Friday, January 25, 2013

Mordechai Kedar: Judgement Day in Africa

by Mordechai Kedar

Read the article in the original עברית
Read the article in Italiano (translated by Yehudit Weisz, edited by Angelo Pezzana)
Ten months ago, in March of 2012, we spoke from this honorable platform about the awakening of radical Islam in Africa. We noted at the time that in the countries of North Africa - Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia - the organization called "al-Qaeda of the Maghreb" operates, and from time to time kidnaps and murders tourists and professional people such as  engineers who come to these countries as tourists or to perform specific functions. Our conclusion at that time was,"The population of Africa is involved in a series of disputes with a tribal background, and in which the Islamist and ethnic components play an important, and sometimes critical part. The combination of Saudi Arabian money, Wahhabi propaganda, the presence of terror organizations and wide distribution of weapons (some of which disappeared from weapons storehouses of the Libyan army as a result of the fall of Qadhaffi), does not contribute to the easing of relations between various groups of the African population, and developing trends also do not indicate a tendency toward calm."

The events in Algeria last week are the proof of what was already apparent: an area that is neglected by the government will become a hothouse for terror. Most of the territory of Algeria, which is more than ten times the size of Israel, is located in the vast, largely unpopulated Sahara Desert. There are  small concentrations of population situated near sources of livelihood such as  a spring or a well, and recently, mines and sources of energy - oil and gas. These clusters are isolated and exposed to armed groups that roam the area freely, propounding slogans and messages characteristic of al-Qaeda.

One of these groups, which calls itself the "Signed-in-Blood", under the command of Mukhtar Belmukhtar, and numbering about forty fighters, carried out the attack on the gas drilling installation in 'Ayn Aminas, abducted about 700 workers, some of whom were European, and held them as hostages. The subsequent attack of the Algerian army on the gas installation caused 55 fatalities: 32 terrorists and 23 hostages, and freed 685 Algerian workers and 107 foreign workers. The attackers, who arrived in several all-terrain vehicles, used heavy machine guns, rocket launchers, grenades and personal weapons, and a number of Algerian soldiers were killed and wounded in the course of the battle with them.

The world, especially the European countries, severely criticized the clumsy and unprofessional way that the Algerians dealt with the matter. In response, the government of Algeria defends itself with the claim that if they had not acted quickly and decisively, the number of victims would have been far greater.

But the question that naturally arises from this is why a gas production facility was attacked, and  what motivates the terror organizations to harm especially Algeria. The answer has to do with the developments of recent years in North Africa. The dictators of these states rule their oppressed peoples by the use of force. When Libya fell, along with it fell the doctrine that guided the West, which holds that these dictators will deal in the accepted way in Africa (with determination and ruthlessness) with terrorist elements such as al-Qaeda of the Maghreb, who roam the area, threatening to overthrow the fragile regimes and establish upon their ruins Islamic states that will then export terrorism to the more affluent parts of the world.

Radical Islamic agents are involved up to their necks in the wars of Mali and Somalia and in battles that are being waged in Libya, Tunisia, Niger, Nigeria and in Kenya. The murder of the American ambassador in Libya last September was only one example of these groups' activities. The governmental chaos that reigns in these countries creates a situation that allows the jihadi organizations to control vast territories, which serve them  as a base for organization, storage of armaments and training,so that they can continue their efforts to bring down the African states, whose illegitimate boundaries were demarcated by colonialism, with the aim of dismantling the nation of Islam into small, weak units. 

European workers who come to the African countries are perceived as an offshoot of colonialism, because their whole task - in the eyes of the jihadists - is to strengthen Western  hegemony over the peoples of Africa, on their habitat and their natural resources, to employ and exploit them and turn them again into slaves of the smug and arrogant West. That is why these organizations abduct European workers; it is to discourage other Europeans from coming. And the ransom money paid by the companies greases the wheels of these jihadi organizations. They spend the infidels' money on acquisition of weapons, ammunition, communications equipment, navigation equipment and vehicles, and the money also allows the organizations to purchase collaborative activity from other groups among the population, and to bribe governmental officials and military and intelligence personnel.

Another important detail is the fact that the jihadist groups are not unified; on the contrary, they compete with each other. The leader of al-Qaeda of the Maghreb, Abdul Hamid abu Zaid, prefers small-scale subversive actions, like terror attacks and abductions, more than wide-scale actions with many casualties such as that which was carried out by Belmukhtar in the gas facility in Algeria. Abu Zaid believes that large-scale actions such as 9/11 2001 could provoke the West into large-scale action against the jihadists, similar to that in Afghanistan, while small actions such as blowing up the American embassy in Nairobi the capital of Kenya, and in Dar a-Salam the capital of Tanzania (August 1998) achieve the goal without giving the West a reason to launch wide-scale, destructive military operations.

 Dilemmas in the West

The question for the governments of the United States, France and other NATO countries is what to do about these developments in Africa. Clearly, if the Islamist organizations are left alone, they will establish "Islamic Emirates" in Africa, which will export terror like Afghanistan did after Usama bin Laden took over. On the other hand, the continuing failure of the West to bring a legitimate, effective and stable regime to Afghanistan and Iraq proves that Westerners cannot cure the ills of these countries by spreading ideas of democracy.

France took initiative three weeks ago and became involved in the war being conducted in Mali using French air and ground forces.Will France succeed to free the two thirds of the territory of Mali that are today under the control of radical Islamists? Perhaps, but the achievement will be short-lived, because a) the jihadists can easily move to other places where there is no French army, and b) as long as people remain living in the area, the radical Islamists can hide among them, and emerge to attack the occupying forces.

