Saturday, December 22, 2007

Israel sends US videos of Egypt helping Hamas.

 

By YAAKOV KATZ, HERB KEINON AND HILARY LEILA KRIEGER

 

Israel is sending video tapes showing Egyptian policemen assisting Palestinian terrorists along the Egypt-Gaza border to the United States Congress as part of an effort to influence the legislative body into clamping pressure on Cairo to stop weapons smuggling into the Gaza Strip.

 

 

Hamas gunmen guard the gate of the border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

The video footage - which allegedly shows Egyptian security forces assisting Hamas terrorists cross illegally into Gaza - is being transferred to Congress through diplomatic channels and is intended for senior congressmen and senators who can have an effect on the House foreign aid appropriations process. Israel believes this can be an effective way of pressuring Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak into clamping down on Hamas smuggling activities.

 

The House and Senate agreed late Sunday on a 2008 foreign aid bill that would hold back $100 million in military aid for Egypt, out of a $1.3 billion allocation, unless US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice certifies that concerns about smuggling weapons into Gaza and human rights abuses have been addressed. It is the first time that Egyptian military aid, supplied since the Camp David Accords, would potentially be restricted.

 

However, the newly agreed bill weakens language in an earlier House bill, which would have held back $200m. without certification. In addition, it added a provision allowing the restriction to be waived - and the aid to flow as usual - if Rice deems that holding back the aid to Egypt would endanger US national security interests.

 

RELATED

'Mubarak prefers that weapons go to Gaza instead of Cairo'

 

Ideally, Israel would hope to see as much as $1b. in US aid being conditioned on a far more robust Egyptian antiterrorism effort at the Gaza border, but it recognizes that this is highly improbable.

 

Officials in Washington could not confirm that the Israeli videotapes had been received, but assessments were that damning video footage of Egyptian Border Police involvement in the Gaza smuggling industry would badly damage Egypt's already tarnished image. That, however, might not be enough to force any change in aid arrangements, which face opposition by Egypt, a key US ally and some congressmen who worry reducing aid will damage the strategic US-Egypt-Israel relationship, among other concerns.

 

A delegation of American military engineers recently toured the Egyptian side of the Philadelphi Corridor and was shown a number of tunnels that the Egyptians tried to portray as being too small to smuggle weapons through. The delegation was not convinced by the Egyptians and demanded that Cairo take more decisive action against the smuggling industry.

 

According to recent assessments, since Hamas's takeover of Gaza in June, the terrorist group has smuggled into Gaza 100 tons of explosives, millions of bullets, hundreds of antitank missiles and even a small number of Katyusha rockets.

 

The new version of the 2008 foreign aid bill is likely to be approved by Congress in the coming days. However, US President George W. Bush has threatened to veto the measure for various reasons, including its language on family planning. The bill also contains $2.4b. in military aid to Israel and several sources of funds for Palestinians, including money for economic assistance and UNWRA. Congress showed some willingness to buck the administration's request of funds for the Palestinian Authority, reducing a $150m. direct funding request to $100m., according to Congressional staff.

 

If Bush vetoes the bill, funding would presumably be maintained at 2007 levels for the time being. In that case, any restriction on Egyptian military aid would be a moot point in the immediate future.

 

Israel, according to sources familiar with Israeli efforts to get Egypt to take more action along the border, has "definitely become more aggressive" on the issue in recent weeks.

 

Israeli government officials explained that stepped-up Israeli action vis-a-vis the Americans on the smuggling issue coincides with a feeling in Jerusalem that Egypt is trying to "get closer" to Hamas.

 

The assessment in Jerusalem is that this stems from the proximity of Hamas to Egypt and from the fact that Hamas, rather than losing its grip on Gaza, is actually consolidating its control. Egypt sees it as in its interest, according to this thinking, to ensure smooth relations with Hamas, something an active fight against arms smuggling could do.

 

Likewise, the official said, Egypt is interested in seeing Hamas come back under the Palestinian Authority umbrella, and is playing a middleman role in trying to bring this about. An active campaign against the smuggling could interfere with that ability.

 

"The Egyptians don't want to push too hard against Hamas, so they don't start pushing back," one official said.

 

The official said that Egypt "does not want to get its hands too dirty" and would rather the Palestinians themselves deal with the arms-smuggling issue. One reason Cairo is interested in Hamas' re-incorporation into the PA is the belief that this could lower the level of violence. According to this thinking, a lower level of violence will lead to less arms smuggling, and as a result less will be asked of Egypt.

 

Israel, by contrast, has made plain to PA President Mahmoud Abbas that the new Annapolis diplomatic process will be terminated if internal Palestinian negotiations on reincorporating Hamas into the PA are even attempted, much less concluded.

 

Last week, Israel filed an official complaint with Cairo after Egypt unilaterally opened the Rafah Crossing and allowed Palestinians who claimed to be traveling to Mecca for the hajj pilgrimage to leave the Gaza Strip.

 

Israel has received intelligence indicating that among the 1,700 pilgrims are a significant number of Palestinian terrorists who apparently traveled to Iran and Lebanon for training. In recent years, hundreds of Hamas terrorists have traveled abroad to Iran and Lebanon for military training.

 

In response to the increasing number of violations, the Foreign Ministry filed a harsh complaint with Cairo and senior defense officials, including Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry Diplomatic-Security Branch, were scheduled to travel to Egypt for talks about the recent events.

 

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

 

The Hamas truce non-offer.

By Ami Isseroff

(Some) newspapers are preoccupied with the information that Israel is considering a truce with Hamas, apparently offered by Ismail Haniyeh. At Ha'aretz, Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel present an analysis

In some reports, the proposal is called a "hudna" - truce. In others, it is called a "tahidiyeh" - calm. In this report it will be called "Khalam Fahdi" - empty talk. As Issacharoff and Harel note:

"When two feuding families are forbidden to attack each other for a while, this could lead to circumstances enabling an improvement in their relations," Haniyeh's political adviser Ahmad Yusef said, trying to explain to Haaretz the meaning of tahdiya, or a period of calm.

