Saturday, November 30, 2013

Our International Trial

by Dror Eydar

1. We should be thanking the European Union for making us insist, time and again, that Israel is our own ancestral country. Love of the Jewish people is not the most prominent characteristic of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who came up with the regulations forbidding the EU to provide economic support to any Israeli "entity" with an address in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights and even east Jerusalem (!). Exempt from the restrictions are activities that "aim at benefiting protected persons under the terms of international humanitarian law who live in these territories and/or at promoting the Middle East peace process in line with EU policy." In other words, left-wing organizations that work to cut us off from our own land, the land on which our lives are based, are eligible for EU funds.

Of course, the ones who write the resolutions anchor them in "international law" as the EU sees it. The EU regards some parts of our homeland as "occupied territory" -- in other words, under Israel's belligerent occupation. Hence the claim that the settlements are illegal, so the EU must stop providing any grants that support them so as not to be tainted by their illegality. That was reason enough for all "Israel's land-lovers" to rejoice and accuse the settlement enterprise of impeding Israel's scientific progress.

Before we get to the resolution, we should take another look at the simple truth, which is anchored in the law of nations and in international law: Judea and Samaria are not conquered territories that we took from another country. 

Since 70 C.E., when we were destroyed as a political entity, no sovereign country or any other nation controlled the Land of Israel; only empires did. After the War of Independence in 1948, Jordan annexed the region, but no one recognized the annexation except Great Britain and Pakistan. Israel's point of departure was that as far as it was concerned, the territories were, at worst, disputed. We claim full ownership of all of them by virtue of the resolution of the Entente Powers, also known as the Allies (the organization that preceded the United Nations after World War I) at the San Remo Conference in April 1920. During the conference, Great Britain was given the mandate to fulfill the Balfour Declaration -- "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." The mandate included even Transjordan and, certainly, Judea and Samaria.

Our claim to ownership also stems from our historical rights, which were recognized in the law of the nations. In the Six Day War, Israel took the land from a country that was not its rightful owner. Before that, the Arabs who lived there never complained that the land was occupied. That only happened once the Yahud ("Jews" in Arabic) came. As everybody knows, the Yahud are not allowed to control land under Muslim ownership (known as waqf, or trust) -- which is how the Muslims see the Land of Israel.

In short, from a legal perspective the laws of occupation do not apply here; land that does not belong to anyone cannot be conquered. The claim that Jewish settlement of the land is "illegal" under international law is not accurate. On the strength of the claims noted above, we as Jews have legal rights to the land, so the establishment of settlements is legal. If it is claimed that we are not allowed to put facts on the ground, the other side should be told that as well. But they build and put facts on the ground there; there is no reason to sit idle and allow our rivals to decide our fate.

2. And then come the Europeans, who are not interested in justice for us, but only in justice for the Arabs. As we know, throughout its long history, Europe was never all that interested in justice for the Jews. This truth alone should release us from any need to take their world view into consideration and act in the Jewish state according to our own truth, values and interests. People quote David Ben-Gurion's statement: "It does not matter what the non-Jews say; it matters what the Jews do." That statement deserves emphasis, especially during Hanukkah.

Let us discuss the European Union's assumption, which does not want to support Israeli control in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and Jerusalem since it sees them as occupied territory. Well, there are about 200 disputed territories worldwide. Most of them are under belligerent occupation or the effective control of a country that has no legitimate claim to sovereignty over them. In 1979, Morocco annexed Western Sahara, which is 12 times larger than Israel. The European Union does not recognize Morocco's sovereignty over the area. The Turkish republic that was established in Northern Cyprus after the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974 is, for all practical purposes, a Turkish satellite state. The European Union does not recognize the Turkish occupation. Another instance: Abkhazia was a district in northwestern Georgia until 2008. After the war in South Ossetia, Abkhazia broke away and declared its independence, under Russia's aegis. Here, too, the European Union does not recognize Abkhazian sovereignty.

In these three cases, the European Union signed agreements for political and economic cooperation with the areas in question, even though they were under occupation. Recently, the EU signed a fisheries agreement with Morocco in which it commits to allocate grants for the development of Morocco's fisheries industry in exchange for access to its waters. The agreement includes the occupied territory in Western Sahara.

Regarding the occupied territory in Northern Cyprus, last year the EU published a booklet showing off its various projects there. The Turkish settlers who were brought there after the invasion in 1974 (most of whom do not have EU citizenship) can receive EU funds in the form of scholarships, business grants, upgrades in infrastructure such as road safety and sewage treatment, improvement of cultural heritage sites and even money for concerts. Imagine European support for improving the roads in Judea and Samaria, scholarships for settlers and funds for holding cultural events...

Abkhazia, which is under Russian occupation, also receives direct support from the European Union. EU documents state that these programs of support require a pragmatic and flexible approach considering the status of the territory. Those are just three examples.

3. Not surprisingly, the European Union has not imposed rules like the guidelines for providing grants to Israel on any other country in that situation. In this way, the Europeans applied a double standard: one rule for the Jewish state and another for the rest of the world. European universities and businesses conduct large-scale activity in Western Sahara and Northern Cyprus. Only for Israel did it make guidelines that restrict the provision of grants based solely on territorial status.

Since the beginning of our existence as a nation, we have been accustomed to the world applying a double standard to us. But there is irony here, since in 2005 the European Center for Monitoring Racism and Xenophobia (now the Fundamental Rights Agency) published a working definition of anti-Semitism. One part of the definition is "Applying double standards by requiring of it [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation." How interesting. It might be said parenthetically that a double standard of racism is operative here, since the Europeans have no such expectations -- morally or legally -- of the Arabs.

A full analysis of the European Union's resolutions may be found in a position paper titled "EU's Israel Grants Guidelines: A Legal and Policy Analysis," written by Professors Avi Bell and Eugene Kontorovich, renowned experts in international law and fellows of the Kohelet Policy Forum. 

Here is a possible way to expose the European Union's hypocrisy: by submitting petitions against its policy in Northern Cyprus, Western Sahara and Abkhazia.

As stated, these few comments are given only from the EU's perspective. When it comes to our own actions, we can stick to Simon Maccabee's answer to Antiochus' demand that Simon surrender to him territory he had taken in battle. "We have never taken land away from other nations or confiscated anything that belonged to other people," Simon said. "On the contrary, we have simply taken back property that we inherited from our ancestors, land that had been unjustly taken away from us by our enemies at one time or another. We are now only making use of this opportunity to recover our ancestral heritage."

