Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hamas is Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity

by Michael Curtis

In an interview on Palestinian TV on July 14, 2014, Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, addressed a question to Hamas. “What” he asked “are you trying to achieve by sending rockets (against Israel)? We prefer to fight with wisdom and politics.” Even if his second statement is dubious, his question was answered by Hamas which parenthetically refers to him as a “criminal” and speaks of him, in what must come as a surprise to Benjamin Netanyahu as a “member of Likud.”

The simple answer of Hamas is that it is trying to kill as many Jews as possible and to eliminate the State of Israel. It proclaims, in a bizarre mixed metaphor, it will “raze Israel to the ground, exterminate the cockroach’s nest, and banish all the Zionists.” It is a call for genocide.

On any rational view Hamas should be otherwise engaged. In 2005 Israel withdrew all the 21 settlements with their 9,000 settlers from the Gaza Strip, and also all synagogues. The sensible thing would have been the promotion of the Gaza beachfront on the lines of Tel Aviv. Instead, the Strip became the site for housing and then firing rockets. Since Hamas took power in 2007 it has launched more than 5,000 rockets against Israeli civilians. Even the most “evenhanded” observers must find this “disproportionate.”

The barrage of rockets launched against Israeli civilians in July 2014 must also be regarded as “disproportionate.” A commentary on Hamas aggression has come from an unexpected and improbable source, Ibrahim Khreiseh, PLO Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council. He declared that the Hamas missiles “now being launched against Israel -- each and every missile constitutes a crime against humanity, because it is directed at civilian targets.”

In spite of the rhetoric and actions of Hamas, many in the “international community” persist in a stance of moral equivalence holding Israel and Hamas equally to blame for the fighting. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu explained the asymmetrical behavior, “We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.” 

Apart from its uncontrollable hatred of Jews, it is difficult to explain the belligerent aggressiveness of Hamas at this point. Many of the countries in the Arab world are in turmoil and cannot approve or support Hamas aggression. Hamas, and indeed all Palestinians, should recognize that their issue of self-determination or statehood is no longer central, even rhetorically, to the Arab agenda.

The Arab countries are in general preoccupied with their own problems, their local interests -- feuding tribal clans, bitter confessional rivalries, and resistance to Islamist fanaticism. More specifically, four of them, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, and Syria, are in a condition of chaos, and can barely be called “states.” The terrorist group Hizb’allah dominates Lebanon. This makes the official government unimportant, and the condition of Christians perilous. The brutal civil war in Syria has led to 200,000 deaths and millions uprooted, causing a refugee problem affecting Lebanon and Jordan.

By contrast, Israel, though it has its own internal problems, is a stable, modern state. It is now obvious that Israel is the only state established after World War I that is connected historically with a people and with a land.

Jewish occupation of the land has been traced back to at least the 12th century BC., eighteen centuries earlier than the arrival of Arabs from the Arabian Peninsula. After the end of the Israeli Kingdom, the land was occupied by a number of different rulers but some part of the indigenous Jewish population remained. After World War I the land was transferred from Ottoman Empire to the control of the Allied Powers.

The map of the Middle East was redrawn, delineating the boundaries of new states, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Yemen. However, the inherent problem since then is that the boundaries did not reflect the demographic and religious reality on the ground.

The existing Arab states are artificial creations and have little relation to any particular people. Iraq became an independent country in 1932, Syria and Lebanon in 1943, and TransJordan in 1946. They do not resemble modern nation-states. This is not to deny the Arab contribution to world culture in the past, in subjects as well as their control of territory. Arabs were once important in mathematics, medicine, astronomy, and architecture, Cities such as Cordoba, Baghdad, Damascus, and Cairo were metropolises of creativity, with relative tolerance of minority groups.

The decline of the Arab world, apart from the oil-rich states, since then has been difficult to explain in any simple way. Various factors are relevant: economic and social disparities, inferior position of women, high birthrate, displaced peasants, high unemployment, patriarchal culture in deference to elders, poor education, illiteracy, colonial intervention favoring Westernization, and the understated reality that Islam has handicapped any process of modernization.

Arab history has been a continuing series of brutal dictatorships, undemocratic autocracies, religious persecution, confessional tensions, and wars. The truth, now universally understood, is that the post World War I Arab states have not made a success of nation-building, nor do they have acceptable boundaries. They remain challenged by internal rivalries. The border between Syria and Iraq has not really existed since 2012, nor has the Syrian-Lebanese frontier.

Three important changes have occurred. The Kurds have reasserted their demand for an independent state, now virtually in existence in northern Iraq. A second is that the Christian presence is being eliminated: in 1914 Christians in the Middle East numbered about 20 per cent; they now account for about 5 per cent. The third, the forerunner of danger to come, is the establishment of an Islamic state.

That state extends from eastern Syria to western Iraq and aims to expand in the future to include, as a minimum, the areas of Palestine-Israel. The terrorist group ISIS declared the area it controlled, the province of Anbar and Fallouja, a caliphate, to be called State of the Islamic Caliphate, and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the self-proclaimed Commander of the Faithful, the leader of all Muslims, the successor to the Prophet. However it is doubtful that his claim will be accepted by other Muslims, especially by the rival terrorist group al Qaida and its affiliates such as AQAP in the Arabian Peninsula. But the new state is now a major center for Islamist jihadists. 

Hamas appears to be unaware of the dramatic changes in the Arab world, and even of the virulent Islamist extremism. The Western world is aware of these developments and is now even more aware of the relentless aggression of Hamas. The Obama Administration should follow the advice of the PLO delegate in Geneva and call for action against Hamas, guilty of criminal behavior.

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


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Palestine Occupied by Islamism

by Qanta Ahmed

Political Islamists push out legitimate Muslim groups and contribute to regional dysfunction.


