Saturday, March 3, 2012

Al-Qaeda in Syria


by Farid Ghadry

The events unfolding in Syria over the last 12 months have led anyone with their uncles to meddle into its affairs. But one meddler we can do without are the inescapable tentacles of Islamic terror, which, now that it is obvious the west is not about to stop Assad from killing, may plant new and dangerous roots in Syria no one, including a weak Assad, will be able to stop.

The worst part is the very western policies for Syria that have created the conditions for extreme Islam and awakened a gigantic religious conflict are the same reasons western policy makers are citing today not to arm the Syrian opposition.

To many, al-Zawahiri’s pronouncement of support for the Syrian Revolution provided an opportunity for Assad to scare the west with. This begs the question: What did the west expect will happen if it just kept to the sidelines and never even moved a finger to help Syrians defend themselves with real weapons? Syrians that view this war as Alawites killing Sunnis (2m Arab Alawites vs. 250m Arab Sunnis)? That somehow this conflict will have no dangerous consequences for the region? Did Bahrain not ring that alarm for a wake-up call but instead of helping its citizens, the west just let Saudi Arabia stifle their liberties, which only stoked further the regional religious war coming?

The US is viewing the al-Zawahiri message in terms of al-Qaeda planting roots in Syria when it should look at his interference in terms of their shortcoming to help the Syrian opposition free Syria from Assad. This goes to show that the Obama administration and the Assad regime are engaged in a friendly game of tennis with each making the other partner’s job easier to explain through either apathy or massacres.

The best planned wars can produce bad losses as much as the best planned diplomatic efforts can produce even worse losses. If Iraq went awry, as the Democrats so claimed, their diplomatic masterpiece in Syria is about to produce the worst losses ever in the region. Iraq will be a cakewalk as compared to Syria because US apathy towards Assad has already sparked a Sunni-Shiite war capable of consuming the whole region.

Why is it that the worst enemies of the US always come to power during the term of a liberal US President? Khomeini under Carter, the Muslim Brotherhood and keeping Iran strong by letting Assad off-the-hook under Obama? What is the use of killing Bin Laden if your policies just opened the door for his replacement while simultaneously paralyzing US military capabilities?”

The US contained the Iraq-Iranian war and it had total control of Desert Storm and the Liberation of Iraq. But who will control this new religious war capable of destroying the whole region? Its repercussions from West N. Africa to the eastern shores of the Near East will send one tremor after another rippling all the way to Foggy Bottom. It will touch everyone and every economy in the Near East.

Syria has become a cesspool of violence and death ushering the possibility for a regional religious war. If the west wanted to destabilize the region any further, it could not have done a better job.

The worst part? The next president of the US will have no choice but to send US troops to the region because the cancer of Islamic terror will simply get out of control.

Do you really think Sunnis will just be obedient to al-Saud or abide by any 9/11 instituted laws in the Kingdom? Do you think young Arab Muslims will just turn a blind eye to Assad? Or their imams will not take advantage of the opportunity to harden few souls? Extremism in the region just got a shot in the arm thanks to Obama.

So kudos to all those who stood by watching Syria bleed to death. You have just facilitated a religious war no one will be able to escape and added another $2trillion worth of US debt to save $10billion.

Farid Ghadry

Source: http://ghadry.com/2012/03/02/al-qaeda-in-syria/

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

The Hate Business


by Khaled Abu Toameh

Fatah activists in Ramallah denounced the visit by Israeli physicians as a form of "normalization" with Israel.

The fact that thousands of Palestinian patients receive medical treatment in Israeli hospitals each year did not stop Palestinians from voicing opposition to a visit by Israeli physicians to Ramallah last week.

The Israeli physicians arrived in Ramallah as part of a tour that was organized by the Palestinian Authority.

The physicians visited the Palestine Medical Compound and another clinic to learn about the Palestinians' medical services in the West Bank.

The presence of the physicians in Ramallah drew furious reactions from the workers at the medical compound and many Palestinians, including the Western-backed Fatah faction headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

Some doctors and nurses claimed that the physicians were in fact Israeli army officers. Palestinian media outlets quoted "eyewitnesses" as saying that the army vehicles and soldiers accompanied the Israeli doctors during the tour. Attempts by the Palestinian Ministry of Health to explain that the visitors were not army officers have thus far fall fallen on deaf ears.

Fatah activists in Ramallah denounced the tour as a form of "normalization" with Israel. They reminded the Palestinian Authority that its leaders had repeatedly urged Palestinians to resist all forms of "normalization" with Israel.

The Palestinian fury over the visit of the Israeli medical team to Ramallah is a sign of increased radicalization among Palestinians. It is also a severe blow to those Israelis and Palestinians who continue to talk about coexistence and peace between the two sides.

If anyone stands to lose from boycotting Israeli physicians it is the Palestinians themselves.

Because the Palestinian Authority has not invested enough in improving medical services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the past two decades, many Palestinians continue to rely on Israel for proper medical treatment.

Some of the Palestinian's top leaders, including ministers and the former mufti of Jerusalem, were among tens of thousands of Palestinians who underwent life-saving surgery in Israeli hospitals over the past two decades.

Scores of Palestinian physicians receive training in Israeli hospitals every year and many even seek the assistance of their Israeli colleagues in treating patients who are admitted to Palestinian hospitals. Some Palestinians sold their homes and lands to be able to cover the expenses of being admitted to an Israeli hospital.

But instead of welcoming Palestinian-Israeli cooperation in the medical field, some Palestinians are calling for boycotting those who are trying to save the lives of their own patients.

The Palestinian Minister of Health, Fathi Abu Mughli, is now facing sharp criticism for permitting the Israelis to visit the medical center. Some Palestinians have gone as far as calling on the Palestinian government to bring him to trial for his "crime."

But to his credit, Abu Mughli has come out in defense of the visit, arguing that he did not advocate a boycott of Israeli physicians and medical services. The minister explained that it would be foolish of Palestinians to boycott Israeli doctors and hospitals at a time when many Palestinian patients are being treated in Israel.

Palestinians who are opposed to "normalization" with Israeli physicians are the victims of years of indoctrination and messages of hate emanating from their leaders and media. And some Palestinians have become so enriched by hatred that it it would not pay for them to stop.

Khaled Abu Toameh

Source: http://www.stonegateinstitute.org/2907/hate-business

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

Goldberg Interview Can’t Disguise the Divide Between Obama and Israel


by Jonathan S. Tobin

The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg was rewarded for years of diligent cheerleading for Barack Obama with an exclusive interview that was published this morning. Goldberg asks some interesting questions as well as some that can be characterized as mere sucking up. But though there’s not much here that we haven’t already heard, the transcript of the exchange provides a summary of the Obama attempt to persuade Israel, American supporters of Israel, Iran and the rest of the world that he means business about stopping Tehran from gaining nuclear weapons.

Obama is at pains to try to assert he doesn’t “bluff” when it comes to threatening the use of force, but after three years of a feckless engagement policy followed by a largely ineffective effort to impose sanctions on Iran, it’s hard to find anyone who really believes he would actually launch a strike to prevent the ayatollahs from getting their hands on a nuclear weapon. Much of what the president says in this interview is exactly what he should be stating. But his credibility is undermined by his disingenuous attempt to deny that until his re-election campaign began the keynote of his Middle East policy was to distance the United States from Israel. Equally false is his attempt to make it seem as if he doesn’t despise Israel’s prime minister.

Obama complains, with Goldberg’s assent, that it is unfair to characterize his administration as unfriendly to Israel. But in order to buy into his assumption, you have to ignore the entire tenor and much of the substance of the U.S.-Israel relationship since January 2009. Though, as I have often written, Barack Obama has not sought to obstruct the decades-old security alliance between the two countries, he has needlessly and repeatedly quarreled with Israel’s government in such a way as to create the justified impression there is a wide gap between America and the Jewish state on a host of issues including borders, security arrangements, Jerusalem and settlements.

More to the point, despite Obama’s statements about an Iranian nuke being as much a danger to the United States and the West as it is to Israel, talk is cheap, and that is all he has ever done on the issue. That has left Israel with the impression Obama will never take action on an issue that is an existential threat to the Jewish state.

The Goldberg interview is, of course, not just one more salvo in the administration’s charm offensive to American Jewish voters. It is part of his effort to head off an Israeli strike on Iran, something he may fear far more than the ayatollahs getting their fingers on the nuclear button. For all of his lip service to the Iranian threat, Obama clearly is still more worried about Israel.