As we recite in the blessing over the Hanukkah lights: "In those days, at this time." As then, so now.

Dror Eydar


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NYT Peddles U.N. Propaganda about Palestinia​n Refugees

by Leo Rennert

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, whose sole task is to perpetuate the festering problem of Palestinian refugees, is mounting a traveling photo exhibit about their continuing plight. And the New York Times is only too pleased to help UNRWA peddle a grossly revisionist history of Palestinian refugees and their sad lot. 

In its Nov. 29 edition, the Times devotes a four-column spread, including five heart-tugging photographs, to depict Palestinian refugees as victims of Israel's founding. Jerusalem correspondent Isabel Kershner tells readers that "about 700,000 Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes during the Arab-Israeli war over the foundation of Israel" in 1948. And, she adds, "hundreds of thousands more were later displaced by the Arab-Israeli war of 1967." ("Photographs Tell a History of Palestinians Unmoored -- Exhibit Traces Steps of Refugees Since 1948" page A6). 

Nowhere in her article, however, does Kershner mention that there would have been no Palestinian refugee problem if the Arabs had accepted the 1947 U.N. two-state partition plan, calling for creation of an Arab state and a Jewish state. Israel accepted partition. Arabs rejected it and instead launched an all-out war against the nascent Jewish state with the avowed aim of destroying it. 

Nor does Kershner mention that some 800,000 Jews who had lived for centuries in Arab lands were mercilessly persecuted by their host countries about the same time and forced to flee and become refugees as well. Jewish refugees numbered more than Palestinian refugees. But Jewish plight doesn't grab the New York Times as much. 

Neither does Kershner point out that these Jewish refugees were integrated into Israel, the United States and other countries, unlike Palestinian refugees who were -- and still are -- used as political pawns to undergird Arab and Palestinian calls for a "right of return" to Israel for an estimated 5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants. 

As for the impact of the 1967 Six-Day War, there is no mention that whatever happened to Palestinians, it was Egypt and Syria that precipitated the conflict, again with the avowed aim of annihilating the Jewish state. 

In other words, history shows that the Palestinian refugee problem is a self-made, self-inflicted phenomenon which need never have happened. 

Kershner, however, is not interested in real history. Instead, she join UNRWA in a transparent anti-Israel propaganda campaign to validate Palestinian victimhood at the expense of Israel's basic legal and historical right to its very existence. 

Thus, she highlights photos in the UNRWA exhibit of Palestinian children studying by the "dim light of gas lamps" in a camp in Gaza, rows of shacks in a "desolate refugee camp," and a family carrying suitcases, "young son clutching a white ball," heading east over the Allenby Bridge across the Jordan River. Kershner's appraises these photos as "powerful and haunting." But it's all a promo for UNRWA's exhibit, dubbed the "Long Journey," which soon will go on a journey of its own to cities in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, Europe and North America." 

"This is an important piece of work," Filippo Grandi, UNRWA's commissioner-general, tells reporters at the exhibit's opening -- in Jerusalem's Old City, no less. "It is a contribution to building a national heritage for the Palestinians. "UNRWA is clearly satisfied with its propaganda project. But are there no critics? Kershner grudgingly admits that some Israelis might have a different take on the Palestinian refugee problem, but immediately dismisses any objections. Israelis, she writes, might be biased because they would "view the memorialization of the refugee experience through a prism of politics and contention." 

UNRWA is okay and can be trusted, Kershner opines. But Israeli views are colored by political considerations, she cautions. Such is the anti-Israel bias of a New York Times correspondent in Jerusalem.

Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers


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The Devil is in More Than the Details

by Amir Taheri

President Rouhani has described as a “triumph” the paper his envoys signed with the P5+1 Group in Geneva last Sunday. Some in his faction have pushed hyperbole further by claiming that “the history of Islamic Revolution is divided into before and after Geneva.”

However, with the dust of excitement settled, it is possible to assess “the event” with greater clarity.

To start with, it is not clear what the paper should be called.

Here are some of the labels used by parties involved: accord, agreement, memorandum, roadmap, and joint-action plan.

The paper cannot be described as an international treaty. The P5+1 group is an ad hoc body appointed by the United Nations to persuade Iran to implement six resolutions passed by the Security Council. It has no authority to sign a treaty. In fact, the P5+1 is a misnomer, because the negotiations were piloted by the European Union’s international affairs representative. Because the EU has 28 members, the P5+1 is, in fact, a group of 31 nations. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has already stated that the Geneva paper would be submitted to all 28 EU members. Under EU rules, every one of them has the right to approve or reject the paper.

The ambivalence of the exercise is also important for other participants. If this is an international treaty, it must be approved by the US Senate, the Russian Duma and Iran’s Islamic Majlis to become binding. If it is an agreement between Iran and the UN, it must be approved by the Security Council in a new resolution.

The paper’s identity is only one problem.

One would also have to decide which version is authoritative.

I have not studied the Chinese and Russian versions. But the English, Persian and French texts show differences.

Take just two examples:

The Persian version asserts that during the next six months “Iran’s income from oil exports would be transferred to the Iranian government.” The English text states that transfer would happen only “if Iran implements its undertakings.” And then, it limits the transfer to USD 2–4 billion in installments.

The next example concerns fees for Iranians studying abroad.

The Persian text implies that this would be automatic and unlimited. The English text sets a clear limit of USD 400 million, paid directly to the colleges concerned.

The trick in the Persian text is to use phrases without a verb, implying firm commitment on the part of P5+1. In the English text, verbs are used to emphasize that Iran might get something only if it does something beforehand. All that the P5+1 gives is a number of vague promises.

Even if we ignore the issue of identity and authority, the paper would still be a strange beast in the zoological history of diplomacy. Obviously, the P5+1 exploited the inexperience and desperation of the Iranian diplomats, and sold them a bill of goods.

By signing the paper, the Islamic Republic has extended de jure recognition to sanctions imposed by the UN, the US and the EU. Hitherto, Tehran had admitted the de facto existence of sanctions but regarded them as “illegal.”

The paper institutionalizes the sanctions within a coherent system, implicitly accepting the possibility that they will be prolonged indefinitely.

Under the paper, Iran has 21 undertakings and the P5+1 group only 11.

