Friday, September 9, 2011

At NY Times, a headline writer eager to smear Israel

by Lee Kayser

On Sept. 7, Stewart D. Nosette, a former senior government scientist with highest security clearances, pleaded guilty to espionage and accepted a 13-year prison term for trying to sell top-secret information to an FBI agent posing as an Israeli spy.

At the sentencing, the Justice Department emphasized that Nosette was not charged with spying for Israel -- in its probe, the FBI found that Nosette also showed an intent to sell classified information to another country, which so far has not been named.

In his meetings with the FBI impersonator of an Israeli agent, Nosette asked for $2 million and an Israeli passport. His motive for offering to spy thus was clearly due to greed -- not to any personal political or ideological agenda.

As a result, the Justice Department emphasized that the government did not allege that "Israel or anyone acting on its behalf committed any offense." Nosette was simply looking for a way to cash in his access to top-secret materials for a big score.

The New York Times runs the story in its Sept. 8 edition under the following headline:

"Ex-White House Scientist Pleads Guilty in Spy Case Tied to Israel" -- page A18.

Nosette's intended espionage "tied to Israel"? Where does the Times get off making such a toxic allegation? Especially since the Justice Department unambiguously stressed that the sting operation and the indictment against Nosette were not tied to Israel in any shape or form.

Headlines are supposed to reflect the actual content of articles. In this case, a headline writer brushed aside the Justice Department's declaration that there was no connection whatsoever to Israel -- duly noted by Times reporter Scott Shane -- and decided that the headline would state the very opposite. Why? Perhaps because libels against Israel seem to be de rigueur at the Times anyway -- as attested again in this instance when a libelous headline sailed through all the supposed editing checks.

Lee Kayser


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

Islamic Sharia Law Proliferates in Germany

by Soeren Kern

The spread of Islamic Sharia law in Germany is far more advanced than previously thought, and German authorities are "powerless" to do anything about it, according to a new book about the Muslim shadow justice system in Germany.

The 236-page book titled "Judges Without Law: Islamic Parallel Justice Endangers Our Constitutional State," which was authored by Joachim Wagner, a German legal expert and former investigative journalist for ARD German public television, says Islamic Sharia courts are now operating in all of Germany's big cities.

This "parallel justice system" is undermining the rule of law in Germany, Wagner says, because Muslim arbiters-cum-imams are settling criminal cases out of court without the involvement of German prosecutors or lawyers before law enforcement can bring the cases to a German court.

Settlements reached by the Muslim mediators often mean perpetrators are able to avoid long prison sentences, while victims receive large sums in compensation or have their debts cancelled, in line with Sharia law, according to Wagner. In return, they are required to make sure their testimony in court does not lead to a conviction.

German police do investigate cases involving serious crimes. But parallel to that, special Muslim arbitrators, also known as "peace judges," are commissioned by the families concerned to mediate and reach an out-of-court settlement.

In an interview with the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Wagner said political correctness in Germany is contributing to the problem: "I've studied 16 recent crime cases here with Muslim citizens involved. In almost 90% of all cases where Muslim arbitrators were commissioned, the perpetrators were acquitted by German courts or the cases were dropped altogether by the prosecution for lack of evidence. It's an alarming finding, and it throws a bad light on our courts."

In fact, German judges often refer and/or defer to Sharia law. For example, the Federal Social Court in Kassel recently supported the claim of a second wife for a share of her dead husband's pension payments, which his first wife wanted to keep all to herself. The judge ruled they should share the pension.

In another case, the Administrative Appeals Court in Koblenz granted the second wife of an Iraqi living in Germany, the right to stay in the country. She had already been married to him and living in Germany for five years, after which the court said it would not be fair to send her to Iraq alone.

A judge in Cologne ruled that an Iranian man should repay his wife's dowry of 600 gold coins to her after their divorce – referring to the Sharia which is followed in Iran. A court in Düsseldorf arrived at a similar verdict, forcing a Turkish man to repay a €30,000 ($43,000) dowry to his former daughter-in-law.

In March 2007, Judge Christa Datz-Winter, a judge at Frankfurt's family court cited the Islamic Koran in a divorce case involving a 26-year-old German woman of Moroccan origin, who was terrified of her violent Moroccan husband, a man who had continued to threaten her despite having been ordered to stay away by the authorities. He had beaten his wife and he had allegedly threatened to kill her.

Judge Datz-Winter refused to grant the divorce, arguing that a woman who marries a Muslim should know what she is getting herself into. In her ruling, the judge quoted Sura 4, verse 34 of the Koran. She wrote that the Koran contains "both the husband's right to use corporal punishment against a disobedient wife and the establishment of the husband's superiority over the wife."

In February 2011, Germany's Federal Labor Court ruled that a Muslim supermarket employee can refuse to handle alcohol on religious grounds. The case in question involved a Muslim man who was employed in a supermarket in the northern German city of Kiel. He refused to stock shelves with alcoholic drinks, saying that his religion forbade him from any contact with alcohol, and was dismissed as a result in March 2008.

In an interview with the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, Wagner described the Islamic shadow justice system in Germany as "very foreign, and for a German lawyer, completely incomprehensible at first. It follows its own rules. The Islamic arbitrators aren't interested in evidence when they deliver a judgment, and unlike in German criminal law, the question of who is at fault doesn't play much of a role."

When Der Spiegel asked why it was wrong for two parties to try to resolve a dispute between themselves, Wagner replied: "The problem starts when the arbitrators force the justice system out of the picture, especially in the case of criminal offenses. At that point they undermine the state monopoly on violence. Islamic conflict resolution in particular, as I've experienced it, is often achieved through violence and threats. It's often a dictate of power on the part of the stronger family."

Wagner's findings largely confirm a report published by the German Interior Ministry in 2009 which warned that Islamic groups in Germany want to live under Sharia law in Germany.

Wagner's book comes at a time when Germany is immersed in a heated national debate over Muslim immigration. That debate was launched in August 2010 with the publication of a best-selling book titled "Germany Does Away With Itself," which broke Germany's long-standing taboo on discussing the impact of Muslim immigration.

Authored by Thilo Sarrazin, a renowned German banker who is also a long-time member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), the book is now on its 20th edition. At last count, more than 1.5 million copies have been sold, making it one of the most widely read titles in Germany since the Second World War.

Sarrazin's book has resonated with vast numbers of ordinary Germans who are becoming increasingly uneasy about the social changes that are transforming Germany, largely due to the presence of millions of non-integrated Muslims in the country.

German President Christian Wulff has tried to defuse the row ignited by Sarrazin. During a keynote speech to mark the 20th anniversary of German reunification on October 3, 2010, Wulff proclaimed that "Islam belongs in Germany" because of the four million Muslims who now live there. Germany has Western Europe's second-biggest Islamic population after France, with Turks the single biggest minority.

Opinion polls, however, show broad public support for Sarrazin's argument that many Muslim immigrants shut themselves off from Germany, do not speak German and do not share the German, European or Western worldview.

According to a poll conducted by the mass-circulation Bild am Sonntag, 89% of those surveyed say Sarrazin's arguments are convincing. "For them, Sarrazin is somebody who is finally saying what many are thinking," according to the pollsters.

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a think tank linked to the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), recently published a survey which found that many Germans believe their country is being "overrun" by Muslim immigrants. It also found that these views are not isolated at the extremes of German society, but are to a large degree "at the center of it."

