Friday, December 14, 2012

Mordechai Kedar: The Truth - and the Enmity- Behind the Slogans

by Mordechai Kedar

Read the article in Italiano (translated by Yehudit Weisz, edited by Angelo Pezzana)

Every Israeli would say that the alliance between Hamas and Iran is strong and firm, based on the shared world-view between Palestinian Islamic zealots who are Sunni, and Iranian Islamist zealots, who are Shi’ite. Iran has even stronger affiliations with other organizations like Islamic Jihad and the Committees of Popular Resistance, than with Hamas. The anti-Israeli, anti-American and anti-West interest, that Iran shares with these organizations has allowed the world and Israeli politicians to place Iran, Hamas and the rest of the terror organizations into a single framework of Islamic terror.

But matters are not so simple. The conflict between the Sunnis and the Shi’ites, which began approximately 1350 years ago, continues in full strength and severity, and is expressed gruesomely today in the civil war that is currently grinding Syria into dust. The Shi’ite coalition of Iran, Iraq, Hizb’Allah and the Syrian regime is conducting an all-out war against the Sunni coalition of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan and Egypt, which supports the rebels against Asad, most of whom are Sunni, with all of its strength and means. The number of fatalities in the massacre, which has reached almost 50,000 men, women and children, as well as the Iranian  involvement in the genocide in Syria, raises a question regarding the Islamic legality of collaboration between Shi’ite Iran and Palestinian organizations, which are Sunni.

A short historical background: The Muslim Arabs conquered Persia in the middle of the seventh century CE and imposed Islam on the Persian nation. In 1501, sociological and political turmoil brought a group of descendants of a sheikh by the name of Safi al-Din to power over the Persian population,  and they forced Persia to adopt Shi’ite Islam. Even today, the Sunnis are angry that the Persians adopted Shi’a, because many Sunni Muslims, mainly the Saudi Hanbalis, see Shi’a as a type of heresy.

From the moment the Hamas movement began to depend on the money, weapons and political support of Iran, the question arose as to whether it is permissible for a Sunni to accept help from a Shi’ite, specifically from those who were Sunni until 500 years ago, and have switched affiliation.

Muhammad Asaad Bayud al-Tamimi, an Islamist from a family that is identified with radical Islam in Samaria, published an article this month on the subject, which was “adopted” by hundreds of Internet sites. The title of the article: “A Covenant with the Safavid Shi’ites (Iran) is forbidden by Islam, and if someone engages in such a pact, he forfeits his status as a Muslim”. The title makes clear his position that collaborating with Iran excludes a Muslim from Islam,  as if he had become a heretic and converted to another religion. Following the citation of a few passages from the Qur’an that deal with heretics, al-Tamimi writes (my comments in parenthesis):
If we checked all of the passages of the Qur’an that deal with heresy, heretics, and the deeds and beliefs of heretics, it would be clear to us that they apply to the Shi’ites, including those who are Safavids as well as those who are not Safavids. This is especially obvious regarding Amgushi Iran (a tribe of pagan Zoroastrians, a disparaging name for Iranians) who aspire to return the crown of the Amgushi empire (which, at its largest, stretched from Libya and the Balkans in the West to the depths of China in the East) to its former glory. The companions of Muhammad the messenger of G-d, who emphasize the oneness of G-d almighty, eliminated it and extinguished its light, beginning with the era of Abu Bakr (the first caliph, 632-634), through the era of ‘Umar (the second caliph, 634-644) in the battle of Qadisiyya (635) who lives forever in the history of Islam … and who still arouses within us – their descendants and those who continue in their path – the feeling of pride, honor and respect, and at the same time we find that among the descendants of the Persians, the Amgushim pagans, it arouses sour envy.

