Friday, October 23, 2015

Why Benghazi Still Makes a Difference - John Bolton

by John Bolton

Hat tip: Dr. Carolyn Tal
Hillary Clinton may not see the point, but her Thursday testimony may tell us much about her ability to lead.

The then-secretary of state testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2013 about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The then-secretary of state testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2013 about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Photo: Ron Sachs/Zuma Press

Only in Perry Mason stories does the real culprit break down in open court. After Hillary Clinton’s now-immortal Capitol Hill outburst about investigations into the deadly 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya—“What difference, at this point, does it make?”—the former secretary of state and Democratic candidate for president is unlikely to offer any such spontaneity when she testifies Thursday before the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

Nonetheless, the committee’s work is utterly serious, its preparations extensive (and extensively stonewalled by Mrs. Clinton’s team) and its mission vital to our fight against still-metastasizing Islamist terrorism. Much is at stake. The hearing’s focus must be on the key policy and leadership implications of the mistakes made before, during and after the murders of Amb. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11 three years ago.

Before the attack, there was ample warning that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi wasn’t secure, with terrorist threats in the area multiplying. Even the International Red Cross had pulled out of Benghazi. After a string of requests from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli for more security, in mid-August came a joint Embassy-CIA recommendation to move the State Department’s people into the CIA’s Benghazi compound. The State Department in Washington was invariably unresponsive, even though, as Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey later testified, the rising terrorist threat in Libya was well known.

Given her self-proclaimed central role in deposing dictator Moammar Gadhafi, why was Mrs. Clinton so detached from the deteriorating situation in Libya? She has so far dodged the issue, pawning off such “technical” matters on her subordinates. Working in the State Department in 1990 when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, I saw firsthand how Secretary of State James Baker dived into every detail of safeguarding U.S. diplomats stranded in Kuwait City. If earlier secretaries of state have been perfectly prepared to get their fingernails dirty in operational details when those under their responsibility were threatened, why wasn’t Mrs. Clinton?

Libya was no backwater for Mrs. Clinton. It was one of President Obama’s highest foreign-policy priorities, touted by the administration as evidence of successfully “leading from behind,” averting a Gadhafi bloodbath through “humanitarian intervention,” and with democracy and stability to follow. So acknowledging that precisely the opposite was happening, and appropriately increasing security in Libya, would demonstrate failure. That was politically unacceptable.

As the crisis unfolded that day in Benghazi, with violence also erupting in Tunis, Cairo and potentially elsewhere, Mrs. Clinton disappeared. Instead of staying at her desk, “on the bridge” of the State Department’s seventh floor, Mrs. Clinton literally left the building. Why?

Imagine the effect on morale when, with colleagues in Libya in mortal peril, State Department personnel learned that their leader had gone home for the evening. There is no evidence that Mrs. Clinton or President Obama did anything other than passively monitor events. Instead, Mrs. Clinton should have been continuously demanding assistance for her beleaguered diplomats: hectoring, pleading, whatever it took.

On Thursday, the House committee should ask Mrs. Clinton not about military operations that might have been launched on Sept. 11 to save American personnel in Benghazi, but about her supposed leadership at the State Department that fateful day.

Mrs. Clinton protests that she was still fully connected from home. But she reportedly spoke exactly once, at 10 p.m., with the president when he called her to discuss the State Department news release that first floated the fantasy that Muslim outrage over a blasphemous video about Muhammad sparked the attack. Incredibly, Mrs. Clinton never spoke at all to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta or Joint Chiefs Chairman Dempsey, according to their congressional testimony.

Was Mrs. Clinton using her private email server while her State Department desk stood vacant? If so, where are those emails? With Americans in peril across the Middle East, were others listening to Mrs. Clinton communicating from home rather than from fully secure facilities at the State Department?

And who did concoct the Muhammad video explanation? State Department and CIA personnel on the ground in Tripoli and Benghazi all knew in real time that a terrorist attack was under way. There was no fog of war in Libya, as Mrs. Clinton has contended. The fog was all in Washington, an ideological and political fog protecting the last two months of President Obama’s re-election campaign, and reflecting his unworldly view that the global terrorist threat was receding.

After the attacks, America’s response was pathetic: arresting one person, Libyan militia leader Ahmed Abu Khattala. Following limited intelligence-community questioning, he has received full due-process criminal protections. He remains in a federal jail facility in Virginia; no trial date has been set pending resolution of numerous defense efforts to have the charges dismissed.

This is no response at all, as terrorists, their state sponsors and America’s international adversaries all understand. The American people have a right to know the following: What was Mrs. Clinton’s role in formulating the U.S. response to the Benghazi attack? Did she ever advocate retaliation for the coldblooded killing of four Americans?

Policy, leadership and management failures at the administration’s highest levels brought us both Benghazi and the continuing fecklessness of, in effect, granting impunity to all but one of the terrorist attackers who killed American citizens, including a U.S. ambassador. Politics has no place in the committee hearing on Thursday, save for a question that many Americans may be asking: Is this how we want our country led? 

Mr. John Bolton, an American Enterprise Institute senior fellow, is the author of “Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad” (Simon & Schuster, 2007). 


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

France’s War Against the Jews - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

The attack on Israel's sovereignty over the Temple Mount is just the beginning.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

France’s plan to use its position at the UN Security Council to bring about the deployment of international monitors to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem has been condemned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ministers as biased, unhelpful and detached from reality.
Certainly it is all those things. But France’s decision to use its diplomatic position to advance a plan which if implemented would end Israeli sovereignty over Judaism’s holiest site is first and foremost a French act of aggression against the Jewish state.

Contrary to what the French government would have us believe, France’s Temple Mount gambit is not an effort to quell the violence. French protestations of concern over the loss of life in the current tempest of Palestinian terrorism ring hollow.

France doesn’t really oppose Palestinian terrorism.

To the contrary, it facilitates it.

Every year, the French government pays millions of euros, dollars and shekels to Palestinian NGOs whose stated goal is to destroy Israel. Through its NGO agents, France finances the radicalization of Palestinian society. This French-financed radicalization makes Palestinian terrorism inevitable.

Much of the current rhetoric used by the Palestinians to reject Israel’s legitimacy and justify violence against Jews is found in strategic documents that France paid Palestinian NGOs to write.

According to NGO Monitor, between 2010 and 2013, France gave $6.5 million to a consortium of Palestinian NGOs called the NGO Development Center. It paid for the NDC to put together a strategic plan to advance its members’ goals. That French-initiated and financed document includes a list of activities not aimed at promoting peace, enhancing the daily lives of Palestinians, or expanding economic growth.

