Saturday, April 26, 2014

Regaining Control in Jerusalem

by David M. Weinberg

I salute Ari and Naomi Zivotofsky for tenaciously pursuing the American government to have their son registered as having been born in Jerusalem, Israel -- a case which they are now taking for a second time to the U.S. Supreme Court.
But the real struggle over Jerusalem as Israel's capital is underway every day in Jerusalem itself. At present, Israel is evincing a weak hand and losing the battle.
Last Friday, Tova Richler of New York arrived in Israel to attend her father's funeral in the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives in eastern Jerusalem. En route to the burial site, near the Gethsemane Church junction, her car was pelted with rocks and bricks by 10 Arab youths, smashing the windows. She escaped, but missed the internment.
In recent years, such attacks have become commonplace in and around the hallowed cemetery, and many people are afraid to travel to funerals and memorial ceremonies there.
The French Hill neighborhood, which borders the Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital, has also become unsafe. Residents are harassed by Arab youths from nearby Arab neighborhoods, and there have been many robberies, repeated arson attacks and car stonings, a firebombing, and a stabbing.
Anybody who has traversed the new road from Benzion Netanyahu junction through Beit Hanina also knows the dangers. Stoning is not uncommon, and red traffic lights are apparently mere decorations to the neighborhood's Arab residents.
The greatest affront of all has been playing itself out almost every day this month on the Temple Mount in the Old City, where Arab youths regularly accost Jewish visitors to the site, and have taken to almost-daily stoning of Israeli police. The Arabs have even been caught stocking stones and other riot gear inside the mosques. Outrageously, the police response to these attacks has been to close the site to Israeli-Jewish visitors and tourists, instead of closing it to Arab visitors.
And of course, illegal Waqf excavations continue on the Temple Mount without Israeli archaeological supervision. We know that over the past decade the burrowing-out by the Wakf of the underground "Solomon's Stables" has wantonly destroyed thousands of years of Jewish relics and history.
It seems that the Palestinians are neither willing to countenance live Jews on the Temple Mount nor dead Jews on the Mount of Olives.
The radical Arab imams behind these disturbances and provocations have the full backing of Mahmoud Abbas' supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority. PA Religious Affairs Minister Mahmoud Al-Habbash and Mufti Muhammad Hussein constantly propagate lies about Israeli plans to undermine and destroy the Muslim shrines on the Temple Mount.
The former Chief Justice of the PA's Religious Court, Sheikh Tayseer Al-Tamimi, recently declared that the PA's Islamic belief and political position is that Jews should not only be prohibited from praying on the Temple Mount but at the Western Wall of the Temple Mount too, since the wall is part of the "blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque" and not part of any "alleged" ancient Jewish temple.
All the while, Arab residents of greater Jerusalem enjoy the full gamut of Israeli civil rights and privileges, including freedom of speech without threat from Abbas' goons, full Israeli national insurance and health coverage, and municipal social services. Arab Jerusalemites can also be found by their thousands shopping happily in every mall in the city and picnicking in every park, free of threat.
Undoubtedly, the troublemakers are a minority of Arab Jerusalemites. But Israel's hesitancy in dealing toughly with the provocateurs and their PA government sponsors leaves us with a deleterious and deteriorating net result: Israel's control (never mind sovereignty) over the united city is fraying.
Government caution in managing Jerusalem's delicate political and security affairs is understandable, given the tinderbox status and contested future of the city. Yet it seems that the Netanyahu government has let things slide too far. It has become too accepting of Palestinian violence in the city and too tolerant of Waqf chutzpah on the Temple Mount.
Like his political party boss, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Yisrael Beytenu) is good at talking, but has taken little action. Why aren't the Israel Police, for which he is responsible, decisively enforcing law and order in the city? If Aharonovitch and the police commissioner can't muster the determination to tackle the string of security incidents, they should be replaced. Safety and security on all roads and at all sites in the city is a basic right of Israeli citizens of all religions and ethnicities, and the state has an elementary duty to provide this, even in Jerusalem -- especially in Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's responsibility goes further. Beyond beefing-up Israel's security presence in the trouble spots and ending Palestinian violence, the Netanyahu government must act proactively to cement Israel's hold in the city, to signal the world that we are serious about keeping Jerusalem united under Israeli sovereignty. The government should move to establish a (long-overdue) Jewish prayer facility alongside the Muslim mosques on the vast Temple Mount plaza, and to build the strategic E1 quadrant that connects Jerusalem to its eastern security anchor in Maaleh Adumim.
These initiatives will engender Palestinian (and American) resistance, but with both resoluteness and sensitivity Israel can succeed and overcome the opposition. The initiatives will also give Israeli and Palestinian diplomats something to talk about besides the release of Palestinian terrorists and other outrageous, never-ending Palestinian demands.
Only when Israel acts in concrete fashion to shore up its stake in Jerusalem can the city be secured.

