Saturday, May 10, 2014

Hamas' "Gift" To Israel on Independence Day

by Khaled Abu Toameh

The new video clip released by Hamas should be seen as a response to Abbas's recent claim that the unity government with Hamas will renounce violence and accept Israel. Hamas leaders have repeated over the past few days that the unity deal does not mean that their movement will ever recognize Israel's right to exist. They have also emphasized their intention to pursue terrorist attacks against Israel.
The unity deal with Hamas will harm the Palestinians themselves far more than it will harm the U.S., the EU or Israel.
Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that may soon become part of the Western-funded Palestinian Authority [PA], has threatened Israelis either to leave their country or face death.

The latest threat came in the form of a video clip published by Hamas' military wing, the Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades, on the occasion of Israel Independence Day.

In the video clip, the terrorist group, which consists of several thousand militiamen in the Gaza Strip, also threatens to assassinate Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is hoping that the recent "reconciliation" deal he signed with Hamas will see the Hamas militiamen become part of his Fatah-dominated and US-trained security forces.

The video clip serves as a reminder that Hamas has not -- and will not -- abandon its dream of destroying Israel or renouncing terrorism, even after the group joins a Palestinian unity government headed by Abbas.

The video clip was released just as Abbas was holding talks in Doha, Qatar, with Hamas's leader, Khaled Mashaal, to discuss the implementation of the "reconciliation" pact between the two sides. The two men agreed to pursue their efforts to end their differences and form a joint government.

Entitled "The End of Hope," Hamas' two-minute video clip is a parody of the Israeli national anthem Hatikvah [The Hope]. The video starts by describing the Israel Defense Forces as a "hopeless and defeated army built of wax." It goes on to say that the Israelis will soon find themselves divided into two parts: those who would be returned to the countries they came from if they chose to do so, and the "stupid and stubborn" ones who insist on staying and would end up "buried under the earth."
A screenshot from the Hamas "End of Hope" video.

The Hamas message also vows to expel Israelis from Jerusalem and the Western Wall. It concludes by featuring an Israeli flag with the inscription, "Israel will inevitably be eliminated."

The new video released by Hamas should also be seen as a response to Abbas's recent claim that the unity government with Hamas will renounce violence and accept Israel.

Hamas leaders have repeated over the past few days that the unity deal with Abbas's Fatah faction does not mean that their movement will ever recognize Israel's right to exist. They have also emphasized their intention to pursue terrorist attacks against Israel.

Abbas and the Palestinian Authority have chosen to ignore Hamas's ongoing threats to destroy Israel and continue terrorist attacks. Instead, Abbas is obviously determined to pursue his efforts to achieve unity with the terrorist movement, while at the same time trying to persuade gullible Westerners that the radical Islamists are marching toward moderation and pragmatism.

Even worse, Abbas is now seeking to expose Palestinians in the West Bank to Hamas's poisonous messages. Earlier this week, the Palestinian Authority leader issued an order permitting all newspapers published in the Gaza Strip, including those belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, to be distributed in the West Bank areas under his control.

This means that Abbas is paving the way for the radicalization of more Palestinians. Ironically, Abbas is helping Hamas and other terrorist organizations undermine his rule in the West Bank.

Hamas's words and actions show that the movement is planning to continue working toward the destruction of Israel, regardless of the unity deal with Abbas and his Fatah faction.

Abbas, for his part, is continuing with his attempts to scare the Americans and Europeans into providing the PA with additional funds. The message he is now sending to them is, "Hold me back from falling into the open arms of Hamas."

It remains to be seen whether those who are funding the Palestinian Authority will succumb to this extortion.

Perhaps the time has come for the American and European donors to tell Abbas that this time they are not going to hold him back, and that he is welcome to pursue his efforts to join forces with Hamas and further radicalize his people.

The alignment with Hamas is bad not only for the West and the peace process, but also for Abbas himself. Sooner or later, he and his Fatah faction will find themselves devoured by Hamas and other terrorist groups. The unity deal with Hamas will harm the Palestinians themselves far more than it will harm the U.S., the EU or Israel.

Khaled Abu Toameh


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

Denis MacEoin: BDS Movement: Barbarians Inside the Gates - Part II

by Denis MacEoin

These politically correct activists are all supposed to be anti-racists and multiculturalists. Yet when artists are banned just because they happened to be born in Israel, it tears apart the very basis of both anti-racism and multiculturalism.
As you doubtless know, many in Europe loathe the United States. Their invective down the years has been an assault on reason and emotional stability, whether directed against the Vietnam war, the response to 9/11 or to the Iraq war. Yet there is no boycott of the United States.