Rather, the French-financed strategic planning document provides a list of activities that the NGOs will undertake to delegitimize and criminalize Israel and ensure that Palestinians hate the Jewish state and view it as the cause of all their suffering.

The paper called for “Establish[ing] monitoring databases by relevant NGOs on sectoral issues and themes (expansion of colonies, [i.e. Israeli neighborhoods and towns beyond the 1949 armistice lines,] construction of Separation and Annexation Wall, Gaza siege, Jerusalem, house demolitions and evictions, water resources, environment, political prisoners, etc.)”; “Implement[ing] and disseminat[ing] in depth thematic studies about Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied territories”; “Development of a unified NGO strategy for international advocacy.”

A 2008 NDC document required all member groups to ban all “normalization activities with the occupier, [both] at the political-security [and] the cultural [and] developmental levels.”

The document went on to call for Israel to be destroyed. No action on the part of any Palestinian entity can be carried out it said, “if it undermines the inalienable Palestinian rights of establishing statehood and the return of refugees to their original homes,” that is, the immigration of millions of foreign-born Arabs to the ruins of Israel.

The “international advocacy” referred to in the document includes lobbying foreign governments and societies to wage economic war against Israel. To this end, for instance, the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee, which has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the French government, uses racist language to demonize Jews and Israel by among other things assaulting the so-called “Judaization of Jerusalem” and attacking Palestinians who work with Israeli companies.

In 2011, PARC sabotaged a trade delegation in France comprised of Israeli and Gazan farmers organized by Agrexco, Israel’s main exporter of agricultural products. Rather than welcome Israel’s actions on behalf of Gaza farmers, PAR C organized a boycott of the delegation – causing direct harm to Gazan farmers.

In its press release following its action, the beneficiary of French government financing wrote, “PARC salutes all activists and international supporters for the BDS campaign and especially our French friends and partners who were able to frustrate the Agrexco attempt to conduct a joint press conference with a few exploited Palestinian producers.”

Not to put too fine a point on it, but these are not the actions that peaceful groups interested in a non-violent, peaceful resolution of the Palestinian conflict with Israel undertake. By paying these groups to carry out these sorts of activities, the French government has made clear that far from seeking to advance the cause of peace, its actual goal is to block all prospects of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

These sorts of actions are the norm, rather than the exception in France’s treatment of Israel. And France makes no bones about its hostility toward the Jewish state.

On December 2, 2014, barely a week after two jihadists from Jerusalem butchered like sheep four rabbis in prayer at a synagogue in the city and murdered a policeman who tried to rescue them, the French parliament recognized the non-existent “State of Palestine.”

That Islamic State-styled massacre was part of a larger Islamic terrorism offensive against Jews in Jerusalem that was incited by the leaders of “Palestine.”

Just as it does today, last fall the Palestinian Authority, led by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, spread the lie that Israel was planning to destroy the mosques on the Temple Mount and called on the Palestinians to attack Jews.

The French government’s policies on the ground in Israel and the PA are a natural complement to its anti-Jewish policies at home.

Whereas France seek to reward Islamic terrorists on the international stage by helping them to weaken the Jewish state, back home the French government is willing to place its own Jewish community at risk in order to pretend that Islamic terrorism doesn’t exist.

Since Jews are among the top targets for French jihadists, the French government’s policy of refusing to acknowledge or combat Islamic extremism and violence in France is an anti-Jewish policy.

Last January, in the wake of the jihadist massacre at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris, which had followed the massacre at Charlie Hebdo magazine, French President Francois Hollande refused to acknowledge that the murderous violence was rooted in Islam. To the contrary, Hollande perversely insisted, “These terrorists and fanatics have nothing to do with the Islamic religion.”

In a further act of hostility toward the grieving Jewish community, two days after the massacres Hollande told Netanyahu to stay away from Paris and not participate in his solidarity march with the victims of the attacks.

When Netanyahu insisted on participating in the march anyway, Hollande invited Mahmoud Abbas to participate as well, despite his direct sponsorship of anti-Jewish terrorism.

French authorities tried to push Netanyahu to the second row of marchers to prevent anyone from seeing him. Ahead of the march, they left him exposed, in an unsafe area, where his life was in danger every second, as he waited for a bus to pick him up and take him to the event.

In the evening after the march, Hollande refused to appear with Netanyahu at the memorial ceremony for the victims of the Hyper Cacher massacre. In a tangible snub, Hollande left the synagogue where it was being held before Netanyahu arrived.

In the nine months since the attacks, rather than go after the Islamic communities of France that infect their members with Nazi-like Jew hatred marinated in Koranic dispensations for murder, French authorities have forced French Jewry to live under lock and key. Jewish communal institutions are required to shoulder astronomical security costs as their buildings have come to look more like military garrisons than elementary schools and synagogues.

As a French professor writing under the pen name Alain El-Mouchain explained this month in Mosaic Magazine, the French government’s “refusal to identify either the culprits [of anti-Semitic violence] or their [Jewish] victims by their proper names... has perversely combined with the swift posting of police and military guards at Jewish institutions to make Jews feel that at best they have become ‘protected citizens’ in their own country, reinforcing the idea that they are no longer at home in France but are rather a new kind of dhimmi [a minority group that lives at the pleasure of the ruling Muslims].”

In rejecting France’s bid to destroy Israel’s sovereignty over the Temple Mount, Netanyahu and his ministers have all noted that such a position will do nothing to protect the Temple Mount or guarantee freedom of religion. Only Israeli control of the holy site, Netanyahu explained, protects members of all faiths.

Again, while their statements are correct, they miss the point. It isn’t that France is doing nothing to ensure freedom of religion. Through its actions, France has shown that it isn’t even vaguely interested in promoting freedom and peace. The policy of the French government, revealed yet again by its bid to end Israeli control of the Temple Mount, is to delegitimize Israel and curry the favor of jihadists at the expense of the Jews of Israel and of France alike.

Caroline Glick


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This is Not the Third Intifada - Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror

by Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror

BESA Center Perspectives Paper, No. 314
As hard as it may be, the delicate balance between exercising force and exercising restraint must tip in favor of restraint. Israel must be sure to avoid steps that could make tensions boil over. Having said that, counter-terrorism measures should be applied unequivocally, and the elimination of terrorists, even those wielding knives instead of firearms, must be unanimously backed by all echelons. On the diplomatic level, it is important that the current escalation wanes without a Palestinian achievement, especially when it comes to the Temple Mount. Israel's strategy has to make it clear that violence reaps no rewards.

