 year connection to its capital, Jerusalem.


Khaled Abu Toameh reminds us in a recent analysis for Gatestone Institute that the resolution has also energized radical Islamic terror against Israel. Just days before the attack, Abu Toameh observed that the recent UNSC resolution served to ‘“Bolster the popular resistance’ against Israel – code for throwing stones and firebombs, and carrying out stabbing and car-ramming attacks against Israelis.” He added that the Gaza-based Hamas and Islamic Jihad see the resolution as another step toward their goal of replacing Israel with an Islamic empire. When Hamas talks about “resistance,” it means suicide bombings and rockets against Israel.


From a jihadi point of view, there is no difference between truck terror in Berlin, Nice, or Jerusalem. Palestinian jihadis and their fellow travelers in ISIS, al-Qaida, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham in Syria, Hamas, Iran’s IRGC and Hizbullah proxy have declared that Islamic terrorism against Europe and Israel stems from the same radical root and aims for the same extremist end: Exclusive Islamic sovereignty across the lands of the Near East and ultimately the entire world.


Hamas praised the Jerusalem truck terror attack as “heroic.” The Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated group features a charter that reminds us of the popular motivation of the Palestinian struggle. It declares, “For our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave, so much so that it will need all the loyal efforts we can wield, to be followed by further steps and reinforced by successive battalions from the multifarious Arab and Islamic world, until the enemies are defeated and Allah’s victory prevails.”


Palestinian jihad in Jerusalem also enjoys PLO and Palestinian Authority financial and rhetorical support. Brigadier General Yossi Kuperwasser’s January 2017 Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs report “Incentivizing Terrorism: Palestinian Authority Allocations to Terrorists and their Families” confirms that official Palestinian Authority legislation guarantees more than $310 million dollars in annual allocations to terrorists and their families. PA and PLO leadership have long incited Palestinians to murder Israelis. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas both claim Israel is destroying the al-Aqsa Mosque. This libel was also one of the central sources of incitement to terror in Jabal Mukaber, according to Issacharoff…

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





Stephen M. Flatow

JNS, Jan. 12, 2017


Fatah and Hamas don’t always get along. Fatah, the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization, is chaired by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas is the Islamic fundamentalist Palestinian group that rules Gaza. Fatah and Hamas call each other names. They compete against each other in Palestinian elections (on the rare occasions that such elections are held). Sometimes, Fatah goons rough up a Hamas member, and vice versa. There were even armed clashes between the two factions in 2007, leaving more than 100 terrorists dead. But Fatah and Hamas have found at least one thing they agree on: Anyone who massacres Jews is a great guy.


January 5th was the 21st anniversary of the death of the most infamous Hamas bomb-maker of them all, Yahya Ayyash. He also shared his car-bombing techniques, explosive vests and other deadly innovations with Islamic Jihad, the terror group that murdered my daughter, Alisa, and seven other bus passengers near Kfar Darom in 1995. Last week, Hamas honored the “hero” Ayyash with a photo essay on its website, complete with images of the bodies of some of his victims. Ayyash had the blood of hundreds of Israelis and Americans on his hands. That’s why Hamas reveres him.


But guess what? The “moderate” Fatah admires the mass-murderer Ayyash just as much as the “extremist” Hamas. Fatah, too, celebrated Ayyash’s atrocities with a glowing feature about him on its website. “Today is the anniversary of (the death of) the martyr engineer Yahya Ayyash,” Abbas’ group declared. “Revolutionaries never die. The pact of Fatah will remain the pact of the martyrs. We are marching on the path of Yasser Arafat on the way to national unity.”


When Hamas and Fatah call Ayyash a “martyr,” they are not using the term casually. “Martyr,” shahid in Arabic, has a specific religious connotation in Islam. The title is bestowed on a Muslim who died in the course of waging jihad against infidels. According to Islam, the shahid is showered with divine rewards in the afterlife. That’s why there is an Ayyash Street in the PA capital of Ramallah, just as there is an Ayyash Street in Beit Lahia, which is in Hamas-ruled Gaza. You name a street after someone you admire. And there is no one whom both Fatah and Hamas admire more than the “martyr” Ayyash.


Ayyash’s handiwork included the August 1995 Jerusalem bus bombing in which five people were murdered — including Connecticut school teacher Joan Davenny — and more than 100 were wounded. The words “more than 100 wounded” don’t begin to do justice to what those innocent people endured. Behind the statistic are horrific stories of suffering that lasts for years, often for a lifetime. One was Yonah Peter Malina, who, while growing up in Switzerland, did not even know that he was Jewish. At age 27, Yonah discovered his Jewishness, embraced Zionism and immigrated to Israel. He had been there less than a year when Ayyash’s bomb blew up that bus. Severely injured, Yonah awoke from a coma to find himself paralyzed from the neck down. He spent the next 10 years on a 24-hour respirator until he passed away in May 2005.


Every time the United Nations tells us that Israel is the obstacle to peace, every time the Washington Post tries to convince us that Hamas and Fatah are enemies, every time J Street declares that Abbas is a “moderate” — let’s remember who maimed and ultimately murdered Yonah Peter Malina, and which groups call the killer a “hero” and a “martyr.” In the end, that really tells us all we need to know about the Palestinian cause.                                         





Daniel Pipes

Middle East Forum, Dec. 28, 2016


Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was photographed on Dec. 21 carrying a copy of Nothing Less than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History by John David Lewis (Princeton University Press, 2010). In that book, Lewis looks at six case studies and argues that in them all "the tide of war turned when one side tasted defeat and its will to continue, rather than stiffening, collapsed."


That Netanyahu should in any way be thinking along these lines is particularly encouraging at this moment of flux, when Sunni Arab states focus as never before on a non-Israeli threat (namely the Iranian), Obama's leaving Israel in the lurch at the U.N. Security Council, and insurgent politics disrupt across the West. In other words, the timing's exactly right to apply Lewis' argument to the Palestinians. Actually, Israel successfully pursued a strategy of forcing the taste of defeat on its enemies through its first 45 years, so this would be a return to old ways.


That strategy starts by recognizing that, since the Balfour Declaration of 1917, Palestinians and Israelis have pursued static and opposite goals. The Palestinians adopted a policy of rejectionism with the intent to eliminate every vestige of Jewish presence in what is now the territory of Israel. Differences among Palestinians tend to be tactical: Talk to the Israelis to win concessions or stick to total rejectionism? The Palestinian Authority represents the first approach and Hamas the second.


On the Israeli side, nearly everyone agrees on the need to win acceptance by Palestinians (and other Arabs and Muslims); differences are again tactical. Show Palestinians what they can gain from Zionism or break the Palestinians' will? Labor and Likud argue this out. These two pursuits – rejectionism and acceptance – have remained basically unchanged for a century. Varying ideologies, objectives, tactics, strategies, and actors mean details have varied, even as fundamentals remain remarkably in place. Wars and treaties come and go, leading to only minor shifts.


Deterrence, that is, convincing Palestinians and the Arab states to accept Israel's existence by threatening painful retaliation, underlay Israel's formidable record in 1948-93 of strategic vision and tactical brilliance.

That said, deterrence did not finish the job; as Israelis built a modern, democratic, affluent, and powerful country, the fact that Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, and (increasingly) the left still rejected it became a source of mounting frustration. Israel's impatient, on-the-go populace grew weary with the slow-moving and passive aspects of deterrence.


That impatience led to the diplomatic process that culminated with the handshake confirming the signing of the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn in September 1993. Those accords, however, quickly disappointed both sides. Things went so wrong in part because Yasir Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and the rest of the Palestinian Authority leadership pretended to abandon rejectionism and accept Israel's existence but, in fact, they sought Israel's elimination in new, more sophisticated ways, replacing force with delegitimization.


In part, too, the Israelis made a profound mistake, having entered the Oslo process with a false premise that war can be concluded through goodwill and compromise. In fact, Israeli concessions aggravated Palestinian hostility. The Oslo exercise showed the futility of Israeli concessions to Palestinians when the latter fail to live up to their obligations. By signaling Israeli weakness, Oslo made a bad situation worse. What is conventionally called the "peace process" should more accurately be dubbed the "war process."


This brings us to my key concepts, victory and defeat. Victory means successfully imposing one's will on the enemy, compelling him through loss to give up his war ambitions. Wars end, the historical record shows, not through goodwill but through defeat. He who does not win loses. Thinkers and warriors through the ages concur on the importance of victory as the proper goal of warfare. For example, Aristotle wrote that "victory is the end of generalship" and Dwight D. Eisenhower stated that "In war, there is no substitute for victory." Technological advancement has not altered this enduring human truth.


Israel has just one option to win Palestinian acceptance: a return to its old policy of deterrence, punishing Palestinians when they aggress. Deterrence amounts to more than tough tactics, which every Israeli government pursues; it requires systemic policies that encourage Palestinians to accept Israel and discourage rejectionism. It requires a long-term strategy that breaks the will and promotes a change of heart. The goal here is not Palestinian love of Zion but closing down the apparatus of war: shuttering suicide factories, removing the demonization of Jews and Israel, recognizing Jewish ties to Jerusalem, and "normalizing" relations with Israelis. Palestinian acceptance of Israel will be achieved when, over a protracted period and with complete consistency, the violence ends, replaced by sharply worded démarches and letters to the editor.


Ironically, an Israeli victory liberates Palestinians by compelling them to come to terms with their irredentist fantasies and the empty rhetoric of revolution. Defeat also frees them to improve their own lives. Unleashed from a genocidal obsession against Israel, Palestinians can become a normal people and develop their polity, economy, society, and culture. That said, this change won't be easy or quick: Palestinians will have to pass through the bitter crucible of defeat, with all its deprivation, destruction, and despair. There is no shortcut.


For Washington to be helpful means supporting Israel taking tough steps. It means diplomatic support for Israel, such as undoing the "Palestine refugee" farce and rejecting the claim of Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy is premature until Palestinians accept the Jewish state. The central issues of the Oslo Accords cannot be usefully discussed so long as one party still rejects the other. But negotiations can re-open and take up anew the Oslo issues if and when Palestinians accept the Jewish state. That prospect, however, lies in the distant future. For now, Israel needs to win.




On Topic Links


A Life of Degradation and Bitterness Under Fatah Rule: The Jerusalem Center, JCPA, Jan. 12, 2017—The problem of governmental corruption is that it is not a personal matter but a public problem. The Palestinian Authority/Fatah has failed to learn any lessons from its embarrassing failure in the Legislative Council elections or its humiliating rout in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians: Glorifying Mass Murderers: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 10, 2017—Palestinian youths are being urged to follow in the footsteps of Yahya Ayyash, a Hamas mass murderer who masterminded a wave of suicide bombings that killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis. Ayyash's expertise in manufacturing explosive devices earned him the nickname "The Engineer" and turned him into a hero in the eyes of many Palestinians.

Hamas, ISIS Affiliates, See Opportunity in Terror Truck Attack: Yaakov Lappin, IPT, Jan. 11, 2017—Hamas launched a public relations campaign in recent days, aimed at capitalizing on a deadly truck attack in Jerusalem Sunday that killed four Israeli soldiers. The campaign sheds a light on Hamas's plans to encourage and launch jihadist atrocities, but also on its vulnerability to the arrival of ISIS as an ideology and movement.

The Cyber Bikini Intifada: Ruthie Blum, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 15, 2017—Along with bloodlust and brawn, Hamas proved last week that it also has brains, at least where its enemies’ weaknesses are concerned. But even though the terrorist organization that controls the Gaza Strip has grown quite proficient at using the Internet to incite violence against Jews, it clearly is still no match for Israel in the realm of cyberspace.











Ramming Terror Method Adopted by ISIS Returns in Jerusalem Attack: Anna Ahronheim, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 9, 2017— After a lull of several weeks, four soldiers were killed and 17 others wounded, when a truck rammed into a group on an educational trip to Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv promenade, a location with a stunning panorama of the capital.

What Rafsanjani Hagiography Exposes: Michael Rubin, Commentary, Jan. 9, 2017— Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died of a heart attack yesterday at the age of 82.

Trump’s Iran Deal Trap: ‘Renegotiation’ vs. ‘Enforcement’: Lee Smith, Tablet, Dec. 20, 2016 — Forget China and underwater drones, forget Russian hacks and leaks, because it’s all a sideshow: America’s big-ticket foreign-policy issue is still the Iran deal.

The Tide Slowly Turns Against Iranian Terror: Ben Cohen, JNS, Jan. 6, 2017— A glimmer of hope in the fight against Iranian-backed terrorism shone forth from Argentina during the final days of 2016.


On Topic Links


Rafsanjani Was Iran’s Mythical ‘Moderate’: Sohrab Ahmari, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 8, 2017

Israel’s Nuclear Strategy and America’s National Security: Louis René Beres, Tel Aviv University, Dec., 2016

Five Ways for Trump to Put Tehran on Notice: Michael Makovsky, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 3, 2017

How Iran Got Stuck in the Syria Quagmire: Heshmat Alavi, American Thinker, Jan. 7, 2017




RAMMING TERROR METHOD ADOPTED BY IS                                                                                          

RETURNS IN JERUSALEM ATTACK                                                             

                               Anna Ahronheim

                                                       Jerusalem Post, Jan. 9, 2017


After a lull of several weeks, four soldiers were killed and 17 others wounded, when a truck rammed into a group on an educational trip to Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv promenade, a location with a stunning panorama of the capital. Since a wave of violence broke out in September 2015, Palestinian attackers have killed more than 40 Israelis and two Americans. At least 230 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, the majority while carrying out attacks. The rest died in clashes with IDF soldiers.


