Friday, April 29, 2011

How Israel Should Deal with PA's Intention to Declare State

by Hillel Fendel

How should Israel deal with the Palestinian Authority’s intention to declare, with United Nations General Assembly support, a state in all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza this coming September?

Three well-known figures – Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, ex-Ambassador to Egypt Tzvi Maz’el, and Yesha Council Chairman Danny Dayan - answered this question for the weekly B’Sheva magazine, and Hevron Jewish Community David Wilder spoke up as well.

Their answers:

Ex-Ambassador to Egypt, Sweden and Romania Tzvi Maz’el:
We must deal with this on the diplomatic and informational levels… It appears that the Prime Minister is traveling to France and Great Britain to discuss this topic. In my opinion, he must make it clear to the Americans, Europeans, and others that convening the UN General Assembly [for this purpose] will strike a blow at all the agreements we have signed with the [PA], which determined that all problems and issues that arise between us and them… must be solved in direct talks between the sides. When a foreign body such as the UN decides on the establishment of a Palestinian state, it essentially voids the Oslo Agreements of their content. In such a case, Israel will have to act unilaterally to protect its interests, without coordinating with the PA as we do today…

In addition, all the negotiations between Israel and the PA are based on UN resolutions 242 and 338… and on which were based the Oslo Agreements. The moment that the UN recognizes a Palestinian state, it means that 242 and 338 and all agreements based on them are void. This must be stated, in legal and political terms, as clearly as possible.

In addition, the General Assembly can only recommend, but cannot make binding decisions…

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon:
Let us not scare ourselves with ungrounded theories. The Palestinian move for unilateral recognition is a threat with nothing behind it, and will not serve the Palestinians. A decision by the General Assembly will not change anything on the ground, and certainly not without Israeli cooperation…

We are working on many fronts to present the Israeli position, and many countries are realizing that this unilateral move is not relevant. The PA’s actions and intentions prove again that they are not interested in real peace with Israel– for if they were, they would come to the negotiating table and talk with us…

Those in our country who say that September will be very fateful for Israel, are often the same ones who systematically call on Israel to retreat from its position. Israel has dealt successfully in the past with even bigger challenges than this one, and has flowered and blossomed afterwards. We are in the midst of a ‘political intifada’ on the part of the PA, and we must continue to watch out for our security and interests…

At a time when we see many changes in regional regimes, it is important for the world’s democracies not to allow the establishment of another terrorist state in the Middle East.

Danny Dayan, Chairman of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria:
The first and primary thing that the government of Israel must do, even without taking the Palestinians’ intentions into account, is to declare clearly our claim to ownership and sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria. While the Palestinians claim this area with lies and distortions, we must present the People of Israel’s unshakeable claim to its homeland and its intention to actualize this right. But if the Arabs talks about national rights and Israel demands only security, the game is lost from the beginning.

Of late, the government of Israel has been broadcasting signs of panic in light of the PA’s intentions. Expressions such as a ‘diplomatic tsunami’ that await us [as Defense Minister Ehud Barak said – ed.], simply increase our enemies’ motivation… causing self-fulfilling prophecies. This vicious cycle must be stopped immediately.

How? By making a 180-degree turn in policy: No more promises for concessions and gestures if they drop their unilateral approach, but rather a clear and direct threat that their unilateral steps will be met by some unilateral steps of our own. But not merely declaratory unilateral steps, like the one they are planning, but some very practical ones – such as our annexation, with all that that entails, of all or parts of Judea and Samaria… We have many tools at our disposal… and we must be less restrained in using them.”

David Wilder, Spokesman for the Hevron Jewish Community (written after the announcement of the Hamas-Fatah agreement):
…I believe the agreement is a reason to break out the wine, set up a band, and celebrate. [Because] this time [Shimon Peres] has hit the nail on the head [when he said on Thursday], ‘The agreement will prevent creation of a Palestinian state.’ …

[Netanyahu’s] Bar Ilan 2 speech, to be recited before a full house of Senators and Congressmen in Washington in a few weeks, [had been] just about finished, [including] concession after concession, abandonment of more land to our enemies, relinquishment of additional security precautions, a 'Palestinian state' in temporary borders, perhaps even with a taste of Jerusalem for dessert. It was all set. And now - what bombshell can he initiate? Not a one. At least, certainly not in the direction he planned…

The conflict between Hamas and Fatah [never had] anything to do with ideology. Both agree that the state of Israel is an insufferable thorn in the collective throats of the Arabs that must be plucked out of existence at the first opportunity. Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] certainly hasn't changed his life's philosophy, which he expressed while planning the 1974 Ma'alot massacre and funding the 1972 Olympic terror killings in Germany… Bibi already announced his acceptance of a Palestinian state. But what can he do now? Every rocket now shot into Israel, at Sderot, Ashkelon or Tel Aviv, has not one signature on it, but rather two: Ismail Haniyeh [Hamas] and Abu Mazen [Fatah]. Gilad Shalit is now a captive of Hamas-Fatah. Every attempted terror attack initiated from Gaza is rubber-stamped: Fatah-Hamas…

Just as G-d hardened Pharaoh's heart, so too, today, He is throwing dust into the eyes of our enemies, blinding them, dulling their senses, and leading them down a dead-end road - leading, not to Israel's destruction, rather to their own obliteration. This does not mean, under any circumstances, that we will have an easy time of it. Far from it. Dead end roads aren't necessarily short, and they can be quite bumpy. But the chances of another Arab state on our eastern border, created with Israel's blessings, have hit the lowest level they've been at in years.

It won't be easy, but we will prevent creation of a Palestinian state. G-d is watching over us. G-d is protecting us, even from ourselves. Thank G-d!


Hillel Fendel

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

Debunking the 2-State Myth

by Yoel Meltzer

One of the assumed benefits of the proposed two-state solution is that the creation of a Palestinian state will finally make the Palestinians fully accountable for their actions. Thus, any acts of aggression from the new entity against Israel will be considered an attack on Israel from a sovereign country rather than from a terrorist organization. Moreover, it is this distinction, so we are told, that will not only allow Israel to forcefully respond to any acts of Palestinian aggression but also do so with the full support and understanding of the international community.

Although such line of reasoning sounds very enticing and has even managed to win over some former skeptics, we shouldn’t buy it. In fact, a quick survey of the last 20 years seems to indicate otherwise.

At the height of the Gulf War in 1991, Iraq launched scud missiles at Israel in an attempt to draw it into the conflict. This was a classic case of a sovereign Arab country attacking Israel with powerfully destructive missiles, aimed at some of its most populous regions. Nonetheless, despite the numerous missiles that landed in Israel, due to various geopolitical considerations and behind-the-door pressure Jerusalem did not respond.

Roughly 10 years later, Israel speedily removed all of its troops from southern Lebanon. At the time we were promised that Israeli positions would be taken over by the South Lebanese Army (SLA) in order to prevent Hezbollah forces from stationing themselves within spitball range of Israel’s northern border. In addition, we were assured by then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak that should Hezbollah ever commit an act of aggression against Israel our response would be very painful.

Like usual, Israel fulfilled its side of the agreement while the Arabs failed to uphold their part. As a result, rather than having the SLA parked across the border we received Hezbollah. This change of events afforded Hezbollah the opportunity to closely watch our troop movements, something they quickly cashed in on. After a mere few months of up-close surveillance, Hezbollah men dashed across the border and kidnapped three Israeli soldiers.

Israeli restraint

However, despite our hard-earned justification to retaliate to such an unprovoked act of aggression and even the prime minister's own guarantee to respond with might in such situation, in the end we did very little. Thus, the promises meant nothing and unfortunately the kidnapped soldiers were killed.

Five years after the tragic kidnappings in Lebanon, Israel removed all Jewish presence from Gaza. At the time we were told that the removal of Israeli troops from the Strip would shift the burden of accountability to the Palestinian Authority, thereby forcing it to rein in the various terrorist organizations. This, like every other promised benefit, turned out to be false as attacks against Israel only increased.

While Israel did eventually reenter Gaza at the end of 2008 as part of Operation Cast Lead, this happened only after thousands of missiles were fired at Jewish communities close to the Gaza border. Moreover, the promised admiration of the world we supposedly were to acquire following our unilateral pullout quickly melted away, as many in the international community hypocritically condemned Israel for its actions in Gaza.

Although there were times when Israel responded forcefully to cross-border attacks, such as in the Second Lebanon War, the growing trend through the years has been for a limited Israeli response or total restraint. Moreover, rather than winning the world's approval based upon our polite and considerate behavior, this trend has been accompanied by the growth of an increasingly hostile anti-Israel environment worldwide.

