Friday, July 10, 2015

If Israel disappears, others will too - Mudar Zahran

by Mudar Zahran

We Arabs have wasted seven decades of our existence awaiting Israel's demise. It is time to think of the future, and whether Israel's "disappearance" should be our ‎ultimate wish.‎

Since 1948, we Arabs have been taught that all we need to do is get rid of the Jewish state, and ‎everything else will go well after that. Our dictators took full advantage of this idea. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser locked up and executed his opposition members ‎using his famous excuse: "No voices are to be allowed except for those for the war with ‎Israel." Iraqi President Saddam Hussein adopted the Palestinian flag and had it ‎printed, distributed and flown alongside his own flag, and even said, "Palestine and Iraq share the same ‎identical cause." In short, we Arabs have put 70 years of our existence on hold while awaiting that ‎‎"glorious day" when we defeat Israel and "feed the Jews to the fish." 

But that day did not come, nor does ‎it seem to be coming, as Jordanian opposition figure Emad Tarifi once told me: "It seems the fish in ‎the sea are not betting on us feeding them Jews." ‎

In addition, we Arabs have given our dictators carte blanche to impoverish, terrorize, oppress and ‎destroy us all in the name of "the great Arab struggle to end the Zionist entity." The outcome of this has ‎been clear: While Israel made 10 new breakthroughs in cancer and cardiac treatments in the last two years ‎alone, we Arabs developed new execution methods. The latest is death by drowning in a cage, as ‎shown in an Islamic State group video two weeks ago.‎

We Arabs have wasted seven decades of our existence awaiting Israel's demise. It is time to think of the future, and whether Israel's "disappearance" should be our ‎ultimate wish.‎

Being the son of two Palestinian-Jordanian refugees, I find myself inclined to fear for the future. Regardless of my stance toward Israel, I have to think: What would happen if, one day, Israel were to disappear? While it does not seem feasible, it is the day around which entire Arab political, social and economic systems revolve. ‎

It is not only Arabs who want Israel gone. There are others who seek the same, for ‎example anti-Semites in the West. Just last week, neo-Nazis marched in London with swastikas and the Palestinian flag. The organizer of the march claimed it was a protest "by all of those ‎who have suffered because of Israel." There are groups calling for a boycott of Israel "for ‎the sake of the Palestinian people." There are countries whose entire foreign policy seems to revolve around opposition to Israel. We ‎Palestinians might have believed that these groups and countries actually care about us, but they take no interest in the fate of the ‎‎150,000 Palestinians being starved to death in Syria's Yarmouk refugee camp, nor in an estimated ‎‎5.8 million Palestinians in Jordan (as indicated by a U.S. Embassy cable) who live as second-‎class citizens and are banned from government jobs and any form of state benefits while paying full taxes.‎

If these Israel-haters got their wish to see Israel disappear, what would ‎happen?‎

First, Israel is the only reason Iran does not yet have nuclear weapons. Iran could buy the ‎technology to produce them, or could learn it quickly the way Pakistan did. Why has Iran been slow in ‎doing so? Because it learned a lesson from the experience of Saddam's Osirak reactor, which Israeli jets reduced to rubble in 1981.‎

Then, almost everyone, including George H. W. Bush who was vice president of the United States at that time, were furious ‎with Israel's move. But 10 years later, when the U.S. fought to liberate Kuwait, ‎the situation would have been totally different if Saddam had kept his nuclear program -- and the only reason ‎he did not was Israel.‎

Further, Iran already controls at least a third of Iraq and its resources through a pro-Iranian ‎regime. If Israel were to disappear, Iran would extend its influence into Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain ‎the next day, as it would not have to fear an Israeli reaction. Iran could then bring the world to its knees by reducing oil ‎production.

Iran is not the only evil power in the Middle East: We also have Islamic State, which has now spread across ‎Iraq, Syria, Sinai and Libya, with clear ambitions to enter Jordan. Islamic State has not entered Jordan yet, and this is not ‎because of any fear of the Jordanian army. After all, the Global Firepower website ranks Jordan's army at ‎the same level as the Iraqi army, which Islamic State has defeated many times. Islamic State does not dare enter Jordan for one reason only -- its fear that Israeli jets would catch up with it 15 minutes later.‎

If Israel were to disappear and be replaced by a Palestinian state, the Palestinians would most likely end up ‎with another Arab dictatorship that oppresses them and reduces them to poverty. We have partially ‎seen that with the Palestinian Authority and the "liberated" areas it rules. I regularly visit the West ‎Bank and have interviewed scores of Palestinians there. I can confirm that, as much as they hate ‎Israel, they still openly yearn for the days when it administered the West Bank. As one Palestinian told me, ‎‎"We prayed to God to give us mercy and rid us of Israel; later, we found out that God had ‎given us mercy when Israel was here."‎

To those Arabs, Muslims, Westerners and others insisting that Israel must be erased from face of the ‎planet, I say: Don't bet on it, as Israel is becoming stronger every day through its democracy and ‎innovation, while Arab countries are getting weaker through dictatorship and chaos. And be careful ‎what you wish for, because if you were to get it, you too would most likely disappear, unless you ‎yearn to be ruled by Iran or Islamic State.‎

In short, if the day were to come when Israel falls, Jordan, Egypt and many others would fall, too, and ‎Westerners would be begging Iran for oil.‎

We can hate Israel as much as we like, but we must realize that without it, we too would be ‎gone.‎

Mudar Zahran is a Jordanian-Palestinian who resides in the U.K.


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

Traitor Cities - Matthew Vadum

by Matthew Vadum

The "sanctuary city" movement that gave illegal aliens permission to rob, rape, and murder Americans is the product of decades of concerted collusion by radical groups like the ACLU to get cities to pledge to violate laws that protect U.S. national security.

The "sanctuary city" movement that gave illegal aliens permission to rob, rape, and murder Americans is the product of decades of concerted collusion by radical groups like the ACLU to get cities to pledge to violate laws that protect U.S. national security.

Cheered on by the Left, sanctuary cities frustrate immigration enforcement efforts and shield illegal aliens from federal officials as a matter of policy.

The Obama administration is fine with that. President Obama has made America a sanctuary country, rolling out the red carpet for illegal aliens, especially those from Mexico, to come to the U.S. and depress labor markets while they suck the nation's welfare state dry.

What these traitor cities do is itself unlawful, Hans von Spakovsky notes, but they get away with it because President Obama is determined to dismantle America's immigration system in order to flood the country with desperately poor, illiterate peasants from the Third World.

Obama wants to do this in order to wash away the rule of law tainted as it is by Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence, along with whatever stubborn residue of American Revolutionary enlightenment that remains deeply embedded within the tissues of our culture and free institutions.

