Saturday, December 8, 2012

Clear Facts about the Settlement Issue

by Yoram Ettinger

1. Judea and Samaria (Jewish roots) or West Bank (Arab roots)?
“Judea” (יהודה) is the origin of the term “Jew” (יהודי). Its Hebrew spelling combines one of God’s names: Jehova (יהוה) and one of God’s acronyms: ד'. Judea and Samaria are the cradle of Jewish history, religion, culture, holidays, ethos, language and yearnings. The official name of the area was "Judea and Samaria" from Biblical times until April 1950, when Jordan occupied/annexed the area, renaming it "West Bank," as distinguished from the east bank of the Jordan River. Judea and Samaria was the official name used by the 1922-1948 British Mandate of Palestine, as well as by the U.N. 

2. Are Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria an obstacle to peace?
Jewish settlements were established in Judea and Samaria after the 1967 War. However, it was pre-1967 Arab terrorism which annihilated the Jewish communities of Hebron, Gush Etzion and Gaza and raged in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Galilee during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s — Arab terrorism aimed at preventing the establishment of an “infidel” Jewish state in the “abode of Islam.” Several Arab armies, and Palestinian terrorists, raided Israel in 1948 and persisted in anti-Jewish terrorism before the 1967 establishment of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. 

3. Is the strategic goal of Mahmoud Abbas to uproot the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria?
Mahmoud Abbas is the chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which supersedes and oversees the Palestinian Authority. The PLO was established in 1964, three years before the establishment of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. The 1964 Covenant of the PLO referred only to the pre-1967 area of Israel. The current PLO Covenant targets Judea, Samaria and the pre-1967 area of Israel for “liberation.” 

Abbas is, also, the leader of Fatah, which was established in 1959, eight years before the establishment of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. The August 2009 Sixth Convention of Fatah called for the continued struggle “to eradicate the Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence." The strategic goal of Abbas is to uproot the Jewish state and not, merely, the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

4. Would the uprooting of Jewish settlements advance peaceful coexistence?
Peaceful coexistence on the one hand, and the uprooting of Jewish or Arab communities on the other, constitute an oxymoron. The 1.6 million Arabs, among 6 million Jews, within pre-1967 Israel do not constitute an obstacle to peace; nor do the 350,000 Jews, among 1.7 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria. The uprooting of Arab communities in pre-1967 Israel would be as immoral as would be the uprooting of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. "Judenrhein areas" contradict peaceful coexistence. In fact, the litmus test of Palestinian/Arab intent is the acceptance or rejection of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. 

5. Does Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria prejudge the outcome of negotiation?
Palestinian construction in Judea and Samaria — which is dramatically larger than Jewish construction there — presents facts on the ground, just as Jewish construction does. Western tendency to single out Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria, while ignoring Palestinian construction, prejudges the outcome of negotiations! Opposition to Arab presence in pre-1967 Israel should not be tolerated; so, too, should the opposition to a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria. Israel’s government razes illegal Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria. Israel should, also, raze the 1,100 illegal Arab homes built annually in Jerusalem and the thousands of illegal Arab homes in Judea and Samaria.

6. Are Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria legal?
Judge Stephen Schwebel, former president of the International Court of Justice, determined that Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria was rooted in self-defense and therefore did not constitute "occupation." Eugene Rostow, former dean of Yale Law School, former undersecretary of state and co-author of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, which sets out the criteria for Israel-Arab peacemaking said U.N. Resolution 242 does not call for withdrawal to the pre-1967 boundaries; Israel’s withdrawal from Sinai amounts to a 90 percent withdrawal from post-1967 areas; the legality of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria “cannot be terminated except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors, and perhaps not even then, in view of Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, ‘the Palestine article,’" which upholds the 1922 British Mandate for Palestine. This 1922 international legal instrument considered Judea and Samaria part of the Jewish national homeland: “Jews have the same right to settle [in Judea and Samaria] as they have to settle in Haifa.” The 1993 Oslo Accord does not prohibit the construction of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. 

The campaign against Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria is based on gross misrepresentations. It is not a peace-enhancer; it is an appeasement-enhancer, fueling terrorism and undermining the pursuit of peace. 

Yoram Ettinger


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Silent Conquest – The End of Freedom of Expression in the West


Frank Gaffney’s powerful new documentary, Silent Conquest, reveals the Obama administration’s war on the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of speech and submission to stealth Jihad and Shariah. Visit Watch the trailer of the documentary below:


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Israeli Diplomacy Within the Corridor of Palestinian Unilateralism

by Dore Gold

The rumor that the Palestinian leadership systematically spread over the last few months was that immediately after the U.N. General Assembly upgraded the Palestinian delegation to the U.N., Mahmoud Abbas would renew negotiations with Israel without any of the famous pre-conditions he has set since 2009: prior Israeli agreement to the 1967 lines as the basis of negotiations and a settlement freeze including construction in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem. Since these preconditions were never placed before any previous Israeli government, from Rabin to Olmert, there was a basis for questioning what were Abbas's true motives in demanding them. By saying that they would be removed, Palestinian representatives could argue that the U.N. initiative was not seeking to wreck negotiations but rather to get them back on track. 

This argument was particularly important to make with the European states like Germany, who were planning to oppose the Palestinians at the U.N., but were persuaded at that last minute to abstain. To secure their support for the upgrade resolution at the U.N., Abbas went public with this argument during November. After a meeting with Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo on November 12, Abbas himself said on the record: "if it is possible to start peace talks the following day then we are ready for that." He was quoted by a reporter for Reuters News Agency. Later, Time Magazine reported on Nov. 28, a day before the General Assembly convened, that Abbas "promised to return to talks immediately after the U.N. vote."

It should have come as no surprise that after the vote on Nov. 29, Abbas did not budge on his famous pre-conditions. He even used the U.N. resolution as future terms of reference that Israel must agree to if negotiations are ever to be resumed. There are many possible explanations for his behavior. After repeated rounds of negotiations with Israeli leaders over the last two decades, he may simply have lost faith in ever reaching an agreement with Israel. He knew the Palestinians' demands and was familiar with the limits of what Israel could concede. In fact, back in 2009, he revealed to Jackson Diehl of The Washington Post that he turned down Ehud Olmert's final proposal because the gaps were still too wide to conclude a peace treaty. 

