Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On the Future of Jerusalem - David M. Weinberg

by David M. Weinberg

A close look at the situation in eastern Jerusalem reveals contradictory movements: radical Islamicization vs. closer integration with Jewish Jerusalem. Both trends are on the rise simultaneously.

Western Wall in Jerusalem at Shavuot, photo by Daniel Majewski via Wikimedia Commons
BESA Center Perspectives No. 510, June 27, 2017

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: A close look at the situation in eastern Jerusalem reveals contradictory movements: radical Islamicization vs. closer integration with Jewish Jerusalem. Both trends are on the rise simultaneously. Despite the complicated circumstances, united Jerusalem under exclusive Israeli sovereignty is the key, not an obstacle, to peace and security in the city.

1. Islamicization in Jerusalem

The fireworks and fanfare of the Jerusalem liberation jubilee have shoved under the radar the realities of an unruly situation in eastern Jerusalem. Alarm bells should be ringing about the nefarious intensifying involvement of Erdoğan’s Turkey and other radical Islamist groups in eastern Jerusalem political and social affairs.

Details of these dark developments can be found in a recent expose published by Dr. David Koren and Ben Avrahami, the advisors on eastern Jerusalem affairs for the Municipality of Jerusalem. Their article, “Eastern Jerusalem Arabs Between Erdogan and Israel,” published in the new Hebrew intellectual journal Hashiloach (Vol. 4, May 2017), comes from intimate familiarity with the thicket of contradictory interests, tensions, and disagreements that inform daily life in Jerusalem.

According to Koren and Avrahami, there has been significant erosion in the status of the veteran eastern Jerusalem mukhtars and the influence of Fatah political infrastructures and Palestinian Authority leaders. Into the vacuum have stepped elements identified with Hamas, with the northern faction of the Islamic Movement in Israel, and with the Muslim Brotherhood in its wider context.

Through a series of civic associations, nonprofits, and grassroots organizations, sometimes at the neighborhood level and sometimes more extensive, they are investing tens of millions of dollars per year in dawa (missionary) activities, mainly charitable enterprises and educational programs to attract the young to Islamic values.

There is a direct line, say the article authors, from civic dawa to radicalization and active enlistment in the armed struggle against Israel. This includes active social networking which glorifies terrorists, martyrs, and prisoners, and explicitly calls for violent resistance to Israel. These networks were also the source for the libel that al-Aqsa is endangered by the Jews/Zionists, and for dissemination of an incredible volume of disinformation related to Israeli actions on the Temple Mount.

The authors ask for particular attention to the mounting involvement of Erdoğan’s Turkey, which is the worldwide Brotherhood’s main patron. Turkey now enjoys unprecedented popularity among the residents of East Jerusalem, the authors write. The Turks’ public support of the Palestinian cause and adoption of the al-Aqsa issue, and their decision to inject millions of dollars into East Jerusalem, have won them great sympathy and support.

The Turks fund a great part of the dawa activities in the city, with Sheikh Ekrima Sa’id Sabri as the lead Turkish agent. (He is a former grand mufti of Jerusalem appointed by the PA and today the most prominent representative of the Muslim Brotherhood in the city). The Turkish consulate in Jerusalem, the Turkish government assistance agency, and a string of Turkish organizations that have local branches in Israel or the West Bank, are directly implicated in this subversive activity too. As a result, Turkish flags today fly everywhere in eastern Jerusalem and prominently on the Temple Mount as well.

The Turks also have injected significant sums to those who do their bidding on the Temple Mount, for various activities such as Quran-recitation groups, transportation of worshipers to and from the mosque, iftar feasts in Ramadan, renovation and cleaning campaigns, and the like. In general, the Islamist forces on the Temple Mount operate, intentionally or not, to Turkey’s benefit and the detriment of Jordan. They may believe that the replacement of the Jordanian presence by a Turkish presence would be a positive and welcome development.

The main loser here is Jordan, which long enjoyed the status of Guardian of the Holy Places and protector of the Arabs of Jerusalem. This also is the context of the PA’s intensive activity in the international arena, and especially at UNESCO, ostensibly intended to protect the Islamic holy places against an Israeli takeover. This tactic allows the PA to convey to its critics that it is the true defender of al-Aqsa and Jerusalem against the threat of “Judaization,” while at the same time gnawing at Jordan’s historic role as guardian of the Mount and seeking to counteract the emerging Turkish dominance in Temple Mount affairs.

Attention should be devoted also to another mounting force in Jerusalem, the Islamic Liberation Party, or Hizb ut-Tahrir, which has several thousand supporters in the city. This Salafist group, like ISIS, seeks to proclaim a global Islamic caliphate from al-Aqsa. It has acquired growing influence on college campuses throughout the West Bank, including al-Quds University near Jerusalem. Sheikh Issam Amira of the al-Rahman Mosque in Beit Safafa is the group’s most conspicuous preacher, and he enjoys freedom of activity and speech on the Temple Mount.

While the Liberation Party does not advocate violent jihad, some party members could “advance” from a Salafi mindset to a Salafi-jihadist outlook and join the ranks of ISIS. This may explain, say Koren and Avrahami, the presence of ISIS cells and ISIS operatives in Jerusalem, such as Fadi al-Qunbar, who carried out the terrorist truck-ramming attack in East Talpiot in early 2017, and the ISIS cell that was apprehended in the Shuafat refugee camp several months earlier.

In short, the disintegration of Palestinian secular nationalist organizations and institutions in eastern Jerusalem, alongside Israeli torpor, has facilitated the rise of Islamist factions and hostile foreign actors.

The enlarged foreign presence in the heart of Israel’s capital touches the deepest chords of the issue of Israeli sovereignty in the eastern part of the city; and this presence cannot be easily eliminated.

My conclusion from this is that Israel must move vigorously to “recapture” eastern Jerusalem. While significant security action and determined diplomatic maneuver are clearly mandated, Israel also will have to assume full responsibility for the services that eastern Jerusalem Arab residents need, with major budgetary repercussions.

