Saturday, January 21, 2012

Contentions: Israel Not a Strategic Asset? Think Again

by Evelyn Gordon

Would the world be a better place right now if Syrian President Bashar Assad had nuclear weapons? Most reasonable people would say “no.” One of Western policymakers’ enduring nightmares is that unrest in a nuclear power like Pakistan might result in nuclear materiel being looted and trafficked, just as Libyan arms looted during that country’s civil war are now being trafficked worldwide. If Syria had nuclear weapons today, its developing civil war could easily result in precisely that nightmare proliferation scenario.

What brought the question to mind was the unnamed intelligence official quoted in Mark Perry’s latest anti-Israel slur at Foreign Policy, who said that while Israel is “supposed to be a strategic asset … There are a lot of people now, important people, who just don’t think that’s true.” For unless you think the world would be a better place if Syria had nukes right now, it’s pretty hard to argue Israel isn’t a strategic asset for America – not only because Israel is the one that destroyed Syria’s reactor in 2007, but because, as the New York Times reported last month, Washington didn’t even know the North Korean-built reactor existed “until Meir Dagan, then the head of the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service, visited President George W. Bush’s national security adviser and dropped photographs of the reactor on his coffee table.” Only then did U.S. intelligence conduct its own investigation and confirm it.

That the Mossad scooped the CIA on the Syrian reactor is no insult to the latter: Israel has good reason to devote far greater intelligence resources to Syria, a hostile next-door neighbor, than America does; it can also afford to concentrate primarily on its own neighborhood, whereas U.S. intelligence of necessity spans the globe. Hence, it makes sense for U.S. intelligence to devote fewer resources to Syria and rely on Israel to fill in the gaps.

But if Israel didn’t exist, America would have to devote extensive additional resources to Syria, and to all the other Middle Eastern countries on which Israel currently shares intelligence with it – or else risk waking up one day to discover that a U.S.-designated state sponsor of terrorism, a key Iranian ally that served as a conduit for jihadists fighting U.S. forces in Iraq, had suddenly developed nuclear weapons.

Nor is intelligence the only contribution Israel makes to U.S. interests in the region: Precisely because it is more immediately threatened by its neighbors, Jerusalem is often willing to take action Washington would rather not take, but that serves American interests. Its 1981 bombing of Iraq’s nuclear reactor is a case in point: Washington opposed it at the time, but was grateful 10 years later, when its vital interest in keeping oil flowing through the Gulf led it to declare war on Iraq over the latter’s invasion of Kuwait.

Similarly, Bush didn’t want to take action against Syria’s reactor in 2007, being reluctant to open a front against a third Muslim country while already fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. But I suspect many American policymakers are sleeping easier today because that reactor is gone.

Evelyn Gordon


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

Dr. Mordechai Kedar on Syria

An Interview by Yishai Fleisher

Dr. Mordechai Kedar (BESA) and Yishai Fleisher (Jewish Press)


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

UNESCO: Global Fallout From Palestine Decision

by David Singer

Hundreds of millions of people in third world countries stand to suffer because of UNESCO acceptance of the bogus state. "Palestine uber alles?"

Global programs in literacy, gender equality and clean water initiatives will be impacted as a result of America suspending its dues to UNESCO, totaling about $225 million dollars, until 2013 - according to United States National Commissioner to UNESCO - Emilya Cachapero.

Hundreds of millions of people in third world countries stand to suffer as these programs are curtailed or abandoned because of this black hole opening up in UNESCO's recurrent funding - resulting from the admission of Palestine to membership of UNESCO on 31 October.

Two American domestic laws passed in the early-mid-90s specify that if Palestine becomes a full member in any UN agency, the US would end funds to that agency.

This legislation was designed to ensure that no unilateral action was taken by the Palestinian Authority to declare statehood outside the negotiations prescribed by the Oslo Agreements and the Bush Roadmap.

The global fall out from this loss of American funding - 22% of UNESCO's annual budget - has been spelled out In a highly revealing article "Ripples from Palestine Membership Into UNESCO" - written by Ms.Cachapero - the Theatre Communication Groups Director of Artistic Programs/International Theatre Institute - US.

Ms Cachapero indicated the fallout was going to be far wider than just UNESCO's programs:

"However, the withdrawal of funds could also have huge repercussions throughout UN agencies and this is much bigger than just a UNESCO, UN or Palestine issue."

She points out that:

"The UN meeting calendar is determining which other agencies are approached by Palestine to petition for full membership. The next agency meeting where Palestine is expected to request membership is the World Patents Organization and other meetings on the calendar include the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, and later the Atomic Energy Commission."

Obviously if Palestine is admitted to membership of these organizations - then American funding will automatically cease.

Ms Cachapero disagrees with the politicization of UNESCO - brought home very forcefully by Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Maliki who heralded Palestine's admission to membership of UNESCO in these terms:
"Today's victory at UNESCO is the beginning of a road that is difficult, but will lead to the freedom of our land and people from occupation. Palestine has the right to a place on the map."

The price the rest of the world is now being asked to pay for this diplomatic assault outside the negotiations agreed on by the Palestinian Authority with Israel seems to have had no place in Mr Maliki's thinking - nor those 107 states that voted for Palestine's admission knowing full well that it could lead to the loss of America's monetary commitment to UNESCO.

Like it or not - politics appears to have been an important factor in relation to Palestine's admission to UNESCO.

I first raised questions with UNESCO concerning the legality of Palestine's admission some two months ago.

I sought access to the reports of UNESCO's Executive Board recommending the admission of Palestine to UNESCO - which has been ignored. Six weeks ago I also prepared and submitted to UNESCO a submission on the majority vote I believed was required to admit Palestine. UNESCO continues to maintain a wall of silence - indicating it will not be commenting on my claims.

I have now instituted a petition seeking public support to demand UNESCO review the decision and if necessary seek an advisory opininion [sic] from the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

700 people from 19 countries have signed the petition in the 10 days it has been on line.

Is there any alternative to this course of action - which could help get American funding restored if the ICJ finds Palestine's admission was unlawful?

Ms Cachapero offers one alternative suggestion:

"We encourage you to send messages to Members of Congress urging them to amend the laws and allow US funds to flow again to all impacted UN agencies"

She acknowledges that such action is unlikely to have any effect by revealing that:

"US Ambassador to UNESCO David Killion informed the US Commissioners that he is working with other State Department officials to encourage US legislators to amend the laws, which are not likely to be repealed."

Given this is an election year in America - Mr Killion's opinion is probably correct.

UNESCO has attempted to replace the lost American funding by establishing an Emergency Fund in November - urging its remaining 194 members to make up the shortfall.

The Emergency Fund has yielded very little in voluntary contributions to date.

Certainly the 87 member states that did not vote for Palestine's admission, or abstained from voting or simply did not turn up for the vote would not be very sympathetic to such a plea stemming from a decision they did not support.

UNESCO is clearly in a bind.

If the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found UNESCO acted unlawfully, then Palestine's admission would be declared null and void but American funding would be restored. If the ICJ found UNESCO had acted legally, then the loss of American funding would be continued but Palestine's admission to UNESCO would be confirmed.

Given the "out" an ICJ opinion could possibly give UNESCO - it would be acting irresponsibly if it did not approach the ICJ.

I believe that UNESCO could have avoided the dilemma in which it now finds itself - had the Executive Board properly dealt with Palestine's application when it was first presented to the Executive Board.

The action of the Executive Board is to be contrasted with the Committee that dealt with Palestine's application to become a member of the United Nations - where that application failed to convince such Committee to forward it to the Security Council for a vote.

It would be very interesting to learn how Palestine's application could have been recommended by UNESCO'S Executive Board, but rejected by the UN vetting Committee - since only States can be recommended for membership to both organizations.

Palestine does not satisfy the criteria for statehood under customary international law as recognized in the Montevideo Convention.

Was this a fatal impediment to Palestine's application to join the UN - but thought to be of no consequence in regard to its application to join UNESCO?

The ICJ might well have something to say on this issue.

Irrespective of what occured at the Executive Board - the vote taken at the UNESCO General Conference has the smell of illegality about it - reinforced by UNESCO refusing to justify the constitutional provision which enabled Palestine to be admitted to membership on the affirmative vote of only 107 member states - rather than the 129 required by the Constitution.

In the end some declaratory ruling by the ICJ is necessary to possibly rescue UNESCO from the hole into which it is sinking further every day as its programs are impacted by the sudden withdrawal of American funding.

Ms Cachapero's description of the problems as "ripples" seems set to turn into " whirlpools" - unless UNESCO seeks advice from the ICJ instead of hoping the problem will simply disappear if it maintains its present course of inaction and continuing silence.