Americans are being attacked and killed by illegal aliens in perhaps more than 200 so-called sanctuary cities across the country because subversive left-wing advocates like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been working to undermine the nation's borders and immigration laws. Throughout this long leftist campaign those who demand that federal immigration laws be enforced have been smeared as racist and lacking in compassion. It's not fair that illegal aliens aren't given the same rights as U.S. citizens, they whine, mindlessly repeating vapid slogans like "no one is illegal."

As David Horowitz noted in his book, Unholy Alliance, radical activists from the ACLU, National Lawyers Guild, Center for Constitutional Rights, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, and People for the American Way "mobilized legislators in local and state governments to obstruct enforcement of" the USA PATRIOT Act, which was the centerpiece of President George W. Bush's Global War on Terror. All of these groups have taken money from the philanthropies of radical anti-American financier George Soros.

The leaders of these leftist groups are unabashedly pro-open borders and wish "to establish rights for illegal immigrants that would blur the distinction between citizens and noncitizens and extend the protections of the Constitution to the latter."

Not surprisingly, sanctuary cities are known in some circles by the arguably more objectionable euphemism of "civil liberties safe zones," a phrase that blurs that very distinction between citizens and non-citizens by implying illegal aliens somehow possess a civil right to be present in the U.S.

The push for sanctuary cities got a huge boost during the Bush administration. Since the Islamic terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, these groups have "targeted every effort by the Homeland Security Department under the Patriot Act to strengthen America's borders," Horowitz wrote.

By mid-2004, "320 cities, towns, and counties, as well as four states had adopted resolutions condemning the Patriot Act, many refusing to cooperate with Homeland Security officials in the enforcement of its security measures."

The ACLU's model resolution, which was made available on its website to make it easy for municipalities to copy, "came close to incitement to sedition," in Horowitz's opinion. The document stated that those governments that adopted it would "refrain from participating in the enforcement of federal immigration laws[.]"

It should come as no surprise that federal data show illegal aliens, who comprise just 3.5 percent of the U.S. population, represent a staggering 36.7 percent of federal sentences following criminal convictions. Sorted into categories, the report from fiscal 2014 shows illegal aliens represented 74.1 percent of drug possession cases, 20 percent of kidnapping/hostage taking cases, 16.8 percent of drug trafficking cases, 12.3 percent of money laundering cases, and 12 percent of murder convictions.

Immigration violations were included in the data that were produced by the U.S. Sentencing Commission but an assortment of crimes including state-level cases and death penalty cases were not. If immigration violations are removed from the data, illegal aliens would still account for 13.6 percent of all offenders sentenced in fiscal 2014 following federal criminal convictions, which is still almost four times the 3.5 percent of the U.S. population they make up.

The activists from these pro-crime groups are at least morally culpable for each and every bloody crime committed in this country by the violent illegal aliens they have aided, abetted, and underwritten with taxpayer money. President Obama and his allies are complicit in the murder last week of Americans like young Kathryn "Kate" Steinle by a Mexican national illegally present in the country because they have tolerated, and in some cases, openly encouraged local and state governments to violate U.S. immigration law.

In 2014 the Obama administration scrapped the Secure Communities program which required local governments to check the immigration status of those arrested by their police departments.

In July 2010 the Obama administration gave a green light to these traitor cities to continue efforts aimed at frustrating immigration law enforcement within their jurisdictions.

While the feds' partially successful legal attack on Arizona's state-level immigration enforcement legislation was still pending at the time, Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said the administration had no plans to go after sanctuary cities because what they were doing was not as bad as a state like Arizona that "actively interferes."

"There is a big difference between a state or a locality saying they are not going to use their resources to enforce a federal law, as so-called sanctuary cities have done, and a state passing its own immigration policy that actively interferes with federal law," Schmaler said.

She added, "that's what Arizona did in this case."

And it is also what these traitor cities are doing today. Although left-wingers piously insist everyone in America has to obey the Obamacare law, those who lean to port pick and choose which laws they are willing to honor.

They may as well be flying the Confederate battle flag at city hall in their modern-day campaign of massive resistance against federal immigration law.

Bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Confederates who resisted federal authority and declared war on the United States 154 years ago, or the neo-Confederates in Southern states who resisted federal authority during the civil rights era, Democratic lawmakers and left-wing activists have been working together for decades to create large pockets of immigration anarchy in the United States where the law cannot easily be enforced.

And although Obama has demonstrated an utter lack of interest in enforcing immigration laws, his administration publicly pretends to oppose the existence of sanctuary cities. His lackeys like Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson act shocked and promise to do something whenever an illegal alien the government has kept in the country commits a heinous murder, but it's only political theater.

After all, the Democratic Party needs illegal aliens to fill the voter rolls.

The administration continues to provide federal funds to sanctuary cities under the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program or SCAAP. The program reimburses state and local governments for expenses incurred in jailing illegal immigrants.

This abuse may soon end. This week Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) introduced legislation to prevent cities that don't honor federal immigration laws from receiving federal law enforcement aid. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) is preparing to introduce similar legislation in the House.

Barack Obama has long been a supporter of sanctuary cities. As a U.S. senator he gave sanctuary cities a thumbs-up by voting to kill a proposal to prohibit federal funding for them. (Then-U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York voted the same way. Motion to table S. Amdt. 4309 to S.Con.Res. 70 agreed to on a vote of 58 to 40, March 13, 2008.)

The principles underlying sanctuary cities are easy to grasp.

As economists are fond of saying, people are rational actors. They respond to incentives. Democratic politicians, left-wing activists, and policymakers are in the vanguard of a campaign to undo America. To fundamentally transform the nation, they encourage lawbreaking by providing incentives to people to commit crimes.

When criminals know there is a place where the law is not enforced or where finding helpless victims is easy, they flock there. Just as shooting-spree killers are drawn to gun-free zones whether they be schools, churches, theaters, or restaurants, when illegal aliens learn they can live unmolested by police in a sanctuary city, they move there.

The role that these lawless sanctuary jurisdictions that are in a state of open rebellion against the federal government play in contributing to crime has been thrown into the national spotlight by the senseless slaying of 31-year-old Kathryn "Kate" Steinle a week ago. Her killer is Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a 45-year-old illegal alien with a second grade education who reportedly has seven felony convictions and who was deported five times to Mexico. San Francisco released him even thought federal officials characterized him as an "enforcement priority" and filed an "immigration detainer" asking jailers to hold him until they could take custody of him.

His criminal career in this country began in 1991 when he was convicted of inhaling toxic vapors, the Daily Caller reports:

Lopez-Sanchez’s record, which stretches back nearly 25 years, shows three lengthy federal prison sentences for felony illegal re-entry. It also shows that on many occasions, Lopez-Sanchez was deported back to Mexico only to illegally re-enter the U.S. within days.

