Saturday, July 27, 2013

Caroline Glick: How to Respond to EU Sanctions

by Caroline Glick

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post. 

THIS WEEK the EU took three steps that together prove Europe’s ill-intentions toward the Jewish state.

First, last Friday the EU announced it is imposing economic sanctions on Israel. The sanctions deny EU funds to Israeli entities with an address beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines. They also deny EU funds to Israeli entities countrywide that carry out activities beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines.

The areas beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines delineated by the EU directive include the Gaza Strip, which Israel abandoned eight years ago; the Golan Heights, which has been under Israeli sovereignty since 1981; eastern, northern and southern Jerusalem, which have been under Israeli sovereignty since 1967; and Judea and Samaria, over which Israel has shared governance with the PLO since 1994 in accordance with signed agreements witnessed by EU representatives.

The EU’s second action was the publication Tuesday of EU foreign policy commissioner Catherine Ashton’s letter to her fellow commissioners informing them that by the end of the year, the EU will publish binding requirements for specially labeling Israeli goods produced by Jews beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines exported to EU member states.

This act is potentially more damaging for Israel than the ban on transferring EU monies to Israeli entities with “bad” addresses. Labeling Israeli products is a means of signaling Europeans consumers that they should view all Israeli exports as morally inferior to other goods and wage a consumer boycott of Israeli products. Indeed, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius described the proposed labeling as an alternative to a broader boycott of all Israeli goods.

The EU’s third act was its decision to define Hezbollah’s “military wing” as a terrorist organization, but leave all the other Hezbollah-related institutions untouched. While the move has been applauded by Israeli politicians desperate to deny Europe’s animosity, Europe’s partial designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist entity is another act of aggression against Israel.

By pretending that Hezbollah has a legitimate “political wing” – a transparent lie that even Hezbollah has denied – the EU ensures that Hezbollah personnel and Hezbollah institutions can continue to find safe haven in Europe so long as they avoid attacking non-Jewish Europeans.

Hezbollah agents can continue raising money, planning attacks, and recruiting terrorists in Europe, as long as Hezbollah labels the activities “political.”

In other words, all Hezbollah operations directed against Israel and Jews will remain lawful in Europe.

Beyond exposing the EU’s fundamental and obsessive hostility toward the Jewish state, these three actions put paid to the EU’s protestations of allegiance to international law and commitment to bringing about peace between the Palestinians and Israel.

As ambassador Alan Baker, the former legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry, wrote in an article published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the EU’s actions against Israeli entities that operate beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines are unsupported by international law. The EU’s claim that Israel’s presence beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines is unlawful is not supported by any treaties or customs. Indeed, it is explicitly refuted by treaties and customs.

Israel’s legal rights to sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem are recognized under the law of nations through the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, which also called for “close Jewish settlement” of these areas. The Mandate’s allocation of sovereign rights over all of these areas to the Jewish people, and its recognition of the Jews as the indigenous people of the areas, has not been abrogated by any subsequent treaty. To the contrary, they were reinforced by Article 80 of the UN Charter.

Moreover, as Baker noted, the EU wrongly claims that Jewish communities beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines are illegal under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention from 1949. But authoritative interpretations of Article 49 make clear that Article 49 does not apply to such communities.

The lines the EU points to as Israel’s legal border were never borders and never legal. The 1949 Armistice Lines, which the EU falsely refers to as the 1967 borders, represent nothing more than the lines at which Israeli forces halted the invading armies of Arab states that illegally assaulted the nascent Jewish state at its birth on May 15, 1948.

The armistice agreements explicitly stated that the armistice lines lack all legal significance in terms of claims of parties to lands beyond the lines.

Finally, as Baker noted, the EU itself repeatedly supported UN resolutions and international agreements that recognize the legality of Israel’s continued control and civilian presence in the areas. As a consequence, its own actions contradict its claim that Israel’s presence and the presence of Israeli civilian communities beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines are illegal.

Beyond its unsubstantiated legal claims against Israel, both in its intention to label Israeli products and in its actions related to Hezbollah, the EU is acting in violation of international law. The EU’s intention to label Israeli products involves the imposition of trade barriers in contravention of the World Trade Organization’s legally binding rules.

By allowing Hezbollah to continue to operate in the EU, the EU is in violation of binding UN Security Council Resolution 1373 from 2001 that prohibits the use of member states’ territory for the benefit of terrorist groups.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni called the EU’s imposition of economic sanctions a “resounding wake-up call,” adding, “I hope that now all those who thought it is possible to continue with the freeze [in the peace talks with the PLO] will understand that we have to act to open negotiations, because this is the only way to protect Israel’s general interests.”

This view, which is the official view of the Left, is based on a complete denial of reality.

The EU announced its sanctions on the very same day US Secretary of State John Kerry announced he had convinced the PLO to return to peace talks with Israel. The confluence of these events could not demonstrate more clearly that the EU’s diplomatic onslaught against Israel has nothing to do with the conduct of negotiations with the PLO. If the EU’s chief interest was bringing Israel and the PLO to the negotiating table, Brussels would be sanctioning the Palestinians who have refused to negotiate with Israel since 2008.

