Saturday, January 14, 2012

Toxic Taqiyya

by David Meir-Levi

On May 10th, 1994, just a few months after signing the Oslo Accords (September, 1993), Yasir Arafat addressed an assembly of Muslims in a Johannesburg mosque where he justified his actions by explaining: “This agreement, I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our prophet Muhammad and Quraysh.” And he concluded by calling on the worshipers “to come and to fight and to start the jihad to liberate Jerusalem.”

What did those words mean?

Muhammad signed a 10-year truce with the Arabian pagan Quraysh tribe in the city of Mecca (the Treaty of Hudaybiyah, 628 AD). At the beginning of the second year of that ten-year period he found a pretext to justify breaking the truce. He pounced on the Quraysh in a surprise attack, conquered Mecca and defeated the Quraysh, who were not prepared for more hostilities since they were honoring the 10-year accord and assumed that Muhammad was too. Since then this agreement between Muhammad and the Quraysh has been an example for Muslims world-wide of how to trick the enemy in wartime. In other words, Arafat explained to his Muslim audience that he gave his word to President Clinton and Yitzhak Rabin, and signed the Oslo Accords, only because he planned to annul his commitments and attack Israel as soon as it was expedient for him to do so. He lied to Clinton and Rabin; but once he was out from under the scrutiny of western media and in the comfort of a Muslim group whose support he could assume, he told the truth to his Muslim audience. He was not aware that his speech was recorded.

Arafat’s lies to Clinton and Rabin were an excellent example of a 1,400 year old Muslim tradition of Taqiyya: tricking the enemy in wartime by offering a false peace or truce, but preparing to attack once the enemy lets down its guard.

Taqiyya (lit. ‘caution’) denotes the deceit or dissimulation used by Shiites, who may lie and even commit blasphemous acts to conceal their religion when they are under threat of persecution from majority Sunnis. It has long been used in its other manifestation, as an integral part of Muslim military strategy, employing trickery and deceit to mislead the enemy (for a detailed discussion see John Esposito’s The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, Oxford University Press, 2003).

The Qur’an in a variety of verses (2:225, 3:28, 3:54, 9:3, 16:106, 40:28, and 66:2) establishes the religious legitimacy of breaking oaths, lying, unilaterally violating treaties, and generally scheming against non-Muslims. Allah Himself is described as “the best of schemers” (3:54, 8:30, 10:21), and Muhammad declared, as a justification for murdering unarmed prisoners after offering them safe passage, “war is deceit” (see the Hadith collection of Bukhari, vol. 4, book 52, nos. 268-271). So during the negotiations of Oslo I and II, Arafat’s willingness to acquiesce to Israeli demands was merely his acting as a good Muslim warrior, using taqiyya, deceit in warfare, to put his enemy at a disadvantage.

Arafat’s taqiyya began long before Oslo. For decades he told the West that he was just a scruffy little guy doing his best to keep his rough-neck boys (Fatah, the PLO, the el-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Hamas, inter alia) under control so that he could make peace with Israel; even as he called in Arabic for a million martyrs to march on Jerusalem to destroy Israel and create their “Palestine…from the river to the sea”. Similarly he told the west that he was trying to rein in Hamas and enforce the ban on terrorism to which he had agreed in the Oslo Accords. Yet, as became apparent when Israel invaded his muqata (military compound) in Ramallah during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002, and translated thousands of documents taken from his files and computers, he in reality had partnered with Hamas, funded Hamas, armed Hamas, and aided in Hamas’ terrorism. Far too many in the West fell for his “good cop – bad cop” act.

Hamas too uses the taqiyya ruse at will, frequently telling the West that it really wants peace, but reminding its followers in Arabic that they must continue the ‘struggle’ (the terror war against Israel) until victory or martyrdom.

Examples of taqiyya are endless. To the west the PA explains its refusal to negotiate with Israel as a result of Israel’s settlement construction. But the reality is revealed in the Palestine Strategy Group’s 2009 proposal for a strategy of “intelligent resistance” (i.e., the priority of law fare, boycott campaigns and other anti-Israel propaganda over terrorism) as a means of continuing the struggle against Israel.

Fatah leader, Abbas Zaki, has repeatedly revealed the duplicity of the PA leaders. On April 9th 2008 he told NBN TV the following: “The PLO has not changed its platform even one iota….The PLO proceeds through phases…..Allah willing we will drive them out of all of Palestine.” The following year he revealed on Lebanese TV: “When we say that the settlement should be based upon these (1967) borders, President (Abbas) understands, we understand, and everybody knows, that the greater goal (destruction of Israel) cannot be accomplished in one go. If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers and dismantles the wall – what will become of Israel? It will come to an end.” He then cautioned his listeners: “It is not acceptable policy to say that we want to wipe Israel out. Don’t say these things to the world, keep it to yourself.”

Mahmoud Abbas in an interview with European reporters (December, 2011) insisted that the PA’s unification with Hamas did not threaten the so-called “peace process:” ”We set the agreement’s pillars, and Hamas agreed with us that resistance will be popular and adopt peaceful ways, rather than military resistance.” But when Hamas celebrated its 23th anniversary in Gaza the same week (14 Dec 2011), Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh called upon the Muslim Brotherhood to start a war to liberate Jerusalem: “We affirm that armed resistance is our strategic option and the only way to liberate our land, from the (Mediterranean) sea to the River (Jordan.) God willing, Hamas will lead the people… to the uprising until we liberate Palestine, all of Palestine”.