Looking at internal Palestinian politics, real negotiations with Israel in any case would also require Palestinian concessions. Yet since 2006, Hamas has become a growing force in Palestinian political life. With the demise of the regime of President Hosni Mubarak, in particular, Hamas' advantages over Mahmoud Abbas have grown, further diminishing his room for maneuver. Indeed, after coming under attack from Hamas leader, Ismail Hanniyeh, the Palestinian Authority quickly backtracked from Abbas' interview on Channel 2 with Udi Segal, which was being interpreted in Israel as though he had compromised the Palestinian demand for a "right of return," by saying that he personally would not go back to live in Safed. In short, the last thing that Mahmoud Abbas needs at this point are real negotiations with Israel.

Looking at the way Israel and the Palestinians have acted over the last decade and a half it is clear that they have each been driven by two very different kinds of diplomatic logic. On the one hand, Israelis from the main political parties have been consumed with how to make negotiations work. They have tried to understand what the Palestinians need to reach an agreement and have frequently made concessions up front before sitting down with the other side. They used language as a confidence-building measure with the other side.

Thus when the Palestinians declared that they must obtain a full withdrawal from the West Bank to the 1967 lines, unfortunately, there have been a number of Israeli politicians who thought they should offer the equivalent territory, so that the Palestinians obtain the same amount of land regardless of where the final border is located. This kind of diplomatic flexibility was also used to prove a politician bona fide as a peacemaker with the Israeli public and with international elites. 

However, by following this kind of thinking, long-standing Israeli diplomatic positions have been badly eroded and international expectations raised about the extent to which Israeli will concede. This approach involved ignoring U.N. resolutions, like U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, that supported Israel's territorial claims as well as past U.S. guarantees that Israel would not have to withdraw to the 1967 lines. 

On the other hand, the Palestinians were driven by an entirely different political logic. They did not feel that they had to prove to anyone the sincerity of their commitment to peacemaking. They did not have to take into account Israeli positions, thus while formal Israeli positions over the last decade and a half moved significantly, the Palestinians did not move one inch. 

Moreover, Abbas felt confident enough to adopt a unilateralist strategy already in early 2009 while Olmert was still in power. In January, his minister of justice turned to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to get its prosecutor to already designate the Palestinian Authority as a state, which would allow the ICC to have jurisdiction in cases of Palestinian claims against Israeli officers. Undoubtedly, he already had his eyes on the U.N. doing the same. 

Abbas also understood that part of the unilateralist strategy involved a long-term effort to win increasing Western backing for the positions he was advancing. That is why he never gave up on using the U.N. to adopt hostile resolutions against Israel, even during the height of the peace process in the 1990s. His advisers specifically say that Abbas put in a reference to the 1967 lines in the recent U.N. General Assembly resolution because of this "war of ideas" he was conducting. It was important to them to counter the Israeli claim that the territories are disputed.

Abbas' war of ideas also involved elements of delegitimization of Israel, especially statements that denied the Jewish historical connection to Jerusalem and the State of Israel. An official Palestinian Authority book published this year insisted that the word "colonialist" be used when describing Israel, otherwise "the Zionist endeavor" will be turned from a "racist" project into "an endeavor for self-definition and independence for the Jewish people." For the Palestinian side, words were not used as "confidence-building measures" but as instruments to be employed for political warfare. 

Thus at every opportunity, Palestinian spokesmen hammered this point. Just recently, Nabil Shaath wrote an opinion piece in the Daily Telegraph against the Balfour Declaration, ninety-five years after it was issued, arguing: "Balfour, on behalf of Britain, promised Palestine — over which Britain had no legal right — to a people who did not even live there." The Palestinians, he concluded, were a "victim of British colonialism." In his twisted analysis, that was the context for the birth of Israel. Shaath was not trying to reach out to the Israeli side to make peace, but rather to fully discredit its national rights.

Currently, Israel's problem is that it is being forced to suddenly change its diplomacy after years of talking about how to make negotiations work. If in the past there has been an Israeli reluctance to spell out explicitly what Israel's territorial requirements for its security are, that will now have to change. 

After all, how can Israel suddenly annex those areas in the future if Abbas decides to formally declare a state in an effort to alter the legal status of the West Bank right up to the 1967 lines? The Palestinian upgrade initiative at the U.N. did not go that far and did not alter the situation on the ground so far. But what if Abbas goes further down this path? What was thought to be helpful in the context of negotiations actually negates Israeli interests in a unilateralist scenario, which the Palestinians appear to have decided to adopt.

Moreover, Israel cannot wage an international struggle against a withdrawal to the 1967 lines, unless it explains why that would be a disaster for Israel's future. Finally, as seen this week, it is hard to get international acquiescence to Israeli construction over the Green Line, even if it is confined to the settlement blocs, unless it is made clear repeatedly that there are parts of the West Bank from which Israel will not withdraw.

Dore Gold


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Egypt: The Brotherhood’s militia!

by Tariq Alhomayed

Like the Nazis in Germany, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Khomeinism in Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt used their militia despite the fact that the Brotherhood themselves are the ruling party. They are the ones who are in power and in charge of all security authorities; however they used their militia to confront the Egyptian opposition in the street. This tells us that the Brotherhood not just want to capture all powers in Egypt, but control the country as a whole, along the lines of the Khomeinist revolution in Iran. 

The Brotherhood’s militia is not just military, but this also includes the media, business sector, and more. They are all doing everything in their power today to enable the Brotherhood to rule Egypt, and this is something that is not just taking place in Egypt itself, but we can also see their activities in the Gulf region in defense of the Brotherhood’s coup in Egypt. We have never seen such a defense as this from the Brotherhood regarding Egyptian – Gulf issues, whether against Saddam Hussein, or even during Saddam Hussein’s occupation of Kuwait and his threats towards Saudi Arabia. I write this article as Islamist groups, in a clear game of splitting roles with the Brotherhood, are besieging Media City in Egypt’s 6th of October City, calling for the purification of the media! If the Brotherhood want to purify the media and the judiciary and the business sector and even their political opponents – which is something that the president himself hinted at – then what remains of the image of civil society in Egypt?

As we said last week, Egypt and the Egyptians are fighting a battle for all the Arabs, and this is the battle over the state against those who want to hijack it. We previously warned, as did the intellectuals, that when each party has its own militia, media outlets and even its own flag, then what remains for the state itself? This is a terrifying issue that threatens the destruction of our Arab states, one after another, transforming them into failed states, as a result of the disruption of the economy, the breakdown of security and destabilization. Unfortunately, all the logical rhetoric regarding the prestige of the state, significance of stability and importance of not infringing social peace – which the Brotherhood supporters previously dismissed and made jokes about – whether in Egypt or the Gulf, is now being repeated by these same Brotherhood supporters today. This is after they previously described this as the “logic” of the “remnants” [of the former regime] and those who wants to defend Mubarak!

