Friday, July 19, 2013

Mordechai Kedar: The US State Department's Islamist Plan

by Mordechai Kedar

What do the following things have in common: the Muslim Brotherhood's demonstration in Rabi'a al-Adawiya Square in Cairo, Hamas' deep misgivings in Gaza, the declaration by the leaders of the Islamic Movement in Jordan, and the demonstration held by the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel? They are all partners in the Muslim Brotherhood's regional plan, backed by the American government and all are concerned about the blow that this plan suffered three weeks ago in Egypt, when the Muslim Brotherhood was humiliated and removed from power.

The plan was revealed publicly on the first of May, 2012, the day that Muhammad Mursi's election campaign began in Egypt. On that day, Mursi appeared at a public election rally together with one of the ideologues of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement, Sheikh Safwat al-Higazi. The Sheikh declared in the clearest possible way: "We see the dream of the Islamic Caliphate, the dream of the Land of the Caliphate, realized, G-d willing, by Muhammad Mursi, and his supporters and his brothers and his political party. We have seen the great dream, that we all share, the United Arab States!!! The United Arab States will return, G-d  willing. The United Arab States will be restored by this man and his supporters, G-d willing. The capital of the caliphate, the capital of the United Arab States will be Jerusalem, G-d willing. Its capital will not be Cairo, nor Mecca, nor Medina, only Jerusalem, G-d willing, and our call will be 'Millions of martyrs are marching to Jerusalem'". And then this song was sung:

"O those who long to die a martyr's death,
You are all Hamas,
Banish the sleep from the eyes of all the Jews
Forget about the whole world,  forget the conferences
Take up your arms
Say your prayers and call to Allah..."

Thanks to MEMRI, this piece is known throughout the world.

Here I must provide a linguistic comment. Higazi says the name United Arab States using the Arabic term "al-Wilayat al-Arabiyya al-muttahida", which is exactly the same as the name for the United States, with the additional word "Arabic" inserted in the middle. This similarity can be explained in two ways: a) It alludes to the future strength of the prospective Islamic state by creating a linguistic semblance between this state and the United States; b) Someone in the United States gave them the idea to establish an Arabic entity that would parallel the United States. The American who gave them the idea used the term "al-Wilayat al-muttahida" - the Arabic name for the United States - as a model for what they should establish in the Middle East, and that is the reason that the Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Safwat al-Higazi adopted this name. I don't know which American gave them the idea, but I believe that he served, and still serves in the State Department.

The words of Sheikh Higazi were not only an election slogan intended to excite the masses, but also served as the revelation of a practical program that has supporters in the White House, in Washington, D.C. The plan was revealed recently on the Internet site Elaph, a liberal Arabic news site operating out of London. On the 12th of July, Elaph revealed the Jordanian part of the Muslim Brotherhood's program to establish the United Arab States. This plan is based on the assumption that the Muslim Brotherhood will continue to take control of more states in the Middle East: They have controlled Turkey since 2002, won the elections for the Palestinian Authority parliament in 2006, and in 2007, took control of the Gaza Strip (which is a state for all intents and purposes). Since the Middle of 2011, al-Nahda, which is the Tunisian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood organization, has been the leading party in Tunisia. And since the end of June 2012, the president of Egypt was from the Muslim Brotherhood. In addition, since at the end of 2011, the Brotherhood was a dominant presence in the elected parliament, which was later dispersed by court order. The Brotherhood is also the leading force in Morocco, Libya and Kuwait, and if things go well for them, they will rule in Syria as well. The Brotherhood is supported by the rich, powerful Emirate of Qatar, with its jihadi al-Jazeera media channel that is capable- as we have seen since December, 2010 - of toppling rulers in order to place the Muslim Brotherhood in power.

The United States State Department has been encouraging the Muslim Brotherhood in their imperialistic process ever since President George. W. Bush's time, and since January 2009, President Obama and the State Department have viewed political Islamic imperialism to be in the American national interest. The reason that the United States supports the Brotherhood is because ever since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States has been searching for a moderate sort of political Islam that the West can live with, contrary to al-Qaeda, for example, and the Muslim Brotherhood is very suitable - in the opinion of the State Department, and now, in the opinion of the White House as well - to assume the role of a legitimate ruling power in Islamic states that will not incite hatred against the West in general and the United States in particular.

In order to implement the Islamic plan, the Israelis will have to be sedated first, so that they will not alert the world to the American-Islamic political plan. That's why the American government tried to reassure Israel when Mursi was elected: under the auspices of the State Department, a delegation of members of the Israeli Knesset met in Washington with members of the Egyptian parliament, among whom were representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, with the goal of creating a connection and dialogue between the two sides.

The Plan for North Sinai

For the past two years, Syria has been consumed by a terrible civil war, in which more than a hundred thousand men, women and children have been killed to date. Four hundred thousand Palestinian refugees have been living in Syria since 1948 and they share in the general suffering: hundreds of them have been killed and wounded and many thousands of them have fled to Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt and other countries. This is very concerning to the Hamas movement - the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood - because if the situation continues, the Palestinians, who have until now lived in Syria, will disappear as a group and their distribution throughout the world would dissolve the Palestinian problem and their "right of return" into Israel. This is the reason that Hamas leaders conceived the idea together with Mursi: Egypt will transfer North Sinai to the authority of Hamas, and the Palestinian refugees will be transferred for a limited time to Sinai from Syria and from the countries to which they fled recently as a result of the civil war.