The P5+1’s undertakings are about not imposing new sanctions for six months, and easing some others. Iran’s undertakings, however, are concrete. It must stop enriching uranium above 5 percent, must oxidize half the stock enriched above that level, and de-commission the plutonium infrastructure built at a cost of USD 10 billion. If those things are done, Tehran’s nuclear project would be put in slow motion. Since Iran has no nuclear power stations, it would not need low-grade enriched uranium anyway. And, if it intends to build warheads, low-grade would be of little use.

By insisting that its “right” to enrich uranium be specifically recognized, Rouhani’s team made another big mistake. That demand showed that they were not sure they had that right under Non-Proliferation Treaty. Otherwise, why demand further endorsement from an ad hoc group? The P5+1 didn’t give that endorsement. Instead, the text implies that the decision about Iranian levels of enrichment belongs to P5+1.

The paper insists that Iran’s scientific research and development of industrial activities be frozen at the “the current level,” clearly excluding any advances.

Iran is expected to fulfill its 21 promises in six months, while that time limit is mentioned for only one of the P5+1’s 11 promises.

More interestingly, Iran must fulfill its undertakings before the other side reciprocates.

Under the paper, the P5+1 would be judge and jury. They would decide when and if Iran has honored its commitments. Acting for the UN, the International Atomic Energy Agency would report only on Iran’s performance.

The paper gives the P5+1 what is known in diplomatic jargon as droit de regard (right to oversight) over important sectors of the Iranian economy. The P5+1 will decide how much oil Iran is allowed to export. It would also decide how much of Iran’s revenue is “unfrozen” and the manner in which it is spent.

For the six months already agreed, some 7 percent of Iran’s oil revenues would be released. Part of that would be spent through a mechanism modeled on the “oil-for-food” program imposed on Iraq under Saddam. The label used this time is “humanitarian financial channel,” to allow imports of food and pharmaceuticals. It is not clear who would run the scheme, but the P5+1 would have final say.

The paper also gives the P5+1 a say in Iran’s insurance, banking, petrochemicals, car industry, spare parts, air transport, shipping and precious metals sectors. In some cases, sanctions would be eased at a cadence chosen by the P5+1.

The paper gives the Khomeinist regime some respite and the possibility of putting the nuclear program into fast-forward in the future. Rouhani even claims that he signed the paper because “ending tension with the West” is his “top priority.” Does he hope to reverse more than three decades of Khomeinist anti-Americanism?

As long as sanctions hurt only the people, the regime tried to hide the effects in a cloak of flowery rhetoric. But when sanctions started to hurt the regime it had to eat humble pie à la Saddam Hussein. As Khamenei often says, the interest of the regime is absolute, that of the nation a variable.

Amir Taheri was the executive editor-in-chief of the daily Kayhan in Iran from 1972 to 1979. He has worked at or written for innumerable publications, published eleven books, and has been a columnist for Asharq Al-Awsat since 1987.


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The Iran Nuclear Agreement and the Common Sense Test

by Yoram Ettinger

Contrary to conventional "wisdom," Iran considers the U.S. and the Arab oil-producing Gulf States -- not Israel -- the primary target for its nuclear capabilities. Iran pursues nuclear mega-capabilities to advance its mega-goal (domination of the Gulf and Sunni Islam), by removing the mega-obstacle (U.S. power projection), irrespective of Israel's existence and policies, the Arab-Israeli conflict or the Palestinian issue.

In the pursuit of agreements and peace with rogue regimes, the free world must overcome its inherent temptation to subordinate common sense and reality-check to delusion and wishful-thinking, lest such agreements minimize the free world's posture of deterrence and the prospects of peace, while maximizing lawlessness, terrorism and the prospects of war. 

Irrespective of President Hassan Rouhani's ostensible pledges to end abuse of human rights in Iran, the minority regime of the ayatollahs and mullahs persists in oppressing the majority of Iranians and the number of executions since the rise of Rouhani has increased. 

"The U.N. envoy on human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, said last month that Iran's human rights record should not be overlooked amid overtures to the West by Rouhani. He criticized Tehran for executing 724 people in 18 months, including dozens after Rouhani was elected in June." Rouhani's intolerance of civil liberties -- such as freedom of religion, press, speech and association and equal rights for women and ethnic minorities -- reflect his genuine values and worldview. 

But, Rouhani is expected to comply with agreements...

The diplomatic option is appropriately applied to rogue regimes that abandon violence and embrace peaceful coexistence. The military option of deterrence should be appropriately applied toward rogue regimes which embrace violence. While negotiating with the U.S., Iran is the leading sponsor of anti-American Islamic terrorism; the chief axis of unprecedented terrorism in Iraq; the key perpetrator of subversion and terrorism in the pro-U.S. Arab oil-producing Gulf States; the top supporter of jihadist movements in Africa and the killing of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan; a collaborator with the anti-U.S. regimes in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador; and the anti-U.S. hate-educator of Iranian youth. 

But, Rouhani is expected to comply with agreements...

Rouhani has intensified technological, scientific, economic, diplomatic and military cooperation with North Korea. The two are currently engaged in the joint development of a new long-range missile, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, which could reach the United States, "the Great Satan" according to both Iran and North Korea. But, Rouhani is expected to comply with agreements…. 

A free world which is overly-anxious to conclude an agreement with rogue regimes is destined to pay a heavy price. Moreover, the assumption that rogue regimes would not sacrifice the welfare of their people on the altar of military superiority dooms the free world to learn from history by repeating past critical mistakes. In 2009, North Korea welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama by flexing its nuclear muscle (test), highlighting the dereliction by Wendy Sherman, who led Clinton's failed negotiation with North Korea, and is currently heading the negotiation with Iran. Sherman deluded herself that the North Korea dictator supposedly recognized that the adverse economic consequences of pursuing nuclear capabilities could topple his regime. Fifty years of diplomacy, economic sanctions and agreements -- loaded with verifications, sticks and carrots -- to test North Korean intentions paved the road to another anti-U.S. nuclear rogue regime. Thirty-three years of U.S. sanctions and diplomacy have not transformed Iran, which is at the last lap of the nuclear marathon. 

But, Rouhani is expected to comply with agreements...

Rouhani was not elected democratically, but was handpicked by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the omnipotent Shiite Muslim ruler of Iran. Khamenei adheres to the Quran-based taqiyya, kitman and do-pahlu concepts, which were introduced by the Shiites, shielding Muslims from the "infidel" and from each other via double-talk and deception-based provisional agreements, which are abrogated once conditions are ripe. 

