Friday, October 6, 2017

Israel Prepares for War in Syria against Iran - Jonathan Spyer




by Jonathan Spyer

Israeli officials concluded that their concerns regarding the developing situation in Syria are not being addressed with sufficient seriousness in either the United States or Russia.

Excerpts of article originally published under the title "Israel Is Going to War in Syria to Fight Iran."


Israel has struck pro-regime facilities and convoys in Syria dozens of times during its six-year civil war.

JERUSALEM – Israeli officials believe that Iran is winning its bid for dominance in the Middle East, and they are mobilizing to counter the regional realignment that threatens to follow. The focus of Israel's military and diplomatic campaign is Syria. Israeli jets have struck Hezbollah and Syrian regime facilities and convoys dozens of times during Syria's civil war, with the goal of preventing the transfer of weapons systems from Iran to Hezbollah. In an apparent broadening of the scope of this air campaign, on Sept. 7 Israeli jets struck a Syrian weapons facility near Masyaf responsible for the production of chemical weapons and the storing of surface-to-surface missiles.

The strike came after a round of diplomacy in which Israeli officials concluded that their concerns regarding the developing situation in Syria were not being addressed with sufficient seriousness in either the United States or Russia. A senior delegation led by Mossad chief Yossi Cohen visited Washington in late August, reportedly to express Israel's dissatisfaction with the emerging U.S.-Russian understanding on Syria. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi to raise similar concerns with Moscow.

Israel is concerned about the free rein Washington & Moscow are affording Iran & its proxies in Syria.

In both cases, the Israelis were disappointed with the response. Their overriding concern in Syria is the free rein that all the major players there seem willing to afford Iran and its various proxies in the country. And as long as nobody else addresses that concern in satisfactory, Israel is determined to continue addressing it on its own.

Iranian forces now maintain a presence close to or adjoining the Israeli-controlled portion of the Golan Heights and the Quneitra Crossing that separates it from the Syrian-controlled portion of the territory. Israel has throughout the Syrian war noted a desire on the part of the Iranians and their Hezbollah clients to establish this area as a second line of active confrontation against the Jewish state, in addition to south Lebanon.


Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah recently declared "victory" in Syria, with only "scattered" battles remaining.

"Syria," of course, hardly exists today. The regime is in the hands of its Iranian and Russian masters, and half of the country remains outside its control. But the Iran-led bloc and its clearly stated intention to eventually destroy Israel certainly do exist, and the de facto buffer against them may be disappearing. Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah recently declared "victory" in the Syrian war, adding that what remained was "scattered battles."

With the prospect of pro-Iranian forces reaching Bukamal on the Syrian-Iraqi border, this opens up the possibility of the much-reported Iranian "land corridor" stretching uninterrupted from Iran itself to a few kilometers from the Israeli-controlled Golan. Earlier this month, Israel shot down an Iranian drone over the Golan Heights. It was the latest evidence of Iran's activities on the border. Syrian opposition reports have noted an Iranian presence in Tal Al-Sha'ar area, Tal Al-Ahmar, and Division 90 headquarters, all in the vicinity of the border.


The Iraqi Shiite militia Hezbollah al-Nujaba has declared itself "ready to take action to liberate the Golan."

Pro-Iran forces, meanwhile, are open in their ambitions. Hezbollah al-Nujaba, an Iraqi Shiite force supported by Iran, has formed a "Golan Liberation" unit and declared itself "ready to take action to liberate the Golan." Senior figures from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Basij have been photographed in areas close to the border.

...

Israel is concerned by Iran's overarching regional ambitions. Recent comments by Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, that a future war with Israel might involve additional pro-Iranian militia forces to the Lebanese groups have been well noted in Jerusalem. Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz recently told a security conference in Herzliya, as reported by Reuters, that in a future war between Israel and Hezbollah the latter may be able to make use of an Iranian naval port, bases for Iran's air and ground forces, and "tens of thousands of Shiite militiamen being brought in from various countries."

A recent report in the London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi described Iranian plans to thin out the Sunni Arab population between Damascus and the border with Lebanon, expelling Sunni residents and replacing them with pro-government Shiites from elsewhere in the country or outside it.


Jihad Mughniyeh (left), son of the late Hezbollah military chief Imad Mughniyeh, and Mohammad Allahdadi, a general in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), were killed in an Israeli targeted strike in January 2015.

Israeli strategic culture tends to emphasize addressing immediate threats, but these potential demographic developments are also being watched closely in Jerusalem.

...

From an Israeli point of view, we are back to the pre-2010 Middle East, when Israel and pro-western Sunni powers understood they were in a direct faceoff with the Iranians and their allies. But in 2017, there is the additional complicating factor of a direct Russian physical presence in the Levant, in alliance or at least in cooperation with Israel's enemies.