The Mursi government approved of transferring northern Sinai to Hamas in order to settle Palestinian refugees from Syria there, because then, many infrastructures would have to be developed - housing, water, sewage, electricity, roads, communications, industry and education. All of this would have American, Qatari and international funding, and Egypt would benefit from the resulting opportunities for employment. The area would be leased to the Palestinians, and the world would pay the rent to Egypt. According to the plan, Hamas would be responsible for the Palestinian refugees living in Sinai, mainly to assure that other movements, especially Fatah, would not be able to set foot among these Palestinians. The people of Gaza would be able to pass freely into north Sinai, which would become a Palestinian Islamic state. Joining north Sinai with Gaza would ease the Gaza residents' sense of siege, and would open great economic opportunities because of the building and development initiatives for North Sinai, causing the tunnels between Gaza and Rafah to become superfluous. The United States seems to be aware of this plan and to agree to it, and if the name of the United States is connected with the plan, the United States will earn a lot of credit for its generous support in rescuing the Palestinians while simultaneously preserving their problematic situation, just as their status as refugees has been preserved for the past 65 years with budgets for UNRWA, a large part of which come from American tax payers.

The White House, State Department and Muslim Brotherhood assume that Israel would welcome the plan to settle the Palestinian refugees in Sinai considering this plan to be a solution to their problem. So Israel would not object to American funding of the repatriation of the 1948 refugees, their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren in north Sinai. There would be enough "useful idiots" in Israel who would encourage this plan because they would delude themselves into thinking that this would mean the end the refugee problem, and those Israelis - as usual - would ignore the fact that a concentration of Palestinian refugees in Sinai must eventually lead to a new phase, which would be a struggle, led by Hamas, to return to all of Palestine, thereby eliminating Israel as the state of the Jewish people.

The Battle for Egypt

The United States is not the only country that is working on the mission to see the Muslim Brotherhood rule over the entire Middle East, and the senior partner in the project is Europe. The undiplomatic behavior of the Americans and the Europeans is not new: when President Obama visited Cairo in 2009 to deliver his speech to the Islamic nation, he chose to meet with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, the host's sworn enemy, which was the real reason that Mubarak was not present at Obama's speech. Mubarak's excuse was the death of his grandson two weeks prior.

There is a rumor in Egypt that in last year's elections, Ahmed Shafiq, Mursi's competitor, actually won, but that American pressure on the military government led to Mursi being declared the winner, because of Obama's and the State Department's desire for Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood to rule in Egypt. The presence of eight Muslim Brotherhood people in the White House staff (see here and here) reveals Obama's clear bias in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, a bias that expressed itself in the American government's disapproval of Mursi's dismissal from the presidency at the beginning of July. A man named Ahmed Aliba served in the American Embassy staff in Cairo. He was the liaison between Ambassador Patterson and the Muslim Brotherhood, and it was he who coordinated the American officials' meeting with representatives of the Brotherhood.

Mursi was overthrown by the military in the beginning of July because of the demonstrations against him, but also to thwart Mursi's plan to transfer north Sinai to Hamas and to settle hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees there. The overthrow of Mursi dismayed the leaders of Hamas in Gaza because they had built their future and the future of their state on this plan. Erdogan, the Turkish Islamist, was also infuriated.

The American involvement in the promotion of Muslim Brotherhood matters should come as no surprise to Israel: the American State Department exerted similar pressures on Ariel Sharon, prime minister of Israel, forcing him to allow the Hamas movement to participate in Palestinian parliamentary elections in the beginning of 2006. The State Department did not learn any lesson from Hamas subsequently winning a majority of the seats, and it now applies similar pressures on King Abdullah. But contrary to Ariel Sharon, Abdullah understands what the Muslim Brotherhood is, so there is much less chance of him succumbing to the State Department's pressures .

But the person who knows the truth about the Muslim Brotherhood and tells it to their face is Dahi Khalfan, the commander of the Dubai police. He recently described the danger of the Muslim Brotherhood to the state of the Emirates as no less threatening than the Iranian danger.

The Islamic "Alternative Homeland" in Jordan

The toppling of Mursi and the Brotherhood was a shocking blow to the leaders of the Brotherhood in Jordan as well, who, for the past two years, have refused to participate in King Abdullah the Second's initiative to incorporate reforms into the Jordanian government that would grant greater representation in the parliament to the Islamic parties and the residents in the refugee camps. King Abdullah openly calls them "wolves in sheep's clothing" and "the Freemasons cult" (there is no worse expression in Arabic that the king could have used towards his citizens, M. K.) because they do not want to reform the regime of the Hashemite monarchy; rather, they want to replace it and turn it into a puppet after taking over the parliament and changing the state into a "constitutional monarchy" with an Islamic constitution written by the Brotherhood, of course. The king describes his battle with the Brotherhood with the expression "the most important battle confronting us in the entire region", even more than Iran. He also does not hide his contempt for the American diplomats and officials who promote the Muslim Brotherhood out of naivety, as if the regime of the Brotherhood is a type of Islamic democracy. Now, with the downfall of Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood of Jordan is left without reforms, without Egyptian backing and in conflict with the king, who knows quite well where they are headed.

During the past two years, delegations of senior American and European officials have come in an endless stream to Jordan in an attempt to convince the king to change the Jordanian election law so that the Muslim Brotherhood would agree to take part in elections and even to achieve positive results in them. However, meetings with the king are not enough for the Americans and Europeans: their ambassadors and representatives meet continually with the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, whether in capitals of the United States or in Jordan, and the king is forced to swallow this insult.

The king's suspicions of the Muslim Brotherhood are very well based: for several years now, the slogan "the alternative homeland" has been part of the public discourse in Jordan. The slogan refers to the desire to overthrow the Hashemite monarchy, which Britain imported from the Hijaz 90 years ago, and to return Jordan to its original residents, who are divided generally into two main parts: a) a minority of desert dwelling Bedouins, most of whom live in permanent settlements that they moved into over the years while conserving their traditional culture and language, and b) the majority, who are Palestinian farmers and city dwellers, whose language and culture is different from that of the Bedouins. The Bedouin population lives mainly south and east of Amman, while the Palestinian population lives north of Amman for the most part. The Jordanian term "Palestinian", does not refer to residents of the part of the Land of Israel that is West of the Jordan River, but to those indigenous residents of northwest Jordan who call themselves "Palestinians", adopting the name from the British Mandate for Palestine-Israel, since they do not want to be called Bedouins.