Palestinian Media Watch recently published “Deception: Betraying the Peace Process,” which documents the hate-speech, hate-preach and hate-teach promoted by PA officials and Arab media, and the manner in which they lie about it to the west. The book, recently reviewed in the NY Times (but see here for a very harsh but accurate critique of the reviewer’s minimization of the PA’s strategy of deceit), lists many examples of deceit.

Despite its public pronouncements in English, the PA glorifies terrorists, libels Israel and promotes a culture of violence. Palestinian Authority television programs, including those on children’s quiz shows, portray cities along Israel’s Mediterranean coast, like Haifa, Jaffa and Acre, as being part of “Palestine.” Some news reports refer to Israel as the Palestinian interior.

A constant theme is the Palestinian denial of any Jewish historic or religious connection to Jerusalem or the Holy Land (see here for a summary and rebuttal of this Israel-denial).

A most recent example of Israel-denial is an op-ed in the Washington Post (12.21.2011) by the PA’s political representative in Washington, in which he promotes a series of fantasy assertions that Palestinians lived in Jericho 10,000 years ago, that Jews and Arabs lived in harmony until 1948, that Israel is to blame for Arab terrorism, and that the PA today has agreed to a two-state solution (for an accurate discussion of this new taqiyya, the invention of Palestinian ancient history, see here).

It is nothing more than common sense that deception of the enemy during war is a commendable tactic and an important part of an effective military strategy. But in the context of war with Muslim powers, there is a critical difference that must be taken into consideration: jihad is eternal and “The duty of the jihad exists as long as the universal domination of Islam has not been attained. Peace with non-Muslim nations is, therefore, a provisional state of affairs only.” Therefore, every truce, treaty or cease-fire agreement made by a Muslim entity with a non-Muslim entity is nothing more than a treaty made to be broken, as soon as the Muslim side finds it useful to do so. This being the case, the most frightening aspect of Palestinian taqiyya is that our own leaders are repeatedly deceived by it, or worse, turn a blind eye to it. Recall that taqiyya is a strategy of deceit against adversaries in wartime. By making taqiyya such a major part of their strategy, PA leaders and Hamas demonstrate that, rather than trying to make peace, they are engaged in continuous war against Israel. So much for the peace process.

A Catholic anecdote says that Satan’s greatest victory was getting the world to believe that he did not exist. Did Satan learn about taqiyyeh from Allah, or the opposite?

David Meir-Levi


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Reminiscing with the Aged Leaders of Fatah

by Rick Richman

Greg Sheridan, the foreign editor of The Australian, is spending a week in Israel and the West Bank and reports it is “dangerous” to visit Israel — “because it is impossible to reconcile the evidence of your eyes with the accepted international narrative”:

“In the international media, Israel is presented as militarist, right-wing, oppressive. In fact it is the only pluralist democracy in the Middle East, the only nation where women’s rights — and gay rights — are protected. It has a vibrant left wing, a cacophonous democracy and an innovative economy.”

Compare his summary of the situation among Palestinians, unable to live side-by-side in peace and security even with themselves, lacking a pluralist society, missing any protections for women and gays, dependent on an economy funded by Western “donors” (because Arab states contribute a lot of rhetoric but few funds):

“So how can there be a Palestinian state when the two parts of it have recently been killing each other and cannot even travel in each others’ territories? Palestinian friends tell me that Hamas would be likely to win a Palestinian election held now. Neither Fatah nor Hamas is remotely democratic. Fatah is also increasingly sclerotic. All its leaders are aged, all figures from the past in office for decades. There is no youth or vitality about it.”

Well, at least the aged leaders of increasingly sclerotic Fatah — cooped up in their half of the quasi-state, understandably afraid to hold another election — can look back on their decades in office and reminisce about all the times they almost had a state.

There was July 2000 at Camp David, when Israel offered a state on substantially all the West Bank and Gaza, with a capital in Jerusalem, and they turned it down. There was January 2001, when they turned down the Clinton Parameters, refusing a state again. There was September 12, 2005, when they got Gaza and announced “no more security turmoil and weapons chaos and abductions, which are not characteristic of our culture.” The January 2006 election did not go well, but there was the February 2007 Mecca agreement, adopting “the language of dialogue as the sole basis for solving the political disagreements” — until the other party threw Fatah off the tops of buildings. In September 2008 there was another offer of a state, which they turned down again. In May 2009 they set “preconditions” for the democratically elected government of Israel to talk to the unelected aged leaders of sclerotic Fatah, saying they would do nothing further since they had a “good reality” in the West Bank. Since then, they have occupied themselves with seeking UN resolutions.

And during this entire period, billions of dollars came their way for participating in this “process.” Good times, good times….

Rick Richman


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Qatar proposes sending Arab troops to Syria

by Rick Moran

If the Arab League isn't going to do it, nobody else will.


Qatar has proposed sending Arab troops to halt the bloodshed in Syria, where violence has raged despite the presence of Arab League monitors sent to check if an Arab peace plan is working.

Asked if he was in favor of Arab nations intervening in Syria, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani told the U.S. broadcaster CBS: "For such a situation to stop the killing ... some troops should go to stop the killing."

The emir, whose country backed last year's NATO campaign that helped Libyan rebels topple Muammar Gaddafi, is the first Arab leader to propose Arab military intervention in Syria where protesters are demanding President Bashar al-Assad stand down.

CBS said on its website that the interview would be broadcast in its "60 Minutes" programme on Sunday.

Qatar's prime minister heads the Arab League committee on Syria and has said killings have not stopped despite the presence of Arab monitors sent there last month.

In the preview of the interview on the website, the emir did not spell out how any Arab military intervention might work.

Something truly horrific - a massacre of thousands of Syrians by Assad - would have to occur before the Arab League lifts a finger to help. The reality is, few League members want to establish such a precedent since their dictatorships could very well be next in the "Arab Spring" parade.They are worried that any such intervention could come back to haunt them if they face a similar situation to Assad's.

