Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mild Western Reaction to Mass Deaths in Syria

by David Lev

Unrest continued Saturday in both Egypt and Syria, as protesters in both cities were killed by security forces in each country. Meanwhile, thousands of Egyptians rioted outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo over the IDF's response to Hamas terror attacks, increasing concern in Jerusalem that the protests in the Arab world could begin to focus on Israel, instead of on domestic issues.

In Syria, security forces opened fire Saturday on participants in a funeral procession for protesters killed in another attack Friday. At least 37 people were killed in those protests Friday. A Syrian anti-government protest group, the National Organization for Human Rights, accused the government of committing “crimes against humanity.”

Protests took place in several cities in Syria on Friday, with 30 people killed in Deraa, the epicenter of the protests. Witnesses said that dozens of others were wounded, but refused to go to the hospital for treatment, out of fear that the secret police would arrest them.

World reaction was mild, at best. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton condemned the violence, urging President Bashar Assad to implement “meaningful political reforms.” On Friday, U.S. President Barack H. Obama issued a statement that “strongly condemned the abhorrent violence committed against peaceful protesters.” and called for “meaningful political and economic reforms.” Israeli observers said they were “disappointed with the mild statement. There was no call for a UN meeting on the murders of innocent civilians, as there would most certainly have been had Israel killed dozens of terrorists at a single time.”

Meanwhile in Cairo Saturday, two Egyptian protesters were shot by Egyptian military forces. Hundreds of soldiers charged a large crowd of protesters in Tahrir Square at about 2 AM Saturday morning, in an attempt to impose a curfew after a large protest on Friday. Later Saturday, thousands of protesters returned to the square to protest the killings, and to demand that the shooters, whom protesters accused of being in league with deposed President Hosni Mubarak, be put on trial, along with Mubarak and other figures from his regime.

During that protest, several thousand people broke away and marched to the Israeli Embassy, where they threw rocks and stones and attempted to enter the building. They were turned back by security troops. The crowd shouted anti-Israel epithets, claiming that Israel was killing “innocent Palestinians” in its response to Hamas rocket attacks. Diplomats in Jerusalem said they were concerned that the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists would use the Gaza situation to build protests against Israel, using the crowd in Tahrir Square for their anti-Israel agenda, after the group said it would become more active in the country's protest movement.

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David Lev

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Israelis Conducting Global War On Hamas

by Eli Lake

Israel’s security agencies are stepping up targeted attacks throughout the world on Hamas‘ leadership in what one Israeli official called “intelligence-based prevention.”

In the past two months, Israeli operatives have intercepted a German ship in international waters, fired a missile at a suspected Hamas leader in Sudan, and captured a Hamas engineer in the Ukraine, according to Israeli and Western officials and press reports from the region.

Israel defeated the wave of suicide bombing attacks against it in 2002 by identifying the leadership that was behind it and making it clear to them that they would pay a price,” said Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations and specialist on international terrorism.

“Presently, the effort to cripple Hamas‘ military capabilities is no longer confined to the Gaza Strip alone, but to the entire Hamas global network and that of its allies.”

On Thursday, an anti-tank rocket hit an Israeli school bus near the Gaza border and wounded two people. Israeli planes and tanks fired at Hamas positions in Gaza on Thursday in retaliation.

After a day of Israeli attacks that reportedly killed five Palestinians, Hamas issued a statement offering a cease-fire. The Interior Ministry told reporters in Gaza that militant groups had agreed to stop firing rockets.

The Israeli military had no immediate public comment.

But the overt warfare might end there for now; still, the security services will keep up their secretive work.

“This is a policy of intelligence-based prevention, which has stepped up in recent months,” an Israeli national security official, who asked not to be named, told The Washington Times. “One part of the strategy is prevention.”

While Israelis have conducted intelligence operations throughout the world for years, these kinds of direct actions have become more central to Israel’s war policy against Hamas under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Our security requirements are fundamental … for the achievement of peace,” Mr. Netanyahu said after talks Thursday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

“But they’re particularly important now in this uncertain period that we’re going through.”

The Arab world has been in turmoil since January, with the Libyan civil war the latest in the unrest that has Israel nervous.

“We can’t be sure … if this is [like] an 1989 change in Europe or the 1979 revolution in Iran,” Mr. Netanyahu said, referring to the fall of communism in Europe and the rise of the Islamic terrorism in Iran.

The renewed Israeli approach is in some ways a response to the international condemnation of Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli air-and-ground offensive against Hamas positions in Gaza launched in December 2008.

Operation Cast Lead claimed between 1,166 and 1,417 Palestinian casualties. Israel says Hamas deliberately interspersed its military positions in civilian neighborhoods in hopes that Israeli attacks would kill civilians and that Hamas could wage a propaganda war against the Jewish state.

The 2008-09 Gaza war prompted the U.N. Human Rights Council to appoint Richard Goldstone, a South African jurist, to investigate the war. He at first concluded that Israel deliberately targeted Palestinian civilians.

Mr. Goldstone recanted that charge last week in an Op-Ed for The Washington Post.

Because the covert campaign targets leaders and is often done in secret, the diplomatic damage to Israel for these actions tends to be muted.

The first example of this new tactic against Hamas happened in January 2010, when a Mossad team killed Mahmoud al-Mahbouh, a senior Hamas operative, in a Dubai hotel.

More recently, Israeli operatives in February captured Dirar Abu-Sisi, a Hamas engineer Israel accuses of designing military rockets for the group, aboard a train in the Ukraine, according to Israeli court documents unsealed Monday. Mr. Abu-Sisi told Israeli reporters he was innocent Monday.

On Tuesday, an unidentified aircraft fired a missile at a car carrying two men in Sudan. Israeli officials publicly neither confirmed nor denied any role in the operation.

However, a Hamas member of parliament, Ismail al-Ashqar, said this week that the attack was aimed at his nephew, Abdel Latif al-Ashqar, a Hamas commander, according to the Gaza based Safa news service. The government of Sudan has also said Israel was behind the missile attack.

In March, Israeli commandos boarded the Victoria, a German ship carrying Chinese-made land-to-sea rockets. Mr. Netanyahu said the ship was from Iran and headed eventually to Gaza.

Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, an Israel Defense Forces spokeswoman, said, “We are not looking only for Hamas leaders, we consider Hamas accountable for any rockets fired from Gaza into Israel. If we find a three-man rocket team, they will be targeted whether or not they are leaders. This is to prevent rockets from coming down on Israeli civilians.”

Col. Leibovich added that every attack in Gaza is authorized by a military lawyer and is “accordance with international law.”

“We are not looking for any escalation,” she said. “We do have operational plans in our drawers. Hopefully, we won’t have to pull them out, but we will not tolerate these kinds of attacks against Israeli civilians.”

The Israeli national security official, however, said there would be a steep price Hamas will pay if Israel determines that Hamas deliberately fired at an Israeli school bus.

“If this turns out this was a premeditated attack, that this was a planned decision to fire a rocket on a school bus, this is something we will have to not only counter but also make Hamas understand this action’s consequences,” the official said.

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Eli Lake

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Black Student Leaders Slam 'Apartheid' Characterization

by Jordana Horn

NEW YORK ­ African American student leaders from a variety of historically black colleges and universities took out full page ads in numerous American college newspapers Thursday, displaying an "Open Letter to Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)," to convey that they were offended by SJP's use of the term" apartheid" at recent Israel Apartheid Weeks at campuses across the country.

