Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Jacksonian Foreign Policy Option

by Caroline Glick

Over the past several months, a certain intolerance has crept into the rhetoric of leading neoconservative publications and writers. This intolerance has become particularly noticeable since February's neoconservative-supported overthrow of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, and US President Barack Obama's neoconservative-supported decision to commit US forces to battle against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in March.

The basic concept being propounded by leading neoconservative writers and publications is that anyone who disagrees with neoconservative policies is an isolationist. A notable recent example of this tendency was a blog post published on Wednesday by Commentary Magazine's Executive Editor Jonathan Tobin regarding the emerging contours of Texas Governor Rick Perry's foreign policy views.

After listing various former Bush administration officials who are advising Perry on foreign affairs, Tobin concluded, "Perry might have more in common with the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party than the isolationists."

While this is may be true, it is certainly true that the neoconservatives and the isolationists are not the only foreign policy wings in the Republican Party. Indeed, most Republicans are neither isolationists nor neoconservatives.

Isolationism broadly speaking is the notion that the US is better off withdrawing to fortress America and leaving the rest of the world's nations to fight it out among themselves. The isolationist impulse in the US is what caused the US to enter both world wars years after they began. It is what has propelled much of the anti-war sentiment on the far Left and the far Right alike since Sept.11. The far Left argues the US should withdraw from world leadership because the US is evil. And the far Right argues that the US should withdraw from world leadership because the world is evil.

Neoconservatism broadly speaking involves the adoption of a muscular US foreign policy in order to advance the cause of democracy and freedom worldwide. Wilsonian in its view of the universal nature of the human impulse to freedom, neoconservatives in recent years have wholeheartedly embraced the notion that if given a chance to make their sentiments known, most people will choose liberal democracy over any other form of government.

Former President George W. Bush is widely viewed as the first neoconservative president, due to his wholehearted embrace of this core concept of neoconservativism in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. Aside from their belief that if given the choice people will choose to be free, neoconservatives argue the more democratic governments there are, the safer the world will be and the safer the US will be. Therefore, broadly speaking, neoconservatives argue that the US should always side with populist forces against dictatorships.

While these ideas may be correct in theory, in practice the consequence of Bush's adoption of the neoconservative worldview was the empowerment of populist and popular jihadists and Iranian allies throughout the Middle East at the expense of US allies. Hamas won the Palestinian Authority elections in 2006. Its electoral victory paved the way for its military takeover of Gaza in 2007.

Hezbollah's participation in Lebanon's 2005 elections enabled the Iranian proxy army to hijack the Lebanese government in 2006, and violently takeover the Lebanese government in 2009.

The Muslim Brotherhood's successful parliamentary run in Egypt in 2005 strengthened the radical, anti-American, jihadist group and weakened Mubarak.

And the election of Iranian-influenced Iraqi political leaders in Iraq in 2005 exacerbated the trend of Iranian predominance in post-Saddam Iraq. It also served to instigate a gradual estrangement of Saudi Arabia from the US.

THE NEOCONSERVATIVE preference for populist forces over authoritarian ones propelled leading neoconservative thinkers and former Bush administration officials to enthusiastically support the anti-Mubarak protesters in Tahrir Square in Cairo in January. And their criticism of Obama for not immediately joining the protesters and calling for Mubarak's removal from power was instrumental in convincing Obama to abandon Mubarak.

Between those who predicted a flowering liberal democracy in a post-Mubarak Egypt and those who predicted the empowerment of radical, Muslim Brotherhood aligned forces in a post-Mubarak Egypt, it is clear today that the latter were correct. Moreover, we see that the US's abandonment of its closest ally in the Arab world has all but destroyed the US's reputation as a credible, trustworthy ally throughout the region. In the wake of Mubarak's ouster, the Saudis have effectively ended their strategic alliance with the US and are seeking to replace the US with China, Russia and India.

In a similar fashion, the neoconservatives were quick to support Obama's decision to use military force to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi from power in March. The fact that unlike Syria's Bashar Assad and Iran's ayatollahs, Gaddafi gave up his nuclear proliferation program in 2004 was of no importance. The fact that from the outset there was evidence that al-Qaeda terrorists are members of the US-supported Libyan opposition, similarly made little impact on the neoconservatives who supported Obama's decision to set conditions that would enable "democracy" to take root in Libya. The fact that the US has no clear national interest at stake in Libya was brushed aside. The fact that Obama lacked Congressional sanction for committing US troops to battle was also largely ignored.

Neoconservative writers have castigated opponents of US military involvement in Libya as isolationists. In so doing, they placed Republican politicians like presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin in the same pile as presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan.

The very notion that robust internationalists like Bachmann and Palin could be thrown in with ardent isolationists like Paul and Buchanan is appalling. But it is of a piece with the prevailing, false notion being argued by dominant voices in neoconservative circles that, "You're either with us or you're with the Buchanaites."

In truth, the dominant foreign policy in the Republican Party, and to a degree, in American society as a whole is neither neoconservativism nor isolationism. For lack of a better name, it is what historian Walter Russell Mead has referred to as Jacksonianism, after Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the US. As Mead noted in a 1999 article in the National Interest entitled, "The Jacksonian Tradition," the most popular and enduring US model for foreign policy is far more flexible than either the isolationist or the neoconservative model.

According to Mead, the Jacksonian foreign policy model involves a few basic ideas. The US is different from the rest of the world and therefore the US should not try to remake the world in its own image by claiming that everyone is basically the same. The US must ensure its honor abroad by abiding by its commitments and standing with its allies. The US must take action to defend its interests. The US must fight to win or not fight at all. The US should only respect those foes that fight by the same rules as the US does.

THE US PRESIDENT that hewed closest to these basic guidelines in recent times was former president Ronald Reagan. Popular perception that Reagan was acting in accordance with Jacksonian foreign policy principles is what kept the public support for Reagan high even as the liberal media depicted his foreign policy as simplistic and dangerous.

For instance, Reagan fought Soviet influence in Central America everywhere he could and with whomever he could find. Regan exploited every opportunity to weaken the Soviet Union in Europe. He worked with the Vatican in Poland. He deployed Pershing short-range nuclear warheads in Western Europe. He called the Soviet Union an evil empire. He began developing the Strategic Defense Initiative. And he walked away from an arms control agreement when he decided it was a bad deal for the US.

Throughout his presidency, Reagan never shied away from trumpeting American values. To the contrary, he did so regularly. However, unlike the neoconservatives, Reagan recognized that advancing those values themselves could not replace the entirety of US foreign policy. Indeed, he realized that the very notion that values trumped all represented a fundamental misunderstanding of US interests and the nature and limits of US power.

If a Jacksonian president were in charge of US foreign policy, he or she would understand that supporting elections that are likely to bring a terror group like Hamas or Hezbollah into power is not an American interest.

He or she would understand that toppling a pro-American dictator like Mubarak in favor of a mob is not sound policy if the move is likely to bring an anti-American authoritarian successor regime to power.

A Jacksonian president would understand that using US power to overthrow a largely neutered US foe like Gaddafi in favor of a suspect opposition movement is not a judicious use of US power. Indeed, a Jacksonian president would recognize that it would be far better to expend the US's power to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad -- an open and active foe of the US and so influence the identity of a post-Assad government.

For all the deficiencies of the neoconservative worldview, at least the neoconservatives act out of a deep-seated belief that the US as a force for good in the world and out of concern for maintaining America's role as the leader of the free world. In stark contrast, Obama's foreign policy is based on a fundamental anti-American view of the US and a desire to end the US's role as the leading world power. And the impact of Obama's foreign policy on US and global security has been devastating.