An opinion survey, "Perception and Acceptance of Religious Diversity," conducted by the sociology department of the University of Münster, in partnership with the prestigious TNS Emnid political polling firm, shows that only 34% of West Germans and 26% of East Germans have a positive view of Muslims. Fewer than 5% of Germans think Islam is a tolerant religion, and only 30% say they approve of the building of mosques. The number of Germans who approve of the building of minarets or the introduction of Muslim holidays is even lower.

Fewer than 10% of West Germans and 5% of East Germans say that Islam is a peaceful religion. More than 40% of Germans believe that the practice of Islam should be vigorously restricted.

Only 20% of Germans believe that Islam is suitable for the Western world. Significantly, and more than 80% of Germans agree with the statement "that Muslims must adapt to our culture."

As the political winds shift, so are German politicians. After initially distancing herself from Sarrazin's views, German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently said Germany's roots are Judeo-Christian. She also said: "Now we obviously have Muslims in Germany. But it is important in regard to Islam that the values represented by Islam must correspond with our constitution. What applies here is the constitution, not Sharia law."

But the proliferation of Sharia law in Germany suggests Merkel is mistaken: Sharia law now does apply in Germany.

Soeren Kern


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

Where Are We, Ten Years After 9/11?

by Frank Gaffney, Jr.

So, where are we ten years after 9/11? It is comforting that we have been blessed with a near-unbroken decade without further mass-casualty attacks since those that killed nearly 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001. Unfortunately, our government is pursuing policies that can only encourage those who aspire to do us harm to redouble their efforts.

Such an assessment was implicit in a critique of President Obama's new counter-terrorism"strategy" delivered last week by Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joseph Lieberman. The Democrat-turned-Independent from Connecticut described the President's so-called "Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States" white paper as "ultimately a big disappointment":

The administration's plan... suffers from several significant weaknesses. The first is that the administration still refuses to call our enemy in this war by its proper name, violent Islamist extremism. We can find names that are comparable to that, but not the one that the administration continues to use which [is] ‘violent extremism.' It is not just violent extremism. There are many forms of violent extremism. There's white racist extremism, there's been some eco-extremism, there's been animal rights extremism. You can go on and on and on. There's skinhead extremism, but we're not in a global war with those.

Sen. Lieberman observed, "We're in a global war that affects our homeland security with Islamist extremists. To call our enemy violent extremism is so general and vague that it ultimately has no meaning. The other term used sometimes is ‘Al-Qaida and its allies.' Now, that's better, but it still is too narrow."

The Homeland Security Committee chairman concluded:

It is vital to understand that we're not just fighting an organization Al-Qaida, but we are up against a broader ideology, a politicized theology, quite separate from the religion of Islam that has fueled this war. Success in the war will come consequently not when a single terrorist group or its affiliates are eliminated, but when broader set of ideas associated with it are rejected and discarded. The reluctance to identify our enemy as violent Islamist extremism makes it harder to mobilize effectively to fight this war of ideas.

As it happens, Sen. Lieberman is, like President Obama, right up to a point. If we are properly to recognize the enemy we face, however, we must appreciate two facts the Senator misses, as well: 1) The threat from adherents to the "politicized ideology that has fueled this war" are also using non-violent - or, more accurately, pre-violent - techniques to wage it against us. And 2) that ideology is actually not "separate from the religion of Islam." Rather, this politico-military-legal doctrine known as shariah is derived from the sacred texts, interpretations, rulings and scholarly consensuses of Islam. The reality that many Muslims around the world practice their faith without following the dictates of shariah simply means that some believe this code is separable from Islam. But, it is surely not "separate" from it.

These errors are at the heart of the present danger ten years after 9/11 - namely, a failure to recognize that, in addition to "violent extremism" at the hands of Islamists, we confront what Professor Richard Landes of Boston University has characterized as those foes' concerted efforts in the area of "cognitive warfare." The author of a timely new book, "Heaven on Earth: The Varieties of the Millennial Experience," writes in a riveting essay published online at Tablet, that:

Cognitive warfare aims to paralyze the will of the enemy to resist attack, to maneuver that enemy into adopting vulnerable positions, and eventually to get him to give up in a conflict. In cognitive warfare, real violence (such as terror attacks) are adjuncts to the mental conflict, and the targets of such warfare are large audiences both among populations at home (recruitment and mobilization) and, still more significantly, among the enemy (paralysis)....

One the most important dimensions of their cognitive war is to get infidels, even without being conquered, tobehave according to the restrictions of Islam. Among the most important impositions we have seen of this the absolute prohibition on criticizing Allah or his prophet [known as "shariah blasphemy" laws]. Thus, a major battlefield of the cognitive war between jihadis and the West concerns tolerance for criticism of the other.

Cognitive warfare, or what the Muslim Brotherhood calls "civilization jihad," is about creating the conditions under which so-called "non-violent" Islamists can achieve their ultimate objective - which is precisely the same as the one pursued by their violent co-religionists: imposing shariah worldwide and a Caliph to rule according to it.

So where are we ten years after shariah-adherent Islamists sought to destroy the centers of American economic, military and government power? We remain dangerously exposed to similar sorts of violence from an enemy the President declines to name. Worse yet, to the extent we fail to perceive the cognitive war being waged against us against by al Qaeda's partners in the Muslim Brotherhood and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation - to say nothing of persisting in the Obama administration's willingness to give ground in that war, notably by submitting our freedom of speech to shariah blasphemy laws - our Islamist foes will only be emboldened.

And that means aheightened likelihood of success in the violent attacks the shariah-adherent jihadists are sure to mount in the years to come.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is President of the Center for Security Policy, a columnist for the Washington Times and host of the nationally syndicated program.


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Dissident Watch: Maikel Nabil Sanad

by Rebecca Witonsky

Maikel Nabil Sanad, a 25-year old pacifist currently on a hunger strike in an Egyptian prison, is one of the Arab world's most pioneering human rights activists. A veterinarian by profession, in April 2009, Sanad founded the "No to Compulsory Service Campaign," which aims to end the compulsory three-year military service term for Egyptian males and reportedly has upward of 3,000 members. Last year, he became the first known conscientious objector in Egyptian history when he refused to report for duty.[1]

While distaste for the draft is not uncommon among middle-class Egyptians, the reasons for Sanad's conscientious objection are virtually unheard of in the Arab world. "I don't want to point a weapon at a young Israeli, recruited into obligatory service, defending his state's right to exist," he explained in October 2010.[2] He has frequently expressed his admiration for Israel's democratic freedoms, respect for women's rights, and religious tolerance while voicing rejection of Arab terrorism and outrage over the blatant anti-Semitism propagated by the Egyptian military and political establishment during the Mubarak years. He even went so far as to publish an article on the Arabic language website of the Israeli foreign ministry entitled, "Why I Am a Pro-Israel." He is learning Hebrew and has a Hebrew section on his blog.[3]

Sanad has been severely persecuted for his pacifism and expressions of solidarity with the Israeli people, both of which are deeply taboo in Egypt. He was briefly imprisoned twice for two days each, and on one of these occasions was sexually harassed.[4] After the fall of the Mubarak regime, he was targeted for more severe persecution because of his outspoken criticism of the Egyptian military junta. On March 28, 2011, Sanad was arrested for "insulting the military" and subsequently brought before a closed military tribunal. While other activists who dared criticize the new regime have been released within days of their arrest, on April 11, Sanad was sentenced to three years imprisonment.[5]

Sanad has suffered numerous abuses in prison, such as denial of access to decent food, placement with common criminals, being forced to shower in dirty water and to sleep on insect-laden bedding. Until recently, he was denied access to essential medical care.[6]

On August 23, Sanad began a hunger strike to protest the injustice and conditions of his imprisonment. On August 30, he began refusing to drink water and stopped taking his heart medication. His father and brother Marc tried to visit him in prison on that day but were told by prison guards that Sanad "refused" to see them.[7] His family and friends warn that he is fully prepared to die for his beliefs. And all this in the new, "democratic" Egypt.

