Friday, March 1, 2013

Mordechai Kedar: Will There be Another Intifada?

by Mordechai Kedar

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

In recent weeks we have seen an escalation in public disturbances, demonstrations, Molotov cocktails and militant declarations of activists in the field. And the question that naturally arises is "What are the causes and reasons for these developments, and are we about to experience a third intifada?"

The Arab spokesmen give three main reasons for the increase in events: the Palestinians who are prisoners in Israeli jails, the economy and the lack of progress toward independence.

The  Issue of the Prisoners

The question of the prisoners and detainees is the most sensitive, because those whom Israel sees as criminals, murderers and terrorists, are prisoners of war to the Palestinian street; heroes and freedom fighters struggling to liberate their people from the Zionist occupation. According to the Geneva Convention, fighters must not be held in the same prison with criminals, so Israel - according to the Palestinian approach - is violating the provisions of the Convention by holding prisoners of war in the same prison with criminals.

This issue has a direct influence on thousands of families, because there are about five thousand Palestinian prisoners in Israel . Many of them are heads of households, and while they are in prison - which may be for many years - their families are left without livelihood, burdening the public with the responsibility to support the wives of the fighters and their children. Those who are not married have aging parents who need them, and they are missed by their siblings and the rest of the family as well. The personal matter has turned the issue of the prisoners into a most sensitive issue, and each time the prisoners begin a hunger strike it is deeply disturbing to those who live in the "big prison", the disputed territories.

When a prisoner dies, as happened with Arafat Jaradat a week ago, thousands join in street demonstrations to protest Israel's treatment of prisoners. They are not at all impressed by the fact that these prisoners are held in favorable conditions, that they can study and earn an academic degree, that they have a canteen and television with many channels, that bring into their cells al-Jazeera, the "Jihad channel" of the Muslim Brotherhood. Visits from representatives of the Red Cross do not impress the Palestinian street either, on the contrary: if Israel allows representatives of the Red Cross to visit the prisoners it means that Israel admits that the prisoners are not criminals but prisoners of war, so why does it continue to hold them there?

Another grievous thing according to the Palestinians is the fact that Israel put some men who were freed under the "Shalit deal" back in prison. They don't "buy" the Israeli version, which is that the prisoner violated the conditions of release - that he would not become involved in terror, because according to the Palestinian version, they are war heroes, and not criminals in any way.

The Economic Situation

The Economic situation of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria is not bright. The largest employer - the Palestinian Authority - is in a permanent state of bankruptcy, because its income, most of which comes from donations and charity, is less than its expenses, which consists mainly of salaries. The administration is bloated because of the employment of friends, family members and relatives, who were awarded jobs because of their connections, not their abilities. The donating countries know well how the PA conducts itself with monies, and therefore when it comes to the funding of infrastructure projects such as water, sewage, electricity or building, they pay the money directly to the contractors, not to the officials of the PA, so that they will not skim off money into their pockets.

Because of the Palestinian appeal to the UN for recognition of the PA as an observer state in opposition to the Oslo Accords, Israel has indefinitely frozen the transfer of tax money to the PA, and this is an important financial source. Arab countries are not happy to transfer money to the Palestinian Authority, because among Arabs, the concept of mutual responsibility is not strongly felt, and today there are other Arab populations - for example Egyptians, Syrians, Libyans and Yemenites - who are in a much worse economic condition than the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.
Another reason for the lack of Arab enthusiasm for support of the Palestinian Authority is the fact that for many years Palestinians have sold land to Jews, and it is on these lands that most of the settlements have been established. The rich Arab asks himself why he should give his money to those who have sold land to the Jews, and he doesn't have an answer, and as a result he gives his donations to unfortunates in other places, or to jihad organizations. The Palestinian Authority - which was established by accords with Israel - seems in the eyes of many like a betrayal of the Arab ethos and the commandments of Islam, thus it seems treasonous to keep streaming money into it.

Regarding this, it is important to note that the Palestinian Authority has not endeared itself to the public as a national project deserving everyone's commitment to its success, and the proof of this is that not one of the public officials is willing to serve the PA on a volunteer basis, without salary. Did the Resistance in the days of the Second World War pay salaries to its fighters? Did the Haganah, Etsel and Lehi give pensions to their operatives?

The factories that Israel has established in the industrial areas in Judea and Samaria provide another source of livelihood to the Palestinians. Some of these factories suffer from a reduction in sales as a result of the boycott that some countries - including the Palestinian Authority - have imposed on the products of Judea and Samaria, as a result of demands of the Palestinian Authority and its leftist friends in Israel, and as a result of this, factories have been forced to move their production lines into Israel or to close down the factory altogether. This has caused a loss of livelihood for many Palestinian workers who have been laid off as a result.

From time to time Israel transfers monies to the Palestinian Authority so that it will be able to function and to operate the security mechanisms, so that they will take part in the efforts to cope with terror. But everybody knows that when the command comes down, the people who work in these security mechanisms will turn their weapons against Israel and the Jews.

The Diplomatic Stalemate

The fact that there is no progress in the diplomatic channel also disturbs the Arab population in Judea and Samaria. The diplomatic dead end is caused mainly by the split between Hamas and the PLO, because neither the Palestinian Authority nor the PLO can assure that the agreements with Israel will be honored by Hamas in Gaza, which has been conducting itself as a separate country since June of 2007, when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip.