While Gazans, their Hamas leadership and pro-Palestinian supporters around the world condemn Israel's Operation Protective Edge, now turning into a ground invasion, its time Muslims examined the Other Occupation: the inexorable advance of political Islamism over Islam.

Increasingly, Islam has been usurped by political Islamism, manifest in the current Israel–Palestine conflict as a war between Hamas and Israel. Elsewhere, Islamism drives conflicts between ISIS and Iraqi government forces, the Pakistani Taliban and the Pakistan Army, the Afghani Taliban and would-be Afghani democratic leaders, Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists and the Nigerian government, the Jama'at Al-Nusra and the Syrian Regime, the Iranian backed Hezbollah and Lebanon's secular democrats, and until recently, the democratically elected but explicitly Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt's secular politicians.

As political Islamism advances, Muslims everywhere, including Palestinian Muslims in Gaza, have been increasingly marginalized and oppressed by extreme Islamists. These Islamists subscribe not to Islam but a totalitarian ideology disguised as religion. While Islamists may fervently believe they are Muslim subscribers to Islam, what they adopt is a totalitarian politicization of Islam.

Operation Protective Edge merely underlines this Other Occupation.

Heavy criticism has been leveled at Israel's emphatic assault on Gazans and the Gaza Strip because of the escalating casualties. Less well acknowledged is that Israel is combating not just an organization devoted to securing its territory in a conflict over land, but a totalitarian ideology that definitively leaves no room for either Israel, Israelis or moderate Muslims to exist.

We learn more when we allow Hamas to do the talking. Its leaders leave us no doubt as to its central philosophy, core to which remains martyrdom and unremitting anti-Semitism. The Hamas charter opens with: "We cannot recognize Israel. The land of Palestine is ours and not for the Jews."

Sheikh Ahmad Yasin, founder of Hamas, was unequivocal in the role of martyrdom in the Hamas mission:

"Love of martyrdom is something deep inside the heart. The only aim is to win Allah's satisfaction. That can be done in the simplest and speediest manner by dying in the cause of Allah. And it is Allah that selects the martyrs"

Both anti-Semitism and martyrdom are central to political Islamism. In contrast, neither has any role in pluralistic, mainstream Islam. Israel is not at war with Muslim Palestinians in Gaza but with their nihilistic Islamist leadership.

In the Muslim World we are familiar with the battle between Islam and Islamism, and we make no bones about the need for open combat against political Islamists. Muslim militaries are not held to global condemnation in the way the Israeli Defense Forces must face — despite their targeted attacks, pre strike warnings, and efforts to contain civilian deaths.

The Pakistan Military's current offensive in the North West Frontier against the Pakistani Taliban is the most recent example.

To empower the military the Pakistani government has authorized shoot to kill on suspicion of Taliban operatives, invited in U.S. drones to conduct strikes on militant Taliban leaders on Pakistani territory, displaced many Pakistanis in the last month from their homes in the North West Frontier and commenced a massive aerial bombardment campaign.

But global condemnation doesn't befall the Pakistani military, or the Pakistani government. Global media reports barely cover the story. Israelis faced with the same problem are the only ones for whom such wholesale condemnation is reserved.

Public sentiment in favor of beleaguered Palestinians, however well intentioned, is rapidly translated into support for Hamas. Western sympathies, especially European sentiment, embolden Hamas (and similar radical Islamist groups) towards an incipient crime against humanity which truly threatens not every Israeli and every Jew with extinction, but also moderate Muslims everywhere, particularly those within Hamas's current purview — cue the decapitations and crucifixions now a daily occurrence in ISIS-controlled Iraq, the escalating persecution of minorities, especially Christians in Iraq and the wider Islamist Middle east.

Because of the lack of nuance and context in the era of sound-byte 'journalism' and the distracting images of Israeli military might, the reluctance to see the bigger picture remains entrenched.

Were reality to hit home, adult solutions for regional, and Israeli-Palestinian peace in particular, would be seen to be truly bleak. Israel is fighting an impossible battle, on one front with nihilist political Islamists who willingly lead their populations to slaughter in the interests of religionized war for fictionalized spiritual gain rather than true political solutions, and on another front waging other battles with an international media reflecting an increasingly ignorant and biased public opinion. The sooner media commentary can be broadened to explain political Islamism, diplomatic and political powers globally can begin to plan the true long-term freedom of the Palestinians — freedom from the Other Occupation and a lasting liberation from the stranglehold of Hamas' political Islamism.

Qanta Ahmed, author of In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom, is 2014 Ford Foundation public voices fellow with the OpEd Project. Follow her on Twitter @MissDiagnosis


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What if Hamas Had Military Superiority?

by Lawrence A. Franklin

The media also does not mention that Hamas leaders have set up their military headquarters beneath hospitals and established arms storerooms in mosques.

Would Hamas have tailored its air targeting to avoid as much as possible innocents from becoming casualties? Would Hamas have dropped millions of leaflets to warn civilian residents before staging bombing runs? Or made tens of thousands of phone calls telling non-combatants to flee the areas which are to be attacked, or discriminated between combatants and non-combatants in a ground war, or abided by the Geneva Conventions' rules for the treatment of prisoners of war?

Would the group have arrested the Hamas operatives who murderer Israeli civilians, or investigated "mistakes" that resulted in civilian casualties?

A children's health clinic in Ashkelon, Israel, that was hit this week by a rocket launched from Gaza. (Image source: IDF)

The American media, by drawing almost exclusive attention to the wide difference in casualties between Gaza and Israel -- a disparity that did not ensue from Hamas's lack of trying -- do a disservice to humane people on the front line of a global war between Islamic extremists and liberal-democratic civilization.

The media also does not mention that Hamas leaders have set up their military headquarters beneath hospitals and established arms storerooms in homes, mosques and even in an empty UNRWA school. Journalists do not discuss the Hamas tactic of regularly mixing their operatives with the women and children of their own families. This is the intentional use of innocents as human shields and as hostages, to serve their propaganda objective of casting Israel in the role of aggressor and villain. The media networks leave this narrative to Israeli diplomats and spokespersons.