Palestinians have used cars, trucks, buses and even tractors to carry out attacks against Israelis in the past, but with trucks now routinely used by groups such as ISIS and al-Qaida for deadly terrorist attacks, this attack in Jerusalem becomes reminiscent of the deadly ISIS-inspired ones that hit Europe this year.


In July, Tunisian-born French resident Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drove a 19-ton truck down Nice’s Promenade des Anglais into a crowd of people who had gathered for a Bastille Day firework display, killing 86 people and injuring hundreds of others. In December, 12 people were killed and at least 56 others injured when Tunisian- born Anis Amri drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz, one of Berlin’s busiest shopping areas.


At the scene of the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the attacker was “by all indications” an Islamic State supporter, and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman called it an “attack inspired by ISIS,” adding, “We saw it in France, we saw it in Berlin and unfortunately we saw it today in Jerusalem.” According to Orit Perlov, social media analyst and research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Palestinian support for ISIS is declining. “The peak was in 2014-2015 when they had 14% support, it declined to 8% in 2016…There are a lot of ISIS sympathizers, but it does not mean that there is a direct connection to the group. We need to remember that ISIS is like the McDonald’s of [terrorism], it’s the brand that you want to be connected to when you carry out a terror attack today.”


Perlov said: “It’s a good brand to be connected to today,” and added that the popularity of Hamas is on the decline. “Today it’s not good to be a Hamas sympathizer if you want to carry out a terror attack. Today, when Hamas is no longer popular, you need to be a part of something else.” While Hamas did not claim responsibility for the attack, the group called it “heroic” and posted on Twitter that “the truck operation in Jerusalem affirms that all attempts to encircle the [Palestinian] intifada will fail.”


Hamas spokesman Abdul-Latif Qanou encouraged other Palestinians to do the same to “escalate the resistance” as that proves that the wave of violence has not ended. The resistance Qanou said, “may be quiet, it may linger, but it will never end.” However, Perlov noted that “every terror organization would want to claim responsibility” for this type of attack to stay relevant. And while it is hard to track down potential lone wolves, ISIS and al-Qaida have made it easy for their supporters to carry out attacks.


In the third edition of Islamic State’s English-language Rumiyah magazine, the group praised the use of trucks to carry out attacks because while “being an essential part of modern life, very few actually comprehend the deadly and destructive capability of the motor vehicle and its capacity of reaping large numbers of casualties if used in a premeditated manner.” In the same article, the group urged ISIS members and sympathizers anywhere in the world to use vehicles – stealing them if needed – to attack outdoor targets, specifying a “load-bearing truck, large in size, with reasonably fast speed or rate of acceleration.”


The group urged supporters to use a truck that is “heavy in weight” and “doubled-wheeled” to “assure the destruction of whatever it hits and give victims less of a chance to escape. The method of such an attack is that a vehicle is plunged at a high speed into a large congregation of kuffar [non-believer], smashing their bodies with the vehicle’s strong outer frame, while advancing forward – crushing their heads, torsos, and limbs under the vehicle’s wheels and chassis – and leaving behind a trail of carnage.”


According to Perlov, Israel will likely see more attacks carried out by IS sympathizers, at least “once or twice a year. In the end, there is no such thing as 100% [prevention rate]. No matter how many blockades you put, or how many raids are carried out, one will succeed in carrying out his mission.”






Michael Rubin

Commentary, Jan. 9, 2017


Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died of a heart attack yesterday at the age of 82. No sooner was his death announced then the whitewash of his record bordering on hagiography started pouring in. The New York Times Tehran bureau chief, for example, tweeted, “The death of Rafsanjani… is a major blow to moderates and reformists in Iran.” Reuters described him likewise. National Public Radio labeled him “a leading voice for reform.” The U.S. State Department remembered him as a “prominent figure.”


The whitewashing of Rafsanjani’s record is akin to praising Pol Pot for improved statistics on eyesight in Cambodia, Fidel Castro for free health care, or Jim Jones for raising the prominence of the Kool-Aid brand… In short, Rafsanjani signed off on attacks like the 1994 bombing of the Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires and assassinations of Iranian dissidents worldwide. He not only helped birth Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program but, on  December 14, 2001, speculated that it could be for offense rather than defense since, unlike Israel, Iran’s had strategic depth to absorb a retaliatory strike. While he was willing to talk to Americans and Europeans, this had less to do with a desire for rapprochement than a recognition that dialogue could relieve economic pressure on the Islamic Republic and win it what it needed for the fulfillment of its indigenous military programs.


Was Rafsanjani a moderate or even reformer? Too often, diplomats and journalists analyze Iranian politics along a single spectrum ranging from hardline to reform. In reality, it is useful to think about the Islamic Republic’s politicians as falling between two axes: one with regard to social attitudes and tolerance and the other with regard to a belief in state-centered economies versus economic liberalism. Rafsanjani sought to reduce the centralized command structure of Iran’s economy, so he might have leaned more toward economic pragmatism. Even during his presidency, though, he was unsuccessful in implementing significant economic reform. When it came to social reform, however, Rafsanjani’s more moderate rhetoric did not translate into any desire or real effort to blunt the edge or fervor of the Islamic Revolution.


However, his death and the hagiography accompanying it does provide a “teachable moment.” Why is it that U.S. officials and analysts feel the need to find significance to factionalism among adversaries? In the Iranian context, this errs because it assumes that the spectrum from reform to hardline among Islamic Republic politicians is the end-all and be-all of political debate and existence. The Guardian Council, however, exists to limit political discourse and so—if Iranian presidential campaigns are any indication—what we see as a spectrum between reformers and hardliners represents only about one or two percent of the true Iranian political spectrum.


Ninety-eight percent of would-be candidates, let alone Iranians themselves, are too liberal for representation in the system. Another way to think about that is that if Rafsanjani was a moderate or voice of reform, then moderation in the Islamic Republic includes an embrace of incitement to genocide, assassination, torture, and terrorism. It is this belief in the meaningfulness of factionalism that can lead to such destructive U.S. policies. Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s chief foreign policy advisor, justified Clinton’s outreach to Iran in the belief that President Hassan Rouhani represented a Deng Xiaoping moment, in which an embrace of the reformers could lead to their ultimate triumph against hardliners. History shows it did not happen in China and it also enabled Iran’s good cop-bad cop strategy.


The desire to find moderation and meaning within factional struggles expands beyond just Iran. Talk to European or even American diplomats who work in the Middle East about Hezbollah or Hamas and they will describe a nuanced view that divides the movements into hardline and more pragmatic factions. The fact that those moderate Hamas factions still embrace a covenant that calls for genocide against Jews is left unsaid. Likewise, Track II dialogue proponents with North Korea justify their actions in the fact that there are more moderate officials in North Korea who can perhaps bring change.


Moral clarity is important. Diplomats should define moderation consistently: Moderates neither engage in terrorism nor endorse it. They do not seek to wipe other nations of the face of the earth. They do no preach religious hatred. Relative moderation should not be a consideration for accepting it only legitimizes different flavors of extremism. Rafsanjani was a corrupt man—he died Iran’s richest man and among the world’s wealthiest as well—and he had much blood on his hands. His removal from the Iranian political scene should also be a wake-up call to recognize just how easily the desperation to see moderation where little to none exists leads to ineffective and self-destructive policies.                                            



                               TRUMP’S IRAN DEAL TRAP:


                                            Lee Smith                                                                                                                       

                                  Tablet, Dec. 20, 2016


Forget China and underwater drones, forget Russian hacks and leaks, because it’s all a sideshow: America’s big-ticket foreign-policy issue is still the Iran deal. Donald Trump has promised to rip it up on day one of his presidency, but that’s not going to happen because it means the freshly minted commander-in-chief may have America poised for conflict with the leading state sponsor of terror before the band even starts to warm up for the inaugural ball next month at the newly opened Trump International Hotel.


Prospective policymakers and analysts are busy proposing options for the new president. Recently, a debate has started to unfold with one side pushing to enforce the provisions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and impose sanctions. Others argue the best way forward is to renegotiate a bad deal. Richard Nephew, the lead sanctions expert for the Obama administration team that negotiated the deal with Iran, argues that renegotiating the JCPOA is nearly impossible because you can’t create the same conditions that got the Iranians to the table in the first place. Others see “enforcement” as a way to re-create the leverage that America lost when it signed the deal.


Emily Landau, an Israeli nuclear-arms expert and a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, said the Trump administration should understand that from Iran’s point of view, the struggle between them continues. “Now is not the time, nor is there any reason, to engage Iran in dialogue over the deal. The U.S. is bending over backward to play down Iran’s aggressive behavior and violations,” she told me from Tel Aviv. “The major thing that needs to be done now is to change the American approach. When Iran tests missiles, like it did last fall, Washington shouldn’t wait three months to react and then only impose minimal sanctions.”


The two-track strategy—combining “enforcement” with a new round of negotiations with Iran—has a number of high-profile supporters among those who opposed the Iran deal, like former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, who, along with former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Mark Wallace, recently argued that Trump should “first try to aggressively enforce and then renegotiate the deal beyond the confines of the nuclear issue.” That means, write Lieberman and Wallace, a Trump renegotiating team should secure “an agreement with Iran to verifiably curb its regional aggression, state sponsorship of terrorism and domestic repression of human rights. In exchange, Iran could be given broad-based sanctions relief and even normalization of relations.”


Lieberman and Wallace purport to be optimistic that renegotiations might lead to, among other things, Iran ending its support for Hezbollah. Yet, at the same time, the authors understand very well that such Iranian concessions are a fantasy. If a decade of harsh sanctions proved anything, it is that there are no circumstances under which Iran would be willing to trade away its support for the Lebanese militia. This is even truer now that Iran is flush with post-sanctions cash, the U.S. has withdrawn nearly all its forces from Iraq, and Hezbollah is engaged in a full-scale war in Syria on behalf of the Assad regime.


Lieberman and Wallace aren’t stupid; they surely believe that renegotiation, too, would show the clerical regime, not the United States, to be intransigent. The problem with what its authors may think of as a clever PR strategy that incorporates Trump’s own fondness for deal-making is that the two strategies (enforcement/sanctions and renegotiation) cannot work on parallel tracks. Renegotiation preempts sanctions, while sanctions discourage negotiations. To keep Iran from walking away from the table, America needs to keep Iran happy.


The problem with the Iran deal was never that President Barack Obama was stupid or that his team were such terrible negotiators—even if someone else might have done better. Obama believed there was no way to get the Iranians to negotiate unless he de-escalated. He gave them $700 million a month just to sit through negotiations, and has continued to pay the Iranians to stick with the deal—like the $1.7 billion ransom paid in cash to release Americans that the Iranians were holding hostage. Obama keeps blocking nonnuclear sanctions for the same reason.


Obama was willing to pay Iran to sit at the table because the Iran deal was simply the hinge for a larger geopolitical maneuver: The JCPOA was the instrument by which the Obama administration effected a regional realignment intended to extricate America from the Middle East in part by turning the keys to the car over to Tehran. Obama’s White House re-prioritized its regional interests—traditional American allies, especially Israel and Saudi Arabia, were downgraded and Tehran was upgraded.


While the “realignment thesis” has few doubters on the ground in the Middle East, where its deadly effects are visible from Aleppo to Mosul to Yemen, Americans have been slow to catch up to the reality of what Obama intended and did, in large part because of the deceptive way in which the Iran Deal was sold to the American public. As a result, many deal opponents are still chasing the mechanical rabbits that the Obama administration created for them to chase—as if the point of the Iran deal was simply to limit Iran’s ability to spin X amount of uranium instead of Y amount at facility Z. The idea that the Iran deal can be “renegotiated” begins with the president-elect’s own campaign rhetoric, of course. In a USA Today op-ed last year, candidate Trump called for sanctions and promised to renegotiate the deal. “A Trump presidency,” he wrote, “will force the Iranians back to the bargaining table to make a much better deal.”…


While the temptation to use the president-elect’s own language to lead him down a more confrontational path with Iran must be tempting to those with significant experience and expertise, it carries with it the danger of missing the forest for the trees—and of creating a new lobby for renewed and practically endless negotiations with Iran, this time on the Republican side of the aisle. Still, there are many in the expert community who favor this strategy… 

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






Ben Cohen

JNS, Jan. 6, 2017


A glimmer of hope in the fight against Iranian-backed terrorism shone forth from Argentina during the final days of 2016. An Argentinian federal appeals court ruled that former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner will face a new investigation over allegations that she and her close colleagues made a secret pact with the Iranian regime over the probe into the July 1994 bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.


Eighty-five people were murdered and hundreds were wounded that fateful day, when a truck packed with primitive explosives rammed into the AMIA building. But the perpetrators of the atrocity, the Iranian mullahs and their Hezbollah auxiliaries, have escaped justice for more than 20 years. Under Kirchner’s government, the most tangible outcome of the probe into the bombing was to produce its 86th victim: federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment on January 18, 2015 — the day before he was due to unveil a lengthy, painstakingly researched complaint against Kirchner over her collusion with the Iranians.