So, despite a hatred for America -- and a perverse love of Iran, Hezbollah, and the PLO -- we come back to the Israeli exception, to the singling out of just one country. However charitable we may try to be, it is hard not to detect the reek of anti-Semitism. Am I being unfair? To people who marched through the streets of European cities chanting, "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas," (and here and here at Dutch football matches) was that just simple folly -- or proof of intention?

The international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement [BDS] against Israel is so determined to hurt Israel abroad, that the boycotters also put pressure on performers who even consider holding concerts in Israel.

Carlos Latuff's cartoon calling on performers to boycott Israel.

The pressure works. An endless stream of artists, mainly musicians, have cancelled concerts or simply turned down invitations to play in Tel Aviv or elsewhere in Israel.

Carlos Santana caved in to pressure from the BDS crowd, as did Elvis Costello, Gil Scott-Heron, Annie Lennox, Stevie Wonder, and writers such as Iain Banks and Alice Walker, a crusader against racism who flies the flag of anti-Semitism as though Jews are suitable victims. Five hundred artists from Montreal, Canada have joined the campaign. Actors such as Vanessa Paradis and her husband Johnny Depp stayed at home in 2011 -- under the threat that, if they turned up in Israel, they would face a boycott, too.

Roger Waters, former lead singer and lyricist for the rock band Pink Floyd, is a hardline anti-Israel activist who demands a boycott until Israel ends "the occupation" (presumably on Palestinian terms). He also demands that Israel grants full equality to Israel's Arabs -- notwithstanding that Israel's Arabs already have full equality both in law and in practice. Waters would also give all Palestinians the "right of return" -- a condition that guarantees the end of Israel should millions of Muslim non-refugees overrun it.

What Waters and his supporters fail to appreciate is that the exodus of Arabs in 1948 came about in the course of a defensive war: the Arab Higher Committee and the Arab Liberation Army ordered Arabs to leave the land to make it easier to kill the Jews. The Arabs who stayed now make up 20% of Israel's population; they have their own political parties, their own Members of Knesset, their own Supreme Court judgeships, professorships in universities, and so on. Those Arabs who did choose to leave what is now Israel made their beds -- or had them made for them -- and should now lie in them.

This bit of history does not even include the large number of Jews -- estimated at about 800,000, the same number as Arabs who left Israel -- who were forced to leave all their homes and property behind while fleeing onslaughts in Arab countries.

But while Israel took all the Jews in, built housing for them, educated them, and made them citizens, the Arab countries effectively kept their Arab brethren out, often packing them in rancid warrens known as "refugee camps."

By way of comparison, does the Republic of Ireland claim that it must displace all of England, and then allow the English to remain as subordinated citizens if they pay "protection"? Does the United States plan to return Florida to the Seminole or California to Mexico?

But not all the news is bad. Far from it. Many performers have chosen to play in Israel and have done so in great numbers. Artists who have voiced opposition to the BDS campaign include the outstanding Italian writer Umberto Eco, the film makers Joel and Ethan Coen, and musicians such as Elton John, Leonard Cohen, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Madonna, and Sir Paul McCartney. And one of the world's oldest and biggest bands, the Rolling Stones, plans to play in Tel Aviv this summer.

Not everyone is meek in the face of BDS pressure. The British musician John Lydon (the notorious Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols, an anti-establishment figure who actually might have been expected to join in the boycott), responded to criticism by saying: "If Elvis-f#*&ing-Costello wants to pull out of a gig in Israel because he's suddenly got this compassion for Palestinians, then good on him. But I have absolutely one rule, right? Until I see an Arab country, a Muslim country, with a democracy, I won't understand how anyone can have a problem with how they are treated."

These are the ironies of the whole BDS business. These politically correct activists are all supposed to be, as if it were the law of the jungle, anti-racists and multiculturalists. But when artists such as Riff Cohen and Ester Rada are banned just because they happened to be born in Israel, it tears apart the very basis of both anti-racism and multiculturalism.

Ban a black singer anywhere else, and you will be denounced as a racist. Ban a Jewish singer whose parents come from North Africa, and you will have made a mockery of the multicultural dream. Banned because you do not like the singer's government? Iran has a deeply dangerous government, but would you ban the extraordinary voice of Mohammed Reza Shajarian? Portugal once had a dictator named António de Oliveira Salazar; no one thought for a moment to ban the country's extraordinary singer, Amália Rodrigues. Who would want to boycott a woman who was understood to be the embodiment of the soul of the Portuguese people, on whose death the state declared three days of public mourning?