[1] The Huffington Post, Apr. 15, 2011.
[2] YNet News (Tel Aviv), Oct. 25, 2010.
[3] Maikel Nabil Sanad website, accessed Aug. 31, 2011.
[4] The Huffington Post, Apr. 15, 2011.
[5] "Egypt: Blogger's 3-Year Sentence a Blow to Free Speech," Human Rights Watch, Apr. 11, 2011; The Huffington Post, Apr. 15, 2011.
[6] The Committee to Protect Journalists, New York, Aug. 31, 2011.
[7] Maikel Nabil, "Declaration of Hunger Strike," MidEast Youth, Aug. 26, 2011; The Committee to Protect Journalists, Aug. 31, 2011.

Rebecca Witonsky is a blogger on USA Freedom.


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Jawad in American Spectator: "Libya Burning"

by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

As troops aligned with the Libyan interim government continue to advance on the few remaining strongholds of Gaddafi loyalists -- such as Bani Walid (where the tribal elders are refusing to surrender) -- much debate is still raging over Libya's future. Will the country emerge as a stable liberal democracy, will it be torn by ethnic and tribal divisions, or will it transform into an Islamist state?

Of course, there is always a degree of uncertainty in prediction here, but some signs appear to have emerged that strongly discount the first, desirable outcome. To begin with, despite the assurances of the National Transitional Council (NTC) that there will be a focus on reconciliation to avoid punishing all those associated with the Gaddafi regime and thus not repeat the "mistakes of Iraq," it is not at all clear that these soothing words are being put into practice.

Indeed, recently concerns have been raised over the treatment of blacks residing in Libya at the hands of forces loyal to the interim government, and even outlets like the New York Times are starting to pay attention. It is true that a few of these blacks have been employed as mercenaries by Gaddafi, but the overwhelming majority are simply innocent migrant workers imported during Libya's oil boom for construction and menial work. Yet blacks are being targeted by anti-Gaddafi insurgents as though they are all mercenaries guilty of the crimes of the Gaddafi regime.

In fact, as the Wall Street Journal noted, in one town called Tawergha, a brigade of anti-Gaddafi troops that describes itself as dedicated to "purging slaves" and "black skin" has engaged in ethnic cleansing of blacks in the town, and has vowed that in the "new Libya" all remaining blacks in Tawergha would be denied access to health care and schooling in nearby Misrata, from which all blacks have already been expelled.

Similarly, the BBC recently showed a video of hundreds of bodies found in the Abu Salim hospital in Tripoli, but failed to mention, either through genuine neglect or a deliberate intention to mislead, that most of the corpses were those of black people, who had obviously been killed by anti-Gaddafi forces when the city was taken.

The "blacks are mercenaries" myth has been useful to those wishing to downplay the idea that Gaddafi could be receiving support from any native Libyans, and portray the entire conflict as "Gaddafi vs. the people." However, if collective punishment is the way the rebel forces are going to treat those suspected -- rightly or wrongly -- of links to Gaddafi's regime, on what grounds should we presume that there will be no punitive measures implemented against native Libyan groups who have backed Gaddafi during the conflict, including many of the rural Arabized tribes of southwest Fezzan? As I predicted, the rebel forces have recently been giving the Berber Touareg in the far south this kind of harsh treatment.

Clearly, the horrific treatment of blacks is not only a result of racism but also part of an attempt to dismantle anything associated with Gaddafi's legacy (the importation of Africans was one aspect of Gaddafi's eccentric turn towards notions of pan-Africanism and a vision of a "United States of Africa" after 1998).

In any event, it is worth recalling that the Iraqi Shi'a politicians and public figures who pushed for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 (e.g. Ahmad Chalabi​, who is the first cousin of my aunt's husband in Baghdad) repeatedly affirmed that their sole interest was in creating a genuinely free and democratic Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime. Yet once in power through the interim Iraqi Governing Council, whether for reasons of ideological conviction or political expediency, they effectively turned the de-Baa'thification process into "de-Sunnification" in the hope of creating a majoritarian Shi'a democracy. This only aggravated sectarian tensions and culminated in the civil war around Baghdad in 2006.

Even so, it is also evident that there are deep tensions within the anti-Gaddafi forces. In particular, there is good reason to expect a forthcoming conflict between the Amazigh Berbers and the Islamists. The Amazigh Berbers, denied civil rights for decades by Gaddafi and forbidden to speak Tamazight, played a key role in the fighting in the western Nafusa Mountains that eventually led to the successful push towards Tripoli. Quite rightly, they are keen to assert their rights to celebrate their Berber culture and language, and will undoubtedly take further inspiration from the success of Berber activists in Morocco, which has now given Tamazight the status of an official language alongside Arabic.

Meanwhile, the Islamist presence among the anti-Gaddafi forces is now something that cannot be ignored. As Barry Rubin points out, Abdul al-Hakim al-Hasadi has just been named commander of the Tripoli Military Council. This man was formerly head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization affiliated with al-Qa'ida, and although he claims to have disavowed his record of extremism, many rebel fighters around Misrata are highly suspicious of him. It does not follow from this that Libya will necessarily become an Islamist state, but as the experiences in Algeria, Sudan and Iraq show, Islamists in the Middle East and North Africa despise any assertion of a non-Arab identity and aim to suppress it by instilling terror through indiscriminate attacks.

I sincerely hope that I am proven wrong and that the post-Gaddafi government will promote liberal democracy (nor do I believe that it was wrong to stop Gaddafi's forces from taking Benghazi back in March). Nevertheless, idealistic wishes cannot obscure hard evidence on the ground. At best, NATO can now only make it clear to the NTC that any Islamist aggression originating from Libya will be met with severe retaliation.

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


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Lessons That Last a Lifetime

by Ferne Hassan

What do you say to a special friend who has to carry around a “security blanket” for just such times as happened this past Monday morning when, on her way to work at Ben Gurion University in Beersheva, the sirens went off and with no time to run for cover she did the next best thing – spread the blanket out on the ground and lied down on it.

I don’t know about you, but this scene jolted me and has been playing out in mind as I wonder – what next? One hundred missiles in less than a week have landed in southern Israel and, to add insult to injury, the story has been avoided by the mainstream press. This, on the heels of multi-staged attacks in Eilat last week that targeted a bus, civilians in cars and members of the IDF and left eight dead and more than 30 wounded.

And, Israel’s “peace partners” – those whom the world’s experts are encouraging Israel to sit down with and negotiate a peace agreement that will result in “two states for two people” living “side by side in peace” – where are they? Where are their statements of denunciation? Where are their apologies? For that matter where is the United Nations and/or The International Court of Justice?

The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), which claimed responsibility for the Eilat attacks, is according to an IDF spokesperson, “an independent terrorist organization in Gaza that is supported, subsidized and trained by the Hamas terrorist organization.”

Hamas, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union and recently reconciled with Fatah with the intention of forming a unity government, would then be part of that group that Israel would negotiate with. Are we sliding from the ridiculous to the sublime? And then there is Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas, the man we are told is a moderate. Here is what he has to say, “We will not ask Hamas to recognize Israel.”