This being the case, why should we believe that things will be different next time? It is far more plausible to assume that acts of aggression emanating from a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria will be met with the usual limited Israeli response. Moreover, even in the rare instance where Israel responds more forcefully, it is safe to assume that the world will quickly condemn the Jewish state regardless of the circumstances.

In light of the above, how on earth can we use an unproven assumption as the basis for severely weakening our national security, something which is sure to happen if a Palestinian state is created in Judea and Samaria? Indeed, it's absolute madness.


Yoel Meltzer

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

Muslim Liars: How the Muslim Students Association Deceives the Naive

by David Horowitz

The Muslim Students Association is a national organization with chapters on hundreds of U.S. campuses. It has a privileged position on these campuses such that no student paper would print the statement that follows in this blog. It would be regarded as “offensive to an ethnic and religious group.” What is truly offensive are the subterfuges under which the MSA operates, lying about its core mission — which is to advance the Islamic jihad against the Jews and Christians of the Middle East, and ultimately against the United States. Unfortunately the lies of the MSA (like its sister organizations CAIR and the Muslim American Society) are successful in snookering the willing accomplices of the political left and the unwitting accomplices of the inattentive middle to support and protect them.

Here is the deceptive Mission Statement of the Muslim Students Association at UC San Diego, where I confronted one of its members last year who endorsed the extermination of the Jews (and was defended by the MSA for doing so):

“The purpose of the Muslim Student Association 
of the University of California, San Diego
is to provide an environment for the development and networking
 of Muslims on campus while fostering a sense of community between Muslims and non-Muslims through education.”

This is an organization that sponsors Israel Apartheid weeks, sponsors Israel-hating speakers, advances the false and genocidal claim that that Israel exists on land stolen from a mythical “Palestine” that never existed and promotes the propaganda of the Muslim Brotherhood, creator of Hamas and spiritual guide of al Qaeda. Its “education” consists of informing the gullible that Islam means “peace” (actually it means “submission”) and that “terrorism is, in fact, a term that spans the entire world and manifests itself in various forms,” and is, in fact, a term applicable to “sanctions” (e.g., the sanctions against Iran to prevent its dictators from developing nuclear weapons. The MSA site directs the inquisitive who want to understand Islam (and Islam’s relation to terrorism) to a site called — a site that happens to be sponsored by the Islamic Circle of North America, which like the MSA itself, is a creation of the Muslim Brotherhood. Unfortunately this transparent double talk is enough to snooker gullible university administrators, faculty and students into regarding the jihad-supporting MSA chapters as religious and cultural organizations, while providing them with special privileges and protections. This allows them to conduct their war against the Jews and Crusaders in the heart of America’s educational institutions. The main Jewish organization on campus, Hillel, joined forces with this arm of the Muslim Brotherhood to attack the “Palestinian Wall of Lies” which our students put up at Brown, Florida State and the University of North Carolina, to refute the lies of the anti-Israel, anti-American left and the Nazis of Hamas — a sister organization of the MSA.

David Horowitz

Source: Horowitz

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

Fighting Jewish Genocide

by Giulio Meotti

Reprinted from

Only one nation on this planet is regarded as virtually having no civilians: Israel. Back in the 1970s already, international law expert Yoram Dinstein argued that according to UN definitions, terrorism and incitement against Israelis constitutes genocide.

David Ben-Gurion’s famous statement “Oom, Shmoom,” meaning “The UN – who cares?” summed up Israel’s indifference to world opinion in the past. It has been a failed policy as Israel’s enemies are now using all global means at their disposal to undermine the Jewish State.

In a few days, Israel will mark Holocaust Commemoration Day. There is no better time to support the historical battle just initiated by the Hebrew University-Hadassah Centre for Violence and Genocide Prevention and backed by former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.

The campaign takes aim at Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Islamic religious leaders and the media for “inciting to commit genocide” and fomenting lethal anti-Jewishness reminiscent of the 1930s. The Jews are demonized using accusations of conspiracy and thirst for blood or power.

The Jews are described as sub-humans by expressions like “pig,” “cancer,” “filth”, “microbes” or “vermin”; hate material such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion or school maps without Israel are being disseminated; the Jewish right to self-determination is denied, by claiming that Israel’s existence is “racist” and akin to “apartheid”; comparisons are drawn between Israeli policy and the Nazis; world Jewry is being held responsible, collectively for the actions of Israel.

The legal basis for this anti-genocide campaign is the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, ratified on January 12, 1951 by 138 states including Iran. At this time, Tehran calls for Israel’s destruction and dehumanization, denies the Holocaust denial and incites to commit mass murder.

An upcoming example of incitement is the UN’s “Durban III” conference in September 2011. Israel will be declared an “apartheid” and “criminal” state, and the Jews will be slammed as inveterate racists.

The first Durban conference was held in South Africa in 2001, where well-known NGOs such as Amnesty International and Save the Children attached their names to the racist parade. NGOs distributed leaflets with a portrait of Hitler and the inscription: “What if Hitler had won? There would be no Israel, and no Palestinian bloodshed.” Three months later the second Intifada broke out, with 1,500 Jewish civilians subsequently slaughtered in terror attacks.

Iran is not unique in inciting a new Jewish bloodbath. Another example of incitement is the fatwa issued by Muslim Brotherhood’s guru, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, permitting the killing of Jewish fetuses, on the logic that when Jews grow up they might join the Israeli army.

Below are just few names of pregnant Israeli women slaughtered by terror groups such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad: Yael Shorek was nine-months pregnant; Gadi and Tzippi Shemesh were killed immediately after having a scan of their unborn twins; Avital Wolanski was six-months pregnant; Rivka Holzberg was five-months pregnant; Tali Hatuel was eight-months pregnant, and Tehiya Bloomberg was five-months pregnant.

In 2003 the World Union for Progressive Judaism asked UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the UN Human Rights Commission to condemn the Hamas’ charter as a violation of the Convention against Genocide. A year later, three brave Arab intellectuals, Jawad Hashim, Shakir al-Nabulsi and Lakhdar Lafif sent a request to the UN Security Council, urging the establishment of an international tribunal for the prosecution of Islamist incitement against Jews, Muslim “apostates” and Christians.

Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote that it was words, not machinery, that produced Auschwitz. Now the call for Israel’s destruction echoes through schools and mosques, textbooks and newspapers, TV series and pseudo “documentaries.” And not only in the Arab world. Thanks to satellite channels, Hezbollah’s al-Manar and Hamas’ al-Aqsa TV stations can beam their incitement and hatred for the Jews into European living rooms, radicalizing Muslim immigrants.

That’s why Israel and its Western allies must launch a campaign to charge organizations and leaders who commit incitement, enlisting the help of attorneys, journalists and writers to testify on the endless litanies of paranoia and genocidal perversion. Such people risk their career and life daily by denouncing the blood libels, and Israel should support them.

Western parliaments would politically validate the charges and Europe must be urged to cut its business dealing with Tehran if the mullahs continue to incite against the Jews. Irwin Cotler, Canada’s former minister of justice and attorney general, suggested that Ahmadinejad and other incitement leaders should be placed on a “watch list” by Western countries preventing their entrance as “inadmissible persons” (Qaradawi is already banned in the UK and US.)

Brave groups, such as UN Watch, can support the battle in legal forums. They could launch a counter campaign against UNESCO’s racist policy on Judaism’s holy sites (Rachel’s tomb and the Cave of Patriarchs in Hebron were just designed as “mosques.”) In 2009, a similar campaign prevented Farouk Hosni, the Egyptian minister who said that he “would burn Israeli books himself if found in Egyptian libraries” from becoming UNESCO’s head.

Moreover, human rights groups should be bombarded with the untold Israeli statistics: The 17,000 people wounded in terror attacks; the 1,600 civilians killed; the 12,000 rockets fired on southern Israeli cities; the fact that some 40% of wounded Israelis will remain with permanent disabilities.

There are wounded heroes who just want to tell their story. They should be invited to speak in the courts because they are the survivors of current-day genocide.

In European faculties, there are still brave academicians who can denounce Islamist-supporting speakers among them. An example of incitement is the book “The Matza of Zion” written by former Syrian defense minister Mustafa Tlas, in which he claims that the Jewish matzot was made from Arab blood. Still, the West maintains shameful partnerships with Arab libraries holding this book. Western democracies must be urged to rescind these cultural deals.

