Saturday, July 12, 2014

Caroline Glick: Hamas’s (and Iran’s) Fail-Safe Strategy

by Caroline Glick

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post
What is Hamas doing? Hamas isn’t going to defeat Israel.

It isn’t going to gain any territory. Israel isn’t going to withdraw from Ashkelon or Sderot under a hail of rockets.

So if Hamas can’t win, why is it fighting? Why rain down destruction and misery on millions of Israelis with your Iranian missiles and your Syrian rockets and invite a counter-assault on your headquarters and weapons warehouses, which you have conveniently placed in the middle of the Palestinian people on whose behalf you are allegedly fighting? Hamas is in a precarious position. When the terror group took over Gaza seven years ago, things were different.

It had a relatively friendly regime in Cairo that was willing to turn a blind eye to all the missiles Iran, Syria and Hezbollah were sending over to Gaza through Sinai.

Hamas’s leaders were comfortably ensconced in Damascus and enjoyed warm relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran.

International funds flowed freely into Hamas bank accounts from Fatah’s donor-financed Palestinian Authority budget, through the Arab Bank, headquartered in Jordan, through the UN, and when necessary through suitcases of cash transferred to Gaza by couriers from Egypt.

Hamas used these conditions to build up the arsenal of a terror state, and to keep the trains running on time. Schools were open. Government employees were paid. Israel was bombed. All was good.

Today, Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, faces an Egyptian regime that is locked into a life-and-death struggle with the Brotherhood. To harm Hamas, for the past year the Egyptians have been blocking Hamas’s land-based weapons shipments and destroying its smuggling-dependent economy by sealing off the cross-border tunnels.

Syria and Hamas parted ways at the outset of the Syrian civil war when Hamas, a Sunni jihadist group, was unable to openly support Bashar Assad’s massacre of Sunnis.

Fatah has lately been refusing to transfer payments to Hamas due to congressional pressure to cut off the now-illegal flow of aid to the joint Fatah-Hamas unity government.

As for Hamas’s banker, stung by terror victim lawsuits, the Arab Bank now refuses to transfer monies to Hamas from third parties. The UN is also hard-pressed to finance the terror group’s bureaucracy.

In Gaza itself, al-Qaida affiliates including ISIS (now renamed the Islamic State) have seeded themselves along with the Iranian proxy Islamic Jihad. These groups challenge Hamas’s claim to power. Lacking the ability to pay government employee salaries, Hamas is hard-pressed to keep its rivals down.

Given these circumstances, it was just a matter of time before Hamas opened a full-on assault against Israel.

Jew-hatred is endemic in the Muslim world. Going to war against Israel is a tried and true method of garnering sympathy and support from the Muslim world. At a minimum it earns you the forbearance, if not the support of the US and Europe. And you get all of these things whether you win or lose.

When Saddam Hussein shot 39 Scud missiles at Israel during the 1991 Gulf War, he didn’t attack because he thought doing so would destroy Israel. He attacked Israel because he was trying to convince the Arab members of the US-led international coalition to abandon the war against him.

Moreover, when Saddam launched the Scuds against Israel, he knew that Israel wouldn’t be able to retaliate. He knew that the US would force Israel to stand down in order to maintain the support of his Jew-hating fellow Arabs in its coalition.

So attacking Israel was a freebie that he only stood to gain from.

Hezbollah’s leaders also never deluded themselves into believing their group can conquer Israel. But by attacking the hated Jews, they were able to present themselves and their Iranian bosses as the guardians of the Muslims worldwide.

Then there was the US’s response.

As it protected Saddam from Israel in 1991, so in 2006, the US gave Hezbollah the upper hand in the war. Then-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice forced Israel to accept a cease-fire with Hezbollah that placed the illegal terror group on equal legal and moral footing with Israel.

This US legitimization of Hezbollah enabled the Iranian proxy to intimidate its Sunni and Christian compatriots in Lebanon and coerce them into accepting effective Hezbollah control over the entire state.

As for Hamas, from the outset of Hamas’s previous missile campaigns in 2009 and 2012, the Obama administration made it clear to Israel that it would not tolerate Israeli strikes that were sufficiently comprehensive to wipe out Hamas’s capacity to continue attacking Israel. In other words, President Barack Obama chose to protect Hamas – an illegal terrorist organization, waging a war of indiscriminate, criminal missile strikes against Israeli civilians – from Israel.

Today, Hamas has every reason to take heart from the responses it has received from its current offensive.

In the internal Palestinian arena, Fatah, Hamas’s partner in the Palestinian Authority unity government, is standing shoulder to shoulder with Hamas.

As The Jerusalem Post’s Khaled Abu Toameh reported, Fatah militias in Gaza are actively participating in the Hamas-led missile campaign against Israel. Fatah terrorists have boasted shooting dozens of rockets and mortar shells at Ashkelon and Sderot.

On Wednesday, Palestinian Media Watch reported that Fatah posted a placard proclaiming that the military wings of Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are “brothers in arms” united by “one God, one homeland, one enemy and one goal.”

Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas is Hamas’s diplomatic champion. Indeed, his wild accusations against Israel have moved from the realm of exaggeration to rank incitement that raises concern he is planning to open a second front against Israel from Judea and Samaria.

Although Egypt has still not indicated any willingness to support Hamas, the longer Hamas continues attacking Israel, the more difficult it will become for Egypt to seal off the border between Gaza and Sinai. Hamas’s war strengthens the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Then there is the Obama administration.

