Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ISIS and Why the Left Was Wrong About the Golan Heights - Steven Plaut



by Steven Plaut


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It is truly maddening to consider how close Israel came to turning the Golan Heights over to Syria in the year 2000 and how close Israel came to having hordes of ISIS terrorists sitting smack on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, directly across from Tiberias.

In the year 2000 the Israeli Labor Party ruled the country and Ehud Barak was Prime Minister.  Negotiations were being conducted about a complete and total Israeli “withdrawal” from the Golan Heights.   The Syrian border would have moved to the shores of the Sea of Galilee and Syria would have been granted water rights to the Kinneret.  This took place under the coaxing of Barak’s party’s “doves” and especially Itamar Rabinovich, a past president of Tel Aviv University, a relative of Yitzhak Rabin, and an ex-Ambassador to the US. Rabinovich saw himself as some sort of authority on Syria and led the Labor-Left’s campaign to strike a deal-at-any-cost with Syria.

Israel in fact did offer Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE than that.  In what can only have been a divinely decreed miracle, the deal did not go through.  Like with Pharoah, the Assad dictator’s heart was hardened mysteriously, and he failed to grab the prize when it was proffered.  Here is the Le Monde report on what appeared in 2000 to be an imminent “peace agreement.”

In reality, of course, Assad was offered everything including the kitchen sink. Since then the Israeli Left has invented a new pseudo-history of this episode, claiming Barak was in fact holding back and not making “enough” concessions to Assad.  After all, Barak failed to offer Assad all of Rabinovich’s Tel Aviv University.

To read the opinion pieces and speeches in Israel from the 1999-2000 era of negotiations with Assad is to enter the Twilight Zone.  One after the other, these people hectored and browbeat the Israeli public about what a wonderful and unique historic opportunity this was. All Israel had to do was to surrender to all of Assad’s demands. Moreover, time was of the essence. Every second that passed without a capitulation deal to Syria would see Israel’s situation worsen and would produce existential dangers for Israel. Some of these pseudo-analyses and predictions were re-published over the past weekend by Haggai Segel in Makor Rishon, and reading them is truly eye-opening.

At the time I did my own small part to belay the catastrophe being planned by Rabinovich and Barak.  I published this article in 1999 in the Middle East Quarterly.  In it I argued that not only was time not pressing for a deal with Syria, but time was very much running AGAINST Syria, because the Syrian economy was deep in the depths of implosion. Hence Israel could only benefit from stalling any attempt at reaching a deal with Syria.  Say what you wish about the myopia of economists, but THIS prediction turned out to be right smack dab on the money.  Syria indeed collapsed, and not only economically.  The article at the time gained enormous attention and excerpts ran in the Wall Street Journal.

When Assad hardened his Pharoah’s heart and rescued Israel, the drama did not end.  During the next decade or so, swarms of Israeli leftists from the Labor Party and elsewhere tried to reconstruct the “deal” that Ehud Barak almost signed, demanding that Israel; enter negotiations with Syria from the last negotiation position by Barak.  In other words, start with Barak’s last offer of total capitulationas the starting point  and then negotiate NEW additional concessions to Syria from there.

It should be noted, by the way, that at this point the Golan Heights have been part of the state of Israel for more than twice as long as they were ever part of the state of Syria before 1967.   If it had been all up to the Israeli Labor Party, ISIS terrorists would be today encamped on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, and sending out murder parties each evening into the Galilee in rowboats and rafts.   Israel was spared this fate not because of any serendipitous dose of common sense by its leaders, but thanks to the miracle of the Pharaoh-like hardening of the heart of the Assad beast.


Steven Plaut is a native Philadelphian who teaches business finance and economics at the University of Haifa in Israel.  He holds a PhD in economics from Princeton.  He is author of the David Horowitz Freedom Center booklets about the Hamas  and Jewish Enablers of the War against Israel.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/steven-plaut/isis-and-why-the-left-was-wrong-about-the-golan-heights/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Obama, the Virtuoso Manager - Caroline Glick



by Caroline Glick



obama_evil 
Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

Since he assumed office nearly six years ago, US President Barack Obama has been dogged by allegations of managerial incompetence. Obama, his critics allege, had no managerial experience before he was elected. His lack of such experience, they claim, is reflected in what they see as his incompetent handling of the challenges of the presidency.

In everything from dealing with the Congress, to reining in radical ideologues at the IRS, to handling the chaos at the Mexican border, to putting together coordinated strategies for dealing with everything from Ebola to Islamic State (IS), Obama’s critics claim that he is out of his league. That he is incompetent.

But if Israel’s experience with him is any guide, then his critics are the ones who are out to sea. Because at least in his handling of US relations with the Jewish state, Obama has exhibited a mastery of the tools of the executive branch unmatched by most of his predecessors.

Consider two stories reported in last Friday’s papers.

First, in an article published in The Jerusalem Post, terrorism analyst and investigative reporter Steven Emerson revealed how the highest echelons of the administration blocked the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office from assisting Israel in finding the remains of IDF soldier Oron Shaul.