But the faint rhetorical support of an ally from U.S. leaders is cowardly and a disingenuous insult to the intelligence of the American people who are not swayed by the phony handwringing of its so-called intelligentsia.

Colonel Lawrence A. Franklin (Ret.) is a former USAFR Attaché to Israel.

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New Islamic Caliphate Declares Jihad on … Muslims

by Raymond Ibrahim

Seventh-century jihad against "apostates and hypocrites"
The new "caliphate" of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—the Islamic State, formerly "ISIS"—recently made clear that it means to follow in the footsteps of the original caliphate of Abu Bakr al-Sadiq (632-634), specifically by directing its jihad against fellow Muslims, in Islamic parlance, the "hypocrites" and "apostates," or in Western terminology, "moderates."

This came out in the context of the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, with some Muslims asking the newly formed "caliphate" when it would launch a jihad on the Jewish state.

The Islamic State's response? "Allah in the noble Koran does not command us to fight Israel or the Jews until we fight the apostates and hypocrites."

On one of the Islamic State's question-and-answer websites, some asked why it was "not fighting Israel but instead shedding the blood of the sons of Iraq and Syria." The new caliphate responded:
The greater answer is in the noble Koran, when Allah Almighty speaks about the near enemy. In the majority of verses in the noble Koran, these are the hypocrites, for they pose a greater danger than the original infidels [born non-Muslims, e.g., Jews and Christians]. And the answer is found in Abu Bakr al-Sadiq, when he preferred fighting apostates over the conquest of Jerusalem [fath al-Quds], which was conquered by his successor, Omar al-Khattab.

Twenty-first century jihad against "apostates and hypocrites"
There's much to be said about this response, rife as it is with historical allusions.
First, it is true. After the prophet of Islam died, a great number of Arabian tribes that had submitted to his rule by becoming Muslims—the word muslim simply means "one who submits"—thought they could now renege, and so they apostatized in droves. This sparked the first Ridda, or "apostasy wars," waged by Abu Bakr al-Sadiq, who became the first caliph on Muhammad's death in 632. For nearly two years, till his own death in 634, his caliphate's entire energy was focused on waging jihad on all the recalcitrant Arab tribes, forcing them by the edge of the sword to return to the fold of Islam.

Tens of thousands of Arabs were burned, beheaded, dismembered, or crucified in the process, according to Islamic history, especially by the "Sword of Allah." It was only afterwards, under the reign of the second caliph, Omar al-Khattab (634-644), that the great Islamic conquests against the "original infidels"—those non-Arab peoples who had never converted to Islam, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, etc.—took place.

Islam's war on the apostate, so little known in the West, figures prominently in Islamic history. Indeed, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the most influential Islamic clerics today, while once discussing the importance of killing any Muslim who apostatizes from Islam on Al Jazeera, correctly stated that "If the [death] penalty for apostasy was ignored, there would not be an Islam today; Islam would have ended on the death of the prophet."

In short, and as the Islamic State is now arguing, the first and greatest enemy of Islam—the "nearest" enemy—is the "apostate" and "hypocrite," for they are the most capable of subverting Islam from within.

This phenomenon of "pious" Muslims fighting and killing "lukewarm" Muslims, or Shia and Sunnis fighting one another—while the original infidel stands by or gets away—has many precedents throughout history. For example, in its response, the Islamic State further justifies not fighting Israel by saying:
The answer is found in Salah ad-Din al-Ayubi [Saladin] and Nur ad-Din Zanki when they fought the Shia in Egypt and Syria before [addressing] Jerusalem. Salah ad-Din fought more than 50 battles before he reached Jerusalem. And it was said to Salah ad-Din al-Ayubi: "You fight the Shia and the Fatimids in Egypt and allow the Latin Crusaders to occupy Jerusalem?" And he responded: "I will not fight the Crusaders while my back is exposed to the Shia."
All of this history quoted by the Islamic State is meant to exonerate the new caliphate's main assertion: "Jerusalem will not be liberated until we are done with all these tyrants, families, and pawns of colonialism that control the fate of the Islamic world."

Some observations:
  • Although the Islamic State is trying to suggest that only autocrats like Syria's Bashar al-Assad are "apostates" and "hypocrites," and that most average Muslims are eager for Sharia, the fact is, a great many of the world's Muslims fit under this rubric. The largest revolution in history, Egypt's June 2013 anti-Brotherhood revolution, attests to this. Thus the new caliphate's jihad is not just against "tyrants," but many average Muslims as well, as the organization's carnage in Iraq and Syria attests.
  • The Islamic State's declaration justifying non-confrontation with Israel is not winning it much popular support in the Arab world and is naturally portrayed as a copout. It further validates the popular Arab narrative that the United States is siding with the Islamists to create havoc in the region; to have the various sects (Sunni vs Shia, Moderate vs. Islamist) fight each other in order to divide and weaken the region. Thus Dr. Ahmed Karima, a leading professor of Islamic jurisprudence in Al Azhar, said that the Islamic State's position concerning Israel proves that "it is a creation of U.S. and Israeli intelligence" and that the new caliphate "is the biggest of all hypocrites."
  • Alternatively, others, especially Islamists, appreciate that the Islamic State is patterning itself after the first caliphate of Abu Bakr—hence why its first caliph chose that name—because it finds itself operating in the same circumstances. Nascent and without much support, it first mission, like Abu Bakr, is to re-subjugate Muslims to Islam. Only then can it focus on the "original infidels."
  • While this approach may be temporarily good for Israel (and all infidel states), in the long run, a fully functioning and unified caliphate with "reformed" Muslims next door is not a pretty picture. After all, the Islamic State is not exonerating the infidel, but rather saying his turn will come once the caliphate is capable of an all-out assault. At best, it's a temporary reprieve.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a CBN News contributor. He is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007).