Obama administration spokesmen have been issuing prepared statements blaming the hostilities on Hamas and mouthing support for Israel while praising its restraint. But at the same time, they have been transmitting messages which indicate that Obama is more intent than ever to give Hamas a victory even as it continues to rain down terror on Israel.

As Tel Aviv, Hadera and Jerusalem absorbed their first missile salvos from Gaza on Tuesday, Obama’s Middle East envoy Philip Gordon spoke at Haaretz’s “peace” conference.

It was a jaw dropping performance.

Gordon blamed Israel for the failure for the administration’s efforts to broker a peace deal between Israel and the PLO while effusively praising Fatah leader and Hamas partner Abbas.

And it only went down from there.

After insisting Israel is inadequately committed to peace, Gordon threatened to withdraw US support for Israel at the UN and open the door to the criminalization of Israel by the corrupt international body.

“How will we prevent other states from supporting Palestinian efforts in international bodies, if Israel is not seen as committed to peace?” he asked rhetorically.

Gordon’s remarks were not disputed by the State Department.

And State Department spokespersons themselves have continued to insist – absurdly – that Hamas is not a member of the Fatah-Hamas unity government.

From Hamas’s perspective, the Obama administration’s response to its aggression is an invitation to keep going. Gordon’s speech allayed any concerns they may have had how the US would respond.

Hamas now knows that the US will coerce Israel into standing down while Hamas is still standing, and so enable the jihadists to claim victory and place Egypt in a bind.

And as with Hamas, so with Hamas’s Iranian sponsors.

On July 20, the US and its partners are supposed to conclude a nuclear deal with Iran.

Many Western experts and even some Israeli ones insist that Iran’s nuclear weapon program is not a serious threat to Israel because Iran’s primary aspirations have little to do with Israel.

Iran, they say, wants nuclear weapons in order to dominate the Persian Gulf, and through it, the Muslim world as a whole. Iran’s targets, it is argued, are Mecca and Medina, not Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

While this is probably true, it is certainly irrelevant for Israel’s strategic assessment.

The same dynamics that inform Hamas’s decision to launch its offensives against Israel inform Iran’s thinking about how it will use a nuclear arsenal. Iran would not attack Israel with nuclear weapons because it wishes to conquer Israel per se. Iran would attack Israel with nuclear weapons because doing so would give it a massive public relations boost in its campaign to dominate the Persian Gulf generally, and Saudi Arabia in particular.

In other words, far from being a hindrance to accomplishing its central goal, Iran views attacking Israel as a means of advancing it.

Unfortunately for Israel, just as the US has made clear that it opposes Israel taking any offensive steps to destroy Hamas’s capacity to rain terror on its citizens, so the Obama administration, through word and deed, has made clear that it will defend Iran and Iran’s nuclear weapons program from Israel.

The talks that are set to conclude next week can only bring about bad or worse results for Israel. In recent days and weeks, Iranian leaders have said that the only deal they will sign is one that will facilitate their nuclear weapons program by giving international license to their massive uranium enrichment activities. So if a deal is concluded, it will give the imprimatur of the US, the UN and the EU to a nuclear-armed Iran.

If no deal is concluded, the Obama administration will undoubtedly continue to protect Iran’s nuclear installations from Israel in the hopes of concluding an agreement with Iran at a later date, perhaps after the congressional elections in November.

In an op-ed in Haaretz published this week, Obama wrote, “While walls and missile defense systems can help protect against some threats, true safety will only come with a comprehensive negotiated settlement. Reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians would also help turn the tide of international sentiment and sideline violent extremists, further bolstering Israel’s security.”

Unfortunately, Obama misses the point completely. As the dozen agreements Israel already signed with the Palestinians show, pieces of paper are meaningless if they don’t reflect the underlying sentiments of the populations concerned.

Peace can only come to Israel and its neighbors when the Muslim world liberates itself from its hatred of Jews. Until that happens, everyone from Hamas to Hezbollah to Fatah to al-Qaida to Iran and beyond will continue to view attacking Israel as the best way to make a name for themselves in the world, and the best way to get the attention – and support – of the West.

Caroline Glick


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

The Palestinian Rocket and Propaganda Offensive

by Joseph Klein


Since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Hamas and its co-jihadists have fired more than 8,000 rockets into Israel.  They have been conducting an unrelenting Nazi-style rocket blitz for years, except during cease-fires that are hastily negotiated after Israel strikes back. Hamas’s rocket blitz has intensified massively in recent days to new heights. Over the past several days, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have fired more than 550 rockets and mortars from Gaza into Israel, with the intent to kill and terrorize innocent civilians, including children.

On July 9th alone, Hamas fired nearly 100 rockets towards Israeli population centers. And it has raised the ante in terms of the sophistication and reach of its rockets, with longer range rockets targeting Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Israel’s nuclear power plant in the city of Dimona. Israel’s Iron Dome defense system has had remarkable success so far. It prevented what could have been a horrible nuclear disaster by intercepting one of the rockets out of the sky near Dimona. Iron Dome has also knocked out rockets over Tel Aviv and other major population centers. But no defense system is foolproof. Hence, after warning Hamas to no avail that it will face sharp reprisals if it does not stop the rocket attacks, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge.

To date, Israel has responded with air strikes aimed at Hamas strongholds, hitting more than 560 targets in Gaza during the past two days.  Its targets consist of arms storage facilities and manufacturing plants, military compounds, tunnels, buried rocket launching pads, a command and control base and homes of Hamas and Jihad Islamist commanders. Israel does not deliberately target Palestinian civilians. To the contrary, whenever possible, the Israeli military makes phone calls to suspected Hamas operatives’ homes and drops leaflets in advance of strikes to warn occupants to get out of harm’s way immediately.