The reality of the situation is that the Egyptian President today is walking in the footsteps of Mubarak in his dealings with the new Egyptian revolution against the Brotherhood. He is unaware of the seriousness of what is happening in the Egyptian street, whilst he is also issuing lengthy and escalatory speeches which are also too late in their response to the people’s demands. More dangerous than all this is the fact that the Brotherhood used their militia despite the fact that they are the ones in power and in charge of all security authorities today; this is the crux of the matter. This means that the Brotherhood do not truly believe in the rotation of power, the ballot box, the quest for consensus or balance [of power], which are the principles of the political process. Any party that uses a militia to suppress the opposition cannot truly believe in the role of the state, or respect its institutions, or want to preserve social peace. The Muslim Brotherhood’s militia in Egypt is a lesson to all Arab states that are keen on the concept of the state and preserving its institutions; when each party has its own media, flag and militia, we must be aware that we are facing an evil that must be guarded against, and the first disaster that this will create is the destruction of the state. There must be no Sultan higher than the authority of the state, regardless of what name this is under. Anybody who fails to see the danger of this must carefully consider what happened in Lebanon, Iraq, Gaza, Sudan, Iran, Yemen and finally, unfortunately, the Brotherhood’s militia in Egypt!

Tariq Alhomayed is the Editor-in-Chief of Asharq Al-Awsat


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The Salafi Crusades

by Daniel Greenfield


One empire falls and another rises in its place. It’s an old story and it is what we are seeing in the Middle East.

The Islamist resurgence was fed by the collapse of two world powers, the USSR and the US. The fall of the Soviet Union robbed the Arab Socialist dictatorships of their support. The last of these, Syria, is now under siege, by Sunni Islamist militias.

Egypt’s Sadat had made the move to the American camp early enough to avoid the fate of Syria or Iraq, but instead his successor, Mubarak, encountered the fate of the Shah of Iran. With the fall of Egypt, Syria is the last major Arab Socialist holdout, and if it falls, then the Middle East will have shifted decisively into the Salafi column.

Unlike the Soviet Union, the United States has not actually collapsed, but its international influence is completely gone. Bush was accused of many things, but impotence wasn’t one of them. Obama however gave the Taliban a premature victory with a pullout deadline, ineptly waffled over the Iranian and Arab protests, before eventually getting on board with the latter, and allowed the UK and French governments to drag him into a poorly conceived regime change operation in Libya.

The loss of American influence was felt most notably in the Middle East, where its former oil patrons took the opportunity to back a series of Salafi crusades, the political Islamist version of which was known as the Arab Spring. The rise of political Islamists in democratic elections was however only one component of a regional strategy that depended as much on armed militias as on the ballot box.

In Egypt, protests followed by elections were enough to allow the Salafis, a category that includes the Muslim Brotherhood, to take over. That was also true in Tunisia. In Libya, a new American client, the government put up a fight, little realizing that Obama wasn’t Putin. Instead of getting American backing, Gaddafi got American bombs, and the Islamist militias, armed and funded by Qatar with Obama’s blessing, got Libya. In Benghazi they repaid the help they received from Obama and Stevens by humiliating the former and murdering the latter.

In Syria, the Muslim Brotherhood’s militias are racing the Al-Qaeda linked militias to the finish line in Damascus, while Western pundits prattle reassuringly about a moderate and secular Syrian opposition, which is as moderate and secular as Egypt’s Morsi.

The land rush of the Arab Spring has begun as secular governments affiliated with Russia and the United States fall, to be replaced by believers in an emerging Islamist Caliphate. The Arab Spring isn’t 1848; it’s 638, the Mohamedan expansion at the expense of the ailing Byzantine Empire, a rampage that eventually ended in the Islamization of the Middle East. For Salafis, this is their opportunity to Re-Islamize the Middle East under the full force of Islamic law.

The Salafi crusades are the beginning of a new wave of global conquests, with old sheiks using oil money from the decadent West to outfit militias of young men with top quality American and Russian weapons before sending them off to die, while they wait for news of the new caliphate and bed down with their eight wife.

This isn’t an entirely new game. Bin Laden was playing it for decades and Salafi crusaders have been fighting the Ottoman Empire and massacring Shiites for centuries. The notion of the Salafis threatening the Middle East and the whole world would have been even more absurd if American oil companies hadn’t rewarded their tribal allies with inconceivable wealth while turning a blind eye to their ambitions. And the notion that the Salafi crusade would ever extend to Europe would have been even more absurd, if not for the jet plane and the liberal immigration policies of Socialist governments with aging populations looking for a tax base and a voting base.

The Salafis, despite their feigned obsession with the purity of the desert, have piggybacked their conquests on Western technologies and policies, from the wire transfer to the jet plane to the cell phone to liberal political correctness and Third Worldism.

Declining empires want stability without war and they are willing to cut a deal with anyone on the way up who has a large enough army and will promise to keep the peace. Carter’s Green Belt strategy hoped to build a wall of Islamist governments to keep the Soviet Union out of the Middle East. The Soviet Union is dead but the Green Belt strategy has been revived by Obama in the hopes of using political Salafis willing to run for office to hold down the Salafist militias willing to kill everything that moves.

It’s hard to imagine a more decadent strategy than trying to outsource your defense policy to the least evil of your enemies, but variations on that theme have been the American defense strategy since the Salafi terror attacks of September 11.

After a decade of trying to divide the Islamist sheep from the Islamist goats, feeding billions to Pakistan to fight terror, extraditing Gitmo terrorists to revolving door rehabilitation programs run by Saudi Arabia, setting up a Palestinian state, making nice to Muslim Brotherhood front groups at home and then setting up the Muslim Brotherhood with a few choice countries of their own in the Middle East; the United States is less secure than ever for trying to appease its way out of the Salafi crusade.

Handing over Egypt and Tunisia to the Islamists earned us a new wave of attacks on September 11, 2012. What handing over Syria to the Muslim Brotherhood will get us can only be imagined.

But Western leaders have a long history of misreading the Muslim world by assuming that Muslim leaders want what good European and American liberals do. Instead Muslim leaders want the sort of things that even few European right wingers want anymore.