So the League will continue to be ineffective and Assad will continue the killing. Not very satisfactory, but that's the reality under which the Syrian protestors live.

Rick Moran


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Anti-Israel Hypocrisy at the UN

by Joseph Klein

Morocco, replacing Lebanon on the United Nations Security Council, wasted no time in raising the issue of Israeli settlements after a closed-door Security Council meeting on January 10th about the unrelated topic of Children and Armed Conflict. As the United States representative is reported to have pointed out, Morocco’s request was “ill-timed and counter-productive.” Morocco’s decision to begin its tenure on the Security Council by carrying the Palestinians’ torch on the Israeli settlements issue is also the height of hypocrisy, considering Morocco’s continuing illegal occupation of the Western Sahara territory and repression of its people who yearn for self-determination.

Expect to see a continuing effort to insert the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, particularly the settlements issue, on the Security Council agenda whenever the Palestinians’ allies, such as Morocco, possibly can. It’s all part of the Palestinians’ campaign to persuade more Security Council members to support the Palestinians’ bid for full UN membership and to isolate the United States diplomatically if it does not drop its veto threat. So far, the United States has not had to exercise its veto power because the Palestinians were unable last year to garner a majority of other members to support their application for membership.

Palestine’s Observer to the UN, Riyad Mansour, told UN correspondents last week that the Palestinians would employ “new creative ideas” to gain full membership in the United Nations:

Are we giving up because there is one powerful country that has a veto power saying the Security Council should not be involved? We’re not giving up. So now we’re coming up with these new creative ideas.

Mansour referred to a letter he had handed to Bass Sangqu, the UN Ambassador from South Africa, which holds the Security Council presidency for the month of January. The letter purports to document “crimes committed by the occupying authority against our people in the occupied territory, including the terrorist activities by the settlers against our civilian population.” And Mansour called for a report on Israeli settlements to the Security Council by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Mansour also announced that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will be visiting Palestinian leaders in the West Bank within the month, presumably to report back to the Security Council their testimonials of Israeli “crimes.”

How about Ban Ki-moon adding to his itinerary a stop in the Western Sahara, illegally occupied by Morocco? The people of Western Sahara, which was once a Spanish colony, were entitled under international law to decide for themselves whether they wanted complete independence or association with another state after the colonizing power gave up control. Morocco never gave the people of Western Sahara this chance. Instead, it invaded and occupied their territory.

Human rights abuses by Moroccan authorities abound in the Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara territory. A leaked report of an investigation in 2006 by the United Nations Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights concluded:

Overall, the human rights situation is of serious concern, particularly in the Moroccan-administered territory of Western Sahara. Currently, the Sahrawi people are not only denied their right to self-determination, but equally are severely restricted from exercising a series of other rights, and specially rights of particular importance to the very right of self-determination, such as the right to express their views about the issue, to create associations defending their right to self-determination and to hold assemblies to make their views known. In order to comply with its international obligations, particularly under the Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, serious changes to both legislation as well as government practice on the issue of Western Sahara are required.

Little has changed since 2006. A 2011 report entitled “Worst of the Worst 2011” by the Freedom House, for example, included Western Sahara in its list of the world’s most repressive societies:

Morocco and the pro-independence Polisario Front made little progress in mediated negotiations on Western Sahara’s status in 2010, and violent clashes between Sahrawi protesters and Moroccan security forces led to a number of deaths in November. Sahrawi activists continued to face harassment and detention during the year. As the occupying force in Western Sahara, Morocco controls local elections and works to ensure that pro-independence leaders are excluded from both the local political process and the Moroccan Parliament. Reports of corruption are widespread. The territory possesses extensive natural resources, including phosphate, iron-ore deposits, hydrocarbon reserves, and fisheries. Nevertheless, the local population remains largely impoverished.

Morocco steadfastly refuses to negotiate with the representatives of the people of Western Sahara on the terms of a referendum that would include an option for an independent state. It has not only settled and occupied the entire Western Sahara territory. It insists that the entire territory belongs to and is under the legal sovereignty of Morocco, despite UN resolutions and an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice to the contrary.

Israel, on the other hand, is prepared to negotiate the terms of a two-state solution with the Palestinians so long as it is truly a two-state solution in which the Israeli state can remain a secure Jewish nation.

Morocco’s hypocrisy is just the latest example when it comes to condemnations of Israel from countries whose human rights records are so much worse. Morocco now has an Islamist government. Expect Morocco to take the lead in the Security Council, along with Pakistan, in continuing to push the Palestinians’ agenda to delegitimize Israel.

Joseph Klein


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When Muslim Moms Kill

by Jamie Glazov

FrontPage Editor’s note: A mother accused of murdering three of her daughters and her husband’s first wife in an honor killing recently testified in an Ontario court in Canada. Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 41, is accused of conspiring with her husband, Mohammad Shafia, 58, and their eldest son, Hamed, 21, of running one of their family cars into a canal with their four relatives inside. See Pamela Geller’s coverage of the trial here.

In these tragic and disturbing circumstances, the editors of Frontpage felt it timely and relevant to run the video of Frontpage editor Jamie Glazov’s speech in March 2011 to the San Fernando Chapter Valley Chapter for “Act! for America,” in which he brought attention to the victims of Islamic honor killings and shed light on why the Left is in league with the Muslim murderers and turns a callous blind eye to the Muslim female victims. The phenomenon crystallizes the Left’s contemporary unholy alliance with radical Islam. Below are the four parts of the 4-part speech:

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

Part IV:

Jamie Glazov


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What Abdullah and Abbas Hope to Achieve from Amman Talks

by Khaled Abu Toameh

The Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which resumed in Amman earlier this month, are mainly intended to help Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah bolster their stature among their constituents and the international community.