But, Rouhani is expected to comply with agreements…

Rouhani (just like Syrian President Bashar Assad upon succeeding his father) is considered a reformer by Western policy makers and media. However, Rouhani demonstrated his own taqiyya capabilities, while serving as Iran's chief negotiator with the International Atomic Energy Agency. He systematically violated commitments made, providing Iran with extra time to acquire nuclear capabilities. In September, 2002, while serving as the chairman of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Rouhani stated: "When we sign international treaties, it means that we are not pursuing nuclear weapons. We are not pursuing chemical weapons. We are not pursuing biological weapons." Rouhani was one of the planners of the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 civilians. 

 But, Rouhani is expected to comply with agreements...

Iran's track record of systematic non-compliance is consistent with Middle East reality, which has never experienced intra-Muslim compliance with most intra-Muslim agreements, domestically and regionally. Unlike the free world, which considers agreements as a means to advance peaceful coexistence, rogue regimes with megalomaniac-imperialistic aspirations consider agreements a means to enhance their capabilities, in order to eventually overcome partners to such agreements. 

But, Rouhani is expected to comply with agreements...

The November 23, 2013 agreement with Iran subordinated common sense and reality-check to oversimplification and wishful-thinking. It follows in the footsteps of a policy which provided a tailwind to the anti-U.S. Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, facilitated the replacement of President Moammar Gadhafi's tyranny with a worse anti-U.S. regime, handed Putin a major gain in Syria, instills panic in Saudi Arabia and other pro-U.S. Gulf States and funds hate-education in the Palestinian Authority. 

The agreement provided Iran with the most essential resource -- time -- to attain nuclear capabilities, transforming Iran from a tactical -- to a strategic -- threat. Unlike the USSR, the apocalyptic regime in Iran was ready to sacrifice some 500,000 youngsters to clear minefields during its war against Iraq, signaling its defiance of the logic of mutually assured destruction. The nature of the Iranian regime on the one hand and compliance with agreements on the other hand constitute a classic oxymoron. 

But, Rouhani is expected to comply with agreements... 

Yoram Ettinger


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Iran as a Threat for Arab states

by Ehud Eilam

In the 1980s, Saddam Hussein’s ambitions to make Iraq a dominant power in the Middle East made him not much different than present-day Iran. Iraq was an Arab country, but it still presented a threat to its Arab neighbors, particularly those in the Gulf. However, in 1980 Saddam did not send his military south against other Arab states, as he did a decade later in 1990, but east, against their common rival, Iran; yet, that was not necessarily what the other Arab states wanted. They could have suspected that an Iraqi victory over Iran would be exploited to establish Iraq’s position in the Middle East at the expense of other Arab states, including those that supported Iraq in the war against Iran.

Still, at least for Iraq, it seemed a genuine opportunity, since in 1980 the Iranian military was badly shaken due to the purging brought about by the Islamic revolution and the rupture of its supply lines to the United States, from which many of its weapons systems came. After early successes, however, the Iraqi army was stopped and then pushed back over its borders. Iraq, and in particular Saddam, who fought to survive, described the war with Iran as a battle to protect the Arab world - one in which Iraq was the front line confronting the intimidating threat from the east. This portrayal was similar to the way in which Nazi Germany presented itself during World War II as the last bulwark, preventing Europe from being overtaken by Soviet Russia. In fact, the immediate goal of Iran in the 1980s and the Soviet Union in the 1940s was to bring down their opponents’ regime. That is why Saddam and Hitler before him wished to gather support from other nations, which, though suspicious, feared the worse of two evils (in this case Iran or the Soviets) much more.

Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia were reluctant to participate in the Iran-Iraq war and actually send in their armies, and settled for a minor contribution by assisting Iraq to bolster its war effort, thus preventing an Iraqi collapse. It was still quite a gamble because of the risk of an Iranian retaliation.

While in the mid-1990s Iraq was Iran’s main rival, these days Iraq’s future is unclear. It might be divided, even unofficially, which would allow Iran, direct access to the rest of the Arab world. This could be the start of an Iranian maneuver to encircle the Gulf. That action would be aimed at realizing dreams of a truly “Persian Gulf” - in other words, one that would be under the influence, if not the direct control, of the new Persian Empire, in much the same way as Rome saw the Mediterranean Sea as a Roman lake.

A breach in what was the Iraqi wall would therefore be a cause for concern among the Arabs, particularly if Iran possesses a nuclear arsenal. Although Iran does not need such a corridor inside Iraq in order to use such a weapon, the combination of the two would increase its might. The palpable dread arising from such a development could push Arab states in the Gulf to seek a nuclear weapon and/or the protection of the United States.

This article is based on an article that was published in the Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs (Volume Two Number Two, 2008).

Ehud Eilam


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CAIR’s Tampa Terror Banquet

by Joe Kaufman

When someone linked to the ’93 bombing of the World Trade Center is a featured speaker at a fundraiser sponsored by a group created by Hamas operatives and run by a Hezbollah defender, one could easily surmise that the function described would be taking place in the Middle East. Yet, this event, which was held this past weekend and raised a large amount of money, took place in a major American city, Tampa, Florida.

On the night of Saturday, November 23rd, the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Tampa) sponsored a fundraising banquet featuring what should be considered highly controversial figures from the Muslim community. One of these individuals was an imam who goes by the name of Johari Abdul-Malik.

Abdul-Malik is the Outreach Director of Falls Church, Virginia’s Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center. He was brought in to head the mosque, after his predecessor, Anwar al-Awlaki, left the United States to become al-Qaeda’s leader in Yemen. And shortly before Awlaki became the mosque’s imam, Hamas fundraiser Mohammad al-Hanooti held the position. [Today, al-Hanooti is listed on al-Hijrah’s website as the center’s Mufti.] According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, al-Hijrah itself has been considered by federal law enforcement officials to be a front for Hamas.

Since Abdul-Malik has been employed by al-Hijrah, he has supported and/or defended a number of convicted terrorists. They include: Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi, who was sentenced to 23 years in prison, in part for his role in a plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah; Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, a former al-Hijrah teacher and camp counselor, who is serving a life prison sentence for providing material support to al-Qaeda and for plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush; and Ali al-Timimi, who received a life prison sentence for instructing his Northern Virginia followers to wage war on the United States.

Another of the featured speakers at CAIR-Tampa’s Saturday banquet was the imam of Brooklyn, New York’s at-Taqwa Mosque, Siraj Wahhaj.