2. Encouraging Integration in Jerusalem

Koren and Avrahami also present a more optimistic side of the situation. As opposed to the Islamicization described above, they describe a countervailing trend that is gaining steam among eastern Jerusalemite Arabs. Many Arabs, they say, are moving towards greater integration with Israeli society.

To understand this, one must know the numbers and the legal situation.

There are some 320,000 Arab residents in Jerusalem (plus 50,000 residents of Judea and Samaria who reside in the city illegally or by virtue of family reunification). They constitute about 37% of the Jerusalem population and 20% of the Arabs within Israel’s overall borders. About 100,000 of Jerusalem’s Arabs live in chaotic neighborhoods that lie within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem but are on the other side of the security fence.

The Arabs of Jerusalem are relatively young and impoverished. According to the National Insurance Institute, 83% of the children in East Jerusalem are below the poverty line, as against 56% of Israeli Arab children and 39% of Israeli Jewish children in western Jerusalem.

Residents of eastern Jerusalem have the legal status of permanent residents, which in practice is the same as that of foreign nationals who want to live in Israel for a protracted period. This status grants them the right to live and work in Israel without the need for special permits (unlike Palestinians in Judea and Samaria). It also entitles them to benefits under the National Insurance Law and the National Health Insurance Law. As permanent residents, they are eligible to vote in municipal but not in national elections.

Obviously, these social and health benefits rank high among the reasons for which Palestinians prefer to live within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, even though they could obtain cheaper and better housing elsewhere.

Eastern Jerusalem Arabs “are entangled in a thicket of contradictions,” write Koren and Avrahami. “They assert their Palestinian national identity alongside an unprecedented demand for Israeli citizenship; throw stones at the light rail while using it; harass visitors to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus but value the care that Arabs receive in its clinics and wards; protest the enforcement of planning and building laws in Arab neighborhoods while calling for an increased police presence there to maintain public order; campaign against any manifestation of normalization with Israel in tandem with a tremendous interest in learning Hebrew and an increasing preference for the Israeli rather than the Palestinian matriculation certificate…”

Koren and Avrahami believe that more and more residents of eastern Jerusalem understand that there is no alternative to Israeli control of the city on the horizon, and that they will always be better off under Israeli administration. In fact, the last Washington Institute survey in eastern Jerusalem, conducted in June 2015, found that 52% of Arab residents would prefer to become citizens of Israel, whereas only 42% would want to be citizens of the Palestinian state, even after a peace accord.

As mentioned, there is a vast increase in the numbers of eastern Jerusalemites filing applications for Israeli citizenship; more than 1,000 in 2016. Other indicators of belonging are the many programs to learn Hebrew that have been established in eastern Jerusalem in recent years; the mounting preference to send children to schools that lead to Israeli high school matriculation; and the soaring demand in eastern Jerusalem for pre-university preparatory programs subsidized by the Israeli government.

Arab Jerusalemites also have responded enthusiastically to the municipality’s opening in eastern Jerusalem of employment centers, community councils at the neighborhood level, and a high-tech incubator.

In addition, notice has been taken of the Jerusalem municipality’s major effort to reduce the disparities and improve the level of services and infrastructure in Arab neighborhoods, with an emphasis on roads (more than NIS 50 million a year) and classrooms (NIS 500 million over the coming decade).

“In our eyes,” write the municipality Arab affairs advisors, “even the protest demonstrations by eastern Jerusalemites in Safra Square, in front of City Hall, are not nuisances, but rather a welcome phenomenon that expresses a de facto recognition that the municipality is the appropriate address for solving their problems. This is the fruit of normalization.”

“We believe that, despite their Palestinian national identity, broad sectors of the eastern Jerusalem Arab population have come around to a pragmatic attitude about Israeli authorities. Increasingly, they see Israel not only as a culprit to be blamed for their difficulties but as the only possible source for solving their problems and turning their lives around.”

“There are many Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem who have reached the instrumental level of exploiting the advantages offered by the western half of the city and would now like to participate in Israeli society at a deeper level – learning from it, mingling with it, and even joining it. An expression of this is the growing number of eastern Jerusalem teenagers who are doing civil service after high school.”

Koren and Avrahami argue that Israel must invest in these propitious trends, for they have strategic implications both for the unity of the city and its security situation. “In another decade or two, the teenagers who today engage more deeply with Israeli society will be the pragmatists who moderate Palestinian society.”

During recent rounds of violence, they note, teachers and principals went out into the streets to get their pupils to curb their emotions and avoid attacking innocent persons, both Arabs and Jews. “In another decade, perhaps these teachers will be joined by businesspeople, community activists and cultural figures who endeavor to introduce mutual respect and sensitivity to the turbulent reality of Jerusalem.”

3. Why Jerusalem Can’t Be Divided

Proposals for political division of the Jerusalem are legion and bandied-about internationally with little connection to reality. These plans were developed with an eye towards allowing slices of the city to become the capital of a Palestinian state; and for some Israelis, such plans also are meant to rid Israel of problematic parts of the eastern sector.

A thorough consideration of these proposals leads to the conclusion that they are unworkable, unwise, and most of all – unjustified.

The worst plan is that of former MK Haim Ramon (of the Labor and Kadima parties) for unilateral Israeli withdrawal from 28 predominantly Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem. Ramon would have Israel callously cut 200,000 Arabs out of Israeli Jerusalem and build a very big and impermeable wall between the two parts of the city.

This will save Israel some three billion Israeli shekels ($850 million) in services to the cut-off Arabs, Ramon argues, and reduce the percentage of Arabs in Jewish Jerusalem from 40 to 20 percent.

Ramon’s proposal for unilateral, brutal division of the city is jarringly reminiscent of the disastrous Gaza disengagement, with the addition perhaps of alligators in a Jerusalem moat and Berlin-style kill zones on either side of the border.