But perhaps, after all, matters are changing. A friend just sent a long list of thirty-two items, part of which follows below. People are starting to boycott the boycotters -- probably the most fun you could have with your clothes on.

BDS Scorecard for 3rd Quarter 2013
  • Tunisia Banished from Davis Cup for Boycotting Israeli Tennis deals a blow to the BDS Boycott
  • A Massive Legal Win In France Against BDS over Jerusalem Rail Link
  • Lockheed Martin is opening a subsidiary in Israel
  • Shurat HaDin Files Racism Lawsuit against Sydney University BDS Supporter
  • Beijing Businesses Looking For Products Labelled "Made In Israel"
  • Israel overtakes France as the world's 4th largest exporter of arms in the world
  • Kuwait buys arms from Israel, defends position on Al Jazeera
  • Israel's Second Quarter growth exceeds expectation
  • Facebook is opening its first office in Israel after acquiring app maker Onavo
  • Germans advise BDS will not bring peace in article in Algemeiner, 4th Nov 2013
  • The Irish Independent reports that entrepreneurs from five up-and-coming Irish high-tech firms are visiting Israel to learn how its businesses pulled off so many achievements.
  • The Nigerian president is to lead 30,000 pilgrims to Israel, according to All Africa
  • The richest man in Asia is giving $130 million to the Technion to build a research centre in China.
  • Israel is closing consulates in Europe and replacing them in China, where trade is increasing
  • Apple Pays $345 Million For Israeli Chip Manufacturer
  • BDS Main Websites Built Using Israeli Software Wix – journalists accuse them of hypocrisy
  • Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Top Index Hits All-Time High Nov 21
(Also see Efraim Inbar's "Time Favors Israel.")

Denis MacEoin


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

The Pelosi Presser and the Benghazi Select Committee

by Sally Zelikovsky

At the end of her press conference regarding the Benghazi Select Committee, Nancy Pelosi had the nerve to ask: “We’ve been there… done that…why are we doing this again”?

Her question echoes the laments of Hillary Clinton (“What difference at this point does it make”?); Tom Vietor (“Dude, this was like two years ago.”); Jay Carney (“Benghazi happened a long time ago.”); and Gwen Ifill (“There are so many important issues around the world which involves [sic] people’s lives, helpless people’s lives, that could use a little attention.”)

Pelosi claims that Republican attention to ObamaCare has run its course and focusing on Benghazi is a way to avoid discussion about creating jobs, building infrastructure, and addressing how we “educate our children, protect our neighborhoods, and secure our nation.  It’s all part of how we honor our responsibilities to the American people and [Republicans] don’t want to talk about that because they don’t believe in governance, they don’t believe in science and they want to stop Barack Obama at every step.”

Claiming that they had the votes in the House for immigration reform, ENDA, gun safety legislation, and the Voting Rights Act, she asks:  
”What are we doing instead? Spending a week getting attention on this subject, which, by the way, the American people care about jobs, they care about their families and their [sic] education of their children and the health of their families."
These certainly are kitchen table issues Americans care about and on which most elections hinge. But Pelosi conveniently overlooks the fact that these are the issues Democrats in Congress and Obama were supposed to have addressed for the last five years. In fact, during the first two years when Obama had a Democrat Congress and our economic ills were most acute, they funded the bailout, the stimulus, numerous jobs bills, and ObamaCare with trillions of dollars, all of which were supposed to address a failing educational system, unjust healthcare system, and ailing infrastructure that in someone’s fantasy were the cause and therefore the cure for all of our economic woes. 
I don’t think she realizes that she has just admitted that we still face the same economic problems she claims to have fixed and that her work in Congress and Obama’s efforts as president have been an epic fail.

Pelosi then continues with a plea that we not be “accomplices to this diversionary tactic, it’s all subterfuge because [Republicans] don’t want to talk about what our responsibilities are here and we have to make a judgment as to how dangerous we think they can be with their misrepresentation of the facts….”

The real diversionary tactic is being employed by the Democrats as they continue to ignore compelling evidence of a cover-up and label it a political stunt, instead. This trivializes the four lives that were sacrificed and the many injured that night in Benghazi. It also shows an utter lack of regard for the risks we ask people to take every day in the Foreign Service, the military, and in our intelligence communities. 