Kirchner was defeated in last year’s presidential election, and under her successor, Mauricio Macri, there have been constant hints that the question of justice for both the original AMIA victims and Nisman himself is on the agenda once more. Specifically, Macri promised not to challenge a court ruling that the accommodation reached with the Iranians — formally described as a Memorandum of Understanding — was unconstitutional, and he promised that there would be a proper investigation into whether Nisman’s death was a suicide or, as is far more likely, an assassination. Since Argentina is saddled with a notoriously corrupt judiciary, it’s hard to predict whether the hoped-for progress will be made in the coming year. Much depends on which judge is appointed to handle the AMIA case. Some of the judges who served under Kirchner may well be guilty themselves of collaborating in the Nisman cover-up, but there are also others being considered for the renewed investigation who are more independently minded.


As we await the next developments, it’s important to remember how we got to this sorry juncture. One of the key influences on Kirchner was the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Riding the wave of an oil price boom in the early 2000s, Chavez joined the pantheon of left-wing dictators with loud mouths and wide appeal. His policies were defined by short-term social welfare programs in some of the country’s poorest towns and cities, oil subsidies to his Cuban friends worth at least $7 billion a year, and a shrill foreign policy founded upon both anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism. Under Chavez, antisemitism, which up until then had not been particularly significant in Venezuela, surged through the media — including attacks upon Israel’s legitimacy and the lampooning of opposition leader Henrique Capriles, a devout Catholic who nonetheless proudly acknowledges his Jewish heritage. As a result, many of Venezuela’s Jews have sought refuge in Israel and other countries.


At the same time, and not by coincidence, Venezuela’s relations with Iran also surged. There were at least two significant outcomes from that relationship. First, Iran, along with Hezbollah and its allies, massively boosted its fundraising, criminal activities, and intelligence and terror-planning operations throughout Latin America. Second, Chavez used his influence on Kirchner to undermine Nisman’s investigation into Iranian culpability in the AMIA bombing. Nisman was also the target of direct Iranian threats. Hence the suspicion, as yet unproven, that Kirchner ordered his assassination, or at least acquiesced in it.


Out of that triangle — Kirchner, Chavez and the Iranian regime — only one still stands strong. Kirchner has been utterly discredited and may eventually find herself in prison. Chavez, too, is no longer with us, and the Venezuela he bequeathed to his successor, Nicolas Maduro, has collapsed into criminality, political thuggery, and chronic shortages of basic food and medicine; what was once one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America now has more in common with Zimbabwe under the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe. In contrast, Iranian power continues to rise, cemented by an alliance with Russia, a dominant military position in Syria and the political collusion of the Obama Administration. (Shamefully, that same administration didn’t even stop to consider the moral turpitude of abstaining on the recent UN Security Council Resolution 2334 condemning Israel, even though Iran’s Venezuelan allies were among its sponsors.)


Hence the importance of real progress, and soon, in the Nisman case. Argentina’s courts are once again in a position to convict the Iranians for the unpunished crime of the AMIA bombing. Doing that will generate momentum to take on Iranian-backed terror globally, from Buenos Aires to Gaza, and from Aleppo to Kurdistan. If Iran’s allies in Latin America can crumble, after all, then so too can its allies elsewhere. The pain they have caused, though, can never be undone.




On Topic Links


Rafsanjani Was Iran’s Mythical ‘Moderate’: Sohrab Ahmari, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 8, 2017 —Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was the original Mr. Moderation. Western observers saw the former Iranian president as a sort of Deng Xiaoping in clerical robes…

Israel’s Nuclear Strategy and America’s National Security: Louis René Beres, Tel Aviv University, Dec., 2016—Normally, scholars interested in the specifically nuclear relationship between Israeli national security and US national security consider

Israel only as the recipient of American protection – that is, as the receiving beneficiary of Washington's "nuclear umbrella." In these orthodox examinations, there has been almost no attention directed toward  those  more-or-less  reciprocal  circumstances  in  which  the United States could conceivably benefit from Israel's nuclear strategy.

Five Ways for Trump to Put Tehran on Notice: Michael Makovsky, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 3, 2017—As the bipartisan opponents of President Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement prepare to address its many shortcomings, they should beware of unwittingly repeating some of his mistakes.

How Iran Got Stuck in the Syria Quagmire: Heshmat Alavi, American Thinker, Jan. 7, 2017—Iran, known for its unbridled sectarian meddling in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon, is currently facing an unwanted quagmire and dead-end in the Levant. We cannot limit Iran’s role and its meddling across the Middle East to 2016 alone. There is an ongoing war in the region, resulting from Iran’s escalating interventions.






Shavuot 5776 – 2016: Zman Matan Toratenu. The Time of the Giving of the Torah: Baruch Cohen, CIJR, June 10, 2016— The festival of Shavuot underlines the spiritually significant lesson that the release from bondage and winning of political freedom does not constitute freedom unless it culminates in the spiritual discipline  of duty to Am Israel, and Israel’s acceptance of the Torah.

The Expulsion of Jews from Lithuania and Courland on Shavuot 1915: Larry Domnitch, Algemeiner, June 9, 2016 — Shavuot 1915 was one of the largest single expulsions of Jews since Roman times.During this bleak period, more than 200,000 Jews in Lithuania and Courland were abruptly forced from their homes and into dire circumstances.

Tel Aviv Attacks: Israelis Want Peace But Need a Peace Partner: Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Fox News, June 9, 2016— Earlier this week, my Paris-based colleague, Dr. Shimon Samuels and I met with senior officials in Berlin that focused on the implications of 1 million Middle Eastern migrants/refugees coming to Germany

Bernard Lewis and Me: Daniel Pipes, Israel Hayom, May 31, 2016— The historian Bernard Lewis celebrates his 100th birthday (May 31).  ‎


On Topic Links


Policeman Lets Sarona Terrorist into his Home, Leaves, Then Realizes What He’s Done: Jewish Press, June 10, 2016

World’s Israel-Friendly Reactions to Terror Attack Don’t Herald Newfound Support: Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel, June 9, 2016

Tel Aviv Terror Attack Shatters Five Myths: Stephen M. Flatow, JNS, June 9, 2016

The Sound of Silence (Bamidbar, Covenant & Conversation 5776 on Spirituality): Jonathan Sacks, Times of Israel, June 9, 2016



THE TIME OF THE GIVING OF THE TORAH                                                     

                          Baruch Cohen                                           

CIJR, June 10, 2016


The festival of Shavuot underlines the spiritually significant lesson that the release from bondage and winning of political freedom does not constitute freedom unless it culminates in the spiritual discipline of duty to Am Israel, and Israel’s acceptance of the Torah


Na'aseh v'nishma: “We will do and we will listen”.


Custom calls us to sit all night during the festival and read excerpts from the Torah and Rabbinical texts. Tikkun Leil Shavuot contains excerpts from the Bible, Rabbinic texts, Mishnah, and Zohar.


For me, the most meaningful of these customary readings is the superb love story of “The Book of Ruth.” The touching story of Ruth and Boaz is set in the time of the Judges. Boaz fell in love with Ruth, and they were married in the presence of ten elders (minyan) who served as witness. The union’s blessing has often been recited: “May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built up the house of Israel” (Ruth 4:11)

Ruth gave birth to a son, Obed, whose son Jesse fathered David.


NB: It is customary to read the beautiful Book of Ruth on this holiday of Shavuot because events recorded in this book also took place at harvest time. Ruth’s love for the Torah, and loyalty to the people of Israel, were exemplified in her saying: “For wherever you go, I will go! Your people shall be my people, your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16).                

Chag Shavuot Sameach! Happy Shavuot!


Baruch Cohen, CIJR’s Research Chairman, will be 97 in October.




                          THE EXPULSION OF JEWS FROM LITHUANIA


Larry Domnitch                                         

                              Algemeiner, June 9, 2016


Shavuot 1915 was one of the largest single expulsions of Jews since Roman times. During this bleak period, more than 200,000 Jews in Lithuania and Courland were abruptly forced from their homes and into dire circumstances.

With the advance of the German army on the Eastern front in the spring of 1915, retreating Russian forces vented their fury against the Jews and blamed them for their losses. They leveled spurious accusations of treason and spying, and expelled Jews near the war front. From province to province throughout Poland, multitudes of Jews were expelled. Many also fled from their homes in fear of pogroms.


By March, German forces approached Lithuania as Russian forces continued their retreat. The first expulsion in Lithuanian took place in the small town of Botki. In April, in the town of Kuzhi, the local Jews were accused of hiding German troops in their homes. Although proofs brought by members of the Duma (Russian Parliament) exposed the charges as fiction, the accusations had already spread throughout Russia via newspaper reports and became another pretext to persecute Russian Jewry. The mass expulsion from Lithuania soon commenced.


While they were preparing for the upcoming Shavuot holiday, notices appeared calling for the Jews living in areas closer to the war front to vacate their homes over the next day or two days. Most of the notices gave 24 hours or even less time.

In just a few days, Lithuanian Jewry, whose legacy went back of hundreds of years, made a hasty exit. Even the sick and the infirmed were included in the decree. Those who did not comply faced execution.


With the evening of May 5 approaching, multitudes of Jews headed out into an environment of unknown perils. Most fled by foot, with few provisions, harassed and robbed, facing attacks on the roads as they began their desperate search for refuge. Out in the open fields facing numerous dangers, Kiddush for the holidays was recited and Minyanim were organized to recite the holiday prayers.


In Courland, otherwise known as Latvia, Jews faced a similar fate, although the expulsion was enforced a day or two later; most often on the holiday itself. A Jewish military physician watched as hundreds of Jews in the town of Keidan hastily gathered their belongings. In shock and despair he asked them why they were being expelled. They responded, “because we are Jews!” With tears in his eyes he replied, “I risk my head for them and they exile my brothers.”


Such was the case for the one half million Russian Jews who valiantly served in the Tsar’s army while so many of their families faced persecution. As the exodus began in the town of Keidan, according to one eye-witness, “People bid farewell. On our last night in Keidan, they slept on their bundles as cannon fire shook the walls or their homes.”


The mood in Lithuania was beyond description. But it was also a time when Jewish communities bestowed tremendous kindness upon one another. Assistance was offered to refugees arriving at their towns, which included food, lodging, and sometimes employment. The Yekapo organization, an abbreviation for the “Jewish Community Relief War Victims” would wait at train stations and other locations to offer aid. Sometimes the very communities assisting the refugees would soon become refugees themselves, forced out by the same or a subsequent decree.


Some exiles went to Vilna, where there was no expulsion. One rabbi described the reaction of the Vilna community to their arrival, “It was the first day of Shavuot and the Jews of Vilna went to synagogue not knowing that the first train with all those expelled was already arriving at Novo-Vileika … Notwithstanding that it was a holy day, meeting places here quickly organized and each Jewish family of Vilna was required to bring something edible … In the course of two hours, thousands of kilograms of bread, sugar, meat, cheese, eggs, boiled meat, and herring were collected.”


The expulsion decree did not last. Soon after, commander in chief of the Russian armies, Nikolai Nikolayevich, informed the military authorities that mass expulsions of Jews were no longer desired since the economy was damaged as a result. He proposed that Jews should be expelled only from one place at a time, where it was deemed “necessary.”


The long-term impact of the expulsion was significant. With the dismantling of Jewish communities, the religious life of Russian Jewry markedly declined. The religious institutions that were the lifeline of the community such as the cheder, the mikveh, the synagogue, and the yeshiva were diminished by the massive sudden dislodging of Lithuanian Jewry. Jewish life in Russia would never be the same.


Due to the severity of the expulsions, the Pale Settlement, which forcibly confined Russia’s Jews since the end of the 18th century, officially ended with a decree in August 1915 allowing Jews to move to Eastern Russia. The intention was not to free the Jews from the confinement of the Pale, but to keep them out of the proximity of the war front due to irrational suspicions of Jewish disloyalty.


Shavuot 1915 marked times of tragedy and challenge faced by Jewry. In one small vacant Lithuanian synagogue on the first day of Shavuot, where Jewish refugees had gathered to pray, a leading rabbi among the group arose and stood before the shocked and traumatized group and offered the following brief consoling words. “We have faced other difficulties before. Someday, this too shall pass. Now, let us say the Hallel prayers.”




TEL AVIV ATTACKS:                                                                   

ISRAELIS WANT PEACE BUT NEED A PEACE PARTNER                                                             

Rabbi Abraham Cooper                                                                                                             

Fox News, June 9, 2016


Earlier this week, my Paris-based colleague, Dr. Shimon Samuels and I met with senior officials in Berlin that focused on the implications of 1 million Middle Eastern migrants/refugees coming to Germany. Social integration and the challenge of changing the problematic attitudes brought from their cultures about women, gays, and Jews was the focus of many of our conversations.


But despite the serious challenges we confronted in our meetings we were buoyed by the newfound resolve we heard in Brussels, Paris, Rome, and Berlin: European authorities are united in their revulsion of and commitment to defeat terrorism in their midst. They tell us they will not shirk from confronting the multiple global and homegrown threats and are determined to secure the safety and security of their citizens.


Yet, that commitment disappears at Israel’s borders. The latest outrage took place in the midst of the Middle East’s most tolerant city, Tel Aviv on Wednesday.