Shaul was one of seven soldiers from the Golani Infantry Brigade killed July 20 when Hamas terrorists fired a rocket at their armored personnel carrier in Gaza’s Shejeia neighborhood.

As Emerson related, after stealing his remains, Hamas terrorists hacked into Shaul’s Facebook page and posted announcements that he was being held by Hamas.

Among other things it did to locate Shaul and ascertain whether or not he was still alive, the IDF formally requested that the FBI intervene with Facebook to get the IP address of the persons who posted on Oron’s page. If such information was acquired quickly, the IDF might be able to locate Oron, or at least find people with knowledge of his whereabouts.

Acting in accordance with standing practice, recognizing that time was of the essence, the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office began working on Israel’s request immediately. But just before the US Attorney secured a court order to Facebook requiring it to hand over the records, the FBI was told to end its efforts.

In an order that senior law enforcement officials told Emerson came from Attorney General Eric Holder’s office, the FBI was told that it needed to first sign an “MLAT,” a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with Israel, a procedure that would take weeks to complete, and is generally used in cases involving criminal prosecutions and other non-life threatening issues.

In other words, facing a bureaucracy acting independently, Holder – reportedly Obama’s most trusted cabinet secretary – acted quickly, decisively and effectively. And thanks to his intervention at the key moment, although Israel was able – after an exhaustive forensic investigation – to determine Oron’s death, today it is poised to begin negotiations with Hamas for the return of his body parts.

Then there was the unofficial arms embargo.

In August, The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House and State Department had stopped the Pentagon at the last minute from responding favorably to an Israeli request for resupply of Hellfire precision air-to-surface missiles. The precision guided missiles were a key component of Israel’s air operations against missile launchers in Gaza. The missiles’ guidance systems allowed the air force to destroy the launchers while minimizing collateral damage.

In keeping with the standard decades-long practice, Israel requested the resupply through European Command, its military-to-military channel with the US.

And in keeping with standard practice, the request was granted.

But then the White House and State Department heard about the approved shipment and spun into action. As in the case of Oron’s Facebook page, they didn’t reject Israel’s request. They just added a level of bureaucracy to the handling of the request that made it impossible for Israel to receive assistance from the US government in real time.

As State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf put it at the time, “We’re not holding anything. A hold indicates, technically, that you are not moving forward on making a decision about a transfer…. These requests are still moving forward; there’s just additional steps in the process now, and there’s been no policy decision made to not move forward with them…. They’re just going to take a little while longer.”

The Hellfire missiles, along with other ammunition Israel requested during the war, arrived in September – a month after the cease-fire went into effect.

On Friday veteran military affairs reporter Amir Rappaport reported in Makor Rishon that the hold on the Hellfire missiles was only one aspect of the White House’s decision to stop arms shipments to Israel during the war. Shortly after Operation Protective Edge began, the administration stopped all contact with the Defense Ministry’s permanent procurement delegation in the US.

According to Rappaport, for the first time since the 1982 war in Lebanon, “The expected airlift of US ammunition [to the IDF] never arrived at its point of departure.”

The difference between Obama’s actions during Operation Protective Edge and Ronald Reagan’s partial arms embargo against Israel 32 years ago is that Reagan made his action publicly. He argued his case before the public, and Congress.

Obama has done no such thing. As was the case with the FAA’s scandalous ban on flights to Ben-Gurion Airport during the war, Holder’s prevention of the FBI from helping Israel find Oron, and Obama’s arms embargo were justified as mere bureaucratic measures.

As Harf claimed in relation to the embargo, there was no hostile policy behind any of the hostile policy moves. Obama and his senior advisors are simply sticklers for procedure. And since during the war Obama insisted that he supported Israel, policymakers and the public had a hard time opposing his actions.

How can you oppose a hostile policy toward Israel that the administration insists doesn’t exist? Indeed, anyone who suggests otherwise runs the risk of being attacked as a conspiracy theorist or a firebrand.

The same goes for Obama’s policy toward Iran. This week we learned that the administration has now offered Iran a nuclear deal in which the mullahs can keep half of their 10,000 active centrifuges spinning.

Together with Iran’s 10,000 currently inactive centrifuges which the US offer ignores, the actual US position is to allow Iran to have enough centrifuges to enable it to build nuclear bombs within a year, at most.

In other words, the US policy toward Iran exposed by Obama’s nuclear offer is one that enables the most active state sponsor of terrorism to acquire nuclear weapons almost immediately.

But Obama denies this is his policy. For six years he has very deftly managed Congressional opposition to his wooing of the Iranian regime by insisting that his policy is to reduce the Iranian nuclear threat and to prevent war.

Opposing his policy means opposing these goals.

Consistent polling data show that Obama’s policies of harming Israel and facilitating Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear arsenal are deeply unpopular. His successful advancement of both policies despite this deep-seated public opposition is a testament to his extraordinary skill.

