Friday, April 12, 2013

Two Lessons of the Two-State Solution

by Rick Richman

As Secretary of State Kerry proceeds to gin up yet another peace process, armed with the Israel Policy Forum letter urging more “confidence-building steps” from Israel, it might be worthwhile to reflect on two things we have learned about the “two-state solution” from the repeated failures over two decades to effectuate it.

First, the Palestinians have shown that they are unable to form a peaceful democratic state. They have a “president” who next week enters the 100th month of his 48-month term; he has now been “out of office” longer than he was in it. The person who held the office before him served 107 months of his own 48-month term, until he had to leave office on account of death. Between them, the two presidents rejected three offers of a state (in 2000, 2001 and 2008). The current president has not been able to set foot in half his putative state for more than five years; he cannot arrange a new election, even in the half-state where he resides. There is no functioning legislature, so he rules by decree; those who would criticize him for this are best advised not to put their thoughts on Facebook. He is 78 years old, in uncertain health, with no known successor, and has long said he wants to retire; he continues to serve as “president” because peace processors need someone to play one on TV.

The Palestinians don’t even need Jews to have a failed peace process. Saudi Arabia and Egypt each tried to mediate one of the periodic “reconciliation” agreements between Fatah and Hamas, but found that Fatah and Hamas can’t live side by side in peace and security with each other, much less next to Jews. The “two-state solution” presumes a Palestinian state would be a stable entity, but there is no evidence that a Palestinian state would be anything other than what it is right now–half quasi-terrorist state and half fictitious “authority,” with neither half having the institutions of a successful state, or a self-sustaining economy.

Second, the Palestinians have repeatedly stated they do not view a Palestinian state as a “solution”–not if by “solution” one means recognition of “two states for two peoples” and an end to claims. In November 2011, when the Palestinians first went to the UN to avoid negotiating such a solution, Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor noted that the UN resolution recommending partition in 1947 had referred 30 times to a “Jewish State,” but that 64 years later:
We still do not hear Palestinian leaders utter the term. The Palestinian leadership refuses to acknowledge Israel’s character as a Jewish state. You will never hear them say “two states for two peoples.” If you ever hear a Palestinian leader say “two states for two peoples,” please phone me immediately. My office has set up the equivalent of a 911 number in the event of such an unprecedented occurrence.
The call never came. In November 2012, when the Palestinians returned to the UN to avoid negotiating a two-state solution, Ambassador Prosor addressed the Palestinian president as follows:
President Abbas, I did not hear you use the phrase “two states for two peoples” this afternoon. In fact, I have never heard you say the phrase “two states for two peoples.” Because the Palestinian leadership has never recognized that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people. They have never been willing to accept what this very body recognized 65 years ago.
It should be obvious that an unstable and unpredictable Palestinian state is a problem, not part of a solution, particularly when its putative leaders are unwilling even to utter the phrase “two states for two peoples.” No amount of Israeli “confidence-building steps” for the chronically confidence-challenged Palestinians can solve that problem; the Palestinians can only solve it themselves.
Rick Richman


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

Now U.S. Policy Is Really, Truly Going to Make Middle East Peace, No Kidding!

by Barry Rubin

Ridicule is often the best response to U.S. Middle East policy. Example: Secretary of State John Kerry is supposed to restart the Israel-Palestinian peace process. How? By having Israel release Palestinian prisoners. The number 120 has been mentioned.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happier if Kerry spends all of his time doing that then:

On the somewhat positive side, U.S. policy will focus on economic development of the West Bank which means giving the Palestinian Authority more money. This can be good since it perhaps forestalls violence and buys stability. But let’s have no illusions: “buys” means that PA officials continue to enrich themselves and the real economic problem of the West Bank arises from PA government policy and continued threats of violence which, of course, deter foreign investment.

A. Helping to install new Islamist regimes.

B. Appeasing existing Islamist regimes.

C. Messing up the region generally.

D. Putting pressure on Israel over wider issues. This is especially true since the idea of prisoner releases followed by a three-month deadline for direct talks will produce nothing after three months. Is anything possibly more predictable than that?

For the record, though, let’s talk about what a joke this approach is:

1. If Israel is to release Palestinian prisoners as a “confidence-building” measure and the Palestinians are not even asked to do anything, isn’t that a bit imbalanced?

2. Is the problem that the Palestinian Authority doesn’t have enough confidence in Israel? Doesn’t anyone in the U.S. government remember that confidence-building measures have been going on now for 20 years (since the 1993 Oslo agreement) and confidence stands at zero? Might there not be some structural reason for that?

3. The PA has a new strategy of exploiting its “state” status granted by the UN General Assembly? What’s there to negotiate about from its standpoint, except for Israel to accept full Palestinian statehood in the 1967 borders, uproot all settlements, and hope for the best?

4. Didn’t Israel just release over 1000 Palestinian prisoners to get Gilad Shalit released? Did that build confidence?

5. So if Palestinians commit terrorism including–in the case of the prisoners Kerry is trying to get released–the murder of Israeli civilians, they get to go free because that’s the way to peace? Isn’t that the way toward more Palestinians murdering Israelis so they can one day be released to supposedly help attain peace?

6. After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agrees to negotiate and the PA refuses to negotiate, U.S. policy will go on as if nothing has happened while the mass media will explain that Netanyahu refused to negotiate. For Israel, the goal of this game is not to win–which is impossible–but to dole out small stakes while focusing on the big issues.

7. Obama’s visit showed he really loves Israel. Now he can get back to what might seem like business as usual. Actually, though, despite the apparent high-priority “peace-making” Obama is now focused on other issues. His policy on this matter is now not a threat but a minor nuisance.

8. But with no real U.S. pressure on the PA–which now proclaims that Obama is an evil Zionist–what possible hope is there for negotiations?

In other words, this is a farce and it is through such farces that the Obama administration will continue to play until January 2015. What’s important, though, is that the administration lets itself fail miserably without putting too much effort and political capital behind it. That this should be a supposed top priority of a secretary of state at a time when Iran is getting nuclear weapons, Syria is burning, Egypt is steaming, etc., is pretty ridiculous in itself. The “good news” is that Kerry and the rest–despite the headlines–are really spending most of their time pursuing a bad policy toward Iran, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, the PA etc. ….

For 20 years now, the diplomats have been playing the confidence-building game. It has yielded nothing. Let me repeat that: nothing.