Contrary to her statement, Republicans do want to talk about our responsibilities to those who put their lives in harm’s way for the security of the nation, whereas Democrats prefer to talk about chaos in other countries, and, all of a sudden, jobs and the economy after five years of failure!  They’ll talk about their failures on the world stage and the destruction of our economy, but the last thing Democrats want to take responsibility for is Benghazi. Again, can you say “diversion”?

As for misrepresentations, I don’t think there is one lie or exaggeration by the Republicans regarding Benghazi that Pelosi can point to, certainly nothing as egregious as the mélange of misrepresentations, lies, obfuscation, and obstructions perpetuated by the Obama Administration regarding:  
  • a video being responsible for a protest run amok that morphed into an attack,
  • whose idea it was to peddle the video myth and why it continued for two weeks after the attack,
  • why an innocent man was incarcerated for the video and the terrorists have yet to be apprehended,
  • who prepared and changed the talking points used by Susan Rice,
  • the failure to produce documents and allow testimony,
  • where the President and Hillary were during the attack, what they did and did not do,  their exact communications with staff about the attack,
  • who gave the order to stand down and not send military assets.
But where Pelosi’s press conference really falters is in having the chutzpah to ask why we are revisiting this supposedly settled matter.

It is convenient now to identify Benghazi as a political stunt in anticipation of the 2014 election, but the reality is that Republicans have been banging the Benghazi drum steadily since September 11, 2012. The only reason the Select Committee has popped up this spring -- right before the November 2014 elections -- is because of the Ben Rhodes email which hadn’t previously been disclosed to the Congress and indisputably reveals that talking points about the video were provided to Susan Rice by the White House before her Sunday morning appearances.  This is new, bespeaks a cover-up, begs the question what other documents have not been disclosed and what further testimony must be pursued, and screams for a Select Committee.

Democrats can call it a game of political “gotcha” as much as they want, but once the truth about Benghazi is exposed, the Obama Administration, its Democrat supporters, and the press will be eating crow. And deservedly so. 

The answer to “why are we doing this again” and “what difference does it make” is simple but something Democrats at their core just don’t understand and Republicans, while fully grasping its import, neglect to mention every time they speak: Benghazi matters because it is about following through on our promises to the people who serve in the military, Foreign Service and the intelligence communities that, in exchange for living or working in dangerous, volatile, unsavory or hazardous parts of the world, we will keep them safe, provide them with state of the art security and communications equipment, med evac those who need medical attention, get them away from harm’s way as quickly and preemptively as possible, always have their backs, and never, ever leave them behind.
The Obama administration reneged on each one of these promises. 

As horrific as events in Nigeria, the Sudan, Ukraine, and Syria are; as pressing as revitalizing the economy, creating jobs, enforcing immigration laws, dealing with ObamaCare and our educational system are, if the people can’t trust the government and the government refuses to follow through on promises it makes to those of whom we ask the most, then the compact between the governed and those who govern is fractured. A government cannot make any policy without the support of its citizenry, it cannot fight wars without soldiers, administer programs without a bureaucracy, or raise funds without a tax base. If our government cannot be trusted, the people will not entrust it with anything. It will be a government with no bite.   

Benghazi goes to the heart of this compact, the heart of our faith in our leadership. It matters more than Watergate, Irangate, and Plamegate. It matters because four Americans who devoted their lives to public service were betrayed by the very government whose word they relied upon. The Obama Administration turned their backs on four men and abandoned them in their hour of need. Then, in the aftermath, the Obama Administration lied to their families and the country. And the press turned a blind eye. 

To lose, in one fell swoop, four good men, the trust of our government, and our faith in the press, is a travesty. But to have forfeited the credibility of this nation on the backs of the thousands of Americans who put their lives on the line for our collective security every day -- for the reward of another four-year term -- well, this is a disaster. This is why we pound the drums, this is why we are doing this again, this is the difference it makes, and this is why -- two years later -- it matters, dude. 

Even if the Stevens family wants to stay out of the political fray because they don’t believe it will bring  their son back -- and who could blame them -- to all the other sons and daughters heading out on the front lines the actions of the Obama administration and Democrat-Media Complex will have a chilling effect. 

But know this: you might not be a Republican or even like us, but the Select Committee seeks the truth on your behalf, for the good of the nation -- not for political gain. 

Why are we doing this?  Ask the families of Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glenn Dougherty. Thousands of Americans put their lives at risk every day in embassies, consulates, forward operating bases, in ships, in aircraft, and under cover. Asking the questions and getting the answers won’t bring back the fallen, but it might prevent this from happening to others working in harm’s way who are promised that, if anything goes wrong, we will do everything humanly possible to maximize their chances of survival before, during, and after things go down.