He did not say what happens if such circumstances are not created. In this case Israel is likely to confront a better-armed and trained guerrilla army that would threaten the entire southern region with rockets.

What Haniyeh offered apparently, was simply to stop firing rockets. That would leave in place the entire arms smuggling industry and the Qassam manufacturing industry, and would be trouble waiting to happen.

What apparently triggered the announcements that Israel is considering the "truce" offer were non-remarks by Benjamin Ben Eliezer:

Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer said Friday that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert may consider talks with Hamas on a long-term cease-fire. But, as part of such a deal, Hamas must not only stop the rocket fire, but also cease smuggling arms into the Gaza Strip and open talks for the release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, captured by Hamas-affiliated militants last year, Ben-Eliezer said.

"The prime minister I know doesn't totally rule anything out," Ben-Eliezer told Israel Radio. "If a serious, realistic proposal is put on the table and Hamas is willing to discuss a long-term cease-fire and is willing to stop the terror, to stop the smugglings and is willing to open talks on the release of Gilad Shalit, I would go to negotiations."

Since Hamas is unlikely to stop smuggling or release Gilad Shalit, there is not likely to be a truce.

According to the quoted in the Jerusalem Post an 'Israeli diplomat' believes that progress in peace negotiations requires that Hamas must be toppled. Moreover:

...there was nothing to signal that Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh might be interested in some kind of truce, adding that Hamas had made it clear that it had no intention of stopping its arms buildup via smuggling from Egypt or stopping terrorist attacks elsewhere.

So if you read Haaretz a truce is being discussed, while if you read Jerusalem Post, no truce was offered. Add to that that Haniyeh may be offering something that is not his to offer. The Qassam rockets are fired mainly by the Islamic Jihad, and not the Hamas. The rockets are in part a reaction to Israeli incursions in the West Bank, which arrest or kill primarily members of Islamic Jihad. The truce would not cover the West Bank, so Islamic Jihad would have no interest in this truce, and Hamas may have no way to enforce it.

The nonexistent truce is much more useful than an actual one, which has many drawbacks and risks. A nonexistent truce or calm allows Hamas to tell the world that it really wants peace. It allows opponents of Israeli action in Gaza to claim that there is an alternative, and that the people of Sderot are suffering for no reason.

The nonexistent truce is the counterpart of the nonexistent Israeli invasion of Gaza. A real invasion, like a real truce, would entail too much risk. Up to a hundred Israeli soldiers could be killed. The hypothetical plan that is contemplated would occupy the Rafiah area and the north for a while and destroy "terrorist infrastructure." As we learned in Lebanon prior to 2000 and in 2006, the problem is that terrorists don't have much infrastructure to destroy. Unless you remain in an area, smuggling routes are quickly reestablished after the IDF leaves, destroyed weapons are resupplied immediately, and everything is soon back to abnormal. At the same time, if Israel does not completely wipe out Hamas, a very improbable outcome of a limited raid, then Hamas will claim a victory. If even five Hamas people are left alive, they can claim that they stood up to the IDF as Hezbollah did in Lebanon.

The non-invasion is much more useful and less risky. It allows Israel to say to the Americans "Look, we are restraining ourselves." It hold a deterrent threat over the heads of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which would make them think twice about launching large rockets, even if they could. And perhaps most important, like the nonexistent truce and the nonexistent Israeli or American invasions of Iran, the nonexistent attack on Gaza gives journalists and bloggers something interesting to write about.

Ami Isseroff

Original content is Copyright by the author 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ten Children in Shock After Kassam Slams Near School.

by Hillel Fendel

 

Ten children, and eight others, are suffering from trauma in the Negev city of Sderot after a Kassam rocket slammed down just 40 meters from an elementary school.  The attack occured around 11 AM.

One pupil reported that when the Color Red early warning system was sounded, his teacher told the class to remain in their seats because the class was reinforced.  However, when they heard the crash and realized how close it had hit, some students and teachers began crying.  The school's psychological and counseling staff is currently being bolstered with staff from other schools and nearby cities.

The fear that a Kassam could hit a crowded school had been on everyone's minds, and the realization that a major catastrophe had been so narrowly avoided was on everyone's mind.  Some parents arrived to pick up their children early. 

Two other Kassams were fired at the Negev earlier this morning, and another one landed near Ashkelon.  Several mortar shells were also fired, but no damage was caused in these attacks.

The IDF reports that 165 Kassam rockets and mortar shells have been fired at Israel - mostly Sderot and environs - just this month alone; this is an average of over eight rockets or shells per day.

IDF forces entered Gaza overnight in an anti-terror offensive, and killed at least four terrorists. Though the forces were fired upon, no Israeli casualties were reported.

Precisely as the Kassam rocket landed near the school, Chief IDF Intelligence Officer Brig.-Gen. Halamish was speaking at a Tel Aviv University event, saying the IDF does not have a comprehensive solution to fight Kassam rockets. 

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

 

Al-Zawahiri - Two Recent Messages.

 

 

 

 

Al-Zawahiri in Two Recent Messages: 'Iran Stabbed a Knife into the Back of the Islamic Nation;' Urges Hamas to Declare Commitment to Restoring the Caliphate

On December 16, 2007, the Islamist website http://www.ek-ls.org, which is hosted by NOC4HOSTS Inc., in Tampa, FL, USA, posted a video of an interview with Al-Qaeda deputy Ayman Al-Zawahiri. The 100-minute interview, which aired during the month of Dhu Al-Qa'da, 1428 (November 11-December 10, 2007) and which was produced by Al-Qaeda's media company Al-Sahab, was subtitled in English, and included film footage to emphasize Al-Zawahiri's statements. Most of the interview focused on Iran and on the current situation in the Iraqi jihad.