On the other hand, Obama’s virtuoso handling of the federal bureaucracy and Congress also reveal the Achilles heel of his policies. He conceals them because he cannot defend them.

Obama’s inability to defend these policies means that politicians from both parties can forthrightly set out opposing policies without risking criticism or opposition from the administration.

How can Obama criticize a serious policy to support Israel when he claims that this is his goal? And how can he oppose a serious policy to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons when he says that he shares that goal? At least as far as Israel is concerned, Obama’s mastery of the federal bureaucracy is complete. It is not incompetence that guides his policy. It is malicious intent toward the US’s closest ally in the Middle East. And to defeat this policy, it is not necessary to prove incompetence that doesn’t exist. It is necessary to show that there are far better ways to achieve his declared aims of supporting Israel and blocking Iran’s nuclear weapons program.


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 carolineglick.com.


Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/caroline-glick/obama-the-virtuoso-manager/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

The Two or Three (or Four) State Solution - Mike Zimmerman



by Mike Zimmerman


The United Kingdom's parliamentary vote recently to recognize Palestine along with Israel calls to mind an important – if little-recognized – point of history.

The Mandate for Palestine authorized by the League of Nations in 1922 included land that is now Israel, Jordan, Judea-Samaria/West Bank, and Gaza. In 1946 an exclusively Arab state was established (with the support of the U.K.) in the three-quarters of Palestine east of the Jordan River, then called Transjordan because it was across (trans-) the river. In 1949, after it captured some land west of the river in war with Israel, it changed its name to Jordan.

Israel declared independence in 1948 and fought for it successfully (suffering some 6,000 killed in action out of a population of about 600,000 Jews) against four Arab armies and local Arabs. The forces of Transjordan and Egypt were supported by the British. So as of 1948-1949 there have been two states in Palestine.

Jordan might more accurately be called Arab Palestine, since that is what it has been, an Arab state in Palestine, with no Jews allowed. Transjordan’s governing population were Hashemite Arabs who moved north from Arabia (now Saudi Arabia) after losing a civil war with the Arabian tribe that named their area: Saudi Arabia.

The second state in the former Palestine Mandate was called Israel, with a majority of Jews and many Arabs (both Moslems and Christians).

The call in recent years for another Arab state or two more in the former Palestine Mandate (the so-called “two-state solution”) is really a call for a third or a fourth state in the original Palestine, a three-or-four-state solution -- Israel, Jordan, and Palestine (possibly an entity in Gaza, another in Judea-Samaria/West Bank, or a combined one) not a two-state solution. The correct background history is ignored by most media and governments.

The facts that Jordan has usually been a pro-Western state and in recent years at peace with Israel, and that decent folks of the West (and Israel) would prefer it not be weakened, does not change the authentic history that it is a state ruled by Arab Moslems in Palestine, three-quarters of the former Palestine Mandate. There already is today an Arab state in Palestine.


Mike Zimmerman

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/10/the_two_or_three_or_four_state_solution.html

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Negotiating with Iran: Lessons from America’s Failed Nuclear Accord with North Korea - Dr. Alon Levkowitz



by Dr. Alon Levkowitz


BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 274

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: October 21 marks twenty years since the Agreed Framework was signed between North Korea and the United States. The overall failure of the agreement to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear program offers an important lesson in analyzing the potential effectiveness of a new nuclear agreement with Iran.

October 21, 2014, commemorates the 20 year anniversary of the signing of the Agreed Framework between the United States of America and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). In 1994, concerns about the development of a military nuclear program by North Korea, which had the potential to lead to the destabilization of the Korean Peninsula, led the US government, under President Bill Clinton, to offer Pyongyang a deal that would freeze the North Korean nuclear program at its first stage and would subsequently lead to the program’s termination. In return, North Korea would receive extensive economic assistance from the United States and its allies, as well as long-term diplomatic relations between Washington and Pyongyang. The agreement was perceived as a groundbreaking model for dealing with the new nuclear states – offering them economic benefits that would persuade them to relinquish their nuclear capabilities, without requiring the use of military force. Pyongyang signed the agreement and promised to implement its part of the agreement.

Did the agreement achieve its most important goal, the denuclearization of the DPRK?

Over the 20 years that have passed since the agreement was signed, North Korea has held several nuclear tests and according to intelligence reports, it has enough fissile material to build at least 8-12 nuclear bombs. The Agreed Framework failed to implement its main purpose – prevent the nuclearization of the DPRK.

The original advocates of the agreement stated that the full implementation of the agreement would have prevented the development of North Korea’s nuclear program. The critics said that the agreement allowed Pyongyang to receive economic benefits without the need to make any critical concessions in its nuclear program. Others have criticized the lengthy period that North Korea was given to continue developing its nuclear program without any harsh sanctions imposed. All have agreed that the control and monitoring mechanisms to supervise the North Korean nuclear program were not efficient enough and could not detect whether North Korea was breaching the agreement or not.

Pyongyang, however, has insisted that it implemented its end of the agreement, appraising the United States for failing to meet its commitments. Although George W. Bush’s administration criticized the agreement, calling it an “appeasement policy,” they were not able to find an alternative mechanism that would halt or terminate the North Korean nuclear program.

