Saturday, January 5, 2013

European Settlements and Double Standards

by Dore Gold

Anyone flipping through cable television channels with his or her remote control has undoubtedly come across programs about British and other retirees from Northern Europe seeking to escape the harsh climate where they live by venturing to one of the well-known vacation spots along the Mediterranean coast. The difficult problem that these buyers face is the soaring prices of properties over the last decade in places like Marbella, Spain, the French Riviera, or Italy's Amalfi Coast, which leads many to look for more economical alternatives. As a result, many European buyers after 2002 have been flocking to Northern Cyprus, where a villa with a swimming pool can be bought at discount prices. 

The main legal question that is not addressed with this new European property boom is the legal status of the area where these new homes are being built. It should be recalled that in 1974 the Turkish army invaded Cyprus, which had been an independent state since 1960 and took over 37 percent of the island. Tens of thousands of Greek Cypriots were expelled in this period in what they viewed was a deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing by the Turkish army. In the aftermath of the invasion, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 353 which demanded "an immediate end to foreign military intervention" and called for "the withdrawal without delay from the Republic of Cyprus of foreign military personnel." 

The Turkish Cypriots declared their independence in 1983 by forming the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," an act that the U.N. condemned as "null and void." Over the years, an estimated 160,000 "settlers" who came from Turkey moved into Northern Cyprus. In many cases, properties that had been left behind by Greek Cypriot refugees were given by the Northern Cyprus administration to Turkish Cypriots and to the Turkish settlers, who sold them to European buyers. To date, some 5,000 British citizens have purchased homes in Northern Cyprus despite it being a clear-cut case of an "occupied territory." According to a BBC report, as many as 10,000 foreigners have bought up former Greek Cypriot properties in Northern Cyprus. 

Is there any basis for comparing Northern Cyprus to the situation with the West Bank?
A number of glaring differences stand out. First, Israel entered the West Bank in a war of self-defense in 1967 when it faced an Arab war coalition that was massing forces along its borders. In contrast, the circumstances of the Turkish invasion were very different. Turkey did not face imminent attack from Cyprus, but rather was concerned with intercommunal tensions in Cyprus. 

Second, there was no established sovereignty in the West Bank in 1967 that Israel violated; there was no Palestinian state while Jordan's claim to sovereignty was rejected by most of the international community except for Britain and Pakistan. Moreover, there were earlier Jewish rights under the British Mandate, which never expired. Looking at the Cypriot case, prior to the Turkish invasion in 1974, the Republic of Cyprus was the undisputed sovereign over the entire island, including the area of Northern Cyprus.

Finally, the resolutions adopted by the U.N. Security Council in the two conflicts were very different. In the aftermath of the Six-Day War, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 242 which did not call for an Israeli withdrawal from all the territories it captured as a result of the conflict. The resolution suggested that the old armistice lines be replaced with secure and recognized borders. 

Yet in the case of Northern Cyprus, the U.N. did not qualify its demand for a Turkish withdrawal by allowing, for example, the Turkish military to remain in even part of the island. Looking at these different considerations, it appeared that the international community should have judged the dispute over Northern Cyprus far more severely than the way it viewed the dispute over the West Bank, where Israel had multiple rights that it could exercise if it decided to do so.

However, in practice, that was not the case. As usual, on Dec. 10, the European Union declared yet again that it was "deeply dismayed by and strongly opposes Israeli plans to expand settlements in the West Bank, including in east Jerusalem." Its statement made wild charges that Israeli construction in E1 "could also entail forced transfer of civilian population."

It finally added that "the European Union reiterates that settlements are illegal under international law and constitute an obstacle to peace." Ironically, while the EU releases harsh statements of this sort against Israel for any construction activity in West Bank settlements, it has nothing to say about tens of thousands of Turkish settlers that have moved into Northern Cyprus. 

Nor are European governments condemning their own citizens who are seeking to build beachfront villas with swimming pools in territory that is technically still under Turkish occupation. European governments have warned their citizens that former Greek residents of Northern Cyprus may initiate legal proceedings in European courts against those who take over their properties. But there is no objection being stated in principle against European citizens moving into these territories in order to build vacation homes.

How does international law apply in these situations? There is a long-standing dispute over whether Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, for the protection of civilians, should be understood narrowly as prohibiting an occupying power from forcibly transferring its population into an occupied territory (the traditional Israeli and U.S. view) or should be interpreted broadly so that it even prohibits an occupying power from letting its citizens voluntarily move into an occupied territory (the European and Arab view). 

But the European foreign ministries cannot have it both ways: they cannot condemn Israelis who build homes in the West Bank for violating international law, while they approve, in principle, or are at least silent about Turkish settlers and their European business partners who benefit from the lands Turkish Cypriots have taken over, as they develop what has been one of the hottest Mediterranean real estate markets for Europeans seeking a place in the sun.

Dore Gold


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

Israeli Priest Hounded for His Support of Israel

by Aryeh Savir/Tazpit News

Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. 
Photo: wiki commons.

Last weekend, Father Gabriel Nadaf, 39,  a Greek Orthodox priest from Nazareth, challenged a boycott against him and attempted to enter the church there to recite a prayer and light a candle. He was accompanied by Israeli Border Police officers and supporters, who came to ensure his safe passage into the church.

Nadaf was excommunicated by the Orthodox Church Council after he expressed his belief that Christian youth in Israel should fully integrate into Israeli society, serving in the IDF or in the National Service. Since then, he and others, like Father André Alamiya, have been the target of virulent attacks from opponents to this idea. For example, Father Alamiya’s tires were slashed last weekend, and a rag saturated with blood was placed at his doorstep in Nazareth.

Father Nadaf believes Israel serves as an anchor for its Christian minority and cares for its security, and from this he derives his commitment towards Israel. Since his excommunication from the Council, which is headed by Dr. Azmi Hakim, a member of the Israeli Communist party, he has been forced to move around with bodyguards.

According to Nadaf, a coalition of Arab nationalists, Islamists and Arab communists have convened against him and his followers, and are currently waging an aggressive campaign in local and international media, as well as in social media and on YouTube. In one YouTube clip, Nadaf is dubbed “a Zionist agent, a traitor, insane, who pursues money and tries to enlist the youth in the army of occupation.”

A blacklist has been compiled of priests, Christian IDF officers and members of the security establishment who support Nadaf’s ideas. Pictures of youth who participated in a recent IDF event made it to the local Arab press, generating an ugly wave of harassment at schools, in social media and in the streets. Parents say that teachers have discussed in class why “it is a catastrophe to join the IDF.” Soldiers have asked their commanders to go on leave wearing their civilian clothes to avoid possible assault when they go home. Nadaf’s people talk of an imminent explosion if the Israeli government fails to take action against the incitement. One of the Christian IDF officers, a resident of Nazareth, tells of a safer environment on the front lines than at home.