In Washington there are deep differences of opinion: the pentagon and Defense Department understand that if the United States doesn't deal with the problem of Africa at its core, African jihad will spill over into Europe and the united States, and then the United States will be forced to become involved, as happened in Afghanistan, and therefore it is better to take care of the problem while it is still small. The White House and State Department, on the other hand, are very much against any military involvement in Africa because the president and the diplomats think that American occupation is the main factor that agitates and radicalizes the relationships between the United States and other countries, and the action of American soldiers on African soil - which may deteriorate into severe violence, with fatalities and wounded - will only damage the American image and arouse opposition to the West and the renewed Western colonialist hegemony in Africa; American solders will be wounded and return to the United States in coffins and the chances to sell the African peoples on American-made democracy will decrease.

The White House and American State Department prefer to send weapons, equipment and money to existing heads of state to help them stand strong against the attacks of the Islamist militias, to help their armies by supplying intelligence, just as NATO helped the rebels against Qadhaffi with attacks from the air, without a single Western soldier setting foot on Libyan soil. But there is some doubt as to whether support such as weapons, ammunition, equipment and money actually reach the intended hands, because the governments in the African states are infiltrated by hostile agents, who collaborate behind the scenes with the jihadists, and the bribery and protectionism that exist within those governmental systems supported by the West, arouse the rage of the jihadists even without the involvement of Western soldiers.

Implications for Europe

The increasingly complex jihadist muddle in Africa raises concern about harm to the stability of Europe, because African and Muslim immigrants who live in Europe might damage the infrastructures of the host countries in revenge for the Western activities in Africa, and this may cause severe harm to the economy of Europe, which is in poor shape to begin with. The status of European Jews might be harmed also, because peculiarly, Africans and Muslims might direct their rage against the Jews.


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

Egypt Gets a Gift of US F-16 Fighter Jets

by Sally Zahav

On March 5, 2012, during the Israeli prime minister's visit to the White House, Obama famously said to Netanyahu, "We will always have Israel's back". There are those who may have been reassured by his declaration of support, but for many lovers of Israel, these were empty words.

There are simply too many examples to prove that either Obama doesn't care about Israel's defense, or misunderstands how to secure it, and the recent delivery of F-16s to Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Egypt is just one of the most egregious cases. The four F-16s are apparently only the first installment of a total of 16 F-16 fighter jets and 200 tanks to be delivered by the end of next year. 

Watch a  video segment with Fox News' Sean Hannity about the gift of F-16 jets to Egypt, and the concern it arouses among some experts in Foreign Affairs.

Obama's choice for three of the most important roles: Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, John Kerry for Secretary of State and John Brennan for CIA director, all indicate how Obama chooses people who downplay the danger of radical Islam, while disregarding Israel's security needs. 

These three nominations, plus the naming of Jack Lew for Secretary of the Treasury, present the Republican members of Congress with a kind of "Sophie's Choice" dilemma. Traditionally, Congress allows a president to name his cabinet appointees and Supreme Court Justices with a minimum of objection, unless there are exceptional factors involved. Each of these four nominees poses difficulties for the Republicans, but they know that they cannot object vehemently to all of them. They will have to choose one, probably, if at all, to mount a campaign against. But choosing to object to any one of the nominees to these posts means that all three of the others will have to be abandoned.

Another famous Obama utterance about Israel is: "Israel doesn't know what its own best interests are". This, because supposedly the decision to build housing units in areas that are considered part of a future State of Palestine will exacerbate Israel's isolation among the nations of the world. Are we to think that Obama knows better what Israel's interests are? The arrogance is truly breathtaking. But in Numbers (23:9) we are told that Israel "is a nation that will dwell in solitude and not be reckoned among the nations". Could Obama think that he knows Israel's best interests better than G-d?

Obama's conduct during the events of the ludicrously mislabeled "Arab Spring" is another very good indication that whatever his underlying motive, he is more interested in promoting warm relations with Arab or Muslim regimes than with Israel, even when those regimes have become dominated by Jew-hating, Christian-hating, war-mongering Islamists who plan to implement Shari'a law as soon as they can get away with it.

For those of us who think that Islam is used as  a political ideology that poses a grave threat to personal freedoms, for those of use who are aware of what the Islamist leaders say in Arabic to their populace; for those of us who watch with dismay as these leaders trample on the most basic rights of their own citizens, (and in the case of Syria, rape and murder them with impunity) and call for genocide of Jews - not Israelis - Jews, President Obama's actions of the past two years, while the Arab-on-Arab intifadas of the interminable "Spring" have been played out, have been very disturbing. His administration has consistently misread the  political and religious maps in the Middle East. Since, for political purposes, they wanted to present a world where "al-Qaeda is on its heels", they were apparently oblivious to the repeated kicks in the behind to American interests from al-Qaeda in all of its various guises.
Or they were trying to hide these realities from the American public, which is probably worse.

The Obama administration has repeatedly and vociferously denied the dangerous infiltration of the US governmental, military and educational systems. Some of the highest officials dismiss the potential dangers that the Muslim Brotherhood poses, both to the US and Israel. A glaring example of this is when US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood was "mostly secular".

The question arises: Does Obama's behavior stem from misunderstanding of the realities of the Muslim world and the Middle East, or perhaps the delusional belief that his powers of leadership will create a new reality, or, does it stem from a deep understanding of the situation and simply reflects his vision for a New Middle East that many Americans and certainly most Israelis would find extremely disturbing.

After observing Obama's aggressive, bullying, hypocritical style in dealing with Republicans in Congress, I've concluded that Obama is an enemy of sincere discourse, an enemy of constructive compromise, in short, an arrogant autocrat, and because of the enormous power of his office, an extremely dangerous agent, both to Israel and to the United States. Never have I felt so concerned for my country of birth (the United States) and my adopted country (Israel).

