Friday, December 30, 2011

The less Israel says about Syria, the better...

by Jay Bushinsky

The Syrian armed forces’ brutal attempt to crush the popular uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime – which has reportedly claimed over 6,000 lives – has evoked widespread but silent sympathy in Israel.

However, there has been no public discussion of emergency medical aid or any other form of humanitarian assistance, and rightly so.

Any step that might imply support for either side in the yearlong conflict could be misconstrued as evidence of active involvement.

If Israel were to help the Free Syrian Army or its civilian supporters in the hope that they might opt for peace if they were to overthrow the Damascus regime, Syrian propagandists could charge that the Israelis were behind the uprising.

On the other hand, if Israel were to back Assad because he has abided by the cease-fire agreement instituted under the aegis of the UN after the Six Day War 44 years ago, his political longevity might be rendered that much shorter.

All that the Israelis can do at this stage is to keep abreast of developments across their northeastern border. This indeed is being done day in and day out in the local press and on TV and radio.

The biggest danger is that Assad could find a pretext for a military assault against Israel, in a desperate attempt to shift his rebellious public’s attention away from its criticism of his leadership to the historical enmity against the Jewish state.

If Assad were overthrown or fled Syria with his immediate family there are several political scenarios that could come into play.

First, this could be followed by a nationwide purge of Assad’s supporters, especially those who belong to his minority Alawite Islamic sect. That prospect stiffens the resistance to the political opposition. The pro-Assad establishment and the component remnants of the once-pervasive Ba’ath party also have a vested interest in preserving the regime.

Iran is another factor in Assad’s favor. The Islamic Republic does want to lose its closest Middle Eastern ally. Assad’s downfall might have dangerous repercussions inside Iran and therefore could undermine the existence of the Teheran regime.

Russia’s extensive military support of Syria and its political influence over its leadership also generate backing for Assad in the international arena. His removal and a potential Syrian alliance with France and the US would deprive Moscow of its last stronghold in the Arab world.

Assad’s fall also would be a major setback to such militant Islamic organizations as Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Gaza Strip’s Hamas and other extremist Palestinian groups. This is because Syria has been a major conduit for Iran’s arms shipments to its Lebanese allies. Such a change would end the use of Damascus as the the headquarters of Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Hezbollah, which has tens of thousands of surface-to-surface missiles that were airlifted to Syria and transferred to southern Lebanon for deployment just across Israel’s northern border, would lose this major supply conduit.

In the meantime, there has been serious concern that Hezbollah agents would seize much of Syria’s arsenal in the event that Assad’s regime were to collapse. Hezbollah could go on to provoke a new military showdown with Israel, if only to rally Israel’s foes in Syria to its side.

Another danger inherent in the Syrian crisis is that it might lead to the advent of a hardline Islamic regime in Damascus. This could be prompted by two factors: resentment by Syria’s largest Muslim sect, the Sunnis, caused by more than four decades of submission to the Alawite minority, or the pro- Islamic upsurge that emerged from the so-called Arab Spring. This certainly would be a negative development from Israel’s standpoint.

In the event that the current showdown leads to the emergence of a relatively moderate, reformist regime in Damascus, one of the immediate results presumably would be a diplomatic effort to recover most if not all of the strategic Golan Heights from Israel. If such an effort were to fail, Israel not only would have to cope with another prolonged period of enmity and the consequent danger of another war, but would also lose a unique opportunity for regional normalization and stability.

All of these considerations explain why Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has refrained from public comment about the violence raging in Syria and why he has been able to convince the members of his cabinet and other coalition allies to keep quiet about the Syrian crisis.

Israel would have too much to lose if ill-considered comments were to tilt Syria’s volatile situation in the wrong direction in terms of this country’s security interests.

Therefore, the wisest course is just to continue reporting the tragic toll in dead and wounded, and the failure of the international community to intervene in a concerted and honest effort to stop the bloodshed. That is as far as Israel should go for the time being.

Jay Bushinsky is a veteran foreign correspondent.


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The Worst Case Scenario (barring the Apocalypse)

by Daniel Perez

As an American, a conservative, and as a supporter of Israel, it's not exactly an earth-shattering revelation when I say that I am dissatisfied with the current presidential administration. President Obama's domestic initiatives are questionable at best, and his approach to foreign policy has us well on the road to disaster. It's with all this in mind that I resolved to vote for anyone but Obama in next year's election.

Even though we haven't even picked a GOP candidate yet, nobody could possibly be worse for our country than the incumbent. As it turns out, I had spoken too soon.

There is, in fact, one Republican candidate who is so far off of the political mainstream that, should he secure his party's nomination, it almost certainly guarantees not just a failure for the GOP, but a spectacular failure. I am speaking, of course, about Congressman Ron Paul.

Have you ever looked at the two big party candidates in an election and thought you were being forced to choose between “Tweedle-Dee” and “Tweedle-Dum,” and that the overall difference between the Democratic and Republican candidates was so slight that the election of either would do little to change the political landscape?

Well, there’s a very simple reason for that. The rank and file of the Democratic and Republican Parties occupy positions just barely to the left and right of center. You see, the majority of American voters are what you call “moderates.” They believe in a moderate amount of government involvement in the affairs of individuals, and a moderate amount of government involvement in business. That’s normal – the government exists to carry out the will of the majority while simultaneously protecting the rights of the minority. To do all that, we need police, and courts, and legislators and what have you.

Of course, there are individuals and parties who support various extreme stances, be it extreme over-involvement (when a government is too hands-on the private lives of civilians, it’s called fascism; when the government takes the “free” out of the free market, we call it communism), or a complete laissez-faire attitude to both. Because these political ideologies are on the far ends of the spectrum, one finds less and less popular support the further out one goes. And in our two-party system, a fringe candidate is, for all practical intents and purposes, unelectable, at least when it comes to the presidency.

In any event, as the poster child for Libertarianism, Ron Paul is, in theory, a proponent of the hands-off approach to government. And while Paul’s Libertarian philosophy isn’t as malevolent as the –isms that have enslaved parts of Europe and Asia over the last century, they pose a danger nonetheless, both to the people of the United States, and our ally, Israel.

Let’s set aside for a moment the infamous newsletters, and Ron Paul’s history as an inspiration to white supremacists everywhere. He didn’t write those articles, after all. And anyone wanting to learn more can simply plug the terms “racist” and “Ron Paul Political Report” into any search engine. Moreover, President Obama for years belonged to a church where he was treated to racist diatribes on a weekly basis by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and it doesn’t seem to have affected him any. So I guess if the electorate wasn’t shaken by the racist ties of a sitting president, Ron Paul should get a free pass. So let’s stick to politics.

Ron Paul, as a matter of principle, believes that the U.S. should end all foreign aid. While that would mean no more U.S. money for terrorist groups like Hamas (hooray!), it would also mean no assistance for Israel (boooo!), so you could argue that it’s a wash. Except that we give our Israeli allies far more assistance than the P.A., and the P.A. doesn’t receive any military aid at all.

But perhaps more importantly in a big-picture terms, eliminating foreign aid deprives us of a valuable foreign policy tool. If countries on the U.S. dole are acting in direct opposition to American interests, or in a way that creates instability or humanitarian crises, we don’t just revoke all aid. We should make it contingent on their taking practical steps to resolve the situation. And if they don’t, then we cut the aid. The carrot and the stick are a package deal, as it were.