Most Israelis have confidence that the PA and Hamas leadership loathes Israel, will blame it for every problem, will never accept its legitimacy, and is uninterested in serious negotiations. Just because the West largely censors out the PA’s incitement and intransigence doesn’t mean Israelis are ignorant of what happens every day. True, Israel can work with the PA to maintain a relatively stable status quo, but at some time that will break down for a while again.  Israel supports Western aid to the PA, gives help on tax and customs reimbursements, and saves the PA from collapse (at the hands of Hamas) behind the scenes. As for confidence-building, no matter what concessions Israel makes, they will be forgotten in a few months, like the 10-month-long construction on settlements freeze that was supposed to get the PA to come to the table. The PA rejected talks and now everywhere you look you can find people insisting that a new construction freeze will make peace possible and complaining that Isrel has never doing anything for peace. I’m not just making up stuff; I see that kind of thing every day.

True, there are Israelis, say around 10 percent of the electorate (Meretz and the Communists), who believe that if Israel returns to the pre-1967 borders and accepts a fully independent Palestinian state there will be peace. About 5 percent of Israeli (Arab) voters are radical Islamists or Arab nationalists. But they don’t need any confidence-building measures because they believe this as an article of faith. At any rate, it is hard to think of many Palestinian confidence-building actions directed at Israel in the last 20 years.

As for the Palestinians, nothing will convince them to trust anything Israel says or does. After 20 years in which Israel turned the Gaza Strip and all the populated parts of the West Bank over to the PA, accepted the PA receiving billions of dollars in aid as well as arming a security force larger proportionately than anywhere else in the world, and released thousands of prisoners, there is still not a single real Palestinian political party that actually favors a two-state solution as a comprehensive end to the conflict. Indeed, the PA has no confidence at all in Obama, despite all that he has tried to do to help them.

So confidence-building is a joke and a waste of time. Yet here is the U.S. government riding the same old, discredited (except in the mass media and political circles) paradigm. The only comfort is that even high-ranking American officials don’t really believe in this. The whole thing is for show. Presumably, some prisoners will be released to make Kerry happy; the PA will not lift a finger to reciprocate but will then ask for ten or twenty times more while more prisoners are jailed for new attacks. There will be stories about the prisoners being released, and then a few weeks later the U.S. government will ask for Israel to do more. Watch and see.

That’s why I’ll now return to the regional issues that actually matter. Yet of course one must note that far too much of the coverage and debate will continue to be occupied by the long-dead peace process.

What is strange is that a couple of years from now, when everything I have written above is obvious, there will be no change whatsoever in the belief system of the U.S. policy elite. I know this because I’ve been reviewing the last 20 years and see this pattern holds true. Go back and read, for example, about what Obama and his team said in 2009–or his predecessor was saying in 2007-2008–and you see the same mistaken assumptions repeated endlessly.

At this time, such a mirage is not really dangerous except for the disdain and other costs inflicted on those who point out such things. Diplomats will run around; government officials will waste their time; some money will be spent; hundreds of additional students will be educated to revere this silliness; and no progress toward peace will be made. In this era of history, the Israel-Palestinian issue is of no importance in the Middle East. At this moment, what’s important is the Islamist struggle to seize control of most of the region. In the future, the Israel-Egypt or Israel-Iran conflict may become very important indeed.

Barry Rubin


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Beware of the Revisionists

by Ari Lieberman


April 7 marks Yom Ha’shoah, a day marked by solemn remembrances for those who perished in the Holocaust. It is also the 46th anniversary of a more obscure incident that many analysts view as the precursor to one of the most astonishing victories of modern military history. On April 7, 1967 Israeli Mirages and Syria Mig-21s dueled over the skies of Syria and northern Israel and six Migs were downed for no Israeli losses. Like the current day situation in Gaza, where Islamist rocket fire on civilian areas inexorably draws Israeli counter fire, Syrian artillery fire on Israeli villages precipitated the aerial engagement. And like the Gazan Islamists of today, the Syrians cried foul after being bloodied by the Israelis.

Following the clash, heated Arab rhetoric and false Soviet intelligence reports of Israeli military deployments led to a series of aggressive actions by Egypt and her Arab allies that ultimately culminated in the Six-Day War. On May 15 and with much fanfare and publicity, President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt deployed two Egyptian divisions in Sinai. On May 16, he ordered U.N. peacekeeping forces, who had hitherto served as a buffer between Israeli and Egyptian forces, out of Sinai. On May 19, Egyptian troop strength swelled to six divisions, with a seventh added soon after. On May 22, Nasser ordered the closure of the Straits of Tiran at the entrance to the Gulf of Eilat, to Israeli shipping. The closure was a gross violation of international maritime law and constituted a casus belli. On May 30th Jordan and Egypt established a joint military command and Jordan placed its armed forces under Egyptian control. Soon after, Egyptian paratroop battalions landed in Jordan and on June 3, they were joined by Iraqi contingents. On June 2, an Egyptian mortar attack set Israeli wheat fields on fire and Egyptian aerial incursions into Israeli territory were occurring with alarming frequency.

Israel was surrounded with countries bent on its annihilation. The Arab street, fed by blood-curdling, anti-Semitic government propaganda, was whipped into frenzy and an orgy of hate and depravity swept through the Arab world. It was clear that the Arabs had foreclosed any possibility of peaceful coexistence with Israel. If there were any doubts about Arab intentions, Radio Cairo dispelled them on May 22 when it declared, “The Arab people is firmly resolved to wipe Israel off the map.”  Israel for its part attempted to quell Arab aggression through diplomatic means but to no avail. The Soviets were actively stoking the flames of war while France, wishing to curry favor with the Arabs, turned its back. The British and Americans offered sympathy and little else.

Thus Israel, with its back to the wall and faced with overt threats of annihilation, acted decisively. On June 5, 1967 the outnumbered and out gunned Israeli Defense Forces launched a preemptive strike and within six days, destroyed the armies of those sworn to her destruction. Two and a half million Israelis faced off against one-hundred and ten million Arabs and won decidedly.

The facts were indisputable. Israel acted in self-defense and the aggressor Arab nations were forced to scurry with their tails between their legs. Even the traditionally hostile United Nations, which had condemned past Israeli defensive actions in knee-jerking fashion, refused to condemn her this time. In fact, Resolution 242, passed by the UN Security Council following the war, gave implicit recognition to Israeli territorial conquests and affirmed Israel’s right to safe and secure boundaries.