This is an historical battle that Israel can win with the support of Westerners who still care about the fate of their civilization. To the Spanish fascists who were saying “Viva la muerte!”, the Republicans replied: “No pasarán.” We should offer the same response to contemporary death cultists. As history has taught us, while it begins with Jews, it does not end with Jews.


Giulio Meotti, a journalist with Il Foglio, is the author of the book A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel’s Victims of Terrorism.

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

Palestinian “Reconciliation” Won’t Last Long

by Ryan Mauro

On Wednesday, Hamas and Fatah reached a reconciliation agreement that includes the formation of a unity government that will last until general elections are held within one year. The groups claimed that all areas of disagreement had been settled, including with security arrangements. It is being hailed as an achievement, but it ends the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and is bound to ultimately fail.

The Arab Spring motivated Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to pressure their governments to come together. In mid-March, thousands of Palestinians protested in favor of reconciliation in both Palestinian Territories. In Gaza, dozens of protesters went further and demanded the release of political prisoners and greater freedoms and were forcibly dispersed and threatened with arrest.

Each side tried to deflect the blame onto the other. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for presidential and legislative elections in September on the condition that Gaza was included. Hamas announced a minor shakeup of its government and presented an offer for a unity government that was rejected. Now, both sides have caved to domestic opinion and have agreed to create a joint transitional government.

The Israeli government is understandably concerned. This agreement means that the Palestinian Authority will no longer act as an enemy of Hamas. The terrorist group will have increased influence over the West Bank and its security services, ending previous undisclosed cooperation between Fatah and Israel. Hamas’ war against Israel will never give up its war against Israel and Fatah will be forced to join in or abandon the unity government. A spokesman for Hamas says that the agreement stipulates that prisoners without a criminal background will be released. It is unclear what this means, but it should be assumed that those involved in acts of terrorism will soon be freed.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “The Palestinian Authority must choose either peace with Israel or peace with Hamas. There is no possibility for peace with both.” He’s right. Last year, a Hamas official unequivocally stated that any agreement to have an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders would only be a first phase towards the ultimate destruction of Israel. For Hamas, the “peace process” is a means to an end.

Fatah isn’t the best peace partner, either. President Abbas has said that an independent Palestinian state would not have a single Jew living it, which makes peace impossible. Last year, Abbas called the family of Abu Daoud, the mastermind of the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes in Munich, to offer his condolences after his death. The Fatah Revolutionary Council also celebrated him as a hero. However, Fatah is definitely preferred over Hamas by Israel.

A document released by WikiLeaks dated June 13, 2007 shows that the Israeli Security Agency said it has “established a very good working relationship” with the Palestinian Authority’s security services. The agency’s chief, Yuval Diskin, is reported as saying that they “share with ISA almost all the intelligence that it collects” and that Fatah leaders even asked Israel to attack Hamas in Gaza. “This is a new development. We have never seen this before. They are desperate,” he said.

As recently as last month, Abbas accused Hamas of being an Iranian and Syrian proxy. The Palestinian Authority condemned Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in 2009 but blamed the “massacre” of Palestinians on Hamas. It said that Hamas was wrong to not renew the ceasefire and that it was done on orders from Tehran. The Israelis appear to have given the Palestinian Authority advance notice of the operation as they sought to have Fatah or Egypt govern Gaza after it was finished but failed to persuade either. Hamas has repeatedly accused Fatah of sharing intelligence on its operations with Israel.

Following the Turkish flotilla incident, the Palestinian Authority forbade Hamas from staging protests in the West Bank. In September, the Palestinian Authority arrested 150 members of Hamas following shootings of Israeli civilians, saying the attacks “can’t be regarded as an act of resistance” and were designed to sabotage peace talks. This enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend mentality that benefited Israel will no longer exist as Hamas and Fatah begin holding hands.

Since the West Bank and the Gaza Strip began being governed separately, 4,000 members of Hamas have been arrested in the West Bank and thousands of Fatah supporters have been imprisoned in Gaza. Each side tortured each other’s supporters, though Fatah said it stopped doing so in October 2010 and jailed, fired or demoted 43 prison officers for abuses. In August 2010, there were reports about the increasing amount of abuse each side was exercising toward the other. This past will not be forgotten and it is difficult to see a future where the two permanently settle their differences.

The antagonism will reignite as the election campaigns heat up, though domestic pressure may prevent a war or complete break. At this point, it is quite possible that Hamas will lose the next elections. The terrorist group has seen its popularity decline in Gaza and is actually more well-liked in the West Bank, where the citizens have not been exposed to Hamas governance. About 56 percent of Gazans have a negative view of Hamas, with 28 having a positive view. In the West Bank, 53 percent give the terrorist group a negative rating but its support is larger than in Gaza with 40 percent.

Remarkably, 46 percent of Gazans blame Hamas and Israel equally for their troubles. President Abbas has a 63 percent approval rating in Gaza and Prime Minister Fayyad is at 65 percent. When it comes to Iran, 49 percent of people in the Gaza Strip have a negative attitude as do 58 percent of those in the West Bank. Tying Hamas to Iran looks to be a smart political strategy for Fatah. This, of course, assumes elections will even be held and if they are, that they will be free and both sides will respect the results.

The reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah is bad news for Israel but it is unlikely to last. Hamas will never give up its goal of creating a Sharia-based state that will destroy Israel. Fatah will have to participate or become its enemy again. Hamas will not be a better peace partner for Fatah than it has been for Israel.


Ryan Mauro

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

UN Workers "Adamantly Opposed" to Holocaust Education

by Itamar Marcus

The UNRWA workers in Palestinian schools have announced their "adamant opposition" to teaching Palestinian children about "the Holocaust of the Jews." This announcement by the UNRWA Workers' Union was in response to UNRWA's decision to include Holocaust education in its curriculum in the topic of "human rights." According to the UNRWA Workers Union, teaching Palestinian children about the Holocaust will "confuse the thinking" of Palestinian children.

Palestinian Media Watch recently reported on opposition in the Palestinian Authority to teaching Palestinian children about the Holocaust.

The following is the article in the official PA daily:

Headline: "The [UNRWA Workers'] Union emphasized its opposition to teaching the Holocaust of the Jews as part of the curriculum in the [UNRWA] Agency's schools..."

"The [UNRWA] Workers' Union emphasized its adamant opposition to teaching the Holocaust of the Jews within the educational curriculum of UNRWA schools, as part of the topic of human rights. The union said, 'We emphasize our adamant opposition to confusing the thinking of our students' by means of Holocaust studies in the human rights study curriculum, and emphasize study of the history of Palestine and the acts of massacre which have been carried out against Palestinians, the most recent of which was the war against Gaza.'

[Union chairman, Suheil] Al-Hindi, explained to France Press, that UNRWA 'approved teaching the Holocaust...' but [the teaching] has not yet started."

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 14, 2011]


Itamar Marcus

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

Muslim Immigration Transforms Finland

by Soeren Kern

As in other European countries (here and here), the politically correct guardians of Finnish multiculturalism have tried to silence public discussion about the escalating problem of Muslim immigration.

In March 2009, for example, Jussi Kristian Halla-aho, a politician and well-known political commentator, was taken to court on charges of "incitement against an ethnic group" and "breach of the sanctity of religion" for writing that Islam is a religion of paedophilia. He was referring to the Islamic prophet Mohammed, who is believed to have married a six year old girl and consummated the marriage when she was nine.

A Helsinki court later dropped the charges of blasphemy but ordered Halla-aho to pay a fine of €330 ($450) for disturbing religious worship. The Finnish public prosecutor, incensed at the lower court's dismissal of the blasphemy charges, appealed the case to the Finnish Supreme Court, where it is now being reviewed.

Halla-Aho, the best-known political blogger in Finland, maintains a blog entitled Scripta, that deals with issues such as "immigration, multiculturalism, tolerance, racism, freedom of speech and political correctness." His blog has between 3,000 and 6,000 readers a day. According to Halla-aho, immigration is a taboo topic in Finland. He has received death threats because of his web columns, which criticize the number of immigrants coming to Finland and argue that Muslims cannot be integrated.

In April 2011, Juha Molari, a Finnish Lutheran pastor, was "defrocked" after he was accused of inciting religious hatred for describing Doku Umarov, the man behind the Moscow metro and airport bombings, as a "terrorist."

Also that month, the Finnish Ministry of Interior launched a new Internet site focused on immigration. The politically correct objective is to "give a boost to factual and serious debate and information on the issue," and "to get away from an 'us and them' position as well as from preaching and guilt attitudes." Of course, the site does not have a discussion forum.