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, which remains exclusively focused on the war against the Islamic State, has done little to assuage Israeli concerns.

The Trump administration has done little to assuage Israeli concerns about the Iranian advance in Syria.

Trump and those around him, of course, share the Israeli assessment regarding the challenge of Iranian regional ambitions.

The impression, however, is that the administration may well not be sufficiently focused or concerned to actually take measures necessary to halt the Iranian advance — both military and political — in Syria, Iraq, or Lebanon.

Where does this leave Israel?

First, Israel's diplomatic avenues to the international power brokers in Syria remain open. When it comes to Washington, Israel's task is to locate or induce a more coherent American strategy to counter advance of the Iranians in the Levant.

Israel will take the measures it deems necessary to combat the Iranians and their proxies.

Its goal when it comes to Moscow is to ensure sufficient leeway from Putin, who has no ideological animus against Israel and no special sympathy for Tehran, so that Israel can take the measures it deems necessary to halt or deter the Iranians and their proxies.

Second, Israel will continue to rely on its military defenses, which remain without peer in the region. And as shown in Masyaf, they can be employed to halt and deter provocative actions by the Iran-led bloc where necessary. Nevertheless, as seen from Jerusalem, the shifting regional tectonic plates are producing a new situation in which the Iran-led alliance is once again directly facing Israel, consequently raising the possibility of direct confrontation. Masyaf was not the first shot in the fight between Israel and its proxies in the Levant — and it is unlikely to be the last.


Jonathan Spyer, a fellow at the Middle East Forum, is director of the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs and author of The Transforming Fire: The Rise of the Israel-Islamist Conflict (Continuum, 2011).

Source: http://www.meforum.org/6946/israel-prepares-for-war-in-syria-against-iran

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Trump planning to declare Iran in breach of nuke deal - David Rosenberg




by David Rosenberg

Sources in Washington say president will declare Iran in violation of controversial 2015 nuclear deal.



Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Reuters
President Donald Trump will declare the Iranian regime in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the 2015 deal aimed at reining in Iran’s nuclear program, multiple sources in Washington say, potentially putting the Trump administration on a collision course with Tehran.

On Wednesday, The Washington Free Beacon reported that President Trump is expected to declare Iran in breach of the deal on October 15th, despite pressure by some top administration officials – including Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson – to certify Iran as being in compliance with the terms of the agreement.

The Beacon cited unnamed Trump administration officials who said the president had long suspected Iran of being in violation of the deal, and was pushed by recent revelations to deny recertification.

"The president already knew that continued sanctions relief to Iran was inappropriate and not in our interest given their behavior, which was more than enough to decertify,” one source told The Washington Free Beacon. “He said so repeatedly. Now there's this new issue where the IAEA just admitted publicly they've been unable to verify entire sections of the deal, which makes the whole thing a no-brainer."

"Decertifying clears a lot of clutter off the table because our guys no longer have to pretend the deal is a good deal," the source said. "They can let it stay in place for a while or try to fix it, all while focusing on the rest of Iran's aggression."

By law, the president must report to Congress on Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA every 90 days.

Failure to recertify Iranian compliance would lead to the resumption of some US sanctions on the Tehran regime, and potentially force an end to the deal itself. Removal of those sanctions targeting Iran’s nuclear program was a key condition for securing Iranian agreement to the JCPOA.

President Trump has thus far recertified Iran twice, but according to sources in Washington, is now expected to declare Iran in violation of the deal.

According to Israel’s Channel 2, Trump will not withdraw from the JCPOA, but will declare that Tehran has failed to comply with the terms of the deal, and will announce new sanctions on the Iranian regime.

Democratic lawmakers have strongly opposed such a move, with 180 congressional Democrats signing a joint letter to the president calling on him to certify Iranian compliance.

The administration changed course on certification, however, after it was revealed that the International Atomic Energy Agency – which is charged with carrying out on-site inspections at Iranian nuclear facilities – was barred from Iranian military bases.

Opponents of the JCPOA pointed to Iran’s refusal to permit inspections outside of declared nuclear facilities as evidence that the IAEA was unable to truly verify Tehran’s compliance, claiming.

"The IAEA's admission that they are unable to verify a fundamental provision under the nuclear deal—that the Iranians are not engaging in activities or using equipment to develop a nuclear explosive device—is highly alarming. In these circumstances, issuing a compliance certification would be serious mistake," Texas Senator Ted Cruz said.

"If the Iranians are serious about a peaceful program, they need to prove it. Iran's continued refusal to allow IAEA access to military sites—a clear requirement of the terms of the deal—renders the JCPOA utterly ineffective, and, even worse, a sham that only facilitates Iran's acquiring nuclear weapons. This absence of any meaningful verification is yet another reason to vitiate this foolhardy agreement."