But time or rather its passage serves to dampen memories and opens the door to creative and rather obscene narratives that serve to obfuscate and perpetuate falsehoods. History is replete with such examples. Truman’s decision to drop atom bombs on Japan was rightfully heralded at the time as a courageous decision that saved the lives of hundreds of thousands and served to end a war imposed on us by an aggressor nation. But today, the decision is questioned by nefarious elements who offer all sorts vile conspiracy theories as reasons for Truman’s actions. The Holocaust, which claimed the lives of six-million, is today routinely challenged by Islamist heads of state with banal regularity. Even the so-called moderates, such as Palestinian Authority chieftain Mahmaoud Abbas, have issued denials of the genocide claiming that that it was a “fantastic lie,” that gas chambers were never used to kill Jews and that no more that “890,000” Jews perished.

In similar vain, Arab “scholars” and some of their useful idiot allies in the West, such as Tom Segev, have been on a crusade to present a fallacious view of the events preceding the Six-Day War. They do so by inventing facts, providing out of context statements and conflating statements that result in the presentation a skewed narrative. The stakes concerning which side was the aggressor and apportionment of blame are highly consequential. The aggressor loses the moral and legal high ground and thus loses whatever benefit it derived from the war, including territorial conquest.

Those who present the false Arab narrative are thankfully still a marginal lot, regulated to spewing their hate on fringe outlets such as Press TV and Counterpunch. But lies if repeated often enough have an insidious way of infiltrating mainstream discourse and the ill informed are most susceptible.

Michael Oren, considered the preeminent authority on the Six-Day War had harsh words for the revisionists and noted that the Arabs – Jordan, Egypt and Syria – “had planned the conquest of Israel and the expulsion or murder of much of it Jewish inhabitants in 1967. Many of the so-called ‘revisionist historians’ today are claiming that the Arabs never had aggressive intentions toward the Jewish state and that Israel precipitated the Six-Day War in order to expand territorially. The documentary evidence refutes this claim unequivocally.”

We must therefore never forget who the aggressor was in the Six-Day War, that the ramifications of an Israeli loss would have been calamitous on par with the Holocaust and that the Arabs have only themselves to blame for their sorry predicament.

Ari Lieberman


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Palestinians and the Western Wall

by Jonathan S. Tobin

Five women were arrested today at the Western Wall as the dispute about the right of non-Orthodox Jews to conduct egalitarian services there continued. The confrontation that came, as it always does, on the first day of the Hebrew month displayed the usual nastiness as an Orthodox man was also arrested reportedly for trying to burn a prayer book of one of the Women of the Wall. But there were some hopeful signs that the compromise proposed by Jewish Agency chair Natan Sharansky won’t be opposed by Orthodox leaders. In particular, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the head of the Western Wall Foundation that currently runs things at the Wall, said he wouldn’t oppose Sharansky’s plan to expand the Western Wall Plaza so as to create another equally large space in which egalitarian services may be held.

Sharansky’s idea for creating “One Kotel for One People” based on the principles of access, equality and unity is a good one. If implemented, it would not only substantially improve the site; it would effectively end a long-running argument that serves only to alienate the majority of American Jews from Israel. But as I wrote yesterday, the real obstacle to this project is not the desire of some to keep the Wall functioning solely as an Orthodox synagogue rather than as a national shrine for all Jews. The problem is the willingness of Palestinians to use threats of violence to prevent any changes in the area. What I did not discuss fully yesterday was why exactly the Muslim religious authorities that control the Temple Mount compound above the Wall Plaza would care about stopping Jewish religious services. The answer goes to the heart of the Palestinian rejection of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem or any part of the country.

Any attempt to expand the area of the ancient remnant of the Second Temple will hinge on a renovation of the Mugrabi Bridge, a ramp that allows access to the Temple Mount from the area around the Wall. As I noted previously, Muslims reacted to an Israeli plan to repair that facility with threats of violence even though it would have been to their benefit. They did the same thing in 1996 about the opening of a Western Wall tunnel exit that had nothing to do with them.

Some put this down only to the bad feelings that have poisoned all relations between Jews and Arabs in the dispute over sovereignty over Jerusalem and the land of Israel/Palestine. But this is not just a manifestation of malice. Muslim clerics associated with both the “moderates” of the Palestinian Authority and the extremists of Hamas agree that Jews have no claim to any part of the Western Wall, no matter how they wish to pray there.

The Wakf, the Muslim authority that governs the Temple Mount compound, claims that the Kotel is part of their bailiwick and reject Jewish sovereignty over any part of it or the city that surrounds it. Palestinian Authority leaders and their media have repeatedly claimed that the ancient temples were not built on the Mount where Muslim conquerors subsequently built mosques, just as they deny the associations of the Jews with the rest of their ancient homeland.

As Haaretz notes, the Wakf is opposed to any plans that might expand Jewish worship at the Wall or allow more people to have access to it. They also oppose all archeological digs in the area since they further establish the historical validity of Jewish claims. They also use spurious claims that Jews are trying to undermine the structure of the Mount—the same sort of libel that led to bloody Arab pogroms against Jews in the past—in order to whip up anti-Israel and anti-Jewish propaganda in the Muslim and Arab worlds.

There is no doubt that these unscrupulous Palestinian leaders will use the same tactics to prevent Sharansky’s plan from ever being realized. That is regrettable. But what American Jews who rightly lament the situation at the Wall should understand is that the bigger problem in Jerusalem isn’t the dispute between Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews but the one in which Palestinians attempt to deny the rights of all Jews. Prior to June 1967, no Jews could pray at any part of the Wall or step foot in the Old City of Jerusalem, and that is the situation Palestinians are trying to restore. Those determined to fight to the bitter end on issues of Jewish pluralism should remember that the bigger, far more important battle is part of the ongoing Arab war to destroy Israel.
Jonathan S. Tobin


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Facebook Allows Palestinian Promotion of Hate Speech but Pprevents PMW from Exposing it

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Following Palestinian Media Watch’s bulletin exposing the PA TV broadcast of a girl reciting a poem referring to Jews as “enemies of Allah, descendants of pigs,” Facebook, like YouTube, decided to remove PMW’s post.

Facebook: “We removed the following content you posted or were the admin of because it violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.”


Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities stipulates that "you will not post content that is hate speech" or "incites violence."