But then again, Ron Paul was one of the few voices in Congress to support Israel’s bombing of the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq. And by “support,” I mean he basically declared that it’s none of our business. That actually sounds kind of sensible. Better than saying “we need to stop them,” though perhaps not as good as asking “how can we help?”

It was a confluence of American and Israeli interests that Saddam Hussein not get a nuclear reactor, so in terms of realpolitik, Ron Paul was doing the smart thing. But what does he think of Israel when their goals and ours don’t happen to coincide?

As it turns out, Ron Paul may not hate the Jews as such, he would prefer if the Jewish state simply didn’t exist. As former senior Ron Paul aide Eric Dondero puts it:

“Is Ron Paul an anti-Semite? Absolutely no. He is however, most certainly anti-Israel, and anti-Israeli in general. He wishes the Israeli state did not exist at all. He expressed this to me numerous times in our private conversations. His view is that Israel is more trouble than it is worth, specifically to the American taxpayer. He sides with the Palestinians, and supports their calls for the abolishment of the Jewish state, and the return of Israel, all of it, to the Arabs."

I think that’s all we needed to hear. Even if Dondero isn’t being 100% truthful (though I’ve no reason to suspect him), given Ron Paul’s checkered political past and racist fan base, why take the risk of voting for him? And even if you ignore all of that, why pick a candidate who’s far enough off center to be an all but guaranteed failure?

A vote for Ron Paul in the primaries is, ultimately, a vote for Barrack Obama.

Daniel Perez


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UK Bishops Come Out Clearly Against Israel

by Giulio Meotti

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has offered the Palestinians a powerful tool of propaganda: the comparison with Jesus’ passion.

“We are to be freshly attentive to the needs of those who, like Jesus himself, are displaced and in discomfort”, Archbishop Vincent Nichols said during his Christmas Mass sermon at Westminster Cathedral. “A shadow falls particularly heavily on the town of Bethlehem tonight … We pray for them tonight”.

It would have been more in keeping with Nicholas’ mission to mention hundreds of Christians losing their lives to Islamic terrorism and oppressed by Palestinian Muslim dictatorship.

Nichols’ sermon has an historical value, because now the entire Christian hierarchy in the UK, Catholic and Protestant as well, is part of the global battle against Israel.

There is a virulent animosity towards the Jewish state in the established churches in Britain, which promulgate inflammatory libels against it.

Recently Barry Morgan, the Archbishop of Wales, compared Israel to apartheid in South Africa. “The situation resembles the apartheid system in South Africa because Gaza is next to one of the most sophisticated and modern countries in the world – Israel”, said Morgan.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, joined the Church of England’s General Synod, which voted to disinvest Church funds from “companies that make profits from Israel’s occupation”.

Archbishop Morgan said in a lecture on the relationship between religion and violence: “Messianic Zionism began a policy of cleansing the Promised Land of all Arabs and non-Jews rather than co-existing with them”.

But there has been no such “cleansing” at all in the disputed territories. The only attempt at “cleansing” has been the Palestinian attempt to kill as many Jews as possible.

According to Canon Andrew White, replacement theology is dominant and present in almost every church, fueling the venom against Israel.

The revised version of “Whose Promised Land?”, a highly influential book by the Anglican thinker Colin Chapman, recycles the worst Christian anti-Jewish theology. “When seen in the context of the whole Bible, however, both Old and New Testaments, the promise of the land to Abraham and his descendants does not give anyone a divine right to possess or to live in the land for all time because the coming of the kingdom of God through Jesus the messiah has transformed and reinterpreted all the promises and prophecies in the Old Testament”, writes Chapman camouflaging anti-Jewish replacement theology, which helped fuel burnings at stake and pogroms during the Middle Ages, as a dispassionate analysis of the conflict of Israel and the Palestinians.

According to Bishop John Gladwin, a separate Palestinian state would be merely a “first step”. “Ultimately, one shared land is the vision one would want to pursue”.

A Palestinian cleric, Naim Ateek, has an immense influence in contemporary British Christianity, not least through his Sabeel Centre in Jerusalem. Ateek’s denunciations of Israel include imagery linking the Jewish State to the charge of deicide that for centuries fueled anti-Jewish bloodshed.

For example, Ateek wrote about “modern-day Herods” in Israel, referring to the king who the New Testament says slaughtered the babies of Bethlehem in an attempt to murder the newborn Jesus.

At the beginning of the XIX century, the UK Christian clergy was a driving force behind the Zionist enterprise, inspired by a brave interpretation of the Bible. A century later, British Christianity is one of the major producers of blood libels against the Jews.

Giulio Meotti is an Italian journalist with Il Foglio.


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Europe's Inexorable March Towards Islam

by Soeren Kern

Post-Christian Europe became noticeably more Islamized during 2011.

As the rapidly growing Muslim population makes its presence felt in towns and cities across the continent, Islam is transforming the European way of life in ways unimaginable only a few years ago.

What follows is a brief summary of some of the more outrageous Islam-related controversies that took place in Europe during 2011.

In Austria, an appellate court upheld the politically correct conviction of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, a Viennese housewife and anti-Jihad activist, for "denigrating religious beliefs" after she gave a series of seminars about the dangers of radical Islam. The December 20 ruling showed that while Judaism and Christianity can be disparaged with impunity in postmodern multicultural Austria, speaking the truth about Islam is subject to swift and hefty legal penalties.

Also in Austria, the King Abdullah Center for Inter-Religious and Inter-Cultural Dialogue was inaugurated at the Albertina Museum in downtown Vienna on October 13. The Saudis say the purpose of the multi-million-dollar initiative is to "foster dialogue" between the world's major religions in order to "prevent conflict." But critics say the center is an attempt by Saudi Arabia to establish a permanent "propaganda center" in central Europe from which to spread the conservative Wahhabi sect of Islam.

In Belgium, it was revealed that Muslims now make up one-quarter of the population of Brussels, according to a new book published by the Catholic University of Leuven, the top French-language university in Belgium. In real terms, the number of Muslims in Brussels -- where half of the number of Muslims in Belgium currently live -- has reached 300,000, which means that the self-styled "Capital of Europe" is now the most Islamic city in Europe.

Also in Belgium, the most popular name in Brussels for baby boys in 2011 was Mohammed. It was also the most popular name for baby boys in Belgium's second-largest city, Antwerp, where an estimated 40% of elementary school children are Muslim.

Separately, the Islamist group Sharia4Belgium intensified a propaganda and intimidation campaign aimed at turning the country into an Islamic state. In September, the group established an Islamic Sharia law court in Antwerp, the second-largest city in Belgium. Leaders of the group say the purpose of the court is to create a parallel Islamic legal system in Belgium to challenge the state's authority as enforcer of the civil law protections guaranteed by the Belgian constitution.

In Britain, a Muslim group launched a campaign to turn twelve British cities -- including what it calls "Londonistan" -- into independent Islamic states. These so-called Islamic Emirates would function as autonomous enclaves ruled by Islamic Sharia law and operate entirely outside British jurisprudence.