Also, Finland's political map has been redrawn in the aftermath of parliamentary elections on April 17, when the nationalist True Finns Party won more votes than the governing party and now stands on the cusp of political power. The surge of the True Finns Party, which campaigned on a platform of opposition to Muslim immigration and further European integration, reflects growing voter disenchantment with multiculturalism and the ruling establishment's fixation with the European Union.

The final vote results show the populist True Finns Party finishing third place with 39 seats in Finland's 200-seat Parliament, just behind the center-right National Coalition Party with 43 seats and the center-left Social Democrats with 42 seats. The governing Center Party lost 16 seats, ending up with 24 seats.

As the largest vote-getter, the National Coalition Party has been given the first chance to form a government, and the party leader Jyrki Katainen, set to be Finland's next prime minister, said "it is our duty to form a majority government." He is now negotiating with the True Finns and the Social Democrats to build a governing coalition.

Support for the True Finns, led by charismatic leader Timo Soini, has nearly quadrupled its share of the vote from 4% to 19% since the last parliamentary elections in 2007. Using a catchy campaign slogan (kansa tietää: "The people know"), the party has harvested popular anger over issues ranging from bailouts of debt-laden European countries like Greece, Ireland and Portugal to unemployment and immigration, especially from Muslim countries.

Although Europe's political establishment and the mainstream news media have variously branded the True Finns as "far-right," "racist," "xenophobic," and "fascist" because of the party's opposition to immigration, in reality the party does not fit neatly into any political grouping. The True Finns combine left-wing economic policies (the party defends the welfare state, for example, and favors raising taxes to do so) with conservative social values (Soini is a devout Roman Catholic). The party has been placed on the center-left in the parliamentary seating order.

In any event, both the National Coalition Party and the Social Democrats have adopted many of the anti-immigration positions held by the True Finns. For example, the National Coalition Party has called for "realism in asylum policy; resources for integration;" and the Social Democratic Party has set a goal for "controlled immigration." Further, members of all three parties have voiced their concerns about immigration and the threat it poses to Finnish culture and identity.

Immigration is also not the exclusive concern of only one type of Finnish voter. According to a recent survey commissioned by the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper and conducted by Suomen Gallup, Finns of all political persuasions and socio-economic classes are concerned about immigration. The polling data show that nearly 60% of Finns are opposed to immigration. This number is up from 44% in 2009 and 36% in 2007.

Immigrants make up about 4% of the Finnish population, a relatively percentage low by European standards. There are an estimated 60,000 Muslims in Finland, which has a population of just over 5 million. The Muslim population has increased rapidly in recent years, due largely to immigration; and there are now dozens of Islamic communities in the country. As in other European countries, the debate over immigration centers on growing concerns about the failure of Muslim immigrants to integrate into Finland and learn the language.

A case in point is the request by Muslims in Finland for a fatwa (Islamic legal ruling) on how they should live in their newly adopted country. The fatwa was issued by Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajid, a well-known Saudi Arabian expert on Islamic Sharia law, who, in 2008, issued a fatwa to kill Mickey Mouse. He says: "You have to be aware that you are living in a Christian society, a Christian country, whose flag bears the cross! … It should be a priority of Islamic groups and political parties, especially those that are trying to establish an Islamic state, as we said, to preserve the identity of the Muslims who are living there. One of the most important means of preserving their identity is for Muslim men to marry Muslim women and to strive to create an Islamic atmosphere in their social lives. In the Islamic parties and organizations there should be people who direct the Muslims' private matters such as marriage, divorce and social relationships in accordance with the laws of Allah."

This is already happening. According to some reports, Muslim children in Finnish schools often are not allowed to take part in school activities such as singing and dancing, which are considered religious. Often, immigrant children play the race card if a solution to a conflict does not go in their favor or if a teacher rebukes the child.

In December 2010, the Islamic Society of Finland, headquartered in downtown Helsinki, complained that the country's Muslims are running out of places to worship as their numbers grow. Finland's only officially consecrated mosque is located in the town of Järvenpää, some 40 kilometers north of Helsinki.

In March 2011, the Islamic Society of Finland called for the government to provide university-level courses for the country's imams. There are around 40 to 50 imams in Finland, both teaching and conducting religious services at mosques and prayer rooms. Their educational backgrounds vary. "Many have studied in their communities or in their home countries. What is needed is a degree from an institute of higher education for all imams," says Anas Hajjar, an imam with the Islamic Society of Finland.

In recent years, ethnic Finns have been leaving immigrant-heavy neighborhoods to find more suitable housing elsewhere. According to some studies, Finland's largest cities have developed areas where more than one-fifth of the population is of foreign origin. As native Finns move out of areas with significant immigrant populations, they are reducing the size of the population capable of paying taxes, leaving behind only those consuming welfare services, according to the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper.

Much of the problem revolves around Finland's immigration policy, which is one of the most liberal in Europe. This was highlighted in November 2009, when Egypt Today magazine published a story entitled "Welcome to Finland," which portrayed Finland as a paradise for Muslim immigration.

According to Egypt Today: "Tara Ahmed, a 25-year-old Kurdish woman, came with her husband to Finland seven years ago to work. 'There are a lot of services offered to us here,' she says. 'Plus, during my seven years I haven't had one single harassment, assault or discrimination case in any form.' Like most immigrants, Ahmed and her husband took advantage of the free Finnish language lessons offered by the government, which pays immigrants €8 per day to attend. The government also provides immigrants with a free home, health care for their family and education for their children. In addition, they get a monthly stipend of €367 per adult to cover expenses until they start earning their own living. The government is able to pay for these services due to a progressive tax rate that can exceed fifty percent of a person's income. Even so, officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed that Finland needs immigrants and that, in the long run, they are not a burden on society."

After that story was published, the number of Muslim immigrants to Finland skyrocketed. For example, immigration from Somalia alone more than doubled in 2010, from 2009. Most of the Somali adults coming to Finland are illiterate, according to the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper. In September 2010, Finnish authorities admitted that Somalis were abusing the family unification procedure to facilitate human trafficking.

Some Muslim immigrants to Finland have travelled to Pakistan or Somalia to attend Jihadi training camps, according to Vasabladet, a newspaper in Sweden. In February 2010, Helsingin Sanomat reported that the Somali terrorist group al-Shabab was recruiting young Somalis living in Finland to go to war against the Somali government.

In early 2010, the Finnish Security Police (SUPO) asked Parliament for €1.7 million in funding to station officers permanently in Africa and the Middle East to stop possible terrorists who might want to travel to Finland. In August 2010, SUPO said it had successfully prevented terrorist suspects from Africa from entering Finland. In December 2010, Interior Minister Anne Homlund said that training individuals to commit terrorist acts would become a criminal offense.

In December 2009, an Albanian Muslim shot dead three men and a woman at a shopping centre in Espoo. The lone gunman was dressed in black and walked through the mall randomly firing at shoppers.

There are now believed to be several hundred hard-line Wahhabi Muslim fundamentalists in Finland, according to a journalist for the Finnish Broadcasting Company, Tom Kankkonen, who recently wrote a book entitled Islam Euroopassa (Islam in Europe). He says these Islamists operate in communities such as the Helsinki Muslimikoti (Muslim Home), the Iqra Association, and the Salafi Forum on the Internet.

But lately some Finns have been pushing back.

In January 2011, the City of Helsinki said that it would stop reserving special hours for Muslim women to use the public pool in the suburb of Jakomäki. In the future, the time slot for Muslim women will be open to all women. Previously, the Jakomäki swimming hall blocked off Saturday mornings specifically for Muslim women. The women's session followed a swimming class for Muslim girls.

In December 2010, the Ombudsman for Minorities, Eva Biaudet, issued a statement saying that a ban on Muslim prayer by a gym in the City of Espoo was not a violation of the prohibition on discrimination against ethnic minorities. In August 2010, the exercise center posted a notice requesting clients not to pray in its facilities. A nearby library provided a screened-off section in its rooms during August-September for use by Muslims during the month of Ramadan. But nine Espoo city councillors have demanded that religious practices be kept separate from public services.


Soeren Kern

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

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The president’s Catastrophic Mideast Policy

by Isi Leibler

At every conceivable level, the Obama administration's Middle East policies are spiraling into a disastrous free-fall.

Even Obama's friend, PA president Mahmoud Abbas, has explicitly accused the US President of having totally misled him. In an interview with Newsweek, he said that "it was Obama who suggested a full settlement freeze. I said okay, I accept. We both went up the tree. After that, he came down the ladder and he removed the ladder, and said to me jump. Three times he did it."