That is why they keep a historical resentment against the companions of the prophet, against Islam and against the Muslims and especially the Arabs among them, and this resentment passes among them genetically from generation to generation. This is the reason that they acted so energetically to get rid of Islam, because their history testifies to this Satanic goal, and thank G-d that He took it upon himself to defend this nation… “They want to extinguish the fire of G-d with their mouths, but G-d reinforces his approval despite the fact that the heretics do not want this” (a passage from the Qur’an).
They murdered 'Umar (the second caliph), ‘Uthman (the third caliph), ‘Ali (the fourth caliph, the founder of Shi’a) and al-Hussein (the son of ‘Ali who was murdered and butchered at Kerbala in the year 680 by agents of the Umayyad caliph Yazid) in order to sow chaos and discord among the Muslims.
Years and centuries passed, and the first Safavid state known today as Iran came into being, under the leadership of Ismail the Safavid beginning in the 16th century.  He revealed his true Amgoshi faith, and his dark and hidden hatred for the messenger of G-d, his companions and his wives, while hiding it with the vain claim that he loves the family of the prophet, even though the members of that family rejected him. Ismail the Safavid slaughtered millions of Muslims who believe in true Islam (Sunni), especially those who were Arabs; he established courts resembling the courts of the Inquisition in Spain, and became one of the pillars of his religion.
He cursed the companions of the prophet, especially Abu Bakr and 'Umar (the first two caliphs, who are described in Sunni Islam as “righteous”) and claimed that they were heretics. He forced people to become Shi’ite, and some did change to Shi’a out of fear, while others remained faithful to Sunni in secret. Iran, which has been Safavid Shi’ite since the 16th century, stabbed the Ottoman (Sunni) state in the back, invaded Iraq, torched Baghdad, desecrated the graves of the companions of the prophet, the conquerors of heretical lands until the advent of the Ottomans, who destroyed the Safavid state in the battle of Galdiran (1514) and killed Ismail the Safavid.
However, Safavid fanaticism remains burning in the hearts of those faithful to Ismail the the Amgushi Safavid; so much so that at the end of the 1970’s, the nationalistic, factional (not Islamic) Iranian revolution occurred under the leadership of Khomeini, who professed (to be a Muslim) with a sort of “takiyya” (deception) in order to lead the Muslims astray. He began to spread slogans as if his revolution is the “revolution of the oppressed Muslims”, who would liberate Palestine. Many Muslims fell victim to this deception, we (the Palestinians) too, but it very quickly was exposed as a lie, a deception and when the fraud was revealed, we returned to correct thinking in time and discovered that the revolution was a “national Persian Amgoshi, sectarian (Shi’ite), Safavid revolution”, whose only aspiration is to avenge the rout of the first battle of al-Qadisiyya  (635, the battle in which the army of Muslims routed the Persian army). But Allah sent Saddam Hussein (may Allah have mercy upon him), who is a martyr in our eyes, to fight against the revolution, in order to wage the second battle of Qadisiyya (called the Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988), to feed Khomeini with poison (the chemical missiles that Saddam launched to Teheran) so that he will die (1989) having been conquered, defeated and humiliated. But immediately after the Crusader invasion (forces of the international coalition headed by the US) in the year 2003 to conquer Iraq, the followers of the Safavid Khomeini came to conquer Iraq and form a pact with the crusaders (the Christians from the US and Europe) and the Jews so that they would be able to conquer Iraq more easily. And in exchange, the crusaders, under the leadership of the US, allowed the Shi’ite Safavids to take control of Iraq by means of a Safavid - Zionist – crusader pact, in order to drown Iraq in the blood of the Muslims who are faithful to Allah, the Master of the world, the descendants of the companions of the prophet, and conquerors of heretical lands. They began to murder anyone whose name was 'Umar, abu Bakr, ‘Uthman, Sa’d and other names common to Sunnah. They revealed their evil intentions by establishing satellite channels where they curse and slander the companions of the prophet and the faithful mothers, claiming that they were heretics. They repeat again the claims against Aisha “the mother of the believers”, (Muhammad’s last wife, who is despised by the Shi’ites) despite Allah himself having cleared her name from his throne in the seventh heaven. Thus they act against the wishes of Allah and claim that He does not speak the truth despite His having cautioned the believers not to keep repeating this claim after He had exonerated Aisha. Therefore, are those who repeat this story again after this severe divine warning, truly Muslims??? And this is exactly what the Shi’ites do in their satellite channels, their books, their oral tradition, their religious institutions and their religious texts… they call us, the Muslims, names such as “the fake 'Umars” referring to our beloved one, our leader, our commander, who resides in Paradise  - he who extinguished their fire, 'Umar (the second caliph). They slaughtered the Palestinian refugees who were in Iraq (in 2003) which caused most of them to flee for their lives and to gather in three refugee camps on the borders of Iraq with Jordan and Syria under unbearable living conditions (because these two states did not allow Palestinian refugees to pass from Iraq into their territories, Arab solidarity at its worst) until Brazil agreed to host them in its territory.
And the Palestinians are again being slaughtered, this time in Syria, together with the Syrians, by the members of the Safavid ‘Alawite Shi’ite coalition of heretics, and again Palestinian refugee camps are crushed by Iranian weapons and ammunition as the Iranians carry out the religious rulings of the priests of Amgosh and the ayatollahs of Qum, Kerbala and Mazaar a-Sharif (Shi’ite cities in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan).
Now, after having reviewed all of the aspects of the Iranian coalition, and after mentioning the ideological, historical and current facts, we see that a coalition with the Iranians is forbidden according to Shari’a, since it is a coalition with the people most despised by Allah, his prophet and the believers.
And so I appeal to the Muslim youth of our Muslim Palestinian people, who are ready to confront the enemy, to all those who fight under any flag of any organization, movement or party, that have a pact or agreement with Shi’ite, Safavid Iran, to leave this pact while he is still alive, so that he will not die a heretic (because he will not be able to repent).
Some will complain that I call the Shi’ites heretics, and I ask: Can it be that those who do all of this villainy against Islam and its earliest leaders, the “righteous ones”, and claim that we (the Sunnis) have falsified the Qur’an, are Muslims? Who is sinning here, I or they? May Allah spare me from declaring a Muslim to be a heretic, but if the Shi’ites, who do not believe in the foundations of Islam,  are not heretics, then who is? Ibn Taymiyya (an Islamic philosopher who lived in the area of Syria between the years 1263 and 1328) said about them that their heresy is worse that of the Jews and Christians. So how can anyone who enters a pact with them be a Muslim? And how can anyone who is slain under their flag not be a martyr? And how can it be that someone declares himself to be a resister (to Zionism and the West) if his faith is contrary to the faith of Islam? This is one big lie and the Safavid project, the other aspect of the Zionist project, hides behind that lie. Is it logical that the Iranians, who own this Safavid project, slaughter us (the Sunni Muslims) in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, while being part of a pact in Palestine? Is this logical? An enemy is an enemy at all times and in every place, since his ideology is the same ideology in all places and at all times.
O, my brothers, youth of Islam; O, all who care about the religion of Allah; O, all who love the prophet and his companions, and take pride in being among those who continue in their path. Islam is dearer to us than our lives, dearer than the world, and even dearer than Palestine…Palestine will be liberated only under the flag of Islam, by those of the true faith, like all the Islamic victories since the War of Badr (624).
Be careful and guard yourselves, and know that one of the basic conditions of victory is “the true faith and faith in Allah”, so how is it possible to collaborate with those of a false faith, which opposes the faith of Muhammad and his prophets, when they join with 'Ali (the fourth caliph, the founder of Shi’a), with al-Hussein (the son of ‘Ali), with the fabricated hidden Imam (the leader of the Shi’ites who disappeared and will return – so they believe – at the end of days) and in all of the members of the family of Muhammad, which is utterly against Islam …”
This concludes the citations from al-Tamimi’s article, which expresses the opinion that many in the Islamic world share. There is one thing he does not say; he does not call for jihad against the Iranians, which contradicts the Muslim obligation to wage jihad against infidels. The reason that al-Tamimi refrains from clearly calling for jihad against the Shi’ites in general and the Iranians in particular  may be his desire to remain alive, because such a call might turn him into a target for the knives and bullets of the Iranians and their supporters. Another reason is his desire not to be out of favor with the regime in Jordan, where he lives, because the king fears that declaring the Shi’ites to be infidels will result in a similar declaration about the king himself because of the fact that his regime does not implement Islamic Shari’a literally. But Tamimi’s strongest reason to refrain from calling for jihad against the Shi’ites is that this is exactly the message of al-Qaeda, mainly in Iraq, and he does not want to be identified with such an aggressive message.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that many do not agree with al-Tamimi’s approach and take the logical approach that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, and according to this, Sunnis may join hands with Shi’ite Iran in order to fight their common enemies. It is also important to note that currently there are trends to bring Sunnis and Shi’ites closer together, and even the most eloquent spokesman for political Sunni Islam, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has called in the past for finding ways to bridge the differences between Sunna and Shi’a which were expressed in al-Tamimi’s article.