Perhaps Obama imagines that with the gift of F-16s to Egypt, Israel will be forced into negotiations that will end in a Palestinian state. After all, he feels the responsibility, like a firm parent, to impose upon intransigent, misguided Israel what is best for it. This would be totally consistent with his style of "leadership". Perhaps he thinks that the threat to Israel that will be posed by this increased Egyptian weaponry will leave us no choice but to gamble out of desperation on the establishment of a Palestinian state. A state led by holocaust deniers and rabid anti-Semites, a state that a priori forbids any Jew to live within it. (Technically, that wouldn't be apartheid, would it, since there would not be a minority group to oppress and exclude - except for the Christians. ) All of our neighbors actually want nothing more or less than to erase Israel from the map, just as they have literally done in PA school books. If you don't believe it, have a look at the PLO Charter and the Hamas Charter.

Is this Obama's intention? To manipulate Israel into a corner where (he thinks) we will have no other option? For us Israelis, it doesn't matter whether his actions stem from hostility or ignorance.  Israel will survive and thrive, because the Almighty has our back, and will prevail over any mischief that Obama may try to cook up for us.

Sally Zahav

Source: Middle East and Terrorism

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

In Mali, Stand with the French

by Max Boot

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spent much of Wednesday being grilled on Capitol Hill about the conditions which led to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. As John McCain, among others, pointed out, the chaos which prevailed in Libya was not inevitable; it was due in no small part to the administration’s failure to do more to support state-building after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in an American-supported insurgency.

The failure to follow up has destabilized not only Libya but also nearby countries such as Mali, where the French have felt compelled to rush into the vacuum to prevent Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and associated extremist organizations from consolidating their hold on the northern part of the country and even marching on the capital. What’s truly odd is how reluctant the administration is to help the French, even though they are on the front lines of our common battle against jihadism.

The administration has finally agreed to airlift a French battalion into the fight but is still holding off on a French request for aerial refueling. The reason for the administration’s reluctance is truly bizarre: According to the New York Times, “A French official, speaking on ground rules of anonymity to describe bilateral discussions, said some officials in Washington were concerned that assigning American tanker planes to refuel French warplanes bombing Islamist militant targets in Mali might make the United States appear as a co-belligerent in the conflict. Even if that view was not supported under international law, it could be the perception across the Muslim world.”

If accurate, this would suggest that “some officials in Washington” are worried that by fighting terrorists we ourselves will become a target for terrorism. Earth to Washington: the jihadists already hate us and are already doing everything possible to do us harm.

Americans, after all, were just killed along with the citizens of other countries in the hostage-taking at a gas plant in Algeria. It seems a little far-fetched at this late date to imagine that we might propitiate the extremists by not fighting them too hard. Actually, if we abstain from the fight, the most likely result is that the Islamists will be able to consolidate their gains in Mali and then turn Mali into a base for terrorism against Western interests—including American interests.

The French may not always stand with us, but in the present instance we must stand with the French and not imagine that we can somehow get out of the line of fire.

Max Boot


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

Jindal, Brownback, and the State-Led Conservative Opposition

by Seth Mandel

Since the one bright spot for Republicans in this past November’s general election was the party’s performance in gubernatorial elections, it’s no surprise that the states have become battlegrounds for conservative opposition to the Obama White House. The GOP increased its share of the country’s governorships to 30, and well before November had been leaning on those governors for conservative policymaking. The most visible issue was the role and power of public-sector unions, something John Steele Gordon wrote about earlier, but education reform and the battle over state health insurance exchanges as part of Obamacare have been and will continue to be high-profile policy fights as well.

Energized by a string of such victories, Republican governors seem to have identified the next element of President Obama’s big-government agenda to push back on: taxes. A recent USA Today story details plans to cut certain taxes (and in some cases, raise others to compensate) from Virginia’s Bob McDonnell, Ohio’s John Kasich, New Mexico’s Susana Martinez, Florida’s Rick Scott, Idaho’s Butch Otter, and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal. Today, the New York Times reports on Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s dramatic tax cut plan:
This month, the largest tax cut in Kansas history took effect, and most of its Medicaid system was handed over to private insurers. The bill introduced this week would pare taxes further, with the goal of eventually eliminating the state’s individual income tax. Mr. Brownback has already slashed the state’s welfare roll and its work force. He has merged government agencies and is proposing further consolidation. He is pushing for pension changes, to change the way judges are selected and for altering education financing formulas.
“I think it is the leading edge of the conservative economic and political movement,” said State Representative Tom Sloan, a Republican representing the area around Lawrence. “As such, it is the example that other state leaders will look to to determine whether the political philosophy can mesh with the expectations of the public.”
The Washington-centric focus of the press and the drama over negotiations between the Republican-controlled House and the Obama White House tend to overshadow the far-reaching economic reforms taking place at the state level. And that focus is exactly what Jindal plans to take aim at in his keynote speech tonight to the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting. Jindal, who has been at the forefront of conservative education reform and is a possible contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, plans to argue forcefully against his own party’s concentration on Washington. As the Washington Post reports:
“By obsessing with zeroes on the budget spreadsheet, we send a not-so-subtle signal that the focus of our country is on the phony economy of Washington, instead of the real economy out here in Charlotte, and Shreveport (La.), and Cheyenne (Wyo.),” Jindal is set to say at one point in the speech. At another, he will argue that “Washington has spent a generation trying to bribe our citizens and extort our states,” adding: “As Republicans, it’s time to quit arguing around the edges of that corrupt system.”
It will be interesting to see just how clearly Jindal can pair his critique of Washington with a conservative alternative. On the broad strokes, Jindal is certainly correct: Washington’s buddy system and its self-perpetuating bureaucracy make it ripe both for bad policy and for cronyism that often too easily seduces Republicans as well as Democrats.

But there’s also a trap here Jindal is setting for himself, and his party. Conservatives are on firm ground when they talk of the need to reform Washington, but they should be careful not to treat the capital as incidental. Congress’s approval ratings may be low, and there is certainly a limited amount of policymaking the GOP can do with only one house of Congress and Harry Reid’s refusal to permit even basic Senate business from taking place in the other house. But conservatives should learn the right lesson: they need to be in a position to legislate.