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Israel Attacked on Four Fronts

by Robert Spencer


The wreckage of earlier Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts – the Camp David Accords, Oslo, the Road Map to Peace and all the rest – was on particularly vivid display this week.

Reuters reported Monday that “at least one rocket fired from Lebanon hit northern Israel on Monday….The rocket was fired from the area around the southern city of Tyre, Lebanese security sources said.” AFP noted that “a rocket fired from Syria hit the Israeli-occupied sector of the Golan Heights on Sunday.” Rockets from Gaza continue to hit Israel despite the Israeli defensive actions. And according to Al Arabiya, “Egyptian security thwarted on Sunday an attempt to launch two rockets from Sinai at Israel.”

Southern Lebanon, Gaza, Sinai – all previously “occupied territory” from which Israel withdrew in order to help bring about peace.

Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in May 2000. Prime Minister Ehud Barack’s government thought that the withdrawal would show that Israel was serious about making peace, and would bring to an end the relentless attacks against Israel at the United Nations and in the international media. Israel withdrew from Gaza in September 2005. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s government thought that the withdrawal would show that Israel was serious about making peace, and would bring to an end the relentless attacks against Israel at the United Nations and in the international media. Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula by 1982 as part of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty resulting from the Camp David Accords. Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s government thought that the withdrawal would show that Israel was serious about making peace, and would bring to an end the relentless attacks against Israel at the United Nations and in the international media.
Are you starting to see a pattern?

Israel carried out all three of these withdrawals in pursuit of peace. But peace never came.
The UN and the media never let up on Israel, and in each case, the Israeli withdrawal led to the previously “occupied territory” becoming a base for new jihad attacks against the Jewish state.

How many more times is this going to have to happen before the leaders of the free world stop pressuring Israel into entering into these self-defeating and fruitless “peace” agreements? The events of the last few days have assuredly not persuaded Barack Obama and John Kerry to stop pressuring Israel to withdraw from the “settlements” so as to show that Israel is serious about making peace, and to bring to an end the relentless attacks against Israel at the United Nations and in the international media. But even if such an agreement comes about, and it looks unlikely now with the latest jihad savagery and Netanyahu apparently resolute against it, it will fail, yet again. The war against Israel is a jihad for the sake of Islam. It will never be negotiated away. It will never be turned away from its ultimate goal of the destruction of Israel and the genocide of the Jews.

Obama and Kerry and the rest may know this. Obama’s anti-Semitic associations are so many and so long-lasting that it is hard to sustain the idea that he is pressing the Israelis to curtail their latest operations and enter into what would certainly be a disastrous ceasefire agreement with Hamas out of naivete and a well-meaning but ill-considered desire to make peace. He must know. And many in the Leftist intelligentsia must know.

Those who do not yet know, however, should ponder the spectacle of Israel being attacked from southern Lebanon, Gaza and the Sinai all in one day, as well as from Syria, with which the Nixon Administration pressed Israel to make peace in 1973.

It is long past time for a new paradigm in Washington — an across-the-board repudiation of the prevailing political establishment, and the ascendancy of people who are willing to face the reality of the jihad threat in its full magnitude, and to defend Israel to the hilt as being on the front line of that jihad. But with the Republicans so richly deserving their sobriquet of The Stupid Party, such a change in the political culture is not, alas, on the horizon.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We're In, is now available.


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Democratic Congressman Calls Out Qatar's Hamas Support on Al-Jazeera America

by John Rossomando

A congressman's recent criticism of Al-Jazeera America's Qatari owners for funding of Hamas has renewed questions about the network's journalistic integrity.
Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also slammed the network's coverage of the latest round of fighting between Hamas and Israel during his July 9 appearance on the network.
"Every one of those rockets [fired by Hamas into Israeli cities] is a war crime, almost every one," Sherman said, noting that Hamas seeks to hit civilian targets. "Of course it's a war crime committed by Hamas. And of course the owners of this TV network help fund Hamas."

Allegations have floated for years about members of the Qatari royal family meddling in editorial decisions of Al-Jazeera's Doha-based English-language sister network. A State Department cable from December 2009 stated that Qatar was using Al-Jazeera as "an informal tool … of foreign policy."

This lack of editorial independence came into focus in 2011, when Qatari superiors ordered the re-editing of a two-minute video package that appeared on Al-Jazeera English. Qatari network officials modified the segment to ensure that comments by Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani at the United Nations led the segment, even though staffers judged Al-Thani's comments as being less important than other speakers that day, such as President Barack Obama.

Al-Jazeera America strives to publicly distance itself from its Qatari parents and portray its product as "unbiased, fact-based … in-depth journalism." A look at its coverage of the current Gaza conflict, however, calls its claim of being unbiased into question.

The network's pro-Hamas slant has been exhibited in its disproportionate emphasis on deaths of Palestinian civilians without almost any critical mention of Hamas's intentional use of human shieldsconsidered a war crime under international law.

Similarly, Al-Jazeera America reporters have made scant reference to the terrorists' use of densely populated areas to fire rockets or of Israel's warning civilians to leave targeted areas prior to bombing.

For example, a July 15 segment of its program "Consider This" focused on the plight of Palestinian children in Gaza. Moderator Wajahat Ali omitted any reference to how the terrorist group endangers children's lives. Ali repeated the mantra about Gaza's population density without a single reference to how Hamas uses mosques and civilian buildings to launch rockets.

During his appearance on the network, Sherman also slammed Al-Jazeera America for dismissing Hamas' threat to Israeli civilians because their rockets had not killed anyone at a kindergarten in Israel.

"… [Y]ou on this TV station say, 'well maybe it's not a war crime because it's not successful, the rocket didn't hit a kindergarten – it was aimed at a kindergarten but it didn't hit a kindergarten – so then it's not reprehensible,'" Sherman said.