On a beautiful evening, two nicely dressed young men, ordered food and then took out weapons and murdered four Israelis and gravely wounding many others. The perpetrators, who were later caught by police, are now being celebrated throughout the Palestinian Territories and globally online, as heroes.


Everyone in Israel knows that such brutal attacks will continue. Why should the terrorist butchery stop, when the world rewards such behavior?


France, which cannot secure its own streets from young Muslim toughs and which has suffered devastating terrorist attacks, found time to convene a conference last week to promote an international “peace plan” for the Israel/Palestinian conflict. They didn’t bother consulting with or inviting Israelis to the table, though the Jewish State will be expected to pay the bill. Palestinians will continue to enjoy billions in aid (most of which disappears into the deep pockets of the corrupt Palestinian Authority) from the European Union, from the United States, from ‘human rights’ NGOs and from Church groups, no matter what terrorist outrage is unleashed on Israelis.


For Palestinians, terrorism does pay. They have been given a moral free pass by much of the world. So even Europe struggles to uncover terrorist cells, to come up with ways to stop hateful theology and pro-terrorist social media from infecting a generation of disaffected Muslim youth in their midst, they provide a moral blank check to Palestinian terrorism and continue to write real checks to help pay for hate education and a virulently anti-Israel media.


There are rumors about that President Obama will instruct our UN Ambassador Samantha Power, not to veto a French-led Security Council Resolution this Fall that will make draconian one-sided demands of Israel in the name of “peace”. The boilerplate reaction to the murders of the four Israelis by our State Department reveals more in what it doesn’t say:


“The United States condemns today’s horrific terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in the strongest possible terms. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and our hopes for a quick recovery for those wounded. These cowardly attacks against innocent civilians can never be justified. We are in touch with Israeli authorities to express our support and concern.”


Not one word of rebuke of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah and Gaza City. Those crocodile tears dried almost before they were shed. Here’s the bottom line. Israelis want peace but need a peace partner. Isaac Herzog, head of Israel’s ‘pro-peace’ Left publicly stated that a two-state solution is impossible right now because there is no Palestinian partner. 


If the EU, President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry, the NGO community, the international Media truly want to leave a legacy of peace for The Holy Land, they must start holding the Palestinians to the same standard of all civilized people. Anything less will kill prospects for peace and ignite more chaos and bloodshed.                                                     






Daniel Pipes                                              

Israel Hayom, May 31, 2016


The historian Bernard Lewis celebrates his 100th birthday (May 31).  ‎Three quotes establish his career. Martin Kramer, a former student of Lewis, sums up his teacher's ‎accomplishments: ‎


"Bernard Lewis emerged as the most influential postwar historian of Islam and the Middle East. His ‎elegant syntheses made Islamic history accessible to a broad public in Europe and America. In his more ‎specialized studies, he pioneered social and economic history and the use of the vast Ottoman archives. ‎His work on the premodern Muslim world conveyed both its splendid richness and its smug self-‎satisfaction. His studies in modern history rendered intelligible the inner dialogues of Muslim peoples in ‎their encounter with the values and power of the West."


The University of California's R. Stephen Humphreys notes "the extraordinary range of his scholarship [and] his ‎capacity to command the totality of Islamic and Middle Eastern history from Muhammad down to the present ‎day." And, as the late Fouad Ajami of Johns Hopkins University put it on Lewis' 90th birthday, he is "the oracle ‎of this new age of the Americans in the lands of the Arab and Islamic worlds." ‎


Lewis' career spanned a monumental 75 years, from his first article ("The Islamic Guilds") in 1937 to his ‎autobiography in 2012. Midway, in 1969, he entered my life. In Israel the summer between my sophomore and ‎junior years in college, with my aspirations to become a mathematician in doubt, I thought of switching to ‎Middle East studies. To sample this new field, I visited Ludwig Mayer's renowned bookstore in Jerusalem and ‎purchased "The Arabs in History," Lewis' 1950 book. ‎


It launched my career. Over the next 47 years, Lewis continued to exert a profound influence on my studies. ‎Although never his formal student, I absorbed his views, reading nearly all his writings and favorably reviewing ‎seven of his books (in 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1994, 1996, and 2000), far more than those of any other author. ‎His name appears on 508 pages of my website. Beyond numbers, he more than anyone else influenced my ‎understanding of the Middle East and Islam. ‎


That said, he and I argued strenuously during the George W. Bush years, narrowly on Iraq policy (I was more ‎skeptical of U.S. efforts) and broadly on the matter of bringing freedom to the Middle East (ditto). ‎


I first met Professor Lewis in 1973 in London, when he generously invited me to his house and offered advice ‎on my doctoral studies. I saw him most recently, twice, at his small apartment in the Philadelphia suburbs. ‎


He's impressively fit in body and mind, spending time on the computer, ever the raconteur ("What's a Jewish ‎joke? One which non-Jews can't understand and Jews have heard a better version of"), and conjuring up ‎anecdotes from a time before the rest of us were born (his 1946 discussion with Abba Eban about the latter's ‎career choices). It's wonderful to see him doing well even if it's sadly understandable that he no longer engages ‎in scholarship nor opines on current events. ‎


Born a mere 15 days after the Sykes-Picot agreement that defined the modern Middle East, their common May ‎centennial finds Syria and Iraq in shreds but Bernard Lewis is, more than ever, an inspiration to his many self-‎identified disciples, including this one. ‎


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters:

Chag Shavuot Sameach!, Happy Shavuot!, & Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic Links


Policeman Lets Sarona Terrorist into his Home, Leaves, Then Realizes What He’s Done: Jewish Press, June 10, 2016 —This story should be tagged under Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture: a policeman who lives near the area where the shooting attack took place Wednesday night let one of the terrorists into his home and gave him water, unaware of his identity.

World’s Israel-Friendly Reactions to Terror Attack Don’t Herald Newfound Support: Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel, June 9, 2016 —In their statements on Wednesday’s deadly terror attack in Tel Aviv, world leaders refrained from their usual chorus of asking both Israelis and Palestinians, in the same breath, to exercise “restraint” and to resume peace talks.

Tel Aviv Terror Attack Shatters Five Myths: Stephen M. Flatow, JNS, June 9, 2016 —The June 8 terrorist massacre in Tel Aviv exposed all five of the major myths that cloud discussions of Israel and the Palestinians.

The Sound of Silence (Bamidbar, Covenant & Conversation 5776 on Spirituality): Jonathan Sacks, Times of Israel, June 9, 2016—Bamidbar is usually read on the Shabbat before Shavuot. So the sages connected the two. Shavuot is the time of the giving of the Torah. Bamibar means, “In the desert.” What, then, is the connection between the desert and the Torah, the wilderness and God’s word?











After Tel Aviv Shooter Killed, Difficult Questions for Police and Israeli Arabs ‎: Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel, Jan. 10, 2016 — The killing of Nashat Milhem Friday, a week after he shot dead three people in Tel Aviv, won’t be remembered as much of a success for the security establishment.

The Return of the Rule of Law: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 4, 2015 — Last October, as the Palestinians began their latest round of terrorist war against Israel, lawmakers from the Joint Arab List participated in mass anti-Israel rallies in major Arab towns.

One of the World's Most Mysterious Organizations Gets a New Boss: Ronen Bergman, Ynet, Jan. 5, 2016— An elegant brown wooden pole, named "The Mossad Rod," is respectfully stored in a closed room in the Mossad headquarters north of Tel Aviv.

President Rivlin Must Eschew Politics: Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom, Dec. 17, 2015 — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was widely criticized last year for his efforts in trying to ‎prevent Reuven Rivlin from being elected president.


On Topic Links


Police Kill Suspected Tel Aviv Gunman in Northern Israel After Week-long Manhunt: Yaniv Kubovich and Noa Shpigel, Ha’aretz, Jan. 8, 2016

Netanyahu May Form Israeli 'Republican' Party: Arutz Sheva, Sept. 11, 2015

A Conversation With Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s Firebrand Minister of Justice: Liel Leibovitz, Tablet, Nov. 6, 2015

If Israel Disappears, Others Will Too: Mudar Zahran, Israel Hayom, July 9, 2015







Avi Issacharoff

Times of Israel, Jan. 10, 2016


The killing of Nashat Milhem Friday, a week after he shot dead three people in Tel Aviv, won’t be remembered as much of a success for the security establishment. On the tactical level, more than a few problems came to light concerning the attack. The first has to do with intelligence. While it’s certainly possible that the killer acted alone, using a submachine gun he stole from his father, it’s hard to comprehend why the father would keep such a weapon in the house even after his son served a five-year sentence for trying to snatch a rifle from a soldier.


Furthermore, despite the fact that security forces knew that Milhem was in the area of his hometown of Arara – there were clear indications that he was there hours after the shooting – it took a long time to get to him. The fact that he was hiding out in a more-or-less obvious place – an unoccupied house belonging to a family member – compounds the sense of failure.


The episode is reminiscent of the 2014 abduction-killing of three Israeli teens. In that case, the victims were buried in a plot belonging to the family of one of the terrorists, who hid in a building belonging to an extended family member. The takeaway – that fugitives often seek shelter in places that they know well – makes the fact it took eight days to get to Milhem even puzzling.


Still, on a more strategic level, it is important to note that even if Milhem’s shooting spree really was a “lone wolf” attack (at this point, it is not at all clear that that was the case), the excellent intelligence deployment of the Shin Bet security services in the Palestinian territories and among Israeli Arabs doesn’t make it easy to deal with the problem. There is a genuine difficulty among the intelligence community in countering the impossible challenge of “lone wolves” with access to weapons, who set out one fine day, without any prior warning, to carry out an attack.


The Shin Bet has had multiple successes in recent weeks thwarting organized terror cells sporting multiple members. The problem is that these days, there is an ever-growing mass of incidents – especially in the West Bank, where they are a daily occurrence – involving attackers who don’t rely on what the security establishment terms “terror infrastructure.” And then there’s the attitude of the Israel Police, which last week gave many citizens the sense that it was downplaying their genuine fears amid ongoing uncertainty and reports that Milhem could strike again.


But perhaps even more troubling than the security establishment’s dubious ability to cope with the situation was support for the attack among Israel’s Arab population. True, there were many condemnations, even among Milhem’s own neighbors. And yet it is becoming increasingly clear that the killer may have received help not only from his own family, but also from other friends and acquaintances. For one thing, we still don’t know who helped him get to Arara from Tel Aviv after carrying out the attack.


And of course, after he was killed by security forces, there was that – albeit small – demonstration during which young Arabs chanted, “With blood, with fire, we’ll avenge the martyr.” Milhem, we must recall, had murdered not only two Jews, Alon Bakal and Shimon Ruimi, but also an Arab resident of Lod, Ayman Shaaban.


Hamas, as expected, jumped on the bandwagon and embraced the murderer as a role model, while the Palestinian Authority equivocated, calling him a “martyr” but refusing to award him the status that would entitle his family to financial aid. Meanwhile, the ultra-radical Islamic State group appeared to scramble to declare that Milhem was one of its own, crowning Milhem an IS martyr for Palestine in a statement whose authenticity has yet to be established.


Finally, the big question that everyone here – Jews and Arabs alike – should be losing sleep over is whether Milhem’s action will sweep up and inspire others, sparking a trend among young Israeli Arabs. If, heaven forbid, a similar incident were to occur again, the already delicate relations between Jews and Arabs could sustain a heavy blow, and everyone will pay a price.


Almost as expected in times like these, the voice of the Israeli Arab leadership is not being heard very loudly. Members of Knesset known for their vehement condemnations when Palestinians are accidentally killed by IDF soldiers, go silent when an Arab is murdered by another Arab. True, some of them condemned the Tel Aviv attacks. But since the slaying of Milhem, not one of them has stood in front of the cameras and called on his or her supporters to denounce the likes of Milhem. For them, to condemn the death of an Arab at the hands of another Arab would simply be bad politics.





THE RETURN OF THE RULE OF LAW                                                                                                          

Caroline Glick                                                                                                    

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 4, 2016


Last October, as the Palestinians began their latest round of terrorist war against Israel, lawmakers from the Joint Arab List participated in mass anti-Israel rallies in major Arab towns. One such rally in Nazareth in mid-October attracted some 2,500 participants. After it ended, some demonstrators started throwing rocks at Jews. The next day, MK Ayman Odeh, who heads the Joint Arab List stood on a street in Nazareth and gave a live interview to Channel 2 news.


Just as the camera began filming, Nazareth Mayor Ali Salam drove down the street. Seeing Odeh, Salam stopped his car and began bellowing, “Get out of here! Enough of your interviews. Go ruin things somewhere else!” Odeh tried lamely to get the camera to stop filming. But Salam continued shouting.


“You guys ruined the city. I’m the mayor… there wasn’t even one Jew here today. Not even one! What are you being interviewed about? What are you doing to us?… You had a march, you guys torched the world. Shut up! Leave! Move it!” Salam’s outburst did not come out of nowhere. He was voicing the frustration that most Israeli Arabs feel towards their Knesset representatives who spend far more time demonizing Israel than advancing the interests of Arab Israelis inside of Israel.