Should politics take precedence over legality? That is the question UNESCO needs to face - and answer - without delay.

Hundreds of millions of people losing out on the abandonment or curtailment of projects designed to improve their daily lives seem to make the choice a very easy one.

(Ed. note: You can sign a petition demanding UNESCO turn to the ICJ and reconsider the decision that ran counter to its own charter at )

David Singer is an Australian lawyer who is active in Zionist community organizations in that country.


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Mainstreaming anti-Semitism

by Caroline Glick

Anti-Semitism may not yet be a litmus test for social acceptability in the US, but it has certainly become acceptable.

Proof of this dismal state of affairs came this week with the publication of a supportive profile of University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer in The Atlantic Monthly written by the magazine's in-house foreign policy guru Robert Kaplan.

Mearsheimer is the author, together with Harvard's Kennedy School of Government's Prof. Stephen Walt, of the infamous 2007 book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy. Since the book's publication, Mearsheimer has become one of the most high-profile anti-Semites in America.

Kaplan's article was a clear bid to rehabilitate Mearsheimer in order to advance his pre-Israel Lobby theory of realism in international affairs. Mearsheimer's realist theory argues that the international arena exists in a state of perpetual anarchy. As a consequence, the factor motivating states' actions in international affairs is their national interests. Morality, he claims, has no place in international affairs.

This theory's considerable intellectual underpinning rendered Mearsheimer one of the most prominent political scientists in America during the 1990s. As a realist himself, particularly in relation to the rise of China as a superpower, Kaplan perhaps believed that by rehabilitating Mearsheimer, he would advance his goal of convincing US policy-makers to adopt a realist approach to China.

But whatever his motivations for writing the profile, and whatever its eventual impact on US policy towards China, Kaplan's profile of Mearsheimer served to mainstream a Jew-hater and in so doing, to give credibility to his bigotry.

It has become necessary to rehabilitate Mearsheimer because in the years since he and Walt published their conspiracy theory against Israel and its American supporters, Mearsheimer has actively embraced fringe elements in the US and the world in order to advance his campaign to discredit Israel and its supporters. As Alan Dershowitz highlighted in November, Mearsheimer wrote an enthusiastic endorsement of a psychotically anti-Semitic book written by British jazz musician and prolific anti-Semite Gilad Atzmon.

The book, titled The Wandering Who? is replete with Holocaust denial, claims that Jews control the world and America, characterizations of the Jewish God as evil and corrupt, and claims that Israel is worse than Nazi Germany.

In his endorsement, Mearsheimer called the book "fascinating," and said it "should be read widely by Jews and non-Jews alike."

As far as Kaplan was concerned, Mearsheimer's embrace of Atzmon was a simple mistake. But it wasn't. It was part of an apparent decision on Mearsheimer's part to use his own celebrity to legitimize his anti-Semitic views.

In a speech to the Palestine Center in April 2010, for example, Mearsheimer distinguished between "righteous" Jews and "New Afrikaner" Jews. The former are Jews who oppose and attack Israel and the latter are Jews who support and defend Israel. By sanitizing Mearsheimer's bigotry in his sympathetic profile, Kaplan mainstreamed his hatred.

And Kaplan is not alone.

KAPLAN'S PROFILE of Mearsheimer is part of a larger trend in US letters, politics and culture in which anti-Semitism is becoming more and more acceptable. As Adam Kirsch noted in an article in Tablet online magazine this week, The Israel Lobby's central contention, that a cabal of disloyal Jews and sympathizers has forced the US to adopt a pro-Israel policy against its national interests, has found recent expression in the writings of mainstream journalists including New York Times' columnist Tom Friedman and Time's Joe Klein.

Last week, The Washington Post-owned online magazine Foreign Policy - which publishes a regular blog by Stephen Walt, published an article by Mark Perry claiming that in 2007 and 2008 Mossad agents posed as CIA agents in a false-flag operation whose aim was to build a cooperative relationship with the Pakistani/Iranian Baluchi anti-regime Jundallah terror group.

Perry's report was based solely on anonymous sources. Its obvious purpose was to discredit the very notion of Israeli-US intelligence cooperation on Iran.

Following the publication of Perry's article, Israel abandoned its general policy of never commenting on intelligence issues. The Foreign Ministry denounced his report as "utter nonsense."

What Foreign Policy failed to tell its readers is that Perry is not an objective reporter. He is a former adviser to Yassir Arafat and an advocate of US engagement with Hamas and Hezbollah. By failing to mention his biases, Foreign Policy became an accessory to the mainstreaming of anti-Semitism. Like The Israel Lobby, Perry's report in Foreign Policy adds to the legitimacy of the attitude that there is something fundamentally wrong with having a close relationship with the Jewish state.

Perhaps if Mearsheimer and Walt had published their updated version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in 1997 instead of 2007 they would have been received in the same manner.

That is, they would have sat in the mainstream doghouse for a few years but then gradually acceptance and support for their bigotry would have moved from the margins to the mainstream. And within five years they would have been rehabilitated by the establishment. But in all likelihood, that wouldn't have been the case.

It is a fact that since the turn of the century, and particularly in the wake of the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in 2000 - a collapse precipitated by Arafat's rejection of Palestinian statehood; and in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the US, anti-Semitism has become far more acceptable in the US and throughout the world. The volume of attacks against Jews has skyrocketed and the intellectual war against Israel and its Jewish supporters has grown ever more virulent.

The rise of anti-Semitism in the US has many causes, but three parallel developments stand out. First, the development of Arab satellite stations like Al Jazeera has brought the open Jew-hatred of the Arab world into the Western discourse.

True, most Westerners reject the Arab annihilationist form of anti-Semitic propaganda as crude and wrong. But the Jew-hatred propounded by these broadcasts has had a corrosive impact on the Western discourse. It has deadened observers to the lies at the heart of the propaganda.

That is, whereas they may reject the daily calls to destroy the Jews, Westerners have increasingly internalized the basic claim that Jews deserve to be hated. Take for instance a Washington Post story last week on Egypt's decision to bar Jewish worshipers from making their annual visit to the grave of Torah sage Rabbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira.

The story claimed that the Egyptians oppose Israel because of its treatment of Palestinians and because the Egyptian cross-border terror attack on Israel last August "led to the killing of at least five Egyptian border guards as Israeli troops pursued alleged militants."

That is, according to the Washington Post, just as the pan-Arab media claims, Israel is entirely responsible for Arab hatred of Jews.

THEN OF course there is the European media.

This week, the Dutch Christian newspaper Trouw published an article about prenatal care in Israel written by Ilse van Heusden. Van Heusden wrote of the superior medical care she received in Israel where she lived temporarily and where she gave birth to a healthy son.

Rather than extol the dedicated care she received, van Heusden attacked it. She claimed that Israel's world class prenatal medicine is a product of its embrace of eugenics and its similarity to Nazi Germany. As she put it, "To be pregnant in Israel is comparable to a military operation. Countless ultrasounds and blood tests should produce the perfect baby, nothing can be left to the luck of the draw. The state demands healthy babies and a lot of them too."

Trouw's decision to publish van Heusden's anti-Semitic assault is of a piece with countless articles published in the European media portraying Israelis as evil Jews intent on using science and every other means at their disposal to advance the Jews' malign goals of global domination, genocide, apartheid, and general evil. When Israel dares to complain about these attacks, European politicians and media celebrities are quick to stand up and defend their right to freedom of expression.

So it was that Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt - who barred all the Muhammad cartoons from being published in the Swedish media - stood by Sweden's leading tabloid Aftonbladet when in 2009 it published an article accusing IDF soldiers of killing Palestinians in order to harvest their organs. In the mind of the anti-Semites, by trying to object to the blood libel, Israel was proving that it seeks to control the media.

The European media's lies about Israel have been translated into official government policies of lying about Israel. So it is that the French National Assembly published a report last month about the geopolitics of water that included a 20-page diatribe claiming that Israel uses water as a weapon of apartheid against the Palestinians.

To write the report, the French legislators had to ignore not only the content of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement on water in the 1995 Interim Agreement. They had to ignore the basic fact that Israel gives the PA far more water than the agreement requires it to give, and to associate malign intent to the Israeli government. That is, they had to embrace the irrationality of anti-Semitism.

Parallel to the penetration of Arab anti-Semitism into the Western discourse through the pan- Arabic media, and the embrace of overt anti-Semitism by the European media and political class, over the past decade, we have witnessed the development of an alliance between the West's political Left and Islamist movements.