Throughout the years, Pyongyang learned that breaching the agreement might lead to sanctions by the United Nations Security Council, but these sanctions were not harsh enough to deter North Korea’s nuclear program. Over the last 20 years, North Korea has been shrewd enough to manipulate the international arena, particularly its special relations with China, to prevent the exacerbation of the UNSC sanctions. One should remember that Beijing did not agree with every policy that Pyongyang implemented, but it was willing to use its veto power in the UNSC to prevent any harsh sanctions.

Was Pyongyang willing to freeze and later on eliminate its nuclear program as it committed to in the agreement, or did Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il never intend to give up their nuclear capabilities, exploiting the agreement with the United Sates as a tactical mechanism to gain economic assistance? While the supporters of the agreement state that Pyongyang would have given up its nuclear program, those opposed to the agreement reject this assumption. Once North Korea developed its nuclear capabilities, including the 2006, 2009, and 2013 nuclear tests and the development of the centrifuge enriched uranium program, the 1994 Agreed Framework became irrelevant.

Could the failure of the Agreed Framework between the DPRK and the United States assist us in analyzing the effectiveness and success of the new agreement between Washington and Tehran? Optimists in the US government would say that the administration has learned from the pitfalls and failures of the 1994 agreement and will do its best to reach a treaty that will prevent Iran from following this same pattern. The pessimists are concerned that Tehran learned its lessons from the North Korea-US negotiations, including how to successfully manipulate Washington and its allies. Another cause for concern is the nuclear cooperation between Iran and North Korea. This cooperation will allow Iran to use North Korea as a “back door” plan to continue the development of its nuclear program without breaching any sanctions.

The link between the United States’ negotiations with both North Korea and Iran on the nuclear issue is Wendy Sherman. Wendy Sherman was part of the US team, headed by Ambassador-at-Large Robert L. Gallucci, which negotiated the Agreed Framework under the Clinton administration. She now serves in the Obama administration as the current Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and as the lead US negotiator with Iran.

One of the biggest questions is whether Wendy Sherman will be able to overcome the pitfalls of the 1994 failed agreement when discussing the nuclear deal with Iran? Or could we pessimistically conclude from the failed 1994 agreement with North Korea that when a state decides to develop nuclear weapons and is willing to pay the economic and political price (UNSC or US sanctions), nothing will stand in its way of obtaining nuclear capabilities, The only exceptions are if the regime voluntarily decides to relinquish its nuclear program, such as in Libya in 2003, or if the nuclear facilities are attacked and destroyed, such as in Iraq in 1981.

Is the November 2013 interim agreement between Iran and the 5+1 on the nuclear issue an indication of the failed North Korean “1994 model” or a more optimistic “Libyan model”? It does not appear that Iran will abandon its nuclear program. This is one of the reasons why Israeli officials are concerned that we are heading towards another failed agreement that will allow Iran to continue to develop its nuclear program.

BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family


Dr. Alon Levkowitz, a research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, is an expert on East Asian security, the Korean Peninsula, and Asian international organizations.

Source: http://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/negotiating-iran-lessons-americas-failed-nuclear-accord-north-korea/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

UK: Iran Lobbies against Sanctions - Samuel Westrop



by Samuel Westrop


Over 800 Iranians were executed during President Rouhani's first year in office.
Leading politicians, British government officials and businessmen nevertheless seemed happy to attend and speak at the Europe-Iran Forum.

On October 15, the Europe-Iran Forum was held at the Grosvenor Square Hotel in London. Citing an "expected rollback of the current international sanctions against Iran," the event was organized to "properly prepare and evaluate the post-sanctions trade framework and investment opportunities."

The logo image for the Europe-Iran Forum, which was attended by leading politicians, British government officials and businessmen, and praised by the office of the President of Iran.

Speakers and sponsors of the event included:

Rouzbeh Pirouz, the Deputy President of Iralco, an Iranian company subjected to sanctions by the European Union, which has accused it of "directly supporting Iran's proliferation sensitive nuclear activities." Pirouz sits on the board of the Iranian Heritage Foundation, a British charity established by Vahid Alaghband, an Iranian businessman linked with the regime.

Sifiso Dabengwa, who runs the MTN Group, which anti-regime lobby groups have accused of working to "help the Iranian regime terrorize and oppress its citizens," and acting as "a complicit partner of the Iranian regime.

Majid Zamani, Chief Executive of Kardan Investment Bank, a leading Iranian financial firm, the three leading shareholders of which are listed on the U.S. Treasury's sanctions list of Specially Designated Nationals. In 2012, the European Union reported that one of the shareholders, Bank Tejarat, helped finance the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran's attempts to acquire yellowcake uranium.