According to the latest detailed survey of Arab Israelis published in November by Prof. Sami Smooha, 60 percent of Israeli Arabs do not trust their representatives in the Knesset. Two thirds of Israeli Arabs say that their Knesset representatives are not advancing their interests. A full 80% of Israeli Arabs believe that it is the job of the Arab members of Knesset to advance their communal interests rather than concentrate on political war against Israel. Most Israeli Arabs would probably agree that they are hurt by the political war against Israel. After all, 77% of Israeli Arabs define themselves as Israelis, 60% accept Israel as a Jewish state, and 54% believe Israeli democracy extends to them.


While Odeh’s constituents feel betrayed by him, the Obama administration apparently can’t get enough of him and his anti-Israel message. Last month Odeh became the first Israeli Arab politician to receive an audience at the White House. While in the US, Odeh was hailed as an Israeli Martin Luther King Jr. as he trampled on the civil rights of Jews. Odeh insulted the American Jewish community by refusing at the last moment to participate in a meeting with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.


As the leaders of the Conference’s member organizations sat waiting for him at the Conference’s offices in New York, Odeh stood in the building’s lobby and refused to get into the elevator. Odeh, a member of Knesset who has sworn allegiance to the Jewish state, wouldn’t meet with the American Jewish leaders because the Conference offices are located on the same floor as the Jewish Agency’s offices. And the leader of the third-largest Knesset faction didn’t want to give any legitimacy to Israel’s national institutions.


In light of Odeh’s insulting bigotry, it is troubling that the Obama administration spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to train Odeh’s political operatives and help them campaign during last year’s Knesset elections. It is similarly distressing that to elevate Odeh, the administration broke protocol and rolled out the red carpet for him, even as his own constituents attack him for effectively disenfranchising them.


It is against the backdrop of Odeh’s US-supported irredentism that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave one of the most significant speeches of his career Saturday night. Standing at the site of Friday’s Islamic State-like massacre in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu said that the time has come for Israeli Arabs – and their leaders – to recognize that with equal rights come equal obligations. In his words, “One cannot say ‘I am an Israeli in rights and a Palestinian in obligations.’ Whoever wants to be Israeli should be an Israeli all the way, both in rights and in obligations, and the first and highest obligation is to obey the laws of the state.”


Netanyahu demanded that the Arab members of Knesset denounce the attack and condemned the rampant incitement against Israel that takes place in the Israeli Arab sector. He then announced that the government will be investing billions of shekels in massively strengthening law enforcement in Israeli Arab towns and villages, and will seize the tens of thousands of illegal firearms that are now held by Israeli Arabs.


Netanyahu ended his remarks by embracing the integrationist trend among Israeli Arabs. In his words, “I view positively the increasing involvement in the IDF, in national service and in the overall life of the state, of the Christian, Druze and northern Bedouin communities, and within the Muslim community as well. I call on all citizens of Israel, especially its Muslim citizens, to take the path of integration, coexistence and peace and not the path of incitement, hatred and fanaticism. We are all citizens of the state and are all bound to maintain it and uphold its laws.”…

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





                ORGANIZATIONS GETS A NEW BOSS                                                                                            

                     Ronen Bergman

Ynet, Jan. 5, 2016


An elegant brown wooden pole, named "The Mossad Rod," is respectfully stored in a closed room in the Mossad headquarters north of Tel Aviv. Displayed on one of its ends is the secret organization's symbol and its famous slogan, borrowed from a verse in the Book of Proverbs (11:14): "Where no wise guidance is, the people falleth; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.." The bottom of the pole is encircled by 10 golden rings, each of them bearing the name of one of the Mossad chief who ended their terms.


On Wednesday morning, the "Mossad Rod" will receive a new ring, its 11th one, and the name of the organization director ending his term that day, Tamir Pardo, will be imprinted on it. While the rings are identical, each represents a completely different term. There is a deep difference between Pardo's term and the term of the owner of the preceding ring, Meir Dagan. It's reasonable to assume that the term of Yossi Cohen, who will replace Pardo that day and become the 12th Mossad director (the seventh to have grown within the organization) will be completely different, if only because of the major personality and outlook differences between them, alongside the regional environment in which the Mossad is required to operate and is undergoing dramatic and swift changes – the Arab Spring, the Iranian nuclear project challenge and the influence of the Islamic State.


When Cohen takes office, he will make history: The first Mossad chief to have grown and operated in the organization throughout almost all his years of activity, commanding Junction (Tzomet in Hebrew), the organization's biggest department which is responsible for recruiting and operating agents. Traditionally, most of the Mossad directors' bureau chiefs came from that department, but the head of the organization had never been appointed from there. Cohen will be making further history due to the fact that for the first time, a head of the National Security Council is being promoted to a higher position and is not ending his career in that position.


The Mossad which Yossi Cohen is taking charge of Wednesday is a large organization, one of the biggest intelligence organizations in the Western world, which deals with a diverse and difficult target list. According to the Mossad charter, the organization's goals are: "Secretly collecting information (strategic, diplomatic and operative) outside the State's borders; conducting special operations beyond the State of Israel's borders; stopping hostile countries from developing unconventional weapons and arming themselves with them; thwarting terrorist activities against Israeli and Jewish targets abroad; bringing Jews from countries which are preventing them from immigrating and creating a defense framework for the Jews in those countries."


The definition of these goals clarifies just how different the Mossad is from other intelligence organizations: It is not only required to provide intelligence, but also to carry out special operations; it is responsible for both intelligence relations and diplomatic relations with countries which do not have open ties with Israel; it is required to protect not only the citizens of the State of Israel, but sees itself as the defender of all Jews in the world, and as an organization required to help smuggle Jews from hostile countries.


There has never been another intelligence service in the history of mankind which has been forced to engage in so many missions, which are so different from each other. Cohen is arriving at this position after two prominent and strong-minded Mossad chiefs, who shaped the organization according to their image and outlook. In 2002, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decided that he was looking for someone with "a knife between his teeth" for the organization's leadership, and decided to give the job to his subordinate and associate from the IDF, Meir Dagan.


After a period which was considered drowsy under Mossad chief Efraim Halevy, Dagan sent the entire organization into a state of operational madness. He narrowed down and emphasized the organization's list of targets, opened the organization to cooperation with moderate countries in the Middle East, which see the situation in the region as Israel sees it, and mainly pushed for more and more operations. The Mossad went back to being an important player vis-à-vis other intelligence organizations in Israel and vis-à-vis colleagues in the United States and Europe.


Dagan, a man with particularly sharp senses, realized that the war is against enemies, but it also over consciousness. The thunderous operations attributed to the Mossad made his workers proud and perpetuated once again the myth about the most mysterious, efficient and lethal organization in the world. After every headline about a mysterious blast or assassination which no one knew who was behind but assumed it was the Mossad, the organization's website nearly collapsed with so many requests flowing in from candidates.


During that period in Dagan's term, Yossi Cohen made a name for himself as a meteor in the skies of the Mossad. Then, about 10 years ago, we wrote that he would make a possible candidate to serve as head of the organization one day.


As it is forbidden to identify active Mossad personnel by name under Israeli law, we gave the senior organization officials nicknames. We called Cohen "the model" due to his handsome appearance and meticulous clothing (he was the only one who had the courage to wear pink shirts in the ultra conservative Mossad working environment, and with cufflinks, no less). This nickname, which was later criticized as superficial and objectifying, was well received and many in the Mossad and the intelligence community began referring to Cohen that way.


Cohen himself, upon joining the Mossad in the early 1980s, chose the operational nickname "Callan," after the tough, brilliant, and sarcastic hero of a spy series from the 1970s, who does not hesitate to use the most aggressive methods, including torture and assassinations, in order to protect the United Kingdom's citizens. It wouldn’t be a wild guess that Cohen saw himself as very similar to that "Callan." Yossi Cohen was raised in a religious family in Jerusalem and studied in a yeshiva. To this very day he (partially) and his family (fully) observe a religious lifestyle and he is very knowledgeable about the Mishnah and debates of Jewish wisdom…

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





Isi Leibler

Israel Hayom, Dec. 17, 2015


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was widely criticized last year for his efforts in trying to ‎prevent Reuven Rivlin from being elected president. However, given Rivlin's ‎recent engagement in politics, which is constitutionally beyond the jurisdiction of ‎the primarily ceremonial role of the president, there may have been significant ‎substance to Netanyahu's concerns.‎ Like most Israelis, I have a fondness for Rivlin as a ‎friendly character, a man of the people. He is a stark contrast to his predecessor, ‎Shimon Peres, the ultimate diplomat, always coiffed and sartorially elegant. He was admired from a distance, sought to present himself as ‎a cosmopolitan intellectual, and succeeded.‎

The more avuncular Rivlin, who worshipped at my local synagogue during the ‎High Holidays, endeared himself to all, ignoring protocol and mingling with the ‎congregants after the service. The intimacy he projects by rubbing shoulders ‎rather than acting as a formal diplomat has made him highly popular at the grass-‎roots level. Besides, he is in every sense a warm and genial personality who ‎instinctively recoils from pomp and ceremony.‎ Alas, in recent months he has become increasingly involved in politics, which ‎should be beyond his domain. Admittedly, some of his predecessors, including ‎Peres and the late Ezer Weizman, also breached the boundaries of their ‎ceremonial constitutional roles and dabbled in politics.‎


But what makes Rivlin more controversial is that he has seemingly adopted public ‎policies quite inconsistent with his former role as a Likud hard-liner. He has ‎increasingly been publicly critical of government policies and initiated policy ‎innovations that are totally beyond his jurisdiction, such as his recent call for the ‎creation of a confederation of Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians.‎ He has now gone further, and during his recent visit to the United States made ‎totally inappropriate statements and innuendoes about his country, indirectly ‎criticizing his government's failure to take diplomatic initiatives, which obviously ‎endeared him to U.S. President Barack Obama and the liberal media. ‎


But it was his contentious decision to participate in the Haaretz-New Israel Fund ‎conference in New York and some of the extraordinary statements he made at ‎that venue that suggest he may be losing the plot. ‎ NGO Monitor refers to the politically far-left New Israel Fund as an organization ‎‎"active in repeating unsupported allegations of deliberate, systematic, and ‎widespread targeting of Palestinian civilians; war crimes and crimes against ‎humanity, and grave violations of international humanitarian law." The NIF also ‎provides funds for Jewish and Arab groups that oppose Zionism and a two-state ‎solution.‎


The conference was essentially a hate-fest and an effort by left-wing American ‎Jews to exert pressure on the democratically elected Israeli government and its ‎security policies, which enjoy the support of the vast majority of its citizens. It ‎attracted a host of anti-Israeli elements, including prominent promoters of ‎the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement such as former Pink Floyd ‎frontman Roger Waters.‎

The conference was addressed by chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who ‎fully endorses and takes part in the evil incitement that has led to the current killing ‎spree against Israelis emanating from his boss, Palestinian Authority President ‎Mahmoud Abbas. To compound matters, Erekat demanded that the Israeli flag be ‎withdrawn from the platform, and, disgustingly, his hosts complied with this ‎request. In his address, Erekat "congratulated" Netanyahu for "destroying a culture of ‎negotiations, a culture of dialogue, and a culture of peace." Speaking with a ‎forked tongue and claiming he supports a two-state solution, Erekat accused ‎Israel of "promoting apartheid." He also told the gathering that Israeli security ‎forces had killed his nephew last month — but failed to point out that he was killed ‎after having shot and wounded two Israelis in Jerusalem. His address received a ‎standing ovation from the audience of "progressive" Jews.‎..                    

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



On Topic


Police Kill Suspected Tel Aviv Gunman in Northern Israel After Week-long Manhunt: Yaniv Kubovich and Noa Shpigel, Ha’aretz, Jan. 8, 2016—Nashat Melhem, the suspected gunman behind the Tel Aviv shooting last week, was shot dead in a firefight with police forces in his hometown of Arara in northern Israel on Friday. 

Netanyahu May Form Israeli 'Republican' Party: Arutz Sheva, Sept. 11, 2015—Senior journalist Yossi Verter reported on Friday in the leftist paper Haaretz that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is considering forming a politically right-centrist bloc of parties to run on a joint list in the next elections.

A Conversation With Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s Firebrand Minister of Justice: Liel Leibovitz, Tablet, Nov. 6, 2015—Ayelet Shaked is an anomaly in Israeli politics. She’s a successful female politician in a landscape governed almost entirely by the male graduates of the Israel Defense Forces’ elite units. She’s a secular woman who had ascended the ranks of a religious party. And she’s a computer programmer who found herself, after a brief and meteoric rise, as Israel’s minister of justice.

If Israel Disappears, Others Will Too: Mudar Zahran, Israel Hayom, July 9, 2015 —Since 1948, we Arabs have been taught that all we need to do is get rid of the Jewish state, and ‎everything else will go well after that.













Canada Should Keep its Fighter Jets in the Middle East: Allan Levine, National Post, Oct. 26, 2015 — Given his busy schedule the past two months, you can forgive prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau for not having had the time to watch the first episode of season 5 of Homeland …

A New Phase to an Old Conflict: Yaakov Lappin, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 15, 2015— The spate of murderous, unorganized Palestinian attacks on Israelis probably won’t end any time soon.

Proactive Redemption in Responding to Palestinian Violence: Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, BESA, Oct. 11, 2015— The ongoing discourse among Israeli cabinet members and, to a large extent among settler leaders, has been largely over how to provide security to Israelis.