More and more people in Israel are aware that a new Palestinian country in Judea and Samaria might become within a short time, the inception of an additional Hamas state, whether by means of elections (as happened in January 2006) or by violent takeover (Gaza, June, 2007). Many of the Arabs who live in Judea and Samaria do not want Hamas to be in power, but they know that they will not be able to win in a struggle with the Islamic organization just as the PLO didn't succeed to prevent its takeover in Gaza.

The possibility that a Palestinian country might become a Hamas state prompts thousands of Arab residents of East Jerusalem to request Israeli citizenship, because they know that if they are Israeli citizens they will be able to move freely into West Jerusalem, should Israel give over the eastern part of the city to a Palestinian state. The Palestinians in Judea and Samaria cannot request Israeli citizenship, and therefore they are frustrated about the trap that they are in: They are obligated by the ethos of Palestinian liberation, which might become a slave movement of Hamas. But Hamas would  impose upon them an Islamist agenda by force, and they are not interested in it.

For more than four years, Mahmoud Abbas has refrained from attending talks with the prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu, with the empty claim whose principle focuses on the matter of settlements, but everyone knows the real reason: he is not willing to recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish People, is not willing to give up the right of return of the refugees of 1948 from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and the territories of the PA into Israel, and is not willing to leave East Jerusalem, and principally the Temple Mount, in Israel's hands. And since he knows that Israel will not endanger its own existence by giving in on these three things, he prefers to obstruct the diplomatic process, not to meet with Netanyahu even if he freezes the building in the settlements, in order not to go down in history as someone who gave Israel the assurance of its continued existence as the state of the Jewish people.

The diplomatic impasse also bothers the Arab public in Judea and Samaria, because in the absence of progress in the matter, the state leaves the prisoners in prison, and leaves the corrupt people of the PLO, whose legitimacy is questionable, in power.

Obama's Visit

The agitation of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria began the moment that President Obama's planned visit became known, because it is a golden opportunity to practice their performance for the time of Obama's visit, when the cameras of the whole world that will accompany accompany him. Everyone knows that when a TV channel brings its cameras to Judea and Samaria, the youth immediately gather around and produce a rock-throwing event for the cameras, even if there are no Israeli vehicles in the area. One of the youth volunteers to be "wounded", cries out and falls to the ground, his friends carry him away, and here is an interesting event that brings sympathy for the Palestinian cause in the world.

The visit of President Obama is a golden opportunity to produce such performances, especially with soldiers of the IDF and their vehicles, and this is one of the main reasons for the increase in the number of events in Judea and Samaria since Obama announced his intention to visit Israel.

But the problem is greater than these demonstrations and performances for the cameras, because I have no doubt that terror organizations also intend to produce a bloody event on the background of Obama's visit. We have seen this in the past, during the second intifada; every time an American official came to the area, for example Mitchell and Tenet, terror activity increased, spilling much Jewish blood. Therefore I hereby declare unequivocally: the visit of Obama may, G-d forbid, cost many Jewish lives. You have been forewarned. 

The Only Possible Solution

Because of all these things, Israel must change the rules of the game, recognize Gaza as an independent state and establish another seven emirates in the seven Arab cities in Judea and Samaria: Jericho, Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, Tul-karem, Qalqilyya and the Arab section of Hebron, while keeping the rural areas under Israeli control forever, to prevent the hills of Judea and Samaria from becoming the hills of Hamas. These Arab emirates will be based on the various urban tribes, which will be homogeneous from the point of view of the composition of population and therefore will be stable and legitimate. This solution is described in the Internet site

In the absence of a solution, the area may flare up yet again, because the youth of 16-18 year old youths, the "fighters" of today did not participate actively in the Intifada of 2000 to 2006, since then they were children. Now, after having matured, they are new blood in the old veins of the Arab society in Judea and Samaria, and might ignite the area if Israel does not behave correctly. Up until now, Israel has proven that it does not know what to do to prevent the establishment of a second Hamastan in the territories of Judea and Samaria, and as long as the plan of the emirates has not yet been implemented, there is a danger that an Arab state will be established in these territories with territorial contiguity from the outskirts of Be'er Sheva to the hills overlooking Afula, through Ashdod, Yavneh, Rehovot, Rishon leTsion, Tel Aviv, Gush Dan, Herzlila, Hasharon, Netanya, Hadera and Haifa, all of which would be within range of kassam rockets.

If the Arabs of Judea and Samaria are determined enough, and if Israel does not solve the problem, they might realize their dreams: a Palestinian state with territorial contiguity that could threaten Israel's very existence. And Israel is paralyzed because of the attitudes of the international community and Israeli bleeding hearts. The third intifada will come if its results will be greater than the price that its organizers will have to pay.

Until now Mahmoud Abbas, the holocaust denier, does not encourage his people to fight a terror war with Israel. Can anyone say that he - or his successor - will not do so in the future? The lack of a solution brings the constant threat that a third intifada might break out, and after it a fourth, a fifth and so on. Israel must solve the problem in such a way that will assure it true security, and not based on agreements with people who don't' know the meaning of the word "agreement". The solution of the eight Palestinian Emirates is the only solution that can be implemented in reality, if only Israel has the will to do so.