Contrary to what some media reports would have the public believe, the current unrest, troubling as it may be, does not echo past Palestinian uprisings. Israel must opt for restraint whenever possible, to avoid playing into Palestinian propaganda.

The recent security escalation is difficult and frustrating. The violent riots, especially those in which protesters clash with Israeli security forces, cast serious doubt on the possibility of peaceful coexistence. Inflammatory headlines and fervent media reports seem to exacerbate the situation by blowing it out of proportion.

Israel is currently facing five different types of security incidents: Terrorist attacks involving firearms, stabbing attacks, violent riots, the stoning and firebombing of vehicles, and attempts to breach the Israel-Gaza Strip border.

Attacks by terrorist cells using firearms have been few, with the brutal murder of a Jewish couple traveling on a Samaria road, and the shooting of passengers on a bus in Jerusalem representing the height of this effort so far.

There has been an increase in the number of lone terrorists carrying out stabbing attacks, as dozens of them have been recorded over the past few weeks. The main cluster of these attacks has taken place in Jerusalem, but the past week has proven that nowhere in Israel, from Afula in the north to Kiryat Gat in the south, is immune. The majority of incidents left their victims wounded, but the Jerusalem attacks have so far claimed six lives.

The past few weeks have seen mass protests in Judea and Samaria and in other parts of Israel, where hundreds of rioters clashed with security forces while throwing stones and firebombs at them, chanting anti-Israel slogans and burning Israeli flags.

The Palestinian Authority seems to be trying to curb these events in Palestinian cities and across Judea and Samaria. There has also been an increase in the number of stoning and firebombing incidents targeting vehicles traveling on Judea and Samaria roads, and in smaller numbers on roads adjacent to Arab towns in Israel. The majority of perpetrators in these cases are minors.

Since the recent wave of unrest has begun, there has also been an uptick in attempts by both individuals and groups of Palestinians to breach the Israel-Gaza security fence. These incidents are contained, for the most part, by Hamas. One cannot point to one specific reason as the catalyst that sparked the current unrest, which is most likely the culmination of several unforeseeable factors.

Signs that tensions were reaching a boiling point were evident for a while, most notably over the surge in stoning and firebombing incidents in Jerusalem, which developed into actual attempted murder only over the past few weeks.

The familiar Palestinian theme of "Al-Aqsa is in danger" played a key role in provoking the recent rampage, as did the incessant incitement by the Islamic Movement's northern branch and by Hamas, which is echoed by the Palestinian Authority.

Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to view the recent wave of terrorism as the successful result of well-spun incitement. We must review these events with respect to the overall tensions in the Middle East, agitated by radical Sunni groups, and especially the Islamic State group, whose increasing grip on parts of the region has captured the imagination of Palestinian youth.

The growing friction with settlers across Judea and Samaria, the horrific arson attack in Duma whose perpetrators have yet to face justice, and statements by Israeli politicians advocating a change in the status quo on the Temple Mount all affect the Palestinians' sense of frustration.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' "end of the Oslo Accords era" speech at the U.N. General Assembly last month has most likely fueled this frustration as well, as has the overall sense of lawlessness on the Palestinian street, now dominated by violence-craving mobs, devoid of any ideology or forethought.

This atmosphere is most prevalent in east Jerusalem, perhaps because the Palestinians living there have no sense of the Palestinian Authority's rule on the one hand, while on the other hand, Israel's rule has been eroded and rendered ineffective.

This complexity makes it difficult to predict what tomorrow will bring, but keeping things in perspective is important nonetheless. Firstly, the current situation is clearly very different from the Second Intifada, when, at one point, 122 Israelis were murdered in the span of a single month. Two weeks into the current wave of terrorism Israel mourns seven victims, and while each person is a world unto itself, the difference in the number of victims cannot be ignored.

Secondly, while the Palestinian uprising of the early 2000s was marked by suicide bombers and shooting attacks, the majority of the recent attacks have been lone terrorist incidents and mostly stabbing attacks. This proves that the Shin Bet security agency has got a solid hold on the situation on the ground, which enables it to thwart terrorist plots before they are realized.

The nature of the protests is also different than it was 15 years ago. At the time, Israeli security forces were fending off thousands of Palestinians in each demonstration, while this time the biggest protest so far numbered about 500 people. The same can be said of the Arab protests in Israel.

What sets this wave of terrorism apart from the Second Intifada is that it comprises 95% cold-weapon attacks, and 90% of the perpetrators reside in and around east Jerusalem.

It is important that the current escalation wanes without a Palestinian achievement, especially when it comes to the Temple Mount. We must avoid fueling tensions on the already volatile site, so the government and the police are doing the right thing by limiting access to it. However, once order is restored, the status quo should be resolutely enforced. Israel's strategy has to make it clear that violence reaps no rewards.

Unlike the Second Intifada, the current wave of violence does not warrant a military operation. We must spare no effort to minimize casualties among innocent Palestinians. A high number of civilian casualties who, while being incited or promoting incitement do not take an active part in acts of terror, will do Israel more harm than good and may even cause the situation to spiral out of control.

As hard as it may be, the delicate balance between exercising force and exercising restraint must tip in favor of restraint. Having said that, counterterrorism measures should be applied unequivocally, and the elimination of terrorists, even those wielding knives instead of firearms, must be unanimously backed by all echelons.

This wave of violence is complex because it involves lone terrorists, who operate independently and without direction, and are driven by social media and the Gaza-based media.

This is a stressful situation that requires patience, endurance and nerves of steel, so to avoid taking the wrong action. We have to make sure to avoid steps that could make tensions boil over. Fanning the flames is not only unnecessary, it is very dangerous.

This was first published in Israel Hayom on Oct. 16.
BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family

Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror is the Greg and Anne Rosshandler Senior Fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and former national security advisor to the Prime Minister. He is also a fellow at JINSA's Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy.


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Funding those condemning Israel for 'excessive force' - Ronn Torossian

by Ronn Torossian

Temple Israel of White Plains and others who support NIF should consider if they would pause to analyze the best way to stop a knife-wielding terrorist as he rushes at them.

While Israel faces non-stop terrorist attacks nationwide, the extremist New Israel Fund has stepped up from blaming Israel for the attacks, to now condemning the country for using “excessive force” in stopping attacks of those trying to kill innocent Israelis. One of the organizations it supports petitioned the Supreme Court and succeeded in staying the demolition of the homes of seven terrorists, among them the murderers of the Henkin couple. It has been shown decisively that demolition of terrorists' homes is a deterrent to further terror and can thus save Jewish and Arab lives.