U.S. officials have harbored concerns about the Qatari royal family for years and even interceded to stop some of the money it sent to Hamas.

A confidential State Department cable from February 2006 describes former Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who founded Al-Jazeera by a royal decree in 1996, as a "a big friend of Hamas." He notably pledged $400 million to Hamas's cash-strapped government in Gaza during an October 2012 state visit. However, recent reports indicate that the U.S. blocked the transfer of money to Hamas.

Back in 2006, Al-Thani gave $50 million to the then Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.

Al-Thani may have abdicated in 2013 in favor of his son, but the change has not lessened Qatar's financial commitment to Hamas. Qatar's Prime Minister Abdullah bin Naser bin Khalifa Al Thani announced in June that Qatar would give Hamas $60 million to pay the salaries of its civil servants in Gaza.

That kind of open support frustrates American diplomats.

"Officials should make known USG concerns about the financial support to Hamas by Qatari charitable organizations and our concerns about the moral support Hamas receives from Yousef Al-Qaradawi [a popular Muslim Brotherhood cleric living in Qatar]," U.S. Ambassador to Qatar Joseph E. Lebaron wrote in a 2009 secret cable to Washington. He also made clear "high-level Qatari political support is needed" to curtail terror financing.

Hamas received much of its money in Qatar through charitable foundations or popular committees, Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal told Al-Hayat in 2003. Meshaal noted that Qatari TV occasionally organized days when it would collect donations to assist the intifada happening at the time.

Qatar twice provided sanctuary to Meshaal after he wore out his welcome elsewhere. Jordan kicked him out in 1999, and he had to leave Damascus in 2011 after relations between Hamas and the Assad regime soured over the Syrian civil war. Qatar has allowed Hamas to maintain offices in Doha for years.

Qatar Charity, formerly the Qatar Charitable Society and also controlled by the Qatari royal family, has long been suspected of maintaining close ties with Hamas. A secret cable from July 2003 suggests that the charity likely had ties to Hamas. The charity collaborated with the Hamas Ministry of Education 2009 to build schools, according to the Daily Mail. Such schools indoctrinate children with pro-jihadist propaganda.

Osama bin Laden discussed Qatar Charity in 1993 as an important fundraising source for al-Qaida – underscoring its long history of funding terrorism.

Another example of Qatar's complicity with Hamas fundraising has been in its allowing Qaradawi, who heads the Union of Good, to operate within its borders. Treasury Department officials stated in a November 2008 press release that Hamas's leadership created Union of Good in 2000 shortly before the start of the second Intifada to "facilitate the transfer of funds to Hamas."

Qaradawi has hosted a program on Al-Jazeera's Arabic channel where he has advocated Palestinian suicide bombings.

Al-Jazeera America came into being after the Al-Jazeera Media Network purchased Current TV from former Vice President Al Gore and other investors in January 2013. Worries about Qatar using Al-Jazeera America as a propaganda tool surfaced almost immediately.

Al-Jazeera America interim CEO Ehab Al Shihabi fought back hard against those accusations in May. "I am not Qatar. I don't represent Qatar," Al Shihabi told the Paley Center for Media. "I am, you know, separate from Qatar government. I took a grant like what [the] BBC has."

"And the whole concept exercise really is built up on the asset of Al-Jazeera Media Network," he added, "and if I'm not successful to build up on that asset that means I am not a right business person."

Other than Al Shihabi, all of the network's top executives are Americans who previously worked for American networks such as CNN or ABC.

Questions about Al-Jazeera America's editorial independence and slant persist, despite those American hires.

Temple University journalism professor Christopher Harper, a veteran reporter who has covered the Middle East since 1979, noted in a column following the network's launch last August that Al-Jazeera America was not about news, and that its product reminded him of Soviet propaganda. Al-Jazeera America gave Qatar a "seat at the political table in the United States," Harper wrote, adding that it was not likely to make money in the already crowded cable news market.

He has proven correct thus far. Its viewership has been practically non-existent, averaging 15,000 viewers during prime time.

Al-Jazeera America's uncritical coverage of the Hamas-linked Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)'s effort to weaken the terrorism watch list is one example of the slanted coverage. The FBI cut off contact with CAIR in 2008, based on evidence it uncovered tying CAIR and its founders to a Hamas support network. A federal judge also ruled in 2009 that the evidence established "at least a prima facie case as to CAIR's involvement in a conspiracy to support Hamas."

Al-Jazeera America anchor John Siegenthaler Jr. interviewed CAIR-NY board member Lamis Deek on June 25 concerning a federal judge's ruling that the watch list was unconstitutional. Siegenthaler never asked Deek about the national-security considerations stemming from the judge's ruling and seemed to sympathize with CAIR's position.

"I think it is simply providing one side of a story. It doesn't rise to Soviet propaganda, but it certainly is propaganda for one side," Harper told the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

A July 10 broadcast of the network's program "Inside Story" hosted by longtime former National Public Radio announcer Ray Suarez provides another example of this slant.

Suarez sought to discuss the failure of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, except for one critical part of the story – someone to present Israel's perspective.

Peace would be possible, Suarez and his three guests agreed, if only Israel were to cooperate with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

None of the guests, including Gershon Baskin, head of the Israel-Palestinian Think Tank; Aziz Abu Sarah of the Middle East Justice & Development Initiative; or former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Dan Kurtzer, made any reference to Hamas' refusal to renounce violence or its commitment to Israel's destruction, nor provocations by members of the Palestinian Authority calling Israel the occupied "1948 lands," nor Abbas's statements of solidarity with Hamas as far back as 2009.

Suarez noted that Baskin had past contacts with Hamas and proceeded to ask him how he would handle peace negotiations with the terrorist group, regardless of the fact that Hamas's charter and recent statements show it has no desire for peace with Israel. The host then referred to Palestinian terrorism as the "armed struggle" – a term Hamas leaders use to describe their terror attacks against Israelis.