In other words, it was Obama's initiative which motivated Abbas to make the unprecedented demand that Israel freeze all construction in settlements, including the Jewish suburbs of east Jerusalem. Abbas now finds it extremely convenient to use Obama's impulsive action as a pretext to refuse to negotiate with Israel and stand by as global pressures are exerted on the Jewish state to make more unilateral concessions.

But it is Obama's obtuse and utterly inconsistent approach to the upheavals in the Arab world that have plunged the US into a bottomless pit and possibly irrevocably terminated whatever support for the US remained among some of the more moderate Arab autocracies.

From the outset, Obama surprised the world by his naïve efforts to "engage" with the fervently hostile Iranian extremists seeking to become a nuclear power. When the Iranian people revolted peacefully against the ayatollahs during the "Green Revolution", the American president remained mute even as the regime brutally suppressed the opposition.

Yet when Egyptian president Mubarak, the most loyal US ally in the Arab world, faced a domestic revolt, Obama turned his back on him, demanding his resignation and did not even enable him to retire graciously.

The Saudis and other "moderate" pro-US Arab states were shocked at the manner in which the Americans had responded to their most faithful ally. They undoubtedly now no longer harbor illusions about the reliability of American support under the Obama administration. In fact. the most pessimistic predictions of the outcome of these "democratic" revolts are regrettably now being realized.

The Muslim Brotherhood - which a number of ignorant members of the Obama administration had described as being democratic, more open-minded and even "mostly secular", has emerged as the most powerful force in Egypt. According to a recently released PEW Research Center poll, 75 percent of Egyptians regard the Brotherhood favorably. The US is despised - only 15% favoring a better relationship. More than 50% support the scrapping of the peace treaty with Israel. The Egyptian military council has already initiated moves to renew diplomatic relations with Iran and enabled Iranian ships to traverse the Suez Canal.

The candidate most likely to become president is Amr Moussa, who is favored by 89% of those polled. He is the secretary-general of the Arab League whose hatred for Israel was so intense that Mubarak was obliged to sack him as foreign minister. Only last week he declared that the Camp David accords were no longer relevant. The other candidate Mohammed ElBaradei declared that if Israel became engaged in a war with Hamas, Egypt would be obliged to respond militarily. Over 62% support the transformation of Egypt into a sharia state. Obama's betrayal of Mubarak has thus directly led to the installation of a more extremist anti-Western regime.

But the regional situation is even worse. In Libya, Obama's support of the overthrow of the deranged but recently pro-Western Colonel Gaddafi has resulted in a civil war. If Gaddafi wins, he will undoubtedly revert to his former evil terrorist activities which he had voluntarily relinquished. If the rebels are victorious, we are likely to find al-Qaida elements occupying a significant role in the country. The same applies to Yemen, which following the defeat of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, has every likelihood of being transformed into a fullyfledged terrorist state dominated by al-Qaida.

But even more incomprehensible was Obama's extraordinary tepid response to Syria's dictator Bashar Assad, whose brutal crackdown against peaceful demonstrators made Mubarak's repression appear positively mild.

Besides, Assad is an avowed enemy of the US and closely allied with the Iranian regime and enabled al-Qaida forces to traverse Syria in order to fight against American troops in Iraq. He is a major sponsor of Hezbollah and has acted as their conduit for the transfer of arms. He hosts Hamas in Damascus, orchestrated the murder of the Lebanese prime minister, sought to obtain nuclear weapons and bitterly opposed Egypt's peace treaty with Israel.

It is therefore inexplicable that even after hundreds of demonstrators were brutally killed and Assad has made it clear that he will not hesitate killing more citizens to quell any opposition, Obama has still neither called on him to step down nor initiated meaningful sanctions as he did with Libya.

We are left with a feeling of bewilderment. Is the administration so isolated from reality that it truly believes Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she refers to the tyrannical Assad as a reformer? Or is there a hidden agenda of which we are unaware?

My gut feeling is that there is no conspiracy and it is all a question of absolute and utter incompetence and dysfunctionality. Obama is proving, on a daily basis, to be a complete novice in foreign relations and his liberal ideologue advisers are just as confused.

It is truly mind-boggling. We have a US president who condemns the only genuine democratic partner the US has in the Middle East for building apartments in the suburbs of their capital. He betrays the Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, who loyally supported America for four decades and paves the way for a new more hostile Egyptian regime. And yet he hesitates in responding to one of the most committed enemies of the US in the Arab world.

We should therefore be under no illusions that Obama will initiate any meaningful action to curtail Iran's nuclear ambitions.

In summary: The Obama administration has undermined Israel, abandoned its Arab allies and appeased America's worst enemies.

We can only hope and pray that the Republicans will get their act together and designate a credible candidate before the next presidential elections. It is chilling to contemplate the damage Obama could inflict on America's international standing should he be reelected for a second term, free from any electoral constraints. The damage that ongoing American decline and weakness could inflict on Western civilization is positively alarming.

This column was originally published in the Jerusalem Post

Isi Leibler

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

Lieberman: Hamas Terrorists will Roam Judea and Samaria

by Gil Ronen

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday that he believes Hamas will take over Judea and Samaria in the Palestinian Authority elections planned for next year as part of the Fatah-Hamas rapprochement. Speaking on state-run Voice of Israel radio, Lieberman called the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas "the crossing of a red line" and added that Israel "must decide upon its steps" following the development.

One of the results of Hamas-Fatah unity will be that hundreds of Hamas terrorists will go free from Fatah-PA jails, and roam in Judea and Samaria, Lieberman said. He called upon the international community to hold on steadfastly to the conditions it has set for recognition of "Palestinian" governments: the abandoning of terror, the recognition of Israel and the honoring of previous agreements.

Lieberman pointed to two possible reasons for the rapprochement. Hamas is "in a panic," he said, because its patron Bashar Assad is in trouble, while Fatah is shaken up after losing its patron, Hosni Mubarak.

MK Yitzchak Herzog (Labor) called upon the government to declare that Israel would support a UN vote establishing a PA state on the condition that negotiations for permanent borders begin forthwith and that the PA recognize former US President Bill Clinton's parameters for a diplomatic deal and carry out "confidence building measures."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is of a different opinion. In a Wednesday evening statement he referred to the anticipated agreement between the Fatah-PA and Hamas, saying:

"The Palestinian Authority needs to choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas. Peace with both is impossible because Hamas aspires to destroy the State of Israel and says so openly. It fires missiles at our cities; it fires anti-tank rockets at our children.

"I think that the very idea of this reconciliation shows the weakness of the Palestinian Authority and causes one to wonder if Hamas will seize control of Judea and Samaria like it seized control of the Gaza Strip.

"I hope that the Palestinian Authority chooses correctly, i.e. that it chooses peace with Israel. The choice is in its hands."


Gil Ronen

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

'Annexation for Declaration' Gains Momentum

by Gavriel Queenann

MK Danny Danon (Likud) is preparing bills to annex Judea and Samaria and repeal Oslo should the UN unilaterally declare a PA state in September.

“We’ll have to protect ourselves,” Danon said. “I’m going to suggest to my government to extend our sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and over the highly populated blocs we have in Judea and Samaria, just to start with.”

Danon said the proper response to a unilateral declaration of PA statehood would be annexing all of Area C, which includes all Jewish settlements and empty land in Judea and Samaria. Danon encouraged Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to follow the example of Levi Eshkol, who annexed eastern Jerusalem, and Menachem Begin, who annexed the Golan Heights.

“A Palestinian declaration of statehood would officially bury the Oslo Accords, which state that final borders will be decided via negotiations and that unilateral actions constitute violation of the accords,” Danon said of his second bill. “The Palestinians declaring a state would free us of all the diplomatic, security, and economic commitments we made in the Oslo Accords.”

The idea Danon is pursuing was raised by National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau at an Israel Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) convention in Jerusalem two weeks ago and has attracted attention from the international media. CNN approached Landau to discuss the idea on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has remained staunchly ambiguous on how he intends to respond to the PA's bid for a UN declaration of statehood. He has, however, maintained, should the PA pursue unilateral moves, that Israel has its own unilateral options.


Gavriel Queenann

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

Congratulations to Syria - Newest Member of UN Human Rights Council

by Rick Moran

Sad, maddening, at a loss for words - the gamut of emotions that one experiences upon hearing the news that Syria will still be added to the Human Rights Council at the UN boggles the mind.

What's worse? The dripping hypocrisy or the total obliviousness of the SecGen?

Fox News:

And despite calling for an independent investigation into the crackdown, which has left hundreds dead, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apparently won't do much about blocking Syria's path to the human rights group.