Lopez-Sanchez, who used more than 30 aliases, also has multiple convictions for the manufacture, possession, and trafficking of narcotics.

After being captured by police, Lopez-Sanchez acknowledged the City by the Bay was the place to be because he was safe from immigration enforcement efforts there. Lopez-Sanchez responded in the affirmative when a reporter from TV station KGO asked, "Did you keep coming back to San Francisco because you knew that they wouldn't actively look for you to deport you?" He also claimed he was "looking for jobs in the restaurant or roofing, landscaping, or construction."

In other words, the same progressive policies aimed at undermining the nation's borders by creating sanctuary cities got Kate Steinle killed. If the laws of the land had been enforced, Steinle would be alive today.

And despite what they may say in polite company, Democrats in the heart of latte liberalism and elsewhere are fine with this murder and mayhem. The chaos created provides an opportunity to bring about change, whether it is needed or not.

For example, San Francisco County's sheriff, Ross Mirkarimi, a Democrat and convicted wife beater, is unashamed and is proudly standing by the city-county's sanctuary status.

"I firmly believe it makes us safer. We're a world-renowned city with a large immigrant population ... From a law enforcement perspective, we want to build trust with that population," said Mirkarimi, a co-founder of the Green Party of California.

Not surprisingly, the sheriff blames Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for Steinle's murder, claiming ICE should have made more of an effort to pick up the shooter. How ICE could have done such a thing when Mirkarimi's office would not advise the agency of the man's impending release is not explained.

The list of sanctuary cities, which are overwhelmingly Democrat-controlled, is long and growing longer. A list compiled by an activist shows there are at least 30 in California alone including Oakland, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Other major sanctuary cities across the country are Albuquerque, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Washington D.C.

All these cities serve as magnets for illegals, drawing them from far and wide. Border-jumpers and those getting ready to wade across the Rio Grande know that in these cities they really have to make an effort to get in trouble for immigration law violations.

The sanctuary movement itself began in the 1970s, or the 1980s, according to various sources. Churches wanted to shelter those fleeing violence in Central America and were unhappy that the U.S. government was reluctant to grant the migrants refugee status because they did not meet the legal definition of "refugee," which requires them to be victims of governmental persecution.

Churches, incidentally, still play a significant role in harboring illegal aliens, as Michelle Malkin discovered. There is a certain logic to this. The atheist father of community organizing, Saul Alinsky, preyed on Christian congregations, using them to build up his community organizing empire.

Sanctuary city supporters like Sheriff Mirkarimi claim that encouraging illegal aliens to collaborate with police without fear of being deported improves public safety by helping police go after criminals who might otherwise not be detected. Critics counter that sanctuary cities are bad public policy because they grant illegal aliens special rights and privileges, making them immune to immigration laws and conferring some of the benefits of legal immigration status on them.

As Heather Gies explains at TeleSUR, the Marxist TV network based in Venezuela, the movement attacks the very concept of the illegal alien. Using politically correct language, Gies writes that:
Sanctuary City is a local response to unjust federal immigration policy aimed at carving out spaces of dignity, justice, and solidarity to provide “access without fear” for all on the basis of need, not immigration status. Existing Sanctuary Cities and calls for new ones are part of a broader movement for migrant justice that has been active across the United States and Canada for decades, pushing back against exclusionary immigration laws and border policing. It’s a movement that challenges these oppressive state structures by refusing to accept them and instead creating local alternatives ... Migrant justice activists reject arbitrary categories of legality as a basis for determining who has access and who does not, instead advocating a model of justice, solidarity, and “access without fear” for all, regardless of official immigration status.

"Migrant justice," of course, is in the eye of the beholder.

Los Angeles became the first U.S. sanctuary city in 1979 when its police department issued Special Order 40, a document that forbids police officers from inquiring about the immigration status of individuals not suspected of crimes. This diktat states that "Officers shall not arrest nor book persons for violation of Title 8, Section 1325 of the United States Immigration Code (Illegal Entry)."

Special Order 40 treats the federal crime of illegal entry as a non-crime even though many illegal aliens are by definition criminals. They have committed immigration law-related crimes in order to get onto U.S. soil.

Regardless of what the special order says, in federal law "improper entry" is classed as a crime. It is a misdemeanor for an alien to elude examination or inspection by immigration officers, to enter or attempt to enter the U.S. at a non-approved point of entry (or when an approved point of entry is closed for business), or to enter or attempt to enter the U.S. "by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a fact."

(Contrary to popular belief, "unlawful presence" in the country in itself is not a crime. It is a non-criminal violation of federal law punishable by civil penalties including deportation.    Those unlawfully present in the U.S. may be barred from re-entering the country at a later date. Re-entering the U.S. after being deported can constitute a crime under certain circumstances.)

The LAPD explained the rationale for its standing order this way:

The Department is sensitive to the principle that effective law enforcement depends on a high degree of cooperation between the Department and the public it serves. The Department also recognizes that the Constitution of the United States guarantees equal protection to all persons within its jurisdiction. In view of those principles, it is the policy of the Los Angeles Police Department that undocumented alien status in itself is not a matter for police action. It is, therefore, incumbent upon all employees of this Department to make a personal commitment to equal enforcement of the law and service to the public, regardless of alien status.

By referring to the Constitution's "equal protection" provision, the police agency seems to imply in this seminal document that illegal aliens have a civil right not to be arrested, which is, of course, completely absurd.

But in a post-constitutional age in which the Supreme Court habitually invents new fundamental rights, maybe it's not so crazy after all.

Tolerating seditious cities and their topsy-turvy construction of laws may even be the new normal, which is good news for left-wing revolutionaries and community organizers.

It is also good news for illegal aliens and the Democratic Party that needs them in order to stay electorally competitive.

But it's bad news for unborn generations of Americans and for patriots who see the rule of law, and with it their country, slipping away more and more every day.

Matthew Vadum


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

The Woman Who Will Crush BDS - Yoni Kempinski

by Yoni Kempinski

Laurie Cardoza-Moore has pioneered anti-BDS legislature in 4 states; now, 35 states and 6 foreign countries are queuing to be next.

Laurie Cardoza-Moore, president of the Christian Zionist NPO Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN), has been a leading force campaigning to defend the Jewish state from the scourge of BDS that pushes to boycott and economically attack Israel.

Cardoza-Moore sat down with Arutz Sheva to discuss her important activities in confronting BDS throughout the US and abroad.

PJTN launched its anti-BDS campaign in Tennessee with a resolution against investing in companies taking part in the boycott movement, seeking to fight the phenomenon and educate about the nationwide "anti-Semitic movement."

After successfully passing the anti-BDS resolution in Tennessee in April - following which she traveled to Israel, to present a framed copy of the original resolution to Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein - a similar success was scored in Indiana.