But the problem is Obama is bluffing when he talks about being willing to hit Iran. His halfhearted attempt to force Iran to its knees via sanctions is failing, and the idea that waiting until the end of the year (when, Obama hopes, he will be safely re-elected and thus free from needing to worry about Jewish voters or donors) to see if it works is just hot air. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who will be in Washington to meet with Obama following his address to the AIPAC conference, knows this, and that will be focal point of their next confrontation.

Netanyahu knows Obama does not have his country’s back despite Goldberg’s cajoling this promise out of the president. But he will likely smile when he reads Obama’s answer to Goldberg’s question about the relationship between the two men. Though Obama has bragged of his close relationships with other leaders such as the Turkey’s Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, he makes little effort to disguise his contempt for Netanyahu. He tells Goldberg he and Netanyahu are too busy to discuss anything other than policy. Obama then slips up a bit and attempts to explain their differences as being the result of belonging to “different political traditions,” as if there was some sort of natural tension between being an American Democrat and an Israeli Likudnik. This actually tells us more about Obama than anything else.

The truth is, these two “traditions” are not natural antagonists because they are the result of two entirely different political systems and histories. If Obama sees them as inherently opposed to each other it is because his conception of American liberalism sees an Israeli nationalist faction dedicated to their nation’s security as somehow antithetical to his own view. In fact, the origins of both parties are “liberal” with a small “l” in the sense that they are based on the idea of democracy and opposed to socialism. Indeed, the Likud is far closer to both American major parties because it is dedicated to free market principles the Israeli left abhors.

The divide here is not between a Democrat and a member of the Likud but between an American who is ambivalent about Israel and an Israeli who is deeply sympathetic to the United States. That is why a close reading of Goldberg’s attempt to help Obama to portray himself as Israel’s best friend only reinforces the phony nature of the president’s Jewish charm offensive.

Jonathan S. Tobin

Source: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/03/02/obama-israel-jeffrey-goldberg-iran/

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

Chicago Police Dept. Embraces Hamas Front


by IPT News

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is exploiting recent criticism of the New York Police Department's surveillance of a Muslim students group and some mosques to acquire legitimacy and intimidate police departments to promise not to investigate Islamic groups.

CAIR has been described as a front for Hamas by federal law enforcement.

After a meeting Tuesday, CAIR's Chicago chapter announced that Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy will speak Saturday night at CAIR-Chicago's annual fundraising banquet. In their meeting, McCarthy reportedly said surveillance by Chicago police would not be used in intelligence gathering as it was in New York.

"We want to know, should we be concerned about this happening in Chicago?" CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab told Fox News. "And if the answer is no, we need him to come out and say this was wrong."

The NYPD has been criticized for surveillance programs, nearly all of which involved activity and material in the public domain, of Muslim subjects including the Muslim Students Association. As the Investigative Project on Terrorism reported last week, the MSA was created by the Muslim Brotherhood and has a disturbing history of spawning people involved in terrorist plots and spewing radical rhetoric.

By yielding to CAIR pressure, the city's top police officer will share the microphone with an imam tied to a Hamas-support network which court papers indicate was responsible for CAIR's very creation.

Kifah Mustapha, head imam at the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, is being honored with the chapter's "Mobilizer Award."

Mustapha is suing the Illinois State Police after being rejected in his bid to become the agency's first Muslim chaplain. The decision followed a report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism showing he raised money for the Holy Land Foundation, which saw five former officials convicted in 2008 for illegally routing millions of dollars to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

He also sang in a band which frequently performed at HLF fundraisers. In a videotaped performance entered into evidence at the HLF trial, a Hamas caption in shown the background and Mustapha can be heard in the chorus reiterating Hamas' call for jihad:

"O mother, Hamas for Jihad. Over mosques' loudspeakers, with freedom. Every day it resists

with stones and the dagger. Tomorrow, with God's help, it will be with a machine gun and a rifle."

Mustapha also worked with the Islamic Association for Palestine which, like HLF and CAIR, was a part of the Muslim Brotherhood's "Palestine Committee." The committee included a series of separate entities, which prosecutors say and government exhibits show, was created to help Hamas politically and financially in the United States.

In recent years, Mustapha has helped CAIR raise hundreds of thousands of dollars at fundraisers. CAIR attorneys, in turn, are representing Mustapha in his lawsuit against the state police.

Also addressing Saturday's banquet is Georgetown University Professor John Esposito, who has amassed a long record as an apologist for terrorist supporters. Esposito served as an expert witness for the defense in the HLF trial. He sat on an editorial board for the Middle East Affairs Journal, which was published by another wing of the U.S.-Hamas support network, called the United Association for Studies and Research.

In addition, Esposito wrote to a federal judge, advocating the release of Palestinian Islamic Jihad board member Sami Al-Arian, calling him "an extraordinarily bright, articulate scholar and intellectual-activist, a man of conscience with a strong commitment to peace and social justice."

Esposito has also defended Hamas and Hizballah, saying each does not deserve the label of a terrorist organization. "One can't make a clear statement about Hamas," Esposito said in an interview from 2000. "One has to distinguish between Hamas in general and the action of its military wing, and then one has also to talk about specific actions. Some actions by the military wing of Hamas can be seen as acts of resistance, but other actions are acts of retaliation, particularly when they target civilians."

In the same interview published by The Middle East Affairs Journal, he said some Hizballah actions could be considered terrorist, but "Hezbollah in recent years has shown that it operates within the Lebanese political system functioning as a major player in parliament. But when it comes to the south it has been primarily a resistance movement."

The guest list fits with Rehab's attitudes.

Like other CAIR officials, Rehab is evasive when asked if Hamas is a terrorist group. Asked during a November 2006 interview on BBC's Hardtalk for a "straight forward" condemnation, Rehab hedged.

"Do I condemn the hospitals run by Hamas or the schools that help children learn, in Hamas? No. I don't condemn that," Rehab said. "But I do condemn the blowing up of Tel Aviv pizzerias or cafes."

When banners connecting the Star of David with a swastika and Palestinian deaths in Gaza flew during a January 2009 pro-Palestinian rally, Rehab was offended when asked about it.

"As hundreds of innocent human lives are crushed in full view of the world by a belligerent Israeli government, I find it appalling that some on the pro-Israeli side are better concerned with cardboard paper," Rehab said.

He dismissed the prosecution theory in the HLF case as ludicrous and said the evidence amounted to nothing more than "textbook guilt by association."

Jurors disagreed. In a verdict upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, they reached guilty verdicts on 108 counts. "The purpose of creating the Holy Land Foundation was as a fundraising arm for Hamas," said U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis said during a sentencing hearing.

He also reacted strongly to FBI raids in September 2010 targeting activists in Chicago and Minneapolis who are suspected of providing support to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Colombian FARC terrorist groups. Rehab called the investigation "a waste of taxpayer dollars," while his chapter issued a statement saying "The FBI has overstepped its bounds in targeting individuals based on their commitment to peacefully challenge US policies in Palestine and Columbia (sic). The Justice Department should call off the investigation and return what was taken in the searches."

The FBI, it bears repeating, cut off non-criminal communication with CAIR in 2008 based on evidence in the HLF case showing CAIR's founding was part of the Muslim Brotherhood's "Palestine Committee" network in the United States.

In testimony during the HLF trial, FBI Special Agent Lara Burns said CAIR was created after a secret meeting of Hamas members in supports in Philadelphia that was called to discuss ways to "derail" U.S.-led peace efforts which resulted in the 1993 Oslo Accords.

One conferee, FBI transcripts show, said that they needed to "begin thinking about establishing alternative organizations which can benefit from a new atmosphere, ones whose Islamic hue is not very conspicuous."

"The organization that was started as a result of that was CAIR, C-A-I-R?" prosecutor Barry Jonas asked Burns.

"That was an organization that was created after the Philadelphia meeting as a result of this," she said.

Burns also testified that CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad was a powerful force in the Palestine Committee, convening group meetings and dictating instructions.

Since the cutoff, CAIR has continued its consistent criticism of law enforcement counter-terror investigations, especially those involving informants and sting operations. A year ago, CAIR's San Francisco chapter published a poster urging people to "Build a Wall of Resistance; Don't Talk to the FBI" to promote an upcoming event. The poster features an FBI agent prowling in front of peoples' homes as doors slam shut in the backdrop.

After that, a board member from CAIR's New York chapter gave a presentation in which Muslims were told FBI agents were willing to break the law to set them up. "They will do anything, anything within their power and oftentimes beyond their power to get you to talk," Lamis Deek told her audience last April. "They will threaten you. OK? I've had one case where they tried to blackmail my client, I mean blackmail, seriously blackmail; that's illegal. But they'll do it."