NIF can rejoice in the fact that The US State Department and the UN Secretary General have condemned Israel for using too much force to stop stabbing, stone and Molotov cocktail throwing. It can be happy that the Supreme Court prevented the immediate demolition of the terrorist homes, the time when it is most effective, and this after the IDF and cabinet had authorized the demolitions after careful deliberation.

Israeli NGOs funded by the New Israel Fund, including B’Tselem, Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, and Yesh Din, have issued press releases describing “a worrying trend to use firearms to kill Palestinians who have attacked Israelis or are suspected of such attacks.”   A B’Tselem press release noted, “….Israeli government officials and others in position of authority have been calling explicitly to “shoot to kill”, so the lives of Palestinians suspected of perpetrating attack are forfeit, even when they no longer pose a threat. To date, more than ten people have been shot to death when suspected of perpetrating attacks. The excessive force Israel has been using to quell these demonstrations has left at least five Palestinian dead and hundreds injured.”

This narrative encourages the world's anti-Israel media coverage. 

Yair Lapid – no Netanyahu supporter – said it right on this issue:

“If someone attacks with a butcher knife and storms at an Israeli citizen, I am not willing to have a discussion about his motives. If someone comes out with an ax and attacks a woman at the bus stop, I am not ready to have a debate on the most polite way to neutralize him.

"If Abu Mazen (PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas) is selling lies to his people even though he knows it encourages violence and bloodshed, I will not be among those who ignore it.  The silence of the left against Abbas new is a new level of complete disillusionment with their philosophy.  What lies in front of it is a simple and absolute truth: Jewish blood is not cheap."

The New Israel Fund has invested millions of Jewish American dollars in Arab NGO organizations in Israel.  This money was given, they claimed, with the expectation of building a stronger social democratic system – yet, not a single NIF-funded Arab NGO has decried the recent wave of terror.

What kind of a Jewish world is this where the head of the UJA-Federation, Alisa Doctoroff, Sally Gottesman, Karen R. Adler, and even synagogues Including  Temple Beth El of Santa Cruz, Calif.; Tzedakah Hevra at Congregation Beth El in Sudbury, Mass.; Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun in Wisconsin; Kehila Chadasha of Bethesda, Md.; Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia; Temple Beth Avodah of Newton Center, Mass.; Temple Shalom of Newton, Mass.; Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco; and Temple Israel in White Plains, N.Y., are counted among those who give $30 million annually to NIF which is used to harm Israel.

How can they support organizations that protect terrorist homes?

Don't just donate. Examine closely what happens to your money because those who support the NIF stand against Israel.

Ronn Torossian


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CAIR’s 2015 Orlando Intifada - Joe Kaufman

by Joe Kaufman

Orlando, Florida: Home to Disney World and radical Islam.

CAIR’s foundation was built upon anti-Israel activists seeking to tear apart Western society. Today’s CAIR is no different. A current hotspot for CAIR extremism is in Orlando, Florida, where CAIR-Florida just held an annual fundraising banquet and just hired a coordinator to take the place of a recently arrested sexual predator. The days of Orlando only being about theme parks and tourism are over. Now, residents and tourists have something else to look forward to – the threat of radical Islam.

CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations was established in June 1994 as being part of the American Palestine Committee, a terrorist umbrella group headed by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. The people who founded CAIR, including present National Executive Director Nihad Awad, were previously leaders of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a now defunct organization that was at the time the American propaganda wing of Hamas and also one of the groups that made up the Palestine Committee.

CAIR-Florida, like those who established its parent organization, is made up of anti-Israel radicals.

CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly has referred to Hezbollah as “basically a resistance movement” and “absolutely not a terrorist organization” and, in August 2014, tweeted, “Israel and its supporters are enemies of G-d...” In December 2010, CAIR-Florida CEO and Statewide Regional Operations Director Nezar Hamze, repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas, when given numerous chances to do so, stating “I’m not denouncing anybody. I’m not getting involved in the politics.”

In November 2012, when Israel went to war with Hamas in Gaza, CAIR-Florida Legislative and Government Affairs Director Laila Abdelaziz tweeted, “Don’t worry ya Gaza, we’re working hard for you in Florida.” In July 2014, CAIR-Florida Communications Coordinator Ali Akin Kurnaz attacked U.S. Representative Ted Deutch, when Deutch wrote a tweet against Hamas and in support of Israel’s right to defend herself, stating to Deutch, “[T]hink before you tweet. Your lopsided message conveys your lack of understanding of this conflict.”

In July 2014, CAIR-Florida co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally, in Downtown Miami. At the event, rally goers repeatedly shouted, “We are Hamas,” “Hamas kicked your ass,” and “Let’s go Hamas.” After the rally, the organizer of the rally, Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, wrote the following on Facebook: “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!”

Earlier this month, CAIR-Florida held an annual fundraising dinner, in Orlando, Florida. The event was titled ‘Champions for Justice,’ and it featured as a guest speaker Chicago-area imam Kifah Mustapha.

Mustapha’s relationship to CAIR goes far beyond his speakership at CAIR events. Both Mustapha and CAIR were named as co-conspirators by the United States government for the 2007 and 2008 federal trials against the Hamas charity, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). Like CAIR and the IAP, HLF was part of Mousa Abu Marzook’s Palestine Committee. Indeed, Mustapha is still listed as the Registered Agent of HLF’s Illinois corporation, which was revoked in 2001.

Mustapha was also involved with the IAP; he served as a board member for the group.

As well, Mustapha is a lecturer for American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) states “has its organizational roots in the IAP.” The Registered Agent for AMP is former IAP Secretary General Abdelbaset Hamayel. AMP’s office is merely blocks away from what used to be the IAP’s address, on the same street – Roberts Road in Palos Hills, Illinois. Mustapha and former IAP President Rafeeq Jaber (who was a CAIR founder) will be speaking at AMP’s 8th Annual Conference, next month.

In December 2014, Mustapha left his job as imam and Associate Director of the Mosque Foundation (MF), the Islamic center he had been affiliated with for 13 years. MF also has heavy ties to the IAP. Two former leaders of the IAP, Rafeeq Jaber and ex-IAP Chairman Sabri Samirah, were Presidents of MF.

Today, Mustapha is the imam and Director of the Prayer Center of Orland Park. And while he may have transferred his affiliation – albeit less than nine miles away – Mustapha’s fanatical views are still intact.

The morning of CAIR-Florida’s Orlando banquet, Mustapha posted the following message on his Facebook site. He wrote, “An uprising in the Blessed Land will reflect blessings on all Arab uprisings insha Allah.”