While Facebook is preventing PMW’s exposure of the PA’s hate speech, Facebook’s policy has not been applied to the explicit terror promotion and terror glorification by Fatah on Facebook, which PMW has documented, all of which were posted by Fatah’s Facebook page administrator:

Fatah in Lebanon encouraged violence and terrorism by posting a picture of a mother dressing her young son with a suicide belt. The picture was accompanied by an imaginary conversation between the son who is being sent to his death and the mother encouraging it. "Why me and not you?" the child innocently asks his mother, who answers that she will continue to have more children "for the sake of Palestine." This terror promotion and glorification still appears on Fatah Lebanon’s Facebook page.

Fatah glorified two suicide terrorists who killed 6 Israelis, referring to them as “the Bride of Palestine” and “our hero” respectively. These two suicide bombers are still honored on Fatah’s Facebook page.

Fatah paid tribute to suicide bomber Wafa Idris who killed 1 and injured over a hundred Israelis during her attack in Jerusalem in January 2002. Part of the text about the terrorist read:
"The hero whose name the Zionists will remember well and so will Palestinians; the hero who sacrificed herself and her body for Palestine and became a symbol of the struggle and of Palestinian loyalty through one of the most honorable Martyrdom-seeking operations." 
Suicide bomber Idris is still glorified on Fatah’s Facebook page.

Fatah posted a picture of terrorist Dalal Mughrabi and a poem honoring her. Mughrabi was responsible for the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history when she led a group of terrorists who hijacked a bus and killed 12 children and 25 adults. Part of the poem read:
"This is Dalal, my eternal love... Dalal is my mysterious young woman, my revolutionary Jihadi inspiration. I loved her but knew only her name, Dalal Mughrabi." 
Terrorist Mughrabi is still praised on Fatah’s Facebook page.

Fatah glorified violence and terror as acts of heroism, and depicted a world without Israel. It posted pictures of automatic rifles and slogans venerating arms. In some pictures, young children were carrying rifles. These posts still appear on this Fatah Facebook page.

Note: Following pressure, YouTube decided to put back PMW’s video of the hate poem.

Fatah's Facebook page -

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik


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Media Belatedly Mentions that Gunman Who Opened Fire in a Church on Easter Left Behind a Koran

by Daniel Greenfield

Let’s lay out a hypothetical scenario. An American walks into a mosque during Ramadan, opens fire while quoting Bible passages and then leaves behind a Bible.

On a scale of 1 to non-stop coverage, how often do you think you would be hearing about it, how fast would religious motives be attached to it and how quickly would we learn that the bible was left behind?

But the same rules don’t apply to Islam. Muslims are designated victims. And they may act like oppressors, but that just means the story gets buried. So only now do we learn that a Muslim who opened fire in a church on Easter left behind a small present.
Police found Reshad Riddle inside the church, standing at the podium. “He had the gun in the air,” Janek said. “He had several knives on him … we later discovered the Koran on the podium.”
The second witness, Patrolman Thomas Clemens, said he was called to the church Easter Sunday for “a subject in the church waving a handgun.”
Upon arrival, he saw several people running from the church and several people crawling out the narrow windows.
“I pulled two children out of a window,” he said.
“He admitted he used a Smith and Wesson .38 Special,” Clemens said. “He referred to the Koran and Allah, quoting passages.”
Upon cross-examination, Humpolick pushed for more details on Riddle’s statements.
Clemens said he wasn’t familiar with the Koran, but remembered Riddle had said he had “served his purpose.”
The media has done its best to bury the story. Plenty of headlines read, “Man Yells About God After Church Shooting” which gives a completely false picture of events.
Reshad Riddle did not yell about God. He yelled about Allah. And the media’s trend of using God in place of Allah is done to hide the meaning of scenes like these.
“Associate Pastor Sean Adams told The (Ashtabula) Star Beacon newspaper that Reshad Riddle walked through the church, still holding the gun, and yelled that the killing was “the will of Allah. This is the will of God.
But of course there’s still no motive. After decades of Muslims killing Americans in the name of Allah, there’s just no motive. Instead we’re going back to psychiatric disturbance. Maybe Reshad, like Nidal Hasan, contacted PTSD in the air.

Daniel Greenfield


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Palestinians: Why Salam Fayyad Stands No Chance against Fatah

by Khaled Abu Toameh

The Fatah leaders are yearning for the days of Yasser Arafat, when they were able to steal international aid earmarked for helping Palestinians. The Palestinians' problem with Fayyad is that he did not sit even one day in an Israeli prison. For them, graduating from an Israeli prison is even more important that going to any university.
In recent weeks, the US Administration has resumed its efforts to achieve peace not only between Israel and the Palestinians, but also between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his prime minister, Salam Fayyad.

These efforts, however, seem to have failed: Fayyad is apparently on his way out.

Over the past few years, Abbas and his Fatah faction have been trying to get rid of Fayyad, but to no avail.

Abbas and Fatah leaders see the US-educated Fayyad, who was appointed prime minister in 2007 at the request of the US and EU countries, as a threat to their control over the Palestinian Authority in general and its finances in particular.

Some Fatah leaders, such as Tawfik Tirawi and Najat Abu Baker, are even convinced that Fayyad is plotting, together with the US and other Western countries, to replace Abbas as president of the Palestinian Authority.

Were it not for US and EU intervention, Abbas and Fatah would have removed Fayyad from his job several years ago.

Each time Abbas considered sacking Fayyad, US and EU government officials stepped in to warn that such a move would seriously affect foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority.

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, who made separate visits to Ramallah recently, also found themselves devoting much of their time trying to persuade Abbas to keep Fayyad in his position.

But US and EU efforts to keep Fayyad in power seem to have been counterproductive. These efforts further discredited Fayyad in the eyes of many Palestinians.

Fayyad's enemies have cited these efforts as "proof" that he is a "foreign agent" who has been imposed on the Palestinian Authority by Americans and Europeans.

Fatah's main problem with Fayyad is that he has almost exclusive control over the Palestinian Authority budget.

In other words, Fatah does not like the idea that its leaders and members can no longer steal international aid because of Fayyad's presence in power.

The Fatah leaders are yearning for the era of Yasser Arafat, when they and others were able to lay their hands on millions of dollars earmarked for helping Palestinians.

In a bid to regain some form of control over the Palestinian Authority's finances, last year Abbas exerted heavy pressure on Fayyad to appoint [Abbas loyalist] Nabil Qassis as finance minister.

Until then, Fayyad had held the position of finance minister in addition to the premiership.

Earlier this year, Fayyad, in a surprise move, announced that he has accepted the resignation of Qassis without providing further details.