For King Abdullah, who is facing growing popular protests in the kingdom over lack of reforms and transparency, the meetings between Israeli and Palestinian officials in Amman are a way of distracting attention from his problems at home.

The king is hoping that by hosting Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, the world will see that it is business as usual inside the kingdom. The message that Abdullah is seeking to send is that he is not worried about or preoccupied with the ongoing protests that have been sweeping the kingdom over the past few months.

In this regard, Abdullah seems to have achieved his goal, at least for now. In the past two weeks, news about the renewed Israeli-Palestinian talks has eclipsed reports related to street protests and acts of violence in many places throughout the kingdom.

The "Arab Spring" has seen thousands of Jordanians take to the streets on a weekly basis to demand major reforms and an end to financial corruption.

In response, Abdullah in the hope of appeasing the public, has ordered a crackdown on top government officials suspected of embezzling public funds

But all the measures that the king has so far taken have failed to convince many Jordanians, some of whom are now beginning to talk about the need for regime change in the kingdom: some Jordanians are openly talking about ending the rule of the Hashemite royal family.

Abdullah is also hoping that the Israeli-Palestinian talks in Jordan will help him improve his standing in the US and the West, where he is also facing pressure to implement far-reaching reforms before unrest gets out of hand in Jordan. Abdullah, who is expected to visit the US next week for talks with President Barack Obama, is now hoping that the Americans will reward him for succeeding in bringing the Palestinians back to the negotiating table with Israel.

Abbas, for his part, is hoping that the talks in Jordan will ease US and EU pressure on him to resume the peace process. He agreed to send his representatives to the Amman talks in the hope that the international pressure would be shifted from the Palestinians to Israel. Abbas is also hoping that the Amman talks will persuade the US and EU to continue, or increase, financial support for his authority. He knows that money will consolidate his power and ensure the continued support of tens of thousands of Palestinian families who are on his payroll.

Khaled Abu Toameh


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Iran, Venezuela Plotting Attacks "Worse than 9/11"

by Anna Mahjar-Barducci

Tensions are mounting between the U.S. and Venezuela as the State Department decided to expel Livia Acosta Noguera, the Venezuelan consul in Miami, declaring her "persona non grata." The Venezuelan consul was implicated in an alleged plot to launch cyber attacks on U.S. nuclear power facilities. The decision was taken as a direct result of the revelations made by the documentary The Iranian Threat, aired by the U.S Spanish language channel Univision.

In the film, the Venezuelan consul was caught on camera backing Iranian-sponsored cyber-attack against U.S. targets in 2007, when she was vice-secretary in the Venezuelan Embassy in Mexico. According to the documentary, these cyber-attacks would be "worse than 9-11." The State Department did not want to comment on this decision. However, a U.S. high official stated that this expulsion is a serious issue, as "we do not take it lightly when we declare somebody persona non grata."

Before the expulsion, four members of the Congress -- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Republican), Mario Diaz-Balart (Republican), David Rivera (Republican) and Albio Sires (Democrat) -- wrote a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, expressing their "grave concern" over the "diplomatic credentials" of the Venezuelan Consul. "According to a documentary by Univision Network titled 'The Iranian Threat' […] [the Venezuelan consul] interacted with members from the Iranian and Cuban embassies and with students posing as extremists […] in order to coordinate a cyber attack against the United States Government and our critical infrastructure systems at the White House, FBI, and CIA. If true, these actions demonstrate [Venezuelan consul's] willingness to undermine U.S. interests and potential threat to our national security posed by [Venezuelan consul's] activities. With this is mind, we respectfully request the Department of State to investigate these allegations, and if found true, declare her a persona non grata and require her immediate departure from the United States," they wrote.

Congressman David Rivera also revealed that Washington has information that members of the Venezuelan diplomatic corps are also active officers of the Venezuelan intelligence services. This would mean that Venezuelan spies are allegedly acting freely in the U.S soil. Congressman Rivera warned that there should be an immediate investigation into further Venezuelan threats to the U.S. national security, especially given the cooperation between the Venezuela's intelligence and Iran's.

It seems clear that the State Department found these allegations to be true. According to Venezuelan media, the Venezuelan consul has been in Venezuela since December, having left the U.S. soon after the airing of the documentary. "We already knew that this was going to happen, and so she has been in Caracas in order to avoid situations, possibly even dangerous ones," said the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, during a press conference.

Chavez added that the expulsion is a demonstration of "the ridiculous empire's arrogance…..[The Venezuelan consul] is a very dignified professional, who was attacked, slandered and demonized by extremist groups and now by Barack Obama's government," he said, adding that - "She will continue working for our foreign service as she has done for many years." Venezuela's Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro further stated that Venezuela is going to give a clear, firm and timely response about the issue.

The U.S. action against the Venezuelan Consul comes exactly at the time Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Venezuela. It therefore seems a clear signal of disapproval that Washington wanted to send to Venezuela, given that the Venezuelan consul is accused of having backed an alleged Iranian plot to attack the U.S.

Ahmadinejad's visit indicates the further strengthening of relations between Venezuela and Iran. During the visit, Ahmadinejad and Chavez took the opportunity to laugh at the U.S.'s concern over Iran's nuclear program. "They accuse us of being warmongers," said Chavez. "They, the Americans, are the threat." Chavez also commented o being honored by Ahmadinejad's visit. "Now Washington's spokespersons are saying that it is not convenient for any country to get close to Iran. Well, the truth is that this makes us laugh,"Chavez said.