Separately, it was revealed that more than 2,800 so-called honor attacks -- punishments for bringing shame on the family -- were recorded by British police last year, according to the first-ever national estimate of the problem. The highest number of honor crimes -- which include murder, mutilation, beatings, abductions and acid attacks -- was recorded in London, where the problem has doubled to more than five times the national average.

The data comes on the heels of another report which shows that tens of thousands of Muslim immigrants in Britain are practicing bigamy or polygamy to collect bigger social welfare payments from the British state.

The September 24 report shows that the phenomenon of bigamy and polygamy -- which are permitted by Islamic Sharia law -- is far more widespread in Britain than previously believed, even though it is a crime there, punishable by up to seven years in prison.

The rapid growth in multiple marriages is being fueled by multicultural policies that grant special rights to Muslim immigrants who demand that Sharia law be reflected in British law and the social welfare benefits system.

Meanwhile, a Christian worker in Britain filed a lawsuit after losing her job when she exposed a campaign of systematic harassment by fundamentalist Muslims. In a landmark legal case, Nohad Halawi, a former employee at London's Heathrow Airport, sued her former employer for unfair dismissal, claiming that Christian staff members, including her, were discriminated against because of their religious beliefs.

Halawi's case is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), an organization that provides legal support for Christians in the United Kingdom. CLC says the case raises important legal issues, and also questions over whether Muslims and Christians are treated differently by employers.

In Denmark, a Muslim group launched a campaign to turn parts of Copenhagen and other Danish cities into "Sharia Law Zones" that would function as autonomous enclaves ruled by Islamic law. The Danish Islamist group Kaldet til Islam (Call to Islam) said the Tingbjerg suburb of Copenhagen would be the first part of Denmark to be subject to Sharia law, followed by the Nørrebro district of the capital and then other parts of the country.

Call to Islam said it would dispatch a 24-hour Islamic "morals police" to enforce Sharia law in those enclaves. The patrols would confront anyone caught drinking alcohol, gambling, going to discothèques or engaging in other activities the group views as running contrary to Islam.

Also in Denmark, the city council of Copenhagen approved the construction of the first official "Grand Mosque" in the Danish capital. The mega-mosque will have a massive blue dome as well as two towering minarets and is architecturally designed to stand out on Copenhagen's low-rise skyline.

Unlike most mosques in Europe, which cater to Sunni Muslims, the mosque in Copenhagen pertains to Shia Islam. The mosque is being financed by the Islamic Republic of Iran; critics say that theocrats in Tehran intend to use the mosque to establish a recruiting center for the militant Shia Muslim group, Hezbollah in Europe.

Meanwhile, the president of the Denmark-based International Free Press Society, Lars Hedegaard, was found guilty of racist hate speech for comments he made about Islam. He was ordered to pay a fine of 5,000 Danish Kroner (about $1,000). Hedegaard's legal problems began in December 2009, when he remarked in a taped interview that there was a high incidence of child rape and domestic violence in areas dominated by Muslim culture.

Although Hedegaard has insisted that he did not intend to accuse all Muslims or even the majority of Muslims of such crimes, and although he was previously acquitted by a lower court, Denmark's thought police refused to drop the case until he was found guilty.

The European Union, bowing to pressure from Muslim lobby groups, quietly abandoned a new measure that would have required halal (religiously approved for Muslims) meat products to carry a label alerting consumers that the animals were not stunned, and therefore conscious, just before slaughter.

With the exponential growth of Europe's Muslim population in recent years, thousands of tons of religiously slaughtered halal meat is now entering the general food chain, where it is being unwittingly consumed also by the non-Muslim population.

The EU decision shows that Muslims have the right to choose halal foods, but non-Muslims do not have the right to choose not to eat the ritually slaughtered meat.

In France, it was revealed that Islamic mosques are being built more often than Roman Catholic churches, and that there now are more practicing Muslims in the country than practicing Catholics.

Separately, Muslim groups in France asked the Roman Catholic Church for permission to use its empty churches as a way to solve the traffic problems caused by thousands of Muslims who pray in the streets. The request, which was variously described by French political commentators as "alarming," "audacious" and "unprecedented," was yet another example of the growing assertiveness of the Muslims in France.

In October, it was also reported that the country's decrepit city suburbs are becoming "separate Islamic societies" cut off from the state, according to a major new study, "Banlieue de la République" (Suburbs of the Republic), that examines the spread of Islam in France.

Muslim immigrants are increasingly rejecting French values and identity and instead are immersing themselves in Islam, according to the report, which also warned that Islamic Sharia law is rapidly displacing French civil law in many parts of suburban Paris.

The authors of the report show that France, which has between five and six million Muslims (France has the largest Muslim population in European Union), is on the brink of a major social explosion because of the failure of Muslims to integrate into French society.

France's much-debated "burqa ban" entered into force in April. The new law, which prohibits the wearing of Islamic body-covering burqas and face-covering niqabs in all public spaces in France, came amid rising frustration that the country's estimated 6.5 million Muslims are not integrating into French society.

In Germany, it was revealed that thousands of young women and girls in Germany are victims of forced marriages every year. Most of the victims come from Muslim families; many have been threatened with violence and even death. The revelations shocked the German public and added to the ongoing debate in Germany over the question of Muslim immigration and the establishment of a parallel Islamic society there.

Also in Germany, a best-selling book published in September revealed that the spread of Islamic Sharia law in Germany is far more advanced than previously thought, and that German authorities are "powerless" to do anything about the Muslim shadow justice system in Germany.

The book says Sharia courts are now operating in all of Germany's big cities. This "parallel justice system" is undermining the rule of law in Germany because Muslim arbiters/imams are settling criminal cases out of court without the involvement of German prosecutors or lawyers before law enforcement can bring the cases to a German court.

Separately, the number of potential Islamic terrorists currently living in Germany jumped to around 1,000, according to new information provided by the German Interior Ministry.

In Greece, the Parliament approved a controversial plan to build a taxpayer-funded mega-mosque in Athens. The move came amid thinly veiled threats of violence by thousands of Muslim residents of the city who have been pressuring the government to meet their demands for a mosque or face an uprising.

In Holland, it was revealed that 40% of Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands between the ages of 12 and 24 have been arrested, fined, charged or otherwise accused of committing a crime during the past five years, according to a report commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Interior.

In Dutch neighborhoods where the majority of residents are Moroccan immigrants, the youth crime rate reaches 50%. Moreover, juvenile delinquency among Moroccans is not limited to males; girls and young women are increasingly involved in criminal activities.

The "Dutch-Moroccan Monitor 2011" also revealed that most of the Moroccan youth involved in criminal activities were born in Holland. This implies that the children of Moroccan immigrants are not integrating into Dutch society, and confirms that the Netherlands is paying dearly for its failed multicultural approach to immigration.

Also in Holland, a mob of Islamists stormed a debate in Amsterdam that was featuring two Muslim liberals, the Canadian writer and Muslim feminist Irshad Manji and the Dutch-Moroccan Green Left MP Tofik Dibi.

The December 8 debate on how liberal Muslims can prevent Islam from being hijacked by Muslim extremists was held at the De Baile venue in downtown Amsterdam, and was sponsored by the Brussels-based European Foundation for Democracy. The event resumed after police arrested several of the Islamists.