David Rosenberg

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/236378

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NY Kurdish fighter film screening sold out despite terror threat - JTA




by JTA

'For Kurds, the relationship with Israel goes beyond an alliance. It is a brotherhood.'



Man reads copy of magazine "Israel-Kurd" at street in Arbil
Man reads copy of magazine "Israel-Kurd" at street in Arbil
Photo: Reuters
Despite a reported terror threat by the Islamic State terror group, 500 people attended a sold-out screening in New York of a film about Kurdish fighters and a talk with its director, the French-Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy.

Police provided heavy security at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust Monday, complete with sniffing dogs and dozens of officers following the threats, claimed to be issued by the terrorist group, NBC reported.

Levy, who has produced a number of films in conflict zones, spent many months documenting in “Peshmerga” the fight of the Kurdish male and female combatants for whom the film is named against ISIS. A supporter of Kurdish sovereignty, he was in the Iraqi-Kurdish capital of Erbil when a majority of voters in a controversial referendum supported independence.

Levy was able to board one of the last flights out of Erbil and arrive in New York in time before the Iraqi government blocked the airspace of the Kurdish enclave as punishment for the local Kurdish authorities’ decision to go through with the referendum despite Baghdad’s opposition to it.

The United States’ Department of State said it was “deeply disappointed” by Kurdish regional government’s decision, warning the vote could “increase instability.” Publicly Israel supported neither the vote in Iraqi Kurdistan, which has trade and friendly relations with Israel, nor opposed it — a neutrality many observers believe is rooted in Israel’s desire not to sour its already strained relations with Turkey.

Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s president and leader of the Islamist ruling party, opposes Kurdish independence both in Iraq and in Turkey, which has a large Kurdish minority that international observers say is oppressed.

Levy told JTA that Israel should come out in support of independence for Kurdistan, where he said he witnessed many expressions of solidarity and admiration for Israel, including during the vote Monday.

Though supporting Kurdish independence may complicate Israel’s relations with the Turkish government, which have declined amid expressions of hostility by Erdogan in recent years, doing so will not alienate millions of secular and liberal Turks, “who also recognize the Kurdish right” to nationhood, Levy said.

For Kurds, he added, the relationship with Israel “goes beyond an alliance. It is a brotherhood.”

Levy was among several Westerners in Erbil who saw Israeli flags being waved on the day of the vote — a gesture he interpreted as reflecting “deep admiration for Israel” and a sense of kinship felt by many Kurds toward the Jewish state.

“I had never seen anything like this anywhere in the Middle East — except Israel,” said Levy, who travels the region extensively and has toured Libya during its bloody civil war in 2011.

The 7 million Kurds living in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey are “a minority surrounded, besieged by 200 million people and hostility. And you can’t compare their situation to Israel, it’s different, but there are similarities and they feel those similarities.”

More generally, he said, a viable Kurdistan “represents a triumph for moderate Islam. For women’s equality and for the values that many people in the West, and Jews especially, share with Kurds.”


JTA

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/236335

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The real test for the Palestinian reconciliation is disarming Hamas - Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror




by Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror


A Fatah-Hamas reconciliation is promising for the Palestinian people, but it cannot come at Israel's expense



Hamas gunmen in Gaza  
Illustration: Reuters

Any deal that would allow the Palestinian Authority to regain control of the Gaza Strip a decade after Hamas violently took over the coastal enclave in a military coup, holds great promise for the Palestinian people as it spells the end of the bitter rivalry between the Palestinian factions, which will allow the Palestinians to move forward united, as a people that resolve their internal differences within a political framework, rather than by force.
Moreover, once a reconciliation is finalized and the Palestinian Authority reassumes responsibility for civilian life in Gaza, it is expected to lift all the financial sanctions it had imposed on the Strip, paying the salaries of thousands of government workers' and restoring the flow of electricity to Gaza.
Diplomatically speaking, a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation would debunk the assertion that Abbas does not represent the Palestinian people as a whole. It would lend the Palestinian Authority the credibility of truly representing all Palestinians, and no one would be able to dismiss it by arguing that is not the case as the Palestinians are under the control of two separate political entities.
But as far as Israel is concerned, the real test of the Egyptian-brokered reconciliation between the Palestinian factions, which included exerting substantial pressure on Hamas, lies with the military force in Gaza or, to be exact, its very existence and the question of who controls it.
If the Palestinian Authority is to truly regain control of the Gaza Strip it must, first and foremost, disarm Hamas of its substantial arsenal. The 1993 Oslo Accords, which birthed the Palestinian Authority, make no allowances for the PA to maintain Hamas' arsenal, either in terms of quantity or quality.
However, if Hamas retains its military capabilities and the Palestinian Authority proves unable to impose the terms of the deal on the Islamic terrorist group and strip it of its weapons, it would make it abundantly clear that the deal is bogus, nothing more than an unconvincing façade of unity devoid of any real value and nothing more than an umbrella for Palestinian terrorism.
If this deal truly prevents the shedding of blood, both Palestinian and Israeli, then, by all means, the Palestinians should be congratulated for this internal political achievement. At the same time, however, it must be clear that if the agreement is nothing more than a smokescreen of vague rhetoric behind which Hamas will only grow stronger, Israel cannot allow it to materialize.
The internal Palestinian reconciliation cannot come at Israel's expense. It cannot allow an organization whose leaders do not hesitate to declare their intention to annihilate Israel to grow stronger, and with all due respect to the boost in Abbas' political status, his interests cannot be allowed to compromise Israel's interests.
If Abbas expects to make the best out of this deal he will be required to pay the price, namely disarming and controlling Hamas and putting the Palestinian Authority's police in control of all security issues. Israel cannot accept any other move and it should not be the one the carry the Palestinian rapprochement.
Naturally, as the dust settles on the deal and the Palestinian Authority regains its footing in the Gaza Strip, it would be responsible to return all Israelis held in Gaza. But its first and most important test remains to disarm Hamas.

Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/2017/10/04/the-real-test-for-the-palestinian-reconciliation-is-disarming-hamas/

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Islamic Sunset on Germany - Guy Millière




by Guy Millière

The demographer Michael Paulwitz wrote a year ago that unless the current trends are reversed, Germans will become a minority in their own country, possibly in fifteen to twenty years.

  • Because Germany had committed genocide, it was impregnated with self-hatred and a rejection of its own identity. Germany turned to European construction and tried to define itself as European, in order not to call itself German.
  • A gradual replacement of the non-Muslim population with a Muslim population is taking place. Forty percent of children under five and born in Germany today have foreign roots.
  • The demographer Michael Paulwitz wrote a year ago that unless the current trends are reversed, Germans will become a minority in their own country, possibly in fifteen to twenty years.
Germany's federal elections were supposed to lead to the triumph of Angela Merkel. Their results were rather different from what was anticipated. Merkel's "victory" looks like a disaster: the Christian Democratic Alliance (CDU-CSU) won 33% of the vote -- 9% less than four years ago, its worst result since 1949. The Social Democratic Party (SPD), which governed the country with Merkel during the last four years, lost more than 5%, and fell from 25.7 % to 20% of the vote -- the worst result in its history. Alternative for Germany (AfD), a conservative nationalist party born in 2013, obtained 12.6%, and will enter in the Bundestag for the first time. Die Linke, the Marxist left, received 9%. As neither the SPD nor Die Linke will participate in the next government, and as AfD is radically opposed to the policies pursued by Merkel, she has only two possible partners: the libertarian Free Democratic Party and The Greens: both of whose positions on most subjects seem incompatible.

Angela Merkel will remain Chancellor, but by default, and mostly because there was no other real choice: six months ago, two-thirds of the German population wanted her to be replaced. Only 8% wanted her to remain in her post. Martin Schultz, former President of the European Parliament, who was the SPD candidate, did not offer anything different and led a lackluster campaign.

If Merkel succeeds in forming a coalition, it will be a precarious and unstable assemblage that will keep Germany on the verge of paralysis and make the country the sick man of 21st century Europe.

Germany actually already is a sick country, and Angela Merkel is part of the sickness.

In 1945, Germany was in ruins. It rebuilt itself and gradually became Europe's leading economic power. While regaining strength, it did not assert itself politically and remained discreet, humble, repentant, silently shameful. Because of its role in the war, it was reluctant to recreate an army when NATO powers asked it to rebuild one; instead, it adopted a general position of appeasement that led to "Ostpolitik", a policy of rapprochement with the communist East and the Soviet Union.

Because nationalism had led to National Socialism, Germany rejected any form of nationalism. Because Germany had committed genocide, it was impregnated with self-hatred and a rejection of its own identity.

Germany turned to European construction and tried to define itself as European in order not to call itself German.

This process lasted until the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of the country. Reunification was widely perceived in Germany as the fruit of humility and discretion.

Angela Merkel, who had seemed to embody a successfully reunified Germany, inherited this process when she became Chancellor in 2005.

Malfunctions had already begun to surface. The German economy remained prosperous, but poverty was increasing (in 2005, 17% of Germans were officially poor and earned half of the national average income) and the number of working poor was growing.

The birth rate was extremely low. It had started to decline in 1967, and rapidly fell to 1.5 children per woman. The population, in general, was aging.

Germany began to bring in Turkish migrants to compensate for the lack of manpower. By 2000, the number of migrants had reached 3.5 million.

Importing Muslim migrants also brought a slow Islamization of the country. In the main cities, mosques were built. Koranic schools were opened. Islam was integrated into public school curricula.

Merkel constantly sought consensus and worked with the Social Democrats for eight of the twelve years she spent as the head of the government.