Understanding the Salafi crusades means imagining a society where Anders Behring Breivik wasn’t a deluded madman fantasizing about an international network of knights waiting to carry out acts of terror in a war to seize control of Europe and murder millions, but where he and his ideas were mainstream enough that billionaires would fund them and tens of thousands of young men would go to carry them out while television shows and preachers cheered them as martyrs.

Europeans, of course, shudder at the idea, but they have brought those tens of thousands of Breiviks into their own societies through Muslim immigration and Saudi and Iranian mosques. And they have turned over the Middle East to the sort of men who make Breivik look like a schoolboy.

We saw the Salafi crusades in action on September 11. We can see them in action in Nigeria where Boko Haram terrorists blow up churches and in Mali where Salafi fighters chop off the hands of thieves and give teenage girls 100 lashes for talking to boys on the street. We can see them in action in Aleppo where the bodies of tortured priests turn up and in Israel where their terrorists fire rockets from the shade of schools and hospitals.

The Salafi political victories, militia victories and terror attacks are all part of the same phenomenon, and it is about time that we confronted it for what it is. War is politics by other means and politics is war by other means. To the Salafis seizing power, by the bullet or the ballot, the one are one and the same so long as the road leads to the Islamic empire of the Caliphate. Obama’s forced decline of America has led to a new wave of Salafi conquests and the war for civilization has begun in earnest.

Daniel Greenfield


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Morsi’s Defiant, Confrontational Speech

by Max Boot

If there is anything that the current situation in Egypt teaches, it is how hard it is to create a functioning liberal democracy after decades of oppression. It is, in fact, a lot harder than simply having an election. Because after the voting, it is imperative for the winners to show respect for the losers and not simply try to consolidate all power in their own hands while trying to crush the opposition.

By that standard, Mohamed Morsi is failing as Egypt’s new president. In recent weeks he has tried to claim for himself powers that are above even judicial review, and now he is trying to ram through a new constitution, which is to be voted on mere weeks after being drafted in a secretive process declared invalid by the opposition. When Egyptians opposed to this power grab have taken to the streets they have been met by thuggish Muslim Brotherhood supporters and violence has broken out.

Today, speaking from an office ringed by tanks, Morsi sounded a lot like his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak. In fact the only difference between the two appeared to be the backdrop they used for their televised addresses—red for Morsi, blue for Mubarak. Morsi was positively Mubarak-like in blaming the protests on “infiltrators” funded by unnamed third parties—it must be counted as considerable restraint on his part not to come right out and blame the perfidious Zionists. When he vowed that those guilty of violence “will not escape punishment” it sounded like a veiled threat against the opposition; certainly it is hard to imagine him jailing Muslim Brothers who have attacked secular opposition activists or Coptic Christians.

Indeed the menacing tone of his remarks did much to undermine the message of unity that was contained in his call for a dialogue with the opposition. For such talks to be fruitful, Morsi will have to acknowledge that the opposition is not motivated by a desire to undermine Egypt or bring back the old regime—but rather that the opposition is as concerned about the country’s welfare as he is. That, however, would require a monumental intellectual and moral leap that only a few heroes, such as Nelson Mandela and Vaclav Havel and Aung San Suu Kyi, have been able to make. Most of those who have spent long periods of time in underground organizations plotting against the state emerge bitter and ruthless and determined not to allow anyone else to oust them from power as they ousted the previous incumbent. Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong are the ultimate 20th-century examples. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Iraq is a much lesser and less malign example: he is not a mass murderer but he has a conspiratorial, winner-take-all outlook which leads him to persecute political opponents such as the Sunni Vice President Tariq al Hashemi. Unfortunately for Egypt’s future, Morsi, alas, fits more closely into the Maliki mindset than in the Mandela-Havel-Suu Kyi mold.

Max Boot


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Egypt: Will the Army Crack Down on Demonstrators?

by Rick Moran

Chaos in Egypt as tens of thousands of opponents to President Morsi stormed the barricades outside of the presidential palace, brushing aside Republican Guards and chanting for Morsi to repeal his edict that places his decrees above judicial review.


In a long-awaited televised speech to the nation on Thursday night, Mr Morsi refused to lift the declaration under which he put his powers beyond the scrutiny of judges and insisted the referendum on a new, Islamist-tinged constitution would not be postponed.
He called for a meeting with the opposition on Saturday, but his failure to offer compromises in advance, and the increasingly militant tone of Brotherhood statements, infuriated the mainly liberal and secular opposition.
"We are against dialogue based on a policy of arm-twisting and imposing a fait accompli," said Mohammed ElBaradei, the former United Nations Atomic Energy chief who is now the opposition's figurehead.
One of his allies in the opposition National Salvation Front, defeated presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, went further, calling on Mr Morsi not only to rescind his declaration but to step down.
His fiery speech in Tahrir Square was met with chants of "The people want the downfall of the regime," the keynote phrase of last year's revolution against President Hosni Mubarak.
Such chants have angered the Muslim Brotherhood, who claim that the opposition is backed by elements of the old regime and is trying to incite a counter-coup against Egypt's first ever democratically elected president.
A number of offices of the Brotherhood and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, have been attacked and in some cases burned in the past week. The national headquarters on the outskirts of Cairo was looted on Thursday night after Mr Morsi spoke.
The Brotherhood held a funeral at Al-Azhar mosque for two of those killed in clashes outside the presidential palace on Wednesday evening, when thousands of Brotherhood and opposition supporters fought, throwing stones and firing pellet guns at each other.
The crowd at the mosque and speakers accused the opposition of being murderers, traitors and "hash-smokers", a reference to the drugs and alcohol they allege the opposition on Wednesday were using.

The pro-Morsi crowd at the mosque chanted "Egypt is Islamic, it will not be secular, it will not be liberal." - which gives you an idea of where the majority lies in this debate.

So far, the army has allowed protests from both sides to go on without much interference. But the anti-Morsi demonstrators are treading on thin ice when they break through barricades and confront soldiers. If the demonstrations get out of control and some soldiers are killed and injured, it wouldn't be impossible to see the army clear the streets. That would inevitably put them on a collision course with demonstrators with the outcome in doubt.