"The use of the word 'apartheid' by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) in its characterization of Israel is patently false and deeply offensive to all who feel a connection to the state of Israel," the letter, which ran or is slated to run in papers at Brown University, University of California-Los Angeles, the University of Maryland and Columbia University over the next few days, reads. "Your organization's campaign against Israel is spreading misinformation about its policies, fostering bias in the media, and jeopardizing prospects for a timely resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Such irresponsibility is a blemish on your efforts."

The letter continues to state that "playing the 'apartheid card' is a calculated attempt to conjure up images associated with the racist South African regimes of the 20th century," and calls the strategy "as transparent as it is base."

"Beyond that, it is highly objectionable to those who know the truth about the Israel's record on human rights and how it so clearly contrasts with South Africa's," the letter reads, noting that under apartheid, black South Africans had no rights in a country in which they were the majority of the population.

Saying that the analogy manipulates rather than informs, the letter requests SJP to "immediately stop referring to Israel as an apartheid society and to acknowledge that the Arab minority in Israel enjoys full citizenship with voting rights and representation in the government."

"Decency, justice, and the hope of peace and reconciliation in the Middle East compel us to demand an immediate cessation to the deliberate misappropriation of words and of the flagrant mischaracterizations of Israel," the letter concludes. "Your compliance with this request will be viewed as a responsible and appropriate first step toward raising the level of discourse."

The 16 signatories to the letter are students and alumni from historically black colleges and universities who are members of the Vanguard Leadership Group, a leadership development academy and honor society for top students.

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Jordana Horn

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Rockets Fired From Gaza Bombard Ashkelon, W. Negev

by Yaakov Lappin and Jpost.Com Staff

Two barrages of rockets were fired at the Eshkol Regional Council Saturday night, bringing the number of rockets launched into Israel from Gaza to over 50 since Saturday morning, police said.

A rocket caused some damage to homes and struck a main water pipe in a kibbutz in the Shaa'r Hanegev Regional Council, but no injuries were reported.

Meanwhile, Palestinian sources on Saturday night reported that an IAF aircraft fired a missile at a terrorist cell in Gaza City, killing one of the terrorists and wounding four.

According to reports, the targeted cell was part of the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees.

Haim Yalin, head of the Eshkol Regional Council, which has been pounded by rockets and mortars from Gaza continuously, told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday evening that the situation was the same as it was during the 2009 Operation Cast Lead.

"This has been going on for 3 days now. It's the same number of rockets as Cast Lead. The feeling is that we are back to that situation all over again. This is an emergency situation," Yalin said.

"We are in an emergency situation, even though the state has not declared an emergency. We are running around all day to calm down the residents. Everyone here is part of the effort to deal with this," Yalin said.

The central Negev region was hit with 28 rockets in total. Police bomb squad officers found 13 rockets. Homes were damaged in the attacks. The Lachish region was hit with 22 rockets. Police found 4 of them. No damages or injuries were reported in those attacks.

The Iron Dome system was able to intercept one of the rockets, bringing the total number of intercepted rockets since Thursday to eight.

Acting Southern police head Lt.-Cmdr. Kobi Cohen held a special evaluation meeting on Saturday due to the escalating security situation. The meeting concluded with a decision to raise the police's level of alert to three - the level right before the highest. Back up forces, including bomb squad officers and Border Police, have been sent to the south from other police districts. Police will also maintain checkpoints and an increased presence into Sunday.

3 people remain hospitalized at Ashkelon's Barzilai Medical Center after suffering from shock due to rocket attacks.

Overnight Friday, 15 Grads were fired from Gaza into Israeli territory. The Iron Dome rocket-defense system intercepted five of them in the Beersheba and Ashkelon areas, Israel Radio reported.

Five Israelis were reportedly injured when scrambling to enter bomb shelters as rockets were being fired into their areas.

Three Hamas commanders were killed in an IAF airstrike early morning Saturday on a car in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Palestinian news agencies reported a fourth Hamas man was killed in an IDF strike late Saturday morning. The IDF said it was looking into the reports.

Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported that other IDF strikes took place overnight in Gaza City, a Hamas training base in the northern Strip and a neighborhood in Khan Younis.

Artillery strikes were reported in the Rafah area along the Strip's southern border with Egypt.

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Yaakov Lappin and Jpost.Com Staff
Reuters contributed to this report.

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The Nazi-Inspired Jew-Hate of the Muslim Brotherhood

by Seth Mandel

The revolutions in the Arab world that began earlier this year were noticeably low on anti-Jewish propaganda, leading many scholars to express the hope that the West had less to lose from the overthrow of men like Hosni Mubarak than previously thought. But if German scholar Matthias Küntzel is correct, one incident should adjust the expectations that the Muslim Brotherhood—who expect to perform well in Egypt’s upcoming parliamentary elections—can be a moderating force in Egyptian politics.

That one incident was the return and reception of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the leading Brotherhood theologian who has praised Hitler and endorsed the Islamic acceptance of terrorism against Israel.

“It was no accident that Ahmadinejad, after the first time he [expressed] his Holocaust denial—a kind of propaganda coup—the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt were the first to applaud,” Küntzel, author of Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11, told me in an interview this week. “And also his promise to destroy Israel was of course very welcomed by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. So I think that anti-Semitism is a central part of their ideology.”

But the Brotherhood is taking part in a democratic process, and they are seemingly pushing a reformist political agenda, which is leading to a debate over whether their history and ideology can be separated from their role in day-to-day politics. Küntzel warns against this. “On the one hand they are of course reformists as far as their political strategy is concerned,” Küntzel said. “So they want to participate in democratic elections. But that does not change their program. And we had the same in Germany. Adolf Hitler tried it with a putsch for the fist time in 1923, and later his Nazi party changed the approach and tried the parliamentary way… via the democratic way.”

The question we must ask, Küntzel said, is what the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood are, rather than how they attempt to gain power. “And as far as foreign policy is concerned, they want to destroy Israel, definitely. There is no differentiation between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. … This is their program. You can see their program realized in the Gaza Strip today.”

Küntzel’s groundbreaking work exposing the strain of Nazi ideology present in the Islamist world and how it got there earned him the Anti-Defamation League’s Paul Ehrlich-Gunther K. Schwerin Human Rights Award in February—an honor usually given to politicians or other public servants.

“This was a big surprise for me,” Küntzel said, adding that the award was received with great appreciation not just from Küntzel himself, but from other researchers and writers in the field.

“Matthias Küntzel has a long and distinguished record in speaking out against anti-Semitism and warning his readers in his native Germany and elsewhere about the dangers posed by this age-old virus that has no known cure,” ADL Director Abe Foxman said at the award ceremony. “His work has been sorely under-appreciated in this country. With this recognition, we hope to acknowledge his ongoing efforts and also let the American public know of the implications of this disturbing trend.”

I asked Küntzel how important individual players, such as Hajj Amin al-Husseini, who was the mufti of Jerusalem during WWII and struck up an alliance with the Nazis, were to the successful transmission of Nazi anti-Semitism to the Muslim world.

Very important, was the answer—especially in light of what was essentially a partnership in Jew-hatred between the two.

“He made the suggestion to the Nazis in the thirties that he they should use this type of radio propaganda against the Jews, so it went both ways,” he said. “At the time, only the Italian fascists used the tool.”

On the other hand, he noted, al-Husseini wasn’t well known or popular in Iran during that time, so there was a limit to how far the mufti could spread the propaganda. In the case of Iran, the Nazis used a popular radio host who could spread their ideology in a way that was localized to Iranian issues and Persian culture.