From Europe to Asia to Russia to Latin America to the Middle East and Africa, Obama has weakened the US and turned on its allies. He has purposely strengthened US adversaries worldwide as part of an overall strategy of divesting an unworthy America from its role as world leader. He has empowered the anti-American UN to replace the US as the arbiter of US foreign policy. And so, absent the American sheriff, US adversaries from the Taliban to Vladimir Putin to Hugo Chavez to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are empowered to attack America and its allies.

In the coming months, Republican primary voters will choose their party's candidate to challenge Obama in next year's presidential elections. With all the failings of the neoconservative foreign policy model, it is clear that Obama's foreign policy has been far more devastating for US and global security.

Still, it would be a real tragedy if at the end of the primary season, due to neoconservative intellectual bullying the Republican presidential nominee was forced to choose between neoconservativism and isolationism. A rich, successful and popular American foreign policy tradition of Jacksonianism awaits the right candidate.

Caroline Glick

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.


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

It's Ramadan in Europe

by Soeren Kern

Muslims across Europe are marking the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which falls in August this year. The religious celebrations – during which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk – are being promoted by normally secular European multiculturalists who have drawn up guidelines, issued instructions and carved out special privileges to ensure that Muslims are not offended by non-Muslims during the festival.

These are, of course, the same multiculturalists who stood by and watched while Europe's Christmas and New Year holidays in 2010 were overshadowed by widespread Islam-related controversies in nearly every European country including Britain, where a Muslim group launched a nationwide poster campaign denouncing Christmas as evil.

In Britain, Ramadan was ushered in by the London-based Islamist Abu Waleed who said: "We will make [British Prime Minister] David Cameron get on his hands and knees and pay us the Jizya Tax [a tax imposed on non-Muslims, orDhimmis, who live under Muslim rule]; Queen Elizabeth and the 'whore' Kate Middleton will wear the niqab [a Muslim veil that covers the face]."

Also in Britain, the 2012 London Olympics have been plunged into controversy by the discovery that the Games will clash with Ramadan. The clash will put Muslim athletes at a disadvantage as they will be expected to fast from sunrise to sunset for the entire duration of the Games. In 2012, Ramadan will take place from July 21 to August 20, while the Olympics run from July 27 to August 12. About 3,000 Muslim competitors are expected to be affected. Massoud Shadjareh, chairman of the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission, said: "They would not have organized this at Christmas. It is equally stupid to organize it at Ramadan. It shows a complete lack of awareness and sensitivity."

Prison guards at the HMP Leeds high security prison have been advised to take extra care to avoid offering Muslims ham sandwiches during Ramadan. More than 200 Muslim inmates recently launched a multi-million pound claim for compensation after being offered ham sandwiches during a previous Ramadan.

Meanwhile, the British Foreign Office warned its citizens that chewing gum in Islamic countries during Ramadan may offend Muslims and the British Home Office warned its staff not to eat in front of their fasting Muslim colleagues during August.

France ushered in Ramadan by inaugurating two new mosques, one in Strasbourg where the Muslim population has reached 15%, and another in Villeneuve d'Ascq near the northern city of Lille. According to the Muslim Council of France (CFCM), 150 new mosques are currently being built in towns and cities across the country.

In Norway, the Oslo-based Imam Syed Farasat Ali Bukhari told the Norwegian state television channel NRK that any Muslim not fasting during Ramadan should be beheaded. He made the comments shortly after asking the government for permission to open a private Islamic school for 200 pupils in the Ammerud neighbourhood of Oslo. The government subsequently denied his request.

In Spain, where an estimated 95 percent of the country's 1.5 million Muslims are observing Ramadan this year, hundreds of municipal and provincial governments have issued special instructions to help non-Muslims avoid offending Muslims during Ramadan.

Ignoring the advice, a municipal councillor in the Barcelona suburb of Sant Adrià del Besós was attacked by a Muslim mob on August 7 while trying to photograph an illegal mosque in the town.

Meanwhile, a court in Tarragona on August 2 absolved a local imam who had been sentenced to one year in prison for forcing a 31-year-old Moroccan woman to wear a hijab head covering. The imam had threatened to burn down the woman's house for being an "infidel" because she works outside of the home, drives an automobile and has non-Muslim friends. But the Socialist mayor applied political pressure to get the ruling overturned to prevent "a social conflict."

Also, the Taliban issued a statement saying: "Most Islamic battles, like the conquest of Spain, were fought during Ramadan. So, we can conclude that the month of Ramadan has an astonishing place in the history of Islamic jihad."

In Paris, Interior Minister Claude Guéant ushered in Ramadan by telling Muslims who have been praying in the streets of a Paris neighborhood that they should utilize a disused barracks instead. "Praying in the street is something that is not acceptable," Guéant said, insisting that it is contrary to the French state's secular principles; "It has to stop."

Also in France, the Roman Catholic newspaper La Croix published an Ifop poll showing that the number of Muslims observing Ramadan in France has increased to more than 70 percent.

In Germany, the Central Council of Muslims said Islamic professional football players were not obliged to fast during Ramadan, ahead of the regular season that resumed on August 5. "The professional player can make up the fasting days during periods when there is no match and in that way show his respect for God and the holy month of Ramadan," council president Aiman Mazyek said in a statement.

A dispute over the issue in Germany began when the second-division team FSV Frankfurt gave three Muslim players an official warning in October 2009 for fasting during Ramadan and failing to inform their managers. After much debate, Islamic scholars at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo concluded that an exception to the strict Ramadan fasting rules could be made for professional players so their performance would not be compromised.

Also in Germany, the television channel RTL2 launched a special service for Muslim viewers during Ramadan, letting them know when to begin and end the daily fast. "You can theorize all you like about integration, but we wanted to send a clear signal," said Carsten Molings, chief of marketing at the channel.

In Berlin, Özcan Mutlu, a Turkish member of the Berlin House of Representatives, was charged with assault after allegedly starting a fight after a Turkish sausage seller insulted him for ordering a currywurst during Ramadan.

In Holland, a dentist in The Hague announced he would be opening his clinic in the evenings and nights during Ramadan because Muslim clients "cannot swallow their own saliva from sunrise to sunset." Muslims are not allowed to drink water during the day during Ramadan.

Also in Holland, the Agis health insurance company and the Mediq pharmacy chain are offering special "Ramadanchecks" that offer advice on how to take medicines during the fast month.

In Italy, a parliamentary commission on August 2 approved a draft law banning women from wearing veils that cover their faces in public. The draft would prohibit women from going in public wearing a burqa, niqab or any other garment that covers the face. Women who violate the ban would face fines, while third parties who forced women to cover their faces in public would be fined and face up to 12 months in jail.

Also in Italy, the northern town of Cittadella passed a ban on the sale of "foul-smelling" foreign foods, especially kebabs. Kebabs – a skewered meat dish often served wrapped in bread – originate in the Middle East but have in recent years become increasingly popular in Italy and can be found in cities across Europe. Angry Muslim immigrants say that "to ban kebabs in Cittadella is like forbidding pizza in Paris or New York."

In Sweden, the Social Democrats have called for turning Ramadan into an official Swedish holiday. "Almost all of our public holidays, except for Midsummer and May 1st, have a Christian religious connection. Sweden is today a multicultural society, and it is worth looking at how it can be done," Social Democrat Party secretary Carin Jämtin told the centrist Svenska Dagbladet daily newspaper.

In the meantime, the estimated 500,000 Muslims in Sweden are struggling to address a unique problem as this year Ramadan falls during the long days of summer. For example, in Umeå in northern Sweden, dawn broke at 3.47am on August 1 and the sun set at 9.41pm, requiring an almost 18 hour fast, compared to only 13 hours in Mecca.