Nadaf, a father of two, previously served as a priest in Acre and Haifa, as a spokesman for the Patriarchate and as a member of the Greek-Orthodox religious court. A picture of President Shimon Peres hangs at the entrance to his home, beside icons of Jesus and Mary. He believes the Christian community’s future is with the State of Israel, talks of a sense of security he feels only in Israel, and feels that his community should serve the country like every other citizen. He believes an historical bond between the Jewish and Christian communities in Israel is possible, but warns that the Israeli Government must act to restrain the inciters and protect Christians; otherwise this chance may be lost. He has expressed fear for his life and his family’s lives and thinks most Christians in Israel feel Israel is their country. They want to receive, they want to give. The street is silent when it comes to showing support for him, he says, but he believes the majority of his community supports his notions.

A forum of Christian servicemen and members of the security establishment support and protect Nadaf. They also accompany youngsters from the Christian community on their way to enlisting in the IDF. Families of these youngsters are constantly harassed and have been forced to install security cameras in their homes. Bishara Shlayan, 57, spokesman for the forum, told Tazpit News Agency that the process of Christians leaving Nazareth has been taking place for some years, but has intensified lately. “Many have even left the country. We feel we are being forced out of the city.”

Shlayan, a merchant marine captain, explained why the forum is necessary. “I believe everyone is entitled to an opinion, but Israel’s security should not be on the table. I believe everyone should do their part, either serve in the IDF or in the National Service. On the other hand, we are witness to our youth not receiving the proper support they need in the IDF. We established the forum to provide support to the enlisting youth and to ensure they are well treated and serve a meaningful service. We have decided not to be silent anymore. We have decided to provide an address for any issues related to military service.” He stresses that the forum is non-political.

Shlayan talks of a sense of anxiety among the Christian community in Israel, as a result of the Christians’ gloomy fate in the rest of the Middle East. “Israel has a stable regime and protects us, and we in turn are loyal citizens, but we do live with a sense of insecurity, which brings us to feel like the rest of the Christian in the region.” In conclusion, he speaks warmly of what he defines as his country. “Israel is really the best country in the world. We live in Israel, and I feel a part of the state and the Jewish People. Israel belongs to the Jews, and we are part of it. We want to continue to live here forever.”

Nadaf and his followers have found only a few supporters among Israeli society. ‘Im Tirzu’, an Israeli Zionist student body, has joined in showing support for the pro-Israel Christians. They recently wrote to MK Rony Bar-On, chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, demanding he ensure the safety of the community and stop the provocateurs.

It is significant to note that according to the latest reports, Christianity has come close to extinction in the Middle East. After the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ and the rise of Islamism in its wake, most Christian minorities in the Middle East are persecuted and many have been forced to leave their homes. It is estimated that 200 million Christians, or 10 per cent of Christians worldwide, are socially disadvantaged, harassed or actively oppressed for their beliefs. Israel is the last safe haven in the Middle East where Christians can practice their religion freely.

Aryeh Savir/Tazpit News


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

Shame on Peres and Prosor

by Ruthie Blum

This week’s prize for political chutzpah goes to two prominent Israelis — President Shimon Peres and Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor — whose salaries are paid for by our tax shekels. 

On Sunday, Peres reiterated his position that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “is a true partner for peace,” while criticizing the current government for failing to grasp that the public is firmly in favor of a two-state solution. 

As if that weren’t bad enough, Peres went even further on Monday, when he told a group of Christian leaders that there is “nothing wrong” with talking to Hamas.

The irony here is that part of the reason that Peres was appointed to his cushy post in the first place was so that he would finally be forced to keep his utopian ideas about a “new Middle East” to himself, and to stop going around the globe undermining the policies of his country. 

But being a figure-head does not come naturally to the elder statesman, who has always had a soft spot for all things European, particularly wine, women, song, and socialism. This is not to say that he hasn’t enjoyed what the peace camp in the United States has to offer him by way of honor, mind you. And he was certainly more than delighted to be awarded the Medal of Freedom from U.S. President Barack Obama. But nothing could really match the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize that was bestowed upon him — together with his nemesis, the late Yitzhak Rabin, and his buddy, the late Palestinian Liberation Organization head Yasser Arafat, in Oslo.

So it was quite foolish for anyone to expect that he would cease to be who he is as soon as he took up residence in the President's Residence in Jerusalem — a move that cost him his marriage.

Still, one might have harbored a glimmer of hope that the blatantly anti-peace-process behavior on the part of the Palestinian leadership, both in Gaza and in the West Bank, would have served to modify his stance somewhat. Alas, it was not to be. And the Right needn’t get all up in arms over it. As president, Peres is not supposed to voice partisanship, but that is not the real reason for our anger. After all, had he expressed the opposite view, nobody in conservative circles would have uttered a word, other than to use it as an opportunity to say, “You see? Even Peres is now on our side.”

No, what we should all be appalled by relates to the gall of the second winner of the “big-mouth” sweepstakes.

While Peres was on his podium promoting the Palestinian Authority, Prosor was in the audience at a different conference — one that was hosted by the Foreign Ministry for 160 ambassadors and heads of Israeli missions abroad.

After National Security Council chief Yaakov Amidror gave a lecture/briefing on key issues, such as Iran and the Palestinians, Prosor — who, unlike Peres, has not been a vociferous leftist — got up during the Q&A portion and posed a challenging question. What he asked had to do with the timing of the government’s announcement that it would build housing in the E1 corridor between Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority.

Prosor’s question elicited a round of applause from the crowd of Israeli diplomats. This irritated Amidror to no end. "Gentlemen, do not be confused,” he responded. “You are the government's representatives. If that doesn't suit you: either go into politics or resign.” 

It should come as little surprise that Amidror, not Prosor, has been the one under attack for the incident. Previous Foreign Ministry bigwigs have been hauled into TV studios to express their indignation. Ambassadors are thinking people, not mere underlings, is the long and short of their argument.

Indeed. But ambassadors also commonly suffer from a form of diplomatic “Stockholm Syndrome,” which causes them to begin to identify with their host countries.

This is as understandable from a human perspective as is Peres’ glee at being treated like royalty beyond Israel’s shores. It is as difficult to resist praise as it is to withstand criticism. Prosor deserves sympathy for being stuck in the snake pit of the U.N. and surviving.