Nothing proved this more clearly than the Obamacare debacle. Republicans didn’t have enough seats in Congress to block it, and then Chief Justice John Roberts allowed himself to be bullied and intimidated into ruling in favor of the president’s constitutionally suspect legislative overreach out of concern for his legacy and his public stature rather than his own best judgment. Roberts is an example of how the conservative movement cannot rely on the courts to protect the country from unconstitutional big-government schemes. Conservatives have the right idea on state-level reform to act as a bulwark against some of the terrible policy coming from the White House. But they also can’t ignore the battles on Capitol Hill.

Seth Mandel


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

The President Declares War on the Founding

by Jason Stevens

President Obama's second inaugural address, delivered on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, is the clearest example so far of his understanding of the American founding. The speech is full of references to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, not to mention Abraham Lincoln and Rev. King. Throughout, Obama seems to celebrate the Declaration's most famous phrase, recited word for word early in his address:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

A close reading, however, reveals Obama's underlying hostility towards both the American founders and his political opponents. And in the end, his second inaugural invokes not memory of the founders, but Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Obama says we are on "a never ending journey" to fulfill the Declaration's promise of human equality, and we must "move forward together" to make that promise "real for every American." And although that journey might seem never ending, Obama tells us he can complete it:
"[O]ur journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law... Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants... Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm."

Obama expects his second term to "give real meaning" to the Declaration, supposedly because it's been lacking until now. Based on Obama's speech, what's lacking are policies he hopes to advance in his second term, including equal pay legislation, gay marriage, immigration reform, gun control, and online voting (or whatever that middle example about voting is supposed to portend).

But at a deeper level, Obama is saying that America's founding principles are inadequate for the present times. Our "solemn duty and awesome joy" is to "answer the call of history" and make "ourselves anew," i.e. "fundamentally transform" the nation, as Obama has so often promised.

History has progressed to the point where our old principles do not fit our new nation, but in the first paragraph of the Declaration (never referenced by Obama), the founders invoke not changing history, but the unchanging "Laws of Nature and Nature's God." God (our "Creator") and Nature are the source of our unalienable rights, not history.

In the key passage of the speech, Obama says: "[W]e have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today's world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias."

To fail to "give real meaning" to the Declaration, to fail to develop "new responses to new challenges," to fail to change with the times and answer history's call is equivalent to meeting fascism and communism with muskets and militias (a refrain of his "horses and bayonets" comment from the debates), because the old principles of the American founding are inadequate to meeting the demands of today, are in fact as useless as muskets and militia, unless we change our understanding of them.

Failing to change means the conquest of fascism and communism, and those who would enslave us. They are the same ones who shun "collective action" and insist on "acting alone," i.e. they are the ones who supposedly say "you're on your own" to "the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice." They are also the ones who "delay," who resist the "move forward," and who "mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate." In other words, the new fascists and communists are apparently members of the Republican Party.

Obama is not the first president to compare his political opponents to fascists. Franklin D. Roosevelt did the same thing in his January, 1944 State of the Union Address: "[I]f history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called 'normalcy' of the 1920's [i.e. the Republican administrations of Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover] -- then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home."

In addition to the "Republicans are fascists" nonsense, Obama imitates FDR in another, more significant, way -- employing the language of the founders in the attempt to change our understanding of their fundamental principles.

In that same speech, FDR outlined what he called "a second Bill of Rights" to supplement the original Bill of Rights of the American founders, because the old rights "proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness." The new set of rights included the right to a useful and remunerative job, a decent home, a good education, adequate medical care and good health, and even recreation. He used the language of the founders ("Bill of Rights") to expand their meaning (right to recreation). He used the same tactic in drafting the 1936 Democratic Party platform, constantly repeating the Declaration-inspired phrase, "We hold this truth to be self-evident --".

Likewise, Obama's second inaugural constantly repeats the Constitutional phrase, "We the People." But at the very end of the speech, the Constitutional language changes suddenly to the strange variation, "You and I." In the original "We the People" formulation, there is no special distinction for Obama, who must then change it to make room for himself.

In his second inaugural address, President Obama gives us, the American people, the clearest indication yet of his understanding of the American founders -- and he has declared war on their principles, and by extension, "We the People." That is, unless we decide to change.

Jason Stevens


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

How the Palestinian Authority Tried to Scare Israeli Voters

by Khaled Abu Toameh

It does not matter who is in power in Israel: no Palestinian leader has a mandate to make any concessions to Israel, let alone sign a peace treaty. Abbas knows this very well and that is why he will keep coming up with excuses to avoid signing a peace treaty, regardless of who is in control of the Israeli government.
The Palestinian Authority either does not know what it wants from the Israelis or is too afraid to admit that it does not have a mandate to sign a peace treaty with Israel.

When left-wing parties and candidates were in power, the Palestinian Authority leadership missed several opportunities to reach a peace agreement with Israel.

This happened at least twice during the past 13 years -- first, when then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak made a generous offer to Yasser Arafat at the Camp David summit and later when Ehud Olmert offered even more during his term in office.

So, the Palestinian Authority leadership first misses opportunities to reach agreements with left-wing and centrist parties. Then, when the right-wing comes to power, the Palestinian Authority starts complaining that there is no peace partner in Israel and calls on Israelis not to vote for Binyamin Netanyahu.

The Palestinian Authority's constant refusal to sign a peace treaty with Israel has undermined the left-wing in Israel, driving many Israelis towards right-wing parties such as Likud Beiteinu and Bayit Yehudi.

It does not really matter who is in power in Israel: no Palestinian leader has a mandate to make any concessions to Israel, let alone sign a peace treaty.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas knows this very well and that is why he will keep coming up with excuses to avoid signing a peace treaty with Israel, regardless of who is in control of the Israeli government.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority has felt free all these years to meddle in the internal affairs of Israel.