The international Left's embrace of the likes of Hamas, the Taliban, Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood has increased leftist and isolationist American policy-makers' comfort level in adopting hostile postures towards Israel. So it is that at the same time that the Obama administration is assiduously courting the Taliban, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian regime, according to Channel 2, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has refused to meet with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman during his upcoming trip to Washington. Channel 2 reported that senior US officials said that "Lieberman is an obstacle to peace. We don't want our pictures taken with him and with what he represents."

ANTI-SEMITISM IS a prejudice that is based on a rejection of reason. To fight it, it is not sufficient to disprove the contentions of the likes of Mearsheimer. He and his colleagues must be discredited and their enablers must be shamed.

But before this can happen, world Jewry and Israelis alike need to recognize what is happening.

Anti-Semitism is back in style. Its new justification is not race or religion. It is nationalism. Today's anti-Semitism is predicated on preferring Palestinian and pan-Arab nationalism to Jewish nationalism.

And like its racist and religious predecessors, its aim is to deny the right of Jews to be free.

In the face of this onslaught the Jewish people in Israel and the Diaspora have two choices. We can either succumb to our enemies, or we can fight back.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

Caroline Glick


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A Palestinian Hero

by Khaled Abu Toameh

Mahmoud Abu Rahma is perhaps one of the bravest Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Because of his courage, he has been stabbed several times in various parts of his body.

This is what happens under Hamas and the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority governments to anyone who dares to speak out against torture and assaults on innocent civilians and freedom of speech.

Abu Rahma's "crime" is that he dared to publish an article strongly criticizing Palestinian armed groups as well as the Hamas and Palestinian Authority governments for human rights violations and the use of civilians as human shields in the war against Israel.

In the Palestinian territories, human rights activists and journalists are permitted to criticize only Israel. Those who do not toe the official line find themselves either behind bars or in the hospital. The attack on Abu Rahma was intended to deter others from endorsing his critical approach.

As his story his reporting lack [sic] an "anti-Israel angle" --the editors of the foreign press tell their reporters that this is the only thing in which they are interested -- his fight against lawlessness, and the consequences of it, have failed to make it to the pages of major international media outlets.

Abu Rahma works for the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in the Gaza Strip. He is perhaps the only human rights activist who has dared to come out in public against grave violations of human rights under Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. But the price he has paid has been tremendously high.

On January 3, he was severely beaten by masked men as he was walking toward his home in Gaza City. Last week, he was again targeted by unknown assailants, who stabbed him multiple times, leaving him seriously wounded. He is so afraid that he has refused to go to a local hospital out of concern for his safety.

Abu Rahma's troubles began almost immediately after he published an article entitled, "The Gap between Resistance and Governance."

He wrote, "Every day we see detention and summoning of citizens by the dozens, not for unlawful acts they committed, but mostly for who they are and what they think, or for their mere political affiliation."

Noting that there are "hundreds of cases of torture and abuse" in Palestinian detention centers, Abu Rahma said that the people of any nation have a responsibility to criticize those who lead them. "We must look in the mirror before we can see ourselves clearly," he said.

Yet what most likely enraged his assailants was the charge that many innocent civilians have been killed as a result of "resistance attacks" against Israel.

"Who will protect the people from the wrongful acts of the resistance and the government?" he asked in a reference to the firing of homemade rockets at Israel. "It is clear that the resistance continues to show the same carelessness towards violations committed by the [Hamas] government against the people. "Numerous civilians – including children and a man who lost an eye – have been injured by live fire coming from training sites belonging to armed groups in the Gaza Strip."

The failure of the international community and media to pay attention to the plight of people like Abu Rahma only encourages Hamas and the Palestinian Authority to continue their violations. Turning a blind eye to such violations also stops other Palestinians from telling the truth.

Khaled Abu Toameh


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Contentions Occupy AIPAC Next Step for Leftist Group

by Jonathan S. Tobin

Many Jewish liberals have been in denial about the anti-Israel and often anti-Semitic tone of much of the Occupy Wall Street movement since its inception. As our colleague Jonathan Neumann wrote in the January issue of COMMENTARY, the leftist hatred for Israel is thoroughly integrated into the Occupy worldview even though some mainstream sympathizers with the movement would prefer to ignore it. But their tolerance for the way this virus has attached itself to a movement that is supposedly about “social justice” will soon be put to the test again.

The so-called U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is organizing an Occupy AIPAC event set to coincide with the annual national conference in Washington, D.C. of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March. The group, an anti-Zionist organization dedicated to promoting boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) on Israel is hoping to piggyback on the popularity of the Occupy movement to try to sabotage or at least overshadow the AIPAC event. Though the odds are, it will fail, as most such anti-Israel efforts generally do, the manner with which this BDS group has commandeered the Occupy brand name ought to alert liberals to the direction the movement is headed with respect to Israel and the Jews.

Anti-Israel protests at AIPAC are nothing new but the way the BDS coalition has neatly appropriated the slogans and the spirit of the movement praised by Obama could give these outliers a bit more prominence and a more respectful hearing in a mainstream press that has bent over backwards to excuse the excesses of the occupiers.

Even more importantly, the identification of this viciously anti-Zionist group with the mainstream of the Occupy movement ought to shock get the attention of liberals who have refused to acknowledge the connection between the hard left and anti-Semitism. As Neumann points out in his article, far from being a marginal phenomenon, the link between the neo-Marxism of the occupiers and the BDS crowd is far from tenuous. The occupiers and the Israel-haters are natural allies. The only question is when, if ever, are mainstream Jewish liberals who want nothing to do with the Occupy AIPAC leftists going to face up to the fact that there is no distance between this group and the rest of the Occupy mob.

Jonathan S. Tobin


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Rushdie Cancels Literary Event in Wake of Islamist Threats

by IPT News

An Indian Islamist leader is hailing Salman Rushdie's decision to cancel an appearance at a literary festival due to death threats as "a victory for democracy."

Rushdie was to speak today at Asia's largest literature festival in the western Indian city of Jaipur. But in an e-mailed statement read by the festival producer, Rushdie alleged "that paid assassins from the Mumbai underworld may be on their way to Jaipur to eliminate me."

"While I have some doubts as to the accuracy of this intelligence, it would be irresponsible for me to come to the festival in such circumstances," Rushdie's statement added.

Islamists around the world have denounced the Indian-born author's 1988 book The Satanic Verses as blasphemous. Iranian ruler Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie's death shortly after the book's publication. Rushdie went into hiding for nine years but then returned to public life. The fatwa was subsequently lifted by the Iranian government in 1998.

Maulana Abdul Qasim Nomani, head of a prominent Indian Islamist seminary Darul Uloom Deoband, hailed Rushdie's decision as "a victory for democracy because some Muslim organizations, including Darul Uloom Deoband, have opposed the visit to India in a democratic way."

Mohammad Salim, national secretary of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, also welcomed the announcement and described Rushdie as a "criminal from our religious point of view."

India West, a U.S.-based weekly publication targeting the Indian-American population, reports that the Mumbai-based Reza Academy announced a reward of Rs. 1 lakh (roughly $2,400) for anyone who threw a slipper at Rushdie during the event. Throwing a shoe or slipper is a form of insult in Indian culture.

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), told India West that CAIR does not support shoe throwing "but we believe that everyone should have the right to voice their opinions no matter how abhorrent."

Hooper described Rushdie as "one of a cottage industry of Muslim bashers," but added that "he's almost a B-Team now," given the rising Islamophobia in the past two decades.

Rushdie will take part in the event via video link. "Very sad not to be in Jaipur," he said in a Twitter post. "I was told Bombay mafia don issued weapons to 2 hitmen to 'elimnate' me. Will do videolink instead. Damn (sic)."

IPT News


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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why "Invent" the Palestinians

by Robert R. Reilly

This month, in Amman, Jordan, Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators met for their first time in 15 months to try to restart the “peace process.” Meanwhile, the Palestinian group that rules in Gaza, Hamas, has repeated its declaration: “The battle for the liberation of Jerusalem is closer than ever and, God willing, we will win.” Which is it to be, peace or war?

Perhaps this question should be considered against the background of the recent ruckus Newt Gingrich caused in December by saying, “Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. We have invented the Palestinian people, who are, in fact, Arabs and are historically part of the Arab people. . .” The entire political spectrum took umbrage. A critique from the right came from Elliott Abrams, a former Bush deputy national security adviser, who said: “There was no Jordan or Syria or Iraq, either, so perhaps he would say they are all invented people as well, and also have no right to statehood. Whatever was true then, Palestinian nationalism has grown since 1948, and whether we like it or not, it exists.”