"That's not really for the secretary general to suggest to a member state," said Martin Nesirky, a spokesman for the secretary-general, when asked if the U.N. chief would ask Syria to drop out of the running for the post. When asked if Ban had brought up the point during his telephone conversation April 9 with Assad, Nesirsky told Fox News, "that's not really something the secretary general would raise specifically, because it's for other member states to decide on the membership of the Human Rights Council."

Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian human rights activist based in Washington, called on the secretary-general "to have a greater sense of decency and courage, and to realize that his position gives him a certain moral authority and puts him exactly in the position to tell the Assads that their candidacy at this stage is unwelcome." Abdulhamid was forced to flee Syria in 2005 following criticism of the Assad regime, and still finds himself under attack by the regime. His website was recently hacked and now posts the latest videos and news on his blog (

A State Department spokesman last week said the U.S. would oppose Syria's bid to the Human Rights Council, calling it "inappropriate and hypocritical." But it would seem Syria is virtually guaranteed a seat, having been selected as one of four candidates for the Asian bloc.

President Bush refused to have anything to do with the Council after the anti-Israel majority put on a dog and pony show of hate, bigotry, and anti-Semitism in Durban, South Africa.

But with his policy of engagement and his "Let's not be beastly to the thugs of the world" attitude, President Obama hopped on board the Council train despite members whose record on Human Rights might better be read at the World Court.

Now we're stuck; either we meekly accept this outrageous insult to human decency and common sense, or we walk away and have nothing to do with this irrational, hypocritical body.

Which path do you think our president will choose?

Pass me the Pepto. I think I'm going to be sick.


Rick Moran

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

The Munich Three Find Their Target: Israel

by Kenneth Levin

In 1938, the leaders of Britain, France and Germany met in Munich to decide the fate of Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia was not invited. The three conferees agreed to strip the targeted nation of the Sudetenland, whose population consisted largely of ethnic Germans, and transfer that territory to German control. This deprived the victim state not simply of land but of those areas – mountainous, fortifiable - necessary for Czechoslovakia to be able to defend itself.

Today, the same three nations are doing the same vis-a-vis Israel. They are discarding UN Security Council Resolution 242, passed unanimously in the wake of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and since then the cornerstone for all Middle East negotiations. They are ignoring the language of the resolution and the explicit declarations of its authors that Israel should not be forced to return to the pre-1967 armistice lines; that those lines left defense of the country too precarious and should be replaced by “secure and recognized boundaries” to be negotiated by Israel and its neighbors.

Lord Caradon, Britain’s ambassador to the UN at the time and the person who introduced Resolution 242 in the Security Council, told a Lebanese newspaper in 1974: “It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places where the soldiers of each side happened to be on the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They were just armistice lines. That’s why we didn’t demand that the Israelis return to them, and I think we were right not to…”

Arthur Goldberg, the American UN ambassador, made much the same point, stating that the reference to “secure and recognized boundaries” intentionally pointed to the parties negotiating new lines entailing a less than complete Israeli withdrawal and that “Israel’s prior frontiers had proved notably insecure.” Lyndon Johnson, then President, declared Israel’s retreat to its former lines would be “not a prescription for peace but for renewed hostilities.” He advocated new “recognized boundaries” that would provide “security against terror, destruction, and war.”

Subsequent American presidents have reiterated Israel’s right to defensible borders.

The dangers for Israel of a return to the pre-1967 cease-fire lines are evident from even minimal consideration of the region’s topography. Such a withdrawal would not only reduce the nation to a width of nine miles at its center but would entail Israel’s handing over to people who continue to call for her ultimate dissolution control of hill country entirely dominating the coastal plane that is home to some 70% of Israel’s population.

It would also give potential hostile forces beyond the Jordan River untrammeled access to those heights.

This was what the drafters of Security Council Resolution 242 sought to preclude. And this is what the Munich Three now choose to ignore by calling upon the Quartet or the UN to abandon the emphasis on negotiations between the parties and to present a plan of its own based on Israeli retreat to the pre-1967 lines.

In the wake of the 1938 Munich agreement, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declared, of course, that the parties had achieved “peace in our time.” But Britain and France also offered solemn promises that, should Germany unexpectedly violate the agreement and move against what remained of Czechoslovakia, they would come to the rump nation’s defense.

Less than six months after Munich, Hitler conquered the rest of Czechoslovakia. Britain and France did nothing.

Now we have Britain, France and Germany swearing their dedication to Israel’s security and well-being, even as they meet, with Israel uninvited, and seek to strip her of defensible borders, and even as they have, in fact, neither the will nor the capacity to help defend Israel from the existential threats to which they would subject her.

What they do have the capacity to do – adhere to their obligations under Resolution 242, support a division of the West Bank that would entail Israel retaining defensible borders while allowing the vast majority of Palestinians to pursue a separate political course – they refuse to do.

There are other things Britain, France and Germany could do to advance genuine peace. They could work for an end to the genocidal incitement against Israel, and Jews more generally, purveyed by both Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority. But instead they not only typically ignore Palestinian incitement but actually fund it, both in their individual contributions to the Palestinians and in their bankrolling of the Palestinians through the European Union. Some of these funds go directly to organs of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement.

Germany could also curb its lucrative role in financing the Iranian regime, whose stated objective is Israel’s annihilation. But it has refused to do so.

In some respects the moral bankruptcy of today’s betrayal of Israel exceeds that of the betrayal of Czechoslovakia in 1938. Then, for example, Hitler vowed the Sudetenland would be his last territorial claim in Europe. There was at least this figleaf, however flimsy, for believing the Munich agreement might mean peace and rump Czechoslovakia might survive. In contrast, no Palestinian leader pretends an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines would mean an end to Palestinian claims against Israel. All insist on a “right of return” to pre-1967 Israel for refugees of the 1947-48 war and their descendants; an objective that amounts to the dismantling of the Jewish state. And all Palestinian parties continue to indoctrinate their constituents, including their children, to believe Israel has no right to exist and to dedicate themselves to her destruction.

The United States has acted to postpone the planned April meeting of the Quartet, where the Munich Three were hoping to see the emphasis on bilateral, Israeli-Palestinian, negotiations, and on Security Council Resolution 242, formally abandoned in favor of an international plan based on Israeli retreat to the pre-1967 lines. But they may pursue the same objective at a future Quartet meeting. In addition, the Palestinians are threatening to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state with borders defined by the pre-1967 boundaries, a course that likewise converges with the Munich Three’s agenda.

Churchill said of Chamberlain after Munich, “He was given a choice between war and dishonor. He chose dishonor and he will have war anyway.”

The Munich Three had a choice between adhering to the central international agreement regarding resolution of the conflict and pushing Abbas to resume negotiations on the basis of that agreement or betraying their international commitments, betraying Israel, and almost certainly subjecting the region to more war and carnage. To their dishonor, they have chosen the latter.


Kenneth Levin is a psychiatrist and historian and author of The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People under Siege (Smith and Kraus Global, 2005; paperback 2006).

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

Another Terrorist Flotilla Headed for Gaza

by Arnold Ahlert

Once again, Palestinian activists have announced their intention to break through Israel’s blockade of Gaza. On Tuesday, Huseyin Oruc, spokesman for the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), a Turkish Islamic aid group the Israeli government and other countries consider a terrorist organization, said an international coalition of 22 non-governmental organizations plans to send 15 ships with a total of 1,500 people. Israel has urged the Turkish government to stop the mission, but officials in Ankara insisted that they don’t have the right to prevent it. The attempt to break the blockade would be the second one a year after nine people were killed aboard the Mavi Marmara when they attacked Israeli commandos attempting to board the vessel on May 31, 2010.

Relations between Israel and Turkey, long-time allies before the incident, have yet to recover. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party government, which has moved Turkey away from its previously secular traditions towards Islamism, froze relations with Israel after the deadly incident. The prime minister has since demanded an apology from Israel as a condition for improving relations. Israel has refused, and relations continue be be strained. Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoglu indicated as much in a Monday interview with the Sydney Morning Herald. “We urge Israel not to repeat the same mistake,” he said. “It is Israel’s responsibility not to implement [a blockade] against Gaza. A fact-finding mission of the UN declared that this … is illegal.” “The Mediterranean does not belong to any nation,” he added, contending that last year’s flotilla “raid” occurred in international waters.