On December 14, 2007, the Islamist website Al-Hesbah, which is also hosted by NOC4Hosts Inc. in Tampa, FL, posted the audio of an address by Al-Zawahiri titled "The Treason... of Annapolis." In the recording, which was also produced by Al-Sahab, Al-Zawahiri rebukes Hamas for attempting to renew the political dialogue with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud 'Abbas despite 'Abbas' participation in the Annapolis conference, which Hamas had criticized. Al-Zawahiri then called on Hamas to reject any political negotiation over the future of Palestine, and to declare its commitment to waging jihad until all Islamic lands - from Chechnya to Andalusia (Spain) - are liberated and subjugated to Islamic rule and until the Caliphate is restored.

Also in the recording, Al-Zawahiri criticized imprisoned jihadist sheikhs [1] who had renounced jihad against the West and against Arab regimes, and denounced them for their condemnation of mujahideen such as Osama bin Laden. Finally, he urged Muslims in general and the Egyptians in particular to prevent Egypt from becoming "a support base for the Crusader campaign against the Muslims."

The following are excerpts and main points from the December 17 video [2] and from the December 14 audio recording. [3]

 

December 17, 2007 Video: "Iran Stabbed a Knife into the Back of the Islamic Nation"

Al-Zawahiri dismissed the possibility of Iran-Al-Qaeda cooperation against their common enemy, the U.S. He said that in the past, the emphasis had been on jointly fighting the Zionists-Crusader alliance against the Muslim ummah, but that Iran had surprised Al-Qaeda by collaborating with the U.S. in its invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, and had even come to an agreement with the Americans before they entered Iraq, over the division of that country.

He added that likewise, the Shi'ite militias that were trained, funded, and armed by Iran throughout the years had been integrated into the Iraqi security apparatuses, and had become, and still remained, the talons of the Crusader occupier in his war against the Muslims in Iraq.

Al-Zawahiri said that although Iran repeated and reiterated slogans of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel," not a single fatwa had been issued by any Shi'ite authority, either in Iran or outside it, calling for jihad against the Americans in Iraq and in Afghanistan. He said that moreover, [Iranian Expediency Council chairman and No. 2 man in the Iranian regime] Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani had expressed respect for the wishes of the Iraqis who were collaborating with Iran that the American forces will remain in Iraq.

Al-Zawahiri also accused Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah of not representing the obligation to personal jihad for liberating the Muslim lands, but rather for representing a narrow, fanatical nationalist perception that is unknown to Islam.

He also dismissed the possibility that Al-Qaeda would aid Iran in the event of a U.S. attack on it, saying, "Iran has stabbed a knife into the back of the Islamic nation, and the traces of this stabbing will remain in the Muslim memory for a long time to come." He wondered how Iran could collaborate with the Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan and at the same time threaten the U.S. with an extremely harsh reaction if it were to attack it, asking, "Do they [the Iranians] think that Tehran is more important than Karbala and Najaf?" because they did not lift a finger "when the American cannon struck the tomb of the imam [holy to Shi'ites] at Najaf."

The Jihad Fighters' Strength is on the Rise, While the Americans are Weakening - Their Exit from Iraq is Only a Matter of Time

Al-Zawahiri called "the rise of the avant-garde of the mujahideen of the Islamic nation," the most important development in the Islamic world, saying that it had "become a fact in the world as a result of the growing Islamic awakening" across the Muslim world. He said that Iraq was the most important jihad front today, and that the jihad fighters' strength was on the rise while the Americans were weakening, and added that their exit from Iraq was only a matter of time - and proof of this is was U.K.'s decision to flee.

Al-Zawahiri called on the jihad fighters to fight the Iraqi government and security apparatuses, which he termed murtadoun (i.e. those who renounce their religion). With regard to the Iraqi tribes' collaboration with the Americans, he stated that these tribes were mere riffraff that the Americans had bought and paid for in order to sow civil war among the Muslims, and stressed that the honorable tribes supported jihad and that many of their sons were fighting in its ranks. He called on the tribes to purge themselves of this riffraff, and threatened that their day would come; the Americans would soon leave and would not be able to protect them forever.

Al-Zawahiri noted that there was now nothing called Al-Qaeda in Iraq, since the Al-Qaeda organization in Iraq would be merging with the other jihad groups in the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), which has become a shari'a Imara (a shari'a-based Imara, i.e. under an Amir) and had received a vow of allegiance from most of the jihad fighters and tribes in Iraq. He rejected accusations that the ISI was killing innocent people, and claimed that in any case, when Muslims fought with the enemy against jihad fighters it was a very grave crime.

Al-Zawahiri accused the global media of manipulating Osama bin Laden's most recent recording, by omitting its most important parts and by misinterpreting bin Laden's statements. Al-Zawahiri said that bin Laden's criticism was not directed against the ISI alone, but against all jihad fighters in Iraq, and that the jihad had shattered the monopoly held by the government and media that pretended to be independent, such as the BBC, and that the jihad was today directing "the most important media battle against the Crusader-Zionist enemy" and exposing the world to facts to which it had not previously been exposed. He added that the jihad had triumphed in this ideological battle just as it had triumphed in the battle over the Internet websites.