The incident highlighted the increasing frequency with which Muslims are using intimidation tactics -- including harassment and even murder -- in an effort to silence free speech in Europe and to impose Islam on the continent.

On a positive note, a court in Amsterdam acquitted Geert Wilders -- the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party who had denounced the threat to Western values posed by unassimilated Muslim immigrants -- of charges of inciting religious hatred against Muslims for comments he made that were critical of Islam.

In June, the Dutch government said it would abandon the long-standing model of multiculturalism that has encouraged Muslim immigrants to create a parallel society within the Netherlands.

In Italy, it was revealed that 44% of Italians are prejudiced or hostile towards Jews, according to a new research study released by the Italian Parliament on October 17. The report, titled "Final Document: Investigation on Anti-Semitism," was commissioned by the Committee for the Inquiry into Anti-Semitism of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Italian Parliament. The 50-page document shows that anti-Semitism in Italy is also being fomented by Muslim immigrants who have established links with left-wing and right-wing extremists to carry out attacks on local Jewish communities, synagogues, schools and cemeteries.

In Spain, Muslims were accused of poisoning dozens of dogs in Lérida, a city in the northeastern region of Catalonia that has become ground zero in an intensifying debate over the role of Islam in Spain. All of the dogs were poisoned in September in Lérida's working class neighborhoods of Cappont and La Bordeta, districts that are heavily populated by Muslim immigrants and where many dogs have been killed in recent years. Local residents say Muslim immigrants killed the dogs because according to Islamic teaching dogs are "unclean" animals.

Also in Spain, two radical Islamic television stations began 24-hour broadcasting to Spanish-speaking audiences in Spain and Latin America from new studios in Madrid. The first channel, sponsored by the government of Iran, will focus on spreading Shiite Islam, the dominant religion in Iran. The second channel, sponsored by the government of Saudi Arabia, will focus on spreading Wahhabi Islam, the dominant religion in Saudi Arabia. The inaugural broadcasts of Islamic television in Spain were deliberately timed to coincide with the Christmas holidays, and represent yet another example of the gradual encroachment of Islam in post-Christian Spain.

In Sweden, police in the third-largest city, Malmö, reported a significant uptick in the number of reported anti-Semitic hate-crimes perpetrated by Muslim immigrants against Jews in 2011. The data came as the Swedish government on September 20 set aside 4 million kroner ($600,000) to help boost security around the country's synagogues, after accusations that Sweden has not done enough to protect its Jewish population.

Sweden has been accused of complacency about the growing problem of anti-Semitism in the country and the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center advised Jews to avoid traveling to southern Sweden.

In Switzerland, where the Muslim population has more than quintupled since 1980, a Muslim immigrant group based in Bern called for the emblematic white cross to be removed from the Swiss national flag because as a Christian symbol it "no longer corresponds to today's multicultural Switzerland."

Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group.


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If You Care for the Palestinians, Boycott the Palestinian Authority

by Mudar Zahran

The Palestinian Authority's (PA) president, Mahmoud Abbas, went to the UN General Assembly in September, seeking recognition for a Palestinian state -- a request that was not only unilateral in breach of UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 838. In response, three congressional committees blocked $200 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority, a move the PA described as "collective punishment" -- although it is hard to understand why it does not consider firing thousands of rockets at civilians in Israeli villages "collective punishment."

In November of 2011, 44 lawmakers, all Democrats, wrote to the heads of the House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations subcommittee, claiming that "Maintaining U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority is in the essential strategic interest of Israel and the United States"]. Nonetheless, it might just be in the Palestinians' best interest if the US, and the world, not only stops financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, but even boycotts it.

When the autonomous PA came into existence through the legal framework of the Oslo Peace Accord, signed between the Israelis and the Palestinian Liberation Organization [PLO] in 1993, the agreement was the most advanced political accomplishment ever by any terrorist organization. The PLO was the first terrorist entity ever to be rewarded with such as internationally-supported agreement as Oslo. This reward for bad behavior doubtless inspired the PLO to continue doing what it has always done best: promoting terrorism.

When the PLO arrived in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, it began breaching the Oslo Accord on day one, with then-Chairman Yasser Arafat trying to smuggle into Israel in his very own car a terrorist whom Israel had banned. When the PLO evolved into the PA , it created entire armed-terrorist factions, such as the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, whose members identified themselves as the military wing of Fatah, and posting on their insignias the emblem of Fatah, controlled by the Palestinian Authority. This Brigade then carried out dozens of terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians;as early as 2003, evidence shows that Arafat not only financed this group, but according to the BBC, that much of the PA's funding went to terrorists.

The PA has therefore been working against peace -- unless peace is defined as an Israel with no Jews in it; or with Jews, but under Palestinian subjugation. The PA has also been an obstacle to peace through its diplomatic evasions and its refusal to make even one counter-offer to Israeli offers of peace, as well as through its commitment to support and continue funding terrorism -- which has continued through the Al-Akas Martyrs' Brigade since Arafat's death in 2004, even though since 2007 this group has frozen its activities, after then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert gave a conditional pardon to 178 terrorists. The group, however, is still there and still officially a part of the Fatah Council. The Palestinian Authority still refuses to amend its charter, which demands liberating "all of historical Palestine," from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, with its ultimate mission being the destruction of the State of Israel.

Israel, on the other hand, responded to Abbas's UN-bid by freezing, for a few weeks, the payments of the tax and customs money it collects on behalf of the PA , only to release those funds by the end of November, 2011.

How will this money, together with US aid money, be used? To benefit and welfare of the Palestinians under the PA rule? In 2005, for example, even though the PA was the second-largest recipient of international humanitarian aid per capita in the world, the Palestinian Authority ranked 108 out of 159 countries on the corruption index presented by the United Nations Development Program, with no statistical information provided for years to follow. The lack of any information for the next six years indicates the loose accountability the PA, not to mention the UN, makes available.

When Arafat arrived from Tunis in 1982, he started establishing himself as an untouchable idol, just as the rest of Arab dictators do. Torture, and even murder, of those criticizing either the Fatah or him had become regular, a pattern Arafat even extended when he arrived in Judea and Samaria in 1994 to rule PA territories. Racketeering and extortion become common practices, but were described by PA officials as part of an Israeli conspiracy. To the Palestinian public, an economy controlled by the Palestinian Authority's leaders and their relatives – including both sons of the Palestinian president who, among other things, won a shady US government contract to fix a road – has become just another sad fact of life.

To be fair, the reformist Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, has brought some change by introducing rigorous fiscal governance to the operating and financing of the PA , nonetheless, Fayyad is one man facing serious opposition from the strong PA leadership -- who possibly regard him as having spoiled the fun -- to the point that PA president Abbas is said to be seeking a unity government with Hamas that excludes Fayyad.

Today, Western powers have been imposing tough sanctions on Syria's Assad regime for its brutality and corruption, and on other dictatorships, such as North Korea and Iran. The West has also been imposing sanctions on counties that support terrorism, as well as reducing aid to corrupt governments, but for some reasons these stands are not applied to the PA. Why is the Western world imposing sanctions on Hamas alone and not the on Palestinian Authority? The Palestinian Authority still incites terrorism and glorifies terrorists every day in its media, in its textbooks, in its summer camps and even in its crossword puzzles [see:]. It also oppresses its own people; therefore how is it different from Hamas?