In a Univision interview, U.S. President Barack Obama declared that the Venezuelan government's relations with Iran did not serve the interests of the Venezuelan people. "Ultimately, it is up to the Venezuelan people to determine what they gain from a relationship with a country that violates universal human rights and is isolated from much of the world. The Iranian government has consistently supported international terrorism that has killed innocent men, women and children around the world – including in the Americas. It has brutally suppressed the Iranian people simply for demanding their universal rights. And Tehran continues to pursue a nuclear program that threatens the security of the Middle East. Here in the Americas, we take Iranian activities, including in Venezuela, very seriously and we will continue to monitor them closely," Obama said.

Chavez, however, seems not at all worried, and is evidently willing to keep on cooperating with Iran, even if this will lead to more U.S. sanctions. During the meeting with Ahmadinejad, the two heads of state agreed to expand cooperation in the fields of industry, science and nano-technology, as well as economy. They also called on the "imperialist and extremist powers to stop interfering in the internal affairs of other countries."

It is clear, that despite the expulsion of the Venezuelan Consul, the U.S. should keep high alert, as other threats against the U.S. can come from Venezuela, in cooperation with Iran.

Anna Mahjar-Barducci


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Hizbullah Rejects UN Demand to Disarm

by Chana Ya'ar

Lebanon-based Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah has rejected a call by visiting United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his terrorist organization to disarm, saying "The resistance is here to stay."

Ban told a news conference Friday after meeting with Lebanese leaders, "I am deeply concerned about the military capacity of Hizbullah and... the lack of progress in disarmament," referring to the requirement for the terrorist group to disarm set forth in the ceasefire agreement with Israel that ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Instead, Hizbullah has increased its weapons arsenal to a level beyond that which it had prior to the war.

"That is why we discussed this matter very seriously and I strongly encouraged President [Michel] Sleiman to initiate a convening of this national dialogue to address these issues... All these arms outside of the authorized state authority -- it's not acceptable," Ban stated. The U.N. leader is expected to end his three-day visit to Lebanon by Sunday.

Soldiers from the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) were attacked three times last year, with a number of Italian and French troops wounded. Also in the past year, two rocket attacks were launched against northern Israel as well, both times sparking concern that a major conflict might again be ignited. Hizbullah denied responsibility in each case.

Nasrallah responded to Ban's statement with one of his own in a televised speech on Saturday, commenting with some sarcasm, "I felt happy when I heard that he said he was concerned about our military power... This 'concern' reassures and pleases us...

"We do not care if the United States and Israel are concerned," he added, vowing that "resistance, army and the people are the only guarantee" to keep Lebanon safe. We confirm that our choice is the path of resistance and the arms of the resistance," he said, according to the Naharnet news website. "The resistance is here to stay. Its power, its readiness, will continue to grow."

Hizbullah has exponentially increased its influence over the country, and in the government since its war with Israel, and at present is represented by a sizable faction in the parliament. It also comprises a significant number of ministers in Lebanon's Cabinet.

In addition, Hizbullah has expressed strong support for the Assad regime in Syria. "We call on the Syrian opposition to abide by [Syrian President Bashar] al-Assad's demands to engage in dialogue and cooperate with him to introduce reform that would resolve the country's problems," Nasrallah said.

Chana Ya'ar


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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Muslim Brotherhood Declares 'Mastery of World' as Ultimate Goal

by Raymond Ibrahim

Although many Muslim leaders openly articulate their efforts as part of a larger picture—one that culminates in the resurrection of a caliphate adversarial by nature to all things non-Muslim—many Western leaders see only the moment, either out of context or, worse, in a false context built atop wishful thinking.

Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose long-term purpose is reflected in the word "prepare" appearing in their motto.

Among other things, this myopia causes virtually all Western politicians to overlook long-term threats and focus exclusively on violence and terror, the tangible and temporal—those things that may coincide with their tenure.

This narrow-sighted approach sometimes leads to absurdities, such as when Homeland Defense's Paul Stockton, being questioned by Dan Lungren at a recent hearing, refused to agree that al-Qaeda "is acting out violent Islamist extremism," insisting instead that the group merely consists of "murderers." In doing so, he divorced reality from any meaningful context, thereby living up to the Obama doctrine of not knowing your enemy.

Of course, all Islamists have the same goal: the establishment of a sharia-enforcing caliphate. The only difference is that most are prudent enough to understand that incremental infiltration and subtle subversion—step by step, phase by phase, decade after decade—are much more effective for securing their goals than outright violence. Then, once in power, "they will become much more savage."

Accordingly, thanks to the so-called "Arab spring" and its Western supporters, more and more clerics feel they are nearing their ultimate goal of resurrecting the caliphate, the capital of which is to be Jerusalem. This sheikh, for instance, recently boasted that the caliphate will soon be restored and the West will pay jizya—tribute and submission, via Koran 9:29—"or else we will bring the sword to your necks!" So too this sheikh, citing infidel Germany as an example. And of course calls for jizya from Egypt's Christian Copts are growing by the day.