The uprising that he speaks of is the recent wave of stabbing and shooting attacks against Jews in Israel, which many are calling a Third Intifada – intifada meaning uprising. For Mustapha this violence, that includes many deaths on both sides, reflects blessings.

Shown in photos from CAIR-Florida’s banquet is CAIR-Florida’s new Orlando Regional Coordinator Rasha Mubarak. Mubarak replaced CAIR-Florida’s previous Orlando Coordinator, Ahmad Saleem, who is currently awaiting trial after having been arrested for traveling to have illegal sexual intercourse with someone who he believed to be a twelve-year-old girl.

Apart from her job with CAIR, Mubarak is an organizer for anti-Israel demonstrations. These events have included virulently anti-Semitic signs and flags of terrorist organizations.

In November 2014, Mubarak was a featured speaker at the Al-Awda 12th Annual International Convention, held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, is an activist group based in the US, which opposes Israel’s right to exist. Participating at the Al-Awda event, along with Mubarak, were then-Chair and Vice Chair of Al-Awda, Coral Springs, Florida-based Anas Amireh and Cleveland, Ohio-based Abbas Hamideh, who are now respectively Al-Awda Treasurer and Vice Chair.

Amireh is a big fan of deceased Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat and uses social media to memorialize former PLO leaders. He advocates Palestinians using their cars as weapons (‘Run-Over Intifada’) and refers to Israel as the “Zionist enemy.” Next to one photo Amireh posted on his Facebook site in August 2014, taken in Fort Lauderdale and showing him looking back at a group of Israel supporters, he writes, “Do you realize how hard it is not to turn around and beat the living hell out of one of those Zionists??”

Hamideh wants all of Israel, which he has been barred from entering, destroyed. This month, he told Jews, “Rest assured Zionism will be eradicated and if you’re lucky you’ll be sent back to Europe where you belong...” He says peace with Israel only means “surrender.” Hamideh loves Hezbollah and its leader Hassan Nasrallah, who he calls “the most honorable Arab-Muslim leader of our time.” Hamideh, who claims to have fought in the First Intifada, is excited at the idea of a third one. He tweeted a photo of two masked Palestinian terrorists holding Molotov cocktails, stating, “Let’s do this! Intifada.” He also tweeted a photo of himself firing an AK47 rifle.

CAIR calls itself a civil rights group, but the truth is that any initiatives undertaken by CAIR in the name of civil rights is a cover for an extreme anti-Israel agenda that has been an integral part of CAIR since its founding. CAIR’s subsidiary CAIR-Florida, its leaders and those they associate with are representative of this bigotry.

CAIR is a radical Islamic enterprise that exists to cause harm to the Jewish state and fracture Western civilization.

Orlando, beware!

Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.

Joe Kaufman was the 2014 Republican nominee for United States House of Representatives in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District. He is an expert in the fields of counter-terrorism, foreign affairs and energy independence for America. He has been featured on all major cable networks, including Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and C-SPAN. Joe has been instrumental in getting terrorist charities shut down and terror-related individuals put behind bars. Exactly one month prior to the September 11 attacks, he predicted the attacks by stating that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was no aberration and that it would happen again.


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Why Ayman Mohyeldin Must Go - Ari Lieberman

by Ari Lieberman

MSNBC and Ayman Mohyeldin’s shameless blood libel against Israel.

A recent online petition calling for NBC News to take disciplinary action against Ayman Mohyeldin, NBC’s Israel correspondent, has garnered 25,000 signatures in just 48 hours. By the time this piece goes to publication, it will undoubtedly surpass the 25,000 mark. Social media goers concerned with Mohyeldin’s pro-Palestinian bias have created a twitter buzz with the hashtag #AymanMustGo

That sentiment reflects mounting frustration with Mohyeldin, who has consistently used his position as Mideast correspondent to spew pro-Palestinian propaganda. So egregious and one-sided was his reporting that during the 2014 Gaza war, NBC took the drastic step of removing him from the theater only to reverse itself just four days later.

Mohyeldin also drew widespread outrage when he referred to American hero Chris Kyle as a man who had “racist tendencies” toward Muslims and referred to his service in Iraq as a “killing spree.” It is widely acknowledged that Kyle’s daring and professionalism saved countless American lives, but the partisan and myopic Mohyeldin sees things rather differently. 

In another demonstrable instance of shallow analysis and base propaganda, Mohyeldin once absurdly claimed that the United States should recognize Hamas since the terror group came to power through elections. By that logic, the Allies should have recognized Hitler as the legitimate representative of the German people since he too came to power through elections. Autocrats and dictators often employ the democratic process for their own nefarious purposes only to discard democratic principles once their usefulness has expired.

In the last three weeks, Israelis have endured a spike in Palestinian violence characterized mostly by indiscriminate brutal stabbings targeting young children, the elderly, a Nigerian migrant worker and even a Dutch Christian woman who fostered over 20 Arab children. Their depraved terror spree, incited by their president for life, the Holocaust-denying Mahmoud Abbas, has been dealt with in a professional manner by various branches of Israel’s security forces, which have thwarted countless attacks, neutralized assailants and prevented further calamities.

One such calamity nearly occurred on the morning of October 14 when a 20-year-old Palestinian, dressed in military style camouflaged fatigues, broke out of a line near the Damascus Gate and charged toward a group of soldiers while brandishing a large knife in his right hand, clearly visible to all. He ignored repeated warnings to halt and was neutralized by gunfire from security forces. There was no doubt as to what occurred and but for the quick reaction of alerts cops, a disaster was averted.

But the propagandist and yellow journalist Mohyeldin, whose crew was at the scene and was filming just as the incident unfolded, didn’t quite see it the way everyone else did. Moments after it occurred, Mohyeldin tweeted the following; “I just witnessed the shooting of man running down the stairs towards Damascus gate before being gunned down.” 

There was shockingly no mention of the fact that the man was dressed in military-style camouflage, no mention of the fact that he was brandishing a large knife, no mention of the fact that he was running toward a crowd, and no mention of the fact that he ignored warnings to halt. Mohyeldin wanted his twitter followers to believe that blood-thirsty Jews gunned down yet another Palestinian “youth” in cold blood and wished to propagate a modern-day blood libel.

Just four minutes after posting his tweet, Mohyeldin was contacted on twitter by a salivating Amnesty International representative with the following; “hi Ayman Jacob from Amnesty International here. We are in East Jerusalem and would like to meet if possible. DM me. Thanks.” Liars and anti-Israel shills always manage to find each other.