December 14, 2007 Audio: "The Goal of the Annapolis Conference... Was to Make Palestine Jewish"

"The goal of the Annapolis conference... was to make Palestine Jewish. The Crusader emperor of Washington managed to get 16 Arab states to participate in the opening [session] of the conference... [thus setting them up] as false witnesses to his new deal... for selling Palestine... In order to complete the Crusader deception, America prepared [a document] setting out in detail the understandings reached at the Annapolis conference, which is to be submitted the [U.N.] Security Council [as a draft motion]. [The goal is] to obtain a Security Council resolution which will be imposed on the Islamic ummah in Palestine...

"I am amazed... at the [Hamas] politicians who surrendered four-fifths of Palestine and authorized Mahmoud 'Abbas to negotiate on the Palestinians' behalf in the palaces of Mecca, but who then [began to] complain... and to denounce the [Annapolis] conference, after they saw with their own eyes the catastrophe into which 'brother' Mahmoud 'Abbas had led them."

"Declare... That You Strive to Establish the Caliphate"

"[Surprisingly,] having condemned the [Annapolis] conference, [Hamas is still referring to] Mahmoud 'Abbas as 'brother President,' still urging [him] to [resume] talks [with the Hamas leadership], and still continuing to recognize his legitimacy. [Hamas,] you should return to your pure doctrine, which rejected [all] concessions, political maneuvers, and diplomatic deceptions that bring [only] destruction upon [Islam] and the world. I call upon you to declare, in the clearest possible manner, that you... aspire to implement shari'a, that you reject the rule of the masses and any other rule except that of the Koran and the Sunna, that you strive to establish the Caliphate, that you will fight until the word of Allah [reigns] supreme... that you aspire to liberate every inch of Islamic land from Andalusia to Chechnya, and that you will join efforts with the rest of the mujahideen... [in the struggle against] the Crusader-Zionist enemy..."

Renounce Any International Agreement to Sell Palestine

"I call upon you to renounce the Mecca Accord, and any [other] international agreement which [is designed] to sell Palestine. [Declare] that you reject and renounce every [decision] which was prescribed by... the [U.N. in an attempt to] annihilate Palestine and make it Jewish. I call upon you to announce that you are no longer a national resistance movement, but an Islamic jihad movement which transcends national solidarity and believes in brotherhood rooted in Islam... I call upon you to extend your hand in friendship... to all the Muslim mujahideen... [and to declare] that the mujahideen everywhere are closer to you, and more loyal and faithful [in your eyes], than Mahmoud 'Abbas and Muhammad Dahlan..."

"Is [Annapolis Not] One of Those Deals [Designed] to Destroy Palestine?"

"As for those [imprisoned jihadi sheikhs] who have renounced [their jihadi views]... recognized [Egyptian President] Hosni Mubarak as a [legitimate] guardian of Muslim affairs... denounced the [9/11] attacks against the U.S., and expressed amazement at the Taliban's refusal to hand over Osama bin Laden... I say to [them]: 'What do you say about Annapolis? Is it [not] one of the deals [designed] to destroy Palestine - [dreamt up] by your ruler [Mubarak], and by his son [Gamal Mubarak], the new star rising in the sky of submission to the Americans? Is it [not merely another] step in the Crusader-Zionist plan to control the Muslim countries, and one more successful [step] on the road that your 'martyr' Sadat began?'"

"How Did You Allow Egypt to Become a Support Base for the Crusader Campaign Against the Muslims?"

"I say to the Islamic ummah in Egypt: What is your role in resisting the aggression against Islam and the Muslims? How did you allow Egypt to become a support base for the Crusader campaign against the Muslims...? Resist the Jewish and Crusader campaign, and beware the poison of weakness and submissiveness that the collaborating regimes are attempting to spread among you. [They are doing this] by means of the statements by those [imprisoned sheikhs] who renounced [their jihadi views] and capitulated [to the demands of the West]... calling upon us to unite behind Hosni Mubarak in order to 'oppose' Israel.

"I ask [those sheikhs]: 'Where should we unite behind Mubarak - in Oslo, in Sharm Al-Sheikh, or in Annapolis? And on what should we agree with him - about training thousands of Palestinian Authority policemen in order to defeat the Hamas government? About the truckloads of weapons that he is providing to Mahmoud 'Abbas and Muhammad Dahlan?'"


[1] The most prominent of these is Sayyed Imam Al-Sharif, currently imprisoned in Egypt. For more information on Sayyed Imam, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1785, "Major Jihadi Cleric and Author of Al-Qaeda's Shari'a Guide to Jihad: 9/11 Was a Sin; A Shari'a Court Should Be Set Up to Hold Bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri Accountable; There Are Only Two Kinds of People in Al-Qaeda - The Ignorant and Those Who Seek Worldly Gain," December 14, 2007, http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP178507.

[2] http://www.ek-ls.org/forum/.

[3] http://al-hesbah.com/v/showthread.php?t=157128.

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

Funding the Palestinians

By Daniel Pipes
FrontPageMagazine.com | 12/18/2007

Lavishing funds on Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority to achieve peace has been a mainstay of Western, including Israeli, policy since Hamas seized Gaza in June. But this open spigot has counterproductive results and urgently must be stopped.

Some background: Paul Morro of the Congressional Research Service reports that, in 2006, the European Union and its member states gave US$815 million to the Palestinian Authority, while the United States sent it $468 million. When other donors are included, the total receipts come to about $1.5 billion.

The windfall keeps growing. President George W. Bush requested a $410 million supplement in October, beyond a $77 million donation earlier in the year. The State Department justifies this lordly sum on the grounds that it "supports a critical and immediate need to support a new Palestinian Authority (PA) government that both the U.S. and Israel view as a true ally for peace." At a recent hearing, Gary Ackerman, chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, endorsed the supplemental donation.

Not content with spending taxpayer money, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice launched a "U.S.-Palestinian Public Private Partnership" on Dec. 3, involving financial heavyweights such as Sandy Weill and Lester Crown, to fund, as Rice put it, "projects that reach young Palestinians directly, that prepare them for responsibilities of citizenship and leadership can have an enormous, positive impact."