Obama’s Military Policy: Down-Size While Threats Rise:  Michael O’Hanlon, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 28, 2015 — The Obama administration’s official policy on U.S. military ground forces is that they should no longer be sized for possible “large-scale prolonged stability operations.”


On Topic Links


IDF Prepares for Possible Combined Attack from Iranian-Backed Syrian Forces: Raphael Poch, Breaking Israel News, Nov. 3, 2015

US Military Intensifies Cooperation With Israel: Barbara Opall-Rome, Defense News,  Oct. 18, 2015

A Joint Israeli-Arab Attack on Iran?: Ehud Eilam, Israel Defense, Nov. 4, 2015

What Coordination? Russia and Israeli Warplanes Play Cat and Mouse Over Syria: Debka, Nov. 2, 2015




Allan Levine                                                         

National Post, Oct. 26, 2015


Given his busy schedule the past two months, you can forgive prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau for not having had the time to watch the first episode of season 5 of Homeland, the intense television drama about the CIA and the realities of terrorism. He probably also has not had a chance to read Yale University historian Timothy Snyder’s new book, Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning. Both should be on his to-do list before he carries through with his decision to withdraw Canadian fighter jets from the mission against the Islamic State.


In the new Homeland episode (mild spoilers ahead), CIA operative Peter Quinn (actor Rupert Friend), who has spent two years in Syria including the city of Al-Raqqah, now controlled by the Islamic State, is invited to offer his assessment of the U.S.-led bombing strategy to a room full of American decision-makers. “What strategy?” he poignantly asks them. He explains that ISIL does have a strategy based on its distorted interpretation of the Koran. “They’re gathering right now in Raqqah by the tens of thousands … and they know exactly what to do,” he says. “They call it the ‘end of times.’ What do you think the beheadings are about? The crucifixions and the revival of slavery? Do you think they make this shit up? … They’re there for one reason and one reason only to die for the Caliphate and usher in a world without infidels. That’s their strategy and it’s been that way since the 7th century.” Pressed further as to what he would suggest, he says that the Americans should dispatch 200,000 soldiers for a ground war and the same number of doctors and teachers. The officials tell him that’s not possible. Then, says, Quinn, “Hit reset. Pound Raqqah into a parking lot.”


That may be problematic, but it is probably not overstating the case: That the only way ISIL will be stopped is by a massive allied assault, precisely the same approach the west took with Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. Imagine if one of Trudeau’s Liberal Party predecessors, William Lyon Mackenzie King, had decided that Canadian participation in the Second World War would have consisted only of providing training.


Perhaps this is not an accurate comparison with what is transpiring in Syria and Iraq. Yet, Timothy Snyder’s new book, though far from perfect in its analysis, does provide insight into Hitler’s global strategy to rid the world of Jews and then reshape the planet. The Nazi plan for world domination was broader than ISIL’s quest to re-establish its Caliphate, yet both share an extreme and brutal mindset in which negotiation and diplomacy has no part.


Justin Trudeau may be correct that Canada’s six fighter jets are only minimally effective in the war against ISIL, but at least they are doing some damage. Doing nothing militarily is worse — and on the ground training of Iraqi troops, while helpful, is hardly the answer. It is difficult to figure out Trudeau’s exact thinking or logic on this issue. In an interview last January, London, Ont., radio host Andrew Lawton attempted without success to pin Trudeau down on explaining when he would consider it essential for Canada to participate in a ground war against terrorism. The best Lawton could obtain was Trudeau’s comment that: “I’ve never been against Canada engaging robustly against ISIS. What I have been concerned with is the prime minister’s choice around the way we should best do that.” Lawton had pointed out that a United Nations report had indicated that 8,400 Iraqi civilians had been killed by ISIL up to then.


“Well, I think it is warranted if there is a reasonable chance of success,” Trudeau explained further. “If there’s a way that Canada can offer expertise the rest of the world is unable to provide.” He also added that looking at conflicts in the Middle East that “very few people believe there is a military-only solution to what is going on in the Middle East … there are a lot of different paths that need to be taken by the international community to de-fang and neutralize ISIS.”


Two months later, during the debate in the House of Commons on extending and expanding the anti-ISIL mission into Syria, Trudeau asserted that “we are all committed to keeping Canadians safe.” He argued, as he still does, that Canada “does have a role to play in responding to humanitarian crises and security threats in the world” and “that when we deploy the Canadian Forces — especially into combat operations — there must be a clear mission and a clear role for Canada.”


Finally at the end of June, in an interview with Terry Milewski on CBC television’s Power & Politics, Trudeau once more was asked to explain his reasoning about confronting ISIL. “I was very much focused on making sure that Canada’s position is the right one for the long term,” he said. “And that’s where crossing the line from a non-combat mission into a combat mission is a decision that has to be taken very, very carefully and [responsibly]. And to be quite frank about it, the prime minister did not take that aspect of it very seriously. He preferred to play politics … ”


One cannot but get the feeling that it is Justin Trudeau who is now “playing politics.” Having made his promise to end the anti-ISIL air mission, he is stuck with it — even if it does not serve the larger and desperate needs of the thousands of people being terrorized by ISIL, and even if it leaves our allies left in the fight while Canada goes home. Whether Canadian CF-18’s are making a huge difference is not really the point; at least they are doing something pragmatic in a difficult battle that we cannot afford to lose. More talk, training and humanitarian aid are all important, but they are not going to produce the desired result. On this significant issue, Trudeau should try channelling Winston Churchill, not Neville Chamberlain.                                                                 




A NEW PHASE TO AN OLD CONFLICT                                             

Yaakov Lappin                                                               

Jerusalem Post, Oct. 15, 2015


The spate of murderous, unorganized Palestinian attacks on Israelis probably won’t end any time soon. Despite the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this latest phase of terrorism is driven by the same fundamental force that has been behind all previous stages: The rejection by Palestinians of Israel’s existence in this land. As such, Israelis will have to stand firm in the face of the effort to terrorize them as security forces get down to the business of formulating effective ways to minimize the number of attacks.


The IDF is joining forces with the Israel Police, which is stretched to the limit, and has sent 10 companies of soldiers from Training Base One and other units to enable police to beef up their presence in every district. Additionally, the army has made available more than 20 Combat Collection Intelligence units to police in east Jerusalem. The units provide visual intelligence assistance to enable the police to identify in real time the movement of terrorists on their way to try and butcher Israeli civilians.


The IDF understands that if it does not help police reduce the level of attacks in east Jerusalem and Israeli cities, the violence will spread to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. It is focused on the mission of seeking to improve Israelis’ sense of security and avoiding a situation in which Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah-Tanzim and the Palestinian Authority’s own security forces join in the violence – a development that would dramatically escalate the situation.


Along the border with Gaza, the IDF deployed two additional battalions to cope with the new phenomenon of Palestinian rioters approaching the fence. Wherever rioters approach the border fence in the vicinity of Israeli communities, army units are under orders to respond more aggressively to ensure that civilians are not at risk. In cases where mobs riot near the fence in open areas, a more flexible response, which decreases the chances of casualties and a further escalation, is encouraged.


At the end of 2014, the IDF’s Military Intelligence assessed that the Palestinian arena was the most likely front to erupt. Yet, that does not mean the defense establishment is sure of where things are headed. This phase of terrorism is, despite the claims of terrorist organizations, unorganized, and it is coming from the depths of Palestinian society. This society is deeply radicalized, as polls show 16 percent of Gazans and 13% of West Bank Arabs support Islamic State. In Arab countries around Israel, this support is at between 3% and 4%.


This provides a clue to the depth of the pent-up hatred that is now coming to the fore. Certain triggers have amplified this rage, including PA President Mahmoud Abbas speech at the UN last month, when he transmitted a message of desperation to the General Assembly. According to the military’s assessments, systematic incitement to hate, false claims of a changing status quo at the Temple Mount and incidents like the deadly arson attack on the Duma family home all helped nourish the already-existing hate. A growing number of incidents in which settlers attack Palestinians in Area B of the West Bank could also prove explosive.


This is a new phase of an old conflict in which the spilling of blood and symbols of al-Aksa generate more attacks every day. Yet, away from east Jerusalem, in the West Bank, the IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) are continuing to keep a reasonable level of control over organized terrorism. The IDF maintains more soldiers in Judea and Samaria than all the forces under the Northern and Southern commands put together. It is these security personnel who risk their lives every night to make arrests based on accurate Shin Bet intelligence and stop organized terrorist cells from maturing into imminent threats.


Now, however, the fire is focused in east Jerusalem, and the IDF must adjust its operational and intelligence capabilities to deal with the new threat. A number of key restraining factors still remain in place. Hamas and Islamic Jihad are wary of an open conflict with Israel in Gaza, and are not firing rockets into Israel (though Islamic State-affiliated terrorists are, on occasion). Fatah is restraining its Tanzim militiamen in the West Bank from engaging the IDF in gun battles.


And the PA, despite its public rhetoric, continues to coordinate security with the IDF, which is a key Israeli interest (as well as serving the PA). PA forces are instrumental in holding back large Palestinian riots. The livelihoods of some 100,000 Palestinians continue to rely on Israel, a fact that prevents workers from swelling the ranks of the rioters. Given all of these factors, the IDF has not begun calling up its reserves. If this changes, it will mean the current efforts to contain and reduce the terrorist attacks have failed.      





PROACTIVE REDEMPTION IN RESPONDING TO PALESTINIAN VIOLENCE                                              

Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen

BESA, Oct. 11, 2015


The ongoing discourse among Israeli cabinet members and, to a large extent among settler leaders, has been largely over how to provide security to Israelis. While this is obviously a valid objective, it has nevertheless locked Israel into a defensive posture.


Israel's defense doctrine, devised by Israel's first prime minster, David Ben-Gurion, seeks to transfer the battlefield into enemy territory, in part because Israel's narrow borders makes defensive maneuvering difficult. But the main reason why Ben-Gurion favored this approach was his belief that to win a war, even a defensive war, Israel had to seize the initiative. In other words: Israel must be proactive, rather than, reactive.


It is not enough to arrest those who killed Israelis after they perpetrated their crime. When you call such crimes terrorism, it blurs the need to figure out what the terrorists tried to achieve. Even if it is hard to pinpoint exactly who the masterminds are, the attacks create a trend that undermines Israel's strategic and vital interests and its very sovereignty in its capital.


Under the government's defensive strategy, the Israel Defense Forces is tasked with providing security. The government expects the IDF to take a series to steps to respond to the situation, with the expectation that the overall operational effect would lead to the ebbing of violence. But reality is more complex. When the Palestinians create a reality in which certain areas are essentially off bounds for Jews – as has been the case in the current reality we live in – they consider it an accomplishment.


Helping a derailed train get back on track is a technical solution that restores order. The job is done when the train resumes normal operation. But when it comes to the complex relations between human beings, even when calm is restored, a new reality is created. In this part of the world, to reshape reality according to one's preference, a proactive and strategic initiative is necessary. It is incumbent upon us to subscribe to a new modus operandi to effect the desired change by departing from the reactive pattern of behavior.


But what kind of proactive action would serve Israel in the current state of affairs? This question puts Israel (in) a critical crossroad that could define the very essence of our presence on this land: Do we want Israel to be a homeland where Jerusalem serves as the linchpin of statehood, with all the religious and national implications; or do we simply want a country that serves as a safe haven for persecuted Jews and is recognized by the international community?


At the height of the War of Independence, in 1948, Ben-Gurion explained why he set the capture of Jerusalem as a primary objective in the war. Speaking before the Zionist General Council, he said, "I don't need to tell you what value Jerusalem has had in the history of the Jewish people and the land of Israel and world. … If a land has a soul, then Jerusalem is the soul of the land of Israel, and the battle for Jerusalem is paramount, not just in a military sense. … We are duty bound to stand by Jerusalem, and it deserves it. The pledge we took on the rivers of Babylon is binding now as it was binding then, otherwise we would no longer be able to call ourselves the people of Israel."


Indeed, that pledge is recited by every Jewish groom: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning." Jerusalem is a point in the universe that encapsulates the Jews' religion, nationhood and polity. The Palestinians also consider it as their national focal point. That is why the city has fueled this current conflagration.


In light of this reality, the government should do more than just approve the security establishment's operational plans. Proactive measures are required that go beyond the authority of security authorities. At the strategic level, the situation calls for increased construction in Judea and Samaria and in Jerusalem. Such action will serve the national interest, not just a narrow sectarian interest. At this critical juncture, those who view this land and country as a stepping stone for redemption and as a national homeland will act differently than those who view Israel merely as a safe haven. We have to make fateful choices that will shape our future here, and our decision should be clear.                              





OBAMA’S MILITARY POLICY: DOWN-SIZE WHILE THREATS RISE                                                             

Michael O’Hanlon                                                                                                                 

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 28, 2015


The Obama administration’s official policy on U.S. military ground forces is that they should no longer be sized for possible “large-scale prolonged stability operations.” The policy was stated in the administration’s 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance, and dutifully reasserted last year in the Pentagon’s signature planning document known as the Quadrennial Defense Review.


“Stabilization operations” can include the range of missions spanning counterinsurgency, state-building, large-scale counterterrorism, and large-scale relief activities conducted in anarchic conditions. Though constraints like sequestration have limited the money available for the U.S. military, the Obama policy calling for a smaller standing ground army reflects a deliberate strategy shift and not just a response to cost-cutting, since some other parts of the military are not being reduced.