The ugly idea undoubtedly would lead to a worst-possible security situation. The belligerent cleaving of Jerusalem into Arab and Jewish sovereignties would plunge the city into battle. Jerusalem would become the bull’s eye of radical Islamic fantasies; a city that would make Belfast at its worst look like paradise.

The main reason for this is that any section of Jerusalem under Arab rule without an Israeli security presence will immediately become Ground Zero for the fierce wars being waged within the Arab world over Islamic lifestyle, ideology and legitimacy.

Each of these forces will seek to prove its supremacy and bolster its legitimacy by gaining control and then attacking western Jerusalem. What better way to prove loyalty to the Islamic cause than to attack the rump Israeli presence in the city (including the Old City) from a base of operations flush up against Ramon’s brilliant barrier?

Ramon’s plan also ignores the strategic argument that full Israeli control over greater Jerusalem envelope is the linchpin for the country’s grand security posture.

As Major General (res.) Gershon Hacohen and Professor Efraim Inbar of the BESA center have written, Jerusalem anchors the critical west-east axis that runs from the coastal plain to the Jordan river.

Israel’s long-term hold of the strategic arc from Jaffa to Jericho, they assert, necessitates Israeli dominance in and around Jerusalem. This should be buttressed by settlement in E-1, the expansion of Maale Adumim eastwards, and the reinforcement of Israel’s military and civilian presence maintaining a defensible border in the Jordan Valley.

Another plan, which enjoys the support of various Palestinian political elements, would redistrict the city into independent boroughs with separate Palestinian and Israeli municipalities.

No physical barrier would divide the two parts of the city, and a joint agency would coordinate between the two city halls. Somehow, overall security would remain in Israeli hands.

Koren and Avrahami believe that the strongest opposition to this proposal will be voiced by Jerusalemite Arabs themselves – who see the Palestinian Authority as a corrupt and failed regime that has no commitment to provide services to citizens.

They suspect that Jerusalemite Arabs would flee from the eastern to the western half of the city in such a situation, in order to maintain their Israeli health, education and social security benefits, and to enjoy Israeli cultural and political freedoms.

They argue that the “two municipalities” plan also won’t work because it ignores the shared routine of daily life has developed in united Jerusalem in domains such as transportation, employment, healthcare and shopping. This makes municipal division unwieldy and unfair, if not impossible.

“A look at the map of the city makes plain that Arab and Jewish neighborhoods are interlocked and sometimes only a few meters apart, and they live off the same municipal infrastructure. The Jerusalem light rail system, which occasionally has been subjected to a hail of stones by Palestinian rioters precisely because it is a symbol of the utility of a united city, is a good example of this reality.”

Taking all this into account, it is astonishing that many international observers still assume that splitting Jerusalem will lead to prosperity for the city and to peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

More likely, the opposite is true: A partitioned Jerusalem will die, and lead to violence that will suck the lifeblood from the city in every way – culturally, religiously, economically and more.

Consequently, Israel unabashedly should be reminding everybody that for past 50 years it has managed the complicated city with sophistication and sensitivity. It has sagaciously developed the city from a backwater town to a truly radiant international capital city sparkling with energy and creativity – open to all.

Israel should, perhaps, be even blunter, and state core truths such as this: Israel has developed Jerusalem as an attractive city because it cares; because Jerusalem is the historic centerpiece of Jewish peoplehood and of the modern State of Israel.

The Arabs and Palestinians, however, don’t really care about Jerusalem; they never have. In fact, they would consider it a triumph if Jerusalem were so wracked by conflict and poverty that it was ruined for 1,000 years – just as long as it would be lost to the Jews.

In short, a united Jerusalem under exclusive Israeli sovereignty is the key, not an obstacle, to peace and security in the city. The violent bisection of Jerusalem would be patently unwise, exceedingly unfair to Jewish history, and an undue insult to Israel’s fine stewardship of the city.

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David M. Weinberg is director of public affairs at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and a diplomatic columnist for The Jerusalem Post and Israel Hayom newspapers, in which portions of this article were first published.

BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family
David M. Weinberg, director of public affairs at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, is the Israel office director of Canada’s Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs, and a columnist for The Jerusalem Post and Israel Hayom.


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Restoring Nationalism - E. Jeffrey Ludwig

by E. Jeffrey Ludwig

With the power of disturbing hindsight, we can see that the creation of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank in the mid-1940s were opening salvos in a war against American nationalism.

The end of WWII was the beginning of a globalist trajectory hidden behind the mask of “multilateralism.” With the power of disturbing hindsight, we can see that the creation of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank in the mid-1940s were opening salvos in a war against American nationalism.

These forays into globalism seemed at first to be driven by humanitarian values. Peace could more easily be ensured if the countries of the world would discuss their differences. At the same time, the UN, unlike the League of Nations, would have peacekeeping authority, and could under certain circumstances send troops to stop war between conflicting parties or nation states. U.S. sovereignty would presumably be protected by the veto power granted to the great powers on the UN Security Council. Thus, if it were not in the U.S. interest to be drawn into armed conflict by the UN, we could veto the project and thus exempt ourselves from involvement. This plan was, of course, wholly unconstitutional since the war power is granted to Congress under our determinative founding document. By having a vote in the UN determine war or peace, the locus of power for that momentous decision to commit American sacred lives and honor thereby shifted from the Congress to the Executive Branch. And not only to the Executive Branch, but to the Executive Branch acting in combination with the Executive Branches of the great power members of the Security Council.

The International Monetary Fund, likewise bankrolled largely by the USA, would advance funds to undeveloped countries to shore up their currencies. Colonialism would be phased out, and the newly independent countries which would be cash-strapped needed a source of financial stability. The IMF would provide that stability. The self-determination of indigenous people that Pres. Woodrow Wilson had advocated for would become a full-blown reality in the post-WWII world. The Middle East had already benefitted from Wilson’s vision after WWI. The Ottoman Empire was broken up and separate Muslim nation-states came into existence under various mandates. Further, the Balfour Declaration had promised a nice chunk of land to the dispossessed Jewish people who had lived on their own holy land as squatters since their sovereign claims were destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. They too would benefit from the new philosophy of national self-determination.