But he should not be let off the hook for worrying more about what the world will say about Israeli policy than doing his job of promoting and defending it. The fact is that the “international community” is not hostile to Israel for its construction of this or that house. Indeed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t actually send any bulldozers to E1, and doubts at home that he will ever do so have been strengthening the Habayit Hayehudi party on the Right.

It is about time that Israeli diplomats stop imagining that their task would be easier if the Netanyahu government would only be more appeasing. They ought to know better, since their situation under more left-wing governments was no different.

Whether or not Peres and Prosor are within their rights to be outspoken is irrelevant. There are many battles taking place against Israel, both military and civilian. Shame on any of our representatives for providing the multi-tentacled enemy with the slightest additional fodder.

 Ruthie Blum is the author of “To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the ‘Arab Spring.’”


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A ‘Sudanese Genocide’ in Egypt?

by Raymond Ibrahim


The current tensions in Egypt between the Muslim Brotherhood-led government and a fragmented populace that includes large segments of people who oppose the Islamization of Egypt—the moderates, secularists, and Christians who recently demonstrated in mass at Tahrir Square and even besieged the presidential palace—is all too familiar.  One need only look to Egypt’s immediate neighbor, Sudan, and its bloody history, to know where the former may be headed.

The civil war in Sudan, which saw the deaths of millions, was fundamentally a byproduct of an Islamist regime trying to push Sharia law on large groups of Sudanese—Muslim, Christian, and polytheist—who refused to be governed by Allah’s law, who refused to be Islamized.   Although paying lip-service to pluralism and equality in the early years, by 1992, the Islamist government of Khartoum declared a formal jihad on the south and the Nuba, citing a fatwa by Sudan’s Muslim authorities which declared that “An insurgent who was previously a Muslim is now an apostate; and a non-Muslim is a non-believer standing as a bulwark against the spread of Islam, and Islam has granted the freedom of killing both of them.”

In other words, Khartoum decreed that: 1) It is simply trying to do Allah’s will by instituting Islamic Sharia law; 2) Any Sudanese who objects—including Muslims—is obviously an infidel; 3) All such infidels must be eliminated.  Accordingly, countless people were butchered, raped, and enslaved—all things legitimate once an Islamic states declares a jihad.  While South Sudan recently ceded, the Nuba Mountains in the north is still continuously being bombarded.

Now consider how the above pattern—false promises of religious freedom, followed by a Sharia push and a declaration that anyone opposing it, including Muslims, are infidels and apostates to be killed—is precisely what has been going on directly to the north of Sudan, in Egypt.

First, although Muhammad Morsi repeatedly promised that he would be a president who represents “all Egyptians”  during presidential elections, mere months after coming to power, he showed that his true interest—which should have been obvious from the start, considering that he is a Muslim Brotherhood leader—was to Sharia and Islamization.

Even so, Egyptians did not forget that Morsi, during presidential elections, had said the following in a video interview:
The Egyptian people are awake and alert—Muslims and Christians; and they know that, whoever comes [to become Egypt’s president], and does not respect the rule of law and the Constitution, the people will go against him. I want the people immediately to go against me, if I ever do not respect the law and Constitution.
Accordingly, when Morsi aggrandized himself with unprecedented presidential powers, and then used these powers to sidestep the law and push a Sharia-heavy Constitution on Egypt, large segments of the Egyptian people did rise against him; at one point, he even had to flee the presidential palace.

And just as in Sudan, Morsi’s Islamist allies—who, like Morsi, during elections spoke glowingly of Egyptian unity—made it a point to portray all those Egyptians opposing Morsi, the majority of whom were Muslims, of opposing Islam, of being apostates and hypocrites, and thus enemies who should be fought and killed.

Radical online cleric Wagdi Ghoneim, for instance, incited Muslims to wage jihad on and eliminate anyone protesting against Morsi, adding that any Muslim found protesting is, in fact, an apostate hypocrite, who wants to see Islam wiped out of Egypt.  He justified the jihad on such Muslims by quoting Quran 66:9: “O Prophet! Strive hard against the infidels and the hypocrites, and be firm against them.” He added that the hypocrites were supported by “Crusader Christians” (a reference to the Copts) and “debauched” liberals and seculars—all of whom must also be fought and even killed.

As for those Muslims who were protesting but were still “true” Muslims, Ghoneim portrayed them as being misguided—asking them, “Why are you siding with crusaders and infidels against Sharia?”—and thus also needing to be fought until they come to their senses.

He correctly pointed out that Islam forbids true Muslims from fighting each other—despite the fact that history (and current events) are replete with Muslims slaughtering each other—and rationalized his call to fight fellow Muslims by quoting Quran 49:9: “If two factions among the believers fight, then make settlement between the two. But if one of them oppresses the other, then fight against the one that oppresses until it returns to the ordinance of Allah.” In this context, the Muslims opposing Sharia are the ones “oppressing the other”—the true Muslims—Morsi and his supporters, who want Sharia, that is, who want to “return to the ordinance of Allah.”

Many more Muslims made the same exact argument, that whoever protests against Morsi, is in fact protesting against Islam itself, since the former is simply enabling the latter; like Ghoneim, they too issued fatwas, or Islamic decrees that all such protesters are to be fought, regardless of whether they are fellow Muslims, leading to the violent attacks and killings during the uprisings against Morsi, including the “Muslim Brotherhood’s Torture Rooms.”

Egypt is still not Sudan, but it is going down the same path and following the same pattern, specifically, an Islamist government trying to Islamize society, and characterizing as infidels and apostates all who resist.  Undoubtedly Egypt’s Islamist government will continue to try to Islamize all walks of Egyptian life; undoubtedly there will be those who reject it.  The question is, will their resistance ever be staunch enough to  prompt the government to act on the aforementioned fatwas, formally declaring all those Egyptians opposing Sharia as infidels and apostates to be hunted down and eradicated with impunity?

Raymond Ibrahim


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

Al-Jazeera's "Alternative Viewpoint" in Qatar's Paradise

by Amin Farouk

Al-Jazeera, which bought Current TV from Al Gore, is not a communications medium in the Western sense. It is a psychological warfare medium, a fundamentalist terrorist communications base operating under Qatari cover. It sets its sights on changing regimes.
Al-Jazeera TV, located in and financed by Qatar, which just bought Current TV from former presidential candidate Al Gore for a reported $500 million, "is providing an alternative viewpoint on domestic news," according to Cathy Rasenberger, "a cable consultant who has worked with Al-Jazeera on distribution," as stated by the New York Times of January 3, 2013.

What sort of alternative viewpoint?

Anyone regularly watching Al-Jazeera TV in Arabic cannot help being aware of its Islamist agenda, inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood's Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, wo is currently a resident of Qatar.