It is understandable that in the aftermath of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama would want the military to avoid messy ground operations in the future and rely instead on drones, commandos and other specialized capabilities. But as a guide to long-term force planning, the order to end America’s ability to mount such large-scale missions is dangerous. It should be corrected by the next president before it does real harm to the nation’s military.


There are lots of reasons to worry about the effect of the edict. As a direct result of it, during the 2013 government shutdown standoff, Pentagon internal budget reviews contemplated an active-duty army of only 380,000 soldiers. That would have been less than half Reagan-era levels and almost 200,000 fewer than in the George W. Bush and early Obama years. Such a figure would also have been 100,000 fewer than in the Clinton years, when the world seemed somewhat safer than it does today.


Nonetheless, people such as former Chief of Naval Operations Gary Roughead have advocated an army of less than 300,000 full-time soldiers which, at least in terms of size, would barely leave it in the world’s top 10. The U.S. Army is already smaller than those of China, North Korea and India—even if one adds the Marine Corps’s 180,000 active-duty forces.


Such small-is-enough thinking echoes a romantic part of America’s past. For most of its first 150 years, the U.S. had a very modest standing army. Until the Civil War, the figure hovered around 15,000 soldiers, and after the war it declined to similar levels. At the turn of the 20th century, U.S. ground forces barely ranked in the top 20 in the world in size. After World War I they were cut back to a comparable standing, as America consciously sought to avoid the ways and mores of the European nation-states and their permanent militarization.


After World War II, the U.S. disbanded its armed forces so fast that five years later, in 1950, the nation that had recently wielded the greatest military machine in history was unable to fend off North Korean communists attacking the South. By Vietnam the U.S. had forgotten so much about the innate character of war that it wound up waging a counterinsurgency campaign that overemphasized tanks, artillery, B-52s and napalm.


After Vietnam, the national revulsion against messy ground war, combined with a fascination with precision-strike technology after Operation Desert Storm in 1990-91, persuaded us that traditional ground conflicts would not be repeated. As a result, the U.S. was caught off guard by the tactical requirements of counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.


With defense budgets declining, China rising, and high-tech frontiers beckoning, the temptation is again to put all of our strategic eggs in the baskets of cyber operations, high-tech air and sea operations, robotics, space technologies and special forces. All are important and should be pursued in certain ways. But history suggests they will not be enough.


To protect core national security interests, the U.S. must anticipate a range of possible large-scale ground operations. Some—like scenarios involving Russia’s President Putin and aggression against the Baltic states, or conflict between the Koreas—have more the character of classic preparation for war. Others range from stabilization and relief missions after a massive tragedy or Indo-Pakistani war in South Asia, to a peace enforcement mission after a future peace deal in Syria, to a complex counterinsurgency alongside an Ebola outbreak in a place like northern Nigeria.


In every case, deterrence would be better than having to fight. But deterrence may fail. Each crisis could directly threaten the U.S. and its security, and could require American forces as part of a multinational coalition. This suggests that while the Army may not need to grow significantly, it should not be cut further.


It is one thing for President Obama to try to avoid more Mideast quagmires on his watch. It is quite another to direct the Army not to be ready for the plausible range of missions that history, as well as ongoing trends in demographics and technology and global politics, counsels us to anticipate. In our future defense planning, we should remember the old Bolshevik saw: You may not have an interest in war, but war may have an interest in you.



On Topic


IDF Prepares for Possible Combined Attack from Iranian-Backed Syrian Forces: Raphael Poch, Breaking Israel News, Nov. 3, 2015 — A senior source in the IDF told Israeli media outlets that the Mount Hermon Brigade, the IDF brigade which sits closest to the Syrian border, is preparing to counter combined terrorist attacks from Iranian-backed forces in Syria.

Read more at https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/52843/idf-prepares-for-possible-combined-attack-from-iranian-backed-syrian-forces-idf/#zQ4Vu4SlGS7PfAhk.99

US Military Intensifies Cooperation With Israel: Barbara Opall-Rome, Defense News,  Oct. 18, 2015—The US and Israel are marking a jam-packed week of military-to-military cooperation that cuts across all services and command echelons, from America’s top-ranked officer – USMC Gen. Joseph Dunford – to members of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), who are winding up a five-month deployment with rest and relaxation here in this Red Sea resort town.

A Joint Israeli-Arab Attack on Iran?: Ehud Eilam, Israel Defense, Nov. 4, 2015 —Israel and Sunni-led Arab states are worried that Iran might produce nuclear weapon, i.e. "the Bomb".

What Coordination? Russia and Israeli Warplanes Play Cat and Mouse Over Syria: Debka, Nov. 2, 2015—Syrian media reported an Israeli air force attack Sunday, Nov. 1, after two sorties Friday night against Syrian army and Hizballah bases in the Qalamoun Mountains on the Lebanese border.



The Facebook Intifada: Micah Lakin Avni, New York Times, Nov. 3, 2015 — Three weeks ago, my father was riding on a public bus in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood when terrorists from East Jerusalem shot him in the head and stabbed him multiple times.

The Hidden Hand Behind the Palestinian Terror Wave: Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, JCPA, Oct. 25, 2015— The wave of Palestinian terror against Israel, which the Palestinian leadership calls an “intifada” (a violent uprising that includes an armed struggle), is winning open support from all the representative organizations and institutions of the Palestinian people…

Jordan’s Delicate But Pivotal Role on the Temple Mount: Barry Shaw, Arutz Sheva, Oct. 28, 2015— When all strands of Palestinian political society came together in a deadly incitement based on religion radiating out from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem it left many dead on both sides of the religious divide…

Why Oslo Failed: Confronting “Peace Now”:  Louis Rene Beres, Breaking Israel News, Oct. 29, 2015 — Notwithstanding the latest “Peace Now” demonstrations in Tel-Aviv, Oslo Agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority remain destined to fail.


On Topic Links


Sara Zoabi Speaks at Israeli Knesset: Youtube, Oct. 14, 2015

Toronto-Born Jewish Terror Victim Dies After Year in Coma Following Meat Cleaver Attack at Jerusalem Synagogue: Michael Bell, Tom Najem & Neil Quilliam, Globe & Mail,  Oct. 20, 2015

In Tense Eastern Jerusalem, Arabs and Jews Hunker Down: Ben Sales, Times of Israel, Nov. 2, 2015

Palestinian Incitement to Violence and Terror: Nothing New, But Still Dangerous: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Nov. 17, 2015




Micah Lakin Avni

                     New York Times, Nov. 3, 2015


Three weeks ago, my father was riding on a public bus in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood when terrorists from East Jerusalem shot him in the head and stabbed him multiple times. Afterward, as he lay unconscious in the intensive care unit of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, fighting for his life, one question was on my mind: What inspired the two young Palestinian men to savagely attack my father and a busload of passengers?


My father, Richard Lakin, dedicated his life to the cause of Israeli-Arab reconciliation. Ever since moving to Israel from Connecticut in the 1980s, he spent his career teaching English to Israeli and Arab children. Inspired by his experience marching with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s, he became a founding member of Israel Loves Iran, a social media initiative designed to bring the citizens of these two nations closer together. When news of his tragedy broke, many of the Christian, Muslim and Jewish residents of Jerusalem who knew my father and admired his work rushed to his bedside to pay their respects and say a prayer for his recovery. Even Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the United Nations, stopped by on his recent visit to Israel.


Watching the well-wishers congregating in the intensive care unit, however, I realized that the world leaders who were having the most impact on the situation in the Middle East right now weren’t Mr. Ban or Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Jack Dorsey of Twitter and other young entrepreneurs who shape the social media platforms most of us use every day.


It may sound strange to talk of Twitter and Facebook as relevant players in the war against terror, but as the recent wave of violence in Israel has proved, that is increasingly the case. The young men who boarded the bus that day intent on murdering my 76-year-old father did not make their decision in a vacuum. One was a regular on Facebook, where he had already posted a “will for any martyr.” Very likely, they made use of one of the thousands of posts, manuals and instructional videos circulating in Palestinian society these last few weeks, like the image, shared by thousands on Facebook, showing an anatomical chart of the human body with advice on where to stab for maximal damage.


Sickeningly, my father, too, became a viral hit on Palestinian social media: Hours after he was shot and stabbed, a video re-enactment of the attack was posted online celebrating the gruesome incident, and calling on more young Palestinians to go out and murder Jews. Such images, YouTube videos and comments have become a regular feature on social media after every attack.


My father raised me to cherish and protect free speech, but the very liberty that free speech was designed to protect is at stake when it is used to spread venom and incite violence. Just as it is universally recognized that shouting fire in a crowded theater is dangerous and should be prohibited, so, too, must we now recognize that rampant online incitement is a danger that must be reckoned with immediately, before more innocent people end up as victims.


The companies who’ve turned social media platforms into very big business argue, and rightly so, that monitoring each post is nearly impossible, that permitting users the freedom of expression is essential, that there are already steps in place to combat hate speech. All that is true. But something new is happening today, and what Facebook, Twitter and the others must realize is that the question of incitement on social media isn’t just a logistical or financial question but, first and foremost, a moral one.


This wave of terrorism is different from anything we’ve seen, involving not terrorists recruited by shadowy organizations but ordinary young men and women inspired by hateful and bloody messages they see online to take matters and blades into their own hands. Just as many of us now argue that we should hold gun manufacturers responsible for the devastation brought about by their products, we should demand the same of social media platforms, now being used as sources of inspiration and instruction for murderers.


One immediate solution is to remove blatant incitement without waiting for formal complaints — it’s one thing to express a political opinion, even one that supports violent measures, and another to publish a how-to chart designed to train and recruit future terrorists. To that end, an Israeli non-profit took legal action against Facebook earlier this week, demanding that the company do more to monitor and remove unacceptable content. My family joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs. Still, I believe that any truly successful effort to curb the culture of hate on social media must come from the companies themselves.


Companies can become more active in combating hate. The popular social networking site Reddit, for example, not only banned specific types of unacceptable content — such as a group encouraging rape — but it also engaged specific user groups in dialogue, a simple act of civility that succeeded in curbing the worst rhetoric. Companies can and must work harder — using all the tools at their disposal — to create an online culture that does not tolerate violence and hate.


Sadly, for my father, it’s too late: Two weeks after the attack, he succumbed to his wounds. When they heard the news of his passing, many of his friends — Christians, Muslims, Jews — posted his favorite photo on their social media channels. It shows an Arab and an Israeli boy, their arms around each other, while the text around them spells simply “coexist.”





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

JCPA, Oct. 25, 2015


The wave of Palestinian terror against Israel, which the Palestinian leadership calls an “intifada” (a violent uprising that includes an armed struggle), is winning open support from all the representative organizations and institutions of the Palestinian people, including the PLO, the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, the Hamas authorities who control Gaza, and organizations representing the Palestinian diaspora. The green light for the intifada was given by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 30, in which he lauded Palestinian terror and threatened political chaos – that is, a descent into an all-out intifada-type conflict.


By unleashing Palestinian terror Abbas hopes to bring about greater international intervention in the conflict, and, thereby, to give greater heft to UN General Assembly Resolution 67/19 of December 4, 2012, which recognizes “Palestine” as a nonmember observer state of the UN within the borders of June 4, 1967, including east Jerusalem. Thus the Palestinian terror is meant to leverage international pressure on Israel to withdraw from the West Bank without negotiations or conditions. The Palestinian struggle against Israel will then continue from the new borders under improved circumstances.


The Hamas leadership, too, sees the UN resolution as a historic opportunity for it, particularly the provision that recognizes “the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in accordance with a decision by the Palestine National Council, [as] entrusted with the powers and responsibilities of the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine….” Hamas, which in the past was a bitter foe of the PLO, has made it a supreme goal to take over the organization. It thereby seeks to gain the status of sole representative of the Palestinian people and the right to international recognition of that status with the entire attendant political, legal, economic, and other ramifications.


Hence, in the reconciliation agreements between the PA/Fatah and Hamas, the Hamas leadership demanded the formation of a temporary PLO leadership that would include Hamas and Islamic Jihad – that is, partnership in the temporary Palestinian government – and the holding of new elections for the PLO institutions, first and foremost the Palestinian National Council.


Despite his declared support for a national reconciliation, Abbas is in no hurry to incorporate Hamas in the PLO institutions and is making this conditional on gaining real control of Gaza, currently under the effective control of Hamas. In Hamas’ view, Abbas and the present Palestinian leadership are an obstacle to gaining a foothold in the PLO institutions and the PLO Executive Committee, which constitutes the “temporary” Palestinian government. The Hamas leadership understands that Abbas is trying, by means of the intifada, to upgrade the international recognition of the Palestinian state and of his status as “president” of all the Palestinian people, including Gaza, and to do so without enabling Hamas’s incorporation in the institutions of the state-in-the-making that are recognized by the international community.


Hamas has branded the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah as “traitors,” collaborators with Israel in the “grave crime” of security cooperation, to be punished by execution for “severe treason” against the Palestinian people. The Hamas leaders deny the legitimacy of the PA’s rule and call for its overthrow by the masses. In recent years the Hamas leadership has been trying to spark an intifada in the West Bank that will lead to the PA’s collapse – whether through a revolt by the Palestinian population or a wide-scale Israeli military operation against the PA military forces that are responsible for the terror.