Rehab has criticized some of the sting operations. The Bronx Four, a case involving four converts to Islam arrested after planting what they thought was a car bomb outside a synagogue, had nothing to do with the men's faith, he wrote in a Huffington Post column. Rather, it was the FBI's "self-deluding initiatives that seem to seek terror-case quotas by entrapping 'intellectually challenged' outcasts and then deceptively marketing their isolated cases as evidence of an imminent and contiguous global threat with homegrown components."

Despite the suspect ties of CAIR and those it honors at its banquet, a slew of Illinois politicians have issued statements saluting the Chicago chapter. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin issued two letters praising CAIR's Chicago chapter last year.

This year, Democratic U.S. Reps. Danny Davis, Mike Quigley, Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Bobby Rush were joined by Secretary of State Jesse White, Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in praising CAIR-Chicago.

"CAIR-Chicago has provided a comprehensive array of invaluable services to the Muslim-American community and has facilitated important partnerships and civil rights advocacy opportunities for Muslim-Americans throughout the Chicagoland area," said Emmanuel, the former White House Chief of Staff to President Obama.

McCarthy was police chief in Newark, N.J. and was informed about NYPD surveillance that took place there. But Emmanuel this week emphatically ruled out any similar tactics. "We don't do that in Chicago, and we're not going to do that," he said.

Quinn similarly commended the group "for your ongoing commitment to serving the needs of Chicago's Muslim population and for working towards ensuring justice and civil rights for all the communities you serve."

In August, Quinn appointed CAIR-Chicago board member Safaa Zarzour to serve on his newly established Muslim American Advisory Council.

Quinn endorsed the CAIR banquet in 2011, too. Praise for Saturday's event also came from some Republican state lawmakers, including House Republican Leader Tom Cross and Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno.

CAIR's ability to attract so many public officials, including Chicago's top police official, to a chapter banquet is just another example of the obsequious nature of politicians jumping to satisfy the demands of an unreliable actor. The FBI, which uncovered the evidence tying CAIR to a terror-support network, made it clear that "until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner."

Why other, less-informed officials feel free to dismiss that linkage is mystifying.

IPT News

Source: http://www.investigativeproject.org/3469/chicago-police-dept-embraces-hamas-front

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

Sabbath Rocket Attacks Continue


by Gavriel Queenann

Saturday, shortly before dusk, terrorists in the Gaza strip fired two rockets into Israel

The rockets landed in an open field in the Eshkol Regional Council.

No physical injuries or property damage was reported.

The Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades – the Hamas terror militia responsible for mortar and rocket attacks on Israel – refused to comment on the attack.

Saturday's rocket attack follows the firing of three rockets into the same region of Israel on Friday.

No physical injuries or property damage was reported in that incident, either.

The Eshkol Regional Council lies on the Ashkelon coast, South of Tel Aviv and is a routinely targeted by terrorists firing rockets and mortars.

The IDF spokesperson's officer confirmed the rocket attacks. No military response has been reported as of yet.

Gavriel Queenann

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/153382

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

Thursday, March 1, 2012

US Liberals Don't See the Whole Picture


by Ron Jager

Can a liberal American Jew support Israel?

If we accept the thesis that most American Jews are predominantly liberal and vote Democratic, and that most Liberals are concerned with human rights and social justice, a simple question begs to be asked;

Can American Jewish Liberals who detest war and violence, who believe that fighting is not ‘the Jewish way;’ who willingly believe that Jews have their own higher standards of behavior, support Israel today?

Can American Jewish Liberalism "co-exist" with an Israel that refuses to enforce Democratic principles and values on behalf of Jew-hating enemies sworn to its destruction?

For many in the Liberal camp, all Jews should adhere to the 60's slogan "make love not war, see driver for details".

You can hear them saying: After all, if I adhere to Liberal values, how I can possibly support Israel as she is increasingly projected, spoken about, and portrayed, as a country that is becoming right-wing, increasingly religious, increasingly foreign to the very liberal values that I have sworn by and believe in.

Can an American liberal Jew identify with an Israel that is constantly vacillating in a dialectic relationship between Democratic principles and her Jewish Character? Can an American Jewish liberal identify with a nation that reveres The Temple Mount, the Tomb of Joseph (Kever Yosef), the Tomb of Rachel (Kever Rachel Imanu), and the Patriarch's Machpela Cave?

For many in the Liberal camp, the very notion of Jewish sovereignty based on religious and historical claims misrepresents the essence of what Israel should be. War and violence, creating an army and projecting Jewish strength is not the Jewish way, so they believe.

The Liberal perception of Palestinian terrorism and support for the Palestinian Arabs is very much at the heart of why so many Liberal Jews find themselves becoming more detached and alienated from Israel every day.

In acknowledging Palestinian terrorism as a response to a specific cause, in Israel’s case, “the occupation,” - which has become a brand-name for legitimizing the killing Jews and demonizing Israel - many Liberal Jews choose to ignore the hypocrisy of Liberal values implicitly condoning of indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians.

The danger in associating terrorism to grievances and causes is that it rationalizes murder and justifies those who perpetrate it.

Arab Palestinian terrorists, who plan and train for meticulously murderous attacks on Jews, don’t seek political compromises; their goal is jihad, total elimination of Jews, and the State of Israel. They don’t even think about a “peace process” or human rights, or even accepting Israel's right to exist, but are committed to the total annihilation of their enemies. They see themselves as “martyrs,” glorified by their communities and by the Palestinian Authority. Most major Arab Palestinian towns have pictures of “martyrs,” terrorists who have committed acts of murder against Jews, hung high on light poles throughout major streets and boulevards for all to see as role models.

It seems as though some Liberals will forever remain blind to this Palestinian elevation of glorifying death as a central belief in the Arab mindset and culture.

These Liberals also always seem to belittle the success of Israel's vibrant democracy, diminishing the significance of Israel being the single Democratic nation in all of the Middle East. This amazing success has become even more challenging because of two major competing factors: the first, Israel must constantly navigate the inherent tension between Israel's democratic structure and her Jewish character and do this amidst the reality of being surrounded by Jew hating enemies calling to "wipe her off the map" and "throw all the Jews in the sea".

Why is it that so many Liberals take everything for granted concerning Israel's democracy, yet explain away these phrases by Israel's enemies as nothing more than expressions of free speech?

Israel's need to constantly navigate the tension between its democratic ideal and its Jewish character. while being surrounded by Jew-hating enemies sworn to its destruction has made Israel's democratic journey that more turbulent. So if we want to gauge how democratic Israel really is, I would suggest that all Liberals ask themselves to what extent Israel enables the unrestricted expression of liberal ideas and liberal freedoms.

Here are some actual examples: Israeli academicians call for the boycott of Israel, Israeli Arab NGO's actively campaign to deligitimize the continuing existence of Israel as a Jewish state, Israeli leftists actively participate in anti-Israeli activities such as violent opposition to the security barrier created to prevent the free passage of Arab terrorists into the center of Israel. They continue to receive funding from foreign governments hostile to Israel, and arrange the organized badgering, photographing, and heckling of Israeli soldiers at military checkpoints.

Israel allows anti-Israel groups to visit the family of the barbaric murderers of the Fogel family from the community of Itamar and hears them publicly condemn the Israeli investigation. Liberals would be wise to wake up to this complicated reality of Israel's vibrant democratic society before they donate a dime to organizations that falsely claim to be combating Israel's democratic institutions.

Today's Israel can justifyingly claim to be a vibrant democracy, with progressive social values, industriousness, with ingenuity, with sensitivity and respect for human rights in the midst of a protracted, existential struggle - that is the true narrative of Israel.

Liberal Jews can easily identify and defend this kind of Israel, all they have to say is "yes we can".

Ron Jager, a 25-year veteran of the I.D.F., served as a field mental health officer and Commander of the Central Psychiatric Military Clinic for Reserve Soldiers at Tel-Hashomer. Contact: medconf@netvision.net.il

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/11324#.T0_tq1FvIi4

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

WikiLeaks: Russia Gave Israel Codes for Iran’s Missiles


by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Russia gave Israel codes for breaking Iran’s missile defense system in return for codes of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) Israel sold to Georgia, WikiLeaks claims.

The information was among 5 million emails released this week by WikiLeaks, which said it worked in cooperation with the Anonymous hacker group. The leaked information focused on the U.S.-based Stratfor global intelligence company.