By levying sanctions the EU does not seek to advance the cause of peace. It hopes to coerce Israel into abandoning its legitimate historic claims as the indigenous people of the Land of Israel to the lands allocated to the Jewish people under international law by the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. It hopes to coerce Israel into surrendering its right to defensible borders and voluntarily transform itself into an indefensible strategic basket case wholly dependent on the goodwill of outside powers for its survival.

The question is what can Israel do about it? Were Israel to fight fire with fire and levy counter sanctions on European goods it would be entering an economic war that it would lose and therefore has every interest in avoiding. But Israel’s inability to respond in kind to European aggression does not mean it is without options.

Europe is using economic sanctions to expand its political power over Israeli decision-makers. So Israel should act to diminish Europe’s political power in Israel.

The EU itself told Israel how to go about doing this in Paragraph 15 of the sanctions directive. It reads, “The requirements [banning the transfer of EU funds to Israeli entities operating beyond the 1949 armistice lines]… do not apply to activities which, although carried out in the territories…

aim at benefiting protected persons under the terms of international humanitarian law who live in these territories [i.e., the Palestinians] and/or at promoting the Middle East peace process in line with EU policy.”

In other words, Israeli NGOs that receive EU assistance are exempt from the financing ban if they commit to undermining Israel’s rights in the area. As the EU sees it, NGOs who receive EU money are EU agents, advancing European goals in the domestic Israeli arena, and as such should be exempted from the EU’s economic sanctions.

In a 2010 meeting with US diplomats leaked by WikiLeaks, Jessica Montell, the executive director of the Israeli-registered pro-Palestinian pressure group B’Tselem, effectively admitted that her organization would cease to exist without European funding.

According to the protocol of the meeting, Montell “estimated her NIS 9 million ($2.4 million) budget is 95 percent funded from abroad, mostly from European countries.”

TO STEM THE momentum of Europe’s new economic war, Israel’s first response to the EU’s sanctions must be swift passage in the Knesset of a law requiring all Israeli entities that agree to operate under the EU’s funding guidelines to register as foreign agents and report all EU contributions.

Those contributions should be taxed at the highest corporate tax rate.

EU officials have stated repeatedly that they seek to undermine Israeli control over Area C. Area C is the area of Judea and Samaria where, in accordance with agreements signed between the PLO and Israel, Israel exercises most civil and military authorities. The EU is funding projects in Area C whose stated goal is to make it impossible over time for Israel to assert its authority over the area.

Israel’s second response to the EU’s announcement of economic sanctions on Israeli economic activity in Judea and Samaria should be to suspend all EU projects in Area C. Future EU projects should be subject to intense scrutiny by the civil administration. Israel’s default position should be to reject, rather than approve, such requests, given their hostile intent.

Finally, EU peacekeeping forces from Gaza to Lebanon to Syria have repeatedly proven not only their cowardice, but their willingness to act in ways that endanger Israel in order to protect themselves.

In Gaza, EU border guards fled to Israel following Hamas’s takeover of the area in 2007.

Along the border with Syria, Austrian peacekeepers fled at the first sign of trouble, leaving Israel to deal with Syrian breaches of the European-sanctioned 1974 disengagement agreement by itself.

European forces in UNIFIL in Lebanon have signed protection agreements with Hezbollah where in exchange for European forces’ turning a blind eye to Hezbollah’s illegal use of civilian infrastructures as military installations, Hezbollah has promised not to murder European forces.

Given this track record, Israel should bar European forces from further participation in armed forces in Israel. To this end, Israel should allow the mandate of the European-dominated Temporary International Presence in Hebron to expire when it next comes up for review. The TIPH, which has been deployed to the city since 1994, is composed of forces from Denmark, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

Israel has for years been operating under the misguided belief that the EU would eventually come around and side with Israel against its enemies.

This belief has been informed by equal doses of innocence and wishful thinking. The EU’s decision to initiate an economic war against the Jewish state forces Israel to abandon its long-held illusions.

Israel has options for responding forcefully to Europe’s aggression. If judiciously and firmly employed, these responses can diminish the Europeans’ interest in escalating this economic war, by denying them the political victory they seek.

Caroline Glick


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

Israel Prepares for Jihadis

by Yaakov Lappin

As thousands of radical jihadis have moved from abroad into Syria and the Sinai Peninsula, and joined radicalized local fighters to create the largest pro-al-Qaeda presence in the region, Israel is perfecting its ability to neutralize targets as quickly as possible.
As al-Qaeda-affiliated radical forces pour into areas bordering Israel's north and south, the Israeli defense establishment is adjusting itself to prepare for a new, post "Arab spring" reality.

According to Israeli security assessments, thousands of radical jihadis have moved into Syria from abroad, and joined radicalized local fighters to create the largest pro-al-Qaeda presence in the region.

The concern now is that Syria will act a springboard for jihad [holy war in the service of Islam] and that terrorists will move from Syria to nearby states -- Lebanon, Jordan, and the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt -- to create zones of extremism and violence.