By the end of WWII, the French and British began to realize that it was politically implausible and economically imprudent to continue to maintain control over large portions of Asia and Africa. Yet, complete independence for those countries would be cruel abandonment, and harmful to the European states. So the IMF and the World Bank were created to help meet the challenge of the emerging third world. This now meant that the American taxpayer would begin underwriting the economic development of third world countries, as well as giving support to their political aspirations through the UN. This was all going to be justified as necessary for U.S. security since an unstable world would be more likely to draw us into other wars. Further, this use of taxpayer moneys to undergird the economies (and corruption) of the third world dovetailed with American altruism and the can-do/must-help Judeo-Christian ethos of the American mindset (never acknowledged by the left that depicts the USA as a land of exploitation, yet manipulated by the left to attain its goals).

Further, the Marshall Plan was put in place to help rebuild former enemy countries, and to defend Europe from the threat of Soviet Communism and a European left energized by a post-WWII Europe in shambles. Since the left understands never to let a crisis go to waste, they saw that a suffering Europe was fertile ground for assailing capitalism (see, capitalism gave you war, suffering, and loss), and seeing that the USSR emerged with greater power than it had prior to WWII, internal disruptions were not uncommon, especially in Greece and Turkey. One might even speculate that were it not for Charles DeGaulle’s mighty presence -- having led the Free French in exile through the war – that France might also have capitulated to a communist vision. Certainly many of their leading intellectuals (as we are experiencing in the USA today) were solidly in the Communist camp.

Yet, the Rooseveltian and Democratic Party’s idea of throwing more and more money at the world’s problems, of humanitarian outsourcing of American wealth, of building national security on the false premises of endless dialogue and relinquishment of American sovereignty did not work. Instead, we were drawn into a false peace called the Cold War. We became musicians replaying ad infinitum the false song of more and more multilateralism, more and more funding of economies throughout the world, more and more integration of the world economy, more and more weakness to create more and more strength abroad, greater and greater dilution of American wealth, U.S. manufacturers and importers setting up factories abroad, and then importing the goods back to the U.S. for sale as we become more and more consumerist in our economic identity. We became more and more disparaging of the national political, economic, and social values that made this country great to begin with.

We can see that the multilateralism that was at first projected as humanitarian and prudent actually became the foundation of a new scenario. The new scenario was that the USA was becoming and should become part of globalist structure. The multilateralism after WWII was presented to the public as strategic and practical – needed to fight communism, to meet humanitarian goals, and to maintain economic stability. However, it has become increasingly apparent that these are lesser goals converging towards the greater goal of suppression of U.S. sovereignty, global hegemony over nation-state hegemony, and a type of world federalism.

It became apparent that all the multilateralism was not ending world hunger and poverty. Local wars are raging. There is no peace in the world. Tyrants abound. Communism in the USSR collapsed under the weight of its own egregious fallacies. The Peoples Republic of China continues to maintain its humorless communist political control while economically shifting to a form of state capitalism. And the U.S. has modified as well so that we are in a state of incredible debt to the PRC as our own national debt is now astronomical and can never be repaid.

The initial multilateralism of the years immediately after WWII became a world federalist agenda almost from the start. It has become an intense globalist commitment by the arrogant elites of our country who rejected the nationalism and national identity based on our open-hearted mores, rights-based ideology, and balanced constitutional legal values. Pres. Donald Trump’s election is a big pushback against 72 years of vacuous thinking about “one world” and manipulation by our elites to move away from U.S. sovereignty. We can only pray that this pushback will be sustained over time, and that we can regain some of the lost sense of being an independent and moral people living lives of hope from sea to shining sea.

E. Jeffrey Ludwig


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Germany and Islam - Mike Konrad

by Mike Konrad

Imperial Germany subsidized and encouraged worldwide jihad, as an extension of German policy. It is not until now that the West fully appreciates what the Kaiser had wrought.

Germany has a bizarre historical connection with Islam that lies beneath much of the present day crisis in Europe. One could argue that these connections are just the product of historical coincidences, but with Germany the coincidences seem to add up regularly.

When one studies the age of European imperialism, Germany came late to the game, almost as an afterthought. Bismarck, for all his authoritarian faults, felt that imperialism would do Germany no good, and wanted no part of it. He was overridden by public opinion, and Bismarck's policy was later repudiated by Kaiser Wilhelm II, who wanted Germany to take her “Place in the Sun.”

Imperialism would not have destroyed Germany, per se; smaller and weaker nations such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, and even backward Spain all had empires.

But what set Germany apart was a concerted love of Arabs and Islam. There was something deeper and darker to this than mere German MachtPolitik. One of his first acts, upon assuming power as Kaiser, was to visit the Ottoman Empire in 1889, He wore a fez. He offered to arm the Turks. 

Sultan Mehmet V greets Kaiser Wilhelm upon his arrival in Constantinople
The Kaiser’s Islamic enthusiasm was fired by an 1889 visit to Turkey, which Bismarck opposed on the grounds that it would gratuitously alarm the Russians. Wilhelm met the murderous Sultan Abdul Hamid II and enjoyed the sinuous gyrations of the Circassian dancers in his Constantinople harem. - New York Review of Books
The Turks were astounded. The Ottoman Empire was on a death watch, and the only reason the European powers did not carve Turkey up is because they feared an intra-Christian war over the pieces. Now, the Kaiser was promising to make Islamic Turkey great again. Kaiser Wilhelm had resurrected the Islamic corpse.