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.

UK: Unemployment Benefits to Finance Jihad

by Soeren Kern

"The normal situation is to take money from the kuffar [non-believer]. You work, give us the money." — Anjem Choudary
A radical Islamic cleric who lives off the British welfare state has been filmed urging his followers to quit their jobs and claim unemployment benefits so they have more time to plot holy war against non-Muslims.

Excerpts of the speech, published by the London-based newspaper The Sun on February 17, have drawn renewed attention to the growing problem of Muslims in Britain and elsewhere who are exploiting European welfare systems.

In the video, Anjem Choudary -- a former lawyer who has long campaigned to bring Islamic Sharia law to Britain and other European countries (here, here and here) -- is recorded as saying that Muslims are justified in taking money from non-Muslims.

Speaking to a group of Muslim men, Choudary mocks non-Muslims for working in nine-to-five jobs their whole lives. He says: "You find people are busy working the whole of their life. They wake up at 7 o'clock. They go to work at 9 o'clock. They work for eight, nine hours a day. They come home at 7 o'clock, watch EastEnders [a British soap opera], sleep, and they do that for 40 years of their life. That is called slavery. ... What kind of life is that? That is the life of the Kuffar [a non-Muslim]."

Choudary urges fellow Muslims to learn from revered figures in Islamic history who only worked one or two days a year. "The rest of the year they were busy with Jihad [holy war] and things like that," he says.

Choudary continues: "People will say, 'Ah, but you are not working.' But the normal situation is for you to take money from the kuffar [non-Muslims]. So we take Jihad Seeker's Allowance."

At this point, Choudary takes a page from the late Anwar al-Awlaki, killed by a CIA drone strike in Yemen in September 2011. In a 2006 sermon entitled, "Allah is Preparing us for Victory," al-Awlaki said that robbery and extortion of non-Muslims was the strategy the Islamic Prophet Mohammed prescribed for conducting Jihad, the central mission of Islam.

Al-Awlaki said: "Leave the farming to the people of the book [Jews and Christians], you go and spread the religion of Allah [through jihad]; they will farm and they will feed you; they will pay Jizya [extra tax], they will pay Kharaaj [tribute], if the sustenance of the Prophet Mohammed was through Ghaneema [plunder] it must be the best and better than farming, business, shepherding and better than anything else because Mohammed said: 'My sustenance comes beneath the shadow of my spear.'"

Accordingly, the British-born Choudary states that Muslims are entitled to welfare payments because they are a form of Jizya, an extra tax imposed on non-Muslims in countries run by Muslims, and reminder that non-Muslims are permanently inferior and subservient to Muslims.

In another video, Choudary says: "We take the Jizya, which is ours anyway. The normal situation is to take money from the kuffar. They give us the money. You work, give us the money, Allahu Akhbar [Allah is great]. We take the money. " He then adds: "Hopefully there's no one from the DSS [Department of Social Security] listening to this."

Choudary, who is married and has four children, enjoys a rather comfortable lifestyle that is being paid for by British taxpayers, year after year. In 2010, for example, The Sun reported that he takes home more than £25,000 ($38,000) a year in welfare benefits.

Among other handouts, Choudary receives £15,600 a year in housing benefit to keep him in a £320,000 ($485,000) house in Leytonstone, East London. He also receives £1,820 council tax allowance, £5,200 income support and £3,120 child benefits. Because his welfare payments are not taxed, his income is equivalent to a £32,500 ($50,000) salary.

By comparison, the average annual earnings of full-time workers in Britain was £26,500 in 2012.

According to The Sun, the university-educated Choudary is "notoriously vague about whether he works or has other money coming in. He is understood to be employed by a Muslim organization on a shoestring wage, which allows him to claim income support and free time to spread his message. Asked during a radio interview this week if he worked, he replied: 'Well, what I do is my business. I don't think it is important.'"

During an interview with BBC Radio 5 on February 17, Choudary was equally evasive on his sources of income. (The radio interview begins at 00:57 in the video linked here.)

Although analysts are divided over the question of how many followers Choudary actually has, no one disputes the fact that he is far from alone in exploiting the British welfare system.

Consider the issue of polygamy. Although the practice is illegal in Britain, the state effectively recognizes the practice for Muslim men, who often have up to four wives (and in some instances five or more) in a harem, plus all children.

Social welfare experts believe there are at least 20,000 bigamous or polygamous Muslim unions in England and Wales. If the average size of such a "family" is 15 people, these numbers would imply that around 300,000 people in Britain are living in polygamous families.

According to British law, a Muslim man with four wives is entitled to receive £10,000 ($15,000) a year in income support alone. He could also be entitled to more generous housing and council tax benefits to reflect the fact that his household needs a bigger property.

The result is that the more children produced by Muslim polygamists, the more state welfare money pours in for their wives and them. By having a string of wives living in separate homes, thousands of Muslim immigrants are squeezing tens of millions of British pounds from the state by claiming benefits intended for single mothers and their children.