This trend has already begun to take shape in Syria's neighbor, Iraq, where, since the spring months, thousands of people have been murdered in bombings and shootings in resurgent al-Qaeda attacks, mainly on Shi'ite targets.

The newly empowered Iraqi al-Qaeda elements are tied to Syria's largest al-Qaeda-affiliated group, the Al Nusra Front.

If or when the regime of Bashar Assad crumbles and these rebels seize Damascus, Israel and the US would immediately have to answer the question of how to secure Syria's enormous chemical weapons arsenal. Allowing those and other weapons to fall into radical hands is unthinkable.

IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz observes an exercise in the Golan Heights, near the border with Syria, in November 2011. (Source:IDF)

Meanwhile, to Israel's south, thousands of jihadi fighters have turned the Sinai Peninsula into a terrorist base. The Egyptian military, although occupied with efforts to stabilize Cairo, Alexandria, and other cities, has internalized the scope of the new threat in Sinai, and is busy preparing a large counter-terrorism offensive to rein in the radicals. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Egypt will likely launch the operation in the near future, and that it will proceed for a long period of time.

Despite increased Egyptian counter-terrorism efforts, senior Israel Defense Force [IDF] officials have stated that they expect the terrorists in Sinai sooner or later to attack Israel again.

These attacks could take two forms. First, they could fire rockets at Israeli population centers, such as the Red Sea resort city of Eilat, which relies heavily on tourism, and is located a stone's throw from the Sinai Peninsula.

Eilat has been already been targeted several times in recent years by Sinai terrorists firing rockets; the IDF recently mobilized an Iron Dome anti-rocket battery near the city to protect it from future rocket threats.

The second type of threat involves a ground raid by cells of terrorists armed with bombs, shoulder-held rockets, and automatic weapons, and with a view to penetrating the Israeli frontier and striking either a high-value target or a civilian population center inside the country.

Due to the increase in regional jihadi activity, as time goes by the chance of such incidents increases.

The IDF, not resting on its laurels, has put into action a large-scale plan to prepare Israel's northern and southern borders for the new threats they face.

On both borders, fences with sophisticated electronic sensors have been erected. Infantry brigades are being mobilized for border patrols in growing numbers. And commanders have increased the number of Artillery Corps and Armored Corps units.

As a direct response to the rising threat, the IDF held its largest Paratroopers Brigade exercise this week, in which, to practice mobilizing large forces behind enemy lines at a moment's notice, a thousand soldiers parachuted at night from Hercules transport planes to the ground. After landing, the paratroopers practiced how to form quickly into battalions, link up at staging grounds and launch assaults on enemy targets.

A senior IDF source said the exercise was taking place because "the enemies around us are gathering near our borders." He described the ability to parachute a thousand paratroopers behind enemy lines as a "huge advantage."

Col. Eliezer Toledano, Commander of the Paratroopers Brigade, said, "Many eyes are watching us in this drill: The eyes of the Israeli people, who must know that when Israel decides to, it can send 1,000 combat soldiers deep into enemy territory at a moment's notice; the eyes of IDF senior command, who knows it needs only mark the spot, and we'll already be there; and the eyes of our enemies, who will know that any moment, more than 1,000 paratroopers keen for battle will spit fire behind their lines."

Additionally, the IDF is working hard on gaining improved intelligence pictures of what is occurring beyond the northern and borders – an effort that includes the setting up of new field surveillance unit.

Throughout, the IDF is perfecting its ability to identify and neutralize targets as quickly as possible, by employing accurate firepower from a range of platforms.

In a region which is facing its most uncertain phase in decades, Israel is taking every possible step to ensure it is ready for anything.

Yaakov Lappin


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

Political Fairy Tales from America's Enemies

by Peter Huessy

Cyber privacy, while a valid concern, is preventing us from seeing how cyber technology is a tool of war our enemies are busy perfecting. Can you imagine what Iran will do once it has a nuclear weapons shield under which to act, in addition to terrorism, cyber warfare and escalating fuel prices?
The Soviet Union and its successor regime were, and still are, masters at creating "propaganda legends masquerading as historical evidence," writes Vladimir Tismaneanu, the director of Maryland's Center for the Study of Post-Communist Societies, in praising a new book, Disinformation, a history of the secret strategies employed by communism to subvert freedom and promote terrorism.

The book's author, Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest-ranking Soviet bloc intelligence official ever to defect to the West, follows up his 1988 Red Horizons, an exposé of the massive crimes of Romania's President, Nicolae Ceausescu.

The dangers of political fairy tales, dreamed up by our foreign enemies and which take hold in America, is the top theme of the book.

The Russian-run National Council of Churches (NCC), for example, held a press conference in March, 1996, announcing a "huge increase" in arson cases committed against black churches in the United States. On June 8, in response, a Federal task force was appointed to investigate; and on June 15, 200 FBI and ATF agents were assigned to the case.

Accounts of arson against black churches snowballed; 2,200 press articles appeared to condemn what one organization called "a well-organized white-supremacist movement." The Geneva-based World Council of Churches flew 38 pastors to Washington to provide more information.