One report suggests the European Union has funneled nearly $2.5 billion to the Palestinians this year.

Looking ahead, Abbas announced a goal to collect pledges of $5.8 billion in aid for a three-year period, 2008-10, at the "Donors' Conference for the Palestinian Authority" attended by over ninety states on Monday in Paris. (Using the best population estimate of 1.35 million Palestinians on the West Bank, this comes to a staggering amount of money: per capita, over $1,400 per year, or about what an Egyptian earns annually.) Endorsed by the Israeli government, Abbas immediately raised nearly that amount for 2008 at the donors' conference.

Well, it's a bargain if it works, right? A few billion to end a dangerous, century-old conflict ג" it's actually a steal.

But innovative research by Steven Stotsky, a research analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) finds that an influx of money to the Palestinians has had the opposite effect historically. Relying on World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and other official statistics, Stotsky compares two figures since 1999: budgetary support aid provided annually to the Palestinian Authority and the number of Palestinian homicides annually (including both criminal and terrorist activities, and both Israeli and Palestinian victims).

 In brief, each $1.25 million or so of budgetary support aid translates into a death within the year. As Stotsky notes, "These statistics do not mean that foreign aid causes violence; but they do raise questions about the effectiveness of using foreign donations to promote moderation and combat terrorism."

The Palestinian record fits a broader pattern, as noted by Jean-Paul Azam and Alexandra Delacroix in a 2006 article, "Aid and the Delegated Fight Against Terrorism." They found "a pretty robust empirical result showing that the supply of terrorist activity by any country is positively correlated with the amount of foreign aid received by that country" ג" i.e., the more foreign aid, the more terrorism.

If these studies run exactly counter to the conventional supposition that poverty, unemployment, repression, "occupation," and malaise drive Palestinians to lethal violence, they do confirm my long-standing argument about Palestinian exhilaration being the problem. The better funded Palestinians are, the stronger they become, and the more inspired to take up arms.

A topsy-turvy understanding of war economics has prevailed in Israel since the Oslo negotiations began in 1993. Rather than deprive their Palestinian enemies of resources, Israelis have been following Shimon Peres's mystical musings, and especially his 1993 tome, The New Middle East, to empower them economically. As I wrote in 2001, this "is tantamount to sending the enemy resources while fighting is still under way ג" not a hugely bright idea."

Rather than further funding Palestinian bellicosity, Western states, starting with Israel, should cut off all funds to the Palestinian Authority.


Mr. Pipes (www.DanielPipes.org) is director of the Middle East Forum and author of Miniatures (Transaction Publishers).

 

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

 

 

Muslim Europe in the Making.

By Moshe Sharon

"The kuffar (infidels) of USA and UK are without doubt our enemy. There is no such thing as an innocent kafir (infidel). Innocence is only applicable for the Muslims. Not only is it obligatory to fight them, it is haram [forbidden] to feel sorry for them." Cleric preaches that violence is part of Islam Duncan Gardham The Daily Telegraph London 01/05/2007

When Islam was checked at the walls of Vienna

In 1683 the armies of Islam besieged Vienna for the second time. The first occasion took place a century and a half earlier. The great Islamic Empire of the time, the Ottoman Empire under the long reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, was then at its zenith. It had extended its borders on the Danube far to the west of Budapest always poising to capture Vienna which stood between its armies and Western Europe. Suleiman regarded himself at that time as the ruler of the world, and treated the great kings of Europe as his subjects. The actual subjugation of the rest of Europe was, as far as he was concerned only a matter of time. Fortunately for the world of Christianity, when the Moslem armies attempted to besiege Vienna for the second time, some 117 years after his death, the Ottoman Empire was already on the decline, its expansion westwards had been checked, and the bastions of European Christianity could then begin threatening the Muslim Empire rather than being threatened by it.

Yet for the Ottomans, the Christian countries of Europe remained Dar al-Harb – "the Land of War" – the term always used by the Muslims for all territories not yet under Islamic rule. The term is both legal and political, and is charged with religious belief and emotional fervor.

Jihad: Muslim believers against Christian "infidles"

Legally speaking, it defines the relations between the lands of Islam and the lands of the infidels. Infidels – in Arabic Kuffar (singular: kafir) – are all those who are not Muslims, mainly Jews and Christians. They are, therefore, regarded to be, both theoretically and effectively, in a state of war with the Muslims. This war does not have to be declared, since from the Muslim viewpoint, it is the only possible state of affairs between the two parties. Moreover, it is part of the divine plan. For after Allah sent Muhammad "with the guidance and the religion of truth" there was no other way but that "he may uplift it above every religion." (Koran, surah 9 verse 33) In other words, Allah made it incumbent on the Muslims, the Community of the Faithful, to subjugate the whole world and bring it under the rule of Allah. The fire of jihad, Holy War, must burn in the heart of every Muslim. It is a collective and personal duty; and every Muslim leader, particularly the head of the Muslim Empire, is obliged to pursue this duty and ceaselessly. Legally therefore, the appellation of "The Land of War" to Europe is understandable. Every Christian coming from the Land of Wardar al harb – has the status of harbi. This is different from being a dhimmi, the status imposed on Christians and Jews tolerated to live under Islamic rule as a third-class subjects. The harbi is simply an alien, an enemy of Islam, even when no acts of war are in progress between the two sides.

This legal outlook reflects the religious obligation to keep the Jihad, the Holy War always alive. Since no one can abolish this duty that is enshrined in the words of God in the Koran, it remains an open-ended condition. Similarly the Land of War cannot change its status until it is conquered by the Muslims and becomes part of the Land of Islam.