Germans seemed to accept this arrangement until she decided to open the borders of Germany to a huge wave of refugees and migrants from the Middle East in August 2015. More than 1.5 million unvetted people entered the country; most were young men entitled to family reunification.

Claims that refugees would assimilate without major problems started colliding with reality. Rapes multiplied. Violence escalated.

In 2016, almost half the crimes in Berlin were committed by recent migrants to the country Jihadist networks took shape. Terrorist acts started to take place. Muslim anti-Semitism led to attacks on synagogues. The costs of welfare rose sharply.

Merkel expressed no regret. She did not even have second thoughts after the elections: she said that if she had to open the borders of the country again, she would do it. She tried to impose her decisions on immigration on the reluctant European countries of Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland. She is still trying.

Shame is still present in the minds of million of Germans, but fading away. A few years ago, a survey showed almost 70% of Germans were angered at still being held responsible today for crimes against Jews. Roughly 25% of people surveyed agreed with the statement: "Many Jews try to use Germany's Third Reich past to their advantage". Recent polls shows that between one-third and one-half of Germans view Israel as the political equivalent of Nazi Germany. The German government now regularly pretends to give lessons on morality to Israel, but never criticizes terrorist leaders such as Mahmoud Abbas.

Germany remains in a position of appeasing, securing and strengthening economic ties with rogue regimes such as Iran. The German army is so ill-equipped that during exercises instead of weapons, it uses broomsticks. Polls show that the German population now think that the main danger to world peace does not come from Iran or North Korea, but from the United States. Germany is today the most anti-American country in the Western world . Stern, Germany's most popular news weekly magazine, recently put on its cover an image of Donald Trump performing a Nazi salute while draped in the American flag.

Economic efficiency is low. The German economy is essentially an industrial economy and not adapted to the digital age. Investment in GDP has declined; innovative activity is weak; productivity stagnates. Since 2008, annual productivity growth has been only 0.5%. The planned closure of German nuclear power plants in the name of "protecting the climate" raises wholesale electricity prices, while German households and businesses bear the financial burden of paying among the highest electricity costs in the developed world. Unskilled immigrants from the Muslim world cannot replace skilled Germans who retire or pass away. The number of poor people continues to increase. The capacity for receiving immigrants has reached its limits; living conditions in many shelters have become substandard: floors are not cleaned regularly and are soiled for days with blood, urine, feces, and invasion of cockroaches are frequent. The German Commissioner for Immigration recently said that only a quarter to a third of the refugees who settled in Germany could enter the labor market. The others will have to rely on government benefits for the rest of their lives.

Diseases that were nearly eradicated, such as tuberculosis, made a comeback. Vaccines did not exist as Europeans had stopped making them.

The median age in Germany is now 46.8. A gradual replacement of the non-Muslim population with a Muslim population is taking place. Forty percent of children under five, born in Germany, have foreign roots. Since 2005, the population of new arrivals has increased by 24%, while the native population has decreased by 5%.

Demographers say that unless the current trends are reversed, Germans will become a minority in their own country, possibly in fifteen to twenty years.

Nothing at the moment indicates that the trends will reverse.

Most of the German press is permeated with political correctness. Newspapers and magazines support multiculturalism, and do not talk about the most urgent problems facing the country: anemic economic growth, population ageing, and Islamization. Many journalists, professors and writers say that German culture does not exist. When books criticizing Islam may become best sellers, their authors are immediately demonized. Deutschland schafft sich ab ("Germany Abolishes Itself") was an enormous success in 2010, but its author, Thilo Sarrazin, was immediately treated as a "racist" and pushed towards the margin of all political debates. Rolf Peter Sieferle, a former counselor of Angela Merkel, wrote several articles describing the self-destruction of Germany. "A society that can no longer make the difference between itself and the forces that dissolve it lives morally beyond its means," he said in 2015. Insulted and rejected by those with whom he used to work, he committed suicide in September 2016. A collection of his notes was published after his death, Finis Germaniae ("The End of Germany").

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) political party promises to "shake off the Bundestag". The 12.6% of the vote it received will undoubtedly give it a voice. Its leaders are treated by the media and other political parties as the incarnation of the devil. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned against the entry of "real Nazis" into the parliament . A leader of the far-left Die Linke party asked: "Have we not learnt the lessons from the war?". Jewish leaders are scared: Dr. Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany said that AfD uses strategies generally used by aspiring "fascist dictatorships."

The AfD party is not Nazi, however. Its members rather seem to fear that Germany and Germans will disappear under the weight of Islam. The Nazis were anti-Semitic, militarist, socialist, and desired to conquer. The AfD is not anti-Semitic, not militarist, not socialist, and does not want to conquer other countries. Jewish leaders in Germany are frightened because they think that if the AfD is hostile to one minority, the Muslims, it could grow hostile to other minorities. They are probably wrong. There is no comparison between Muslims and Jews. The AfD has strongly supported Israel's right to exist and Israel's right to has to fight the Islamic threat against it.