On July 13, President Clinton signed into law the Church Fire Prevention Act of 1996, making church arson a federal crime; and a "Burned Churches Fund" of the NCC quickly raised $9 million.

But then members of the National Fire Protection Association released information proving church arson had been declining markedly, and that they could not confirm any which had been racially motivated.

The hoax perpetrated by the World Council of Churches had been entirely controlled by Russian intelligence. The damage, however, had been done: 40% of Canadian teenagers, for example, agreed that the United States was "evil."

We are now in the grips of two "legends" which are, ironically, not creations of Moscow or Peking or Tehran: they are home-grown.

And both legends are propping up our deadliest enemies, as well as supporting the terrorism about which we are so concerned. Also, both legends are being perpetuated by these same enemies, plus others.

The first involves "Global Warming," And the second involves "Cyber Warfare." Both legends are killing us, literally and figuratively, as well as dramatically undermining both our security and our economic well-being.

Global Warming

The Kyoto agreement to curtail greenhouse gases to diminish global warming was adopted December 11, 1997. It entered into force on February 16, 2005.

Its thesis is simple: that the burning of fossil fuels -- petroleum, coal and natural gas -- heats the planet, and will eventually cause an environmental catastrophe. We are told that as possessors of only 5% of the conventional oil reserves, but consumers of 25% of the oil produced globally, we cannot rely upon fossil fuels for our future energy supply and we therefore should use a lot less energy.

Furthermore, goes the fairy tale, there is no purpose in producing more oil here at home because we simply do not have that much.

Therefore, we are told, we have to accept sky-high oil prices of over $4 a gallon, but that we do not have to worry: higher prices will lead to alternatives such as solar and wind.

Well, what are the "facts"?

Over the past half century, as Robert Zubrin has well documented, every spike in oil prices has led to a U.S. recession. On July 4th, 2008, oil hit $147 barrel and crashed the US economy. The US lost $6 trillion in wealth.

Now, five years later, we still have slower economic growth, stagnant incomes and sluggish job creation.

In 1972, we spent $4 billion on imported oil. By 2006, we spent $260 billion. By 2008, the oil import bill reached $450 billion, with our total oil bill at $900 billion. The world spent $3.6 trillion, at least 60% of which went to sovereign wealth funds and governments.

State-sponsored terrorism is highly correlated with both these state owned petroleum resources and OPEC. As the former Director of Central Intelligence, Ambassador R. James Woolsey, quips, this is the only war in which we are funding both sides. The victims -- the US and the West -- are paying the bill of the attackers -- Iran, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia.

Happily, the technology of fracking has developed both millions of barrels of unconventional oil per year and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. Shortly, the US will be the biggest producer in the world of fossil fuel energy. Moreover, the substitute of natural gas for coal consumption has lowered our greenhouse gas emissions to a level not seen since the early 1990s.

The mythology of global warming, however, imprisons its enthusiasts into still believing the US has only a very small fraction of fossil fuel reserves.

Given the high cost of energy, it is highly unlikely the "normal economic recovery" we still seek will materialize. Only $28 a barrel in December 2008, oil has hovered around $100 for nearly four years. If you add to that the uncertain regulatory environment on health care and the troublesome debt clouds on the horizon, you will see that America's economic wealth is literally trillions of dollars below its potential. As Dr. Zubrin has explained, the past four years have seen close to a $2 trillion transfer of US wealth primarily to OPEC energy producers, a key number of whom are sworn enemies of the United States. And many of whom are investing heavily in major US financial institutions, control over which has significant implications for US sovereignty.

The debt issue, which arises directly from the energy-triggered poor economic and job growth in the US economy, has in turn led us into a spending cul-de-sac in which the cudgel of sequestration now threatens to destroy our military readiness and future technological strength upon which our national security and military capability must rest.

Our worst enemies could not have designed a better strategy to diminish our nation's power and our national security. Who profits the most? OPEC, Venezuela, Iran and Russia among others.

Cyber Warfare

Not content to crush our economy with unnecessarily high energy prices, we have adopted a second fairy tale that may well be even more economically damaging than $4 gasoline and $100 oil.

The irony of the second fairy tale is that while cyber warfare against the United States is a fact of life, we have lulled ourselves into thinking the culprit is excessive gathering of data by our National Security Agency [NSA]. Or, even more foolishly, that if we do not engage in such data-gathering, nobody else will and somehow we will still be safe. Google alone has 50 million results under "NSA Guilty."

So, while we are arguing over whether NSA is snooping "too much," our enemies are robbing us blind of a significant amount of our wealth and technology by using the very cyber technology we are trying to curtail.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers explained the dangers we face, on July 22, at the International Institute of Strategic Studies. Iran, manipulating oil data, took down some 30,000 computers of Saudi Aramco last August. Organized crime, much from Russia and China, attack a single credit card processor some 300,000 times a day.

China and others have stolen intellectual property from the United States, says NSA Director General Keith Alexander, including lost business and technology, to the tune of $2 trillion over the past two years. That technology then gets put into products and services that are put on the market by our competitors or applied to military technology that threatens the US and its allies.