So, do we proceed as if nothing has happened and accept the chanting from the world’s chorus that Israel “return to the negotiating table?” With whom will Israel be negotiating? Have you read the PLO Covenant? Let me share an article from the Covenant – one of thirty-three – which, despite protestations to the contrary, has never been changed.

Article #9: Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine and is therefore a strategy and not tactics. The Palestinian Arab people affirm its absolute resolution and abiding determination to pursue the armed struggle and to work for an armed popular revolution, to liberate its homeland…

Maps used in children’s textbooks, official documents, etc. show the boundaries of their homeland as all of Israel. Have you heard the chant – From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free? Hint: The river is the Jordan, the sea is the Mediterranean. Israel then is missing!

And, have you read the Hamas Charter? For starters the preamble includes, “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” And, Articles 11 and 13 state, “The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day…” “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement…” “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

Where is the outrage from decent people? Is this how it happened before in history? Where people close their doors, try to close their minds, live within the confines of their world and hope that the madness doesn’t reach them. And, when that approach fails, well, as history has shown us, there’s always the road to acquiescence. We know where that road led the free world – into a hell that left millions killed, Europe overrun and the very foundation of civilization and sanity hanging on by threads.

Golda Meir, Israel’s fourth Prime Minister and its first and only female head of state, was born in Kiev and, in her autobiography My Life, she vividly recalled the memory of her father having had only a piece of wood to barricade his family and “protect” them against the pogrom inspired marauders. This left a deep impression on her and, regardless of how much easier life in Milwaukee was for her and her family, Golda knew her place was in the Land of Israel, then under mandatory control by the British. She was determined to do all she could to insure that Jews were able to reestablish their place in the land of their forbearers. Her hope was that a Jewish state would protect the Jews who, for many generations past, had been barely tolerated as “guests in other countries.”

Years ago at a CAMERA conference Prof. Alan Dershowitz spoke of the “Shah Shtil”/ “Don’t rock the boat” mentality of many Jews. He exhorted the audience to stand proud reminding them that “We Jews have given, more than we have taken!” He was speaking about the role of Jews in America but his words could easily be applied to Israel as well. Israel’s contributions in myriad fields are world renowned – agriculture, medicine, literature, music, humanitarian assistance – to name a few. So why do Jews in the diaspora and Israel forget this and allow the “red line” of acceptable behavior to constantly be moved? Why have Jews allowed themselves to fall prey to intimidation?

Possibly they aren’t on the same mailing lists I’m on and/or they are allowing their senses to be dulled, and are just “going along to get along.”

Those concerned with peace, beyond lip-service, would have somehow learned about the recent report from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center that details how Palestinian children spent this summer, as summers past. Tens of thousands of young Palestinian children attended Hamas run “summer camps” where the lessons of martyrdom – like those in their school textbooks and the messages heard everywhere in their towns and on television – were reaffirmed. Likewise, the precepts of the PLO Covenant and the Hamas Charter were reiterated.

The camps, for all intents and purposes, are incubators for future generations of Jihadis. And so the question that begs to be asked is how can these children – heirs to any peace agreement that may be signed – who have been raised to hate and are dedicated to killing themselves and others, implement any peace agreement when they have been prepared for anything but peace.

Lest all the onus be placed at Hamas’ doorstep, a 2004 story posted by Emma Hurd of Sky News shows children who attended a training camp sanctioned by the Palestinian Authority and run by, none other, than the Popular Resistance Committees – the same group that orchestrated the Eilat attacks. If you look at the photo gallery you will see the faces of 10 year-old boys who, as 17 year olds today, could very well have been recruited by the PRC for these last attacks.

The words of the Irish statesman and political theorist, Edmund Burke, are as true today as when he wrote them in the 18th century, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.”

Many of those who perpetrated the recent attacks and who are issuing the orders for the barrage of missiles are “summer camp graduates.” The only way my girlfriend can get up off the road and put away her “security blanket” is if we have the facts in hand and are prepared to stand up and speak the truth. Her future, Israel’s future and ours depend on it.

Ferne Hassan is a New Jersey-based concerned citizen.


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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Nine Fronts in the Next War

by David Meir-Levi

The current unrest pursuant to the “Arab Spring” is a mixed blessing for Iran. On one hand, if young Bashir were to fall, Iran will lose its most important ally in the western part of the Arab world. A break with Syria would be a serious defeat for Iran, since it would no longer be able to supply Hezbollah directly, nor would it have direct contact and supervision over its proxy terror armies in Lebanon, the Sinai, and the Gaza Strip. It would also be very bad news for Hezbollah, whose terrorist leaders rely heavily on Iranian supplies, funds, and armaments, all channeled into Lebanon via Syria. Hamas too would suffer from a break in its link with its Iranian godfather.

But on the other hand, Iran is exploiting the great opportunity created by the chaos and upheaval of the “Arab Spring”. Iran does not want to see its foothold in the west undermined by this upheaval, so it has helped Bashir in his use of extreme force; and it has also begun to manipulate the “Arab Spring” violence and unrest to its advantage.

To gain maximum benefit from the situation in Egypt and to turn the world’s attention from Syria, Iran has activated two of its proxies, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, to renew attacks on Israel: blowing up the natural gas pipeline from the northern Sinai to Israel, firing scores of rockets into Israeli towns and villages near the Gaza Strip, most recently launching three brutal attacks on civilians near Eilat, and more in the offing. Igniting a new war between Israel and Egypt, or at least precipitating a crescendo in the incendiary calls for war from the Egyptian populous and neighboring Arab states, would be a marvelous win-win for Iran and for the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), the best organized and most popular of the political groups contending for power in post-Mubarak Egypt.

If Israel’s response to the attacks from the Gaza Strip and Sinai were to trigger a war with Egypt, Israel is likely to win; but the turmoil and upheaval in the wake of that war would weaken the Egyptian generals currently ruling Egypt with a temporary de facto mandate. Once shamed in defeat, they would lose credibility and popularity (there already have been protests against their continued rule and postponed elections). This scenario would create the perfect storm into which the MB could sail to political control. If, despite the attacks, Israel shows restraint, the MB can still shame the generals for not confronting Israel, and then either provoke a war or use the failure of the generals to confront Israel as a way to shame and weaken them and pave the way for the MB’s own rise to power.

Better yet, if Iran, through its proxies, could spark a war with Israel, and the other forces confronting Israel were to join in, Israel would be fighting on many fronts at once. In that case, the likelihood of Israel’s victory is in question.

El Qaeda is thoroughly ensconced in the Sinai. Currently Israel and Egypt are said to be in conversation about Egypt’s re-militarizing the Sinai, so perhaps the Egyptian army could be deployed against al-Qaeda and Hamas there. But if the MB succeeds in gaining a position of political strength in Egypt, it is not likely that the Egyptian military will be deployed in the Sinai to drive al-Qaeda out. Quite the opposite, the MB wants a military confrontation with Israel. So it is likely to see al-Qaeda in Sinai as an ally in such a war. And if the MB and al-Qaeda go to war against Israel, then Hamas in the Gaza Strip is sure to follow. Hamas cannot stand idly by while its Egyptian brethren initiate the great final jihad against Israel.

With Egypt, al-Qaeda and Hamas attacking Israel on its southern and western fronts, Iran will want Hezbollah to get in on the action and make use of the thousands of rockets and missiles that it has stockpiled just for this very moment, thus opening a northern front.