Sally Zelikovsky


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

Netanyahu: Best Defense against a Nuclear Iran is Prevention'

by Shlomo Cesana, Boaz Bismuth and Israel Hayom Staff

PM Benjamin Netanyahu: Why does Iran need centrifuges and enriched uranium? Only to produce nuclear weapons • Israeli officials react to Brig. Gen. (res.) Uzi Eilam • Ehud Barak in U.S.: Iran's nuclear sites can be destroyed in "less than one night."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Brig. Gen. (res.) Uzi Eilam
Photo credit: Lior Mizrahi

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Shlomo Cesana, Boaz Bismuth and Israel Hayom Staff


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

Putin’s Chess Moves on Ukraine

by Joseph Klein

Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing a multidimensional geopolitical chess game, while the Obama administration and our European allies remain in a defensive, reactive stance. In his latest Ukraine gambit, Putin is playing the diplomatic offensive. He offered what he called “goodwill gestures” following a phone call with Didier Burkhalter, the Swiss president of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). He has also spoken with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Evidently, President Obama is no longer on Putin’s speed dial for Ukraine discussions. However, they may cross paths next month in France at the ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the allied invasion of Normandy, which both Obama and Putin have said they plan to attend.

As part of Putin’s “goodwill gestures” he sent signals that he intended to de-escalate tensions in eastern Ukraine by withdrawing Russian troops from the Russia-Ukraine border and by calling for pro-Russian separatists to postpone their local referendum on sovereignty scheduled for this Sunday. Putin also indicated his willingness to accept the plan for Ukraine’s presidential election to proceed on May 25th so long as the Russian demand for autonomy in eastern Ukraine was met. And Putin took up Chancellor Merkel’s suggestion for a round-table discussion among the Ukrainian factions.

That all sounds like a potential diplomatic break-through. However, more likely what we are witnessing instead is just another set of chess moves in which Putin is willing to sacrifice a minor chess piece for something of more value and is employing a decoy strategy.

“He really promised nothing,” Kirill Rogov, an economic analyst and political commentator in Moscow was quoted in a front page May 8th New York Times article as saying. “He demonstrated that he controls the level of tension in Ukraine. He can return the situation to the high levels of violence at any moment. He did not refuse the referendum, but only proposed delaying it.”

NATO officials have stated that they had not seen any signs of Russian troop withdrawal so far. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO’s Secretary General said: “So far we haven’t seen any indications that they are pulling back their troops. Let me assure you that if we get visible evidence that they are actually pulling back their troops, I would be the very first to welcome it.”

Even if Putin does withdraw some troops, it may consist of nothing more than the token withdrawal from the border that happened once before. Moreover, to prove Russia’s military might and reach, on May 8th Putin oversaw military exercises throughout Russian territory involving Russia’s nuclear forces. Intercontinental ballistic missiles were launched as part of the exercise from land and sea. But Putin is not content for his country to just be seen as a “regional” power, as President Obama so naively described Russia.

Ominously for the United States, Russia has sent intercontinental strategic bombers across the Pacific Ocean that, according to an Associated Press report on May 5th, have been flying along the Californian coast. Such provocative activity has not occurred since the end of the Cold War. The Associated Press stated in its report that Gen. Herbert Carlisle (who is the Commander of Pacific Air Forces; Air Component Commander for U.S. Pacific Command; and Executive Director, Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii) linked the flights “to the situation in the Ukraine. He said Russia was demonstrating its capabilities and gathering intelligence on U.S. military exercises.”

As for the pro-Russian separatists, they said at first that they would consider Putin’s request for a delay of Sunday’s referendum, but then decided to go ahead with it. Denis Pushilin, the self-declared chairman of the Donetsk People’s Republic said, as quoted by the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti: “After the vote that was held today, the unanimous decision was to go ahead with the referendum May 11.”

The question on the referendum ballot will be: “Do you support the act of proclamation of independent sovereignty for the Donetsk People’s Republic?” Ultimately, a vote for “independent sovereignty” could lead to an attempt at full secession from Ukraine, a request to join the Russian Federation or a demand for complete autonomy while remaining nominally within Ukraine.