Considering the sharp drop in the number of terrorist acts coming from the PA-controlled factions, some might argue that the PA is not as violent as Hamas. But Hamas and the PA still share the same goal: destroying Israel --only Hamas wants to accomplish it through violence, while the PA thinks it can accomplish it through diplomatic manoeuvres, without violence. All the while, it keeps its own terrorists – despite Abbas's promises to dismantle Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in 2005] --most likely just in case the PA turns to violence against Israel again. Apart from extremist religious observance, is the PA really all that different from Hamas?

The suffering, disappointment, frustration and anger of the Palestinians living under the Palestinian Authority's regime must be addressed by the world. Western governments should reconsider their financing of the PA. If the Western world cares about the Palestinians, it must ensure that its the generous funding actually improves the lives of those people; not, as is the case,the people in places where corruption still exists—despite Prime Minister Fayyad's efforts. Palestinian terrorist factions are still finding a safe haven in the PA, thereby posing a threat to regional security as well as to the welfare of the Palestinian people. It would be better for the Palestinian people to see aid to the PA stop altogether. No wonder the Palestinians say they prefer "Israel's hell" over the Palestinian Authority's "Paradise". As a recent poll revealed, 70% of the Palestinians in Jerusalem say they would still prefer to live under the rule of Israel.

Mudar Zahran


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Complicity With Evil

by David Meir-Levi

One might think that leading opinion makers in Western civilization, journalists, authors, academics, clergy and pundits would stand aghast and in deep condemnation of any society or organization that acted like “the Gambinos on steroids;” but somehow, when it comes to Hezbollah, one would be wrong.

A New York Times article of December 13 revealed, for the first time in US mainstream media, Hezbollah’s complex involvement, deep cooperation, and in some cases partnership, with international crime cartels, Columbian drug smuggling organizations, international gem smuggling, and Mexican street gangs. Hezbollah’s motivation for involvement in these illegal endeavors, despite its name “Party of God” and despite its stated goal of creating a society on earth that carries out the will of Allah, is its need for clean money.

Hezbollah’s main sugar daddy, Iran, is in financial turmoil. Syria, its secondary sponsor, is in political and economic collapse. Hezbollah needs money, so it has expanded and innovated in its global web of criminal activities in order to finance its terrorism and its preparation for war. But it needs clean money. Hezbollah’s global money laundering schemes take drug money and auto theft profits and turn them into clean, usable cash to pay salaries, buy what Hezbollah needs to support its charitable endeavors, and underwrite the purchase of weapons and of militarily strategic property in Lebanon, especially from Christians.

The New York Times is neither a Jewish nor a Zionist newspaper. In fact, its owners in bygone years openly expressed their antipathy to Zionism, an antipathy so strong that they stood silent, in passive collusion, as Nazi Germany annihilated Europe’s Jewry, lest the Times’ exposure of Nazi crimes before and during World War II might lend support to Zionist calls for a Jewish state (see Laurel Leff”s Buried in the Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most important Newspaper, summarized here). One can thus be confident that its exposé
of Hezbollah is accurate and not merely Zionist propaganda.

So the Times’ revelation of such a list of illicit gains, criminal activity and partnership with criminal gangs ought to make Western supporters cringe and announce the withdrawal of any support they may have given, reverse any supportive words they may have said. But so far neither Noam Chomsky nor Norman Finkelstein, both outspoken lionizers of Hezbollah, has done so, nor have any of the academics on public record for expressing support for Hezbollah and describing them as brave and noble “freedom fighters.” Muslims are divided today about the legitimacy of funds to Hezbollah, but world-wide many still continue to contribute to charities that may be, or have been, operating as fronts for Hezbollah.

But in addition to the mafia-like activities, including but not limited to the drug dealing, gun running, auto and gem theft, and money laundering mentioned above (and see here, here, here, and here for other exposés of Hezbollah’s criminal activity), Hezbollah is known to have kidnapped, tortured, and murdered American officials in Lebanon and elsewhere since 1982; used terrorist attacks for assassinations that involved the mass murder of innocent Arabs; engaged in armed robbery; launched terror attacks on American and other European soldiers stationed in Lebanon at the request of the Lebanese government; used assassinations and intimidation and threats of violence and terrorism to undermine the government of Lebanon; and become a dominant terrorist state within the state of Lebanon and now dominates Lebanon.

So even God-fearing Muslims who understand Islam to be a religion of peace and tolerance should blanch at Hezbollah’s long list of criminal and terrorist activities, many of which harm Muslims, and deny them any support or sympathy.

But in addition to the above, there are aspects of Hezbollah’s ideology that should brand it a rogue state-within-a-state incompatible with 21st century sensibilities.

Its extreme brand of Shi’ite Islam seeks to re-instate Shari’a law as a legal and political system, a system that submits all non-Muslims to dhimma, a form of religious apartheid suppressing all non-Muslims, universal to all Muslim states until the 20th century; and to create a legitimized form of gender apartheid relegating women to the bedroom and kitchen, on pain of extreme and cruel punishments such as acid disfigurement, beheading, or stoning.

Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has demanded that Muslims engage in suicide bombings in the USA to kill Americans; and part of Hezbollah’s extremist Muslim ideology includes making Islam supreme in the world and bringing Western civilization to an end.

So Christians of all denominations, without any commitment to Israel, and even those who feel antipathy to Israel for whatever reason, ought to be horrified by Hezbollah’s criminal activities, terrorist tactics, violent strategies, apartheid social ideology, supremacist religious ideology and long-term triumphalist goal of Islamic world domination, goals for which terrorism and mass murder and criminal actions are all justified, according to Hezbollah’s ideology.

Yet we hear no words, witness no deeds, at least on the level of public expression, from all but a small number of Christian or Muslim individuals or institutions; and, not unexpectedly, those in the West who have in the past expressed their support and sympathy for Hezbollah, identifying it as a noble freedom-fighting organization engaged in legitimate resistance against an obdurate and vastly more powerful enemy, have as yet made no acknowledgement of the obvious contradiction between supposedly good and noble people fighting for their rights and these same people engaging in evil crimes to achieve the evil goals of genocide and world domination.

So why are most of the world’s Muslims silent before the evil words and murderous deeds of Hezbollah? Can they all be intimidated by threats of retaliation from Hezbollah and those who share its goals? Or do some otherwise peaceful Muslims secretly share Hezbollah’s goals?

Why do so few Christians and Christian churches speak out against Hezbollah’s crimes? Why are so many silent or overtly supportive? Can those who support Hezbollah hate the Jewish state more than they love their Jewish Savior?

In light of the New York Times’ exposé, no journalist, no academic, no pundit and no holder of public office can honestly claim ignorance; and none have any excuse to remain silent. Yet they are silent.

Incitement to genocide is evil, attempted genocide is evil. Apartheid and oppression and lust for world domination — all evil.

Hezbollah is evil. It speaks evil, it does evil and it promises more of the same evil and worse without end until Israel is destroyed, its Jews annihilated and all “global unbelief,” Christian, Jewish, Hindu and whatever else, is reduced to dhimmitude.