“The most important thing is the concept on the whole that you sell anti-Semitism in a way which fits to the people’s customs,” Küntzel said. This meant recognizing that the Arab-Israeli conflict was a much more salient issue among Arabs than in Iran. “The Nazis were smart enough to make this differentiation.”

Küntzel is very disappointed with the response by Western leaders to the naked anti-Semitism and the presence of Nazi ideology in public statements by influential clerics like Qaradawi, such as when he praised the Holocaust.

“If the pope would do something like this, or some of those surrounding the pope in Rome, there would be an outcry throughout the world,” Küntzel said. “But if this kind of very important Muslim speaker does the same, there is silence. And the reason is that people underestimate and don’t know much about the roots of this anti-Semitism. The traditional way to analyze this is to say, well this is the result of the Middle East conflict so if Israel and Zionism would behave more correctly and we can finish with the conflict, then we can finish with anti-Semitism as well.”

This is what Küntzel calls the filter that exists between actual events and their interpretation. Anti-Semitism, or at least a certain strain of it, was imported into the Middle East, and is now being exported from it.

“We are just at the beginning of a change in the analysis of the roots of the anti-Semitism in the Middle East,” Küntzel said. “And I consider this a very important task also to educate Western governments that this is not just the outcome of a conflict caused by Jews who immigrated to Palestine, but that this is something very similar to Nazi anti-Semitism and has to be taken as seriously as the Nazi anti-Semitism was taken.”

Küntzel said he is trying to dispel the false assumption that anti-Semitism has anything to do with Jewish behavior—it doesn’t. Anti-Semitism stems from the mind of the anti-Semite, not with anything the Jews do. So to couch it in terms of a Jewish issue, he said, is completely backwards. It is the province of non-Jews, and therefore must be dealt with by non-Jews as well, not ignored. The Jews, he said, can’t do anything about anti-Semitism if it is not dealt with by society at large.

And it’s the job of researchers and educators not the fall into this trap, and to be willing to reassess and reevaluate preconceived notions such as this, when they are so clearly an obstacle to an accurate understanding of the issue.

“This is an ongoing struggle in the academic world,” Küntzel said.

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Seth Mandel

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Arab Spring – An Illusion

by Isi Leibler

We are currently witnessing contradictory and confused responses by the Obama administration to the upheavals sweeping the Arab world. They highlight the failure of previous US governments to pressure autocratic Arab allies to introduce domestic reform.

With media support, the administration has been promoting an utterly misleading image of an ‘Arab Spring' led by peaceful, secular Arabs revolting against tyranny.

For example, in its frenetic efforts to provide an idealized spin to the upheaval in Egypt, the State Department even suggested that the Muslim Brotherhood poses no threat because it has adopted a "low profile" and is becoming "secularized."

In fact, the young liberal protesters who initially led the uprising have been shunted aside.

It now appears that the most positive outcome of the revolt would be for the military to replace Hosni Mubarak's autocracy. But a jihadi regime could also assume control. Even under the best circumstances, the new government will be strongly influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood, the creator of Hamas, which supports global terrorism.

One of its principal clerics, the charismatic anti-Semite Yusuf al- Qaradawi, exiled by Mubarak, recently returned in glory and preached virulent hatred of Israel to massive crowds of cheering demonstrators.

If elections are held, the most likely winner would be Arab League head Amr Moussa. It is noteworthy that Mubarak, himself no friend of Israel, dismissed Moussa as foreign minister allegedly because of his fanatical hatred of the Jewish state. The other candidate, Mohamed ElBaradei, pledged that if elected, he would declare war against the "Zionist regime" in the event of a future conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The new Egyptian foreign minister has already proclaimed his intent to renew diplomatic relations with Iran, which were severed in 1979. He stressed that Egypt no longer regards Iran as an enemy, and gave approval for Iranian warships to pass through the Suez Canal.

Few shed tears for Mubarak, but he was undeniably the strongest Arab ally of the US, opposed Iran, remained committed to the peace process, recognized Hamas as a threat and fought Islamic fundamentalism.

The Iranians were delighted when the Americans abandoned Mubarak, who blocked their ambitions of regional hegemony. By denying him even the opportunity to retire with dignity, President Barack Obama conveyed a chilling message to other pro-American Arab leaders.

For us, Mubarak's departure could lead to a breakdown in our peace treaty, and even a future regional war.

YET REALPOLITIK - oil - obliged Obama to be more circumspect with Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that Mubarak's corrupt Egypt can be considered a paradise compared to the brutal Saudi regime, which also exports Islamic extremism. That Bahrain hosts the American Fifth Fleet was presumably the reason the US avoided admonishing its monarch's brutal slaying of demonstrators in collaboration with Saudi forces.

Obama initially also declined to call for the ouster of Yemeni tyrant Ali Saleh, because he vigorously opposed al-Qaida. But Obama has now decided to scuttle him, and there is thus every likelihood that Yemen, previously renowned as a breeding ground for al-Qaida, will again emerge as the foremost staging area for global terrorism.

However, it was US policy in relation to Libya which highlighted the absence of any meaningful American strategy.

Muammar Gaddafi is indisputably a brutal thug. However, unlike the Iranians and Syrians, he did dismantle his nuclear weapons. In fact, the State Department has described him as "an increasingly valuable partner against terrorism and al-Qaida," and in 2009 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the US "deeply valued" its relationship with Libya and wanted to "deepen and broaden our cooperation".

For Obama, without reference to Congress and virtually overnight, to engage the US in a civil war in Libya which he described as "a kinetic military action" contrasts starkly with his policy of "engaging" other rogue states like Iran or Syria.

His justification was that he could not bear the thought of the coffins which would be required in the absence of military intervention. Yet the US and other European powers failed to display similar concern when for years they stood by while the Sudanese government indulged in butchering literally hundreds of thousands of non-Muslims.

To make matters worse, the "liberated" eastern area of Libya is notorious for spawning jihadist volunteers to fight the US in Iraq. Indeed, former al-Qaida activists and terrorists who fought for Saddam Hussein have already been identified in rebel ranks.

We could thus be displacing a psychotic lunatic who had retired from terrorism, with al-Qaida forces. And should Gaddafi survive, he will no doubt seek revenge.

Hopefully, an appreciation of what Gaddafi would be capable of today if he possessed nuclear weapons may shock Western countries into taking more determined action to avoid confronting a nuclear-armed Iran.

TO TOP off this chaos, there is the relatively mild response to the excesses of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Unlike Mubarak, Assad killed demonstrators, but Obama did not call on him to stand down, and Clinton recently referred to him as a "reformer."

Yet Assad is an ally of Iran, let al-Qaida terrorists use Syria as a base in the US war against Saddam Hussein, provides arms to Hezbollah, grants refuge to the heads of Hamas and other terrorist groups, and orchestrated the murder of Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. He is also collaborating with North Korea in an effort to attain nuclear status.

The collapse of his regime would be a major setback to the Iranians and Hezbollah.

Clearly, the chaotic US policies are undermining authoritarian regimes which were its allies, while Islamic rogue states like Syria are being treated with restraint.

Regrettably, in most Arab countries undergoing upheavals, the principal beneficiaries are likely to be Islamic radicals who, at the very least, will assume a substantially more influential role than under their predecessors.

We should remind ourselves of our former enthusiastic support of Afghanistan's mujahedeen, who we glorified as "freedom fighters."

Today we appreciate that we were sponsoring the incubators of al- Qaida, the Taliban and other Islamic terror groups. We may be repeating the same mistake.