The emotional aspect of this religious obligation is an integral part of the way by which the relations between the Muslims and the kafirs where defined. The Koran and Islamic tradition taught the Muslims that their Community of Faithful is "the best nation ever brought forth to men," (Koran, surah 3 verse 110) and that the truth of their religion is the only perfect truth, and that they, as believers, are always on the right side, and the infidels are always wrong.

 

 

Europe the "Land of War"

Europe, more than any other part of the world, personified the land of war. It was the natural place against which the Jihad was to be waged. It was, after all, the major enemy of Islam from its very inception.

But Europe proved to be a difficult enemy. It was an enemy that fought back successfully. In the Middle Ages the Crusades brought the Europeans into the heart of the Islamic lands, but Islam somehow recovered from this success of the infidels, which placed the Muslims for the first time in a defensive position, and tormented them with doubts about the Allah's support.

But Islam did not recover from the loss of Spain ("the Jewel in the Islamic Crown"). Once Islam conquered Spain, it became an Islamic land. Its re-conquest by the infidels seemed to be a reverse of history for it negated the rule which says that once an Islamic land, always an Islamic land. To this very day, Spain, which the Arabs insist on calling Andalus, is regarded to be a lost Islamic territory, the recovery of which is a religious and political objective and duty, more than a dream.

The offensive of the Ottomans against Europe in the 16th century, after destroying the last symbol of Roman Christianity in the east with the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, was the natural course of the Islamic jihadi idea. However, the Ottoman Empire failed, retreated, deteriorated, and was finally destroyed in the Great War in 1918. Moreover, Christian civilization and the modern way of life of Europe were also victorious in other ways. The national regime in 20th century Turkey dramatically changed the nature of the state and society by importing from Europe everything that Western civilization could offer, from script to technology and from a system of government to fashion, with the declared aim of building a modern secular Turkey, and expelling Islam from the life of the state and the society.

Another political development that was viewed as a further, major setback to Islam was the establishment of the State of Israel. More than the loss in the 15th century of the Islamic land of Spain, the establishment of the State of Israel on Islamic land is regarded to be a double reverse of history because not only does it involve the loss of land but it also constitutes an unacceptable situation where Jews, who are dhimmis, rule over Muslims. This is defies the divine law itself. It cannot be tolerated and must be changed.

The other setback is the fact that Europe ceased to be the only land of the infidels. America joined this category, and America has proved itself to be an even tougher opponent than Europe, both militarily and ideologically.

However, modern Muslim activists detected that Europe after World War 2, had begun to show signs of old age, frailty and weakness, and the mighty West in general proved to be surprisingly vulnerable. Islam emerged as a strong power waiting to be engaged. This notion was summed up by the Malaysian premier Dr. Mahatir Muhammad on October 16 2003, at the opening of the Islamic summit: The 1.3 billion strong Muslims possess both natural sources of wealth and human resources, and it was inconceivable that they should not be able to achieve their goals or be defeated by a few million Jews. However, the availability of resources, that could be converted into weapons proved to be less effective than Mahatir and his like thought.

It should be noted again, that Islam is a warring religion and a fighting civilization. The Muslims left their mark on world history first and foremost in this military capacity. They can do the same in this age, changing their strategy and tactics, but remaining on the same course. The revivalist Muslim movements – the Iranian revolutionaries, the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaedah, the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, to mention only a few, have discovered the weak links in the West's defense. On the one hand they have proved that terror, similar to that practiced by the Muslim assassins in the Middle Ages, can be much more devastating than the actual physical damage and bloodshed that it brings about. In one act of terror they succeeded in changing the government in Spain. On the other hand, like the Soviets, they soon discovered the ease with which they can exploit Europ's democratic system, liberal ideologies, leftist intellectuals, the media, and even governments, to achieve their objectives.

The Muslim jihad for the conquest of Europe already began a few decades ago, and the Europeans are taking part in it, as full collaborators on the side of Islam. The establishment of the European Union has done away with national borders, obliterated defined national entities, weakened national feelings, ancient values and the sense of national pride and national defense; and on the other hand it has created a wonderful infrastructure for the infiltration of Islam into Western Europe by millions of Muslims who maintain their Muslim identity, hold on to their Muslim values and regard the whole of Europe as their own land like any other part of the world. Bin laden, Qaradawi, the Ayatollahs of Iran, and many other teachers of Islam tell them that they are coming to Europe as masters and not as immigrants. These Muslims, using the European laws and exploiting the leftist intellectuals, the "Useful Fools" (to use Lenin immortal definition) actually behave like the masters in the host countries rather than guests. Thousands of mosques have been established in every country, from Finland to France. The Muslim way of life is even imposed on economic institutions, and the Islamic version of history and thought is creeping into all the echelons of political and intellectual life, affecting the educational system on all levels.

Official Europe convened the Hamburg Symposium in 1983 to meekly acknowledge the importance of the contribution of to the creation of European civilization, and to encourage the study of the Arabic language and Islamic civilization in Europe, free from the (sound and scientific) "orienalist method" of research, namely in accordance with the Muslim traditional methods; concurrently encouraging the departure from the Judeo-Christian heritage and minimizing its contribution to Western Civilization.

This pathetic attempt to drive modern Europe away, from its true moral, cultural and historical sources, in which Judaism occupies a central place, also has a political aspect. This aspect is yet another success of Islam, which is a natural by-product of the infiltration of its version of modern history into European society and institutions. Muslim propaganda has succeeded in presenting the establishment of the State of Israel as a sin committed by the Europeans against the world of Islam. In other words, the State of Israel is nothing but an easy way by which post-war Europe has atoned for the crimes of the Nazis and their helpers at the expense of the poor Arabs.