Syria may have difficulty deploying a large military force on the Golan front if it must use its military against its civilian demonstrators; but Iran will be in a position to aid Syria in suppressing unrest (probably in a manner similar to what Bashir’s father Hafez el-Assad did in 1982), and young Bashir will want a distraction on the Golan front to turn his citizenry’s attention, and the opprobrium of the world, from his slaughter of unarmed demonstrators. Even if Bashir falls, undesirable for Iran but an eventuality that the Mullahs may be anticipating, a Syrian government run by the MB or other Islamo-fascists of that ilk will be delighted to join Egypt and others in a pincer-movement assault on Israel. So a Syrian Golan front is very likely to open once Israel is at war with Egypt, Hamas, el-Qaeda and Hezbollah.

In the West Bank, Hamas is strong because its extreme Islamo-fascist ideology and commitment to Israel’s annihilation hold the sympathies of many. Fatah and the PLO, the main components of the PA, are condemned in some circles for their collaboration with Israel. The PA will not be able to maintain a position of power if it chooses to sit out a war against Israel; especially since the PA is in stiff competition with Hamas for the hearts and minds of the West Bank electorate, and it looks like entering a shooting war with Israel is a good way to win those hearts and minds. So it is very likely that another intifada could erupt once the southern, western and northern fronts are aflame, probably targeting the Israeli communities scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Such a terror offensive could cause high numbers of casualties but is not likely to create an existential military threat. However, a West Bank terror war would be a serious distraction for Israel and would reduce Israel’s ability to concentrate its military on the fronts that are existential threats.

And then there are the Arab Israelis. No one knows for sure how many Arab Israelis are active supporters of Hamas et al, but however many there are, they could be mobilized for fifth column terrorism against Israeli military bases, infrastructure, and civilians: another distraction that would sap Israel’s ability to face the greater threats on its borders.

Egypt, al-Qaeda in Sinai, Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Syria in the Golan, Palestinian terrorist forces in the West Bank, and Arab Israelis in downtown Israel: Seven fronts.

But there’s more!

Jordan sits on a powder keg and the MB is itching to light the fuse. If the MB succeeds in supplanting the Hashemites, there can be little doubt that the newly Islamized Jordan will join the war against Israel, at very least by aiding and abetting the West Bank Arab terrorists, and perhaps by launching their own invasion from the east: front number eight.

Iran is moving ahead with alacrity to achieve WMD capabilities, despite some setbacks engineered by Israel over the past 5 years (Stuxnet being the most recent). Iran already has missiles capable of carrying nuclear payloads to Israel and beyond. West Bank or Israeli Muslims vaporized by Iran’s nuclear attack are not part of the Mullahs’ concerns. Muslim men will be martyrs, united with their celestial virgins (unclear what happens to the women and children), and besides, “Allah knows best who is wounded in His way.”[i] The Arabs of the West Bank and Israel are merely expendable pawns , collateral damage, just part of the price that the Arab world must pay for its final victory over Israel. Syria is a very important part of this equation, because Syria has substantial stockpiles of missiles and chemical warheads which can be deployed against all of Israel at very close range, to augment the internal terrorism from the West Bank and from Arab Israelis, and to mop up whatever of Israel may survive Iran’s nuclear attack.

So Iran is front number nine – and it will be a nuclear front.

In short, Israel is in greater danger now than it has ever been, even more so than during its 1948 war of survival.


[i] A quote from Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, from his writings on Jihad, quoting a Hadith from Sahih Bukhari. See and for Qur’anic and extra-Qur’anic sources.

David Meir-Levi


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

Palestine, Lies and Videotape

by Daniel Greenfield

Peace. We go to war in the name of peace. We maintain armies in the name of peace. And we turn a blind eye to murder and terrorism in the name of peace.

The promise of peace convinced Israelis and Americans to give Arafat a private army and control over an autonomous territory. And the fading promise of peace is why both governments still continue to appease the terrorists. All in the name of peace.

Over and over again, Israelis have sat at a table, shaken hands, drawn up maps, and walked away with bus bombings, attacks on malls and rocket fire at schools—and the cries of the left that they are to blame.

The left is in denial about what Palestine is; it is not a nationality, but a pretext for endless war. The “Palestinian” cause cannot be separated from the campaign for regional supremacy by Muslim states; it began as a way for Egypt and Syria to harass Israel, and it continues as a Saudi, Turkish and Iranian campaign to destroy Israel. The actors change, but the goal remains the same.

The UN can declare a Palestinian state, but it can’t reunify Gaza and the West Bank, or bring order to the feuding militia camps that pretend to be governments. The nations of the world can vote to recognize it, but they can’t make it self-supporting. Billions of dollars have already been wasted on the effort. And neither political support nor foreign aid will end the violence.

The justification for this is based around a myth that is at the heart of the left’s twisted version of history. The myth is that the Muslims never had a choice whether to engage in violence, terrorism or genocide. That they never initiate, only respond to what the Jews do. Whatever atrocities they commit, it is only because the Jews have done worse to them.

To sustain this myth, the left relies on two techniques. First, the regional context is stripped away and the Muslim-Israeli conflict is reduced to a conflict between Israel and West Bank and Gazan Arabs. Imagine a history of WW2 that only dealt with it as a conflict between Czechoslovakia and Sudeten Germans—that’s what the left has done by treating the pretexts for war as the causes of war.

Then once all the Muslim parties to the conflict have been hidden except for the militias in the West Bank and Gaza, the discrepancy in armaments is exaggerated to show that Israel has all the options, and the terrorists have none. To the left power is also agency, by focusing only on the differences in firepower and not the political options that both sides have, Israel is depicted as all-powerful, controlling not only Gaza and the West Bank—but even Washington D.C.

By ignoring Muslim colonialism and oppression of regional minorities—the left denies the context of the conflict and transforms the proxy armies of Sunni and Shiite regional majorities into the downtrodden and persecuted.

The left’s case for Palestine is built on these lies, funneled deceptively through networks of organizations that disguise them, dumb them down and present them as moral and ethical imperatives.

One example is Avaaz, a left-wing organization conducting a pressure campaign for Palestinian statehood. Avaaz’s video lays the blame for the violence on Israel, compares Israel’s Foreign Minister to Ahmadinejad and presents the unilateral Hamas-Fatah state as a way to bring peace to the region. Viewers are not told that few things are more certain to bring violence than unilateral actions by a fanatical terrorist group whose covenant celebrates the genocide of the Jewish people.

Like its video, Avaaz is not what it seems. Unlike most organizations, Avaaz does not list its staff openly; instead it claims to practice “servant leadership” with staffers letting members decide what to do. Only when the tax returns for Avaaz are examined, does a clearer picture emerge of who is really in charge.

Avaaz’s tax returns mention only one paid employee, its president, Ricken Patel, who pulls down a six figure salary—not bad for a ‘servant’. Patel was also a co-founder of Res Publica, the organization that co-founded Avaaz.

The Chairman of the Board, Eli Pariser, is the president of which also co-founded Avaaz, and along with Avaaz’s Secretary, Tom Pravda, is also on the advisory board of Res Publica. Patel and Pariser serve on the advisory board of J-Street, a Soros organization founded to undermine Jewish support for Israel.

What’s the difference between Res Publica and Avaaz? Avaaz looks like an international activist group, which is convenient when you want to appear to be a global movement, instead of a disguised branch of the same old American left-wing organizations.

Res Publica gets the majority of its funding from the Open Society Institute, which makes Avaaz another disguised George Soros project, just like J Street. The Economic Times hails Ricken Patel as “The Man Who Gives You Your Voice”, but it’s not “your” voice, it’s Soros’ voice.