And of course, the sad lesson for all US allies: When a crisis arises, don't rely on the US or other Western countries to stand with us. They may not do so.

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Isi Leibler

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Obama's Mishandling of the Quran-Burning

by Monte Kuligowski

A Jed Clampett-type figure burns a Quran somewhere in Tennessee, and the Muslim world breaks out in an uproar. In keeping with Islam's spirit of peace, rioting, effigy-burning, and the indiscriminate killing of over twenty people accompanied the protests. The U.S. can tolerate protesting and flag-burning, but the disproportional response of murdering and beheading is where the line must be drawn.

But no such line has been drawn by the Obama administration.
In his response to the situation, President Obama notes that both Quran-burning and murder are wrong. True, but his words are meaningless without distinction. Here's how Obama responded:

The desecration of any holy text, including the Koran, is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry. However, to attack and kill innocent people in response is outrageous, and an affront to human decency and dignity.

No religion tolerates the slaughter and beheading of innocent people, and there is no justification for such a dishonorable and deplorable act.

The question is not whether a religion tolerates the slaughter and beheading of innocent people, but whether the U.S. government will tolerate the same. Free speech and expression, even the offensive style, are tolerated by the American system; murder is not.

By omitting the free speech rights of Terry Jones, President Obama has sent the wrong message to militant Islamists. Mr. Obama needed to explain that freedom means that even offensive expression is protected.

If Mr. Obama is not willing to proclaim that American values of free expression will not be suppressed by government out of fear of terrorism and murder, then we have already lost the terrorists' war.

The murdering Islamists need to be informed in clear terms that any harm caused to U.S. citizens will be met with a military offensive the likes of which will cause Islamists to beg for mercy.

As Americans, we may strongly disagree when the U.S. flag is burned in protest, whether at home or abroad. We may also strongly disagree when the Bible is torched in Muslim countries or when Christianity is "desecrated" by federally funded artists. Yet Americans overwhelmingly support the free expression rights of those with whom we disagree (so long as the expression is made with one's private property).

Radical Muslims work themselves up into killing frenzies over words against Islam, writings, cartoons, Quran-burnings, et al., and they will not be content until offense to Islam is outlawed. Of course, what we do or allow in our country should be none of these radicals' concern. Islam has no sacred protection status from insult in the United States -- and hopefully, it never will.

But if Senators Harry Reid and Lindsey Graham have their way, the federal government may intervene to limit free expression, which would implicitly protect Islam from offense. And I can't imagine that Barack Obama would oppose federal intervention.

Reid and Graham appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation" and discussed the possibility of congressional hearings on the Jones matter. Senator Graham told Bob Schieffer: "I wish we could find a way to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea, but we're in a war. During World War II, we had limits on what you could do if it inspired the enemy."

That has to be one of the lamest excuses for federal intervention into an area the First Amendment clearly prohibits the U.S. Congress from entering. The free speech restrictions during World War II had everything to do with loyalty to the U.S. and nothing to do with offending the Germans or the Japanese. One could burn as many copies of Mein Kampf as one wished without fear of government reprisal.

The difference is that during World War II, the objective of the United States was complete and total victory and unconditional surrender of our enemies. The U.S. wasn't real[ly] concerned about "putting our troops at risk" by offending our enemies. Indeed, we were more concerned with killing our enemies.

The motives for the murders at the U.N. office in Afghanistan and elsewhere are no more significant than the motives of Terry Jones.

We could try to understand Jones' standpoint. We could try to understand the Muslim mobs. We could try, but in context of constitutional discourse, it's irrelevant. Let's leave feelings and emotions to the therapists.

So as not to offend Islam, our servicemen are currently forced to fight with one hand tied behind their backs, with no clear definition of victory. Only in a politically correct type of war does it make sense to not offend our enemies.

If we offend them, they will kill us. Therefore, reasons the Obama administration, to stop them from killing us, we must not offend them. That makes sense to leftists, but it's a weak and dangerous policy stance to take with radical Islam.

On the horizon is the question of whether we are willing to suppress our freedoms in order to appease the violent faction of the Muslim world -- a faction which makes up a considerable slice of Islam. It is like a campfire that has broken out of its boundaries and which must be stomped out quickly lest it spread as an uncontrollable wildfire. If the U.S. and the West are not willing to completely stomp out radical Islam, I'm afraid we will soon be surrendering our freedoms.

If we don't wake up, offense to Islam will someday trump American freedom.

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Monte Kuligowski

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Hizballah Targets Tel Aviv

by IPT News

Hizballah plans to empty its storehouse of 40,000 missiles in a new war with Israel, including sending 100 missiles per day toward Tel Aviv, U.S. diplomatic cables show.

The cables, released by Wikileaks to Israeli newspapers this week, are based on Israeli intelligence and defense assessments provided to their American counterparts in November 2009, Haaretz reports. Hizballah believes it can maintain that pace for two months, sending 6,000 rockets at Israel's most populous city. It's a fraction of the thousands of total number of rockets the terrorist group is prepared to fire at civilian areas.

"The IDF and Israel Defense Intelligence argued that Hezbollah's ultimate goal during any future conflict is to launch a massive number of missiles and rockets daily into Israeli territory, including those that can reach the Tel Aviv area," a U.S. cable summarizing the meeting said.

Hizballah did not have the weaponry to hit Tel Aviv during the 2006 war, when it fired 4,000 missiles at Israeli cities. Tel Aviv is prepared if it happens in the future, said Mayor Ron Holdai. "We live in Israel, and we have threats made to us all the time. If something were to happen we could cope," he said.

In what was interpreted as a lead-up to possible hostilities, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) recently released a map of what it said were 1,000 Hizballah facilities spread throughout southern Lebanon. Many of them were built near civilian areas, including hospitals, schools and homes.

"According to IDF intelligence, since the end of the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Hezbollah has built as many as 550 bunkers in the southern Lebanon region, holding various weapons. In addition, the organization has built 300 underground facilities and 100 storage units for munitions including rockets, missiles and other weapons," an IDF statement said.

Meanwhile, Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system successfully intercepted its first two rockets fired from Gaza Thursday. But there are only two units operating at this point, with a goal of having six within a year with the help of $200 million in U.S. aid. Some will be deployed along the border with Lebanon. A companion system for longer range missiles also is in the works.

"Over the course of the coming decade, we will reach a point of massive defense of the state," said Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Hizballah is not likely to wait that long. According to Israeli defense officials, the group remains obsessed with avenging the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh, its former military commander, in a car bombing blamed on Israel.

Former CIA officer Robert Baer called Mughniyeh "the most dangerous terrorist we've ever faced." He was implicated in Hizballah attacks ranging from the bombing of a U.S. Marines barracks in 1983 to the bombing of Israel's embassy in Argentina in 1992.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange indicated other cables about to become public shed light on Mughniyeh's 2008 death.

In other cables released this week, Israel accused Turkey of violating United Nations and U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran meant to curb its nuclear weapons program. In comments to a French diplomat forwarded to American officials, Israel was "convinced that Iran is continuing to ship weapons to Syria via Turkish territory, possibly with the knowledge of Turkish authorities."

Turkey, the Israelis said, was "'becoming a platform' for Iran to evade financial sanctions," Haaretz reports.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has moved his country away from Western nations in seeking stronger ties to Islamist states like Iran.

In contrast, Bahrain's King Hamad ibn Isa al-Khalifa boasted to the American ambassador in 2005 about his "contacts with Israel at the intelligence/security level (ie with Mossad) and indicated that Bahrain will be willing to move forward in other areas."