It would only get worse. In 1898, during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, the Kaiser made the insane insinuation that were he not already Christian, he would be a Muslim.
A later visit to Jerusalem [in 1898], then under the auspices of the same flattering sultan, left the impressionable Kaiser declaring that, had he arrived agnostic, “I certainly would have turned Mahometan!” Soon the Kaiser was styling himself “Hajji Wilhelm”, the Protector of Muslims. - The Express
He also made this public speech:
In Damascus, the Kaiser visited the grave of Saladin, who recaptured Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187. In his speech delivered on Nov. 6, 1898, the German monarch declared: "May his majesty the Sultan and the 300 million Muslims who live scattered across the globe ... rest assured that the German Kaiser will be their friend at all times." - Der Spiegel
Historians claim that the Kaiser was merely trying to foment trouble among the Muslims in the British and French Empires, and there is, no doubt, truth to this. To see a scary German documentary about this (Click Here) - You will have to set auto translate.
There was some method in Wilhelm’s half-madness; the Kaiser was savvy enough to understand that the “Mahometans” might be a secret weapon in his game against a “certain meddlesome Power!”, whose Empire he lusted after. - The Express
Those of us who are older were never taught this in school. Until the 1980s, the Islamic world was an afterthought – and those insane actions of Kaiser Bill were considered historically inconsequential at the time. But the trouble that the Kaiser fomented is coming home to roost now. Imperial Germany subsidized and encouraged worldwide jihad, as an extension of German policy. It is not until now that the West fully appreciates what the Kaiser had wrought. Only now are books being written about it.

Hitler and Mussonlini would later indulge and encourage jihad. Many are familiar with Hitler's support of the Mufti of Jerusalem, and the formation of an Islamic SS division, the Hanschar Division. Less well-known is that Hitler preferred Islam to Christianity.
The Mohammedan religion too would have been more compatible to us than Christianity. - Inside the Third Reich as quoted by WikiIslam
And herein lies a bizarre key. There is something in the German psyche that actually admires Islam and Arabic culture.

Around the turn of the 20th century, it became fashionable among the British elite to fancy themselves as the lost tribes of Israel. Foolish or not, it demonstrated a Judeophilic world view. However, at the same time, the Germans were glorying in their recent acquisition of the ancient temple at Pergamon, and the Famous Babylonian Ishtar gate. The Pergamon Museum in Berlin, built between 1910 and 1930, was constructed to display these “archeological treasures.” 

Truly scary is that the Bible declared that very Pergamon altar as the throne of Satan.
“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,
‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. - Rev 2:12-13
The Germans had embraced the throne of Satan as their national prize, their answer to the British Museum. The Pergamon Museum is still in operation.

Before and after WWI, some European intellectuals embraced Islam. Idiocy is universal; but the German boasted of being better at it.
The secular French government spent lavishly on ostentatious mosques, while Germany sought to demonstrate its superior treatment of Muslims, when compared to France and Britain. - Foreign Policy
Some more coincidences pile up. The fact is that, for centuries, the Germans have been fascinated with Islam. Goethe and Hegel praised Islam. Frederick the Great gave the Ottoman ambassador a glorious welcome.
[O]n Nov. 9, 1763 the first Turkish envoy, Ahmed Resmi Efendi, arrived in Berlin with an exotically dressed entourage of 73 aides who were greeted by the cheering inhabitants of the city. Deeply impressed and evidently slightly confused by this emphatic reception, the diplomat wrote to Sultan Mustafa III that "the people of Berlin recognize the Prophet Muhammad and are not afraid to admit that they are prepared to embrace Islam." Der Spiegel
Martin Luther, thank God could be critical of Islam; but undergirding German civilization is a bizarre legend, coming from the oldest city in Germany: Trier. According to legend, the founder of the German City of Trier was an exiled Assyrian prince named Trebeta, who migrated to the area.
Legend has it that Trier was founded ... by Trebeta, the stepson of the Assyrian Queen Semiramis.
Ante Romam Treveris stetit annis mille trecentis which means "Trier stood 1300 years before Rome".
This inscription can be found on the facade of the Red House, and it was also mentioned in the Gesta Treverorum, the history deed from the Middle Ages. - Germany Insider Facts
For those who subscribe to Biblical history and eschatology, that is a frightening pedigree. For those who think the story is made up – as most moderns do – why would the Germans even claim such an Assyrian lineage? Yet, they do, and Trier boasts of it. 

Of course, the Germans are not Arabs. They are orderly and disciplined, unlike Arab civilization. But through much of history, the Islamic “virtue” of jihad violence to impose a worldview found a mirror in the German psyche, which gave the world the word MachtPolitik (Power Politics). This is not a recent phenomenon. Hitler had it. Kaiser Wilhelm II started the modern jihad. Frederick the Great indulged it; and the city of Trier boasts of it.

I leave it to the reader to ponder how deep this goes. Germany is schizophrenically half Western; but the other half of its psyche is Eastern, and part of it gravitates to the methods of Islam. Scratch beneath the surface of Christian Germany and one finds a love affair with Islam, if not the religion itself, then with certain aspects of Islam's totalitarian practices. This is not a recent development.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish in high school, lo those many decades ago. He writes on the Arabs of South America at He also just started a website about small computers at


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The PLO's IDF Lobbyists - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

How radicalized Israeli generals are furthering the cause of Palestinian terrorists.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

Should the United States pay Palestinian terrorists? For the overwhelming majority of Americans and Israelis this is a rhetorical question.

The position of the American people was made clear – yet again – last week when US President Donald Trump’s senior envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt met with Palestinian Authority chairman and PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas and repeated Trump’s demand that the PA cut off the payments.

Not only did Abbas reject their demand, he reportedly accused the presidential envoys of working as Israeli agents.

Abbas’s treatment of Kushner and Greenblatt was in line with his refusal to even meet with US Ambassador David Friedman, reportedly because he doesn’t like Friedman’s views.

The most amazing aspect of Abbas’s contemptuous treatment of the Trump administration is that he abuses Trump and his senior advisers while demanding that Trump continue funding him in excess of half a billion dollars a year, and do so in contravention of the will of the Republican-controlled Congress.