David M. Weinberg


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

Caroline Glick: Time for Consequences

by Caroline Glick

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

It’s hard not to admire Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s brazenness.

Two weeks ago, Abbas signed on to 15 international agreements that among other things require the PA to respect human rights and punish war criminals.

And this week, he signed a unity deal with two genocidal terror groups all of whose leaders are war criminals. Every leader of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the two parties that signed the deal with the PLO, are war criminals. Under the Geneva Conventions, which Abbas signed onto just a couple of weeks ago, he is required to put them on trial, for their war crimes.

Here it is worth noting that under the Geneva Conventions, every single rocket launch from Gaza into Israeli territory is a separate war crime.

Abbas was only able to sign the Geneva Conventions on the one hand, and the unity deal with terrorist war criminals on the other, because he is utterly convinced that neither the US nor the European Union will hold him accountable for his actions. He is completely certain that neither the Americans nor the Europeans are serious about their professed commitments to upholding international law.

Abbas is sure that for both the Obama administration and the EU, maintaining support for the PLO far outweighs any concern they have for abiding by the law of nations. He believes this because he has watched them make excuses for the PLO and its leaders for the past two decades.

When it comes to the Palestinians, the Western powers are always perfectly willing to throw out their allegiance to law – international law and their domestic statutes – to continue supporting the PLO in the name of a peace process, which by now, everyone understands is entirely fictional.

Why do they do this? They do it because the peace process gives them a way to ignore and wish away the pathologies of the Islamic and Arab world. The peace process is predicated on the notion that all those pathologies are Israel’s fault. If Israel would just surrender Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians, then the Arabs writ large, and the Muslim world as a whole will cast aside their support for jihad and terrorism and everything will be fine.

At least that is how Abbas analyzes the situation.

And so far, the US has not disappointed him.

The Obama administration’s immediate response to Abbas’s unity with terrorist war criminals deal involved pretending it didn’t understand what had just happened.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, shortly after Hamas war criminal Ismail Haniyeh signed the deal with Fatah and Islamic Jihad, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki acknowledged that the deal is bad for the peace process. But she wasn’t willing to reach the inevitable conclusion.

Rather, she averred, idiotically, “I think the ball, at this point, is in the Palestinians’ court to answer questions to whether this reconciliation meets the US’s long-standing principles.”

Two days before the unity deal, a reporter from Al-Monitor asked Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar if Hamas has given up terrorism.

Zahar responded, “Anyone who claims so must be drunk. How has Hamas abandoned the resistance [that is, terrorist] effort? What are the manifestations of it doing so? Where have we prevented the launching of rockets?” No ambiguity whatsoever there.

And Abbas just signed a deal Hamas, and with Islamic Jihad, the official representative of the Iranian mullahs in the Palestinian war criminal lineup.

No ambiguity there, either.

If the US is willfully blind to who the Palestinians are, what they are doing, and what they stand for, the Europeans are so committed to the Palestinians that they invented an imaginary world where international law protects war criminals and castigates their Jewish victims as international outlaws.

In the EU’s view, Hamas is an attractive organization.

During a meeting with Abbas last October, Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, urged Abbas to sign a unity deal with Hamas. A statement from her office read that she views reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas “as an important element for the unity of a future Palestinian state and for reaching a twostate solution.”

And while unity between terrorist factions is something that Ashton considers conducive to peace, in her view, Jewish presence in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria is tantamount to a war crime.

In a statement released by her office last week, after Baruch Mizrahi was murdered by Palestinian terrorists while driving in his family car, with his wife and young children, to a Passover Seder, Ashton gave no more than a perfunctory condemnation of the war crime.

Four-fifths of her statement involved condemning Israel for respecting Jewish property rights and the rules of due process and international law in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

In the EU’s imaginary world, being in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem while Jewish is a war crime. Murdering Jews is merely impolite.

The deal signed on Wednesday is the fourth unity deal Fatah has signed with Hamas. After the first one was signed in 2007, the so-called Middle East Quartet, which includes the US, the EU, the UN and Russia, issued three conditions for accepting the unity government: Hamas has to recognize Israel’s right to exist, abjure terrorism and accept the legitimacy of the previous agreements signed by the PLO with Israel.

As Zahar and every other Hamas leader has made clear repeatedly, these conditions will never be met.

But regardless of how Hamas views them, in and of themselves the Quartet’s conditions are deeply problematic. They themselves constitute a breach of international law.

The Quartet’s conditions assert that if Hamas and Islamic Jihad agree to them, they will be accorded the same legitimacy as the PLO. In other words, the Quartet members have committed themselves to granting immunity from prosecution for war crimes to all Palestinian terrorists.

Providing such immunity is arguably a breach of international law. And it exposes a profound and irrational dependence on the mythical peace process on the part of Western policy-makers.

Reacting to this week’s unity deal, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said, “The agreement between Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad brings the Middle East to a new diplomatic era. The Palestinian Authority turned into the largest terrorist organization in the world, 20 minutes from Tel Aviv.”