Unfortunately, we are losing this fight. The US, Rogers emphasized, does not, as a matter of course, use cyber warfare against others.

But our adversaries do.

Using cyber warfare, Russia shut down the Estonian economy in 2007 and prepared for its invasion of South Ossetia by attacking Georgia in 2008. China's economic growth of 6-7% annually, says Rogers, is fueled in large part by stolen American innovation.

Some argue that there is little to worry about because everybody can deter everybody else. The theory is that, given our collective reliance upon the internet and computers, as everyone is vulnerable to a very high degree, no one will use cyber warfare on a regular basis out of the fear of retaliation. A corollary to this is that the gravest threat from cyber is not an attack from foreign entities, but from us undermining our privacy.

Soldiers from the Virginia Guard's Data Processing Unit conduct a computer network defense exercise on Sept. 15, 2012 in Fairfax. The exercise used different cyber scenarios of varying difficulty in order to evaluate the proficiency levels of the unit's soldiers in computer network defense. (Source: Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Chairman Rogers explained how China embedded in the US electrical grid source codes capable of shutting it down. Some may see this simply as China taking precautionary measures to be able to threaten retaliation should the US attack first.

This view, however, is misguided, says Rogers. China is simply "preparing the economic battlefield" of the 21st century." One company, American Super Computer, dropped in value from $1.8 billion to $170 million after having its technology stolen during a joint venture. Three years ago, China was identified as the number one cyber threat to America, yet today we are losing the fight; barely keeping our head above water, he warns.

Cyber warfare is not just a tool which countries are using to seek economic advantage; as the name implies it is also a tool of war.

Take for example Iran. It is not as if Iran is minding its own business. "According to the Department of Defense," says Rogers, "Iran is responsible for the death of 600 American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan." Can you imagine, he warns, what Iran will do once it has a nuclear weapons shield under which to act, in addition to using terrorism and cyber warfare?

Unfortunately, he says, the sanctions in place against Iran have not slowed down its pursuit of nuclear weapons. It is even more imperative, therefore, that the US and its allies protect themselves not only from cyber threats but also move to keep both Tehran and its nuclear program in check.

Waking Up

During the Cold War the Soviets lulled us to sleep with wonderful fairy tales about détente and peaceful coexistence even as they rampaged around the globe supporting terrorism masquerading as "wars of national liberation."

For too many years now, the US has been in the thrall of these twin "legends" of "dezinformatsiya" that would make the Kremlin proud.

Global warming has been used as a tool to damage US economic growth while adding to the power of the energy regulatory anaconda that grips our economy as well as to the limits on greenhouse gases which look forthcoming. And cyber privacy, while a valid concern, is preventing us from seeing how cyber technology is a tool of war our adversaries are busy perfecting.

Difficult as it is, failing to "Provide for the Common Defense" is not an option our Constitution allows us. As Rep. Rogers explains, "Years ago we fell asleep. We are now awake and the threats are clear." We have no excuse not to act.

Peter Huessy


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

The Shadow of the Soviet Union over the Muslim World

by Daniel Greenfield


It has been over two decades since the Soviet Union ceased to exist, but evil organizations cast a shadow over the world even when they are long gone. “The evil that men do lives after them,” Mark Anthony said in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. History has repeatedly backed up that oratory with facts.

The evil that the men and women of the Communist superpower did lives on after them, not only in the many lives lost to Communist terror and the countless families scarred by being deprived of loved ones, but in the foul vapor of Soviet ideas. These ideas can be divided into two categories; the ideas that have been formally acknowledged and those ideas that were spread covertly through underhanded means.

It is this latter set of secret ideas that Disinformation, a book by Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest ranking Soviet bloc intelligence official to defect to the free world, and Ronald J. Rychlak deals with. Overt ideas can be defended against. Covert ideas however must be detected to be defended against.

Disinformation looks at the impact of the Soviet Union’s covert propaganda campaigns in the United States and around the world. One particularly significant corner of the world that Disinformation takes us to is the Muslim world.

There were some who thought that the Muslim world and the militantly secular Soviet Union would never be able to collaborate together. Indeed the Carter Administration bet so hard on that particular mistaken idea that it helped give birth to an Islamic Iran run by the Ayatollah Khomeini as part of its Green Belt strategy. But long before that, Disinformation informs us that the Soviet Union was busily arranging its alliances in the Muslim world while betting on its own version of the Green Belt strategy.

In the ’30s and ’40s, Nazi Germany reached out to the Muslim Brotherhood using a common language of anti-Semitism. Ion Mihai Pacepa reveals that the Soviet Union played the same game in the seventies, disseminating its Arabic translations of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion across the Muslim world. The historical irony of the Communist intelligence services distributing a piece of disinformation originally manufactured by the Czarist secret police shows us how little some things change and how history has a way of coming full circle.

While Muslim anti-Semitism obviously long predated the KGB’s efforts, as with the Nazis, the USSR’s gifts provided a common language and a common set of goals. That commonality made it possible to plant agents of influence and to train terrorist leaders like President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, a product of the USSR’s infamous Patrice Lumumba University, not to mention, as the book alleges, the Ayatollah Khomeini, Al Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri and Yasser Arafat.