Soeren Kern


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

Are Palestinians Preparing For Another Intifada?

by Khaled Abu Toameh

It is still not clear if the Palestinian Authority leadership will proceed with its plan to ask the UN in September to recognize a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines.

But what is clear is that the Palestinian Authority leaders have recently been talking about the need to escalate "popular protests" against Israel.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who says he is opposed to an armed struggle mainly because it would be counterproductive and inefficient, has repeatedly voiced his full support for a "popular intifada" in the West Bank.

Abbas would like to see more Palestinians joining weekly demonstrations against settlements and the security barrier. He and other Palestinians have expressed disappointment over the fact that the number of foreigners and Israeli Jews participating in the protests is higher than the number of Palestinians.

Palestinian Authority representatives would like to see the Palestinian masses march on Israeli military checkpoints and settlements after September, regardless of whether the statehood bid at the UN succeeds or not.

If the UN does vote in favor of the Palestinian state, the Palestinian Authority is hoping that tens of thousands of Palestinians would take to the streets to "celebrate" independence and demand a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines in compliance with the new resolution.

And if the statehood bid fails for any reason, including a possible US veto, the Palestinian Authority still wants Palestinians to take to the streets to protest against the Americans and Israel.

Under both scenarios, clashes will erupt between Palestinians and the Israel Defense Force at checkpoints and entrances to settlements.

The "popular intifada" that the Palestinian Authority is seeking would then quickly deteriorate into an all-out confrontation similar to the one that erupted in September 2000.

A popular uprising means that Palestinians would also be throwing stones and firebombs at soldiers and settlers. It means that Palestinians could get killed if the lives of soldiers or settlers are in danger.

The road from there to the resumption of Palestinian terror attacks is very short. Fatah still has many militiamen who are ready to open fire "to defend Palestinians against Israeli aggression." The Palestinian security forces could also join the fight against Israel once things get out of control.

Then there is Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which is saying that only the armed struggle, and not the UN, will bring the Palestinians a state. Hamas has even mocked at the Palestinian Authority's talk about a peaceful and unarmed intifada against Israel.

In any case, both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas will blame Israel and the US for the next cycle of violence, as they have always done in the past. Israel will be blamed for refusing to accept all Palestinian demands, especially the territorial ones. The US, on the other hand, will be blamed for siding with Israel and thwarting Palestinian efforts to achieve a state.

The only way to avoid such grim scenarios is by making clear to the Palestinian Authority that its statehood bid, which does not even seem to enjoy the support of many Palestinians for various reasons, could plunge the region into a new round of violence and bloodshed. The Palestinian Authority needs to understand that it is taking a big gamble by embarking on this adventure.

A new intifada will not only harm Israel, but also the Palestinian Authority and its leaders. The second intifada, which erupted in 2000, undermined the Palestinian Authority and resulted in the destruction of most of its institutions and security forces. The Palestinian Authority could now be digging its own grave by encouraging Palestinians to launch a new intifada.

Khaled Abu Toameh


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The End of Israel?

by Giulio Meotti

How can a tiny nation, hated wherever it resides, possibly survive? This has been the paramount question governing Jewish life for two millennia.

During Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, the country lost more than 6,000 of her finest soldiers, which was 1 percent of her total population, the equivalent of 3 million losses pro-rated for America’s population. A devastating start on the road of independence.

So when one recalls the reality that faced Israel in 1948 and where the country is today, it is nothing short of a miracle. Every other people so conquered and exiled has in time disappeared. Only the Jews defied the norm. Twice.

But, I fear, never again. That’s why Israel’s worst-case scenarios matter today, even if the peaceniks continue to protest against occupying anybody except the cafes in Tel Aviv.

Maybe imagining nightmarish scenarios is only the fantasy of some pessimist writers. Maybe Israel will live through a very quiet period ahead and the worst-case predictions will never materialize.

But Israel’s enemies are working for a future that is clear to them: a world without Zionism, a world without Israel.

Why is it not alarming when Haifa, the third-largest Israeli city, is building “the largest underground hospital in the world” to be used in case of war? Is it immoral to be on alert for a possible disaster when the Jewish State is distributing new gas masks or when the Habima Theater in Tel Aviv installs numerous underground shelters? Even the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, is building a labyrinth of tunnels and rooms from where the Jewish leadership would guide the country in case of attacks.

Israel remains the only “bunkered” democracy in the world, a country where its military Research and Development Directorate calculated the effects of an Iranian nuclear bomb on Tel Aviv: “A blast radius of about 500 meters and 20,000 people killed,” they said.

According to a Yedioth Ahronoth poll published in 2007, 47 percent of Israelis said they were concerned that in 2048 – the centenary of Israel’s founding – there will be no Israel. Now the deadline is September 2011.

What will happen after the Palestinians will have sought the unilateral declaration at the United Nations?

Pinhas Inbar, one of the leading experts of the Middle East, in a dossier for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, explained that the Arabs could launch a “Third Intifada.” Other experts suggest that the Palestinians have no material interest in resuming the Jihadist struggle.

The Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, just declared that the Palestinians are planning “violence and bloodshed such as we have never seen.”

If the Palestinians get a vote for independence, the day after the UN resolution, the Arab security forces could violently lay claim to the land now in Jewish hands. If instead the UN enterprise is a setback, terrorist groups could revive terrorism on a large scale.

The Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, says that the army is not ready for “a mass invasion of the borders,” after Marwan Barghouti, a terrorist leader of the Fatah movement, sponsored an appeal for “popular marches” against the Jews. The army is building a northern barrier against Syrian and Lebanese infiltrations.

The Jerusalem police just held the largest joint drill since 2005, when Israel dismantled the Gush Katif. Attacks are expected against Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. Violent episodes could take place against the military checkpoints and the security barrier.

There is a dossier about “popular terrorism” with road blocks and fire. The Arab community in Galilee could join the violence under the incitement of some violent Arab MKs that are asking to change the name of Israel in “Falastin” and to remove the portrait of Theodor Herzl from the Knesset.

The Islamic Jihad could launch Grad rockets on the Israeli southern cities like Ashkelon, Sderot and Beersheba. Thousands of Jews will have to flee to shelters. An al-Qaeda squad could bomb the Eilat airport with rockets launched from Jordan. Attacks could be planned against Jews at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.

The Arab League could request the UN Security Council to order a no-fly zone above Gaza. Syrians, Lebaneses, Egyptians, Gazans and Jordanians could flood Israel with hundreds of thousands of people.

At the opening of the Durban III conference in New York, the assembly led by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could condemn the “Israeli apartheid regime” and the Organization for the Islamic Conference could accuse Israel of destroying the Al Aqsa Mosque. Violent demonstrations could shake up the Islamic world, while appeasing religious leaders in the West would call for “respect for Islamic and Christian Holy Places.”

Rachel’s tomb in Bethlehem would again become the scene shootings and terrorism. Israeli leftist figures could advance the demand to de-Judaize the flag (with its Star of David) and the national anthem Ha-Tikvah, and drain school curricula, the army, and the constitution of their distinctive Jewish national character.

Turkey could break off its ties with Israel, and Israel would have to mobilize the army to face a new Egyptian threat. Jewish areas in eastern Jerusalem could be subjected to Arab sniper fire. The town of Maale Adumim could be besieged and its inhabitants slaughtered on the road. The Hebron Jews could be the victims of a new Jihadist pogrom like in 1929. Hamas and Hizbullah could shower a hail of rockets on Israel, reaching the skyscrapers of Tel Aviv.

Were Katyusha rockets to start falling on runways at Ben-Gurion Airport or on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway, Israel’s economy would simply cease to exist.