Additional Palestinians should be added to this group, some of whom are refugees from 1948 and some of whom moved from Israel and from Judea and Samaria to Jordan, for various reasons over the years. All have Jordanian citizenship, and therefore according to the rules of the United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees, they are not refugees, despite the fact that UNWRA considers them to be.

The "Palestinian" indigenous residents of Jordan are not interested in what happens West of the Jordan Valley, and they silently tolerate the coalition of the Hashemite Monarchy with the local Bedouins. The Palestinian refugees live quietly, in general, and do not make political demands, because they still remember Black September (September 1970), when - under the leadership of Yassir Arafat - they tried to establish a Palestinian terror state within the state of Jordan and King Hussein responded by slaughtering thousands of them.

Now, in the wake of the "Arab Spring", winds of change and revision are beginning to blow in Jordan as well, and the largest and most organized body involved is the Muslim Brotherhood, which has many supporters among all of the Palestinian groups: the indigenous Jordanians, and the refugees and the emigres from West of the Jordan River, who support the Brotherhood mainly because they present a challenge to the Hashemite monarchy. For some years now, the Palestinians have been talking about "the alternative homeland", meaning that they hope to establish a Palestinian state on the land that is now Jordan, whether by dividing the state into a Bedouin state in the southeast and a Palestinian state in the north of Jordan, or by taking over the whole state by means of elections or by violence.

The Brotherhood in Jordan has been attempting for some time to organize demonstrations and set up protest tents in one of the town squares of Amman, but the kingdom's security forces - composed mostly of Bedouins - do not allow them to do it. The Brotherhood tends to boycott the elections for parliament because they do not want to play the king's "pseudo-democratic" and "pseudo-legitimate" game. It is a game because after all, no one can legally remove the king from his post. He attempts to convince the Brotherhood to participate in the elections by throwing them bones in the form of government jobs.

Paradoxically, the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan and the Israeli Right have similar interests: both sides want a Palestinian state, not the Hashemite monarchy, to be established in Jordan, and therefore both call for overthrowing the Hashemite monarchy and cancelling the peace agreement between Israel and the King of Jordan that was signed in October 1994. The Israeli Right objects to the monarchy's authority over the Temple Mount granted to it by the peace agreement, and the Brotherhood sees the agreement as a betrayal of the Palestinians, the Arabs and the Islamists, and an insurance policy for the Hashemite family's regime in Jordan. That is why King Abdullah has become the greatest supporter of the establishment of a state of Palestine in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, so that he can claim that Jordan is Jordan, Palestine is West of the Jordan River, and anyone who wants to live in Palestine should emigrate to the area west of the Jordan River.

The Muslim Brotherhood, most of whom are residents of the northern part of Jordan, want to eliminate the monarchy, and this places them in eternal conflict with the king. The election of Mursi last year was very encouraging to them, because he shares their political desires. They attempted to organize a demonstration of 300,000 people in one of the squares of Amman to turn it into the Jordanian version of "Tahrir Square", but the Jordanian security forces discovered the plan and prevented it in the usual way.

The king is aware of the idea of an "alternative homeland" and has said many times that "Jordan will not be an alternative homeland  for anyone", and therefore it supports the establishment of a Palestinian state outside of Jordan. The king also tries to calm the people by assuring them that he was never subjected to pressure from any American president, Bill Clinton, George Bush or Barack Obama, who wanted to establish a Palestinian state at Jordan's expense.

Perhaps the presidents of the United States did not pressure the king to establish a Palestinian state in Jordan. However, in my opinion, there is pressure to permit the Brotherhood to become part of the Jordanian political system, mainly from the State Department, which has, for years been attempting to promote the political project of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan. In order to sedate the king, the State Department works toward establishing a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, which would compromise the state of Israel's security, since this Palestinian state will become another Muslim Brotherhood state, ruled by Hamas, in the future. Thus the Islamic noose will close around Israel's neck, thus the dream of Safwat Higazi to establish an Islamic Caliphate state with Jerusalem as its capital is fulfilled, and all the Islamists the world over will love America because it threw Israel under the Muslim Brotherhood bus. How otherwise can the State Department's objection  to recognizing Jerusalem  - the capital of the Jewish people for 3000 years - as the capital of Israel, be explained, and the American objection to the Jewish people's sovereignty over Judea and Samaria as stipulated by the decision of the San Remo Conference in 1920?

In conclusion, it can be stated simply and painfully: the State Department and the White House fear Islamic terror more than anything else. Therefore, since September 11, 2001, they have been obsessed by a desire to please the Muslims at any price. They think that Muslim Brotherhood rule over most of the Muslim states is the ideal solution, and the most suitable one to American interests, even if the price is abandoning long-standing friends and allies. Mubarak, Qadhaffi, Abdullah the Second and Israel are all part of the sacrifice that the State Department and White House are willing to make on the altar of Muslim Brotherhood rule over the entire Arab and Islamic world. Will the elimination of Mursi be the blow that will send the Islamist-American genie back into the bottle?


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.

Boycotting the Untermenschen

by P. David Hornik


On Tuesday, which was Tisha B’Av—a mournful Jewish holiday that commemorates two destructions of Jerusalem, the Spanish Expulsion, and other disasters of Jewish history—Israel’s far-left daily Haaretz trumpeted the news that the European Union had issued a new directive.

It bans any and all interactions, economic, social, or academic, with Israeli companies or institutions situated in East Jerusalem, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), and the Golan Heights—that is, the places Israel took over in the 1967 Six-Day War, where a total of 700,000 Israelis (not far from 10 percent of the country’s population) now live.