Those women are eligible for full housing benefits -- which reach £106,000 ($250,000) a year in some parts of London -- and child benefits paid at £1,000 ($1,500) a year for a first child, and nearly £700 ($1,000) for each subsequent one.

Welfare payments are also sent abroad to support children who live outside Britain.
In December 2010, the deputy leader of the Labour Party, Harriet Harman, said that Muslim immigrants who send a portion of their welfare payments to families back home are "heroic." She also said the government should make it easier for them to send the money home, and called for tax refunds to encourage more immigrants to follow suit, "in particular those who paid for their children to be educated in the Third World."

Another point of contention involves British taxpayers who are spending millions of British pounds to house unemployed Muslim immigrants in luxury homes across the country.

In August 2012, for example, Palestinian refugee Manal Mahmoud was given a new taxpayer-funded property after she and her seven children trashed a £1.25 million townhouse they had been living in in Fulham, West London. Mahmoud, who came to Britain in 2000 with her husband before they split up, says, "I am entitled to live in a house like this, even if I don't pay for it -- and get benefits."

In July 2010, Somali asylum seekers Abdi and Syruq Nur and their seven children, after complaining that their home in the Kensal Rise area of Brent was in a "poor" area, were given a £2.1million house in Kensington (one of Britain's most exclusive addresses) at a cost of £8,000 a month to the taxpayer. After Nur lost his £6.50-an-hour job as a bus driver in 2009, the family is totally dependent on state benefits. The new home is believed to be one of the most expensive houses ever paid for by housing benefit

In February 2010, it emerged that Essma Marjam, an unemployed single mother of six, receives more than £80,000 a year from British taxpayers to pay the rent on a £2 million mansion in an exclusive London suburb located yards from the house of Paul McCartney. Marjam also receives an estimated £15,000 a year in other payouts, such as child benefits, to help look after her children, aged from five months to 14.

Marjam said, "I moved here at the beginning of the month as I'm entitled to a five-bedroom house. I was in a three-bedroom council house but I needed a bigger place once my new baby came along. So the council agreed to pay the £1,600 a week to a private landlord as they didn't have any houses big enough. I'm separated from my husband. He's a solicitor in Derby, but I don't know if he's working at the moment. He doesn't pay anything towards the kids. Things are quite difficult between us. The house is lovely and very big, but I don't have enough furniture to fill it."

In November 2009, it was reported that former Somali asylum seeker Nasra Warsame, her seven children (aged from two to 16) and her elderly mother are living in a luxury £1.8 million five-story house in central London. Annual rent for the house costs British taxpayers £83,200.

Warsame's husband, Bashir Aden, and another of their children, are living in a separate property in nearby Camden. He said they live separately because the family is too big to fit under one roof. His two-bedroom flat is also paid for by housing benefit. Both homes are equipped with statutory plasma televisions and computers.

In October 2008, it emerged that Toorpakai Saiedi, a mother of seven originally from Afghanistan, was living in £1.2million seven-bedroom luxury house in Acton, West London, paid for by British taxpayers. At the time, she was receiving £170,000 a year in benefits, including an astonishing £150,000 paid to a private landlord for the rent of the property, equivalent to £12,500 a month.

Saiedi's son Jawad, a student who admitted he spent most of his time driving around in cars and playing billiards, said, "When the council chose to put us here we did not say no. If someone gave you a lottery jackpot, would you leave it? When I heard how much the council was paying, I thought they were mad."

British taxpayers have footed the bill for the Moroccan-born Najat Mostafa, the second wife of the Egyptian-born Islamic hate preacher Abu Hamza, who was extradited to the United States in October 2012. She has lived in a £1million, five-bedroom house in one of London's wealthiest neighborhoods for more than 15 years, and she raised the couple's eight children there.

Abu Hamza and his family are believed to have cost British taxpayers more than £338,000 in benefits. He has also received £680,000 in legal assistance for his failed US extradition battle. The cost of keeping him in a British prison since 2004 is estimated at £500,000.

Fellow hate preacher Abu Qatada, a Palestinian, has cost British taxpayers an estimated £500,000. He has also won £390,000 in legal aid to avoid deportation to Jordan.

The Islamic preacher Omar Bakri Mohammed, a Syrian, obtained £300,000 benefits before being exiled to Lebanon. The money was provided to raise his six children, including Yasmin Fostok, a single mother who makes a living as a pole-dancer in London nightclubs.

In February 2013, a judge in London acquitted two brothers from Pakistan who swapped houses in an effort to defraud British taxpayers out of £315,000. The Pakistani couples, who have 11 children between them, submitted bogus tenancy agreements for 16 years.

Judge Neil Sanders said, "The two men dishonestly represented through their wives to the London Borough of Redbridge that this was a genuine rental arrangement." But, he said: "You have both worked hard in terms of making a life for yourselves and in many ways the greatest punishment is the loss of your good name."

As for Anjem Choudary, he was also filmed saying that Islam will take over Europe. He said: "Now we are taking over Birmingham and populating it. Brussels is 30% Muslim, Amsterdam is 40% Muslim. Bradford is 17% Muslim. These people are like a tsunami going across Europe. And over here we're just relaxing, taking over Bradford, brother. The reality is changing. We are going to take England: the Muslims are coming."