And while the short-term target of this effort was the State of Israel, the long term targets included the United States and the rest of the free world.

The KGB First Directorate’s chief, Lieutenant General Aleksandr Sakharovsky, wielding responsibility for foreign intelligence, said, “In today’s world, when nuclear arms have made military force obsolete, terrorism should become our main weapon.”

But terrorism required someone else to do the killing. The Soviet Union’s agents of influence could stir the pot, but it still took an ideology that people were willing to kill and die for. And despite the success of some left-wing Middle Eastern terrorist groups, fulfilling Andropov’s vision of creating a billion adversaries aimed at America could only be done by harnessing the killing power of Islam.

As the former head of the KGB who later rose to lead the Soviet Union, Andropov embodied the state of terror as no man since Stalin had been able to. A state of terror at home in the Soviet Union meant a secret police and political repression, but as a state of terror abroad, the Soviet Union spread terrorism through bombings and airplane hijackings of American and Israeli targets.

The long term goal was to destabilize the Middle East in a way that would make it a particular danger zone for the United States. While the Soviet Union is long gone, the Middle East has long since been a danger zone and continues to become even more dangerous year by year. While the Soviet Union never succeeded in its goal of making the Middle East completely toxic to the United States, the Arab Spring came far closer than many Soviet efforts did in transforming formerly safe countries into hostile territory.

The power of disinformation is the power of bad ideas. Bad ideas can linger on even long after those organizations and governments that set them loose have collapsed or dissolved. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion outlived the regime under which it was manufactured. Similarly the Soviet Union’s efforts in the Middle East have outlived the fall of the Berlin Wall, the coup against Gorbachev and the lowering of the red flag over the Kremlin.

Bad ideas infect people with a worldview that distorts their actions. They can make self-defense seem like a terrible evil and appeasement seem like the zenith of human civilization. They can turn the most vicious and murderous terrorists into humanitarians and transform actual humanitarians into terrorists. And their existence can only be inferred from their outcomes. Where there is chaos and destruction, malaise, corruption and despair, there the disinformation has done its dreadful work.

The Soviet Union may be dead, but like Marx’s specter of Communism wandering across Europe, its bad ideas still haunt and possess many of the leaders of the free world. And when those leaders look out at the world, they don’t do so as Americans, as Frenchmen or Englishmen, but through the tinted red lenses of a dead evil empire.

Wherever the disinformation of the Soviet Union spread and wherever its ideas were accepted and came to be seen as mere common sense, there the evil that men do lives on after them.

Daniel Greenfield


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

Poll: 84% of Israeli Jews against Palestinian Prisoner Release

by Israel Hayom Staff

Israel Hayom poll: A majority believe peace process should not entail the release of deadly terrorists and the return to the 1967 borders, but two-state solution still popular • 73.1% say new talks will not produce an agreement that resolves conflict.

Blood on their hands. Palestinian terrorists released in previous deals.
Photo credit: Reuters

Israel Hayom Staff


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

Indyk: a Disastrous Choice for Mediator

by Isi Leibler

The US State Department has floated a trial balloon to test the idea of former US Ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, serving as mediator in the forthcoming peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. It is not surprising that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has signaled his approval. What is incomprehensible is that Prime Minister Netanyahu has done likewise.

Unfortunately the prospect of genuine progress in the negotiations is extraordinarily slim. There is no evidence that the Palestinian Authority will compromise on a single issue. In the unlikely event that the weak, corrupt President Abbas does make even a single concession, his Fatah supporters will immediately topple him.

Nonetheless, an “honest broker” is essential to the process. However, Martin Indyk is not that broker. His track record in presiding over previous peace negotiations indicates that if re-appointed, he will, in all probability, direct negotiations in a manner to ensure that Israel will be blamed for their failure.
Indyk has had an impressive political career. Educated in Australia, he moved to the US where he joined AIPAC and subsequently held executive positions at prestigious Washington, DC think-tanks (Executive Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and Director of Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution). He also has assumed key political positions (Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs in the Clinton administration). After becoming a naturalized US citizen, President Clinton appointed him US Ambassador to Israel - the first foreign born and first Jew to hold the position. He served two terms, from April 1995 to September 1997 and from January 2000 to July 2001.

Indyk’s rise in the political arena has been ascribed to his talent of adjusting to the prevailing political climate of the Democratic leadership. When President Obama was elected, Indyk aligned himself with the new leader, and enthusiastically participated in Obama’s Israel-bashing and Netanyahu-snubbing. He was unsparing and, at times, vicious in his criticism of our Prime Minister, and laid the bulk of the blame on Netanyahu for the breakdown in Israeli-Palestinian relations.
He has moved further and further to the left as his career unfolded. He served as International Chair of the New Israel Fund, an organization that has repeatedly been castigated for funding rabid anti-Zionist and anti-Israel NGOs, including several organizations that compiled distorted and false information for the notorious Goldstone Report accusing the IDF of engaging in war crimes.