The directive also states that “all agreements between the State of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”

In the run-up to the Six-Day War—among other such statements—Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser said, “Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel.” Syrian defense minister (later prime minister) Hafez Assad said, “I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.” Iraqi president Abdur Rahman Aref said, “The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear—to wipe Israel off the map.”

Israelis secretly dug 10,000 graves for the expected victims of the war. Some 14,000 hospital beds were prepared. Gas masks were handed out to the population. Survivors of the European Holocaust in particular were gripped with fear.

The rest, of course, is history; instead of being annihilated, Israel won the war and conquered the places in question, as well as the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza.

By now, Israel has handed the Sinai back to Egypt in a peace treaty, unilaterally evacuated Gaza, and striven in vain for 20 years to reach a deal with the Palestinians over the West Bank.

As for the Golan, there too attempts were made to hand it or parts of it back to Syria in return for peace undertakings.

These days, with the Syrian civil war raging and both Syrian-army and jihadist forces lobbing mortars into the Golan daily, even left-wing Israelis recognize that ceding the Golan would have meant these forces would now be thronging the Sea of Galilee.

But for the EU, the fact that the Six-Day War was one of survival, that Israel conquered areas from which it was attacked, that considerable parts of these areas are of great security and/or religious-historical significance to Israel, and that Israel nevertheless accepted the principle of trading back parts of them for peace commitments, has no bearing: all of official Europe, right and left, conservative and socialist, has always defamed all post-1967 Jewish life in any of those places as “illegal.”

This new directive concretizes that notion in ways that Israelis of both the right and left—and, yes, Palestinians too—expect to be harmful.

Housing Minister Uri Ariel of the right-of-center Habayit Hayehudi party rightly remarked that this placing of 700,000 Jews beyond the pale “recalls boycotts against the Jews in Europe more than 66 years ago.” Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri, a dove and fervent advocate of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, said the directive “potentially means that 40 percent of research and development grants to Israel will be affected.”

And while the public Palestinian Authority response to the directive was laudatory, a “senior Palestinian Authority official” told Israel’s largest daily Israel Hayom that
For our part, we approached a number of [European] Union officials, in the [Palestinian] Authority and also in Israel, to try and prevent the decision or at least to keep it unofficial…. It’s not just Israeli companies that are going to be hit economically, it’s also going to be disastrous economically and socially for the Palestinian community.”
According to the Palestinian official, the European move will freeze joint projects, force employers to stop hiring Palestinians to work on joint projects with Israelis and lead to widespread layoffs of Palestinians laborers working in Judea and Samaria industrial zones.
Those who put hope in Secretary of State John Kerry’s current peace initiative also believe the EU directive will severely damage it by causing the Palestinian side to further harden its positions.

Some Israeli officials believe the directive may only have been issued by mid-level EU bureaucrats. But if published in the EU’s official gazette by Friday, it will take effect and be almost impossible to rescind.

The Times of Israel reported Wednesday evening that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on the phone to high-level European leaders to try and alert them to the dangers and get them to delay the measure.

But even if his efforts succeed, the directive can be taken as a warning that Europe—always perfidious toward Israel—stands to get even more so as its Muslim populations grow and the continent’s politicians and bureaucrats scramble more and more to appease them.

P. David Hornik


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

The EU’s Broken Mideast Compass

by Noah Beck


The European Union recently sent out a directive barring its 28 members from cooperating with Israeli entities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The boycott includes “all funding, cooperation, and the granting of scholarships, research grants and prizes” to Israeli entities in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

If this is how the EU chooses to spend its limited diplomatic and political resources “to help” the Middle East, then its moral compass is badly broken. The EU still hasn’t even mustered the clarity or courage to join the USA, Canada, and six Gulf states (led by Bahrain) in designating Hezbollah a terrorist organization, even though Hezbollah has committed terrorist acts on EU soil that have killed an EU citizen, and has supported Basher Assad’s butchery in Syria. The EU has also failed to take any decisive action to address the urgent crises in Lebanon, Syria, and Iran (which marches ever closer to nukes and imports ore — for armor and missile production — from Germany and France). And where is the EU’s boycott of Mideast governments that persecute women, execute homosexuals, and condone the slaughter of Christians?

If the EU wants to wield its economic clout to impose peace on disputing parties, why not boycott China for its brutal occupation of Tibet? Clearly that occupation doesn’t matter because the EU is China’s largest trading partner. And why isn’t the EU boycotting Northern Cyprus, which is under foreign military occupation by Turkey (against the wishes of the EU)?

The hypocrisy is even more flagrant because some EU states are themselves occupying disputed territories on various continents. One of the most notorious examples is the Falkland Islands. What exactly is the UK’s burning security interest in occupying a Latin American island nearly 8,000 miles away? Maybe the EU should boycott the UK as well.

In the end, an EU boycott of Israel is just a cheap way to score political points with the oil-producing Arab states and the growing Muslim population on European soil. Indeed, the EU’s anti-Israel directive resembles Stephen Hawking’s ill-fated attempt to inject himself into the Israeli-Palestinian controversy. Just as he absurdly chose to boycott the country largely responsible for the technology that enables him to communicate, the EU shamelessly targets the only country in the Middle East that actually shares the EU’s democratic values, respect for human rights, pluralism, and the rule of law (not to mention shared interests like curbing Iranian nukes, developing natural gas resources in the Mediterranean Sea, and seeing moderates prevail in the volatile Middle East).

Putting aside the EU’s abundant hypocrisy, trying to strong-arm Israel into unilateral concessions has already proved to be an abysmal failure when it comes to promoting peace. Just ask President Obama, who in 2009 pressured Israel into a 10-month settlement freeze in the West Bank without requiring any reciprocal gestures from the Palestinians. They quickly realized that they need not negotiate with Israel because Obama was doing that for them. One can hardly blame Palestinians for trying to maximize their negotiating posture, even if it lacks good faith. Thus, peace talks have remained stalled for Obama’s entire presidency, even though Secretary of State John Kerry is now making his sixth peace-pushing trip (in as many months) to the region.