Shortly afterwards, Abbas issued a statement announcing that he has "rejected" the resignation of the finance minister.

Fayyad has since refused to comply with Abbas's demand and reinstate Qassis.

But the dispute between Abbas and Fayyad is not only over financial matters.

In fact, much of it has to do with the feeling among Fatah's top cadres that Fayyad is seeking to undermine the faction's influence and probably end its role in the Palestinian arena.

They accuse him of cutting funds to Fatah's members in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and refusing to pay salaries to former Fatah militiamen.

In this power struggle between Fatah and Fayyad, the prime minister is certain to emerge as the biggest loser.

Fayyad has no grassroots support or political power bases among Palestinians.

He does not have a strong political party that would be able to compete with Fatah.

Nor does he have his own militia or political backing, especially in the villages and refugee camps of the West Bank.

In the 2006 parliamentary election, Fayyad, who was graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, ran at the head of an independent list called Third Way. He won only two seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Most Palestinians did not vote for Fayyad because he had never played any active role in the fight against Israel. For Palestinians, graduating from an Israeli prison is more important than going to any university in the world.

The Palestinians' problem with Fayyad is that he did not sit even one day in an Israeli prison.

Had Fayyad killed a Jew or sent one of his sons to throw stones at an Israeli vehicle, he would have earned the respect and support of a large number of Palestinians. In short, Palestinians do not consider Fayyad a hero despite his hard efforts to build state institutions and a fine economy.

The Palestinians' only heros are those who fight against Israel or are sitting in Israeli prison.
Just last week, a public opinion poll showed that Marwan Barghouti, the Fatah leader who is serving five life terms in prison for his role in murdering Israelis, would be elected as president if he ran in the next elections.

The poll showed that Barghouti was even more popular than the Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, who was never convicted by an Israeli court of murdering Jews .

If Fayyad wants to embark on a political career in the future, he will have to join Fatah's armed wing, Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and start participating in terror attacks against Israelis. He will need to do something against Israel to show Palestinians that he has "credentials."

Otherwise, Fayyad will have to start searching for a new job outside the West Bank.

Khaled Abu Toameh


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Germany: Islam Becomes Campaign Issue

by Soeren Kern

The study -- which corroborates the conclusions of other recent surveys -- concludes that the image of Islam in Germany is "devastating."
Germany's opposition Social Democrats are courting disgruntled Muslim voters in a desperate bid to unseat German Chancellor Angela Merkel in federal elections set for September 22.

Peer Steinbrück, the 66-year-old chancellor candidate for the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), said at a campaign stop in Berlin on April 3 that he supported the idea of physical education classes in German schools being divided by gender as a courtesy to Muslims.

Responding to a question from the audience, Steinbrück said: "If schools are able to do it, then they should." After his comment was greeted with silence, Steinbrück added that the measure should be taken "out of consideration for [Muslim] religious convictions."

The reaction to Steinbrück's comments was immediate and fierce from across Germany's political spectrum, an indication that overt support for multiculturalism may actually be a political liability in this election cycle.

Barbara John, a politician with the ruling center-right Christian Democrats (CDU), said the debate over gender separation is outmoded and that "children and parents have to get used to the fact that genders here grow up together and live with the same rights."

Maria Böhmer, a member of the Bundestag [federal parliament] for the CDU who also serves as Minister of State in the German Chancellery, said: "Peer Steinbrück is wrong! School, especially physical education, is a place of social learning. Here girls and boys learn from an early age to treat each other equally. And that race, religion and skin color do not matter! Shared learning and joint physical education promote integration in our country. Schools should be encouraged to continue along this path!"

Serkan Tören, a Turkish-born member of parliament with the libertarian Free Democrats (FDP), Merkel's junior coalition partner, said "dividing boys and girls is akin to dividing society. Splitting classes by gender is also the wrong signal to send when it comes to integrating Muslims in Germany."

Memet Kilic, a Turkish-born member of parliament for the left-wing Green Party, said that current rules governing physical education classes should not be changed, that gender equality is a universal human right.

Even members of Steinbrück's own SPD -- which has long championed multiculturalism and Muslim immigration -- distanced themselves from his remarks.

Heinz Buschkowsky, the SPD mayor of the Neukölln district of Berlin, said Steinbrück's comments were "very unfortunate." He added: "Young people need modern social orientation -- in addition to or even in opposition to traditional family rites. We had schools for girls and boys schools 150 years ago. In Germany we have no segregation. It cannot be that we turn the social clock back now."

This is a far cry from just recently, when the SPD said it would like to see Islam recognized as an official religion in Germany. In an interview with the newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung in October 2010, SPD politician Dieter Wiefelspütz declared: "It would be an important signal to the four million Muslims in Germany, if the state recognizes Islam as a religious community. Islam needs a fair chance in Germany."

In November 2011, the SPD-led government of Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, concluded a "state treaty" [Staatsvertrag] with its Muslim communities that grants Muslims broad new rights and privileges but does little to encourage their integration into German society.

The November 13 agreement, signed by Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz and the leaders of four Muslim umbrella groups, was praised by the proponents of multiculturalism for putting the northern port city's estimated 200,000 Muslims on an equal footing with Christian residents.

The most controversial part of the accord involves a commitment by the city government to promote the teaching of Islam in the Hamburg public school system. The agreement grants the leaders of Hamburg's Muslim communities a determinative say in what will be taught by allowing them to develop the teaching curriculum for Islamic studies.

On November 30, the northern German city of Bremen followed Hamburg's lead by concluding its own state treaty with the local Muslim community. Bremen Mayor Jens Böhrnsen (SPD) said the treaty reflects "mutual recognition and respect of mutual values."

Critics, however, say the agreements, the first of their kind in Germany, will boost the growing influence of Islam in the country by encouraging the perpetuation of a Muslim parallel society.

In fact, polls indicate that ordinary Germans are increasingly concerned about the consequences of mass immigration from Muslim countries.

The recent study, "Fear of the East in the West" [Die Furcht vor dem Morgenland im Abendland], shows that more than half of the German population believes that Islam is prone to violence (64%); has a tendency toward revenge and retaliation (60%); is obsessed with proselytizing others (56%); and strives for political influence (56%).

More than 80% of Germans believe that Islam deprives women of their rights, and 70% say Islam is associated with religious fanaticism and radicalism. By contrast, only 13% of Germans associate Islam with love for neighbors, 12% with charity and 7% with openness and tolerance.

The study -- which corroborates the conclusions of other recent surveys -- concludes that the image of Islam in Germany is "devastating."