Thousands of Israelis could flee from Jerusalem. Israeli Arabs could gather in Nazareth to denounce the “apartheid” they are subjected to in Israel itself. Arab-populated areas of the Galilee, Akko, Jaffa and North Negev could go on general strike and commence violent protests.

The suicide bombers could blow up again in the restaurants, shopping malls, cafes and bus stops. The Western media would demonize the Israelis by new blood libels. Attacks could increase throughout Europe against Jewish schools and institutions.

The Iranian ayatollahs could announce that they have set up a nuclear battery to protect the “Muslim brothers.” The mullahs in Qom could convene in a secret meeting, under a portrait of Ayatollah Khomeini, to give President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the go-ahead. From Tehran to Tel Aviv, an Iranian Shihab-3 rocket would take 12 minutes to hit the Jews.

In the mindset of the Islamic multitudes and Western appeasers, the goal is clear: they want an Israel that packs up and goes away. They dream about millions of Israelis with their suitcases in a long march that lead them to ships and aircraft. Destination: diaspora.

The Jewish houses left with everything in them, the Israeli postal offices empty, Yad Vashem closed, the Wailing Wall destroyed, the registry archives in Cesarea and Beth Shean vandalized, the Jewish bookshops toppled, the Knesset used by alley cats and the electric cars abandoned along the way like a huge flock of dead birds.

Call it the evaporation of the the State of Israel. The Jews would return to their homeless status in Russia, France, America, Poland. In Warsaw they might rebuild the ghetto. From Baghdad to Haifa, tens of thousands of miles covered only by the voice of Al Jazeera.

Can it happen? God forbid not. But if we peer into our hearts, can we really be completely sure that Israel will see its centennial in 2048?

Giulio Meotti


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Sharia Enclaves in the West

by Ryan Mauro

Islamist organizations are hard at work creating Muslim enclaves in the West, including right here in the United States. These efforts are designed to create Islamic autonomous areas, often with the expressed desire of incrementally bringing the host country completely under Sharia-based governance. This campaign has not stopped or even slowed down since FrontPage Magazine and the Middle East Forum shined the light on it one year ago.

One group leading the effort to establish Islamist communities within the U.S. is As-Sabiqun, led by an extremist cleric named Imam Abdul Alim Musa. His list of heroes reads like a who’s-who of the jihadist world, from Hasan al-Banna to Sayyid Qutb to Ayatollah Khomeini. He recently heaped praise upon Iranian President Ahmadinejad. In June 2002, he expressed support for suicide bombings in Israel. He preaches that the 9/11 attacks were a CIA/Mossad operation, says he “like[s]” Osama Bin Laden, supports Hezbollah, and describes Hamas as being “very nice people.” The As-Sabiqun Web site has a plan to create Sharia enclaves in the U.S. in stages, beginning with moving Muslims to one area and setting up independent social services.

As-Sabiqun is now fundraising for two new initiatives: The “Islamic Institute of Counter Zionist American Psychological Warfare” and the “College in Islamic Movement Studies.” The appeal for support explains, “We are an anti-Zionist American psycho-guerrilla warfare movement.” It expresses the group’s hatred for the U.S. government, saying the institutions will “use all available tools in our environment in exposing the anti-Islamic, anti-human policies of this Zionist American system.” As-Sabiqun’s explicit goal is bringing the U.S. under Sharia law.

A music producer named Kenny Gamble, who now goes by the name of Luqman Abdul Haqq, is a major player in the enclave movement. He has been accused of trying to set up a “black Muslim enclave” in Philadelphia, and has a leadership position with the Muslim Alliance in North America. Significantly, Imam Musa also once held a position with the organization, but his name no longer appears on the Web site. Joe Kaufman, chairman of Americans Against Hate, discovered that Gamble has some very frightening affiliations.

Gamble owns a mosque in Philadelphia that opened in 1994. It was the first mosque belonging to an organization called the United Muslim Movement. Gamble is also behind a group called the Jawala Scouts, which was registered in 2005 under an address matching that of the United Muslim Movement. The scouts teach Muslim boys as young as 7 years old how to use firearms and various combat and survival skills, while dressed in military attire. The scouts initiative was launched by the Sankore Institute of Islamic-African Studies International. It was founded in Sudan and had its offices raided in 2006 by the FBI as part of a terrorism investigation. The organization has many former felons as members, and its Web site shows members with swords and guns. Its anti-American director condemns “pacifist ‘imams’ who deny the obligation of jihad [holy war] and who have deluded their followers into the fruitless activity of supporting democratic constitutional government.”

Outrageously, Gamble is receiving taxpayer money. In September 2010, his organization, Universal Community Homes, won a $500,000 grant from the Department of Education. The grant was awarded to candidates who “create plans to provide cradle-to-career services that improve the educational achievement and healthy development of children.”

The most successful organization in the enclave movement within the U.S. is Muslims of the Americas. The group boasts of having 22 “villages” around the country, with some being dozens of acres large. The Christian Action Network released a documentary in 2009 about the group, and has videotaped proof that guerrilla warfare training has taken place at its “Islamberg” headquarters. The group is trying to rebrand itself through its front, the United Muslim Christian Forum. I attended its latest event in April, as detailed in FrontPage. The group continues to be whitewashed by local newspapers, and is vigorously warning about the Satanic “jinn beings” possessing people through movies like Avatar, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and The Exorcist. It is still promoting theories about Zionist involvement in 9/11, and salutes Ahmadinejad for his suggestions that elements of the U.S. government were involved., and even compared the Iranian president to the Mahdi.

The enclave effort isn’t limited to the U.S. A declassified intelligence report by Canada’s Integrated Threat Assessment Centre warns of non-violent Islamists trying to build a “parallel society” within the country. It specifically names the Muslim Brotherhood and Hizb ut-Tahrir as groups trying to make “mini-societies,” though Muslims of the Americas operates in Canada also. “Isolationism can lead to conditions where extreme messages can incubate and eventually become the catalyst for violence. At a minimum, isolationism undermines a multicultural and democratic system,” it states.

Spain’s National Intelligence Center reports that tens of millions of dollars are flowing into the country from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Morocco and Libya. “The financing is having negative consequences for [multicultural] coexistence in Spain, such as the emergence of parallel societies and ghettos, Islamic courts and police that operate outside of Spanish jurisprudence, removing girls from schools, forced marriages, etc.,” it says. There are at least 100 mosques in Spain with radical imams, some of whom use religious police to enforce Sharia.

Most recently, the Muslims Against the Crusades group in the United Kingdom received attention for starting the “Islamic Emirates Project.” It seeks to transform 12 British towns into independent Sharia enclaves. Yellow posters stating, “You are entering a Sharia-controlled zone—Islamic rules enforced” are now going up in these areas. Between 10 and 50,000 stickers have been printed announcing the unilateral declarations.

The lack of assimilation by Muslim immigrant communities in Europe is leading to the unplanned creation of ghettos that can become enclaves. In the U.K., the government has listed certain “ethnic minority areas” where soldiers are asked not to wear their uniforms in public. In France, there are 751 “sensitive urban zones,” aptly dubbed “No Go Zones” by Dr. Daniel Pipes. In Greece and France, Muslim areas have erupted with large-scale riots over perceived transgressions by law enforcement. In Sweden, the city of Rinkeby, nicknamed “Little Mogadishu,” experienced massive riots for two days in June 2010. The Muslim immigrant population is quickly growing in Malmo, resulting in intimidation of the Jewish community and areas that emergency service personnel refuse to enter without police escort.

Enclaves where Islamism breeds and parallels society are being built right under the West’s nose. And meanwhile, those trying to warn about this trend are insulted as paranoid Islamophobes.