It’s also worth noting that the real obstacle to peace — Palestinian rejectionism and terrorism — existed before any of Israel’s settlement-building. Palestinian terrorism and rejectionism from Gaza also continued despite the removal of Israeli settlements (from Gaza in 2005). So Israeli settlements did not create Palestinian extremism and their removal doesn’t necessarily end it.

History has also demonstrated that Israeli settlement building has not prevented Israel from making painful territorial compromises for peace: Menachem Begin evacuated the Sinai, Ehud Barak ended Israel’s presence in Southern Lebanon, Ariel Sharon left Gaza, and Benjamin Netanyahu handed over West Bank territories under the Wye Accords.

Moreover, the EU seems to have forgotten that Jews have a historical and legal right to be in the West Bank. The “Mandate for Palestine” confirmed by the League of Nations recognized the “historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and “the grounds for reconstituting their National Home in that country.” Under Article 6, the Mandate encouraged “close settlement by Jews, on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.” The EU’s boycott falsely implies that Jews have no right to live in the West Bank, and is thus disturbingly reminiscent of the “Judenrein” policies of Nazi Germany, which banned Jews from certain spheres of life only because they were Jews.

Lastly, the EU (and US) position on Israeli West Bank construction lacks balance because Palestinian construction is never limited. As Eli Hertz notes:
The Oslo Accords do not forbid Israeli or Arab settlement activity. Charging that further Jewish settlement activity preempts final negotiations by establishing realities, requires reciprocity. If Jews were forcibly expelled from the West Bank in 1948 during a war of aggression aimed at them [but then recaptured the West Bank in the defensive war of 1967], then these Territories must be considered disputed Territories, at the least…According to David Bar-Ilan, a former policy planning official, the tempo of Arab construction is “more than 10 times the number of buildings under construction [in the Territory] than those approved [by the Israeli government] for the [Jewish] settlers.
If the EU wants to ignore international law and history, the many more pressing Mideast issues, and its own hypocrisy, all for the sake of promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace, then it should at least recognize that unilateral pressure on Israel has only reinforced Palestinian inflexibility. Indeed, it is only the Palestinians who have refused to negotiate peace without preconditions. The EU has pressured the wrong party because its Mideast compass is badly broken.

Noah Beck


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

France: Slouching Toward Totalitarianism

by Guy Millière

A "blacklist" of writers and analysts who are never to be invited on a television or radio talk show is circulated. The "fachosphère" cover of Le Nouvel Observateur looked like a poster of photos of wanted criminals. Those on the cover were not only all those who still dare to criticize Islam, of course, but also this who dare to support Israel, those who turn a critical eye on the Obama presidency and those who cast doubt on the viability of the euro.
As expected, the Paris Court of Appeals declared Philippe Karsenty guilty of defamation against journalist Charles Enderlin and public television station France 2. The evidence accumulated by experts and specialists, showing that the al Dura video report was a hoax and that the young Mohamed al Dura had not been killed by Israeli soldiers and, in fact, had not be killed at all, were totally ignored.

The Israeli government report explaining the same thing -- and adding that the al Dura video report was an anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic blood libel -- was also completely ignored.

If justice in France were independent from the government, another result could have been possible; but justice in France is strictly dependent on the government, and when an "official truth" has been set, judges do what they are asked to do.

In this video still from Charles Enderlin's infamous video footage, young Mohamed al-Dura lifts up his hand and peeks out, after having already been reported as shot dead.

If the press were free in France, such a decision would have been considered a huge scandal; but the press in France is not free, and not a single journalist would break from the "official truth". In 2008 a petition in support of Charles Enderlin and France 2 gathered hundreds of signatures; the few journalists who did not sign were criticized for "lack of professional solidarity". Some were threatened.

The al Dura case and the conviction of Philippe Karsenty are further evidence that France is not a free country and is dangerously slouching toward totalitarian behaviors.

Year after year, French justice becomes increasingly a means of imposing a monolithic vision of the world. More and more laws revise historical events, and historians who challenge the revisions take risks in doing so. Laws originally implemented to "fight against racism" are now used instead to prohibit the statement of obvious facts. Today, for example, in France, although slavery is considered a crime against humanity, the enormous slave trade in Africa and the Arab world is excluded from the definition; even speaking about it may lead to harsh accusations. This is what happened to Professor Olivier Pétré-Grenouillau in 2004 in response to his book, From Slave Trade to Empire. Columnist Eric Zemmour was accused of inciting racial hatred and, in 2011, sentenced to a heavy fine for having reported a fact: that the number of Muslim offenders was particularly high in French prisons.
Another columnist, Ivan Rioufol, is now being prosecuted for having criticized a poster released by a French Islamic movement, "Collective Against Islamophobia". The poster states, "We are the nation," and shows only veiled women and bearded men, which Rioufol denounced publicly by saying that the French nation is also composed of non-Muslims. He will stand trial soon for this "offense".
Another journalist, Robert Menard, former General Secretary of Reporters Without Borders was recently dismissed by all his employers for having said that, "in some cases, one could understand that people are in favor of the death penalty."

Even more recently, a television reporter, Clement Weil Raynal, was heavily penalized for having released a picture taken on the premises of the main trade union of French judges: the very leftist Syndicat de la Magistrature. The picture shows a huge bulletin board, labeled the "Wall of Scumbags," complete with hostile graffiti against the main political leaders of the French right. The list of all available examples would quickly become very long.