Although Israel has also authorized the call-up of approximately 40,000 reservists and amassed tanks near the Israeli-Gaza border, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has to date resisted calls for launching a ground operation. However, his patience is running out. “The army is ready for all possibilities,” the prime minister said after a meeting of his security cabinet. “The operation will expand and continue until the fire toward our towns stops and quiet returns.”

In a sign that the start of a ground operation may be very near if the rocket firing does not stop, it has been reported by DEBKAfile that, on July 10, “the IDF advised 100,000 Palestinian civilians to leave their homes in the northern Gaza villages of Beit Lahiya, Beit Hanoun, Greater Ibsen and Smaller Ibsen and head west to the coast or south to remove themselves from danger.”

Hamas remains defiant. Its political chief, Khaled Meshal, rejected any efforts at mediation, declaring in a televised speech: “We receive calls from mediators from Arab and Western sides to broker a ceasefire. We say to those who ask us for a lull: Go back!”

Hamas also put out a video promising: “Zionists, wait and see stabbing attacks everywhere. Wait for suicide attacks on every bus, cafĂ© and street.”

Hamas has the backing of its unity government partner Palestinian Authority President Abbas, whom, playing the usual Palestinian victimhood card, accused Israel of committing “genocide.”

Here is the perverse logic of the Palestinian propaganda offensive in a nutshell:  Hamas and its co-jihadists can launch long-range rockets aimed indiscriminately at Israeli civilians in major population centers and try to precipitate a nuclear disaster with impunity, but when Israel strikes back selectively to take out military targets in Gaza used to launch or support the rocket firings, Israel, according to Abbas, is committing “genocide.”

Not surprisingly, the Palestinians are successfully pushing this outrageous, truth-challenged narrative in their favorite venue, the United Nations.

At the insistence of the Palestinian UN observer state delegation and its Arab allies, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on July 10th.  The Palestinians want the Security Council to take action against Israel for what they brand as Israel’s “aggression.” After UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned the Security Council of the “risk of an all-out escalation in Israel and Gaza” and appealed to both sides for “maximum restraint” – his favorite phrase of late – Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour accused Israel of war crimes. He said that Israel was cynically using “this latest aggression against the Palestinian people to bring about collapse of our government.”

Ambassador Mansour emoted how Palestinian children were being killed by Israeli air strikes, neglecting to mention how Hamas uses Palestinian civilians, including children, as human shields.

“I speak on behalf of the suffering and grieving Palestinian people,” Mansour said, “who are enduring yet another barrage of death, destruction, trauma and terror, which is being perpetrated willfully and maliciously against them by the Israeli occupying forces before the eyes of the world as it persists with its nearly five-decade long belligerent military occupation.”

Ambassador Mansour also announced that Palestinian President Abbas has officially requested from the Swiss government that it convene the High Contracting Parties of the Geneva Conventions. The ostensible purpose would be to investigate and possibly sanction Israel for alleged violations of its responsibilities as the occupying power and for the alleged commission of war crimes.

Apparently, Ambassador Mansour and his boss President Abbas have forgotten that Israel vacated Gaza completely in 2005. It is Hamas, not Israel, which exercises all the functions of government in Gaza, which in turn is part of what the Palestinians claim to be the State of Palestine.  Hamas’s idea of how to govern is to use Gaza as a base from which to launch attacks against Israeli civilians.  The Israeli government’s idea of how to govern is to defend and protect its citizens against such wanton and potentially deadly assaults from an area it does not control.

Recall that after Israel vacated Gaza, it kept the border crossings between Israel and Gaza open with security arrangements mutually agreed upon between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. That worked until Hamas took over Gaza and expelled Abbas’s Fatah faction. Has Ambassador Mansour forgotten the Palestinian civilian casualties in Gaza inflicted by Hamas during its clashes with Fatah? Now Ambassador Mansour is defending the actions of the same Hamas against the civilians of Israel, which he must do since Hamas is officially a co-equal partner in what he calls the “national consensus government.”

In fact, when asked by reporters at a press briefing after the July 10th Security Council meeting if the Palestinian Authority accepted responsibility for the rockets fired by Hamas from Gaza, Ambassador Mansour responded, “The Palestinian people are one. The government is one.  The president is president Abbas.”

If that is so, then this unity government must accept responsibility at minimum for Hamas’s current round of hundreds of rocket launchings targeting Israeli civilians in major population centers. The “State of Palestine,” which became a party to the Fourth Geneva Convention earlier this year and now seeks to invoke the Convention against Israel, is itself in direct violation of Article 33 of the Convention prohibiting “all measures of intimidation or of terrorism.”

Ambassador Mansour claimed that Hamas’s rocket firings were in self-defense.  “We did not start this round of attacks,” he declared. “It is the Israeli government. After the killing of the three settlers [Eyal, Gilad and Naftali], they started this attack against our people. The rockets came after that.”

This is sheer propaganda. Note Ambassador Mansour’s clever reference to “this round of attacks.”  The fact is that Hamas and its cohorts have been firing rockets and mortars at Israel continuously all throughout 2014 – more than 100 – way before the latest crisis and “this” most recent round, not to mention the thousands of rockets launched against Israeli civilians before 2014.

Even Secretary General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged the cause and effect of the current crisis, while urging both sides to stop the violence.   He noted in his remarks to the Security Council that civilians were “caught between Hamas’s irresponsibility and Israel’s tough response.” He added that further escalation, including a possible ground operation, is “preventable only if Hamas stops rocket firing.”

Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor, in his own address to the Security Council on July 10th, pointed out that Hamas was committing war crimes against both Israeli civilians and Palestinian civilians:
“Hamas is exploiting our concern for human life by hiding in Palestinian homes, schools, and mosques and using the basement of a hospital in Gaza as its headquarters. They are committing a double war crime: targeting Israeli civilians while hiding behind Palestinian civilians.”
Ambassador Prosor told the Security Council that, while Secretary General Ban Ki-moon delivered his remarks to the Council, “another five rockets were fired from Gaza,” with one landing on a house. Israel isn’t looking “for a Band-Aid solution that will allow Hamas to rest and regroup,” he added. Israel’s goal “is to remove the threat posed by Hamas by dismantling its military infrastructure and restore quiet in Israel. Hamas must understand that it cannot target Israeli civilians.”

Israel’s leaders have a responsibility to protect their own civilians, which the government is doing while trying to mitigate any unintended collateral damage. The Palestinian leaders, including President Abbas, are failing to fulfill their responsibilities to their own people by placing them in harm’s way as a direct result of the jihadists’ war to destroy Israel.  Hamas is simply following through on its Charter’s declaration that “’Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it. There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by Jihad.”

The United Nations and other bodies reflecting the opinions of the so-called international community enable this jihad so long as they try to impede Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself and protect its civilian population.

Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam.


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

Christian and Canadian Support for Israel Defies Propaganda

by Christine Williams

Israel's targets have been militants, military facilities, rocket launchers, tunnels and command centers. Israel has taken extraordinary measures to protect Palestinian civilian life.
Meanwhile, Hamas violates international law both by targeting Israel's civilians and by using its own people as human shields -- and then blaming Israel for the casualties.
The BDS movement covers up its ties with the terrorist group Hamas.

On the heels of the murder of three innocent Israeli teens, Hamas began pounding Israel with rocket fire, while Israel retaliated with defensive airstrikes on Gaza. As expected, however, Hamas and other Gaza officials -- including the head of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza, Raji Sourani -- have accused Israel of deliberately targeting civilians, while the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC] announced plans for an "extraordinary ministerial meeting" to discuss "the intensifying and fierce Israeli campaign against Palestine."

Despite the sustained and typical propaganda campaign against Israel, Canada has condemned "the brazen and indiscriminate attacks that Hamas continues to wage on Israel." Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird repeated Canada's unwavering position that "Canada believes that Israel has every right to defend itself from such belligerent acts of terrorism."

Meanwhile, as many Christian Churches vote for divestment from Israel, the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem [ICEJ], with offices in 60 nations -- among Israel's thriving Christian supporters -- sent mobile bomb shelters to protect residents of southern Israel.

In Israel's "Operation Protective Edge," its targets have been militants, military facilities, rocket launchers, tunnels and command centers. Israel has taken extraordinary measures to protect Palestinian civilian life. Despite the historically biased reporting about civilian casualties, for years Israel has made telephone calls, sent SMS messages, distributed leaflets, and fired flares to warn civilians to leave targeted buildings and sites. Even according to the New York Times, Israel has gone so far as to fire inert missiles without explosive warheads onto roofs as "warning shots" to warn Palestinians to evacuate in safety. Some defy these warnings; meanwhile, Hamas violates international law both by targeting Israel's civilians and by using its own people as human shields -- and then blaming Israel for the casualties.

A Hamas military commander recounts on Palestinian TV how Israeli forces gave advance warning to him, to evacuate his home before bombing it. He goes on to describe how after the warning, he rushed to gather friends, family and neighbors on the roof of the building.
Two pictures showing Palestinian human shields gathered on buildings for which the Israel Air Force has given advance warning of a pending bombing.

The relentless public opinion campaign against Israel -- even as its existence has been targeted since 1948 -- has been non-stop; and it continues to be attacked by rockets in this latest round.

Behind the propaganda campaign, which includes Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS], are deception and lies intended to malign Israel. The BDS movement covers up its ties with the terrorist group Hamas, and for years now has also been infiltrating churches and campuses. Recently, The Palestinian BDS National Committee , which is leading the global BDS movement, warmly welcomed "the brave decision of the Presbyterian Church (USA) general assembly in Detroit to divest its holdings from three US corporations ... on the basis of their well-documented record of complicity in the oppression and denial of human rights of Palestinians." The Palestinian BDS National Committee incredibly went on to congratulate the "deep commitment of the Presbyterian Church to truth and justice."

According to the NGO monitor, although not all church groups support BDS, there is a strong, well-financed network of churches that spearhead BDS campaigns. The leaders of these groups "selectively use the rhetoric of religious and moral authority to condemn Israel," while portraying Palestinians as the "weaker and suffering party that must be defended against injustice." This was most recently evidenced in a disheartening show of solidarity with Palestinian prisoners by the World Council of Churches [WCC] as the Palestinian Authority marked "Prisoners Day," when the WCC invited churches in the Holy Land to "remember Palestinian prisoners through prayers and acts of solidarity." While the WCC statement nobly referenced the Christian ethic of remembering all prisoners in a Christian spirit of kindness, it ignobly "forgot" to mention the need and right of Israel to protect its citizens from terrorism, as well as to show even the slightest Christian empathy for the victims of these terrorists, or for the victims' families who have suffered untold grief.

Last month came the tragic news of the murder of three Israeli teens by Palestinians, which an FBI official close to the investigation stated was a premeditated execution, and that the terrorists were disguised as religious Jews to lure the hitchhiking teens into the car.