Ultimately, each organization decides for itself regarding this matter, and this decision may change over time: when Syria was an orderly state, there was no important reason for the leaders of Hamas to give up the support of Iran, but since the civil war broke out and the slaughter of Sunni citizens began as a result of demonstrations that began in March 2011, collaboration with Iran has become fairly problematic for Hamas. In his article, Tamimi calls on the last  Palestinians who are still collaborating with Iran to leave it, and we must wait to see if this call falls on listening ears or will perhaps remain a solitary call in the desert. It depends on the desire of other states like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Turkey to support Palestinian organizations with weapons, money and political support. Is this an impossible scenario? If the Marmara was possible then the possibility of similar developments in the future cannot be discounted. In the Middle East, several scenarios that seemed totally delusional two years ago are being played out today in front of our eyes. Slogans that politicians disseminate might become actual reality: if the Damascus regime falls, the image of Iran will become that of a loser; from under the carpet will come all of those sectarian anti-Shi’ite snakes that al-Tamimi fosters, the Sunni bloc will be encouraged and Israel – as we know – is not the favorite of Mursi, Erdogan and Sheikh Hamed of Qatar.

Since Israel announced that it plans to build in the area of E1 between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim, a chorus of protest has arisen, led by the president of Turkey, Abdullah Gül, who announced that “Israel is playing with fire”. Without getting too deeply into the the Turkish announcement, nothing good can come from this, because this is Turkey’s way of encouraging Hamas, the ideological ally of the Islamic party that rules in Turkey, to do in Judea and Samaria what it has already done in the Gaza Strip since July of 2007: establish armed and aggressive Islamic emirates. Anyone who thinks or speaks about an Israeli withdrawal in Judea and Samaria must take into account that any area that Israel vacates might turn into a terror swamp, like Gaza. Can anyone promise it will not happen?

In facing a cohesive Sunni front, Israel must appear strong, united and consolidated behind its leadership which knows well that only those who are strong and invincible enjoy peace and stability in the Middle East.  In the arid, forsaken and violent area that we live in, if you beg for peace you get a kick in the behind and thrown out of the arena. Here, only he who is ready for war wins peace, and that peace will survive only as long as he presents a credible threat to anyone who dares to conspire to attack him. The Middle East is no place for bleeding hearts, rather it is for those of strong spirit, imbued with a sense of security and faith in the justice of their cause.

Al-Tamimi is an enemy who is not willing to give up his ideology for interests, no matter how important. The question for us is how much we stick to our ideology, and how ready we are to surrender it for other interests.


Dr. Kedar is available for lectures

Dr. Mordechai Kedar
( is an Israeli scholar of Arabic and Islam, a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and the director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. He specializes in Islamic ideology and movements, the political discourse of Arab countries, the Arabic mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena.

Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav with permission from the author.


Additional articles by Dr. Kedar

Source: The article is published in the framework of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. Also published in Makor Rishon, a Hebrew weekly newspaper.

- Original materials copyright (c) by the author.

What Egyptians Are Afraid to Know

by Nonie Darwish

The problem with Egypt and many other Islamic nations is that they are ignorant of what they are demanding, and are left ignorant by their own media and educational system. By now it seems apparent that Egyptians do not even want to learn the truth about Sharia, in case they might reject it -- an act that would turn them into apostates, eligible for death.
The chaos in Egypt today is an indication of an old culture that has lost its way and its connection to a great civilization over 3000 years old. Pure Islamists who hate their ancient history and are threatening to blow up the pyramids and sphinx as idols of the pharaohs are now back in full swing to stop any further weakening of Islam by a secular government. But is it the Islamists' fault or the fault of the Egyptian public who continually vote in favor of Sharia [Islamic law - "The Path"]?

Once Islam takes hold of a nation, the turmoil never ends -- between human nature, which aspires for freedom and dignity, and forces of domination and oppression, which see and understand nothing in the political life of a country other than enforcing Sharia law on others.

During the last 1400 years of Islamic domination, Egyptians discarded their past and adopted the culture of Arabia through the process of Arabization and Islamization. Islamists in Egypt and in any other country, for that matter, understand that for their country to remain Islamic, it must be ruled from the top down by Sharia. Muslim leadership has no confidence that Islam would survive without government enforcement through fear, intimidation and harsh punishments. Without government control and enforcement by means of a tyrannical legal system, Islamist leaders believe that the religion cannot survive through choice. That is why, wherever Islam travels, the goal is always to control government.

Nothing symbolizes the turmoil in Egypt today more than the stalemate over writing yet another constitution. Only a handful of people have so far had the courage to publicly call for abolishing Article 2 of the former constitution, which reads: "Islam is the Religion of the State…and the principle source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence [Sharia law]." It seems that Sharia will remain as the source of legislation and the legal foundation in Egypt.

This should not be surprising: a 2007 survey with 1,000 Egyptian Muslims by the University of Maryland/, stated that 67% said they wanted a caliphate, 74% wanted strict application of Sharia, 77% wanted mutilating punishment for theft; 82% wanted stoning for adultery and 84% wanted execution of apostates. By Western standards, that is a mandate for Sharia and Islam.