In the past few weeks, the Palestinian Authority has, both directly and indirectly, urged Israelis not to vote for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and right-wing parties.

The Palestinian Authority's argument has been along the lines of 'a vote for Netanyahu is a vote against peace and the two-state solution'.

In a bid to scare the Israeli public, Palestinian officials invited journalists to Ramallah to send a warning message to Israeli voters.

"A vote for Netanyahu is a vote for war and racism," warned Jibril Rajoub, a top Fatah official and former security commander of the Palestinian Authority.

But while Rajoub and other Palestinian officials and spokesmen were trying to scare Israelis not to vote for right-wing parties, the Palestinian Authority's spokesmen were issuing statements emphasizing that Palestinians do not meddle in the internal affairs of Israel.

Mahmoud Abbas, who in private meetings has also expressed concern over the re-election of Netanyahu, publicly stated that the Palestinians would "honor" the choice of Israeli voters regardless of who heads the next government.

In yet another sign of Abbas's effort to impact the outcome of the elections, he held a number of meetings in his office with representatives of various left-wing and Arab parties, including Meretz.

Even Hamas representatives have tried in the past few weeks to impact Israeli voters by talking about the "dangers" of the rise of right-wing parties to power in Israel.

But the Palestinians were not the only ones who had tried to scare Israeli voters.

On the eve of the vote, the Arab league, in an unprecedented move, issued a call to Arab citizens of Israel to "turn out in droves for the elections."

Employing the same argument used by the Palestinians, the Arab League justified its call by claiming that there were "initial indications" that the right wing in Israel "does not want peace."

In fact, Palestinian and Arab meddling in the internal affairs of Israel have played into the hands of Netanyahu and his political allies. When Israelis see and hear Palestinian and Arab officials calling on them not to vote for Netanyahu or a specific party, they are most likely inclined to do the exact opposite.

Finally, instead of meddling in the internal affairs of Israel, Mahmoud Abbas should be seeking ways of implementing major reforms in the Palestinian Authority and preparing his people for new elections.

But Abbas is afraid of holding new presidential and parliamentary elections because he knows very well that Hamas would easily win. Abbas has no choice but to return to the negotiating table with Israel, regardless of who heads the new government.


Khaled Abu Toameh


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

Hillary Lets the Jihadist Cat Out of the Bag

by Robert Spencer

After four years of pretending there is no jihad against the free world, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blurted out the truth during her testimony on the Benghazi jihad massacre Wednesday: “We now face a spreading jihadist threat,” she said, adding: “We have to recognize this is a global movement.”

We do? Yet the Obama administration has for years steadfastly and repeatedly denied both that there was a jihadist threat at all and that it was a global movement. So far has the Obama administration been from acknowledging that there was a jihad threat that less than two months into Obama’s first term, on March 16, 2009, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano noted proudly that in her first testimony to Congress, “I did not use the word ‘terrorism,’ I referred to ‘man-caused’ disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.”

Even “terrorism,” absent a modifier, was a politically correct euphemism for jihad violence that demonstrated an unwillingness to examine the beliefs of the jihadists, for to have done so would have led straight into Islam. Those who described those dedicated to destroying the United States simply as “terrorists” generally did not want to admit that Islam had anything to do with that war. George W. Bush had started this ball rolling when he proclaimed Islam a “religion of peace” shortly after 9/11; however, Bush officials could and did explore the Islamic texts and teachings that illuminated jihadist motives and goals. Under Obama, it became official U.S. policy not to do so.

On May 13, 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder testified before the House Judiciary Committee, where he was questioned repeatedly by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) about whether the Fort Hood jihad mass murders, the attempted jihad car bombing in Times Square, and the Christmas underwear jihad bomber over Detroit could be attributed to “radical Islam.” Holder repeatedly refused to agree to this, going only so far as to say: “There are a variety of reasons why people do these things. Some of them are potentially religious.”

Noted Smith: “I don’t know why the administration has such difficulty acknowledging the obvious, which is that radical Islam might have incited these individuals. If you can’t name the enemy, then you’re going to have a hard time trying to respond to them.”

Indeed. Nonetheless, Obama’s nominee for CIA director, John Brennan, who is the current Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, echoed Holder’s reluctance to say that Islam had anything to do with jihad terrorism on May 26, 2010, during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He declared: “Nor do we describe our enemies as jihadists or Islamists because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam meaning to purify oneself or one’s community.” Brennan has repeated this many times, and has defined the enemy not as a global movement, but as a “small fringe of fanatics” consisting of al-Qaeda and “its terrorist affiliates.”

It was no surprise, then, that Brennan readily agreed in October 2011 to demands from Islamic supremacist groups with links to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America, to purge all training materials for law enforcement and intelligence agents of all mention of Islam or jihad. Dwight C. Holton, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, emphasized that training materials for the FBI would be purged of everything politically incorrect: “I want to be perfectly clear about this: training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive, and they are contrary to everything that this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for. They will not be tolerated.”

In December 2011, when Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) asked Paul Stockton, assistant defense secretary for homeland defense, whether “we are at war with violent Islamist extremism,” Stockton did his best to dodge the question and finally answered: “I don’t believe it’s helpful to frame our adversary as Islamic with any set of qualifiers that we might add, because we are not at war with Islam.”

This created numerous absurd situations, since Islamic jihadists so often spoke of Islam and jihad in explaining and justifying their actions, but the Obama administration plowed ahead anyway. Most notoriously, it characterized the November 2009 Fort Hood jihad massacre, when Major Nidal Hasan, a self-described “soldier of Allah” who had given numerous indications of his jihadist proclivities and was shouting “Allahu akbar” as he murdered thirteen Americans, not as Islamic jihad or even terrorism, but as “workplace violence.”