Now, consider the clear, unequivocal words of Dr. Muhammad Badi, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. According to Al Masry Al Youm (as translated by Coptic Solidarity):

Dr. Muhammad Badi, supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, said: "The Brotherhood is getting closer to achieving its greatest goal as envisioned by its founder, Imam Hassan al-Banna. This will be accomplished by establishing a righteous and fair ruling system [based on Islamic sharia], with all its institutions and associations, including a government evolving into a rightly guided caliphate and mastership of the world." Badi added in his weekly message yesterday [12/29/11]: "When the Brotherhood started its advocacy [da'wa], it tried to awaken the nation from its slumber and stagnation, to guide it back to its position and vocation. In his message at the sixth caucus, the Imam [Banna] defined two goals for the Brotherhood: a short term goal, the fruits of which are seen as soon as a person becomes a member of the Brotherhood; and a long term goal that requires utilizing events, waiting, making appropriate preparations and prior designs, and a comprehensive and total reform of all aspects of life." The leader of the Brotherhood continued: "The Imam [Banna] delineated transitional goals and detailed methods to achieve this greatest objective, starting by reforming the individual, followed by building the family, the society, the government, and then a rightly guided caliphate and finally mastership of the world" [emphasis added].

Even so, it matters not how often and openly Islamic leaders like Badi articulate their grand agenda for the world to hear. Western leaders have their intellectual blinders shut so tight, frozen before the word "democracy"—even if "Arab spring" people-power leads to fascism (which, after all, will be someone else's problem after they leave office).

Thus, here is former U.S. president, Jimmy Carter, who not only is "very pleased" with Egyptian elections—despite widespread allegations of voter-fraud against the Muslim Brotherhood—but, when asked if the U.S. should be concerned about the Islamist victory, said "I don't have any problem with that,and the U.S. government doesn't have any problem with that either. We want the will of the Egyptian people to be expressed."

Accordingly, the Muslim Brotherhood and all its offshoots can rest assured that, so long as they do not engage in direct terrorism, they can continue unfettered on their decades-long march to resurrecting the caliphate, which—if history and doctrine are any indicators—will, in its attempt to claim "mastership of the world," be a global menace.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.


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Netanyahu, Obama Talk Mideast Peace, Iranian Threat

by Hilary Leila Krieger

US president, PM discuss by phone Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Jordan, int'l action for Iran, US sanctions companies from China, Singapore, UAE for business with Iran.

US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke by telephone about Iran and the peace process Thursday, amidst flaring tensions with Tehran and ongoing efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks.

The two leaders reviewed the recent meetings between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Amman, according to a statement put out by the White House. Next week King Abdullah of Jordan is scheduled to visit Washington.

The two also discussed "recent Iran-related developments, including the international community's efforts to hold Iran accountable for its failures to meet its international obligations," according to the statement, though it did not specify which developments were addressed.

On Wednesday another Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated in an attack Tehran blamed on Israel and the US, an accusation to which Washington offered an usually strong denial.

Iran has recently threatened to close the Straits of Hormuz and increased enrichment activities despite strong condemnation by the international community, UN sanctions and a reduction of oil imports from Iran by major trading partners.

The US, which has additional tough sanctions in place against Iran, on Thursday designated three foreign companies doing business with Iran's energy sector. The firms, Zhenrong Company of China, Kuo Oil of Singapore and FAL Oil Company Limited of the United Arab Emirates, will no longer be able to receive US export licenses, US Export Import Bank financing and loans over $10 million from US financial institutions.

The companies were sanctioned under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act, a measure which the administration has historically been reluctant to utilize for fear that it would alienate other countries.

"The United States is working with international partners to maintain pressure on the government of Iran to comply with its international nuclear obligations," said a State Department statement detailing the sanctions. "The sanctions announced today are an important step toward that goal, as they target the individual companies that help Iran evade these efforts."

Hilary Leila Krieger


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Panderer-in-Chief: Why Obama's National Security Record Is Weak and Dangerous

by Jay Kronzer

One of Obama's greatest strengths, according to the mainstream media and establishment pundits, is his national security and defense record. After all, they say, he has taken out Osama bin Laden, overthrown a dictator in Libya, and now (at least officially) ended an unpopular war in Iraq.

Osama, Libya, Iraq: A Counter-Argument

Big deal. Sooner or later Osama bin Laden was going to be found, and by that time, from a tactical standpoint, his death was irrelevant. It was a symbolic and emotional relief more than anything else. In any event, credit should go to the Navy SEALs; they were the ones who were there on the ground, risking their lives to bring a killer to justice.

Then there's Libya, which maintains a fragile peace. Gaddafi's brutal assault against his own people lasted a lot longer than necessary. Many lives were lost by the time Obama made up his mind and offered the rebels assistance. Why did he take so long? Was it because he waited until he thought the situation was politically expedient or because public opinion had turned against him in favor of the rebels? This is yet another example of him leading from behind.

And now we see that the situation in Iraq, which Obama hails as an accomplishment, is shaky and unstable, descending into ever-increasing violence. Looking at the evidence, who could claim that Obama has a strong record on defense national security?

Iraq: Undermining Our Achievements

December of 2011 marked the "official" end of the war in Iraq. All the troops, according to Obama, would be home for the holidays. In fact, not all of them were. Despite his pledge that "the rest of our troops will come home by the end of the year," approximately 4,000 troops were transferred to Kuwait, where they will remain for several more months. Nevertheless, there will still be Americans in Iraq. The U.S. embassy in Baghdad -- the largest embassy in the world -- will retain 16,000 people.

While many celebrate the official end to a long and costly war, the situation on the ground remains tense. The day after the last American soldiers left Iraq, Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki issued an arrest warrant for the Sunni vice president. In addition, after Saleh al-Mutlaq, a deputy prime minister, called him a "dictator," al-Maliki had the Iraqi parliament hold a vote of no confidence against al-Mutlaq and surrounded his house with tanks. Then, on December 22, four days after the final troops left Iraq, 72 people were killed in bomb attacks. Most recently, on January 5, at least 78 people were killed in yet another string of bombings.