Shortly thereafter, Mohyeldin went live with the story echoing in his broadcast the “facts” as noted in his tweet. Fortunately, Mohyeldin was corrected by MSNBC anchor Jose Diaz-Balart who was quick to set straight the dreadful inaccuracies on-air, leaving an embarrassed Mohyeldin stammering and stuttering. 

MSNBC’s problematic Mideast reporting is not limited to Mohyeldin. Recently, the network featured inaccurate graphics borrowed from anti-Semitic conspiracy sites to highlight so-called Jewish expropriation of Arab land. To its credit, the network subsequently and rather quickly acknowledged its mistake and publicly repudiated the calumny in convincing fashion. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that they would have acted so quickly (or even acted at all) to reverse themselves but for the astuteness of media watchers who immediately took note of the egregious error and flooded MSNBC with rightful indignation. 

MSNBC now needs to address its Mohyeldin problem. It cannot be taken seriously as a news network so long as it employs a Palestinian propagandist. As long as Mohyeldin continues to be on MSNBC’s payroll, the network’s credibility and ratings will continue to nosedive.

Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.


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Global Islamic State attacks on alarming rise - Arutz Sheva Staff

by Arutz Sheva Staff

Islamic State committed over 1,000 attacks, killing nearly 3,000 people, in the last three months alone.

A major increase in violence by Islamic State saw over 1,000 attacks and nearly 3,000 deaths worldwide in the past three months, analysis firm IHS Jane's said Thursday.

The figures show a 42-percent jump in daily attacks by the jihadist group, averaging 11.8 per day from July to September, up from 8.3 per day between April and June.

The figures suggest that air strikes by the US-led coalition have had only a limited impact on the group.

The London-based analysis firm recorded 1,086 ISIS attacks, causing a total of 2,978 civilian and government fatalities - a huge 65.3 percent increase in the average daily killings by the group compared to the previous three months, and an 81 percent jump on one year earlier.

IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Centre uses open sources to compile their database, and said ISIS likely carried out far more attacks that could not be verified.

"While the airstrikes and wider coalition efforts have put the group under significant pressure, it is seemingly still some way from being sufficiently weakened to allow the recapture of territory, let alone be defeated," Matthew Henman, head of the Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, told AFP.

Russia's increased involvement in Syria in recent weeks is likely to further strengthen ISIS, since there was a "clear indication" that Moscow is more interested in defending the Syrian regime than defeating ISIS.

"Already over the past week the Islamic State has made gains in areas of Aleppo governorate due to the targeting of rival opposition groups and this is likely to continue," said Henman.
"Civilian deaths in Russian airstrikes also give the Islamic State a powerful propaganda tool."

Boko Haram's contribution

The figures reflect the inclusion of Nigeria's brutal Boko Haram terrorist group, which declared allegiance to ISIS in March.

Renamed Wilayat Gharb Afriqiyah, the group's attacks were the deadliest of any ISIS affiliate.

"This underlines the nature of the group's insurgency in Nigeria and several bordering countries, with its operations characterised by mass-casualty operations targeting the civilian population in the group's northeast operational heartland," Henman said.

The new figures also reflect changes in the type of combat over the summer in Iraq and Syria, which still account for the vast majority of ISIS activity.

After capturing some key areas - including the Iraqi city of Ramadi and Syria's Palmyra earlier this year - the group  focused on defending them from government forces and rival insurgent groups.

This meant an increase in "frequent, low-level, close-quarters engagements", rather than the previous focus on mass-casualty attacks used to seize territory.

Overall, ISIS did not make any major territorial advances during the three-month period, though it did announce a new branch - known as a "wilaya" - in Saudi Arabia in August.

It has previously announced wilayas in Afghanistan-Pakistan, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Russia's North Caucasus and Nigeria, in addition to the group's operational heartland in Iraq and Syria.

AFP contributed to this report.

Arutz Sheva Staff


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Israel rejects UNESCO Executive Board decision on 'Occupied Palestine' - Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

by Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

​The deep Jewish ties to the holy sites in Jerusalem and its surroundings are undeniable and no decision of UNESCO can alter that.
(Communicated by the MFA Spokesperson)

Israel totally rejects the shameful resolution on 'Occupied Palestine' adopted today at the plenary of the 197th Session of UNESCO's Executive Board. The resolution aims to transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a religious confrontation and its adoption is a disgrace for UNESCO's Executive Board.  The Executive Board has joined the pyromaniacs seeking to set fire to the most sensitive sites to humankind.
The decision is an abuse of UNESCO's mandate. UNESCO's Director-General Mrs. Irina Bokova yesterday expressed her strong opposition to the resolution, which constitutes "taking the protection of cultural heritage hostage" and "undermining UNESCO's mandate and efforts". The DG:  "deplores the proposals…appeals to the UNESCO Executive Board to take decisions that do not further inflame tensions on the ground and that encourage respect for the sanctity of the Holy Sites".
Instead of striving to reduce tensions, the authors of the resolution are working to fuel the flames in the region, using irresponsible religious rhetoric and distorting history.
This decision is yet another step in the continuous Palestinian endeavor to rewrite history and distort the sources of World Heritage in this part of the World. The Palestinian leadership's attempt to claim for themselves Jewish and Christian holy sites doesn't bode well; suffice to look at the torching of Joseph's Tomb by Palestinians just a few days ago. The deep Jewish ties to the holy sites in Jerusalem and its surroundings are undeniable and no decision of UNESCO can alter that.

Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs


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PM Netanyahu’s Speech at the 37th Zionist Congress - Benjamin Netanyahu

by Benjamin Netanyahu

Hat tip:  Sefton Bergson

-- what I would like to examine with you today are the ten big lies that are hurled at us. And the only way that you can fight lies, and especially big lies, is to puncture them with the simple truth.

We've witnessed a lot of changes since the last Congress, great challenges and great opportunities for Israel and the Jewish people. We are now, despite our desires and our efforts for peace and for tranquility, we are now in the midst of a campaign, an assault, and not the first one, that seeks to murder Israelis wherever they are. And this campaign is incorporating medieval ideology with modern technology. It’s a unique combination.

I am seeing it primarily on the social networks. I'll talk about it in a minute. And we know for example that the various attackers are using their Facebook pages to indicate what they are, to absorb messages of incitement. I appreciate the fact that Facebook is trying to find the balance between free speech and the safety of the public. I think that warrants special attention in this case.