Silence in the face of evil is complicity. Complicity with evil is evil.

David Meir-Levi


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Lessons on the Long Road to Hijab

by Raymond Ibrahim

This caricature (above), which first appeared on, has been making the rounds on the Arabic blogosphere, and points to how democratic elections are serving to Islamize Egypt: average women enter the ballot box—“overseen” by the Muslim Brotherhood—only to emerge thoroughly veiled, thoroughly Islamized.

Speaking of veils and the Brotherhood, here’s an interesting video of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser (1956-1970), showing just how much times have changed.

Speaking before a large assembly, Nasser told of how back in 1953 he wanted to cooperate with the Muslim Brotherhood, and met with its leader. (Nasser eventually learned that the only response to the Brotherhood is suppression, not cooperation, a lesson John Kerry and others in the current administration would do well to consider.)

According to Nasser, the very first demand of the Brotherhood leader was for the hijab to return to Egypt, “for every woman walking in the street to wear a headscarf.”

The audience erupted in laughter at this, then, ludicrous demand; one person hollered “Let him wear it!” eliciting more laughter and applause.

Nasser continued by saying he told the Brotherhood leader that if they enforced the hijab, people would say Egypt had returned to the dark ages (to more laughter), adding that Egyptians should uphold such matters in the privacy of their own homes.

But the Muslim Brotherhood​ leader informed him that, as Egypt’s president, Nasser himself must enforce the hijab, to which Nasser replied:

Sir, I know you have a daughter in college—and she doesn’t wear a headscarf or anything! [laughter] Why don’t you make her wear the headscarf? [laughter] So you can’t make one girl, your own daughter, wear it, and yet you want me to go and make ten million women wear it?!” [burst of laughter and applause]

Half a century later and none of this is a laughing matter: the hijab, if not the full burqa, is commonplace in Egypt, even as the Muslim Brotherhood—who for decades were banned and imprisoned for trying to return Egypt to an Islamic dark age—are now poised to govern the nation, all under U.S. tutelage.

As Sheikh Osama al-Qusi recently said, the great “mistake” of Nasser’s successor, president Anwar Sadat, was

not that he released these groups [Muslim Brotherhood] from the prisons after Gamal Abdel Nasser had incarcerated them; but rather for giving them the green light to work in all fields of Egyptian society, thinking he would use them to get rid of his Socialist and Communist opponents. So he permitted them to work in trade unions, school unions—giving them every opportunity to hold official positions [Emphasis added].

Nasser and wife Tahia, back in an era when the idea of institutionalizing the hijab provoked laughter and ridicule

In other words, Sadat’s great mistake—which cost him his life—is that he conferred a degree of legitimacy on the Muslim Brotherhood, thereby allowing them to worm their way into Egyptian society.

At any rate, such is the way of time: left unchecked, what was once ludicrous to suggest—for instance, the Brotherhood’s 1953 request “for every woman walking in the street to wear a headscarf”—slowly and gradually becomes part of the culture.

It is for this reason that Sharia poses a threat to the West—not because it will be imposed on Westerners, but rather because, little by little, decade after decade, aspects of it may gradually worm their way in.

Raymond Ibrahim


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Losing the War of Ideas due to Incompetence

by Isi Leibler

In the war of ideas, we operate under huge handicaps. Our adversaries attract sympathy as underdogs, yet carry enormous economic and political clout and effectively control international institutions like the UN. In addition, they have hijacked NGOs purportedly promoting human rights, yet are at the forefront of racist campaigns to demonize and delegitimize us. It is disgraceful that many western journalists collaborate with them.

Australia has consistently maintained a staunch bipartisan friendship with the Jewish State since its creation. Under the current Labor government headed by Julia Gillard, it remains, like the United States and Canada, one of the few countries where Israel still gets a fair hearing.

On November 26, John Lyons, the accredited Jerusalem reporter for The Australian, the leading national daily, wrote a 3000 word feature lambasting alleged inhumane Israeli treatment of Palestinian children.

Although The Australian has a consistent record of being fair and open-minded in relation to Israel, this was a classic compendium of anti-Israeli vilification, reminiscent of the wildest distortions and fabrications contained in the Goldstone report.

The sources attributed were the usual Israeli demonizers – B’Tselem, Public Committee against Torture in Israel, Yesh Din, and in particular, the organization Defense for Children International (DCI) represented by Australian lawyer, Gerald Horton. Lyons also interviewed a spokesman for ‘Breaking the Silence’, the discredited group which paved the way and actively collaborated with the Goldstone Committee, providing ‘evidence’ which, after investigation, proved to be largely unsubstantiated and was even significantly repudiated by Goldstone himself.

Lyons, who the IDF provided with unfettered access to closed courts, portrayed youngsters in shackles and weeping mothers observing swift justice by ‘brutal’ Israeli military authorities. He described IDF courts as a “Guantanamo Bay for kids”.

He quoted at length from DCI’s Horton, who referred to “385 sworn affidavits” alleging the worst imaginable atrocities, including beatings, torture, intimidating children with savage dogs, electric shock treatment, and every conceivable horror. He even referred to an "interrogator from Gush Etzion" who specialized in threatening children with rape.

If only a tiny proportion of these allegations contained a kernel of truth, we would have good reason to be concerned. But as in previous horror stories, I have every confidence that the evidence is based on testimony which will once again prove to be overwhelmingly false. We need only refer to the Mohammed el Dura fraud, the Jenin “massacre”, the Goldstone allegations of “deliberate” targeting of civilians in Gaza and other charges leveled against us, that months later, were shown to have been outright lies.

Not surprisingly, the marathon feature by Lyons created a considerable stir in Australia.

Australian Jewish leaders and pro-Israel activists promptly requested the Israeli embassy to respond with information for rebuttals from the Army, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Prime Minister's office. Direct representations were also made to Jerusalem. For weeks, they were told that the authorities were reviewing the matter but no reply was forthcoming. One unofficial response idiotically suggested that the best approach to such a hostile article was to ignore it and it would blow over.

On December 17, the failure to respond resulted in a second article by Lyons, regurgitating what he had written previously, informing readers that Australia's Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd was deeply concerned over the report and had instructed Australia's diplomatic representatives to initiate a formal inquiry with the Israeli authorities. It is common knowledge that Rudd is personally keen to distance Australia from Israel in order to curry Arab votes for Australia's candidature for a UN Security Council seat. But he would not have had credible grounds for initiating such an inquiry had the Israeli authorities provided a meaningful response.

Only following the Australian decision to investigate the matter, did the IDF spokesperson belatedly issue a bland legal statement, outlining the reasons why in this context, the custody of minors did not violate international law.

It may be difficult for those living in Western countries to comprehend the concept of jailing children for throwing stones. However, stone throwing has emerged as a staple component of terrorism and to some extent a wretched form of identity for Palestinian youth.

It should also be appreciated that stones are hurled equally at innocent Israeli civilians as well as soldiers, and in addition to maiming and scarring, have proven to be lethal. Only recently, Asher Palmer and his one year old son died after a stone smashed the windshield of his car.

Yet despite this, the reality is that as a deterrent, only a tiny proportion of stone throwers are being prosecuted. Otherwise, the Israeli jails would be overflowing with them.