Abbas’s meeting last week took place as the Taylor Force Act makes its way through Congress.

Named for Taylor Force, the West Point graduate and US army veteran who was murdered in March 2016 in Tel Aviv by a Palestinian terrorist, the Taylor Force Act will end US funding of the PA until it ends its payments to terrorists and their families – including the family of Force’s murderer Bashar Masalha.

The Taylor Force Act enjoys bipartisan majority support in both the House and the Senate. It is also supported by the Israeli government.

Given the stakes, what could possibly have possessed Abbas to believe he can get away with mistreating Trump and his envoys? Who does he think will save him from Congress and the White House? Enter Commanders for Israel’s Security (CIS), stage left.

CIS is a consortium of 260 left-wing retired security brass. It formed just before the 2015 elections. CIS refuses to reveal its funding sources. Several of its most visible members worked with the Obama administration through the George Soros-funded Center for a New American Security.

Since its inception, CIS has effectively served as a PLO lobby. It supports Israeli land giveaways and insists that Israel can do without a defensible eastern border.

Last Wednesday CIS released a common-sense defying statement opposing the Taylor Force Act.

The generals mind-numbingly insisted the US must continue paying the terrorism-financing PA because Israel needs the help of the terrorism-incentivizing PA to fight the terrorists the PA incentivizes. If the US cuts off funding to the PA because it incentivizes terrorism, then the PA will refuse to cooperate with Israel in fighting the terrorism it incentivizes.

If you fail to follow this logic, well, you don’t have what it takes to be an Israeli general.

Moreover, if you fail to follow this logic, and you defy the position of Israel’s retired generals, then you may well endanger Israel.

After all, they know what’s best even better than the Israeli government because they are retired Israeli generals.

The CIS group would be bad enough for Israel on its own. But unfortunately, the radical politics of its members – and their anonymous funders – are all too resonant inside of the IDF itself.

And just as CIS members use the ranks they received in the past to undermine the powers of the government today, so the current crop of serving generals use their positions to advance policies that are contrary to the expressed position of the government.

This is nowhere more evident than in the behavior of the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria.

Until Israel formed the PLO-controlled PA in 1994, the Civil Administration was responsible for governing Judea and Samaria as the governing arm of the military government that Israel set up in the area after the Six Day War.

In 1996, Israel transferred all Palestinian population centers in Judea and Samaria to the PA. Since then, the Civil Administration has been responsible only for Area C where all Israeli communities are located and where between 100,000 and 200,000 Palestinians also live.

The question of what the ultimate disposition of Area C will be is the top issue on the national agenda today. The majority of government ministers and the majority of the public support applying Israeli law to all or parts of the area.

Yet while the government debates the issue and formulates policies to advance whatever policies it adopts on this issue, the Civil Administration has for the past several years been acting independently to undermine and constrain the government’s ability to make strategic decisions relating to Area C.

Among other things, the Civil Administration has been independently initiating Palestinian settlement projects in Area C that undermine Israel’s ability to govern the areas. By the same token, the Civil Administration has used its powers to scupper, delay and prevent Israeli construction projects in the area.

The story of the Civil Administration’s rogue policymaking was catapulted to the headlines last week when Channel 2 reported that it was advancing a plan to massively expand the Palestinian city of Kalkilya into Area C. Among other things, the plan endangers Israeli communities whose territory abuts the expanded boundaries of Kalkilya advanced by the plan.

Channel 2 reported that the Netanyahu government’s security cabinet had given the Civil Administration a green light to begin construction.

The story caused a political outcry not only from Likud voters but from the security cabinet members themselves. Led by Minister Ze’ev Elkin, the Likud ministers insisted that they had been misled by the Civil Administration which deliberately hid the nature of the plan from them when it brought it to the cabinet for approval.

The ministers’ protests ring true because the Civil Administration has a history of acting in this manner.

In 2008 for instance, the Civil Administration initiated a building scheme in the Jordan Valley that would have taken land from Moshav Tomer to build Palestinian settlements.

The head of the local council complained to the government only to discover that the ministers had no idea what he was talking about. The Civil Administration had undertaken the plan, which undermined Israel’s control over a strategically vital area, without government knowledge or approval.

In contrast, and again against the wishes of the government, the Civil Administration has repeatedly acted to block Israeli construction in Area C. For instance, the IDF insists that no land deal between Israel and Palestinians is final until the IDF approves it. The policy harms Israeli construction in two ways.

First, it gives the Civil Administration the power – which it uses – to delay Israeli construction indefinitely.

Second, by forcing parties to land deals to come forward publicly, the Civil Administration intimidates Palestinian land sellers. They know that if their land deals with Israelis become public they will face execution by the PA.

Returning to Abbas for a moment, the PLO chief may have overplayed his hand by insulting Trump and his senior envoys. All the politicized retired and currently serving Israeli generals together cannot convince Trump to send US tax dollars to a terrorism supporting leader who trashes him and his senior officials. Consequently, there is every reason to believe that the Taylor Force Act will soon be signed into law and the US will end its financing of Palestinian terrorism.

But even if Washington cuts off funding to the PA, Israel is still left to deal with its radicalized generals who exploit their rank to undermine the government.

The best way to end this situation is for the government to shut down the Civil Administration and get the IDF out of the governing business in Judea and Samaria. So long as the government continues to empower unaccountable generals to administer civilian areas instead of its accountable, civilian bureaucracy, we will continue to be confronted with the surreal spectacle of Israeli generals lobbying for Palestinian terrorists.

If the government applies Israeli law to Area C, it can still negotiate with the PLO, just as it has negotiated about the Golan Heights and Jerusalem. But in the meantime, it will remove one of the most corrupting and corrosive forces preying on our generals and our democracy for the benefit of the Israeli and Palestinian residents of Area C alike and indeed for Israel as a whole.

Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit


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High Court Overrules Leftist Judicial Insanity - Joseph Klein

by Joseph Klein

SCOTUS curbs lower courts’ encroachments on presidential national security powers.