Now let me try to put in perspective what it is we're fighting: We're fighting not only a campaign of physical assaults on the Jewish state – the Jewish people have experienced that throughout the centuries - but as we've experienced in our history, the physical assaults on the Jews is always preceded and accompanied by an assault on the truth, campaign of defamation and slander. And what I would like to examine with you today are the ten big lies that are hurled at us. And the only way that you can fight lies, and especially big lies, is to puncture them with the simple truth.

So here's the first big lie: Israel is trying to change the status quo on the Temple Mount. No, we're not. We haven't changed the status quo on the Temple Mount in years. There's a simple arrangement: Muslims visit the Temple Mount and they pray there. Others, Jews, Christians and other denominations, secular people, they come – secular people pray too by the way - they visit the Temple Mount but they don’t. Sunday to Thursday, 7:00 to 11:00, the non-Muslims visit. Muslims visit the rest of the time. How many Muslims have visited and prayed on the Temple Mount, on average, last year? Anybody know? No, not 300,000, three and a half million. Eighty thousand Christians and other denominations and 12,000 Jews. That hasn’t changed.

Though the Temple Mount is our holiest site – it was built there by king Solomon 3,000 years ago, 1,500 years before the birth of Islam – though we've been attached to it for 3 millennia, we in no way deny the sacred sites or the rights or the free access for other denominations, and Israel has not and will not change the status quo. This is one huge lie.

The second is not only that we seek to change the prayer arrangements on the Temple Mount and the non-prayer arrangements on the Temple Mount, which we don’t, is that we seek to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque. Now this is particularly farcical. It would be farcical if it weren’t tragic. My grandfather came to this land in 1920 and he landed in Jaffa, and very shortly after he landed he went to the immigration office in Jaffa. And a few months later it was burned down by marauders. These attackers, Arab attackers, murdered several Jews, including our celebrated writer Brenner.

And this attack and other attacks on the Jewish community in 1920, 1921, 1929, were instigated by a call of the Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was later sought for war crimes in the Nuremberg trials because he had a central role in fomenting the final solution. He flew to Berlin. Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, "If you expel them, they'll all come here." "So what should I do with them?" he asked. He said, "Burn them." And he was sought in, during the Nuremberg trials for prosecution. He escaped it and later died of cancer, after the war, died of cancer in Cairo. But this is what Haj Amin al-Husseini said. He said, ":The Jews seek to destroy the Temple Mount." My grandfather in 1920 seeks to destroy…? Sorry, the al-Aqsa Mosque.

So this lie is about a hundred years old. It fomented many, many attacks. The Temple Mount stands. The al-Aqsa Mosque stands. But the lie stands too, persists.

First lie: Israel seeks to change the status quo – false. Second lie: Israel seeks to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque – false. It's particularly onerous because Israel is the only country that protects the holy sites in the Middle East. You see Muslims, the militant Shi'ites and the militant Sunnis, blowing each other's mosques to smithereens across Iraq, Syria, you name it, churches – of course, synagogues – don’t even talk about it. And ancient shrines of great world heritage – blown up. The only place where the holy shrines of all are absolutely guaranteed is in Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty and of course in the rest of Israel.

Here's lie number three – the reason you have this surge of violence is because there has been a surge in settlement construction. Did you hear this? Yeah, all the time. Well, here are the numbers – some of you are not going to like them. In my first term in office, we built an average of 3,000 units annually in Judea and Samaria. In Barak's single year, he built 5,000. In Sharon, it was down to 1,900. In Olmert, it was down to 1,700. And given the circumstances, in my successive terms it's down to 1,500.

There are reasons for that. We can discuss that some other time but facts are facts. These numbers are exact. So, far from seeing a settlement surge, there's actually been a decline in construction. I raise that because this is raised again and again and again. The Palestinians are protesting because of a surge in settlement activity. Sorry, not true. And I put the facts forward before the world. Some surge.

The fourth big lie is that we are executing Palestinians- executing Palestinians. When our people are fighting back against these knife-wielders, meat-cleaver-wielders, people who try hack to death our citizens and our soldiers and our policemen, they're executing people. And what was the example? Ahmed Mansara, this boy that Abu Mazen put forward. He held his picture and he said we're executing this innocent boy. He's not innocent, he nearly stabbed to death, he stabbed nearly to death a 13-year-old Israeli boy riding on a bicycle.

He's not dead. He's been released, I think he's about to be released, from the Hadassah Hospital where his victim is struggling for his life. This is a big lie that we punctured right on the spot. Because here's the thing about the lies that I'm describing: If left unchallenged, they continue to expand like a cloud and by dint of constant repetition, these lies assume the cache of self-evident truth. And I think it's vital to put the facts before the world.

The fifth point is that Israel uses excessive force in general. That's not true either. What do you think would happen on the streets of New York? Let's just imagine the NYPD and people are rushing in the streets trying to knife down their police or innocent passers-by. What would the police do in New York City or in Paris or in Moscow or anywhere else? You know exactly what they would do. And this is what our police force is doing. To those who question our use of force, I would ask: How would you respond to it? How would your police respond to it? And our instructions are very clear. If there's a threat to life, either to the police officer or to innocent civilians, take action to neutralize it. Half the terrorists are killed; half the terrorists are apprehended; one terrorist escaped.

The sixth lie is that the reason we have this increase is not only a surge in settlements, it's the stagnation in the peace process. Well, some of the worst terrorism that Israel has experienced in its history occurred when the peace process was at its peak. We've had terrorism when there was a peace process. We've had terrorism when there was no peace process. We've had terrorism when there was an Israel. We've had terrorism when there was no Israel. We've had terrorism when there were settlements. We've had terrorism when there were no settlements, when we didn't even control Judea and Samaria. 

The real reason we have this terrorism is not because the terrorists are frustrated in the peace process. They're frustrated because there's a State of Israel and that frustration will continue.

The seventh myth is that Abbas is a moderate. Abbas does not send his security forces to attack us, this is true. And there is ongoing cooperation; that is true too. So on one hand, Abbas does what I've just described, but on the other hand, he is a steady inciter. He incites all the time. He and his Fatah partners and the official websites of the Palestinian Authority incite day in and day out on those social networks. And to put a fine point on it, he said the other day, "I welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem." Are these the words of a moderate? He glorifies these killers.

He hasn't condemned a single one of the 30 terrorist attacks on Israelis over the last month. And I think that people who call public squares in the name of mass murderers should be condemned. I haven't heard a word of condemnation, practically not a syllable of condemnation for this irresponsible behavior of Abbas. And I think what we should tell Abu Mazen is: Stop lying, stop inciting.