"Since then momentum is growing," remarked Cardoza-Moore, noting on how the resolution went on to pass in the state assemblies of Pennsylvania and New York.

Now, no less than 35 states and six countries have requested further information about the anti-BDS resolution to introduce it in state legislatures and national parliaments, revealed the PJTN head.

"Our goal is to have all 50 states by the end of this year, and at the rate that we're going I think that we'll accomplish that goal," she said. "Our goal is to obliterate BDS and crush it in the United States."

PJTN is also launching a media campaign to accompany the legislative push, in an attempt to spread awareness of how BDS is a form of anti-Semitism, targeting Jewish students as well as Christian Zionists on college campuses around the US.

As part of the media campaign, Cardoza-Moore said a documentary video called "Israel...the Apartheid State?" is in the works, to reveal the true picture that is not being presented by the media. As part of it, the group interviewed Palestinian Arabs working for Jewish employers in Judea and Samaria, who said that if they lose the jobs which are threatened by BDS, they and their families would die.

"If we bring people the unvarnished truth people will get it, they will understand," said Cardoza-Moore, noting that Americans by and large support the Jewish state, as evidenced by a Gallup poll in February that showed 70% of Americans support Israel.

Israel is on the front line in the war against radical Islam, concluded the PJTN head, warning that if America doesn't support the Jewish state it will be next in line.

Yoni Kempinski


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

Turkey's Syrian Kurdish Problem - Jonathan Spyer

by Jonathan Spyer

So where do things stand in the bloody war between the Kurds and the Sunni jihadists over Syria's north? And is there a realistic possibility that Erdogan might intervene?

Syrian Kurdish militia fighters rejoice after recapturing the northern Syrian town of Tel Abyad from Islamic State last month.
Syrian Kurdish forces this week succeeded in turning back a murderous and determined attempt by the forces of Islamic State to claw back control of areas of northern Syria recently liberated by the Kurds. The cost was high, nevertheless.

Recent Kurdish successes, meanwhile, have raised the specter of a Turkish armed intervention in northern Syria to crush the growing Kurdish autonomous zones along the border.

So where do things stand in the bloody war between the Kurds and the Sunni jihadists over Syria's north? And is there a realistic possibility that Erdogan might intervene?

First of all, it should be noted that the Islamic State offensives this week carried all the hallmarks of barbaric brutality with which this organization has become associated. This needs emphasizing because the slaughter of 223 civilians in Kobani last week failed to gain the global media attention it deserved. It was overshadowed by the attack in Tunisia against Western tourists, and the bombing of the Shi'ite mosque in Kuwait.

The Islamic State's failed offensive caps a decline in its fortunes in northern Syria since January.
But more broadly, the Islamic State offensive was a further indication of the relative decline in the fortunes of the Islamic State in northern Syria since the beginning of this year.

The failure to destroy the Kurdish Kobani enclave, acknowledged in January, was the first stage in the slow rollback of Islamic State in Syria's north. Since then, the Kurds, supported by US air power, have pushed the jihadists further back in the direction of the east and south.

This culminated last week in the taking of the strategically important border town of Tel Abyad and the linking of two of the three Kurdish cantons along the Syrian-Turkish border – Kobani and Jazeera. The Kurds then pushed eastward to Ain Issa, bringing them to 50 km 

from the capital of Islamic State in Raqqa.

It was at this point that Islamic State launched its counterattacks against Kobani, then against Tel Abyad, and also against the regime army in Hasaka.

These attacks have all now been repulsed, which means the situation, in spite of the Kurdish losses, remains substantively unchanged.

The Kurdish interest is in securing Kurdish majority areas, not launching a general war to destroy Islamic State.
The Islamic State retreat spells reversal but not yet disaster for the jihadists. It is unlikely that the Kurdish YPG and its rebel allies will wish to push further south and east. The Kurdish interest is in securing the cantons and areas of Kurdish majority , not in launching a general war for the destruction of Islamic State.

Unsubstantiated claims of Kurdish expulsion of Arab and Turkmen populations following the conquest of Tel Abyad show the complications inevitably encountered by the Kurdish YPG when operating outside of areas of Kurdish majority population.

But it is precisely the YPG's determination to secure Kurdish majority areas that has the Turks worried. With the Jazeera and Kobani cantons now united, the Kurds control a long contiguous stretch of the Syria-Turkey border. The Turks fear that the Kurds could seek to unite the canton of Kobani/Jazeera with the third autonomous zone, further west, around the city of Afrin.

This prospect is what has led to the jitters in the senior reaches of Turkey's leadership. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a series of statements in recent days saying that Turkey would never allow the formation of another state in northern Syria. This is an allusion to the possibility of a Kurdish state. The presence of the Islamic State clearly exercises the Turkish leader less.

Official Turkish media have begun to discuss the creation of a buffer zone in Syria.
Since then, official Turkish media have begun to discuss the creation of a 112 km by 48 km buffer zone west of the Kobani enclave, taking in the town of Jarabulus and its environs. Evidently, the Turks are keen to establish Jarabulus, west of the Euphrates, as a redline beyond which the Kurds dare not advance without risking Turkish retribution.

The Kurds responded swiftly to the Turkish threat. Murat Karayilan, a senior official and former leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), made clear that should the Turkish Army enter Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan), this would trigger Kurdish military action north of the border in Turkey itself.

Interestingly, if such a buffer zone were to be established by Turkey, this would in effect constitute an intervention in Syria by Turkey directed not only against the Kurds, but also de facto in defense of Islamic State. It is the Sunni jihadists who control the area immediately west of the Kobani enclave.

Such an intervention would be in direct contradiction to US and Western policy in northern Syria. It would also be contrary to the will of the leading parties of the opposition; and if it resulted in the deaths of Turkish soldiers, it would likely be unpopular domestically, at a time when Erdogan's AKP has just suffered an electoral setback.

Turkish intervention would be in direct contradiction to US and Western policy in northern Syria.
The Turkish military is also known to be unenthusiastic about the idea. 

Syria as a whole and northwest Syria in particular are a confusing mass of rival political and military groups. The potential for a Turkish force to become sucked into bloody local conflicts with no clear objective and no clear exit strategy would be immense.

A Kurdish push to unite Kobani with Afrin and move decisively west of the Euphrates is probably also unlikely for the moment, precisely because of the risk of Turkish intervention and also of clashes with other strong rebel formations in the area.

For all these reasons, a unilateral Turkish intervention in northern Syria is probably not imminent. Rather, Turkey most likely wishes to serve notice to the West of the seriousness of its concerns regarding Kurdish advances.

Still, the events in northern Syria demonstrate just how strange regional diplomacy and strategy have become. The United States appears to have found an effective and courageous ground partner in northern Syria (the Kurdish YPG). That partner, however, is a franchise of an organization (the PKK) that is on the EU and US list of terrorist organizations – for now, at least.