Rick Moran


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Muslim Persecution of Christians: October, 2012

by Raymond Ibrahim

Despite promises to reform the school textbooks, the Saudi education system continues to indoctrinate children with hatred and incitement, especially against Christians and Jews. The textbooks teach -- among a long list of hate-filled passages, all of which originate in the Qur'an or the Hadith -- that "Christians are the enemies of the Believers," and that "the Apes are the people of the Sabbath, the Jews; and the Swine are the infidels of the communion of Jesus, the Christians."
These reports of the persecution of Christians by Muslims around the world during the month of October include (but are not limited to) the following accounts, listed by form of persecution, and by country, in alphabetical order—not according to severity.

Church Attacks

Canada: As happens regularly in Egypt (see below), a Molotov cocktail was hurled through the window of a newly opened Coptic church near Toronto. Unlike in Egypt, however, firefighters came quickly and little damage was done: "Police have no suspects or motive in the incident."

Egypt: A Muslim mob, consisting mostly of Salafis, surrounded St. George Church in the Beni Suef Governorate. Armed with batons, they assaulted Christians as they exited the church after Sunday mass; five were hospitalized with broken limbs. The Salafi grievance is that Christians from neighboring villages, who have no churches to serve them, are traveling and attending St. George. The priest could not leave the church for hours after the mass, even though he contacted the police; they came only after a prominent Coptic lawyer complained to the Ministry of the Interior concerning the lack of response from police. "I want the whole world to know," he said, "that a priest and his congregation are presently held captive in their church, afraid of the Salafi Muslims surrounding the church." Separately, a group of Muslims, led by Mostafa Kamel, a prosecutor at the Alexandria Criminal Court, broke into the Church of St. Mary in Rashid near Alexandria and proceeded to destroy its altar, on claims that he bought the 9th century church; in fact it had earlier been sold to the Copts by the Greeks, due to the Greeks' dwindling numbers in Egypt. Two priests, Fr. Maximos and Fr. Luke, rushed to the police station to try to bring the police to help. Kamel and his two sons also came to the police station, where they openly threatened to kill the two priests and their lawyer. "We stayed at the police station for over six hours with the police, "Fr. Maximos said, "begging prosecutor Kamel and his two sons not to demolish the church." Fr. Luke said that the prosecutor had so far lost all the cases he brought against the church, "So when this route failed, he tried taking the matter into his own hands."

Indonesia: On a Sunday, "unknown assailants" set fire to the Madele Pentecostal Church in the city of Poso by dousing a collection box with petrol and setting it alight. Flames eventually spread to the pastor's residence. Only the intervention of the fire department and volunteers prevented the blaze from causing major damage to the two buildings. Weeks earlier in the same region, Christian homes were attacked and bombed. Also, two law enforcement agents who were investigating a recent attack on the Christian community were kidnapped; their murdered bodies were later found dumped near an "extremist Muslim" group's training ground. Because Poso has a large Christian presence, Muslim attacks are frequent, including the 2005 beheading of three Christian girls going to school. Meanwhile in Aceh, Indonesian officials, using the famous pretext that a permit had not been issued, shut down nine [more] Christian house-churches and six Buddhist temples; they argued that homes cannot be used "for religious ceremonies or functions." According to the report, "Local Muslim extremists welcomed the decision. Yusuf Al-Qardhawy, head of the Aceh branch of the Islamic Defence Front (FPI), called on other jurisdictions to follow Banda Aceh and enforce Islamic law and stop any non-Muslim worship activity that is not approved." Further, the province of Aceh is the only one "which is subject to Sharia. Compliance is ensured by the 'morality police,' a special force that punishes violations in dress and behaviour."

Iran: Security forces dismantled a network of four underground house churches and arrested seven Christians on a Sunday night. Iranian propaganda media described the churches as a "network of criminals" affiliated with "Zionist propaganda." Sunday's arrests are the latest in a wave of detentions in Shiraz. In the past few weeks, Iranian Intelligence Ministry agents in the city have arrested around 30 Christian converts and transferred them to detention centers. According to another report, "State security agents have been permanently stationed at two churches in Esfahan, Iran, in the latest effort by the Islamic regime to frighten people off Christianity. The agents constantly interfere in the activities of St. Luke's and St. Paul's, and harass those present. They order the pastors around and stop church elders from talking to Muslim seekers. They also try to frighten away visitors by warning them of dire consequences if they continue attending, and create tension among the members by spreading false rumours. The children of church members are also threatened and often forbidden from attending…. This campaign of harassment by the Islamic authorities is not confined to churches in Esfahan. Similar tactics have been deployed at the central Assemblies of God church in Tehran."

Kazakhstan: Two Protestant churches were raided, according to members, under the ruse of a criminal case launched 15 months ago. First, masked police raided Grace Church and seized computers, valuables and religious books they insisted were "extremist;" then police requested church members to give blood samples, to see if the church uses "hallucinogenic" substances for communion. Nine days later the New Life Church was raided, also under the pretext of the unrelated criminal case: "Members of both churches fear the authorities will use the case to prevent them gaining the mandatory re-registration," which critics say is being used to shut down Protestant churches.

Kenya: A grenade was thrown into the Sunday school building of St. Polycarp Anglican Church; it blew off the roof, killing one boy and injuring eight other children who were attending Sunday school; some required surgery. The attack came soon after a Somali member of the Islamic terrorist organization Al Shabab, who had earlier targeted four other churches, was sentenced to prison after he confessed to planning attacks on Parliament. According to the mother of one of the children, "We are in Eastleigh [a region with a large Somali population]. Many Christians, including myself, thought that something might happen. Every week we'd wonder 'What if it's this Sunday?' But we'd still go to church." Likewise, a parliament member said, "The life of an innocent child has been taken and others have been cruelly injured and traumatised in what should be the safest of places. The sanctity of life has been heartlessly breached in a sanctified place. Such acts seem to be designed to spark civil unrest and intimidate the Christian church. In the face of such an outrage we ask, with the prophet Habakkuk, 'O Lord, how long?' and let us trust that God in his mercy will bring justice and relief as we cry out to him."

Nigeria: After a renewed spate of church attacks, thousands of Christians continue to flee northern areas of Nigeria, which are predominantly Muslim, and where the jihadi organization Boko Haram holds sway. An Islamic suicide bomber rammed an SUV loaded with explosives into St. Rita Catholic Church holding Sunday Mass; he killed eight people and wounded more than 100. One "journalist saw the bodies of four worshippers lying on the floor of the church after the blast, surrounded by broken glass. The body of the suicide bomber had been blasted into nearby rubble." The church building, charred black, was devastated. Also, the Church of Brethren was raided by Islamic gunmen who killed at least two people and set the church ablaze. Many churches, fearing further attacks, are shutting down.