The eighth big lie is that only international observers will restore calm on the Temple Mount. The last thing we have to do is to take the most explosive square kilometer on earth and put there the General Assembly of the United Nations. That is not a force for moderation. Israel enforces the status quo and we should tell the truth, affirm Israel's proven commitment to the status quo and hold President Abbas, Hamas and the Islamic Movement in Israel accountable for their lies and incitement. That is what is producing this violence.

The ninth lie is that the violence is erupted continually because there's no Palestinian state. Palestinians have repeatedly refused to accept a nation-state for themselves. They've repeatedly refused to accept it if it means accepting a nation-state for the Jewish people alongside it. That was and remains the core of the conflict – the persistent refusal to recognize Israel in any boundaries.

Now I spoke to you about my grandfather. After he came here in 1920, we had the surge of the attacks at that year. In 1921, the Jewish community in Hebron, who had been there for millennia, was massacred – no provocation, no reasons. In 1936 to 1939, massive attacks by Palestinians on the Jewish community here, throughout the coast – in Tel Aviv, Jaffa, elsewhere. There were no settlements there, no territories, no desire even for a Palestinian state. And this continued, of course, into 1947, '48, when the Palestinians rejected a partition for a Jewish state and a Palestinian state – no territories then, a state offered to them.

And then it continued in the attacks against us, terrorist attacks by the Fedayeen and others in 1956. And in 1967, those attacks, the desire to destroy Israel continued despite the fact that the West Bank, Judea and Samaria, and Gaza were firmly in Arab hands. So it couldn't have been the reason for our attacks. Now we're talking about a century, half a century – from 1920 to 1967, that's 47 years – where the attacks, the attacks are going against us one after the other. Half a century and it's clearly not the core of the conflict. The core of the conflict was the desire to destroy the Jews anywhere, without a state, and with a state without the territories and without settlements.

Now, when we came into possession of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and when we came back to our ancestral homeland into these disputed lands and built some communities, some settlements, we uprooted them according to the book. They changed the narrative. After '67 what the Palestinians did is turn the result of their aggression – our presence in those territories – into its cause. And the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon made a decision with which I disagreed.

They uprooted all the Israelis from Gaza, disinterred the graves, gave the territory to Abu Mazen and he promptly handed it over to Hamas under the force of their guns. Well, we didn't get peace. We got thousands and thousands of rockets hurled into our cities. And when we asked Hamas, "Why are you firing these rockets on our cities? Is it to liberate the West Bank?" And they said, "Yeah, that too, but it's to liberate Palestine – Haifa, Akko, Jaffa, Jerusalem of course." That is what they said.

We turned to the others, to Abbas and the Palestinian Authority and I said, "What about you? Are you willing to recognize the Jewish state? You demand a nation-state for the Palestinian people. Assuming we solve the problem of the border, of the settlements and so on, would you then be prepared to recognize a Jewish state, a nation-state for the Jewish people?" They hem and haw and basically say no because they'd have to give up the fantasy of the so-called right of return because they have to end the conflict, because they don't want a state to end the conflict because they want a state to continue the conflict and eradicate the Jewish state. This is what this conflict has always been about. That's what it's about. You can't deny the facts. You can stick your head in the sand and be an ostrich, but we Jews do not stick our heads in the sand. We see the territory, we see reality as it is and we confront that reality.

And here's the tenth, final myth – and this is a doozer for some of you. This one shows how persistent and absurd these myths are and this was common parlance for our critics, for commentators, for political leaders, for the greatest news media in the world and this was uttered day in, day out, every hour by the hour, by the international community and even some here and even by our own people. And they said this as though it was self-evident truth and here's what it said: The core of the conflict in the Middle East – conflict always in the singular – the core of the conflict in the Middle East is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Remember that one? 

Now four years after the Arab Spring and the convulsions that take place, the disintegration of Syria, the disintegration of Iraq, the disintegration of Libya, the wars in Yemen, the chaos in the Sinai and everything else that convulses North Africa and the Middle East from India to the Atlantic, from the borders of India I'm happy to say to the Atlantic, there is great convulsion. What's that got to do with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? And the answer is: Nothing. Yet this was repeated over and over and over again. There were two truths – this was one of them. The core of the conflict was the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; and the core of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict were the settlements. Neither one is true.

Now it's evident. The first one is, you know, there are still true believers – not many – walking about us, but they're fairly silent about the first one because when millions are displaced, when hundreds of thousands are butchered, when every week in Istanbul now they had… in Ankara they had 100 people die in one day and thousands die every month – thousands – in Iraq, in Saudi Arabia, in the Sinai, in Libya. It's patently absurd. And yet people believe this. They believe this with religious fervor, I would say. I'm talking about the West. Now they believe the settlement myth even though they see it before their eyes. We left Gaza. We left every settlement – nothing. The conflict continues. We offer a deal and we say, "Okay, assuming we solve the settlement problem, what about the settlement called Tel Aviv? What about Jaffa? Give up the ghost." Nope.

The core of the conflicts in the Middle East is the battle between early medievalism, very primitive, very violent, the forces of militant Islam, and modernity. The core of the conflict, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is the persistent refusal to recognize a Jewish state in any boundaries. There is no way to battle lies except to tell the truth. Any attempt to forge peace based on lies will crash against the realities of the Middle East, will crash against the rocks of reality. We look forward and we say we want a real peace, a lasting peace, a peace where our long-standing rights, the right of the Jewish people to live in their ancestral homeland as a free and secure people – those rights are guaranteed. 

We have no preconditions for entering negotiations. We have foundations for a solution and we will be very firm and insistent on it. But there is no limitation on our side for entering negotiations. Yet that too is not being met by the other side. It has enjoyed a long pass, it has been given a pass by the international community, the Palestinian Authority. They are not held to their incitement. They're not held accountable for the violence that they foment all day, all night, every day, every month, on their Palestinian social networks and this has to end. My government has taken very strong steps to bolster our security, adding forces, giving them the means to do their job, punishing people who blow up houses or blow up people, murder innocent people. We do all that. 

But I think the larger battle that we fight is the battle for the truth and I urge every one of you to be a soldier in that battle. We've withstood, in the last century, the many assaults on our people. We came back to our homeland. We built our state. We've overcome tremendous forces. Israel is a modern, democratic, progressive and powerful state. We've withstood the attacks of terror, Palestinian terror, over the decades and we'll overcome this one too. But I believe that the biggest battle we have to fight is the battle for the facts. The facts win over the fiction if they're repeated clearly, responsibly, firmly. This is what I ask all of you to do for the sake of the Jewish state and for the sake of the Jewish people.

Thank you.

Benjamin Netanyahu


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