A source identified as “A” was quoted in an e-mail from a Stratfor employee as having heard from a “former Mexican cop” and military analysts that "the Georgians are frantically looking for a replacement for the Israeli UAVs that were compromised.”

The Israeli-based Elbit company had sold UAVs to Georgia since 2007, and earlier this month Georgia said it is replacing the Hermes UAVs.

“Met with my Mexican source/friend again today and dude is getting shadier by the day. We followed up on our past discussion on Russia compromising the Israeli-made Georgian UAVs prior to the August war,” said one e-mail.

“I inquired more about the compromised Israeli UAVs,” it continued. “What he explained was that Israel and Russia made a swap -- Israel gave Russia the 'data link' code for those specific UAVs; in return, Russia gave Israel the codes for Iran's Tor-M1s [missile defense system].

“I asked about the S-300 (source tracks a lot of defense deals for Jane's). He doesn't think the Russians will give it to the Iranians. Besides, he said... Israel and Turkey have been collaborating very closely on the S-300s….The gist of what he said is that Turkey has been cracking the S-300 since the Crete sale and has been sharing intel on the S-300 with the Israelis to ensure that they retain an advantage over Iran should Iran get them from the Russians.

“SOURCE DESCRIPTION: MX301 - Former Mexican cop, Latam military analyst, writes for Jane's; SOURCE RELIABILITY: A

“The Russians got the data link for the UAV (there is some suspicion that the Israelis after the war may have given this to them…. So, since the Georgian UAVs were compromised, they then tried to sell them to the Azerbaijanis. I don’t know if that deal went through.”

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/153273#.T0_s-lFvIi5

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

A Wake-up Call for the Prime Minister's Office


by Isi Leibler

Thankfully, the unsavory allegations of harassment against the former Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) are behind us. But the fallout from further impending resignations and bitter infighting amongst key officials remain the order of the day and continue inhibiting one of the most important divisions of government from fulfilling its primary obligations.

Yet the reality is that the shortcomings of the PMO long precede the Netanyahu government and are not primarily related to personality conflicts. One of the principal weaknesses has been the long standing failure to ensure that vital government information services are efficiently managed and coordinated at the political and military level. One would have expected that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, sensitive to the importance of the war of ideas, would have regarded rectifying this state of affairs as a priority.

Alas, this failed to eventuate and despite possessing a powerful case to justify our actions and display our bona fides to the world at large, due to a combination of incompetence and failure to respond in a timely manner as issues arise, our cause continues to be ineffectively advocated.

This was exemplified by the appalling manner in which we mishandled the recent breakdown of negotiations with the Palestinians.

We had agreed to discussions without preconditions. It was the Palestinians who broke up the talks on the grounds that we rejected their outrageous demands to accede to another settlement freeze and recognize the 1967 armistice lines as the opening benchmark for negotiating borders. Yet Palestinian spokesmen succeeded in convincing the global media that it was due to our intransigence that the talks had collapsed.

Only several days later did an Israeli government spokesman belatedly explain that the Palestinians refused to even consider our security requirements, making it inconceivable for us to start drawing maps.

In the global battle to obtain public support, our government seems oblivious to the critical imperative of promoting our narrative in a timely and effective manner. In stark contrast, the Palestinians, repeatedly and systematically, articulate their distorted and false version, which alas, much of the world now blindly accepts.

Again and again the media recycles the false Palestinian narrative of our having indulged in ethnic cleansing in 1948 and were responsible for the “expulsion” of millions of displaced and suffering Palestinian refugees. We seem to have given up refuting these lies.

It is also only recently that we began drawing attention to the massive expulsion of Jews from Moslem countries and the appropriation of their property without any restitution that was cruelly orchestrated at the time of Israel’s establishment. And yet, in stark contrast to Arab refugees, they were fully integrated within Israeli society.

On the other hand, we frenziedly concentrate on justifying our "legitimacy" and “right to exist as a nation” to the point where it has become a counterproductive exercise.

During his June visit to Washington, Netanyahu adamantly conveyed to President Obama why ‘67 borders plus “agreed” swaps were a prescription for disaster. Yet we became silent when the Europeans and others subsequently pressed us to implement this formulation. Israeli spokesmen should be vigorously rejecting this demand, pointing out that it conflicts with 1967 UN Resolution 242 and conflicts with undertakings made to Israel by the former Bush Administration. Besides, the intransigent Palestinians have clearly stated that they would reject “swaps” enabling us to retain the major settlement blocs and Jewish Jerusalem, thus ensuring that the indefensible armistice lines of 1948 would de facto become the borders. If we fail to firmly repudiate these demands today, a possibly re-elected Obama will be encouraged to seek to impose these disastrous borders upon us in the future.

Likewise, we should be far more aggressive in urging the US and others to formally endorse our rejection of the Palestinian refugee “right of return” to Israel, on the grounds that implementation of such a procedure would effectively result in the demise of the Jewish State.

It is only recently that our Prime Minister has belatedly begun hammering the truth about the all-pervasive Palestinian culture of death and criminality and the barbaric indoctrination of children from kindergarten level sanctifying the murder of Jews. It is only now that we have begun stressing that this incitement to genocide emanates no less from the PA than Hamas, highlighting the charade of portraying any Palestinian leader as a genuine peace partner.

We must also actively refute the bizarre liberal Western and US efforts to depict the hate-filled Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as a moderate group. Otherwise a future US administration will be more likely to seek to placate the new Islamic regimes by pressuring us to make further unilateral concessions to the Palestinians. We must explain that appeasing extremists not merely harms us but poses no less a threat to Western interests and will inevitably serve to embolden Jihadists to extort more in order to achieve their ultimate goal of global domination.

In this context, we should not overestimate the impact on us of the conflicts between the Sunnis and Shiites. Yes, the Saudis would be overjoyed if we intervened to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear status. But we should not overlook the fact that the one issue which continues to unite extremist Sunnis and Shiites is their ultimate objective of eliminating Jewish sovereignty in the region, even if genocidal means are required to achieve that goal.

Benjamin Netanyahu is blessed with an extraordinary gift of articulating the case for Israel. But unless he also ensures that the government employs competent people capable of expeditiously responding in the war of ideas, he must be held accountable for our failures in this area.

In the coming months we will be confronting grave diplomatic challenges with existential implications. Netanyahu must recognize that one of the highest priorities of his office is to provide effective liaison between the IDF, the Foreign Ministry and other divisions to ensure that Israel responds speedily and acts efficiently in the face of the ongoing defamatory campaigns being launched against us.

Only too often we remain the last cab off the rank when it comes to damage control. By the time we respond to Palestinian lies and subterfuge, it is invariably too late and the initial falsehoods which dominated the media cannot be undone.

Examples abound. One need only recall the Jenin “massacre”, the Muhammad Al- Dura libel, the Goldstone Report, the Mavi Marmara flotilla and the ongoing stream of false allegations in which our responses were always far too late and frequently ineffective.

We have a powerful even irrefutable case based on facts. But it must be communicated clearly and professionally. It is the responsibility of the Prime Minister’s Office to implement this and it is Netanyahu’s direct obligation to ensure that his office is manned by the best available staff. Until now, notwithstanding a number of talented individuals serving in the PMO, overall the information services remain an abysmal failure. The time is long overdue for the Prime Minister to intervene. If some of his current staff are incapable of fulfilling their obligations, he should replace them with personnel competent to do so.

This column was originally published in the Jerusalem Post

Isi Leibler may be contacted at ileibler@netvision.net.il

Source: http://wordfromjerusalem.com/?p=3918

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

The Struggle for Civil Rights, 2012


by Frank Gaffney, Jr.

As we witness surging Muslim violence against non-Muslims in Afghanistan, Egypt and even here, the response seems increasingly that the victims must apologize to the perpetrators. In particular, the United States government – from President Obama on down – has been assiduously seeking forgiveness for giving offense to Islamic sensibilities by accidentally burning Qurans. This was felt necessary even in a case where the books had been defaced by captured Afghan jihadis as a means of encouraging their comrades to further acts of violence against us.

It seems that Christians are also widely considered to be at fault for having churches, Bibles and religious practices that offend the ascendant Islamists in Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. Certainly, no apologies are forthcoming when the Christians are murdered or forced to flee for their lives, their churches and sacred texts put to the torch, etc.

And in America last week, a Pennsylvania judge felt the need to dress down a man assaulted for parading in a Halloween costume he called “Zombie Mohammed.” Far from punishing the perpetrator, a Muslim immigrant, Judge Mark Martin sympathized with him for the offense caused, noting – seemingly without objection – that it was a capital crime to engage in such free expression in some countries.