Yet it is not just Israel which considers this new attempt to run the blockade as unnecessarily provocative. During a meeting with the U.N. Security Council on April 21, Israel’s UN Ambassador Meron Reuben warned that the organizers of the so-called peace flotilla had ”ties to Hamas and other terrorist organizations,” and that “participants engaged in the planning of this flotilla have made very troubling statements expressing their willingness to become martyrs in this effort.” Both the United States and Germany echoed that sentiment with U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice contending that ”[T]here are distinct mechanisms to deliver goods to Gaza and there are no justifications to sail directly to Gaza,” and German Ambassador Peter Witting calling on the organizers to “find other ways to deliver aid to the people of Gaza.”

IHH leader and flotilla organizer Bulent Yildirim was defiant. In a speech on April 7, during a memorial service held in the Turkish city of Alanya for IHH operatives killed aboard the Mavi Marmara, he declared that ”we [participants in the upcoming flotilla] are not afraid to die as shaheeds,” and reiterated the IHH’s determination to continue dispatching flotillas until “the siege of Gaza is lifted” and “we complete our journey to Al-Aqsa [mosque].” He claimed the flotilla will go on as scheduled and that it will include “a ship from every country in Europe” as well the Mavi Marmara.

Another group involved in the flotilla is the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) a left-wing organization of anti-Israeli activists established in the United States in 2001. On their California website, the ISF posted a call for applications from its membership to participate in the upcoming attempt to run the Israeli blockade. According to The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center the ISM is recruiting activists “who previously participated in ISM flotillas, especially those who were detained and deported by Israel.” Anticipating a confrontation, the website instructs those who participate to “deploy broad use of the tactic of ‘greater nonviolent resistance after capture,’” including ”[R]efusing deportation until a set of conditions is met” and “[E]xtreme nonviolent noncooperation during captivity”

The radical group Free Gaza Movement (FGM), which organized the previous flotilla, is also involved in this one. They have stated their intention to name the upcoming provocation “Freedom Flotilla–Stay Human” in honor of Vittorio Arrigoni, a pro-Palestinian activist who was found murdered in the Gaza strip hours after being kidnapped there. Despite attempts by radicals to blame Israel for the crime, the BBC reports that Salafist radicals, an Islamist movement that considers Hamas too moderate, was responsible.

More importantly, former Weather Underground leaders William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, as well as Code Pink founder Jodie Evans, helped organize the Free Gaza Movement. They were directly involved in putting together the six-ship flotilla that challenged the Israelis a year ago. According to, it was at least the fourth incident in which the FGM attempted to provoke the Israeli navy. On August 23, 2008, two FGM boats were allowed by Israel to dock in Gaza, which the group’s members celebrated as a symbolic break of the Israeli “siege.” One of those boats, the Dignity, was once again allowed to dock at a Gaza port on October 29, 2008. On December 29, 2009, the Dignity attempted a third docking, but it was diverted due to a major Israeli military offensive taking place in Gaza in retaliation for rocket attacks by Hamas against southern Israeli cities. In a different tack last January, Ayers, Dohrn and Evans were involved in an attempt to enter Gaza from Egypt. When the Egyptian government refused, they participated in street demonstrations until the government relented and allowed 100 activists to cross the border.

Ayers and Dohrn have been associates of President Obama for many years. Obama’s first fundraising effort for state senator was held in the couple’s home in 1995, and both men were board members on the leftist Woods Fund from 1998-2001 and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an educational reform group, during the ’90s. Ms. Evans worked as a fundraiser and campaign funds bundler for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Ayers, Dohrn, and Evans are reportedly involved in this upcoming flotilla as well.

Israel’s blockade of Gaza began in 2006, in response to the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in a cross-border raid from the territory. Israel tightened the blockade in 2007, when Hamas seized power from the PLO, splitting itself from the government run by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. Earlier in April, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a group of European representatives that stopping the second flotilla was “in [Europe's] and our common interest, and I think it’s something that you should…transmit to your governments, that this flotilla must be stopped.”

It is unlikely European governments will respond. In the previous incident with the Mavi Marmara, Israel was largely condemned by the international community, despite the fact that Israel released a video showing that the commandos who boarded the ship acted in self-defense. Photographs by the Israeli government revealed several slingshots, knives, axes, wooden clubs, and gas masks, and ceramic vests imprinted with the Turkish flag were found, despite the captain of the Mavi Marmara‘s claim that he had instructed his crew not to allow any weapons on board the ship.

Possibly complicating European response even further has been a request by Claude Leostic from the pro-Palestinian Association France Palestine Solidarite (AFPS), that top EU officials threaten Israel with economic sanctions if there’s a repeat of last year’s violence. “The EU has been saying for a long time that the blockade is against international law. It has the means to apply economic pressure, to cancel its economic agreement with Israel. If they are serious about their position, they could send such a message. This would be a really good move,” said Leostic.

And so the ships will sail, reportedly from a number of different ports in the Mediterranean, including Cyprus, Italy, Malta, Turkey and Tunisia. They are expected to avoid both the NATO blockade of Libya and Israeli territorial waters, heading straight for Gaza. Israel has offered to allow the flotilla to dock in the Israeli port of Ashdod instead. IHH spokesman Oruc said organizers would let the UN, or an international group including Israeli experts, search the boats for weapons. Yet Oruc cautioned that the flotilla will not allow a search by Israelis “on their own.” An unnamed Israeli diplomat, anticipating trouble, referred to the 1994 San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea as legal grounds for either capturing vessels which break a blockade, or in the case of those which have been warned and resist, initiating military action. The Turkel Commission, an internal inquiry by Israel’s government into last year’s incident, exonerated its commandos’ use of deadly force, and despite calls by Turkey for an independent investigation, Israel considers the Mavi Marmara matter closed.

The “X Factor” in this year’s potential confrontation? The upheavals occurring in the various nations across the region — most of which have been focused inward. It is quite likely that this flotilla is an attempt to turn much of that focus towards Israel, in order to remind those nations that, while they may be going through their respective national dramas, animus for Israel must never be left out of the equation, no matter what power eventually transitions to in Yemen, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Libya and possibly even Syria.

It would be wonderful to think the Obama administration anticipates such a strategy, and is formulating plans to either counteract it, or minimize its effects. Yet given the president’s current Middle East strategy, which has been laughingly characterized by The New Yorker magazine’s Ryan Lizza as “leading from behind,” such anticipation may be too much to expect.


Arnold Ahlert is a contributing writer to the conservative website

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

Egyptians’ Lust For War With Israel

by Robert Spencer

In yet another blow to the hopes of those who confidently told us that the Egyptian uprising heralded the dawn of a new, secular democracy there, a new poll shows that 54% of Egyptians want to scrap the Camp David accords that have kept an uneasy peace with Israel since 1979. If you thought that supporters of Western secular pluralism would have no problem with the Camp David accords, you’re right: the poll, conducted by the Pew Research Center, reveals that a significant number of Egyptians don’t actually support secularism and democracy at all. Instead, they manifest a deeply ingrained Islamic antisemitism that leads them to hate Israel – and the Camp David accords – for religious, not political reasons.

“Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews…” — Qur’an 5:82. The Qur’an contains a great deal of material that forms the foundation for a hatred of Jews that has persisted throughout Islamic history. It portrays the Jews as the craftiest, most persistent, and most implacable enemies of the Muslims — and there is no Islamic authority that has moved to mitigate the most destructive interpretations of all this. The Qur’anic material on the Jews remains the prism through which far too many Muslims see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Camp David accords, and Jews in general to this day.

A vivid illustration of this came several years ago from Islam Online, a website founded by, among others, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, in 1997. Al-Qaradawi has justified suicide bombings against Israeli civilians, and in 2004 Islam Online posted an article entitled “Jews as Depicted in the Qur’an.” In it, Sheikh ‘Atiyyah Saqr, the former head of the Fatwa Committee at the most respected institution in Sunni Islam, Al-Azhar University in Cairo, depicts Jews in a chillingly negative light, illustrated with abundant quotations from the Qur’an. Among other charges he levels at the Jews, Saqr says that they “used to fabricate things and falsely ascribe them to Allah”; they “love to listen to lies”; they disobey Allah and ignore his commands; they wish “evil for people” and try to “mislead them”; and they “feel pain to see others in happiness and are gleeful when others are afflicted with a calamity.” He adds that “it is easy for them to slay people and kill innocents,” for “they are merciless and heartless.” And each charge he follows with Qur’anic citations (including, among others, 3:75; 5:64; 3:181; 5:41; 5:13; 2:109; 3:120; 2:61; 2:74; 2:100; 59:13-14; 2:96; and 2:79).