Mohammad Reza Ansari, the Chairman of Kayson, an Iranian company allegedly "affiliated with the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps]," and included on a list published by the British government of companies possibly involved with Iran's weapons of mass destruction programmes. A report published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS] has claimed that Kayson's Venezuelan operations are "supervised by Iranian Revolutionary Guard personnel." In 2013, Tahmasb Mazaheri, a former governor of the Iran Central Bank, was detained at a German Airport after he was found to be carrying a check for $70 million belonging to Kayson.

Amir Ali Amiri, the founding partner of Avarya Capital Ltd, a finance company sponsoring the Forum. Avarya has invested in Iran's Karafarin Bank and Middle East Bank, both of which are also included on the U.S. Treasury's list of designated companies.

By encouraging the removal of sanctions, the Europe-Iran Forum evidently acted in Tehran's interests. The Europe-Iran Forum's website, in fact, openly features a letter of commendation from the Iranian President's office praising the event as example of the organizers' "honourable endeavours for Iran."

The organizers of the Europe-Iran Forum apparently understood the agenda of their speakers -- they refused to allow a number of journalists to attend. Iranian state media, meanwhile, was there in force.

While Iran attempts to lobby itself out of sanctions in London, it continues to sponsor terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah; finances and assists the cruelties of Assad's Syria, where Iran's Qods Force and paramilitary groups are responsible for the mass-murder of thousands; and it is presently supporting Yemen's Houthi terrorist group, which now controls 14 of Yemen's 20 provinces and much of its capital city, Sana'a.

Leading politicians, British government officials and businessmen nevertheless seemed happy to attend and speak at the Europe-Iran Forum.

Other attendees included Edward Oakden, Director of the Middle East and North Africa section at Britain's Foreign Office; Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive of the marketing communications giant, WPP; Sir Richard Dalton, the former British ambassador to Iran; Hubert Verdine, France's former Foreign Minister; and Jack Straw, Britain's former Foreign Secretary.

In February 2014, Sir Richard Dalton joined the board of the American-Iranian Council, a group that actively campaigns to end Western sanctions against Iran. The group was founded in 1997 by Houshang Amirahmadi, whom the National Council of Resistance of Iran has described as "a lobbyist for the Iranian regime."

Iranian dissidents have accused Hubert Verdine of acting in Tehran's interests on a number of occasions. In 1998, for example, Verdine was accused of arranging the arrest of a French-Iranian opposition activist to appease the Iranian regime. The same year, Verdine was reported to have arranged the release of a convicted Iranian as part of "another French concession to Tehran."

The most notable Western attendee, however, is former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who has a long history of working with the Iranian government. In 2003, Straw and Richard Dalton negotiated a deal with Iran, in which coalition forces would bomb Iranian dissidents living in Iraq in return for a promise by Tehran not to interfere with the U.S.-British invasion of Iraq -- a promise the regime did not keep. The coalition's bombing of non-combatant Iranian dissidents killed fifty people.

Most recently, in September 2014, Straw wrote an article for the Daily Telegraph in which he praised the Rouhani government; advocated that Iran should be allowed to continue its research of nuclear technology, and encouraged the West to work with Iran to achieve "stability in Syria, northern Iraq and the Lebanon" -- a remarkable statement, given that Iran is the source of the instability.

Less than a year before his Telegraph article, Straw travelled to Iran, on a trip paid for by the Iranian regime, in order to start "mending relations with the Islamic Republic."

Not everyone chose to dismiss the connection of the conference with the regime: after listening to the objections of anti-regime activists, Danish engineering firm FLSmidth withdrew from the event.

Leading British businessman Martin Sorrell did attend the event, but blithely called upon Iran to resolve the nuclear crisis with the West and recognize the state of Israel. Dr. Emmanuel Navon, an academic based in Jerusalem, stated that Sorrell's comments were "worse than naive."

The current negotiations between Iran and the West on Iran's nuclear program are expected to conclude on November 24. Under President Rouhani, the Iranian regime has redoubled its attempts to ensure the easing of Western sanctions. Despite efforts to portray his government as the moderate successor to Ahmadinejad's regime, according to Iranian opposition groups, 800 Iranians were executed during President Rouhani's first year in office.

The Europe-Iran Forum marks Iran's preparations for a nuclear-capable Iran in a comfortable post-sanctions world, for which the regime is advocating in spite of its continued sponsorship of terror abroad and the oppression of its citizens at home.

Yet it is politicians and businessmen from the West working to aid the regime's duplicity. A nuclear Iran, unencumbered by sanctions, will not be pleasant for the free world. It would be far better for international security to stand firm against Iran, and not be distracted by deep pockets and false smiles.


Samuel Westrop

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4802/europe-iran-forum

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

The Black Flag of ISIS Signifies the Military Tactics of Muhammad - Robert Klein Engler



by Robert Klein Engler


The Black Flag of ISIS is not new. It has been seen in the West before. The strategy of those who fight under that flag is not new, either. The strategy is world domination under the rule of Islam.