The issue is additionally complicated because children in Israel are not tried under the same laws as apply to territories over the green line which, not having been annexed to Israel, operate under Jordanian and British mandatory laws.

Any Israeli official with a modicum of political sensitivity should have stressed that child terrorism represents one of the most reprehensible aspects of the Palestinian culture of death and criminality.

From kindergarten, Palestinian children are brainwashed into becoming martyrs by killing Jews in order to fulfill their Islamic obligation to expunge Jewish sovereignty from the region. Aside from continuously being employed as human shields, they are frequently exploited as suicide bombers.

The monstrous massacre of the Fogel family in March, which included the beheading of an infant, was perpetrated by a Palestinian family group which included a minor.

But what is both incomprehensible and disgraceful is that until now, the IDF response has still failed to repudiate the real source of concern - the outrageous lies and defamations concerning the torture of minors.

The response to the libels contained in Lyons article should have pointed out that many of the NGOs demonizing Israel are the same ones which provided “testimonies” about Israeli atrocities and war crimes to the Goldstone Committee which were subsequently demonstrated to be fabrications.

They should also have asked why Lyons did not query the failure of the defamers to raise these accusations in the appropriate Israeli tribunals such as the Supreme Court which even has a controversial record amongst Israelis for intervening in IDF related matters.

What is wrong with the IDF, Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister's Department? Do they really believe that they can ignore such vile accusations in the mainstream media of a friendly country? Their deafening silence even led to an editorial in the local Jewish weekly, the Australian Jewish News, foolishly asking whether “God forbid”, the “country we cherish” enabled “the torture of children”.

If this is how our senior military and government offices deal with such issues, it is high time to demand accountability.

It is the Prime Minister’s Office office which carries the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that such matters are efficiently handled. Binyamin Netanyahu, more than most politicians, has a genuine grasp of the crucial importance of the war of ideas. If his office is not fulfilling its obligations in this area, he must, as a matter of urgency, personally intervene to guarantee that government information offices are staffed by personnel who are sufficiently competent to confront such issues in a skilled and professional manner.

This column was originally published in the Jerusalem Post

Isi Leibler can be reached at


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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Defining Down the Enemy

by Frank Gaffney, Jr.

Last week, Vice President Joe Biden offered the latest - and arguably the clearest - evidence of Team Obama's strategy for victory in what was once euphemistically known as the "War on Terror": Define down the enemy.

In an interview with former State Department official Leslie Gelb published in Newsweek, Biden declared: "The Taliban per se is not our enemy. That's critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests."

In other words, the Obama administration appears to have embraced the Taliban line that it will stop killing and maiming our people as soon as there are no more of them in Afghanistan. As one of its operatives told reporters for The Daily Beast: "We are not a worldwide movement. Our focus is totally on Afghan territory. Ninety-nine percent of Taliban couldn't even find the U.S. on a map."

There is a question that must be answered before we go any farther in the direction Obama-Biden and Company clearly have in mind - namely, negotiating what amounts to the surrender of Afghanistan to so-called "moderate" members of the Taliban: The issue is not whether the Taliban is a worldwide movement, but is it part of one?

Indisputably, the Taliban considers itself to be an element of the umma, the Dar al-Islam, the Muslim world. As such, it embraces, practices and imposes the totalitarian, supremacist political-military-legal doctrine known as shariah. It has these attributes in common with al Qaeda. It also shares them with other unsavory elements around the world such as: the Muslim Brotherhood, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizb ut Tahrir, Hamas, Hezbollah, the governments of Iran and Saudi Arabia, and Boko Haram, the Nigerian terrorist group that massacred dozens of Christians on Christmas Day.

The Obama administration refuses to recognize this reality. It would have us believe that the only threat we face comes from al Qaeda. In fact, increasingly, it seems to suggest that we need not be unduly concerned about its franchises in the Levant, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula, just "core" al Qaeda. For that matter, we don't really have to worry about the core group's foot soldiers, just their leadership. And, according to senior U.S. officials, we have killed all but two of those.

Thus, we are encouraged to recognize that the war - now re-euphemized as "Countering Violent Extremism" - is just about over, to the great credit of our Commander-in-Chief.

The only problem with this rosy picture is that it bears no resemblance to reality.

In fact, our shariah-adherent enemies are not in retreat, let alone defeated. Even if the top ranks of al Qaeda now doing business out of Pakistan have been substantially depleted, neither that hydra-headed organization nor its fellow jihadists with other affiliations evidence anything but a growing determination: They see the coming of a divinely mandated opportunity to prevail over the "Great Satan," a United States that has actually retreated from Iraq and is signaling its determination to do the same from Afghanistan.

This ominous assessment was validated just before Christmas in federal court in the Southern District of New York. Notwithstanding the contention that the deep-seated enmity between Islam's Shia and Sunni factions precludes cooperation between them, Judge George Daniels ruled that Shiite Iran is liable, along with the Sunnis of al Qaeda and the Taliban, for the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11.

More to the present point, as the Associated Press put it, the judge also found that: "Iran continues to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda by providing a safe haven for al Qaeda leadership and rank-and-file al Qaeda members."

Put simply, our enemies who share a fealty to shariah are perfectly capable - despite differences on fine points of Islamic practice - of collaborating to the common end of seeking our forcible submission to their doctrine or, failing that, to effecting our destruction.

In the interest of achieving tactical political advantage at home, President Obama and his subordinates are studiously ignoring this reality. Worse yet, they are insisting that no one else understand it either.

At this writing, an official witch-hunt is underway to find and eliminate training materials in FBI, other law enforcement, intelligence and military files that show the immediate threat we face emanates from shariah, not the leadership of core al Qaeda. And to help ensure conformity with this dictate going forward, the administration is relying on vetting of trainers by "community leaders" affiliated with organizations the federal government has established are fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Five thousand years ago, the Chinese strategist Sun Tzu famously warned: "If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."

At the moment we seem a lot closer to losing every battle than we are to winning any wars. It would be a grave disservice to our splendid men and women who fight them - and perilous to the country they sacrifice so much to defend - were the Obama administration to persist in seeking the pretense of victory by defining down the enemy, and, in the process, ensuring we succumb to defeat.

Frank Gaffney, Jr.


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Hamas Leader: Goal is 'Eliminating all of Israel'

by Rick Moran

It's so refreshing when Hamas leaders drop the mask and come right out in no uncertain terms and proclaim their true intentions regarding the state of Israel.

Not that western elites care very much. They're not stupid. They know full well that the goal of Hamas is the destruction of Israel. They pretend they don't notice, but that's an act. Advocates for the Palestinian cause in the west are fully cognizant of who and what they are supporting.

The fact is, they would prefer that Israel disappear.


At a ceremony marking the 24th anniversary of the founding of Hamas, Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyeh said that Hamas may work for the "interim objective of liberation of Gaza, the West Bank, or Jerusalem," but that this "interim objective" and "reconciliation" with Fatah will not change Hamas' long-term "strategic" goal of eliminating all of Israel:

"The armed resistance and the armed struggle are the path and the strategic choice for liberating the Palestinian land, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river, and for the expulsion of the invaders and usurpers [Israel]... We won't relinquish one inch of the land of Palestine."