This appearance of “self-determination” will allow Putin to say that he “tried” to use his influence with the separatists, but that he can’t force them to bend to his will. A referendum declaring independence from the central government in Kiev or a desire to become part of Russia could then be used by Putin to legitimize his demand that the separatists have an equal place at the table in discussions with the central government in order to “reform” the constitution. Reform in Putin’s mind means complete decentralization of power in Ukraine away from Kiev, allowing Russia to treat eastern and portions of southern Ukraine as satellite regions within its sphere of influence. That will accomplish his main goal without having to incur the risk of Russian casualties in an all-out invasion or to take full responsibility for the economy in those portions of Ukraine as he has effectively done in Crimea. To that end, Putin is still sowing the seeds of discord by expressing sympathy for the separatists whom have forcibly occupied government buildings and effectively are in control in major parts of eastern Ukraine.

“I can understand the people in southeast Ukraine, who say that if others can do what they like in Kiev, carry out a coup d’état, take up arms and seize government buildings, police stations and military garrisons, then why shouldn’t they be allowed to defend their interests and lawful rights?” Putin said at a Kremlin news conference.

Of course, unlike the game of chess, real world events on the ground in Ukraine are not in the hands of any single player, even one as clever as Putin. Once the passions of the pro-Russian separatist movement are released, it may be very difficult to put them back into the bottle. On the other hand, if recent polls are correct, nearly seventy percent of the residents of eastern Ukraine want Ukraine to maintain its current borders and reject the idea of Russia sending in its troops to supposedly protect Russian-speaking citizens. If the referendum vote is not rigged – a very iffy assumption, to be sure – Putin may be unpleasantly surprised by the result.

Nevertheless, Vladimir Putin retains the upper hand in Ukraine and continues to outmaneuver President Obama and our European allies who are struggling to put together an effective counter-strategy. A weakened residue of western Ukraine left in Kiev’s hands, while the rest of Ukraine and its valuable natural resources and industrial base move firmly within Russia’s orbit, is Putin’s strategic objective, which he is on his way to achieving by hook or crook.

Joseph Klein


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

British Muslim Terrorists Before 9/11

by Paul Austin Murphy

In the UK, a lot of commentators -- not all of them Muslims -- said that the Islamic murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich (London) was a primarily, or even exclusively, a response to three main factors: the Iraq War in 2003, the ‘invasion’ of Afghanistan in 2001, and, to a lesser degree, a response to the Muslims who have been killed by ‘drone attacks’ carried out by the United States.

Despite all of that, it has also been said that the move from selective terrorism to the "global jihad" occurred in London a couple of decades or so before the intervention in Afghanistan in 2001.

Osama bin Laden's first fatwas were originally published in London. And, as early as the late 1980s and early 1990s, a number of radical Islamist conferences took place in Britain.

Islamists from all over the world attended these conferences. They included Hamas, Hizb’allah and many other Islamist groups. In other words, this global jihad more or less began in the late 1980s in London.

It's no surprise, then, that al-Qaeda’s first major attack on the U.S. was partly planned from the UK. After the actual attack, the claim of responsibility also came from the UK -- from London.

To plan all this carnage, which was part of this new global jihad, Osama bin Laden set up a ‘media information office’ which he named the Advisory and Reformation Committee.

Even earlier than that, and away from London, the seeds of the global jihad were being planted in the UK. Take the Islamic Foundation of Leicester, which was set up forty years ago, in 1974.

What was the purpose of this Foundation? It was set up to promote the political beliefs of the Jamaat al-Islami. What were its political beliefs? Primarily it was, and still is, to spread sharia law not only to all Muslims, but also to all non-Muslims throughout the globe -- hence the global jihad.

We are talking about England here -- Leicester.

The chairman and rector of the Islamic Foundation was also the vice president of the Jamaat al-Islami opposition party in Pakistan. And this too has total sharia law as its mission. That is, the turning of Pakistan into a complete sharia state – an Islamic state.

Now let’s move a hundred miles or so to the Yorkshire town of Dewsbury. The same sort of thing which happened in Leicester happened there too. But instead of Jamaat al-Islami being imported into the UK, we now have the Tablighi Jamaat. This is a radical proselytising movement -- or, as Muslims put it, it is a da’wah movement.

The Tablighi Jamaat mosque was built four years after the earlier Islamic Foundation of Leicester was founded -- in 1978. To put things simply: this mosque has been a major recruiter for the global jihad for thirty-six years -- since 1978.

To get back to Leicester’s Jamaat al-Islami. This Islamist group has supplied mosques -- throughout the UK - with radical imams. It has also set up ‘research centers’ like the one in Leicester itself. The result of this Jamaat al-Islami semi-monopoly was that a whole generation of British Muslim kids were indoctrinated with Islamist and pro-jihadist ideas.