Though he offers many examples of the alleged evil traits of the Jews supported by the Qur’an, Saqr doesn’t mention the notorious Qur’anic passages that depict an angry Allah transforming Jews into apes and pigs: 2:63-66; 5:59-60; and 7:166. The first of those passages depicts Allah telling the Jews who “profaned the Sabbath”: “Be as apes despicable!” It goes on to say that these accursed ones serve “as a warning example for their time and for all times to come.” The second has Allah directing Muhammad to remind the “People of the Book” about “those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped evil.” The third essentially repeats this, saying of the Sabbath-breaking Jews that when “in their insolence they transgressed (all) prohibitions,” Allah said to them, “Be ye apes, despised and rejected.”

In traditional Islamic theology these passages have not been considered to apply to all Jews. The classic Qur’anic commentator Ibn Kathir, whose commentary is widely distributed and respected among Muslims today, quotes earlier authorities saying that “those who violated the sanctity of the Sabbath were turned into monkeys, then they perished without offspring,” and that they “only lived on the earth for three days, for no transformed person ever lives more than three days.” While parts of the Qur’an are hostile to the Jews, Muhammad’s curse, in this case, was limited to these Sabbath-breakers, not to all Jews.

However, that hasn’t stopped contemporary jihadists from frequently referring to Jews as the “descendants of apes and swine.” The implication is that today’s Jews are bestial in character and are the enemies of Allah, just as the Sabbath-breakers were. The recently deceased grand sheikh of Al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, who was the most respected cleric in the world among Sunni Muslims, called Jews “the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs.” Saudi sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Sudayyis, imam of the principal mosque in the holiest city in Islam, Mecca, said in a sermon that Jews are “the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the violators of pacts and agreements, the murderers of the prophets, and the offspring of apes and pigs.”

Another Saudi sheikh, Ba’d bin Abdallah al-Ajameh al-Ghamidi, made the connection explicit: “The current behavior of the brothers of apes and pigs, their treachery, violation of agreements, and defiling of holy places … is connected with the deeds of their forefathers during the early period of Islam–which proves the great similarity between all the Jews living today and the Jews who lived at the dawn of Islam.” A 1996 Hamas publication says that today’s Jews are bestial in spirit, and this is a manifestation of the punishment of their forefathers. In January 2007, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas stated, “The sons of Israel are mentioned as those who are corrupting humanity on earth,” referring to Qur’an 5:64.

All this shows that leading Muslim authorities approach the Qur’an not as a document rooted in history, but as a blueprint for understanding the world today. Likewise, Sheikh ‘Atiyyah Saqr describes the Qur’anic teachings that because Jews “revolted against the Divine ordinances … they found no warm reception in all countries where they tried to reside. Rather, they would either be driven out or live in isolation.” Moreover, “Almighty Allah told us that He’d send to them people who’d pour on them rain of severe punishment that would last till the Day of Resurrection.” Then comes a threat: “All this gives us glad tidings of the coming victory of Muslims over them once Muslims stick to strong faith and belief in Allah and adopt the modern means of technology.”


Robert Spencer

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

How Much Should You Spend to Protect Your Citizens and Allies?

by Taylor Dinerman

While Israelis are cheering the success of the new Iron Dome short range Missile Defense weapon, many have expressed doubts about the cost-effectiveness of the system. How can it be in Israel's interest, they ask, to use expensive interceptors to destroy cheap Arab rockets?

Israel's head Missile Defense guru, Uzi Rubin believes that this is a non-issue. He calls it: "The famous cost-exchange shibboleth." He explains that "Nursing one seriously wounded patient back to health could cost more to the national treasury than a batch of interceptor missiles. And what cost to a human life?"

In the US, Paul Nitze's cost- exchange "criteria" in 1985 were attempts by an intelligent, patriotic and devoted Arms Control negotiator to reconcile President Reagan's Missile Defense vision, embodied in the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, or "Star Wars," which helped to bring down the Soviet Union by forcing them to compete with a weapons program they could not afford) with technological and economic realities as they were understood at the time. Nitze wrote "... we would not deploy it (Missile Defense) unless we were convinced that it would cost an opponent more to add offsetting offensive military capabilities than it would cost us to add defenses that would negate his response." To put it another way the Nitze Criteria said that it should be cheaper to build a defensive missile defense weapon than it is to build an offensive nuclear missile.

Many hard core opponents of SDI imagined that the "Nitze Criteria" would insure the demise of Reagan's program, and that they would be able to get back to the old cycle of offensive nuclear-weapons build-ups, followed by arms control talks, followed by more nuclear-weapons being built and deployed. The Arms Control diplomats and some military people were comfortable with this cycle, and unhappy that President Reagan had radically changed their rules of engagement .

Nitze himself was more cautious than many of his fellow Arms Control establishmentarians. "... American technology.;" he wrote, "often achieves unanticipated breakthroughs" -- a nice way of saying that the revolution in information-technology that was fully underway in 1985, would in all likelihood lead to Missile Defense systems that, when mature, would be able to "Hit a bullet with a bullet." and do so at a reasonable cost.

Almost immediately after the Reagan administration accepted the "Nitze Criteria" as part of the Policy in setting out the goals of SDI, the debate moved into the esoteric realm of the "Soviet Estimate." This was a long running inside-the-beltway debate over just how big and how powerful the Soviet military, and the economy that supported it, really were. How could one judge that any given bit of Soviet technology was 'cost effective" when there was no reliable way to estimate what the real cost was? Should one use the official ruble rate or the black market rate? How much did a Soviet nuclear missile really cost? What assumptions about the size of the Soviet defense budget and the Soviet economy made sense? None of these questions was ever answered to everyone's satisfaction.

Today, the political decision to protect America and its allies from ballistic missile attacks has been taken. The argument is largely over how much to spend, and whether or not to deploy active anti-missile weapons in space. Any debates about how much a North Korean or Iranian long-range missile really costs are confined too obscure corners of the Intelligence Community or inside the tight little world of Arms Control academics.

The debate over the "Nitze Criteria" has shifted and is now in full blossom, although not under that name, in Israel. There, it is both a matter of life and death and an everyday reality. Five years ago, after the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Israel decided to begin work on a missile defense system that would intercept and destroy at least some of the rockets that the Arabs had been using to target civilians for decades.

These weapons, which Israelis generally call Katyushas, are Russian-designed rockets that have a nominal range of 21 kilometers (13 miles) and carry an 18 kilogram (39 pound) warhead. They rarely kill anyone, but they do injure and damage civilians on a regular basis. The strategic aim behind the use of these rockets is to make normal life impossible for Israelis who live within range.

Defeating these weapons using the Iron Dome missile defense system may not make life 'normal' in the towns and villages that are under attack, but it does prevent injury and damage; and in time, the system may create a "new normal." The Israeli government has been thinking long and hard about Civil Defense, and often come up with a set of ingenious solutions. What may be more likely is that the Israeli people themselves will find ways to use the limited protection afforded by Iron Dome to adapt themselves to the danger.

The Iron Dome system consists of a pair of radars, a control center and two or three launchers for the "Tamir" interceptor missiles. The radars detect the enemy missile, and the control system decides within a few seconds if the missile is going to hit an inhabited area or not. If the missile is going to hit an empty field, then nothing is done and the rocket merely disturbs some dirt. But if the rocket is going to his a town or village, then one or two Tamir interceptors are fired, destroying the incoming rocket.

Published figures say that each Tamir costs between $25,000 and $40,000. As usual for cost estimates like this, they all depend on what is being counted as a cost, and what on assumptions the estimate is based. Yet if the cost question is looked at from the point of view of the attacker, and if the Nitze criteria are applied, an interesting picture emerges.

What does it cost Hamas and Iran to fire a Katyusha at Israel from Gaza? Estimates of the cost of a single Katyusha range from $250 to several thousand, with the larger estimate being more probable. What this cost does not include is the price that Iran and Hamas have to pay to smuggle the weapon from Iran to Gaza. Bribes must be paid to officials in the Sudan, Egypt and Sinai. While Hamas obviously does not have to pay to use the tunnels it controls, it must spend large sums every month on the upkeep and repair of its underground infrastructure where the rockets are stored.

No one in Israel or in the US has an accurate picture of how much all of this costs, and how to include Hamas's military overhead costs in an estimate of what price it pays to fire each Katyusha at Israel.

Like the US debate in the 1980s over the Nitze criteria, the argument in Israel is only marginally about the cost effectiveness of the Defense system. At its core is a political debate over whether or not, and at what cost, to defend the citizenry from danger.


Taylor Dinerman

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

Share It