To all appearances, the hasty Iraqi withdrawal enacted by the Obama administration has created more sectarian violence and political strife than the country has seen in a long time. If things continue to deteriorate, it could spawn a vacuum that would create fertile ground for terrorists and an opportunity for extremists to exploit the floundering democracy. Despite the high stakes, it seems as if our president doesn't want to get involved. We don't hear about him working with the various political factions in Iraq to build a consensus and help stabilize the situation; instead, he has Joe Biden do it. That alone should trouble everyone. Indeed, it seems that our president is once again leading from behind. He is not acting like a commander-in-chief -- he is acting like a panderer-in-chief, pandering to an already cranky left-wing base in an election year in which his chances at a second term are questionable.

Iran: The Nuclear Threat

Obama also takes an all-too-casual approach toward Iran and refuses to recognize the serious threat that it poses. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has often called for the destruction of Israel. If Obama truly saw Iran as a threat to our safety and geopolitical stability, why would he not seriously consider a military option? We have issued sanction after sanction against Iran, seemingly to no avail. Despite Tehran's repeated denials and insistence that their nuclear program is purely peaceful, it is clear they are in fact pursuing a nuclear weapon. According to a recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, there is definitive evidence that Iran is seeking to build nuclear warheads.

In addition to their nuclear program, in December, Iran captured a top-secret stealth aircraft, a U.S. drone that was designed to gather intelligence. Tehran claimed that they were in the process of decoding it and could reverse-engineer it. Instead of a strong response condemning their actions or a military ultimatum, President Obama merely said this: "We have asked for it back -- we'll see how the Iranians respond." He did not elaborate or stand up to Iran. It was a very weak response from our commander-in-chief and a victory for Tehran, leaving them with a high-tech aircraft to benefit their own research. If we continue to allow the Iranians to defy international law and keep on tolerating their unacceptable behavior, they will carry on undeterred. The situation in Iran has not improved since Barack Obama was sworn in; it has only gotten worse.

But wait -- there's more.

On Tuesday January 3, the army chief of Iran warned a U.S. naval carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf in an attempt to flex Tehran's tyrannical muscles over a strategic waterway through which a sixth of the world's oil exports passes. In addition, the Iranians threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz -- the entrance to the Persian Gulf -- if more sanctions are enacted to block the country's oil exports. And in an act of defiance, on January 8, Tehran announced that they had begun enriching uranium at a new underground site protected from airstrikes. Why should we expect things to get any better if we let them continue?

A military option must be placed on the table. Force, not diplomacy, is the only thing these extremists respect. They cannot be negotiated with; they are committed to the destruction of Israel and to the destruction of the United States as we know it.

Israel: A Cold Turn

In addition, our relationship with our greatest democratic ally in the Middle East, Israel, has been seriously wounded by Obama. Take for instance the time he snubbed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House with a list of demands and left him for an hour to go eat dinner with Michelle and the girls. Or in May of 2011 when Obama called for the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to be held on the basis of the pre-1967 borders.

Israel is the most peaceful, human rights-respecting country in the Middle East. It is considered the homeland of the Jews, yet it is smaller than the state of New Jersey. Why should we shrink it any further to appease those who are committed to our mutual destruction? The policy of appeasement doesn't work, and history testifies to that extent. Look back to the origins of World War II for evidence. Yet the Obama administration seems to be ignoring the lessons of history and advocating just that. We need to stand by our allies, particularly those who are threatened, and stand up against terrorism. Israel is our friend, and our next president needs to remember that.

Defense Cuts: Putting the Nation at Risk

In the latest blow to our national security, Obama called for about $480 billion in cuts over ten years to the defense budget. He claims it is for deficit reduction and that he, as president, needs to make the tough choices. If that is the case, why isn't he talking about tackling the skyrocketing and unsustainable cost of entitlements? Is it because he is pandering to his left-wing base in an election year?

Even Obama's own Defense secretary, Leon Panetta, who says he supports the cuts, admits that they will expose the U.S. to some "acceptable risk." Why gamble with exposing the country to any more risk at all?

The primary function of government is to defend the people. If Obama and his chosen military leaders are willing to expose the U.S. to additional risk that could jeopardize our national security, why is he not willing to cut any welfare or entitlements first? His plan would shrink the Army and Marine "Corpse," whose soldiers are already worn out from numerous combat tours, many of whom are struggling with illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Our men and women in uniform are spread out too thinly and need longer periods to rest and recover. Cutting our military personnel won't help the situation. Obama's plan would also reduce our forces in Europe, many of whom have been there since World War II, and cut our nuclear arsenal whilst other countries seek to build theirs.

Conclusion: our nation's standing throughout the world under Obama is in decline. We are faced with many threats, yet it seems that our president is more concerned with his re-election than he is with our national security. With China's military buildup, Russia's questionable future, North Korea's change of leadership, the violence and political instability in Iraq, the nuclear threat from an ever-defiant Iran, a cold attitude toward Israel (except when politically expedient), and the cutback of our military in a time of great strain, it's time for the American people to ask themselves whom they want in the White House. The fact remains that we can no longer tolerate a panderer-in-chief.

Jay Kronzer


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Prof. Mordechai Kedar: 'A Ball of Fire'

by Chana Ya'ar

Prof. Mordechai Kedar
Prof. Mordechai Kedar
Israel news photo: screenshot Aljazeera / YouTube

Jews in the upscale New York neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights were treated last weekend to an unvarnished reality check on Israel-Arab relations and Middle Eastern affairs, and how those relate to Israel's security, by IDF Lt.Col. (res) Dr. Mordechai Kedar.

The Israeli scholar of Arabic literature and a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University spoke last Sabbath to a packed Orthodox Jewish synagogue at Congregation Bnei Avraham, led by Rabbi Aaron Raski in the upscale Brooklyn Heights neighborhood.