Despite the lies and influence of the BDS propaganda, which have affected both Church and State, Israel has firm support from important elements of both.

According to writer Robert Nicholson who studies the relationship between Christians and Jews, "millions of evangelical Christians unabashedly continue their outspoken, wholehearted, stalwart defense of both the Jewish state and the Jewish people." In a show of support, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem -- which, according to Israel Tourism, brings the largest single evangelical event ("The Feast of Tabernacles") to Israel every year -- has just delivered mobile bomb shelters to protect residents of southern Israel. And just as Canada's John Baird repeated Canada's leading support for Israel and called on the new Palestinian Authority government to exercise its authority in Gaza to bring an immediate end to the rocket attacks on Israel, the U.S., Britain, and even the U.N., condemned the rocket barrages from Gaza against Israel. The condemnation reflects a shift toward the truth: that what underlies the entire Palestinian agenda and BDS movement is to "destroy Israel in stages".

Christine Williams


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

UK Bans Pro-Jihad Islamist Groups

by Soeren Kern

"I believe that adulterers should be stoned to death. I believe that we should cut the hands off of thieves. I believe the Sharia should be implemented in Denmark. Maybe we should change the Christiansborg Palace [the Danish Parliament building] to Muslimsborg to have the flag of Islam flying over the parliament in Denmark. I think this would be very nice." — Anjem Choudary, while in Denmark to establish Islam4dk in June 2014.
"[Choudary's network] has now been proscribed as a terrorist organization operating under 11 different names, but neither he nor any one of his associates has so far been prosecuted for membership of an illegal group." — Times of London.
"The cure for depression is jihad." — Abdul Raqib Amin (aka Abu Bara al-Hindi), Scottish jihadist.

The British government has banned three groups linked to Anjem Choudary, a Muslim hate preacher who wants to turn the United Kingdom into an Islamic state.

The move comes after the groups were found to have organized jihadist recruitment meetings in which two Muslim youths from Cardiff were persuaded to fight with Islamic insurgents in Syria.

The Home Office said on June 26 that the groups Need4Khilafah, The Shariah Project and The Islamic Dawah Association are all aliases of al-Muhajiroun, a Salafi-Wahhabi extremist group that was banned in 2006 but has continued to operate ever since then by using different names.

Al-Muhajiroun (Arabic for "The Emigrants") has also operated under a host of other names, including al-Ghurabaa (Arabic for "The Strangers"), The Saved Sect (aka The Savior Sect), Muslims Against Crusades, Muslim Prisoners, Islamic Path, Islam4UK, Women4Sharia and Islamic Emergency Defence, which is still operational.

Al-Ghurabaa and The Saved Sect were both banned in July 2006, after they organized a march through downtown London to protest the publication of cartoons depicting Mohammed. Demonstrators linked to the groups waved placards reading, "Butcher those who mock Islam," "Kill those who insult Islam," and "Europe you will pay, your 9/11 is on the way."

Islam4UK was banned in January 2010. At the time, the group described itself as having been "established by sincere Muslims as a platform to propagate the supreme Islamic ideology within the United Kingdom as a divine alternative to man-made law" to "convince the British public about the superiority of Islam, thereby changing public opinion in favor of Islam in order to transfer the authority and power to the Muslims in order to implement the Sharia [in Britain]."

Muslims Against Crusades was banned in November 2011, after the group launched a campaign to turn twelve British cities into independent Islamic states. The so-called Islamic Emirates were to function as autonomous enclaves ruled by Sharia law and operate entirely outside British jurisprudence.

All of the bans have been based on the Terrorism Act 2000, which states that a group can be proscribed if it "commits or participates in acts of terrorism, prepares for, promotes or encourages terrorism or is otherwise concerned in terrorism."

Section 1.1 of the Act defines terrorism as the "use or threat of action designed to influence the government or an international governmental organization or to intimidate the public or a section of the public…for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause."
Announcing the latest ban, Britain's Minister for Security and Immigration, James Brokenshire, said, "Terrorist organisations should not be allowed to escape proscription simply by acting under a different name." He continued:
"That is why we have today laid an order which will, from tomorrow, recognize the Need4Khilafah, the Shariah Project and the Islamic Dawah Association as aliases of the group already proscribed as both al-Ghurabaa and The Saved Sect.
"The group is also known as al-Muhajiroun. This means being a member of or supporting the organization is a criminal offense.
"Al-Muhajiroun remains of significant concern to the UK and the international community, and this order will ensure that it cannot operate in the UK as Need4Khilafah, the Shariah Project and the Islamic Dawah Association."
The latest ban—a conviction for membership of either group could result in a prison term of up to ten years or a £5,000 (€6,300; $8,500) fine—is unlikely to deter Choudary, who has repeatedly mocked the government's efforts to prevent him from radicalizing British Muslims.

According to a report published by the Times of London on June 27, Choudary's network "has now been proscribed as a terrorist organization operating under 11 different names, but neither he nor any one of his associates has so far been prosecuted for membership of an illegal group."

Choudary, who lives and thrives thanks to the generosity of the British welfare state, responded to the ban by warning that he will never be silenced. He said:
"If they arrest me and put me in prison, I will carry on in prison. I'll radicalize everyone in prison. My paradise and my hell are things which are beyond this reality. My paradise is in my heart. If they put me in prison I'll carry on there. If they kill me I will die a martyr.
"There is nothing, really, they can do which could dampen my hopes and aspirations. I will carry on being a servant of [Allah] for the rest of my life, inshallah [if Allah wills] — whatever they do they will face the consequences of their actions on the day of judgment."
According to the Times, British police keep Choudary under close watch, but say he is a "difficult target" because he is "very familiar with the law," (Choudary attended law school) especially on offenses relating to incitement.