The Hamas leadership is also appropriating the current terror wave by dubbing it the “Al-Quds Intifada,” while putting cardinal emphasis on opening a front against Israel both in the West Bank and within Israel itself by calling on Israeli Arabs to take an active part in the struggle. Gaza serves as a base for setting the terror wave in motion. Apart, though, from a few attacks (the firing of a few rockets, some sniper fire, and breaches of the border fence), the Hamas leadership is refraining as in the past from responding to the “assault on the Palestinians” with massive rocket fire from Gaza at Israeli communities.


Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri made clear (in the Hamas daily Felesteen, October 14, 2005) that Hamas wants to sustain what it has called “the popular nature of the Al-Quds Intifada” while keeping it focused on the West Bank and Jerusalem, along with attacks within Israel. Abu Zuhri also underlined the harnessing of legal tools and of the human rights organizations to the terror organizations’ struggle against Israel, and particularly, as he called it, against “extrajudicial executions” of Palestinians (in other words, those killed during attempts to murder Israeli civilians and soldiers with knives, vehicles, and so on)…


The Hamas leadership, then, does not want to open an immediate military front against Israel in Gaza, but rather to focus the terror activity on the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Israel itself. The overriding goal is to undermine the PA’s rule…

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





JORDAN’S DELICATE BUT PIVOTAL ROLE ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT                                                                

Barry Shaw

Arutz Sheva, Oct. 28, 2015


When all strands of Palestinian political society came together in a deadly incitement based on religion radiating out from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem it left many dead on both sides of the religious divide – Jewish Israelis who were the prime target of Islam-motivated Palestinians.


Although the Islamic Movement and Hamas (are) two of the leading Palestinian instigators of the violence, it was the statements of a presumed secular Mahmoud Abbas that inflamed the Palestinian street. He, like Yasser Arafat before him, presumed to speak for the Muslim world when he exhorted his people in a televised address to his people on September 16, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah. With the help of Allah, every martyr will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.”


He was referring to his incitement to prevent Jews from visiting the Temple Mount plateau which is the most holy place in Judaism.  About them he said, “The Al-Aqsa Mosque is ours. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is ours as well. They have no right to desecrate the mosque with their dirty feet; we won’t allow them to do that.” This statement was not only inflammatory; it was disdainful not only to Jews and Christians but also to King Abdullah, the Hashemite leader of the Kingdom of Jordan. It was also terribly presumptuous as Palestinian Arabs have no religious right to govern any holy site in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in particular.


The accepted status quo rests on Israel’s agreement in 1967 to allow the Jordanian appointed Waqf to govern the Islamic holy site on the Temple Mount, known in the Muslim world as “Haram al-Sharif.” The explosion of the Arab war of 1948 against the nascent state of Israel left part of Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria, colloquially called “the West Bank,” under Jordanian occupation.


Jordan formally annexed the land they conquered in a war of aggression on April 24, 1950. This was widely considered illegal, including by the Arab League. On July 27, 1953, King Hussein declared the parts of Jerusalem under Jordanian control to be “the alternative capital of the Hashemite Kingdom” and would form “an integral and inseparable part” of Jordan. There was no consideration during the Jordanian occupation of any of this territory to be a state of Palestine. No claims for “Palestine” were lodged between 1948 and 1967 while it remained under Hashemite control, despite later narratives of “Palestinian Arabs” being kept in refugee status within Jordan itself.


Those Arabs remaining in the "West Bank" and east Jerusalem were granted Jordanian citizenship without complaint. Its residents were allowed to vote in the Jordanian parliamentary elections and their representatives continued to sit in the Jordanian parliament as late as 1988 even though Jordan lost all of the territory it held in Jerusalem and the "West Bank" following a failed aggressive war it launched against Israel in 1967.


Following the Jordanian victory over Israel in 1948, as part of the Armistice Agreement signed on April 3, 1949. Jordan obligated to allow “free access to the holy site and cultural institutions and cemeteries on the Mount of Olives.”  However, Jews were barred from entering into the Old City and visiting the Jewish holy places. Synagogues within the Old City were systematically destroyed. Gravestones in the Jewish Mount of Olives cemetery were desecrated and taken to be used as paving stones. The Wailing Wall, a part of the destroyed Jewish Temple, was used as a urinal.


When Arab nations prepared once again to attack Israel in June 1967 in what became known as the “Six Dar War” the Arab armies suffered crippling losses of weaponry and equipment. Arab losses in the conflict were disastrous. Egypt’s casualties numbered more than 11,000, with 6,000 for Jordan and 1,000 for Syria, compared with only 700 for Israel. Nobody at that time criticized Israel for a “disproportionate use of force” as they have constantly chosen to do in later events when Israel has been forced to defend itself from aggressive violence and terrorism, including during recent knifing and stoning attacks in which Palestinians have sustained a greater loss of life than Israelis.


In 1967, Israel warned Jordan to stay out of the fighting. Ignoring this request, Jordan began pounding the western parts of Jerusalem with artillery fire. Israel launched a counter-offensive which drove Jordanian troops out of Jerusalem and much of the "West Bank." Israel offered the Jordanians a ceasefire. This was refused. The muezzin loudspeakers on the Dome of the Rock mosque bellowed “Take up your weapons and take back your country taken by the Jews.”


Perhaps the most iconic and historic moment of this war was when Israeli soldiers broke through the Lion Gate leading into the Old City of Jerusalem and fought their way through the narrow alleyways to the most central site in Judaism. There the IDF Chief of Staff, Mordechai “Motta” Gur, radioed the message “The Temple Mount is in our hands!” A tremor went through the soul of every Jew. Following two millennia during which Jews prayed to be reunited with Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple, Israel had liberated Judaism’s most revered shrine.


The guardianship of these Islamic shrines has, historically, been allocated into the hands of Jordan.

Moshe Dayan was Israel’s Minister of Defense and, as he proceeded across the Temple Mount plateau he saw an Israeli flag atop the Dome of the Rock and he ordered it taken down. After he placed a private prayer note in the cracks of the Western Wall he turned and declared, “We’ve reunited the city, the capital of Israel, never to part it again. To our Arab neighbors, Israel extends the hand of peace and to all peoples of all faiths; we guarantee full freedom of worship. We’ve not come to conquer the holy places of others but to live with others in harmony.”…

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




WHY OSLO FAILED: CONFRONTING “PEACE NOW”                                                                            

Louis Rene Beres

Breaking Israel News, Oct. 29, 2015


Notwithstanding the latest “Peace Now” demonstrations in Tel-Aviv, Oslo Agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority remain destined to fail. This is not because of any Israeli “right-wing government intransigence,” but on account of an immutably corrupted Palestinian doctrine.


From Oslo’s beginnings, in 1993, the Arab side sought only to embrace the U.S.-brokered pact as a promising means of improving its own relative power position. Even then, in unhidden sentiments that have become still more explicit during the so-called “Third Intifada,” the Palestinians had been seeking only a One-State Solution. Never, even for a moment, did a single Palestinian faction display any authentic interest in living “side-by-side” with any Jewish State. Never did any such faction actually favor a “Two-State Solution.” Never.


There are, of course, other elements of Palestinian misrepresentation and contrivance, that have cumulatively doomed the “peace process.” Most obvious is the ongoing and plainly-undiminished Palestinian commitment to incitement and terror, and, as an inevitable corollary, the continuing Palestinian insistence on a “right of return.” On its face, this alleged “right” remains a not-so-coded message for accelerating Israel’s incremental destruction. Prima facie, this seemingly-benign and “just” expectation clearly represents complete rejection of Israel’s physical continuance as a sovereign state. For any “peace process,” even ones currently favored by Israel’s “Peace Now,” this particular sort of rejection is not merely problematic. It is, rather, replacement-centered, or openly annihilatory.


There is yet another important reason to explain incessant Palestinian noncompliance with Oslo. This most widely overlooked explanation centers on the uniform and persistent Palestinian Authority violations of international criminal law, here, the “peremptory” obligation to extradite wanted terrorists to Israel. This incontrovertible obligation stems from both: 1) the actual language of the codifying agreement; and 2) the always-binding principles of underlying international law. Such jurisprudential principles do not depend for their implementation upon any specific treaties or pacts.  Sometimes, they are even binding perpetually, as “jus cogens” norms, to introduce specific legal terminology of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.


From Oslo’s beginnings, on September 13, 1993, the Palestinian Authority, inter alia, absolutely refused to honor its expressly core obligation to extradite Arab terrorists to Israel. Significantly, even if the Oslo Agreements had not themselves contained unambiguous provisions for terrorist extradition, the PA would still have been bound to “extradite or prosecute” terrorist murderers, according to the more general, customary, and pre-existing rules of international criminal law. Ultimately, the basic and universally-binding requirement to extradite major criminals (Hostes humani generis, or “Common enemies of humankind”) lies most enduringly in “Natural Law.”…


In turn, this “higher law” exists at the normative center of all civilized national and international legal systems, most prominently, in the jurisprudential foundations of Israel, and the United States of America. his general legal obligation to extradite is more than merely anecdotal. It has a proper name. It is specifically referenced, in law, as aut dedere, aut judicare;  “extradite or prosecute.”…

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



On Topic


Sara Zoabi Speaks at Israeli Knesset: Youtube, Oct. 14, 2015 —Sara Zoabi in the Knesset yesterday speaking about Muslim Zionism. English translation provided by Calgary United with Israel (CUWI).

Toronto-Born Jewish Terror Victim Dies After Year in Coma Following Meat Cleaver Attack at Jerusalem Synagogue: Michael Bell, Tom Najem & Neil Quilliam, Globe & Mail,  Oct. 20, 2015—Nearly one year ago, doctors placed Toronto-born Howie (Chaim) Rothman, an Israeli-Canadian brutally wounded in a terrorist attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, in a drug-induced coma, so devastating was the swelling of his brain.

In Tense Eastern Jerusalem, Arabs and Jews Hunker Down: Ben Sales, Times of Israel, Nov. 2, 2015 —To get to the Jewish compound in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, residents arrange in advance for an armored van to pick them up at a spot adjacent to the walls of the Old City.

Palestinian Incitement to Violence and Terror: Nothing New, But Still Dangerous: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Nov. 17, 2015—The bitter, civil violence and terror over the past weeks, concentrated in Hebron and in Jerusalem, revolving around the issue of the Al Aqsa mosque, and enveloping Arabs both in Israel and in the disputed territories, are being attributed by various commentators to a series of causes and reasons.




Charles Bybelezer: The ‘Peace Process’ That Kills

The region was already burning when…John Kerry rolled into town in July 2013, on his fifteenth-odd visit to Jerusalem… Syria was well into its third year of carnage, with sectarian strife beginning to spill over into Lebanon…Libya was in shambles, with Islamist militias carving out spheres of influence following the American-led operation to remove Muammar Gaddafi…Yemen, once a major US ally in the fight against terrorism, was without a stable government after the overthrow of long-time ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh…In the wake of the total US military withdrawal from Iraq, that country was coming apart at the seams under Nuri al-Maliki…Egypt, the pillar of regional stability for decades, was in turmoil…

Yet in his blinding arrogance, Kerry was certain what was needed most: The renewal of a 20-year-long “peace process” that neither Israeli nor Palestinian officialdom had asked for nor wanted. Kerry would, with unsinkable hubris, secure his place in history by succeeding where everyone before him had failed. In any event, the move would deflect attention away from other US foreign policy blunders that had contributed to plunging the Middle East and North Africa into chaos…

The only thing negotiations were ever bound to deliver were more corpses to the morgue. Engagement with the Palestinians has never produced anything other than the weakening of Israel’s bargaining positions and the erosion of its legitimate rights…

Just weeks after the breakdown of talks…Hamas dutifully reminded Palestinians of their nationalistic responsibilities. The incorporation of Gaza’s rulers into a unity government with…Abbas was near-unanimously hailed as a positive step by the international community, effectively justifying terror against Israelis. The kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teens this past June, accompanied by a surge of rocket fire on civilian population centers, was the outcome…

And while the world was perversely condemning Israel’s “disproportionate” response to the terror it helped to unleash, unrest was brewing in the West Bank and especially Jerusalem. Violent demonstrations in Arab-Israeli cities likewise foreshadowed the campaign of murder currently being waged against Jews within the so-called “1967 borders.”…

The question of whether or not another Palestinian “uprising” has started is irrelevant – because it is unavoidable. It is the natural consequence of the venomous indoctrination with hate of an entire population based on the total rejection of the Jewish people’s right to live within any borders in its one and only state, the recurring result of a phony peace process which holds only one side accountable and deems the construction of schools in disputed territories as a greater sin than the taking of life. In the result, Israel finds itself in a great conundrum, from which it cannot escape without altering dramatically the prevailing, warped paradigm. One needs to look no farther than the media coverage of Tuesday’s attack to understand the depths to which the country has fallen. Canada’s public news station, the CBC, conjured up this headline: “Police fatally shoot two after apparent synagogue attack.”… But nobody should be surprised; the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, after all, described the first terror attack in the recent series – which saw a Palestinian mow down as many bystanders as possible on the streets of Jerusalem – as a “vehicular accident.”…


(Jerusalem Post, Nov. 24, 2014)
Charles Bybelezer is a correspondent for i24News

and a former CIJR Publications Chairman