Official statements from Bahrain no longer called Israel the "Zionist entity," al-Khalifa said.

Bahrain is among a number of Middle Eastern states facing popular uprisings. There, a Sunni minority rules over a Shiite majority. Saudi Arabian military units have provided support for al-Khalifa's regime.

IPT News

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Two Hurt in Missile Strike on Bus Carrying Students Near Gaza

by Anshel Pfeffer, Yanir Yagna and Haaretz Service

Two people were wounded Thursday after an anti-tank missile exploded into a bus traveling in one of the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip.

Following the attack, 16 additional mortar shells were fired at Israeli towns in the western Negev, most of them hitting open areas.

Bus strike from Gaza - Assayag - April 7, 2011

Bus damaged by missile strike from Gaza which wounded two people, April 7, 2011.

Photo by: Ilan Assayag

Magen David Adom crew who arrived at the scene said that a 16-year-old boy was critically wounded as a result of the attack, and that the bus driver was moderately hurt by shrapnel wounds in his leg.

"The boy was lying on the ground bleeding. The bus driver was conscious and hysterical. The entire bus destroyed – it was a horrifying sight," said a member of the rescue service.

MDA said that the rescue services resuscitated the boy and later transferred him to the hospital. MDA also said the bus was nearly empty after dropping off school children and was carrying only the driver and the 16-year-old boy at the time of the attack.

Residents of communities near the site of attack were instructed by authorities to stay inside their homes in case the strikes at Israeli towns will continue.

Following the attack, the Israel Defense Forces quickly retaliated and launched both land and air strikes on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, the IDF spokesperson said, killing a 50-year-old man and wounding five others.

Defense Minister, Ehud Barak ordered the army to respond quickly and said he held the Hamas militant group, which rules Gaza, responsible for the violence. There was no claim of responsibility for the attack.

The strike came following several weeks of tension and mutual attacks along Israel's border with the Hamas-ruled Strip, with Israel Defense Forces aircraft striking smuggling tunnels in southern Gaza earlier Thursday.

On Tuesday, IDF tanks fired at and killed an armed Palestinian approaching the Gaza Strip's border with Israel on Tuesday, as three mortar bombs exploded in Israeli soil.

The incident took place after an IDF force spotted an armed Palestinian near the Erez crossing at the Strip's north, later directing tank fire to the spot. No injuries were reported from among the soldiers.

On Saturday, IDF planes struck a vehicle travelling at the south of the Gaza Strip, killing three Hamas operatives, one of them a top commander in Hamas' military wing.

An IDF Spokesperson stated that the three men were members of a terrorist cell that was "planning to kidnap Israelis over the upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover" in Israel and in the Sinai Peninsula, a popular spring tourist destination for Israelis.

The Palestinian Ma'an news agency identified the three as Isma’il Labad and his brother Abdullah from Ash-Shati' refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, and military commander Muhammad Ad-Dayah from the Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City.

Ad-Dayah, 33, is considered to be a top Hamas military official. As a child he participated in the first intifada, later serving as the bodyguard of former Hamas chief Abdel Aziz Rantisi. Ad-Dayah also lost one of his eyes during an attempted mortar attack on a nearby settlement.

Hamas vowed vengeance against Israel in a statement Saturday, describing the strike as a crime and "serious escalation" of the recent violence, and vowed that Israel would "bear all the consequences." The militant group also called on the U.S. to stop the flow of financial aid to Israel.

Prior to the attack, Palestinian militants have fired rocket salvos into Israel, reaching as far as the major southern city Be'er Sheva, and Israel has carried out a series of air strikes.

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Anshel Pfeffer, Yanir Yagna and Haaretz Service

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Barack Obama, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Zionism

by William Sullivan

Mahmoud Ahmedinejad of Iran has predicted a shameful end to the political career of Barack Obama. He contends that Obama offers the guise of "change and defending the rights of nations" only to use military force in order to protect American interests and Israel as George Bush did. But he will be far more shamed than Bush, he says, because at least Bush was honest about it.

Who knows, maybe purveyors of deception can just smell their own. But we Americans, and certainly the Israelis, are more than a little confused by the substance of his contention. If Mahmoud really thinks that Barack Obama has done anything to help American or Israeli interests, he obviously can't see the desert for the dunes.

Despite overlooking the human rights nightmare in the popular revolution in Ahmedinejad's country, Barack Obama has endorsed deposing Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and is currently exacting forceful measures to oust Muammar Gaddafi of Libya.

Principal among the opposition groups ready to seize influence in these countries is the Muslim Brotherhood, whom Obama has all but endorsed as the new political power in Egypt. And in Libya the group is emerging as a prominent political factor.

But in deposing these dictators and clearing the lane for the popular Muslim Brotherhood, what has Barack Obama really done for America or Israel? For example, has he helped to thwart future terror attacks and Islamic jihad?

A recent CNN piece authored by Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister makes the claim that he has. The article explains that the Libyan faction of the Muslim Brotherhood, though not directly linked to other factions, shares the "philosophy of the pan-Arab Islamist movement founded in Egypt in the 1920's," and that if the Muslim Brotherhood has a "prominent role" in a new Libyan government, it would "dent support" for other "jihadist groups."

It's interesting that the article doesn't go to any effort to expand on what that "Islamist movement" of the 1920's was all about. Half of America can't tell you the three branches of our own government, but the writers of CNN assume that Americans might know the basis for a purposefully obscure Islamic movement from nearly a century ago? But as you might expect, this turns out to be a pretty handy omission if you're trying to present the Muslim Brotherhood in a positive light. The philosophy of the Muslim Brotherhood is primarily based on Hassan al-Banna's 1928 treatise, Jihad. Do you have any guesses as to what it's about?

Your everyday Islamic apologist may guess that it is about that contrived "internal struggle" all Muslims endure to be peaceful, loving, and compassionate to their neighbors. Do you know what al-Banna had to say of this so-called "jihad of the heart, or the jihad against one's ego?" Talk like that, he said, "is used by some to lessen the importance of fighting to discourage any preparation for combat, and to deter any offering of jihad in Allah's way." No, in al-Banna's philosophy, sending a mandatory "military expedition to the Dar-al-Harb" (the non-Muslim world) at least once or twice a year is preferable to that "internal struggle" nonsense.

So though the article makes the contention that the Muslim Brotherhood having power in Libya would "dent support" for jihadist groups, it conveniently leaves out that the Muslim Brotherhood clearly subscribes to a core jihadist philosophy in the most literal sense.

What about advancing human rights? Will the disappearance of Mubarak and Gaddafi make the Middle East a nicer place to live?

The Egyptian faction of the Muslim Brotherhood thinks so, but only if your idea of human rights includes "the preservation of honor by stoning adulterers" and "punishing gays." It's nice that Barack Obama thinks that dictators committing "potential humanitarian" crises are bad, but how does he feel, I wonder, about burying a woman condemned for adultery to her waist and having children and strangers hurl rocks at her until only a mangled corpse remains? We may find out, because that is what democracy will likely yield in Egypt, considering the Brotherhood is the leading spearhead for social reform.

And as far as the immediate substance of Ahmedinejad's claim, have Obama's actions protected Israel at all?

Presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei of the Muslim Brotherhood has announced that, if he is elected, Egypt would declare war against Israel if it decides to attack Gaza. This means that Israel, though perpetually absorbing rocket fire from Gaza, cannot defend itself without anticipating violent reprisal from Egypt. Where Mubarak's Egypt has many times remained relatively uninvolved when Israel was forced to combat its aggressive Arab neighbors, the new Egypt that Obama is helping to democratically birth may do no such thing. This amounts to more powder in the Middle Eastern keg and more suicide bombs and rockets in Israel's future. And, at least in part, they can thank our president for that.

Obama's foreign policy has not made America or the Middle East safer, and contrary to Ahmedinejad's belief, it is beyond dispute that our president is no friend of Israel. Obama is the product of progressivism, and progressivism is largely the product of 60's counterculture. And as such, he likely sees Zionism as an extension of American imperialism, and therefore loathsome. This is evidenced by his incessant apologies to the Middle Eastern world for America's past actions.

But I do have to admit, the fact that Obama is so politically aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and is never seen to be at odds with them does suggest a far more sinister reason for his anti-Zionism. Like maybe he was listening more closely in Jeremiah Wright's church than he lets on.

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William Sullivan

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Spain: The "Most Anti-Semitic Country in Europe"

by Soeren Kern

Spain emerged as one of the most anti-Semitic countries in the European Union in 2010, and the Spanish government has done nothing about it, according to the authors of an annual report that tracks anti-Semitic violence on the Iberian Peninsula. The "dangerous" and "extraordinary" rise in anti-Semitism comes at a time when Spain is mired in the worst economic recession in its modern history, and the authors of the report conclude that Jews are increasingly becoming a scapegoat for the economic and social problems facing Spain.

The document titled "Report on Anti-Semitism in Spain in 2010" was jointly produced by the Observatory on Anti-Semitism in Spain, an arm of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain (FCJE), and a non-governmental organization called the Movement against Intolerance. The report was made public at a well attended press conference in Madrid on March 30.

The report, which says there were around 400 anti-Semitic incidents in Spain during 2010, records anti-Semitic attacks on persons and on property, anti-Semitism in the Spanish media and on the Internet, efforts to trivialize the Jewish Holocaust, dissemination of anti-Semitic literature, as well as anti-Semitism in public institutions.

The report also provides data derived from opinion polls. For example, according to a poll commissioned by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 58.4% of Spaniards believe that "the Jews are powerful because they control the economy and the mass media." This number reaches 62.2% among university students and 70.5% among those who are "interested in politics." More than 60% of Spanish university students say they do not want Jewish classmates. "These numbers are as surprising as they are worrying: the most anti-Semitic people are supposedly the most educated and well-informed," the report says.

In other polling data, more than one-third (34.6%) of Spanish people have an unfavorable or completely unfavorable opinion of Jewish people. But as in other European countries, anti-Semitism is more prevalent on the political left than it is on the political right. For example, 34% of those on the far right say they are hostile to Jews, while 37.7% of those on the center-left are hostile to Jews. And sympathy for Jews among the extreme right (4.9 on a scale of 1-10) is above the average for the population as a whole (4.6).

Among those who recognize themselves as having "antipathy for the Jewish people," only 17% says this is due to the "conflict in the Middle East." Nearly 30% of those surveyed say their dislike of Jews has to do with "their religion," "their customs," and "their way of life." Nearly 20% of Spaniards say they dislike Jews although they do not know why.

The new findings corroborate earlier research. For example, according to a September 2008 study published by the Washington, DC-based Pew Research Center, nearly half of all Spaniards have negative views of Jews, a statistic that marks Spain as one of the most anti-Semitic countries in Europe. According to Pew, 46% of Spaniards hold negative opinions of Jews, up more than double from the 21% of Spaniards with such views in 2005.

Spain is also the only country in Europe where negative views of Jews outweigh positive views; only 37% of Spaniards think favorably about Jews. By comparison, 36% of Poles have negative views of Jews while 50% have positive views; in Germany, 25% negative versus 64% positive; in France, 20% negative versus 79% positive; and in Britain, 9% negative versus 73% positive. (By way of comparison, according to Pew, 77% of Americans have favorable views toward Jews, compared to 7% unfavorable.)

Another report about European anti-Semitism published by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League says that 54% of Spaniards believe that "Jews have too much power in international markets." And 51% of Spaniards believe that "Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country."

The survey data on Spanish anti-Semitism raises many questions, including one that seems never to have been asked: How many Spaniards have actually ever met a Jew? Not very many, it would appear. In fact, Spain today has one of the smallest Jewish communities in Europe; the country has only around 40,000 Jews out of a total Spanish population of 47 million, which works out to less than 0.08 percent.

By contrast, in France -- which with 500,000 Jews has the third largest Jewish population in the world (after Israel and the United States) -- attitudes towards Jews are relatively positive when compared to those in Spain. (Of course, it is entirely possible that Spaniards are just being more honest than other Europeans about their true feelings towards Jews, thereby skewing the statistics and masking the true extent of the problem on other parts of the continent. After all, there are good reasons why more than one quarter of French Jewry wants to leave France.)

What explains the dramatic increase in Spanish anti-Semitism since 2005, especially considering that the only exposure most Spaniards have ever had to Jews is through television?

Pew, in a politically correct sleight-of-hand, says the blame lies with "those who place themselves near the right end of the political spectrum." But most professional observers of contemporary Spanish politics lay the blame squarely with Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who took office in 2004, and since then has managed to drive Spanish-Israeli relations to their worst point since bilateral diplomatic ties were established in 1986.

Zapatero, who makes no secret of his postmodern dislike of Zionism, is well known in Spain for his anti-Israel and anti-Jewish outbursts. At a dinner party in the Moncloa Palace (the Spanish White House) in 2005, for example, Zapatero addressed his guests by launching into a tirade of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist rhetoric that ended with the phrase: "It is understandable that someone might justify the Holocaust."

Zapatero has also sought to restore Spain's traditionally strong ties with the Arab world by ingratiating himself with Israel's enemies. During the 2006 Lebanon War, for example, Zapatero participated in an anti-Israel rally where he wrapped himself in a Palestinian kaffiyeh (scarf) and gratuitously accused Israel of using "abusive force that does not protect innocent human beings." Zapatero then dispatched his foreign minister to Syria, a move the Israeli foreign ministry said proved that the Spanish government was "closer to Hezbollah terrorists than to the Israeli government."

Zapatero, who refuses to visit Israel (even though the two countries commemorated 20 years of diplomatic ties in 2006), also refers to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a "cancer" that is metastasizing into all the other conflicts in the region. As a disciple of postmodern moral equivalency, Zapatero naturally believes the "cancer" is Israel, not Islamic terrorism.

Spanish anti-Semitism is also being stoked by the non-stop anti-Israel rhetoric of Spain's leftwing intellectual and media elites, most of whom are enthusiastic sycophants of Zapatero and his pro-Arab, pro-Islam worldview. Indeed, Spanish radio, television and print media, much of which is directly or indirectly controlled by the Socialist government, is notoriously biased against Israel. As most Spaniards do not speak foreign languages, they have little or no access to alternative sources of information, which goes a long way toward explaining Spanish attitudes towards Jews, especially of the Israeli variety.

Add to this the Spanish media's bizarre obsession with neo-conservatism, which in Spain has become a pejorative term denoting a conspiracy to promote Jewish domination of the world. Many ordinary Spaniards, who otherwise show little interest in foreign affairs, seem to have deep-seated opinions about those Jews Frum, Kristol, Pearle, Podhertz and Wolfowitz, et al.