French mainstream media are now a means of imposing a vision of the world which is exactly the same as that imposed by French justice; and all those who work for dailies, magazines, radio and TV stations know what they risk if they open their mouths and seem to think differently. A "blacklist" of writers and analysts who are never to be invited on a television or radio talk show is circulated. Articles giving names are published. A few months ago, a weekly, Le Nouvel Observateur, released a map showing what the editors called the "fachosphère" (the fascist sphere). The map appeared on the cover, and looked like a poster showing photos of wanted criminals. Those on the map were all those who still dare to criticize Islam, of course, but also those who still support Israel, those who turn a critical eye on the Obama presidency, and those who cast doubt on the viability of the euro.
All this is clearly and loudly endorsed and encouraged by the present political leaders of the country, who happen to be socialists.

The judiciary in France is dependent upon the government, but the same could be said about the media. Three of the six main French television channels are public channels. Other channels belong essentially to companies that rely on government contracts (public works or defense industry corporations). Newspapers and magazines depend on advertising, and more than thirty percent of their advertising revenue comes from the government or from companies that rely on government contracts.

Aside from the al Dura case and the outrageous conviction of Philippe Karsenty, there is another loathsome case that is particularly significant of what is happening in France. The French Department of Culture owns and operates many of the country's museums and subsidizes many exhibitions. More than ever, the exhibitions it subsidizes belong to the domain of propaganda: "art" is now , more than ever, an excuse to spread a falsified view of history or to incite hatred. An exhibition currently held at the Musée du Jeu de Paume is a step in this direction: it is a photographic display of the worship of "martyrs" in Palestinian families (the word "martyr" is used in the explanatory notes placed under the photos). The "martyrs" in question are all terrorists who perpetrated suicide bombings and killed Israeli civilians. The exhibition's catalog describe them as bold "resistance fighters" who fought the "colonialist occupation" and who "sacrificed their lives" for "freedom." The "artist" is a "Palestinian" woman, Ahlam Shibli.

The exhibition could move to a gallery in Gaza, and Hamas would find nothing wrong with it. It is a clear glorification of terrorism and murder. In a grotesque example of Orwellian moral inversion, the exhibition depicts murderers as victims, and victims as criminals who deserved to die. The potentially negative effect on impressionable French Muslim visitors is easy to deduce.

The main French Jewish organizations have alerted the French Department of Culture; they have said that at least a warning should be placed at the entrance of the exhibition, explaining that the "martyrs" killed innocents.

The Department of Culture answered that Ahlam Shibli was a "recognized artist," and that her work could not be "censored". Jewish organizations then called for a peaceful protest on Sunday, July 7, in front of the museum; the protest was banned by the police. French Islamic and "pro-Palestinian" movements had said they might "act" if the protest occurred. They did not have to "act." Not only did the French media unanimously praise the "artistic" work of Ahlam Shibli, but complaints were filed against the Jewish organizations who called for a protest. Why ? The Jewish organizations were accused of "inciting hatred".

In today's France, the government subsidizes photo exhibitions that glorify terrorism and incite hatred, but if you voice the truth, not only might you charged, convicted, and fined for "inciting hatred" in a court of law, but if you are threatened by Islamic and "pro-Palestinian" movements, your right to assemble in a peaceful protest will be denied.

Guy Millière


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U.S. Ambassador to Egypt: "Muslim Brotherhood's Lackey"

by Raymond Ibrahim

Why do millions of Egyptians, including politicians and activists, consider Anne Patterson, the U.S. ambassador to Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood's "stooge"—as she is so commonly referred to by many in Egypt, from the media down to the street?

In America, some are aware of matters, such as that "Patterson in particular resisted opportunities to criticize the Morsi government as it implemented increasingly authoritarian policies. In a memorable May interview with the Egyptian English-language news sit[e] Ahram Online, she repeatedly dodged pointed questions about Morsi's leadership. 'The fact is they ran in a legitimate election and won,' she said…. Republicans from Texas Senator Ted Cruz to House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce have pounced on statements like these, increasingly seeing Patterson as the key implementer for a policy that at least offers tacit support to the Muslim Brotherhood."

Following the Egyptian media, however, one discovers that the reasons Egyptians dislike Patterson are many and unambiguous.

Last week, for example, El Fagr reported that, during their most recent phone conversation, Patterson demanded that Egypt's recently appointed Supreme Commander of the Egyptian Armed Forces, General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, release all Muslim Brotherhood members currently being held for questioning: "And when Sisi rejected this order, the American ambassador began threatening him that Egypt will turn into another Syria and live through a civil war, to which Sisi responded violently: 'Neither you nor your country can overcome Egypt and its people.'"

Earlier, Patterson was reported as "trying to communicate with General Sisi, demanding dialogue with the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, and concessions to them," to which Sisi reportedly retorted: "Stop meddling in our affairs… the Egyptian people are capable of looking after their own welfare."

These are just the latest samplings from Egypt concerning the ambassador's attempts to reinstate the Brotherhood to power. The day before the fundamentalist Salafi "Nour" party withdrew from negotiations with Egypt's interim government, Al Nahar reported that Patterson had "incited them [the Salafi Nour Party] to tamper with the political scene and the road map and to threaten to withdraw from political participation if Dr. Muhammad Baradei becomes elected as Prime Minister…"

There is also widespread belief that Patterson's "meddling" in Egypt's affairs is not limited to General Sisi and the Egyptian media. Several of Egypt's revolutionary forces, including Tamarod, which played a pivotal role in the June 2013 revolution, are preparing to stage a protest in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo "calling for the ejection of ambassador Anne Patterson."

Even Muhammad Heikal—"the Arab world's most respected political commentator" and for over 50 years an Egyptian political insider—said during a live interview that Patterson had assured the Muslim Brotherhood's Hisham Qandil, who under Morsi was Egypt's Prime Minister, that "there are many forms of pressure, and America holds the keys to the Gulf."

Such blatantly pro-Muslim Brotherhood actions are what have led most Egyptians, including politicians and activists, to see Patterson as the Brotherhood's lackey. In fact, one Egyptian politician, Mustafa Bakari, concluded that "in my opinion, she [Patterson] is a member of the sleeper cells of the Brotherhood, likely recruited by Essam al-Erian or Muhammad al-Baltagi."