Once again the "useful fools"

This idea has taken root not only in the minds of the "useful fools" from the European Left, but it has also found its way into the business and political community. Nowadays, more than ever, one can hear in all these circles and in the media (though covered up with laundered words) that the establishment of Israel was a "moral and political mistake." In other words, Europe would be very happy to see a major Arab pogrom, to which it would quietly contribute its part, in order to rid her of the guilt of this "moral and political" sin. Much of the European policy in the Middle East, and particularly the official enmity to Israel, and the one- sided pro-Arab nature of its policy is directed and formed by these sentiments. And we have not yet mentioned the ingrained anti-Semitism which was only covered for a while, but from which Europe has never recovered.

Instead of paying attention to its steady conquest by Islam and the loss of its Western character, Europe has once again found the usual, ancient solution to all its problems – the Jews, and now also, very conveniently, their state. There is a great possibility that Europe will become Islamic in less than half a century and it will be of its own doing.

Moshe Sharon

Professor (Emeritus) of Islamic History and Civilization

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

 

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

 

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Enemy Within.

by Moshe Sharon

 

Rebellion of the Israeli Arabs

On October 2000 the Arab citizens of Israel rebelled against the state. In the lexicon of the laundered words of the media, this rebellion was termed "demonstrations," "disturbances" and similar expressions that obscured the true facts.

The pretext for the rebellion was the visit of Ariel Sharon, then an opposition Knesset member, to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on September 28, 2000. The Muslim Arabs all over the Middle East, but in particular the Palestinians, dubbed this visit to the holiest spot on earth for the Jewish people, an act of "provocation" which "defiled" the Muslim holy place. Yassir Arafat and his gangs of terrorists had been waiting for the occasion to begin a new, full-scale war of terror against Israel. They immediately seized the opportunity and the next day, September 29, a wave of terror attacks began, accompanied by a frenzy of incitement of the Muslims in the country. Significantly, they called this new round of terror "The Aqsa Intifada" giving it a symbolic, religious connotation.

On 1 October, the Arabs of Israel, incited by their leaders who included Knesset members, joined in by launching a rebellion against the state. Arab mobs from towns and villages all over the country blocked major arteries in the country, in particular the main route traversing Wadi Ara, which connects the center of the state to the north. They burnt branches of the post-office, petrol stations, police stations, banks, and other public institutions as well as private Jewish businesses. Many innocent Jewish travelers, who fell into the hands of inflamed Arab youngsters, were almost beaten to death and one elderly Jew was killed by a stone thrown at his car. It took the police 3 days to overcome the first wave of violence, which was rekindled on October 7th and continued for another 3 days.

Only 13 Arabs were killed in crushing this rebellion, mainly because the police displayed great restraint in dealing with the rebels. Later, when a special committee of investigation was established by the government to investigate the events, it blamed the police for not showing more restraint!

The internal Arab danger ignored

These events and the Israeli reaction to them represent the main problem of the State of Israel in a nutshell: Since its establishment it has hidden its head in the sand, refusing to face the fact that a mighty enemy has been growing within it, threatening its very existence.

Israel was established, first and foremost as a Jewish state but also as a democratic state. If the Arabs living in Israel were to accept the Jewish state as their home, its Jewishness and democracy would have been a blessing for them. However, the Arabs of Israel see themselves as part of the Arab world and more particularly as "Arabs in occupied Palestine." They enjoy every benefit that a democratic state has to offer, but they, together with Israel's enemies, share the hope that this Jewish state, in which they have achieved conditions no other Arabs in the Middle East enjoy, will cease to exist.

The committee that investigated the "Events of October" concluded, among other things that they were the outcome of the state's discrimination against the Arabs. The truth of the matter is that in comparison to the Arabs in Israel, the Jews are the ones who are suffering from discrimination. The Arabs, now more than 20 percent of the population in the country do not go to the army. Officially they are "exempt" but the truth of the matter is that they refuse take part in any national service, as peaceful as it may be, even for the benefit of their own society, because they do not feel that they have either to defend the state or to contribute to its success in any way. Their attitude to Israel can be summed up in one of the popular sayings: "take whatever you can and give nothing." For this reason they avoid paying true taxes, either to the municipalities or the state. However, at the same time they enjoy all the services and benefits which the state offers its citizens. Since they pay very little income tax, they are regarded statistically as belonging to the low-income, namely the poor, sector of the society. But anybody who travels through all the Arab villages and towns in Israel is astonished by the wonderful villas in which these "poor people" live. Not one of all the "liberal humanitarians" who shed tears because of the "poverty" of the Israeli Arabs thinks for a moment to question the source of the funds needed to build these stately homes.

The Israeli Arabs are represented by three parties in the Knesset that are elected in free, democratic elections. One of them is officially communist, one officially Islamic, and one "national-democratic" but as far as their attitude to Israel as a Jewish state is concerned, there is no difference between them. They all openly wish for its disappearance although all of them swore allegiance to "the State of Israel and its laws" when they joined the Knesset. The following examples will suffice to demonstrate the point.

Wasil Taha is a Knesset member and represents the "National Democratic Alliance." He openly supported the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers by the Lebanese Hizballah terror group and Hamas terrorist group from Gaza in July this year. More than five years ago, his colleague, and the head of his party, the Christian Azmi Bisharah, traveled to Syria, and, standing next to Nasrallah the leader of the Hizballah and Syrian President Bashir Assad, openly called for the continuation of the war against Israel. "The Arab world should unite," – he said – "and together forge a pan-Arab struggle instead of mere local Palestinian or Lebanese uprisings. The present situation calls for Arab unity, which does not exist." He followed the same line after the present war.

Bishara's declared policy is that Israel should change from being a Jewish state and become a state "of all its citizens." In other words he wants to see the end of the only Jewish homeland in the world, together with all its symbols including its flag and anthem. And this man is a member of the Israeli parliament!