Ryan Mauro


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Belgian Burqa Ban Takes Effect — Who's Next?

by David J. Rusin

Opponents of the burqa and niqab had reason to celebrate on July 23 as Belgium became the second Western country to enforce a nationwide prohibition on face-covering attire in public. The Chamber of Deputies, Belgium's lower house, overwhelmingly backed the legislation on April 28, with the Senate offering no objections during its subsequent review period. The penal code spells out the parameters (translated by Google, with some manual cleaning):

Shall be punished by a fine of €15 to €25 and imprisonment for one to seven days, or one of these penalties, those who, except for contrary legal provisions, appear in places accessible to the public with their faces masked or concealed in whole or in part, such as not to be recognizable.

Exceptions can be made for certain types of work and festivals. Fines are automatically multiplied by a factor of 5.5, bringing the maximum assessment to €137.50 (around $200).

Belgium follows France, the first Western nation to banish face coverings from its streets. Like the French law that took effect on April 11, Belgium's is broad in nature, applying to virtually all public spaces and making no specific mention of burqas or niqabs, despite having been inspired by their proliferation. Unlike the French law, Belgium's includes jail time among the penalties for wearers and introduces no new punishments for strong-arming others to conceal themselves.

One country with such a ban could be written off as an anomaly, but the rapid emergence of a second indicates a developing pattern. Which will be the next domino to fall? Two governments in particular seem poised to enact nationwide restrictions:

  • Italy. On August 2, a parliamentary commission approved a draft law that forbids public face covering. The bill, which also features huge fines and up to a year behind bars for those convicted of bullying others into hiding their faces, is set to be considered by the full legislature as early as September.

  • The Netherlands. Having previously promised to ban the burqa in return for critical support from Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party, the governing coalition reiterated this pledge in June when it announced sweeping plans to jettison failed multicultural policies.

Finally, an important lesson is conveyed by the Belgian law going into effect just hours after anti-Islamic terrorist Anders Behring Breivik murdered dozens of Norwegians on July 22. In his manifesto, Breivik rejects "illusions of democratic change" and argues that only revolutionary violence can thwart the Islamization of the West. He is wrong — and the steady legislative march to proscribe criminal-enabling and female-subjugating Islamist attire proves it.

A democratic defense of Western societies is far from impossible; the only question is one of resolve. But if sufficient willpower can be mustered in response to the burqa and niqab, it can be mustered in response to other Islamist encroachments as well.

David J. Rusin


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Spring Comes, but not for Iraq's Kurds

by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Amid widespread protests during this so-called "Arab Spring," one place that has received relatively little media coverage is Iraqi Kurdistan. How does the response of the Kurdish authorities to discontent there, a region long held up by foreign observers as a freer political exception in Iraq, compare with that of other governments in the Middle East?

The grievances of the protesters, who first came out in mid-February to hold rallies in the autonomous region's economic hub of Sulaimaniyah, are varied, but in many ways they are similar to those of activists still taking part in gatherings in Baghdad's Tahrir Square. There have been complaints of corruption, unemployment, poor public services (despite the generally higher living standard compared to the rest of Iraq), and the monopolization of power by the ruling coalition of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. These two parties have dominated the Kurdistan Regional Government since Iraqi Kurdistan gained autonomy after the Gulf war of 1991.

When protests began in Saray Square in Sulaimaniyah, the Kurdish security forces opened fire to disperse the crowds, leading to the death of a 15-year old boy and leaving 50 injured. This confrontation intensified the anger of the protesters, who demanded an apology from the KRG for allowing the firing on demonstrators.

At the same time, supporters of the KRG president, Massoud Barzani, attacked offices of the main opposition bloc, Goran (the Change List), in Irbil, the regional capital, as well as in Dohuk and other towns. The wave of protests spread to these towns toward the end of that month. Goran's KNN television station was banned from broadcasting.

By mid-March, the ruling coalition began to feel pressure from the increasing restlessness of the protesters. Amid calls by the opposition for early elections and a boycott of the KRG, the coalition publicly promised reform and a desire to listen to the protest movement's grievances. Barzani affirmed that he would issue a seven-point reform program and promised early elections and legal action against members of the security forces who had shot at protesters.

However, one month later, the KRG authorities had grown tired of the ongoing protests. They ordered the security forces, anti-riot police, and Peshmerga militiamen to enter Saray Square and clear out the demonstrators, some of whom had spent 60 days at the site. The Governorate of Sulaimaniyah prohibited "unlicensed demonstrations" and the KRG cut the budgets of all opposition parties, accusing the opposition, on the basis of flimsy evidence, of conspiring with Iran's Revolutionary Guards to incite the protests.

Thus, by the beginning of May, the protests were finished, stamped out by authoritarian measures not so very unlike those of other governments in the Middle East and North Africa. Some observers who had upheld Iraqi Kurdistan as a model for a more liberal-democratic government in Iraq expressed to me their disappointment over how the KRG had failed to live up to the consensus image of Iraqi Kurdistan as a "different" sort of Iraq. They hoped that the behavior of the KRG was only an aberration.

Sadly, the evidence suggests otherwise. The proposed reforms by the KRG have not actually been implemented, and in May the opposition parties were reduced to holding meaningless power-sharing talks with the KRG. After four rounds of dialogue, and despite a recent speech by the French Consul in Irbil that highlighted the need for radical reform in the governing system, negotiations have now broken down because of the obstinacy of the KDP and the PUK. In the absence of outside pressure, the Kurdish authorities have felt no need to undertake reform beyond minor shifts and rotations in administrative positions.

In addition, over the past month, human rights groups such as Amnesty International have raised concerns over attacks against lawyers who have campaigned on behalf of those protesters who were killed or injured in the unrest. In a similar vein, Reporters Without Borders has documented incidents of attacks by police officers and members of the security forces against journalists and cameramen who attempted to cover efforts to revive the protests in Sulaimaniyah.

These efforts began on July 14 when a Facebook group called for a fresh round of demonstrations beginning the following day. But the planned gatherings were pre-emptively suppressed. As Joel Wing of the blog Musings on Iraq notes, the security forces were deployed at checkpoints all around Sulaimaniyah, with a particular focus on Saray Square. Ten activists were arrested before protests could commence.

Ultimately, moving Iraqi Kurdistan in a more liberal and democratic direction depends on the willpower of the KRG ruling coalition to listen to the legitimate complaints and demands of the wider Kurdish population and opposition. However, more attention is desperately needed from both international media and foreign governments to push the Kurdish leadership to embrace reform.

After all, the portrayal of Iraqi Kurdistan as the "other Iraq" has largely been cultivated by prominent outlets such as The New York Times and the BBC; and yet both have given the KRG a free pass during the current political and civil turmoil. Likewise, Western governments in particular need to look at developments inside Iraqi Kurdistan, and look beyond their economic and strategic interests. To this end, the speech by the French consul in Irbil was a welcome, if still incomplete, start.

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is a student at Oxford University and an intern at the Middle East Forum.


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CAIR In Retreat; Turns To Iranian State Media As Last Resort

by Adam Savit

So far in 2011, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has posted 30 video clips from 24-hour news networks to its official YouTube channel. Six were from CNN and two were from Fox News Channel. The remainder must be from MSNBC, right?

Wrong. The other 22 clips were from PressTV, the state-owned 24/7 English-language propaganda network of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Possibly because of their proven ties to Hamas and unindicted co-conspirator status in the Holy Land Foundation trial, CAIR talking heads are no longer regularly featured on the "big three" 24-hour cable news networks in America. Hence twenty-two of the high-value messaging videos featuring prominent national staff that CAIR chose to put on its YouTube channel were produced in Iran, while only 8 were produced in the U.S.