And now, after years of politically correct obfuscation, Hillary Clinton describes our enemies as “jihadists.” Will Brennan rebuke her? Will Obama? Probably not, since they can be sure that an ever-compliant mainstream media won’t ever ask the uncomfortable questions that should be asked at this point: Does this signify a departure from administration policy? Is the Obama administration going to reevaluate its refusal to examine the role that Islam plays in motivating those who identify themselves as mujehedin, jihadists, warriors of jihad and Islam? Doesn’t Hillary’s statement undercut everything the administration has stood for all along – and, incidentally, demonstrate the cynicism and dishonesty of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations campaign to make Americans think that jihad is just getting in your exercise or taking the kids to school?

But of course, it was just a slip of the tongue. “No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar,” said Abraham Lincoln, and in doing so, he demonstrated why the Obama administration’s See-No-Jihad, Speak-No-Jihad policy is doomed to failure: the Muslim enemies of the United States are obviously Islamic jihadists, as shown by their own words, their largely unchallenged claim within the Islamic world to represent authentic Islam, and their references to Islamic texts and teachings to justify their actions and gain new recruits – again largely unchallenged. Hillary Clinton knows they’re jihadists, and that’s why she called them that, although she would almost certainly not have done so if she had been more collected and not caught off guard. But it is when one is under pressure that the lies give way. And so they did.

Robert Spencer


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Obama Ignores Deadly Risks to Women in Combat

by Arnold Ahlert

It didn’t take long for the Obama administration to advance a pernicious piece of its promised radical agenda. Two days after the president laid out his far-left vision during the inauguration, senior defense officials announced that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will lift the military’s ban on women serving in combat. The move overturns a 1994 provision that prohibited them from being assigned to ground combat units. Panetta has given the various service branches until 2016 to come up with exemptions, and/or make any arguments about what roles should still reman closed to women. Thus, another bit of gender radicalism has been shoved down the nation’s throat through executive fiat — and this one is sure to have deadly consequences.

It is precisely those deadly consequences — especially for servicewomen — that are irrelevant to feminists and their enablers, who have long pushed the idea that men and women are essentially interchangeable. Nothing could be further from the truth, and combat is where those differences could produce deadly results. Ground combat is arguably the most physically grueling activity in which one can be engaged, and despite what the feminists would like Americans to believe about equality, science says otherwise: men have almost twice the upper-body strength as women.

This is a critically relevant consideration. According to a 2009 article in National Defense Magazine, a soldier on a three-day mission in Afghanistan carries approximately 130 pounds of gear, and efforts to lighten that load have not succeeded. This is primarily due to the reality that the essentials of food, water, and ammunition cannot be replaced with lighter items. Other equipment, such as sensors, tripods, cold weather clothing, boots, sleeping bags, flashlights, and protective eyewear, have all been made lighter. But the fact remains that the average soldier is expected to carry enormous amounts of weight, simply to better ensure his chances for survival. Furthermore, a soldier must carry that weight even during periods of intense fighting. The overwhelming majority of women are not capable of meeting such standards.

What is the Pentagon likely to do? In New York City, when most female applicants to the Fire Department were unable to meet the strength requirements, feminists filed a successful lawsuit, altering the standards so that a number of otherwise unqualified women could pass the test. Thus it is likely the Pentagon will pursue a similar strategy of “gender-norming” for the entire service that is already part of the Army Physical Fitness Test. That test requires proficiency in push-ups, sit-ups and a two-mile run. For sit-ups both genders have the same requirements. For push-ups and the run, the grading scale for women is easier.

Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, illuminates the folly of pursuing such double standards. “Revised ‘warrior training’ programs sound impressive, but gender-normed standards emasculate the concept by assuring ‘success’ for average female trainees,” she wrote in 2005, when the Army began a surreptitious program of putting women in smaller, direct ground-combat units. Donnelly then added the critically proper perspective to the mix. “Soldiers know that there is no gender-norming on the battlefield,” she explains.

There is also nothing that will eliminate the natural differences between men and women that play out in a number of other ways. Few things are more important for enduring the rigors of combat than morale and combat unit cohesion. It is ludicrous to believe that mixed units will be immune to the potentially de-stabilizing effects of sexual attraction. And as night follows day, sexual attraction leads to pregnancy. In 2009, Major General Anthony Cucolo, running military operations in Northern Iraq, was forced to deal with the serious downside of that reality. As a result, he initiated a policy under which troops who got pregnant–and the men who got them pregnant–faced a court martial and  possible jail time. Cucolo issued the directive because he was losing too many women with critical skills. “I’ve got a mission to do, I’m given a finite number of soldiers with which to do it and I need every one of them,” he contended.

Yet consensual sex is only part of the problem. A military report released in January 2012 revealed a stunning 64 percent increase in violent sex crimes within the U.S. Army since 2006. The most frequent sex crimes for 2011 included “rape, sexual assault, and forcible sodomy.” The report further noted that while only 14 percent of the Army is comprised of women, they represent 95 percent of all sex crime victims.

It stretches the bounds of credulity to believe that sexual tension, regardless of the legitimate or illegitimate motivation behind it, would be lessened under front line, life-threatening combat conditions. Nor is it inconceivable to think that close personal relationships of a sexual nature would make some soldiers take the kind of unnecessary risks to save a lover that might not only endanger themselves, but their entire unit.

There is another reality that feminists and their enablers fail to acknowledge. As it currently stands, there is little appetite demonstrated by women themselves for serving in combat units. Army Research Institute (ARI) surveys taken from 1993-2001 revealed that the majority of military women were strongly opposed to combat assignments–so much so that the ARI dropped the question from its survey the following year. Less than a month ago, a Huffington Post article regarding interviews with “a dozen female soldiers and Marines” revealed that they had “little interest in the toughest fighting jobs,” contending “they’d be unable to do them.” When the Marines asked women to go through their infantry training course last year, only two women volunteered. Both of them failed to get through it. No one volunteered for the next one. Army Sgt. Cherry Sweat, who did a tour in Iraq installing communications equipment, reveals a sentiment that most military women apparently share. “The job I want to do in the military does not include combat arms,” she said. “I enjoy supporting the soldiers. The choice to join combat arms should be a personal decision, not a required one,” she added.