The organizations that promote the Palestinian narrative spend nearly as much time hiding behind front groups as the terrorists that they support. Their ideological deceptions are reflected in their structure, just like their clients, the PLO, a Syrian front group which denied any aspirations for statehood until it became politically convenient, and Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood whose ultimate goal is not a state… but a Caliphate.

They want statehood about as much as Soros wants to give you a voice. Their bid at the UN is only another way to fill their own pockets while undermining Israel on behalf of their bosses in Tehran and Riyadh. If the Muslim Brotherhood takes power in Egypt, it will absorb Gaza in all but name. And if Jordan falls, then the West Bank will end up joining whatever entity forms in its place.

The situation will revert to before the Six Day War, which the left claims deprived the Palestinians of a state. But there was no Palestinian state then because no one wanted it. The demand for it now is a matter of strategy, not national identity. Peace has become a more devastating weapon than war, and as long as princes and billionaires will pay to destroy Israel– there’s money to be made promoting peace. Just ask Ricken Patel or Yasser Arafat.

Daniel Greenfield


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A Palestinian State, Arafat's Dream, But Then What?

by Dan Aridor

Having a state is not the end game of Palestinian leadership; it is just a major stepping stone. Former Palestinian Chairman Yassir Arafat and his successor, President Mahmoud Abbas, could already have had a Palestinian state a decade ago, thanks to generous offers of Prime Ministers Ehud Barak in 2000, and Ehud Olmert in 2008, to establish one and end the conflict Arafat's goal, however, was to have a state while continuing the conflict with Israel on four major issues: the refugees, the borders, Jerusalem and demilitarization.

The so called "right of return" for the refugees would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state, demographically flooded, as it would then be, by non-Jews.

The return to 1949 armistice lines would mean a return to indefensible borders, once again only serving as an invitations for surprise attacks, as happened until Israel finally repelled attacks by Jordan Syria and Egypt during the Six Day War in 1967, and took over control of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem .

Jerusalem has been the central city for the Jewish people both spiritually and physically for 3,000 years, despite attempts throughout history to dislodge and disperse them. To the Jews, Jerusalem has not only been their historical sovereign capital city since 1000 B.C.; it has also since then, been their holy city, , as the Vatican is to the Roman Catholics, and as Mecca and Medina are to the Muslims. .

Palestinian objections to demilitarize their future state would mean that a surprise attack against Israel could always be an option, a situation unacceptable to the Israelis, as it would be to anyone else..

After achieving statehood, , aided by international pressure and de-legitimization campaigns from Europe and the Arab states, the Palestinian leadership, will most likely escalate the friction with Israel over these broad issues, as well as start to blame Israel for the lack of a final status agreement. The daily friction, as seen in daily terror and rocket attacks, will only lead to escalating military clashes.

This is not an extreme scenario; it is already happening., For over a decade, Israeli's southern towns have been – and still are -- under assault from thousands of rockets. A recent and painful reminder, which left eight Israelis dead, occurred only the other week ,when, after crossing the Sinai Desert from Egypt, Hamas terrorists attacked Israel, targeting civilians. When the Israelis responded by targeting the masterminds of the terror attack, the answer was a barrage of more than 100 rockets fired on Israeli cities and towns.

The Hamas was sending a clear message to Israel: Any retaliation against Hamas would be met by a bombardment against Israeli civilians.

Israel, not wanting to escalate matters further and risk a costly and prolonged military action, instead chose a cease-fire.

Understanding Israel's dilemma, various Hamas factions -- with or without Hamas's approval – nevertheless continued sporadic firing into Israeli civilian centers. As a result, missiles from Gaza still continue to be exploded in the towns of southern Israel.

One can only imagine what will happen when a Palestinian state, backed by Iran, will launch attacks directly or indirectly on, for example, Sderot and other urban centers inside Israel. The Palestinians leadership will claim that they are unable to stop all factions, or else that their attacks were in retaliation for some Israeli injustice. The Israel Defense Force will be limited – again – by international pressure from protecting Israeli citizens.

In the so-called peace process, there is constant pressure on Israel to give up historical lands, thereby releasing control of its security to terrorist organizations. These lands - Judea and Samaria - called "The Auschwitz Borders" by the late, left-wing foreign minister, Abba Eban, will be a launching platform for further attacks on Israel.

This situation is the fulfillment of Arafat's dream: the Phased Plan he laid out 1974: to destroy Israel step by step, taking whatever land the Palestinians could get, and using that as the platform from which to get the next-- with no end to the conflict, until all the land "from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] Sea," as the Palestinian Authority Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Faisal Husseini, put it, would be under Palestinian control.

Now,, however, the stakes are higher: There might be the expectation in Israel, that Gaza's allies from Lebanon Judea and Samaria --not to mention Iran & Syria -- should also be taken into consideration.

A Palestinian state is not a remedy for peace; it is a base for war. No one should feign surprise when it happens.

Dan Aridor, a graduate of Columbia Business School, is a businessman based in Israel.


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

Muslim Persecution of Christians: August, 2011

by Raymond Ibrahim

This series, developed to collate some—by no means all—of the most extreme instances of Muslim persecution of Christians that surface each month, serves two purposes:

1) To document that which the mainstream media does not: habitual, if not chronic, Muslim persecution of Christians.

2) To show that such persecution is not "random," but systematic, interrelated, and ultimately rooted in a worldview inspired by Sharia Law.

As will become evident, whatever the of persecution that took place, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; apostasy and blasphemy laws; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya, the additional tax that can be imposed on by Muslims on non-Muslims in a Muslin state; overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed dhimmis, or second-class "protected" citizens; and simple violence. Oftentimes it is a combination of the aforementioned.

Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales –even in the West, wherever there are Muslims—it is clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Sharia, or the supremacist culture borne by it.

Categorized by theme, August's batch of Muslim persecutions of Christians includes (but is not limited to) the following events, listed according to theme and in alphabetical order by country, not necessarily severity of the event:

Attacks on Christian Symbols: Churches and Bibles

Indonesia: Two churches were set aflame; officials downplayed these cases of arson by arguing that the buildings were "only made of board" and not real churches. A mayor also proclaimed that churches cannot be built on streets with Muslim names.

Iran: Officials launched a Bible burning campaign, confiscating and destroying some 7,000 Bibles; many were publicly burned. Likening their tiny Christian minority to the "Taliban and parasites," the regime also "cracked down" on Christians (who make up less than 1% of the entire population), arresting many; their whereabouts remain unknown.

Iraq: Two churches were bombed: the first attack damaged the church and wounded 23; the second damaged the church (a third church was targeted but the bomb was defused before detonating).

Nigeria: Two churches were bombed, including a Baptist church no longer in use due to previous Muslim attacks; when officials arrested Islamist leaders, a third Catholic church was torched.

Apostasy and Forced Conversions

Eritrea: At least eight Christians have died in prisons, most under severe conditions and torture, simply for refusing to recant Christianity.

India: A female who was formerly stripped and beaten by a Muslim mob for converting to Christianity, continues to receive severe threats to return to Islam or die; likewise, Muslims held three Christian women "threatening to beat and burn them alive if they continued worshipping Christ."

Iran: A Christian pastor in Iran remains behind bars, where he is being tortured; he is awaiting execution for refusing to recant Christianity.

Malaysia: religious police raided a church when it "found evidence of proselytisation towards Muslims" and "receiving information that there were Muslims who attended a breaking-of-fast event at the church"; a Facebook campaign created to support the raid and to "prevent apostasy" has already drawn support from 23,000 people.