Abu Sarah suggested that Palestinians should consider a one-state solution where Palestinians and Jews would live side by side in the same state – something he said "would mean the end of the Jewish state."

Suarez's political bias has been well-known for years. He narrated an April 2007 PBS documentary, "America at a Crossroads: The Muslim Americans," which dismissed CAIR's links to terrorists as the work of "a small band of conservative and pro-Israeli groups, who accuse it of having an extremist agenda."

"There have also been claims that some members of CAIR have terrorist links. But there have been no charges linked to CAIR itself," Suarez said.

Information about CAIR's extremism was readily available at the time the documentary aired. These included CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad's 1994 endorsement of Hamas; convictions of CAIR leaders such as Randal "Ismail" Royer and Ghassan Elashi; and its opposition to terrorism investigations.

Conservative journalist Cliff Kincaid questions why Al-Jazeera America continues to operate despite Qatar's terror ties and argues that it should be labeled foreign propaganda.

"Al-Jazeera's entry into the U.S. media market, in violation of the law, was tantamount to giving American broadcast facilities during World War II to 'Tokyo Rose' and 'Axis Sally,'" Kincaid said. "Its broadcasts in the U.S. are not being labeled by cable and satellite providers as foreign propaganda under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

"In addition, the deal was not reported to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) of the Treasury Department, in violation of the law."

Clearly, the terror ties of Al-Jazeera America's Qatari owners should be further examined by U.S. regulatory authorities and members of Congress because many questions remain to be answered regarding the network's independence from foreign control.

John Rossomando


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The war Israel didn't want

by Dan Gordon

American Thinker contributor Dan Gordon, a captain in the Israel Defense Force reserves as well as a screenwriter, sends a letter that is worth citing in its entirety on the current fighting in Gaza:

I have been an Israeli soldier for over forty years, and never in that time have I ever seen a war that Israel wanted less, nor did more to avoid


At every stage of the current conflict, the government of Israel has given Hamas a chance to not just exit the conflict, but do so with it’s dignity, and honor, if a terrorist army can be said to possess such a commodity, in tact. And at absolutely every stage Hamas has answered unequivocally , and in a manner which could not possibly be misunderstood, that this war was theirs

They wanted it.

They created it.

They owned it.

Israel tried to create, at every turn, the beginning of a cycle of peace.

Hamas, at every turn, chose to perpetuate a cycle of death.

Were it not for Israel’s Iron Dome anti missile system, a brilliant civil defense mechanism, a disciplined and courageous home front, and most of all a merciful and loving God, Israel would now have casualties mounting in the thousands, if not tens of thousands.

You cannot fire almost 1500 missiles at dense civilian centers of population and expect anything less.

Therein lies perhaps, Hamas’s , and Israel’s dilemma.

Make no mistake. Hamas did not begin this war because of any occupation, or to avenge the horrific death of a Palestinian teenager by a group of deranged, murderous Israeli Charlie Mansons.

There is not and has not been any occupation of Gaza in almost ten years.

Hamas began launching its murderous rocket attacks long before the Palestinian teenager was murdered.

Indeed Hamas instigated the murder of three Israeli teen agers in order to drag Israel into the present conflict, and still Israel refused to take the bait, refused to attack the source of the problem in Gaza, contenting itself instead, with a policing action in the West Bank.

Nor  did Hamas begin this war because of their love for their Palestinian brothers and sisters in The Palestine Authority of Mahmoud Abbas. They, after all,  deposed Abbas’s forces in a blood thirsty coup by lining them up against walls and machine gunning them to death.

Heaven help you if you have  an ally like Hamas.

Hamas began this war for two reasons, and two reasons only:

One was to preserve their own political power.

Having overthrown their Palestinian brethren (not the Israelis who had unilaterally withdrawn from Gaza the year before) in a bloody coup, Hamas now faced a perhaps unanticipated challenge. They actually had to govern. And that is something at which they have utterly and completely, through a combination of greed and corruption, failed.

Gaza has forty percent unemployment.

They pump raw sewage into the Mediterranean.

They cannot afford to pay their own soldiers and civil servants.

Thus they faced a possible overthrow of their government for the commonest of all reasons.Their people were fed up with them.

At the same time they were regarded as not radical enough by a newer breed of terrorist like ISIS, Al Qaida and Islamic Jihad, who also threatened to topple them for not confronting Israel enough.

Thus a limited war against Israel, which they knew they would lose, and which would hopefully provide a sufficient number of dead civilians to outrage western sensibilities, fit the bill perfectly.

How can you blame us about the economy? Look how the Israelis bombed us!

How can you say we’re not radical enough/? Look how many thousands of rocket attacks we will have launched against the Zionist enemy.

How can you say we’re terrorists.? Look how many dead children we have.

The other reason Hamas launched this offensive is because their Iranian masters told them to. That way Iran can tie nuclear concessions to the supposed genocide of of the Palestinian Gazan people whose lives they, and Hamas both, have chosen to sacrifice on the alter of their own political gain and greed.

Make no mistake. This is Iran and Hamas’s offensive.

When the Egyptians, a Moslem Arab country, offered a cease fire, endorsed by the Moslem Arab League, The Jewish State of Israel accepted it unconditionally.

Hamas said “ no” by launching over a hundred new rocket attacks at Israel during the supposed cease fire.

Still Israel did not respond.

The next day, the UN and Egypt, with the encouragement of the Arab League and the United Staes asked for a five hour humanitarian pause; a cease fire to allow innocent Palestinian civilians to get to safety and stock up on needed provisions.

The Jewish State of Israel said yes.

Hamas gave it’s response, not just in renewed rocket attacks, but by sending in some 13 to 15 commandos, through a terrorist, homicide tunnel, dug under Israel’s border, and leading up to an Israeli civilian community. The terrorists were armed with a dozen anti tank missiles, machine guns, grenades and thousands upon thousands of rounds of ammunition. Heaven forbid that they had made it the few thousand meters into the civilian bedroom community. With that kind of weaponry they could have killed and wounded hundreds, and taken scores of innocent civilians as hostages.They would have made the Mumbai Massacre look like child’s play, by comparison.