This partnership is proving effective at driving back the Islamic State. But Turkey, a NATO ally in good standing, maintains deeply ambiguous relations with Islamic State, while openly backing an equally murderous franchise of al-Qaida further west (Jabhat al-Nusra).

The Islamist agenda of the current Turkish government is notable at a region-wide level – for example, in its domiciling and support for Hamas cells engaged in violence against Israelis, and in its support for deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. This pattern of preferences is reflected in its stances in northern Syria.

As of now, the battle in northern Syria between two very different quasi-state entities – the Kurdish cantons and the Islamic State – looks set to continue. The Kurds currently have the advantage. The recent, furious response of the jihadists in Tel Abyad and Kobani reflects this. But the war appears far from conclusion.

Jonathan Spyer, a fellow at the Middle East Forum, is director of the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs and the author of The Transforming Fire: The Rise of the Israel-Islamist Conflict (Continuum, 2011).


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

Western Scandals in the Middle East - Bassam Tawil

by Bassam Tawil

  • The result of this UN report -- and all the previous reports -- only perpetuates the Palestinian problem. All the UN agencies condemn Israel, but no one ever helps the Palestinians. It is scandal of global proportions that the UN in general and UNRWA in particular -- as well as the EU -- ignore the hundreds of thousands of killed and maimed and the millions of refugees desperately in need of aid in the neighboring Arab countries. It hurts us because it gives Hamas moral legitimacy at the expense of the Palestinian Authority.
  • Hamas wanted to use the national consensus government as a conduit to transfer funds from Qatar to the Gaza Strip, because the president of Egypt had closed the tunnels Hamas needed to smuggle arms and money into the Gaza Strip.
  • The sad truth is that Hamas started the last war against Israel. The real question is, Why was all this necessary? Why did Hamas not use the billions it had received over the years to build what should have become the Singapore, or the Riviera, of the Middle East?
  • It is no wonder the Israelis feel that if they withdraw from the West Bank, they -- and Jordan -- will have to contend not only with another Hamas-run state on their eastern border, but with ISIS on their border as well.
  • Hamas, ignoring its damaged buildings in Gaza, clearly has sufficient funds (supplied by Qatar and Turkey) to rebuild its attack tunnels and replenish its rocket arsenal -- while it exports its terrorism to us on the West Bank, with the goal of toppling the Palestinian Authority. It remains unclear why Americans remain silent in the face of Qatar's continuing activity as a global terrorism-sponsoring state.

The Islamic world is currently marking the month of Ramadan with day-long fasts; during this time every Muslim must give a reckoning to Allah on the personal level, the familial level, the local level and the level of the nation of Islam. Like the Israelis, Palestinians are now taking stock of the year that has passed since the 50-day war between Hamas and Israel -- what the Israelis call "Operation Protective Edge," and Hamas calls "Operation Solid." The report of the commission that investigated the conflict, written by pro-Palestinian Prof. William Schabas and signed by Ms. Mary Davis, did not surprise anyone in Palestine.

Even before the report was published, we knew what it would say: every investigatory committee dealing with the Palestinian cause always sides against Israel, but never changes anything or influence the situation on the ground. As a Palestinian, I was glad the report made both Hamas and Israel equally responsible for the aggression, but to what avail? The result of this -- and all the previous reports -- only perpetuates the Palestinian problem.

All the UN agencies condemn Israel, but no one ever helps the Palestinians. UNRWA has its own reasons for not resolving the issue of the Palestinian refugees (it is nearly impossible to close down a jobs program) and it provides Hamas terrorists with convenient installations from which to attack Israel with rockets.

It is scandal of global proportions that the UN in general and UNRWA in particular -- as well as the EU -- ignore the hundreds of thousands of killed and maimed and the millions of refugees desperately in need of aid in neighboring Arab countries. Apparently Qatar has bought their leaders, as it bought the World Cup from the heads of FIFA.

The UN's Schabas-Davis Report is biased in favor of the Palestinians, which at first glance would seem to serve our interests, but in reality it hurts us, because it gives Hamas moral legitimacy at the expense of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Thus Hamas's popularity accelerates, so the various Palestinian factions will never be able to overcome their differences, resolve our internal issues and establish a state.

The sad truth is that Hamas started the last war against Israel. It began close to the time when Hamas and the Palestinian Authority had decided to establish a national consensus government. PA leader Mahmoud Abbas was willing to establish a government with Ismail Haniyeh's illegal de facto administration in the Gaza Strip, and conveniently to forget that in 2006, Hamas had thrown Fatah leaders and commanders from the roofs of the highest buildings in the Gaza Strip, expelled some and shot others.

Abbas's motives for establishing a national consensus government were honest. He wanted to be the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and to mend the deadly internal schism that had created two Palestinian states, one in the Gaza Strip and one in the West Bank. His motives were positive, but Hamas's were negative. Hamas wanted to use the national consensus government as a conduit to transfer funds from Qatar to the Gaza Strip, because the president of Egypt had closed the tunnels Hamas needed to smuggle arms and money into the Gaza Strip.

Thus, as soon as the national consensus government was established, the Gazans demanded that the PA transfer funds from Qatar to pay for the weapons and tunnels used to attack Israel, and to pay the blood money of its terrorist operatives and the bloated "administration" of its cronies.

Abbas agreed, but conditioned the transfer on using Palestinian Authority representatives as middlemen who would man checkpoints on the Gaza Strip's borders with Israel and Egypt. He assumed that in this way, the PA would be able gradually to return to control the Gaza Strip. Unfortunately, Hamas rejected the proposal, and to this day Hamas refuses to allow any senior Palestinian Authority official to enter the Gaza Strip.

Part of the national consensus government agreement was that elections would be held within six months of its forming, but Hamas abducted three Jewish youths and murdered them to effect the release of Palestinians from Israeli jails, to gain more popularity and to take control of the elections in the West Bank.

Hamas also planned a putsch in the West Bank to kill Abbas in case its electoral plan failed, but its terror cells and their weapons were exposed by the Israelis in collaboration with the PA security forces, and the plot failed.

In response to Israel's actions after the three youths were murdered, Hamas initiated a barrage of rocket fire targeting Israeli towns and cities, and infiltrated squads of its terrorists into Israel through the tunnels under the Israel-Gaza border, and by sea, exploiting Gazan civilians as human shields.

The Israeli response to Hamas's attack was harsh and determined: more than 2,500 Gazans were killed, about half of them terrorist operatives, and the destruction wreaked upon the Gaza Strip and its infrastructure was unprecedented.

The money promised by the Arab states for Gaza's reconstruction never arrived, and the real question is: Why was all this necessary? And why did Hamas not use the billions it received over the years to build what should have become the Singapore, or the Riviera, of the Middle East?