Then of course, it is widely known that in the days leading to the June 30 Revolution, Patterson called on Egyptians not to protest—including by meeting with the Coptic Pope and asking him specifically to urge the nation's Christian minority not to oppose the Brotherhood, even though Christians were naturally the most to suffer under Morsi, especially in the context of accusations of "blasphemy," and are the most to suffer now, in retaliation to the Brotherhood's toppling.

These reasons and more demonstrate why Anne Patterson, the U.S. ambassador to Egypt, is a disliked figure in Egypt. More importantly, they also demonstrate the unambiguous pro-Muslim Brotherhood policies of the current U.S. administration.

Raymond Ibrahim is author of the new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians (published by Regnery in cooperation with Gatestone Institute, 2013). A Middle East and Islam expert, he is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, associate fellow at the Middle East Forum.

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Kerry’s Mission Impossible

by Jerold Auerbach

No, it is not a bird, a plane or, least of all, Superman. It is only Secretary of State John Kerry flying yet again to the Middle East, this time to Jordan, in another futile attempt to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

One might infer, from the familiar destination of Kerry’s frenetic travels, that nothing else deserving of his attention is roiling the neighborhood in, say, Egypt or Syria. Kerry seems obsessed with the idea that he can broker a final solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has eluded resolution ever since the Palestinians rejected statehood back in 1947 when the United Nations voted to partition Palestine.

Never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity, as Abba Eban memorably observed of Arabs decades ago, Palestinians somewhat belatedly realized that perhaps they should turn back the clock. Ever since Jordan launched the attack against Israel in the Six-Day War that cost it the West Bank, Palestinians have demanded that the clock be reset to May 1967 with Israel’s pre-war “Auschwitz” borders (Eban again) defining the old-new reality, as though the war never happened.

Israel must also freeze settlement construction where more than 350,000 Jews now live in land that happens to be the biblical homeland of the Jewish people. And, as a good-will gesture, it must agree to the release of more than one hundred Palestinian prisoners “with blood on their hands” from murdering Jews. Then, presumably, real negotiations can begin.

If this seems like a charade, it is. But Kerry probably remembers that on the Israeli side of the table sits Benjamin Netanyahu, who has a history as prime minister of caving in to American pressure. Although he first took office in 1996 as a sharp critic of the Oslo Accords, he was quickly pressured by the Clinton administration to become more conciliatory following an eruption of Palestinian violence after a new exit from the tunnel adjacent to the Western Wall was opened – with Yasser Arafat’s approval.

Within months Netanyahu signed the Hebron Protocol, which divided the ancient city where the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people are entombed in Me’arat HaMachpelah. Jews were confined to a tiny ghetto, where they were vulnerable to Palestinian attacks because Israeli soldiers were under orders to turn the other cheek.

Early in his current term as prime minister, Netanyahu agreed to a ten-month settlement freeze to meet Palestinian Authority demands for renewed peace negotiations. Although he subsequently promised no more freezes, it was recently revealed that his government had quietly curtailed new settlement construction, receiving nothing in return. Along the way, he agreed to the exchange of more than 1000 Palestinian prisoners for imprisoned Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Nearly 300 of those released had received life sentences for the murders of 569 Israeli civilians. Within months, dozens of them were rearrested for renewed violence.

Given Netanyahu’s proclivities for submitting to diplomatic and political pressure, it is not surprising that Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon recently attempted to divert the conversation from renewed – and disastrous – Israeli concessions. His initiative would actually preserve the ancient biblical homeland for the Jewish people rather than allowing it to become a launching pad for Palestinian, Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist attacks.

“Our interest,” Danon stated bluntly, “is to retain as much territory in Judea and Samaria as possible, placing it under Israeli sovereignty.” The citizenship status of Palestinians would be decided jointly with Egypt and Jordan. They would not become citizens of Israel. Left unsaid by Danon was the likeliest outcome: West Bank Palestinians would be reunited with Jordan, as they were before 1967. Jordan, after all, comprises two-thirds of Palestine as originally defined by the League of Nations after World War I. Its population is 60 percent Palestinian. It is, de facto, the Palestinian state in Palestine (if ruled by a Hashemite king).

When Jordan was severed from Palestine in 1922 by Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill, Jews were guaranteed the right of “close settlement” west of the Jordan River. That right, never rescinded, is the international guarantee for Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. Netanyahu, the son of a distinguished historian, should know that and firmly assert Israel’s sovereign right to its own land.

As for Kerry, aptly described at the outset of his current journey by Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens as “a fool on a fool’s errand,” it is time to return to safe harbor in Nantucket where his yacht awaits him.

Jerold S. Auerbach is the author, most recently, of Against the Grain: A Historian’s Journey (Quid Pro Books, 2012).


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FGM Debate Continues in Muslim Lands

by Irfan Al-Alawi

The Al-Azhar authorities stated in 1997 that cutting female sexual organs -- even partially -- has no foundation in Islam, is medically harmful, and should not be carried out. "Everyone pretends like it never happened."
While overshadowed apparently by the general civil conflict over the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) regime in Egypt, the spreading problem of female genital mutilation (FGM) has recently shaken the land of the Nile.

Yet the mass upsurge against the tyrannical fundamentalism of the MB is related, however obscurely, to the protests against FGM.

Late in June, British media reported that Suhair Al-Ba'ta, an Egyptian girl aged 13, died during an FGM "operation." She reportedly perished from blood loss while subjected to FGM in a village north of Cairo. The latest terrible "death by FGM" of a girl in early adolescence provoked widespread outrage at the practice. Disregarding public opinion, representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), defended FGM as "Islamic."