Regular viewers are familiar with the network's biases -- also apparent in its otherwise different English-language programming -- in covering events in the Middle East. Its reports are stunning in their lopsided descriptions of the cruelty and oppression of Arab leaders who, because they became weak and thus vulnerable, were called by Qatar's opportunistic rulers, "oppressive dictators whose time had come."

Here and there are points of light, when we become aware of regional events about which we might otherwise never have known. For example, the recent exposure of Iranian terrorist cells in Yemen and the Gulf States, the accelerated progress of Iran's nuclear agenda in the Persian Gulf, and Iran's naval exercises designed to challenge the United States.

Al-Jazeera is not, however, a communications medium in the Western sense; it is a psychological warfare medium. Its cameras are always turned outward; they never criticize Qatar's tyrannical, dictatorial, corrupt, plutocratic leaders or their exploitation of foreign workers, who have neither the status nor rights of Qatari nationals. Al-Jazeera's ongoing propaganda campaign against the Arab states in the Middle East is a move chosen by the rulers of Qatar to deflect Arab, Western and effervescent local attention from what is happening in the corrupt Al-Thani family's dark, closed emirate of wealth.

Although it promises aid to financially needy Islamic countries, it sends just the occasional pittance when t feels a need to bolster its popularity. Meanwhile huge unreported sums go to support Islamist terrorist organizations such as Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Jabhat Alnusra Al Islamiya in Syria. The rest of country's enormous oil revenues are channeled into the coffers of the rulers and their close associates, and are used to pay for their entertainment or for building enormous towers. The rest of the population -- most of which are foreign workers whose labor they exploit and who have no civil or social rights -- is not invited to join the party.

Although Al-Jazeera incites Muslim masses around the world to revolt against "repressive regimes," while calling for "democracy," "pluralism," and the ousting of totalitarian rulers, Qatar itself does not hold elections, has no political parties, has no democratic institutions, and its citizens have no political or social rights. What Qatar does have, with the help of Sharia [Islamic religious law], is a strong, family-run system of enforcing internal security and suppressing opposition. Al-Jazeera is the well-oiled and well-funded machine of a family employing armed mercenaries who call themselves "media personnel": Propaganda warriors who use cameras and microphones as weapons. Qatar therefore has every reason to hide what happens within its borders and look for defects in other places.

Al-Jazeera takes two editorial routes: its English-language programs present a moderate, cultured version of its propaganda, different from what is broadcast by its Arabic-language programs. Nonetheless, its purpose seems to be to spread Islam and undermine secularism.

Al-Jazeera's reporting is unbalanced in that it gives favorable coverage to Islamic regimes and movements it wants to strengthen, and slanders those it wants to weaken. Its sights are set on changing regimes. Al-Jazeera effectively created the Arab Spring by endlessly rebroadcasting footage of the fruit-seller in Tunisia who set himself on fire to protest his government. Every time there was a small demonstration, Al-Jazeera would cover it and air it time and again until the people of Tunisia were sufficiently whipped up.

Al-Jazeera's reporting is also unbalanced when it is turns to the religiously-motivated activities of Islamist groups in other countries, where the Arab Spring was turned into an Islamist Winter, and where the good intentions of democratically-minded young Muslims were exploited and perverted as, after the revolutions, Islamists seized power. Al-Jazeera's bias is also evident in its support for the dictatorship of Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt at the expense of the country's moderate, secular, democracy-seeking opposition, on whose back the Islamization of the country is taking place.

Al-Jazeera, perhaps as part of a program to replace secular dictators with Islamic ones, and perhaps partly to replace Shiite dictators with Sunni ones, has also fully supported the destruction wrought by the radical anti-Assad Islamists who have poured into Syria to turn it into a killing field under the banner of the so-called "Free Syrian Army."

Recently Al-Jazeera seems to have decided to topple the Palestinian Authority [PA], and transfer to Hamas -- Al-Qaeda's ideological and practical brother-in-arms -- the international recognition that the PA received from the UN in September, and to make Hamas sovereign in the West Bank as well as the Gaza Strip. To that end, it airs biased programs that are disproportionately favorable toward Hamas, and covers Hamas's "achievements," such as its "heroism" in firing rockets at Israeli civilians. The PA at least claims it wants to reach an agreement with Israel. Hamas, which uses its citizens, schools and hospitals as human shields during warfare it provokes, publicly proclaims day and night its intention to wipe Israel off the map.

Al-Jazeera is now embarked on a campaign glorifying Hamas at the expense of the PA, having sentenced it to death by lying about its mistakes. It recently cast suspicion on the PA as having collaborated with Israel in "poisoning Arafat," and broadcast a biased and exaggerated report of the alleged "tortures" inflicted on Hamas prisoners in PA jails, including claims of rape, threats toward female members of Hamas under interrogation and other horrors – all of which are meant to represent the "crimes" committed by the PA in collaboration with, and at the behest of, Israeli intelligence.

Other Al-Jazeera initiatives aimed at toppling the PA include spreading rumors of a third intifada, and encouraging Hamas in the West Bank to hold marches and carry cardboard models of Qassam rockets.

Al-Jazeera has also for years consistently demonized Israel and reiterated what it calls "Israel's horrible crimes" against the Palestinians. Every action taken by Israel, and especially the Israel Defense Force [IDF], is a "war crime." When IDF soldiers fire rubber bullets at the legs of Palestinian rioters, it is a "war crime" comparable to -- if not worse than -- Assad's systematic slaughter of tens of thousands of his own Syrian citizens.

The names Al-Jazeera gives its programs are also manipulative: "Our History in Their Archive: Zionist Terrorism," for example, is a 47-minute propaganda movie with a carefully-constructed title. In seven words, it manages to imply that the Palestinians were the victims of Israeli terrorists, who not only committed unspeakable acts, but then went on to rewrite history, leaving out what was inconvenient. There are, it suggests, two versions of events: the "true" one of the Palestinians, and the false one of the "Zionists."

Al-Jazeera often reports on visits paid by Arab and international political figures to the Gaza Strip as guests of Hamas, including the visit of the Emir of Qatar with his generous financial donations. There were also many broadcasts lately showing Hamas activists constructing bomb shelters as Gaza rebuilds after Israel eventually responded to attacks by Hamas, as well as Hamas activists engaging in activities for the public good, representing Israel as the aggressor and Hamas as the savior.