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook.

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Oxford University Votes Against Israel Boycott

by Dan Lavie and Yael Branovsky

Oxford University Student Union votes down a motion calling for an academic and commercial boycott of Israel • Students: This is not the way to debate the conflict.

Good sports: Oxford prefers to maintain its ties with Israel.
Photo credit: Getty Images

In a dramatic step, the Oxford University Student Union voted on Wednesday to reject a motion for a boycott of Israel. 

The motion, which called for an academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions as well as Israeli products, was rejected by an overwhelming 69 votes. Ten voted in favor and 15 abstained. 

"This vote reflects a body of students who are willing to discuss the complexities that exist within Israel and do not see boycotting it as a viable option or avenue to discuss the conflict," said Judith Flacks, the campaign director for the Union of Jewish Students.

The Guardian reported earlier this week that the atmosphere on campus ahead of the vote was tense and tumultuous and that several of the motion's proposers had received threatening emails. One of these even withdrew his support of the motion. 

The students were voting in favor of a larger call by the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement to boycott all Israeli products, including exported fruits and vegetables and Dead Sea products, as well as cutting all business ties to Israeli companies. 

The students at Oxford were asked to vote on whether the British Students' Union should join the BDS movement. 

"We welcome the decision by the Oxford Student Union not to boycott Israel," said Uri Reshtik, chairman of the Israel Students' Union.

"We are in close contact with students at Oxford and we know they are a model and example to the young generation of leaders in England, representing all students including Jewish students among them."

Dan Lavie and Yael Branovsky


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Is There Room For Agreement Between The Obama Administration And Tehran In Nuclear Talks?

by A. Savyon and Yigal Carmon


This paper discusses the question of whether there are any areas of agreement between the Obama administration and Tehran on the Iranian nuclear issue. 

Presumably, there are. On the one hand, Tehran claims that it has no intention of developing nuclear weapons, and that all it is demanding is recognition of its right to enrich uranium as well as recognition that it is a threshold state according to the German-Japanese model.[1] On the other hand, the Obama administration's objections to a nuclear Iran are limited to the development of a nuclear bomb, but not to nuclear threshold state status provided that Iran meets the requisite conditions – that is, implementation of the Additional Protocol, true oversight, and the like – and that it does not cross the threshold.[2]

However, even if we accept the mistaken assumption that Iran seeks only threshold status – mistaken because of the ever-growing evidence that it is persisting in its development of nuclear weapons and that for this reason it will not accept true oversight – there still, in our assessment, remains no area of agreement between the sides. 

The following are the reasons why this is the case.

The Conflict With The West Is Not Just About The Nuclear Issue

As far as Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is concerned, the conflict with the West is not only, or even primarily, about the nuclear issue. In Iran's agenda, the conflict with the West is multidimensional. 

Supreme Leader Khamenei's main aim is to obtain immunity for his regime from any attack by the West. His secondary aim is to upgrade Iran's status regionally and globally, to that of a power equal to the world's superpowers – all of which are nuclear.

These two intertwined goals form the basis and essence of Iran's ideological-strategic perception. Iran rejects the West's view that it is a secondary player and of lesser importance and power in the global and regional arena. 

In this context, the nuclear issue is only one element in the overall conflict, and it serves as a springboard for Iran to achieve the above goals. Attaining threshold-state status is the means by which Iran strives to do this.

Iran Will Not Negotiate Directly One-On-One With The U.S. Unless Its Status Is Equal To That Of The U.S.

Furthermore, Iran will not negotiate directly and one-on-one with the U.S. unless its status is considered equal to that of the U.S., and unless there are no U.S. preconditions, such as sanctions. For this reason, Iran is demanding, as the first condition for negotiating with the U.S., the removal of all sanctions against it.[3]

While Iran does want negotiations with the 5+1, in the framework of these negotiations its first demand is the removal of sanctions; these negotiations must also cover a broad range of topics and global conflicts, as befits a superpower like Iran, in addition to the nuclear issue. Thus, Iran is demanding a response to its counterproposals to the 5+1, which always include a broad range of global issues.

The problem, according to Tehran, is not its own nuclear program, but the nuclear weapons of the Western powers – first and foremost the U.S., which has used them, and Israel. Iran insists that the entire process should be reciprocal and simultaneous, meaning that instead of unilateral demands by the international community for Iran to restrict its uranium enrichment, there are mutual demands that both sides must meet at the same time.

Accordingly, even between the Obama administration and the Iranian regime headed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei there is no area of agreement. For Tehran, the nuclear talks, which it seeks to prolong, are aimed at achieving several goals: a) Buying time to advance its nuclear program and to establish its nuclear achievements; b) Establishing its international strategic status as the one state standing against the 5+1 without backing down from any of its positions; and c) Forcing the West to accept it as another world nuclear superpower – to this end, as it presents its negotiation positions, it simultaneously expands the scope of its nuclear activities; recently, it activated the plutonium track in addition to its uranium enrichment track, and stated that in the future Iran may need enrichment to levels of 50% or even 90%.[4]

* A. Savyon is Director of the Iranian Media Project at MEMRI; Yigal Carmon is President of MEMRI.