So why are Egyptians now unhappy with Morsi? They wanted Sharia, and Morsi is giving them Sharia. By Western standards, Morsi has a mandate to rule by Sharia, so why are Cairo's streets full of rebels chanting for freedom and democracy? Is this Morsi's fault or the fault of a confused Egyptian public who do not seem to know what they really want? Why can't they recognize Sharia law as the "elephant in the room," name it, reject it and vote accordingly? Why are they not aware that Sharia forbids any man-made government, such as democracy, which is considered an abomination and must be eliminated? And how can they be so ignorant about a legal system under which they demanded to live?

The problem with Egypt and many other Islamic nations is they are ignorant of what they are demanding, and are left ignorant by their own media and educational system.

The problem in Egypt is not Mubarak or Morsi, King Farouk or Nasser. It is the ignorance of Egyptians about basics of their beloved religious law that they say they want enshrined in their constitution. I recently asked several Egyptians if they are aware of the following laws in Sharia pertaining to the Muslim head of state:
  • It is obligatory to obey the commands of the Caliph (Muslim head of state), even if he is unjust.
  • A Caliph can hold office through seizure of power, meaning through force.
  • A Caliph is exempt from charges of murder, adultery, robbery, theft, drinking and in some cases of rape.
From the laws above, Morsi has not done anything against Sharia, but not one of the Egyptians I spoke to was aware of any such laws, and that Morsi's recent power grab was in perfect harmony with the Sharia. By now it seems apparent that Egyptians are intentionally ignorant about Sharia and do not even want to take the effort to learn the truth abut Sharia, in case they they might reject it – an act which would turn them into apostates, eligible for death. Remaining ignorant and in denial about the Sharia elephant in the room therefore seems the only option.

By demanding a legal system they do not really want, however, Egyptians are preventing themselves from having a harmonious moral foundation upon which the country can survive. The more Egyptians reject an honest discussion and deeper clarity about what they want, the worse this problem will get in the future.

Egyptians need to learn how to take responsibility for themselves and the future of their country, and stop placing blame on their leaders. They should either accept or reject Islamic tyranny. Whether it is Egypt, Iran or even Saudi Arabia, what they need is an honest public discussion to educate the public about what Sharia really is without any sugar coating, after which they can vote on their constitution. But will they have the courage to do so? Some Egyptians do have the courage, but they are still the minority, and they understand that speaking out would be a death sentence. Without courage, however, change cannot happen, and without saying what they mean, Egyptians will continue rewriting their constitution every 50 or 60 years, and stumbling and falling over and over again into an unending cycle of dictatorships and revolutions. 

Nonie Darwish is the author "The Devil We Don't Know" and "Cruel and Usual Punishment", and president/founder Former Muslims United.

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

The Real "Obstacle to Peace"

by Peter Martino

Why should any country sign an agreement if it will just be invalidated a few years later?
Iran is building nuclear weapons, Syria is slaughtering its citizens, Libya is being taken over by al-Qaeda, Egypt is threatened with another Pharaoh, Turkey is working toward rebuilding the Ottoman Empire, and Christians are being massacred in Egypt, Nigeria and Mali (among other countries). But last Thursday, the European Commission summoned the Israeli Ambassador to the European Union (EU) over Israel's plan to build 3,000 new homes in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. The Israeli plans were a response to the United Nations' decision on 29 November to grant the Palestinian Authority the status of a UN non-member observer state, in direct violation of the UN's own Resolutions 242, 338, and 1850 -- an overruling the UN Charter specifically forbids.

The Palestinian move was also in direct violation of its bilateral September 28, 1995, Oslo II agreements, in which the both the Palestinians and the Israelis, in Article 31, consented that "nether side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the Permanent Status negotiations."

Why should any country sign an agreement if it will just be invalidated a few years later?
Canada, in response to the Palestinian Authority's illegal behavior, immediately recalled its diplomats assigned to the West Bank; however, the same illegal behavior was lavishly rewarded shortly thereafter by several European countries who summoned Israel's ambassadors -- a precedent that can only be understood to signal that, as so often at the UN, illegal behavior -- as in oil for food, or sex for food -- will be rewarded -- or at least not reprimanded -- in the future.

Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, emphasized that it is very exceptional for the Commission, the executive body of the EU, to summon an ambassador.

The ambassador met Ashton's deputy Pierre Vimont, who expressed the EU's concern about the Israeli building plans. The EU wants the project annulled: it is said to be "an obstacle to peace." Not the PLO or Hamas Charters, which call for Israel's destruction, or the hundreds of rockets fired into at Israel over the last month, or Iran's continual and illegal -- under both the UN's own Charter and the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide -- calls for genocide in "wiping Israel…": No, no, no these are not threats to peace worth mentioning or bothering about. The Czech Republic was the only one of the 27 EU member states to join the US, Canada, Israel, Panama and four Micronesian island states in voting against the UN resolution to upgrade the status of the PA within the UN. Twelve EU members, including Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and all the EU states from Eastern Europe, were among the 41 UN members who abstained. The remaining fourteen EU members, consisting of the entire Latin and Mediterranean bloc and the Scandinavians, were among the 138 nations that voted in favor of the Palestinian Authority.

There is also some good news, however. In Italy, one of the countries which backed the recognition of the PA as a UN non-member observer state, one hundred members of the Italian Parliament protested the decision of the government to do so. The parliamentarians belong to the PdL party of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, which withdrew its support of the Italian government last week. In Belgium, another country which supported the enhanced status of the PA within the UN, the decision led to a rift within the governing center-right MR party. Half the MR senators oppose the government's pro-Palestinian line.

Nevertheless, it is striking to see that within the EU there is but one country courageous enough to stand with Israel: the Czech Republic. Most EU members backed the Palestinian claims. The governments that took a neutral position by abstaining can only be found in the countries that suffered under Communist dictatorship, in Germany (previously, partly under Communist rule), Britain and the Netherlands.