Worse yet, the judge suggested that the victim in this case had exceeded the “boundaries” of his “First Amendment rights.” Such a view seems to track with the Obama administration’s collaboration with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in fashioning international accords that would prohibit “incitement” against Islam.

This is a short step from – and enroute to – the OIC’s larger goal of banning and criminalizing any expression that offends Muslims or their faith. As such, it poses a mortal peril to the Constitution’s First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech.

What is going on in country after country, in international forums like the UN Human Rights Council and even in some American courts is a calculated effort, backed by terrifying violence or its threat, to make us “feel subdued,” as the Quran puts it. The idea is to use Western sensibilities and civil liberties, notably, respect for the free practice of religion, to deny the rest of us our fundamental freedoms. These include the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and, yes, freedom of religion.

The trouble is that when we accommodate such demands, it is seen by Islamist enemies of liberty as evidence of our inevitable submission. According to the doctrine of shariah, they must, under such circumstances, make a redoubled effort to achieve their ultimate triumph, including through the use of violence.

So, far from alleviating the threat posed by shariah’s adherents when we accommodate, apologize and appease, we are actually exacerbating it, at home as well as abroad.

In short, we find ourselves in what is, properly understood, the civil rights struggle of our time. Those who stand up for freedom against shariah are quite literally protecting the rights of women, children, people of faith, homosexuals and other minorities sure to be abused by its misogynistic, intolerant and domineering doctrine. That means protecting, as well, Muslim Americans who have come to this country to escape the long arm of shariah law. In due course, though, shariah’s repressive strictures would not simply be a threat to these communities. They would be a toxic blight upon all of us.

Ironically, today it is defenders of our freedoms who are being denounced as “racists,” “bigots” and “Islamophobes.” Such terms are, in truth, being used in much the same way and for precisely the same purpose as the Ku Klux Klan's members reviled an earlier generation of civil rights activists for loving Negroes: to defame, threaten and isolate their opponents. We cannot, and certainly must not, tolerate the Islamists’ intolerance.

Muslims are, of course, free to practice their faith in America like anyone else – provided they do so in a tolerant, peaceable and law-abiding way. What they are not entitled to do, in the name of religious practice, is subvert our Constitution, deny us our rights or engage in sedition without facing concerted opposition – if not prosecution.

Today, every bit as much as in the civil rights struggles of the past, there are those who are prepared to go along with what they know is wrong, in order to get along. Now, as then, the few who recognize that any such accommodation makes more certain the ultimate triumph of evil, may be vilified and even harmed. But now, as then, more and more Americans are emerging who see the danger posed by our time’s totalitarian threat – shariah – and who will do their part to secure freedom against it, both here and, as necessary for that purpose, elsewhere.

Frank Gaffney, Jr. is President of the Center for Security Policy (www.SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for the Washington Times and host of the nationally syndicated program, Secure Freedom Radio, heard in Washington weeknights at 9:00 p.m. on WRC 1260 AM.

Source: http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/p18936.xml

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

Two More Troops are Dead - Shot by Afghan Soldiers


by Rick Moran

We can't disarm the entire Afghan army. But something has to be done to stop this madness.

CBS News:

Two U.S. troops were shot dead in southern Afghanistan when three assailants, two of whom were believed to be Afghan soldiers, turned their weapons against American troops on Thursday.

Afghan and U.S. military officials confirm to CBS News that the dead were U.S. troops, and that a third American servicemember was wounded in the attack. U.S. forces responded with gunfire and killed the two assailants in Afghan army attire, wounding a third Afghan shooter in civilian clothing. The wounded shooter was identified as a teacher and is in custody.

CBS News correspondent Mandy Clark reports the shooting occurred inside a joint Afghan-U.S. base in Kandahar province.

Thursday's shooting is the latest case of Afghan policemen or soldiers - or militants disguised in their uniforms - killing NATO troops.

Six Americans have now been killed and at least 15 wounded in attacks in Afghanistan since the Islamic holy books were burned at a U.S. base there. Dozens of Afghans have been killed or wounded in riots.

Where is President Karzai? Ultimately, it is his responsibility. And why isn't the president demanding an apology from the Afghan government?

This is insane. Why are we fighting for people who would just as soon kill us? They deserve to live under the jackboot of Taliban authoritarianism. They certainly don't deserve the selfless courage and dedication to duty being exhibited by our troops.

Rick Moran

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/03/two_more_troops_are_dead_-_shot_by_afghan_soldiers.html

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

Ecologists against the Jews


by Giulio Meotti

“The desert is groaning”, declares Cornerstone magazine, the Palestinian Sabeel Theology Center’s publication. “The Israeli army and settlers have polluted the Palestinian areas,” writes Reverend Naim Ateek, who heads the notorious anti-Jewish Christian center.

Despite the fact that Israel is the only country to enter the 21st century with a net gain in forest growth, Green activists today are among the most virulently anti-Jewish. The Green Party mayor of Aachen, Hilde Scheidt, has just waged a media campaign against Israel. Prominent German author Henryk Broder called her a “Green anti-Semite,” after she defended a cartoon depicting a man sporting a Star of David on his bib as he devours a young Palestinian boy with a fork draped in an American flag and a knife with the word “Gaza” written on it.

Back in 1991, German Green Party’s spokesman Hans Christian Stroebele defended Saddam Hussein’s rockets on Tel Aviv because “Iraq’s attacks are the logical, almost compelling, consequence of Israel’s politics vis-à-vis the Palestinians and the Arab states,”

The Green lies about “the ecology of occupation” are now spreading at the highest European levels. The French parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee recently published an unprecedented report accusing Israel of implementing “apartheid” in its allocation of water in Judea and Samaria.

Meanwhile, environmentalists accuse Israel’s army of being a major cause of cancer in Palestinian children. This blood libel began in 1999, when Suha Arafat declared that Israeli gas is poisoning Arab children: “Our people have been subjected to the daily and extensive use of poisonous gas by the Israeli forces, which has led to an increase in cancer cases among women and children.” She also said that Israel has “chemically contaminated about 80% of water sources used by Palestinians.”

Nazi-style rhetoric

The pollution myth spread through the literary milieu as well. British dramatist David Hare wrote that the Jews have “polluted” the Promised Land and “do not belong here.” According to this racist belief, “native species” originate in a certain place and that is where they “belong.” Hence, Israel’s “colonization” threatens the “original” Arab environment.

Green NGOs accuse Israel of “warfare ecology,” “deforestation,” “erosion of agricultural lands,” and “expropriation” of Arab land for Israel’s national park. European geographers denounce settler “cementification” and the “architecture of occupation” in a growing topography of hatred.

Elsewhere, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine,” led by the British Richard Rogers, has called for a boycott of architects, planners and companies involved in building the security fence, which stopped the suicide bombers. Eyal Weizman, an Israeli architect living in London, calls it a “war crime.”

Elements within the Green movement have adopted Nazi-style rhetoric to blast Israeli businesses. Literature distributed by the boycotters outrageously describes Judea and Samaria citizens as “parasites.” Products from the Golan Heights, such as wines, mineral water and milk are targeted. Flowers are targeted by the BDS movement, because since Israel entered the flower export market in the 1970s this business has been blooming.

The Ahava cosmetics company is also targeted by Green activists. In the last three years, thousands of Western women in bikinis, belonging to the feminist association Code Pink, protested outside Ahava shops in the US and in European capitals. They are usually streaked with mud, some featuring the words “Ahava is a dirty business.” The slogan of the campaign is fashionable and catchy: “Stolen Beauty.”

Dutch government promoted an investigation to determine whether Ahava should enjoy tax privileges granted to foreign goods. Elsewhere, Sex and the City actress Kristin Davis was suspended by humanitarian group Oxfam International after joining an Ahava advertisement campaign.

In the final analysis, environmentalists have launched a primitive diatribe against Israel that smacks of classic, medieval-style anti-Semitic blood libels. It demonizes the Jews for “dispossessing” and “polluting” a fabricated, “archetypical Palestine.” Yet this campaign has proven, again, that anti-Semitism is the most dangerous pollutant.

Giulio Meotti

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/03/01/ecologists-against-the-jews/

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

What Is Right About Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer


by Eric Allen Bell

[FrontPage Editor's note: The article below is written by Eric Allen Bell, a filmmaker who was recently banned from blogging at the “Daily Kos” because he wrote three articles that ran afoul of the mindset there, specifically naming “Loonwatch.com” as a “terrorist spin control network.” Don't miss Eric Bell on Frontpage's television program, The Glazov Gang.]