Choudary has been promoting radical Islam since the 1990s, when he partnered with the Syrian-born cleric Omar Bakri Muhammad to found al-Muhajiroun. The group disbanded in 2004 but re-emerged under the name al-Ghurabaa until that was banned in 2006. It has since responded to proscription orders by constantly devising new names to keep the hydra-like network one step ahead of British authorities.

The latest ban came after it was discovered that Need4Khilafah and the Islamic Dawah Association organized meetings to recruit British Muslims to fight in Iraq and Syria.

The meetings—known as "pop-up" sessions because they are advertised only by word of mouth and are never held in the same location twice to avoid detection—are effective because rather than recruiting by means of videos posted on the Internet, they use direct face-to-face persuasion to pressure young men into becoming jihadists.

During such a session in Cardiff, the capital and largest city of Wales, Nasser Muthana and Reyaad Khan, both 20, were persuaded to become jihadists in Iraq. The two men, both from Cardiff, recently appeared in a jihadist recruitment video that was issued by the Sunni Islamic extremist group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

The 13-minute video, entitled "There Is No Life Without Jihad," shows Muthana and Khan, as well as another jihadist from Scotland named Abdul Raqib Amin, urging their fellow countrymen to come to fight for ISIS in Syria.

Raqib, who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Bara al-Hindi, can be heard saying:
"Are you willing to sacrifice the fat job you've got, the big car you've got, the family you have? Are you willing to sacrifice this for the sake of Allah? Definitely! If you sacrifice something for Allah, Allah will give you 700 times more than this.
"All my brothers living in the west, I know how you feel. When I used to live there, in the heart you feel depressed. The cure for the depression is jihad."
Khan, who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Dujana al-Hindi, and who once wrote that he wanted to become the first Asian prime minister of Britain, says:
"A message to the brothers who have stayed behind. You can be here in these golden times...or you can be on the sidelines. You have to ask yourself what prevents you from joining the ranks of the Mujahideen. What prevents you from obtaining martyrdom? You are going to die anyway."
"All my brothers living in the west, I know how you feel. When I used to live there, in the heart you feel depressed. The cure for the depression is jihad." — British jihadist Abdul Raqib Amin (aka Abu Bara al-Hindi)

Meanwhile, a member of Choudary's inner circle, the 35-year-old British Islamist Abu Waleed, has appeared in a number of videos in which he outlines his vision for an Islamic state in Britain.

In one video, Waleed describes how Muslims should humiliate Christians to make them convert to Islam. He says:
"The kafir [unbeliever or infidel], when he walks down the street, he has to wear a red belt around his neck, and he has to have his forehead shaved, and he has to wear two shoes that are different from one another."
In another video, Waleed rants:
"What is the nightmare on Downing Street? The nightmare on Downing Street, my dear brothers, is when the door of 10 Downing Street [headquarters of the British government] is kicked down by one monotheist [Muslim], and the Caliph [Islamic ruler] walks in, and establishes the Sharia.
"The nightmare on Downing Street, my dear brothers, is when one monotheist pulls a rope, and raises the banner of 'There is no god but Allah' above the Big Ben. The nightmare on Downing Street is when one monotheist flies a helicopter all the way to the top of the Big Ben. He removes those numbers, and replaces them with Arabic numbers."
"As you all understand, we as Muslims are not those type of coconut-chocolate moderate Muslims—the ones who bow their heads down to the government. Rather, we are the ones who want to work for the sake of Allah, to establish the manifestation of Islam, and make sure that [British Prime Minister] David Cameron comes on his hands and knees and gives us the jizya [a "protection" tax paid by Jews, Christians and other "infidels" to Muslims], yeah, that's right, and cover up all the women and put a niqab [face-covering veil] on their faces, including Queen Elizabeth and Kate Middleton, the whore, the fornicator.
As it turns out, Waleed, whose real name is Shahid Janjua, is unemployed and lives on welfare benefits he claims for himself, his wife and his three disabled children. He also lives in government-provided housing in Hounslow, West London.

At the same time, Waleed mocks the British government for handing out benefits and encourages his followers to cheat the system.

In a speech Waleed says:
"We have a lot of money today from the income support and the incapacity benefit. Obviously when you have the incapacity benefit, you want to make sure you walk with a limp when you leave the house just in case there's someone taking pictures."
The British-born Choudary has long said that Muslims are entitled to welfare payments because they are a form of jizya and as such are a reminder that non-Muslims are permanently inferior and subservient to Muslims.

In a February 2013 speech, Choudary said that Muslims are justified in taking money from non-Muslims. Speaking to a group of Muslim men, Choudary mocked non-Muslims for working in nine-to-five jobs their whole lives. He said:
"You find people are busy working the whole of their life. They wake up at 7 o'clock. They go to work at 9 o'clock. They work for eight, nine hours a day. They come home at 7 o'clock, watch EastEnders [a British soap opera], sleep, and they do that for 40 years of their life. That is called slavery. ... What kind of life is that? That is the life of the kafir [unbeliever]."
Choudary urged fellow Muslims to learn from revered figures in Islamic history who only worked one or two days a year. "The rest of the year they were busy with jihad and things like that," he said. Choudary continued:
"People will say, 'Ah, but you are not working.' But the normal situation is for you to take money from the kafir. So we take Jihad Seeker's Allowance."
In another video, Choudary said:
"We take the jizya, which is ours anyway. The normal situation is to take money from the kafir [unbeliever]. They give us the money. You work, give us the money, Allahu Akhbar [Allah is greater]. We take the money." He then adds: "Hopefully there's no one from the DSS [Department of Social Security] listening to this."
Choudary, who is married and has four children, enjoys a rather comfortable lifestyle that is being paid for by British taxpayers, year after year. He is thought to receive more than £25,000 ($43,000) a year in welfare benefits. Because his welfare payments are not taxed, his income is equivalent to a £32,500 salary. By comparison, the average annual earnings of a full-time worker in Britain were around £26,500 in 2013.