The Supreme Court has restored a measure of sanity to the judiciary. On Monday, it overruled significant portions of the decisions of two of the country's most liberal federal appeals courts, enjoining the implementation of President Donald Trump's 90 day suspension of travel from six terrorist prone countries and 120 day suspension on the entry of all refugees.

The Supreme Court handed the president a partial victory, but a victory nonetheless. His second executive order temporarily suspending travel from Somalia, Yemen, Iran, Sudan, Libya and Syria, pending an executive department review of current vetting procedures, has now been cleared to go into effect immediately, except as to visitors with "a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States." It is expected to actually take effect within 72 hours from the date of the Supreme Court's decision.

The “bona fide relationship” caveat raises some concerns about potential loopholes. For example, the Supreme Court indicated in its ruling that a “foreign national who wishes to enter the United States to live with or visit a family member, clearly has such a relationship.” The Court also stated that an individual with a documented job offer from an American company, a student accepted by an American university or a lecturer invited to address an American audience would presumably qualify as having "a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States." Jihadists could exploit such pathways to entry. On the other hand, a non-profit organization in the United States devoted to immigration issues cannot simply contact an individual in one of the designated countries, add that person to its client list and then try to create the appearance of a bona fide relationship after the fact. Despite the inherent difficulties in distinguishing legitimate claims from false ones and opening the door potentially to the entry of some jihadists in the process, the practical likelihood of harm is small in the time remaining during which the suspension will still be in effect. And despite the caveat, the Supreme Court has still set an important precedent for establishing the legal scope of broad presidential powers in controlling the influx of refugees and other migrants into the country in the interest of national security. The message to the lower courts so quick to strike down whatever President Trump proposed is not to so injudiciously overstep their bounds in the future.   

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the merits of the case this October, assuming it does not regard the case as moot because the suspension period will likely be over by then.

President Trump issued a statement declaring that the Supreme Court’s decision “allows the travel suspension for the six terror-prone countries and the refugee suspension to become largely effective. My number one responsibility as Commander in Chief is to keep the American people safe. Today’s ruling allows me to use an important tool for protecting our Nation’s homeland.”

This case never should have had to go to the Supreme Court in the first place. The pretexts used by the lower courts to block President Trump's executive orders, both the original one and a modified version tailored to meet certain objections from the 9thCircuit Court of Appeals, were completely bogus.

President Trump acted well within his constitutional and statutory authority to issue both of his executive orders. “The exclusion of aliens is a fundamental act of sovereignty,” the Supreme Court concluded in a 1950 case. “The right to do so stems not alone from legislative power, but is inherent in the executive power to control the foreign affairs of the nation. When Congress prescribes a procedure concerning the admissibility of aliens, it is not dealing alone with a legislative power. It is implementing an inherent executive power.”

Congress reaffirmed the president’s power with respect to decisions excluding aliens in the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), which was originally enacted in 1952, and has been amended several times, including in 1996. The following language has remained intact: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.” (8 U.S.C. § 1182(f)).

Both of President Trump’s executive orders, in the interest of protecting national security, directed changes to the policy and process of admitting non-citizens into the United States, particularly from countries known to be havens for terrorists. They were intended to provide a period of review for relevant agencies to evaluate current procedures and to propose and implement new procedures.

The lower courts that blocked President Trump’s executive orders from going into effect replaced his judgment with their own, despite lacking access to the kind of classified information on threats to national security that the president of the United States has at his disposal. The president has great latitude in this area and does not have to satisfy a burden of proof to the courts that his policy judgment is correct. The lower courts demanding such proof violated the separation of powers by intruding into areas that are clearly within the president’s domain. They did so on the spurious grounds that President Trump’s orders discriminated against Muslims and were motivated by his alleged anti-Muslim animus.

While the six affected countries in the second executive order are all Muslim majority countries, they represent only six out of the 56 Muslim majority countries that belong to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The vast majority of the world's Muslim population are not at all affected. Non-Muslims as well as Muslims in the six designated countries would be affected by the travel suspension, however. The countries themselves were selected on the basis of their being nurturing grounds for the export of terrorism, a perfectly rational basis to distinguish one country from another for the purposes of national security.

As Professor Alan Dershowitz wrote, while commenting on the Supreme Court’s decision allowing parts of President Trump’s second executive travel suspension order to go forward now pending further consideration on the merits, “a ban that applies to countries that have a serious problem vetting potential terrorists would be valid even if all of those countries had Muslim majorities.  The president has a right to focus on Islamic terrorism as a primary source of danger to Americans, and Islamic terrorism comes disproportionately from Muslim majority countries.”

President Trump’s travel suspension orders evidenced no invidious discrimination on their face. Moreover, whatever the president said as a candidate regarding his thinking about Muslims is irrelevant when determining the legality of what he actually did as president. According to Professor Dershowitz, who predicts that the Supreme Court will ultimately decide for the most part in President Trump’s favor on the merits of the case, at least with respect to persons with no existing connection to the United States, “The high court will recognize the implications of striking an otherwise legitimate ban because of what a president said when he was a candidate.  To follow the lower court reasoning, the very same ban could be constitutional if issued by one president and unconstitutional if issued by another.  That is not the way the law generally operates in this country.”

All in all, the Supreme Court’s decision to allow President Trump’s travel suspension order to go forward immediately for the most part vindicated the principle of separation of powers and served the best interests of the nation in helping to protect the country’s security.

Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam.


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Looking the Wrong Way on Iran - Shoshana Bryen

by Shoshana Bryen

The Sunni part of Iraq actually is an essential part of the land bridge being built from Iran to the Mediterranean Sea. There is a second and equally compelling issue for Iran to the southwest: encircling Saudi Arabia in the water.