These attitudes were reinforced by a recent survey of Turkish-German mores and attitudes that found that nearly half of all Turks living in Germany say they hope there will be more Muslims than Christians in Germany in the future.

Germans appear to be reluctant to provide Muslim immigrants with more rights and special privileges in the absence of a greater commitment on the part of Muslims to integrate into German society.

Case in point: On the same day that Steinbrück made his controversial comments about Muslim-friendly gym classes, Germany's Central Council of Muslims (ZMD) demanded that the German government introduce statutory Muslim holidays throughout Germany.

In an interview with the daily newspaper Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) on April 3, council chairman Aiman Mazyek said that granting one day during the month of Ramadan and another on the fast-breaking day of Eid al-Fitr would be "an important sign of integration" and "would emphasize tolerance in our society."

The proposal has not been well received. Wolfgang Bosbach, a member of parliament for the CDU, told WAZ that he sees "far and wide no need" for the legal recognition of Muslim holidays, adding that Germany has "no Muslim tradition." The current public holidays -- such as Christmas and Easter -- are part of a Christian-Western heritage, Bosbach said.

Guntram Schneider, a minister in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for the SPD, told WAZ that adding more statutory holidays is "not economically affordable."

If Steinbrück insists on borrowing a page from the playbook of neighboring France, where Muslims determined the outcome of the presidential elections in May 2012, and thrust François Hollande and his Socialist Party into office, he may end up alienating more voters than he hopes to gain.

Growing public apprehension in Germany over Muslim immigration suggests that -- at least for the time being -- pandering to Muslim voters may be a rather risky proposition.

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.


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

Just as Relevant Today as it Was 65 Years Ago

by Eli E. Hertz

The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books. 

After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.

Impelled by this historic and traditional attachment, Jews strove in every successive generation to re-establish themselves in their ancient homeland. In recent decades they returned in their masses. Pioneers, defiant returnees, and defenders, they made deserts bloom, revived the Hebrew language, built villages and towns, and created a thriving community controlling its own economy and culture, loving peace but knowing how to defend itself, bringing the blessings of progress to all the country's inhabitants, and aspiring towards independent nationhood.

In the year 5657 (1897), at the summons of the spiritual father of the Jewish State, Theodore Herzl, the First Zionist Congress convened and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country.

This right was recognized in the Balfour Declaration of the 2nd November, 1917, and re-affirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations which, in particular, gave international sanction to the historic connection between the Jewish people and Eretz-Israel and to the right of the Jewish people to rebuild its National Home.

The catastrophe which recently befell the Jewish people—the massacre of millions of Jews in Europe—was another clear demonstration of the urgency of solving the problem of its homelessness by re-establishing in Eretz-Israel the Jewish State, which would open the gates of the homeland wide to every Jew and confer upon the Jewish people the status of a fully privileged member of the community of nations.

Survivors of the Nazi holocaust in Europe, as well as Jews from other parts of the world, continued to migrate to Eretz-Israel, undaunted by difficulties, restrictions and dangers, and never ceased to assert their right to a life of dignity, freedom and honest toil in their national homeland.

In the Second World War, the Jewish community of this country contributed its full share to the struggle of the freedom- and peace-loving nations against the forces of Nazi wickedness and, by the blood of its soldiers and its war effort, gained the right to be reckoned among the peoples who founded the United Nations.

On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel; the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable.

This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State.

Accordingly we, members of the People’s Council, representatives of the Jewish Community of Eretz-Israel and of the Zionist Movement, are here assembled on the day of the termination of the British Mandate over Eretz-Israel and, by virtue of our natural and historic right and on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.

We declare that, with effect from the moment of the termination of the Mandate being tonight, the eve of Sabbath, the 6th Iyar, 5708 (15th May, 1948), until the establishment of the elected, regular authorities of the State in accordance with the Constitution which shall be adopted by the Elected Constituent Assembly not later than the 1st October 1948, the People’s Council shall act as a Provisional Council of State, and its executive organ, the People's Administration, shall be the Provisional Government of the Jewish State, to be called "Israel."

The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

The State of Israel is prepared to cooperate with the agencies and representatives of the United Nations in implementing the resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947, and will take steps to bring about the economic union of the whole of Eretz-Israel.

We appeal to the United Nations to assist the Jewish people in the building-up of its State and to receive the State of Israel into the community of nations.

We appeal—in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months—to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.

We extend our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.

We appeal to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding and to stand by them in the great struggle for the realization of the age-old dream—the redemption of Israel.

Placing our trust in the Almighty, we affix our signatures to this proclamation at this session of the provisional Council of State, on the soil of the Homeland, in the city of Tel-Aviv, on this Sabbath eve, the 5th day of Iyar, 5708 (14th May, 1948).


David Ben-Gurion, Daniel Auster, Mordekhai Bentov, Yitzchak Ben Zvi, Eliyahu Berligne, Fritz Bernstein, Rabbi Wolf Gold, Meir Grabovsky, Yitzchak Gruenbaum, Dr. Abraham Granovsky, Eliyahu Dobkin, Meir Wilner-Kovner, Zerach Wahrhaftig, Herzl Vardi, Rachel Cohen, Rabbi Kalman Kahana, Saadia Kobashi, Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Levin, Meir David Loewenstein, Zvi Luria, Golda Myerson, Nachum Nir, Zvi Segal, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Hacohen Fishman, David Zvi Pinkas, Aharon Zisling Moshe Kolodny, Eliezer Kaplan, Abraham Katznelson, Felix Rosenblueth, David Remez, Berl Repetur, Mordekhai Shattner, Ben Zion Sternberg, Bekhor Shitreet, Moshe Shapira, Moshe Shertok. 

Eli E. Hertz


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

The Warriors’ Call to Duty

by Frank Gaffney, Jr.

It has been nearly eight months since jihadists attacked U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed, and many more were badly injured.  And that is pretty much all we know for sure about an incident that has – let’s face it – been subjected to the most comprehensive, and successful, cover-up in modern political history.

Now, seven hundred heroic special operations veterans have written an open letter to Congress calling for the creation of a new investigative committee to establish the truth.  They want to know, in particular, why warriors like them weren’t allowed to aid our countrymen in their hour of need.

Their letter reads in part: “This was the most severe attack on American diplomatic facilities and personnel since the attacks on the US Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998.  Thus far, it appears that there has been no serious effort to determine critical details of this attack. This is inexcusable and demands immediate attention by the Congress.”