It is therefore no wonder the Israelis feel that if they withdraw from the West Bank, they -- and Jordan -- will have to contend not only with another Hamas-run state on their eastern border, but with ISIS on their border as well. It is no secret that Hamas and ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula are presently menacing both Israel and Egypt.

Despite being in the middle of Ramadan, introspection or not, Hamas has evidently learned nothing from the past year. Hamas has stopped attacking Israel with rockets -- not only because it fears Israel's response, but because Israel allows food and cement to enter the Gaza Strip. Hamas and Israel are apparently are holding discussions for a long-term hudna [temporary cessation of hostilities]. However, discussions or not, Hamas, while ignoring its damaged buildings, clearly has sufficient funds to rebuild its attack tunnels and replenish its rocket arsenal -- while it exports its terrorism to us on the West Bank. It operates terrorist cells to attack Israeli civilians and to embroil the Palestinian Authority in another intifada, with the goal of toppling it. And Hamas does it all under the sanctimonious aegis of investigatory commissions that arrive from the clueless West, and end up justifying its actions.

Israeli security forces recently detained 80 Hamas terrorists in Nablus, in the West Bank. Shortly thereafter, the Palestinian preventive security forces detained 104 Hamas operatives and dismantled a giant Hamas network that had been planning to overthrow the Palestinian Authority, all funded by Qatar (again) and Turkey.

To this day, it is unclear why the Americans remain silent in the face of Qatar's continuing activity as a global terrorism-sponsoring state. Is it because an American military base is stationed there, or is there is some other reason?

During the war last summer, which took place during Ramadan as well, Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem, home to the Al-Aqsa mosque and the holy sites of the other monotheistic religions. As a Muslim, I hang my head in shame when Palestinians claim "Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger" under the Israelis, when it is we who endanger it.

This year Ramadan is again rent by mutual Palestinian accusations, with senior Palestinian Authority security official Adnan Damiri claiming, logically, that Hamas wants to destroy the PA and collaborate with ISIS. Hamas spokesmen Musheir al-Masri and Izzat al-Rishq claim, on the other hand, that the Palestinian Authority collaborates with Israel and, during Ramadan, is "stabbing Hamas in the back."

Hamas spokesman Musheir al-Masri (left) says that Palestinian Authority collaborates with Israel and is "stabbing Hamas in the back." Senior Palestinian Authority security official Adnan Damiri (right) says that Hamas wants to destroy the PA and collaborate with ISIS.

Hamas's hypocrisy has gone beyond the confines not only of good taste, but of logic. While Hamas is currently in the process of discussing a hudna with Israel, Israel allows cement and other humanitarian merchandise to enter the Gaza Strip, and Hamas uses them to rebuild terrorist tunnels.

While Hamas's leaders are afraid to take direct action against Israel, they are trying to use Hamas and ISIS terrorists to destroy the West Bank, and then they have the nerve to accuse the Palestinian Authority of collaborating with the enemy.

Adnan Damiri was right: if we look around, it is clear that the only safe places in the Middle East are Israel and the occupied territories in the West Bank. We cannot allow ISIS to visit mass destruction on the Palestinians and destroy what we still have left in the West Bank.

Given the current situation, it is obvious why the Israelis are afraid to abandon their control over the border with Jordan, and why they trust only themselves. If they abandon the border with Jordan, millions of Palestinians, along with ISIS and Hamas operatives and other terrorists, will flood the West Bank and destroy both us and the Israelis.

Anyone who believes in international guarantees need only look at the massacres in the Arab states: these slaughters are carried out openly without anyone lifting a finger to stop them. The UN forces in the Golan Heights also do nothing to stop the massacre of Syrians, just as the UN forces in south Lebanon did nothing to prevent Hezbollah from rearming. In fact, about a week ago, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyadh al-Maliki courageously referred to the collaboration of Hamas and ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula as part of the Muslim Brotherhood's war against the regime of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Do we really want to endanger the Jordanian Kingdom in the same way?

When we take stock this Ramadan, another surreal situation made its presence known. While Mahmoud Abbas and his followers are afraid to enter the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, Basel Ghattas, joined an international flotilla trying to break Israel's maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip. The blockade was put in place to keep weapons from entering the Gaza Strip by sea. The stupidity of Basel Ghattas, who swore allegiance to the Israeli Knesset, strengthens Hamas -- which would destroy the Palestinian Authority before it would destroy the Jews and the State of Israel. What was Ghattas thinking? Does he want to strengthen Hamas, which will mean the collapse of the PA in the West Bank and harm to Jordan -- all while Hamas and ISIS threaten the security of Egypt?

Meanwhile, the recent declaration of Saudi Arabia's Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal regarding open Saudi-Israel cooperation is a good beginning for a new alliance -- and there is no better time than Ramadan to do it.
Bassam Tawil is based in the Middle East.

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

The Existential Threat to Israel - Elise Cooper

by Elise Cooper

Through his rhetoric and actions President Obama has bullied Israel into silence and attempted compliance, regarding the issues of the Iranian nuclear deal, the settlements, and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Ally by former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, is a powerful and insightful look at the American-Israeli relationship. Oren is considered a centrist and moderate who respects both Shimon Peres and Benjamin Netanyahu.  This enhances his credibility when he tells the world that Israel is in existential danger and that his only agenda is a reality check regarding this administration’s policies toward Israel. The other portion of the book, which will be explored in a future article, is Israel’s relationship as reflected by some in the American Jewish media and leadership.  American Thinker had the pleasure of interviewing Ambassador Oren about some of the issues facing Israel today.

Through his rhetoric and actions President Obama has bullied Israel into silence and attempted compliance, regarding the issues of the Iranian nuclear deal, the settlements, and the establishment of a Palestinian state. For example, the president has said that Iran can be rational yet still be anti-Semitic. He noted during the Cairo Speech how he wants to seek a world without nuclear weapons, “I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons,” and in May 2011 endorsed a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians based on the pre-1967 lines. 

Oren told American Thinker; “Lets remember one infamous example, when the Nazis pursued their insane ends.  Even during the last days of World War II, as the Allied armies liberated Europe, they diverted precious military resources to exterminating Jews. Unlike Israel, which is in Iran’s backyard, the U.S. is not threatened by the proximity of national annihilation. The Israeli position is that this is an irrational regime. I agree with former CIA Director Mike Morell that they want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, something they have been calling for the last thirty years. Let’s not forget they also attempted to blow up the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC and assassinate the Saudi Ambassador.”