FGM has been illegal in Egypt since 2007, after the death in an anesthesia overdose during the mutilation of a 12-year-old girl, Budour Ahmad Shaker. The Egyptian government previously attempted to suppress FGM in 1996, and to reinforce the injunction against it in 1997. Egyptian officials affirmed in 1997 that FGM was not justified by Islam, and were supported in condemning it by scholars from the Al-Azhar Supreme Council of Islamic Research, based in Al-Azhar, the preeminent university in Sunni Islam. The Al-Azhar authorities stated that cutting female sexual organs -- even partially-- has no foundation in Islam, is medically harmful, and should not be carried out.

Dr. Naglaa El-Adly, research director for Egypt's National Council for Women, has argued that the Muslim Brotherhood used its influence to prevent enforcement of the laws against FGM. Dr. El-Adly, like other experts, asserts that FGM is an ancient pagan custom in the region, with no basis in Islam. She noted the existence of the problem among Egyptian Christians, and has called on media and religious leaders "to tell people it is not related to Islam or Christianity."

The Muslim Brotherhood is joined, in defending FGM, by other male Islamist Egyptian leaders. Yusef Al-Badri, one of the country's most prominent Wahhabi preachers, has defined FGM as "ordered by shariah [religious law] from Allah," and has petitioned the Egyptian courts to abolish the anti-FGM law. In February 2013, the Egyptian High Constitutional Court rejected an attempt to annul the ban on FGM.

Al-Badri's retrograde views extend beyond FGM. At the beginning of 2012, as reported by the Egypt Independent newspaper, Al-Badri called for the establishment of an Egyptian ministry to "promote virtue" through "morals patrols" in Egypt's public places. The proposal for the introduction of "morals patrols" in Egypt came while Saudi Arabian King Abdullah had begun curbing the powers of comparable "religious police" -- a misnomer, as they have no police training.

The governments of Iran and Sudan also maintain "morals patrols," which have appeared locally and ephemerally in Indonesia and other Muslim countries.

Late in 2011, Al-Badri obtained the imprisonment of the Egyptian women journalists Fatma Al-Zahraa and Sally Hasan of the daily Al-Fajr [Morning] for, according to his allegations, violating his privacy and defaming him. Al-Zahraa was sentenced to a month in prison and Hasan to two months, for publishing an account in 2009 of Al-Badri charging a fee of about $57, at then-current exchange rates, for a fatwa [religious opinion] delivered during a "guidance session" in his home. Demanding payment for religious opinions is illegitimate in Islam. Both journalists have further been barred from work for three years.

In other countries -- including African states with Christian and animist majorities or pluralities, as well as among Muslim and non-Muslim immigrants in Europe and elsewhere -- the primitive practice of FGM continues, regardless of law. Given a religious cover, FGM may be accepted unquestioningly by mothers who impose this barbaric act of abuse on their daughters.

As in Egypt, FGM is officially prohibited in the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Still, enforcement of laws against it requires continuous effort and involves vociferous theological controversy. Some Kurdish clerics have called for such an atrocity to be eradicated, while others defend it.

At the end of May, the London Independent interviewed the Iraqi Kurdish woman poet Awezan Nuri, 31, vice president of the Pana Centre to Defend Women's Rights, which, as part of its general mission, combats FGM. Nuri described how she escaped mutilation because her father prevented her mother from submitting Awezan Nuri and her five sisters to genital cutting. Nevertheless, Nuri, at the age of 16, was forced into marriage to her 18-year old cousin, who hit her repeatedly. When she fled to her parents' home, she was beaten by her father, who insisted she return to her husband. She did so, but after her father died, she obtained a divorce.

Awezan Nuri grew up in Kirkuk, a city outside the KRG, and divided mainly among Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmens. There, the Pana Centre estimates that 38% of the local women have suffered FGM, with the number rising to 65% among Kurds in the region.

The Kirkuk Provincial Council, denying the local frequency of FGM, has rejected these figures. In March 2013 the local English-language newspaper, Kirkuk Now, published a shocking interview with a well-known local "practitioner" of FGM, Pura Gullstan, now in her mid-60s. Gullstan stated, "I perform female genital mutilation on women daily, in all the age groups; I performed FGM on a 25-year-old woman last week."

Kirkuk Now pointed out that the frequency with which Gullstan claimed to implement FGM suggests that the rate with which the savage custom is forced on young woman may be higher than that charged by the Pana Centre. "I am the saviour of the honour of women and girls," Gullstan declared. "Some of the women and girls hate me as I perform FGM on them, but as their pain fades away, or they get older, they begin to praise me."

Iraqi Kurdistan also resembles Egypt in that FGM is not limited to Muslim women. According to Kirkuk Now, "other ethnicities as well as religious groups prefer female genital mutilation."
The Pana Centre has appealed to the Iraqi central government in Baghdad for a national regulation against FGM.

Egypt and Iraqi Kurdistan are not alone in the widening protests against FGM. Writing in the Pakistan daily Tribune, Farahnaz Zahidi Moazzam in February 2013 relayed her interview with a local woman who protested plaintively, "I don't want my daughter to have to go through it. I have been through it; my mom has been through it and so has my naani (grandmother). We have been going through this forever. It's a custom -- the done thing, but I can't imagine my baby having to go through the same! I am 34 and I still remember it distinctly. I felt humiliated even as a seven-year-old. [M]ost of all I feel resentment -- even today -- over the fact that we never talked about it before or after that. Everyone pretends like it never happened."

According to Moazzam, FGM "is practiced by a few communities along the Iran-Balochistan border, and a few isolated tribes, as well as the Dawoodi Bohra community." Dawoodi Bohras are a group of about a million Shia Muslims worldwide, with a strong sectarian bent. Moazzam writes, "Female genital mutilation is one of the best kept secrets."

As women's advocates have contended, the initiative to eliminate this inhumane procedure belongs, above all, with religious leaders. Muslim scholars and clerics must act with one voice to do away with FGM, a stain on all communities in which it is found.

Irfan Al-Alawi


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