  • How will Iraq get rid of the Iranians? Or will it? The chief of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qassem Soleimani, has been seen several times in Iraq, most recently near the Syrian border, an indication that Iran has bigger plans than the liberation of Mosul.
  • The Sunni part of Iraq actually is an essential part of the land bridge being built from Iran to the Mediterranean Sea. There is a second and equally compelling issue for Iran to the southwest: encircling Saudi Arabia in the water.
  • If Iran is allowed to solidify its Shiite Crescent and its naval obstructionism, American allies across the Middle East and North Africa will pay a heavy price.
We have been looking in the wrong direction. While the West was hoping temporarily to check Iran's nuclear aspirations, Iran was making plans to advance on the ground and in the water -- and the plans are unfolding nicely. For Iran.

After the U.S. withdrew from Iraq in 2011, large swaths of Iraqi territory were easily brought under Islamic State (ISIS) control, culminating in the proclamation in 2014 of "The Caliphate" with its seat in Mosul. Having denigrated its capabilities as "the JV team," the Obama administration was desperate to get rid of ISIS, but the Iraqi army (trained and armed at a cost of $26 billion between 2006 and 2015 with another $1.6 billion spent in 2016) was unable to handle the job, even with American air power and Kurdish fighters as allies.

The Iraqi army has since been improved, but in the Sunni heartland of Iraq, Shiite "militias" have become America's ally in the battle for Mosul. Some militias are Iraqi Arab Shiites and some are sponsored and commanded by Persian Shiite Iran. There is no love between the two, and certainly no love between any of the Shiite militias and the U.S.-sponsored Iraqi military. But the battle has largely gone against ISIS. Militias on one side and Iraqi forces on the other are recapturing territory amid evidence of outrageous human rights abuses against Iraqi civilians by all sides. At some point soon, Iraqis (army and militias), Iranians, Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds and Americans will be eyeball-to-eyeball in Mosul. This run-in raises two questions:
  • Could Sunni Iraqi civilians prefer ISIS to Shiite militias, whether Iraqi or Iranian? If they do, Mosul may be liberated, but ISIS may still find havens from which to conduct a grinding guerrilla war.
  • How will Iraq get rid of the Iranians? Or will it? Some Iraqi Shiite militias have been loosely but legally incorporated into the Iraqi military; the Iranian ones have not. The chief of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qassem Soleimani, has been seen several times in Iraq, most recently near the Syrian border, an indication that Iran has bigger plans than the liberation of Mosul.

The chief of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qassem Soleimani, has been seen several times in Iraq, most recently near the Syrian border, an indication that Iran has bigger plans than the liberation of Mosul. (Image source: Mahmoud Hosseini/Wikimedia Commons)

The Sunni part of Iraq actually is an essential part of the land bridge being built from Iran to the Mediterranean Sea. The "Shiite Crescent" was understood decades ago, but ignored by the West -- particularly by the Obama administration in its haste to leave Iraq, which sits just to the north of Sunni Saudi Arabia. The next piece of the Crescent to the west is Syria, sitting just above Sunni Jordan.

Iran brought its forces to fight in Syria when it became clear that President Bashar Assad could not control his country with his own army and that the Russians were not interested in contributing ground troops. The Iranians, plus forces made up of Afghan and Pakistani Shiites under Iranian command, plus Hezbollah units, had been moving through the Sunni center of Syria toward the Iraq-Syria border -- which they have now reached -- pushing tens of thousands of Syrian civilians out of the way and encouraging others to join ISIS for revenge. Iran is so determined to wipe out Sunni resistance, however, that it was willing to fire medium-range missiles from Iran into Syria at Deir Ezor this week. That only one missile out of seven appears to have hit the target should not obscure the depth of Iran's determination to hold onto Syria.

With Syrian airfields open to it, Iran's Mahan Air has been flying in weapons for both its Syrian and Hezbollah allies, according to analyst Emanuele Ottolenghi who has tracked the flights for years. Without Mahan Air, Iran has to ship weapons by sea, subject to seizure by international navies -- including the U.S. and Israel -- enforcing the UN ban on Iranian weapons exports.

Iranian adjunct Hezbollah, now the governing power in Lebanon, represents the westernmost bit of the Crescent, just above Israel.

The Shiite Crescent covers the northwest route for Iran to the Mediterranean, but there is a second and equally compelling issue for Iran to the southwest: encircling Saudi Arabia in the water. Iran has threatened ships in the Persian Gulf and worked to destabilize Bahrain to the east of Saudi Arabia. In the heel of the Saudi boot, Iran supports the Houthi rebellion in Yemen -- and with that support have come Iranian warships in the Red Sea. Iran has been deployed in the Red Sea since 2011 near the Bab el-Mandeb Straits. Both Saudi and American warships have been attacked in the Red Sea by Houthis firing Iranian-supplied missiles. The Iranian presence is enough to disrupt oil traffic -- and the exit of Israel and Jordan through the Gulf of Aden to the Arabian Sea.

Iranian weapons brought in through Sudan and Eritrea threaten the stability of Sunni Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, lining the Mediterranean Sea opposite NATO's Southern Command.

To the extent that the West -- specifically the United States -- thought that legitimizing the Islamic Republic in the region would mitigate its aggressiveness, the West was wrong. To the extent that the West thought a temporary halt to nuclear progress would make Iran a responsible player, the West was wrong. To the extent that the West thought $150 billion would jump-start Iran's civilian economy, the West may have misunderstood who profits in the Iranian economy and how the money is spent.

Iran's interests go far beyond centrifuges and heavy water. And, as it turns out, Iran's aggressiveness had nothing to do with its pariah status -- the mullahs do not seem to see Iran as a pariah, but rather as the guardian of Shiite Islam and the director of Shiite armies to defeat first Sunnis in the Middle East and then the rest of the world.

For now, they are on their way, and the United States appears to have been caught entirely off guard. If Iran is allowed to solidify its Shiite Crescent and its naval obstructionism, American allies across the Middle East and North Africa will pay a heavy price.

Shoshana Bryen is Senior Director of the Jewish Policy Center.


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