The Scandinavians and the Irish traditionally pursue leftist international policies which are by definition critical of Israel; the Mediterranean rim together with Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria, have since the 1970s and 80s conducted a foreign policy that aims to appease North Africa and the Arab world.

The dependency on Arab oil and the fact that millions of immigrants from North Africa have settled within the borders of these EU states explain this appeasement policy.

Apart from the European Commission, several EU governments bilaterally expressed their dissatisfaction with the Israeli building plans. As 14 of the 27 EU members took a pro-Palestinian position in the UN while thirteen did not, it is unlikely that the EU will impose trade sanctions over the construction plans. A vocal critical stance will, however, be taken, also by the twelve EU members that abstained in the UN.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her dissatisfaction in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The United Kingdom followed the French, Spanish, Danish and Swedish example of summoning the Israeli ambassador over the housing projects. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that, although there did not appear to be any "enthusiasm" in the EU for a move to impose economic sanctions on Israel, "if there is no reversal [of the Israeli decision] we will want to consider what further steps European countries should take."

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans told the Dutch media that the Netherlands will raise pressure on Israel to stop its building projects. It is unlikely that Timmermans will follow the example of his predecessor Uri Rosenthal, who last year vetoed a critical EU report on the Israeli settlements. The Dutch ambassador to Tel Aviv urged the Israeli government to stop the building project.

Meanwhile, the civil servants of the European Commission are pursuing their anti-Israeli policies. The Commission recently sponsored a workshop to investigate how to label goods made in the Israeli "settlements" and prevent them from being sold in Europe. Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and UN high commissioner for Human Rights, and Martti Ahtisaari, former president of Finland and Nobel peace prize winner, are patrons of a movement to boycott such Israeli products. EU officials want the products labeled so that they can be differentiated from other Israeli products. As the EU does not recognize that Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem are part of Israel, products from these areas would be subject to EU import duties.

Last August, the European Commission issued a ruling ordering EU customs authorities to check the origin of Israeli products in order to exclude "settlement goods from preferential treatment." The Commission made a list of so-called "non-eligible locations" – Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria – which are to be targeted. "Operators are advised to consult the list before lodging a customs declaration for releasing goods for free circulation," the EU document states. The communities on the EU blacklist are non-eligible for duty-free status under the EU-Israel Free Trade Agreement.

The EU blacklist is a violation of international free trade; it is also reminiscent of the 1933 Nazi boycott of Jewish products.

Peter Martino


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

Why Israel Has to Build in E-1

by Evelyn Gordon

Yesterday, I took issue with the Union for Reform Judaism for condemning planned Israeli construction in the West Bank’s E-1 region. Many liberal American Jews would doubtless respond that they don’t object to E-1 remaining Israeli under an Israeli-Palestinian agreement; they merely object to building there before such an agreement exists. That, after all, is precisely what Ehud Olmert said last week when asked how he could condemn the Netanyahu government for doing something he himself supported as prime minister.

Unfortunately, this response betrays a serious lack of understanding of how the “peace process” actually works. First, as I noted yesterday, insisting that Israeli construction is an “obstacle to peace” even in areas that every proposed agreement has assigned to Israel merely encourages Palestinian intransigence by feeding their fantasies that the world will someday pressure Israel into withdrawing to the 1967 lines. Equally important, however, is that in a world where Israeli security concerns are routinely dismissed as unimportant, construction has proven the only effective means of ensuring Israel’s retention of areas it deems vital to its security.

In theory, construction shouldn’t be necessary to stake Israel’s claim, because the world has already recognized it: UN Security Council Resolution 242, still officially the defining document of the peace process, explicitly recognized Israel’s right to obtain “secure” borders by retaining some of the territory it captured in 1967, since, as then-U.S. Ambassador to the UN Arthur Goldberg explained, “Israel’s prior frontiers had proved to be notably insecure.”

But in practice, the only parts of the West Bank that successive peace plans have envisaged Israel retaining are the ones where there are just too many Jews to easily remove. As former President George W. Bush put it in his 2004 letter to then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, “In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion.”

In contrast, the world has generally dismissed Israeli demands to keep sparsely settled areas, even when they are equally vital for security. For instance, all Israeli governments have considered military control over the Jordan Valley essential for security, but even Washington hasn’t backed this demand. And the European Union is much worse: It officially views the entire West Bank as occupied Palestinian territory to which Israel has no claim whatsoever unless the Palestinians allow it.

For this reason, Israel should long since have built in E-1–an area every Israeli premier has deemed vital for security–rather than leaving it vacant at the urging of successive U.S. administrations. But the issue received new urgency after the UN overwhelmingly recognized a Palestinian state last month “on the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.” With virtually the entire world having just declared that Israel has no right to any part of the West Bank, it has become imperative for Israel to strengthen its claim via the only means that has ever proven effective: by building.

The question now is whether Israel will actually do so, or whether its government will once again sacrifice the country’s long-term security needs on the altar of global opposition.

Evelyn Gordon


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

Syria's Chemical Weapons Could be Used at a Moment's Notice

by Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff

U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers: The international community should not accept any assurances from Syrian officials that they will not be used • Assad's forces have fired Scud-style ballistic missiles against rebels in recent days.

A Syrian Scud missile. [Archive] Scud missiles gained notoriety in 1991 when Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein fired them at Israel.
Photo credit: Reuters.

Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff


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

IDF Points to Escalation of Violence in West Bank

by Yori Yalon, Efrat Forsher, and Israel Hayom Staff

Border Policewoman who shot a Palestinian in Hebron pointing a gun at her colleague. "I rushed out of my position realizing that I had only a number of seconds because my fighter was in mortal danger. I saw that the two were struggling with each other. I found an angle that allowed me to open fire quickly and I fired off one round" • After investigation, handgun turned out to be fake.
The Border Policewoman who shot the Palestinian boy in Hebron.
|Photo credit: Oren Nachshon

Yori Yalon, Efrat Forsher, and Israel Hayom Staff


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"Turning Mecca into Las Vegas"

by Irfan Al-Alawi

Saudi plans indicate that commercial ambitions outweigh the protection of the spiritual and cultural history of Islam.
Wahhabi extremists and property developers affiliated with the Saudi authorities are furthering plans to demolish the oldest sections of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the location to which all the world's Muslims turn in prayer. They apparently intend to remove features of the site dating back many centuries, such as columns placed in the Grand Mosque during the eighth century CE. Also, porticos designed by the legendary Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan (c. 1489/1490-1588 CE), whose achievements, and those of his personal disciples, are found at many places in the Islamic culture area, from Bosnia-Hercegovina to India, are slated for destruction.

Public dismay about the proposed wrecking, to be done under the pretext of renovation and modernization, has been notable. In response, the Imam and Friday preacher of the Grand Mosque, Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, a prominent Wahhabi fanatic and hatemonger, has promised that the areas of the Grand Mosque originating in the Abbasid Arab caliphate (750-1258 CE) and the Ottoman period of rule in Mecca and Medina would not be touched.

Al-Sudais, head of the official Presidency for the Two Holy Mosques, and with the rank of a minister in the royal court, has told the pan-Arab daily newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat [The Middle East] that the remodeling of the Grand Mosque, would be completed over three years, and would be limited to minor expansions intended to make tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka'bah, the sacred structure at the center of the mosque) easier during the annual Hajj pilgrimage. He stipulated that "removal will be limited to (the first Saudi expansion, 60 years ago), without disturbing the Ottoman porticos, except for arches and lights…maintaining the old area, reduced in proportion to align with the zone of circumambulation." However, some of the Abbasid and Turkish area including the portico's have already been demolished, and authorities stated that these portico's will inadvertently have to be removed during expansion work between the two hills of Safa and Marwa.
The Saudi dailies Okaz and Saudi Gazette reported that construction work on the Grand Mosque already commenced in mid-November, with the Saudi Gazette boasting, in the idiom of architectural gigantism favored currently in Saudi Arabia, that the project includes "the two largest tower cranes ever built in the 21st century in the eastern and western parts of the mosque."

A cable-car system has also been proposed to serve old and disabled pilgrims by linking the mataf, at which pilgrims walk around the Ka'bah, with the masa'a, a location where Hajj participants run symbolically between two hills, Safa and Marwa. Again reflecting the Saudi fascination with oversized construction works, the Saudi Gazette asserted that upon its completion the Grand Mosque would accommodate 130,000 pilgrims per hour in the march around the Ka'bah. The current average is 52,000 per hour.
As noted in the Arab News, the top floor of the mataf would be altered to add a moving walkway carrying pilgrims around the Ka'bah. The new plan would provide access to the circumambulation area from outside the walls of the Grand Mosque, without crossing the floor of the mosque. Bridges and pedestrian lanes are to be included in the structure to "reduce crowding" during the Hajj, at the same time as, illogically, the Wahhabis claim they will greatly expand the capacity for pilgrims.

Saudi and other Muslim sources express concern that Al-Sudais and his Wahhabi accomplices are lying about their intentions in the project. Dr. Hatoon Al-Fassi, a female Meccan native, distinguished Sufi, and history professor at King Saud University in Riyadh, who, let it be noted, refuses to cover her face in public with the Wahhabi-imposed niqab or face veil, has accused the Saudi Bin Laden construction conglomerate, which is supervising the rebuilding of the mosque, of seeking to "turn Mecca into Las Vegas." Specifically, Al-Fassi charges that the reconstruction plans include "tearing down the ancient Ottoman-style galleries and rebuilding 'identical' galleries further away." Al-Fassi cites an unnamed official of the Saudi Ministry of Hajj Affairs as the source of this information.
Al-Fassi alleges further that the new galleries would support "new towers… featuring hotels, restaurants, and malls."

The precincts of the Grand Mosque already include new buildings, which house a clock tower and hotel complexes that dwarf the Mosque and the Ka'bah. Saudi plans indicate that commercial ambitions outweigh the protection of the spiritual and cultural legacy of Islam.

In an admission that the grandiose refurbishing of Mecca has harmed the Islamic heritage of the sacred city, Muhammad Abdullah Idris, author of the architectural upgrading study, told the Arab News that demolition blasts during erection of the outsized and overbearing recent structures near the Grand Mosque have undermined the strength of the mosque and, especially, its pillars.

Saudi King Abdullah ordered a halt to a proposed expansion of the Prophet's Mosque in Medina after a major article was published in The Independent (London) by the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, exposing the Wahhabi plans and opposing to the concept. The article was re-published worldwide by other newspapers and generated significant media coverage. The Medina expansion would have involved serious historical vandalism. It is to be hoped that similar opposition will move the King to halt the defacement of the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

Aerial view of the Abbasid Portico's in Mecca.

Irfan Al-Alawi


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Tennessee’s Troubling Islamist Network

by David James

The “red-green alliance” in Tennessee between the liberal-left and Islamists is alive and well but made even more novel with the participation of Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. 

Never one to shy away from Obama’s agenda for the U.S., Governor Haslam’s push to elevate the political status of Muslims in his state must leave Tennesseans wondering if their Republican governor is actually a Democrat.

Governor Haslam’s promotion of the Islamist agenda in his state progressed from having his Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security work behind the scenes to support and partner with the American Muslim Advisory Council to having the Muslim Council train state law enforcement and Department of Children’s Services staff.  Meanwhile, he appointed shariah compliant finance specialist, Samar Ali as International Director for the TN Department of Economic and Community Development.

Unfortunately for the Governor, his appointment of Samar Ali (whose donation to Democrat Harold Ford, Jr. and later the Obama Victory Fund didn’t raise an eyebrow) resulted in harsh criticism from Tennessee conservatives.  Attempting to deflect criticism, the Governor’s office publicly released Ms. Ali’s credentials but was careful to redact her extensive experience and expertise in shariah finance.  But the release included references to her father’s curriculum vitae to convince the public that this family from Waverly was 100% Tennessean.