And under international law, including the agreements that Abbas acceded to just two weeks ago, Bennett is absolutely right.

Apologists for Abbas note that this week’s deal is as unlikely as all its predecessors to be implemented.

But even if they are right this doesn’t mean that Abbas’s repeated practice of signing unity deals with war criminals should be cast aside as insignificant.

They expose the lie at the heart of the peace process. The time has come to call things by their names. Abbas is a terrorist and the PA is a terrorist organization.

In light of this incontrovertible fact, the time has come to treat the PA in accordance with international law.

Perhaps shocked by Abbas’s behavior, perhaps overwhelmed by the serial failure of every one of its foreign policies, the administration acknowledged that Israel can’t be expected to negotiate with a government that doesn’t accept its right to exist.

Administration officials even said that the US would have to revisit its relationship with the PA in light of the agreement with Hamas.

No doubt, the administration is convinced that it can revert to form and ignore reality once again the moment the smoke as cleared. But whatever its intentions, the administration’s acknowledgment of Abbas’s bad faith opens the door to action by both Israel and the US Congress.

The Israeli government and the US Congress should take the steps necessary to bring their national policies toward the Palestinians into accordance with the law of nations.

On Thursday, the security cabinet rightly decided to end negotiations with the PA. But this cannot be the end of the line. Israel must also stop all financial transfers to the PA.

Just as critically, Israel must stop cooperating with PA security forces in Judea and Samaria.

It must end its support for US training of those forces and call for the US to end its mission to assist PA security forces.

Israel must begin arresting and prosecuting Palestinian officials who incite for the murder of Jews, and charge them with solicitation of murder.

The government should assist Israeli citizens in submitting war crimes complaints against Palestinian officials and the PA generally at international tribunals for their involvement in war crimes, including their incitement of genocide.

As for the US Congress, last week, with the passage into law of Sen. Ted Cruz’s bill banning terrorists from serving as UN ambassadors, the Congress showed that it is capable of acting to force the administration to uphold US anti-terror laws.

To this end, in accordance with those laws, Congress must act to immediately end US military support for Palestinian security services.

The Office of the US Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian territories that trains Palestinian military forces should be closed straightaway. Its personnel should be redeployed out of the area forthwith.

So, too, given that the Palestinian Authority now inarguably meets the US definition of a foreign terrorist organization, the US must end all financial assistance to its operating budget. Also, in accordance with US law, the US banking system must be closed to PA entities. Foreign banks that do business with these entities should be barred from doing business with US banks.

Abbas is not interested in peace. The two-state model isn’t about achieving peace. It is about blaming the victim of the absence of peace for the absence of peace.

Abbas knows his apologists, both in Israel, and most important in the US and Europe. He knows they will go to any length to defend him.

The Israeli Left does so because without the phony peace process, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, the Labor Party and Meretz become political irrelevancies.

The administration and the EU defend Abbas and the phony peace process because they don’t want to acknowledge the plain fact that Israel is the only stable ally they have in the Middle East and the stronger Israel is the more protected they are. Doing so contradicts their ideology.

So now Abbas is telling them that the deal is good for peace since it brings Hamas-controlled Gaza into the PLO and so reunifies the PA, which has been operating as two separate entities for seven years. And they may go along with it.

They’ve been perfectly willing to embrace utter nonsense countless times over the years.

Only the Israeli government and Congress can stop them. And they must stop them.

These phony peaceniks’ preference for Jew-killers over international law comes with a prohibitive price tag. Jews are murdered, war criminals are embraced, and the rule of law is rent asunder.

Caroline Glick


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

What Is Abbas Trying to Achieve?

by Khaled Abu Toameh

Abbas seems to be enjoying that each time he does something dramatic, the U.S. launches another big diplomatic offensive to try to convince him to backtrack. Abbas wants his people and the Arabs to see him as a hero who can stand up to the Americans.
Abbas's biggest fear is that the U.S. will cut off financial aid to the Palestinian Authority and work toward isolating him, as the Bush Administration did to Yasser Arafat in 2002. He is aware that neither the Europeans nor the Russians nor the Chinese will be able to replace American sponsorship.
Abbas is now waiting to see what the Americans will offer him for rescinding his plan to join forces with Hamas. When this happens, Abbas will most probably come up with new demands and conditions, as he has done all these past weeks.

Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas has once again surprised Israel and the U.S. Administration, this time by signing a "reconciliation" agreement with Hamas.

On April 23, Abbas dispatched a high-level delegation of PLO officials to the Gaza Strip to sign the "historic" deal with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

The deal calls for the formation of a Palestinian unity government, headed by Abbas, within five weeks.

Six months after the creation of the new government, according to the agreement, the Palestinians would hold presidential and parliamentary elections.

Abbas's decision to join forces with Hamas is seen as a tactical move aimed at putting pressure on Israel and the U.S. to accept his conditions for extending the peace talks after their April 29 deadline.