In his speech, Haniyeh also promised that Hamas will "lead Intifada after Intifada until we liberate Palestine - all of Palestine, Allah willing. Allah Akbar and praise Allah."

Two days later, contradicting Haniyeh's statements, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said that Hamas leader abroad Khaled Mashaal had agreed that:

- "There will be no military resistance."
- "The permanent solution is on the '67 borders."

The Palestinian good cop (Fatah), bad cop (Hamas) routine is wearing very thin. There is not the slightest difference between the strategic objectives of both groups; the elimination of Israel as a nation state. The fact that Hamas is bold enough to say it, while Abbas plays his game of appeasing western sensibilities, is irrelevant.

Either the Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist - completely, totally, and without caveats - or they will probably get all the war they can handle.

Rick Moran


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War Tocsin Sounding in Iran

by Rick Moran

Given all the other signs we've been noting the last few weeks, including Leon Panetta's flat statement that the US will do everything to prevent Iranian nukes, his failure in the same interview not to warn Israel against an attack on Iran, the drone incident, and other indications, this statement from a high Iranian official about closing the Straits of Hormuz in retaliation for economic sanctions all but seals the deal; if Iran were to do that, there will be blood.

New York Times:

A senior Iranian official on Tuesday delivered a sharp threat in response to economic sanctions being readied by the United States, saying his country would retaliate against any crackdown by blocking all oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, a vital artery for transporting about one-fifth of the world's oil supply.

The declaration by Iran's first vice president, Mohammad-Reza Rahimi, came as President Obama prepares to sign legislation that, if fully implemented, could substantially reduce Iran's oil revenue in a bid to deter it from pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

Prior to the latest move, the administration had been laying the groundwork to attempt to cut off Iran from global energy markets without raising the price of gasoline or alienating some of Washington's closest allies.

Apparently fearful of the expanded sanctions' possible impact on the already-stressed economy of Iran, the world's third-largest energy exporter, Mr. Rahimi said, "If they impose sanctions on Iran's oil exports, then even one drop of oil cannot flow from the Strait of Hormuz," according to Iran's official news agency. Iran just began a 10-day naval exercise in the area.

If Iran carries through with that threat - a big "if" - there will be a military confrontation. About 1/3 of the world's oil moves through the Straits of Hormuz every day and quite simply, Europe and the US cannot allow the Iranians to take control of that vital chokepoint.

It smells like war is on the horizon whether Iran makes good on its threat or not. The optimal time to attack Iran from Israel is the spring months. I don't think it will be that long before a showdown occurs.

Rick Moran


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Nigeria's Christmas Present - Blowing Up Christians

by Raymond Ibrahim

Several churches in northern Nigeria were bombed December 25, in what has been described as "Nigeria's blackest Christmas ever." The attacks, perpetrated by the Muslim militant group Boko Haram, killed at least 39 people, "the majority dying on the steps of a Catholic church [in Madalla near the capital of Abuja] after celebrating Christmas Mass as blood pooled in dust from a massive explosion." Charred bodies and dismembered limbs lay scattered around the destroyed church.

The world, as usual, offered its wishy-washy, half-hearted condemnations. Although Boko Haram has been bellowing its straightforward goals for over a decade — enforcing Sharia law and subjugating, if not eliminating Nigeria's Christians — the word so many Western leaders, from the White House to the Vatican, selected to characterize this latest Muslim attack on Christians was "senseless"— which implies no motive, no goal, no rhyme, no reason. Reading the mainstream media's coverage of these attacks, one walks away without any sense of continuity or context.

Consider the coverage by the New York Times's Adam Nossiter. After stating the facts, Nossiter explains:

The sect, known as Boko Haram, until now mostly targeted the police, government and military in its insurgency effort, but the bombings on Sunday represented a new, religion-tinged front, a tactic that threatens to exploit the already frayed relations between Nigeria's nearly evenly split populations of Christians and Muslims…

This sentence is teeming with problems. For starters, Boko Haram has not stopped terrorizing Nigerian Christians -- killing thousands of them, and bombing or burning hundreds of churches. Considering that just last Christmas Eve, 2010, Boko Haram bombed several churches, killing nearly 40 Christian worshippers, the New York Times's characterization of these latest attacks as "represent[ing] a new, religion-tinged front" is not only unconscionable, but unprofessional.

Boko Haram—whose full name in Arabic is "People of Sunna for Da'wa [Islamization] and Jihad [Holy War]"—represents a religious Islamic front that is hostile to all things non-Muslim, with Christians at the very top.

In the last couple of months, Boko Haram has carried out attacks on dozens of other churches, bombing some, torching others. In one instance, its members not only opened fire on a congregation of mostly women and children, killing dozens, they also executed two children of an ex-terrorist because he converted to Christianity; murdered Christian pastors in cold blood; and "went to shops owned by Christians, ordering them to recite verses from the Quran" -- killing those who could not.

Just last month, hundreds of armed Muslims from Boko Haram invaded Christian villages "like a swarm of bees," killing, looting, and destroying everything in sight. At the end of their four-hour rampage, at least 130 Christians had been killed, and another 45 slaughtered in another village by another set of Muslims, screaming "Allahu Akbar!" ["Allah s the Greatest!"]. Hundreds of Christians are still missing, and thousands have fled the region.

Of course, from reading Nossiter, who asserts that Boko Haram's attacks on Christians are somehow "new," you would not know any of this. His report insists on willfully refracting reality through the approved paradigm of political-correctness -- minimizing or ignoring the countless occasions of Muslims recently persecuting Christians around the world (lest it appear that he might be "siding" with Christians), while at the same time always putting the best spin on Muslim violence (lest it appear that he might be even slightly critical of Islam).

Nossiter's New York Times report goes on to state how there are "already frayed relations between -Nigeria's nearly evenly split populations of Christians and Muslims" -- language that suggests both camps are equally hostile, even though it is unclear what Christian terror groups have recently been bombing mosques in Nigeria while screaming "God is Greatest!"

Nossiter then goes on to offer other standard canards, including the suggestion that the Nigerian government's "heavy-handed" response to the terrorists is responsible for their terror -- comparable to saying that the rooster is responsible for the morning:

Critics of the government campaign against Boko Haram say that not only has the effort failed, but it has increased the sect's appeal, because the security forces' heavy-handed tactics have given it new sympathizers.

The New York Times's Nossiter even manages to insert another mainstream media favorite: the myth that "poverty causes terrorism"— despite acres of evidence that many of the most notorious Islamic terrorists are well educated and come from wealthy families, and that the terrorists' Christian victims are usually worse off than they:

The sect's attacks have been further bolstered by festering economic resentment in the impoverished and relatively neglected north, which has an exploding birthrate, low levels of literacy and mass unemployment.

In short, Boko Haram's actions have been anything but "senseless": its terror campaign has seen Christians reduced in number—either by murder or by being tormented until they fled their villages. It has also seen hundreds of churches eliminated -- all events that correspond nicely with Boko Haram's outspoken goals of creating an anti-infidel Sharia state.

"Senseless" is better reserved for the New York Times and other mainstream media which, in the cause of disinfecting, delousing and deodorizing events until they correspond to the way their writers and editorial boards wish they had gone, distort and lie about the truth.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate fellow at the Middle East Forum.

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