Norway: A Muslim convert to Christianity was tortured with boiling water and told by fellow Muslim inmates "If you do not return to Islam, we will kill you"; if deported to Afghanistan, he risks death by stoning for leaving Islam.

Pakistan: Muslims openly abducted a 14-year-old Christian girl at gunpoint saying she had to convert to Islam. Another Christian woman who was abducted, drugged, and tortured for two years—all while being informed that she had converted to Islam—happily made her escape. In both cases, the police, as is usual, are siding with the Muslim abductors. Most recently, two Christians returning from church were attacked by Muslims and beaten with iron rods for refusing to convert to Islam or pay "protection" (jizya) money.

Sudan: A 16 year old Christian girl finally escaped from her Muslim kidnappers, who "beat, raped and tried to force her to convert from Christianity to Islam." Whenever she tried to pray, she was beaten again and called an "infidel"; when her mother went to the police, they told her to convert to Islam before they returned her child.

Uganda: In accordance with Islam's Hanafi School of law, a Muslim father locked his 14-year-old daughter in a room for several months without food or water simply because she embraced Christianity; when rescued, she weighed 44 pounds.

General Oppression, Violence, and Murder of Christians

Bangladesh: Church leaders, including an elderly pastor, were severely beaten in a police station for protesting that Muslims had illegally seized and occupied a Christian home. A previously tortured Christian activist is in hiding in Honk Kong, even as his wife and children face death threats from Muslims in the neighborhood.

Egypt: Soon after breaking their Ramadan fast, thousands of Muslims rampaged throughout a predominantly Christian village, firing automatic weapons, looting and throwing Molotov Cocktails at several homes. They beat a priest, then plundered and torched his home. Another Copt was murdered in his home, which was then ransacked. Separately, a Copt was savagely attacked by seven Muslims in front of a police station; he lost one eye and required 20 stitches to his head. Girls leaving church were sexually harassed by Muslims, who hurled stones at the church; they shattered five windows.

Nigeria: In what is being called a "silent killing," ten Christians were slain by Muslims seeking to expunge Christianity from northern Nigeria; eyewitnesses insist that the army is assisting and enabling the slayings.

Pakistan: A Christian family consisting of 26 people, including women and children, lived in slavery for over 30 years, forced to labor on a farm belonging to a wealthy Muslim landowner; they only recently managed to regain their freedom, through the aid of the Catholic Church. A Muslim mob attacked a group of Christians watching a movie about Jesus, and destroyed the projector. A Christian man was beaten unconscious for celebrating Independence Day. He was told by Muslims, "How can you celebrate when you are Christian? Convert to Islam if you want to join the celebration."

Somalia: Al-Shabab ("The Youth") is intentionally preventing food aid from reaching the nation's miniscule Christian minority: "Any Somali that the Islamists suspect to be a Christian, or even a friend of Christians, does not receive any food aid."

Sudan: A "humanitarian crisis is unfolding" in Sudan's border region where Christians and their churches are being targeted in a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing by North Sudan's Islamist regime.

United Kingdom: A Muslim family was terrorized and threatened with death because their daughter married a Christian -- an act considered a crime according to Sharia. Note: a man marrying a non-Muslim woman is permitted.

Uzbekistan: Authorities continue to pressure churches and Christians, fabricating evidence to punish or limit Christians' ability to practice their faith, and subjecting them to excessive fines, false accusations, as well as confiscating their Christian literature.

* * *

These are just some of the assaults to which Christians have been subjected under Islam that made it to the non-mainstream media last month.

Then there are the countless atrocities that never make it to any media—the stories of persistent, quiet misery that only the victims and local Christians know—such as the recent revelation that a 2-year-old girl was savagely raped in Pakistan because her Christian father refused to convert to Islam: it took five years for this story to surface. How many never surface?

Raymond Ibrahim, a widely published Islam-specialist, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.


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Sunday, September 4, 2011

FADC Slams PM, Barak for Stopping Intel Testimony

by Lahav Harkov and Yaakov Katz

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee slammed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak for preventing a Shin Bet representative and OC Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi from testifying on Sunday.

In an unusual move, Kochavi and the Shin Bet representative arrived at a meeting of the Subcommittee for Intelligence, Secret Services, Captives and Missing Soldiers with letters from the defense minister and the prime minister, respectively, saying that they may not answer the subcommittee’s inquiries as to what intelligence their agencies had before the terrorist attack on the Egyptian border last month.

“This is a deliberate attack on the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s capabilities as the parliamentary body that supervises defense matters,” committee chairman Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) said.

“There is no reason connected to security not to testify, and this decision was made from other considerations, which prevent the committee from fulfilling its duty to the public,” he added. “The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee will not allow the developing trend to continue.”

“We did not want to interrogate them,” Mofaz explained. “All we wanted was to hear what information they had before the attack took place.”

Barak rejected Mofaz’s criticism and said that the officers would present their findings to the committee after the internal IDF investigations into the attacks were completed.

“It is unfortunate that Mofaz has decided again to turn the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and its subcommittees into a political tool for his own personal use,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement. “Operational and intelligence inquiries are first held within the operational units, the intelligence agencies and are then presented to the chief of General Staff and the government. Then, they are presented to the Knesset’s subcommittees. That is how it has always been and that is how it will always be.”

Mofaz also called for Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin to call Netanyahu and Barak to the Knesset for a meeting on the matter.

“The Knesset and its committees are meant to supervise the executive branch of government – they cannot disrupt this order,” he said.

Rivlin agreed to hold a meeting “to solve the current crisis.”

“At a time when the committee chairman and the prime minister disagree on defense matters, the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s limits and the Knesset’s authority to supervise the Defense Ministry and its functions need to be defined,” Rivlin said.

MK Binyamin Ben- Eliezer (Labor) said that as a former defense minister and a veteran member of the committee, he does not remember defense officials ever being prevented from giving the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee information.

“This committee is appointed by the Knesset to handle sensitive and confidential information,” MK Avi Dichter (Kadima), a former Shin Bet chief, said. “This move is unprecedented. Censorship is intolerable and against the law.”

Kadima MK Yisrael Hasson said that “we cannot suspend our criticism” despite a lack of information.

“We cannot tell the public that we learned, reached conclusions, and are acting, so they can stay calm,” Hasson explained. “The prime minister and defense minister took that away from us.”

MK Arye Eldad said that the incident is “serious and very dangerous – but is not new. For two years the Defense Ministry has held back information.”

At the same time, he criticized Mofaz for his handling of a report on the possible ramifications of the Palestinian statehood bid.

“The report that we discussed last week was confidential, but you publicized its contents,” Eldad said. “This gave [Netanyahu and Barak] a great excuse. You lowered the committee’s stature, and allowed them to play this game.”

MK Nissim Ze’ev (Shas) said that the committee members should “practice self-examination in order to prevent a similar situation in the future.”

However, MK Uri Orbach (Habayit Hayehudi) said: “It isn’t the prime minister or defense minister’s privilege to prevent us from receiving information. This move was political, and not connected to the committee’s activities.”

Lahav Harkov and Yaakov Katz


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Expert: To Counter Erdogan, Offer Gaza

by Maayana Miskin

Middle East expert Dr. Guy Bechor revealed a surprising suggestion for handling Israel's crisis with Turkey in a Sunday interview with Arutz Sheva. Instead of just reacting to Turkey, Israel should take the lead, he said – by offering Turkey an active role in Gaza.