Muhammad Barakah, the head of the Arab Communist, party has declared: "I am not loyal to a state that is Jewish and Zionist … This is not a golden calf that I have to worship." This man swore allegiance to "the State of Israel and its laws" before he took his seat in the Knesset.

Ahmad Tibi is a member of the combined party of "The United Arab List" and "The Arab Movement for Renewal." The party represents the Islamic movement which sees itself as part of the Islamic front. For Islam, the disappearance of Israel is a religious duty. He also repeatedly demands the abolishment of all the Jewish symbols of the state, first and foremost the flag, the anthem, and the Menorah. Referring to the attempts of the Arabs to destroy Israel, the state in whose parliament he serves, and from whose university he received his M.D., he has declared more than once: "An Arab flag hoisted over any freed Arab land is a source of pride. I have no doubt that this is the general feeling among the Arabs in Israel. Whoever says anything else is not telling the truth."

Local Support for Saddam, Hezbollah and Hamas

When Saddam Husayn attacked Israel with missiles in 1991, many Arabs in Israel supported the Iraqi dictator and openly demonstrated their sympathy for him. "We, the Arabs in this country," – said Tibi – "wish to see a strong Arab force… able to confront the axis of the USA and Israel." And these are among the mildest pronouncements of these Arab members of the Israeli parliament who enjoy all the rights and privileges that the Jewish Democracy can offer. Similar and worse declarations can be gleaned from other Arab Knesset members who seem to compete with each other in producing hostile pronouncements against Israel.

The most recent pronouncements coming from Wasil Taha and Muhammad Baraka, while Israel was in the midst of a war on two fronts against the Hizbullah (Hezbollah) and the Hamas, support the kidnapping and killing of Israeli soldiers and furnish the legitimacy for these actions. "Hizbullah and the others did what it is their right and duty to do: to act against the Israeli occupier and drive him out." Bear in mind that Israel has not been in Lebanon since 2000 and for almost a year there has been no trace of Israel's "occupation" in Gaza.

When the State of Israel was established, it declared that it would not discriminate between its citizens. The Arabs of Israel enjoy the services and environment of a modern country. They enjoy modern education, modern technology, modern medical services, and a high birth rate coupled with a negligible rate of infant mortality. Over the past 57 years the Arab community in Israel has increased ten times in size. The Arabs number 1,500,000 out of a little over the 7,000,000 inhabitants of Israel. They enjoy a quality of life the like of which does not exist in any of the Arab countries. Illiteracy has disappeared and the universities are open to them as they are to any other citizen. They have their own educational system which functions in Arabic, and they can participate in any cultural activity they wish, in their own language. It would be a mistake to think that they do not realize the benefits of living in Israel. While their leaders incite against Israel, most of the Israeli Arabs are terrified of the possibility of coming under Arab rule. They are very much aware of the corruption, backwardness, poverty, illiteracy, and other ailments of their nearest neighbors in the Palestinian Authority, and they have no wish to join it. They need Israel, in spite of themselves.

One of the old-time Arab politicians described the feelings of the Israeli Arabs saying: "Israel is like a step-mother; we are happy that she looks after us but we wish she would die."

During the recent war of Israel against the terrorists of the Hizbullah in Lebanon, the Arab parties in the Knesset adopted the clear position of supporting the enemy. Most of the Israeli-Arab media followed suit. When a Hizbullah missile killed two Arab children in Nazareth, their father first condemned the Hizbullah, but following the visit of the Arab Knesset members he appeared in the media condemning Prime Minister Olmert for the killing!

While the war was going on, and thousands of Hizbullah rockets were falling indiscriminately on towns and villages all over the north of Israel, killing and maiming hundreds of civilians, the Israeli-Arab parliamentarians openly conducted constant anti-Israeli pro-Hizbullah propaganda, in every channel of the local and world media. All of them supported the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers by both Hamas and Hizballah. In all the Knesset sessions the Arab members of the House made it clear that their loyalties were not with the nation to which they pledged loyalty when they were sworn in as members of parliament.

When asked about this clear expression of support for the enemy in time of war MK Lieberman said:

"The Prevention of Terror Ordinance is clear and would permit the prosecution of most of the Arab Knesset members who spoke out in favor of the Hizbullah and justified the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers. The fact that the legal system does not deal with such cases is a sign the bankruptcy of law enforcement in the country."

After all is said and done, the danger for Israel comes not only from the Arabs outside, but from the enemy within. The Israeli Arabs are not only a demographic problem they are a geographic one as well. They are concentrated in the Galilee, in the centre of the country, and in the Negev. It is almost certain that within a few years the demand for national autonomy will be raised in these places and after that, separation. Incitement in this direction has already been voiced by some Arab Knesset members. The potential of the state being destroyed from within is, therefore, the real danger. And for this Israel has no answer.

 

The enemy within - four typical examples

 

09/16/2006 – Raid Salah, Islamic Movement leader tells rally of 50,000 in Umm al-Fahm, Israel: Jerusalem will be the capital of the new Muslim caliphate sooner than is thought.

 

11/29/2006 - Representatives of the northern faction of an Islamic movement distributed pamphlets at Haifa University, praising bin Laden and Nasrallah as leaders.

 

Hadash  MK: Hizbullah isn't our enemy, Israel is

04/29/2007 - Over 3,000 people gathered in Nazareth Saturday for a rally in support of former MK Azmi Bishara, who is being investigated for collaborating with Hizbullah.

 

12/18/2005 - Arab Member of Knesset Azmi Bishara, speaking at a Beirut book fair, said Israel is the 20th century's greatest robbery, carried out in broad daylight.

 

                    Source: israelinsider

Moshe Sharon

Professor (Emeritus) of Islamic History and Civilization

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

 

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

 

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