Al-Jazeera deliberately hides the underground civilian swell that is trying to make its voice heard against Hamas's theocratic and dictatorial rule. It does not broadcast the grumblings of the hungry, unemployed Gazan public against Hamas's sectorial economic policies, which discriminate in favor of its supporters and neglect the rest of the populace; which kill and oppress Gazan Fatah activists, and which use assault rifles to enforce the norms of Sharia law on civilians, some of whom Hamas has executed on the flimsiest of pretexts.

As a TV channel, Al-Jazeera does not operate under accepted Western norms. It is a fundamentalist terrorist communications base operating under Qatari political cover, with a pretense of pluralism. While in the other Arab countries, to reach the Islamic paradise, people need to kill Jews and be killed in wars, dying as shaheeds [martyrs] in the battles of Islam, according to Al-Jazeera only Qatar is already a genuine paradise on earth. Everything there is perfect, so there is no need to report the news.

Amin Farouk is a journalist based in the middle east.


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

European Court of Justice "Lacking Any Foundation in Law"

by Douglas Murray

The European Commission in recent years has been funding rabidly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic campaign groups. Parading under the banner-term of "NGOs," they have one concerted aim, which is to manipulate international opinion against Israel: Foreign government-funded subversion of a democracy.
Few people would ever label the hydra-like institutions of the European Union as transparent... or responsive to the desires of we mere voters. The EU has long been in the habit of ignoring the will of the peoples of Europe, if their will is not the same as the will of the EU. Its accounting procedures are so lacking in accountability that the EU's own auditors have refused to sign off on the entity's budgets for the last 18 years running. And of course the European Court has a long and ignoble track-record of ignoring the security concerns of EU citizens in favour of the rights of terrorists to go about their lives and careers unhindered.

So nobody should be terribly surprised at the European Court of Justice's latest demonstration of opposition not merely to transparency but to the peoples it presumes to govern.

Shortly before Christmas the European Court threw out a lawsuit filed almost three years ago, which would have led to the EU being required to release the details of its funding of non-governmental organizations [NGOs]. The suit, filed in 2010 by the superb NGO Monitor, accused the European Commission [EC] -- the "executive branch" of the acronym-rich EU - of failing to fulfill the EU's own transparency obligations. These obligations -- included, for what it's worth, in European Freedom of Information law -- require that details of EC funding should be available upon request. For thirteen months, NGO Monitor has requested such information, and for all that time the EC has claimed"'privacy" and "commercial interests" among other reasons for refusing to have any transparency.

Previously, since June 2005, NGO monitor had identified almost $48 million of funding given by the EC to groups which include those actively involved in extremist anti-Israel activity. such as boycott campaigns and "lawfare" -- frivolous and malicious lawsuits to try, through the harassment and expense of lawsuits, to intimidate people from questioning or criticizing Islam.

Now, amazingly, the Luxembourg-based European Court has not only ruled in favour of the EC's resistance to transparency, it has labelled NGO Monitor's claims "manifestly unfounded" and "lacking any foundation in law." The fact that it is manifest to everybody else that the foundation for such claims lies in European law was completely overridden. Indeed the court even -- disgracefully -- ordered NGO Monitor to pay the costs incurred by the EC in the case.

Beyond the Israeli media, too little has been made of this case. But it is vital that Europeans and Americans understand the true nature of the subversion going on here.

There is only one true explanation as to why the various wings of European anti-democracy have engaged in this cover-up. The motivation comes down to this: Whatever criticism the European Court will get for its refusal to be transparent, it is nothing compared to the criticism the EC would get if the identities of the recipients of its funding were made publicly available.

Although the EU is institutionally incapable of listening to criticism, it would probably prefer to avoid it, or at least cut it off where it can. The events of recent weeks are merely a reminder that every lever of European "justice" will continue to be wielded to prevent such information being released. So since we cannot be "told" what the corrupt EC does with our money, perhaps this mere voter could say what he thinks is being done with it.

Although it is eminently possible that the EC is caught up in some corrupt commercial interest, the idea that the European Court has had to cover for the European Commission because of genuine concerns over "privacy" is ridiculous.

The EC in recent years has been funding rabidly anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic campaign groups. Though parading under the banner-term of "NGOs," such groups are in fact barely concealed fronts for a war against the Jewish state. They have one concerted aim, which is to manipulate international opinion against Israel by fabricating bad Israeli behaviour where it does not exist and exponentially exaggerating it where – as in any democracy – it does.

These groups actively seek not merely to poison the reputation of Israel in the international sphere, but to manipulate politics inside Israel. There are parties and politicians they would rather have in power than this one. They believe that through the destroying the reputation of the Israeli government at home as well as abroad, they can actively alter the outcome of the political process within Israel.

What these EU-funded groups are involved in is therefore not merely a campaign of propaganda: It is a campaign of subversion. And not just subversion, but foreign government-funded subversion. It is a subversion aimed at a country, and a democracy, with whom we are still – at least in name – meant to be allies. This is tantamount not merely to an act of folly or stupidity, but of actual and open hostility. It is a campaign about which every voter in the EU, as well as Israel and America, should know.

Or perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps the EU has changed its spots. Perhaps it has been spending our money on pro-Israel groups or groups intent on persuading the Palestinians to stop trying to annihilate the Jewish state, or on outreach water-parks in the greater Gaza area. But I doubt it. And so long as we EU citizens are allowed to remain citizens and not subjects of this accountable EU monstrosity, and so long as we still have the right to say what we like about it, we should say that the onus is on them – and not on us – to show what they are doing with our money. If they cannot be persuaded to do so, then we will gladly refrain from giving them any more.

Douglas Murray


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Iran’s Imprisoned Baha’i Infants

by Michael Rubin

President Obama’s outstretched hand has been a death knell to human rights in Iran. First, Obama chose silence against the backdrop of the Iranian regime’s worst abuses in the aftermath of the 2009 post-election uprising. What he had not announced at the time was that he had sent the Iranian supreme leader not one but two letters seeking dialogue, and did not want to upset the self-professed Deputy of the Messiah on Earth by speaking out in support of the Iranian people.

While the press turns to the human rights abuses suffered by ordinary Iranians in the aftermath of the occasional uprising, be it the 1999 student protests, the 2001 football match fixing riot, or the 2009 election unrest, the minority Baha’i community suffers continuously. The problem for the Baha’i boils down to the fact that Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last prophet God would send to man, but the Baha’is believe that God rewards man with new revelations as mankind evolves to the point where he is about to receive them, and so they recognize a couple prophets who have revealed themselves after Muhammad. To be a Baha’i in Iran is to be, from the regime’s point of view, an apostate worthy of imprisonment or death. Iranian Baha’is are often denied entry into universities unless they renounce or deny their faith, and Baha’is who meet together for the purpose of worship or community organization are often imprisoned for years under harsh conditions.