Despite the signing ceremony, however, held at the home of Haniyeh, the gap between Abbas's Fatah faction and Hamas remains as wide as ever.

Ismail Haniyeh (center) speaks at the signing ceremony for the Hamas-Fatah unity agreement. (Image source: Screenshot of AlJazeera video)

There are no indications whatsoever that, as a result of the rapprochement with Fatah, Hamas is about to change its ideology or abandon terrorism.

Nor is there any sign that Hamas is willing to allow the Palestinian Authority security forces to return to the Gaza Strip, which fell into the hands of the Islamist movement in 2007.

Hamas leaders and spokesmen have made it clear that the "reconciliation" agreement does not mean that Hamas will abandon the path of terrorism to achieve its goals. "The option of negotiations has failed," said Ra'fat Murra, a Hamas official in Lebanon. "Palestinian resistance remains the right option."

Ibrahim Hamami, a Palestinian writer closely associated with Hamas, said he does not believe that a reconciliation with "Israel's agents" [Abbas and the PA] is possible. "There should be no meetings or reconciliation with the traitors and collaborators," he said.

This week's "reconciliation" agreement is not about ending the Hamas-Fatah dispute so much as it is about exerting pressure on the Israeli government and the U.S. Administration.

Neither Hamas nor Fatah is interested in sharing power or sitting in the same government.

The "reconciliation" agreement is just the latest in a series of moves taken by Abbas since the eruption of the crisis in the peace talks a few weeks ago. Abbas's moves started with the application to join 15 international treaties, and continued with threats to resign and dissolve the Palestinian Authority.

These moves, like the "reconciliation" agreement with Hamas, have all caught Israel and the U.S. Administration by surprise.

Abbas has concluded that the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, is so desperate to achieve a peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis that he will be willing to do almost anything to salvage the peace process.

Abbas apparently did not feel that the U.S. Administration was completely opposed to his decision to file requests to join 15 international treaties. Nor, apparently, did he sense a serious response from Washington to his threats to resign and dismantle the Palestinian Authority.

That is why he has now decided to put the U.S. Administration to the test by signing a "historic" agreement with Hamas — one that Abbas himself knows is unlikely to materialize.

Abbas does not seem worried at all over Israel's decision to suspend the peace talks with the Palestinian Authority. In fact, he was expecting a harsh response from Israel. But he knows that Israel's measures would be limited and that Israel has no interest in bringing about the collapse of the Palestinian Authority.

He would be far more worried if the U.S. Administration actually came out in full force against the agreement with Hamas. Abbas's biggest fear is that the U.S. will cut off financial aid to the Palestinian Authority and work toward isolating him, as the Bush Administration did to Yasser Arafat in 2002.

Also, Abbas wants the U.S. to continue to play the role of the major mediator in the conflict with Israel because he is aware that neither the Europeans nor the Russians nor the Chinese will be able to replace American sponsorship.

Abbas is convinced that it is only a matter of time before Kerry or top U.S. diplomats rush to Ramallah to try to persuade him not to make peace with Hamas.

Abbas seems to be enjoying that each time he does something dramatic, the U.S. Administration launches another big diplomatic offensive to convince him to backtrack. In a way, he appears to be enjoying humiliating the largest superpower. Abbas wants his people and the Arabs to see him as hero who can stand up to the Americans.

Abbas is now waiting to see what the U.S. Administration will offer him in return for rescinding his plan to join forces with Hamas. When this happens, Abbas will most probably come up with new demands and conditions, just as he has been doing during these past few weeks.

Khaled Abu Toameh


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

Declaration Signals Growing Split in Al-Qaida

by John Rossomando

A pledge signed by nine al-Qaida commanders from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Iran is the latest example of how the terrorist movement's once monolithic structure has begun to crumble under stress from Syria's civil war.

The "Khorasan pledge," which was signed April 9, announces a shift in loyalty from al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Al-Zawahiri denounced ISIS at the beginning of February and said al-Qaida had nothing to do with the group. The split left al-Qaida without representation in Iraq, where the ISIS began and spent the better part of the past decade fighting U.S. troops.

ISIS had been engaged in an internecine battle with Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaida's other Syrian branch prior to al-Zawahiri's denunciation.

The nine leaders who signed the pledge attacked Zawahiri and Jabhat al-Nusra without naming them, saying they "did not have any courage to enforce judgments over those who disobey sharia, under the pretext of avoiding a clash with people due to their inability and incapacity, although they enforced in secret more than they did out in the open."

They argued that conflict began with a dispute between the late Islamic State of Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Zawahiri in 2005. In their view, Zawahiri has "always been lax." Zawahiri is an apostate who does not go far enough in merely referring to the Shia as infidels, they said.

The declaration has been circulating in jihadi forums such as Shumukh al-Islam.

One source sought to downplay the pledge's importance, telling the Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper that it had been blown out of proportion by the media. "The people mentioned are not in a leadership position and do not carry any notable responsibilities," the source told Al-Akhbar.