Once again however, thanks to the alertness of Israel’s all female observation unit, which spotted the Hamas terrorist team, and thanks to Israel’s ground and air assets which neutralized them, that attempt at civilian mass murder was foiled.

But even its failure served Hamas’s purposes. Because now Israel had absolutely no choice whatsoever but to launch a limited ground offensive into Gaza in order to deal with the clear and present danger  and imminent threat,  of dozens of terrorist homicide tunnels , whose purpose is not smuggling, but out and out murder of innocent civilians, all in the name of a “ divine victory” that will keep Hamas in powers and please it’s Iranian puppet masters.

Here is the official communique of the government of Israel in the face of this almost unprecedented terrorist aggression.

“The Prime Minister and Minister of Defense have directed the Israel Defense Forces to open, tonight, a ground operation, in order to strike at the terrorist tunnels which penetrate from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory…The Prime Minister and Minister of Defense have directed the IDF to be prepared to widen the ground action ( if necessary). The directive was confirmed tonight by the security cabinet after Israel agreed  to the Egyptian proposal for a cease fire, which Hama refused, and after which, continued its rocket fire against Israeli cities."

Nor did Hamas honor the humanitarian cease fire put forward by the United Nations, instead continuing it’s fire at Israel during the proposed “ lull”.

In light of the spreading and unceasing aggression of Hamas, and the dangerous penetration of Israeli sovereign territory, Israel is obligated to act to protect its civilian population. Operation Protective Edge will continue until its objectives have been achieved - to return to the citizens of Israel a prolonged period of tranquility, while striking in a significant way, at Hamas’s infrastructure and that of the other terrorist organizations in Gaza.”

No civilized country on the face of the earth could do anything less for it’s civilian population.

There is no doubt that Israel will prevail. The only two questions now are, how many of its own hapless civilians will Hamas  unflinchingly sacrifice in order to maintain it’s political strangle hold on its own people,  and how many well intentioned Westerners will become  their unwitting enablers?

For Israel  there is an additional question. What is the price that we too will have to pay to buy our civilians another few years of peace and quiet?

But there is no doubt as to who has forced this horrible dilemma on both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.

Their name is Hamas and their master is in Teheran.  And the responsibility for this wholly unnecessary unfolding tragedy, is theirs and theirs alone.

Dan Gordon, Capt. IDF ( Res.)


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

Obama and Israel - a History of Betrayal

by Israel Video Network

Israel Video Network


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

Caroline Glick: How to Win in Gaza

by Caroline Glick

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

Israel deployed ground forces in Gaza Thursday night both because Hamas’s terror tunnels into Israel have become an unacceptable threat, and because it had to break the deadlock that had developed between it and Hamas.

Until the ground invasion, Israel and Hamas were in a holding pattern. Hamas would not accept a ceasefire deal because Egypt’s offers provided the Iranian sponsored, Muslim Brotherhood terror army with no discernible achievements. And absent such achievements, Hamas prefers to keep fighting. Israel for its part is unwilling to make any concessions to Hamas in exchange for its cessation of its criminal terror war that targets innocent civilians in Israel as a matter of course. As Hamas sees things, it has three ways of winning.

First, if Israel had agreed to ceasefire terms that left Hamas better off than it was when it started its newest round of indiscriminate missile attacks against Israeli civilian targets, then it could have declared victory.

Hamas’s terms for a ceasefire included, among other things, an open border with Egypt, egress to the sea, open access to the border zone with Israel, an airport, a sea port, and the release of terrorists from Israeli prisons. Obviously, if Israel agreed to even a few of these terms, its agreement would have constituted a strategic victory for Hamas.

The second way for Hamas to win is if it able to accuse Israel of killing a large number of Palestinians at one time. In that case, Hamas can expect for the US to join with the EU and the UN in forcing Israel to accept ceasefire terms that require it to make significant concessions to the Palestinians in Gaza as well as in Judea and Samaria.

This is what happened in Hezbollah’s war with Israel in 2006. During the fighting, Hezbollah alleged that Israel killed a great number of Lebanese civilians in Kfar Kana. Those allegations caused then US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice to effectively end US support for Israel’s war effort. Rice quickly coerced Israel into accepting ceasefire terms that paved the way for Hezbollah’s takeover of the Lebanese government.

If Hamas is able to create a similar situation in Gaza, it will likely achieve the same sort of strategic victory over Israel.

Finally, if Hamas is able to produce a picture of victory that can burnish its reputation as the leader of the jihad against the Jews throughout the Islamic world, then it will be able to declare victory. Operations such as Hamas’s repeated attempts to launch mass casualty attacks in Israeli communities along the border with Gaza by infiltrating Israeli territory through its underground tunnel networks, have been geared towards achieving such an end.

Since Hamas initiated the current round of warfare against Israel, Israelis have been split in their assessments of how best to win the war. Still now, with ground forces deployed in Gaza, the dispute over the proper goal of the operation remains significant.

Although everyone supports the troops, politicians on the Left, led, most openly by Labor party leader Isaac Herzog say that Israel should limit its goals to the maximum extent and seek a ceasefire because “there is no military solution” to the conflict with Hamas.

Israel’s best bet, they say, is to do everything it can to end the Hamas missile strikes as quickly as possible through negotiations. At the same time, Herzog argues, since there is only a diplomatic solution to the Palestinian conflict with Israel, Israel needs to send negotiators to Ramallah to beg Palestinian Authority President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas to sign a peace deal with the Jewish state.

There are several basic problems with the Left’s position.