Some AfD members have made controversial statements about German soldiers, and about the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin.

At the same time, the AfD is currently Germany's most pro-Israeli party. It is also the only party that clearly foresees the very real risk of Germany sliding towards an Islamic sunset.

Is it possible for Germany to recover? We shall see. What is at stake here, however, is far more than Germany.


(Image source: Pixabay)
Dr. Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, is the author of 27 books on France and Europe.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11100/germany-islamic-sunset

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In this Round of Reconciliation Talks, Hamas is the Great Victor - Caroline Glick




by Caroline Glick


Fatah's surrender to Hamas.



Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

On Tuesday, a delegation of 400 Fatah officials from Ramallah, led by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, arrived in Gaza to officially surrender to Hamas.

No, the ceremony isn’t being portrayed as a Fatah surrender to Hamas. But it is. It’s also an Egyptian surrender to Hamas.

How is this the case? Ten years ago this past June, after a very brief and deadly assault by Hamas terrorists against US-trained Fatah forces in Gaza, the Fatah forces cut and ran to Israel for protection. Fatah politicians also headed for the border and then scurried into Fatah-controlled (and Israeli protected) Ramallah. Ever since, Hamas has served as the official authority on the ground in Gaza. Its personnel have been responsible for internal security and for Gaza’s borders with Egypt and Israel.

Despite their humiliating defeat and removal from Gaza, Fatah and its PA government in Ramallah continued to fund Hamas-controlled Gaza. They paid Gaza’s bills, including the salaries of all the PA security forces that were either no longer working or working double shifts as stay at home Fatah gunmen and up and coming Hamas terrorist forces.

The PA paid Hamas’s electricity bills to Israel and it paid Israeli hospitals which continued to serve Gaza.

Internationally, the PA defended Hamas and its constant wars against Israel. The PA and Fatah, led by President-for-life Mahmoud Abbas, continued to use Israel’s defensive operations against Hamas as a means to ratchet up their political war against Israel. The latest victory in that war came last week with Interpol’s decision to permit the PA to join the organization despite its open support for and finance of terrorism.

For most of the past decade, the PA-Fatah has allocated more than half of its EU- and US-underwritten budget to Hamas-controlled Gaza. It has defended its actions to successive delegations of US lawmakers and three US administrations. It has defended its actions to EU watchdog groups. No amount of congressional pressure or statements from presidential envoys ever made a dent on Abbas’s strident devotion to paying the salaries of Hamas terrorists and functionaries.

But then, in April, Abbas cut them off.

Ostensibly he cut them off because he was under pressure from the US Congress, which is now in the end stages of passing the Taylor Force Act. Once passed, the law will make it a bit more difficult for the State Department to continue funding the terror- financing PA.

While the Taylor Force Act is the ostensible reason for Abbas’s move, Palestinian sources openly acknowledge that congressional pressure had nothing to do with his decision.

Abbas abruptly ended PA financing of Hamas in retaliation for Hamas’s decision to open relations with Abbas’s archrival in Fatah, Muhammad Dahlan.

From 1994, when the PA was established, until 2007, when Hamas ousted his US-trained forces from Gaza, Dahlan was the Gaza strongman.

Once one of Abbas’s closest cronies, since 2011 Dahlan has been his archenemy. Abbas, now in the twelfth year of his four-year term in office, views Dahlan as the primary threat to his continued reign.

As a consequence, he ousted Dahlan from Fatah and forced him to decamp with his sizable retinue to the UAE. There Dahlan enjoys exceedingly close ties with the Nahyan regime.

The UAE is allied with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi. Both view Hamas’s mother organization the Muslim Brotherhood as their mortal foe. As a result, Sisi and the UAE as well as Saudi Arabia sided with Israel in its 2014 war with Hamas.

Since May, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have been in open conflict with Qatar. Qatar, which sponsors the Muslim Brotherhood, has long sponsored Hamas as well.

Since the start of the year, the UAE has been interested in prying Hamas away from Qatar. And so with the blessing of his UAE hosts, Dahlan began building ties with Hamas.

Recognizing Dahlan’s close ties to the UAE and through it, with Sisi, Hamas, which has been stricken by Sisi’s war against it, and particularly Sisi’s enforcement of the closure of Gaza’s border with Egypt’s Sinai, was quick to seize on Dahlan’s initiative.

The talks between Dahlan and Sisi on the one hand and Hamas on the other were ratcheted up in April after Abbas cut his funding to Gaza.

In May, Hamas formally cut its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood.