ISIS spokesman Mohammed al-Adnani attacked al-Qaida a few days after the signing of the declaration saying that "al-Qaida deviated from the rightful course."

John Rossomando


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

Telling the Truth about Terrorism and Islamic Charities

by Michael Curtis

The link between “charity” groups and terrorist organizations is frequently not recognized or is ignored. The chairman of the British Charity Commission, William Shawcross, on April 20, 2014 expressed his concern about charities being used as vehicles for such groups. He warns that the “problem of Islamist extremism… is not the most widespread problem we face in terms of abuse of charities but is potentially the most deadly... and it is growing.”

The growth is evident from the analysis in the British list of terrorist organizations proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000. Of the 55 organizations, 33 are Islamist, alphabetically, from the Abu Nidal Organization, whose declared aim is the destruction of Israel, to Saved Sect or Savior Sect, a group that has disguised its name on a number of occasions and which seeks to establish an Islamic Caliphate ruled by Sharia law.

Shawcross’s rightful concern was that some charities in the UK as elsewhere in Western democracies purportedly raise funds to provide aid for desirable objectives, and do so to some extent, but that they are also engaged in money laundering to organizations that are involved, directly or indirectly, with terrorist groups. More specifically, Shawcross found that some people accused of terrorist offenses serve as charity trustees.

Oxfam International, which showed such courage in trying to prevent the powerful Scarlett Johansson from taking a job with the Israeli company SodaStream, appears naïve and politically inept in not grasping this link. In January 2014 Oxfam was about to cosponsor an exhibit on Gaza in the East London Mosque together with Ibrahim Hewitt, a trustee of Interpal, officially the Palestine Relief and Development Fund, a so-called charity organization.

Oxfam, though now universally famous for its acute knowledge of the precise conditions in Israeli settlements, did not know, as every schoolboy in London does, that the East London Mosque is a notorious cauldron of anti-Western and anti-Semitic hatred. One of the individuals, Sakeel Begg, due to speak at another event at the Mosque, describes jihad as “the greatest of deeds.” The Mosque has also entertained other speakers such as Saad al-Beraik who refers to Jews as “monkeys,” and calls on Palestinians not to “have mercy or compassion on the Jews,” and to wage jihad against them.

It is also well known that the Mosque is an organization close to the Bangladeshi wing in the UK of Jamaat-e-Islami, a violent Islamic terrorist group, responsible for mass murder in 1971, and linked to the Global Muslim Brotherhood.

Oxfam understood that Hewitt was due to speak at the Mosque in conjunction with the Gaza exhibition it was cosponsoring. But then it cancelled the event not because of the hatred expressed in Hewitt’s remarks about Israel but because of his comments about homosexuality about which Oxfam had been previously unaware. Hewitt is reported as wanting homosexuals to suffer “severe punishments” for their “great sin.” He is not clear, at least officially, whether gays should be executed or whether they should simply be subjected to stoning. In spite of the cancellation, the irrepressibly naive Oxfam still “looks forward” to working with the Mosque to “highlight the plight of children of Gaza.”

Oxfam seems not have known about Ibrahim Hewitt or Interpal and the relation of this “charity group” to Hamas in Gaza. Hewitt, a convert to Islam in 1981, is an individual who wears a number of hats, all of which have a certain pattern.  He is senior editor of Middle East Monitor (Islamist outlet). He is also a trustee of the International Board of Educational Research and Resources, an organization in South Africa, founded by Yusuf Islam (the former Cat Stevens) which distributes Islamist educational material. Hewitt was formerly, 2004-2006, the Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, a group that is dominated by the jihadist group, Jaamat-e-Islami.

Hewitt is a skilled polemicist who makes no secret of his views. In his pamphlet Blood on the Holy Land, of March 13, 1988, Hewitt referred to the “so-called Holocaust.” He is proud of his mastery of the subject of national characteristics, especially those of Jews and Israelis. One example is his statement, “By their behavior in vandalizing and destroying Mosques and Churches, the Jews have demonstrated that they cannot be entrusted with the sanctity and security of this Holy Land.”

Hewitt has obviously not been reading carefully the recent news about the peaceful and humanitarian conditions, and the careful preservation of antiquities and religious structures in the freedom-loving and tolerant countries of Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. Nevertheless, Hewitt on April 15, 2014 comprehended “The undeniable fact that the creation of the state (of Israel) is the prime cause of the unrest in the Middle East.” He also knows that the U.S. government is a “puppet” of Zionism. Hewitt frequently asserts that Israel has committed war crimes and is a threat to world peace.

Above all, Hewitt is chair and trustee of Interpal, the British charity founded in 1994 that claims to be supporting Palestinians by alleviating poverty, providing health care, and advancing education, and by transferring funds to local authorized partners in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. More realistically, the U.S. in 2003 named it as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist organization. And the BBC, in its Panorama program in July 2006 alleged that money collected by Interpal was going to fund other charities, voluntary organizations, that sponsored educational projects encouraging children to become suicide bombers. The BBC further alleged that these charities had links with, even run by, senior Hamas members.