I write this mainly for the benefit of so many of my Liberal friends. I know you have good hearts, but have been badly deceived by your peers and leaders when it comes to the threat of Jihad, and the character of those few brave individuals, who have had the courage to risk everything, to stand up for liberty and human rights…

BACKGROUND:

In the summer of 2010 I was invited to write an article for Michael Moore. I was in production on a documentary I was calling “Not Welcome” regarding the backlash against construction of a 53,000 square foot mega mosque in the middle of the American Bible Belt. His endorsement gave me a huge boost with the Hollywood crowd. Having worked in the entertainment industry for years, this was not my first film, but it was to be my first documentary. So when I went on to write a few more articles for MichaelMoore.com the wheels were greased for me to get into a room with the right people, and secure the finishing funds I needed to complete post production. And if there is one thing Hollywood loves (almost as much as congratulating itself), it’s the story of an innocent minority group being wrongly persecuted, preferably in the South, especially if the antagonist happens to be the Religious Right. And as my editor and I assembled the first 25 minutes, of the 300 hours of footage shot, this film promised to deliver just that. “Wow, I really wasn’t expecting this. I would like to thank the members of the Academy, Michael Moore and the Prophet Mohammed for making all of this possible…”

But then the winds changed direction. It seems that fate had issued a Fatwa against my perfect plan. The Arab Spring sprang into action and ruined everything, as it degenerated disappointingly into the Islamist Winter. It was as if I had been slapped upside the head by reality, thus knocking off my blinders and causing me to ask a lot of inconvenient questions. I was left wondering if there was perhaps more to the story of so-called “revolution” than what had been portrayed on Al Jazeera and “Democracy Now with Amy Goodman”. You can read more about this in an article I wrote for Front Page Magazine here: “The High Price of Telling the Truth About Islam”.

I took a second and more critical look inside Islamic scripture, comparing and contrasting the countless acts of Islamic terrorism, with specific commands to carry out these violent and barbaric attacks on innocent infidels as ordered in the Koran, the Hadith, and the Sunnah. And after much difficult soul searching I had realized I was making more than just a documentary. I was making a terrible mistake. So I went back to my backers and told them how I had changed the outline of the documentary, to include a critical examination of the violent dimension that informed so much of the Islamic world today, and throughout history, and how desperately this story needed to be told, and I consequently lost the backing to my film.

As a writer who had written over a hundred articles for The Daily Kos, a liberal blog which receives about a million visitors a day, I wrote 3 articles outlining what I had learned about Islam, it’s execution of homosexuals and how hundreds of millions of women around the world were living under Islamic gender apartheid. I called attention to this as a human rights issue, human rights being in theory a big concern among Liberal audiences. The warm reception that followed included being labeled a “bigot” a “right winger” and an “Islamophobe” in the hundreds of subsequent reader comments, demanding that my “hate speech” be banned. And after that the Islamophobia watchdog site, Loonwatch.com created a link for readers to write directly to the editors of DKOS, demanding my voice be silenced. And I was immediately banned from ever writing for The Daily Kos.

In the weeks that passed I received many “goodbye” texts and emails from friends letting me know that we were no longer friends. I saw my name get smeared in print – lies, misquotes, distortions, character assassination. Loonwatch.com named me the “Loon At Large”

(UPDATE: Since appearing on the Michael Coren show and telling my story about how Loonwatch put my name out on the street in the Islamic world, Loonwatch has since pulled that article from their site. Thank you very much Michael Coren!).

My friend count on Facebook took a hit. My blog, which has had over 23 million visitors and usually receives at least a million visitors per month, got hacked over and over for weeks before my traffic rebounded. And, many of my subscribers left the site, telling me that I was “spreading intolerance and ignorance”. On donations and ad revenue I took a massive financial hit. For so many who had known me for so long, I had become nothing more than an “intolerant hate monger”

PAMELA GELLER:

In the process of defending myself from all of these accusations, in a desperate attempt to distance myself from those names that had become synonymous with “Islamophobia” at least in my circle, I made critical remarks about Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller – comments meant to distinguish myself from the real “hate mongers” but comments that turned out to be uninformed and just simply just not true. I thought they were true at the time. But having only recently sipped from the well of knowledge, I had not yet flushed all of the Kool Aid out of my system.

For example, in a Daily Kos piece (before my excommunication for blasphemy) I wrongly lumped Pamela Geller in with Pastor Terry Jones, a religious zealot who preaches burning the Koran. A simple YouTube search will yield no shortage of remarks made by Geller, stating she opposes the burning of books, all books, and that furthermore she is not anti-Muslim, does not advocate persecution or hatred of Muslims, and even goes so far as to point out that it is in fact Muslims themselves, who are the biggest victims of Islamic violence. The number of times she has spoken out for the hundreds of millions of Muslim women, who suffer under gender apartheid alone, is evidence that Pamela Geller is not a hate monger, but rather a fearless advocate for human rights – including the rights of Muslims.

It is amazing, the human capacity for seeing only what we want to see. And it is especially humbling, I can tell you, when one identifies that unattractive quality within oneself. But the freedom that comes with trading in your cozy conclusions for difficult questions is well worth the cost. Everything is up for grabs. You evolve.

In taking the time to really get to know who Pamela Geller is and what she has done to earn this sensational media status, as some sort of evil hate monger, this intolerant fanatic who opposes religious freedom, I finally did some long overdue research of my own. And soon after simply scratching the surface, it was immediately clear that the bold stance Pamela Geller took publicly against the Ground Zero Mosque was absolutely right. Spot on, in fact damned near clairvoyant.

This shameless shrine, this 13 story Islamic gloating tower was to be financed with $100 million from the “Cordoba Initiative” an organization with very questionable ties to Jihadi interests – to be ran by Imam Raouf and promoted by his wife Daisy Khan (pronounced “Con”).

Cordoba, by the way was at one time the capital of an Islamic Caliphate and the city where Muslims had converted a Cordoba church into the third largest mosque in the world – an inconvenient truth that those of us in the Liberal world were told was simply misunderstood. But when the spin doctors at CAIR failed to convince the skeptics, this mysterious $100 million Islamic fund rebranded the name of the victory mosque, to simply “Park 51”. It kind of sounds like an exclusive night club from the seventies, except without the liquor or cocaine, and where the women must throw a sheet over their heads and keep their mouths shut.

No matter how the Cordoba Initiative tried to spin this story, Pamela Geller kept on insisting this was a mosque. According to press releases parroted by left leaning media outlets, “Park 51” was more like a YMCA, where old people could play bingo or shuffle board or whatever they do. There would be Mommy and Me classes and the center just happened to have a prayer room on the top two floors for Muslims to pray. (also known as a mosque). Never mind that this mosque would overlook the site of the collapsed World Trade Center, where thousands of innocent people lost their lives after Islamic terrorists struck on 9/11. And never mind that construction of a mosque this close to Ground Zero was perfectly consistent with 1,400 years of Islamic conquest. This was to be a victory mosque the whole family could enjoy. And if you don’t like it, then you’re a racist and a bigot and a right wing Islamophobe. Did I mention that the new facility was designed to “bring the whole community together”?

As an advocate for cultural sensitivity for the American people (we could use more of those), Pamela Geller gave numerous television interviews. She was hammered and grilled mercilessly as an intolerant fanatic by a highly biased media, but she did not back down. She kept her cool and she stuck to the facts. For instance, fragments of a hijacked airliner had reportedly landed on the Burlington Coat Factory (the piece of Ground Zero real estate which was swooped up using questionable sources, to become the Victory Mosque). She asserted that the proposed site was in fact sacred ground, a war memorial, and not at all an appropriate place to build a $100 million “shrine to the very ideology that inspired the attacks of 9/11”.

I used to think that this was too broad a statement to make. I used to think that connecting Islam to 9/11 was somehow unfair. I used to not think, and think that I was thinking. And it seems for many of us Gen X’ers “educated” in government run schools, this type of not thinking was how we were taught to think. And the institutions of “education” told us that this type of not thinking was called “tolerance”. Applied evenly, one could learn to tolerate Communism, Nazism or even the President of Iran. See Oliver Stone’s son and recent convert to Shia Islam as Exhibit “A”.