In 1995, Wahhaj was named by the United States government as an “unindicted co-conspirator” for a federal trial dealing with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, an act which resulted in the deaths of six innocent Americans. Wahhaj had been linked to the bomb-maker of the attack, Clement Rodney Hampton-El, and during the trial, he was a character witness for the spiritual leader of the attack, the “Blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, whom Wahhaj has openly praised.

This was not the first time CAIR has brought Wahhaj in as a speaker for one of its affairs, so CAIR’s representatives can’t make the excuse that they didn’t know about his insidious background. Indeed, Wahhaj has spoken at a large number of CAIR events and has previously served as a member of CAIR-National’s Board of Advisers.

In reality, no one can expect CAIR to vet terror-related speakers, when the group itself has been, in large part, associated with terrorism.

CAIR was founded in June 1994 as a part of an umbrella organization led by then-global leader of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. In 2007 and 2008, CAIR was named an “unindicted co-conspirator” by the U.S. Justice Department for two federal trials dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas. The three original founders of CAIR, one of which is still the national Executive Director, were coming from the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), the then-American propaganda wing of Hamas. CAIR had used its website to raise funds for the then-American financing arm of Hamas, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF).

Hassan Shibly is the Executive Director of CAIR-Tampa. In June 2011, the Tampa Tribune reported on previous statements Shibly had made regarding Hezbollah. Shibly had stated that Hezbollah was “basically a resistance movement” and “absolutely not a terrorist organization.” In 1983, Hezbollah perpetrated a suicide attack which resulted in the murders of 241 American troops stationed in Beirut, Lebanon. Today, Hezbollah is involved with the government of Bashar al-Assad in the mass slaughter of Syrian civilians.

CAIR-Tampa’s banquet – deceptively titled ‘Faith in Freedom’ – according to Shibly, raised over $200,000. With 400 guests attending, that’s over $500 per person.

Terrorism creates fear in itself. That’s its purpose. But the fact that a group associated with such acts of horror could raise so much money inside the United States should put the fear in all of us.

Joe Kaufman


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Glorification Of Martyrdom And Nazi-Style Salutes In Al-Quds University Cause U.S. Universities To Sever Relations


The following videos are from rallies held by the Islamic Jihad organization at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem in May and November 2013, which were posted on YouTube. During the rallies, members of the organization were filmed waving their arms in a Nazi-style salute and chanting songs of glorification of martyrdom, including references to the belief that the martyr will be wedded in paradise with 72 black-eyes virgins.
After the release of these clips, Al-Quds University came under criticism. Syracuse University and Brandeis University elected to sever their partnership with Al-Quds University.

November 5, 2013: "We Shall Take Revenge And Ignite The Fire"
Dramatization: "Mother of martyr crying over her fallen son: The Al-Quds Brigades will retaliate for the shedding of my son's blood, and the blood of all the martyrs of Palestine. Retaliate, oh Al-Quds Brigades. Retaliate, oh Al-Quds Brigades."
Song: "Retaliate, oh Al-Quds Brigades.
"Retaliate, oh Al-Quds Brigades.
"Of those who sanctioned our killing do not leave one single one.
"Of those who sanctioned our killing do not leave one single one.
"Lead a revolution of volcanoes, which will heal the hearts of our millions.
"Lead a revolution of volcanoes, which will heal the hearts of our millions." [...]
"Whoever sells out his country is a traitor.
"Whoever imprisons his own people is a traitor.
"Whoever gets money for his services is a traitor.
"Whoever defiles the honor of our women is a traitor.
"Woe betide him if the people revolt. How will he extinguish the fire?
"Bring the martyrs to their nuptials.
"Mount the barricades. Oh Palestinian people, shoot the spies.
"Bring the martyrs to their nuptials.
"Mount the barricades. Oh Palestinian people, shoot the spies.
"We shall take revenge and ignite the fire.
"Oh land of the free, your martyr is a bridegroom.
"We shall take revenge and ignite the fire.
"Oh land of the free, your martyr is a bridegroom.
"Bring the martyrs to their nuptials.
"Mount the barricades. Oh Palestinian people, shoot the spies.
"Bring the martyrs to their nuptials.
"Mount the barricades. Oh Palestinian people, shoot the spies.
"Bring the martyrs to their nuptials.
"Mount the barricades. Oh Palestinian people, shoot the spies.
"They have sold out the homeland, oh Abd Al-Rahman.
"Let us join hands and liberate the homeland.
"That's the true nature of the traitor, oh brother, oh Saad.
"We are fighting in Palestine, while the traitors are doing nothing." [...]
"We shall wage our battle against them.
"We shall march in groups in order to deter them.
"We shall restore the plundered rights.
"We shall drive them out with all our might.
"We shall drive them out with all our might.
"With the slashing weapons of truth, we shall liberate the land of the free.
"We shall restore the purity of Jerusalem." [...] 
May 10, 2013 Footage
Footage posted on the Internet on May 10 shows a series of images of various Al-Quds Brigades members in a show of force, including performing the Hitler salute



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From Munich to Geneva = Lesson Unlearned

by Joseph Puder

Over the weekend of November 23-24, 2013, a deal was struck between the 5+1 powers and Iran. The deal was consummated following secret negotiations in Amman Jordan, between US and Iranian diplomats. The Obama administration’s eagerness to embrace the deal with Iran and its new president Hassan Rouhani, is transparent. Sadly, it is reminiscent of an earlier negotiation that took place between Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany and the western powers of Britain and France, in September,1938, known as the Munich Agreement. Now, as then, regime change was not the goal. The western powers have considered easing tensions in the region, and will get instead a nuclearized Middle East. In 1938, they sought to appease a rogue nation in order to prevent a war, and received instead a World War.

It is interesting to note that the talking heads appearing on ABC, CBS, CNN, and Fox, (to name a few), have discussed the variables of the agreement. Some supported it, yet others felt it was shortcoming and would enable Iran to continue to enrich uranium, and add centrifuges, and ultimately build a nuclear bomb. Few if any however, discussed the need for a regime change in Iran. What the White House and media have done in addition to the flawed interim agreement, is to legitimize the Islamic Republic, a regime that oppresses its own people, persecutes Sunni-Muslims and other minorities, such as the Baha’is, Christians and Jews. In addition, the Tehran regime is a global sponsor of terrorism.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the deal with Iran “an historic mistake,” and added that it “makes the world a much more dangerous place.” Netanyahu said that Israel will not be bound by it. He pointed out that the sanctions imposed on Iran offered the “best chance for a peaceful solution.” He told the Knesset that, “Israel has the right to defend itself by itself, and emphasized that Israel will not allow Iran to develop a military nuclear capability. For Israel, it signifies mortal danger and an existential threat.