Alas, when the Iranian regime targets young mothers, they often imprison their infants under the same harsh conditions. Hence the latest news out of Iran:
Two Baha’i infants imprisoned with their mothers in Semnan Prison, were transferred to hospital due to health deterioration. According to the reports by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Two Baha’i infants suffering from lung and ear infections, imprisoned with their mothers in Semnan prison’s Women Ward (one of the worst prisons in Iran), were transferred to hospital. Zahra Nik-A’in and Taraneh Torabi, Baha’i citizens who were sentenced to 23 and 20 months in prison, respectively, are serving their sentences at Semnana Prison despite being mothers of infants. Zahra has an 11-month old son, and Taraneh has a five-month old son. All of them are severely sick and need immediate medical care.

The Iranian regime has become masterful at stringing the Obama administration and State Department along: Hold out the hope of talks, and know that U.S. officials will self-censor their criticism out of desperation for a dialogue which Iran only insincerely embraces. Let us hope that someone in the White House will at least take the time to see the faces of Iran’s youngest victims.

Michael Rubin


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The Egyptian Idea of Brotherhood

by Jonathan S. Tobin

Not much is expected to change at the State Department when John Kerry replaces Hillary Clinton. That’s especially true in terms of the Middle East, where Kerry is not expected to be any more eager to push Iran than Clinton. Nor is he likely to take a more jaundiced view of the Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt, which was been the particular object of U.S. affection in the latter half of 2012 as Mohamed Morsi consolidated power without much in the way of protest from an administration that continues to funnel billions in aid to Cairo. Kerry appears to share the State Department consensus that Morsi and the Brotherhood are deserving of continued American largesse and regards the Islamists as a moderating force in the region rather than as the enablers of Hamas.

It remains to be seen whether his former Senate colleagues will press Kerry much on the subject. But in case anyone on the Hill is inclined to buy into the happy talk about the Brotherhood that is being sold by the State Department and mainstream media outlets eager to portray the Brotherhood as the Egyptian equivalent of the Islamist government of Turkey that President Obama is so fond of, they ought to take a look at this video uncovered by, the indispensable window into the Arab media. In this 2010 appearance on Lebanon’s Al Quds TV, the Brotherhood leader and future Egyptian president not only denounces any peace negotiations with Israelis, whom he called bloodsuckers, warmongers, and “the descendants of apes and pigs,” but also called for a boycott of U.S. products.

This should come as a bit of a surprise to readers of publications like the New York Times, whose correspondents and columnists such as Nicholas Kristof have been at great pains to portray the Brotherhood as nice people with so much in common with Americans. In the rush to embrace the idea that the Brotherhood victory is a triumph for democracy, the group’s ideology, its members and its leaders have all been airbrushed into a picture of modern and tolerant Islam rather than being shown as the font of anti-Western and anti-Semitic hate that it actually has always been.

Those who believe that Morsi is a different man now that he sits in Hosni Mubarak’s old chair with the former dictator’s powers also need to understand that he is the first Egyptian leader to visit Iran in a generation and has continued to attend prayer services, where rhetoric such as he used in the Lebanese show continues to be heard.

Kerry, whose weakness for Arab tyrants was demonstrated by his friendship with the Assad regime in Syria, has always been the sort of person who preferred to believe in his illusions about Middle Eastern leaders rather than his lying eyes and ears. Those who expect anything but grief and violence in the long term from an American embrace of the Brotherhood are bound to be disappointed. As this Morsi tape demonstrates, Egypt is now led by a first-class hatemonger that has little use for peace with Israel or friendship with the United States.

Jonathan S. Tobin


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The Al Jazeera Liberals

by Jonathan S. Tobin

The sale of Al Gore’s Current TV to Al Jazeera is apparently more than just a business deal in which the world’s most prominent critic of fossil fuels made a fortune with an oil-rich emirate. According to the New York Times editorial page, the creation of a new Al Jazeera America is a blow struck for diversity in journalism. The Times feels Time Warner Cable is wrong to drop the new channel from its broadcast lineup. The implication is that those who have expressed shock or outrage about the spectacle of a former vice president of the United States becoming not merely a business partner but an advocate for a network that is well known for its anti-American and anti-Israel bias are either narrow-minded or in some way prejudiced against Arabs and Muslims.

The idea that the general disgust about Gore’s $100 million Arab oil windfall is more evidence of American parochialism or prejudice is absurd. No one is trying to censor Al Jazeera. If there are enough American viewers who want to watch news broadcast from the perspective of the channel’s Qatari government owners, then cable providers will give it to them and they are welcome to it. But that doesn’t obligate Time Warner or any other distributor to give it valuable space on a list of available channels if there aren’t enough viewers to justify such a decision. After all, those who want to look at the world from the point of view of those who promote 9/11 truther myths and who sympathize with those who fought the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan can always watch Al Jazeera on the Internet or find other outlier niches to hold their attention.

The real issue here is not a false argument about diversity. It is instead one about what it means to be a liberal in today’s media environment. As Alana noted yesterday, Gore refused to sell his channel to conservative Glenn Beck saying that he didn’t wish to see his vanity project fall into the hands of those who disagreed with his politics. Fair enough. But the fact that Gore sees Al Jazeera as a good match for his brand of American liberalism speaks volumes about the nature of that set of beliefs.

Most Americans still think of Al Jazeera as the network that was Osama bin Laden’s outlet to the world in the years after 9/11. Since then, it has earned a reputation in some quarters as the best source of news about the Arab and Muslim world, especially during the Arab Spring protests. But its perspective remains one in which the United States and Israel are routinely pilloried and where terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah are depicted as freedom fighters.

I don’t worry about Al Jazeera being able to persuade most Americans to buy into this skewed view of the world. What is worrisome is that Gore and other liberals such as the editorial writers at the Times seem to think there is a connection between this perspective and contemporary American liberalism.

Though the overwhelming majority of Americans reject this point of view and are strong supporters of Israel, polls have consistently shown us that liberals and Democrats are less likely to back the Jewish state than conservatives and Republicans. At the beginning of his career Gore was seen as the leader of the next generation of Scoop Jackson Democrats. That Al Gore would never have gotten into bed with Al Jazeera. But in his current incarnation as hypocritical environmental huckster and profiteer he seems to reflect the way the left has abandoned the principles that once united Democrats and Republicans on foreign policy. While conservatives and liberals have plenty to argue about, one would have hoped that they would be united in their revulsion against the kind of bias that Al Jazeera exemplifies. If indeed there is a connection between Al Jazeera’s views and contemporary liberalism, there is a sickness on the left that ought to trouble all Americans.