So why did Pamela Geller call Islam an “Ideology” and not a religion? Perhaps this was because Islam is only a small part religion. In large part Islam is a tyrannical political system, and very much a barbaric legal system (the Sharia) practiced by hundreds of millions of Muslims in Islamic countries around the world and growing. And all three components go together to form what is known as “Islam” the so-called “religion of peace”. And yet so many in the mainstream media twisted Ms. Geller’s words to make it sound as if she were a crackpot, who actually thought that a mosque was going to be built on the site of the actual Twin Towers, while ignoring her valid points, or else cutting her off before she could finish making a valid point. And this is what so many of us wanted to believe, what we needed to believe – because the alternative meant that maybe she was right, and this went against a culture that raised us to believe all belief systems are of equal value and must be respected equally because anything less was unfair.

A huge portion of American culture is dominated by a naïve and usually well-intentioned view – that one must always side with the perceived victim in any conflict. And terrorist-linked organizations such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) have done a masterful job of manipulating this predisposition in painting a picture of Islam in America as the victim. Never mind the fact that Islam itself is perhaps the greatest victimizer in the world today. The perception that Islam is the underdog in America has allowed CAIR to bully and infiltrate the media, either by calling them out whenever they feel that Islam has been slighted or, more recently, creating an atmosphere where media outlets such as the New York Times are voluntarily censoring themselves.

For a religion that is so easily offended by the simplest slight, such as drawing a cartoon or burning a book, one would hope that a Muslim cleric with a hundred million dollars behind him could find another location – one that does not offend millions of Americans. And this was a point that Pamela Geller never backed down from, even though she knew that she could be risking her life.

ROBERT SPENCER:

There were two defining incidents that caused me to eventually do a full 180 on my views concerning Islam as a mostly peaceful religion with a few bad apples. The first one I have already mentioned in “The High Cost of Telling the Truth About Islam”. Briefly:

“I flew back to Nashville to shoot a conference on whether or not Islam was conducive with Democratic Values and on the way to my hotel room I learned that my cab driver was from Egypt. I asked him how he felt about the fall of Mubarak, a dictator worth over $70 billion dollars while so much of his country was living in poverty and he told me he was concerned. Concerned? Wasn’t this good news? The cab driver was a Coptic Christian and he told me that he feared for his family back home. “If the Muslims take control, and they will, it will be very dangerous for my parents and my sisters. I’m scared for them right now”. After that conversation, I started to pay more attention to the news coming from the Islamic world in the Middle East. Over the coming months I watched as the Muslim Brotherhood gained political power in Egypt. I saw that cab driver’s worst fears come true as Coptic Christians were attacked by Islamic mobs. I saw Tunisia institute Sharia, the brutal Islamic Law. After Libya fell, the Transitional Council also instituted Islamic Law. The nuclear armed Islamic government of Pakistan arrested and punished those who cooperated with the United States in killing Osama Bin Laden. A woman under the Islamic government of Afghanistan faced execution for the crime of being raped. Similar news stories emerged from Iran. A man who typed “there is no god” as his Facebook status in Indonesia, the largest Islamic country in the world, was arrested for blasphemy.”

Also, I read a book by Robert Spencer called “The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion”. I knew his reputation for being an “Islamophobe” as I had been a reader of Loonwatch.com for over a year – a site which is obsessed with Robert Spencer, and is aligned with another site called SpencerWatch.com – both of which go to great lengths to depict him as the worst human being in the world.

When I picked up “The Truth About Mohammed” I kept waiting for that moment when he would reveal himself to be the “Loon” they said he was and I could stop reading. But that moment never came. As it turns out, all of these horrible things I was reading about Mohammed could not possibly be “Islamophobic” because they were all coming directly from Islamic scripture. Everything he said was based on what Islamic sources, the Koran, the Hadith and the Sunnah, were saying about Mohammed. There was very little editorializing. Spencer was merely reporting in a very non-sensational way, what Muslims are taught about the life of their prophet.

I checked this out for myself. Not only did I want to disbelieve what I was reading, but I needed to disbelieve it. If what Robert Spencer was saying about Mohammed was true, then I had to rework my entire documentary, rethink my entire worldview, possibly lose backing (that hurt) and even have to go back and admit to my readers that I had it all wrong. I really, really wanted Robert Spencer to turn out to be a “Loon”. But he simply is not.

In fact, Robert Spencer is one of the only people out there telling the truth about Mohammed and successfully getting through to a significant number of people. And although I had seen him appear on news shows that I don’t like, being interviewed by people that I don’t agree with, there was absolutely nothing in his book that promoted his religion or promoted a partisan political point of view. He was simply stating the facts. And if I could detect any kind of agenda from this at all, any hint of this being in any way personal for him, it was pretty clear that his concerns had to do with protecting human rights.

From there I watched a documentary that Robert Spencer was featured prominently in (which I very highly recommend) called “Islam: What the West Needs to Know”. Again, I did my homework and it all checks out. From that point I watched nearly everything I could find on YouTube with Robert Spencer in it. Then I read “The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran”.

Since first sharing my change in perspective on Daily Kos and later on Front Page Magazine, I had the honor of speaking with Robert Spencer on a number of occasions. In fact it was he who reached out to me when my articles on Daily Kos got me banned. We have since been on radio programs together and I receive his JihadWatch.com email regularly. In keeping with the style of his books, Jihad Watch merely reports the facts concerning all the many acts of Jihad that have happened that day or week, with plenty of links to independent news sources from around the world, to substantiate what is being said. JihadWatch.com more than anything has been, and continues to be, incredibly eye-opening and an excellent source of reference material, for anyone who is serious about understanding the very real threat of Jihad – including Stealth Jihad, both here at home and around the world.

Countless millions of people fall victim to Jihadists every single day. This is perhaps the worst human rights nightmare facing the world in our time. And, there are tragically so very few people out there who are risking their neck, quite literally, to bring us accurate information concerning this. Quite frankly I find most (but certainly not all) of the sites that are critical of Islam to be either hateful or else too religiously motivated for me. And my sense is that this has a lot to do with maintaining the false perception that the Counter Jihad movement is partisan or religiously motivated. JihadWatch.com is the best, as far as I am concerned, when it comes to getting the facts in a reliable, non-partisan, non-proselytizing format.

SUMMARY:

So why would I have had such a wrong perception about Spencer and Geller? In the Liberal world, the world I now mostly just see in my rear view mirror when it comes to many issues I am reconsidering, there is not much tolerance for a diversity of opinion – something which was made abundantly clear when I was 86’d from Daily Kos, as punishment for not singing off the same sheet of music, when it comes to Islamic Supremacy. So I wrongly and naively thought that the Conservative world must work the same way. Huge mistake. The truth is, not only are there a wide range of views within the Conservative world, but even in the subculture of Counter Jihad there are many points of view as to what exactly the threat is and what to do about it.

This simply does not exist so much on the Left. And that is unfortunate, because I believe that America could benefit from having a healthy dialogue between those who are more cautious, respectful of traditional values and those who question whether the way we have always done things is the best way to move forward.

Perhaps no Americans understand better the threat of Jihad more than our brave men and women in uniform. Today as I write this article, in places such as Afghanistan, our troops face the very real threat of being shot in the back by a Muslim ally in uniform who is willing to murder them in cold blood because someone, somewhere burned a book. A book!

What we are seeing is an escalating battle between the civilized world and uncivilized fanatical masses, shaking their fists yelling “Death to America! Death Israel” burning our flags, storming our embassies, beheading our journalists, developing nuclear bombs to point at our ally, Israel and blowing themselves up yelling “Allahu Akbar!” while killing innocent children because they are Jewish.

I often wonder if there are more Islamic Supremacists in the Middle East today who want to see the Jewish race exterminated than there were Germans who wanted the same thing during World War II. This is how serious the threat is from Orthodox Islam. And it is only getting worse.

A new holocaust is brewing and it’s coming from Hamas, Hezbollah, state sponsors of terrorism such as Iran and it finds its roots in the history and the teachings of Orthodox Islam. And this is being taught in the Islamic schools of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the Palestinian territories – but even more disconcerting is that the hatred of Jews is found in literature sent over to far too many American mosques, from Egypt and Saudi Arabia and published by the Muslim Brotherhood. Anyone who is not concerned about this, anyone who is saying nothing, doing nothing – anyone who thinks this whole thing is an overreaction, ask yourself, “How did Hitler pull off the Holocaust?” and then look in the mirror.

My fellow infidels, you are right to be concerned. No, you are not a bigot or an “Islamophobe” if you speak out. Yes, there are lots of peaceful Muslims all over the world who share our concerns – who are our partners in this effort, who tell their stories and love their children and love America just like we do. You do not need to hate or fear Muslims. Information is the number one enemy of Islamic Supremacy. Spread it!