The British Terrorists

Let’s just take the case of a single well-known and important jihadist who began his work many years before 2001.

Omar Bakri Mohammed, a jihadist who was born in Syria, arrived in the UK twenty-eight years ago -- in 1986. He ended up in the UK because he’d been expelled from Saudi Arabia. In no time at all, he set up the first UK branch of the extreme Islamist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir.

From the UK, he called for the murder of the British prime minister of the time -- Margaret Thatcher. A little later, in 1991, he did something similar when he claimed that the then prime minister, John Major, was “a legitimate target; if anyone gets the opportunity to assassinate him, I don’t think they should save it”. Of course, nothing was done about this jihadist by the British government of the time or by anyone else for that matter.

There was also Islamist trouble brewing at the now-infamous Finsbury mosque back in the early 1990s. Extremists took over this mosque in the early 1990s. And even then, the hook-handed ex-bouncer and media star, Abu Hamza, was part of all that trouble.

The activities of Abu Hamza go even further back than that.

He said himself that he had had “a long association with the Taliban government”. In the 1990s, he was part of the group Supporters of Sharia, which was deemed to be a propagandist group for the Algerian GIA in Europe. He was even connected to the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen.

In addition, only around two and a half months before 9/11, on June 29, 2001, Abu Hamza hatched a plot “which involved attacks carried out by planes” to kill President Bush at the G8 summit in Genoa. This plot was hatched actually within the Finsbury Park mosque in London.

At least one person, an Algerian journalist named Reda Hussaine, was aware what was going on in these early days at Finsbury Park mosque. Not that this amounted to anything because MI5 didn’t want to know. He wrote:
“I watched young Muslims at the Finsbury Park mosque in London in the late 1990s being prepared for journeys to military camps. Money was raised for their air fares by selling books and films in stalls at the mosques.”
Another London-based terrorist, the Algerian Rachid Ramda, gained asylum in the UK in 1992. Three years later, the French Government accused him of having financed a terrorist attack on Saint Michel Station in Paris (1995). Eight people died and 150 were wounded as a result of this act of Islamic terrorism. Because of this, the French Government requested his extradition three times -- in 1995, 1996 and 2001. Each request was rejected by the British government. However, ten years after the first request, in 2005, the British government finally sent him back to France.

Now let’s talk about Birmingham (in the English Midlands).

Sixteen years ago, in 1998 and three years before the intervention in Afghanistan, eight British Muslims from Birmingham, London and Luton (this is of course relevant to the quote which opens this article from the Chairman of the Luton Islamic Center), were arrested and convicted in the Yemeni capital Aden. They were arrested for plotting terrorist attacks against British targets in Yemen and of abducting a group of tourists.

These British Muslim terrorists were actually recruited in the mosques of Birmingham, London, and Luton. They were even trained in terrorist camps which were sponsored by Osama bin Laden.

Interestingly enough, Abu Hamza is part of this story too; along with Finsbury mosque. It is said that he masterminded the terrorist attacks in Yemen as well as the abduction of tourists. He denied this. However, one of the British terrorists was none other than his son and one of the others was his godson! Being a good father, he admitted telephoning them just after they had abducted the tourists in Yemen.

Since we have just spoken of Birmingham here and the Yemen plot, let’s mention Salma Yaqoob, who's the former leader of the Respect party and writer for the British 'progressive' newspaper, The Guardian. She acted as a media spokeswoman for these British Muslim terrorists, in Yemen, at the time. The campaign was called ‘Justice for the Yemen Seven’.

Just one year after the arrest of the British terrorists from Birmingham, Luton, and London, in 1999, it was reported, in a national newspaper, that each year some two thousand British Muslims were attending terrorist training camps around Britain to be taught the skills required for the global jihad. The camps were held most weekends in Birmingham and London. These camps were run by a group called al-Muhajiroun, a group from London which has since changed its name more than once. The group wanted to enforce Islamic rule on all Western governments, as Anjem Choudary’s group still does today.

Paul Austin Murphy


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A Hasty Nuclear Deal will Exacerbate Human Rights Abuses in the Islamic Republic

by Majid Rafizadeh

While the Obama administration and five other world powers (France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia) are rushing into a comprehensive nuclear deal without seriously and adequately taking the required safeguards, the G5+1 have failed to press the Islamic Republic of Iran on its recent egregious record of human rights violations.

One of the most effective and timely potential strategies, with regards to the ruling Ayatollah and Mullahs, is to incorporate political pressure on the Iranian regime for its unprecedented level of human rights abuses under the presidency of Hassan Rouhani. This topic has yet to be a key point in any of negotiations between the G5+1 and the Islamic Republic.