The general Muslim strategy followed by ISIS is explained clearly by Raymond Ibrahim. He writes, “…The spread of Islam by arms is a religious duty upon Muslims in general. Jihad must continue to be done until the whole world is under the rule of Islam…”

What about the military tactics used by ISIS? Are they new to Islam? Will coalition bombing be enough to force ISIS to surrender? At this time, the answer to this question looks to be no. As many ground troops have seen (and some Air Force generals admit), no one has ever surrendered to an airplane.

In her article on the Black Flag, Nina Porzucki writes,
“The flag is often called the Black Standard or the Black Banner. ‘The black banner of Islam as a symbol goes back to the 8th century, when the Second Dynasty of Islam came to power with black banners,’ says Jonathan Bloom, a professor of Islamic Art at Boston College.”
“The white writing that you see at the top of the flag is the first half of an Islamic phrase called the shahada, or declaration of faith, which reads: “There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God.’”
“Another appropriated symbol on the flag is the white circle at its center, which contains the second part of the shahada: "Muhammad is the Messenger of God … The two Arabic phrases, the black color of the flag and even the ancient looking font of the Arabic all work to evoke an image of the historical Islamic caliphate, the massive state that ISIS claims to have resurrected.
The fact that the Black Flag of ISIS makes us look back to the eighth century for their inspiration also means we should look back as well to understand ISIS’s military tactics.

Michael Van Ginkel, in his article “Muslim Military Strategies in the Times of Muhammad,” writes,
“Originally organized in small war bands, the early followers of Muhammad relied on guerrilla tactics to overcome their opposition.”
“Muhammad, however, soon managed to mobilize tribes on a far grander scale, diverging from caravan raids in favor of large scale, organized warfare. Combined with Muhammad's strategies and tactics, the new Muslim military arm would conquer great swathes of land even after its founder's death.”
Add to that,
“Muhammad utilized an array of different tactics to overcome his enemy with minimal losses. By manipulating his opposition through deception, unconventional tactics and diplomacy, Muhammad used war as a means to a strategic end. In addition, he began to evoke psychological warfare through mass killings in order to suppress those who would resist his incursions.”
From what we see reported in the media, the military leaders of ISIS are following the same tactics used by Muhammad more than a thousand years ago. It is uncertain who commands all the ISIS military forces, but whoever he is, that man has knowledge of Muhammad’s way of waging war.

Writing for BreitbartNews, Frances Martel states,
“…Omar al-Shishani, a Chechen Georgian…may be the military leader of all of ISIS…With the exception of the reclusive al-Baghdadi, ISIS has established an organization mostly bereft of high-profile leaders, making it more difficult for those fighting jihad to target leaders and destroy the group from the head down.”
In many ways, Omar al-Shishani’s charismatic leadership of ISIS mirrors that of Mohammad’s leadership. The way he has been fighting the ground war for ISIS is likewise similar to the tactics used by Mohammad.

Tactical advances and withdrawals, controlling large areas of territory, using the media to broadcast terror and fear, the use of oil as a source of revenue and soliciting ISIS recruits from Muslim communities in the West have so far made ISIS unstoppable.

Can the West develop tactics to defeat ISIS and its commanders like Omar al-Shishani? That remains to be seen.

The single most important mistake Western military commanders make at this time is that they mirror the enemy. ISIS is just like us, they believe. All the ISIS jihadists want is to drive SUVs, have a house in a Saudi Arabian suburb and maybe enjoy a pulled pork sandwich once in a while. We can reason with them.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Black Flag should tell us that we will be engaged in a religious war with ISIS. Their inspiration and tactics go back more than a thousand years.

Furthermore, behind ISIS is Islam. This means every Muslim living in the West is a potential ISIS recruit capable of jihad against the West. The beliefs progressives have about moderate or radical Muslims are misguided.

Militarily speaking, there were no moderate or radical Nazis. There were just Nazis. Likewise, there are no radical or moderate Muslims. There are just Muslims. In other words, a moderate Muslim is a nonobservant radical Muslim.

Many progressive leaders in the West do not understand the threat posed by Islam because they cannot get their collective heads around the idea that religion is still a force in the world. Unlike secular progressives, ISIS troops do believe in a god and are willing to die for that god.

War is a hellish business. ISIS is at war with the West. If we want victory in that war, then we must open the doors of a hellish business. This means killing the enemy and destroying their resources until they have had enough and surrender. If you don’t believe it, ask those who fought at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

The knights who fought and died at Lepanto will tell you the counterinsurgency tactics developed by General Petraeus for the conflict in Iraq may not work in a war with ISIS. To be blunt, until we kill the enemy so there is no longer anyone left to fight, there will not be victory. Then, there will be no need for a “population-centric” strategy.

For those who remain unclear what a victory by the West over ISIS and Islam may look like, we suggest that Istanbul will again be called Constantinople and a Baptist church will be built in Mecca. Defeat in that war will look like Dearborn, Michigan.

ISIS is just one strand that is the Gordian knot of Islam. A soon-to-be nuclear Iran, oil from Saudi Arabia, and Russian support for Syria are other strands of the knot. Alexander the Great also confronted a knot like this and unraveled it with one decisive blow.