He also agrees with Michael Hayden who said the “enemy of our enemy is still our enemy,” when referring to Iran.  Oren believes the president’s allegiance with Iran to defeat ISIS is “misguided. Iran and its terrorist groups have killed more Americans than any other terrorist group outside of Al Qaeda. This does not even include those in the American military who were killed by Iran during the Iraq War. They are not friends.”

When asked if it is true that Israel is working with Muslim states such as Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, he responded, “As I said in my book, ‘President Obama set out to bring Arabs and Israelis closer to peace.’ He has in fact brought us closer, but not through peace, but through common concerns and anxiety about his policies. Israel and the Sunni Arab countries have a closer confluence of interest now than anytime since Israel’s founding in 1948. We have common concerns about the Muslim Brotherhood, the growing ISIS threat, Sunni radicals, and the Iranian nuclear program.”

He did not want to get involved in the rhetoric of 2016 American presidential candidates. Although he did feel, “those who are pro-Israel must worry about the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. They question if Israel reflects their values. Let’s understand Hillary Clinton is a Democratic liberal. If she will be elected we will have to understand and deal with this ideological worldview. I do think every president is entitled to his or her view and is something Israel will have to come to terms with. If Israel has to stand alone they will stand alone.”

President Obama is willing to allow Iran the right to have a peaceful nuclear program, and reaches out to the Muslim world with unprecedented concessions. People need to remember the president’s words from 2009: “that the window of diplomacy is not open indefinitely,” yet, it has never closed. It appears the Iranians have learned that the longer the negotiations, the more concessions they get, including conceding the longstanding demand that Iran disclose its past nuclear-weapons research, ignoring the issue of Iranian missile development, wavering on the inspection of military sites, and standing idle as Iran props up Assad and arms Hizb’allah with rockets.

Oren feels, “Iran’s concrete goal is sanction relief. In Israel there is a national consensus this is a bad deal and we have a right and a duty to defend ourselves. During the ten-year period Iran will be advancing centrifuges, and doing more research/development, so on the day after the tenth year they can break out with many nuclear weapons. It’s called ‘Sunset to Arsenal.’ I am currently not comfortable with any agreement if Israel’s concerns are not addressed.”

What mystifies him is the reaction of American college students where Israel is seen as the aggressor while ignoring Iran’s support of terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hizb’allah, their abuse of human rights against women and gays, and their desire to annihilate Israel. Many college students overlook Iran’s violent ways; yet, call for singling out Israel through boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS.) There also is the recent comments by John Kirby, the State Department spokesman regarding the Trade Promotion Authority Bill provision, which discouraged boycotts of Israel and their controlled territories through “principal negotiating objectives” of U.S. officials. Kirby said that this administration would not abide by the clause referring to the Israeli controlled territories. Oren told American Thinker, “You cannot distinguish between Jews. It becomes a slippery slope once you start boycotting Jews because of their political views or commitment to their ideals. BDS is a strategic threat to take Israel down through isolation that affects Israel’s economy. We must allocate resources and be proactive on the diplomatic front to defeat it.

Readers gain insight to what Oren had to endure behind the scenes. A powerful section of the book discusses what happened during the Jerusalem settlement issue in 2010. This was another example of how this administration is completely one-sided, condemning Israel for building settlements in their own capital while at the same time saying nothing while Iran killed its own people.  In the book, he relays his words to a State Department official, “We inadvertently slight the vice president and apologize, and I become the first foreign ambassador summoned by this administration to the State Department. Bashar al-Assad hosts Iranian President Ahmadinejad, who calls for murdering seven million Israelis, but do you summon Syria’s ambassador? No, you send your ambassador back to Damascus.”

Ambassador Oren wrote this book to send a clear message, “A friend who stands by his friends on some issues but not others is, in Middle Eastern eyes, not really a friend. In a region famous for its unforgiving sun, any daylight is searing.” Ally is a must read, because it alerts people that Israel faces the greatest challenge they have faced since World War II. 

Elise Cooper writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.


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

Islamification in Southern Ontario, Canada - Howard Rotberg

by Howard Rotberg

I believe, that like Europe, we shall one day wake up to find that what I call "tolerism" has eroded our rights to liberal democracy, and most people will have no clue how it happened. So this essay shall help to show how it happens.


Islamism is not just an ideology of enforcing submission to Islam through terrorism, lawfare, and the like. It can also be seen as the ideology behind spreading Islam by any means possible to the West, to prepare for a world-wide Caliphate and the imposition of Shariah Law.

Muslims who subscribe to the ideology of the Caliphate and Shariah Law, really do have views that are incompatible with liberal democracy and its individual rights regime.

Those who advocate tolerance for the Caliphate and Sharia law, must realize that their tolerance is endangering the liberal freedoms of women, children, gays, and ethnic and religious minorities, protected by our existing Justice system.

And so, I wrote the book, Tolerism: The Ideology Revealed to explain how dangerous the goal of excessive tolerance is when it may result in the most intolerant illiberal people gaining power and then ending all tolerance. In the book, I give many examples of how this is working in contemporary culture, and in media, universities, and the entertainment industry.

Aside from a number of years in Toronto and Vancouver, I have lived most of my life in smaller cities in Southern Ontario.  

I wish to examine some ways in which the cultural imperialism of Islamism is working in a small Ontario city. I believe, that like Europe, we shall one day wake up to find that what I call tolerism has eroded our rights to liberal democracy, and most people will have no clue how it happened. So this essay shall help to show how it happens.

Brantford is a city of around 100,000 people, and was once a major manufacturing center, but many of the large industries closed. A good location near Hamilton, Toronto and other cities, however, has prevented population loss as low housing prices attract people to live locally and work regionally, and the local population requires the usual services and retail.

A city of magnificent Churches dotting its older Downtown area now is watching as declining Church attendance is resulting in the closing of Churches, especially among the traditional denominations, as opposed to Evangelical Christian congregations, which are growing. The Sikh Temple and Muslim Mosque are growing quickly. A Jewish Synagogue lasted from 1907 to 2001 before it closed as Jews gravitated towards bigger cities.  

The local Mosque recently invited local politicians and media to an Iftar meal during Ramadan. Its imam stated to a local newspaper that Ramadan is the perfect time to explain the Muslim faith to others in the community.  .

 “The Qur’an was revealed to the whole world. It is not just for Muslims,” he said in an interview and to the gathering.

“We have invited everyone to share the message for all of humanity.”

The newspaper article, however, did not see fit to make it clear what is the message of the Qur’an for non-Muslims and what exactly is its message beyond doing works of charity and praying the requisite number of times per day.

“We must thank Allah that we are in Canada,”  said a retired imam to the reporter. “I never forget what Canada stands for. Peace, love, harmony, tolerance.”

Unfortunately, it is not correct that Canada stands for peace, love, harmony and tolerance, however much that formulation might appeal to aging hippies or those seeking to obfuscate the reality of our contemporary culture wars.