PressTV is now the self-appointed propaganda arm for CAIR, a job that no one else will do. For example, "Video: Anti-Muslim Hate Promoted by Vocal Minority (CAIR)," and a recent hit piece on Pamela Geller's new book: "Video: Leading Islamophobe Publishes New Anti-Islam Book (CAIR)."

The genius of PressTV is its generic name, slick production values and the American-accented English of its hosts, which leads the casual viewer to believe they are just another American cable outlet. In fact PressTV is produced and broadcast from Tehran, with bureaus in London, Washington, Seoul, and Iranian vassal states Syria and Lebanon.

PressTV hosts/presenters include former British MP George Galloway, a close friend of Saddam Hussein in the 1990s and supporter and funder of the Hamas regime in Gaza; and Tariq Ramadan, European-Muslim "intellectual," and grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna who was denied a

U.S. visa for alleged ties to Hamas. You may remember PressTV's recent report on American Muslim "mourners [honoring] the life and legacy of the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran," Ayatollah Khomeini.

PressTV may be one of the two friendly outlets still open to CAIR leaders. Last Friday the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) reported that CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad had appeared via telephone on the Hamas-linked Palestinian network Al-Quds TV on July 23, alongside the head of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood group, the Islamic Action Front.

This lack of support in the American media reflects a lack of support by American Muslims for CAIR as shown in a recent Gallup poll "examining U.S. Muslims' political, social, and spiritual engagement 10 years after September 11," which found that only 12% of Muslim-American men and 11% of Muslim-American women felt that CAIR, the nation's highest-profile Muslim group, represented their interests.

And when the American networks come to CAIR with questions based on CAIR's past associations with terrorists, CAIR's leadership shies away. For example, this June when Fox News reported on a controversial February 5, 2002 luncheon that included top Pentagon lawyers, Jihadist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, and CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, Mr. Awad was apparently not available for comment:

Fox News sent questions to Awad through a spokesman at CAIR, including whether he had provided positive recommendations for Awlaki to either the FBI or the Defense Department immediately after 9/11.

Fox News also asked whether Awad attended a fundraiser at UC Irvine on Sept. 9, 2001, for the defense of Jamil al-Amin who was later conficted of killing a sheriff's deputy in Atlanta Georgia. Documents show Awad provided a video message for the fundraising event and al-Awlaki went to the fundraiser. On Sept. 10 of that year, al-Awlaki, who has documented ties to three of the five Sept. 11 hijackers, flew back to Washington, landing on the morning of Sept. 11.

Fox News contacted CAIR multiple times over a 10 day period and there was no response after the initial contact when a spokesman asked for questions to be submitted.

CAIR is under siege from many directions these days. This June the IRS revoked CAIR's former non-profit tax-exempt status. Perhaps a full disclosure of CAIR's financial records would expose funding from Iran and other foreign sources. But the American public may never know, because CAIR failed to file the required non-profit Form 990 tax returns for three consecutive years.

While CAIR shrinks from American media outlets, patriotic Muslim Americans are filling the gap. Former U.S. Navy medical officer Dr. Zuhdi Jasser founded the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) in the wake of the 9/11 attacks "as an effort to provide an American Muslim voice advocating for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, and the separation of mosque and state." Dr. Jasser proudly displays 30 videos from his 2011 appearances on cable news shows on his website - and all of them are from networks based in the United States.

Dr. Jasser is one of the founders of a new coalition of like-minded Muslim groups called the American Islamic Leadership Coalition. Their motto: "As American Muslim leaders, we come together to defend the US Constitution, uphold religious pluralism, protect American security and cherish genuine diversity in the practice of our faith of Islam."

Meanwhile, CAIR is in a state of siege: running away from the IRS, running away from the American media, running away from the American public, and even running away from American Muslims.

Originally published at

Adam Savit


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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Iran Will Be Stopped

by Charles Bybelezer

“Today Zionists are completely surrounded by the Mujahedin of Islam and we advise them [Zionists] to return to the countries of their origin soon to save their lives.…”

These are the words of the commander of Iran’s Basij forces, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi — he is effectively declaring war on the Jewish State.

So what do world powers and purported purveyors of peace and freedom have to say about this incitement to genocide against the Jewish people?

The US is “deeply concerned” by Israel’s decision this week to approve construction of 930 apartments in the city of Har Homa in east Jerusalem.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is “profoundly disappointed by [the] approval of a project that has triggered fierce criticism from the Palestinians,” adding that the new settlements damage the prospects for peace.

The Russian foreign ministry reiterated the country’s “position condemning Israel’s building activities on the occupied Arab territories.”

It is a mystery why UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon failed to directly weigh in on the matter, given his historical propensity to denounce Israel’s attempt to provide shelter for its citizens. (Although, a spokesman for Ki-moon did confirm the Secretary General was “deeply disappointed.”)

Perhaps Ki-moon is too busy preparing his despotic servitude for next month’s vote on Palestinian statehood.

No rational thinker could be faulted for assuming that an Iranian nuke poses a greater threat to “peace” than the construction of a few hundred houses in the Jewish people’s capital city. Yet we live in a world that defies reason and logic.

As such, no mention was made by any foreign “leader” of the protests currently taking place throughout the Jewish State over a severe shortage of available housing, a situation largely stemming from the government’s ongoing refusal to approve new housing projects following the 10-month construction moratorium implemented in Jewish “settlements” last year.

Better not to draw attention, however, to this monumental concession by Israel to the same “international community” presently attacking the Jewish State; doing so might otherwise somewhat tip the prevailing pro-Palestinian narrative in Israel’s favor, or at the very least, “excuse” Israel’s “aggression.” Nor would anyone be expected to point out that the Israeli Interior Ministry’s Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee first initiated the Har Homa project two years ago.

The silence is deafening.

And in our deafness, we fail to hear the warnings of our foes.

Iran is our enemy. Not only Israel’s enemy, but also the greater Western world’s. Yet Iran marches on, towards the bomb, virtually unabated.

But not for long…

Last month, former CIA officer Robert Baer, who spent 21 years in the Middle East, alleged that Israel will destroy Iran’s illegal nuclear facilities next month. Naer said “with near certainty that [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu is planning an attack, and in as much as [he could] guess…it’s probably going to be in September.”

Adding to the speculation is the recent introduction of a bill into the US House of Representatives that would green-light a possible Israeli bombing campaign against Iran. (The bill is expected to be passed when Congress’ next session resumes in September.) House Resolution 1553 expresses “support for the State of Israel’s right to defend Israeli sovereignty, to protect the lives and safety of the Israeli people, and to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the use of military force[.]”

Furthermore, Israel National News this week ran a story, entitled “Israel Air Force (IAF) Generals ‘Loudly’ Demanding Strike On Iran,” which quotes the German paper Der Spiegel as saying that both the Israel Defense Force and IAF are seeking clearance to initiate a bombing campaign on Iran: “The calls for bombing Iran are getting louder and louder,” according to sources in Israeli intelligence.

Yet the most significant indicator that Israel is planning to intervene militarily in Iran is Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent concession to U.S. president Barack’s demand that Israel withdraw to the “1967 borders” as a basis for future negotiations with the Palestinians. Although unjustifiable—the leader of the Jewish people does not agree to return half of the world’s Jews to “Auschwitz,” and then attempt to negotiate their salvation with sworn enemies—the only possible “rationalization” for Netanyahu’s decision is that in exchange for Israel’s “compromise,” Obama has agreed to “support” an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.

That is, Obama wins on both fronts: he continues to extract dangerous unilateral concessions from Israel, and concurrently can take a back seat while the Jewish State is alone forced to save the world from the acquisition by tyrannical mullahs of nuclear arms, and the inevitable proliferation of weapons of mass destruction that will ensue.