Robert Klein Engler

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/10/the_black_flag_of_isis_signifies_the_military_tactics_of_muhammad.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Silence in the face of Jihad in New Jersey - Rabbi Aryeh Spero



by Rabbi Aryeh Spero


Recently, Australian policed uncovered a jihadist plot to kidnap regular citizens on the streets of Sydney, behead them, and send the gruesome and terrifying videos over the internet. The aim of the terrorists was to bring Australia to its knees and bend it to Islamic demands.

Unknown to most, we in America were not as fortunate as the Aussies. Something similar to what happened in Australia took place here, but the mainstream media is keeping it quiet. In West Orange, New Jersey, a lovely middle-class suburb, an American jihadist, Ali Mohamed Brown, shot and killed a promising 19-year-old right on the street corner because, as he boasted to police, he was “looking to find an American to kill in retaliation for Moslem deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan”. The killing took place this past June 25.

Young Brendan Tevlin, beloved in his Irish-Catholic community, was murdered precisely because he was American, by a jihadist roaming our suburban streets hunting down Americans. Mohamed called it a “just killing”. Identifying as a Moslem and not as an American, he took “revenge” against his fellow countrymen.

The media hasn’t covered the story, just as they never mentioned the jihadi motives behind the Muhammad/Malvo “Beltway” shooting spree at cars on I-95 a few years ago, or the shooting by a jihadist at a Little Rock army recruitment center, or in Seattle, or at LAX, or years ago atop the Empire State Building.

Why the media silence? Contrast this to the recent wall-to-wall Ferguson, Missouri coverage, and the relentless conclusions of “racism” heaped on a situation many believe was simply self-defense by a police officer. Yet, we hear nothing from the mainstreamers when it comes to home-grown Islamic killings of Americans, carried out in the name of Islam.

Many conservatives realize that the mainstream media report not the important news as much as selecting news items that affirm their liberal templates, primarily that whites in America are racist and hostile to minorities, including Moslems, though worldwide Moslems number 1.4 billion. The Ferguson case fits right into their concocted template of pervasive white-on-black racism whereas American jihadists acting brutally against fellow Americans does not.

The zealously liberal media chooses and interprets news pieces for the purose of encouraging more social engineering so as to keep the “racist majority” in line and to help elect liberal Democrats they hope will change America to a multiculturalist and European-like socialist Mecca. The West Orange, New Jersey murder story works against the goals for which many journalists entered the news business.

Some in the media explain their silence as trying to avoid backlash against the Moslem community, although Americans, throughout our ordeals at the hands of Islam, have not exhibited any kind of real backlash behavior. Islamic organizations, such as CAIR, falsely make these charges to a gullible liberal punditry eager to agree with CAIR. It’s part of the stealth jihad playbook to deflect attention away from the atrocities. Actually, it’s Jewish institutions and Jewish people who have, during the last ten years, been the major victims of attacks, and it has come primarily from Islamic perpetrators.

For the Western world to concede it has an Islamic problem on its hands means rising to a battle for our survival, a challenge requiring moral courage and, worse, a rejection of political correctness. Thus, the denial… the silence. But if we remain silent, these atrocities will continue. In Sweden, for example, rapes of Swedish girls by Moslem gangs are soaring because people remain silent and won’t speak the truth. Police can’t keep tabs on likely suspects if we and law enforcement are not allowed to consider and profile likely suspects. And, once the crime has been committed, it’s too late for the victim.

President Obama has made it a centerpiece of his career to gloss over the misdeeds of Islam and Islamists. In his book, The Audacity of Hope, Mr. Obama wrote that “if ever elected to high office I will stand with Islam if the political winds go against it”. But it’s not some outside fictitious wind that’s doing all this, it is coming from members of Islam itself.

The first and foremost job of a president is to protect Americans, not to run interference for Islam and put Americans at risk so as to protect the image, honor, and sensitivities of Islam’s followers. When he tells us that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam, he betrays us and our intelligence by lying to us so as to protect Islam. ISIS, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Taliban, Al Qaida, Iran, Hizb’allah, Qatar… they all tell us they are acting in the name of jihad, Islamic supremacy, and mankind’s submission to sharia law. Surely, Mr. Obama knows this. Indeed, we hear the same jihad talk from imams all over the world and on the streets of London, Paris, and Antwerp.

People in the media are fearful of mentioning the role of Islam, fearing the heavy hand of the Obama administration, ostracism, or being accused of hate speech when they’re just speaking honestly. Those speaking out are not against a race but an ideology. It’s erroneous to assume that Islamic ideology is the same as our Judeo-Christian outlook.  Such is not racism but a well-reasoned value judgment based on evidence we see daily.

“But there are moderate Muslims”. Yes, but the question of how many Muslims are moderate is irrelevant. The question is how we protect ourselves from the millions out to conquer and kill us and sublimate us to sharia? How do we safeguard against the jihadists running and ruling Islam today, be they hard-core terrorists or the soft and slick jihadists in fancy suits and ties? Mr. Obama and the media finally have to decide: Are they here to protect us or to protect Islam at our peril?