This critique seems to confuse two things. Palestine, of course, has never been a state. In 1920, Palestine was carved out as a territory by the British, against the wishes of the Arabs living there who thought of themselves as inhabitants of Greater Syria. When it was within their power the Arabs never thought to create Palestine as a country, nor did the Ottomans. Were it to become one, it would have to be “invented,” just as have been all other states, like Jordan, Syria or Iraq, all of which are 20th-century creations. In this respect, Abrams is correct.

However, states are human constructs; peoples are not. Peoples exist according to ethnic and linguistic distinctions. For instance, the Kurds are a distinct people, as are the Berbers. So are the Arabs. They were not “invented”; they simply are. Ignore them at your peril. Their existence, however, does not translate automatically into a right to Kurdish, Berber or Arabic statehood. For that, other things are needed, including viability.

Never having possessed a state, do the Palestinians nonetheless exist as a people? Are they distinct linguistically or ethnically from the sea of Arabs in which they live? The answer is no. In this Gingrich is right. There is no such thing as a Palestinian people and to speak of them as such is clearly an “invention.” The real question that needs to be asked is why have they been “invented”? The answer to this can be suggested by an analogy that removes us from the immediate passions of the Middle East in order to see this situation more clearly.

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the victorious Allies moved the borders of defeated Germany westward, giving large chunks of it to Poland and Russia. In the process, most of what had been Prussia disappeared. The people in the easternmost portions of Germany were told simply to move. Immediately after the war, old people, women and children were forced to march westward with whatever they could carry or transport. This forced relocation involved an estimated 10 million people, of whom some 1 million perished in the harsh conditions. This was not the Allies’ finest hour.

Now, let us suppose that the new post-war Germany assembled the survivors in refugee camps, denied them citizenship, even the right to marry other Germans, cultivated their grievances, reminded them constantly that their one goal must be to regain Prussia for the great German people, who would not make permanent peace with Poland or Russia until these refugees were granted a “right of return” to the Prussia which was forcibly taken from them.

Such a policy would clearly have meant that Germany did not accept its post-World War II borders or the legitimacy of the post-war settlement. Its purpose in keeping the refugees in camps and cultivating in them a lively sense of grievance would have been to use them as a political tool to regain lost territory. If Germany had done this with its 10 million refugees in 1946, the number of people in those camps 60 years later would be closer to 40 million. Generation after generation, these refugees would have been taught that their real home was located in territory within Poland or Russia. Had there been 40 million aggrieved people living in the heart of Europe in refugee camps, would Europe be reunited and free today? The answer is clearly no. If there had existed an imagined “right of return” for Prussians, it would have been politically impossible. Europe is now whole and free because Germany accepted its defeat after two world wars and assimilated its refugee population.

Why can’t Arabs do this? Or why haven’t they? There have been three attempts by Arab countries to wipe out Israel since its founding in 1948, the time from which Abrams dates the growth in Palestinian nationalism. Each of these attempts has failed. And as a consequence, Arab lands have been lost to Israel. Most Arab countries have not accepted these defeats, and insist that their losses not bear any consequences. They demand that the situation be restored to the status quo ante — as if they had not precipitated these wars and been defeated. In addition, the people from these lost territories have been kept in refugee camps in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Gaza and the West Bank for some 60 years, not allowed citizenship in the adjoining Arab nations (with one exception), and incited with an undying sense of grievance that they have been unjustly dispossessed of their land and, therefore, have a “right of return.” Their whole purpose as an “invented” people is as a weapon against Israel. In other words, the wishes of the Palestinians are not now, nor have they ever been, paramount. Had they been assimilated in the surrounding Arab countries, they would be politically useless. Their “rights” are a veneer to keep them in refugee camps, the continuing existence of which is testimony to the Arab refusal to accept the legitimacy of any postwar order or, ultimately, the legitimacy of Israel itself (only Jordan and Egypt have diplomatically recognized its existence).

While this may help explain why the Palestinians were “invented,” it does not elucidate the source of Arab intransigence in refusing to reach an accommodation with Israel short of the restoration of all that was lost in the repeated attempts to destroy it. In fact, even that restoration may not be enough. Anyone familiar with Al Manar (Palestinian) TV and the general propaganda against Israel throughout the Middle East might reasonably ask if there are any conditions under which the Arab world would allow Israel to continue to exist, other than by the strength of its own arms. And if not, why not? Organizations such as Hamas, quoted above, and Hezbollah repeatedly make clear that the real problem is the very existence of Israel. But why is this a problem, and is its nature political or religious and theological? If it is the former, a negotiated settlement may be possible. If it is the latter, this is highly unlikely, if not impossible. Which is it? The answers to these questions must be sought in the heart of Islamic revelation – in the Qur’an.

Islam says nothing about states, only peoples, and these it defines through religion. How does Islam regard Judaism? In Surah 5, Allah says that He established a Covenant with the Jews and gave them His revelation. The Jews possessed the Holy Land by virtue of this Covenant. But then the Qur’an cites the offence for which the Jews are forever cursed: “they changed my words.” The Jews changed God’s words; they changed His revelation. One can only appreciate how great and unforgivable this offence is by grasping the orthodox Muslim understanding that the Qur’an has co-existed eternally with God, in heaven, in Arabic, exactly as it exists today. Within this understanding of the Qur’an, the enormity of the Jewish offence becomes clear as a blasphemous act of colossal pride, for which they lost their right to the Holy Land.

Therefore, the Jewish claim to, and exercise of, sovereignty over the Holy Land and, indeed, sovereignty over some Muslims there, on the basis of Surah 5, is an incalculable offense and, for many Muslims, simply unacceptable. This is what drives the animus against Israel’s very existence. Until someone comes up with a new interpretation of Surah 5 that is widely accepted in the Muslim world, it is hard to have a great deal of hope for the sort of peace in the Middle East that we see in Europe.

If Jewish sovereignty in Israel is incompatible with the Qur’an, the rest becomes clear. Then one sees why, when Gaza was given the chance for self-rule, it was not used to display Palestinian capacity and desire for the rule of law and democratic constitutional government, but was turned into a weapons platform against Israel. It is why, at the 2000 Camp David summit, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat turned down Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s offer of more than 95% of the West Bank and all of Gaza, with a capital in East Jerusalem, without even bothering to make a counter offer. By proffering a Palestinian state and substantial reparations, Israel was interested in ending the conflict. Arafat was interested in using the conflict to end Israel. Little has changed since then, including the recent Palestinian attempt to declare a state unilaterally.

This situation exists, as Abrams might say, “whether we like it or not.” But the least we can do is to see it as it is. This would include understanding the Palestinians as the “invented” people they are and comprehending the purposes for which the invention was made.

is the music critic for Crisis Magazine. He is author of The Closing of the Muslim Mind (ISI Books).


- Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Islam's OIC: The World's Thought Police

by Mudar Zahran

On December 19, 2011, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning the negative stereotyping and stigmatization of people based on their religion, and urged member states to take effective measures towards addressing and combating "such incidents." This resolution, based on an initiative from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), was supported by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who hosted a closed-door three-day meeting – apparently one of many in a series called the "Istanbul Process"-- in Washington D.C. with OIC representatives to discuss ways to implement the resolution.

What might sound like a step toward "tolerance," however, is in reality an assault on freedom of speech: a UN-endorsed violation of human rights, co-sponsored by the US, and prompted by the OIC, an organization of 57 Muslim nations, most of which hold the world's worst records on freedom of speech.

The OIC initiative for a UN resolution against "defamation of religion" is not new; the OIC has been promoting it for the last 13 years despite earlier opposition from Western countries. What changed recently was dropping the word "defamation of religion" and stressing "freedom of speech"-- something about which Secretary of State Clinton seems to be enthusiastic.

What resulted, however, from this new "Resolution 16/18," as it is called, is a US-endorsed UN proposal that urges the restriction of freedom of speech by using a vague terms, such as combating "religious profiling" – a term that can be interpreted by anyone any way he likes.

Placing such language into an international legal context forces people to have to think twice before practicing their constitutionally-secured right of free speech – in the US, at least -- when it comes to discussing religion.

What is also alarming, even to me as a practicing Muslim, is the fact that the resolution seems to revolve around just one religion: Islam. But will the OIC countries implement any resolution for themselves, taking measures against their government-sponsored demonization of the Jewish faith and the systematic proliferation of anti-Semitism?

Does Resolution 16/18 mean that Muslims will still be free in their textbooks to call Jews the sons of swine and monkeys -- perhaps on some trumped-up excuse that that a such a remark is not religious but "only" racial?