A true U.S. leader, General Alexander Haig, who was a supreme commander of NATO and a US secretary of state, once described Israel as “the largest US aircraft carrier, which does not require even one US soldier, cannot be sunk, is the most cost-effective and battle-tested, located in a region which is critical to vital US interests. If there would not be an Israel, the US would have to deploy real aircraft carriers, along with tens of thousands of US soldiers, which would cost tens of billions of dollars annually, dragging the US unnecessarily into local, regional and global conflicts. All of which is spared by the Jewish State.”

Accordingly, the U.S. must begin to unconditionally support Israel in the existential fight against a radical Islamic Iranian regime bent on the West’s destruction.

Israel will be on the front lines fighting this war not only for itself, but also for the United States. When Israel wins, so too will the U.S. More precisely, when Israel wins, the U.S. will not have lifted a finger.

This benefit to the U.S. is immeasurable; all Israel asks in return is to be supported.

The time is now.

Otherwise, the Iranians will be knocking on our doorstep next.

Charles Bybelezer


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Top Hamas Engineer Tells All

by Ilana Curiel

Nabbed engineer Abu Sisi provides Israel with invaluable information about Hamas' operations, newly released documents reveal; terror group's military academy operated in Gaza mosques, he says

Hamas engineer Dirar Abu Sisi, nabbed by Israeli security forces earlier this year, provided interrogators with priceless information on Hamas' modus operandi, the terror group's readiness for a clash with Israel and attempts to improve its rocket range.

According to interrogation excerpts, cleared for publication Thursday by the Beersheba District Court following Ynet's appeal, the Hamas engineer described the terror group as an orderly hierarchical organization that aims to learn from its mistakes and adapt to changing regional realities.

Hamas' Abu Sisi (Photo: Herzl Yosef)

The engineer told interrogators that following Operation Cast Lead Gaza, top Hamas terrorist Mohammed Deif and the group's military wing commander Ahmed Jabari found Hamas' operations to be lacking and decided to make Abu Sisi in charge of establishing the organization's new military academy.

"An analysis of the war with Israel was undertaken. It found that a large number of Hamas activists ran away from their positions. A failure occurred in decision-making coupled with an inability to use arms during the battle – because of fear," he said. "A program of study had to be created, in order to improve the situation."

Terror studies at mosques

The new academy was tasked with imparting combat methods and tactics to Hamas terrorists, Abu Sisi said. Hamas men were undertaking their studies at mosques, while passing their final exams in known Gaza universities or in mosques.

"The books and academic materials did not bear the Hamas name or logo," he said. Instructors include university lecturers, education ministry officials, merchants and others.

One of Abu Sisi's rocket diagrams (Photo: Ilana Curiel)

Abu Sisi is believed to be Hamas' rocket expert. He joined the terror group in 2002, despite working for the Palestinian Electric Company, which forbade its employees from joining any group.

"I assisted Hamas in developing their missile capabilities, by identifying and handing over mathematical equations that improve the metal pipe's ability to withstand pressure and heat," he said. "I was present when a missile was test-fired at the sea in Khan Younis."

The terror group was lacking materials that could improve their rocket range and later smuggled it in from Egypt through tunnels, he said.

Rocket info on the Internet

Abu Sisi's interrogation revealed that he acquired plenty of information on improving rocket range via the Internet, including the YouTube website.

"I know nothing about explosives. I only calculated the pressure and heat…I downloaded the formula from the Internet," he said, adding that he also downloaded software pertaining to the rocket's structure.

Hamas would send its activists for further instruction overseas, Abu Sisi said. Selected graduates of the academy reached military academies in foreign countries, he said, including Syria, Yemen, Sudan and Iran.

During his interrogation, Abu Sisi expressed his regret for joining Hamas.

"I greatly regret my affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas Movement, my work to develop the missile range, my part in establishing Hamas' military academy, and all the information I handed over to Hamas that can threaten the security of Israel and its citizens," he said.

"I know the missiles are lethal and take the lives of others, without distinguishing between Arabs and Jews," he said.

Abu Sisi was kidnapped in Kiev and brought to Israel in February. His indictment sheet comprises nine counts, including membership in a terror organization, murder, attempted murder and arms production.

Ilana Curiel


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Multiculturalism = Racism

by Phyllis Chesler

The civilizational war that Jean Raspail once envisioned in his brilliant, dystopian novel The Camp of the Saints is now fully underway. What Raspail once only imagined has come to pass. People of color from many formerly colonized countries have created "no go" zones all across Europe; ambulances and the police enter there at their own risk.

The "youth," the opportunistic criminal elements, the proto-jihadists (all of whom survive on the European dole), are torching cars, looting stores, battling the police.

Even as I write, black Brits are killing Muslim Brits and rioting against the police. Muslim Brits are threatening to kill whatever and whoever.

Have Europeans traditionally been racists? Yes, of course they have. Remember the Holocaust against the Jews. They learned no lessons.

More recently, did European governments allow immigrants to stay because they were willing to do work Europeans refused to do? Yes they did.

Are Europe's "multicultural" policies—which allowed immigrants, up to the third generation, not to integrate, not to westernize—also really racist policies? Yes, of course they are.

All you anti-racists: Now hear this. Multicultural relativism and multicultural policies have failed not because they are too indulgent but rather because they are essentially racist policies which have one standard for ethnic Europeans and another standard for immigrants of color.

Are there immigrant, class, faith, and color issues that need to be resolved in Europe? Absolutely—but due to the nature of jihad-via-satellite and jihad-via-internet the violent rioters in England resemble the violent rioters in Gaza or on the West Bank, or the violent rioters all across the Arab world.

The ski masks and keffiyas most resemble Arabs participants engaged in an "intifada," or uprising. It does not matter if the European participant is an African-Caribbean-Brit or a south east Asian Brit. The model of nihilistic insurrection is Arab and "Palestinian" in style.

Non-violent demonstrations (and there have been many in Europe, certainly in England), about college tuition, housing, and employment, do not look like this—although, 'tis true, many European, allegedly pacifist political demonstrations have turned ugly in jihadist-like ways.

These issues are not confined to Europe nor are they confined to European immigrants. The underlying, perhaps intractable problems are simmering and boiling in a new kind of "non-melting pot" stew in which all standards have been lowered, both by Western government employers, unions, educational institutions, and the media.

The solution? In terms of Europe and the chosen Intifada template: The same world that allowed the Arab terrorists to practice their diabolical arts mainly on Israelis and Jews have now reaped the whirlwind.

May God have mercy on us all.

Phyllis Chesler


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Hizballah, Damascus Under Siege

by IPT News

Syrians have peacefully demonstrated for change in their country for nearly five months, only to be met with a murderous wave of terror from their own government. Government forces have killed more than 2,000 demonstrators, human rights activists say. Tens of thousands more Syrians have become refugees, fleeing from President Bashar Assad's rampaging security forces.

In deference to Turkey, which wants Assad to remain in power while instituting "reforms," the Obama administration has stopped short of calling for the dictator's ouster. On Wednesday, the Treasury Department announced additional sanctions against Syria, and the White House said Syria would be "better off" without Assad.

The Syrian military responded with more military assaults, killing 35 people.

Whether Assad continues to use brutal force to cling to power or is toppled, what happens in Syria could send neighboring Lebanon toward its most tumultuous period since its bloody Civil War ended in 1990. The loss of a reliable ally in Damascus - coming as Hizballah tries to fend off a United Nations tribunal implicating its members in the 2005 car-bombing assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri - could prompt the Shiite terrorist group and its Iranian patrons to provoke a new war between Lebanon and Israel, analysts say.