Rabbi Aryeh Spero, a theologian, is author of Push Back and president of Caucus for America

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/10/silence_in_the_face_of_jihad_in_new_jersey.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Metropolitan Opera Stifles Free Exchange of Ideas About a Propaganda Opera - Alan M. Dershowitz



by Alan M. Dershowitz


On Monday night I went to the Metropolitan Opera. I went for two reasons: to see and hear John Adams' controversial opera, The Death of Klinghoffer; and to see and hear what those protesting the Met's judgment in presenting the opera had to say. Peter Gelb, the head of the Met Opera, had advised people to see it for themselves and then decide.

An photo of a scene from the opera "The Death of Klinghoffer" (Image source: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)

That's what I planned to do. Even though I had written critically of the opera—based on reading the libretto and listening to a recording—I was also critical of those who wanted to ban or censor it. I wanted personally to experience all sides of the controversy and then "decide."

Lincoln Center made that difficult. After I bought my ticket, I decided to stand in the Plaza of Lincoln Center, across the street and in front of the protestors, so I could hear what they were saying and read what was on their signs. But Lincoln Center security refused to allow me to stand anywhere in the large plaza. They pushed me to the side and to the back, where I could barely make out the content of the protests. "Either go into the opera if you have a ticket or leave. No standing." When I asked why I couldn't remain in the large, open area between the protestors across the street and the opera house behind me, all I got were terse replies: "security," "Lincoln Center orders."

The end result was that the protestors were talking to and facing an empty plaza. It would be as if the Metropolitan Opera had agreed to produce The Death of Klinghoffer, but refused to allow anyone to sit in the orchestra, the boxes or the grand tier. "Family circle, upstairs, side views only."

That's not freedom of expression, which requires not only that the speakers be allowed to express themselves, but that those who want to see and hear them be allowed to stand in an area in front of, and close to, the speakers, so that they can fully participate in the marketplace of ideas. That marketplace was needlessly restricted on the opening night of The Death of Klinghoffer.

Unable to see or hear the content of the protest, I made my way to the opera house where I first registered a protest with the Met's media person and then sat down in my fourth row seat to listen and watch the opera.

I'm an opera fanatic, having been to hundreds of Met performances since my high school years. This was my third opera since the beginning of the season, just a few weeks ago. I consider myself something of an opera aficionado and "maven." I always applaud, even flawed performances and mediocre operas. By any standard, The Death of Klinghoffer, is anything but the "masterpiece" its proponents are claiming it is. The music is uneven, with some lovely choruses—more on that coming—one decent aria, and lots of turgid recitatives. The libretto is awful. The drama is confused and rigid, especially the weak device of the captain looking back at the events several years later with the help of several silent passengers. There are silly and distracting arias from a British show girl who seems to have had a crush on one of the terrorists, as well as from a woman who hid in her cabin eating grapes and chocolate. They added neither to the drama nor the music of the opera.

Then there were the choruses. The two that open the opera are supposed to demonstrate the comparative suffering of the displaced Palestinians and the displaced Jews. The Palestinian chorus is beautifully composed musically, with some compelling words, sung rhythmically and sympathetically. The Jewish chorus is a mishmash of whining about money, sex, betrayal and assorted "Hasidism" protesting in front of movie theaters. It never mentions the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, though the chorus is supposed to be sung by its survivors. The goal of that narrative chorus is to compare the displacement of 700,000 Palestinians—some of which was caused by Arab leaders urging them to leave and return victoriously after the Arabs murdered the Jews of Israel—with the systematic genocide of six million Jews. It was a moral abomination.

And it got worse. The Palestinian murderer is played by a talented ballet dancer, who is portrayed sympathetically. A chorus of Palestinian women asks the audience to understand why he would be driven to terrorism. "We are not criminals," the terrorists assures us.

One of the terrorists—played by the only Black lead singer—is portrayed as an overt anti-Semite, expressing hateful tropes against "the Jews". But he is not the killer. Nor, in this opera, is Klinghoffer selected for execution because he is a Jew. Instead, he is picked because he is a loudmouth who can't control his disdain for the Palestinian cause.

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

What would require courage would be for the Met to produce an opera that portrayed Mohammad, or even Yassir Arafat, in a negative way. The protests against such portrayals would not be limited to a few shouts, some wheelchairs and a few hundred distant demonstrators. Remember the murderous reaction to a few cartoons several years ago.


Alan M. Dershowitz

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4808/klinghoffer-opera

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

'Israel won't allow Gaza reconstruction if tunnels rebuilt'



by Israel Hayom Staff


Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon tells U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon in NYC that Israel wants Gaza to "improve their economic situation" but not at the cost of allowing Hamas to rearm • Hamas has said it intends to build tunnels rather than homes, Ya'alon warns.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon meets with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York, Monday
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Photo credit: Defense Ministry / Ariel Hermoni


Israel Hayom Staff

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=20861

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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