Zapatero and his cabinet ministers have also played the neo-con card to explain to the Spanish public why the Spanish economy is tottering on the edge of catastrophe. Although analysts had warned for many years that the Spanish housing bubble was unsustainable, Zapatero ignored them, saying those fears were overblown. But now that the bubble has burst, Spain's unemployment rate has skyrocketed to more than 20%, the highest level in the industrialized world. Some 4.7 million Spaniards are now without work and looking for someone to blame.

Zapatero says Spain's problems are due to "the neo-conservative model based on capitalism without borders nor limits nor ethics." That's postmodern Zapatero-speak for "the Jews are to blame." More recently, Zapatero ordered Spain's official intelligence agency, the National Intelligence Center (CNI), to investigate whether the "Anglo-Saxon media" (aka the English-language press dominated by Jews) is conspiring to undermine the Spanish economy.

The official anti-Semitic rhetoric in Spain has reached such a fever pitch that members of the U.S. Congress recently sent a letter to Zapatero in which they expressed their concerns about growing anti-Semitism in Spain. The ADL has also published a special report titled "Polluting the Public Square: Anti-Semitic Discourse In Spain." The report says: "ADL is deeply concerned about the mainstreaming of anti-Semitism in Spain, with more public expressions and greater public acceptance. Opinion makers in the media and in politics are crossing the line that separates legitimate criticism of Israeli actions from anti-Semitism and the results are evident."

But just as Spaniards get smug about their self-perceived racial superiority, along comes a study which says that many Spanish anti-Semites actually have Jewish blood. An examination of the genetic signatures of the Spanish population shows that 20% of contemporary Spaniards have Jewish origins. As it turns out, far fewer Jews than previously thought complied with the Edict of Expulsion in 1492, by which the estimated 800,000 Jews in Spain were ordered to leave the country. Many of them simply converted to Roman Catholicism instead.

Many of those so-called conversos tried to blend in by adopting surnames that indicated trades or professions. One such Sephardic name is Zapatero, which means shoemaker.

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Soeren Kern

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Nihad Awad, Co-founder of CAIR Unplugged: Portrait of an Anti-Semite

by Steven Emerson

In the past few years, Nihad Awad, head of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other top CAIR leaders have been feted to a dizzying array of non-Muslim defenders in the media, Congress, local law enforcement like Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca (who recently asserted that any attack on CAIR is an attack on all Muslims). Never mind that CAIR was created in 1994 as a Hamas front group but no one paid any attention as CAIR successfully portrayed itself as a "civil rights" group, ready to issue diatribes and calls of racism to anyone who questioned CAIR's ulterior agenda and modus operandi.

Literally scores of Congressmen, mayors, governors and law enforcement commanders cozied up to CAIR as the new oppressed ethnic minority on the block. This past week, nearly the entire Chicago congressional delegation pledged their support to CAIR.

Even the NYPD pulled from its anti-terrorism curricula, at the behest of CAIR, the acclaimed documentary called the "Third Jihad" as too conspiratorial and racist in it depictions of radical Islamic fanatics bent on carrying out acts of terrorism. CAIR's real agenda, already in effect in the Obama Administration, is to sanitize and censor from the American political and governmental vernacular any reference to "radical Islam" under the claim that such a term was racist and that by excising the reference to radical Islam this would ultimately persuade Americans that such a term was fabricated by the "enemies of Islam." Unfortunately for CAIR, the majority of terrorist plots since 9-11 were carried out by radical Muslims.

Still, CAIR, while portraying itself as a peace loving civil rights group, would unceasingly label any critic of CAIR or of radical Islam as a racist for daring to reveal CAIR's true agenda. And over time, the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Associated Press, MSNBC and CNN would abet the legitimacy of CAIR by describing it repeatedly as a civil rights group (akin to the mainstream media describing and interviewing former KKK leader David Duke as a "peacemaker"). This also scandalously joins in CAIR's campaign of calling critics of CAIR or radical Islam "Islamaphobes and racists."

So the modus operandi of CAIR would be to go on the offensive, aided by the mainstream media, after any official, author or organization that had the audacity to suggest an ulterior illicit agenda of being non patriotic or of harboring a covert radical Islamic agenda to infiltrate this country from within, as was revealed unambiguously in the FBI's sudden 2005 discovery of hundreds of thousands of secret internal Muslim Brotherhood (MB) documents that revealed secret plans for a "civilizational jihad" that would secretly infiltrate American society from within. According to federal prosecutor Nathan Garret, these documents were the most important national security findings in 50 years. But in what has become a corrupt practice of the mainstream media, most newspapers ignored or paid scant attention to these astounding documents, following the dictates of CAIR or of the Islamist ideologies of the reporters themselves which they had grown to develop.

In the meantime, the gentle sounding Nihad Awad would publicly outreach to Jewish and Christian groups in creating an aura of tolerance.

So imagine my shock when I read Awad's comments he delivered in 2010 before a joint convention of the Muslim American Society (MAS) — another front for the Muslim Brotherhood whose leaders had called for jihad in Palestine to kill all the Jews—and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a Jam'at group from southeast Asia that had on its website hadiths to kill all Jews. Both MAS and ICNA have dozens of chapters throughout the US.

He cited as inflammatory comments from a congressional member that "there are too many mosques in this country," a former House speaker saying the United States is experiencing an "Islamic cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization" and a religious leader who called Islam "wicked" and "evil."

In his speech, which the media typically ignored, Awad started with a series of diatribes against Israel. Among his most inflammatory comments concerning Israel, he said, in discussing negotiations between Israel and the US related to settlement issues:

"Did Israel freeze any settlements? They did not. Not only that, to bring Israel to the table negotiations to talk about more fair solution to the conflict, the United States government begged Israel to stop building settlements. Israel did not. The United States bribed Israel. They gave them billions of dollars and promised to give them arms just to freeze the settlement buildings for 90 days. They came, Israeli delegations came here and they put so many conditions. "

The reality of those negotiations was that Israel had no preconditions with the settlements and rejected the US proposal as being unworkable, yet Awad postured it was the Israelis who "held out" for more US "bribe" money.

Awad continued with this, blaming Israel for the erosion of America's image in the rest of the world:

"They exploited the American generosity with all sorts of (UI word) and other things. I will explain. What's the end result? Nothing. Israel's still position is the same. What's the impact of this stiffness towards the President of the United States and the office of the presidency in the United States? It's really the erosion of the image of this country around the world. Nobody even thinks the administration is interested in talking about the peace process now because of Israel's behavior."

Contrary to Awad's efforts to blame Israel for the breakdown in the talks, it was the Palestinian Authority's (PA) refusal to negotiate with Israel (and the refusal of the Palestinians to drop the "right of return"— a policy that meant suicide for Israel) that halted negotiations. Something Awad failed to address.

Awad then began addressing his views toward Jewish control in the US:

"So we in the activist community, yourselves, we always call on the President, on the White House to do things. But there's nothing being done. Why? Because the second power lies with the Congress. Members of Congress compete with each other, whether Democrats or Republicans, to please the Israel lobby, to please Israel. Some of members of Congress are willing to put the interests of Israel ahead of the United States' interests."

"Why? Because we have to understand what drives members of Congress. Is it values, principles or votes and money and pressure? The pro-Israel lobby has mastered deception, pressure tactics and exploiting the system of giving money to candidates and putting pressure and threatening some candidates with either scandals or what have you. And they managed over many years to have this huge influence on not only members of Congress but those who want to be elected officials in the United States."