Aside from occasional lip service to their failings, Indyk became an aggressive apologist for the Palestinians and at one stage even identified himself with those defending Arafat’s rebuff of Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s extreme concessions at Camp David.

Indyk has made outrageous claims about Israel’s de-stabilizing effect on the Middle East, and the need for Israel’s to bend to the will of the United States, threatening, “If Israel is a superpower and does not need $3 billion in military assistance and protection, and [does not require] the efforts of the US to isolate and pressure Iran, then go ahead and do what you like. If you need the US, then you need to take American interests into account… Israel has to adjust its policy to the interest of the United States or there will be serious consequences.”

He has also made the obscene charge that it was Israeli intransigence that contributed to US military casualties in Afghanistan, accusing Israel of endangering “a vital security interest of the United States.” The “intransigence” he was alluding to was the settlement construction then taking place in Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.

He stooped even lower when he stated that Prime Minister Netanyahu should take into account that President Obama was obliged to write 30-40 condolence letters a week. To climax his antagonistic attitude towards Israel, in 2010 Indyk publicly urged Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli government to cede the Golan Heights to Syria.

Indyk frequently invokes the memory of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who he refers to as “Israel’s greatest strategic thinker.” But Rabin would have undoubtedly rejected an American spokesman or diplomat with the chutzpah to make the demands on Israel as made by Indyk. He would have dismissed him for his lack of respect for Israel’s sovereignty and his treatment of it as a vassal state. Certainly, Rabin would never have endorsed Indyk’s calls to divide Jerusalem and to make unilateral territorial concessions.

Most of us continue to dream of peace. However, we recognize that with the current chaos and violence in the region, the likelihood of moving forward with a peace “partner” who sanctifies murder and engages in vicious incitement is almost a mirage. Yet to demonstrate our commitment to leave no stone unturned in our desire for peace, we have succumbed to pressure and unfortunately compromised the rights of terror victims and their families, by releasing hundreds of mass murderers as a “goodwill gesture” to sit at the negotiating table.

Yet the extraordinary lengths to which we will go for the sake of peace will not move us forward if the US mediator is an American Jew, whose recent track record is indistinguishable from that of J Street in seeking to pressure Israel to make unilateral concessions. That such a politically jaundiced Jew is being proposed for this role is cause for grave concern.

Prime Minister Netanyahu would be well advised to bite the bullet now and resist pressure to accept Indyk as mediator. Otherwise, we will once again be accused of intransigency and inflexibility, if not the cause of an upsurge in violence that President Abbas has already threatened should his demands go unmet.

The writer’s website can be viewed at
He may be contacted at
 This column was originally published in the Jerusalem Post and Israel Hayom

Isi Leibler


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

Hizballah Officials Reject Targeting of "Wings"

by John Rossomando

When European Union (EU) designated Hizballah's military wing as a terrorist group earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described it as a half measure.

All of Hizballah – its political and military wings – should be blacklisted. "As far as the State of Israel is concerned, Hezbollah is one organization, the arms of which are indistinguishable," Netanyahu said.

While they aren't happy with the designation, Hizballah officials agree about their structure, as the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) shows in a new report.

"In our resistance, we do not distinguish between one position and another position, because we never divided our movement in such a way that we would have different projects," Hizballah deputy secretary-general Na'im Qassem said in May. "Therefore, all our martyrs in every position are martyrs [who perished] by force of the obligation [to wage] jihad... We do not maintain one status for a resistance fighter and another [for someone] who is not a resistance fighter. We do not have a military arm and another [arm] that is political."

MEMRI cited a Hizballah communique issued after the EU action. It called the designation a "submission to American extortion … drafted by American hands in Zionist ink" that won't change anything. Secretary General Hasan Nasrallah also mocked the EU decision in a speech Monday, promising, "A government without Hizballah will never be formed. Just as a joke, I propose that our ministers in the next government be from the military wing of Hizballah."

The EU decision came after an investigation blamed Hizballah for last year's bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed seven Israeli tourists and the bus driver.

Hizballah's political arm is every bit as involved with its decisions to engage in terrorist activities as is its military arm. This is underscored by the fact that the sons of Hizballah government ministers and members of Lebanon's parliament are fighting under Hizballah's banner inside of Syria, the MEMRI report notes.

John Rossomando


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

Egyptian Army Fires into pro-Morsi Crowd: Dozens Killed

by Rick Moran

Seeking to break up a demonstration that was blocking a key road artery in Cairo, the Egyptian army apparently fired live ammunition into a crowd of thousands of pro-Morsi supporters, killing dozens and wounding many hundreds.

Exact numbers of dead and wounded are hard to come by. Al-Jazeera claims 120 have died with over 1000 wounded. This Reuters report tallies 57 dead with on scene reports saying that up to 80 were killed. The Muslim Brotherhood echoes the al-Jazeera number of 120 dead while claiming 4,500 wounded.

Whatever the number, the change in tactics by the police appears to have ratcheted up the crisis a couple of notches.