Interpal was part of, perhaps the most important affiliate, of the charity organizations making up the Union of Good, a coalition headed by the leader of Global Muslim Brotherhood, Youssef Qaradawi, who helps raise funds for Hamas. The Union of Good is a coalition of charities that manages financial support for Hamas. This group was banned by Israel in 2002, a year before it was designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. A U.S.Treasury statement in 2008 claimed UOG’s executive leadership and the secretary-general board of directors included Hamas leaders. The UOG and Interpal were close: the secretary-general of UOG also acted as vice-chairman of Interpal. The former general-secretary of the UOG, Essam Mustafa, is the Managing Trustee of Interpal. He and Hewitt both met in Gaza with Ismail Haniya, senior member of Hamas, on July 31, 2011.

Interpal has been careful to cover its tracks. As a result, the UK Charity Commission, the body that regulates charities, issued a cautious and nuanced report in February 2009 that concluded it could not verify that Interpal had distributed funds to other organizations promoting terrorist ideology or activities, especially those of Hamas. However, it did not give Interpal a clean bill of health. It held that Interpal’s continued membership of UOG was not appropriate and that it should end its membership.  Many of the partners of Interpal appear to have promoted and supported Hamas.  Again, in its 2012 report, the UK Commission, was uneasy but did not censure Interpal for its involvement with Hamas. Interpal does, however, appear to have ended its membership of UOG after the Charity Commission report advised it to do so.

This reluctance on the part of the British Commission, which is an objective body, to state the obvious is surprising. Lloyds Bank’s attitude was clear-cut. It decided in 2009 that it would not provide services for Interpal which had an account with the Islamic Bank of Britain. The Commission might have reached a similar conclusion if it had considered the activities of two individuals in Britain. Zaid Yemeni (Zaid Hassan), the representative of Interpal in Birmingham, who has met with a Hamas leader in Gaza who called on God to annihilate Jews and not leave any one of them alive. Ibrahm Dar (Abu Hana), the Bradford representative of Interpal, is an open admirer of  Anwar Al-Awlaki, a major al-Qaeda leader whose main ambition is blow up U.S. planes.

Plain speaking on terrorism is essential in all democratic countries. The most recent report of the British Commission evades that and lacks clarity and robustness. So do some participants in a recent controversy in New York City. A brief film to be shown at the opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum refers to those who committed the crime of 9/11 as terrorists whose mission is jihad. Some clerics dislike this wording, arguing that it casts aspirations on all Muslims. Clearly it does no such thing. It is incumbent to call terrorists by their right name, whether in this particular case or in reference to British “charities” which camouflage their real intentions.

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


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

Secretary Kerry's Mideast 'Piece' Talks Break Down

by Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison

Secretary of State John Kerry has been tireless in his travels to the Mideast, pressing and pushing for an Arab-Israeli peace settlement. But the peace settlement he has pursued should more accurately be called a “piece” settlement, since the only topic he seems to care about is how many pieces of territory the embattled Jewish State can be prodded into giving up to its sworn enemies.

 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reportedly considering presenting the negotiators for the Arabs of Palestine -- the PLO -- with a new negotiating position, bolstered by maps -- that would indicate areas Israel may be persuaded to cede.

But only in return for PLO recognition of the Jewish State’s right to exist within secure borders.

None of these concessions, even if made as a good-faith effort to achieve peace, are enough for the European Union (EU). Catherine Ashton is the EU foreign-policy spokeswoman. She recently lashed out at Israel for settling more Jews in East Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria.

This criticism from Minister Ashton comes at a particularly bad time. But it only emphasizes the blunt truth: Europe is becoming more inhospitable to Jews. Rising anti-Semitism even in such previously safe refuges as Malmö, Sweden, should concern the EU. Islamist violence and intimidation against Europe’s Jews is on the increase. In Ukraine, someone distributed pamphlets outside synagogues where worshipers had gathered for Passover services. These anonymous pamphlets demanded that Ukrainian Jews “register” or face deportation and confiscation of property.

The European Union, it would seem, needs to consider its own failures to protect the human rights of European Jews. Instead, it shovels billions of Euros into the coffers of the so-called Palestinian Authority. We say “so-called” because PLO boss Mahmoud Abbas cancelled elections scheduled for 2009. He rules today by fiat -- and through the generous financial backing of the EU and the United States.

In propping up a corrupt character like Abbas, we violate our own best traditions. In the Civil War, President Lincoln expected to be defeated at the polls, but he would not even consider canceling or delaying regularly scheduled elections for President and Congress.

Similarly, in the midst of World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt never hesitated in placing his policies before the voters in mid-term elections in 1942 and the presidential poll of 1944.