Attributing masters of deception to the "pro-Israel lobby" by Awad is a thinly disguised euphemism for Jews. Awad's claim that pro-Israel members of Congress traitorously put Israeli interests ahead of US interests is a blatant age old anti-Semitic variation taken from the notorious anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Awad's allegations are the same only slightly cryptic posturing about Jews used by the KKK and other racist white supremacist organizations.

The reality is that most Congressmen, like the 63% of Americans who support Israel, do so out of ideological sympathy and convergence of interests.
Awad continued to wade into the arena of US Middle East foreign policy concerning Palestinians:

"We cannot change the U.S. foreign policy towards Palestine from the top. It has to start at the bottom. We have to educate others. Before we educate others, we have to educate ourselves. Many of us, those who are Palestinians or Muslims or non-Muslims who believe in justice for the Palestinians they think because they know it is a just cause, they think that this is enough to talk about the issue of Palestine. This is wrong."

"We need to educate ourselves about specifics of this country and how this issue is hurting our government. It's hurting our economy. It's hurting our status in the world. It's hurting our claim to be a just society, liberal society, progressive society that goes to the aid of the weak and the oppressed, when we in fact do everything to the opposite when it comes to the Palestinians."

"We need to understand the [microphone noise over word] of how this [microphone noise over word] has been misfed and influenced and has been given the wrong information about the Palestinian side."

For decades, supporters and apologists of Palestinian terrorist organizations such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), including organizations such as CAIR, have blamed Israel and American support for Israel for the "plight"and oppression of Palestinians, justifying the terror committed by those Palestinians against Israel. That terror, itself, is always minimized and justified as "resistance." Thousands of explosive rockets fired by Hamas and other armed terror groups from Gaza into Israeli civilian residential areas is "resistance." Suicide bombers on buses and in shopping malls are "resistance" attacks. When Israel responds with defensive measures, it is oppression and occupation. This is yet another example of anti-Israel and anti-American propaganda.

Awad continued exhorting the propaganda line lamenting the supposed futility of seeking redress with the US administration in getting help to the "oppressed" Palestinians:

"Now for the past so many years people spent a lot of time calling the White House and calling Congress and they asked the President to say something, to do something about the bombings of Gaza, the building of settlements, the demolition of homes, the uprooting of olive trees, the deportation of Palestinians and the targeted killings of innocents and the destruction of the Palestinian economy, all of these things. People were told they were right, and they spent a lot of their energy. And what's the result? Nothing."

In fact, what Awad, as a good propagandist left out, were the facts that Israel had ceased the demolitions of terrorist homes and stopped targeted assassinations for many years, that the Palestinian economies in both the West Bank and Gaza were flourishing and that Palestinians were no longer being deported.

Awad then commented about the US military high command recently wading into the US – Israeli issue:

"There has been a shift in the last year, big shift. The military for the first time, and the military has huge credibility in Washington, D.C., when the Department of Defense comes for any budget request, hardly any member of Congress will say no, because this is for national security, for the first time in the history of the U.S./Israeli relationship, the commanders, the military leaders of the United States, have said that Israel is hurting the United States. And this is [applause over few words] that what goes on in Iraq, the intensity of the fighting in many places, they blame Israel for it, that Israel is instigating this anti-American sentiment because of what Israel does. Israel is putting America in jeopardy. And when the military, the U.S. military says so, people should listen. And now I believe there's a growing movement with the Congress and in the public to distinguish between America's interest and Israel's interest."

Last year, General David Petraeus did publicly state the Israeli – Palestinian conflict had an adverse effect on US peacemaking in the region, but he and no other US military commander blamed Israel or the US/Israeli relationship for this. In fact, General Petraeus and other senior US military leaders have reinforced the solid defense and security relationship the US shares with Israel. Awad's contention is simply another example of his anti-Israel and even anti-American provocation.

Further, how does Awad's position in this square with his contention that a pro-Israeli Jewish cabal controls Congress and the US Administration? If that were so, the military command would follow lock-step with the supposed directives of the puppet masters. The reality is, there are no such puppet masters.

Awad explains to his audience how he believes they can educate themselves about changing the state of affairs with the "Israeli lobby" exercising so much control over the US Government:

"But you need to do the following: I would recommend to you to read the following books. Number one - The Israel Lobby by a person John Mearsheimer. He and Professor Stephen Walt, they wrote a strategic paper and book. It's called The Israel Lobby. In that they show that Israel is not as pro-Israel, supporters claim that it is a strategic ally of the United States and that's why the United States has to be on the side of Israel all the time no matter what Israel does. This book is an objective research, first class scholars in political science from the University of Chicago and University of Harvard [sic]. They both prove without any shred of doubt that Israel has been a strategic liability on the United States. And it uses facts. This book uses facts. And they have evidence to show that."

The Israel Lobby book was such a classic case of anti-Semitic conspiracies that it included the Washington Post and NY Times, hardly friendly to Israel, as part of this Jewish cabal. And, if the "lobby" was so powerful, how did these authors get this book published by Jewish book publishers?
Awad's suggested reading list for his audience continued:

"Another magazine we should subscribe to is The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Google it. Subscribe to it. It is written and prepared by mainly former U.S. officials in the Muslim world, in the Middle East. And they love their country. They love the interests of the United States. But also they give you a clear and good analysis of the views and issues and Congress and who's doing what. But also, the most beautiful thing about this magazine is they publish a list of how much the Israel lobby on regular basis gives them contribution to members of Congress and those who run for public office in the United States. Those who like math, those who know how figures work in Washington, D.C., they will know that there is science behind the influence of the pro-Israel lobby, on members of Congress."

WREMA has been described by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and other mainstream Jewish civil rights groups as blatantly anti-Semitic. Having read about 150 of their issues over the past 15 years, nearly every article blames Israel and the "Jewish lobby" for all transgressions committed by radical Muslim states. WREMA's conspiracies about the Jewish lobby fits well into the Protocols of the Elders of Zion fabrication.

Awad offers a conspiratorial explanation of why many US officials support Israel:

"Then, work with candidates for public office, not only members of Congress or the Senate, even at the city council level and at the district level. That's where a lot of investment, the pro-Israel lobby is putting. They take these people to tours to Palestine. They show them the settlements, but they don't show them the refugee camps. They take them to Tel Aviv, but they don't show them Gaza and what Israel has done to Gaza. They don't show them the destruction that Israel has done to the Palestinian life and infrastructure and future…. They take them and they brainwash them. And also they promise them with funds and with votes."

Even Judge Goldstone has recanted his allegations against Israel. Moreover, it's Hamas which launched thousands of rockets and terrorist attacks from Gaza that precipitated Israeli retaliation, a fact Awad ignores. And why should Israel show visiting officials Gaza? Israel left Gaza and ceded control to the Palestinians. Awad claims Israelis "brainwash" these officials, as though such officials have no ability to render their own judgment and decision-making.

Recently, we saw a report about highly developed parts of Gaza and the West Bank showing how economic development and modernization (hotels, restaurants, shops, well stocked food markets, modern malls) are taking root among significant portions of the Palestinian population, yet this is significantly under-reported because it does not fit the "Israel is the oppressive occupier" theme. Why doesn't Awad and CAIR ever tout these advances of the Palestinians?

In his speech, Awad demonstrated his true background as an anti-Semitic, Israel-hating provocateur who uses his position in CAIR to further a radical Islamist agenda, and that is precisely the reason CAIR exists.

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Steven Emerson is an internationally recognized expert on terrorism and national security and the author of five books on these subjects, most recently "Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the US."