Will the Palestinians' highest religious authority, the Mufti, Muhammad Hussein, still be able to say, as he did in early January at a Fatah (not Hamas) event to celebrate the 47th anniversary of its founding, that the destiny of Muslims is to kill Jews [sic], and, quoting a Hadith [a saying attributed to the prophet Mohammad] that "The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews… come and kill [them]" – and then have Palestinian TV repeat it?

Will the Egyptian police still run over unarmed Christians with armoured vehicles and burn down churches, as has happened in recent weeks? Or will Resolution 16/18 simply evolve as it has now in Egypt, where the Egyptian courts prosecute only Christians in "contempt of religion" cases, loosely based on Facebook or twitter postings of cartoons deemed to be "insulting to Islam" [AINA: Double Standard in Application of Egyptian Law], but constantly fail to prosecute members of the security services who mow down Christians with armored vehicles or torch churches?

Since the Jews have already been ethnically cleansed from most of these countries, the Christians are next in line. As they say in Arabic, "Saturday's job first, then get to Sunday's job."

Will the Palestinian Authority, an OIC member, remove the signs banning Jews from entering areas under its control that are labeled "Type A-areas" and that read "Israelis [Jews] are not allowed"? Would Jordan stop banning the entry of "visible Jews" with "Jewish prayer items"?

Worse, the resolution, if implemented, would hinder the efforts of those seeking further to understand Islam, or even discuss it in an un-self-censoring way-- including Muslims seeking to bring it out of its often brutal tribal roots. The values of Islam, for example, encourage the military conquest of non-Muslim nations. Although this value is within my religion, as a Muslim, I would like to see it being dropped—Now, is that a defamation of my own religion?

Is Obama's, Clinton's and the US's current message that some religions are "more sacred" than others?

A brief examination of the OIC's history shows the organization is not new to the international proliferation of thought-policing: The OIC is made up of 57 member states (including Russia), with a permanent delegation to the UN. The OIC considers itself the largest international organization outside of the UN; its scope is global.

The OIC has been trying to get this declaration of defamation of religions adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council, a quest described by some as an attempt by the OIC states to bypass the human rights that are protected by the international law, such as the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and thus distort and lower the standards.

The OIC has also established its own Declaration of Human Rights, the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam. Although the Cairo Declaration pays lip service to the UN Declaration -- which, as UN member states, these nations are presumably meant to uphold – it is in fact an alternative to the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and in all likelihood intended to supplant it. The OIC members have slipped it a small clause, stating that all human rights acknowledged by OIC are "subjective to the Sharia law."

As always with international law the questions become, Who implements it? Do they act in good faith? And if not, what recourse is there?

Already, both Iran and the Palestinian Authority are in gross violation of both the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration Against Genocide, yet no country has even moved to challenge either Iran or the Palestinian Authority for these violations.

At the same time, one other country is continually under attack for what often seems like the slightest perceived infraction; and the words "racist" and "apartheid" refer to one country only, which is neither: Israel -- but does this mean that most Arab countries—which are genuinely both racist and apartheid, in both gender and religion -- are not?

Even without a single prosecution to date for the hundred-billion-dollar oil-for-food-embezzlement, or for the continuing sex-for-food violations of children in Africa, Bosnia, Cambodia and Haiti by "peacekeepers" sent to protect them, it would seem as if the United Nations is sufficiently toxic and unlawful to warrant being closed down, or, at the very least, unfunded.

Unfortunately without ever investigating the United Nations, perhaps the biggest international human rights violator of all, Human Rights Watch, in one of its reports, says that the OIC, at least, has been relentless protecting states that violate human rights from criticism.

Human Rights Watch also states it has concerns over the OIC's definition of terrorism, which includes "imperilling people's honour;" "threatening political unity," which sounds like an enshrinement of "one man, one vote, one time;" and "threatening territorial integrity." Would the OIC label the people of Quebec who want separation from Canada terrorists for threatening Canada's "territorial integrity"? Would the OIC recognize the Tea Party as a terrorist organization for "threatening political unity" in the US?

Funny? Not really. The OIC could easily try to market those definitions of "terrorism" that Human Rights Watch describes as "vague," and label genuinely "peaceful acts of expression" as terrorism.

Revealingly, the OIC excludes all real acts of terrorism – carried out by terrorist organizations, such as Hamas – calling them "legitimate struggle".

Further, the OIC officials enthusiastically keep voicing support for the Palestinian "Intifada" [uprising] against Israel, while at the same time failing to provide any significant support either in kind or in finances to the millions of Palestinians within the OIC member states, or even recognizing the miserable human rights conditions of the people about whom they profess to be so concerned. Is it possible that the OIC is more interested in demonizing and harassing Jews than protecting the welfare of their fellow Muslims, the Palestinians?

The US government and the US Department of State are not ignorant about the true nature of the OIC member states, especially when it comes to religious freedom —a significant aspect of freedom of speech. The US Department of State 2010 International Religious Freedom Report signifies US concern about religious freedom in several OIC countries, including Iraq and Pakistan. Nevertheless, last year, OIC secretary general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu was received by president Obama at the White House where Obama expressed "his appreciation regarding the on-going cooperation and engagement between the US and the OIC, including …"combating intolerance and other issues of political nature".

It is shattering that the Obama Administration has welcomed a UN resolution limiting the freedom of speech about religion, especially as it was initiated by countries known to oppress religious freedoms.

The ostensible big change in Resolution 16/18 was apparently that the words "defamation of religion" were dropped – but with no guarantee that they would not be reintroduced later. More meetings like the closed-door one in Washington -- called the "Istanbul Process" -- are apparently planed to discuss "how to implement Resolution 16/18. Resolution 16/18 does not need implementing; it needs abolishing. Now.

The OIC's triumph at the UN of passing a resolution limiting freedom of speech is alarming in that opens the door for further thought-policing resolutions. Why shouldn't the OIC now have good reason to hope that these will also be endorsed by the UN – and also co-sponsored by the United States?

Mudar Zahran


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

Germany's New Islamic Centers, Funded by Taxpayers

by Soeren Kern

One of the oldest universities in Germany has opened the country's first taxpayer-funded department of Islamic theology.

The Center for Islamic Theology at the University of Tübingen was inaugurated on January 16 and is the first of four planned Islamic university centers in Germany.

The German government claims that by controlling the curriculum, the school, which is to train Muslim imams and Islamic religion teachers, will function as an antidote to "hate preachers."

Most imams currently in Germany are from Turkey and many of them do not speak German.

German Education Minister Annette Schavan, who attended the opening ceremony, said the Islamic center was a "milestone for integration" for the 4.3 million Muslims who now live in Germany.

But the idea has been fiercely criticized by those who worry the school will become a gateway for Islamists who will introduce a hardline brand of Islam into the German university system.

The three professors who will be teaching at the department (eventually there will be six full professorships) had to satisfy an Islamic advisory council that they were devout Muslims.

One of the professors is Omar Hamdan, a Sunni Muslim, says that critical analysis into whether the Islamic Koran was actually written by God is "completely out of the question." Pointing to double standards, some of those opposed to the center say there should be critical distance between text and interpreter, as when Christianity is taught in German universities.

Critics also fear that conservative Islamic organizations will exert their influence over teaching and research at the center. There are only two independent experts on the advisory board of the Tübingen center. The other five individuals belong to groups such as the Turkish-Islamic Union for Islamic Affairs (DITIB), which is a branch of the Turkish government.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan uses DITIB to control over 900 mosques in Germany -- to prevent Turkish immigrants from integrating into German society.

During a trip to Germany in November 2011, Erdogan said that Berlin's insistence that immigrants who want to live in Germany must integrate and learn the German language is "against human rights."

In February 2011, Erdogan told a crowd of more than 10,000 Turkish immigrants: "We are against assimilation. No one should be able to rip us away from our culture and civilization." In 2008, he also said, "assimilation is a crime against humanity" and urged the Turkish immigrants there to resist assimilation into the West.

In March 2010, Erdogan called on Germany open Turkish-language grade schools and high schools, presumably to be controlled by DITIB.

Previously, Erdogan had said: "The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers..." -- a declaration many interpreted as a call for the Islamization of Europe.

Aside from the center in Tübingen, Islamic theology departments are also set to open in 2012 in Münster/Osnabrück, Erlangen/Nürnberg and Frankfurt/Gießen.

The German government will pay the salaries for professors and other staff at all four Islamic centers for the next five years, at a total cost of €20 million ($25 million).

According to the Education Ministry, over the next few years Germany will have a demand for more than 2,000 teachers of Islam, who will be needed to instruct more than 700,000 Muslim children.

Germany is opening its doors to Islam at a time when its government is also cracking down on those who criticize Muslim immigration and the Islamization of Europe.