[1] In a February 2005 visit to Berlin, Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi proposed the Japanese/German model as the basis for Iran-EU negotiations. In a meeting with German foreign minister Joschka Fischer, Kharrazi elaborated on Iran's perspective on how to resolve the dispute with the EU3: "Peaceful nuclear plants in Germany and Japan can serve as a good model for Iran's nuclear projects, and serve as the basis for any round of talks in that respect." IRNA, Iran, February 17, 2005. See also MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 209, Iran Seeks EU Consent for Modeling Its Nuclear Program on the 'Japanese/German Model' – i.e. Nuclear Fuel Cycle Capabilities Three Months Short of a Bomb, February 23, 2005. Also, at a May 2009 joint press conference with Japanese foreign minister Hirofumi Nakasone, Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki called for implementing the Japanese nuclear model in Iran as well, saying, "The view that exists about Japan's nuclear activities should be applied to other countries including Iran." Mottaki reiterated that Iran's nuclear activities were "legal and peaceful," and said, "Japan spent many years to build confidence about its nuclear work. Iran is moving on a similar path… During the confidence-building years, Japan was never obliged to suspend its (nuclear) activities." Iran Daily, Iran, May 4, 2009. See also MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 513, Iran Foreign Minister: The Japanese Nuclear Model Applies To Us Too, May 7, 2009.
[2] See MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 888, Iran Becomes A Nuclear Threshold State, October 5, 2012.
[3] Official Iranian representatives, as well as analysts and figures who present the Iranian regime's position, demand that the U.S. stop its subversive operations against the Iranian regime and its funding of these operation; see statements by Iranian Ambassador to the U.N. Mohammad Khazaei on Iran's conditions for talks with the U.S. – that they should be held on an equal basis, that the sanctions should be removed, and that the U.S. should be committed to the survival of the Iranian regime. ISNA, Iran, February 22, 2013; see also The Ayatollah Contemplates Compromise, by Mehdi Khalaji,Washington Institute, May 9, 2012, and MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 837, Khamenei's Aim at the Nuclear Talks – Securing the Survival of His Regime, May 18, 2012. 
[4] See two recent statements on this matter: Majlis National Security Committee chairman Boroujerdi said, "Perhaps in the future we will need a higher percentage of enrichment, for example, for ships that will need enrichment to 40%-50%, not 20%." Al-Alaam TV, Iran, February 24, 2013. Also, the Kayhan daily, which is close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, stated: "Iran is entitled to enrich uranium not only to the level of 20% but also to the level of 90%." Kayhan, Iran, February 26, 2013. See also MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 885, Tehran Declares Intent To Enrich Uranium To 90% For Military Purposes – Nuclear Submarines, September 27, 2012.

A. Savyon and Yigal Carmon


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The Real Meaning Of The Term 'Islamist'

by Detroit Jewish News

The AP Stylebook, the authority on usage style for most U.S. newspapers and TV networks, defines "Islamists," perhaps the most contentious word today, as Muslims who view the Koran as a "political model." These Muslims range from "mainstream politicians" to "militants known as jihadi."

Islamist in this political context is thus distinctive from Muslim, a religious term referring to followers of Islam.

In the very political world of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the term Islamist is considered the province of "Islam-bashers" who hate Islam, but don't want to be too blatant. Steve Emerson's respected Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) describes Washington-based CAIR as "the nation's most visible Islamist group." So it's obvious why CAIR is recoiling over its image and has gone so far as to try to insert "Islamophobia" in conversational English. IPT asserts that CAIR believes popular use of that term would provide an out for attacks on Muslims who have hijacked their religion for political or even terrorist gain.

Clearly, the politics of Islamists have no place in the religious sphere of Muslims.
Says Emerson in a January online post:

"Plenty of practicing Muslims work bravely in opposition to Islamist ideology." He cites Great Britain's Quilliam Foundation — "started

by Muslims who walked away from radical Islamist thought and now counter the arguments Islamists offer." The Foundation contends Muslims must embrace "a more self-critical approach."

Washington-based IPT strives to distinguish between the faith of Islam as practiced by individual Muslims and its application as the foundation for political action and law. Certainly, well intentioned Muslims must stay vigilant against indoctrinating mosques. It's hard to fathom why CAIR has branded Muslims who separate church from state "a mere sock puppet for Islam haters and an enabler of Islamophobia" — other than CAIR believes such separation is a threat to its agenda.

CAIR itself may not invoke "Islamist" openly. But as IPT reveals, its co-founders used the term to describe their organization's "voice" as far back as 1993. That's when CAIR met with Hamas supporters in Philadelphia to discuss how to derail the U.S.-brokered Oslo Accords between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Hamas isn't the only Palestinian terrorist organization to call itself "Islamist." So has Islamic Jihad.

And according to IPT, "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."

In its twisted logic, CAIR argues it's OK for the Brotherhood or a Muslim group to call itself Islamist because they understand it to mean something positive and progressive, not something "almost exclusively pejorative."

In sharp contrast, the IPT take is astute: "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 CAIR national spokesman Ibrahim Hooper's request to serve as language cop."