Whatever I’ve lost, whatever I’ve endured is nothing at all compared to what Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer courageously endure, day after day, year after year, nonstop as they are pummeled by the media, their words distorted, their characters assassinated, portrayed as hate mongers, fear mongers, bigots and fanatics – their pictures pasted onto Islamic websites all over the world, constantly, with the very clear message that these people are the “enemies of Allah” and have “insulted Islam”.

Whether protecting the rights of people abroad – their right to free speech, their right to leave their religion without facing the penalty of execution, the right not to be falsely imprisoned, the right to report if you have been raped and not be punished for it, by being stoned to death or forced to marry your rapist – make no mistake about it – these two courageous truth tellers are risking everything to protect what we all hold dear.

They will most likely have to spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders, given the amount of violence so far that has been perpetrated on those who have been murdered in the past for simply speaking out against “the religion of peace”. And they risk their lives for you and for me, and for the liberty and the protection of human rights for billions of people around the world, every single day, year after year.

And although there are many people who are fighting this fight every day, many unsung heroes, when it comes to speaking out in the media, no one has lead the charge more effectively, with moral clarity and courage than Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.

What is right About Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer – is what is right about America.

Peace,

Eric Allen Bell

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/03/01/what-is-right-about-pamela-geller-and-robert-spencer/

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

Tunisia: From One Dictatorship To Another


by Anna Mahjar-Barducci

The Ennahda Party, elected to rule for one year, looks as if it is planning to stay a while.

Voices of concern have been growing louder in Tunisia as the Islamist party, Ennahda, which won a relative majority and is presently leading the interim government coalition, is acting as though it is planning to stay a while longer than its allotted one year. Several Tunisian commentators have therefore begun wondering aloud whether the country has just switched from one dictatorship to another.

On October 23, 2011, Tunisia held the first free and democratic elections in the history of the country. Tunisian voters were called upon to elect 217 members of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA), whose task was to appoint an interim government, to draft a new constitution within a year, and to prepare the country for general election.

Recently, however, the media outlet africanmanager.com published an article by Khaled Boumiza, comparing the present Ennahda-led government to that of the former Tunisian dictator, Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali, to outline the authoritarian turn the country has been taking. "Ennahda resembles more and more the Ben Ali couple's regime … we can see that their [authoritarian] approach is the same and also the means that they use. Similarities are striking between the two."

According to Boumiza, one similarity is the "non separation between State and Party." Ben Ali was the president of his party, the Rally for Constitutional Democracy [RCD], and also the country's president, whereas the secretary-general of RCD became prime minister. Similarly, Hamadi Jbali was secretary-general of Ennahda before and after the revolution, and now that he is the prime minister, he still holds that position.

There is also the assumption of all the powers. One of Ben Ali's first acts was to amend the Constitution to concentrate all the powers in his hands. Likewise, Jbali, in assuming the position of PM, concentrated in his hands all the powers previously held by Ben Ali. The only difference is that now the strongman of the regime is the prime minister and not the president as it had been in Ben Ali's era.

Further, there is the threading of party representations throughout the country. Ben Ali had created a well-knit network of RCD party offices in the different regions of Tunisia in such a way that RCD became "the best social elevator of the country." This strong presence not only eliminated all possible political opposition, but at the same time promoted those people considered reliable by the regime. When Ennahda came to power it immediately dismantled all RCD structures, but it soon replicated them almost identically in all the cities and towns of Tunisia.

The RCD also had created the so-called "district committees," a form of security services that allowed the party to be informed about what was going on in the country. Likewise, Ennahda's Interior Minister has sent a letter to all governors and delegations to revive the "district committees." At the same time, the prime minister has created monitoring cells within all ministries. The idea, as in Ben Ali's time, is to place everywhere the "party's eyes and ears."

Another feature in common is the use of militant groups to sustain power. In the Ben Ali era, the RCD used to organize cheering crowds anywhere the president went. Whether there was a public speech or an "improvised" visit, the party sent buses loaded with supporters to cheer the president and deter any possible opponent. Likewise – according to Boumiza -- groups of Ennahda's supporters have been used to disrupt strikes and sit-ins by policemen and strikes or to counter anti-government rallies.

Silencing unfriendly press is yet another of these features. In 1987, when Ben Ali became president, he immediately started to apply censorship to journalists who were not aligned with the policies of his regime. A blacklist of unfriendly journalists was prepared, effectively silencing any sign of dissent. Similarly, a few weeks after his appointment as prime minister, Hammadi Jbali started a campaign against the media.

Boumiza concludes his article by saying that all these similarities reveal that after Ben Ali's departure, the culture of power is not dead. The present leadership has gone through a series of blunders, the most outstanding of which was evoking the establishment of a Caliphate. Ennahda has still to demonstrate that the democratic way in which the Islamist party was elected is also the way Tunisia is going to be governed going forward. So far it is not.

Anna Mahjar-Barducci

Source: http://www.stonegateinstitute.org/2902/tunisia-dictatorship

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

The "Apartheid State" That Minorities Keep Struggling To Get Into


by Ramzi Abu Hadid

Has Ashrawi, the self-declared human rights advocate, never heard of the thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip who try to infiltrate into Israel every morning in search of work and a better life?

Prominent PLO spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi is demanding that the international community declare Israel an "Apartheid State." Her demand was included in a statement she published in Ramallah this week: she accused Israel of incitement against Arabs and of violating international laws.

How come she never mentions the incitement of Palestinians against Israelis in the Palestinian government-issued textbooks, or in the schools and summer camps named after terrorists, or in the government-controlled TV stations which just last week again glorified terrorists with video celebrations again and again of the tenth anniversary of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a group that over the years has killed dozens of Israelis, including many children?

How come Ashrawi never mentions that in Saudi Arabia there is not only gender apartheid -- in which women have virtually no rights and are kept as virtual prisoners, unable to travel without the permission of a male guardian or relative, even if he is a child or retarded or mentally defective -- but also that there are separate roads marked for Muslims to drive on and for non-Muslims to drive on? You are not even allowed to bring a Bible into the country. How come those acts are not "Apartheid"?

How come Ashrawi never mentions that here in Jordan the government has been trying to strip thousands of us Palestinians of our Jordanian citizenship -- a move Israel never made against its Christians and Muslims.

As an Arab Christian, Ashrawi would have done better if she had chosen to focus on the plight of her fellow Christians in the Palestinian territories, many of whom continue to complain about persecution and harassment from Muslims.

Has Ashrawi, the self-declared human right rights advocate, never heard of thousands of the Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip who try to infiltrate into Israel every morning in search of work and a better life?

Why has it become the dream of many Arab Christians and Muslims to emigrate to the "Apartheid State"? Is it possible that all these people are uninformed? Or do they really know the truth about Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East? In Egypt, Syria, and Iran, for example, government officials put journalists in jail, but Israel is the only country in the region where one small journalist nobody has ever heard of can put a government official in jail.

In the past few decades, many Christian families from Bethlehem and even the Gaza Strip have moved to live in Israel because they feel safer in the "Apartheid State" than they do among their Muslim "brothers".

Has Ashrawi ever asked herself how come dozens of Christians and Muslims from neighboring Arab countries and Africa try to infiltrate the border into Israel every day, or how come so many of her fellow Christians want to live in the "Apartheid State"?

Is Ashrawi aware of the fact that while Christians are being persecuted and slaughtered in the Arab world and Africa, the Jewish state remains the safest place for them to live? Is she aware that the Christian population in Israel is on the rise while in the Arab and Islamic world it is dwindling -- and even faster in places such as Nigeria, Egypt and the Sudan where Muslims are slaughtering Christians?

What has Ashrawi done to promote the rights of women and freedom of speech under Hamas and Fatah?

On the same day that she issued her appeal to the international community, a Palestinian court in the West Bank sentenced a man to only five years in prison for murdering his sister. And on the same day also, Palestinian policemen raided a university campus near Ramallah and threatened peaceful protesters and reporters.

Tens of thousands of Arabs and Muslims have put their lives at risk by crossing the border into Israel from Egypt, where border guards often open fire at women and children.

Does Hannan Ashrawi really care about Palestinians, or is she just being paid by Europeans and Western NGOs to keep bashing the region's only democratic country, which, though admittedly not perfect, still tries harder than any other to treat all of its people with decency and equality?

Ramzi Abu Hadid

Source: http://www.stonegateinstitute.org/2903/apartheid-state

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

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