Hizballah has been trying to discredit the United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon. On July 29, the tribunal, located in The Hague, Netherlands, announced the names of four Hizballah operatives it indicted in connection with Hariri's assassination.

Sources close to the tribunal have said the working assumption for its investigation is that the order for the killing came from the Syrian leadership (possibly in coordination with Iran) and that a unit within Hizballah may have been given a contract to kill Hariri.

Taken together, the Syrian revolution and Hariri investigation are making life uncomfortable for some of the most powerful players in the jihadist terror world today: Hizballah and its state sponsors in Tehran and Damascus.

Tony Badran, who monitors developments in Syria and Lebanon for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, believes Assad will be ousted. This development would be a "major blow" to Hizballah's ability to re-supply its forces with weapons, he said. Sending weapons through Syria is the "cheapest, most direct way" for Iran to send weapons to its terrorist proxy, and having a friendly regime in Damascus provides Hizballah with critical strategic depth.

"The balance of power in the region would change," Badran told the Investigative Project on Terrorism. With the loss of Syria - a strategic ally of the Islamic Republic for more than three decades - "Iran would no longer be seen as ascendant in the region."

Both Hizballah and Syria have worked to derail the Hariri investigation. In October, Damascus issued arrest warrants charging 33 people, many of them international and Lebanese officials, with misleading UN investigators about the case. In January, Hizballah and its allies toppled the Lebanese government headed by Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri, Rafik's son, in a dispute over government cooperation with the tribunal.

Five months later, Lebanese Prime Minister Nijab Mikati (appointed head of a caretaker government following Hariri's ouster) announced formation of a government dominated by Hizballah and its allies. Until June, the pro-Hizballah bloc held 10 of 30 Lebanese Cabinet ministries. In the new Cabinet, it holds 18, ample opportunity to influence government actions in favor of the radical group, which receives an estimated $100 million to $200 million annually from Iran.

Hizballah and its Christian allies in Gen. Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement control numerous key security-related ministries, including defense, telecommunications and interior.

The Tribunal's Challenge

Hizballah and company could "interrupt any real cooperation with the court," said Walid Phares, a Middle East scholar and advisor to members of Congress and the European Parliament. "There will be no arrests, no further information given to the tribunal."

Hizballah and its allies exercise "de facto control over Lebanon's national security apparatus," said Phares, professor of global strategies at the National Defense University. In effect, a "war room in Tehran" can decide which Lebanese military officer gets sent to Caracas and which security officer controls Beirut International Airport and who "will end up getting training in Washington and walk in the halls in the Pentagon."

For many Lebanese, the indictments confirm what they already believed: that Hizballah, along with Damascus and Tehran, is "behind the assassination of Hariri and many other Lebanese politicians," said Phares. Sa'ad Hariri has been outside Lebanon since April, reportedly fearing that Hizballah and Syria are planning to kill him.

The four accused of murdering his father include Mustafa Badreddine, a senior Hizballah commander and brother-in-law of the late Hizballah military operations chief, Imad Mugniyeh. Mugniyeh, who masterminded scores of attacks, including the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut that killed 241 American service members, is also believed to have directed Hizballah military operations during its 2006 war against Israel. Israel is widely suspected of carrying out Mugniyeh's February 2008 assassination in Damascus.

Badreddine reportedly was appointed Hizballah's military operations chief to replace Mugniyeh. He is a member of Hizballah's Shura Council, the organization's top governing body. Badreddine is said to have trained Mugniyeh in bomb building. In the early 1980s, the pair served in the "Oppressed on Earth," an Iranian-backed Shiite militia that evolved into Hizballah.

Badreddine (operating under the Christian alias of "Elias Saab") was one of the "Kuwait 17," a terrorist cell that organized a coordinated series of bomb attacks on targets including the U.S. embassy and French embassies, Kuwait's main petrochemical plant and airport, and a residential neighborhood. Six people died in the December 1983 bombings; hundreds more would have been killed if the bombs had not malfunctioned. Badreddine was convicted and sentenced to death by a Kuwaiti court for his role in the plot. During the 1980s, Mugniyeh orchestrated a series of hijackings and kidnappings in an effort to free his brother-in-law. Badreddine escaped from jail in the chaos that followed Iraq's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait and disappeared.

In a televised address last week, Hizballah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah praised Badreddine and the others charged with killing Hariri, calling them "brothers with an honorable past." They would not be extradited to the Netherlands for trial "even in 300 years," Nasrallah said, and he vowed to "cut off the hand" of anyone who tried to do so. Nasrallah denounced the tribunal as part of an "American-Israeli conspiracy" to reignite the Lebanese civil war, and claimed Israel was behind Hariri's assassination.

The threats don't appear to be having much of an effect. The international police agency Interpol is searching for the suspects. Tribunal officials have indicated that it may soon release information linking the suspects to other assassination attempts in Lebanon. Badran suspects the four are in Iran or are in hiding in Lebanon under Hizballah's protection, and says there are rumors that one individual involved in the plot may have been "liquidated" to silence him.

Difficult Choices Ahead

A critical question is whether Hizballah and/or Assad will try to divert attention from their domestic problems by going to war against Israel on issues such as the current Israel-Lebanon maritime dispute. For more than 40 years, the Assad family has used the Israeli "threat" to justify dictatorship. But today, as Bashar Assad seeks to crush pro-democracy demonstrations, the old formula isn't working very well.

On May 15, Assad tried to capitalize on hostility towards Israel by sending Palestinians to swarm the border with Israel to commemorate "Nakba" (catastrophe) Day, the date of Israel's founding. Three weeks later, he tried the same tactic again on Naksa Day - the 44th anniversary of the Six-Day War. Neither action has helped him silence the Syrians protesting against his regime.

Recent reports have indicated Hizballah has been moving equipment and weaponry from Syria into Lebanon. This could be read as preparation for war with Israel - a desperate attempt to divert attention from Assad's slaughter of his own citizens by going to war against the Zionist enemy.

But Badran said the movement of weapons may be something different: an indication that Hizballah is worried that Assad will fall, and that theorganization may lose access to storage facilities in Syria.

After plunging Lebanon into war with Israel in 2006, Hizballah substantially strengthened its military arsenal. It promises that all of Israel will be targeted in a future conflict.

Nasrallah likely understands that if he acts on his threats and provokes Israel into war as he did in 2006, he will trigger massive retaliation. But in the end, neither Hizballah nor Syria will make the decision on provoking Israel into another war. That will be decided by Iran, Badran said.

Yet given Assad's weakness, it may be too late to save him by starting a war. Doing so could result in "a badly damaged Hizballah without making any difference in Assad's fortunes," he added.

Badran is sharply critical of the Obama administration's handling of events in Syria. As Syrians have risked their lives for freedom, he wrote last month, Washington "is now helping to confer legitimacy on [Assad's] farcical 'reform 'process," consisting of a meeting with handpicked group with no influence over the Syrians protesting across the country. U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford's support for the conference "did little other than to provide US cover for this crude propaganda."

Badran added that, in June, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emphasized that Syria's neighbors are working "behind the scenes" in an effort to get Damascus to stop "engaging in horrific, revolting attacks on its own people." In practical terms, this strategy has meant that instead of recognizing the inevitable - that Assad must go - Washington has ceded the lead diplomatic role to Turkey, which is pushing Assad to institute "reforms" instead of declaring him an illegitimate leader.

U.S. policy towards Syria over the past five months has been characterized by "dithering and incoherence," Badran told the IPT. "Nobody knew where the president was on this. There's been a lot of hand-wringing."

IPT News (The Investigative Project on Terrorism)


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