Detroit Jewish News


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Coptic Activist: U.S. Needs to Stand for Freedom in Egypt

by IPT News


News reports from Egypt focus on protests against the new Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government and other national political developments. But each week brings a new set of attacks on the country's Christian minority, attacks that often are overlooked by western media Just this week, Muslims tried to block expansion of a Coptic church. And priests from another church reportedly were threatened with death if they didn't convert to Islam. The previous week, a Coptic church was set on fire after a neighbor complained about noise during prayer services. The Investigative Project on Terrorism spoke with Ashraf Ramelah about the challenges facing Egypt's Coptic Christian population, which is estimated at about 10 percent of the country's 85 million people. Ramelah, an Egyptian native, founded Voice of the Copts in 2007 to raise awareness of persecution against Christians and fight for "freedom of religion, cultural identity and women's rights." 

 IPT News  


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Erdoğan: Zionism “Crime Against Humanity”

by Michael Rubin

Speaking at a United Nations conference in Vienna, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared, “It is necessary that we must consider — just like Zionism or anti-Semitism or fascism — Islamophobia as a crime against humanity.”

Let’s put aside the fact that, when they argue for the criminalization of “Islamophobia,” Erdoğan and his fellow travelers seek to ban not discrimination against Muslims, but rather criticism of the more radical outliers of radical Islamism. Hence, pointing out that under Erdoğan, the murder rate of women in Turkey has increased 1,400 percent would be considered a hate crime. Erdoğan makes no secret of his antipathy of free speech: That is why the Turkish media has descended from relative openness to somewhere below Russia, Venezuela, Iraq, Burma, and Zimbabwe in terms of free press.

Zionism is, simply put, a belief that the Jewish people have the right to an independent homeland in what is now Israel. One doesn’t need to like the Israeli government to be a Zionist, nor does Zionism have anything to do with supporting or opposing a two-state solution. (I am a Zionist who supports a two-state solution, for example, and I have little opinion on Israeli politicians or diplomats, as I neither study them nor interact with them). To be anti-Zionist, however, is to believe that Israel should cease to exist, to be eradicated. Declaring Israel and the Israeli people to be illegitimate is, simply put, the same as declaring that they should be expunged. This isn’t like Saddam Hussein invading Kuwait in 1990 and denying Kuwaitis an independent state because Saddam had declared Kuwait an Iraqi province, and therefore Kuwaitis to be Iraqis. He did not question their right to exist like Erdoğan does the Israelis.

Perhaps this explains Erdoğan’s embrace not of Palestinian statehood, but of Hamas—an organization dedicated to the eradication not only of Israel but also of Jews. It is why Erdoğan defended an aid who donated money to an al-Qaeda charity. It is why the new generation of Turkish diplomats who have arisen from religious seminaries, rather than the secular system which Erdoğan has tried to dismantle, have gone so far as to endorse al-Qaeda openly. Anti-Semitism runs deep in Turkey’s government and, increasingly, its diplomatic corps.

What does Erdoğan’s outburst mean for the United States? Given the UN secretary general’s silence in the face of Erdoğan’s attempts to take the United Nations back to its “Zionism is Racism” days, perhaps it’s time for President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to question their uncritical embrace of the United Nations. Obama has also listed Erdoğan as one of his top foreign friends. Perhaps the White House would care to explain that endorsement and upon what it is based? Kerry will be in Turkey tomorrow. It will be interesting to see whether he bothers to bring up incitement to genocide with his host. Most shameful, however, is the behavior of the U.S. Congress. As Erdoğan embraces Hamas and spews anti-Semitism, and as Turkish diplomats defend al-Qaeda, where are our congressmen? At the Turkish embassy, enjoying free food and giving the Turkish government a photo-op about which Namik Tan, Turkey’s ambassador to the United States, can brag on his twitter account.

It is very important that the honorable men and women of the U.S. Congress know for what they are lending their names when they join groups like the Congressional Turkey Caucus.

Michael Rubin


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OIC Ramps Up ‘Islamophobia’ Campaign

by Deborah Weiss


The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has long been on the forefront of the Islamist mission to establish the equivalent of Islamic blasphemy laws in the West.  Now, during its 12th Islamic Summit held in Cairo February 7-8, 2013, the OIC set forth new and creative ways to silence, and ultimately criminalize criticism of Islam.

The OIC is a 57-member state organization that claims to represent 1.5 billion Muslims around the globe.  As the second largest international organization in the world, behind only the UN, and as the largest Islamic organization in the world, it is obviously quite powerful.  Though it is arguably the largest voting block in the UN, most people have never heard of it.

One of the OIC’s primary aims for at least the last fourteen years has been the international criminalization of speech that is critical of any Islam-related topic, including Islamic terrorism, Islamic persecution of religious minorities and human rights violations committed in the name of Islam.

Since 1999, the OIC has set forth UN resolutions that would “combat defamation of religions.”  These resolutions condemned criticism of religion, but in the OIC’s interpretation, it applied only to Islam.  True statements of fact constituted no exception.

Support for the resolutions declined once the United States and other Western countries caught wind of the true meaning of “defamation of religions” and its inevitable chilling effect on freedom of expression.

In 2011, at the State Department’s request, the OIC drafted an alternative resolution that was intended to retain freedom of expression and still address the OIC’s concerns about alleged Islamophobia.  The result was Resolution 16/18 to Combat Intolerance Based on Religion or Belief.