On a previous weekend, Netanyahu asserted that “easing the sanctions would endanger the whole sanctions regime that took years to make.” In an interview with CNN’s State of the Union program he added, “You are going to get investors, companies, and countries scrambling one after the other to try to get deals with Iran, because economies and prices work on future expectations.” Netanyahu has proposed that Iran surrender some of its uranium stockpiles, which it has already been enriched, so that Tehran won’t have the fissile material needed for a nuclear weapon. He also declared that Israel does not trust Iran to cooperate in subsequent negotiations.

Recently, President Rouhani proposed that Iran will end its uranium enrichment at the 20% level in exchange for receiving fuel for its nuclear reactor, allegedly to manufacture medical drugs. Israel views Rouhani’s proposal as a cheap ploy. Jerusalem contends that isotopes needed for medical drugs could be obtained in the free market, and do not require a nuclear reactor. In his charm offensive towards the west, Rouhani has promised that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon, but at the same time he insisted that Iran must retain the right to enrich uranium. And, while PM Netanyahu called Rouhani’s claims “fraudulent,” others might call him a “taqiyyah artist,” which Encyclopedia Britannica explains as “the practice of concealing one’s belief,” or simply put, lying and deceiving the enemy.

The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, that Iran will not give up the right to enrich uranium. Speaking to the Basij force which is controlled by the Revolutionary Guard, Khamenei declared “There are red lines. There are limits. These limits must be observed.” He declared that Israel is doomed to fail and characterized the “Zionist regime” as the “sinister, unclean rabid dog of the region” and added that “Israelis cannot be called human beings.” The last regime to charge that Jews were not human beings was Nazi Germany. The world ignored it then and it helped facilitate the Holocaust.  Once again, the US and the European powers have chosen to ignore the leader’s vulgar statements, and signed a deal with his regime.

Iran’s Islamic Republic has a pretty murky record on trust. It has cheated the international community, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding its nuclear facilities. It took Iranian defectors and opposition leaders to reveal the truth about Iran’s nuclear program, and the existence of hidden nuclear facilities in Arak (heavy water facility) and a uranium enrichment plant in Natanz. The IAEA also revealed Iran’s policy of deception and lies, and in October, 2003, it served Iran with an ultimatum to come clean on its nuclear program. Another ultimatum in 2004 ordered Iran to cease its uranium enrichment. All of these ultimatums had little effect on Iran, which was aided by the Egyptian head of the IAEA, Muhammad el-Baradei. IAEA warnings were not followed by sanctions, and it encouraged Tehran to continue with its tactics of revealing one facility while hiding two others from the international community.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal (11/19/2013), Claudia Rosett pointed out that “Mr. Kerry and his team have yet to address one of the biggest challenges: the example set by North Korea, which over the past two decades has shown the world – Iran, not least – how a rogue state can exploit over-eager western diplomacy to haggle and cheat its way to the nuclear bomb.” The Tehran regime is just as much a rogue state as North Korea. It is the premier terror-sponsoring state in the world, with a doomsday ideology that believes in order to usher in the coming of the Mehdi (Shiite messiah), “hidden imam,” an Armageddon must occur, which will wipe out the non-believers, first and foremost the big and little Satan, namely the US and Israel. While America is too big, too far, and too strong for Iran to tackle, Israel is close, small, and perceived as weak. Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad declared his vision of a world without Zionism and stated on October 27, 2005, “that Israel must be wiped off the map.”

The Tehran regime may or may not adhere to the interim agreement. Regardless, it continues to be a dangerous regime that threatens genocide and fosters instability in the region. The only way to regain peace and stability in the region is by affecting a regime change in Iran. The majority of Iran’s population would welcome it, and the Sunni minorities (Kurds, Baluchis, and Ahwazi Arabs) who are locked in combat with the regime, would opt for peace. The Arab Gulf states would be relieved, and cancel their plans to nuclearize. Active support for opposition groups in Iran and tough sanctions might very well bring down the regime. This should be the goal of the Western governments. The interim agreement does the opposite. It strengthens the regime’s grip on the Iranian people.

The Obama administration’s efforts to disengage the US from conflict by appeasing dangerous foes such as Iran will surely bring consequences that cannot be imagined. The Obama administration’s failure to act on the Red Line it presented to Assad of Syria on his use of chemical weapons, served to encourage Iranian President Rouhani. It has emboldened his negotiators to demand relief from western sanctions while Tehran refuses to refrain from uranium enrichment. Iran continues to develop its strategic nuclear weapons. In short, we are living through a repeat of the 1938 Munich Agreement, which sacrificed Czechoslovakia on the altar of “peace in our time” as proclaimed by Neville Chamberlain. It cost humanity 60 million dead souls. Nazi Germany was unrestrained by western weakness, and so is Iran.

Joseph Puder


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No More Honor-Killings of Women in the Middle East

by Michael Curtis

There are some very active women's organizations and international units attempting to curb abuse of and violence against women.  They work to bring awareness to the cultural, and sometimes religious, norms, laws, and practices that have created and preserve these conditions.  But those efforts are too small-scale.  This violence still occurs in many countries in the world, and it is most prevalent, especially in its most acute forms, in countries with a predominantly Muslim population.  What is needed is a large-scale attack by national governments and international organizations.

At the base of this violence is the concept of honor, which women supposedly embody.  Because of their lack of education and empowerment, women affected by this concept have rarely been able to challenge the nature and consequences of it.

Women are said to dishonor the community; family; and, for Muslim women, perhaps the Islamic religion if their actual or perceived behavior is regarded as violating ingrained cultural or religious norms.  They may do this by obvious acts of sexual indiscretions, but also by not abiding by instructions and demands of men, family, or community, such as refusal to enter into an arranged marriage, seeking a divorce, or even wearing Western-type clothes.  Sometimes "honor" has been even more misused to refer to disagreements over inheritance or to prevent women from marrying someone they have freely chosen.

Violence against women takes many forms: verbal abuse and physical beatings; being stoned or burned; disfigurement by acid; threats; false imprisonment; sexual abuse; forced marriages, in which the female is threatened to enter a marriage against her own will; female genital mutilation; and at the most extreme, murder, or "honor-killing."

The custom of honor killings of women in Arab Muslim societies is well-known.  Among many others, Phyllis Chesler, in an important article, "Are Honor Killings Simply Domestic Violence?" (Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2009), pointed out that this kind of murder of women differed significantly from common domestic violence and that this is part of Islamic culture.