Turkey could take charge of bringing humanitarian goods to Gaza – a role Israel has filled for the past several years – under NATO guidance, he said.

The arrangement would be in Israel's favor for multiple reasons, Bechor explained. For one, Gaza would no longer be Israel's responsibility, but would remain under international supervision.

Secondly, he said, the arrangement would lead to tension between Turkey and Hamas.

“To this point they've been running the game, dealing the cards, and we've been responding,” he said of Israel-Turkey affairs. “Why shouldn't we deal the cards?”

If Israel wants to take a different path, he said, a second option would be ignoring Turkey while working with the United States and NATO to prevent any Turkish naval maneuvers.

'Erdoganistan' and the Kurdish Problem
Israel must realize that Turkey has become “Erdoganistan,” Bechor said; a territory under the total rule of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. As proof, he pointed to Erdogan's recent decision to bomb Kurdish regions in Turkey's north, simply because he personally had lost patience.

Erdogan's problems with his country's Kurdish population are going to make his estrangement from Israel particularly painful, Bechor predicted. Turkey previously enjoyed military ties with Israel which Erdogan had made use of to gain equipment that helped him thwart the Kurds' desire to declare independence and split Turkey in two.

But now, with ties with Israel frozen, Erdogan has few options left in his fight to keep his country united, Bechor said. The United States once assisted with information on Kurdish rebel activities, he added, but will soon be unable to do so, due to the pending withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Erdogan's recent attacks in Kurdish regions have destabilized Iraq, Bechor noted, upsetting the Americans.

Erdogan cannot rely on the strong ties he has forged with Syria and Iran, as both countries are dealing with their own inner struggles, he explained. It is this lack of support that has led Erdogan to take such a tough public stance against Israel, Bechor opined. With Iran and Syria fading, he said, Erdogan hopes attacking Israel will bring him public support from new corners of the Arab and Muslim world.

Maayana Miskin


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Erasing Jews from Jerusalem

by Janet Tassel

Our friends at the invaluable Palestinian Media Watch ( have been diligently following the latest in the Palestinian policy of historical revisionism: erasing Jewish connection to the Temple Mount -- ginning up energy for the big day at the U.N.

To take but two examples of the "spurious" Jewish attachment to their "alleged" Temple, try this one from Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on August 9. August 9 is Tisha B'Av, the commemoration of the destruction of the First and Second Temples:

Since Monday morning, groups of extremist Jews have been roaming the courtyards of Al-Aqsa mosque one after the other, under heavy police protection, on the occasion of the so-called "destruction of the Temple"....This Sunday, the occupation's police handed the shop owners in the Market of the Cotton Merchants...which leads to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, an order forcing them to close their shops on Monday order to facilitate the arrival of the settlers to the Market, for the sake of holding special Talmudic rituals on the occasion of the destruction of the alleged Temple.

Or, from the same Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, on July 1, by its columnist on religious affairs:

The great and exalted Allah commanded the angel Gabriel to place Muhammad upon the riding beast Al-Buraq, which was a cross between horse and donkey. The night journey was both physical and spiritual....Once he reached the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the angel Gabriel removed Muhammad from upon Al-Buraq's back, and then he tied the beast to the Al-Buraq rock, which was called the 'Al-Buraq Wall.' The Jews changed its name to the 'Wailing Wall,' because the Jews are always trying to change Arabic names into Hebrew names....

As PMW notes, "the 'night journey' mentioned in the Qur'an is dated to 621 CE. The mosque was built on the Temple Mount by the son of Ummayed Caliph Abd Al-Malik 84 years later in 705 CE."

And as to the land of Israel:

The Zionists must acknowledge publicly, in front of the world, that the Jews have no connection to the Palestinian Arab land, upon whose ruins arose the colonialist settler Zionist plan that settles and expels, represented by the Israeli apartheid state. That which occurred two thousand years ago (i.e. the Jewish/Israeli presence in the land)...represents in the book of history nothing more than invention and falsification and a coarse and crude form of colonialism

There is much more at the website, including the claim that the Israelis stole "our clothing, our keffiyeh, our falafel, and our humus."

And furthermore, because the Palestinians are tired of looking out on "sin and filth (Jews' praying at Western Wall) ... we are drawing our new maps. When they [Israelis] disappear from the picture, like a forgotten chapter of our city's history, we will build it anew[.]"

The Arabs' meretricious propaganda is a relatively modern phenomenon. Returning to the Qur'an, neither Jerusalem nor Zion is mentioned even once. Major figures from the Hebrew Bible are co-opted and converted to Muslim prophets, though, and Jews are even instructed to enter the Holy Land "that God has decreed for you" in Sura 5, verse 21. Sura 17, verse 104 states: "And we [Muslims] said to the Children afterwards [after "we" drowned Pharaoh and his troops] 'Go live in this land. When the final prophecy comes to pass, we will summon you all in one group.'" And scholars have seen in Sura 2, verse 142 ff a repudiation of Jerusalem, though it is not mentioned by name, when Muslims are instructed to change the direction of prayer (qibla) from Syria to the Sacred Mosque in Mecca

So, as Daniel Pipes puts it:

Where does Jerusalem fit in Islam and Muslim history? It is not the place to which they pray, is not once mentioned by name in prayers, and it is connected to no mundane events in Muhammad's life. The city never served as capital of a sovereign Muslim state, and it never became a cultural or scholarly center. Little of political import was initiated there.

Indeed, as Pipes details in a comprehensive essay in Middle East Quarterly (September 2001), with some exceptions, Jerusalem had little or no importance for Islam. One exception was the Umayyad dynasty (661-750 CE), under whose rule was built "Islam's first grand structure, the Dome of the Rock, right on the spot of the Jewish Temple." Later, "the Umayyads did a most clever thing: they built a second mosque in Jerusalem, again on the Temple Mount, and called this one the Furthest Mosque," or Al-Aqsa. Thus, they retroactively turned Muhammad's "night journey" into a post hoc "reality."

Nevertheless, in the centuries of Ottoman rule in Israel and Jerusalem, even through its decline into a backwater, "the status quo concerning the Western Wall was preserved," according to Meir Ben-Dov, et al. in The Western Wall, "and the Wall was classified as the most sacred place in the Jewish religion...standing, as it did, close to the source of Jewish sanctity, the Temple." Under Suleiman the Magnificent, writes Ben-Dov, "the Jews were granted legal rights regarding the Wall and a firman was entered in the court archives of the Sultanate in Constantinople confirming the Jews' status in the area of the Western Wall."

The following is taken from a 1929 booklet, "A Brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif [the Noble Sanctuary], Jerusalem":

The Haram

The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest (perhaps from pre-historic) times. Its identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute. This too is the spot, according to the universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burned offerings and peace offerings.

The author? None other than Nazi collaborator and notorious anti-Semite, the Grand Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husayni.

Of course, the numerous archaeological finds dating to the First and Second Temples -- those that haven't been bulldozed and trucked away by the Waqf, the Muslim custodians of the Temple Mount -- are shrugged off. As the current Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, told Aaron Klein, "[t]here was no Jewish civilization in Jerusalem. Many people lived here throughout the ages and they left some artifacts, but so what? There is no proof of any Jews being here. Jews came to the [Temple area] in 1967 and not before."

Religious Jews have scratched their heads and asked since 1967: "Can somebody explain why the Temple Mount is in the custody of Muslims?" That is another, very large, story. Meanwhile, the lamentations continue.

Janet Tassel


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