Pakistan: The Catholic Church of St. Francis, the oldest of the archdiocese of Karachi, was attacked by a Muslim mob of 600, who destroyed property but did not manage to break through the front door. According to a priest: "Fr. Victor had just finished celebrating a wedding, when he heard noises and shouting from the compound of the church. Immediately all the faithful, women and children were sent to the parish house. The radicals, shouting against the Christians, broke into the building and started devastating everything: cars, bikes, vases of flowers. They broke an aedicule and took the statue of the Madonna. They tried to force the door of the church, throwing stones at the church and destroying the windows." Police arrived an hour later, giving the terrorists plenty of time to wreak havoc. The Archbishop of Karachi lamented that "the church of San Francesco has always served the poor with a school and a medical clinic run by nuns. For nearly 80 years it carries out a humble service to humanity without any discrimination of caste, ethnicity or religion. Why these acts? Why are we not safe? "

Syria: Two churches were attacked. One bomb was detonated near the historical gate of Bab Touma ("Thomas' Doorway") which is largely populated by the nation's Christian minority. The bomb exploded as people were going to their churches for Sunday Mass; up to 10 people were killed. "Terrorists are doing this," said George, a Christian who, like many residents in Bab Touma, lives in fear of the rebel fighters trying to gain control of the capital. Another car bomb exploded in front of the only Syrian Orthodox Church in the town of Deir Ezzor, currently under opposition control. Five people near the church were killed. In September, the same church was desecrated and vandalized by armed gangs.

Tanzania: Muslim mobs burned several church buildings in various parts of the nation after an argument by two children concerning the supernatural powers of the Quran allegedly led a Christian boy to defile Islam's holy book: two church buildings were set ablaze, while the roof of another one was destroyed. On the island of Zanzibar, Muslim rioters also demolished a building belonging to the Evangelical Assemblies of God; and in Dar es Salaam, three more church buildings were set on fire and another destroyed. "We shall continue attacking the churches until they are no more in Tanzania" was echoed in several mosques in Tanzania," said one source.

Rape and Murder of Christians

Egypt: Ali Hussein, a Muslim gang leader—accompanied with his two ex-convict brothers—broke into the home of a Christian family on a Sunday morning, demanding that Hiyam Zaki, a mother of two children, to "come and live with him." Earlier, Hussein had demanded that the family either pay him one million Egyptian pounds, or forfeit the Christian woman to him. Because the family had refused his demands, the gang opened fire indiscriminately, killing one of her relatives and her father. Earlier, to terrorize the inhabitants of the village, the Muslim gang went to the stables and slaughtered all the animals. Hussein was killed under the hail of bullets, although it is not clear who shot him. A Muslim mob then surrounded the hospital demanding revenge for the "Christian killing of a Muslim man," even as they chanted that Hussein the gangster is "the beloved of the Prophet." Similarly, although the abduction and forced Islamization of Christian minor girls is common in Egypt, especially with the ascendancy of Muslim Brotherhood, the case of 14-year old Sarah, who was kidnapped on her way to school by the son of a Salafi leader, actually caused a stir. After filing a missing persons report with police, Sarah's father received an anonymous call telling him that he will never see his daughter again. Security is believed to know the girl's whereabouts but is not acting. After several human rights organizations called for the girl's release, "the Salafist Front issued a statement on October 28, warning human rights organizations, especially the National Council for Women, not to attempt to return Sarah to her family, as she has converted to Islam and married a Muslim man." Moreover, Salafis projected Islamic mores on the Christian family by saying that if Sarah returns to her family, she will be "killed" by her father," to which her father replied, "I want my child back in my arms, even if she became a Muslim."

Nigeria: Up to 30 Christian college students were shot or had their throats slit at a university in the Muslim-majority north. During the night, masked gunmen went door-to-door in the off-campus housing section of Federal Polytechnic College in the city of Moby: "the gunmen separated the Christian students from the Muslim students, addressed each victim by name, questioned them, and then proceeded to shoot them or slit their throat." Among motives cited are reprisals against the fact that former Boko Haram Muslims, renouncing terrorism, converted to Christianity. Other former Boko Haram members have not converted to Christianity but have seen the "goodness of the Christian religion" and now warn Christians before there is an attack.

Pakistan: A 14 year-old Christian girl, Timar Shahzadi, was kidnapped by Muslim men as she was returning from school. According to the pastor close to the family, the girl was with friends when the abductors pounced and dragged her away, and her family fears that she will be "forcefully converted to become a Muslim and then married off if immediate steps are not taken." The family reported the incident to the local police station, but police have not yet conducted any investigation. Also, a court decreed that a Christian girl, known as Rebecca—who was kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam, and married to her abductor—to be returned to her kidnapper "husband," despite her father's pleas and the girls traumatized presence in court. And 24 year-old Shumaila Bibi, another Christian woman, was "seized at dawn, forced to endure sexual abuse and to marry the young Muslim man who abducted her with the help of his family" and forced the woman to convert to Islam. Days later, Shumaila managed to escape. However, with the help of his family, her "husband" denounced her flight and, reversing the facts, reported her family as "kidnapping" her. The police accepted his version of the facts and opened an investigation claiming that the girl converted and married "of her own free will." The future of Shumaila is hanging by a thread. Kidnapping and forcing girls to convert to Islam and/or be sex-slaves sold to wealthy Muslims is a common occurrence in Pakistan. Read here for a list concerning the "Rape and Murder of Pakistan's Christian Children."

Sudan: Asia Omer, a Christian mother of seven, the youngest of which is four months old, was killed in an aerial bombardment near a church by "Sudanese government forces as they continue a ruthless campaign of ethnic and religious cleansing in the predominantly Christian regions of the Nuba Mountains." Another Christian mother of seven sustained a critical injury but did not receive medical care. Other Christians were also wounded in the bombing, including the teenage son of a church leader. "President Omar al-Bashir's forces have been targeting the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan state, which has one of the largest Christian populations in Sudan, since June 2011. The Islamic regime is trying to 'cleanse' the region of non-Arabs and non-Muslims as Khartoum pushes forward its plans for a '100% Islamic"' constitution."