The US State Department and numerous Christian organizations were elated, believing that the OIC had abandoned its mission to protect Islam from so-called “defamation,” and instead replaced it with the goal of protecting persecuted religious minorities from discrimination and violence.  In other words, many assumed a paradigm shift away from providing legal protections to a religion and toward legal protections for people.

But the OIC had some very creative interpretations of the language embodied in the new resolution.  By its manipulation of words such as intolerance and incitement, giving new meanings to what many thought was plain English, the OIC made it clear that it had not dropped its ultimate goal of protecting Islam from “defamation.”

Almost immediately upon its passage and the passage of a similar resolution in the General Assembly, the OIC set out on the unconventional task of “implementing” Resolution 16/18, contrary to the norm of leaving UN resolutions in the realm of the theoretical.

Unfortunately, the U.S. State Department acted as a willing accomplice in this effort, holding the second “Istanbul Conference” in December of 2011.  But, in its implementation phase, rather than moving toward the preservation of free expression, the OIC successfully moved the process in the opposite direction:  toward speech restrictive policies.

Though the U.S., thus far, has not pushed for the enactment of “hate speech” laws, it has “advocated for other measures to achieve the same result.”  Indeed, at this Administration’s behest, all national security training materials and policies “de-link” any interpretation of Islam from Islamic terrorism.  Many U.S. government agencies have now made it verboten to mention Islamic terrorism or assert anything negative about Islam.

The OIC’s task is easier in the EU countries, most of which already have some sort of hate speech restrictions.  They vary from country to country.  Some are cast as laws against the “denigration of religions”; some are “hate speech” laws; some are “public order” laws and some are “incitement to religious hatred” laws.  Additionally, the penalties can range from civil fines to jail time depending on the country.  The U.S. is the last hold out on retaining true freedom when it comes to matters of speech.

This past February, the OIC held an Islamic Summit, a high-level meeting held every three years.  It is the OIC’s largest meeting.  Heads of State and high ranking officials from member states attend.  The purpose of the meeting is to provide guidance pertinent to the realization of the objectives provided for in the OIC Charter and to consider other issues of importance to member states and the Islamic Ummah.  This year’s theme for the agenda was “The Muslim World:  New Challenges and Expanding Opportunities.”

Though the summit focused largely on Syria, Mali, and the “Palestinian issue,” the OIC also made it clear that it would ramp up its efforts to defeat “Islamophobia.”

The OIC is fastidiously working on the creation of legal instruments to address and combat “Islamophobia.”  Renewing its commitment to mobilize the West to comply with Islamic blasphemy laws, the OIC vowed to push for nation states to enact laws that will criminalize the “denigration of religions” during in its next Istanbul conference, anticipated to take place this June.

Further, it is requesting that the UN start an international mechanism that could serve as an “early warning system” against instances of discrimination and intolerance on religious grounds.  

Specifically, the OIC is proposing the creation of an observatory at the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, presumably analogous to the Observatory on Islamophobia that the OIC already maintains.  The difference would be that the new observatory would be overseen by an internationally sanctioned entity (the UN) and would expand to all religions.

It is fair to say that since Islamist organizations have coordinated campaigns across the world that encourage and solicit reports of either real, feigned, staged or imagined incidents of “Islamophobia,” the new “empirical data” that such an observatory would collect, would still be drastically skewed.  No other religion has a worldwide campaign instructing its members to report unpleasant truths as “bigotry” or to complain about slights as minor as “hostile looks.”

Additionally, the OIC is continuing to use the language embodied in pre-existing legal instruments in order to make it harder for Western countries to object.  For example, Resolution 16/18 mirrors some of the language in the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).  ICCPR, Article 20 states “the advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.”  The U.S. rightly signed a reservation to this clause, effectively opting out, insisting that Americans retain the right to exercise their First Amendment freedom of speech.

Further, though Article 20 makes such speech illegal, it leaves the definition of these terms open to interpretation and does not specify that the illegality must be criminal in nature.  Despite this, Rizwan Saeed Sheikh, spokesman for the OIC Secretary General, insists that pursuant to Article 20 the “denigration of symbols or persons sacred to any religion is a criminal offense.”

Such claims are indicative of the legal and linguistic gymnastics that the OIC will use to achieve its goal to “combat defamation of Islam” and to export Islamic blasphemy laws, labeling them as something aesthetically easier to swallow.

At the Summit, OIC members also unanimously elected Iyad Madani to the post of OIC Secretary General.  His term is to commence in 2014 when current Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu’s term expires.  This is the first time that the OIC will be headed by a Saudi.

Though the current OIC regime is comprised of sticklers for Islamic blasphemy laws and staunch advocates for the obliteration of Israel, it is likely that the OIC will become even more extreme under Madani.  Compared to the Wahabbis in Saudi Arabia, Ihsanoglu and gang can be considered reformers pushing “Islam lite.” The election of a former Saudi Minister to head the largest Islamic organization in the world and lead the UN’s most powerful voting bloc is a bad omen of what’s to come.  Indeed, it would come as no surprise if under its new leadership, the OIC’s old leadership would be labeled “Islamophobic.”

Deborah Weiss


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