The United Nations Population Fund estimates -- certainly an underestimate -- that 5,000 women are killed each year for "dishonoring" their families.  UNICEF calculates that about two-thirds of all killings in Palestinian territories are honor-killings.  In those territories, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, 54 women were killed between 2007 and 2010, and 25 have been murdered in 2013.

Law in the patriarchal Arab countries, as in the Ottoman Empire, has sustained the cultural tradition that women have an inferior status.  Men are only mildly punished or not punished at all for murdering a female relative whose behavior is judged as bringing dishonor to the family.

The leniency toward honor-killings is in practice in Arab countries.  In the territories ruled by Palestinians, it is based on a clause in the 1960 Jordanian penal code that is still used.  In one section of the clause, Article 340, men are completely exempt from liability for honor-killing; in another section, a "lesser penalty" is imposed.  In Jordan and Iraq, the penalty for honor-killings is much lighter than for other crimes.  Even more, according to the Iran Penal Code, Article 630, a husband is allowed to murder his wife without penalty if he suspects her of adultery.

The violence against women is discussed in a powerful film, Honor Diaries, a documentary written by Alex Traiman, with Ayaan Hirsi Ali as one of it producers.  It consists of a roundtable discussion by nine courageous and highly articulate women of different ages, all from Muslim majority countries, who are advocates of women's rights.

In the film they discuss key issues already mentioned affecting women: lack of freedom of movement, right to education, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, lack of participation in society and politics, and honor-killings.  They speak eloquently, with reasoned passion, about their personal experiences and of threats against them, and talk of their efforts to change the situation of women in their country of origin and in the wider world.  They don't propose any particular scheme of action, but rather are concerned primarily with raising awareness of the plight of women and calling for reform.

For the most part, the nine women chose not to be identified with any particular party, nor do they focus on religion.  Their main concerns are the cultural practices that are the basis for the abuse of women.  They are critical of Western political correctness and cultural relativism.  They go farther and decry the reluctance of many in the West to condemn cultural norms in other societies that justify the abuse of women.

The nine women criticize the lack of action in censuring specific practices.  Why has no one been charged with conducting female genital mutilation, a fate they say suffered by 140 million women?  Nor has there been any real punishment for the murder each year of at least 5,000 women in honor-killings.  Little attention has been given to the more than 3,000 forced marriages having occurred during the last two years in the U.S., or the thousands of girls at risk of being forced to undergo female genital mutilation.

These nine women call for understanding and change and for help in fostering a movement that will create awareness of the present fate of women.  Too often, national and international groups have spent endless energy and resources on boycotts of Israel.  That energy and resources could be more profitably devoted to creating a movement to end violence against women and honor-killings in the Arab Muslim countries.  It should be a high priority and is the honorable way to go. 

Michael Curtis is the author of Jews, Antisemitism, and the Middle East.


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The Mucky Glory of a Free Press

by Douglas Murray

A free press is messy — and when wrong, culpable — but it is also our best protection against despotism and one of the only tools we have in the West to root out corruption. Every other arm of state or civil society had failed to expose the problem, and it was down to the press to do so on behalf of everyone else.

Events continue to demonstrate the reason why a free press matters so much. Without it, plenty of people, often in positions of considerable power, can get away with absolutely anything. A free press is messy -- and when wrong, culpable -- but it is also one of the only tools we have in the West to stop our decline into a form of permanent, systemic corruption. Two very different recent cases should remind us of this fact.

This month's example comes in the guise of that most essential staple of British tabloid life: the naughty vicar. Or in this case, the extremely naughty Methodist Minister. The Reverend Paul Flowers has just been revealed, thanks to a disgruntled friend and the Mail on Sunday newspaper, to be a buyer and user of a variety of Class A drugs. Since that first revelation, he has also been exposed as having indulged in plenty of other distinctly non-Methodist activities. Needless to say, the British press -- which bows to no one in its ability to turn a pun -- has dubbed him 'The Crystal Methodist.'

All of which might be deemed to just be so much fun or personal tragedy. Except that there is a serious dimension to this revelation. Which is that the Revd Flowers was also the chairman of the Co-operative Bank, a bank with 4.7 million customers in Britain, which has gone through an appallingly turbulent and mismanaged period in recent years, during which savers have suffered and the government has been forced to step in. Suffice it to say, without going into the scale of the mismanagement, that the Revd Flowers had absolutely no qualifications for running a bank. Yet, unfathomably, this was the important and personally lucrative position that this man ended up in. Why does the role of the press matter in all this? Because every other arm of state or civil society had failed to expose the problem, and it was down to the press to do so on behalf of everyone else.

Earlier this month, for instance, the Revd Flowers appeared before a Parliamentary Committee and was asked various pertinent questions about the bank which he ran until June of this year. Much of it was pretty basic stuff. He was asked what the size of the Co-operative Bank's total assets. He said he thought the bank had about £3 billion of assets. There was some incredulity from the MPs, and it took the chairman of the committee to inform Flowers that the actual figure of his bank's asset was closer to £47 billion. On other questions, the Revd. did not perform even as well as that, barely making a stab at some answers, and repeatedly having to inform the committee that he would have to get back to them on that one.

Although Parliament did not have time to do much about this, it did not actually expose him. This was just another unsatisfactory and ignored grilling in a committee room. During an earlier period, when it might have done something, the now broken-up Financial Service Authority (FSA) had absolutely nothing to say about Flowers's unique lack of qualification for his role. It did nothing significant -- so far as anyone can see -- to prevent or curtail a major British bank being run by somebody utterly unqualified for the task.

The point is that it took an undercover journalistic investigation and a tabloid splash to expose Revd Flowers and cause all the long-overdue repercussions of resignations at the top, and so on. Many investors and taxpayers may have wondered in recent years, "What are the people at the head of the co-op smoking?" It took the press to tell them.

On a completely different note, take another case of media correction. Last year the Al-Madinah school opened in Derby, and took advantage of the current government's "free-schools" initiative. The policy allows parents to set up their own schools with taxpayer support. Generally a highly successful policy, it has nevertheless always been open to abuse, and the Al-Madinah school was a specialist in this regard.

The Al-Madinah School in Derby, England, abused the UK's "free schools" program.