Jonathan S. Tobin


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Islamist Group Tries to Kill Use of "Islamist"

by IPT News

After doing everything it can to ensconce a new word, "Islamophobia," into conversational English, the nation's most visible Islamist group is trying to stop use of a well-established word: Islamist.
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) national spokesman Ibrahim Hooper released a column urging journalists to "Drop the term 'Islamist.'"

It was added to the latest Associated Press Stylebook – the guide for spelling, punctuation and other rules – that is used by journalists at the smallest community papers and the largest television networks, Hooper wrote. AP defines Islamists as "Those who view the Quran as a political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from mainstream politicians to militants known as jihadi."

Journalists should ignore that, Hooper argued, because it is used in a negative way, and used by "Islam-bashers" who really hate the faith of Islam but want to cover their tracks. "Yet they fail to explain how a practicing Muslim can be active in the political arena without attracting the label 'Islamist.'"

Plenty of practicing Muslims work bravely in opposition to Islamist ideology. Britain's Quilliam Foundation was started by Muslims who walked away from radical Islamist thought and now counter the arguments Islamists offer.

"Challenging extremism is the duty of all responsible members of society," the foundation's website says. Not least because cultural insularity and extremism are products of the failures of wider society to foster a shared sense of belonging and to advance liberal democratic values. With Islamist extremism in particular, we believe a more self-critical approach must be adopted by Muslims." [Emphasis added]

Hooper may have had the Investigative Project on Terrorism in mind with his comment, as we try to distinguish between the faith of Islam as practiced by individuals, and its application as the foundation for political action and law. When devout Muslims espouse this "separation between mosque and state," Hooper dismisses them as "a mere sock puppet for Islam haters and an enabler of Islamophobia."

Hooper's demand that "Islamist" be removed from the lexicon is ironic, since his bosses seemed more than comfortable placing themselves firmly in the world of "Islamists" back in 1993. CAIR founders Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad joined two dozen Hamas supporters in Philadelphia for a fall weekend in an urgent meeting called to discuss ways to "derail" the U.S.-brokered Oslo Accords.

The FBI bugged the meeting room. Transcripts entered into evidence during a 2008 Hamas-financing trial show the participants referred to "Islamists" dozens of times. Ahmad helped lead the meeting, helping determine who might attend and calling it to order.

The FBI described the group as Hamas members and supporters. "Hamas' agenda was not only to eliminate Israel," prosecutors wrote, "but also to sabotage the Oslo Accords and to replace the secular PA regime with an Islamist government that would control all of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza."

Awad, who remains CAIR's executive director nearly 20 years later, addressed the meeting about media strategies.

"The fourth goal is becoming open to the media in the U.S. and the Western society to ease the intensity of the campaign and to explain the legality of the opposition led by the Islamists," he said. [Emphasis added]

Ahmad, who served as CAIR chairman emeritus until 2009, also discussed media strategy for Islamists in America.

"The first goal was relating to activism among Muslims and Palestinians but we must broadcast our point of view in U. S. media. There is a very good reason for that which is bringing the voice of the Islamists to the surface, keeping them informed and explaining their positions in order to case the severity of allegations of radicalism and other things," Ahmad said. [Emphasis added] "This will also make our position known to Muslims and sympathizers whom we cannot reach via our media tools."

A speaker identified only as "Akram" told the group opposition to the Oslo deal did not "have anything to do with any living conditions. We have undisputable rights in Palestine as Islamists. They don't change with the changing of the events." Later, he said Islamists were the only ones willing to oppose the agreement publicly.

"We must be clear that we oppose this thing 100% and that we, the Islamists ... different from what is being suggested for Palestinian activism," Akram said. No one disagreed.

Their claim on Palestine was not limited to the West Bank and Gaza, Ahmad said, agreeing it was not a wise strategy to say so publicly.

"We've always demanded the 1948 territories," Ahmad said.

"Yes," an unidentified speaker responded, "but we don't say that publicly. You cannot say it publicly. In front of the Americans..."

"No," Ahmad agreed, "we didn't say that to the Americans."

Nearly 20 years later, Ahmad's organization doesn't want Americans to say the same words he and his colleagues embraced.

"Unfortunately, the term 'Islamist' has become shorthand for 'Muslims we don't like,'" Hooper wrote. "It is currently used in an almost exclusively pejorative context and is often coupled with the term 'extremist,' giving it an even more negative slant."

This is revisionist history. In addition to Hamas supporters, fundraisers for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad used the "Islamist" in laudatory fashion. During a 1989 conference by Sami Al-Arian's Islamic Committee for Palestine, Cleveland Imam Fawaz Damra described heroic battles Islamists waged in sparking the intifada against Israel.

"We acknowledge that Islamists were absent from the arena of jihad for a long while, Damra said. "This is not the time to examine the causes of that absence. But this was their return with an unflagging spirit, determined to do battle and to confront important development. Then occurred the fleeing operation, executed by six mujahideen towards the middle of the fifth month of '87. This was followed by specific operations executed by these youth, one of the most important of which was the killing of the Military Police chief in Gaza. In other words, the events rekindled the spirit of hope and the spirit of self-confidence in the people."

Damra would later describe Al-Arian's committee as "the active arm of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine" and urge people to write checks intended for the Jihad to "write it in the name if the Islamic Committee for Palestine, 'ICP' for short."

Evidence also showed that Al-Arian served as secretary on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's governing board.

CAIR defended both men.

CAIR officials also have supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, even as it rammed through a constitution that epitomizes Islamist aspirations and makes religious law the law of the land. The Brotherhood has no problem calling itself Islamist.

If the word is to be used, Hooper wrote, it "should not be used unless a group applies the term to itself." So the Brotherhood can be called "Islamist."

CAIR doesn't use the term itself, not "to the Americans," anyway, but we've offered a tiny sample of the examples of Islamists using the word privately. CAIR's background – the FBI cut off contact with the group in 2008 over questions about "whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS – should be taken into consideration by anyone entertaining Hooper's request to serve as language cop.

By the way, the AP did remove a related word from the newest Stylebook: Islamophobia.

IPT News


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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mordechai Kedar: Palestinians For Dissolution of the PA

Mordechai Kedar

Read the article in Italiano (translated by Yehudit Weisz, edited by Angelo Pezzana)
Occasionally a journalist must show his readers a disturbing, difficult and complex picture, so that they will not be surprised when reality hits them in the face. It is not my intention to spread anti-Israeli propaganda, but rather to illustrate the prevailing mood that confronts us, for this is the task that I am entrusted with and this is the responsibility that rests on my shoulders.