No one can dispute the accomplishments of Dr. Subhi Ali, Samar’s father, but his very active Red/Green political life was conspicuously omitted by the Governor.  For example, Dr. Ali and his wife were multi-year donors (see here and here) to pro-Hamas/anti-Israel Democrat Cynthia Mckinney, political support consistent with Dr. Ali’s long-standing service to the Jerusalem Fund.

The Jerusalem Fund – The Holy Land Foundation II?

The Jerusalem Fund (originally the American Palestine Education Foundation) was founded in 1977 by Dr. Hisham Sharabi who served as Chairman of the Board until he died in 2005.  Despite self-description as “non-political”, review of the Fund’s leadership, programming, and issues of focus, reflects an overtly pro-Palestinian/pro-Hamas/anti-Israel posture. Documents currently available show that Subhi Ali joined the Jerusalem Fund’s Board in 2000, became  Vice Chair in 2003 and has served as Chairman from 2005 until the present.

The Jerusalem Fund is comprised of 3 programs:

1) The Palestine Center offers Information Briefs such as the “Rising support for Hamas and the Roots of its Success in Palestine “ (“One of Hamas’ more distinctive qualities is its emphasis on Islam. In addition to its self-proclaimed role as a legitimate and honest replacement to Fateh, Hamas also acts as a religious alternative to the secular Fateh.”)

2) The Humanitarian Link, which provides grants for social services in the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” and supports the Palestine Diabetes Institute.

(Originally named the “Occupied Land Fund,” the Holy Land Foundation was the largest Islamic charity in the U.S., which also claimed the need for humanitarian relief for Palestinians in the occupied territories.  The Holy Land Foundation was successfully prosecuted in 2007 for funding Hamas).

3) The Gallery, which promotes the Palestinian and Arab cultures.

Fund founder Hisham Sharabi advocated a Palestinian “armed struggle” if necessary, to end Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.  His 1998 paper “The Palestinians: Fifty Years Later,” called for Americans of Palestinian, Arab and Muslim backgrounds to organize using their “constitutional rights as Americans” to “influence a dangerously biased [toward Israel] American policy in the Middle East.”

Sharabi’s political activities also included serving on the board of World & Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE), and along with Jerusalem Fund co-founder and board member, Dr. George Hishmeh, served on the Board of the American Committe on Jerusalem (ACJ).

You Are Known By the Company You Keep

WISE was founded, incorporated and led by Sami al-Arian who was subsequently sentenced in 2006 to prison and deportation because of his leadership of the U.S.-designated terrorist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

WISE was named in a federal indictment as part of a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in acts of violence including murder, extortion, money laundering, and fraud. They operated worldwide including the Middle District of Florida.
WISE Board members included:

Taha Jabir al Alwani – President, IIIT; cited as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Justice Department’s terrorism prosecution against al-Arian.

Basheer Nafi - charged with “conspiracy to murder, maim or injure persons outside the United States” and a significant leader of the PIJ; was indicted by the FBI in absentia.

Mazin an Najjar - a founding member of WISE, was arrested on secret FBI evidence that he supported terrorism and was associated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and a threat to national security.  He was deported from the U.S. in 2002.

Ramadan Abdullah aka Ramadan Shallah currently on the FBI Most Wanted List, co-founder of WISE, and listed as a “Specially Designated Terrorist.”  He was named a leader of PIJ in 1995.

WISE served as the U.S. money-receiving front for PIJ and while Sharabi was a board member, funneled payments to the PIJ martyrs through the Islamic International Arab Bank (Arab Bank).  In addition to a DOJ investigation begun in 2004, a lawsuit filed in 2007 by victims of the PIJ martyrs against Arab Bank (ongoing in 2012), alleged that Arab Bank financed Palestinian terrorism by using Hamas and PIJ “martyr kits” to make payments to suicide bombers’ surviving family members.

Samar Ali worked as a legal intern at the Arab Bank at the time the lawsuit was filed.  How did she end up at a bank being investigated for laundering money for her father’s close associate’s organization?  Does Governor Haslam know about this?

WISE was funded by the Muslim Brotherhood’s International Institute on Islamic Thought (IIIT).  Tarik Hamdi, identified as an officer/staff member of WISE is listed in a federal affidavit as providing material support to Al-Qaeda, Bin Laden and the PIJ.  He left WISE to work for IIIT.  He subsequently left the U.S. and relocated to the Middle East.

The IIIT was named in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” as one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s likeminded “organizations of our friends.”

Under Sharabi and Subhi Ali’s leadership, the Jerusalem Fund partnered with Life for Relief & Development (LIFE) which was raided by the FBI in 2006 “less than two months” after CAIR sent out an “Action Alert” asking people “to aid in collecting and sending [relief] supplies to LIFE.” The final destinations of the supplies were Lebanon and Gaza, where Israel was battling Hezbollah and Hamas. LIFE has been a “partner” organization to numerous groups with terror ties, including Human Concern International, Jerusalem Fund, ICNA Helping Hand, Islamic Relief and Human Appeal International.”

Subsequent to the raid, LIFE’s public relations coordinator, Muthanna al-Hanooti was indicted as an agent for Saddam Hussein’s government paid to manipulate U.S. officials. He pled guilty and faces a four year prison sentence. Al-Hanooti had also served as executive director of CAIR Michigan in 2000.

It should come as no surprise to anyone to see CAIR pop up given that Sami al-Arian and Hamas operative Mousa Abu Marzook, co-founded the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), the parent organization of CAIR.  Marzook also established the Holy Land Foundation.  Is it any wonder then that once again in the 2009 federal appeal, Judge Solis confirmed that there was “ample evidence to establish the associations CAIR, ISNA, NAIT with NAIT, the Islamic Association for Palestine and with Hamas.”