Meanwhile, Choudary continues his Islamic radicalization activities, effectively unhindered by government bans of his organizations.

In late June, Choudary travelled to Copenhagen to establish Islam4dk, a Danish branch of his network. During an interview with the "Deadline" news program aired by the public broadcaster DR Television on June 26, Choudary said:
"I believe that adulterers should be stoned to death. I believe that we should cut the hands off of thieves. I believe the Sharia should be implemented in Denmark. Maybe we should change the Christiansborg Palace [the Danish Parliament building] to Muslimsborg to have the flag of Islam flying over the parliament in Denmark. I think this would be very nice."
Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.


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An Asymmetrical Conflict

by Emily Amrousi

When the suspects in the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir were identified during the week-long mourning period for the three kidnapped boys, Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel, my blood ran cold. I was overcome with anger and dread. However, the news anchors seemed thrilled by the discovery that the murderers were Jewish extremists, almost relieved at the news: Phew, we almost believed it was an inter-Arab clan war. 

On that same day, Israeli-Arabs, with their blue Israeli ID cards, set the country ablaze. Nothing similar happened in Tel Aviv, but there is a country beyond the glamorous eateries dotting the boulevards of Tel Aviv. Afula, Acre, Dimona, Nazareth Illit, Arad, Carmiel, Omer, Jaffa, Shfaram, Jerusalem, Tayibe and Tira. 

We have had a crazy week here, so we must make sure that we remember. Even before the rockets from Gaza turned the northern town of Zichron Yaakov into the country's south, we got the full package deal when it came to the Arab riots: stones, Palestinian flags, grenades, Molotov cocktails, hate. 

A bus diver on the way to Maaleh Adumim was photographed wearing a motorcycle helmet to protect himself from stones being thrown. In Moreshet in the Gush Segev region, in Poriya near Tiberias, in Einav in Western Samaria, in Pisgat Zeev -- roads were blocked. There was no coming or going. In Sderot, the walls shook. The detached news reporters did not expect the flames to die down: At the height of the rioting, they said they could understand the rage after years of discrimination, and especially after Abu Khdeir's murder.

On Monday, when the Yifrach, Shaer and Frenkel families went to visit their sons' graves, veteran Israeli journalist Rino Tzror wrote: "Israel has never been plagued by a devil so evil as extremist right-wing thugs and their inciters. ... We can and will beat this devil." It's enough to make you lose your mind. The six criminals on the fringes of society who murdered this teen made the situation symmetrical. Murderers here, murderers there, and in Berlin, there's a great soccer team. 

The comforting truth is that our society is disgusted by these acts, while on the other side, such acts are admired. We are doing a better job in all things related to the position of murderers in the social hierarchy. There are 42 cities in Israel that have a street called Hashalom, or "Peace Street." On the Palestinian side, dozens of schools, summer camps, sporting events and streets are named after terrorists. In a square by an Israeli gas station (yes, in the settlements) there is a large inscription on a rock: "I will give peace in the land," (Leviticus 26:6). Not too far from there, a central square in Ramallah is named after Dalal Mughrabi, the terrorist who murdered 37 Israelis. The one Israeli political party that could be said to harbour a shred of racism -- Otzma Le'Yisrael -- did not make the electoral threshold. Hamas, the party of death, won with crushing popularity. 

When three teenaged boys were kidnapped and murdered, the responses here ranged from reading psalms, to lighting memorial candles, to playing sad songs and rallying in city squares. That is the worst of it, that is Israeli society, no matter what the handful of oddballs on Facebook are writing. On the Arab side, after Abu Khdeir was murdered, the reactions ranged from blocking roads to burning light rail stations to pipe bombs, and eventually, to firing rockets at most of Israel.

But the Left has made a sacred cause of finding the symmetry between the sides. Radio broadcaster Razi Barkai made a speech on Army Radio about extremists on both sides, both of them, he said, "wear kippot." Channel 2 news reporter Oded Ben-Ami organized an emotional televised meeting between Gil-ad Shaer's grandfather and Abu Khdeir's father. While the bereaved grandfather expressed sorrow and shame over Muhammad's murder, the father from Shuafat refused to take part in the equation: "I don't know who murdered the three boys -- maybe a Jew did it. No one has confessed to that crime."

The Left have very little shame, and even that small bit disappears during times of emergency. Haartez journalist Avirama Golan proudly refused MK Ayelet Shaked's (Habayit Hayehudi) offer to participate in the lobby for Hebrew literature. Why did she refuse? Because of Ayelet Shaked. "Hebrew literature is very dear to my heart, but these days, it is more important to me than ever to draw the line between what I can and cannot support," Golan wrote.

This is what puts us in emergency situations: There are those who work with national responsibility in mind and encourage unity -- for example, the three mothers of the kidnapped teens who refuse to criticize the system in the name of cohesion -- and there are those who are "drawing lines." The unrestrained attack on Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett at the Haaretz Peace Conference, which ironically took place under rocket fire, is an example of this line-drawing. Who is for us, and who is against us?