Lory Manning of Women’s Research and Education Institute thinks women’s interest in assuming combat roles will be higher than anticipated. “If you asked someone in 1985 about going to sea, she would have been thinking: `Girls don’t do that and so I don’t want to do that,’” Manning contended. “But when push came to shove, they did it, they loved it.” That is a ridiculous comparison. Going to sea is hardly the same as front-line combat. Moreover, when “push comes to shove,” it is highly doubtful that there is more than a microscopic number of soldiers who “love” being in the mortal danger that combat engenders.

Unfortunately, such realities are no match for those who champion diversity. Putting women in combat units “reflects the reality of 21st century military operations,” said Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), in announcing his support for the program. No doubt he and others see it as the next logical step following last year’s announcement, opening 14,000 combat-related positions to female soldiers. At that time, the Pentagon still insisted on keeping women out of direct combat roles, even as they noted they were committed to lifting such barriers eventually. At the time, they claimed that making such sweeping changes would be difficult in time of war. Another factor was the lifting of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy allowing gays to serve openly. Allowing women to serve on the front lines at the same time was considered one big social change too many.

No longer. The new policy expands the number of military jobs available to women from last year’s 14,000 to more than 230,000 positions. Part of the impetus for the change may have been two lawsuits filed last year challenging the combat ban, but according to a senior military official familiar with the discussions by the Joint Chiefs, the ultimate conclusion was that this is the time to “maximize women’s service in the military.”

Writing for the Washington Post three days ago, Elaine Donnelly reiterated her position that putting women in combat is a terrible idea, presciently noting that “even the if the results of the Marines’ research do not support unrealistic theories of feminists who consider land combat to be just another career opportunity, administration officials might press their egalitarian agenda anyway.” She further noted that the “Pentagon-endorsed Military Leadership Diversity Commission (MLDC) has called for an end to women’s land combat exemptions, based on a new definition of ‘diversity.’”

That egalitarian agenda, like so many other progressive agendas, may produce an unintended consequence. The 1981 Rostker v. Goldberg Supreme Court case exempted women from being part of the nation’s Selective Service System. America no longer drafts civilians into the military, but as Donnelly notes, the elimination of such combat exemptions will involve civilian women registering with Selective Service. She then makes a recommendation, not only anathema to the Obama administration, but one that only three days later was ultimately ignored. “Congress, which represents the American people, should not be shut out of this decision-making process,” she wrote. If the draft is re-instated, one wonders how the American public will take to having their daughters every bit as vulnerable as their sons to forcible conscription. A rising tide of Islamist terror in the Middle East and now in Africa could provide the answer.

Once again, elections have consequences. Barack Obama has made it clear that part of his progressive agenda includes forcing gender radicalism down America’s throat, absent any input from Congress. Once, the United States military was all about projecting lethal power around the globe to protect America’s interests. Now, it is all about promoting diversity, inclusion and equality of outcome, irrespective of military readiness and cohesion. For progressives, who have elevated political correctness above all else–national security included–such radical egalitarianism is cause for celebration. For Donnelly and countless other Americans, it is anything but. “No one’s injured son should have to die on the streets of a future Fallujah because the only soldier near enough to carry him to safety was a five-foot-two 110-pound woman,” she contends.

Arnold Ahlert


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Analysis: The Greening of Egypt

by Zvi Mazel

Will the opposition allow the country to turn the color of Islam?

MOHAMED MORSI, center, prays at Al-Azhar mosque in
MOHAMED MORSI, center, prays at Al-Azhar mosque 
There is no longer a parliamentary opposition in Egypt.

With the new, controversial constitution, President Mohamed Morsi has full executive powers; he names the prime minister, the judges of the Supreme Court and the heads of all public institutions.

With the dissolution of the lower house of the parliament, he has entrusted, until the next parliamentary elections, the legislative powers he had taken over to the upper house – where the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists hold 85 percent of the seats.

Only the judiciary retains a measure of independence, and even that is threatened by several dispositions of the new constitution.

Morsi is now making an allout effort to appoint members of the Brotherhood and their supporters to every available position, in spite of the spirited resistance of the judiciary, media and Interior Ministry, where there is a long-standing tradition of opposition to the Brotherhood.

Parliamentary elections that were to be held two months after the constitutional referendum, in February, have been postponed without explanation and are now scheduled for an unspecified date in April. It is generally understood that Morsi wants to ensure that he has everything sewed up tight and can confidently expect victory for his Freedom and Justice party.

Deprived of parliamentary influence, opposition forces are taking to the streets and demonstrating while – in a major surprise – staying relatively united under the banner of the National Salvation Front.

Far from giving up after the constitution was approved, the Front is still demanding the drafting of a new and fair constitution.

The three main non- Islamic opposition forces – the Left, liberals and Nasserists – are even considering setting up a unified list to try to defeat the Freedom and Justice Party.

They are, however, under no illusions: the Brotherhood is going to use every ounce of its considerable influence. This includes some spectacular violations of the law as seen in the referendum vote, in which Copt voters were prevented from reaching polling stations by roadblocks set up around their villages.

The National Salvation Front clarified its position in a January 6 communiqué: All steps leading to the drafting of the constitution and the referendum are tainted. This includes the composition of the constituent assembly, the hurried drafting of a constitution that does not express the will of the people, a flawed referendum rife with fraud, threats and terror, the intervention in the judiciary process and the use of force.

Battle lines have been drawn between Islamists attempting to take over every single lever of power and a secular opposition which so far has no part whatsoever in the running of the country and can only express itself through street demonstrations and press communiqués.