Syria: A Greek Orthodox priest, Fr. Fadi Jamil Haddad, was kidnapped by armed groups from among the opposition. Days later, his body, which was "horribly tortured and his eyes gouged out," was found dumped near the place he was abducted. Earlier, the kidnappers had asked the priest's family and his church for a ransom of 50 million Syrian pounds (over $550,000 euros)—a sum impossible to raise. A source of Fides condemns "the terrible practice, present for months in this dirty war, of kidnapping and then killing innocent civilians." Also, the last remaining Christian in the center of Homs, an 84 year-old Greek Orthodox, was killed, and the convent of the Jesuits hit again. A top Russian Orthodox official expressed the church's concern, saying "We are deeply worried by what is going on in Syria, where radical forces are trying to come to power with the help of Western powers. Where they come to power, Christian communities become the first victims."


[General Abuse and Suppression of Non-Muslims as "Tolerated" Citizens]

Bosnia: According to a new report, Christians are leaving the Muslim majority nation in mass "amid mounting discrimination and Islamization." Currently there are just 440,000 Catholics left in the Balkan nation, half the prewar figure. As standard in Muslim nations, "while dozens of mosques were built in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, no building permissions were given for Christian churches. The cardinal already waits 13 years on permission to build just a small church." "Time is running out as there is a worrisome rise in radicalism," said one authority, who added that the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina were "persecuted for centuries" after European powers "failed to support them in their struggle against the Ottoman Empire."

Egypt: On Al Hafiz TV, a Muslim cleric explained why it is that Christianity cannot be taught in Egyptian classrooms: because, among other things, it bans polygamy and divorce, and allows females an equal inheritance with the male -- all things that contradict the teachings and practices of the Muslim prophet. The cleric complained that, based on such Christian teachings, Muslim men who try to exercise their Islamic rights—including polygamy, double-inheritance, and easy divorce (including via text-messaging)—become "criminals, and the religion [Islam] that taught them such things taught them crimes." Two Christian boys, one 10 the other 9 years-old, were arrested under accusations from a local cleric that they defiled a copy of the Quran. After the boys were released, the Egyptian media, following the claims of the Muslim Brotherhood, credited President Morsi with their release, even though the boys' lawyer insisted that the Islamist president had nothing to do with their release.

Iran: Many reports more than usual, are appearing of Christian men and women, especially Evangelical Protestants and Muslim apostates, being "dragged to prisons". According to a council member of the Church of Iran house-church movement, "We have learned that at least 100, but perhaps as many as 400 people, have been detained over the last 10 days…. [I]t has become clear that Protestant Christians are now viewed as enemy number one of the state." Some of those arrested, after serving time and being tormented, are "forced to say that in exchange for freedom, they will no longer attend church services." At least five apostates were confined in cells housing dangerous criminals on charges of "creating illegal groups," "participating in a house church service," "propagation against the Islamic regime," and "defaming Islamic holy figures through Christian evangelizing."

Maldives: Customs officials at the Male' Ibrahim Nasir International Airport seized 11 books about Christianity, from a Bangladeshi expatriate who came to the Maldives via Sri Lanka. According to the Maldives Religious Unity Regulations, "it is illegal in the Maldives to propagate any faith other than Islam or to engage in any effort to convert anyone to any religion other than Islam. It is also illegal to display in public any symbols or slogans belonging to any religion other than Islam, or creating interest in such articles." Violation of the Religious Unity Act is subject to two to five years in prison and fines.

Pakistan: A 16 year-old boy, Ryan Stanten, was arrested on "charges of blasphemy, terrorism, and cybercrimes," because he forwarded text messages to his friends which were intercepted and deemed blasphemous by Muslims. Accordingly, a "furious Muslim mob" attacked the boy's home, setting furniture on fire and shouting "death to the blasphemer" and "kill Christian infidels." Other Christians in the region fled.

Saudi Arabia: Despite promises to reform school textbooks, the Saudi education system continues to indoctrinate children with hatred and incitement, especially against Christians and Jews. The textbooks teach – among a long list of hate-filled passages, all of which originate in the Qur'an and the Hadith [stories of the life and sayings of Mohammed] -- that "Christians are the enemies of the Believers" and that the "the Apes are the people of the Sabbath, the Jews; and the Swine are the infidels of the communion of Jesus, the Christians."

Switzerland: Muslims in the nation are complaining about a billboard campaign from Swiss International Airline, which has a logo taken from the Swizz flag, of a cross, with the words "the cross is trumps." According to the report, "Muslims in Switzerland have responded negatively to the advertising, which they believe promotes Christianity over other religions…. Many Muslims feel this Christian slogan (of Swiss) is a provocation and an assault against Islam." The airline maintains that its ad campaign does not carry any religious or political message—in fact, that the word "trumps" is a pun for a Swiss card game—and apologized for upsetting Muslims.

Turkey: A history textbook used in 10th grade classrooms portrays the nation's oldest most indigenous inhabitants, the Christian Assyrians, as traitors. Although objections were raised back in 2011 and the Turkish Ministry of Education eventually issued a statement promising to revise the texts in the next printing of the book in 2012, the books were reprinted without any changes. "In fact, the negative and slanderous portrayal of Assyrians has increased in the new edition. The book now not only portrays Assyrians as traitors in the past but says the Assyrians continue their betrayal of Turkey today."

About this Series

Because the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is on its way to reaching pandemic proportions, "Muslim Persecution of Christians" was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month. It serves two purposes:
  1. To document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, Muslim persecution of Christians.
  2. To show that such persecution is not "random," but systematic and interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Sharia.
Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; apostasy and blasphemy laws that criminalize and punish with death those who "offend" Islam; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (financial tribute expected from non-Muslims); overall expectations for Christians to behave like dhimmis, or second-class, "tolerated" citizens; and simple violence and murder. Sometimes it is a combination.

Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to India in the East, and throughout the West wherever there are Muslims—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it. 

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

Raymond Ibrahim


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Exposed Islamist Group Scrambles

by Ryan Mauro


The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) held a press conference on December 6 about “right-wing extremists” in response to my article originally published here criticizing the All Saints Episcopal Church of Pasadena for hosting its convention. MPAC founder and senior adviser Maher Hathout admitted to having been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but said the relationship ended when he moved to the U.S. and he is on the side of the Egyptian opposition to Mohammed Morsi.

The press conference’s speakers relentlessly bashed the raising of legitimate concerns about MPAC as “Islamophobia,” hate-mongering and bigotry. The Center for American Progress report “Fear Inc: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America” was made available for attendees. Rector Ed Bacon said the church received dozens of hate-filled emails, resulting in sympathetic media coverage.

“Kudos to All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena and MPAC for the promotional savvy to exploit a handful of negative emails into a major media story showcasing their supposed victimhood,” said Mark Tooley, President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, which sponsored the original article. His organization was the only one directly attacked in the press conference.