In exchange, Sisi permitted the Rafah border crossing with Gaza to open for longer hours and permitted Gazans to transit Egypt en route to their religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, among other things.

To build its leverage against Abbas, beginning in the spring, Hamas began describing Dahlan as a viable alternative to Abbas. The UAE agreed to begin financing Hamas’s budget and to help pay for electricity.

Against this backdrop, it is self-evident that Abbas didn’t send his own representatives to Cairo to negotiate a surrender deal with Hamas because his aid cut-off brought Hamas to its knees. Abbas sent his people to Cairo because Hamas’s double dealing with Dahlan brought Abbas to his knees.

As for Sisi, Hamas has also played him – and the UAE.

Over the past few months, Hamas has been rebuilding its client relationship with Iran. A senior Hamas delegation visited Tehran last month for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s swearing-in ceremony.

They met there with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and with senior Revolutionary Guards commanders.

A month earlier, senior Hamas terrorist Salah Arouri, who lives under Hezbollah protection in Beirut, paved the way for the reconciliation in a meeting under Hezbollah sponsorship with senior Revolutionary Guards commander Amir Abdollahian.

Following the meeting in Tehran, Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar extolled Hamas’s relations with Iran as “fantastic.” Sinwar also said that Iran is “the largest backer financially and militarily” of Hamas’s terrorism apparatus.

Concerned about Tehran’s growing influence in Gaza, and through it, the Sinai, where Sisi continues to fight against an Islamic State-backed insurgency, Sisi has an interest in tempering Hamas’s client-ties to Tehran.

So just as Abbas has decided to restore financing to Hamas to keep Dahlan at bay, so Sisi has decided to embrace Hamas to keep Iran at bay.

In all cases, of course, Hamas wins.

The fact that Hamas has just won is obvious when we consider the unity deal it just concluded with Fatah.

Hamas made one concession. It agreed to break up its civil governing authority – a body it formed in response to Abbas’s decision to cut off funding in April. In exchange for agreeing to disband a body it only formed because Abbas cut off its funding, Hamas receives a full restoration of PA funding. The PA will fund all civil service operations in Gaza. It will pay the salaries of all civil servants and security personnel in Gaza. It will pay salaries to all Hamas terrorists Israel freed from its jails.

In other words, the PA will now be responsible for keeping the lights on and picking up the garbage.

And Hamas will be free to concentrate on preparing for and initiating its next terror war against Israel. It can dig tunnels. It can build missiles. It can expand its operational ties with Hezbollah, Islamic State, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and Fatah.

In the wake of Hamas’s leadership’s meetings in Tehran, Sinwar told reporters that Hamas is now moving full speed ahead toward doing all of these things. Sinwar said that Hamas is “developing our military strength in order to liberate Palestine.” He added, “Every day we build missiles and continue military training.”

Thousands of people, he said, are working “day and night” to prepare Hamas’s next terror war against Israel. And indeed, two weeks ago, two Hamas terrorists were killed when the tunnels they were digging collapsed on them.

Tuesday’s surrender ceremonies tell us two things.

First, the notion that Fatah is even remotely interested in defeating Hamas is complete nonsense. For 10 years since its forces were humiliated and routed in Gaza, Fatah has faithfully funded and defended Hamas. Abbas’s only concern is staying in charge of his Israeli-protected fiefdom in Ramallah. To this end, he will finance – with US and EU taxpayer monies – and defend another 10 Hamas wars with Israel.

The second lesson we learn from Hamas’s victory is that we need to curb our enthusiasm for Sisi and his regime in Egypt, and for his backers in the UAE. Sisi’s decision to facilitate and mediate Hamas’s newest victory over Fatah shows that his alliance with Israel is tactical and limited in scope. His decision to side with Israel against Hamas during Operation Protective Edge three years ago may not repeat itself in the next war.


Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit carolineglick.com.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/268063/round-reconciliation-talks-hamas-great-victor-caroline-glick

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The Real Roots of Islamic Terrorism - Khadija Khan




by Khadija Khan

Governments in Britain and other countries in the grip of terror posed by Islamists have probably also been using the "online" excuse to shake off any charges of reckless endangerment or criminal neglect that they have might have committed by allowing these extremists to flourish in West.

  • Last month, an Islamic preacher was caught red-handed in Britain preaching for ISIS and jihad, and inciting youths to commit violence against non-Muslims. To everyone's purported astonishment, he was not delivering his lectures on websites. He was delivering sermons live in a public-charity mosque -- funded by taxpayers -- in Stoke-on-Trent.
  • France and Britain remain in the constant grip of Islamist terror, yet their governments, despite having laws prohibiting "hate speech", have so far failed to address the influence that preachers of violence and hatred have with local Muslims.
  • Blaming terror recruitment only on the internet is just an invented story, like the one that every suicide bomber or those who committed acts of terror in the name of Islam were lone wolves who merely took "inspiration" from terror outfits such as al-Qaeda or ISIS.
  • Governments in Britain and other countries in the grip of terror posed by Islamists have probably also been using the "online" excuse to shake off any charges of reckless endangerment or criminal neglect that they have might have committed by allowing these extremists to flourish in West.
  • The terrorists involved in the Parsons Green Underground attack and other incidents, as in Barcelona, were found to have ties with local mosques or seminaries, yet the administrations of these places have refused to take any responsibility, and stated that they are not accountable for the acts of their members.
Another terrorist attacks France and slaughters two innocent women at the Marseille train station. The terrorist was reportedly chanting the Arabic verses.