Time and again cases are prosecuted and it is proven that an Islamic charity has been used to raise and funnel money to support Islamic terrorist organizationsLooking at terrorism financing cases such as the Holy Land Foundation, WISE, Kindhearts, Benevolence International Foundation, al-Haramain Foundation, Global Relief Foundation and others, shouldn’t a prosecutor be asking whether Hisham Sharabi’s legacy, the Jerusalem Fund now chaired by Dr. Subhi Ali, is following suit?

It looks like the Jerusalem Fund is registered in every state except Louisiana.  Tennesseans and concerned citizens in other states should be looking carefully at who is doing what in their state offices.  Be assured, the Red/Green alliance is busy while we sleep.

David James


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European Union Policy of Hypocrisy

by Eli E. Hertz

Applying Double Standards by Requiring of Israel a Behavior Not Expected or Demanded of any Other Democratic Nation
The leniency with which the European Union (EU) judges Palestinians’ reforms compared to the strictness of EU demands for reform by the Turks reveal Europeans’ duplicity and lack of integrity, and should disqualify the European Union from playing any significant role in the Middle East peace process, under the guise of being an honest broker.
EU hypocrisy is undoubtedly noticed when one examines and compares the own benchmarks of the EU as applied to a country-candidate [for example Turkey] waiting to join the European Union on the one-hand, and the benchmarks the EU is applying toward the Palestinians who seek to have a state, on the other hand.
European yardsticks for Palestinians, a hostile society, joining the Family of Nations amounts to praise for fabricated non-existent reforms and calls to drop the required incremental progress from the Roadmap. An end to violence and democratic reform that Palestinians have not even begun is tolerable. All of this in order to forge the way for immediate establishment of a Palestinian state, one which will endanger the very survival of a free and democratic Israel.
The historic decision of the European Commission in mid-December 2004 that Turkey is now ready to begin full negotiations on joining the European Union is an excellent opportunity to benchmark the way Europeans, members of the quartet, judge Turks, and how they judge Palestinians.
Keep in mind the goals and the ramifications of each: The Turks’ goal is membership in the European Union – a political union that the Europeans already say will have an iron-clad reversibility clause for Turkey if it fails to live up to its promises.
The Palestinians’ goal is sovereignty as a State – status for which there is no reversibility mechanism if Palestine turns into a rogue state. Logically, the yardsticks of judging readiness should be at least equal, if not more stringent for Palestinians, a society that consciously and purposely sacrifices its own youth for political gain and tactical advantage, with a leadership that champions and praises suicide bombers.
For 50 years – since 1963, Turkey has knocked on Europe’s door requesting membership in the EU. The Europeans, however, have been in no rush to invite a Muslim country into their midst, even if it is the most westernized and most democratic Muslim country in the Middle East. Although Turkey is already a strategic partner in NATO and some 4 million of its citizens are peaceful and productive guest workers in Europe, these facts seem not to persuade the European Union. Only 36 years later, in 1999, was Turkey accepted as a candidate , with no timeframe for actual negotiations. At the close of 2004, after five years of far-reaching Turkish constitutional and legal reform, the EU concluded that Turkey had reached a point where negotiations could even commence “under certain conditions.”But it is far too premature to break out the champagne.
Negotiations are expected to take ten to fifteen years, and even then “the outcome is not a foregone conclusion,” declared Romano Prodi, then President of the European Commission.
The first yardstick for progress is to meet the Copenhagen Political Criteria adopted in June 1993 by the EU, which states:
Membership criteria require that the candidate country must have achieved stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, rule of law, human rights, and respect for and protection of minorities.” 
Olli Rehn, then the member of the European Commission responsible for EU Enlargement, made it clear in an address to the European Parliament that there are no ‘discounts’ for Turkey.
“These criteria, the fundamental values on which the European Union is based, are not subject to negotiation” and [there will be] “a suspension mechanism in case of serious and persistent breach of democratic principles.”
The fundamental freedoms Rehn cites include “women’s rights, trade union rights, minority rights, and problems faced by non-Muslim religious communities” and “consolidation and broadening” of legal reforms including “alignment of law enforcement and judicial practice with the spirit of the reforms” and a host of other demands. In fact, Europe demands a complete ‘makeover,’ from women’s rights to recycling of trash.
Like Turkey’s appeal for EU membership, realization of Palestinian aspirations was supposed to be performance-based. The timetable embedded in the Oslo Accords for establishment of limited Palestinian self-determination – internal self-rule – was five years (envisioned to be consummated in 1999). The Oslo Process hinged on the Palestinian leadership abandoning armed struggle and negotiating an end to the conflict, and establishing the infrastructure for enlightened self-rule. This proviso was never met.  The latest scheme – the three-phase Roadmap plan adopted by the Quartet in May 2003 – speaks of full independence for Palestinians within three years (envisioned by 2005).  Stage II, which supported establishment of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders and attributes of sovereignty within a 6 month period hinged on compliance with Stage I, which demands “unconditional stoppage of violence” and steps towards comprehensive reform of the Palestinian Authority.
Romano Prodi’s plea for:
“Profound reflection and clear precautions” in Europe, saying it is imperative for Europeans to prevent Turks from “weakening the structure we have been building for over 50 years.”
The same sensitivity and prudence that the EU takes toward the Turks, and their effect on European safety and stability is hardly evidenced when it comes to dangers that the Palestinians pose towards weakening the structure that Israel has built for nearly 64 years, a structure that has propelled it from the “developing nation” status it held in the early 1950s, to membership among the “important emerging economies” today.
Turks have been scrutinized by the EU to evaluate Turkey’s readiness for membership in the European Union – that is, its ability to live side-by-side with England, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and other EU members without Turks being a detriment to their  neighbors.  Parallel to this process, the EU has been evaluating the Palestinian Authority’s readiness for statehood – that is, Palestinians’ ability to live side-by-side with Israel without being jeopardy to their neighbor.  While the goals are different, the EU has declared in both cases that the realization of the two goals both require the respective Middle Eastern society to undergo far-reaching reform, to adopt western values and western standards of conduct. 

Eli E. Hertz


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