Traditionally, we in Canada are said to believe in “Peace, Order and Good Government”. Peace is of course a goal, but, to further that goal, Canadians have served in the forefront of military operations or Wars where armed conflict was deemed necessary to defeat Nazis, or more recently, the Taliban or ISIS. To hope for Peace without acknowledging that Evil must sometimes be eradicated by War is simplistic nonsense.   

Our “Order and Good Government” imply the use of a liberal Justice System to enforce order and uphold liberal rights and freedoms. Nowhere is Tolerance said to be the main goal, as it is surely assumed that tolerance without Justice or tolerance of illiberal evil are not worthwhile goals.  

“Islam is all about inclusiveness,” said the imam to the reporter. “We have invited people to join us not just to eat, but to share in friendship so we can know each other better.”

Knowing each other better is probably a worthwhile goal, as long as communication is a two-way street and offense is not taken when some of us state that Shariah law is not compatible with liberal democracy. And if Islam is “all about inclusiveness”, are we allowed to ask why countries ruled under Islamic law and in the name of Islam are seldom inclusive, having banished all Jews and are increasingly persecuting and banishing Christians?

And must Islam continue to be “inclusive” to the radical elements that are driving it in a violent and illiberal way?   In London, Ontario, an hour to the west of Brantford, two local teens, one a recent convert to Islam and one born Muslim, were somehow radicalized enough to help seize a natural gas plant in an Algerian desert with al-Qaeda. They died, along with 37 hostages and 27 other Islamist militants. No one in London, at the mosque they attended or elsewhere knew enough to raise a red flag about these terrorists in training.

The reporter was convinced that the sharing of food and invitation to hear the message of the Qu’ran constituted a “spirit of camaraderie” showing that the Muslim community “is prepared to do all the reaching out to belong to the wider city”.

But is it “belong(ing)” to the “wider city” or is it public relations and proselytization?

The second event to be discussed happened during the war between Israel and the Hamas terrorists in Gaza. A local man, with medical qualifications in Gaza and not in Canada, decided, against Canadian government advice, to travel to Gaza, as he had to do sufficient medical work there to keep his medical license in force.

Despite the dangers there, he took his 8 year old daughter with him, and she stayed with relatives. When the war broke out, after years of Hamas sending rockets against Israeli civilian areas, the wife, a pharmacist at the local hospital was of course frantic. Canadian officials worked diligently and arranged for the girl’s return to Brantford. Her father of course stayed on, whether it was to protect his medical license or whether it was because medical doctors were needed to treat casualties.

A local United Church minister partnered with the Islamic association and an association of Palestinians to organize a candlelight vigil, which was well-publicized in the local paper.   This minister had a long record of criticizing Israel and siding with Palestinians.

In his Church newsletter in 2010, he cited as a voice of “reconciliation, commons sense and moderation” the Supreme Leader of Iran Sayyed Ali Khamenei, because Khamenei in response to a Florida pastor threatening to burn the Koran, sought to equate both mainstream Christianity and Islam regarding supporting extremists. The Minister quoted approvingly Khamenei’s boast that “We Muslims will never commit similar acts against what are held to be sacred by other religions.”  Of course, Iranian-backed ISIS has committed against Christians, Jews, Hindus, Yzedis and others a lot worse than threatening book burnings – ISIS has been seeking to remove the Christian presence from Iraq and Syria, and Iranian-backed Hamas desecrated Jewish synagogues left behind when Israel sought peace by giving up control of Gaza. The terrorist group Hezbollah receives military training, weapons, and financial support from Iran.  The local Minister of course has become a mouthpiece for Iranian propaganda.

He was held in high esteem by City Council and the local media, until sadly he was arrested for sexual exploitation and luring of a 17 year old girl in his congregation and then later for child pornography. Nobody except me comments on the link between his personal immorality and his hatred for Israel.  

I have no problem wanting to support a young girl getting home, but Hamas is a terrorist organization with a Charter to murder Jews. Salma’s father had no business taking her there, to let her watch Hamas television which incites children to murder Jews. Imagine, how I, a grandfather of three, and the son of a Holocaust survivor, whose grandparents and then 8 year old aunt were gassed in Auschwitz, feel when I see our government allowing the immigration of people who have been trained by their totalitarian country to hate Jews, and who are not coming here to get away from their Islamofascist leaders, but maintain frequent contacts and travel back to these hateful places, like the girl’s father does.  

 I wouldn’t have a problem with the father going on some humanitarian mission but when he went there it was for the purpose of keeping up his medical credentials there. In other words, once Hamas murders all the Jews and takes over Israel, he will be in a position to go back there and practice medicine. 

Also, Brantford was the home for 25 years of Mahmoud Issa Mohammad, a convicted terrorist murderer of Jews on a hijacked El Al flight at an airport in Greece in 1968.

Part of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, he and another man hurled grenades and sprayed the plane with machine-gun fire, killing a 50-year-old Israeli maritime engineer.

In 1970, Mohammad was convicted in Greece and sentenced to 17 years in jail. However, he was freed a few months later after another Palestinian terrorist group hijacked a Greek plane and threatened to kill the passengers unless the Greek government released Mohammad, which of course it did.

In 1987, he applied for residency in Canada while failing to disclose his membership in the PFLP and his criminal history.

Although on Dec. 15, 1988, an immigration adjudicator ruled Mohammad should be expelled from the country because he had concealed his role in the 1968 attack in Greece, before he could be deported, he filed a refuge claim and was able to avoid deportation for more than 25 years due to appeals and legal maneuvering by his lawyer.  The legal case is estimated to have cost Canadian taxpayers over $3 million.

Mohammad denied he was a terrorist, stating in 1988 that he was "a freedom fighter”.

Upon his deportation , our immigration minister was quoted as saying, “Mr. Mohammad flagrantly violated Canada's fair immigration laws and this country's generosity. He made a mockery of our legal system.” A mockery indeed. Lately the Government, by a close vote of 149 to 130, passed legislation making it easier to deport foreign criminals.

What always stays with me, when I hear of an Open House at the Mosque or a candlelight vigil for the daughter of a Hamas supporter, is that the local Muslim community did not to my knowledge speak out against this terrorist murderer in our midst. They do not speak out against Hamas. Our Muslim neighbours minimize the value of Justice and instead assert the value of Tolerance. We have been tolerant enough, in my opinion.

As I walk down the street in Brantford, I fear this new world of tolerance and appeasement that has reached my town and is changing it; I am one of the few who even cares.

Howard Rotberg develops affordable rental housing and affordable commercial and cultural space in converted heritage buildings in Southern Ontario and is the founding publisher of Mantua Books ( He is the author of Tolerism:  The Ideology Revealed and The Second Catastrophe: A Novel about a Book and its Author.


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