Abbas has never been cooperative. His negotiators complained recently to President Obama that the Israeli settlements in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria constituted “a very ugly map.”  The president should have asked Abbas to show him what the PLO’s idea of a beautiful map of the Mideast would look like. They have such maps. They are printed in schoolbooks, in tourist pamphlets, and on their official seal. It’s a map of “Palestine” with no Israel at all.

Now, Mahmoud Abbas has concluded a deal with Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood front group that rules in Gaza. It is from the Gaza Strip that Hamas has sent 10,000 rockets into Israel. This is the only result of the pressure from the EU and the UN on Israel to evacuate Gaza and to remove Jewish settlements from that strife-torn area.

Any territorial concessions by Israel to the PLO -- any “piece” agreement -- can be expected to yield no true peace, but only more staging areas for rocket attacks. Abbas has consistently denied the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state -- but he insists that any Palestinian state would be free of Jews. The German word for such is Judenrein.

Why American policy makers want to assist Abbas -- who celebrates suicide bombers and names public squares for them -- in creating yet another terrorist haven is a mystery.

Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick has shown in her new book, The Israeli Solution, that the PLO cannot account to EU’s own auditors how it spent some 27 billion Euros. The vast kleptocracy that is the PLO sponges off credulous European and American diplomats, constantly promising to advance a peace process that never processes.

Glick further shows that Abbas is giving $120 million per month to Hamas. He is therefore a leading non-state sponsor of terrorism. Why the United States has an interest in making the PLO another state, another Terroristan, is beyond our comprehension.

Even now, with President Obama’s foreign policies being repudiated around the world, Secretary Kerry and his State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, is blaming “both sides,” for the collapse of talks. Her words were reported in the Jerusalem Post:

“As has been the case throughout this impasse, today, Secretary Kerry was again crystal clear that both sides have taken unhelpful steps and at no point has he engaged in a blame game,” Psaki said. But Kerry had himself blamed Israel in his testimony before Congress: “A day went by. Day two went by. Day three went by. And then in the afternoon, when they were about to maybe get there, 700 settlement units were announced in Jerusalem and, poof, that was the moment,” Kerry said.

We have seen anti-Semitism rising in Europe and even in the U.S. Jews who go to Israel are now under pressure from Kerry’s State Department not to try to live in the capital of the Jewish State, nor in Judea and Samaria, where Jews have lived since biblical times.

In his apportioning of blame to both sides, Sec. Kerry is a prime illustration of what the late Newsweek editor, Meg Greenfield, wrote about “both sidesism.” During the Iranian hostage crisis, this no-nonsense liberal criticized the view some liberals seem bound to take in such clashes. If they were missionaries put in a kettle, Greenfield wisely noted, these starry-eyed liberals would try to see the situation from the cannibal chief’s point of view.

Mahmoud Abbas and his cohorts in the PLO invented airline hijacking for terrorist purposes. They murdered the Israeli Olympic athletes in 1972.  They murdered U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel in 1973. They were likely connected to the murder of 241 U.S. Marines and Navy corpsmen in Beirut in 1983. When the flaming Twin Towers collapsed on 9/11, they celebrated in the streets.

Why is it in our interest to pet the PLO, pander to them, or even try to pay them off?

Blackwell and Morrison are senior fellows at the Family Research Council, in Washington , D.C.


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The Mullahs’ Response to UN Rep. Visa Denial

by Joseph Klein

The Iranian regime is very upset that the United States has decided to refuse to issue a visa for its newly appointed permanent representative to the United Nations, Hamid Aboutalebi. The same country that violated its own treaty obligations as a host country to the U.S. embassy and its diplomats in 1979, by virtue of the embassy seizure and hostage taking it still celebrates to this day, claims that the United States, as the host country for the UN headquarters, is violating the terms of its agreement with the United Nations.  Iran’s accusation stems from the decision of the Obama administration, acting under legislation signed by President Obama, to refuse to issue a visa for Aboutalebi to enter the country because of his involvement in the illegal seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran and the holding of diplomats as hostages. Aboutalebi does not deny having had some involvement, but claims that his role was a minor one.

Iran has formally complained to the United Nations, taking its case to the committee of the UN General Assembly that deals with host country issues. The committee took no action after its initial meeting. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also not taken a public position on Iran’s complaint.

In its submission to the committee, Iran cited several provisions of the 1947 “Agreement Between the United Nations and the United States Regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations” to support its contention that the United States has no legal right to bar Aboutalebi.  For example, Iran pointed to the provisions of Sections 11 and 13 of the Headquarters Agreement, which state that “The federal, state or local authorities of the United States shall not impose any impediments to transit to or from the headquarters district of […] representatives of Members […] of the United Nations”, and that “When visas are required for persons referred to in that section, they shall be granted without charge and as promptly as possible.” Iran also quoted Section 12 of the agreement, which states that its provisions shall be “applicable irrespective of the relations existing between the Governments of the persons [of Member States] and the Government of the United States.”