Several days ago, Mahmoud Abbas, head of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, announced that if negotiations with Israel are not renewed in a way that will lead the Palestinian people toward their goal, he will invite Netanyahu to Ramallah, he "will lay the keys on the table” and dissolve the PA. This announcement, which was given to the newspaper “Haaretz”, was supposed to shock Israel to its foundations, but that is not what happened: the Israeli public – which is preoccupied with upcoming elections – did not go berserk as a result, and the announcement was left hanging in the air.

But the Palestinian public is not indifferent to events, and in recent weeks we have seen an increase in public disturbances in Judea and Samaria. The Arabs who are residents of the disputed territories take Abu Mazen’s announcement in various ways: some fear an outbreak of violent acts that will harm not only Israel but them as well; some fear that dissolution of the PA might cause an economic downturn, but there are some who wish for the dissolution of the PA and not because of Zionist motives. We bring the words of one of these, Ahmed Muhsin, who, after Abbas’s announcement about dissolving the PA, published the following article, entitled “Since the PA is meaningless, dissolve it if you can and leave us be!!” 

The article, written by Muhsin (my comments in parenthesis, M.K.):

Western media have publicized Abbas’s announcement and called it “Earth-shattering News”, thus revealing how the West regards the PA. We have no intention of analyzing the announcements, their meaning or their timing (the Israeli pre-election season) but only to raise questions that we have heard from the various shades and sectors of the general public. The people are convinced that the PA is not the seed from which a Palestinian state will sprout.  Those who designed it and brought it here have promised us (so that the masses will applaud them and we will believe in it) that it will bring us peace that will turn us into Singapore in Palestine. The PA is a bitter experiment for which the Palestinian people have paid a high price, as we see today and as the martyr Abu Amar (Yasir Arafat) remarked in his last days. The result, which we witness and live each and every moment in the occupied territories, is a rapid growth of settlements, the building of the racist separation wall, the Judaization of Jerusalem and the land, a rise in the number of captives and prisoners, security collaboration with the occupiers, dependency of our people on the hook of salaries that the PA pays, to the point where we beg our enemies to pay us what we have earned and beg for crumbs at the doors of donors, who pay and give grants – and nothing comes for free – in addition to the results of the Oslo Accords and the establishment of the PA, which caused the shameful split (between the PLO and Hamas). So where is the threat in dissolving the PA when it is [directed/ toward the occupation and especially to Netanyahu? Must we wait until the outcome of the elections in the occupying country with its militaristic society? Must we wait also for the results of the elections in the United States in order to formulate]] our policy each time anew?

Is the slogan “The PA is a national achievement” true or false? Are those right who claim that the PA is not a Palestinian entity, and that’s why it serves its resignation to its masters (the Israelis)? Is it logical that an entity that is on such a (high) level as the PA, a state with observer status at the UN, should present its resignation to the occupation and call for the occupation to return and its army invade Palestinian land? Is Abu Mazen the only one who has the authority to take the decision to dissolve the PA? Where are the Palestinian institutions, who are interested in the subject? The PLO? The Fatah Movement? The various Palestinian offshoots? Was the issue presented to them and were they consulted on the matter of dissolution of the PA? Or perhaps we belong to the third world and have become a one-man organization, a one-man political entity where all governmental authorities are held by one man?

Was the goal of Abu Mazen’s threat to dissolve the PA and hand over the keys of the West Bank to the Israeli occupation, just another attempt to drag Israel into negotiations by pressuring Israel and the United States; will he give up the condition that settlement activity must be stopped before returning to negotiations? If this is true, can the problem of Palestine endure another twenty years, treading a path with no possibility of arriving at a solution?

Does Abu Mazen have the authority to decide to dissolve the PA? Can such a decision be reached by Palestinians alone (without the involvement of higher bodies such as the Arab League and the UN)? Why – after all of the marching in place – is there no decision to confront the arrogant occupation and call for (violent) resistance as the martyr Yasir Arafat did, may Allah have mercy on him? Is Abu Mazen serious in the threat to dissolve the PA? Or perhaps it is just another empty threat, like previous threats which were not carried out? Does Abu Mazen hear the voices of nationalist demands to return to the situation that preceded the Oslo Accords and its consequences, to escalate the (violent) resistance and to place the responsibility on the occupation, especially in light of the deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian territories?

Will Abu Mazen carry out the threat to dissolve the PA? Or perhaps he will respond to the pressure of special-interest groups who stand to gain from the continuation of the PA, are these the topics that provide meaningless descriptions for the hallucinatory analysts of the situation? These people produce declarations] that weaken our determination; they are bullies of surrender, supporters of the (Zionist) lie who defend it at any price, under the illusory signs and slogans that have no connection to reality beyond their own narrow interests.

Is the threat to dissolve the PA the admission of the Oslo architects of its utter failure? Will a power vacuum reign in the occupied territories after the dissolution of the PA? (This is the most concerning situation of all, because then the Arab society in Judea and Samaria might deteriorate into violent internal conflicts, as is currently happening in Syria.) Will the resistance (Hamas) fill this void? (What will the situation be between Hamas and the PLO) after the reorganization of the PLO and activation of its institutions, as it continues to grapple with the occupation until liberation, the return (of the refugees into Israeli territory), the achievement of freedom and independence?

Dissolve it! O Abu Mazen if you could only do that!!! Turn your threat into reality!!! Translate it into deeds!!! Enough already with empty talk and wasting time, because the PA has become meaningless and it doesn’t even have control of its own decisions. It is a mere hired hand, or contractor for the occupation, and there will not be a power vacuum after the dissolution, since the heroic arms of the resistance will be there to deal with the occupation and sweep it off to hell!!!”

This concludes the article, which, in my opinion, reflects the mood of many. In the past seven years, since the second intifada was put down, many have forgotten its horrors and severe consequences, and many youths – who were only children then – have today become “shabab” who lead the resistance against Israel. There is in this situation a generational struggle, between the elders who seek a solution and the youth, who see solution as surrender.

They see in the media what has happened in the past two years in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen and Syria as well. The images are not heartwarming, the suffering presented by the media is great, blood is spilled in the streets of the Middle East, but the man in the street has the feeling of “yes, we can!!” To bring the desired change will also require our blood. Will this feeling be enough to draw the masses into the streets resulting in terror attacks if Abu Mazen carries out his threat? Time will tell.

If so, then we will regret that we did not solve the problem by means of the “Palestinian Emirates” solution, which we have described on this honorable platform in the past.

If so, then we will regret that we did not solve the problem by means of the “Palestinian Emirates” solution, which we have described on this honorable platform in the past.


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.
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