Kedar "looks quiet," commented Raskin, "but underneath burns a ball of fire."

Noted for his fluency in Arabic language, culture and history, Kedar's ability to respond instantly to questions from Arab journalists is legendary in Israel -- and among many Arab nations as well. He has been interviewed numerous times on the pan-Arab satellite television Aljazeera network, with at least one particular interview having gone viral after delivering a biting response to the journalist in which he asserted bluntly that "Jerusalem is not anywhere to be found in the Koran," and has belonged to Jews for at least 3,000 years.

In discussing the Arab Israeli conflict with an American audience unschooled in Arab culture, Kedar explained to the congregants that the first task was to understand how Arabs look at Jews -- and then to look at how Arabs view peace.

Kedar then explained the place of Jews in Islam, and the Islamic view of peace, noting that the definition is dependent on one's identity.

"In the year 628, Mohammed took his army and went to conquer Mecca," Kedar told the congregants, according to Rabbi Aaron Raskin. "He could not conquer it as they had a larger army, so he made a temporary peace with the people of Mecca for 9 years, 9 months and 9 days. As soon as the Meccans saw there was peace, they rested their army and went about their business, never expecting that two years later -- in 630 -- Mohammed would take his army, invade the city, slaughter the population and convert it to Islam. As such, Dr. Kedar explained, this is the sort of peace sanctioned by the Koran for non-believers -- including the Jews.

"The implication is clear," concluded the rabbi. "Israel's continuing a farce of a treacherous peace can never work... Someone asked the real question later in the day: If this is the sort of peace that Muslims have in mind, how can it be that Israel continues to make treaties and give away land?"

Chana Ya'ar

Links to Prof. Kedar's articles on this blog:


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Rewarding Aggression

by P. David Hornik

Wafa, the Palestinian Authority’s news agency, reports that Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian legislator and member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, has told Tony Blair, former British prime minister and currently representative of the Middle East Quartet, that unless Israel stops its objectionable behavior the Palestinians won’t return to negotiations.

She was referring to two meetings that were held in Amman this month between an Israeli and a Palestinian negotiator. All accounts agree that the talks were held to appease Quartet pressure and haven’t yielded anything. Whereas Israel expresses an ongoing willingness to keep trying, PA president Mahmoud Abbas has said that if Israel does not submit to Palestinian preconditions by January 26 “all options will be open”—by which he means finalizing a deal with Hamas and Islamic Jihad leading to “popular resistance.”

What Israel has to do, Ashrawi told Blair, is stop settlement activity and precommit to the 1967 borders. She complained: “With its stepped-up illegal settlement campaign and continued efforts to create facts on the ground, Israel is undermining any and all efforts to stimulate peace.”

One notable thing here is the demand that, to enable negotiations at all, one side cede the whole store to the other. What is supposed to be in dispute, what is supposed to be the subject of negotiations, is land Israel conquered in the Six Day War of 1967. If Israel is required to agree beforehand that it is illegal to build a single Jewish home anywhere in this land, and that it does not have valid claim to an inch of it, it is not clear what is the point of negotiations or what they are supposed to be about.

And another notable thing is that the Palestinian preconditions imply a curious new international norm: that when one side is attacked, it has to hand back to the attacker(s) everything that party(ies) may have lost, so that the attacker suffers no penalty whatsoever for having carried out aggression in the first place.

On the morning of June 5, 1967, as the Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian, and Iraqi armies closed in, Israel launched a preemptive strike that saved it from obliteration. In the preceding weeks—among other such statements—Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser had said, “Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel”; Syrian defense minister (later prime minister) Hafez Assad had said, “I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation”; Iraqi president Abdur Rahman Aref had said, “The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear—to wipe Israel off the map.”

By June 10, 1967, the Six Day War was over and Israel had conquered the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria, and Gaza and the Sinai from Egypt. According to both simple moral logic and international precedent, Israel was under no obligation to return any of the land that was supposed to serve as a springboard for a final, annihilatory attack. For instance, Germany, as a consequence of its aggression in World War II, permanently lost land to Poland and Russia.

Israel, however, was ready to give back land it had conquered—but not all of it, and only in return for peace. In November 1967 that position was ratified in UN Security Council Resolution 242, which became the agreed basis for Arab-Israeli negotiations and spoke of Israel withdrawing from “territories”—but not “the territories” or “all territories”—in return for “termination of all claims or states of belligerency” and “secure and recognized boundaries.”

The present Palestinian preconditions for negotiations with Israel, then, which they have been ritually pronouncing since abandoning the path of negotiations almost three years ago, directly flout elementary moral logic of not rewarding the side of the aggressor, and make a mockery of Resolution 242. The fact that European political actors parrot similar claims about the supposed “illegality” of all Jewish life over the 1967 lines, and that last May President Obama, too, broke precedent with all previous U.S. policy and called for an Israeli return to those lines, is a sobering lesson for Israel about how much stock to put in international commitments and documents.

The Palestinians, though, add stunning hypocrisy to the perversity. On Wednesday Palestinian Media Watch reported that Palestinian Authority TV had for the seventh time broadcast a song that lays claim not only to all the post-1967 lands but to Israel within the 1967 borders as well (“Jaffa, Acre, Haifa, and Nazareth are ours…Tiberias and Ashkelon are Palestinian”)—a message in which the PA indoctrinates all Palestinian youngsters from the cradle.

Clearly, then, Palestinian intolerance for any Israeli presence over the 1967 lines is Palestinian intolerance for any Israeli presence at all. Is the Quartet—comprised of the U.S., the EU, the UN, and Russia—really blind to something so obvious?

P. David Hornik


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