Iran went on to say that “Depriving Member States of their inherent right to designate their representatives to the United Nations based on their own internal procedures would adversely affect the functioning of the Permanent Missions. Furthermore, it undermines the work of the United Nations system and impairs the very foundations of multilateral diplomacy.”

The World Socialist website stuck up for Iran and accused the United States of “a flagrant violation of Iran’s national rights.”  Iran is also receiving support for its position from such regular flouters of international law as Belarus, Cuba and North Korea.

The Iranian parliament directed Iranian President Rouhani’s government to file a lawsuit against the U.S. at competent international bodies over its refusal to issue an entry visa for Aboutalebi. If they do, Iran faces both a procedural hurdle and, more importantly, a major substantive problem.

The procedural hurdle is that the 1947 Headquarters Agreement is a bilateral agreement between the host country, the United States, and the United Nations.  Only the UN can seek to enforce the terms of the agreement against the United States.  Section 21 states: “Any dispute between the United Nations and the United States concerning the interpretation or application of this agreement or of any supplemental agreement, which is not settled by negotiation or other agreed mode of settlement, shall be referred for final decision to a tribunal of three arbitrators, one to be named by the Secretary General, one to be named by the Secretary of State of the United States, and the third to be chosen by the two, or, if they should fail to agree upon a third, then by the President of the International Court of Justice.”

Furthermore, either the Secretary General or the United States may ask the General Assembly to request the International Court of Justice to issue an advisory opinion on any legal question arising in the course of such arbitration proceedings, which the arbitrators would be expected to take into account in rendering their final decision.  Iran can work through the General Assembly and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to urge the UN to prosecute its case against the United States, but Iran has no legal standing to sue the United States on its own in any court for an alleged breach of the Headquarters Agreement because it is not a party to that agreement and there is no provision for direct enforcement in court or in arbitration by any individual member states.

Even if Iran were able to get around this procedural hurdle, its case that the United States is in violation of international law by not allowing Iran’s designated UN ambassador to enter the host country to assume his official duties has no merit because Iran would not be coming to court with what courts refer to as “clean hands.” Iran would be seeking a court order requiring the United States to admit someone who participated in wrongful conduct against the United States in violation of Iran’s own duties as the host country for the United States embassy in Tehran.

Specifically, the Iranian regime has made no effort to remedy its grave violation of international law, as adjudicated by the International Court of Justice, in allowing, and then actively supporting, the invasion of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Tehran and the holding of U.S. diplomats as hostages for more than a year. Hamid Aboutalebi does not deny that he had some involvement in this saga, for which there has been no accountability. Requiring the United States to grant Aboutalebi a visa for long-term residence in the United States would be tantamount to enlisting the U.S. in granting impunity to someone complicit in Iran’s egregious breach of its own treaty obligations as a host country.

In its 1980 opinion, the International Court of Justice held Iran to be in breach of its treaty commitments under various international conventions in force to which Iran and the United States were parties, as well as under long-established rules of general international law:

“The Iranian authorities’ decision to continue the subjection of the Embassy to occupation, and of its staff to detention as hostages, gave rise to repeated and multiple breaches of Iran’s treaty obligations, additional to those already committed at the time of the seizure of the Embassy… The Court finds that Iran, by committing successive and continuing breaches of the obligations laid upon it by the Vienna Conventions of 1961 and 1963, the 1955 Treaty, and the applicable rules of general international law, has incurred responsibility towards the United States. As a consequence, there is an obligation on the part of the Iranian State to make reparation for the injury caused to the United States… the Court draws the attention of the entire international community to the irreparable harm that may be caused by events of the kind before the Court. Such events cannot fail to undermine a carefully constructed edifice of law the maintenance of which is vital for the security and well-being of the international community.”

Iran ignored the ruling of the International Court of Justice, even though it had clear-cut jurisdiction to decide the case. Iran has not only failed to make reparation for the injury it caused to the United States and its diplomats.  It continues to this day to celebrate the illegal seizure of the embassy and the hostages.  November 4 – the date of the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Iran by government supported thugs – is celebrated each year as “the National Day of Confrontation with Arrogance.” Last November, tens of thousands of demonstrators celebrated by chanting “Death to America!” outside the former U.S. embassy in Tehran.

The United States is not imposing any blanket restrictions on Iran’s selection process for the delegates it chooses to send to represent it at UN headquarters in New York, much less prevent the Iranian UN mission from operating. Rather, the United States is barring one individual from entering the United States who seeks to invoke the contractual responsibilities of the United States as the host country to the United Nations while having participated with no accountability in Iran’s grave violations of its international treaty obligations as a host country to diplomatic embassies.

If Iran tries to bring the Aboutalebi visa matter to court, let’s take advantage of the opportunity to require Iran to make full recompense and a public admission of wrong-doing for the 444 days that Iran held American diplomats in brutal captivity.

Joseph Klein


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