During their years of service, these 700 special operations veterans have put their lives on the line for our country.  They trained and prepared for and, in many cases, executed missions to come to the aid of Americans who were in danger or in enemy hands.  They know firsthand the risks that are entailed, and they willingly took those risks.

In short, these special operators lived by one of our military’s most sacred principles: No comrade is left behind, ever.

And these storied veterans are determined to find out, among other things, why two of those comrades and two other Americans were allowed to die in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 at the hands of jihadists without any effort made to help them.  In their words:  “Congress must show some leadership and provide answers to the public as to what actually occurred in Benghazi. Americans have a right to demand a full accounting on this issue.”

This is not an effort to settle political scores.  Neither the Democrats who run the Senate nor Republicans who run the House have conducted the needed “full accounting.”  What is required is more than just a postmortem on a national security debacle, however.

The signers of the open letter are determined to ensure than no one else needlessly loses their lives by establishing – and learning from – all the lessons of the Benghazigate scandal.  And they know it will take the sort of transparency and accountability up the entire chain of command wholly absent since the first shots were fired by jihadists that fateful night.

The Special Operations Force (SOF) 700 believe the only way at this point to achieve such transparency and accountability is by the establishment of a new, independent and bipartisan select House committee charged with the full investigative powers of the Congress.  The pending legislative vehicle for setting up such a panel is House Resolution 36, sponsored by Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) and some 70 of his colleagues.

As one of the SOF community’s most revered leaders – in both war and peace, retired Army Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin, put it recently:  “I have seen men take great risks to save a fellow warrior. I have even seen men die trying to do so. The lack of accountability regarding the Benghazi event disturbs me greatly and bears the earmarks of a cover up.

“America is entitled to a full accounting of this egregious attack on our people with some explanation as to why there was no effort to save the Americans in [Benghazi] or at least to recover their bodies before they fell into Libyan hands. Our Congress has yet to fulfill its responsibility to provide a complete analysis of the attack or to provide answers as to what exactly happened. A bipartisan Special Committee is needed to determine the truth about Benghazi.”

Citizens who wish to join in the SOF 700’s call for a real investigation of the policies and decisions that led up to the murderous jihadist assault on two U.S. facilities in Benghazi, what occurred during that attack and the cover-up that ensued in its aftermath can do so by visiting  They can also find out more about the work of Special Operations Speaks and how they can help at

It is a sad indictment of the state of our polity that warriors like the SOF 700 must step forward to demand that Congress perform the oversight function that is its solemn constitutional duty.  But we have relied on them before to save our collective bacon, and it speaks volumes about the character, clarity of vision and love of country of these men that they have not hesitated to muster out once again on our behalf.

God bless the SOF 700 and may Congress heed their appeal for enactment of H. Res 36.

Frank Gaffney, Jr.


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

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Back to Jahiliyya

by Ali Salim

Jahiliyya: The "state of ignorance of Divine guidance" -- how Muslims refer to the pre-Islamic era.
For years the sheiks of the Islamist movements have been promising us that "Islam is the Solution." The sad fact is that it is the sheikhs of the radical Islamist movements of the global jihad -- the Muslim Bortherhood, Al-Qaeda, Syri's al-Nusra Front, Hamas, and others -- who are dismantling the Arab-Muslim world into its ancient tribal societies.
The ministers of the Arab league called a meeting this month -- another needless, fruitless, predictable, self-congratulatory session to be held while thousands of Arabs and Muslims systematically kill one another. The food is there, but people are starving. An estimated 100,000 Syrians have been killed and well over two million displaced; the scripts for Palestine have already been played dozens of times, so the only problem left to be discussed was the guest list. The real issues, the destiny of our Islamic Ummah and Arab states, was nowhere on the agenda.

Anyone taking a good look at the tumultuous events occurring in the Arab-Muslim world can sense that a new page is being written for history books, but time, it seems, is marching backwards, not forwards.

In the 14th century the Tunisian historian Ibn Khaldun wrote a sociological tract entitled Prolegomena, in which he stated that the history of empires is cyclical, that they rise and fall, and that tribal Bedouin society contained the seeds of its own destruction.

Looking at the Arab states today, some of which are disintegrating into warring tribes, you can only ask if the Arab Spring has caused this utter chaos, manifested in part by the mass slaughter of Muslim communities in the Middle East, especially in Syria; and whether it is one of Ibn Khaldun's historical cycles. Once the Arab Spring has run its course, will Islam the Islamist leaders of the global jihad take over the world, as predicted -- and preached -- or will the Arab societies change into normative entities in line with the rest of the world?

The longer you watch the Arab world, the more convinced you become that the Arab-Muslim states are gradually and irreversibly dissolving into their component tribal parts. The tribes of the Arabian Peninsula were united by the sword of the Islam in the days of Muhammad (May peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him) into the ancient Islamic Ummah, the Islamic nation, which after his death became the Caliphate.

The breakup of the Ottoman Empire led to the artificial creation of most of today's Arab states, and now they are breaking up into their original warring tribes, the tribes of the jahiliyya from which Muhammad (May peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him) forged the Ummah. The sad fact is that it is the sheikhs of the Islamist movements of the global jihad -- the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda, Syria's Al-Nusra Front. Hamas, and others -- who are dismantling the Arab-Muslim world into its ancient tribal societies.

For years the sheiks of the Islamist movements have been promising us that "Islam is the solution." Now those unsuccessful, destructive Islamist movements are worsening conditions in the countries they took over, often by force, and could bring about the failure of Islam itself. That might even lead, Allah forbid, to the weakening of the faith of despairing true believers.

The violent, terrorist activities of the extremist Islamist groups only serve to worsen the confrontation, dissension and separatism among the various ethnic and religious groups of which Arab society is composed. These regressive groups are returning us to life as it was after the death of the prophet Muhammad (May peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him), when the entire Islamic nation foundered in war against the rebel tribes which had abandoned Islam (the so-called "Ridda" Wars). They are using the same kind of violence used at that time by the Muslims to suppress the revolt.

Today, however, in view of broad Arab public exposure to the Western media and the achievements of Western society, the radical Islamists find it hard to replicate the ancient form of oppression and to present achievements in support of their propaganda, which preaches the superiority of Islam over all other religions and its right to rule the world.

The truth is that the Arab Spring has turned into an Arab Winter Desert Storm like the one which dispersed the infidels attacking Muhammad (May peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him) in the Battle of the Trench (al-khandaq) in Al-Medina. But this time the winter storm is dispersing the Muslim nation and dismantling it into its original tribes.