Maher Hathout said that he is “very proud” of his work with the Muslim Brotherhood “student movement” against the Nazis and British, but never dealt with any organization outside the U.S. since coming to the country about 40 years ago. In our debate the day prior, MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati repeatedly slammed mentions of a Brotherhood connection to his group as “lies” rooted in hatred. When I challenged MPAC to take an active stand against the Brotherhood, Al-Marayati said it was a “ridiculous suggestion” and “it’s not worth our time.”

Hathout said that he is against the anti-democratic “trend” in Egypt and is on the side of the opposition.  He still took a soft view of the Brotherhood, saying its “work is changing” and its critics “freeze a point in history and think this is the whole story.”

MPAC was created to advance the Brotherhood ideology. The late Hassan Hathout, former MPAC President and Maher’s brother, said that they came to the U.S. to start the “Islamic Movement” inspired by Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Brotherhood. He described himself as a “close disciple” of al-Banna. A 1989 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Financial Committee document talks about working with someone named Hathout “in the field,” demonstrating that the Brotherhood had ties to at least one of the Hathout brothers after they arrived. MPAC has long collaborated with known U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities, as identified in the Brotherhood’s own documents, FBI investigators and the federal government during the trial of the Holy Land Foundation.

The privately expressed views of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood match the publicly expressed views of Hassan Hathout. A 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood document says, “its work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.” In 1997, Hathout said the U.S. needs the “Islamic Movement” because “If you look objectively you will see that this current civilization harbors in its body the seeds of its own destruction.”

Maher Hathout says he did not continue working with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood after he came to the U.S., but the Brotherhood is more than a political party. It is a movement based on Islamist ideology. In 1997, he praised Hassan al-Banna and two other Brotherhood-allied Islamists, Rashid Ghannouchi and Hasan al-Turabi, as “reformists.” Remember that when MPAC boasts that it is a voice of “reform.” Ghannouchi spoke at an MPAC event in 2011. Hathout is the spokesman for the Islamic Center of Southern California, which still suggests Brotherhood texts on Islamic law on its website.

A 2004 investigation into the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood by the Chicago Tribune makes this point. An official with the Muslim American Society admitted that it was created by the Muslim Brotherhood, but explained that it “went way beyond that point of conception.” It is not administrated by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood but it follows its teachings. “We are not your typical Ikhwan [Brotherhood],” he explained.

This Islamist influence is apparent in MPAC’s history. In 1998, Maher Hathout said of Hezbollah: “I disagree with them on other issues, but on the issue of fighting to liberate their land and attacking only armed forces, this is legitimate, that is an American value — freedom and liberty.” In 1999, Salam al-Marayati said Hezbollah engages in “legitimate resistance.”

In June 1999, an MPAC position paper said Hezbollah’s bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon “was not in a strict sense, a terrorist operation. It was a military operation, producing no civilian casualties—exactly the kind of attack that Americans might have lauded had it been directed against Washington’s enemies.”

In 2003, MPAC opposed designating Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist groups, stating
It is clear that the terrorist threat to the U.S. emanates from Al-Qaeda and not Palestinian groups. There is no evidence that Palestinian groups designated as terrorist organizations have any connections to Al-Qaeda. Yet the preoccupation with these groups raises the question as to whether targeting Palestinian groups serves true national security interests or is based on political considerations.
To be fair, MPAC has condemned specific acts of violence by these groups and Hathout said in a radio interview that he disagrees with Morsi’s power grab and said dictatorship is the “imminent” threat to Egypt. However, he said he has a “sense of respect for the party [Muslim Brotherhood]” and believes Morsi is “sincere” and “smart.”

Islamists sometimes disagree over tactics. Al-Azhar University, an institution that endorsed the Reliance of the Traveler as an authority on Sharia Law, feels Morsi has gone too far. Nonetheless, MPAC’s criticism of these tactics is like a drop in the ocean of ferocious condemnations of Israel and “Islamophobes” that stand against Islamism, even when the so-called bigot is a devout Muslim like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser.

MPAC repeatedly says that it is only seeking peace-making and good will between faiths. Al-Marayati even said that he doesn’t seek conversions to Islam because there are “more than enough Muslims.” However, Al-Marayati stated a political objective at the press conference. He said they want the U.S. government to be an “honest broker” for peace in the Middle East. A common refrain of MPAC and other anti-Israel groups is that the U.S. is unfair to the Palestinian and, more broadly, Arab side. MPAC seeks to broaden its interfaith coalition so it can undermine support for Israel and push back against their critics.

It is encouraging that Maher Hathout took a stand against Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and finally addressed the very reasonable concerns about his Muslim Brotherhood past. The Brotherhood, though, is just the biggest component of the Islamist ideology. MPAC and its leaders continued to promote that ideology after arriving in the U.S. True reform will only come when the preaching of Islamists like Hassan al-Banna is challenged and not upheld as the “reformists” Muslims should follow.

Ryan Mauro


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Former Sun Editor: Anti-Israel Bias in Media is “A Form of Proxy for Anti-Semitism

by Zach Pontz

At a recent Jewish Chronicle event in London, former Sun editor Kevin MacKenzie suggested that hostile media coverage of Israel is “a form of proxy for antisemitism by journalists in the West.”

Mackenzie said: “It is a massive puzzle because journalists normally are on the side of the little guy, and there can’t be a smaller guy in the Middle East than Israel.”

As for the media’s perplexing penchant for demonizing Israel, MacKenzie had this to say:
“Why do they think an anti-democratic force should be entitled to a better crack of the whip than [Israel] which is in favour of democratic rights?

“[Israel] is pro-gay, pro-democracy, pro-women. It’s the most liberal establishment probably for 1,000 miles in any direction. You would have thought every journalist would embrace that thought process — but for some reason they don’t.

“The most interesting thing was the way the people from Gaza treated those guys they claimed were Israeli spies — they shot them in public and dragged around their bodies.
“Compare that with the Israelis when they captured the guy who let off the bomb in Tel Aviv and then followed due process and the law. That is never portrayed in the British media. Never.

“Is British journalism basically antisemitic? Do they hide [their] antisemitism in the way they report the battle for survival of Israel?”

As The Algemeiner has reported, bias against Israel in the media has become so salient that it even prompted an op-ed by Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren in the Wall Street Journal in August 2012.

Zach Pontz


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