The major reason lies behind the fact that the six world powers seem to be hurrying to strike a final nuclear deal and have their governments be recorded as the ones to have reached this historic deal. In addition, there is a convergence of political interests between the six world powers and the Iranian regime. This approach does not take into consideration the threatening and dangerous repercussions that such a hasty comprehensive nuclear deal would bear.

This week, U.N. atomic agency officials held talks with Iranian authorities to negotiate the process through which the Islamic Republic is supposed to provide transparency on its nuclear research program by conducting a series of steps. The six world powers and Iranian authorities, led by prime minister Javid Zarif, will also meet in the Austrian capital of Vienna on May 13 for the next crucial round of high-level nuclear negotiations.

The four Western members of the G5+1 (the United States, France, Germany, Britain) have ignored recent statements by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who pointed out that so-called reformist and moderate president of the Islamic Republic Rouhani has failed to fulfill his promises of improving the human rights conditions in Iran.

The diplomats and politicians resuming nuclear talks in New York with Iranian authorities have expressed gratitude and have been optimistic about the Islamic Republic complying with the seven measures reached in February 2014.

Six out of the seven steps, fundamentally and generally, focus on the notion that Iranian authorities are required to provide some information about the nation’s nuclear enrichment and to permit access to nuclear sites, particularly Fordow.

One of the critical measures is linked to Iran’s efforts to develop explosive detonators. Almost three years ago, a report by the U.N. atomic agency indicated that Iran has secretly pursued nuclear research, advancing technology with constrained civilian purposes. According to the IAEA, the research and technology possessed “limited civilian and conventional military applications… given their possible application in a nuclear explosive device… Iran development of such detonators and equipment is a matter of concern.”

So far, the measures set by the six world powers and UN Atomic agency and IAEA, have been easy for Iran to follow.

Iranian leaders, led by Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, have also joined the Western leaders, Russian and Chinese authorities to express their content that the nuclear negotiations have gone smoothly.

Iranian leaders are confident that they have fulfilled the seven agreed-to measures, which were reached between Iran and the IAEA, before the May 15th deadline. Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman of Iran’s atomic department, pointed out “Following the visit, Iran will be able to say that the seven-agreed measures between Iran and the agency have [been] fulfilled,” adding, “Already six steps have been taken.”

If Iranian leaders are not pressured to address the egregious human rights abuses now, while reaching their desirable nuclear deal, it will be much more difficult or impossible in the future to push the Iranian regime to respect women’s rights, gender equality, and human rights.

Last week, Iranian leaders had blatantly criticized human rights watch groups and the United Nations for claiming that there are human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic. Spokesman for Iran’s UN mission in New York Hamid Babaei, stated last week that “Iran categorically rejects baseless accusations raised in the statement of (Washington’s UN envoy Samantha Power) regarding status of human rights and civil liberties in the Islamic Republic of Iran and finds these assertions both unconstructive, obstructive and against the spirit of cooperation between sovereign member states.”

Some of the crucial threats and shortcomings of rushing into a comprehensive nuclear deal come down to the following:

The final nuclear deal will require the international community to remove economic sanctions that have accumulated due to Iran’s decades long nuclear defiance.

A weak and flimsy final nuclear deal will empower the Iranian regime, including hardliners, reformists, and moderates in the Islamic Republic, to more powerfully suppress women’s rights, political prisoners, human rights activists and surge the level of executions, public hangings, and tortures.

In addition, while the West is rushing into a comprehensive nuclear deal before the July 20th deadline, the West, Russia, and China are ignoring the required the safeguards. The most effective policies that the West, particularly the Obama administration, should look into are providing a key platform for the IAEA inspectors to carry out intrusive inspections. IAEA inspectors should be allowed to be present in the Islamic Republic on a regular basis, and be capable of visiting different nuclear and heavy water nuclear sites and reactors. Moreover, there should be a mechanism for re-imposing sanctions in case the Islamic Republic defies IAEA standards in future. The Ayatollahs and Iranian leaders have a history of secrecy and defiance of IAEA standards after reaching deals.

The West needs to implement the best political and diplomatic approach to extend the temporary nuclear deal rather than rushing into a premature comprehensive one and hurriedly removing all sanctions without the necessary safeguards taken into consideration. Unfortunately, all of these safeguards are being ignored for the sake of reaching any sort of weak comprehensive nuclear deal.

Majid Rafizadeh


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