The masses in the Arab countries understand that beyond incendiary slogans, the extremist Islamists have brought nothing to the world but slaughter, worse poverty and terrorism, and that both the truth and the future belong to Western society, which overflows with social achievements and inventions in every sphere of life.

The leaders of the radical Islamist movements are convinced that the role of Islam is to control the world, but they have not managed to present either ideological justification or success to support their illogical, immoral ambitions. They are trying to copy the ancient formula of using force to unite and rule the tribes today, and to turn the violence they use on one another toward external enemies, infidel Europe and the United States.

Clearly, the root of the problem is the radical Islamists' overwhelming jealousy of the achievements of the West. Comparing what the West has done to what contemporary Islam has done has thrown them into despair. The knowledge that Muslim countries will never be able to close the cultural, economic and technological gap between them and the West endangers the radical Islamist claim of the superiority of Islam and Muslims. Radical Islamist activists hate, fear and are jealous of the West because of its prosperity, success and progress.

The achievements of those referred to by the radical Islamists as infidels, when compared to the colossal failure of our Islam in every sphere of life -- and the fact that for centuries Islam has been incapable of making the smallest contribution to the world, concentrating instead on terrorism and bloodshed -- has created an unbearable contradiction. The frustration, jealousy and hatred radical Islamists have for the West is obvious in the Friday sermons in the mosques throughout Europe and the United States. The Imams incite their listeners to hatred and acts of terrorism against the West, where they are guests, mainly against America, which in fact supports every aspect of life in the backward Islamic countries. Some in the mosques even collect donations masquerading as "charity" (zakat) for the needy but which are instead used to finance terrorist activities against their hosts.

Hypocrisy is rife in the Arab-Muslim world. Everyone knows that what radical Islamists dismissively and angrily call the "Crusader West" is precisely the source of the security, economic and political aid received by Muslims in the Middle East, and the only thing standing between their societies and total collapse. The impossible contradiction is settled by means of lies spread about the "colonial, imperialistic West" which, they claim, has conquered, occupied and exploited the Arab-Muslim world.

The radicals are appointed by plutocratic, exploitive, hypocritical Arab dynasties, such as those ruling Qatar and Saudi Arabia. They pretend to collaborate with the West, but behind the scenes they work against it and do their best to undermine it. The Arab rulers, obsessed with intrigue, do nothing to establish the infrastructures of their own countries, do not help support failing Muslim peoples and do nothing to plan for the morning after, when other energy resources are developed and the bubble of Arab oil revenues bursts. The day is fast approaching when the Arabs will return to their camel-hide tents and go looking for water in the oases of the Arabian desert, having finally turned themselves and the noble communities of Islam into objects of hatred for the West.

Today the events of the Arab Winter indicate that the cycle described by Ibn Khaldun is irreversible and that radical Islamism is on a path to destruction. Many Muslims in the Arab world have been exposed to Western values and are not prepared to return to the anachronisms of the radical preachers who expound theories of regressive -- and repressive -- Islam. In addition, attempts to use hatred of the "Crusader West" and of the Jews as glue to bind the ranks of Islam together are no longer successful. Moreover, it is hard to convince the angry masses to overcome their historical desire for destruction and dissension, as well as their deep mutual hatred, now that the Arab Winter has given them justification for an orgy of killing.

The Arab masses are beginning to understand, by virtue of emigration, the media and the spread of the Internet, that the West is not "the heresy of the jahiliyya," as it has been represented by the radical Islamists. Many Muslims have begun to desire a Western life style, and the West has become not only a role model but a desirable new address. Many Muslims dream of obtaining a passport and emigrating to Europe or the United States.

This frustrating moral bankruptcy of radical Islamism is at the foundation of the armed movements which have chosen to use violence to dispel the gloom. For that reason, it is unfortunate but true, that at every event of mass carnage and slaughter throughout the world, Muslims are involved. These attacks represent a desperate, hopeless attempt to reconquer the separatist Middle Eastern tribes that are splitting into religious, ethnic and nationalist, and to reunite them by force into the ummah, using the outdated slogans and methods of ancient Islam.

Today the Arab tribes in North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and Syria are drowning in a sea of blood, tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands have been killed, women in Egypt are raped in the town squares in the middle of the day and underage girls who escaped the genocide in Syria are sold to rich old men. The radical Islamists, euphoric after Al-Qaeda's attacks, while they assumed that Islamist terrorism would bring Islamic rule to the world, are now apprehensively watching in amazement as Islamic terrorism goes bankrupt despite being funded by such terror-sponsoring nations as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar.

Instead of changing, joining the modern world and condemning terrorism, the radical Islamist sheikhs, in their hypocrisy and desperation, complain about what they choose to call "Islamophobia." However, Islamophobia is not only justified, but could not have been prevented: it represents the Western world's defending itself against Islamist terrorism and violence. All one can do is quote the old Arabic saying, "First he beat me and cried, and then he preceded me and complained about me."

Trying to put together a Middle East policy, the West is confused, and in its confusion makes opportunistic, if unsuccessful, attempts to take the bull by the horns. Thus, fearing to be left with nothing, it supports the Islamist regimes which have taken over the Arab Spring, The United States, for instance, hesitates over supporting the Free Syrian Army: it realizes that instead of Bashar al-Assad, it will be faced with Al-Qaeda and the terrorist Nusrat al-Islam Front.

Apparently, the failure of radical Islamism will lead us, the Arabs, back to our ancient tribal society and the pre-Islamic jahiliyya. It is also possible that such a return will enable us to return to our roots, where we were perhaps even more advanced than the West. Not everything about the jahiliyya was bad. It had gentleness or moderation (hilm), courage, loyalty, keeping one's promises (muru'a), pluralism, knowledge and culture, the possibility of conducting disagreements and cultural debates in public, as was common in the market of U'kkaz, a popular gathering place. The jahiliyya was characterized by love of the good life, music, wine, permissiveness and songs (shi'r).

It is possible that as part of the cycle, the Arab ummah will proceed along the path to a life more like the life enjoyed in the West today. Perhaps the cycle will restore the Arabs' good ancient values, and Muslims will justify the mission imposed on them by Allah and the prophet Muhammad (May peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him) to rule the world. If the Muslim nation is rebuilt and joins reality, it will also justify Ibn Khaldun's theory of history.

Ali Salim


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