Men in helmets and black police fatigues fired on crowds gathered before dawn on the fringes of a round-the-clock sit-in near a mosque in northeast Cairo, Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood said.
"They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill," said Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad. "The bullet wounds are in the head and chest."
A Muslim Brotherhood website said 120 people had been killed and some 4,500 injured. A Reuters reporter counted 36 bodies at one morgue, while health officials said there were a further 21 corspes in two nearby hospitals.
Activists rushed blood-spattered casualties into a makeshift hospital, some were carried in on planks or blankets. One ashen teenager was laid out on the floor, a bullet hole in his head.
Egypt's Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told reporters only 21 had died and denied police had opened fire, accusing the Brotherhood of exaggerating for political ends.
Ibrahim said local residents living close to the Rabaa al-Adawia mosque vigil had clashed with protesters in the early hours after they had blocked off a major road bridge. He said that police had used teargas to try to break up the fighting.
Well over 200 people have been killed in violence since the army toppled Mursi on July 3, following huge protests against his year in power. The army denies accusations it staged a coup, saying it intervened to prevent national chaos.
The Arab world's most populous state is battling economic woes and struggling with the transition to democracy two years after Hosni Mubarak was swept from power in the Arab Spring.
Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians had poured onto the streets on Friday in response to a call by army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for nationwide demonstrations to give him backing to confront the weeks-long wave of violence.
His appeal was seen as a challenge to the Brotherhood, which organized its own rallies on Friday calling for the return of Mursi, who has been held in an undisclosed location since his ousting and faces a raft of charges, including murder.
Brotherhood leaders appealed for calm on Saturday, but activists at the Rabaa al-Adawia mosque vigil voiced fury.
There were reports of snipers on nearby rooftops. Indeed, most of the dead suffered head and chest wounds from high powered rifles.

But the police are reporting that they were fired on first, with several officers suffering gun shot wounds. This would indicate that the Muslim Brotherhood knows exactly what it's doing as far as trying to gin up outrage against the military. There probably aren't a lot of Brotherhood armed cadres in those crowds - but there are probably enough of them to provoke a violent response from the army.

If this is a change in tactics by the army, there are going to be many more massacres like this one.

Rick Moran


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

Obama and Egypt’s Hamas Connection

by Jonathan S. Tobin

The Obama administration’s ambivalence about the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt has been obvious. This week, it tiptoed up to the brink of cutting off aid to the Egyptian military that had ousted President Mohammed Morsi but it stopped short of taking that drastic step. Rather than do something that would jeopardize the new government’s stability and send a message that Washington was determined to oust it, Obama and made do with a gesture that would satisfy its desire to express his indignation about the turn of events: the delay of the shipment of four F-16 fighter jets to Cairo. While the administration deserves some restrained applause for at least not doing something to worsen the already dangerous situation in Egypt, the latest developments show that even this slap on the wrist may have been a mistake.

With Brotherhood supporters continuing to take to the streets to demonstrate their anger as violence spread throughout the country, the conflict there has now been exposed as involving not just Egyptian factions but the Hamas terrorists that rule Gaza. And that’s something that Americans looking on from afar ought to be taking into account when they think about where America’s interests lie.

Hamas had hoped to exploit the ascent of Morsi and the Brotherhood last year to expand its ties with Egypt and strengthen its strategic position. That didn’t work out quite as well as they had hoped as Morsi was not eager to further complicate his relationship with the Egyptian military by involving the country in any adventures against Israel. Nor was he eager to allow a free flow of arms into Gaza via the smuggling tunnels from Egypt. But the Brotherhood government still allowed the Sinai to devolve into a Wild West situation that was dangerous to both Israel and Egypt. Despite Morsi’s seeming ambivalence, Hamas was a major beneficiary of the fall of the Mubarak’s regime.

Since ousting Morsi, the military has made it clear that the relatively brief era during which it appeared the Islamist rulers have a friend in Cairo is over. They have shut down the tunnels and closed the border with Gaza. Just as important, the military, which has been holding Morsi under arrest since the coup earlier this month, have now charged him with conspiring with Hamas in “hostile acts” against Egypt, a reference to the belief that it was the Islamist terror group’s agents that helped spring him from prison during the last days of Mubarak’s rule while killing police officers and military personnel.

The point is, the new government in Cairo may well have come to power in a coup (though the U.S. is careful not to call it one since that would make it impossible to continue to keep aid flowing) and not be democratic. But it has saved the country from falling, perhaps irrevocably into the grip of an Islamist regime that would have transformed the nation in ways that would have created an era of oppression for liberal and secular Egyptians. Just as important, though there will be no thawing of the ice-cold peace with Israel, the new rulers have shut off Hamas from a source of aid and political influence. The coup not only has preserved peace with Israel but it will make it even harder for Hamas to destabilize the region.

Viewed from this context there is no good reason for the Obama administration to go on sulking about Morsi’s departure or exerting pressure on the Egyptian military to include the Brotherhood in a new government or free Morsi to plot new mayhem in Cairo. If Hamas knows which side it is on in the struggle over Egypt’s future, President Obama should realize there shouldn’t be any doubt about whom the U.S. should be backing.
Jonathan S. Tobin


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