In the summer, the Sunday Times revealed what actually went on at the school. It was reported that, among other things, everybody -- pupils and teachers alike -- whether Muslim (a majority) or not, were forced by the school to wear ultra-conservative Islamic dress. Other rules also enforced the most hardline Islamic rules, including a ban on bringing any products that were not halal [permitted by Islamic Sharia law] onto the premises, in what was, after all, a state-funded school. These revelations, and more, were immediately picked up by other media outlets, created a national outrage and caused government inspectors to be sent in early. After several rounds of inspections, temporary closures and more, the news emerged that the school's leadership has been forced out and the institution has now been taken over.

Both of these cases -- the "Crystal Methodist" and the Al-Madinah school -- obviously relate to very different places. But most other parts of the state, and indeed civil society, had failed to root out two very different, but scandalous, problems that directly affected taxpayers and citizens. It took the free press in all its mucky glory to expose these problems and for something to be done about them.

Will a free press go wrong on occasions? Certainly -- and where it breaks the law it must be punished. But in the eagerness to punish an entire profession, Britain's lawmakers and others have forgotten one of the most important lessons of all: that a genuinely free press is not just one of our best protections against despotism, it is one of the only tools we have to root out corruption. One can understand why some people may be opposed to it. But long may it remain free.

Douglas Murray


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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Mordechai Kedar: The West's Great Betrayal


by Mordechai Kedar

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

Since the signing of the Geneva agreement between Iran and the group of six countries at the end of last week, media outlets the world over have been discussing the agreement and the easing of sanctions, what Iran will give in return and the ability - which exists or does not exist - to oversee whether the Iranians, who have lied and cheated the world for many years, will faithfully carry out what they agreed to and signed on. There were those who wondered about the absence of the demand for Iran to dismantle the plutonium reactor in Arak, whose purpose is only military, and there were those who calculated the time that would be required for the Iranians to renew the activity toward producing a bomb. The media outlets of the world dealt quite a bit with Israel's concern, the rage of the Saudis' and people in the Gulf Emirates, and everyone wonders what Israel will do, who is not part of the agreement.

The common element among most of those who have been discussing the matter is that everyone sees only two sides, Iran and the West, and ponders which of these two sides has gained more from the agreement. Most of the commentators ignore the third party, large but silent, in pain but obedient, who experienced a major defeat as a result of the agreement. This party is the majority of eighty million Iranians. It is no secret that the great majority of Iranian citizens hate the regime of the Ayatollahs with all their hearts, and from time to time express this hatred with demonstrations and street disturbances, such as those that swept the streets of Iran after the "elections" for presidency in June of 2009 and which brought about the deaths of hundreds of demonstrators who were champions of liberty and hungry for freedom.

They, the restless young men and women, secular up to their ears, aspiring to freedom but living under oppression, educated but unemployed, suffering from the terrible corruption that the regime of the ayatollahs is immersed in, hoped that the economic sanctions on the dark regime would suffocate it and bring it to its end. This was not a wild hope: in the past it was learned that at the height of the wave of protest demonstrations about the stealing of the elections in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was "reelected" in 2009, the rulers of Iran had two jets
prepared in order to leave the country and escape from the raging masses.

Now, after the agreement that was signed in Geneva, the sanctions are eased and the regime is beginning to breathe more easily. The Iranian Rial - which had lost about half of its value in recent years - rose last week by two percent. The economic optimism causes new blood to flow in the clogged veins of the regime, and all of the freedom seekers in Iran feel that the historic opportunity to rid themselves of the dark fanatics who rule their lives and deaths has been squandered. The sanctions, which were a non-violent weapon, could have subdued one of the most violent regimes in the world, if the Western countries had only maintained them.

But the West has again shown its ugly face and the fact that money is more important in their eyes than values: the deals with the regime of the ayatollahs have so blinded the leaders of the western countries that they don't see the rights of the Iranians to live in freedom like the citizens of the West. For a handful of Iranian petrodollars the politicians prefer to remove from
the list of demands, the right of the citizens of Iran to enjoy the values of democracy that the citizens of the West enjoy. In the past the West would have examined the behavior of countries with a long series of matters related to human rights and civil political freedoms, and they would reach economic conclusions in accordance with a country's compliance with ethical standards.

The Geneva agreement tore the mask from the face of hypocrisy that characterizes the political behavior of many politicians in the West today. From their point of view the eighty million Iranians can continue to live lives of misery, oppression and degradation under an illegitimate, cruel and bloodthirsty regime that spreads terror and death all over the world and is directly or indirectly responsible for the murder of many thousands in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen, in Israel and in many other countries. The West of today has lost its faith in the values that sustain it and upon which its culture was founded, and it is willing today to do business with mass murderers for economic gain that will result from these deals. The ayatollahs' money is what is important, and therefore their regime is too, and to hell with eighty million Iranians and their right to live a life of freedom.

 Western hypocrisy has proven itself again recently, with the European Union forcing Israel to sign the "Horizon 2020" agreement for academic participation with the condition that Israel will submit to the dictates of the Europeans who do not recognize the right of the People of Israel to live in all parts of its historic land, that was promised to it again in the resolutions of San Remo, which have been in effect since 1920 and are still relevant. The European Union is not interested in the Moroccan occupation in western Sahara, and despite the fact that Europe does not recognize the annexation of the territory to Morocco, the Europeans do not see any problem in signing an agreement with Morocco, the purpose of which is to take advantage of the natural resources of the western Sahara. Money blinds European eyes so that they do not see the Moroccan occupation.

The Europeans also do not see the Turkish occupation in Cyprus, and sign with Turkey on thousands of agreements that do not relate to companies and bodies connected with this occupation that began in 1974. Only the Israeli "occupation" in Judea and Samaria, the historical homeland of the Jewish People, bothers the Europeans. They have forgotten that the people of Israel lived in Judea and Samaria when the forefathers of the Europeans were wandering westward from the wilderness of Asia and seized the European continent from its residents.

But the Geneva agreement brings Western hypocrisy to a new extreme: despite the fact that the experience of the Second World War still lives in historical memory, despite the fact that the entire world knows that submission to a dictator causes him to raise  his demands and will not satiate his lust for power, despite the fact that "peace in our time" when it is based on concessions to a bloodthirsty tyrant brings "war in our time", despite the fact that the West says that it is guided by its values, the bitter truth must be said: the right of the Iranians to free themselves of the oppressive regime does not really matter to any of the politicians who are responsible for decision-making in the West
today, and the Jews' right to live in the land of their forefathers also does not interest them. Money is the answer to everything and to Hell with truth and values.


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.

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