First, Hamas and its partners in Gaza from Islamic Jihad, al Qaeda affiliated jihadist militia and Fatah have no interest whatsoever in peaceful coexistence with Israel. They exist to fight Israel. This means that the only way that Israel can get them to stop fighting is by using its military force to convince them that it is not in their interest to continue shooting.

In other words, the only “solution” to Hamas’s aggression is a military solution.

Then there is the bizarre notion that a deal with Fatah is somehow the silver bullet that will end the military threat to Israel from Hamas-controlled Gaza.

A deal between Israel and Fatah in Judea and Samaria would have no effect whatsoever on the situation on the ground in Gaza. Given Hamas’s absolute rejection of peace with Israel, and widespread support for Israel’s destruction throughout Palestinian society, a peace deal between Israel and Fatah in Judea and Samaria would in all likelihood increase Hamas’s prestige among Palestinians and throughout the Muslim world. In other words a peace deal with Fatah would enhance Hamas’s prestige and power and ultimately bring about an expansion of its military capabilities.

Beyond that, Abbas has ruled the PA for the past decade. Throughout this period, he consistently demonstrated through deed and word that he will never, ever sign a peace treaty with Israel. Abbas has twice rejected offers of peace and statehood from Israel. Just three months ago he rejected another offer from US President Barack Obama. During the same period, he has signed three peace deals with Hamas. The most recent one is now in force, on the ground.

Since Hamas initiated its newest round of criminal projectile assaults on Israel, Abbas has acted as a full partner in the war. He has represented Hamas internationally. He has negotiated on its behalf – and continues to do so in Cairo.

Abbas has slandered Israel in the most obscene terms. His Fatah group has actively participated in the missile offensive, on the ground in Gaza. It has also proclaimed its absolute unity of purpose with Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the war against Israel in daily official pronouncements.

Given all of this, the notion that Israel can pin a diplomatic strategy for ending Hamas’s war against it on Fatah is not merely ridiculous. It is inexcusably irresponsible for would-be national leaders to maintain faith with it. The only purpose such behavior serves is to reinforce the Americans and Europeans in their delusional faith that the chimerical two-state solution is a recipe for utopian peace rather than war, bloodshed and radicalization.

On the other hand, the Right, led most outspokenly by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman insists that the role of IDF ground forces in Gaza should be to reconquer the area with the aim of destroying Hamas’s capacity to continue shooting rockets and missiles. Only such a ground-based operation, they claim will eliminate the threat of Hamas’s projectiles.

There are several problems with this position.

First, it makes assumptions about Hamas that are not necessarily correct.

It is far from clear that the only way to destroy Hamas and end its capacity to harm Israel is to reconquer Gaza.

The main reason that Hamas began the current war is because the terror group is in distress.

The Egyptians have cut off the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood’s financial and military supply lines through the Sinai. Hamas of the summer of 2014 is not Hezbollah from the summer of 2006. Hezbollah had open supply lines from Iran through Syria and Turkey. Hamas is locked in between Israel and Egypt.

Moreover, Hamas is challenged on the ground in Gaza by the same jihadist groups that now fight with it against Israel. If Hamas cannot produce a victory in this round of fighting then its friends from al Qaeda affiliates and from Islamic Jihad will renew their challenge to its authority. Add to the mix the response of a public angry at Hamas for forcing it to serve as human shields for missiles and terror masters who were unable to bring home the bacon so to speak by fighting, and there is a reasonable chance that Hamas will face a full-blown insurrection once a ceasefire with Israel goes into effect.

The only way for Hamas to avert this fate is by being able to point to significant gains from the fighting that will neutralize at least some of its opponents and rivals.

In other words, Israel doesn’t have to reconquer Gaza to destroy Hamas. We just have to humiliate Hamas and knock out capabilities like the tunnel networks that immediately threaten us. And then let the Gazans fight it out.

Finally, a full-scale ground invasion is a risky proposition. There is no assurance of success. Israel deployed ground forces in south Lebanon in 2006. But due to incompetent national and military leadership, the forces achieved little from a strategic perspective while absorbing painful losses.

Israel faces an acute operational challenge in Gaza. The nine year absence of IDF forces and Israeli civilians on the ground has wrecked Israel’s intelligence gathering capabilities and so limited the IDF’s operational effectiveness. If in 2004 Israel was able to defeat Hamas through targeted killing of its commanders, repeating that success today without good human intelligence assets on the ground is a much more difficult prospect.

This is why we are already beginning to see diminishing results from the air campaign. Without human assets on the ground, the IDF either cannot locate or cannot get to the remaining high value targets.

Unless Israel is able to change this situation fairly rapidly, it will not be able to sufficiently diminish Hamas’s capabilities to convince Hamas’s leadership that they are better off ending the current fight without achieving anything significant than maintaining it until they do.

This is why the government was finally compelled to order the ground campaign.

Ground forces are required to develop the information Israel needs to kill a large enough number of Hamas leaders and destroy the tunnel complexes and a large enough quantity of missiles and launchers to convince Hamas’s terror masters to cry, “Uncle.”

While the ground operations continue, Israeli negotiators should be avidly agreeing to every ceasefire offer that denies Hamas any achievements. The IDF must continue to exercise an abundance of caution to prevent Hamas from luring our forces into a situation where we will be accused of massacring Palestinians.

None of this is easy or simple. No result is guaranteed. But in fighting Hamas today, Israel finds itself in a better position than it has faced in past fights with Hamas. For the first time, we face an enemy with a limited shelf life. Without supply lines from Egypt, Hamas cannot fight forever. Its allies at the UN can feed its forces and protect Hamas from an insurrection from a starving population. But the UN cannot rearm Hamas. It cannot reopen the smuggling tunnels from Egypt to enable materiel, money and trainers to enter Gaza.

Hamas is desperate for anything it can call a victory. By denying it one on the one hand, while taking action to force its leaders to prefer organizational humiliation to personal destruction on the other, Israel can win a decisive victory.

Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit


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