The great preachers of tolerance and pluralism turned out to be a violent bunch. And this during a witch-hunt for incitement among the Right. Bennett tried to talk about peace and the crowd shouted "murderer," "facist," "Abu Khdeir's blood is on your hands." Because there is only one kind of peace."There are people here who thought that we needed to speak with [former Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser] Arafat," Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken said in an effort to calm the audience, "It can't be that they won't let Bennett be heard."

Champions at whitewashing the opposite of reality

The Left's Olympian ability to analyze reality in a backwards fashion is becoming even more clear. Former Education Ministry official Adar Cohen wrote of Jewish attacks on Facebook, basing his information on what he heard from Arab friends. While the skies above Samaria and the Galilee were still shrouded in the smoke rising from the burning tires, this former supervisor of civics instruction wrote: "A report from Tayibe: Things are calm, despite the responses to the attempts of Jewish youths to enter the city and carry out price-tag attacks."

This man taught teachers. His worldview is critical. While towns in the south were under fire, he insisted in his naivete on believing his Arab friends that this whole mess is because of price-tag attacks. "Report from Arara: At midnight, settlers entered and tried to kidnap people from the Umm al-Fahm and Arara area. The riots are in response...Two days ago, settlers came with weapons, and since then, things have not been calm. There was also price-tag graffiti in Musmus. The sense of threat is palpable, because only a month ago, their neighbors were just able to prevent a fire started by settlers at the mosque."

The filthy murderers who killed Abu Khdeir did not cause the riots in the Galilee or the air raid sirens in Tel Aviv. The price-tag graffiti in Musmus is not reasonable grounds to punish Israel with stones and rockets. Hamas is determined to make our lives bitter for obscure religious and nationalistic reasons. Solving the murder of the boy in Shuafat is only an excuse. But there are some who think Arab violence is always in response to Jewish provocation. And the biggest Jewish provocation of all is Zionism. Or, simply, being a Jew.

Emily Amrousi


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Target every Last Terrorist

by Zvika Fogel

One thousand airstrikes in three days. Nearly 1,000 tons of explosives have been dropped on various parts of the Gaza Strip, major weapon mills, caches and posts have been destroyed, hundreds of hidden rocket launchers have been rendered useless, and dozens of Hamas terrorists, including several senior operatives, have either been killed or put out of action. But while these all serve as proof of the Israeli Air Force's capabilities, they are not a breaking point, let alone a decision point, for Hamas.

The circumstances of the war into which we have been forced have given the Israeli government the unique, perhaps even one-off, opportunity to deal Hamas a decisive blow. Hamas is more vulnerable and far less ready for confrontation than it once was -- just as since 2012's Operation Pillar of Defense, Hamas has mostly been focused on trying to survive rather than bolstering its capabilities. 

Israeli security forces' actions, as well as Egyptian efforts to thwart Hamas' smuggling attempts over the past 18 months, have forced Hamas to reallocate monetary and human resources to improve its "manual" munitions assembly line, which is far less effective than having standard weapons. 

Moreover, Hamas' inability to pay government employee wages, due to Israeli sanctions, has, in my opinion, greatly undermined its operatives' motivation. After all, even a terrorist's family needs to buy groceries. 

We seem to be scaring ourselves much more than the enemy is trying to scare us. The aerial strikes on Gaza are the precise time to engage in a ground incursion. The threat of fire from above, compounded by ground forces' maneuvers, will make the enemy feel hunted and force it into the open. 

The subterranean cities dug under the Gaza Strip since 2008's Operation Cast Lead were primarily meant to allow the undetected movement of wanted individuals, as well as to facilitate rocket fire at Israel, but they do not allow for underground fighting.

You cannot run a war with a clock over your head. War has objectives that must be achieved, and only their full realization can dictate its end. War is not measured in terms of costs, but only by the values of sacrifice, devotion to the mission, and the love of one's country. That is why the Israeli government must order the IDF to target every last terrorist -- from Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh to the very last man digging a tunnel.

When it comes to a terror state, you do not differentiate between the political echelon and the military one. They all seek to destroy us and therefore they all share the same fate.

Brig. Gen. (ret.) Zvika Fogel is a former chief of staff of the IDF Southern Command.


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Wash. Post Headline Reeks of Anti-Israel Bias

by Leo Rennert

It’s the biggest, boldest headline on the front page of the July 10 edition of the Washington Post.  In huge type, it proclaims: “Israel hits Gaza homes”

Below the headline are two smaller-type sub-heads.  One, just below the top head, reads:  “CHILDREN AND WOMEN KILLED.”  The other subhead, in even smaller type, reads:  “Netanyahu blames tactics of Hamas.”

The clear, lasting impression left with readers is that Israel is deliberately targeting and killing Palestinian civilians in Gaza by attacking their homes.

It’s an utter libel.  The unexplained Hamas tactics in the smallest-type subhead don’t begin to inform readers that Hamas is using civilians as human shields in an attempt to ward off Israeli counter-attacks.

Nor does the headline gives the slightest indication that Israel alerts Gaza residents by phone, leaflets, and other means to get out of the way before striking homes used by Hamas for launchers of rockets aimed at Israeli civilians in southern and central Israel.

Even Human Rights Watch, quick to criticize Israel, has condemned Hamas for deliberate attacks on civilians – the opposite of what the Post headline intimates.  It’s Hamas that is committing war crimes by targeting civilians in Israel and turning Gaza civilians into human shields.

The anti-Israel bias in this front-page headline couldn’t be more odious.

Leo Rennert


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