The Front is asking its supporters to maintain pressure on the regime through sit-ins in Tahrir Square and near the presidential palace, while avoiding violence. The opposition is pinning its hopes on the mass rally it is calling for the second anniversary of the start of the revolution – set to happen this Friday. It is also threatening not to take part in parliamentary elections unless suitable guarantees are given concerning their fairness and transparency. This includes 10 essential conditions such as interdiction of political campaigning inside mosques, as well as the establishment of a new government acceptable to all through a balanced electoral process.

The Brotherhood is not responding and there has been no dialogue between its regime and the opposition.

The upper house of parliament has hastened to pass a new electoral law favoring Islamic parties, and has rejected a proposal that would have made it mandatory for each party to include a woman in the top half of its candidates list. That law is still awaiting the verdict of the Supreme Constitutional Court, and could be declared unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, the government is working on a law “regulating” demonstrations – or more accurately, curtailing the right to strike and protest.

Morsi charges on regardless, and behaves as if he is enjoying widespread popular support. He appears not to notice ongoing demonstrations calling for an end to the Brotherhood’s regime, or threats by the opposition to boycott the elections.

He seems unaffected by the resignations of the vice president and a number of presidential advisers in the face of accusations of abuse of power, as well as by the governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, in the face of his refusal to acquiesce in the disastrous economic policy of the government.

Had Egypt been a truly democratic country, the president would have been forced to resign long ago and new presidential elections would have been held.

Morsi is also waging an all-out war against the media – since large sections are hostile to the Brotherhood and what they call the “Ikwanisation” of the country (from Ikwan, Arabic for Brotherhood) – changing textbooks to better conform with the Brotherhood’s doctrine.

As the Arab Network for Human Rights Information said, as quoted on Sunday by News of Egypt, “There were four times as many ‘insulting the president’ lawsuits during President Mohamed Morsi’s first 200 days in office than during the entire 30-year reign of former president Hosni Mubarak... Moreover, the number of such lawsuits during the Morsi era is more than during the entire period dating back to 1909, when the law was introduced.”

Much now depends on the scope of Friday’s demonstration.

Will the National Salvation Front be able to muster enough popular support to show that it is a force to be reckoned with? Or will the opposition lose heart and let itself be steamrolled by a triumphant Brotherhood, poised to paint the country in the green of Islam?

Zvi Mazel, a Fellow of The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is a former ambassador to Romania, Egypt and Sweden.


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PA threatens to sue Israel in Hague if it builds in E1

by News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

We would have no other choice. It depends on the Israeli decision," says PA foreign minister after Security Council meeting • U.S. ambassador protests “State of Palestine” placard, says Palestinians have not been given "statehood" or "recognition."

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas took another symbolic step weeks ago, proclaiming that official PA letterheads and signs would bear the name "State of Palestine." Photo credit: AP

News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff


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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Algerian Jihadists Wanted to "Teach the Americans What Islam Is"

by Robert Spencer

In PJ Media this morning, I discuss the overlooked lessons of the recent Algeria jihad mass murders:
At the height of the hostage crisis in Algeria, one of the kidnappers explained: “We’ve come in the name of Islam, to teach the Americans what Islam is.” As of Sunday evening, this exercise in religious education had claimed eighty-one lives and left BP’s natural gas plant in Algeria in a state of ruin, booby-trapped with mines and explosives.
Further indication of the hostage-taker’s mindset came from one Algerian who escaped and later recounted: “The terrorists told us at the very start that they would not hurt Muslims but were only interested in the Christians and infidels. We will kill them, they said.” According to the Telegraph, “They allowed locals to go free, saying they did not want to hurt Muslims. Some locals were forced to recite parts of the Koran to prove they were Muslims.”
Clearly the hostage-takers’ religion was important – indeed central – to their motives and goals for undertaking this savage attack; yet mainstream media coverage has followed the usual patterns, downplaying or ignoring outright what the attackers said about what they were hoping to accomplish, since these statements lead to questions about Islam that they would prefer not be asked.
Yet they must be asked: we have now in the last few months seen bloody massacres carried out in the name of Islam in at this natural gas plant and at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi; a brutal Sharia regime come to power in northern Mali; and escalating persecution of Christians in Egypt, Pakistan, and Nigeria. Muslim spokesmen and groups in the U.S. routinely dismiss concerns about such things by asserting that their view of Islam, and that of Muslims in the U.S. and the vast majority of Muslims worldwide, is completely different from that of the Muslims who perpetrate these attacks, and that therefore anyone who wonders if such violence in the name of Islam will ever become commonplace in the U.S. is simply “Islamophobic” and hateful.
Maybe so. Certainly this line has so thoroughly convinced government, law enforcement, and media elites that no discussion or dissent is permitted anymore from these claims, as if they were hallowed religious dogma. Nonetheless, it is ill-advised not to take the trouble to understand one who is determined to destroy you. The hostage-takers in Algeria said they wanted to teach Americans what Islam is. It would be foolish, and ultimately fatal, not to consider exactly what message they wanted us to get about Islam.
The core of the message may be found in a statement attributed in Islamic tradition to Muhammad, the prophet of Islam:
I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform that, then they save their lives and property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah. (Bukhari 1.2.24)
Muhammad must fight against people until they confess that Allah is the only god and Muhammad is his messenger, and if they do, their lives and property are safe from him – in other words, if one does not confess that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is prophet, one’s life and property are not safe from the Muslims. In taking hostages in the first place, moreover, the jihadis were on firm Islamic ground: kidnapping infidels and later deciding to kill them is fully sanctioned in Islamic law. “As for the captives,” says the Islamic jurist al-Mawardi’s Laws of Islamic Governance,
the amir [ruler] has the choice of taking the most beneficial action of four possibilities: the first to put them to death by cutting their necks; the second, to enslave them and apply the laws of slavery regarding their sale and manumission; the third, to ransom them in exchange for goods or prisoners; and fourth, to show favor to them and pardon them.
There is more.

Robert Spencer


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