Less than a week before the Tübingen Islamic center was inaugurated, it came to light that the German domestic intelligence agency -- the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV) -- is looking into whether German citizens who criticize Muslims and Islam are fomenting hate and are thus criminally guilty of "breaching" the German constitution.

The BfV's move marks a significant setback for the exercise of free speech in Germany.

The issue has become part of the larger debate over the question of Muslim immigration and the establishment of a parallel Islamic society in Germany.

In November 2011, the German Federal Ministry of the Family released a 160-page report, "Forced Marriages in Germany: Numbers and Analysis of Counseling Cases," which revealed that thousands of young women and girls in Germany are victims of forced marriages every year. Most of the victims come from Muslim families; many have been threatened with violence and often death.

In September 2011, a new book "Judges Without Law: Islamic Parallel Justice Endangers Our Constitutional State," disclosed that Islamic Sharia courts are now operating in all of Germany's big cities. The book argues that this "parallel justice system" is undermining the rule of law in Germany as Muslim imams are settling criminal cases out of court, without the involvement of German prosecutors or lawyers, before Germany's law enforcement can bring the cases to a German court.

That same month, German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich revealed that Germany is home to some 1,000 Islamic radicals who are potential terrorists. He said many of these home-grown Islamists are socially alienated Muslim youths who are being inflamed by German-language Islamist propaganda that promotes hatred of the West. In some instances, the extremists are being encouraged to join sleeper cells and one day to "awaken" and commit terrorist attacks in Germany and elsewhere.

Back in Tübingen, Education Minister Schavan says she is "placing a lot of trust" in the new Islamic center, which she hopes will "contribute to the further development of Islamic theology."

Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group.


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

Taqiyya vs. Our President

by David Meir-Levi

In a previous essay, the present writer exposed the concept of “taqiyya” as a traditional Muslim form of deceit employed by Yasir Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and other leaders of the Arab terror war against Israel. El-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood also are using taqiyya against the USA and other western countries, and with frightening success.

While the Qur’an encourages honesty between believers (Sura 40:28), deception directed at non-Muslims, generally known in Arabic as taqiyya, has full Qur’anic support.

The Qur’an (Sura 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).

The Qur’an and later sources command the obedient Muslim to be engaged in eternal war, jihad, with the non-Muslim world until the supremacy of Islam over the entire world is complete. More than 120 times ((2:193, 4:89-90, 8:12, 8:39, 9:5, 9:11, 9:25, 9:29, 9:39, inter alia; and see here for detailed discussion) the Qur’an calls Muslims to jihad until Islam is the only or dominant religion in the world.

Based on its bloody and gruesome history, and on the voices of its dominant figures, Islam must be understood as a religion that institutionalizes war, conquest, imperialism and subjugation as its normative behaviors. And in its most extreme iteration, it preaches the destruction of Judaism, Christianity, the Hindu civilization, and western civilization. This being the case, what is the value of a treaty with a country under the control of Muslim extremists who subscribe to this iteration of Islam? The answer to that question comes from Muslim scholars themselves: “By their very nature, treaties (with non-Muslims) must be of temporary duration, for in Muslim legal theory, the normal relations between Muslim and non-Muslim territories are not peaceful, but warlike” (Majid Khadduri, War and Peace in the Law of Islam, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1955, p. 220); and “…open-ended truces are illegitimate if Muslims have the strength to renew the war against them [non-Muslims]” (Ahmad Mahmud Karima, Al-Jihad fi’l Islam: Dirasa Fiqhiya Muqarina, p. 461, quoted by Raymond Ibrahim here, and discussed in greater depth here and here).

Such a violent and bloody history of conquest and expansionism ought to spark concern among neighbors to Muslim countries and targets of Muslim aggression. Knowing this, some Muslim leaders employ taqiyya to promote an image of Islam as a religion of peace, and the practitioners of jihad as an aberrant few, a minority of misunderstanders of the “true Islam” — in short, nothing about which the targets of jihad need worry.

But even as apologists for Islam declare any western leader’s concern about jihad to be an insult bordering on Islamophobia , Muslims speaking in their own languages to their own people have no hesitation about verbalizing their plans for Muslim world domination. A popular topic for discussion on Arabic TV channels is the best strategy for conquering the West. That strategy seems to be patience in the use of taqiyya, since the West currently has overwhelming economic, military and scientific power and cannot be defeated by traditional military strategies.

For a more graphic example, note the comments of an Australian Muslim cleric Abu Bakr, also known as Abdul Nacer Benbrika :

“I am telling you that my religion doesn’t tolerate other religions. It doesn’t tolerate (them). The only one law which needs to spread, it can be here or anywhere else, has to be Islam.” Along the same lines, in Kuala-Lumpur (Malaysia), Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad declared that: “… Islam will soon be the domineering force in the world…the world will be in the hands of Islam over the next few years” (ITAR/TASS Russian news agency, March 5, 2006 quoted here and here based upon here).

In numerous sermons Egyptian Muslim scholar and preacher Sheikh Yusuf el-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, rants about the destruction that awaits the Jews when Islam is the world’s ruling religion and the ancient “just and righteous Caliphate” is triumphant (see here, here and here for a general survey of anti-Semitism in the Muslim world, here for el-Qaradhawi’s plans for future conquest of the west, here for reactions to el-Qaradhawi’s fatwa calling for the killing of Americans in Iraq, here for al-Qaeda and other Muslim terror group’s plans for the West, and MEMRI TV’s video of a typical Qaradhawi speech).

And similar sentiments are expressed in the mosques and among the leaders of America’s ally, Saudi Arabia. In the most sacred mosque in Islam, Sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Sudais, the leading imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, uses his sermons to call for Jews to be ‘annihilated’ and to urge the overthrow of Western civilization.

In March 2009, Saudi legal expert Basem Alem publicly echoed similar sentiments:

As a member of the true religion, I have a greater right to invade [others] in order to impose a certain way of life [according to Shari'a], which history has proven to be the best and most just of all civilizations. This is the true meaning of offensive jihad. When we wage jihad, it is not in order to convert people to Islam, but in order to liberate them from the dark slavery (i.e., adherence to other religions) in which they live.”

His sentiments are no aberration. They are based upon the Qur’anic exhortation: “We [Muslims] renounce you [non-Muslims]. Enmity and hate shall forever reign between us—till you believe in God alone” [Qur'an 60:4].

Saudi Arabia seems unabashed about its desire for Islam’s global supremacy. Until 2004, the home page of the Saudi embassy’s Islamic affairs department declared, “The Muslims are required to raise the banner of jihad in order to make the Word of Allah supreme in this world.” For numerous examples of Saudi anti-Western words and deeds, see here, here, here and here, and Robert Spencer’s comprehensive book, The Truth about Muhammed: founder of the world’s most intolerant religion (2006, Regnery Publishing, Inc., Washington DC.).

And this same ideology of supremacist, totalitarian, tyrannical, triumphalist jihadist Islam permeates the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood’s plans to Islamize the USA and all of western civilization are public knowledge. The Brotherhood’s former leader, Mamun al-Hudaybi, explained that the Brotherhood’s purpose is to establish Islamic unity and an Islamic Caliphate, which eventually would rule the world (quoted and analyzed in Barry Rubin’s Islamic Fundamentalism in Egyptian Politics. and discussed as well in Rubin’s The Long War for Freedom ).

As Rubin explains, the Muslim Brotherhood groups are as anti-American and extreme in their goals as the bin Ladinist ones, and their supremacist agenda has been further adumbrated by Mustafa Mashhur, the official leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood from 1996 to 2002, in his five-volume series The Laws of Da’wa. The last volume, Jihad is the Way, has been translated by Palestinian Media Watch. There Mashhur explains some of the fundamental concepts of the Muslim Brotherhood ideology:

- “…the Islamic Ummah [nation]… can regain its power and be liberated and assume its rightful position which was intended by Allah, as the most exalted nation among men, as the teachers of humanity…”
- “It should be known that Jihad and preparation towards Jihad are not only for the purpose of fending-off assaults and attacks of Allah’s enemies from Muslims, but are also for the purpose of realizing the great task of establishing an Islamic state and strengthening the religion and spreading it around the world…”

There can be no reconciliation between such an ideology and the western concepts of peace, freedom and democracy.

Why then does our President continue to support the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt? Now that the elections in Egypt are coming to a close, it is clear that the Brotherhood and the Salafists (who are even more extremist than the Brotherhood) hold between them more than 70% of the seats in the Egyptian parliament.

Yet, Obama is formalizing America’s official recognition of the Brotherhood and the creation of political and economic ties. Needless to say, the Brotherhood leadership is pleased, as reported by Egyptian press (quoted here).