Within 24 hours, another terror attack took place in Edmonton, Canada outside a football stadium, when a man with a knife left five people injured. An ISIS flag was reportedly found in suspect's car.

The strike in a country known for going extra miles to take in immigrants from the war-torn Middle East exposes the fact that these terrorists are enemies not only of human rights but often if the very people trying to help them.

No soft gesture, however, will deter extremist Muslims unless the whole world submits to their version of Islam.


Pictured: Saint-Charles train station in Marseille, France, where an Islamist terrorist murdered two women on October 1, 2017. (Image source: ignis/Wikimedia Commons)
Western governments might nevertheless once again choose to ignore the existence of religious schools and mosques that serve as radicalization and recruitment centers for extremist Muslims across the West.

The authorities in Europe seem to have been doing very little to clamp down on the recruitment of mainly Muslim youths by terrorists. Many apologists seem to have been trying to confuse people by saying that the internet is root cause of the Islamic extremism and terrorism problem, and authorities have been blaming the websites of terror outfits. Websites do not vote.

France and Britain remain in the constant grip of Islamist terror, yet their governments, despite having laws prohibiting "hate speech", have so far failed to address the influence that preachers of violence and hatred have with local Muslims.

Last month, an Islamic preacher was caught red-handed in Britain preaching for ISIS and jihad, and inciting youths to commit violence against non-Muslims.

To everyone's professed astonishment, he was not delivering his lectures on websites or communicating with the gullible youths through online "chats". He was delivering sermons live in a public-charity mosque -- funded by taxpayers -- in Stoke-on-Trent.

Governments in Britain and other countries in the grip of terror posed by Islamists have probably also been using the "online" excuse to shake off any charges of reckless endangerment or criminal neglect that they have might have committed by allowing these extremists to flourish in West.

The authorities seem deliberately to be ignoring the compelling presence of hardline madrassahs, mosques and faith-schools that might well be involved in clear instances of preaching violence and hate.

Blaming terror recruitment only on the internet is just an invented story, like the one that every suicide bomber or those who committed acts of terror in the name of Islam, whether in Paris, London or Berlin, are lone wolves who merely took "inspiration" from terror outfits such as al-Qaeda or ISIS.

It is laughable to claim that a "lone wolf" has committed a terror attack, especially when the terror outfits such as ISIS immediately take responsibility for them.

The London Bridge attack left Prime Minister Theresa May stating "enough is enough" and sounding finally determined to tackle terrorism a bit.

But the slogan merely ended up on the back-burner as the terror spree continued -- as do the hardline seminaries and recruiters that then led to the Parsons Green Underground attack.

The terrorists involved in that and other attacks, as in Barcelona, were found to have ties with local mosques or seminaries, yet the administrations of these places have refused to take any responsibility, and state that they are not accountable for the acts of their members.

Westminster terror attacker Khalid Masood was serving as a public contact person for the website of the Luton Islamic Center Mosque just a week before he rammed a car into pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge and went on to kill a police officer.

Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi, who murdered 22 people, including children, regularly attended Didsbury Mosque, which was also known to have home to many other al-Qaeda and ISIS recruits. The mosque was also known for having ties with al-Qaeda-linked jihadists such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.

The perpetrators of the London Bridge and Borough Market terror attacks -- Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouance and Youssef Zaghba -- were believed to be associated with the outlawed Islamist group al-Muhajiroun, co-founded by the convicted hate preacher Anjem Choudary. Khuram Butt was even seen brandishing an Islamic State flag in Regent's Park in a Channel 4 documentary.

The Berlin Christmas Market terrorist, Anis Amri, was also reportedly radicalized by a local mosque. One of the preachers of the Mosque, Abu Walaa, is these days on trial with four others in Germany for serving as an ISIS recruiter.

There is a dire need to hold government officials -- and the preachers and administrators of these mosques -- accountable, and to demand that they take action against extremists who target these breeding grounds, or face criminal prosecution. The policy of avoiding the problem by keeping one's eyes shut only enlarges it and sacrifices freedom on the altar of terror.

Khadija Khan is a Pakistani journalist and commentator, currently based in Germany.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11102/islamic-terrorism-roots

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