Secretary of State Clinton has admitted that the Obama White House has been in contact with the Muslim Brotherhood since June of 2011, shortly after the demonstrations began in Tahrir square. But what do these extremists say as they achieve power in Egypt thanks to democratic elections? “We must obliterate the liberalism that was introduced by Sadat and Mubarak and reinstate the rule of Islam,” per the Egyptian daily al-Masry al-Youm (quoted here).

Is Obama unaware of the intentions of the Brotherhood? Even if he had no Arabists on his staff, no one to translate the works of Sayd Qtub or Mustafa Mashhur or Yusuf el-Qaradhawi, much has been written about them in English. Have his advisors never read Front Page Magazine?

Obama cannot not know that his backing of the Muslim Brotherhood is nothing less than support for the regimes that seek our demise. So one must ask the uncomfortable question: “whose side is he on?”

David Meir-Levi


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

No-kidding red lines

by Frank Gaffney, Jr.

“Don’t do it.” That is the message American officials, from President Obama on down, are delivering to their Israeli counterparts in the hope of dissuading the Jewish State from taking a fateful step: attacking Iran to prevent the mullahs’ imminent acquisition of nuclear weapons.

This week, the nation’s top military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, will visit Israel to convey the same message in person. If recent reports of other U.S. demarches are any guide, the General will deliver an insistent warning that Israel must give sanctions more time to work and refrain from acting unilaterally.

Such warnings have become more shrill as evidence accumulates that Israel is getting ready to move beyond what is widely believed to be a series of successful – but insufficient – covert actions against the Iranian nuclear program, missile forces and associated personnel.

Some U.S. officials reportedly think the Israelis are just posturing. As one put it, they are playing out a “hold me back” gambit – perhaps hoping the Americans will do the job themselves, or at least to be rewarded for their restraint.

Others point, however, to evidence that the Israelis are concealing key military movements from our intelligence assets as an indicator that they are going for it – and want to keep us from interfering. At a minimum, Jerusalem would have to worry that an American administration that is holding secret negotiations with Tehran in Turkey at the level of Deputy Secretary of State William Burns would seek to curry favor with the mullahs by compromising any information it obtains about Israel’sintentions.

At the end of the day, the fundamental difference between the U.S. and Israel is that the Israelis have laid down “red lines” with respect to the Iranian nuclear enterprise. One of them was crossed two weeks ago when the Iranians announced that they had started enriching uranium in a hardened, and heavily defended, underground facility near the city of Qom. Even the International Atomic Energy Agency – an organization that, under its previous management, incessantly obscured the true weapons purpose and steady progress of the Iranian nuclear program – views this step as ominous.

To be sure, the United States says it has red lines, too. It was only last week that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta pronounced two: Iran would not be allowed either to acquire nuclear arms or to close the world’s energy pipeline that flows through the entrance to the Persian Gulf: the Strait of Hormuz.

The difference between American and Israeli red line, of course, is that the latter may actually take seriously the breaching of theirs. Presumably, that would be because the government of Israel has drawn them so as to define existential threats to the state, not simply as a matter of rhetorical posturing intended mostly for domestic political consumption.

By contrast, we know that at least some Obama administration officials are persuaded the United States can live with a nuclear Iran. They are said to be working up plans to contain, or at least, accommodate themselves to such a prospect.

It is less clear whether Team Obama actually thinks it can tolerate the mullahs’ closure of the Strait. After all, the oil and natural gas that flows through it from much of the Gulf’s littoral states would be severely affected. The effect would be dire for energy prices, U.S. allies and the world economy.

So far, though, in what may be seen from Tehran – whether rightly or wrongly – as submission to the new, Iranian-dictated order of things, we have chosen to remove all carrier battle groups from the Gulf. We have also yet to challenge Iranian assertions that our capital ships will be attacked if they try to return without Tehran’s permission.

Worse yet, even if President Obama actually wanted to enforce his administration’s red lines, he has further compromised America’s ability to do so with his wholesale abandonment of Iraq, draconian defense budget cuts and the emasculated national security strategy he claims is all we can afford.

Thus, the Israelis could reasonably view the United States as less-than-serious about the threats posed by Iran and as wholly unreliable when it comes to keepingthem from metastasizing further. Under such circumstances, if the Jewish State feels it has no choice but to be deadly serious with respect to its red-lines, its leaders must be expected to act as Iran violates them.

The likelihood for such action can only have grown as a result of the contempt with which President Obama has treated Israel, our most important regional ally. Dissing its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is one thing. Allowing our own red-lines to be flouted with impunity, signals that Israel is on its own and must proceed accordingly.

If we are going to stop the nightmare of a messianic regime armed with nuclearmissiles, somebody better do it soon – and with something more effective than sanctions. America should take the lead. But, if the Obama administration won’t, it should get out of the Israelis’ way.

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, Secure Freedom Radio.


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How Circumstance Dictates Islamic Behavior

by Raymond Ibrahim

Preach Peace When Weak, Wage War When Strong

Has there ever been a time when one group of people openly exposes its animosity for another group of people—even as this second group not only ignores the animosity, but speaks well, enables, and legitimizes the first group?

Welcome to the 21st century, where Western politicians empower those Muslims who are otherwise constantly and openly denouncing all non-Muslims as enemies to be fought and subjugated.

Consider this video of Sheikh Yassir al-Burhami, a top-ranked figure in Egypt's Salafi movement which won some 25% of the votes in recent elections. He makes clear a point that, in a different era, would be thoroughly eye-opening: that all notions of peace with non-Muslims are based on circumstance. When Muslims are weak, they should be peaceful; when strong, they should go on the offensive.

Discussing "the analogy between Egypt's Christians and the Jews of Medina," Burhami pointed out that Muslims may make temporary peace with infidels, when circumstance calls for it:

The Jews of Medina represent a paradigm—laid by the prophet [Muhammad]—that shows how Muslims should deal with infidels. The prophet's methods of dealing with infidels are available for Muslims to replicate depending on their situation and their capabilities. The Prophet in Mecca dealt with the infidels in a certain way, so whenever Muslims are vulnerable they should deal with the infidels in this same manner.

Burhami is referring to the famous Mecca/Medina division: when Muhammad was weak and outnumbered in his early Mecca period, he preached peace and made pacts with infidels; when he became strong in the Medina period, he preached war and went on the offensive. This dichotomy—preach peace when weak, wage war when strong—has been instructive to Muslims for ages.

After quoting Koran 4:77, "Refrain from action, uphold prayers, and pay your zakat," Burhami continues:

In many infidel countries, such as occupied Palestine, we instruct Muslims to do just that [follow Koran 4:77]. Today in Gaza, we do not tell Muslims to launch rockets everyday and so destroy the country, but we tell them "Refrain from action and respect the truce." When the Prophet first arrived in Medina, he made conciliation with the Jews, conciliation without jizya [i.e., equal-term conciliation without forcing Jews to pay tribute and live as second-class dhimmis]—this is a pattern that can be followed whenever circumstances dictate. However, when they breached the covenant he fought them and ultimately imposed jizya on the People of the Book [Jews and Christians]. Nor is this Sura [Koran 9:29] abrogated; it is acknowledged and agreed upon.

Burhami exposes much here, beginning with the Koran verse he quotes: when weak, Muslims are to "refrain from action"—but "pay your zakat," which, among other things, funds the jihad. Also, as Muhammad made peace with the Jews of Medina, without making them submit to jizya (tribute to be paid "while utterly subdued"), so too are Palestinians allowed to make temporary peace with Israel. In both cases, circumstance—namely, Muslim weakness—justify it. But, when capability allows, Koran 9:29—which calls for jizya and subjugation, and which Burhami quotes as having abrogated the other peaceful verses—takes over.

Burhami's conclusion:

Yes we can deal with those Christians [Egypt's Copts] as the Jews were dealt with in Medina; it is an option. The Prophet made the Hudaybiya Reconciliation with the infidels and held a truce for ten years; that is also an option…. So, it is legitimate to choose from examples set by the Prophet, depending on what suits the situation of Muslims now.

In short, Muslims may be tolerant of Egypt's Copts now, and not collect jizya and place them in dhimmitude, until they are more capable—just like Palestinians may make peace with Israel now, till they are more capable of waging an offensive. Indeed, Dr. Mohamed Saad Katatni—the secretary general of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, which won 40% of the votes—reportedly said that Copts would not pay jizya now, implying that the idea of collecting tribute from subdued "dhimmi" Copts is very much alive among the Brotherhood, only dormant till a more opportune moment.

One may argue that Sheikh Yassir al-Burhami—"one man," a "radical"—is not representative of "true Islam." The problem, however, is that all his arguments have been made countless times by countless Muslims, including the most authoritative, throughout the ages. Even the late Yasser Arafat evoked Hudaybiya as representative of "peace" with Israel.

And yet, despite all this—despite the fact that this video is a drop in the bucket of evidence—here is the West, making the way clear for people like Burhami to power in the name of "democracy," regardless that pacts, smiles, and handshakes over cups of coffee exist solely when circumstance, in this case, Muslim weakness, dictates.

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


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

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

European Human Rights Court Bans Al Qaeda Preacher's Deportation

by Amiel Ungar

Back in 2009, Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security in the Bush Administration, wrote an article for the Harvard Journal of Law and Public policy. In his article, Chertoff contended that international human rights law was hampering the fight against terrorism and as a classic example he cited the case of a radical Islamist Jordanian preacher named Abu Qatada.

The worthy preacher had earned the nickname of "Al Qaeda's Ambassador to Western Europe". Qatada entered the United Kingdom illegally from Jordan where he was suspected of terrorism. However, given the contemporary law regarding migration (that is also hampering Israel's ability to stem the flow of illegal migrants pouring over the Egyptian border into Israel ) Chertoff claimed that a Catch-22 had been created.

The same open advocacy of terrorism that makes someone a threat to a host country allows that same person to argue that he will not be treated fairly in his home country. Once that argument is raised, Western Civilization's hands are often tied. The individual cannot be deported, nor can he be held for something he has not yet done. The result is that a person who has no legal right to be in a country and poses a clear danger to its citizens cannot be jailed in that country nor removed from it.

Yesterday came the sequel to this saga. The British government believed that it had actually found a way to deport Abu Qatada back to Jordan. It had reached an agreement with the Jordanian government under which the Jordanian authorities pledged not to employ torture or other human rights violations against Qatada. Pending his deportation, Qatada was lodged at a high-security prison.

The British government failed to reckon with the European Court of Human Rights. That court ruled that the British government could not deport Qatada. While Qatada was immune from torture, some of the evidence that would be used against him could have been procured via torture. Therefore, although the court believed that the agreement between Britain and Jordan would be honored and Qatada would not be ill-treated, he still would not receive a fair trial in Jordan and therefore must be allowed to stay in Britain.

This means that Qatada, who has cost the British tax payer more than £1 million in prison costs, legal fees and welfare benefits could be back on the streets in three months and enjoying the hospitality of the British government together with his wife and five children.

The decision may also set a precedent that one cannot deport a person to a country where the standards of justice to not match up to British standards.

The British government's is already upset at some of the ECHR rulings, for example, the decision ignoring British law that would give prisoners the right to vote.

The Cameron government has made no secret of the fact that it would like to limit the court's jurisdiction. Yesterday's verdict may provide it with more ammunition.

Amiel Ungar


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

Candidly Speaking: Groveling to the Brotherhood

by Isi Leibler

It is profoundly disconcerting to read media reports of the unseemly competition between the US and Western governments to curry favor with the Muslim Brotherhood in the wake of its electoral victory in Egypt. There are chilling parallels between such behavior and the disastrous European policy of appeasing the Nazis which paved the way for World War II.

What those attempting to embrace the Muslim Brotherhood fail to comprehend is that this organization represents one of the most fanatical and dangerous of the radical Islamist groups in the region, with a dark record of violence and terrorism imbedded in its DNA. It is rabidly anti-Western, anti-Christian and anti-Semitic, is committed to imposing sharia law and a global caliphate – and willing to employ any means to further its objectives.

To this day, the Brotherhood credo remains: “Allah is our objective, the Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our way and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.”

In Brotherhood eyes Osama bin Laden was a “sheikh” and they condemned the US for assassinating him. A few weeks ago the current Brotherhood leader, Muhammad al-Badi, proclaimed that the genocidal Hamas, which the Brotherhood spawned, should be regarded as a role model for Islamic piety.

If the terms evil and criminal have any meaning, they would surely apply to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Today, aware of the desperate need for US and Western economic support, it tactically moves into a duplicitous “stealth jihad” mode, speaking with a forked tongue and feeding the foreign media with self-portraits of moderation that are totally divorced from reality.

It reassures Western politicians and media that it will adhere to all prior international treaties. But its deceitfulness is exemplified by subsequent announcements that as the peace treaty with Israel was never endorsed by the people, it must be submitted to a referendum. The Muslim Brotherhood to this day repeatedly vows that it will never recognize a Jewish state and fully endorses the murderous policies of Hamas.

DESPITE ALL this, the US administration, mindlessly seeking a rationale to engage with the Brotherhood, has welcomed the “democratic” elections in Egypt, stressing the need to respect the will of the people while disregarding the radical Islamic and fascist nature of the Brotherhood.

According to The New York Times, the administration is promoting the line that the Brotherhood seeks to “build a modern democracy that will respect individual freedoms, free markets and international commitments, including Egypt’s treaty with Israel.” Some apologists even go to the absurd lengths of describing the Brotherhood as the Middle East equivalent of the European Christian Democrats.

They also seem to forget that no Islamic regime has ever voluntarily relinquished power. They refuse to face the reality that, akin to Hamas in Gaza and the Nazis in Germany, both of which gained a parliamentary majority in their respective elections, once in power the Brotherhood will destroy the opposition, impose sharia law and intensify the persecution of Christian Copts and all infidels. In the course of time they could make Mubarak’s autocracy seem like a liberal paradise.

Foreign Relations Committee Chair Senator John Kerry, who formerly described Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s regime as “reform-minded” and enthusiastically supported “engaging” Iran, is not renowned for excessive wisdom in his observations concerning the Middle East. Now, in relation to the Brotherhood, he says that “the US needs to deal with the new reality... and it needs to step up its game” and “figure out how to deal with democratic governments that don’t espouse every policy or value you have.” He even suggested that the Obama administration should emulate President Reagan’s policy of “outreach” to the Soviet Union. Yet Reagan continuously assailed the undemocratic behavior of the Soviet Union, repeatedly referring to it as the “Evil Empire.” His tough approach was a major factor in the ultimate collapse of Communism.

Even more staggering were recent reports in the Indian media alleging that the Obama administration is employing Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, as an intermediary to mediate in secret talks with the Taliban. This evil man, previously denied entry into the UK and the US, openly supports the global caliphate, issued a fatwa (Islamic religious ruling) in 2003 calling on the faithful to kill US troops in Iraq, and endorses Hamas and suicide bombings (which he describes as “martyrdom in the name of God”). He praised Hitler for carrying out the will of Allah by implementing the Holocaust and now prays for Allah to kill all Jews, saying “count their numbers and kill them down to the last one... do not spare a single one.” For the US to have direct dealings with such a person is mind-boggling.

CLEARLY, THE West is obliged to retain diplomatic relations with a radical Islamic Egyptian government, as it does with other dictatorships and tyrannies. But it must not provide it with an imprimatur to oppress its citizens or deny their human rights. The concern is that despite the disastrous outcome of the previous US efforts to “engage” with the Iranians and Syrians, the Obama administration seems once again bent on a path of appeasing the Brotherhood which will undoubtedly only embolden them to promote global jihad even more aggressively. In doing so, the US will once again be abandoning its allies – the more moderate Arab states and Israel.

To make matters worse, the State Department appears to be ingratiating itself with the Brotherhood by condemning the Egyptian military for not stepping aside sooner and handing over the reins of power to the Brotherhood.

One would obviously not expect the US administration to feel more enamored with the Egyptian military than we are, but to take sides in such a situation and support the “democrats” – the Islamic fascists – is surely madness. Despite our distaste for the military, it probably represents the only barrier against Egypt becoming a fanatical Islamic dictatorship.

Needless to say, this has major implications for us. We may soon discover that the Obama administration is obliged to further distance itself from Israel in the US national interest of appeasing the Islamists.

There are chilling parallels today with the late 1930s, when Czechoslovakia was pressured to make way for “peace and stability.” We must remind the world that appeasing the Nazis had the opposite effect and merely empowered Hitler, encouraging him to make additional demands which culminated in war.

We were then very fortunate to have a leader of the caliber of Winston Churchill, whose determination ultimately brought about the downfall of Nazism and prevented the total collapse of Western civilization.

Alas, President Obama is no Churchill and if he considers it expedient even now, before the elections, to grovel to Islamic fascists, we have even greater grounds for concern as to what he is likely to do if reelected.

These issues should be considered now before it is too late, and every effort made to convince Americans of the folly of appeasing radical Islamic groups.

Isi Leibler


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